......

......
I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Sardines

We just played our first ever game of sardines yesterday evening before bed and it was brilliant...admittedly it did start of as mummy hide and seek....you know where I find a fantastic spot that takes them aaaages to find me.  Initially Millie thought she was to hide (in a different place) as well as Maia, (avoided a meltdown from Millie about never being the one to hide & negotiated a deal with her to be next...without consulting Ellie and Maia which could be a disaster but ocht fuck it deal done let's carry on.  Then while still looking for Maia, Ellie tricked Millie into thinking Maia was hiding under our bed covers, so Millie and Ellie hid there so when I came along I thought they were all hiding there and before I whipped the covers off I stood marvelling at how insanely still and quiet they were both being (whilst trying not to laugh at them still thinking I can't see them)

We played for over an hour and really it is the first time we all managed to play together where no-one became irrevocably upset and everyone got a turn. There was lots of the usual negotiating, behind the scene tweaking and relaxing of rules without anyone realising!!

It was a magnificent feat of ingenuity and yet a wonderful connecting family moment.

I wonder if other people put *that* much effort into maintaining a simple game?!! It was worth it though.

Still took nearly two hours for bedtime. Nothing tires these girls out!

Meltdowns - redirected a few
Losing the plot - nope all good clean fun
Breastfeeding - not whilst hiding!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Love me more and more and more and forever

Ellie and Maia were out for the evening tonight at the theatre. Barry and I played hide and seek with Millie (5) in one room..it was really funny...I wish I'd filmed it...she hid in the same place every time! She basically had our undivided attention for almost 2hrs and she absolutely loved it!  She was heard and understood and no-one called her an idiot or stupid or pulled her hair or hit her for no reason.   

 It was an interesting and relatively easy experience nighttime parenting only one child and I'm going to be honest, I did for a brief moment wonder what life would be like if life hadn't happened and we were parents to just the one. I'm not proud the thought slipped in there, but there you have it, it did. Anyway, as quickly as the thought appeared I confused it out my head with the complications of time travelling and Millie being the youngest (or would she be older?) and the other two not existing and ages being different and would she still be 5 or would we always have started a family when we did and...sod it. ...it wouldn't work, no point even thinking about it. Yet I did.....

I remember parenting one child and how overwhelmed and different I felt. The only one *still* breastfeeding at 1, the only one not initiating weaning to go skiing, then only one actually carrying my toddler in a sling and *still* sharing a bed. Then the 2nd came and I carried on parenting in this different way, by then I had found a few others who parented the way I did, through La Leche League and Nurture in Nature.  I saw others breastfeeding part babyhood and bed sharing with their children. There was no-one tandem feeding but I didn't feel as different. I did begin to feel the tug of war between siblings and with my body....one needs me over there, one needs me here...then no3 came along...I didn't know the meaning of overwhelmed and different!!! 

Having more than one kid changes the way you are able to love each child. There is always love to go around, just most-times there isn't enough of me to go around.  There is a constant battle of guilt in my head about giving everyone what they need and that constant nagging feeling that I'm somehow failing each kid of their right to have a complete childhood because they constantly have to divide me and share me and fight for my attention. I realised yesterday I could distinguish each child by their repetitive mum mum mum call. Each one is different!

The girls came home quite late but full of excitement from their trip. I deliberately took the time to connect and listen before encouraging them upstairs. Words are futile at times like these. Times when they are beyond tired yet still enthusiastically awake. Repeatedly asking them to start bedtime falls on deaf excited ears.  I know they just need a bit of mummytime before the mundane. Listen. Connect..then let them follow me to toothbrushing and bed. 

My girls are getting older....soon all three be in school and that 'me time' I am constantly trying to carve out will become that much easier...a new phase awaits us all. 

Last night Millie eeked out every ounce of mum and dad time she could until hubby went to pick up the older two, then she squeezed just a bit more love from me until she fell asleep....mummy "whisper in my ear" she said...."say I am worthy, I am wanted, I am loved...mummy loves Millie". Yes she does. She loves each and every one of you. Completely. As much as she can.






Meltdowns - none tonight with only one
Losing the Plot - not even a little
Breastfeeding - Natural term feeding at its finest



Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Love the crazy mean people again

I have this massive almost sometimes debilitating fear that people I dont know very well, but see almost daily (so IRL...in real life) don't like me and that I have done something to upset them and then I have this GREAT urge to talk to the person, apologise for anything I have ever said or done or thought incase I did, say or think something that might have upset them.  It's a vibe I get....you know you can just tell....stink eye.

