Ok… Confession time!
I am NOT perfect…
There it is.
I won’t say it again because I try not to say it too often.
The fact of the matter is before I got this gig I was only human and now that I have it, that fact still remains. I have good days and bad days, highs and lows, good moods and… well… I think I’ve already said too much!
I’m only telling you this because I trust you. I trust you to hear the confession, not to comment and to store it away for when you need it. For when you’re having a day like mine when you just haven’t gotten enough sleep and it’s partly your own fault because you were fully aware when you started that next episode of Grey’s Anatomy that if the last few weeks was anything to go by, you would be up settling a child within the next two hours. So you had a late and very short night and then the one who kept you up is exhausted, as is the other who woke up too early setting the stage for multiple dramas and emotional roller-coasters that you can’t seem to handle as well today because you’re feeling extra specially human!
Here’s the best bit, though… no matter how that Mum sounds to you; the one who has a schedule that starts with a breakfast picnic of beautiful whole-foods that the children helped prepare happily and delicately followed by craft hour where no one spilled a speck of glitter and the masterpieces would fit beautifully at the National Art Gallery and the kids happily chipped in and cleaned what little mess there was with pleasure and enthusiasm before moving on to the lovingly maintained veggie patch to choose lunch… well, she’s not perfect either! None of us are! All of us had that human issue when we began and it continues to show itself at the most inopportune moments!
The Mum who makes you feel like you’re not doing it right because her child has slept through since birth won’t actually tell you when her baby’s teeth start erupting and that all goes to crap because her smug boastings will be taunting her making her feel like this is punishment for all the Mums she had previously preached to.
The Mum who boasts that her baby just LOVES solids and will eat anything, especially broccoli because she “simply didn’t give him any other choice” won’t tell you that once they hit the fussy toddler stage she wasn’t able to get in anything but white pasta and chicken nuggets that she now has to hide the veggies in.
We all do it from time to time, we find the one thing that we seem to have nailed and get up on our high horse because it’s so exciting to feel like you’ve cracked the code on something parenting-related. It’s just such a minefield that any ground-way is a huge victory.
Have another child and you will see how much is related to strategy and how much is related to personality and you may never actually work out which and how.
So… here’s what I propose! If you’ve got something right, if you’ve worked something out… DO share it but share it in a way that doesn’t make the rest feel like they’ve got something wrong. We are all looking for tips to make it easier. I’ll mention time and time again www.ahaparenting.com which is my one stop shop for all information related to parenting (Hand In Hand Parenting is also brilliant) and an invaluable resource but I will always add that the best thing about it, unlike some of the sites I’ve come across, is there is always a “pick yourself up and try again” to it. Which factors in this human-ness, this imperfection, for those times my impatience or my ego or my innate stubbornness get away from me being the parent I am or want to be.
Hear the Mum who says she’s got something nailed but don’t let it be a reflection on your own trouble in that department. If you can take away a tip or two do but don’t think just because this area seems to be rosy for her, she doesn’t have trouble elsewhere and ALWAYS trust your own instincts!