I love going to the park where I live with the young ‘uns in tow. Here I get to spy on my favourite people – the right-on parents. You know the types, mums with colourful swirly skirts, barefoot children munching organic oatcakes with yeast pate, dads wearing handmade boots. I’m not even being sarcastic, I love these guys and want to befriend them all.
Before I had the twins I had idealistic visions of myself carting them around in a babysling (or two?). Frolicking in fields of daisies. Hanging out with a hippie vibe. I don’t know what happened to that dream? Where did it go? I used my babysling once before realising the difficulty of having a baby on your front while trying to juggle/push/feed another baby. My hippie self became control freak mum. How could I allow my children to romp in fields if I had to keep a constant eye on them?
My pre-parent self frowned on those kids munching crisps and drinking cartons of sugary squash. Jump forward three years and I’m sending my son to nursery with white bread sandwiches (no crusts) and a healthy packet of pom bears.
In my fantasy I would dress my daughter in blue, in stripey tights and vintage patterned dresses. She’d wear heavy knitted cardigans in muted tones. Fastforward to now and I’d be delighted if she wore anything not made from synthetic netting or embellished with Disney princesses. Mini Boden be damned….sigh.
So I sit on the park bench gaze enviously while these beatnik children play independently and talk nicely to each other, playing with sticks and leaves. Meanwhile my two have a brief argument that involves shoving before Barbie comes a cropper in a puddle. The boho mums seem so relaxed, they seem to have this parenthood thing figured out. It doesn’t phase them – they take it in their shoeless stride.
So I’m going to try and get in touch with my free spirit, to raise my kids with flowers in their hair, with no shoes on their feet and free love in their hearts.
What kind of parent are you?. And if you are a bohemian mum in a swirly skirt please can I be your friend?