Sympathy with the stress of modern life

It may be a long time since I was a young parent, facing up to the stresses of bringing up two little boys, but not so long ago as not to have sympathy for today’s mums and dads who face even greater pressures than I could have ever imagined in the early to mid 1970’s.

In truth as a mere male I was less involved than my good lady wife who as was the way of that era, a more hands on parent than I could ever have been. Notwithstanding, we still had issues to face up to, including both being working parents, and all its attendant pressures.

I therefore have some idea of what it is like trying to juggle a number of commitments at the same time, even if my wife was the most able multi-tasker.

Now that I am the grandfather of four rapidly growing youngsters I am not prepared to make comparisons, even if I occasionally feel the need to make quiet, but helpful observations. Dangerous, but then I have never been shy when it comes to expressing an opinion.

Here in East Gordon I can’t help but note the frantic goings of young parents, many of whom seem to have all the cares of the world, as their stressed-out faces indicate as they drive their offsprings to and from schools.

Whatever happened to walking to school, while all the way having meaningful conversations with your children?

In fairness it still happens, gladdening my heart no end when I hear the cheerful chatter of the little people as they pass my door. This in contrast to the poor little souls who are confined to the back seats of people carriers, enjoying nary a word of conversation with their under-pressure mothers and occasionally fathers.

But it is their choice, and who am I to try to influence their lives from the safety of my front room.

Where I can intervene is when drivers park outside the house, as was the case last week. It happens all the time, though this mum took the biscuit later in the morning, straight after dropping her little girl at the nearby school.

The same lady went round to the nearest store for a few messages, parking her car on the double yellows outside her place of making purchases. All of this took less than 10 minutes, but she was still breaking the law, while making it very difficult for a local bus to manoeuvre round her car.

I bit my tongue, and said nothing, even though I was sorely tempted. My stressed out mother was obviously having a bad day, not that it means she can do as she likes when it comes to parking her vehicle.

Perhaps I am hopelessly out of touch when it comes to child-rearing, which is just as well you might say, though I am still able to stay within the letter of the law.