Why I am failing at Middle Class Motherhood…

It’s a long standing joke in our house that I am a ‘terrible’ mother. To be honest I think the main problem is that Pie attends an outstanding school. This would be fine, apart from the fact I am not an outstanding parent. In fact if Ofsted rated me I would probably be inadequate in many areas. I am a rubbish cook – despite my best efforts. We don’t do crafts at home  and I cannot teach Pie to ride his bike as he only ever pedals backwards. My driving skills are fair but my in car singing could be considered harmful… I do apparently make good sandwiches and give great cuddles (thanks Pie).


The other problem is I fail to get involved in the middle-class motherhood game. I don’t do yoga, therefore I never turn up to the school in my yoga pants or with a fabulous post gym glow. Usually poor Pie is lucky to see me at all at the school gate. If by some miracle I am there at 3 I am either in my scruffy jeans, with no make up and the ‘thrown through a hedge backwards look’. Or I am in my uniform, looking slightly harassed because I meant to get off early to pick him up with plenty of time. But I am in fact late and running from the car feeling slightly harassed and rather hot. 

Of course the other Mum’s all ask there little darlings how they got on at school. Pie always races out and announces that his pants are wet and can he watch Avengers when he gets home. This compounds the belief of the other parents that I am in fact a terrible mother in two ways. Firstly I am unable to potty train my 5 year old and secondly I allow him to watch TV. I just grin and unfold the plastic bag from my pocket for him to sit on in the car (it’s on hire purchase don’t judge my need for seat protection). I challenge anyone to toilet train this child – in fact I would pay you!


Worst of all are school projects, you know the ones where that damn bear come home for the weekend and you have to keep a journal. I can hardly write that The Bear watched me tackle washing pile mountain, wrestle Pudding into clothes and fail to cook a meal without cremating some part of it. I am pretty sure that the other entries in the book are utter bull. The person who gets The Bear after us must be like ‘winner, anything I write is gonna be better than that…’  

So no I don’t do yoga, I don’t have a gym membership and no my child has not mastered the toilet yet. I can’t attend the PTA, charity fun run or help out at the bake sale. I barely manage to keep up with the reading record, let alone complete the ‘optional’ (it’s not optional AT ALL) homework. I can’t stand the obligatory costume days, Easter bonnets or other such parenting requirements. I have tried to be as pulled together and perfect as the other parents at the school gate but the reality is I can’t manage it. I am just another frazzled looking mama who loves her kids but is never gonna win parent of the year. And you know what I can live with that. Motherhood is not a competition. It’s an ongoing battle, that you occasionally win but inevitably more often than not lose! 

It’s Dinosaur; not Dine-Saw!

It’s a disappointment bigger than a Brachiosaurus that my boy Pie has not the slightest Iguanodon in dinosaurs. It’s not for lack of Triceratops on my part. Right from an egg I have been talking to him about these amazing creatures, but I may have been speaking in Velociraptor for all the good its done me. He doesn’t even Tyrannosaurus to look interested its like talking to a Diplodocus most days!

DariuszSankowski / Pixabay

He would rather talk about Star Wars or Harry Potter! It really gets my Spinosaurus up when I show him a dinosaur and he calls it a dragon. Why can’t we talk about Pachycephalosaurus or Zigongosaurus? They aren’t difficult names for my own Sauropod to get his tongue round! Yet he behaves like a creature from the early Triassic period and calls them all dine-saw…(Damn you George Pig) I know it’s not the be Allosaurus or end all but I always thought having kids would enable me to justify my own geeky love of dinosaurs!

I can still remember that first trip to the Natural History Museum with my own family. The sheer excitement as we walked through the door and came face to face with a colossal skeleton! It was an awe-inspiring moment, even now it still makes me Gallimimus. It cemented a life long passion and a desire to study Paleontology. (Alas this is waiting for my retirement, not many dinosaurs in Birmingham!)

