Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's that time of year again....

Summer. With its glorious warmth, beautiful blue skies, dramatic thunderstorms and snakes. Yep. Snakes. I have never been a HUGE fan of these legless reptiles but now that I have small children running and crawling around the garden, oblivious to any danger (and one at an age where new and interesting things should always be picked up and investigated) they scare the you know what from you know where leaving me even more paranoid than usual!!!!

There was one at a friends house not too long ago. Then one at the house at the end of our street. Today one outside the back door. It was small. A night adder. Not too dangerous. No KNOWN fatalities. Except perhaps if you only weigh 9.5kg. And are likely to pick it up. Or 15kg and likely to stand on one before you notice it!

So summer is here. Time to play in the garden is over til winter again. *Sigh* I can't do that. I do know that I can't do that. But what can I do to prevent either a nasty snake bite on tiny people or anxiety attacks for their mother. Anyone know any natural snake repellents? Although the snakes are natural monkey and robber repellents. I'm off to find the rescue remedy. I may need something stronger this time!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I need to vent

...and this seems as good a place as any.

I am studying a degree through distance learning. That means limited or no contact with lecturers. They are also impossible to get hold of on the phone or via email as they hardly ever respond. So one of the things I have come to rely on to check whether I am on track with my learning is the feedback we receive on assignments.

There is a module that I am doing which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think it has been badly taught/written and (here's my vent) they have categorically told us THERE IS NO FEEDBACK ON ASSIGNMENTS. The first assignment was multiple choice. I got 2 questions wrong out of 25 - but I have no idea which ones. OK - not the end of the world, I can possibly work that one out. That still doesn't help me with why I was wrong. The other assignment was written answers. It was unmarked as it was not a compulsory assignment, and THERE IS NO FEEDBACK.

Here's the crunch: It provides the basis for half of the exam. I have absolutely no way of knowing how I have done on this assignment. If I use my answers to revise for the exam I could be completely off track. That means I could fail my exam! I feel like I am being blindfolded, led down the garden path and then, with blindfold intact, asked to describe what I can see.

I feel that the people who designed this module are lazy and incompetent and need to be replaced with people who understand the need for FEEDBACK.

Right, if I am venting for no reason and this is a normal state of affairs in a learning process, please let me know. I will feel better. It will probably improve my mindset. If I am vindicated in my frustration, help! I need to change my mindset or this exam is going to cripple me. I will be well into revision by the end of tomorrow so please watch this space! I will endeavour to acquire some positivity between now and then!

Monday, October 06, 2008

How many chidren does it take... convince a mother to trust her instincts?

We seem to have solved the sleep issue. Separation anxiety. What in the world made me believe that something that felt so unnatural would be the best thing for my baby boy? Especially when I did the complete opposite with Shannon. As soon as Shannon was big enough for us not to be worried about squashing her, she slept in our bed. That's why we didn't have sleep problems with her. That's part of the reason she is such a confident, balanced child. It wasn't impossible to get her into her own bed. Sometimes she still comes back to ours. It's comforting. It's natural.

All my instincts have been screaming against me for the last month, while I have tried to force my poor little boy into an unnatural sleeping ideal. Because the books said so. Because I was worried about getting enough sleep to be alert for my exams. I didn't hear. Maybe I wasn't listening. One benefit of this exercise is that it has taught him to self soothe. It has also taught me to trust my instincts. I seem to walk a fine line between parenting the way science believes I should and the way something deep inside me believes I should. Once again I am seeing the world through my children's eyes and learning. I have learned that mothering is about what is right for parent and child. Individually. Uniquely in each relationship with each precious child. I have learned that science has helped us to develop a yard stick but that it must be used as just that. Not as the difinitive answer.

I trust myself more now. I trust Jordan, too, to let me know what is best for him when I feel a bit lost. We are all much happier now. Shannon had become very emotional. I think it had a lot to do with something feeling Not Quite Right. She seems a bit better the last day or two also. Mothers, remember: you know best!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm having a moment

So it's that time of year again for me. Exams start on Tuesday and go on for 6 weeks. *sigh* I'm tired. I was tired last year at exam time as I was nearly 7 months pregnant which, for me, means fat, frumpy, swollen, sore, grumpy, over emotional and unable to sleep. (have I mentioned that I have my 2 kids and now this factory is CLOSED?)

This year my son is 8 months old and doesn't sleep. Well he does sleep but not in a manner that allows much sleep for me. In the morning he sleeps at around 9am, for about 30 mins. At 1ish pm he sleeps for about an hour. He has a crazy 4pm sleep which he can't cope without (otherwise he falls asleep, unable to go on, at 5:30 and then he wakes up at about 6:30 and won't go back to sleep) and goes to bed at 6:45. He then wakes up anything from 3 to 7 times before 5:30am when he is up and rearing to go for the day. Why? *sigh*

So when he wakes up he feeds. I know that this may be a habit but he really feeds. A proper full feed. Not just that suck to get back to sleep thing; as if I haven't fed him for a week. He self soothes at nap time and at bed time. He is put in his cot and he goes to sleep. So why doesn't he soothe himself back to sleep in the night? My tether is getting very short.

The other problem, which may be related, is his eating habits. For a little boy who is gaining weight in the 97th percentile, he sure doesn't eat very well. Sometimes he will wolf down his food but at other times (more often) I can get barely a table spoon into his mouth the whole day. Then I resort to Marie biscuits since he always eats those. Yet he never goes off the milk. So it's not like he's not hungry. Bear with me: *sigh*

I feel like a first time Mum on this one. I don't know what to do. Shannon ate fairly well (not so any more but that is a whole other post) and, though she didn't sleep through til she was nearly 2 and a half, she only woke once or twice in the night for feeds until about 13 months and then just for a cuddle or to get in our bed for about a year after that. I easily conditioned to that. I think. Perhaps I have forgotten.

I am really tired this morning. Perhaps I shouldn't be posting at all, I am exposing my vulnerability. It is a mind set, right. Pick yourself up and keep going, it won't last forever. And those exams. Let's hope the work done over the year pays off; revision is a little difficult when my brain keeps falling asleep.

*sigh* I guess this is why mothers are blessed with the ability to love their children unconditionally! Good thing he so adorable eh?