Simply Parenting – Sleep Patterns

‘Is he sleeping through the night yet?’; ‘I need coffee, I was up half the night’; ’sleep deprivation is the worst!‘

When it comes to parenting, one of the biggest features of rearing our children is sleep. How much should they get? How do we settle them? Should they share the bed with us? Should they share a room? When should we transfer them to their own cot? How often should they nap? Why won’t they sleep??

Nope - not sleepy!

Nope – not sleepy!

Then we compare ourselves to other parents. ’I would never let my child in the bed with me, she is mad.’’ I would never let my child cry for a minute, let alone cry themselves to sleep. Self-soothing is a form of torture‘! The blame game continues on and on.

So let’s get back to basics. No matter what your own personal outlook is, the fact is that children really need sleep. They need a lot of sleep. Sleep is crucial to their growth, brain development, physical development and general well-being. Often when our children are not sleeping well, it is because they are over-tired or are caught up in the running around that is part of everyday life, and so we need to stop making excuses and start parenting up!

'Then she said, see you in the morning' 'Too funny!'

‘Then she said, see you in the morning’ ‘Too funny!’

Every child is different!

However, when a baby starts on solid food (usually at around six months), they no longer need feeding during the night. I know that we like to think that the baby should decide when they want to stop night feeds and this is true up to a point.  Still, once they are eating solids and getting their nutrition during the day, night time is when they need the chance for precious sleep not milk. It falls to us to help our babies learn how to sleep through the night. Bringing them in for a quick comfort feed just because you missed them during the day, or because it is too tiring trying to settle them in their cot when you are getting up to a full day’s work the next day, suits us parents but is not the best practise for the sleep deprived baby.

 

They can catch up on sleep during the day!

I have often said as I watched each of my babies nap peacefully during the day, after I have been up pacing the floors all night ‘ isn’t it grand for you, you can sleep whenever you want’. Again, napping is crucial to our babies’ development but it does not replace the valuable sleep that they need during the night. Letting your baby ‘catch up’ by napping for longer during the day will not help them sleep at night. Another thing we do is reduce their nap times  to ‘tire them out’ in the vain hope that they will fall into a deep restful  12 hour sleep  – then we pull our hair out wondering why they will not sleep. An over-tired baby finds it very hard to get to sleep.

My child is a bad sleeper – I’ve left it too late!

Not true at all and there is a wealth of advice out there to help you encourage your child to develop healthy sleep patterns. There are volumes of books on getting children to sleep and a myriad of methods out there. I recommend the recently published Irish sleep expert Niamh O’Reilly – ‘No Fuss Baby &Toddler Sleep’,(available on Amazon) as she talks a lot of sense! Choose a method that fits in with your lifestyle and parenting beliefs, and then be consistent.

The key things to remember are:-

  • Do not make excuses
  • Change sleep patterns if they need changing
  • It is never too late to start
Encourage them to do this so...

Encourage them to do this so…

Knowing that a large chunk of our children’s happiness and well-being is based on them having a good night’s sleep is reason enough to put in a little hard work to encourage them to develop healthy sleep patterns.

..they will have  interest in doing things like this, and...

..they will have interest in doing things like this, and…

..this.

..this.

I am taking a few weeks holidays but will be continuing this series when I get back with the topic of ‘Screen Time’.

All comments and feedback very welcome.

Thanks for reading

Aisling

Baby Number Two, Will I Love You?

Growing our families can sometimes be the cause of quite a bit of stress and anxiety because we genuinely don’t know if we can love anyone as much as we love our first born. The good news is that yes we can! However, don’t worry if you don’t experience that overwhelming instant gush of love that you had when you met your first-born. It is completely natural and normal to feel, well, a little put out to be honest. I found the pull away from my first born incredibly difficult and it took a lot of getting used to!!

Best friends and playmates!

Best friends and playmates!

I discovered I was pregnant with my son on honeymoon. I was indeed a little put out, having spent months dreaming of long lazy days on the beach sipping cocktails of EVERY possible concoction. I didn’t exactly embrace the ‘virgin’ variety quite as much, never mind the nausea and tiredness that go along with those early days (of pregnancy not marriage). I also felt put out because my husband had been made redundant only a fortnight before the wedding and so the extra cost of a family of four was worrying. I was mostly put out because, already feeling horribly guilty about abandoning our daughter for our honeymoon (see? cocktails would have been handy!) now here we were replacing her with a new baby! Oh yeah, thoughts spiralling out of control and then some, but I was allowed – I was pregnant.

