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The Smug Beastfeeder

I hope this this post isn’t as controversial as you may think, I’m a proud breast feeder, I’m one of those annoying women who do like to slip it into conversation whenever I get a chance. Now not many bfeeding mums will admit this, but we are bloody chuffed with ourselves and, actually it gets on our goat when we feel we have to dumb this down for fear of offending our formula feeding friends. But do we judge you for your choices? This is a difficult one perhaps outlining the real reason I breastfeed will help you see there is no prejudice.

I’d love to say that I’m motivated purely by the health of my child, that I’m selfless, which in turn would mean I consider formula feeders to be selfish right? This simply isn’t true. We hear about the guilt women feel when they give baby a bottle, the pressure and expectations on mothers to breastfeed is very very real and this is a strong motivation for me. I’m a perfectionist, I worry a lot about the opinions of others and I couldn’t cope with that guilt even though I know it is ridiculous that any mother should feel this pressure. I’m motivated by fear of judgement…. Not the health needs of my baby

I’m a ‘slummy mummy’ we know this, That is to say I’m not a domestic goddess, I had much admiration for women who have to spend time cleaning, sterilising and making up bottles, I would never call formula feeding a lazy option. I couldn’t do it, bottles would build up and cause stress and anxiety, I know myself well enough to say that if I had to deal with this endless stream of washing I would struggle emotionally, I’m motivated by my own limitations….not the health needs of my baby

Having had a turbulent childhood I have struggled to form attachments in my life, I had never been in love until I met my husband and having children does full fill a need in me to connect with others. That is not to say that I’m unaware that my children need to form identities outside of their family unit or that they are merely extensions of myself, It’s very important that our children are encouraged to be their own person right? but, breastfeeding is vital for me personally as it enables me to form a bond with my child which I may struggle with ordinarily given my history. Childhood attachment is built by many different factors and formula feeding would not prevent a strong healthy attachment from forming, however, for a mother who struggles understanding even the basics of human attachment it provides a foundation to work from….. I’m motivated by my desire to connect….not the health needs of my baby

Having outlines these reasons I hope to show that it is these reasons which kept me going in those early hours of the morning, there seems to be a misconception that if you breastfeed you were lucky, In fact I often find myself saying that to people, well my children nursed well, I had a good supply, didn’t encounter difficulties etc. But it’s not true, I struggled through pain, thrush, lazy attachments, hours of nursing, tears and arguments with my partner, feelings of being touched out etc, Once I remember going for a drive and leaving my baby and husband at home for half an hour just because I could bare to draw my baby to my breast for the eighth time that morning, but it’s for the reasons above I pushed on through…

I’m not a saint, motivated my some earth mother like desire to selflessly provide for my offspring, I’m not judging you for doing what any sane person would do given the many difficulties faced by breastfeeding … but the health benefits which are so pushed at us as new mothers are merely a bonus to me. I breastfeed because it’s the best thing for me and my child and if you formula feed well, I can pretty much guarantee you do so because you know it’s the best thing for you and your child also.

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Things that annoy me when I’m pregnant

Ok so hormones go a little bit crazy during pregnancy, and most of this stuff is my responsibility, but that doesn’t stop me breathing fire once in a while.

1. When people do a pee in the toilet I just cleaned……

2. Cooking disasters

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3. When my cup of tea goes cold

4.When people put anything other than books on the book shelf

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5.When I get up for the 3rd time that night to pee

6.and the toilet roll hasn’t been replaced correctly

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7. Having to adjust the seat in the car

8. When things are left on the stairs

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9. Forgetting why I have walked into a room

10. When the stair rail is used instead of the coat hooks

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11. Finding myself sobbing during the opening sequence to Fireman Sam

12. Tea bags left on the side

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13. Toothpaste in the sink

14. When the table isn’t cleared from breakfast before creativities begin…. mmmm toast crumb cards

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15. When my husband has hic-ups…. or sneezes, or snores, or burps…. or breaths too heavily

