We got round to watching this week’s Doctor Who on Sunday evening. After a hectic, but fun family Sunday with old friends, which entailed stopping toddlers from fighting and trying to make them eat, we settled in for an iPlayer moment and a hot chocolate. (It’s just so rock and roll in our household!). I was trying not to keeping thinking about morethanamumblog and just to relax and enjoy sitting on the sofa with the long-suffering husband, but even Doctor Who conspired to trigger the mummy blogger in me and I had to run and get my new notepad (more of that in a later blog!) and make few notes.
If anyone else saw the episode you are likely to realise that it was pretty early on when the inspiration struck. If you’re not a Who fan, then just a brief outline. James Cordon helps the Doctor save the world, but despite his apparently poor parenting skills at the beginning, it is his love (the Doctor explains it in a much more scientific manner at the end, but resorts back to love for us mere humans to understand) for his son which saves the day.
The sight of James Cordon, surrounded by mess, desperately trying to persuade everyone that he was “coping” made me remember those first few days, weeks, months with a new baby. “You read all the books and they tell you you’ll know what to do, it’ll be fine if you follow your instincts. I have no instincts.” Says Cordon, looking unkempt and at the end of his tether. Brilliant; it must have been written by a parent. No matter how much of an earth mother (or father) you may be, we all have those days. Those days when we wish we were like the Doctor and could speak baby, but know full well that we can’t. Those days when it feels like you know nothing about parenting, and if the baby could talk it wouldn’t tell you what it needed but that you are a crummy parent. But, take heart; we do all have those days!
One thing I used to do early on, and still do sometimes, was Google the issue. Often it wasn’t finding a solution that made me feel better. One thing I’ve learnt about parenting over the last 30 months (not long, but long enough!) is that there rarely is one easy solution. No matter what parenting manuals promise, every baby is different; every parent is different; every family is different. Some things work for some people. If they don’t work for you, you can bet your bottom dollar that’s not because you’re any different to a massive chunk of the population, it’s just because parenting doesn’t come in a one-size-fits all mould. Although I may have Googled to try and find the solution to various problems and even tried many of the ideas which were sold as the cure, it was finding out that I wasn’t the only Mummy struggling with a particular issue that made me feel better; realising that I was no different to many other Mums and Dads; all of us just muddling along.
So, my advice if you’re worried about something is Google it, by all means, but when it’s really getting to you, take a leaf from the Doctor: put your finger to your lips and ‘shhh’ all thoughts of yourself as a bad parent from your head. We all get it wrong some of the time, but (cue cheesy comment – sick bags ready) it is the fact that you love your child that it will all come out in the wash. Oh, and sometimes it is easier once they learn to talk. At least then they can tell you what’s wrong…even if you do still have to tell them it’s not allowed!