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Why you shouldn’t teach your kids to respect their elders

Many sayings and traditions have stood the test of time, one that stood out from my childhood is that you must “respect your elders”.

Now, I’m not saying this a bad idea to drill into kids, but all I’m saying is…isn’t it a bit dated?

Gone are the days when children were seen but not heard and we all know how disciplining children has changed over the years.

Once upon a time, nobody would bat an eyelid at you giving your child a clip round the ear in public, but times have changed and now there’s a wider knowledge base and support network for disciplining children.

I’m not saying parents, grandparents, teachers or any authoritative adult in a child’s life shouldn’t be respected and listened to.

I’m not even saying that kids shouldn’t look up to their elders, these are the people they are modelling themselves on, all I’m saying is…

Shouldn’t we teach kids to “respect…everybody”

Isn’t it wiser to broaden the spectrum of who our children are taught to respect?

Shouldn’t parents have respect for their children?

Think about it….

We are teaching them how to be a person after all, we’re also teaching them what is acceptable and what isn’t?

If it is OK for an older person to be rude to a younger person, aren’t we just teaching our kids to accept abuse?

I know the saying doesn’t necessarily say that elders will be rude, it’s more of a way just to steer youngsters in the right direction, but I feel in a day and age where mutual respect is sort of given, doesn’t it make more sense that we teach our kids to have respect for each other, so there are no blurred lines?

I had the thought to write this blog post because of a situation I saw in my doctor’s waiting room last week, I was waiting to get Nicole’s immunisations and there was another lady getting her 1 year old daughter into her buggy after getting her jabs. Her daughter was obviously upset after getting FOUR injections, the poor little love, I think I’d be crying too, but to be honest I didn’t really notice, she wasn’t overly screaming or drawing attention to herself. Her poor mother was trying her best to soothe her and get all their gubbins together (we all know how much baggage these little people come with). Then out of nowhere an elderly lady (at least in her eighties) pipes up and has the audacity to tell the mother she should be talking to her daughter, that she shouldn’t be ignoring her! I’m not being funny, but…

  1. Who the hell asked her?
  2. The mother was most definitely NOT ignoring her daughter
  3. We all know that kids are much better in motion and it was obvious the woman was rushing to get the heck out of dodge

Now I know this doesn’t directly relate to the saying “respect your elders” that I’ve been discussing in this blog post, but I have been thinking about that situation for about a week now and it made me think, why did this woman feel she had the right to openly and publicly judge this mother? Also why did the Mum not feel she had the right to argue back?

It’s difficult…especially with older frail people, sometimes it’s better to walk away, rather than raise the heart rate of an eighty year old, but I’m more interested to why it happened in the first place.

Obviously with people who are generations older than us, they have built into them what their parents taught them, of course they do, don’t we all? So maybe it’s not our place to change them but change the future? To prevent these situations in the future, it’s important we teach mutual respect for our children between people of all ages.

I know, I know….the world of parenting isn’t black and white! We all break our own rules sometimes and there are always things we wished we had done differently, but there’s nothing wrong with putting ideas in our kids heads about what they should accept and how they should treat other people. Plus we all know not everyone teaches their children to be respectful, but that doesn’t mean we can’t teach our children to politely respect other people even if that means people they don’t like there’s a polite way to ignore someone than openly flashing evil stares to their primary school nemesis.

I’ve rambled on for a while now over just a little thought, but it’s one that’s been on my mind for a while, instead of ONLY respecting our elders, let’s respect EVERYBODY.

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Becoming a NICU mum

Becoming a NICU mum

This isn’t how it was supposed to pan-out.

We all anticipate how our babies will arrive and try to envisage that spectacular moment our little creation enters the world.

Then fate cruelly interjects and suddenly the dream bubble that’s been floating above your head for the past few months is torn in two and is replaced with the sound of beeping machines, the hustle and bustle of a busy ward and the reality of this tiny fragile human-being with wires and tubes protruding ever limb on their helpless little bodies.

