This will come as a surprise to many but despite all appearances to the contrary, I am not perfect, and I have not been a perfect mother.
I’ll let you digest that dire truth for a moment.
I’ve made many dubious decisions during my parenting of my son Winston, who’s now 14 – from irrelevant ones like permitting/encouraging swearing as a regular part of speech, to watching M15+ horror movies together because I hit a wall with The Wiggles, to not making a lunchbox since he was in the fifth grade (I salute you, canteen ladies).
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But rather than make these decisions from negligence, one could say I’ve chosen my battles – that’s how it felt at the time. As a working, sole income, sole parent, I’ve had to. Having said that, I’m sure not all single mums have made the same decisions, but some married mums have.
That’s the thing about parenting – you never know what kind of parent you’ll be until you’re in the moment.
I think it’s mostly turned out okay because, in my unbiased opinion, my 14-year-old is just a tad amazing – and I attribute that to me letting go of things other parents might not (such as the above), so that I have the capacity to raise him with patience and love (89 per cent of the time).
But looking back, after almost one-and-a-half decades of parenting, there are some things I’d do differently if I had my time again. Even though these things resolved over time, I’m not sure I’d make the same decisions if I had another kid.
Here are five of them.