Diary of a Dad: Week 49 - Perfect? Impossible

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Let’s be honest, there is no such thing as the perfect parent. We all try our best, but in reality, getting every single thing right is frankly impossible…that doesn’t stop us from pressurising ourselves though does it?

Summer has been great, but I feel like we have been quite hard on ourselves. It’s a really intense time and you lose all routine, but it also makes you question if you are parenting right.

I feel like I tell myself this a lot, more so now than ever. There are so many elements to being a ‘good’ parent, often it’s hard to do everything exactly right. I have to remind myself you can’t get it right all the time.

Constant comparisons between what I’m doing and what others are doing can really get me down. Sometimes I feel we should be doing something different about sleep or eating or playing because it works for others. It doesn’t always mean it’ll work for us. When we have had a chilled one and I see on Instagram that Carol and the family have created a symphony using instruments made for old toilet rolls, it makes me question if eating breadsticks in our pyjamas at 4 was the best use of our time...

When you’re a first-time parent, you question yourself a lot. Partially because you’re winging it and partially because you’re inundated with advice. Even with your second, you still second-guess yourself. At the end of the day I always tell myself, I know what’s best for my boy - there is a high likeliness I don’t really know, but at least I’ll fuck it up and look confident at the same time.

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My wife and I always said to each other when things got tough: "it’ll pass”. It kept us sane through sleep regressions, teething and those awful car journeys that felt like they’d never end. It’s so true as well! I say it to myself now whilst our newest little boy screams in my face at 3.24 am - it will pass, it will pass.

The challenges you face as a parent are monumental and at times you really feel tested. When your child is smearing yoghurt into your hair whilst you calmly try to wipe the excess dinner up, you just need to remind yourself that it’s all good- It’s making you a better person!

In the wise words of Coldplay, “nobody said it was easy” being a parent. Obviously, Chis Martin and co. weren’t directly referring to parenting here, but it’s so fitting. Apart from those annoying people who say everything is easy (liars) being a parent is seriously tough at times.

After another night of no sleep, you may need to remind yourself you’re not in fact being tortured by the CIA. Things can sometimes feel like they’re building up and sometimes you need to take a deep breath and say, “it’s going to be OK.”

Ironically, reminiscing about a time before babies can snap you out of a bad spell. You quickly realise how far you’ve come and how good of a job you’re doing in comparison to your carefree/childfree self. Looking back can be a great way of helping you focus on moving forward!

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