The role of parent is about lots of things.
It's about love.
It's about nurturing and caring.
It's about discipline.
It's about teaching.
It's all about raising . . .
. . . raising tiny people up
into the best big people they can be.
And raising children is tough
and a big responsibility
which has been feeling particularly big and scary in my heart of late.
Raising children is all about turning tiny acorns
into big BIG trees,
and right now my job is all about growing those roots just right,
giving my children the best foundations that I possibly can.
I am regularly in awe of my children
and the fact that somewhere along the line
I did something to deserve them.
I am amazed on a daily basis that I played a part in making them,
and that I get to continue to play a part in making them awesome.
But at the same time
I do worry
about how easily I could mess it all up.
I think that while we don't necessarily second guess our abilities to grow babies,
as parents we are often riddled with worries about how we raise them.
I know that how we are choosing to bring up our children
is a regular discussion in this house.
In every comment on how the little man behaves,
in every different thing we try with the little lady
and in every new approach we try with them both;
we are asking ourselves and each other if we are doing it right.
I like to think that we're doing a pretty okay job so far,
our beautiful boy is bright as a button, confident, independent and a delight to be around,
and I know that we aren't the only ones who think that.
And our beautiful girl is all twinkly and smiley,
and seems pretty happy and content the majority of the time
so we definitely can't be doing all that badly.
But I have to confess bringing little people up in the world we live in does scare me.
I won't be the first or last person to say it, I know,
but children seem to grow up so fast these days.
And they have access to information and technology
that wasn't even imaginable when I was their age.
Scary things don't just happen elsewhere and in newspapers,
they happen on our televisions, in our homes, all the time.
And since giving birth,
I've become all too aware of the impact self esteem can have.
It seems impossible to imagine
as I look at my beautiful children
that they will ever feel anything but completely happy in their own skins,
but I know that in reality, we all have our hang ups
and that being a teenager is tough and that other children can be cruel.
As parents we look at our children with eyes full of pure love
and we see perfection,
the kind of perfection we simply can't help being amazed by.
My children literally amaze me.
I look at them and their smiles dazzle me.
I hug them and feel full of adoration.
I just think of them and how proud I am of them and my heart melts.
But how, as a parent, can we help our children to see that version of themselves?
It scares me that I could get it wrong.
I cannot stand the thought that one day my children might hate the skin they're in
or, even worse, that they aren't proud of the people we are raising them to be.
I think it's something that in part comes with age,
and I know without a doubt, that becoming a mummy
has played a large part in giving me that happy inside and out feeling
that the younger and more self conscious version of me craved.
But then I do know a great number of adults
who are still in search of something to make them feel happy
with their lives and with themselves.
Perhaps it has more to do with essentially living my own dreams
and maybe it is ambition, drive and confidence
which lead to happy, rounded adults.
We all spend teenage years and early adult years
wanting to be something else, have something else or be someone else.
I just hope that my children will know that what is inside and outside of them
is wonderful just as it is.
I don't want them to ever want to be someone else instead of themselves
because it is their differences that make them so special.
I want them to know that however they may feel about themselves
that they are beautiful inside and out.
I really hope that they can grow up to know
that they are special, unique and completely beautiful.
That they can grab the world with both hands if they want to.
That they can choose to soar high or choose a simple life,
but it is their choice to make.
And when I worry most about getting it all wrong,
I like to think that knowing and understanding that they are special, unique and beautiful
might just come from feeling and knowing without doubt that they are loved.
And if that's all I have to do to raise my children right
then they'll be the best big trees from acorns
that this world has ever seen.