Well we ended up having a lovely honeymoon – my husband who doesn’t drink very obligingly drank cocktails in my stead – we figured out our finances and knew we could manage on my salary a while before we hit a balance of €0.00 and so I settled down and embraced my pregancy, high blood pressure and all. The one thing I could not shake was the feeling that I was letting my eldest down. I sought reassurance from all my friends with more than one child, and they all said you will be fine. Then after a pretty tough, long labour my beautiful son was born. I was so happy to have him safely delivered into my arms… and then I instantly started to compare him to his sister. Surely she latched on straight away (she didn’t), she definitely didn’t cry this much at night (she surely did), wasn’t she more snuggly then this? ( NO my daughter didn’t ever enjoy a cuddle unless she had such a high temperature that she couldn’t physically resist one!). I very much went through the motions in hospital, and due to having had GH, I was kept in for three long days. My husband would come and visit me and regale me with tales of funny things Caoimhe was doing at home, I smiled and nodded thinking ‘great and I am stuck in here with this fella who won‘t do anything I want, whilst you get to have fun with her’.

First meeting could have gone better!

First meeting could have gone better!

Finally the day to go home arrived. I was bringing Conan for his BCG (which they still did while you were in hospital in those days), when my husband and a young lady walked up the corridor. I did a double-take, no TRIPLE-take before I realised that the young lady in question was my two year-old baby that I had left at home four days ago. She was completely over-awed by the hospital and so was in terrible form – needless to say, her first encounter with her baby brother was awkward at best! Nevermind, at last we were going home, a healthy family of four..yay. However, the first two weeks at home were anything BUT yay. Why? Because, while I was struggling to breast-feed (which is in itself a full-time job), I was also trying to show Caoimhe that nothing had changed, when of course it had. My husband tried to give me as much rest as possible so he took her to the shops, out for walks or up to her grannies to give me a break. A much needed rest that I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be the one stuck to the bed and the baby, I didn’t want to be the one that needed minding. I should be minding her! I couldn’t seem to shake the thought that by introducing a new baby we had somehow ‘broken’ our family.

We didn’t break our family, of course we didn’t – we enhanced it enormously. When I see how close Caoimhe and Conan are, and how much fun they have together, I can’t believe I ever doubted we would be a happy family. When I look at Conan in all his earnest thoughtfulness and fantastic sense of fun, I am overcome with love and pride. So how did I get from there to here?

  • Talk – I told my husband exactly how I was feeling, over and over again and he (not being the hormonal mess I was) reassured me over and over again.
  • Join forces – I invited Caoimhe to help me as much as possible with Conan. I encouraged her to sit with me while I fed him, I let her mammy him while I mammied them both.
  • Be honest – I did miss the life I had before Conan. I accepted that was okay and once I did that I began to enjoy life with Conan, to such an extent that I can’t really remember life before him without the aid of photographs.
  • Know your limits – I gave myself a very stern talking to. I had to rest, I had to have a break from them both when I could, or I would have done myself some serious damage, both mentally and physically.
  • Give it time – remember that having a baby is incredibly demanding. Of course you can’t do everything you did before the baby! However, with time to rest and acclimatise, I promise you will I promise, get back to feeling normal.
  • Accept help and company – the value of these should not be underestimated.
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Minding her baby bro!

 

I definitely found the transition from one to two children tough. I didn’t suffer from post-natal depression which I was checked for a couple of times at my own behest. So please believe me when I tell you that you will be fine – you can and do love all your children, not all in the same way, as they are (thankfully) not carbon copies of one another. So how does having number three compare? Not a bother – by then you realise that growing your family is in fact enhancing your family!

I love hearing your thoughts so please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading

Aisling

7 Year Old Birth Story

Here is my birth story which I wrote for Easy Parenting magazine, hopefully, if it cuts the muster it will appear in the next issue!

DSC00020I have three children with very different birth stories – epidurals, natural labour, inducement, marvelous midwives, casual consultants, giggling, screaming and crying. However I am going to start at the beginning, 7 years ago, when by eldest was born.

