Christmas is a magical time of year. It might only be mid-November, but the rush has already begun to get everything perfect and to start picking up gifts. When there are kids in the house, the holiday can become all about them, and less about the adults in the house. They definitely deserve some love too. If you’ve got friends who have recently become parents, or have been cohabitating with tiny humans for a while, here are a few suggestions for Christmas gift ideas they’re bound to love.
Cervical Cancer. It’s one of those big scary C’s that we don’t talk enough about. The words “Mortality rate” and “most common cancer” are bandied about, but as a society, we seem to stick our fingers in our ears and hum. Much has been done on this in recent years, but we’ve a long way to go.
Ahead of the March for Choice next week in Dublin, there was a Repeal Not Replace demonstration in Cork City on Saturday 23rd September. I was asked by the organisers to be one of the speakers at this event. Initially I was hesitant to speak, feeling like my story wasn’t as relevant of that of many of the women who have suffered greatly under the 8th Amendment to our constitution. However, on reflection, I realised that as a woman who has gone through pregnancy in Ireland, I do have my experiences of maternity care under the 8th to speak about. The 8th Amendment is about so much more than abortion and it’s availability in our state, and I hope that I got that across in my speech. Here’s the full text of the speech, I’d love to hear what you think.
We’re in the process of getting ready to buy a house. The bank accounts have been scrutinised, we’ve weighed up the different mortgage offers and gotten the calculators on overdrive. The deposit has been added to regularly and we’re ready to get looking actively for a house to live in of our own. Along with this, inevitably, comes the dreams of what the different rooms will look like. My Pinterest is filled with gorgeous (probably unrealistic) images, but hey, a girl can dream. As Eliott is now no longer a baby, but a proper big-boy toddler who is losing his baby ways faster than I can handle, he needs a room that fits with that. So, what’s on the dream big boy bedroom list? Here’s just a few ideas I’ve had lately.
There’s a song in the movie Mamma Mia which might have drawn a tear or two since becoming a parent. In the middle of the movie, Meryl Streep is watching her fully-grown daughter prepare for her wedding, and singing this song as the scene plays out. The song itself, “Slipping Through My Fingers” was written about ABBA members’ Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog’s 7 year old daughter. It sums up the feelings of watching our kids grow up so fast and not being able to grab them back in for a cuddle on your lap, or a snuggle to sleep to keep the baby days going. It’s gorgeous, and right now, it feels very apt for the stage I’m at with Eliott.
As parent to a three year old, we spend a lot of time at Soft Play. It’s a necessary evil. The Irish weather doesn’t allow for playground hijinks as much as we need, and the alternative is absolutely wrecking my house (and my head). So, off to Soft Play we go. He loves it, he’s a daredevil mad to be climbing higher and higher. Me? My love is somewhat less obvious. For me, soft play raises more questions than it answers. Here are just some of them.
Paw Patrol has been shoved to the back burner. These days we’re all about PJ Masks. Or CD Mac, dependent on how much he feels like working on his pronunciation. It’s not on Netflix, so we work from recordings on the Sky Box from the POP channel. He sees a lot of ads this way, but thankfully doesn’t seem to realise they’re for ACTUAL toys. I hope.
Much like Paw Patrol and other kids shows that have filled our heads over the last three years, PJ Masks leaves me with so many unanswered questions.
Childcare is often declared to be the second mortgage of many homes. Personally, it makes up almost as much as our rent per month, and we only have one child. It’s a major outlay and can really have some families in a bind as to whether both parents working is actually financially worth it. The price of childcare differs dependent on your needs and what form parents use – au pairs, creche, montessori, in house childminders, childminders in their own homes, grandparents and family members. So, how do we ensure we have affordable childcare?
Childhood and teen years are somewhat through a different lens these days. The impact of introducing technology into their hands at a young age has been to change their technical ability, but also opened a whole world up to them that previous generations could only dream about. At our fingertips, we are literally able to find the answers to life’s big questions (Thank you, Google), speak to others around the world and discover things we never would have known about before. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube – they’ve opened our eyes to a much wider world. It’s an amazing powerful thing – but, with great power comes great responsibility!
I’ve started re-watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy lately to fill the void of shows that aren’t on over the Summer. I’ve been a fan of Grey’s Anatomy since the early days and though I fell away from it for a while, I’m straight back in there now. It’s the perfect mish-mash of funny, serious and damn heartbreaking. I’m invested in these people like they’re real, they’ve been a part of my life for a decade.
While re-watching, I’ve noticed in some bits that they’re referring perfectly to how life with a toddler is. So, here’s 14 times that Grey’s Anatomy perfectly summed up what it is like to parent a toddler.