Milestone Nostalgia, aka Potty Training.

Today I had a little toddler running around the house without a nappy on. We have started potty training. I think she is ready, she knows when she is going to go and she is happy to pee on the potty. It’s all good, it’s progress and she is growing up. Getting more independent and so proud of herself.

And I miss her big nappy bum…

We can’t stop them growing up and as much as I love each new stage they are all shadowed with a little nostalgia of things that are gone. The lasts. The last she will wear a nappy. The last time she sat in a highchair. The last time she was carried in a sling. The little moments that have slipped through my fingers while I was busy concentrating on the next ones. They passed in the blink of an eye and sometimes unnoticed. I can’t remember when she was last in her sling, snuggled up next to me against the cold. That moment passed at some stage as my belly grew with her sister, and I never noticed it going. She no longer sits on my lap to fall asleep. She no longer pronounces her f’s as g’s, shouting “this is gun!” from the backseat every time we drive anywhere.

I am so proud of her and the child she is. A happy, chatty, friendly little girl who is loved beyond measure. I will always applaud her achievements and help her to achieve her goals, and I will always remember her kicking my belly, and staring at me with newborn eyes and everything in between.

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The art of a lie in

This is how lie in’s happen at our house.

Daddy has a lie in, gets up, makes a cup of coffee, sits down and drinks it.

Mammy has a lie in, gets up, goes to the girls room, rounds up laundry, puts on a wash, takes out bins, boils kettle, empties dishwasher, stacks dirty plates into dishwasher, cleans breakfast things away, wipes down table and highchair, sweeps floor, tidies toys in playroom, intervenes in toddler dispute, reboils kettle, kisses heads, plays spin the toddler, makes coffee, attempts to drink coffee with two toddlers yelling “peep!” from behind chair, abandons coffee, rounds up toddlers to go play in playroom.

When your brain doesn’t know what your body is doing.

One thing I hate is not knowing things. Perhaps a childhood of being one of seven has sparked it in me, but I have little patience with waiting or with being in the dark. Trying to get pregnant is immensely frustrating for me… well not the actual trying, that bit I do enjoy.. It’s the waiting for my period to make an appearance that drives me loopy and makes me spend a fortune on pregnancy tests that I inevitably take too early basically flushing about 10euro down the loo. The not knowing drives me crazy.

This month is harder than most. Last week I had two gallstones attacks. For any of you blessed with a healthy gallbladder, a gallstone attack is often mistaken for a heart attack and in my case lasted about 6 hours each time. It is very painful. Trying to get pregnant this month meant that when I had the attacks there was a possibility that I was pregnant but too early to test. And so instead of downing all the pain meds possibly without od’ing, I was left with the choice of paracetamol or paracetamol, which did nothing to even dent my pain.

Now I am in a state of limbo, I have seen the doctor who is sending me to the consultant for surgery. In the meantime I don’t know if or when I could get another attack and even though armed with a dose of prescription drugs if I will be able to take any.

As much as I really want to be pregnant, its a bad idea to be pregnant at the moment with a surgery looming.

My body is doing all sorts of things at the moment unbeknownst to me and it is driving me crazy! Whatever happens I don’t mind dealing with it, as long as I know what I am dealing with!

Having babies without the “village”

I was at a group recently where we were asked to consider whether we follow our intuition with our babies or look for outside information. After reflecting on it I started to think that the biggest problem that people in our generation have is having our babies without the village. You know the old saying “it takes a village to raise a baby”, well these days having a village isn’t always possible.

In the village you would be surrounded by babies, baby brothers and sisters, baby cousins. You would be absorbing by watching and responding to babies how your elders were parenting. You would probably go from having your younger siblings and cousins on your hip to having your own in a relatively short space of time. When you had your own you would be surrounded by willing help from grandmothers and aunts and sisters and cousins. You would never really have to stop and reflect on your parenting style.

