The Facebook motherhood challenge really rattled my cage, the latest in a long line of examples of perfect parenting competitiveness.
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I am sure that it wasn’t intended to, I am sure Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg didn’t have a meeting in their immaculate Facebook offices, on how to seriously hack Aly off – but they have.
I am sick to death of all this competitive parenting bull shit. I am fed up with being told what I am doing wrong or, what I am doing right, as a parent. Worse still, I am sick to death of being told, if I do what this so called parenting expert says, then I can be a great parent.
No one is a parenting expert. Many people have a wealth of experience in parenting, some great tips to help you through, some great knowledge to impart but no one can judge if what they are suggesting, is any better than what you are doing.
This generation of Millenial parents have it tough. The women are told that they can have it all, career, babies, marriage the lot. The men are told that they need to provide, be macho but also emotional and be home for bath time. In addition to all this, there is an entire industry geared to telling parents what they should or shouldn’t be doing with their kids – no wonder parents are left not knowing if they are coming or going but too afraid to admit, that they are overwhelmed.
This has to stop. The time has come for the parenting pretence to stop. It’s cards on the table time. The time has come for the Imperfect Parenting Revolution.
It starts today and it starts with each and every one of you.
Next time someone asks you how you are doing tell them the truth. Tell them that you are tired, that you are worried that you are doing it all wrong, that sometimes you find the playground mind – numbing, that sometimes when you put both kids in their car seats and shut the car door, you pause for far longer than needed, enjoying the peace on the outside of the car, before you open the driver’s door and re-join the ear splitting Armageddon that awaits you!
Be it in the form of a friend offering to babysit or your Mother tidying up when she calls in to visit, or even David Cameron and his parenting classes! If you need help and there is help out there that you think will be of real benefit to you, access it and don’t be ashamed. We all need help sometimes; there is nothing shameful in that.
So in the interest of practicing what I preach here goes………..
My name is Aly, I am a Mum of two and I am a fully signed up member of the Imperfect Parenting Revolution (no placards or badges yet but give it time!):
I didn’t breastfeed either of my children because I tried and I just couldn’t do it. Do I wish I could have? Yes. Do I feel guilty that I couldn’t? Hell, no.
I worry my Son is going to grow up a la “We need to talk about Kevin” due to his anger management issues.
I am not good with kids until they hit about 3 years old and even then, it’s touch and go.
I worry my daughter’s homework is suffering because I am never there to help her because I work a lot.
I have told both children that when the Ice Cream van plays its music it means it has run out of ice cream and they believe me.
I shout at the kids too much but I am trying to be better.
- My husband is exceptionally tolerant in many ways but he drives me to distraction regularly and I sometimes fantasise about running off with a much older, charismatic, Architect and what is worse, I tell him!
So that’s me.
I am a parent and while an adjustment, that is ok.
I am an Imperfect Parent and that is really ok.
I struggle and that is ok.
I am doing the best job I can and for now, that has to be enough.