Thursday, 30 June 2011

Child Free Morning!

A friend had noticed from my facebook statuses (what is the plural of status?) that I was getting a bit stressed, that I was feeling the toll of being a Mummy 24 hours a day 7 days a week and that having moved so recently I didn't know who to turn to in order to get a break.  She didn't know me that well but she is a registered child minder and thought she would offer to take my wee one for 3 hours.  I jumped at the chance.

I thought it would be good for Naomi to learn that sometimes Mummy will go away but that she will always come back.  I knew it would be good for me to be able to sit down without watching Naomi or at the very least listening anxiously to the baby monitor as I try and shove another load of washing in the washing machine!

Well, this morning was my child free morning.  I was so excited, I needed it so much, I had a pile of sewing to do (a source of pleasure to me, not a stress) and I had a cup of tea with my name on it!  The thing is, though, this left me feeling somewhat guilty, about wanting time away from my wee one.  Was it right I needed some space that was all about me?

Yes!  I have only been away from Naomi a handful of times since she was born and most of those after bed-time.  I have been with her almost constantly for 5 months, you spend every waking moment with anyone for 5 months (they get to dictate what those waking hours are, too) and tell me you don't want some space from them.  My husband and I have never spent that long with no time apart and I love him unconditionally, why should my daughter be any different?

In the end, I feel great for be able to "forget" about being a Mum for a bit, and Naomi had an absolute blast playing with new toys and people.  Will I do it again? Absolutely! Will I feel guilty? Probably, but I'll get over it!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Sometimes in this day and age I think it can be a bit of a social faux pas to admit it, but I am not ashamed in the slightest to say that my husband and I are broke! We have just a little bit more money coming in over a month than we do going out, which is good, but we don't have any extra and we are living each month by using (then paying off) the credit card, rather than using "real" money.

The thing is, though, that I am okay with that.  Last night hubby and I came up with a plan of action and by wiping out our savings we can start living in the black rather than the red but for the foreseeable future we don't have any spare money floating around, slightly exacerbated, though not caused by a mistake on the part of HRMC which means we are having to pay extra money to the tax people every month.

Thing is though, apart from a stressed day a few nights ago we have not thought about sending me out to work, Naomi being 5 months old now, you might think we should but we have decided that I will be a stay at home Mum and we have decided that Naomi will have everything she needs but not necessarily all the extras that it seems to me that some people see as necessities.

It is important to me that Naomi realises that just having food in her belly and a roof over her head makes her amongst the most well off in the world, the fact that she also has clothes and toys and will have the chance of an education makes her incredibly rich.  It is important that she understands that money is precious and that it should be used responsibly and not just for ourselves.

I have only bought Naomi 3 items of clothes new, it was a 3 pack of vests as she had none in the right size and I was unable to get any in the charity shops.  Other than that every piece of clothing she owns is either a gift, a hand-me-down or a charity shop find (and even then she has very little that fits into this last category).

As for toys, she has many that were given to her and on top of that she has a rattle that I fashioned out of a spice jar and some rice and lentils!  As she gets older I will look out for things on Freecycle and for her birthdays and Christmases she shall receive second hand things because she does not need bigger things.

You might say we are mean, you might say that my husband and I should have saved "more" before we had a child and that we are irresponsible, but actually I see that our responsibility goes further than our immediate family and extends to those throughout the world (who include many people in this country) who do not even have enough to eat, and it is not for us to be extravagant, therefore, my short term inability to go for a coffee or buy some new jeans, is neither here nor there!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Radio Silence Ending!

So sorry for my radio silence this last week, I was just enjoying having my friend to stay far too much and then we were visiting family and before I knew it I had hardly posted anything in over a week!

So, while "normal" posting about various parenting issues will recommence tomorrow, I thought I would just do a wee post saying that I just cannot believe how much Naomi is progressing and changing just now!

