parent opinion

Why we should be focusing on glimmers in the 'hard years' of parenting.

Children's Panadol
Thanks to our brand partner, Children's Panadol

Early parenthood, amirite?

It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times and just when your head can’t take one more hours-long whine-athon, your little people go exploding your heart with paralysing joy.

Last Wednesday, I got a call from a frazzled friend (also a working mum of an almost three-year-old) to tell me the weird itching that was driving her crazy at daycare drop-off was, in fact, lice. Right before that, I’d sent a crying-laughing emoji (yes hi, I’m a millennial) back to another friend’s picture of her wardrobe completely emptied onto her bedroom floor with the caption, "I had the nerve to try and go pee".

It was then, glancing over at my little one reading to himself in that beautiful toddler monologue, that it hit me — I have never felt more in my entire life. 

There truly is nothing like the early years of parenting — it will steamroll you with a heady mix of conflicting feels a dozen times before 9am, and honestly, all I can say is, somehow it’s all worth it.

The thing is, there’s plenty to say about how bloody hard the whole thing is. Especially in the early years, but every parent knows there’s even more to be said about how utterly, unbearably brilliant those tiny creatures can be.

So, whether you’re down in the early parenthood trenches or riding that blissful motherhood high right now, let’s take a moment for those early parenthood glimmers that make us realise why we’re all hanging out on this big blue ball, barrelling our way around the sun.

Enjoying all of the firsts. 

There are so many beautiful firsts over a lifetime and it feels like most of them get squeezed into the first five years of parenting. The first time your baby rolls over, the first time she says "Mama", or takes that precious wobbly step. When your toddler learns his S sounds and stops pronouncing it "barkitball". When your child walks up to you in the middle of a meltdown and says, "Mummy, do you want a cuddle?". 


These glimmers pull you out of yourself in a way nothing else can.  

Being your kid’s safe place.

It’s true, there’s nothing worse than a sick kid. Seeing your child in pain hurts more than any sickness of your own. But being the only thing that can fix it kind of reminds you why you get up each morning. I remember having to bring my one-year-old to the hospital when I was seriously ill myself and suddenly the only thing that mattered was the feeling of his breathing slowing down when he laid down on my chest.

What’s even more amazing is watching how fast they bounce back once their discomfort is gone. As Australia's go-to pain relief brand, Children's Panadol is the parenting tool for those times when we feel completely helpless — a support for pain and fever associated with teething, immunisations, cold and flu, earaches and headaches in children. And you know it’s going to be gentle on your little one’s tummy.

Image: Supplied. 

They've also done the impossible and made it low-key yum with Children's Panadol one-to-five-year and five-to-12-year suspensions, coming in two fruity flavours: strawberry or orange, with an easy dose syringe. 


There’s nothing scarier than a sick kid and nothing can make that less true, but knowing you have the power to ease their discomfort is priceless.

Watching as they grow their independence.

Being a parent is kind of like being a scientist observing a decades-long experiment on human brain development. Watching their little minds develop is an absolute wonder to behold. They move like lightning through the arduous "Why?" phase into the genuinely curious, "Why though, Mummy?" stage and beyond. 

Being there as they try to make sense of things you long ago accepted as "just the way things are" opens your own awareness in a way nothing else can. In those early years, you get a glimpse into what kind of person your child is becoming and it’s low-key magnificent.

Marvelling at the beautiful chaos.

Ah, the fabled "terrible twos". 

You know they’re coming, you’ve heard tales of their horrors, but you’re still somehow startled when they hit you (in the face with a full plate of dinner you lovingly prepared). Or maybe you skipped that part and instead got yourself a three-nager, still incapable of making sense of their feelings but somehow more adept at using them to torture you. Honestly, I’ve heard enough now to know that four and five ain’t no picnic either.

Little kids turn your mornings into marathons, your leisure time into for-the-love-of-god-leave-me-alone time, and your evenings into a hostage situation (has anyone else considered putting in a trapdoor next to your kid’s cot so they don’t hear you leave?). But as soon as they’re off with the grandparents or at kinder you look around and feel like something just isn’t right. 

Little kids — can’t live with 'em and can’t seem to live without 'em once they’re here.

Image: Supplied. 

Knowing what you’re doing matters.

I’m not about to sit here and tell you these first years are just bursting with beautiful glimmers — for a lot of us, they’re the busiest years of our lives to date. 

There’s a reason parenthood is the toughest job in the world and that’s because it’s arguably the most important one. So, if you’re feeling bogged down by the challenge, I know every parent will agree when I say you are not alone, it’s so bloody hard.

But I think most of us also know that shaping the lives of young people is an incomparable privilege and the gifts you get back, even when they seem few, are incomparable.

Shop Children's Panadol for fast and effective pain relief. 

Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. 

Feature Image: Supplied. 

Children's Panadol
For over 60 years, Children’s Panadol has been helping children of all ages feel better again. You can trust Children’s Panadol to provide your child with fast, effective, temporary relief from pain and fever. Find the whole Children’s Panadol range at your local pharmacy. Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful.