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Parenting is hard work and often it is a thankless job. All this talk about controlled crying versus attachment parenting, breast feeding versus bottle feeding, organic home made food versus something from a squeezy foil container. Helicopter parenting versus whatever the opposite of that is. This kind of discipline. That kind of discipline. Parenting techniques and styles up to our eye balls! So many books, “experts” on talk shows, websites, busy bodies at the shops or the park. We’re all busy talking about the BIG things.
Well, I’m here to talk about the ‘little’ things. Those talents and skills parents use (or aspire to – usually in my case) all the time. The things that no-one notices. No-one writes books about or talks about on television. That’s right. I’m going to give props to all you parents who can do the following AWESOME things day in and day out, with very little recognition. You’re welcome.
- Sneaking into your child’s room to adjust something/check something without waking them.
- Eating an entire snack without your child noticing.
- Making it to the toilet and back without anyone interrupting.
OK, so basically, if you’re a ninja of a parent, I salute you.
- Removing your child from a shopping trolley seat without losing one or both of his/her shoes.
- That sixth sense you get when you know your child is concealing some kind of not-very-good-for-the-system item in his/her mouth – without actually seeing them put it there.
- The ability to tune out needless whining and whingeing during arsenic/witching hour and go to a happy place.
- Finding 50000 ways to say ‘no’ to something, without actually using the word ‘no’ because apparently saying ‘no’ too much can damage a child…or lead to them learning the word ‘no’ (which is much worse)…and having them actually know what you mean…and obey you. This is obviously an aspirational talent for me haha.
- Finishing a phone call without the person on the other end mentioning your child, because they’re making loud, annoying noises in the background.
- Distracting your child back to happiness, that last split second before they reach their tantrum tipping point and there’s no going back. THAT is skill. I applaud you. You are amazing.
- Based on your child’s health/wellbeing/mood/the weather/how much sleep your child had the previous night/the amount of physical activity that day/the environment you are in/the amount of background noise, you can predict exactly how long nap time will go for and when it will occur. Like a boss. Of course, there are always exceptions, but you’re getting pretty good at it.
- The ability to pack your handbag so full with kid stuff that it’s actually scientifically impossible and defies the laws of spatial capacity (I’m no scientist – I made that up). You know what I mean. You could be hiding a port-a-cot and a bath seat in that bag for all we know! Good job!
- Not crying when your baby has their immunisation needles. Yes, I mean you.
- Going to work/on a date/anywhere at all without your child without crumbling from the guilt of it all (or letting anyone else make you feel bad).
- Mastering the withering stare reserved only for those who give horrible, unsolicited parenting advice. Especially the ones who don’t even have children. For those, you must also master the eye roll.
- Keeping your child alive. At all. Hey, a few years ago, you couldn’t even raise a goldfish or keep a plant alive (maybe if you’re like me – you still can’t)!
- Leaving the house without something food based smudged onto any item of your clothing.
Whether you’ve got all of this stuff under control, or you’re still working on it, I applaud you. You’re awesome. Parenting is one of those games where the goal posts are constantly shifting and you’ll often feel unprepared, underqualified and understaffed to deal with it. But you’re awesome. Awesomely Unprepared.
What obscure parenting skills are you good at?
This post is part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge.