Articles by Wendy Varley

Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

When my triplet daughters went to university in 2005 my household switched overnight from one in which I, as a female, was in a 4:2 majority, to one in which I was outnumbered. Suddenly it was just me, my then three-year old son, and his dad. The shift in dynamic is one I'm still getting used to as my son grows up. I confess I miss my daughters, and I miss female company. People assume I'm an old hand at this parenting lark, but the truth is that raising one boy is very different to raising a trio of girls, and is providing just as much of a learning curve. Parenting...
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My Mad Fat Diary: Journals as Therapy

My Mad Fat Diary: Journals as Therapy

It doesn't matter in which decade you were an adolescent, My Mad Fat Diary will resonate. It's dark, funny, touching and painfully true. I was never fat (though I thought I was, agonising over my weight when it crept over – shock horror! – 9st) and never mad (though it's jarring to re-read my diaries and see the young me passing off casual mention of suicidal thoughts as "nervous tension"), but watching this programme is a sweet agony. It transports me right back to those teenage years of acute self-consciousness and vulnerability when binge-eating followed by...
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Taking Care of Our Elderly

Taking Care of Our Elderly

More and more of us have an elderly relative in residential care. Currently more than 400,000 people in the UK live in care homes, a figure which is bound to rise further, given the ageing population (there are currently 3 million people aged over 80 in the UK, and that figure is predicted to almost double by 2030. Currently one-in-six of the UK population is aged over 65; by 2050 it will be one-in-four). NICE the (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued new guidance on improving the mental wellbeing of older people in residential care, via a...
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Can We Love Our Children Equally?

Can We Love Our Children Equally?

Can we love all our children equally? This question concerned me even before my first three children were born. They are triplets – now mature young women – but even while they were jostling for position in the womb, I wondered how I'd ever be able to divvy up my time, energy and resources fairly and remain sane. From the moment it dawned on me that it was physically impossible to feed all three at once, console all three at once, or carry all three at once, I thought I would struggle to be the parent I wanted to be, and I wondered if there would be enough love to go...
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