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life

Fathers have a heart too

October 27, 2017
fathers

A few days ago, I took my daughter to a birthday party of a boy who was going to the same daycare center for a while when they were both four.

God works in strange ways. I became friends with his mom when we learnt that her son had a crush on my daughter. They later moved to another place, and changed the daycare center. She and I kept in touch, as we were brought together by children’s love and the fact that we both bring up our children on our own.

From one birthday to the next, we exchanged experiences and watched our children grow.

Just like me, my friend Supermom had separated from the boy’s father before he was born. Maybe she did it out of pride, maybe she had no choice, or maybe love simply vanished.

Anyhow, the boy hadn’t seen his dad much until recently.

I never commented her decisions. I don’t judge other people and I expect them not to judge me. Everybody knows what’s best for them.

I was delighted when she told me that the father and the son had finally established contact. It won’t be easy to make up for all the years gone by. It will take time to build the relationship based on trust and intimacy. That might never even happen. My opinion is that children should meet and see the parents they don’t share their house with, provided of course that at least the basic conditions for this are in place.

My daughter sees her father regularly, and that has always been the case. Not because I’ve managed to discover all secrets of parenthood or because I’m this noble person who places her child’s interest before conflicts and ugly situations that have come up from time to time. The reason is that her father has been persistent enough despite the fact that I condemn his way of life.

Our characters, habits and principles are completely opposite. We have confronted each other about many issues countless times. I disapprove of many aspects of his life, and that is unlikely ever to change.

However, he once said something that left a strong impression on me. We quarreled about where our daughter’s scooter would be stored in the future (oh yeah, a scooter can also be a good reason for an argument). When I told him that she didn’t live with him (and therefore the scooter should be kept at my place), he replied:

In my mind, all my children live with me.

What he said really made me stop and think.

Fathers have a heart, too

They are often selfish, like men are due to a lack of responsibility. They lie and cheat. They rarely manage to understand the children’s interests and daily needs the way we do. But in that fragment of a second, this admission that came directly from his soul really got to me. I realized that his lack of commitment and responsibility, which I always tried to neutralize by lavishing care and attention upon her, didn’t necessarily mean the lack of love.

Fathers can love, too

Is that the consequence of the established tradition and norms? Do mothers simply carry a gene that makes us act the way we do?

I don’t know, and I don’t care anymore.

My daughter is six. I’m not sure time really heals everything, but the years I’ve spent raising her alone have helped me learn plenty.

Nothing is just black or white,

To forgive is divine, as some say, but I’d also add – it is often the only thing we can do if we wish to be in peace.

Answers sometimes literally fall from the sky. All we have to do is remember to look up.

I wanted to tell the friend I mentioned at the beginning all about it, but I haven’t had the chance. One of the reasons why I’m writing this post is so that she can read and understand it.

 

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for moms whose children have half-siblings?

October 13, 2017
half-siblings

My daughter has a half-sister and a half-brother. Writing about it isn’t easy for me. In all likelihood, I’ll be misinterpreted or misunderstood. Yet, I’m writing this post because this subject is very important to me, although painful.

Some time ago, I talked to a friend whose ex-husband had married his neighbor and had a child with her. She was fine with it. The neighbor was never hers and his life is his business. But, their daughter still hasn’t agreed to meet her half-brother.

Another friend has a half-brother whom she has never met because their father’s ex-wife didn’t allow it.

It took yet another friend two years to accept the fact that her daughters now have a half-sister.

There are many such stories. Thankfully, there are just as many examples of the children who get on perfectly well with their half-siblings.

They say that the children should meet their siblings, spend time with them and learn to love them. They may depend on each other in life, regardless of their parents’ fates and relationships.

Psychologists and social workers insist that children should establish and maintain close relationships with their half-siblings.

That is all fine and doubtlessly true. But maybe it would be a good idea to reflect on the following for once:

What is it like for moms whose kids have half-siblings?

