As one door closes, another one opens. 


Our almost 2 year old big girl, decided to have a day of exploring some independence, today.
On leaving the house to attend our favourite playgroup, instead of climbing into her pushchair, she announced, “No. My can walk!” So, today, for the first time, she walked. 


She was so good at listening to mummy. She held my hand, stayed on the path and let me hold the reign when she wanted a bit more freedom. 

She stepped onto the bus, all by herself, and even sat on her very own seat, which she was thrilled with and told everyone, “My seat!”, with a huge grin on her face. 


When we got off the bus, she walked passed the workers, fixing the broken road, and watched as she held my hand. No jumping into my arms, scared of the big noise. Instead, her eyes stayed fixed in curiosity, as I explained, as well as I could, what it was all about.

On the way home, she learnt how to wait on the path, when the red man shows and only to cross when the green man shows. 
I think crossing the road was her favourite part, as she repeated “Cross the road!” every 2 minutes, each way! 😁

Yesterday, she didn’t have this hunger for autonomy. Today she explored a new world and I was left feeling a mixture of both sadness and pride. As one door closes, another one opens, they say. 

It’s crazy how your love develops for them, every step of the way. 

I think I’ll remember this day forever. 💗

Advertisements

What?! You’re sending your child to school? 

 

Those of us who home educate, or who plan to, get a little too tired of hearing the same old grilling questions, every time we even MENTION that we are doing it. We don’t necessarily want to have a full on discussion on the pros and cons, every time we come into contact with someone who has never met a home educator before. But, sure enough, time and time again we find ourselves in this situation. A forced situation that we don’t particularly like to endure and would rather tear off our arms than stand smiling, confidently and sweetly, while we try to convince another person that we aren’t about to destroy our children’s lives. 
So, I thought it might be interesting to offer a different perspective for a change. Turn this discussion around a little bit and see if you still think it is appropriate to question others like this.

Please note, for the record, I would never actually speak to another person like this.  All families are so wonderfully different and unique and it’s absolutely no ones business how they conduct their lives!

Put yourself in this situation. Home education is the norm and sending children to an institution to receive formal education, is rare. Almost, unheard of. You announce to a stranger you plan on sending your child to school. 

You’re sending your children to school?!

Said with a deep, heart wrenching concern. 

But, aren’t you worried they will be bullied? I mean, most children are physically or emotionally abused in school at some point. Either briefly or for many years. Some adults never get over it and spend years in therapy. They become quiet, oppressed, suffer terrible anxiety and depression, as a result of the low self-esteem they developed due to their bullies constantly putting them down for their individuality. Crushing any confidence to ever feel comfortable with truly being themselves and forever comforming to the crowd. Oh. Well, you know your children best! 😊

Followed by an obviously uncertain and agreeable smile. 

Hmm…aren’t you a little concerned about their social skills? I mean, school can be a great place to make friends but it can also be a terrible place for forcing children to interact with people they don’t want to interact with, on a daily basis. Yes, I think that would concern me. 

Getting annoyed yet?

Are you sure you will be able to handle it? I mean, it’s a great idea but don’t you think it will be hard, forking out for uniforms, shoes, bags, making sure their uniforms are washed, dried and ironed every day, getting them up and dressed with breakfast eaten and out of the door by 8.30am every single morning! Making sure they eat their tea and are all in bed early enough to make sure they get enough sleep, to get up on time the next day. And the arguments you would have everyday. And when would you see them? On a weekend? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s something I could do. I really admire your strength, though!

Ready to punch me in the face, yet? 😬

You say, you want to do it because you think your children will get a better education but how can you be so sure? I mean, don’t many children who go to school, hate going to school, hate learning and leave with poor qualifications, tired from forced learning? Do you think your children will be different? I’m not so sure. It sounds like a bit of a gamble, to me. Oh, I don’t know that much about it, anyway. You obviously know better than me! 😊

Have you started to feel sick, yet? Tired? Frustrated? 

