Is basic parenting really that hard?


This post is a bit off piste for me really, it’s not really something I would blog about but then I saw the post that everyone is sharing and commenting on from the Sanctimommy page on Facebook. You know, the one where the woman with a 2 week old baby has a ‘rant’ about parenting martyrdom.

Image via Facebook

I’ve also seen all the people laughing and leaving their comments about how this is going to come back and bite her in the behind because what does she know – she’s only been a parent for 2 minutes and has NO CLUE.

Maybe it will.

But then again maybe it won’t?

Maybe she’ll be one of the lucky ones that parenting comes easy to, or maybe she’s one of life’s natural jugglers? Who knows, only time will tell but I can see where she is coming from – and I can say this with 10 years of parenting experience behind me!

The things she describes in that post? It may be slightly controversial but I mostly agree with her (though I don’t agree that mums are lazy) When I had friends with newborns and toddlers at the same time as me and they used to complain they’d spent all day in their PJs because they couldn’t find time to shower, or brush their hair, or put on make-up  I did use to think “Say what?!”.   I had the same thoughts when friends told me they had no time to cook dinner, regardless of how stressful my day with two children under the age of 3 was, there was always dinner made – maybe it wasn’t always on time and maybe on a bad day it consisted of a jar of pasta sauce and some garlic bread but we still ate pretty well.

You can call me sanctimonious or smug if you like however these things didn’t seem that difficult.

I’m not saying there weren’t bad days every now and again – of course there were – I had a baby through to his toddler years that probably could have broken the Guinness World Record for most hours of crying, ever. There were days when, yes, my toddlers smushed biscuits in the carpet or scribbled on the walls because I was preoccupied but I quickly learnt, as do most parents, that the best way to avoid chaos is to occupy your children, however small. My favourite tactic for this while making dinner? I used to sit them in the high chair where they could watch me and I could interact with them, while they nibbled on raisins or fruit or bashed one of those toys around that suckered onto the tray. Or as they got a little older, did some scribbling, play doh or paint. It worked for us, and you do what works don’t you?

“Food is eaten at the table, not while running through the house” I hear ya sister (though, yeah, with a 2 week old, you’ve not really experienced this yet my love…) Food is eaten at the table every night in my house. My children have learnt table manners. Sometimes I am astounded by other children on play dates, at parties and don’t even get me started on restaurants. Please. Pick your battles and all that, but allowing children to run around during meal times? There’s no excuse in the world that will make me think that’s acceptable.  And yes, if you allow your children to torment other people in cafes and restaurants while basically turning a blind eye, I WILL judge you #sorrynotsorry.

There IS a bit of martyrdom going on in the parenting world. It used to be quite the opposite. When you were all bleary-eyed of a morning, you used to get hit with how good a sleeper someone’s child was now it seems to be oneupmanship on who has had the least amount of sleep or who has the fussiest eater. Sometimes I almost feel forced to make something up and say something bad about my children (though the crying things is all true – they should use that as a method of torture).

With hindsight, whilst the years with babies and toddlers felt hard they were nothing compared to the juggling I have to do now the children are older, have endless after school activities, friends round, birthday parties, homework, school trips, school dress up days…. and I’m working near full-time. It’s now I am more likely to say “stuff tea, lets get a takeaway” because it’s 9pm and I have not sat down since I finished work at 3pm!

I feel this poor woman has had a bit a rough deal if I’m honest. Sure, she’s got a lot to learn but on the other hand, perhaps an attitude like this will get her through – instead of feeling like you can’t do something, perhaps the mentality of “I’m not going to be like that ” actually goes some way to helping you feel in control? PMA and all that shizzle.

All I can say is good luck to this lady!

Mrs m sig.png

26 Comments on “Is basic parenting really that hard?”

  1. I read this post and chuckled – I honestly feel that she doesn’t have a clue after 2 weeks.
    Like you, I am always up and dressed, kids eat at the table and agree that occupied children are better behaved children. However, I have also learned that kids can be stealth like, silent bombs of destruction. Like the time I went to the loo and Eliza painted the sofa, windows, ipad and windows in sudocrem (its now hidden in the highest reaches of the cupboard. It is also impossible to clear toys as, as soon as you pack one thing away they have something else out behind you.
    Parenting isn’t easy – you just wait until the teenage years ;0)

    1. And that’s what worries me! For me, it seems to get harder and harder – I look back on toddler life and think “man, I wish I could have that part again” where we just stayed at home and dibbled in paint all day. If anything, I find them more demanding now they are older and supposedly “independent”!

      PS We’ve ALL had the Sudocrem moment haven’t we? I found my son in bed asleep one night smothered in it!

  2. I hear what you are saying I really do. I think the thing about the post that has got so many of us riled up is referring to mothers as lazy. That’s what struck a chord with me. I absolutely managed to shower, have a meal on the table etc etc when my son was 2 weeks old. He’s now 2 and yeah I still manage all of those things, there later, quicker, and not how it use to be. I wish the lady well, and I agree that you shouldn’t use your children as an a excuse for things like that but on the other hand, being a mum is bloody hard. I wish I could go back to the 2 week old baby days. She has gotten a tough time and I agree with her in the sentiments behind parenting, i just perhaps think she could have worded it better and not insinuated that most mothers are lazy. But freedom of speech and being in the moment isn’t a crime and everyones entitled to their opinion. 🙂

    1. Yep, like I say above, I don’t agree with the lazy part, I don’t think it’s laziness at. All the comments I’ve seen though have been about “joining the unwashed” etc Like it’s a badge of honour to spend all day in your onesie.

      Being a mum IS hard, and I said in a comment above, I think it gets harder as they get older. Though it’s less acceptable as you get older to say that you’ve just not had time to shower or shop – I think by the time they get to school age you’re presumed to be an expert juggler!

