Feeling saddened by the judgement we face as parents

I am linking up to ‘The Prompt.’ A wonderful Link up hosted by the lovely Sara at MumturnedMom.

This week’s Prompt is “I was Saddened by…” and I have really struggled to know what to write for this, or whether to write at all. There is a lot of sadness in the world, and for my part, I would say I have had more than my fair share of sadness at times, however I am not ready to write about those times, at least not yet and not here. I started this blog to chart my journey into becoming a stay at home mum, and whatever I write, I want it to be true to that theme.

So after a lot of thought about what saddens me in the world of parenting, I realised that one of the things that saddens me the most is that when you become a parent, you enter a whole new world of judgement. There is something about being a parent that makes people feel entitled to judge you, and no matter what you do or however hard you try, it always seems that somebody, somewhere, is judging you for it.

It starts when you are pregnant – and you can be judged on how much weight you’ve gained, what you are eating, whether you are exercising. And you can be judged either way by different groups of people. I have written about how I struggled with pregnancy and I have never felt so judged in my life, as I truly believe some people thought I was just putting it on. Then, when thinking about the birth, will you want pain relief, or will you ‘tough it out?’ If you want a natural, painkiller free birth, some will say you are naive, if you want pain relief, others say you’re a wimp or something. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I’m not even going to get into the breastfeeding/formula feeding debate! And it by no means ends there – weaning, with purees or babyled? Sleep training? How much TV does your little one watch? Are you in a routine? Then as they get older it becomes about discipline and how well they eat. There is judgement about whether you choose to go back to work – with studies about how being in nursery or childcare is bad for your child. Then if you stay at home you are judged for being a sponger or of lower intelligence for not wanting to go to work.

The judgement comes from everywhere. Well meaning family and friends. Healthcare professionals, midwives. The media, politicians. Everywhere you look there is someone who has an opinion about the best way you should be raising your child. It leads to so much worry and doubting yourself because it is so easy to take all this judgement to heart and feel that you are clearly not doing something right, when I think that all any of us are doing is trying to do the best for our children.

What really saddens me though is the fact that it is everywhere. As a society is this really what we are like? That we judge people for everything that they do? Do we all think that we are so perfect that we therefore have the right to judge others? Whatever happened to people in glass houses not throwing stones? Whatever happened to supporting each other? To respecting others wishes for how they choose to live their lives or raise their children?

I guess there is a flip side to this. There are always so many stories in the press about children being harmed. Harmed by family members, or parents whose job it is to protect them. Being harmed by the people they trust most in the world. I read something recently about how we should all be responsible to report something wrong when we see it. To step in before something dreadful happens. Of course I can see the logic in this, if making a judgement about a family and the way they treat their child may protect that child from harm.

I worry though, where to draw the line? Wasn’t there a story recently where somebody called the police because they saw a mother and child out on the seafront and thought the child was too cold? The police went, but was it a waste of their time? Should we put more trust in the mother that she is looking after a child? Or should we report every tiny worry? I guess it’s a case of the acts of the minority of bad people affecting the lives of the many,who would never harm a hair on their children’s heads.

Is this even the same thing though? Is judging someone for whether they wean with purees or do BL weaning really comparable to judging someone for something that may be a sign they are harming their child? If a parent chooses to go back to work because they feel it will enable them to provide a better life for their child, should we judge them for that? Likewise if a parent chooses to stay at home to raise their child because they feel that is the best option for them, do they deserve to be judged for it? Where does this judgement come from? I don’t believe that these judgements  are based on worrying what is best for the child, so where does it come from? Is it about protecting ourselves? Are we judging the way others choose to parent in order to convince ourselves that we are doing the right thing? Why can’t we support each other while accepting that we choose to do some things differently. Does there have to be a ‘right’ way and a ‘wrong’ way?

I don’t know what the answer is to any of this, I really don’t. Can you offer support to someone who you think is struggling without them feeling judged? I’d like to think you can, but in reality I’m not so sure. The more I think about it, the more I realise that this judgement isn’t confined to the world of parenting as throughout society people are judged. Judged by their looks, by how much money they make, by their gender or sexuality. Maybe it’s just a part of human nature. Maybe I just feel more judged now because of the weight of responsibility that is raising a child.

It saddens me…

Do you feel judged as a parent? Where do think it comes from?



BaSAHM Survival Kit – Confidence

Part Three in my Becoming a SAHM Survival Kit series. This week, Confidence. Do you have confidence in yourself as a parent? I do … sometimes … but not all of the time (as evidenced by my recent post!). I’m not just talking about having confidence in your parenting skills though, but more about how you need a bit of confidence in various situations if you decide to be a SAHM. As always this relates to dads too, and some of it relates to all parents, working or otherwise.

