Someone said to me the other day:
You have the mum thing down, You are my parenting guru!
Umm. That took a while, to be fair.
The truth of that is that actually, I am on my third attempt at getting the ‘mum’ thing right nearly in my third decade of having offspring (eldest is 28 this year).
Whilst in no way a parenting guru
(they will testify to this)
What I have done, along the way is learned some useful stuff.
When I say I don’t remember ever having to tell the youngest one off – it’s really true.
Like seeing older people who spend their days looking out at the seafront eating ice cream with someone they love…
the secret to life, the Universe, parenting and everything seems, to me – to be about paring things down to their essentials.
To what’s important to you.
Knowing what that is and letting the other stuff go (or getting rid of it) is the vital bit.
And it won’t be the same for me as it is for you.
My parenting non-negotiables have always been this.
(I break them early with a Zero-tolerance policy on that one – it worked;
People have always commented on it and they also go through life with people telling them how lovely to have around and well-mannered they are – double win)
Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
Variable results with each of the three with this one. Once they realise I am detective level at finding things out – it sinks in.
That said, I always did feel a little devastated when I found out they had kept something from me.
I am sure a psychoanalyst could pick that one apart – but it got me right in the chest.
Always say yes if possible.
And I do, practically all the time.
So when it IS a no – I don’t get any nagging.
They’ve never done it, because they know that that would never change.
(otherwise, it just trains them to nag harder)
That’s pretty much it.
So here is how I had to do the Sainsbury’s shop because I lost a bet with Child #3.
And I’d said yes as there was no real reason to say no…
And an invitation for you to start to consider what your non-negotiables are.
And see what else you could let go.