16. The vacuum cleaner lead….. enough said!!

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17. Discovering there’s no milk….. after brewing my cupa

18. Forgetting to remove the veg crate before using the microwave and praying for thanks that the house didn’t go up in flames

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Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

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Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

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The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
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Slummy Chic

Half term is rapidly approaching and I can’t wait, here’s why

  • I can spend some quality time with the eldest
  • I can spend some quality time with the hubby (who doesn’t work school holidays)
  • I also have the week off of work
  • I can (fingers crossed) have a lay in at some point next week, bliss
  • I won’t have to do the school run: Yay extra jammie time
  • Halloween is just around the corner
  • Hubby has offered to decorate one room of my choosing..

It’s this last one which has got me in a spin, one room, any room (bar the family room, which is open plan living/dining room/kitchen and will no doubt be in use) I can chose either mine or Scott’s office, one of the toilets, our bedroom or one of the children’s. So here’s the dilemma, which do I chose? Being a ‘Slummy Mummy’ means I have my own unique way of decorating, this usually involves the following:

  • Buying candles (lots of candles, purely ornamental mind you)
  • Buying picture frames (lots of picture frames)
  • Purchasing those mini paint tester pots (You know the ones, where you paint a stripe on each wall and it they sits there for 3 years while you decide which colour you prefer)
  • Buying cushions (lots of cushions)
  • Collecting paint supplies (we have a range of different tapes, overalls, dust sheets, brushes and rollers)
  • Hours of internet research with Google images
  • Hours of internet research with Pinterest
  • Hours of internet research with DIY stores
  • Hours of wandering around show homes, department stores and the home sections of supermarkets for inspirationhome final

So with all this, how many rooms have I decorated in the last ten years? Let’s think, 5 homes, er 0 complete rooms:

Home 1, a flat, no point decorating, this is a pit stop

Home 2, all neutral anyway, I painted a wall of the kitchen bright pink, only to have it all crumble and fall off during the winter, that was a coooold house, I did put up some stickers in the hallway and begin my candle collection though.

Home 3, painted a previously hideous brown wall: green, got cushions, used testers, added to the candle collection…. Painted H’s room and put up a border…. (I lie, I met my husband that year, and he did that for me)

Home 4….. Paid a decorator to do our downstairs and My husband painted our larder door, I then stripped the wall paper in our bedroom, got bored, fell pregnant (not cos I was bored) and stared at a half done wall for a year.

So here we are home number 5!!!! I’m pleased to say, this is our 10 year house…. So when you think about it, there’s no rush to decorate really….. maybe I’ll get some new cushions

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Damned if we do…..

So, during preparations for my earth mother experiment (real nappy, breastfeeding and sling research) I came across a fantastic article on extended breastfeeding, this got me thinking about how us mothers are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts with you:bitchymoms

  • Are you breastfeeding?: This question, if coming from genuine interest, maybe a curious mum-to-be or a health care professional is all well and good, but if it’s to gauge my suitability to join your baby gang you can sod off!
  • Are you still breastfeeding??: So, you’d judge me if I didn’t but beyond the age of 12 months there must be something wrong with me for continuing…. Right!!
  • You’re doing baby lead weaning: Won’t your baby get really hungry? Throw most of it around? Won’t he choke? no I wont look at the book you bought to understand it better.
  • You’re mashing his food: Oh,how will he learn to feed himself, you’ll never get him to eat lumps, you’ve made a rod for your own back (agrahhhh I hate strongly dislike that saying).
  • Make noise around your sleeping baby so he gets used to it: who really feels like hovering when you have a new born? and at 3am I’m not risking it….sorry
  • Sleep when he sleeps: I thought I was meant to hoover?! (also this advice only counts for the first 3 weeks after that, no matter how little sleep you’ve had, you’re lazy for wanting a nap)
  • Is he still not sleeping through? No, I like my two hour a night cuddles. (if I’ve not offered up the info, or said I’m struggling its NOYB)
  • Its psychologically damaging to let your baby cry it out: agrahhh I can’t win

Can you think of anymore??

