Parenting is rewarding, but it's no secret it's also challenging.
There are lots of twists and turns along the journey, and there's so much to keep up with. From learning how to do things to always facing new challenges – there's often something to keep you on your toes.
It gets particularly tricky when you have to teach the little ones how to use the loo. But potty training isn't always a walk in the park.
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One mother has recently confessed she found it so tough to juggle everything that she sent her little one to school in night nappies, and she doesn't care what people think about it. In a new column for Mail Online, Shona Sibary confessed she didn't have time to do it all as a working mum.
Reflecting on her time bringing up her eldest child, Flo, she said there was a point when juggling her freelance writing career with childcare came "crashing down around her". She said other mums must have faced times when they've found themselves in similar predicaments
She claimed all mothers must have moments when they're "racked with remorse" for being forced to put work before childcare. But how many are willing to admit it?
Speaking about recent events, Shona said: "I can only imagine their fury, matched with mine this week, that MP Miriam Cates now blames us – an army of exhausted mums trying their best – for the rise in children starting school in nappies. Of all the weeks to lay this particular guilt trip at our door – just after a relentlessly rainy half-term, with the spectre of Christmas looming.
"And to pour even more fuel on the fire she seemed to focus her ire on working mothers, as if dads play no part in the parenting equation. Cates was talking at the Alliance For Responsible Citizenship conference when she made the comments, saying: 'Consider the rising number of young children who start schooling in the UK still wearing nappies… potty training can take weeks of dedication to the task. This is increasingly impossible when our GDP-obsessed economic system demands that even mothers of small children leave their infants in daycare to return to the workplace.'
"My blood boiled. But I must admit to agreeing with part of her remarks. Toilet training is difficult. And incredibly tedious. By the time I'd had my fourth child, Dolly, I was so over this particular parenting challenge that I (look away now, Miriam) almost raced back to work to avoid it."
She also admitted her youngest daughter, Dolly, started school just a week after turning four. When she headed off to school she was still wearing night nappies.
The mum said she focused on work a lot and didn't spend her time encouraging Dolly to sit on the potty, but she said it was her choice to do so.
"Looking back, it is entirely obvious to me that once I realised I needed childcare to work effectively (no more babies bouncing in the corner of my office!), I also realised I could outsource some of the more boring bits of parenting," she added.
"But neither au pairs nor nurseries did the job as well as I could have done if I'd had nothing better to do with my day. Which, obviously, I did.
"And this is probably also the reason all my children were still incontinent during the night well into their fourth year of childhood. I think I might be in the minority though, as I delegated the jobs voluntarily.
"Meanwhile, most of the other working mums I knew fought fiercely to be as present for their little ones' every stage of development as they could."
She said, when it comes to juggling it all, it can be one big "complicated, guilt-inducing mess" that people try and do their best to control. Even now she said what feel like failings can pull at her heartstrings.
But, at the end of the day, none of her children grew up to wet themselves, so she couldn't have done all that bad.
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