Tuesday, February 11, 2014
From Best Practise to Survival Tactics
When I was pregnant with my first baby I had SUCH intense ideals. I was gong to be the perfect mother. I would never raise my voice, never let my child cry or watch T.V. Never would they eat pre packaged food or too much sugar. They would be perfectly well behaved and I would expect no less given that I was to be the perfect mother.
When I only had one child I held strongly to my ideals for as long as humanly possible. We didn't own a T.V, I seldom bought off the shelf baby food and sugar was huge treat. I would be consumed with guilt if I ever left Zeph to cry so that I could wee or stretch my aching back. Don't you know that leaving a baby to cry (for less than 3 minutes) will cause them life long psychological damage?*
As the years have passed I have slowly relaxed my standards. When Zeph was 18 months and Pip was was in my tummy, I could take my own perfectionism no more. I relented and allowed Zephie 20 minutes of Play School a day so that I could lay next to him and have a rest and once little Pip was ready for solids I watched guiltily as she consumed the odd pre-pureed meal from a packet.
By the time she was 18 months Pip was well versed in the ways of Fire Man Sam and the theme song of Octonauts was forever on her lips. By necessity I reassessed my ideals to accommodate the changes in our lives.
Now that there are three of them, I look back on my first years of parenting and shake my head - I realise there's 'best practise' and that ideally, all children would be raised according to the written and unwritten laws of parenthood perfection each and every day. But then there is that sneaky little trickster called reality and reality dictates that best practise just isn't always possible.
The fact of the matter is someone is always crying, the chorus of my children begging for food is always in my ears, there are always crumbs underfoot and if I'm lucky, my kids are always watching TV (not really).
With every passing day I realise the perpetual juggle that is parenting is a juggle that will, for me, remain forever unperfected.
But there sure is great joy to be found in the journey.
*said idealistic mothers of one.