Mummy and toddler Friday. The fifth day of the week. To me, that was the fifth day of endless whinging, tugging at my pyjama top with such force that my boob popped out, body-stiffening-head-thrown-back-tantrum-having and food throwing. I am of course talking about my toddler, who this week has been IMPOSSIBLE to please.

His objections have included, but are not limited to;

  • Reaching the third verse – or my third verse of, ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ (does anyone sing that song in the same order?!). Anyway, apparently touching your nose is NOT something you do if you’re happy and you know it. It’s something you do if you’re utterly grumpy and want to cry hysterically.
  • Throwing himself on the floor in Ernest Jones because I wouldn’t let him run out of the shop. For once I was thankful I wasn’t in there to pick myself a 2 carat diamond because I don’t imagine that selecting expensive finger-ware would have the same effect to the soundtrack of screaming.
  • Because when we went for a walk, he didn’t want to walk. I picked him up, he didn’t want to be carried. I put him down, he didn’t want to walk. I picked him up, and he didn’t want to be carried. So I put him in the car and he wasn’t all that happy about that either.

I’m all about picking your battles in parenting because I feel if I oppose everything that’s mildly irritating I’d never be able to follow through with everything and so how is he to know when no really means no? In other words, I want my child to take me seriously. Which evidently he doesn’t as when I tell him not to do something, even in my most stern tone (must work on that) he laughs in my face and goes right back to doing said thing anyway and the whole cycle is repeated. What does one do in that situation?!  Answers on a postcard.

I really am confused in this area. My pre-parent self – who I know think was a total kn*b – always wondered how people were so lacks in the discipline department that they ended up on Supernanny. Now I fear that it all started with their thirteen-month-old laughing at them when they were told not to climb on the fireplace. What actually do I do?!

Thankfully after a testing week where ‘FFS’ was said in my head, or under my breath (and I NEVER drop the F-bomb) countless times, he’s been a dream this weekend. His usual happy, funny self AND he seemed to understand that he’s not allowed to walk in the street without holding my hand. Definite progress.  And so hopefully last week was a phase? TELL ME IT WAS A PHASE?! I’m sure the experienced parents among you are also going to tell me that there will soon be a similar phase and so I don’t mind if you lie to me, or alternatively share a funny story? Lets make light of toddler-logic together.

 

My Petit Canard

 

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Wedding photo with sunsetThis week Carl & I ‘celebrated’ our third wedding anniversary. By celebrated, I mean that Carl went to work, I went to playgroup and ran some errands and after Henry went to bed we exchanged cards before watching Coronation Street on the sofa with a cup of tea – who said romance was dead? Anyway, after three years of marriage and one as parents, I’ve been reflecting on a thing or two I’ve learnt:

Men like to be looked after.

This becomes all the more apparent when you have children and your priority is looking after them – you know, the little people who need your constant attention so they don’t accidentally kill themselves, as opposed to the fully grown man who just wants your attention.

But they’re also quite easily pleased, if you can be bothered. 

No, I’m not talking about rumpy-pumpy…. this isn’t that kind of blog, not least because my mum reads it. But little things, like making a cup of tea or bringing home Carls favourite crisps makes his day.

They’re not so great with the sympathy…

Don’t tell a man a story and expect to be met with a sympathetic response. They’ll either tell you they’ve had a worse day – just why is everything a competition?! – or tell you what to do as if it’s the most obvious solution in the world, eg. ‘just ignore them.’

…But they are great at maintaining perspective and rationality…

There’s only one person in this house who brings the melo-drama and it’s *ahem* the one doing the typing.

…unless they’re in the car. 

Expect road rage. Ignore the road rage. Although it’s only annoying you, not the person who’s just cut them up. It’s not aimed at you, it’s aimed at the person who just cut them up. Earphones are handy.

They say what they mean.

I might say I don’t mind if he goes out on Saturday. But I do mind a bit because we like having him around on a weekend. But I’ll insist that I don’t mind because I want to be a good wife. Or if he asks if I’m ok I’ll say, ‘I’m fine’. But what I really mean is, ‘I’m a bit pissed off because you left crisp wrappers all over the kitchen table again but I’m not going to tell you that’s why I’m pissed off because you should realise it for yourself, so I’ll just say I’m fine until you guess what’s wrong’. A man on the other hand, will just tell you straight.

Sleep deprivation is the root of all arguments…

You never even bickered before you had a baby and suddenly EVERYTHING annoys you because you’re both exhausted. Carl copes with tiredness with quietness. I’m a little more emotional. Also men still look good when they’re tired – what IS that?!

