Here is why I am the worst, and best, mother around.

I haven’t spoken about my daughter too much on this blog. That is mostly to protect her. What I will say about her is that she is a dream child. I am genuinely both a dreadful mother and an amazing mother and I am going to tell you all why.

I am going to start by saying the area around my pregnancy was extremely traumatic, despite being blessed with a wonderful pregnancy. By the time she came into the world, I had buried the trauma as deep as I could. As many of you know, I was already messed up before the pregnancy, after suffering 7 years of abuse that started when I was 6. I tried to be supermum with her. When she was four weeks old, I sat my GCSE’s. Despite breastfeeding her, running in to do an exam and then running out to feed her again, then running back in for another exam all day, and despite VERY little sleep, I managed to get 1 A*, 1 A, 5 B’s, 6C’s and a D in Graphics. So I was pretty damn proud of myself. Then, after the summer holidays I went back to school as an A level student. I would drop her off at nursery at 8.30 in the morning, go to school and then pick her up in the evening. I was completely burnt out by the time she got to 9 months old though, so I ended up in a mental institution for adolescents. After my 2 week respite I went back home but I was still not coping so I had to tell a lie to be able to go back to the ward. I said that I had had thoughts of harming my daughter. It wasn’t true, but they were the words of someone at the end of their tether. So off I went back to the funny farm for 3 months.

By the time I came out of the funny farm, I had realised that living in the house where all that abuse happened was no longer an option. So after many phone calls my parents managed to find me a place in a hostel. From that hostel, I eventually moved to their sister hostel which was even more independent than the first hostel. One month after my 18th birthday I was lucky enough to be given a gorgeous flat from a housing association. If you had read this blog in the past you may remember the posts about my wacky neighbours… which is a shame but the flat itself is gorgeous.

The plan was always to get Mia back. Unfortunately my mental health has deteriorated over the years so it has never been possible.

Here is what makes me a great mother though. Despite the circumstances surrounding her, I have ALWAYS put her first. I looked at what I could give her verses what my parents could and I knew she would be happier with them than she ever could be with me. With my health problems I am often confined to the flat for weeks at a time. I don’t drive and I am terrified of busses so we wouldn’t be able to go to all the places I want her to see. My parents are able to do all those things with her. Just last week she got to ride in a stretch limo to go and see Disney On Ice in London. She adored it!

When I look at the incredible young lady before me, I knew I made the right choice. She is healthy, happy, hilarious, gorgeous, well-mannered, polite, respectful and kind to others. I couldn’t have wished for a better child, we really struck gold with her.

Admitting you can’t be a good parent is extremely difficult. The easiest thing in the world would be to have her here with my like I always wanted. But I had to admit that my parents could offer her more than I ever could, and she deserved her best chance.

If you take a glance at me without knowing the full story, I would be considered a deadbeat mum that doesn’t care about her child. The truth, however, is the complete opposite. I live with the pain of her not being here so that she can be happy.

I am lucky because I still get to see plenty of her and when I am feeling up to it I take her on days out. We have an amazing bond, which I am forever grateful for.

Despite everything, as I said above she is healthy and happy. I couldn’t ask for more! So before anybody calls me a bad mother, I would urge them to take a closer look. Sacrificing what you want so your child has their best chance in life is EXACTLY what a good parent does.  I simply adore my child.

If I have to spend every day for the rest of my life in pain so that she can be happy, I will do so without complaint. More than that though, I have spent every day since she was born trying to better myself for her so that I can be the mother she deserves.

Of course I am not the worlds best mum. But I am certainly not the worst mother on this planet either. I have never introduced her to a string of boyfriends, I have never gotten drunk around her, smoked drugs around her, hit her, called her names (aside from Mia Moo!), swore around her, introduced her to anyone I wasn’t 100% sure about, I have never put her in danger. I have always tried to be the best mother I can be, and in my case that meant letting her go so she could be happy.

I have had a few people decide to judge me on my parenting skills recently, which is what triggered this post. But the simple truth is that I try my best, and nobody can ask more of me than that. Look at this gorgeous young lady and tell me she is not well looked after.

