Letter to my son on his first birthday

Today it’s your first birthday! Behind there are those two years where we were searching for you in a thousand different ways. Fears, concerns, frustration and sometimes even despair. Today we celebrate that we have been together for 12 months, growing together, sharing beautiful moments that we will always treasure.

In a near future all of this will be engraved upon the very bottom of your memories and your heart. I doubt you will be able to remember them, that’s why I’d like you to know a few things so that when you’ve reached the age when you can not only read them but also understand them you will be able to appreciate them:

The day you were born was the most painful one I have ever lived in my life, but you know what they say out there is true, the moment I saw you and held you in my arms all the pain just vanished. Thank you so much for giving away so much love on just the first look without even barely known us at all, apart from what you’ve probably been told up there 😉

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When we finally got home your big sister didn’t know how to handle so much excitement. We had never seen her so happy and cheerful before. You are her favourite people, although she squashes you sometimes, hugs you to the point of almost make you choke yourself or kisses you  until she leaves you breathless. I know you kinda like it too. I can see how you look at her, how you search for her and need her. One day, not too far away, you will become the support of one another, you will trust one another, and that relationship, if you both take care of it, will never be able to get broken.

Thank you little E, though you were always be my baby, I won’t be able to call you so for too much longer, we are eternally grateful to you because in a world of so much darkness you have brought us light. Your name means Eternal, Constant, Everlasting. That’s what you are for us, along with your sister, an eternal blessing that reminds us of a family’s true worth.

You still have many adventures to live, you’re not running yet, even though you would love to and you’re very close to achieve it. You haven’t said your first sentence although there’s probably interesting conversations up in your mind. We look forward to sharing all those amazing moments with you, we pray daily to our Heavenly Father so that we can be the type of parents you need to keep growing up, developing and reaching your fullest potential.

With our dearest love,

Your family that adores you,

Sam, Eli & J

A new Facebook group for parent bloggers who write in Spanish

**This post has been written thinking on the Spanish speaking community of bloggers but feel more than welcome to read its translation into English:

With the new year I have rolled up my sleeves, organise myself and my time and finally decided to create a Facebook group for mums and dads bloggers who write in Spanish. 

This is the thing, when I started getting more involve with blogging, back in April last year, I came across several groups for bloggers who write in English. Living in UK and since my blog is bilingual I decided to join a few. You learn by experience, and must admit I enjoyed some more than others, but in their majority, all of them helped me somehow. One in particular, UK Parent Bloggers  created by Donna from What the Red Head said, was let’s say, my inspiration, to shape my idea of creating a community of fellow parent bloggers who speak Spanish.

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/mamasypapasbloguerosespanol/

A group where we could all ask freely our doubts and queries regarding blogging, family life -motherhood, fatherhood, raising children- sharing opportunities to work with brands, or even posting threads, every once in a while, where we can follow one another.

I’ve missed that type of group in my own language and finally I thought that since I hadn’t been able to find one till now and/or nobody had created one, then somebody needed to take the first step, don’t you think? So here we are! One of my small blogging goals for this year achieved. Now it’s only a matter of growing it so we can all enjoy it! 😀

Join the party!

Petite Pudding

The best 3 tips of advice I received on breastfeeding

After having a second child and going through the breastfeeding experience again, I think I’m in a position now to share with you what it helped me the most when I really struggled with breastfeeding my baby. If you’re a new mum that have chosen this option and everything is not going as smooth as the parenting magazines usually show you, you might want to read this:

#1 It’s ok not to be ok

I can’t remember how many times I read and heard about the wonders of breastfeeding, the benefits on your child’s health and development, the bond you build with those precious moments. All that is true, but let me tell you what it’s true as well: the stress you go through when you and the newborn are adapting to each other’s position, the latching that never happens, the wound created because of not doing it properly. During the first 2 months with my daughter my breasts were so sore I couldn’t even wear a t-shirt on. So obviously, I didn’t go out that much, cause I wasn’t going to leave the house topless!

