Be still

I remember a time I wrote a lot. It helped me empty my head. No I just carry the added weight of words and thoughts in my head everywhere I go.

I’m relieving myself of that burden and wil still using this medium as a platform to get some of those words and thoughts out! I won’t promise you award winning words but I promise myself some clarity and lightening of my being.

————————————————————-

A life so deep

Rich, filled with colour and zest

A head well rested

At ease, basking in the love it receives

At the break of dawn

At the climax of rest

A turbulence that disrupts the past and questions tomorrow

Suddenly, the days are filled with angst of the unknown

And Every move questioned

In the chaos, still the quiet voice within nudges you,

“Be still, all will be well.”

DAj 2018

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Sleep training failure

I said I was going to blog about sleep training my son, but let’s just say at the moment, we are taking two steps forward and several backwards!

Basically, sleep training just isn’t happening. Please note that the content of this post is my personal experience. It doesn’t mean it is going to be the same for you. Disclaimer over!

Other than the fact that it will be nice for myself and my husband to have our bed back to ourselves again, both kids sleeping on their beds all night means each one of us will sleep a lot better and feel more refreshed in the morning. I really want this for the both of them.

I think we missed the boat to get both my son and daughter in good sleep form! The fact my son wasn’t sleep trained by the time my daughter arrived has made it harder for us, amongst other things, to sleep train her. My son is 4 and my daughter is 1.

Let’s start with the little man. His bed time routine is for us to read him a story, turn on his night light and close his door a little bit. You dare not close it more than a little or less than a little because he will call you out on it. He will then happily fall asleep by himself. You do a little victory lap thinking that’s it, he will be up at 7am in the morning, but no it doesn’t happen that way. Without fail, between midnight and 3am, my little man finds his way to our room, at a time when both myself and my husband have zero will to get up and enforce him sleeping in his room. He spends the rest of the night with us and that is that.

Moving on to my little lady. I remember when she was a baby, she did so well sleeping in her bed. She slept all night in there and I was very happy. However, as she got older and wiser and could see for herself that her older brother seems to like sleeping between mummy and daddy, she made a decision to stop sleeping in her bed. In fact, even when she’s sound asleep and you put her in her bed, within 10 minutes she is up screaming her lungs out and waiting to join us on our bed. However, if you put her on our bed, whether or not we sleep beside her. She sleeps through the night!

These kids make me want to call the bed manufacturer and offer him our advertising services because the kids just love it! Surely it has to do with the mattress right? Who knows!

The truth is we have tried to sleep train them both. We went from my son only wanting to fall asleep in our room, or wanting us to stay with him till he fell asleep, to giving him a cup of milk before bed (that came with its own issues so we have stopped that now), to where we are now. I personally call that progress! Although it will be nice to reach the destination soon! We have tried it all out. We have tried the cry it out method, we have stayed with him then left, we have moved temporarily into his room, night lights, sent him back to his room several times in the middle of the night. We have tried it all.

With my little lady, we have equally tried the cry it out method and the stay in the room with her till she sleeps etc but she just ain’t having it!

Okay, that isn’t fully the truth. The truth is, when we have tried all these methods in the past, eventually, something works and the kids are happy to sleep on their beds for the night but then a change in their routine takes me back to square zero! For example, when we travel to a different time zone for holiday, or when we have guests that mean the kids need to leave their room (as an African, this is a thing!). These disturbance in their routine then means I am starting all over again.

It has been a frustrating process but I have temporarily given up on any form of sleep training at the moment because, we have another disturbance to routine coming up in 6 weeks or so. We are moving from one continent to another which is exciting. So my plan is to try this sleep training thing again, for what I hope will be the last time once we have moved. I will also take steps to make sure their routine is not disturb until they have mastered the act of sleeping on this beds and in their room. This I pledge, so help me God!

I really respect mums who have been able to make this happen for their kids! Well done! As for me, I will keep trying. One day it will click.

I am just do-ing it!

Get it?

Just do it mum is just doing it!

I promised a post about sleep training my son… but I have to confess, I haven’t quite cracked this yet. This little fella is a very strongwilled individual! To top it up, my daughter has joined the party. So if I ever do a sleep training blog, it will be about how I failed at it!

