Sunday, 17 April 2016

Parents Behaving Badly

Everyone's proud to be a bad parent these days.
Blogs, books, podcasts, you name it, are full of people proclaiming what a terrible job they're doing of raising their children.
It's de rigueur to confess we're not coping and have given up any attempt at routine, dumping our kids in front of Peppa Pig and reaching for the corkscrew.
We're leaping over each other to have the worst behaved tantrum-thrower, or the most excruciating anecdote about going mad during the school holidays and locking ourselves in the biscuit cupboard to binge watch Game Of Thrones, while the children were left to eat crayons and fall asleep in the bathtub fully-dressed.
Of course it's cathartic to get all your insecurities off your chest. And it's reassuring to know that we are not alone. 
Everyone is struggling under the incredible burden of being responsible for another life, and bringing up baby is not easy.
But it can't all be terrible, can it?!
You don't want to sound smug by bragging about how great your first experience of baby-led weaning was. Okay, the kitchen ended up pebble-dashed with banana, but watching the little tyke put food in their own mouth for the first time and chomp away merrily was actually pretty entertaining.
How boring would it be if we all blogged about our brilliant bath time last night? They looked so cute splashing about and giggled at your duck impression and you just can't get enough of sniffing their clean fluffy hair as you dry them afterwards.
And okay, they woke you up at 5am this morning, but when you stumbled over to the cot they immediately stopped grizzling and gave you this big smile that just melted your heart.
Nobody wants to hear that.
And actually, that's not really the stuff you want to harp on about either. Because you're too busy enjoying it.
You take to Twitter to complain that your toddler just threw a tantrum at the supermarket checkout and brought everything to a standstill, because you know there are people out there who will understand.
Your baby isn't going to listen to you moaning about how tired you are, so you have to get it off your chest somewhere.
But maybe we're all being a bit hard on ourselves by doing our own efforts down all the time.
Raising children is not easy. It's exhausting and terrifying and even lonely sometimes.
We're not all bad, we are just parents. Plain and simple.
Or God help our children's kids...
This post first appeared as a guest blog for social networking site Meet Other Mums

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