mental health

Fear is a wicked mistress

I’m preparing to run 10k, I’ve only just started running 5ks but you know why not try for 10.  I know I’ll be able to achieve 10 its just a matter of how long it will take me to get it done.  Rather than still be walking after 3 hours, I’ve decided to try and get some practice in strengthen muscles build stamina etc.   Part of my preparation is running 5km each Tuesday during my lunch break.  Today was that day.  Except unlike the other times I’ve been exercising lately today I got a stitch.

Painful yes but quite harmless, you’d think.   I was jogging along trying to push through it but it really was excruciating and ‘pushing’ through it was only making it worse.  Then it got to point that I couldn’t get a full lung full of air due to the pain and another more sinister thought jumped into my head.  What if this isn’t a stitch at all, what if this pulmonary embolism.  What if for some reason my body had decided that my blood thinning dose isn’t enough.  Or maybe (very very unlikely) I’m pregnant and haven’t realised (if you haven’t read my story on DVT during pregnancy you can do so here).  Fear creeps in like an evil bitch, I can feel tears welling in my eyes as I’m trying to calm myself down… You know it’s a stitch, that’s exactly what this is, you knew that the first instant you felt it, “it’s not the same” I repeated to myself over and over.

Breathe…. I try again to run, but its really just to painful so walk I do.  My rational brain keeping me calm… localized pain, not as general as the clot was, while I’m struggling to get a breath in it doesn’t feel like someone is sitting on my chest, this is also a good thing.

As I managed to get a hold of myself I started to wonder when this fear with leave, when will I stop being scared that I am dying every time it’s a little bit difficult to breath.   Or when will I stop thinking the clots are back when I get a familiar twinge in the back of my knee.   I don’t think I realised how much fear I’m still holding on to even, though you put on a brave face those little doubts still sneak by.Times

I won’t let it stop me running though, ‘no pain no gain’ right?  I do need to research the sh!t out of stitches though and work out how to stop that happening again because it was far worse than a leg cramp!

Just like to add I did 5km in 44 minutes. That is my fastest 5k time even with a stitch from hell!


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto

Earlier this week posted about my daughters resent gastro and weight loss, and my current goal to try and fatten her up a little.  I feel like I need to keep specifying healthy fats.  Even though I’m sure most of you know I’m already referring to healthy fats!  Anyway, I haven’t made risotto for Matt and I in ages and I’ve never made it for Rose so why not give it ago.

It was a huuuge hit, she had it for dinner and then the next two days for lunch at daycare for lunch.  Technically speaking it probably isn’t correctly made.  Being a busy mum I don’t have time to stand there and stir risotto for 30 minutes while the stock is slowly absorbed so I’m more of a ‘chuck some liquid in and chuck the lid on’ kind of risotto cooker.

1062-278487-StockPot-SKUsThis recipe is really versatile too, if you don’t have sweet potato you could use pumpkin or squash.  Leave the chicken mince out for a vegetarian version, leave the cheese out for a dairy free version.  Between the salt in the stock and the cheese there is also no reason to add salt and pretty much anything you put in it will taste good.  I use Continental’s Chicken Stock Pots as I think they have the best flavour, but if you have homemade stock or your favourite brand that will work too.

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto
2 tbs coconut oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
500g chicken mince
1.5 cups of risotto
1 medium sized sweet potato
4 cups chicken stock (made however you wish)
1 medium sized can of corn
¾ cup of baby peas
125g grated parmesan (approximately 1 cup)

  1. Fry onions and garlic in the coconut oil until onions become transparent
  2. Add risotto to pan and toast until also looking transparent
  3. Push mix to the edged and add chicken to the middle
  4. Brown chicken in the centre of the pan while gradually mixing with rice mixture
  5. Add sweet potato
  6. Add 1 stock pot and 250 mills of water stir and cover for 5 minutes
  7. Once absorbed add another 250 mills of water
  8. Add corn and peas
  9. Repeat step 6 & 7
  10. Once the final liquid has been absorbed risotto should be smooth in the pan and not clumpy or stodgy. add more water if the rice is under cooked or the mix looks too firm.
  11. Turn off heat and stir through parmesan cheese.

