Category Archives: Gentle Parenting

Mummy’s first day at preschool. 

Ah it’s here. September. Back to school. It feels like when you are starting a new job. Excited but nervous. The kid? Well he’s oblivious. I have a two (nearly three) year old. He doesn’t NEED to go to preschool. So why am I putting us through this?
 

Well he’s always gone to nursery as I DID return to work for a few months. After I left I kept it on just to give myself some child free time if I’m honest. 
My health hasn’t been fab in recent months leaving me unable to drive to where George attended nursery. We had to make the difficult choice to remove him from the wonderful privately owned nursery that he attended from ten months old. 

We opted to get him a place in the government preschool adjoined to where will hopefully be his school in the future. 
This was always going to be somewhere he had to end up eventually. 

So why the anxiety Mummy? Well in his private nursery he was in the presence of two carers and roughly six children per room. I was reassured he would get the love and attention he would at home. He would be in view all the time so no one could hurt or bully him. 

His new preschool is linked to the primary school. When he starts tomorrow he will be in the regular presence of 27 children and 6 carers. I attended the settle in day. It’s a large space both indoors and outdoors. The carers physically could not be everywhere and see everything. 

There were what can only be described as several sadistic shitbags that I wouldn’t want to be left alone with George. I know the apron strings have got to be cut loose at some point and he’s got to learn to find his own way of dealing with things in the world. But he’s two. You can’t even explain to him. 

When George has been upset by other children I often respond by removing him from the situation and giving him a cuddle. I know some parents may argue that he should “man up and hit back”. I’ve asked George if he would hit another child back that hurt him and his response was “why?”.
This left me realising this little boy is being kind, thoughtful and considering just like his mummy and daddy. We are raising him to be as such so why would we suddenly tell him to hit people!
That said, hubs is teaching him to box. Although he currently only uses that on hubs. 

So I turned to my gentle parenting train of thought and suggested that if another child hurts him anytime I’m not around he should say 

“stop! That’s not nice, I’m going to tell a grown up”. 

Again I asked him if he would do this instead of his current method of simply standing and crying until someone rescues him and he said “no, I’ll just stand and cry”. 

So here I am. So excited for my little boys first day of preschool. All the wonderful new toys and children to play and interact with. New staff to meet and learn the schools ways. We have attended several seasonal open days there and he has never wanted to leave due to the sheer expanse of the place and how many activities there are to do. 

Yet my protective, worrying side is scared. I know children, as fickle as they are, can be put off by things after only one traumatic incident. That said he still absolutely loves any child that hits him so perhaps he is also going to be a forgiving soul too. 
As I wave goodbye tomorrow and give him a big kiss and a squeeze, I’ll run home and immerse myself in some wall knocking down (yes seriously, it’s on my to do list). And when I return I know my fears will be banished. I know he will have had a fab time. I know he will excel and flourish even more there. But I know this worry is here to stay. 
As he grows, so will my worry. I’m losing the grip. He will no longer have me to protect his every move. He’s two for crying out loud. It’s ok I tell myself. There is always home schooling. 
And then there are the other mums. What if none of them want to be friendly. What if they all know each other and aren’t very welcoming. Perhaps you can tell but I was bullied at school. If I was the person I am now I don’t think they would have been so successful but then perhaps if I wasn’t bullied I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now. 
We all just want our children to be happy, safe and protected. Don’t we? 

So for all the anxious mummies in the playground tomorrow, I feel you. A few words of wisdom for each other and a bit of support and I’m sure we will all get through this. And for the mums of the sadistic little shits, (although you probably don’t call them that) I feel for you, really I do. It must be tough looking after a kid like that, you have my empathy. 

Good luck to everyone starting or returning to school tomorrow, Daddy’s too. I’m sure this probably applies to you. Although I can’t help feeling Daddy’s just get on with things without all the worrying us women do. Would love to hear from some Daddy’s with little ones starting or returning to school. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The boy who cried Mummy – Parenting annoyances

Welcome to another crazy insight into my world, my mind, my life with the boy who cried Mummy.

Without meaning to sound ridiculously selfish and ungrateful, I am so tired of hearing my name called, “Mummy” that is.  There are women that long to be called mummy. I know, ok, I’m sorry, I feel terrible complaining. But honestly those of you in the mummy club, please tell me you can relate. I love my child to pieces. I can’t even explain the love. That said, I really wish he would just stop saying “mummy” for five minutes, one minute even! Literally it’s non stop.

