I used to spend hours thinking, plotting and watching. I would watch others parent their children and think how I would do it differently. I observed as people’s toddlers had tantrums, the arched back laying on the floor type, and smugly think how my child would never do that. I would be calm, collected and take motherhood in my stride. Ha… I declared all this to my friends and family who already had children. They all nodded and smiled. Bless you all for being encouraging, you must have wanted to scratch my eyes out.
So here is what my confident and cocky list looked like…
1. My child will sleep through from day one.
2. As soon as he is mobile he will learn the meaning of no and not touch anything he isnt supposed to.
All my candles and ‘crap’ have been removed from the fire place and surfaces which are within reach. It’s all too tempting for my pint sized dictator and I’m fed up of shouting no!!
3. I will never bung him in his cot with the iPad balanced on the shelves next to it. Erm… Where do you think he is right now?! 😉
4. I will never use CBeebies as a babysitter. Ha- how else do you think I manage to drink a hot cuppa?!
5. My child will not have a snotty nose and he will most certainly NEVER have crusty snot on his face.
We leave the house like this most days!
6. Parents who raise their voice or swear at their darlings should not be allowed to have children.
Let’s be honest a good old, stern ‘will you just shut up *) lets off a lot of steam when he just won’t go sleep 😉
7. My parenting will always be consistent, child centred and loving.
Yep- I totally range from overbearing, lovey dovey Earth mum to aggressive psycho mum within minutes.
8. I will always get down on the floor and play with him for as long he wants/needs me to.
Erm, another reason why I put CBeebies on is so that he’s distracted from bringing cars and books over to me and will let me lay on the sofa!
9. I will never drive around for hours to get my child to sleep. My child will learn to sleep at home in my loving arms!
I’ve used up more petrol since I’ve ‘been at home’ than I have when I was commuting to work!! But those car naps are blissful and bring peace to a hectic day!
10. I will love my child unconditionally from day one.
Truth is those early days were abit of a haze of sore bits, constant feeding and raw anxiety. There wasn’t much room for feelings. It was abit of slow burner but I really do quite like him now, most of the time, sometimes 😉
The ideas we had pre child are all well and good but we have so many more factors to contend with now. Sleep deprivation, hormones and an actual real life child who comes with their own agenda. My parenting is not how imagined it would be. I find myself doing things I said I would never do. I contradict myself. I’m inconsistent. Sometimes I leave him to shout in his cot so I can have a PIP (pee in peace). Sometimes I get cross with him during the night when he wont settle. Sometimes I ignore his little arms reaching up for me because I just want to check Facebook one more time. And I think back to my list and feel so very guilty. But then I look at my little chap who smiles, laughs, kisses, cuddles, walks, babbles, sleeps well, eats like a beast, flirts with the check out lady in sainsburys and I think that I must be doing something right.
So if like me your parenting is so very different from what you imagined and you doubt your methods don’t be hard on yourself. If your child makes it to the end of each day and is still breathing that’s good. If they crack a smile and giggle then chances are you’re doing fine.