Monday, 30 January 2012

Smacking.

Do you smack?

You don't smack?

It's an interesting topic either way, there are many points of view on this type of discipline, some think smacking gets the point across, and I suppose it does. 'If you do that you'll get a smack'... Enough to make most children balk. Some do the only praise approach, praise the good ignore the bad. I often wonder if you ignore the bad behaviour what is to stop your child thinking 'If i do this naughty thing, no one will care', and then they do it anyway.

I'm going to admit it, I smacked eldest a few times - Like the time she snuck downstairs at 2 years old, took the lid off her hamster, let the dog out and then bleached them both...because 'moommmaaaaaa they is stink!'...  And the time she took permanent markers into her bedroom (I don't know how) and drew pretty flowers (sticks) all over everything including herself the day before her check-up. I love her, I do, but she got 2 smacks in her life time. Since she got a touch older, she started to quickly pick up on me being upset after she'd been naughty and now she is amazing. She is amazing because she never ever gives me reason to be angry or annoyed, she has taken it upon herself to always be good. She likes being good, she likes people happy and she loves the praise...Wait. Have I accidentally stepped for into conformed parenting? I think I have.

I don't smack her, I do praise her. I don't ignore bad behaviour, how can you? You are moulding and nurturing these little angels into fully fledged adults. Right and wrong should be something as parents we enforce. If people choose to smack their children as a main use of discipline then I hope that they also so something equally excessive when the child is good.

 Maybe so far i have been lucky to have a child who by nature seems to WANT to be good, maybe Mojo in 2 years time will make me pull my hair out and cry in a corner...Who knows?






SAHM Vs FTWM


What is it about becoming a mother that makes us mother superior?

Those working moms pffff, someone else taking care of their children? Why have children at all if you are going to spend so much time away from them? Oh its okay working moms manage to spend on average 81 minutes per day with the offsping - good going hotshot.

Yuck, stay at home moms, cooking, cleaning, doing nothing but looking after their children? How boring, sitting at home being supported by the other half, not using the brains they were given? What kind of role model are they?

It's a mine field.

I was a FTWM, now I'm a SAHM, the only difference is I don't feel like I am scrabbling around to find extra time, I don't feel the need to buy eldest extra things to make up for the fact I wasn't around. I carried guilt around, I wore it daily, like a coat. Now I have too much time, and I carry a new guilt. This guilt is because I AM at home, and my children see me here, not out working hard for their futures. Instead they see me making endless dinners, cleaning & all the other trappings of SAHM-ness. So guilt of leaving my babies with someone who will never love them the way I do, or the guilt of not showing them a working mother. How to balance... How to? How? HOW!?

I'm not sure we can ever get it right... But while we ponder this we still do the best we can with the tools we are given. Which is a pair of boobs & a sort of maternal nature. If you look at it that way, work or not they are getting a pretty good deal these children.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

15 Kids and counting...

Just watching '15 Kids and counting' makes me think a lot of things, firstly how brave these women are, secondly maybe they are a bit batty?

   I only have 2 children, and there is almost 5 years between them, I'm certainly not addicted to having children, but I am indeed addicted to my children. I'm not even sure if I can honestly picture myself with more than 2... But that is a whole different thing. One of the parents ( oldest 22 youngest 12 months & one on the way ) even admits 'in a way you could say we are addicted to having children'. I wonder if there are many families out there who procreate at such a rate for that reason? Surely it is not easy? Raising 2-5 is hard enough, timetables clashing between parents, taking one to football while breastfeeding another under your jumper as inconspicuously as possible at -1degree, cooking something healthy, hearty, tasty and something everyone will eat, while doing the homework hour & changing a monster pooh, while communicating via several different platform to several different people trying to arrange the next traumatic family outing? Times that by 15 and I'm not sure I would be fit to remember all their names let alone mine.

   One of the children point out you never get time to yourself, and if you do you are lucky... As a parent you can choose - do you have time to yourself? Or does your time really belong to them? I chose to have my children, therefore I chose to be accountable to them. I chose to sit in the bath with the door open for eldest to pee and BF Mojo, while Beau is probably getting things ready for the screaming fit that will be thrown the moment Mojo leaves the bathroom...

