Hi! My name is Christine and I am mum to 3 beautiful (even if I do say so myself!) children. The eldest, Noah is almost 7, the middle, Tilly has just turned 5 and the baby of the family, Lexi has just turned 1.
I had Noah when I was 23 and Tilly 21 months later and thought I knew everything! I was obsessed with maternity programmes, parenting programmes and I worked in a school and a nursery so therefore felt equipped for every eventuality in parenthood!
No matter how ‘well prepared’ you think you are though, parenthood just cannot be planned. Every child and family situation is different.
We were young parents and like most, we parented like we thought we should…. we bought an expensive pram, breastfed for 5/6 months weaning onto formula, baby slept in a moses basket transferring to cot in own room at around the 6 month mark and pureeing vegetables and fruit for weaning time. We used disposable nappies and for handiness we borrowed my cousins high street carrier (when I wore this I thought I was being really ‘out there’ and cool, I did however discover a Kari-Me stretchy wrap with Tilly and then I thought I was a raving hippy but we both adored it!!!) Moving onto toddler years, we used time out, let them cry in their cots (always reassuring every few minutes, never left to cry on their own for long periods of time!!!) and fought with a pram everywhere!
I cannot say I didn’t enjoy those years and I can safely say we have raised 2 wonderful children whom we are both very proud of….HOWEVER…..
Third time round we have gone about things a completely different way.
When pregnant with Lexi, I researched another bit on baby carriers etc and found the beautiful art of babywearing online. I became obsessed, looking up different styles of wraps and companies and cost etc… I was determined to buy one for our new baby. I had experienced babycarrying with Tilly and knew how wonderful it was and this was taking it to a whole new level. I happened to mention to a friend and she said there was a ‘sling meet’ in our local town. I laughed at the thought!! Surely it was a bunch of hippies right?!
WRONG!!! I asked a friend to come with me for moral support and with no baby, heavily pregnant, I headed down to see what it was all about! That was quite honestly the best move I could have ever made!
I have never looked back! I met the nicest and most welcoming group of women in a long time and was introduced to a whole new way of parenting. One which I can honestly say has changed me as a person and most importantly as a mummy to my 3 children.
It’s been challenging and is still a daily struggle to change how I parent the older 2 but I am trying so so hard and WANT to change which makes things a little easier.
Lexi has been worn in a sling since she was 3 days old, I am still breastfeeding at over 1 year, we cosleep, we cloth nappy and she has NEVER been left to cry.
I don’t think for one second that I have treated her any better than the older 2 but I do think I will look back in years to come and be so thankful that I discovered gentle parenting.
I look forward to keeping you up to date with how I am managing the difficulty of tantrums, sibling rivalry and toddlerhood all over again!