As  SAHM you need to have enough confidence to do the following:

  1. Get out of the house. Go to Mum and Baby/Toddler groups, I would go insane if it was just me at home with Monkey all day, every day so in my opinion getting out to these groups is vital. I know not everyone agrees with this, and it can be scary to go on your own to somewhere new, but it’s great for the little one – to socialise with other little ones, and it is great for you as you do not have to be the sole entertainment for your baby, even if just for half an hour or so. It also gives you a little bit of adult conversation….
  2. Talk to other parents at these groups. It can be pretty intimidating, especially if the group is well established. Other parents probably know each other already and cliques sometimes form. If you are intimidated and think they are judging your parenting or giving you funny looks, remember that they are there for the same reasons you are, are probably as intimidated as you and are probably far more judgemental of their own parenting than they are of yours. I spent a lot of time worrying about what other mums thought of my parenting, until  I realised that if I wasn’t thinking about what they were doing, then presumably they weren’t too fixated on what I was doing either.  Also in these situations empathy can go a long way and be a real ice-breaker. You see a mum with a clingy wailing child, she’s slightly red in the face and you can see she is not having much fun that day? I find a friendly smile and saying something like ‘oh, one of those days is it?’ goes a long way and makes them feel less judged.
  3. Talk to other parents at play parks or play centres. I know some of my mummy friends never do this and are too nervous, again largely because they worry what they will think of them. But I have had some lovely conversations with parents at the park or play centre. If your kids are playing (or fighting) try and spark a conversation with their mum or dad. In my experience most of us adults feel a bit self conscious standing around watching the kids playing, and on bad days when it has been just you and the little one all day it can be nice to have even a 30 second conversation with a complete stranger as it makes you feel less alone.
  4. Try a new activity or play idea at home. It breaks up the day. Yes the little’un may hate it. Yes even if they love it it may only last a few minutes before they get bored again. Yes it may make a massive mess or be a disaster, but you will never know if you don’t try. If they do hate it, maybe try again in a couple of months time. If it makes a mess, take a deep breath and try and think of a way to contain the mess next time. It passes the time, can teach them new skills (and you) and is something nice to tell your other half about when they get home. And you never know, it may turn out to be their favourite activity and keep them occupied for a while!
  5. Walk away and take a deep breath. Thankfully I don’t need to do this as often these days but when Monkey was younger and he seemed to cry for no apparent reason, or wouldn’t stop regardless of what I did, it really helped. As long as they are safe, in a childproofed room or in their cot, sometimes for your own sanity you need to walk away and take a deep breath. It’s not easy, especially when they are little as your mummy instincts hate to leave them crying, but as someone once said to me, no baby ever died of crying. And you are not neglecting your child by walking away, gathering your thoughts and then coming back fresh. I actually found sometimes that after a couple of minutes crying Monkey would get it out of his system a bit and was easier to soothe second time round.
  6. Have some me-time. As a SAHM you need to take it when you can get it. I sometimes feel guilty about leaving Monkey with his daddy for an hour or two at the weekend so I can do something for myself (like browse some shops without a toddler in tow, or have a bath), but it always does me good. And actually, it does them good to have some Monkey and Daddy time. I suppose I feel guilty as weekends should be family times and I want to spend time with my hubby too, but sometimes it just does us all some good so I feel less guilty about it now. A night out with the girls is wonderful too, as most of us are mummies now it’s not quite as late or raucous as it used to be (not quite as tempting when you know you will have a 7am wake-up call regardless of how you feel!!). It also doesn’t happen as frequently either (matching up dates with babysitters, partners, work shifts etc make it more complicated when there is a kiddy at home) but when we can sit together for a meal out and have a good natter without having to constantly watch what the kids are up to it is just so relaxing and I feel quite refreshed after a night off!
  7. Disagree with others, be it family, friends, strangers, the media about how to parent your child sometimes We are all individuals and every child is different. You as mummy or daddy the primary caregiver, know your child best. Just because something worked with so & so’s child, doesn’t mean it will for yours. You want to wean using pureed food rather than baby-led, or vice versa, do it. Be open to new ideas and of course accept that people may only be trying to help – and sometimes their advice will work. But if you disagree with that advice then have the confidence to stick to your guns.
  8. Feel proud of yourself. Easier said than done I know. But you are doing your best at this parenting lark and doing your best is always something to be proud of.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. If you struggle with any/all of the above, I have one more tip for you. Fake it. Put a smile on your face and pretend you have the confidence to talk to a stranger or try something new. I have a lot of insecurities and find social situations really difficult sometimes, but I have learnt that hiding behind these insecurities doesn’t do me any favours. And you may be surprised that if you fake something for long enough it starts to become real. The fake smile, isn’t so fake any more, and the nerves at speaking to a new person, the slight stutter… become less noticeable.

