Did you read it? The letter from a mother to her 10 year old son complaining of his lack of respect towards her. It caused a predictable twitter storm and a rush to judgement.

I found the letter an uncomfortable read: initially I felt like a second class parent as I failed many of this woman’s parenting essentials. My second thought was relief that I didn’t breast feed. But it’s not that bad surely? I also began to be uncomfortable with the tone of it, and felt sorry for her son because of her martyred tone, and I recognised myself in her too. Then I caught myself on. Like everyone else on the internet, I was judging this woman, while knowing almost nothing about her.

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I’m not feeling it this week, with on-going worries about the children and new health and house worries. My regular blogging time has been co-opted for Mammy duties and life is once again resembling Groundhog Day so I have little inspiration. Now that I’ve actually written that, I’m expecting the blogging inspiration to flow…please?

In the meantime, some reasons to be cheerful.

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Is it okay to go grey? The feminist in me always thought so.

Until it happened to my hair.

Okay, so I know I’m not really grey, I just have silvery highlights and grey wings and for years I enjoyed being one of those women who didn’t dye her hair.  It was a great time saver too: home hairdressers have been tending to our tresses for many years – all four of us in one evening.

I used to dye my hair all the time when I was younger, from black to blue and every shade in between. It took a lot of time and effort. You could spend four hours at the hairdressers, and even more time at home boil washing the multi coloured towels and scrubbing walls and skin afterwards. I also see lots of poor dye jobs every day, on both women and men of all ages, and some women with fabulous shiny grey hairdos.

So I was kinda torn.

Perhaps getting my eyes done changed my mind, I could see the grey more clearly and in the name of self improvement and feeling better, dyeing my hair seemed like the next logical step. Then my hairdresser suggested it.

Six months later I finally decided to go ahead. There was the usual last minute child-related panic that nearly caused me not to bother. But I got there in the end, and was out – sans grey and fully caffeinated too – less than 90 minutes later.

I think I could get used to this!

So that’s my main reason to be cheerful for this week, but I have more…

Read them here.


Did that title get your attention? I hope so*. Because the thing about school refusal is that most people don’t see it coming. It’s diagnosed in retrospect, after a pattern of not going to school has been established. No-one seems to realise that it’s affecting your child until it’s become a habit.

A habit that can be very very hard to break.

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My garden is a mysterious place, rarely visited, except to hang out washing and water pots. My habitat these days is the kitchen, where I look out at the bins and ivy covered walks, where nothing else agrees to grow, and that little patch of sky above the next door chimney pots. There’s a hundred years of history in the garden, china fragments rise to the surface, plants unplanted appear and flourish. In fact they flourish too well. The bottom of the garden used to look like this, with wild flowers enjoying the dappled sunshine and shade provided by a beautiful yellow-blossomed laburnum tree. But sadly it never recovered from the snows of 2010 and 2011, it just limped on like a raggedy old scarecrow.

More here