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Difficult, isn't it, raising children

To put it mildly...difficult. It's the hardest job in the world and it's unpaid too. But you get so much in return: gray hair, a dirty house and a lot of sleep deprivation. They don't say for nothing; the best parents are those without children. And that's right. Because I knew it all so well before I had Louis. Yes, I was quite a cliché: I'm-gonna-do-it-differently mother. My child screaming through the supermarket? Or a house full of those horrible plastic noisy toys? Over my dead body. Well, I knew that, because at times I really thought that they were going to kill me, so the talk about my corpse was taken very literally.

Was it always tough? No, to be honest, not really. The first years of Louis' wild existence came very easily to me. Louis was wild and busy, but also super fun, funny and smart. It wasn't until Dejan's arrival (hahahaha arrival, as if I hadn't been in the creases for hours trying to get him out) that the real hard work started. Louis had difficulty sharing his mother, to say the least. A problem that many children have when a second one is added. It would pass, he would get used to it quickly, it was said. When that turned out to be far from the case after 6 months, I started asking for advice. And even more advice, and oh yes, I also followed a Positive Parenting training.... fun and educational, but ooooh so useless. Louis bounced around, things broke, mom and dad slowly went crazy and questions were also asked at school. We received guidance, at my request, from Youth Team. But nothing worked.

I cautiously suggested that there might be more going on..... I'm not one for sticking labels. But I really wanted some instructions for use, tools to regain some control. No longer being out of line all day, arguing and worrying all day. The youth team agreed with me, it could indeed be that there was more going on. We went into the mill. Fortunately for Louis it was a very nice mill, where he received plenty of attention and was allowed to do fun assignments. And yes, ADHD with Hyperactivity, oh and a very high IQ. And honest? I was so relieved. I wasn't going crazy, Louis is really different from many other children. And no, it was not surprising that we had a hard time at home, children with ADHD simply deal with things (and their belongings) differently.

I will write a blog about the follow-up process later. For now, back to what this is all about... parenting is tough! There is no manual specific to your child and your situation. You have to find out for yourself. And that involves a lot of trial and error. Does everything always go well here? No, far from it. I remember Flip and I were thinking about a possible "second one". Weigh the pros and cons, because yes, one is relatively easy. But one is also alone. A brother or sister also offers support and companionship. They could play together, Louis would have a boyfriend or girlfriend here at home, we thought it would be nice! Uh yeah... not so. During the first few years, Dejan was of course extremely boring in Louis' eyes. There was no fun to be had with that and he took up way too much attention from mom. Wrong stuff.

Dejan grew older, bigger and, above all, stronger. The romping started.... and while at first it really looked like romping, it soon tended to resemble sumo wrestling. Meanwhile, Badr Hari is not involved, they literally beat each other's brains out. Very nice indeed. And there is no end to it. The moment they are together in the house for more than 5 minutes, things go wrong. Sometimes it starts with a joke and for a moment it seems like they are really having fun together. But as my grandmother always said to us in the past: "that will be kitten stuff". Well, kitten stuff is putting it mildly, I can tell you. “Shit hitting the fan” is a better expression. In no time the laughter disappears and the first screams come. Eventually they turn into whining and I hear things like: "Mom, Louis kicked me in the dick" and "yes, but Dejan bit my ass." And I? I stood there and I looked at it. Because fair. I gave up. It is a vicious circle that an average tornado can only add to. See, in my opinion that is also a big part of raising children..... LETTING GO!

And I am getting better at that. Unless one of the two is in immediate danger to life or the noise (i.e. screaming) exceeds the desired level, you will not hear me. There are many more things that I have let go of. I know that from now on I run the risk of going through life as a loser mother. But many discussions are no longer worth the hassle to me. So yes, Louis can leave the table when he has finished eating and we cannot yet. Yes, Louis's room is more often than not a mess. Yes, he gets too much screen time. Yes, Dejan has been sleeping in my bed for most of his short life. And yes, people certainly like that. But, I don't care anymore. Because these are our kids, we do it our way. And yes, other mothers may (no, probably) do it differently and they may have children who you can take to a 3* restaurant for a culinary dinner, while I can't get further than a pancake restaurant. But I have our shit and I'm proud of it. So incredibly proud. Because the two of them are so nice, funny, smart and yes, completely crazy. And no, I am not a perfect mother, far from it. But you know what? Those other mothers are also doing whatever!

And for all the lazy mothers, stressed-out mothers, I-still-have-a-lot-to-learn-mothers and relaxed mothers, there is of course the "Club of Relaxed Mothers". A household name among us not-quite-perfect mother hens. Don't know them yet? Founder Elsbeth Teeling and her team offer honest (and super funny) insights, blogs, stories, columns and more. Here's the great book: Relax Mom to arise. A handbook that every mother should have at home. With 101 tips and insights about motherhood, full of humor and winks. Nice for yourself, but also the perfect gift for a (future) mother who, like many other mothers, sometimes just doesn't like motherhood.

Do you have more specific questions and problems? Are you a boy mom and have no idea what to do with those grueling, cuddly penis carriers? Or do you know a father who has his hands in his hair (his daughter's) because he has a girl and has never touched a hairbrush? These issues obviously require a slightly more specific approach. The following manuals have been developed for this purpose:  Daughters; a guide for fathers and  Sons: A Guide for Mothers . With chapters such as "how to make braids" and a workshop on "saying no" for fathers and for mothers a lesson on urination and of course the much-needed "First Aid checklist". Is it serious? No not really. Is it funny? YES!

Then one last tip, for the parents who are in the toughest times of parenthood... the parents of teenagers. Are you or do you know an adolescent parent? They are having a hard time, very hard. And they can use all the help, support and encouragement. There is now a manual especially for these parents: Adolescents; a guide for parents . And since puberty seems to start earlier and earlier (in Louis' case at about 8 years old), you can't buy this early enough. Maybe also nice as a maternity gift, after all, you better be prepared!

You can of course shop all these books and much more at Bi Happy Creations. They are then shipped, beautifully wrapped and ready to gift. Would you like to learn how to pack yourself in a unique way? The Bi Happy Packing Workshops are coming. Do you want to be the first to know about the dates and therefore be the first to get a spot? Register now on the newsletter . You will also receive a super nice workshop offer!

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