I debated continuing this but I genuinely don’t want to offend anyone who send their children to school. We all have our own reasons for the decisions we make for our children. The point is, if you ever come across a home educator, it might be a good idea not to assume your choice is a better one than their’s. That they haven’t thought this through till they’re blue in the face and are absolutely sure it will be a good decision for their family. 

Leave questions like this at the door and support your friends/family in their exciting new venture.

This world offers something different for everyone. We don’t all have to take the same path in life. And we don’t all have to go to school to get an education and live a happy life. 

Connect with me on Facebook to stay updated on my posts!

A Poorly Toddler is Never Too Old for Some Skin-to-Skin

Maya is sick today! 😢

After an all night boobin’ session, she woke up with a high temperature, snotty nose and cough. Her cousin had tonsillitis and they’ve spent all last week with eachother so pretty sure that’s what it is. So, I went back to basics, stripped us both off and did some skin-to-skin. 

Skin-to-skin is a really amazing technique. It increases the baby’s oxytocin levels in the body, which acts as a natural pain killer and mood enhancer. It’s also a great way to regulate their temperature so good for fevers!

Maya settled immediately and the boob was right there when she needed a drink. I could feel her temperature dropping and rising on my body, which was pretty amazing! – Just goes to show, they’re never too old for a bit of skin to skin or boob! 14 months old. 

I passed her to daddy for skin to skin to give me a break (toilet, breakfast etc..) She then proceeded to puke all over us both so we took a bath, which conveniently cooled her right down and she actually managed to play for ages. Now back to boobin’ and snoozin’, skin to skin. Thought I would post this for anyone who goes through this in future, it’s worked brilliantly for us and not even used any medicine! Just nature’s best 😉💗💗💗

Connect with me on Facebook to stay updated on my posts!

  

Attachment Parenting is Not ‘Just Another Parenting Fad’

 
If you want to be an attachment parent, you have to breastfeed, babywear or carry your baby constantly, sleep with your baby, never have a life and shit baby pink unicorns, right?

Wrong! 

In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with how you feed your child and has a lot to do with how you respond to your child’s needs. 

Do you play with your child? Hug them when they cry? Feed them when they’re hungry? Always keep them nearby during their first 6 months of life? Guess what? You’re an attachment parent! 

I first learnt about attachment theory when I was studying my Early Years diploma, many moons ago, and it’s the kind of thing that once you understand, just makes a lot of sense.  Since then, I guess I never really gave it much thought, other than, that’s probably how I will parent.

I was reacquainted with attachment theory, once again, when I became pregnant and a friend mentioned this ‘new trend’ called co-sleeping. Co-sleeping? What’s THAT all about? 

It was explained to me that co-sleeping means you either sleep with your baby or baby sleeps by your bed, meaning when baby cries, they are never far from comfort and food, two very essential things for this early stage of life. Well, yeah that makes sense. So, I did my research. This is when I met my old friend Attachment Theory, again. Only she’d changed a bit. Got older, got some new jeans, changed her hair, got married and changed her name to Attachment Parenting. Oh and it turned out, we had a lot more in common than I ever realised. 

We both recognised that when babies cry, they are communicating a need. Be that hunger, pain relief or simply comfort. We both felt that it was always a safer option to keep baby close-by, during those early months, so that you can better regulate silly things like breathing, temperature, heart rate, hunger and so on. We also both agreed, it was kind of ridiculous to think a baby, whose brain does not yet have the tools to create manipulating behaviour, could cry just to ‘get their own way’. Have you seen the size of a baby’s head? Their brains are so small, they only have room to work completely off their basic human needs. There’s no room for negotiation. If they cry, they are literally just communicating one of their basic needs. Simple! It is literally, physically impossible for a baby to attempt any form manipulation or negotiation. 

I think attachment parenting has recently been getting a bit of bad press, through what I believe to be a little misunderstanding and I think it’s about time we cleared this up. Attachment parenting isn’t a fad, it is just parenting, without all the, ‘Don’t pick the baby up too much, you’ll spoil him’, crap. I think most people assume, because a lot of parents who identify as an attachment parent tend to breastfeed, co sleep or babywear, that you have to do one or more of these activities in order to join the club. In fact, the problem is simply that not enough people, and most specifically, those who don’t breastfeed, co sleep or baby wear, are identifying themselves as attachment parents. 

