You know those days when you can do no right by your toddler? It has very much been one of those days today. So I thought I’d do a little list of the things she’s had a tantrum over today, as to be honest if I didn’t laugh about it I would most definitely cry. I would love to hear the reasons why your kid has had a tantrum too, let’s have a glass of wine and a laugh over those little dictators of ours!
So here goes:
She was offered breakfast
She wanted breakfast
She was told not to put her rice crispies on her feet or feed to the dog.
She couldn’t have a whole punnet of blueberries in one sitting
She wanted to colour in, but when I got the colouring in stuff out I was a monster.
I turned the TV off that wasn’t being watched and she was in a different room.
I told her it is not nice to hit and not to hit me again.
I told her not to put her sister’s teddy in her own poop whilst I changed her nappy.
The dog was in his bed
She was not allowed another snack, having had several already.
She wasn’t given my glass tumbler I was drinking from to play with.
I went for a wee
I wasn’t drawing right
I offered her some of my drink
It was raining
Daddy was making Lulu milk
I wouldn’t eat the rest of her banana
She wanted a banana but not the one on the side
I wouldn’t let her eat the dried orange slices on the side
Mummy came to her instead of daddy
The floor (go figure)
The list does go on so much more but I wanted to give you an insight into my day, well an insight into most of my days if I’m honest. So of you’ve had truly bad day with the kids and you’re thinking back to those child free holidays in the sun with cocktails when no one cried at you because you brought the wrong fork, know you are not alone.
I will just add, I bloomin love my girls and wouldn’t trade them for the world or go back to the days before I had them, it’s just sometimes, some days, it’s hard and I’m human, I’m a person, not just MOMMMMAAAAA!!!!
So I’m going to admit something a little bit taboo here, I absolutely hated being pregnant and I really did not enjoy enjoy or cherish the newborn days. Now don’t get me wrong I know how lucky I was to conceive my girls naturally and to be able to carry them, which not every woman was made to do and I am blessed to have had that BUT that doesn’t mean I enjoyed the process.
It’s funny, since I was a child all I ever wanted was to be a mum, to carry babies and be that super mum but when I fell pregnant with Maisie I had pretty horrendous morning sickness from early on until 20 something weeks, I found the movements weird, everything hurt, all these people kept touching my belly and I just wanted to punch them in the face.
When I was pregnant with Maisie I had all these plans, I was going to have a natural water-birth with her and it would be a calm entry into the world, I would breastfeed for at least the first 5 months, I would babywear and there would be no TV, and we would be the picture of happiness and serenity because after all everyone had told me I was made to be a mum. I did get my water-birth but it wasn’t serene, my mindful birthing could go and shove itself and I wished I’d gone to the hospital to have all the drugs. After Maisie was born there were issues with me so we had to be transferred to the hospital, she didn’t get to breastfeed until 4 hours after she was born, there was no rush of love when she came out just relief it was over. We were kept in hospital overnight and it hated it, I was all alone, sore and with this baby that kept being sick and didn’t want to feed. Breastfeeding hurt like Satan’s child himself was chewing my nips off with his fiery demon teeth, my husband nicknames Maisie the piranha. When she was a week old I developed Mastitis, I was miserable, I hated breastfeeding, nothing was how I pictured it, I wasn’t a natural mum, despite all I’d read and been told shit was suddenly very real. On our 10 day check up I was still suffering Mastitis by now Maisie was on formula and I felt so awful. I was sent up to the hospital as my heart rate was a little fast. In the time I took from then to the hospital I developed a fever, I was then admitted without Maisie and put on IV fluids and a few different antibiotics, the infection had tracked to both breasts and I had Sepsis, I was put on a high dependency unit and then my oxygen levels started to dip and I was put on oxygen. Luckily by the next day I started responding to the antibiotics but I had to spend several days in hospital without my new baby, feeling like a failure. When I came out I felt like I’d missed so much and my hubby should be the one off with her, we hadn’t bonded, I loved that little girl so much but I couldn’t be her mum, I had failed her so much.
