Category Archives: Parenting Dilemmas

Returning to work

Looking for a new position, yes I am need of a change of career and very ready for it, and watching the One Show last night, where they were talking about mums finding it hard to return to work after having a child it inspired me to write this blog.

I have added a section about getting back work in my new up and coming book..watch this space…. in progression. 

After having a child it can be tricky subject and sometimes is a big dilemma of whether to return to work or not after having a child. In my opinion it is when you are ready and what suits your current needs. Never feel pressurized in returning to work if you don’t want to.

I decided after having my son to return to work, but to work part time. I was out of work due to being made redundant just before I found out I was pregnant, and took me ages to find another job whilst pregnant, and in the end it became too late and so I went straight on maternity leave.

I took it for grunted on how hard it would be to find another job. After I had my son and my maternity leave finished I was ready to go back, but didn’t want to miss out on my son growing up.

I wrote down what hours I was able to do and wanted to do and looked for evening and weekend work, I managed find a job working in Tescos. However it was tricky at the time with my husband doing different shifts aswell to do the evening hours so I looked for a weekend job and managed find one, working in a call centre, where I am working now.

Now my son goes to nursery I now work Fridays and Saturdays, but now looking to do more hours but in a different role, as I no longer want to do telephone work. I love writing and eventually would like this to be my full time career but until then I will need to continue to work elsewhere to help me financially for the time being.

If you are not sure and can’t make up your mind up whether to return to work then write down why you want to and what is holding you back from returning to work. Take it one step at a time.

It is up to you what you decide to do if you feel you need more time to adjust to being a parent then take that time. Becoming a parent is a massive adjustment in itself and it will change your life, you can start to see things differently including work.

I know some mums who have used the time whilst on maternity leave to learn that they want a whole different career and work path altogether, you never know to be honest until your baby arrives how you are going to feel about working and your life in general.

So take sometime to think about what you really want and if you do decide you want to go back to work then my tips are:

work out your hours you wish to work and days

find jobs based around those hours and days you wish to work

Update your C.V based on the jobs you are searching for

You can get help from the Job Centre if you need help with your C.V and if you go onto Universal Job match and Indeed.com they have daily job vacancies on their site. These are the main two job search engines I use and indeed was how I found the job at Tescos and in my current job.

Be aware when you add your C.V to websites such as Jobsite and C.V Library for example you may start  to get some agencies ringing you about vacancies. Be aware many won’t have a job available and just want you on their books.

I kept getting agencies contacting me to say they had a vacancy available only to get there and they didn’t. Plus they kept sending me to vacancies which were difficult to get to and I specified that the job had to be easy to get to by local and public transport.

To keep tabs on the jobs I applied for I bought a file box and kept my job listings I applied for in my file box.

Do your own research on the companies you apply for as it looks good when it comes to an interview that you know something about the company and it gives you an idea about the company and if they have a good working reputation or not.

What ever you decide remember it is your choice and no matter what no one else can make that decision apart from you.

Please comment if you too have advice for parents returning to work after having a child as sometimes it is good to know we have that shared support.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Coping with the heat

With the heat wave we have had in the U.K it can be tough to cope with, with our little ones, and so I wanted to share my tips with how I help my son cope with the heat.

 

Tip#1: Keep them cool at all times

When it is really hot with no breeze this can be tricky, but keeping your children cool as much as possible, and find where it is the coolest in your home or garden, have windows and doors open to let the cool air breeze through.

Invest in a fan.

Wipe them down with a damp flannel if they get too hot and only put on one layer of clothing.

 

Tip#2: Play outdoors, as it isn’t good for children to be stuck in doors all the time.

I find that my son copes better when he has some time indoors, away from the heat in a cool room with intervals of being outdoors. When he stays indoors a lot I find he can fall ill. Of course I clean my home and keep it clean, but heat when hot indoors can cause illnesses and bacteria to increase, so do allow some play time outdoors, but use sunscreen to protect their skin.

 

Tip#3: Cool warm baths always help my son cool down or have a paddling pool outside

My son has always been a hot child and so can get hot quite quickly, so it is important that I protect him from the heat as much as possible, so a warm cool bath does the trick, then just allow him to play indoors in his nappy or pull ’em up, or purchase a paddling pool, a great way to have fun in the sun as a family, making sure sunscreen is applied throughout the day.

 

Tip#4: Have plenty of liquids available to keep your children hydrated

So important, as children can become too hot and can become dehydrated so quickly so I make sure that I have plenty of liquids available, avoiding fruit juices and fizzy drinks as they can cause dehydration.

 

Tip#5: Keep cups and drinks in the fridge

Keeps them nice and cool, and have some water already chilled in their cup, so it will be nice and cold to drink, keeping them cool and hydrated.

