I think I need to have a serious word with myself. I actually find myself agreeing with the woman everyone loves to hate!
Bear with me!
I’m not a monster mummy.
I’ll be honest, yesterday afternoon not being near a TV, I only read a headline grabbing, written opinion of what she’d said and was fizzing at her most recent controversial opinion!
It wasn’t until later in the evening when The Boy and Me kindly sent me a link to the clip of her latest appearance on This Morning, that I watched it and actually found myself nodding in agreement!
Her point, in the extreme: It’s ok to choose to miss your child’s birthday.
Shocking, I know right! Who would ‘choose’ to miss your child’s birthday?
What mother, what parent, in their right mind would do that?
Don’t you feel sorry for her kids?
Then you listen to her and although she clearly says things for a reaction, her argument wasn’t completely clear from the outset, a little contradictory and I don’t agree with her sweeping statement about everyone at Netmums at all, what she said struck a chord.
The kid was 5 in July.
Of the 5 birthdays she has experienced on this Earth. I have been at work and she has been shipped off to nursery and this year, school on 4 of them. Her 1st birthday fell on a Sunday.
We have been lucky enough to have a party every year inviting friends and family. Out of her 5 birthdays we have only had a party on 2 of her actual birthdays. Her 1st birthday we had a gathering at home and her most recent birthday fell on a Friday, so she had a party after school with all of her friends. The other times her birthday gathering happened at the weekend closest to the date.
I went to work.
I chose not to have that particular day off and I chose to have time off together at other times in the year.
I have never seen this as being a problem.
After all, at her tender age she’s never actually known what day her birthday has fallen on. She has been oblivious to the fact that it’s her birthday at all and has had no realisation of the significance this date has yet. I’m not sure she remembers what date her birthday is!
She only understood it was her birthday this year because she was going on a school trip and knew, because I had told her, that it was the same day.
I’m not saying we haven’t made a fuss. We always decorate the house with balloons and banners for her to wake up to.
Mr C goes out mega early to work, she has a little something to open in the morning and we open cards but main presents have waited until we’re all together after work. In fact this year she waited over a month for her birthday present. We have her favourite tea or she’s treated her to tea out, her choice and we have cake.
Any party celebration has always been organised for a time that’s convenient for us. A time when we can all be together.
If she has any memories of her birthdays so far, she will remember the celebration not the fact that mummy and daddy had to go to work on such a date in such a month.
When she’s older, photographs and conversations will not be about how we had to wait a few days for her party but of the fun we had.
As she gets older and has more realisation when her birthday is, I will still ‘choose’ to go to work.
She will be at school.
We have to save as much of our annual leave as possible for childcare in the school holidays.
She will get the choice as to whether she opens her main present in the morning or whether she waits for us to be together. I’ll ensure she has something in the morning so I don’t think it’s an unfair choice for her to make.
I suppose we’re lucky we will never actually ‘miss’ her birthday as we work close by.
Of course it’s different for everyone.
Parenting is fluid and personal. No 2 parents, mothers or fathers are the same and because of that there is no ‘correct’ way to do things. Everyones choices should be respected, within reason.
Don’t get my wrong, I do not agree that it would ever be ok to choose to miss your child’s birthday for any other reason than work. For example to be on a holiday without your child, enjoying yourself, when it’s your child’s birthday! Yes, I do know someone who has done that but it’s a tale for another day.
There are parents who don’t have a choice, they have to work away. Parents who cannot have time off when they want. Parents who can’t afford large parties or expensive days out.
Do you think their children will be bothered what day they celebrate as long as they feel loved?
Are their birthdays less special because they had to wait for their family to be together?
Her views are to the extreme, they have to be so people keep talking about her and inviting her to share her opinion on television. I can’t say I’m a massive fan of the way she expresses her opinion, her at all really or I agree with everything she says.
But yes, I do sort of agree with a diluted version of Katie Hopkins view yesterday.
Do you feel sorry for my child?