It’s a massive shock to the system and you’re expected to just take it in your stride. As if becoming a mum for the first time or adding to your brood isn’t enough to take on board, now there’s the fear that this little part of you, won’t make it.

When they are born, that’s the helpless moment you lose the ability to protect your little one safely inside your body, the moment they leave your body, the responsibility then leaves you and is passed on to the nurses and doctors, which although we are grateful for, is heartbreaking, because all we want to do is cuddle our little bundles of joy and keep them safe in mummy’s arms.

With a “normal delivery” mum’s are so excited to finally meet their new addition, but during premature birth we have the fear of the unknown, knowing your baby may not breathe or be born with long-term health complications.

You would be judged for saying this isn’t what you wanted to happen, but I can’t quite understand why someone would pass judgement on the feelings of something they have no understanding of.

We don’t feel disappointment and sadness because this premature baby has become an inconvenience to our lives, quite the opposite.

It’s sadness for our baby and disappointment that this person we love more than anything else on the planet it having to struggle through the early days, weeks, months and sometimes even years of their life.

We call them fighters, because they are.

We call them miracles, because they are.

We wouldn’t change them because we love them in a specially particular way after being astounded by their strength….

But would we, if we had the choice wish they had never had to go through this?

Of course we would!

I look at Jack now, my waters went with him at 25+5 weeks and he was born at 29+5 weeks, spending 40 days in NICU and I’m still astounded by what he went through as a 3.5lb preemie. But the heartbreak of seeing my tiny baby squeal in pain with needle after needle, knowing his body couldn’t provide what he needed to keep him alive breaks my heart and I’d of taken it all for him if I could.

Nobody hopes to become a NICU mum, but once you are one, all you do is hope.

Hope that your little one makes it through the fight for their life.

I’m just one of the lucky ones my fighter made it through unscathed.

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Three poorly babies

I know Jack & Mikey aren’t technically “babies” but they are MY babies, so I have three poorly babies today.

It’s been starting for a few days but today it’s hit our household like a bacteria filled bomb, all three have sticky eyes (Yuck!), poor Jack woke up and thought he was blind! 🙈

Mikey has no comprehension of why I have to clean his eyes, he’s the hardest one to help. Jack doesn’t like having his eyes cleaned (using boiling water and cotton wool) plus eye drops, but he knows he needs them and if he just plays along it’s over a lot quicker than if he fights me, Nicole hates having her eyes cleaned (she’s too young for drops) but is too little fight back, so just gives me a guilty feeling with her bottom lip.

But Mikey, he is the strongest out of all three and hates any sort of intervention, wiping his nose, washing his hair, changing his bum…he’s not a fan of anything like that, so trying to swipe his eyes with cotton wool in one direction so I’m not rubbing it back into his eye, then putting in eye drops is near-impossible, but I managed it, I may have had to gently restrain him with my legs, but it took me no longer than a minute, whereas I could have sat there for an hour trying to reason with him but got nowhere, if you are a fan of the TV show Friends….Imagine Rachel with the eye drop, but x10!

I had plans to take the kids out to the park today or maybe even to a play area, but I’m not so well myself and really all they want to do is stay in their pyjamas and watch TV, so I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to chill with them and not spread this cold/virus/eye infection whatever you want to call it, to the outside world.

Kids perk up pretty quickly so I’m hoping they’ll be OK for nursery and a play date tomorrow, there’s really no way to tell until the morning with kids, they are pretty unpredictable. I know they’ll be absolutely gutted to miss out but I suppose it’s my job to decide what is best and weigh up the pros and cons, they’ve been having their eye drops for two days now, so hopefully their eye will be better by tomorrow.

I’m doing a video on my Vlog about my poorly babies, check it out and please subscribe

Yummy Mummy’s Vlog

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Mikey’s 1st Nursery Session & Vlog #1

So today is a day full of firsts!

