29 April 2007

Nursing strike ended?

So Morgan is feeding OK again anyhows. She’s back up to every three hours anyway I think, or perhaps more like every five hours sometimes lol, I can’t even clock watch when I try to! I have got so used to being laid back with her that when I tried yesterday to spend the day just focussed on feeding her and nothing else I couldn’t even remember the gaps or the feed lengths when I wanted to.

I really think I can stop worrying anyway. We are fine. Also we had almost stopped EC and now we’ve got a few more catches and a bit more nappyless time, I’m seeing that she isn’t dehydrated! Her poo is back from thin and dark to thick and mustardy, and she’s going to the potty almost hourly in the mornings. Phew!

My hoover is broken still, and I’m fed up with walking round to borrow EJ’s. Not that we can do anything else though, even now we have been paid – other stuff needs doing first, sadly. Ah well, at least we have a lovely weekend planned and finally Martin has some time off.

27 April 2007

Thoughts on diplomacy and babies being noisy

There is this thing about the volume of noise your baby produces. It goes direct to your ears in a way that no-one else’s children do… This is how, I suspect, I could come home thinking that Morgan had been a little sod today when everyone else commented on how quiet she is…

Anyway, my Children First training is now over. I am very glad I don’t have to redo that two day course. Very glad indeed. It was kind of held over me that if Morgan wasn’t “good” I’d have to do the training another time, so I was ultra stressed.

I’ve also been a little stressed about being online. I don’t know quite what to do about it. I just keep either getting into rows or sitting on my hands feeling I can’t actually say what I feel on any given matter or I’ll upset someone. Maybe my diplomacy is going downhill. Or maybe society is. ;)

It comes down to this. I’m not afraid of being judged. I’m not afraid of hurting people. I’m afraid of a contorted mixture of both of those – I am truly hurt and afraid by the idea that I am appearing to judge other people.

25 April 2007

More peer support course, random thoughts

BAMBI day again, I’m really enjoying the group and it does bring home to me every week how much I’ve learnt from Ivillage. Not just about breastfeeding, but about supporting people and talking about something you care about without belittling other options. I explained how I feel about “mother guilt” and how to help people view it objectively rather than letting it control you, it clicked for me even more.

I wish I could take back some of the things that have happened in my life, but it is making sense more and more these days that I can and should put the past where it belongs. Even the choices we’re still having to live with the consequences of, they were made with every ounce of me. They were made with all of the best of me. And even if I would choose differently now, I’m so grateful for the knowledge that I *am* choosing. Every day. Every moment.

Jenna has had her hair up today, for the first time – she has enough of it now. She is just the cutest thing with her little pigtails. I put mine up too and she was very impressed with it, she kept on saying, “oooh, look at YOU mummy!” :)

Anyhows, domestic boring stuff. All of it done in love and with a smile. I wish I had gotten more sleep this week but at least sleep is the norm around here. Lucky happy me.

24 April 2007

Still not sure about nursing but feeling generally good

Today I took another sling demo, for the local Teen Mum group. It felt a little intimidating to start with, as I wasn’t sure how to approach it with them – but more because of the ages of their babies than their ages themselves! It turned out really well though, they weren’t as hostile as I’d been led to expect, it probably helped that they knew I’d had Jenna young as well and wasn’t there to talk down to them.

They were a lovely lot of ladies, and I kind of wish I’d had something like that back when. I missed out on such a lot of support being all self-sufficient, when really I knew what I was doing as little as anyone else with their firstborn! I really didn’t know how to ask for help, and that pride could have cost me my ability to breastfeed. I was so lucky. I am so lucky. I don’t know why I don’t think that more often!

I worried a little today about using Morgan as a model; I don’t know how I feel yet about dragging her around and putting her on display. It feels like pressure, on her, to be a “good advert” for gentle parenting.

