Sunday, June 22, 2008

My first negative breastfeeding comment

So, we went to Mikes parents on Sunday, father's day. It was a nice day especially as we didnt have to do ANYTHING for a change. We still ended up doing loads, but not because we HAD to we WANTED to - there's a difference.

Anyhow, we went to his mum first (his parents divorced when he was 3) and we were just sat talking and William was playing a little but he was tired so he really only wanted me. After a while i picked him up and fed him and that calmed him down and he went off to play again for a bit. While i was feeding him though mikes mum said to me "it's about time he came off that isn't it" to which i just replied "no, not really". She didnt say anything else to me but i could hear her thinking (oh he's too old, he's gonna get spoiled blah blah ... )

She came round the other day too as she was in town and let another comment slip about our co sleeping arrangements. "When are you going to start sleeping in your own bed then?" again i just replied "when he's ready"

To be honest though i know where she is coming from. before i knew about the benefits of co sleeping, the natural instinctive urge to have my baby with me aswell for as long as possible and most importantly probably, before i was pregnant / had william and i "Knew it all" you could have found us all talking about how Mikes daughter from his previous relationship was STILL in the same room as her mum and she was "STILL" being rocked to sleep and how S., her mum was making a rod for her own back by not letting her fall asleep by herself. And how M. would NEVER learn to fall asleep by herself. I was going to be so much of a better mother and "teach my child to sleep by himself"... So i can understand, why to her it seems like i have just given up and am "just as bad" as S. It makes me laugh now how much I've changed and how far I've come.

To make things easier for us all we have even bought a super king size bed so we can all fit in comfortably! And Williams bedroom is more like a storage room at the moment anyway... :oP

So I guess i will be getting more comments as time goes on - not that it will stop me from breastfeeding my son!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just some pictures of lazy summer days

Ten ways we misunderstand children

By Jan Hunt, M.Sc.

1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready.
We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 4-year-old to clean his room. In all of these situations, we are being unrealistic. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment and setting up the child for repeated failures to please us. Yet many parents ask their young children to do things that even an older child would find difficult. In short, we ask children to stop acting their age.

2. We become angry when a child fails to meet our needs.
A child can only do what he can do. If a child cannot do something we ask, it is unfair and unrealistic to expect or demand more, and anger only makes things worse. A 2-year-old can only act like a 2-year-old, a 5-year-old cannot act like a 10-year-old, and a 10-year-old cannot act like an adult. To expect more is unrealistic and unhelpful. There are limits to what a child can manage, and if we don't accept those limits, it can only result in frustration on both sides.

3. We mistrust the child's motives.
If a child cannot meet our needs, we assume that he is being defiant, instead of looking closely at the situation from the child's point of view, so we can determine the truth of the matter. In reality, a "defiant" child may be ill, tired, hungry, in pain, responding to an emotional or physical hurt, or struggling with a hidden cause such as food allergy. Yet we seem to overlook these possibilities in favor of thinking the worst about the child's "personality".

4. We don't allow children to be children.
We somehow forget what it was like to be a child ourselves, and expect the child to act like an adult instead of acting his age. A healthy child will be rambunctious, noisy, emotionally expressive, and will have a short attention span. All of these "problems" are not problems at all, but are in fact normal qualities of a normal child. Rather, it is our society and our society's expectations of perfect behavior that are abnormal.

5. We get it backwards.
We expect, and demand, that the child meet our needs - for quiet, for uninterrupted sleep, for obedience to our wishes, and so on. Instead of accepting our parental role to meet the child's needs, we expect the child to care for ours. We can become so focussed on our own unmet needs and frustrations that we forget this is a child, who has needs of his own.

6. We blame and criticize when a child makes a mistake.
Yet children have had very little experience in life, and they will inevitably make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of learning at any age. Instead of understanding and helping the child, we blame him, as though he should be able to learn everything perfectly the first time. To err is human; to err in childhood is human and unavoidable. Yet we react to each mistake, infraction of a rule, or misbehavior with surprise and disappointment. It makes no sense to understand that a child will make mistakes, and then to react as though we think the child should behave perfectly at all times.

7. We forget how deeply blame and criticism can hurt a child.
Many parents are coming to understand that physically hurting a child is wrong and harmful, yet many of us forget how painful angry words, insults, and blame can be to a child who can only believe that he is at fault.