Then I go through phases of thinking fuck it who cares. It's their issue with whatever I was saying. Transference, it's about something else. We all live differently. I've got nothing to apologise for...it's me not them. 

Then I don't want to be thought of as someone who hurts other people's feelings. I don't like it when it happens to me.

Why do I have this need for people I hardly know to like me? I'm already stressing about the people I do know and wether I've upset them in any way...I don't need it with strangers!!!!

I think I'm basically top of the needy chain..but I'm not sure what I need. It's not a comfortable place to be.

I don't want my kids growing up feeling like they need to apologise for themselves all the time. Like they might have done something wrong for having a different way of looking at life. I want them to feel freer and happier with who they are and be around people who are kind and understanding. I want them to feel confident and happy with who they are but not in a mean way.

I try to be that for them but I know they are learning meanness from me because some days it's not easy and some days I am mean to them. Hopefully they are also learning how to apologise and know when to.

I tell my kids that consistently grown up mean people sometimes didn't have enough love around them growing up and probably just need a hug from their mummy or daddy. People who are sometimes mean are maybe having a hard time at home or they are tired or hungry. I try to help them understand it from their side and hopefully that's helping them not feel it's their fault all the time. Sometimes it is....believe me sometimes it is their bloody inconsiderate unhelpful ungrateful fault!!!

Sometimes I say they weren't breastfed as a baby..you know, cos I like being controversial... 😜

Love the crazy mean people. I'm one of them sometimes. Love me. Love me. Love me. Like me? Ok just be civil to me at the very least. It must be exhausting giving me your negative vibes all the time.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Take a big big picture

Millie has sweets
She gave some to Ellie and Maia
She gave one to me and wanted to see it get small from sucking. I didn't know and when she came back in to see mine I told her it was finished. She went back in the other room and took one of the sweets she had given to Ellie previously in order to give it to me.

We felt Ellie should have understood that Millie was only wanting to make me happy and play a game with mummy and we surmised that Millie thought that since she had given Ellie a few, taking one wouldn't be a major problem especially since it was for mummy.

Ellie didn't. She completely freaked out at the injustice of Millie not asking for the sweet and she was so fixated on that part that we couldn't help her see why Millie had perhaps thought it was ok to take a sweet.

We explained to Millie that she should have asked Ellie.

No matter how we tried to explain it to Ellie she couldn't see past the initial injustice. Millie shouldn't have taken the sweet and that was that.

My hubby is a lawyer and he often says to his clients sometimes you need to see the bigger picture and that sometimes you need to look past your full legal rights.

A long time ago we discussed present giving.  The consensus on taking back a present because you've changed your mind was, that at that young age it was better for them to learn about compassion and make an allowance for the fact that the present giver is allowed to change their mind and that it's ok to. We felt that sometimes kids give things to their friends in the heat of the moment for the right reasons and regret it later. (They can also give things for wrong reasons, because they think thats how to gain affection. That's a different matter though!) 

Sometimes you need to see the good in people and not always think you are being wronged.

It also helps to see the bigger picture to help everyone to be happy (or at least fairly happy) with the overall outcome instead of one very happy winner and one very unhappy loser.

Sibling navigation is tricky.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Consent is not required

I'm a good person. I'm a nice person.  I'm an interesting person and I'm a fun person. I am also a principled person and when someone else tells me to temper myself and not be myself then it makes me want to be myself more. I don't like being told what to do. I especially don't like people telling me what to do with my kids. I absolutely abhor this one size fits all society we are being boxed in to. This 'you must do it this way because it's been deemed better for you.'



I still labour under the illusion that I have the right to choose what is best for my family. It's not like my girls are neglected or abused. It's not like I am damaging their health. On the contrary, the amount of chemicals that 'the mainstream' are finally realising causes health problems makes me know in my heart why I live my life the way I do. There are enough toxins in the air that I can't do anything about, without deliberately and consciously ingesting others.

So the issue for me is that the nursery are saying they can't use the toothpaste I provide because the government says there has to be a certain level of flouride in the paste. They will of course speak to the department that runs the toothbrushing initiative but surely it is better to brush than not at all. Not to mention the exclusion and singling out of my child when everyone else is brushing.