 Religion rears it's head, I am not going to say it's right or wrong to say contraception is 'against gods will'. I'm not going to say anything about it. Nothing.

 Moving on, if I look at it from a fiscal angle, and I think it IS relevant, addicted to having babies/being pregnant  or not, the money involved with this is quite extraordinary. Outgoings will be high, so surely incoming is higher? And I assume Tax Credits will be required to keep the household ticking over and as i watch I cannot in anyway see that these particular families have done it for any monetary gains. They are a far cry from the typical 'pram-face' stereotype we often here about, simply having children so they can stay at home (both parents) have a house paid for by Housing Benefit, claim Income Support/JSA and anything else they can possibly get their hands on... In this I do not as a rule include single parents, long term illness or anything else that genuinely affects ability to work. I try not to judge when it comes to how an adult chooses to live their lives, but the parent in me will sit and watch how they parent their children - if you show your child it is acceptable NOT to try, to sit at home, to remain uneducated...this will go one of two ways, the child will grow to rebel against, learn, grow, earn or (not sure if it is more likely) become another unemployed statistic, living on benefits and leaving school at 14. (Discounting people who have been made redundant or lost their job through no fault of their own.) Back to the point.

  On the whole I am not 100% sure where I stand on being pregnant for 22 years. I'm not sure I can hand on heart say I won't be having children till my womb eventually gives out.

My final words on this - You are crazy, you are brave, but inevitably correct - children are a blessing and we should be thankful that we were blessed.

Anyway here is the link... 15 Kids and Counting  I'd love to hear other opinions on this.

Momma Mojo. x
 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tweetery Twit


  Just set-up a Twitter account to go with my bloggyness...

    Feel free to follow!

  MommaMojo The Twit


  

£1 Soup

You know those stew packs you can buy in a lot of supermarkets, they are usually £1 each, and during the day sometimes its a bit hectic to watch a proper meal cooking, boiling, brazing, grilling and so on...

  Well, if I forget to buy meat in, or it's late in the month with little money to spare I put a soup together, I rarely have to check on it, I can prep it easily between feeds/school runs...


  1 Stew pack containing -

1 Swede/Turnip
1 Parsnip
1 Onion
1 carrot

  From Kitchen - 
Bouquet Garni
Vegetable stock cube
Garlic (to taste)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
1 Potato
250ml Water (or add as required due to vary in size of vegetables and families)

 How to -

Chop up the onion, peel the turnip, parsnip, potato & carrot. Then cut them all in half. 

Smash garlic. (you'll be blending it later so leave it whole)

Gently sweat onions in a little olive oil.

Add the Garlic. When you can smell them it's time for the next step, if you have trouble with the sniffy, try the poking, if they are soft move on.

Pop in your made up Vegetable stock, Bouquet Garni, Salt & Pepper.

Then throw in all the Vegetables simmer... and leave them till they are soft, remove Bouquet Garni.

When they are soft, blend it all up how ever you'd like, if you want a little extra creamy-ness, pour in a little bit of Créme Fraíche ... It's a good winter soup, it's cheap, it's got the sweetness from the turnip, the thickness from the potato and best of all? Plenty of vegetables, feeds many mouths, can be made thicker or thinner - It's a great start if you want to get into making your own soup... although I do have an easier one for you!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Luck of the Dragon?

As many of you already know it's Chinese New Year on the 23rd January 2012, Year of the Dragon...

Well, as Beau is Vietnamese we celebrate Chinese New Year, we make egg rolls, fresh and the fried variety, plenty of rice on the table, often pork as Beau loves a bit of pork, noodles and so on, it really is a feast. A glorious feast.

  Now, it sounds wonderful, it tastes divine too, but the prep required doesn't just extend to the table...

  No it started a few days ago, I'm cleaning away all the bad luck of the last year - Vigorously. The last year for us held no bad luck, it was lovely, new baby, new school for eldest and many other changes. Lovely. But we can always try and improve right?

