Could we keep our daughter out of Pre-Primary one day a week next year?

So at dinner the other night, my husband Adam suddenly raised this issue which sort of knocked me around a little bit. But not in a bad way.

He said, “Next year, when (Miss 4) goes to Pre-Primary, I don’t want her to have to go to school 5 days a week. There’s no need for a child that age to have to be at school so many days a week.” That sentence, while initially shocked me, got me thinking. Does a 5 year old really need to be at school 5 days a week?

At the moment, Kindergarten runs 5 days a fortnight. 2 days one week, then 3 days the next week. I know that the weeks that she goes to kindy 3 days, she comes home absolutely exhausted on the last day.

Next year, she would have to do 5 full days a week. Many adults go to work the same number of days and same number of hours. Does she really need to be there every day? If she went 4 days a week next year, would she be missing out on much? I mean, it’s only kindergarten.

My first reaction was hell, I’d love to have a break from her everyday. Then I realised, do I really want that break? I work 3 nights a week, which requires me to leave home as soon as she finishes school. So that means next year I only get to spend quality time with her 4 nights a week. Out of that time, I still need to spend quality time with my other three children. 2  (my teenagers) of which spends a week with me and the other week with their dad. And of course, there’s the cooking, cleaning and other chores on top of that.

What exactly will she be missing out if she misses one day of pre-primary each week? I know they teach literacy and numeracy, social skills and motor skills like painting etc. Would she be missing out on much or will she still be able to learn all of those things at home in her daily life? I do most things with her except anything to do with glitter, paint or play dough. 

According to Vittra, “In Sweden, attendance at school is compulsory for all children aged 7-16. The age when children may start school is flexible: a child can start school as a 6, 7 or 8-year-old. Compulsory school is free of charge.”, unlike school here in Australia, where it is compulsory at Pre-Primary (and voluntary charges).

Adam’s point of view comes from a place where he thinks children that age shouldn’t have to be away from home so many days a week. “It’s too much for a little child.”

I agree with him 100%. And I think we will have to head to the principal’s office to have a chat with her to discuss what the ramifications of our daughter if she misses school once a week. We will speak to her at the end of the year. I will keep you all posted with this.

What do you think? Do you think we should keep Miss 4 out of school once a week next year at Pre-primary to spend time with the family? Or do you think it’s important for her to conform with the rest of society?

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You’re Now 17

Dear Miss 17, 

I remind myself everyday how lucky I am to have you. You’re beautiful, kind, smart, funny and so incredibly easy going. 

You put up with every one of us at home, and give in to the demands of a busy working mum and your two little siblings. They look up to you and love you so much. 

While many girls your age are up to no good, you are home with me. Not because I ask you to, but it’s because you want to. 

I love how I can count on you. I love your passion for netball. I love that you’re so sensible. I love that you’re a nerd (seriously, who hangs out at the library and is a member of the school book club??)! 

I am so grateful to have you in my life, my beautiful daughter. Thank you for being so wonderful. We love you so much. ❤️❤️❤️

Happy 17th Birthday xoxox

To My 2 Sons

Dear Sons,

  1. When a woman says no to sex, please respect that. You have no right to convince her to change her mind. No means no.
  2. Be kind to her.
  3. Be respectful to her.
  4. Don’t ever call her nasty names like “bitch”, “slut” and “whore”. In fact, don’t call any woman those names. 
  5. You shouldn’t have to shower her with money and gifts all the time, because if that’s all she asks for, then maybe she should find someone else who thinks that’s all it takes to have her.
  6. You know the saying “Bros before ho’s”? Yeah, that advice only applies to immature fools. Stand by your woman.
  7. Not all women are nice. If she’s not nice, walk away from her. But be a gentleman about it. Your happiness is important too.
  8. Never hit a woman. Ever.
  9. Never emotionally blackmail a woman.
  10. Never use money to control her.
  11. You can have lazy days. But don’t be a lazy person. 
  12. Treat her as your equal. You both bring your own strengths and weaknesses into a relationship.
  13. Don’t cheat on your woman. If you don’t love her anymore, at least respect her by breaking it off before seeing someone else.
  14. You see how your dad/stepdad treats me? Treat your woman like that. EXACTLY like that.
  15. I don’t care if your new girlfriend says she’s on the Pill. Use condoms. Protect each other.
  16. If you go to your girlfriend’s house, look for her parents and greet them. It’s called RESPECT.
  17. If you want to marry your woman, go to her parents first, and ask for their permission.
  18. I’ve raised you to do your chores. So don’t expect your woman to do it all.
  19. Make decisions together. 
  20. When you have children, be affectionate to their mother. Show them how much you appreciate and love her. Your children will learn from your actions and treat her the same. And in time, they will treat their other halves the same.
  21. If she is a stay at home mum, remember that her job is just as hard, if not harder, than yours. When you come home, she’s gonna want to talk. Let her talk, listen to her. 
  22. Cook occasionally. If you can’t cook, offer to buy take-out once in a while.
  23. Organize a date night (or lunch) with her regularly. Without the children. Hold her hand from across the table.
  24. When she’s had a child, her body will change. Respect it, her body went through unimaginable things to bring another human being into this world.
  25. Remember, when you’ve got your own family, your woman must now take first place. I’ll be here to support you, to love you unconditionally, but I will be stepping back from my role and let you be the man I’ve raised you to be.

Please Let My Shy Daughter Be Who She Is, She Doesn’t Need A Psychologist

It was the start of the third week of kindergarten. Miss 4’s teacher came up to me and whispered, “Sharon, may I please have a quiet word with you?” Omg. What’s happened… What has my Miss 4 done?

Teacher: “It’s been a couple of weeks now since school has started, and Miss 4 is still really shy. She doesn’t really talk to anyone and she ALWAYS wants to be last in line to wash her hands before morning tea and lunch. And she doesn’t really want to play with others. Is there something we should be worried about?”

Me: “No, I don’t think we should be worried… This is who Miss 4 is. She’s shy, a lot like her dad.”

Teacher: “Well I just thought she would be a bit more sociable by now.”

Me: “Why would you think that? She’s a shy kid and she’s actually really OK with her own company.”

Teacher: “Regardless, would you like me to write you a referral for Miss 4 to see a psychologist anyway?”

Regardless. So everything I’ve just told you, you’ve disregarded. 

Me (trying to be as polite as I can): “No, thank you. If she cries every morning because she’s afraid to go to school, if she sits in a corner rocking back and forth with her thumb in her mouth… Then, maybe yeah. But Miss 4 looks forward to school everyday. And she’s not crying in class. So no, this is who she is, and I trust she will open up in her own time.”

And just as I kissed Miss 4 goodbye, her teacher poked her head out of the door and said, “Remember, you can always ask me to write you a referral!”

Ok, NOW she’s really annoyed me. But I graciously thanked her and walked away instead. 

Miss 4 is shy. You could describe her as painfully shy. ALL my friends will tell you that Miss 4 still won’t speak to them. There’s only a tiny handful of friends where Miss 4 have only started answering their questions, and they’re friends of mine that I catch up with, very regularly. 

When she has one or two girl friends that come over for a play, they have an absolute ball. They squeal with laughter, chase each other around the backyard, play dress ups and everything else that little girls do. 

But when she’s in a large group, like at a friend’s birthday party, nope, just nope. She’ll hang on to my shirt BUT she’s not crying. She’s happy to hang on to my shirt, and watch the other kids play. Kids would come up to her and say hi, and she would smile at them and then hide behind me again. But she would insist we stay at the party from start to finish. Because she wants to watch her friends play games, dance and sing happy birthday. All while holding on to my shirt. 

And when we get home, I’ll ask if she enjoyed the party, she would always say “Yes!”

That’s Miss 4. She’s shy and can be painfully shy. But not all the time. She’s funny, loud and boisterous but only to a very select few. Her dad is exactly the same. If we have to be in a group full of people, he can get very quiet. It takes time for him to open up to others but when he does, he’s also funny, loud and boisterous. 

After the ‘talk’ I had with her teacher, I wondered…. What if I was a first time mum? What if I was still going through postnatal depression? What if I had a really really bad night? What if I was on the verge of splitting up with my husband? How would I then react to a teacher who told me she thought my 4 year old needed to see a psychologist? 

Children are allowed to be shy. That’s a personality trait, right? Just like being funny, helpful, naughty, hardworking… Why can’t she be who she is? Would you suggest a hardworking kid to see a psychologist? My child isn’t lashing out in anger, she’s not hurting other kids. She’s happy to sit at the table and do her work quietly and build castles with wooden blocks. No she wouldn’t go up to another kid to ask if she would play with her, but if a kid goes up to her and holds her hand, there’s an 80% chance, my Miss 4 would go off and play with her. But, there’s a 20% chance, she’s not feeling too confident, or if there’s a big group of kids around her going nuts, or she just doesn’t want to, shouldn’t that be OK anyway? 

Not many have seen my Miss 4 the way my family sees her. But that’s okay, it used to frustrate me when she was a little younger, but I’ve learnt to embrace her personality. I’ve learnt that it’s not cool to force her talk to people she doesn’t want to. It goes against the grain of who she is. 

Now Miss 4 has been in school for 3 months. She still walks in quietly, writes her name quietly, then goes and builds a castle with wooden blocks on her own. I then give her a kiss and say goodbye and tell her I love her. Some days she’ll play with her friends, some days she just wants to do her own thing. Aren’t we all like that as adults? 

I’m no longer worried about her. I care for her, I’m sad for her, especially when she’s at birthday parties and sometimes I feel like she’s missing out on all the fun but those are MY feelings. She’s not upset, and she’s enjoying herself, within herself. And she’s happy. What more could I ask for from a shy girl?

I refuse to see shyness in my daughter as a negative trait. 

Read here The Blessings Of Shyness.

How To Be The Perfect Mum

Feeling down? Demoralised? Feel like you’re the biggest failure? Well fear not, I have 10 very handy tips for you. 

So you’ve got dinner cooking on the stove, and your kids pull you away to play with them. An hour later, you smell something burning. Ah. Tip #1: Throw the burnt dinner out and get take away! And while you’re all eating dinner that someone else has cooked for you, you can talk to your kids about how much fun you had playing with them! 

You’ve organised for your mummy friends and their kids to come over for a play date. You suddenly notice your house looks like a bomb exploded in there. (It wasn’t like that all week, I swear!) Tip #2: Place all items you don’t want your friends to see into laundry baskets. Put them in the spare bedroom and shut the door. You can leave it in there for a few days to enjoy a neat and tidy house. And if you don’t need any of those items, you can just leave it the spare bedroom forever and ever and ever! 

Siblings fighting? Screaming at each other, fighting over toys? Tip #3: Take their toys off them and threaten to throw it in the bin “If you two don’t bloody learn how to share, then you’re both not playing with it, you little shits!” Then hide the toys in your spare bedroom wardrobe and give it back to them when they’ve moved out.  

You’re really tired, you’ve had a long day and need some peace and quiet. You’ve spent waaaaaaay too much time at the park today, at gymnastics, swimming (or whatever paid activity you’ve committed 12 months to and can’t cancel the contract because they’ll keep making you pay anyway, those bastards.) Tip #4: Let the kids watch TV or back-to-back YouTube videos for the next 3 hours. Or at least until bed time. 

Your teenagers have been arguing with you all afternoon. They’re questioning you everytime you say “No” to them. (The easy “No means no” doesn’t work anymore) Tip #5: Wait until they turn their backs on you, then give them the finger and silently mouth the words “Fuck you.” When they turn around again, give them a big, big smile because you know you just silently cussed at them. Therapeutic!