Mia again

I know shooting kids with a BB gun would be unethical but…

Yes I know, I know. It sounds bad. It really isn’t, honest!

First off, let me say that I have been blessed with a really cool kid. She is smart, hilarious, blunt and a little too much like me, in all the best ways. She has also been brought up to be respectful to others, sadly a trait often lacking in the youths of today.

I live on a road with multiple blocks of flats. And we all know cooped up kids are nightmares. So, everyday, the parents decide they want some peace and quiet and send their kids out to play. I have a few issues with this. Firstly, the parents are not keeping a constant watch on their children (they often go round the corner), and it wouldn’t do them any good if they were because if someone decided to snatch a child and run, the parents would have no way of getting to them in a reasonable amount of time. While many parents wrongly believe their children are automatically safe, which we all wish were true, this road has regular stabbings, anti-social behaviour (well, you have read what the people in my block are like, and that is just one building!), drug dealing (there are at least two within a hundred yards of my front door) and, well, just the dregs of society really! Of course, we have nice people too *smiles angelically* but it isn’t those people you have to worry about!

Secondly, the parents shout at their kids when they are playing out front, which forces them into my front garden, and to a set of double gates leading to a garage. To explain that bit better, the road bends where my block of flats is, and most cars follow that curve. But because there is a back road behind me, cars occasionally either pull off the road to get to the underground garages or follow the back road behind me as an entrance to the backs of houses behind me.

The long and short of it is that while it is not a main road, cars do use it on a regular basis. And the sad fact is there are some lunatic drivers round here… I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter out there alone.

And lastly, the kids kick balls at the metal garage doors just outside constantly.

It is maddening. In my opinion, if you want your kids to play outside, you either go down with them, or you take them to an appropriate place to vent! Sending your children out to play on roads and in other people’s front gardens is wrong, no matter how convenient it is.

Case in point, a local representative of a well-known brand sent her three children (aged I think around 4,6 and 7) into my block to collect catalogues. If something went wrong, there would have been no way for her to enter the block to help her kids, as you need to be let in. In this instance, I told the kids to get their mum and I told her off, but it scares me that I had to.

Moving on. I realise that I can’t shoot them with BB Guns, but what about water guns??

If so, would ethics dictate I had to give them water guns too to make it a fair fight? And if I have to, will the 4-for-£1 ones do against the cannon blaster I want to get? What about water temperature and add-ins like washing up liquid? How much advance notice would be needed? Need I warn my neighbours against potential misfires?

Or would it work just as well if I just give them water guns to play with? Perhaps the parents will get tired of them coming in with wet clothes.

I considered water balloons… but decided I didn’t want to go round picking all the rubbish up after.

Of course, as much as the kids annoy me, I have no intention of supplying or using water guns or anything else, but there are no laws against thinking about it!

Because of my past, I automatically see danger around ever corner, and I can get very over protective. That is one of my flaws that requires work. Good news is that my family are there to tell me to snap out of it when I reach panic mode. Of course, a parents fears should not be projected onto children, and your worries should not, under any circumstances, be their worries. BUT, in this day and age, we can’t just forget the dangers that are everywhere. We only need to look back a few months and we are faced with what happened to little April Jones. Surely that is a stark warning that no matter where we are, how safe a neighbourhood we live in, there are still dangers around.

I get that it would be a pain in the backside to stand outside for a couple of hours while your kids are playing, but is that inconvenience not worth it a million times over to protect your children? Is that inconvenience not worth the guilt you would feel for life should anything happen?

As there are children (as young as 4) from several different families that come out together, why not take it in turns with other parents in the block?

I am not a very good mother. I am not the best role model. And I am very, very well aware that I have many flaws, and being a grumpy old git is one of the more prominent ones.

This piece is not about calling people bad parents, implying they don’t care for their children or anything else. It is just a reminder that the days of leaving your doors unlocked and letting your children disappear in the direction of a field with a packed lunch are gone. Sure it sucks. Then again, so does life.