They are our kids, we aren't idiots…LEAVE US ALONE!

It’s not often I use shouty capitals but I’m feeling shouty about this issue.

No doubt if you are a blog reader, or a newspaper reader or well breathing.. this week you’ll have heard about the whole breastfeeding/weaning carry on. I haven’t read it. I heard there was an issue, I believe it has something to do with a study about breastfeeding exclusively for six months being bad, early weaning good? If I’m wrong I apologise but I have purposely avoided reading about it because to be honest,  people’s attitudes to emotive subjects like this annoy me. Don’t get me wrong – I am all for free speech, completely understand and respect the fact that different people will have different opinions to things, and whether I agree with them or not is besides the point. What I do dislike is that when there is any kind of uproar about a parenting issue, people get on their high horses and start telling other people that what they do or have done is wrong. Their opinion isn’t asked for. They are most often not professionals in health or social care, and to be honest, can be quite rude!

I have had many blunt and sometime downright bloody mean comments thrown my way since I fell pregnant with my first son and I really do wish that people would think before opening their mouths. I don’t like my decisions being criticised, especially when opinions aren’t sought, so I’m damn sure that other people don’t deserve that from me.

I get sick of justifying myself, and too often I have seen Mums and Dads almost apologising for choices they’ve made and it’s unfair.

So now I don’t apologise for my decisions!

  • Yes- I bottle fed Kieran and have bottle fed Taylor from birth – this was by choice. I am certainly not anti-breastfeeding but it was a decision my husband and I made and we are happy with it.
  • Yes I use disposable nappies – I am aware of the environmental issues surround this, yet I still get my Huggies with the weekly shop.
  • No, I do not now and haven’t in the past demand fed, my choice and it has worked well for us. End of story on that one.
  • Yes I decided to go back to work after Kieran was born, and yes I was aware that I was planning on letting someone else “raise” my child all day.
  • Yes I changed my mind and decided to stay at home and not return to work, and yes I am aware that this then meant I wasn’t giving my children the best start financially or teaching them a proper work ethic (have to say on this one… poo! I work ten times harder working from home AND being Mummy than I ever did in my previous demanding job!).

These are just some of the things I heard myself having to apologise about in the past, particularly as a first time Mum. Now – well gawd help anyone who tried – but how sad, and awful that people felt the need to comment so negatively on my decisions.

Parenting is the most difficult job you will ever have. There is no manual, you aren’t taken aside for special classes at school on how to raise children the “right” way and I’m pretty sure antenatal classes don’t get close to covering the choices that we will have to make between now and when our kids turn 18, so finding the way can be a rollercoaster but one worth queueing for!

So please, neighbours, other parents, fellow shoppers in tescos, politicians… let us raise our kids without your prejudices.

Is it just me who gets really mad with this?


The Key to Good Parenting- Where Is It?

I was a cute child wasn’t I hehe
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am one of six children (it’s something I am very proud of!) and we are all very close still despite having grown up, married, got jobs, had kids etc. I can honestly say we were very lucky in that we had a loving and stable upbringing and as a result I think we all have all grown up quite sensible, levelheaded (for the mainpart lol) and all enjoy a good laugh and cherish family. Well done Mum & Dad! Seriously though, I do cherish my childhood memories and wouldn’t change them for anything.

As a Mum now (of nearly 2 boys!), looking back to growing up isn’t just about nostalgia, but there is also a sense of wonderment. Seriously – six of us, how did we not send our parents up the wall? (Ok I’m sure we had our moments, particularly throughout our tender teenage years), but we didn’t ever get into big trouble, all did pretty well in school, all have decent jobs we enjoy, and all treat others with respect and fairness.

So…. how do do it? If I raise Kieran and No2 as well as my folks raised us I will be one very proud Mum, and I know Roy feels the same. I can’t remember my Mum ever running around the house, looking like she wanted to kill someone after one of her darlings thought they’d make soup and mix expensive face cream and antidandruff shampoo together, don’t remember Dad with steam almost literally coming out of his ears having found a beautiful biro drawing on the wallpaper behind one of our armchairs, and I can’t imagine Mum slumping into a chair at the end of the day, shaking her head and wondering whether or not she was doing this all “right”.
I believe a lot of it is generational. Don’t get me wrong, Kieran doesn’t run wild, we have a structured home routine-wise, promote independance, good manners, and the other core values we were raised with, we support his educational needs but all look to make sure he gets enough creativity and fun thrown into the mixture. He is turning out ok, but booooooy can it be knackering… and this is just one child! Copying the model set by my Mum and Dad -imagination is behind a lot of Kieran’s play, he doesn’t watch loads of tv, doesn’t have his own computer/console/set of gadgets, but gets plenty of fresh air, is booted outside when weather permits and dirty, muddy play is fine by me. I think I’m doing it right, pretty convinced that he’ll turn out much like our lot did, but how do you KNOW?

So rather than trying to unravel the wonder that is my fab up-bringing where everything just seemed to fall into place and work fantastically, I ask you…. is traditional parenting the key to raising a child? By this I mean encouraging values, making sure the kids understand the importance of earning what they have (even at 4yrs Kieran has his own set of chores etc and gets “treats” only when these are all achieved). What do you think? Is it how we parent? Is how our kids turn out as adults genetic? Are there environmental factors that determine the type of person they will be, or is it just “them” and predetermined?

A bit of a heavy one for me, which smacks a little of the Nature vs Nuture debate but I’d love to hear your views! I do worry how what I do now will affect Kieran and Bubs 2 later and suspect there isn’t a magical formula really but would love to hear other people’s take on all this?
Oh and seriously…. Mum & Dad….how? Six of us!? You really are both truly amazing 🙂