Sometimes it is hard to find the joy in parenting.
And sometimes it is hard to hide the lack of joy you feel. From yourself. From your kids. From the world.
*BAD PARENTING CONFESSION ALERT*
Yes, we all know that in order to raise children with high self-esteems, positive attitudes and a deep sense of security, we should not share the exact thoughts on our minds. With ourselves. With our kids. With the world.
But sometimes, a combination of bad behaviour, hormones and just a simple need to be yourself betray what you should be doing. The guard is down and suddenly you are saying exactly what you think. And doing exactly what you like. An uncensored parent. Ah-oh, as Godivy would say.
You calmly and openly suggest things like leaving your kids on the hard shoulder of the motorway. To them. You even know which motorway. You couldn’t give a hoot when your 4 year old tells you, ‘You’re not my best friend anymore.’ You tell them that no, you’re not their best friend. You’re here to be their guardian and keep them alive until they reach 20, after which that responsibility is up to them. Finally, you actually leave them in a museum because you’re fed up of asking them to come home willingly.
I did not do any of these things yesterday, by the way.
Although, it would not have been unreasonable if I had. The gloves were off by 10.00 AM. Kids vs. Parents. Parent vs. Parent. And Everyone vs. Everyone. On a Sunday too, the supposed day of rest, which I have renamed, ‘just another day in parenting hell’. And sing to the tune of Phil Collins’ Another Day in Paradise. Just to really depress myself.
The lack of censored parenting was aggravated by the fact that it was the weekend so Daddy Pig and I were attempting to do it together.
I don’t know about you but I find parenting at the weekends to be doubly fun. Because there are two of us trying to command some authority, usually in completely different ways. Confusing and Ineffective. That would be our strapline if we were to offer parenting classes. Which, obviously we would never do because we are crap at it.
And I found myself asking Daddy Pig whether we shouldn’t in fact be better at this after four years and two kids? I mean, how are we not more in sync with one another?
Am I alone? Are you all amazing, ‘consistent parenting’ dynamic duos? Doing it in complete harmony. Or do you spend much of the weekend smiling whilst mouthing the words ‘f*** off’ to one another because swearing in front of the children is another cardinal sin that thou shalt not commit?
And yet, I think somewhere deep down, Daddy Pig and I have got it in us to be good parents. Together. At the same time. On the same planet.
Take yesterday morning, for example. We managed to run church crèche and spend a whole, happy hour (minus the cocktails, sadly) together with 10 toddlers. We read stories and sang songs. The kids listened and Daddy Pig and I didn’t try to kill one another. Or mouth the ‘f’ word. At the end, one of the mums said the two of us were like a warm hug. I could have wet myself laughing. Ok, I did. Just a little bit.
‘You should have seen us about an hour ago,’ I said.
‘You should see the text I’ve just sent my husband,’ she said, saddled with fractious toddler in tow.
Ah, maybe it’s not just us then.
I live in hope.
HOW DO YOU PARENT? HARMONIOUSLY OR AS FAR AWAY FROM ONE ANOTHER AS POSSIBLE?