The expectations on modern mothers are insane, and I for one have had dick of it.
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Something’s got to give, you know?
I don’t remember my mum having to pack me nutritionally sound bento lunches, or ‘bounce back’ to her pre-baby body. There were no Insta-perfect people gracing her eyeballs before she had her morning coffee and when she got home from work, she was home — not working. Personal trainers were for rich people, and kids played with other kids. Remember? Adults who played with kids were weird. And don’t even get me started on eyebrows.
Now, I’m not going to get all we-didn’t-have-so-and-so-and-we-were-fine. That is not my jam, change, technology and overall community evolution are my true loves, AND bento boxes, I bloody love bento boxes. But something’s got to give, you know? Here’s my tried and tested list of ten things that I have come to realise over the past eight years that kids don’t really need.
1. A floor you can eat off
Presuming you own plates, there is no need to have the floor free of any and all forms of bacteria. And I’m not going to tell you that your time would be better spent reading to them or being ‘present’. Nope, do what you wish with your moments but seriously, lay off the floor. Unless cleaning it makes you happy, then, as you were.
2. Brand name cereal bars that are full of sugar
Your kids don’t need them. But they also don’t need green smoothies or kale chips for lunch. These things aren’t necessities; they are choices that we as parents get to make under the umbrella of ‘it’s-unlikely-that-anybody-is-going-to-die-either-way.’
3. A mother who doesn’t believe that she is worthy of adoration
Oh man, this one’s a doozie. Your kids don’t need to be waited on by someone who doesn’t value her own needs. Teach them about respect by having high expectations of how you are treated – by them and everyone else.
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4. Ironed clothes
Hey, it’s nice to have, or so I have heard, but they don’t need them. I don’t even own an iron, and my kids are just fine. Any idiot with a hair straightener can unkink a collar.
5. Eleventy billion after-school activities
Again, let’s file this under ‘nice to have’. Kids do need the ability to learn and be inspired and grow and follow their interests, but that doesn’t need to happen at gymnastics class. If it does, great, but it can totally happen anywhere.
6. Those baby anti-spill cups
You wobble you spill, got it? Cool. Also, while we are on it: plates that suction to the table, crawler knee pads, visors that keep the shampoo out of their eyes, bath thermometers shaped like ducks … the list goes on. These are all cool inventions, but they don’t actually need any of them.
7. A nuclear family
Lots of kids, don’t have ’em. Lots of kids thrive. Please refer to point three.
8. Parents who never fight
Some kids grow up in families who constantly snap at each other. It’s not ideal, and if that’s your home, then you should probably work on that – but it’s really not the be all and end all. If you do fight in front of the kids, just make sure you also make-up in front of them. Awkies, but necessary.
9. A parent who plays tea parties with them
By all means, buy them the tea set, clear their little table in preparation, help them set up their toys in front of the tiny cups. Hell, throw a coffee order their way every so often. But if you don’t enjoy the game, you don’t have to sit and play it. You’re an adult, and that’s OK.
Treating your kids like the world revolves around them isn’t really fair, now is it? Because the world does not, in fact, revolve around them and one day they will figure that out. I feel like the more prepared they are, the smaller that blow will be, ya know?