She is discovering her feet at the moment, I love how much entertainment can be got from just lying on your back holding your toes! Tonight she found her right foot for the first time (she had the left one down a few days ago) and I loved the look of surprise on her face "What, you mean I've got one over here too!?"

I also love watching her take *everything* in, she can sit for ages just watching stuff, anything, although her favourite seems to be to watch me cook! But anything will do, a bit of clothing, another baby, a toy, anything!

She is eating well now, she knows what it means when the bib goes on and the pot of food is there, she waits in anticipation of the contents and so far we haven't really found anything she doesn't like, though broccoli is a definite favourite.

She is definitely growing as a result of all that food, I have just done another round of clearing out her clothes to get rid of the things that don't fit, I could swear it was only 5 minutes since I did that last!  I'm going to take her to baby weigh-in clinic in a couple of weeks, though I am expecting her to have put on a fair bit.

Even with her sleep she is learning all the time.  She is much better at settling when we put her down in the evenings now and although she still wakes often in the night it does seem to be getting a little easier to settle her then too.  She is starting to get the hang of napping too, with more and more worthwhile naps taking place in her cot (rather than the pram or the sling)

I already feel like my little girl is growing up to fast and she is only 5 months old! Can you imagine what I'll be like by the time she tries to go to university?!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

What would you ask for?

My best friend is staying at the moment (which is why the blog has been a little quieter than usual) she is down from Aberdeen for a little under a week and I LOVE having her here.  I love her being here because she is silly and I love having someone to be silly with.  I love her being here because she is Naomi's Godmother and I love seeing her be silly with Naomi too and I love having her here because she is the kind of person who I can tell to hang my washing on the line!

I am really finding it such a blessing and a help to have someone here, all the time (not just weekends and evenings, silly husband having a job!), that can help me with the little things that normally get forgotten about.  I am no longer drowning in a sea of clean washing, I have actually managed to put it all away!

My dishes have been done every day which has given hubby a break too, as that is normally his job.  This morning when I got up (late for the baby had a terrible night but then slept in a little) I found my friend cleaning my kitchen to an extent that I have not had the time to do for some time!

Today I exclaimed that it was a shame I hadn't got my nappies on the line, I was informed they were already there, I hadn't even noticed them go out.

This is not to forget all the times I have been able to go to the toilet without a baby in tow.  I am absolutely loving the number of cups of tea that have been brought to me while breastfeeding (or expressing, yes, this is the kind of friend where she can even see me pump!) and having an extra pair of hands has even allowed me to make a nutritious lunch each day as well as a dinner!

If someone came to your house for a week and you could tell them to do whatever you wanted, what would be your priority?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Owning up to being mad!

So, this is the main point of this blog, mainly because it isn't a big part of me any more, but I thought I would share with you some of the challenges of being a Mum with a history of serious mental ill-health.

I used to be very unwell, I used to be psychotic, I used to be depressed to the point of so many suicide attempts that I lost count long before I stopped and I also used to have periods of mania.  I spent much of my early 20s in a psychiatric ward, sometimes the doors were locked and I wasn't always there at my own choice.  For a very long time the only thing that kept me well(ish) was having drugs jabbed into my bum once a fortnight.  Perhaps controversially, though, I don't mind you knowing this, it is part of who I was (and to an extent am) and I think that the fear of people who are not completely mentally well comes from people being scared to talk openly about their experiences.

I longed for Naomi (well a child) all that time, I was desperate, my husband and I even tried for a baby for a while.  I am so pleased, though, that God didn't let it happen at that time, for I could barely look after myself, let alone another little baby.  I am pleased that God's grace allowed Him to deny me my greatest desire.

I did get better though, I received treatment in a Therapeutic Community and my life turned around.  I love life now, I no longer tolerate it!  I love my friends and family and I love growing in being a Mum and a child of God!

I still find some things challenging though, I have always struggled to keep my mental health good unless I get enough sleep, and (particularly recently) Naomi has been keeping me up a lot and so I have to make sure I catch up when I can and that I do other things to keep me healthy.  I need to make sure I get enough exercise (a challenge in itself with a small baby) and I need to make sure I eat sensible food and don't ALWAYS just reach for the chocolate bar when the day has proved difficult!

