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.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Few Good Meltdowns

Every time hubby uses 'a few' in a sentence I automatically think that means two and so tonight when I responded with "two months that's not very much" (it could just as easily have been "two months that's loads, just depends on the conversation) he says "it's not two it's a few".  Then I remember he doesn't think the same as me with regards to a few (things!). So I jokingly say "a few *is* two" and then because I know what he is going to say I copy him and we say at the same time "two is a couple."  You kind of had to be there. It was a bit funny. Standard length of time argument we seem to always have. 

He thinks I exaggerate. Say always when I mean sometimes. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. Exaggerating can add effect. Emphasises my feelings. You *always* do x y z....Anyway, that's a different argument. 

So, it got me thinking. 

A few months
A few weeks
A few days
A few hours
A few minutes
A few seconds

If time is arbitrary to a kid and any length of time interminable (especially waiting for mummy to help/fix/read/clean/wipe/reach/touch/feed/watch/fetch/stop you from falling of a high thing) a few minutes to a newborn baby waiting for milk can seem like a few hours. A few minutes for a kid waiting for help can feel like f. o. r.  e. v. e. r. 

It's really hard to wait when you're little. 

So when you say 'a few' how many do you mean? What's a few? (I have a great desire to respond with bless you. A few. Bless you. Anyway...)

"I'll be there in a few minutes"
"Just a second"
"Give me a few minutes would you?"
"Hang on a second"

So next time you ask your kid to wait, think about how long their waiting capacity is and whether what *you* are doing can wait. Responding to your child's needs sooner rather then later sets them up for knowing that you are there for them when it's needed, and as they get older, waiting becomes easier.  It could also help avoid a few meltdowns which is always a bonus! 

Meltdowns - after school specials
Losing the Plot - becoming harder again to remain zen
Breastfeeding - No I won't move and you're not allowed to ask me to. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Don't let the prize become the motivator aka It's great having a prize but the prize should not be the main focus

Until you are able to do it more, it's my job to help you feel better about stuff. Until you are able to do it more, It's my job to help you stop worrying about stuff. 

So I want you to stop worrying about your schoolwork. I don't want you to stop trying, but I do want you to stop worrying about what you know and what you don't know. 

It's ok to not know stuff just now. You are only 7. There is plenty of time to learn it. You don't have to know everything. It's ok to need help to learn it. You don't need to do it by yourself. I know you wish you knew it all already. I know it frustrates and worries you that you think you don't enough. You know exactly what you need to know for this moment. 

As you get older, you'll know more and more but right now, I know worrying isn't helping you. It isn't making you feel better about stuff. It's making you feel worse. I wish I could take your worry away. 

If you always talk to me and tell me your worries, then I will help you to feel better. Always. 

I love you. Daddy loves you. Maia loves you. Millie loves you. 

And I will get you a prize whether you pass the test or not. Yes and Maia too. Don't worry. 

Meltdowns - kind of continuous with added high pitched whininess 
Losing the plot - trying so very hard not to
Breastfeeding - there has been an increased need from one and a great interest and desire from the other two!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Going up. First floor :- getting things in motion!

Life is starting once again to have the hallmarks of those hazy crazy times when I was busy and getting out and about and therefore experiencing the lunacy that is: doing anything with children.

That ridiculous amount of time it takes to get from one point to another. That ludicrous floorshow that is getting to the car after being somewhere interesting and fun. That hilarious moment of insisting car seats are not the devil and that it really IS time to get in it. That crazy stupid thing of waking a baby to get her in a car seat. Or just trying to get her in the pram. 

For quite a long time,  I've been taking the girls to school, walking the dog with Millie in the pram, coming home and basically recovering.  Most days, sitting on the sofa, often sleeping when Millie slept, watching highly entertaining American dramas about busy people loving their lives. I've barely gone anywhere or done anything. I've been knackered. I've felt persecuted. I've felt way more stressed than I could handle. I was probably depressed and I was certainly done in. I'd basically just had enough. I'd had enough of being a mum. It was just too hard. I was too alone and too overworked. 

The last few months, I've seen a therapist and I've taken some steps to sort things out. I've contacted an organisation and sorted someone to come over for a couple of hours once a week. Doesn't sound like much but she's been once and I'm sure as hell looking forward to this weeks visit! I've spent more time wandering about 'aimlessly' with Millie on our morning dog walks. I've been making MAJOR efforts to go to more things like NIN and singing and playgroups. It wasn't that I didn't want to, I just didn't have the mental or physical energy to move my arse!! I've been taking my pain killers more regularly.  I've taken steps to help our financial situation.  I've stopped worrying about the big bad wolf coming to our door because we have NOTHING to hide. I've taken back control of my life.

