Monday, 23 February 2015

Approaching my birthday, and enjoying getting old!

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So as the days draw closer, my 'Big Birthday' beckons... Not your traditional 'big birthday' but for me this birthday is a pinnacle point in my life. In 2 days time, I am going to be 25! Still a spring chicken yet halfway to 50, and the age I focused around throughout my teenage years.

 At 25 I was going to be a settled 'grown up,'  educated, having had my 'fun,' (whatever that means) knowing what I was doing,  where I was going, in a great career, married, starting a family and living the dream.
I spent most of my late teenage years pretending that I was indeed 25, I looked much older, in fact I don't seem to have aged at all...(think Dorian Gray - except since 15, I have looked 30.)
I chose to 'be' and 'act' 25, as I was convinced it was the age I wanted to be. I thought that being older - 25 to be precise, somehow commanded more respect.. (and helped get you into clubs when you are just 16.)

Now looking back I find it quite humorous that I was so certain it was the 'age' for me, and I wonder what my younger self would make of the real aged '25' me? I wonder if I will live up to my own expectations?

So as the big day beckons, for the year I put on a such a pedestal; here are the things I am now most looking forward to, at 24 about being 25:

1. Not going out partying -
Yes you read that correctly. I actually cannot bear clubbing, crowded pubs, lack of personal breathing space, too loud music, sore feet, cold shoulders, long waits for taxis and hangovers. 
Having a small baby helps to stop me feeling socially obligated to go out and 'enjoy' myself,  and it's also nice to feel of an age where I no longer feel I need to prove to myself that I am 'young and carefree' needing to get the partying out of my system before it's too late.

2. Not feeling so body conscious and competitive -
I have now passed my prime, and I am never going to make it as a Victoria's Secret model. I have grown a human, have stretch marks, sag in places I don't like, and would like to be slimmer.. but to be honest, I wasn't much different at 15. Except now I need not compete with the toned torso and beautiful bum brigade, as I am a grown 'Woman' and mother, and have more important things to worry about.

3. Not being hung up about that Hogwarts letter. . .
OK so deep down I probably know that my mum didn't hide the letter from me, and therefore didn't actually single handedly prevent me from accomplishing magical adventures with imminent dangers; giving me a chance to save or change the world. It isn't her fault the space between platform's 9 and 10 do not open for me. You make your own story and I just never got around to slaying a dragon or saving the whales, I didn't even manage to prevent a war of elves, or successfully survive in a Zombie Apocalypse... I haven't been a hero. Yet now with a tiny tot under my constant supervision and being my sole responsibility, I don't feel it would be wise to part take in such adventures these days anyway. Protection is paramount, and parenting is it's own magical adventure, where I am the Hero everyday. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

February firsts - 7month update

So it seems like Christmas was only last week, and here we are at another 'holiday.' People laughed when I said the year was flying by in January,  but it really is!
There have been so many little developments in my house since the festive period and my heart is ready to burst!
Yesterday for the first time he went in his new 'big boy' car seat, facing forwards! I have to say we loved it, as it is so much easier for me to comfort him, if he is upset when we are driving...he also seemed more content at being high up and able to look out of the window - the little nosy parker he is!
This month he has tried his first slice of birthday cake...(I'm sure there's still crumbs around to prove it) and has started to take a regular nap time (Hip hip Horray!)
Development wise he is chatting away with variants on dada, baba, iya, nada, nana, wawa, mama, umum, etc... and is pulling himself to standing on the furniture..then bouncing! He is still crawling backwards, yet I am pretty sure he will give up on that all together when he can muster standing and moving unaided.  He has been sitting since 5 months unaided, but still only has the two little toothy pegs that arrived at 4 months.
The biggest change I have noticed though is his little personality shining through, he is charmingly cheeky, funny and flirtatious, and finds so many things hillarious, with an infectious dimpled darling giggle that melts my heart every time I hear it. He truly is the love of my life and my most perfect February valentine! ♥

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Understanding a 'clingy' baby

There is plenty advice on how to 'prevent' your child being 'needy' of you, and likewise advice on how to stop them from being 'clingy' when they already do not wish to leave your side -
You should be strong, stick to your guns, you need to be consistent and resilient.