None of this is easy and I by no means succeed at this all the time and I hope it doesn’t come across as preachy as that’s not how I mean it. I wish I had this kind of confidence all the time, but like I say, on the days that I don’t I try and fake it and sometimes I succeed….


If you enjoyed reading this post, why not check out the other posts in this series so far, Perspective, Resilience and Creativity. Thanks!


BaSAHM Survival Kit – Resilience

The second instalment in the Becoming a Stay at Home Mum Survival Kit Series – All the things I think you need if you are going to survive becoming a stay at home mum! Next up, Resilience.

When I say resilience I guess what I mean is confidence in your belief that being a stay at home mum is the right thing for you to do. To not give in to doubts or be swayed by the opinions of others. Sounds simple but it can be very hard at times. The term ‘stay at home mum’ is a relatively new one, that replaces other labels such as ‘housewife’ and ‘home-maker’. In the not too distant past, being the housewife or the home-maker was the norm and it was much more unusual for women to continue working once they had children. We’ve come a long way since then. Working mothers are now much more common and stay at home mums have become the minority.

As I have said before I don’t know that one way is better than another, we each have to do what is right for us and our family. However being in the minority can be difficult as there seems to be a lot of people who struggle to understand why you want to be a stay at home mum. I am talking about mums as I am a mum but I am sure it is just the same, if not worse for some stay at home dads as they are even more of a minority group.

What am I talking about? Well when I speak to old colleagues and tell them I am a stay at home mum there is kind of an ‘oh’ moment and ‘ok, ‘sometimes a ‘what do you do all day?’ and recently ‘what will you do when the kids go to school?’ As if being a stay at home parent somehow tarnishes your record and you’ll never be part of the workforce again. Heaven forbid that you might not want to be part of the workforce, and that you might enjoy being a stay at home parent!

The opinion I struggle the most with is the suggestion that being a stay at home parent somehow means that you have a lower IQ or something. For example, when working mummies say that being a stay at home parent isn’t ‘enough’ for them and they need something more for themselves. That is fair enough and I understand they may feel like that and don’t think any less of them for it. Yet when it is turned around I have found some people are so confused why it is ‘enough’ for me right now. During a play-date conversation a couple of months ago another mum thought I said I was going back to work and immediately jumped in with an “Oh I am glad, you’re like me, you need something more.” It was really awkward having to say, no, um I’m not going back to work. I’m sure I will one day but not right now. I’m fine, and the fact that I want to stay at home to raise my children doesn’t make me any less intelligent.

Most of the time these things don’t bother me and people can think what they like. But sometimes it gets to me and the doubts creep in, so you have to be resilient enough to not let them get to you. To stand firm in your decision. I’ve written before about how hard it is to be proud of being a stay at home mum, to avoid risking offending someone so it’s not about saying that I’m right and other people are wrong. It’s just about having the resilience to listen to their opinions but not let them get to you or make you think you are doing the wrong thing or that you are somehow lesser because you don’t work .

Thankfully not everyone thinks like that. I also have mummy friends who say they enjoy work because it’s easier than being with the kids all day and less exhausting, who tell me they don’t know how I do it!

It’s not just about other people’s opinions either, a series of difficult days can beat you down to the point where  you think that maybe it isn’t the right decision. Going through a rough patch with food or sleep etc. can leave you wondering if maybe it would be better for both you and your child if you were at work and they were at nursery or a childminders, being looked after by people who know what they are doing. So you have to be resilient enough not to let the bad days drag you down. After all there is going to bad days no matter whether you are a working parent or stay at home parent. You have to dust yourself down, think about why you have chosen to be a stay at home parent and have the strength to see it through.

I’m not saying I manage this all the time – after all my blog is about becoming a stay at home mum rather than being one! It’s something I am getting better at though. Maybe if I reach the point where I don’t doubt myself or don’t care about other people’s opinions/comments that I will feel like I am a stay at home mum – rather than just someone who is trying to be one!

What do you think?

If you liked this post, why not have a look at the other posts in the survival kit: Perspective, Confidence and Creativity

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Fussy eater update – feeling full of anxiety and guilt – 19 months old

You may have gathered from my recent blog that we are still having issues with Monkey’s fussy eating. I haven’t written about it for a while as I don’t want to go on about the same thing all the time, but it seems to be consuming my waking hours (and keeping me awake at night) at the moment so I need to get some of these thoughts down on paper. At the end of my last post about mealtime issues, things seemed to be on an upward trend… but somewhere along the line things have gone downhill again. I’m not sure even how really, these things happen quite gradually I think.

