Calling all Parents

A bit like death and taxes being the certainty with life, you can rest assured there are two things we can rely on in motherhood – endless nappies and endless guilt-tripping. The pressure of parenting is palpable – from the magazines we read (who needs to see some celeb emerging with newborn in size 6 skinny jeans, I ask you???) to the school gates where we congregate (often the most bloody of battlegrounds) – we are bombarded with images and examples of how we are supposed to be. But are they realistic?

I’m writng an article for an Irish parenting magazine on the difference between society’s perception of a ‘super mum’ and how we, the actually parents, think.

As part of my little survey , can I be so bold as to ask ye super / semi-super / not super at all parents your thoughts?

  • If you could list three things that make a good parent, what would they be?
  • Is there one area of parenting you feel intimidated in by other parents / magazines (spending time, parties, fashion, academic results, etc)
  • How do you think the media portray ‘good’ parents?
  • What ‘celebrities’ are portrayed as good parents and why?
  • In a rating on 1-10 how would you rate the following in terms of importance (as taken from a widely read magazine) – being a size 8 2 months after birth, child in matching Louis Vuitton accessories, spending quality time with your child…
  • Should we feel guilty for wanting to escape occassionally?

thank you, thank you, thank you.. any other comments very welcome…. one word answers can suffice although any ranting essays are welcome too….

will post up finished article soon. thank you…

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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4 Responses to Calling all Parents

  1. Hi there, my humble thoughts…

    3 things that make a good parent, pretty simple really – love, time and boundaries.

    I don't feel intimidated by other people's parenting skills, we all have our own way. I certainly don't feel that the way someone dresses or their qualifications has any impact on the way they bring up their children. A bigger and better kids party just means that the parents have more money to waste than me, nothing more.

    Do the media portray 'good' parents at all? They seem to be down on mothers from all angles, bad mother if you work, drain on societies resources if you don't, and god forbid you should be a single mum. It would be nice to see some positive portrayals of parents, especially mums.

    The only celebrities that I can think of that are portrayed as particularly good parents are Brad & Angelina. Brad does doting dad well and Angelina for the adoptions and her work as a UN ambassador.

    Being a size 8 3 years after childbirth is sadly unobtainable. Although trying to get back to the size you were pre pregnancy, I would maybe rate as a 5, although I would give myself a more reasonable 6 months to achieve it.

    I have very firm views on any designer clothing on children, can I say 0, if not then 1.

    Spending quality time with your child. 10!

    Should we feel guilty for wanting to escape, no but we do though don't we!


  2. Kate says:

    I think parenting is really tough – see my latest post!! I think It can be genuinely stressful and quite demoralising as well as all the lovely things we know it to be. And I think that if you come to parenthood reasonably late in life when you've travelled, read books, enjoyed a career, enjoyed lie-ins and decadent behaviour, then one can really miss those things however much you adore your kids!!


  3. Aingeal says:

    The last question stood out completely to me other the others. No we shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to escape sometimes. I think it's healthy for both Mum and child(ren) to spend time with other people even if they are used to spending all their time with Mum.


  4. cath c says:

    oh shoot, my computer was acting whacky when i tried to post. if im' not too late….

    3 things – patience for yourself, patience for your kids, patience for everything else that will go haywire

    intimidated area – energy level

    media portrayal – abyssmally unrealisitic or stupifyingly stupid

    celebs – the good parent celebs aren't trotting their kids out in front of the cameras at every turn, and are doing real things with them like walks in the park or ice cream outings if they are out and about at all.

    ratings – QT with child 10, all the rest negligible

    escape – we shouldn't feel guilty but we inevitably do.


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