I read somewhere that all anyone can expect is to be a good enough parent.
You may not believe that if you read certain newspapers, which think only non-working, tidy mothers who never laugh about the boring minutiae of the daily grind are acceptable.
As a therapeutic example of someone who has managed to parent for the last 18 years, I bring you a heartening list of things that may come up in my children’s future therapy sessions.
Full of love and emotion I told the eldest (aged 2 at the time) “I can’t love you any more” It came out of my mouth meaning, ”I’m utterly consumed with the depth of love I feel for you; I love you so much I simply couldn’t love you any more than I do”.
Yesterday, concerned about future proofing our house I searched on a property website for bungalows.
As I did this the child with the mobility issues who had prompted the search started up the stairs unsupervised and fell down them, backwards, hitting her head hard.
Worried about my oversensitive sons ability to fit in at his new school, I told him to never cry in front of his friends as they would be mean to him.
He probably in my opinion, needed to toughen up and pull himself together. He mashed all of his emotions down as a result and ended up with depression.
His ‘oversensitivity’ turned out to be part of undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome.
A professional told me that the boys problems resembled autism. I thought about it, and disagreed vehemently.
This delayed his chance of having an official assessment and diagnosis with the attached support.
I did this because his younger sister had significant disability and learning difficulties and I could not cope with having two children with additional needs. Please note that my decision did not miraculously cure his autism.
I told Aspie boy (pre diagnosis) to listen better as his ears were big enough. Subsequent testing showed he had significant Auditory Processing problems.
My go to reaction to the cry “but I want it” is “I don’t care what you want”. I suspect that there is a better way to word this while maintaining the upper hand, but it rarely occurs to me.
I can’t lie about my level of interest in computer games, Manga and Anime. I absolutely do not have a poker face; my disdain is clear to see.
In the steely watches of the night these things come back to haunt me. Despite them my children appear to love me, tease me and laugh at me, while largely remembering that ‘I’m the Mummy”
Hopefully these things will build huge reserves of strength and emotional resilience in my dearly beloved?
I am for Good Enough and lashings of love.
I hope my aim is true.
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