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Perfect parenting

After an innocent parenting question on the WMW forum sparked a sting of comments and furious debate (which shall hence be referred to as ‘bananagate’) I was inspired to write this comical take on perfect parenting; I hope you enjoy and please do comment with any contradicting advice you’ve been told yourselves.

In the quest to be the perfect mummy, my research started early. Whilst pregnant I considered the pros and cons of reusable nappies and naturally decided to invest in them as, not only would it be better for the environment but also kinder to my baby’s bot. However, further investigation stated that due to the increased high temperature washing loads I would need to run and the fact that they tend to leak more, they are in fact no better for the planet nor kinder to my littleuns tush. Consequently, in the name of good parenting, he now wears reusable nappies over the top of his disposable ones, dilemma solved.

As soon as my child was born, the breast or bottle debate hit me with full force; guilt was laid on as thick and fast. Of course I would breast feed. However, the stress of a few failed attempts is not good for a new mummy so obviously I should use formula and consider my own health as well, because being a stressed and tensed mummy is bad for the baby. Quite the conundrum. Perhaps I’ll breastfeed but simultaneously swig from a good bottle of Merlot at the same time to ease my stress levels? No? I fear that might be frowned upon also. Think I will have to keep pondering this one.

And so to bed. I lie the little one in his cot on his back, feet to the end, blanket tucked to avoid SIDS and suffocation and all the other horror stories I’ve been warned about that ensure I myself won’t be sleeping for fear. I then immediately roll baby to sleep on his side, arm pulled forward as a makeshift stabiliser and towels rolled either side, as I’m told babies sleep more soundly on their side. I spend the night alternating my poor little one between these positions, in the end flipping him from side to side so much he surely feels like his riding a roller coaster, but hey, this is parenting at its best.

Then I struggle with what I refer to as the ‘hat dilemma’. Traditional advice has always been to wrap baby up and ensure he’s kept warm at all times. I smugly wrap my baby boy in a gorgeous blue knitted hat only to be berated for putting him at risk of overheating. Confused, I constantly switch between bundling him up in layers and stripping him down so he stays cool until I (being a perfect parent no less) come up with the ideal solution. I wrap him up nice and warm, woolly hat atop his little noggin, with a Dyson air blower strapped to his pushchair chucking out cool air akin to the walk in freezers at Tesco. Aha, Take that parenting gurus!

Now we begin to move on to solids. Determined to nurture a child with a healthy appetite, whilst simultaneously refusing any risk of choking, I naturally head for bananas and mush them with an unbridled determination (I might not manage 5 a day but my baby boy will), yet apparently you shouldn’t give your child more than 1/4 of a banana a day as they have a constipating effect. What now then? I forget about fruit and mush up cake instead? Or continue giving him his healthy potassium rich banana but mush in a laxative or two? Oh the perils of perfect parenting; ‘Bananagate’ is most perplexing!


  • Oh, can I relate, Hayley!
    Decades ago, when my son was a wee lad, I was a worry-wart. Calling the doctor in the middle of the night, I stammered hysterically, “He’s clammy and warm and irritable!” Long story short, I had him overly swaddled and the poor baby was roasting!
    Have you heard of ‘carrotonitis?’ Following medical guidelines, I fed Jonathan 2 servings of yellow/orange vegetables daily. He turned ORANGE!!Honestly.
    Thank goodness those guidelines were accurate on ‘bananagate.’ Jon ate 5/16 of a banana every 2.74 days!!

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