Never Break a Promise

Posted on May 29th, 2016

A golden rule of parenting

“If you make a promise to your children and make sure you follow through”

It’s there in every parenting best practice book and we all know it’s right.

Be consistent, don’t make hollow threats and don’t make promises you can’t keep.  Yes, we all bend the rules, use the power of Father Christmas to our advantage and sometimes promise things that simply don’t materialise. But on the whole we know the rules and that it pays to stand by them.

Then this happened….


I woke up and flicked through my emails as always before the school run to see a notification that I had made the BIBs finals. I honestly thought it was a mistake. I was sure they were due the following day and shrugged it off. It was only with children safely delivered to school and returning on line that twitter assured me it was no mistake. I lost my morning of work basking in happy banter online before another thought crossed my mind:

 Follow through with that Promise

When I found out I was shortlisted in two categories I wrote a heartfelt post on how much this meant to me and why I was so thrilled. Readers Choice was the category I had pinned my hopes on right from the start. I didn’t really imagine making the finals, and added to my post a silly dare just for fun. Except now it had happened and I felt all those best practice parenting books pointing a finger at me. I had to follow through with my promise.

Swimming for BIBs.

I was feeling hot and sticky after lawn mowing and decided it was time to put to bed the niggling commitment I made, to swim fully clothed across our river, if I made the finals.  Guy, my resident river boy, thought it was hilarious and positioned himself on his bike downstream to watch. Before I had set a foot into the water, I spotted a curious gathering of our guests on the bridge. Now I had an audience and there was no going back!

It was May, the river was freezing, and I was dressed in my running clothes and trainers. Quite possibly one of the craziest things I’ve ever done sober.

I did it, and I felt proud. I had stood by my promise, pushed myself to do something a little crazy and demonstrated just how thrilled I am to be a BIBs finalist. Thank you so much if one of those votes was from you, you have made me so happy and put Coombe Mill on the map. 

And if I win?

I said right at the start I’d never be as brave as my kids and jump off the bridge into the river, but ‘if’ I were to win, hell that would be so amazing I’d really have to try. After all, a promise is a promise!

Would you go out of your way to keep a promise?