parents

The 4 rules of parenthood. And I broke them all.

Katie and Baxter

by MONTY DIMOND

When I squeezed my mini human out ten months ago, I was a tad delusional!

I had set myself some rules regarding parenting, which I wrote about for this very website. It’s fair to say I didn’t just break every one of these rules – I snapped them in half and tossed them in the bin.

Daydreaming about what my life was going to be like when my bub arrived was rather different than the reality. Rules are so easy to make when you have no idea what’s required to stick by them.

The first rule I made was No Bottles. This lasted eight long hours. Second rule I declared was No Dummies. I stood by this for 18 hours. The third and final rule I made for my newborn was No TV. This lasted four days (Looking back that is actually a pretty good effort!).

Fast-forward ten months and I realise that despite my failure so far my addiction to making rules has continued. I’m still making them and failing miserably at keeping them.

So here are round two of the rules of parenthood:

NO junk food until at least two years of age.

I am a relatively healthy person, (don’t get me wrong I’ll happily inhale a whole block of Cadbury creations chocolate in one sitting) but I planned on feeding my child food that is full of only natural goodness, which led to this rule.

Whoops, fail! About a month ago while half way through the never ending path of IKEA, my little boy decided he’d had enough. Perfectly understandable, but I had no snacks to keep his mouth entertained for the remainder of the yellow brick road. Normally I have cheese stringers, cruskits or some other blandness for him to gum on but the stash was empty.

There was nothing else to do but shove a choc chip muffin in his trap. All I can say is I have never been so grateful for Muffin Break. The little bits of cakey goodness silenced my child as I grabbed the rest of my IKEA un-essentials. His little eyes nearly bounced out of his head from the sugar over load but he was quiet and happy. Muffin equals extra 20 minutes of shopping time. Win!

Play pens – child jail or genius invention?

NO play pens in the house.

I used to look at playpens like child jails. How could any mother put there kid in a square metre animal enclosure and then happily sleep at night? No chance was I going to invest in such a thing. Rule Number two was made.

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I planned to invest my time in reading and singing to my son. I would teach him life’s most valuable lessons every waking second. This was until he became mobile. What a bloody game changer that is?

When simple tasks like going to the loo and making a cup of tea became trickier than brain surgery…. I penned him up. I went out and purchased the fanciest playpen money could buy and my kid will often spend hours of his day in it, thoroughly entertaining himself. It’s heaven. I can now race to the toilet…..alone. What a treat.

NO baby sitters.

If we ever needed our son looked after it would only be by a family member. How could anyone leave their beloved child in the hands of a stranger? The rule was made.

This rule stood in place until every family member was unavailable to look after my mini man one night. Was I going to cancel going out to dinner and having grown up conversation with friends? Nope. The rule was snapped in half and a lovely 18 year old did a perfect job of babysitting my kid.

Once the rule was broken I indulged in my newfound freedom. On a recent trip to Bali I hired a babysitter nightly. It may have just been the best idea I have ever had in my whole life. Big statement…yes. But getting a babysitter = freedom.

Rules are much easier to make when you are living in a dream world. As soon as the reality of a baby living on your hip hits home, they will be broken. I like to think after making so many rules and breaking every single one of them that I’ve learnt my lesson. Must fly, its 7pm and I have to put my son to bed. Just one cheeky little bedtime rule is ok yeah?

Katie “Monty” Dimond is a broadcaster and media personality. She has appeared on Channel Ten, Channel Nine, and Nova FM. She is currently busy being a full time Mum and loving it!

What are your parenting rules? Have you managed to stick by them?

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