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, 30 April 2010

Magic Thinking

The problem is, My Magic Thinking....its diminishing.

The magic thinking that gets me through each money crisis
The magic thinking that gets me through each parenting crisis
The magic thinking that gets me through each relationship crisis
The magic thinking that gets me through each mother crisis

And has me believing that everything WILL just turn out OK and everything happens for a reason and it is just a phase and things will get better and that I AM that person that can cope with life.  

I call it magic thinking…I don’t know how it works and I am not sure how I came to possess it given the crap that has gone on in my life but it does….it’s magic, its unfailing belief, its trust, its all those things and more…lately though my magic thinking  has needed a kick up the arse.  

I need my magic thinking back to full strength.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Don't even think you have it sussed not even for a second

25th April
Hide in plain sight
Covert operation for them not to find the chocolate
Got older, wiser, more observant…me too
Chocolate now in easy reach and hasn’t been found for weeks

27th April
Maia found it

Damn that giving power to thoughts thing.

(This post was from 2010 and I never published it. I remember the frustration of autonomy and choices over chocolate.  And the trying to hide it versus letting them have it.  Makes me smile now reading this little blog!! Not much has changed!!)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Does it make a Difference?

It does not matter how many times you ask...and it doesn't make a difference if you say in a really loud voice 'that's dangerous', Ellie and Maia will not sit down on a bus.  You could spend the whole journey trying and getting more and more frustrated and upset.  You could say we are not going on a bus again unless you sit down.  There are lots of ways to force them to stay sitting on the bus.  I prefer to just let them be.  They know to hold tight. 

It does not matter how many times you ask...and it doesn't make a difference if you are wearing a uniform with a badge, Ellie will not put her shoes back on.  You could follow her round the whole of a museum trying and getting nowhere.  You could say to her we are not going in the museum unless you put your shoes on.  There are lots of ways you could force her to keep her shoes on.  I prefer to just let her be. If she wants to be barefoot, its her choice.

It does not matter how many times you ask....and it doesn't make a difference if you have finished, Maia will not move on until she is ready.  You could spend the whole time herding her from one place to the next or picking her up and taking her away from her exploring.  You could say we are not going out again unless you keep up.  There are lots of ways to force her to hurry up.  I prefer to just let her be. She comes when she is ready.

If it doesn't make a difference  and I can, then I let them be.  It's their choice

Monday, 26 April 2010

Rude Awakening

I was woken by Ellie today in a way I have never experienced, and never hope to experience ever again. It was horrific.  Not a brilliant start to our day, I have to say.  She basically ambushed me so severely I had no idea what on earth was going on.  I was at a really interesting point in my dream and when I woke up I literally could not orientated myself meanwhile Ellie was flailing and grabbing at me for milk and screaming in my ear.  It has been at least 3months if not more (I can't remember) since I tried to have Ellie at 3milks a day, but she is a strong minded lassie and will not give it up.  And she seems to be accepting it less and less....its not getting easier, she is just not relinquishing the almighty Boob. I must be doing something wrong...or maybe she is that innately programmed to require want need milk that she is not going to give up without a fight?

I have a very ambiguous relationship with breastfeeding.  I completely and utterly believe in breastmilk and breastfeeding as a concept, but sometimes its  hard.  Hard to do it as much as they would want.  I am just not *that* giving it would seem. Serves me right for having two so close together I guess.  Although my breastfeeding relationship with Ellie was always a struggle right from the start.  Much like our relationship in general.

Anyway back to our day.  The wake up could have completely thrown me off course for the whole day, but I worked really hard at not allowing that to happen.  Mainly by going back to bed after breakfast for half an hour and letting Barry get them ready to go out.  Who know's how the day would have gone if he had not been there.  I shudder to think.  I was still feeling not quite right though.  Lets just proceed as if this is going really well as Christopher Walken says.

