Drop offs and pick ups 

Cars

This morning as I dropped the little lady off to nursery, I couldn’t help but smile knowingly at one of the other mums looking flustered coming up the stairs with her son in one arm, and his bag, jacket and other toddler paraphernalia in the other as I overheard her saying to him “Come on, you’re going to be ok. Look there’s everybody!!”. I wasn’t sure whether her forced enthusiasm was for her benefit or his. He looked as cool as a cucumber. If anything she was the one that was looking slightly distressed by their morning experience. However, any parent will know that looks can be deceiving and for all I know he could have been about to have a major meltdown (incident 3) the moment they stepped in that classroom door. I didn’t stick around to see. I managed to drop off my little person this morning without any clingy koala bear moments (incident 1) or tears (incident 2) and as any parent with a child in nursery will know, once you’ve dropped them off in their room you don’t look back, you saunter as quickly as you can so that they don’t pick up on any signs of weakness and try to pull an incident 1, 2 or 3 on you.

As I ran down the stairs and towards the door I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself thinking about how similar our experiences as parents are, and of some of the times that the little lady has blindsided me with one of these incidental delights during the morning drop off. So I thought I’d share some forewarning for the parents who have yet to experience one of these, or some laughs for those that have. Here’s typically how they go;

An Incident 1 Scenario AKA The Clingy Koala Bear: You dare to break routine for a lovely family holiday/break/day off (fill in the blank) and attempt to return to said routine like nothing has happened or changed, but your little prince or princess didn’t get the memo. Routine is king to these little people and they may have just assumed that spending all day with mummy and/or daddy was the new routine. Cue one clingy koala bear when you try to drop them off at nursery on day one post your holiday. As you attempt to routinely hand them over to their key worker or the nearest staff member, you find that they are suddenly glued to you like a limpet, firmly refusing to let go and genuinely confused at why you are both there in the first place. After much placating, promises to pick them up after work along with your choice of bribe, the staff manage to finally peel them off of you.

An Incident 2 Scenario AKA The Tears: They usually come out of nowhere, all of a sudden and without warning. One moment everything is fine and the morning routine appears to be going to plan, but the moment you hand them over and attempt to leave they start to cry for no real or apparent reason. Some of us parents attempt to stay and try to calm them down and figure out what is wrong. Others hot foot it leaving the poor bewildered staff to deal with the incident. However in the end the result is the same. Whether you stay or go they will cry until they are ready to stop, or unless you take them home, and that’s not really an option now, is it.

An Incident 3 Scenario AKA The Major Meltdown: Both a parent and key workers worst nightmare. Major meltdown incidents are explosive and uncontrollable and have the power to set off all the other children. Similar to incident 2, they seem to come from nowhere and without warning but with much more ferocity. I have seen other toddlers self destruct all of a sudden like little grenades, with full on, on the supermarket floor type tantrums. They are destructive and distracting and both parents and staff know that these are dangerous moments for all involved. The situation must be handled swiftly and expertly before the others all realise what is going on and join in. I have often watched the little lady assessing the situation, at which point distraction (think high-pitched, over enthusiastic commentary about what a great day she is going to have), handover and a sharp exit are key.

However, im glad to say that by pick up time all seems to be forgotten by all parties. That is, until tomorrow..

If you have any of your own tongue in check drop off or pick up moments then share them here. It’s always reassuring to hear it isn’t just you, and at the same time have a giggle!

photo credit: N05/2934218773″>Rich boys have many toys via photopin (license)

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Working Maman

St Pauls Catherdral

So, the first day back to work after a much anticipated few months is over…and I have to say, I didn’t expect to enjoy it this much. I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I can still hold a decent conversation, I can still have lunch with a friend without talking about all things baby, I can still walk in high heels, and I can still find my way around this wonderful city. I almost forgot how much I love the city. Theres nothing like hearing a saxophone player at Bank station in the middle of the day to make you realise how much you missed London.

