Could my second pregnancy be turning me into a bad Mum?

Could my second pregnancy be turning me into a bad Mum?

Being pregnant the second time around is so much harder than I ever expected it would be. I am, of course, over the moon that we are having another baby and that Leo is going to be a big brother, there are just times when I feel a bit overwhelmed. The fact that in a few short months a newborn will be joining our family and things are going to change (big time!) really does stress me out sometimes. Things are already starting to change now and baby hasn’t even arrived yet. Being pregnant and having a very energetic two year old don’t really work together harmoniously, there have been times in the last 23weeks where I have worried that my second pregnancy is turning me in to a bad Mum. View Post

Is it the terrible twos or is he just naughty?

Is it the terrible twos or is he just naughty?

Any parent out there will know what the terrible twos are, right? Oh you know, it’s that phrase used to describe the idea that when your child wakes up on their 2nd birthday they suddenly become a complete nightmare and will throw tantrums and act like a demon until they turn three and suddenly they become little darlings again. Many parents will agree with me when I say this, what a load of crap! The terrible twos can start way before your child hits 24 months and can, unfortunately, last way longer than just a year. I have written about my experiences of tantrums before and how I really struggle to cope when Leo’s being naughty. Leo is approaching 3 and his bad behaviour shows no sign of slipping away, if anything, it’s getting worse. I am starting to wonder if his behaviour is not just a result of the dreaded terrible twos, what if it is something more? What if my boy is just, well, naughty? View Post

Club Hub – The new app all parents need

Club Hub – The new app all parents need

In July, a brand new phone app is being released in the UK and, if you are a parent, you are definitely going to want this on your smart phone. Club Hub is an app that helps parents find groups and activities that are going on in their local area and, if you run a group, it is a great way to advertise your business too.

Ever since moving to Hampshire I have struggled to find groups for Leo and I to join. I go to a couple of parent and toddler groups and I even brave a weekly bouncy castle hour with Leo at our local leisure centre but I can’t help but think there must be more going on? View Post

Why parenting would be easier if I was the Mother of Dragons

Why parenting would be easier if I was the Mother of Dragons

The brand new seires of Game of Thrones starts on Monday and it is safe to say that  I am more than a bit excited. Although I am still reeling from the end of series 5, #forthewatch #heartbroken, I can’t wait to see what this series has in store. My favourite thing about Game of Thrones is not the violence, the sex or the creepy White Walkers, it is following all the different characters and their messed up little lives. Most of my favourites have now fallen victim to the cruel writing of George R R Martin and been brutally killed off (sob) but one person who is still going strong is the woman of too many names to list, Daenerys Targaryen.

As I watch Daenerys conquer city after city I can’t help but think motherhood would be a lot easier if I was the Mother of Dragons. Confused? Let me explain.. View Post

Stress free potty training – a tried and tested guide

Stress free potty training – a tried and tested guide

Potty training, it is something all us parents dread isn’t it? The excitement of not having to dish out the big bucks on nappies is overshadowed by the fear of having to clean wee stains off the sofa and scraping poo from the lovely white carpets. As soon as your little one starts showing those all important signs that they are ready to ditch the nappies, it is the time to psych yourself up and get into the potty training, super mum zone. View Post

3 parenting skills I am yet to master

It has been 2 years and 6 months since I first began my journey through this crazy thing called motherhood. There are some days where I feel like I am totally nailing this mum gig, days where I feel like being a Mum is what I was put on this planet to do. There are also the bad days though. The days where nothing is going right, the tears won’t stop and the tantrums are relentless. Those awful days that make me feel like a complete and utter failure and not worthy of the prestigious title that is ‘Mummy’.

However, the good days definitely outweigh the bad and most of the time I feel like I have got this motherhood thing under control. There are still some parenting skills I am yet to master though. Things I have been doing for the past 30 months that I should probably be an expert at by now and yet, I continue to perform these basic parenting tasks as though it is my first day on the job.
Here are 3 parenting skills I am yet to master, let me know if you are a bit pants when it comes to these things too!
1. Changing a nappy – If I had to guess I would say I have had to change over a thousand nappies since becoming a Mum. Babies are just poo machines and things don’t get much better once they hit toddlerhood. It takes me ages to change Leo’s nappy, easily twice as long as it should. If he has pooed it can take me a good 10 minutes to sort out the chaos down there, surely by now I should be able to change a dirty nappy in under a minute, eyes closed and one arm tied behind my back?