Barry in his infinite wisdom decided going to the Barras was a good idea...me in my infinite wisdom agreed.  Yes a family outing, that's what we need.  To a Glasgow Market in the East End of Glasgow...where I breastfed on a crate at the butchers stall and had a fight with the woman at the jewellery stand..look if you don't want people to look at your jewellery close up, don't put a handle on the display where my 3yr old can reach it..or better still just don't sell shiny stuff.  We navigated our way  back to the car in record time, and with minimal  upsets although I did have to stand by the stall with the man selling batteries, rizlas and razors for a considerable amount of time because Maia was adamant she wanted to explore the batteries.  I could tell she was desperate to open and shove them in her mouth but I managed to quench her exploration otherways and Barry enticed her elsewhere with promises of bigger and far more interesting things than batteries....did she find them?...who knows because at that point, Ellie decided she needed to pee and I decided peeing on a Glasgow street in the East End wasn't called for right at that moment, and I dashed through the market out the other end to a patch of grass.

Maybe the Gypsy woman who said we were lucky was right?  

Unfortunately some of our MummyEllie day was cancelled but we managed to stay pretty well connected right up until Flooby hour approached and I chickened out again realised I should get backup and found Barry & Maia in the park.  Can't beat a good swing to sort out the Floobies.  That and Barry taking them home on the train and me getting ANOTHER half an hour alone whilst I drove home. 

The rest of the evening went without drama, except for a slight indiscretion on my part involving a swear word and an adjective but there were scissors involved.

Bed time is a whole nother story all together

meltdowns - 1 horrific morning one
losing plot- staid in comparison
breastfeeding - on the butchers stall

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Is it important?

Its important to me and I cant do it

Imagine your child has said this to you, how would you react? What would you say or do?

Its not important
its not that big a thing
you don’t need to do it

How would that make her feel?

Everyday someone says to you verbally, non verbally, in those exact words or not  ‘it’s important to me and I can’t do it?

Here let me help you, I can see its something you really want or need to do, let me see if we can do it together until you are able to do it yourself.

How does that make you feel?

Saturday, 24 April 2010

One Down, One to Love

One of the difficulties I have is dividing me. One wants me to sit and read, the other wants me to bounce. One is settled with me and the other needs to pee.  One wants on the swing the other on the climbing frame.  I feel torn and pulled constantly and as if I am not giving enough to one before I have to give to the other.

So, I know I need to work on my connection with Ellie but I chickened out and persuaded Barry to have a DaddyEllie day with her and I spent the morning with Maia instead. Actually, it has probably been for the best. We are clashing so much just now, the break will hopefully do me good. Then I can re-connect with Ellie again.

Spending time with Maia alone has been lovely, she is so calm and strong, explorative and willing. It is not a constant battle with her to do anything, we seem to work well together as a team and at the moment it is effortless. I can feel her asserting her autonomy and own control but it is not overwhelming. I am well aware this can change in an instant and even though she did take almost 3hours to decide she was ready to get dressed, it didn't feel stressy in the process. We played, we ate, we connected, she got dressed and we went for a walk...now she is sleeping and I am calm, its bliss!!

Most days we are all riding high and on the crest of a wave where any false move can send us spiraling. I constantly fret whether Ellie is just being how she is meant to be or am I missing something, doing something, forgotten to do something, need to do more, less....the list goes on. Ellie is my whirlwind girl, I need to be constantly on the ball and ready for action. . Her brain is faster than her body, she always has an extra beat. She forgets small things instantly but has an astonishing memory. She has amazing strength and stamina but knocks things over constantly. She is determined but frustrates instantly. She is thoughtful and careless. She needs and loves rambunctious, physical play but hates being held or touched to be comforted. Even in her sleep she asserts her autonomy. She is strong, she is confident….I need to nurture not quash that.

Tomorrow we have a MummyEllie day.

meltdowns 1
losing plot several
breastfeeding too much

Friday, 23 April 2010

Pre-Emptive Flour Strike

Whilst attempting to clean the kitchen after our bread making I had time to ponder on the merits of continually thinking that Ellie is not listening to me and feeling like every time I say something she automatically does the opposite. I am not imagining it, it really happens. So what’s the reason? I am not asking for complete compliance, just sometimes it would be really lovely if my girls heard me.

I just have to be quicker to reframe my words…instead of ‘stop we need that flour for the bread’ it should be ‘wait, lets get a different bag that you can explore’. So, instead of me becoming frustrated and annoyed and stopping exploration and enjoyment, we had this instead….

