Sunday, 3 February 2013

10 Parenting Rules – and I broke them all


Confession. 

I was one self-righteous, know-it-all bitch Before Children [BC]. It’s true. I knew it ALL. Anything wrong with a kid? It’s their mum’s fault. Sometimes their dad’s. But mainly mum... because she CHOSE the dad after all. In my, far from humble, opinion parents were entirely responsible for everything their kids did, thought, said and broke. 

And I knew WHY. Those parents didn’t FOLLOW THE RULES. There are rules in parenting that will guarantee a perfect child. Simple rules that I would often remind parents, even when they hadn’t asked, to help them. To guide them. To fix their brat.

Rules I swore to myself I would uphold. As the perfect parent embarking on raising the perfect child. *Insert wild, unhinged laughter here.

#1 - I will not use a dummy

It took me less than a week to let go of that one. Oh sweet, sweet dummy. How I loved the feel of you in my hand as I groped in the bassinet next to the bed under the blanket of darkness in the dead of the night to plug the screaming hole of my first born son. I brought a packet of them to hospital when my second son was born. I BEGGED him to take it. I tried every shape and size, even coating them in breast milk to TRICK HIM INTO SUCKING IT. Be careful what you wish you for. Turns out with number two I WAS the dummy. Take that you pious bitch.

#2 - My child will never sleep in the same bed as me



It's the second night of my life as a new mum and the midwife offers to take my screaming newborn to the nursery with all the other babies so I can get some sleep. 'Ok' I said as I watched her wheel him out of my room, ripping my heart out as she did. He was gone 15 minutes before I went to get him. This is how Mark found me when he got to the hospital in the morning. I promised myself it was just to get us through that one night.

Ahem. You know that feeling when you haven’t slept for 3 months and you’ve got up so many times in the night that you can’t remember putting the baby back to bed... where is the baby?? Did I feed him last time or just change his nappy? Did I feed on both boobs, or the same one twice? Why is he crying? Shhhhhh... rock, rock.... shhhhhhh... rock, rock.... shhhhhh rock, rock. Oh forget it, just lay next to me. THAT was how I broke rule #2 at home. And how, 8 years later, I simply just move over when I hear the sound of my 5 year old’s bare feet padding down the hall to my room in the middle of the night. He’s warm and cuddly. It gets a bit crowded when the 8 year old joins us every now and then, but I don’t turn him away either. Still feeling smug Tan?

#3 - I will not ‘pick my battles’. Every battle is worth it… and they need to learn that I’m the boss

Aahahahahahahaha. Ow, my sides are splitting. Dear BC TAN. You were an idiot. There are sooo many battles that have never been fought, won or lost here. Yes, you can wear your swim rashy on top of your jumper because it matches your rubber boots to the shop. Why not? Yes, you can take every teddy bear you own to bed because they will be sad without you tonight. Of course. No, you don’t have to eat the toast that I accidentally cut into triangles instead of squares. I understand it doesn’t taste the same. Just don’t cross me at bed time. That’s not negotiable. Most of the time.

#4 - I will not use food as currency to bribe my child

Well... what kind of values does that teach? I never understood the power of a promised [insert biscuit/yoghurt squeezy/ice-block/cupcake/smiley-face biscuit here] to ‘encourage’ a wilful kid to do just about anything really. Parenting Tip: carrying around any number of those bribes in your oversized handbag can make or break a public outing.

#5 - I will only feed my child organic, additive-free food

What?? Best intentions and all that.... My kids actually eat well. I’ve been pretty good at keeping their diet healthy. Additive-free is a stretch though and only organic? I’d have to take out a second mortgage to pull that one off. I have fed them McDonalds too. Oh the shame....



#6 - I will limit my child’s television viewing to no more than 30 mins per day

Oh don’t look at me like that. How was I to know that I would do anything to have an uninterrupted telephone conversation or cook dinner without tiny 'helping’ hands or do a poo on my own or just sit and be quiet?? And with the new ABC stations there’s ALL DAY kids shows WITHOUT COMMERCIALS. The cheapest babysitting you’ll ever find. And you get to have a perve-fest on Sportacus. Eye candy eating sports candy... hmmmmm.