2. Manoeuvring the pram – I hate Leo’s pram with a passion. It is so big and bulky and just impossible to manoeuvre efficiently. It still takes me ages to get it in and out of the car and as for getting it through a pull door? Well that continues to remain one of life’s most difficult challenges. I just don’t understand how you can do it without someone helping? At least with a push door you can go out backwards. 

3. Getting baby to nap – Despite my blog name, nap time does not come easily in this house. Leo makes me work hard for my one hours peace a day. I have to either take him for a walk in the pram for half an hour or drive around in circles until he nods off. When he was a baby I would spend hours nursing him in my arms, bobbing him up and down in his bouncy chair or rocking his car seat. There has never been any of this self settling for a nap business and, now he’s 2 and a half, I doubt there ever will be.
There you have it, 3 basic parenting skills I am yet to master. There are definitely more mummy tasks that I am not perfect at but I cant wing it through most of those. These 3 though, these get me every single time. I look forward to the day when Leo is toilet trained and will walk happily for hours so I can chuck those nightmare nappies and that stupid pram in the bin. I won’t be so happy to say goodbye to the naps though…
Do you struggle with any of these parenting skills too? Is there anything else you would add to the list? I am hoping I am not the only Mum out these who has trouble doing all of these.

This post is linked to

My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy


Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Pink Pear Bear
Reflections From Me

First day of play school

Leo started play school today. I can’t believe the time has come for my baby boy to fly the nest. Well, not really, but that’s how it feels! Oli and I have been debating the idea of Leo starting play school for a few months now and as he is now two and half, we decided now is as good a time as any. Leo has been asking to go to school for quite a while, he has older cousins who go and every time we stroll past the local primary school he always asks excitedly if he can go in.

So last week I visited a few different play schools, sent out some emails and studied several different websites for local groups. After 2 visits I decided the one just a 5 minute walk from our house seemed the nicest and definitely the most convenient. Leo really liked it there and after out visits he was asking when he could go back again, I am pretty sure we have definitely found the one.
This morning went really well. There were a few moments when I thought Leo was going to go off the idea of play school when I told him I couldn’t stay with him but he soon got over it. Getting out of the house for 8.50 was a bit of a struggle as we are normally still in our pjs until gone 9 but we did. 
Ready to go!
I dropped Leo off and after a quick chat with the staff, I said bye to Leo who didn’t so much as bat an eyelid after discovering all the toys at his disposal and the deputy manager basically told me to go home and not to worry, she would ring if they needed me.
So, I walked out of the play school with a strange new sense of freedom this morning, slightly over shadowed by the sad realisation that my baby boy is growing up. It was an odd feeling. For the past two and half years Leo and I have spent pretty much every single day together. He has never been to nursery and never been left with a child minder. He has had the odd sleepover at his grandparent’s house but he has never been left with people he doesn’t know. I think this is something that bothers me more than him as he happily said hello to all his ‘teachers’ this morning. I just worry what will happen if he has a tantrum or suddenly realises I’m not there? He has been gone for 2 hours already and I have had no phone calls so I am taking that as a good sign and that all is well.
You may be wondering what I have been doing with my new found freedom? Well, I have done 20 minutes on the exercise bike, caught up on Sports Relief Bake Off (no idea how I managed to miss this when it was on live!), hoovered, cleaned and had a shower with a duration 3 times that of a normal day. It is surprising how quick the time has gone actually. There is so much I could be doing with these 3 hours all to myself a week. I could write and schedule all my blog posts for the week, go swimming, do the food shop, clean the whole house or maybe go for a browse around the shops without having the squeeze a buggy in and out all the aisles.
If I am honest, I am enjoying a bit of me time but I keep thinking about Leo. I can’t stop wondering how he’s getting on, if he is ok without me or if he has been behaving or not. I am sure as the weeks go on and we both get settled in to this new routine my Thursday mornings alone will feel a lot more relaxed and not so tense! 
Deep down I know he is fine. The play school is over flowing with exciting new toys to play with, crafts to make, books to read and children to play with. My boy is not shy at all so I am sure he is in his element. The house is weirdly quiet without him, I can’t wait for 12 o clock so I can pick him up and he can tell me all about his morning. Hopefully I will be greeted with a lovely big hug and smiles from Leo and words of positivity and praise from the staff, fingers crossed.
Only 45 minutes to go!
Does your little one go to play school or any other childcare? How did you feel that first morning without them? What do you do when you have a few hours to yourself?
This post is linked to..