So those are my tips for coping with the heat, please share your tips with me too be good to know how you cope with heatwaves and in the summer.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I know now since being a parent

  1. Tiredness and sleep deprivation in parents can last until they are 3 years and older
  2. There is no one way, everyone can have a different style of parenting, who’s judging?
  3. Continues to be challenging, especially come potty training time
  4. Every minute of the day matters
  5. When you get free time to yourself, finally, you can feel lost
  6. If you suffer with Anxiety it can increase
  7. No time off really
  8. Tantrums are non avoidable at times no matter what you try to prevent and stop them
  9. Once your child begins walking you are forever running
  10. You never know what your child is going to do at times, but that’s the joy of it all

I would love to know what things you have learned to.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie

Toilet training

I didn’t expect this would be easy, but you do have to take a chunk of your schedule to go through this new transition, I discovered. I have to accept that Henry will have accidents and it may take several times for my son to get used to the fact that he won’t be toileting in the nappy anymore.

 

We have had some success, 3 times so far, but now it as if he is avoiding going in the potty, but is understanding that if he needs to go, it has to be in the nappy, and so it is teaching him to communicate to us too, that he needs to go. Get used to not having a nappy on. I did introduce pants, but they lasted on him about 2 minutes, so need to continue with this one.

So on Sunday I am going try different techniques and see if we have success.

It is going to take time, but I know I just have to be persistent and start teaching him that soon there will be no nappy and will have to use the potty or toilet.

I will report back once I have learned more.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Sitting up at the table 

We have finally changed from Henry having separate meal time to us, to us all eating together at the table. We chose to do this for dinner time to begin with as he didn’t like eating from his high chair anymore. So we had to make some changes. 

This was so important to me that we had one meal time where we all eat as a family together. So dinner to me was the perfect time, because this was what we did my brother and I, did when our parents were together.

One meal of the day and it’s lovely time for us as a family to all have that time. 

It has made dinner time easier as Henry will a lot of the time, eat what we eat. This also has helped save money. 

The first time we decided to do this was on boat race bank holiday weekend. It didn’t workout well. He lasted two seconds but come next day, monday, breakfast time he was happily eating his breakfast at the table and then his dinner, which as a family we ate together.

Again you do have to be persistent and now come breakfast and dinner he will eat at the table no problems.

If they don’t last for long give them a time frame so allow them 2 minutes breathing space if they are really kicking off then sit them back down but don’t entertain their tantrum. It is okay for your child as a toddler to miss a meal as if hungry enough they will eat whatever is in front of them.

One top tip I have learned as a parent. 

Second tip: Be flexible, don’t be fixated on feeding on exact times all the time. Of course it depends on the child but helps to be flexible if you have a late medical appointment or club/class as children will get used to eating as usual times. 

So I will post more as we continue with eating at the table and please I would love to hear your tips too on this subject, as well 

Many thanks for reading,
Carrie x 

Potty training

Yes we are potty training at the moment, and yesterday Henry used his potty for the first time and actually had a pea.

Why am I sharing this?

Well because I know how tricky of a transition it is. One minute they are in nappies next they are having to use this plastic thing and it is a different ball game altogether.

We did have a little accident the day before, I won’t say anymore, but I had to stick Henry straight in the bath, but least it happened in the right place, the bathroom, just not in the potty itself, well some of it was but I hadn’t realised until I trod straight into it.

My fault!

As said before you can prepare yourself but you can never really plan, when it comes to children.

Sorry for the TMI. Henry will probably be totally embarrased if he reads this when he is 18 years old. However it is out of good reason to help and give support to other mums, who may also be potty training now too.

If your child is potty training at the moment too, then my advice is to persist and be patient. If they aren’t ready then do not fear, you will soon know when they are. Henry was even asking for the potty and tells us when he needs his nappy changed. So children do pick up new skills quicker than what we think they do.

So true when it comes to children, every day is different, and you don’t know what to expect, so you just have to continue on, the best you can.

Anyway I will keep you updated on more news and what I am learning as a parent.

Thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Why we do settling down time

Getting out of repetition can be so easy as you can get bored doing the same thing, evening after evening, but the one thing I have learned, is that it is important for children, to continue repetition.

It helps with keeping the routine.

Settling down time for children, really does help, when it comes to the bedtime routine, it is so they know bedtime is coming up and will be soon, and helps them to wind down beforehand.

So no playing ball after 5pm and we will have TV on but not too bright and have the lights dimmed down quite a bit. When it gets lighter late evening it can be tricky to stick with the routine but keep with it the best you can, but make bedtime later or allow them to listen to soft music coming up to bed time.

I wrote about rituals, you do whatever it takes, some time ago, when it comes to bed time. That is why making settling down into a ritual, at night time will help bed time a lot less stressful, I say with a sigh.

It can be hard when they are screaming at night because they want to be up but they have to learn that they need sleep and it is coming up to that time.

