Monday, 23 October 2017

The Perfect Parent Brigade

From the moment you are born, you are set out to be judged; from when you are a newborn and people ask your parents if you are a "good" baby to your choice of hairstyle in high school.
If we are being completely honest with ourselves, I am pretty sure that we have all judged another person at one point or another. I was recently in soft play and noticed that a couple had left their young daughter in a high chair, crying uncontrollably, whilst they went to order their food. Instinctively my first thoughts were "they don't both need to go to the counter" and "that poor little baby"; I even, shamefully, messaged my friends to tell them about it.
Looking back, those parents may have had a bad morning and needed to walk away; I'd be lying if I said I've never done the same. There have been plenty of occasions where I have had to leave a room to calm down or to escape the constant crying.
Now I can see that I acted like one of those parents who I always vowed I would never become; one of those "perfect parents" who thought that others were doing things wrong. I am far from a member of the perfect parent brigade, believe me! My daughter will eat Coco Pops for breakfast, watch Peppa Pig on her iPad, and, shock horror, I co sleep with my youngest. However, Aoife will happily bite your hand off for a banana over a chocolate bar, has learned all of her colours and alphabet via learning apps, and I co sleep safely following the recommended guidelines.
I also vaccinate my children, my eldest is sat in a forward facing car seat and has been since nine months; she was also weaned from sixteen weeks. Yet I don't believe in ear piercing babies, giving young children fizzy drinks and letting them get away with murder.
During my first pregnancy I vowed to never become a member of the Perfect Parent Brigade, as I truly believe there is no such thing as a "perfect" parent; we all lose our shit at times, more so than others. I have had days where it seems that all I have done is shouted, so much so that next door must have been on the verge of reporting me. Yet I also have days where things go so smoothly and Aoife is a dream child - the days where I have my shit together and manage to make it out of the house with a face of make up on and two behaved kids.
What it all boils down to is that we are all just winging it through parenthood - you can have twenty kids and still be unsure of what you are doing. Each child is different and each situation is; the best thing that we can all do is our best and have each others backs in this strange, confusing life that we are currently sharing with miniature versions of ourselves.
I'm not perfect and neither are you.

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