The Fishy Rods Of Shame

When you first become a parent you notice quite quickly that you are doing everything wrong. There are various helpful sources from which to learn all the wrong things you are doing…
judgement3One of the first things I learnt I was doing wrong was letting the baby nap on me. This was a very bad thing. Gina Ford said that babies should nap in dark rooms for 2.5 hours and wake up feeling happy and refreshed.

This all sounded great but unfortunately the baby had other ideas. He liked to sleep for 20 minutes and woke up like a snarling rage monster.

can you not read

He slept ok in the pram and in the car but those things were also bad because he was not learning to ‘self-settle’ which is the holy grail of parenting.

self settle

By failing to have a baby that self-settled I was making a rod for my own back – he would never be able so sleep alone!

Oh bla di, oh bla da I thought… but then one day when we were out for a walk a metaphorical fisherman appeared!


I had no choice to accept the rod and before long it became clear that I was fucking up in a whole manner of other areas as well – as my son grew so did my collection of rods…




empty threat


Before long I had so many rods I didn’t know what the hell to do with them!


I just said that you smug git!

But yes it was getting embarrassing…many rods

I started to feel a bit ashamed. I didn’t want other people to see how many rods I had so I tried to hide them. But they were really difficult to hide.

shut door

Other people were suspicious…

fish smell

Meanwhile the metaphorical fisherman was absolutely loving it!

told you so

I opened up my wardrobe and looked at my plentiful rods. They were a bit annoying yes but they were also very shiny and people liked shiny things right? Shiny things made people happy!

So I had an idea!


rod shack2

new rod

So there is a moral in here somewhere, and even I’m not quite sure exactly what I am banging on about because I think that got a little bit odd but it’s something like this…

Parenting is hard and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get by, but we all have a few rods stuffed in a fishy smelling cupboard somewhere so don’t feel bad, you are not alone! EMBRACE YOUR FISHY RODS OF SHAME!

Catchy huh?! sunshine arse2


P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


20 thoughts on “The Fishy Rods Of Shame

  1. Tales from the Dad Side

    “EMBRACE YOUR FISHY RODS OF SHAME!” PMPL! Your pictures are brilliant!
    Are you not meant to give children chocolate? I am sure I read you were (I may have written it). Frankly, as it’s so yummy you should get rewards for sharing chocolate.

  2. Hannah

    Yes! I love this. It’s hard enough doing *anything*with a baby but so demoralising when you do manage to do a thing and then you’re told you’re doing it wrong and will screw up your and the baby’s life. My baby refused for ages to nap unless she was lying on someone but now she sleeps fine in her cot. There was no bloody rod, despite all the dire warnings. Demanding some kind of fictional perfection from parents is damaging for everyone – that is the true rod.

  3. Emma: Ettie and Me

    EMBRACE YOUR FISHY RODS OF SHAME! ha ha I have so many fishy rods in the cupboard I could open a sushi bar! But I like the bedtime cuddled and dont actually mind a foot in the head at 3am if its compensated by a nice cuddle at 6am!! Hurrah for Rods!

  4. Katrina

    So. Many. Rods. Love it, as with all your work. My two smalls are 3 1/2 and 7 months. Your blogs were the first I read as a Mum and always make me feel better. Your new book is on my Christmas list

  5. Amy Pamment

    My son only eats chicken nuggets and sausages and I am a fully qualified Nutritionist – Go Figure – its not us – its them x

  6. Hannah

    This is just what I needed to read tonight – thank you! Once again I am up with my colicy 3 month old sleeping on me, having spent the day trying to get him to stop crying long enough to put out the washing that’s been in the machine for 3 days, whilst I’m pretty sure my older son thinks Andy of dinosaur adventure fame and bloody flop are his new parents, so reliant have I become on cbeebies. Though they probably wouldn’t have given him a fish finge sandwich for tea. So many rods!

    1. Emma

      Wait until you add some SEN into the mix… I have 2 adopted children, and I still pick my 7 year old son up and carry him if I can, and am teaching them both to suck their thumbs as it helps them calm down. And if either has a whopper of a tantrum, I give them a massive cuddle and tell them I love them in the middle of the tantrum. I encourage them to cry if they are hurt, and the list could go on… You can imagine some othe responses I have had from complete strangers! According to many people, I am probably a prime example of what not to do! Anyway, it works for us, and I am becoming increasingly good at ignoring people and their rods…

  7. Sarah

    Hello! This will be the first time Ive ever commented on here (I plan not to do so again as it is such a minefield I am wary of any backlash ) but: while I agree with this WHOLEHEARTEDLY (I had rods-a-plenty when mine were mere nippers) I‘d also like to make a shout to anyone who may have been on the receiving end of some reverse-rodding…prodding, if you will. Let me explain: mine are now fully fledged children and the baby stage is over HALLELUJAH (for me!) however people still like to know what I did, how I did it, when I did it etc. I get asked, so I answer but have found that on occasion, you get a look or a frown and sometimes even a comment of , „oh, well, WE‘RE not doing THAT“ as if I had subconsciously tortured my children when they were babies, it the results in the prodding: a niggling feeling of, maybe I was wrong, maybe Ive damaged them in some way…WHAT IF THEY GROW UP TO BE SERIAL KILLERS??!! and so forth. My youngest is 5 so it‘s not like what I did is super outdated, either. So for all you Rodders out there, Im with you, just be gentle with the ones further up the line who you may be p-rodding or, you know, may have raised some serial killers. I guess only time will tell x

    1. Sarah

      To clarify: when I say comment on here: I mean any kind of parenting related webpages/blogs etc Not specifically Hurrah For Gin, whom I sometimes think I love more than my husband.

  8. Nicola Aburto

    I though with baby number 2 I’d have it all Sussex out. None of the feeding to sleep, driving round in cars nonsense. I’d know exactly what to do this time and this time it would be a sleeper, love the occasional bottle and eat every food going. Oh no, it appears baby number 2 was not on the same page and I write this having fed her off to sleep and she’s now in her basket at 7 months as it’s the only thing she’ll nap in!! But this time I met a wonderful nursery nurse who said that what I am doing is nurturing her and that as her mum this is the best thing I can do. As she gets older we can try to get her to be more independent, but that for now I am being the best mum I can be. And that’s all we’re doing, being the best we can be, nurturing our children and they feel loved because of it.

  9. Stacey

    Can I just say thank you! I’ve got 3 children >3yrs (2.75 yrs, 1.5yrs and 6mths) – I have given up trying to do everything by the book. I’m back at work full time and quite happily plonk the 2 older ones in front of cbeebies and give them a biscuit, packet of snaps or some chocolate matchmakers for breakfast while I spoon baby porridge into the newbie (baby led what??)………… Far better than the toast/ cheerio’s being flung around the dining room or a bowl of sloppy rusks getting launched at the dog (again). Yes, they drink diluted sugar free squash and I’ve got a frequent flyer card for Maccy D’s. But they are growing into beautiful little humans. Guilt rods can do one, except prop up my exhausted clothes airer!

    1. Andrea

      I’ve got 3 kiddos age 9, 5, 4. They all slept in our bed until 4 yrs old. In fact my youngest is cuddled up to me now as I read your blog and lol! Wouldn’t change it for the world! If I had a quid for every time someone told me I was “making a rod for my own back” letting kids sleep with me and hubster!! Burnt Gina ford books after baby 1! Still happily married! Love my babas stories, songs and cuddles in bed. Do what works for you, and drink gin! Ax


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *