ISN’T it hard to believe that our summer is coming to an end? As we get ready for another change of season, I want to pay tribute to all you mums and dads out there who will be getting ready to return your little ones (or not so little ones) back to school/ college/university, including those of us helping navigate the next chapter for our graduates and older children.
 
Let’s be honest, we can love our kids deeply, and we can love being a mum or a dad, yet still feel that being a parent is sometimes challenging. I get it – I truly do. Whether it’s a new born baby constantly crying, or toddlers and their tantrums, or our ‘teens’ who we feel are ‘ageing’ us, parenting at times is very tough.
 
On top of this, I’m also very aware that we are living through a cost-of-living crisis, and I am conscious that there will be many parents feeling the stress of not only not knowing how to pay their bills, but also wondering how they will be able to afford school uniforms.
 

 

Friends, don’t allow yourself to get bogged down with parenting guilt. It’s okay to confess we are finding it all difficult and overwhelming. Vulnerability takes great courage. You are doing a great job. Remember, there is no perfect mum, and there is no perfect dad. Cut yourself some slack, and ease your tight grip on your comparison to other parents – we are all here trying to figure this parenting thing out together.
 
For those of us a little further down the parenting path, let’s look out for others. Let’s think of ways we can help struggling parents: check in on them, help them practically, offer a coffee and a listening ear, and so on.
 
I love Paul’s words to the Galatians: “Carry each other’s burdens.” (6:2). So often, the greatest gift we can give to others is simply the reassurance that they are not on their own.