I will be posting a few different recipes this week so don’t forget to stop by to check them out!

Let me know what you think.


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Operation Fatten Up the Baby aka Toddler

Rose has never been a chubby baby, when she born she was only 3.1kgs and dropped 10.1% while we were in hospital (due to tongue ties and my milk supply).  So I’ve always been a little sensitive when people are referred to her as skinny.  Once I had established a milk supply she started gaining weight but she never but on great slabs of fat.   It likely fuelled my self-doubt with breastfeeding and when she started refusing to feed it was time to pull the pin!  Despite switching to formula and starting solids Rose has always been skinny, she’s a picky and light eater so I try to offer a variety of foods regular, which was working for us.

rose and meOk, so the point of the story… since starting 6 weeks ago Rose has had gastro twice, and a chesty cough/cold as well.  The joys of daycare right…

The last bout of gastro has been taxing.  5 days she had vomiting and diarrhea, 5 long, tense, on edge days, and who likes to eat when they feel like vomiting… no one.  So while she kept nothing down she also only picked at food one day I think she only had 1/3 of a banana for the whole day.   Our only saving grace was that she was downing water nonstop which thankfully meant she didn’t get dehydrated.  One night after vomiting up all her milk (again) she just went to sleep clutching her water cup.

I didn’t really notice that Rose had lost weight, until my mum pointed it out in a photo and then I started to notice it a lot more.  I can now clearly feel all of her ribs,  her legs are a lot slimmer and her belly

rose ice
Rehydration

is more pronounced.  She’s not unhealthy but I would feel better if we could get some more fat on to her.  Especially with winter coming and the threat of more illness.

Naturally we want to stick with healthy fats and build her back up that way… we certainly aren’t heading to Hungry Jacks. So over the next few weeks I will be sharing recipes that I’m making to help put weight back on Rose.   Please let me know if you have any recipes that contain good healthy fats and we will give them ago.

 


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Being A Mum · Uncategorized

I love my sliver of bed

I balance on my side, I dare not roll onto my back as I can feel the edge of the bed right behind me, and I’m not convinced I have enough left not to fall off!  I love sleeping on this much bed, why?  Because in front of me is a peacefully sleeping baby.  Sometimes she likes me to cuddle her, other times she just wants to be pressed up against my shoulder, but I love her in my bed and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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This is sort of what our bed looks like, haha sorry Matt!

Each night I settle my daughter into her bed knowing that within a few hours she will be in mine.  Each night I think maybe tonight she will stay in her bed until morning.  We actually had a night this week when she was in her cot all night mainly because she’d had two big nights in a row and was exhausted! Generally though without fail she ends up in our bed and Matt and I both shuffle to the side to make room for her, even though she is a bit of a bed hog. Even now I’ve slipped out of bed to write this blog and I’ve left a pillow shoved up beside her so she can’t roll over and hog my side.

 

It’s been a tough week for Rose and I, she had some pretty big days at daycare staying for two sleeps, which was great that she’s slowly settling in.  However everyday that I’m picking her up she looks like she’s been crying and she has a running nose and sad eyes.  They keep telling me she had a good day and she’s getting better and every mum I speak to says it gets easier but right now it down right sucks!  Today she clung on to me from about 5am not even letting Matt take her for a cuddle, and she was like this until she worked out we weren’t leaving the house today… Honestly though after the last few days I don’t think I could have done it again today, it’s not been fun.

Rose sleeping on me
Not my most flattering angle but this was bedtime after our second day at daycare this week.

I’ve found myself lying in bed the last few nights just waiting for her to wake up so I can go and get her and give her a cuddle.  I know she sleep more soundly in our bed. I never wake up to her crying in her sleep, I can slip her dummy back in before she really realises it’s gone, and when she wakes up not feeling like herself I’m right there to give her a cuddle.  I love it.

