My son, Carter, was born on 5 May 2015. And that’s the day I stopped being a perfect parent, because, suddenly I was an actual parent. I cringe now, at my absolute naivety and the way I judged other moms and dads before I had a baby. I would side eye my husband when I saw a baby with a dummy in its mouth and kick him under the table when a two-year-old was still wearing nappies. I silently criticised the parents of kids who threw tantrums, and was the first to roll my eyes at the mom who left a dinner early because she just couldn’t get her child to sleep. (Yes, I was totally convinced that given a camp-cot and a mattress, a child would absolutely simply just fall asleep anywhere).
When I was a perfect parent I always thought I would get it all right. That my baby would only have a dummy when he slept (he’s pretty much had it in his mouth for 14 months now), that my kid would be potty trained in 72 hours (who knows, I’m not there yet but chances are high with his stubborn streak, he will be in nappies when he’s seven) and that should my child ever throw a tantrum, that one swift bottom smack would sort him out in no time. Not surprisingly, my imperfectly perfect child was born, and there are days when his constant whining makes me want to give him away (today), days when he doesn’t nap and days when all he eats are Cheerios and lint off the carpet.
I bought him his first fruit juice today, because I’m tired of him not drinking and am seriously worried about dehydration, and laughed at myself in the shops as I stood there reading the labels of the juice, looking for sweetness over nutrition. Because, I’m not a perfect parent… I’m just a parent trying to make it work as best I can.
By Kate Kearney