Perfect? You are NOT the perfect parent.

That’s right. You are not a perfect parent.

Perfect parent and child care giver

It really shouldn’t be news to you that you’re not perfect. Not perfect in general, not even a perfect parent. If it is, you may be somewhat delusional.

Guess what? Those other parents. They’re not perfect either. Not even the ones who lead you to believe they are. Especially not them.

Many of us hope we’ll be the perfect parents.

Maybe not perfect to every child, but perfect to our own children. Even though many of us know we won’t come close, we want SO badly to be the perfect parent. And when we come to realize the reality of our distance from perfection. It’s a little depressing.

There comes a day in every new parent’s life that we wish those infants came with a manual. A do-it-yourself guide. At the very least, some sort of a description of what to expect.

Real life experiences…

My oldest used to get these fevers, unexplainably. Two days later, she’d cut a tooth. Doctors always say that there was no evidence that fevers and teething are co-related. Fevers are supposed be indicators of infection. Yet, it appeared to be a pretty obvious pattern to me.

And I remember thinking that I would never ever get my youngest daughter to sleep at night. I was *this close* to bringing her to the doctor to see if she was colic. And one day, things just settled down.

Where is the Perfect Parent manual?

A manual seemed like it would be so helpful, but even when I found a few minutes to read the next best thing – self help books about parenting. None of them really quite cut it. One thing I realized though, more from my previous experience as an early childhood educator… you are your child’s best “expert”. That’s right. No one, and I mean no one, knows your child better than you do. Parents, I repeat… no one knows your child better than you do.

You are your child’s best expert

If the doctor says something that doesn’t sit right with you. Ask more questions. If that doesn’t help, ask for a referral or a second opinion. Talk with people and find out what you can about similar situations. That mom who “appears” to have it all together? She may *not* be your best “go to”. But maybe you’ve noticed another child that seems to be in a similar boat… does dad seem approachable? Maybe he’s going through the same thing, or better yet, maybe he’s one step ahead and has some insights to share that *may* be applicable. Just remember that no two children, no two parents, and no two families are the same. Their “answer” may not be your answer. But it may point you in the right direction.

You’ve got thisPerfect parent

I bet you’d like to feel like you have it all under control. I can almost guarantee that will never be the case, at least not for long. With our ever changing lives, our ever changing children, and our ever changing knowledge and experience this will ebb & flow.


And if someone tries to let on that they *never* hide in the bathroom hoping that everyone in the house would forget how to find them for just 15 whole minutes… they are lieing.

I don’t have toddlers trying to talk to me under the bathroom door anymore, but I do have cats. Can you relate?


Coaching services for parents


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The problem with my bookworm (or how my childhood is biting me on the A$$)

My mother will love reading this.

Do you remember those days when you heard “just wait until you have children of your own”?

This stuff is small potatoes, but I really feel like I’m reliving what my mother went through with me when I was the very same age as my darling 9 year old daughter is.

She’s a bookworm. I LOVE that she is a bookworm. I’m a bookworm.

From 2010JulAug

She’s a big sleeper. I’m an insomniac. Lately she’s been waking with huge dark circles under her eyes and behaving like a bear most of the time. She goes to bed without trouble, she doesn’t get up repeatedly with stalling tactics, she’s APPARENTLY getting as much sleep as usual. Maybe she needs an earlier bedtime than previously?

No. I’ve discovered the cause.

When I was her age, I read so much that my parents actually had to limit my access. They tried turning out the hall light (I would huddle at the end of my bed, reading by the stream of light coming in the crack of the door) and who knows how many other tactics. Finally they removed my bookshelf and all of my books except one. I was so addicted to reading, I’d just read the same book over and over, with a flashlight hidden under the covers of my bed (so that no light would escape and be visible from under the crack of my door).

My daughter has been turning on her bedside lamp and reading. Some nights she gets away with it and has fallen asleep with the book in her hand by the time I go check on her. So I started leaving her bedroom door open a crack, with no hall light on. Last week her Bonus Dad discovered a flashlight being put to use to read. Last night I heard the click of her door closing, so I went up to investigate. She had glow bracelets under her pillow and was attempting to open the blinds and let the light from the streetlight stream in her window.

