Little Miss or Little Madam?

Our little miss is a feisty one. Always has been and being completely honest I actually think for girls, and children in general, a bit of feistiness is a good thing. I want my children to grow into strong adults and not be doormats. It makes it hard work as a parent but still I am glad my kids are a bit feisty.

Lately though LM’s feistiness has stepped up and ooh she is being a real little madam. In truth I am finding her quite hard to deal with at times right now. She’s in a funny transitionary phase. She doesn’t have many words but understands everything and knows what she wants. She just can’t communicate that to us so there are LOTS of tantrums rooted in frustration. I know this is the root cause but that still doesn’t make it easy to cope with the screaming.

She has always been an incredibly loud child and the volume and pitch of her screaming and whining when she can’t get a toy to do what she wants it to, or if she doesn’t get her way in general is just insane. And I am finding that it well and truly grates on my nerves!

20160727_130913She’s always being so so wilful. She is a really bossy britches and constantly demands things. She comes and takes my hand and pulls me where she wants to go. She stands waving at me to follow her, shouting her “err-ow” sound at the top of her lungs until I acquiesce. And when I don’t acquiesce, oh my goodness the volume of the tantrum. There are times I do what she wants simply so I avoid the aftermath… But other times I just don’t. Sometimes she presents me with shoes and tries to drag me out of the house. At 6.30 am I’m sorry darling but it’s just not happening.

I don’t generally take pictures of tantrums a) because I’m usually stressed b) because I don’t want to somehow encourage it by taking a picture and c) because I don’t like my picture taken when I’m upset so it feels a bit mean. But, this tantrum amused me because of her sticking her legs in the air, so I did take a picture on this occasion!20160727_100853

She is pushing my buttons all the time. She throws things and hits things when she is frustrated and when I tell her not to do something she deliberately ignores me and does it again and again until I remove her from the situation. And then tries to return kicking and screaming.

Food is a huge sticking point at the moment too as she is beyond fussy and just refuses to eat almost anything, even things we know she likes. I try not to worry, to make sure she doesn’t have snacks too late before mealtimes and trying to do what I can but I just feel I can’t win. The result is that she is even grumpier and screams more than normal because she is hungry… But she still refuses to eat. We worry that it is her teeth or something so offer her something else to eat but then she eats so it is more like fussiness than anything else. In which case we don’t want to keep giving her what she wants as that will limit her diet and set a precedent she will expect. It is so frustrating and I feel at my wits end at times when she refuses food I know she likes. It even got to a point where I take photos of happy mealtimes as they feel so rare. How daft is that? PhotoGrid_1469698821371

For her life until now distraction has been pretty good at moving her on from any tantrums and upsets.. But now that very often just won’t wash with her. It is time for some stronger discipline.

I know it is just her age and I also know she needs some firmer boundaries to help her make sense of the world. I know it isn’t for everyone but we found the naughty spot technique from Jo frost, aka Supernanny, worked really well with Monkey. I don’t agree with everything she says but that definitely worked with him. I wanted to wait until LM had more words before starting more discipline with her but the truth is that it is time now. I hope it works with her as it did with her brother but they are such different characters so we will have to see.

The trouble is that her behaviour is just so draining and feels almost impossible to deal with! She can also be the loveliest happiest, sweet, kind little thing too… So I really hope this phase doesn’t last too long!20160719_131356

Are your children feisty? How do you deal with discipline?

Feeling a little nostalgic

This week has been a bit tough at points. I always find it the same in the holidays, trying to keep both kids entertained and happy invariably makes me feel like a bit of a failure and questioning my choice to be a SAHM.

In truth we have done better this time but because of a combination of chicken pox and tummy bugs Monkey has actually been off pre-school for about a month and he is definitely ready to go back now. He is bored and flitting from activity to activity. He is clingy and jealous of the attention his little sister needs and demanding so much attention from me constantly. In short he is driving me a bit nuts. I’ve really just tried to keep busy and not focus on this too much. Next week we will be back to routine and I am sure things will improve. I have felt a bit low this week though which may be why certain things are making me feel a bit nostalgic.

