10 parenting ideals I ditched in the first year

The rose-tinted glasses of parenthood are removed and stamped on pretty quickly

Show me the perfect parent and I’ll show you a zero-calorie tub of ice cream. If only!

None of us are perfect, but we start off with all the best intentions!

Most of my ideals went flying out of the window in the first year with my eldest daughter. The rest went flying out of the window after I had my second child.

Now I’m not a perfect parent, but I am a less stressed parent!

Here are the ideals I ditched:

1. I will never give my child the iPad

When I only had the one child to handle in the mornings I could get up and read to her quite happily, particularly as she slept through the night.

Then along came child number two who didn’t sleep through the night for 11 months and I was chucking my iPad at my toddler like a frisbee when she bounced out of bed at 6am.

There are lots of news stories that have popped up recently shaming mums for using the iPad as a babysitter. Should we worry if they sit in front of it all day? Yes. Should we worry if it helps keep us sane for a couple of hours a day? No.

2. My child will never drink juice

After reading up on all the official advice I discovered the NHS frowns on juice, especially in a bottle, and that giving it to your kids will cause all of their teeth to fall out immediately.

However when I’m out shopping, one of my favourite things to do is get a smoothie. My toddler is no fool. She wants to know what I’m having and she wants in on the action.

How mean and hypocritical would I be to drink that treat in front of her?

So now we share a smoothie every time we go shopping. It’s a mother/daughter tradition and she still has all of her teeth.

3. My child will never misbehave in restaurants

This is so very naive. It’s born from the pre-motherhood days when I would watch parents wrestling their kids to the table only for them to run off yet again nearly sending a waiter with a pile of plates flying.

I told myself my kids would never display such unruly behaviour in public. What an idiot.

To be fair they’re, on the whole, very good kids. It’s just they lose it and have a tantrum or demand stuff just like any other children sometimes. I’m just happy if me and my other half manage to eat our entire meal.

4. I will never shout at my child in public

This one is not something that happens very often. I can only think of a couple of occasions when it has happened, but sometimes they just push me too far.

It’s been one too many demands for ice cream, or yet another complaint about not spending more time at the park. I lose it and my volume increases as I snap at them to “just be quiet so Mummy can think!”

This is fine at home. Not so much in the middle of the cereal aisle in Waitrose with an audience of judgemental grannies giving me the evils.

5. I won’t feed my child junk

One word. LOL.

6. I won’t allow my child to watch too much TV

I do not like Peppa Pig. But she has saved me on many an occasion; when I’ve needed a shower, or to cook dinner or to pee in peace.

Despite this, I would still make a bacon sarnie out of her if she wasn’t a cartoon. Irritating little brat!

7. I won’t swear in front of my child

I still try not to, because I do not want four-letter words that are casually shared down Yates bar on a Friday night coming out of my daughter’s mouth on her first day at school.

But sometimes those words slip out. You don’t want them to, but you tread on Lego or the baby poops on your new top, and you can’t stop it. Luckily you can cover you tracks sometimes, for example: “Oh no darling, you misheard me. Mummy just saw a duck.”

8. I will make sure my child has good manners and always shares their toys

When you have two children, you quickly realise this exercise is completely pointless.

You’re reminding them to share so frequently that the word becomes meaningless and you feel like you’re just telling them off all of the time. Now I accept kids will be kids and try to let them solve it between themselves.

I still encourage those pleases and thank yous though.

9. I will never lose my patience

I had such high hopes for myself. I thought I would be able to show infinite patience because they are just kids after all.

The trouble is you don’t know how sleep deprivation is going to feel like until you’re facing a day of staring at your child attempting to put their shoes on when you haven’t slept more than one hour.

We all lose our patience, because we are all human!

10. I will not be one of those people who can only talk about their kids

The thing is, those baby pictures are beautiful and you can look at them for hours. But that’s the key word here, you. You can look at them for hours. Other people just see another baby. A cute baby, for sure, but they don’t have the same level of interest as you, the parent.

I always hoped I would maintain my ability to be a grown up on nights out. But the trouble is, particularly when on maternity leave, you are living, eating and breathing your kids all day long. I have nothing else to talk about!

Instead of remarking on the bonkers political situation in America right now, I’m telling people about the frequency of my baby’s bowel movements.

Any other ideals that you gave up not long after having children? I would love to hear from you! Please comment below.


