My 8 best parenting u-turns

Posted on 09/03/2016 by Antenatal Online | Leave a Comment

Last week my little girl turned 8 which led me to reflect on the usual a) how quickly it has gone and b) how unfeasibly long her legs and arms have become.  What also occurred to me as I practically dressed her and squeezed her toothpaste on her toothbrush for her was “what the hell am I doing? She is 8”. And that in turn lead me to reflect on the things that, as I gazed at her beautiful newly born head, I swore I would NEVER do but which I now, mother of two, appear to do with abandon and at every available opportunity.

I share these areas of U-turn here for you now:

  • Bed Sharing: I was warned against this evil very early on and I fully intended to guard my bed with my life. Needless to say it isn’t unusual to find a tiny foot lodged into my full bladder at 3am.
  • Allowing too much television:  I started off quite well with this one but now we have SpongeBob on a loop. Educational? I am thinking not unless you feel your repertoire of bottom jokes need enhancing.
  • Lax behaviour management: All sorted courtesy of watching Supernanny thanks very much but since actually having behaviour to manage me and Nanny Frost seem to have parted company. We have no naughty step and I can no more entertain controlled crying than I could watch an entire episode of Made in Chelsea.
  • Unhealthy eating: Harry has eaten a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast every day for 3 years. Many of his meals consist of yellow or beige food stuffs. Evie eats only Billy Bear wraps. Is it luncheon meat, favourite of war time Britain? It is certainly not real meat. And when I think that I refused to feed jars to my precious babies – my Annabel Karmel book glued to my side. How the self-righteous have fallen.
  • Family mealtimes: I quite like green food unlike my son, and my husband dislikes pasta which the rest of us like. Evie likes fake meat. You can see where I am going with this.
  • Being hot on schoolwork: In Finland children don’t start school until they are 6. I now applaud this. I feel therefore disinclined to discuss my 3 year old’s 11 + or ensure that Evie can recite her times tables.
  • Extended breastfeeding: Considered by some as an activity purely undertaken by mothers who can’t bear to let their infants grow up and those who weave their own underwear, I am also guilty of this particular `crime’.
  •  Maintaining an orderly house: I gave up some time ago. It is exhausting and frankly pointless. I now embrace the plastic tat, the lone marbles, the abandoned teddies, the stray shopkins. Mess will be my lot for the next few years and I have no doubt I will miss the carnage when it’s gone.

Does it matter? I feel not. It’s impossible to prepare for parenting. You learn as you go along. You make mistakes and then you make a few more. But when you wake up on your daughter’s 8th birthday and you see a gorgeous, happy, kind and fun loving girl, you realise that whatever you have done, some of it at least must have been right.




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