baby lotus


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Motherly Instincts

One subject I am learning about in my course is primary-carer infant attachment. This is about the relationship between the primary-carer (most commonly the mother) and the infant in the first year of the child’s life.

The more I learn about it, the more amazed I am at the complexity of this relationship. There is so much fantastic and current research on the subject, because what has been discovered is how important this relationship is to the child, and basically sets the foundation for all future relationships in the child’s life.

All this learning has made me reflect on my own relationship with my son, and has made me much more aware of the real impact my actions directly have on him. Motherhood, what I am starting to realise isn’t easy, and for a lot it doesn’t come naturally. It is a skill you acquire, and build on day by day, and there is no one rule that works for everyone.

Some really important points I have learnt is that mothers are too hard on themselves, and don’t trust their own instincts. There is so much information out there- books, tv shows, websites, family and friends. It can be so overwhelming, and hard to know what is best for you. From my experience, and from what I have learnt, a baby only needs a few things to form a strong attachment to you. A baby needs love, patience, consistency, nutrition, good hygiene, and a primary carer who is sensitive, and quick to respond when a baby needs you.

You would think this goes without saying, but it is a struggle for some mothers, and to be honest it takes time to really get to know your baby, and be able to read the cues. I can honestly say it took about 2 months for me to get into a rhythm and really start understanding my baby.

I am no expert, but from what I have experienced and learning is that the primary-carer infant attachment is a bond like no other, and a very special one. It should be encouraged, and embraced, and primary-carers should be supported to from this strong bond. So rather than judge or criticise, try and give reassurance and positive feedback to the mothers and primary carers in your life.


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Loss & Pain

There was a story in the news recently about a father that killed his 3 and 4 year old daughters. They didn’t go into details regarding a motive or how, but enough was said to prove this man was guilty. It is hard to comprehend such violence, and my heart breaks for the mother and family of these baby girls.

Stories like this really make me reflect about myself as a parent, and what future I want for my son. I’m sure the vast majority think the same as I do, and want nothing but the best for your child. You are willing to do everything in your power to create a safe, and happy environment for your baby to grow. You want nothing but the best for them, and have nothing but good intentions.

Watching this story on the news got me thinking about the family and friends you trust your child to be around. Domestic abuse and violence is a reality, and occurring in all corners of the world. How do you protect your child from that? It would be so easy to dismiss a gut feeling or event, because it is hard to stomach someone you love and trust is capable of hurting a child. And sadly it is always the children that are the innocent victims in all of this.

For me I know that I will always follow my gut instinct, and if I don’t have a good feeling about someone, or if my son ever tells me something that doesn’t sound right, I will act on it. I would rather have an awkward and uncomfortable conversation with someone, than do nothing. I would rather question someone, than ignore the signs and then find out later someone hurt my child. It is an awful reality that we have to be suspicious of our neighbours, and the people around us, but you hear too many stories of violence and abuse and it is usually happening right under your nose.

I am not telling anyone else how to parent their children or what to think. I just hope to always keep an open mind, be alert to any red flags, and hopefully protect my son from such loss & pain.

 


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Separation Anxiety

Experts say that around the 9 month mark, babies start experiencing separation anxiety. My son was spot on with his timing. It was like overnight he decided he couldn’t be apart from me.

The funny thing is my son only gets upset and cries when we are home. When we are home he has to be literally right next to me or held. If I for instance leave the room while he is busy playing, he must have an internal sensor alarm and will start crying and come searching for me. But when we go out, or when I leave him with his father or grandparents for instance he never gets upset. It is weird that I can wave him goodbye at his grandparents and he is happy smiling, but if I leave him for a minute to go to the toilet he gets upset!?!?

I know it is a phase, and it is them learning who the people are around them, and the fact that even though he can’t see me, he knows I still exist. It can be a bit exhausting when he is hanging on to your leg for dear life, and you are trying to make yourself some breakfast. But I honestly do love all the cuddles I am getting, and the fact that I am forming a strong bond with him. I am happy to be the one to comfort him, and as a parent it is my job to make sure he feels safe and secure in his environment.

Maybe what I am experiencing isn’t separation anxiety. Maybe he just likes to be held by me, and I am spoiling him? Who knows? Does it really matter? When he gets upset I am going to do something about it. One day he will be too busy for cuddles with his mummy, so  am going to steal as many as I can.

Has anyone else experienced this? What worked for you?

 


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Justifying My Actions

I believe that for the vast majority of parents out there, they love their children more than anything in the world. They want the best for them, and will do anything and everything to try and give them the best life possible. A parent doesn’t intentionally hurt their child, or purposely go out of their way to make life miserable for the two of them.

So why is it, with that said, do people still judge one another so much.

The reason I am mentioning this, is because it wasn’t till recently that I realised that I was guilty of always justifying my actions. As though I had to prove my point, and put a strong case forward as to the choices I made with the way I raise our son. It’s subconscious, you don’t even realise you are doing it. But when you do, it becomes very obvious and kind of annoying on my part.