Let them'cry it out,' and eventually they will 'self soothe.'

Let me take you somewhere....

Imagine you have just disembarked from a plane, You are the other side of the world (wherever that may be for you.) On arrival into this country, you realise the language is unknown to you. 
The culture and customs are unknown to you. The food, traditions, smells and temperatures are all different, strange; unlike anything you have experienced before.

At the Airport you find that you know one person. You know and trust this person, They have a full understanding of this place. They understand how to interact and converse with the locals, how to order food, find the toilet, and organise a place to sleep. You have no money, no phone, and no language book.

After making you feel a little more secure about being in the unknown, and completely inferior, the person you know disappears; with no way for you to contact them.

You do not know how long the have gone for, or if they are even coming back. This person is the only constant you can 'cling' to. It would be understandable at this point that you would feel anxiety. (some people would use this as an opportunity; to explore and find there feet, merely go with the flow.Whereas others would pine, worry, stress and even cry at being alone; in the unknown.)

Your baby is in a new world, he/she doesn't know language, or routine, he/she does not realise that we have things to do, or that when you are away you are not the other side of the world.

His/her one initial form of communication is to cry, if he/she is anxious and upset. You are his/her food source, his/her comfort, warmth and longest memory. You carried this baby into this world, you are the protector, provider and stability.

Being a parent should not be a battle of wills, but that of trust and understanding.

Trust is learned and developed, and by leaving our babies to scream and cry to 'prevent' them being 'clingy,' we are abusing our 'power' and their trust. It is inconvenient to have a 'clingy' baby, yet if we could change our perception, on what 'clingy' is, then maybe it would be easier to deal with. Instead of thinking"my baby screams whenever I put them down" we need to realise the counterpart, which would be that "my baby is much more contented and secure when in my arms."

Having a baby that is more content in your arms, than anywhere else, surely cannot be negative?

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Honesty, Anxiety and Procrastination - An honest and personal introduction to change in 2015

This is my introductory blog post to 2015.

 Yes it is February, and indeed I am late on the bandwagon, but here I want to explain why that is, and why I am taking the time to post something that people likely will not read... as this is soooo last month; in a world of instant information.

I am a procrastinator, to the bitter end, I would find a reason not to do this now, if at all, if it wasn't that I am consciously deciding to take a hold of my life. If I don't write this post, and if I don't publish it (who knows whether I will or won't,  at just a few lines in) I will not have anything to answer to, when I continue not to succeed at a simple task. 
For a bit of background, I am a 'new' mum. I gave birth to the most wonderful light to my life in 2014, and I adore just everything about him. I could talk about him for hours and pages alike, yet this one is about me. 

Before I had my little bundle of love, I spent most of everyday worrying what I was going to 'do with my life,' where it was going, and how I could change it; to be 'fulfilled' and 'happy.'  It's not that I was unhappy, more that I felt I needed a purpose, to do something 'worthwhile.' 

I suffer with anxiety, like so many, and these daunting thoughts of the future filled my head to tipping point on a regular basis, causing me large amounts of stress, leading to ponderous procrastination. 

I acknowledge I give myself too many options, look at too big a picture and unnecessarily worry about both the significant and insignificant aspects of my life. I have a head full of ideas, a mind map of spider diagrams and flow charts, all conversing with one another about potential pitfalls of any given situation, solution or suspicion. 

Giving birth was a near death experience - literally, but it gave me the most wonderful things ever. It gave my beautiful child; but it also gave me a beautiful outlook. I relish every waking moment we breathe, every smile, laugh, cry and temper; because we are here, living, breathing and happy. I am truly happy, and likewise fulfilled. I am the happiest, most contented and fulfilled, that I have ever been. For this I am very lucky. I have a beautiful baby who is blossoming everyday into his own little cheeky character, with bags of personality, giggles and babbling,  and in all honesty, all I really want for the year, and years to come; is to be as content as I have been so far, since the moment he arrived and we were both safe and well.

