Diary of a Dad : Week 32 - You Can't Always Get it Rightby Adam Riches
You can’t always get it right as a parent, it’s as simple as that. Anyone who says they’re acing it is either lying or they are deluded. The thing is, taking the wins when you get them is so important as a parent. The past week or so we’ve had some good (passable) behaviour from the boys and it’s made all the difference...considering they’re normally literally battering each other and causing nothing but carnage.
I know that it isn’t going to last forever, but I’m taking the fact they are getting on as a sign that good things are to come (to confirm, in the background I can definitely hear some kind of biting happening and A LOT of screaming!)
There is this stigma that you have to get things exactly right as a parent. Kids are complicated and you can’t just read a book and suddenly have the answers. Children require more than a bit of theory and a few top tips, you need to be responsive and adaptable and you need to get stuff wrong so you can learn from your mistakes.
Online, there is a lot of pressure to be a certain way. It’s like there’s this weird competition where you get some arbitrary mark for your parenting through the judgement of total strangers/people you used to know but literally don’t give a shit about anymore. It’s that judgement that sometimes makes you feel like you're not doing as well as others. The annoying little comments, “ Oh he’s lively” - roughly translated to, “He’s a fucking nightmare,” or, “ Mine’s sleeping through the night now” which we all know means, “Sleeps for a bit of the night but I’m going to exaggerate as I know yours doesn’t sleep at all.”
The thing is, you need to figure out what getting it right means for you. For me, it’s about having fun, smiling and making the most of being together - that’s what getting it right means. I don’t need validation from others, or other people's definitions of getting it right. So much of the pressure we put on ourselves is created through the accumulation of small things over time. Stripping parenting back and really focusing on what is important means that you re able to build your confidence in what you are doing.
You'll always get the haters and those who think they know best, but just rest assured you're not always going to get it right and that doesn't matter.
Be happy with what you are doing and you’ll massively reduce the pressure on yourself and you will find that parenthood is a lot less stressful...just kidding, it’s still well stressful