We don’t do bath every evening but you can add this to the evening ritual if this will help and making nap times earlier making sure this is before a certain time (ours is before 2pm) if we can help it.

Toddler melt down image

Our is:

  • 5pm all toys away and we will get or ask Henry to choose a book or sit with one of us on the sofa
  • Get Henry ready for bed, so put on his night gear
  • Put on pepper pig for a bit, but come an hour or so to bedtime, all devices are turned off and we will have TV on, but winding him down, watching challenge
  • 6:30pm to 7pm take henry upstairs to bed and read, sometimes I will play lullabies too, but I put it in a place where he can hear the music but not see the screen.

So what do you do to settle down your baby or toddler I would love to hear.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handling Meltdown and Tantrums at Christmas

Toddler melt down image

Getting ready for the festive season can be so exciting for children. They may not be too aware of what it is all about, but they sense that the home they live in, is twinkling like stars, there’s a funny looking spiky green thing, which their mummy calls a Christmas Tree, covered in colourful balls and sparkles, and their keeps being a man mentioned, someone call Santa Claus.

They sense something is on the horizon. They are given a new toy, and if they are anything like my child, will throw it as soon as it is put into their hand.

We then say “No Henry, don’t chuck those toys, only balls we throw”, but then at Occupational Therapy he is given an activity where he is to throw little bean bags, so I can understand the confusion. However we have to be weary in case it is something heavier like a brick, as if it hits someone (such as another child) it could hurt them, so we are teaching him that we throw a plastic ball for example but not other items. Not only that, it also teaches him, when we tell him off for chucking his toys, that a toy is to be respected not thrown, and the toy must be played this way and we will then demonstrate.

He will then often have a tantrum, because we have taken the toy from his hand he was chucking. We do give him a warning first, before doing so, so he knows it is wrong and by carrying on his behaviour there is a consequence.

This in turn teaches them what is right and wrong. The important thing I have learned is the reaction you give. I have learned from Henry is that, sometimes he is throwing a toy for a certain reaction; Or having a tantrum, to get a reaction.

We will then give him a warning, to say “Stop or you will go to your room to cool down”. If he does continue we will follow our warning through, which is highly important, and we take him to his room to calm down. This does work.

The worst thing I have found to do, is to rant and rave yourself, as all it looks like is that you have now become the child having a tantrum too

With children I have found that the anger they show, through their tantrums is more to do with frustration rather than to be naughty. It is important to talk to them to encourage them to speak, even if they are like my son, have development delay in speaking. Our son usually gets angry because like with hitting and biting, he is usually trying to tell us something but we aren’t picking it up, so encouraging them to show you and tell you, is a good place to prevent tantrums and encourage their communication to you. The best thing to do is to:

  • Step back
  • Observe
  • Step in

Today when we were queuing to see Santa at Henry’s nursery, a little boy in front, got really frightened at seeing Santa Claus, and he wouldn’t go in to see him.

I can see why young babies and toddlers would be scared. They have no idea who this big fella with a red suit and white beard is, so some children will be weary.

What I have learned, is if they do get panicky and start to scream, is to encourage them to calm down, and tell them everything will be okay and Santa is a nice man who delivers the presents for them on Christmas Day.

Another idea to help a child who may be a bit frightened of Santa is to get another child to go in with them, aswell as yourself (the parent or grandparent), because if they see that their big sister for example is okay with Santa, it may help them more to see that there isn’t anything to be frightened about.

If they are completely hysterical, having a meltdown and it looks like nothing will console or convince them to see Santa, then I would take them out of the situation, but don’t fear about trying next year.

Many children aren’t aware of Christmas and what it really is all about until they are much older, at which they may be fine when they get older and they know more of who Santa Claus is.

If a child starts to get upset over a toy they want, but it isn’t in store, it’s sold out or it is beyond budget then I would again take then out of the situation. Take then back in once they have calmed down and get down to their level, and say “We will go to the toy shop, mummy or daddy isn’t able to buy you that present you saw today, but if you are good then we can choose something else”.

As Henry (my son) is not a fan of shopping and always makes a fuss when I look around the shops, I will find a good time like when he is at nursery or daddy is with me, to go and have a look.

Sometimes it is best to buy a toy when your children aren’t with you. They are not able to see all the choice and I would, if you are buying for similar aged children to try and buy them the same things if possible. It will save arguments later.

Children will often want what another child has, so if you buy them all the same thing, then they are less likely to have a tantrum.

Or as I have spoken in my Children’s Christmas Gift guide this year (see video below), is buy them a joint present like a game or puzzle that they can both do. This can help save money on the Christmas budget and encourage children to play together and share.

I would also encourage them to choose a gift for nanny or daddy for example, this will then teach them that Christmas isn’t just about receiving gifts but about giving too.

