Monday, 26 January 2015

Wee wee wee, all the way home

Today was one of those proud days that only parents world probably get excited about! 


Not only that, there was no coaxing, it was all off her own back. 

It was post bath time so she was running around after Callum pudey (that's how we refer to being naked in our household, a Callumism derived from nudey pudey) when she came running back to me saying "wee wee!" then sat on her potty and, sure enough, did a big wee.

Up until now, we have had the potties out and, every once in a while I'll suggest she sit down on the potty to try for a wee and some times she does sit down, more often than not being successful with a trump, but never sitting long enough for a wee to be produced. There was one time when she did manage a poo but she had an upset tummy at the time and was as surprised as I was to see there was something in the potty so didn't really count it as a truly aware attempt. 

So not sure what that means now. I'm not prepared for potty training. We don't own any Millie sized knickers! I guess we will need to take a trip to buy some this weekend! 

My little girlie is growing up! 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 4/52 - Winter Sunrise

I'm not a fan of winter, I've never been good with the cold and add to that the short days, long nights and damp and miserable days. All these make for a miserable me. I struggle to think of activities to do with the kids and when I do think of something my motivation is low. 

But winter is not all doom and gloom. Winter presents us with beauty by way of frosty sunrises and red sunsets. I love looking at frost, how it sparkles like glitter and transforms a spider web into a lacey work of art.

I am also lucky to live next to a park and have a beautiful view across it from our upstairs windows. 

My Sunday Photo this week is looking across that park to the beautiful pink sunrise. 


Sunday, 18 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 3/52 - Water Play

I don't allow water play at the kitchen sink often as it takes all my will power to not panic at every splosh of water that cascades over the edge of the sink but every once in a while I force myself to just let it happen. Millie (and Callum when he was her age) really does enjoy it and I love seeing the joy in her face (and Callum before her) and, while they are enjoying an activity, they are also learning. For that reason,  I couldn't choose just one photo and had to go with three.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


Where did my imagination go? Which rotten imaginary monster stole it from me? 

When I was a child, although shy and more the one to be bossed about in imagination role play games with friends "Debbie, you're the big bad witch, you have to chase us", I did have and I did use my imagination when I was given the opportunity. I used to like writing children's stories and I played for hours with my Cindy dolls and My Little Pony stable. I took drama at GCSE and dreamed of being an actress when I left school.

When I had my children, I saw myself encouraging them to dress up and thought as they grew old enough I'd put on plays with them.

So what happened? Where did it all go?

Stuart is great at sitting down with Callum to play action hero games with him. Although it doesn't happen often, I love watching them play together.

I encourage Callum to use his imagination by asking him questions, like "where do you think that plane is going?", and then building on his answer and I do similar with the stories he writes but when it comes to role play games I can't do it. 

And this is me, the L&D professional who loves a good role play session when it comes to interview skills or coaching skills. 

If I can do it in my professional life, why can't I do it with my children? 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Greener grasses or new glasses?

After a lovely Christmas break I'm having that familiar attack of 'the grass is greener in the other side'.

The rose tinted glasses are on and I'm seeing caring for the children full time as 'what fun we would have' and 'all the things we could do together'. 

But deep down I know it wouldn't be like that in reality. Give me a month or two and all of a sudden working down the coal mines would be like looking over the fence at a lush green meadow!

Don't get me wrong, of course I love spending time with my children and I love the little people they are and who they are becoming but, selfishly perhaps, when I am with them constantly longterm I miss me as an individual, as an adult, as someone other than 'mum'.

I've done it twice and was desperate to get back to work and to find who I was again. 

Part off me wonders whether this current wobble is my response to my current job satisfaction and perhaps I'd feel better in another job. If only I could have the best of both worlds. If I could find a part time job and balance both roles better. 

But when I'm working I'm driven and ambitious. Can I still be those things if I am working part time. 

Does everyone go round and round in their head with these thoughts or am I the only person who is never happy with their plate? 

Well as my new years resolution was to be grateful for what I have,  I'm going to be grateful that I have a full time job with security and that I can afford to pay for childcare for my kiddies and I'm going to make the most of the weekends we have together.  And perhaps it's time to keep a closer eye on the job market and look out for my next challenge. Whatever that may be. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

Breastfeeding Exposed

It has been in the news a lot recently about breastfeeding mothers doing so in public in restaurants etc, especially after a mother was told to cover up in Clarridges.

It has made me reflect on my time as a breastfeeding mum. Breastfeeding in public was something I never really got the hang of mainly because of the added pressures of worrying if other people were feeling disgusted by me. Was that table over there watching me? What's that expression on their faces? Oh god, that man hasn't stopped starting at me the whole time, is he hoping for a shot of boob? 

After the stressful time I had with Callum and on several occasions moving to the disabled loo to feed and then working it so it was always a bottle feed rather than the turn of the breast when I had to go out (with Callum I could only feed from one side and expressed from the other to feed in a bottle), I swore I was going to get over it with Millie and breastfeeding in public wouldn't be an issue. I was going to buy lovely feeding tops and beautiful feeding covers. However, when the time came, I didn't have the money for such items as they were so expensive and, although I tried harder not to let it bother me, I still worried what people thought of me. With Millie it wasn't as simple as to be the only reason but definitely played a part with the end to my breastfeeding her.

Stuart and I were on a weekend away to Devon when Millie started refusing the breast in favour of the bottle. We went out for lunch and I was trying to be all relaxed and feed Millie but she would fuss over the nipple. Because she was fussing and crying for milk I became anxious about drawing attention. I was struggling to maintain my modesty because Millie kept pulling at the covers which made me stress more. The more anxious and stressed I became the more Millie fussed. I told Stuart I couldn't handle the public display so we went back to the car but it was uncomfortable and no better. Millie was obviously hungry but wouldn't feed. In the end Stuart ran all over Torquay trying to buy ready made formula and bottles to feed her.

Keeping covered in public when breastfeeding is all good and well when you have a cooperating baby but when things aren't going to plan, thoughts about what others may or may not be saying aren't helpful. I know this is my problem as maybe noone was saying anything. Maybe they sympathised and had been there too. Maybe they thought it was beautiful but the opinions bestowed upon me by my mum (who didn't breastfeed), my non-maternal and childless friends and the articles I see in the media make it difficult not to worry that everyone in that cafe or restaurant isn't against you.

I battled on (and yes it was a battle) for about a month longer before Millie pulled the plug on it altogether.

Like I said, the mental fight I had was my own doing and I know that but I do ask that people spare a bit of empathethy for the struggling mummy who is trying her best to meet the basic feeding needs of her baby rather than judge or make unhelpful comments (or looks of disapproval) and instead he her to keep her discretion and modesty.  As for the media, perhaps we can have more positive stories about how welcome feeding mothers are rather than how unwelcome.