Today’s post is just to give myself a nice pat on the back. I am proud to say I have finally moved away from loads-of-ideas-land to just-doing-it-land.

For so long, I have been churning ideas after ideas in my head of things I would like to do outside of work that put my skills to good use. For every idea, I have come up with a hundred reasons not to pursue it. However, summer 2016, a friend shared a business idea with me which sounded very exciting. I knew it was big in America but I didn’t realise it was also big in the UK.

Following our conversation, I was so motivated and sure that I would get started straight away. This was not the case. It took me another six months to commit and register my company.

I wanted to be sure I had an idea of what I was getting myself into before committing.

Needless to say, during my supposed research into whether or not I wanted to take the first step into starting this business, life happened. Days after days went by and I slowly forgot about it. I went back into moaning about how I wished I could utilise my skills further and do something for myself that would be profitable. I came up with a lot of ideas and once again shut each one of them down. I prayed about it as well but I still felt blank.

Six months after the initial conversation with my friend, I was finally ready. I actively did my research, made myself accountable to someone else who was already in this business and within the first week, I had registered my company, started the process to open my business account and started sourcing the products I was going to sell. I went from zero to hundred in less than a week. This just proved to me how much we can achieve when we put our minds to it.

Fast forward to November 2017 and our first product was launched on Amazon. Our hooded baby towel and washcloths made from 100% bamboo fibre. It was a very emotional journey getting here. Running your own business is no mean feat! I have learnt a lot in such a short time and there is still so much I have to learn. I have inserted some pictures below for your perusal and feel free to check it out by clicking here.

The excitement and the hunger to do even more is still there! We are currently working on our second product and we are hopeful there is a significant lot more to come from this!

To anyone out there struggling to start something new or do anything outside of your comfort zone, it is okay to take your time and research. However, don’t let numerous excuses stop you from doing what you should be doing.

Just do it!

Butterfly themed 1st birthday party

Hello!

It has been a very long time and not a day goes by when I do not think of blogging, believe me.

We as a family have been going through a lot of changes. Everyone is happy and good but we are moving! More about that later and in another post.

Today’s post is about my lovely Dara’s first birthday. I have probably forgotten some of the detail by now as it was back in October, but I promised some pictures and some tidbits about the planning, so here we go.

For someone who loves to plan parties and be as creative as pinstrest and my resources will let me, I have always felt restricted by the fact that our birthdays fall in the winter months. Dara was born in October, my birthday in November, my husband’s in December and my son in January. So it is four back to back months of celebration, in the winter. This year was particularly big as Dara, myself and my husband had landmark birthdays

For Dara’s party, with the help of friends, I settled for a butterfly themed party. I honestly thought this would be easy to pull off, but I found it a little challenging. I was working full time at a very demanding job with two children and trying to plan a party for about 100 people (don’t ask) in my home, by myself.

I really liked the idea of having a dessert table, some sort of focal point for the pictures. I ended up putting one together myself and I was quite pleased with the result as you can see from the table below. I’m truly grateful to generous friends who are constantly showering us with love. The cookies and birthday cake were a gift from friends and they were both so yummy.

I decided for the adults, I will focus on making sure they have good food and drinks all they will get is good food and drinks and for the kids, I needed to find a way to entertain them. The predicament I had was that I had a very tight budget but I really wanted it to work.

For the kids, I toyed with the idea of getting them an entertainer. This would have been perfect but for one small details. Nigerians have a habit of not turning up to parties on time. With my limited budget, I couldn’t hire an entertainer for the whole day and it would have just been for a couple of hours. I found it difficult to estimate the best time as I wasn’t sure who would arrive when. So I ditched that plan and prayed for good weather so the kids can play in the garden.

We ended up hiring a bouncy castle, giant jenga, giant four in a row and hoppers. We also put a lot of the kids’ toys in the garden. Thankfully, the weather was largely complaint and the kids all seemed to have had a great time.

By the end of the day, all I wanted to do was sleep!

I’m glad it went well, but that was just the first party of our family birthday season!

The year that was

It is a bit too early to talk about the year 2017 in the past, however, it has been a very difficult year.

As an individual and as a member of my family, we have received a lot of bad news and lost a few friends and family members this year. Of course my pain and feel of loss is nothing compared to that of the spouses, parents, siblings or those otherwise directly impacted by the loss. However, it has forced me to think quite deeply about life in general and what the purpose of this life is.

