A little more detail

I decided to start writing this blog on a whim one Thursday night. I enjoy reading articles and blogs and thought I would try my hand. The problem is I have no idea where to start. I have an idea, but not a clue on how to make it interesting or useful for other people.

The idea is to find effective ways to make the more monotonous components in life a little more pleasant. How can I minimise the time I spend keeping the house together so I can spend more time with my family? What things have we used that have changed our lives for the better? What things can I do to just improve my general sense of well-being? And how on earth do I judge that?!  Most of all I hope to try some new things and have some fun doing it.

I’m thinking perhaps I can break the blog down into categories:-

  • Material items – what objects do we use that make life a little bit better, what was not worth investing in?
  • Actions – what things do I do personally or we as a family do that make us feel happier?
  • Hacks – what tips and tricks have we learned that simplify annoying tasks

I will try and share my honest opinions and give balanced reviews. Obviously not everyone will agree with me, and that’s OK. I would definitely be interested to hear what others think, what advice they have to share, perhaps I can try some of them out.  I imagine that over time the blog will evolve and it’s true purpose will become clear to me, until then, please have a peruse and let me know what you think.

Advertisements

The magic of Baby Einstein

It's like magic!
It’s like magic!

Before I had a baby I was fairly adamant that I wasn’t going to be one of those parents who let their children watch lots of television. I had beautiful fantasies of me and my baby playing together on the floor, giggling and happy all day long.  It was a shock to realise that actually babies are initially pretty limited to what they can do and how they can engage.

I was blessed with what I describe as a ‘High Maintenance’ baby, one who didn’t want to be left alone for more than 7 minutes.  That was the magic number.  She would play on a mat for 7 minutes, she would be held by someone else for 7 minutes, she refused rocking/bouncing chairs, and there’s little else you can do with a baby of three months. That seemed to be the extent of her attention span. Once those 7 minutes in heaven were up it was back into my arms, not content with that alone, I had to be moving, while playing music. Joy.  I was exhausted, the house was a tip and I was beginning to smell pretty bad.

Then one day, one magnificent, wonderful day while perusing YouTube I found a video, “Baby Einstein Orchestra” it called itself.  I knew my little beast had a penchant for brass bands (a story for another day) so I thought I would give it a go.  My baby stared agog at the screen as puppets and cartoons danced about and played various instruments.  She sat silently, drinking it in…for 15 minutes! I almost wet my pants! Imagine, imagine the things you can achieve in 15 minutes… Washing up, vacuuming, a shower, a crossword, a workout, or what I did, make a cup of tea and eat cake while checking out Facebook. Bliss.

Over time I discovered other Baby Einstein videos. Some clever people had cut out the boring bits and made clips of just the puppets (which I found far less annoying), these went on for over and hour. My 7 minute baby sat and watched these for up to 45 minutes with the help of some other devices (will discuss this in another post).  At first I felt a little guilt (see first post), but what I came to realise was that the space that Baby Einstein gave me, allowed me to achieve some of the basics that then meant when I did play with my little one, I was 100% engaged with her. I wasn’t thinking about the cleaning that needed to be done or what to cook for dinner that night, I had already attended to these while she enjoyed a bit of Baby Einstein, I was just in the present enjoying that moment. A true gift!

So, for any tired parents out there, desperately in need of some time and space from their wee one, I can highly recommend trying a bit of television. It may initially feel wrong, but if baby is enjoying it and it allows you to achieve those basic daily tasks, do it. You may find that it frees you to enjoy the time you spend with your baby more…

The Beginning

As a 32-year-old new mother to a (mostly) lovely 7 month old daughter, a wife, a nurse and an owner of 4 cats I have decided to take a moment of reflection on my life.

What I looked like last summer through the hazy eyes of Instagram.
What I looked like last summer through the hazy eyes of Instagram.

I have lived a pretty nice life, and as you can see above it has culminated in some really lovely things. I have been struck however, particularly since having a baby, by how there is a big expectation to have and do it all, and do it well! Work full-time, mother full-time, wife full-time, be free, be sexy, be natural, have fun, be careful, be thrifty, be thoughtful, be kind, do the best, be the best.  I’m not entirely sure where this pressure comes from, a general source of ‘others’, the media, from myself?

I am often shocked and surprised by the amount of debate that surrounds every single parenting decision that is made. It seems people and ‘the media’ all have an opinion about everything. The way you feed your baby, the amount your baby sleeps, how you dress your baby, the way you wean your baby, how you transport your baby, where you take your baby…and the list goes on. Overwhelmingly what I notice is the strong sense of guilt that arrives whatever you so choose to do. It seems you are damned if you do and your damned if you don’t.  Well sod that!

I have decided that what I need (and maybe what we need?) is to treat myself better, more kindly. I hope to find a way to achieve everything i so desire.  I think perhaps starting with a little step back to take a moment to decide what I actually want to do, and how best I can do it would be wise.  That is where this blog is going to come in.  I’m going to take my time to assess the daily details, what helps me to achieve my goals, what helps me through the days, what makes me feel good, what makes me feel better. This will include how I feel, how I look, how I manage my daily tasks at home, at work and out and about. Hopefully I can learn which stuff to ditch and which to keep, use and develop. I shall graciously share my discoveries here, and maybe, if we’re lucky, it may help you too.