What the last decade has taught me that I want to teach my children

So I got up this morning somehow 28. It’s my birthday today. Really, 18 does not feel a decade ago, even though everything has changed in that time. I’ve been reflecting on what’s changed and what hasn’t. It’s made me think about what I want my daughters (who have been the biggest change in my life) to know about what maturing means. Ten years ago, I was learning to drive. Today, I’m still learning. In fact, I have another driving test tomorrow. I’m actually in a pretty good place with this. I might pass, I might not. I will eventually.…

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Toddlercalm – A Gentle Parenting Read

For ages I’ve been telling people that I’m reading this fantastic book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith called ToddlerCalm: A guide for calmer toddlers and happier parents. She sent me a copy as a thank you for providing a quote at the book’s start. Yet I hadn’t got around to finishing it because I have an unrealistic reading list at the moment. Instead, I read the introductory chapters and would dart in and out of other topics as I hit times of stress with my toddler. Talitha, at two years and eight months has leapt to a new stage in her development…

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Baby Sleeping Trust Techniques – Alternatives to Controlled Crying

I recently read Rebecca Welton’s Baby Sleeping Trust Techniques – Alternatives to Controlled Crying, and as infant sleep is a topic that seems to keep coming up in my conversations these days (both because I’m supporting others and because I’m looking toward the long neck of sleep deprivation once more), it seems timely. It is an accessible read and, to be sure, a compassionate, sincere and often sensible one too. I fully embrace her much repeated assertion that night waking is normal and that sleeping through is a learned skill for all humans. However, I’m hesitant about some of the…

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Reasons I’m Undecided About Santa Claus

It kind of surprised us this year that we’d have to think about Santa Claus. We’d given it very little thought and pretty much expected it to be something that was at least another year away. Of course, it just didn’t work out that way. My two and a half year old saw him everywhere and wanted to know who he was. I started off telling her that he was someone who liked Christmas a lot. Then she one day told me that he was bringing her presents. I was amused that she’d understood this having overheard it or been…

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How to Stay at Home Without Losing the Plot

Laurence sometimes gets a kick out of reminding me of what a lovely time I’m having staying at home with Talitha: “You got to go to the zoo today. You get to go to the zoo as part of your job.” It is in jest, though, because he knows that as wonderful as we both know staying at home with our two-year-old is, it’s incredibly hard work too. The hardest I’ve ever done. And if I had the earning potential so the roles could be reversed, I’m pretty sure he’d not want to exchange with me. Which works out well…

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Gentle Parenting is Slow Parenting

I had such a frustrating day with Talitha today. And she had such a frustrating day with me. It was a combination of her still being a bit unwell, me being exhausted as I have been, her going through some crazy 2.5-year-old developmental leap and me not quite keeping up with it. Basically, we were both ineffective in communicating with the other – she because she’s, well, two-and-a-half, and me because I’ve never had to parent a child her age before. After a particularly scalding temper tantrum, she fell asleep in my arms in the rocking chair. There we sat,…

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I am a Mummy Blogger and a Feminist

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 self-identified as feminists. The term is still grossly misunderstood and…

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