My OCDish ways also need to be negotiated, I wear odd socks, I do this because wearing matching socks would stress me out unless they matched EXACTLY, even having had one go through the washing machine an extra time and so be a slightly different shade, really makes me anxious and so I have made it part of my personality to wear odd socks.  All this to say, I can't let that affect the way I deal with Naomi and not just in her dress style, but also that when she gets older and wants to colour the man in the picture in blue, I will just need to let her, it will however cause me no end of anxiety!  As will her putting her books back on the shelf but not in alphabetical order!

The thing I am working through at the moment, is that as the mother of a 5 month old baby who doesn't sleep through the night and struggles to go back to sleep without having my boob put in her mouth, it is completely normal to have down days! The adrenaline of the first few weeks has gone, this is me settled into my new life and things are challenging.  Sometimes she cries, sometimes she refuses to eat even though she is hungry, sometimes she cries because she wanted that toy and I gave her a different one and often she cries when I leave the room (isn't her separation anxiety supposed to come at more like 9 months?), but having a down day isn't the same as being depressed.  i have to allow myself to feel rubbish without worrying that I am becoming ill, for that will only perpetuate the problem!

I love my little girl and I wouldn't not have her for the world, but my mental health had been stable for only about 2 years when she showed up, I took a big risk and I am pleased to report that, so far, we are all doing well :-)

Monday, 20 June 2011

And the winner is......

Congratulations to Elisha who has just been randomly selected as the winner of this week's nappy competition, I hope they will bring you much joy and happiness and keep many bottoms dry for a long time!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Disposable or washable?

I thought seeing as I have a competition running just now in order to win some nappies, I thought I should share with you my reasons for using washable nappies and the thought process that led my family to go down the washable route...

When I was pregnant with Naomi there were lots of things we had to make decisions about, one decision was about the kind of nappy to use. I am quite hot on environmental issues and the idea of using lots of disposable nappies didn't sit well with me and so it was from this point of view that I started to explore the idea of using cloth nappies.

At the time I started looking into this I lived in the North East of Scotland and with Naomi being due at the end of January, so drying lots of nappies on the line would not really be possible, I started to think about the environmental impact of using a tumble drier as much as would be necessary, everyone knows that babies produce a lot of washing, however you chose to deal with their rear ends! I'll be honest, I haven't looked properly into the energy it takes to make a disposable nappy but I came to the conclusion that I would rather use a bit more electricity rather than have lots of nappies sitting in landfill sites not decomposing and as it happens, we found ourselves moving to the Midlands before Naomi was born and as a result I am able to dry the nappies on my washing line most days.

Another consideration was to do with cost. Disposable nappies are obviously and ongoing cost where as cloth nappies are expensive to begin with, however you then (in theory) need never buy another nappy ever again! The advice we seemed to be able to find was that if planning a family with two children then cost would be about the same, with one, disposables would be cheaper and with three or more then cloth nappies would be the way to go. Sandy and I would love (all things going well to have 3 or 4 children) so there was a lot to be said, purely from a financial point of view of going down the cloth nappy route. As it happens though we had some friends who had a complete birth to potty set of nappies and they kindly gave these to us for nothing, so going down the cloth route has definitely been cheaper for us!

Let's be honest though, I'm not going to pretend that Naomi has never had a disposable nappy on her bottom! Everyone we knew who had made cloth nappies work had told us to use disposables for the first few weeks. Ignoring the fact that the yukky muconium from the first few poos would probably ruin your lovely nappies, it is just not fair on yourself to expect you to do anything that is more work than it has to be when you are dealing with a newborn baby with limited sleep! So Naomi wore disposables until she was three weeks old and also wore them for all of our two week holiday and has occasionally had them for a day if we have been travelling far from home.  We also increasingly use them at night time (she goes to bed in a washable which we change for a disposable if/when she wakes) as we found she was waking up often in the early hours of the night and we also found she was soaking through her nappy and sleeping bag every night.

