Thursday, 14 July 2011


Look at my baby, sitting. My BABY. Sitting. So proud, so sad.

Peer supporter training

I mentioned it a couple of times a while back; I'm now more than halfway through my course training as a breastfeeding peer supporter. I'm glad that I'm doing this now because I suspect captain Government Cutback is going to stop funding the training soon - and then stop funding the specialist midwife breastfeeding support team - and then just midwives. Funny that the cutbacks are cutting such vital services that, long term, save people - and thus the government - a lot of money but I digress!

The main thing that I'm learning on my course is How To Listen. I'm not great at that - I'm great at talking - I can talk and talk and talk and talk - listening, not so much. My entire family will agree. 

Something I've always found helpful when I've had to talk to people about things I've struggled with is hearing their story - hearing that someone else struggled, that someone else found ways through. Because I find that helpful I do it to others too - but I'm having to learn right now that sometimes, some people DON'T need that - they don't want to hear you talking about the ways you struggled too, they just want to tell you that THEY are struggling - and then find ways to help them to fix it.

It ties in with a process of thinking I went through a while ago. I had been very unhappy and had a lot of 'issues' (as they say) to deal with; I always got angry with myself because I saw and heard stories of many people who had much bigger problems than me - to whom my problems would seem childish and insignificant. There were also a lot of other people around who had no problems at all but really believed that they did - whose problems, in comparison to MINE, really were childish and insignificant (in my opinion at the time). 

At that point in my life I learned to stop comparing. 

The worst thing that has ever happened to you is the worst thing that has ever happened to you. Whether that be losing your hair straighteners, losing a loved one or losing your marbles it is, by definition, the WORST thing that has EVER happened to you. That worst thing doesn't compare to my worst thing, or the girl next door's worst thing - it doesn't compare to anyone's anything. It's your worst thing. And we all have one. 

We all have a best thing, too. And a most memorable. A most exciting. A scariest. We all have one of those things. Mine doesn't compare, shouldn't compare, to yours. What I had to learn then was to stop comparing my story to other stories.

I have to re-learn that now, to be a good peer supporter; I know that my own experiences of feeding my two sons and the ups, downs, struggles and joys that I've had on our (ongoing) journey will give me a wealth of knowledge to glean advice from. Listening to and sharing stories with friends gives me even more knowledge.

When it comes to actually doing the job - to supporting people - it's all about listening and knowing when to use that knowledge without actually giving my own story back at people. 

I'm going to struggle with that - I do so love to talk about myself - but it's well worth remembering the lessons I learned years ago to make me a better peer supporter and, really, a better friend and person. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How do you feel?

I don't know how I feel. I feel busy. I feel tired. I feel happy, and frustrated, and overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. I feel like I forgot something. I feel like I should be somewhere. I feel like I'm not doing enough, and like I'm doing too much. 

I feel fat. I feel short. I feel pretty. I feel sore. I feel elated. I feel. 

I feel too much. 

I feel something new every time I wonder how I feel. I feel like  I'm over thinking it. I feel like I need a label for every feeling and a feeling for every label. 

Sometimes it's ok to just be, to stop feeling - but then you wonder how THAT feels. 

I wish I could turn off my brain.

Sunshine days

He doesn't spend ALL his time with no trousers on - but sometimes it's too warm, or too wet, or too restrictive!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The things they do.

I love my family. I mean I really, truly love them. I love them even though they make a mess. I love them even though they're noisy. I love them even when they spill a full pint of ribena into the basket full of clean laundry.
I love them even though there are times I desperately want to shout back and slam the door behind me on the way out.
I love them even when they eat my chocolate. I love them despite never getting quite as much sleep as I'd like, and nearly always sharing my bed with the small people instead of my husband.
I love then even when all three insist on sharing or interrupting my bath - the long, soothing soak I've looked forward to all day.
I love them when I read yet another book about diggers and hear a little voice exclaiming With pure joy that there's a digger, and there's a digger, and there's a digger!
I love them even though I'm the only one who ever does the dishes. I love them even though I'm the one who sorts and washes and dries and folds every item of clothing.
I love them.

I love them most of all when I'm teetering on the very edge of my tether and close to snapping and one by one they smile at me. They look at me with wholehearted trust, total confidence that their lives are ok and full of love. The second any of them smiles at me I know we're ok. I know they love me too and however sticky, or snotty, or or food covered they might be I'm about to get the most wonderful kiss and cuddle.

I love them, despite and because of all the things they do.