parenting, Uncategorized

How Could I Bring My Child Into This World

The tragic incidents which affected and killed many in England recently, really struck a chord with me. One incident especially where children were targeted horrified me. How can you attack innocent children? What could they possibly have done to deserve that? And how could I bring my child into a world where things like that happen?

The increasing hatred in this world fills me anxiety for the future, my son’s future. Will there be more attacks? Will ‘they’ come to Edinburgh? Will attacks become the norm here? I pray they won’t.

The hatred attempts to divide us, our communities, we can’t and shouldn’t allow that to happen. If there’s anything I can teach my son, it’s inclusion and kindness. Include and be kind to everyone. We must remember these people are a very small minority and the world is a pretty big place. There’s a lot of good around.

Before having my son, I wouldn’t allow it to affect the way I live my life. But with a child thrown into the mix, I’ve felt that change slightly. The thought of putting Oliver in an unsafe situation unsettles me, but in the real world, how do I know what an unsafe situation is? Getting into my car and driving the same road daily, could potentially become an unsafe situation, who knows when and where hatred will strike.

The future is unknown, I have no way of controlling it and I refuse to allow such a tiny minority of brainwashed cowards to dictate how I should live my life; in fear or with reservations. With recent events in mind, the feeling of community is extremely overwhelming, showing solidarity and resilience to such terrible acts of violence. I hope humanity holds on to that.

I hope this world becomes a more positive place, I hope we manage to funnel out the extreme negativity, and although I will not shied the hatred when the time comes, I will do my best to show and have Oliver experience, the good. The beauty is there, sometimes you just need to look that little bit deeper.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London; and all over the world.

Natalie x

Advertisements
lifestyle, parenting

Fairy Trail Archerfield Walled Garden | North Berwick

One of our favourite things to do is explore the outdoors. Oliver loves being able to run free and collect treasures and at Archerfield Walled Garden, he can do just that.

The grounds and surrounding areas are beautifully kept, the cafe offers a lovely range of food and drinks and it won’t be difficult to pick something up from the deli and shop. You can enjoy sitting outside on the benches whilst your little ones play in the enclosed play area.

The trail leads you past several willow structures for kids and adults alike to explore and play. You can tie your ribbon, purchased from the shop, around the wishing tree on your way to the fairy trail.

The magic begins with a little red door for the children to enter and begin their search for fairies. Unfortunately, no fairies have been home whilst we’ve been there, but we’ll keep looking! As you follow the trail, you find out who lives behind each door and what their jobs are. Oliver gets so excited running up to open the fairy door to check if someone’s home. The magic and excitement of it all in his face is truly wonderful to see.

I would definitely a visit whether it’s to enjoy the fairy trail or a dog walk in the woods, there’s something for children and adults alike.

You can find more info here on the Archerfield Walled Garde website.

 

Natalie x

 

lifestyle, parenting

Briarlands Farm | Stirling

As fellow parents will understand, I spend a lot of time outdoors with my son Oliver and we are always on the search for new places to visit. We decided to meet up with friends at Briarlands Farm in Stirling, about an hours drive from our home in Edinburgh.

There are plenty activities to suit all ages and although we were there almost four hours, we didn’t see half of the park – but that’s the norm for us parents of toddlers! The farm boasts wide open space for kids to let off steam; jumping pillows; toddler trike tracks; sand pits; feeding the animals using feeding tubes and tractor/trailer rides amongst others. You can even meet some of the furry animals throughout the day.

Here’s some photos from the day:

Cred: @raimonda_days

Cred: @raimonda_days

Some activities and animal feed bags incur an additional charge (around £1 each), but with the low entrance fees you can’t complain. As Oliver is under three years and therefore free, I only paid one adult at £5.50!

We enjoyed a quick coffee and scone in the cafe whilst the boys played in the soft play. The cafe offers a soft play climbing frame as well as a large kids area filled with toys, play equipment and books. It’s free to play in the inside play areas – another perk. Oliver allowed me my full hot cup of coffee as he was having so much fun – result!

I would definitely recommend this farm to friends and it should go on your must-visit list.

We are always looking for new places to go, please leave your recommendations in the comments below!

