Tag Archives: parenting

It’s only a phase – the parenting guide to phases your child will go through

Parenting, in a nutshell it’s only one phase after another. I’m going to give you a little satirical guide to the phases your little one will go through.

So you’ve got that magical positive result on the pregnancy test. You feel excited, overwhelmed, in denial, emotional, elated. Little do you know, you have just signed up to at least an 18 year sequence of phases.
I will now describe to you the phases I myself have been through with George. We are only at the two and half year mark. No doubt this is a post that will eventually become a long standing series.

Phase

For ease of writing I will refer to your little one as he. Let’s face it, as much as we thank the men in our lives for this magical event, with the amazing joy comes occasional annoyance. Pretty much sums up the male species from my perspective (winks coyly with her tongue in her cheek). So “he” it is.

Congratulations. You are pregnant with a baby boy or girl. Or both but let’s just assume everything I say and double it, triple it, depending on your brood. I’m sure I’m being naive and there’s more to it than that. I only have the one so can’t comment.

Phase
Third trimester. That incredible yet surreal feeling you get when your baby is moving inside of you. Something which you can often see as well as feel now. You love it, you’re thankful for it, then comes being woken up at night with the kicking and fidgeting. You’ve just settled back into bed, surrounded yourself with 6 pillows after your tenth wee, and now the little darling decides it’s time to start practicing his gangnam style. Welcome to the “get me out of your belly” phase. Towards the end (I’m talking around the 36 week mark), the head can engage and the “get me out of your belly” phase progresses to “fuck it I’ll make my own way out” as you can almost feel the head pushing down there trying to eeek his way out. Uncomfortable isn’t the word.

Phase

Let’s cut to the birth. It happens however it happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. He has to come out somehow so as long as you are both safe and well at the end of it, you are a hero. You’ve grown this little boy. Give yourself credit where it’s due.

You’re first night together. Poor little darling is stressed. He cries on and off all night; “It’s cold out here, and I’m hungry. What happened to that hose with all my scrummy food. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going on. I want to go back in the tummy please”. Welcome to the “indecisive charades phase”. He won’t quite know what he wants but he will make small movements and random incoherent noises. You must learn to decipher this code, get the correct answer, then apply this answer to little darling and see if he is satisfied. Keep trying this for 6 months.

Congratulations! You made it six months! You thought the charades phase was tough. Wow you really have no idea what’s in store. The last six months has seen you become a master. A master of dangling things in front of your little darling. Master of bouncing him, rocking him, feeding him, changing him. The washing machine has become a multitasking part time babysitter. And it’s worked right? He’s been happy and content for the majority. You are both learning each other ways but overall you are managing to not annoy each other too much. But all good things must come to an end.

Phase

Welcome to the fidget arse phase. By now your little one will likely be rolling over, shuffling, maybe even attempting a backwards crawl. Suddenly dangling things in front of his face or bouncing him gently is unsatisfactory. No. He’s had his eye on that DVD cabinet for 6 months now and he wants to know what exactly is in all those little cases. What does that red glowing button do? That fluffy long thing at the end of the cat looks fun.

You suddenly need eyes in your arse. How do I see using eyes in my arse you wonder. Well let me tell you, you won’t be sitting on it. You’ll be up and down and up and down and up and down. Rescuing little darling before he delves into something else. Rearranging your house slowly day by day.

 

Phase

Never fear. You will soon tire of the fidget arse phase and will begin willing your little darling to take their first steps. We are homo sapiens after all. It’s instinctive. You eagerly encourage him until one day, hurrah, those teeny tiny steps are taken without your assistance. A triumph in your naive eyes. At last he can walk. The end of the days of you carrying them around is in sight.

But what’s this….he is climbing the stairs! Darling little can suddenly get from one end of the lounge to the kitchen in the time it takes you to sip your cold cup of tea. He’s had more bumps, trips and falls than an accident insurers handbook. What have you created you absolute plonker!

Phase

And then the day arrives. Little one’s first birthday. A milestone. A day to celebrate. But what are you doing? Sobbing, and updating your Facebook status mourning your little one is no longer a baby. They are “all grown up”, “where did the time go” “time to think about having another”.
And so the cycle begins again. (Faceplants).