A Cornish Mum
My Random Musings


Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky

3 reasons the 1 2 3 warning doesn’t work for me

Like most other children his age, Leo loves a tantrum. If we can get through the day and he only has two meltdowns then I consider that to be a very, very good day.

Sometimes Leo breaks down over silly little things like snapping a biscuit in half or a crayon not being the right colour. These tantrums I can cope with. I can’t cope with Leo’s deliberate bad behaviour though. Most of the time Leo is as good as gold and an absolute joy but, being 2, disobedience and naughtiness are kind or part of the territory. There have been so many occasions where Leo has gone to do something he is not allowed to do, I have said ‘no’ and he has done it anyway, while giving me a mischievous grin.
Parenting books, the ever knowledgeable Super Nanny and family and friends all offer advice on how to deal with bad behaviour and discipline (hate that word!) your toddler. Recently, Oli and I have been attempting the 1-2-3 approach. Giving Leo a simple 3 second warning to stop whatever he is doing/thinking of doing. The idea is, you start counting, child takes it as a warning and stops. Yeaa, that doesn’t happen with Leo. Ever.
There are 3 reasons why the 1 2 3 warning doesn’t work for me..
1. It becomes a counting game – I say ‘1’ and Leo responds ‘Is it 10?’ or ‘2 mummy!’. It kind of takes the seriousness away from the warning if Leo decides to make it a game.

2. It becomes a countdown to naughtiness – I start counting and Leo shouts ‘1,2,3,4,5!’ as fast as he can and then throws his plate on the floor or continues to try and hit the cat.

3. I don’t know what happens after 3 – The main problem with this method, it’s fatal flaw if you will, is I don’t know what I am supposed to do when I get to 3. The few times I have managed to make it to 3 without any of the above happening, Leo and I are left staring blankly at each other. If he stops then is that it? Have I succeeded and nothing happens after 3? What if he carries on being naughty and I have finished counting, what happens then? 
This method is not as simple as it sounds. It most certainly isn’t as easy as 1-2-3!
Do you use the 1 2 3 warning with your kids? Does it work for you? If you have any advice for me on how to deal with a naughty toddler please share in the comments, I will be forever grateful.
This post is linked to..

A Cornish Mum
My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy


How I got my toddler to eat more vegetables

How I got my toddler to eat more vegetables

The biggest parenting challenge I have faced so far is getting Leo to eat healthily. Yes, the sleepless nights, breastfeeding and temper tantrums have all been difficult in their own way but  nothing worries me and frustrates me more than Leo’s fussy eating.

Making sure your children get their 5-a-day is something we are constantly being told to do, be it by television advertisements, articles in the media or health professionals. There is so much pressure to make sure our little ones are getting all the nutrients they need and they are eating foods full of those all important vitamins. When your child turns their nose up at an apple and instead happily munches on biscuits, it can be hard to not feel like you have failed in some way.

I have learnt now not to beat myself up about Leo’s fussy eating, I offer him healthy foods every day, sometimes it ends up in his tummy, more often though it ends up on the floor. He went through a really long, infuriating phase of only eating beige food: toast, pasta, chips were all happily scoffed down, while his broccoli was left lonely and neglected on the side of his plate. I tried all the little tricks people suggested, I covered his veg in cheese, chopped it up really small, arranged it into little green sculptures on his plate, everything. Nothing worked.

In more recent months though, Leo’s vegetable intake has slowly increased. It is still nowhere near as much as I would like but we are definitely making progress. Slowly but surely more vegetables are going in to his mouth and not left to rot away in the bin. It has taken a lot of improvisation and patience but, at last, my fussy little eater is starting to eat, and enjoy, more vegetables.

For anyone else struggling with a veggiephobe, here is how I got my boy to start eating the healthy stuff. I can’t guarantee these will work for your little one but it is worth a try.