Natalie x

 

lifestyle, parenting

My Priorities Have Changed

The second Oliver was placed in my arms, my life changed. My outlook, priorities, everything changed. I no longer wanted to rush into a career, all I wanted was to be a stay at home mum to my beautiful son.

Becoming a mum has most definitely given me a sense of purpose. I’ve been at home with Oliver for two years now and I’m honestly loving every minute of it – even the challenging parts. To me, there’s nothing in comparison to seeing first-hand your baby grow, achieve each milestone and experiencing new things together. Being at home with my child is extremely important to me and I’m so lucky to be in a position that enables me to do that.

My decision to stay at home attracted mostly positivity but I have had some negative comments along the way, mainly surrounding my future career. The way I see it is I’m only twenty-five, I will no doubt be working way past my seventies, probably eighties! so I have plenty time to find a career. For now my main priority is raising my child.

Every parent is different, some work some stay at home, we do what we feel is best for our family. I will never understand those who judge other parents decisions on the subject. How can my choice of staying at home to bring up my son be such a negative? From where I’m standing, there’s absolutely no negative.

Apologies for such a sporadic post, but I needed to vent. I’m interested to hear if anyone has encountered negativity with whatever decision you made; whether it be staying home or working. Us parents have a lot of guilt as it is, without other people adding to it. Do whatever works for you and your family, that’s all that should matter at the end of the day.

 N x

 

lifestyle, parenting, Uncategorized

Seeing the World through a Child’s Eyes

There is something quite invigorating when you slow down to view the world from a child’s perspective. I am a mother to a 1.5 year old crazily beautiful toddler, who keeps me on my toes and opens my eyes and my heart every single day.

As someone who battles anxiety, my world can be tainted by stress, over-thinking and sometimes sadness. Heck, life for us all can become heavy; it’s easy to forget the beauty in life’s little treasures.

This blog post came about after I suddenly realised that my son finds everything so innocent and intriguing. And how different my world could be, if I viewed life as if I were a child myself. Oliver points out birds, planes, trucks and “busy yellow diggers” daily and yet, they never stop amazing him. We took a walk through the woods and my son collected twigs and stones for one whole hour; every twig and stone was a triumph and deserved an ‘ooh’, ‘ahh’ and ‘wow’ of its’ very own.

Within the last few weeks O has become interested in our cat Millie, he speaks screams (lovingly!) at her, cuddles and kisses her and every dog we meet, he has to stop and give them his full attention.

His confidence to make friends with children he only met two minutes ago, and bond like they’ve been friends forever, completely melts my heart.

The fact that an empty cardboard box and pots and pans can gift endless amount of entertainment.

The way he roars with laughter when I flick his rubber duck into the bath, over and over again. How he smiles, is so content and finds joy every single day.

Becoming a parent has opened my eyes to what truly matters in life, for myself and my family. It has taught me to slow down and live in the moment, instead of becoming bogged down with things that are quite simply – out of my control.

Spending time with loved ones has become more important to me, as time can be pulled from under us without notice.

Beauty can be found in the ugliest parts of our lives, you just have to look for it. It has taught to me to stop dragging the past alongside me; I must let go, in order to move forward.

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child gives you a total sense of freedom and a new lease of life. It is teaching me to rid myself of anxiety, to stop over-thinking every minuscule detail and enjoy life.

Thanks little man for making life so much brighter.

N xx

lifestyle, parenting

When Mum&Toddler Gets Sick

For the past week I have been suffering with the cold/flu/whatever this horribly testing experience is. I’d like to say I’ve been suffering in silence, however, that would be telling a lie. Although, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it that much…

We’ve had a pretty bad week with illnesses in our house; most importantly O had a minor case of bronchiolitis which thankfully cleared pretty quickly. I used every method known to man, maybe one of those many things worked or his immune system is stronger now to fight infections; I guess we’ll never really know.

Of course my number one priority is my son and his health, so I get up every day and my undivided attention is on him for those 12 hours. It can be exhausting when you’re under the weather, whilst caring for an unwell toddler. Yes we can spend most of our day at home, but as mum, you are constantly seeing to your children and constantly on the move. I am in no way complaining, I love being a stay at home mum. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do so and I honestly love every minute, even the hard ones. But in that moment, it is tough.