…but watching your husband grow into fatherhood is indescribable.

Henry’s all about his Daddy at the moment. He clings to him before he goes to work and he jumps with excitement when he comes home. He shouts, ‘Dada’ every time he sees a van and watching Carl read and talk to him, play with him and nap with him, developing the bond they have now is amazing and I love him even more for the incredible Daddy he is. It almost makes me forget that he leaves his dirty clothes in the bottom of his wardrobe and complains they’ve not been washed. Almost.

They need nagging disguised as gentle instruction.

Or nothing gets done. I think they actually thrive off it. What’s the saying…behind every great man is a great woman?

Daddy is always going to bring the fun.

In our case it might be because he sees less off him, so Carl has the novelty factor. Or it could be that he throws him around and lets him eat biscuits before breakfast…

Sometimes it’s easier just to let the little things go.

Who wants to argue about emptying the dishwasher everyday? Although it’s easier said than done when you’re existing on four hours broken sleep, the most important thing in a marriage is each other, not winning a tally of how many times you’ve had to take the bin out.

They make us laugh even when we don’t want to.

It’s really annoying but Carl really knows how to break my poker face.

If they run you a bath on a Saturday afternoon it’s probably because they want you out of the way to watch football.

Not that I’m arguing…

 

Have you got any learnings to share?

http://nowmynameismummy.com/?p=983&preview=true Tips for a happy marriage

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Before I had Henry I was a make-up and skincare product junkie, I used to waste hours upon hours reading and watching reviews and tutorials online – oh the days when I had time to spare *sigh*. Being pregnant obviously meant the opportunity to try out new products all in the name of stretch mark prevention. My favourite stretch mark fighting discovery was Mustela so when they got in touch and asked if I wanted to review their baby care products I was intrigued.

I suffer with ezcema so I’m quite particular about what I use to wash Henry. In the last few months we’ve tried a few things that have brought out some dry patches and so they’ve been quickly abandoned. The Mustela Nourishing Cleansing Gel I have to say is a revelation and was my favourite of the three products we tested. Despite being a gel it has quite a thick and creamy formulation and smells INCREDIBLE – like a proper BABY smell, a bit like talc if y’all know what I mean?! Now normally I’m not a fan of a two in one product but this is also a hair wash, which in the case of a baby I’ve found is handy not to have to fumble around for more products when your child seems intent on taking the bath underwater when he’s not supposed to be getting his eyes wet after his recent squint surgery. It’s also paraben free, comes with a pump dispenser which also helps when you only have one free hand and there’s an avocado on the front. What’s not to love?!

Mustela also very kindly sent me their 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream. Henry doesn’t get nappy rash very often, but when he does I’ve always been a Metanium kinda gal. While the Mustela offering helped to clear it up, I found it had to be applied quite liberally and the tube isn’t very big. I don’t apply a nappy cream unless there’s a need to but if you do it would probably a better preventative, used in small amounts than as a treatment.

I also tested the Mustela Nourishing Lotion which I have to confess I used mainly on myself. Trying to cream up a child who’s only got eyes for his milk once he’s out of the bath isn’t my idea of a good time. It has the same delightful scent as the Cleansing Gel which I’m more than ok with slathering all over my limbs. If you’re into baby massage – or at the very least you have a child who has the patience for it, I think it would be a lovely formula as it’s quite rich but soaks nicely into the skin without that sticky, lotioned up feeling.

Mustela is available to buy from Escentual & Amazon.

If you’re still reading, have I got a treat for you….I’ve managed to wangle one of each of the products mentioned to GIVEAWAY to one lucky reader. All you have to do is  hit the rafflecopter link below to follow me on Twitter and Facebook! Good Luck!
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Disclaimer – these products were sent to me for review purposes. All thoughts my own.

Diary of an imperfect mum
Mummuddlingthrough
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Offspring; the apple of your eye, your sweet little darlings, sponges of love, thieves of sleep and all round controllers of life. They give you joy you’ve never experienced and love you’ve never known. But that doesn’t mean they’re not bloody hard work, their moods can change completely at the mere wake of a nap – or lack thereof – taking the day in a completely different, frazzled direction.

I’m a natural worrier, but I want Henry to look back on his childhood and remember me laughing and smiling rather than with an expression of stress etched across my face. So far this year I’ve been pretty successful in embracing a new-found laid-back persona, so much so that I actually think I’ve always been relaxed and carefree, and started masquerading as a highly strung worry wart around 2011 when I had the job from hell. So here are a few tips I’ve found to leave me feeling chirpy, because happy big = happy little:

Take each day at a time…

I used to panic at the prospect of a week without plans, worry about the future, in particular –  returning to work. It turns out that I’m not going back to work and the decision was largely out of my control so I spent far too many hours wasted worrying. I’ve learned to take each day as it come and it ultimately means I’m living more in the present, enjoying moments as they happen and not having them tainted by fretting about what may or may not happen the next day, week, month or year.