 Unfortunately, I cannot afford financially  to sail along so swimmingly as I have done so far. Maternity leave is coming to an end, and all the uncertainty, apprehension and perplexities leave me vexed about the future.

 I spent part of the Christmas holidays crying that life had to change, as for the 'first time in forever,' (Might be quoting FROZEN there - he loves it) I had found what I had been looking for, and now it has to change. 

Of course this is looking at it negatively. This isn't one of the worlds greatest disasters, but it feels catastrophic to me, time running out,  decisions not yet made, and no-one else understanding my sheer trepidation of things to come. This transitional faze, is exactly what I said, a transition, not the end, nor even the beginning of a destination,  yet it causes my stress levels to soar; high and out of control. 

Some things are clear to me, the things I do not want, but as for what I do want, I am struggling, as all I really want to do, is make memories and protect what I have. I don't have a flash car, or own a home,  I work to a budget and shop in 'Poundland;' but I am content. 
I 'am' a lot of things, in regards of abilities- I'm a singer, hair and make-up artist,  artist, designer, photographer, writer, blogger (dare I say youtuber) amongst many, many, other things. There is a list a page long of what I 'can' or 'could' do, yet the list of what I do, 'do' is considerably smaller. I spend the time I could be 'doing' worrying, tormenting, stressing all the while in an anxious rut, about what I 'should' 'do.' 

What is the most sensible? What is enjoyable? What gives me the most time to spend with my baby? Does this one give me something back emotionally? Could this one could go the distance? Is this the one which might last long enough for me to decide on something else?What availability does this have for progression? Who else is doing it? Is there room for me? What if it doesn't work? What if I fail?  BLAH BLAH BLAH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS OVERLOAD!

Someone please give me 'the wheels on the bus' on repeat, a sleepless night and a cup of cold coffee. I'll think about it another day...

I now, before even making my point about how I plan to change this cycle, worry about posting something so personal, and how it will be perceived if read by anyone. Yet I also feel there must be others out there in very similar boats, and I think it needs to be voiced, and needs to be out there, if we expect to change. I am a great one to working to a deadline, I may be last minute . com but I am reliable and a hard worker, and thrive on 'triumph' and 'success.' In fact I once described myself as a glory hunter, seeking out opportunities to be 'great' as it made me feel good. Now I see a slobbery smile and feel elated. 

Getting to a very long winded point (cathartic as this has been) I didn't post any New Years resolutions.  I am not the largest fan of setting myself goals I will likely not accomplish. Disappointment and I don't get on so well, so normally I don't make a point of setting myself up to potentially feel low, guilty and inadequate. (Boy am I aware of the pre-emptive  negativity. ) This year however, I feel it is the only way to fight off the anxieties, and accomplish things.

I intend to set myself small do-able tasks. Not long vague to-do lists IE. 'Set up my own business, more like ''Write down 3 blog post ideas' or 'Write a pro's and con's list for XYZ.' 'Make that dentist appointment' and 'Send an email to ___' 
This was an idea I picked up form watching one of Alex Beadon's youtube videos. and it inspired me to just 'get on' with creating this post. Rather than wait until I had something to say, that people wanted to hear. This is my itsy-bitsy fragment of Internet after all?

I want to focus less on the the big picture, and more on the simple baby steps that lead to bigger things. The one vague thing I am adding to my list however is, to: Nurture my little piece of Internet

I say nurture, as another way to say 'not neglect.' This Blog and my Youtube channel are ways to keep a journal of of our little life, and I look forward to looking back fondly with nostalgia on the wonderful time we are having. Sometimes I am enjoying a moment too much to take a photograph, or enjoying the sounds of his babbling and infectious laugh too much to pick up a video camera, but the thing I am most scared of is forgetting. I do not want to let unnecessary self made stress, impact on the incredible adventure ahead of us.
 I hope to post some monthly 'To do lists' or video's or somehow let you know where I am 'at,'  maybe I will or maybe I'll wait until Next month....