And I hate that, that pushiness, that makes me want to look like I’m doing OK. I KNOW I’m doing OK. I shouldn’t be trying to prove it. But then if I’m trying to say, “this is something good I’ve found, you might like it too,” then don’t I have to be confident that it IS a good thing? I suppose I do… But I don’t want to put pressure on Morgan to be somehow special because of the slings (or whatever) because she’s already special just for being her. I should know better than anyone that it’s as much about temperament!

She did make a good advert for breastfeeding today though – I’d also been warned that none of the parents in today’s group had breastfed and might be openly curious, defensive, or even possibly rude, if I fed in front of them. Well I ended up feeding Morgan in the sling for a while because she was getting fussy, and they didn’t realise! It was only when I said I’d better just dress myself (as I took her out) that someone said, “OMG! You were NEVER breastfeeding her in there?! I didn’t realise you’d done it!” After that they all kept saying how good the slings are for feeding without anyone seeing.

I must have been told allll day that Morgan is SO calm, and SO happy, and SO contented, and SO advanced. My ego feels rather good about how we came across. If only I could blame it all on being such a great parent LOL.

One thing that has really come home to me as well though is that I DON’T WANT a “good baby”. It’s scaring me half to death that Morgan is feeding so little, and it is making me miserable that she is fussing in my arms and wanting to spend so much time lying on the floor.

23 April 2007

First thoughts on a really objectionable blog posting

I'll actually update the diary some time soon, I have some entries to post but they are widely spaced. I just got a little wound up today and I have to post something about it (here where nobody will get upset about it lol).


I don’t agree. Now get me straight here, I agree that the Mummy Wars are a bad thing, and that women should trust their instincts. I just don’t believe that the choices we make don’t matter, that there isn’t a right or a wrong, or that there should be no such thing as current research!

I believe firmly that there IS a right way and a wrong way, not in its entirety for every family, but there nevertheless. I believe that there are also right and wrong motivations – and indeed that to outdo someone or prove that you are a Good or Better Mummy is a bad motivation. But not that it’s worth giving up on trying to be a better parent in case you somehow are being smug or letting the side down by admitting that you know damn well what bad parenting looks like.

There is, I agree, no such thing as a Bad Mother. Even the examples given in the article are not Bad Mothers. How dare you point the finger and say that an abused woman in fear of her life should bear the label GUILTY for not protecting her children – what bloody protection was given to her? And as for the hypothetical woman who breaks a child’s arm, yeah sure that is abuse but its hardly bad parenting, it is just plain bad!

There is no such thing as a Good Mother any more than there is such a thing as a Good Person. None of us are either. We are all just mothers, just people, just muddling along in the Grey Area that is life on Earth.

But there IS such a thing as bad choices, as bad parenting, as wrong actions. I know because I make them, I know because I see humanity around me, getting it wrong sometimes but still being noble and good people, REAL people. Being a good person (and I don’t see how any of us have the right to say that anyone is a bad person because we only see the choices, not the heart) does not mean being perfect. It doesn’t mean measuring up to anyone else. But it does mean making a choice – and making the best one for your children with the information you can gather.

Current research will change; it will get closer and closer to the truth. Because truth is not a subjective standard, it is real. Please, I see that we are trying not to hurt anyone by imposing our personal standards upon each other without acceptance that we have all made our own informed choices. That is all well and good. But let’s not try to kid ourselves that this article is attempting to deny those standards altogether – don’t allow clever and pleasant-sounding doubletalk to remove the facts.

We all have the right to our own personal way of doing things, but we should be spending our energies trying to find the best possible personal way of doing things. Not settling for “good enough” just because it isn’t nice to admit that we can do better. Especially where “good enough” means “I didn’t kill or rape my children, therefore I am a Good Mother.” WHAT?