I come from a large family. My youngest brother was born when I was 14 so I still remember changing nappies and rocking him to sleep (he is over 6 foot now!) I babysat frequently. Babies didn’t phase me in the slightest.

Then I had my first baby. I was living in Dublin away from my family, my village.  I was thirty. So all the baby experience that I had seemed really long ago. I hadn’t held a baby apart from the odd friends child in over ten years. Most of my friends weren’t anywhere near having babies. I had no nieces or nephews. And I found it overwhelming.

I was alone in the house when my husband went back to work with this tiny baby and the responsibility was all mine. Suddenly intuition went out the window and I longed for a “complete idiots guide to babies”. I started to research how to look after my own baby, I googled everything.

And here is the problem with outside information; it is all conflicting. Your baby should be in its own room from day one versus co-sleeping. Feeding on demand versus routine feeding. Spoon feeding versus baby led weaning. You need to fit your baby around your life versus you need to fit your life around your baby. Whatever I was doing was not right by somebody’s standards. Cue, Mammy Guilt. Is your baby doing tummy time? Is your baby being stimulated enough? Are you reading to your one month old??

On my second baby I didn’t want to fall into that trap again and finally I gave in to my intuition. We moved closer to our village. I didn’t worry about her hitting milestones. I started her on solids when it felt right. I moved her into her own room when it felt right. I had gained the confidence and experience to allow myself to parent her as I wanted to. I relaxed.

And occasionally I googled.

Kindness

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I consider myself to be kind, I look out for others, I help them, I listen to them and I champion them. When I was thinking this year about plans and resolutions I read something online, on the Daily Mail.

Firstly, ok you got me, reading the Daily Mail online is a guilty pleasure of mine. The headlines alone are massively entertaining. This time however I read the article, and a line in it got me thinking.

“In 1973, a Scottish welder named Sydney Banks was living and working in British Columbia. He was struggling in his marriage and insecure in his life.

In the middle of a weekend encounter group, a psychotherapist said to him: ‘You’re not insecure, Syd, you just think you are.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2890698/How-make-2015-happiest-year-PAUL-McKENNA-S-life-changing-series.html#ixzz3Nhj0u2gt
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By giving yourself a label of “insecure” in a way you make it so. You tell yourself internally that you are insecure, you act in a way that reinforces your insecurity to yourself.

This thought is incredibly freeing if you think about it. If you can cause yourself to be insecure by thinking of yourself as an “insecure person”, then how about flipping it and making it a positive. I made myself a new years resolution. To be kind to myself, to tell myself that I am all the things that I want to be; I am kind and attractive and fun and a good mother.

I tend to worry a lot. I worry that I’m not doing my best, I worry about how others view me, I worry about the future and the past. I am also, having thought about it, unkind to myself. I call myself unkind things, I tell myself I’m not worth it, that I’m not good enough, things that I would not say to someone else. I deny myself things, I tell myself I’m not worth it, that the money should go on the children, that my time should be spent with them and not on myself.

This is not doing me any good. It is not doing my children any good and it is not doing my husband any good.

So this year 2015 I am being kind to myself. I don’t mean that I am going off on foreign holidays and having spa breaks every weekend but I am going to continually remind myself to treat myself kindly.

On day two of my kindness journey so far I have;

  • Drank a glass of wine without worrying that it was my third day to have done so.
  • Got my haircut (for the first time since last Feb) and accepted a latte in the hairdressers (this probably sounds strange but I usually refuse one because I’d be putting the hairdresser out by having to go and get me one)
  • Didn’t berate myself for putting on the telly this morning when the babies were out of sorts and I was tired.
  • Wore what I felt like wearing without telling myself it showed off my baby belly.
  • Counteracted each negative thought I have had by repeating “be kind to yourself”

Now it might all sound like mumbo jumbo nonsense but so for I have felt both calmer and happier. I’m finally treating myself with the kindness that I usually reserve for others.