Saturday 6 May 2017

10 parenting tips I feel qualified to give

So I'm pregnant. Which means I'll soon have three kids. And yes, they're all alive, occasionally well behaved and even potty trained! I do let them eat things off the floor and run around naked whenever they feel like it though so I usually don't get asked for advice, but sometimes....sometimes a poor soul will catch me on a good day, a day when no-one is crying, flouting public decency laws, or tag-teaming my hugely pregnant, vulnerable self into letting them eat an entire bag of Haribo in one go if they will "JUST SHUT UP FOR 5 SECONDS!!!!" and foolishly ask for advice. When this happens I feel like Gwyneth Palthrow for a minute, all smug and knowing, ready to dole out patronising advice that I can't even follow myself, but then I just try and remember that there are often days that Youtube Kids does more of my parenting than I do and I get a hold of myself.`

But still, I think there might be something I can share with the world. So here it is, the parenting advice I feel I can give without being a total hypocrite....

1) Immediately glue all tiny shoes to tiny doll feet, lest you spend the week following their acquisition being asked where the bastarding things are. Yes, I know that I generally know where every tiny insignificant thing in this house is seeing as I tidy it all away approximately ten times a day, but right now I can't quite place the location of Elsa's left blue sparkly stiletto. I am aware that this means I am failing you as a parent. Sorry.

2) Children can smell weakness, therefore locking yourself in the loo to sob and eat chocolate is the only way to get away with it without being bullied into sharing. 

3) "I can't get a babysitter" is the best way to get out of doing things you never wanted to do even before you had kids, never mind giving up a night off when you could be at home, dozing off on the couch midway through Jason Bourne and wondering what happened to your life.

4) When potty training, carry a small potty in the boot of the car AT ALL TIMES! Unless of course you relish the idea of one day finding yourself involved in a situation that somehow, horrifically, involves a small child crouching beside your car, peeing in a gutter outside TK Maxx while you do the "cat in a litterbox" vacant stare as you desperately try not to make eye contact with passersby.

I wish this story wasn't true, I really do.

5) They're all different, like, right from the beginning. So just because your's is doing something earlier/later/differently to your friends baby Einstein doesn't mean it's because you aren't doing something right. Eating, sleeping, potty training...the list of things where your child's individuality will come into play and make you feel like you must be doing everything wrong is endless. Look, most of them end up sleeping in their own bed and peeing solo at some point, try not to stress about it.

6) Don't over-wash them. To sniff the neck of a slightly grubby little person is one of the greatest pleasures of being a parent. Also, they get dirty really quickly so unless you're handing them over to an in-law or something it's probably not worth the effort.

7) You think your child is the most charming, intelligent, delightful little creature ever to brandish a Sophie the Giraffe. Everyone else thinks the same about their little cherubs. It's fine to think this as long as you don't ever actually voice it or act like it around other parents. Nobody wants to hear about your babies bowel movements. Shocking, but true.

8) Loudly going on about your parenting policies without being specifically asked is going to offend someone. Look, we all think we know best (except when we're convinced we are the worst parent ever and our kids are going to grow into emotionally stunted psychopaths) but that doesn't meant that we actually DO know best. Everyone loves their kids. Everyone is doing what they think is best, and if they aren't odds are they're having a terrible day and don't need your "helpful" input. Don't be a dick.

Side note: If you try and talk about how you think kids should be raised and it turns out you don't actually have any kids....I will stab you in the eye with a fork. This also goes for men who offer pregnancy advice, but replace "eye" with "testicles".
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9) You may never get back to looking the way you used to. THIS DOES NOT MATTER. Please believe me, and remind me when I forget.

And finally, and most importantly....

10) You are doing much, much better than you think you are. Honestly.

So there you have it, your parenting journey should be an absolute breeze now that I've imparted those nuggets of wisdom! But seriously, if you ever want to know how to get your kids to be so unselfconscious that they will happily pee in a public gutter then I'm your woman!

I would LOVE to hear your parenting horror stories. I could read that stuff all day :)