Quick show of hands – who is winning at parenting, all day every day?
Oh there are certainly good days, days when the sun is shining and everyone is well rested and in a good mood, but there are also much worse days. Days when the small people you are tasked with looking after are miserable, grumpy, demanding and overtired (and behaving, well, a bit like arseholes actually).
It’s so easy to start questioning what it is you’ve done wrong, or whether maybe you just aren’t cut out for this parenting thing. Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that actually, we are doing OK.
Here are some signs that you’re probably doing better than you think at this parenting lark.
1) You’ve not given up!
You’ve not yet abandoned your children by the roadside, even mid tantrum. I think some days this achievement in itself deserves a pat on the back, so well done you.
2) You’ve all survived another day
Even if you’re tired as balls, you’ve somehow managed to stagger through. You’ve fed your children multiple times (it’s annoying how often kids need to be fed to be honest), you’ve cleaned up after them (or perhaps not, no judgement here), and cuddled, and cursed, and cried, and you’re still here to tell the tale. That’s no mean feat.
3) You worry
Do you overthink things? Do you dwell on things that your children or other adults have said? Do you compare yourself to other parents and worry that maybe you’re not doing everything you should be? Do you occasionally forget something; the book bag, PE kit, water bottle, permission slip, dance class, children’s party, fancy dress day, craft materials, show and tell or any one of the million and a half things we’re supposed to remember and then worry about it all day?
There is a saying that I like: If you worry about being a good parent, then you probably are.
4) You eat the bad food so they don’t have to
Keeping your children healthy by eating all the Easter Eggs shows that you care. You’re a good person, eat the doughnut.
5) You have skills you never knew you had
You know how to get a planking child into a car seat without even breaking a sweat and you can have a whole conversation about poo without laughing (OK I’m still working on this one).
6) You try to create precious memories
You spend time (and way too much money) planning ‘exciting’ things that you think the children will want to do, even if it all ends in tears more often than not, and then they go into school and tell everyone that the highlight of their weekend was having a wobbly tooth.
7) You usually have the right tools available for any situation
Tantrum in public? No problem, here’s a chocolate biscuit. Long wait at the doctor’s? Just so happens I have CBeebies right here on my phone. Boom.
8) You had a glass instead of the whole bottle
And even if you didn’t…you still got your hungover arse out of bed when someone had a nightmare at 3am or decided it was time for breakfast at ten past sodding six.
9) Your kids behave themselves… for their grandparents
Even if they never behave for you.
If you often wonder whether that perfectly behaved child the teacher is talking about at parents’ evening is actually yours, it’s because they love you, and you’re their safe space, allegedly. Either that or you have ‘mug’ written across your forehead.
10) You’ve got through the day without raising your voice
At least once, even if you weren’t with your kids at the time.
11) You get upset and frustrated
Because you just want to do your best and sometimes it’s so damn impossible , you know that threats and shouting aren’t the way to go but goddammit sometimes they’re the only language that your children seem to understand.
Children make this ‘being a perfect parent’ thing really hard.
12) You love them
At the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.
You’re doing a good job.
*I was recently commissioned by SunLife to give my thoughts on this topic. For more information, please see my disclosures page.*
You may also like:
- Forget the first step: These are the 18 milestones you should be waiting for
- Ten times I’ve totally used my kids as an excuse
- 30 sure fire signs you are a mum of small children
- Twelve ways you are definitely screwing up your kids