It's parents week! Not a national initiative, just my focus for the blog this week. I had so much fun writing to a theme last week for Mental Health Week (you can see that here) that I decided to do it all again - this time to my own chosen theme.
First up, let's be clear, this is parents week, not parenting week. I am not going to give you tips on how to make home made playdough, build a water wall or make funny faces out of dinner vegetables (although I've tried all of these things. The playdough is great, the water wall was of more interest to me than the kids and the vegetables? Pah! There was no fooling my boys). Nor am I making suggestions for dealing with tantrums, bed wetting or picky eaters. The interweb is chock full of that stuff already.
Nope, I'm going to talk about the experience of being a parent - the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm going to share stories - mine and other people's. I'm going to rant a little bit about parental guilt. There will be Self-Improvement Thursday, on Thursday, with some tips for looking after you, and of course there's a TED talk because I love a good TED talk.
In fact, I'm starting the week with Jennifer Senior's TED talk. Jennifer is a journalist and anthropologist (the Wikipedia definition of an anthropologist is 'a person with an extensive knowledge of anthropology' - thanks for that Wiki). Her first book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood came out earlier this year and her TED talk made me cry. Her suggestion that parents should live by the notion of 'first, do no harm,' attributed (perhaps not accurately) to the medical profession's Hippocratic Oath - is just brilliant. If we all worked on the basis that as long as our kids are fed and clean and not physically or psychologically badly damaged and that whatever else we can do for them is a bonus, how much easier would this gig be?
Here's Jennifer Senior's talk. Oh and if you're not a parent, thanks so much for reading anyway! Hopefully this week's posts will be as interesting to you as (I hope) they are to the parents reading. After all, parents or not, we're all just people and we're all in this life together :-)