Weekend's new columnist, mum-of-two Nikki Owen, tells it like it is
October. Can you believe it's nearly October already? It feels like only yesterday I was first asked to write this column for the new Weekend magazine, and now here we are.
You may be wondering who on earth I am, so let me explain. I'm a couple of years shy of 40 with some (several) grey hairs. I write books for a living. I'm rubbish at cooking. And I have one lovely husband and two great girls.
At this point I'm going to admit something to you here: I'm feeling guilty. I say this because my girls are back at primary school and while I miss them, I am sneakily enjoying being on my own again.
I love them, but you know what it's like – kids are kids. There's the sibling squabbling. And don't get me started on mealtimes. But it all gets me to thinking: why do us mums constantly feel so guilty?
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
There is a new fad in America. It's called attachment parenting where apparently mums never separate themselves from their child. Oh my giddy aunt.
This comes right on the back of research that says nursery care can stress out kids. I just can't keep up. It's crazy.
It's reports like this that make us feel guilty. The minute you become a parent, everyone has something to say.
Once, a friend of mine screamed at a health worker who said she should be at home with her baby, not out working so soon. We left the post-natal clinic pretty quick that day.
It's not easy for the dads either. My husband's a great dad but I know he'd like to spend more time with our girls. But we've got to work. That fridge isn't going to refill itself.
If all these research reports and one-way judgements stopped, it might just help us feel better about ourselves.
My youngest is still getting used to just being herself at the moment. She likes being on her own and wonders if that's okay. I tell her every day that it is. Be who you are. Be proud.
"Is that what you tell yourself, mum?" she says.
And maybe I should. Maybe we all should.
We should be proud of ourselves, no guilt.
Trouble is, now school's back and life's busy, I know I'll forget to tell myself this – and then I'll feel guilty.
You can follow Nikki via her blog http://www.nikkiowen.wordpress.com