I will definitely keep using cloth nappies and I hope to use them for any future children we have too, I love knowing my impact on the environment is less than it might otherwise be and I love knowing I don't need to keep money back in the budget for disposables, but I increasingly realise that with all things in parenting, being relaxed about your decisions and about the alternatives seems to be the best way to make sure it happens!

Friday, 17 June 2011

So grateful

Today I hold my little girl tight and I cry, they are tears of joy for what I have and tears of sadness for my friend who is today having a medical miscarriage because her baby will not be able to survive and will put her own health at risk.

I waited such a long time for my chance to be a Mum, but not because of infertility (which my friend also knows about, this is an IVF miracle baby) and not because of loss, I am very blessed to have fallen pregnant on my third cycle of trying and have carried my first ever baby to full term, my wait was because of my own illhealth.

Therefore I just can't imagine that pain, the suffering that must come with losing your child.

Today I just weep, for what my friend has lost and what I have gained even though I do not deserve it.

I thank God (quite, quite literally) for her and for all she is, even at 3am!

an older picture of Naomi, but still one of my favourites.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The things everybody assumes you know...

I remember a long time ago, before I was even pregnant with Naomi, sitting and chatting with one of my friends.  We were talking about the fact that because all my friends had babies they assumed that I knew things about pregnancy/giving birth/being a Mum that I just didn't.  She said, "oh yes, I remember I found out about the post-pregnancy bleeding that way, I was already pregnant but I wasn't sure I wanted to be any more".  My face fell.  "Post-pregnancy bleed? What bleed?"

This was my first major introduction to the topic of things everyone assumes that all (want to be) pregnant people and new mums know.  I didn't know about the bleed (which in my case lasted 9 weeks!!) and I didn't know that it was quite normal to throw up in labour and I didn't know that it was quite normal to be constipated for most of your pregnancy and then much of the first few weeks after birth.

My biggest complaint at the moment, though, is that I didn't know about the hair loss!!!

I washed my hair this morning, after this I brushed it, here is a before and after shot of my hair brush.

I now realise that this is just what happens at the end of being pregnant, you lose all the hair you didn't lose for those 9 months and so it isn't unreasonable - but my whole house and baby and self is covered in hair that I am losing.  I'm not sure how I haven't gone bald yet! How much longer can this last for?!

And always, in the back of my mind, I am wondering, what else don't I know about?!

Wordless Wednesday

Naomi's first ever painting!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Breastfeeding in public

If you are a Mum with a blog on parenting, you eventually need to do a post on the topic of breastfeeding in public, so here is my (first)attempt on the subject.

I chose to breastfeed my daughter for many reasons and although it was quite far down the list, one of the reasons was that I wouldn't need to make up bottles/warm bottles and that particularly when we were out and about I wouldn't need to think about it in advance, my boobs would just be there! What? I hear you cry, but being able to breastfeed in public was one of the things that attracted me to the idea.  It just seems easier to me.

Naomi has a picnic in the park

That said, there are a few things to think about when you are getting ready to actually *do* the feeding.

Now, I am quite happy to argue that during a feed my breast is not a sexual thing at all, it is an implement by which my daughter gets food, that said, I don't really want everyone looking at my boobs and many people don't want to look at them either (and I don't blame them!) so I have had to find ways of being subtle about getting my boobs out.  To begin with I though I would use a booby tent (as I like to call them) (link only given to show you what I mean!) and I was given one by a friend, but when it came down to it I just got myself in a muddle if I tried to use it.  I often ended up exposing more of myself in attempt to get the baby under it, my boob out and in her mouth! Although I know lots of people who swear by these things.

