I am always fascinated by what my children think of me as a parent. Whenever we watch Wife Swap I make them place me on the line from one freaky parent to another, always wondering which way my mothering scales are tipping.
It can be hard to get the right balance.
Being a single parent makes it especially hard, as you somehow have to blend the two roles into one – good cop and bad cop become one flakey, inconsistent cop, who will let you eat M&Ms for lunch one day, (peanuts = one of your five a day surely?), and then go mad at you the next when you don’t eat your wholemeal bread crusts.
It is probably a sign of some deeper rooted insecurities, reminiscent of the hours I spent as a teenager fantasising about giving the whole school a compulsory questionnaire to find out exactly what percentage of people liked me.
(That sounds far more disturbing now I’ve written it down. Let’s move quickly on.)
This week though I got the chance to see, quite literally, how Belle sees me, as she drew me this:
I rather like it. It has a casual seriousness to it, the peering over the glasses, concentrating hard on who knows what. I love the expression she captures, not bad given we were in a cafe and she was sketching in felt tips.
Do you ever wonder about how your children see you? How would you like them to think of you?