As a parent there will always be a natural need to protect them from potential harm or our past negative experiences, however in order educate them we need to let go...allow them to learn from the world outside of our control.
We are waiting for the kids to fall asleep so we can drink like civilized people: sitting on the corridor outside the cabin. The depths to which one sinks as a parent never cease to amaze. We could have just gone to bed at the same time as the children and listened to them not falling asleep. But we are on Holiday!
When my first child started school two years ago, everyone said it would be a big change. I didn't exactly disbelieve them, but really, I thought, how big could it possibly be? Unsurprisingly, I got it completely wrong.
You have been full of resolutions about this new school year - homework will be done on time, clothes will be laid out the night before, you will never, ever shout before 8.00am. So guess what? You have committed all the cardinal sins of school run management by the time the first week is up. Here are the tried and tested top 5 tips to keep you up and running during term time.
Healthy boundaries ensure that our lives are in balance, with no one area dominating another, so we feel content, and most importantly, in control.
Come on, you've got to get up. Did you have any homework? No I don't know where your blazer is. I promise we'll buy some shoes that fit tonight. Can you eat some breakfast & clean your teeth - now. No you haven't got melon in your packed lunch. Yes you do have to clean off that tattoo. No, you can't wear a loom band round your ankle. GET UP NOW! Shouldn't you have left by now?
I am aware that the majority (probably all) of you will be feeling desperately sorry for my poor husband. Wondering what kind of manipulation and brain washing a wife must have to do in order for him to suggest such a thing. However, please let me put an end to any sympathy you may have by revealing that he is at it aswell and usually more often and for longer periods of time.
When the days of motherhood blur and the hours are hazy, when the fog seems too thick to walk through - know that these are not ordinary days. Know that there is no moment like another, that there is no groundhog afternoon, that there is no day like every other.
The world is watching and analysing the physiques of women in the public eye as a kind of first-world sport, and hypothesising obsessively about their diets, feeding the consciousnesses of young girls with drivel about who they should be and what they should look like and telling them they really should care an awful lot about those things, or else.
I have five children. Georgina ("G") is the youngest. She is 14. And she is the one causing grey hairs to sprout abundantly from my scalp, if old wives' tale about correlation between lack of follicular colour and stress is to be believed.
We spend nine months trying to live like organic angels verging on born again virgins, doing everything we can to grow a healthy little human. Buying into every miracle cream, vitamin and birthing class and book going. What keeps us committed through all the dry parties, the charcoaled steaks and inedible non runny eggs?
I remember a work colleague of mine from some years ago, who regularly told me that work was easier than looking after his kids. "The office is a break for me," he used to say, "I'm heading home now to the real job". I didn't have children at the time and I assumed he was exaggerating. In fact, as the work we were doing at the time was very challenging, I thought it was a form of self-praise - a humble-brag of sorts.
I was relieved to realise that my own utter lack of awareness of the whole breastfeeding process was shared by other mothers in the room. Breastfeeding and milk production should be covered on the school syllabus and in more depth in ante natal classes.
We all know that schoolchildren go through a "summer dip", where learning falls back over the long summer holiday. From 2015, state schools will even be allowed to set their own term times, which may see summer holidays shortened.
It's fitting, really, that in the month I've assigned, "Weaning with Respect Month", another self-appointed baby sleep trainer has taken the opportunity to show how little he/they knows/know about newborn babies, their nutritional needs, their slumber needs, and basically anything about anything related to any of their needs.
I wish you knew the pain you've put me through the last 26 years. The suicide attempts I once made on my life. The memories that haunt me. How I spent many years believing I was worthless. How I still hear your voice in my head sometimes telling me that I'm stupid.