Monthly Archives: July 2016

Drains and Radiators

I’ve read lots of articles about how in order to make ourselves happier the key is often to rid ourselves of the toxic and negative people in our life. I’ve always struggled with this as a concept, after all don’t we all have negative down  days where we do feel like we drain other people with our problems?

However as time goes by, the idea of only surrounding yourself with people and even objects that enhance your life (as hopefully you do theirs) is something I’m certainly ready to do, it’s an act of self preservation really. 

The analogy goes something like this. The radiators in your life are the people who generate warmth, they give something back. That’s not to say these people don’t have down days, of course they will and of course you help them through. Generally though being around these people is a positive experience, they delight in your joy as well as sharing their own. These people enhance your life simply by being in it. 

Drains are the opposite. 

They literally drain you of energy, tire you out with their negativity. In this kind of relationship these people take way more than they ever give and are so focused on their own issues they aren’t able to listen to anyone elses. Sometimes we keep these people in our lives out of habit but time spent with them is dispiriting and you can be sure any bubble of happiness you bring to the table will be thoroughly burst. I liken them to the dementors from Harry Potter, people who suck all the happy from your soul. 

We’ve all known this type of person and most of us still probably have them around for one reason or another. You daren’t even ask how they are as you know it’ll be all doom and gloom. I feel I should say again this isn’t  a lovely pal having a crap time of things, they’re obviously going to be nurtured and loved not cast aside. I mean the ones who spending time with fill your heart with dread or you can’t share happy news with them as they’ll immediately bring down your giddy. The ones you only ever hear from when they need a listening ear, the ones who will never even ask how YOU are or how your life is going. 

Radiators though, let’s hang on to those gems with all our might. They’re the people who make our world a  bright place even on a dark day. My sister is my main one. My number one human. The girl who embraces whatever giddy idea I’m having that day and runs with it, no matter how ridiculous it may be. The first person I want to share happy news with. Being in her company is warming in itself like a comfort blanket, she makes me feel cared for and my little world is enhanced immeasurably by having her in it. 

I hope she feels the same, maybe except if she catches me when I’m hungry, I’m not at my best then.
 
I’ve another energy giver too but in a different way. (yes.. maybe it’s a boy! so what? Sssshh) Not so much cosy as empowered, they make me feel as if I could move mountains such is their enthusiasm and zeal. My little world is a more optimistic one with them in it. By the same token I’m a better person around them. The ice queen nonsense drops and I’m a softer, warmer person in their company. 

I think this technique would work for objects too. We’ve all stuff in our houses we don’t like. Maybe it’s a coffee table we think is a bit ugly but we’re just used to having around or a vase bought as a gift that you hate.

Get rid. 

Replace them with things that make you smile when you look at them. 

I’m not saying that by surrounding yourself with warm people and pretty things that nothing bad is ever going to happen. That’s obviously not the case. When the bad stuff does happen though, that’s probably when you need the amazing people and the things that make you smile the most. 

Ditch the drains. 

Cuddle up with the radiators (yes I know I hate cuddling – but as mentioned above, I’m softening)
 
Life is hard enough, fill it with people and things that make you sparkle a little!! 

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Summer holiday sentence bingo! ! 

Summer hols are here! (well almost, just one more week small girl) 

The holidays are great but they do get a bit..well..repetitive. 

There are certain phrases that pop out of your mouth, likely repeatedly, during the coming weeks. Tick them off as you go. First one to get a full house is declared Champion of Summer. 

“You’ve just had your breakfast /dinner /tea”

Usually a response to yet another cry of “I’m hungry”. Does anyone else think this is just a default sentence they utter when they’ve nothing else to say?? Has to be some kind of programming default.

 
“Tidy your room then”

Direct answer to either “I’m bored” or “there’s nothing to do”. It’s a classic mum line – been around generations and is really effective in getting them to entertain themselves rather than risk having to tidy. My dad’s response to the “I’m bored ” line was always “only boring people get bored Kelly” which really didn’t pack the same punch. 

