Sunday, 31 July 2011

Please go to sleep

I’m shattered.  It took me an hour and twenty minutes to get Bubble to sleep.   It’s times like these I feel the frustration of my choices on my parenting of her.  I read all those books.  I made a ‘plan’.  But I chucked those books and that ‘plan’ out the window after one week.   I nurse her to sleep and she sleeps in my bed.  Two cardinal sins apparently.  When discussing having a second child with one of my longest standing friends, she reassured me that I wouldn’t make these mistakes again and I felt offended. (She meant well – I was offended by the comment not by her) I may not have set out to co-sleep or comfort nurse my daughter but I sure as hell don’t consider them mistakes.  I am not in any way hurting Bubble and, in hindsight, I would choose the same again.

I do however accept there are downsides to these particular parenting choices.  This evening is one such downside.  She would not fall asleep.  I lay next to her whilst she rolled about, popping on and off the breast as she chose.  I would breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, internally chanting ‘patience, patience, patience’.  It helped that on occasion she would pause to look at me, grin and crawl over to put her little chubby arm around my neck, press her soft forehead to mine and babble ‘’Mamumumum’’. 

I adore this child.  She did eventually fall asleep.  I came downstairs, frustration and adoration mixing up my head.  I resent the loss of my own time.  I love that she is such a content and happy child.  Her mother is with her when she settles into slumber and is there when she awakes.  Still, this time won’t last forever.  I understand that there will come a time when she can’t stand the sight of me and I dread it. 
Just watching Juno.  What a great wee film.  Cracking soundtrack.  It has taken me three times as long to write this post as a result of watching Juno.  I am mainly into sci-fi and fantasy (LOTR style fantasy) but sometimes there’s a book or a film that just can’t be knocked.  Juno is one such film.  An excellently written script.

My husband just called on the phone.  He’s en route back to Scotland for work.  I told him what I was doing and he asked me what it was I blog about.  And do you know, I could not answer him cos I have no idea what I blog about.  I guess I’m just going to keep going and let Number Five find its own personality.  I suppose it’s a little like my parenting – I’m going to go with my instinct and let Bubble develop as naturally as possible.  If she isn’t ready to come off the breast, then I’m not going to force her.  Even if it takes me nearly an hour and a half of my precious time to get her to sleep.

She’s worth it.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Post Number 9

Hooray! I've smashed my blogging record of 6 posts!  I really think I could be in with a chance at this whole blogging thing this time...

I am currently sitting at home luxuriating in a little QT all to myself.  Wad has taken Bubble out for the afternoon and left me in a house of peace, the only sounds being the birds outside and the breeze rustling the trees.  Interrupted of course by the odd bark of one of my two hounds (they like to remind the surrounding countryside that they're big and tough every now and then).  I've been really looking forward to this today, to give me a chance to write up my next post without fear of any interruption.  A real stretch of time to fully concentrate on witty banter and some meaningful gems of wisdom.  So what do I have to talk about? Nothing. Zip. Nada. Squat.  I have a complete mental blank.  Maybe I should compile a list of topics in advance and then pick one before I am due to write up a post... oh this is hopeless - what a load of twaddle I'm writing here! I'll come back to it later...

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I've been to many places...

I have been to many places but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently you can't go there alone; you have to be in Cahoots with someone. I've never been in Cognito either. I hear no-one recognises you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport - you have to be driven there. I have made several trips thanks to my family.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dear can't be serious!!

Found a 'debate' on breastfeeding from another blog (Milkbug).

It's appearance has timed nicely with my earlier rant.

Grrrr. Click here.

What is your problem?!

No really, WHAT is your effin' problem?!? I thought to myself whilst nursing my daughter in a discreet corner of our local doctor's surgery today.  Not discreet enough apparently, for the woman sitting lengthways from me, with a face on her like a slapped arse.  You'd think I'd farted.  But no, all I was doing was breastfeeding my 15 month old baby. 

Did I mention said woman was sitting beneath a 'You are welcome to breastfeed here' sign?  The irony.

Bubble has had a temperature for 3 days so this morning I got her an appointment to get checked out at our doctor's.  She has been completely out of sorts, will not eat much of anything and is 50/50 on whether she'll drink something so I went back to nursing her on demand as the weather here has been glorious these past couple of days (amazing I know...sun in NI).  Why would good weather encourage you to BF?  I hear you wonder.  Dehydration, I'd respond.

