General Parenting

Unsupervised minutes

It’s amazing how much a toddler can accomplish in an unsupervised minute.

Caide has had 2 such minutes today.

Minute 1: While I was settling the babies for their nap he helped himself to an icecream and hid under his bedcovers to eat it.

He wasn’t even subtle.

And he didn’t even try to hide the evidence.

Minute 2: While I was putting away the laundry he dipped a Calpol syringe into some Vapor rub and sucked it off. There was also Vapour rub on Theo’s sippy cup.

Yes, there is a baby gate on the kitchen. No that doesn’t stop him.

#day18 #30daychallenge

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General Parenting, Uncategorized

Life With 3 Under 3

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m finding this parenting thing difficult because it IS difficult.

Few people have twins. Even fewer have 3 under 3. This is not the norm.

Evey time I go out someone comments, “you’ve got your hands full!”

Yes, I do (thanks for letting me know – I hadn’t noticed!).

There’s a lot of total and utter chaos and me running around muttering/shouting how I’m “sick of this shit”, but overall I kind of love it.

(Which is easy to say when they’re all asleep. Ask me again tomorrow 😂)

It’s adorable,

wild,

and messy.

It’s my life.

#day17 #30daychallenge

General Parenting, Uncategorized

Reflux

The more I read about reflux in babies, the more I am convinced that Caide suffered from it, despite everyone telling me that it was normal.

I remember constantly thinking ‘how can this be normal?!” on pretty much an hourly basis. But being a first time Mum I believed the health visitor and GP over my own instincts. And being a Mum with anxiety I didn’t push the issue. I didn’t advocate for him.

But I know now that just because a baby is gaining weight, doesn’t mean they don’t have reflux. They can still be in pain.

So what made me think it wasn’t normal?

1. Frequent spitting up. Like, really frequent. He’d soak through 2 large muslins at every feed, then another 2 in the time between feeds. I timed it and wrote down every time he puked to see if I was overexaggerating it in my head. I wasn’t. He puked at least once every 15mins. And not just a little bit. I was told this was normal.

2. Frequent feeding. He ate every 2hrs, presumably because he was spitting up most of what was going down. I think the only reason he was still putting on weight is because of the sheer volume he was drinking in order to replace what was coming back up. I sometimes wondered if he was puking so much because he was eating so much so I did an experiment and found that it was definitely the other way around. He ate because he puked.

3. Fussy feeding. There was lots of wriggling, grunting, back arching and stopping and starting. While still trying to breastfeed, several lactation consultants and my health visitor were baffled as to why he was coming on and off all the time. He had a good latch and was sucking correctly, but every 2-3 swallows, he’d back-arch off me and scream. And puke, of course.

4. Comfort feeding. It was like he found it soothing in some way but would throw it all back up again and scream and it would start all over again. A dummy just didn’t do it for him, there had to be milk.

5. Back arching. All. The. Time. We’d say he was “doing his best ‘C’ impression” or “going for the full ‘O'”. Sometimes there was accompanying screaming, sometimes grunting, sometimes nothing.

6. Won’t go down. Awake or asleep. I had to hold him all the time. As someone who gets touched out pretty quickly this was a nightmare. If awake, I could sometimes put him in his bouncer/rocker chair but never on the floor. He had to be upright, even when being held, or there’d be screaming. Even as a tiny baby with no head control.

7. Coughing, gagging, sneezing, hiccups and congestion. I was also told this was all normal (and especially for c section babies), as babies are still learning how to use their digestive/respiratory systems. In hindsight, it was more likely due to irritation in his airways and throat due to reflux.

8. Wont sleep more than 2hrs at a time (If I was lucky. His naps were always 30mins. Exactly 30mins. If he napped at all). He didn’t start sleeping longer until he was old enough to sleep on his tummy.

He’d also puke in his sleep. We layered muslins under his head so we could just remove one at a time.

9. Wet burps. It was never just a burp. Ever. There was always puke. It didn’t always come out (silent reflux) but it was there. I could hear it. We grabbed a muslin and held it under his mouth quicker than you can blink every time we heard it. We were never wrong.

Health professionals need to take a mother’s instincts more seriously. I knew it wasn’t normal but was brushed off by my health visitor and 2 doctors. Caide’s babyhood was pretty miserable as a result, for all of us.

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*this pic is from day 2. I’d already learned to always have a muslin under him. And hold him upright. I haven’t slept since before his birth.

