• Parenting without Punishments

    Parenting Without Punishments

      When a friend recently talked about ‘Gentle Parenting‘, or parenting without punishments or rewards, I will admit to first having to look up the term, and second thinking that can’t possibly work.  After reading the list on this blog, I realised that I’d been practicing a version of this parenting philosophy, without knowing there was a name for it. There is no blueprint for successful parenting, and I wouldn’t say that I am an expert, but these are the tactics that have worked for me, and my family. 

  • apple egg freezing

    Why Facebook & Apple Egg Freezing Won’t Get Women into Tech

      When I linked to an article on Jump! Mag about why Americans wash and refrigerate eggs, a follower on Twitter asked if I was referring to the story about Apple’s egg freezing offer. It seems that Apple and Facebook are offering a perk to women employees. The companies will pay for ‘ocyte-cryptopreservation’, so that their employees can delay having children until later in their careers. According to the Telegraph, the process  “typically costs between $10,000 and $15,000, plus an additional $1,000-a-year to keep the harvested eggs on ice.” What surprised me is that this story is being sold as an amazing way of encouraging women into tech companies. According…

  • Parenting

    The Balance of Motherhood

    “She is Just A Mum. I imagine she sits around all day in her PJs, drinking tea and eating chocolate biscuits” “Oh, she is a working mother. Her children are in nursery all day, the poor things”   Is that it? Are these the only options? How much do we give up of our lives, our hopes, our dreams when we become mothers? And when is it ok to say, “Right. Enough. I am not Just A Mother”       Today, I read a post on my favourite parenting blog FreeYourParenting about nurturing yourself. Clare talks about the every day stresses of family life, and how we can get away…

  • Parenting

    GummibearGate – Kids and Swearing

    Do you get all <catbum mouth> at people who swear at their children? You are not alone if you do. Who would not look disapproving at someone shouting and swearing at their child? Who would not judge that person as a Bad Mother for using bad language, for shouting at a poor little innocent child. If you had observed me on our trip to Germany, you would have judged me and found me wanting. But stop for a moment and think. This post is not about parents who verbally abuse their children, who shout and swear day in, day out. But about the parents who lose their temper and patience…

  • Parenting

    Do You Have a Parenting Philosophy – Your Children are not Your Children

    Attachment Parenting, Benign Neglect,  Authoritarian, Helicopter Parent, Tiger Mum – which one describes your parenting method best? Can you put a name to your Parenting Philosophy, explain it in two or three words?   In those first hazy months of parenthood, many of us read books on parenting. We search for answers, for reassurance, for advice. Or we use websites such as Mumsnet, Netmums or Babycentre. Perhaps you already had an idea of the kind of parent you wanted to be, and found that the reality of parenting was slightly different to the theory.   I can recall being indignant at my husband’s Grandmother, because she told me that when…

  • Parenting

    Raising Independent Children

    Only one in five children can tie a reef knot, according to a survey carried out on behalf of the Scout Association. My first thought on reading this was, “How on earth will they manage to tie a neat knot in a silk scarf when they are older”, which may not be quite what the Scout Association was worried about.     While being able to tie an reef knot, or mend a puncture may be a handy skill to have, there are other items on the list that we really should be teaching our pre-teen children. How to cook a meal – my daughter is 9 years old and recently…

  • Social Media

    Parentbloggers and Privacy – What Happens When Kids Grow Up?

        This is something that I have been musing on for a few days. There are a lot of “Parentbloggers” out there at the moment and I won’t knock them – some of them I really enjoy reading. But what happens when the cute little toddler becomes a pre-pubescent bundle of hormones, then a teenager. Will the Mummyblogger still blog about her children, and can you really do this for over a decade without the friends of the children finding out and taking the piss? I guess that many will find that the store of “amusing things that the children have done today” tales dries up. Not that children over…

  • Parenting

    Coping with an Interfering Granny

    It is a topic touched on with some regularity on Mumsnet, and I am sure on other parenting websites. Mothers, and in particular Mother-In-Laws. MILs.  Not a day goes by without a MIL bashing thread, some of them justified, many not. A few years ago,  I visited a colleague who had just given birth to her first child – in Mumsnet speak a PFB – Precious First Born. She told the tale of the in-laws’ visit. How horrified she was when MIL suggested giving her grandson a drink of apple juice. How angry she was when MIL just “picked baby up and waltzed out into the garden with him”. I…

  • Blogging

    MummyBlogger, Mumpreneurs, CyberMummy

    I was reading the article in the Independent about Cybermummy and it brought back to me how much I dislike the clumping together women bloggers who happen to have children in a “Mummy” package. I blogged about my dislike of the MummyTummy tag last year. Now, I have nothing against those who organised and attended the Cybermummy conference, it sounds like it was great fun and very informative and there are a few of my online “friends” who attended. I do object to the “mummyfying” of women. When did you ever hear of a man described as a DaddyBlogger or a Dadpreneur? Why is it just women who are defined…

  • Feminism

    Sponsors Of Mums

    It is not often that a multinational company so misjudges their advertising audience as Proctor and Gamble has with their “Sponsors of Mums” campaign. Maybe it is just me, but their ad makes me want to throw things at the TV. The dog goes into hiding when she hears the advert start as she knows that I will be shouting before long. If you haven’t seen it, it is part of P&G’s Olympic advertising campaign. Info here   We are informed: “For 80 years in the UK and more than 170 years around the world, Mums have been our boss at P&G. They’ve driven our product innovation and they’ve led…

  • Parenting


    This cry rang through my house just moments ago. Toben is a German word and means to play, roughhouse, romp – in our house it means that the children and their father chase, tickle, shout, scream, laugh and cavort. There does not seem to be a single English word that expresses exactly what toben is so we always use the German word. Since our daughter was a toddler, “toben” was part of our bedtime routine. Contrary to all sensible advice on websites and in parenting books, my husband would race about, throw our daughter in the air, tickle and generally cause much hilarity. The children would sleep so well afterwards, we felt that…

  • Parenting

    Exiting the Mummy Cocoon

    We had a Halloween Party yesterday and when speaking to the other mothers we discovered something that we all had in common. Approximately 2 – 3 years after the birth of our children we emerged from what I like to term The Mummy Cocoon. Yawning and stretching, we stick our heads out of the comfort zone and notice with a shock that the world as we knew it is still there. But we no longer fit in the same place as we did pre-children. When we have small children, our whole life is consumed by them. When (if) they sleep, if they sleep through the night, if they are sleeping…

  • Parenting

    Homework – and why parents should get a free bottle of wine with their children’s homework assignments

    We did homework today. Les doigts de pieds s’appellent: a. les oreilles b. les orteils DD: I don’t understand ME: what are the doigts? DD: fingers ME: good. What are the pieds? DD: feet. ME: Ok, what are the fingers of the toes? DD: ME: at the end of your hands you have? DD: fingers ME: and at the end of your feet? DD: ummmm ME: look, fingers on the hands. and what is on the feet? DD: I don’t knoooooooooooooow ME: LOOK AT MY HANDS – THERE ARE FINGERS ON THE END. WHAT IS ON THE END OF MY FEET. LOOK AT MY BLOODY FEET DS: (shouts from the…

  • Parenting

    Creativity in education

    While reading this blog I stumbled across a speech by Sir Ken Robinson that I first heard a few years ago at a conference. The audience at the conference, teachers of English as a foreign language, were mesmerised and inspired by Sir Ken. I must remember to listen to the speech once a year to keep it fresh in my mind.