How I got my toddler to eat more vegetables

I love making home made soups. They are easy to prepare and you can load them up with as much or as little veg as you want. I always give Leo soldiers of toast with his and pop them straight in the bowl with the soup. Even if he avoids eating the soup with his spoon, he always eats the toast which is drenched in all that veggie goodness. Whenever I feel Leo hasn’t eaten very healthy in a few days, I always make soup for lunch and it puts my mind at ease.
Raw veg sticks.
There are some vegetables Leo won’t even consider eating if they are cooked but slice them up and give them to him raw and it is a whole different story. Carrots are Leo’s favourite vegetable but he will only eat them raw. Cucumber also goes down well as do sticks of red pepper and cherry tomatoes. I wish I had thought to offer him raw vegetables sooner instead of spending months stressing over wasted steamed carrots.
People have mixed opinions on sneaking vegetables into your child’s food but I would rather do it this way than have him not eat any at all. If Leo is going through a particularly fussy phase, Oli and I will blend up the vegetables in to a sauce. This works really well with pasta dishes, cook up some onions, peppers, mushrooms, or whatever you fancy and blend it all together with some tinned tomatoes and herbs. It doesn’t take long to do and once it is stirred in with the pasta, your little one will never know they are eating lots of healthy veggies.
Quit with the pressure.
This applies to yourself and your child. If you are spending mealtime after mealtime battling with your child to eat their peas and carrots, you are both going to end up frustrated and upset. Yes, I do think encouraging them to try their veg is important but if they don’t want to just try not to make a fuss. I am speaking from experience, mealtimes used to be so hard and I would get really stressed when Leo wouldn’t even try his vegetables. We would try the whole ‘here comes the aeroplane thing’, Leo would clamp his mouth shut and I would get frustrated. I have since stopped putting pressure on myself and on him and come to the conclusion he is only going to eat it if he wants to. As it turns out, the less attention I draw to the veggies sat on his plate, the more likely he is to eat them.

So there you have it, how I got my two year old to eat more vegetables. I can’t say any of these are 100% fool proof, toddlers are flighty creatures, what works one day may not work the next but anything is worth a try when you have a fussy eater, isn’t it? I hope this post is helpful. I now have the toddler equivalent of bugs bunny, that boy is always chomping away on a carrot!

toddler eat more vegetables
Picnics are also a great idea, by the way!
Do you have a fussy eater too? How do you get your children to eat their vegetables? Let me know, I am always looking for tips and I am sure there are lots of other parents out there too who would love a stress free meal!

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I can’t cope with the tantrums

The terrible twos, it is something us parents dread, right? We see kids screaming on the floor, parents carrying them out of shops kicking and screaming and we pray one day that won’t be us. It is inevitable though, one day your baby will turn into a screaming, stomping, patience testing toddler and there’s not a lot you can do to stop it.

Leo has been having tantrums since he was about 16months old. At the beginning they were easily managed and only proved to be a mere inconvenience but, since he turned two, the tantrums have progressed to a whole different, horrendous, demon-like level.  I know other children have tantrums because I witness them several times a week when we go to toddler groups or when we are out and about. No toddler seems to have the art of the tantrum down quite as well as Leo though. He is the master of the tantrum; if there were such a thing, I would bet everything I own on him coming first in the worst tantrum ever competition. 
I love Leo more than anything in the whole world but, my god, that boy tests me and pushes me to the edge more than anyone has before, and probably anyone ever will. He can be the most adorable, loving little boy, showering me with kisses and cuddles, playing silly games and cuddling up for stories. However, when he doesn’t get his own way, is frustrated or angry then things can change pretty damn quickly. I know tantrums are a part of his development, he is pushing the boundaries to see what he can get away with and craving his independence but sometimes, even though I know this, I just don’t know how to cope. 
You see, Leo bites. When he is angry or isn’t getting his own way, he bites himself on the hand. It is never enough to make himself bleed, but enough to leave little teeth marks. Every time he does this I want to cry, I feel like it is my fault. I can’t stand seeing him hurting himself, I know he is doing it for attention or so I will give him his own way, but it still worries me. Biting is clearly his way of processing his frustration and anger but I am still unsure if this is normal toddler behaviour or not? I don’t know how to stop it or even if I should try to. Perhaps he will just grow out of it? Maybe by pleading with him not to bite himself I am simply just adding to the problem? 
At toddler group yesterday, just before we left Leo went into full meltdown mode and instead of biting himself, he bit me. I was so shocked and angry, it really hurt. His little teeth clamped down on my arm and there was so no way he was letting go. I had to pull my arm out of his tight, angry jaw and carry him kicking and screaming out to the car. As I was trying to wrestle him into his car seat, amongst the angry screams he lunged forward and went to bite my shoulder. What am I supposed to do when he behaves like this? I shout at him but it makes no difference: he cries, I feel guilty, he apologises but then does it again a few minutes later.
Leo has tantrums at home but they are fairly infrequent, he always saves the really bad ones for when we are out and I have no one there to help me. His behaviour is making me want to stay in more often than I should, safe in the knowledge that if he has a tantrum at least I can put him in his room for a few minutes to calm down. I am still trying to get to know people here in Hampshire but it is so hard when I am always having to diffuse an argument Leo is having with another toddler over a toy or comforting Leo when he crying about, well I am not always sure what he is crying about. I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed at the minute, I just don’t know what to do for the best. I say ‘no’, Leo gets mad. I try to calm him down, he gets frustrated and bites himself. I simply have no clue how to deal with this behaviour and, to be honest, I am fed up with being kicked, hit and, now the new addition, bitten. 
I know he is going to have tantrums, it is part of him growing up. What I don’t know is how you are supposed to discipline a child who doesn’t listen to a word you say.
This parenting thing is hard. The good times definitely out weigh the bad but when they are bad, they are really friggin bad.
Does your toddler have really bad tantrums? Do they bite themselves when they are mad? I would be really grateful of any advice you might have.
A Cornish Mum

