Whoa there, my kraken-lovin’ baby-spawners! What in the giddy shit is this? See, I’ve noticed a bit of a trend amongst all sorts of parenting bloggers and it’s giving me the hump even more than a hot date with Quasimodo. It’s not the intricate detail of feeding newborns or diagrams about unclogging a constipated toddler arse. It’s even worse. It’s the term ‘parenting fail’.
Parenting what? Fail? You have to be shitting me. As much as I have torn myself in half in my time wondering whether I was raising Kraken Junior more like a feral cat than a human being I have never once used the word ‘fail’. I had no idea that you could so indubitably fail at parenting, not unless it involves the obvious fuck-ups of child abuse or neglect, of course.
Who knew that parenting was akin to sitting a maths A-level where you get to give right or wrong answers and nothing in-between. Yet according to a lot of parent bloggers it’s not just possible to fail at parenting but it’s actually possible to excel at fucking things up.
Thing is I don’t believe this at all. Not for a second do I believe that the people who are so involved in the roles as parents that they actually write about it are failing at parenting. And I don’t believe that they think they are failing either. But I do think that they are using the term defensively, a bit like calling your own arse enormous before someone else does.
And there is fuck all wrong with accepting that you’re not the perfect parent and admitting it. In fact I do it all the time and anyone who tells me that they are the perfect parent is about as deluded as it’s possible to get without hoovering up fistfuls of crack. But does it have to involve the ‘fail’ word?
See, ‘fail’ infers that there is a right and wrong way of rising your kids, but come the fuck on, of course there’s not. Yeah, we do things differently to each other but that’s as far as it goes. Seriously, what one person would call a parenting ‘fail’ could mean parenting brilliance to another.
In my case there is no failure. I refuse to consider myself a failure even though I spent the first two years of Kraken Junior’s life with severe PND and the next two years partaking of a fully-blown breakdown with suicide constantly on my mind. We got through it and life was far from perfect but it was never, ever a parenting ‘fail’.
So it’s time to stop with the self-flagellation and reclaim parenting by just calling it, well, parenting. Accepting that there are great days and shit days, that there are days when you adore your kid and days when you want to drop kick them from an upstairs window and that at no point does this equate to a ‘fail’. Let’s just save the word ‘fail’ for those people who leave their three year old home alone for a week instead, shall we? Only then does the word even begin to make sense.
What do you think? Do you use the term ‘parenting fail’ and have I got the wrong end of the stick? Or do I have a point? Come and tell me what you think. Oh come on.