I had one of those moments today – one of those heart-stopping instances in the supermarket when you turn your back for a second and your little one vanishes from sight. It wasn’t long before I found her under a display table. Needless to say I spent the rest of the evening berating myself for being a crap mother who took her eye off the ball. No Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic Bjork Teapot is worth the upset.

An onlooker – an older woman – spoke the kindest of words. She recalled something similar when her own son was young. There was no judgement, just understanding. She sweetly told me that I was doing a great job. So why then, with all of this sympathetic understanding and vindication was I struggling to believe her?

There isn’t a more self-critical, insecure creature on the planet than a parent. We invariably doubt our capabilities from the moment we become responsible for another little person. More often than not we convince ourselves that we are getting it all wrong. We constantly compare ourselves to others; the mothers at the toddler group don’t seem to have any bother with their kids’ behaviour, your cousin’s four-year-old eats quinoa and drinks vegetable smoothies, and Susan from up the road would never lose her child! So what’s wrong with you? Why is it that your children will only eat Cheerios and Cheese Strings and still haven’t nailed the whole empathy thing? And how is Susan’s house always so damn clean?

Maybe we should just stop with the comparisons and the self-reproach.  Maybe we should give ourselves a pat on the back and a fist-bump for getting it right most of the time. Shit will happen. Things will go wrong and we won’t always be on top of our parenting game. Life with kids is infuriating and tiring and really, really hard.  Sometimes we want to wave the white flag, offload them all on a relative and take to the bed with a box of Ferrero Rocher and a G&T. Those are normal feelings – healthy feelings. Is it time to stop agonising over our perceived failings and instead acknowledge that we might not actually be terrible parents after all?


We are keeping little humans alive. We are meeting their needs. They are safe. They are happy. They are healthy. They are loved. We are doing our very, very best. Some days are better than others but all in all we are doing a bloody great job.

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Great parents, however, are everywhere and I salute you all, especially when dirty nappies are hitting the fan.

  • To the stranger in the library whose little girl swiped the books from the shelves in a fit of rage that only a three-year-old will understand – It could have happened to any of us. No need to apologise. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the father in the park whose little boy took a swing at my son on the climbing frame – It’s a phase. He will figure it out. Only last week my little girl was growling like a wolverine at a younger kid over the zip-wire. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the mother who sent her daughter to Montessori in a pajama top, a tutu and yesterday’s underpants because she doesn’t have any fight left – You’re right. Surrendering is the way to go in wardrobe crises. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the parent whose kids have eaten nothing of nutritional value for two days  – It’s OK. They won’t starve. Crisps are basically potatoes. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the mother in the supermarket who forgot her wallet and realised too late – That was really unfortunate. I would have been stressed too.  That lady behind you was a right wagon and clearly doesn’t realise that going grocery shopping with three children is akin to flying a plane while a group of wild ferets climb around the cockpit, pushing buttons and attempting to open the emergency doors. I’m on your side. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the parent who has just let the kids watch TV for two straight hours because you need peace – Everyone does it. Sometimes the incessant questions are too much. And who the hell knows if rabbits can catch colds anyway? You’re doing a great job.
  • To the mother whose four-year-old has just hacked chunks out of her hair – Buy a bandana and hide the scissors. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the father in the clothing section of Tesco, frantically searching for clean, dry pants for his visibly sodden two year-old at the pinnacle of toilet-training madness – I’ve been that soldier. Toilet-training is the WORST! You’re doing a great job.
  • To the new mother who feels like roadkill and wonders what she ever did to deserve the pain of mastitis – Hang in there. It’s about to get so much easier. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the mothers who go out to work every morning – What wonderful role models you are! You’re doing a great job.
  • To the stay-at-home parents who have made sacrifices and changed their role in life completely – I applaud you. It’s bloody hard. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the single parents who are on this insane journey alone –  You are my heroes. You’re doing a great job.
  • To my dear, dear friend who recently lost her own mum and, like me, now wonders how she can be a mother, without a mother – You can. She’s there. You’re doing a great job.
  • To the panicked mother searching for her kid in the supermarket – Never underestimate the unpredictability of a four-year-old, especially in the vicinity of shiny miniature elves and Santa Clauses. You’re doing a great job.


To parents everywhere, nailing it most of the time…

To parents everywhere, nailing it most of the time...


Have you ever felt that you were getting it all wrong as a parent? Well you're not. You're doing a great job!

I’m linking this post with..

My Petit Canard  Pink Pear Bear    My Random Musings      3 Little Buttons   Reflectionsfromme     Mudpie Fridays      Mummuddlingthrough     Admissions Of A Working Mother    You Baby Me Mummy   Diary of an imperfect mum   Mummascribbles



  1. Totally agree with you! There is no such thing as a perfect parent, we’re all doing our best and isn’t that wonderful when people family friends and even strangers recognise this too?!

