Tag Archives: parenting
I am always blown away by how our kids see the world come out with statements that are so deep they blow you away or their logic has just gone a little bit off course. I love working out how they got to their conclusion!
If you are familiar with my blog you may remember that this summer we lost my grandmother who had been poorly for a while. Garth had visited her a few times in her nursing home and always spoke about her and her ‘wheels’ (wheelchair!)
We deliberated about taking him to her funeral but my brother had flown in from Australia and was taking his 9 month old son so we felt that we couldn’t really leave Garth at home if her only other great grandchild would be there. We were prepared to talk about death and passing away but were not quite sure what questions Garth would ask us!
My Dad bought Garth a toy that we gave him before we went to the funeral which he said was a present from Granny Vi. Garth adored his cuddly dragon and he has never really been attached to a toy but this dragon has to come everywhere with us now. The day went off beautifully, Ed stayed outside the crematorium with Garth but we were not expecting the coffin to be carried right past them. The first question that threw us off track was
– ‘Why is Granny Vi in a suitcase?’ – I am not sure where he has seen suitcases like that but there was some logic to it! Our answer was ‘because Granny Vi is going on a trip to heaven.’
Sleeping has been a bit of an issue at the moment (a whole another post) and at 3am the other night Garth asked out of nowhere – ‘Is Granny Vi now God’s girlfriend and is Fudge their dog?’ (Fudge was our aunt and uncle’s dog who they lost last year.) ?????????????? Where did that one come from??? At 3 in the morning I was lost for words.
On the way to school the other morning we passed one of my closest friends house where he and his civil partner live and Garth asked ‘does anyone else live with them and why there were no girls at their house?’ I was really stumped on this one as I want to be as honest and open with him but really don’t know how to approach this one. I quickly changed the subject which is such a cop out!
As I said I love trying to work out how they reached their understanding or opinion. Do your children ever come out with statements that totally blow your mind? I would love to know that I don’t have the only mini-philosopher on my hands………
Vi Soles 1920 – 2014
Yesterday morning my Granny Vi passed away at the age of 93. She was an amazing woman and was the most wonderful grandmother anyone could wish for. We were truly blessed to have her in our lives. I spent a great deal of time with Granny Vi growing up as she was my father’s mother and from the age of 8 after my parents divorced I lived with Dad. She taught me how to knit and sew, she took me to buy my first bra and was always there for me. She came on holidays with us and was always lots of fun. A few of my most important memories are that Granny Vi always had in her handbag Anadin in pill box, a packet of extra Strong Mints and her cigarettes in a leather pouch with her cigarette holder which she always called her doofer. Every night she would have a whisky and lemonade in her kitchen whilst doing the Daily Mirror crossword. On my wedding day I wore her diamond cocktail ring that she always used to say was being left to me as my something borrowed. As I said goodbye to her at the wedding she told me it was now mine and she didn’t need it back. On Saturday I wore the ring to a wedding and thought of her all day as we knew her time was coming to an end.
A few years ago due to failing health she was moved to a nursing home, as her memory and recall was diminishing too much for her to live independently. As she got older her memory failed her more but she never forget her cherished sister who we all called Auntie Sis and her days growing up in Guildford, Surrey. When I got my first teaching job and moved to Guildford she would love to hear about Guildford and where I went and I ended up living right by where Dad was born. However I found visiting her increasingly difficult due to how she was changing, and after the birth of G I did not visit her as often as I should have. Whilst I was suffering from my post natal depression I found the emotions that were evoked when I went to see her just too difficult to deal with and as result took a step back as I just could not cope. This will always stay with me as a huge regret but I always felt she would understand that I was trying to get through my days and be a good mum to G and this took all of my energy both emotionally and physically. Family was always so important to her and I am sure she would have realised I needed to make G my priority and remain as strong as I could for him.
