I don’t think I am a very good parent! Possibly a harsh criticism of myself, but lets examine the evidence. I have three daughters (DD1 -7, DD2 – 7 and DD3 – 4 nearly 5) and they have made not listening an art form!
I enter into pointless arguments with them and have to be reminded, on many occasion, that I am the grown up. I have become quite talented in blocking out the constant “Muuuummmmmeeeeee, she hit/stuck her tongue out at/pinched/kicked/looked at (I know – seriously!!!!) me” chants and have made it known that only if they draw blood will I pay any attention. I’m not particularly good at playing games with my girls – they never play fair anyway – and I am not adverse to sticking them in front of the TV for a bit of peace and quiet. I regularly yell blue murder at them when trying to get them out of the house in the morning and when putting them to bed at night – despite constant promises to myself that I will be calmer next time and, shock, horror – they only do one ‘out of school activity’ (hangs head in shame.) There I have said it – it feels so much better now that is out in the open!
To top it all off, I am really, really bad at volunteering to go along on school outings or going in to listen to them, plus huge amounts of children reading – the mere thought of being surrounded, en mass, by little people makes me break out into a cold sweat!
Yet somehow, I have produced three beautiful, imaginative, chatty children who have such distinct and individual personalities. They are, so I’m told, beautifully behaved when they go on playdates and are, apparently, a credit to me (blushes modestly!) They have a good sense of what is right and wrong and are constantly coming out with intelligent comments about nature, music and the world around them (see, TV ain’t such a bad thing afterall.)
They are fed regularly (ok, pasta features quite frequently on the menu), they always have clothes to wear, even if they are slightly creased (not ironing featured in my marriage vows!) and I am told that I am ‘Supremo Story teller’ because I do all the voices, whereas, Daddy does not. I also give a mean ‘squeezy hug’ – juuuussstttt the right amount of pressure without causing physical pain.
So you know what? I am going to re-phrase my initial statement. I may not be winning any awards in the parenting department and child-rearing gurus would probably hang their heads in despair, but my parenting is good enough! I am a good enough parent and on consultation with my said offspring, it appears that they agree!