31 Aug 2013

A Good Enough Mother

the voice I have to emulate!
I've been struggling with this concept lately, my baby girl is now growing up rapidly and with it she has lots more energy, intelligence and ability.

I've found this fairly challenging lately, questioning my every decision and feeling exhausted by my daughters energy levels. I wonder if I'm giving her enough of my time, is she being more of a pickle to get attention?

When she wants to do running in the garden, all I want to do is sit down. I'll do running for a bit but then get bored and want to stop. I'm happy doing a puzzle with her but loose the will to carry on when she keeps asking me to talk dolphin to her (read: putting on a stupid voice!!)

Do I take her on enough days out? We spend lots of time at home when others seem to be going places like farms or play centres. She sees people we love lots but are we creating enough memories and stimulation for her. Or does it not matter a jot to her at this age?

Adding another baby to the mix means I will have even less time to devote to her. Already I feel terribly guilty and a bit trapped by the cycle of not feeling I'm doing my best. I know times will change and she will need me less or just in different ways. Right now I feel that I'm just about scraping by on being a low grade good enough mum when I think I should be on the side of great mum!

28 Aug 2013

It's you, not me...

Dear morning sickness,

Sorry to say this but I really don't want this relationship to continue. This time it's not me, it's you! I don't care for your ability to make me turn away from food I love, you are harsh to me. I love my tea but can't stomach milk and most dairy because of you (I can even feel ill with hidden dairy in food, like butter or splash of milk in mash). Yes my 'retchometer' is that sensitive.!

You leave me queasy as I walk along, bend down to pick up my daughter and as soon as I wake in the morning. It's the constant reminder that you 'could' make me ill at any moment that really gets me down. I can't understand those lucky women who get a touch of sickness and it goes after three months, last time you stayed with me until at least six months. I understand you were enjoying your time with me but alas I wasn't so keen. I do however have to thank you that I was lucky it wasn't worse as I really feel for women who get it really bad.

I suppose I should also give you a big thanks though because the end result was pretty damn spectacular...I got a gorgeous girl, lets hope you're just as good to me this time.

21 Aug 2013

Moving with a Toddler

How to move with a toddler without loosing your mind....

1) Don't threaten (jokingly or otherwise) to put your small child in a box or crate. They will love the idea and the novelty with wear off for you long before it does for them.

2) Packing up toddlers possessions. Don't do this too early, the child will freak out and also unpack as much as you pack. Also related to above point, they will unpack and then climb in box, ignoring the very toys they had a hissy fit over

3) Buy a book on moving. Ours has stickers and a lovely story with the new neighbours providing a chocolate cake...bubba thinks we'll get a cake from neighbours now. 

4) Take your child to see the new house and if they are anything like ours they will run amok. That's good because we found out the problem (danger) areas early on and can prepare.

5) Get them to help pack. Ok so she takes out more than she puts in but that's ok because she is eager to help and that can only be a good thing.

6) Make sure grandparents or a distraction is in place on the day. Bubba is going to see the movers arrive and start putting our stuff on the van but then she is going to be whisked away to nanny and gaga. Otherwise she'll talk the removal men into submission...she loves a chat with someone who is supposed to be doing other things.

7) Get a moving in present. I've lined up a sylvanian family house and a few families (courtesy of my mum) for bubba when we arrive. That way she'll be distracted whilst we unpack and the house will have brought her a special present. I'm also a little excited to play with the Sylvanians but sshush don't tell! My moving in present will be a big dirty curry and a sit down at the end of the day.

8) Take their toys seperately. Apart from the fact they'd take up all our crates it means when we arrive I can dump toys in her new room and downstairs ready for her. That way I won't have to scramble through crates and she'll take comfort in seeing her things early. Plus it allows more crate room for my shoes...upside for everyone.

9) Tag team it. I've mostly packed bits as I went along whilst bubba ate a snack or watched a bit of tv but for the big stuff we tag teamed it at weekends. Hubby emptied the shed whilst I played with bubba, I did the bathroom whilst they did jumping on the bed!

10) don't loose your sense of humour. It's only moving, it's exciting like going on holiday but forever!!! Well that's what I'm still trying to tell myself...stressed, moi?


16 Aug 2013

Does shouting work?

I've never been big on shouting at kids, in my opinion it doesn't work and doesn't stop them doing it again whilst also reducing the adult to more of a child. Don't get me wrong, I talk sharply to bubba and would shout at her if she was in danger but hope that's the only time. I reprimand her and use the naughty step when needed but I don't disrespect her by really shouting at her. I'd hate someone shouting at me for a misdemeanour even now as an adult.

When I arrived to pick up Bubba from nursery on Wednesday, I could hear (who I thought was) a mild mannered teacher shouting in the little toilet at a boy, telling him to leave the toilet. There were about three little boys lined up waiting to go and mucking around so it was probably a stressful situation and I immediately thought 'bet he's been cheeky all day' and we all get to that point where you are so frustrated. As I left with bubba I thought 'would I want that woman shouting at my child?' and more importantly do I want my child exposed to an environment when kids get shouted at for doing what kids do by a woman who gets paid to look after them?

