How To Be A Good Mother…. Like Me

Last night, Channel Four aired a TV programme about 6 very different mothers who all believed that their way of parenting was the best and what made them a good mother.

First up was Super SAHM Charlene! Charlene has 6 children, and all by the time she was 27. They were all home births and she home schools all 6 of her offspring. She has been pregnant and breastfeeding for the past 11 years, managed to write a book, makes and sells her own Stretch Mark cream and has a washboard, stretch mark free stomach to die for! (N.B – get some of that cream!!). Charlene is now expecting baby number 7.

Next we met ‘Continnumum’ Daria. Daria is not a fan of baby products (cots, bottles, pushchairs etc). She and her husband co-sleep with their 16 month old daughter, and have done from birth. She plans to breastfeed her daughter for as long as she wants it and is also a ‘wet nurse’ to mums who have problems breastfeeding. Daria doesn’t like nappies (obviously not on herself, ‘coz that would be just wrong). She believes in what she calls “Elimination Communication” where she observes her daughter for signs of when she needs to wee/poo.

The programme goes on to meet placenta mad Lynnea. Mumpreneur Lynnea believes that placenta’s should be used after birth instead of incinerated and has set up her own company making “Placenta Capsules” for women from their own after birth. She believes that eating raw afterbirth (mixed with fruit to make a smoothie) straight after birth stems blood loss. Lynnea also idolises natural birth and believes that Cesarean sections harm babies by pumping them full of chemicals then ‘ripping’ them out of their mothers womb. She goes on to say that she does not have a good emotional bond with her own mother and cannot look her in the eye, because she herself was born via c-section.

Next up is the full time working mum, Fiorella. Fiorella is super organised and uses the latest technology to micro manage her day to day life. She is the Queen of Apps and has plenty on her iPhone. Fiorella admits to having a Nanny to look after her son but insists that the Nanny must call/text her every day and send her pictures. Every lunch time Fiorella schedules a ‘conference call’ with her son during her lunch break.

Then we meet Aimi, the over protective mother to a 14 year old son…. and a Stripper. She was a single parent for 11 years before marrying. She doesn’t care what other parents think of her, and has an enviously close bond to her son, although she can be rather embarrassing, especially when her phone rings/texts.

Lastly we meet ‘Wicked Stepmother’ Antonia. She confesses that she never wanted kids, she doesn’t particularly like kids and finds them creepy. That is until she married her husband, become stepmother to his 2 children and then found herself pregnant! She compares bringing up a baby to having a dog (I can’t see the comparison, but never mind). She refers to her daughter as her ‘friend’ and says that she enjoys her company and finds her daughter interesting. Alarmingly though, stunt-woman dress maker Antonia, doesn’t think twice about going on a bike ride (on the road may I add) with the children wearing no helmets!

Now, I’m not criticising any of these woman. They all believe what they are doing is right and its obviously what works well for their families. However, I can’t see how any of them are any better than any other mum out there. I’m sure they are all good mothers within their own right. Isn’t that all us mothers ever want to inspire to? To be a good mother? To raise our children to be good, honourable citizens? I just cannot see what it is about these 6 women that makes them more outstanding? What does make a good mother?

Charlene seemed the most ‘normal’ out of the bunch and I found myself becoming rather envious of how she just seemed to take it all in her stride. She was so laid back, well she’s got to be to home-school 6 kids. And that stomach..that’s not normal…right?

Lynnea really saddened me. Having had 2 c-sections I felt it incredibly upsetting that she suggested that you couldn’t bond with your child after it was ripped from you. My 2nd c-section was not my original option, but due to complications it became my only and safest option for my daughter to be born. We are extremely close. I hope she never needs a c-section!

Daria, Aimi, Fiorella and Antonia weren’t so bad and I could possibly see a little bit of my way of parenting in all of them. I breastfed A up until just a week ago at 14.5months and we too co-sleep. However she does have a cot and a pushchair, and wears a nappy!! I like making lists, I have a fair few apps on my phone and I like (well try) to be organised. I can be over-protective at times, and although i wouldn’t consider my children to be my ‘friends’, they can be good company…and sometimes my only company.

