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      31.07.2012 17:37
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      hard work but worth it

      I have two children 1 girl (aged 4) and a boy (just turned 1). After the shock to the system after the first child and getting full nights sleep again we decided we were ready for number two. Our thinking was it simply be a repitition of what we'd experienced before. Boy were we wrong (excuse the pun)! When we were first made aware of 2nd little angel the doctors told us he might have down syndrome so right from the off the stress began. We just assumed, i suppose, like a lot parents that everything would just go to plan especially considering number one had been 100% healthy and a great sleeper. He turned out very healthy but having researched down syndrome to prepare ourselves my admiration and respect for parents of children with DS syndrome is so high. Once he was born we quickly discovered the world of reflux (constant vomiting for those not in the know) and then discovered he was also allergic to cows milk. We virtually tried every remedy available but eventually got to a stage where we had to avoid all diary products and give him two tablets a day. For those of you havent done it, it can be close to impossible to give a baby tablets. The major problem with all this was that the youngest required so much attention that number two got somewhat neglected and being, previously, an only child was a bit of a challenge for her and us. But she has been a brilliant big sister and loves her little brother dearly. We never had a problem with jealousy but with her wanting mummy and daddys attention when we just couldnt give it. The biggest problem came at night time, the little one would wake up the big one. So no sleep at all and he was a terrible sleeper with the heartburn and empty stomachs from the vomiting. All the books say when your baby sleeps you sleep. You just can't do that with two and she's not old enough to understand mummy and daddy need to rest. Babysitters also become less willing and I dont blame them, two children is so much harder than one. The difference in the two children has also amazed us. I think we assumed because they came from the same gene pool and had the same upbringing they would be very similar. How wrong could we be. They are polar opposites. One liked to sit and read books and generally study things the other simply wants to investigate everything in 2 seconds and then move on. one was timid the other is fearless (to his own detriment sometimes). Having said all this, although it has been tough for the first year with a lot of getting used to new schedules, routines and roles things have started to calm down and in the future I imagine having two will be easier than 1. I know some people will find 2 children (and even more) a lot easier but for myself it's taken a while to get used too. I wouldn't change it for the world and wouldn't have it any other way. The joy I felt when they each were born is second to none and the smile and love I receive from each child every time I walk through the door is priceless. It's an unending, unconditional love that nothing else in this world can ever match!

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        02.03.2012 00:13
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        don't stress about getting it right

        Being a parent is doing what is right for you, your child and your family.
        Whatever you want to believe, or might believe, no parent is perfect, each and every one of us make mistakes infact we often get things wrong.

        Being a good parent I believe is about instinct not about doing what the books say, I have never read a parenting book but I know what they say and I know what they advise (ok I have read a few articles). I know what is right and yes the books tell you how to do things but in reality it is hard to stick to what the experts say. -
        Don't pick your baby up straight away when they are crying
        Leave them to cry for 5 minutes at bedtime
        Don't give them a dummy
        Don't give in to them
        Don't let them into your bed at night
        etc etc

        Well being a good parent is about loving your children, spending time with them and listening to them.

        I do believe though as a parent you have to set rules and stick to them however hard that might be. Children need to know you care enough to set the rules and stick by them. They can be simple ones when they are young; but if you don't set and stick to some when they are young by the time they are a teenager you will have no chance at getting them to do what you want no matter what.

        Children have to know who is boss so to speak. For example my youngest has been being a pain at dancing for the last 3 classes tonight I asked her 'do you want to go' she did I even asked if she was going to do it with one of her sisters friends that helps out and not mess; yes she was. Oh no she wasn't, she then expected me to watch because she decided she wanted to watch. I explained I wasn't going to watch some children that I didn't know and we should go home. She ummed and arred about going in so I took the decision away from her and told her we were going home . I also told her she wasn't going dancing tomorrow (I had explained if she messed me about she wouldn't go before hand). She kicked off saying she was going etc and I had to explain that maybe she wasn't old enough to go dancing if she was going to do what she had so we would look at it on Tuesday if she behaved. She isn't happy because she really wants to go tomorrow but I have to stick to what I said or she will mess me about any time she feels like it.
        I explained I don't care if she goes dancing or not but don't mess me aboout.

