My 5 year old cut her hair when I fell asleep and it's taken me 8 years to talk about it

It has taken me 8 years to talk about this! *Takes a big gulp* Here goes...

When I became pregnant with our first child, my husband Mark and I had a big chat about what would happen when I had to return to work after maternity leave.

Without hesitation, Mark said he would be a stay at home dad so that I could continue my career as a newspaper designer.

He worked in various positions since we left college, and at the time I was Art Editor of The Sunday People newspaper, so he said it made sense for him to be the stay at home dad. We always said if we had children, one of us would try and stay at home if possible. He was very nervous, but looked forward to it.

2 weeks before I gave birth, Mark left his job. Honestly, I couldn't have done it without him. He was and still is amazing. I can't praise him enough.

I went back to work when our daughter, Amber was 10 months old. I did feel sometimes I was missing out on the life of our growing daughter. But with the rise of smart phones that could take pictures it helped me stay in touch. Mark would regularly send me photos of what they got up to so I didn't feel left out. But I work 70 miles away from my home, so I couldn't just pop home for lunch.

As I work full time, my days off were spent with Amber. Mark always looks after everything to do with the house, cooking, cleaning, washing, and I mean everything! So I was lucky I could spend all my hours off work with her.

One day Mark had popped out to do some shopping, so I stayed at home with Amber. I had tried (like you do), to trim Amber's fringe whenever it got a bit long. To do this, I invested in some proper hairdressing scissors, you know the super sharp ones.

The scissors were kept out of Amber's reach at all times. Until this one day that I'll never forget. 

Amber was now 5 years old, and we were happily planning our wedding. We had been together 14 years (we didn't want to rush these things) so in about 6 months we would be celebrating our big day, with Amber as our much loved bridesmaid.

Amber was playing nicely, so I sat on the sofa, then I put my feet up. Big mistake! I only went and fell asleep. 

I'm not sure how long I fell asleep for, but the sight that greeted me when I woke up is something I'll never forget or forgive myself for.

Amber had a big chunk of hair in one hand, and the hairdressing scissors in the other. She stood in front of me looking like Dave Hill from Slade.

Everything went in slow motion. I thought I was dreaming, sadly not. She had managed to cut all of her fringe off, and there was just a little tuft left like when you plant grass seeds and they first begin to sprout.

Mark returned to find Amber with her new hairstyle and me looking like a dog that had done something it shouldn't on the carpet!

I was so upset that I had fallen asleep, how could I? I was supposed to be watching Amber. Bad mother!

For the next 6 months she went to school wearing a rather large headband on the front of her head to try and hide what a bad mum I was.

The headband was also clipped on with some cute hair clips, just to make sure I could hide my shame as much as possible. Bless Amber she kept it on the whole time.

I'm sure all her teachers had a sneaky look to see the horror the headband was hiding.

Needless to say my husband has never let me forget it, and photographed the evidence! Every so often it gets brought up and we have a laugh about it. Mine is a nervous laugh obviously and it still makes me shudder to this day.

He says to me, imagine if it was the other way around and Amber had cut her hair while he was looking after her! Well yes, I wouldn't have been too pleased either!

Yes, we do have pictures, of which I have never shown anyone before.

And luckily, Amber's fringe had just about grown back in time for the wedding...phew!

Amber, now she is 13, finds the pictures hilarious, but I told her how I felt like a bad mum for letting it happen. If only I hadn't fallen asleep!

Our son, Jacob is 6 years old, and I still have those scissors, and yes I do cut his fringe from time to time, but they are kept well and truly hidden, I'm not going through that again!

I haven't talked about it for so long for fear of being judged by other parents!

As parents, we are only human after all and we all make mistakes, that's what I keep telling myself anyway. And after 8 years, I can finally talk about it!

Has your child ever cut their own hair? Come on, I can't be the only one! Leave a comment below.

13 superstitions on Friday 13th

Are you superstitious? Most people say 'Of course not'. But how many of you touch wood, don’t walk under ladders, don’t open an umbrella indoors, or if you spill the salt, throw some over your shoulder?
Ah, now you might say yes!

I am superstitious to a point, I always say 'I salute you Sir magpie', if I see one on it's own, no matter where I am, who I’m with or what I am doing, and yes this can cause some funny looks from people wondering what on earth I am up to, especially if I'm driving my car on my own!

I have read some really unusual superstitions throughout the years and I thought I’d list a few. I still do most of these!

  1. So you might think getting out of bed is easy enough, but you’d be wrong. You must get out on the right side (the side you got in). If you don’t, you will be irritable all day and your friends will say ‘Did you get out of bed the wrong side this morning!’ You must also put your right foot out of bed first or you will do things wrong all day.
  2. If you discover a knot in your shoelace, that’s lucky!
  3. You must put on your right sock and shoe first, if you forget, you are likely to have an accident before the day is out.
  4. Ever put an item of clothing on inside out? It’s lucky, but only if you keep it like that all day!
  5. Never put new shoes on the table, this is bad luck.
  6. Salt was a precious commodity in the days before freezers and cans, as salt was used to preserve food. Because of it’s value it was thought to be unlucky to spill even a grain of it. In Yorkshire (I’m a Yorkshire lass), it was thought the devil lurked around the table at meal times, waiting to do mischief. Spilt salt gave him the chance he was waiting for. To foil his evil plans salt had to be thrown over the left shoulder by the person who split it, where it would hit the devil straight in the eye!
  7. In early times crossed knives were a sign of hostile intentions, it was important to lay your knife tidily on the plate next to the fork. Many people still do this.
  8. If you have a spare knife, put it under the front door mat - it will keep the witches out!
  9. After breakfast, don’t throw your eggshells on the fire or the hens will stop laying.
  10. If you have to pass under a bridge, try not to speak when you walk under it - it’s thought to be unlucky to walk or drive under when a train or car is passing over the top.
  11. If you do accidentally walk under a ladder, you can solve the problem by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you see a dog.
  12. Brooms must be locked away, in case a passing witch should steal one and cause havoc (thank goodness for the good old vacuum cleaner)
  13. Do not pass anyone on the stairs, this is bad luck, but you can get rid of the bad luck by crossing your fingers or touching wood.

