29 Oct 2015

Motherhood Moments

I'm having one of those periods of time where I seem to get nothing done but I'm doing everything. Time seems to be moving slowly, Groundhog Day style but I blink and it's already later than I realise.

Having two little people is tough at the moment, the day to day of juggling their needs is doing me in. I can't image how other people make it work with more kids, I used to want more but I think it'd send me over the edge slightly. 

It's especially worse or probably just more noticeable as they are both slightly under the weather. The crying and whining and not eating and being totally unpredictable is making me question what I'm doing wrong. One starts up and then it finishes, then the next takes over, it's a riot of sleepless nights and long days where all they seem to do is moan at me, on repeat.

I'm not really enjoying myself, barely getting through the day without me shouting, a child screaming at me or dissolving into a puddle of tears the minute my husband gets in the door.. 

It's not my finest motherhood moment and I can't seem to get myself out of this rut. I feel dispondent and slightly dislocated from life with a 'what's the point' attitude. I know this is another negative post but it's also real life because this is how motherhood looks to me right now. I hope it gets better and the tantrums (from both of them dissipate soon). 

23 Oct 2015

Bully Be Gone

We've all read about bullying and how it affects an astonishing one in three children at school or online. We all remember our own childhoods and if we were subject to any kind of torment at school.

I luckily never was apart from being teased by a boy called George who I now think secretly fancied me. It was tame and I never felt threatened or sad...just thought he was a silly boy!

But bullying is real, it's painful and it's nasty.

As a mother I didn't really get it and I just felt sorry for any child who goes through it but I wasn't affected directly by it. I hadn't realised its not just the name calling or put downs...it's the mental anguish faced when you are at home or thinking about it or hating going to school the next day. It's the uncontrollable rage, the flying off the handle and not knowing why, it's the unrecognisable child that gets returned to me at the end of the day. 

I would be horrified if I found out that my child was part of any form of bullying. I hate the idea of being left out or wilfully leaving another out. Even if you don't particularly like or know the person, kindness is still my preferred option. I've been subject to mum snubs in the playground and find it affects me awfully as I'm quite sensitive. But I'm also an adult, I can rationalise it better, a child can't always do that and hasn't  got the emotional tools to deal with rejection.

As parents we should be teaching our children kindness, support and tolerance. Reminding them that it's not nice to talk to people rudely or with disdain, everyone is equal. They should know a simple smile and hello are all it takes to make friends.

Starting school this year for my girl there have been lots of times she's come home and announced "you are only allowed one friend" or "I can't play with X as she has a new friend and says she doesn't need me"

'She doesn't need me'...

Such a heartbreaking sentence as is the following which makes me openly weep (but never in front of my girl, I squirrel myself off to tidy up).

"She told me to leave her alone for 5 minutes today, yesterday it was 10"

Me: what do you do when she says this?

"I go and wait on my own until the bell rings"

She is only four and my heart breaks for her. She thinks this is friendship but it's not. This is an older girl who in my opinion should know better. I hate the thought that she is stood on her own feeling a confused mix of emotions.

"She promised she'd play with me today but she lied mummy"

"She let me follow her around at playtime then said 'please leave me alone'"

I know I don't fully know the context but I know my little girl is in turmoil when she gets home. She has been taking it out on me and I can't stop her pain or comprehension of the situation. I'm going to keep trying and helping her understand being treated like this isn't fair and it's not right.

We've spoken to her teacher (who is speaking to the big girls teacher too). I'm also trying to keep an open dialogue about it and comparing situations. At first she hadn't wanted to tell me what was happening. I just want my happy little four year old back, I just need to see that smile and hear her laugh.

For advice and help there are lots of resources available. Here are a few I've found:


21 Oct 2015

Our Favourite No Fuss Games

I love Pinterest, Facebook and good old Instagram but sometimes they make me feel like I'm loosing at motherhood.

There are all sorts of videos on brilliant games, things to make and places to go. Pictures of amazing art created by children and food that looks easy to craft but ultimately when I try it both kids look at me like I'm insane. Our sugar animals look more like what a real animal would produce from its bum! My great games with Pom poms and tubes and sorting buckets leave my boy either trying to inhale them or chucking them behind radiators. Do you know how hard it is to extract five blinking Pom poms from down the back...no neither did I but I do now!

