Perfection. Something that so many of us try and achieve. A perfect home, the perfect skin, the perfect body, the perfect relationship. I personally think perfection is unattainable.We can make improvements but to spend your life trying to be perfect is a waste of time. Your parenting style and choices is an area that EVERY ONE loves to comment on. No matter what you do there will always be someone who knows better…particularly those yet to actually become parents. It always baffles me when I see complete strangers commenting on other people’s lives and parenting choices. I’m still yet to meet a perfect adult therefore tell me how ones parenting style can be perfect? As long as you love your kids immensely and are teaching them to be kind to others what else could possibly matter! A lot apparently. So, here it is – my guide to being the perfect parent in 2019.
Only use organic, 100% natural baby products.
In a perfect world using the best of the best products at all times would be great, but, not everyone can afford to pay a small fortune for organic products…and did it hurt us? I know my own mum used Johnson and Johnson’s bath gel on me, along with Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby oil and baby powder and I turned out fine (I think). I absolutely adore using my Chamonix Rain baby wash on my babies BUT, on the months when money is tight (and I find my supply dwindling), I don’t lose sleep over using a cheaper alternative or just plain old water. You aren’t a bad parent if you can’t afford to buy ‘the best’, and you aren’t a perfect parent if you can afford the $50 a bottle wash. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.
Stay at home and look after your kids.
Day care these days is a necessity but I know there are some stay at home mums (SAHM) who stick their nose up at parents who put their kids into day care. I work 2 days a week, and am lucky enough to have my mum and MIL to care for my kids however, if I didn’t have that luxury day care would be the solution. I have even considered putting Myla into day care once a week for the social aspect. She would love it! The activities, the friendships, the independence. When I hear people (mostly those without kids) mutter the old ‘ if you can’t afford to stay at home and look after your own kids then maybe you shouldn’t be having them’ line…just WOW. It’s 2019, shit is expensive and not all of us were born with a silver spoon therefore work is a necessity if we want to do more with our lives than just pay bills and eat. Those two days I work a week allow me to buy myself and my family the wants not just the needs. If you don’t have to work lucky you, but that doesn’t make you perfect. If that was the case only the wealthy would be “perfect” humans. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.
Go back to work.
The other side of the fence is the working mums who accuse the SAHM of being ‘just’ a mum. When I had Myla I didn’t return to the workforce until after her first birthday, but all I was asked that first year was ‘when are you returning to work?’ I have always said returning to full time work once my children start school is something I want to do. I am guilty of saying I didn’t want to be ‘just’ a mum forever. Not because I think SAHM aren’t great role models, but because I know that once my kids turn into adults it will be just me again, I’ll need a purpose. Going back to work doesn’t make you perfect, staying at home doesn’t make you perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.
When I was breastfeeding Vinnie someone suggested I join a Facebook group for breastfeeding mums, so I did. The questions to answer before even being accepted did not make me want to be a part of this group as I already could see the judgement I would receive if I even dared drop the F word (formula). The posts on this page still make me shudder. If you dare say anything about using formula you were banned from the group. If you don’t breastfeed, you’re a bad parent. If you do breastfeed but don’t do it for long enough they still think you’re a bad parent. If you go insane breastfeeding and pumping and end up topping up with formula they still think you’re a bad parent. Breastfeeding exclusively doesn’t make you the perfect mum. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.
Do not let your children have any screen time whatsoever.
I remember when I started letting Myla use my phone whilst out shopping for the first time. I felt like every person that looked at her was judging me, and I was mentally preparingmyself to tell them to mind their own business if they dared say something. Yes too much TV/screen time isn’t great but ffs, don’t hate on me because when you were a mum 40 years ago you didn’t have this handy device to distract your kids with while you drank your coffee, or paid for your groceries. Kids get an iPad in primary school these days! As long as boundaries are in place there is nothing wrong with a little screen time. I have been meaning to write a thank you letter to The Wiggles for years! Those 4 humans save my life some days. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.
Read to your children every day.
Reading to your children every day broadens their vocabulary and improves their social and communication skills, I won’t deny it. My husband and I do make a conscious effort as parents to read to our kids every day as a part of their bedtime routine because we enjoy it. But; there are some nights I cut her favourite bed time story in half simply because I’m fucking tired. Does that make me a bad parent? Nope. There are some nights we readthree books in a row. Does that make me the perfect parent? Nope. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.
All meals should be homemade.
This makes me lol. First children you might have a chance at getting homemade purees but second and third…you better believe you’ll be getting that Rafferty’s garden pouch. Aside from the fact that store bought baby food is convenient as fuck, I swear my babies eat it more than my own pureed concoctions. Maybe it’s just me and I’m a shit cook but, the amount of times Myla would reject my home cooked meal drove me to the looney bin. I’dopen up a Rafferty’s garden food pouch and within minutes she would eat it all. I would puree a pear and she would still prefer the store bought pureed pear even though the one ingredient WAS THE SAME! Don’t feel bad feeding your baby a supermarket product. If you have the time to prepare an assortment of homemade purees good on you! If you don’t, cest la vie. There is no such thing as a perfect parent.
Absolutely no sweets.
Is that absolutely no sweets or is that absolutely no sweets to be consumed unless they are used in bribery? I bribe Myla daily with chocolate and ice cream. If I want her to eat all her dinner a bribe is a necessity. I’m not giving her a family sized Cadbury bar, I’m simply giving her a few bites of my Cornetto. A few sweets after they turn 1 isn’t going to hurt them, surely! Plus, their baby teeth fall out anyway so what’s the problem? KIDDING. But in all seriousness imagine what would happen if a child never had a sweet in their life. That first taste of sugar would send them into a sugar high like no other. Like everything in life, all things in moderation. Feeding your children a cacao, almond meal, raw slice doesn’t make you better than that other mum. There is no such thing as a perfect parent.
Buy your kids only the brand names.
This is an oldie but a goodie. A lot of us assume that in order for our kids (or even us for that matter) to be happy, need a lot of stuff. The latest toy, the best shoes, the coolest clothes, and the latest tech. There is nothing wrong with spending money on your children, if you can afford to BUT, it doesn’t make you better than the parent who can’t afford Gucci. In life we are often told quality over quantity and ordinarily I would supportthis notion however, when it comes to kids – I don’t. If I buy a $100 pair of shoes it’s not because I want them to last, it’s because I think they’re cute. I don’t see the point in spending a lot of money when kids outgrowthings in a month! Myla is happy in a $10 shirt from Kmart with Princess Elsa on the front! Myla is happy when her Tata comes home from work and plays building blocks with her! Having a lot of money to buy things doesn’t make you the perfect parent. There is no such thing as a perfect parent.
As you can see, my guide is clearly far from perfect. I don’t have the answers…nobody does! There are so many books, studies, experts and opinions out there stating how you should speak to your children, how you should discipline your children in order for them to grow up well-adjusted blah blah. I know so many people who were brought up differently and none of them are superior to the other in any way! My main focus in raising these little humans is that they are kind to others, they use their words not their fists, they are respectful, take care of their belongings, and grateful for all things they have in life. I’m sure I handle certain situations the wrong way. I’m sure I’m too strict for some. At the end of the day, I’m doing my best to raise someone who will impact this world positively…that’s all we can do.