Mamamia’s Five Golden Rules series takes a pervy look into the lives of Australian families. From parents of toddlers to parents of teenagers, the series asks parents to share their golden parenting rules, including the rules for their kids, and rules to just get through each day.
This week, mum-of-four, Genevieve shares her Five Golden Rules for parenting.
I am a mum of four beautiful boys aged five, seven, 10 and 12.
I drop more balls than I can count. At any given moment in my house there is a mountain of toast, lots of noise, and Nerf Bullets absolutely everywhere. But also, my life is full of sweet, caring, loving, fumbling, big-hearted boy love.
I haven’t always had golden rules when it comes to parenting. They have developed over time through trial and error.
Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.
I started out as a pretty intense mum, focused on getting it all 'right'. When I just had one baby, I was positive he was perfect. He ate and slept when the books said he should and I was, in hindsight, a tiny bit smug about that. Then I had a second baby, and the cracks began to show.
My perfect firstborn baby became a toddler who was pushing, snatching, and on occasion - biting! My new baby had reflux and wouldn’t stop crying. Nothing felt right, let alone perfect, and suddenly I found myself researching what kids needed because it felt like "this" wasn’t working for any of us.
So, I felt my way around, very much in the dark, until I found my groove. We are now in what many refer to as the parenting golden years: finally out of nappies, day sleeps, and highchairs, and not yet into the perilous teenage years.
It’s a sweet spot in parenting. A point at which I have developed some confidence to know the kind of parent I am and what matters most for our family. Before we hit the next challenges that lie ahead, here are my Five Golden Rules for parenting.
1. I embrace the word no.
Four boys at bedtime feels more like carolling a prison yard on exercise break time than a peaceful vision of family life.
From 5pm to 7pm, four kids and a giant dog suddenly feels like 50 kids and it takes a military operation to make sure things stay on track. The ability to set a clear and confident boundary without losing my sh*t has helped my kids to feel safe with the fact that "I’ve got this". At bedtime, my "no" is the boundary.