But being back at work today made me feel alive again. It’s not that having my daughter hasn’t made me feel alive, because it most definitely has. But in a different way. Going to work today revived a part of me that I had forgotten about. I had got so into the groove of routine and being a parent that I forgot about the professional, working woman that is a very big part of me. As much as I needed and welcomed the 11 month break from work on maternity leave, and as much as I love and adore my little lady, I have to say, being back at work today made me feel reinvigorated. I’m very aware of the fact that im probably in some kind of honeymoon period at work. After all, at the moment I am just getting to enjoy the nicer side of work. Coffees, lunches, “catch up” meetings. It’s almost fun. In my line of work, until im assigned to a project and a client I virtually manage myself and my own time. Nice work if you can get it, I know. So right now I feel like I have the best of both worlds. But I realised today that I want the best of both worlds. I want it all. I want to be a great mummy and wife, and a successful working woman. So im going to do everything in my power to try to have it all. Of course it’ll be difficult at times, and of course it’ll be tiring. But I have a great husband, supportive family and friends and the best sister-in-law looking after our little lady, so I genuinely feel like it is a real possibility. So here goes nothing, watch this space, there’s a brand new working Maman in town!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/markspokes/6231619057/”>MARK-SPOKES.COM</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Practice run

Post it notes

I have been waiting for today since last week. My first whole child free day. My first day to do whatever I so please. But now that it’s here it feels rather lackluster. I miss my little lady and its only 8am. The husband thought it would be a good idea to do a couple of childcare practice runs before I go back to work in just under two weeks. Even though she will be looked after by family and therefore we know she will be absolutely fine, he thought it made prudent sense to see just how the routine will work in practice. Its a good job we did.

Things did not get off to a good start. Not only did I forget to set an alarm this morning, but I forgot to charge my phone which meant this morning had no chance before it even began. I got up on time thanks to the husband who was anything but impressed, but got up feeling very much like I’d got out of the wrong side of the bed which meant that most of the morning was spent in a haze of confusion and tiredness. I neglected to set out the little lady’s clothes last night unlike the previous occasion a few weeks ago where I was much more diligent. Surprise, surprise, come this morning I couldn’t remember what outfit I had decided on in my head last night. Not good. I almost forgot to pack breakfast and her sippy cup, and at the last minute remembered to throw a few toys into her bag. So rather than enjoying the little slither of time I had with the little lady this morning, she was whisked from room to room like she was being processed by airport security. Not exactly how I envisaged our mornings would be.

If I have learnt anything from our practice run, it’s that I will need to be organised to an almost military precision if we have any hope of getting the three of us out the door on time and in good shape. That means batch cooking on the weekends and buying in bulk to make sure the little lady has a variety of meals. Today she has chicken for lunch and chicken for dinner. Say no more. The husband even suggesting conceding to use Ella’s pouches in the week once im actually back at work, although my guilt over leaving her all day makes me feel like the least I could do is make her fresh, home cooked meals. I also realised last night that I need a better labelling system for her food, I need to get more organised with packing her bag the night before and not leave half of it till the morning like I did today and I most definitely need to take some tips from Betty and the Bumps and start putting her outfits together at least the night before. I should probably do the same for myself, and it’s definitely time I started getting us into the routine of setting an alarm and getting up at the time we will need to get up in two weeks time. I think the little lady was a little startled by the slightly earlier start to our day, although she seemed to take it in her stride and was just as cheery and chatty as she is on any other morning. It took me on the other hand, until 8am, one shower and one cup of tea to feel anything but cheery and chatty.

But now my house feels quiet and empty. I didn’t realise just how much children complete a home. It feels as though the little lady has gone for a nap and I am just waiting for her to wake up. I’m not sure yet how I will fill the many hours between now and this evening. Even with everything that I have been “meaning to do” or “catch up on” I don’t think it will keep me busy until she comes home. Last Saturday night when I didn’t make it out of the house to go to a friend’s birthday party I commented to friends that I think we may have “separation issues”. I thought I was referring to the little lady, but now im not sure whether I meant her or me. It would seem that this practice run may be more for my benefit than anyone elses…

I’d love to hear from other parents on how you’ve made the reutrn to office work for you. Did you do a practice run? What tips can you share that will make life that little bit easier?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/missnita/380929930/”>Ani-Bee</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Blog your heart out

blogyourheartout

I’ve been asked by the lovely Mummy’s to do list to take part in the Blog Your Heart Out meme. I tried to find out who actually started the meme by clicking through the various blogs that have taken part so far, but it ended up being a bit like Chinese whispers and pass the parcel all in one go and I never ended up getting to the true source.

Anyway, it’s always nice to be tagged to join in, and because I haven’t done one for a while, and its a great way for my readers and fellow bloggers to get to know me a little better I thought I’d get involved. So here goes:

1. What/who encouraged you to start blogging?
I’ve always wanted to start a blog, but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave and my daughter arrived that I actually had a real drive, desire and motivation to start it. I absolutely love blogging and wish I had started one earlier. It would have been great to have been able to write about some of my pregnancy experiences as well as my parenting ones.

