Dear diary
Dear diary
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
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, and you could win a R250 voucher.

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