Parenting is a funny journey. Nobody really knows where they’re going or even where they’ve come from, but there’s nothing you can do to stop it and get off the train. You’re stuck parenting every day from the moment you have a child, whether you like it or not.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There are some parenting truths that if you understand will make your task that much easier.

Parenting truths every parent should know

Gifts are everyone’s love language

But the trick is to be smart about giving gifts. Save the chocolates and socks for when your kids give you gifts on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

When it comes to your partner, think outside the box.

Since Miley has told us to buy her own flowers, here’s a list of gift ideas for your (South African) loved one:

  • a tank full of petrol
  • solar panels
  • a UK/EU/similar passport (not fussy)
  • zero-calorie pizza
  • a very long spa treatment in a quiet place
  • a winning lotto ticket
  • for my kids to carry their own shit

Babies are not as cute as we think

When our babies are little, parents really do think they are the cutest things in the world. Like, we believe deep down that those chubby cheeks, gangly limbs or wispy hair are the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen. But a few years later and you’ll look back at those photos and wonder what the hell you were thinking.


But look how gorgeous they are now?

Most of us are introverts in disguise

No matter how often you went clubbing when you were younger, the more you parent the more you realise your best moments are when the house is perfectly still and quiet. It might be at 11pm when everyone is sleeping and you’re savouring the fact that no one is talking to you. Or 10am when your work meeting is cancelled and everyone is at school or work and even the dogs are sleeping. As long as there is quiet, and preferably nobody else around.

Time is relative

We all know the saying, the days are long but the years are short. But did you know the hours between the beginning of the school day and the end of the school day are in reality only 5 minutes, but the hour before bedtime has been measured as 5 hours.

And don’t get me started on how time stands still when you’re playing Pokemon.

The white diet is universal

Some kids eat salad and sushi. Some kids eat vienna sausages and strawberries. But every single child on this planet goes through the white diet stage. White bread. Potatoes. 2-minute noodles. Milk. Popcorn. Chips. And…nope, that’s it.

When you enter this phase, fear not. Rather go with the flow than try to force something green onto their plates. They’ll get over it. They always do.

We got Mother’s Day all wrong

This is a day we have to celebrate moms. We do this by giving them gifts (see above) and showing them how much we love them. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean we need to ask Mom what she wants to do on Mother’s Day. It does not mean she should get woken up in the morning for a questionable breakfast made by her children and sad flowers they chopped from her garden. It does not mean she must plan, organise and get the kids ready for a fun family outing for the day.

Give her some time. Let her sleep in. Sort out the kids. Make the plans. Let her do whatever she wants to do. If that’s watch TV on the couch all day, then take the kids and go fishing. If that’s takeaways for lunch so she doesn’t have to be seen in public and she doesn’t have to make lunch, then order in.

And the same goes for Father’s Day.

What do fathers want for Father’s Day. More than likely, to watch the rugby in peace and quiet or to go fishing or play golf.

It helps to lower your standards

When it comes to parenting, everyone wants to be the perfect parent. Spoiler alert: while there’s usually 1 in every class your child is in, that also means there are about 24 that aren’t. So stop trying.

For New Year 2023, I made a set of resolutions which were a bit more doable. Just to make sure I wouldn’t feel bad when I didn’t lose 10kgs or run 21km as usual.

For 2023, I hoped to:

  • teach the boys that snot is not a food group
  • show the husband how to look with his eyes
  • drink more than 1 glass of water a day
  • read something longer than a Twitter thread
  • Not swear quite so loudly
  • Keep my house smelling better
  • Show my gynae that I am in fact still alive
  • Put my kids shoes on the right feet the first time

Let me tell you, I’ve never felt so good about myself at this time of year.

The best parenting advice is…

Sorry, there isn’t any.

People will try and tell you things all the time. Heavens knows there is a lot of advice dished out on the daily. And while it’s sweet and all, there is no way of knowing if it’ll work for you or your child. Soz.

To me, the best parenting style to follow is called WTF-am-i-doing parenting. Also known as average parenting. Been working for me so far. Low stress, too.