By the time she was conceived, myself and Paul had agreed not to get married but to start a family. Like all first-time parents, we kept being told to enjoy our freedom before baby was born and so we booked a weekend away for the start of February. Paul surprised me with a marriage proposal whilst there, and I accepted very tearfully (hormones you know!) In celebratory mode, we arranged an engagement party a couple of Fridays later. We went out with all our friends and had a great night, leaving the party around 10.30pm as I was feeling wiped.

The following morning I felt rotten, had mild tummy cramps and was generally feeling unwell. That was the weekend my (always procrastinating) fiance was painting the nursery with my future brother-in-law. ‘Christ’ I said to him, ‘this pain is unreal. How the hell am I going to cope with labour in a few weeks?’ I stayed in bed and let the lads get on with it, getting out of bed every hour or so as moving around helped with the ‘tummy cramps’.

That afternoon, my sister Tara came to visit and keep me company, but discretely was timing my cramps. ‘So you’re getting these pains every 25 minutes.. do you think you might be in labour?’ ‘Of course not’ says I, ‘sure I’m not due for another three weeks. Reckon I just overdid it last night.’

Tara (a homeoepath) headed home to get some remedies that might offer me some relief. Paul left to drop his brother home. And that is when I had a show! Crap. I called Holles St. and they said ‘sure come on in’. I called Paul and said ‘get home’, and called Tara to tell her she might be right. And then this wonderful calm descended. I hopped into the shower and made myself some toast whilst Tara and Paulie rushed around gathering up everything and telling ME to hurry up.

That was the day of the historical Ireland v England six nations game in Croke Park, so the roads were very quiet. We hightailed it into Holles St, timing my contractions. We were admitted quickly and upon examination (1 cm dilated ) brought straight to the delivery suite. The contractions were as bad as I expected but I didn’t know you had to wait for them to get really bad before your epidural was administered. Probably the worst part of the whole experience was trying to keep still during a contraction whilst the anaesthetist delivered the wonderful, calm-in-a-syringe that was my epidural. Staying still during a contraction is virtually impossible!!

It was plain sailing from there on in – I drifted in and out of sleep, chatted to Paulie, listened to the radio, whilst our wonderful midwife worked constantly and quietly in the background. Then she said ‘Ok it’s time!’ Paulie grabbed one leg, I grabbed the other and after only nine minutes of pushing, my beautiful, healthy, baby girl was born. She was put straight onto my chest for skin-to-skin, and I fell in love immediately, whilst delivering the placenta I watched Paul hold her with the most amazing look of wonder on his face.

All that was left to do was call work and tell them I wouldn’t be in!

My brand new baby girl! :)

My brand new baby girl! 🙂

 

Hope you enjoyed my story.

Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below,

Thanks for reading

Aisling

 

Breathe Through the Fear…

 

Protectiveness is one of the strongest instincts we have as parents. We would walk over burning coals, fall out with friends and family, and literally take a bullet to protect our children. Have I mentioned what I would do to someone who harmed my children in any way before? However, over-protecting our children is not good. In doing so we are stifling our children’s instincts, possibly to detrimental effect.

 

From the moment they are born, children are curious about the world around them and do everything instinctively. This can be scary to watch as they wobble trying to sit up, teeter between sharp-cornered furniture whilst learning to walk, and climb sheer heights on unstable home-made towers of anything that comes to hand. Just terrifying for us who know that they could bump their head, cut themselves or possibly break a bone or two if they fall – but brilliant for the children that are allowed to follow their instincts as they will learn and develop as nature intended.

 

I thought I was pretty relaxed in my parenting. I generally let my children figure it out for themselves, with a few ground rules in place. I take them on walks along unprotected quays, safe in the knowledge they will not run lemming-like for the edge. I have taught my eldest daughter how to light candles and handle sharp knives. So far so good, right? However, I recently went to Powerscourt Waterfall with a friend, and realised I am not as ‘zen’ as I imagined. As she let her children galavant about the lake, I was anxious. I took a leaf out of her book and let the children navigate the lake on stepping stones – they got stuck here and there but, as they were left to their own devices and allowed to follow their instincts, they figured it out (and had a ball). Worst case scenario was that they would have gotten a little wet, which they also did!

We're fine Mum!

We’re fine Mum!

