Hello one and all! and welcome to our very first issue of Dr Doolally: Domestic Dilemmas Discussed, our new agony aunt column which we introduced here on MTRD last week.
Thank you so much to our very first dilemma-facers who have shared their #mumlife problems with us. In this issue we get to grips with calendar catastrophes, diet dilemmas, and the potential unravelling of one’s mind when faced with the prospect of a holiday with your mum.
Domestic dilemma #1: Calendar Catastrophes
I am a mum of two and work part-time, cook, clean, wash and organise the kids and family social life. I have a family wall calendar but I struggle to keep it up to date. Everything is up to date on my phone but only I can see that. I have asked my husband to accept my request to share my phone calendar many times but he won’t and I don’t know why. He seems reluctant to move with technology but our eldest is now 11 so I feel it is important to embrace it. How can I persuade him that having a shared family calendar would make my life easier and make me happier?
Firstly, wow what an incredible job you’re doing. Take a minute to feel really proud. It’s overwhelming to juggle all these things and.. you and your kids are still alive. While I think it is excellent you have a wall calendar AND a phone diary, I suggest you choose one. There is serious room for error to use both. I have palpitations now just thinking about an event you may not have put on both diaries.
You need to accept that your husband doesn’t want to move with technology. Perhaps he’s not very good at it and feels embarrassed. Either way he’s made it clear its not his thing. If you want a shared family calendar, sit down as a family and decide how you want to visualise your plans. Maybe it’s a big diary book. It can be what you all agree on. Discuss it as a team.
Make it fun. Use stickers, pictures, craft. Your 11 year old will have access to so much technology so don’t worry about that. Sometimes it’s all about going back to basis.
Domestic dilemma #2: Naughty Nibbles
I’m a mum of four and everyday I try to prepare healthy snacks and meals for my children but when it comes to my diet I frequently reach for the biscuits, cakes, pastries and other unhealthy options. I’ve just eaten a mini-magnum in bed! Help! How can I focus on healthy for the whole family?
I could have written this question myself because I do similar things. I even find myself holding back on eating fruit in case the boys want some which is crazy. There’s a really simple solution here but I’m not sure you’ll like it.
We don’t keep biscuits and cakes in our house. Or squash. Mainly because if we did I would devour it. However what I’ve started doing is making a fruit platter for myself and the boys to share. It becomes a nice bonding activity and we’re all getting a healthy snack.
We don’t refer to sweet things as treats – the boys know they are unhealthy BUT they also know they taste great so when we do have them, we really enjoy them. And we enjoy them together.
As for eating a mini-magnum in bed… Ban food upstairs you naughty girl! But if you are going to do it – get the cheaper ones from Lidl.
Domestic dilemma #3: Mothering Mama
How do I survive a two week holiday with my mum. “Have you got their water”. “Yes Mum, I leave the house everyday with two kids”. She will over mother me and my boys and I find it suffocating and get annoyed that she thinks I’m not capable.
Prepare for battle. You already know she’s going to be on your case. Mentally train yourself before she arrives. Deep breath in. Long breath out. Stay one step ahead of the game. Look in the mirror and practice responding with humorous facial expressions as answers instead of wasting your breath. Make a game of it and relish in your one up-ness the entire trip. Enjoy your mum and remember not to do this to your own kids when they are all grown up!
So that’s all for this week’s dilemmas! If you have a domestic dilemma that you’d like discussed, please email Dr Doolally at firstname.lastname@example.org.