Post natal depression hit me like train, the guilt that I couldn’t do this, I wasn’t a natural mum, Maisie hated the sling I’d bought for baby wearing, I’d failed at breastfeeding, she couldn’t stop vomiting and crying and I didn’t want her to grow up and end up like me, she deserved a better mum. That was my lowest point. I was lucky that my John was an absolute rock the whole time (and continues to be to this day). Over time with the help of reflux milk, and the general growing out of the newborn phase I realised actually I loved this girl more than anything and I couldn’t be away from her. So much so by the time she was 8 months old I was ready to do it all again, this time would be different, I wouldn’t spend endless weeks guilting myself if breastfeeding didn’t work or babywearing. I would embrace just being me and the best mum I could be.
My pregnancy with Luna was even worse as I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum otherwise known as HG (but I’ll save that for another blog post) and I had Pelvic Girdle Pain from early on often needing crutches and because of all the complications I developed pre-natal depression. Again I had Luna naturally in the water at my local maternity unit rather than the hospital. This time it was slightly more calm although I swear her labour hurt more than Maisie’s, this time we didn’t need to be transferred, Luna was placed on my chest immediately and we fed straight away. The moment she came out despite how rough the pregnancy had been and the fact I hadn’t bonded with her, I got the rush of love this time. Except it was tinged with guilt that I didn’t get that with Maisie, did that make me an awful mum? I know now that of course it doesn’t it’s just how it goes.
Breastfeeding Luna while having a 16 month old toddler was hard, and I’ll be honest I threw in the towel at 2 weeks, I felt guilty, of course I did, we all know breast is best, but my sanity was more important and seeing how clever my little smartass toddler is, I know I don’t need to feel too guilty on the formula thing. Again Luna wasn’t one for babywearing, again she had reflux, this time though I was prepared, I knew what to do. The first 7-8 weeks were hard, I knew what the newborn days entailed, although we also moved from Oxfordshire to Kent when Luna was 4 weeks old to a house we hadn’t even viewed which added to the stress levels. However mum guilt has still gotten to me, I still worry about my girls ending up having the mental issues I’ve endured through the years, I worry that Maisie didn’t have enough time with just me, I worry that Luna very much suffers second child syndrome despite my promise to myself that I would minimise that. Some days we probably watch a little bit too much cbeebies, other days we are out on long walks, crafting and being that picture perfect mum I envisaged.
Mum guilt wakes me in the night (along with the kids and my husband’s snoring) with things I should be doing more of or less of. Then there are these moments when Luna starts to cry and Maisie goes to comfort her, or Maisie randomly kisses me or tells me she loves me and I know that despite not being that mum I envisaged in my mind I’m doing OK (most of the time).
The point of this post is that sometimes our journey of motherhood doesn’t lead us to be the mums we thought we would be and that’s OK, I learnt the hard way that spending hours, days, weeks, months feeling guilty over my “failings” doesn’t actually achieve anything, it’s OK to forgive yourself and embrace the mum you are, not that supermum you envisaged.
Every year I bake my Christmas biscuits (throughout the year too) but especially around Christmas as it just smells so Christmas-ey to me. It’s basically gingerbread with some cinnamon chucked in too. I often bake and gift wrap them for friends and I’m always asked for the recipe so I thought I would share it with you lovely folk. I warn you I bake in guesstimates and how I feel hence some of the rough measures, I tend to be on the generous side though. The shape cutting bit is a great way to involve little ones in the baking too!
So here it is from my top secret cookery book
350g Plain Flour
2 -3 TBSP Ground ginger
1 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda
1 (or a little more) TBSP Ground Cinnamon
100g Soft Butter
175g Soft Light Brown Sugar
4-5 TBSP Golden Syrup
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (Fan assisted)
Put the flour, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Bicarb into a bowl and rub in the butter.
Add the sugar and stir in Egg and syrup to make a firm dough (add more syrup if needed)
Roll out to about 5mm thickness and cut into preferred shapes (this is the perfect point to get the kids involved) .
Evenly space onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10-12 mins or until golden brown.
Leave to firm up on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can decorate these biscuits too but I think they’re lovely and sweet so its not necessary, and you can gift wrap for friends as well.
So after I posted an image of a pine-cone wreath on my personal Facebook page I received a lot of messages from people asking me how I’d made it as they wanted to make one themselves. I’ll be honest I looked at some on Pinterest and then made it up as I went along but I thought I would share my how to with you guys in case you wanted to give it a go. So you will need;
Pine cones (lots of the bastards) I foraged mine in local woods with the toddler (free labour and she loved it, whoop whoop)
A wreath base (image of the ype I used further down)
Beading or floristry wire
White acyrlic spray paint, and clear spray paint to protect.
