Feral Family Weekend Away
By Catherine Sim - 5th June 2010
Just returned from a very convivial weekend away with a group of school families who fortunately had similar parenting methods to us. If you’ve ever been away with people who have completely different practices you’ll know what a relief it is to kick back and know no one is judging you for letting your kids run a bit wild.
They did all go feral but we picked all the ticks and leaches off them regularly and most of the time we had a pretty good idea of where everyone was apart from the time when someone got stuck in the outside dunny for an hour and no one missed them. That was Sophie actually and she’s a grown up. She had a nice little sleep so it wasn’t wasted time.
What was really lovely was the way the men, in particular, group parented in such a loving and natural way. Each child was theirs to play with, wrestle with and enjoy. It seemed effortless and by the end of the weekend, we were a village.
Men do cop a bad wrap (often from us I’m ashamed to say) about their detached and perfunctory parenting and maybe we are all just lucky that we landed such good dad material, but it was a joy to watch the kids thrive under such relaxed, good humoured, male attention. Of course they were freed up from the, “Have you eaten? Gone to the toilet? Where's your jumper?” stuff that someone has to do, but it's difficult to resent the mum jobs when the they are doing a fine dad job.
Packing up for six people while the King played golf with the kids did however make me a bit cranky but perhaps the key is that we don’t mind so much doing that stuff as long as they share the load in other ways. As long as they do share it, otherwise we become resentful and old before our time and that doesn t make anyone happy!