Mellow Mummy: Good Cop. Bad Cop. : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Good Cop. Bad Cop.

Today's guest post by Jo from Slummy Single Mummy is about finding a mellow balance when you are a single parent with no-one there to check up on you.

I’ve realised, only very recently, that I am a bit of a softie. I’d always thought I was a pretty firm parent, but since my new partner has moved in, and been able to offer me a new perspective, I’ve begun to realise I am far from firm. (And not just in the thigh and bottom area).

Like just this week...

We were in Sainsbury’s, and my nine-year-old wanted to buy a magazine. This particular magazine was £4.99. (Seriously, since when is ANY magazine cost that much money??). I said no, quite reasonably I thought, and she looked sad and said please in a cute voice. I wavered, knowing she’d been collecting these magazines, but also knowing she’d just blown all her Christmas money on crappy toys, despite my suggesting she save some.

I looked over to my partner and he raised his eyebrows in a way that said ‘if you let her have that I will lose all respect for you’, so I held my ground.

She wailed a bit, and stomped off to put it back. I felt awful. “Was that the right thing to do?” I asked my partner, rather pathetically.
“Yes!” he assured me, quite loudly. “She’s just had about a million Christmas presents! If you’d have bought her that as well I’d have had to poke you with a stick.”

I think it comes partly from having been a single parent for so long. When you don’t have another adult in the house, you can’t help but want to indulge your children a little bit, if only so they’ll be somebody in the house who likes you. Respect is all well and good, but it won’t keep you company and eat sweets with you on the sofa in the evenings.

It’s a tricky balance isn’t it? How, as a single parent, do you go about being the good and the bad cop? And how do you know you’re doing it right with no one else there to keep an eye on you? When you find out, let me know...
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