What could I say? What could I do? I SO understand this burning desire to read. I still fight it to this day, staying up past my bedtime because I just want a few more minutes with my book. Being an insomniac this is not a good thing. I have a strict scheduled bedtime for a reason. But I also know how hard it is to get those good sleep habits back, and do not want my daughter going about her days in a overtired stupor.

I explained to her how much she needs her sleep, and how she can read for as much of the day as she likes, during waking hours. The things is, she can’t possibly read much more than she does. Like me she carries a book around with her everywhere she goes. I believe like me she’d read while walking, cycling and playing, if she could do so safely.

I’m really not complaining. I know this is the best problem we could have if it’s the worst of our troubles. But, how do I encourage her to get the sleep she so desperately needs?

I’m hoping someone has a really great suggestion.

Birth story – first draft (2004)

Draft of my story that was published in Understanding Human Sexuality

The birth of my first child, was of course a memorable experience.  In a few words I would describe it as relaxed, personal, secure and simple.

I was under the care of a team of two midwives throughout my pregnancy; I had many opportunities to get to know them.  My children’s father attended many appointments, as we were able to schedule some in the evening.  We each preferred the other of the two midwives, finding something different in the two women that appealed to us separately.  Both my sister and my mom were encouraged to attend appointments with me, they got to hear my daughter’s heartbeat very early on.

When my labour began, I’d been aware of Braxton Hicks contractions for some time.  Even though it was my first childbirth experience, I could tell the difference, yet was still in early labour.  I called my midwife, went for a walk, took a bath, the contractions continued regularly but still quite far apart.  I called my midwife, Sylvia, again.  She said she’d come check on me, and if I were further along than she thought, she would stay.  It was the midwife I had felt a stronger connection with, as it turned out it was not her turn to take calls, but they were so busy with other births that neither of them had had much rest in 48 hours.

As it turned out, she stayed.  We ate, we watched Friends on TV, my family came by to visit with me in my home while I laboured.  Apparently I was coping very well, not sounding like a woman close to active labour.  At 8pm, I was about 5cm dilated, this hadn’t changed in a while.  I had tremendous back labour, and was leaning over all of the couch cushions, with family members taking turns applying counter-pressure on my tailbone.  Still, we chatted and relaxed in anticipation.  Within an hour or so, my midwife suggested we could break my waters, if I wanted to, that it might speed things up.  The intention was to have a hospital birth, so it was my choice, did I want to break the water at home, or head in to the hospital and do it there?   Now, why would I want to make all that mess at home, when someone else could clean it up?

By the time we arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later, things were already beginning to progress.  As we walked past admitting, Sylvia told the staff “she’s further along than she looks, her husband will look after the paperwork”, and upstairs we went.  My sister helped me into the shower, where I soon found that I couldn’t stand up, yet the pressure was too much to sit.  Into the hospital bed I went, where I found myself doing squats from a reclined position.  Sylvia and two nurses in the delivery room were amazing, talking me through everything, informing me of what would happen next, bringing me back down as I lost a bit of control in transition.

My daughter’s father was by my side holding my hand, supporting me when I needed to pull-up and squat with the contractions.  My sister was watching as my daughter’s head crowned, with absolute awe she looked at my then husband and says “you have to SEE this!”  He took a quick peak, but dared not leave my side.  I felt my daughter’s hair and her head was delivered without incident, then she rushed out, tearing me with her shoulder, so fast that the she almost flew right past my midwife’s arms!  With great interest Sylvia informed me that my daughter’s umbilical cord was longer than she’d ever seen before.  She and my husband measured it later to be approximately four feet long!

Then my daughter was wiped and swaddled and handed to me.  I remember that feeling like she opened a part of my heart I never even knew was there.  The love I felt for her had been there all along, long before she was conceived, just waiting to be released.  Within moments of her birth, my mother was in the delivery room to meet her first grand-daughter.