We just suddenly realised we were really struggling at mealtimes again so hubby and I had a good chat about it. We realised that we had been subconsciously pandering to him and his eating whims. For an easy life we’d been cutting out meals that we knew he wouldn’t eat and eating more of the things we know he eats well. It’s not all junk food or anything, his favourite meals are curries. An Indian one we make, and a Thai yellow curry. He loves dried fruits and nuts ( I think maybe he wants to be a child of the forest!) and he will always eat peanut butter on toast. But he hasn’t eaten pasta in over 6 months now, and some of his recent favourite foods are now losing their appeal. He won’t even eat baked beans any more which he loved until recently. He will only eat eggs scrambled – not boiled, fried or even in an omelette.

So we re-read loads of advice on the subject to work out how we can help him grow out of this phase. We don’t want to get to the stage where he is eating the same meal day in and day out because let’s face it, it’s not healthy. It also makes things hugely difficult to ever eat at someone else’s house or go out for dinner or have a life and you run the risk of it extending into childhood and adulthood and you end up with an adult who never eats fruits or vegetables or who has an eating disorder or something. Maybe I am worrying too much about extreme cases but I just want my little boy to grow up healthily. So as of this week we have decided to be firmer and follow the advice we have found. To offer him a variety of healthy, tasty food, and leave it up to him whether he eats it. No attention if he kicks up a fuss, no cajoling, persuading and definitely no force feeding. Also, no alternatives. If he doesn’t eat his meal he doesn’t get anything till the next snack/mealtime. It sounds simple but I am finding it really hard.

I’m not talking about forcing him to eat food he doesn’t like but the problem is that he refuses to even try food. Even foods he absolutely loved a few months ago now he either prods in disgust then pushes it away from him shaking his head, or won’t even look at or touch and just sits crying until we let him down. The problem is that my mummy instincts kick in and I just want to give him some food he likes so that I know he has eaten and will be happy. But I can’t, I have to be strong, it’s horribly hard right now but surely it’s for the best in the long term?

We never normally have much of a problem at breakfast but lunchtimes I have recently just been giving him food that he likes, taking the easy route, to make sure he has had enough energy to get through the day really and to make my life easier. This week though it has to change and I have been giving him a few different things, including some things he used to love but now won’t eat. We’ve also been cutting down the amount he eats for snacks, as he seems to have taken another step in his development and his appetite isn’t quite what it used to be. He used to not manage without regular snacks, whereas now he eats a lot less. We can’t expect him to eat his meals if he is full up from snacks and he needs to get his nutrition from his meals really. So this is how our week has gone so far…

Monday actually got off to a surprisingly good start and he scoffed all of his lunch. I was prepared to be strong but he ate it all! Curried rice with bits of turkey, broccoli, cauliflower and carrot. Result!  Dinner was sausages and pasta in a tomato sauce. He ate the sausages with no sauce on but wouldn’t eat anything else.

Tuesday lunch was pasta risotto, which he used to love but as expected he didn’t want to know. He didn’t eat a bite and kicked off massively. I was prepared for it though and actually he coped for the rest of the day much better than I expected. We went for a walk after lunch then came home and did some play-doh play, he had a nap at a normal time and slept really well. I was really surprised. We had Thai curry that night with added veg and he scoffed loads. Lovely day.

Wednesday we visited a friend for a play-date and so it was an easy lunch and a favourite, peanut butter sandwiches. He loves it so of course scoffed it and we both had lots of fun at their house, Mummy chatting with my friend and Monkey playing with his. Wednesday night was another dinner Monkey loved – until recently, breaded chicken breast with sweet potato, peas and green beans. Again, would not eat a bite. Was very tired all evening and woke up a few times in the night so I guess maybe he was hungry?

Thursday was a very difficult day. Even at breakfast he didn’t eat as much porridge as usual, and barely ate any snack either. Lunchtime came and he was really hungry. We had the same lunch as Monday but he picked and fussed and I broke. It had been a difficult morning after a difficult night and I got really cross. He tipped his food out everywhere and was sifting through then eating one grain of rice at a time. He wouldn’t take any off a spoon and I lost it. It’s just so frustrating that he won’t eat something he liked even a few days ago. I think it’s because I wasn’t prepared for it. And because maybe the week so far is taking it’s toll on both of us. Anyway I got really cross and broke my rules, tried to persuade him and then because I knew I had lost my cool I tried to walk off and calm down but that just made things worse so it ended up with both of us sitting and balling and I just felt like such a bad mummy! He ended up going for his nap earlier than normal because he was just so tired from lack of food.

He slept longer than I thought he would and has snack that afternoon was some dried banana and raisins, which of course, he scoffed. That night was beef meatballs with pasta in tomato sauce. He ate maybe half a meatball when we broke it up into crumb sized pieces but that was it. He was happy enough after tea though and slept better overnight.

I think in hindsight a lot of Thursday’s issues were my fault, I overreacted ta lunch because I was tired and in a bad mood myself. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though and I just hope I haven’t taken us back a step!

