Tag Archives: parenting

New Age Parenting Can Do One

I consider myself very open-minded, I do understand that something I don’t “get” isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s just not for me.

In that vein I’ve tried to be very open about different parenting methods too.  The bottom line is that if your child is happy and you are happy then you must be doing something right.  I read any new article on a new parenting method, considering the pros and cons.  Unfortunately quite a few find a way to boost themselves up by putting other methods down which is a shame.  Like those of us who went with what we thought was right at the time, are now very bad parents.  *Sigh*.  One more thing to add to the guilt list huh?

Anyway….that’s bye the bye.

What really really really pisses me off about the new wave of parenting is that YOUR parenting methods now affect MY enjoyment when I’m out in public.  THIS IS NOT ON!

I love that you have embraced the whole “no step”, “no smacking”, “no punishment” level of parenting.  Woo hoo.  Mother and Father of the year winging its way to you.  I bet you pat yourself on the back every night at your kinder, more loving approach.  What you haven’t considered is how the whole “positive reinforcement only” approach causes a problem in the many many years of application whilst your child is sat in a cinema, theatre, restaurant or any manner of places that I am also sat in.  Ignoring bad behaviour, antisocial behaviour or being very half-hearted about trying to get your children to behave does nothing for me.  In the meantime they have ruined a meal out with friends and family, ruined an expensive cinema trip and most importantly for me, marred an evening out to watch my daughter on stage.

2 hours of kicking the back of my chair. <insert half hearted mother saying “stop doing that”> with a nice overlap of them leaning right into my ear and talking loudly over the top of the music for over an hour.

I’m so cross.

I don’t mind a bit of naughtiness, but I expect a parent or guardian to step in within a few minutes and consider the people around that child.

I tried. I tried so very hard to ignore it.  I did lots of internal chat about children being children and to focus on the stage.  I thankfully didn’t turn around and have a right go, but I was so cross about it.  Unforgivable that your precious child should have the right to ruin a special trip out.   Bearing in mind your delightful daughters were of school age and my 4-year-old son was sat in front doing none of that.  He was a bit wiggly and he had a dance and played with his toy. I may have been drip feeding him sweets……but he is 4.

It wasn’t just tonight. I’m seeing it more and more where you’re reaping the benefits of your parenting methods at MY cost.

Keep with your positive parenting methods but if your child is incapable of being in public without ruining other people’s experiences then don’t take them there. It isn’t fair.

It’s just not fair.

 

 

 

Why Parenting is a lot like Being a Secret Agent

I’m thinking of applying to be a Secret Agent. I really do think I’ve got the necessary skills.

Highly Honed Hearing

  • I can hear a dummy drop whilst still asleep…. and by the sound of it, pinpoint exactly where to fish about for it in the dark
  • I can perceive the tiniest change of tone in my 6 year old’s voice and locate a suitable phrase within seconds to head off any drama.

Lightning speed

  • I can get a tea towel or other absorbent item in front of my child seconds before they are sick, I’m that fast!
  • I am able to get my hand under a falling glass when it is just millimetres from the ground.

Slight of hand/conjurer

  • I have mastered the task of presenting a banana or snack bar that HAD been broken as if it had NEVER been broken.  Taa Daa.
  • The ability to remove toys from the house by means of what I call “The Shawshank” method.

Being Multilingual

  • As proficient as speaking Octonauts as I am at speaking Barbie
  • Able to have a normal English adult conversation about house prices on one side of the dinner table whilst continuing a toddler angled one on the other related to peas, broccoli and the negotiation of chocolate buttons.

Drinking a dry Martini

  • Well, actually no.   Just hand me a glass of Rosé.  . Quickly!
Secret Agent T40YO

Secret Agent T40YO

As always I am grateful for having an audience at all that regularly read my blog and give me such lovely feedback but it’s always nice to get further recognition.  If you enjoy reading my blog and fancy nominating me for a MAD award 2014 (in the category of Most Entertaining Blog), then you can do so here www.the-mads.com/awards/ If you don’t….I still love you all. X

 

 

“My Family Comes First”

What does that mean?  In the context of your life?

“My Family Come First”.

I only ask, because it’s a phrase I’ve struggled with, not just from my own perspective but when other people have said it. I heard it recently whilst visiting friends and it’s sat there, on my brain, waiting for me to figure it out.

You see, I was visiting a friend who works very very hard in a full-time job.  She gets to do that job 90% of the time from her home, which means she has flexibility to walk to the bus stop to meet her daughter from school a few days a week and drop her son at nursery.  On the whole though, she has to work a 40 hour week.  She has worked very hard to get to her position in a major British company.  She has done years of study since applying as a graduate there and has the job she aimed to get.  She gets the job done but she told me that nowadays “My family comes first”.Family

The trouble is, in the week I spent with her and her family I didn’t see a moment of tenderness, a second of play, an hour of discussion with either of her children.  I was just left wondering what her family were ACTUALLY getting by being first.  She loves them, she looks after them exceeding well and she cooks almost every family meal. She is a good mother. Perhaps this is her happy place.

