The Three Rules of Perfect Parenting
Latest from on the couch
Before I gave birth to my first baby, I was completely delusional about motherhood. I was confident (no actually make that cocky) that being a mum was going to be a breeze. Haven’t you seen the Bonds ads? All babies do is smile and be all cute and stuff. A little bundle of perfectness was exactly what I was planning on giving birth to. Drunk with confidence, I made some firm rules with my boyfriend (yes we have an illegitimate child living in our sinful home) on what we would, and would not do, when our first-born arrived. There was no doubt if we followed these rules we would easily nail the parenting of our angelic child.
Fast forward a year and a bit and reality well and truly hit in the form of a little boy. I will now admit the rules we set were a teeny bit ludicrous. No, actually make that insane! Below are the rules, and exactly how successful we were at sticking to them.
Rule One: No Bottles
How long it lasted: 8 hours (the moment my newborn started squawking for his second milk guzzle)
I’ll admit I was a bit of a ‘Bottle-Feeding Judgy Pants’ who had no idea how bloody hard breast-feeding could be. With the saying “Breast is Best” drilled into my head, I was determined to be a mum that would only breast-feed her kid. This is because I was terrified by stories about breastfeeding mothers who used a bottle once, and their little cherub refused to suckle their milk cans ever again. So the rule was made, “NO BOTTLES!”
I had barely left the delivery room when the thought of whacking my newborn onto my breast ever again made me shudder. After the first feed, my nipples resembled a clown’s nose. Needless to say the bottle became my saviour, there were times when my son was hitting the bottle harder than Lindsay Lohan.
Rule Two: No Dummies
How long it lasted: 19 hours (approximately the time sleep deprivation kicked in)
When I was pregnant, I believed my love alone would be enough to soothe my baby if he became unsettled. Sleep deprivation was not going to be apart of my life because my baby would be a self-settler, and be out cold for 10 hours a night. ‘Props’ like dummies would not enter our house because they would simply not be needed. FAIL. Miserable fail.
At 4am on night two of being a mum, I instructed my boyfriend to walk to the servo to buy as many dummies as he could get his mitts on. You see, dummies = bliss. I don’t care if my kid sucks his dummy until he is old enough to grow a beard, that thing is a lifesaver. It’s like my child has had a mute button installed on his face.
How long it lasted: 4 days…the second we got home from hospital
I admire those parents who read, sing, talk and ride miniature ponies with their children. I was going to be the queen of crafts, cooking and just general awesomeness with my child. I made the rule “no television when my son is awake”. There just wouldn’t be any time, with all the papier-mâché and finger puppet concerts. Yes, I can now acknowledge these are the thoughts of an insane woman.
It’s fair to say the guys from High five have played a big role in my sons life so far. They allows me to do all the fun tasks, like make my bed, skull a coffee, or have a 30 second shower. I have fully embraced ‘TV plonking’ as a credible parenting technique. he High Fivers are real people so it’s not like I’m depriving my child of human interaction. Having these dancing, singing cool cats babysit my child for a little while* each day keeps me sane…and showered.
During my pregnancy I became a parenting expert (i.e. I read ‘Baby Love’). Not only did I make the above rules, I publicly declared them to anyone who would listen. Everything quickly changed when I gave birth. All of a sudden sticking to the rules seemed harder than sitting through a slide show of my parent’s holiday snaps. Luckily I quickly surrendered to my cluelessness, and decided my mothering career would continue ruleless (such a rebel!). I’m bringing up a bottle drinking, dummy sucking, TV addict and I’m more than fine with that.
* ‘A little while’ sometimes stretches in to hours but no ones judging. Right?