The way we parent is our business and our kids are thriving.  Let them come. Let them see. Let me ROAR!!!

So here's to the instigation of good ole fashioned Berlow-Jackson fun and craziness. Do join me :D

Meltdowns - Millie knows how to now, with the best of them
Losing the Plot - not even looking for it anymore
Breastfeeding - getting closer and closer to World Health Organisations minimum recommended age. Will I continue...! 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Interview with Micheal Pearl

Taken from transcript of CNN Aired October 26, 2011 - 22:00 http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1110/26/acd.02.html

Still ahead, ungodly discipline. We reported on the death of two adopted kids whose parents followed Michael and Debi Pearl, the authors of a Christian guide called "To Train up a Child." They say their book doesn't advocate abuse, but it does say parents should spank their kids until it hurts. They take no responsibility for the deaths of kids whose parents use their techniques. We'll ask Michael Pearl about that when he joins us. 


COOPER: Last night, we reported on the death of a 13-year-old named Hana Williams. Prosecutors say that her adoptive parents repeatedly starved and abused her and then last May left her outside in the cold to punish her. Hana died of hypothermia. Larry and Carri Williams are charged with homicide.

The case bears a striking resemblance to a story we first called "Ungodly Discipline." Seven-year-old Lydia Schatz was beaten to death by her adoptive parents, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz. Both were convicted in the case and went to prison. Like Hana Williams, Lydia was adopted from Africa by a Christian fundamentalist couple. 

The girls also had something else in common. Their parents owned copies of a Christian parenting guide called "To Train Up a Child." Authors Michael Pearl and his wife, Debi, say their writings are based on the Bible. Michael Pearl told Gary Tuchman the book doesn't advocate abuse, but it does tell parents it is their religious duty to spank their children. 


MICHAEL PEARL, AUTHOR, "TO TRAIN UP A CHILD": I don't use the term "hitting." 


M. PEARL: Spanking. 

TUCHMAN: And is there a difference? M. PEARL: Absolutely. A hand is hitting. A little switch is spanking. A wooden spoon or a spatula, rubber spatula, that's spanking. 


COOPER: In the book, the Pearls describe exactly how to spank a child. They also talked about that with Gary. 


TUCHMAN: Let's say a 7-year-old slugs his sister. 

M. PEARL: He would get -- a 7-year-old would get 10 or 15 licks, and it would be a formal thing. In other words, you maintain your patient air. You explain to him that what he's done is violent and that that's not acceptable in society, and it's not acceptable at home. And then I would take him somewhere, like into his bedroom, and I would tell him I'm going to give him 15 licks. 

TUCHMAN: With what? 

M. PEARL: Probably a belt on a kid that big, a boy. I'd probably use a belt. It would be handy. I might use a wooden spoon or a piece of, like, plumbing supply line a quarter-inch in diameter, flexible enough to roll up. 

TUCHMAN: See, what I'm saying here is why not just use your hand instead of all these materials? 

M. PEARL: Hey, look here. Right here. Let me show you something. Does that hurt? 

TUCHMAN: It doesn't feel good. 

M. PEARL: But look what it's doing. Look what it's doing to your whole body. See? You don't use your hand on somebody. That's a karate chop. 

TUCHMAN: You're telling me that when you use this material, that it can't cause permanent pain? 


M. PEARL: My children -- my children never had marks left on them. 


COOPER: The point the Pearls make in their book is that a spanking should hurt. Anything short of that, they say, is a failure in God's eyes. 


M. PEARL: Rubbing the spaghetti all over your head, you shouldn't have done that at seven years of age. 

TUCHMAN: OK. And that hurts. And I'm 50. 

M. PEARL: OK. But are there any marks on you? 

TUCHMAN: No. But you would hit -- you would hit a five-year-old like that? 

M. PEARL: Yes. 


COOPER: After Lydia Schatz died, the Pearls denied their book played any role in her death. They say what happened to her is not what their book teaches. They've released a similar statement about Hana Williams.

Tonight, Michael Pearl agreed to come on the program to answer some of our questions. I spoke to him just a short time ago. 


COOPER: Mr. Pearl, you're explicit that you're not in any way advocating child abuse or the extremes that cause these girls' deaths in the two cases, but if people who think they're following your book end up killing kids, does that concern you? Does that worry you? 

