I am not going to shock you or the world when I answer this one as a big fat Capitalized NO!
Now I am generally upbeat as opposed to negative on the world but I had an epiphany the other night when Etta was screaming at me for more cuddles before bed, it felt like she had me check mate. If I were to say no then I have rejected my daughters wish to cuddle up with her daddy and then have an angry slightly over tired 3 year old in all sorts of the wrong mood to face bedtime but if I say yes it immediately contradicts that I have said its bed time. We were on our fifth last last patchwork pals (current pre bed tv show) which is about normal and letting her sit and have a cuddle meant backing down when we are trying to teach her when no means no etc.
Faced with this dilemma I thought about sitting there and having a discussion about us having one more cuddle once I moved her to bed and read her a story but then I realized since she has been in her new bed we have a rule of not getting into bed with her. That rule exists as we have co-slept on our travels for the last 4 months. Again catch 22! When can we ever win at this parenting thing, there is a downward spiral that steepens far too quickly, the slippery slope is downright vertical!
We had tears and trying to set precedence won out over cuddles, naturally, Alice and I felt awful once she was asleep and sat on the sofa far too contemplative, probably wasting a good half over getting over the parent guilt and thinking we are bad parents.
I remember my old physic teacher quoting what I think is Newtons 3rd law(yep googled that I just knew it was physics) “To every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction” and just feeling that for every choice we make that’s good there is a downside somewhere further down the line.
Do we all suffer from the same choices as parents? Yes
Can we do anything differently to escape it? Nope
Do we all feel guilt? Yep
Are we all bad parents? Of course not
Do we ever win at parenting? No
So probably the most depressing piece I have ever written but the real reason I wrote this is that I feel kinda enlightened, since not beating myself up about making wrong choices I am more zen about things. We can’t win so great I am not losing, once you realize that you’re not losing at parenting by not winning at it you realize that life is once again good. Taking away the negative or in fact beating it makes me feel totally positive about the choices we make, sure we get choices right and sure we make bad choices but so does every other parent.
Keep going, breath, make mistakes but learn from them. That’s all folks and if you disagree then let me know, if you feel a hollow shell of a parent like me then let me know.
Enjoy the long weekend x