The Illusion of Perfect Parenting
Those of you who know me personally will know one thing for certain. I am not a confident Mother. Since becoming a Mum for the first time in 2013, I have constantly doubted myself and compared myself to others. At times, I have felt like a total failure of a parent, and it feels like everyone else around me has their shit together apart from me.
Then every so often, a miracle occurs.
Last week, to the untrained eye, I would have looked like I was completely in control.
On Thursday, we went out in Birmingham with the girls as I had been invited to a press event. Wanting to kill two birds with one stone we decided to take the girls out to Pizza Express on the way home. It was late, and Erin had been at preschool all day, so I was expecting the usual overtired deliriously behaved threenager and for Neve to be whinging for milk as soon as the pizza was placed in front of me.
But then something amazing happened.
For that hour and a half, to everyone around me, we actually came across as awesome parents!
My youngest sat gleefully in her high chair, flirting with the waiting staff as they passed, showing off her gummy smile and playing with her doll in front of her. When she began to show signs of getting hungry, I discreetly fed her at the table, before popping her back in her chair where she continued to have a nose around and take in her surroundings.
Erin sat nicely in her chair, with not an ounce of bribery required, and no iPad or iPhone in sight! Despite being a little tired from her World Book Day shenanigans, she tucked into her pizza, eating every last morsel, before even dabbing her face with the serviette when it got covered in tomato sauce. Once she’d finished eating, she used the stickers to create a fun design for her hat and politely asked Daddy if she could leave the table to look out the window to the bustle of the Birmingham streets below.
The restaurant was busy, and full of mostly couples and friendship groups. Just as I was finishing off my pizza, a lady came over to my table and said some words I rarely get to hear. “Your children are so well behaved, an absolute credit to you – you must be very proud. Enjoy your night”.
I was a little taken aback but smiled and said thank you.
Little does she know that 90% of the time we are *THAT* table in a busy restaurant, but once, just this once, I will take the compliment for what it’s worth!
For one day, if one day only, we totally nailed this!! 🙂