Category Archives: Parenting

No homework for my kids.

I’ve been reading a few blogs, interacting with people on Twitter and the latter half of this year was spent telling my daughters teacher that she would not be doing homework.

I could tell by her facial expression that she either didn’t agree or had an opinion on it but possibly didn’t want to explore that as we are given only 10mins (at max), when doing parent -teacher meetings. That in itself tells you a lot about the school curriculum in Scotland…

I know I’m probably seen as that weird trouble making parent in the playground (and to the head teacher , especially when in the past I may have told her that I’m a recovering Catholic and it’s a catholic school) who rather than fit in with the parents/carers with their matching furniture/wall paper/car etc ,sings the praises of their children almost every week via social media (when actually we know how little Betty and Tommy are just as much the shit disturber as ours can be),would much rather survive each day of parenting… Without having to pull out my hair … but to be honest  I couldn’t give a rats ass about being in the parenting “in” crowd.I haven’t for a while and that in itself is liberating. I like that I don’t have to make small talk now with folk that I really don’t have much in common with and can just pick up my child and get on with my life. Sounds harsh but I just haven’t got the time to get involved with the latest gossip.

Back to the point of this post, I digress, yes! Homework… My child went to nursery and then on to school which means that from the age of 3, she has been in the system. Ok, partly our choice as I had wanted to go back to studying again. However, it is a system that constantly tells our young people that you need to do all of these things like go to university and/or college,in order to feel like you have achieved. To use correct punctuation or people will make fun of you and they will define you as a person if you get it wrong and posts “meme’s” on Facebook so that you and your friends can collectively belittle a person to satisfy your own insecurities and ego. Seen it happen loads of time and I actually pity those who do this regularly.  Yes,I wouldlovefor my children to goto college and univerity to study if they want to and I thoroughly encourage studying as there is so much to learn in life but if they want to do something else or go into work,I won’t push them because the world adds enough pressure to our lives as it is. People define others by the job they do,house they live in,area they live,car they drive etc.. What about morals,respecting others and your own

Why does my child need to do these things in order to feel like someone who matters? Why do we have to expect them to conform? They are little beings and sometimes I feel that we have too much influence on them and we need to let them express themselves, find out who they are and to grow.  Unfortunately in our society when you do that and let them explore their personalities they can some times not be included with their peers and get treated differently by the school.

Why does this happen and why as parents do we not just say “fuck it”,?! as Fleetwood Mac says “you can go your own way”! Or do as the little bumble bee girl in the video for Blind Melon’s “No Rain” and dance in those puddles under the droplets of rain that falls from the sky! Be different, be you… Show your kids that individuality and not being the same as anyone else, is good! Embrace it! Learn from your kids and let them learn from you! I bet it’s liberating:) trying to build their confidence so that they are comfortable in a society that preys on and makes a business out of our insecurities.

This post may not make sense or cover the actual topic but I tend to go off in a tangent and not follow the rules 😉

Story Fest : St Enoch Centre

  
Last week M and I were invited along to the St Enoch’s Centre in Glasgow, to be part of “Story Fest”, to meet and hear Author Lyn Nicol , read from one of her “Badger The Mystical Mutt”, books. We both had a great time hearing about Badger and she engaged really well with the other children who also attended. It was so lovely to be part of this event, its a magical experience to not only meet an author but to also hear them read one of their books aloud. We had some photos taken with Lyn at the end and she signed M’s book as well. We have since purchased more of her books, they tell a story but they also deliver messages within.

   
We loved how the St Enoch’s centre was transformed into a pop up library with comfy bean bag chairs and fake grass. It certainly drew in the children who were round about, shopping with their families as it was half term. I think to have a “library” to stop at, read for a little bit, should be a permanent fixture as it does encourage children to do more reading and adults to sit and spend time engaging with our kids rather than be distracted by our phones etc.

I love that the St Enoch Centre has events like these, this was in conjunction with Glasgow City Libraries,  and it wasn’t just our event that was run but there were creative workshops, other author appearances, the lending library and readings of books. All of these events were free, and its exciting to see how the Children’s book festival will develop throughout the years. I’m a huge advocate for families spending time together and reading to one another because not only does it help children with learning, vocabulary, and expanding their minds, it also means finding that hour or so a day/night in a busy and hectic life that we all seem to be living these days.

