What Makes a Great Mum? Cuddles, That’s What!

Tara’s post of this same title crossed my time-line on Twitter the other day. I’m not reading that, I thought. It will only upset me…

…but curiosity got the better of me today however, and I read it.

And got upset !!

When you watch Tara’s video (it is very lovely) you will hear many of the mums use the “cuddles” word. It is this word, more than any other, that hurts.

I say that because in this house my girls get bags of love and probably more than enough attention! But what they don’t get much of, is cuddles.

OnlyDads brings me into contact with lots of single dads, so I know I’m not alone. Lone dads can give children many advantages in life. My two daughters have learned that pizza tastes better on the sofa watching the Simpsons, and that Health & Safety legislation is something for other families to worry about – Anya still holds the record for the youngest child to clamber along the outside of the bridge over our river!

I’m often asked to speak or write about life as a single dad. My usual response is that it’s a bit like any other life and really not that interesting!

That said, when my girls are all grown-up I just wonder whether they will reflect back on a life without cuddles. It may be that a strong part of me resembles 1950s dad, or that I just feel uncomfortable cuddling my daughters now that they are that much older. I’m just not sure. What I do know is that neither of my daughters get their daily cuddle allowance.

…and on their behalf, this upsets me 😦


About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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14 Responses to What Makes a Great Mum? Cuddles, That’s What!

  1. Tara says:

    There is still time my man. Always always time. I grew up with both my mum and my dad and the cuddles/hugs were few and far between. I swore SWORE that when I had children of my own, that would change.
    There is so much power in one simple cuddle. So much unspoken love and so much reassurance. And it just feels good.
    I’m the sort of person who goes up and hugs anyone and I make no apologies for that!

    • onlydads says:

      Thank you Tara…I always used to cuddle these two daughters of mine. It seems seems as they have grown older, they have sort of stopped!

      Having seen your video and writing this,I am trying my best to get cuddles back on the agenda 🙂

      Bob x

  2. Diane prince says:

    I can only speak of our house, we have two daughters aged 14 and 9. They have always had cuddles from us both, more from hubby the eldest as I hadn’t a clue what to do. We always make sure we have 2 big sofas that fit us all on for group hugs. One thing we always say is that cuddles and kisses will not stop no matter what age!

    As a child (an only child), I havnt thought if this before but I don’t remember having any cuddles and my mum and dad arnt very kissy, except for birthdays and Christmas. I am fine, can’t say I have missed out. But don’t know whether the urge to cuddle mine all the time has stemmed from that.

    Mark and I did a 6 week fostering course, to enable maybe becoming foster parents. We found the safe care week very hard, we hardly spoke to each other. Basically it meant that we wouldn’t be able to treat our girls the same any more ( with cuddles) in case this was misconstrued (if that’s the right word). I apologise to all the children out there in desperate need of a stable home but we couldn’t treat our girls differently. I would have wanted to treat the foster child the same as our children, and that wasn’t allowed. Maybe people don’t agree but it’s only my opinion.

    I wasn’t comfortable with breastfeeding but I did it, just saying. Whilst typing this we are sat on sofa with one child between us cuddling xx

  3. Tweetawix says:

    My boys are still small (11,7 & 5) and they all get loads of cuddles from me. The eldest does get the fewest but he still loves to join in. In fact I might be as bold to say they get more cuddles from me than their mum (although I can’t be sure, I’m not there)
    I do ensure that we have time to relax and watch a film (or one of 7 yr olds animal documentaries?!) and get arms round each other.
    It’s so easy and so rewarding, just do it, the more you do, the easier it will become the natural thing to do…

    • onlydads says:

      Thank you…I appreciate all you say.

      I have been thinking about what you say – and in truth, i might find it easier to cuddle sons at the age my girls are now.


      • Tweetawix says:

        I don’t have girls so I can’t compare, and I’m sure there will be teenage awkwardness heading my way, but as long as they know that hugs are available and welcomed then it’s good for everyone…

  4. Diana Jordan says:

    I am so sad to read what you have said about fostering Diane. I do hope you told them why you aren’t doing it; the world (or at least the uk) has gone mad and Bob’s attitude is so brilliantly put: “health and safety legislation is something for other families to worry about”. I’ll definitely remember that one!

    • Diane prince says:

      Yes we told them, but we’re clearly explained to that treating the foster children the same as our own would not be an option. I’m sure you know it’s in case we are accused of something we havnt done, which was explained to us would come from the parent(s). Quite shocking? Or just in their way protecting their young?

      Whichever way our daughter cuddles were compromised, and I’m not wanting, prepared for or needing that xx

  5. Bob,
    So your not comfortable cuddling them, do you ever sit and just hold a hand, or put an arm around a shoulder, to comfort your daughters?
    Are you stopping yourself from something that truly doesn’t have to be *that* close, (the distanced cuddle, leaning in at the shoulder and out at the torso)?
    To me you sound like you are holding back from something, but from what? Being close? That doesn’t sound like the internet-you. That’s just my thought and I could be wrong.
    If it upsets you to deprive your girls of comfort, that much, is there no middle ground?
    As a girl in my younger years and not having Dad at home very often, I know how much (at any age) a hug would have been so, so comforting, at times.
    What do your girls say to you about their need for comfort-cuddles and are their perceptions similar to yours?

  6. Suzy says:

    Bob None of us give enough cuddles – and dont get enough either!!! Maybe we should de-mystify cuddling (there is a genuine risk of being pushed away when trying to give an adolescent a cuddle) – and cuddle anyone and everyone randomly. it’sonly part of the British thing of not being tactile isn’t it? Let’s get past the fear of being rejected and give a cuddle anyway. I’ll give you one the next time I see you. Suzy P.S. A cuddle that is!!!

  7. bumbling says:

    I’m a cuddler, but my parent’s aren’t necessarily that big on affection. That said, my mum used to send me to my dad for cuddles, and even as a teenager, I would curl up on my dad’s knee for a cuddle whilst watching telly.

    I’m a grown up now, with a small person of my own. But I still give my mum and dad cuddles, and kisses – even on the lips. They are my parents. There is nothing untoward.

    Moo’s dad is not keen on physical demonstrations of affection, but he really tries to make sure Moo doesn’t miss out on her daddy cuddles. And long may that continue.

    That said, I’m guessing there is always a hiatus of some description in the teenage years – with boys and girls!

    Hope you do get cuddles back on the agenda. But even if not, I’m sure your girls know how much you care x

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