food

The longer you’re a parent, the more you realise that "perfect" doesn't exist.

Remember the pressure of being a new mum?

When I first had my kids, I was a stickler for home-made food and I insisted on outlawing the “bad stuff” for my precious boys.

I looked down on other parents who offered their kids shop-bought rubbish and refused to make anything themselves.

Yes, I was one of THOSE parents.

And while I felt a fair bit of stress and pressure from outside sources as a new mum, it was definitely the pressure I put on myself that was the toughest to deal with.

At the time, I felt that the house just had to be clean, the dinner had to be fresh and the clothes had to be put away. Every. Single. Day.

Lisa used to be one of THOSE parents.

And if I dropped the ball, even just a little? I was my own harshest critic.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Annabel Karmel. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words

But seven years of experience later, I can safely say I am no longer striving to be the “perfect parent” – because there is no such thing. And I make absolutely no apologies for that.

My kids are fed and clothed reasonably well but more importantly, they are happy. And isn’t that what matters?  Not that I forgot to wash their sheets again this weekend, or that I’ve ignored the toy room mess for yet another week?

Like most other families, we lead busy lives. My partner and I both work and the kids do a variety of after-school sports. Our house is also halfway through major renovations – so yes, things are chaotic.

But here’s the thing: the longer you’re a parent, the more you realise that perfect parents don’t exist, and that there definitely isn’t any point wasting time trying to be one.

"The longer you’re a parent, the longer you realise that perfect parents don’t exist."

So my kids eat the occasional takeaway. Who cares? They also sometimes wear the same clothes for two days in a row, forget their library books occasionally and yes, they even fight.

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But I know I’m a hardworking parent and almost everything I do is for the benefit of my kids. If that means I’m cutting a few corners here and there because I don’t have time to be perfect, then I refuse to feel guilty for this.

Because I’m trying my best, just like we all are, and I’m not going to let anyone tell me my method is wrong when it seems to have worked pretty damn well for years now.

And while my partner might argue that I’ve maybe let the things slide a little too much to the ‘relaxed’ side, I can confidently say I am a much happier, content person than I was when I was putting all this pressure on myself as a new mum.

" I can confidently say I am a much happier, content person than I was when I was putting all this pressure on myself as a new mum."

I often get told I’m a super mum because I’m juggling so much, but the truth is that the only way I can juggle so much is because I managed to loosen the boundaries on household duties I’ve deemed unnecessary over the years – like cooking a home cooked meal every single night, or washing the sheets once a week.

I still bake regularly with my kids and yes, they eat fresh fruit and veg and a fairly healthy diet. But my new attitude means that I do rely on healthy frozen dinners and takeaway meals every now and then – it’s just the reality of our crazy family life.

So next time you’re stressed about the washing or worried about grabbing takeaway, don’t worry about the guilt. None of us are perfect parents, and as long as we’re all doing our best, that’s all that matters. I swear.

What pressures do you put on yourself?

Here are some of our favourite celebrity mothers for a little inspiration:

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Annabel Karmel’s new range of convenient meals for kids has finally launched in Australia. They’re her favourite nutritious recipes that have been snap-frozen to lock in the goodness and deliciousness. There’s something for every stage of a child’s development, from purees to solids, independent finger food for little hands, and delicious treats. The Annabel Karmel range is sure to impress fussy little eaters too. Find all Annabel’s favourite recipes in your Coles freezer aisle, or visit annabelkarmel.com to view the range.

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