The other problem we have is that many people view attachment parenting as if it is something really demanding and difficult, when it’s the exact opposite. In fact, it’s kind of lazy parenting! By answering your baby’s cries with a hug or a feed, guess what? They cry less! Not constantly trying to put your baby down for a sleep, when they’re not tired, actually makes your life a lot easier. Understanding that babies don’t respond well to sleep training, prevents you from going through the heart-ache that comes with leaving them to cry and more importantly, the disappointment that comes with them waking and crying every time you try to put them down.

Studies show that when a baby cries, both the mother’s and baby’s cortisol levels in the brain, are raised. This means mother and baby are stressed! This goes against what nature expects you to do. It is your body’s way of telling you something is not right. 

So what do we do? We follow our instincts to pick baby up and hold or feed him. And as if by magic, those cortisol levels are immediately reduced and are replaced with the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin, also know as the love hormone, acts as a natural anti-depressant. So, in essence, attachment parenting can reduce a mother’s risk of Post Natal Depressiom (PND).

Being a parent that responds sensitively to your baby’s needs, I think, deserves some recognition. If you do this, well done! You have learnt that following your instincts and listening to your child works better than following the surrounding rules and opinions of others.

It’s easy to lose track but I have found that the less I listen to the advice of others and the more I simply watch and listen to my baby, the smoother things go. 

So, in summary, trust your instincts. They know best. Attachment parenting is NOT just another parenting fad. It IS just parenting. Exactly how it was meant to be, which is why when parents practice it, they find they are less stressed and that their babies cry less. This in turn makes it easier to understand exactly why your baby is crying, upset, grumpy, and also recognise everything that makes them happy. 

It’s like I always say, Happy Baby, Happy Mammy! 😉

Connect with me on Facebook to stay updated on my posts!

Bed Sharing is NOT Co Sleeping!!

  
I’m a big believer in co sleeping to help alleviate stress for the whole family.

Let me just get one thing straight, first. Co sleeping is not bed sharing. Bed sharing is a FORM of co sleeping. If your baby still sleeps in your room, no matter where they are in that room (unless you have a really really huge room) then you are co sleeping. Obviously, the closer the better but still co sleeping. 

The reason the closer the better, is because it is natural for our infants (notice I said ‘infants’ not ‘babies’) to want to be near to us, for security and protection. They are small, helpless little animals and in our caveman days, prone to being eaten by predators. They crave to be near us, hence, lots of crying when they aren’t. 

This isn’t to make you feel bad, it’s to help you understand why your baby cries and how you might be able to solve it and get a better nights rest!! 

Crying stresses me out, to the point I can’t think straight and I feel sick. So does a really disturbed nights sleep! I know I’m not the only one, and I believe that it is partly down to our instincts as parents to feel like this. It is instinctive to answer our baby’s cries and keep them close. 

The best advice I ever got was to follow my instincts and I know, I have just discovered I have PND, at almost 12 months in, but I truly believe that if I hadn’t have been co sleeping with Maya, I would have delved into a great depression a lot sooner than now! 

It makes me feel better when I don’t hear my baby cry all the time. And did you know, that a hug, a kiss, a touch, skin-to-skin contact, and/or breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin into YOUR body. Oxytocin work as a natural anti-depressant, alleviating stress and helping us to feel generally much better than we otherwise would.

Did you also know that sleeping with your new born helps to regulate their breathing, body temperature and heart rate? Without you there, they have to try and do this all on their own. Another reason to keep them near!

Again, you don’t have to bring them into your bed, all the time, to do this. You can simply just keep them nearby!

This article explains, really well, how western culture has messed up the way we were supposed to do things with out children, biologically, as humans. 

Follow your instincts! Do what feels right. I PROMISE it will make you feel better! ✌🏻️

Connect with me on Facebook to stay updated on my posts!

