Please Think Before You Stare!

Today was a relatively good day to start off with. The children weren’t overly bad this morning, my hospital appointment went well, ran a few errands and then the heaven’s opened as I collected J and K from school and things just seemed to go down hill from there.

We had to pop in to town to pick up J’s new glasses (he snapped his other pair clean in half). I got cut up by another car trying to push in as they decided to get in the left hand turn only lane as they couldn’t be bothered to wait in the queue like everyone else, so I wasn’t in the best of moods anyway. I had calmed down by the time we parked and the kids were behaving, so I thought this should be easy. How wrong was I??

We went to get J’s glasses sorted, and whilst in there I booked K’s eye appointment as she is due a check up. I then needed to just quickly run to Boots to pick up a few things and as J has lost his toothbrush, yet again, had to buy a new one.

I decided to let the children decide which toothbrushes they want, and they both picked little electric ones. I also let J select a new toothpaste as he is very fussy. At this point he had seen a toy car he wanted and I had told him he couldn’t have it, that I wasn’t just going to buy him a toy because he wanted it and that it had to be earned. Well, this went down like a lead balloon. I decided to go and pay and get out of the shop pronto. Whilst I was scanning in my items (only the self service was working!), J came over with toy car in hand crying that he wanted it. Again, I told him he couldn’t, so instead he tried to swipe it through the checkout himself. I managed to pay for the bits I had got, and remove the car from his grasp.

All the time, he was screaming and crying and people were staring at me like I was the worse mother in the world and couldn’t handle her child. As soon as I removed the toy from his grasp he kicked off more. He jumped on my back, punched me then kicked me in the leg. I had to try to leave the shop, pushing the pushchair with A in and have him hanging off me hitting me at the same time. We got outside and I pulled him off my back and walked off.

I did the only thing I can do when he kicks off. I call P for reassurance. Whilst talking to P, J decided that he was going to start kicking the pushchair and the concrete post. Cue stares from everyone walking past, some even glancing back to take a look at the nearly 7-year-old boy throwing a tantrum any toddler would be proud of.

I wanted to die inside. I wanted the ground to swallow me up right there and then. Do you know how embarrassing it is when your child throws a full on tantrum out in public? I mean, toddlers yeah, you accept that that’s what they do, they tantrum and people can sympathise with you. But do you realise how hard it is for a mother to have strangers stare at her whilst her school age child is throwing a tantrum.

You see, even though he doesn’t look it, J is classed as Special Needs and Disabled. To everyone else he looks like he is just a typical boy. There is nothing physically wrong with him. Unfortunately it is all brain related and this is horrid for us as parents. If he looked disabled then perhaps people could understand a bit more and wouldn’t stare. Instead they just think we are unable to control our rowdy child, and with me being pregnant with our 4th baby, it makes me think they are judging me.

The reason for this post, is that I wanted to make you stop and think. Next time you witness and older child having a tantrum in town, please don’t stare at them or the parents. You do not know if that child has underlying issues. It is hard enough for the parent to watch it, they don’t need strangers standing and watching their child tantrum too. Have a little compassion for the ragged looking mum. Just because a child doesn’t look disabled, doesn’t mean they aren’t!

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National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2012

This week, 24th – 30th June has been National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

I have seen a lot of awareness being raised this week in regards to breastfeeding and I’ve read a lot of blog posts about other experiences.

I thought I would add my own experience as a mother who unsuccessfully breastfed her first baby, not allowed to breastfeed her second, and then went on to successfully breastfeed her third for 14.5 months.

When I had J I was 21. I thought I would give breastfeeding a go after hearing about how good it is for baby. Little did I know how hard it is to breastfeed! I thought I’d give birth, baby would take to the breast and voila. Breastfeeding is hard work and does not come easily, to baby or Mother.

Support is essential. This is something I didn’t get. I was not shown how to latch my baby on correctly. Therefore, I became sore rather quickly. We endured a 2 night stay. J had colic from the get go and continuously screamed. Every time he cried, a Midwife would tell me he was hungry, and as they knew best, despite having already spent over an hour trying to feed this baby, I tried again and put him back on the breast.

My mother visited and tried to “help”. Unfortunately this “help” was to pull my breasts out and put J on to them….with my curtains open and my Father-in-Law, Brother-in-Law and his girlfriend looking on in utter disbelief. I was mortified and embarrassed. Needless to say they all made a quick exit.

It wasn’t until our 2nd night, and after I broke down in tears with J crying in his cot at my bedside, did a different Midwife come to my rescue. This is when we discovered his colic. We also discovered he just liked to suck for comfort, and was more than likely using me as his comforter, which would also be whilst I was sore. The Midwife recommended getting him a dummy to settle with.

When we got home we had visitors all turn up at once, and all at feeding time. J was the first baby to be born in our group of friends, so everyone was eager to see him. They were all trying to catch a glimpse of him as he fed. I felt uncomfortable and ended up sitting in my bedroom with the baby.

I continued to feed and battle through the pain and screams for 2 weeks. One night he wouldn’t settle at all. I was tired, sore and J was visibly upset. I made him up a bottle of formula which he guzzled down and quickly settled. I continued giving him formula and he became a much more contented and happy baby.

When J was 4 months old I was put on to anti-depressants to treat Post Natal Depression. Whilst on these, I fell pregnant with K. I continues on my medication throughout the pregnancy. I was told that due to the medication I would not be able to breastfeed. I felt awful about it. Awful that I was inflicting this medication on my child in the womb, and then I couldn’t even feed her myself. She was bottle fed from birth.

