‘Unbelievably dull’ parenting and school runs

Fiona Sturges says “for most of us, looking after children … is unbelievably dull” (Talking about the pram in the hallway, Journal, 21 March). Speak for yourself. I was rearing my two children in the 1960s when it was still regarded as the wife’s job. I stayed at home until they reached school age.

Watching children grow and helping them to develop their skills is fascinating. There are so many things to do! Playing with water, making collage, going to the library and choosing books, going on walks to look at hedgerows and find out which plants are edible and which are poisonous, keeping pets, and just playing – even inventing new games.

I know it is difficult now to survive on the husband’s pay, but we never had much money. I made their clothes, we didn’t go abroad for holidays or out for meals, and we grew vegetables and ate home-cooked food, and children didn’t seem to “need” so many toys. But it wasn’t boring! Young children spend a lot of time sleeping, so there’s lots of time for reading and studying interesting things.

Once they started school I could work, though to begin with I found jobs that fitted the school year, and my husband did the school run for primary years. I was just 23 when my first child was born so time to develop a career after child rearing. Perhaps the answer is to decide your first priority: your job or kids. Start early enough and there is time for both.
Val Spouge
Braintree, Essex

• I hope the Guardian readers of Norwich took note of David Reed’s comments about the school run (Letters, 18 March). In a recent consultation to control parking in our area, one concerned local complained that having to walk their children to the neighbourhood park and sports centre would reduce access and “make the obesity crisis worse”.
Kate Dillon

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