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Become great at parenting

I remember when I first separated, I didn’t have all the parenting skills needed to be a great parent.  I felt I needed to put some time and focus into learning a few things.  I also had the issues of a busy career which became in someways second place to my new role as a parent.

If I wanted to become great at parenting, something has to give.

I definitely valued and appreciated my career and what it provided.  Don’t get me wrong I kept doing a good job at work but shifted my drive from climbing the corporate ladder to climbing the parenting ladder.  There were some nights that I was free so I stayed back at work to keep on top of things, but I needed to get out of work at 5pm a couple of nights a week and start at 9am instead of 8-8.30am.  I was able to do this by having an understanding company and boss.   I also needed to slow down my social activities, and be more on my game as I found parenting full time requires a lot of effort.

All of my available time was dedicated to keeping a good home, making the kids top of mind and providing a healthy and stable home.  This included making sure that they have their own rooms set up as they like it so it felt like a real second home.  I made sure that there was always good food in the fridge/pantry when they stayed.  I had activities planned and we went on outings with family and friends and just ourselves, there was routine and they were involved with their grandparents and extended family when possible.

We continued with homework just like “normal”, I got involved in school activities, just like normal,went to parent teacher meetings and got involved in their hobbies and sports, just like normal, i think this is the key.

We often did the shopping together and if I needed to go and pay some bills, they came too.  It was all about making their life with me as normal as possible.  Things became easier and parenting took less time.  It became second nature, it allowed me to spend a little bit more time on the things I wanted to do with my life.  I had achieved a happy functional home life for the kids and things started sailing along.

After some time (maybe a year or so when things settled and became consistent again for the kids) I could step back into work a little more but still keep the kids top of mind.  My decision to focus on becoming great at parenting has absolutely been the best decision I have ever made.