        As a parent there is going to be lots of things that you have to compromise on. Some people don't believe in this with children but I do and it can make life easier. Pick your fights does it really matter if they don't eat that last piece of carrott when they have eaten everything else I don't think it does. You need to find what is important and what isn't.
        From an early age children have their own personalities so help develop them and don't automatically think your way is right because after all children are just small adults that can think things.

        Being a parent is the best feeling you can ever have but if you are stuck on your ideas of what should happen then it might not be as enjoyable as you want it to be. It is not an easy job and I don't think you should do everything your child wants but even at toddler age you can compromise without bribing. I don't agree with bribing for recreational things like dancing, if the child doesn't want to do it don't make them, too many times I have seen mums with 2 year olds say you won't get your chocolate if you come out of dancing again or if you don't do the show you don't get chocolate. If they don't want to do it don't make them.

        Do what you feel is right no matter what other people say and what the books say. As long as your child is safe and it is the best thing for your family chill and enjoy your children.

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          28.09.2011 22:36
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          couldn;t ask for something more wonderful than being a parent

          when I fell pregnant with my first son I was ecstatic, I threw myself into reading all the books on pregnancy what to eat and not to eat, about the birth and what to expect after. I had the idea in my head that my baby was going to fall into this perfect routine, not have a dummy, be exclusively breastfed and sleep through the night by 6 months YEAH RIGHT he wasn't structured at all, he didn't breastfeed well and ended up very poorly with mastitis, to which went to bottle feeding, he was also a very suckley baby after the one day of endless crying my mum said "try this" it was a dummy I burst into tears and felt such a bad mum, all the books had told me that my baby was to be a certain way and he wasn't, but you know what I never looked back, my son was a happy content little boy once I calmed down and followed what felt right

          I have since had a second son and have thrown away those silly books away, I had a relaxed pregnancy and I feet so calm now, I know with number two, you have more of an idea, of what you are doing, but I followed my instinct and have managed not to pull out any of my hair in a big frazzled mess.

          Having the two boys, one is 2 the other 6 months, so they are close in age, is a big challenge, some days it feels like its just nappies and bottles but when I see them playing and smiling with each other it makes it all worth to know what I'm doing is right for me and my boys.

          so don't feel like you are not doing right just because someone else does it differently let your maternal instinct guide you trust me it will be right for you and your family

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          16.04.2011 20:16

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          i love being a parent!!

          Nowadays, routines, sleeping patterns, feeding times etc are all things that parents seem to set in stone. For me, i work around my daughter rather than work her around me. She is not in a routine and never has been, people say thats bad, but in reality, we are in a sort of routine.. she wakes every 3 1/2 hours for a feed, has breakfast some time before 11am, lunch between 12am and 3pm, and dinner between 5pm and 7.30pm. there is no set times with her as she often doesn't like to be set a routine.

          at night she'll fall asleep by herself and even if she lays there awake, she'll just get on with her own thing, like playing and attempting to crawl, she never cries unless she's hungry, tired, in pain, or can't reach a toy.

          every baby is different, but mine loves her cuddles, kisses and when i blow raspberries on her tummy. :) (which we call play time when she wants to come out.) .. she loves rolling around in her cot and playing with her toys instead of being in the living room and always has a smile for us.