…But that’s not to say don’t have goals intentions*.

While I like to take each day at a time I also like to keep one eye on the future, keeping in mind where I want to be and focusing on the steps I intend to take to get there one at a time, rather than worrying about how I’ll get there. Having children is actually a great time to evaluate what you want in life and even a great time for a career change. I enrolled in a college course which I attend two evenings a week and I intend to work towards a new career which I can work around and adapt to my family. *I recently read a great post about the power of mindfulness, and using terminology to make things feel more achievable. Having intentions, rather than goals doesn’t come with the connotations of failure and is therefore much more positive.

Do something for yourself everyday.

Whether you’re on maternity leave, a stay-at-home-mum or a working mum it’s hard work. Have a little bit of time everyday to do something you enjoy – reading, having a bath, watching Corrie – to keep you sane. If you can’t do it solo that day, walk to the park via the coffee shop, bake a cake, arrange some flowers. There’s loads of grown-up activities that the tiny’s can get involved in too and so everyone’s a winner.

Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air & a smile…

If you’re stuck in the house and everyone’s miserable, it’s amazing how going for a walk can be a game-changer. Smiling is also infectious, be the weirdo who smiles at strangers. You might brighten their day too.

…And don’t overestimate what you see on social media.

People only show what they want you to see. What you see is a beautiful picture of a well-turned-out toddler.  What you don’t see is that ten minutes after the picture was taken, said toddler poured the dogs water down his front. True story. Appreciate a nice picture for what it is, but don’t think the person behind it doesnt share similar problems to you. They probably do.

Choose laughter.

Where you can, when something frustrating happens try to see the funny side rather than how inconvenient it is. Probably best to delay or stifle a giggle when your child is flinging yoghurt at the dog – I like to think of myself as a reasonably responsible parent – but losing your temper over it achieves nothing and it’s probably best to take it in your stride. Embracing a bit of silliness livens up the day. I dance and sing for Henry to distract him from his hunger while I’m making breakfast and he finds it hilarious. His little giggle is contagious so I’ll do (almost) anything for such an appreciative audience.

So there you go, do you have any tips to share?

 

How to be a happy mum http://nowmynameismummy.com/index.php/2017/02/12/how-to-be-a-happier-mama/

My Petit Canard
The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
Tammymum
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How much younger we look here considering it’s not even 3 years ago makes me WEEP

We all know that having tiny humans to look after makes it significantly harder, if not impossible to spend time as a couple, doing the things you used to do when you were just a twosome. Even harder when all your potential babysitters are otherwise occupied because the rest of the world are out-out in the land of the living past 7pm on Valentines Day. So if you don’t have a babysitter, or you don’t like the idea of going out on a school night, I’m here to put the cheese in your fondue with some stay-at-home-little-people-are-asleep Valentines ideas:

  1. Bring back so old habits that you’ve stopped doing. When I was a student Carl and I used to order pizza and eat it in bed watching films. You’ll probably get sauce on the bedding, but a great and little known by-product of having children are packets of baby-wipes littered around the house. And those bad boys can shift a stain.
  2. Have a picnic in the living room. Light the fire, or if you don’t have a fire light some candles. Heck, light some candles anyway, it’s Valentines day! Bring in a pre-prepared picnic basket and munch away. Don’t forget the fizzy wine and strawberries.
  3. Create a restaurant at your dining table, set the table, share some wine and eat at least two courses.
  4. Play games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo, even the Rightmove game. Something where you’ll have to actually talk to each other is always fun.
  5. Bring the cinema experience (kind of) to your living room with popcorn, nachos, hot dogs and drinks in paper cups and sit next to each other on the sofa, turn the lights off and put a great film on.

Now I know what you’re thinking;

“I have a child who has a sixth sense for when I’m about to eat anything delicious, watch anything interesting or do anything remotely fun that doesn’t involved them They’ll be wide awake faster than you can say ‘Cupid’ and promptly at half hour intervals until we admit defeat and Daddy’s hot-footing it to the spare bed.”

Which is why I have BONUS idea number 6

Pretend the nearest weekend is actually Valentines Day, call in a babysitter, get dressed up and go out on an ACTUAL date. I know, I know…I’ve thought of everything…

 

The Pramshed
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