“I remember a post online and it was asking, ‘What’s your parenting pet peeve?’
Everyone answered with things like:
‘I hate grass stains on trousers. Just throw them out!’
‘Snotty and mucky faces are so gross. I always cringe when I see a child with stuff on their face.’
The list went on.
I had a newborn at the time so I didn’t really have a repertoire of things I ‘hated’ about other people’s kids, about parenting styles, about this new life.
Although I did take note. I thought this was a list of things I needed to abide by. The unspoken rules of motherhood and these were secrets I was kindly being told.
If I could write a response now, I’d consider adding the following:
‘I don’t have a pet peeve of parenting. If anything, I wish people understood that no two children are the same. That no two parents are the same. That no two mornings are the same.
That children cannot be controlled – but guided by us – and we must have realistic intentions and expectations. That sometimes, there will be vegemite on the corner of their mouths because a wet flannel was not tolerable this morning.
That sometimes, mothers have bigger problems than slightly green stains on trousers. That money doesn’t grow on trees and mothers typically take the financial hit following parenthood.
That sometimes (actually, always), mothers don’t have enough help. They are often choosing between themselves and their children. The needs of the children seem to always win.
That mothers are tired. Survival mode is okay. Parents, and people in general, are fighting battles we know nothing about. None of which involve those things. They wish they had time and mental space to worry about the fact that they forgot a tissue.
Actually, my pet peeve in parenting is that this thread exists at all.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Zelma of The Postnatal Project. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her website. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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