This is what it’s like for me.

Hard.

Like I said, my daughter has a half-sister and a half-brother. They are good, loving and happy children. All three get on well and love to spend time with each other. And that is all right.

But, whenever I see them, I can’t help thinking how my child lives with only one parent and how many times she wanted to be with her dad and I couldn’t make it happen. I often think about what she’s missing in life and about the cheap, unbearable wisdom I’ve heard so many times: “That’s the hand of cards she’s been dealt in life”.

I also sometimes remember an American sitcom in which the last in the line of wives accepts and helps her husband’s children from his two former marriages. Furthermore, neither of her husband’s ex-wives has any problem spending time at her home and all works well for the merry bunch.

I wish my life was more like that sitcom. But it isn’t. Maybe, at some time in the future, we will all sit around the same table and chat cheerfully while we drink coffee and nibble on our biscuits. And I will be sincerely happy because my daughter is not the only child and she’ll be able to rely on her siblings later in life.
Until then, although these “other” children certainly had nothing to do with their parents’ bad relationships, and more than deserve to be treated with kindness and warmth, every thought about them fills me with sadness.

Maybe this confession reveals what a dreadful person I am. My experiences have taught me to not to hide my emotions and to always describe situations as I see them. If things seem ideal, they’re probably fake. Our lives are not perfect, our daily routines are stressful and our feelings are prone to changes. In a single day, my mood may vary from incredible joy to unspeakable sorrow, and I never know what challenges the next day will bring. I’d love to be able to feel differently, to open my arms and embrace those little people, those innocent kids who have become a part of our lives. So, if anyone could explain to me how it can be done, how I could free myself from bondage and start looking at things from another angle, I would deeply appreciate the advice.

So what if I had a baby at an advanced age?

September 28, 2017
age

For those who are new to this blog, let me introduce myself. I’m a Supermom. It sounds better than a single mom. It’s more powerful, more positive. And we who raise our kids on our own need that power and loads of positive energy, day after day.

My daughter will soon be six and she attends a daycare center. I’ve already written about how I was forced to enroll her in a nursery at the end of my maternity leave. Since then, our daily routine has been pretty much the same: nursery (then a kindergarten) – work – chores – home.

At some point, we joined the stream of endless birthday parties, thrown in rented playrooms, filled with happy, energetic children and us, parents.
Single parents often face some sort of social isolation. Couples with children usually invite to their homes other couples with children so that the men can talk to men, and women with other women, while their kids run around the house, making a mess.
At children’s birthday parties, things are different. Normally only one parent would drop the kids off, so on these occasions I manage to blend in and rarely ever read the eternal silent question in other people’s eyes: what about the dad?

My daughter’s birthday calendar is quite full and each party resembles the other: kids run around the playroom, the birthday boy or girl sits at the head of the table while the attendees sing “Happy birthday toooo yooouu” … I talk to other mothers and feel like a rightful member of the parents’ community.

On one of those occasions, I spoke to a mother whose kid crawled through a labyrinth with my daughter, both doing their best to get stuck in there.
I knew that she was young, but when she told me that her mother was almost my age, I tried hard not to blush.

Every woman has her own concept of life. Some decide to start a family early, and I must say they’re right. They’re right because that’s what they want, and that is the most important thing.

Others prefer to wait until their careers take off or they simply can’t find the right man so quickly. That is fine too.  

I belong to the third group of women because I didn’t really know what I wanted until life itself pointed me in certain direction.

This is why I now spend time at kids’ birthday parties with other mothers who are much younger than me, although our children are the same age.

Does it feel awkward? A bit.

It seems to be in human nature to judge other people by certain norms and standards. Truth be told, other kids’ parents have never offended me, but the look of surprise on their faces, their curiosity and condescending smiles make me feel ill at ease.