20160405_161021First of all, our little lady’s feet have grown, meaning it is time to say goodbye to her pink wellies (and all her other shoes but somehow I don’t feel nostalgic about those!). I’m not sure if it is because she is the second child or because we have decided she is our last baby but I am definitely more nostalgic about some things with her. Perhaps also because she seems so diddy. Monkey, on the 90th percentile of the growth chart and seriously tall for his age, has never really felt diddy. Anyway I also love her wellies so much. She has had so many adventures in them over the winter and I am a bit sad to say goodbye to them.

Another element with her being the second child is that we don’t always pay as much notice to her milestones as we did with Monkey. The big ones yes of course, but the little ones, not so much. With Monkey I was keeping an eye on his hand eye coordination and fine motor skills to make sure he was on track. With LM I haven’t paid nearly as much attention. This week I decided to have a look back at my blog to see what I was up to with Monkey at her age, I really do love my blog for the ability to do that and it was so lovely to see what he was up to at her age and remember what he was like as a little (ish) toddler!

We do do a lot of the same activities but there are some I did with Monkey by now that I haven’t done with her. I guess it goes back to what I said earlier about her being so diddy and because she is our baby… But I think of her as not being able to do things yet because she is too young.. When she really isn’t! So I have tried to make more of an effort to do a few more activities with her and will try and do more of this when Monkey is back at preschool next week and she and I have more 1 on 1 time together.

Then Monkey and I had some 1 on 1 time together on Tuesday and did an activity that made both hubs and I feel nostalgic about our childhood. Bubble painting! I will share more about that in a day or so but it really was great fun!bubble painting

The final reason I have been feeling a little nostalgic is because I have been looking through some of my childhood photos with Monkey. During a chance encounter with a friend’s parents they mentioned that they thought LM looked like her Nanny (my Mum) so I was having a look to see who she did resemble and Monkey very much enjoyed seeing his Mummy and Uncles when we were little (more on this to come in a few days too!).20160407_200205 (2)

I hope the holidays get easier as the kids get older, as I have always hoped I would be the Mum who looks forwards to the holidays nd enjoys them rather than wishing them over. for now though I am just getting through the week as best I can.

How was your week? Do you get nostalgic when your little ones reachmilestones or grow out of certain outfits?

The Reading ResidenceEthans Escapades

Questioning being a Stay at Home Mum

It’s been a tough time lately. We have all been a bit poorly which never helps. Endless coughing and a lack of sleep does nobody any good. Then, potentially as a result of her poorliness, LM has been incredibly clingy. I know it’s just a phase “separation anxiety” etc…. But boy is it hard work!

She wants to be on me at all times and with me whatever I am doing. I can’t go to the loo without her standing at the gate in the lounge screaming at me. I can’t sit down without her clamouring all over me, pulling my hair and necklace, standing on me and generally wriggling all over the place with her perfect little elbows and knees digging in wherever they land.

I can’t look at my phone without her trying to snatch it off me so she can push buttons or play a baby game. There is screaming galore if I resist and hide my phone because I have had enough of her using it. I can’t have a drink without her clawing at me to have some so I have to hide whatever I am drinking and just grab a sip when I can… Meaning I certainly don’t drink enough at the moment. She wants to be carried by me at times when I can’t carry her resulting in her clinging on my legs and clawing at me while I try and make lunch.

Hiding from a nappy change

Hiding from a nappy change

It is exhausting and I feel like I have zero personal space and zero opportunity to just have a bit of peace. In fact the only times she doesn’t cling to me are when it is time for a nappy change – when she runs away and tries to cram herself behind a chair or something to hide, or when she has spotted some opportunity for mischief making. She throws her meals on the floor and deliberately spills he drink so she can splash and play in it (if anyone can direct me to a genuinely non-spill cup I would be massively grateful) and likes to push the buttons on the side of the TV no matter how much I say no, with a look of absolute glee.