          Routines have been proven to NOT be benifical to babies, so most doctors don't say anything if you say your baby isn't in a routine. Angel already has her personality and thats 'take each day as it comes' .. Of course, bonding and contact with your baby is ESSENTIAL, but who's to say, that babies DON'T need time to be independent?

          i would rather personally have a independent baby, who appreciates the time we have together and laughs and smiles when she sees us, rather than a baby who wants to be on my hip all day - but thats me! most parents LOVE the feeling of there baby being clingy, but as soon as Angel becomes clingy, i give her more independent time. :)

          there is no right or wrong to how you bring up YOUR baby. things are too much strict nowadays. go with how you feel, you'll know whats right and what suits your baby. :)

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          14.02.2011 18:18

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          love your family with an open heart always x

          It is so easy to get lost in day to day grind of work, housework, cook the dinner, feed the dog, go shopping and the list goes on...it is understandable to not be able to REALLY see our children and to focus on how wonderful they are in each given moment. I have a beautiful 4 year old, 2 year old and a newborn baby girl of 10 days and i make a conscious effort to remind myself every day to enjoy each and every moment, no matter how mundane or even ordinary, as one day they will all be grown up with lives of their own and you can look back at the memories that you have made with happiness/sadness/regret. Make it memories of happiness and start that today:)

          Imagine a tape rolling forward really fast and you have adult children coming to visit you, what will they look like and what will they be like. If you keep a vision of what you would like your family to be like in the future start making it happen now - the time is now!

          So if you have any beautiful angels at home, go and give them a big kiss and a hug and tell them that you love them x they are the most important things in your world x

          Patience, perserverance and determination with an unconditional heart is all you need x

          Enjoy your family and most of all have fun:) x

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          13.09.2010 20:04
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          Once in a life time job

          Being a parent

          Wow what a subject. It is so hard for any parent to advise any other parent as to what ot do for the best, that is impossible. There are no books that can give you the "right" answer, but only guide you through what the author believes is right.

          In my view, and being a parent of two girls, now 14 and 11, with a fantastic wife, is be yourself, use common sense, stand firm in any decision you make, even if it is wrong, keep your mind focused on what you believe to be right. Most of all you need the support of your partner to check how you are dealing with things. Be a unit, work together. When you do get it wrong, don't worry it may all be different tomorrow, but when you are wrong be big enough to say to your child "sorry, I got it wrong".

          I spend a lot of time sitting with my daughters, explaining to them where I would like them to be, how life may be good or bad for them from their current actions. I say it from the heart, I don't plan it, I don't preach it, I don't have it cast in stone. Every day is different.

          I strongly believe you have to set guide lines, and those guidelines need to be flexible. When a child has been naughty or done something badly wrong, don't explode at them(ok that's not easy you do) but sit them down when you are both ready and explain what has happened, why it is not right, why you expect a better out come. Be honest a straight with them. You do need to however understand why the problem occurred, so ask and find out. Don't rant and rave it gets you nowhere. The final thing must be a cuddle and I love you. Don't leave the talk for a few days, swallow your anger, pride or whatever it is and talk, be straight but firm. You are the one who in charge.

          It all sounds easy yes I know, but I have found shouting and screaming does NOT work, it just gets out of hand. Talking firmly but honestly, you set the rules, don't back down. Don't say something and not go through with it. Any child will see right through this and your start yourself on one long slippery slope, which is one hell of a job to get off.

          Most of all show your children love, support. Set them guide lines which are flexible. Be honest. They are all different, it is your love and support that gets them to where they end up. Guide them on the right road, and get them to change direction when they have selected the wrong path. It's your love that does it.

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            13.06.2010 10:18

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            Never want to go back to the time before my girl was born

            *Introduction*

            So, I am a parent, since 18 months. My husband and I have a little girl, and before we had her, I was a semi-parent because I am a teacher LOL....

            I think I am a pretty strict mum, my husband is the "playing" type and I really like to be more about rules and structure (mainly because I lack structure myself). That mainly has to do with my own youth, my dad was strict as well and I think it worked for me. I think a child needs to have some freedom though, to develop. My girl can discover a lot, and I don't give her any rules when it comes to playing. But she is learning to say "thank you"and how to be polite. She now is learning to put her toys back in the drawer and that she cannot throw her bricks towards the tv. She has a new bed as well, where she can climb out if she wants to and sice a day or so she started doing this, trying to discover how mum and dad will react if she is making a lot of noise at 11 in the evening. I find it difficult to be strict at those times, simply because she is having so much fun at her room and laughing towards me (you stupid mummy).


