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Dear diary

Dear diary
I’m glad, dear diary, that I have you to come to for confessions like these. See, you know I try and keep up appearances, and that’s pretty exhausting. Building down a reputation is so much easier than building one up. As a dad, it’s especially hard to be completely honest and open when I screw up, which is more often than I’d care to admit. Here are some of the things I think you should know, but remember, just keep them to yourself:

It rained this weekend. The whole weekend. For some parents, this would be a magical time of running outside with the kids to catch sparkly raindrops on tongues and splash about in puddles. I confess, the kids saw more of the TV than they did of me. Animated characters were their primary caregivers, and I feel bad about that. Wish I could have been more inventive.

Jonah was mimicking me on Sunday. He adopted a lying-flat-on-his-back pose, and pretended to be looking at an imaginary phone. Oops, I guess that means it’s not unusual for me to be on an intravenous social media drip. Bad dad.

We did have a great pancakes-for-breakfast time. Karen got everything going, but I grumped about the kitchen making sure that the children stayed out of danger from hot pans and that their excited dancing was limited to the lounge. I should have encouraged them to get more involved.

I made an awesome cake, but I didn’t let them help. I was being too much of a perfectionist, and, although it would have given them pleasure to help out, I didn’t want them to mess up the end result. That was selfish.

I brushed my own teeth several times, but, now that I think about it, I neglected to tell them to do it the entire weekend. Where’s the logic in that?
I let them watch a movie with a PG rating of 13, and none of them are 13. They survived without nightmares, and they were all really grateful, but I probably should have checked the rating before I promised it to them. I chickened out of turning it off. That was cowardly, don’t you think, diary?

They’re back at school. I was trying to think of an encouraging speech, similar to the ones you see in those movies about sports - where it’s half-time and the coach inspires his guys to overcome all odds to win- but the best I could come up with was “erm, do your best!” I think they found that underwhelming.

I could go on, but the oddest thing about it is that it isn’t about me, diary. No, for no matter how much I miss the bar on how I should be parenting, they still think I’m the Best Dad Ever. I don’t get that, but I am glad that they’re quick to forgive me my shortcomings. It helps me to feel less guilt.

Do you have any guilty parenting secrets? Why not confess them to chatback@parent24.com, and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.


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