It happened again on Friday, I walked down the corridor with Bubba to find the woman shouting at a little girl to stop making a noise (which was a loud annoying shouty noise). When we arrived it changed from shouting to saying it in a clipped tone. There were other teachers around (I think they are called 'key workers' these days) so couldn't one of them distracted her or diffused the situation!?! The fact that the yelling stopped when I walked in the classroom is telling to me, if you aren't willing to shout in front of a parent, should you be shouting at all!

The more I think about it, the more it makes me feel uncomfortable. I'd hate for anyone to shout at my lovely girl (I know she can be cheeky sometimes). I'd feel better if it was explained in a personal way to her that her actions were impacting on others. Am I being naive? Shouting doesn't work on kids, it doesn't explain what they are doing to them in order to stop the action. Isn't it just the adult loosing all control of the situation. Or am I wrong?

So what do I do now? Move her, report the teacher or nothing? It's the first time I've heard anything like this and I'm not sure whether I'm going overboard or if I'm too early into this parenthood journey to fully appreciate what it does to you! I'm not even sure it was as bad as I'm writing it on here, looks worse on paper. I  do think we will move bubba to a play school when she is three and have her going five mornings or afternoons a week rather than a condensed two days. So at least it's decided that for me when the time comes.

14 Aug 2013

My Security Blanket

I have been known to moan (fleetingly) about how little time I have as my toddler is constantly under my feet. If I go to toilet she wants to follow and if I go out to the kitchen then after a few seconds she is there, seeing what I'm doing. It's all very sweet and I'd probably hate it if she was uninterested in what I was doing but sometimes, just sometimes, I feel a bit smothered by it.

I never realised though how I do exactly the same to her, I have to most of the time because she is a toddler and often getting up to mischief if left alone. When we are out and about though, she makes me feel safe, I always have someone to hold, to talk to and to look at in those awkward moments.

We've had a few appointments recently where someone else has been holding Bubba and I've felt strange and instinctively reached out for her. Not because she wanted or needed to come to me but because I felt unsure in the situation and wanted my security blanket. Each time she didn't come to me (typical) and I didn't know what to do with myself and had strange empty feeling arms.

I hadn't realised how lucky I am until now because I'll always have a lunch date, a co-driver (believe me she tells me what to do in the car...the most alarming is when she yells out stop and puts her hand up!) and I'll always have someone to laugh with.

It's something I'm going to try and remember next time I can't do anything in peace, I need her as much as she needs me and I hope that never changes.

11 Aug 2013

I'll never get used to...

The way you smile at me
It's cheeky, loving and knowing all at the same time. It says mischief all over it and the twinkle in your eyes makes my heart melt. It is a special feeling to get one of those smiles and sometimes I have to work hard to get it, other times you shower me with loads. Never get bored of them

You being unwell
My heart stays torn the whole time, I get protective and feel so helpless. This is when I really know I'm a mum and good at my job because I feel I would move heaven and earth to make you well again. Long nights of no sleep and days full of a restless girl mean nothing (sometimes I hardly notice I feel so tired) I just want you better. Every time you become unwell, it takes me aback and I worry and worry and worry, I hope I never have to get used to this.

The giggles
The belly laughs that fill a room with your delight. It fills my heart and makes my spirits soar, especially when it can be over the silliest, simplest thing I've done. It's best when we laugh together and share a joke.

How you are growing up
I see pictures now and you seem so grown up, your hair is longer and those baby wisps have turned into beautiful curls. Those little chubby legs are now strong and sturdy and getting longer by the day. The words and conversations that you inspire and amaze me with. You'll always be my baby.

Your adventurous streak
I can't really attribute this to me, its part toddler, part your daddy's influence - you both have the ability to look at a situation and think 'yeah let's give this a go' whereas I'm more 'lets look at it and think about what could go wrong.' I'm hoping as you grow you will be able to show me how to cut loose a bit more.

The amount of love I have for you
With each day, hour and minute I fall more and more in love with the little girl you are turning into. I think I know you and then 'bam!' you show me another side to your character and sense of humour. Sometimes you show me your strength of will and stubborness and that too makes me love you more (after I've got over the initial shock of being challenged by a two year old!).


7 Aug 2013

Liebester Award

I recently received this award from A Blissful Life after we met at Britmums Live this year. It comes with a few conditions...
The following apply when accepting this award:
·         Link back to the blog that nominated you
·         Nominate 5 - 11 new bloggers who have 200 or less followers
·         Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
·         Share 11 random facts about yourself
·         Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
·         Contact your nominees and let them know that you have nominated them
 My nominations are two ladies I met at Britmums  Live this year...I didn't nominate the required amount but hey I like being a rule breaker!

Little Likely Lads 
and anyone else who wants to join in...