Well rather than try to make anyone feel a failure, I'm going to share our new games with you. They are simple (but not in the Pinterest 'it takes five hours to prep then four minutes to do' way).

Ready...first game:

Start doing the washing up, put extra squirt of washing up liquid into the running water. Scoop those bubbles into a bowl and get your kids to paint the cupboards, the odd door or even the floor. Then when the bubbles have finished give them a tea towel to wipe it all up.

See so simple yet so effective.

Game two: let the kids take all the cushions off the sofa and jump around on them, roll off them and generally create havoc. I used to stop this behaviour but letting them do it and they way they giggle is worth the chaos.

Game three: Give them both a bowl of water and a whisk...then watch them pretend to be chefs or just pouring the water over their own trousers and laughing manically so you end up in just your nappy (mentioning no names!!)

They aren't the most stylish of games, taking pictures don't make you look like the best mother but it keeps them busy and I don't have to feel like a rubbish mum for not educating and providing things for them to do.

18 Oct 2015

The Boy & Me

I used to document what bubba and I got up to but realised that I haven't done this for cub.

Now Bubba is in full time school I have more time alone with my boy. Every afternoon and then two whole days together.

Until a few months ago I had never been to a playgroup as Bubba and I always had a full quota of things to do. For research I took cub and after a while to warm up, he loved it and it's really nice to watch him playing and exploring. So we've been going every week, we also go to one structured class where he doesn't necessarily join in the song time (looks at me as if I'm insane as I sing) he loves running around, the musical instruments and bubbles...oh my boy loves bubbles. 

Apart from that we sometimes just go to the supermarket and have a spot of lunch on the days I work. I'm still at the feeling guilty, like something or someone is missing stage. I miss having my girl around chattering away at me.

I'm getting to know him in such a different way and get to concentrate on his cheeky little personality and quirky mannerisms. At 18 months he is into everything and is starting to have proper tantrums, sometimes I can't even look at him mid hissy fit as that sends him into a bigger tantrum. But that's a whole different blog post for another day.

He loves climbing and being outdoors so on the days we aren't doing anything we probably spend 20 mins in the front garden (as soon as I lift him out of the car). Then at some point we end up in the back garden where he invariably gets muddy...it's like he attracts dirt and muck, so very different from his big sister.

The best bit is picking Bubba up from school, he gets so excited in the playground as we wait and there is lots of squealing from them both.


14 Oct 2015

What we are reading...

My kids love books, which I'm very happy about as reading is one of my passions. It warms my heart when they go quiet and I come into the room to find them both immersed in books or magazines or anything that has words on it. I don't even mind when cub gets his favourite book and looks at it upside down. The fact that he wants to have the book means we are winning.

So I thought I'd share our favourite books right now, as I'm an Usborne Independent Organiser it means I have access to lots of lovely books. But I'm being honest in saying that although both these books are Usborne isn't a fix, the boy had his favourite before I started work and bubba is dino mad at the moment so hers is subject related.

So here we go: 

Peep Inside dinosaurs...

A lovely pop up book with gorgeous pictures and information about some popular dinosaurs (& some lesser known ones). Here's what bubba had to say:

Me: why is this your favourite book?
Bubba: cos I like all those pop ups...did you know mummy that dinosaurs ruled the world before people arrived

Me: what's your favourite dinosaur?
Bubba: Parasorolophis had a crest and it made sounds with it.

Me: is that your favourite?
Bubba: [just a withering look]

Me: why do you think it's a good book?
Bubba: it's a good book because I like dinosaurs 

Me: did it teach you anything?
Bubba: I know all the dinosaurs but I didn't know the underwater one. I only know a few but now I know loads mummy.

So there you have it, a really comprehensive guide to 'Peep Inside dinosaur'

Cubs best book is:
Baby's very first touchy-feely 
Lift the flap - Play book

It's got such bright and cheery pictures and I thought he'd go to town on ripping off the flaps but he is surprisingly gentle. When I do a playgroup with my books and have my copy of this book, he runs off with it to read and I have to negotiate to get it back in a pristine condition.

He looks at it every night and still acts shocked at the big reveal under each flap. Love it.

So what's your best books?