M. PEARL: Yes. What that does is causes us to renew our efforts to reach these people before they do do something terrible. There's a -- there's an awful lot of people out there, probably in the millions, that are abusive to their children. There are men abusive to their wives. There's wives abusive to their husbands and their children, and these things have been going on, and they will go on. And it's -- where we can, we need to do something about it. 

COOPER: But you don't feel it has anything to do with what you're -- what you're advocating? 

M. PEARL: Of course not, no more than Alcoholics Anonymous would feel like they were responsible for an alcoholic that they failed to reform who went out and had a drunk-driving accident and killed someone. 

COOPER: But your analogy doesn't really hold up with the Alcoholics Anonymous, because Alcoholics Anonymous is telling people not -- alcoholics not to drink. You are advocating people hitting kids, or what -- you call it spanking -- beating, what have you. You are advocating a severe form of corporal punishment for -- for parents. 

M. PEARL: That's absolutely incorrect. We do not advocate hitting children, and we do not advocate any severe corporal punishment. 

In fact, in my literature, if you read it, I speak against corporal punishment. What we teach is -- our book is called "To Train Up a Child." And we talk to parents about how they can train their children up to be happy, creative, cheerful, emotional -- emotionally stable. And so we teach that, in the process of training small children, we use corporal chastisement. 

Corporal chastisement is not retributive justice designed to punish the child for the misdeeds. Corporal chastisement is getting the child's attention so that you can admonish him, teach him, instruct him, and guide him in the way he should go. 

COOPER: I want to read something that you write about -- about what parents should use to spank their child. You said, "Any spanking, to effectively reinforce instruction, must cause pain. Select your instrument according to the child's size. For the under 1-year-old child, a small, 10- to 12-inch-long willowy branch stripped of any knots that might break the skin, about one-eighth inch in diameter is sufficient. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a suitable substitute. For the larger child, a belt or a three-foot cutting off a shrub is effective." 

You say you -- you don't advocate hitting or hurting or beating kids or leaving any marks on them, which under the law is considered child abuse, but in fact, in your book, you are saying spankings have to cause pain, and you're talking about spanking a baby under one- year-old with a ruler. How does a baby not end up bruised and hurting when it's hit with a ruler? 

M. PEARL: Well, your changing the word "spank" to "beat" or "hit" is inflammatory rhetoric that obscures what I'm saying. 

COOPER: Well, spanking is hitting. You can -- you can argue about semantics, but using a ruler -- to use the specific example of using a ruler on a baby under 1-year-old, how does that not, you know, cause pain and leave a -- leave a mark? 

M. PEARL: If it were insignificant -- insignificant semantics, you wouldn't be so bent on changing the word "spank" to "beat" or "hit." 

Spanking is well understood, traditionally. I represent 230 million parents who practice corporal chastisement on their children. And they call it "spanking" or "swatting." They do not call it "beating" or "hitting." Because there's a clear distinction. 

The distinction is spanking is administered for the child's good, and it's done with an instrument. It's done, not in order to create pain. It's not done in order to create significant pain. It's not done in order to create suffering. It's done to gain the child's attention so you can admonish them. 

COOPER: What about talking to them about it? Does that not work? 

M. PEARL: Well, did it work for you? Did it work for your family? Does talking make a 1-year-old and 2-year-old... COOPER: It worked for me in my family, but I don't try to put what happened in my family onto other people. But I'm just curious. In your opinion, what's wrong with talking to the child about why you don't grab food off somebody's plate? 

M. PEARL: Well, if you read our book, you'd know that talking precedes that. There's a whole lot of conditioning that precedes...

COOPER: Talking alone, you say, is not enough? 

M. PEARL: No. No, in many cases, it's not. In most cases, it is. But spanking is not something we do all the time. Sometimes you might not spank a kid over once a month or once a year. 

COOPER: But you do advocate carrying around and having, in various rooms of the house and in the car, in some cases, a -- I want to get -- make sure I have the wording right here. You write, "Many people are using a section of quarter-inch plumber's supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around your neck. You can buy them for under $1 at Home Depot or any hardware store. They come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps the kids in line."

So you are advocating parents carry around plumber supply lines with them so they can, if they want to, in your words, spank their child any time throughout the day. 

M. PEARL: That springs from a story that took place. I went into an Amish woman's house who had about ten kids all under 12 years old. And that's a pretty big brood. And she had a little piece of supply line about a foot long, maybe, hanging around her neck. 

