Parenting aka A series of Unfortunate Errors

So it’s been almost a month since my last post. I feel like I’m sitting in a confession booth. (Is it called a booth? That makes the church sound a bit like a funfair. But you get my drift.)

The thing is, having this thing called a blog isn’t as easy as you might think. It’s a little weird, actually, putting yourself out there in cyber space, casting your arbitrary thoughts in cyber stone for the whole world to read. Or, at least the 28 family members who follow this blog.

Possibly the hardest thing about having a blog is the gross assumption you make that people care about the stuff that’s inside your head.

Especially when you are Just a Mom.

Because you and I both know that while most people wax lyrical about your heart being the first thing that you lose when you have a child, what they tend to forget is that your self-confidence follows hot on your heart’s heels.

BC (or Before Children), you knew who you were, and what you were capable of; you were in charge of your life and quite likely a bunch of minions who did all your photocopying and possibly even brought you coffee. There were people out there – real adult people – who respected you and your opinions.

AC (After Children), you are ruled by a tiny, loud, and obnoxious dictator, who not only does not listen to reason, but also has no idea of how to use a photocopy machine, and probably shouldn’t use a Nespresso. No matter how much you need a coffee.

They tell you Motherhood is something that comes naturally to women, like it’s an innate talent with which we are born. As if carrying your First Love doll around by one leg while her head bumped down the stairs wasn’t a neon warning sign.

The reality is that Motherhood, in my experience, is a series of unfortunate errors, from that time I left my six-month old seemingly-immobile child in her Bumbo chair on the kitchen counter to dash to the loo only to return and find her teetering blissfully unaware on the edge of an abyss, to the three days I told her that her broken arm was just bruised and she could absolutely not be excused from afternoon sport.

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If I’d made as many mistakes in my BC job, I would have fired myself.

And those are the unintentional errors. If I could list the number of things I do wrong, absolutely secure in the knowledge that they are wrong but equally sure that I really don’t give a shit because I am tired of fighting, or just simply tired of being told what to do by the self-proclaimed parenting police, I would probably run out of space. On a platform that has no space constraints.

From the no-time-to-apply-sunscreen every morning and the not-so-silent swearing in the morning traffic, to the blatant bribery and corruption involving chocolate biscuits and spoonfuls of Nutella.

Minor infringements compared to allowing my children to drink Cream Soda and Fanta Grape. Which, if you could see the faces of parents surrounding us at the time, you would swear is almost as bad as locking them in a small cupboard overnight.

(It’s entirely possible I do this – buy the sugar-laden drinks, not lock the children in small cupboards! – just to see the faces of other parents. It’s worth every single one of those 13 teaspoons of sugar.)

Compounding this is the fact that, over the past decade, ‘Parenting’ has shifted from something that everyone did to the best of their abilities given their available resources, to a structured and highly-competitive activity with very strict rules and regulations – which change as regularly and silently as Facebook’s privacy settings. Today’s peanut butter sandwich is tomorrow’s Fanta Grape. Beware.

No wonder Moms suffer from a chronic lack of self esteem. Surely there is no other job in the world in which experience gained on the job is inversely proportional to confidence gained in the job?

In my next life, I’m going to be a cuckoo so that I can judge everyone else’s parenting skills from a safe distance, while remaining absolutely and smugly self-confident in my ability to do a better job.

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