My next thought was to use a muslin or something similar, just get the baby on the boob and quickly cover her (and more to the point me) up, but she did not approve of this plan, when she was younger she wanted to be able to see me and now she is older she wants to be able to see everything (although I sometimes use a muslin now to attempt to reduce distractions) and so would wriggle around and pull at the muslin till it was gone, again only drawing attention to my semi nakedness!

Eventually we have come up with a compromise, I didn't want to be one of those Mums who just gets their whole boob out and to hell with what anyone else thinks, I find that slightly passive-aggressive, yet  am not ashamed of breastfeeding my little girl and I do think it is one of the most natural things in the world.  So we have developed (through practice) and technique that involves pulling my jumper down over my boob (although with the nipple still accessible) and then letting Naomi's head provide a screen to the rest of the world, I have looked at my reflection in shop windows and think that although it is very obvious I am feeding there is nothing to see at all, most girls in a skimpy top show off far more than I am.

There have been one or two major disasters, most notably the day that for some reason I became completely confused as to how to work my clothes (let's put it down to baby brain) and before I knew it my whole boob was out and the baby was nowhere near it.  One poor lady turned round and caught a glimpse before turning away, she apologised.  I told her not to worry as it wasn't her fault that I had got half naked in my town's shopping centre!

By and by this works though.  I am very fortunate not to have experienced some of the issues that others report with people giving them a hard time or asking them to move on.  This brings me to the reason I started this post, a few days ago I was sitting on a bench in town feeding Naomi and using my spare hand to turn her buggy round into a pram so she could sleep and making a bit of a pigs ear of it.  A lady walked past and then came back to me, "I just want to say..." Oh No! I thought, this is it, and I can't even go anywhere because Naomi was in the middle of what seemed to be a terribly satisfying feed! Anyway, random lady continued "...I am so proud of you for breastfeeding".  She told me how she had fed all three of hers for at least a year and it made her sad that so many people used formula and then she went on her way.  It is quite random to think that someone would come up to me and tell me they are proud of me, but I guess I quite liked it!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Nappy Competition

So, I am very excited, here is the first ever giveaway on this blog!  I have been lucky enough to be able to use washable nappies without the upfront cost as a friend generously donated me her system, this is your opportunity to have the same opportunity but by winning a brand new system, that contains enough nappies that you could make it from birth to potty without ever needing to buy another nappy!  Imagine the saving, and imagine the benefit to the environment!

This amazing prize comes from my friends at Nature Babies who sell very lovely washable nappies of many types along with all the "stuff" you could ever need to go with them.  The sell wraps, nappies, pins and even (and a pack of these are included in the prize) vest extenders, to help those vests last for longer even though there is extra bulk underneath them.

So, what does the prize include, I hear you ask! You get 24 prefold inserts: enough to keep even the most nappy intensive baby going strong and 3 Essential One Size wraps that will suit any baby and should see them right from birth to being toilet trained! Also a pack of 3 vest extenders, which do exactly as they suggest!

To win this amazing prize:
  • Leave a comment below telling me which is your favourite print for the Essential One Size Wraps making sure I have a way to get in touch with you (an email address or twitter name)
One extra entry is gained for each of the following
  1. Follow me on twitter (@tryingtobeamum)
  2. "Like" the Nature Babies facebook group (and leave a comment so I know you have)
  3. Tweet the following "I really want to win a birth to potty nappy system from @tryingtobeamum and her blog"
T&C - all entries must be recived by noon on Monday 20th June and the winner will be drawn by an independent person and announced on this blog by noon on Tuesday 21st June.  The prize will only be mailed to a UK address.  The nappy wraps may differ from those shown.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Top Seven Favourite Toys

In the final installment of Top Sevens, I give you Naomi's favourite toys, this time they are ordered and we will start in "last" place

7.  Mummy's hands, in particular when they do the actions to twinkle twinkle

6.  The mobile above her cot (that counts as a toy, right?)

5.  Her play mat with the dangly things, most of all the spider that you can pull and then moves away from you again

4.  Books, any book, she will spend ages just turning the pages

3.  "Bunny" - it is one of these comforter things, though we often use this one to sing sleeping bunnies, she loves when that bunny hops

2.  "Anonymous Bear" a beautiful bear from Mamas and Papas

1.  "Brian the Butterfly", known to everyone else as Freddy the Firefly, this must be the most pumbled, eaten, crumpled, loved toy she has!

