Monthly Archives: July 2016

It’s life, Jim…..

….but not as we know it.

I heard someone say something ridiculous last night. I was watching one of my sniffly programs and a lady was talking about her children. She said, and I quote “we refused to let having children change us”.

Ridiculous. I suspect she was referring to still having a career and still travelling and children fitting in with the life that they had, but her words were just too silly and it made me cross. How can having children not change you?

How can you have children and not feel differently about the world around you? How can you have children and not feel a more overwhelming sense of responsibility than you have ever felt in your life before? Surely, having a child and being responsible for them, caring for them, loving them, changes you irrevocably?

My life before I had children was as worry free as I can remember being. I had a boyfriend then partner then husband but he was able to look after himself. I had a job, but I wasn’t a brain surgeon – I didn’t have people’s lives in the palm of my hand. If I messed up a program or ran the wrong report the world didn’t stop. I had a mortgage but if I lost my job I would have bought a smaller place or moved back in with my mum and dad (ha ha!) I would have found another job just like that (*clicks fingers*). If I wanted to go out I would go out. I didn’t have to plan around anyone but myself (and boyfriend/ partner/husband to some degree). If I didn’t want to cook dinner, I wouldn’t. I had no-one to be accountable to except me.

How can having children not change your entire outlook on life?

My life now is so different now that I have others to make decisions for. I have to choose schools for them; help them become happy, responsible, well-rounded people; nurture them, keep them safe and love them beyond anything else on this earth. I can’t be the same person I was then. I have to be the best person I can be, because I am accountable to two young people who need me to be the best person I can be, so that they can become the best people that they can be.

I don’t always get it right. I sometimes shout. I can be grumpy and resentful. But the person I am now, now that I have children, is not the me I was before. It’s a better me. A more neurotic, a more emotional and a more sensitive. But better.

Silly woman.

 

 

 

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The Video

I picked A up from school today as we had some errands to run in town and while I was waiting in the car for her (astounded at how atrocious the parking still is outside school – some things NEVER change) I received a text from her teacher advising that the class has watched the Sex Ed video this morning and they may have questions. I wasn’t too worried as A and I have had The Talk a while back. I didn’t want her to hear it from anyone else. Let’s face it, there’s ALWAYS a child in every class in every school that believes they know it all and can’t wait to enlighten those that don’t. I didn’t want A to get a skewed idea about “it” and wanted to make sure she knew I was able to discuss such matters without getting embarassed etc. (I hope I covered up my instinctively prudish side and didn’t make her feel awkward – I think I did OK). So, I decided in the few minutes between getting the text and her getting in the car that I wouldn’t mention it unless she did and then if she hadn’t brought it up or mentioned it in passing I would ask her later on in the evening, just to make sure she was OK with it all. But I expected not a peep from her about it if truth be told.

So, when her opening gambit when she got in the car (after “urgh this weather is horrible“) was “I nearly fainted today and had to go to sick bay” I didn’t relate it to The Video. She went on to say “I can’t believe they made us watch an actual baby coming out of an actual woman“. Horrified. No other words for it. Well, apart from disgusted, disturbed, shocked. Apparently, at the point when said baby was making an appearance she got a bit of a ringing in her ears and came over a bit hot and had to leave the room. A splash of water in the loos didn’t make any difference so she took herself off to sick bay. Lovely teachers fanned her and sorted her out with a book to take her mind off it (Chip, Biff and Kipper and not Biology for Beginners thankfully). She couldn’t eat her lunch until much later and, like me, nothing puts my girl off her food. It must have been bad.

Bless her. She then went on to say how awful the whole thing was. Mortifying, gruesome, just downright wrong. Children ready to run a race representing the sperm and a giant red yoga exercise ball at the end of the track representing the egg. The winning “sperm” launching themselves at the egg. She was scathing “couldn’t they have come up with a better idea than THAT?”  And it went on. Children making a video at a family gathering asking relations and friends of family why they love each other and what love means – touching each other to make each other happy apparently (I remember this from watching The Video when T was in year 6 and imagining how kids would react to it). “As if anyone would do that in real life! Imagine me asking Nanny and Grandad or Uncle P and Auntie C!”Stupid cartoon drawings of penises and sperm with smiley faces. She kept asking “why? why would they make us watch it?“I think I can safely say that she is disgusted with the whole idea and she has announced that it has put her off having babies for life. I replied that if it had put her off having sex for life then that was all fine with me. I asked her if she had any questions. No, all perfectly clear thank you. No questions on the sex and baby thing. Just “why would they make us watch it?

Oh dear. I had to try not to laugh at her little face all open mouthed and eyes wide in horror. I will remind her of this conversation when she is 16 and mooning around all loved up over some boy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end is in sight

A has two more weeks left to go at primary school. It’s been a busy week with end of year performances on 2 consecutive nights. I loved watching them and it was lovely to see kids I’ve known since they were babies up on stage performing. It was also lovely to know that I won’t have to do it again. I’ve been going to performances like this since T was in year 3 (6 years ago) and, because K hates to go to things like this and therefore will not go alone, I generally get to go to every performance. Even when they are only singing in the back row, you have to go and support them. But 6 years is a lot of performances.

And the next 2 weeks seem destined to be filled with assemblies, leavers parties, induction days (okay not all of those need to be plurals but in my head there is a LOT of stuff to go to) and it all involves transportation and organising. This means speaking to other parents. In case I hadn’t made myself clear on this before, I’m not a big fan of having to speak to other parents. I have friends who are parents, but we would be friends even if they weren’t parents (not that we would have met if they weren’t but I like them even though they are. OK?) But I would also rather not have to do ALL the to-ing and fro-ing, especially when there are 2 venues on the same day that A needs taking to and from. So I got over myself and put a request on our group facebook page (*shudders*) asking if anyone would like to do lift shares to the various outings. Nothing. No response at all. (You can see when people have seen your post so I know it hadn’t been sucked into some weird Facebook black hole. They just didn’t respond. Luckily a friend (who is also a parent) contacted me by phone to ask if I would like to lift share with her (our daughters are friends) so I am now sorted. But I was still a teeny, tiny bit miffed (ok ragingly p****d off) when I saw a message on the group thing asking if anyone could lift share. Hello? Did I not ask this? Did you not see it? My instinct was to ask this. I didn’t. I’m chicken. I’m also counting down the days until I can officially leave the group without causing offence (not that they would probably notice and actually, why do I care if they do?) In 2 weeks time I will not need to have contact with any of the non-friend parents, unless I am unfortunate enough that they have children in A’s form and then I will see them once (at the initial meeting at school). This makes me sounds very unsociable (I am), very grumpy (I’m not) and a bit of a whinger (I can be) but it’s all just wearing very thin.

Since T has been at secondary school the only time I see any non-friend parents is at parents evening. Once a year. It’s bliss (not parents evening, the lack of contact). Sports day is not open to parents; there are no end of year performances (well, not that I know of – drama is not high on T’s list of enjoyable pursuits); I don’t get asked to help at summers fairs; I don’t feel obliged to attend concerts or open evenings. Perfect for the unsociable parent. I suspect that A may be inclined to get more involved in school activities than T but I don’t envisage the level of parental involvement that I have had to endure for the last 11 years since our family began it’s school journey. And it has been an endurance test at times. The playground is a hard place to be and I will not miss it.