I lost a very close friend in July. She was a great supporter of anything I was interested in and spurred me on greatly. She diligently read this blog and was one of the few people that actually commented. She was a friend that cared, and despite the burden of being unwell for a long period of time, she lived her life spreading love. She loved life and I know she did not want to die, but as these things are, we have very little say about death. My dear friend was a strong woman, oh… she was strong. You will never have known she was ill if you weren't told. She was the life of the party. Her personality was effervescent and she always had a smile on her face. Her laughter was infectious and she loved to dance.

Travelling was one of her favourite things to do, but in all of this, in her petite body and head, she had a super brain. She was super intelligent and a very industrious woman. I mean, I can't even begin to list her accolades, even while she was ill. I remember having a conversation with her earlier this year when she was toying with the idea of going back to work / going to school because she wanted to do something useful. It was a lot for me to take in because I couldn't even believe she was thinking about these things. She had big plans and goals. That is why, in all of this, in as much as I am at peace that she is no longer in pain, it hurts that although she lived life as best as she could, she still had things she would have loved to do.

She was gracious to the end! Even when things got bad, she was still thinking about me and my family. I mean, she was doing some research for us I didn't even realise she was doing until she sent us a useful link! She was so selfless! She had this skill of making everyone around her feel like she was their best friend. The place she occupied in my heart will never be replace. I remember you everyday, all the time, because somehow, you were involved in everything I did.

I am so grateful for my maternity leave, for the 9 months I spent at home that meant I couldn't use the time difference between the two continents as an excuse for not catching up with you properly. I'm grateful for our then daily banter, exploring business ideas, product ideas, product researches, comparing suppliers and what not. I miss your wittiness, I miss that laughter! I can hear it ringing in my ears right now… that laughter! I miss gisting with you! The numerous conversations that start as a whatsapp chat until you decide this type of gist is for over the phone only.

My dearest, you were special, so very special, and you touched so many lives in so many ways. So much so I am confident that the seed you have planted in all our lives will reap fruits and rewards in the form of your husband and daughter finding everlasting favour in everything they do and everywhere they go.

I know you are resting in peace in the bosom of God. We your friends and family that you left behind miss you dearly. I am grateful for the privilege of being your friend. Thank you for showing me love and teaching me the true selfless meaning of friendship. I will always love you!

Sun re ore mi.

From your friend,

Dami

Transitioning

This is what happens when you have too many blogs! Lol this blog was meant for this site but I mistakenly posted it elsewhere first lol… oh well. Here you go peeps!

What a year it has been! 2017 has been my most challenging year yet. This time last year, I was so sure that during my maternity leave, I would have all the time in the world to blog to my heart’s content, but God had other plans. 

I will like to shout out to my friends who have kept asking about my blog and encouraging me to update. Thank you for believing in my journey. This post is dedicated to you guys.

 

This year, all 5 months of it, has been filled with more downs than ups. Just as we get over one unexpected and sad event, something else happens. I am trusting God and believing in him that the rest of the year will be filled with good news.

 

I said to my husband this afternoon that I felt so unsettled and I couldn’t explain why. He said this to me – we are transitioning. This made so much sense once he said it. We have so many things going on / in progress in our individual lives and in our lives as a family that sometimes it gets overwhelming. We encourage each other to take one day at a time and remind ourselves that this is just a phase – our transitioning phase. I will share briefly about a project I am currently working on.

 

I am sure I have shared in previous posts about how I have been looking for my entrepreneurial purpose. I have always had this itch in me to do something more, in addition to being a family woman and working in the corporate world. However, nothing has ever been able to fill that gap. I dabbled into knitting and crocheting, which I still enjoy as a hobby, as well as sewing, but I soon found that these things were not going to satisfy that hunger in me. This hunger grew so much, that I often stayed up late at night telling myself off for wasting another day. I felt like every spare minute I had should be invested in growing my passion.

