The 80/20 rule of parenting: the good vs the bad times

rule of parenting

Recently I’ve had a lot of conversations with fellow parents about the good vs the bad times of parenting. We all know by now that parenting is damn hard work, and that we are fueled through the bad times by those lovely good times which are like absolute gold dust.

In said conversations, we were trying to work out the percentage of the good vs the bad times if we are really – and yes I mean REALLY – honest about it. Because while being a parent is amazing on so many levels, it sure as hell ain’t like the movies.

And so we started to bound around some figures. What was the proportion of the s**t we have to put up withΒ on a daily basis to revel in the glorious good times?

10% good times versus 90% utter crap – that seems too harsh, don’t you think?

30% good times versus 70% get me outta here moments – hmmm could potentially be a little optimistic, unless you happen to be on a very good run of it which of course does sometimes happen in the land of parent dreams!

20% good times versus 80% total drudgery – hmmmm now that seems a little more realistic don’t you think?

And so, the 80:20 rule of parenting was born. We can basically expect 80% of screaming, whining, early wake ups, illness and general hair-tearing experience in order to receive a beautiful 20% warm fuzzy precious moments, smiles, snuggles, heart-melts and those lightbulb yes! this is why I became a parent! instances.

Funnily enough the 80:20 rule of parenting also works quite well in a slightly different translation: if you’re getting it right 80% of the time, and screwing it up 20% of the time (because even good parents make bad mistakes) you’re probably doing pretty well at this parent game. And if you’re getting a 20% return in good times as a reward, well, that’s winning in life as far as a parent is concerned.

What do you think your good vs bad in parenting split it? Do leave a comment and share.

The 80/20 rule of parenting: the good vs the bad times

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25 comments

  1. good parents do make some bad mistakes, love that! I tried being the “so called perfect mummy’, lasted the first few hours she was born. This post totally had me laughing, but it holds so much truth. Sometimes even though we love them to bits they totally can drive us insane. I live for those cute moments, or moments like the other day when my teen and I were talking about how we don’t have to be like our parents, Iw as explaining that she is entitled to her won opinions and will do things her own way, and she said, yeah but mum I pretty much love everything you do. That is a moment I needed to record! #coolmumclub

  2. Maybe I’m kidding myself but I’m pretty sure I get more than 20% warm fuzzy moments. I do just have the one and she is pre-school so I don’t have the horror of school run/ after school activities to contend with! #coolmumclub

  3. I think this seems like the perfect parenting formula to me. You probably realise I’ve been struggling a bit of late, so this has definitely helped me to feel a bit more human about it all, thank you! #coolmumclub xxx

  4. This is definitely an accurate representation. I am having a really good run at the moment and I would has I am more 60/40. I know this is rare and wont last forever so I am lapping it up for now…. Next week is half term so ask me again then πŸ˜‰
    #coolmumclub

  5. Sounds about right! Our shit to fuzzy ratio has definitely varied over the two years though. The newborn stage, with reflux, colic and cluster feeding, was 95/5 and made me feel like I’d made the biggest mistake becoming a parent. Thankfully it’s got better since, although I’m sure the number of parenting mistakes I make stays consistent! #coolmumclub

  6. I like the 80/20 rule in general and it looks like it also applies nicely here. And expecting 80% of the time spent with hair pulling etc you are more likely to be surprised by the happy and peaceful times I suppose :)?

  7. I’m still experimenting and trying to get it right, although I think the 80/20 rule is a good aim. We can not always get it right and I think it’s only right to teach/show our kids that making mistakes is part of growing up and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

  8. I’ve never thought about it in these terms before! Now it’s making sense! Although I’m pretty sure at times I might be nearer 90:10, I think the law of averages cancels that out on birthdays and Christmas surely?!

  9. Great fun post! I agree with this. I suppose the other way to look at it is for the first 16 years there will be 4 years of good times! That a lot of good…..xx #coolmumclub

  10. I definitely think the split gets better as they get older. And that probably has a lot to do with the fact that you see them a lot less! My son is in school from 8 until 5 most days and then is either at clubs in the evening and weekends, hanging out with friends or in his room on the xbox! It does make things more bearable! #coolmumclub

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