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  1. December 6, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Love this. So relatable. I wrote a similar post recently. We all have this idea of the parent we’re gonna be and then kids come along and show us we were naive! I laughed out loud at “I would still make a bacon sarnie out of her if she wasn’t a cartoon.” #fortheloveofblog

  2. December 6, 2017 / 9:01 am

    Haha! Couldn’t agree more! Think we’ve all had those goals…especially realised this with baby number 2! #fortheloveofblog

  3. December 6, 2017 / 9:27 am

    OMG – I could write this (and a teen version that even makes me shake my head in wonder!) #FortheloveofBLOG

  4. December 6, 2017 / 10:56 am

    This is so great – my cousin has just had his first baby and on our first visit found her in front of peppa pig haha!! A new born. Nice to keep it real x #fortheloveofBLOG

  5. December 6, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    Oh I can say I have done all of these!!!! I hate the idea of Ben watching something in restaurants but there are times when I just want a quiet meal hahah. #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. December 6, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    Love it – we always say that we will never parent in a certain way but you know what – life happens and those ideals go straight out by the window. I always said my kids will never eat sweets and now they do but in moderation of course.#fortheloveofBLOG

  7. December 6, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    I love how true all of these are. It’s just not possible to be the ‘perfect parent’ and not allow your child to sit in front of the TV while you make dinner or have or a cup of tea and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Love the bit about making Peppa Pig into a bacon sandwich 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. December 6, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I definitely gave up on my screen time ideals long ago – sometimes the TV or iPad buy me a few minutes of peace so I can get things done, and I refuse to feel guilty for it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. December 6, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Bahahaha! Oh yeah! I broke every single one of them and still do on a daily basis. Oh well 😉

  10. December 6, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    Hee hee – yes to all of these! Looking back I was so guilty of being a bit judgey of parents before I had kids – especially in restaurants! I would also add Inhad thought I would never have children climbing into my bed in the middle of the night. LOL XX #fortheloveofBLOG

  11. December 6, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    Haha I was nodding to all of them! Very funny and true! #fortheloveofblog

  12. December 6, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    Haha, it is as though I wrote this myself! So true. #fortheloveofBLOG

  13. December 6, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Oh I do all of this. Every single one. #fortheloveofBLOG

  14. December 6, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Relate to every single one of these. My mini me just turned one and I’ve already given up on so many of the “pinterest-perfect-mom” ideas I had. Real life. #fortheloveofBLOG

  15. December 6, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    I know every one of these and you will learn more as time goes on. My two grew up before IPADs and all of the social media. I do remember one rule I was going to stick by and that was I was never going to pay for the Disney Channel (when mine were young, it was a still paid channel). That one ended real fast.

  16. December 6, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    Oh Gosh im with you on so many of these and we’re only on baby No 1!! I was so adamant i’d never be ‘one of those Mums’ then as soon as she popped out ive never stopped talking about her ever since 😉 #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. December 6, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    Ah yes. I am here on so many levels. Peppa might actually be a family member. #fortheloveBLOG

  18. December 7, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    I love this! I always thought I was pretty patient but being a parent has made me realise I am not as much as I thought I was. So glad to hear I’m not alone! #fortheloveofBLOG

  19. December 7, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    All of these and “MY child will listen to me” umm….no, she won’t

  20. December 7, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    Hee this made me smile its almost as if several mums have sat down and wrote this #fortheloveofBLOG

  21. December 7, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    Yes to all of those! Anything for an easy life!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  22. December 8, 2017 / 12:57 am

    The screen time one is something everyone ends up caving in on. When I ran an infant daycare I would constantly interview pregnant families and they all swore screen time was the devil. I spent a lot of time counseling parents that they need their sanity and I wouldn’t judge them if screen time helped preserve it. I think everything in moderation! All of them ended up using screens. Heck, parents would never get a shower if it weren’t for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! #fortheloveofBLOG

  23. Riz
    December 8, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    aww it’s hard work, I had so many ideals in my head but my 16 month old has his own agenda. 🙂 #forthrloveofagoodBLOG

  24. aliduke79hotmailcom
    December 9, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    The tv and tablet are your best friends when you are sleep deprived lol. These little things will not do our kids any harm.

  25. December 11, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    I can understand this. While I don’t have an ipad to pass on to the girls a bit of tv and the odd swear word may appear – especially if Ive just stabbed myself with a sewing needle. #fortheloveofBLOG

  26. December 12, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    Yes all of the above! I wrote a similar post a while ago and I laughed all the way through writing it. I’ll never give them an iPad or let them watch TV hahahahahahaaha x #fortheloveofblog

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