This has been made harder by the fact it is half term. I adore my little boy and I wasn’t dreading half term at all. I don’t want to be a mummy who wishes away the time spent with my children… But I find it so hard to entertain both of them I really do.

I have tried loads of activities but one or the other gets bored. Monday we were due to go to soft play with friends but unfortunately they were poorly. I decided not to worry though and take the opportunity to do some messy play and get cracking with some finger painting in the bath. Great fun for all of 5 minutes until Monkey announced he’d had enough. LM lasted about 5 more minutes and then started crying to go and play with her brother. So it ended up with them both shut up in his bedroom while I cleaned the bathroom. (our stair gate broke so I have to shut them in to keep LM safe). It was so stressful and honestly I ended up wondering why I had bothered. PhotoGrid_1455867923529

We have had some lovely times this week and I have grabbed every opportunity to get outside when the weather has been nice. We have blowed bubbles, chased balls, run down hills and visited the playpark. But every happy time is bookends by whining and moaning. Monkey doesn’t want to go out while LM is chomping at the bit to get outside. LM is crying as she has had enough and is cold (will she wear mittens for more than 5mins? What do you think?) while Monkey is protesting like mad as now he doesn’t want to go home.

Fun outside, bookended by whining and moaning

Fun outside, bookended by whining and moaning

We have been to soft play with friends and both kiddies have had outings individually with the grandparents meaning I have had some nice 1 on 1 time with both of them. But the rest of the time there has been more TV on than I would like and I have been left questioning being a stay home mum. What am I doing? Why am I doing this? It is so so so hard sometimes and weeks like this I really don’t feel happy or fulfilled. So I start thinking about going back to work. But despite how hard it is at the moment I still don’t like the thought of sending LM to nursery. Of someone else doing the things I feel I should be doing with her.

I have utmost respect for working mums and I have no judgement on anyone for sending their child to nursery so they can work. I just can’t seem to extend that to myself for some reason and feel like having made the decision to be a SAHM that I would be failing if stopped now. I think it would be different if I had a job I loved or a career I wanted to further, or if financially I had to work. But I don’t, we are so fortunate that we manage on one salary (we do have to be sensible and a bit careful with money but we do fine) so I guess it just feels wrong to think about going back to work just so I can escape my children!

Its a difficult thing to balance, the needs of me vs. the needs of them. I know that this has been a particularly tough week and I know that when Monkey is back at preschool and everyone is well again things will be different. I hope so and this may juts be a blip… But I am questioning my choice a lot at the moment and wondering whether it is still the right decision for me. In truth I have no idea. And I have no idea what the solution would be as I am so conflicted between wanting something more for me… And wanting to do everything I did for Monkey with LM.

It is such a short time when they are small and yes it is tough but do I want to throw away this opportunity? Surely I have years and years ahead of me where I can do things for me, is it
really too much to focus on their needs for another year or 2? That sounds perfectly reasonable until I have two children fighting over me and my hair being pulled….

I know it doesn’t have to be an either or situation and I could work part time but then it is whether the costs and negative would outweigh the wages I would earn or the perceived benefits. The questioning continues..

Feeling a Sense of Achievement as a SAHM

Hubs and I were sorting some bits out recently and ticking things off our very long to do list. After making a couple of big purchases I was feeling very pleased and Hubs said “you like spending money don’t you?” To which (a little affronted as generally no I don’t like spending money at all) I replied “No, I just like achieving something and doing something we have wanted to for ages.” It got me thinking about that feeling of achievement and the difference between when you are working to when you are a SAHM.

When you are working, obviously depending on what job you do, there are real targets and you are always working towards something and I guess that sense of achievement is either there, or it is what you are striving for. Be it sales targets, personal development goals or just working hard so you know you can afford to do a specific thing, there is a definite sense of achievement for a job well done.

