A slide for a girl??

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A few days ago I saw a post on a local selling page looking for a girl’s slide. It struck me as such an odd thing, in this day and age, to be so prescriptive about gender and appropriate toys. To me this is so old fashioned and utterly ridiculous. What on earth is a slide for a girl? One that she can slide down sideways like women used to ride horses to ensure she looks ladylike as she plays? Or more likely this is referring to colour. Of course a girl cannot slide down a green, or blue or even yellow slide, a slide must be pink, the more garish and bright the better. I mean she is a girl after all, and must always therefore play with/ own/ enjoy and see pink at all times to be reminded of her gender. Otherwise who knows what will happen?

What a load of rubbish! Why do we do this? Why do we assign gender to inanimate objects and deem some appropriate for girls whilst the opposite toys are only suitable for boys? It is 2016. If we want to raise strong, independent women who can achieve anything their male counterparts can, then why on earth are we deciding for them what toys they should be playing with based on their gender? That doesn’t seem very equal to me. What does this teach our children really? That something is only ok if it is appropriate for their gender? Does that mean that occupations should be ruled out as society often depict certain roles as being male or female? That certain sports can only be played if they are a certain sex? That they must always behave in a way that is expected of their gender? I want both my son and daughter to play with anything they want to play with, I will not be buying my daughter ‘toys for girls’ or my son ‘toys for boys’. I will buy them toys of interest to them. If my son wants a pushchair then so be it, if my daughter wants – heaven forbid…blue toys!! Then that is what she will have. Equally, if they want the opposite, that is fine too. They are children and I will let them play; explore and learn based on their interests and what they enjoy. I want them to learn through exploration, not prescribed roles and views imposed on them as to what they ought to enjoy. If I see one more post asking for such a ridiculous object to be suitable for a gender, I may scream!

3 Little Buttons

 

Pregnancy-The good, the bad and the ugly

20160518_071022This a light-hearted look at what to expect when your expecting, and the things you may encounter. Growing a baby is a miraculous thing, but of course, it is also a huge change to our bodies and comes with many side effects that I for one was not expecting. Things that make you feel ugly, things that make you feel bad at times and things that are really lovely.

  • Crying A LOT.  When you are happy, sad, see a moving advert on TV, you name it. Don’t apologise, go with it.
  • Backne, I don’t know why this isn’t mentioned more. I only realised this was a ‘thing’ when I watched a pregnancy film. So many women I know had this, myself included.
  • Talking aloud to your baby when you think you are alone, and sometimes when you are not. This is truly lovely and such a magical moment. A human inside you and it’s normal to want to communicate with them. It is a wonderful feeling as it’s almost like a secret relationship, one that no one else is a part of yet.
  • Waves of anger towards the other half at more regular intervals than normal. When you shout statements like “you try growing a human being and see how rational you are!”.
  • Strangers actually talk to you, and as well as often giving unsolicited advice, people are generally happy and pleased for you and want to talk to pregnant women. It can make the world to seem like a friendlier place.
  • Elbows! Suddenly other people’s elbows feel like a potential weapon against your unborn child. Crowded environments mean they can strike at anytime and an elbow in the bump can cause the lioness in the Mother (to be) to come out.
  • Sleep suddenly becomes really difficult. If it’s not sleeping because your uncomfortable, then it’s because you need to wee constantly. And when you do manage to sleep, you wake up in a panic in case you are lying in the ‘wrong’ position and causing harm to the baby. Many a night I woke up in a sweat as I had fallen asleep on my back and panicked about blood flow to the baby.
  • Being too hot all the time. It’s like an introduction to menopause, I was surprised at this.
  • Not being able to fit through gaps. In the second trimester I often forgot about my growing bump, for example, when sliding out in between tables in a restaurant, I would often bump people in the head with my baby bump. Not a great start to parenthood.
  • Worrying about everything you eat and drink. I remember spending hours trawling the internet to see if I could eat taramasalata (there is no definitive answer on this. It depends how it is made).
  • People commenting on your bump size. I was huge and was asked, almost daily, by strangers and well meaning friends ‘if I was sure I wasn’t expecting twins’. Yet, friends who have carried very differently and had smaller bumps have been upset by the opposite comments about being too small.
  • Being scared and excited in equal measure. It is ok to feel this…you have never had such a responsibility before and are bound to be nervous.

There are a million things I didn’t expect when I was pregnant, but whether it was the good, the bad or the ugly, all of it is part of the wonderful process of growing a tiny person.

