Mum guilt – 15 tips to get you on the road to recovery

Mum guilt. It’s a thing. Well actually, it’s not just mums is it? There’s dad guilt, parent guilt and probably grandparent guilt to look forward to as well. And if you’re anything like me, it’s all-consuming. Breathing down your neck at every turn. You’re working? You should be with the children. You’re with the children? You should be cooking dinner. You’re doing something for yourself without the kids? You are a terrible mother and someone will probably call social services. So, I’ve asked the experts for some tips on coping with mum guilt. And what makes them experts? They’ve been…

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The posture of parenting

Within the daily struggle of parenthood, being me has become my biggest battle. Last week, I was looking at my children playing at my feet when I had a sudden moment of realisation. I spend an inordinate amount of time with my head down. Watching the girls, looking at my laptop or phone, preparing food. Always with my head bowed, hunched forward. A posture that, to an outsider, might suggest that I was sad, shy or lacking in confidence. The power of body language Years ago, a social psychologist called Amy Cuddy gave a TED talk on body language. It…

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Behind the window

I glanced out of the window and saw them sauntering by. The familiar faces chatting and laughing. The same people as usual trailing behind the group. I couldn’t hear their words, their voices lost in the impenetrable wall of sound that is a baby’s cry. Only one of their party was missing. Left out not through malice, but by choice. Because now, she sits behind the window. Watching life go on around her, as if nothing had ever changed. The changes you don’t expect I suppose I never thought of it before having children. I knew things would change, of course I did.…

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Am I teaching my children to be argumentative?

Am I taking the wrong approach to disagreement? Let’s face it, even the word itself has negative connotations. Awkward, argumentative, feisty, disagreeable, obtuse. We discourage our children from disagreeing. Don’t answer back, do as you’re told. Don’t argue with me. And yet, I want my children to disagree. In fact, I believe it is one of the most important skills they can learn. Should children be taught to disagree? I know, it’s a strange concept. After all, children do nothing but disagree. They never want to do as they’re told and the whining – oh, don’t even talk to me about…

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The experts who brand us as parenting failures

There’s an old saying about babies not coming with a manual. If only that were true. It seems every time I look at social media, I read another article about how I should parent my child. I’m damaging them by shouting at them, harming them by not providing enough discipline, making them needy by picking them up every time they cry. And so it goes on. The failed generation Yesterday, I read yet another article that made me cross. It was entitled, “Millennials are struggling at work because their parents gave them medals for coming last.” Now firstly to avoid any confusion…

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Managing everyday parenting stress

This is a collaborative post. Being a parent is stressful. There, I said it. My little beautiful, sweet little angels are more difficult to deal with than any psychotic manager, high-flying career or high-maintenance team I’ve ever worked with. But that’s just the nature of parenting. We no longer just have ourselves to worry about. I want to give my children the best life I can. It’s important to set a positive example and be a good role model. Keeping my temper is critical because if I’m too stroppy with them I could damage them for life. Feeding them, making sure they’re in suitable clothing and…

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Consumerism – fighting against the tide

This morning, I read an interesting article about the increasing number of toys owned by children. It really struck a chord with me, as I face yet another clear-out of the toy box, battling to get rid of all the things the children never play with. And yet my children – as all children do – are still asking me for more toys, more things, more possessions. And it got me thinking. If toddlers are already materialistic, where does it go from there? They get a little older and they NEED the latest clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. They need…

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