            I think that as a parent you need to be sure of the things you say and learn to your child. I am insecure from time to time, thinking I am to strict, but still, when I see my daughter being polite and saying "daaaank"(which means Thanks in Dutch) I am very proud of her!

            I think me and my husband are doing well. So just some short and hopefully helpful tips;

            - Be sure of what you want
            - Reading books is great for your kids language development
            - Let them discover some thing theirself (yes, they will fall from time to time, but they will learn themselves to be more carefull)
            - Make sure you motivate your kid and praise it when it does something right
            - Be sure they know what they cannot do!

            Well, just some tips from a young mum, and I really like to hear from you if you have any other tips!

            Hope these tips help...

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            11.06.2010 23:15
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            parenting styles

            Being a parent is the most challenging role you will ever experience. There are no rule books on how to be a good parent. Your parenting styles can come from the way others bring up their children or you may have your own experiences of the type of parents you had when you were a child. Our memories of our childhood are filled with clues of how we want our children to be. Every parent wants or aims to love their children and to give them the best in their childhood.

            So how do you give your children the best?

            Everything a child learns in the first five years of their life will determine their character by how they feel, how they relate and how they make sense in their world. You as proud parents will be their role models. Your laughter, your emotions, your hugs, your reactions, your moods, your understanding, your morals and your own beliefs will have a major impact on their belief systems. Remember your childhood days. Bet you can think of a few situations that you would have loved or liked to change.

            Some of the most valuable lessons a child can learn in their early days, is a sense of love and security. Love can be shown through playing, reading books, playing games, having dinner together as a family, listening to each other, giving lots of praise and re enforcing good behaviour and rewarding positive behaviour. Making sure their feelings are heard and understood by teaching them a sense of healthy boundaries. Children need basic rules as they begin to understand and relate to world around them.

            How you create this is by appreciating that your role as parents is a very powerful one. The standards you set will be determined by how well you understand yourself and how committed you are to change any negative parenting styles that may arise from your past and to adapt or re enforce the good qualities of parenting you had learned.

            Simple rules like bedtime, sharing, tidying, saying sorry, are taught naturally and not out of trying to please your child. A child who cries when put to bed, because he wants to stay awake with mummy and daddy, will learn that if he or she is allowed to stay awake for another ten minutes then he will know that by crying he will get what he wants the next night. This will only cause more upset to the child who has learnt that this behaviour is acceptable to get what he needs and wants. He would have learnt how to behave like this from the reactions of his parents. When children have clear rules this creates a sense of security and emotional well being.

            Memories are very important and without them we would not know what was good and what did not work for us. Many parents would often say that having their own children they would do things differently because of their own experiences of childhood memories. Doing things differently is a life long commitment to self learning and realising that as parents your learning is ongoing!! Always remember that your children will teach you so much about yourself by the way you relate to them!! Happy parenting!!!

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              17.03.2010 09:38
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              a wonderful gift

              I am not very good at writing these sort of reviews but I am bored so thought I would give it a go.

              Parenting... well firstly there is no right or wrong when it comes to bringing up children, we all make mistakes or wish we had done things differently after all children do not come with a manual and each child is unique no two are the same.

              Pregnancy

              I fell pregnant with my son at 16 and had him when I was 17. I used to hate the way that people used to think I was incapable of being a good mother because of my age. I don't think it matters how old you are, having a child is hard work and it can take time to adapt to your new role. You can only take it one step at a time and learn form previous mistakes. I would always recommend using folic acid during pregnancy for obvious reasons and I used to drink at least 3 litres of water a day, my sons skin was very clear and nourished when he was born. You will know when your in labour, but if you have any concern go straight to your doctor/hospital and do not leave until you are fully satisfied you have received all the treatment/advice you need.

