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"stretched: like butter, scraped over too much bread"

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

Contributed blog

Miniblog courtesy of anonymous parent (stock image)

Tell us a little something about yourself

We live in Scotland and my favourite colour is purple

How old are your kids?

2.5 years old

What is your favourite parenting hack?

1. Tag-team. Think strategically about you and your partner's (if applicable) energies. Give your teammate a break if you can.

2. If you’re trying to get your child to eat, evoke that age-old driver of every truly great human achievement: spite. You don’t want your pasta? Okay. Can dad have it, then? Definitely not!

3. Once you’ve said ‘no, you can’t do/have that at the moment’ - stick to it

What do you wish you had known before (either before you were a parent, or when your kids were younger)

“Never get too disconsolate, or too comfortable - because for better or worse, nothing lasts for long”

What makes you feel most guilty as a parent?

So much of the early period, and throughout, is disproportionately harder for women, for a variety of physical, social and occupational reasons.

What do you find most difficult as a parent?

“I need a holiday - a very long holiday. I feel all thin, sort of stretched: like butter, scraped over too much bread” (Bilbo, The Lord of the Rings). It’s a well-worn observation that parents are tired, but I think it gets portrayed as ‘a good night’s sleep and you’ll be right as rain’, when actually it’s everything – parenting, work, life – that serves to drain your batteries in a very long, slow and profound way. It’s not one bad night, it’s the sense that everything is pulling you in several directions over a long period. My brain feels like a balloon filled with too much air or water, and it’s that little bit thin as a result. No webinar or 45-minute complimentary Yoga session will sort that (sorry HR!).

What never fails to bring you joy as a parent?

When they’re tiny comedians/idiots trying their best to be people but getting it that little bit wrong. Recent example is singing ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’, but the animals are a random assortment. Did you know that old MacDonald had a monkey, giraffe and an ostrich?

These posts serve partly as therapy for me, and partly in hopes that the words will resonate with you and help build a community of parents and friends that can support each other. Take a look around the website, and join if you want to see more.

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