You see,  when my daughter has a fall or is hurt or upset, she wants the breast as comfort.  She is unwell at the moment (turned out to be an ear infection) and so doesn't understand why she feels so awful.  A quiet breastfeed helps to soothe her and comfort her.  It also guarantees that Bubble is being kept hydrated in the hot weather AND getting some form of nutrition when she doesn't feel like eating.  All in all, it helps her combat any illness she's struck with.

I'd say that's fairly logical so WHY do some people have an issue with what is an entirely natural (and sensible) thing to do for your child?

It ASTOUNDS me that it's women who give me the most grief for still breastfeeding.  I have been attending a BF Support group locally but I no longer feel comfortable going because it is clear that the women there are uncomfortable with the idea of nursing a child as old as my daughter.

Why are people so offended by it?  I lay the blame entirely on the sexualisation of women's breasts in Western society.  I have been accused in the past of 'enjoying' breastfeeding.  Of course I enjoy it!!  It wouldn't make sense to not enjoy it!!  But that's not what they mean... they mean I'm getting some kind of sexual kick from it.  What bullshit.  Get a grip.  Get informed. 

I'm fed up being looked at the way I was looked at in the surgery today. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Warning... Melancholia Alert!

Today I have no trouble thinking of what to write about.  Today I have a topic that has been on my mind all day.   This topic is in my thoughts nearly every day... when I daydream about bigger and better things, this is what I daydream about.

The northern beaches in Sydney in particular.  This is a story of unrequited love.  It began in 2006 when my husband and I went travelling.  We were touring South East Asia for a couple of hectic months before hopping on a flight to Sydney to stay for a while with Wad’s aunt and uncle (referred to as AJ and UP from here on in).  Wad had raved about Sydney the whole time I’d known him.  He had lived there for a gap year in the middle of university a few years before and vowed he’d come back to stay forever.   After the assault on my senses from Vietnam to Singapore (and everywhere in between) it was a welcome respite to nestle into my cultural comfort zone again...and I was curious what it was about this place that had Wad so enamoured.
On arrival it was rainy and grey.  We had taken the train from the airport into Circular Quay (Wad was keen to have me experience the Manly ferry on approach to AJ and UP’s home in Harbord) only to find the ferry was off.  We then waited, exhausted, for a bus that never came.  We called AJ but she had no car to collect us, so we took a taxi that ate a significant hole into our already failing cash supply.  Needless to say, I was not impressed.  I spent the next 36 hours trying to conquer my jetlag.
On the third day I awoke uber early to my first live performance of a kookaburra’s laughter.  Intrigued, I got up and went outside to see if I could spot it and as I searched to trees, it flew off, dragging my gaze across the vista of Curl Curl and Manly.  As spectacular as it was there was nothing outstanding about the view.  I have seen lots of stunning vistas and this wasn’t the most beautiful... but something about that moment, the morning noises of the native urban wildlife, the warmth of the early morning sun... the light was different – it made the colours of the landscape look more vivid, the faint sound of the surf.  I don’t know what it did to me but within those first few minutes I was smitten.   Wad startled me by joining me and putting his arm round me, saying, ”This is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.”
I was so happy in that moment.  Wad and I were only married a few months and our whole lives seemed stretched ahead of us bubbling with good fortune and possibilities (we were newly qualified architects).  I was luxuriating in the knowledge that things were going to be just great.
Wad spent the next few months working on my induction to the Aussie lifestyle, most importantly, the early morning surf.  I am not suggesting for one second that I am in any way adept at this but I was hooked, despite near drowning experiences and post-surfing ‘nose bleeds’ (you can be standing having a cup of coffee several hours after your surf when all of a sudden a gallon of sea water pours out your nose). Not very attractive.  But then, I wasn’t your typical attractive surf chick – I just loved it.  I remember going for a (very amateur) surf the morning we were leaving, sitting on the beach and drinking it all in, *knowing* I’d be coming back with a job, a visa and my whole life ahead of me.  Hell, Wad already had a job offer from DesignInc, with the details to be ironed out when we were back on British turf.
That was five years ago.  The job offer fell through.  Although we were both under 30 Wad had already used his work hol visa and at the time I didn’t want to go out there without him. By the time we’d built up enough savings and I’d built up the courage, it was 2009 and the month before I was due to do it I fell pregnant with Bubble. Then the recession really hit.  Wad was made redundant.  We tried going through agencies but Aus was having its own recession and they were obviously giving local folk first preference. 
Ultimately, we still haven’t made it there.  I dreamed of raising my children in Australia but I’m raising Bubble here in the Ards Peninsula.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely little corner of the world but it’s not where we want to be.
They say what’s for you won’t go by you.  I can only hope that’s true.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Day Four...