              Birth

              I had quite a traumatic birth which I will not go into as I wouldn't want to put anyone off, lets just say that things may not go to plan but be firm especially with midwifes as it is your baby and body and you know best. Don't allow the staff to push you into things. I would say that its always worth trying to breastfeed, I did but just couldn't get the hang of it after a day or so I put him onto bottled milk. I first tried sma, but found this made my son sicky so swapped to cow and gate and he was fine.

              Early years

              I would say my biggest regret is wishing the time away, not maliciously but I remember when I first had my son and I would say" I can wait till he's 6 months so he can do things", then at 6 months it would be "I cant wait till he's one" etc. The thing is you will never get that time back so you should treasure it no matter how hard things may seem at the time. Its really important to allow your child to be messy, it really helps them to be creative and will encourage them to try new things.

              Potty Training

              This will come naturally, there is no point in trying to force it, my son started at 2 and was completely dry at 3 years old, although this can differ from child to child. I always made sure he went toilet before bed and didn't allow drinks the hour before he was due to go sleep. I never used the potty, he just went straight on the toilet.

              Disciplining my child

              I am no where near perfect I have on occasion smacked my sons hand or bottom, my son used to have behavioural problems and as a single mum I found this very hard to deal with especially after my mum passed away, but I am making excuses there is no reason, in my opinion, to smack a child no matter how badly they behave. I never caused any pain to my son, but it only made the situation worse as he would laugh at me then hit me back. I soon learnt that the naughty spot/step/corner works a million times better in the long run. Beware mastering this naughty corner thing is not easy and takes ages until they learn they have to sit there to think about what they have done. I laugh now but believe me at the time it can be very frustrating and upsetting. But keep at it because they soon get fed up of trying and realise that its easier to sit there for a couple of minutes then fight you. Once your child has been on the spot etc for a couple of minutes remember to ask them why they think mummy/daddy put them there, then ask them to apologise and kiss them and ask then not to do it again etc.

              Nursery

              Its important to find a nursery that you are happy with, my son had to move nursery's 3 times until I found the right one, which wasn't very good for my son as he was out of routine, but if your child is unhappy then its best to get them out of there or could end up causing real problems when it comes to school age as they will fear it will be the same. Be prepared for nursery nativity plays my sons had me crying my eyes out, he was a donkey lol, he looked very sweet.

              School

              I will never forget my sons first day at school, he looked so grown up, I think I had more of a problem with him going then he did. He just seemed so little, at first my son loved school but a while ago he started to refuse to go and was constantly being sent home from school ill. I have been to see his teacher and head master and the problems seem to be on the mend so fingers crossed he will enjoy it a little more now.

              So that's all im up to at the moment, im sure I will have a lot more surprises in store over the next few years and am dreading the day when he has girlfriends etc but am also looking forward to seeing him grow up.

              Hope this review is ok, like I said I am not very good at writing them so your constructive criticisms and comments will be very much appreciated.

              Tinkers x

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                14.03.2010 11:44
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                its not rocket science

                What is the most valuable thing a parent can give to a child.

                For me the answer will always be their attention.

                Love is often the first answer to such a question but love is involuntary and is never a conscious decision. Ask a parent if they love their child and they will always, almost without exception say "of course" but ask how much of their attention they give to their children and they have to stop and think.

                The giving of attention can require a conscious effort on the part of the parent whether busy or not. It is very easy to perform the basic tasks of feeding or nappy changing whilst carrying on a conversation with another person or even watching television. There may be no interaction between parent and child whatsoever.

                The time a parent spends with a child when giving him or her, their full attention can be an education for both and will not only reinforce a child's sense of self worth but increase a parent's understanding of their child.
                It is that understanding which can all too easily begin to diminish as a child's independence grows.
                The teenage years are perhaps an obvious example of how difficult it can be for a parent when that mutual understanding has been lost.
                A child ignored becomes noisy, attention seeking and aggressive.

                A parent can often "tune out" of a child's attention seeking to such a degree that their responses actually become robotic.

