Sunday 4 December 2016

I'm a so-so mum but a fabulous dad

Anne Marie Scanlon

Published 12/06/2011 | 05:00

I'VE come to the conclusion that being a nurturer just isn't in my nature. Don't get me wrong -- I love my child, and I'm very affectionate, but I don't, can't, do fuss. Unlike my own mother, who thinks it's positively inhumane for anyone to leave her home without having consumed three times their own body weight in food and drink.

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Mum thinks I am a bad hostess because after circulating the savoury snacks, I'll put them down and let the guests -- shock horror! -- help themselves. It's not as if I place the appetisers on top of bookcases or surrounded by barbed wire and slavering Alsatians, or any other place the poor, starved weaklings would have to struggle to get at them. Regular visitors to my home know I only ask twice. If I offer you a cup of tea/coffee/fancy herbal stuff that tastes of nothing and you decline I will ask if you are sure and that's that. You get two chances.

Mind you, I have absolutely no problem at all with people randomly asking for things, which apparently means I'm in touch with my male side.

This is handy for a single parent. So while I'm a so-so mother, I'm a fabulous father! I am excellent at playing silly games, I don't mind making a fool out of myself by pretending to be a Dalek and shouting "exterminate" in a stupid voice in public places. I am positively first-rate at laying down rules and enforcing them and I do a tremendous job of grunting incoherently from behind a newspaper. And, probably most importantly, my child knows that if you don't ask, you don't get -- a lesson it took me 30 years to learn.

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