Parenting

Today I had a blast from the past. We were getting in my husbands car to go to do our weekly shop and sitting on my seat was an old A-Z of London. I haven’t seen one of these since I was a child. I flicked through the pages, looking at all the intricately drawn street maps, it was a real thing of beauty! It took me right back to being a child, going on a trip somewhere with my father in his blue Renault and being told to look up a street name in the back and find the corresponding page. I used to love doing that, which is perhaps why I still love map reading to this day. I was consumed with nostalgia and spent a good while thinking back to when I was a child and the things I loved to do, many of which just don’t exist in the same form today.

And yet some things stay the same. It’s good to remember the things that made you happy as a child. I once read that often your best memories of childhood are spent outside and for me this is so very true. Being outside, breathing in the air and soaking up all the beautiful details of nature are what makes me happy and always has done since I was a small child. So excited to play in the snow with Littlelish tomorrow!

Here is my top 10 things I loved to do as a child:

  1. Playing in my garden as a child, where it always seemed to be sunny. Hanging from the top bar of my swing upside down by my knees. The best feeling in the world.
  2. Dream. As a child I always dreamed of intriguing buildings where I would find a secret entrance to another room or part of the building. These adventures were so magical to me. I still love dreaming.
  3. Looking out of the windows at the back of my old family home and seeing my neighbours HUGE conker tree. It was so impressive and so beautiful to me, I loved it. Sadly it was chopped down when I was about 13, the view was never the same again!
  4. Play, play, play! With friends, with cousins with the neighbourhood kids or with my Sylvanian families :)
  5. The secret garden “The Hill” in the woods of Golders Hill Park, London that we used to walk in. First you came to wall and then a door and then you opened it and stepped foot into a magical garden. This was how I experienced it through the eyes of an imaginative child/teenager. I spent hours lying here and walking the pathways covered in climbing roses.
  6. Listening to the woodpigeons call outside my bedroom window every summer.
  7. Listen to my nana singing chatanoogna choochoo and would you like to swing on a star and teaching me (or trying to teach me) how to jive. What an energy and love of life she has.
  8. Summers in the south of France with a childhood friend, Amelia, who is sadly no longer with us. I have beautiful memories of playing in and among the olive trees, making wild boar escape routes, smelling the lavender and swimming in lakes. (I went on to visit some amazing places with some equally amazing friends and have fantastic memories of them all Israel with Nat, St Lucia with Jouls, Sanibel with Lou)
  9. Recording myself on anything I could record on. Singing, making radio stations. My dad to this day still will not let me live down ‘its no sacarifi i i ice’ on his Dictaphone!
  10. Walking to the cornershop with my dad to get tom thumb drops in a white paper bag every Sunday!

And a few other things I loved (I was an 80’s child!) include reading the Beano/Dandy, collecting stickers, playing nintendo (zelda!), wackaday, cassette tapes (the first one I ever bought was do the Bartman – aged 9), Gremlins, The Goonies, Hypercolour tshirts, mousetrap and Tony Hart.

And many many more :) I’d love you to comment with your favourite thing as a child or even your favourite memory with me! :)

Update! Tonight I was reminded about another awesome childhood memory, the ha ha bonk book… oh I wish I could find mine…

 

Two things I am passionate about are food and raising children. Combining the two I am somewhat ‘obsessed’ when it comes to feeding my daughter. We try to eat organic or homegrown as much as possible. I actually slightly freak every time she drinks milk that is not organic. I know I’m ridiculous, I told you I was obsessed. As a baby she was breastfed and only once ate food that I had not prepared myself (from a jar, duh duh duuuuuuh – we were at our friends campsite – needs must and all).

Oh I forget to mention I am also a recovering perfectionist ;) I say recovering because being a perfectionist and having a child is nigh on impossible, believe me! But seriously bringing a child into the world is the single most important thing I’ve ever done, damn right I’m going to try and do it to the best of my abilities.