                I observed this example in a high street store recently.
                Two young mothers with respective toddlers in pushchairs were discussing the merits of the plain aqua t-shirt against the patterned version.
                One of the toddlers repeated in quick succession "mumIwantadrink, mumIwantadrink, mumIwantadrink, mumIwantadrink," so many times and with such increasing volume that it attracted the attention of several shoppers in the not so near vicinity. Eventually the mother handed the child a bottle of juice with a screw top without even looking at the child or breaking her conversation with her friend.
                The child attempted to open the bottle and failing to do so again appealed to the mother in the same chantlike yell "openit, openit, openit, openit, openit, and on and on it went. Shoppers were staring incredulously at the oblivious mother until one individual close by actually went over and opened the bottle for the unfortunate youngster who gulped down the drink as if his life depended upon it.
                This actually did catch the attention of the mother for a brief moment, long enough to smile a quick thanks to the rescuer and then to continue her conversation!

                Amongst much tutting and head shaking people moved on and the two carried on with their shopping. The tragedy is that this is by no means an isolated incident.

                I suspect that much of the outrageous behaviour displayed by some of the young is at least to some degree attributable to a need to be recognised as a living being and not a toy. It must be somewhat akin to being an invisible mute when you cannot make yourself seen or heard. Imagine the inner frustration and rage that must be fostered and need to be expressed.

                So again, I would say the most valuable gift that you can give to a child is your attention, after all a man cannot live by bread alone and neither, it must be said, can a child.

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                  11.03.2010 19:42
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                  Learning the real meaning of an unconditional love.

                  For as long as I can remember I have always loved children, at parties all the other kids would be dancing and playing but not me, I would be sat holding babies. When my sister who is 7 years older than me came home pregnant at 17 my mother was upset, I on the other hand was over the moon. When she finally gave birth to my nephew I couldn't wait to see him and give him a hug, I would even sleep in her room with her to be close to him.

                  As I got older then more children I wanted, I even used to go as far as saying I wanted enough for a football team.

                  June 2006 I was 21, two weeks later I realised I was missing something, a test revealed I was pregnant. By the August my relationship with the father ended so I was now to do this all on my own. If I'm honest I was worried about bringing a child up on my own but then told myself I could do it, I had to for my child's sake.

                  When my son was born January 2007, I instantly fell in love. I knew straight away that no matter what I was going to be there for him, love him and protect him from harm. It did take a while to get used to, especially the 6 feeds a night but I coped and carried on. His Father did see him once a week but that was only for an hour on a Saturday and waited until my son was three to completely stop seeing him, he puts all good fathers to shame.

                  Sometimes I do find it hard being a single mother, I don't ever get time to myself. To be able to have a bath or shower without prying eyes would be nice every now and again. But in all honesty I wouldn't have it any other way. Being a parent IS a full time job but is worth every minute, especially when you see your child growing from a baby into a little boy or girl who becomes so very independent in such a short space of time.

                  I do get very annoyed when people constantly palm their kids off on people just so they can have a 'break'. Not included in that statement are parents who work and parents who have the occasional break. What I mean by people who palm their kids off, are parents you see or hear of finding babysitters to go out Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every weekend as well as finding every opportunity to drop them with a relative or friend. Don't get me wrong every parent deserves a break as it does get very hard, but some need to realise that having a child means they have a huge responsibility, in the shape of a little human being that is now depending on them.

                  If as a parent you feel like you are struggling, dont suffer in silence, family, friends, health visitors and doctors are all there to help if its needed.

                  From the word go I have given my all to my son to try and be the best parent and when he wakes up in the mornings and says 'I love u mummy' I know that giving my all has definitely paid off.

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                    17.02.2010 00:21
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                    I FEEL GIFTED

                    Being a parent, in my eyes, is a full time job in its own right and the most difficult one at that!

                    I knew from a young age that i wanted to become a Mum and when i met my partner (5yrs older) it kind of set the wheels in motion as he was desperate to be a Dad and i knew together we would be a good team! After 2 long years of trying to conceive, 40weeks and 2days of pregnancy and 12hours of labour, we had out little miracle in the form of Ryan aka Baby Boo!

