Tuesday, 28 July 2015
"I'm a FULL TIME MUM"
Has anybody ever come across anyone who says this?
Let's just dissect this little statement and try and fathom out some kind of meaning so we can all be assured what contract we seem to be holding in our role as "mother". Full time? Part time? Zero hour?
The other week I spent around 70 hours at work, leaving 98 hours left of the week spent at home. Now if you calculate the 12 hours a night my son sleeps and remove that from the equation I spent a total of 14 hours with my son in one week.
I'm a terrible parent.
I'm not a full time mum! I'm not even a part time mum! My child should sack me! Immediately!
But wait a minute. When did we start describing motherhood as though it were a job? Do we get paid to do it? No. Do we receive annual holidays, bonus's, a contract?
Tell me. When I go to work (and I'm talking about my paid job here just to avoid any confusion), do I stop being a mum? Am I only a mum some of the time, this being strictly when in the presence of my child?
Of course not!! My child doesn't suddenly become "motherless" because I have gone to work! I am still his mother!
When I set off for work in the morning and creep out so as not to wake him, I'm his mother. When I arrive at work and ring his Dad to ask if he's had breakfast, I'm his mother. When I talk about him with people at work, I'm his mother. When I get on with my job and he isn't at the forefront of my mind, I'm his mother. And when I speed walk home in the hope he may still be awake, I'm his mother. I'm his mother when I pick up my pay cheque and I am his mother when I use that pay cheque to buy things he needs. I am always his mother. There is not one second of my life where I am not. Doesn't this make me a full time mum too?
I get envious of mums who can stay at home with their children. I do not judge them or think any less of them. Sometimes I wish I could be them and have the privilege of staying with my son 24/7, never missing chunks of his day, and being there to soothe every cut and scrape.
But I'm not.
I'm going to hazard a guess here and suggest this "full time mum" term has come as another result of the Mummy Competition and the dreaded feeling of being judged with every parenting decision we make.
Stay at home mums feel judged and therefore justify why they don't work. Working mums feel judged and therefore justify why they do. But really, does it matter? Do we have to keep judging each other?
Do stay at home mums have to refer to themselves as full time mums and imply that those that work are not?
Do mothers who work have to impose judgment on those that don't as if they have life any easier?
We are all mums. Whether we choose to stay at home or choose to work. Whether our children are permanently in the family home or whether they spend half their time with their fathers after a parental breakup.
We are just mums.
We are all just mums.
My name is Louise. I am a mum. I do a lot of other things also, but like you, I am just a mum.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Soooooo!! I got nominated!! Whooooop! Thankyou so much @everythingisap
The Liebster Award is a great way to acknowledge the blogs that you like, and for bloggers to get to know each other.
11 Facts About Me!
1. I work in mental health and volunteer as a Breastfeeding support worker
2. I have a degree in Psychology
3. I talk for England
4. I'm 31 and have only just started having driving lessons
5. I am (not so) secretly in love with MeatLoaf
6. I was in the first ever series of XFactor. I got through a couple of rounds before being booted out
7. I have a fear of clowns
8. When I was pregnant I craved the smell of rubber, polish & Milton. I walked in to a shoe store & had to walk out due to a sudden urge to pick up a rubber soled shoe and bite it
9. I can play the drums
10. Pre motherhood I travelled round South East Asia
11. I can twist my hand all the way round. It's my favourite party trick
11 questions to my nominated bloggers!
1. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
2. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
3. If you could swap lives with anyone for the day who would you choose?
4. What is your child's most annoying habit?
5. What is your most annoying habit?
6. If you could teach your child only one thing, what would it be?
7. Do you have any talents?
8. Who is your hero?
9. Why did you start blogging?
10. What have you learned from being a parent?
11. What would be number one on your bucket list?
I nominate the following bloggers
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
I breastfed my son until he was 2 years old and I'm currently breastfeeding my 10 month old daughter. I've always been extremely passionate about the choices I've made in regards to how I feed my children. Most people know the exceptional health benefits of Breastfeeding for both Mother and Child, and of course my decision to Breastfeed was based upon these benefits. However, as I became familiar with Breastfeeding I stumbled across some other benefits too, and I'm pretty sure that if they included some of the following points in pro Breastfeeding campaigns they would have done pretty positive results!
*Please note: this post is written only for those with a sense of humour*
1) YOU CAN BE LAZY THROUGH THE NIGHT
I could seriously not think of ANYTHING worse than having to get up in the middle of the night & stumble around sterilising bottles & preparing feeds. I think I would actually do myself an injury. It's hard enough having to peel your eyes open every 2-3 hours when your baby demands your attention, without having to concentrate on actually walking around and preparing things! Hats off to all women who manage to do it, but I'm simply not cut out for that shit! I prefer reaching for my baby, latching them on, quick nappy change......then putting them back again. Plus, breast milk contains a sleep inducing hormone which is pretty much guaranteed to zonk them back out again!
