That way madness lies

Appalling parenting alert! Apparently we must stop lying about Santa. ‘Experts’ have suggested that parents who lie about Santa may be motivated by selfish desires, and not what’s best for their children. 

I’m astonished. I can’t believe that parents would put themselves first. Does this mean Instagram parents who post constant photos of their awkward children in designer gear so the parents can get free stuff, adulation and insta-fame are self-obsessed? Quelle horreur! Next ‘they’ will be telling us that children are playing with toys kids don’t really need. 

I’m glad there are gurus who can point out these faux pas. I want to be a fabulous parent to ensure my daughters don’t end up on reality TV shows, so I will never tell a white lie. Ever. And I know single mothers make the best parents, so I’d like to supply sound advice for the thousands of parents who read this blog religiously, hanging off every word I utter.
What other things should parents stop lying about?

Daddy’s girlfriend really wants you to stay at their place for half the school holidays

Nanna means well, she just has a problem expressing herself in a non-passive-aggressive way

Mummy is very upset that the police charged our rude neighbour with DUI

I love your new friend, that little boy in your class is so special

Swearing in another language doesn’t count

G.F.Y means Good For You

 

(C) Pollard Perfect Parenting Plan 2017

 


I’m moving to China

China’s singletons celebrate Singles Day (or ‘bare sticks’) as an alternative to Valentine’s Day on November 11 — or 11/11, the date representing all the lonely people. Being single on Valentine’s Day is a big problem in China, where there are millions more men than women because of the country’s one-child policy. Sitting on the bus with no one beside me is fun, but I’d love to celebrate being alone with other sad singles, is anyone throwing a blind date party tonight?


Uplifting quotes for single mothers

I woke up the day after my birthday in a reflective mood, and I am deeply moved by the home made cards my children created on a very low budget. So very inspired that I have created some quotes that I think may help other single mothers cope with the day-to-day madness of parenting on our own.

“A single mother is a person who, seeing there are only three pieces of pie left for her and her three kids, hides the pie from the kids so she can eat it while they’re visiting their father in jail.”

“The child standing in front of the microwave gets the most baked beans.”

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to pay their mother.”

“Nothing I’ve ever done has given me as much pain and heartburn as parenting teenagers.”

“It doesn’t matter who my mother is, it matters that she doesn’t turn up at the school gate looking like a tramp.”

“Being a good mother is the most important role I’ll ever play and if I don’t do it well, my kids won’t be able to pay for my champagne when they’re older.”

I love these quotes (some of my best work), they’re so beautiful and so true. I think Louise Hay may include them in her next book.


Double duty

Today is Father’s Day and I’m missing my long dead dad. Reading happy family messages on social media on a day like today is tough, especially when you’re doing double duty. I’m loving my strong male mates who are showing up and working hard and being great dads by making their children their main priority. I’m not loving the dads who show off their kids at public social functions but aren’t there for the hard graft of parenting. A part of me wishes that men in Western society would take the men who decide to be deadbeat and Disneyland dads to task. Tiger Woods can treat his wife and kids like shit but still be awarded player of the year awards. In our society it’s even easy to get away with not paying for your kids. I don’t know if it’s the role of government to chase up sperm donors who are not declaring income and crying poor then taking their new families out for dinner and getting on with a newly invented life as though the children they had first are a part of their past that they don’t need to revisit. The Child Support Agency doesn’t seem to be highly effective. I’m not advocating a return to the strict moral code of the 1950s but a few conversations along the lines of ‘mate lift your game’ and ‘real men pay child support,’ I think would help us ladies struggling with bearing the full load of child rearing. Yes we chose to have our kids, but in most cases, no we didn’t deliberately choose boys masquerading as men who have relinquished their responsibilities to their children. Real men man up.


