I was given the great honour of speaking at a Cheerios Childline Breakfast in The Westbury last week (can someone please book me an overnight at The Westbury?! Omg it’s gorge). Anna Daly, the Cheerios Childline ambassador – and yes, even more beautiful in person – was speaking first, followed by a woman called Gabrielle who works as a volunteer for Childline. I won’t repeat the heartbreaking stories she told us from the calls that she has received over the years, but suffice to say, the entire room of parents were pretty much crying their hearts out….
And then I had to try to lighten the mood….holy shitballs. Almost IMPOSSIBLE and so hard to try and keep it together myself! Anyway, I am hoping to host my own Cheerios Childline Breakfast shortly, to help raise funds for this amazing support for the children of Ireland. If you would like to too, you can register here: Cheerios Childline Breakfast Info
My speech on the morning was short to begin with, and made all the shorter by my being unable to stop myself from blubbing. You can read it below. And can I just sign off by saying this: the volunteers at Childline are ANGELS. I so could not do the job that they do x
‘My four year-old son Jacob peed on me yesterday. It wasn’t intentional, nor direct, thankfully but he’d had a little accident which he hadn’t told me about, and happily sat on my knee to eat a yoghurt. I was wearing quite thick jeans so it took a few minutes for it to sink in…and then for it to SINK IN, if you get me.
Of course it happened in front of a friend who had dropped in for a cuppa, but I’d invited her at the wrong time: 6pm, or AKA ‘Witching Hour’. It’s that time of day when every corner of your house resembles a scene from Love/Hate, your children have suddenly turned into tired, screaming messes and you are counting down the minutes until your partner comes home and/or bedtime.
And this friend is hoping to start trying for her first baby soon and so you sit there, with a fake smile plastered to your face, in your wee-stained jeans, sitting at the table in your Love/Hate house and lie ‘Doooo it. It’s amaaaaazing….’
Wee accidents are just wee accidents, they can happen to the best of us – and I’m willing to bet that there are a few of our preggo mums here today who have had a couple of wee accidents since leaving the house this morning ;o)
And so we don’t react to a four year old having a wee accident, we don’t want to give him a complex or feel bad, so we don’t give out. And of course we’re well used to dealing with gross stuff since becoming parents – we become immune to finding wee and puke and poo in or around our favourite handbags, on our favourite clothes…in our freshly washed hair (praying that it’s chocolate – praying).
And so we say goodbye to our friend (poor Sandra) and take our four year old upstairs where we put him into a bath and then into clean, dry PJs. Because that’s normal. And that’s my good parenting story from yesterday. But that’s not the story I remembered when Alan came home, I didn’t pat myself on the back about it. When Alan came home, I was exhausted and emotional and cried to him about how crap a parent I was yesterday, because I was grumpy and shouty and impatient and at times, unkind to the kids. I didn’t remember being a good parent. Office Mum wrote a fab article this week called First Child, about not expecting so much of our kids, especially the eldest, which resonated with everyone who read it, and I am totally guilty of expecting too much of Jacob, and then feeling rubbish about it later.
But after listening to the calls that some of the children in our country are making to Childline….I think we need to give ourselves a break….because I’m glad that my kids have us as their parents’.