So for now I’ll happily keep sleeping on a sliver of my bed, I don’t mind it actually I’ve become quite used to perching right on the edge.  Sometimes I even manage to shuffle her over a bit and lie flat on my back with only my pinky slipping off.  I will definitely miss this when she’s older.

 

***While I fully support co-sleeping I acknowledge it can still be very dangerous, I myself haven’t been comfortable co-sleeping until Rose was around 11 months old.  She spent some time in our bed on rough nights but she was mainly in her cot.  If you want to co-sleep I highly encourage you to educate yourself on safe co-sleeping practices and keep your baby safe.


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Our healthy family menu Feburary

Round 2 ding, ding, ding!  If you were following along last month with my January meal plan, you will notice after week two I stopped doing recaps.  Why you ask? Well it probably has a lot to do with the fact we stopped following the menu.   About midway through week 3 everything got jumbled up we were low on cash (monthly pays suck) and so we had to make do with what was in the freezer and minimalist meals.  So this month we are trying again!  The menu may also look pretty similar to last month’s so if you have a great recipe that I should try please pass it on, the best place to do so is through my Facebook page www.facebook.com/onemumtoanother.

This month is going to be a little different and difficult for us as I am returning to work and starting back at uni all in one go! I’m building a freezer stash of food for out 14 month old so daycare lunches can be a bit easier. So far I’ve only got Chicken and Corn Balls and Lentil Patties in there but I’ve got a list of things such as sausage roll, scrolls, patties and other bits and pieces to get working on so you will likely see those pop up as I get them made.  Make sure you join the Facebook page or follow this blog so you’re updated.

Budget wise this month I’m going to aim for $600, my $500 budget was getting used up really quickly last month and I’m sure that I went over it as I stopped keeping track towards the end of the month.  I think I need to source myself a cow and some chickens as milk and eggs just take up so much of the budget.

Weight wise I’ve lost 2 kilos on this meal plan, progress slowed towards the end of the month as we had a few extra cheeky meals like chicken wings out of the smoker… o.m.g so good, and Matt made brisket burgers one night.  Keep in mind this 2 kg loss has involved a 5k walk maybe once a week… maybe.  So my exercise could be much much better.  Matt on the other hand lost 10kgs (it helped he had a competition going at work), he was exercising 3-4 times a week going for 5km runs or 20+km bike ride.  He did so well, he was very controlled with his eating too.  I think we need to run more competitions like this for all of us.

I also have included snacks or breakfast on this menu, as my breakfast usually consists of eggs and toast or eggs and bacon.  Snacks are usually yogurt, protein muesli bars or cottage cheese on ryvitas.   I’d love some extra snack ideas so if you’ve got a favourite let me know!

Here is our healthy family menu for February.

Let me know what you think.


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Being A Mum · Recipes

Chicken and Corn Balls

We decided to have a family dinner out last week and we ended up at sushi.  Rose generally loves sushi as there are so many different things for her to try.  She loves pork gyoza, some sorts of sushi, but this time her favourite was definitely corn and chicken balls.  I suspected it was because they were on a stick, but I thought I would give making some a go!

ingredients cc ballsI am currently on the hunt for things I can make and freeze as Rose has started daycare this month and it would make everyone’s life easier if we can pull her lunch out of the freezer the night before add a few fresh veges or salad and off we go, so when these chicken and corn balls would be perfect for that.

Rose isn’t the greatest eater sometimes she will just throw everything on the floor, I made these balls about half golf balls size and she ate 5.  She just kept stuffing them in, next time I’m going to hide more veges in them!!!  My husband also ate 3-4 off the plate while they were cooling so they must have tasted horrible!

Cooking ballsWhen I made the mix it was actually quite wet, which is why I added the breadcrumbs, however I’m not sure if I will do this next time.  Even though it was wet initially as soon as they hit the pan they formed great little balls.  Also make sure your hands are wet when you roll this out, otherwise you’ll end up with coated fingers which is very annoying.

