A friend of mine recently took her five year old son, about to go into year 1, out of school because he was being pushed so hard he was beginning to hate learning. Encouraged by her own Scandinavian upbringing (which doesn’t put children into formal education until they’re 7) she was more than happy to remove him from his school and try her hand at home schooling him – an idea that I fully endorse, but honestly couldn’t do myself. I swear to God, I don’t know how she does it, especially since she also has a three year old at home to care for.
Dear new first-time mum, or not so new mum… Dear mum who’s finding it tough right now.
It’s fucking hard. It is. It’s not just you. Let me tell you something from the vantage point of a second time mum – this too shall pass. The only reason I can even vaguely cope this time is because I’ve done it before and I am confident it will come to an end. Of course then a new and different really annoying thing will start, but hey, a change is as good as a rest.
Thanks once again to the marvellous Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, all-round parenting guru, who has kindly written for Live Oxfordshire this two-part guide to dealing with tantrums. Last week she looked at the 5 principles to keep in mind during the tantrum years and, if you didn’t see it, then it is definitely worth reading before you look at these techniques. This week she will cover, in detail, 5 specific strategies to try once a tantrum is in full swing to minimise the distress to you and your child and, hopefully, prevent them from becoming a frequent weapon in your child’s armoury.
I am lucky enough to work with a wonderful midwife, lactation consultant and parenting guru, Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, who (amongst other things) runs courses on confident parenting. She has written, for Live Oxfordshire, this wonderful two-part guide to dealing with tantrums. In this part she discusses the general principles surrounding tantrums and how to (hopefully) avoid or deflect them. In the second part she covers how to handle a full-blown tantrum to minimise the distress to you and your child and stop them becoming a regular feature in your life. I hope you find these as helpful as I have!
The Girl, my little girl, is rising six months old already. How did that happen? I remember how long the first six months of babyhood took with The Boy and how much easier things seemed to get when we reached that milestone. The reverse seems to have happened here – the time has flown by and now she’s mobile, into everything, nosy, wanting to be entertained!
At first I thought I was just engaging in a little light hyperbole when I made the supposition that the time actually had gone more slowly with my first baby. Perhaps because it was all new, or because it was so stressful to have a baby who needed a 45 minute feed every 90 minutes throughout the whole 24 hours of the day, but then I got to thinking – The Girl cosleeps with us (more on that here), something I stupidly didn’t catch onto until rather late in the game with The Boy, which means she sleeps longer and better and it’s easier to resettle her. I have definitely been getting more sleep. The reason that it felt like six months with The Boy took longer than it has with The Girl is because it actually was longer… in awake hours, anyway. I was probably awake for about 19 or 20 of the 24 hours, as opposed to the 15 or 16 I’m awake with The Girl.
A poem, to my daughter.
I love you more than I can ever own
to you or myself,
for how can I confess, when one day I know
that you will be grown
And I know the things that I would never have known
had you not come along and given me
the painful mother love I will feel
Long after you are grown
Holding you, sleeping by your side, I am shown
a sort of peace and promise in this world that is
When once you’re grown