 

One day, 5 months into my maternity leave, I realised my leave will be over soon and I would have wasted the best opportunity to kick start whatever it was I wanted to do. In my desperation, I saw what was right in front me and has been there for the last 7 months! A couple of my friends had mentioned in the past about selling on Amazon and I just did not allow myself appreciate that this could be a reality until January this year. When I remembered, I decided to give it a go. I asked my friends tons of questions, read a lot about the process and paid for some courses. I was amazed to see how much information was available online about selling on Amazon, eBay and the likes. Before I knew it, I had registered a company with my sister in-law, opened a business account and stocked up on my first products. All of this was very daunting for me as I have never really being a risk taker. For the first time in my life, I was taking a real risk, but I knew whichever way it panned out, I would have learned a valuable lesson about running a business from the experience.

 

Now, selling on Amazon is not the finish line for me, it is currently a means to an end. I am still experimenting to see what works. However, four months in and with the help of my support system, and business colleagues with the same goals, I have ordered the company’s first product from China. It has been stressful but extremely fun getting to this stage. Discussing my requirements with Chinese suppliers has been the pain of my life! One minute I think I have managed to communicate everything I need and all that is left is to pay, the next minute I am being told oh, is this what you want, it costs $x more, or we don’t have that in stock, to get it for you it costs $x more, or you want this, the minimum order quantity is more than you are asking for, and the list goes on! After all of this, I have finally been able to narrow down the specification of the product. It is not my first choice in terms of design, but it is still a very good product I believe in (more to be revealed soon). This will be the first of what we hope will be a lot more products branded by our company. Who knows, we just may innovate the next best thing since sliced bread. Until then, my brain fluids will be working way, trying to come up with our next product.

In a nutshell, this is what has been keeping me extremely busy. This, along with raising my two kids, being a wife to my husband and other day to day chores life throws my way. I will also be going back to work in a couple of months. I am curious to see how juggling all of this pans out. I know it will not be easy, but nothing good comes easy right?

Notwithstanding, I am very excited about the future! I am glad I have taken this step. Best believe, I am doing all of this very afraid, but I am determined to keep moving forward and encourage myself every step of the way. I will keep you posted as much as possible – especially when the product is ready! Watch this space.

Are you also taking a plunge into the business world, or are you well versed in this? I am always happy to learn from people or to share the little I know. So please, share your tips or ask me questions?

 

 

 

 

..and then we are four!

Has anything changed? Is it easier this time around? These are questions people often ask me when they visit or they see us with our daughter.

The answer is – yes and no!

Has anything changed? 

Yes, our lives are fuller, richer and even more exciting as this little girl has us all wrapped round her little fingers. 

However, I keep pinching myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I mean, are you seriously telling me I am a mum of two? It is just so surreal and can be daunting particularly when I realise these two children rely on me and my husband to survive! Eek! No slacking away… we need to work harder, devote more time to them, need to earn.. need to be more responsible… and other pressures parenting brings, along with the joys as well!

 Is it easier this time?

The quick answer to this is no, and the longer answer to this is yes. Basically, I still have to do everything I did with my first child, and so in that sense, it is not easier as she is still a baby that needs tons of attention. However, because we have been through it all before with our son, we know what to expect and so it feels easier and not a lot takes us by surprise. For example, we know with babies comes sleepless nights. It is no longer a big deal as we have done it before and have better coping mechanisms – or shall I say, the our bodies goes back to its sleep reserve and helps us function. Don’t quote me on this, I believe this must be the case. However, I learnt this time around to let her sleep when she wants to and not to interrupt her sleep in the name of changing her diaper. If she isn’t soiled, I leave it on till the morning. This means we both sleep better, but she still wakes up for meals as she is being breastfed.

One aspect I have had to learn to deal with is this – coming to the realisation that it is possible to lovemy children equally! I love them both individually and equally. There are times when I feel like I am paying my daughter too much attention and not enough to my son. Initially, I was moved to tears on some occassions so much so that I am forced to give myself a pep talk on the spot. When my son was born, he had all of our attention, now we have another baby, she gets some of our attention, and our son gets the rest. I am able to justify it in my head that there is enough of us to go round between our children and make up for it when it matters most. For example, my son loves it when we read him stories before he goes to bed, so no matter what I am doing, I either take his sister along with me to read him his stories, or I give his sister to his dad, nanny or gran to look after while I go up to read my son his stories. When I can’t read him a story, his dad does.

