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Gentle parenting

The tension in the room was palpable, with sharp intakes of breath and much reiteration of what-I-meant-despite-what-I-sounded-like. The Mumsnet Blogfest 2013 Keynote Panel topic “Can you be a mummy blogger and still be a feminist?” was selected in order to be controversial, though one must ask, “To what end?” Starting with arguably petty questions such as “Is making jam feminist?”, “Is wearing high heels feminist?”, many valuable points to be made were lost from the start. All delegates were invited to attend this session and yet, many would not have

I really hated that term, potty training. I recoiled from it. To me, training was something you did with a dog (or failed to do with a cat), complete with treats and manipulation. Instead, I looked to elimination communication for an answer but was flummoxed. At 18 months, my daughter flat refused to let me put her on a potty or bring a potty near her. EC in its traditional sense was no longer going to be possible. However, I wish I’d not taken that as a cue to return

Parenting is SO hard. You’re only human. You can’t keep your temper / watch what they’re doing all the time / *insert some other good decision*. There is so much pressure on mothers these days. True. We are going to make mistakes, some of them big. There is no question about that. What’s been bothering me lately is how obsessed we seem to be with putting bandaids on each other when we admit that we’ve done something wrong. Wrong. Because parents do things that aren’t OK. Good parents do things

Both times I’ve been pregnant, I’ve found that something about this state makes me extraordinarily comfortable with my appearance. I feel light even as I get heavier and much at peace with my femininity. Last time, it was unsurprising. My hair got thick and glossy. My skin was the clearest it’s ever been. However, even this time around with my hair getting a bit ratty and my skin breaking out more and more, I still feel utterly beautiful, carrying this baby. But that’s not what I’m supposed to say. It’s

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Four years ago, I made big promises to this guy and to God, before our family and friends. It’s still one of the best decisions I’ve made in life, the start of a real adventure. Photos by Courtenay Photographic. You can see more of the set here. Two years ago, we were joined by this little person. And now we’re expecting to be joined by another. So, we realised that we better get it in quick before February if we wanted to have a romantic

Now that Talitha is no longer rocked or fed to sleep, we’ve discovered a huge repertoire of songs to lull her before pretending to fall, or actually falling asleep, ourselves. The bedtime routine goes something like this: Talitha: Read [insert book name] please. Laurence/Me: We’ve already read three books. Books all done. T: One more! L/M: No, no. All done. Time to sleep. T: I don’t want to sleep. L/M: I can go for a bit so you can sleep. T: No! No! Don’t go! Don’t go! Daddy/Mummy stay there!

I’m participating in Story of Mum’s virtual exhibition running over the summer, which gives me two tasks, to curate a piece of artwork from their collection and to create one of my own. One of the statements that spoke loudest to me is the one above. It’s from the “I’m a mum and a…” collection. “And I don’t know what I am yet…” resonates strongly with me because, if asked to do some soul searching and define myself, I’m not sure I could or should do it just yet. There’s

It’s been a rough week with Talitha. Tantrums on her side, frustration on mine. It would be easy to say that she’s been defiant but, really, she’s just learning and exerting her independence. This is a good thing. After switching the TV on because I needed a break and crying on the sofa after I’ve put her to bed, I’ve come face to face with a big part of the problem. It’s not about her making me angry, it’s about the anger that already lives inside me. Frighteningly, I can

I have actively resisted going to parenting courses, partly because most that I’ve come across have seemed at odds with my parenting philosophy. I find it weird when any list of techniques is universally applied to children by strangers who don’t know them. It’s the same reason I’m careful about what parenting books I read. My rule of thumb for any parenting advice I receive is to ask: 1. Is this coming from a place where the child’s feelings and experience are considered valuable? 2. Does this approach recognise that

When Talitha was born I said I wouldn’t use paid childcare. My mother made sacrifices to stay home with us and I grew up knowing the value of a mother’s continued presence in a child’s early life. However, when Talitha neared a year, I was surprised that a part of me longed to do other work too and that this felt like a good thing. Maybe it was the fact that I was by then getting a bit more sleep – who knows? Me earning a bit extra would certainly

Last year we decided that I would return to work on a part-time basis. We need the money and part of me wants paid work. We’ve also figured out since then that we can live on less and that part of me just wants to be with Talitha. Talk about inner conflict. The only way we could ease this was by deciding that it would only be very part-time. We also put a lot of thought into figuring out who would get to spend the day with our sweet girl.

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