This morning I read an article on BBC news titled The ‘perfect’ parent. The purpose of this article, from my understanding, is to reassure parents that there is no perfect parent and it discusses different parenting styles from the worlds many cultures. The article also features a video from American comedy sketch group The BreakWomb. The sketch tells the tale of 3 mums at a ‘Mom’s support group’, admitting to lies they have told to their friends and family, in a hope to come across as the perfect parent.
I found reading about how parents do things in other cultures very interesting but it was the title of the article that really got me thinking. What is a perfect parent? Is perfect parenting an unrealistic goal for parents to have? Am I perfect? Do I care if other people don’t think I am perfect?
I have lots of questions but not many answers. I have no idea what a perfect parent is, the aforementioned article claims a love of broccoli and our children’s ability to recite Shakespeare are good examples of where Mums and Dads have done a top notch job. Frankly, I couldn’t care less if Leo is able to read A midsummer nights dream to me from memory when he is older. Yes, I would be extremely impressed but I can’t do that and, as it goes, I am a happy, round rounded adult who can think for herself; I don’t think my bad memory when it comes to the work of The Immortal Bard is a result of how my parents bought me up.
To me, my parents are perfect. Well, actually, they are perfectly imperfect and that is why I love them. I had a lovely childhood and I always knew they loved me, they still do of course. Yes, they made mistakes but I am glad they did. They taught me it is OK to get things wrong and how to deal with life when it doesn’t go to plan. My parents would both admit they are not perfect and I am glad they aren’t. I would much prefer to have the parents I’ve got than ones who stressed themselves out beyond recognition to try and achieve the, in my opinion, unattainable dream of perfection.
As for me? No, I am not perfect. How could I be? I am a first time Mum, it would be a miracle if I just knew everything and never made a mistake. I frequently suffer with mummy guilt, if I thought I was doing a perfect job these feelings would not exist. I do my best for Leo, some days I do better than others but I am always thinking of him and do what I can to make him happy. I love him unconditionally, as does his Dad, and it is very clear he loves us too. We are doing all we can to bring him up to be an independent, polite, respectful and happy child.
I never lie about my parenting to others. Yes, sometimes I might feel bad for not being able to get Leo to eat vegetables or for letting him spend hours in front of TV but I would rather talk about these things than pretend I am the type of mother people think I should be.
Will Leo think Oli and I have done a perfect job when he grows up? I don’t know. As long as he looks back on his childhood how I remember mine and is happy then I will be happy too. I don’t know what the perfect parent is, I really don’t think there is such thing. Parent’s bring their children up in all kinds of different ways. Yes, there are, unfortunately, people out there who don’t make good parents but the majority of us, well, I think we are doing just fine.
What do you think? Would you say there is such thing as a perfect parent? Or, do you think we all just need to give ourselves a break and just be happy that our children are happy? Let me know 🙂
p.s In case you are having a bad day, here is a funny video I found a few months ago from The BreakWomb..enjoy!