Mikey has his first proper session at nursery at the same time as Jack.

Which means three hours alone time with my baby girl, that’s a first!

She has slept most of the time, so this is actual, real alone time! Another first!

Plus tonight I’m going to give Vlogging a go!

I love writing, I’m still going to blog, my love for writing is a need I have to get everything written down, it’s sort of like a counselling session, ha!

But some things I capture of my kids on video are just hilarious and part of why I do this blogging/vlogging business is for my kids to look back on it when they are older, I think they are way more likely to watch videos than read pages and pages of blog posts.

So I hope you’ll check out my YouTube and watch my videos as well as continue to read my blog! Here’s the trailer to my page, if you could please check it out and subscribe I’d really love it! Also if you’re on YouTube yourself, comment with your page and I’ll sub you back:

Also I’ll let you know how Mikey’s first day went, I’m very nervous!

He didn’t even give me a second glance! Good for him, sad for me!

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When the protective Lioness roars

As mothers, we have built in “feeling sensor” it’s when we get a feeling something just isn’t quite right with our little ones.

Even if they aren’t in the same room, building, town or even the same country, no matter how old we get or how old they get, it never goes away, when there’s something amiss we just know!

I have to say, sometimes it can be a bit off, I’ll have the strongest feeling something is going to happen or something is wrong, but in reality it’s fine, but I’d say I have a 70% accuracy for knowing when my little ones need me.

So today in a play area we go to quite a lot, I got the feeling.

Jack ran off on his own, as he does and I was sat in a place I could see all parts of the play area, so I could see him at all times.

I didn’t even hear him scream, I just suddenly got this feeling he needed me.

I stood up, to look at him…Jack was walking away from this other kid who was following him and hitting him, Jack fell to the floor and this kid started kicking him!

This all happened within a few seconds, I was there by his side within this time, but it felt like a slow motion lifetime.

I felt this rage in my belly, I can’t explain, but it was as if my inner lioness was roaring, like I needed to rescue my baby cub…

OK OK, I know it wasn’t that bad, we aren’t at war and my son’s life wasn’t at risk, but he was scared and being hurt by another person, all-be-it this kid was no older than 3, definitely around Jack’s age, but still when someone is causing your child to be upset, the feeling you get as a mother is indescribable.

If it had just been a “toddler smack” I’d of probably waited to see if Jack either “toddler smacked” them back or told them off (the more likely option from Jack), but I saw the fear in my baby’s eyes and this boy wasn’t hitting like a toddler, he was using his fists to punch, this little boy was obviously used to playing rough.

So before I had a chance to compose myself, or even think about it, I found myself hunched over in the soft play area telling a strangers kid he was naughty and he shouldn’t hurt other kids.

Was it wrong of me to call another person’s child naughty? Probably…

Do I regret it? Probably not…

Should I have just pulled my child away, comforted him and left the parents to deal with whether their child should be punished? I don’t know…but I know it was my instinct to protect my child and to show him that if someone hurts you it is NOT ok.

I know if my child was that intentionally cruel and hurtful to another child, their “play time” would be over and they’d either be sitting out until their siblings finished playing or we’d be going home.

Usually, I’d wonder if I’d overreacted, to how bad a situation was. But me and every other mum in that place were sat gawking at the destructive rampage this kid was on, even after I told him he was naughty and he continued to hit and kick other children.

I have to say hats off to the mum, she brought him over, there was a bit of resistance, but she relented and got her kid to apologise.

It is embarrassing, really we’re all in the same boat, with these tiny dictators trying to show us up at every opportunity, it’s always a worry if you’re going to have to face the “judgemental, snooty mum”, well that definitely isn’t me, I have three very normal, very cute but at times extremely irritating children, I’m in no position to judge…

I mean at the end of the day, they are kids!

