“Grand” Parenting

I receive lot of comments as a stay-athome dad. Things like, “Wow. You are such a good parent. Especially with
twins. You’re doing an amazing job”. To which I always reply, “Are you crazy? You obviously have the wrong Anthony. I’m sorry, I have to go back to the corner and rock in a ball some more”.

Because to be honest, parenting is hard. Certainly more difficult than anything I’ve ever done before and I’ve travelled the world and held six-figure jobs. Most of the past four years has been a whirlwind of chaos spent unsure of what to do and ultimately just doing what I can and hoping for the best.

I don’t think I’ve done a bad job so far. My girls appear reasonably well-adjusted, intelligent, capable of reason and logic, creative and happy.

But if I’m perfectly honest I can’t claim all the credit. I have a great support network that a lot of people don’t have. Central to that network are my own parents.

They have been amazing, always ready to pitch in and help by putting my girls first in a selfless way that almost makes me feel guilty. I say almost because during sleepovers at Grandma’s I’m too busy catching up on work and sleep to feel anything other than relief.

I’m incredibly appreciative of a couple who have already spent most of their lives putting other people first. As well as having some of us kids naturally, Mum and Dad also fostered which leaves me often introducing myself as the eldest of 42.

They have constantly sacrificed and done everything they could to support all of us and even now when we’re all grown adults, they’re still pitching in to help us and our children. It’s made me realise that you never truly stop
being a parent. It’s easy for us to get caught up in ‘parents’ being people who raise kids aged between 0-18, but I want to give a shout-out to those actively involved with their ‘adult kids’ (or, in my mum’s case, sons who pretend to be adult).

Thank you to all those who have their own lives back yet are still there for us, now that we’re parents ourselves. I’ve learnt so much from my amazing parents and they’ve made me the person I am today.

So thank you Mum and Dad. If I am indeed a good parent, it’s because of the example you – my incredible parents – set. Well, when I’m not curled up in the corner rocking in a ball anyway …

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