So this gentle introduction about me gets me nicely onto the controversial subject of breastfeeding. I have always been a firm believer that breast is best (excuse the pun). After all mother nature provides us with the kit to care for our babies and you can always trust mother nature – she rocks! My own experience of breastfeeding only serves to strengthen my conviction of how wonderful it is.

I will be honest, I did judge people who didn’t breastfeed their children. Sure I know there are plenty who cannot breastfeed for whatever reason (fine) but I also know there are plenty who can and well just won’t…. and for this I could never quite ‘get’ the reason.

Having said that I am pretty much a live and let live type, sure I have my high standards but I can’t judge everyone by them. I try to leave people to get on with things how and as they please.

Recently I have been confronted with a close friend who is breastfeeding but wanting to stop because she dislikes it. Admittedly I found it very hard to deal with, a huge lump forming in my throat as she told me “but, but, but…” struggling with “it’s her choice” and “noooooooooooooooooo”. I found myself feeling quite angry about it afterwards, again not understanding her reasons why. How could you dislike breastfeeding? She had her reasons but they all sounded like excuses to me.

Well today I saw for myself the reasons why and without going into too much personal detail, I understood. I saw her struggling, unhappy and upset with breastfeeding her own child and all of a sudden I felt very bad for judging her. She didn’t need my guilt trip as the cherry on the top of a newborn baby cake.

I will always maintain that breast is best for me but next time I judge someone who is not breastfeeding I will remember there might be a million reasons why, many I may not understand. At the end of the day only a mother knows what is best for their baby and if it is affecting their well-being and making them really miserable I don’t believe they should struggle through it.

After all a happy mummy = happy baby.

I love being a mum. It is the most entertaining job I’ve ever had, where being silly and cuddling is what it takes to be the best. Littlelish is now 2.5 years old and I have been at home with her since she was born that long, hot, summers night. I tried to go back to my marketing job (the second best job I’ve ever had) when she was 5 months old but with no luck. She refused bottles (she had always been breastfed) and therefore wouldn’t eat all day. It made the choice a pretty easy one…

It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. Sure we had to make sacrifices, without 2 full time jobs we had fewer holidays, shopping sprees and what not… but we survived, heck it even taught us a lesson or two! And in return I got to be there while this beautiful little person grows up a little more every day.

Although I throw myself wholeheartedly into being mum, littlelish hardly watches television and we are always playing, cooking or creating something, I noticed myself having the occasional wobble. Sure I was mum but what else was I? I was also the girl (I am still a girl at 30 alright!) who loved challenges, business and the satisfaction of achieving. Sure I was achieving as mummy but I kind of had that covered… Was it time for another challenge?

We decided that littlelish should start going to preschool (because it was good for her rather than because we needed her to go) and for the first time in a very long time I had some time to myself again. What now? Well I’ve started up a new business. I thought long and hard about what I want to do because returning to work was not really an option. All jobs that would be suitable for me are fulltime and neither of us are ready for that. So I turned to what I love. What I always complain I don’t have enough time for. Art and crafts. Would I make the time for it if I saw it as a business goal? And the answer is yes!

As you have probably noticed (I make no secret of it) I’ve started a web shop. I’m really only at the very beginning of it because building it up to what I desire is going to take a while! And my goodness it is no walk in the park. Finding the time to craft and create even with my mornings off is difficult. The design and creation process can be long let alone photographing, putting online and marketing it! The housewife in me stops functioning all together and I am only drawn to crafting and making more mess. The ideas pile up, oooh must make this, sew this, paint this – my brain is at bursting point. The things pile up, oooh need this piece of cardboard (and this one and this one), this fabric and soon enough we are living in one of those poor houses that you see on tv where there is a dead cat buried under the piles of stuff :/

I am nowhere near creating a healthy balance yet, hopping between making, networking oh yes and blogging! But last week I made my first 3 sales, all in one day and the feeling of pride that swelled in me when someone had chosen to buy something that I made was phenomenal.

Now I am not only a good mummy but an inspired one with a project of my own to keep my brain cells fresh and buzzing and it feels great!

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