And so every time -- I asked her why it was there. She said, "Well, when the children are disobedient, I have it right at hand. I don't have to go looking for it." And she said, "Just the presence of it hanging around my neck lets them know that they have to walk the line, and so they're obedient." 

So I thought that was a humorous thing. So I suggested to people that you make sure you keep your little swatters close at hand, because we don't want to make a big deal out of spanking children. We want to have something ready to right where they sit. If you've got a little boy that reaches over and pulls the hair of his brother, you want to first to him say, "No, don't do that." But if he pulls again...

COOPER: But you do know that in both cases of these girls who died and were killed, the parents did keep these plumbing supply lines around the house. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes these conditions actually create such a climate of fear and intimidation for a child that it actually affects their development by changing -- changing the way nerve connections in the brain develop. Do you buy any of that? M. PEARL: Well, there's lots of science, lots of research that's been done, lots of psychologists that disagree with that heartily. Research has been shown that spanking creates children that are more higher educationally, that they're less aggressive, that they are more entrepreneurial, that they in every way make better citizens when young children are spanked. That's just statistics, just the facts. 

Ninety percent of all Americans practice spanking. So all I'm doing is representing... 

COOPER: Sorry. I don't want to interrupt you, sir. 

M. PEARL: All I'm doing is representing what traditionally Americans have done. 

Now as to your question about the children, no. When you have -- there's been about 1,600 children a year are killed by their parents through either neglect or direct abuse. That's an awful number. And the fact that, in 15 years of writing books and reaching several million people with our literature, only three parents happen to have our book in their home, that's like saying that, again, an Alcoholics Anonymous book in the home what caused them to have a drunk-driving accident. There's no correlation. 

The parents had the book. These parents had the book because they were already molesting their children. They were already -- one of the parents was making their child eat feces, locking them outdoor in the cold, starving them. Those are not things they could get out of my book. Those are things that -- that they had a predisposition to. 

The book there didn't cause those things to take place. I'm just sorry it couldn't -- it didn't reach them soon enough to stop those negative habits. 

COOPER: No doubt about that. The American Academy of Pediatrics told us that your teachings go way beyond most people's understanding of corporal punishment and spanking, that they say they're violent, unacceptable and that you can't train a child the same way you train a dog or a horse, because kids' brains develop differently. Human brains develop differently at a young age and are going to respond differently. 

M. PEARL: Well, they are a small minority voice in a great number of scientists and researchers who say differently. There's just a lot of evidence...

COOPER: You say you can train a child like an animal? Like you would train a horse? Or...

M. PEARL: You know, I live on a farm. I have horses and cows and chickens and pigs and all that sort thing. And I read a lot. And I noticed that the zoologists and the people who work with animals study animals in terms of how it compares to human behavior. 

When I was in college and took a course in psychology, there was quite a few articles in there that dealt with animal behavior and how it compares to human behavior. 

So all I have said is that, if you can train a stubborn mule to go up a hill when he doesn't want to go, then you can train a 1- or a 2- or 3-year-old child that gets stubborn. So the training principles are similar. 

Let me give you the first principle in training an animal. The first principle in training an animal is you establish a relationship with trust. The first principle in training a child is establish a relationship of trust. 

The second principle is the animal must know that you're not going to hurt him, and you must know that he's not going to hurt you. And that's the second principle in training children. There has to be confidence that neither one of us are going to hurt the other one. 

And then you have to communicate to the animal your will. That's the third principle in training children. Communicate your will. 

So yes, there's a parallel between training dogs, training horses, training cows, training chickens, training a turtle or a lizard. The principles are the same across the board. And any psychologist would tell you that that's the case if they're familiar with animals. 

COOPER: Mr. Pearl, I really do appreciate your time. And it's obviously a controversial subject. And you represent a lot of people's beliefs. And I respect that. I appreciate you being on. Thank you.

