The other day I found a diary that I barely remember writing. It's full of entries to my first-born documenting our first year together. It's going to be serialised. Oh, hang on a minute, no it's not... because it's the DULLEST READ EVER. Full of crazy s**t I did and how much I loved her.
There always seems to be a lot of argument and debate over what is best, but rarely have I seen a post by a dad on the subject of breast or bottle fed babies, so I thought I would give my view on what appears to be a controversial subject. I have to say that I'm not passionate about either.
As a mum who has put her own child through nursery, and as a childcare practitioner for over 15 years, I understand how busy life as a parent can be and it's not always possible to read every day with your child. However, it has been proven that children who are read to at an early age are more likely to excel with their numeracy, literacy and language skills as they get older.
In fact, give yourself a break, because not only are you trying to figure out what you want, you're also trying to figure out what another human being wants, when they don't even know themselves...
I'd philosophise about our ancestral patterns of sleeping, about parenting of an ancient time when babies stayed close to their parents through the night for fear of predatory creatures. I, in my sleep deprived fog, decided that's what we were doing.
Your joint stress energy as parents may provide enough electricity to power a large town, but you're a sleep-deprived dribbling zombie whose eyes have ceased to function and you both work long full time hours to fund your toddler's Cheerios and pasta obsession.
The kids were super excited about the trip, they didn't complain, they loved the packing and they were fine saying goodbye to toys, family and friends. But, behaviour did take an understandable nosedive. They went from being pretty helpful and calm to being far trickier than normal.
Having seen breastfeeding once again taking centre stage in the media, with Pope Francis encouraging nursing mothers to feed in church, I have decided to share my views on the matter. I have called this post 'Breastfeeding Dilemmas' but if I am honest, with my five-month old son, this is not a dilemma for me. It is just something that I do. Often. Anywhere and (mostly) everywhere.
Even something as simple as sharing, translated into adulthood, could manifest as; someone who never offers to make the tea for others; someone who takes a large piece of office birthday cake; an individual who is incapable of working as part of a team...
You will suddenly realise that, you never knew what it feels like to really be touched and touch: the top of your baby's head, their tiny little hands wrapped around your finger. The tickle of your child's breath as they whisper into your ear. When they want to be lifted and carried all around town.
One of the biggest challenges many parents face is having a picky eater in the family. Many children become fussy with food around the age of 18-24 months, often forming the start of a long term battle for many parents.
'Starting to look like me again,' I said as aesthetically I took control with straighteners and eyeliner and mascara. But even the successful donning - albeit with effort - of a once favoured pair of jeans, rediscovered after nine months without wear, didn't bring me back. The person I saw in the mirror, staring intently as if searching for recognition, was a stranger.
In the parent training world this is the million dollar question (although unfortunately for my bank balance not literally). It's the number one thing I'm asked. How do I say no without starting World War 3?
Sometimes she will play very exaggerated games, role play, loud play, which focus on different aspects of her anatomy and result in funny songs and rhymes with little worry for how others see her. At other times, she will become so engrossed in her quieter role play but very aware we are around her, and she will tell us not to watch or listen to her.
As everyone experiences, Christmas can be a hectic time of year especially for busy parents. It is also a time for connection, gratitude for what we have and a great opportunity to spend precious time with the special little people in our lives.
I can now treasure these simple moments of just baby, moonshine and me, but those first months of motherhood were tinged with loneliness: a surprising predicament that I hadn't prepared myself for