When do we become proper parents?

I’m a dad. And, in case you’re new to this blog, I should add I have two children – two beautiful daughters.

The oldest is now 5 and yet, I still don’t feel like a proper parent. I often take my children out on my own and am convinced that other people are looking at me and saying to themselves: ‘He doesn’t look like a proper father!’ or ‘What on earth is he doing with that child?’

You see, I still live in a haze of paranoia that someone will come up to me and say, you’re not doing it properly and are a crap dad. Here’s a black mark against you – one more and your child will hate you for life.

It doesn’t how many times I tell myself or C that you only need to be ‘good enough’, it still doesn’t really sink in.

All it needs is for my youngest not to come to the front door and greet me when I come home from work and I assume I’ve done something wrong and she doesn’t like me any more.

Or else I call up B to ask her how her day at school was and she refuses to talk to me, because she’s watching TV instead.

I keep pointing out to myself that I was probably exactly the same (and probably still am) with my Mum and Dad and that’s just the way of the world. In other words, you never truly appreciate what’s been done for you, until it’s almost too late.

I hope that one day I’ll wake up and have that Eureka moment when I realise that actually I’m doing an OK job and that people don’t judge me at every step, but I’m not holding out any hope just yet.

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