Do you find the whole parenting thing baffling? Do you worry about making a meaningful connection with your child? Don’t you wish someone would just write a damn manual for this job?

Well you’re not alone, and if you’re stressing yourself out always trying the be the perfect parent….then welcome to the club!

If you can relate to any of the above points, then this blog is for you. If hindsight was a superpower, then I’d be leaping tall(ish) buildings with a single bound. I’ve been where many of you are now, full of the greatest intentions, and determined to be the best parent I can possibly be, but scared as hell and largely clueless.

If only I knew back then what I know now! But guess what, I did it, and so can you. This blog is designed to answer as many of your questions as possible about how to relate to your child and how to look after your own well-being in the process. Because let’s face it, we can put everything into our little ones whilst neglecting ourselves. The irony here is that we end up being less effective parents despite our best efforts.

So who the heck am I to give advice on parenting? Well for a start I am one. I raised my son alone from when he was 8 years old. Right now (2017) he’s 25, engaged to a wonderful young woman, and we are the very best of friends. In fact we’re so close that we blur the lines between, father/son, brothers, best friends, everything really.

I’m the first to admit I’m far from perfect, and made plenty of mistakes along the way. Trust me I beat myself up enough about them, and my goal here is to save a you from second guessing yourself when you needn’t. I offer a perspective from someone who’s been there, in the hope that it gives you some extra options to consider.

Because, regardless of my screw-ups, being a parent was the best damn thing I’ve ever had the privilege of doing. Modesty aside, and all things considered, it’s been my greatest achievement in life; especially considering the strength of our relationship, and the person Ryan’s turned into.

Of course he’s his own man and ultimately responsible for his own identity. Yet I think our success can be measured more in terms of how ‘our’ family dynamic moulded the both of us. It’s not something I’m aware of being discussed that widely before, how our children influence and mould our identities. Surely if you’re a truly accessible parent, emotionally available, and willing to listen, then the whole process is bound to have a profound effect on all parties. I know I’d be a different person if we hadn’t taken this journey together, and so much less if I’m honest, than I’ve had the opportunity to become.

Being a parent is such a privilege, it’s the best job in the world, and not as scary as it’s made out to be. It’ll test your mettle for sure, push you to the edge of exhaustion and beyond, and stretch your internal resources further than you ever imagine. It will however, give you the opportunity to become someone with incredible strength and compassion. It’ll make you laugh and cry, expose emotions you never knew you had, and you’ll never be the same again. So don’t waste a single moment, and cherish every second you have with your little one’s, because you can never get that time back.