#7 - I will not ‘give in’ to my child’s constant nagging for something at the supermarket cash register

Unless I’m on my own with the kids and everyone looking has a grimace/scowl/frown/look of pain or pity on their faces. Oh wait. That’s every time.

#8 - My house will always be spotless… because that’s all I have to do. Look after my child and clean my house. Easy.

Yes, I’m shaking my head in disbelief too. One time while the tv was babysitting so I could enjoy  one of my uninterrupted phone conversations, my, single, super-neat friend said to me “I spent all morning cleaning and my floors are so spotless you could eat off them” I looked around in despair and replied “You could eat off mine too... ‘cause that’s where all the fucking food is”

#9 - I will never yell at my child. Yelling is just a loss of control reserved for incapable mums

Yes. I was deluded. I yell at the tv when someone’s annoying. I yell at bad drivers on the road and cyclists who forget that they’re sharing the road with bad drivers. I yell at my mum, my sister, my brother, my husband. I yell at the PLAYROOM when it’s in a mess. I yell at weeds when I pull them out and the root breaks off and stays in the fucking ground. I yell at my cupboard if I’m out of coffee. How the hell I thought I would EVER not yell at my kids, who drive me insane, still astounds me. I yell. They look alive. I buy myself 2 minutes peace. They go back to whatever it is. It’s a loud, predictable dance.

#10 - My child will not dictate my schedule. They will fit into my life, not the other way around

Oh.. shut up.






47 comments:

  1. Hahahahahahahahahaha.....

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    1. happy to have tickled your funny bone anon :)

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  2. Yep, yep and yep.
    It's fun to shake our heads at soon to be mothers who think that this parenting malarky is a joyful ride of love, understanding and nurturing. Yeah right! Daily battles are held in my house with my soon to be 4 year old son and my soon to be 2 year old daughter. They're like a little mini tag team!
    My house is a complete mess with no time or energy to do anything about it.
    Disney Junior can be a life saver as are bourbon biscuits!
    And there's nothing better than cuddling up to your bubba in bed, when they're all warm and squishy and smell like bubble bath and shampoo....then they spin round like the devil possessed and round house kick you in the face! :/
    Would I change it for the world? Nope :D

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    1. Hey NeenZee... love 'malarky' and 'devil possessed'. Please provide more information on 'bourbon biscuits'

      Sincerely, Tan x

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  3. Ooooh bourbon biscuits - nom nom nom

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_biscuit

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  4. Hahahahahaha I love it,its so true all of it,just brilliant.as a mum to a 5 year old and a nearly 4 year old and a 12 year old I totally understand and its so true.I especially love the toast one that u cut in the wrong shape,that made me lol,ah the joys of parenthood:)

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    1. So glad you liked it! All mums know that toast tastes different depending on the shape :)

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  5. I was quietly and shamefully chuckling as I read through the story of my life but #8.....oh sweet #8 had me in a fit if laughter....then I glanced at my floors and went back to my quiet shameful chuckle.
    Best post ever!!

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  6. Finally a real parent living in the real world! Love it!!

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    1. Thank you! I always love the compliment of being called 'real' :)

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  7. I read this out to my wife and two eldest children aged 16 and 12. There were howls of laughter heard across the neighbourhood.

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    1. You guys must have BIG laughs! Glad you all enjoyed it :)

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  8. What a load of tosh! My kids never watch tv eat sweets or misbehave! Ha ha as if! People who don't have kids have no idea what life with kids is like and people with kids don't have time to think about it! The joys of parenthood :)

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    1. The joys of parenthood indeed! Thanks for your comment :)

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  9. Are you sure that you aren't spying on my life?! I laughed so hard and my husband is doing the same right now. Sometimes we feel alone in this but so good to know we're not going crazy! We have 2 boys, 4 yrs old & newborn. I could identify with each and every single one. I did the "omg, where's my baby" thing the other night because I honestly don't remember putting him back to sleep. I'm writing this while holding a dummy in my 2nd son's mouth and begging him to take it but god, I was anti-dummy with the firstborn, hahaha! The coming into our bed, TV watching, picking battles...ah, they're so funny.

