As my regular readers are aware that Friday Night in Diggle is spent at the Happy Beaver talking to several people who have one thing in common, we all like a drink and like to escape from our high-powered jobs for a while and find respite from the pressure we are all under in every waking moment.
Often this pressure is not from our careers but from balancing the demands of our jobs and family commitments and trying to give our children the opportunities we wished for.
Now this is a very difficult path to tread. How many times do our kids use emotional blackmail to get their own way, I would suggest rather more that we would like to admit to.
On one the one hand we don’t want our children to feel privileged, but on the other hand we want them to take advantage of our experience. This route is fraught with danger, and at what point do you appear to be a pushy parent.
I have heard cases of parents having a meltdown after a very long day of supporting their children using language that would make a rugby player blush (you know who you are so I will save your blushes).
This does not make them a bad parent, it makes them human. Children will push you to test the boundaries, that is their job. On the other hand, you need to support your children but when it clashes with something you want to do you feel guilty of letting them down and it sort of spoils the experience even if you are strong enough to put your own needs above theirs and that is very sad.
Sometimes saying no is the best option.
As a parent, I am very lucky. I have children that at any given moment I can call on and they would drop anything to help if they could. Admittedly they are in their thirties and forties but it is payback time.
But some of my younger friends are in a situation that they feel that they are expected to run around after children, parents and various charitable causes because that is how they have been brought up, with a sense of duty and I think that is very admirable. But that is not why they do it, It is because they take great satisfaction out of what they do.
It is the stuff that our nation is made of, it is who we are and what we are made of and it reassures me that when I am gone there are people just like me who will try to make a difference, and that is comforting.
So, to everyone who feels a little bit guilty of neglecting children, parents, or friends please remember that at my last recollection there are only twenty-four hours in one day and no matter how you try to make it different that is how it is.
So, to sweary mums everywhere who are at the end of their tethers, who care for children, balancing careers and elderly parents I love you one and all, it’s because you care, it’s because you have huge hearts.
You may not think your children will thank you for it, but eventually when they have kids of their own they will realise what a sacrifice you made for them and that is reward enough for any parent.