... Post number 3.  Hmmm.  Not out of the woods yet - I've managed no more than 6 posts on previous blogging attempts.  Pathetic, huh?  I think it might have something to do with not knowing what to write. I’ve been spending time reading other’s blogs, trying to find some inspiration or even just some tips.  From what I can see, a lot just write whatever pops into their head...
I tried helping out my husband with work yesterday.   We’re self employed (I started the business after being made redundant back in 2008) but since having my daughter my husband carries the business entirely by himself as I have not yet made it back on board.  I’d intended to after 9 months but such is my relationship with Bubble that I did not feel I could put her into day care to allow me to work.   She would not be left with anyone for longer than half an hour.  She would be fine for a while but then she’d clock that I’d left the room and would burst into tears.  I simply couldn’t do it to her.  So, instead I’ve let her find her own independence.  Ok so she doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with most folk (and so I don’t leave her for too long with them) but she has found her comfort with her grandmother and her father.  This is wonderful news for me because for the first time in over a year, my mum or Wad can take Bubble out for an afternoon to give me some space. Yippee!
But then I miss her.
Still, there’s a lot to be said for head space when you’re mothering full time!
As I said earlier, Wad is carrying the business by himself but recently the workload has been something else so he’s asked me (as nicely as he can in case I turn into a fire breathing dragon) to help him this week.  My mum and Michael (M&M from here on in) came to stay with me to look after Bubble so I could work.  It worked terrifically!  M&M took her out to the park and for ice-cream so she had a whale of a time and I worked in complete peace and quiet.
Not that it helped.
Snails moved faster than I did yesterday.  It was awful.  I couldn’t remember anything.  At one point I felt like I’d have to retrain (and my training took 7 years so a big NO THANK YOU to that option).  You may as well have given me my daughter’s chubby crayons and her colouring-in book and I would have done a better job.
Us mums all have to start back somewhere though I suppose. .. Hey!  Look how much I’ve written already...  waffle-tastic.  :o)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Day Two...

So here I am, Day Number Two and I don't know what to write... Forgive me if this is just waffle.  I have a 15 month old daughter who is running me ragged at the minute and who definitely rules the roost!  I'm knackered just now.  I'm knackered just trying to knacker her out so I can have a few precious hours to myself in the evening!

I took her to our local 'Bumps and Babies' group today to say hi we're still alive and all that jazz (I haven't been in months on account of the fact my daughter is built like a tank and would flatten the poor newborns there if she tumbled in the wrong direction.  To be honest, she's just too old and I've no 'bump' so really have no need to go there anymore.) We also had a birthday gift for one of the kids who turned one last week but seeing as this kid is also too old to be at Bumps and Babies it was only a 50/50 chance whether we'd catch them.  We didn't.  So I just faffed about there awkwardly with my baby tank running amok around several small and alarmingly delicate looking babies.  In between polite chat and restraining my hyper daughter I was asked by one of the 'new' mums when she could expect her little one to start sleeping through the night.


My gut response was, "Do I look like I've frickin' slept in a year and a half?"
My actual response was something between a chuckle and a sigh.  Then I admitted that my daughter did not sleep through the night.

Intakes of breath and some sympathetic noises.  One girl asked if my daughter had a dummy or some other comforter when she went in to her cot.

My gut response was, "Yeah, my boob."
My actual response was the admission that I co-sleep.

Some surprised noises.  Encouraged by these I blundered on to admit that I still breastfeed her too.


There's nothing quite so uplifting as knowing you have the sisterhood to support you in all the parenting choices you make as a mother.


Monday, 18 July 2011

1001, 1002, 1003...

I cannot count how many times I've started a blog, stopped it, then deleted it. There are flakes of my personal literary dandruff floating around in cyberspace as I write this. But here I go again , determined to 'make a go of it'. After all, it's cathartic.
My personal record is 6 months at keeping a blog....So let's see if I can make it til Christmas with this one, eh?
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