JerzyGorecki / Pixabay

After a relentless first year of forcing dinosaur clothes, books and toys on him, Mr Pud has now banned me from trying to brainwash him into my Cretaceous period. I am not even allowed to show him Jurassic Park until he is older, not even the bit before it gets scary. But how can my Anklyosaurus-biter be such an old Stegosaurus? Maybe I will get lucky in Pudding and she will develop into a Gigantosaurus nerd like her Mother, after all who else is going to run round the Natural History Museum with me?


 

Rhyming with Wine

Crikey Child! What is wrong with your face?! – An Allergic Reaction

So this weekend both Mr Pud and I had to work so Pudding and Pie were left in the care of the grandparents. Now I don’t know who was most excited about this! Suffice to say the grandparents had lots planned and the kids looked like they were plotting a pretty amazing rampage of their own.


Off we went then 7am Sunday morning feeling more than a little miffed to be missing out on the fun. They all had a great day – and some lovely food at a local bistro. Mr Pud noticed when he rang at tea time that Pud had a red face. We put it down to teething and thought no more about it.
When we got back the kids were in bed. My mother in law mentioned that Pudding’s face was very red but that she was happy. I had a quick look at her in the cot but was initially unconcerned. After waving off the grandparents and assuring them all was fine we ordered a pizza ready to settle on the couch together. Mr Pud was a bit concerned about Pud so we decided to get her up and just check her for a rash anywhere else. We are meningitis neurotics any sight of a rash and I am getting glass out!
Well we woke her. She was chuffed to see us. I can only say I didn’t share her joy! My poor child looked like she had gone 5 rounds with Tyson!! Her face was bright red and her eyes were so swollen she could barely open her eyelids. Despite looking like something out of a horror movie she still smiled…

Even as nurses we were pretty shocked at how bad she looked. It was clear that she was having an allergic reaction to something. We got some input from one of our doctor friends and called the 111 NHS service. We were advised to take her into A&E. Inwardly I groaned, having already been at the hospital 13 hours this was the last thing I wanted to do. But dutifully I packed a bag and picked up my puffy Pud, I crossed the threshold as the pizza arrived!

A&E was manic as I knew it would be. Poor Pud had no idea what was going on. But despite being dragged out in the middle of the night she took it really well. She was smiling and waving at people. This was met with a mixture of horror and compassion. Poor little girl did look awful! Finally after a few hours we were seen, a quick dose of Piriton and we headed home. Tired but no worse for our little adventure.

This morning Pudding looks ok, apart from being angry about lack of sleep. A bit red-cheeked still but most of the swelling has gone down. It was scary was even with our backgrounds, we didn’t know if she would get any worse or what was causing her to have an allergic reaction. The cupboard is now stocked with Piriton and I am trying not to monitor every thing she eats or touches.

Ant one else experienced anything similar? How do you deal with allergic reactions?

A Sticky Bum and The Soy Sauce Disaster of 2016

You know those days where everything appears to conspire against you?! I had such a day this week. It was the day before Pie went to school (more on that later). having finally recovered from a lack of sleep that could only be matched by Nuremberg drivers, I hit the day with positivity. Possibly this was my first mistake!

We had to go get the logo jumpers for Pie’s uniform. I was feeling pretty smug about my plan to go when everyone was back at school. No queuing for us – a quick in and out job. Hmmm yeh right. Having forced two small children into clothes and into the car we arrived at the school wear shop. Pie was banging on about the milkshake I had promised after the shopping, as we attempted to locate said jumpers. After failing miserably to find any, I asked an assistant. Off she went to the stock room, apparently they had loads out back… She was right they did – but only in age 2-3!! Parenting fail number 1.

