Monday, 29 October 2012

The curse of the mother in law......

Ahh, Mother in laws, that much attacked group, most people seem to have a love hate (or in some cases just hate) relationship with them.  Actually I really like mine, but of course it's never going to be a perfect meeting of minds.  I know we're all different, and when it comes to raising children there
are lots of different ideas about the right way to do things, but I know that with some things, she thinks my way is the wrong way. It's not as though she openly criticises the fact that I'm still
breastfeeding my toddler, or that my four month old hasn't started solids yet, it's more subtle than that: Little digs in unrelated conversations, suggestions based on what other people do, raised eyebrows in subtle disagreement when I mention my ideas.

With two boys of my own, I've often thought that if and when I'm in that situation, I'll be a little more understanding, a little less likely to judge. But, if I'm really honest about it, will I?  Do I honestly think I'd be the "perfect" mother in law. (Whatever that is!)

You see the problem is that with something as important as raising children, we don't like to think that we've got it wrong. Anyone who's witnessed the fireworks that surround any conversation about
the benefits of breastfeeding versus formula, early weaning or extended rear-facing in the car will tell you that people get very passionate about defending their parenting decisions. Imagine what
it would be like, to have another woman doing things very different to the way that YOU think is right and the way that YOU raised your children bringing up someone as important to you as your grandchild. Even if you both think along the same lines, new guidelines and ideas come out all the time, often suggesting that the old ways weren't a good idea.  No one really wants to accept that
what they did wasn't the absolute best for their child.

So of course I can understand why she might suggest things, and why we don't always see eye to eye, but it doesn't stop her from driving me a little bit crazy every so often....

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tandem feeding troubles

This is the second time I've been a tandem feeder, I fed my now 4 year old with my now 2 1/2 year old for over six months, until my son (the 4 year old) self weaned.  This time round, we're about 4 months in to the tandem feeding, and I can't see my 2 1/2 year old showing any signs of wanting to stop.


In some ways it's nice, I think it helps with the jealousy, and my daughters are showing signs of becoming quite close.  But it's not all good, there are difficulties.  My eldest daughter like's a feed at bedtime, and my youngest is generally in the evening grumps stage, so I have to feed them both at once.  I know that I'm an experienced tandem feeder, but I struggle with actually feeding both at once.  It's much easier and far more comfy to breastfeed one and then the other, and I sometimes feel that by having to share the feed, my older daughter is missing out on the one on one time with me that she used to have.  Having said that, I'm not convinced that she's that bothered.

The other MAJOR downside is illness, we all know that breastfeeding is supposed to help children to resist illness and boost their imune system, but what happens when the older one is ill?  My baby is bound to get it too.  With the odd cough and cold, things haven't been too bad, but last week hand foot and mouth struck.


Not really the kind of thing that I want my four month old coming down with, but by the time the symptoms showed it was probably too late.  It's difficult though, what to do, I don't want to pass these things on to my youngest, but I don't really want to deny her sister the comfort of a feed, especially when she's unwell.....

So, I read around, did a bit of research, and in actual fact tandem feeding was probably the best thing for both of them.  The chances of Anja not coming into contact with her older sisters bugs was pretty slim, especially as we didn't know she had anything.  But by feeding her I'm helping her immune system deal with it, and by feeding my older daughter too I'll be helping her beat the bug.

They both seem to be doing ok now, Lena is all but over it, and Anja has had a few spots on her feet, a slightly grumpy day (which could just as easily have been down to teeth at this age) and nothing else so far.  Touch wood they're both on the mend now.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Tick tick tick...................................

So the boys birthday's have been and gone, Mahe is now 4 and Kai 6. How did that happen? It's such a cliche but time really does fly by, one minute they're tiny little babies and the next they growing up fast.

Still, I can't really complain, yes they are growing up, but they are lovely boys, and when I look at how much they've changed and what we've done in the last six years, then perhaps it isn't that quick at all. It's more likely that once you have children they don't give you chance to notice how fast time is going. They change so quickly too that the passage of time is just more obvious, I suppose.

So, happy birthday boys, just the parties to go now, eeeek