Happy New Year

To say 2013 has been a rollercoaster of a year is an understatement. In my 30 years, I think this one ranks as the most difficult year of my life. It has tested me and hurt me, pulled me apart and hung me out to dry…BUT it has also taught me so much I needed to learn. So here goes my list:

1. Gratitude – My gosh has this year taught me gratitude. For everything I have but more importantly for EVERYONE I have. I am truly blessed with a great family and amazing friends. Without whom I wouldn’t have gotten through this year. You guys know exactly who you are, thank you!! Thank you for putting a smile on my face 🙂

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2. Patience – All those mama’s out there will know, the transition from baby to toddler tests your patience beyond belief. That little dependent child who looks to you for their every need suddenly has their own desires and wants and boy do they want to exert their new found independence.

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3. Strength – As the famous song lyrics go: I get knocked down, but I get up again, ’cause you never gonna keep me down.” 2013 has shown me my inner strength, my strength as a woman and my strength as a mother.

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4. Love – No matter what life throws at you, we all have the capacity to love. My dad is a fan of Neale Donald Walsh and we used to have many of his sayings framed going up our staircase at home. One of them that stood out the most at the base of the stairs was “What would love do now?” and that’s a question I’ve asked myself many times this year. When faced with a situation that you don’t like or one that angers or upsets you, ask yourself “What would love do now?” And then react. Love is our greatest capacity.

5. Forgiveness – During our lives there will be people who love us, comfort us and treasure us. But there will also be people who hurt us, upset us and anger us. One of the greatest things we can do to those people (for our self) is to forgive them. Because when you forgive, you let go and stop holding on to all those negative emotions (which essentially only hurt you).

This year I’m not making any resolutions but I am going to do one thing and that is this:

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I’m also going to be taking part in 52/52, a portrait a week in 2014. So look out for some really cute pictures 😉

From my family to yours, wishing you an amazing start to the new year. May all your dreams be realised and all your wishes come true.

Mums' Days

Cry it out (CIO) vs. Wait it out (WIO)

You’ve got your beautiful three month old baby in your arms, they’re hopefully over the colic or reflux, your baby is starting to form a good routine but the only thing you’re battling with is sleep (or lack of!). If you weren’t lucky enough to have a baby who slept through the night from a young age, one of the things that you may have considered is letting your child cry it out. CIO is a method of sleep training that involves allowing your child to cry until they get tired and fall asleep (there are also some interval crying training methods). Many people believe that at 3-6 months our babies are “smart” and know that if they cry a mother will go in and cuddle, rock or feed them to sleep and so wail for attention. But once they get the idea that their mom isn’t going to go into them, they start sleeping through. This can usually take a few nights.

The other side of the coin is a wait it out method. The WIO method does as is says on the box. You WIO until your child is ready to sleep on their own, until they are ready to sleep through the night. Many people who follow a WIO method do so because they believe excessive crying affects the babies brain cells, releases high levels of cortisol into their blood stream or simply because they cannot hear their baby cry.

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I’ll be honest, I left S to cry once for 6 minutes and I cried for about 3 of those minutes. It was very difficult and in those 6 minutes I realised it is not for me. I’m not against anyone who opts to let their baby CIO. It takes all sorts and everyone needs to do what works for them. But for me I decided when S was quite young that I would WIO and I can happily say at almost 17 months he is finally sleeping through the night. I’m glad I waited it out and I’d like to think he sleeps securely knowing that if he does cry, I’ll be there.

My reasons for WIO are because I believe babies cry for a reason. The reason may be comfort but it is a valid reason and if a child needs comfort and security till they are 16 months then so be it. They could be uncomfortable because they have gas, they could be scared of the dark, feel anxious with some noises they just heard or maybe they just want to me beside their mothers because that is the safest and warmest place in their world. Each child is different and reaches their milestones at different ages. Sleeping through the night is another milestone.

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