“We’ll do that next week “

A reply to requests to go to soft play /bowling /a park that’s not a stone’s throw away from your house. It is almost certainly a lie. 

” We’ve ice lollies at home “

Another classic.

Usually muttered in the shop 2 seconds away from home when the little treasures  want you to spend £2 on a Fab. Get real kids I can get 170 from Aldi with that. 

Why don’t you put your shorts on? “

Suggested to the teens when you manage to drag them away from their screens to go out, the sun is blazing yet there they are in jeans and hoodies. Your shorts idea is likely to be met with an eye roll. 

to get some fresh air “

Another one for the teens. A response to the question” Why do we have to come? ” when you’re dragging them away from the x-box. Another classic mum line.

 
Let’s go to the park “

Said on repeat near the end of the holidays when you’ve spent a million pounds on ice-cream and day trips and are just grateful for a free activity. 

If you don’t behave we are going nowhere “

Said when you’re about to go out for the day and spend the afore mentioned million pounds. You’re trying to get organised and have asked for no help from anyone except to hush and let you get on with it. Yet the kids are still bickering and fighting and generally being pains. JUST STOP KICKING YOUR BROTHER WHILST I FIND THE SUNCREAM. 

Let’s have a movie day”

Translation :I’m fed up of the holidays now. I’m exhausted ,I’m sick of you lot arguing and whinging and quite frankly I don’t want to get dressed today. Let’s lounge on the sofa, watch talking chipmunks and call popcorn breakfast. 

I. Am. Done. 

I bloody LOVE the summer holidays “

This line is reserved for the golden week of the hols. The magic week. The week to end all weeks. All 4 kids are on holiday – without me! ! Crack open the prosecco, get out the family size fruit and nut, put on all the trashy TV you’ve been recording in anticipation of this moment – perfection! 

Happy holidays everyone! 

Xxx


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An anxiety ridden afterthought in the books v blokes post

This week has been a bit crappy. Nothing major has happened, my family are all healthy, we have a roof over our heads and food to eat . However bloody anxiety has reared it’s ugly head and came to a bit of a head over last couple days. This is obviously unpleasant on a physical level, but more irritating to me is it leaves me unable to read.

My concentration is shot and I can barely read a sentence without my mind wandering to some disasterous event thats bound to happen.I read for pleasure and escapism so obviously when i’m feeling this way,it’s a pointless task.

I should’ve recognised the warning signs of this creeping up on me, as the last few weeks I’ve begun half a dozen books but abandoned them after a couple chapters.I put it down to ‘not being able to get into it’.I realise now it was due to having the concentration span of a gnat!

So as I am bookless for the next few days till this passes,I am forced to rethink my earlier post this week about how books are better than blokes that’s here  (https://kellyandthekidsblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-reason-youre-still-single-is-because-youd-rather-share-your-bed-with-a-book-than-a-bloke/)read it-may raise a smile! and begrudgingly come up with a couple of ways blokes can do what books can not.NO not that!!

In the grip of an anxiety attack,I do find that human contact is the best way to relieve it.I’m really not a  hugger,not with a grown up anyway.When the breathing becomes hard work though and it feels like swallowing is harder than walking on water.This is where holding my hand and stroking the back of my hand with a thumb,like you do with babies,is a lovely calmer.(I know how strange this sounds,but it works for me)

Distraction is my second reason boys can beat books.This only works when in midst of anxiety obviously , as reading is the biggest distraction that there is for me ordinarily.I’m trying here boys keep with me.I really aren’t anti men ,I’m attempting to raise two lovely ones. These two are my most brilliant distraction technique. Biggest boy will constantly bombard me with scientific facts,whilst littlest boy gives me the most nerdy football facts that he amazes and worries me at the same time.However if they ever remake Fantasy Football you can sack Statto and have my son instead.Spending time with these two and entering into the giddy whirlwind of early teenage years means I really don’t get time to connect with my anxiety for a little while.

