Why I Don't Care About Conforming Anymore

by Adam Riches

When you first become a parent, you can easily become pressured to conform. We live in a world that is dominated by social media, flooded with perfect pictures and advice on what constitutes perfection. It can be hard to lose yourself in the white noise, especially in the first few months (or even years) of being a parent.

The thing is, there comes a point where you stop giving a sh*t. I have to admit, it took me a little while, but there are a number of things that I have realised since becoming a dad that you have no control over...so I’ve stopped worrying.

Don’t try predicting

There’s a reason people say don’t work with animals or children on stage - they’re unpredictable. No matter how the most “honest” mummies and daddies paint their staged lives on social media, children can be utter catastrophes at times...and that’s totally ok. Accepting the unpredictable nature of your child is the only way you can stop yourself worrying about what they’re going to do. Just because they like thing one day, doesn’t mean they’re going to like it another - just a warning.

It’s always worse when it’s your own

When our lad was little, we took him to swimming lessons. He was 12 weeks old and we were convinced he’d love it. He fcking hated it. He screamed from start to finish and single-handedly ruined every other parent and child’s’ experience...or so I thought. Looking back on it, he didn’t. In fact he just kind of grizzled a bit but because he was my child, it seemed so much worse. If I really reflect, all of the babies grizzled and actually what our little boy did was totally normal.

To routine or not to routine

Seeing that Perfect Laura’s child has slept all night can seriously make you think you need to parent in a certain way. Sleep is something that so many parents think they have to ace, and there’s nothing worse than seeing other people are (allegedly) winning when you’re very much not. With so much conflicting advice, parents can have a real pressure to conform...but with what specifically? There is no right or wrong way to parent - it’s about what works for you. If you live a routined life, use a routine. If you don’t, then don’t worry!

It’s going to be hard

Something I know both me and my wife felt was the need to make it seem like we had our sh together. In a lot of ways we did, but we had a hard time when our boy was first born - don’t we all?! That pressure of seeming like your conforming can drain you further than you already are. When your sleep-deprived, emotionally drained and on your last legs, don’t fake a smile, ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with waving the white flag from time to time, in fact, in the long run, it’ll mean you’re saner!

Conforming isn’t something you have to do. Just remember that!

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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger & Teacher
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

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