I read a really funny post yesterday by a fellow blogger who like me, feels dazed and confused by parenting. His post Four Reasons Why I’m a Shitty Dad resonated with me; I do things every single day that are clearly not endorsed by parenting books. If I were to invent a game called “Parent”, I’d be picked last for sure because no one would want me on their team. Yes I could probably run faster than everyone else and not spill my drink but that’s probably not a critical part of the game…at least not that game.
I have written about my poor parenting before when my daughter took a babysitting course and I realized that she was then more qualified to look after kids than I am. But think of this post as a public service announcement to all of you who think you’re doing a shitty job because you just lost your temper and yelled at your kid or pretended to have a headache and so that you could go to bed at 6pm because you needed a time-out. it’s OK. I have done worse, way worse and my kids are just fine – and if not, I made sure that their education fund can also be applied towards therapy if necessary.
- I am guilty of buying them things when i didn’t know what else to do
- I let them watch too much TV and eat junkfood and candy. But I believe that deprivation leads to fixation.
- I have a potty mouth and sometimes swear in front of them.
- I like my kids way more now than I did when they were snotty, leaky germ factories spilling shit everywhere and destroying all things breakable and non-washable.
- I often have an evening cocktail to take the edge off
- I can be too honest. You will never be a gymnast in the Olympics. Watch this PETA video if you need another reason not to eat fast food. If you smoke, you will die a horrible early death.
- My favourite kind of kid Birthday parties are the “drop and run” kind. I have declined invites to the “stay and drink tea with all the perfect moms” parties. I only stayed if wine was offered.
- I was never good at the Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy thing. I was lazy and my kids are too smart anyway.
- I can be selfish with my space. Kid music (Raffi and the like) was banned in the car. My car. My stereo. My music. Bad enough to have drive somewhere with two little kids in the car screaming and hitting each other – worse if you had to listen to Baby Beluga too.
- I have learned to be selfish with my time. No one interrupts my morning coffee or my workout. Ruining those means your day is ruined too.
- I yell at my kids…not often but sometimes they need it. There are times when Honey, I really don’t like your behaviour right now and it would be much appreciated if you didn’t use an unkind tone and please rethink your words just isn’t effective. But sometimes “YOU NEED TO SIT DOWN, SHUT UP and LISTEN TO ME because I AM YOUR MOTHER and YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE if you WANT TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY BEFORE YOUR 18th BIRTHDAY” is.
- I took the same parenting course 3 times…but mostly because it was an evening away from my kids.
- My eldest daughter was the one to teach her little sister how to tie her laces and tell time. And I paid someone else to teach them how to ride a bike because I eventually gave up
- I have locked myself in the bathroom with a bottle of wine when I couldn’t stand another minute of parenting, but at least I have never done this.
So even with all those horrible admissions (the list is much longer – I just don’t want anyone calling the cops) so far they have turned out just fine.
- They don’t get in trouble at school and are always very well-behaved for others.
- They respect their elders
- They can laugh at themselves, but they usually laugh at me.
- They are healthy and fit. They know what food is good and bad for them. They embrace the need for exercise. Their favourite vegetable is kale
- They hate McDonalds and won’t shop at Walmart. They don’t like theme parks or video games
- They understand the difference between right and wrong
- They tell the truth. They talk to me about everything. This home is a safe place.
- They are tolerant and respectful of everyone, with the exception of those who are not tolerant and respectful of everyone
- They accept my shortcomings.
- They respect my need for space and have evolved into independent and self-sufficient kids. They are not the whiny, needy and co-dependent result of micro-managing helicopter parents.
- They are the kids that other kids want to be around. They protect those being bullied instead of joining in.
- They are happy. They are confident.
- They love us even when we make mistakes. And they still love us even when we put on stupid hats and make funny faces to embarrass them in front of their friends