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Posted on 31 May, 2015

Image from Cameron Kim Jones

This week I regressed to being a very needy teenager looking for likes, shares and nice comments so I could feel nice about myself. You come to a point in your life when you consider yourself reasonably well adjusted to life. I thought I had reached that point. I was well and truly wrong!  This week I became a guest blogger for a week on herfamily.ie and lost leave of my senses.

I am only on my fifth sentences of this blog post and I have already checked twice, YES TWICE to see if anyone else has shared any of the posts I wrote. Despite the fact that this week has been a very busy week and that we are still in the middle of potty training(best not to ask!)  I have squeezed in a peak at their website in every available moment. I was obsessed with the number of shares the posts I wrote have received. Funnily enough I am not concerned about the posts that only have a handful of shares. Instead I am fully fixated on the article that I liked best . When I finished writing “A toddler’s guide to handling their parents” I was really happy with it. When I sent off all the articles to herfamily.ie I was only confident about that one.

However as soon as it was posted their site, I started to freak out. For 12 hours or so only 8 people had shared it. I was obsessed with how low I felt this figure was. I felt riddled with self doubt. This had been the one I was pleased with it, I considered that one the best and no one, bar those 8 people, shared it. I pressed refresh so many time I think my computer wanted to shut itself down and refuse to indulge this possession. Any molecule of pride I felt in the article before it was published imploded when I stared at the number count of how many people liked it.

As the week has gone by I have calmed down considerably.  But I’ll openly admit I was looking for a “wow the internet loves me” kind of  reaction. But as the hours of the first day rolled on I lowered my standards to looking for just at least more than ten people to say they liked that!

When people did start sharing it that wasn’t enough either. “Ohhh it’s gone up to 22 shares, great, but  hey 34 people like the one with the eggs”

Once it reached over a hundred shares I started to worry that it was stuck on 120 when another peoples posts had much more. That’s the problem with relying on social media for your kicks, it’s never enough. There is no end to it. Now at the end of the week I’ve finally figured that this numbers game is a fools game. There is no magics number of shares or likes that equals happiness.

It’s not a nice feeling to feel so needy and it made me think that of all the energy I put into worrying about something that in the long scheme of things really doesn’t matter at all. When I look back on this week I’m much more likely to remember the small bursts of  hope I’ve felt when  potty training went well than I am to remember when some stranger shared an article I’d written.

As the week has gone on I’ve tried to bring myself back to being a some what sane adult person again (the bar was never too high to start with!). I’ve been trying to remember how I felt when I finished each article. Even the one with 5 shares. I was pleased. I had put time aside to write and I had met my deadline and I had articles that still sounded like me but fit their bill. I’m sticking with that feeling and trying to ignore the needy teenager and, for today, that’s actually working:) Tomorrow of course I’ll storm off to my room after I get my nose pierced!

You can read all the articles here if you’d like, it is a Sunday after all:)

A TODDLER’S GUIDE TO HANDLING THEIR PARENTS

10 MILDLY RIDICULOUS THINGS NEW PARENTS END UP DOING

MAKING NEW FRIENDS: PARENT AND TODDLER GROUP SURVIVAL TIPS

THE QUIRKS OF IRISH PARENTS: COMPETITIVE SYMPATHY

The Real cost of being a stay at home mum

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5 ways to spot a potty training parent

Posted on 21 May, 2015

Cartoon found here.

 

Please excuse two parenting posts in a row but since we are in the middle of potty training my craft and thrift life has come to a full stop.  I’m sure all will level out in a while but for this first week stalking Ewan’s movements has become my full time job. Despite the fact that it’s going quiet well I have become possessed by this task!

All I can say is if you meet a parent in the middle of potty training and they emit an air of insanity try not to judge too harshly. It is unlikely that you’ll be in doubt when someone is potty training their child because whether your a stranger or a friend they’ll probably tell you ALL about it.

However, in the case that you meet a rare breed of parent who fails to disclose their potty training task here are 5 tips to help you confirm that they are in fact Potty Training Parents.

1) Agoraphobia- Once a social being the Potty Training Parent now suffers from an irrational fear of leaving the house. Suspicions about their children’s behaviour increases dramatically when surrounded by fabric-covered seating and carpet. New environments are seen as dangerous and often avoided in favour of military-style planning of visits to familiar surroundings with toilets known to them.

2) Their house will smell heavily of Dettol and anti-bacterial products. While their children’s clothes will become stiff with Napisan.

3)  If the Potty Training Parent is in too deep you will hear the swish swish of their darlings bodily fluids as they approach carrying their portable potty.

 

Image found here.

4) Lack of concentration. The potty training parent regularly suffers from a lack of concentration. In mid-sentence they will be distracted by the fact their child is out of view, has bent down, is quiet or has changed their facial expression. When this happens it is best not to try and communicate with them. Allow them to study their child’s facial expressions, posture and demeanor. Once satisfied they don’t have to rush to action they will continue their sentence or at the very least start a new one.

5) Looping questions. Children tend to identify this trait in their parents first. Once their parent could talk to them about a large range of topics,unfortunately the Potty Training Parent temporarily loses this ability.  Looping questions of “Do you need to go?” “Are you sure?” “Will we just check anyway?” are key signs that a parent is in full training mode. This repetitive nature is expected to abate in time. We ask for your patience, normal conversation will resume shortly (hopefully!)

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Being a mum for two years

Posted on 15 May, 2015

I’m pleased to announce  the thrilling sequel to the post ” being a mum for one year “, that’s right you guessed it (or read the title)  “Being a mum for two years”!!

Time between the first and second year time accelerated. On Ewan’s first birthday everyone said that time had flown by. I thought that was some kind of joke. Everything was so new, exciting and daunting  I felt the whole first year passed slowly. This year I actually agree, time is whizzing by. In a year Ewan has gone mobile and became a chatterbox filled with stories of monsters hiding in shoes. Where once the days were filled with naps now the weeks have become  filled with activity. In the space of a year I’ve watched him stretch, wiggle and spin his way from baby to a fully grown toddler.

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It turns out raising a young toddler is a whole new learning curve. Having never spent much time around children until the last two years I have only just figured out that toddlers are insane! They have so many emotions in an hour there is no way to tell which personality they are likely to show you from the time you go into a shop to the time you come out. Every single toddler I have met can swing from distraught, to deliriously happy in a nano second. But despite the mayhem, or maybe because of it, I have to admit, I’m a total toddler convert. As much as I loved the squidgy baby cuddles this new phase is all the better. He can interact more, make me laugh, make himself laugh endlessly, tell mad stories  and melt my heart with a “Wuv you mammy”. It’s the craziest, most frustrating, most bizarrely hilarious time I’ve had since becoming a mum.

When I looked back on the post from last year lots of things are still the same. I still talk about poo a lot, I am still  less clean overall than pre- Ewan, I still will do anything for a laugh from him and we still think he’s an absolute legend, most of the time!

But one thing that has completely changed is that  significantly less people want to kidnap him. In fact I can’t think of one person who has said it recently. As a baby there were constant threats from strangers of “aaahhh look.. I want to just whisk him away with me” and ” oh I want to sweep him up and run away with him”.

Now, not so much. He is still pretty adorable so that can’t be why the kidnapping threats have decreased. My sense is that the decrease is due to practical issues.  The fact that he is likely to run off  regularly and his continual requests for food would make kidnapping logistically  challenging to say the least. It’s just as well too because our little man is the giggly soul of this house and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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