The other day, as I was attempting to sweep the impossibly littered kitchen floor whilst a three year old effectively strangled me with her interpretation of a bear hug and a one year old threw unwanted baked beans at my head, I realised that I’m probably not quite as in control as I sometimes like to think I am.
Is this good or bad? Is the fact that I’m writing this post mean I’m attempting to persuade myself that it’s ok?
The thing about parenting is that just when it seems you’ve got it cracked – a nice routine, all going smoothly, everyone quite happy – chaos pays a visit again. Usually quite spectacularly – a full week of shocking night time get ups with your three year old or a new back tooth that causes distress or a tendency to throw beans at your head while you’re tidying the kitchen.
It’s tempting to feel demoralised, to think “oh, not again – I must be doing something wrong here, why can’t I be more like so and so…” etc.
Unless, I tell myself, chaos is actually the new control? It’s the ultimate in parenting fashion for 2014 – chaotic parenting, hooray!
It’s not that I’m a control freak – I never have been. But I am a person who tends to like order and structure.
I love spreadsheets, for goodness sake. If I could devise a spreadsheet that could calculate the whims of my daughters on a given day, complete with a pivot table, I’d be one happy lady.
Unfortunately, or actually fortunately, being a parent had taught me to embrace lack of control. They’re developing humans after all – curious about the world and its limitless possibilities. And sometimes annoyed at it, too (those pesky teeth – design fault).
So I’ll save my spreadsheets for work (with the occasional one for household planning or Christmas dinner timings). I’ll wake up tomorrow and just wonder what the day will bring.
And wear a helmet next time when tidying up.