Lastly ,one thing I can’t get from my books is small talk.In my anxious moments I thrive on mindless chit chat.I find some men are great at this.Total unthinking chatter.I love it.Should I ever give dating a go , I’d definitely have chatty in my ‘must be’ boyfriend list.

So I have to admit I suppose,that there are times where boys can help where books can’t.Still not taking one to bed with me though…will have to manage with Heat magazine until i’m feeling better.

Guest post: Why I loved my teenage years

I asked the funniest person I know to write me a guest post for my blog. So here’s my sister’s take on the teenage years.

I know some people refer to their teens years as traumatic and awkward and really quite hard.

Not me though.

I had the time of my life.

Here’s why I LOVED being a teen.

I was Billy Big Bollocks
I thought I knew it all. I had the world in the palm of my hand. I had an answer for everything and I was always right.
School was a laugh, we were the cool kids. We’d listen to hardcore dance music that consisted of the same sentence on repeat because We Were Cool.
We were the cool kids, yeah we twagged off school.. we weren’t scared – well actually except that time we were snuck up on by the headmistress who caught us at it. Then we kinda peed our pants and I left my mate to shed the tears and mumble something about a family ‘lossage’ except that time..

We didn’t have to conform to socially acceptable behaviour
School was all about the laughs. The game of choice was leaving various items on each others chairs. Anything from nails to prawns and whatever you can think of in-between was fair game. It cracked me right up.
White lies were fine too. So we’d all tell our parents we were sleeping out at each others and sneak off to camp out in a field!! We were memory making!
We’d not get away with now deciding to have a pamper night and cutting a pals hair only for her to be so angry at the result that she launched a cold hearted revenge cut!! These days we’d have to be all mature and take it on the chin.

The Clothes
Some may say the way I dressed back then was not good. My outfit of choice was my Umbro jogging bottoms tucked into my Adidas socks. Hair scraped back into a ponytail so tight it hurt to blink, earrings bigger than hula hoops! Style. You can’t buy it.

My sister was an alien species
She’d be sat, as a much older than me teen, good as gold sat reading her book. That was how she got her weekend kicks – down the library. Me? I was clubbing together with my friend to get a bottle of pulse cider. 56p each. What a bargain!

Love was serious
We all had week long relationships then got over the traumatic break up by listening to Late Night Love.. Heartbroken.
I once had a boyfriend who threw himself on a grass verge by the road when we finished, saying he didn’t care if a car hit him as he was so devastated it was over. I don’t want to embarrass anyone by mentioning names as he is a FB friend and actually if he was THAT heartbroken he should read this and remember it was him!

Smartphones were non existent
We had no social media or texting. If you were very cool you might have a pager.
When meeting up you just had to arrange a time and place whilst you were last together and just stick to it. Which we did.
Same goes for going home, our parents would give us a time to be home and there we’d be. The occasions we were ten minutes late though-the excuses were out of this world.
Landlines were our entertainment. The joy of calling sex lines only matched with memorising local phone box numbers and calling them up for a chat. Can I please take this opportunity to apologise to all the Christmas families in the phone book we called asking to speak to Father.

Teen years were fun. I’d love to go back for just one night. I certainly don’t envy teens these days with all the pressure they’re under and social media being so massive. If our awesome friendship group had been teens in 2016 we’d all have been too busy texting and updating social media to actually chat and have fun and bond.
That would have been a big shame.

Soooo who’s up for faking where we are sleeping tonight, buying pulse and camping out on field??

My Facebook page is just here if you care to like it. I’m going to talk lil sis into doing me a post every Friday
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In a world where the unlikely is no longer impossible…

In a week where I wished David Cameron to stay on as Prime Minister, I despaired at the thought of a female PM – something I’ve been dreaming of for years, grown ups are hunting pokemon and Bojo became Foreign secretary I’m starting to become a bit hysterical.