I recently read an article about a playground in Wales where parents are not allowed in, and I must say I was cheering reading it. That playground seems so extreme to us but what it is really doing is allowing the children to hone their instincts and figure things out for themselves. Invaluable lessons that will stand to them their whole lives. So what are the signs that we are being over-protective with our children? Here are a few examples I have come accross in my twenty odd years around young children:

 

  • Putting a crash helmet on your baby when they start moving about and learning to sit, stand etc. I have seen more than one infant donning a bicycle helmet during these times. Yes of course they will not get that bump on the noggin but, guess what, they need that bump on their noggin to learn how to do these things. They will of course learn these things eventually anyway but the children who didn’t get the bang or bump will be less likely to avoid future possibly more serious injuries..
  • Cutting up all their food into teeny tiny pieces. Seeing babies gag and splutter as they are learning to eat can be scary but they are instintively gagging and spluttering so as to avoid choking not because they are choking. Whipping the food out of their mouths and cutting it in to teeny tiny pieces is hampering their ability to learn how to eat properly and can create bad eating habits to boot.
  • Sterilising every toy, cup, spoon and surface they touch to prevent germs. Good hygiene is of course important but so are germs. Exposure to everyday germs is necessary for them to develop good immunity. I am not saying inject your child with a dose of salmonella, but no-one ever died from the ‘five second rule’ either.
  • Not allowing them out of your sight, at home. Once your house is pretty much child-proof ie: chemicals and harmful objects out of reach, front door and high windows locked (and unreachable), cords and wires out of reach, and so on, give your child a little freedom. Allow them to play alone in their room or the garden for that matter. Keep an eye out of course but don’t constantly watch them. They cannot develop their own independent instincts with an over-protective parent hovering at all times. We have all heard stories of children who have suffered accidents (sometimes even fatal) and their Mum only left them alone for a minute, but I truly believe if you allow your children to learn how to go about their own home and garden alone they are less likely to suffer a bad accident then the constantly watched child left alone for a moment.
  • Following them around the playground, and lifting them on and off every toy. Playgrounds are designed with children in mind, particularly nowadays with the soft surfaces and rounded edges. Let them climb up and down their chosen toy alone! Children really need to learn their limitations when it comes to physical activities and they WILL NOT learn if they are not allowed to. They may well slip and fall, they may even break something or worse still suffer from concussion but they will have learnt their limitations at an age when they can heal quickly and move on. If you lift a child up onto an inappropriate toy that they can not climb themselves, then you are doing them a lot more harm then good.
  • Not allowing them to get dirty. No brainer – a child playing outside in the dirt is happy! They are using their imagination, developing their creativity and most importantly are having fun. The germs don’t matter – get them to wash their hands before eating but a little dirt under the fingernails is a good thing!
  • Keeping them away from water. Be it the sea, a pond, fountain or pool. Water is dangerous and drowning can happen quickly. Rather than keeping them at a safe distance at all times encourage them to touch it, paddle in it – teach your child about the dangers of water by letting them be around it under your supervision as opposed to keeping them away from it at all times. Splash water on their face in the bath, dunk them, let them splutter and realise how unpleasant it is so that they hone their instincts and learn from it.
  • Never lighting a fire! Children have a natural curiosity when it comes to fire but they will feel the heat long before they get close enough to touch the flames and their instincts will kick in to tell them this is dangerous stuff. That said never leave a child unattended around an open fire, they wont purposely touch it but accidents happen and they could fall in.
  • Not allowing them to run, jump and climb! Children do everything at top speed and no they don’t see the dangers that we as adults do. However, they will learn about the risks from their grazed knees and twisted ankles pretty quickly. They will not learn the dangers if they don’t get the opportunity to do so, and this could lead to far more serious injuries when they are older.

     

    Let them climb. Even if it terrifies us!

    Let them climb. Even if it terrifies us!

I am sure there are lots of other examples of over protecting our children but these are a few that I have witnessed and done myself! Protecting our children is a basic instinct that we as parents follow – over-protecting them is something we have learnt from fear, but it will do our children a lot more harm then good in the grand scheme of things.

 

What do you think? I love any and all feedback so please put any thought or comments below.

 

Thanks for reading,

Aisling

 

Summer Lovin’!

Summer Camps are brilliant. Particularly if you work ‘outside the home’ and have this long stretch of time to manage. There is an amazing variety of activities from drama to religion (if that is your bag) so you can plan your summer with less stress and more choice than ever before. In fact, I don’t know how professional parents would cope without the variety of summer camps out there.

