I must be a terrible mum. Here’s why:
I let my children eat chocolate, sweets and crisps.
I let them watch television. I’ve even been known to allow the TV to stay on during meal times for some peace and quiet.
I use bribery to get things done because I don’t have the energy to ‘negotiate’.
I get my children into bed by 8pm but when they actually get to sleep is anyone’s guess.
I sit on the laptop or the tablet to do work whilst my children play around me. Whilst writing this my son is slumped next to me watching Alphablocks.
Sometimes I realise that much of the day has been spent issuing instructions or half heartedly answering a zillion questions (I may be exaggerating a touch here.) And I haven’t really listened to them properly for hours.
We eat at a certain fast food restaurant with Golden Arches.
I could go on and on sadly (and shhh, don’t tell anyone but before I became a mum I swore I would never do any of the above, but I now do all of them, frequently.)
According to all the research I read about online, on TV and in newspapers, I’m breaking every rule going. According to these experts my children should be overweight, unhappy and under achieving. So I must be a terrible mum.
Except, my children aren’t over weight, are definitely not unhappy (at least not where it really counts, tantrums and growing up pains aside) and are most definitely not under achieving. We’re miracles, all of us. We must be, because we’re succeeding despite the terrible parenting odds.
Or maybe it’s because research never tells the whole story. As the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics.
I give my children treats, but they’re rationed (often by the children themselves.)
Television is a constant source of frustration to me, but we do so much with the children whenever we can that I don’t see the harm in it. And if I think it’s getting too much, there’s always the off switch.
I use incentives because sometimes it’s the only way to get things done. Bribery works! The golden arches have helped us out a few times.
As long as my children are in bed, at least they are resting.
I try to ensure that both children get my full attention at some point each day. But I’m human and some days are easier than others.
And yes, my work sometimes takes priority but I’m at home and around so that if a cuddle is needed, I’m right there to give it. My choice and in no way being judgemental about other’s choices (unlike much of the headlines associated with aforementioned research.) Working mums, stay at home mums, work at home mums-we’re all still mums in my book.
A lovely Twitter friend of mine told me about a book called Good Enough Parenting by Bruno Bettleheim. She was telling me because I’d Tweeted the other day about how bad I felt at shouting one morning (ooh, see, there’s another thing I do, I shout.) She also said, think how intimidating we would be as parents if we were all perfect. I like her thinking. I’m not a perfect mum, but I don’t think I want to be. I’m a human being. I make mistakes but I try my best. I think I’m a good enough parent after all maybe.