It’s dinner time. You’ve just tried a highly acclaimed recipe that is “toddler approved”, “a sure winner” and “two thumbs up” for kids. You wipe your sweat off your brow and nervously present it to your child like you’re a contestant on Masterchef. Your child takes one look at it and says “But I don’t like it” and starts crying. Tip #6: Don’t let it get you down. Either graciously put the food away and try again tomorrow or throw it in the bin and never try that recipe again. They can go hungry for the night! 

Your child comes home with a monster sized sculpture made out of recycled cereal boxes and egg cartons. Tip #7: Talk to them about it, get them to tell you what it is (because it’s NEVER what you guessed, EVER. “Is it a dinosaur?” “No Mum…. Can’t you see? It’s a Continuum Transfunctioner!”). Listen to how they put it all together, wait 2 hours, then throw it in the recycling bin. They won’t notice, I promise!

If your children hate getting dressed in the mornings to go to school Tip #8: Dress them in their school uniforms while they’re asleep. When they wake up the next morning… Voila, no fuss. Note: I wouldn’t recommend this on weekends. It may confuse everyone, including yourself. Ever taken your kids to school on a Saturday? It’s shut! 

Children won’t sleep? Tip #9: Turn off all the lights in the house. Every. Single. Light. They’ll get the idea, or they’ll bump into something and pass out. Problem solved. 

Still think those 9 tips aren’t enough? Here’s Tip #10: Learn to not give a shit about what other mums think of you. Because what someone else perceives as being perfect may not be perfect for you. And really, there’s NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT MUM, except for you, of course. And you, and you and you. And me. Don’t give yourself any negative self-talk, never ever doubt yourself and start remembering that what YOU do is BEST for YOUR kids!!  

Lots of Love, 

A Perfect Mum

Please Don’t Make Your Babies “Cry It Out”

Photo source

I’m not a doctor. I’m not a parenting expert or guru either. I just know I couldn’t and wouldn’t let my child “Cry It Out”. I know I’ve got science like this to back me up on why I don’t do it but I’ll just give you my own reasons. And I do have 4 children of my own, so I kinda know what I’m talking about. 

Here’s a scenario: If you saw your friend sitting in a corner crying her heart out, what would you do? Would you rush over to her and comfort her? Or would you tell her to “cry it out” for 10 minutes until she calms down, then go to her? 

I’d like to think you’d go up to your friend straightaway, ask her what’s wrong, listen to her and then give her a big comforting hug. I know that would be MY instant reaction. Otherwise you’re a shitty friend, and you don’t deserve her friendship. 

So why wouldn’t we do that for our own babies? Why do some parents think it’s ok to let their little babies cry alone in their rooms, with no comfort at all and make them feel so frightened, unsafe and insecure? So they can “toughen up”? Just so they can learn to sleep through the night? 


I hate to break this to you but the minute you signed up to be a parent, surely you gotta know this: You ain’t gonna get any sleep, my friend.  

Little (and big) children depend on their parents to give them love, care and to be nurtured unconditionally. You can’t give them cuddles and kisses and tell them that you love them all day long, then turn around and let them cry all night! IT’S DARK AND THERE MIGHT BE MONSTERS IN THEIR BEDROOMS! Haven’t you guys watched Monsters Inc.? That movie is PROOF that there’s monsters in their rooms!

Parents… Don’t let your kids “Cry It Out”… It’s a real shitty thing to do to your innocent little children, this is the age where YOU are meant to give them SECURITY. They DEPEND on you. YOU are the ONLY ones who can make them feel safe. 

When they cry at night, go pick them up. Hold them in your arms. Comfort them. Kiss their little foreheads. Or let them sleep in your room. Our two younger ones still do. 

Please, please make them feel safe. It’s the right thing to do. You wouldn’t do that to a friend, so don’t do that to your baby. 

And here’s my blog about co-sleeping.