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It’s OK to be “that” mum

I’ve been that mum, the one that the other mums snigger about because she doesn’t like to leave her baby, or that people sneer at because she doesn’t like other people holding him, or that others judge because she worries about literally everything.

They say she needs to have a break from her baby so she will have time to miss him, or she can’t be selfish and has to share her baby or even that in their day there wasn’t any of these precautions and they turned out OK.

I genuinely don’t think people realise they effect their words have on us. As if we don’t question ourselves enough already now we have people telling us, we’re too clingy, selfish or even becoming doctor’s overnight and diagnosing us with Post Natal Depression.

I’ve been like this with my children, when I have had Post Natal Depression and also when I haven’t, let me tell you something…even if she does have PND, taking her away from her baby will definitely NOT make it better, if it isn’t what she wants it WILL make it worse.

All of my babies have been born towards the later end of the year, so when you get visitors there tends to be a lot of winter virus going around. I don’t think people realise when they paint you as the psychotic OCD mum, that the reason you don’t want an ill person holding your new baby is because it might just seem like a cough to them, but to a baby it can be life threatening, it could mean ending up on a Children’s ward around older children with Bronchitis and sickness bugs.

Maybe the reason they don’t want you to hold their baby is because they just don’t want to let go of them, I never wanted to let go of Jack. I loved cuddling him, I knew it would be short lived, that in a few months he’d be starting to move and eventually he wouldn’t sit still for my cuddles. Surely it was me who needed the most cuddles, as his mother? We had the strongest bond after all. I carried him inside me.

That’s another point, we carried them inside us for three quarters of a year, why would we suddenly want to be separated from them? They are happiest with us, listening to our heart beat, the smell of their mummy and the sound of her voice.

For those who say in their day there wasn’t any of this to worry about, I’m sorry but you’re ignorant. Move with the times, there’s so much more to worry about now, because we have access to so much more information. Safe sleeping, anchoring furniture, stair gates, blind cords the list goes on and on, I’m of the opinion, if I can take the precaution, then why not do it? In your day it might have not been the thing to do to have bonding time without visitors, but I’m sure in your day a lot of women felt unable to speak out about how they feel, well this is my day and I want alone time with my baby and lots of it.

If there is one thing that really grates my cheese, it’s a group of people passing a baby around. Each to their own and if you’re happy for people to play pass the parcel with a tiny human, fair enough. But for me, it’s torture, watching your baby be lifted from person to person, knowing they aren’t settling anyway because they aren’t with you, but then to be disturbed every ten minutes, after just getting warm in someone’s arms, getting passed to another place…again! Yet people look at your like you’re insane or selfish for not sharing your baby.

I think most people make judgement because they literally don’t get it, they aren’t bad people, they genuinely think they are within their rights to have a sense of entitlement to your baby, but they don’t, this is YOUR baby and YOUR life. They will never have the bond you have with your baby and that is the most important bond, so don’t worry about how it’s affecting them, if that makes me selfish, then I’ll take that.

I’ve had people snigger and make comments about how I won’t pass my baby or like other people holding them, to me I don’t see why that’s something to laugh about. If someone takes your baby out of your arms without asking, for me it’s torture, that baby is a piece of me.

The best you can do is stand up for yourself and explain it to people, I have a lot of people in my life who get it and now don’t make any assumptions or take any liberties. But I also still have a lot who will never get it because they just aren’t willing to listen, they just label you as that mum.

Well I’m definitely that kind of mum…and proud of it.

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My Feeding Battle

I’ve been considering writing this post for a few weeks now, but felt unsure how to go about it.

I’m not pro-breast feeding per say, I’d say I’m pro-feeding, but the problem is as soon as you start writing about breastfeeding people think you’re anti-formula, which isn’t the case at all. I’m currently breastfeeding Nicole, but I’ve formula fed, I’ve bottle fed expressed milk and I’ve breastfed, they were all great and all difficult for different reasons, so I thought I’d write my take on each of them.

I’ll start with saying breastfeeding is much harder than I thought it would be, the four things that tipped the scale for me in the favour of breast feeding were:

  1. No going downstairs in the night to make bottles up
  2. No washing and sterilising bottles
  3. No-one else can do it
  4. You don’t have to prepare and take bottles out with you

But I never realised the battle that can be involved with breastfeeding, my first son was 10 weeks premature and never latched, I tried and tried but the sucking reflex just wasn’t there, it was heartbreaking and frustrating.

