Category: Parenting

Some Days the Fog is Thicker Than Others

It’s a given that being a parent is tiring. Night feeds and frequent wakings are pretty much a guarantee. A love of strong coffee is recommended.

Unfortunately I don’t like tea or coffee. I really wish I did. I get my caffeine through soft drinks and energy drinks. Not ideal but you do what you’ve got to do sometimes.

Everyone knows, and happily warns you, that once you have kids you won’t sleep much. It’s a given. Newborns aren’t programmed to sleep through. Nor does this necessarily improve as they get older.

But I’m not talking about tiredness. Not strictly.

Being a parent is exhausting. They just don’t stop. Ever. There is a constant need to talk. To touch you. To repeat the same thing over and over. And over. To do the same thing over and over. There’s songs to sing, toys to fix, food to eat…and not eat. There’s naps to fight over, and tantrums to field. I found the lack of naps often causes a rise in tantrums. It’s the only cause and effort graph I feel pretty certain of.

It’s really no surprise that many parents are wandering around in a fog. It’s not baby brain. It’s having watched that Disney film 4 times since breakfast and it’s only 10.30am. And breakfast was launched at the wall and may or may not still be drying there.

Then add the sleepless nights on top of that, and most likely several caffeine highs and comedowns and it’s a recipe for, well, for a parent.

I’m not saying that these things outweigh everything else. I’m not saying it’s not worth it. It is 100% worth it. I am absolutely grateful for my beautiful children. I absolutely love being a mum and watching my children grow and learn new things. But that doesn’t mean it’s not hard. That I don’t get touched out. That I don’t get fed up sometimes. That I don’t crave a trip to the toilet all by myself. Or that I don’t wait for bedtimes some days. And then the guilt will grip me. And that’s pretty tiring too. Catch 22.

I knew the sleepless nights were coming. I knew I’d be tired. I just didn’t realise it would be so mentally tiring too!

Some days, the fog is just thicker than others.

Mrs H xxx

#Blogtober17

School Has Started – Am I Still Freaking Out?

It wasn’t that long ago I was freaking out about the start of school. And now we’re a few weeks into the term I thought a little update was in order. (That and today’s Blogtober prompt was education!)

The first few days were great. G barely looked back as he ran ahead of everyone. He loved it and was really excited to wear his uniform (I need to get a video of him saying ‘uniform’ it’s super cute) and was just excited to go. 

Me? I had to be taken out to brunch and for a walk around the shops to distract myself from sobbing! I did actually cry the first day, but I just about held it together until I got home so as not to terrify all the kids!

But then I think reality set in and G realised this was not a one off event. And he was not amused. There was one morning of tears as we left. We’d stopped to talk to his teacher and he was fine but when we left he started crying. His teacher assured us he was fine five minutes after we left but I felt awful all day. 

The next day however it was like taking a screaming banshee to school. He was wild. I struggled to get him into his uniform, half carried him down the street and his teacher had to take him into the classroom as he screamed and fought me every step of the way. 

I could not have felt worse. 
And the next day it was worse. The headteacher (who’s fab by the way! Visits each class every morning and asks how everyone is etc, knows every child’s name, he really is great) had to peel him off me as he clung to my leg and bit my shin. Talk about rock bottom. I sobbed all the way back to the house. And for about an hour after I got in. 

I felt so awful. How can I make him do this if he’s this upset and distressed? How long is it ok to “ride this out” for? How damaging could this be for him? The guilt was immense. I was already uncertain about the whole school decision, especially with him being so young. Was this just confirming my fears? I’ve heard stories about parents going through this sort of thing for weeks. Months even. I don’t think I’m cut out for that!

The only good thing was how happy he was when we picked him up, because he’d had such a fab day! He was adamant he was having a great time at school. He’d learnt how to count to 5 in Welsh and most of his colours in no time at all. He was talking about friends and talking about them at home. And the teachers were really reassuring and sure that he was settling down barely five minutes after he’d been dropped off. 

It was just the leaving in the morning. 

And then we were away for a weekend and my parents had to do the Monday morning school run. This was, of course, all arranged when things were going perfectly. Way before the nightmare school runs began. Safe to say he didn’t make it in that Monday! 
But then on the Tuesday we had a break through. We’d talked about it loads. Reminding him what days he goes to school, what would happen and how etc.

Talking things through with him and the main cause of the upset was leaving us and worrying about missing out on what we were doing. So we talked about all the fun stuff that happens in school that we don’t get to do a lot of at home. We certainly don’t get the arts and crafts out as often as I’d like and it’s pretty much guaranteed in school. 

