Lest we forget: My boy and me
Sometimes the ways in which motherhood changes you as a person are big.
You give up sleeping. You don’t get to go to the loo on you own. Your jeans never fit in quite the same way again.
And sometimes the changes are slight, subtle, barely discernible, even to yourself.
I had one of those moments on Remembrance Sunday.
I took Sonny Jim over to the service at the Paddocks, Canvey. His grandma is one of the island’s reverends, it’s where I grew up and I sometimes feel the pull of home when certain occasions come around (Christingle is one. Mothering Sunday another.)
And as I sat (thank you to the lovely lady who saw me standing with my almost-3st-slightly-scared-of-crowds-tot in my arms!) I felt a chill that had absolutely nothing to do with the bright, sunny morning.
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
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
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
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
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
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