What is it about parenting that makes normal people so annoying?
I’m a stay at home mum, mainly due to circumstance, I didn’t plan to be, in fact, I never thought I would be but I enjoy it…about 50% of the time. (Is that a bit controversial?? Does it make me a crap parent?) Every day I hang out with my little girl, who is 2 and a half, its a fun age. We bake, colour/paint, watch cartoons, sing, dance, make stuff. I’m not sure if what we do on a daily basis is really preparing her for life when she starts school (which in france is age 3, so, soon!) but I hope so.
Parenting is such a difficult job. (No-ones ever said that before, right?) You’re constantly questioning your abilities, second guessing yourself and always thinking you’re getting it wrong more than you get it right. Well, I think most people are. There are some parents out there however, who think they are super-mums and dads, up there on their high horse, giving advice about stuff they “know for sure, tried and tested” they have figured out. Who’s judging and giving them top marks…anyone?? These people annoy me, I wouldn’t dare claim I’m a supermum let alone give anyone my opinions on their parenting skills.
The other day I read an article about french parenting, published in the Wall Street Journal. The article is about a book by Pamela Druckerman called “Bringing up Bebe”. Druckerman writes about how parents should adopt french child rearing techniques. Her experiences in France have apparently taught her that french kids seem to be superior to american (she’s american) kids, in all areas of life/behaviour. Now, I don’t want to go on about this book, I haven’t read it and don’t know if I ever will, but its causing an uproar at the moment online. I spoke to one of my french friends last night, asked her about her parenting approach and explained this book to her…she laughed heartily, for a long time! Perhaps her little boy is the exception to this and her parenting style the exception, but I doubt it. Her little boy, 9 years old, is adorable but nothing like Druckerman describes.
I don’t think Mark and I ever decided what kind of parents we wanted to be. In the beginning we used common sense and just muddled through, only now, 31 months in, I think we’ve got the hang of it, just about! I think our little girl is a well behaved, well rounded little girl, but according to who? Us, that’s all. Other parents wouldn’t dream of doing some of the things Mark and I do, but it works for us. That’s what’s important here. Do what suits you and your family.
I don’t know if I’m getting it right, maybe its too early to tell?? Today we spent the day at the park, some kids came to play, she played with them, they left, she played alone, played with me, we picked up stones, counted stones, picked up sticks, played catch and hide and seek. That’s normal, right?
After about an hour and a half, I was bored ready to go home, (that’s ok too eh?) She was not ready to go home so with the promise of some cartoons (and a chuppa chupp lollypop), we headed home.
Quite a productive day….I think!?
So there you have it, Parenting 101: No-one has the answers.