What are you like?

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This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. Do you live for you or live by the kids? And what’s best anyway? For more info about parenting see my book Homemade Kids, or for my website click here 

If I hadn’t been thinking about updating my will, I’d never have given the subject of “what am I like” any thought. But over the past fortnight my two girls have shown tremendous grit and I’ve enjoyed sharing this.

Lola ran the last three miles of the London Marathon course in 27 minutes – the Mini Marathon. She was even first back for the Islington Under 15s. Wow.

While Nell has just uni-cycled around the local park five times during her school’s fundraiser to create a new art block.

Dad Pete definitely deserves praise too. We decided to hold pizza nights every Friday, except I was out for the first one – so despite never making pizza before, Pete opened the Jamie Oliver recipe book and had a go to great success.

It’s only me who hasn’t done anything noteworthy. Though when I was 14 I did walk a mile on stilts for charity. It was a tricky timewaster really, but I’ve dined out on it since.

Are you you?
This got me thinking about being a mum (or dad) AND being a person. My parents’ group of friends delighted in sharing their child-rearing disasters. There was always a nail-biting story with the dinner party, phone chat or drop-by – the illicit smoking, poor behaviour, crashed cars, drug use, mistakes and inappropriate life decisions.

More gossip than gloating.

Over to you
It’s clear that for modern parents it’s easy to retell your children’s successes as if they are your own.

But that’s got serious potential for boring. So let’s have some tips please. What do you do that’s just for yourself (or is true to yourself?) rather than just being gorgeous XX or XY’s parent? Is it a sport, or seeing a film regularly, being part of a book club, or volunteering (eg, not just as PTA or governor), or just being willing to zip up when talk about schools starts again – so everyone can have a nicer time if they ever do get off Facebook?

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