“While it’s acceptable to brag about what a bad parent you are, there seems to be a certain etiquette on reporting frankly on the emotions one’s children inspire. The basic etiquette seems to be: don’t do it.” – Says Sally Peck in the Telegraph.
I know you can recall a time when you’ve had coffee with friends and the conversation goes something like – “My little one toilet trained herself” or “My little one slept through the night from birth’ or “ “My daughter is doing so well at school.” Meanwhile, you’re sipping your coffee, wishing you could slide under the table and scream out: “My kids are driving me nuts!!”
What is that all about? Why aren’t honest about what is really happening with our kids?
Years ago, kids were free to be kids. Now, we can tend to put our kids on some sort of pedestal – the best foods (no junk for my little superstar!) the ‘right’ school, more activities than there are hours available, and only friends who are highly acceptable!!
Meanwhile, we parents are turning ourselves inside out to pay for and orchestrate our incredibly busy child’s life!! ‘Yes, everything is great about my children, they’re the centre of the universe and everything is just peachy!!’ (Insert sarcastic tone).
Back to Sally Peck – “All of the positivity around parenthood is exhausting. I do wonder why we aren’t more honest with each other. It would at the very least, relieve some of the pressure of parenting.”
‘Yes!’ I can hear you shout! Wouldn’t it be a great release to be able to be ‘real’ with our mum-friends? “I can’t get anything green past the lips of my little one!” or “My little one comes into our bed every night…” or “I am really concerned about my son’s group of friends.” Or “I have to drag my daughter to school every day.” To share the struggles you are having with your kids and not feel like a failure would be so refreshing, liberating, encouraging and helpful, wouldn’t it?
When you are able to share ideas and support one another along the road of parenting with its many twists and turns you will survive and even enjoy the ride so much more! Remember to keep everything in perspective, recalling the funny things and beautiful ways that your kids delight and surprise you every day! Along with the stories of struggle, pain and how giving your child away right now feels like a great solution!!
Of course you love your kids, and yet there will be times when you feel totally embarrassed, disappointed, angry and saddened by their behaviour.
I’ll give Sally Peck the last word – “Sometimes we don’t like our children that much. And that’s just fine.”