 

Corn and Chicken Balls

Prep time:
20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 30 small balls

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 200g corn kernels
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 crust of bread or ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbs of oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Toast bread and then pulse in a food processor (to make breadcrumbs)
  2. Pulse onion and garlic (you could also finely chop)
  3. Finely chip spring onions
  4. Mix all ingredients
  5. Shape into balls and fry or bake (wet hands make this easier)

Let me know how this recipe goes for you!


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Being A Mum

The things I love about you, my little love

I wrote a blog a few weeks about what we need to stop saying to new mothers, and my cousin raised an interesting point, yes we should reword our support to new mothers, but we should also try to focus on the positive aspects of parenting rather than all the negatives.   So this blog is just that, because I think that is valid point as well.  We need to hear and empathises with mums about their struggles and hardships, but we also need to celebrate the little beings we’ve created and let their warmth seep into our bones!

I love how cheeky you are, when you discover good joke and just giggle about it.  Or when you hear me coming behind you and take off down the hallway giggling.  You make me laugh so much. You have a beautiful friendly nature and you love a good laugh!

I love your kindness when you see an open mouth and decide you should share your dummy with me by jamming it my mouth, and then you laugh so hard when I won’t let you have it back.  You never get upset when we play this game, I admire that at a such a young age you realise this is just a game and you’ll eventually get your prize back.  I love how you’ve started bringing me things you know are mine, a cup off the table, my mobile phone and you’re so proud of yourself when you do.

I love how when you hear the shower door creek you come tearing down the hall way trying to take off your clothes just so you can jump into the shower too.   I love our moments in the shower, when we laugh and laugh over generally nothing.

I love how you love to celebrate, every achievement, if I finish reading a favourite book to you or singing you a song.  You celebrate with clapping and cheering.  The other day in the playground I told another little girl how clever she was and out of nowhere you appear clapping and cheering.  So cute.

Rose on the dining room table 2I love your curious nature even if it does mean you’re turning me grey and taking years off my life.  I love that you’re keen to explore your world, or investigate every new thing you see.  I hope you always go through life exploring, investigating and questioning things around you. How else will you learn and grow?

I love your fuzzy little head buried into my neck even if it is 2am and your hair is going up my nose.  I love how when we’re in bed together you pester me until I roll over and give you a cuddle.  I love that you want to give me a cuddle in the first place.

Being your mum I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve learnt how to function quite well with minimal sleep, I’ve learnt how to deal with anxiety about your wellbeing, I’ve learnt how to be more patient on our difficult days, and how to sit back and let you explore the work without having to hover over you (depending on where we are of course!).

The biggest thing I’ve learn in these last 14 months, I would take you unhappy, sad, whinging, crying, angry, cranky, fussy and unpleasant ANY DAY, over not having you at all.


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Being A Mum · mental health · Recipes

Week 2 recap January meal plan

I was much more organised for week 2 of our monthly meal plan, however some things still had to be juggled around.  Although I do need to apologise as I’ve taken no photos this week! So slack. I have however created a Facebook (One Mum to Another) site for my blog I’d love to have you come and follow along there too.

Monday night meat free finally happened and we had a really delicious haloumi salad, with pomegranate seeds and a really nice citrus dressing.  Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this recipe, but if you would like it you can find it on Facebook at Sally Baumann – The Inspired Dietitian.  This one will reappear on our menu again, at first I was a bit doubtful as making the whole thing including the dressing took ages.  However now the dressing is made it will take half the time and it was so so good.

Tuesday night was a simple night, with steak & vegetables.  100g of steak for me and 150g for Matt, it gets a little arduous weighing out meat and carbs, but doing this often makes me realise how much we’re over eating.   I also made a sweet potato pure for something different.  I added butter, salt and spring onions, we had this with beans and broccoli.

Wednesday night we tried the Lamb Curry, I actually forgot until I was half way through making this that it needed to have lentils in the curry.  Rather then run to the shops I used 1/2 cup of rice (brown or white), which I think worked really well.  It was really nice, and a healthy option for a curry, although it was quite carb heavy so maybe only every now and then!  It made up 6 meals, which I love as there is dinner, lunch and two for the freezer.

