World mental health day, let’s start again

Today I decided to brave the cold morning and not feel defeated before I had even left the house. I have had a pretty harsh year so far, loosing the closest person I had to a father and then my little demon (Yorkie) cyd.

I hadn’t really processed my grieving yet before we moved house in the most stressful way and then lost my part time job because I couldn’t commit to it. I have just been left feeling pretty lost, for the first time in my life I don’t have a goal or something to work towards. Every day is just surviving and keeping the little ones alive and happy. That is a full time 24 hour a day task. Winnie is 2 and a half and is still in my bed most of the night, not sleeping.

My anxiety at the moment is making me want to sleep a lot and to hide away from being social and a parent. I haven’t been my best recently but i have noticed how much time has passed not enjoying my little people. Winnie is home with me every day, I feel suffocated but also so grateful that I can be there with her.

Today we are starting a fresh and embracing the days at home. Our new morning routine is going to include #cosmicyoga together when Noah has gone to school. Today we have done the hungry caterpillar story and loved it. Winnie is already doing another story! I came on Instagram

to write this post after a long time away and saw that it happens to be #worldmentalhealthday . I’m taking that as a good sign that this will be a new start. #anxiety #yogaforkids #parenting #beingamumishard #day1

It’s the circus and circus!

Can you breastfeed a two year old on the front row of the circus on a Saturday night? Sure you can! Also I didn’t notice for quite a while that Winnie had popped out and was fiddling with my other nipple and provided another form of entertainment during the interval 🤦 apart from getting through several bags of popcorn and a few minutes of bloody Peppa pig towards the end, the circus was a big hit with the littles. Winnie especially loved the terrifying clown and the video is of her laughing when it hit the man around the head

Rocking a Friday night!

When you finally get the kids in bed and have the house to yourself, you fancy a snack and your lack of shopping means you are going to have to make a bit of effort…

The grown up in me is so excited to eat this and proud of using up tomatos, the mum in me: “fuck it I’m still using the paw patrol plate” 🤫

I’m not the only one who just lives off of these cartoon or Ikea plates am I?

We have side plates somewhere in the cupboard but they haven’t seen the light of day for a couple of years now! #parenting #pawpatrol #yummy #iknowhowtorockafridaynight #mumlife

Today we are mostly boobin’ and cuddling! 

How is everyone else coping today? I think we have a few back teeth coming through that are causing this little bundle to want boobies and up-cuddles all day. I need my hands to cook for Noah,  so thankfully we know how to rock a back carry! I also think the thing of stroking an animal makes you feel calm works with a little person. I always feel better when I have had an up-cuddle and I know I have helped Winnie to feel better.  Yay baby (toddler) wearing, we are not letting bad anxious moods rule today!!

What they don’t tell you

Being a mum is bloody tough, no one tells you that you give so much more of yourself than just your body and sleep. In the parenting books it tells you basically how to keep a small person alive and if you read more, then you can also teach them sign language and to build rocket ships and stuff. All super helpful and positive. What the books don’t tell you is that you will most likely completely forget who you are and how to look after yourself. These books and advice, you only look for when you have hit the need for them. How many mum’s google, ‘why am I so angry?’ or ‘is it ok to not like my kids today/this week/at all?’ it seems that there is quite a few of us that have anxiety or depression and no one in the big wild world knows because we are so good and putting on the happy mum face or putting the “I’m just tired” plaster on it. I know at the moment that I am not ok, I know that I feel physically beaten up when I argue with Noah or Winnie won’t stop screaming and wanting milk. My head hurts, my chest feels tight and I feel dizzy. Physical effects of a mental health condition that there is so little information on unless you know to search for it. I wouldn’t change my babies for the world but at the moment I am not dealing with this stage of Parenthood brilliantly. I don’t want to be angry, avoid playing with them or feel too tired to be the mum they deserve. I hope talking about this today gives me the moment of clarity that I need to make some time for myself. Do some Pilates and breath for a few minutes a day and find a bit of peace that I can go back to in moments where there isn’t any, do something creative and try to find the happy in the worst times. 

It doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t last forever! 

A bit of a wake up call

Today I was determined to not be terrified of my 3 year old or having both kids alone with no plan for the day. I chose to keep positive, do my best to ignore him trying to get a reaction from me and get out the house. 

When we finally got in the car after several “OK I’m going, see you later” I just drove. I didn’t really have a plan but it was cold and horrible so really wanted to pop to a shop and get some bits to make an apple crumble and a casserole, yummy!

I also decided that we were not having any screens on today. I have relied on baby TV to keep the peace a bit too much recently, especially as I’ve been trying to pack for our holiday. The thing is, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t keep the peace really because Noah does everything in his power to get my attention, usually in a negative way. So today no TV, no games on phones and we were going to spend time together whilst daddy slept off the night shift. 

We ended up going to a wonderful little free farm near us. Thankfully Noah had wellies on already and winnie had her boots in the car because it was very soggy! They had so much fun in the puddles and trying their very best to stroke the piglets. Noah was a different child today, I think he felt seen and appreciated. I loved seeing him play with Winnie, he helped her through the puddles and taught her animal sounds but then I had the usual ‘mum guilt’ that I don’t see this side of him more often. He has very much become the ‘naughty’ child. I hate feeling like that. Today he became the big brother I want him to be, he ran after winnie and picked her up,  they both fell over laughing, but still, he tried to stop her running away. He wasn’t fighting for attention but content with sharing it and he was enjoying teaching winnie new things. I knew my little man could be this person and I feel awful that I hadn’t taken the time to find it before now. 

We are going on holiday tonight and it could not have come at a better time. A whole week to play with my babies that are growing way too quickly. I’m hoping this will be the start of me prioritising spending time with them instead needing to get the washing done or hoovering. I can’t believe I have become that parent.
This is what having little ones is about, splashing in puddles, wearing your brothers clothes (because I didn’t pack spares) and not having plans where you end up feeling like your kids are inconvenient. 

Enjoy your little people mummies, they grow too quickly and the time doesn’t come back! 

I love you my little wild ones! Xxx

Diy organic baby wipes

Do you know how easy it to make your own baby wipes? All you need is a few things you might already have around. I use coconut oil, lavender essential oil, cut soft cloth and boiled water.

That’s it! 
It’s so easy and if your little one has sensitive skin it could be the answer to your prayers. In the past we tried different nappy rash creams that made my eczema on my hands really sore so God knows what it was doing to winnie’s little bum. Since we have used our own wipes, my hands and her bum are in a much better state. 
Winnie currently has Chicken pox which are particularly bad on her nappy area. There was no way I was putting baby wipes on her sore bits or giving her a bath with every nappy change. Thankfully you can make your own baby wipes super quick and know exactly what your putting in them.

You need a tub with a lid, preferably glass but we just use a plastic clip pot.

You will also need cloths or premade wipes like cheeky wipes. These are not the cheapest so we made our own. In good old poundland you can get super soft wash clothes for babies with 3 in a pack. I cut these in to 4 and put them on a quick wash to stop them fraying. 
Put a couple of drops of lavender oil and a about half a tea spoon of coconut oil in the tub and pour over water that has been boiled (still pretty warm). 
Then lay the wipes in one at a time until all soaked. You put the lid on and leave them to cool.
That’s it! They will last for about 4/5 days and usually you will use them before the water needs refreshing. To wash them pop them in with your cloth nappies or if you don’t use them then just use a separate ‘dirty’ pot and wash them on a 50 degree wash with non bio powder and no conditioners.

We use about 15-20 over 3/4 days. The best thing with these wipes is you get very skilled at using one wipe per nappy, even poops. You won’t be using any more than that unless it’s particularly explosive. 
You can use other essential oils to suit you but I just love lavender and it’s healing and antibacterial properties. 
Let me know if you give these a try, even if you just use them at home and disposable wipes when you go out! 

What a difference a day ( and some deep breaths) makes.

