Infant Massage – A handbook for loving parents by Vimala McClure

I’m questioning my suitability of being a mum again and so all the parenting books are out and open but unfortunately none are finished.  However, I found this book which I have read twice and loved all the relevant parts.  When both my girls were babies, I went to baby massage classes with them and I was recommended this book by the teacher. 

Looking back at it now though, the introduction seems a little harsh especially regarding parenting techniques.  However, that is the only bad thing I have to say about this book.  There are so many massage techniques that you can use and are probably very beneficial but when you have a bit of an explanation as to why you are massaging the baby the way you are and all the benefits of this particular massage, it helps bring a sense of purpose to what you are doing.

This book has 15 chapters:

 Chapter 1: Why massage your baby?

Chapter 2:  Your baby’s sensory world

Chapter 3: Bonding, Attachment and Infant massage

Chapter 4: Especially for Fathers

Chapter 5: Helping Baby (and you) learn to relax

Chapter 6: Music and Massage

Chapter 7: Getting ready

Chapter 8: How to massage your baby

Chapter 9: Crying, fussing and other baby language

Chapter 10: Minor illnesses and Colic

Chapter 11: Your premature baby

Chapter 12: Your baby with special needs

Chapter 13: Your growing child and sibling bonding through massage

Chapter 14: Your adopted or foster children

Chapter 15: A note to teen parents

With my first daughter, I used to massage her every day, without fail after her evening bath.  It was amazing how it would calm her down and relax her almost in front of your eyes.  Doing this before bedtime was usually great for getting her to fall asleep.  As a baby she was a really good sleeper.  Unfortunately, trying to get her to sleep now (aged 6) by herself is a nightmare.  First come the excuses and all the important things she needs to tell me right now, and then come the books which she hides under the pillow and in the bed and tries to read for as late as possible.  It’s good to read but sleep is important too and the thing is I’ve been there and done that – reading under the duvet with a dim torch.

My second daughter didn’t seem to be too much of a fan of baby massage to start with.  She wouldn’t keep still when I would massage her and usually just end up massaging whatever part of the body I had in front of me.  However, I did start baby massage earlier with her and as she got older, she did seem to enjoy it.

Even with two girls, we did bedtime massages for a long time, even if some nights it didn’t seem as long or as relaxing as I would like.  A lot of my younger daughter’s massages were moved to the day time when the older daughter was at nursery and I had time to massage without worrying about being disturbed.

As they have got older, the massages have more or less stopped now and the most they get is a quick rub down with some moisturiser.  The other day, the eldest daughter started complaining about her legs and that they were hurting her.  This was in the night just before I was heading to sleep.  She hadn’t complained all day so I assumed it was growing pains and did a little massage on her legs then.  Again she fell asleep quickly and for a moment it felt like being a baby again.

This book goes into details of the techniques of baby massage on different parts of the body.  As the baby grows up and her wants change, it also shows you how to adapt our massaging techniques to suit them.  It also covers some very basic illnesses, like a tummy bug or a cough and cold and how different massages can help relieve the pain, even if it is only for a bit. It also mentions how massaging helps with bonding with you child and it is also good for fathers to join in with the massages.  It’s a very good read and I would definitely recommend this book to parents to be so they can be prepared for giving their babies a massage as reading becomes a luxury once you become parents.

 

 

A Mums Morning Poem


In the darkness of the night and the early morning, 

When monsters lurk just behind the shadow of the door 

And spiders threaten to come out and hang, 

A restless stirring, shows the nightmare is in full swing, 

 

A woman creeps out of bed to start the day. 

A list of things to do running through her head, 

Making sure the girls have everything for school is her first priority 

But its an endless list making her angry and helpless at the same time.

 

This is when meditation needs to be done (and ticked off the list).

A multitasking meditation, deep breaths while ironing,

Knowing that the things that she wants to work on will get left behind again.

When did life become so busy? When did lists become so long?

 

A loud swoosh as a door opens, brings the woman out of contemplation.

There’s a patter of small feet running across the hall searching for a grown up,

And a big relieved hug from two sleepy girls as they find their mummy.

Maybe life will be frustrating for a while but the big hugs are amazing.

 

life-is-not-measured

A Mumpreneur Guide by Annabel Karmel

One of the best things I like to read about is inspiring stories of people (especially women) who have achieved amazing success against all odds. This book is full of motivational stories like this, starting obviously with:

Annabel Karmel – Cookbooks for healthy food ideas for babies and children at different stages of growing up.  This is where I first found out about Annabel Karmel.  I was all into cooking healthy nutritious food for my babies. Continue reading “A Mumpreneur Guide by Annabel Karmel”

The pursuit of Happiness and why it’s making us anxious

The Pursuit of Happiness and why its making us anxious – By Ruth Whippman

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There are lots of things I want to say about this book.  Firstly, I have seen lots of things on the internet selling courses on how to better yourself but I had never realised that the pursuit of happiness was such a big industry.  Secondly, I had no idea about the happiness work project by the shoe company Zappos or more specifically Tony Hsieh and especially not about the downtown project in Las Vegas.  Thirdly, I had no idea Mormons were so ‘happy’ and such a big community in Utah, although, they do seem to be happy by popping anti-depressant pills.  I do have the urge to look up all these three things just to understand the logic of it all. To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever thought about happiness.  I do think about bettering myself but that’s as far as it goes.  Then again maybe its all part of the same thing, this inward thinking about yourself rather than thinking about the community in large or other people in general. Continue reading “The pursuit of Happiness and why it’s making us anxious”

A weekly timetable to help organise your life

Regardless of what happens in life, some things have to carry on in as much of a routine as possible.  So even though the year started off with a funeral and in a few months we might be moving houses, the girls still have school and nursery to go to and I still need to do some work and we all need to eat healthily. Continue reading “A weekly timetable to help organise your life”

The Playground Mafia

 

This is my first book review for a book I received from Britmums.  Normally, I think once I’ve finished doing everything, I will sit down and read the book and I’m sure there must be some format to do a proper book review but as soon as I got this book, I couldn’t put it down.  I opened the book and thought I would have a quick review but as soon as I started reading, I could feel myself nodding my head in agreement.  The Hot Mum? –  Oh yeah, I know her at the school gate!  The Snooty mum – I know her too.  The Naughty Child mum – oh no, that sounds a bit like me – eeekk!  It’s so funny especially as my daughter has just started school and I’m still getting to know all the mums,  it’s easy to put a label on them.  Although, in real life once you get to know them, the snooty mum is not really that snooty and the hot mum is quite normal too!

It’s a nice pocket size book with a sketch of each type of mum (and a couple of dads) and a checklist of what to expect from that type of mum and then a little description or a little story about each mum and the type of cocktail they would be. The paralyser sounds about right!

I think these should be on sale at school gates on the first day of school for all new parents!  It’s such a funny book.

My favourite poem since having my second baby

I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship.
Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited.
And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?

Then she is born, and I watch you.
I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before.
I hear you telling me in your own way, Please love only me.
And I hear myself telling you in mine, I can’t, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.
You cry. I cry with you.

I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared.
A relationship we can never quite have again.
But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty.
I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying her – as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.
More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine.

The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two.
There are new times – only now, we are three.
I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.

I watch how she adores you – as I have for so long.
I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments.
And I begin to realise that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you.
I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong.
And my question is finally answered, to my amazement.

Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you – only differently.
And although I realise that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you – you each have your own supply.
I love you – both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.