This isn’t really a massive revelation but one that needed to be said. I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to parenting and neither do you. Now don’t go freaking out and search google for the answer because there isn’t one. We all have no idea what we are doing and that is perfectly alright.
Put down the parenting book, step away from Google and just go with the flow. Not every single moment of child rearing needs to be analysed and labelled. Sometimes kids just push buttons because they know they can. Sometimes the more you ignore and try to hide, the more they push and attention grab.
Every single person is unique, as much as people may appear to act like a herd of sheep, they all have their own quirks. Our children are no different, parenting is one big ‘let’s try this and hope it works’, no one has all the answers, regardless of how many letters they have after their name.
Trust yourself. You know your children better than anyone. No outsider knows their quirks like you do, you live with them everyday, tuck them in, kiss their knees when they are scraped. It’s easy for someone looking at the ‘facts’ to pass their judgement, ‘stop smothering them’, ‘hug them more’, the lists of advice is endless. Some of it will work, most of it won’t. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 child or 10, we are all still learning, watching, fucking up.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Don’t dwell on them. I call this Stewy Mcstewing. Going over and over again what we ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ done. Remove these terms from your vocabulary. They don’t serve any purpose but to guilt and shame. That is not what parenting is. Everyone fucks up. Those who say they don’t are fucking liars.
Listen to the cues of your kids. Sometimes we spend so much time caught up in what the experts tell us we should be doing and forget to listen to the best expert of all..that hunk of flesh in front of you, also known as your child. This is what I struggle with the most. I forget that my little guy, although he has a fierce independence streak, is only 3. I expect too much of him and he bucks against me by reverting to acting like a baby. It’s a vicious circle. I get angry, he pushes back, I get angry. It’s a cycle I want to break.
So here is my confession..I fuck up every single day as a parent. But the smile on my little guys face lets me know that I’m doing ok. You’re doing ok too, regardless of what you tell yourself.
Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I must confess.
That’s the problem, isn’t it? We can only do our best.
I don’t think it’s a problem..as long as we are always striving for our best in the situation..I think we can’t go wrong really. Our kids are so much more adaptable than we give them credit for too.
Absolutely! At the end of the day that’s what matters 🙂
Yep sometimes it really is the small things that make the big things matter.
Thanks for this. This is the god honest truth, none of us really know what we’re doing. I struggle with parenting every single day and then rail at the fact that I’m struggling. My expectations of myself are still high, no matter how much I try to fool myself. Lately, my life has become way too kid-focused and it has nearly driven me up the wall. Luckily, I’ve seen the light and am taking my life back.
I think we all need to stop believe this mistruth that to be a parent means you are superhuman. We aren’t, we have frustrations, wants and needs just like everyone else. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the only identity as being ‘someones mum’. Once we start to carve our own way as a person, I think i certainly makes a difference.
Completly agree! I always tell my husband if he comes home and the house is still standing & everyone is still alive then it’s been a good day.
I certainly found that when I gave up trying to live up to some preconceived idea of what good parenting was and just went with my gut, relaxed, took my cues from my kids and let myself have some FUN, I am a MUCH better parent.
If the house is cleaner than the last time DP saw it then he wonders what the hell happened and who pissed me off lol!
It’s taken three kids to realise this! And while life is CRAZY – it’s less stressful if I just roll with it!
I take my hat off to anyone with more than one child.
My 2 year old thought the blue book (do you still have these?) was the instruction manual for her baby sister when we brought her home from the hospital, ten week’s premmie needing 2 to 3 hourly expressed feeds among other things. I wish! I think you are probably doing a better job than you give yourself credit for!
We have a red book…which reminds me I must hunt it down before DS needles in a couple of weeks!
I think we are all doing better jobs than we give ourselves credit for, we just need to stop over analysing and just do it!