In the morning we put the radio on instead of the telly. And each task had an incentive (sounds much better than bribery right?!) so put your uniform on, look at pj mask photos (whatever works ok?!), get to the school gate without screaming and look at photos of the Grinch (random yes, worked? Yes!). 

I stressed that crying and being upset was ok. But the screaming and lashing out was not. And we’d stop and talk about it if he was getting too upset. We took our time but we got there. With zero tears! After the disaster it was, this was an absolute miracle!! 
And after doing all his days he got to choose a fun treat. So we had a film night, after B had gone to bed G was allowed to stay up and we made popcorn, had burgers (Mr H made bloody lovely turkey burgers! Will see if he can remember what he did and share the recipe) and watched the Grinch.

He loved it and it was actually a bonus for us too because we got to spend some quality time with him that we might not have made the time for in the same way. 

And now? We haven’t had a single tear or tantrum since! He’s genuinely happy going and having a great time and I’m so so pleased. If it had continued we would have probably taken him out and tried again next year. But I’m so glad he does enjoy it, he needs far more stimulation than I’m able to give right now so I really think this is the best option for him. 

I’m still a bit sad thinking about the stuff I’m missing out seeing. Especially when his review of the day tends to trickle out rather than give a full report. But overall I’m happy with how it’s going.

I’m still second guessing everything and feeling guilty, but on a much lower level. So I’ll take that for now.

Mrs H xxx

#Blogtober17

School Is Looming (and I Can’t Stop Freaking Out!)

Ever since we moved into this house the subject of schools has been niggling at the back of my mind. I was about 8 weeks pregnant when we moved in, and we are extremely close to one of the local primary schools, with another 3 less than a mile away. Brilliant right? But now the start of school is looming and I can’t stop freaking out.

I tried not to think about it too much (just fyi – I failed miserably) because who knew if we’d even be living in the same house by the time we were sending G to school. Or in the same area? I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to staying put, previous house moves are numbered into the teens. And although we’re not a million miles away from either of our families, the idea that we’d move back to one of our ‘home’ areas was always there.

There’s all sorts of decisions you don’t really see coming as a parent. I mean, you know they’re going to have to happen eventually, but they’re aaaaaaages away right? But I’ve found choosing a school has been the biggest so far, and has caused me so much more stress than I ever thought possible!

It just feels like such a huge decision that will affect our children’s lives. Over dramatic? Quite possibly! But I just can’t shake off the pressure of this one. Especially as once you choose the ‘right’ school for your eldest, you’re more than likely choosing the school for any other children you may have. Well, I hope so, the thought of doing school runs to two different schools is more than I can handle right now!

All these negative doubts are constantly running through my mind.

What if they don’t teach in a way that’s suits them? What if they don’t offer enough opportunities to experience subjects other than academic ones? What if the academic options are not up to scratch? And the biggest one we’ve been going over? Which language do we choose!? Living in Wales we have the option to choose a Welsh medium school or an English medium school. The way things are going in Wales, being a Welsh speaker could be a huge advantage in the future. But what if it’s a hindrance for learning? I speak a very limited amount of Welsh, I read it easier than I seek it, but no one else in our immediate family is a Welsh speaker, so are we putting the children at a disadvantage by choosing for their education to be taught in Welsh?

There must be a million and one positive points to think about when choosing a school, yet I just cannot shake off all these negative ones.

G is due to start nursery this September. We’ve chosen a school, and he’s been accepted, but I’m still not 100% happy. I don’t think its necessarily the school (all reports are excellent, I’m yet to hear anything negative) and I just can’t stop worrying if it’s the right choice.

 
Did anyone else struggle choosing which school to send their littles to? Does anyone have any tips? Or just slap me out of it haha?!

 

Mrs H xxx

In The Night Garden Baby

It’s not always easy being the second child. Especially as he’s the same gender as his big brother, though in fairness I don’t think much would have changed had he been a girl. 

I would say that there’s not a day that goes by where B isn’t dressed in something that was his big brother’s….or cousin’s! And as for toys? Well, G’s “big kid” toys have well and truly taken over, and being totally honest, I haven’t made the effort to make space for any baby stuff. But now that B is starting to show more interest and move about a bit more, it’s only fair to give him his share too.

Thankfully we were sent a couple of new toys from the In The Night Garden Baby range to give him his very own toys that he hasn’t had to thieve from big bro! 