I think I’m quite a strict parent. I don’t abide noisy children in public places, I detest children who don’t say please and thank you, even in a restaurant, and I know what annoyed me when I was without children, so I try to follow the same rules.  However, my friend made me look positively “new age” in my approach to parenting.  Her children had to sit down and not move when in a restaurant (we were sitting in a less formal sofa area for lunch at a low table).  She looked like she was having a terrible time because she was so stressed about upsetting other people.  I let The Monster walk/jog around his chair making babbling noises because 1) he wasn’t very loud 2) he was being kept busy by it and 3) there wasn’t anyone nearby as we were by the door.  I made a reference to it and could visibly see my friend didn’t approve.  I gave my son my phone so he’d sit still.  It wasn’t ideal.

We took them out for a meal one night and she commenting on my bag of pens and plain paper and said I was clearly a veteran. Her daughter is nearly 7 and has only been in a proper restaurant twice before.  I find this incredible.

I found her whole approach to parenting old-fashioned and I thought it was such a shame that she was putting her family first but her children weren’t seeing the best of her.

She left the children to play alone (both separately) whilst she went straight from her desk in one room to the kitchen to prepare a fantastic family meal.

I have known this person a long time, so she is very comfortable in my presence, I have no doubt it was exactly as she would be whether we were there or not.

I suppose I should have realised when she commented on the fact I had engaged her son in a conversation about nursery and his friends.  He was very shy (as many 4 year olds are) and he clearly wasn’t used to someone asking him a question.  We were on our own in the living room and if he was a grown up I wouldn’t have sat there in silence, so I do what I always do and ask questions.  She found this very odd.  She told me she never talked to other children.  I have no idea why.  I always find they say far more interesting things than grown ups do.

I’m not slagging off my friend’s parenting skills (I know it looks like it, I can see that), I am merely speculating on what “my family comes first” means to people. She didn’t look like she was enjoying her children at all.  She had no more time to spend with them and was just there to ferry them around to various places and clubs.  Whilst all very handy, I’m sure they’d have preferred some one-on- one time with her instead.

My family come first because I spend far too much time organising things for them to have fun (parties, play dates, activities) when I’m actually at work. I am hoping to reduce my working hours so I get to spend more time with them and I’ve now got a cleaner so I can actually play with my son on my day off on a Friday.  My idea of “My family Come First” is this and ensuring I’m a bit more laid back with my kids, I’m not stressed and snappy.  That’s when I stop being a great mother.  That’s my happy place.

What’s yours?

 

 

 

Who is your favourite?

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I’ve seen a few articles recently, mostly tongue in cheek ones, writing about whether parents have a favourite child. I’ve always maintained that you have different feelings, concerns and love for each child, it’s a particular shape of love that’s different for each one. However, I need to flip this on its head and ask: “do your children have a favourite parent?”

I only ask, because if my children preferred me I’d probably not be writing this post. It seems perfectly natural for children to lean towards their mother, the nurturer and I wouldn’t want to write a smug post about the trials and tribulations of being the “chosen one”. I’m writing this post, because I’m not the favourite parent and it’s really hard to take.

Clearly I made some of the bigger sacrifices (I think I did). I went through IVF, I went through pregnancy, birth (or 2 emergency C-sections after 16 hour labours). I gave up work for 10 months, I bought the nursery/children’s furniture, ALL the baby paraphernalia, I worked out the routines, enforced the rules, learnt the techniques, bought the clothes, researched the activities and classes and booked them all, did all the baby weaning blah blah blah blah. This, apparently, counts for nothing when you are a young child. Daddy is the man!

It’s not even that we have a traditional family life and they see me more. Quite the opposite. I know some children look forward to seeing their working daddy because they often don’t all week and mummies are often (I’m doing a sweeping generalisation here) stay at home mums or working part time. I work 30 hours a week. I have 1 weekday with the kids but their dad is self-employed and is often around and he looks after them 2 days a week himself. He’s also pretty strict too, almost as strict as me.

I’ll be honest, it doesn’t bother me as much 2nd time around as it did first time with my daughter. With my daughter it felt like someone was stabbing my heart every time she asked Daddy to do bedtime or give her a cuddle or read a book. I was gutted. However, she goes through phases and in the last year she has requested me in certain circumstances which has been lovely. I really have learnt to live with the favouritism, she’s not doing it to be mean, she’s just exercising her agency and making decisions on how she feels at that moment. At any rate, there is little I can do about it apart from be there when she needs me.

I was quite pleased to find out I was having a boy second time around. Boys are proper mummy boys (so everyone told me). Sadly that hasn’t proved correct either. He is 18 months and completely obsessed with his father. He will see me and turn around to chase Daddy. I’ve reconciled much quicker this time around. I am hoping that much like my daughter he will eventually work out that I’m useful for some things. However, although he has greatly improved since I wrote the post here about not enjoying his age, it isn’t all bad, because there is little I can do about him hanging on to his daddy’s leg and it’s nice that I can walk away sometimes.

This wasn’t intended to be a moaning post at all, I’m a big grown up lady and shouldn’t be acting like a child in the playground, but none the less, it’s there and it’s sometimes hard to take, but I’m probably learning one of the biggest parenting lessons – they may be my children but I have no control over their needs and wants.

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