They push the boundaries, that could have easily been Jack making another kid cry, sometimes he shocks me with how brutal he can be to his own brother, so I’m not one to judge. All kids want to see what they can get away with and I don’t think anyone is exempt from their kid misbehaving, it’s how we deal with it that counts.

So maybe I should have waited for the mum to come over, before telling her son off, but I know if that were Jack he’d be less likely to do it ever again if a stranger were to tell him

 off, it would terrify him, so I don’t think I’d thank someone for telling my kid off, but I think having the fear that someone, especially a stranger might tell them off, would prevent future naughty moment (we can hope).

But to be honest kids are pretty unpredictable, so they’ll probably just do what the hell they like whilst making us look like terrible parents at the same time.

I’ve diverged a bit in this post, I’ve been thinking about it all day, knowing I’d write it. To be honest I was pretty upset when it happened and I was angry that my son told me “Mummy I’m too scared to go back in” but throughout writing this piece, it’s put it into perspective, that we’re all mums just trying to raise our kids into semi-descent human beings, so instead of judging the mum and her son, I need to look at the bigger picture and not let my inner mama-bear take over before thinking.

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Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Life with little ones is hectic at the best of times, I should know I’ve had three in three years! Leaving the house is a daily battle, you almost need a military operation to pull it off and coming out the other end can leave you with some post-traumatic stress. It might just seem like a trip to ASDA, but to my kids it’s a defiant battle with three main targets, how to:

A) Give mum a heart attack thinking they are missing/been kidnapped

B) Find the most valuable and breakable item in the store and destroy beyond all recognition, making sure Mummy has to pay for the damage they’ve caused

C) Scream, Swear or just plain whine enough to make an entire store of strangers glare at mum like she’s raising the Antichrist.

That is just a trip to the shops, so how are we going to pull off a holiday? I mean all of us, leaving the house, for longer than a few hours and all coming back alive and unscathed…is that even a possibility?

Let’s be honest, we go on holidays to relax, unwind and escape reality, when you’ve got kids it can be really difficult to achieve that, especially in an unfamiliar place that you are spending your hard-earned money on. The average family go on one holiday a year, so that’s a lot of built up anticipation and expectations, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth it and that you actually unwind, relax and maintain your mental health whilst having your kids with you.

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Here are some tips on how to ensure you stay healthy, well and relaxed on holiday:

#1 Plan

Some prep before hand is essential to have a relaxing time, I don’t mean organised activities from hour to hour, I mean…DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Questions

First things first, your accommodation:

Does it have a travel cot?

Does it have a safe deposit box?

Stair gates?

Washing machine or nearby launderette?

Important factors you need to be aware of. The last thing you need is to arrive and realise there is nowhere for you to keep your expensive belongings or money safe and that your toddler or baby has to starfish in between you and your partner every night, because it’s either that or the floor when the hotel have no travel cots…I don’t know about you but I don’t find a swift kick in the face very relaxing and that is the reality of bed sharing with a toddler.

If you’re in a villa then is the pool gated?

If you’re in a hotel is there a crèche? Is it safe and governed? Or is there a creche nearby if you want to stay in a villa? 

Are there real reviews?

Check it all out, the key to a successfully relaxing holiday is peace of mind.

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Activities

OK so I know I said no activities, you don’t want to be rushing from place to place to get somewhere for a certain time, but it is handy to know what is going on in and around where you are staying.

If you know there is a certain show or activity you were interested on from say 1pm it might be nice for you to make your way over there in plenty of time, but if it gets a couple of days in and your on Google searching for where to go and what to do because the kids are getting restless, it just means more time wasted on that, that could be spent relaxing.

Have a little look on trip advisor before your holiday, find out where has the best reviews and save your self the disappointment of getting food poisoning from the 0 star restaurant you could have avoided.

2# Indulge and Hydrate

Drink, drink and drink some more…water!

