Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-DoOur children learn more by what we do, not what we say. Actions do speak louder than words in parenting, and you have to lead by example.

Telling your children that they have to eat all their dinner when you’ve just left half of your dinner or telling them not to shout whilst shouting at them and telling them they must do their chores NOW when you still haven’t done last weeks washing and ironing is hypocritical and confusing. Naturally, children will want to challenge this. They are being told one thing but are seeing another. Is it any wonder why so many children push boundaries and are challenging?

These situations may seem small but to children they are not. Do as I say, not as I do may seem like a light hearted phrase but it’s confusing, hypocritical and unfair. Practising what we preach is always important, but when we have mini humans watching our every move it’s even more important to follow out the things we are preaching.

Telling our children to go to bed at a certain time even when they are not tired is another one. Do you go to bed when you’re not tired? I’m guessing not. Obviously it’s a different scenario altogether if your child is clearly knackered but if they are genuinely not tired but are being expected to go to bed anyway because you say so then that’s just silly.

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Our Christmas In Pictures With Freddie And I

Wow, it’s been an amazing past few days! I’m not going to write loads as I’ll be here all day else as its been so busy and lovely! Instead I will share some photos with you.

Here are some photos from Christmas Eve. Freddie, my partner and I all headed over to my parents house for Christmas Dinner. My parents have always done dinner on Christmas Eve instead as my mum hated being stuck in the kitchen whilst we all unwrapped our presents and none of us really ate much as we were all stuffed on sweeties! The tradition has been going for over 20 years now! We also have a table present with our meal to get the excitement flowing. 

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Freddie opening his table present (or attempting to!) Granny and Pop got him a lovely musical book that plays nursery rhymes.

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Freddie tucking into his roast dinner. We had prawn cocktail for starters which he loved however I forgot to take any photos! Oops.

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Granny and Pop are besotted with Freddie.

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Pop, still besotted with Freddie. (Can you tell I’m not very good at commentary?)

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Freddie climbing up the stairs all by himself whilst we wait for pudding.

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Uncle Jack and Freddie.

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Uncle Henry and Freddie.

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Santa stopped by and left Freddie some presents.

Now for Christmas Day! We spent the morning just us 3, we had a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon and opened some presents. My partner didn’t let me open my present until the end… (find out why below!!!) We then caught a short ferry ride over to my partners mum and had dinner there. (2 Christmas Dinners in 2 days, and I didn’t have to cook any! Score!) In the afternoon we then got back on the ferry and went over to my parents to swap presents, drink alcohol and be merry. By this point Freddie was very cranky and tired (he’s been very ill recently too so I’m not surprised!) So we returned home, fat and full, armed with gifts and happy memories.

FIND OUT THE EXCITING NEWS BELOW

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Freddie opening his presents in the morning, he was very ill with chest infection but still managed to be happy!

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Our breakfast!

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Daddy and Freddie

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………….

And now for the best part of the day, my partner made me wait to open my present…

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Our Experience With Tongue Tie

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As most of you know I breastfeed my beautiful Freddie, a few of you may  know the challenges I’ve had feeding him. I’m not writing this for sympathy or recognition but in hopes that maybe another struggling mum will see my story and it will inspire her to carry on and seek help.

I’ve had mastitis over 8 times since feeding Freddie, for those who don’t know, mastitis is an infection and inflammation of your breast and it makes your breasts red hot, lumpy, incredibly tender and you physically cannot do anything as the symptoms that come with it are horrendous.

If it goes untreated then it can quickly turn to an abscess which then can turn to septicaemia. Feeding through mastitis 8 times has been the most excruciating, soul destroying and the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

In early December, we finally saw a lactation consultant who diagnosed and snipped Freddie’s tongue tie on the spot. The same tongue tie that all those midwives and health visitors missed 8 months ago.

Tongue tie is quite a common thing in babies since the rise in mothers taking folic acid during the first trimester and is easily treatable on the NHS for young babies or privately for older babies.

Tongue and lip ties are a major reason so many mums give up as it can cause dodgy latch/no latch, weight loss in baby, pain, nipple damage and mastitis if it is not treated.

