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On Not Being Perfect

perfectSo it’s winter, it’s freezing outside, my brain has shut down to preserve its energy and I am hibernating. I am not a perfect mother right now. Luckily this week I had an obliging child who got a coldy fluey thing just when I needed an excuse to get back on the sofa, cuddle up and hunker down. She wasn’t really feeling that bad, but you can’t take a risk can you? Best to look after a headache and a few snuffles so it doesn’t develop into anything worse. And it’s not like she’s got any exams or anything coming up.

I thought we could spend the time productively by watching some educational DVDs so we sat and watched the first two series of ‘Outnumbered’. For those who don’t know, this is a very funny series about two hapless parents trying to cope with three very normal children who are played largely without a script so they are very real. It’s a brilliant show which celebrates and affirms the state of muddling through, an underrated art which comes easily to most parents. I think the box set should be available on the NHS for all new parents as a right.

I have no problem with not being perfect as a parent, in fact I champion it because it’s such a waste of valuable energy trying to be. But I did have to come up with some reasons/excuses/justifications for not being perfect in two other areas of life where I can so easily beat myself up if I fall short, and here they are:

Exercise:  It’s snowing and very slippy outside and I fall over easily at the best of times.

Work: Well the whole train system just shut down, so nobody else can get to work can they?

And as for keeping my daughter off school I think I was justified as she has completely recovered. In fact she had a miraculous sudden return to full health just as soon as she discovered that the snow had settled.

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