M. PEARL: Well, thank you. 


COOPER: We asked Mr. Pearl's representatives after the interview about the study that he was referring to. He mentioned a study by Po Bronson. We called Mr. Brunson, who's been a guest on this program before, and asked him about that study. He told us the study does not at all condone spanking and it's a misuse of the science. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

It is still there

Ellie's poem:

The stars are still there even in the morning  
The mums are still there even in the morning 
The dogs are still there even in the morning
And where are  we... The earth. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fireworks Night My 3 Girls Styleee

We went to our local display which is always fantastic.  One of the songs was Don't Stop Me Now by Queen, so with me trying to sing along, lets just say, this year was not so fantastic.....

excitement before it started

(try singing it out loud)

Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive and the world it's turning inside out Yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now don't stop me
'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time

I'm a shooting star mummeee mummeee leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the I'm thirsty laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva I want to go home
I'm gonna go go go
There's no stopping me mummeee mummeee mummeee

I'm burning through the sky yeah!
Two hundred degrees mummeee
That's why they  I'm thirsty call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna I want to go home make a supersonic man out of you mummeee

Don't stop me now
I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball I want to go home
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
Just give me a call mummeee 

Don't stop me now ('cause I'm having a good time)
Don't stop me now (yes I'm having a good time)
I don't want to stop at all... yeah!

I'm a rocket ship mummee mummee mummeee on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite   I want to go home I'm out of control
I am a sex machine I'm thirsty ready to reload
Like an atom bomb mummeee about to
Oh oh oh oh oh explode

I'm burning I'm thirsty through the sky Yeah!
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic woman of you  I want to go home

Don't stop me mummeee
Don't stop me I'm thirsty
Don't stop me I want to go home
Hey hey hey!

Don't stop me
Don't stop me
Ooh ooh ooh (I like it)

Don't stop me
Don't stop me
Have a good time, good time

Don't stop me
Don't stop me

Ooh ooh alright mummeee mummeee

Ooh I'm burning through the sky yeah!
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you

Don't stop me now mummeee mummeee
I'm having such a good time I'm thirsty
I'm having a ball
Don't stop me now I want to go home I want to go home I want to go home I'm thirsty I'm thirsty
If you  I'm thirsty wanna have a mummeee mummeee mummeee  good time
Just give me a call

Don't stop me now ('cause I'm having a good time) I'm thirsty 
Don't stop me now (yes I'm having a good time) mummeeee
I don't wanna stop at all I want to go home

La la la la laaaa
La la la la
La la laa laa laa laaa
La la laa la la la la la laaa hey!!....

sparklers at home afterwards with no moaning
Millie not sure about it all

Thursday, 17 October 2013

What's in a name?

Millie has been awake for 15minutes and has said mummy 25 times so far. Hubby hasn't left for work yet so she's said daddy 64 times. We waited with baited breath for her first mummy and daddy words and now I hold my breath and count to 10 to stop my brain from exploding with them. 

Today her mummy's meant:-

I'm wearing a towel
I'm stuck on toilet
I dropped lavender oil over bannister
I want milk
I've done a poo
Put this top on me
I've emptied this sewing box
I want milk 
I want to come down with you
I want some of that chocolate
I've hurt my foot
I want this open
I want milk 
Look I'm climbing the bookcase
Look I'm emptying the bookcase
I've fallen off the bookcase
I want this, it appears attached 
I'm upstairs you're not
You're in the shower not beside me 
I want milk
I like this milk 
Open this plastic box and fill it 
Look I'm standing in the dishwasher
Oh why did you close it
Lift me up
I want milk
Stop making dinner
I'm so happy playing with my sisters 
I'm overwhelmed they're chasing me
I didn't mean to bite Maia 
I'm tired
I'm hungry
I want that
Ellie made my nose bleed

By the time hubby got home, ten hours later, there were about 226 of them. That's roughly one every three minutes. 

Normally, I just hear an endless stream of mummeeeeee mummeeeeee mummeeeeee and by the end of the day I am near plot losing. From today's experiment, I see that I am not taking the time to actually HEAR what my little 18m old is telling me. I am not paying enough attention to be able to decipher her communications. She is SO desperate to talk, it must be SO frustrating for her not to have all the words yet and even worse to feel I am not listening to her. 

Who knew my baby had SO much to say?!!

Why not try pay attention to your mummeeeee's tomorrow and let me know what your baby is telling you!

Meltdowns - massive one on a bike ride
Losing the plot -  not massively but too much shouting 
Breastfeeding - lots

Friday, 4 October 2013

The time for the Truth....

Is the tooth fairy real?
Is the tooth fairy real?
Why are you asking?
I was thinking about my wobbly tooth and the money. 
Well your tooth goes under the pillow and you get money. 
Yeah but who does it?
What do you want to believe Ellie?
Is the tooth fairy real?
What do you think?
I think.....what do you think?
I think you're old enough now to make your own decision 
(Very quietly) You
(Bit louder) I think it's you
You think it's me do you?
You know I will always tell you the truth

Is that omission by silence!!!!?