What makes all of this easier is the fact that both of them, by His grace, will always have each other. I can already see my daughter light up when her brother is back from nursery. This is certainly new territory for all of us, but I am looking forward to watch it all unfold. I can only pray they become best friends and will grow up to continue to love and support each other through out all of life’s challenges!

Next blog will be about our challenge with sleep training our son. I know, he’s 3!!!

Life as a mum of two

I respect mums with two or more kids under three in particular. I had reached a place where life was great with one child. We had a routine and I finally was in control of my new life as my mum, it at least I thought I was. With the arrival of our daughter, I’m back looking for my steady state again.

Our daughter arrived in October and it has been an interesting journey. Her brother came to the world three days before his due date, so I was fairly certain she would arrive earlier. I even started my maternity leave a month before my due date to give me plenty of time to spend with my son before his sister arrived and also enough time for me to rest and prepare for a second child. As things will happen, she arrived two days late. The labour was thankfully very quick. It started at about 1:50am and she came into the world into a birthing pool like her brother at 3:18am. I am glad it was quick but… labour, no matter how quick it is, is still painful!

We are now settling into our new routine as a bigger family quite nicely. It however does not come without its challenges and it will take some time to reach a new equilibrium. Although there is plenty of help around, some how it doesn’t always hit the spot. In addition, keeping my first occupied on the days he isn’t at Pre-school is an art I’m still learning. It has been a bit challenging because he’s at the ‘why’ or ‘no’ after every instruction stage, and let’s face it, he isn’t even three yet and so he is still my baby!

I will be honest and say our daughter is not a bad sleeper and she is such a happy baby. She seems to have started sleeping well quite early. I hope I haven’t jinxed it by saying she sleeps well. 

I’m excited about raising another child and I feel very blessed to have this privileged. I am hoping not to make the same mistakes twice, for starters…. our plan is to ensure she always sleeps in her bed. We weren’t strict about this with my son, first time mum syndrome! Let’s just say, he still lets himself into our bed in the middle of the night! 

I am looking forward to learning again and enjoying this new phase.

Until next time… it won’t be as long as the last time 🙂

Sharing life’s experiences 

  

*The examples in the blog below is in relation to female experiences. However, the concept and benefits of sharing should apply equally to men*

In the world we live in today, sharing knowledge or encouragement could often been seen as helping the competition of helping someone else become better than you are. However, I have come to realise that encouraging people who have discovered their purpose and are running with it, is way better than saving all the tips and encouragement for yourself. In addition, we say love is what the world needs, I see encouraging and sharing tips as one a way of expressing love. If you love someone, you won’t watch them do something wrong or not as effectively when you know of a better way they could have done it. There, I said it.

Applying this to businesses, if you look around you, you will find that there is hardly a business that is a monopoly. From coffee shops to bakeries to restaurants to law firms and so on. I remember when I was toying with different business ideas I was considering doing and while I was mulling over the details and discussing this with my friend, within a few days or sometimes on the same day, I would see on Instagram or another social media platform that another friend who I haven’t shared this dream or idea with is already doing something similar. I will be honest with you and say that this often discouraged me because I felt like, argh that was my idea, now she’s doing it, there is no point in me doing the same thing or something similar, she would think I copied her. I was more concerned about people thinking I copied their ideas, even though I genuinely think up similar ideas. 

Like I have said several times, it is good to surround yourself with people that will encourage you, spur you on and would generally give you good positive advice. What a good friend said to me was filled with wisdom. She shared her own experiences with me and how seeing other people doing similar things has not stopped her in pursuing her goals and dreams. She said, it is possible for people to have similar ideas, however, what makes you different is your unique selling point. What else do you bring to this idea you both have that makes it special. Let me try to break it down. There are loads of bakeries out there, some are unique because their customers are in specific local areas, some because of the texture of the bread, the shape of the bread, or the bread is low in fat or not made with gluten and so on, I could go on. Basically, there are different wants to make bread and in most cases, each type of bread has a specific group of customers. So in as much as you have similar ideas, you will find that if you do your research well, you could be targeting completely different groups of customers and both be excelling in the same field.

