1) The Oversharer
I had no idea why I thought I wouldn’t be this type of parent? You know, the one who will freely talk about all kinds of medical symptoms, feelings, desires and needs at inappropriate times. Note to self: my in laws do not want to know that I just cried because I found a teeny tiny spot on Joni’s back, convinced myself it was meningitis and spent 40 minutes googling ‘other uncommon symptoms of hideous childhood illnesses’. I already baffle them enough without all this oversharing and emotional-outbursting.
I’ve come to the conclusion though that if you don’t want to hear about my son’s poo or my daughters potential dairy intolerance or how well they’ve slept then it’s best to steer clear – the words just pour out of my mouth before I’ve had a chance to zip it.
2) The Proudest
My children are the best. They are brilliant, and despite their ability to annoy, irritate and aggravate they are awesome. In fact, they are probably the best at all of those things too. I used to eye-roll with the best of them at those parents who thought their child was a genius/most beautiful/funniest etc but now I totally get it because I am that parent and that’s ok – because lets face it, if I am not my children’s number one fan, biggest cheerleader and all round admirer who is going to be? My children are ace-fantastic-awesome and so are yours.
3) The Incessant Updater
What you don’t realise about my facebook/twitter/instagram updates about my children is that you are getting the briefest of highlights. That’s right. Even though I have tweeted nearly 40,000 times, posted 1,375 photos on instagram and a whole load on facebook you are only glimpsing our day to day lives and you are only seeing a very small percentage of the photos I take and thoughts I have. If you don’t like it then mute me or hide me from your feed or something. I love sharing my updates with you (although I have been told that the Disco Poo was perhaps a little close to the wire) because, well, my children are brilliant – aren’t they?
4) The Unkempt
I can honestly say I used to look at mothers sometimes and wonder how on earth they had let them selves go to that degree. I mean, I do draw the line at a boys hair cut (my head and face are huge, it would look absolutely terrible) and fleece but I now completely understand why sometimes us parents do not look our best. Firstly, there is the all consuming, bone aching tiredness that makes it almost impossible to wash one’s hair, put make up on or summon the energy to find non-snot-stained clothing. Those days dry shampoo, sunglasses and a big coat are life savers. Secondly, there is the parental epiphany that it doesn’t matter. Your children (you know, those brilliant little people) do not care if you are dressed in ‘cool’ clothes or if your hair is beautifully styled. They care that you love them, play with them and look after them (and that they make it to nursery on time, as my daughter informed me this morning: ‘it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear Mummy JUST PUT THEM ON AND LETS GO’). Of course, I love it when I have the time to find clean, matching outfits, do my make up nicely and blow dry my hair but life is such that this isn’t always an option and that’s ok. A little unkempt is fine and probably makes the other mothers in the play ground feel better about themselves anyway. (You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming out of the house without mascara on though).
5) The Unsure
‘How hard can it be?’ is the question that every expectant parent asks themselves, with the smug reassuring feeling that the answer to that question is probably ‘not that hard’. When you’ve got through life and managed to get an education or hold down a job or buy a home you can’t imagine that having a child will be too much of a step up. Oh how wrong. The answer is, if you’re doing it properly, very hard. Sometimes – often – very good but at times – also often – very hard. Having children has made me question everything. Suddenly things have more meaning as you have someone who totally relies on you. I have realised that this is a good thing though, I honestly have very little parental guilt because I am sure that I do the right things for my children with the knowledge, skills and information I have at the time. I have made hundreds of mistakes and will make many more because I’m a human with, sometimes huge, flaws. Being unsure of things is excellent – it makes you ask questions and learn and evolve and probably improve too.