However, as a stay-at-home mum, I don’t ‘do’ summer camps. One of the things I LOVE about the summer holidays is the fact that there are no rules – we are at nobody else’s beck and call, we don’t have to be anywhere at a particular time, and most of all I don’t have to make packed lunches!!

Summer is all about unwinding and relaxing, and I truly love having the children at home with me. Yes, of course they drive me up the walls and there are A LOT of hissy fits (including theirs..) but even with all that I still love having them about.

20130822_163120

Trips to the beach!

 

I got myself into a bit of a panic recently – everywhere I looked, there was information on summer camps – on social media, in the newspapers, and in leaflets that were constantly coming in through the letterbox. Most of my peers were booking their children’s summer camps; just a week here or there to give some variety. Was I causing my children to miss out by not sending them to camp? The main reason I gave up work was to spend more time with the kids so it really goes against the grain with me to sign them up for a camp. I swallowed my panic and made a list of all the things I plan on doing with my guys during the summer. So here it is:

 

  • Send them out to the back garden to play!

 

We will also do lots of things like taking trips to the beach /playground/park, walks, a little gardening, a little housework (emptying the dishwasher and putting away clothes for example), visiting friends and family, playing games together, going on picnics (somehow I don’t view making a picnic in the same dastardly light as making school lunches), browsing for some books at the library and stopping off here and there for the occasional ice-cream. However, outside of these plans, I will revert to my list and

 

  • Send them out to the back garden to play! 

We might even spend some money on day trips to town, or to the zoo or the farm. Make a journey the whole length of the DART line, or go on the LUAS to a secret destination (aka The Dead Zoo), but these will be one-offs and in the meantime I will revert to my list and

 

  • Send them out to the back garden to play!
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Fun times out the back 😉

 

So if you are struggling to come up with ideas of how to entertain the children over the summer holidays, and the thoughts of picking home-made playdough out of your carpet for the forseeable don’t appeal, please feel free to make use of my list! I appreciate not everyone has a back garden but the local green or park will equally suffice. My general point is that we dont have to farm out our children or fork out lots of money to create magical summer holidays.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Aisling

 

I love any and all feedback please leave any thoughts or comments below. 🙂

 

The ‘First’ I Miss!

 

20130228_105539

Laughter is the best medicine!

I took down the stair-gate last week… for the very last time…ever. Woo-hoo!! We are a growing family of five – growing UP, that is, as opposed to growing in numbers. My baby is two – she was two a couple of months ago, but in my head she will have just turned two until her third birthday. In fact, it kills me that I can’t refer to her age in months anymore (believe me I have tried saying she’s 25 months old, but even to my ears I sound ridiculous). It has taken me at least two years to accept that our family is complete (my husband knew two years and nine months ago!!) but for me it took a while. So I am currently mother to a lovesick seven-year-old, a five-year-old who has just recovered from a fractured arm and wants to do everything at full speed, and a two year old who corrects me every time I say ‘baby girl’ by telling me she is in fact ‘not a baby’. Hence I have taken down the stair gate. Not only can she navigate the stairs with great ease, she is growing up FAST. So the timing of fellow blogger‚ The Busy Mamas Linky‘ tales of parenting moments gone by’ could not be more appropriate. It has given me an opportunity to indulge in a little self-soothing nostalgia about the good old days, when I could legitimately call my babies ‘babies’!

 

Becoming a parent brings with it a barrage of ‘firsts‘ – some are awful firsts (worry, limited sleep, teething, worry, high temperatures, nappy rash, and did I mention worry?…), some are simply wonderful firsts (grasping fingers, the smell and feel of incredibly soft skin, hand-curling-around-the-neck cuddles, first words, first steps..) but the ‘first’ that I know I would never tire of is the sound of their very first self-aware,“that was funny“, giggling, bubbling, chuckling, laugh. There is plenty of laughter in our house – always has been, and I hope always will be. My first born makes me laugh with her wit, my son does slapstick like no other and as for the ‘baby’, well, toddlers are just funny! However, whenever I need cheering up, all I need do is think of the first time I heard them giggle with joy, and instantly I am smiling. It catches me unawares every time, but that first laugh brings more than just a feeling of joy. It not only lets you know that your baby is happy, but it also brings with it the awareness that your child is developing their own little personality and thoughts on life.