So please, if you are struggling then seek help. So many Drs, health visitors and midwives are poorly trained in breastfeeding and will often give incorrect advice. Help is out there if you want it.

I have been so close to giving up. Yep, Eve who is incredibly passionate about breastfeeding was close to giving up.

So if you’re reading this and you’re in a similar situation to what I have been in then don’t lose hope.

If you feel like you have no reason to carry on then just take a look at your beautiful baby and you will find all the reason and courage to carry on, I promise.

Seek help, unfortunately the help won’t come to you, you need to go after it. If a midwife, Dr or health visitor tells you that your pain is normal or there’s nothing wrong then ignore it and contact a specialist. Thanks to everyone who has read this and most importantly thank you to everyone who cheered me on and supported me at my lowest points when I was up at 3am sobbing through the pain, when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. Thank you so much to all my beautiful and wonderful booby friends who secretly funded my consultation with the lactation consultant, you are all incredible and have given me the best gift ever; the determination and support to carry on feeding Freddie. I had plenty of opportunity to give up but I didn’t and I have all of you to thank. Please share, even if my story helps just one person then I will be happy.

Happy Boobin’ ❤

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The Dreaded Mummy Guilt And How To Let It Go

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Okay, so I’m pretty sure most mums can put their hands up and say ‘yep, I’ve had mummy guilt.’ Some may believe we are programmed to doubt ourselves as mothers. Which is a good thing if you channel it correctly to make sure we are doing the best for our babies. I hugely agree with this and believe that our instincts are there for a reason, if you are feeling guilty about something or your instincts are telling you to not do something then listen to them.

For me situations that increase my mummy guilt would include:

-Popping Freddie on the bed whilst I run to the bathroom to have a pee  and he subsequently rolls off and starts crying mid pee so I end up  running into the bedroom with my trousers and knickers around my  ankles!

-Being in a traffic jam and Freddie is crying in his car seat and there is literally no where to pull over and comfort him.

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SO i’ve put together some tips that may (or may not) help us minimise this mummy guilt that is eating us all up.

1- Try and minimize the situations that usually make you feel guilty.

For example, for me I have learnt my lesson and stopped leaving him on the bed! He now has to put up with sitting on the bathroom floor while I go for a piddle.

Now that we live closer to the town we hardly have to use the car, but when we do I sit in the back with him and try and entertain him with multiple toys, food, funny faces and singing.

2- Be informed and happy with your choices.

I see the phrase ‘you’re making me feel guilty’ faaaaaar too much on the internet. If a woman posts a status saying she’s so proud of herself for breastfeeding for however long there will always be a comment that says something along the lines of ‘well done hun but every mummy should be proud, statuses like these make people feel guilty.’ Erm, what? Way to piss all over a happy status about being proud (and so she should be proud). Be informed, research about all the pros and cons of doing something before you do it, especially when it affects your child, and be happy with your choice. I am a self exclaimed breastfeeding activist however I know several mums who formula feed simply because they wanted to and they are well informed and happy with their choices and that’s how it should be. However I know a hell-of-a lot more mums who exclaim they are happy with their choices but they are clearly not and it makes me sad. ‘Happy mum, happy baby’ is another phrase I despise and its often used by mums who are riddled with guilt and want to justify their choices even if they know it wasn’t the best choice to make. Whether its to do with infant feeding or other things to do with your child there will always be differing opinions, opinions are like arse holes; everyone has them.

I have quite a few friends who are anti vaccination and I’ve read into a lot of research that supports their reasoning. I, however, am pro vaccination but these articles don’t make me feel guilty or upset as I am 100% happy with my choice to vaccinate Freddie. Me and my partner made an informed choice and researched together and made the choice to vaccinate our son. I also know plenty of people who think that co sleeping is dangerous or creating a rod for life however, again, their opinions don’t even phase me. I love co sleeping and its perfect for us.

I asked on several mum groups their opinions on mummy guilt and what they think causes it. I never once asked what their mummy guilt was, yet tonnes of women replied with everything they feel guilty about. We are our worst enemies and if we can stop insulting ourselves and be happy with our choices then other peoples choices won’t ‘make‘ us feel anything.