2. How did you choose what topics to blog about?
My Petit Canard is a name that I gave my daughter when I was pregnant, and so the blog which has the same title is intended to document my new experiences as a mother. I never consciously set out to create a blog about parenting, I just knew that I wanted to create a blog and I wanted to be able to talk about my life. It just so happens that my life at the moment is dominated by learning about what kind of parent I am, and how to be a good and better parent. I expect that as my experiences and my life change, so will my blog.

3. What is something people don’t know about you?
I wish I could be more openly emotional. I don’t know whether its being the eldest child, or the life that I’ve led, but I’m one of those “strong” people who don’t tend to show much emotion – for example I never cried at my wedding, and I just about cried at the birth of my daughter. The ironic thing is that I am actually quite an emotional person, just not openly so. I’ve always seen it as a positive, particularly from a professional perspective, but the older I get the less I see it in this light. I’m hoping that becoming a mummy will start to soften me, because I want to be able to show my daughter that it is ok to wear your heart on your sleeve sometimes.

4. What three words describe your style?
Honest, personal and light-hearted.

5. What do you like to do when you’re not blogging?
Spend time with my little lady. Spend time with my family. Spend time with my friends. Usually pretty much in that order. As a new mummy I don’t have much time for anything else!

I’ve chosen to tag in a few of my favourite bloggers: Sand in my Toes, Mama Bean Blog, Mummy Says, The Pumping Mama and Dancing with Dirty Feet.

The rules if they choose to take part are simple; answer the five questions above, link back to this blog in your post and nominate five more blogs that you think are great to continue the meme. Happy blogging!

Love is so many things..

Heart

A few days ago I wrote a post about what love is to me, which turned into a tag about what love is to others. I was nervous about starting my first tag on a bit of a whim, unsure of whether any one would actually join in or not. But to my surprise (and delight) quite a few people did join in with their take on what love is. So since its Valentines Day, I thought Id combine all the tags into one big list of what love is on this most romantic of days. Here goes!

Love is:

1. Getting out of your cosy, comfy bed mid-dream at three in the morning to get vapour rub/calpol/change their nappy/milk/water (delete as appropriate!).

2. Letting your snot infested six month old inadvertently wipe their nose on your fresh from the dryer top.

3.Breastfeeding your snotty, dribbly, wet handed baby without as much as flinching. Then watching as a snot trail develops from their nose to your chest – lovely!

4. Picking bogeys and snot crust away from their nose so that not only can they can breathe better, but they look slightly more presentable than the snot monster your baby has suddenly become.

5. Sustaining pinches to the bosom and chest while feeding is run of the mill.

6. As is a morning wake up call of being hit in the face or kicked in the stomach by little hands and feet.

7. Letting them chew your Prada purse after conceding that they just don’t understand the phrase “we don’t chew Prada darling”.

8. Getting to 3pm and realising that a morsel of food hasn’t crossed your lips. Because it’s just one of THOSE days.

9. Spending 30 minutes washing, peeling, cutting, steaming and blending yummy fresh food for your little one, then chucking together something quickly for yourself later.

10. Wolfing down your food at the speed of light because someone wants to go to bed or have their nap. Right now.

11. Having to put a variety of footwear on wife’s feet upon request.  Her trainers definitely need an airing!

12.  Making sure cupboard is full of the wife’s required craving for this week.  Why can’t she just stick to one thing?

13.  Having to give up my comfy car because it’s an automatic and wife is now struggling with gears.

14.  Being on hand to provide a leverage system that allows the wife to alight the sofa/bed/chair with some element of dignity.

15. Walking at a snails pace where ever we go (because of the pregnant wife).  I just wanted to nip to the shops for crying out loud, it’s taken nearly an hour!

16.  Not being able to sit on my favourite sofa because the wife needs to have a lie down.

17.  Not knowing what mood the wife is going to be in from one minute to the next.  Am I about to get my head bitten off because I stirred the tea the wrong way.

18.  Doing all the bending, lifting and carrying because the wife can’t do the bending, lifting and carrying.

19.  Sleeping with a wild beast as her (the wife’s) snoring has definitely got worse!

20.  Doing the nursery, basketball, school run etc. because the wife is too tired!

21. When your child marks you as his property using a complex pattern of snot and bananary slime so that other toddlers know to keep away from his property (you).