Cunning plan totally flawed, but not to be disheartened off we trotted for a milkshake. Because you can’t renegade on a promise to a four-year old. They are like elephants they never forget! We popped over to one of our favourite cafes, kid friendly with amazing food. I plan most of my days around eating, so I already knew what deliciousness I was ordering. We sat waiting for my breakfast, Pie colouring and Pudding happily spitting half chewed rice cracker all over the floor. We waited and we waited… Finally after about 40 minutes and a word with the waitress breakfast arrived. Unfortunately by this stage both kids were done sitting, cue the fastest eggs in Birmingham. Those bad boys were delicious but they didn’t touch sides. We then beat a hasty retreat home, no school jumpers and slight indigestion.

jill111 / Pixabay

The afternoon passed in a haze of Star Wars and light sabre battles, as is customary at Pudding HQ. Tea had been decided on earlier that day. Pie had requested pizza, so with a very nutritional frozen pizza in the oven I figured I was onto a winner. Then it happened. The great Soy Sauce Disaster of 2016. Soy sauce with pizza I hear you ask? Well no, actually I though, what this tea needs are some beans. Whilst searching in the cupboards, Pudding at my feet there was a small thud. I thought nothing of it. Popped the beans in the microwave and checked on the pizza.

Pudding was laughing away so I turned to look. Holy hell. Unknown to me the thud had been the soy sauce falling over in the cupboard and who knew it could cause such devastation. It was pouring out of the cupboard, down the microwave off of the sideboard and straight onto Pudding’s head! Where the two sausages were licking it off her face and she was roaring with laughter. I have literally never seen so much soy sauce. It was everywhere. My exclamation spooked the sausages who then proceeded to walk soy sauce paw prints all over the kitchen floor.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

The impending clean up took some time and left Pudding in her pants and two sausage dogs cleaning their own paws. In all this I had totally forgotten about my nutritional pizza in the oven. Which was now burned to a crisp. As I mentioned I love eating, but I am by no means a dab hand in the kitchen. Luckily Pie is used to eating things slightly chargrilled – so we just got on with it!

Finally it was time for a bath and bed. Pudding was whingeing about teeth, so I figured I would give her half a dose of paracetamol to take the edge off at bedtime. I mean no one likes sore teeth right? I pick up the bottle of paracetamol. The buggering lid isn’t on properly. Don’t ask me why, it just isn’t. It falls from my hands, somersaults spraying paracetamol all over the toilet seat and then lands with a plop in the loo. Pie is roaring with laughter as I fish the bottle out. I give the seat a quick wipe. That is it. I am done now.

JeffersonLiu / Pixabay

Two small children decanted into bed, large glass of wine poured. Long exhale from me. About an hour later I pop to the loo. It is only after I sit down I realise my mistake. Should have done a better clean up of the paracetamol. Now I have the worlds stickiest bum! More wine please….

 

How to Raise a Sensitive Boy

Most people who see my four-year old charging around would not for one minute think he is sensitive. He doesn’t sit quietly engaged in a task, or play away from other children. You will normally see him tooled up with a stick or a light sabre! But don’t think for one second that my big boisterous boy is all that he appears.

scottwebb / Pixabay
He is a very sensitive soul. Pie will take everything to heart. Things you said weeks ago can resurface and need to be talked through. Almost as if he has been going over them, replaying the moment. If he thinks he has done something to upset you he wants to make amends. He wants everyone to be his friend! But he also struggles to keep all those feelings in check. Leading to huge outbursts over things most kids wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.

Pie always wants to try to make you happy. He checks several times a day if I am happy. He definitely has my anxious nature. A trait wish I wish I had not passed on. But at least I know what I am dealing with. Saying that though sometimes he completely throws me. My happy, bouncy boy can be raging in a matter of seconds with no apparent cause. At one stage I questioned if there was something else going on. I have questioned my own parenting many many times. Finally I think I have him sussed. Not all the time obviously! I mean he is four, being irrational is his prerogative.

qimono / Pixabay
The stereotyping for boys to be tough and macho is embedded so early. Even without meaning to we can all fall into the trap. I have done it myself, I find myself saying things like be a big brave boy. Or worse still don’t be such a girl when he runs off from a spider! I know I shouldn’t say it. Why shouldn’t he be scared of spiders? His Dad is! What I say in jest he takes so to heart. I forget sometimes that he is only 4, that he can’t understand my teasing.