  3. I think the bigger issue is when parents judge each other. We’re all different, we all have different skills, houses (maybe she lives in a one bed tiny flat) and children! I had twins, I can barely remember the first few months of their lives it was such madness. Some days all I did was feed them, when one was finished I started with the other, then back to the first, they were slooooooow feeders. But if you can have a happy baby and an immaculate house etc, more power to you! If you can’t but you have a happy baby (which ultimately seems to be the real goal) more power to you too! I hate one-upmanship in parenting too, if you’re happy and your kids are happy then great, do whatever works for you and causes you the least stress. Incidentally I love spending the day in my lounge pants, but that’s nothing to do with having kids, I just like being comfy at home 🙂

    1. Haha, if I could spend all day in a onesie I probably would, but it would be choice rather than me saying “I didn’t have time” to get changed. Hats off to twins though, I can imagine in a twin situation life is pretty chaotic!

  4. Parents shouldn’t judge each other (it’s hard not too sometimes) but her post is very naive and judgemental. All parents are different, we should celebrate that and not criticise it xx Our world was turned upside down!

    1. I agree on the judgement. All parents are different – which I guess is my point really, who is to say that she won’t sail through or struggle at all!

  5. Oh dear poor woman, two weeks in and she’s so in control.I just hope her baby stays perfect. Meals at the table of course we do that with Bear so why do I have handprints on my TV? Patio doors? Walls? Sudocreme you lucky people. I remember poo, on the walls and under his nails. He’d got a handful from his nappy and smeared it everywhere.Two weeks in, sorry it just makes me giggle. I can’t wait until that baby is walking.

  6. I for one say, do not judge until you have been there. With 2 under 14 months life was challenging, but it does get easier. She really has no idea or RIGHT to judge with just 2 weeks under her belt

  7. I don’t think she has a clue about what is to come. I agree it gives no excuse to become lazy buy let’s face it a 2 week old does nothing but eat and sleep most of the day so I’m sure she has lots of time on her hands. Wait till the baby is older and on the move. Wait till she has another child. This post will definetley come back and bite her in the arse x

    1. Oh my word, I found it easier when my husband went back to work, I couldn’t wait to be on my own and get into some kind of routine. Having a man around was like having another child! (And I had no other help whatsoever!)

  8. I think for me it was the fact she choose to write it and judge other parents. Everyone is in a different situation which she was too callous and ignorance to acknowledge. If she finds she has the best behaved baby ever and a husband who doesn’t trample through the house in dirty shoes whilst leaving a constant trail of clothes, tissues, keys, mail then lucky her. My mother-in-law advised me to put my son in his high chair, as she had done with hers, but changed her mind once she saw him climb out of it at six months old. Finally she admitted there was nothing I could do except watch him all the time!

  9. I dont have kids but have nieces and nephews and from my limited experience, everything is trial and error, no one is perfect, you can only do your best and if at first you dont succeed bribery is just bloody brilliant x

  10. I think its the critical tone that probably got everyones back up – most of us manage the things mentioned most days ( we all have a bad day from time to time where not everything gets done!). I dont like parent bashing – so good luck to her, and good luck to those of us who do our best but dont always hit perfect too!

  11. Ha ha – I like the way she uses ‘lazy’ as though it were an insult. I just wish I had the time to be lazy these days! Slouching around in my jammies for the day would be blissful….what’s not to love about a day spent in PJs, with pizza for tea? 😉

    1. Haha, good point. I don’t have time to be lazy either! A day in PJs? Unless I’ve got the flu, that isn’t going to happen…and then I’d still have school run to do…

  12. This is an interesting one. I’ve read this post and there are a breed of mother’s who have children and within a few weeks think I’ve cracked this what’s so hard. Now, my eldest is now 18 and he was a text book baby and never gave me any trouble. The hardest bit was when he became a teenager, and he wasn’t even a particularly difficult one. My daughters I have had much later in life, and they have presented us with issues around sleeping and feeding. It’s been challenging at points. I’d be interested to know how this woman feeds her child, as there is a difference between bottle and breastfeeding. It’s not that one is better than the other, but you will definitely get more sleep and get more organised if you bottle feed. I think that sometimes, it’s best to keep things to yourself until you’ve walked down the road to at least the first junction.

    1. Do you know what? You might have hit the nail on the head. I was a bottle-feeder and could explain why it was easier for me to get into a routine!

  13. I hadn’t seen this post, thank goodness. I wish we could all just do what we do, never mind what others are doing, and get on with parenting our own children! I mean her – not you!! Kaz x

  14. I don’t like the tone of that FB post at all. It riled me big time. Who does she think she is to insult other mums. I think everyone is different. Some struggle some don’t. Bully for her she’s ‘managed’ to get enough sleep… some babies don’t sleep at all,mine were all non sleepers. Some poor mums who’re trying to breastfeed and have sore nipples, recovering form birth/c-section, have no help and it all gets too much. That’s not their fault. I have 4 children and my twins were my last two. Yes I managed to shower and make dinner (I had two older kids remember to feed) and I managed to ferry said older ones to after school activities with TWO babies in tow. It was bloody tough I can tell you and my house WAS a mess most of the time because I put the needs of myself and my children first. Pft – this woman WILL eat humble pie at some point I guarantee it. She needs to get over herself, I don’t think for one minute Mums ‘use’ parenting as an excuse to be lazy. x

  15. You could well be right, Mrs M, she may have made some accurate observations. However, I think what will always wind people up on the ‘net is feeling judged. Particularly by someone who admits they have next to no experience. Had she worded it differently, she may have got a different response, but it did come across as rather… confrontational, I’m afraid!

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