As ‘pre-parents’ we have such grand visions. We know the type of mother we’ll be. A perfect one of course. It’s not until we actually become a parent that the shine comes off our carefully laid plans. We discover perfect parenting is a cruel trick of the media. And in reality, good parenting that produces happy, balanced children, is enough.
Parenting is the master of all jobs. Working a relentless 24/7 roster with no performance reviews, many mothers continually question their child-related choices. The food we prepare. Our level of discipline. Our style of communication. Hell, I wasted 10 minutes yesterday feeling guilty for letting my kids stay up late on a school night (Master Chef was on, sorry).
So if you feel you’re screwing-up your child-raising career, think again. It’s the little things that make good parents. You might just realise you rank pretty high on the super-mummy scoreboard.
20 SIGNS YOU’RE A GOOD PARENT
(As the very fact you worry about it means you already are one)
1. You don’t compare yourself to other parents, but do what feels right for you and your child
2. You’ve watched a million shows/dance routines/magic acts and can’t wait for the next one
3. You listen to your child, just listen, without doing anything else
4. You are immune to their bodily excretions, however vile they may seem to others
5. You laugh, smile and enjoy life with them, not sitting on the sidelines watching
6. Even when you have heaps to do, you will stop everything and help them do a handstand
7. You get them out the door in the morning, dressed, fed and (reasonably) clean – awesome job!
8. You teach them good values in a way they will remember and pass to their kids
9. You discover a fiercely protective side to your personality that you never knew you had
10. However bizarrely they choose to dress, you walk proudly down the street with them
11. You’ve watched Finding Nemo 2,468 times and still shout ‘yay’ when it starts again
12. You play their music on every car journey, however much it drives you round the bend
13. You feel their highs and lows as if they are your own (only multiplied tenfold)
14. You have an uncontainable urge to cry when you see them in their school play
15. You’re more nervous than you’ve ever been, before their part in above-mentioned school play
16. Sometimes when you cuddle them you can’t let go (or get told off for squeezing too hard)
17. You are sometimes their bad-mama because you don’t always let them have their way
17. You can tell at a glance if they are tired, wired, happy, sad or anything in between
18. You’d give them your last chocolate (however much you were looking forward to it)
19. You aim high and achieve the life you aspire to, knowing your children will mimic you
20. You don’t pretend to be a superwomen, instead you’re just Mum, which is plenty