When I fell pregnant with A, I was in two minds as to what to do. I was no longer on my medication but having unsuccessfully breastfed before, would it be easier to just give her formula from birth? Then I ended up in hospital with complications and possibility of a premature baby. This changed my mind for me and I decided to give Breastfeeding a go, even if it’s just for a few days. I knew I was being delivered under a General Anaesthetic, so I ordered in some formula and disposable bottles for hospital so she could have a feed whilst I was still unconscious. However, I made sure it was marked that I wanted to try to feed her if I could.

Once I had come round and was alert enough, the Midwife showed me how to latch A on and she took to it like a pro. It felt a lot different to it did when I first attempted breastfeeding all those years ago with J. The first few seconds were sore for a while but that soon settled down. She needed a formula top up in hospital as she couldn’t control her blood sugars, but she was cup fed so as not to confuse her.

I managed to feed her throughout our hospital stay. I was visited by a lactation nurse who made sure she was latching on correctly. I felt a lot more confident third time round, and had the support that I didn’t get first time round.

I set myself mini goals to get to with breastfeeding. To get through those 3 days in hospital, to get to 3 weeks, to get to 6 weeks and so on. I had days where I felt like giving up. Growth spurts take their toll and I felt like she was permanently attached to me. So I turned to my support network of breastfeeding friends who reassured me and told me it would get easier. It did! I fed A for 14.5 months!! I never dreamed I would EVER feed a baby for that long. I had to go in to hospital for throat surgery, which is the reasoning behind us stopping feeding, otherwise I think she would still be feeding now at 20 months old.

I am now more confident about breastfeeding our new addition when he comes along. I know it might be hard, he might not take to it, he might not latch properly, but I’m confident in my own abilities as a mother and I’m not afraid to reach out and ask for support.

Support is VITAL for breastfeeding mothers! It’s hard work and not as easy as it looks….but it’s the most natural and beautiful thing in the world.

Hoarders

There’s been a lot of media coverage and programmes about hoarders the past few years. Those who know a hoarder will know how frustrating it can be to live with them. To live amongst the clutter and mess, not being able to clear anything out without causing distress.

What if that hoarder was your nearly 7-year-old child. This is what we have to face on a daily basis. Along with his ADHD and traits of Aspergers Syndrome, J also has “Magpie Syndrome” and is a hoarder. He collects things that you and I would perceive to be rubbish. This means every few weeks I need to clear his room out, not only of the collected items but also to enable us to actually get into his room. Despite having the smallest room in the house, only managing his bed, a chest of drawers, a bedside cabinet and some drawers on wheels; his room takes the longest to clean.

I did the big clear out on Friday (22nd) whilst he was at school. It took me 5 hours from start to finish and I cleared out 2 black bags of rubbish, wrappers, broken toys, cut up bags/clothes/cables. Everything was put back in its place and his room looked fantastic (even if I do say so myself).

Unfortunately, it won’t stay this way for long. Within a few days (possibly a week at most) we will see things start appearing in his room, clothes thrown out of drawers, books off shelves and being unable to open the bedroom door due to the mess. So I’ll then have to spend another day tidying whilst he’s at school. I’m dreading the 6 week summer break.

Is your child a hoarder? How do you deal with the mess and trying to encourage them to not keep everything?

 

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Happy 1st Blog Birthday!!!

Today the Blog turns 1!!

I never thought a year ago when starting this blog that I would have done so much! There are many fabulous blogs and bloggers out there that I never thought for one moment that my blog would ever become anything other than a venting place. The fact that I have had many readers, comments and have been able to attend some fabulous blogger events makes me really grateful to each and every one of you that take the time to read!

I’m sorry I don’t have any competitions to run like a lot of the blogs have done, but I wanted to let you know that each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog means something to me, and I’m hoping that one day I can give some things back to you one day!!

Here’s to (hopefully) many more years blogging!!!

Mean Mummy

Yep, it’s true! I am one mean mummy…well if you asked my kids I am.

I feel like I am forever fighting a losing battle with clutter and mess and toys and I am at the end of my tether with it. So I have decided to get tough!!

For weeks I have been on at the children about keeping their rooms tidy and putting toys away that they get out. Did my continuous asking and moaning get me anywhere? Of course it didn’t. I would spend hours of my day tidying up after a 6.5 and 5-year-old who are more than capable of putting things back in their place only for everything to be pulled out within minutes and my pleas to tidy up falling on deaf ears.

Last weekend saw me at breaking point. I’m 5months pregnant, our house is cramped as it is with the 5 of us and a dog and a new little person is arriving in just a few small months. We need to do as much as we can to maximise the space we have for at least another year before we can move.

The children were asked to help tidy away and tidy their rooms for the umpteenth time, but as per usual their selective hearing kicked in and nothing got done. So mummy got mean!! I went out and brought storage boxes and packed up every single toy that belonged to the older 2 ready to store them in the garage. The only toys remaining in the house are those of A’s, who at 19 months old actually picks up after herself as well as taking her plates/bowls to the kitchen after she’s finished eating!

Has this method worked? So far it doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Do you think perhaps I’ve been too harsh on them? Considering they hardly get asked to do anything!

How do you encourage your kids to help put things away and help around the house?

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