   

 As part of our experience, we were kindly gifted with a goody bag, which was very special as it had something for all of us in it.. From the Chocolate, from Hotel Chocolat, A HUGE stuffed Olaf from Debenhams , and a very kind gesture from the St Enoch Centre which will come in handy for Christmas shopping, a £50 voucher . We also received a Voucher from Optical Express for £50 and my husband will be using this as he needs new glasses – will help him with reading to the children at night! I have to say that Optical Express is amazing, I had my laser eye treatment from them and their service is absolutely fantastic!

We had a lovely experience, my daughter is so keen to get her books out at night and if you haven’t already got a library card, I highly recommended that you go to your nearest one. There’s a whole new world out there waiting for you, filled with adventure, learning and entertainment. The whole family can get involved! Go on, choose your own adventure!

 

 

Summertime Memories

I have been a busy bee! After getting my holidays finalised,I  booked flights with Canadian Affair , to Toronto! I’m going home for 3 weeks with my daughter and I couldn’t be more excited. I have been pretty homesick of late and although we were all supposed to go home for a holiday as a family, the flights increased and well, we just couldnt afford it so my husband will be staying back with my two year old.
 
I haven’t been home to experience a proper Canadian summer in years and I cannot wait until my daughter is able to do this with me. I have many fond memories of my summers growing up and to be able to show my daughter some of those things, is in my mind a blessing.  From the usual smells of freshly cut grass, the fireflies with their glowing bellies , campfires with their usual smoky odours and sitting by the beach with a cup of coffee in hand the excitement is almost too much and I feel like a kid again myself, about to burst. … I just really can’t wait to experience all that my home town and neighbouring towns, have to offer but this time with my own child who will be making her own memories.
 
I have known most of the people that I will be visiting, for practically all my life and now its their kids and mine who will be forging strong bonds and relationships whilst us adults reminice by the fire.Also, one of the lovliest things is that M will be spending time with her aunty, uncle,grannie and her cousins!  We will be doing things like taking the kids Camping,going to Canada’s Wonderland  , Niagra Falls to visit Great Wolf Lodge and various water parks, going for Ice Cream at Lorna Doons which I used to go to and spending quality time enjoying everyones company.
 
There is talk about going to Algonquin Park with a canoe and doing a trek, paddling through the water looking for the local wildlife, hoping not to encounter any bears at a close distance, but catching sight of them if possible a long with moose etc. I don’t know what we will see but whatever we do, chances are it will be a first for my daughter.  We haven’t had these types of “firsts” since she was a brand new baby just brought home.
 
I’m hoping that before we go, I can purchase a new camera to catch these moments, which I will blog and maybe even vlog about because the trip will be jam packed and I want her to be able to have something to look back on in print and pictures.
 
Are you going anywhere this summer? Have you ever taken your kids back home to experience what you did as a child?

The Sun Newspaper,An Open Letter

Dear -Fill in the blank,

One of your journalists approached me a few months back when I was on a 2 day break with my kids and cousins,via email with the subject of “Will you talk to me”. Now, I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking that this was junk mail and to be honest, I should have deleted it and sent it to the trash where it quite rightly belonged but I didn’t. Instead, I engaged in a lengthly conversation about my experience with Post natal depression – and against my better judgement (as I had a feeling and a “niggle”) telling me not continue or share ,but oh boy, I sure did. See,that’s what some journalists feed on .. a person’s vulnerability and/or the need to want to help people and break down stigma , that they are willing to let you in to their thoughts and feelings, to tell the story of how they nearly god damn died because of what was going on.

I have been blogging and talking about my journey for many years and until recently, I didn’t have it in me for fear of judgement, to talk about and admit to the termination that I had. Due to shame and regret? Possibly and most probably but I was told that it would help other women. You got me hook,line and sinker. Silly ,me I guess.  Now, it is true that I had told this story to an amazing woman in a previous publication(so as your title suggested, it wasn’t an exclusive) a few weeks prior to but the Sun is much closer to home and I know that the chance of people I know reading it was more likely than the other.

