Our wee victory

My last blog post was all about how we should take satisfaction on each day’s little victory so I thought I would share some wee news from yesterday!

Our daughter Edie is now two years and four months old and is a very independent madam. At Edie’s two year check we were encouraged to start thinking about potty training as the nurse could see that Edie may be ready soon. We had just moved house and with Christmas coming up thought it wasn’t the best time to start and would leave it until the new year.

We didn’t push the idea at the time but bought a potty which we placed by the toilet in the bathroom and encouraged Edie to start taking off her clothes herself. She enjoyed sitting on the potty fully clothed and even made a weeing sound, tore some toilet roll, wiped her bottom area and flushed it down the toilet or in her words “down the drain”!

Whilst researching the signs when a child is ready, I learnt that these can include talking about her movements and going off somewhere to do it in private. These were things she was definitely developing so as the new year commenced, and we had tidied Christmas away, we thought we would take potty training up a gear.

One thing I felt we weren’t giving Edie was a good amount of nappy free time so after her bath last night we didn’t rush to put a nappy on and put the potty in the lounge and encouraged her to sit on it and go if she needed to. I wasn’t expecting her to go the first time we had done this but I could see the determination in her face to do something on it. A few minutes later I saw her face change and develop a proud smile and as she stood up could see a result!

There was lots of praise from us and a golden star sticker was eagerly received by Edie who said she wanted to do it again tomorrow, which she did. So maybe Edie is ready, wee will see!

One thing I found which I think Edie feels grown up using is the ‘Little Star’ potty from a local shop which has a higher back and is more like a chair but with a removable inner section for easy cleaning. She seems very comfortable when sitting on it, although she has already requested that I sit on it to warm it up for her first!


We’ve also purchased a travel Potette Plus which works as a travel potty and toilet trainer seat. The legs fold away for transportation and unfold to create a standard sized potty, plus when the legs are folded out a comfortable toilet trainer seat. I don’t think Edie is quite ready to use the toilet trainer seat yet and when we put a liner on it she didn’t fancy sitting on that either. I think this might be one to keep working on but I can definitely see the benefits.


There is no right or wrong way and no worse or better method, it’s just what suits your child and family. We can learn a lot about what works best for our child if we just follow their lead. We’re just kind of winging it and hoping for the best!

We are not trying to conquer potty training in a weekend or overnight and are taking a slower more natural approach, but I’m sure our determined little lady won’t take long. When we will introduce pants instead of nappy pants I’m not sure, but we’ve bought some colourful and fun reusable pants which she’s keen to wear having read the books ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ and ‘Dinosaurs Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort.



These are books with fun, bright and wacky illustrations of lots of pants in different shapes and sizes on the inner sleeves and Edie takes great pleasure picking out which pants are for each family member. Her favourite ones are bright yellow with a green dinosaur and we laugh how her cuddly toy monkey Eric has the brown hairy ones with a bow.


So whoop whoop to yesterday’s wee victory. (Can we have a little fanfare 🎉 please). I am now eagerly anticipating our first little poo victory, which will definitely be something to write about!


A little victory

Today I have been feeling rather glum, not quite sure why. You know the type of day when you wake up and just feel a bit off kilter, well that is how I have felt.

As the day draws to an end I sit here reflecting about all that has happened on my day off with my daughter Edie and realise we should celebrate each day’s little victory.

About a year ago my daughter developed a fear of water. We were so upset as she had happily been attending swimming lessons fairly regularly for about 10 months. She is a sensitive child but out of nowhere came this reluctance to get in the pool. It was so frustrating and confusing for us as parents.

We questioned if we had done anything wrong to cause it and tried different techniques to help Edie feel more settled and at ease. Bath time was never an issue as such but hair washing too became a battle.

We decided to cancel her swimming lessons and take her to our health club pool instead so we could encourage her to enjoy swimming again on our own terms. Last summer was spent encouraging her to splash about with water in a paddling pool and ultimately get in.

At the start many trips to the health club pool would involve Edie in her swimming costume walking around the outside. One person would be in the pool encouraging her to get in and another person on the perimeter holding her hand so she didn’t slip.  It felt like so many steps backwards from the days when we would just turn up to swimming lessons and with Edie excited to get in and splashing about.

You couldn’t help but feel other parents were judging you and wondering what on earth you were doing whilst they seemed to be enjoying watching their little one/s learn to kick, float, dive and leave looking satisfied. I occasionally ended up going swimming on my own during the ‘children welcome hour’ and be fighting back the tears seeing kids revelling in the joy of swimming and thinking how easy it looked.