I don’t want to wrap him in cotton wool. Equally so I am trying to teach him that it’s ok to have feelings and emotions. It’s ok to be scared or anxious about things. That as his Mummy I will look after him. Realising how sensitive he is has made me look closely at how I parent him.

Now I think more about how I phrase my requests. I make sure he isn’t rushed out of the house, but has time to prepare himself. I try not to give him the plan for the whole day – or he incessantly worries that we won’t get it all done. Mostly I respect what he says. If he says I don’t want to go out and what we had planned isn’t important then I don’t force him. If we are going somewhere new I don’t build up his expectations. I let him discover things at his own pace.

The most important thing I have learnt is that he needs more reassurance. He needs those extra cuddles. He wants to say I love you and hear you say it back. The recognition that he is important and that his view matters. What he doesn’t need is endless stimulation and presents. He needs my time, my patience and my understanding.

Teen & Tween Talent Spotting: After The Playground

Blogging about your teenage children is a very different matter to blogging about your baby. Teen and tween offspring are highly active on social media and, perhaps more importantly, so are their friends. This means that you will be highly censored. There will be limits placed on what you can say and which photos you can use. As you can see – I only just made it into this one. I’m squeezed in behind my eldest daughter!

After The Playground

On the other hand, it is definitely not all bad news. Ever the optimist. I decided to use the fact that I have older children to my advantage and recently launched a recruitment drive.

I put together a tongue in cheek CV for each of my children (and my husband) to work out what skills I could (exploit) harness to promote my blog.

Here are the skills that my family brought to the table. (without them even knowing it)

  • Husband – wry observations and witty anecdotes on raising three daughters which provide an endless supply of material. Useful to take with me to events as can be relied upon to find where we are supposed to be going/not say anything too embarrassing/get me home safely.
  • Eldest daughter – musical aptitude, video editing skills, provides material on kids leaving home and starting university and looks good in photos.
  • Middle daughter – IT skills, social media savvy, provides material on teen issues and looks good in photos.
  • Youngest daughter provides material on primary school kids and sentimental pieces on growing up, has a great eye for photography and looks cute in photos.
  • Pet rabbit – not quite sure yet but will be expected to contribute or will be removed from the team.

Pretty impressive or what? The moral of the story is this. If you have older kids and can get them on board they can definitely turn out to be more of an asset than a liability. To prove my point, here is a little video ‘we’ managed to put together. I honestly couldn’t have done this without them!


Introducing After The Playground

I am (in no particular order) a wife, a mother of three fabulous daughters (17,14 and 10 years), an academic with a PhD in epidemiology and a writer. And I am me. I fully intend to discover who that is and I’d love to share my experiences after the playground with you.

After The Playground was created out a perfect storm of unpleasantness during the early stages of 2016; pre-menopausal hormones, the not too distant prospect of empty-nest syndrome, a health scare and an especially nasty bout of flu left me feeling a little lost. It is my way of creating something positive from a potentially negative set of circumstances. I am no expert but as I find out what works for me I will share my experiences – I hope you find some of them helpful.
You can follow After The Playground on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pop over and say hi! Don’t forget to say Pudding sent you 🙂

 

Finding Us, With A Little Help From Just Us Box

I was sent an amazing treat from Just Us Box a few weeks ago. Ok let’s be honest several weeks ago! It has been sat teasing me on my dining table, whilst Mr Pud and I try to find an evening that is ‘just us’. With our work schedules that’s a pretty rare occurrence (I could make a reference to rocking horse dung but you get the picture!)