Today (Friday) we had a play date and unfortunately Monkey fell over and got himself a very nasty split lip, poor monkey 🙁 Anyway he did really well and ate his toast for lunch but not the scrambled egg. No idea why, he wouldn’t even touch the egg, but I have resolved to have a much calmer attitude about it and not to let it get to me again like it did yesterday. I have to have faith that he will eat when he is hungry and will hopefully grow out of this phase. I can’t be stressed like I was yesterday otherwise that is going to cause more problems.

Anyway, that is the plan, I will keep you posted! Have you ever struggled with a fussy eater? How did you get past it? Or did you not get past it?

BaSAHM Survival Kit – A little Perspective

This is the first in a new series entitled the Becoming a Stay At Home Mum’s Survival Kit. All the things I have found you need if you are going to survive becoming a stay at home mum! First up, A little perspective.

Picture the scene: A Saturday morning play date for a little one’s first birthday. There are 4 mummies and between us we have 6 children aged between 9 months and just under 3. Chaos but lots of fun. Monkey, still chronically shy has clung to me like a limpet ever since we arrived. If I tempt him off me to play with a toy he is no more than arm’s reach away and if I shift position even slightly he reattaches to me, terrified I am going to leave. Lunchtime comes and Monkey is already sat on my lap at the table doing some drawing. On the menu is perfect simple party fare, a cheesy pizza. I sigh with relief because I think that as Monkey likes pizza, that he will eat and enjoy it and then he may relax.

Instead he touches bits to his lips, and puts it down, turns it around in his hands and then looks at it in disgust. Here we go again, but with Pizza? What? Another food to add to the list of foods he won’t eat?? Same goes for the chips that come next. Then, because he is hungry, the ear rubbing starts and then the wailing and screaming because he is hungry but doesn’t want to eat the food in front of him. I can feel my blood boiling and set my face and try not to react to him or get upset. My lovely friends are hugely supportive and share similar stories to reassure me. I try to ignore it for a while, which really doesn’t work. So I take him out of the situation and give him big cuddles and try to calm him down, but if anything the wailing gets worse! Back into the kitchen where, after quite a lot more wailing, he gets distracted by magnetic fridge letters next to us and the crying slows to whimpers while he starts to play.

Cue lovely support from my friends and more sharing of tips and their experiences, it helps so much, and then one of my friends shifts the subject slightly to their recent issues with getting their little ones to sleep, and suddenly I have the thing I have been missing throughout the previous trauma, perspective! Time to count my blessings. Yes we have issues with Monkey over food sometimes (not always, last night for example he scoffed chicken, potato, chickpeas and rice in a lovely curry which was actually quite spicy!) but on the whole we are very lucky and he is a good boy. I know things can change all the time and I am probably tempting fate by even thinking this, let alone writing it down and sharing with the world! He sleeps solidly overnight and has done since he was only a few months old, bar the odd poorly night or bad dream now and then. In general he is well behaved and listens when mummy and daddy tell him not to do something (within reason, I don’t expect him to be perfectly behaved and if anything I like the strong willed times too as it shows strength of character), he’s not a crybaby and doesn’t create a fuss if he bumps his head or falls down unless he has really hurt himself.

So in that moment, where I had felt tears pricking at my eyes and my blood boiling, I suddenly felt a wave of relief. That doesn’t mean that the problems with food aren’t worth worrying about, of course not. But what I realised in that moment, is that at those times, when it feels like the end of the world, I have to remember that it isn’t. It’s a challenge yes but hopefully not one that can’t be overcome. When I feel like a failure as a mother because I just don’t understand why he won’t eat sometimes, I have to remember that I am doing my best and that all mums feel like this, even if not about the same issue. Just because another child eats well, they may not sleep well, or may other ‘issues’ to overcome. As my friend went on to say, they can’t be perfect all the time.

I hate to give in when he won’t eat perfectly good food, the rule at home is eat what is there or eat nothing. But at someone else’s house, I have to soften the hard line a little, mainly for my sake so I can relax a little. So he ate some sultanas, dried apple and dried cranberries, because he will always eat dried fruit, no matter what. Honestly I think he would live off fruits and nuts if I let him, which while isn’t the worst food in the world, it isn’t exactly a varied diet and wouldn’t solve the problem. But it cheered him up sufficiently and he did enjoy the party a little more after that thank goodness!

The point I am making to myself is take a breath and look at the problem/challenge in perspective. Whatever the worry at that time, it won’t last forever and things could always be a lot worse so I need to count my blessings rather than picking faults and worrying too much.

If you enjoyed reading, why not have a look at the other posts in my Survival Kit series?  Resilience, Confidence and Creativity.