It was hard. It still is to be honest, but we are determined and Edie took a massive leap today. Okay so she loves her new swimming costume and prefers the ‘little pool’ i.e. jacuzzi to the ‘big pool’ still, but Edie got IN the big pool! She allowed me to hold her afloat whilst she kicked and we did a couple of lengths of the pool without any screaming or legs climbing the edge to get out. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is to me.

I am usually exhausted after each trip to the pool as it is normally mentally and physically a challenge but today there were many moments where I could just relax and revel in her delight at trying something new or pushing her own boundaries. Edie was relaxing and therefore I could too. She arrived at the pool smiling and left happy.

As parents we can put so much pressure on ourselves on how we bring up our children and make comparisons to others. Surely we should all just take satisfaction from reflecting at the end of each day to focus on a little victory achieved.

Tonight I take satisfaction in those couple of lengths.

The things they don’t tell you about motherhood

Whilst pregnant you hear a lot about how to push a watermelon out of your privates and how sleep deprived you will be, especially in those first few weeks, but here is my guide from my experience of those things they don’t tell you about:

  1. A rucksack will become your new handbag. Perfect for carrying everything for you and your little ones. Doesn’t matter whether its designer or one you’ve had for years. It will mean one less thing to carry in your hands. Changing bags seem ideal but soon become a pain in the ass to carry around. You can now get changing bag rucksacks which could be the answer if you need the insulated pockets. Only downside is watch out when you bend over with it still on your back as they tend to punch you in the back of the head!
  2. Weaning is exactly that ‘weaning’ and goes on for longer than you think. To help you out, get your hands on a small blender. If you have the budget for it try and get a hold of a Babycook which can steam, blend, defrost and reheat. This was a real lifesaver for us but do remember to put the lid on when blending or you will end up with a kitchen covered in sweet potato and carrot!
  3. Technology isn’t all bad. I was adamant my daughter wouldn’t see an iPad or iPhone for years but in ‘my’ reality this wasn’t possible. Most of my job and charity work are online so I actually embrace that technology is going to be a part of her life. She was born with a cataract in one eye which following an operation to remove it left her with no lens. Her good eye should therefore be patched for approximately an hour each day to train her brain to use her bad eye more. They encourage use of sensory play and actually recommend using technology to help. I therefore don’t feel guilty using it. I also use it sometimes when she isn’t being patched because to be honest it makes my life a bit easier. For anyone concerned she is going to be over stimulated, I do also encourage her to read books. 
  4. More wine will be drunk than you think. There is nothing wrong to admit that the thought of a glass of vino at the end of the day when everyone is asleep in bed keeps you going on those hard days.  
  5. Don’t feel guilty if your child is in nursery on a day you are not at work because looking after yourself is just as important. Whether it’s to go to the gym, do the washing, do the weekly shop, have your hair done or do some charity work, it means you will be a happier mummy because you have taken some time out for you. 
  6. Your camera roll will become full of photos of your children. Romantic selfies will be replaced with bare bottoms, first words, first days at school and even first solid poo’s!
  7. Breastfeeding doesn’t always come to a natural end. Sometimes your breastfeeding journey comes to an end for your own sake, even if it’s not what you want. Whether you breastfeed for six days, six weeks, six months or a year, don’t give yourself a hard time if you make the decision to stop.  My goal was to get to six weeks. I ended up carrying on until my daughter was 13 months. I wanted to make it to a year so I could start giving my daughter some cow’s milk rather than formula. Unfortunately I had mastitis three times in a month and a half which just didn’t seem to heal. I didn’t want to stop and it broke my heart as I wanted to let her decide when she was ready to stop, but I kept getting sick so decided it was time to look after myself and stop. She needed me to be a healthy mother so that’s what I had to do for both our sakes.
  8. Embrace the makeup free, frizzy hair you. You sometimes go through a whole day without having time to look in the mirror so my tip is to just not worry. Your child doesn’t care whether you have clean hair so if you are having one of those mornings and don’t have time, just go with it.
  9. You will burst into tears in public, maybe even more than once! I was at a supermarket checkout having somehow got me and my daughter up, dressed, fed and around the supermarket. I was tired, stressed and taking a few seconds to check my online banking when the man behind me made some comment under his breath about how I couldn’t keep off my phone. I barked back on the verge of tears trying to explain I was seeing if I had enough money in my account. I removed myself from the queue and buried my tears under my hair whilst I sorted myself out. I let him have his turn then went back to pay. He didn’t know what day I was having or how much effort it had taken me to get to this point but his comment hurt me. I was just trying to survive the day and be a good mummy and wife. If only a ‘Tired mummy – treat with care’ badge existed, it may just make people think twice about their words or actions.
  10. Last but not least…..You will listen to your child breathing in their sleep, probably more than you think….and isn’t it a beautiful sound.