PARENTING is the undisputed hardest job in the world. From the trauma of the birth, sleepless nights, terrible twos, starting schools and then they become TEENAGERS.

I smiled knowingly while on holiday when a stressed-out father told me what hard work it was dealing with two and four year olds.

Phrases like “they never stop” and “always exhausted” were bandied around and I just thought – wait until they are teenagers.

Firstly I must apologise for the rest of this column. Sorry Morgan, I know you hate me writing about you in the paper, but it will be the last time, and it’s only because I’m so proud of the young man you are becoming.

So, I think I can accurately say that for the last 15 years my relationship with oldest son has been what you would describe as “love/hate” lots of love and quite a lot of angst, on both our behalf.

This much-wanted bundle, threw us, prospective parents, straight away by making an early arrival into the world and not sleeping a night through for probably the next five years.

“A difficult birth, difficult baby, difficult toddler and difficult teenager” is how I have always described him, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Despairing parents, who are convinced they are total failures and should never have even contemplated producing an offspring, take heed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is shining brightly.

I have no advice to give, and believe you me there are many who will positively revel in the fact that your child is not toeing the line and they have a “perfect specimen.”

Just grit your teeth, battle on and keep all channels of communication open. Drop everything when conversation is offered and discuss. It may be the only opportunity you are given that week, or month.

A year of tears last year, lots of shouting from me the “Stresshead” and sullen face from him, were all forgotten when a couple of weeks ago we spent a lovely hour with staff at a well established gentleman’s outfitters in Huddersfield town centre, the same which had provided morning suits for our wedding, 17 years ago.

I was of course “totally embarrassing” when the suit for the much talked about Prom was tried on and I cried on the spot.

That tantrumming toddler and terrible teen had been transformed into a handsome young man with the world ahead of him. How proud we were.

And we were even prouder the week before last when arriving home from work I was presented with a house full of Prom-clad young men all awaiting their lift to the ball after photographs with their dates for the evening.

The photographs, all now on Facebook, show a great time was had by all and the Prom evening was a great success, suits and all.

My favourite photograph on the evening was the one of Morgan, in hat, laughing out loud at something which had amused him during the course of the evening.

Twelve months ago, I thought I would never see a smile on that young man’s face. Fifteen years ago, I thought I would never have an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

Grit your teeth, batten down the hatches. Battle it out. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. But they will make you proud. Morgan has.