Phase
Ps. Honestly I’m not as cynical as I sound. From the moment I got that positive result, I have thanked my lucky stars for being given this opportunity. Something many would give anything for. Doesn’t hurt to tell it how it is sometimes. We all have our own experiences. This is mine.
To be continued…….

Until next time………

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Reasons to smile – the happy side of parenting. 

I’ve decided to share with you a few reasons to smile if you are a parent of a toddler. Sharing’s caring and all that, and if I make you smile then let me know. I’m a people pleaser so if I make someone happy, that’s makes me happy.

In this crazy world of parenting, I feel like a good majority get far too hung up on the negatives. Lack of sleep, lack of time to yourself, lack of time full stop, non stop mess to tidy, our bodies getting wrecked by these tiny beings blah blah blah. The list goes on.

Parenting does have this little known Happy sidento it. Very, very rarely though do I hear parents talking about it. When asked how they are,  parents often respond with something negative about their child, myself included. It just seems to be the norm now that if someone asks a parent “hi, how are you?” , the response is more often than not related to the child and what terrible phase or stage they are at. Well I’m here to change this trend!

Yes my toddler can drive me up the wall and sometimes I can’t wait to hand him over to someone else for an hour. But this post is to acknowledge how much happiness he brings to my life regardless of any of the struggle parenthood brings.

Kids say the funniest things. Here are some of the classics George has made me giggle with recently.

“where the fuck have you been?”. Said to me after I popped downstairs to grab my drink and bring it upstairs where we were playing. I have to admit I am guilty of saying this word a lot. Naughty mummy, I’m trying to stop I promise.
“I not go ‘flying’ through the windscreen because I don’t have wings!”. This was in response to me explaining why he needed to wear his car seat straps as in a crash he may go flying.
“Don’t worry mummy, I make you better”. Approaching me with his doctors kit after I said I had a migraine.
“Sockies don’t be scared, let’s be friends yeah”. To our cat who isn’t scared of him but the other two run away from him.
“Oh, what’s that noise outside, it’s a girl, she’s sad, she wants me to play with her”. Randomly said during an evening bath.
“Stop singing Daddy’s song!” Whilst singing Queen, Don’t stop me now. This is mine and my sisters karaoke song! When I smiled at him he questioned it! Kids! Always a “what” and a “why” to throw my way.

George is an adorable singer. At not far past two years old, he knows a variety of songs, some old school nursery rhymes and some theme tunes from his favourite TV shows. He often gets me to sing it and then says, “sing it again”. This happens about three times as he watches me intently, learning the words, then sings along with me. It’s adorable. Plus I love having a mini singing buddy and feeling like a superstar when he watches me so intently.

He now gets very excited by the arrival of daylight, jumping up and down on the bed trying to wake us up saying “wake up mummy, daddy, it’s morning time!” He will also put his head under the duvet or crawl under my pillows and declare that he’s hiding. I love his enthusiasm and world of wonderment.


So my challenge to you is to try and share something positive about parenthood next time you are asked.

I fully support sharing all emotions, following the belief that sharing is caring no matter what feeling you share. I am a huge promoter of positivity and optimism though and this post aims to show this.

Until next time……

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Bringing up baby : Unwelcome advice

We’ve all experienced unwelcome advice at some point in our lives. It’s only when I really sit and think about it, I realise we are surrounded by apparent ‘ experts’ in every subject.  And these experts love nothing more than sharing their unwelcome, expert advice.

Having became a Mum to gorgeous George, I have increasingly felt under pressure from almost everyone around me to be the type of mum they think I should be or to mould George to be like the other babies or like their babies were.
When I think about it though, this is nothing new! People have forced their unwelcome advice on me all my life! Any big event in my life, be it getting a job, buying a car, buying a house or planning our wedding, there they were, the orderly queue of advice givers, opinion makers and critiques. Many well-meaning, many not having a clue what they were talking about but liking to think they did. Many advising you on what you should do because that’s what they did, completely irrespective of whether that’s what will be good for me or not. Despite the fact when they last did what I was trying to do it was ten, twenty, fifty years ago! And some I sadly suspect were ill advising me as they didn’t want me to succeed at pulling off something they themselves couldn’t, wouldn’t, or hadn’t.