I need to remind myself this all the time. My stupid “Depression” voice tells me I’m a bad parent all the time. The shoulda, coulda, wouldas get totally out of control to the point that I think Ned would be better off without me, which is bullshit. But, you’re right, there’s no manual that gives the exact instructions on how to raise your child, or my child, because they are different, we are different mums, we live in different circumstances. There are just too many variables. I say chuck out all the parenting guides and parent by heart. V.
I struggle with the Depression voice all the time too. I try to tell myself that it’s a lying cow and to not listen to it..which as you know is easier said than done. Take care of yourself xx
What a great post!!!
One that I fully relate to, and I bet every other honest parent on this planet does too!
I was just saying to some friends today that my “Yes! I must be an awesome parent!” Moments are becoming more frequent. Sure there are still many many times I look at my children and their various behaviours and think “Shit Im fucking this up”, but we are at least starting to trend in the right direction.
Oh such true words, I love it Tegan! No rights, no wrongs, just the best you can do at the time. By the look of the grin on you lad’s face you are doing great 🙂 x
Thanks Shari. After the night I have had with Mr 3, those words are exactly what I need to hear xx
I love this post Tegan – so very true and full of wisdom. I have no idea what I’m doing – most days I struggle just to get through the day let alone be the mother I think I ought to be. I guess my problem lies in trying to trust myself after I keep making those inevitable mistakes. Thanks for the reminder to cut myself a little more slack!
I had a smile on my face after the first paragraph. As parents, and particularly mothers, we overly think and second guess ourselves all the time. Thanks for the reminder to chill out 🙂
Loved this Tegan, so very spot on! Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder if what I’m doing is the right thing.
Hi Tegan, I have broken every parenting rule in the book and somehow my boys are still alive, and I tell myself every day is a new day to improve or stuff up depending on how life rolls. Your gorgeous boy looks pretty content to me. You might be doing better than you think. Xx
Love this post. I think any parent is doing a great job. No instructions, books or how-to guides. Every day is a success. The older I get the more I realise how hard this parenting this is. It’s probably why I completely avoid it!
Totally agree with everything you have said.
I also stop and look at my child. See what a great kid he is developing into and how much joy he exudes. Yep, definitely doing something right as well 🙂
Becc @ Take Charge Now
I think I expect too much out of my kids, too. At 10 and 4 I want them to be independent because I’m tired of cleaning up after them, want them to follow directions and more. Just today, I heard a commercial on the radio about college kids short attention spans and unfortunately, it seems, that this whole “Look a squirrel!” phase during bed time routine will not get better anytime soon!
It definitely isn’t a massive revelation but sometimes you HAVE to remind yourself that you are doing what you can and everyone will live in the end.
Going to say this. I had no clue when my daughter was born and still have no clue now. I don’t have any answers about being a parent. I am myself, trying to do the right thing and learning everyday.
I never read a book about how to parent. I just rode whatever wave came long. Figuring it out as I went along (That has always made my ex made), sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis.
I say this now because my daughter is a senior in high school and will be 18 in less than a month. I look at her and see that I did a decent job. She is on track to graduate high school in May, not pregnant, not on drugs, never been to jail (I teach inside Juvy) and not drinking. She has been accepted to three California State Universities.
I never went by the book, my basic idea was that if you give them sunlight, fed them, gave them water and love them that something beautiful would grow (Those ideas about parenting really made my ex mad). Sometimes we make things more complex than should be and the simplest are best.
I just stumbled across this entry as I was google image searching for “I have no idea what I’m doing parenting” and I just wanted to say that you made my day. I had just been telling someone about how I feel like the worst parent at times and then to come across this and realize that I’m doing just fine and that everyone makes mistakes, well it meant a lot. Especially this last paragraph, “So here is my confession..I fuck up every single day as a parent. But the smile on my little guys face lets me know that I’m doing ok. You’re doing ok too, regardless of what you tell yourself.” I love it.
So glad you wrote this post Tegan. Thank goodness we get a new day to try again and we are all flying by the seat of our pants with this parenting gig. So glad I’m not alone in my feelings. 🙂