Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back-seat Parenting

I had to share this funny, but very true article on back-seat parenting written by Mia Freedman in Sunday Life Magazine.

In Mia's words: "The best parents are the ones who don't have children. I was a perfect parent once. I knew exactly how kids and parents should behave and I shared my grand philosophies with anyone who was interested and many who were not .............. then I had babies and it all went to hell."

Nothing can quite prepare you for parenthood. We all have these grand ideals about what it will be like when we have kids and how kids are supposed to be. 

Throw out the text books I say! Every kids is different. I don't know many parents who have experienced parenthood the way they thought it was going to be before they had kids.

Some babies will quite happily sleep through 16 people singing happy birthday at the top of their lungs and in the noisiest Mexican restaurant in town (Master 3 was one of those!). Whereas others will make a huge fuss any time you want to sit down and have a bite to eat in a cafe or restaurant (Little Miss 1 is one of those). 

I was blessed with a first baby who slept well, we could take to restaurants, on holidays, etc and still feel relaxed. Then number two came along and it was the biggest shock to our systems - she was the complete opposite. She woke every 2-3 hours until she was 10 months old and she knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it.  

As Mia so wittingly discusses, as a parent you find yourselves doing things you always said you wouldn't like using the TV as a babysitter, using food as bribery, etc. Sometimes you have to do what you can to survive!

Having said all of this, parenthood is the best thing ever! I have two beautiful children who I love and adore. They make me laugh and there is nothing better than a cuddle from your children or hearing the words "I love you mummy." 

There will always be fantastic days, but there are also very difficult days where you just want to run away. We are only human! 

We have all looked at parents and made judgements. All I can say is unless you have experienced what it is like to have the ups and downs of parenthood, please try not to judge us! We try our best to do the best we can - well most of us anyway. But often it is not what the textbook says!