This blog is written by Stacey Kelly at Your Very Own Story – the writer & illustrator of personalised children’s books. Click on the image above to preview yours now!
The responsibility of being a parent is far greater than I ever realized prior to becoming pregnant. The minute I found out I was having a baby, it suddenly dawned on me that my child’s entire life was in my hands and that every decision I made would in some way contribute to the person she becomes, the values she holds and the beliefs that she lives by. When I held my daughter for the first time, I knew that being her Mummy was the most important role I would ever have in my life and like every Mum, I didn’t take that role lightly. I suddenly started questioning everything and looking a little deeper into things that I had never batted an eyelid at before.
It amazed me how my baby girl was born with an innate trust for me as her parent and from the minute we met, I had an overwhelming feeling that this trust was special and a gift to be treasured. Because of this, I came to the conclusion that if I was always honest, stuck to my word and led by example I surely wouldn’t go far wrong.
I decided that until my daughter knew any different, I didn’t want her to eat sugar. Her little system was so pure I just wanted it to stay that way for as long as possible. So, leading by example, I cut it out of my diet too until I was at a stage where I felt it was OK for her to have it too. Then one day, in a premenstrual state, I found myself hiding in the utility cupboard with a massive bar of chocolate that I had bought that day. I was stuffing it in my mouth as quickly as I could before anyone saw and at that very moment, not only did I realize how out of control us women can be at this very delicate time of the month, but that there was always going to be loopholes in whatever parenting standards you set for yourself! After all, no one’s perfect, right?
Talking about not being perfect, despite watching what you say most of the time, there are always going to be those moments that you forget for a second and say a word that shouldn’t be repeated by a child. You spend months trying to get your baby to say ‘mama’ and then lo and behold the one day that you stub your toe and accidentally say a swear word, you can guarantee that your toddler will repeat it instantly. I spent 2 weeks trying to convince myself that my daughter had a lisp and that she was walking around the house telling the dog to ‘sit’. After a few weeks of ignoring this ‘command’ (and deep down knowing what she was really saying), she suddenly stopped saying it. As much as everyone else found this story absolutely hilarious and had similar tales to tell, I was totally mortified!
The next big loophole that I have found myself embroiled in is Easter & Christmas. Throughout our children’s lives, we emphasise how much telling the truth is important and that lying is not acceptable and yet as parents we do the very opposite every single year. Now, when I found out the truth about the Easter Bunny & Santa (which was a lot older than most because in my house if you didn’t believe, they didn’t come and I wasn’t taking any chances!), the only sadness I felt was that I couldn’t have believed for longer. I in no way felt deceived by my parents and although, let’s face it, they had told bare-faced lies to me all of these years, it was like it didn’t really count because it was in order for me to have these magical childhood times. Plus, when I found out, I felt like I had taken the next step into being a grown up and felt like I was now in on the secret. I loved playing along for my younger siblings and watching their little faces when the Bunny or Santa had been.
That being said, why on earth do I feel slightly uncomfortable about it all now that I am a parent? Maybe I’ve got ‘First Time Mummy Syndrome’ and I’m over thinking it but I really don’t like the thought of lying. I don’t want to take away the opportunity for my daughter to experience the magic of these special times and there’s a good chance that I’ll feel differently when I see how excited my baby girl is. However, if I continue to struggle with this massive moral loophole, I’m just going to have to get everyone to refer to me as Bunny for the first half of the year and Santa for the latter. That way, when I look my daughter in the eye and tell her that Santa and Bunny delivered her gifts in the night, I’m technically telling the truth! (I’m joking, honest!)
Love Stacey x
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