"Once your consciousness has been raised, it cannot be lowered"

My parenting journey, our home educating family and some other stuff here and there....

Thursday, 28 May 2009


I have just seen this lovely article on the yoga of motherhood, and I really wanted to share it. It sits really well with me, and who and "where" i want to be. 

So much to do,
so much else to do.
What is important?
Let go.
Not enough sleep,
no time for you.
Lose yourself.
Can you slip into the current and 
let yourself flow?

from Mamayoga: Yoga for the First Six Weeks of Mothering—and Beyond 
By Kathleen Wiebe

Sunday, 24 May 2009

On the mend, on (the) edge

Thanks everyone for the healing vibes ;)
My leg is doing OK, I think.  I had the stitches out on Friday and it was mostly knitted together except for one bit where the hole was deepest. The nurse put on a wet dressing, which somewhat alarmingly, seems to have enlarged the gaping-ness of it.... Fingers crossed this is the right thing to be happening!

So, my recent brush with my blood, fat, skin and bone, and a degree of incapacity and pain, has really tuned me in to how fragile life is. And how a split second in time can change everything, for better or worse.

It's also changed the way I am dealing with the kids, in terms of risk and danger. Usually I leave 'em to it and deal with the (rare) accidents as they happen. People often comment how confident the children are when climbing, cycling, swimming and generally doing potentially injurious things. I usually feel it's because we' re not from the "Be careful!" school of thought. I want to foster confidence in them and allow them to trust their own judgement about their limits, I don't want to squash their sense of competence and adventure by constantly reminding them they might hurt themselves. 

Since falling, I have found myself feeling a lot more cautious and anxious about the children's safety. I've not been verbal about this with them. But I have found myself removing them, particularly M who climbs like a monkey, from situations where they could fall and damage themselves. I can't help visualising them harming themselves, which I never did before, and I don't seem to be able to turn off the caution just yet. Surprise surprise....we've had a fair bit of falling, bumps, bangs etc that probably wouldn't be happening if I didn't have this edge-y feeling going on.

I suppose it's natural to tune in to this worry, I just hope I can tune out soon too as I'm finding it pretty stressful feeling our world is unsafe and a threat to my little ones.  

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Age of Stupid.....gory story

Well, after writing about getting wiser I have done something pretty silly. 
My pictures are a bit graphic so look away now if you're squeamish!!

I was trying on my posh frocks last night whilst the kids were getting ready for bed. I need an outfit for a family wedding at the end of June, and was feeling pleased that a dress I already own looked and felt really good. So, I was merrily whistling away and putting my pink high heels back in the top of the wardrobe away from the small people when disaster struck. 

I was VERY, VERY foolishly standing on one of these. Hmmmm. See how sharp the feet look??!
Next thing I know the stool tips up, I fall and have an almighty pain in my right shin. I dive to the bed and howl and scream into the mattress. The bone throbbing, I think "that was a big bump, I'll get a cold flannel on it". Hop to the bathroom and flop onto the floor, lift pyjama bottoms to put cold compress on and nearly faint. There is a hole in my leg. 

I wasn't expecting that. Slight panic ensues. I feebly protest "it'll be fine". Joel says "nope. It's a hospital job. I think I can see bone". Great. I cry. A lot. I am VERY cross at myself. We still need to get the kids to bed. Anticipate hospital taking a few hours at the very least. My first night out since M was born!

A&E receptionist is lovely, I give my details calmly until she asks what I've done. Mentioning bone makes the tears roll down my cheeks in a most un-British fashion. No stiff upper lip here. Am quickly ushered through to minor injuries where a nice nurse rummages round in my leg  and assures me, very matter-of-fact, that it will be fine. At this point I dread being sent back to the waiting room. Thankfully she puts me on a bed to sort it out immediately. She numbs what little flesh is there and ferrets around again, to clean it out and see how deep it is. 

