Isn’t it amazing, before you’re a parent you are so judgemental of other parents even though you don’t have children?
Looking back I’m now ashamed to admit that was me, I was the woman that would get annoyed at children running about when I went for a nice meal out with my partner or the children who had a full on melt down in the local supermarket and their parents would just ‘walk on by.’
The amount of times I used to say ‘when I’m a parent I won’t let my child do this or have that.’ Well, all those little comments I used to tell myself are now completely invalid. I realise now why all the parents ignored the tantrums and let their children run riot in a restaurant, it’s much less stressful and lets face it, a lot more convenient to just let your child do what they want when you’re out in public or let them run riot because its much better than the alternative scenario if you say ‘no’. There is nothing worse than your stroppy toddler laying on the floor kicking and screaming because things aren’t going their way and every passer by judging you for how you are going to deal with the irrational situation that has occurred. Ignore or discipline? Every form of punishment or discipline is always judged and debated, this is why I think sometimes its easier to just let the little strops go, maybe its because I care what people think, I know I shouldn’t but being a parent is the most judgemental job out there so of course I am going to care if people think I’m doing something wrong.
Bribery… Another taboo subject. I used to always think bribery was wrong when used in parenting until I did it myself and wow what a difference it makes! Toddlers don’t understand logic, they are the most illogical humans and trying to explain simple things just doesn’t work. Bribery does! I’m not even ashamed to admit it. I probably bribe Oscar on a daily basis, whether its to get him to help me do chores or whether its to get him to behave when we are out, it works wonders. I think I would fail at parenting if I didn’t use bribery. Obviously I wont use this method all the time, and I don’t, how do you think I get nice pictures of a two and a half year old and a five month old? Another example, when I’m going around the supermarket and he spots a toy, instead of me saying no and having to deal with whatever abuse he will throw at me, I usually buy him a small toy, useless crap if I’m honest that will entertain him for the journey home and then for about ten minutes at home and then it’s never played with again, but it got me through the alternative of him refusing to walk, or screaming blue murder.
Another thing I said I would never do was give my children chocolate. Failed at that, massively. To be honest though Oscar has a very good and balanced diet, he used to be ridiculously fussy only until recently and now he eats pretty much anything, but he does have a strong love for chocolate, probably gets it from me. I am a massive chocoholic, its terrible. The way I see it, Oscar doesn’t eat a lot of it, and I would never let him get unhealthy due to chocolate intake so what harm can it do? I know there are parents out there who don’t give their children treats or anything with sugar in, but I guess we all do things differently, like vegans or vegetarians.
I said I would never buy my children expensive clothes, or too many toys. It’s almost laughable at how much I have gone back on my word. Granted, I have learnt more with Luna about the clothes situation, but when it’s your first you get over excited and will buy anything that looks cute regardless of the price, not knowing at the time how quickly they outgrow everything. It’s pretty much just money down the drain. Don’t get me wrong I will still buy both of them pricey clothes, but with Luna I tend to buy a lot of second hand clothes as she is growing even quicker than what her brother did. Toys- Jesus! I don’t even know where to start with that one. I have given probably about twelve bin bags worth of toys to charity, yet our house is still full of them. I do think I am extremely lucky though because most of their toys other people have bought them, when I say other people my dad is the culprit, he spoils them rotten, but then I guess thats what grandparents are for eh? I am extremely thankful for them all, but if I’m honest I do miss the space. I’d say that Oscar has about six large boxes of toys, all crammed full and he does play with them all so I can’t get rid of anymore yet, it doesn’t help that Christmas was only four weeks ago. The six large boxes take up half of his bedroom, and he shares with Luna so his room is just taken over with toys. Luna has about ten toys, I’m hoping she will just grow to love Oscars toys so I don’t need to buy her too many, might have to have words with my dad though.
I think so far in my almost three years of parenting the only thing I haven’t gone back on is smacking. I have not once smacked my children. I’m not saying I never will, because if the circumstances are right I will, I mean I was smacked when I was growing up and if I’m honest it didn’t do me any harm. I think its illegal in this country, I’m not sure but its very taboo and I think thats why I haven’t. I have come very close to smacking him before but the way I see it now as a parent, he has recently started hitting me, I think he has learnt it from pre-school and decided to start using it on me when I tell him off or don’t answer him straight away, he clearly thinks that smacking is the way to get what he wants. It clearly isn’t. If I smack him he will think thats the way to deal with anger and stress and I don’t think thats right. Instead I am trying to teach him the naughty step is the place to calm down, its challenging and difficult but it does work if you persevere.
I’m sure a lot of you will question my way of parenting but I am still learning, like I said I have only been a mother for nearly three years and we all start somewhere. I’m not doubting any other parenting techniques, I see parenting as trial and error, the first born is the trial one is what I have found. I am finding it much easier with Luna because I know what I’m doing and not having to start from scratch, easier, not by any means easy. Mother instincts exist and I will continue to follow them on my journey through parenthood, they have got me this far so I can’t be doing too bad right?