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I felt terrible because what I had expected to feel didn’t match at all what I was feeling. How could it be so wonderful if it hurt that much? Wasn’t a mum good enough that I didn’t want to sacrifice myself and continue suffering? One day, after counseling with Sam and praying a lot about it, I came across some information about breastfeeding and a support group. It clearly said: If it hurts when you breastfeed then there’s something wrong going on. Either the position or your baby’s mouth, something, but breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt at all. So please, to the new mum out there: follow that advice, don’t feel terrible with yourself and seek for help. It’s ok not to feel good about something that is physically hurting you so you need to solve whatever is stopping you from going through that wonderful experience with your baby.

#2 Practice makes the difference

When you’re out with your baby and you’re a new mum you think all the eyes will be on you just right before you loose your bra so you get a bit anxious about the whole situation, your baby gets hungrier and hungrier and therefore it gets harder and harder for him to latch properly. But let me tell you one thing, after a couple of months you get so used to it and you don’t bother that much, you feel more relax and everything runs more smoothly. I don’t even use the nursing blanket with E anymore, I don’t mind it, but he gets quite annoyed with it, so if I’m alright with the situation I will just pull my t-shirt up a bit and problem solved. Seriously, don’t worry about it that much, the more often you do it the more used to it you will be. 🙂

#3 You don’t need to go through it alone

This one is on me. Having my second baby on a different country was quite a scary experience and I knew I wouldn’t have the same breastfeeding support groups that I used to attend back in Barcelona, but I learnt the lesson with my first child and I searched for help on the very first week E was born. Luckily for me he didn’t have tongue tight and I knew that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, as I already said before, so as soon as I started to feel a bit of pain I went to my local group. As soon as I arrived a very friendly lady guided me to a very comfortable sofa and showed me the different positions I could try to make it easier. I breastfed E right there, she game me a few tips I had forgotten because it had been a while since breastfeeding J, and since then everything started to get better; to the point where after a month, E and I would be completely adapted to one another. Don’t think because you’ve done it with your first child you won’t need help with the following ones. It is always good to refresh yourself and even learn new ways to do it.

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I hope these tips of advice will help you somehow. They helped me. And now I can say I enjoy breastfeeding my baby. I love when he giggles right after the fed, I don’t know what makes him laugh to be honest…haha, but it is super cute when he does it. Most important, I am treasuring those moments forever.

ethannevelyn

Am I no longer the mum with “no village”?

I recently read a blogpost that it made think about my motherhood experience in this country. I recommend you to read it, it was called When You’re the Mom with no village by Jay Miranda.  I felt quite related to her feelings of solitude away from family. The phrase itself says “it takes a village to raise a child” and is basically talking about the support community that a child needs in order to grow and learn, being the community: family, friends, educators, etc.

But what about us, mums? Do we need a village as well? Back in Barcelona we used to have my family side on a 10 minute drive distance and my in-laws on a 30 minutes drive. Not too bad, right? It’s not only we had family close by, but for us, family equals friends, cause the relationship we have with them is so good that we love spending time together, having a good laugh and sharing moments. We also have good friends that we can hang out with so our life there was quite well-balanced except for our jobs and finances.

Moving to UK helped us settle our finances down and be more self-reliant but we lost all the other part of the equation. For quite a while I was and I felt like the mum with “no village”. We met people at church, we met people on other groups, some of them young parents like us, some of them older or younger than us and single, but we never got to “click” with them. I don’t know, it was maybe us, but so many times I wished I could hold a conversation with someone without actually trying to make an effort of bringing up topics, or being nice but it never happened. Well, being more accurate, it did happened with a few people, but apparently the feeling wasn’t reciprocate, so I was turned down! haha…

