I am the total opposite of an attachment parent.
I am a detachment parent.
I totally thought I invented this term, but when I googled it, it turns out that it’s already a thing. But there’s no Wikipedia entry yet, which makes me kind of a pioneer, yes?
Anyhoo, I am basing my claim to detachment parenting on the number of times I say “LEAVE ME ALONE” to my kids most afternoons.
And mornings. Also weekends.
As an example, they may be the fruits of my loin, but I don’t want my kids in bed with me when I’m having a sleep-in. Even if they’re reading quietly. BECAUSE THAT IS NEVER.
I’m not totally heartless. If they’re sick they can sleep with me. But if I’m being honest that’s more so I don’t have to get up eleventy billion times a night when they call out that they feel sick. Let’s face it, one of us needs to get some sleep.
Which brings me to one of life’s great ironies – that one of things we most look forward to as new parents is for our child to say the word “Mum”.
Because a few years down the track we would rather stab ourselves repeatedly in the eye than hear the word “Mum” once more. Wait, no. Not “Mum”. It’s “Maaaaaaahhhhhm”. Shut up. Say it out loud. That is so how it’s spelled.
I really want to stress that I love my kids with all my heart. Would I run in front of a bus to rescue them? Of course. Would I offer myself up to a kidnapper in their place. Absolutely. If they were bullied, would I hunt them down and march them into the production office of A Current Affair? Duh, yes.
But would I deadest love a three metre exclusion zone around me that had a force-field impermeable to the word “Mum”? Sweet Jesus yes.
Now, my kids are 7 and nearly 13, so I realise I have the luxury of being able to say “leave me alone before I have an aneurism” safe in the knowledge that they’re unlikely to wander off and drink the Shower Power. For this I am truly thankful.
Because – and can I just say that if you are an attachment parent, you should look away now – my kids are kind of rubbish company. I mean, sure, they can be hilarious, and even sweet, but rarely interesting. Honestly, Maisie, my 7yo has the spectacularly annoying habit of running in yelling “Maaaaahhhm!” with an urgency appropriate only if she had split the atom. Not only will she not have performed anything especially mensa-worthy, she’ll spend the next five minutes TRYING TO THINK OF SOMETHING TO TELL ME. Drives me mental. Which is not a very long trip.
Alright. It’s time. I’m going to make the most shameful admission of all. I don’t like holidaying with my kids. I know. I would LOVE to be one of those parents who looks forward to the school holidays. I mean, I DO look forward to the school holidays, but largely because it means no more lunchboxes. Don’t judge me. Going away on holidays with kids is really just relocating life without the supporting infrastructure. I’d totally take 4 days without the kids over 14 days with them. I may be selfish, but I’ll be relaxed. Huzzah!
So there it is. A post that in which I confess to being a bit of a shit parent. A post that has taken 3 freaking hours to write because my kids wouldn’t leave me alone.
Nicole makes a living as a “Lifestyle Manager”, managing other people’s lives, whilst neglecting her own. She is a rubbish cook, an authority on apostrophes, and can’t do star jumps. She blogs at Ironing and Apostrophes and tweets when she should be making dinner.