Battling boredom and keeping busy

As I have written before, being a stay at home mum is the right decision for me at the moment, because I am lucky enough that we can afford it, and because I like being the one to teach Monkey and to watch him grow. Even though I am confident that it is the right decision for me, it isn’t always easy and some days are definitely more difficult than others. Boredom is one of weirdly hard things about it. We live by a routine as it is the best way for Monkey to be happy and healthy and therefore the best thing for me. But  as with any routine, this can lead to monotony. Particularly as Monkey gets older and needs my constant attention a lot less.

Playtime with friends

Playtime with friends

With the grandparents

With the grandparents


I’ve known for a while that one of the key things to do as a stay at home mum is to get out of the house every day. To get some adult company where possible, to help Monkey burn off some energy, to get a change of scene, you get the idea. This helps with boredom somewhat as it keeps us busy. We go with friends and other kiddies to parks when the weather is good, and indoor soft play places/cafes with play areas etc, when the weather is not so good. We visit relatives and have relatives round. We go to the shops, shopping centres, garden centres (he particularly likes fish and pet areas) or sometimes just for a walk round the block.

Playtime with friends

Out for a walk







This does help a lot but doesn’t really solve anything, and on days where we have nothing planned and the weather isn’t great for getting out…. I can get quite moody and irritable. I just don’t always know what to do with him to burn off some energy and keep him going. We could obviously always go to a garden centre or shopping centre, but I am also not a huge fan of wandering aimlessly with no purpose so if I don’t need (or can’t afford) to buy anything then I don’t like going. So that is when I come up with all sorts of playtime ideas, but even those don’t keep him occupied for that long.

Yummy Red Velvet Cake

Yummy Red Velvet Cake


Having fun with crochet

Having fun with crochet

Even when we do keep busy  together, it’s not usually very mentally stimulating. I can absolutely understand why some mums want to go back to work, because they need something else for themselves. I understand that completely and because of this I do question my decision at times, though for me all of the reasons I chose to stay at home, outweigh this one thing. But I do also recognise that I need some mental stimulation. This is why I crochet and do other crafty bits. It’s why I bake and cook to challenge myself (when I am not on a diet at least haha). I think a lot about home improvements and do all the household budgets, manage hubby’s business account. I also read a lot and I do most of the housework too but that doesn’t stimulate my mind! haha


If we didn’t know we wanted baby number 2 within the next year or so, I think I would be looking to go back to work now, but as it is there isn’t any point trying to find a job at the moment so I will just have to keep busy and find new ways of battling boredom until number 2 comes along, and then we will just wait and see how I feel after that. I think about studying something or even doing some work from home part time, but again I am not sure that I am ready to commit to anything like that when I know we hope to have another baby at some point, as I am sure I will have much less opportunity to get bored with 2 little ones in the house! At least until number 2 is a bit older.

Any other stay at home mums get bored sometimes? How do you keep yourself going?

My negative head has taken over this morning…

I had a really lovely week this week. We are all well again after being poorly and it has just been nice and relaxed and Monkey and I have had a lot of fun. But, for some reason, I have woken up this morning with my negative head on. Does anyone else ever get this? When I have my negative head on it is like all of the niggles that usually live in the back of my mind, come flying to the front and seem insurmountable. The happy mundane routine of life at the moment suddenly seems stifling and I feel like I want to escape….. but to where or what, I don’t know.

I am alternating between stomping round the house, shouting at objects, (such as my phone because it won’t do what I want) and sitting crying and thinking about all the negatives in life. I should point out at this point that Monkey is out with Daddy for an hour or so, so he isn’t witnessing any of this! I am generally a positive and happy person. I try to look at the positives in life, so this is all quite out of character for me, but it does happen sometimes, and as this blog is about my life as a stay at home mum, I feel I need to share the lows as well as the highs. I am not using this blog to try and make myself out to be the perfect mum, far from it! I also find that it is quite cathartic to get it all out of my head by writing it down.

I made the decision to be a stay at home mum. It was my decision and mine alone, with the support of my husband. I have written a lot about this decision in the past so won’t go into detail here, but most of the time I love watching Monkey grow and develop and I feel I have made the right choice. But on days like today, when my negative head has taken over, I am back to doubting all of this again. I wonder if I am using being a stay at home mum to hide from the pressure of having to do something in my life or to be successful. I wonder if being a stay at home mum is enough for me or if I should be doing something else. I feel like a failure which also feels crazy because I chose to do it and I try very hard to do a good job. I don’t feel like I am failing at being a mummy, I’m not a domestic goddess or anything but I don’t feel like I am failing at that specifically either. I just feel like I am failing in general, maybe because there is no evidence of success or achievement? I don’t know if this rings any bells with anyone or if it just makes no sense at all from the outside.