22. When your child brings you 124,000 “cups of tea” a day. These are so important that you must say “yum” or “ooh thank you” every. Single. Time. Or his tiny toddler heart will break.

23. When your child runs away from you in public places… because he trusts that you’ll always be right behind him… Or maybe because he loves playing hide and seek with you! (Either way, it’s definitely love and not naughtiness)

24. When your child sets his tiny toddler alarm clock to go off in the middle of the night so he can get an extra few seconds of cuddling you.

25. When your child moves things around the house to leave you little tokens of his affection…. Like fridge magnets in your shoes or Duplo bricks in the fridge. Every puzzle piece you find in your bed or Satsuma segment in your handbag is your toddlers way of saying “I love you Mum”!

26. Sometimes your child just loves you SOOO much that he has to lie on the floor in the supermarket, screaming and crying and throwing jars of pasta sauce on the floor because it’s too much to handle.

27. Giving my mummy the biggest, sloppiest wettest kisses I can, leaving baby goo all over her face

28. I give her a special smile that I only give to mummy, a smile so big and loving, my eyes twinkle, making mummy smile, even when she’s not feeling smiley

29. Love is melting my mummy’s heart, just by looking at her

30. Reaching for my mummy when I hurt myself, above anyone else, and burying my little head in her neck

31. Wiping my snotty nose on her new top

32. Peeing on mummy, and only mummy when she is changing my nappy

33. Going to bed with wet hair, and leaving the house the following day without so much as even looking at it, so that getting ready time doesn’t interfere with baby time (and seriously, if you saw the consequences of me leaving my hair to do it’s own thing you would know that it’s love!).

34. Going practically make-up free for 10 months so that no cosmetics touch baby’s face when she touches mine.

35. Only going out with friends once since Gwenn was born, so that she knows mama is always there for her.

36. Suffering the hell on earth that is soft play on a rainy Sunday despite being the most noise-sensitive human being EVER!

37. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: The syringe you get in nurofen / calpol.

38. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: Keys.

39. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: Mobile Phone.

40. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: Remote Control.

41. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: Teaspoons.

42. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: my Wallet.

43. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: Bottle Lids.

44. Love is random objects that bring strange joy to young children: Teething gel tube.

45. Love is having to try really hard not to over share everything nappy/poo related with your family & friends.

46. Love is being splattered across the face with yogurt because your little one got the giggles or sneezed with a mouthful.

47. Love is a snotty, sticky, milky little hand being lovingly swiped across your face.

48. Love is being disproportionately ecstatic & proud the first time a wee is done in a potty.

49. Love is finding your little one’s game of them trying to put their dummy in your mouth genuinely hilarious.

50. Love is letting your little one bite your finger just to see if it does hurt… or is that just me being a weirdo?

51. Love is having the 64 Zoo Lane theme tune in your head for days and days and days and days! AHHH I HEAR IT IN MY SLEEP!

52. Love is weeing on the little stick, Making sure you’re eyes aren’t playing a trick.

53. Love is seeing you on the screen, my own little prince grown from a bean.

54. Love is enduring a labour so long, I never thought I could be that strong.

55. Love is meeting you when all was done, Feeling you in my arms, all ten pounds one.

56. Love is worth every sleepless night, my make up free face giving the neighbours a fright.

57. Love is first words, first steps and smiles, Being off work for a year, not having to sort my files.

58. Love is waking up two till three, would I change it? No not me.

59. Love is different every day, Learning how to parent in many a different way.

60. Love is splashing in the bath, Searching for an opportunity to photograph.

61. Love is mess, bogies & poo, Moments of rest are far between and few.

62. Love is playing all day with choo choos, And my obsession with buying you shoes.

63. Love is not hard, with you it comes easy, It’s sometimes cliché and often cheesy.

64. Love is precious, kind and true, Love is me, and love is you.

65. Love is sharing every bit of toast I ever make no matter how much she’s ate she can’t resist a bit of toast.

66. Love is listening to avici hey brother and Pharrell happy on repeat so that she can dance and clap her hands just as happily on the 5th/15th repeat as the first time.