I am now going to apply this same idea to our personal lives. The general (key word here being general) pathway of life is this. You are born, you go to school, you get a job, get married, have kids and then at some point we all die. However, even as most of us have similar experiences in life with a few differences here and there, in my experience, I find that we only share selective life lessons with each other, in most cases, the good and interesting parts of our lives as opposed to the challenging parts. I’m not fully sure why this is the case. One of my biggest flaw and assets is the fact I am an open book. I love to share, particularly because I wished more people shared with me before I got into certain situations.

Reading books and watching movies often feed us with this perfect idea of life and how things work. Our friends and family could also, unconciously give away the same vibe.  I remember my wedding night, oh my goodness. Nothing people told me and nothing I watched on tv/read in books could have prepared me for what was going to happen. However, when you watch movies and speak to some friends, it sounds like having sex just involves the both of you laying down and viola the deed is done. I learnt the hard way it doesn’t just happen like that. Of course after this experience, I was quick to let my friends behind me know it is not as easy as it looks or sounds and it could take several attempts. Of course it gets better eventually and easier. I initially thought after my own experience that I was weird or the odd one out but soon after, my friends had similar experiences and I stopped feeling weird!

Moving swiftly on from that. What about childbirth? This was a whole different case. Once again, no one can prepare you for this and every woman’s experience is different, however, the process is usually the same. I always encourage first time mums to have an open mind while doing their research and to also speak to people who are willing to share their own experience. It is also important that you don’t narrow your research early on. For example, for ladies who do not want to have a Caesarian section, it is still useful to research into what is involved with this. This is because childbirth can be very unpredictable and some ladies start off having a natural birth and things change so quickly they find themselves in a theatre. It is in the same way it is important for ladies who do not want epidural or pain killers to also do some research into pain killers because you will find that often, a lot of women change their minds when they are in pain. The more knowledge you have, the more likely you are to make an informed decision. For example, epidural can o ky be administered at certain stages during labour. Some women find that by the time they ask for it, it is too late. If you have this informstion before hand and you decide you want epidural, at least you will know to ask for it sooner rather than later, or ask for your midwife’s opinion on when to get it.

Still on childbirth, I didn’t realise until I was pregnant, that pushing out a baby was by the end of it. No one told me before I stumbled on the information on an online community that I would also have to push out the placenta. To be fair, the work involved with this is not as bad as  pushing a baby out but it is still uncomfortable. You can either choose to push out the placenta naturally, or your midwife can give you an injection to speed up the process. Totally up to you.

I also did not know, until it happened to me that for days after birth, I would still be contracting. I understand this is because your uterus is shrinking back to its original size, or trying to. I was glad when this stopped though. Another thing I did not know was that for up to six weeks after childbirth, you are encouraged to take it easy and not do anything too tasking to allow the body heal. Tasking activities, my friends, includes sex. How does one even prepare for this?

I won’t say anymore on childbirth but I think I have shared most of what I can remember anyway. Having a child is a beautiful thing, but if I knew these things at least I would have been mentally prepared for what was coming my way. Some friends I have shared my experience with have been very grateful for my honesty and my willingness to discuss the gory details with them.

I know most of what I have shared today has been about the childbirthing process, but the concept of sharing equally applies to everything really –  from tips to applying for jobs to things to do while on holiday.

We are often too much in a hurry or too engrossed in our own lives (or smart phones) to share our experiences or notice that the person right next to us is struggling and needs our help. But we can change that today by making a concious effort to care more and share more appropriately.

I hope this encourages someone out there to share!

Have a great week!

My reality: dealing with a 2yr old toddler

Around the time my son turned two, people, used to comment about the fact he was now a terrible two. I have extracted a definition of what the phrase terrible twos mean from the Mayo clinic website below for your information.

The terrible twos are a normal stage in a toddler’s development characterized by mood changes, temper tantrums and use of the word “no.” The terrible twos typically occur when toddlers begin to struggle between their reliance on adults and their desire for independence

Basically, in lay man terms, this just means a lot of screaming, misbehaving, mood swings and making mummy and daddy look like they have taught you absolutely no manners! 

When people passed this comment to me about my son, the Nigerian Christian in me was rebuking and saying it was not my portion or his and he would skip this phase. However, within 2 -3 months after he turned two, I couldn’t deny that my son was exhibiting the characteristics of what was a terrible two! So many times I just stare at him like are you being serious! I will give you an example.