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

8 reasons why silence is never golden when you have a toddler

I love a bit of peace and quiet. I know that makes me sound about 80 but I really do enjoy just relaxing with a nice coffee and enjoying the sweet sounds of nothing. My days are full of Peppa Pig snorting at me from the TV, Leo roaring like a dinosaur, shrieking as loud as he can and generally just being a noisy monster. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want it any other way but sometimes I just need 5 minutes of quiet, a little time out away from the chaos to just relax and breathe.We all need that, right?
However, whenever I find that little window of time in the day that I can have all to myself, usually while I am doing jobs in the kitchen, I can never fully enjoy the quiet. You see, during the day, silence in my house is seldom a good thing. If Leo is being quiet then Leo is also, more often than not, being naughty. 
Before you read on, I want you to know that I’m not a bad mum. I spend pretty much my whole entire day with Leo, playing trains or being climbed on, you know, the usual stuff us parents have to do. But,  unless you have eyes in the back of your head (which you don’t), don’t need to eat or never have to empty your bladder ever, then you can not watch your little one every single second of the day. So, whenever I am out of the room and Leo is not making a sound, I know I need to get back in there pretty quick as it is very unlikely he is sat playing quietly with his toys.
I have compiled a list of reasons why silence is never golden in my house (expect when Leo’s asleep that is!), do any sound familiar?

Silence means…Leo has pulled all the DVDs out of the cupboard and taken all the disks out of their boxes. He often launches a few disks across the living room as he goes.
Silence means…The toilet has been filled with toys, paper and anything else Leo can find. It is never anything flushable..

Silence means…Leo is pulling all my clean clothes out of the washing machine onto the floor.

Silence means…Leo has found a glass of water and has put the TV remote, receipts and a half eaten piece of toast in it.

Silence means…Leo has taken his nappy off and is studying the puddle that has appeared on the carpet.

Silence means…The box of chocolates Oli and I stupidly left out on the coffee table the night before have been found by Leo and subsequently eaten for his breakfast.

Silence means...Leo has found a pen and is scribbling over anything he can find. Usually the shopping list I have spent ages writing.
Silence means…It’s evening time, Oli and I are too exhausted to do anything but stare at our phones. Any kind of verbal communication by this point in the day requires far too much effort and we are just too exhausted.
You might not think it when you are sat cuddling your new born, taking them to the bathroom with you and trying to do everything one handed, but one day you will leave your child unattended and just be prepared for the consequences when you do. Baby proofing means more than just stair gates, plug covers and corner protectors, apparently…
Does someone want to come and help me sort all the DVDs out and shampoo the carpet, pretty please?
Is silence ever golden in your house? Or have you got a little monkey like Leo, who only keeps the volume down when he is causing mischief?
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
My Random Musings
A Cornish Mum

A frosty walk at Titchfield Abbey

Brr, it is getting cold out now isn’t it? The in-laws have been staying with us this week and on Wednesday morning I decided we should all go out for a nice walk and enjoy the crisp fresh air. It was really frigging cold out but there was white frost coating the grass and it looked so pretty outside, it would have been a shame to stay in. I decided to take them to see Titchfield Abbey, it is not too far away, it is free and the Abbey was bound to look impressive surrounded by a gloriously blue sky, with a sprinkle of white over the ground.

We all got seriously wrapped up (I think Leo had about 5 layers on!), I scraped the ice off the car and we headed off down the M27 to check out Titchfield Abbey – or the Thomas Castle, as Leo insisted it was called.

