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Showing posts from 2017

#TakeBackTheRebozo

In my last blog post, 'Babywearing: One Mum's Fall Down the Rabbit Hole', I referred to three Babywearing terms that had interested me: 'Shepherd's Carry', 'Candy Cane Chest Belt' and the 'Rebozo'.  I had come across these words during various online tutorials.  I did not know their meaning and to be honest, I'm still not sure what a 'Shepherd's Carry' is.  I chose to use these words to illustrate my ignorance and to induce some empathy to show how overwhelming any new lexicon can be.

I had researched a definition of rebozo to check spelling and context, but I was unaware of its controversial significance in social history and culture.  Rebozo means:
  ".... a handwoven shawl specific to certain Mesoamerican countries.  The colours, weaves, and patterns are specific to regions.  A rebozo can accompany a person from birth (being carried in one) to death (being buried in one) and everything inbetween." [quoted from #takeb…

Babywearing: One Mum's Fall Down The Rabbit Hole.

Before parenthood, my husband and I assumed that we'd need to spend money on a pram.  Wrong.  We assumed that our baby would happily fall asleep in a pram.  Wrong.  We assumed that we could buy one of those cute baby carriers from a reputable baby shop and all should be well.  Wrong.

My other half purchased the best-reviewed carrier online and we (rather uncomfortably) carried our eldest as much as we could, especially for walks, short naps and trips on the tube.We liked the versatility and the cuddles.Our baby liked the comfort and the warmth.We also thought it was some unwritten law to train your baby to sleep in a pram and many unhappy hours were spent jiggling the buggy, or once finally asleep, avoiding potholes, sirens and dog-walkers with their barking packs - we'd avoid certain shops with harsh lighting, or smooth floors, or those with steps and heavy doors.Whatever the ambience though, he always contentedly nodded off in the carrier.I tried to carry him as much as I co…

The "Lost" Months of Blog Silence

Three months of blogging silence.  No, we're not all sleeping through the night.  No, I've not run out of things to say.

Our baby is now 11 months and is more alert, mobile and curious.  His little hands can now touch all the things he's only seen from a static place on the floor.  His increasing teeth can now bite down on all those tasty hard surfaces that he's longingly gazed at from afar.  Within seconds, he's crawled to the shoe rack, smelling rubber boots or stroking velcro straps.  He's emptying cupboards and climbing the stairs.  He's tugging the curtains and teething on table legs.  He's outgrown all the clothes that he was wearing three months ago and has cut three more teeth.

His older brother is wiser, silver-tongued and now nappy-free.  He role-plays with sticks and talks to the toys; he's solving the jigsaws and sowing the seeds.  He's grown 25mm (ish) and expanded his vocabulary by roughly 50 words.  He now puts on funny voices wh…

The Benefits of Being That Mum Who's Usually Late

And we're off! Charging down the street with the wind in our hair, a walk-sprint with a waddle.  Baby in the carrier, toddler finally in the buggy, merrily rolling along the pavement.  I'll admit that we've left the house a little too late, but it's a miracle that we've made it out the door after a broken night of milk feeds and night-terrors, fully clothed and well fed, and I still think we've got a chance, however tiny, of actually making it on time.  A short-cut across the grass should do it.  I manage to push a heavily laden buggy up a hill while singing the baby to sleep *mini fist-pump*. The class starts at 10 and it's now two minutes to.  One more corner and then it's straight along for the sprint finish.  I'm unclicking the buggy straps at 10:03 as there's a buzz of introductory chatter at the open door.  We've made it. Just.

I don't mean to cause offence or show disrespect. I'm not even talking about big sod-off-in-your-face…

Where To Find A Glimmer of Hope

Our future is suddenly uncertain.  Our simple values of humanity: to be kind, thoughtful and welcoming, have been kicked to the kerb, beaten and spat upon, all in a matter of days.  Yet, I want to invite you into a new world with a glimmer of hope, hidden away in your local library, or children's school.

This time last year, I was teaching English in a London school, my last term before maternity leave.  Since then, I've nurtured our little ones, day and night feeding, singing them to sleep and reading the same book multiple times.  As I begin to consider an eventual return to the classroom, I'm feeling a little bit hopeful, maybe a window into a better future, filled with possibility, change and kindness.

Even the worst behaved, or most apathetic of students, in my opinion, can enjoy a good story.  Sharing books, discussing, reflecting, writing about our response to Literature is therapeutic as well as informative.  Lessons can induce laughter and sometimes tears.  I'…

Mothering Rebels and Rebellious Mothers: The Women's March

If 2016 ended in a dark cloud of anxiety, 2017 has begun with a snowstorm of sisterhood and a tidal surge of rebellion.  On Saturday 21st January, we’d usually all go swimming or I’d head to the shops while my husband takes the boys to the playground.  It's also Trump’s first day as President.  Because of this, we’ll be joining millions of people across the world's cities to march together in the name of justice, equality and the rights of all humans, present and future.  This is the Women's March.

As a human, woman and feminist, I support the march.  As a mother, I feel it is fundamental for me to join the protest, to show solidarity with people the world over, to register discontent with institutionalized prejudice and casual misogyny, but also to feel good about our children's future.  There's nothing like that wonderful feeling of marching with hope and tenacity at your side, empowered and encouraged.  True, we currently have a female PM, female bishops, recogni…

10 Unexpected Highs of Motherhood

January has sobered us up and stolen all our glitter.  The once-adored and illumined Christmas trees now lie naked and abandoned by the bins.  The world is back to work and pavements pound with brand new runners.  My news feed is full of New Year Resolutions that "all mothers should be making", guilt that I shouldn't be allowing myself to feel and tips for a healthier, fitter, happier 2017.  I choose to glance at an email from a company who know the ages of my children, jolting a hazy memory of an airbrushed "Bounty woman" (an odd sight amongst labouring women, anxious partners and around-the-clock NHS staff) disturbing our post-birth recuperation, giving me forms to complete. I assumed she was part of the team and dutifully signed on the dotted line.  Ink staining paper as post-birth blood stained the towels. This company now sends me an email saying that while"nursing a newborn", I can use "8 tricks to look beautiful before 8am", including…