The best piece of mothering advice I have ever received

I usually avoid conversation with strangers on trains. To be completely honest, I even avoid eye contact. Who wants to end up making awkward small talk the entire way from London to Newcastle..?

But I made an exception on my last trip up North, and I’m so glad I did.

I got chatting to a wonderful woman who helped me to see, in a way that no-one else ever has, that I am making the right choice for my family by going out to work and placing my lovely little boy in childcare.

Her advice was simple, and it was this:

Do what you love. You mustn’t give up your dreams and career goals in order to spend every second with your child. Otherwise, you may well end up resenting your child and your relationship will suffer.

And this was the best bit:

Just make sure you “get your ducks in a row.” Translation: Find the right childcare for your child and make sure he’s happy. That way, you both go and have a lovely day, and then look forward to seeing each other on your days off. This made me realise that the reason my situation felt so bad was not that I was going to work, but that I had chosen the wrong childcare for my son (an issue I’m in the middle of resolving).

As a result, your relationship with your child will be all the better because you know that the time you spend with them is time you have chosen to spend with them. And when you are with them, you can be fully and completely present, rather than half-distracted thinking of other things that you could be doing, putting them in front of the telly while you get things done, or simply resenting the fact that you feel forced to be there.

My conclusion: If I follow all of the ‘shoulds’ and give in to the guilt, my relationship with my child will suffer, and then I will really have something to feel bad about.

It’s important to show our children how great it is to be inspired and passionate and how wonderful it it to do something that you love. This will lead to confident kids growing up inspired to follow their passions too.

I don’t know the name of the wonderful lady on the train, and I’m pretty sure she’ll never read this, but if she does: Thank You.

PS. This post in no way intends to denigrate Stay At Home Mums. It’s just about mums like me, who go out to work, and often feel really bloody guilty about it. If you have chosen to be at home with your child(ren), and that’s what you feel passionate about, then I wish you all the best. Truly.


Competition: Win tickets to a family rave in East London

Calling all irresponsibly responsible parents!

The award-winning, always a sell-out, everyone’s-talking-about-it, Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave is coming to Hackney, with live DJs, glitter cannons, free glowsticks and a LICENSED BAR, and you could win a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) by entering this competition before 11pm on the 7th October:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


When: Oct 16 2016 14:00 – 16:30

Where: The Mangle, 13-18 Sidworth Street, London Fields, E8 3SD London. Click here for event link.

What: A family rave to end all family raves. The kids will love it. You will love it. They’ll play with bubbles. You’ll get a little tipsy. The dress-up theme is ‘Back to the Old Skool’ so you can even dig out some of those 90’s clothes lurking at the back of the wardrobe…

Find Big Fish Little Fish on TwitterInstagram or on their website.

Whoop whoop! See you on the dancefloor!!

Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave

Competition: Win tickets to a family jazz concert at the Southbank Centre

I’ve teamed up with Bubele, an app, website & newsletters dedicated to finding the coolest activities for kids around the UK, to offer 2 family tickets to a Groove Baby family jazz concert at London’s Southbank Centre on Wednesday 21 September at 10.30am.

This concert stars Shane Forbes, one of the most in-demand young jazz drummers in the UK, along with two more rising stars on the UK jazz circuit, Nathaniel Facey on saxophone and Tom Farmer on double bass.

To be in with a chance of winning a family ticket (2 adults, 2 kids), you just need to click the link & answer a simple question before 11pm on Wednesday 14th September:

Click here to enter

PS. I also work with Bubele to produce a fortnightly East London what’s on guide for super cool parents. You can sign up here if that’s your thing.

Family friendly jazz concert

Click here for full details of the concert. One pair of tickets admits 2 adults plus a total of 2 children for free. Competition closes at 11pm on Wednesday 14th September. See full T&Cs here.