When mum and CEO of The Parenthood Georgie Dent shared a heartfelt message about her daughter’s return to school on LinkedIn, she clearly struck a chord with parents everywhere.
Here is her beautiful post:
“I’ve had children at school for over seven years and nothing compares to the heartache associated with a little person you love struggling with a new teacher and class when they’re separated from their friends.
It will pass and she will be fine, but my gosh it hurts to watch. It reminds me – once again – that no amount of planning or organisation makes parenting a seamless process. On paper things might seem in order but reality is different.
There are times when our children will simply need more physical and emotional support than other times – and it’s not always when you expect.
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I had fallen into the trap of believing this would be an easy school year for our youngest on account of it not being her first year and being familiar with the school. Already this year is more tricky than when she first started.
She will be ok but it will take some extra effort. For the next few weeks, my bet is that school drop-offs are going to take a bit longer. The afternoons are likely to be a bit messy. Bedtimes will be a little more fraught. Filling her cup will take a bit of work than usual.
If you’re another parent with a bruised heart or a distracted mind today, I see you. I am you.
That is the job of parents and caregivers but it’s not without challenges. It’s another few balls in the air you didn’t necessarily anticipate juggling. And these balls really hurt!
When I left a very distressed little girl this morning I did feel like my heart was on the outside of my body. It took a fair amount of strength not to burst into tears myself after the farewell.
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Why am I telling you all this? Because as I sit at my desk with a bruised heart and a more distracted mind than usual, I wonder how many other parents out there are feeling the same way at work right now? My guess is many.
Whether it’s a child starting school or high school, or navigating mental illness or having trouble with friends or struggling in some way … my guess is there are thousands of parents out there right now carrying an invisible emotional load.
And that’s part of what we each have to manage. Balancing the various demands on our time is never a matter of set and forget. It’s a constant work in progress and I don’t know how often it’s recognised or acknowledged.
If you’re another parent with a bruised heart or a distracted mind today, I see you. I am you. I suspect, despite appearances to the contrary, we all are.”
Georgie is a writer, commentator, mum-of-three and a passionate advocate for women and families. She is also the Executive Director of The Parenthood.
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