Better parenting via… poetry?
Better parenting via… poetry?
Scott Dunlop

Here’s a thought: all the things that get you down don’t feel quite as bad when you turn them into verse. Maybe this is the solution for you, if you’re feeling overloaded and under appreciated- write yourself a complaint poem. For example:

Alarms don’t wake you when they’re small,

Eyes pop wide at baby’s call.

When they’re older (this is strange),

Their hearing’s always out of range.

“Wake up!” you yell, but no one hears,

‘til, bleary-eyed, they appear-

Grumpy at the breakfast table.

Half-awake, you don’t feel able,         

To get them ready for the day,

You do, you send them on their way,

Lunch boxes filled with yummy snacks,

(But for yourself, forget to pack,

Your laptop for that N.B. meeting), 

A stony glare- your boss’s greeting,

A phone call half-way through the morning-

The school, of course- without warning,

A stomach bug has hit your child,

Both ends churning, running wild,

Visit to the hospital costs a stack,

For that nasty tummy attack,

But we pay for the specialist’s vacation,

With bills and grim determination.

Socks under beds infuriate,

Always, always, running late,

Running out of everything, in fact,

Out of patience, out of tact,

And, especially, out of money-

End-of-the-month Salticrax? Not funny!

Do you feel like a big old quitter?

Time to get a babysitter…

Ah, kids; they mess you up- they do!

But no regrets- they bless you, too.

With funny words and random madness,

A smile can fix your tiny sadness.

Ah, kids, they mess you up- they do!

But it’s a lovely mess- that’s true.

Okay, I’m not winning any poetry prizes, but there’s something about kids that once you start thinking about the difficult times, you’re also reminded of ways in which they can win you over with their innocence. That protective feeling kicks in and you realise that they aren’t to blame for your adult stresses of responsibilities. A rough day may have you doubting your abilities, but then you look at them, and you wouldn’t change things for the world.

What are your de-stressing techniques? Send us an email to and tell us what you do to get over a tough parenting patch and you could win a R250 voucher.

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