The Other Mother

My son has another mother. There I said it. Well actually he HAD another mother. She lived long ago and she is no longer alive.

Shame, she sounded fun…

Took my son to loads of places, watched all the best films, owns the entire Julia Donaldson collection not just 95% of it. Lived in a castle, with a moat no less. Had another child as well; an older brother for my son. I don’t know much about him or if there was another parent around, but the mother? Yep I know a lot about her. Continue reading

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My Snap Happy Son

My three year old has discovered (and therefore I have just discovered) that one can take photos on one’s iPad without unlocking said iPad.

My son thinks this is amazing. I am indifferent and will always unlock my iPad to take a picture because I am essentially a technological relic.

Anyway scrolling through my gallery the other day led me to some shots that are cronkier, wonkier and more blurry than my usual ones…

Yet somehow these little gems are sweeter than any of my attempts – they are infused with a childish simplicity that makes me smile.

My son chooses to take pictures of things he loves in the house; the kitchen clock, the kitchen bin, his toys, his parents, his sister. His small world is getting bigger by the minute but for now this is his world – this is his happy.

And so, in what could be the most ill-conceived photo-blog post of all time, allow me to present the photographic gallery of my three year old:

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Breastfeeding Bites #6. Feeding in Public with Beta Mummy

Ah yes, the time has to come at some point where you leave the security of your post-partum bedroom hibernation and take your baby and your boobs OUT. Not out-out, that would be irresponsible surely, but just out – a cafe maybe; a lunch somewhere; a shopping expedition; the doctors perhaps; or, in the case of my first ever public feed, a cricket game… Continue reading

Make Do & Mend Parenting

My mother-in-law recently described my parenting as ‘free-spirited’…I’m pretty sure that’s not a world away from ‘your children are feral’…

Anyway I’ve been considering this and reminiscing about the last three years with my son while looking back at photos (lots of which were stored on here, so if you are a regular reader apologies for the pictorial recycling!).

Despite coming across as pretty organised in most other aspects of my life, these images have reminded me how much and how often we’ve muddled through in the last three years in a ‘make do and mend’ sort of fashion – my son makes do with his mother and I hope he doesn’t need any mending when he’s older… Continue reading

What’s Your Parenting Style?

What is my parenting style? What type of parent am I? It’s a question I have asked myself from time to time in the three years I’ve been a parent and I don’t really know. Labels don’t hold much sway with me and I don’t think I can definitively put myself in any one parenting box.

My husband and I are alert but laid back, impatient but patient: we follow some routines, we discipline, have rules, use a lot of the theories of gentle parenting and are awed at the sometimes sanity-saving techniques of playful parenting.

What I am coming to realise, however, is that this doesn’t make us parents without labels – instead we are covering ourselves with labels in an exuberant and scattergun fashion, like a toddler let loose with a sticker sheet…

So let me give you a flavour of just some of the ‘techniques’ that we use in what is actually a veritable pick and mix of parenting boxes:

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Ten Rules of London Etiquette

I used to make frequent visits to London pre-son – I worked there for a time so commuted daily to our fair capital and, following that, made regular trips to see friends, have jaunts and attend events.

Admittedly I’m a little out of practice, but overall I thought I had the whole ‘big city’ thing pretty well sorted. That is until this week – we took our son (nearly three) on his first proper trip to London to visit Big Ben and my eyes have been well and truly opened – I have been ‘doing’ London all wrong.

To save you from the same embarrassing mid-trip realisation I urge you to take heed readers – leave your quiet done-this-before nonchalance on the platform and take not another step in the Big Smoke without first complying with the following guidelines of London Etiquette:

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Creative Mothers Series – Beta Mummy

Welcome to the Creative Mothers series – a fortnightly series of guest blogs for people to reflect on the impact of parenthood on their experience of personal creativity. If you would like to take part with your thoughts, please take a look at the Creative Mothers page and do get in touch.

Over the last couple of months, I have giggled, chortled and laughed out loud (as the kids say, do they still say that!?) at the Adventures of Beta Mummy. I am delighted to welcome said Beta Mummy to the Creative Mothers series today as she slightly nervously steps out from behind her doodles to stand next to them and share with us her personal story of creativity.   

If this series has taught me anything (and actually it has taught me a lot!) it’s that creativity is diverse and can arise from almost any situation to bring a mostly positive effect on our lives and on our exploration of identity.

Happy events can spur us, personal illness can inspire us, the need to break a daily routine can encourage us, unexpected challenges can redirect us, and heartbreak? Well it’s time to hand over to Beta Mummy for that one…
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Don’t Think Just Do

I’m a certified over-thinker…I can overthink almost anything. Just on this little blog I’ve managed to overthink pregnancy, blogging, old age, and fancy dress to name just a few.

As adults we are always thinking all the time; thinking about what’s right and wrong, acceptable or not; thinking about what to have for tea, what we’re doing tomorrow, what we should be doing today. It can all get a bit exhausting. Even more so when you start to consider or, dare I say it, overthink when all this thinking started.

It is with great confidence that I can say it must be some time after toddler-hood. You see I have been observing my son (currently 2 years and 9 months old) and there is a definite lack of exhausting grey matter machination with him:
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Pregnancy Etiquette Guide

I’ve written before about unhelpful things people shouldn’t say to parents and now I’m moving on to the pre-stage. We all know pregnant people and so, in the manner of a public service information fact sheet, I thought I’d share with you a few little phrases (and the responses they may elicit if the person you’re talking to is unfiltered, grumpy and sarcastic) that you might like to avoid if faced with a ginormous, sallow-faced hulk of woman, ie. a pregnant woman who is clearly not blooming. Or, perhaps more accurately, a woman who already has young children who is now pregnant. Me.
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How To Explain Easter to a Toddler

This will be the third Easter I’ve spent with my two and a half year old son, the second one he is actively participating in. Last year we had family round and he unquestionably went with the flow, trailing round after his cousins in my inaugural Easter Egg hunt. This year everything has more meaning in his life, there are associations that need to be made with this holiday and inevitably there are questions…well one question in particular, ‘what is Easter Mummy?’. Continue reading