Back on track

I was always pretty environmentally conscious as my mum has always been that way inclined. I use reusable nappies on Leo and I try and be good when it comes to selecting products and making what I can (this was more from a reduction of chemicals onto my skin than environmental however).

One of my friends recently mentioned that they were trying to cut down on plastic in their daily life, so I decided to review and was horrified with my findings. We are slaves to the plastic.

I’ve made some beeswax wrap for fridge items and we have purchased some reusable baking tray liners to eliminate cling film and tin foil use. I’ve made Leo a reusable sandwich bag too for when he has lunches at forest school.

I have ordered materials to make reusable bin liners and reusable toilet and kitchen paper too. My latest quest is on the shampoo bar market. Can I find one that doesn’t have either palm oil or castor oil in it? Yes, but it is packaged in plastic and they don’t give you an option for it not to be. My issue with castor oil is that I am pregnant and I don’t know if it is safe even just as a shampoo. I know it absolutely isn’t as massage oil or orally.

It really isn’t easy finding options to suit the planet, the animals and you! Arrgghhhhh


Defer or don’t

Leo is a July baby and we were happy that we were going to defer his starting school until his 5th year instead of 4th.

I stupidly made the mistake of looking into it again the other day and it made me wobble. Claims that their high speed learning brains would stagnate and its the worst thing to do.

As with everything you decide to research, you spend a million hours going around in circles and confusing and doubting yourself more than ever. Especially when it’s your most precious little persons future you’re basically taking a gamble on!

This was driving me mad whilst driving to work this morning and it dawned on me that, should he have been born 6 weeks later, it wouldn’t be a thing. He wouldn’t be going to school until he was 5 and that would be that. However, he would have to have been born just over 11 months earlier to fit into the 5 year old group he would be going into.

On this, we have decided to leave him until he is 5. He can play until his heart is content until then and that be that. Pretty sure it I will continue to question my logic that I have done an oh so bad job of explaining on here!

Follow the leader

We’ve always taken the stance that we will follow Leo’s lead when it comes to changes/phases. Be it sleeping, eating, socialising and joining in with activities: we have always been guided by him rather than social pressures.

It has done us well throughout. He was always cautious about new situations, so we chose them carefully and never forced anything on him. If he just wanted to sit on the sidelines and observe, that’s what we did whilst one of us would go off and partake so he could see what it was all about. In the last few months he’s completely come out of his shell where that is concerned and it was all on his own terms with no associated anxiety.

He has decided to potty train himself now too. I had no intention of doing anything until summer because of the faff of layers yet he has decided that he will start using the potty at nursery and forest school and eventually, at home. I am resisting the urge to push it and he’s doing well.

It definitely pays to fight the frowns when it comes to your babies

Guilty pregnancy

This entire pregnancy, I am wracked with guilt because I am not as fit and healthy as I was with number one and my diet absolutely blows this time. I’m not eating anything I shouldn’t, but feeling like shit constantly has resulted in the least balanced diet in the world and way too many calories.

I keep trying to reason with myself, that so many people aren’t peak fitness and have happy, healthy babies all the time. This still sits uncomfortably with me, if there is the slightest issue I will definitely be blaming myself!

Number 2

We have second baby Burgin in the oven and this one has killed me and is still doing a pretty good job of wiping me out.

I’ve struggled with all day nausea, major fatigue (I kept having to stop on the drive to work for a nap!) total apathy to life and now, daily headaches and digestive drama.. But hey, I don’t feel sick a day.

All I have been able to eat is fat and carbs, I don’t even dare get on the scales and I feel gross. I have just been struggling to exist so have avoided the gym and tried my hardest to ignore the guilt. I am starting to feel a little less deathly but the headaches aren’t great. I hate taking stuff so I have booked in with my chiro to see if it’s related to something in my back. It feels like a caffeine withdrawal headache but I stopped drinking caffeine before I got pregnant.

