When the boot is on the other foot

October 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Posted in General Advice | Leave a comment
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On Monday of last week I spoke on BBC Oxford about recent reports that mothers who work are more likely to have children who are obese (read the article here).  Now, I put across a balanced view, well I tried to – while masking my disbelief that a report can suggest that mothers who work are more likely to allow their children to have fizzy pop. Where does that come from?!  I spoke about how despite working, I aim to give my son the quality of life that he deserves.

Anyway, the reason for the mention is that on the two days following this I arrived home late from work, and husband took the full on parenting roll.  I don’t want to make it sound like this is a huge deal, because husband regularly does the nursery drop off and pick up, prepares meals and does general housey things that continue to make me smile and make being a mum far more pleasurable.

However, on these two evenings it was odd being second home.  Usually I am the one at home to greet husband from work, and delight in watching the bear’s excitement as Daddy immediately gets down on to the floor for some quality father son rough and tumble time.


It was really odd and brought an unexpected moment of reflection.  I came in minutes before 7pm, just in time to give kisses goodnight and tuck the bear up in bed.  I’d missed a whole day.  Normally I at least have from 5.30pm to bedtime to play, cuddle and read bedtime stories.  It gave my first glimpse – the first in over 14 months, as to what it’s like for the dad in this house, as well as so many other dads who often miss both the morning smiles and the bedtime cuddles Monday to Friday.

So, whilst doing my radio interview and blarting on about the amazing life I am trying to deliver for my young son I believed everything I said.  But now I’ve said it, and subsequently been subjected to the other view – those few precious moments just before bed, I wonder if I am doing a good job after all in juggling work and parenting, someone make me feel nice about myself again, please!!!

Because, in stark reality…

– I do let the bear eat the odd chip if we’re having a pub lunch.  There, I’ve said it

– Occasionally Holly Oaks is on in the background just before baby bedtime.  Well I need to know when Lydia is going to be revealed as the true killer, come on.

– My father-in-law let the bear taste beer last Christmas and I didn’t flinch. 

What I’ve realised I think is that we work our bloody socks off to be good parents, and all of these recent reports just make us feel like poo!  The odd chip, a bit of TV (maybe not the beer…it was just a bit of froth, don’t report me), isn’t going to harm aslong as regular meals are healthy, TV is a treat, and fizzy drinks are a no-no, well I have to stick to my guns here, no child needs to know about Coke until they’re in there teens!!

I don’t know, we just think we’ve cracked it, we’re about to be the next Annabel Karmel, and then another report comes out saying what else we’re doing wrong!  Boo hiss.


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