That's her walking the road to school, her hair in a neat bun on her head, simple yet classy make up, skinny jeans and clean pumps on her feet. Her children walk close by her side, backpacks on and hair brushed to perfection, always on time and a smile on all their faces.

The perfect parent! 

We can all think of that one person that seems to have it together, that seems to be the perfect parent, but are they? Do we really know that their life is all we think it is?

Is there such a thing as a perfect parent? 

For all I know someone looks at me like that. I may seem to have it all together, I raise my children, care for my disabled son, I keep a tidy house and have many friends. I hold my head high even if I feel I don't have the strength.

I feel anything but a perfect parent. I make mistakes and shout (who doesn't ?). I forget things and miss appointments. My washing basket overflows regularly and sometimes all I want is my children to stare at the iPads for five minutes to give me a rest! (The digital babysitter – let’s be honest, it wouldn't even have that nickname if so many of us didn't need that five minutes break.)

So is there such a thing as a perfect parent?  In my opinion, no! 

The phrase ‘perfect parent’ is just that – a phrase.

It's a little spot up on a pedestal that we look to.

It's an unrealistic aim.

It is unrealistic.

It's an unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves, the reason that so many of us feel that we are not doing enough...

But why do we do it?

I don't want or need to be the perfect parent, I only need to be the best for my children.

I love them beyond measure and would use my last breath to tell them I love them.

I help with homework, read to them at bedtime, cook, wash their uniforms and change their beds. Cuddle them when they fall, wipe their tears and lift them up again.

I set boundaries and rules. Teach life skills.

I carry out the therapy my disabled son needs. I've learnt sign language to communicate with him. I've fought for his every need, attended appointment after appointment, researched aids and devices to help him, learned alternative parenting skills to suit his specific needs.  I push his wheelchair and clean him.

My favourite moments are watching how their face moves, lighting up a room as they smile.

I'm not a perfect parent but a good parent doing my best.

My reward is love in return, and that's the medal on my chest that tells me I'm doing good.

The phrase ‘perfect parent’ needs to only be a phrase. Nothing more.

Read more about Nichola and her son in her blog, Autism and Duanes Syndrome Awareness