Self-care. Urgh. Those 2 words. I hate them. I can (almost) literally see them dripping with guilt, oozing with indulgence and selfishness. I hate it when people bandy about the term, telling us that we must practise ‘self-care’ with the underlying accusation that we aren’t enough. We aren’t doing enough. We’re doing it wrong. Whatever that ‘it’ is.
When I applied to train as a BabyCalm & ToddlerCalm teacher back in 2013 I was apprehensive, I didn’t feel like I ‘fit’ or that I was a a good enough ‘gentle parent’ to do this. And without the encouragement of one of my best friends, I wouldn't have gone. Her opinion mattered to me and because she thought that I was 'enough' I took the leap and applied.
When I arrived at training I was terrified that I was inadequate & that I everyone would think I was a fraud, rubbish at this parenting lark & certainly not good enough to go out and 'teach' other parents but I was eager to learn more, if not to teach but for myself and my son.
A preface to this post – I am talking here about babies who do not have a medical need to be weaned early and who are not under the care of a medical professional
‘Aha!’ many people might be saying, ‘Those are clear signs that she needs food! Milk isn’t enough for her any more! And she’s so interested in watching you eat, she’s desperate to do it too!’
You may have seen various news articles being published today and over the weekend in regards to the number of infant deaths 'caused' by co-sleeping. What we are actually talking about is bed-sharing (parent & baby sharing same sleep surface) rather than co-sleeping (sharing the same room for sleeping).
Whilst these figures look alarming and our heart and support goes out to every single family that has suffered from the loss of their baby, it is important to remember that the cause of SIDS remains unknown and in the case of those babies who sadly died no-one can confirm that bed-sharing was the cause of their death.
Our aim is, and has always been to provide parents with evidence-based information so you are empowered to make safe, informed choices for you and your baby. So how can you keep your baby safe and stay sane?
The way we parent truly fascinates me. The way our brains are wired to react in situations & why; it's so interesting!
The more I hear about people’s parenting experiences as a child, the more I feel incredibly fortunate. I am fortunate because my mother parented me in such a compassionate & empathic way, and because that’s what she thought was right, because that’s how her mother had treated her & my uncle - because that’s what she knew and it felt right. Growing up I have a very patchy memory but I do remember my childhood being filled with love and adoration! I was always treated as a valued member of the family and when I was a teenager we would always ‘talk it out’ and compromise - I always felt listened to and respected. When I became a parent, my parents joined me on my journey, always eager to learn more, discover different ways and the reasoning for it - they were fascinated! My mum even bought ToddlerCalm to read one year whilst she lay on a beach and couldn't stop telling me about it.
Parenting is such an emotive topic, a rollercoaster but the best journey I’ve ever embarked on and I’m blessed that I’ve been able to take my parents along for the ride.
This is my story of how I came to parent the way I do. There will be more from us on this, hear different consultants tell their story.
Danielle Heap - Director of Community -CalmFamily CIC
So your little one is growing up, and you think it might be time to put them in the next stage car seat, but when is the right time?!
Here are some guidelines to help you to make that transition from harness to seatbelt;
In Car Safety Centre
Winstanleys Pram World
The ERF Mission
Rear Facing Toddlers
Tonight I am filled with joy, pride and sadness for tomorrow as my daughter starts pre-school. She turned 3 in December and has been asking if she can go to pre-school, just like her big brother, for months. Until now I have been putting it off, of course she could have started at nursery sooner but I just didn’t want her to – selfish? Maybe! But I wanted to keep her with me as long as I could.
She’s as fierce and as adorable as you could imagine a 3 year old little girl to be. She is confident and independent and unstoppable but has the most pure, sensitive, kind soul. Tomorrow it feels as though I am loosing a little part of her, tomorrow it feels like I have to finally share her with the world but I am happy, happy that other people get to know her, get to embrace all that she is and all that she loves, maybe they’ll also get to experience her unfaltering love too.
I’ve done this before, I’ve been through all these emotions before with my son but this time it feels new, it feels raw! And that’s because it is, because our relationship is unique. It’ll feel different, it’ll be different but that’s okay!
So, if like me, your baby (whether your first, second or third) is starting pre-school for the first time, feel those emotions and know that it’s okay! It’s okay to feel sad, to feel joy, to feel excitement for a break but sorrow for the time you are loosing with them.
Solidarity Mamma 👊 Let’s do this together!!