Seven things Naomi has learned

Continuing our series we have the penultimate installment with seven things that Naomi has learned (don't forget she isn't even 20 weeks old yet!)

1.  That "talking" to Mummy and Daddy gets you just as much attention as crying!

2.  To roll over (though this one has not been mastered)

3.  That her hands exist (this was a particularly cute phase to watch her through)

4.  How to turn the page of a book

5.  How to put a spoon in her mouth

6.  How to laugh (adorable!)

7.  How to crane her neck so she can see the TV from anywhere in the room!

Drop in tomorrow for the last in this series!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Top Seven Ways to get my child to sleep

The fifth installment in my "Seven top Sevens".  Today we concentrate on methods of getting Naomi to nap/sleep!

1.  Rocking

2.  Singing

3.  Going for a walk in the pram

4.  Going for a drive in the car (although my one needs to be knackered to get this to work, would normally be more useful for getting her to cry!!)

5.  Putting her in our Close baby carrier

6.  Praying - hard!

7.  Getting hubby to do all of the above!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Top Seven of Naomi's favourite foods

1.  Apple

2.  Sweet Potato

3.  Carrot

4.  Banana

5.  whatever toy she has in her hand at that moment

6.  Her clothes or any bit of material/muslin is lying near her

7.  Breastmilk!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Top Seven Photos

My Wordless Wednesday for this week has 7 of my favourite photos of Naomi, continuing my series for this week

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Top Seven things I love about being a Mum

Continuing with my week of top sevens we have things I love about being a Mum

1.  This is what I have always wanted to be and now I am one!

2.  Naomi's laughing and smiling can make everything better

3.  Parent and child spaces at the supermarket

4.  A reason to still be in my pyjamas at 3pm

5.  Meeting lots of wonderful people through the groups and activities we attend

6.  The playing I get to do every day

7.  Seeing as I am still breastfeeding an excuse to eat biscuits as much as I want!

Monday, 6 June 2011

7 Top Sevens

This week I am going to post 7 "Top Sevens" about myself starting with the top seven things that make me realise how things have changed since I became a parent

1.  When I was on holiday with family I got a cold, instead of being upset I was ill on holiday I was overjoyed there were people to help me!

2.  I can't remember the last time I missed the beginning of "Saturday Kitchen" on the BBC - I used to sometimes miss the end of that show!

3.  Washing my hair is now something I add to my days list of achievements, before it was just something I did!

4.  I often go into town with the baby so she can nap in the buggy, I often make it into town before the bank opens!

5.  Sleeping in till 8am now feels like an amazing treat.

6.  I can tell you where every dropped kerb in my town is and I can tell you how to get into town without having to go through the market because who would want to take a buggy to the market?

7.  I now know what it is to look at your child and feel hopelessly in love, despite the pooing and the crying and the lack of sleeping!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Fathers' Day

First, because grammar (although I don't always get it right) matters to me, I am never sure whether it should be Father's or Fathers' day, is it the day of your father or the day of many fathers? I tend to go with Fathers' Day but if you happen to know which is correct I would be fascinated to find out!

Anyway, here in the UK it will be Fathers' Day in just a little over a fortnight.  It will be my husband's first fathers' day since becoming a Daddy.  I have organised a gift for him (I shan't say what it is in case he stumbles onto my blog!) and today Naomi "helped" me buy a card for him by looking at all the possibilities before I picked the one that made her cry the least (it has been a long day!).