I feel huge surges of guilt for even thinking "OWWW". I've been reading Atonement and can't help my head being full WW2 and all the poor damaged people having shrapnel pulled out without a scrap of local anaesthetic (and after the horrors of France/Dunkirk). I told the nurse all this, she softened and said "it's a bit more than a razor nick though isn't it hon?". She informed me Joel was right and it was indeed right down to the bone. Then she oh so carefully, tenderly stitched me up, with my posh frock hemline in mind. Bless the NHS angels. Thank you so much Sister Julie.  

So seven stitches and about an hour later I was home. Unbelieveably quick service from the Manchester Royal Infirmary!! And a jolly good job since poor M woke 10 minutes after I left and was still screaming when I returned ;(

I'm not as sore as I thought I might be, at the moment. I anticipate it getting worse before better, it's still only just over 24 hrs since it happened. I know taking copious quantities of arnica has helped so far. Though I am stiff and swollen, and it's been aching a fair bit, I can walk and take the stairs slowly. I'm grateful: my tendons are intact, I didn't break a bone. 

After much berating I've mostly forgiven myself, but what a stupid thing to do!....

And, bizarrely, this happened to me 2 days after I was with my friend L when she fell and needed 1o stitches in her knee....get well soon L XXX 


Friday, 8 May 2009

EC and the Way

I realised yesterday that I've been in a happy little bubble for a long time. Comfortably cossetted amongst my trusty bunch of on-the-crispier-side-of-crunchy Mama friends, I've quite forgotten just how far from the mainstream practising EC is....

Myself and the said group of lovely friends are in the process of setting up a Natural Parenting Group, with support from a local SureStart centre.  Whilst trying to explain our (as yet slightly hazy) philosophy I mentioned ECing, and received a look of total bewilderment. The worker I was chatting to was very interested, if slightly stunned, and asked a lot of questions.  I realised that I've not really shared space with anyone in the real world of "normal" parenting for a while. I haven't deliberately withdrawn my family, I guess we're just really lucky to have a fair few like-minded mates. Anyway, it hadn't occurred to me that someone would never have heard of EC. Oh dear!...I really have had my head in the clouds....or perhaps the sand?!

Anyway, it was nice to be reminded of the real significance of my slightly leftfield parenting practices. Without wishing to sound superior, I think following an attached way of parenting, placing real value on peacefulness and respecting children is pretty pioneering compared to what I perceive as our cultural norm.

I also realised I've changed. Since I was first pregnant with M I've found it difficult to be overly concerned with the politics of parenting. Anything other than nesting and dealing with my brood has been too much for my poor sleep deprived brain to consider. But now it feels quite nice to have had my "passions" lie dormant. My opinions are more or less unchanged, but I've become softer, less ardent. I have no desire whatsoever to try and convert people to my way of thinking (did I ever?) or to justify my position.

Lao Tzu said:

"And so the wise
shape without cutting,
square without sawing,
true without forcing.
They are the light that does not shine." *

Dare I say it?
Perhaps, and it's a VERY BIG perhaps, I've become a wee bit wiser, in this respect at least: I'm not cutting, sawing or forcing. Now what, if anything, do I do instead?...

This was my roundabout way of saying that EC has shown me the Way. Again ;)

*Taken from Verse 58 - Living with Change 

Friday, 1 May 2009

Letting go

I thought I should say that things are *much* improved here, for now. M is using the potty- hurray! And my floors are as clean as they ever are, probably more so after the recent activities.

In my last post I mentioned really letting go of my attachment to M pooing somewhere "appropriate" and in a place of my choosing. Instead I decided to really go with his flow, and desire to poo all over the floor. I completely, willingly gave up trying to control the situation. It was a hard thing for me to do: my conditioned response to poo on the floor was "EEEEEW". I suspect most people would be the same.

Well, just giving M this space and freedom seems to have been what was needed to move that little phase on. Phew! I really wasn't that bothered about it happening once I decided I would stop fighting it, but I am glad it doesn't seem to be becoming a regular thing. I really had hoped it wouldn't be a long term solution.

I have also realised that, like his Dad, M really values his privacy and much prefers to go at home without company! E wasn't like this until very recently. Maybe it's a male/female toilet thing, which is a BIG debate topic in our house! I'm not going to get started on that one just now though....