Finally this week we had two such opportunities. So I dived into the box to see what we would be doing…img_2580The box was themed and had everything you would need for a romantic night of Stargazing! There was a lovely thermos for taking hot chocolate out, the required picnic rug and binoculars. There was also an envelope of activities and some handy conversation starters. The whole date had been planned beautifully, giving both of you a little nudge to help you connect or reconnect in our case.

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All the stuff in the box looked amazing. Everything we would need for a night of stargazing. However, what Just Us Box can’t guarantee is the weather! So in the usual vain of British Summer, it rained. Hard. Both evenings 🙈

I was not to be put off – ok so we couldn’t stargaze as such. We could put down our phones, lie on the blanket with hot chocolate and talk. Like we used to before the children. Just talk. We lit some candles, brought the cushions off the couch and our hot chocolate and we caught up. For the first time in ages! We used some of the conversation starters too. Just to move us off of the constant talk of the children (who doesn’t talk about the kids on date night?!) We also used this cute little jar to remind each other how lucky we are. I think this could become a firm favourite in the future.

Overall it was a lovely evening. OK maybe not exactly what we had planned but isn’t that just the way life goes sometimes? A big thank you to Just Us Box your ideas helped us make more time for each other. I am ever hopeful that we will get out to stargaze soon.

If you fancy trying a Just Us Box head over to their website. You can order a one-off or why not try a subscription for a monthly date night?

*I received the Just Us Box for free in order to complete this review. All opinions contained within are my own *

Are You Inflicted With Mum Madness?

Ok so we have all heard about the baby brain yes? But are you aware of the very common Mum Madness? Not so talked about perhaps but just as serious!

After my two children I thought that the baby brain would subside. It didn’t. It segways in to mum madness without you even realising. One minute you are putting car keys in the fridge. Next you are shouting at the toddler to stop licking shop windows…

AdinaVoicu / Pixabay

My kids provide no end of stupid to fall out of my mouth. Things that no one could ever have imagined saying. Part of Mum Madness is that the words come out before your realise how utterly ridiculous you sound!

The other major component to Mum Madness is the inability to organise anything. Or should I say you majorly overestimate or worse still underestimate how difficult getting anything done is. Pre children you would stroll from the house, tiny hand bag, bank card and iPhone. Not a care in the world. Head phones in, tunes pumping.

Fast forward 3 years. You are popping to the corner shop. Just a pint of milk that’s all you need. To be sure you have packed a bag the size of Bermuda – 14 outfit changes, 6 nappies, bottle of milk, travel steriliser… The toddler has his scooter and his bike, 6 stuffed bears and in our case a light sabre and a Harry Potter wand. You get to the shop looking like a removal company to discover you don’t have your reusable bag!! (Or your purse!)

StephanieRae_ca / Pixabay

It would just appear that post kids any chance you had of resuming functionality as a person goes out the window. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep. Perhaps it’s the 50,000 questions you answer in an hour. Or it could be that your poor brain is so busy trying to keep these small people happy and alive there is no room for anything else!

This post first appeared on meetothermums.com

How can you tell if your parenting is good enough?

I was laughing with my husband tonight whilst discussing the daily parenting fails. It’s a regular occurrence. We buoy each other up after another less than perfect parenting day. For example today my eldest has gone to bed with a black eye (bouncy castle related injury) and a grazed elbow (he engaged legs before brain…) But both he and Pud’s went to bed smiling. For me as a parent that’s what counts.

The media is packed with unrealistic view of parenting. You know the ones. Beautiful pristine nurseries (always in bloody white, go figure!) Fantastic photos of families enjoying days out (no sign of whinging or ice cream covered clothes, shoes, ears…) Mum’s and Dads dressed in designer gear, no bags under their eyes or worry lines.  Not so the worlds portrayed by parent bloggers who can, in the search of humour, paint parenting in a light so unfavourable that it’s a surprise people pro-create at all. These honest and witty accounts provide a more realistic view of the highs and lows of parenthood. Although nothing can prepare you for the truth of raising a small human into a reasonable balanced adult. But how do you know if you are doing a good job?

johnhain / Pixabay

When professionals talk about ‘good enough parenting’ they mean you have met a child’s basic needs. Physically and emotionally they are cared for and safe. They aren’t insisting you take them to the zoo, chase them round soft play or shower them with presents. Children need to be loved and for you to be emotionally available to them. They need to be fed and watered (bit like a plant really) they need to be excercised, stimulated and put to bed. A child needs to be kept safe, clean and warm.

