Go Away, Parenting Guilt

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Parenting can be really hard work. It’s worth it, don’t get me wrong. Toddler kisses, playing a game together, helping him stir his own scrambled eggs… I wouldn’t be without these things.

But, there’s no time off. Not really. Sure you can go for a coffee or a night away without your child, but it’s still on you to make sure they’re well looked after and be at the end of a phone if something goes wrong.

With parenting also comes a lot of pressure. Have you breast fed long enough? Too long? Are there enough toys in your house? Too many? Have you succumbed to commercialism? Are you in the catchment area of a good school? What do you do if your child hates books and reading? Isn’t saying as many words as Freda next door? Potty trained by the age of two? Watching too much television?

Ah, television. The reason I’m here today.

You see, I’m exhausted. My little one was up a lot in the night. My husband is at work. Despite coffee, I’m really struggling. While Pinterest might offer millions of “easy toddler activities” many of them aren’t easy really. They tend to require forward planning, whether to make sure you have ice cubes, or didn’t feed the last ten toilet roll tubes to your hamster. Also, they rely on your kid understanding the activity. Sometimes they will. Other times they haven’t read the blog post and look at the pile of pipe cleaners with confusion and try to feed them to the dog.

So, I’m here in praise of the television. I’m calling out the people who make so many of us feel guilty about screen time. I’ve seen the research too. I understand. Overall would I like to reduce the amount of screen time my child has? Yes. But right now, this morning he has asked to watch “trucks” (one of a million YouTube shows that use vehicles to teach colours, shapes and vehicles). And we’re going with it because some days are more about survival than they are about being the perfect parent. Which doesn’t exist, so, please take the pressure off, and if your need a tv morning, have one.

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