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photo 1 (7)Children must go through almost a million phases, particularly in the early years. Sometimes I could barely get used to my baby’s latest pattern before he had moved on to a different one! And some of these – especially around sleep, settling, behaviour or needing more attention than we are able to give – can feel never-ending at the time.

But of course they do pass, all of them. And when we look back at testing moments, at days that seem to stretch on forever, we mostly remember them differently: fondly, with love. They are just moments after all – moments that will pass – moments that become memories sandwiched in our hearts, reminding us how much our children have changed and grown, and how we have, too.

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A guest post on the importance and upsides of imperfection, by Talya at Motherhood: The Real Deal

In today’s world, we have very high expectations of ourselves. We’re always shooting for the stars, obsessing about this, that or the other in that everything-has-to-be-just-so kinda way. Yet how many of us have uttered the words “there’s no such thing as perfect” time and time again?

It’s no wonder that when embarking on motherhood, so many women put such great amounts of pressure on themselves from the very outset, and as a result become a walking neurotic blob. After all, it’s probably the greatest challenge of our life so far, and we want to do it 100% right… right?

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Then & Now – 80s Vs the Teenies* Baby

then and nowI know my mum can’t be the only one doing the odd double-take and scoff at the wealth of baby paraphernalia available compared to when she was raising my sisters and me back in the 70s and 80s. Not to mention all the stuff we do with babies now – which our forefathers no-doubt think is bordering on the ridiculous – and it is, surely? I’m not criticising the choices we modern parents make, I bought into most of it myself but, Baby Rhythm – really? They can’t even flipping walk yet!

Things certainly seem over-complicated now, yet I’m not sure how I would even begin to parent without the double-edged sword of Doctor Google or a 3-in-1 travel system to whizz around in easily. And as for getting my grocery shopping done without the help of Click & Collect – forget about it.

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Childbirth – Natural Vs Medicated

a word on birthKatie Hopkins has declared that natural childbirth – sans any pain relief – makes a woman, err, more of a woman. I’m not even sure if what she says is actually her honest opinion these days, or more a desire to keep herself in the public eye. Anyway, as this subject has bothered me before, I’ve bitten.

By natural, she means a vaginal delivery, and that women should “Push it out, not wimp out.” I imagine to most pregnant women, a straight-forward vaginal delivery sounds great – after all, let’s remember a Caesarean is major invasive surgery and certainly not the easy option; but when nature doesn’t take the right turn, isn’t it good that there are other, ‘non-natural’ means of delivering a baby safely?

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balloons-388973_1280

 

A beautiful guest post from Natalie at Bobbin About:

 

You know those parties you go to in your youth?

Not the ones that start off with a few innocent drinks and end up with someone throwing up in the toilets, but the euphoric ones that go on effortlessly until sunset.

Come morning, your body is tired, you’ve made new friends, laughed until your sides ache, and now it’s time to go home, crawl under the covers, and sleep for a really long time.

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Summer Round-up & Ramblings

fun-410064_1280Right now the rain is selfishly pouring down outside, entirely unconcerned by our plans for an early September BBQ. But on the plus side there’s also a cosy feeling in the air and the strange excitement I get at the end of every summer, imagining a bright and crisp autumn with windy walks, evenings by the fire and dressing in warm yet stylish apparel.

In reality, I know it’s just darker and rains a lot, the fire is too expensive to linger in front of and my imagined stylish winter boots have holes in them. I’ll probably be fed up by October at the latest, but of course the Christmas hysteria will have begun by then so it’s not all bad… (Did I really just mention Christmas? Why would I do that?)

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fisherprice1(Or How to Enjoy a Cuppa in Peace)

I’m quite fussy about what products I take on for reviewing, partly to maintain blog integrity, partly due to time restraints and partly because I’m not sure how much more bright plastic my home can take. However, when Fisher-Price asked me to review their new Little People Garage, I had no hesitation in accepting, as I had been coveting a toy garage for absolutely ages. Oh, and I also thought my toddler might like it as well. This need of mine goes back a long way as, being the youngest of three 80s kids, I had no hope at all of bagging my own shiny big toy. It was all hand-me-downs and not being spoilt rotten – the tots of today don’t know how easy they’ve got it etc. etc…

Anyway, I did also think it might make a useful blog post, if other parents are anything like me in their inability to choose from the overwhelming array of potentially life-changing toddler toys on the market.

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The Art of Being Tired

sleepI knew having children would change things, I expected nothing less. I was geared up for less trips to the cinema (none), quieter evenings (passing out in front of the TV) and the biggie – some sleep deprivation for the first couple of months (Ha. Ha. Ha).

Tiredness was definitely the thing I heard the most about when I was pregnant, which as a smug, well-rested human didn’t really get the obsession with. I remember one acquaintance with a slight tendency towards the dramatic telling me she still woke at 4 AM every morning, because she had become so used to doing this nightly in the first three years of her son’s life… her son is now 38.

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How to Make Spaghetti Bolognese

A guest post from the very funny What Mum Should Have Told Me:

‘Get your fingers out of the cat food young lady and don’t even think about putting them in your… Oh. They’re in your mouth. Wonderful.’

I had such high hopes about mealtimes before I had my children. I had dreams…variety, vitamins, hearty, wholesome, home-cooked. After 6 six years of torture, I throw my hands up and admit that teatime more often than not involves chasing my youngest across the length and breadth of the house, to get her to sit at the table; negotiating with my eldest about how much of his food he has to eat (before it even arrives) and my middle child, well, I lie to her. A lot.

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secret to a happy marriage“I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

Well, yes, that too of course…

But since making those vows – or more to the point since having a child – our marriage has changed somewhat. It’s not that I don’t love my husband for better or worse, it’s more I just need him to be better when I am feeling worse. And vice versa.

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Mother Wars – Really?

mother warsDo you know what? I am starting to get really sick of being fed a load of twaddle about mothers not supporting each other. Every other damn headline – be it parenting website, blog or even national newspaper – seems to be about some apparent bone of contention between women and the choices they make in parenting.

I first heard of the ‘Mommy Wars’ a good while back – it was in association with Gwyneth Paltrow’s alleged put-down on the typical mother’s working week or some such. It seemed to be me mainly an American idea and all quite far from my doorstep really.

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