O has had lots of sleepless nights; I’ve had sleepless nights when O’s managed to sleep soundly, as I’m worrying incase his breathing is out of control; I’m worrying he’s going to wake up and I might not hear him; I’m worrying about worrying.

O&I have enjoyed lots of close time this week which is a huge positive. We’ve read loads of books, sang lots of songs, we’ve had lots of cuddles and he’s generally been very clingy; which has been lovely. If you have a toddler you know they rarely sit still for more than five minutes! I’m looking forward to the start of a new week. I’m so unbelievably tired but I hope we sleep well tonight and enjoy lots of outdoor time. Although O was up last night, I have my fingers crossed that we are both starting to feel better; O certainly looks like it which is great!

I’ve found this week extremely testing physically and emotionally, the house has taken a back seat and it’s beginning to grate. I find myself becoming irritable so I am pushing my sore head and sickness to the side and going to do some housework. I’ve had a lazy day and it’s time to restore some order! Here’s to a better week filled with productivity and positivity. We are done with being sick!

blogpost

How do you get through sick days?

N xx

parenting

Bronchiolitis – When It’s More Than Just A Cold

Last month Oliver caught a really bad cold, he was sniffling, coughing and just generally feeling under the weather. We didn’t get much sleep at all for three nights. But when your baby is unwell, you just switch to mum-mode, you don’t really have time to think about sleep deprivation! O is such a little trooper when he was unwell, he played with his toys, ate and drank normally and we stayed in our pyjamas most of the time and watched movies together.

His cough became worse over the fourth night, it was hoarse and sounded so sore; he was up a few times during the night and I ended up taking him into the spare room with me. When we woke up that morning, I took him downstairs and got his breakfast ready as normal. He was in the living room where I could see him watching Peppa Pig and I kept hearing a noise. I thought it was the TV at first, then checked if the extractor fan was on but it wasn’t. It was actually O wheezing.

I gave him his breakfast and it was still niggling away at me, but he started playing with his toys, running around the living room – just acting like his normal self. About fifteen minutes passed and I thought this just isn’t right. I thought about taking him to A&E but I always feel like I over-react in general, so I phoned our GP and got an appointment within the hour instead. I expected to leave with an “it’s normal, he’s just got a cold’, so when I didn’t get that, I went into complete shock and ended up breaking down in tears.

By the time we got to see the doctor, O was breathing so heavily that his ribs were protruding between breaths. I’ve never seen anything like it and to happen to such a small person was terrifying. Being told your child is struggling to breathe is just not nice. I was told to take him immediately to The Sick Kids hospital.

When we arrived, he was examined and given a nebuliser which administers asthma medication. O freaked out and he screamed and wriggled about every time the doctor tried to cover his mouth with it. I had to hold his arms and body down so she could cover his mouth and nose with the nebuliser. Seeing your baby like that is not pleasant.

15356062_10208970115988720_424222418_n
Nebuliser with inhaler attached.

Thankfully O got better over the following few hours, he was more exhausted than anything else. We were sent home a while later, with an inhaler to administer over the next four days. It could have been a lot worse, luckily O didn’t need to be admitted and he recovered very quickly at home. I wish I’d known more about the signs and symptoms, as I may have headed straight to A&E, so here’s a few things to look out for if the situation should arise with your children.

14591709_1478562025494049_7493268409282989137_n
After a cuddle with Daddy, O fell fast asleep!

Bronchiolitis is a common lower respiratory tract infection which affects babies and young children under 2 years, and has the same symptoms of a common cold. After a few days other symptoms can appear – fever, wheezing, difficulty feeding and a dry persistent cough.

What I learnt from the experience is a mother knows best and should trust her instincts. I’ve not had a bad experience (thankfully not many!) from The Sick Kids in Edinburgh (fortunately only a few visits); they are always so helpful, lovely and I have never been made to feel that I am wasting anybody’s time. I presume all children’s hospitals are similar, well I’d like to think so; who wouldn’t want to help a sick child?!

You can find information on the NHS website about treatments, symptoms and what to do if you’re worried about your child. Definitely go with your gut – it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Kids do love to frighten us, but thankfully my baby was okay – and that’s all that matters!

 

Listen to your parental instincts, we’re not wrong very often! 

Natalie x