Single Mother Bucket List

Finding a single 97 year old billionaire outside a Las Vegas wedding chapel
Enough grocery money for cask wine, Prozac, Phenergan and two minute noodles
Finishing a sentence without being interrupted by a child
Stripping without anyone grimacing
A full bucket of French champagne bottles
Doing a poo in peace
Getting ex to pay for kids
Drafting legislation to outlaw the word ‘panties’
Having a holiday that doesn’t involve child friendly parks
A bucket full of money
Children shoplifting without getting caught
Lying on a beach for 2 weeks while servants cater to every whim
Silence
Smiling because I’m not worrying about bills I can’t pay
Outlawing bucket lists


Narcissistic Parenting Disorder

Another day, another break up of a ‘star’ marriage, be it Johnny Whatsit or a ‘celebrity’ personal trainer; these are the ‘men’ who walk away from their children and run to someone else who may be younger, or prettier and aren’t burdened with looking after his children. Meanwhile who takes the kids to school, helps with their homework, washes their sports uniforms? While the little boys are taking selfies with their girlfriends on red carpets and jetting off on fun holidays, the women who are left behind are the ones dedicating themselves to child rearing. What does it do to a teenage girl to see Daddy running off with someone young enough to be her elder sister? Yawn.

Are these the role models we want for our boys? Males who’ve been in relationships that lasted less time than a bottle of Morning Fresh detergent (that stuff lasts ages). Guys who can’t hang around when the going gets tough in a marriage? Ask anyone who has been married for a long time and they’ll tell you that the going gets tough at some point in a long term relationship. Good blokes can you have a word with your mates? Please tell them that kids need their dads. I don’t want to male bash, I know some fabulous fathers, but I’m not meeting a lot of deadbeat mummies. 32% of babies in the United States are born to single mothers, and in 2006 mothers headed 87% of one-parent families with children under 15 years in Australia.

Parenting isn’t glamorous, it isn’t fun a lot of the time, it’s about making tough decisions and showing kids there are boundaries to their behaviour. To do that you have to be in the same space as children. Being there for a kid means physically showing up, cleaning up their vomit in the middle of the night, sitting through school concerts even when you’re bored, showing kids that as a parent you want to be in their lives for all the important moments. Any monkey can take their children to a cafe. Fathers who think that going to a trendy hairdresser is more important than being with their kids are not attractive. Yes, the rules of the game are being redefined but parenting isn’t something you can opt in and out of and decide to sit out on the bench for a few years, you’re either there or you’re not. Kids are tough bosses, they notice when you don’t show up for parenting duty. I meet many teenagers with mental health issues, and troubled adolescents are being admitted to hospitals in greater numbers than ever before; I truly believe that family breakdown plays a part. A lot of these kids crave time with absent parents. As a survivor of domestic violence I’m not advocating staying in an abusive relationship forever, but I really don’t think modern men are trying hard enough to keep it together for the kids or themselves.

Divorce is painful for kids. So if your relationship is faltering from the burdens of modern life, not enough time or money or extended family to give you a break from the relentless pressure of work, child rearing, nursing ageing parents and paying the bills, get thee to a good counsellor.

All the research apparently says that kids from broken families do fine eventually. But there are a lot of tears, heartache and wasted energy between now and the mysterious destination called eventually.


10 Single Mother Truths

1. You hear the words ‘insufficient funds’ on a daily basis and it doesn’t freak you out; and the words ‘transaction approved’ make you jump for joy

2. The word you use most when talking to your girlfriends is ‘overwhelmed’

3. Parenting is all about selling options to your child. Single parenting is begging for the sale for your sanity

4. After wondering why your shopping seems a bit cheaper than usual, your day is made when you get home and discover the checkout person hasn’t swiped five of your most expensive grocery items

5. You lie awake at 3am wondering if you should go back to the shop so you don’t get charged with shoplifting. The thought that your children only have one parent weighs heavily on your mind

6. If your children go to their father’s every second weekend, your house is clean 26 times per year

7. Your children develop a sudden fondness for whichever fruit costs $28 per kilo (because it has to be airlifted from Belize) and be invited to four different children’s dress up parties around the time that your hours at work get cut back

8. Disneyland Dad suddenly has money for fancy restaurants with his new girlfriend while you struggle to find ‘imaginative’ recipes in the ‘700 Ways With Baked Beans cook book for dinner every night

9. The words tax refund cause you the same excitement as the words ‘Saturday night and it’s time to partay, get your disco boots on’ did a few short years ago

10. You have to be physically restrained from strangling your 20 something male stoner neighbour when he tells you he’s exhausted because he woke up early to get a surf in before he took his girlfriend out for a late brunch