67. Love is letting her brush my hair, even though I get whacked with the brush most of the time.

68. Love is having a bath toy bucket full of water thrown over me during bath time and smiling through it!

69. Love is having a tiny slither of the king-sized bed whilst the tiny person has the other 99%.

70. Love is sitting up all night in a vick vapour filled room helping her get through croup.

71. Love is the mornings first snuggly hug!

72. Love is never going anywhere in our house without my little mini shadow.

73. Love is being in awe at someone so little making such a huge impact on my life.

74. Love is just mini and me…my little best friend!

75. Cleaning up chunks.

76. Searching for a teeny, tiny Star Wars Lego mini-figure in a teeming, grimy ball pit – and finding it!

77. Wishing all day that they would all just go to sleep; then as soon as they are all asleep, wishing they were awake.

78. Blowing up a T-Rex the size of my 4-year old by mouth – and not minding when he turns straight back to the TV.

79. Constantly yearning to have a break from the domestic fold; then within 10 minutes of making my escape, crying into the steering wheel I miss them so.

 80. Always, always weeing last. We go into the baby change. I am desperate – desperate – for the loo. Child 1 somehow shoots onto the loo in the time it takes me to lock the door. I wipe him and set him a-handwashing and prepare my descent. Child 2 slithers underneath and takes the throne. I sort him out too and start undoing my jeans; but just then, I notice an aroma in the air. Child 3 suddenly has a red face and a nappy that can’t wait. I change him. It’s a beauty. Finally, I take my seat. The moment has almost – almost – passed. But I can’t risk being triple gazumped again. I relax and release. My iPhone falls down the loo. Like lightning I fish it out, but it’s screen of death already. I start to cry. My boys huddle round me on the loo. And that’s what Love Is…

Thanks to @homemumearthmum, @2boys1mum, @IcklePicklex, @bttyandthebmps, @Theswan_project,  @BloomingBoo, @awhole9months, @EllieBearBabi and @wrymummy for joining in with the “Love Is” tag.

As I said in my original post, you don’t have to be tagged in to join in. All you have to do is post your list on your blog, however long or short of what love is to you, tag a few other people in and blog/tweet it when you’re done. Lets spread the love!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3657889982/”>qthomasbower</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Love is..

Heart

You learn a lot about love when you have a child. But you learn even more about love when you have a poorly child. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt over the last few months since becoming a mummy, and more recently when the little lady developed her first cold since she was a newborn. Love is:

1. Getting out of your cosy, comfy bed mid-dream at three in the morning to get vapour rub/calpol/change their nappy/milk/water (delete as appropriate!).

2. Letting your snot infested six month old inadvertently wipe their nose on your fresh from the dryer top.

3.Breastfeeding your snotty, dribbly, wet handed baby without as much as flinching. Then watching as a snot trail develops from their nose to your chest – lovely!

4. Picking bogeys and snot crust away from their nose so that not only can they can breathe better, but they look slightly more presentable than the snot monster your baby has suddenly become.

5. Sustaining pinches to the bosom and chest while feeding is run of the mill.

6. As is a morning wake up call of being hit in the face or kicked in the stomach by little hands and feet.

7. Letting them chew your Prada purse after conceding that they just don’t understand the phrase “we don’t chew Prada darling”.

8. Getting to 3pm and realising that a morsel of food hasn’t crossed your lips. Because it’s just one of THOSE days.

9. Spending 30 minutes washing, peeling, cutting, steaming and blending yummy fresh food for your little one, then chucking together something quickly for yourself later.

10. Wolfing down your food at the speed of light because someone wants to go to bed or have their nap. Right now.

I’m sure I could have a running list of things I could add to make this list a pretty long one, but these are the things that popped out of my head all of a sudden. Most probably because a few of them were happening as I wrote them.

I feel a bit nervous about starting a tag (what if no one joins in?!) but since Valentines day is around the corner, I thought it might be fun to start a “Love is..” tag and see if we can get a nice long list of what love is to different people. It can be serious, or fun, or a bit tongue in cheek. If anything it’ll be a bit of giggle for all of us mummy’s and daddy’s stuck at home with our littlies on Valentines day. At the end of it, if enough people join in I’ll create one long list of what love is to everyone that got involved!