What is behind the massive door?
Finally starting to look like winter.
When we arrived at Titchfield Abbey, Leo was very excited. He immediately declared he was going to go and hide in the castle and that is exactly what he did. There is a small car park on the abbey grounds and, even from the car, the view was spectacular. Although they are extremely old, the ruins are still amazing to look at and the walls are so tall. Leo looked smaller than ever stood up against the massive entrance door.

So high!
I want to live in a castle…
Blue sky.
Titchfield Abbey is a ruin so there is not that much to see but there are little plaques dotted about with information and facts about the buildings history. The Abbey was built in the 1200’s and was home to several canons. It has switched hands a lot over the years and was suppressed during the reign of Henry VIII. There are original tiles preserved and roped off outside, they were not protected enough for Leo, who attempted to stomp all over them. That boy clearly has no respect for historical artefacts.

Facts about the tiles.
Castle selfie.

Leo loved running around the Abbey grounds, hiding in the ancient chimney flues and opening and closing the massive door. We lost sight of him at one point, we ran around in a frenzy shouting his name only to find he had managed to get down the extremely warn away staircase all by himself. He was really pleased with himself but I was so mad at myself for loosing sight of him as he could have so easily fallen.

Going down stairs with a worried looking Nanny.

In the grounds surrounding the Titchfield Abbey there is a funny looking path. My mother-in-law and I decided it must have been a maze once upon a time, there was no other explanation for the way it was set out. Leo enjoyed running around the ‘track’, crunching the frosty grass as he went. We  found a small icy puddle and Leo was quite confused when no splashing occurred when he jumped up and down.

Ice puddle.
Walking around ‘the maze’.

We were wandering around Titchfield Abbey for about 45 minutes but we were all starting to get really cold, I definitely could have done with some gloves and an extra pair of socks. We said goodbye to the Thomas Castle and popped in to the garden centre next door for a nice hot coffee and Leo got to feed the fish.

Feeding the fish.

Titchfield Abbey is a lovely place to visit if you are looking for something free and fun to do in Hampshire. It is open 10am-4pm from October to March and then from April to September it is open 10am-5pm. Leo really enjoyed exploring the Abbey, I think he would have stayed there for hours if we hadn’t have bribed  him away with milk and biscuits!

Have you visited Titchfield Abbey before? Does your little one like castles? I can’t wait to take Leo to a proper castle, one where you can climb up twisty staircases and have lots of rooms to explore.

A Cornish Mum
Life Unexpected

The thing all parents talk about..

We love a chat us Mums, don’t we? We talk about everything going on with our kids and we love to reassure and support each other through all our parenting woes. However, there is one thing all parents love to talk about, Mums and Dads alike. This particular topic of conversation is most frequently heard amongst parents with very young children. Saying that, my boy is two and I still find myself chatting about this on a very regular basis…

As soon as your pregnancy news starts to spread, family members, friends and even strangers on the street all have the same little nugget of information to tell you. Most of them can’t wait to share it, the words are out of their mouths immediately after you say ‘We’re having a baby!’. You don’t believe them of course, you smile and thank them for their unwanted advice but you know it can’t possibly be true, they must be exaggerating or something.
Yet, 9 months later, your bundle of joy arrives and you start to wonder if all those people might have been right. Maybe you had been naive to think you and your partner could make it through parenthood without encountering this one little thing everyone warned you about? 
You were told it would stop once your baby was here, that you and your husband would never enjoy it like you did before. They told you things in that department would not be the same again for years, if ever, once you were parents.
As it turns out, they were all right. Every friend, our parents, that long lost aunt, the random drunk in the pub, well, they weren’t lying. It is not the same.
In the early, hardcore new born days of parenting, we tried not to talk about it. We tried not to miss it. My husband and I were both desperate for it but we pushed our own needs aside. We were parents now, it was our job to look after our baby, what we wanted was irrelevant. 
As the months went on, the thing we were missing began to creep back in to our lives. We welcomed it with open arms, we were grumpy and irritable without it. The first night it happened we were shocked, caught off guard. After all those months without, we couldn’t believe how suddenly and unannounced it had returned. 
Although our bed was beginning to see some proper action again, some nights we just couldn’t wait until we got under the covers. Sometimes, we had to have it right there and then on the sofa. Sometimes it went on for over an hour. After it happened we would lie there feeling satisfied, give each other a grin and one of us would suggest heading up to bed for round two.
As our baby grew in to a toddler things were starting to get back to normal. Maybe we were too quick to agree with what everyone said, things were pretty much back to how they were in our pre-parent life. We had it pretty much every single night. If we were lucky, we got it on a lazy Saturday morning as well.  Sometimes I would even buy something nice to wear, just in case, to make it just that little bit more enjoyable. I would get excited putting on my new purchase and getting in to bed, hoping my efforts would not be in vain and the night would bring me what I wanted. 
Just like how it came back in to our lives, it was just as quickly taken away. Just as we got used to getting what we wanted in the bedroom, our son would go through a major milestone or something and we would be back to square one. Gone were the nights where we could be together all night, undisturbed. Now, there are days on end where we don’t get it, when we don’t even consider it. We don’t ever go to bed expecting it any more.
When it does happen, we make sure we enjoy every second, for who know’s when it will happen again. The nights are unpredictable now. Two and half years into parenthood and still we have this problem. My husband and I are not the only ones though. I speak to other mums at toddler groups and they have all been through it too. They know what it is like to not get it, to desperately need and long for it. I know a few parents who have kids in school and they still don’t get it.
So, if you find yourself chatting with another parent any time soon, I give the conversation about 2 minutes before one of you mentions it. You will both be dying to talk about it, to unload all of your bedroom troubles on to someone else. There is nothing that parents love to talk about more than…