Now, if you took something of all of them, except perhaps placenta lady Lynnea as that is just plain creepy, you could well have a recipe for a really great mum….. like me (well, I think so anyhows)

Forward Facing Car Seats – Are they safe? 

The other day I cleaned off the Britax car seat for A. We have one which is a Group 0-1 car seat so is suitable from Birth to 4years old. It can be rear facing, then from around 9kgs it can be forward facing.

A is 9months old but is only 6.8kgs (15lbs 1.5oz) so still needs to be rear facing.

However, I decided to look up about forward facing car seats and when should a baby/child be moved in to one.

In the United States, a baby must remain in an infant carrier until they are 1 year old AND 20lbs in weight. New government law, now states a child must be in a rear facing car seat until they are 2 years old.

In many European countries children must remain in a rear facing car seat until they are 4 years old!!

I was shocked to learn that car seat manufacturers, such as Britax, cater for the European laws and sell rear facing car seats suitable for children up to the recommended ages. Yet, they do not offer the same seats to British parents.

According to research, rear facing car seats are 5 times safer in a head on collision than forward facing seats.

Now as a parent that is frightening. I’m lucky enough that I have never been in a head on collision, but it scares me that I could be putting my child at unnecessary risk by putting her in a forward facing car seat.

My older children, at 4 & 5 years are now in booster seats, so are too old to be rear facing (not that I could get them in to a rear facing seat now!).

I am now seriously thinking about purchasing a new car seat for A that will enable me to keep her rear facing until she is at least 2 years old.

 Personally, I would love to see the UK law changed. In Sweden, children are unlikely to be killed in a car crash. Between July 2006 and November 2007, not 1 child under the age of 6 was killed in a car accident! According to the AA, in the UK 205 children are injured and 21 killed every year in car accidents. That is a horrifying amount! Especially if those little lives can be saved just by keeping them in a rear facing seat!!

I know what I’d rather do!!!

*info from www.rearfacing.co.uk

Sad Sad Weekend

This weekend has got to be one of the saddest for a while.

On Friday, the world was shocked by the news of the bombing in Oslo, Norway and then more horrific news followed! A man dressed as a policeman had opened fire on a group of youths on the island Utoeya, just off Norway. They were on retreat as they were part of the youth Labour Party.

As I write, over 80 children have lost their lives. Parents have lost their children. The surviving teens will face nightmares and terrors for the rest of their lives.

Thankfully, the evil , vicious, despicable excuse for a human being has been caught and is in the custody of the police. It’s things like this, that I truly believe in “an eye for an eye” and corporal punishment. Why should he be allowed to keep his life when so many have lost theirs. So many young lives lost because of the selfishness of one person!

I could rant on this subject for ages, but what good would it do? It wouldn’t bring back the children lost to this mans evil actions, and it won’t console the parents who face burying their young. I just hope he gets exactly what he deserves!

Then, there was the news that singer Amy Winehouse had been found dead at her Camden home, aged just 27. A known addict, I think people were expecting the news one day…but it’s still a shock.

After many stints in rehab, she just could not be saved. I can’t help but wonder whether those around her hindered her rather than helped her? After all, the more publicity she got for being an addict, the more publicity she got.

I just hope that her death brings a message home to all those out there who do take drugs, or know people who do. Drugs kill! Get help before it’s too late! Life is too precious and you can be saved!!

Rest In Peace Amy. You’re now out of harms way. My condolences with your true friends and family.

Rest In Peace to all those killed in Norway. To the families who will bury their loved ones. The children who have lost their lives. May you see justice done!!

Katie: Standing Up For Harvey

Tonight on Sky Living, Katie Price aka Jordan, is once again on our screens in a reality tv show. This time is different though. This time, she’s raising awareness about disabled children and speaking out about the highly offensive, and much publicised, attack against 9 year old Harvey made by comedian Frankie Boyle back in December 2010. 

The remarks made by Boyle were on his “comedy” show, Tramadol Nights which was aired on Channel 4. 

