Being a working parent who works with 30 odd other parents, how on earth can we fit our leave into a 6 week period, they will end up not employing mums....... this country is becoming so dictatorial. Corrina B.

Two Different Scenarios


Two weeks ago should have been my little daughters first day at High School! When people ask what year she’s in, I reply ‘conkers’. It always takes me a couple of seconds to realise why I have bemused looks. Conkers is quite a natural progression. Year 6 or 7 or whatever it is, is alien to us with her. As parents and children are taking that natural, but anxious transition, we are just plodding along in a timeless zone which doesn’t really hold the same value to the hot competition of ‘milestones and aspirations’. I have no worries about the future of my child regards achievement, confidence and happiness. I know as she grows she will always hold her own. Already she has surpassed what we thought would be possible. She can spell ‘One Direction’ and ‘Thomas’, she can order electric guitars off eBay, and she can get ample freebies most places she goes. Where ever I go with her, someone knows her, (I never know them!), she can pump up the tyres on her bike, and she can offer her help to people. She can look after me when I am ill, she can give Ofsted inspectors quizzing her about bullying (in her Special Needs school), a run for their money and she does it all whilst singing.

We live with a constant level of alertness, it’s hard not to when every 3 months you’re reminded to contact a specialist if she has small rashes, is tired or generally not her usual self (whatever that means!), due to her risk of Acute Luekhemia.

I am glad for what she has taught me. I am glad that she knocked me of my rigid path on how a parent should parent, of how a child should perform and how basic health and growth should be taken for granted.

She has taught me patience (anyone who knew me pre ‘her’ would know what a big lesson that one is!), she has taught me about food, she has taught me strength, she has reconnected me to the joy and fun of simplicity and she has taught me not to get wrapped up in the crazy stuff of rules, predictability and targets. I don’t have to worry about Stats or GCSE’s. I just have to hope that she doesn’t pour paint over the teacher or pull funny faces at one of the kids in the dining hall who’s particularly sensitive to it.

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