                    As a baby, they require your full and undivided attention which is extremely stressful if you have had 2hours sleep in a few days but i think its adrenaline and lucozade that kept us going! Our son was an excellent sleeper and very good baby until a few months before his 1st birthday. This is wear the problems started! He is now 21months and very discontent. We love him so much, unconditionally like any parent should but like some other children, your patience is often pushed to the limits and i am no stranger to being ready to pull my hair out!

                    I think your child/ren need plenty of love and care and attention. We dont have alot of money to spend on treats but Ryan never goes without and we do save to buy him a few nice things as he is really good most of the time and deserves it for putting up with me!

                    Being a parent is the most rewarding and amazing experiences. Alot of the time, i feel left out and neglected as my son is a Daddys boy and sometimes shuns me away and this upsets me but my sister has told me not to take this to heart as babies always do this. I can tell when Ryan is unwell though as its only me he wants.

                    I love being a parent, i feel completed and that i have a purpose. I hope to be gifted with another baby in the next few years.

                    Thanks for reading x

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                      27.04.2009 12:23
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                      wouldn't be without them even when they drive me potty!

                      I always liked children and adored babies from an early age so I couldn't wait to start my own family.
                      I met my partner when he was 27 and I was a gym slip of a girl at 18 (cradle snatcher!). We lived together after a year and married five years after that; and straight away people assumed we would have a baby next.
                      Though we weren't kids ourselves we didn't feel ready to have children just then as we wanted a few 'alone' years where we could go on holiday or even a night out without it being a military operation and having to plan everything. When we decided to start trying I had just come off the pill when my husband came home from work with the news he had been made redundant. We talked a great deal about whether this was the right time to still have a baby and came to the conclusion that there was always going to be a reason not to start trying and we would never have any! Luckily hubby got a new job and I was still working.

                      After trying for six months I was getting a bit disheartened when nothing happened when one day I woke up and realized my monthly visitor hadn't arrived..after checking my dates it was about three days late which was very unusual for me! I went to work and told my best friend who said she would come with me to the chemists on the way home that day to buy a test. I honestly don't know how I got through that day at work and when I did get a test I took it straight home and did the business and the result was...well I couldn't tell! It was a blue cross one (where a line appears horizontally to say its worked and then if you are pregnant a line crosses over the other one diagonally forming a cross) however there was no line! I couldn't tell my husband as he worked on nights at the time so I phoned my friend and she said it was probably faulty and we would go again after work the following day.
                      Sure enough it was the longest day ever but I bought a different make this time from another chemist!
                      I was meeting my husband in a bar as it was a friday and as I got there before him I went straight to the toilets and did the test there then hid it in my bag without looking!
                      When I came out he was there so I sat down and told him maybe I was pregnant and whipped the test out of my bag and sure enough there was a pink spot saying it was positive..hooray!! Though hubby was pleased he went to the bar and got another drink!

                      Right that bit over with(sorry if I bored you!) here is some advice I found useful..

                      ~~Trust your own instincts
                      Even if it's your first baby and people are all telling you different you will know if something isn't right so don't be afraid to speak up-whether it be to a GP or a health visitor- a mother knows their child better than anyone else.

                      ~~Don't over buy
                      When I had my scan with my first son and was told everything was okay the first thing I did was go shopping! I bought loads of things that seemed so essential for a baby but got put in a cupboard and unfortunately forgot about till they were too big for them(clothes, toys etc)
                      It's okay to buy things but don't go overboard!

                      ~~Tiredness awaits!
                      Prepare yourself for feeling extremely tired- that may sound patronizing and I don't mean it to- but I thought I would feel tired obviously with a new baby but I have never felt so shattered in my life as I did when I had my first baby! Accept any form of help from friends and relatives even if it is something like them them nipping to the shop or even hanging washing out for you- you will have wished you had after a few week! Don't expect not to argue or bicker with your partner either- it's very normal!