FooiesOn Thursday Matt and I headed out to the Foo Fighters concert!  Which meant we had to leave our active little monkey with my brother and sister in law.  Our way of saying thank you to them is to always try to make them dinner.  Really Matt just uses it as an excuse to get the smoker going.  So while not on the menu we had pork ribs, potato bake and a salad. This ended up being our treat meal for the week as majority of the week was pretty good.  The concert was awesome too!

Friday night was of course Australia day so for dinner we had some beautiful lamb chops and salad.  It wasn’t exactly what was on the menu but you know these things need to change sometimes!

Saturday night was a simple dinner of beef Kofta wraps with salad, we judged a BBQ competition that day so neither of us were very hungry but I felt like I need something small/light.   For the beef koftas I added beef mince (500g), garlic (2 cloves), parsley (2 tbs), onion powder (a sprinkle) and salt (a sprinkle).  We then had these in low carb wraps with salad.  Quick, easy, simple!

Sunday was Porcupine Meatballs this dish is a meatball with rice cooked in tomato soup like sauce.   Make mine from scratch and rather than a tomato soup I make a spaghetti based sauce.  I usually make a big batch of this one as it freezes well and tastes good. I did take some photos of the meatballs, the photo at the beginning is of my daughter stuffing her face, I’m glad she liked them!

Recipe for Porcupine Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 2kg mince
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • Italian herbs
  • Tsp Salt

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tubs tomato paste
  • 500ml beef stock
  • salt and herbs to taste.
  1. Combine the onion and garlic and blitz with a bar mix (you can also finely chop if you don’t have one. Save half of this mix for the sauce.
  2. Combine half of the onion and garlic mix with the mince, brown rice, herbs and salt.
  3. Form meatballs and refrigerate until ready.
  4. Fry the onion and garlic mixture in a large stock pot for a few minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and the beef stock. Stir and wait for mixture to heat. Season with salt and herbs to your personal taste.
  5. Once the tomato sauce is simmering add the meatballs. DO NOT STIR. If you need to rearrange your meat balls gently shake the pot.  If you sitr at this point you will break up the meatballs and end up with spaghetti sauce.
  6. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, you can now stir your meatballs and check the level of sauce in your pot. I found as my meatballs cooked they expelled a lot of moisture and my sauce was very runny. If this happens simmer for another 10-20 minutes uncovered until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Serve with steamed veges

When I portion out the meatballs I usually do 4 to a container which made 10 serves, however in hindsight 3 is probably enough for my serve.

Budget: We spent $82 this week, which gives us a running total of $468, that gives us $32 left in the budget… We may go over is a little.  Positively we still have lots of chicken breast and steak in our freezer so other than a vege/salad top up we’ve almost got everything we need for this week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s meal ideas.  Keep an eye out for week 3’s recap and February meal plan coming soon!


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Being A Mum · mental health · Uncategorized

Judging my first BBQ contest

My husband Matt is an avid smoker, a couple of years ago he started with a big ugly drum smoker and has since progressed to a few different types.  So I am no stranger to smoked meat, except for 9 months when I was pregnant and just the smell of it made me want to vomit.  Thankfully the first thing he smoked post pregnancy was the best bit of brisket he’s ever cooked.  As some of you know we’ve been trying to eat healthy lately (our monthly menu), so we started the day with 4.6km run/brisk walk (we fell 400m short of 5k). Then we left the baby at Grandma’s and headed off with Matt’s brother and sister-in-law.

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Matt warned me coming into the competition that I needed to pace myself, everyone is hungry during the first round which is chicken and tend to eat too much meaning they are too full for the last beef round. I was told if I b*tch out I won’t be invited back haha (by him).  So expectations set!  We judged at the Mooloolabah BBQ Festival and the Australasian Barbecue Alliance were the judging authority at this judging event and most important trained us on how to judge BBQ well, so we learnt all about what to look for in a box, how it should be presented and many do’s and don’ts of the competition.  The most important thing I took away from this training is that everyone spends a lot of money, time and energy attending this event and we need to judge with integrity and fairness, and respect the effort that’s gone into the products.