Reward charts for SAHM's? Hmm maybe not!!

Reward charts for SAHM’s? Hmm maybe not!!

As a SAHM, or SAHD for that matter, it is a lot harder to define. I may feel a sense of achievement when I clean something but it never lasts long as I turn around and it looks as though I may as well have not bothered! Then there are the times where I am focussing on the kids. What have I achieved other than building the perfect den or managing to keep the house relatively paint free while the kids are going loopy with finger paints? I guess that is why people often ask “what do you do all day?” It isn’t necessarily quantifiable or describable. It doesn’t sound like it amounts to much and I often feel as if I haven’t achieved anything, like I should have been doing something more worthwhile than playing.

Now I know what I am doing is worthwhile. What I am achieving, or hoping to achieve is well rounded, happy kids. But that isn’t easy to see on a daily, weekly, monthly even yearly basis. The fruits of my labours and sense of achievement will hopefully come as I watch them grow into adults and can think “I did that.”

But I think that can be one of the more challenging aspects of being a stay at home parent. Which I guess is why I love ticking things off our list of jobs. I crave a more definable achievement. I guess that is why many of us blog, it gives us a place to record our achievements, a community to share with. We encourage each other and remind each other why we do it. That’s not the only reason for blogging obviously as otherwise only stay at home parents would blog and that is of course not the case. I also think it is why many of us are constantly trying to come up with bigger and better playtime ideas for our kids, so we can feel like we have accomplished something or done something worthy.

It may also be why many of us struggle and aim to be the “perfect” parent. Perhaps because we need a goal to aim for? I am obviously writing this from the perspective of a SAHM but with working parents who get that sense of achievement from work… how does it work for you guys? Is it easier? As you get a sense of achievement at work do you put less pressure on yourself at home? Or is it worse because you are used to a sense of achievement at work and you put even more pressure on yourself at home?

I also worry about what will happen when I do eventually return to the world of work. I know that I won’t be content at home full time when the kids are at school. I will be bored with cooking and cleaning (domestic goddess I am not) and I know I will need something else. But I also know I will want to be around before and after school and in the holidays, at the very least while they are at primary school, so what will I do then? And how will I react going back to the world of work? I hope I embrace the challenge but I do feel nervous about going back to work after what will be a very long break. Am I up to it? Or will I feel like a failure, so out of the loop after focussing on my children for so long.

I have a few ideas for what I will want to do, and one in particular. It is just an idea and I am not ready to talk about it publicly yet. It is something I am very interested in but have no experience so would take a lot of study and potentially volunteering and I guess that may gradually ease me in to the world of work. But the thought of working full time again in the future does make me nervous. I can’t really put my finger on why other than the vague feeling that I somehow won’t be good enough. How will I adapt back to a focussed achievement driven world of work after living as a stay at home parent for so long? Only time will tell I suppose and hopefully my experiences at home with the children will help me to be successful in the future.

This post has ambled a little and moved away from what I originally thought I was writing but that is just the way my brain went. Are you a stay at home parent? Will you return to work one day? What are your feelings about it? Do you feel a sense of achievement as a stay at home parent?

And then the fun began...MummascribblesMaternityMondays

Lots of cooking and baking

My word of the week this week is “cooking” as I seem to have spent a lot of time cooking and baking lately! Mainly food for LM as we continue her weaning journey and I am looking for easy freezable finger foods I can take out and about with us or just have readily availble at home so there is not a huge amount of prep at every mealtime.

So, in the last week or so I have tried the following new recipes: salmon croquettes, cheesy flapjacks, carrot muffins (which I made correctly this time after forgetting to add the butter the first time, d’oh!), meatloaf, and an apple oat cake plus the usual things for us to eat like a big batch of carrot and honey soup, sausage carbonara, sweetcorn fritters etc etc. (I have intended to share these recipes on here for some time but never get round to writing the posts!)

