PG (Parental Guidance Advised)

Having children means a lifetime of awe-inspiring, scary, puzzling and funny experiences. And it’s good to talk about them, right? Join Donnelle Belanger-Taylor and Hamish Denston in a blog about being a parent.

Leaving home is hard to do

10:30am 18 Oct 2013


This post is tormenting me. I have stared at a blank screen for far too long. Occasionally I frantically type, then just as frantically use the delete key. The only thing I know for certain is that I need to use Finn's drawing of him waving goodbye.


It's my last post for PG, and I don't want it to suck. I want to make you laugh, I want to make you cry, I want you to understand just how appreciative I am for all the support over the years. Thank you, whether you have agreed with me or not.

You've been there for me through the birth of my twins, postnatal depression, loss of family members, and that post about Mr Whippy ice-cream that blew up into a drama-fest. I've put my foot in my mouth, laughed until I cried, and been stung to the core.

PG should stand for "personal growth". When I started writing, way back in 2009, I was a working mother of one, with swelling belly full of twins. I enjoyed my job as a software developer, defined myself by it, and fully expected to go back to work once the twins were born.

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Imagine that

09:00am 16 Oct 2013


I enjoy this blog. It distracts me from my housework, and is very different from my paid job. Engineer turned parenting blogger - who would have thought.

Even though I haven't been blogging here for ages, I feel like I've shared a lot with you. Some goals (half-marathon is in three weeks - eek!), and some quite personal stuff too - my father's death, and hell, I even admitted that I wee my pants when I sneeze. In case anyone wonders, I love my shameful people mover by the way, love love love it.

How awesome is having kids? I love it, even with its challenging moments. Sometimes I wonder how on earth I got where I am today. I'm pretty sure I only just turned 21. But all of a sudden I live in a real house with a husband, three kids and a dog. I am so grown up I even have a picket fence (not even kidding).

I've been a mother for just over five years. I've learnt that the sleep deprivation isn't that bad. It's temporary. It's possible that I'm forgetting what it was like, seeing as my "baby" is 21 months, and getting up to feed her is a distant memory. I learned that labour hurts, it really does. Someone really needs to come up with a new way of getting babies out. I've never had a C-section, but that doesn't sound like a picnic either. I also figured out that the same recipe doesn't always mean the same results. I have three very different children, all made the same way (te he he). A talkative, physical five-year-old, a sensitive three-year-old with an imaginary friend called Buncher, and a very loud, full-on beautiful 21-month-old. She has just started pushing dollies around in her pram. Until now it was tractors.

What have you learnt, and what do you love or loathe about parenting? Be honest.

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Monkeys and dragons and bags, oh my!

11:00am 15 Oct 2013


Sleep, sweet sleepMy kids have the occasional nightmare or night terror; it's part of growing up. Still, I was rather perplexed when all three of them had strange dreams on the same night.

Was it the holidays coming to an end? Too much cheese at dinner? Daylight saving? Who knows.

Our four-year-old girl twin was first, only an hour after she went to sleep. She was absolutely hysterical, and unable to respond to questions. It took a long time to calm her down, rocking her like a baby. Her gangly legs might overflow my lap, but she needed me there as much as she ever did when she was a wee nubbin curled against my chest.

I found a question that got through to her: "Do you need your thumb?" She finally paused in her shrieking, gave the tiniest of nods and slipped her thumb into her mouth.

"Did you have a bad dream?" She nodded again. "What happened?"

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PG's top 10

12:30pm 11 Oct 2013


As part of wrapping up PG, I thought I'd do a highlight of 10 posts that have been particularly memorable to me over the past four years.


10) Supermarket etiquette

I've always remembered this post mostly because of comment #24:  "I've actually been the grumpy person at the mum with the trolley in the middle of the aisle... But I don't have kids. Your reason for doing it makes perfect sense, and it's one of those things that I would never think about." I made a difference to someone, made them think in a new way. 


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The Family Portrait

09:00am 14 Oct 2013


I'm sad this blog is ending this week. I've really enjoyed blogging, and had hoped it could continue for a while yet. I still have a heap of ideas and half-written posts, so will try to fit a few posts in before the end (sniff sniff).

To lighten the sombre mood a little, today's post is about family pictures, a source of great amusement for many.

We don't have many family photos. I have enough trouble getting a picture of me and my husband both looking half-decent, let alone trying to get three young children (and the husband) looking at the camera, eyes open, behaving and in a relatively clean state.

Growing up, our family never had professional photos taken. A lot of my friends did, and they all seemed to involve matching outfits and posing over a rustic-looking farm gate. Oh the 80s.

One day I will get family pictures taken, by someone who knows what they are doing. In the meantime, I shall entertain myself here.

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