Out of all the bloggers I’ve met along the way, I feel like I know Vic the best. We’ve met ONCE. I think it’s the shared marketing background, that Kiwi connection, our similar outlook on life.
Apparently she sees me as a younger version of herself (she told me that once), and I’m just fine with that.
The Battle Hymn of the Vixen Mum
When Milk asked me to join in with this week long confessional about shit/real mothering, I jumped at the chance, but with one reservation. Which episode of slackness would I choose out of my 18 years’ worth of parenting?
Would I retell the tale of how I left my newborn son in the changing room at a local store and walked off down the road feeling surprisingly lighter? I did return of course, and I don’t think the separation anxiety that plagued him throughout his toddler-dom was at all related to this incident.
Would I confess how I rushed back from a meeting, dressed in corporate suit and heels, for the mummy’s coffee morning and after dutifully placing son on his rug on the floor, promptly stood on him as I jumped up to grab a coffee? Owww!
Or would I explain about that day when I was sick to death of Dark Princess (then aged 4) whining in the car? As she moaned incessantly, I fired a warning shot – “Be quiet or I will let you out and you’ll have to walk home.” She didn’t. I did. She walked (for a bit) sniffing back tears as I drove down the road without her.
Yeah, so many examples of slack parenting!
Yet, am I really so different from everyone else? In a world of helicopter parents and Tiger Moms, I’ve had to learn my own style of parenting. I did the research when I was pregnant, reading all that ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and ‘The first nine months’ had to offer. Then I had my son, and the next day I threw the books out the window. My practical examination in parenting, has lasted eighteen years so far, and it’s been the hardest vocational test I’ve ever undertaken.
At times I’ve struggled with the rules and my inner rebel has railed against the ‘done thing’. Why should all children have to get their first tooth before they’re two? Will he one day walk down the aisle with his bride, toothless? Why do all Mums have to be completely selfless, espousing a ferocious martyrdom not seen since Joan of Arc? If your little toe-rag is mean to you, shouldn’t you tell them that was mean? Shouldn’t you explain that Mum’s have feelings, the Mums hurt sometimes, that Mums have to say sorry sometimes too?
Over the years I’ve developed my own style of parenting. It’s not the live-through-your-children style of the Tiger Mom, nor is it the anxiety disordered style of the helicopter parent. Nope, I call it the Vixen Mum style of parenting. And this is the Battle Hymn of the Vixen Mum:
1/There are no words more powerful in the English language than ‘I love you’. Use them with care and meaning.
2/Sorry is a hard word to say, but a remarkable life-changing word to hear.
3/Never stop learning. Life is the only journey you’ll ever take where the destination is not as important as the journey.
4/You can tell a great deal about someone by how they treat animals.
5/Be kind to yourself. Forgiving, and understanding. Remember that loving yourself is not conceit, it’s preservation.
More advice on parenting: