I reflect on chaotic parenting

Chaotic parenting: it’s the in thing


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.

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Working Mum of two, living in Didsbury, Manchester, in a house which breeds washing, mushed up raisins and various toys in the brightest primary colours. Oh, and the odd empty wine glass.

14 thoughts to “Chaotic parenting: it’s the in thing”

  1. Ooh I remember the flying baked beans stage. 🙂

    I do think that it’s not possible to have a fixed routine with small children and I struggled with that for a while. Well done on embracing the chaos.

    (I have a christmas dinner schedule spreadsheet too!)

  2. I don’t think you can get away from at least a bit of chaos when you’re a parent. I’ve just had a milk bottle thrown at my face (definitely not in control here!)

  3. I’m not a Mum but a lot of my cousins and friends are – and this seems very, very, very common – so you just keep trucking as much as you can – take a breather (lock yourself in the washroom and ignore the knocking) and re-orient yourself – then remember all the little grins and sweet hugs and milky breaths that you enjoy and get back to it!

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