They’re really lovely toys. The characters that we are very familiar with (in this house at least) have had a slightly mellow makeover, making them slightly more gentle and pastel coloured, as well as being super soft, just perfect for little ones to grab (and chew!).

Upsy Daisy has a handy Velcro tag, brilliant for attaching to the car seat or pushchair bar to keep them amused on the go. Her skirt is made from ribbon tags which B loves playing with and sucking on, and she has a gentle bell rattle that he loves, but isn’t so loud as to drive me round the twist every time he launches it! 

Iggle Piggle is the softest toy. He’s so lovely and cwtchy, B has loved snuggling up to him at nap time, and G has had to “borrow” him once or twice too. He also features a gentle bell rattle, noisy enough to amuse. It not obnoxious enough to wake anyone up. B loves grabbing at his hands and feet too which crinkle when pressed. Iggle Piggle has become a firm friend…poor sod can’t escape from the army crawler now no matter how far he’s been flung haha! 

I’ve had few “technical” issues (probably because I’m terrible with technology!) getting the photos of B playing with his new friends to upload, but I’ve been trying to get this review up for ages so I wanted to get it posted and tell you all about them. I’ll update this with a few more pics soon, or keep an eye out on my social media channels to spot them! 

Do your littles have a cuddly bff? 

Mrs H xxx 

*Disclaimer – we were sent both toys for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own

It’s Time to Wean!

 

The health visitor came for a home visit recently, to talk about weaning B. Can someone tell me how on earth it’s time for this conversation already!? Didn’t I JUST give birth!? Apparently not.

The time has come to start weaning him onto solids. B certainly has got a strong interest in what we’re all eating and is always trying to grab stuff out of our hands. There’s no doubt that he’s ready for food.

We’ll be weaning in the same way we did with G, just because it’s what feels right for us. Starting with purees, first tastes will most likely be baby rice followed by veg and fruit purees. But we also encourage finger foods alongside this, but found that both boys are similar in actually wanting to eat rather than just play.

It’s been really strange, because I’m so used to making stuff for G or giving him new things to try off my plate, that I’ve had to stop myself from doing the same with B sometimes, but now that the time is coming to give him food I’m struggling to remember what I’ll need and what to make!
 

Luckily OXO Tot have sent us some really lovely things to get started with.


BOWL –

Divided into two sections, it’ll be great to test out new flavours and textures with B. As I said we’ll do a combination of purees and baby led finger foods, so it will be brilliant to have options available at each meal time, without having to lay out several bowls. Less washing up! Always a winner!

The bowl also comes with a clip on feature that will help to have somewhere to rest the spoon and help limit spills, again, a huge bonus. Another clip on feature is a lid. So they didn’t eat all the meal? no problem, because you can pop on the lid and store for later (using common sense and proper food safety of course!).

The bottom of the bowl has a grip on it so that when they start feeding themselves it won’t slip around the highchair tray or table.

SPOONS –



I love that they are ‘proper’ metal spoons, but coated to make sure they are soft and gentle on babies gums. they’re not too wide or deep either, something I found was an issue when we were weaning G. The coating is super soft too, I found that even the plastic spoons seemed quite sharp or tough at times, so these seem a lot more gentle for delicate gums. Concentration will be on tasting the actual foods and not an uncomfortable spoon! Sounds simple but its a big deal to a small baby.

 

CUP –



I can’t believe it’s almost time to start giving B a little cup of water with his meals! G has kindly offered to test it out already, in the interest of “sharing”, and its great. Sturdy and easy to hold, and most importantly of course, it’s free flowing.
Like the bowl it comes with different attachments to change from a spout to a top that makes it more like a regular cup.

Apart from the fact that all items are really practical, and also come with additional extras too which will make them multi use and longer lasting, the most important thing? They look great! They’re a lovely turquoise and white combo, fun and bright but kind of stylish too.

 

 

We bought a new stash of Nom Nom pouches to have ready for homemade purees and snacks, though I need a refresher course on what foods to try and when. I’m sure I had printed some sort of chart off when we weaned G and ticked off stuff as we went along. I’ll need to try and find something for B or I’ll be feeding him all the wrong things! It’s crazy how much you can forget!

We still need to sort out a highchair as the one we have he’s not keen on, and of course we are going to need a huge pile of bibs! 
And to stock up on the stain remover and washing up powder!

Is there anything we’re missing? What are your weaning essentials?

Mrs H xxx

 

 

 

*We were sent the products from OXO Tots for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own