Learning to be good enough

This afternoon, my husband sat with my little girl while she did her school reading. She wasn’t concentrating. She was tired from school, her gym class and then seeing the nurse for her flu vaccination. She still hadn’t eaten because they were reading while I made dinner. I could hear my husband getting frustrated with her as she fidgeted about. I came in to see what was going on. She couldn’t concentrate, wouldn’t sit still and kept playing with her clothes and her glasses. He was pointing at words and she wasn’t looking at them.I reminded her of a chat…

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Unleashing your inner chatterbox

I’ve always been amazed at how people’s personalities can seemingly adapt to their situation. When I was younger I was pretty shy. Not just that, but I wasn’t a particularly strong person. People being unkind bothered me. Walking into a room full of people I didn’t know bothered me. I even got nervous going to the bar to buy a drink. But as I got older, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I went to university, lived abroad and eventually got a job that required a massive amount of confidence. Both confidence in myself and in dealing with…

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Why I’ve banned Bing

My children don’t watch an enormous amount of television, they never really have. The main reason for that is because we are usually out and about doing things, and don’t have much time for sitting in front of a screen. I’ve also written before about my concerns over the impact of screen time on behaviour. That said, as Libby approaches her first term at primary school, I worry that I’ll be disadvantaging her if I don’t let her use technology. As a result, I invested in an iPad so that she would know how to use it, because she’ll be working…

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Dear mummy, cuddle your baby

Dear mummy, I know you’re tired. Pregnancy is tough and birth never goes to plan. It feels like you haven’t slept in weeks. Your newborn is crying in her basket, and all you want to do is sleep. You’ve read all the parenting books. Your baby is clean and dry, she’s not hungry or thirsty so they tell you to leave her, you’ll make her clingy by picking her up. But those other parenting books tell you to hold her. They tell you that all she needs is comfort, to be close to her mum. But don’t cuddle her because…

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When I’m a bit older

When I listen to my daughters chatting and playing together, the conversation always turns to what they will be able to do, “When I’m a bit older.” It reminds me of my own childhood and the innate yearning for all the exciting things that come with age. I smile wistfully at the idea of them wishing away their childhood. The few, short years of their lives that afford them the luxury of being free from adult worries and responsibilities. When the most important decisions they have to make revolve around whether to have water melon or ice lolly for pudding on…

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Lessons from my children: On saying ‘No’

Since beginning my love affair with Instagram just a few short months ago, I have become more aware of the world around me. This afternoon on my walk, I noticed that the sun glancing out from behind the hills onto a tree cast it into a perfect silhouette. As I stood there for a few moments, committing the beautiful view to memory and to camera, it crossed my mind that the structure of the trunk, branches and twigs were reminiscent of the skeleton of a leaf. The tree follows a tried and tested structure that it knows to be strong and effective…

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To the mum who turned a blind eye

I saw your children playing together. You mums were chatting nearby. How sweet to see your girls getting along so well. Two good friends holding hands, taking turns, whispering together and sharing secrets. My little girl saw them too. She didn’t know them, but they were only a bit older than her and she was so excited to find someone to play with. She went bounding over with a huge smile on her face and made it her mission to join in with their game. I saw her copying them, trying to get their attention. Soon, they were playing a different…

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