8. We forget how healing loving actions can be.
We fall into vicious cycles of blame and misbehavior, instead of stopping to give the child love, reassurance, self-esteem, and security with hugs and kind words.

9. We forget that our behavior provides the most potent lessons to the child.
It is truly "not what we say but what we do" that the child takes to heart. A parent who hits a child for hitting, telling him that hitting is wrong, is in fact teaching that hitting is right, at least for those in power. It is the parent who responds to problems with peaceful solutions who is teaching his child how to be a peaceful adult. So-called problems present our best opportunity for teaching values, because children learn best when they are learning about real things in real life.

10. We see only the outward behavior, not the love and good intentions inside the child.
When a child's behavior disappoints us, we should, more than anything else we do, "assume the best". We should assume that the child means well and is only behaving as well as possible considering all the circumstances (both obvious and hidden from us), together with his level of experience in life. If we always assume the best about our child, the child will be free to do his best. If we give only love, love is all we will receive.

From the Natural Child Project

I guess the first step is realizing what we're doing... Once we've realized, we can think about our actions and do something to change within ourselves to help lead a harmonious life with our children and start accepting them as part of a society in which everyone deserves the same respect and love regardless of their age.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I have ordered my car seat and here it is:

Its the recaro polaric and its rearward facing up to 18 kgs, or 40 pounds which is approximately 4 1/2 years.
It is secured using ISO fix, two buckle straps to the back of the front seat and a metal support leg. It looks like it shouldnt be able to go anywhere - lets hope so!
It cost 199 pounds and I got it from here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

From mainstream to chrunchyville

When I fell pregnant I found myself in a new and exciting, scary and always surprising or even shocking world which had been hidden from me before that sperm met that egg.
I thought i knew everything, a lot of parents - to - be do. Well i guess that's just the way it goes. You start off by knowing it all but as soon as your little baby is born your mind seems to go blank and all those theories get blown out of the window. You slowly find yourself on your way to a whole new lifestyle, never mind a parenting style. I was pretty mainstream when I started out. The one thing I knew I would do was breastfeed and not give up easily. Now my son is 15 months old and we're still going strong! But a lot of other things I have changed my mind about. The main culprits for making me change my mind are Jean Liedloff, John Holt, Alfie Kohn, and a few others too. Like these websites: The natural child project and Mothering - natural family living.

So now I find myself in a place I never thought i would be at the age of 23. I am engaged to a beautiful, loving, caring and affectionate man who is as close to perfect as you can get ;o)
I have a gorgeous little son who is rapidly growing up and I'm scared of that! I want him to be my little baby for ever! ;o)
I have a house and I'm growing my own vegetables. We want to get some chickens and hopefully move to somewhere more countryish soon.
I am on my journey to Unschooling my child and my life.
We live consensually or at least we try to.

I guess I've come a long way since listening to the likes of Supernanny about routine, rewards and punishments and their outlook on how to "get a child to respect you".

My friends have now, I think, come to accept that I'm not "normal", that I am on some sort of a "mission" maybe? Which makes me laugh. In a way I suppose I am. Whenever something comes up i try to explain to them why I do things the way I do. And if I wouldn't think whatever I am doing is right... well I wouldn't do it then, would I.

This can lead to awkward situations though. All the mums from our post natal group still meet up once a week on a thursday for a coffee and for our kids to "play together". Now I know I seem to be very relaxed, probably actually lax in their eyes. Like I don't care. But that isn't true.
We met at my friends house a couple of weeks ago and as the weather was lovely we were outside in the garden most of the time. I took Williams shoes off because i feel barefoot is best for baby feet. So off he goes, exploring, learning, being inquisitive.
My friends garden is divided into sections, a muddy section with flowers, a grassy section and a pebbled section. William wandered off to the pebbles (oooohhh stones!!!!!!!!!!) and started to walk on them. I thought to myself that will be an experience for him, feeling the stones underneath his feet, the shapes and unevenness of it all. Well.... while he was quite happy walking on the pebbles another friend who was there with her daughter (hollding her hands - and she had shoes on) said to William "Oh, be careful! You'll hurt yourself" (errr.... how exactly???) so i just called out "no, he's fine. He'll come off it if he doesn't like it" Then I got the "LOOKS" as if to say.... don't you care???
We are inside playing on one of those water - colour mats and William goes off towards the kitchen and garden door.
Now I'm thinking he's either going outside (where the worst thing he could do to himself is eat mud) or he is in the kitchen wher he can't do anything either. Well... my friend has got a child the same age as William and you would think that she would have safety locks on any cupboards with "dangerous" or non-child-things in them.
Once again though I am made to look as if I don't care. I didn't get up straight away to "rescue" william from the dangers of the garden or kitchen. I gave him a head start and came after him after a couple of minutes. Thing is, none of us had noticed that he had gotten into a (unlocked) kitchen cupboard and was holding a plate in his hand. I just went over to him and said "Can I have that please, thank you" but before I could reach him - it was a heavy plate - he had dropped it. Luckily it only chipped the edge but there were those looks again "She doesnt care WHAT he does! And she's not even telling him off for smashing a plate!!!"

