You know what parenting is hard graft. You try your hardest to keep your children safe. To protect them from all the dangers and nasties in the world.
But no matter how hard you try you will at some stage drop a bollock. You will most likely unintentionally cause them a mischief. And if you do you will probably beat yourself up for days, weeks, maybe months for it.
But you know what we all mess up. We can’t be perfect, that’s unattainable. We can’t be 100% all the time. Shit trying to reach 70% at times is hard enough. Sometimes good enough is just that.
Today I dropped a bollock. We were off out to the Baby and Toddler Show at Event City, Manchester. Given that there was likely to be a fair few people present we got dressed up a bit. Made an effort. New shoes, cheeky jacket.
Somehow we had managed to arrive 30 minutes before the doors opened so we decided to have a Starbucks. A nice little Sunday treat. All was happy and content when Flo started to cough and struggling to breathe. Now Flo has has dairy and egg anaphalaxis. This is hard at times but for the most part we manage it well and we are pretty clued up to her symptoms so knew straight away she was having an allergic reaction. All we needed to do was just get the piriton out and have the epipen ready, if needed.
However, because we had gone all fancy, not in our usual mumy and daddy attire, we had as such neglected to take the allergy emergency bag with us. That was back home, along with the back up emergency pack which was nicely nestled into my everyday jacket (the jacket I wear pretty much for all occasions because it has more space than Mary Poppin’s bag).
So what happened next was sheer on panic. I legged it to asda, abandoning the wife and baby no2, or Edith as we call her. I conducted a full scale search of Asda for piriton and came up empty handed. I engaged in a brief chat with Asda’s little helpers who informed me they had no infant piriton and could not access the pharmacy because they need someone medically trained to do so. With Florence struggling to breathe and nothing available to relieve her symptoms I had no choice; I had to ring 999.
To summarise what happened next: the ambulance arrived, the paramedic asked lots of questions, the wife and I sheepisly owned up to our incompetence, Flo went for yet another little ride in an ambulance, got checked over in the Panda unit, was given piriton, was discharged and we returned back to the scene of the crime a whole 4 hours later and enjoyed the rest of our day.
Now on the scale of dropped bollocks that is pretty much the biggest one I’ve dropped to date. There’s been a few contenders; the time I chopped the tip of Flo’s finger off when trying to cut her nails, springs to mind. But I think today wins.
In retrospect today could have gone a lot better it could also have gone significantly worse. If I had remembered the allergy bag I probably wouldn’t have had to drag a gasping 3 year old around Asda. I wouldn’t have had to ring 999 and we wouldn’t have had to have gone to hospital again. Ultimately it did happen and luckily everything was ok in the end.
But we’ve learnt from it and already have come up with a better allergy plan.
And that’s what we should do. As parents we might mess up or do something wrong. But instead of beating ourselves up we should see it as part of life, part of being a parent and just try and learn from it. Of course when we mess up we will feel guilty. It’s normal to feel guilty when you do something that’s conflictual to your morals or values. But when it happens try to learn from it and be compassionate towards yourself, because parenting is hard and you can’t get it right all the time.