In short, my story is as follows: for a long time, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted. Then I found out. I started trying to get pregnant quite late in life and when my wish finally came true, the relationship with my partner fell apart.
It’s my mistake I didn’t become a mother sooner.
My age doesn’t bother me though. Despite my confusion and occasional errors, I do my best in every way.

Each one of us has her own concept of life. Or not. But that is also human.
Some women become mothers when they’re young.
Some, like me, when they’re not so young. That isn’t so bad.
I now know what I want.
I know what I can do, and that’s plenty. Life has taught me that much.

I may be trying harder than others. Why? Because I always think about how old I’ll be when my daughter starts going to primary school, to secondary school or to the university.
I have doubled my efforts because I feel that my time is more limited and I have to prepare my child for life.
I also do my best to look well, not because of vanity, but because I don’t want my daughter to suffer when I’m compared to other, younger mothers. And people can be cruel and mean.

Dear women, we are all different. We have different characters, wishes, capacities, and destinies. Some start dreaming about a happy family at an early age. Some spend more time searching and find themselves later in life.

Try not to be biased or judgmental.

Older mothers are not strange and curious creatures.

My daughter would probably be happy to have a young mother who would live to meet her grandchildren.
But even though that cannot be, what she does have is a strong, capable mother who has learnt not to take anything for granted and who would do whatever’s in her power to make sure her child has plenty of love, attention and a bright future.

 

Is a messy house unavoidable if you have kids?

September 21, 2017
messy

Time is one of my worst enemies. Normally, I get up early in the morning and immediately start tidying up or getting ready for work or both. This is followed by alternate begging and threatening: Could you please hurry up? Have you peed? Get dressed. No, no, panties first, then the trousers… You’ve put on two different socks… I’m turning off the TV if you don’t hurry up… Please, comb your hair… Don’t make me do it…

What comes next is the usual madness of a work day or the positive madness of a normal weekend.

And there’s never enough time.

Finally, the day has come. I’ve decided to invite a friend with her child to our house.

I plucked up the courage to do it.

Because I must admit my home is a mess.

People normally keep at least the living room tidy, just in case unexpected guests show at the door. In our case, it isn’t so, at least not right now. Because what you can find in our living room is the following:

The ironing board.

The washing waiting patiently in the basket, probably thinking: better late than never!

My daughter’s toys. Leaving them in the living room was how she interpreted my command “move the toys out of the hall”.

Jackets which could not be stored elsewhere. (Yes, even the winter jackets, so what?)

Christmas tree decorations which couldn’t find their way to the closet for some unfathomable reason, so they now lie in wait, hoping to snatch the first opportunity to shine.

Half a cup of yoghurt (oh, there it is! I looked for it everywhere!).

Sliced apple on a plastic plate, on the floor, behind the armchair (yeah, mom, I’ve eaten everything)

The ironing board is obviously there, but I can’t remember where I’ve put the iron…

It doesn’t matter, we’ll sit on the balcony. But, first I have to:

Move the bike and the scooter (but where?);

Take out the garbage (the balcony is where it’s normally deposited, when the dustbin is full);

Collect the dry clothes (and add them to the pile in the living room)

Luckily, there’s a dining room to make a relaxed atmosphere, where the two of us could sit together. But, where can I put two cups of coffee and sandwiches? You think it’s simple?  The table is covered with my daughter’s drawings, her master-pieces. She gets very angry if I touch them, let alone move them.

And I definitely can’t allow my guest to peek into my kitchen:

The sink is full of dishes.

I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the oven.

Ok, at least the floor is clean.

What if my guest wants to wash her hands?

The bathroom is presentable, with the exception of the wash basin, artistically splashed with body lotion (but, mom, I just wanted my hands to be soft and beautiful). The liquid soap is breathing its last (but, mom, I just wanted my hands to be clean) and the bath tub is full of headless Lalaloopsy dolls  (but, mom, you said I could wash them too).

My daughter’s room I won’t even dare describe.

Yes, time is my nemesis. I simply can’t cope.

