All posts by Caroline

Do you have a favourite child?

What’s your flava? Child favouritism who do you love more?

Since the start of the holidays a competition has been silently waging between my two sons and me.Do you have a favourite child?

‘Mum, who do you love the most me or MJ?’

‘Mum, do you have a favourite son?’ Asked the eldest.

Child favouritism, motherhood’s dirtiest secret, to favour one child over another, to love one child more than the other.  

At some point, parents succumb to child favouritism, favouring one child over another, it could be that one sibling is causing fewer problems or a child is naturally more talented, it might be that during exam times that one child requires more attention and support than you find time to give to the other.

I’m sure I can speak for most of us when I say at some time or another we’ve all experienced the feelings of child favouritism.

When I delivered my eldest son, now sixteen years old no one was more in love with that little bundle than me.

Do you have a favourite child?He gave me his first smile on day two and in spite of the pain I endured after the most horrendous cesarean section due to preeclampsia, the overwhelming love I felt for that little one was more than I could ever put into words.

When I fell pregnant with my second son I was filled with fear, worry and apprehension about how I would feel if my second child was also a boy.

I recall a conversation with my mum who reassured me at length that having two sons would make no difference, I would love and favour them equally but uniquely.

I pointedly looked at her and said ‘but you had a boy and girl what makes you qualified to know how I will feel?’

Her response was immediate, ‘because even though I had one of each I love you equally, unreservedly and completely differently’.

When I quizzed her about child favouritism she simply answered just wait and see.

My worries were unfounded because when the second bundle arrived the love I felt was overwhelming, intense and as deep as I felt for my first

Even now I look at both of them and there is this unimaginable, indescribable feeling of love and I recognise that what I feel for them is unique and different but I am at odds to describe what those differences are.

Child favouritism, not me!

They test me to the limits especially when I discipline the eldest often his retort is ‘you love MJ more than me’ and the same when I discipline the youngest, ‘obviously mum you love OC more than me’ .

But I admit there are days when I could cheerfully ask for a refund for the both of them if only Tesco did teen refunds.

Do you prefer one child over the other?

My eldest has an addiction to public toilets, he always needs to go to the toilet even though he went just before we left the house.

He slows down when I need him to speed up and no sooner are we in the car he remembers he has forgotten something and needs to go back into the house.

Then there is my youngest’s apparent disregard for the word ‘silence’ as he goes about his everyday tasks singing either beat box or banging some object.

Then there are his mega strops when he gets told off or reminded to do the chores he should have done in the first place.

My punishment – the silent treatment!

Both have perfected the ‘answer back technique’ something I thought I had mastered very well at my age. It is the truculent attitude and the I know more than you that drives me insane.

Kids turn from being smiley and compliant to the angels from hell.

The summer holidays only served to highlight the many differences between my boys and child favouritism.

My eldest went off to Germany on a rugby tour and I admit I was relieved not to have him around the house for five days.

There was an air of calm and tranquility without the fighting, it was so quiet.

Two of the same sex is hard work and I have always tried to be fair in the raising of my kids but I admit there are times when I prefer one over the other.

My eldest is challenging at the best of times with OCD that makes Jack Nicholson in “Something’s Gotta Give” look tame and it can be difficult trying to accommodate the way he is and I selfishly think why do I have a son like this.

The youngest is equally frustrating he is bright, intelligent and everyone likes him but he has a temper that makes the incredible hulk look lame.

He is the John Mcenroe of our household.

He can go from being a lovely smiling helpful chap to a stroppy little shit.

Portrait of boyAt a cricket match he showed his temper when he was given out by the umpire (a contentious decision I might add) because his foot was out of the crease.

He threw his bat some 30 metres in a rage and was seen thumping the pitch as he cried his eyes out in anger and frustration, at one point I thought he was going to go back onto the pitch and club the umpire with his bat.

I scurried off and hid dying of embarrassment as his temper had not gone unnoticed.

In less than five minutes he can make a calm and centered mother turn into a seething eruption of fury and frustration.

The answering back from the both of them and the ‘you have no idea, MUM’ with the emphasis on the word MUM, drives me crazy.

My boys are at at the age where I expect them to do chores around the house.

I give them tasks to do and they can barely recall the next job. Do I really need to write it on the wall in blood?

Finally with one job completed they forget to come and ask what needs to be done next conveniently.

I admit I have to stop myself from saying I hate you both, leave NOW!

All of the above are the same feelings and emotions you know doubt feel at some point.

A love hate relationship, but with a deep rooted love that endures the test of our patience and time.

Do I love one more than the other?

The answer is very definitely NO.

Do I have a favourite child.

Yes I absolutely do but it changes by the week, day, hour, minute!

But, as long as they know they are very much loved and go to bed knowing they are both my favourites that’s all they need to know!



Is your daily commute killing you?

Post holiday blues

By last Monday I was relieved that we were going home. The post holiday blues were already kicking in this was before we had four rounds of sickness and diarrhea and only one bathroom with toilet in a small living space.

