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Don't Just Stand There - Pass Me The Instruction Manual


Kids. Who’d have ‘em? Okay, so obviously, parents have kids. But don’t you ever have days when you thought it would have been easier to get a cat instead? The pay’s crap, there are no holidays or sick leave and you are on call 24/7. It’s not that that concerns me so much as the fact I feel like I’m flying blind a lot of the time. I so wish there was a child’s instruction book. It would have made my life as a parent so much easier. How about you?


Every day I learn something new. Like how giving a toddler toast cut in squares can ruin their day. Or how it takes four hours to get ready to leave the house, only to return three minutes later when they have an exploding poo. Something I wished for early on, was an instruction manual for kids. Surely someone would have written one of those? Even Super Nanny? No. No one has.

Doctors, midwives, nurses, psychologists and even celebrities have written books about babies and kids. How they grow. What food to feed them and when. How to settle a teething baby. Even how to make babies.

Yet they have omitted one essential best seller – my child’s instruction book. Hell, I would have brought 27,000 copies if there was one. Grandparents, aunties, teachers and the lady down the road would have been given copies for Christmas. Why, oh why has no one written one for me?


The truth is, no one can write that instructional manual for you. There is no one more knowledgeable on your child than you are. There is no one who can respond to their needs and wants like you. It comes down to you, as a parent. So, what should you actually do if you have no idea what to do?
  • Trust your instincts – if you think it is the right thing to do, it probably is.
  • Know and use your support networks – family, friends and professionals are more than willing to help. If you are not coping or want some advice, just ask.
  • Keep kids safe – it’s pretty much our most important job. If something doesn’t sit well with you in regards to your child, it’s up to you to put it right. Saying no or working towards an acceptable compromise is vital to keep your child safe.

I often say to mums who contact me in tears because they can't get their child to sleep and think they are doing a shit job... you know what? the fact you are bringing up this conversation with me means you do care and your doing awesome. You want to do the best by your child and that is normal! Believe me when I say, you are the best person to write your child’s instruction book.

You’re even writing it every day. It may not be with paper and pen, but your brain is packed full of information about them. Right from the day they were born, their book began and you have a wealth of knowledge to draw from. You’ll never have all the answers, but neither will anyone else and that’s okay.

You can do it, I know you can. Fiona xox

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