And yet, I thought it was a good idea to invite people to our home. I guess the state of emergency is a normal occurrence in all homes with children. We regularly step on things, collect them and remove them – it’s our reality. Whoever claims they can do better – I dare them to prove it!

 

How I decided to face my fears

August 11, 2017
fears

 

It felt like I’d been driving for days. As I clutched on the wheel with my sweaty hands, my left wrist began to hurt. The distance to our destination gradually decreased, although each mile was an agony, and it was already getting dark. Another 80, 75…

 If you think it was my ingenious idea to start a blog dedicated to single mothers and their kids, you’re wrong. Everything has been written before. In my ever so scarce free time, I’d searched the Internet for websites and stories that could help answer my questions – because everything is now so conveniently available and public. Some websites were interesting, some educational, and some featured posts by really witty people.

I spent most time browsing through motivational websites. I guess that’s what I needed most at the time: a motivational guru to lift my spirits, to help me get back on my feet whenever I started giving in to everyday’s worries and stresses.

Ladies seem to dominate the motivational market. In 500 to 700 words, they’ll tell you you’re wonderful and the burden you’re carrying so bravely is something to be proud of. They’ll convince you that it’s perfectly all right to feel miserable, exhausted and disappointed because you barely cope and make ends meet, that it doesn’t affect your kids at all because they don’t care about those things anyway and your love is all that matters to them, whereas they hardly ever notice your crankiness and grudging criticism.

However desperate I felt from time to time because of the slings and arrows of a single mom’s fortune, I wasn’t prepared for the motivational mottos. Still, some of those positive statements lingered in my mind as a philosophy of life I can understand and accept.

In short: nothing is ever easy for a single mom – at least, in my experience. Most of us were raised in traditional families, with a mom, a dad, and siblings. Totally unprepared, all of a sudden we are part of families which are now almost typical for the 21st century, composed of a mom and a child. And that’s it. Nobody else can really understand what it’s like. It’s hard, it’s tough. During the sleepless nights, we try to come up with the optimum solutions to our many problems. We are overworked, sometimes juggling multiple jobs, because there’s never enough money. We are committed to our children. We rarely find time for ourselves. Everything seems scary and we start fearing situations that may seem like a joke to others.

That’s right, I’m afraid

I’m afraid I won’t be able to teach my daughter real values.
I’m afraid she’ll be hurt in life and I won’t be there to protect her.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to help her through school, as she grows up.
I’m afraid I won’t have enough money.

Motivators teach us it’s ok to be afraid as long as we make an effort to face our fears. We will feel much better after we have tried and overcome certain problems, however huge and menacing they might seem at first.

Since this philosophy sounded reasonable and applicable, I decided to face my fears to improve our lives.  

We all fear something, but what we fear most is to admit to ourselves and others what it is that scares us so

Earlier, I wouldn’t dare drive my daughter to the seaside on my own. Although I’m an experienced driver, I’d never driven for so long in a single day. It might seem funny to you that the fear kept me awake for many nights before the journey. Believe it or not, I almost called it off.

And yet, I didn’t. So, six days ago, I was sitting behind the wheel, still some 80 miles away from our destination. It was getting dark and I started sweating and gripping the wheel harder. Every now and then I would make hopeful glances at the navigation device half expecting it to accelerate the mile count and show our destination, finally at hand.

We’re all afraid of something, and I’m no exception. I talk about my fears very reluctantly because I’m used to showing a brave face to the world, pretending to be an independent, strong woman who can deal with anything.  

I may be tempted to write a motivational post when I feel ready to share what I’ve learnt with others.  

Until then, I’ll admit I get scared a lot, but at least I’ve realized that fears are something that should be discussed and fought back. I’ve dealt with one and – triumphed.

There are all sorts of fears

Some fears are senseless, based on ideas and assumptions that exist only in our minds.

Some were successfully installed by our parents.

Many have simply become a part of who we are.