 

All Change

20160511_063353I have never really liked change or been very good at dealing with it. I like what I know and routine, but since becoming a mum change is part of daily life. The changing mood of a toddler, the changing patterns of a baby, the changing faces attending baby groups, the change of friendships as people come out of ‘baby bubbles’ and head back off to work or new mum’s having new babies. Old friends starting families, people moving, children starting pre-school or nursery or school. I don’t think I have ever experienced as much change in my life. I guess most surprisingly I have changed too. This is something I was not expecting, in fact, something I swore I would not do, but how can I help it? How can you not change when suddenly you have others to think about before yourself? When you don’t want to, or perhaps can’t do, all the things you used to do socially. When suddenly invites to children’s birthday parties don’t seem like a dull way to spend the weekend, they actually sound fun!

Change is now the only certain, yet for the first time it doesn’t feel as scary. It feels like the natural order of things. I guess I have changed more than I realised! Life with children means it is always evolving and adapting, it becomes subtle and expected. The more I embrace and accept change, the more I enjoy life’s journey and let go of what I cannot control. That is definitely something my children have taught me and a change I am grateful for.

Daddy’s girl *guest blog*

Daddy’s girl. Guest blog post for Snot On My Jumper.

Snot On My Jumper

Written by Alexia Rowley (Roots and Wings Parenting)

When my 2 year old daughter announced for the 5th time this morning “NOT MUMMY! Daddy do it” I finally gave up and let the man of the hour step in. Feeling a sense of crushing rejection. Why will I do on a daily basis when I am home with her, but the weekends she ditches me quicker than a teenager does to last week’s boy band?

Daddys girl

I hope I am not the only mum experiencing this. I fear that the attachment I have worked hard to build and nurture, is completely broken at the weekends. I honestly don’t think my daughter would notice if I moved out for those 2 days. Yet she would notice if daddy even goes to the bathroom without her. Everything I read tells me not to take this personally, which I find is easier said…

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Making Mummy Friends

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A year ago I relocated to a new area with my family. I was heavily pregnant and had an 18 month old already. In hindsight probably not the best time to move, but needs must, and 2 weeks later I had my son. It was an odd time; a new area, a new baby, a new family dynamic and none of my mummy friends close by.

I needed to make some local mummy friends! Having already been through this once when I had my daughter, it wasn’t as daunting this time, but it was still hard work. I often joke with old friends that it’s like dating all over again, but harder. What are the rules for making new mummy friends? Do you ask women for their number? How soon do you move from seeing a mummy in a playgroup to going for coffee? When does coffee move onto playdates? Its a minefield!

I wondered if I was alone with this worry and realised quickly that no, I wasn’t, and many pregnant women and mums, struggle with this, so here is my experience and tips…
Mum dating faux pas and wins
Loads of mums feel exactly the same. Being a new mum or second/third/fourth time mum all bring new challenges and its nice meeting people in the same position.
No one knows where to start, so asking if another mum fancies a coffee after a group is nice, and nothing to be embarrassed about. What’s the worst that could happen?
Having a little one is a perfect way to cover up any awkward silences or difficult conversations, so it can make things a lot easier. I know hiding behind a child doesn’t seem like a very mature approach but it can be a life saver. 
‘Taking it to the next level’… this may seem a ridiculous notion but when does coffee then turn into inviting a new mummy friend over? I have had several awkward situations when it comes to this. Much like the actual dating world, don’t come across too strong. I met a lovely but overly keen mum who once booked up my whole week after one playgroup meet. Somewhat similar to the boy that texts an hour after a date, then the next hour, then the next. Maybe a little too full on too quickly. Or the other difficult situation when we did have a playdate and it turned out our children did not like one another and we had nothing in common.

Nothing lost though, we tried and it just didn’t work. Like in any walk of life sometimes we just don’t click and that’s ok, as there will be lots of others that do.

We all have bad days/ tired days/ don’t know what the heck we are doing days, but doing it together makes it a lot easier! My best mummy friends have been made on those days. The lovely neighbour who dropped in a new home card with her number when I didn’t know anyone. The kind mum at playgroup who gave me a hug when I burst into exhausted tears. The straight talking, funny mum who told it like it was and always made me feel better about having a ‘tear my hair out’ moment. 

So new mummies, pregnant mummies or growing family mummies don’t be afraid to ‘put yourself out there’ as I am sure you will find that you get out what you put in and make some fabulous mummy friends along the way.