When it comes to parenting, I’m my own worst critic. When it comes to anything, really.
Aren’t we all? I mean – this whole cultural judgement caper is probably a waste of freaking time.
We probably don’t need to point out everything that we think somebody else could do a bit better when it comes to raising their kids – there’s a good chance they’ve already thought of it themselves.
So – in the interest of cutting ourselves some slack, I present to you a list of mundane shit that might not be ‘commonly’ recognised as parenting wins – but, at the end of the day … might just be.
You might be a good parent if:
• You take some time for yourself
This parenthood game is relentless. If you have somehow, in the minefield of day to day unpredictability, managed to negotiate a step away from the plate – either solo or with your partner – then I say well done, you.
Hot tip: The kids will be fine.
Some of the best childhood fun I ever had was when somebody else looked after us. Fresh meat – new people to harass. They hardly ever knew the rules, it was basically Lord Of The Flies.
Plus, you knew on babysitter night that there was probably going to be lollies, or movies, or movies about lollies.
Mum would look pretty, Dad would smell nice. Magic. You’d be able to climb all over them the next day to find out everything that they had seen on their adventure. Come to think of it, they were probably hungover on those days.
Shit, sorry guys.
Anyway, enjoy that break. You’re making the children happy. Good job.
• The birthday cakes come from a shop
Since becoming a parent I have never, EVER, once served up a cake without having to swipe the birthday kid’s fingers away from the icing before it was time to slice.
You know what that means?
They could not give a shit where that cake from ( … and you know they’re about to cover it in spit when they blow out the candles anyway.)
If you spent hours making an elaborate cake that is awesome – well done! That’s an achievement, you need to get that shit on Instagram … stat.
However if you were so busy with work … and life … and probably a whole bunch of party plans, that you decided to hit Woolies for a pre-made mud cake – there ain’t nothing wrong with that either.
A birthday is a birthday. What matters is the people, and the candles … and the spit.
Parenting medal for you.
• You stay in the car while the kids are at an activity
If you are not the ‘parent helper’ kind. It’s totally fine.
If you have assessed the Auskick coach, and recognised the glint in their eye as they glance between you and the witches hats, it’s completely your call if you want to retreat to the air-conned comfort of your car. You, in fact, are a great judge of character.
Everyone is out of the house, the kids are doing stuff, they’re having fun – am I right? No need to turn a single sausage if it makes you feel like a martyr.
You are still a great parent.
• You serve up tinned soup once in a while
Some of my fondest memories of childhood are those nights when mum let shit slide.
My mum is quite a legendary cook, she has some great suff in her repertoire, and I love nothing more than when she comes to stay and hits the kitchen – however, every once in a while she had one of those ‘fuck-this-shit’ moments that I, myself, have become so accustomed to.
On those nights when she boiled up some generic brand tomato soup – so flavoursome and full of salt that a slurp almost turned your face inside out – she was pretty happy.
It was soup nights that my hard-working mum would lay across the lounge and breathe. There was no washing getting folded, there was no hustle and bustle, there was no mad rush out the door to one of her night-shifts as a nurses aide. She was home, and she was still. Mum had stopped, and we could accost her.
So – if you want to stop, breathe, and get off the relentless treadmill once in a while by serving up cereal, a toastie or some face-twisting soup – go right ahead.
You are doing an awesome job.
• The kids go to bed without a bath every now and then
One time, an entire family – including kids – did an experiment and went without bathing for six, entire months to see what would happen.
Missing bath night once in a while does not make you them. Great job!
Come on, hit me – what’s some of the crap you might give yourself a hard time about, that really … you should probably be commending yourself for?