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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

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parenting

Kawasaki Disease awareness

Today is Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day.

I hadn’t heard of Kawasaki Disease until Lucy from The Kawasaki Kid contacted me a while back, and I’m really glad she did. Recognising the symptoms could be the difference between life and death for your child and if caught early enough the affect it has on your child can hopefully be reduced.

I asked Lucy if she would share her and her gorgeous son Stanley’s story here, so more of us can understand what to look out for and what living with Kawasaki looks like for the children who have it.

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Equal Siblings

Some people say that once you have one child adding another isn’t all that different. Those people are liars.

Having your family grow from three to four is a massive change and affects all of you, physically and emotionally, in endless ways. It’s a steep learning curve for everyone and any rhythm or routine that you had previously perfected gets rather dramatically flung out of the window.

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Breastfeeding – a second try

When I was pregnant I wrote about my previous experience of breastfeeding and how it had left me terrified to try again. I had a huge response to that post with so many women telling me they felt the exact same way, which was in equal parts comforting (to know I’m not alone) and depressing (to realise so many of us had had such similar, difficult experiences).

I was always going to try again, yet I was determined to put less pressure on myself this time. Turns out that lack of pressure was exactly what we both needed to find our feet with this feeding malarky.

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‘If You Can’t Afford to Feed Your Child…’

The days leading up to and following an election are always strange, tense, and full of arguments. This time is no different, in fact this time nobody is really sure whether to celebrate, mourn, or just keep drinking.

Today I was asked on a Facebook discussion about benefits, food banks, and tax brackets ‘why did you have a child if you can’t afford to feed it?’. Obviously the lovely Max Off Of Facebook did say ‘not to cause offence’ first. So I’m not offended…

Well, Max Off Of Facebook, do you want to know how I found myself two years ago crying in a doctor’s office as he signed a piece of paper that meant I was entitled to a food bank voucher two years ago?

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Fear of Breastfeeding

When I had my daughter I was unsure about many aspects of parenting. Would I cosleep? Would I let her cry it out? Would I have any fucking idea of how to do any of it (spoiler – I didn’t)? But one thing I was sure of, without a shadow of a doubt, was that I would breastfeed.

I knew all the benefits – for health, for bonding, for my wallet. Who wouldn’t be sold on that?! And I was sure I wasn’t ‘blessed’ (*slow look to camera*) with these H cups for nothing.

Turns out breastfeeding wasn’t as easy or as blissful as I was sure it would be.

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Maternal Mental Health

[Trigger warning for suicidal thoughts]

If, like me, your social media feeds have been full of ‘shouty selfies’ (my opinion on selfies for ‘awareness’ is for another post, another day) and incredible stories of brave women overcoming PND you’ll be aware that this week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. Something that I (obviously) feel very strongly about and am 100% behind.

However when it came to sitting down and thinking about my own input into the conversation I found myself a bit lost. I didn’t know at all where to start.

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Kids Come With

The more parents I connect with online and in real life the more I realise something I’ve been doing for years without even noticing it. I see people posting about their child-free friends and how much they love their children, how their favourite days are when they all hang out together, and how their friends are an extension of their family – aunties and uncles to their kids.

And I realise I’ve been keeping my social life and my parent life completely separate for nearly six years.

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The Guilt of Not Feeling Guilty

Mum Guilt is not a new phenomenon, nor is it one that is being quietly ignored from all corners. Recently there has been a trend of mother’s yelling from every platform about how utterly shite it is that we feel guilty at every turn. Nothing we do is ever enough and the guilt that is felt for that very reason is horrid.

For me there’s been a new reason for Mum Guilt recently though – not feeling guilty…

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10 Podcasts You Need to Hear

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have just returned from travelling in the deepest Amazon for the past three years you may have noticed a trend that seemingly came from nowhere. Podcasts. 

I love a podcast. I listen to them falling asleep at night, when I’m cleaning the house, when I’m walking, running, sitting on a train, just feeling a bit lonely. Love them! This does annoyingly mean whenever I find a new podcast that I love I session it so hard that I’ve run out within the week and have nothing to left to listen to.

In a bout of nostalgia for the podcasts I’ve listened to and loved, and the ones I’m patiently waiting for the next episode for, I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite podcasts. Join me in my addiction. Come to the dark side…

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