Maybe being a perfect parent isn’t such a good idea….

Do I take my daughter to see her daddy in hospital?

This was a question I struggled with recently.  As many of you are aware my husband was involved in a road traffic accident and sustained substantial head injuries; not a phone call any loved one ever wants to receive late on a Friday night.  However, he is expected to make a full recovery after giving us all quite a fright.

Perfect childhood to blame?

Coincidentally, as I was whiling away time in the hospital, reading yet another trashy newspaper, I came across an article, but for the life of me I can’t remember the woman’s name.  However, she grew up in the 70s in the perfect house on a perfect street with perfect parents.  Growing up she didn’t know a single person with divorced parents!

She was never exposed to any of life’s challenges and now as an adult she’s unable to cope with further education, relationships, work and now being a parent.     Ironically, in a time when people wear a bad upbringing as a badge of honour, she blames her ‘perfect upbringing’.

Life’s lessons

As an adult, I feel I’m quite good at dealing with difficult situations as I was given the opportunity as a child/young adult.  My life hasn’t been anymore difficult than anyone else’s, I’ve experienced death, divorce, disappointment and disease, but my mother never sheltered us from these situations when they happened.  However, she was always careful with the amount she did share, telling us just enough to put us at ease.

The Conundrum

From the beginning, I was honest with my 4 year old and told her that ‘daddy had fallen off his bike and bumped his head and would need to stay in the hospital for awhile’.  After a couple of days they both started asking to see each other and I was really torn.  Do I take her or don’t I take her?  On the outside she seemed okay, but I could tell that she was worrying as she was a bit quieter than usual, which may be because the last two people she visited in hospital died.

In the end, I decided to take her.  A friend suggested that the best thing to do was to prepare her first.  My friend kindly sent me a photo of her own son; one with a black eye and another a few weeks later with it healed.  I showed these to her on the train,  explaining that Daddy looked different but in time he would be heal.

When we arrived she was very quiet and I slightly panicked that I made the wrong decision, but within minutes she climbed into bed with him, they shared a much needed cuddle and quickly began arsing around with the bed controls laughing and carrying on as usual.  Phew!

When we got home she did say that she ‘was scared when she first saw him’ but I could tell that a giant weight had been lifted off her little shoulders.

What would you have done?






How to talk to a complete stranger?

Nearly broke my heart today. My daughter asked to go to a soft play centre, which is equivalent to hell for me. However, in an attempt to be a good mother, I said no problem, but I explained that we would be going on our own and wouldn’t know anyone there. She said she wasn’t bothered. Normally, she is a very confident social character. She hasn’t had any problems making friends at school and socializing with other children in familiar situations is a breeze for her. She’s far from shy and has a lot more social skills than her mother.

The Problem

However, when we arrived at the soft play centre, she struggled to find anyone to play with. She attempted to go off and play but came back a bit deflated saying she felt lonely and no one would play with her. In my quest to develop her independence, I tried my best to sit back, playing on my IPAD and let her work it out. But…..

Our Attempt to solve it

At one point, I walked around with her holding her hand looking for a playmate but they were all running by so quickly. She tried a couple of times to say excuse me but they didn’t hear her. Bless!

Totally lost, I suggested finding someone playing on their own and introduce yourself and ask if they would like to play, but no luck. Then, I suggested that she find some children having fun and play near them and maybe they would ask her to join in. Bless she went and sat by herself in a play tunnel for ages and no one came by. It was so hard to watch.


In the end, I intervened again and luckily found two sisters, who were lovely and when I explained she didn’t have anyone to play with they swooped in and whisked her away. I had to drag her away in the end.

In reflection, it is rather an odd thing to go up to a complete stranger and ask to join in? As an adult walking up to people you don’t know and striking up conversation is the social equivalent of skydiving. So why do we expect children to do it so easily?

In future, what can I do to help her? Do you have any tips on how to help them make friends in these situations?

The Negotiator

Photo Credit

I’m not Samuel L. Jackson but I find myself engaging in negotiations on a daily basis with my nearly 3 year old.  ‘If you go on the potty I’ll give you a treat, if you eat your dinner you can have ice-cream, if you get dressed we can’……

Am I on a slippery slope, making a rod for my own back or is this a normal parenting experience???

Is ‘neglect’ a good parenting skill?

Do you ever see or hear something that really ‘clicks’ with your ideals of parenting?  This happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I was watching Desperate Housewives.  If you’re not a fan don’t run away as it’ll still make sense.

Gabby was deemed a bad parent by the neighbourhood mums after one of their kids got hurt in her care when the girls decided to slide down the stairs in a suitcase, which sound like great fun to me!  To get back in the good books she threw a lavish birthday party for her daughter involving a monkey and a clown.  Unfortunately, the monkey went berserk and resulted in a tranquilizer gun and the clown being taken away on a stretcher.

That night, like we all do, she was beating herself up about being a bad mum and this is the conversation she had with her husband, Carlos.

Carlos: Stop beating yourself up, it wasn’t that bad!

Gabby: Carlos, the monkey almost killed the clown, that’s the definition of a bad children’s party!

Gabby: Ana’s right I am a terrible mum.

Carlos: Look, I am no expert on raising children.  All I know is when all the other children ran screaming to their mums, Juanita jumped into the bouncy castle and zipped it up and her sister played dead.  Those girls are smart…which they wouldn’t be if you’d been hovering all over them their whole lives.  They’ve learned to be independent and resourceful and that is thanks to your negligence.

I don’t think I need to add anything as I think this says it all! :-)