Pack pony mothers? My take on the anti-parent media

Sling baby

Here I am spoiling my child by wearing her in a sling. Isn’t it pretty.


Babywearing seems to be this week’s hot topic among mums after a blasting in the Mail and on Loose Women.

It all started with a MailOnline story about mothers who carry four-year-olds, illustrated with one mum carrying an infant on her front, and preschooler on her back.

From reading the comments on the Loose Women Facebook page, one of the mums involved felt the tone of the article misrepresented the subject.

I’ll out myself now as an enthusiastic baby wearer. My slings were a lifesaver when my daughter was tiny.

Getting the pram up and down the stairs in front of the house and then inside to our flat, was quite frankly, a pain in the arse.

She was much happier strapped onto my front. I could always get a seat on the bus, too, no matter how many prams were on board.

A theme among the negative comments is children won’t learn to walk if they’re carried.

People yelled at me in the street “you’re spoiling that child”. Complete strangers chose to call out a mum.

Seriously, what’s the difference between pushing them around in a pram or carrying them?

Eventually they learn to walk. Using a sling doesn’t make it any less likely.

When they’re small they can’t walk far anyway.

I last used my toddler-sized sling in late October.

We had a lot of walking to do that day so I took the Tula.

When she complained she was tired and didn’t want to walk any more, I thought it was a bit early but rather than have a whingeing small child, it was easy to get her strapped in.

Within five minutes she was asleep. She was knackered.

It’s important to listen to little people. When you listen they appreciate it and it does prevent meltdowns.

Why do presenters and panelists on popular daytime TV shows and Britain’s most-read newspaper, seem to have an agenda against the different ways people choose to parent?

If it’s not Loose Women, it’s This Morning. Breastfeeding, baby-wearing and attachment parenting seem to be weekly topics for knocking.

There’s too much detachment in our post-industrial world.

Part of me wonders if the rise in depression and anxiety in modern society has something to do with detachment.

“Leave them to cry”, “don’t cuddle they’re manipulating you”, are all lines I’ve heard.

Cuddling and comforting small children makes them feel secure and loved.

They’re simple creatures who just need to feel safe.

Holding and carrying makes them feel safe and is healthier than pushing in a pram or driving in a car.

I love this open letter to the Loose Women production team from Something About Baby.

Let’s hope they’ll listen.


Time to get moving – first Parkrun experience

Hove Parkrun on the prom. Image by EnKayTee on Flickr, licenced by Creative Commons

Hove Parkrun on the prom. Image by EnKayTee on Flickr, licenced by Creative Commons

Four years ago I felt tremendous.

I had lost nearly five stone thanks to determination and a combination of Weight Watchers and Zumba three times a week.

Then I fell pregnant at 41, 13 years after being told it was unlikely I would conceive naturally due to PCOS.

I didn’t put on much weight during pregnancy.

As a type two diabetic (thanks PCOS), I had to watch what I ate to keep my blood sugars at the right level.

By the time my daughter was born my sugars were normal. I mean normal human being normal.

As time passed they crept up again but were still within the normal range.

While I was exclusively breastfeeding I could eat ANYTHING!

I felt hungry constantly. I still reached my WW 50lb target (should add I always work in metric so was weighed in kilos every week. Why do people still use Imperial when metric was introduced in the early 70s?), taking me down to a size 16.

When we weaned on to solids at six months I didn’t change my bad habits.

It’s all gone back on again and my blood sugars have gone up, not to what they were but back into type two levels. (Imagine weeping and grinding of teeth).

I had to do something so I’ve stopped eating dairy. This was no biggy in the end as it wasn’t agreeing with me, and pushed myself to take more exercise.

As I couldn’t afford £100 a month for  Zumba classes three times a week(how I miss them). I decided to try out Parkrun.

My old friend Sue volunteers and takes part every week, sometimes with her daughter and grandsons, too.

I took to Facebook to ask my friends if anyone else did it and what they thought.

After a positive response I decided to go for it. After all it’s free.

It was freezing cold on Saturday morning when I dragged myself to Hove, seafront.

I had three layers including my coat. I must have looked odd with a coat and handbag.

The encouragement was tremendous. The runners lapping me cheered me on as I plodded on with the tail walker.

Even though I didn’t finish as my ankle and knee were hurting, I knew I’d done the right thing.

It wasn’t forced. It was friendly and welcoming. I didn’t feel like an out-of-place weirdo.

I will be back, I will go further and eventually faster.

In the meantime I’ll keep up with a daily constitutional.

Don’t think I’m a bad mummy

A tantrumming toddler clinging to his mother's legs

Tantruming toddler. Image by Francisco Carbajal, licenced by Creative Commons

Dear lovely mummy I was chatting with yesterday, I could tell from the look on your face you were horrified when I snapped at W.

She is only three. What you don’t know is she had pressed all my button since waking that morning.

It was pretty rough the previous night, too.

So when she climbed out of the car seat after being asked nicely to sit in it four times, yes, I did snap “get in your seat”.

You were lovely, on the crunchy spectrum talking about schools without uniform and freedom of expression.

I love the way my daughter expresses herself. She is wonderful and creative.

But, you know, sometimes I lose my shit.

When she rarely melts down, I cuddle and talk about her big feelings.

At other times I just want to yell “just eat your dinner”.

I grew up being yelled at and hit for random transgressions.

Every day I don’t lash out is a victory.

We’re past the three-and-a-half year mark now.

There are times when she pushes her luck and I’m okay, I can handle it.

Some days aren’t so good.

Forgive me for my five-minute failure. I felt so judged but I beat myself up about it, too.