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How can I be a better parent?

(3 Posts)
GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 12-Dec-12 12:45:40

DD2 (9yo) is overweight, anxious and not fulfilling her potential and I think the reason may be me.

A few years ago, DH and I started a business (yes, under 1 year into the recession). To say it's stressful is an understatement and, tbh, I never wanted to do it but it's DH's dream and he is very good at it. However, he is very demanding and the job is completely engulfing me, occupying most of my waking thoughts and interrupting my sleep. I am tired and distracted and, much as I try to be a 'good enough' parent, I don't think I am. We have no family around us (mine live 250 miles away - DH's in another country). DD loves food and eats well (home-cooked, healthy meals) but the fact I'm constantly busy in the evenings, trying to catch up with the jobs I have no time for during the day, means she spends most of her evenings hanging about the house, inactive and quite possibly helping herself to food in the kitchen when I'm in another part of the house. I don't feel I've addressed her weight problems adequately because I am well-educated in food and nutrition but simply haven't monitored her properly. Her anxieties I think are also my fault - DH is away from home a fair bit and so completely immersed in his business so I am usually the only responsible adult (apart from her wonderful teacher) that she will engage with. Again, because I'm spreading myself too thinly, I miss alot of things (homework deadlines, 'dressing up' days at school etc) and it really is contributing to her anxieties because I'm leaving her unprepared so often. Money is also a problem at the moment and as it makes me so anxious, I'm sure I'm passing some of that onto her. It all just hit me last night - I really am failing her and I feel like the most useless mother ever. Can anyone offer any advice?(esp if they've been in a similar position)

hillyhilly Wed 12-Dec-12 12:55:15

I don't have experience of your situation but did want to say that at 8 your dd could take charge of her own dres up days/ homework/ getting stuff ready, perhaps you could help her set up a system for this with a calendar or a white board or something?
I find that if my dd (almost 8) has friends over she eats far less, moves far more and is far less demanding so could you get her to issue some invites? Also, my dd does brownies, I lift share and it gives me a clear 2 hours evening time without her about, plus she loves it.
Don't beat yourself up, you are not failing her, the very fact that you have noticed things and posted on here proves that.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 12-Dec-12 16:19:37

Thanks hilly. I know what you mean about them not eating so much when they have friends around - I will definitely aim to have a friend home once a week or so. Apart from the eating bit, I do feel a sorry for DD because we are very rural with no other children to play with, so it solves the boredom issue too. I'll also look around for a local Brownie troop - she's not into sports at all although she swims once a week and does Stagecoach - but I think she'd enjoy Brownies. I loved it myself as a kid!
Thanks for the sound advice.

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