We had the dating scan last week, September 3rd for this one. I got it to the 13th, I’d imagine this one will be as late as its Bro! My money is on a girl, but then the first trimester torture could simply be because I’m not peak physical fitness and health as I was with Leo.

Be positive

I’m currently sat in a Macdonald’s in some random area of London that I couldn’t even tell you where it was if I wanted to! Thank the tech gods for Google maps.

I am here waiting to start my first day of a Positive Discipline Parent Educator course and I’m incredibly excited. Having Leo and wanting to raise him as a confident, healthy and most of all, content person led me down the positive discipline route. Whilst it incredibly hard to put into practice because it goes against all discipline methods I have grown up with, it really is the most rewarding form of effort I have ever known.

Whilst I am far from perfect, I see some scandalous examples of discipline wherever I go and I want to do what I can to change that. It was whilst reading one of many articles, that I stumbled across a lady who had this qualification against her name and the investigation began from there.

I firmly believe if all of us learned to parent in this manner, the world would be a completely different place. I am even applying the methods to my team at work. Now THAT is tough.

It just makes sense: be respectful ALL the time, even when you are setting boundaries. Be kind, love each other and show everyone that you love them, even when they are having a tough time. Don’t exclude them from your love just because they are upset. Oh yeah, and communicate, talk through frustrations and find a solution together.


Brilliant realisation 

It dawned on me recently, that many of the failings we face during daily life interactions, could be solved if only parents took the time to learn how to parent well.

Pretty much every single thing you learn on your quest to positively parent is applicable to how you interact with every person you come across. 

Respect, empowerment, belonging, self belief, positivity, problem solving and team work, to name a few. 

Can you imagine how the world would look if positive parenting was of the highest priority to everyone? 


Promoting independence 

This has to be one of the toughest things I have faced in my parenting journey. In my learning with positive parenting, I have realised that we don’t empower Leo enough. I think the main reason is that he is more than happy to have everything done for him, a lot of toddlers demand they do it themselves.

This past week or more, I have made a point of expecting more of him. I have taken the time to teach him how to help load and unload the dishwasher, load and unload the washing and tumble dryer, take his own trousers and socks off, put on and take off his t-shirts (with some assistance due to his 7 year old sized head) he’s also learning how to wash himself.

To say it has been tough is a massive understatement. To remain calm in the face of screaming and sometimes hitting/biting frustration is a challenge. To remember to make consistent positive connections to him as well as providing encouragement and standing fast on my faith that he can do something, so that he doesn’t learn to give in at the first sign of a struggle, pulls on every single one of my heart strings and every ounce of my patience too.

We have gone from being able to get out of the house in a few simple minutes, to a full on 45 min session of options, encouragement and flat out refusal. It’s soooooo exhausting, I can totally see why people take the easy option of not doing this, or worse, losing their temper.

However, what this process provides a child with is priceless. They learn resiliency, a much required life skill. They feel empowered by their daily achievements,  they learn to believe in themselves, they learn to trust their caregivers and it strengthens the bond as they know that they have faith in them. They feel part of the family: heard and important. 

It’s not easy, but I know it’s worth it. It wouldn’t be me I was letting down if I didn’t give it my all. 

Oh how time flies

I haven’t written a post since September, work and life have just been getting in the way.  I started a new job in July and it is really consuming me.  What I thought when I returned to work after my maternity, was that I didn’t enjoy being there because the company had changed so much in the year that I was out and they had basically modelled it around me not being there.  Whilst that in itself is highly illegal as far as maternity rights goes, who can really face that battle?

Anyway, that behind me, what I now realise is that isn’t all that it was. I actually thoroughly dislike being in the corporate world now. I hate that it takes me away from my child, I hate that I have to interact with negative bullies on a daily basis, rather than with my amazing child and husband and I just hate how much of my time and energy is wasted on people who don’t deserve it.