2) YOU CAN BE LAZY THROUGH THE DAY
As you're the only one who can feed your child this is a great excuse to avoid any "jobs" that need doing round the house, and allows you to delegate them to somebody else. You can sit down with your feet up, enjoy time with your baby, OR use your time to chat on the phone, browse through social media/ a magazine, and simply relax.
3) YOU CAN EAT MORE
Breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories. Great news! You can eat that Black Forest gateaux that you've been eyeing up in the fridge all day without a smidgen of guilt! And babies are really forgiving so if you choose to eat it whilst you're feeding and flicking through a magazine, they probably won't mind too much if you drop a few crumbs on their head
4) NO PERIODS
No cramps, no moodiness, no other horrific period symptoms.
Need I go on?
5) KATIE HOPKINS
This woman makes my teeth itch and has been quite public about her distaste for the "breast feeding militia" and public breast feeding. To be quite frank, when it comes to winding Katie Hopkins up, I want a slice of the action.
6) ITS FREE!!
No purchase of breast milk is needed, which frees your money up for cake....I mean, other essential items (cake).
Not only is it free BUT you can't run out! And that means you can stay in your pyjamas all day if you choose to do so, without having to worry about popping to the shop because you're running low!
7) YOU CAN'T FORGET IT!
The chances of walking out of the house without your boobs are slim to none. Breasts are also handily attached to your chest, which means you don't need to stuff items down in your bag in order to desperately make some room to fit them in. I can't guarantee you won't forget other essential items, but it's handy to know your trusty jugs will always be available.
8) THEY FIX EVERYTHING
Nine times out of ten your boobs will be able to hush a crying baby, no matter what the issue is. They may not even be hungry, but you can be pretty sure that by shoving your breasts in their face they'll soon forget whatever they got aggro about in the first place! This requires zilch thinking and keep everyone happy/sane
9) MASSIVE RACK
I know you were all thinking it. I said it. Breasts that are full of milk are huge...and firm!! This is obviously an extremely shallow reason to Breastfeed (then again aren't all the other reasons I've mentioned so far?), but ITS TRUE!! and therefore it's as good a reason as any.
10) YOU CAN USE IT AS AN EXCUSE FOR ALMOST ANYTHING
Late? Oh sorry I was just about to leave the house & then the baby needed feeding.
Invited somewhere you don't want to go? Oh I'd love to, but I simply can't leave the baby...I'm Breastfeeding.
You get the drift!
Now i'm not saying that any of these reasons should influence your decision about whether you Breastfeed or not. And there are far more sensible, scientific benefits to Breastfeeding than those mentioned above. But you've got to admit, they make for a great added bonus!...right?
Monday, 6 July 2015
1) Kids aren't exactly the best at Hide & Seek.
2) If kids are tired, they will literally go to sleep anywhere...
....on the computer table
....on the floor
....on you...propped up by your back as you eat a meal.
3) Kids have tantrums. These can occur at any time and in any place. For ANY reason
....at home, because they took their own sock off
....in a shop, because you tried to pass them a toy off the shelf that wasn't in a ripped box
....outside, because you told them they couldn't eat 3 kinder eggs at once
...on a train, because you set off 2 whole minutes ago & hadn't reached your destination yet
4) Kids are extremely messy
...ironing & folding their clothes is pointless
...and you will quickly learn that certain items should be kept out of reach
....not that keeping things out of reach will deter them
5) If you wait until they are truly ready, potty training can be a walk in the park
...but teaching them to dress themselves may not be as simple
6) Kids like to copy adults, and can often be people pleasers. You can use this to your advantage in a number of ways
......like the dishes
...or perhaps the hoovering....
7) And despite the endless games of terrible hide and seek, falling asleep in random places, the tantrums, the mess and the potty training; as you sit back with a cup of tea and watch the little mites clean up (in a fashion), in their desperate attempts to be just like Mummy & Daddy, you'll reflect on how actually, these mini monsters aren't so bad after all...in fact they're really cute..adorable...they give great hugs...they smell amazing. The stresses of the day will melt away and you'll look at them adoringly...
....until they eat your subway sandwich
Saturday, 4 July 2015
You've just found out your pregnant and have had your first midwife appointment where she has hooked you up with a pregnancy book, telling you every detail of how to prepare for your future baby.
You flick straight to the items you'll need to purchase, because as people will tell you consistently, "babies are expensive!"
You'll do further research as you sign yourself up online to every baby website/store out there who also give a friendly helpful list of items that you'll need in order to care for your offspring.
The list gets bigger and bigger....but guess what? Half of it is pointless!
You won't realise this until you've had your baby, and then it clicks in that there was no real need for half the junk that you've accumulated.
Here's a list of things that I will definitely NOT be purchasing for baby number 2
1) Changing Table
Yes, they look nice in your newly decorated nursery, and I suppose they ease the stress and strain on your back. But in reality, are you going to cart your baby upstairs to their nursery every time they need their nappy changing? Because believe me, they need changing A LOT! The only time I ever used mine was during the night, and that was at a push, considering my son slept in my bedroom until he was 8 months old. Despite having a fancy changing table, you will most likely find yourself using the floor or your knee for those endless nappy changes, whilst your new piece of furniture gathers dust!
