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5. Rome wasn't built in a day... parenthood is no different!

You're back for the fifth instalment of my blog, Pieces of Me! I'm so glad you decided to hang around. It's always a bit nerve-wracking when you put yourself out there and you're never quite sure if the person on the other end is a) there or b) cares... Suffice to say, I'm glad you're here and I hope you like what's coming up. If you're new here, welcome to my blog series ‘Pieces of Me’. Subsequently it’s also the name of my album that I am currently writing, co-producing and self-releasing in 2023. In today's brain dump, I'll be discussing my song 'Built for Two', it's a mushy one so you have been warned!

I should probably start off with a massive shout out to all the single Mums and Dads out there, shouldering the heavy responsibility of parenthood without someone else to lean on and take some of the load. It's the toughest gig going and I am in awe of your strength. In all sincerity, I know if you're thrust into that situation, whatever the circumstances, you find a way to manage because you have to, but that doesn't take away from the fact you wear all the hats and become a master of parenting. You're amazing.

For those of us who do have someone to travel the road with, it's still a tough gig but in a different way. Another thing I didn't find in the parenting manuals was how to manage your partner's emotional evolution (or lack of, depending on what your set up is). It's a lot! Before I go on, I'm just going to say this is not a moaning blog piece. I'm not going to complain about my other half, so don't worry. I am eternally grateful for my husband and I am even more so that he's very much, in the trenches, with me.

No, I want this piece to focus on being a united front and facing the challenges together as well as revelling in the absolute joys of being a Mum or Dad. That's what 'Build for Two' is all about. It's an audio documentary on watching your other half evolve and really come into their own as a parent. For all Mums-to-be and Dads-to-be, you'll be astounded at how incredible your partner is. Having children really does bring out another side to you and I do think it is usually always for the better. Well, in my own experience so far.

What warms the cockles of my heart is watching my husband talk about his own childhood and/or happy memories he has of his past and share them with our kids. It's lovely to see this ancestral line continue, like a modern day passing down of sage advice. Little nuggets of gold to enrich their lives and build their own happy childhood memories to lean on when times get rough. I like how we carry on with our childhood traditions and implement our own for the kids to take forward in their lives. This continuity brings me so much hope and joy for a world we will one day leave behind. That's quite a statement to say when you look around at what's going on today. But I believe it to be true, the children really are the future.

As always with highs, you get lows. Last night is a prime example. For any newbies out there or parents in the throes of babyhood and sleep training (lack of sleep, or again whatever your approach to getting your child to catch some zzz's) you'll understand my pain here. My youngest is typically a good sleeper and we get a rest most nights. But last night was one of those blips where NOONE was sleeping. Musical beds ensued, snapping at each other because the floorboard creaked and it woke up the infant just when you thought they had drifted off, finally everyone settles and you lay your head down, shut one eye when your eldest appears at your beside complaining of nightmares. It is AWFUL. I didn't sleep at all and once everyone eventually had drifted off, I stared at the ceiling, in the dark listening to the breathing of my entire family squished into my bed. In those (almost) silent moments, that's when I realise - this is the world we built together. This is the world we imagined as a couple before kids. It makes the pain of zero sleep and day of work ahead, a bit more bearable when you know they are safe, healthy and tomorrow is another day. Plus as the minutes tick by edging ever closer to the alarm going off you know there is coffee - LOTS of coffee.

So all in all, the messiness of family life and the varying set ups of what family is these days, it's a world we create and nurture to the best of our abilities. Parenting is a tough gig but what you choose to do with it is magical. Rome wasn't built in a day and being a parent means rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in. We'll all become masters eventually but until then, let's enjoy the process.

If you liked what you read/heard then don't keep it to yourself, share far and wide! I'll be back with the next piece of me soon but until then keep the heid, you’re doing great.

Caragh x

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