If we’re talking about a summer holiday, especially abroad, staying hydrated is a no-brainer. I mean it’s a great idea to stay hydrated every day of your life, but when you are in an environment where you will become dehydrated rapidly, it’s important not only for your health but for your enjoyment to make sure you drink plenty.

You don’t want to risk causing yourself damage and ruining your holiday just because you forgot to drink, I mean you’ll get thirsty so you’ll more than likely drink, but it’s important to drink bottled water and be healthy. Even if you aren’t usually a “healthy” person, you are out of your usual environment so therefore are more at risk if you do dehydrate.

Little ones will have no idea they have to keep themselves topped up with water, they might tell you they are thirsty but don’t wait for that, make sure you remind them to drink plenty. It’s only a small detail that won’t even seem like a big deal, carrying water around with you, but it could be the difference between your holiday being relaxing and healthy or ruined by being unwell due to dehydration.

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Eat safe

Also make sure you eat plenty, if you’re planning on a busy holiday with lots to do, then don’t forget to eat and eat well! You are in an unfamiliar place so look at your surroundings, look at how hygienic the area is that you are eating in, if you don’t feel something is quite right then don’t eat it, but don’t stop your self indulging, you’re on holiday after all! It’s important to stay healthy but holidaying is a time of enjoyment so scoff the cake and for that week or two don’t worry too much about your waistline, a bit of indulging never killed anybody.

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3# Book Smart

Be realistic

When booking your holiday, you flick through the brochures and watch the adverts of the couple clinking their wine glasses together, snuggled in a shawl, watching the sunset. That’s great there’s no reason that can’t happen, but be realistic! If you are taking little ones with you, then book into a family friendly place, DO NOT book into a couples paradise.

Pandora’s Box

It’s all well and good thinking your kids are well-behaved, but when all the couples are cooing at each other over a candlelit dinner and you’re trying to contain Pandora’s box (a.k.a your kids) it isn’t that relaxing.

If junior decided to catapult meatballs across the room at a family friendly restaurant, then the waiter will no doubt duck without batting an eyelid because he will have become a master of dodging little people food fights and Freddie his new best friend with will be in fits of giggles at the other side of the room.

Whereas if Junior pie faces the guy who is about to change his girlfriend’s life by getting down on one knee, you won’t get the smirking glance from a fellow mum who knows what you are going through, you’ll get the laser stare of the ice queen who spent three hours doing her hair that your child has just streaked with spaghetti.

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Family Friendly

Trust me…just visit family friendly areas and restaurants! For your peace and tranquillity, even if there are kids running around, you can relax, because everyone’s in the same boat, your kids are running around too, there’ll probably be a crèche or some activities where you can leave the kids so you can get some one on one time. You don’t want to spend the entire trip red-faced or trying to contain a pack of wild beasts, set them free in the right environment, sit back and chill whilst watching the carnage unfold.

4# Open invite

I’m not saying invite the world on your holiday (1. Impossible and 2. Unrealistic) but it’s becoming an increasing trend to holiday with other families or even with a large number of your own relatives. If you don’t have friends (or you can’t stand the ones you have) and your extended family are the reason you need a holiday than this option may not be for you.

Multi-generational

But if Nana and Grandad need a holiday and love watching the little ones, it means you get lifetime memories with a larger portion of your family and let’s face it you’ve got ready-made, trustworthy babysitters whilst you clink the champagne glasses, cuddle up and watch the sunset (see, I told you it is possible).

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Bring your bestie

If your best mate has a family of their own, why not go together? Share a villa (half the cost for each other) you’ve got ready-made playmates for your little ones and you can take it in turns watching the brood of kids from both families while you clink, cuddle and watch the sunset (becoming more realistic now, isn’t it).

Basically, you are making your holiday cheaper (in theory), more relaxing (trusted babysitters & playmates) and more enjoyable (spending time with people you like). There’s every reason to expand the number of people coming on your holiday, for your enjoyment and also for your peace both physically and mentally.