Save yourself a few quid and get a changing mat from poundland. Jobs a gooden.
Now of course a baby needs clothes, but what I mean when I say this is "outfits".
Yes they will look ever so cute hanging there in the shop as you imagine your soon to be bundle of joy sporting a frilly top and a pair of jeggings, but seriously, when you have become familiar with poonamis, poo bombs, vomit, and the constant changes/laundry, you will find you stick to baby grows and vests. They're easy, they're comfy, and they still look pretty damn cute.
I'm going to keep this one short. Babies can't walk. The end.
If you're anything like me, you will have purchased a cot and a beautiful bedspread to go with it. You may have already dressed your cot with said bedspread before baby even arrives.
My son was around 4/5 months old when he went in his cot for the first time, and when he did, the bedspread had been removed.
He slept with a fitted sheet over his mattress and a gro bag. Honestly, this is all you need, until they are around 2.
5) Expensive Pram
Prams were the one item that caused the most confusion for me when I was expecting. There are so many styles, prices, colours. I could not get my head round it. The pram I purchased cost around £400, which is quite cheap compared to some. Do you know what I used when my son was born?
Baby number 2 will not be having a pram. Of course, this is personal preference, but I found slings much easier. You can go up stairs, hop on the bus without having to worry that other mums have taken up the pram spaces, your hands are free, and you're getting close contact with your baby.
6) Changing bag
Dependent on the style of handbag you usually use, mine are big enough to chuck in a few nappies, wipes, vests and baby grow. For me, buying a changing bag was pointless.
7) Baby Bath
Now, I did use this, and I also stored it for when I do decide to have another baby. Although on reflection it was probably another unnecessary purchase. I mean, they're no different to a sink really, and we all have one of them don't we?
8) Hooded Baby Towels
A normal towel will suffice! Believe me!
9) Musical Mobile
They look extremely cute, hanging above the cot & it's a lovely idea to think of your baby laid there watching his/her mobile & slowly drifting off to sleep. And then you wake up...because yes, some mothers may be lucky enough to have a baby that can be placed down & will settle themselves off to sleep, but most of us end up placing our children in their cots when they are already asleep, after endless settling, floor walking, feeding. If you're a lucky mother, then by all means buy one. But I'd wait until you've established whether your baby is a raging psychopath first, because most are, I'm not going to lie.
10) Nappy Stackers
Do you really need a piece of canvas to stack your nappies in? Are you actually going to take time to open a pack of nappies and neatly stack them in one of these contraptions that hang neatly on the side of a cot? Yes! Your pregnant self may say. Let me tell you now, no you won't! What a load of hassle! Guess what? Nappies are already stacked! In the packaging they come in! Wing a pack of nappies upstairs and downstairs and you're sorted. Don't make life difficult for yourself for the sake of things looking presentable. I think I used my nappy stacker once. Then I regained my mind and used it as a laundry bag for the rest of it's life.
Read more of The Confusing Diaries Of A Puzzled Mummy on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/Puzzledmummy
Friday, 3 July 2015
This morning, through the hustle & bustle of trying to get Oliver bathed and dressed ready for preschool I found a few minutes spare to browse through my Facebook news feed. Unfortunately I came across an update from "This Morning" which drew me in when I saw the name of our local high school within the text.
Trentham High School have made the decision to ban female pupils wearing skirts from September. Why? You may ask....wait for it....
Trentham High School are banning female pupils from wearing skirts because male members of staff find it unpleasant and also a distraction.
The way this has been worded immediately makes you jump to the conclusion that the male teachers at Trentham High are sexual predators who are distracted by young females in skirts. I find it highly irresponsible of the school to have given these reasons to justify the ban.
In reality, the distraction most likely comes from teachers, both male AND female having to constantly remind female pupils to roll their skirts down after hitching them up, hence interrupting lesson time. That's fair enough.
However, the School has openly stated that distraction comes from male teachers and pupils having to watch girls walk upstairs and sit down, wearing a short skirt. By stating this in their reasons for banning skirts they have immediately conveyed a social message to the female pupils within the school.
Let's think about what we are teaching our future female generation here by giving these reasons to ban skirts as uniform. We are teaching them that despite the constant battles that women have undertook over the many years, we STILL do not have gender equality. We are teaching them that victim blaming and sexual objectification is perfectly fine in 2015 and if you are met with sexually inappropriate behaviour or worst case scenario, you are raped, then it's probably your fault because you were wearing a skirt.
School is for learning. Our children don't just learn academically, they learn socially, psychologically, emotionally. At the ages 11-16 females are going through a pivotal point in their development. Are we really going to normalise despicable societal attitudes to gender and sexuality?
This doesn't just affect female pupils, but also males. What example is being set here for them?
As a mother, and a woman I disappointed by the whole scenario. Surely an adaption of uniform could have taken place, such as replacing skirts with pinafores, rather than banning skirts completely?
Or if there really was no other option but to ban skirts, could they really not have given reasons for this without sexualising young women, potentially putting male staff at risk by using their gender as a reason as to why they are distracted?
What are your thoughts?