The things I never thought I’d do as a parent

Are you the parent you always thought you’d be, or do you do things a little differently from how you first intended?

I’ve been thinking lately about all the things I do as a parent that I’m not exactly proud of, and wondering if it’s normal to give up so quickly on so many of your principles. Do other parents set out with an idea of the parent they want to be, only to slip into bad habits the minute their baby is born?

Take food for instance. We know that sugar is Bad and fruit and vegetables are Good. No one wants to be the mum with the kid hanging off a Fruit Shoot right? Yet how many of us can honestly say the snacks we give our children are always quite as wholesome as they could be? Haven’t you ever sat your toddler in a trolley whilst simultaneously cracking open a packet of chocolate buttons, just so you can do at least the first ten minutes of the shopping in relative peace?

I know I have.


Bell’s first food

Baby names are another one. I can’t bear the whole ‘quirky’ kids names thing. Seriously, what child wants to be burdened with a name like ‘Apple’ all their life? It’s just not fair. So what is Belle’s middle name?



She had a pointy pixie ear when she was born, which I thought would grow out. It didn’t. And the worst bit? I love that she’s called Pixie! That makes me one of those jazz hands parents doesn’t it?

And then there are dummies. Before I had kids I hated the sight of a child with a dummy. How common it looked! How lazy those parents must be!

Yes, I really thought that, and don’t pretend you haven’t either. How judgemental we all are! When your baby has been crying for hours on end though, and you’re about ready to bash it with a rolling pin, a dummy is a very sensible alternative.

The truth is that until you become a parent you really just don’t understand. Everyone says that I know, but it’s true. So when you’re next dishing up chicken nuggets in front of the TV, don’t feel too bad – the slip from the parenting pedestal happens to the best of us.

Photo credit – Aljoharah Saud



  1. 21 May, 2012 / 5:44 pm

    I’m sure all parents would identify with some of these things! People also never think about the ‘yucky’ things that are a part of parenthood. To quote my sister “I never thought I’d be picking poo out of a hotel bath plug in an evening dress!”

  2. 21 May, 2012 / 5:50 pm

    It’s a parent’s job (actually, just being politically correct there, it’s a Mother’s job) to beat yourself up over everything and anything – especially your first-born. Have a few more and good enough becomes good enough! Let’s face it, it takes 24hrs to parent a new one, so where do the extra hours come for subsequents? You just lower your standards :)

    • 22 May, 2012 / 5:57 pm

      That’s true – subsequent children are always going to have less of your time aren’t they? 24 hours is barely enough to do everything with one child, so what chance does a second stand!?

  3. 21 May, 2012 / 6:30 pm

    Well said! We pick and choose our battles carefully. Sometimes they even way dinner in front of the Telly…


    • 22 May, 2012 / 5:58 pm

      SHOCK HORROR!! We’d never ever do that. Honest.

  4. 21 May, 2012 / 6:46 pm

    1. While in the queue in Starbucks unashamedly hold up Thrifty Baby and sniff the back of his sleepsuit to see if he’s done a poo. (just, ew)
    2. Stop in the middle of the pavement to adjust pushchair / pick up dropped sock / toy, causing a pile-up of people behind me (sorry!!)
    3. Feeding him Special K, KitKats, tea, donuts… (what, happened to the organic vegetables?)

    All things I swore I’d never do.

    Brilliant post, glad I’m not the only one! (I feel very guilty though for all the times I’ve tutted at mums and been very judgemental) x

    • 22 May, 2012 / 5:58 pm

      Very true – I feel guilty too for all those bad thoughts I had about mummies with dummies!

  5. 21 May, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    still hate dummies in kids walking about and never did that one. can relate to wanting to shut a kid up but as she was 4 weeks old was gonna use a pillow not a rolling pin.
    oh and how people like me hate people like you – chocolate buttons in a trolley then when you put in a milk allergy child in the same trolley they can have an anaphylactic reaction

    • 22 May, 2012 / 5:59 pm

      Gosh is that true Elaine? I would never have even thought about something like that – I feel awful now! Would that be the same then with things like nut allergies?

  6. 22 May, 2012 / 8:27 am

    I swore I’d never do a lot of things, I’d certainly NEVER give in to tantrums … would I? Yes, the supermarket shopping – the bane of contention for most parents with a child who is hitting the terrible twos, someone actually looked at me in disgust the other week when I relented and gave my son a few Dolly Mixtures. Jamie Oliver would have a fit if he saw me dashing into KFC to grab a popcorn chicken snackbox for my two year old because he simply refuses to munch anything else I’ve tried to get down his neck that day! Dummys? I was lucky, my little one never took to them – but can I get him off his bottle? not a chance, am I actually going to spent hours and hours of crying and screaming (me, not him) just to get him off it quickly as possible so people don’t gawp and tut because he’s not using a sippy cup? No way! Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and yes I do say “No” to many many things, I do put my foot down – but the reality is you simply have to choose your battles, you cannot fight everything your child does, if you did you’d both end up miserable – whilst parenting is hard it is also sometimes supposed to be fun and enjoyable, I think that’s something a lot of parents forget in their quest to be the perfect parent with the perfect children.

    • 22 May, 2012 / 6:01 pm

      As a few people have alluded to, I think you’re so right that it’s simply a matter of choosing your battles. We don’t have time to be perfect, so all you can really do is pick a few things that really matter to you and everything else… well… just try to not to think about it too much?

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