This post was written as a guest post for The Parents’ Jury and was first published here.
Parenting… the reality
When I had kids, I was confident that I would be in a super clean home with perfect children. I was only going to feed my children organic, home cooked food, the television would stay off, I would never give into pester power and my children would never nag…
Pre Charlie, I judged strangers. ‘Oh my god, did you see that toddler playing with the iPhone?’ I’d whisper to whoever was unfortunate to be near me at the time.
Then reality hit. I became a parent and, despite my best efforts, I have had to eat my…ahem…judgement. With a big slice of toast! So I’ve learnt to let go a bit, and you know what? I’m a better parent for it.
- Learnt how to dance without caring, and in the process, learnt the origin of the daggy mum dance
- Discovered that the toddler body is like a Tardis. ‘3 Weet-Bix, 2 slices of toast and a banana for breakfast, please Mum’ says the chipmunk posing as my two year old
- Found out that my son is better at navigating my iPad/iPod/iPhone/iEverything than I am
- Marvelled at how he can find (and avoid!) anything green in his dinner, like a highly trained sniffer dog
- Felt like a secret agent when concocting new ways to smuggle veggies into the above mentioned sniff dog (and the winner is Agent Vegetable Fritters)
- Watched Charlie fall in love with Thomas the Tank Engine, which lead to me taking him to see his first movie at age 2 years and 1 month. And oh how he loved it!
- Taught my child everything he knows… okay maybe my husband had a small roll here as well
- Experienced the agony of leaving him with someone else while I went to work
- Tried, and failed, to keep all our clothes stain free
- And above all, just melted when he said ‘Mumma, more kisses please’.
And that’s only the beginning…
See, even I failed to live up to my pre kids standards. You know what though, along the way I realised that my house may not be perfect and my child may not be reading the collected works of Shakespeare by two, but he’s happy, he’s healthy, he’s confident and he’s loved endlessly.
Charlie goes to the park, Charlie plays with the trains instead
Sometimes I feel the ghost of the judgemental, no kids me take a sharp intake of breath as I ignore a tantrum in the supermarket, but the wiser, more experienced mother I have become can indulge in a knowing smile that life doesn’t always turn out as you imagine it. Kids have a way of messing with even the most perfect of plans!
Have your views on parenting changed since you had children? What’s on your list?