Every week, I read blogs which make me laugh, blogs which make me cry, blogs which challenge my thinking, blogs which support me as a parent, and blogs which inspire me.
Seeing as you’re reading Cardiff Mummy Says, I figure you like blogs too. I’m continuing my monthly series, charting 10 of my favourite blog posts I’ve read over the past month. A little bit of reading inspiration for the weekend.
Here’s my selection for October 2016. Clicking on each of the titles will take you directly to that post. You can catch up with my selections for previous months here.
I’ve got to know First Time Valleys Mum fairly well over the last few months through social media and local blogging get togethers. She does an amazing job of looking after her son Z, who has autism, writing about her experiences of parenting and campaigning for greater awareness and change. She’s been involved in campaigning on social media for more adequate changing facilities for children with special needs or disabilities. In this post, she talks about how she has to turn down events on her son’s behalf because there just won’t be anywhere to change his nappies, should he need it.
She writes, “he pull down type with a weight limit, so for an average two and a half year old. Z is four. Where do I change him? If I have to it’s always on the floor. Yes the FLOOR how disgusting is that. Would you be happy with laying on a toilet floor? If the floor is bad I sit on the floor and change him on my lap, I don’t particularly like sitting on the floor of a toilet but my son has needs, he can’t stay in a dirty nappy because there’s no where to change him.” Do read and support this campaign.
Not So Supermum’s baby was born premature at 29 weeks gestation and in this post she writes openly and honestly about her experiences. When her baby was born he was whisked away and they didn’t see him for several hours, before they were eventually taken into the neonatal intensive care unit. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would start our lives as parents in a room like this. We tentatively made our way to the incubator in the left hand corner, inside lay a tiny baby cradled in a comforting little snug attached to a multitude of wires and tubes. Our baby boy, there he was so fragile, so tiny, literally skin and bone, he hadn’t reached any stage of fattening up, he was coated in downy hair and helped to breathe.”
She ends the post by linking to alternative baby milestone cards for premature babies in support of Bliss, the charity for premature and sick babies with milestones such as – “I got no tubes to help me breathe”, “today I had my first cuddle”, Today I am finally wire free”. An important post in raising awareness of what life is like for parents of premature babies.
“Before you were mine, little ones” writes Danielle from Someone’s Mum, “I painted my nails. I chose exotic colours – blue chrome and hot pink, sparkles and crackle and base coat and top coats […] But now my nails are short and unadorned, ragged and bitten at the ends.” The same with straightening her hair, reading books, spending Friday nights in the pub.” And now? “My hands are there for your comfort – they cook, they dress, they change nappies and make bottles. They hold you tight and rub your backs when you are sad or poorly. My nails are short because their purpose is to take care of you; the first time I caught delicate, baby soft skin, I cut them and never grew them back.” A truly beautiful and emotional post which a lot of mums will relate to on how life changes inexplicably when you have children.
Tova says it’s taken her five years to learn not to take parenting so seriously when it comes to things that would previously have stressed or devastated her. While she doesn’t laugh AT her children, she admits to having a little giggle “under my mommy mustache”. For example, when her five-year-old announced she was running away because her mum didn’t get the cereal she wanted. “And yes, I did speak to my child after this happened. Yes, I did make sure she was okay and I listened to her as she told me how disappointed she was for having to choose from three types of cereal instead of four, I did it with a straight face and took what she said very seriously. Deep inside I was p*ssing myself.” If you’ve ever done similar, this will make you feel less alone!
“I, like a lot of other strong women out there I imagine, am not strong out of choice, I’m strong through circumstance. I’m a survivor of so much sh*t that it must seem as though I’ve made up half my life.” So says Renee from Mummy Tries as she responds to the US third presidential debate. A lot of people don’t like strong women, she observes, before charting a childhood of abuse and bullying, leaving home at 15, bankruptcy, a mental breakdown, generally sinking to rock bottom. “If chauvinistic pigs like Trump had his way, I’d have stayed in the gutter as a teenager.” The fact is though, she was strong enough to pick herself out of it. “I am a survivor of life and I will not apologise for being a strong woman,” she says. Good on you Renee, very inspiring.
And on the subject of Donald Trump, Simon of Man vs Pink asks just how he is supposed to explain the US Presidential candidate to his daughter. The family would usually engage her in politics – but not this time. He says he turns the news off when she comes into the room because he knows it would lead to all kinds of questions. He writes, “I would have to discuss issues of sexual assault, objectification, male privilege, and fat shaming. With a 4-year-old. And I would have to explain why a man as reprehensible as Donald Trump is in contention to becoming the most powerful elected leader on the planet.”
Writing in response to the viral news story about Ryan Williams and his crazy misconceptions about women and sanitary products, where the 19 year old told them to control their bladders during their periods. Milla has taken the opportunity to state that, actually, many women, through no fault of their own, cannot control their bladders. “Here’s the thing, Ryan, bladder control is not always under your control and crossing your legs just doesn’t cut it. For some the mechanics just don’t work any more, for others the electrics are out and the nerves simply don’t send the right signals.” For her, it was an emergency C-section five years ago which caused damage to the nerves that send signals to her bladder when it is full, plus a second baby weighing 10lb which did the damage. “Physical deterioration will happen to us all at some point, though it may be impossible to believe, at 19, that you will be one of those affected. If you can’t control your bladder then you should receive assistance from the medical profession. If you bleed for up to a week, every four weeks, then you should be entitled to – at the very least – some pads to keep you sanitary.” A great post on a subject we really need to discuss more openly. Do give it a read.
In this letter to her daughter, Sasha responds to her daughter’s question as to whether she loves her work more than her children. Sasha writes eloquently as to the reasons she works but the one that really stood out was “I work because—despite my being the parent who’s almost always the one walking through the door at 6pm, the one who rarely travels for work, the one who’s keeping track of the fact that the permission slip for the field trip is due tomorrow—you’d never ask your father why he works. His love is a given that long hours at work do nothing to diminish.” It’s so hard for us mums combing work and motherhood. Dads just don’t get the same.
As a mother to a toddler for the third time, this post really made me laugh and nod in agreement. Toddler Amnesia, writes Silly Mummy of R Is For Hoppit, is a “devastating condition” affecting “one in every toddler”. Symptoms include “Unwittingly asking the same question over and over again”; “difficulties surrounding issues of possession and ownership…. Completely unable to remember a particular object is not theirs”; and “the inability to reall which food were loved mere moments before”, among others. Does your toddler have this condition?!
10. 10 things I hate about toilet training by First Tooth
As I said above, I’m a mother to a toddler for the third time, so I really relate to this one. “The first time I took our daughter out in knickers instead of a nappy, I had sweat dripping down my back,” writes Lizzie of First Tooth. “I kept the journey simple by visiting Tesco and kept an eye on the bottom of the trolley the entire time. I was breathy, sweaty and wide eyed. That is my ‘first time without a nappy’ look. I’d sat her in the basket of the trolley too, so if she did have an accident it would look a little like a waterfall through those small metal squares. The first outing is always a stressful one.” Not to mention toddlers getting excited and forgetting all they have learned, shops which say toilets are for staff use only. She refers to one such incident in a store “after being refused the use of their toilets, we just didn’t make it out of the shop in time before our little left his own little puddle in there”. Anyone potty training, this will make you feel less alone.