The last few days have been a bit of a struggle to keep our little ship afloat. Noah seems to be determined to get a reaction from me (by ANY means) and it has been pretty bloody exhausting to balance on the knife edge. If you have a very free spirited 3 year old, I’m sure you understand what I mean!

From spitting full on in his little sister’s face when I’m not looking, to kicking the dog and everything in-between. Honestly I haven’t been able to take my eyes off of him this week for fear of him hurting someone 😦

Yesterday I realised that maybe actually he does need me a little bit more than I thought. I spoke to a lovely helpful member of the children’s centre on Monday and she reminded me of all the things I already know, but I need to hear. 

Things like young children usually do 1 ‘good’ thing to 20 ‘naughty’ thing in a day. It’s a case of picking your battles with the 20 things, and praising the 1 thing until you are sick of your own voice. I know this, I also know that he isn’t ‘naughty’. I hate that word, I hate that it can taint a child’s view of themselves and they can end up feeling shame and turn in to a self-fulfilling prophecy. I do not want Noah to think, “they think I’m naughty and it gets me attention, it’s easier than being ‘good’.”

So I let myself stop worrying about the washing that doesn’t end and played on his trampoline with him and Oswin. He was so surprised and happy to have me there that he kept kissing me and saying I’m the best jumper ever. What more could you hope for? 

Today I woke up ready to be the positive and gentle parent I want to be. I don’t want to be the mum who says no just out of habit and to hurry him because I think he’s taking too long. Today I tried again and will no doubt loose my temper and have to try again another day. The thing is, today, I had an observer. I had my family friend’s daughter with me, she is 11 but wise beyond her years and a fantastic help with little ones. 

Today she said to me, after a whole day of seeing how I talk to my kids and how I deal with their demands and tantrums, “you are such a happy person, you’re like sunshine”. She said I don’t let noah get to me and I don’t get tough when they don’t listen to me and I’m not at all like her mum. 

To begin with I did the are you mad? Laugh. I had no idea why she thought I was so happy when I feel like I am in my own little anxiety filled storm cloud most days. But then I looked back through the many points in my day where I have had to battle with Noah, break up fights in soft play and deal with winnie constantly trying to undress me whist shouting “boobies, Yeh, boobies?” in public. I realised that actually I was pretty calm, we dealt with each issue without shouting or threats. We made races out of getting in the car or putting shoes on and had the ‘one more play’ before we left the playground. Noah didn’t fight me, I spoke to him like a very clever child, not a naughty toddler and he responded brilliantly.

 I’m not saying this always works but God it’s nice to be told I’m doing OK. Even if it is by an 11 year old! 
I’m goin to do my best to ignore the behaviour I know only appears when he is tired or wants my attention and flood him with praise and attention as much as I can from now on. It’s hard work but jesus, arguing with a 3 year old takes years off your life I’m sure! They do not back down. 

We have walked in the common, made a bed outside and have eaten quite a lot of popcorn. They were both asleep by 8 without a battle and I don’t feel like crying. Let’s see what we can get up to tomorrow! 

“she is so clingy” “is she ill”

In the last couple of days Oswin has really been suffering from her 1 year jabs that she had last Tuesday . She has had a temperature that won’t shift, won’t let anyone touch her when she is upset and has clamped herself to my boob until she gets removed when I need a wee!

It’s made me think about how attached she is to me and that a lot of the time she only wants me, nanny can no longer settle her to sleep to give my arms few minutes rest.

I have been thinking how, occasionally,  I see this attachment as a negative and actually the more I thought about it, society does too. I never hear “oo she’s so clingy she must be ill” when Oswin wants a daddy cuddle, it’s usually “ahh she’s a daddy’s girl” or something positive.

So why is it then when she only wants me for days at a time I look for a justification for it? 

Is she teething? In a leap? Did she have a broken night? Is she over tired

Does anyone else find themselves checking a temperature to explain away their child wanting a cuddle? 

It upset me when I realised that I don’t seem to embrace her love for me and enjoy it. Oswin is so full of love and physically very affectionate, she wakes up full of love some days and goes between me and Matt giving us kisses and stroking our hair. It is adorable and what I always wanted when I pictured being a mum.

