The time when: I took 3 children swimming
To be fair, one of them had a swimming lesson, so I only actually had responsibility for two of them in the water – a breeze you might think. But wrangling 3 children under 5 into their costumes on a wet changing room floor and then showering them all when Jess thought that shower water was a torture technique was not the most fun I’ve had on a Monday afternoon. And of course, then you have to try to get them all dry and dressed and chase 3 naked children round the changing rooms before they all decide to hide in a locker. (Which they are all bloody good at by the way. When faced with a wall of closed lockers and 3 missing children it is beautifully quiet but also a little worrying. Once Ben learnt how to lock the doors, I had visions of having to go to ask the receptionist to help release my children whilst answering some awkward questions about why I was padlocking my children away…)
This particular afternoon, the children we busy being children – getting in one lady’s way, being a bit noisy and generally making me feel like I didn’t have control of my rabble. My mind was busy telling me that I was failing at parenting and that obviously I was being judged by everyone in the changing room.
The best thing someone said to me was: The lovely lady in the changing room who my children kept knocking into said, “please stop apologising for you kids. They are beautiful and are really making me smile. You are doing such a great job.” She made my year. This tiny comment made me feel like I was winning at parenting. I will never forget that lady’s kindness. Let’s always try to say something nice when someone is struggling, it really could make all the difference.
Do you know someone who feel’s like they have lost control of their tribe? Why not send tell them they are doing a good job with this postcard?