Mama OWL Blog: "Being supportive" - how's that for controversial?

"Being supportive" - how's that for controversial?

Thursday, 8 May 2014


I'm getting rather bored of the current trend of whinging about parenting. You know, that it's 'in' to state you'd rather grate your own eyeballs than do art & craft and messy play, mums who can and want to spend an extra ten minutes creating a fun lunch box instead of bunging it all in a bag are labelled as sad and their kids are probably wimps, God, isn't parenting just so shit and rubbish all the time?! What a chore!

No? I don't think so either.

It is perfectly okay to want to avoid messy play because let's be honest, nobody wants modelling dough mashed into the carpet, or a streak of electric blue paint running from the hall to the landing. It's normal to just want to pop a sandwich and a banana in a lunch box because you got up late or frankly can't be arsed to do anything else. It's perfectly acceptable to admit that you hate going to the school bake sale or kids parties or soft play. It's okay to find parenting boring sometimes!

But the constant slagging off of other parents who choose to, who are able to, who want to, and who - GOD FORBID - actually like to do these things is getting beyond ridiculous.

That - to me - is not okay.

Berating people for parenting their own kids in their own way that happens to be different to your way of doing things smacks of insecurity and jealousy. Why is it anyone else's business? Why is it your place to judge what they do? Disagreeing with the act is fine, slating the person for it is not.

It's a bit of fun to have a moan on social media about having to endure soft play on a Saturday morning, or a joke about the absence of any actual fun at the 'fun' swim. But when you're stood on your platform with your chums and your pointy fingers spouting vitriol at anyone who dares enjoy something you don't, then that's just bullying - plain and simple. That makes it the exact opposite of a bit of fun, and bullying is certainly no joke.

You know what I love? I love having my kids home from school during the holidays. I love sitting around the table as a family to eat our dinner every night. I love doing painting & play-doh modelling with E. I love being up to my elbows in cake batter baking with the kids on a whim, just 'because'. I love getting up early on pancake day to make the kids a stack of pancakes before school because it makes them happy. I love being able to do whatever the hell I want with my kids, because they're my kids & I will raise them as I see fit, as is the right of every parent.

If you don't love any of that, then that's okay too. So you do things your way, and we'll do things our way, and we'll all just muddle along doing the best we know how, and say "good for you" to people who like to do differently.

How about that?


Poor Grace Hall was the victim of a personal attack published on a parenting website simply for her love of creating inspiring bento style lunches for her children. I won't link to it, such is my contempt for the article (I believe it has now been removed) but if you'd like to check out lovely Grace's awesome blog, head over to EatsAmazing.co.uk.

17 comments:

  1. I totally agree, that article was outrageous and I wish I had the time to create those magical lunches but I don't have the time and I hate doing lunch boxes but it doesn't mean I would bitch at someone who does, it's a lovely thing to do. This is such a lovely supportive post, each to their own I say.

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  2. Exactly! I can't believe it was even published, a non-article if ever I read one.

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  3. I LOVED this post!! And I love all the things you do too.. Messy arts and crafts etc. I don't do those lunch boxes, while they are a lovely idea, I don't have time nor can I be arsed if I'm honest but maybe one day I will be bothered?! Who knows. I don't slag off those who DO it though, I say good on 'em!! Each to there own.
    Great post! xx

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  4. Well said. Everyone is doing their best to parent their children and create the best possible childhood for their children. How we as parents go about that is up to us and is not a point by which to judge or ridicule others. Thank you for saying it.

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  5. I shared my thoughts on the actual now removed post. I think it's awful and totally unoriginal to pick holes in someone who wants to do things differently x

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  6. I love Graces blog and think the original article was pure jealousy

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  7. You rock, pure and simple. Thank you for posting what the rest of us were thinking.

    That post was pointless bullying, pure and simple, I'm glad it's been taken down but won't hold my breath in thr hope that I won't see something similar in the future

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  8. Parenting a child is as individual as the parent! No one should be put down for the way they do things, unless the child is being harmed, obviously.

    I feel constantly guilty because I don't like the messy play side of things, because I feel inadequate. No parent should be made to feel like that though, should they? xx

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  9. I think that "journalist" was trying to do a Liz Jones, write ultra cheekily and try to be witty and funny. It came across SO bad and vicious. I think I'd have been in tears and Grace took it so well. That writer has really gone down in my estimation.

    (Grating your eyeballs sounds arrrrrgh! Give me craft, give me craft ;)

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  10. Great post and so well said. Cannot say more than I totally agree with what you have said :)

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  11. Our children are the centre of our universe and parents who say they aren't, are fibbing. When we have a child our whole lives change. For some, that might be a bad thing, but for most, it's for the better. It certainly was the case for me. Like you say, it's no one else's business and folk should reign themselves in and stop judging others parenting methods.

    CJ x

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  12. Great post. That's so sad, I hadn't heard that she was attacked just for spending time making fabulous looking lunch boxes. Personally I would hate doing that, but, hey, as you say, that's my choice and that's hers! Like you I would never attack anyone for their choices. I've always hated crafting, baking and soft play, but stick me on a touchline and I'm as happy as can be. I know most mums would rather be in the warm than freezing their bits off every Saturday and Sunday morning, but we all do what's right for our kids and ourselves.

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  13. Absolutely agree Julie. Very well said. Personally I am not a fan of messy play and painting but I love reading to Harry, playing role play with him, Lego and more. I love the school holidays more than he does because I love being reminded of the changes in him that you don't see so much day to day. Other people can't stand them. Each to their own and as long as our children are loved, fed, clothed and warm what else do they need? Certainly not to grow up around such judgement. x

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  14. *Applauds*
    Honestly though, I don't quite know what on earth you could complain about? I mean, what do you say? 'god that mother is a bitch because *I* think she makes me look bad for not doing messy play and putting extra time to do stuff for my kids'
    that's your god damn problem. if you can't be arsed to put the effort in, don't begrudge another parent that does because you're jealous.
    God, it's crazy. If it's not the breastfeeders and formula feeders against each other, or attachment parenting and non-attament against each other now it's the way we bloody make our lunch boxes!
    i wish i had seen this article. just so i can laugh at how petty it is

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  15. Great post! I think slating your kids and saying how you would rather do anything but spend time with them is really bad form.

    I cook from scratch, and also have allergies to consider, as well as healthy eating. I've been made to feel like I'm being OTT, and essentially that I should let my kids eat junk to please other people. Crazy old world we live in! #MBPW

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  16. Great post! I was also shocked when I saw that Parentdish 'article'. Such a shame that some mums feel the need to knock others when we should be supportive of one another. Low self-esteem strikes again.

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  17. Parenting can be difficult enough without everyone judging each other. I completely agree with what you're saying - do what works for you and your family and accept that it might not be what works for others. I love the idea of those lunchboxes, but S has school dinners so its a moot point for me!

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