Whether he's passionately defending his older sister, or giving the youngest an angry prod as he storms past, Oscar's not afraid to show his feelings towards the girls in his life. He has big emotions. He gets frustrated easily, yes, but he loves them both deeply and this fact is, for me, one of the most rewarding aspects of parenting. When I was pregnant with Oscar, I worried, as so many mothers do, about how my cherished three-year-old, Lila, would cope with having another
Remember when you were a child and summer was about turning on the sprinkler and running around the garden with nothing on? Remember the way the soggy grass squeaked under your feet and how wonderful it felt dashing from the warmth of the sun into the shade of the trees? Remember how happy and free you felt? Because it was summer and the sky was blue and it felt better to be naked than have clothes on your body. Well that's how my children feel most days. Because where we liv
This is the start of a new series about the experience of being a mother and the state that it induces - whether that's one society imposes on us or, simply, the way the very act of mothering, makes us feel. It's a space where I'm going to discuss my experiences as a mother - hopefully exploring them in the context of my environment. I'll also explore current ideas on motherhood in the media, and persue new ideas and thinking on parenthood. I've been reading and enjoying a re
A few months ago I sat in a church hall just outside Bridgetown. My nine year old daughter was taking part in the Barbados National Primary Schools Speech contest and had spent quite a bit of time preparing a speech on the subject of Cricket (the subjects were randomly assigned). When one of the other contestants, a girl about Lila's age, stood up and said she was going to talk about corporal punishment, I was filled with curiosity. 'Have you ever seen a small child throw the
As a parent, I often feel overwhelmed. There's the practical stuff to take care of, like cooking, tidying, helping with homework, keeping them clean, keeping them safe. I like to think of this as dealing with the basics of being alive. And then there's the theoretical stuff that informs the way I manage their emotional needs. They're both important. They are the mothering equation. The practical things make me busy. They make life tiring but also provide a rhythm and a pace.
One of my new year's resolutions is to take a portrait of each of my three children, every week throughout 2015, the year we're living in Barbados. It's something that I've always wanted to do, but it's also about noticing and recording the effect our environment here in the Caribbean is having on each of us. There's no doubt that, as my children grow and change, their life here on the beach, by the sea, in the sun, is shaping them. So here are my first two installments, #1
About a month ago, my littlest, Iris, had an accident at home. It was awful. We'd been at the beach bar with friends and had enjoyed fishcakes and a beer and watched the sunset, while all the children had played on the sand (our usual Friday night ritual). We got home at around 7pm and were getting the kids ready for bed. My husband, Alex, was having a shower with Iris in the family bathroom and I was drying off our little boy, Oscar, in his room, when Alex called me in a pan