Chicken JudgeThe first round was chicken handed in between 12:55 and 1:05, our table was lucky and scored 5 pieces of chicken.  I think the first piece I had was the stand out the skin was perfect and didn’t pull off the piece it wasn’t took saucy and was nice and juicy.  The last piece we had, had this amazing coated and fried chicken wing that was so so good, naturally they got an extra point for that.  I did find some of the sauces washed out the chicken a little and nobody likes a face full of skin as you’re taking a bite.  However the chicken was a strong start.

Lamb JudgeLamb was up second handing in between 1:55 and 2:05, once again we were lucky to get 5 pieces.  I was discussing my scores later with Matt because I noticed on one box I thought looked great he had scored it an average score.  He pointed out all his reasons which were valid, as were mine… we ended the conversation on the fact that everyone has individual likes and things that appeal to them.  This is why these competitions have so many judges because things tend to even themselves out.  Lamb wasn’t my most favourite round, there were some tender pieces in front of me however some had some weird flavours!

Ribs JudgeThird up was pork ribs, Matt was so looking forward to this round, he loooves pork ribs and couldn’t wait to try them.  Some had a great bite, but the flavour wasn’t there, some had a tough bite but great flavour, personally found some a little too sweet as well, but that’s my personal preference.  I think if anything I could say sauce is good but don’t over do it, remember the star is the rib.

 

Beef JudgeLast round of the day was beef, even to my amateur knowledge I found this around a little bit underwhelming.  The first bit I tried looked good however it was tight. The second piece didn’t have as defined colours in the meat, but it was not as tight and little more tender, however I didn’t really like the flavour, the burnt ends on both of them were ‘meh’.  The last two were beef ribs, including some beef cheek, which had a completely different texture to brisket, one had a more tenderness and flavour than the other, but again nothing was amazing.

At this point I just want to reiterate if you’re a competitor in this competition I know how much work and money you’ve put into this, I know you take a lot of pride in what you do and it can be so frustrating and crushing when something doesn’t go to plan.  This is only my opinion.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting different people and discussing their BBQ knowledge.  I’m very envious that I wasn’t at Port Macquarie to experience the chef’s choice submission of carrot cake and we met Tex from Smokin’ Gun Texas BBQ located in the Glass House Mountains.  Matt has eaten there before and thought it was amazing, so if you’re looking for good BBQ on the far north side of Brisbane make sure you pay them a visit.

I’m definitely looking forward to judging again, I felt like a learnt a lot and we had a great day out.


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Being A Mum · Uncategorized

Babies don’t sleep, it’s a lie!

The only preorder I had for my baby was that I got one that slept.  That is the only thing I wanted chubby, skinny, tall, short, intelligent, not so intelligent.  I didn’t really care I just wanted one that slept because I loooove my sleep.   I could have easily slept between 8-9 hours on a week night and longer on the weekend.  Boy did I love a sleep in too, those lazy mornings when I woke up around 8:30 and then played with my phone for a while just no where to be or to go.  So that was my only request a baby that slept.

Ha

Ha

Ha

Well the baby gods didn’t heed my prayer in fact they thought, life has been too cruisy for you thus far lets us shake it up a little!   Now I want to preface this story with the fact that I know things could be much worse, ok.   In my quest to help my daughter sleep better I have discovered some absolutely exhausting stories of mothers who’s children sleep no where other than on them until they’re 2,3,4,5,6.

Sleep againIn the first 6 months of my daughter’s life I have never been so completely utterly exhausted. I was so tired it felt like my bones were tired.  I’d fall asleep on the couch at 7:30 every night but without fail when the baby was sleeping during the day it would take me         20-30 minutes to fall asleep as well. Of course, Rose was only sleeping 40 minutes on her own if I was lucky, so I would only just get to sleep when she would be awake again.  There is nothing quite as painful as only just falling asleep and hearing your charge start to stir. I remember thinking this wasn’t what I had signed up for I wanted all the good parts not bone tired exhaustion.  Before you have a baby, when you think about what it will be like to have a baby, you are well rested, even when pregnant all that ‘tired’ is not as bad as when the baby actually arrives.

