Before my wife and I swapped roles and my wife went back to work, she wrote a weekly column about family life for one of Britain’s biggest selling women’s weekly magazines. Every Monday, I’m going to go through her archives and reproduce one of her ramblings on my blog.
This week’s theme: Hands up if you’re a bad mother…
Come on, ladies, get those hands in the air. Or haven’t you heard the latest research that blames all hard-working mums for everything from violent kids to the obesity crisis? Can it be true? I’ve decided to do some research of my own – with some help from three little boffins…
‘Velcome to ze vorld-famous Fleming Institute. Let me introduce you to our boffins. Ve av ze Little Boffin, ze Mini Boffin, und ze Teeny-Tiny Boffin wiz ze Big-Enormous Glasses.
Okay, so this isn’t the world-famous Fleming Institute, it’s my front room, and these little people in white coats aren’t boffins, they’re my children – Daisy, aged seven, Tom, aged five and two-year-old Sam.
But I reckon, when it comes to knowing what makes a good mum, my three kids know as much as any scientist – perhaps more – because in the on-going battle between working mum vs stay-at-home mum, my children have seen both sides.
You see, my oldest was just five months old when I went back to my office job. She was looked after by her nanna before going to nursery. When her brother came along three years later I became a stay-at-home mum for a while. Now, with three children, I am a mum who works from home, a hybrid of both types. So, we’re well-placed to test the latest theories about motherhood.
This recent piece of research, based on a study of more than 12,000 children, found kids of working mothers are less healthy than those whose mothers stay at home. They snack on more junk food, spend more time in front of the TV and do less exercise.
To test this theory I have given the kids a choice for tea – grilled fish with steamed broccoli or pizza and chips – but first I have to get them to the table.
Me: Kids! Tea-time!
Me: Hello! Earth to kids: your tea is ready.
Me: Oi! Switch off that flippin’ television and get to the kitchen table. NOW!
Them: Urgh, Mum. That is sooo unfair!
Me: I don’t care. Today we are having a choice for tea – lovely grilled fish and juicy broccoli or horrible pizza and chips.
Daisy: You’ve got to be kidding, Mum! Who would choose fish – yuk – and broccoli!
Tom: Double yuk!
Sam: Bic! Bic! Bic!
Me: No, Sam. No biscuits. And no more TV either. You’re turning into slobs. Daisy: We’re not. We do PE and I do dancing after school and gymnastics and swimming.
Tom: And I do football.
Me: Okay, you’re not slobs.
Daisy: You see, you aren’t a bad mummy after all.
Me: Well, you have to do after-school clubs because I work late and can’t pick you up till 5pm so I am sort of a bad mummy. Anyway, what did you have for lunch at school?
Daisy and Tom (between mouthfuls of pizza): Fish and broccoli.
Me: Erm, I thought you just said fish and broccoli was yuk.
Daisy: Your fish and broccoli is yuk, Mum. School’s is delicious.
Verdict: Chips are not the spawn of Satan. I grew up eating them and I’ve made it to 40. I even like broccoli Continue reading