    • Sinéad Reply

      It really is. For every person that gives you a look of disapproval, there’s usually one who empathises in my experience. Thanks for reading. 🙂

    • Sinéad Reply

      Absolutely everyday! Haha. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Awww totally love this!! Share share share! I think you’ve just made every reader feel so much better about themselves! Thank you! #marvmondays

    • Sinéad Reply

      Yay! Mission accomplished! And no, thank YOU! 😉

  3. Yes I love this! Having recently found out someone close called me a bad mother whilst still pregnant it made me question my parenting. But no! I am and everyone else here is doing a fantastic job! #anythinggoes

  4. Great post. It’s nice when strangers acknowledge you in that way, especially older ladies who have been there before.
    I’m with you on this. I hate the constant comparisons. I try to avoid it but people always seem to want to compare. I’m just not interested! Love the examples too ???????? #mg #DreamTeam

  5. Hurray to this basically! I just love it and you are so right! The thing is that so few people actually tell you about the time that they lost their kid in a chocolate shop and found her a few seconds later with her hand in the chocolate fountain (true story – blog post to follow!) which leaves you with the image that they’ve cherry picked to show you about themselves – that of the one time that their kid ate veg smoothie or that rare 10 minutes where their house looked clean. Behind the scenes I’m convinced that we are all just b*ggering on as best we can! So well said! xx #DreamTeam

    • Sinéad Reply

      Dawn, I am REALLY looking forward to that post! Lol. Sure we are all marvellous at the old cherry-picking when it suits us! No harm in giving an odd glimpse at the reality behind the scenes! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading. Glad you liked it.

  6. Unfortunately we doubt ourselves forever! We are all in fact just winging it no matter what some think. We hope to get some things right and that’s all you can do is hope. Hope they are kind, hope they are thoughtful, hope they stay safe. Its a long road with fun on the way. Thanks Sinead, we all need a pat on the back sometimes x

    • Sinéad Reply

      Totally winging it, Irene! ???? Fun, is right! They’ll all turn out alright, won’t they???

  7. What a wonderful post. I loved it all, the examples you give are spot on. The message of this is great and hopefully it will make parents everywhere feel better. Thanks for linking up with us. #bigpinklink

    • Sinéad Reply

      Glad you liked it, Louise. I hoped there was an example or three in there that everyone could relate to. 😉

    • Sinéad Reply

      Yup, ’tis a big boat we’re all in! Thanks for stopping by, Helena. 🙂

  8. I love this post! We should definitely be supporting each other as mothers rather than looking on with a face of judgment. We have all been in these situations. It’s really lovely that the woman reassured you & told you her own story. Fairy play to her. Let’s pass on that kind of support to each other. Thank you for sharing your post with us at #BloggerClubUK xx

    • Sinéad Reply

      Absolutely Becky! That’s it, isn’t it? We’ve all been there! Let she who casts the first stone and all that…

  9. I love this. I think all parents should read it when they’re having a bad day!
    Remember that you too are doing a great job 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

    • Sinéad Reply

      I flipping am, you know! Hah. Cheers for reading and the lovely comment!

  10. What a fantastic post. We’ve all had that heart stopping moment when a kid wonders off or hides in the clothes rack/under the checkout counter/behind the chair you just sat them on/inside those annoying rides they put in supermarkets (yes these all happened to me), and we are always so self-critical. We definitely need to give each ourlseves a break x

    • Sinéad Reply

      Hah! Yours have found some good hiding spots, Alana! Sure you couldn’t hold on to them, really! Thanks for checking out the post! And good luck! 🙂

  11. Hi Sinead, this post really made me smile. It was so refreshing to read and so utterly true. As parents, we’ve all been there with the self-doubt (never trust anyone who says any differently). Children don’t come with instruction manuals, guarantees or on/off switches, and we can only do our best.

    Thank you for linking up to the #MMBC.


    • Sinéad Reply

      You’re right, Debbie! I’ve yet to meet a fellow parent who hasn’t doubted some aspect of their own parenting/decision-making but if I ever do, I’ll tell them to ride on out of town on the unicorn they rode in on… ????

      • Sinéad Reply

        P.S. I can’t believe you live in Zakynthos! ????

  12. That’s lovely. As someone with older kids, all that baby and toddler stuff does fade into insignificance (the piece of cake insignificance)…so get through the day and you’re probably doing a great job! #Stayclassymama

    • Sinéad Reply

      Now you’re scaring me, Lydia! ???? Thanks for reading and good luck to you with your older ones! Always a set of challenges no matter what stage on the road we’re at, eh!

  13. Amen to that and I’m not even religious. I think parents every where will thank you for this fantastic post. We’re all just doing the best we can at the end of the day and even the most hands on agents get it wrong sometimes. I genuinely love this post 🙂


    • Sinéad Reply

      Aw thanks so the lovely comment, Janine and thanks for reading. I’m delighted that so many people can relate to it (and that it’s not just me! Ha!)