My second son was premature but eventually latched, but it took a few weeks to get him exclusively breastfeeding, I gave him bottles occasionally, but the teat and nipple confusion made it more difficult.

Then I had Nicole, I was fully aware she might be my last so I really wanted to exclusively breastfeed, just as a personal goal for myself.

She is now nearly 10 weeks old and hasn’t had one bottle, but oh my the first three weeks were so hard. My nipples were blistered and bleeding, from where she hadn’t been latching properly, I got Mastitis (ouch!) and she was feeding every two hours, plus no-one else can do it, which is a bonus for bonding but not when you’re exhausted. I’m now two and a half months in and it’s a doddle, I’m so glad I pushed through that hard time, I’ve reached my goal and I feel like I can keep going for as long as I feel happy.

Formula feeding was more complicated than I thought, you don’t realise how many different formulas there are to choose from! First there’s the different brands and everyone has their opinions of of course! Then there’s the different types of milk, some rave about hungry babies yet others warn you to stay away. I did find that formula always made them more constipated. The washing and sterilising of bottles was frustrating at times, but then being able to ask someone to watch the baby whilst you have a shower or go do some shopping is attainable because they aren’t surgically attached to your breast! The benefits I found of formula feeding were:

  1. There isn’t the frustration of baby latching
  2. Other people can feed baby
  3. You can eat and drink whatever you like without worrying about it affecting baby
  4. You know how much milk they’ve consumed

I say that formula feeding was more complicated than I thought but in some ways it’s really simple, you make the bottle, you feed the baby and that’s it, there’s not need to work on latching or worrying about how much milk baby is getting because you can see it for yourself.

Expressing milk, I take my hat off to any momma who express their milk and feed it their baby through bottles. Above I’ve discussed the pros and cons of breast and bottle feeding, well this is both! So you’re getting all your amazing ‘liquid gold’ milk (as it is referred to in NICU) out through a breast pump, washing and sterilising bottles then feeding baby. It takes double the time and double the effort. I expressed while Jack was in NICU for 6 weeks, then for 6 weeks at home, he ended up needing premature baby formula to put weight on, but during the time I expressed it was very rewarding but it was hard work. The benefits to expressing are:

  1. Baby is still getting your milk
  2. Other people can feed baby
  3. You know how much milk baby has had
  4. You can freeze the milk and stockpile to use at a later date

Even though expressing is hard work, it is definitely worth it, it has so many great benefits for both mum and baby. Having battled trying to get Jack to latch and being unable to, I found this worked so well for us and I was so happy he could still get my milk.

So there it is, my take on the different types of feeding I’ve experienced first hand. There is a lot of judgement out there about each of these types of feeding, but there is one statement I stand by…

“All a baby cares about is that their belly is full and that you love them”

Really, as long as your baby is fed and happy…that’s all that matters. People will judge you no matter what you do, so you have to do what is best for you and baby not anyone else.

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A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..

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Christmas Gift Guide Request

I’m creating a Christmas Gift Guide of tried and tested toys!

I will try some my self with the kids and also accept reviews from real mum’s & kiddies with pictures!

If you would like to get in contact for my boys aged 1 & 2 to try your product or to send your review in for consideration then please get in contact via Facebook or Twitter!!

Happy Holidays!christmas-presents

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Halloween with kids ideas!

I had so many ideas for Halloween with the boys but unfortunately they got struck down with a sickness bug, they are recovering now, but since they are too young to understand Halloween I saw no need to dress them up when it would benefit them more having a cosy day in their PJs. Plus it’s the one night a month they spend at Nanny’s house, so they’re having a quiet one!

But saying that I do love Halloween and think kids are adorable dressed up for it! I really wanted to do Jack dressed as Chucky and Mikey as the baby from The Adam’s Family. I then saw a friend of mine on Facebook, Harriet, who has a baby the same age as Mikey, dressed her and her son Luca up for a Halloween competition and won 1st and 2nd Place!

Like me, Harriet likes to create a lot of homemade sensory activities for her son, she gets creative and look at the results!

Luca1 Luca2 Luca3

Harriet was kind enough to let me use her pictures for this post!

So there you go a fun and creative way to dress up with your little on for Halloween.

If any readers have pictures of their cute little ones, comment with them or send them in via Facebook or Twitter!

Happy Halloween!

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The screaming, kicking & punching terrible 2’s are here!