#5 Where to go

Thinking of where to go? Think relaxing, beautiful sunsets, stunning scenery and an air of elegance…Tuscany is a region in central Italy, it is full of character and the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday.

If you’re like me and have a brood of kids, that make the thought of staying in hotel fill you with dread, then a villa is the place to go. No worries about disturbing guests or irritating staff with your kid’s wacky ways.

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Here’s the best place to rent a villa https://www.to-tuscany.com/

They have over 350 positive reviews on Feefo reviews and are a trusted merchant on there too: Feefo

They are also highly commended on thegoodwebguide.co.uk

Check out the To-Tuscany pages:

Facebook Twitter G+ Pinterest To Tuscany Blog Flickr Youtube Instagram Flipboard  To-Tuscany Newsletter

#6 Remember why you’re going

You want to enjoy your holiday, relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you don’t over do activities, booze or just not taking care of yourself. You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re there and if something is stressing you out or making you unwell then don’t do it. Just remember these three key facts which sum up all the yammering I’ve done above:

  1. Stay healthy (Eat right & drink plenty)
  2. Make it easy (Do whatever gives you mental peace)
  3. Enjoy (Lay down, walk, dance, sleep..if it makes you happy then do it)

    BE HAPPY

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Mikey’s Progress: Speech Therapy & Portage

If you follow my blog, you’ll know my son Mikey has just turned two and has recently been referred to SALT (Speech and Language Therapist) and Portage for some of his behaviours and the fact he isn’t speaking yet.

He’s only just turned two

So speaking to the everyday parent, everyone I’ve spoken to has had the same reaction “What?! All that intervention already? He’s only just turned two!”. 

Look, they aren’t wrong, but the fact is he is struggling in certain aspects of his life, it’s only a flicker at the moment, but his social skills, interaction and communication are just not developing at the “average” rate, and before you say it…I know! Every kid is different and Mikey is my extra special unique little boy, he looks at the world differently to the rest of us, he doesn’t tell me that, but I just know.

Therapy

So what’s wrong with a bit of therapy? That’s all it is! Some gentle support along the way, so if there is the chance of him struggling when he’s older, we don’t “wait and see”, we give him the support he needs now, there won’t be a huge barrier he hits in a few years. Think about it, celebs pay thousands for therapy, Mikey’s getting it free, why not?!

For those who don’t know Speech and Language Therapists provide support for a whole host of people with different support needs, one of which being children  who struggle to speak. 

If you ask Google what Portage is, it’s “The carrying of a boat or it’s cargo between two navigable waters” but for our little Mikey it means “a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families”.

Bubbles

This week he had his first proper session of Speech Therapy, I say “proper” because the first one we went to was a drop in session where she assessed if he needed further support, which she did, so on Monday we went along and said “Bubbles, Up, Pop, More and Yeah”w we had been given “homework” which was a sheet of paper with tips on to improve his speech, so over Christmas we’d perfected “Bubbles”, he’d said the odd other word, but it was like he’s saved it all up for his speech therapist and since that first session he’s non-stopped babbled, it’s amazing to hear his little voice, I’m excited by how much he’s progressed, he seems so much happier already.

We had his initial visit from Portage and they just wanted to know all about him, us and our life. They were telling me about Portage and how they interact with him through play and that it will improve his interactive skills, I’m so happy they have this support available and that my little boy gets to take advantage of it, we start his first session at the end of the month, so I’ll update on his progress.

The world would be a better place

I know a lot of parents are in a similar position to me, there is an Autistic question mark floating around and it’s hard to know what is the right thing to do when it comes to letting intervention take place and introducing therapies. I’m only at the start of this journey, I don’t know if Mikey is Autistic, there is no way of knowing, but it doesn’t matter, he’s MY baby, no label is going to change how special he is to me or anything  about him, if he needs different support to other children, then so what? He’s unique and sees the world in his own special way and do you know what? I think if we were all a little more like Mikey the world would be a better place.

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