Friday, June 20, 2014

Toodle-oo suckas.

I've had this thought in the back of my mind for a while. Since the ectopic pregnancy, I guess. I suppose you could say when I lost the pregnancy, I lost something else (a fallopian tube and a couple pounds, yes but something else too - I'm trying to keep this light so please be kind)... my love for writing? No, it's not that. My love for blogging? I just woke up and realised that I didn't really care for it much anymore. I woke up and everything changed, I thought differently and wanted different things. Sounds a little dramatic doesn't it? I was convinced I wasn't going to wake up though, remember. Facing your fear does funny things to your brain.


But it wasn't just that, I thought about if I would want to read back what my Mum had to say about me when I was three. The truth is, I wouldn't. And then I worried that all these demons that have been dug back up through CBT would have an effect on the way I write things. I don't want to come across as bitter because I'm not. But I'm juggling a lot of emotions these days. Should totally have been American, I do keep telling you (in a New Jersey accent).

To cut all this short, I realised that I didn't want to blog anymore. The world of blogging is no longer what it was and I don't enjoy this new world, it isn't my cup of tea.

When I started over three years ago, I knew very little about blogging. I just wrote what I thought. Turns out for the first few months it was mainly sweary, angry things about being pregnant. I read them back sometimes and cringe, but that's the point isn't it? I've learnt a lot, especially by documenting my journey through parenthood. I've made some amazing friends across the world, had so many wonderful comments (I never was great at replying - sorry) and only one negative one (apparently Lil gets sick because I never breastfed... hahahahaha... dickhead). It's been so wonderful to know that I'm not neurotic (well, not completely) and that something I thought only I was going through actually happens to others. Who knew we all went through the same thing?! Oh how clueless I've been!

She can roll her tongue... my job here is done.

I've worked with some great companies, had the pleasure of writing about some bloody brilliant Mums and have even been nominated for awards. It's been so amazing.

I'm not going to delete this blog though, especially if it can help another potty training Mum who is pulling her hair out because her child just doesn't get it. Or a lonely parent suffering from anxiety. And maybe one day Lil will stumble upon it and use it against me when she's going through her teenage angst phase*. Who knows?

If you want to keep up to date on what's going down and if I'm still saying what you're thinking, find me over on Instagram. I'm yesimcharlotte. **

Please know that I am so grateful to everyone who has read my blog and supported me. I love you all, even if I don't know you. And if you've come across this blog looking for huge mum tits, you've come to the wrong place... you pervert.

Farewell you bunch of lushbags xxx

P.S you can still email me about stuff if you want. Or not. Up to you.

*Hey, Lil, if you're reading this... you weren't a complete asshole. You were definitely lovely a lot of the time but, y'know... you were an asshole a lot of the time too. But I loved you more each day and I love you a million times more now. Now get off the internet and go do your homework. I love you.

**Please note: If you're family, I wont accept your request. I like to keep my Instagram account free from judgement. And yes, I do mainly post pictures of myself drinking wine. So now you don't need to follow me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CBT and I hate you's...

The other day, I was bitching about how hard 'three' is when a friend said 'I don't know why people talk shit about two, I liked two.' And looking back to when Lil was two, I agreed. Tantrums dominated that age for a long time but it was a great age in general. Three is just a piece of shit.

I've found three particularly hard these past few weeks, she tells me she hates me and I think it back. She's spiteful and enjoys pushing me to the point where I snap and scream at her and then she lashes out some more. It's really starting to worry me and I feel quite upset at the way we are both behaving.

I've started having CBT sessions once a fortnight and it's involved talking about my relationship with my Mum. From about the age of 12, my Mum and I clashed and it was only once Lil was born that we put our differences to one side and started again. But up until that point, it was a very fraught relationship. And speaking about it has brought up a lot of unwanted anger and anxiety. I'm anxious that Lil and I will have the same relationship that I had with my Mum and I think I'm directing my emotions at my daughter, unintentionally. Could there be a link between my emotions and her bad behaviour? Is she picking up on my anger and reacting to it by being naughty? Hitting me and telling me she hates me.

I don't want to fuck my child up, let alone fuck her up by the age of four. Just writing about this is making me angry, angry at my parents. Anxious that Lil's dad and I will make the same mistakes my parents did. Worried about her behaviour.

I dug out 'Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children' and searched through to see if I could find an answer to how to deal with this rebellion on Lil's part. I love that she is so headstrong and independent but she's constantly pushing my buttons and whether or not my emotions are to blame, I need help and quick. Sarah Napthali says 'We delude ourselves that we can think our way out of a problem or we see it as a matter of finding the right person to advise us. We become beggars for our problems, asking numerous people for an opinion. So often, we refuse to relax until a problem is fixed, only to discover that our inability to relax was most of the problem.' 

I think my problem is that I am so anxious for my relationship with Lil not to turn sour that I am constantly trying to control her behaviour. Control her feelings towards me. I don't like it when she's angry with me, I don't want her to hate me. Perhaps if I relaxed a bit, she would stop lashing out at me so much. I need to stop letting her behaviour bother me as much as it is and not analysing why she's naughty. She's allowed to be angry, just as I am. I'm always telling people not to bottle their emotions up, why should it be any different for her?