In a broad sense of the word the Year of the Dragon signifies Luck. I'm sure we could all do with a little extra, unless that is, you believe we make our own Luck - in which case, this will hold no water with you.

So house is scrubbed, hoovered, dusted, bleached, food is all bought, ready to be prepared and cooked ( Beau's parents taught him, and he is teaching me ). The best thing about the celebration is the 13-15 days of no 'sweeping' that follows... Or I may sweep our good Luck away!!

Well, that an we are attending the Chinese New Year celebrations in Birmingham the coming weekend. All in all, its about Love, enjoying amazing food, wishing each other and your families a year better than the last, and basking in some culture. Somethings we can never be short of.


Friday, 20 January 2012

Mumsnet

Is now a proud member of Mumsnet Blogger Network...

  If you have never heard of Mumsnet, it's totally worth a shuffle through, the forums are packed full of real people giving advice that works, tips, tricks and just a generally nice atmosphere. They also have a huge amount of printout and keeps that can help you get a bit more organised and a heap of reviews for everything from household goods to disposable nappies. Why this site isn't a must for all mothers to be, new mums and veterans I'll never know.

  http://www.mumsnet.com/

Go check it out! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Ten Things I Wished I’d knew About Birth... Before, Giving Birth.


1.       Organs- The extra organ you’ve grown (not the baby) will also be coming out. It isn’t pretty. Now you know deep down this has to happen but, when you have just pushed out your baby, if it is a vaginal birth, you’re just about to get ready to bask in the glory of your miracle and out flops the placenta, like an unwelcome house guest, or in some cases you need to give it an extra push, as if you haven’t done enough already. Luckily it is swiftly taken away to who knows where, and frankly who cares?

2.       Nothing can hurt more than what I’ve just done.... ARGH! Baby is out, placenta is out, and nothing in the world can hurt more than that!  ‘Take a puff on the gas and air’ said my lovely amazing midwife... ‘I think I’ll be fine’... She pours the cold water over my post war vagina, and I couldn’t help but yell ‘Oh myyyyyyyyyy god’... I hadn’t expected that...really I thought it would be soothing. I am a fucking idiot. It hurt.

3.       Swollen Vagina – Yeah, you expect a bit of a swelling after pushing a tiny baby HIPPO out of your lady parts, but just how much I was under prepared for.  After getting cleaned-up, and wheeled to the ward, I got out of the wheel chair, and felt like I had the world sitting between my legs. It was interesting.

4.       It burns! It stings! Make it Stop! – Urination, now for some unknown reason I thought this would be a normal process: Sit, pee, wipe, flush.  I was wrong, it was more like: Shuffle to toilet, hover over the basin, wincing, trying not to make the pathetic mousey squeaks so I didn’t wake up my new born, stopping the pee flow every few seconds to try and regain some sense of composure, and in the end lightly splashing post war vaginal with water. The whole ordeal took about 20 minutes, but the end of which I had exhausted myself and cried with humility of the situation. First baby, alone on the ward with newborn and no idea – Eye opening!
 
5.       Wibble Wobble Jelly in my Belly?! – The baby, the waters, the placenta is all out! But you have the mound of wobbly flesh, with slivers of stretch marks and the look of a deflated bouncy castle. It stays for a little while and isn’t pretty. Call it baby weight, baby belly, baby pooch – call it what you like, you aren’t pregnant anymore, and you now have the body of a used teabag. Good Luck with that.

6.       The utter relief...  Once the contractions are at an end, the head is out (ring of fire is an understatement)... the shoulders slip out more easily...WHATHEHELLISTHIS? Relief, utter unbridled relief and elation, so strong than in fact you wouldn’t notice 7000 people clapping for you... until point 2. Happens then is sore again for a minute or so... then back to elation..weeeeeeeeeee  (best legal high ever)

7.       Ring of Fire... Is no longer just a Johnny cash song, it is a real thing. And let me tell you something, listening? IT HURTS, thankfully it is a fairly short sharp ouchy and done... Second time round? I felt the ball of fire from higher up in the birth canal than the first time... Second time I almost wish I had opted for more drugs... almost.