I won’t go in to detail of the remarks are they are fairly derogatory and offensive and uncalled for. 

Katie Price causes a lot of controversy and leads a lot of her life in the public. However, is there such a need to attack a 9 year old child who we all know is very poorly?

I’m not a huge fan of KP. I feel sorry for her and the fact she feels she needs to lead her life so publicly. However, no matter how much you dislike someone, you DO NOT make offensive, racial and crude jokes about their children, disabled or not! It’s uncalled for and not necessary! Poor defenceless children should not be at the butt of such sick jokes! 

The thing with Katie Price, is that you can dislike her all you like…but one thing you cannot accuse her of is not being a kind and compassionate mother. I have watched her reality shows and you can see how much she dotes on Harvey, whom she had with ex-footballer Dwight Yorke, as well as her other children Junior and Princess who she had with ex-husband Peter Andre.

Harvey’s conditions mean he needs a lot of care. He is also autistic, and being the mother of an autistic child I know how hard it is…let alone dealing with all the added issues on top. 

I for one, think that Frankie Boyle and Channel 4 should apologise, as they have been asked to do, but to date have refused. Channel 4 should never have let the remarks get aired in the first place. Is there any room in our society now for just degrading insults? How would Mr Boyle feel if one of his children were to be bullied and be the butt of a joke by a middle aged man? 

A lot of people are saying that tonights programme is all about Katie getting her face in the limelight. I can’t answer that until I’ve seen it, but by going on her article written in today’s Daily Mail, it’s all about Harvey. 

Personally, I’m looking forward to watching the programme. 

"Breastfeeding is like sex"

Yep, you heard me…”Breastfeeding is like sex” …well according to Jeremy Clarkson. In his column in yesterday’s The Sun, he wrote a piece regarding National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, which was this week.

Now, I usually like Jeremy Clarkson and find him quite amusing on Top Gear and some of the articles he writes do contain valid points. However, breastfeeding is a matter close to me as I am still nursing my 8 month old.

Breastfeeding is natural, it is what breasts were originally for, not sex objects that the majority of the male species think they are for. Mr Clarkson openly admits “Men do not find breastfeeding natural. We find it deeply disturbing”. He goes on to say that breasts are not seen as what they’re intended for, but purely as a “plaything”. How can we encourage new young (and some older) mums to choose breastfeeding when we have those remarks to contend with??

Now, I’m not an earthy, everything organic, hippy mother. I’m just a normal young(ish) mum wanting to give my baby the best start in life I can.

Even though A is my 3rd child, she is my ONLY breastfed baby! I attempted with my first baby, J, but it wasn’t meant to be. I was young, didn’t know what I was doing and had no help from midwives. J was a screamer from the moment he was born. All he did was cry and every time he cried I was told to feed him. This resulted in me being sore and upset myself. I continued for 2 weeks before I caved one night when J just wouldn’t settle and out came the bottle and formula. With our second child, K, I was still taking anti-depressants and suffering with PND as was told that I was not allowed to breastfeed. I believe this has now changed and breastfeeding on antidepressants are fine.

So why did I breastfeed A? Several reasons really. I had been hauled up in hospital for over 5weeks with severe complications. We knew she would be born under a general anaesthetic, she would be of low birth weight and we faced the fear that she may need special care. Our local hospital promote breastfeeding and no longer offer free formula to mothers. You either breastfeed or bring your own.

Breastfeeding, at least the first few days is good for baby, and mum too!

I was unsure if I could do it, but I thought I’d give it a go. Thankfully A took to it like a pro. She did need some formula top up whilst in hospital to stabilise her blood sugar levels, but other than that she was purely mummy fed.

Now, breastfeeding is not easy! I wish I was told how hard it actually is to have a small person attached to you permanently. This is why it disgruntles me when I hear/read such bigoted trash about how breasts are sex objects.

Breasts are for woman to raise their young! Men need to wake up and realise this! Unfortunately in such a age where everything is sexualised, I can’t see this happening! This is why raising awareness is great! The more we show how natural it is, the more it can be accepted!

So come on breastfeeding mummies…”Get ya baps out”