New Baby/Parenting Advice – I give to anyone who will listen!

  1. Ignore most of the advice you get given. Listen to what people tell you and thank them, and then decide what you liked about the advice, and what suits your parenting style and ignore the rest. Don’t let it get you into a tizzy if they are giving advice that doesn’t suit what you are doing – we all parent differently.
  2. Go with your gut. Trust your instincts. Relatively straight forward, but they say a parent knows best – if you think there is something wrong, follow up on.
  3. You are the perfect mother to your child. You are the only mother they know, so what you are doing is right for them.
  4. A new addition to the family – first or fourth – throws your relationship around a bit. It needs to adjust and resettle with the newly updated roles.
  5. Don’t believe other people’s highlights reels and compare yourself. What people tend to post on social media is the best bits and don’t mention the bad and crazy bits. Don’t look at your every day chaos and think that other people have it all together based on their social media posts!
  6. Don’t take offence easily. People generally tend to mean well – and own using their own knowledge/experience as a base. For example if someone says “your bump is huge” they are seeing it from their experience and maybe everyone in their family have tiny bumps when pregnant. Same for big babies, small babies, loads of hair etc. It is all relative – don’t let it bother you!
  7. Everyone has an opinion. From the minute you get pregnant, everyone feels they can offer you unsolicited advice. Instead of letting it annoy you, try and see that they are interested and caring about a new life being brought into the world, and often it brings back memories of their own special times with their children.
  8. Enjoy it. It passes so quickly. Your baby or child will never be as small as they are today.
  9. It is hard. And the hard parts feel forever when you’re in it. But they pass too.
  10. No one has it all sussed out completely or perfectly.
  11. Make mummy friends. Make the effort to get out to the breastfeeding groups, the parent and toddler groups, etc. And make an effort to get to know other mums.
  12. Join the online groups for your birth month to have a network of other mums that have a baby at the same stages as yours, one of them will be going through the same as you!
  13. Be open about how you are feeling. You never know who else will open up to you if you do. We tend to bottle up our feelings, and that affects our mental health. If you can open up when you’re starting to feel down, you can often get ahead of a downward spiral. Support is so important.
  14. Be kind. You don’t know anyone else’s story and what they might be going through. You being kind might actually change someone’s day.
  15. Don’t judge. Everyone is doing their best. In their own way.
  16. Babies are amazing. Little miracles that grow inside us. They are so small and precious. Treasure your time with them. Cuddle them. Hold them. Love them.

Don’t you just feel helpless

Poor babies and all they go through.

Last night we had a very bad time with our little one. She’s 1 year old now, and the past week has been teething badly, drooling galloons of spit everywhere. And the night before last she was up in the middle of the night upset, so last night going to bed I gave her Nurofen and Paralink, staggered before bedtime, to hopefully ease her pain for the night because she had been getting one of them the previous few nights and she was still upset.

When we went up to bed, she was awake. I tried to put her back down to sleep, like usual and when that didn’t work, tried her with a bottle, which she had no interest in. So I tried to leave her settle when I got into bed, beside her cot.

Then all hell broke loose. Was not a hope of her settling. She was so so upset. Absolutely inconsolable. I took her out and tried her with the bottle, cuddled her up in bed, rocked her, sang songs, rubbed her. Everything and anything I could think of, I tried. It didn’t help. Daddy tried all his usual tricks with her too, and nothing helped. She was so upset. She would keep falling asleep, at different stages – and then starting to scream in her sleep, and thrash around. And because she had had both painkillers, there was nothing else we could do. Just felt so helpless. This little person, so upset, not able to do anything much to help herself – and yet there was nothing else we could do for her.

I thought it might have been something else underlying, as she was so upset, so thought it would either be a middle of the night trip to the out of hours doctor, or a trip this morning – but after a few hours, she slept, and stayed asleep. And today she was cranky at times, but overall just a normal teething one year old.

Fingers crossed for tonight. Very worried about how it will all go. I do love, and need, my sleep. But more so for her, it is so hard seeing your baby so unsettled, sad and in pain. So fingers and toes crossed for a good night for us all xx

Little people are amazing!

It’s amazing watching a little person learn about the world. We forget they have to learn everything from scratch.

I’m sitting here watching my one year old daughter potter around the sitting room here, exploring everything. And she has just seen the laptop over, grabbed a handful of the side of the laptop and squished a whole load of keys, putting on caps lock.

There’s a box of capri-sun juices that my husband took out of the car earlier, and she keeps taking them out, squeezing and biting them, and then putting them back into the box. And there’s an empty laundry basket on the floor, and I put her in it to see what she thought. She climbed out. And then back in. And then out. And in. With help from me each time, obviously. And then decided to throw in the capri-sun’s and then climb in. And throw them out again and then followed them out. And that was the new game for a while.

She then decided to pull down one of the older kids boxes of markers off the shelf, and I took them off her and clipped up the box. Of course she wanted them back. She wanted to carry them on her arm, so found a way to stick her hand through the handle and push them up her arm. Amazing watching her try to figure it all out.

