A mum’s letter to her sons: Don’t settle for consent

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I have a friend – well, I know and admire a woman who might yet be a friend –  and this morning I woke to find an email from her in my inbox, with a recording attached. She’s a journalist and normally an email from her means she’s writing a piece and is interested in my professional opinion on the topic. We’ve been back and forth-ing for a couple of years and, as you do, we’ve been rearranging the boundaries a little more each time.

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Are you a good enough, normal Mother?

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SPOILER ALERT!!! If you're concerned about this then answer is yes... #mothersday #parenting tweet to fellow mum

A friend and I started a blog together a few years ago now and this is where this post originally appeared –  on Mother’s Day, 2015 (feels like last year!!) Not much has changed since then when it comes to parenting and the gnawing fear of not getting it right (whatever “right” is!!). We are acutely aware of how much judgement is out there, and how it seeps into moms’ heads and hearts.

 

So for the day that’s in it, here it is again:

Ah, Mothers Day – a day to celebrate all that is Mother (or Mom,  Mommy, Mama, Mam, Mum, or “Hey You!!” – depending on how your offspring refer to you).

We all know that parenting is one of the most demanding and difficult jobs there are – and there’s no training! (What’s that about?!).  As you can imagine, there are lots of parents out there fretting, wondering if they’re doing it ‘right’.

If you’ve clicked on this you’re probably a mother (or know a mother), so we’ve devised a super-scientific questionnaire based on our collective 40 years’ personal and professional experience to help to decide whether or not you’re a ‘good’ mother.

Ready?

Here we go – be honest now!

PART 1: AM I NORMAL?

the fun of parenting
Have you ever felt like this?

Am i going mad?
Ever wondered this??

real mom thoughts
Ever thought this?

mom thoughts breathe
Ever had this happen?

a moms changed body
Has your body erm…. changed?

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Happy International Womens’ Day!

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Yay us – what a year! A lot has happened this year. A lot of it really, really terrible. We’ve talked about Weinstein, #MeToo, Rape Culture, Porn, Women and the church, our own entertainment industry and its grim history of sexual misconduct.  Our next challenges are to respectfully debate Repeal the 8th, to continue to #changetheconversation, to keep up the momentum of reform for ourselves, our partners, our children. It’s clear that terrible things have happened.

But on the other hand:

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Women – why you shouldn’t ask for help at home (!!)

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I know it sounds odd  – but there’s method to my apparent madness!

This is my latest for FamilyFriendlyHQ and if you’re a woman and feeling like you do more than your fair share of housework, then this might be for you.

As always – your feedback and comments (and tips) are warmly welcome. Happy reading!

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If you're a woman and feeling like you do more than your fair share of housework, then this piece might just be for you. #putthekettleon #relationships #boundaries #teachpeoplehowtotreatyou #housework share with a fellow housework-hater

The trouble with “provocation” & domestic violence

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It’s been pretty harrowing listening to today’s coverage of the case of domestic violence that culminated in the murder of a young mother. The man, who strangled his wife and allegedly threatened to kill her on more than one occasion is pleading guilty to manslaughter, not to murder. That’s one issue I have with this case.

The real issue I have, closely related, is that nature of his reasoning – he says he was ‘provoked’.

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On staying together for the sake of the kids

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“What caught him off guard though was that at some level he felt ‘programmed’ to bring conflict and drama into the relationship. Even where there was no evidence of cheating he suspected it. Even though he loved her free spirit he felt he should curtail it in case she ran off. Even though he admired her intelligence he found himself calling her stupid. When things were good he was waiting for something to go wrong – enjoying peace and fun felt alien and weird.
So if it didn’t ‘go’ wrong, he’d make it go wrong.”

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Happy International Women’s Day! (but not for all of us)

Violence against Women
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So, here we are again. Every Year since 1908 we have celebrated International Women’s Day and while we have made huge strides in some areas, we have a very long way to go. 

Much has been written in the lead up to today. And much of it grim. I won’t go into the Tuam babies thing here.. (2018 edit –  Weinstein, #MeToo, Repeal the 8th debate, the women-being-ordained question, the sordid details of the rape (victim) trial, the pick-your-own-horror-story… ).To mark the day I thought I’d post a compilation of important pieces about how women are (still) being treated in the 21st century. It’s not terrifically cheery reading so you might want to stop now. I understand, I really do.

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