So here it is…part 2! Writing part 1 was so much easier, as we are all blissfully aware of what we do well in life. In terms of what we don’t do so well, well that’s subjective!
I think like most of you, I don’t take well to criticism and so to actually write a piece on what my biggest failure as a parent is to date is without a doubt my toughest post so far.
I think as a single parent, I’m probably slightly guilty of taking too much pride in my appearance or style (my friends may beg to differ though). I still consider myself to be a relatively young parent (33), but I’ve recently started to notice my body just won’t let me get away with doing things a young Luis used to be able to do.
This literally happened a few weeks ago and for reasons of what can only be described as complete shame and embarrassment I’ve only shared this story with a few people. But now it’s out there for you all to see/hear.
It was a sunny afternoon around the Easter period and I had the kids for the weekend. I thought I’d make the most of the weather and take the children to the local park. Connie is a big fan of the swings and well Joseph will literally try his hand at anything, thinking he is on ‘Ninja Warrior’.
It got to the point where I thought, I’d try and play a bit of football with Joseph, in order to keep him away from breaking his neck and my, what a bad idea that was.
It all started very well and we were kicking the ball backwards and forwards to each other. Then, Joseph thought it would be funny if he started to kick the ball down a small hill and watch me run after it. As I said before, as a ‘cool Daddy’ I don’t mind a bit of a challenge so I embraced this one and went with it. I’d kick the ball to him, run up the hill and then try and get him to kick it back to me. Sure enough, every time I ran back up the hill, he’d kick the ball back down.
After about 4 goes, this ‘cool Daddy’ took a bad tumble down the hill! 🙈 I can only think I ran into a real boggy patch and well the rest is history. The whole back of me was completely covered in mud and I had the immense shame of having to look around to see if anyone saw me.
I quickly bounced back up and with my back and bum feeling slightly bruised along with my ego, I quickly took off my jacket and tied it around my waist. Thinking that I had miraculously got away with this, it was at this point, Joseph decided to shout to Connie who was the other side of the park…”Connie come quickly and look at Daddy’s bottom! It’s covered in mud as he fell over!” Thanks a lot kid!
I came across these images that me chuckle, pictures of epic parenting fails – http://justsomething.co/22-parenting-fails/ Anyhow, I digress, but I just thought I’d share one my epic fails and I’d love to hear about any of yours too? It would certainly make me feel better, if anything!
So onto more serious things – my one biggest failure as a parent. Quite simply, I would say, it would be that I try and cram too much in with the kids when I have them.
Rightly or wrongly and this isn’t all of the time, but sometimes I have a feeling I’m in competition with the children’s Mummy. Over time, I would say that this has decreased quite a bit, so it may more be down to separating and feeling like I need to do as much possible when I have my time with the kids. Essentially, it’s about finding a routine that works and realising that it’s not a competition. Our children will love us both for who we are, not who buys the most expensive gift or spends the most on days out. I know I’m not alone here, having spoken to similar people in my situation, they too have or have had this feeling.
If I think back to when I was a child, there were no play centres, (well if there were, my parents did a great job of hiding them from me!) there were no iPads, I didn’t have sky tv and if I recall, we probably only had one or two TV’s in the house. Now my situation isn’t directly comparable, as my parents remain happily married, but my point is this, going to a farm, a zoo, a water park etc was considered a real special treat. Whereas, these days it seems to almost be the norm.
If you strip this back one more layer, you could argue that children need to be bored at times. Why? Because then they will look to find and discover things for themselves and take an interest in something that isn’t forced upon them. If I take my two children for example, if you ask my eldest Connie what job she wants to do when she is an adult, her answer would be a vet. She loves all animals and even insects! She enjoys just simply going around the garden finding things and examining them. I’m always amazed at how nature finds her at times…
Joseph on the other hand is probably better than Connie at amusing himself, he is a classic second child and is able to occupy himself whether it is with a football, playing with his toys or building a den.
One thing I’m quickly learning is cramming doesn’t work. It can leave the children feeling tired, irritable and possibly even over-expectant about what a weekend should have in store for them (see my post – going back to the basics): https://singledaddydaycare.blog/2017/04/14/rainy-days-going-back-to-the-basics/
I think it’s fair to say there is always competition in any walk of life and that’s healthy to an extent. But for me in this scenario, I’ll be trying not to let that rule and take over my wallet and my life to the detriment of all involved…anyway enough from me, I’ve got a holiday to plan for the kids to see Father Christmas in Lapland! 😂(Joke)
Part 1 can be found here: