You’ll have to excuse the language in this one but in the words of Philip Larkin:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad, They don’t mean to, they just do.
I’m currently in the middle of fucking up my own children, spectacularly.
I feel I already know what my children will berate me for in their adulthood, however I console myself with the knowledge that as a mother there’s not a lot we can do that is considered ‘right’. I am very rarely (never) congratulated for my parenting prowess or thoughtful explanation but I hear those condescending stares and pitiful glances; I read the articles that instruct you not to tell your child to “be careful” it may stunt their creativity and natural curiosity for danger, but what is that mother doing watching him fall from that climbing frame? You must, of course, warn them of the dangers of social media whilst blogging about their every move and posting pictures of them worldwide. They mustn’t watch too much/ have too much screen time, but then how many jobs that they will apply for even exist now? They don’t want to be out-of-touch. We must shield them from vulgarity, the definition of which differs only through period of time – weren’t people once scared of Elvis’ hips? It’s all relative.
I offer my own snippets of golden advice to unsuspecting expectant mothers, such as ‘do everything your own way’ and ‘you must buy this’. Of course, they take heed, secretly knowing they’ll certainly not buy that one because they are so well prepared – they have read The Idiots’ Guide to Parenting – they’re sorted.
My children will be (are already) overly affectionate- next door are horrified, audible within a 400 yard radius, and naturally socially inept. They are petrified of strangers – Santa is a demon, wary of conversation that involves more than one person – direct questions freeze them to the spot, and over-reflective on their mistakes (“I’m such a baaad person” 😭).
E is currently making a den. She has twice told me that I am “giving her a headache” (that’s my phrase) and that if I “just give her five minutes we will leave the house much quicker” (all me). She is extremely frustrated creating said den, shouting at her brother and talking to herself – I should never assemble flat pack. I’m not sure how good it is for her state of mind but we should let them explore their creativity, shouldn’t we? Or do we want them to follow instructions, I’m not sure? 🤷♀️
When all is said and done, Mr Larkin, you are right.
And so my gift to you children is social ineptitude – you’re welcome (sang like a Demi-God).