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Carrot muffins, cheesy flapjacks and carrot soup, the fruits of one morning’s labours!

 

Most of the new recipes have come from the baby-led weaning cookbook and I am afraid to say that so far I have not been that impressed with them. The exception to this is the salmon croquettes as even I don’t mind those and I am not a big fish fan. The carrot muffins aren’t terrible but the cheesy flapjacks are just odd and I’m not that keen on the oat cake either (Icooked it for 15 mins longer than it says but still is soggy in the middle, is it supposed to be like that?). I suppose the meatloaf wasn’t terrible either but it wasn’t exactly delicious.

Difficult as of course recipes for babies do tend to be a little more bland as they contain much less salt or sugar than we would usually use. Having said that though, the sweetcorn fritters are based on an Annabel Karmel recipe (just with the addition of a few more veggies) and they are lovely, as are many of the other things we have tried from her cookbook so I don’t think that recipes suitable for babies necessarily have to be bland.

It’s a shame to be spending so much time and effort in the kitchen and being disappointed with the results to be honest! Thankfully because at least 50% of the food I have made this week are tried and trusted recipes, they are lovely but it’s a shame none but one (the salmon croquettes) of the new recipes from the weaning book are going to be added to our repertoire I don’t think… I’m not even sure how to tweak them to improve them… as I’m not sure they are worth the effort!

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the slightly soggy centred oat cake

Monkey has enjoyed helping me cook and bake though so it is always nice to have him in the kitchen with me helping weigh out and mix ingredients. The low point though was when trying to do some with LM awake and eating/playing in her high chair in the kitchen with us. She wasn’t having any of it so I ended up holding her in one arm & balancing her on my hip, while hastily whizzing some fruit, greasing a pan, stirring the mixture (with Monkey’s help), filling the pan and putting it in the oven. It is blimmin amazing the things you can accomplish with one hand when you have to, but my goodness it makes it hard work!!

The kids are enjoying the oat cake and it is full of goodness so I may not like it but at least they are!

WP_20150603_001The over-riding success of the week actually comes in the form of not a recipe exactly, but more of a cheat. I love Paprika Chicken at restaurants but we have never been able to recretae it at home, none of the recipes I have tried seem to have the right balance of seasoning. So when I saw some funky new pre-seasoned papers that you wrap the chicken in, I thought they had to be worth a try. And they were great!

This isn’t a sponsored post and I didn’t get them free to review, but we thought they were lovely, and so so easy.You wrap the chicken in the paper, and fry it in the pan. It’s that straightforward. The chicken was juicy and the flavour was yummy. So hooray for a success, I needed one!

The Reading ResidenceWeaning Wednesdays Linky

Making some positive changes

Positive changesRegular readers will know that I didn’t have the best week last week… by a long shot. I was feeling lower than I have felt in a long time and couldn’t see what my next step should be I felt I was sinking fast but a bit of a breakdown including much crying, and a very cathartic blog post… and I feel much better.

Friday was a pivotal moment. I got so angry with Monkey about not eating his lunch and really flew off the handle, which just isn’t like me at all. Hubs came home in the midst of this and took Monkey to playgroup, at which point I sat and sobbed as I felt awful. I didn’t like my behaviour at all and I think I knew I couldn’t allow myself to be like that all of the time.

I think it was a bit of a shock for hubs too seeing just how upset and angry I was and he really realised how much I have been struggling recently. Since then my mood has gradually improved and all I can say is that I don’t feel the same. I feel lighter and much more positive.

I have to give a huge thank you at this point to all of you wonderfully supportive readers out there. You have to take a lot of credit for helping me put things in perspective. I am so so grateful for the support of the blogging community and I don’t know where I would be without my blog. The tips, advice and just moral support I received from everyone has buoyed my confidence and helped me move on from the hole I was in.

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Troublesome

The best word to describe this week is troublesome. It hasn’t been a bad week and some parts of it have been really quite good, and lovely, but the children at least have definitely been a bit troublesome at times.