I fully intend to rectify this.  During my journey through motherhood, I have gained a massive interest in child development and positive parenting.  So much so that I would like to progress with a career in this path.  Whilst this is going to be a long process,  the start of this is a Parent Educator course that I will be doing in January with the Positive Discipline association.  This will enable me to teach other parents how to adopt this process and make their life and their children’s lives something special and remove the negativity and frustration from their day to day.  It just works, it works so well I don’t understand why this approach isn’t adopted more.. In fact, I say that, but I do understand why it isn’t adopted more: People are inherently lazy, anything that requires more than no effort is dismissed and there is no denying it is hard work. (but insanely rewarding)

I am also studying as many child development courses as I can, whilst they don’t carry mainstream accreditation, they are from registered universities and I feel they will give me the insight I need to decide if I would like to attempt to pursue a degree in this field. My current feeling is something neuroscience based, my limitations are finances, so this is something that is a long way down the line for me but doesn’t mean I can’t pursue this career path in the meantime.

I have been seeing a psychotherapist for the last few months to help me deal with my crippling self doubt, whilst I wouldn’t go into details on here for many reasons, I feel that too many people shy away from repairing themselves in this way.  It will only benefit me when it comes to something as big as a career change and also, it will benefit how my child sees life and motivation and it is this that drives me daily.  I want him to accept who he is and live with peace in his soul, to do that, I need to do that.


The one thing I am forever grateful for, is the approach to parenting that Tom and I have taken. I appreciate our experience is incredibly limited to one little bundle of joy, but when we use the techniques we learn about every day on other children, it basically never fails. Calm, respectful interactions where clarity and confidence is key to peaceful and positive interactions: even when there is something that poses a less enjoyable learning opportunity.

We were out at the zoo yesterday and Leo was merrily downing some fruit pouches whilst being thoroughly engaged by some ducks that aren’t actually an ‘attraction’ but he loves them. Tom and I were Sat at the benches whilst he chatted away and then I sadly had to witness something that is still haunting my soul today. There were a family with twin boys, about Leo’s age and one of the little boys desperately wanted to play on the grass in the middle of the section where we were and the mother was having none of it. They were both on lead reins and this child was absolutely distraught, screaming and struggling to breath: he was that upset. She physically dragged him along and up by the reins during this protest and when her husband asked what was going on, she stated that he was just being stupid and wanted to get to the grass. Queue the shattering of my already pained heart. 

So they swapped twins and the father was less rough housing but the child’s woeful screams could be heard for some time. The other twin was clearly distressed by this also but was turning insular and walking along looking at the floor.

Now, I know one should not judge by a single event out of context. However, in this case I judge that as bullying and unacceptable. How the fuck would she feel if someone treated her like that. How would we as spectators have handled it if her husband was dragging her along by a bag strap and calling her stupid?! The kid just wanted to play on the grass ffs, not a busy motorway.

I wish I knew what to do in those situations, I think if she had been a lone parent then I would have offered to help, but how the hell do you intervene in that kind of situation? It seems to be something that society accepts, the total and utter disregard for a child’s place in the world and utter, shameful lack of respect. I know full well that she wouldn’t have been receptive if I had approached her, should that have stopped me? 

Above everything else, I want to be able to give her the gift of enjoying her children. Of seeing their little acts of what she perceives as defiance as being an act of their journey through brain development and freedom of choice, of being interested and engaged in the world around them. She is missing the opportunity to be absorbed by the little things we now overlook as adults. She may think the tigers are amazing, but at that very moment in time that little boy wanted to run on the wet grass and most likely roll around in it.. He might get wet, he might get dirty.. So what? As long as you go home if they get cold, who the fuck cares? Will the world stop spinning if you spend some entry money and look at grass the whole time? No, it won’t. What might happen is that you experience a magical moment with the little gift that you have right there in front of you.

I want to find a way to be better in an instance, put my fear aside and do something positive for that one little child and his scared brother and potentially give a tired and lost woman a new magic to enjoy..