The delectable Nigella Lawson has a new TV series out so has decided to publicise it by telling the world that she is convinced that “it’s impossible to be a mother without a huge sense of failure”
I mean really?
Are there mothers sat out there each evening, going through the day and working out exactly where they were really not as good as they should have been and working out how to beat themselves up about their parental failings?
Did I miss the part in my ante-natal classes where they told you that your best just wasn’t going to be good enough and you should feel Really Very Guilty about it?
Which is really rather a shame – I admit that being a parent (yes parent not mother, see what I did there?) means that you discover a whole new world of worry and things to spend hours debating over the dinner table
After all, parenting is the natural follow on to the Four Weddings idea that you get married when you run out of conversation – having children gives you endless new conversational topics from is Littler colour blind to should we worry about how tall Bigger is or just celebrate the fact she’s wearing clothes for a child 3 years older than her?
Worrying is just one of those things that come with being a parent – probably something to do with there being far too many choices as a modern parent and the fact that nobody has yet got around to writing a really good manual for how to work out exactly what is the best way to parent your unique and wonderful offspring
Just stand back and look at the choices – how to get them to sleep, how to teach them right and wrong, how intensively involved to be or not to be – it’s not as simple as send them out into the fields working from the age of 3 and consider yourself a good parent if you let them go to school for the odd day here and there
But worrying and making choices is a long way from feeling a failure – surely if we can find the confidence to trust our parenting instincts then we be happy that the choices we make are the best we can do at that point in time and stop beating ourselves up for the road not taken or the decision not made?
The fact that 99% of parents raise happy, confident children who love their parents is a sign of success not failure – we can’t all raise the next Albert Einstein or Florence Nightingale, we can only do our best and hope that it is good enough
I look at our girls and see two happy, loving, confident children and know that I’ve done ok – I’m not a child raising guru but neither am I a failure – I am just a normal, bog standard, doing the best I can Mummy