When we welcome a new baby into the world we tend to shower this innocent creature with gifts. This baby with no material
Mindful parenting can help you fully enjoy bringing up your baby
When you’re a new parent, time can seem very elastic: whizzing by in the daily routine of caring for your baby, then ticking
Time flows on, and today's stresses become tomorrow's fondly recounted anecdotes. No matter the age of your child there are always challenges, and as we move through each stage there's a tendency to look back at the previous one and realise how good we had it.
Sure there's a ton of advice about naughty steps, and controlled crying, and potty training, and teaching phonics. But less about the need to "breathe through" the more unmanageable aspects of parenting, which are often messy, noisy, relentless, chaotic, and/or publicly shaming.
Ever since he was about two years old, he's had periods when he's awake for several hours in the middle of the night. Initial advice from a health visitor was that it must be his back teeth coming through, although it seemed to me like he just couldn't shut his brain down.
The downside of defining different parenting styles is the defensiveness that this can cause. Understandably, when we come across someone who does things differently to us, it can make us either want to defend our own way, or convince the other person to try it out. We all want to feel secure that we're doing the right thing because it's such an emotive issue...
Before you know what's happened, they're pushing all your buttons and your ability to stay calm is being stretched past its limit. But it's not too late for a mindful response. Self-compassion is a mindful skill that can support you in just this kind of real-world situation.
Next week is Sports Day, the slip in his book bag told me. Occasionally, I still have nightmares about school PE. They want us to turn up and "cheer the children on". It is reassuringly worded to reinforce a non-competitive vibe ("an emphasis is placed on the taking part"). Then I see there's a buggy race. This sounds like a dubiously worded 'mummies race'.