Rose was also a little baby which meant she needed to feed regularly so I was generally up every 2-3 hours at night.  I was coping kind of, but people around me keep suggesting I should go to a sleep school because you know past 6 weeks babies should be sleeping through the night… definitely by 3 months.  No, no, no, if this is you, if people are telling you there is something wrong with you baby because they’re up this much at this age… just no.  It is completely normal, in fact I believe it’s completely normal for babies to wake up through the night for many nights, weeks and months.  We need to stop putting so much pressure on new mothers to conform to these archaic ideas, babies wake for a cuddle because you know they’re vulnerable, more commonly they wake to feed because you know small stomachs!  Just roll with it, however if it is affecting your wellbeing then get help.  Or try to understand why they’re waking up.  Sometimes I found I just needed to give my daughter a minute or two and she would resettle. I wanted her to learn she was safe, but if she needed me to reassure her I was there.

You can probably tell I’m not a ‘cry it out’ mum, personally I believe this is a negative experience for everyone, to have to shut your emotions off from your baby and be ‘tough’ or ‘strong’ just doesn’t sit well with me.  I’m also not a fan of sleep training. Human babies are the most vulnerable newborns in the world.  They have zero defences and are just sitting ducks for a predator.  Hence why babies have an intrinsic want to be with you all the time, you are their protection!   It took me a while to come to this conclusion, I tried to settle my child on her own, I patted, rubbed, I left her to cry once… it only took once because I picked her up and she clung to me like she was terrified and sobbed.  I never did it again.  Being a mum is tough job please don’t feel like I am judging you if you have used these methods, I was totally on board with them too, until I actually had a baby and now I feel like I know a little better.  Don’t get me wrong it can be just as exhausting co napping with baby, as you still don’t have time to do anything and sometimes you don’t feel like you get a break at all.

Eventually I just realised I needed to go with it, so until Rose was 5 months I held her for every nap.  I watched a lot of TV and read a lot of books, around 5 months I was able to get her settled on the bed next to me, so I could teach her to go to sleep with me there, but not on me.  She would wake up see me there and go straight back to sleep.  At 5 months Rose was still waking up 3 times a night, this btw is also completely normal!   Around 9 months I noticed one day she rolled away from me and did not wake up for 2 hours… It was at that point I decided I would put her in her cot every nap once she was asleep and see.  Just like that she slept for 1.5 hours in her cot alone. I. Was. Free!!!  But I was so used to sleeping with her I didn’t know what to do!

Still sleeping on meI had to change my whole perspective on babies, sleep and my ability to get things done.  The necessities had to take priority and the things I wanted to do well they got forgotten, this time doesn’t last forever and I am grateful that I took the time to cuddle my baby when she needed it. She’s now 14 months old, and she still wakes up once a night for a bottle and goes back to bed.  It sucks but its manageable at the moment, her nap lengths are all over the place but mainly two naps a day for 1-1.5 hours in her cot alone. I like to think I’ve taught her that our bedroom is safe space, she is safe, and I will always come for her, even if her nap is only for 20 minutes.

Society sets us up with all sorts of expectations for babies, there is an old school way of thinking that immediately starts pushing a baby away from their mother.  They need to sleep alone, play alone and my favourite ‘crying is good for their lungs’.  My baby doesn’t cry much but I can tell you her lungs are perfectly fine.  Don’t feel pressured to do any of these things, it will all come with time.  You won’t be pinned under that baby forever, and when they don’t want to cuddle with you anymore you will miss their warm snuggly bodies.

Oh blackout blinds and a noise machine helps too!  It can be any kind of music I find that it helps her sleep as it cuts out background noise.


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