We are no longer without a village, more family have joined us in the UK, and even though they will live an hour away from us, I know it will be good for my children to visit with them regularly. Sam’s family are a hard-working loving people so it was a pleasure spending two weeks with “Tia Nati” (auntie Nati) and “Vovo” (grandma). J was so excited every day and her Portuguese skills increased significantly of just this exposure. Our little E used to fall asleep quite easily with his vovo, just like it happened with his yaya (my mum)…there’s something in a grandma’s body that seem to have this hypnotic effect when they hold a baby, LOL

I must admit though that for the first few days I couldn’t stop thinking on MY family, my mum and dad, my brothers, sister-in-law and my little cheeky super cute niece. I missed them more than ever and wished they would join us here as well. Something unlikely to happen…But I couldn’t be more grateful to God that is giving us the opportunity to have more family around. I wish I could tell you how to be the mum with a village, but unfortunately I don’t think my social skills have improved that much since then. My only advice, the one that I give to myself, is to keep trying, and among those many attempts someone will come your way, and you will have a village, you will be able to trust someone, to laugh with someone, to hold a conversation without making an effort.

What is your story? Do you have your own “village”?

 

Cuddles from an acquaintance, when “no” means “no”

Everyone that knows my children, knows that they’re naturally happy, especially my 4 year-old is a bubbly little girl that captivates who ever she comes across with, with her smile and sense of humour. Having said this, we have recently found ourselves in a not so pleasant situation, which has taken me to share with you today what I think people should know about giving cuddles to other children, not of your own.

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Our little J loves to play and fool around, jump over our shoulders, give hugs and kisses, but that is with us, mummy, daddy, little E and closest family members and a few “chosen” others. The other day though, we were at a familiar place to her, showing our family a bit of Manchester, when we came across two acquaintances, one of them, a young girl that was being quite friendly with J, and as I said before, she was playing along with her, giving her high fives and all these sort of games. Then she suddenly lifted her up. In the beginning, our little one was fine, just enjoying the cuddle, and we were right there, holding a conversation with the other person, so nothing to worry about.

After a few seconds, I noticed on her face that the cuddle was lasting for too long, she wasn’t alright and she wanted to come down. So I kindly said, “oh, we need to go now..and bla bla,” to see if this person would just get the hint and let her go. I didn’t want to sound rude, but J was getting more upset and she looked at me right into my eyes and said in Spanish “Mummy, I want to come down” So that was it. I said again, but this time with a firm voice, I extended my arms to get my child back, “sorry, but we need to go, J please, come down” so finally, this girl let her go. I know J wasn’t alright with the situation because right before leaving the woman tried to high five with her and this time she didn’t want to.

You might think this is quite silly, but seeing how my child was gently being forced to accept a cuddle from a not-so-stranger, and seeing myself in the situation of not wanting to sound too abrupt but at the same time looking after my child’s emotional welfare, was a quite upsetting and frustrating experience. I know, I know, I understand there was no harm on this woman’s cuddle, that she was just trying to be friendly with a cute little 4 y.o. but NO means NO, and that applies to everyone, especially our little ones.

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People assume sometimes that kids are supposed to give you kisses and hugs, just because they’re little, because it’s cute and polite in many cultures, to greet with a kiss, or whatever, but to all adults out there, DON’T ask for them, DON’T force the situation, PLEASE. Kids are still individuals who deserve our respect. You don’t go out on the street and start forcing a grown-up to let you lift them up. You will probably get punched if you try to do that. In some situations it will flow naturally, and the little one will enjoy the cuddle, but, it is better to be safe, and stop begging for love, just earn it, and if they want to, they will give it to you.

Sam and I have decided that our approach to this, for future occasions, will be to teach J to not accept cuddles from anyone that she doesn’t know that well, even if we are right there with her, unless it’s a family member or a close friend that we already know. She is old enough now to understand this and raise her voice out there, cause since we cannot control other people’s behaviour, at least we can show our children how to be more cautious.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been on a similar situation? How did you react to it?