You know on movies where everything is going to Hell and there’s a lone crazed figure sitting in a corner, rocking and laughing. I’m beginning to feel like that’s me. I’ve been quietly watching the country go to crap and everytime I think oh well it can’t get any worse – all up from here.Sure enough it does and sure enough my grip on reality seems to loosen a little (Boris isn’t really Foreign Secretary is he?)

So because the world is going insane, I thought I’d think about other unlikely scenarios that might just happen…

Nice becomes the norm.
People are kind and thoughtful and compassionate as the norm. Mums support other mums without judging one another’s every move, the newspapers and magazines stop printing unflattering bikini pics of celebrities as some kind of body shaming game. When people are struggling we help them.
Life is short we aren’t here long, we’re making each others lives easier rather than harder.

Summer finally shows up.
A proper summer, hot and sunny and long. We can make plans for the beach next week safe in the knowledge that there’ll not be a freak thunderstorm whilst we’re sat in our deckchairs with a mini milk. The coming months are filled with barbecues and picnics and sun induced happiness.

Food and drink are guilt free.
Wine is good for you. The government announces an initiative to ensure we get our 2 glasses of red a day, with prosecco and gin encouraged of a weekend to mix it up a little. Hangovers don’t exist, obviously.
Chocolate is calorie free, as are crisps, chips and cake.
Coffee shops learn how to make a proper strong cup of Yorkshire tea. We are in food and drink utopia!

Misogyny is banished.
Men are respectful, ALL men.
Women are not discriminated against, the workplace is a level playing ground.
Abuse and rape is non existent.
It’s OK to walk the streets, even alone, even in the dark..

Hull becomes capital city.
No explanation necessary here. I love the place and am particularly homesick right now. When the whole world is topsy-turvy I can rely on going to Hull as my little pattie laden comfort blanket.

I get my happy ever after.
Mr Perfect lives up to his title. He sweeps me off my feet with romance and charm and loveliness. He ticks every box on the list. He is attentive and kind and thoughtful and chatty.We fall madly in love (yes even I FINALLY do the love stuff) He continues to become lovelier and lovelier as time goes by and is filled with adoration for me that never gets tired…. and they all lived happily ever after…

OK, OK maybe the last one is a bit far fetched… but about that calorie free chocolate though…

10 signs the end of the school year is nigh…

It’s the last half term of the school year, the summer hols are a stones throw away and don’t we know it. Here are some signs that you’re coming to the end of the school year.

1) EVERYONE (including you) is tired and grumpy.

No one wants to get up in a morning, no one wants to talk about their day. There’s a distinct feeling of ‘let’s just get these last few weeks out the way and go back to being human.

2) You let the kids go to school as though they’re extras from Oliver!
Remember September when everyone looked sooo sparkly and smart and lovely. Cut to final half term. Shirts are greying, ink stains are ignored, trousers are definitely a bit short. Am I going to spend cash on a new blazer that likely won’t fit by September though? Am I hell as like!

3) School keep asking for stuff.
Summer fete brick a brac (that the kids then buy and bring back home), cakes, spare uniform you no longer need, your purse, your soul. OK just feels like the last two…

4) Back to School displays are already in the shops!
Give us a break could you! Let us forget that at some point we’re going to have to do the dreaded school uniform shop.

5) You’re bombarded with ‘work’
I’m using the word work in it’s loosest term here. The younger the kids are the worse this is. EVERYTHING your little darling has ever scrawled their initial on is coming to your house. You may think you’re getting a toilet roll – but you dare roll your eyes at the sheer mountain of junk this child has in their arms and you will be accused of not loving their work… and therefore not loving them… and therefore being the worst parent ever.. Just smile at the toilet roll for goodness sakes!!