  14. I’m not sure I was doing a great job this morning while the mouse stared at Cbeebies and I stared at my phone – but what the hell, we both needed it. Thanks for reminding me that I am doing a great job (we did endure soft play for the remainder of the day).
    Thanks for your epic positivity and mummittment today, and for linking up to #coolmumclub!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Cbeebies all the way! Haha. How else would we ever keep up with Instagram Stories? Thanks for hosting and reading! 🙂

  15. Great post. We all make mistakes (I have lost my kids in the park, the tooth fairy usually arrives days after the tooth has been put under the pillow and I even poisoned three of them one summer (daffodil bulbs look a lot like shallots you know) but generally speaking I think I’m doing OK. I love them and they know it. #ablogginggoodtime

    • Sinéad Reply

      ???????? You TOTALLY made me spit out my wine with the daffodil bulbs v. shallots comment! I shouldn’t laugh but I did. You poor thing! Disaster! All’s well that ends well, eh? All you need is love. And some Immodium. ????

  16. Woman….goood post!!! I remember when my then 6 year old had a huge fit in the Disney Store and I had to carry her out with my grandmother in tow (who I thought was embarrassed) until she snarled at an older man who didn’t show much empathy. And swear, she just patted my hand as we struggled through the mall with a screaming girl on my shoulder, she said, “You are doing great sweetie.”


    • Sinéad Reply

      Ah wasn’t that lovely. You’ll always remember that too. Kindness wins out every time! Go Gran! She gets it! 🙂

  17. On of the best posts I’ve read, you sure made me feel better and I had to laugh at the chips being potato so it’s all good! I am having a bad day, a tired, exhausted day and sometimes TV is a saviour! My middle daughter makes me feel like a good mummy though as she is sitting next to me reading a book so I’m doing OK lol. Really beautifully written, all parents need to read this! #mg

    • Sinéad Reply

      Ha! You’re doing more than ok! Thanks so, so much. You have made my (otherwise crap) morning with your lovely words! 🙂

  18. I am so in love with this post. It genuinely brought me to tears… I so needed this so thank you! <3 #coolmumclub

    • Sinéad Reply

      Thanks for reading and for the lovely comment, Rebecca! xx

  19. Aw loved this! I have such huge respect for all parents since becoming one myself – I just don’t think you can really understand it until you’ve been there. Fab post xx #TheList

    • Sinéad Reply

      Totally agree. I was just having that very conversation with a friend recently. You haven’t a clue until you are in the thick of the madness. Always nice to know that other moms have our back though, the majority of the time, anyway! Thanks for reading and for the lovely comment. x

  20. Feel good post of the entire week!!!

    I love this. I love the change of perspetive and your infectiously positive attitude. YOU are doing a great job!

    Found you via #AnythingGoes – Consider me your newest fan. 🙂

    • Sinéad Reply

      If I’m honest, I’m not always this positive! I probably need to work on practicing what I preach! Delighted you liked it. Thanks for the kind words! 🙂 x

  21. Sometimes you just need a post like this to help you realise that yes, you ARE doing a good job. Thank you, really needed to read this today, superb timing! Thank God for Linkys and great writers who totally get it. X

    • Sinéad Reply

      Linkys are the BEST! As you say, so great for connecting with people in the same crazy boat!

  22. This is such an amazing and empowering post! Sometimes all we need to hear as parents is that we are doing a great job, and we are. Its a massive learning curve and we dont pat ourselves on the back anywhere as much as we should. Love this post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • Sinéad Reply

      We really don’t! That’s why I love your gratitude lists so much, Emily – they make me stop and reflect on the positives rather than dwelling on the muck-ups (of which there are many!)

  23. What a great post! Love it. Your shout outs to the other parents are fab and I am sure we can all relate to at least one of these. Thank goodness your little one was ok and you were met with kind words from a stranger. I can’t even begin to imagine the fright it must have given you. Thank you for linking up to the #dreamteam xx

    • Sinéad Reply

      I think we both got a fright! Hopefully it won’t happen again!

  24. I adore this!!! It’s so true and positive – we are all doing a great job, a really bloody hard job!! It’s definitely part and parcel of being a parent to worry and doubt ourselves but as you say, nobody gets it right all of the time. It’s so important to give ourselves a break and congratulate ourselves sometimes on keeping them alive and happy, ha! #ablogginggoodtime

  25. Such a great post!! Us parents need this! We are always criticising ourselves and never give ourselves enough credit. Sometimes we’re going to make mistakes….I leave my wallet at home alll the time lol but I shouldn’t feel like a bad parent or person for doing that. Lovely post thank you so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  26. This is absolutely wonderful – just brilliant. It made me a wee bit emosh at the end. A few weeks back I was trying to scan the shopping through whilst Oscar was in his pram screaming. I turned and Zach was gone. The absolute sheer panic set in instantly. Of course all he had done was take the basket to where they were all stacked at the checkouts, you know, he was being really helpful to me and the staff. But for me, it was ruddy awful. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • Sinéad Reply

      Oh no! The worst thoughts just flash through your mind, don’t they? He sounds like a super little helper. So glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  27. Great article!
    A friend of mine is 14 weeks pregnant with her first child and already it’s begun. 🙂 She ate Brie cheese before someone told her she shouldn’t. She had an argument with her husband. She went for a long walk and perhaps it was too much. Already she feels worried and guilty about what harm she might be causing her baby. I worry about the years of worry that lie ahead for my friend. 😀

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