Monkey’s behaviour has certainly kept us on our toes this week. I’m not sure exactly why but since starting playgroup (which is going really well, more on that next week as I don’t want to tempt fate at the moment!) his behaviour had home has gone a little downhill. Whether it is because he is more tired as now twice a week he has busy afternoons, whereas before he nearly always had quiet, restful afternoons, whether it is because he is seeing other children’s behaviour at playgroup, or whether he is just acting up because we have started taking him to playgrup and because his baby sister is taking up a lot of my attention, I am really not sure.

Or it could just he growing into the terrible twos which we have been lucky with up until this point. Either way, the tantrums have stepped up a notch as has the yelling of no and don’t want to at every opportunity. It is taking threats to get him to eat even his favourite foods. That sounds worse than it is, I basically just threaten to throw it away (and he knows we are serious as we have done it in the past) which makes him suddenly realise he does want to eat it after all when he likes the food anyway, if he doesn’t want to eat it at all he just says ok, so I have to follow through!). He has been on the naughty spot after daddy lost it with him on a car journey when he was trying to get out of his car seat. He is threatened with going straight to bed with no stories every night  in order to get him to have a bath, which is getting old. We then have another tantrum when it is time to get out of the bath,. He doesn’t want to get in but then loves it so much he doesn’t want to get out.

Sometimes in addition to the threats his toys “talk” to him and they are often much more successful at persuading him to eat something or do something than Mummy and Daddy are! His postman pat toy (and this morning LM’s squeaky crocodile) helps at mealtimes and Herbie the hedgehog (a hand puppet) helps persuade him to do things in the evenings. In some ways I really don’t like doing this, but also I just can’t handle the stress of having stand-offs when trying to get him to do the simplest things. As at the moment there is about a hundred stand-offs a day and I don’t have the energy!

I do feel for him though as I know a lot of it is just attention seeking. His baby sister is also being troublesome this week which is taking a lot of my attention. I am trying really hard to focus on him too but it’s not easy when she won’t stay asleep for more than half an hour at a time and is also fussy when she is awake. Not entirely sure why this is,but she is starting to teethe and is dribbling loads and chewing her teeth constantly. Monkey got his 1st tooth at 4 mths so I guess it is not a complete surprise but she is definitely more restless too.

It’s difficult to know if this is because of the teething or something else but I do feel like it is potentially giving her tummy aches, (apparently this is due to the properties in their drool, which when swallowed creates gas in their intestines(?)) so am on the hunt for teething remedies. We used ashton and parsons powders with Monkey but they contain lactose and while she is fussy anyway it doesn’t seem the right time to re-introduce lactose to her diet. Thanks to all the twitter peeps for their help with suggestions, fingers crossed we find something that works. I am intrigued by amber necklaces and anklets but not convinced yet, we have some teethers from Dr Brown’s on the way and have just started using Chamomilla by Weleda, so I am sure I will keep you posted!

The Reading Residence

Making the most of the baby days

Little Miss is quite possibly, in fact, most probably the last baby we will have. I will never say never and I am sure many people will say that now is not the time to make the decision about having more children, but I want to be realistic about it. Both hubs and I are the middle of 3 children, so we both carry a certain nostalgia with us about our families, and we are both very close to all of our brothers and couldn’t imagine our families any other way. So I guess it is inevitable that we have been quite undecided about the number of children we would have.
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Why I love being a SAHM

Being a SAHM isn’t always easy, but I do love it, for many reasons. One of the things I don’t love about being a SAHM though is the judgement that sometimes surrounds it. There has been a few things recently (including someone insinuating that I am a sponger because I don’t work) that has made me want to write this post about why being a SAHM works for me and my family.