If you don’t have a child that does this or indeed a child at all, let me give you an insight into my current world.

Imagine you are called Sarah and you work in an office. Your boss is called David and is a little needy and over zealous. You are in the office trying to get things done. You are even just sitting at your desk on your break trying to get five minutes peace and this is what you experience;

Boss: “Sarah, look, I’m going to build a train track”

Sarah: “Oh cool”

Boss: “Sarah, I’ve put the first piece together”

Sarah: “Good job David, keep going”

Boss: “Sarah, can you see my train track?”

Sarah: Yes, I’m right here. It’s looking good. Don’t worry, I’m watching you. I can see everything.”

Boss: “Sarah?”

Sarah: “Yes?” (becoming exasperated)

Boss: “Sarah?”

Sarah: “Yes David, I already answered you, what is it”

Boss: “Sarah, I’m building a train track and putting all the pieces together”

Sarah: (not sure whether to cry or laugh) “Great David, that’s great”

You get my jist!? It’s relentless. Gosh I know I shouldn’t moan but sometimes I hear myself saying “can you just stop saying Mummy for five minutes?”

To which I hear “why?” Arrrgh!

I love to talk. I even love to talk nonsense. But sometimes even I get fed up of conversation.

Quite often throughout the day, at least 20 of the 100+ “Mummy’s” I hear are just for the sake of saying it. He literally goes about his day just habitually repeating the word Mummy. I have explained that this is dangerous as one day I may not respond to him when he really needs me to. Being so used to him calling my name for no apparent reason.

As heartless as this post sounds, I genuinely understand that he is two and half years old. He doesn’t understand why it would be annoying to keep saying Mummy. I’ve read that toddlers often say “why” and “what”, not for annoyance but to actually initiate conversation. I believe George’s repetition of the word “Mummy” may also be the same.

He is a very emotionally dependant on me and is never more than a few feet away. Perhaps he is also feeling a verbally emotional dependence as he is often quite shy around other people and doesn’t talk half as much. I have to add that I am a stay at home mum and spend almost 24/7 with George, including spending half our nights co-sleeping. He certainly isn’t saying it because he lacks my attention.

Or maybe he has just inherited my dislike of silence when in other peoples company. I would rather chat complete shit uninteresting nonsense when in the presence of others, than have to endure an awkward silence. Something that has found me digging a hole for myself on quite a few occasions. heck, you’ve only got to read my posts to realise what a rambler I am.

So before I ramble off topic much longer let’s return to the subject in hand. How do you feel about hearing “Mummy” or “Daddy” called a million times a day? Does every time you hear it fill you with elation or frustration? Do you believe there is another reason behind why children do this?

Until next time….

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Gentle parenting: Saying “No!” to time-outs

This post will be focusing on our love of gentle parenting techniques, as we approach the more challenging possibly not so aptly named, terrible twos. 

pregnancy gentle parenting

When I was pregnant with George I did a lot of research into raising a child. I have never been particularly maternal but I had an inkling that should I become a parent, that I would be a pretty good one, going only on the basis of how great an aunty I was. How smug does that sound! But honestly having confidence in our own abilities isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not like I go round pointing fingers at people saying that’s right, that’s wrong. Although I can see some methods are a little ineffective, I still don’t believe there is a right or wrong. After all, every child, parent and lifestyle is different. And in all honesty, as much as I knew I had the capacity to be a good parent (whatever that is anyway), I was still very, very doubtful of whether my motherly instincts would kick in. To the point that I had nightmares about it when I was pregnant, and when George was born, I was very reluctant for others to hold him as I feared he may enjoy being held more by them than being held by my awkward self. Little did I know then that holding your own baby is nowhere near as scary and awkward feeling as it is holding other people’s. So back to the matter in hand;

