This is going to be my new mantra. You see, everywhere we look we are always trying to be better parents. There are products that will make us better parents, there are books, blogs, vlogs, advertisements...all telling us how to be better parents.
I'll be honest I am tired. I am tired of being nonchalant about all this and saying:
"Look! I'm crap at crafting"
"Look! Rosie peed on the floor and I'm just going to leave it!"
These things are all true. (Especially crafting)
But when I read them back I feel like I am saying "Hey look. it's OK to be a bit of a rubbish parent." And honestly, this is not what I am saying. I am a bit tired of the bored, rubbish Mum look. The way I feel at the minute... (and this is rare, which is why I am writing it here) I am a bloody fantastic parent. Not in spite of all of these things, but because of them. Maybe we spent a long time making angels made out of old pads in bras, tying them with old wool and drawing weird smiles on in biro. Maybe we enjoyed it, and laughed at our efforts. Maybe I left the pee on the floor because at that moment in time I was too busy making food, sorting out the washing and clearing up rabbit-poo-shaped bloody raisins off the floor.
I love being a parent. I love being a bit of an idiot at times. I love making the kids laugh. I pretend to be a lion for them. I dance. I totally embarrass Emily in front of her friends because:
a) It's funny
b) The look on your daughter's friend's 11 year old face when you ask them to finish tiling your bathroom or they owe you £120 refund in cash is priceless.
I have made a little list in my head, the reasons why I am a fantastic parent. They are listed here below, not because I am bragging, but because I want to remember that as I grow older (and wiser) I am slowly coming to the realisation that my children are thriving. We all parent in our own different ways, and I don't always feel sure of how I am doing it. But for whatever reason, today I do.
Maybe you might like to make your own list. Then when you are battered by advertisements, products and advice telling you how to be the perfect parent, you can just think sod it. I'm perfect the way that I am, and I'm doing my best and that's that.
I am a fantastic parent because...
1. I have three children. They are 11, 3 and (almost) 2. I work and I am a student. That's not amazing. The amazing thing is that my house is so bloody clean. No hired help here! *polishes halo...and every other frigging thing in the house....*
2. I cook from scratch every* night and we eat together at the table every night.
*OK we have chippy teas on Friday. Sometimes Saturday. Sometimes both.
3. I am passionate about my children's education as well as my own. We read together a lot and I encourage them to be imaginative and to express themselves.
5..... I think that's it. I don't have five. But three is good enough. I don't need to have a list of five, and I don't need to feel like I am playing catch-up with other parents. It's all in my head, it's all in their head. And what matters is here and now, and family and getting on.