Before I go any further, a little disclaimer, this is purely personal and all about me and my family. I do not believe all mums should be SAHMs and I am not judging anyone for the choices they have made or the way they think best to raise and support their families. Different strokes for different folks is what I believe but it can be difficult to talk about the positives of being a SAHM without being seen as judgemental or critical of working mums. That is not how this post is intended, it is purely about me and my family.

There were various things that affected my decision to be a SAHM. I wrote about it at the time here, when I first started this blog, but put simply, this is why I am a SAHM.

The financial side

I know I am very fortunate that we can afford to live on my husband’s salary alone. He has worked really hard to get where he is and works darn hard every day for a business he has built and believes in. Sometimes his head is so full of work it is hard to get him to step back and enjoy family time with us, but I know his work is a huge part of who he is and allows us to live the life that we do. We are by no means ‘well-off,’ we are fairly comfortable but we life on fairly strict budgets and are very careful with our money.

After Monkey was born we were undecided about whether or not I would go back to work part time as of course more money would make things more comfortable. Unfortunately when looking at childcare costs, they would pretty much have negated any earnings I brought in. I never earned a huge salary and particularly if I was part time I would not have earned enough to make it really worthwhile.

I know for many families there are grandparents willing to help but that isn’t the case with us. Monkey’s grandparents are all wonderful and supportive and he has a fantastic relationship with them. But none of them wished to be a permanent carer for him, week in, week out, and we didn’t really want that either. They have lives of their own and have done their years of child-raising, now they want to be the fun grandparents. I am not criticising anyone who does have grandparents who help out with childcare as again different things work for different people. It just wasn’t an option for us or our parents.

This comes back to how lucky we are that we can live on hubby’s salary and I don’t need to work. If we were not able to manage financially without my added income then of course we would have figured something out. I would have found a job working evenings, weekends or early mornings if necessary to fit around hubby’s work and cover costs. I have worked as a waitress and a cleaner before and would not be too proud to do so again if financially we needed it. If I had been the higher earner we would again have figured it out. But we don’t have to, thankfully, as I would hate to be passing my husband like ships in the night!

I know for some Mums, not working or earning money from an outside source leads them to feeling they aren’t contributing. I guess all I can say is that for me, while I know I am not contributing financially, I am contributing. By raising Monkey and looking after him myself full time, it means we don’t have to pay someone else to do it for us. So it comes full circle. I could be earning money but then it would be going out straight away to cover childcare costs, and what would be the point?

Well, I am sure some women would say that the point is that they love what they do, That they need the intellectual stimulation. That they would rather be at work than at home looking after children all day. I can understand that and again don’t judge any woman for making that decision. And I won’t lie, there are times that being a SAHM can feel monotonous, and it can be exhausting, and lonely. But, I do find the rewards of being a SAHM more than make up for it, for me. Plus there are ways to get that stimulation, to break the monotony, without having to go to work. Blogging for one! :) Or doing any hobby that interests and challenges you.

So what are the rewards of which I speak, well this is where I get really happy. This is where I get to the positives that make me smile and puff up my chest with pride.

Why I love being a SAHM

love being a sahm

I know my child better than anyone else. I know how to get him to try something new (even when he is adamantly shouting no). I know his current favourites. Be it phrases, activities, colours. I am the one with him nearly all day everyday and I know how all of his little individual quirks and eccentricities. I was the one who was with him when he said his first word, when he walked for the first time, the first time he counted to ten. No-one else has told me about these developments, I have seen them for myself.

I get to teach him. And take pride when he learns things as a result of the activities we do. I taught him (gradually in a fun, playing is learning way) how to count to ten. We are now working on letters. I am also teaching him about the world, more and more every day. I am teaching him manners, how to treat other people, and how not to.

I’m not saying you don’t get to do these things when you are a working parent but it has to be a bit different when someone else is caring for your child for a significant amount of time. There has to be a level of trust there that they are teaching the same beliefs as you would. That your child doesn’t get away with things with their carer that they wouldn’t with you. For a control freak like me that would be a concern and I like knowing that Monkey is learning what we think is right (we may not get it right all of the time but we are finding our way and it is our way, noone elses).

