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! 

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 

A picture is worth a thousand words

 To be honest it may be more than a thousand. This photo shows how cute my little creations are, that I adore them and that they are happy little soles.

What it doesn’t show is that this week already I have struggled to be a gentle mummy, it doesn’t show that winnie has thrush on her tongue which she has passed to me through feeding so my nipples are now so sore I have given up on a bra, but still need a bit of comfort so a sports bra it is. (I’ve used it maybe twice for actual exercise).  It doesn’t show that in desperation to get Noah to just be nice and stop acting like he’s taken speed, I got him an 8ft trampoline which cost more money than I have, but I figured was cheaper than counciling. It also doesn’t show that at 10am this morning I hadn’t even had a wee yet but my lovely little bundles were on their second breakfast… Minus the cornetos that I threw away because Noah wouldn’t stop screaming for them and had just punched me so I cut my losses and threw them away. Regretting it now, they were good. Also there’s no way it could show that I didn’t eat anything until about 10 tonight because I was too busy/stressed and then my attempt at ‘nutrition filled’ oven chips consisted of me pouring vinegar in to my hand because I’m too bloody tired and though it was the salt!

However this photo definitely does show my greasy unstyled hair and yesterdays eyeliner smudged under my eyes due to me having no time to give any shits how I look today.

The hardest thing about how happy this photo looks, even though I look on the verge of turning in to a zombie, it that my beautiful little people, as amazing and strong willed as they are, have exhausted me to the point where my nerves are frazzled and my hands don’t work.

I have a condition which affects my nerves and muscles and stress speeds the process up, usually just for a few days but recently I can’t get a break. My own kids are making me feel weak to the point of not being able to make a cup of tea without dropping pretty much everything I touch is bloody hard.

I’m hoping tomorrow brings a bit of light and Noah maybe finds his empathy that is hopefully around here somewhere, mummying is bloody hard people, stay strong 💪. If kids are fed, clothed and smell OK, your doing alright, if you have had a shower and can remember what day it is then you are winning!
Jess x

When people say you shouldn’t Co-sleeping or baby wear for whatever stupid reason they made up. This is worth more than any stats they think they know. We are not ‘making a rod for our own backs’ or making babies too dependent on us, we are doing the most natural thing and loving our babies in the most natural way. #wearallthebabies #babywearing #tula #connecta #parenting #parentblogger #everyonehasanopinion #mummyblog #mumlife #gentleparenting #attachmentparenting #bestforbaby

Terrific threes?

Yep apparently some parents have their ‘terrible two’ year olds converted in to a ‘terrific three’ year old over night. I’m not sure how much it costs or if it’s a secret cult you need to be part of, but it definitely didn’t happen here.
Noah has just learnt to be slightly more manipulative and to copy our parenting methods. One example is with choices. I have learnt that given his choices gives him a sense of power and can by pass some power struggles (tantrums). It has worked really well and really opened my eyes to the gentle parenting method. It’s not always the solution but generally giving him a choice helps him to make a good decision and understand why he is feeling frustrated.

However he does use this against us, if he doesn’t like that we are telling him it’s bed time. He will give me two choices, I can either go to bed or go in the garden. This is amazing because I would love to go to bed at 7pm and leave all mum duties for someone else, he doesn’t realise that it isn’t a punishment. Or another tactic he uses is making me laugh when he knows he had driven me mad. He does this by mimicking my method of calming him down, he touches my cheek and says “look, I know you are getting grumpy, let’s have a cuddle”. Number 1. I am so proud of him for understanding that you can calm a situation by helping someone with a cuddle and I hope he does this at nursery, number 2. He sounds so damn cute that I end up nearly in happy tears and forget whatever he has done to cause me to be grumpy. See, he is a genius at just 3. He is no better behaved than he was when he was two, he is just now very clever at making me forget what he has done.
Honestly sometimes I think we could rent him out as a form of punishment. Days when he just wants to hear his own voice, refuses to even stop talking to eat, demands and steals food every 5 minutes and flat out refuses to stop chasing the dog. The days when only a mum could love him!

If anyone is struggling with a terrible two or three, four, five year old. I would really take a look at the gentle parenting method, it really brings you back to thinking of your child as a little person that can often understand much more than they can communicate. It had helped me to explain things to noah instead of asking him to do something and getting frustrated when he doesn’t do it, such as asking him to tidy up. He never did it because that term is so vague, now I say “please can you put your train set away in the green box, your books back on the shelf and your pirate ship on the top shelf” and it works. He doesn’t get frustrated and then gets praised for helping me.

Don’t get me wrong, not everything in the method works for us, a few things like not praising children or encouraging competition just don’t sit well with me. I use lots of different phrases to say well done or good problem solving and sometimes competition is good. For example some days the only way to get noah to dress himself is so say “ I bet you can’t put your socks on as quickly as I can” and he does it! So I think it’s a win that I can encourage a toddler to wear clothes let alone put them on himself and leave the house!
Take a look for yourself and see if it helps you, there is also a Facebook group for gentle parenting which is so helpful and people are always there to ask for advice with specific issues.
Wish me luck!
Jess x