You don’t have to be tagged in to join in, but Ill start by tagging a few lovelies in the hope that at least a few will join in and it’ll get the ball rolling: @EllieBearBabi @BloomingBoo @ChantelleVR @SingleMAhoy @tobygoesbananas @Teacher2Mummy @bttyandthebmps @notafrumpymum @AStayatHomeCEO @MeTheManAndBaby @TheSwan_Project @Mumstodolist @sandinmytoesTK @birdiebabygirl

All you have to do to join in is post your list on your blog, however long or short of what love is to you, tag a few other people in and blog/tweet it when you’re done. If you’d like me to add your list to the final combined list then don’t forget to add me into your tweet so I know you’ve done it. Lets spread the love!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3657889982/”>qthomasbower</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Anonymous guest blogger: Mother knows best – or does she?

Theatre seating

In the second of the new series of anonymous guest bloggers, we have the lovely Sarah over from Mitenska talking about one of the most annoying things you can hear as a parent:

What a difference seventeen months make.

My Partner and I made the decision to have a baby (despite my insistence throughout my 20s and early 30s that I didn’t want children) back in 2011. I knew he was more enthusiastic than me; I worried that I’d be the least maternal person ever, that Id be indifferent to a demanding, needy baby. But then (after a year of trying and a dose of Clomid) Joe came along. And I fell in love.

Now I know I am indeed maternal. And protective. The problem is, I’ve recently been accused of being over protective. Am I?

Lets go back a while, to when Joe was little. Very little – his buggy still comprised of a car seat clipped onto a base. My mother-in-law suggest a trip out so off we went, to Sefton Park in Liverpool, and she insisted on wrestling the pram from me and pushing. I let her – after all, I got to spend each and every day with my baby and she was the proud first-time grandparent.

Presently I noticed a smell coming from the pram. Dirty nappy smell. Really very, very dirty nappy. I suggested we go and change Joe in the toilets. Her response was to “just ignore it” as we were out in the fresh air and the smell would go away. At this point I firmly told her we’d go and change him. Good job we did – a diaper disaster awaited us which required an entire outfit change. She looked suitably sheepish. I didn’t say “I told you so” (just thought it instead) so off we set, her in charge of the pram again, and headed for the main road. It was busy with traffic and I instinctively put my hand out to tell her to wait (a large white van was speeding in our direction). Unfortunately my mother-in-law kept going, pushing Joe into the path of the approaching vehicle. I shouted at her to stop, that the van was coming. She replied dismissively “It’ll just have to stop for us, wont it?” and kept going.

It didn’t stop. It swerved around her and the pram and she kept walking across the road as though along an empty pavement. I was left horribly shaken.

Ever since then I’ve been wary of her taking care of Joe. Now he’s a toddler (16 months and into everything) you need eyes int he back of your head. There have been several other instances of scary behaviour from my mother-in-law (handing him fruit on the end of a carving knife, anyone?) and I just don’t feel safe leaving him along with her. He goes to his other grandparents house for hours at a time and they’re super-vigilant, but my guy feeling is I just don’t feel safe leaving him with certain people. Others I have absolutely no problem with. Thank goodness, or we’d never get an evening out alone together.

Over-protective or just sensible?

You see, Joe stays home with me. I took voluntary redundancy from a great job, then temped before he came along so had nothing work-wise to return to. More to the point, I found I didn’t want to go back to work. I still don’t. Not just yet. I’m a stay at home mum for the time being. I don’t cost anyone anything. We’re careful with our finances and its our choice. Joe goes to play group, sees friends and family regularly and is a happy, secure little boy.

Sadly, certain family members – trading on the fact that I don’t let him go to my mother-in-laws alone are saying im over-protective. That Joe should have been put into nursery from a young age, that he’ll end up socially inept or even depressed. Yes, really. I found that last comment particularly hurtful. Because looking after a small child is hard work. Hard, but rewarding. Every decision I make is based on Joe’s best interests. Our choices are our business. I don’t know when, or why it became acceptable to criticise someone elses parenting decisions. Particularly when the main critic in this case has no children of his own – in fact, he’s never even babysat. Doesn’t want kids. Wouldn’t fit in with the lifestyle.

I must remember to buy his parenting manual when it comes out…

The bottom line is this; I’m a mother. That’s my job. I take care of my son, and yes, I protect him because that’s what comes naturally to me. That isn’t for anyone to question. He isn’t wrapped up in cotton wool but he is kept away from situations I think could compromise his safety.

That’s not being over-protective. That’s being a parent.

Thanks again Sarah for sharing with us what its like to be labelled an “over-protective” parent. If you’re reading and can relate to this then I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on labelling or being labelled as an over-protective parent.

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