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Being the perfect parent in today’s day and age is pretty much impossible.
You need to feed your kids perfectly balanced meals, three times a day, every day, with healthy snacks in between.
In the perfect parent’s world there is no such thing as a ‘picky eater’. In this parent’s world, the kids eat everything- fruits, veg, fish, organ meats and dairy.
No sweets, artificial anything or GMOs.
These kids are well-behaved and perfectly adapted socially.
They speak only when spoken to and polite. They know their place.
They don’t run around, are not loud, and can carry on a conversation with a grown-up in a logical manner.
They listen when spoken to, and do not backchat their parents. Ever.
They also play well with others- sharing their toys and always playing nicely with their friends.
They do not say embarrassing things in front of others (like “Mom, but you haven’t shaved in two weeks” and “Daddy is wearing his holey underwear”!)
The perfect parent’s children are always clean.
No mud, dirt or poo stain anywhere.
Perfectly white and starched shirts on their toddler to make him look just like his daddy! The perfect Pinterest child.
These kids have no desire to get dirty or get hurt by running and possibly falling.
They have perfectly combed hair with trendy hairstyles for the boys and little curly pigtails for the girls. At all times.
Their little shoes are gleaming, perfectly polished, and never scuffed. They never run around barefoot.
The perfect parent teaches their kids about using technology responsibly. The kids have their own tablets and smartphones. They need them. Otherwise they will be singled out as ‘odd’ and that makes for an abusive parent.
The perfect child never turns into a little brain-dead iphone zombie.
Everything is practiced in moderation.
The perfect parent enforces discipline with a firm, yet gentle heart.
This parent runs the home like a Democracy.
Everyone has a say in the house rules, and everyone sticks to their promises. Everyone does their chores, on time and without complaining.
The children never ‘run wild’.
Their rooms are always neat and clean.
Homework done on time.
School bags packed and unpacked without prompting.
Kiddo goes to school with a beautifully packed Bento lunchbox full of wholesome goodness every day and eats everything himself (and never even considers trading his banana for Johnny’s Simbas)
This is the Pinterest child. The perfect child. With the perfect parents. THIS is what we try and live up to.
Can I tell you a secret?
It’s NOT HAPPENING, honey.
Normal people, like you and me, are NOT perfect. Hell, we shouldn’t try to be!
Life is messy. And that’s part of the fun!
Children need to LIVE!
Make mistakes, get hurt, get up again and run back faster and stronger.
They need to learn from their mistakes.
They should never ever be raised in a little bubble of perfection because they WILL NOT survive the real world!
This is why tweens commit suicide, why they think they’re not enough. Not good enough. Not perfect enough.
Kids nowadays don’t realize that they’re perfectly imperfect. That it’s normal. That they should embrace who they are on a basic level. They are enough. And it’s time for us, as society, to tell them that.
I’m the un-Pinterest Mom.
We live according to the 80/20 rule.
80% good stuff. 20% cheating.
To me, that means doing my absolute best to give my kids healthy, hearty, good stuff most of the time. But if they eat a vienna or cupcake at a birthday party it WON’T kill them!
I try and be a gentle parent, but at times talking nicely and reasoning it out DOESN’T work (eg. Fingers and plugs and running in front of a car). Then my kids get a smack. I don’t beat them, but they don’t run the house.
My kids are loud, opinionated and dirty.
They get paint and mud in their hair, and sometimes go a day or two without brushing it.
They like to run, climb, scream, laugh uncontrollably and fight like mortal enemies.
They sulk and backchat and then bring me wildflowers.
They don’t always share.
I’ve also been known to shove them in front of the tablet or PC for half an hour of peace and quiet.
They are picky. Oh my goodness, they are sooooo picky. Snippie can survive on meat and starch alone (thank goodness for this amazing multivitamin) and we’re slowly getting her onto more fruit and veg. The toddler eats most things, but is still a boobie baby, so goes on eating strikes from time to time that drive us NUTS (again, thank goodness for a liquid multivitamin and protein shake!).
My kids are disrespectful.
Yeah, I’ve raised what some might call a bratty tween. She shrugs and walks off when spoken to, she backchats. Her room is a mess most of the time.
But she also lights up my life. Makes me laugh. Makes me see the funny, quirky, magical things in the everyday.
My house is a mess at times.
I don’t have breakables out.
I don’t have coffee table books and matching magazine racks.
My coffee table IS the nature find box.
My house gets swept and mopped (mostly) daily because we have a house bunny. (side note: house bunnies are messsssssy, and live for 12-13 years. Consider it carefully before getting one! They’re a blessing, but a handful).
Okay, back on topic.
I wear mostly dark, earthy tones and patterned clothes. Not coz I’m trendy. They hide stains best. Especially milk and pee stains!
My advice is this:
Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t try to ‘fit in’. And PLEASE don’t try to force your beautifully unique child into that ‘socially acceptable’ box.
See, I’m human. I’m magnificently, abnormally, wild and free: me.
And, finally, I’m okay with that.