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    1. That whole 'losing the baby' thing is weird isn't it?? You are definitely NOT ALONE. Happy to know that your husband enjoyed it too :)

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  10. Loved this - but I must admit, I'm a nasty mommy and don't give into the toast being the wrong shape (or the wrong bowl being used) and things like that! (Much to the disdain and tears of my 9y.o.)

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    1. Hi Julie - I'm a bit nasty myself! Have you read my anti-mum post? I reckon you'll like it x

      http://seventiesbaby.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/beware-anti-mum.html

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  11. Hahaha. Oh my god. Love this!!! <3

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  12. OMG that is exactly what i thought BC, I was even a teacher.... Who was I kidding? Myself! Thanks for letting me look back on my life BC and forehead slap myself!

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    1. we all need a good forehead slap every now and then!

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  13. So hilarious that even a HomeDad like myself, can relate. Love your comedic tone and especially love the line, “You could eat off mine too... ‘cause that’s where all the fucking food is”...GOLD!!

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    1. hey dad - thanks for your feedback! My friend pissed herself when I said that line to her too... and then felt sorry for me ;)

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  14. Thinking of sweeping up the nutrigrain and putting it back in the bowl for tomorrow. Or letting it so it can be a game for the kids to see who can suck the stuck hardened ones off the floor first. I know where my 1/3 of food wastage is!!
    Yes to all of them, but boy does number 8 hit the nail on the head here!!

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    1. sucking hardened cereal off the floor... NEVER even thought of that! Thanks for the tip ;)

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  15. This is hilarious, and that is from a fathers stand point... I agree 100%...

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    1. I love getting feedback from dads too.. after all, it's a post about parenting ;) Thanks x

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  16. Hahaha! As a single mother of 4, I once thought I could "Do it all." Now, I'm just happy when i can sneak out of bed without waking my 4 year old to get a cup of coffee in before the rest of the hurricane midgets wake up!!!

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    1. hurricane of midgets! Love it and high five single mum... that gig is a killer x

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  17. Ah number 8. Reminds me of the time I had some people over for a playdate and my 18mo comes out with a piece of toast. Queue horror when the realisation hits that he hasn't had toast for at least 3 days. Gotta love stashes for later on!

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    1. that.is.hilarious. You should write a blog ;)

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  18. What a clever, funny blog ... thank you!

    Y'know, I searched for this sort of thing in the 80s when my babies were babies and most I ever found was the book 'Pyjamas don't matter'. It helped ... a bit. This would have helped so much more to bring humour and insight into life stuff.

    I hope I'm still around when you blog about menopause!

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    1. Pyjamas don't matter? Must google. I hope we're both still around for me to write about menopause!

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  19. Laughed just as hard reading the comments! Yes, number 8 applies here very much - as do food caches. sigh

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    1. the comments have made me laugh too... I've got some great readers ;)

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  20. I am laughing so hard tears are running down my face....I wish I had known there were rules before I had kids....then maybe....nah, I still wouldve broken them all, at the same time if needed, for a minute alone on the loo!!!
    GREAT BLOG!!!

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    1. 'you will never know what a gift it is to poo on your own until you never to it again' Tibetan proverb ;)

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  21. hahahahaha soooooo true

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  22. We have just had visitors for the weekend who are kidless. My husband and I always say we can't wait until they have kids of their own so then we can hand out the advice. I believe they subscribe to your pre-child rules list! I know it's bad but I just can't wait to see what changes.
    Love reading about what is the real world of parenting - so funny!

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    1. aaaah kidless visitors... you KNOW what they're talking about when they go to bed don't you? How BADLY you're raising your kids! hahahaha :)

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  23. Oh dear, I have tears rolling down my cheeks and my hubby thinks there is something seriously wrong with me. So funny, so so true! And sporticus eye candy! Ha, love that show!

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    1. I love sporticus... those arms!!

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  24. i cant stop reading, so funny** so many nods & yep done that grins...

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    1. I know... I still read it and nod!

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