Sometimes, parenting can seem a bit like a competition, especially if, like me, you spend a lot of time browsing parenting forums or at parent and child groups brimming with lots of yummy mummies. Comparisons of your child’s diet, communication skills, height, weight, and what age omasey reached certain milestones are all too common.
I’ve even read about one woman who claimed her child had multiple words at the tender age of six months (come on, really?). With this competitiveness so abundant, it can make many parents (including myself) feel a bit inadequate. So, to combat this, I thought it was time to confess my parenting sins, primarily in the hope that other parents will do the same, and I can be absolved.
PS, If you are my health visitor and reading this, then please note that none of it is really true and I wrote it for entertainment purposes only. Well, maybe it’s about 50% true. 80%. OK 100%. Please don’t judge me.
1) I Frequently Give My Son Unhealthy Snacks
I started well, with rice cakes, fruit, etc., but these days it tends to be a packet of crisps or a biscuit with the occasional apple chucked in. Not a carrot stick in sight. Sorry, Health Visitor.
2) My Son Watches TV. A Lot.
I read that you are not supposed to give your child more than one hour of screen time a day. He gets more than that first thing in the morning in our bed. I figure a child with parents who aren’t sleep deprived from being forced to get up at 6am every morning is much better than the alternative.
However, I’m not sure how to justify the hour or so he has after he’s been to nursery or the cartoons he watches before bed. I also wonder how my own mother coped without CBeebies and TV On Demand.
3) My Son Could Navigate an iPad Better Than Most Grown Ups Before He Was Aged 2
Apparently iPads also count as screen time. People praise his ability to count and identify letters. He learnt most of it from the iPad, not me.
4) I Often Get Bored Playing With My Son
I mean, I know I’m supposed to cherish these special moments and I do love him and want him to be happy, but there is only so much enthusiasm I can muster for helping him (read, doing it myself because he apparently “can’t”) to make a Duplo crane for the sixtieth time this week.
5) I Am Overly Dependant On Bribery
Which is why my son now associates “going swimming” with “eating chocolate cake”.
6) I Occasionally Skip Pages In Bed Time Stories
This is usually when I’m anxious to get downstairs in time for the start of The Great British Bake Off. My child doesn’t seem to notice.
7) I Pretend To Be Asleep At Night
When my son wakes and cries out at 2am and I’m too tired, I pretend to be asleep until my husband (who no doubt is trying to do the same) gives in and gets up instead. It’s all about who has the most willpower. (Sorry, husband.)
8) I Have Wet Wipes On A Repeat Bulk Order
Because I use them for everything. I know they are terrible for the environment, but they are so handy for quickly cleaning the loo when guests are about to arrive, or for blowing my son’s nose when the tissues are the other side of the room, or for dusting, cleaning up potty training accidents, or wiping up food thrown on the floor. I’m a wet wipe addict.
9) I Hide Vegetables In Food For An Easy Life
I blend, chop really small, or just hide on the fork under a piece of sausage. Yes I know I should be encouraging my son to make healthy choices by himself, but who really wants a battle every meal time?
10) We Eat A Lot Of Takeaway
I know this because when a menu got pushed through the door the other day my toddler grabbed it and asked me what I wanted for tea.
11) I Hide In The Toilet
I can only do this when husband is home because we don’t have a lock on the bathroom door so my toddler tends to follow me in when it’s just the two of us. But those sweet moments of peace I can grasp playing Candy Crush on my phone are precious to me. Besides, I’m fairly certain my husband does the same.
12) I Buy Lots Of Children’s Clothes To Avoid Doing Laundry
I peruse eBay and Facebook selling sites for cheap second hand toddler clothing so that I can get away with only doing laundry once a week.
13) I Ate One Of My Son’s Easter Eggs
In my defence, he had about ten, which is way more chocolate than any pre-schooler needs, and I had PMS.
14) I Regularly Give In To Pester Power
“Yes, OK, you can have a Thomas The Tank Engine magazine if it means I can get through this grocery shop without hearing you asked about it every two minutes”.
15) My House Is Only Tidy When I Have Visitors
I pray that no one ever turns up unannounced. I’d be mortified if they saw my house in its true natural state.