My parenting journey has been filled with mistakes. I might as well say it. I didn’t have any healthy role models growing up, and it’s led me to the awkward realisation that I am not a "normal" person, and I am certainly not a normal mother either.
There are some unconventional traits that I simply don’t mind. It doesn’t bother me that I’m no good with schedules or that I let my six-year-old stay up late when there’s no school. I don’t even mind that I often have to remind myself that, "I’m the parent and I really do have the authority here."
I really do forget sometimes that I’m in charge, particularly when I’m feeling bad about telling my daughter no.
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And I suspect there are a whole lot of other things that I do that many mums would never consider, and that’s okay. I don’t mind being an unconventional mum and I still treasure my bond with my daughter. I do have plenty of flaws though, and it seems impossible that none of them would impact my parenting.
Depression, fatigue, disorganisation — these are all things I try to manage for my kid but some days are better than others. Some days are much worse.
At any rate, I am far from a perfect parent and I’m under no illusions about that. My main priority is to raise a daughter who can hold her own healthily in a difficult world. I believe that’s happening.
Like many single mums, however, I’ve found myself relying upon screen time in ways I wish I didn’t need to do.
With that bucket of mum guilt, there’s been a whole lot of YouTube. For a while, I didn’t mind the YouTube videos too much. She watched a lot of folk tales and fairytales, plus grownups who unboxed various toys and made cute little stories about Calico Critters or LOL Surprise Dolls.
Her interest in such videos, however, has been waning. Over the past several months, she’s developed a clear preference for the videos that feature kids and families who have essentially become little influencers. Channels like A for Adley, Toytastic Sisters, and Fun & Crazy Kids.