There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect parent’
Hi readers, (and indeed, parents in particular), I’d like to ask you a question. Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Are you drowning in a sea of ‘how to’ advice coming through social media? Me too! Okay, my girls are adults, so the how-to-Feng-Shui-your-kid (kinda like chop suey only not as delish) brigade and their perfect-parenting potions are lost on me. I mean, isn’t it enough we’re all worrying about family members we can’t see during Covid, are concerned for our livelihoods and, let’s face it, the state of the country in general, without being over-exposed to dictatorial instruction that could, if we’re feeling vulnerable, seriously shake our confidence? Am I right? You know I am.
So, when I heard a teaser for Channel 4’s ‘Britain’s Best Parent,’ a reality TV series exploring the best way to raise a child, I immediately resurrected my pained sucking-my-face-out-through-the-back-of-my-skull expression. Why? Because shows like this can lead to some parents developing perfectionist tendencies, resulting in a compulsion to try and control everything.
How do I know? I’ve been that self-doubting parent; the one who thought she’d malfunctioned at motherhood. The one who thought she was never quite doing enough. The one who felt she was, at best…only average. Parenting, at any time, but especially during a world pandemic, is an emotionally and intellectually draining experience.
For me, placing such TV tripe at the forefront of our national conversation, showcasing self-proclaimed perfect parents (harbouring high hopes of one day being memorialised on a postage stamp), preaching how the next generation should be raised, is infuriating! We don’t need it, especially when we’re in the middle of a stressful health crisis. I mean, surely we can’t all be expected to scale the cliff-face of magnificence…can we? I don’t believe we can.
However, what I do believe is that all of us, whether parenting kids or adults, need to start rejoicing in our successes, and, when we feel we’ve got it wrong, tell ourselves we’re not malfunctioning at motherhood, nor are we flunking at fatherhood. And why? Well, because there’s no such thing as a parent with endless energy, endless time and endless patience.
Is Micheál Martin a shoo-in for Taoiseach?
There he was, all-over tan, tailored teeth, a coronet of eh, perfectly combed-over hair, and a freshly dry-cleaned suit, desperately trying to command respect as he tried hard to sell himself to the country as our new leader.
I’m talking about Micheál Martin’s appearance on last week’s Late Late Show, folks. Look, while Mr. Martin insists the prospect of being our next Taoiseach doesn’t make him nervous, I have to say the likelihood of him taking the big job frightens the you-know-what out of me; and so it should. I mean, it’s not as if the nation’s forgotten the economic devastation it suffered at the hands of a former Fianna Fáil-led administration now, is it? Surely our memories are not that short?
I’m pining for
The country is slowly reopening, (at last), however, social distancing guidelines and government-forced lockdowns are still in place for many businesses; hair and beauty salons being just two of them. And, while it absolutely makes good health-sense to have these strategies in place, it’s not exactly comforting for those us of who desperately need a haircut, a brow and lash tint and trim; and don’t even get me started on the state of my nails!
Now I’m not claiming that pre-Covid I went around looking like one of the Kardashians with luscious lips, conical boobs and the obligatory flawless dentition, (I did not). However, I did have decent hair, nails, brows and lashes and, like most readers, I desperately depend on the professionals to keep my beauty-related necessities from turning into what have now become untidy coronavirus hangovers!
Let’s say that my time in isolation has now been stressed to the max, and, in order to avoid what I’d call ‘mono-brow madness,’ I admit, like many, I’ve taken to tweezing my stray brow hairs, then colouring them back in again; the results of which could be described as being spine-chilling. Thank God I can hide behind my overgrown fringe.
Lockdown rules apply to everyone!
The sight of Boris Johnson, head down, defending his key advisor Dominic Cummings amid the furore resulting from his aide’s jaunt from London to County Durham during lockdown, was pretty pathetic. In fact girls, BJ’s woeful attempt at rationalisation was akin to the protestations of a flat-chested woman (me) desperately trying to convince herself she wears a 34 DD cup bra!
For those of you who missed the memo, Cummings drove 260 miles (420km) in March, allegedly in search of childcare services with his wife who reportedly had coronavirus symptoms. Cummings also faced further allegations of making a second trip. Well folks, I’m not sure what your thoughts are on this fiasco, but in my opinion, as a way of bringing your career and credibility to an abrupt end, it appears Cummings’ ill-considered road-trip could prove to be pretty successful! Lockdown rules apply to everyone!