Parenting lessons I’ve yet to learn

mum kid
mum kid Photo: Getty Images

I can wind a newborn after a feed, I can settle a crying baby in the middle of the night. I can spot the first signs of tiredness, I can change a nappy. And these are just a tiny fraction of the things I have learnt since becoming a mother.

There is, however, a very long list of lessons I haven't learned since becoming a mum to toddler Milin and baby Jasmin. So instead of writing about the stuff I do know, I thought I'd share some of the things I don't. These are the lessons, you could say, that motherhood hasn't taught me.

Being a mind-reader

Motherhood might have given me some superpowers (I can kiss sore knees to make them better, for example), but it hasn't taught me to read minds. This, according to Milin, is a flaw. I should just know without needing to ask whether he wants his toast cut into triangles or squares. I should just know without asking that he wants to wear his wellies to the park on a sunny day. Basically, if I could read my toddler's mind, it would make all of our lives easier.

Never wear white

I don't know what makes me think it will be a good idea, but I have a habit of wearing white T-shirts. I usually get half way through the day and find them so smeared in Marmite, paint and unidentifiable bodily fluids that I swear never to wear light clothing again. Until tomorrow morning, when I'm getting dressed while half asleep.

Cook delicious meals for my children

It doesn't matter how many recipes I follow or how adventurous I am, I've clearly not learnt how to make yummy food for Milin and Jasmin because they don't seem to like anything I serve up. Motherhood has taught me lots of things, but it hasn't taught me how to make food that is even palatable to a certain toddler and baby.

Arrive on time


Another trick I just can't seem to get the hang of. It doesn't matter how much I try to account for Jasmin being sick just before we leave the house, or Milin spilling his water everywhere and needing a change of clothes - and then needing to sit on the potty. It doesn't matter how much I account for doing things at a toddler's pace - we still never get anywhere on time.

Be prepared

This relates to the curse of the nappy bag, and even after a rather disastrous vomit-in-carseat episode, I've not adequately taken on board one of parenting's simplest lessons. Never, ever leave the house without wipes. Just don't. I know it doesn't sound that hard, but I don't seem to ever learn.

How to be a domestic goddess

The playroom constantly looks like a toddler and baby have taken every single toy out of the cupboards and left it on the floor. (It looks like that because they have.) The washing pile never seems to get smaller. I still give Milin chocolate toast for dinner. Domestic Goddess? I've got some way to go.

Getting the kids to sleep in

Does any parent know how to do this? If anyone has any tips for getting their little ones to lie in bed past 7am at the weekend I'd love to know! If anyone can keep them asleep past 5am on the very rare morning after I've been out the night before, I'd love to know how to do that too.

Getting motherhood 'right'

I know there isn't one right way to do things, but I still often feel like I've got a lot of lessons to learn on this one. I'm trying though, to do this motherhood thing as well as I can - and I hope that one day, Milin and Jasmin will know that.

Essential Mums