The latest entry in my parenting hall of small shame

December 19, 2014


Mid-morning last Friday the doorbell rang. I’d been trying to get us all dressed for hours but between chasing the toddler round and round, slow breakfasts, baby feeds and the usual general stuff, it just hadn’t happened. Expecting it to be the postman or a delivery, I went to open the door.

And lo and behold, it was the health visitor.

As I later texted my mum “It was SO OBVIOUS I’d completely forgotten she was coming.” My mum “I bet it happens all the time!” Me “I know, but, you know, cringe.” It didn’t help that the HV had come to both weigh the baby and do a routine PND check on me, and here I was in my dressing gown, like a depressed 1950’s housewife.

Of course it was fine, we laughed, she said people forget all the time. Now there’s baby brain, but the appointment had been right there on my calendar for six whole weeks, and I’d reminded myself of it only days before.

One for the parenting hall of small shame? Here’s some more of the embarrassing minor incidents I’ve done that rank right up there;

The one with the Kris Kross nappy. Just over 24 hours into parenthood we took our tiny newborn for her check with the hospital paediatrician. You know, when you have no clue what you’re doing, you’re terrified they’ll ask you to undress the baby and then you’ll have to get the babygro back on, and oh god, what’s happening. The doctor looked at the baby and said, not unkindly, “you do know the nappies usually go on the *other* way round…right?”

I do now.

The one with goodbye, Uncle Steve. Eliza went through a phase of being distraught when visitors left, so we took to sneaking them out military style. On this occasion I took her into the back room so my brother could leave without her seeing. He silently peeked round the door to wave that he was going, and out of no-where I blurted out “Byeeeee, Uncle Steve!” Why? I have no idea.

The one where Mickey stayed in Sheffield. I wrote about it here. And still have flashbacks.

I try not to do mum guilt (unless it’s about swimming) and I really believe that you shouldn’t dwell on the negatives if you generally do your best. And like the minor points on a driving test, none of these examples are huge things. But they’re still things and I – clearly – remember them all.

Thinking about it, why do I focus on the small things that are bad instead of the things that are good? Why do I never get to the end of the day and think yeah, we all got dressed (eventually), we ate food, I answered the battle cry of “Mummy, tissue!” 11 billion times and won?

Like most British people I thrive on a diet of cynicism, and sarcasm is my default setting. But maybe I should be more positive about the good. So that’s what I’m going to try and do in future…who’s with me? (And also; pay more attention to my diary).


  • Kgomotso

    December 19, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Brilliant post, I literally laughed out loud! Can you imagine if you had managed to get everyone ready on time and weren’t actually there with the HV arrived?

  • Polly

    December 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    ah we all forget stuff – as Mama’s we have so much to remember that it’s bound to happen! Thankfully, my eldest has the best memory ever and is big enough to remember stuff for me… she’s like my little PA 😉

  • Kathryn

    December 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I am forever beating myself up for stuff like this. Giving ourselves a pat on the back is the hardest thing to do sometimes. I bet your HV has seen it all before (and much worse besides) xx

  • Two children, two and a half months in |

    December 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

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  • Lori

    January 2, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I used to forget appointments all the time when F was little and so much that they started calling me on the phone an hour before just to remind me! You’re doing a fab job lady! x

    1. gillian

      January 3, 2015 at 1:04 am

      I wish they’d do that with me! Otherwise I need to get them tattooed on my hand, not a good look x

  • Vicky

    January 5, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I love this post! When we took Daisy for her month check up, Ben had accidentally dropped a Mega Blok on her head that morning, so she went with a lump on her forehead. Now THAT was a severe case of Mum-guilt!

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