Anyhow, I could and still can always see areas of other people’s parenting that was essentially failing. Can’t we all? Watching people lose their rag all too quickly, not watching what their children are doing when they are in danger, you know the type of stuff we all silently judge each other for. But I love a challenge and parenting is certainly that. I wasn’t prepared to have anyone silently judging me. I have to succeed. Failure from myself isn’t an option in my twisted mind. When I fell pregnant though, the pregnancy wasn’t as easy as I had imagined. That’s when I realised that this wasn’t going to be something I would be able to completely control. I could have an ideal of how I wanted it to be, whilst controlling factors such as my diet and exercise. But in the end, my body was going to do what it wanted and I was going to have to just learn to live with it as amicably as I could. Carpel tunnel syndrome, stretch marks despite using all the best potions, fluid retention, you name it, it bit me hard and there was fuck all I could do about it in the grand scheme of things, except ride it out and try and enjoy it. After all, you are supposed to be radiantly blooming aren’t you. I watched Father of the Bride 2 wayyyyyyyy too many times!

I took to social media, joining various bump and baby groups in an attempt to met some like-minded people and ensure that when bubba was born I wouldn’t be a hermit whilst all my pre-pregnancy friends worked. It was in these groups that I discovered Gentle and attachment parenting methods.

Since becoming a mum, I’ve realised that parenting is much the same as preganacy, life indeed! You can apply methods and theories to your way of parenting, but overall, your child is a living, growing person. Your child will be who they want to be. You have to learn how to leave in peaceful existence with them whilst teaching them good morals and values that they can carry through life. And as much as you fear that what you are doing could still result in them growing up to become a drug addicted, murderer (worst case scenario). You have just got to hope, pray and well just not be such a psychopath and chill the fuck out with it all. This is where gentle parenting matches how I wish to live my life and teach my son that the world is a happy, chilled place, for the most part.

Once George was born, my instincts of wanting to keep him safe and happy remained, as they had throughout my pregnancy. I never wanted him to feel sad or frustrated. I wanted to protect and nurture him in any way that I could. Being an 80’s baby I was raised as most British 80’s kids were. There was nothing wrong with it. I always insisted that I would raise my child in the same way I was raised because “I turned out alright”. But when this little 7 pound chunk of gorgeousness landed in my arms, I suddenly went all bohemian in my mindset. I wanted to do things my way and as much as I was happy to ask for other more experienced mums input, I didn’t want it imposed on me. 

This is where gentle parenting entered our lives. Gentle parenting is a compassionate form of parenting, focusing on empathising with your child and helping to support and respect their feelings as much as your own. After all they are merely humans like ourselves. I brought hubby on board. Adding him to the groups and sharing any articles I read to ensure that we were being consistent in our parenting approach. I’ve been so fortunate that he has been happy to follow the same methods and beliefs without any hesitation. Now I could tell you each and every aspect of gently parenting, what it means, how you go about it, but I think this article best explains it. Taken from the Gentle Parenting website itself. If you are a parent, just take the time it takes to drink your cuppa and have a little read. It would be so lovely if my post had ultimately let you to find ways you could enhance your style of parenting.

Taken from the gentle parenting website. http://www.gentleparenting.co.uk/kc/gentleparentingtips/

It does worry me how restrictive things might be when George enters the education system however. Thankfully his nursery doesn’t impose any limits that we disagree with yet. But it’s something we will definitely be adding to our list of things to ask when interviewing potential schools.

As a rule though, gentle parenting doesn’t back the use of time outs, naughty steps, reward charts and alike. It’s not to say George doesn’t get a sticker here and there if he does something outstanding like at the end of a play group session. But we don’t have a chart. He wears them and it’s not a consistent regime. We always discuss behaviour that could harm and then he goes about his day. If we did choose to remove him from a situation as he grew older and potentially more defiant then we would sit with him so he could vent his emotion but know he is safe with our presence. This teaches him morals and guides him towards thinking about his behaviour and why he should or shouldn’t do things. Rather than him thinking oh if I do that I’ll get a reward.

Here’s another article I have recently stumbled across to help keep us on track as the more testing “terrible twos” descend upon us. Although “touch wood”, we seem to be having an easier time than other parents around us that I see. I can’t help but wonder if this would have been different had we not led with gentle parenting.

http://news.nationalpost.com/health/no-more-time-outs-and-reward-charts-psychologist-advises-parents-ditch-traditional-approaches-to-discipline

So I hope this post has given you food for thought. And please don’t take it as me being a judgemental arsehole. I’m really not. I believe we are all entitled to parent how we wish, after all, its ultimately ourselves that have to live with the consequences.

Until next time …………