Things I Thought I Knew About Parenting

(Fun Fact: As I was writing this, Ben decided he’d use this fun unsupervised time to cover his entire face and arms in fucking marker pen and is now being covered in nail varnish remover while crying. This is why I’m down to one post a week.)

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What a nice feeling it was, seven years ago, when I was pregnant for the first time and also, luckily, the world’s top authority on parenting. How comforting it was to know exactly the type of parent I’d be, and how I’d learn from all the bad parenting choices I had seen around me as I casually strolled through supermarkets not having to deal with two small demons wrecking shit while I shopped. Oh, how I judged. Guys, control your kids. Have you no control? Do you not CARE? It’s cool, I was going to be better than that. I had this shit down before my baby was even born, how great is that? My child was going to be different because I was going to be different; I was going to be a top class, unstoppable parenting MACHINE.

(spoiler: NOPE)

1. Food.

1

Pregnant Me
My children will eat what I cook. No exceptions. Under no circumstances will any of their meals come out of a box in the freezer. We will all eat one meal as a family and I will not cook separate meals for them. They will not be fussy because I will not allow them to be: if introduced to a wide variety of healthy foods from a young age, my child will most surely grow up with a varied and sophisticated palate! Also, NO MCDONALD’S, obviously. Family mealtimes are going to be an enjoyable time for us all ❤

“Mummy, can I have more vegetable risotto?” “Of course, but eat it all up now or you won’t get any dried fruit snacks!”
“YAAAY! LOVE YOU!”
“LOVE YOU MORE!”

Parent Me
Two year old refuses to eat basically anything except waffles, cucumbers and grated cheese for over a year (also, cheese would only be consumed if placed on a yellow plastic chair that said two year old would push to the fridge for cheese-collection and then drag back into the living room to resume dining. Do not attempt to place grated cheese on a plate, Jesus Christ no. Place on chair, remain in kitchen and await further demands)
Monday: “Toast YEAH TRIANGLE TOAST MORE TOAST”
Tuesday: “Nnnoooooo I HATE TOAST NO DON’T WANT TOAST AAAAAAAAGHH” Pick up launched toast slices (contemplate launching them back and bouncing them directly off child’s head) Make three more breakfasts until one meets their fucking ridiculous standards. Consider that your child will eat the contents of his own nose but that all breakfast foods are obviously Satan. Enjoy feelings of despair. Repeat 3 times a day.

As for the No McDonalds rule; last year Noah chose a school bag that looks like a gigantic box of McDonalds chips in honour of his undying love for them. So, it’s going really well.

2. Sleep
Pregnant Me

My children will never sleep in our bed. With consistency and patience I will ensure that they learn to settle themselves to sleep in their own cot; our bed is our space and boundaries must be put in place so that we can all wake each morning feeling well-slept and refreshed!

Parent Me

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Relaxing those rules juuust slightly down to where you’re lying on 1/25th of the bed with a foot jammed against your windpipe/bum on your face/small fingers being violently rammed up your nose in the desperate hopes that you can be unconscious for several luxurious 8-minute intervals until it’s 5am and TIME IS UP, RISE AND SHINE BITCH TIME FOR TOAST-THROWING.

3. Television
Pregnant Me

Listen, I’m not going to be one of those parents that COMPLETELY bans TV, hahaha…I’m not a monster. I just feel that I’ll probably want to limit it to ten minutes a day and obviously only educational programmes. Why have children just to put them in front of a screen? I’ve been researching development-boosting activities for six month olds so we’ll have no time for TV anyway *smug laugh*

Parent Me
Four hours of Youtube videos of some guy building giant toilets on Minecraft is probably fine.

4. Tantrums

Pregnant Me
Oh jesus christ, there is nothing worse than children taking tantrums in public. Why are these parents tolerating this? Have they no control?! ARE THEY NOT HEARING THIS SHIT? Listen, children are just like you and me and will respond to being spoken to as equals. All I’ll need to do is calmly inform my child that I understand they are upset, but that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable and that we can have a discussion about why they’re upset and how to resolve it once they calm down and behave appropriately. It’s not that hard, guys.

Parent Me
HAHAHAHAHA.

HAHAHAHA.

I’m so sorry.

To all of you, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I DIDN’T KNOW.

There is no method. There is no hope. Just keep your head down, pay for your shit and LEAVE.

In conclusion, pregnant me was naive at best and at worst, a bit of a dick. I can forgive my pre-child self though; having the best of intentions is great, and I feel I still have the best of intentions, just now they’re in a more…realistic realm. I still cook homemade meals almost every day (whether they like them or not is up for debate “Is there money for a Dominos, mum?”), and we do spend time together and cycle, take trips to the park to play, paint, build with Lego and all of that stuff. Aaaand then sometimes I let them watch Netflix for 6 hours and we order an Indian Palace Meal Deal and I do my Asda shop online to avoid entering a supermarket with my kids at all. BALANCE.

 

Diary of an imperfect mum
Life Love and Dirty Dishes
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