 

A baby’s laugh is so genuine, so unaffected, so contagious and so heartwarming, it is addictive. I have spent countless minutes nay hours trying to recreate whatever scenario gave them their first laugh, be it a funny voice I used once, or a silly-dance-and-fall (he laughed at the fall not the dance). Sometimes they will give you a charity laugh, sometimes your efforts will be received with mute stony silence – like the aforementioned time I tried to recreate the dance/fall – but sometimes, and this is worth any amount of effort or pain, the laughter will escalate and you will both end up breathless, in tears laughing uproariously!

 

So there it is – the first laugh – that is probably my very favourite ‘first‘ of parenthood, and although I will not experience that again, I can’t wait to spend a good chunk of the rest of my days laughing with my growing family of five. Why not check out some other firsts that will be missed by clicking on this link!

Once upon a time

Thanks for reading and please add any thoughts or comments below.

 

Aisling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guilt-Free Quality Time :)

 

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Creating memories

As parents we can often spend hours (and sometimes sleepless nights..) feeling guilty about what little time we spend with our children. We live in a society where there is a massive emphasis on ‘quality time’. I don’t know how many parents I have met over the years who stress about trying to fit in an hour per day per child! Seriously – as if the stresses and strains of every day family life weren’t enough to be getting on with, we find another level of angst to add to our ‘quality family time’!

Ok, so let’s stop stressing and putting ourselves under all this pressure – the truth is that children don’t always need one-to-one attention. They have basic needs such as food, clothing, heat and good toilet facilities. (Although boys often choose to do without the latter!) They also need love, support, consistency, fresh-air and guidance. If we get some spare time whilst doing all this, then by all means let’s have a bit of quality play-time but there is seriously no need for the one-to-one!That’s not to say that it can’t be very enjoyable to get some time alone with one of our children – of course it is; but in the reality of our busy modern lives, it really is not something that merits as much emphasis as it seems to have gained.

I am the second youngest of five children and can probably count on my hands the amount of times I had Mum or Dad to myself. I was only telling Mum the other day how strong my memory of shopping for my communion dress is – yes the dress was amazing but the reason I hold that memory dear is probably because it was just me and Mum. A pretty rare occurence. “So”, I hear you say, “there you go – proof positive that one-to-one attention is vital!” Eh – No. Yes it is a nice memory, but the rareness of the occasion is what made it so special.

I am a stay-at-home Mum who does not feel the need to give her three children individual one-to-one attention. If I tried to factor that kind of time into the day, it would end up being a massive hindrance in my already hectic days, and the ‘quality time’ would just be a ‘box ticked’ more than an enjoyable, memorable hour with my child. Now don’t get me wrong, I give them my attention all the time – I answer their questions, share in their jokes, comfort them when needed, help them to understand the whys and wherefores of the big bad world, and encourage them to play, be it together or alone but generally unassisted by me. There are also times during the day when one will get more attention than the others, such as assisting with homework, reading a story or having a quick cuddle on the couch, but these are moments and not to the exclusion of the other children in the family. So when I hear other mothers stressing themselves about spending time with each individual child, it breaks my heart to think of the pressure they are putting themselves under.

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Hanging Out!

That said, there are natural organic occasions every so often where as the result of a nap or an activity or play-date that I find myself alone with one of my children and having spare time to enjoy it!! Just last weekend, my eldest was on a tour with Ladybirds and my youngest was having her nap, so my son got not only me but his father to himself. He was chuffed to bits with himself – my son that is, not hubby. However, we didn’t build a rocket out of disused cardboard boxes or make a camp under the table – we just hung out. (We make rockets etc when the others are about so as to spread the workload.:))After about half an hour though he began to wonder where his siblings were and when they would be home. “Enough already with this one-to-one malarky” he was probably thinking! There are, of course, occasions when one of my children needs a little bit more tlc than the others such as starting school, recovering from an illness or just being a bit down in the dumps; on these occasions, of course I make space to spend some time just with them.

So I guess what I am suggesting is to try taking the stress-inducing one-to-one time out the equation and having more realistic expectations for yourself. Being a less stressed and more relaxed parent, and spending quality time as a family is absolutely invaluable, and can be done just by eating a meal or going for a walk together. Save the one-to-one for when it really matters and give yourself a break!

Thanks for reading

Aisling

P.S. I love feedback, please write any thoughts or comments below!

 

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