It could be a simple question someone might ask you like, “does your son sleep through the night?”, or “what do you feed him?”. And before you know it, you are rambling on and trying to explain yourself to someone. I made a conscious effort a few weeks ago, to try not to do this anymore. It isn’t easy. Searching, and seeking approval from others can be a losing battle. Because sometimes, no matter what you say, they will always think they know better.

So all I can say is let it go. Be accepting of your choices, and never feel as a parent you have to justify your actions. I am sensitive, and am guilty of trying to please others. I think deep down we have all got our insecurities, and becoming a parent really tested me at times and self doubt often pops up.

I have come to realise that the friends and family around me love me and my son dearly and always have good intentions. But I now realise that I can only live my life, and not anyone else’s. Just because you did it that way, doesn’t mean I have to. Just because you read that, doesn’t mean I have to. It is okay, and healthy to be different, and there are hundreds of different ways to get the same positive result.

I guess the main point I am trying to get across is that no one can be a better parent than you are to your child. It is okay to have different parting styles, and life choices. Do what feels right, and what comes natural for you. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.

 


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Night Feeds

My son turned 9 months last week. He loves his food, and I am still breastfeeding him. My aim is to breastfeed till he is 12 months old.

Every now and then I will read up about baby development, and what to expect with my son. And I often find it interesting that most books, and websites say that a baby of 9 months does not need feeds during the night, and should be sleeping through the night. Now this is not happening with me, and to be honest I have no problem with it.

My son has always been a great night sleeper. He figured out from very early on that night was for sleeping, and currently sleeps approx 10-12 hours a night. BUT……he is yet to sleep through. He will wake anywhere between 1-3 times for a feed.

Now I know most people will say it’s a bad habit, and he is only feeding for comfort to fall back asleep etc…….But it works for me. Although it’s hard dragging myself out of bed to feed a baby at 2am, I can’t bear to face the alternative. I don’t handle my son crying too well. My stomach goes into a knot, and my heart races. I’m hoping that over the coming months, my son will sleep longer periods, and eventually through the night in his own time when he is ready.

There is a lot of pressure on mothers to have their child on this perfect schedule, and to be super mum. But I am trying to take the good with the bad. You can choose your battles. I feel well rested for the most part, and my son is happy, so do I really want to rock the boat. What if I try and push the whole sleep through the night thing and he turns into a gremlin! I feel he is still so little, and if he needs a little comfort at night, then so be it.

I guess the key is to find what works for you. As long as you are coping, and feel on top of things, then who cares what the books say. Trust yourself, and your gut feeling. I have at times struggled with the whole subject, and with some of the information out there, you are made to feel like you are spoiling them for giving them a night feed. But does it really matter? It is not like the child is 5 and waking for a bottle…..

Maybe I am being naive, and too optimistic about it. But I am willing to see where this road leads us…….

 


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Sweet Potato

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Sweet Potato is without a doubt one of my favourite vegetables for so many reasons. If my son could talk he would say the same thing.

Coming up with baby food ideas can be hard, so when you find something that works it’s only logical to stick to it. Sweet potato was that food for me. It’s a guarantee every time with my son.

I recently looked up the health benefits and was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Firstly it’s so versatile- You can bake, steam, boil, microwave, fry, puree and even eat raw. It comes in various colours like purple and orange, and is super cheap.

It’s packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium, Calcium, and antioxidants. It’s low GI, and has anti inflammatory properties. I love it if, you haven’t noticed.

Lately I have been steaming pieces of it, and giving them to my son to eat by himself. He loves using his hands to feed himself now, and sweet potato is perfect for him at this stage. Anyways, I’m sure this info is nothing new to people, but thought I would share 🙂


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Smell The Roses

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Mum and I took my son to the beach yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the water was perfect.

To anyone else the beach is nothing new, but to a little baby of 8 months, a big beach is so much more than what we realise. As we reached the shore, he was clinging to me. He could not take his eyes off the waves, and it occurred to me that what was making him scared was the noise the waves made. I tried to imagine what it must feel, and sound like to him. This loud sounding white stuff coming towards him.

No wonder babies are exhausted by the end of the day, because their senses are constantly being challenged. All the little noises, smells, and sights we see everyday and take for granted is all new to them. For us it would be like travelling to a new part of the world everyday, and trying to take it all in. And we all know how exhausting being a tourist is.

It was a day that made me remember to appreciate the little things in life. The simple things in life. The little comforts, and pleasures in life that we often forget to notice. Having a baby has changed my perspective of the world, and how I view it. Now that I am trying to imagine it through the eyes of a baby, the world really is a beautiful place. My son could spend all day playing with dirt, chasing ants, and looking up at the trees swaying in the wind. He really makes the world a better place. He makes me slow down, and smell the roses.

I didn’t realise how much this little person would change me. I didn’t realise a little person that can’t talk, feed themselves, and depends on you to basically stay alive, could bring out the best of me. A side of me I didn’t know existed. There is no one else that makes me sing silly songs, and pull silly faces, and spend all my money on, and all just to see him smile. No one demands all of myself the way he does, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. He has only been on this earth for 8 months of my life, and yet I can’t imagine life without him. I can’t remember life before him.

Being a parent is something you are never going to really be ready for, but I believe if your heart is in the right place, and you give yourself those moments to smell the roses, then you will be a wonderful parent.