So I start to wonder if I can do something else, I mean I crochet and I blog but I wonder if there is something else I can do to give myself more of a feeling of achievement. I used to love photography and drawing, and I wonder about writing a story or something, but then the negative head hits back at these attempts to find a positive solutions, and tells me I am not creative enough or talented enough to be successful so why bother. So I wonder if I should go back to work but then I do a full circle and think about the Monkey and I do know that I don’t want to leave him to go to work. I could work from home, but do what? And find the time where? Then the negative head tells me I am lazy and unmotivated… maybe I am.

My negative head usually doesn’t stick around for long, and sharing these thoughts on here already seems to be diminishing it’s hold over me. Hubby and Monkey are back and chomping on the flapjacks fresh from the oven and I feel myself coming back. But I know it will take over again one day to cast shadows and doubt over my purposefully happy and mundane life. For now though I am going to sign off and try and enjoy this sunny Sunday with my family.

A wonderful day at the aquarium… followed by a less than wonderful week

Last week was hubby’s birthday so he took the whole week off! We had been looking forward to it for ages. We had lots of nice, simple things planned to spend time with family, and for hubby to spend some time with Monkey, and me of course :). We thought about going away somewhere but with it being half term everywhere was quite expensive, and this time of year can be difficult to predict with the weather, so we decided to just take day trips from home.

The first day we had planned was to go to the Sea Life centre in Hunstanton, which is the nearest one to us, just over an hour away. My parents (Nanny and Grandpops) were really excited to come too. Our plans very nearly got scuppered by the ‘Big Storm’ on the sunday but thankfully by Monday morning it was nowhere near us or the journey so we headed off. It was certainly a wet and windy day but it was also such a lovely day!

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Monkey loved every minute and was so good. He loved the fish and the rays and the Seals. It was really nice to get out and do something different, you know?



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It was such a great day, but unfortunately the week went rapidly downhill from there… that night we were shattered so went to bed at about 9, but unfortunately just an hour or so later I was up, and that was it, for the rest of the night I had the worst sickness and diarrhoea of my life. I knew some friends had had a bug recently and I guess I got it! It was so awful, and lasted most of the week :(. Hubby got it too, though thankfully not quite as badly… I got food poisoning years ago when I was travelling in Peru and honestly my tummy has not been the same since. Anyway no further details needed, we were so grateful that Monkey didn’t get ill too!

But needless to say, our plans for the week were very much scuppered! I spent most of the week asleep and Hubby wasn’t right either so we had to call on the grandparents to help keep the Monkey busy and look after us. We are so lucky to have our family close by for emergencies.

We are all much better now thankfully and happy to get back to normal. It wasn’t exactly the week we had planned but Hubby at least managed to have a lot of fun with Monkey and we did manage to get out a bit by the weekend. I am just so pleased we made it to the Sea Life centre on Monday, so the week wasn’t a total washout!


The rough with the smooth… and good samaritans

We had a pretty miserable day yesterday and Monkey was not happy no matter what we seemed to do. We had so much whining (which I am afraid to say really grates my nerves) and it all built up to a huge battle of wills at lunchtime. He has been getting fussier and fussier with food again over the last few weeks, I won’t go into too much detail here I have written about mealtime battles before and am writing a longer blog about dealing with food issues so it is all in one place, rather than boring you all with endless blogs about the same thing!

But anyway, yesterday lunchtime was a screaming, wailing nightmare with him refusing to eat his falafel, which I know he loves. We ended up taking him out just to get out of the house, hoping for a change of scene to help. Eventually, after realising he really wasn’t going to get anything else, he took a tiny bite out of the tupperware pot I had transferred it to, and then scoffed the lot because oh yes I really like this. Grrrr Why we had to have half an hour of screaming before this I do not know.

He was really fussy all afternoon after his nap too, though we were definitely being stricter with his food intake yesterday, and he scoffed all of his dinner (yay) but then by bathtime and bedtime he was a real misery guts again. By the time he was in bed both hubby and I had had enough.

This morning he woke up much happier and actually coped pretty well as I carted him around various shops. Unfortunately I had a disaster as I lost my purse this morning, it was in my coat pocket and all I can think is that when I was putting Monkey in the car to come home it must have fallen out as when I got home I could not find it anywhere. I was devastated at the thought of having to go through all of the hassle of cancelling cards and getting a new driving licence etc. So after his snack we dashed back to the last place I knew I had it and checked with the shops and with the security guard who patrols the car park, nothing, I was gutted.

We came home again as my parents were coming round, opened the front door and ouila! My purse was staring up at me! Some lovely lovely good samaritan found it, saw my address on my driving licence and brought it back for me! I was amazed and just couldn’t believe it! She had put her name and number on a little piece of paper so after I had calmed down from the stress of it I gave her a call and thanked her profusely.