How has your sleep changed since becoming a parent? Do you have an angel who sleeps all night or are you a sleep deprived, zombie like Mum? For the past couple of months Leo has randomly been waking in the night and I really need a good nights sleep, like, right now. I would love to know your thoughts on sleep deprivation and please feel free to share any tips on coping with a toddler who likes to party at 2am!
A Cornish Mum
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
My Random Musings

Week 1 in the big boy bed

Leo has always been really good at going to bed. He has not always been good at going to sleep, but ever since he was about 12months he has been happy enough to go in his cot at bed time and not make too much of a fuss. In the last few weeks, bedtime has started to become quite hard work. Leo has been demanding more stories to be read and asking for all his toys to come in his cot. He seemed to be doing everything possible to keep me in the room with him so he didn’t have to settle down and go to sleep.

After a few particularly stressful nights in a row, last week I decided maybe he would be happier if we changed his cot into a cot bed. So, one evening last week Oli got to work and took the side off Leo’s cot (this was more difficult than it sounds!) and Leo was introduced to his big boy bed. It has not all been plain sailing but the first week in the big boy has gone much better than I was expecting, Leo seems to be happy to be out of his cot – I on the other hand am I bit sad, how is my baby in a bed already?!

Over the past week I have jotted down how everything is going, so if you are thinking about transitioning your toddler from the cot to a bed, here is some idea of what to expect…

Leo was very excited about his new bed. He enjoyed jumping in and out of it and repeatedly declaring ‘my bed, my bed!’. He had his bedtime story like normal and settled down perfectly. I was feeling super smug at this point and had convinced myself all our bedtime troubles were over. How foolish of me..

The second night in his bed was similar to the first. There was a tiny bit of moaning for another story but nothing too bad. We could hear Leo playing with his toys for about half an hour after we had put him to bed. I was happy to leave him play for a bit as it was all new and exciting and a room full of toys with no cot side stopping you, well that’s just a bit too tempting isn’t it? Leo did fall out once but I managed to get him back into bed and he settled down happily after that.

Again Leo went to bed Ok. He played for a bit again and managed to pull his mattress half off the bed when I went to check on him but apart from that he was great and in the morning I was woken up by the sound of him running to our bedroom, so cute,

Well, this is where it all started to go a bit downhill. As Leo had now figured out how to open his door, he thought it would be fun to keep coming into the living room after we put him to bed. He came in saying ‘mummy wants to read’ and then ‘Daddy wants to read’. Oli and I took it in turns to take him back to bed and when we refused more stories he screamed the house down. Eventually he got bored of shouting ‘READ!’ and we could hear him playing with his toys until nearly 10pm. Absolute nightmare, by this point my smugness from the start of the week had completely vanished.

By day 5 I was officially regretting my decision and contemplating putting the side of the cot back on. Thankfully, Leo went to bed fine and didn’t come sneaking into the living room once. He played with his toys for a little while and started crying. Oli went to see him and Leo was just sat in the middle of the room sleepy crying – I think he forgot he could get into bed by himself now.

Things were starting to get better again by day 6. We had the usual moaning for more stories and lies of being hungry to get me to stay in his room but I managed to settle Leo down quite easily. We heard him playing with his toys again (how do we stop this?) but when we went to check on him he got himself back into bed, all cuddled up under his blankets.