                      Spend time with them~~
                      Spend as much time with your children as you can- whether you work or not- they grow up so quickly so cram as much time with them as you can.

                      Tell them you love them~~
                      Children need hugs and kisses as it reassures them that they are loved- don't be cold towards them give them a cuddle for no apparent reason!

                      Help them with schoolwork~~
                      If your child needs help with school work sit down and offer advice and help and make up games to make learning fun. My little boy was great with his counting but struggled with his letters so we made up an alphabet game and he started taking more notice and is flourishing now.

                      Summery~~
                      I have a friend who is always saying I shouldn't do this or do that as she doesn't with her two- take no notice of friends who say things like that and bring up your children how you know best. As long as they are loved, fed well and looked after that's all they need!

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                        22.04.2009 13:06
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                        Everyone has things to tell you, you know your child best

                        I had always wanted to have children but hadn't fully considered when this would happen - it had always been one of the things on the list of things to do but had not been properly planned so three years ago my husband and i decided that we shouldn't leave it too much longer - we got married and then soon after that tried for a baby - in April last year i found out i was pregnant and now have a four and a half month old baby who is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone!

                        I think that before she was born i had a clue about children and i work with children professionally - giving advise and support to parents so you would imagine that i knew what i was talking about but the reality of having a child is soo different to what i thought it would be - it is amazing but in such a different way to how i thought it would be.

                        It is like a secret world where you have to have a baby in order to fully understand it.

                        The biggest shock initially was the lack of sleep - everyone had said make sure that you get your sleep before she is born - which i ignored but hey were they right, now i would love a full night of unbroken sleep - she is sleeping through but i still need to wake up to make sure that she is ok!

                        If i were to do it again (and i am hoping too!!) then i think the things that i would do differently are
                        have more us time after the birth, our house became a conveyor belt of people going round and round for about three weeks!
                        I would also not buy as much - i got caught up in the excitment of shopping and got lots of clothes that she never wore and is now too big for - other people get you lots of cute things so buy the practical stuff first.
                        You don't need everything that is in the magazines, you don't need a bottle warmer that plugs into your car cigarette lighter and 100 of the other things that have been designed and marketed so that you think you are a very bad mother if you don't have them!


                        Enjoy every minuite - it goes soo fast!

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                          21.04.2009 15:18
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                          You will never have experienced a feeling like it

                          Noone can tell you how to be a parent and I do not believe there is a right and wrong way of doing things (obviously neglect and violence towards them is wrong).

                          Noone can prepare you for what is in store for you when you become a parent. The second you hold that baby in your arms for the first time it is the best feeling in the world and you just want to love and protect them for the rest of their lives.

                          There are a few things that I believe about being a parent that I would like to share with you

                          1) NEVER smack your child. How can you tell your child off for smacking when you do it? Imagine how scared they must be, they are so very small and you are big. It would be like you getting smacked off a giant. There are other ways to disipline your child other than smacking and shouting at them.

                          2) Show them lots of love. I make sure that my son has a kiss and cuddle before he goes to bed everyday and we tell each other how much we love each other. We also do the same before he goes out to a friends, school or to his grandmas.

                          Life will be full of ups and down. You will have the first time they walk, talk, smile etc. The first time they fall over and cut their leg. When they are poorly and you wish it was you instead of them. You will then feel the proudest parent in the world the first time you go to see them in a school play or the first time you go to parents evening and the teachers tell you how good they are.
                          My son has had three operations in his short life and everytime it breaks my heart to see him go through it.
                          I have never had a bad report from the school and everytime I leave the parents evening I have a lump in my throat off the pride I feel.

                          Being a parent is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I would not change it for the world. My son was not planned but I hate the word accident, he was not an accident.

                          It is not just Mam's that are important. Dad's have the same right to their children as Mam's. I know if I was kept away from my son it would break my heart and I do not think that women have the right to play god with their childs feelings. Let the child decide when they are older if they want to see their father, if you don't they could end up hating you for keeping them away

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