The 9 Things I Wished (and Believed) I Wouldn’t Do as a Parent
The 9 things I thought I wouldn’t do as a parent but here I am, a mum like many others, doing just that and smiling over it.
“Mum, when I grow up I’m so not letting my children out late at nights and will keep them under my nose so they never have freedom like me,” blurted my daughter. What?! Did I hear that correctly?
I suddenly had flashbacks of myself as a teenager, making mental notes of the things I wouldn’t do as a parent. I never wanted to be a control freak with constant rules set around my home, but ironically my children have saved my name on their mobile contact lists as ‘dictator’ instead of mum.
I was therefore forced into rethinking my parenting skills as my daughter was judging me for the freedom (or lack of it) that I had given her. Was there a better or more perfect parenting guide that I should have followed? Still, I feel that there isn’t any reason for being guilty about the methods I‘ve chosen to raise my kids.
As I point out my parenting woes – the 9 things I thought I wouldn’t do as a parent, I am aware that each child is different and, as parents, we only mean well.
1. I’m never going to be a ‘drama mamma’ who would emotionally blackmail her children.
“How could you walk out of the house dressed like a clown?!”
“What will other people say?”
“Is this how you repay us, your parents?!”
“You don’t love me enough when I’m ill!”
Yes, I constantly gripe, complain and play self-pity without giving it a second thought. Often, without realising it, I make my children feel that they are insensitive and uncaring towards me — and my tears are helpful in reinforcing those feelings. Guilty mum here!
2. I will not preach what I don’t practice.
I’m constantly throwing rules that I don’t follow myself at the children.
- No television during meals or no eating on the bed
- To keep mobiles and laptops away during meals
- To have a decent amount of sleep and avoid late nights watching soccer matches
The list is long and I definitely have double standards because I’m guilty of doing all of it. My Sunday scene usually consists of breakfast in bed, chatting on my mobile and having very little sleep because I’d stay up late at night watching soccer or partying away.
3. I will not show my frustration towards my children in public.
I have been insensitive enough to judge many mums who slapped their children publicly and secretly wished for them to get arrested for child abuse. However, I must confess that I would probably have found myself behind bars a couple of times for similar things. It’s completely embarrassing and frustrating when your brat refuses to stop kicking their feet in the air while laying on the floor screaming for a toy. One’s instant reaction could be a spank and if your presence of mind is further put to the test, your hands may even end up slapping the child. Tsk tsk!
4. I will not indulge in a barter system and bribe my children.
As bad as it may sound, this method is sure to push your child to walk that extra mile — in exchange for something they long for: e.g. an iPhone or Xbox for good grades, or a Saturday night out with their friends if they join a family outing without complaining. In my experience, the exchange is successful 9 out of 10 times. So I often resort to doing what is called the easiest but more expensive way out.
5. I will never be a picture-holic mum.
I’m constantly capturing moments with the camera for memories instead of living them. There always seems to be an ‘aww’ moment so I find myself clicking away — but this annoys my children so we often end up with grumpy faces instead of happy ones in our pictures.
6. I will not have a favourite among my children.
Any mum who says that she doesn’t indulge in favouritism is swallowing a lie. The choice, however, may fluctuate — depending on which child rubs you the wrong way, making you have a softer heart for the other(s).
7. I will never allow my kids to eat junk food.
Eventually, I gave in and let the kids have ‘Happy Meals’ once a week so my Sundays would be a break away from the kitchen. A convenient decision made completely for my benefit.
8. I will never use my kids to get away from commitments.
Sadly, at times I lie that my child is ill to avoid responding to undesirable invitations. Sometimes, I even get my kids to answer my calls to tell the caller that “Mum is sleeping.”
9. I will be a friend to my children.
I realised that I will just stay as ‘Mummy’ because my kids already have plenty of friends. I alone am their ‘Mum’ and I would not trade that for anything. My children know that I’m their pillar and they can come to me for absolutely anything. I will react like a mother but my advice will always be solid, and full of love and wisdom.
How about you? What did you say you’d never do as a parent but found yourself doing it anyway? Leave a comment and let us know!