DAY 7.
So, last night things went downhill again – ahh! Leo settled down OK but then proceeded to come in to the living room about 20 times. At first it was funny because he was acting like a little ninja, sneaking in and then grinning at us from the door. This routine got old really fast though and I had to delve deep in to my brain and retrieve all those little tips I had learnt from watching countless episodes of Super Nanny when I was younger. I remember her saying no talking or eye contact are key in showing your child that you mean business and you are not playing games. Have you ever tried ignoring your toddler when they are trying to talk to you? It is so hard, I felt so mean. Anyway, it seemed to work as I managed to get him to stay in bed after over an hour. As usual we went to check on him and we found him asleep in the middle of the floor with a book on his face! It was hard getting him back to bed without waking him but, between Oli and I, we just about managed it.

This week has been a bit of a learning curve and a struggle at times but I am glad we have stuck with it and not gone back to using the cot. Just like it took time for Leo to adjust from being in the moses basket to the cot, I know this transition is going to take a while for us all to get used to. Although I am not loving the struggle in the evenings, I am quite enjoying staying in bed until 9, as Leo just gets himself up and starts playing with his toys in the morning. Now all I need is for him to learn how to change his own nappy and get himself breakfast and I won’t have to get up for hours!

How old was your little one when they moved into a bed? How did you all find the transition? Please let me know any tips you have on encouraging your toddler to stay in bed at night time, I would love some advice. thumbnailsize

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

What makes a parent perfect?

This morning I read an article on BBC news titled The ‘perfect’ parent. The purpose of this article, from my understanding, is to reassure parents that there is no perfect parent and it discusses different parenting styles from the worlds many cultures. The article also features a video from American comedy sketch group The BreakWomb. The sketch tells the tale of 3 mums at a ‘Mom’s support group’, admitting to lies they have told to their friends and family, in a hope to come across as the perfect parent.

I found reading about how parents do things in other cultures very interesting but it was the title of the article that really got me thinking. What is a perfect parent? Is perfect parenting an unrealistic goal for parents to have? Am I perfect? Do I care if other people don’t think I am perfect?

I have lots of questions but not many answers. I have no idea what a perfect parent is, the aforementioned article claims a love of broccoli and our children’s ability to recite Shakespeare are good examples of where Mums and Dads have done a top notch job. Frankly, I couldn’t care less if Leo is able to read A midsummer nights dream to me from memory when he is older. Yes, I would be extremely impressed but I can’t do that and, as it goes, I am a happy, round rounded adult who can think for herself; I don’t think my bad memory when it comes to the work of The Immortal Bard is a result of how my parents bought me up.

To me, my parents are perfect. Well, actually, they are perfectly imperfect and that is why I love them. I had a lovely childhood and I always knew they loved me, they still do of course. Yes, they made mistakes but I am glad they did. They taught me it is OK to get things wrong and how to deal with life when it doesn’t go to plan. My parents would both admit they are not perfect and I am glad they aren’t. I would much prefer to have the parents I’ve got than ones who stressed themselves out beyond recognition to try and achieve the, in my opinion, unattainable dream of perfection.

As for me? No, I am not perfect. How could I be? I am a first time Mum, it would be a miracle if I just knew everything and never made a mistake. I frequently suffer with mummy guilt, if I thought I was doing a perfect job these feelings would not exist. I do my best for Leo, some days I do better than others but I am always thinking of him and do what I can to make him happy. I love him unconditionally, as does his Dad, and it is very clear he loves us too. We are doing all we can to bring him up to be an independent, polite, respectful and happy child.

I never lie about my parenting to others. Yes, sometimes I might feel bad for not being able to get Leo to eat vegetables or for letting him spend hours in front of TV but I would rather talk about these things than pretend I am the type of mother people think I should be.

Will Leo think Oli and I have done a perfect job when he grows up? I don’t know. As long as he looks back on his childhood how I remember mine and is happy then I will be happy too. I don’t know what the perfect parent is, I really don’t think there is such thing. Parent’s bring their children up in all kinds of different ways. Yes, there are, unfortunately, people out there who don’t make good parents but the majority of us, well, I think we are doing just fine.

What do you think? Would you say there is such thing as a perfect parent? Or, do you think we all just need to give ourselves a break and just be happy that our children are happy? Let me know 🙂

p.s In case you are having a bad day, here is a funny video I found a few months ago from The BreakWomb..enjoy!