Not a lot of crafting photos to share today. In fact none. Just words. And many of them not about crafting. Some of them are about parenting, and questioning your own judgement as a parent, and others are about some of the shameful things that have been happening to women and reported in the media.

First of all a disclaimer. I am sick. Head cold, cough, aching body sick. So my coherence might be affected. But my thoughts on these issues are not clouded. Just my ability to write coherently.

This week I am waiting to hear from a professional whether my judgement as a parent is off or not. I am sure she doesn’t see it that way, but it is certainly the way I feel. One of my chicks, as I have said earlier, has some ‘issues’. I have sought a lot of professional help, advice and support over the last 18 months. Many strategies have been put into place, and some positive results have occurred. But there is no magic wand to make the ‘issues’ disappear, because life, as we all know, is complex. I have been advocating for my chick, and educating about the triggers for behaviour, and trying to keep my chick safe but let them have freedom to fly. (Gee who doesn’t agree that finding that rhythm as a parent is hard?) The school have been very supportive. I know that other schools would have given up by now. But the school sees different things in my chick’s behaviour that I don’t see. And this is the point at which I wonder whether I am too close to the issue to be objective. Despite my professional advisors agreeing with my understanding of the ‘diagnosis’ over the months, I have agreed to start down the road of a different diagnosis to see whether there are more complexities than I was aware of. The school and I have both filled out a questionnaire. And our answers are very, very different. So I am questioning whether my instincts as a parent are skewed by my love, and by my wanting everything to be ‘normal’ (even though little about our life is normal anyway). And I am waiting to hear the compiled results of those questionnaires, to see what someone independent thinks. The world will not stop if I am wrong. But I suspect that my belief in my judgement about what is best for my kids might shudder a bit before it restarts.

I know that some of you don’t live locally, and so may not have seen all the ridiculous things that men have been saying and doing about gender issues in Australia. Comments on our prime minister simply because she is a woman, suggesting women shouldn’t speak in public, etc. Those things bother me, but not as much as the reports from London about the public ‘tiff’ between Nigella Lawson and her husband. While the only ones who know what actually happened are the two famous people themselves, so much of this story disturbs me. First of all, someone took photos of a man putting his hands around the throat of a woman in a restaurant, while someone else said ‘it was obvious she was scared’. And no one walked up and told him to stop. No one.

Then he took to the media and said ‘it was just a tiff’. He had ‘only’ put his hands on her to ‘make his point’. He had only agreed to the police caution in order for it to ‘go away’. The media reports that he and his wife had eaten at the restaurant again since the incident. His wife moved out ‘on his advice until the media furore stopped’. Oh my. Every single one of those statements scares me. This is a man who is so comfortable that he is justified in hurting his wife that he does it in public. This is a man who feels so justified in what he did that he publically tells everyone that he is in charge of what is happening in his house, and that he lied to police. This is a man who is exhibiting such significant signs of control and power and of being a long term perpetrator of family violence that I am worried for his wife. The fact that his wife ate out in public with him again does not mean that it didn’t happen. It possibly means that she is still scared of what happens if she doesn’t eat out with him again in public. I hope for her sake that this isn’t a sign of long term control and abuse issues. But the chances are that it is, and so as a humble blogger, who previously had no interest in the life of a celebrity chef from England, I say to her, and to anyone else who lives in fear in their own home “There is no excuse for domestic violence. None. Please keep yourself safe. You deserve better.”

Right. Rant over.

A few crafty words for those still reading. While I can’t do much in my current state I am making lists. Lists of things to make for the school craft stall. Lists of things to make if I ever want to have my own craft stall. Lists of things I want to make now. Add those to the lists I wrote about in my last post and I will need a new notebook soon. Lists seem to be the best way to keep my brain from exploding with all the creative ideas that are running around in it! I feel I have unleashed a creative monster as ideas generate new ideas, that spark different ones. Lists are helping me keep it all in check.

So as I head back to bed for my last bit of sleep before I collect my children from their after school care program (which I am so thankful for on a day like today) I hope that your week is going well. If it isn’t, try making a list. And reading this inspirational post by another blogger that a friend sent me today.  They are powerful words.

6 thoughts on “Judgement

  1. Louise Allan

    Couldn’t agree more, T. With everything that you say in this article — the questioning of parental judgement, the gender inequality, the distaste for controlling, violent men… Don’t second-guess yourself with your parenting. A diagnosis is, after all, only a label. Giving your chick love and time is more important. The other thing is, if you’ve made a mistake, so what? We all do — parenting is a journey through unchartered waters, and they can be pretty stormy at times, too. Send me an email if you want to talk more. Or we could even swap phone numbers and communicate the old-fashioned way — via the telephone! Best wishes and give yourself a big hug from me x

    1. a little bird made me

      Thank you Lou. Remembering that a label is just that is useful. It won’t change how I feel about my little one (because they are all little, no matter how big they are getting.) And yes – at some point we should talk. It has been too many years.

  2. Elizabeth van Gessel

    Oh my dear! We are sorry to hear that you are unwell. Again, you have written an awesome sharing. I think you have done all possible at this stage re diagnosis for D. Now we will pray for the right outcome. A waiting time may help you, or may exasperate! We also appreciate your comments about Nigella. Dad says you probably have it right about what is happening. Keep warm and rest as much as possible. I am improving. God bless Mum and Dd

    Sent from my iPad

    1. a little bird made me

      Thanks Mum and Dad. The kids have risen to the occasion and sorted their own dinner, in part, and organised their own bed routine so I can get an early night. Glad to hear that you are continuing to feel better Mum. Will talk in the next day or so. Much love.xx

  3. cupandpenny

    It’s possible that, instead of your judgment being off (or the school’s), your child is actually different at home than at school. As an elementary school teacher, I’ve had lots of kids in my classes who behave completely differently at school than at home. Sometimes I have kids who are mean to their parents and angelic at school; other times, I have kids who struggle in a classroom setting but don’t have problems at home. This is not because they’re sneaky or two-faced; it’s because the two environments are really quite different, and they have figured out what the two different sets of expectations are. It sounds like your child is struggling to figure out what the school expectations are. Be thankful for what this whole thing reveals to you about your child, and also, look for the ways that these struggles are actually a positive thing. An “obstinate” child, for example, can also be seen as someone who has a backbone and can’t be pushed around or silenced.

    1. a little bird made me

      Thank you Rebecca. You are quite right – there are good things to be found in all of this. I have had similar responses through email and facebook from friends with advice aligned with yours. I think that you are all very wise! Sometimes it is hard when you are emotionally involved to step back and look at the big picture. Having your perspective helps – so thank you for taking the time to share it.


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