My questions to answer

1.    Why did you start blogging?
I started as a way to record what was going on in my head. I've always written and read lots and this was the perfect combination for me (or obsession).
2.    Mountain hideaway or a beach house?
See I'm going to contradict myself a bit further on but for me it would be a beach house, I really want a beach hut when I win the lottery.
3.    Red or White?
White or Rose, red gives me an instant hangover which is a bit annoying.
4.    Summer or winter?
I'm a winter girl,  nothing better than kicking through the leaves on an autumn day. I like spring but summer is just too hot for my fair skin and I burn rather than tan.
5.    Hot chocolate or coffee?
Coffee all the way, a nice filtered job does the trick every time
6.    Strength training or cardio?
I used to enjoy cardio but now would rather do strength training as I want a strong body that will see me through the years
7.    Computer or television?
This is tough, I often resort to the tv out of habit but I'm always on the internet on my phone. At the moment I'd probably miss social network sites more than television.
8.    Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Beatles would be my preference but I'm not mad keen on either really
9.    Sidney or Paris?
Paris is nice and Sidney I didn't really have an opinion on (although did love Manly a lot). For me it's the hustle and bustle and potential that only New York offers.
10.  Alaska or Hawaii?
Alaska but other than the heat thing I'm not sure why
11.  Early bird or night owl
I'm somewhere in between, I'm not one for really late nights as I get older and if it's too early I have a meltdown. Guess I'm more morning than night.

11 Random Facts About me....
  • I believe in fairies...well sort of, I believe in the idea of believing. When I was younger my mum used to put fairy dust (imaginary) into my bag or hand or whatever I had to give me courage in a strange situation and said to sprinkle it if I felt the need.
  • I have wings...yes I know I'm starting to sound like a freak but in my 20s I had a set of fairy wings (joke present from the above fact). I would wear them (indoors only) whenever I felt sad and they worked - think its the whole acting like a child and releasing negative energy! (well that's my excuse).
  • I like going to watch Barry Manilow in concert. I've been three times, I don't listen to his music any other time but The.Man.Is.Electric in a weird charismatic way.
  • I love learning - hoping to do my Masters next year. Did my Degree with the Open University whilst working full time.
  • I want a beach hut that I'd paint stripy and go vintage inside.
  • I really would like to go to a dinner party hosted by Nigel Slater, he makes lovely food
  • I get grumpy if I don't have enough sleep
  • I haven't read a book properly for a year now
  • I'm addicted to reading magazines
  • I like to find out what motivates people
  • I hate the thought of people being left out.

11 questions for my nominees to answer
1) When do you find the time to blog?
2) Does your family find it interesting that you blog or do they not know about it?
3) Sunshine or rain?
4) What did you want to be when you were little?
5) Do you have a favourite childhood toy / game?
6) Town or country living?
7) What was your childs first word?
8) If you could go shopping with anyone in the world, who would it be?
9) Love or hate marmite?
10) One word to describe yourself?
11) The biggest risk you've taken?

If you don't want to play along that's fine but I had some surprising answers to the questions and the random facts bit even surprised me...

5 Aug 2013

Am I holding Bubba back...

For a while now I've been thinking of moving Bubba to a big girl bed (or rather just taking the sides off her cot). She seems happy with the current arrangement but I was feeling the pressure that she is over two and still in a cot. There is no particular rush for us, she hasn't climbed out and wrecked her room in the night, she doesn't ask for the bars to be gone but I don't know if I should have done it by now.

I courted Twitter and Facebook to see if it was a good idea, I had varying suggestions on what to do, a lot of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" type comments and others were "we moved X when she was 15 months and she was fine with it". So I'm still in two minds as to what to do, it's not imperative that we change but I'm going on peer pressure and at what age others moved their babies.

It's the same for potty training, I always said I'd wait until this summer before having a go at it but at the moment I really can't muster up the courage to try and summer is nearly been and gone. Bubba doesn't seem that bothered either way, she is aware of what she is doing and when and sits down on the potty fully clothed but doesn't want to attempt a proper 'go' on it.

Nappies are easy, no rushing to find a toilet and no messy accidents awaiting me but I still get the sense that I might be doing her a disservice. It's so difficult to judge whether I am doing something for the right reasons. Is she ready or am I holding us all back?

What about dummies, she only has one for naps and in the middle of the night but it's been creeping up and after a few tantrums out and about we've resorted to giving in and she's had the dummy during the day. I've never been keen on her having it all the time and as she gets older I'm aware of other children at her nursery (who don't have one) and I want to wean her off but when is best to do this?

When they are younger you are faced with indecision like "what does that cry mean?" or "could she be ill because she didn't eat?" but now I have dilemmas of how much I should be letting her do, is it right that I explain everything to her and we often have high brow (as high brow as a toddler can get mind you) conversations. Should I let her climb on potentially iffy things knowing she may fall but having to let her try because that's what you do, I'm still not as good at this as hubby who lets her try lots of climbing up the slide the wrong way maneuvers whereas I usually stop it before it's started.

She has a love of heels!
I don't want her to be a wimp but am I encouraging a daredevil whilst trying to keep her a baby by not moving her to a bed! This parenting lark doesn't get any easier does it and the older they get the more grey areas there are....

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