Everyone at some point has thought about losing weight but for me it’s never about losing weight. It’s about being healthy. So when me and the rest of my brood were struck down with a stomach bug, I was pretty annoyed about being ill.
I was so excited to hear that you are taking such a pro-active approach to fix “Broken Britain”, especially seeing as you want to make children spend time with their absent parents. I wish you could hear the sarcasm in voice because that is by far the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Let me explain the harsh simple truth behind this problem- most of these “absent parents” are absent for a reason, because their kids don’t want to see them. For most people it has nothing to do with denying access, sure it happens, but if you ask most of these children why they don’t see the other parent, it boils down to not wanting to see them. And now you want to force children like my daughter to spend “quality time” with someone they hate. Nice one.
I had called at my friends house for coffee and had just sat down when she exploded at her step-daughter in a rage filled rant about wrappers so I decided to cut my visit short. I don’t normally back-up women when they lose their temper with their children but I felt she was justified on this occasion. For months she had been complaining to me about her step-daughters behaviour and how she doesn’t listen but the thing that drives her insane is when the young lady in question sticks food wrappers down the sides of the sofa. Between every cushion there where chocolate wrappers and crisp packets. The child knows not to do this. I say child, she’s 10 years old so she should have some common sense about her. But, still, after months of trying to drive it through her skull that it is unacceptable to do it, she keeps doing it.
As I watched my friend turn a funny shade of purple, I couldn’t help but feel smug. My daughter didn’t do things that, but I had trained her well. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t long ago that I was in her shoes. Screaming and crying at each other, blood pressure through the roof. I was really starting to lose my mind over some of the stuff my daughter was doing. My pet hate is snotty tissues on the floor, clothes on the floor, anything on the floor really. I don’t expect children to scrub floors and clean the chimney, but I do expect them to pick up their own stuff, not leave their shoes at the bedroom door for someone to trip over as they walk in to put washing away.
How did I get my daughter to go from pain-in-my-ass to golden child? I’m glad you asked. Bribery. Well, sort of. My daughter had be going on about doing chores and getting paid for it. She offered to wash the car, cut the grass, and other random things that I didn’t want her doing. Why would I let her play with the lawnmower when she can’t even pick up her socks? Then it hit me. I’ll make her do what she is supposed to and pay her for that. And the kiddie contract was born. It was nothing too difficult, just what we parents expect our kids to do. Just think of it this way, if a grown-up person who is employed and works gets paid in relation to their performance, then why shouldn’t we treat our kids the same?
- Pocket money shall be paid at the rate of £10 per week.
- In order to get this money, all tasks must be completed.
- The floor will be clear of rubbish. For every tissue, item of clothing, hair clip, etc, left on the floor, £1 will be deducted from the pocket money.
- Performance of homework will be monitored. For every % lost in results, 10p will be deducted. For example- 98% in homework, you lose 20p.
- Extra money will be paid in the event of outstanding achievement.
- Random acts of stupidity will lose you the full amount for that week, example- leaving your phone at your backside (it was expensive and you should take care of your stuff).
- £1 will be deducted every time a drawer is left lying open.
- £1 will be deducted every time you don’t shower.
As you can see, these are not difficult things, they are basic and they are things which should be easy for an 11 year old to do. The first week I put the contract in place she messed it up big style. 3 tissues were left on the floor, drawers were left open twice, and her homework scores were in the 80% range. She lost the entire amount when she lost her new phone after only having it for two days. It later turned up in the car but the fact remained that she had been careless and she lost her weeks money because of it. She must have thought I was going to be soft about it and pay her anyway but when I didn’t turn over the cash she knew it was for real. The following week she got no less than 97% in any homework’s or tests, her room was spotless, and she showered everyday. She put her washing in the basket, she even managed to earn extra by being shortlisted for an art competition. I may be £15 down this week but I haven’t popped a blood vessel.
It just goes to show, with the right motivation, children can achieve whatever they want to. The contract will be altered as time goes on to include boys, alcohol, and drugs but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I think I may have laid the foundation for a hard working young lady who can look after herself. Well, I hope I have, but only time will tell.
I stood looking in the mirror this morning and I found another grey hair in the middle of my brown locks. It was depressing but it’s only part of the problem. As I looked harder I saw something else, I saw someone who had lost their identity during years of stress. I have lost what defines me as me. I didn’t have time to dwell on it, I threw a hat on and left the house to take the kiddies out for the day. While I had the three year old at the play area I saw other mums there who had their glad-rags on with a full face of make-up, and I looked like a tramp in comparison. I was showered, clean clothes, some make-up, but I lacked something. Something was missing. Was it my clothes? Is my make-up style not fitting with what I was wearing? Jeans, trainers and a hoodie can be an alright combo depending on the style of all three, but I was wearing my hubby-to-be’s grey furry jacket over the top of it all and a hat that looks like a tea cosy. Trust me, it wasn’t a good look. I looked like I had dressed in the dark in other people’s cast-offs. I have no style.
This problem also rings true with this blog. Recently I done a post about my friend Gemma and her blog which you can find here http://deathofaspinster.blogspot.co.uk/, and not long after I posted it, Gemma wanted a chit-chat. First off she called me a rascal for not telling her about the blog, and then suggested that I give myself a bit more credit and share it with more people. That’s all well and good, Gemma has a theme for her blog, I don’t. Random ramblings about stuff isn’t good enough. I’ve been all over the place with it and haven’t wanted to share it until I got something decent going on. Sure, I started it to practise my writing but it has got more attention than I ever dreamed so it’s needs an overhaul too.
Tonight I sat and had a think about what I needed to do. This isn’t just about style, it’s about identity. I done a post about that too a while back called “Howard Stern has Titties”, if you haven’t read it then you really should because what I am about to say will not make sense otherwise. Someone’s identity can be like a set of boobs, there are times they are awesome and other times they suck. Identity changes as our life changes, just like boobies. If my identity was a set of boobies, what I would be looking at is a saggy, sad looking former funbags with nipples that look like ear-plugs. That was not a pleasant picture I just painted but it’s true. I was busy with other things and my identity went down the toilet as a result. Now it’s time to reclaim it, stick it back together with some duct tape and glitter, and hope that no-one noticed that my identity and style were as rough as a badgers arse. By why stop there? I can change my appearance, my lifestyle, and my blog. I will still be me just with a nicer hair and no monobrow.
So the new format for the blog is-
Monday- Beauty post. I may as well keep everyone up to date with what I am using while I polish my style and buttocks.
Tuesday- Fitness and health. I’m getting fat……there will be pictures…..grab a bucket….it will be nasty!
Wednesday- Pet post. I have three dogs, two fish tanks, two kids….wait? It’s bad taste to include the kids in a pet post? Alright then…..
Thursday- Politics. It’s been my thing the last while so I’ll keep doing it.
Friday- Parenting post. Two kids, need I say more?
Saturday/Sunday- Weekend review of anything events, bars, outings etc. What? I’m not allowed to go out now?
I may change it in the future but for now this is the plan for now. I may be getting in there a bit late for a New Year overhaul but it’s never too late to want to change.
Anyone who has kids knows anything can happen. What was once a beloved food can change into a plate of doom overnight. Kids are amazing, unpredictable and get sick. Children can get sick a lot which leads every working mother to the same dilemma- what do you do when your little bundle of joy is sick? Should you take time off to look after them, or leave them with someone trusted while you go and earn some money to keep the roof over their heads?