The P Word

Muddling my way through parenting

First sign of madness?

People say that the first sign of madness is talking to yourself. A bit like blogging, really.

But what about parenting? Do you have to be mad to be a parent? Maybe not, but it certainly helps!

In this blog I will chart some of the ups and downs of life as Dad to two little people, currently aged 5 and 2. I may also pass occasional comment on topical items which are vaguely parenting-related in the news, things like the rising numbers of children being taken into care.

Primarily, I am doing this because I love being Dad. There you go, I said it. Perhaps you really do think I’m mad now. I’m an unashamedly devoted (some may say besotted) parent. They say ‘jump’; I ask ‘how high?’ Many of my favourite times in life have been in the company of my son and daughter. Being a parent is a huge, humbling privilege. I have found new meaning in what it is to love and to be loved. I have laughed like never before, and learned more than I ever dreamed possible.

But I am also a realist. I know that parenting is a massive challenge. As well as all the high points, during the past few years I have experienced extreme exhaustion, had my patience tested beyond its limits on countless occasions, and often felt hopeless, isolated and out of my depth.

But I have been intrigued enough to explore things further. My interest and passion (I’d even describe it as a vocation) led to me qualifying as a facilitator to run the Positive Parenting courses produced by Care for the Family. I went on the Time Out for Parents course myself, and have been a co-leader of a course for a dozen mums which we ran at my local church in autumn 2011. However, my real passion is to support other fathers. Hopefully, in time I’ll be able to run a course with some other dads, maybe even using some of the specific Time Out for Dads material.

So, why blog? Perhaps it just plugs the gaps between opportunities to help parents on the Time Out courses. But it’s more than that. I have to admit that my inspiration also comes from several others I know who have blogged with style and gusto, especially The Hungry Skier, B… and my own dear wife’s fledgling contributions to The Yarn Barn.

I hope that some parents may find sustenance, guidance – and maybe a touch of humour at the absurdity of it all – in the posts on this blog.

Whatever you feel about parenting – especially if you (understandably) sometimes struggle to enjoy it – I hope you find something useful or enjoyable here.

Thank you.


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3 thoughts on “First sign of madness?

  1. I think you have to be mad to be a parent and mad not to be one lol.

    I’m 26. I became a foster mum in October. Originally our friend’s 12 year old son came to live with us temporarily and he’s been here nearly 6 months but you know what. Yes it’s hard some days and I want to cry my eyes out but some days our foster son comes out with amazing insights and caring moments that I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Yes one say I’d like to be a biological parent to a baby but for now I’m a foster mum to a child in need. It’s hard work but I love it.

    • Fascinating to hear your story, thank you. I have huge respect for foster parents – however we get into parenting, once you’re in it (for however long) we all have essentially the same responsibilities, similar challenges and hopefully many common aspirations for those we help bring up. Because whoever we parent, we never do it alone (friends/family/neighbours/carers/teachers) and always require input/support from others. Hope you continue to enjoy the ride!

      • I just came back to read your original post and realised I posted my age wrong lol. I turn 26 tomorrow! What was going on there?!?

        “Takes a village to raise a child” as the phrase goes. I think back over all the people who had a hand in my childhood and it’s crazy. Some are like my family – I started life with 3 great grandparents and 4 grandparents – I’m down to 0 great grandparents and three grandparents but I know that each of them had some affect on the way I turned out in the end. There are also the people outside of my family like my Sunday School teacher and other grown ups from my first church. I’ve lost through the general course of life and death (one passed away when I was in my teens and one is very poorly at the moment and the doctors have given him weeks rather than months to live and it’s really sad).

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