On a trip to the nurse this week (jabs, ugh), the nurse said “Oh I do like it when the expert mums come in, it makes my job so much easier”. I was very quick to correct her that I am far from an expert and would, at best, describe myself as a practising novice. It got me thinking, is that what people see me as? Do people think that because I have created 4 (super amazing) children, that these 4 children are fed and clean (most of the time) and that they say their pleases and thank you’s, that I might have a clue as to what the hell this parenting malarkey is about?! I’m afraid I’m going to have to burst their bubble.
I am not an expert Mum by any stretch of the imagination, and people that do think they are experts at parenting kinda piss me off. To me, parenting is a combination of trial/error and common sense. People think that just because I’ve been there already (in some cases 4 times over), that I’m some sort of aficionado on child rearing. The honest truth is that while I have learnt from mistakes with one child, I have made different ones with the other. Sometimes I make the same mistake time and time again because I have simply forgotten how I did things with the last! Bloody baby brain.
I’m not a fan of giving advice either. It may be that I don’t have much confidence in myself, but I don’t always think that MY way is the BEST way. If asked “what would you do”, I would just relay what I did with each child and see if any of those appealed.
And I’m always trying to learn. Has anyone else noticed that “official advice” changes around every 3 years?! Use cot bumpers, don’t use cot bumpers, wrap them up, don’t wrap them up, wash them with this, no wash them with that. Its always changing!!! Plus, my kids are always growing, always changing and more often than not growing in different ways. Not all children will potty train/wean/walk at the same time as their little brother/sister so don’t assume that what you did last time is going to work this time (case in point being my 3 1/2 year old that still won’t sleep through the night while my 3 month old will). I always have a parenting book on the go, and I always re-read books too. I got “The Baby Whisperer” the other week from the library, only to skim through it as a refresher on what to do with Twiglet to get her into a bit more of a routine. I also got a book about tween behaviour, because knowledge is power!(as is control of the kindle charger).
In summary, no matter how many kids I have, no matter how many different situations I have been in, I am not an expert parent, and I doubt I will ever be.