One of the problems was that Maia was in the car with us and I didn't want to burst her bubble too!!

If she talks to me about it again I will tell her the truth because I don't believe in lying about these kind of things. 

Yesterday she asked me about Santa and as we don't celebrate Christmas, I explained what I do every year, that Santa is the story of a kind old man from long ago called Saint Nicholas who wanted to get presents for the orphaned children who didn't have any parents. I explain that different counties have different stories and ways to celebrate St Nick. I also tell them that in the 1940's the fizzy drinks company coca cola wanted to make more money and marketed ad designed an image of St Nick, made him look as he does now and called him Santa Claus. Although that's not strictly true either!

I explain how some parents use Santa as a way of making their kids behave around that time with the fear of not getting any presents and that it is a horrible thing to do. Finally we talk about how some children still like to believe that Santa is real and he does indeed deliver all the presents and it wasn't up to us to tell them different. That sometimes we have to play along with the game. 

What do you tell your kids about these characters?

Meltdowns - not too many this week
Plot Losing - an ugly one after a silly late night that pleased hubby ;)
Breastfeeding - I think she's coming down with something......

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mean Girls? NOOoooo not at this age

Bitchy behaviour scares me. 

There is this kid in my girls school who, and I'm not being paranoid, every time I walk by her she physically changes her demeanour and looks grumpy. She actually scowled at me today. She never smiles but today she actually changed her facial expression to one that I can only describe as, distaste. Then she looked grumpy again. I always thought she looked dreadfully sad and unhappy before. Today I just thought she was rude.  I told her so.

There is no way she really was bitchy. She's just a kid. She's full of complicated emotions that she doesn't know what to do with yet.    I should have looked past that triggering thought and wondered why she gave me the look, what was making her feel that way? 

All I could muster to say was, 'wow that was rude...and grumpy'. 

The thing is, she *is* just a kid. I don't even know her. Of course it's not about me! She's an unhappy girl with something on her mind. 

I wish now, I had said 'wow you look really unhappy, are you ok?'  

Meltdowns - Wow! They are so noisy
Losing the plot - been particularly calm recently
Breastfeeding - I'm loving it when she confuses herself with how many boobs there are and where they are!! 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

To this day - a video by Shane Koyczan

I was bullied in secondary school. It was antisemitic. It was name calling. It was bitchy. It was merciless. It was relentless.   It was horrendous. It affected my whole entire being and drove me to solitude, bulimia and negative self worth. 

To this day, I still often believe I am not worthy of friendship. I am not strong enough to cope. I am not worthy of happiness. I am not enough. 

To this day my confidence wavers in new situations. I put on a smile and act all together. I pretend I'm not scared and that they can't see right through me. 

To this day I still find it so difficult when my children (and others) ignore me or walk away when I'm talking or take little interest in something I'm showing them. I take it so personally and years of negative self worth suddenly bubbles to the surface and blows it all out of proportion. The sadness overwhelms. The upset cripples me. I feel so tiny. I have to reign myself in to not over react. 

It's been over 20 years and the feelings still linger. The doubts still creep in. My self worth is still sometimes tied up in what other people think of me. I still have to fight the urge to disappear in a room of people and become invisible. I often go the opposite way and become gregarious and uber confident which then makes me unapproachable anyway. I have a great skill of being able to hear all conversations but not be involved in any. Act like a social butterfly whilst just blending in. I worry I'll be found out. Pointed out. Look she's not *really* here. She's faking it. She's wasting good space. Send her home

Insecurity and self doubt is crippling. I wonder what those bullies are up to now. I wonder how their lives panned out. I wonder how terrible they feel about themselves. I wonder if they perpetuated the cycle and created nasty little bullying children. 

I'm trying not to. My kids are confident. My kids know love and security. They know bullying doesn't feel good and being a bully feels even worse. They know kindness and in turn show kindness. I also hope they will know happiness is not as elusive as I always felt it was. 

Bullying destroys. 

Watch this really powerful video:-


Meltdowns - after school specials 
Losing the plot - too tired to 
Breastfeeding - Having that weaning feeling because ramped up for teething. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

There must be a better reason

I dont get it. 
She sees something she wants. She opens it. She explores it. 
It needs the plug. 
I say it's probably over there under the sofa
She doesn't even look. I mean she goes over,  she stands behind the sofa but doesn't actually look. You know as in bend down, look under and maybe lift a blanket a bit. 
She stands there sort of looking then gives up and leaves the room. 