6) You daren’t spend a single penny.
School hols cost a bloody fortune. Even if you’re not taking them on holiday or don’t have a rota of fun days out planned. Why do kids insist on eating 20 meals a day in holiday time?? So be prepared. Use this time to save for the summer holidays, by not leaving the house… Or eating.

7) As a parent you begin to go out of your mind.
This, I admit, could just be me. I start to become nagging, whingy, irritable mum . I’m done with organised, I’m done with motivation. I’m just ready to spend time with my children with the pressure off… Which leads to..

8) You view the summer hols through rose tinted spectacles.
I love the summer holidays, honestly I do. The freedom to do what we want for over a month is fantastic (yes, yes also the kids go on hols with grandma which helps) but at this time of year, when you’re school weary you make great plans for amazing days out and family trips and you know you’ll have so much fun. Which you will, but don’t beat yourself up if you’ve declared pj day twice by week two.

9) Teacher gifts drive you nuts.
Smallest girl is a craft fan. I suggested she made gifts in reception class and it has stuck. Every year now she wants to make personalised gifts, which is lovely and thoughtful… and time consuming and expensive and hard work and “PLEASE can we just buy a box of Quality Street?”

10) You despair that these children insist on getting too old too quick
Whether it’s last day of pre-school or last day of actual school… ever. The end of the school year makes you realise that these people, these children that came out of your actual body are growing up and getting more and more independent. It’s tough it really is.

Fellow parents, I wish you a summer full of memory making, not having to sell a kidney to fund the ice cream run, minimal sibling bickering and at least a bit of sun!

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Feel the fear and… well freak out and run away actually…

I’ve always disliked the “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” phrase. It makes me feel like a coward for not ploughing on with situations that scare me.

My fight or flight reflex is weighted so heavily in the flight side, fight doesn’t even get in a look in. I run from scary and I feel OK about that.

Except that’s not quite true.

That’s the opinion I have of myself and let’s face it, self awareness and I are not friends. I’m talked in this blog previously about how I am so lacking in self awareness it’d be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

I shared this blog though.
The thought of that was scary – but I did it anyway. I’m glad I did. Even if it never got another view I’d still be here wittering on to myself. Writing down my thoughts helps me process and deal with what’s on my mind and that can’t be a bad thing.

The problem is most of the things I’m fearful of, certainly almost every situation I’m frightened of are because of things I’ve conjured up in my own head. The things I’m fearful of most come straight from my own brain. How daft is that? If that’s the case though, surely that’s something I can remedy.

I’d love to write a book. I know many, many people feel the same. Many many people then go on to actually do it (thanks for the books- you people you make my world a much nicer place)
Only I’m fearful of people laughing at such an idea, I feel daft for even just writing that. I’m worried people would tell me to take my terribly punctuated writing away and leave it to the professionals.
There’s no evidence at all that this is what people would say. Say I did write a book. Say it was the very worst book that had ever been written – so what? It wouldn’t have hurt anyone.

Stop being a coward Kelly. Go reread the thousands of words you’ve saved in that word document, see if you can make anything of them.

I’ve gone on and on (and on and on) about wanting to find the man out there who is perfect for me. I have The Boyfriend List, I’m good to go.

Except when I do meet someone who ticks off the boxes on said list I’m fearful.

It’s not what you think either.  I’ve had less than a handful of boyfriends in my life and unfortunately yes they were cut from the same twatty cloth. It’s not meeting a ‘perfect for me’ guy that I’m scared of though but my own judgement. My judge of character is generally left found lacking and that’s what worries me.

It’s me being a coward again, making up excuses and reasons to not just be a bit brave. Again – stop being a coward Kelly unless in 20 years you want the local kids to start referring to you as the crazy cat lady.

I’m fearful of messing the kids up.
I’m fearful of being a rubbish human.
I’m fearful of disappointing people and instead exhaust myself people pleasing.

It’s all nonsense really though isn’t it?
I’ve done some brave stuff.
I’ve been courageous and it’s all paid off.