It got me thinking though, when it was Mothers' Day a few weeks back it was so important to me that my husband not forget that I got his sister to remind him to get something!  Generally though, I think Daddies are pretty good at remembering, and generally fuss is made over Mums.  At my church we had a cream tea for all the ladies with homemade scones for all who came to the service that day, served to them, of course, by the men.  We spoke out loud of all the things that we loved about our Mummies and the children's activities resulted in a gift for their Mum to take home.

Will the same be done for Daddies though?  it is my opinion that they tend to get a bit of a raw deal here.  Yes Fathers' Day (and Mothers' Day) are hugely commercial and really only kept going by people who make and sell cards, but why shouldn't we make a fuss over the Dads and dad-figures in our lives?  Without my husband, Naomi would have no toy box, no shelves and come to thnk of it no cot.  Without my husband Naomi wouldn't have learned that one of her favourite foods is broccoli as I was going to save that for when she was "older" and without my husband Naomi would know nothing of the amazing fun that can be had in the bath, as for me it is more a process of function rather than play.

Without my Daddy I wouldn't know of God and how much He loves me.  Without my Daddy I would know nothing of working hard for what you have and without my Daddy I wouldn't know what it mean to keep going, no matter what because there are good times ahead.

So, are you doing anything for your Dad or your children's dads this Fathers' Day? Go on, you know you want to!

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos

Friday, 3 June 2011

To Cry or Not to Cry?

That is the question.

Naomi's night's continue to be unsettled, though she has gone back to waking only once or twice a night, which for her age is pretty good, it just feels horrific because she gave us 3 or 4 weeks of sleeping through the night which led us into a place of false security.

On top of that she seems to be taking longer to settle at nights.  We normally feed to sleep and then put her down, sometimes she wakes during the transfer but a quick bounce from her mummy sees her back to sleep and off we go.  Recently though she has been waking up during the transfer and then needing bounced/rocked/sung to for 30 minutes or so before she goes down.  Last night it took 2 hours! This saw her Dad and I sitting down for a few minutes before 10pm came round and exhausted we went off to bed!

This then brought up the subject of controlled crying and more to the point should we or shouldn't we.  My husband and I are probably both of the opinion that it will need to happen at some point, though I am more inclined to say she is too little now.  What, though, are the alternatives.  We can continue to bounce her as much as she needs which may drive us to the point of distraction, though might preserve our sanity by saving us from the tears.  Is there anything else, though?

I got quite annoyed yesterday having had a moan about things then having lots of people tell me how they got their little ones to sleep but no-one taking into account that Naomi is her own wee self and not a carbon copy of their babies.  People told me to have a routine, this annoyed me because we have one.  People told me to keep her up in the day, despite the fact that not napping got us into a terrible pickle with crying for hours on end for other reasons.  People told me to do controlled crying straight away and others told me to wait.

I get annoyed not because people offer me advice, however, but because there seems to be so much conflicting advice and even evidence, and no clear answers whatsoever.  My husband and I are exhausted and we need to get this sorted and yet no one is even able let alone willing to help us with anything definitive.

Did/do you do controlled crying? What age was your wee one when you did? How do you preserve your sanity throughout the months of sleep deprivation?

Image courtesy of

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Feeling Ill as a mother

We all know that Mums aren't allowed to stop, they must keep going, keep producing milk (and dinner and a clean house) and keep taking us to our various groups and appointments no matter what.

Well, the time I find this hardest is perhaps not the most obvious.  It obviously isn't when I have loads of energy and have had a good nights sleep, but neither is it when I feel *really* ill or when I've had 3 hours sleep in the last 48 hours.  The times I find it hardest are when I am just a little bit ill.

Like now.  I have a cold, it isn't much to write home about and in fact may even be hayfever (although I think I have a fever, regardless of what my thermometer says, and so I have upgraded it to "cold").  I find it hard because if I was exhausted or really ill I would probably get a burst of adrenalin from somewhere and that would see me through.

My body seems to think the best course of action for this ill, however, is to go to bed and sleep.  I agree.  If only I could persuade Naomi to co-operate!

So, how do you cope when you are ill, how do you keep going and how do you get the rest you need?