She was also going from one press to another, opening the press doors and closing them, pulling down things off the counter, pulling the lid off a box and trying to work out how to take everything out of it, pulling at the packet of nappies, playing with a (clean) nappy opening it, dragging the laundry basket around and then pushing it in front of her. Just exploring everything.

It is hard with number 4 to have time to watch her, or to enjoy the little things with her. There is just not enough time to watch her and to take in all the little things. But watching her tonight, when she was downstairs on her own with me, and just going from one thing to another and I saw all the different little things she was trying to do, it just reminded me how amazing babies are and how much they learn and how quickly! Just amazing!

Chicken Pox!

I’ve spent the past 2 weeks inspecting my son, since Baba Z broke out in chicken pox. We’d had a visit from friends 2 weeks previous to that, where the following day one of the children broke out in chicken pox – meaning she was here when the child was most contagious. I didn’t mind at all, don’t mind having them out of the way. My eldest had them when the Boy was a baby so it was just the younger two.

Two weeks later – Baba Z got them. She was fine with them luckily. Gave her anti-histamines to keep the itching at bay, although she said they weren’t itchy, just tickley! I got a cream that I was recommended – Eurax, but she wouldn’t let me put it on her. I also gave her “oat baths” – where I put porridge oats into a new dish cloth and tied a hair bobbin on it so it didn’t fall out and put it into the bath with her.

The problem with chicken pox is that the child is contagious for the 2 to 3 days before the spots appear. So I was trying to keep plans at a minimum because I didn’t want to visit my Granny or families that hadn’t had chicken pox – in case the Boy then broke out in them. He was slightly off form over the weekend so I didn’t bring him to football training or a friends party in case. And then on Sunday night there was the faintest sign of a red mark on his back…. so I kept him home from school. And then on Tuesday the marks turned into the chicken pox spots. Phew… I’m glad I wasn’t being a completely paranoid hypochondriac mother!! 🙂 And at least he’ll now have them done and dusted and out of the way. Fingers crossed.

Happy Valentines Day!

I was woken (well, I waited in bed because I heard what was going on!) with a lovely beautiful breakfast in bed brought by my wonderful three children. The hubby was long gone to work, so it was all them (in particular the 10yr old Miss Q). They had make cards this morning for me too.

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It was a lovely start to the day. Hopefully a sign of more wonderful things to come. 🙂

I had strawberry laces put into their lunch boxes as a surprise with a little note and cut out hearts. Which I know Miss Q will appreciate, but not so sure that the Boy will!

And I am doing a roast chicken dinner for the hubby for later – on a Tuesday – as a special treat. And have some yummy after school snacks for the kids. We’re spoiling ourselves and each other. So all in all looks like a lovely day.

I’ve seen a lot of posts today about loving yourself, and I think that is so important, and partly why this year I am putting more effort into special details for the kids. I saw this article about helping children to start loving themselves and I think that we will be making some Valentines Cards for ourselves after school as well.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone.

Everybody is different

I have come to realise that my mental health is definitely linked to two different factors – my home and my body size. By my home I mean the mess and disorganisation. These bother me hugely these days.

I was in a friends house last weekend and her house is beautiful, fully finished and fully organised and spotless, and that spurred me to get a move on with more organisation in my house. I also started looking at bits and pieces of finishing touches for some of the rooms, and putting plans into place, so I’m hoping that will all help with the house.

But we also got to talking, and I was saying I was a bit “not myself” at the moment, and that I know its because I’ve put on a bit of weight around my tummy since Christmas. She thought it was interesting that it bothered me so much, because she was saying that when she was at her skinniest for her friends weddings, it make no difference to her feelings or happiness than when she was at her heaviest. Whereas I notice my weight/size at every part of my day, and it affects me.

It really got me thinking how different we all are, and how different things affect us differently. It shows that we need to look at what is important to us, and what affects us and then try to make our lives fit in accordingly. Not to think that what makes one person happy will work for us.

I think this is also important for new mums and people around new mums to understand. I have a lot of new mums around me at the moment so it is in my head. Even last week I was at playgroup and talking to two mums, one with a newborn and the other has older children, including a teenager. This experienced mum was saying to the new mum that this time with a newborn is the best time of your life and to enjoy it, but I was getting the feeling that the new mum was actually started to get a bit antsy and maybe a bit bored because she’d mentioned thinking about starting doing a bit of work again soon. The other mum was saying not to even think about it and just enjoy this time with the baby.

While I agree personally myself that you should sit under the baby and enjoy every moment, I also understand the mundanity and boredom that comes with a newborn when you only have one child (it all changes when you’ve older children, and you’d love to be just able to concentrate on the newborn!). I myself was back working for our family business when my first baby was a few weeks old. I regretted it afterwards but at the time it didn’t phase me.

I think one mum pushing the other mum to just enjoy the baby, if that mum isn’t enjoying all the time with the baby, can make her think that there is something wrong with her feelings and with her. I think we all need to make sure if we’re giving advice to a new mum, or anyone really, that you allow that person to know that it is just your opinion and they could find something else works for them. And in general, just to remember we are all different and what works and affects one person might not another.