 

The biggest rewards have always come from taking the biggest chances.

I have to remember that.

A calm, quiet bout of anxiety…

I’m in the midst of an anxiety wobble right now. In fact I’m writing this as a distraction technique (I recognise that writing about the thing I’m trying to distract myself from seems a bit odd – anxiety is an irrational arsehole)

I’ve no scary physical symptoms today though. I’m not shaky, I don’t have the annoying facial numbing that often turns up. I’ve not vomited. My legs aren’t wobbly.

Neither am I in a panic.
I don’t have feelings of dread.
I don’t even feel scared.

Yet this kind of anxious moment is the most troublesome to me these days (I’m so grateful for that too. The most troublesome part of my anxiety used to be an all consuming fear of fainting crossing the road with the kids with me) that I no longer have to suffer the horrors that anxiety used to gift me with daily is something I really am very grateful for. These days though these seemingly calm moments of anxiety are the worst, nothing physical going on except an ever so slight quickening in my breathing pattern. It’s all going on in my mind though which is a bloody pain.

I’m over thinking… this is never good.

I’m not having deep thoughts about the state of the country (though that would certainly be worthy of a good solid panic) Instead I’m taking tiny things and blowing them out of all proportion. I’m assuming the fact small girl’s daddy hasn’t texted me back within 5 mins means something dreadful has happened and my overactive imagination is filling in the gaps (that are not even there!) about exactly what this could be.
What it likely is is that he’s not a phone obsessive like me and he’ll just not be by his phone right now. I know this.
I can rationalise.
I do know that my brain is just playing tricks on me but right now in the moment that doesn’t help at all. Anxiety is a total bellend in that respect.

So although I’m sat quite calm, functioning perfectly well with mum tasks (there’s talk of a Trivial Pursuit game in a sec, they’ll wipe the floor with me and my shot concentration) still the mind is racing.

I’ll be fine in a bit. I know I will. That’s the reassuring thing with my experience of anxiety. I know it won’t last. 

For now though I could just do with someone to stroke my hair and make soothing sssshhhing noises. Oooo in fact did I not say earlier in the week that next time anxiety hit I wanted to be read to by Thierry Henry and his lovely soothing voice? Let’s do that… I bet he’d be good at the hair stroking too.. and I bet he smells soothing… Anyone have his number???

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Things I should’ve gotten out of my system as a teen

I was a dull teenager. I didn’t really do that much. I didn’t hang out on street corners with dodgy boys drinking white cider, I left that to my sister (sorry Lou!)

Now I’m in my 30’s I’m really way too old to pull off all the teenage nonsense and there are some things I wish I’d done back then that I do feel like I’ve maybe missed out on! Can I tell you about some of them?

Experimented with clothes
I’m no style icon. We all know that. I still dress like Rachel Green stuck in a tartan skirt/jumper combo best left in the 90’s. I wish I’d have been a bit  braver when I was younger, not cared what people thought and developed my own style. I recently saw Me Before You. Other than the incessant weeping, the other thing I got from the film was the biggest sense of clothes envy ever. I loved Lou’s wardrobe in the movie. In fact I’m going to buy myself a pair of bumble bee tights, balls to it!!

Broken the rules
I was a bit of a goody two shoes, bloody love that phrase! as a kid (ask my siblings). I didn’t like getting into trouble. I liked being the good one. I never really crossed any lines or tested any boundaries. The most rebellious thing I ever did was to take my library books back late. Only kidding of course, I’d never take my library books back overdue, what kind of monster do you think I am?! It’s really too late to start with all the rule breaking now I’m a woman in her 30’s with 4 children in tow! I can’t but help feeling I missed out on the fun whilst I were down at the library. Maybe I can be a nightmarish old lady, get it out of my system.