So if you see someone walking around with clothes on inside out, throwing salt, saluting magpies whilst walking around with knotted shoes, say hello to me!

I'd love to hear what things you do if you are superstitious. Leave a comment below.

Ten Ways Mums’ Lives Have Transformed in 50 Years

International courier ParcelHero looks at how Mum would have spent her day back in 1965.

1 Washing nappies 

Terry cloth nappies, fastened with large safety pins, were by far the main type of nappy in 1965; leaving Mum the gory task of scrubbing and washing baby’s best efforts in her Rolls Razor Twin Tub. By the end of the 1960s Pampers disposables had become hugely popular – one of the fastest switches in consumer buying patterns ever. We wonder why?

2 Slaving over a stove

With no ready-meals or microwaves, Mum spent much of her time cooking. Meat and veg was the staple meal, with take-away fish n’ chips a weekly treat. ‘Instant’ food was limited to Spam and other tinned items. Mum didn’t launch into spaghetti bolognaise or prawn cocktails until the 1970s.

3 Shopping, shopping, shopping

Much of Mum’s time was spent shopping. In 1963 only 3% of UK homes had freezers. She probably visited the corner shop and the grocer daily; and the local butcher, the fishmonger and baker more than once a week. There were only 572 supermarkets in the UK in 1961. By 1969 there were 3,400 including Gateway, Fine Fare, Tesco and Sainsbury. Thrifty Mum was careful to collect her Green Shield Stamps.

4 NOT going to work…

Most women either chose to give up work or were ‘let go’ when pregnant! In 1960 only 35% of married women worked at all, and most chose to give up work when they had babies. It was still legal to sack someone who was pregnant until 1975. Only 17 percent of moms who worked during pregnancy in 1961 went back to work before their children were five, compared to 65 percent of women today.

5 Leaving kids in front of the TV – but only for 15 minutes!

There was no all-day TV and no DVDs, so Mom looked forward to 1.30pm when, despite its name, she could leave the kids to view Watch with Mother on their own while she enjoyed a rare break. Andy Pandy and The Flower Pot Men were great for keeping toddlers entertained. For older kids Doctor Who was already a Saturday favourite and Thunderbirds proved to be a F.A.B. hit from lift-off in 1965.

6 Not doing much for Mother’s Day!

Poor Mum wasn’t likely to receive a Mother’s Day gift from her grown-up kids. There were no courier services to pick up the parcel from the senders’ door, no choice but Royal Mail’s prices, and definitely no Sunday delivery! Few families ever went out to a restaurant or drank wine, so no big celebrations. It wasn’t until the arrival of Bernie Inns and Mateus Rose, Black Tower and Blue Nunin the 1970s that eating out and enjoying a glass or two became popular.

7 Wearing a wedding ring

It may be thought of as the permissive swinging ‘60s, but only 5.8% of babies were born to unmarried mums in 1961; today 44% of mums have not tied the knot.

8 Pushing a heavy pram

Heavy metal Pedigree prams were still most popular for babies, their basic design hadn’t changed much since the Edwardian era. They needed a hefty push to climb kerbs, and forget getting them on a bus – especially as lowfloor buses weren’t introduced until the 1990s.

9 Having a cigarette

Half of all women smoked in the 1960s, compared to 1 in 5 today. It wasn’t until 1964 that the first major report into smoking health issues appeared. Women continued to smoke during pregnancy and, if they were anaemic, doctors would also often prescribe them free Guinness on the NHS!

10 Collapsing in front of Corrie!

Busy Mum picked up her kids from school in her shiny new Mini, Fiat 500 or Beetle, helped with homework, fed them Birds-Eye Fish Fingers, kept them amused with Thomas the Tank Engine, Barbie and Batman toys, before she finally collapsed in front of Coronation Street, complaining Dad didn’t help out much. How times have changed… Or maybe not!

Says ParcelHero’s Head of Public Relations, David Jinks: ‘Mums certainly had it tough 50 years ago, and, despite modern conveniences, it’s still massively hard work for today’s mothers, and they are probably holding down a career too! Mum deserves a treat so, rather than sending parcels, we’re sending one lucky mother and her guest on a pampering £400 spa visit. She can choose from a wealth of luxurious Wahanda spa venues, with indulgent treatments, breakfast, bubbles and dinner.’

David explains: ‘Entering our #senditwithlove Mother’s Day competition is simple. Just visit the ParcelHero Facebook page and tell us why your mum deserves her spa break. What’s the most wonderful thing she has done for you? In what way is she the Queen of Mums? We’d love to hear. For full details visit www.parcelhero.com/competitions/mothers-day