Some people are afraid of bugs, some of being alone. It’s all fine, but it’s up to us to work on ourselves and overcome some situations, set ourselves free and ensure a happier existence to our children.  

 

Raising a child is bliss, not a burden

July 22, 2017
child

Single mothers and those raising their children with a partner have much in common: I believe we are all equally dedicated to our children, regardless of our lifestyle or situations we face.

My daughter will soon be 6. She has never lived with her father; I raise her on my own. I make all important decisions concerning her. I do consult with my ex from time to time, but I’ve basically never had any illusions that he would ever be prepared to play a major role in her life. When I finally stopped deluding myself and all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, my wits and experience (or, in truth, inexperience) were all that I could rely on to decide what’s best for her. Which kindergarten, what kind of daily routine, which sporting activities are optimum – all that was ultimately up to me. To maintain a good relationship with my ex, I occasionally ask for his opinion. I don’t really have to though because the bottom line is that I am responsible for everything.

All mothers are familiar with the seemingly endless list of regular chores that are supposed to be fit into a 25-hour day. I used to think it was nothing, the kind of routine everybody had, and I couldn’t quite understand why all those women with children always complained about something so normal and easily achievable.

Normal? Well, yes.

Achievable? It has to be since there’s no way around it.

Super hectic? Yes.

Easy? No. But we simply don’t give up because – there’s no choice.

To cut the long story short, all mothers understand this as they have first-hand experience.

First, we wake up at dawn because that’s when most small children open their eyes and start demanding attention.

This is followed by tidying up, a visit to the kindergarten, going to work, buying groceries, along with the usual lines:

Have you been to the toilet and washed your hands?; Will you please finish your meal?; Go brush your teeth and don’t play with the toothbrush; No more cartoons!; Time for bed; Put your jammies on, you are old enough to do it without any help…

And then, some more cooking, ironing, cleaning, and so on and so forth.

Sometimes I manage to stay awake a little longer in the evening and then I walk around the house and try… well, I’m not sure what I try, but it sounds good.

Most of the time, however, I just doze off next to her (yes, we sleep in the same bed).

Time flies

A (single, childless) friend recently criticized me for spending too much time with my kid, for being unaware of how quickly time passes… In short, she thought it was high time I started dealing with these things and spending more time doing something more interesting.

It crossed my mind that there could be some truth in it.

I never go anywhere, if we don’t count children’s birthday parties.

Theaters, movies, restaurants: I only remember those places, vaguely. I spend time with my friends when they find the time (between two boyfriends) and then we have some coffee at some “child-friendly” place while my daughter’s trying to charm the waiter to get more biscuits instead of only one they usually serve with the coffee.

So I thought: Why not? Why wouldn’t I make arrangements, get a baby-sitter, put some make-up on and check out the outside world by night?

But I didn’t

Because my (single, childless) friend also told me this:

“I don’t understand why you’re so committed to being a perfect mother. Don’t you realize that your daughter will forget you exist once she doesn’t need you anymore?”

I was speechless.

If I’d been able to at the time, this is what I would have said to her…

I would have told her that my child means a world to me and that every second we spend together is a billion times more meaningful than all that time she spends preparing for a wild night out.

I would have told her that my child is the most valuable person in my life.

I would have told her that I was so lucky to have this small person by my side, who can hug with no second thoughts, who can love so truly and openly, and who still prefers gummies to a new dress or a pair of shoes.

So I resumed my daily routine because this small person I’m raising has only one childhood and I don’t want to miss any of it, not even a single day.
I know time will come when she won’t need me as much as she does now. I know I will then be able to spend more time doing things for myself and fulfill only my own wishes and needs. Until then…

Hurry up! Put your shoes on! Go get your stuff, make sure nothing’s left behind. Why are you crying now? You’ve forgotten your doll? OK, we are going back to get it. Here’s a hanky, blow your nose. Don’t touch that! Haven’t I told you a hundred times never to touch the fruit at the supermarket? Why must I always repeat…

 

What life has taught me in recent years

June 29, 2017
life

Live and learn, as they say. Life is a miracle. You think these are just meaningless phrases? They are not. I am the living proof of that.

At the age when women normally think about family and children, I wasn’t much interested in either. I believed that I would have both, that I could have both, one day, when the time comes. Whenever I wished. And when I finally did, it didn’t happen.

I had a child when I’d already stopped hoping. She and I make my family now.

You may think that everything is upside-down. But maybe it’s not. Maybe everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

Unexpected situations are known to bring out the best in us.

That is how I’ve learnt a lot about myself and others. Circumstances forced me to find new strength and make the best out of my own resources and abilities.

It’s never too late to learn new things

I’ve learnt not to judge others:

We are all different and we all have our own lifestyle. We are all entitled to our beliefs, habits, mistakes.

I’ve learnt this the hard way, by having been judged. When you hear so many comments about what you do, you start to realize that most people don’t have a clue, but this doesn’t make them less inclined to judging and criticizing others. I’ve heard that I myself “was to blame“ because I surely knew “what I was getting into“. A “well-intentioned” single (and childless) friend even explained to me that my daughter would turn her back on me sooner or later and that I should therefore look for a nice guy instead of being so fully dedicated to my child who will certainly prove to be ungrateful.

This is how it is: I don’t judge anyone, so I expect people not to judge me. Our differences make us special. I like the fact that we are not the same. I enjoy spending time with friends who have different beliefs, level of education and economic power. I’m not judgmental. I like being around all of them and I’ve never tried to change them or explain to them what’s wrong about their lives. I know I can count on them as they can count on me.

I’ve learnt to distinguish friends from acquaintances:

A friend will always try to listen and understand me, any time of day or night, even if we don’t see each other often. Friends don’t criticize, they don’t ask awkward questions.

I’ve come to realize that I’m stronger than I thought I was:

I’ve learnt that the road ahead is long and tortuous. I’ve learnt to believe in myself and my ability to cope, to overcome any obstacle. I’ve learnt that life is hard, but it may also surprise you with beautiful gifts when you least expect them. I’ve always known that I could do plenty, but only now do I realize that my strength is unlimited.

I’ve learnt to love.

 

The ways life changes when you become a single mother

December 13, 2016
single mother life

My child is 5 and only now can I say that I’ve managed to fully understand the serious business I’ve undertook – single parenthood. My life has changed dramatically and I’d had no idea it would be that different. In fact, to be honest, I had no idea what it actually meant to be a parent, let alone a single parent. Which isn’t all that bad…

Partying until late at night

Before: I’ve never really been that much into staying out late, but I liked partying with friends. And I used to go to bed quite late.

Now: I go to bed at midnight sometimes, but only because I’d decided to iron piles of clothes or to tidy my daughter’s room.

High heels

Before: Yes, a woman looks better on high heels. They may not always be very comfortable to wear, most often they aren’t, but they are the most lethal female weapon, right?

Now: My shoes with high heels are safely stored in the closet. I wear them once a month, when I remember they exist. Flat soles rule when you’re forced to run after a toddler, carry grocery bags and hold the child’s hand.

Cooking

Before: in my previous life, I enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen from time to time. I’d find some interesting recipes and let my imagination go wild. Of course, I didn’t cook every day, but only when inspired.

Now: I normally cook every day. Sophisticated culinary experiments are no longer appropriate or welcome, as my daughter likes simple stuff: soups, meat, veggies. Chinese dishes are “yuck”. Pancakes are on the menu at least twice a week.

Eating out

Before: Yes, yes, yes.

Now: We avoid fast food restaurants. We occasionally go to a place where people know us and wouldn’t mind us playing cartoons on the tablet and throwing napkins on the floor.

