I’ve just got back from a little holiday….on my own. No of course I didn’t go completely on my own, what I mean is, I went away ‘sans child’ and I’ve got to say I loved it. I felt a lot of guilt, even from the second I shut the front door after telling her I was going to ‘work’. I wasn’t telling her that I was going on an aeroplane to lay on a sunny beach, she’d want to come too! But that makes me feel bad as well. My wonderful parents came to help me out delivering her to school and back every day, but even with my darling daughters favourite people in the house I felt a pang of guilt that I was not being responsible enough for her, that I’m not “allowed” time off. This is the hardest job in the world and you work it 24hrs a day 7 days a week please! I felt bad that I wasn’t there to make her dinners, to read her a story, to hold her hand as she fell asleep. She’s only just started at school, should i not miss the stories that she tells me in the playground of her mates and what they’ve been up to.
Does it make me a bad mother that I go on these trips or does the R&R actually make me a better mummy?
I was amazed at something we found on Holiday so I’ve brought it home with me. The kids all get a lanyard to wear around their necks and for every food they try or each healthy food they eat they get a sticker.
I’ve never seen my four year old tuck in so much. The excitement on her face at getting a sticky smiley face to go on her card was beautiful. She had a go at pretty much everything, from squid to salmon to star fruit. And was so proud of herself at filling the card and getting a certificate. It may not work for everyone, but 4 months on its a winner in our house.
I’m currently sat here waiting for my home visit from the school teachers from my little girls first class in infant school. Why are they coming? Is it to see how tidy my house is? Is it to check out how big my tele is, or how many cakes I have in the cupboard. I’ve heard it’s to see what the family dynamic works, but I’ve also heard that it’s to make sure you’re in catchment and you haven’t lied about your address. I reckon it’s to see which biscuits get served with a cup of tea.
My first reaction when I heard this was going to happen was to play pranks, to have a bit of a laugh with it, to maybe have a glass of wine on the go when they arrive, have an afternoon rave in my living room or to have a treasure hunt from the front door leading them with clues to me and my daughter in the shed, but I was advised that it wasn’t a good idea. Right now I’m actually quite nervous, it’s a bit like when an estate agent comes to show potential buyers round your house, so you make bread and fresh coffee.
Feeling like I’m going to be totally judged, if I get this wrong will she not be able to start school next week? I’ve done all the washing up I’ve put the Hoover around, I’ve put a full face of make up on and made sure that I’m dressed appropriately, I doubt they’d appreciate me opening the door in my nightie, as I scoff down a pepperami for lunch. I’ll come back to you soon and let you know if my child is still allowed at that school…..
It sounds posh so I thought we'd go and have a look at a game of polo at the New Forest club. It was so lovely, we took a picnic and sat in front of the car on a rug eating jam sandwiches and sausages, while watching the ponies hurtle up and down the pitch. The sweetest moment came the next day though, when my 4 year old daughter was asked what she had done at the weekend and she replied "we watched horses play hockey!" Well, it sort of is isn't it?
Another week and another warning that we shouldn't let our children be on a screen for too long. I totally get it, you don't want your kids being zombielike after they've watched YouTube for an hour and a half. Equally I have lots of things to do, the dinner, the washing and it just buys me a little bit of time. It also gives her a little bit of chill, she's been chasing around all day in the woods, getting muddy and to sit quietly and watch an episode of Peppa Pig is great.
I feel like I'm doing good parenting if I say to my four year old "put the iPad down and come and watch the tele!"
And I've seen the tutting majority in a restaurant, when I gave my daughter my phone to watch videos, they look scornfully at me, but what would you rather a full on meltdown tantrum to go with your dinner or a nicely behaved child sitting at table watching a screen.
And then this week another report saying that we need more computer programmers so we should let our children go on computers more, make your mind up.
In the summer holidays were all looking for things to keep the kids occupied, so please can I pass on my little tip to you. Having just got back from a very rainy and muddy Camp Bestival weekend at certain times it was easier said than done entertaining our little rugrats, but we stumbled upon something rather wonderful when inside the tent because rain had stopped playing.
Eating jelly with a fork it turns out is hilarious, tasty and takes a long time cos it keeps dropping off. How brilliant, I'm applying this principle to everything during the next month to see if it will hold off the screams of "Mummmmmmyyyyyyy!" (See my last blog) I wonder what else I can do it with? Spaghetti with a cocktail stick? Drawing only with things found in the garden?
I reckon I've solved the gender pay gap problem. You have a jar in your house, much like a swear jar, but instead of putting in a pound for every naughty word uttered, a quid goes in every time someone says/shouts/screams the word mum. In my house I'd be on about £100 an hour, I'll be a millionaire in no time!