How do you know if you are a good parent?

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It’s hard  being a parent isn’t it?

We have children, and they don’t come with any instructions with them. No parent is sure that how they are raising their children is the best possible way.

I feel thankful that I don’t have to raise my boys on my own. My elder sister has practically raised all of her children without their father. This is something I admire her for, as I cannot even imagine what that is like.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant there was one thing I really wanted for my children. That was for them to be provided for and to be given every opportunity and encouragement humanly possible for me. In the early days things were really tough. We had very little money, lived in a rented house and every day was a struggle. I look back and what we lacked for in materialistic bullshit – we made up with a loving family unit.

Both of us have worked really hard to build up a career each, buy a home and try and provide a nice environment for the children. It’s taken many years, but with hard work we just about manage to do that.

Sometimes I wonder whether it is necessarily the right way to parent! I only have to listen to my eldest moaning about going on “another holiday” when he just wants to stay in his room playing on his Playstation. At times that feels like a knife in the chest. I have to bite my tongue to not tell him about the environment that I was raised in. My mum raised myself and my four sisters on very little money per week. We had no holidays, no fancy clothes, no luxuries.

Yet, maybe that’s the way to do it – so when you become an adult you appreciate every single thing.

Or maybe it’s a teenager thing – I am undecided as yet! They are certainly an ungrateful breed at times. I would love to send him back in time and spend a month in my shoes as a fifteen year old.

The latest thing is that the teenager has managed to persuade his little brother (whose birthday is coming up) that they shouldn’t buy presents for each other. I haven’t said anything for a few days as it was their decision. But, tonight I got really upset driving home and decided to tell them that each person has one day per year that is special just for them. This is important that people who care about them, treat them special and buy a small gift on their birthday.  I don’t know if they listened to me (probably not).

Kids! Responsible for my rapidly increasing grey hair and frown lines. Maybe I’ll spend the money on making myself look younger than trying to enrich their lives.

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