Ask any mum or dad out there, and they will tell you straight up – there is no such thing as a ‘perfect family’, so you should just embrace the madness and your little quirks, and enjoy the ride.
While we parents often aim for perfection, a swing and a miss isn’t always so bad, and it makes the little victories all the more satisfying – just like the following scenarios.
1. When your babysitter says the kids were ‘little angels’ – and they actually were
Once bath time is over and you’ve managed to make yourself look presentable for date night, you think the battle’s over – that’s when you shudder with guilt over what lies ahead for your ever-patient babysitter. To come home and find that the little ones sat in perfect harmony together, bonding over their favourite Netflix show before hitting the sack without protest, is one of those genuine ‘pinch-me’ moments for any mum.
2. When the little ones don't need to be reminded to say 'please' and 'thank you'
Due to many a mortifying experience, one of every mum's worst nightmares is raising a rude child. That's why, when you reach the stage where they're saying 'please' and 'thank you' without prompt, you get such a feeling of satisfaction. So, who hands the gold stars out to Mum?
3. When the birthday party goes off without a hitch
You’ve spent the best part of a month planning this, from sending out invitations to stocking up on treats and organising games – but you’re still expecting tears, tantrums, or the dreaded ‘B’ word (boredom, of course). To walk in on your little one and their friends bonding over a Disney movie while they pass around the popcorn is a total relief and affirmation that you, in fact, have a calling in party-planning.
4. When the kids finally stop asking to stay up late, and just go to bed
It's one of those rites of passage for any child, isn't it? Sometimes they are just too full of energy to go to sleep, or else they're afraid of missing you and their siblings. After a few too many late nights, nothing makes a mum feel prouder than relaxing on the couch with the other half, taking in the latest episode of Orange Is the New Black, without a peep from upstairs.
5. When you get through a whole journey without hearing ‘are we there yet?’
It’s a phrase that strikes a certain horror into any parent, but you are well-practiced in getting around car/ bus/ train/ airport journey tantrums and boredom. While your little ones are, of course, perfectly behaved darlings, it helps that you managed to pack those wireless tech tablets in their bags. You got through the journey – with a little help from Spongebob and Dora, of course!
6. When the family portrait turns out perfectly
Yes, you may have spent the morning putting up with tantrums over clothes and wiping jam off of their faces, but in the end your merry brood pulled it off to create a beautiful memory that you will treasure forever. Promising the little ones an extra half-an-hour's worth of Netflix time proved an excellent bargaining chip!
7. When your little one has a burst of genius
Usually, we're trying to cover our little ones' mouths to stop them from talking about what they found down the toilet yesterday, or how silly your friend's outfit looks. So, when they come out with an intelligent statement about dinosaurs or can rattle off Ireland's coastal counties by heart, it's hard to wipe that smile off of your face. You knew switching him onto that educational cartoon would pay off!
8. When your youngest stops smearing their dinner all over their face
The old song tells us that love is a battlefield – whoever wrote that clearly never fed a baby, because that is the true test of a mother! It may take multiple baths and a few ruined jumpers to get there, but once your tot starts putting spoon to mouth, you're flying it.
9. When the brood manage to keep themselves occupied
There are certain days where, due to volumes of laundry or a family emergency, you just can't be there to entertain your brood 24/7. While silence can sometimes herald mischief and lead to a nasty paint-related discovery, there is no prouder moment than peering around the sitting room door and finding your little ones engrossed in a festive movie or educational series. Pats on the back all around!
10. When you pull off the perfect family night in
It sounds easy to pull off in theory, but having a perfect family night together can prove difficult - the kids are arguing over what to watch; drinks are being spilled left, right and centre; and Dad gets stuck late in work. When you do get it right however, and you look around to see the whole family cuddled up in front of the latest Disney blockbuster (thanks, Netflix), no one can wipe the smile from your face.
As you mums will know only too well, life doesn’t always go according to plan, which is why a little help from Netflix can prove to be a godsend. With something for every member of the family to enjoy you are spoiled for choice, and it’s guaranteed to get you out of even the trickiest spot.