When I received an email to tell me that it had been published, I was away at a residential bootcamp and had no coverage apart from wifi at certain times of the day.  Imagine my shock when I opened this.


My stomach sank and I was nearly sick. I have never ever been made to feel the way I felt on day of publication.  I couldn’t read the whole thing due to tears streaming down my face and the bile rising in my throat from my stomach. Over dramatic enough for you? Well unfortunately its all true which is more than I can say for your headline which I was told wasn’t written by the journalist who spoke to me- despite only her name being on the article.

I want to ask one thing… The headline talks about how I “aborted my healthy baby”. How do you know that this baby was healthy or not? How do you think that impacts a mother on the brink of suicide, making such a difficult decision , who thinks that she’s murdering her baby? Because i’ll tell you this, I was at that stage in my life and I fought so fucking hard to get through it all and I did. It was my husband, my daughter, my cousin,uncle and close friends who helped. Your paper hides behind the guise of wanting to help and share these stories but it is YOUR paper that adds to the stigma when you print headlines like that and take advantage of people like me.  You did real good though.. I like to think that I’m intelligent,worldly and educated pretty well….Maybe not.

When I tried contacting the journalist, she wasn’t in the office but her boss was. he didn’t reply until I sent two other emails and her dismissive attitude was a  further kick in the stomach.  I responded to her mail but I haven’t had a reply back so I am reponding to a few points via this open letter  Number 1. Apparently, “Sometimes seeing your story in print can be painful”- ahh , yes especially when it’s sensationalised. which leaves me to point 2.  questioning ethics…”Headlines are meant to grab attention” at the risk of someones mental health? Really, you want to go there? 3.The Scottish Sun has tackled many sensitive subjects without complaint – lies. Ask blogger @TheRealSupermum and the doozy which was done on her.

I vowed after this “story” was published( which some of it appears to have been taken from a certain other publication, tut tut)that I would never share anything again but I looked back at some of the old emails,texts and comments on my blog of support, and thought about why I started writing and share my story in the first palce. The conclusion that I came to was my need to let women (and men) who make difficult decisions every day or go through PND,Prenatal depression or depression as a whole, that they aren’t alone,there is support and no one needs to feel shame. You won’t destroy that because I won’t let you.  Your “rag” of a newspaper is thought less of than I am. The only one who should feel shame, is you.

Regards

Angeline Brunel Dickson

B&Q And Our Family Project

Here it is,  the second in our series of posts about our family project that B&Q have helped us out with, and if this is your first time visiting the site you can read all about it here and it will explain what I am jabbering on about!

The weather has been rubbish and with the way that the back garden is just now, I have lacked in motivation big time. However, tonight was time to throw caution to the wind and get something done! Actually, I had to slide my shift at work because I have lost my voice and the husband came home early so we had enough day light hours to do a bit more.  When I say “we”, I do mean the husband… When you have two young kids and you want to do things as a family , it means chipping in and adding distraction to the mix. Whilst he built (I did do some), I bathed the youngest got dinner ready and the other child played outside on the trampoline. Now, this isn’t the family time together that I wrote about initial post but stay with me on this one. Less stress means more productivity, we were all outside for at least an hour and a half together,  we played & spoke to one another which meant no electronics or TV’s, etc but actual proper family time.

We achieved more on this today and got our enthusiasm back which is a great feeling and when the roof is added, I will let the kids help me paint with no rules, its their house and no one is going to be told off for getting messy. Its all about them and how they want it to look and I get to do some of the interior as well. I’m so excited for the kids and I hope that this brings nights spent in the back garden around the fire, camp outs in the fort, movie nights in it and star gazing. Its time for us and also for them and their friends, to build great and happy memories.

This is what we did today , and tomorrow I will go to B&Q to pick up some exterior wood.. possibly going for a blue and some white for the decking area.. Not sure until I see what they have. What do you think so far?

IMG_3948.JPG  IMG_3947.JPG

 

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