Our son is normal 2 year old toddler, he pushes boundaries, but which male (and some female) toddler doesn’t. He knows to say please, thank you and sorry at the right times and if you tell him off for doing something once (e.g picking things up from the floor and eating it), he would in most cases pick them up and bring them to you to take away this temptation from him lol. If he wants a snack or water or to eat he knows how to ask and if he has a dirty nappy he will 80% of the time come and tell you he has a dirty nappy or even bring you his baby bag so you can change him. So there is a background to this lovey young chap.

Imagine my surprise and genuine shock the first time he throws himself on the floor crying like he has been beaten or just fallen down. I rush to him to ask what the matter was but he just kept crying. Eventually I offered him some apple or crackers and he stops crying and says crackers. In my head I’m thinking, why didn’t you just ask, why did you need to cry or scream! So this happens on and off and if it isn’t water he wants, it is a snack or he wants you to get up and play with him. It is something he would normally, in his own way articulate. 

How do I deal with this I ask myself? I try so hard not to lose patience and to deal with the situation as positively as I can. However, when I can’t deal with it positively, I simply ignore him because I know he is fine and he is not in harm’s way. So I simply ignore the screams, carry on with what I am doing while he rolls on the floor or throws his tantrum in whatever way he chooses on that day. On some occassions he eventually comes to me by himself for a cuddle shortly after which he would stop crying. Other times, I go to him eventually and offer him one of the usual culprits or give him a cuddle. On a few occasions, I have made funny faces at him or mimicked him crying and he often starts laughing. This doesn’t always work though. 

I find that it helps to know you are not the only mum going through this and a number of toddlers go through this stage. I have extracted a little bit more information from the Mayo clinic website below that nicely summarises what they are going through and why they respond in the way they do below.

While the terrible twos can be difficult for parents and caregivers to navigate, keep in mind that 2-year-olds are undergoing major motor, intellectual, social and emotional changes. Their vocabularies are growing, they’re eager to do things on their own, and they’re beginning to discover that they’re expected to follow certain rules. However, most 2-year-olds still aren’t able to move as swiftly as they’d like, clearly communicate their needs or control their feelings. This can lead to frustration and misbehavior — in other words, the terrible twos.

Like I said earlier, I try to be patient and understanding, but I am also very concious that he is beginning to learn that there are rules and consequences. I am therefore careful to make sure that however I decide to handle his tantrums positively, I am not undoing the good work instilled in him already. It is ultimately important that when these episodes happen, we are not coming across to our child or children as reinforcing bad behaviour. Therefore, it seems ignoring them until they calm down or until you feel it is appropriate, may be the best way to deal with this. This is obviously easier said than done, but I constantly pray for the grace and strength I need!

It is particularly hard to curb these tantrums when you are in a public place. My least favourite activity to do with my son is going to the supermarket because he wants everything and ends up crying because I don’t give it to him. On the fruit aisle he wants banana, then he wants ham then he wants cheese and so on, you get the gist. It is a frustrating experience for the two of us. In as much as I want to give him exposure to the supermarket and point out things to him and teach him what they are, I’m afraid at this stage, all he wants to do is eat them! As a result, where possible, I leave him at home with a responsible adult and go on my errands. If I must take him along, I pack his own snacks with me and give him those instead at various intervals. This seems to work for the majority of the time. I would like to shout out the men and women out there who see a mum struggling with a toddler throwing a tantrum in public and try to help in their own way by making funny faces at the toddler or by speaking reassuringly to the toddler. This usually distracts the little one and could even result in the toddler laughing. Worse case scenario, they keep crying, at least the kind stranger tried to help.

Most of all, regardless of what they do, as mums, we will always love our children. It is important  that we communicate this to them often, especially at this difficult time. We should keep trying to help them understand better ways to communicate. I know they are still building their language skills and may not understand what you are saying, but I have been so pleasantly surprised by the amount of what I say my son understands. He may not be able to speak to me clearly but I know he understands me majority of the time. So, don’t underestimate your little genius!

If like me you are in the same shoes, hang in there (I know I am, sometimes by a thin thread!). This phase too will be over soon enough. I hear by the time they are 4, we are in the clear! 

Enjoy the rest of your week and don’t forget to share your experiences and tips (if any).

JDIM