What I’ve Learnt Since My Child Started School

Your child starting school is a milestone in their little lives. Here in Scotland the dust is just settling on Tom moving on from Nursery and into Primary 1.

What have I learnt?

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Re-Claiming YOU in Motherhood

I didn’t really notice it to begin with, as I have spent the last 5 years completely immersed in parenthood, barely coming up for air. It was only a few months back, when I started thinking about blogging and I was reading other blogs and looking at social media that I realised how many of us are in the same situation.

Something happens after our first baby is born. We’re immediately thrown head first into this new world, with this new being that requires our attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ve no training for it so it’s a bloody anxious time just trying to survive.

From there it’s all about the cooking, cleaning, feeding, changing, weaning, sleep training, potty training, behaviour training and completing food shops with minimal drama, and all that stress and anxiety about housework and routines and who’s turn it is to do the morning routine starts to creep in.

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I Hereby Sentence You to a Lifetime of Parenting Guilt

The thing is, before you have children you don’t really have to think about others so much. You just kind of do what suits you and that’s brilliant. Why should you live your life any other way? Here’s why: Because as a punishment for those care-free times you will be sentenced to YEARS of parenting guilt to commence almost as soon as your baby is born, or sooner if the crime is believed to be severe enough.

Mine started before. I obviously partied WAY too hard and enjoyed life just far too much pre-children. So my sentence commenced after a lovely brunch of poached eggs with my friends when I was around 6 months pregnant, when I suddenly remembered that you’re not ‘allowed’ to eat runny eggs while pregnant. I then proceeded to call my best friend and make her call her midwife mum to find out what the lasting damage would be to my unborn baby after my reckless and selfish behaviour. Since then I don’t think I’ve missed a day of guilt.

You’ll be given no advance notice of when your sentence will commence, it will probably happen at the most unexpected time.

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Pre-Parenthood vs Post-Parenthood

I question my parenting on pretty much a daily basis…because I’m resigned to the fact that even the picture perfect days will have me hollering like Peggy Mitchell at least 6 times.

This has got me thinking back to my pre-parenthood days and all those ways I knew I would parent if and when I was lucky enough to be blessed with little angels myself…

I wasn’t naïve, I ensured I did my research. This covered three main areas:

  1. Babysitting. This is obviously the best way to conduct research as it’s like high school work experience. A couple of weeks sweeping up at the hairdressers from 9-3 with breaks every 5 minutes gives a great understanding of the ease with which this job comes. It’s a similar concept when you’re lucky enough to be the childless auntie. I was called on to babysit on a regular (sometimes as often as bi-monthly) basis for both of my sisters’ children and from here it gave me a great understanding of what it was like to be a parent. Endless brilliant days spent walking in the woods, taking trips to the park, painting, baking etc. I even had sleepovers (after they were potty trained of course). This was almost exactly the same as looking after them 24/7 with no break, little sleep and when they are in the first few months, no adult conversation. The experience meant I was well on my way to perfect parenting. It also meant I was well equipped to offer advice to those with young children who were going through any challenging behaviours.
  1. Alongside this hands on experience I felt it imperative to broaden my research base by observing parents I didn’t know when out and about with little ones in places like the supermarket, on public transport and in restaurants. It was here that I noticed most of the parenting fails and knew exactly what I would do if/when it was my turn.
  1. Lastly, when I became pregnant with baby one I invested in some baby books. Handy little guides on how to get your baby into a routine early and all the priorities for their health and happiness. Fabulous, I love a list, I love a timetable and my children would too.

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The First Post.

Gulp!

So I’ve mulled over the idea of writing a blog. I told myself no! You don’t have the gift for taking fabulous pictures and posting great stories that make everyone want to move to the seaside just to be like those amazing bloggers. You don’t have many amazing travel stories (unless you count the 6 hour tailback on the drive back to Scotland from Cornwall that time when you were 6 months pregnant, that involved Tom watching back to back movies and having his first KFC like it was THE best day ever, while I sweated my ass off (literally) , our swearing got louder and louder throughout the day and we fell out at least 40 times). You don’t have the humour. Well, let’s be honest, everyone think they’re hilarious, that their cutting sarcasm is wasted on their weary colleagues, but to actually describe yourself as funny? That’s terrifying! Not sure my fragile ego could take that kind of e-rejection!

So I left the idea.

Then I changed my mind. Why? Prepare for my first oversharing post…

I’m a bit of all or nothing person. When life is good I think no-one’s life could compare to mine. I’m in list-making/internet research overdrive (think, the next 5 years holidays, all the clothes I want to buy, great family days out, house renovation ideas, and so on and so forth). It’s when I’m feeling good that I count my lucky stars for my amazing house, family and friends, and pat myself on the back for working, keeping fit, trying my best to cook healthy meals for my family and for all the quality time we have together.

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