When I got onto the plane I was glad to see the back of Spain. Post holiday blues

One month in Spain most people would swoon at the thought but this time around I was counting the days to coming home at the end of week two.

The first week and my whole body felt like it was disintegrating I was definitely the carrier of this infestation but put it down to the flight, tiredness and my IBS.

Post holiday blues
Post holiday blues

Week three and I was done.

Was it the menopause fighting back, holiday sickness, spanish malaria?

Or had my body finally realised relaxation?

I don’t understand what that feels like.

If I’m lucky I manage a facial once every two years, a back massage every three and the last time I had reflexology I almost passed out, ‘quite normal’ said the reflexologist, ‘I’ve released all the toxins that are clogging up your body, just drink plenty of water.’

I recollect that feeling of walking on air, nothing bothered, me even when a taxi cab almost drove into me and then promptly told me to go fuck myself, how come this is my fault I breezily said to him, ‘it was YOU that tried to run me over.’

Still, I’m in the land of relaxation, that is what it feels like?

What working mother do you know ever gets real time off let alone time to relax?

At my recent HRT check up the one that involves, blood pressure, weight check and general well being my Doctor said to me in passing ‘you should take a nap in the afternoon’ when I recounted my desperate need or rather desire to sleep because I am always tired.

‘Effects of the menopause’ she said, get a power nap after lunch you’ll be up and running.

Having come back from Spain I completely get the siesta thing, too hot to work so take a nap, every time I hit the sunbed, I was off in la la land into a deep sleep and I have to say it works for me.

Eat, sleep, work but there is one small problem with this scenario I can’t seem to configure thirty minutes for a nap.

I can see myself barricading the office door, setting the alarm clock, DeathtoStock_EnergyandSerenity2because if I didn’t you would find me in the morning, head back, eyes closed in nod land.

I love the idea but can’t see it fitting into a schedule that aims to try to fit eight hours into an already rammed six hour day.

The worst thing about coming back from a summer holiday is that feeling you should have done more or made more of the holiday it’s called the ‘post holiday analysis blues’.

We should have done this? 

We didn’t get to do that? 

Why didn’t we go there this time?

And so it goes.

The weather seems to have turned autumnal and a suntan now sticks out like a bare bum.

For half the year you are desperate for the sunkissed look from fake bake, spray tan and sunbeds then, when you finally get the tan you’ve always wanted everyone stares at you like you’ve got the plague when you walk down the high street.

Then there’s all the stuff you’ve put off until you get back from holiday, bills that need paying, dry cleaning that needs to be collected, school uniform and new shoes for the kids, the ironing that you said you would do before you left for the holiday and now it seems to have quadrupled made worse by the holiday washing.

Relaxation VS Stress

Your inbox is full of emails but it also includes that ominous email from the boss which says something like hope you had a relaxing holiday can we schedule a meeting as soon as you are back in the office.

You lie there worrying what does he/she need to talk to me about, what have I done? Your stress levels at this point have gone from ‘mucho relaxo’ to tense and agitated.

You feel disconnected because you have spent 24/7 with family sunbathing, siestas, long lunches, swimming, eating out and enjoying a cool glass of something, so far from reality it is pure heaven.

Reality bites and the work treadmill starts over, the same routine, the same jobs and tasks.

The roads are overcrowded and unbearable and you don’t remember being in one traffic jam on holiday. 

You are faced with aggressive drivers waving frantically for reasons unknown to you. iStock_000017748204Small

You realise your boss is a complete dick-head and wonder why he is in the position he is in and the national debt can be summed up by your bank statement.

Everything comes into focus because you see clearly, you are relaxed, you question why you get so sucked into the work/life abyss, why does it take five days before you are back in the rut even though after every holiday you swear it will be different this time.

You haven’t worn shoes or socks for what seems an eternity and are used to seeing your bare feet, in flip flops, wedges, or sandals and now the prospect of wrapping those pinkies in socks or tights let alone shoes results in you having to mentally prepare yourself for enslaving your feet in footwear again.

The first time it feels weird, unnatural and uncomfortable.

During the holiday you slept in, or had a siesta, no alarms ringing in your ears no one to disturb you no need to set your life by your watch sadly that ends the moment you set the alarm for work and the school run.

It’s that sinking feeling which usually kicks in two days before you are due to leave for home, it is a mix of sadness and emptiness and for me the last day is awful I feel like my life is over.

Post holiday blues they call it!

It is the last night of the holiday and I’m like a possessed woman,  get those suitcases packed, passports and tickets at the ready, is everything done and checked yes it is!

Keeping busy takes the edge off the misery of leaving.

Back in the UK and I fantasise about what it would be like to win the lottery and give up work for good I’d like to get some hens in the garden so I can have freshly laid eggs, be a lady of leisure with only the school run to steer my way through.

Instead, I get mum what’s for tea, mum I  need a new pair of trainers, mum have you washed my shirt, mum I need a lift to town.

Welcome home, we missed you!