When I had Noah, I used to cry that he was not very affectionate towards me and fell asleep on nanny or daddy much easier than he did me. I think it’s probably how winnie came about! I didn’t have my mummy need forfilled by a snuggly baby. So how awful is it that I have one here (currently asleep snoring on me) and I have to keep reminding myself that it is a wonderful thing that she loves me this much.

The last couple of days I have stopped letting myself look for negatives or justifications for Oswin being a boobaholic and a ‘mummys girl’ and actually just let this little munchkin have all the kisses and comfort that she needs. 

It’s bloody tough being a mummy sometimes, especially when you look around at all the washing, tidying and other things that ‘need’ to be done. It’s really tough to not get frustrated that this little person needs you more than the washing pile and when she cries when you attempt to walk away from her. 

Give those clingy babies an extra cuddle tonight, they won’t be this little ever again. Tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger and a bit less attached. It goes too quickly and then you want another one! Quick cuddle them! 

Dearest Dove Baby

Dear Dove and whichever ignorant person gave this campaign the all clear to be published,

I cannot understand your latest posters, who are you actually aiming them at? Who did you hope they would appeal to? I understand the ‘shock’ value of some campaigns for brands such a compare the market or something along those lines but for a baby product and a ‘caring’ brand… It just doesn’t work. 

The thing is I don’t think you intended this campaign to shock people in to talking about Dove baby and then have your sales sore. I think you genuinely thought people would like your ‘fresh’ take on breastfeeding…. We don’t. 
Whomever decided that these posters were fit for public viewing needs to understand how difficult breastfeeding is. It is not a choice you make to have an easy life. It has massive benefits beyond health but also many struggles. 

It is constantly giving a small human access to your, once personal, breasts whenever they choose.  Usually this is in a public place when you are unprepared. They don’t often show manners so it means quickly getting your boob out to stop the demands of a tiny uncivilised person. 

You feel pressure to be quick to give them your boob so they don’t attract every single person’s attention to then watch you get your boob out. 
Generally it means you are stuck under them for anything from a few moments to a couple of hours depending on if they fall asleep/poop.
It often means getting engorged, having no help understanding why feeding hurts, having to grit your teeth and let this little person have their milk even if it is making your insides tighten and tears fall. 
It is not a lazy option as some think. However I would never take back my decision to breastfeed. It forms a bond beyond words and a comfort that at times, like now when my baby has just had her jabs, only I can provide and make the world OK again for her. 
The idea that these ignorant and backwards posters could possibly put someone off of breastfeeding as to not offend the hundreds who say ‘put it away’, breaks my heart. 
You could have taken someone’s chance of being that ultimate comfort away.

You should not be supporting the people who tell women to feed their babies in the toilet or to keep a muslin over their heads even if they are sweating. 

And as for the poster suggesting you support the poor baby being left to cry instead of comforted?? Seriously!!!?  That is beyond disgusting to tell the public and put your name to.  I can’t believe how even the graphic design team did not think, “wow this is really cruel, we should not encourage this, we shouldn’t publish this”. 

Honestly is this meant to encourage us to use your baby wipes or baby bath? You showing utter neglect to a baby?
All I will say is, yes you have got the ‘social’ mums talking. Yes your name is being discussed amongst ‘mummy group’s. You have succeeded in getting #Dovebaby through the global world of Twitter. Congratulations.

The result of this? I have agreed with over 30 mums, dads and grandparents in the past few days that these adverts tag line of “what’s your way?” belong to a fast food company, not a baby’s milk supply. We have also agreed that we will not be supporting or purchasing Dove products again. 
Congratulations for pissing off every mum that has every been tutted at whilst feeding, every mum who has been made to feel unwelcome in a cafe for giving her baby milk with her own coffee. You have done a great job at undoing many years of trust we once had for the Dove brand.

Regards, Jessie, still breastfeeding a 14 month old in public whenever she waves and says ‘tittie‘.

http://www.thespiltmilk.com