Relaxed weekends

Before: I remember lying around until noon, going to brunches, watching films in the afternoons… Long weekends…

Now: It would make more sense to say that I’m more relaxed during the working week than at weekends. My daughter wakes up at 7 am and I shall say no more. The first thing she says is: “I’m hungry”, followed by a phrase containing the word “cartoon”.

Going to hairdresser’s, beauty parlors and the like

Before: Enthusiastically and regularly

Now: I see my beautician twice a year, with an apologetic expression on my face. Going to the hairdresser’s is an operation prepared carefully and well in advance.

Are you sure you want a child?

August 22, 2016
child

The products you buy in stores can be returned if you’re not satisfied with them, but you can’t return the kids once you have them. From the moment you get pregnant until your child comes of age (What am I talking about? Even longer than that!), everything in your life changes. You’ll have to forget about many of your habits and give up many small or big pleasures.

My life is now filled with joy and I wouldn’t change it or go back in time even if I could. However, for all of you who wish to become parents and have no idea what it’s actually like (I had no idea either), I’d like to point to some real life situations, just in case…

  • Your child wakes you up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning and tries to tell you something important although you’re asleep or pretending to be asleep.
  • Your child screams to the top of his/her voice at 6 a.m. (he/she wants to wear summer clothes even though it’s winter, insists on watching a cartoon, doesn’t want to go to the kindergarten), and when you try to explain calmly that this is not an option and that screaming won’t help, the screaming only gets louder.
  • Watching movies in the evening is like watching TV series: you can keep your eyes open for about 45 minutes tops before you’re knocked out.
  • Do you have any idea how much putting your child through school will cost you??
  • You listen to your friends who don’t have children blissfully planning their trips to interesting places you can only dream about.
  • Your friends tell you about what happened at a party where they stayed until dawn…
  • Your kid has added new decorations to your favourite dress with a felt tip pen.

… let your imagination run wild; the list of challenges that await you is practically endless.

But: when my daughter runs towards me and wraps her arms around my knees, nothing else matters. When she grins with her face stiffened and says: this is my happy face, all is forgiven and forgotten.

 

 

About modern technologies, cartoons and playing outside

March 24, 2016
modern technologies

After a few years of wandering about in dense haze, of hovering on a cloud covered with diapers and baby clothes, I’ve finally started to get in touch with my surroundings. I’m slowly mending the broken ties and coming out of the tunnel of motherhood through which I’ve crawled for over 4 years. So much has changed in the meantime!

From the earliest age, our kids use every opportunity to get hold of our gadgets. My four-and-a-half-year-old daughter said that she had “her own tablet” that she now regularly uses to watch cartoons. And we all know that nothing can replace the playground or running freely in the open. But then again, cartoons guarantee some peace and quiet for a while. Still, this kind of entertainment should be kept at the minimum; otherwise, your kids will start using the craziest phrases and saying the strangest things.
“Mum, you’re so credulous!” (actually, I couldn’t agree more… )
“Do you know what that means?”
“That means that you’re the prettiest of all!” (how do you keep a straight face?)

I’m surrounded by the parents who let their children use their laptops, remote controls, even their mobile phones to keep the peace at home. Three- or four-year olds type on their mums’ phones, play video games (!) or watch their favourite cartoons on Youtube.

I’m very adamant about this: no way. Mobile phones are too expensive to let children play with them. Furthermore, they are not toys. Video games are not for such small children. A laptop is a work tool. Remote controls are not meant to be handled by their small fingers. However smart our kids are (and each parent thinks their child is an aspiring genius), I don’t want to spend hours reprogramming the channels after my daughter has tried a new order.  She, of course, watches cartoons just like other kids of her age (admittedly, cartoons are the only programme that is watched in my house), but I wouldn’t let her have the remote.

Dear parents, turning on the TV and doing something else is the easiest thing in the world. Actually, I’m doing it right now… Still, you should take your child out whenever you have time. Find the time. There is nothing better and more useful for both you and them.

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