Living on Lord Howe Island


Good enough parenting

Posted by Dani Rourke – Saturday, April 13, 2013

The MV Island Trader on Lord Howe Island

I thought you might like to see a photo of MV Island Trader, our fortnightly supply ship. The ship brings everything we need from groceries to new water tanks, fuel and building supplies. The ship was an especially welcome sight this morning, because I have run out of an essential parenting item: frozen spaghetti bolognese. I called the Top Shop (our local butcher) a week or so ago and was told that there wouldn’t be any more mince until the next ship. Crisis!

Pixie Mae HansonThe background to the spaghetti bolognese obsession is that one of my high-achieving friends suffered from postnatal depression a few years ago after the birth of her second son. After a bit of therapy, she explained to me that in parenting “good enough” really is good enough. Parenting is not an exam. If you allow yourself to let go of unrealistic expectations (such as having a clean house, clean clothes or arriving to work on time), you'll be much happier and more relaxed, and it’s good for the kids too. It turns out that kids don’t need everything to be perfect. In fact they become much more resilient if we stop pretending that everything in life is perfect. They need to see their parents struggle with some things and maybe have an argument or two, or a bad day, and then watch their parents cope with those day to day problems. In summary, there’s no point giving yourself a hard time because you’re not living up to your own (probably impossible) standards. It’s far better to accept that your kids would rather eat snot than green vegetables, and that they actually like having frozen spaghetti bolognese for dinner.

Maybe I’ve taken this “good enough” philosophy a bit far… The house is a complete disaster, I didn’t buy any birthday presents for my two year old (I do feel pretty bad about it, but her Nanna gave her lots), I turn on the TV to keep the kids quiet and there’s absolutely nothing to eat in the fridge. Have a look at the photo below if you don’t believe me.

One empty fridge

Follow Me    
About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

Recent Posts