Fake snow (I think mine was a B&M bargain, but at this time of the year this stuff is everywhere!)
Glitter because I bloomin love some extra sparkle
Super sticky glue
So here goes;
Take a little person to the woods and have them collect pine-cones with you, alternatively you can buy pine-cones but I used a ton of them and I’m all for doing things cheap as possible. I think we had a carrier bag full.
I treated my pine-cones in a mix of water and vinegar solution to help kill any creepy crawlies lurking in there (soak for about an hour). You don’t need to do this as the oven should kill anything but I like to be sure, to be sure.
Next lay the pine-cones on foil covered trays and pop in the oven on low (about 120degrees in my fan oven) for a few hours, checking regularly, as they open try and stand them up so they open evenly.
Once fully opened I tend to let them rest for 24 hours, I then spray a covering of of white acrylic spray paint over them and again leave for 24 hours.
Then take your wreath base, wire and pine-cones, wrap the wire around the base of the pine cones and then wrap around the base, I’ve read a few different recommendations on the best way to do this, some say start from the inside working out, others do the inside and outside then middle. I’ve tried a few different ways but am yet to find which works best and do my own thing, let me know in the comments what you went for. Don’t forget when you’re working round to make a little hook out of some of the wire to hang your wreath from.
Once you’ve done the three layers (inside, middle and outside) your basic wreath is complete however you will most likely have lots of gaps and spare pine-cones so I go a bit crazy with the tacky glue and stick loads in-between the gaps to give it the full look.
Once I’m happy with how full my wreath is, I apply a few coats of the white acrylic spray paint all over and once happy I sprinkle some fake snow over the wreath while the paint is still wet. I then leave for 24 hours.
The next day I sprinkle with iridescent glitter and the first coat of the clear spray paint to seal it all. Wait another 12-24 hours, I then lift the wreath to ensure any loose debris come away and an decide whether it needs any more glitter or snow.
Then over the course of the following days I spray a few more clear coats and voila, one DIY pine-cone wreath, made cheap for your front door.
If you give it a go pop a photo in the comments, Merry Christmas!
So I thought I’d give you a little introduction to myself and my family, so here goes;
My name is Nikki I’m a mum in my late twenties, I’m slightly Harry Potter obsessed (as will become clear soon), Unicorn obsessed and Disney obsessed, I am a lover of baking and crafting (not always successful, but I enjoy the Pinterest attempts). I’m pretty certain I’m half made out of tea with the amount I drink but as I don’t drink much coffee it’s my main fuel apart from all the cake I like to bake.
My husband John (JJ) works a lot to support us, he is outnumbered by us girls and our toddler definitely has him wrapped around her finger. John and I have been together for 5 years and married for 3,he’s very laid-back which he needs to be with me and is very much the Ying to my Yang in some ways. We love a bit of Will Ferrell and I’m proud to say I definitely reeled him in with my impressive movie quotes, the lucky devil.
Our Eldest Maisie (known as Muj, pronounce mooj) will be 2 in Jan 18, she’s very tall for her age and is very much a spit of her daddy but has my very stubborn and demanding personality, I’m not quite sure I will survive her teenage years if she is like me. Maisie loves dinosaurs (Dine-daurs) blocks, cars, her kitchen, her dolls and repeatedly drawing on the walls much to my annoyance.
Our youngest is Luna (named Lulu by Maisie) and yes I did name her Luna after Luna Lovegood from HP, told you I was a little obsessed. currently Luna is 5 months old but is also a giant in 9-12 and 12-18month clothing. There is a 16 month age gap between Luna and her sister. Luna loves kisses, chewing her clothes and pulling my hair. She is a pretty happy baby and looks more like me but with her daddy’s laid-back attitude (thank Christ).
We have a mad black Labrador called Pumba who is 4 1/2 years old but still thinks he’s a puppy. The girls adore him and he adores when they eat. He is great with them and puts up with Maisie’s “petting” and “cuggles”.
So that’s a little introduction to my family. I’m sure you’ll discover more as I post.