The most worrying aspect for me though is actually the wording at the top of the letter. It states:-
"Starting from Academic Year 2016/2017 Consent for tooth brushing is no longer required."
With a capital C for consent, just to drive home the power.

You may think I am reading too much into things. You may think I am over analysing. Yet it always starts with the small things and before you know it, the next letter you receive about your children and your life could read....
"Consent is no longer required."

If I become known as the crazy parent because I am always questioning and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable to foist on to my girls then so be it.

This isn't my first rodeo. I have been advocating for my girls rights since before they were born and I am not about to stop now. Complacency is not an option for me and my family.

                       _______________



"First they came for their clothes, eroded their identity and stifled their individuality. 
Then they came for their teeth, infused them with neurotoxins and told them to swallow.  
Then they came for their immunity, injected them with poison and made millions. 
Then they came for their minds, censored their brains and conformed their bodies. 
Then they came for me but I had nothing left to give."

You get the picture.......is it sinking in yet????







Meltdowns - ALWAYS after swimming 
Losing the Plot - perhaps 
Breastfeeding - nearing the end of our journey :(





Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Time Time Time See What's Become of Me

This is it. I think this is really it.  For the first time in......I think forever......I am going to be getting a regular me time, by that I mean substantial weekly time, not a here and there few hours ( I hear the 5minuters stabbing me right now) where there isn't enough time to decide what to do before *poof* my ability to think and speak and walk and talk and feed and clean and move ANY way I want and not even ALL at the same time......is gone!!

When the girls were maybe about 2yrs-3yrs old, I remember reading someone's post along the lines of ... even  if they managed to sneak off and lie face down on the bed for even 5 minutes they considered it me time.....I decided to try it. I knew then, I was in for a long long long slog.

I may no longer be a 5minuter but I really believe you truly don't appreciate that consecutive head space of tranquillity until you become a mum. That ability to have a clear unfettered thought and choose to do whatever you want, whenever, knowing you will probably  still have time to do a few necessities, because, really,  who wants to be doing dishes and washing and ridiculous things like making food when there is  S P A C E   B E T W E E N   T H E   M O M E N T S.

This concept of me time is interesting. It's different things for different people but realistically, Yeeeees, I know I am meant to be feelzin' my moments.....mindfullnessing the green out of my grass, breathing my core to the top of the middle... but sometimes, as I am sure you are aware there just isn't time to do anything meaningfully worthy to be considered (charging self) me time when you have young kids. By the way, this increases exponentially the more kids you have.

But, I can hardly believe it.

It's good to just be able to slowly and deeply breathe in and out without interruption.
It's good having time to get past that shitty guilty stage of 'there are things that need doing, I can't really literally do nothing and get away with it' and be also able to actually literally do nothing. Its hard for me to actually do nothing for very long unless I am asleep, even then I am still moving around. Today I lay for about ten minutes and tensed and relaxed every muscle. I may even do it again because I will  have time!!

It's good not to be thinking I don't know what to do first, there is so much to do, I don't know where to start AND I need to do this me time thingy for me too and to not feel immobilized by how much there is to do that by the time I get my shit together it's too late and I've got very little done.
So far today, FOR ME, I have been swimming and tensed and relaxed my whole body for ten minutes and I still have a couple of hours left!!

It's good to not be thinking oh crap they are nearly home...did I do anything relaxing and meaningful, did I do what I needed to do, do I have time to........before.....with that one glorious rumble of stones on the drive way...with that slam of the door, with that jangle of the key in the lock....my whole world explodes into chaos and loudness and movement and neediness and...well......and life!!

I am giddy with possibilties!! Fortunately the internet is broken or I would have binge watched Gilmour Girls for sure! This way I've started as I mean to go on....there *will* be binge watching but this way has given me a chance to see other possibilties and to switch my body and brain off for 10 minutes of emptiness.

To all my 5minuter and 30mins and few hourers friends....your time will come. Hang in there or faceplant on the bed for 5 minutes more.........maybe call me and I'll help you get some head space....give me a wee chance though just to enjoy mine!!


Meltdowns - don't know I'm not with them!!
Losing the Plot - not likely, unless it a house DIY freak out
Breastfeeding - later