Simply Parenting – Sleep Patterns

Oops, kind of forgot I had a blog there! I will be continuing this series next week with a post about screen time. Thanks for reading, Aisling


‘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

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Striking a Balance

If you are like me, you start out every day with the best intentions. I will not shout. I will smile at all times. I will prepare tasty and exciting meals that the whole family will enjoy. And so on.

Plan this..

Plan this..

Then begins the reality of feeding the kids pasta pesto again (because it’s the only meal they all eat), losing the plot over something inane followed by huge guilt for same, and the hassled rushing from school to activity. And as usual, we give ourselves a hard time for ‘failing’, once again.

...feel like this.

…feel like this.

We need to stop beating ourselves up needlessly and recognise all the good we as parents do every day. So in the same way that the food pyramid helps us keep a healthy and balanced attitude to how we eat, why not think of parenting in the same way?

Let’s consider putting things like routine worrying at the top of the pyramid and put cuddles at the bottom. I reckon if we try to make sure that we do as much from the bottom half of the pyramid and as little from the top end of the pyramid on a daily basis that family life can be healthy, balanced and better than okay (and I can stop giving myself a hard time)

My parenting pyramid would look a bit like this:

Parenting pyramid picture



Why not try it yourself?

How would your parenting pyramid look?  Comments welcome!

Thanks for reading


Guilt-Free Quality Time :)

I need reminding of this today, has been a busy couple of weeks so pretty much zero one to one time! Then again all time with the children is quality time.


20130929_161247 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…

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Summer Lovin’!

I have been invited on to The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk on Friday morning to discuss my thoughts on summer camps. This post from the archives is what prompted the invite. Hope you can tune in 11.25am!


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 allI 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…

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Why Not?

From the archives. Trying to avoid saying ‘no’ all the time!


Persis20120704_175353tent and repetitive questions from our children can often result with the default answer of ‘no’ from us, their parents. Well that’s often the way it is in my house! ‘no, you can’t watch just one more cartoon!’, ‘no, I am not buying you sweets!’ or ‘no, we are not going to the playground!’ It gets to the stage where I feel like I am saying ‘no’ all the time! In fact, I have been known to say no before the question is even asked. ‘Mum, can I go upstairs to…?’ ‘No!!’

         I am fully aware that the more we say ‘no’ to our children, the more we are inhibiting their ability to open themselves up to new experiences, and more importantly to learn from them. Negativity breeds negativity. An instant ‘no’ limits the opportunity for conversation. When I looked at it like this…

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Bringing Baby Home :)

From the archives : My cousin gave birth a couple of weeks ago, after chatting to her sisters today I got all nostalgic about those early, cosy days. I also remember how scary and unsure I felt.


20120429_141112When you have your baby you just cannot wait to get home!

You are filled with longing to be snuggled up at home with your new family.

So once you say goodbye to the midwives and the maternity hospital and get your precious little bundle home, close the doors behind you and sit down with a cup of tea ‘the fear‘ sets in….

What am I supposed to do now?

Who thought I would be an appropriate person to steer the course for this helpless little one?

HELP, I am simply not ready for this!!!

I remember our first evening at home,watching television, myself and my partner kept looking over at the moses basket in the corner and saying ‘There is someone over there you know?’ Gulp.

So first things first!

Yes it is scary but it is also exciting.

Yes you are filled with doubt but you…

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Best Post

Irish Parenting Blog Awards 2015O.K. it is virtually impossible to remain humble when you are touting yourself for award nominations, and trying to select the best post you have written. It is also impossible to choose. A few of you have kindly nominated me for the upcoming IPB Awards but you have also asked for suggestions for the best post category.


So I have listed four below that I either particularly enjoyed writing or received the best feedback on!

Breast is Best! (If it came with instructions)

Nurturing Children’s Self-Esteem

Bad Mothering

Hug It Out

So have a look-see and please let me know which one you think is best.

If you feel like nominating me or anyone else for that matter, then just click on the lovely nomination picture on the top right! Simples 😉

Thanks as always for reading and for supporting me!


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