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How to be (a) positive (parent), by Kirsty McCabe

Our weekly columnist decides to look on the brighter side of life - will you join her?

Posted: 26 February 2015
by Catherine Hudson

"Somebody loves you, needs you and wants you. You can't beat that feeling…"

Blame it on the weather, the dark evenings, the extra layer of fat you've not shifted since Christmas or the post-festive finances that are still on the slim side. There's something 'bleurgh' at this time of year making everyone feel a bit down, tired and desperate for spring to arrive.

So, this week I've decided it's time to turn that frown upside down and see the positive wherever I can. As a television presenter I've had years of practice in putting on a happy face when I'm on air. End of a long-term relationship, death of a cat, morning sickness, you name it, you wouldn't know I'm struggling with it.

But let's be honest, I only need to keep my show face in place for a few minutes at a time. The real challenge is to be happy, or at least be positive, all day. If I can manage this then hopefully my children will follow my lead. At the very least they are less likely to be exposed to Mummy's more colourful vocabulary.

In a typical day there are certain flashpoints that usually make me cross. The first happens as soon as I wake up. The problem is how I wake up. Like most parents across the land I no longer need an alarm clock. Instead I have small people who will shout "Mummy" repeatedly at 6am.

As a girl who loves her sleep I do miss my lie ins. It's even worse when it's not 6am but the middle of the night, or a mere half hour after you've gone to sleep so you are completely disoriented and confused when you stagger through to your offspring's bedroom.

The positive in this action is easy to find. Somebody loves you, needs you and wants you. You can't beat that feeling when your little one reaches up to you, snuggles into you or is so excited to see you. And when the middle of the night wakings drive me crazy, I remind myself that it's a sneaky bit of extra time with my boys. As a working mum I may not be with them all day, but I'm there for them at night.

Next on my list of complaints are commuters. It's easy to get annoyed by people being selfish and rude, and it's no fun being squashed into overcrowded trains. If you can't travel at other times then I reckon the only way to cope is to go over the top with good manners.

So I say 'excuse me' and 'please and thank you'. I apologise if I bump into someone. I apologise if they bump into me. I often make eye contact with other commuters and give a small smile. I sometimes even break the unwritten rules of Tube etiquette and start a conversation. It actually makes for a far more pleasant day. I also like saying hello to bus drivers as I tap in, and even say thank you and wave when I leave the bus.

As I write this I realise I am starting to sound a little bit crazy. But don't knock it til you've tried it. In fact, I'm feeling so positive that I have forgotten half the things on my cross list. Instead I'm going to start a happy list and reflect on the good stuff each day. Today's highlight is that I just changed the sheets on my bed, and I plan to be first in tonight.

Are you feeling positive? Share the good vibes and any tips below... 

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine every week to join in with the conversation

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