Saturday September 24th 2022

Parenting is a paradoxical journey

I love reading Kelly Rose Bradford. She’s a British journalist who writes on several topics, but I always pick up on her parenting columns and walk away, after reading them, nodding and yes-ing and feeling a strong emotional reaction of some kind.

That’s what good writing is. Kelly reminds me that I’m not alone on the mommyhood journey. She has that literary knack of getting under my skin. I’m in a room with her, having a chummy chat over coffee, even though IRL (in real life for the uninitiated), she’s in Blighty and I’m in Africa.

This latest column tugged at me. I know that Kelly has one son, but hadn’t realised she didn’t necessarily plan on having another child. The boat-watching, duck-feeding, river-bonding she describes is something I frequently put off doing with my five-year-old (our kids are roughly the same age – or at least are both under-10s). I am expecting a second now and catch myself saying, in those moments of quiet desperation or astounding clarity, that this time, ‘things will be different’.

This time, I’ll have more time for #2. I’ll make sure we have enough money eventually, this time. And, second chance around, I’ll shout less and cuddle more.

But Kelly’s column simply explains her regret about the loss of that time with her son. It doesn’t matter whether or not a #2 ever comes along, I think. The point is : our child is who she or he is today, and so are we. If there’s anything to grieve over – time  or opportunity lost – then that’s just how it is. And grieving those precious past or lost moments with that child deserves its place.

Read Kelly’s column here :

You’ll find her website here :