The Benefit of Hindsight; Putting Yourself First

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.

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10 Responses

  1. TheMadHouse 9th June 2010 / 2:33 pm

    Sometimes, I wish I could put myself first, but I do agree with everything else on your list. as soon as you stop the comparision it gets better

  2. Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina 9th June 2010 / 3:23 pm

    Required reading for mums I think.<br /><br />Other people&#39;s opinions have made mothering something of an olympic sport some days.

  3. Joanna 9th June 2010 / 3:58 pm

    You&#39;ve just described my life. It is the only way I could cope! Welcome to the liberating world of good enough,

  4. Hot Cross Mum 9th June 2010 / 5:39 pm

    Wise words indeed – tough to follow sometimes though. It is totally pointless comparing to others – you&#39;d never be happy. Now I&#39;m off to switch on the telly and give everyone a king sized mars bar – who&#39;s the mammy, I said, who&#39;s the mammy?!

  5. Mummywhisperer 9th June 2010 / 9:00 pm

    Bravo lovely! It&#39;s amazing how easy it sounds, but how many times we need to be told it ;0)

  6. nuttynewmumofone 9th June 2010 / 9:11 pm

    Ah its reassuaring to read someone else feels the same, as a first time new mum it&#39;s nice to have some good advice and input from those around me but I really have felt that from day one, mother does know best. I&#39;m with you on the &#39;in bed with you&#39; part…despite those around me telling me I am inducing a bad habit for baby and nurturing a routine of baby coming into our bed…I&#

  7. Snaffles Mummy 10th June 2010 / 7:36 am

    These are essential rules I think. <br /><br />The pressure we put on ourselves!

  8. Cosmic 10th June 2010 / 3:29 pm

    Here! Here! one valuable lesson learned, respect sister:0)<br /><br />xoxoxoxo

  9. Amy 10th June 2010 / 8:32 pm

    its always good to be reminded that it is ok not to be a perfect parent. happy mum = happy kids xx

  10. Muddling Along Mummy 11th June 2010 / 7:56 pm

    The best thing i read before having Toddlergirl was someone who told me the first year was about survival not perfection and that being just good enough was all you needed – anything else was wasted effort<br /><br />You forget to say be nice to yourself – forgive yourself when it goes wrong and move on, don&#39;t dwell on it, the children will never remember

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