I Have Postnatal Depression and I’m Not Ashamed of It. 

    

It’s official. I went to the doctors this morning and we both agreed, I shouldn’t be feeling so low, so teary and sensitive, and so god damn angry, all the time!

I’m telling you this because it’s important to tell you. It’s important to talk about it, so that other women can know, there is nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t make you, or I, a bad mother. If anything, it makes you a better one, for putting up with parenting AND depression. Double whammy bonus points! 

It’s also important to know that it is not normal to feel angry all the time or to get upset all the time, just because you’re a parent and parenting is hard.

I’ll be honest, it took me by surprise. I had no clue I had it, until I read an article, only yesterday, about a lady who was having bursts of outrage and realised she needed to seek help. 

I have bursts of outrage, too, I thought. In fact, just the other day, my hairdryer felt my wrath and I’m sad to say, is no longer with us.

It’s not the first time I’ve flew off the handle, either. The more I’ve thought about it, since Maya has been born, there has been numerous times I’ve felt I couldn’t cope and 90% of the time, I’ve held it together. I had to! I didnt want my family suffering because I couldn’t cope. What sort of a mother would that make me? 

I know better now and what a relief it is! I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that it’s NOT normal to feel like this. That it’s NOT just a few bad days. That it’s NOT just me ‘failing’! I guess I’ve plodded on with things, until my symptoms, just recently, have became more noticeable. 

I think it’s possibly coincided with the fact that Maya has been reducing her feeds, lately, due to eating more solids, meaning I’m not getting such a high daily dose of oxytocin, as I once was. I’m guessing that’s what has been keeping the depression at bay, until now, and now I just need something else to get me back on track.

I’m slightly gutted, because I thought I would never again be reduced to the slums of depression, however, I know it’s just the result of too many negative thoughts resulting in a chemical reaction in my brain. Something, I simply couldn’t have helped.

We’ve had it tough since Maya was born. For three and half months, everyone around us told us she had colic, distracting us from discovering the real problem, which was that I had an oversupply of milk and she was taking too much sugar from it. This resulted in one very gassy and unhappy baby, who coughed and spluttered when I gave her my milk and eventually hated breastfeeding. It was a problem that was solved within a few days, once we knew what was causing it, but we had endured it for so long because in our culture, colic is the answer to everything and no one seems to quite know enough about breastfeeding. 

All those negative emotions, from such a stressful period, have really stayed with me all this time. I still feel mega stressed the second she starts to cry. It’s almost traumatised me. I get sweaty, anxious, panicky, I can’t think straight and then I get angry. 

Here’s something else, I feel is important to tell you. I DON’T CRY ALL THE TIME! 

You don’t have to cry all the time to be depressed. I smile quite often, actually. I’m generally a positive and happy person and I’m guessing most people wouldn’t have guessed that I am depressed. I’d be surprised if you did, because I didn’t even know, myself! The point is, people handle depression in different ways. Mine took the form of anger, screaming, shouting, breaking stuff and wanting to get away from my baby. Followed by feelings of guilt and disappointment in myself. The one thing I’ve always wanted is to be a good mother and I vowed to never be a ‘shouty mum’. As the occasions of shouting seem to have increased lately, I knew it was time to act. 

It’s easy to let the signs pass you buy. Especially, if you have well-meaning family and friends around you, telling you ‘it’s ok’, ‘it’s normal to feel like that’, and ‘you’re just having a bad day’. But if you don’t feel you are living up to your basic expectations of coping, that your emotions are out of hand, however they choose to manifest, get yourself to the doctor!

I had a great experience. I know I’m not the worst case of PND the doctor has ever seen, but she was so understanding and got me straight on the waiting list for some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

It’s as easy as that. 

I still feel a bit shitty today but I did just find out I have depression! 

Hopefully, I’ll be back on my feet in no time. 

And if you’re reading this and you suspect depression might be looming over you too, don’t doubt yourself, just go get help. Depression effects 1 in 5 adults. It’s so much more common than we realise and absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. 

Connect with me on Facebook to stay updated on my posts!