#day16 #30daychallenge

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life, Uncategorized

Getting My Life In Order

I am a lover of lists. And spreadsheets. And space-saving storage solutions.

I like things organised.

Things have felt a little hectic and chaotic lately. Cleaning has been neglected. Meal plans have been non-existent. We’re running out of food towards the end of the week as a result. Our routine keeps changing.

Kids need a stable routine.

Anxious mummies need a stable routine.

When we’re all getting antsy at the same time it does not make for a good household atmosphere.

So the past few days I’ve been getting back to my lists and spreadsheets.

I’ve written a list of all the dinners we eat in such a way that if we choose one thing from each row we’ve got a full month’s meal plan with plenty of variety.

No more “what do you want for dinner?” “Don’t know, what have we got?” “No idea.”

No more shopping list fails. We’ll have enough food to get us through the week.

It’s going to take so much stress out of our lives. (Hopefully).

I’ve also been planning educational activities and games to play with the kids. And working out a toy rotation.

No more stagnating about the house.

I’ve also been (gradually) deep cleaning everything. And decluttering (again).

It’s awful how gross things have gotten around here. And how quickly the clutter builds up.

I feel like there is always something that needs to be done but there isn’t time. Maybe that’s just home ownership mashed up with parenting.

I struggle to get out when there’s things to be done in the house, so getting back to a routine where things get done will hopefully help with that too.

We went to the aquarium on Father’s Day and it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I thought it would be. Now that the twins are a little older it’s getting easier.

I think the hardest baby days are past.

#day15 #30daychallenge

anxiety, depression, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Changes

I think one of the most frustrating parts of parenting is when you finally manage to get everyone into a routine and then it changes.

Because just before each change there’s a few weeks of bliss. When you feel like you’ve finally nailed this parenting 3 kids thing. When we get out the house every day. When tantrums are fewer. When we get time to do activities/art/messy play. When the house is clean. I start to think I just might be a Pinterest Mum after all.

Then something changes and we’re back to total chaos.

Back to not getting a chance to shower. The house being messy. Nap times going to hell. Lots of shouting, frustration, crying. Not getting out of the house. Tantrums galore. The change in routine makes my anxiety skyrocket. I stress and stress and stress.

Then depression starts to kick in.

It tells me that life has always been like this and it always will be. Same shit, different day.

I can’t face waking up in the morning. I can’t see an end to the endless shouting, tantrums and crying. Of being trapped in the house because I’m too afraid to take my screaming, tantruming, crying kids out in public.

Since anxiety makes it difficult for me to settle into a routine, it is too easy to just get stuck here.

But I write lists, and I make spreadsheets. I time-block around naps and mealtimes. I start over.

I wont let myself get stuck here.

#day14 #30daychallenge

General Parenting, Life Events, Uncategorized

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to this guy.

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The man who loves my kids as much as I do.

The man who will always play even when he’s really not in the mood.

The man Caide runs full-pelt down the hallway for as soon as he hears the door open. And who he cries for in the morning when you’re not there.

The man who was excited (not terrified) to find out it was twins. “Double baby cuddles!”

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The man who keeps their Mummy sane(ish).

People ask me things like, “does he help?”, “is he good with them?”. A simple “yes” doesn’t do justice to how much you do for our children.

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You don’t “help”, you parent. We’re a team. I couldn’t have chosen a better father for my kids.

Thank you for being you.

I couldn’t do this without you.

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#day13 #30daychallenge

Education, General Parenting

Going Montessori

Those of you who know me know I will be homeschooling my children. So I’ve done a lot of research on education and different educational pedagogies.

My favourite is Montessori.

But it’s more than just an educational pedagogy. It’s a whole way of life. A whole different way of looking at child development, and subsequently a whole different way of treating the child.

Maria Montessori believed that children should be led, not taught. Directed, not instructed. That the child is a whole human being and should be treated as such.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

And, well, here are my 9-month-olds drinking from an open cup.

And my 2 year old is currently helping Daddy to cook. Competently. With real knives (his knives are safety knives).

It’s amazing what babies and children can do when given the opportunity.

We’re not 100% Montessori by any stretch of the imagination (for a start, those are not chairs that they can get in and out of by themselves) but I just love the underlying philosophy and implement as much of it as I can.

I used to think it sounded stressful, but honestly it’s way less stressful than saying “no” all the time and dealing with the resulting tantrum.

Plus, he can prepare his own snack.

Win-win.

#day12 #30daychallenge