It seems I have a lot to work on. Parenting is hard at the best of times but when you're dealing with a lot of unwanted emotion it really does test you. And three, oh three, you bastard. I'd take two again any day.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Sun: Green People

As someone with sensitive skin I've always found it hard when looking for a sunscreen that doesn't piss my skin off and isn't factor 50. And then Lil was born and I found it even harder. The thought of putting chemicals on her skin makes my blood run cold and because of her eczema (which has kept at bay for a while now), I've always opted for 'green' products for her. And what I use on her, I use on me too.

When Green People got in contact asking if I'd like to try their organic, fragrance free children's sun lotion, I bit their hand off, not entirely happy with the suncream we were currently using.

Formulated for young skin, this sun cream is not only calming and soothing, water-repellent and suitable for sensitive skin (allergy or eczema prone skin and for sufferers of prickly heat rash), it's also rich in antioxidants and skin vitamins to protect and feed the skin from the outside in with rosemary extract, avocado and myrrh. Perfect UVA (skin damage) and UVB (burning) protection.

With every tube of Children's Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF25 sold this summer, Green People will donate 30p to The Marine Conservation Society, a national charity they've joined forces with that's dedicated to the protection of our seas. A brand with a conscience.

My only concern with this sun cream was that I wasn't sure if it would protect Lil as much as the factor 50 cream we'd been using. Green People answered this question for me: When protecting children in the sun, it's always tempting to go for the highest SPF. A common misconception being that an SPF50 offers twice the protection of an SPF25. This is not the case. Properly applied, an SPF25 lotion offers 96% protection against UVB rays, while SPF50 offers 98% protection against UVB - a marginal 2% difference.

A wedding in the sunshine.

Making the most of the heat (which was short lived, naturally).

I tried to find fault with this cream, really tried, and failed. We both wore it at a wedding we went to and again at the beach the next day and on a hot and sunny Monday. It does what it says on the tin, I can't praise it enough and it's definitely replaced our old suncream which left Lil's skin oily. If you're looking for a sun cream for the summer then I highly recommend this one. And what's great is that they sell a smaller version which is perfect for your bag or for them to take to nursery or school.

They also sell a huge range of other products too, go check them out here.

A huge thanks to Green People for sending us this fab product to review. As always, all words are my own and extremely honest.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Potty Training: when there are haters.

Since Lil was 18 months old I've had people asking me when I was going to start potty training her. When she's ready. Well she's intelligent enough, perhaps you should start now. Perhaps you should fuck off. I got it from everyone. Parents, in-laws, friends, family, strangers.

Then she turned two. We tried it, she was having none of it. Two and a half, no thanks Mum. Three.... nah, nappies fo' lyfe. We'd talk about the potty (Disney Princess, of course) every day. She picked out the pants she wanted, decided on the presents we'd buy her once she started going, she had it all planned out. And then, a few weeks after her birthday she just sat down and did a wee. HALLELUJAH!

I didn't push it, just asked her casually if she needed to go. Sometimes she would, other times she wouldn't and that was fine by me. And then last weekend, after we got back from a wedding, the nappies disappeared. Oh Mum, that means I'm a big girl and I can go on my potty all the time! The deal was no nappies unless at bedtime and if she needed to poop.

It's been five days since she started wearing pants in the day and she hasn't had an accident (yet). Poo's are saved for nappies right now and that's ok, she's doing a great job and I don't ever want to push her at anything (I mean, we don't like being pushed into anything do we?). A few people have voiced their opinions but I've just rolled my eyes and let it go over my head and I like to think my attitude to everyone elses' opinion is why Lil seems to be swimming through this whole change.

I started to panic a bit once she turned three but that was mainly due to others and their judgemental attitudes but both my Nan and my great, great Aunt told me to ignore everyone and just go with the flow. So I did.

I'm no expert on this whatsoever, but here are a few tips I found helpful if you're thinking of starting potty training or if you're starting to worry your child will start school in nappies (1. I had that same worry and 2. it does happen)...

Don't listen to anyones advice unless it's positive. Seriously. Everyone has an opinion that they're entitled to but it doesn't mean you have to listen. You're the parent, listen to your instincts.

Don't even think about trying it unless your child is showing signs of being ready. Looking back, it wasn't until just after her third birthday she was showing signs of being ready. The other times were just stressful and upsetting for both of us. It isn't worth it.

Don't go by others kids. If little Johnny down the road was potty trained at 1, well good for him! And if your niece was dry by two, ain't that lucky. Every single child is different and they will develop at different stages. Some can count to ten by their first birthday (apparently) and others are walking at 10 months. So what, concentrate on your own kid. I know other Mums can turn it into a competition but fuck them. Do not let them or anyone else make you feel like shit.

Bribery works. We have a chart for wees and poos. She wasn't bothered about the small presents for every time she went (kinder egg, smarties, whatever - a friend told me that five small chocolate bars a day are nothing over such a short period of time and she's right) although she was partial to three kinder eggs the other day. She is far more interested in the swag she can accumulate once she hits the orange box. Make it worth their while.

Try, try again. If you think they're ready and you try and fail, leave it a few weeks and try again. It doesn't hurt and you may find that next time they pick it up quickly and easily. And make it fun, it doesn't have to be a chore!

Good luck, don't stress... and fuck the haters.