For more information on Usborne, please visit: www.babblebooks.co.uk


12 Oct 2015

Words that wound

I though the worst bit of my four year olds tantrums was being in a busy shop and everyone watching but it isn't.

Tonight after school I asked her to change out of her school uniform so she could eat the cake and kinder egg I'd got her. This caused an almighty hissy fit which culminated in me taking her upstairs to cool down.

It wasn't her actions that I found distressing but her words. Bearing in mind we have just done an all night we with cub and his teeth - waking every hour. So I'm extra sensitive today but still wasn't expecting her to shout at me:

"I hate you"

"Go find a new family"

"I don't love you anymore"

"Leave me alone forever!"

I stood outside her door and quietly sobbed to myself. She doesn't realise what she's saying but I understand and remember. She's tired, having also woken twice in the night and after this fit she promptly fell asleep on the sofa.

I can only begin to imagine what's in store for us during her teenage years. 

7 Oct 2015

I sit on the stairs...

I'm sat in the dark outside my babies rooms (it's a small hallway and I can touch both their doors if I wanted). I wait for my eldest to go to sleep, she more often than not requests for me to sit here. It used to bother me but now I don't mind as it gives my brain some space and quiet time whilst the smells of dinner waft up the stairs.

I can often hear a rustle or sigh from one or both of them and I thank my lucky stars that they are beautiful and mostly happy little souls. My next thought is 'please don't wake up, thank the Lord they are asleep'

I then often lean my head back against the cold, hard wall and wonder how on earth I got here! A mother of two energetic and willful children, a woman who is a shadow of her former self. Someone reduced to tears most days by the little ankle biters and who bitterly snipes at her husband when he's 15 minutes late home. 

He doesn't understand how "oh I lost track of time" rankles me, I'm now a woman who cannot be late, cannot loose track of anything. My life is so carefully timed and mapped out, I need to get where I need to be and I need not to be late. Two little lives hinge on me keeping it all together and keeping the momentum going. I bounce from having the.best.day.ever!!! To having a waking nightmare within seconds and I feel ashamed and emotional that I'm not enjoying every second with them. You get force fed by those who've trodden the path before you that 'these are the best days, you'll miss it when they grow up' but the here and now can be incredibly difficult and surely these people are telling you in hindsight and it's something they missed along the way too.

I truly love being their mother and can take the sacrifices I've made to make sure they are cared for. But I sometimes miss me, I miss going out with my husband, I miss being casual and lighthearted, I miss doing exactly what I want and when I want! Maybe that woman will return but I suspect I've changed and will never be the fun loving woman again.

For now, I'll resist falling asleep, lift my head up and plod on, there's dinner to be served and life to be living. I'll dig out my Yesmum cards and remember 'I'm doing the best I can'

*yesmum cards are the best for motivation. This isn't sponsored, please check them out as I think they are brilliant.

5 Oct 2015

A mother knows...

It's important to find your favourite bear when you are ready to sleep (even if it means turning the house apart to find it).

When you cry about making sure I hold the balloon tightly enough so it doesn't fly away, I know it's not really about the balloon at all.

How you keep looking at me to reassure yourself when you get nervous.

That a certain smile and putting your hand over your mouth means you are lying to me.

When you run away but keeping looking over your shoulder laughing to me means you just want to be caught.

That sitting on me or as close as you can is a sign that you need me to take notice and make a fuss of you.

When you wipe your mucky nose on my sleeve that its done with love and you feel at your most comfortable with me.

When something crashes down (& you've been told not to touch it) you look to me for reassurance and the look in your eyes says 'oops sorry!'

There is nothing better than a mummy cuddle sometimes, no one else will do.

The first word from your lips in the middle of the night is always and will always be "mummy".

No-one knows exactly how you like your bread not touching your sauce but mum.

You don't have to explain what hurt when you fell over, you know you'll be scooped up and made a fuss of regardless.

There is nothing like the bond between a mother and her child, it cannot be explained, quantified or judged. I will always love you more than you know and forever I will be your biggest champion.

She would forgive her child regardless...

Being selfless is the least I can do from my babies, you want anything and I will at the very least, try to make it happen.

Her children are her biggest accomplishment ever and every day she counts her blessings because you made a half life become whole.

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