8.       It really can be different every time! I kid you not ladies and gentleman, my eldest allowed me to have a joyous amazing pregnancy, a lovely 3 hour birth (minor tears) and generally just lovely and painful... Mojo rocks up, back-to-back, all day sickness, over 24 hours of labour... I AM A FOOL! A FOOL I TELL THEE!! Next time? I won’t be so cocky.

9.       The experience isn’t just yours alone...  I stayed at home for my second birth, and while there I realised everyone in the room was invested in it, no matter how bad I was feeling there was more than one person to pick me up and dust me off. That amazing miracle of life you are about to perform and are in the middle of, will affect everyone in the room. Midwives do it every day, and they do it for a reason.

10.   Things can go wrong.  I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news but it can go wrong, sometimes minor sometimes major, I don’t find it healthy to read 100 horror stories about birth, cord accidents and such... But I wish I had been a bit more reasonable about this, Mojo lost heartbeat and was born out of fluorescent yellow waters. Both not great, both we got through.  Just remember, keep a cool head and be prepared – that’s all you can do.



Relaxing bath.... or not...

So it's 6.30pm, Beau is at work, I figure time for me and Mojo to have a nice warm bath (she likes to nurse in the bath), and eldest came in to chat. Well, eldest decided she couldn't miss out on the nice water action so in she jumped!

I heard a little tummy rumble and my heart sank a bit, but haha! I had a flannel to hand and managed to catch the poop... The first poop I will add... after flinging the poop flannel into the other sink, we settle back down.

TOO SOON !! Eldest has hopped out of the bath yelling 'OH MY OH MY IT DOESN'T SMELL BUT I DON'T WANT TO TOUCH IT, BLOODY HELL OH MY OH MY ARGHHHHH' wide eyed, hair sticking up and being told off for using 'bloody hell'... Her hopping from foot to foot naked yelling however made me laugh so much, I didn't hear the second rumble... It was in fact announced by eldest yelling 'MORE MORE IT IS COMING OUT, WHY IS IT YELLOW? I DON'T WANT TO KNOW,OH MY OH MY ARGHHH'.... Shortly followed by me standing up Mojo in arms Eldest flailing around the bathroom to let her know we are in fact going to now get in the shower to remove all signs of our poop adventures...

Happy as a pig in shit? I think not!

Homebirth - Mojo is on route...

So around 9am on the 28th of November 2011 I knew she was coming, I knew it. I had minor period pain contractions, I kept this information to myself and went Christmas shopping with Beau, he had no idea...

The midwife arrives to do a sweep at 4pm that evening, and as Mojo was already trying to escape there could be no harm in a little helping hand. Sweep swept, bouncing on my ball till 6pm, me and Beau head off to collect my eldest... Standing contracting in my Dad's kitchen while making a cup of tea, a house full of men and no one notices... The dogs however wouldn't leave my side.

By 8pm that evening they started to feel a bit more serious, to the point I confess to Beau, he wires me up to the tens machine, which does wonders. But we decide to make the call to the on call midwife so she knows whats going on...

At this point I'll admit I was feeling strong, my first birth took 3 hours start to finish... How bad could this be? Not very bad, but enough to make me breakdown at 3am...

At around 11pm my lovely on calls know it's not happening any time soon, Mojo wasn't putting enough pressure on my cervix due to being back to back and to take some paracetamol and go to bed...Sleep she says!! Har har haaarrrr...sleep...

Well, Beau took this to mean I would be able to sleep, I was waking every 15 mins trying to turn the tens machine up till my whole lower half was a static machine! It's fine breath through it, millions of woman do it at home (no they don't) You are strong (I feel wobbly) If in doubt go to the hospital (I will not! Never!) I released tensions by having a moment of crying. He slept. And so on till around 8am at which point we made a second call, I was contracting harder and making enough fuss for Beau to know it was serious, super serious! Entonox please lady, give me the pipe and sit in the corner I GOT THIS!!


Breathing deeply...


