Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Please Forgive Me: Parental Shortcomings

Friday, 11 May 2018

Please Forgive Me: Parental Shortcomings

As you may have gathered, I have no qualms about admitting that this parenting gig is hard work. It's definitely the toughest job I have ever had and I had a brief foray into the world of pint pulling in the outskirts of Glasgow. Now I won't bore you with qualifying this statement with disclosures on how much I love my children, how I would never change the way my life has panned out and how the two spirited imps merely need to proffer their snot covered pursed lips in my general direction to make me forget my shortcomings as a parent but there are definitely points punctuating the lone parenting days or the long drawn out, sleepless nights when I struggle. 

Snot covered kisses are the best

Parenting is relentless. There is never a moment after becoming a parent when you are not responsible for another person. From before conception the health of that zygote is in your hands/womb. Sure, you may wrangle a few hours here and there to try and recapture the essence of the pre-parenthood you but the chances are it dispersed into the ether a long time ago and those hours will now be spent ruminating on how your toddler really has mastered the use of the portable toilet (most of the time) or is so clever for knowing all the lyrics to some inane Disney song that they have demanded be played on repeat for the past 72 hours causing you to question just how far into your ear canal you would need to push a cotton bud to relieve your suffering. You may even be lucky enough to manage a whole overnight stay away from the offspring if you have a very kind or susceptible relative but chances are you will either feel guilty for being quite so eager to skip out the front door, unencumbered by the weight of a nappy bag and escape the confines of the family home or for agreeing to sacrifice someone else's night of delicious slumber to secure your own. 

Parents gone wild

Then there is the alcohol. Parents with a green card for the evening never fail to partake in a frenzied imbibing of alcohol; forgetting that the last time their evening involved more than two glasses of Chenin Blanc was the time that got them into this situation but that the last time they didn't need to go home to toddlers. Toddlers who have musical instruments and aren't afraid to use them.

So. Loud.

So yes, parenting is hard and in many (many) ways I know that I am missing the mark but I am trying to be ok with that because here's the thing; we are all just "faking it 'till we make it" and no one really knows the best way to do it. Do we follow the rule book prescribed by Dr. Spock and the other parenting gurus or do we adopt the mantra of "happy parent, happy children"? 

Must do better

Things I could definitely do better include (but are not limited to):

  1. Spending less time on my phone, desperately seeking out adult interaction of any kind, when lone parenting for longer than two hours (alright, one hour.)
  2. Embrace role play more remembering that they will not want to play with me forever and soon I shall be relegated from favourite person to jailer.
  3. Attempt to create a variety of tasty homemade meals to delight the senses; impressing the importance of a varied diet upon my 4 year old, rather than rotating the five "safe options" to avoid civil war at the dinner table.
  4. Ditch the bottle, and by that I mean my 2 year old's dependency on his "milkit" not my dependency on the grape juice come a Friday evening. That stays. For all our sakes. 
Embracing the role play

While I work on these goals, I must remind myself that no one is really getting it right all the time and yes, some are definitely hitting the mark more often than I am and some, perhaps, are not but we will all most probably (definitely) scar our children in some way by something that we do or don't do, say or overlook saying but as long as it's not the way they define their childhood then I think their memoirs will be kind to us: 

"Good old mum, always tried her best but her commitment to role play was shocking!"



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