New(ish) mum Samantha Dooey-Miles is charting her life in doodles. This week, can someone please tell her she’s good at this parenting lark?

My husband and I declare my daughter a good girl when she does anything and everything which isn’t naughty.

Cleans her teeth – “Good girl!”

Gets down the stairs on her own in one piece – “Good girl!”

Only flings a small part of her banana at a stranger and eats the rest – “Good girl!”

She is so used to hearing the phrase she now utters it to herself as she goes about her business. “Goo gil!” is said after every small achievement, and to deflect any chastisement if she’s pushed things a bit far. Her first reaction to anything she does is that she has done it well and competently.

I’m similarly filled with praise when telling my friends, relatives and co-workers about my husband (when asked; I’m not just indiscriminately complimenting him about town). “He’s such a great dad,” I declare and then give examples of how he co-parents with me so well; how he does the morning routine so efficiently, that he has tons of energy for playing, that he never moans about being tired with it all like I do.

At night when our daughter’s in bed I sometimes tell him what a great dad he is and he looks puzzled as if to say, “Why are you being so nice?”

The answer to why I am being so nice is this: my first instinct to anything that happens when it comes to parenting is that I am a bad mum. When I examine those thoughts I know they are ridiculous but there it is.

My daughter topples with nothing to have caused the fall around her – my fault.

She refuses broccoli – my fault.

Screams the entire duration of her bath – you get the picture.

From other mums I know I’m led to believe this isn’t an uncommon view of the whole parenting thing. Is this how it is for you? If it is, remember you’re not a bad mother/father/step-parent/caregiver if you’re doing the best you can. You’re all good girls and boys.

DoodlebugSee Samanthas previous doodles here.


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Written by Samantha Dooey-Miles

Sam is a first-time mum doodling and blogging her way through teething, nappies and the constant struggle of never quite being sure whether she lives in Essex or London. Find her blog at anewessexgirl.com.