I did not have this, up and down the stairs Beau carrying the gas and air tank, making tea and coffee for the lovely midwives and a cup of warm milk for my eldest (who was given the day off due to the MIRACLE OF BIRTH)... It was creeping towards 12.30pm and I couldn't be sure if I wanted to sit down, stand up, rock on my ball, bathe in some warm water, eat, drink or fart... I was just sure the gas and air was no longer curbing the pain and we were nearly there.

 My amazing midwife who had supported the home birth turned up around 10am, and was lovely, rocking hips chatting away, very excited... (What I didn't know was it was her first Home birth supervision other than her own) I was also a great spectacle to Dudu, a lovely midwifery student, who had never witnessed a birth and thanked me over and over for letting me witness not only a birth but a planned home birth - You are welcome I say!! Then I offer her a drink in between contractions... This lady was vital, I just didn't know it yet!

So to the monitoring, Mojo's heartbeat stops, just.like.that.STOP.

I get up a wiggle around, while standing the catch her heart beat - It's all fine, just don't lie down... What? I just want to lie down, just there and lie there... WHAT?

Eventually she had the good graces to turn around the right way as I was coming up to needing to push.

So 2pm I get myself angled with my bottom half over the edge of the bed, and I feel a burning ball of fire traveling slowly down the birth canal, and I am nearly there, I can feel every wiggle, every slip and slide... EVERYTHING....  My waters explode, Uh-oh they are so yellow (Beau calls brother to come and take care of eldest in case we need to make a speedy get-a-way to hospital), even I know in my state that this was not cool... I don't have time to ask or consider, not only is something wrong, I need to get her out.... this is where Dudu came in, she places herself behind me, and gave me a huge amount of pushing capability... I used her as a head rest and a place to push my shoulders against...

Well, I was crying now, I can't do this I say, yes you can because you are doing it, and I was... I could feel the ball of fire, about to make that POP into the world, and I held my breath and pushed (Brother walks in front door as baby's head POP's) YAY! everyone is happy, her head is out, one more push - and it was one more - and out she came thrown on to me in all her gory glory, she smelt divine. And was perfect. And we had skin to skin and BF and snuggles galore.

2.11pm POP Mojo made it....

2.35pm I was ran a bath by the midwife, I relaxed in the bath, Mojo was being cooed over by the professionals who all had just had their first home births, Beau was making all the calls, and I basked in the glory of giving birth at home, no tears not even a vaginal graze, and pain medication which I would liken to putting a plaster on when you've just had your leg sawn off... Might be a bit of an exaggerating but it truly is a labour of love like no other. While basking my bath turned a deep red and eventually I had to get out ;)

 When I got out, I walked into a tidy room, freshly laid sheets (included large pads under my fitted sheet) and a cup of tea. I sat in my large corner chair, beyond tired and elated.

4.11pm everyone is still here making sure her obs were okay :)
Eldest's excitment leaking out of her face after I told her we could in fact keep it.

Let's compare and contrast what happened:

Here was my plan :

Walk around, only have tens and gas and air (didn't order extra meds in advance in order to uphold this wish) have bath when I like, have Mojo on my bed, be amazing and wonderful, no complications fast birth then dinner.

What happened :

More than 24 hours of labour, hated walking, only liked my ball, tens machine turned full, ran bath then decided wet hair would make me more irritated, had Mojo on my bed, was amazing and wonderful (all labouring mothers should be told this, because you really are) complications, to tired to eat dinner - the tea was nice though.
Power to the Momma.

Summary :

Here is what a mother who has had an uncomplicated hospital birth vs. minor complication home birth might say - I would stay at home every  time, it was amazing, the midwives were amazing, my house was like my tower, my place where when I felt I couldn't go through more pain, I did. I pulled strength from Beau's eyes willing me on, from my eldest coming and asking if baby was ready yet, from MY midwife making the effort to drive an hour to see it, to take part in my miracle - to take part in my step into a new life, an extended family. Tea from my own cup, my own comforts and the ability to have family around me, I came downstairs later that evening to Mojo's Godfather and Uncle and sat and smiled while I Skyped Mother & Grandparents, feeling contented with knowing my own bed was waiting for us.

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