Clearly everyone has good and bad parenting days. Those times when everything comes together and great memories are made. Your confidence soars. Give yourself a mini fist bump, you have this parenting shizzle down. Next morning though, the clock has reset. What amazing parenting can you pull out of the bag today? Nope you got nothing have you? Because you can’t be A1 parent 24/7. There are too many variables that cannot be controlled. You’re tired, the kids are tired, the weathers bad and the mother of bad parenting days; you just don’t feel like parenting today! What you really want is to sit on the sofa and watch total shit on TV. No interruptions, no questions, just you and that remote. Don’t worry it doesn’t mean you are a crap parent, it just shows that sometimes we all want to get off the world for a while.

Wokandapix / Pixabay

We get so carried away with making everything perfect all the time. Trying to reach that elusive parenting dream, thrust upon us by advertising. We forget that it’s not the big gestures. It’s that cuddle, that story, that time spent together. Think back to your childhood memories. Was the first thing you thought about a material thing or was it time you spent with your parents?

Of course the days out are fun. As are those times when you provide children with new experiences. But what children want more than anything else is to feel loved and safe. To know that they can come to you, that you will be there for them. Not too busy to listen or too stressed to care. You know your parenting is good enough when that little person kisses you goodnight, snuggles down into his bed and whispers I love you, you are my best friend.

Are Dad’s Second Class Parents?

I read so many blogging articles about how hard it is being a Mum, what an uphill struggle it can be raising small children. It would seem that the main responsibility falls on the Mother, from clothing the baby, to counselling teenagers us Mum’s seem to do it all. But do we? My other half gets pretty irritated about what he calls the ‘martyrdom of Motherhood’. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that he doesn’t appreciate all the things Mothers do, but he feels that most Dad’s don’t get the credit they deserve. Are all of us Mum’s just so wrapped up in our own day-to-day struggles of weaning, potty training and mini meltdowns that we don’t always appreciate what Dad’s are doing?

Dad cuddling baby
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

With Fathers Day around the corner, it seems a good time to stand back and look at the Modern Dad’s role, where doe he fit into a society that seems overly Mummy-centric? We seem to have recently taken to putting motherhood on a pedestal, but women have been Mothers for years. Maybe it is the sudden surge on social media of Mum’s sharing their stories that has highlighted the often thankless tasks that Mum’s do. Yet society is changing, I hear more and more of Dad’s staying home to care for children and what about all those Dad’s who have split from partners and have the children at weekends. Surely they are going through the same things, yet we hear so little from them. Is it that Dad’s are quietly getting on with raising their children away from the spotlight, or could it be that Dad’s have a totally different style of parenting meaning that the things that we as women struggle to deal with they simply don’t have to contend with.

This got me thinking about what Pudding & Pie get up to with their Dad when I am on shift. I have had people ask how Mr Pud copes when I go to work for 13 hours – what a question, of course he copes they are his children. Like a Al Ferguson from The Dad Network said, it’s called ‘Parenting not Babysitting’! I don’t know whether it’s because he is calmer, or because being with Daddy is a novelty but the kids automatically seem to behave better. They seem to understand that certain behaviours jut will not be tolerated so they don’t even try it. General tasks do seem easier just by the fact that Dad is a man, things like negotiating a trip out for example. The male brain doesn’t seem to sweat the small stuff, if I take the kids out, I like to be prepared for every eventuality. Not so Dad, he packs essentials, milk, nappies and his wallet. He doesn’t plan the route, or where they will eat for lunch, he flies by the seat of his pants, working on the mood of the kids and his own. It doesn’t stress him if he is out and he needs something he hasn’t got, he goes and buys what he needs. Even simple things like there is no lift, well that’s no issue, ‘I’am Man I will carry the pram up 3 flights of stairs’! I think the male brain is just wired totally different – they don’t get that ‘Mum Guilt’, they are not striving for that unobtainable perfect parenting that drives us as women round the twist.

