Certainties of Parenting

It’s a new year and that means lots of reassessment, fresh ideas and approaches. Eat less, exercise more, write a lot, and watch TV less. Mmm, sounds worryingly like last year’s list… and the year before. And actually a lot like the year before that. Less new and fresh, more rehashed and recycled. Maybe it should be called Try It Again Year?

Lots of “oh, I’m going to plan my weekly menu every Sunday so I know what I’m cooking all week”s, and a few “Right, no more chocolate Monday to Friday”s and even a couple of “right, I AM going to get up at 6am and go for a run”s. But while we are busy renewing ourselves, the reality that January 1st is in fact just another day with no actual seismic shift in the universe is demonstrated by our children and the ever constant certainties of parenting that show no regard for new years, never mind new decades.

Despite all my resolutions, the revolution of parenting remains as dormant as the snowdrops. As I contemplated the ten new things I was going to change this year, I realized they have no impact on the ten old things that will stay exactly the same:

1. There will always be another poo-ey nappy to out-stink the one before. It will always be done seconds before you leave the house.
2. Kids will ALWAYS get sick on a bank holiday when the doctors are closed.
3. Kids will always get sick – and pass it on to you – when you have visitors so they all get sick and you get labeled the House of Pestilence.
4. There will always be some smug single man who designs children’s toy packaging for a living. He may even do it as a hobby, since only someone with a passion for destroying the fraught mind and fingernails of mothers everywhere can come up with the engineering feat that requires a screwdriver (I kid you not) to unpack a Peppa Pig toy from the packaging.
5. They will always wake up before me, and I will always want to go to sleep before them.
6. They will never eat their home cooked tea with same wild abandon they eat chocolate and sweets. I will never get over this.
7. There will always be dishes to wash. Always.
8. They will always start screaming and fighting as soon as I start talking on the phone.
9. They will always show up the child in me. The petulant, tantrum throwing, sulky, “It’s MINE!” selfish child that is.
10. They will always make me smile. Even through gritted teeth.

So, five days in, and the hinge has fallen off the chocolate cupboard so often has it been raided in its groaning post-Christmas splendour; I haven’t managed to actually leave the house, let alone go for a run (I’m blaming the pestilence and the snow)…. (and the large amounts of left over chocolate); this is the first thing I’ve written in 5 days (see next excuse); and I’ve got stuck into The Wire series 4 boxset with such vigour the TV is smoking. So on the whole, my Try Again Year has already sludged down the slippery slope to Same Old, Same Old Year. Good to know some things never change. Even in a new year.

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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7 Responses to Certainties of Parenting

  1. cath c says:

    consistency is a good start!

    happy new year!


  2. Happy New Year!

    But don't you find the old certainties kinda comforting? Like an old shoe you want to throw out but it's just soooo comfy?

    Who needs dynamic change anyway… at least when we know what's coming we don't have to think too much!

    Sorry to hear you've all been poorly – hope you're all on the mend xx


  3. Mummy mania says:

    I Know! As much as I like to embrace change and moving forward, I do like to give the old stuff a cuddle too – there's comfort in what you know!


  4. I have not made any new year resolutions as they are always the same as the year before so this way I can't fail, which makes me feel better already. There were alot of parenting certainties in my lfe until my daughter turned six and the goal posts seemed to change – thank goodness!


  5. Diney says:

    I feel for you with the home made meals that the children don't eat with as much enthusiasm as they give to chocolate. My 10 year old is like that. Watching family films last night we noted her eating spinach and chicken and all sorts of wonderful, home cooked pureed food when a baby, and I had such great hopes that she was going to be an easy, healthy eater. WRONG! It's such a pain, isn't it?

    Regarding diet and exercise – I know how you feel, but this weather is so bloody cold that we need the extra layer of subcutaneous fat, don't we?!!!! And tomorrow is another day.


  6. platespinner says:

    This made me smile, especially numbers 4, 6 and 10. The toy packaging is beyond belief. We had to hack our way into an oval shaped box of disney figurines with a knife in the end because there was simply no way in!

    I have made one New Year's resolution: to be more disciplined about writing my book, but it is one I expect I'll break!

    The snow is a brilliant excuse not to go running. Ditto ice. Well, ditto mildly frosty conditions if you're me…


  7. All resolutions broken already so I'm with you on that one. Thanks for following my blog I've done likewise. There's a meme for you over at mine!


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