Had a teenage crush
I never really got giddy over boys as a teen. Even when I did have a boyfriend I wasn’t over keen. I never scratched anyone’s name into my pencil case, never practised my signature with the object of my desires surname. None of it.Let me tell you it’s really quite unbecoming of a 38 year old woman to be smiling at her phone at a cute text like a loon!People must think I’m nuts!
Should definitely have gotten that out of my system before now. Now. Where’s my pencil case…

Gotten drunk and thrown up in my handbag
Now I’m not saying that I’ve never been crazy drunk. That would be a massive fib. I’ll not even claim I’m never had wine related vomiting incidents BUT I should definitely have done these as a 15 year old rather than a 35 year old.
A hangover at my age lasts at least 2 days and wipes out energy levels for near on a week. Kids and even the tiniest of hangovers as a combo is how I imagine Hell to be (probably with soft play as an added extra!) Really should’ve gotten hangovers out of the way when staying in bed with no one needing anything from me was an option.

So yes in hindsight there are things I should’ve gotten out of the way as a teen but being in your 30’s is pretty rock n roll too. I mean on a Saturday night when the kids are away,  come 7pm I’ll be in my pj’s, pizza on lap, merlot poured.Wild eh? ! 

Yeah I’ll leave the crazy to the teens, I’d not have been any good at it anyway!!



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Dear kids : I got it wrong

Dear teens (small girl you’ve not really met pushy mum yet-she pops up around high school time!) 

I know I’m a pushy mum. I try to rein it in I promise but that pushy bossy control freak in me just slips out from time to time.
Especially with school. You all doing well at school has been the focus of my parenting since forever. You doing well at school has been a priority, I’ve focused on it hard. School is a privilege, I tell you that all the time don’t I? Never again in your life will so many people put so much effort into ensuring you do the best you can.

I still believe this.

I still want you to do well.

I will still push you.

Recently  though ,in the days of a post referendum UK, in a where I’ve read so much bile and vileness from all sides on social media. In a world where we terrifyingly have a President Trump who stands for everything I teach you is abhorrent I feel like my own priorities as a mum have been laid bare in front of me. They’re all wrong.

In the past few months of uncertain days when it feels as though hatred and nastiness is breeding and growing my thinking has been shaken up. Education is important, of course it is. A good solid education will give you choices, open doors.

That all counts for very little though if you can’t be a decent human being. I’m aware that some of the most successful people in the world are utter knobs. I didn’t raise them though.

As a single mum of four I am judged. There’s no point pretending any other way. I am judged and I feel judged. In my delusional head I always thought if we could just get through school and you all did well then I could prove to the judgers that I am an OK mum. That I didn’t ruin your lives by making us a single parent family.

That’s utter nonsense

I’ve been an idiot

I got it wrong

If you guys become adults who don’t care, who are unable to empathise, who look down on others, who refuse to listen to another persons point of view. That’s when I’ll have failed.

Our country feels a negative place right now. The referendum has brought so much anger to the forefront of our psyche as a nation. I’ve seen the words stupid and racist bandied about as though they are OK, casual words to use. I’ve read the concerns of terrified people dismissed as being a ‘sore loser’. In a post Trump world there is a lot of fear about what could happen next. None of it reflects very well on us adults.

So you four. Your generation has to do better. I believe you will. I’ve heard you chat about the aftermath of Brexit with more thought and clarity than many people who are old enough to vote.Even small girl will pass comment on Trump whilst watching Newsround and not at all favourably. You guys can see. 

So the important thing is this.

Be compassionate, always.

Be understanding of differing points of view, you don’t have to agree but you should listen.

Stand up and give a voice to those who don’t have one. That’s so important.

Be tolerant.

Be kind.

Those are the things that will continue to make me as proud as I already am of you, for you already possess these qualities, I’ve seen them in action. Don’t let adulthood knock these things out of you, don’t let hate and negativity creep in.

Kindness and empathy and tolerance are way more important than an A in GCSE Geography.

I’m sorry it’s taken so long for that to get through to my pushy mother brain.


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After the Playground