Off my soapbox now. ;)

Busy worries and nursing strike

Our lives are still crazy, we have done so much this month we’ve not even made it to soft play or the library on our usual days. I’m feeling very low and I hope it isn’t affecting my girls too much. I just don’t want to give up and…

What if I’m overreaching myself? What if I can’t do all this stuff and hold my family together at the same time? What if I can’t even manage to do the basic stuff (ie feeding us all)? Where am I if this is the end of Morgan breastfeeding and it’s all my fault she couldn’t carry on? Can I live with myself for doing that to her if I put all this “other people” stuff ahead of her nursing?

19 April 2007

Breastfeeding aaaarrrrgggghhh

Morgan and I were at a Children First training course today and now I have a stress headache. She is feeding very infrequently, messing about at the breast, and chewing her hands. She must be teething but I’m starting to worry that she’s getting dehydrated in this heat. :(

18 April 2007

How much Jenna loves Morgan

I had a funny, scary, lovely talk with Jenna this morning. She saw something in my Green Parent, “a Earth Pool!!” And she talked about when Morgan was born, “and the baby was all wrapped up in a towel, and she was all small.” She says that soon Morgan will be big, and then “she can share my toys and then she will walk and I can pick her up to press the button on the green man”. My heart melts.

But wait, there is more.
Jenna: “Is there a baby in your tummy now?”
Me: “No.”
Jenna: “But there will be soon?”
Me: “No, not soon, maybe one day.”
Jenna: “I want another baby, because Morgan is getting big now.”Me: “So we need another baby?”
Jenna: “Yes. Another sister like Morgan.”

Rofl, she is the best. :)

Today we had a meet at Bumpi’s – Ivillage Teen Mums. Just a few of us. It was fab to see Kim and Jack again, I can’t believe how grown up he is now. All of those tiny babies are just so scarily big all of a sudden. It brings it all back to me how much of Jenna’s life I have just sped through!

17 April 2007

Not sure post

I’m really having a bad run of shouty days, I don’t know how to break the cycle. Morgan fusses, I get frustrated, Jenna does something normal and silly and not at all naughty and I blow up. I just feel so distant from them both, I don’t know where it has come from.

Martin and I are closer than we have been in months on the other hand – I think I’m just clinging to whatever makes me feel safe, running for cover and trying to ride out the storm of emotions. I’m so glad he’s here.

16 April 2007

General Morgan and Chicken updates

Morgan is doing well at the crawling thing, though she goes backwards half of the time still! She also seems finally to be calming down and nursing more normally – but boy has the garden fallen behind while she’s been having this last growth spurt, I have so many jobs to do! Also she is only sleeping at night, and not napping apart from at the breast. It’s a lot of fun playing all day (with both of them) but it’s hard work doing anything else.

Those chooks keep on escaping over the fence too, stupid fat lovely egg-producing birdies. They obviously think that next door has a particularly succulent type of spider living on their side, they just want to get onto that decking and gorge themselves, it’s so tempting! Thankfully Nicky doesn’t seem that bothered by them, but I still don’t want it to carry on as nobody else should have to clean up after my pets. They are under house arrest until we can raise the height of the fence.

I’m really sick of waiting til the end of the month. Money plays much too big a part of our lives. :(

10 April 2007

Getting around to posting these!

Another day another entry. I really must post these up – I’m not avoiding IVillage, I’m just so busy I’m barely managing to type in everything I think I need to remember during each day. I read some back a few days ago and cried – the time slips away and slips away and I’m left with different children by the end of just a single week. And all the details you forget, they are precious jewels.

Jenna is asking for Martin a lot today, which makes me rather sad for her but also rather selfishly sad for me. I don’t get a lot of time to myself – and normally I don’t really want it but… It’s the theory of biscuits again (if you eat one you want the whole packet) because I had a night out last night and I’m feeling a little cooped up today.

I went out for Salsa classes, and I don’t think anyone else would have thought I was having a night off! I took Morgan along and danced with her in the sling which was quite some workout. Very good fun, totally crazy, and such a break from having two with me lol. I don’t have to watch Morgan and she sleeps in the sling so it was almost like not having kids again (only heavier).
I totally know that I’d get tired and touched out more often trying to gently parent and live responsively without the wraps.

