The lies we tell ourselves

16 03 2013

Perfect Parent

At work today I was feeling quite smug after dealing with the challenging behaviour of one of my more enthusiastic students. Before I could stop myself, I not only imediately entertained the lie that entered my mind, but even worse, I uttered it aloud and in the hearing of my colleagues.

“Kids are easy to deal with; I’m going to be a great Mum”

My colleagues laughed and colour rushed to my face. I suspect that this statement will come back to haunt me at some point in my future life especially as I realised I was only half joking.

I think there must be something in our genetic make-up that convinces us that we are the exception to all of life’s major rules. With regards parenthood it seems that when you reach a certain age, a light flickers into existence bringing with it the certainty that ‘things will somehow be different for you’. Despite all evidence to the contrary, common sense evaporates at this point and leaves in its wake the faith that you will be the best parents on the planet and that problems encountered – by ALL other parents in existence – are due to the fact that they are not equipped with your unique skill set.

This starts long before couples decide to start a family.

For years my husband and I have sneered at parents unable to control their children’s tantrums in shops and restaurants – after all we have watched Super Nanny Jo Frost numrous times so we would know exactly how to address this negative behaviour and put an end to it with minimal fuss, perhaps even encouraging a standing ovation from witnesses of our parenting skill.

Of course our children will be well mannered, docile and compliant, because we will have taught them well and they will know that type of behaviour is and is not acceptable.

Our kids will also think we are cool – this is without question. After all we listen to rock music, have both ‘considered’ getting tattoos and we both wore our hair in dreadlocks at one stage in our early 20’s. With this rich history and experience of living life and being young at heart, our children will aspire to one day be as cool as we are – won’t they?

Also; despite having spent my entire adult life trying to avoid pregnancy, there is no doubt in my mind that the second I decide it is convenient and I actually want to be a Mum, it will happen instantaneously. I have no specific reason to suspect that my ovaries will share my sense of urgency when the time comes, or that my husband’s ‘little swimmers’ will have the super human power and speed that is expected of them (rivalling even ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ superman). When I set my mind to something I expect it to happen yesterday and as I have had such a cavalier attitude towards starting a family for so long – always citing the justification that “there is plenty of time” – Mother Nature will no doubt adhere to whatever schedule I deem appropriate.

Immediately following the moment of conception I will instantly eliminate all bad habits and turn into Martha Stewart with a beautiful, organised, clean and tidy home. I will develop the desire and inclination to bake stuff and prepare homemade jams and marmalades for the breakfast table. I will have a talent for knitting and a thirst to undertake craft projects involving sugar paper, sticky back plastic and copioys volumes of glitter.

Then there is the process of giving birth – come on now, it can’t really be that bad or people would stop doing it!

My children will obviously be high achievers at school and excel in the creative arts. My calendar will be filled with reminders of the numerous concerts, plays and art exhibitions I will be expected to attend and this will only increase when the board of governors or parents teachers association begs me to join them and offer my guidance and expertise once they have discovered that I am such an inspirational Mother who has raised and nurtured such a wonderful family.

My common sense approach, patience and wisdom will ensure that I am in equal measures: nurturer, guru, sage, mentor, teacher and friend.


While my head is currently residing in ‘cloud cuckoo land‘ regarding the demands of bringing up a young family, my more grounded colleague pointed out that ‘good’ children would bore me to tears and that without a little bit of naughtiness my offspring would lack personality.

This is perhaps true. But for now I am holding on to the lies I keep telling myself because if parenting is as hard as actual parents make it sound – I think I will stay as I am…CHILDLESS.

I'm part of Post A Day 2013




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