I can’t quite get my head around the fact it’s January. Not only that, but it’s 2017. It feels like only yesterday that I was a 17 year old youth, celebrating the Millenium at a neighbours house party that the majority of the street were attending, I was desperately trying hard to pull this lad without my family noticing , at the same time as trying to drink a man under the table who would more often than not, given the chance, put beer on his bran flakes. Anyway, just as I was sealing the deal, I leant in for a drunken snog…and chucked my guts up all over him, the neighbours carpet and anywhere else bar the toilet.
Safe to say, since then, I’ve mastered the art of not making a fool of myself of New Years Eve, by staying in. I’ve never enjoyed my turn of a New Year nights more since being with Paul, cosy nights in with a bottle of wine are more my cup of tea now. I say bottle of wine, this year, I stuck to Lemonade and even then, I almost drank the candle instead by mistake.
Now as I said in the previous post, I’m not one for making resolutions, I can’t keep to them so I’m still focusing ahead on not spending anything we don’t need. I mean, yes, I always need new shoes but I’m going to resist temptation and try to get some wear out of the 50 pairs that are sitting under my bed.
I am however, trying to start my year as I mean to go on. By not fitting in with the crowd. Staying true to who am and not even slightly attempting to be something I’m not.
Therefore, normal service will resume and I will continue to be a royal pain in the arse on a daily basis.
Lately, I’ve received some really lovely messages from parents on Instagram, I’ve also seen some worrying 15 second videos of parents upset because of the pressure social media puts on us as parents.
It’s no secret, I’ve always posted photos of my daughter and my two stepchildren, lately, I’ve tried not to do that so much as they just don’t want to be photographed every single day of their life and trying to get a natural photo is pretty hard when they spend every day in their babe caves or in George’s case, his man cave. Now I’m not against anyone posting photos of their children at all, in fact, I love getting to know people I follow, watching their families grow and seeing what they get up to. I actually applaud the parents who share snippets of their life with us all
But, when I get these messages from other Mums who say they feel pressured to post the perfect photos of their children, it makes me feel sad. Sad and emphathetic because I too, feel exactly the same as them at times.
It’s so easy to constantly photograph one part of the house that always looks the tidiest, why do you think you only ever see my living room? But just as it’s easiest to only post the tidy bits, it’s also easy to photograph the good bits of parenting, the cute bits, the bits with the family get togethers and the kids on Daddy’s knee. Put it all together and we instantly assume that persons account we obsess over , has the perfect life (bollucks so they) . Then we end up questioning if we are doing the wrong thing, why don’t our kids sit still on Daddy’s lap for a photo? Well, if I sat my 13 year old on her Dads lap I think she’d soon send me to my room without any tv before bed, I shit you not, she would.
I see these accounts on Instagram and I look at all the peoples comments – “You’re so amazing”, “you have the perfect house/family/cat/dog and fucking milkman” , “you inspire me to be a better parent”…
Hold the hell up there…inspires you to be a better parent? Are you shitting me? You are telling me that seeing those little squares of happy faces makes you wish you could parent your child better? In five years time, ask your child if he/she feels that because you followed Fanny fucking Adams on Instagram, it made him/her love, respect and appreciate you more? Expect to be met by a bewildered “piss off Mum and make my coco pops” look (yes, 10 year olds will look at you like that and that’s something you’ll have to deal with).
The blunt truth of the matter is, you are the only person responsible for the way you parent, you and only you. Yes, take advise from those little squares, those boxes of salvation and solice away from teething babies and shitty nappies, take inspiration from the cute little outfits or the nice home decor but do not, I repeat, do not, let yourself feel that you are any less than the best parent you can be just because someone photographs it better. Just give each other a virtual high five, a positive exchange and carry on as you are.
I’m a Mother to a hormonal 13 year girl who genuinely believes she’s right every time and the world owes her a favour, yet she’s also the kindest soul and the most hilarious bandy legged, less than 5ft ray of sunshine. There a days when she makes me want to lock myself in a room with a white coat, and then there are days where I just sit staring at her in amazement, amazed that in less than 3 minutes, me and her Dad managed to create this beautiful young lady. I don’t need photos on Instagram to remind me of that, and I don’t need other accounts that portray the perfect parent and child relationship to tell me what I already know.
I’m like every other parent out there, winging it on a daily basis and feeling crap because her stepdad knows she hates white bread now and I don’t.
My advise to all those wonderfully amazing parents will always be the same. You are in control here, parent the way you want, don’t let anyone make you feel worth less than you are as a Mother or Father because honestly, photographs don’t tell a real story each and every time.
Instagram is pretty much like Towie. Only some of what you see if real, the rest of it, is for your entertainment.
Now crack on with this wonderful New Year safe in the knowledge that you’ve got this shit, just as I have. Wipe your child’s snot off your cheek, embrace the spaghetti hoop from your hair and dance around the kitchen in your pants with the kids, because really, those are the bits that make you the parents you are. The parents who rock the arse out of their children’s world.
P.S, I definitely spent ten minutes today snooping through my daughters stuff for evidence of a boyfriend.