Now the good soul that I am, and not wishing to offend anyone, I’ve always taken each and every person’s advice on board. Added a pinch of salt to some, a splash of cynicism to others and just let some fly right over my head without so much as a thought. Because I knew how unsuited the advice was for me.

unwelcome advice

The problem is that each of these past life events were in the planning stage, then they happened, then there were over. I got a job, I bought a car, a house and we got married. But with George it’s different. George is an ongoing event. Not including milestones, George will always be a work in progress which I love. He can be anything he wants and develop at his own pace.

But what plays on my mind and makes my heart sink is that the advice giving and opinion making will never end. And as much as I feel confident now that I know I’m doing the best I can with George, I can’t help feeling guilty that I should be doing something else because that’s how so and so did it or that’s what so and so’s child does so why doesn’t George. I hear myself continuously and repetitively justifying the decisions I’ve made with George.
It’s a mentally exhausting battle. Like sifting through a large bag of slightly unwelcome fan mail sorting them into three piles of “ignore completely”, “take pieces and discard the rest” and finally “take wholeheartedly on board” wondering why I hadn’t thought of that myself.

unwelcome advice

So next time you are telling somebody all about what you did with yours, or giving your unwelcome advice that really wasn’t asked for, please realise that person is potentially going to think about your words for a lot longer than you did before you opened your mouth to say them.

Until next time……..

This was written when George was 16 months old (he’s now 27 months). At that point I was experiencing, its safe to say, undiagnosed postnatal depression. I over thought everything and had little confidence in my parenting abilities. I really now that I have always been an amazing mother to George and this unwelcome advice was really not helping the way I felt. I’m glad I spoke out about how I felt and with the help of family, friends and medical professionals, became myself again. If you are feeling emotionally unable to cope with life at any point, talk to the right people about the right stuff and help can be found. Love and strength. x 

A belly full of nothing but a heart full of warmth. 

 A belly full of nothing, but a heart full of warmth I feel quite aptly describes how I felt returning to work after having George. The feeling most mums feel when they return to work can vary. For me it didn’t feel right. It went against my instincts and literally speaking I felt empty.

love, sleeping, warmth, adore, motherhood
First full day back at work and the feeling in my belly is like emptiness. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve eaten or drank today, the emptiness is still there. And it’s not an emptiness I can fill because what I’m missing is my little boy. Not only is it my first full day back at work, it’s also his first long day at nursery. We have done settle in days of two to three hours at different times of the day but today is the full shebang. And no matter how much I know it’s good for him and it will help mould him into a better person and prepare him for his life ahead at school blah blah blah, none of that fills the empty gap inside me. The gap that is usually dancing around, singing a variety of nursery rhymes and pulling silly faces, with a gorgeous little man, his own unique smell, tugging at my leg and demanding what he wants in his own little way.

ball pit, funny, love
My method at the start of the day was to pretend that me and this little man hadn’t become a part of each other’s lives, because the less I thought about him, the easier and more pain free it was. But as the reality sunk in that I couldn’t eat and go out for walks when I wanted as I was now restricted to this structured day, then suddenly this little man popped back into my head. And I found myself dialing the nursery to check up on him. Something which I justified by the fact that I always call to check if my cats are ok in the cattery on holiday so why would I not call to check my baby is ok in nursery!?
Hearing that he had been crying intermittently but was now napping was reassuring for me but my mind was now on him. I couldn’t concentrate fully. My imagination was playing ball and reading stories and blowing bubbles. Yet here I was in an office catching up on the last years standard operating procedure updates and getting my qualifications back up to par. But as all my fellow mummies had reassured me, i did survive the day, I even managed to get through my new three day week without shedding a tear. My gorgeous man presented me with his first painting and a hug with lots of kisses.


I am yet to be convinced that I need this apparently fabulous thing they call “mummy time”. Unless i am misunderstanding, my perfect “mummy time” would be time spent being a mummy.

Until next time……