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The Bedtime Rout…..

The bedtime routine in our household starts around the dinner table, as this is when I start mentally preparing for the task ahead. Each evening we play a round of ‘what did you learn today’ in which all members of the family are required to contribute to the discussion.

H has learnt that, if you’re the boy next door, you get into trouble for trying to sell her conkers. I for one can’t understand this; I think this boy must have been fairly ingenious, what’s that saying? ‘Selling ice to Eskimos?’ I think him rather entrepreneurial myself.

The hubby has learnt that, if you complain to the railway network that there are too few carriages on the rush hour service, you actually get a personal phone call to discuss your grievances….. wow, who knew?

Baby Roo has learnt ‘mmmmmammma’, I translate this to mean ‘if I empty all the nappies from the box every half an hour, mummy stops the dishwasher shuffle to pay me extra attention.DSCF2680

But what have I learnt…… hmmm, if you question why the Christmas present delivery didn’t arrive as expected, the company will explain that the courier delivered them instead to a Mrs J Hillman?! Who happily signed for the items despite having no recollection of ordering them….. I hope you’re enjoying Harriet’s fashion designer set and Rupert’s wooden blocks B”%*H!!! (Bet ill see them on ebay soon).

Once dinner is over and the crock pot left to soak for a few days, all attention turns to bath-time. While the husband negotiates the baby I survey the carnage of the day: the nappies out of box, the train set chewed then discarded, the dressing up box upturned, the cushions now a fort in the centre of the living room and a half eaten gingerbread man squished into the rug…. I think bath-time would be preferable to this lot! Trouping up to the top floor I casually ignore the debris on the stairs begging to be taken up, stop by my office to count the coffecups and note the trail of mashed potato which has fallen of the baby on his way to meet ducky and boat….. No wonder I’ve not got around to putting the pictures up in the hall or painting my chalkboard list…..DSCF3345

Harriet has pulled out the entire bookcase to find her favourite story; she is prancing about to ‘the Disney collection’ CD and clearly doesn’t understand that calm down time does not include demonstrating a new dance routine. The baby is chewing his tooth brush and the husband is searching for the shampoo with one hand. Perhaps that gingerbread man downstairs needs some company after all? I settle the eldest to read and get a rundown of every bruise and bump from the day at school, this is from a football, this is from the adventure playground, this is from the where I bit my nail… it’s thrilling stuff! But it’s also ‘CALM DOWN TIME’

Next begins the ‘which teddy to cuddle tonight’ fiasco, everyone gets an equal turn but it appears, Sally dog has gone walkies on her designated night…. She needs to be located otherwise she will miss out! Ofcourse you can’t swap the order, it could cause a rift and apparently the stuffed animals in particular are still recovering from the shock of moving house.

I leave her to deal with teddy anxiety issues and manage to catch the final page of ‘That’s not my monster….’. Hubby and I do a swap, he locates Sally dog, inside the fort and manages to squish the gingerbread man further into the rug with his bare feet…. Cue the sound of running water and the eldest needing to inspect the damage…

I feed the baby and, for a few serine minuets, I consider falling asleep also, but, baby must be put in cot awake, or I’ll be up and down the stairs for the rest of the night while he tries to remember how to ‘self soothe’…… I lower him into the cot, nice and drowsy…….very calm and content, he might just drift off….BANG!! H is showing Hubby the dance routine, baby starts to cry and I hear from the eldest’s room… ‘ITS CALM DOWN TIME’.DSCF2994

Baby settles on boob once more, I lower him down into cot…. He Parps, then throws up the extra milk down my top…. Still, I think he might actually go to sleep……yes, yes, he’s rolled onto his side, I close the door, locate the monitor and WOOOO HOOOO, one down!

Upstairs she is in her Jammies and finally in bed, I lean down to give a kiss good night……thinking ahead to the carnage downstairs….. ‘Goodnight Mummy, love you too, don’t forget my costume for tomorrow’s School trip’

‘Oh crap!!!!’

When’s OUR calm down time??