Sunday, 7 June 2009

New kid on the blog 2

Today's new (to me) blog - number two of the ten I'm 'tagged' to do - is by SandyCalico, a former financial controller, now stay-at-home mum to two baby boys 'born within a year of each other'. She sings and writes songs too, and you can listen to them at
Her latest post on BabyBaby talks about the thorny issue of feeding kids - especially if they eat only 'wotsits and chocolate' - and broadens out to consider the demands of parenthood generally, and in particular the high standards we all set for ourselves.
As Sandy says, she can 'beat myself up most days for being a crap mum. Sometimes I forget to change a nappy, sometimes I get distracted by the computer, but I try to make up for it in other ways...' Well, me too. (And you three? Four? Any advance on four?) When I gave it 'work' (ha! I've never worked so hard in all my life!) to stay at home with Charlie I used to imagine that I'd have to spend all day in stimulating play, whisking him from one thing to another while simultaneously shopping, cooking, ironing and cleaning. As a man, of course, I'm a master multi-tasker (ahem!) and so none of the above was ever a problem (who am I kidding?). But the single most important thing I've learnt (which I'm sure others have known all along) is just to relax. Charlie doesn't need wall-to-wall activity and stimulation. Sometimes he can be quite happy playing quietly on his own, turning the pages of a board-book or even watching the excellent (and educational) CBeebies. And what does a dad do when his son is happy playing on his own? Why, that's the perfect time for blogging, of course!


  1. Thanks Tim, lovely blog and spot on post about food. We are going through the same phase in this household! :)

  2. Wow, thanks. I'm really chuffed that you took the time and trouble to write this post.
    You're so right when you say the single most important thing you can do as a parent is relax (on top of working harder than you ever did in your paid job)!
    Charlie is a lucky boy x

  3. I know many many parents who have gone back to work for a rest!

    You are spot on though. We all just need to relax a bit, let the kids do their own thing and not beat ourselves up about it.

    I'm reading 'The Idle Parent' at the moemnt, and whilst I can find it a bit extreme I do agree with much of what they say.I wrote a post about it a while back -

    Thanks for the post - and I'm looking forward to reading Babybaby!

  4. Looks like an interesting blog to check out. I agree about needing to relax. It can all get too irrate if we try to keep the kids entertained all day. My daughter often enjoys happily playing by herself. Only today she ordered me out of the room. She was too busy to play with me!

  5. "especially if they eat only wotsits and chocolate"

    Bollocks to that, don't give 'em Wotsits or chocolate. They'll eat when they're hungry. Giving in is how fussy eaters are made. Grrrrrr!

  6. It can be a nightmare, especially when there are so many different pieces of (sometimes conflicting) advice PHM.

    My pleasure, Sandy. And thanks for the kind words.

    That sounds like my kind of book, FM. I'm heading over to your post about it in a mo!

    That's like Sally telling me to turn the music down Rosie (which she's done...)

    I should point out, Simon, that the 'Wotsits and choc' reference was from a Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall, look-how-bad-this-family-is type-programme (and we all know how honest and balanced the media can be, don't we...)

  7. Great to hear that you're settling into your domestic duties, Tim. (Please don't take this the wrong way - I would have loved to have been a house-husband myself - but I'm trying to get the image of Freddie Mercury doing the hoovering in that Queen video out of my mind...)

  8. Hmmm... that's given me an idea, Gadjo. Watch this space!

  9. I like you link within widget!

  10. I have one fussy child and one who'll eat almost anything. Drives me mad at times; then I patiently tell myself that a kid who likes pizza will probably like both tomatoes and cheese at some later point in his life...

    Thank goodness they both play together happily - how else would I be writing this right now?

  11. When T was born, I purposely treated him like a second (or 3rd or 4th) kid. I'd found with the kids I'd worked with, the 1st had a harder time keeping themself busy than siblings who hadn't had someone "entertaining" them all the time.
    Of course I met his needs... at least most of them I think;) But, he's still good at finding things to do when I'm busy. The food thing - We're still working on it.
    Now, off to visit her blog!

  12. Being a teacher for a few years has exposed me to a lot of different views about and ways of parenting. I now reckon I'm doing a good job; my kids are happy and balanced, we don't go OTT on material goods but they have my time...there are times when jobs need doing round the house but I can always attempt to involve the kids, esprecially if it involves food. I have 2 very good friends, both, shall we say, overly analytical about their parenting, who came to blows because one disagreed with the other about an aspect of their parenting..all very silly

  13. Oh award for youself at mine if you'd like that!

  14. Ah..the urge to constantly entertain! Hubby thinks I ruined our first daughter with constant stimulation. She is not great at playing on her own now. By the time the second comes along you have to relax!!
    Great post.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog too:)

  15. That's a very good point about the feeling like you have to constantly stimulate your kids. And one that I still battle with ideas of guilt around.

  16. I have never worked harder at any job! lol! Being a stay at home parent is the toughest job around!

    I agree with you:) My kids just love that we are all together hanging out most days!

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  18. Relax...outstanding! Babies will be more relaxed, too, I'm sure.

    There's such a special quality to that time spent with a young child at home in the early years, that in my experience was at once a great challenge and--now that it's over--something I miss. Life gets winnowed down to the most important things, and it's rewarding.

    I admire you for doing what you do.


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