By 10 January 2013 No Comments

Jake’s upstairs cleaning his teeth. I’m down in the living room at the computer.


‘Yes Jake?’

‘I know the answer to this but is toothpaste liquid, solid or gas?’

I pause and take a shot in the dark.

‘Er, solid?’ I was always bloody awful at Science.

‘Yes, mummy. That’s right.’ His tone was so full of approval that I half expected him to come downstairs, pat me on the head and give me a gold star.

Phew. Nice to get something right for a change.

I’m trying, really trying to restore some kind of order back into our muddled lives. To reclaim some kind of leadership – to be the one steering the ship even if half the time it feels like it’s sinking. I seriously need to work on my self esteem when it comes to my role as a mum.

Over Christmas I vented to a wonderful friend. One I haven’t known very long and would love to see more often.

‘It’s all so hard,’ I whined.

”Everything I do is wrong,’ I whimpered. We talked about parenting and how children react to the moods of the adults around them. She talked with great compassion and sensitivity and suggested some ways of doing things differently. I really appreciated the chat.

And then, a few days later a parcel arrived. Inside was a laminated and framed list with a scribbled note accompanying it – ‘This came to me as I was driving home thinking about our conversation…’

I got goosebumbs as I read:

Our Family Rules

Please don’t criticse, I am doing my best.

Please offer your help, we are all in this together.

Please be kind, peaceful and caring with your words.

Remember the most important thing is always to observe, not judge, with love and acceptance, to act from love and to give love always…

The list went on and then ended with ‘And life really is meant to be FUN!’

I was touched beyond words and felt incredibly grateful. What a lovely thing to have done. I thought about where to hang the list. In the hall for all to see? Maybe in Jake’s room so that he could absorb the words and follow their sentiment. And then I realised. Who really needed to read, absorb and follow the ‘rules’on the list? Me.

I’m the one who needs to stop criticising and remember that my four little people are doing their best in every moment, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

I’m the one who often forgets that we’re all in this together, that we’re a team.

I’m the one who isn’t always kind, who shouts too loudly and says hurtful things.

And I’m definitely the one who’s forgotten that life is meant to be FUN.

The list is by my bed for now and I’m reading it every day.

Emma Campbell

Author Emma Campbell

More posts by Emma Campbell

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