Tired tales from the parenting coal-face: Mum of two Emily shares stories and solidarity while listening to Let it Go for the millionth time.

Emily Writes: All the mistakes I've made as a mother - according to strangers

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Instincts be damned. I should have definitely trusted an email from a stranger over what I know is true in my heart. Photo / Getty
Instincts be damned. I should have definitely trusted an email from a stranger over what I know is true in my heart. Photo / Getty

My dear sweet baby,

I'm so terribly sorry. It has come to my attention, over the course of writing this blog, that I have failed you. You see, I have had emails, and blog comments, and comments on Facebook, and tweets, and they have all shown me the error of my ways.

There is just so much I must apologise for.

I am sorry for swaddling you. I now know that swaddling restricts not just your limbs as you sleep, but also your creativity and ability to drive a manual car. I am desperately sorry.

I am sorry, that studies now show that you are 82 times more likely to be attacked by a swarm of angry bees at the age of 28 because I gave you too much tummy time.

I am sorry that I also didn't give you enough tummy time and you're going to grow up to be a Phil Collins fan who is totally incapable of walking.

It has been pointed out to me by an "expert" that you should be walking by now. And you're not. This must be my fault because you had tap water with fluoride in it. Or it's the tummy time. Or maybe the bumbo.

That evil bumbo!

I'm sorry that I gave you a dummy, as a recent study has found that children who were given dummies have a 97 per cent chance of turning into that person at a party who tells you a really, really, really super long story that goes nowhere and then at the end says "I guess you had to be there".

I'm sorry that I used white noise to get you to sleep. "Jim" sent me an email "just because I think you should know". It turns out the team at FakeScienceToday have found that children who sleep with white noise develop an auditory dependency that inhibits their ability to ride a bike without training wheels. I just wanted you to sleep. But Captain Von Clickbait says that mums who use any kind of sleep aid are basically destroying their children and should be charged with neglect.

I'm sorry I didn't leave you to cry for hours on end even though the sleep training consultants say that's what we should do. I wasn't respecting your need to cry yourself to sleep. And now look at you, you haven't slept in 12 years and you have a beard down to your waist and you drink decaf soy chai lattes.

Beards aren't even in fashion anymore.

I am sorry I used Pamol. Those mums in the REAL NATURAL MUMS Facebook group were so right, Pamol is a gateway drug to crack cocaine. But at least we have a hobby together now, right?

I am sorry for letting you dress yourself, I have emasculated you according to a father of seven from Lubbock (I Googled it. It's in the US). Now you're never going to have a wife which is apparently very important because how else will you eat if your wife doesn't cook for you, according to this father of seven in Lubbock.

I'm sorry I put you in a jolly jumper twice in order to take cute/semi-humiliating photos of you. I have been sent a blog post by an anti-jolly jumper advocate and she says you're going to grow up to be a "social media guru".

I've failed you.

I'm sorry I didn't cut out sugar from your diet. I should have actually read the 8,000 word essay I was sent from a parent in Invercargill schooling me on the dangers of sugar. Look at you now, you're that person who talks about sugar for hours at a time. You're incapable of reading social cues and realising that nobody actually gives a sh*t.

Oh, I am sorry!

I'm sorry for using a baby carrier. It's true, your legs are useless now, we had to get them removed, and it's so hard to carry you now that you're 47 and weigh 120kgs. But I brought this on myself so I will accept it.

I'm sorry I used the buggy instead of the baby carrier, putting you in a front facing pram is clearly the reason why you live with 15 cats and keep getting told off by the Council for hoarding.

I'm sorry I breast fed you and formula fed you. It's a terrible burden for you to now be both breast obsessed with "mummy issues" AND bottle obsessed with "mummy issues". We have no bond while having too much of a bond. And you've been poisoned by Big Formula while also being brainwashed by lactivists. It's all my fault.

What can I say? I tried to do my best but I should have spent less time parenting and more time reading studies.

I should have stopped listening to you and started listening to what others said about how I should raise you.

I should have read more books instead of just reading you.

I should have kept up with the Jones's (I would never have guessed that university exams would eventually just be one question: What brand of baby muslin did your mother wrap you in on the way home from the hospital?).

I shouldn't have thought that just because I know you best I would know what is best for you.

After all, people who have actually convinced parents they're screwing up their kids lives by loving them too much - they're the ones we should listen to right?

Instincts be damned. I should have definitely trusted an email from a stranger over what I know is true in my heart.

Oh well, it's too late for shoulds. I guess we will just have to make sure we tell every mum we meet that they'll be sorry one day too...

Love, your very sorry Mama.

- nzherald.co.nz

- NZ Herald

• Follow Emily Writes on Facebook and check out her website here.

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Tired tales from the parenting coal-face: Mum of two Emily shares stories and solidarity while listening to Let it Go for the millionth time.

Emily Writes is a mum of two gorgeous boys under three. Her blog Mama Said took off when she wrote her first post about the ways parents are silenced - it went viral and since then she's been writing about the joy and heartbreak of parenting to a huge audience. Emily lives in Wellington with her husband and they're both really sick of picking Countdown cards and dominoes off the floor of their lounge. Once a week, we will share posts from Emily on what it's really like in the sleep-deprived world of parenting.

Read more by Emily Writes

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