Granny Vi I loved you more than you will ever know, I can’t really believe you have gone but I know you are at peace and hope you will be back with Auntie Sis. You gave me so much in your life, you taught me right from wrong, how to be a protective mother and put your children’s needs above everything else. You were always so supportive and without you, Dad and I would never have got through those early days when I first moved to Birmingham. Sleep well Granny Vi, I will never forget you and although you only met G a few times I will make sure he knows all about what a wonderful and inspirational person you were. xxxxxxxx
The last seven days have gone by in a blur and my parenting skills have been poor to say the least. This time last week we were offered the opportunity to move to a bigger and busier pub and had to make the decision pretty quickly. The time frames were tiny and would have been a huge upheaval for all the family so as you can imagine their was an awful lot of soul searching. Cue the bad parenting due to all our focus on what should we do. The milk went off, the bread went mouldy, we didn’t send son to nursery as there was nothing for his packed lunch and we had a succession of babysitters over the five days we tried to work out what to do. Here is me trying to blog about healthy families and the other half caved in to the golden arches on one of his stints with our son! The crazy thing is the root of all this poor parenting was trying to make the right decision for our son’s future and us as family. Oh the irony of it all….
After all the umming and ahhing, number crunching and possible scenarios we have decided to stay put. We love our life as it is even though it can be a hard slog, but then what isn’t in this life? We have decided to focus and develop what we have rather than stretching ourselves and our time even more than we do already. Since we said no, our fridge is packed with vegetables again, dinner times have seen home cooked food back on the menu and the lunch box is back up to standard again. Our son visited his new school on Monday and my mum gave me a lecture on the importance of him having clean fingernails. If only she knew about the mouldy bread.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is anxiety, one of the leading causes of mental ill-health in the world. As parents we experience anxiety on different levels every day in so many ways but has your anxiety ever taken over your every day life?
When G was born I was anxious to be a good mum, who isn’t. The doctors and nurses monitored him every two hours for the first three days of his life looking for signs of Strep B (luckily he showed none) all this added to my first time mum anxieties. I soon settled down and started enjoying being a mum and I loved it, finally the little family unit I had been longing for, but it was this happiness that actually made my anxiety worse, even though it took me a long time to admit.
I was frazzled and exhausted from sleepless nights and my husband wanted to give me a break. G was still less than a month old and his answer was to go to his parents house only a few miles away so I could sleep. You can imagine his confusion when after ranting that I was tired and exhausted and needed a break, when the break was offered I was laying down the law that they couldn’t go. The twisted logic behind my anxiety was that I couldn’t let them go far from me in case something happened ‘to my entire world’ whilst they were away. At six weeks I let them go and broke down in front of the Environmental Health Officer who was at our pub for her annual visit. Three years on we still have her visit us and although she is incredibly officious which she needs to be I will never forget how kind she was to me that day and we still smile about it now.
Although I had admitted to the Environmental Health officer the root of my anxieties it was a long time before I admitted to my husband and family. When I did, it was such a relief. I wouldn’t say they understood my irrational logic but they at least now understood why I kept blocking outings out that didn’t involve me, or why I rang my husband to check if he had dropped G off at nursery three miles away safely. They could see I had a problem but were unsure of what it was. Once I talked about it, for all of us it was like a jigsaw that fitted into place.
This was the start of my journey in recognising that I was experiencing mental health issues, but I can honestly say the best step forward I took was talking about my anxiety. Although I couldn’t find the answer, I at least knew the reasons behind the fears which really helped me and those around me start to manage them more effectively.
Welcome to my world! Playing at being a parent is often how I feel. Am I doing this or that right? Do I really have any ideas about what I am trying to do? Am I creating huge problems for my child later in life? These and numerous more worries I could list haunt me daily and looking at the large number of parenting magazines, blogs, books and programmes out there it would seem I am not alone.
Also with being a parent I find the balance between being the strong adult who is the moral compass, shepherding to school or nursery, running a busy household and job means I often forget to be my child’s friend. the parent who plays and has fun with their child, the one I wanted to be when I was pregnant for the first time with all the dreams and aspirations that soon disappear after a run of sleepless nights, a tight budget with only one of you earning a wage to start with and just trying to get dressed and brush your teeth before midday.
If any of this sounds familiar then I hope you will enjoy visiting me here. I am Dominique and have been a teacher for the last 15 years, specialising in Early Years education since 2001. Since having our son 3 years ago I have devoured parenting manuals, websites, in fact anything about parenting as not only does it fascinate me, I am paranoid about messing the biggest job of my life up! If any of this sounds familiar to you I hope we will be friends……………………