The children are in meltdown. James has spilt his supper on the carpet and the dog is eating it. Mandy is pulling Thandi’s hair because Thandi has taken her troll doll. It is way past their bedtime. Tears and wailing are imminent. Your partner is hiding in the study pretending he has a deadline to meet for work.

You are only halfway through the to do list you drew up this morning and clearly no –one in your family cares about you having a life and that you also have a career. And all you want to do with that mug sitting on your desk that says “Keep Calm and Carry on” is hurl it onto the floor and have it break into a hundred pieces.

We’ve all been there. But when it happens, remind yourself that no-one has died, grit your teeth, breathe deeply three times, talk calmly and firmly and know that it will be better tomorrow. And, when they finally do fall asleep, take a moment to look at them. Don’t they look like angels? Don’t you just love them?


  1. Amanda Lancaster

    I was chatting to a colleague the other day about this exact same thing. If I had my time over I would spend more of it interacting with my kids than worrying about the to do list and mopping the kitchen floor. I have noticed that when I make eye contact with my grand children they tell me everything. Small conversations turn into the most memorable moments. They express themselves so simply and with such meaning. I am so sorry that the memories my kids probably have of me is this crazy woman rushing around getting things done and not taking the time to even notice them, let alone understand why they are nagging.

    • Su Birch

      Thanks Amanda, I agree. As a working mom I tried to do everything perfectly and then didn’t make the time to do the really important things. I’m so grateful for grandchildren and the chance to do things differently.


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