Jack turns two on the 11th November, it’s hard to believe that my tiny premature baby that was born at 29+5 weeks Gestation is almost two!

... jack

Especially since he started not even being able to breathe by himself and now he has got a whole personality of his own, saying words, starting to string sentences together, feeding himself, knowing he does NOT want to use the potty and of course the reason they are called the terrible two’s….the tantrums.

He’s always been very loving and affectionate especially to his little brother, but I will give you a few scenarios in the last week that have shown the sudden change in his behaviour.

Tantrum 1 – Biting

We were playing “tractor” which started with me getting a picture of a tractor on google images for Jack to point at and say “tractor” to on my laptop, we have gradually progressed and now he says around 30-40 words, the other day we were playing a lovely game of tractor when Jack started smacking the laptop, so I looked at him and said “No Jack, that’s naughty”, he looked at me with anger, his body went rigid with rage, he ran over to his Daddy who was laid on the sofa and without any warning, bit him on the leg! There was pure anger, from nowhere! All of a sudden he was fine and accepted being told off, he gave Daddy a kiss and a cuddle with an apology. But it was so shocking! He has never bitten before!

Tantrum 2 – Raisins

Jack loves eating his dinner, him and Mikey sit side by side in their high chairs and never have any objections, except for Tuesday, on Tuesday this all changed. He screamed and went rigid, he wouldn’t calm down and just stormed about screaming, then all of a sudden walked over to the table and pointed at a box of Raisins, we handed him the box and he was fine, he then got in his high chair and ate all of his dinner. I didn’t see this as giving into him, as I’d happily give him a snack and considering he ate all of his tea, I saw his anger as frustration that he couldn’t communicate what he wanted.

Tantrum 3 – Bath time

Bath time is Jack’s favourite time of day hands-down, so when I get him out of it, there is a 5 second struggle until he remembers he then gets to watch a bit of Peppa Pig and have his night time bottle. Tonight I laid him on the towel and he kicked, punched and scratched, it only lasted for maybe 20 seconds then he was fine, he had his nightly inhaler and calmed down, I was in shock though, shock that my tiny snuggly baby that needed me to survive would try and hurt me! I know he doesn’t know the difference and is learning from his emotions, but still it’s hard to deal with!

They say that a toddler’s hormones are the same as a teenagers, well if Jack’s feeling the hormones I felt as a teenager I’m going to run and hide…this can only get worse!

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The daily battles of being a Mum

There’s always something that “could be done” in my house, whether it’s housework, paperwork, something with the kids etc. There’s never nothing to do! As I’m sure most mother’s can relate to.

Take the dishes for instance, I can clean the entire Kitchen and nothing makes more of a difference to the naked eye than the dishes, they look the messiest and soon pile up, doing them instantly makes the place look better….so why do I leave them until last?! They’re not hard to do, I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, but I will make excuses in my mind! Like “There will be more upstairs, might as well do them all in one go, so wait”, “They’re one of the quickest jobs to do so leave them until last” or my favourite “There isn’t enough there to justify doing them, wait until there is more”. None of which really matters, because that is all they are….excuses. I just don’t know what it is about them dishes I just can’t seem to get the motivation!

Vacuuming, it makes me feel like a good housewife, while doing it and sniffing in the vacuum smell I boast to myself in my head (Sad? Yes I know) about how tidy my house must be that there is enough floor space to vacuum it! If the house isn’t tidy, the vacuum’s collecting dust in a whole different way…by being sat in the broom cupboard, because I’m telling you if there isn’t a spotless house to vacuum, it isn’t getting done. Therefore vacuuming is a triumph.

Matching socks, the peril of my life. I never saw matching socks as that big an issue, until I became a mum, then suddenly if your child has odd socks it instantly puts you in the “bad mum category”. Not that I think you’re not a great mum if your child has matching socks, I take my hat off to you, but it really isn’t that big a deal to me. I am not a greatly religious person, but since having children I do believe in Sock Heaven.

Milestones, sorry to sound brash but I don’t give a shi*t what milestone my child is at. I only have two children, but they are complete and utter opposites. When parents compare at what age their children teethe, hold their head up, crawl, walk etc. It really gets on my nerves! Every child is different and will develop differently, the will do it, just in their own time. For me personally I am in no rush for my baby to take one more step away from being a baby!

The daily battles of being a momma never end, but they will be the battles we miss when our babies are all grown up! Enjoy it while it lasts!