Now I must away, and do something with Jenna before she succeeds in posting that handful of loose change somewhere interesting – she has already rejected a narrow-necked vase as a proposition and she’s trying the radiator. *sigh* Unschooling math/spatial awareness lessons anyone? ;)

9 April 2007

More good days

Well Martin goes back to work again tomorrow and I’m not at all nervous about it. I’m not keen to get rid of him but I… I’m still so happy. This diary is full of either me moaning or singing, I’m so bipolar lol. Well today we have been mostly relaxing with EJ and Chloe. Aiden is ill so he stayed home with the newly-out-of-work-again Dougie.

We have been swimming, and for fast food (again… must stop feeding Jenna crap). And then had an afternoon here with the girls throwing soil at each other in my garden. Very relaxing. Actually it was nicer than it sounds, and I’m not totally stressed!

7 April 2007

General updates and how to move forward

Last night was wonderful. Jenna joined in the scripture study with her little sweet funny ideas, and the food was pretty good too if I say so myself. It was especially special having Emma and Chris here. It always feels right having them be part of our family even if they live so far away now most of the time. Jenna woke them early this morning jumping on their bed…

She seems to be waking before she is ready a lot at the moment, it’s hard to know what to do. I think I need to start making her take naps but… All I can think is that maybe daylight savings messed up her body clock because she’s sleeping normal hours (8 til 8 mostly) but she just wakes up so tired.

I’m dealing OK with the moaning though, normally that really tries my patience. I do love being here with the two of them. I find I’m more patient with Jenna and talk more to her because I have to – it’s just us and I have nobody to fall back on or to use as an excuse when I handle things badly. It’s still going really nicely.

And Morgan has had two days without nappies at all. She has worn a couple and had them taken off dry. And overnight I’ve been pottying her too – but I’m more nervous about that after cracking her shins on the sink a couple of nights ago in the dark, poor mite.

6 April 2007

Early celebration for Passover

Money! I would love to be able to not be preoccupied with it! But yay, we actually have some. Martin got a final benefit payment and a back to work incentive (that we didn’t even know about until we were paid it – some incentive!). *phew*

Since yesterday Morgan has been crawling, which I am so blown away by. It isn’t something I was really looking for and I kind of don’t want it to be so soon in a way (still mourning her newborn status) but… She’s just so strong and so determined. I’m very proud of her going round in little circles to the left.

This morning we’ve been to soft play for Chloe’s birthday. They played very nicely so it was far less stressful than I expected – not to mention that it was totally empty, everyone else must have been out in the sunshine on this Good Friday holiday day! It was great to have Martin back for a while too lol, but (don’t tell him I said this) it makes it harder to discipline Jenna because we get in each others’ way.

Walking with Jenna is so funny these days, she has her little imaginary friends all the time and keeps up a running commentary to them about everything. I ask her to hold my hand and she says she can’t because her friend is sitting on it. I love it.

Tonight we’ve planned our Seder meal. It’s a week early but I want Jenna to make the connection since Good Friday is the Passover celebration of the Anglican calendar. I don’t want the two to get too separated so I think we’ll do it this way as un-traditional as it may be.

4 April 2007

How things are being three girls together

So, I bet you’re wondering how I’m surviving as a REAL stay at home mum now then? Well it’s great! I’m doing far better than I expected and it’s still giving me a real kick doing it myself – knowing that I actually really can take care of them. I’m not just surviving, I’m having fun, I’m doing jobs, I’m keeping up with myself. ;)

Martin’s job is great, he comes home so happy and full of life. It’s the happiest at work he has ever been as long as we’ve been together. I’m overjoyed for him, and I really hope he carries on finding it this much fun. I never wanted him to be providing to us at such great cost to himself but now he finally actually wants to get out of the door in the morning it’s so different.