Dad and Child at the Beach
cocoparisienne / Pixabay

Ok so he can cope with the kids you all cry – but what about the other household stuff? Well we laugh about Pink and Blue jobs in this house. In all honesty there is no job that is only pink or blue. We are a modern couple with modern values, we are not living out some 1950’s sitcom. I am more than capable of mowing the lawn, unblocking the loo, painting the house and organising the household bills. Equally so my other half is a great cook, can work the washing machine and has a hoovering obsession. What?! Yes he is exceptionally domesticated, maybe he is a rarity but I would imagine that in a society that marries later and later that most men will spend a proportion of their time living on their own before moving in with a girlfriend. How do we as women think they all survived before we came along? My other half spent 9 years living on his own before we met, of course he can an iron his own work uniform! When I head out to work I am safe in the knowledge that not only will the kids be fine but that the house will be cleaned, the washing will be done and there will be a hot meal and a glass of wine waiting for me on my return. What more can a girl ask for?

Male Nurse
TheHilaryClark / Pixabay

On top of being a great Dad and Husband, my other half also holds down a very responsible job. The stress of this job and the ridiculous shift patterns can really take its toll on family life. Not to mention the ever-growing concern that Mr Hunt and his band of cronies will be after our unsociable hours pay before long. A house of two nurses, is not exactly a cash rich environment so while I may end up juggling the childcare to fit round our shifts, my other half is juggling our finances around to cover the cost of raising a small family. I can feel him in bed at night worrying next to me about whether he will need to work any extra shifts and if so will there be time to do this? He misses his kids when he goes to work, his days are 14 hours long by the time he has commuted, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the shifts that run over or the on-calls he has to work. There already seems to be a lot going on in a Dad’s world doesn’t there? Of course he does moan about all these things, I mean after all he is only human! But I can see why he gets on his high-horse about the perceived idolisation of Mothers.

He is doing the same job as me, without the support network of other Dads or the majority of society it would seem. I think as Mum’s we forget that most of us are pretty lucky to have other Mum friends, someone to bounce ideas off or just to meet up with for an hour on those days when the kids are driving you nuts. But I don’t think men have it so easy – its pretty hard to make Dad friends unless your school friends have kids. Most baby classes are filled with Mum’s and I think most men would feel uncomfortable approaching a woman they had never met before and suggesting a play date! When I go out with the kids, people usually stop and talk to me, especially if one of the little darlings is being a little less well-behaved than is socially acceptable. I don’t think a Dad would get quite the same level of support from strangers.

Dad and Baby on Beach
reneasmussen / Pixabay

Personally I do think that Dad’s get a bit of a rough deal, they are definitely seen as the second class parent, a bit of an after thought. In a society that is trying to promote parental leave and equality we need to take sometime to celebrate Dad’s. Parenting is a partnership, he may not be there to change every nappy, dry every tear or wash paint off the dog. But whether you live together or apart raising your kids is a joint effort and both parties need recognition for their role. I am not saying all Dad’s are amazing, but remember not all Mum’s are amazing either! Maybe if as a collective we all spent a little less time looking at whats Dad’s don’t do and a bit more time focusing on what they do do we could appreciate them more. As women we do have the propensity to take over and try to do it all, Super Mum, Loving Wife, Best Friend, but you know what? We really don’t have to. If we could just accept that things don’t always have to be done a certain way and let Dad’s step up to the parenting plate then maybe we wouldn’t need society to blow our Mothering trumpets and we could celebrate parenting equality.

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