We have fun and try new things together. One of the ways to break the monotony is by experimenting with new things. doing new things together. This blog is a great motivator for that too as I like to be able to experiment with crafts and activities and talk about them here. Plus there are so many other fab blogs with tonnes of ideas for things to do together! We bake, paint and draw. We build, read and talk. We go on walks and explore the world. I see the world through his eyes.

Even at the moment, at 8 months pregnant and pretty exhausted, I love being with him. I need more help with him at the moment but I miss him when he’s not here, and I love when he comes back. He tests my patience and exasperates me. Some days he drives me potty because he is 2 and can be really irrational and over complicate things. But he is wonderful and funny too. He is kind and loving, methodical and imaginative. He gives the best cuddles and has the most infectious laugh.

I love that I am lucky enough to be the one who sees him at his best, and at his worst. In a couple of years time he will be going off to school and as he gets older he will move slowly but surely further away from his Mummy. He will grow up. I love that I am lucky enough to be able to spend this time with him now. I cherish it.

Just as wanting to go to out to work doesn’t make you any less of a mother, wanting to stay home and raise my children doesn’t make me any less of a person. Any less intelligent or interesting. In a world where so much emphasis is placed on what you ‘do’ and how hard you work, it can be difficult to feel proud of being a SAHM. I sometimes feel that I have to justify to some people why I feel being a SAHM is the best thing for my family and I at the moment. I know I don’t have to, and I very rarely bother. If someone wants to pass judgement then go ahead… but deep down it does bother me. I can’t help it, it just does.

I don’t know whether I will be a SAHM forever, I imagine I will want to work maybe part time when the children are at school, but for now, I love being a SAHM.

Mama and More

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Not My Year Off

Acceptance

My word of the week this week is acceptance.

Because, at the moment I am very much having to accept the fact that I am 32 weeks pregnant, I have SPD and I can’t do all of the things I want to do, or that I am used to doing. It’s frsutrating but there is not long left and I have to accept it.

Luckily we have a lovely supportive family to help and make sure Monkey is still entertained. Hubby has started taking Monkey to his Tumbletots class on a Tuesday in his lunch hour, because I just can’t physically manage it anymore! My parents have also started to take Monkey out on a Wednesday so he can get a run around and burn off some energy.

I am just a lot less mobile now as the pain is increasing so it is nice to know he still gets to have a run around, while I can stay home! He is a lot better at playing independently and staying at home more, but the longer we are stuck in the house the harder it is to keep him entertained, and his behaviour gets a bit more destructive and boisterous. Getting him out for even a short walk and a run around makes life so much easier. I am so grateful to my family for doing this as even a walk round the shops or round the block is getting very painful now and feels like a daunting prospect! I’m not sleeping well either and the tiredness is making it a bit harder to be imaginative with playtime ideas!!

I’ve also had to stop my morning walk with my neighbour. For well over a year we have gone for a 9am walk most mornings. It has been so good for us to get us out of the house and have a good old natter. It has been really lovely and I have been desperate to keep it going. The walks were getting more sporadic as I have had to miss days I have been in too much pain and even the days we have managed it, the walks have been getting shorter and shorter (and slower) as even on good days I can’t do much. What started off as a good 40 min walk of a couple of miles has become more like a 20 min slow stroll of maybe 1/2 mile?

For a while I think even that was doing me good but then I realised it wasn’t anymore and that actually I was ending up in quite a bit of pain afterwards, so we have officially put it on hold for a while! Another change I just have to accept.

I am still doing a lot better than I was in my first pregnancy, I am not on crutches yet and I am grateful for that. I am also massively grateful my supportive and helpful hubby, family and friends. It would all be much harder without them! There is not long to go now really and I just have to keep the goal in sight and accept that I can’t do as much as I want to do.

What is your word of the week?

The Reading Residence