These are all very nice people, don't get me wrong but they just don't understand where I am coming from. It gets so frustrating! Thank god for people like Julie and Ann who DO understand and who I will get to meat some day in real life!

Oh... and here's another blog about a journey from mainstream to crunchyville

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rearward facing Car seats are safer

Well, i knew all along that rearward facing car seats for toddlers were available.
When my son grew out of his infant car seat (Maxi cosi cabriofix - winner on WHICH test)
we bought the Britax Evolva 123 thinking its one of the best car seats available in the UK - hoping that for our next child rearward facing car seats would be available up to 4 years of age.
Well.... my friend Ann has been in touch with Britax and this is what she said:

You sell a car seat that is suitable from birth to 4 years. I am not sure about the specifics of it, but I think it says something like rear facing up to 13kgs then you turn it forward facing. Its a fantastic idea as it is two car seats in one - but what I would like to know is that if it HAS to go forward facing once the child is 13kgs or if that is just optional? I realise you should not turn it forward facing before then but that is not what I am asking. Because I would like to keep my child rear facing for as long as possible as this is safest - so is that car seat alright to keep rear facing for longer? I can not see mechanically why it wouldnt be acceptable to keep it rear facing even up to the 4 year weight limit the car seat has but I thought I would just ask. Thank you! :)

The reply she got was this:

Thank you for your e mail.
The First Class si seat which is our combination seat is rearward until maximum weight of 13kg and no more, the seat is crash tested up to 13kg rearward facing, as all the infant carriers. Under no circumstances can the seat be used rearward beyond this weight as we are governed by the European Safety Regulations (UK) and all current seats must comply to this. However, there is a seat on the market which is a Swedish seat that is used rearward up to 4 years of age. The Swedish law stipulates all children up to 4 years of age must remain rearward. This seat can legally be used within the UK and you can view and purchase direct from one of our agents, their contact details are below:

In Car Safety Unit 5,
Erica Road,
Stacey Bushes Trading Centre
Stacey Bushes, Milton Keynes
MK12 6HS> Telephone 01908 220909

Fax 01908 317536
Opening Hours 9:30 - 5:00 Mon - Fri> 9:30 - 4:00 Saturday
Closed Bank Holidays and Sundays

I hope this is helpful to you
Mandy Hutchence
Customer Services

I am glad i have found somewhere in England that will sell rearward facing car seats for children up to the age of four (or 55 pounds, 25 kilos) the website I am getting mine from now is although there are some other places available too.

To find out more go to - they have links to other retailers in the UK and also show video footage of crash tests on rearward and forward facing car seats.

This video on youtube is quite good aswell:

Now... my personal opinion on this (and I'm sure a lot of parents will agree) is that you cannot put a price on the most precious thing in your life - your children. While these car seats might be more expensive I do think they are worth it. Not a single child was killed in Sweden in a rearward facing car seat betwenn 2006 and 2007. 27 children were killed in the UK in forward facing car seats when they COULD have been in rearward facing car seats. IF parents in the UK would be aware that this is an option.

Take your time to have a look at the links in this entry and make a difference to the law by signing this petition:

You can also write to your local MP and most of all TELL ALL THE MUMS YOU KNOW - tell them how they can make a difference and tell them that we are left in the dark - but we can change that.

Here's to hoping that someday this will change.

along with breastfeeding rates
and along with longer maternity leave
and along with better health care - with health care "professionals" who know what they are on about
and along with more people being aware of the options of Home birth....
i could go on....
enough for today x