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.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Day 1 - First Day of the rest of our lives

Since Ellie refused the last day of school, the holidays started early. This was not an issue. Getting up and out the house with three kids, THAT'S an issue!!!

So first day of holidays. Well, it went way better than expected.

I could tell I wasn't going to get much done today because Millie was out of sorts so I asked Ellie to hold her whilst I prepared a monkey platter

After letting the girls know I was taking Millie upstairs to see if she would sleep, the girls pretty much kept themselves busy. Admittedly there was tv involved but there was also lots of other play. Mainly sofa moving and jumping!!

It turned out that Millie was not interested in sleeping and effectively spent the day either crying or pooping. 

I am making a conscious effort to keep Millie away from screens because I feel she is too young for them. Ellie was well over two before she started in on tv, it so much easier in those days!! With Maia it was harder because Ellie was already doing it but not as much, she lasted till about 18months. With Millie though, it's really hard. The girls know how to use the computer and work our incredibly way too many buttons tv system so they choose when and where ( unless I have a panic and feel they have been on too much then it all mysteriously stops working - hmm the rain must have affected the Internet!). I oscillate between wanting to be a no screen family to being unschoolers. It's a really difficult one for me. 

Anyway I took myself and Millie to the conservatory and basically spent the day in there (or the toilet with a pooping baby). 

Once I let go of the idea of being able to do anything because Millie cried whenever I put her down and was NOT interested in being in the manduca, I kind of relaxed!! It rained all day in various strengths and with the door open I was imagining I was in a tent or a caravan. It was really lovely!

The other advantage of staying in he back room was that the girls would leave the lure of the tv and spend time near me. By chance I found the train set in the garage and as it hadn't been out for a while, it was a massive hit. They proceeded to play together with it for the rest of the afternoon. 

"I never believed it. I am so excited I have never seen this train set" Maia 

Being in such close proximity meant that I was on hand to help Ellie with her impulse control and anger management. I basically had to intercept every time she became upset. Even small upsets are huge for her just now. We tried lots of counting to three and lots of breathing and even suggested a few 'sister circles'. I can see how much she struggles with controlling her anger and me being right there was really helpful for her. Not discounting the fact that it's most likely my modelling that has got her in this situation, it felt right to be 'on her case'. Eventually it all became too much for her and a suggestion of sitting on my knee and reading stories was welcomed with a whimper of relief. 

This is how hubby came home to find us. All the girls huddled on the sofa reading. 

Has to be a better sight than me huddled in the corner crying my eyes out!

Meltdowns - mostly diverted
Losing the Plot -skilfully avoided
Breastfeeding - fairly constant

Would it be too much to add a pooping tab to my blog?

Friday, 29 June 2012

The holidays are here the holidays are here

 It is the last day of school and Ellie is refusing to go and I have neither the heart nor the energy to force her. You may all remember the difficulties we had at the start of the school year, so if we did  rewards and punishments, I guess this is her reward for continuing to go throughout the year!!!

 SO......first day of the school holidays. If all else fails, the sink is shiny 

It's been quite a while since I have posted and I kind of regret that. Having another addition to our crazy days has provided me with plenty to talk about but it's also a massive adjustment and blog posting wasn't something I felt could manage. So now I want to try and do one as often as possible.  

Millie is now 3months old and as babies tend to be, an absolute delight!!  I'm not going to lie to you. It's been hard going. First two weeks she wouldn't feed. We had to use an SNS system. We didn't know what was wrong. We were feeding every 3hrs. I was pumping to keep supply up every 2hrs. Feeding with the drip took 2hrs. We were in a haze a daze and absolute hell. The midwife was blaming Elimination Communication.  I was feeling like a first time mother and was starting to understand why women turn to formula. If it hadn't been for the support of the amazing women in my CC group, I would have been an absolute wreck instead of just a slight wreck!!

We eventually figured out she had tongue tie and thanks to the amazing lactation team at Yorkhill hospital , Millie's snip took place a few days later. If it hadn't been for her developing her first cold, it would have been the same day!!   Which brought our next newborn problem. Snot. So. Much. Snot. For 10weeks poor Millie had a blocked nose and tremendous amounts of mucous meaning she had difficulty breathing whilst feeding and lying down.   So now she not only had to relearn feeding, she had to do it whilst not being able to breathe.  It also meant she would not lie down unless fully asleep. So whilst we definitely advocate holding our baby as much as possible. It was virtually impossible to put her down. Now with two other toddlers needing me 25/7 this was rather hard to say the least!!  So whilst Millie definitely has her continuum needs to be held met, I was losing my mind!! Then last week she had her second osteopathic treatment and I started drinking echinacea tea.   Since then we have had moments of at least 20mins where she will sit upright and be quite content!!! Its a whole new world!!  

So as you can imagine the last three months have been far from ideal and it's taken its toll on the girls. Tension is high. Stress is palpable.  Fights are common place.   Meltdowns are constant. Anger. Upset. Shouting. Name calling have all been commonplace. My patience has been non existent which hasn't helped. Ellie and I have been fighting constantly too. It's a holy mess.  The girls have, through necessity, become quite self sufficient and whilst that in itself is not a bad thing, it feels like they have also stopped listening to me as a reliable leader.   They do what they want. When they want. It's all gone slightly Lord of the Flies around here!! 

I tried instigating a sister circle (form of micro-circle). It worked really well for a week or so but has been harder and harder to implement. I'd like for this to start working again.  I am trying to remain calm and not turn into shouty mummy but I do feel my buttons are really being pushed. They are much less receptive to my suggestions and requests and it seems like the only way they listen or respond now is if I am really loud insistent and firm and the way I totally don't want to be.

Omg being a parent to 3 strong willed children is really really hard.

So it's the summer holidays and we are together for six weeks. Let's see if we can turn things around!

Meltdowns: a plenty
Losing the plot: too many times to count
Breastfeeding: on demand

Update:  it's midday. Millie won't stop crying or go in the sling.  The natives are getting restless. My stress levels are rising so I've retired to the bedroom to try and settle Millie whilst the girls have decided to have a bath

And breathe