Guilt features high on the radar for pretty much all of us in our role as ‘parent’. Everywhere you look you can see articles on what we are doing wrong, feeding the guilt and sending our anxieties up into new heights and beyond. So, for a change, here’s what we are all doing right for our kids. Because a little bit of equilibrium is definitely needed!
1. We all care about how well we are doing.
The very fact we scrutinise ourselves and read the farsical ’10 things you need to do to avoid supressing your child’ and ‘5 ways to make sure your child is happy’ articles is because the little doubt fairy and the little guilt fairy are sat on our shoulders dishing out their wares into our weary ears making us feel unsure about our parenting methods. But, the very fact we read this tripe shows we care about how we parent, and that is a very good thing.
2. We would die for them.
If there was a bus hurtling towards our infant, I’m certain all of us wouldn’t think twice about lunging forward to push them to safety and taking on the bus instead. That’s the beauty of instinct and a testament to the strength of love we have for our creations. How amazing is the strength in that?
3. We sacrifice so much.
Mums and Dads alike sacrifice a lot when they step into parenthood. As mothers we sacrifice our bodies, our time, our sanity even. And so do fathers… all except the body part of course. Although a fair few do pile on the lbs alongside us so, in a way, I guess we can say they do too. They just don’t have to require an epidural at any stage.
4. We lose sleep over them.
Whether its night feeds, teething, sleep regression or good old fashioned worry, shut eye is the something we lose on a monumental scale. And we don’t throw them out of the window or bash them over the head, no matter how tired and deranged we get. We sit and cuddle and cradle them. We stroke their heads and pat their backs, sing nursery rhyme and lullaby concerts into the darkness and hold their hands whilst they cry. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. And we never break. How cool is that?
5. We put our careers on hold.
Be it a stay at home Mum or Dad or a mother on maternity leave, someone puts their job on hold for at least a short while. We throw ourselves into a whole other kind of daily grind… where a coffee break comes in the form of a nap time and even the minimum wage is nowhere to be seen. No holiday. No sick pay. And no colleagues. You work from home alone mostly and are boss, employee, janitor and dinner lady. And then when you go back to work, you juggle both professions on the hop. Multi tasking at it’s finest.
6. We put up with kids tv.
Be it Cbeebies or nickelodeon, we all have the kids tv on at some point. A day of Justin Fletcher and his creepy clown alter ego of Mr Tumble along with all the different programmes with their ear worm theme tunes is enough to drive the most together person to the fridge for wine. The other day I found myself contemplating drinking nail varnish remover for its alcohol, simply because I couldn’t get the Go Jetters theme tune out of my head. Go go, go go, GO JETTERS!
Side note: Ubercorn the Unicorn and 70’s disco?? Who writes this stuff?!
7. We are chained to the washing machine.
All. The. Time. I have no idea where it all comes from?! If I get to the bottom of the basket I do a little victory dance like Chandler from Friends. I thought we were confusing the cereal box with the box of Daz and eating the stuff from sleep deprivation at one point but it’s simply a side effect of two under two either pooping, weeing, puking or spilling their way through umpteen items of clothing a day. An hour sometimes when reflux hits! I apologise to the washing machine every night and pat it in reassurance that we shall make it through. That and the dishwasher are the only things in the house more tired out than us. Will treat them both to a descaling soon. If I get time to clean. Which brings me to my next point…
8. We live in Pig Styes.
I’ve tried to keep things immaculate. Valiantly. I have followed the toddler with the hoover. I have picked up toys on my hands and knees and put them away every nap time. I have washed every dish after use and wiped surfaces clean when I should have been cleaning myself in the shower. I have tried to keep toy bits all accounted for and neatly lined up every evening and I have dusted my way through a gazillion dust mites. But, it is like trying to hold back the tide. In a wool swimming costume. And concrete flip flops. The mess is inevitable. I now aim for clean and forget about tidy. I have embraced having a home that looks like the set of Home Alone when the burglars are loose and said bye bye to my Ideal Home aspirations. Because ultimately I am not a cat and I do not have a tail to chase. And if the house is a pig stye then remember the saying: ‘Happy as pigs in shit’.
9. We give our time.
We all find ourselves reading a number book for the 100th time and daydreaming about what we used to do with our time. We all put down our phone to take interest in a toy that’s babbling away in a sickly sweet american voice. We’ve all put ourselves in the position of an evening where we have to choose between using the time to sleep or have a life. Time is precious and we give it to them. Because they are precious to us.
10. We love them more than anything.
More than ourselves. No other love is as strong and powerful and the fact that we have such a capacity for that love is truly something. That love will shape them into the adults they shall one day become. It will be with them long after we are gone and it is what makes their world go round. Even if you don’t do points 1 through 9, as long as you love them then that is enough for them. Because, for our most precious pieces of forever, love is all they need and want. And we all happily oblige.
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