The funny thing is that it was like a turning point in my day. After yesterday, and with the miserable weather and with the purse drama I had been feeling so low. But pretty soon after we go home my parents arrived and from then on we have had the loveliest day! Monkey was on top form and back to his old self again, having so much fun with his Nanny and Grandpops it really warms my heart. He then ate his lunch with no fuss whatsoever (yay!) and went out for a play with his grandparents as it stopped raining for a little while. This meant that I got a load of jobs done in the house which made me feel better. I think there is really something in the whole, tidy house, tidy mind thing.

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Anyway then home for a bit more of a play and then down for his nap. He was lovely all afternoon and we popped over to his other grandparents house for a brief visit to return a collection of things we had at our house (including Granny’s umbrella, which she must have been missing!). He had a lovely lovely play with them and then he came home for tea and he ate so well! He still spat a few things out and was a bit silly (he has recently discovered sticking his tongue out and one of his favourite things today has been blowing raspberries), but on the whole he ate really well and and tried everything.

We had a lovely bathtime and he was so cute reading stories with his daddy both before and after and well I had to write this blog post because honestly I could not feel more different to how I did yesterday. There are always ups and downs in life, and especially I am finding, as a parent, but the stark contrast of today and yesterday really hit me. Be thankful for the good days and just get through the bad days as they won’t all be that hard!

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The realities of playtime with a tiny toddler

I wrote this post in the summer, when Monkey was 14 months old, but it seems apt for the theme of ‘Play’ for this week’s The Theme Game:

Right it is time to be honest here, keeping a little one entertained for longer than a few minutes at a time is practically impossible. I was going to say 5 minutes but hubby felt (and I agreed) that 5 mins was too ambitious, so a few minutes is more realistic. If you have read much of my blog you will know that I am trying out a lot of different play ideas with my monkey. He is constantly on the go and looking for things to do so I try really hard to find knew ways for him to learn through play.

I spend a lot of time (in short bursts between looking after monkey and trying to keep the house clean-ish) perusing the internet, via pinterest, other blogs and baby sites to get ideas. I read books and was even given a set of cards with things to do. Many of the ideas are common sense, such as ‘go outside’. Honestly I spend so much time outside as there is free entertainment out there in the form of oh, daisies, stones, mud … anything on the ground….. But these places do come up with some gems that I like to try out but really you have no idea if your little one will be ready for it developmentally, or will get bored uber quickly, or like it, until their attention is taken by something else.

P1030010Because, in reality, to fill a day of playing at home, you have to try out so many different things. In the space of an hour yesterday, we did some finger painting, played with play-doh, danced around to some music, played with the clothes pegs (basically spreading them around the room while I tried in vain to get him to “put them back” which I know he understands but complies with intermittently) played with his new kitchen, used mummy as a climbing frame, went in the garden (even though it was starting to rain, I was getting desperate) and played in the very wet sand pit, dug in the dirt, played in the sand and water a bit more, then as he was now filthy and it was nearly nap time, had a bit of a play sorting bottles out in the bath while I washed off the debris from playtime.


P1020801Whilst all this is happening I’m also trying to clean up the mess made my some of these activities, scrubbing a potential stain from the finger paints on our lovely dining table (I hadn’t realised he’d got paint on the bottom of his drink bottle until after it had sat on the table for a few mins – thankfully it came off though), trying to pick up all the teeny bits of play-doh off the floor as he likes too tear it up and spread it around the room (we confine this activity to the conservatory thankfully so it doesn’t get walked through the house), pull play-doh out of my hair and pick up the clothes pegs (until he sees they are back in the basket and decides to up-end it again -this was the point that we went outside). I’m sure this is all sounding very very familiar to the other mummies out there!

An hour or so of this I am ok with, but when faced with an entire day at home is it any wonder I go wibbly at the knees? It is fun, don’t get me wrong, but oh, so, tiring. Hence, this morning when my friend text me at 7:30am (I know if I get a text at this time of the morning that it will be another mummy) and suggested we go to the park for the day, I jumped at the chance! I had been sat contemplating my options for the day ahead and was relieved to be able to go and entertain him outside on the play area, in the sand pit and in the paddling pool there. Of course I also take stickers, a ball and other toys for when he is bored of those activities! 🙂 Plus it is nice to have a good natter with my friend and talk about our ups and downs, much more fun than taking the monkey on my own. He is making lots of word-like sounds at the moment but as yet he is not much of a conversationalist.

My point, ah yes, I don’t really have one, other than to any other mummy who puts in the effort of making homemade paints, play-doh etc, only to have the little one play for a couple of mins at a time, you are not alone! I have found lots of places to find the ideas of things to do, but very few people realistically saying, that this may entertain them for a max of 5 minutes. Who knows, maybe it is just my Monkey, maybe he is going to grow up to have ADHD or  something? Though I have read that a short attention span is normal so I hope not. Either way though I will continue to try things out as I know that eventually he will play longer by himself and be occupied by something for a slightly longer period. Bring on that day is all I can say 🙂

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