Thinking Out Loud

10 Reasons why I am a Terrible Parent Blogger

1. Time (or lack thereof)

I struggle to find the precious time to write anything half decent between my jobs, chores, child taxi service, exercising and socialising. (Not that there’s a hell of a lot of time for the last one or that I spend as much time as I should doing the penultimate one.)

2. Desperately Seeking Approval

I’m too cynical to be sycophantic and too desperate to be liked to be truly cutting.

3. Friends

I don’t need new mum friends. Does that make me weird? I barely have time for the friends I already have. I like my friends. That’s why they’re my friends.

4. Bloggerholics Anonymous

I decided to blog anonymously but this is proving to be a real challenge on the old content front. Thankfully for you it means I’ll not be doing any cringey vlogging any time soon. (Look, I used the word vlogging! It’s the future, I’m down with the kids. Probably not.)

5. Respecting my Children’s Privacy

I don’t feel comfortable exploring the trials and tribulations that my kids are struggling with through the medium of blog. A three year old struggling with toilet training isn’t quite as exposing as the emotional, social and developmental rollercoasters of eight and ten year olds.

6. Not a Mama or Mummy. Just a Mum. Or Mam.

I’ve never called myself a Mama or a Mummy. Tell a lie, I’ve signed birthday cards to my toddler offspring with “Mummy” but mainly because I like doing a twirly y in my fanciest handwriting. The words are too cutesy. I am not cute. I’m Mum to my boys and Mam on the blog because it’s Welsh and it rhymes with Glam. Love a rhyme.

7. Self doubt

But it’s ok to be a bit rubbish at this writing lark when no one is ever going to read it as it floats aimlessly in the world wide web of lies. If a tree falls and no one hears it…

8. Not an Expert

I’m not an expert on anything. I read some blogs where the writer has assumed some sort of moral high ground or preaches as though they are the Holder Of All The Knowledge or Explainer Of All Of The Things. I’m reluctant to launch my “Crafty Mam” element because I can imagine it being a bit “here’s a tutorial on doing something I can only just about do myself.”

9. Waffly Versatile

I waffle. As one of my incredible A Level English teachers said in the late 90s “you have a rather cavalier approach to writing”, which, turns out, wasn’t what they were looking for in exams or Uni assignments. Who knew.

10. I’m Late to the Party (or was I too early?)

I can see there are so many opportunities and movements to join up mums with mums. Which is lovely. I went through a more analogue and informal version of this when I was preggers the first time age 25. I don’t feel it’s for me now. I prefer to vent and rage at my friends (and at you, strangers on the internet), some of whom don’t have kids. They still know me and they know my children. Perhaps working and having no pre-schoolers excludes me. I’m entering a stage of motherhood where I have more freedom, I’m not tethered by boob to a baby, juggling days around inconvenient nursery hours or lugging around the world’s biggest bag full of tiny spare clothes.

But mainly it’s the never having time to blog thing. OK, not “never” as I’m clearly doing just that right now… and waffling again.

Thinking Out Loud

5 Reasons to Love Half Term (even if you’re working)

I’ve managed to wangle a few afternoons off but no full on day trips for us this week. For all the research and “ooo I like the sound of that” that went into the February Half Term post, I won’t be able to do many, if any of them with my children. Cue working parent guilt. The guilt will be slightly quelled by Facebook posts from SAHMs pulling their dry shampooed hair out (thank you and commiserations in advance). It’s not all bad. I’ve plucked five silver linings from a burst of rare optimism.

No Lunch Boxes

Sunday night I did a gleeful jig when I remembered that I needn’t do an inventory of bread, ham, cereal bars and frubes. No evening trek to the corner shop for lunch box supplies for me. Straight on the PG Tips. Oh yeah. Smug AF. I am a terrible quartermaster and we never have all of the lunch box things. We do always have fruit but that’s mainly because the same clementine accompanies each child every day until it’s “on the turn”. I’ve tried a variety of fruits and lovingly chopped vegetable batons but they all come home again. The satsuma, clementine and other orange-type things are by far the hardiest travellers so they’re frequent flyers.

No School Uniforms

The boys’ school is pretty relaxed uniform wise but I’ve had a gutsful of polo t-shirts and black joggers. Half term means I don’t have to do a wash every day. It’s best to avoid a mountainous backlog but it doesn’t matter. They finally get to wear the clothes I actually like and have bought for them. I was wistfully flipping through photos of my youngest as a two year old (because my sister has his old gear and my nephew’s just bursting into the 2-3 bag of cousin hand-me-downs) and he had some awesome outfits. Now he’s 4 nearly 5 and favours “comfie trousers”, joggers to you or I. The 8 year old poo-pooed my suggestions this morning (he also refused to get out of bed, get dressed, brush his teeth etc.) and left the house looking like he’d had to don something from the lost property box. But hey, no school uniform washing, ironing and folding at least. *whistles Always Look on the Bright Side of Life*

Most Clubs and Hobbies Take a Break

The 8 year old’s sport doesn’t do half term breaks (sigh) but everything else does (yay). Fewer chauffeur duties, cub uniform, rugby boots and musical instruments to find/clean/remind child about. Tea time can be more leisurely. Less downing of dinners and struggling to find food that can be made in under 10 minutes. (30 minutes Jamie Oliver?! That’s a luxury!)

The B Team Present on the Radio

I have the radio on constantly. It gives my solo working from home days some element of routine.

10:30am Popmaster is time to make a cup of tea and practice my 3 times table

12 noon Jeremy Vine reminds me that it’s nearly lunch time

2pm Steve Wright makes me panic that all the things I should have done haven’t been done yet

5pm Simon Mayo helps me realise I still need to work for another half an hour but (depending on the day of the week) I need to make dinner for everyone and taxi kids to their hobbies within the next hour.

At half term and holidays, the regular Radio 2 presenters disappear and we get the reserves. Like those days a supply teacher had your class at school and there is a whiff of anarchy about the place. Sadly, this half term we’re on a different week to most of England so this reason should fall off the list. It should but “4 Reasons…” sounded a bit lame.

It’s a Quieter Week at Work

It would seem that most other people are more forward thinking than me and actually think to take annual leave over half term. I get fewer phone calls, meetings and replies to emails. A great chance to get a few more things ticked off that work-to-do list. If I had one. It’s all up here *taps head with biro*. *Regrets tapping head with biro upon realising it was the inky end*.

Do you also have a love/hate relationship with half term? Don’t worry, once it’s over there are only six weeks until the Easter holidays!

 

Thinking Out Loud

Digital Footprints

For the recent Safer Internet Day, the 8 year old taught me about my digital footprint. The personal markers I leave all over the internet like our dogs pissing at the park. Airing my dirty laundry on a blog doesn’t sit well with protecting the privacy of my kids. They’re not babies or toddlers but primary school aged kids with their own opinions, fears and ability to browse the internet.

I’m torn between going big on the warts an’ all barefaced honesty and something a little more restrained and anonymous.

When they get to high school (which will be pretty soon in the grander scheme of things) I don’t want their friends, enemies or frenemies to be able to dig up details of every embarrassing thing they’ve ever said or problem they’ve had to work through. I’m still trying to come up with the perfect nom de plumes for my entire family and take more photos without their lovely little faces in but we’ll get there.