4 Things That Every Parent Can Relate To
Parenting is a huge responsibility and with each new stage comes a new set of challenges and rules. Even if you think you know what’s coming you can still be surprised by what happens and how your thoughts and attitude can change over time.
There will be aha moments and situations that only parents can relate to. Some of these will make you laugh, some of these will make you cry and some will no doubt test you. Here are five things that every parent can relate to.
1. Dad’s judged by a different standard
The modern-day father comes in various forms. Today’s father is no longer always the traditional breadwinner and disciplinarian in the family, and the average father’s engagement and increased family involvement continue to grow.
But even so, many dads are still seen to be ‘babysitting’ their kids when spending time with them. Dads are also given extra props for taking days off work to look after their own children. "Isn’t he good for taking time away from his terribly important career to take his child to swim?" they’ll say.
The unfair view of parenting is something Home and Away star Ada Nicodemou relates to, and says, “I always find it amazing when you see dads out and they’re looking after the kids and they always say to the mum, ‘Oh aren’t you lucky?’” she said. “Like what do you mean, it’s his child too!”
2. Increasing pressure to be politically correct
According to a survey, the constant push for political correctness across all ages can be difficult. Yes, manners and social practices help shape a respectable society when instilled from a young age, but the vast majority of seniors feel that always trying to be politically correct is not authentic and this could impact future generations.
For new parents, the challenge to be politically correct can be a real challenge. Travel back to the books you once loved and you’ll find that many books have since had a makeover. “Richard Scarry’s Best World Book Ever” is one such example, but is largely a positive one. Changes include:
“Policeman” being changed to a more gender-neutral “police officer”
“Pretty stewardess” being changed to “flight attendant”
A father rabbit joining the mother rabbit in the kitchen to cook
You’ll see that nursery rhymes have changed too. A politically correct culture has seen Humpty Dumpty be ‘made happy again’ by all the King’s horses and all the King’s men, and Little Miss Muffet now makes friends with the spider.
Pre-schools now discourage songs about Santa, and there are even schools no longer allowing "Mother’s Day Stalls" in fear of offending parents – instead they are called "Appreciation Day Stalls."
For parents trying to navigate a PC world, there’s a lot of pressure to rethink their childhood. And there’s nothing putting more pressure on
3. Expected standards
Every parent has that moment when they finally see that having realistic expectations doesn’t mean lowering your standards. Your ‘ten commandments of parenting’? They need to be flexible.
When kids cry, throw a tantrum, you’re tired, you’re busy, and your standards may change. So what if your child is now eating cornflakes on the floor instead of mashed veggies in the high chair? So what if your friend brings their little one over for a play and there are dishes in the sink? And so what if you give in and let them have two cookies instead of one before dinner. Is it really the end of the world?
Your parenting standards need to adapt to fit with your life and to your child, so don’t be too hard on yourself if your initial standards get pushed aside sometimes.
4. Double standards
A double standard is a rule of good behavior that, unfairly, some people are expected to follow or achieve but other people are not. Before kids, you were probably appalled by double standards. These days not so much.
When you’re a parent, you will be annoyed at your children because they can’t find their shoes all the while looking for your keys. You will explain to your child the importance of a healthy diet, knowing full well that you might be too busy to grab anything more than a muffin for breakfast. You will instill an attitude that ‘sharing is caring’, but hide all your luxuries on a secret luxury shelf high up.
Ultimately, it’s more important that you treat these moments as learning opportunities for yourself and your child than as another reason to put yourself down. Remember to take a step back, take a deep breath, and try looking at the situation from another perspective.
The moral of the story?
Being a parent is pretty much the hardest job around – there’s no accrued leave, there are no sick days, and it’s usually 24/7. So be kind to yourself, remember that a happy and healthy child is all that really matters, and not to beat yourself up too much.