Well we were in Australia for the first half of April, and when we came back we settled nicely into our regular routines, with some new stuff thrown in.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Parenting
March Madness (a.k.a More Weight…)
March was a maelstrom of bus accidents and celebration days and Omnishambles trying to set itself on fire.
If you’ve read the Traumatic Thursday and Gotcha Day posts I don’t need to go over them. March was mainly about planning. And disasters. And feeling utterly overwhelmed and exhausted.Continue reading
The 5th March is our official gotcha day as a family. I used to celebrate a date in July when I first met my first daughter, A, but this time last year my older daughter S officially moved in with us and our little family of three was complete.
It feels like it’s been a lot longer than a year in many ways – I can’t quite believe it has ONLY been a year since she moved in!
A LOT has happened since then, and it certainly hasn’t been an easy ride by any stretch, but my god am I glad she’s my kid.
She is such an incredibly bright, funny, cheerful, TALL 11 year-old, and she has enriched our lives in ways it is hard to describe. I am so proud to call her my daughter.Continue reading
January Blues (and Reds)
Well Christmas was lovely, and now we are back to school, back to work, back to dealing with Chateau d’Omnishambles and all her leaks and mould and general disaster areas.
January has been an odd month – swinging wildly from huge uplifting moments of happiness to irritable grumpy rage.
Yes, thanks for asking I WILL tell you all about it!Continue reading
Communicating with birth families
I thought I would write a blog post on this as it’s quite a big subject and we have had some interesting experiences recently.
So, in the UK, in most adoption cases, direct (in-person) contact with birth parents is usually not allowed once adoption is approved by a judge as a course of action. (Unlike in the US where they have open adoptions – this is usually down to the fact that in the US a lot of women give up their children for adoption at birth voluntarily whereas in the UK most children have been removed from their parents by the state due to neglect or abuse – so the safety and trauma of maintaining contact has to be managed in the best interests of the child).
When a child is first removed from a parent’s care, they continue to have visitation and direct contact visits, supervised via social services in a neutral location until a placement order is made (meaning that child will be put up for adoption). Once this decision has been made by a judge to be in the best interest of the child, a final contact visit with birth parents will be arranged, and the parent (and child if they are old enough) will be told this is the last time they can see each other in person.Continue reading
The Christmas Letter 2022
Well I highly enjoyed writing last year’s missive so I thought I would go ahead and do another one!
Let’s see, looking back on 2022, well…
In January we started the year with a glorious sunny walk in the woods, just me and my gorgeous girls on New Year’s Day which was a lovely way to blow away the cobwebs and start fresh and new.Continue reading
The Single Tax
Tonight I paid single tax.
That extra money for things that couples just don’t need to pay for.
S’s football training has been moved later in the evening and it’s a total logistical nightmare. Previously it was 6pm to 7pm on a Monday night, and that was hard enough, as I’d have to entertain a very tired 4-year old on the sidelines in the cold, dark, and often very wet side of the pitch. A usually goes to bed at 7pm and she has been especially knackered since starting school so on Mondays we don’t get home from football til 7.30 and then it’s almost 8pm by the time I can get her teeth brushed and into bed. It also doesn’t help that S’s football team is close to her old primary school which is not even remotely local and all the way across town.
Now the practice is from 6.30 – 7.30pm so that they can share the floodlights with another team, and it’s a massive pain in the arse.
I just can’t expect A to stay up that late, standing about in the cold dark drizzle. And I don’t want S to have to give up football either – she’s a very athletic kid who loves sports and has a lot of good friends on her team. Friendships have been tricky at her new school lately and so maintaining friendships outside of school is crucial right now.
So we have tried out a new babysitter, a local 6th former who babysits for my friend.
I put A to bed, waited til she fell asleep and then said teenager popped over and sat in my house watching telly while I drove across town to collect S from football practice.
Couples have a built-in partner who can just stay at home with the kid while you do this sort of thing. They don’t have to pay some random kid £5 a week so your kid can stay on their football team.
I’m especially annoyed about it as I literally never get to go out, and having a night out usually costs a fortune – you’ve paid £30-£40 before you’ve left the house so it’s just too expensive. But here I am paying a babysitter weekly, NOT so I can enjoy myself but to trundle about collecting the children from their activities.
It’s a tax only single parents have to pay. And I’m irrationally annoyed about it.
It ain’t no cruise…
Being a parent, and especially a single parent, means being all things all of the time, whether you want to or not. It’s a huge responsibility to be the person holding everything together even when sometimes you don’t feel like it.
You are the anchor, keeping everything stable.
You are the Captain, in charge and sure of yourself and your decisions at all times.
You are the navigator, charting a course, figuring out where you are going and how you’re going to get there.
You are the ship itself, keeping everyone safe as you roll around in the stormy weather, reeling and rocking, getting pummelled and battered, while keeping them warm and dry.
You are the activities director, planning all the playdates and football matches and swimming lessons and fun stuff.
You are up the mast clinging to the pole trying to spot any icebergs bearing down upon you, working out if you can avoid them or not, or if you will inevitably have to take the hit.
You are the safe harbour when the outside world is too rough and inhospitable.
You are all of these things, and sometimes, you are also an exhausted human who needs their own safe harbour, and anchor and captain to look after you too.
If you’re lucky enough, you have a support system (or harbour) strong enough to hold you sometimes when you need to dock and refuel, to bolster you ready to head back out to sea and do it all over again.
Pierre the goddamn Bear
Christ I never thought homework in reception class would be such a nightmare! I didn’t even think there would be any! She’s 4 for god’s sake!Continue reading
Just like a whirlwind the summer holidays are over and the new term is upon us!
In most atmospheric fashion the glorious sunny weather we’ve been having broke on the first day of term and it has rained ever since. Reminds me of my own childhood when summers seemed to be full of long, hot, golden, sunny days and going back to school meant wet, damp, autumnal weather…Continue reading