Pretty much summarised by the title but today I intend to list all the things that DON’T make you (or me) a s****y parent. Usually, it’s stuff we get unnecessarily judged for despite the fact there is no harm being done to the kiddies involved. If you do any of these things, don’t feel bad. Because this is pretty much me reassuring myself about some of these things that I do/don’t do, as you may have seen on Instagram Stories.
Don’t feel crap about the fact that you:
- Don’t breastfeed. I tried for a few days but Ava had such a big appetite I ended up in pain and being tired all the time. Formula filled her up a lot more and helped her sleep. Some people cannot do it, so should NEVER be judged.
- Combination feed. I tried this before I realised Ava was ALL for the formula.
- Didn’t have a natural birth. It’s okay to have a c-section or whatever, just as long as you and baby are happy and healthy.
- Co-sleep whether it be newborn or later. It’s a lovely bonding experience.
- Don’t co-sleep. I’m stopping co-sleeping as it’s created a bit of a strain on me and Ava as she wants to be with me all the time and is more tired than if she didn’t sleep with me. We didn’t always do it but you can read more about it here.
- Give your child a pacifier. I found this helped Ava when I breastfed temporarily. It really helped her wind too.
- Give your child jars or sachets of food when weaning. Cooking up extravagant recipes for them to push away feels like a waste of time. It costs more money to buy jars but so convenient too.
- Want to get the laundry done because it’s bothering you. Same with any housework. It can lift your mood straight away.
- Don’t want to get the laundry done because you’re too tired.
- Don’t go to all the groups and playdates… It’s okay to stick to the park!
- Hate spending time with other mums. Some are wonderful but some can be judgemental and suffocating.
- Give your child frozen food because it’s simple and they enjoy it. As long as they’re eating and get plenty of good stuff inside them, who cares?
- Overdo the screen time (especially during a lockdown or when you have things to do). Sometimes they learn a lot from TV shows and iPad games.
- Don’t use the “naughty step.” Not all parenting methods work for others.
- Use the “naughty step.” I call it the Sorry Step and use it if Ava doesn’t calm her s**t after the count of 3.
- Need time for yourself. If my in-laws want her for four days, then they can have her. We need time to rest and heal. In a pandemic, we haven’t had much of a chance to rest.
- Send your child to nursery or to a childminder. Whether you work or not!
- Don’t send your child to nursery or a childminder.
- Don’t take your child outside every day (especially during a pandemic)
- Aren’t playing with your kids 24/7. It’s okay to let them play independently.
- Can’t spoil your child with toys and gifts all the time.
- Spoil your child. It’s okay as long as you’re teaching them gratitude.
WHAT MAKES YOU A GREAT PARENT
What makes you a wonderful parent is that you:
- Love your child unconditionally.
- Do nothing to risk or cause them physical or emotional harm.
- Teach them love, respect and gratitude.
- Feed and nourish them.
- Offer them new surroundings to socialise with others.
- Give them resources for creative, social and academic learning, no matter the source.
- Have a roof over their head.
- Look after yourself allowing you to have the mental and physical energy to be the best parent you can be to your child.
- Stop giving a f*** what people think.
TIME TO CHANGE OUR WAY OF THINKING
It’s so SO easy to let others opinions of you get in the way of your own judgement.
There are plenty of things we would like to be doing in an ideal world for our children. But it’s not so easy all of the time.
I wish I could have Ava home every day of the week and not feel the need to have time to myself occasionally. But as things go I do need that time to myself so I can work and rest. She needs time away from me too, especially as we are currently stuck in our homes (if you’re reading this post lockdown, times were kinda crappy weren’t they?!). I find myself explaining my reasoning far too often. And I’m not even sure why. However, I think it’s partly because those both with and without children can be incredibly quick to make assumptions and feel like it’s a negative. When reality as long as you are both happy and healthy, nothing else matters.