One of my favourite replies was this (excuse the language!):

“I think a lot of guilt is exacerbated by perceived judgement. Born out of this mummy wars shite where we often (wrongly) feel pitted against one another. My worst Mummy guilt comes from her wanting to appease me. We have always reinforced and celebrated the positive and ignore the negative behaviour. But I felt awful when she admitted to eating veg just to “make mummy feel happy”. I know veg is good for her and that it is my job to influence her. But that responsibility makes me feel guilty, I hate to think I may be manipulating her into being a compliant person.” 

SO what I’m trying to say is, be happy and informed!

 

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5 Things Everyone With A Baby Needs

When I was pregnant I searched the internet to find out what I need to be a parent. Bouncers, playmats, a lovely expensive pram, bottles, and a machine thing that makes the bottles up for you were the things I kept coming across that I apparently needed.

Well, it turns out I needed none of them so I thought I’d write my own list for parents-to-be. (We did have a playmat and bouncer but they lasted 5 minutes)

1- A sling. 

Okay, so originally babywearing was only something that weirdos did. (Admittedly I am one of those weirdos but shh) However they are becoming more and more popular due to how bloody useful they are. Everyone knows how much newborn babies enjoy cuddles, and as lovely as these cuddles are, for most of us sitting on the sofa all day long cuddling our babies just isn’t practical especially when there is a massive pile of dishes to do, tea to make and about 28 loads of washing piles to sort out. Well, a sling is an amazing solution for this minor dilemma. Some babies are perfectly content with lying in their moses baskets whilst you get on with your housework and daily tasks however most of us are blessed with little bundles of love who would disagree with the concept of lying down peacefully for an hour or so while you get on with things.

Stretchy wraps are perfect for newborns up until 6ish months. Here is a photo of 3 week old Freddie in the sling.

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When Freddie was around 3 months we bought a Tula and newborn insert to use too. It took a while to adjust to a buckle carrier after being so used to a wrap but now I love it, especially now that we dont have to faff around with the insert too. (He grew out of that around 4/5 months.)

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2- Breast pads and nursing bras/vests. 

Breast pads are a must especially for the first few weeks. Luckily I wasn’t much of a leaker but I know lots of breastfeeding mommas who still use them 6+ months into their breastfeeding journey.

I didn’t think nursing bras were necessary and were just ugly souvenirs of motherhood. But nope, they are very much necessary. (To most mums anyway). For the first few months I just wore my normal bras however the under wiring caused persistent mastitis so I have since ditched the bras and just wear nursing vests instead. (I can’t believe I’ve just told you all that, don’t worry my boobs are still at a normal-ish level and haven’t reached my knees yet.)

3- A supportive partner

Whether that supportive partner is your other half, your mum, your best friend or a random person you grabbed from the street, it is so important to have that support within the first few weeks-months who can take charge of all the less important things like cooking and cleaning while you and your baby get to know eachother and establish feeding. Obviously things get harder when there are other children but I haven’t crossed that bridge yet!

4- Babygrows, vests, socks and cardigans. And lots of ’em. 

For the first few months you probably won’t bother dressing your baby in anything other than cute babygrows and cardi’s. After all, they spend most of the day sleeping, and lets be honest, who likes sleeping in jeans?!

Here is Freddie at 4 weeks old looking gorgeous.

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5- Facebook groups

Joining Facebook groups is essential. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. There are loads of breastfeeding groups that are amazing. I joined a few when I was about 6 months pregnant and if it wasn’t for those groups then I would have probably given up breastfeeding in the early weeks. These Facebook groups equipped me with everything I needed to know before Freddie even got here. There are also many other Facebook groups for parenting.

A list of my favourite groups are here

  • UK Breastfeeding and Parenting Support
  • Gentle Parenting UK
  • Slings and Off Topic Discussion
  • Babywearing Spotted

 

So, if you are reading this and you’re a mum-to-be I hope that was somewhat useful. And if you’re reading this and you are already a mum, leave a comment and tell me your top 5 essentials!

 

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