A few mins later I peer and its right there. Easy. 
Why? Tell me why? Is she lazy? 
Barry says its cos she's lazy but there must be more to it. Are 6yr olds lazy? It's probably my fault in some way. Isn't it always?!!

I *want* to believe its for another reason. I want to believe she maybe wasn't sure what she was looking for. Or something. Anything. I can't even think of another explanation. 

I'm menstrual, tired and just done in, so I then get irrational,  petty and mean and try and stop Barry from setting it up and plugging it in by saying "fuck that why should you? If she wants it she can do it herself". 

Such a great example I'm setting of kindness and compassion. It probably actually is my fault!

Thankfully he ignores me. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Proceed as Normal

Until someone tells me otherwise I am going to try and live as though everything is great. 
I'm going to pretend that raising three small children without a tribe isn't often overwhelming.
I'm going to pretend that things are going really well. 
I'm going to pretend that we are not in permanent financial crisis. 
I'm going to pretend that sending my kids to school is something I wanted for them. 
I'm going to pretend that having SS white bearing (earworm for the mind) in hubby's every thoughts or lurking in my brain isn't creating more stress.
I'm going to pretend. 
I don't like that word. Pretend. 

Lets find another one. 

I'm going to live like I'm not in pain all the time. 
I'm going to live like I don't care that the girls don't eat what I cook. 
I'm going to live like I don't care that we now rely heavily on processed food. 
I'm going to live like I don't care that I shout too much at the girls
I'm going to live like I don't care that the house is never tidy for more than an hour. 
I'm going to live like I don't care.

Hmm I'm not so sure about that phrase now....
Live like I don't care.  

I do care. I care a lot. It bothers me often. 

But for now I'm care free. That's me. Happy and care free living my life.  Yes. 

But for now I'm going to try and live as though everything is great.  
Fake it till you make it. 

Law of attraction. Come on then fucker. Activate. Begin.  Do your thing!  

Meltdowns - the fire is out, yes I know you want more fire but, there is no wood left
Losing the Plot - did I ever have it?
Breastfeeding - OMG. Teeth!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Conversations with Maia

Time for a Re-think of Societal Norm

Having kids really is a head fuck!!

We bring over so much known and unknown baggage, so much known and unknown opinions and beliefs. The way we react to certain situations. The way we feel about different things. The nuances and ideas and issues and all round basic emotional fuckwittage all come from the way our own parents parented us.  I say 'all' but I guess I must mean mostly since after a while other factors/people do come  into play. 

In the beginning though it *does* all come from the way our own parents parent us. Their influence, their involvement, their love, their acceptance, their connection, their hugs, their kisses, their arms, their warmth, their presence. It all matters. From the very beginning.  From the moment you are born. (Actually I'm beginning to understand and believe more and more that it starts before birth and the way you are born makes a huge difference, but I'm in danger of going way off on another rant/tangent)  Back to being born.  Laying down the foundations of your development. Emotionally. Physically. Behaviourally. Everythingally. It all matters. It all counts. It leads to brain pathways being wired. It leads to the essence of who you are and how you function. You know big proper important stuff. 

It all starts to deteriorate, with disconnection. Bit by bit, little by little. Cutting mothers aprons strings or cutting the umbilical cord it was once known as.   Ironic given that it is now scientifically proven and well on its way to becoming almost standard practice in most hospitals to actually LEAVE the umbilical cord attached until it has finished it's vital function of blood and nutrient transfer! 

"“But aren’t we meant to let go?” many parents ask. “Aren’t our children meant to
become independent of us?” Absolutely, but only when our job is done and only
in order for them to be themselves. Fitting in with the immature expectations of
the peer group is not how the young grow to be independent, self-respecting
adults. By weakening the natural lines of attachment and responsibility, peer orientation undermines healthy development" Gabor Maté,

(Really it does start with conception, pregnancy labour and actual birth  but I promised I wouldn't go into that. If you want look here and here and here  and here to pique your interest!)

So back to being head fucked from having kids.....

By unknown, I mean It may not even be something you are even aware you are doing. It's so ingrained into your psyche that it becomes unconscious. It becomes routine. It becomes normal. It becomes societal norm. But is it? So much of what is considered normal by societies standards makes me want to strangle society and knock some sense into it. Oh dear there goes my ingrained subconscious mind reacting again. I mean, I would like to reset societal norms back to their roots through gentle and nurturing ways. 

