To the Dad on the hill… 

My brother was minding the tiny human today, as I was spending some birthday time with my goddaughter. We met them after in the playground. My brother was entertaining the tiny human and another beautiful little girl. It turns out she was an identical twin. 

All the kids played together for a while, we went swinging, sliding, even flying an aeroplane to “Italy” 😏 The entire time we played, they kept glancing up the hill. At their Dad. I watched him in frustration. He sat the entire time, at a picnic bench, by himself, completely emersed in his phone. He hardly looked up. The girls played, and every so often glanced to the top of the hill, he wasn’t looking. Every time I looked up at him, he wasn’t looking. They had so much fun with my brother, the man who gave them attention, not the one who should have been. 

Now I have no idea what the situation is, and after everything, I try so hard not to “judge” anyone for anything, because we really have no idea what is going on… But I felt so sad watching this today. I wonder how long it would have taken him to realise if they had been taken by someone. I wonder what went through their minds as they looked up towards him on the hill. Most likely longing for their Dad to watch them for a minute, to play with them for a little while. They laughed and giggled with my brother, a man they didn’t know. 

I know myself how addictive a phone can be. I find myself having to make a conscious decision to put mine down now, and get annoyed with myself when I realise I have ignored a question, a demand, a cuddle, all because I’ve had to answer that text straight away, that tweet, or see how many likes an Instagram post has received. Or even worse when I get cross with her because she’s called me 6 times, then realise it’s because I’m looking at my phone and not her.

I know how precious the time I have with her is, how fast she’s growing up, the things I can miss in the blink of an eye because I wasn’t paying her any attention. I see her disappointment when she does something she’s proud of, and I missed it. I realise that in the blink of an eye, she could be gone. I see that now. I just hope that the Dad on the hill realises the next time and instead of sitting alone with his phone, he jumps on the plane, and flies to “Italy” with his two beautiful little girls. 

Huss X 

So quick to judge!

He sat on the Luas, holding her tight while she screamed and shouted to be let go. She had been messing so much she was definitely going to fall and hurt herself. There were so many people staring, tutting, interrupting their quiet commute home… As I looked at the pained face he was making I realised we really are all so quick to judge. None of us know what this child was like, how she normally behaves. She couldn’t have been more than 6 years old. He dealt with it so well, stayed calm, didn’t lose his temper with her. I looked at him in admiration, I don’t think I would have kept my cool in such a situation. 

As I stepped off the Luas I thought of all the times I found myself in the same, uncomfortable situations. When the tiny human would lose her mind over the smallest thing because she was hungry, or tired, or just because she wanted to. The prying, judging eyes of others always make these situations SO MUCH WORSE. You start to feel panicky, when you know it’s the worst thing you can do. (The tiny ones can sense that you know!) You can feel the judging eyes burning into you, the ones who sit and stare and tut at the way you are managing the situation… We’ve all been there, we are all experts, we could all do it better than the other. One thing we all know, is when your child loses their sh1t for no apparent reason the best reaction is to stay calm, talk softly and distract. But how do we do that with so many judging faces looking at the way you are managing the situation. So many people making you feel like a bad mother, or that you can’t cope. 

The tiny human lost hers in the airport the other day. I left her with my boyfriend for 15 minutes, and when I came back she was bawling crying. I was so proud of him for the way he dealt with it. So proud that he didn’t lose his cool. He even got the famous “you’re not in charge of me” shouted at him, he still stayed calm. He got the high pitched scream of frustration, he stayed calm. I sat in front of her as she pretended to choke to death because there was carrot in her mouth, tears streaming down her face. I waited until she stopped crying, and I eventually gave in and let her spit the poisonous carrot into a tissue. The glares I got were incredible. Not one person in that restaurant knew our situation. I’m sure they were all thinking “what a brat to say that to her Dad”. Well let me tell you this people, I am SO proud of my daughter, of the beautiful little person she has become, of how she processes a Daddy in heaven and the new man in our lives, so if she wants to lose her sh1t for 5 minutes because she’s so tired she literally can’t function, then so be it. (I of course made her apologise to him, for those who are judging me!) 

If we could all just stop judging each other, then life would be that little bit easier. The next time you see a child losing their mind over something you think is so small, the next time you stare at a parent for the way they deal with a situation, instead of judging them, just take a moment to think about the fact that you really have no idea what is going on in their mind, and maybe praise them for doing it “their” way.