Make Christmas decorating or shopping into a game. Have your children see how many baubles they can put on the tree and time them. Or see how many toy cars they can spot, and give them a selection of 2 or 3 they can choose from. Never more than 2 or 3 as they can become overwhelmed.

Example you are in a toy shop and they have some Christmas money given to them and so you ask them to choose a toy.

A place to start is to say “here we are, you can choose one of these toys” and show them the toys by picking them up from the shelves to show them. If they fuss and want more than one, then explain make it into a story, that Santa sent the money and that on his instructions mummy is to offer you one of these toys, if you want another one then you will need to be good boy or girl again and perhaps Santa will send or let me buy it for you next year.

Get them to right a Wish List, and say “You may not be able to have all these on the list, but I will pass the list to Santa Claus and see what he can do”.

Never make promises that can’t be kept, if you do make promises always follow through with them, it is surprising what children remember, when you don’t.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

I still find it hard when Henry is sick

Even now Henry is 3 years old, I still find it so difficult to handle when Henry is sick. I am not talking about a cold, even though that can be hard to deal with aswell, but more when he is vomiting. Sorry if this is TMI, but babies and toddlers can be sick in that way a lot.

Last Monday we had a really good day at the start, it was quite gloomy outside so we stayed in, but played with some toys, listened to some music and played upstairs. We had been playing hide and sick, well a hobbled version as I had hurt my leg the week before, falling down the stairs.

I had wondered when running his bath as he had dribble on his chin, if he had been sick, but he did eat his lunch even though he was a bit hesitant at first, and then after his bath it was as if his hole body decided it wanted to do something else and sorry for the TMI, but he was sick all over his carpet and some clothes, and for me to help you mums out there sometimes I have to paint the picture you can identify with.

At times you can feel like”I am a failure” but let me tell you, if your child is sick and you are thinking that “Why does this only happen to me*  it does not. When a sick bug strikes it can be all of a sudden.

Now I know babies and toddlers can be sick and Henry was on some occasions, but no way to this extent not like that and it was if he couldn’t stop, and I could nor help but panic myself. He was crying and I was like a frantic woman lost.

What do I do?

How do I handle this?

boy-sick-26277011

I tried to get him to move and then took him in the bathroom to wash him off and get him by the toilet in case he was sick again, which he was. I was so unprepared and I kept thinking “Oh why didn’t I see the signs”, but there wasn’t. We just before then were laughing and I was tickling him and singing.

It seems to always happen when I am on my own. I called Elv and then my mum. I was in a complete mess. It was one of those episodes where I felt it wasn’t going to end, and this was just the start.

He did finally settle that evening and in the morning he was fine, but kept and eye on him, and stayed in doors just in case, but my word I don’t think I could have anymore of that if I can help it.

It was scary how quickly it passed. I cleaned all the sick and had to throw some bits of clothes and a fabric storage box away, and went on a cleaning frenzy, all the doors and handles, the bathroom, kitchen and washed the bedding.

Then on Wednesday morning, it was my turn. It just hit, I was fine when I went to bed, but so totally different the next day.

All I could do is lie in my bed no sudden movements I felt like I was gonna become the girl in the exorcist so my husband took Henry to nursery on that day. I stayed in bed the whole time as I also felt really cold, with fuzzy head and headache. As soon as I stood up I felt sick again.

It made me think about my son and how he must have felt, I wish sometimes I could see into my child’s mind. For children they have no idea and to them it is a shock. Henry was in shock and I could see as he was being sick the not knowing what was happening to his body. I couldn’t help that night on Monday, but cry myself.

I felt so helpless.

As a mum you want to have a magic wand with you all the time to get rid of anything bad, and I could have done with a wand that Monday. It was horrific and I know children do get sick, but I find it so hard when he is.

I always like to turn a negative situation to a positive and so doing so, I wanted to share this because I know that there are other parents who may feel the same too about their child being sick, even when they are 3 years older. It can be traumatic all around, when Henry was first sick in hospital with Reflux it was a massive shock, especially as I had no idea that milk can come out through babies noses. I had no idea that could happen, there was no mention of that in any of the baby books I read, and even my husband found it a shock at first.

So what I have learned through this experience is that:

  • To think who is the most important? Your Child
  • So comfort first make sure they are alright
  • Then clean up after and if you can call help to support you then do so, as it can be like a sudden pressure and make you panic, but having someone else help can help stop you from getting too overwhelmed when your child is suddenly sick
  • Remember it doesn’t last forever

When it comes to being a mum and expecting a child you can prepare but you can’t really plan, as it is like entering the unknown, you don’t know what to expect really until your child arrives, and can be totally different to what you expected to be. It is life changing, and so when they are sick for the first time, up to when they are a toddler it can still be heart wrenching, and you can panic.

Never fear that you are alone as you are not. All parents go through dilemmas, and so knowing that there are others who are going through the same, can be a massive help as a parent.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X