Tuesday 7 August 2012

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Parenting is a constant head fuck of what to do, what not to do, why should I do that and why did I get myself into this position in the first place. It is also a massive learning curve. One of the main lessons for me over the years is that, as a mum, I have to choose my battles wisely. Constantly fighting with three strong-willed kids would make everybody miserable and, hey, I've got to let them think they're getting their own way sometimes. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer innit.

Earlier today my toddler was in the car with his friend who decided to play with a little union jack flag that was left on the seat. Bearing in mind that I strapped both kids in and spotted the flag, it was totally my fault because it crossed my mind that it would cause trouble but I was too busy trying to get them into the car in less than 24 hours. Of course the minute my toddler clocked his mate with the flag, he went mental. Which didn't help as I was driving up the A1. (Directions to the play area - up the motorway until you feel like slitting your wrists). I should have battled this out with my toddler, because it's sharing MEH, but I didn't - I got his mate to give him a turn and left it at that until we reached our Final Destination. I didn't battle it because I was driving, and also because I just couldn't be arsed. Like I said - choose your battles wisely.

Battling is most definitely a non-consistent thing for me. It totally depends on what mood I'm in as to what arguments I can be bothered with. Yesterday, because I was knackered and wanted to watch the Olympics, I let my kids have their dinner in the front room and trash a toilet roll. I also let my toddler have Jelly Tots for dinner. But had I been in the mood for it, I would have fought until I won, regardless of blood shed.

So here's a little list of Battles With Kids and whether I think you should fight or not fight:
1. Wellies on a summer day - DON'T FIGHT. You'll end up even more hot & bothered.
2. Cleaning teeth - FIGHT. Although I would liked to have seen Napoleon win this one.
3. Eating sweets two seconds before dinner - FIGHT. But DON'T FIGHT if you're slaving over a hot oven and it's all likely to go tits up if you stray.
4. Killing each other in public - FIGHT. Especially if there are Mrs Judgey McJudgeson Mums around. This one is a pain especially if you're at a park and you just want to talk to your mate.
5. Anything for their safety - FIGHT. Like seatbelts, buggy straps, riding bikes on the road. This is shite because you have to do it but it's a really hard battle. Telling kids that something is for their own safety is like telling a vegetarian to eat meat.

What I have found to help is full battle armour, especially for the tough fights. Protection pads and helmets will also do. But failing that, just give the hell in and let Daddy deal. Which I'm a Sergeant Major at, innit.


  1. Sometimes you lose. As soon as middle child was eighteen, she was able to legally decide whether or not she would wear her bicycle helmet. She chose not to, no matter how much I yell at her and remind her that her father was hit by a SUV while riding his bike.

  2. Thanks for the thought of this post and the humor of course. Been battling too much lately. I'm exhausted and teary and I'm sure he is too. xx

  3. Among other things, the honesty of women courageous enough to tell it like it is, makes being a woman today a fabulous experience.
    The FIGHTS win more points against the DON'T FIGHTS.
    The best mothers always have that equation :)

  4. Yep, think I probably haven't been picking my battles too wisely recently!! Overtiredness really doesn't help - think I'll print out your rules and stick them to the fridge for the days I'm too tired to think for myself!!

  5. Who are you calling Mrs Judgey McJudgeson? LOL!!

  6. Anoop Singh-Best7 August 2012 at 14:46

    So true. So very very true. Don't sweat the small stuff innit.. :-)

  7. I needed this today. One week until they go back to school...

  8. Very wise words. I do a bloodshed/death/vast expense audit on a situation and if it's not going to cause one of them, then I might just let it go.

  9. Brilliant. And so fucking true!

    "No you can't have a packet of Quavers just before dinner. Sod it, I can't leave the oven... have the Quavers, don't eat your diiner. What-fucking-ever"

    Apart from with no-swearing innit?

  10. I hear you!my now three yr old was fighting with me about buggy straps. I gave in for a quiet life. Going onto a curb she catapulted out and landed on her front of a shop....and a crowd of watchers. mortified! but lesson was learnt for mummy and child. straight to the chemist and a few mins later she was running around!i always fight for safety now, even if it seems petty! x

  11. Such a funny post and all so true!

  12. If the flag has a stick then it would be dangerous in event of a minor bump or crash, could go in someone's eye. Same as lollies which some people let their kids run around with.

  13. spot on! Pick the battles! I suffer with the opposite problem, I think sometimes I am too strict.
    But then, the great thing is when someone else calls me laid back and I get the feeling that we all make it up as we go along.
    changing our mind on what's OK one day and not the next...Oh the poor kids!
    BTW, you have 3 of your own and you also pick up ANOTHER one? You're bonkers, woman.