It’s not easy though, my mother expected me to do as she always wanted and said, still does....yet somehow it worked, I am not sure how. It worked till I was old enough to realize there was a different way? I am guessing she used guilt, threats, fear and plain old simple NO….a stopper to pleasure and exploration. I don't want this for my girls.
If I am programmed this way into thinking and expecting compliance from Ellie, then I am going to be frustrated and disappointed continually and Ellie has nothing to lose from staying this way. .she now deliberately does stuff to get a reaction from me….except she really doesn't want to be this way.....its one of those self fulfilling prophecy things that I tried hard to avoid for most of her life.
what to do? what to do?
meltdowns 1 huge massive hour long one
losing the plot 1 - in defence I was calm for 45mins of it
breastfeeding - tandem required today

Thursday, 22 April 2010

An Inconvenient Mother

If it feels like an inconvenience and you don’t want to ‘provide support’ then don’t. Say no. Because if you are coming here with the attitude that my parenting style is the thing that is stopping me coping and stopping you providing that support, not the fact that we don’t get much support (because I am sure if we were doing ‘your’ way of parenting we would STILL need support) then I would rather not have it and hear it at all. Well, I sayI would rather not have it, but sometimes I am desperate.

I do all these things because I know how important it is to keep a connection with my children. I know what it feels like to have an emotionally unstable family life. I know how it was for me to cope with life and I know how hard it was for me to find a connection to help me deal with life and I obviously didn’t or wasn’t able to get that from my parents. I don’t want my kids growing up without the ability to cope with whatever life has in store for them and I want them to be able to feel that connection with me and that means living my life the way I do. I do all I can to keep the connection. I am only now learning how to cope with what life throws at me and whilst I get strong and capable I do what I can. I was never given the skills set to cope with life because I was raised by a parent who didn’t have them. I constantly struggle.

I want to feel this strong confident great mum that other people say I am. I am not looking to hear it from others I ACTUALLY want to believe it myself. Sometimes I do, so I know what it feels like. I know it is possible. Sometimes I do feel like I am doing it all wrong, I am shouting too much I am not listening, I am pushing them away when it is clear they need me more and don’t want that. I am forcing my beliefs and fucked up life skills on to them. I am showing them ‘how not to do stuff’ except they see it as ‘how to do it’ I am modelling misplaced anger, over attachment to material possessions, frustration or negative reactions to things they have no control over. I am not accepting of who they are and where they are at. I am diminishing their self belief and confidence that deep in their core they are ok and that they can cope.

In telling them they don’t need me, I am pushing them away and that must feel like rejection. I shouldn’t have to push, if I am pushing they are not ready. If they are not ready and I am pushing then they will not have the life skills and self confidence to believe they can cope. There should be no pushing it should be fluid natural and their decision.
I want to believe that everything I am doing is keeping the connection going for now for the future and for always. They need it the moment they are born, why wouldn’t they. Why would they not want a connected, open understanding, supportive warm loving relationship? 


If I am pushing then it needs to be replaced by something equally as worthy and comforting
If I am pushing weaning
If I am pushing independence
If I am pushing being without me
If I am pushing sleeping alone
If I am pushing nursery

It is because I have chosen to do these things not because it is what they would choose but because I do not have the resources, support and coping abilities to maintain it and this makes me very sad.

losing plot - 1
meltdowns - 3
breastfeeding - yes

Thanks to the men who do stuff with machines.

We always meet interesting people when we go to watch the planes.
Last time we met a man with a jcb and he let us have a sit inside his tractor
This time we met a man lifting skips and he let us push his levers
It warms my heart to know there are still some people out there who are not officious and over the top health and safety and can allow others to take control for their own health and safety when appropriate. People who remember what its like to be a kid and to have the opportunity to do cool things like touch a lever that makes a massive hydraulic pump lift a massive red skip onto a truck and have it loom over your head. Also people who are happy to allow me to climb onto a skip’s side with baby on back and grab a few cool things!
Our find today was a white board and some baskets
Losing Plot 2
Meltdowns 1
Breastfeeding hourly