The last few weeks I have found myself in a position where I do feel completely comfortable with my parenting methods. There are a whole multitude of personal and private reasons for this, but on the whole, I have simply realised that in fact, the decisions that I make are my own and as long as I am happy with them and my children are happy, that is all that matters.
I have spent virtually my entire parenting career comparing myself to other mums and thinking that I should listen to the health visitors/ doctors/ renowned authors advice rather than just using my own instincts. I felt under far too much pressure from the NCT to breastfeed, have a particular lifestyle, have a certain income. So to all of you out there that are plagued with similar sorts of worries. I think that its alright to;
- Let your children watch television when you want to do something other than play with them
- Feed them plain pasta with grated cheese on the top, or fish fingers and oven chips and haribo sweets (when necessary)
- Clothe them in the cheapest/ second hand things going and let them be mis-matched
- Refuse to take them to playgroups/ coffee mornings etc with people you have nothing in common with- why should you?
- Have a lie in bed with them rather than get up the instant they wake up
- Provide constant activities. A few select quality ones are better
- Not provide a 100% organic diet
- Remove a large chunk of the toys from your living room to regain some adult space
- Spend money on yourself
And most importantly of all; put yourself first.
Funnily enough, this is something that my mother has been telling me all along. My kids seem happier and I feel happier. Therein lies todays lesson.