10 things I need to share about MY Mummy Guilt

It’s a sad and common state of affairs when the people who our society expects to raise the next generation are too busy worrying about what they are doing wrong to focus on the little people they love. And it’s not like I want to spend my time stressing about what other people think. I DON’T WANT TO CARE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES IN HOW WE RAISE OUR KIDS. And I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one. I don’t want to be constantly comparing what I do to what you do. So why are we so hardwired to judge ourselves and others on how raise our kids?

I’m not sure if it’s some kind of instinct built into us to make sure kids don’t get neglected, but I don’t know about you but my mummy guilt reflex is OUT OF CONTROL. Obviously if you know more about this (and that wouldn’t be hard) feel free to get in touch.

I’m not prescribing any wisdom, because I have none to offer let alone assert as truth but here are some ideas that help me cope with the constant struggle to keep sane in the face of parenting:

  1.  My kids are fine. Your kids are fine.
  2. We all develop differently and put all the weight of the development of our kids on how we parent is bananas.
  3. If the kids are kind, fed, washed, loved, safe and happy then why do we care?
  4. We know more about keeping kids safe and happy than we ever have.
  5. No one is a perfect parent
  6. You can’t parent if you don’t look after yourself at least a little.
  7. Instant maternal or paternal love is not guaranteed. And parenting is easier for some people than others.
  8. Looking after kids is a constant learning process.
  9. Biology only goes so far
  10. No matter what you do someone will judge you so just do the right thing by your family

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“First school then vampires”… and other things I have said to small children

Today I dropped off my friend’s kids as well as my own. I am not the most lucid and competent of supervising adults at the best of times but this morning I was achieving a whole new level of panic parenting. As my eldest had a melt down because he couldn’t find his birthday party invitations, and my friend’s youngest was diving on his bag to stop me from removing a lego vampire he was trying to smuggle to school I found myself saying:
“School first, then vampire”. Obviously taken out of context this is a completely ridiculous statement, but not that unusual when communicating with small people. Here are the 13 stupidest things I have said to my children:

13. “Don’t poo… I’ll be right back” –┬áSaid in a moment of sheer desperation and panic, while my 3 year old makes very determined faces in someone else’s house, without a nappy on.
12. “Stop being a dog and eat your breakfast” – Please.. Mum would like I human child today. Get your face out of your cereal, and while I’m on the subject…
11. “Get your foot out of your food” – Why? Strange contortionist child. Very impressive but why?
10. “No Lightsabers before breakfast” – Mum and Dad are trying to sleep and there are only so many 5am, sci-fi sound effects we can handle.
9. “A vagina is not a type of penis” – To which my 8 year old screams at the top of his outraged lungs: “YES LOGAN TOLD ME VAGINA IS A PENIS” *embarrassment*
8. “Stop being a zombie and get dressed” – No really… Nude children walking muttering “brains” when they should be getting ready for bed is annoying and frankly a little disturbing.
7. “The cat is not a robot, please put down the screwdriver” – Poor Gizzy
6. “Stop farting at your nanna”- Or Nanna will start farting back, and nobody wants that.
5. “Ninjas do not get ice cream” – Neither do: samurais, celtic warriors, jedi knights, sith or pirates, anything really that feels the need to bring a weapon to the table.
4. “The cat cannot fly” – So please stop trying to teach her.
3. “Just sit down and feed Mr tickle some sultanas” – Or Mum may never finish her coffee and she may cry.
2. “People are not food” – Please stop trying to eat our toes when we are in bed you strange child.
1. “Please stop licking the cat” – Poor, poor Gizzy
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My Ninja ballerina – 5 things I learned from raising an non compliant girl.

I like to consider myself a feminist… now I have been warned that starting an article like that will immediately deter a large section of your reading audience. But we’re all progressive mums here who realise that feminism isn’t about exclusion or aggression right? Or at least open minded enough to keep reading despite an opening that might make us a little uncomfortable. I was determined when my second child was a girl to raise an independent and determined person. I thought I knew what that would look and sound like… I was wrong. My daughter threw out every notion that I had about raising a tomboy and showed me what a ninja ballerina can really do.
Here are a few things I learned from my daughter:
5. Pink really is just a colour – all I wanted to do was put my kid in gender neutral shorts and a t-shirt. But she was having none of that. The pinker, sparklier and fluffier the clothes the harder she would fight to be able to wear them. In the end I just had to get over it. I was fine with her brother wearing pink, in fact when he did it I thought it showed strength of character. So why was I so resistant to let her wear it? What is so dangerous about a colour?
4. Yes you can climb a tree in a skirt and silly dress up shoes. You can also play soccer dressed as a cat and play in dirt using a doll as a shovel. And yes you can still tuck that grubby doll into bed at night with no hard feelings.
3. Princesses can rescue pirates. More than once I have been marooned on a desert island of cushions waiting for a princess on her noble steed (or broom) to come to my aid.
2. Beautiful dancing sometimes just needs to happen in the supermarket, and its even better when you can get Dad to join in.
1. Just because some one is wearing a princess dress does not mean they won’t kick your ass.

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