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Parenting times tables

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Tuesday, 11 November 2014
The school gates are buzzing with news of the latest parenting course.  Most of those talking about last night’s session are feeling ‘empowered’, ‘relieved’ and ‘calmer, definitely calmer’ about how to deal with their rebellious offspring.  And, as I jumped back into my car to hide from those with sparklingly new superhuman parenting powers, I wondered why such a course would be MY world’s biggest nightmare?

Now, just to be clear… we’ve all waxed lyrical about hard parenthood is but saying NO and obedient bedtimes I honestly do feel I have now nailed.  I’m kind when I need to be and fierce in between…so, why do I need any further instructions to get these small people to function?

It’s not that I’m as arrogant as I sound nor that I think that I couldn’t learn how to raise my Smalls better. But I’m puzzled as to why we can’t simply learn on the job.

My own mother and grandmother certainly never took a course in child rearing.  And yet they were dab hands.  So is today’s society suggesting we need to excel at parenting, on top of the ever-increasing list of hoops to jump?  Isn’t it fine to just be OK at this skill? Or at least to work out a way which works best for us? Besides, what in god’s name is ‘real parenting’? Are some people actually getting away with faking it?

When the Smalls are away…

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Lord and Lady Y have just called offering to have our Smalls for a sleep over this Saturday night. The offer makes me feel literally giddy with excitement and before I had even hung up, all activities previously planned for the weekend had been mentally cancelled. Because, quite frankly, 24 hours without offspring is Father Christmas come early for ANY parent - even if his big red sack isn’t yet full.

And now, while I should be sitting here working, I am dreaming of my freedom. Our freedom. We can talk, without being interrupted. We can read… to ourselves. We can just be, without being parents. I mean, how many films d’you reckon we could squeeze in? I know He wants to see Barry Humphries as Dame Edna so we could try and get returns for that too. Oh and I could trick Him into a little festive shopping before an early cocktail at the chic new Winter bar at the Churchill Hotel too?

Winter Wonderland also opens this weekend. But we wouldn’t want to see anyone else struggling with their smalls so we should avoid that. Our 24 hours must be childless, a make-believe world where little people and their running noses don’t exist. We need to remember those days without the responsibility, the nagging and the incessant planning.

Of course the list of what I SHOULD be doing is also endless: the tax return, client invoices or even a tidy up of this mess we call home. But that would be NO fun at all. Instead, this weekend I’ll sleep and play, because the Smalls are away…!



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Are your children always right?

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 11 November 2013
‘Of course not!’ I hear you chime. But it’s HOW you tell them that they’re wrong that is bothering me most this week. A mother I know of (not Gwyneth P. although she is almost as glamorous but with less hilarious named offspring) NEVER seems tells her child off. It’s almost as if this child lives his own world, ruled only by him. When I’m in the vicinity of this little mite, I want to scream: NO! Don’t do that! But, while of course I refrain, I do wonder what sort of self-assured monster he will be on the dating circuit and how on earth he will respond to his future boss when corrected? Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying my hardest not to judge other parents, but surely we have a responsibility to show our children how to behave? And isn’t their future happiness intrinsically linked to the understanding of right and wrong?

On the other side of this guessing game they call parenting, I do worry that I tell my Smalls off too much. In fact, one of them woke up this morning saying that he had had a nightmare.

‘What was it about?’ I enquired sympathetically. ‘I was being controlled,’ he responded cautiously ‘my whole dream was about being controlled.’

Well, as you can only imagine, this sent me into a total spiral of parental self-examination. Am I even allowing these small beings to live and breathe? Should they decide themselves when is the best time to practice the piano? Or maybe handing in half-done homework might work a treat?

‘Mummy, you’re not listening to me’ he added. ‘I was a robot. A really clever, bionic robot controlled by a super-natural force.’

A temporary wave of relief rushed over me. For the moment, I was off the hook. Meanwhile I think we’ll do some painting after school today instead of those dreaded times tables.



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.


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