I’m #thereforher this maternal mental health awareness week… are you?

#thereforher, Katy Pearson

Mums supporting mums: #thereforher

Do you know three mums? I’m pretty sure most of us do.

The thing is, statistically, one of them is struggling with a mental health issue – right now.

And all of them – especially new mums – are, probably, battling loneliness at some point each and every week.

This week though, it’s maternal mental health week. It shouldn’t take a campaign to remind us that mums matter, but us mamas are pretty good at putting everybody else’s needs before our own.

And it’s doing us no good. One of the most scary statistics I’ve read is that suicide is the leading direct cause of death for mums within the first year after their child is born. Continue reading

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It’s just as important we raise our boys to be feminists as our girls

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Best buddies – Emily and Sonny Jim

One of my pet parenting peeves is the way some people make a big deal about raising baby boys vs baby girls.

I only have Sonny Jim, but I can’t imagine I’d be doing anything much different if I’d had a daughter.

Admittedly there may have been a few more bows and frills knocking around our house (I am bit partial to them myself!) but surely the core values you teach any child – be they boy or girl – are the same?

Be kind. Don’t snatch. Be gentle. Share.

In as far as under two-year-olds can have best buddies, Sonny Jim’s is Emily.

They’ve been around each other since they were bumps – thanks to their parents meeting at an NCT class. Continue reading

Is it possible not to pass on our faults? I’m doing my best…

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK, essex

Fear free – Sonny Jim runs along the esplanade

There’s a rather famous poem by Philip Larkin, which opens with the line “they f*** you up, your mum and dad.”

It was a somewhat outrageous read when I was 14 and studying for my English Literature GCSE – but the sentiment stuck in my mind.

Now almost two decades on, a mummy myself, I find myself pondering the truth of his lines,
“They fill you with faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.”

I am a worrier. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had anxiety over something gnawing away at my gut, prickling just at the edge of my consciousness. In a weird way it has probably spurred me on in life. I might as well put myself out of my comfort zone, take the big leap, I’ll worry it about it, whatever I do. Continue reading

It’s thanks to IVF on the NHS that I have my boy

Katy Pearson, scan photo, seven week scan, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK

As a seven-week fetus – our first look at Sonny Jim

TWO years ago today I was sat clutching my husband’s hand at Bart’s Hospital in London.

After nine years of trying for a baby, five years of fertility treatments and a round of IVF, it seemed I’d finally fallen pregnant.

And two days before my 31st birthday we were waiting for a scan to confirm that it was definitely true, for a first look at our baby, to see its teeny little heart beating.

When Sonny Jim’s flickering heart flashed up on the grainy screen, I cried. He looked a bit like a prawn. Or maybe a crocodile. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Continue reading

Parenting is a privilege… not a competition

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, toddler, #whatkatydidUK

Up on his feet: Sonny Jim is now a toddling toddler

I think we can all agree on the fact that Einstein was a pretty clever chap.

But, did you know he was slow to talk? In fact, he reportedly didn’t start speaking until he was four. FOUR.

I bet he had his mum fretting.

Sonny Jim has just started walking. He’s one and a bit and in his little gang of baby buddies, he’s pretty much the last to get up on his feet.

He also took his sweet time in starting to crawl. Has no interest in potty training. Calls pretty much everything he sees “Bob”. And utterly refuses to wave or clap on cue.

None of this bothers me in the slightest. Continue reading

Would compulsory vaccinations for children be such a bad thing?

vaccinations, Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Post jabs – Sonny Jim was sad and sore after his first lot of vaccinations

I’m pretty sure all us mummies would do anything within our power to protect our children from harm.

Our babies becoming sick – when we could have prevented it – is the stuff of nightmares. It’s why we sterilise bottles. Why most of us should have taken out shares in Dettol wipes.

Yet 24,000 children a year in England are not immunised against measles, mumps and rubella.

The French PM Édouard Philippe has just announced that from 2018, all vaccines universally recommended by health authorities – 11 in total – will be compulsory.

Italy meanwhile, has recently banned non-vaccinated children from attending state schools.

It comes as the World Health Organisation warns of a major measles outbreak spreading across Europe. Continue reading

Cry it out? Co-sleep? Up all night? I feel your pain…

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydiduk #mummyandsonny

Sleep? What’s that? Sonny Jim at (yawn) 4.47am

Sleep deprivation is an actual form of torture. Literally.

And just because you’re being woken up every hour or so, night after night, by your sweet baby boy, doesn’t mean you are any less knackered.

So after a few months of Sonny Jim deciding sleeping at night was overrated, I decided to talk to an expert.

How to get babies to sleep is a contentious subject. Personally I think you do whatever feels right for you.

I’m not up for controlled crying. Yep, it works for a lot of people – my parents included. But it’s not for me. Continue reading