 - When it becomes ok to completely medicalise birth, hand care and responsibility over and remove your self and your baby's needs completely from the process then it's time to rethink societal norm.  When it becomes ok to stop a mother feeding her baby whilst breasts are sexualised and objectified more and more then it's time to rethink societal norm.  When it becomes ok to not hold your tiny vulnerable baby then it's time to rethink societal norm.  When it becomes ok to not go to a crying baby then it's time to rethink societal norm.  When it becomes ok to not pick up a crying baby then it's time to rethink societal norm. When it becomes ok to leave your child to cry into a pool of his own vomit then it's time to rethink societal norm.  When it becomes ok to stop responding to your child's needs because they are no longer a 'baby' then it's time to rethink societal norm - 

There is so much more I could say. I could go on and on in this way. Really  though, it's time to stop and think about what we are doing to our babies, what we are doing to our children and what we are doing to ourselves and its time to stop the madness and get back to connecting, bonding and establishing those scientific neural pathways. 

Did you ever think about the consequences of your actions? Did you ever think about how your words and your actions could affect your child? Did you ever lie awake at night and wonder if you were doing the right thing? Did you ever think about your own childhood and what was modeled for you?  Did you ever make the connection?

Do you actually believe that how you responded was really the most nurturing and gentle way?

I sometimes wonder..... 

Meltdowns - a communication to stop, think, breathe
Losing the Plot - a communication to stop, think, breathe
Breastfeeding - a way to stop, think, breathe

Food For Thought

I came across this post from last year sometime. I don't think I published it but I was obviously meant to find it tonight because it is relevant. Once again.....

Spin off from one of today's conversations.  At what point do you start worrying about decreased appetite in your kid. It's always said and agreed that its totally normal for them to go through phases where it seems like they are eating nothing and that they equally go through phases of eating loads. It all evens out. It's the same with adults we eat more or less depending on many variables. Tiredness. Heat. Cold. Hunger. Exercise. And the bane of our broken Continuum: Comfort.

 Appetite is so variable. Why should it be different for kids?

Sometimes,  it can be due to a virus or an illness brewing. Sometimes it's something. Sometimes it's nothing. Sometimes its an underlying symptom of another issue. And Sometimes it can get out of control.
Sometimes the selection is poor.
Sometimes it's just a phase and it'll all come good.

So I began thinking how long does it take you to notice a different level of appetite and then when should alarm bells be ringing?

I  notice things here and there
I start to notice less porridge being eaten in the morning
I notice bits of lunch are being left
I notice dinner not being eaten
I notice less fruit being eaten
I start to think hmmm I'm seeing more food being left on the plate

Here is a turning point. It can go either way right now.  And actually each stage could potentially have its own disproportionate reaction. (DR)

It could go like this:-

I ask more questions: do you want this? Do you want that?  What do you want?  Why are you not eating? You have to eat. Food is important.

I request more is eaten. Just a little bit. Half that. A wee bit more. That bit there then that's all.


I notice it's becoming a thing
I let go a bit
I back the fuck off
It already starts to feel better

The virus comes. It doesn't. The phase is over.
The kid starts eating again

Or in some homes it could go like this:-

You can't leave the table till you are finished
You can't watch tv till you've eaten that bit
You won't get dessert if you don't finish your plate.
Food is conditional.
Food has negative associations
Eating has become a negative thing

What's the harm?  Resorting to a little bribery or coercion at this point. It's just a small thing. Eating is important. Right?

In a healthy continuum. One that's not been broken. One where instincts are trusted, Is it all best left to the kid to work out when they are hungry and when they want to eat? Should we trust them and let them learn to listen to their bodies.  Should we stop attaching negative connotations onto food and projecting your own broken relationship with it, onto them?

I did it when they were (fed on demand) babies asking for milk. Why stop?!

As long as the house is essentially full of healthy choices (and in our case mixed in with a few unhealthy now and again!  I'm a work in progress on the healthy food front)
I would like to think so. I would like to think my kids will learn their own healthy relationship with food.

Sometimes though, my old thoughts take over.  It's hard not to worry. It's hard to let go. It's hard to not think I'm fucking up the food side of their lives this week!!

Meltdowns - Is it too much to ask for them to eat?
Losing the Plot - I am SO bloody annoyed with cooking food and it not being eaten
Breastfeeding - If only this could last forever, then I'd NEVER need to cook