Don’t call me a right on mummy just because I BF my babe in public!

I was listening to lunch time program on Monday, called Loose Women, you will know if well if you live in the UK. It was on in the background for my hubby (not me I’m too busy working) ,when he alerted me to a debate on mums breastfeeding in public. One of the ladies on the panel, can’t remember her name (might have been Linda Belingham), made a derogatory comment about ‘right on mums’ breastfeeding in public and this got me a little agitated – well enough for me to write a post about it to you.

You might have guessed it, but I am pro breastfeeding in public. I know it’s really odd to people when they first encounter a mum breastfeeding her child and it can freak you out a bit. But that’s just because people are too scared to do it in public because they think society frowns up them and people don’t encounter this situation regularly. I know when I first saw a mum feeding her child when I was a teenager, working in a cafe, I was quite shocked and dashed over to my mate…”hey look shes breastfeeding”. I wasn’t disgusted, I was more taken aback – it was the first time I’d encountered this. 

When I first had babe, I would hide away in a backroom while breastfeeding, even on Christmas day. I remember my first time out in public, it was in a Starbucks coffee shop and I was ever so careful to wrap myself in a shawl to cover every possible hint of flesh – and hubby was on flesh cover alert just in case it dropped down.

Argh what I long way I’ve come now…to the extent where I just don’t give a damn, where I am, what pops out and who see’s it. The only exception is work. I’ve taken babe into the office a couple of times, but did feed her at my desk facing inwards. I work in a very male orientated industry and office, and they are not the most enlightened bunch of individuals generally (software engineers and developers etc). The problem I encountered was when people spotted me…”hey we haven’t seen you in ages, hows things going”. Umm I’m feeding my babe??? And they didn’t seem to notice – I was being super discrete trying to just shout over my shoulder or use the shawl tactic. I might have freaked a few people out with that, but I think they were non the wiser.

BUT I don’t want to be branded as a ‘right-on’ mum just cause I am doing what’s natural.

I also heard about this terrible story, of a woman in Bristol who got thrown off a bus in February by the driver for breastfeeding her baby. When she refused to get off, he threatened to call the police because she was indecently exposing her self! Poor woman.

GOOD NEWS – NEW LAW IN AUTUMN
I’ve just googled this topic and found that a new law is coming in place in autumn.

Under the new Equality Act, passed in April 2010, mums cannot be discriminated against, asked to leave a venue or treated unfavourably because they are breastfeeding when out and about in England and Wales. The Act will come into effect in the Autumn. 

Scotland is already ahead of the game on this one, I’m pleased to see that we in England are catching up at last.

So Mama’s there’s no excuses for anyone to be mean to us in public now – stand your ground and attend to your child, don’t let others initial startled looks put you off.

In fact, to be honest I have got very few odd looks from people, but perhaps that’s just because I’m oblivious now or I live in a more enlighted city – I dunno.

Drama with the giant dutchman at the fire station – last night’s excitement!

At tea time last night there was a knock on the door. “Who the hell is that,” I asked. You see we don’t get many visitors, and I was really hoping by a small chance that it might have been the delivery of our new tent from Holland – turns out it was. Yeah, this was going to put an end to our heated debate about who was going to answer the door if the delivery man turned up today while I was in the middle of hosting my first live webinar to 30+ aerospace engineers.

But it wasn’t as simple as a delivery man just turning up and dropping off the items, this was a drop off we were not going to forget. Anyways, back to it. Hubby went to the door, turns out the dutch giant didn’t speak much english “Ugg, is this you?” pointing to a piece of paper with our names on it. “Ugg, tent, follow,” as he pointed up the road. So off hubby duly trotted hot on the heels of the truck driver, to see that he had pulled up on the main road and left his big articulated lorry. He proceeded to jump in the cab (without saying a word to hubby apparently) and drive the truck into the main entrance of the fire station. This is a very busy, fully working fire station, I should add. As you could imagine the fire men were not happy and neither was hubby who felt helpless. Hubby was stood there thinking (and saying to me on the phone) “What the ****!”

The scene of the crime - the fire station forecourt

The truck pulled up and explained that hubby needed to take this crate off the back of the lorry, on his own. All while the whole fire crew peered out the window of the station in horror, beckoning him to get out the way. Then the fire chief came out to see what was going on. Hubby in a frantic need to cover his own ass, spilled out the story about how this random guy had turned up on our doorstep and called him over to his lorry to deliver his new tent. And how he didn’t speak any English and was so sorry for this, and didn’t know what to do. Luckily the fire chief helped hubby unload the crate with the tent on it and the dutch giant rolled off without a word – so that’s it, hubby though. We pay a fortune for this tent and this is how it gets delivered?

Anyhow, in the meantime, I’m busy getting babe dressed from watering the plants in the garden (one yogurt pot at a time) and readying myself for the phone call. Then I dive in the car to go and save hubby from the fire crew scorns, as he is stood at the entrance with a great pile of boxes looking all forlorn.

So we now have our new tent, yay! And we are off camping at the weekend. I really hope its everything we thought it would be, it cost enough.

Hoping there are no unexpected surprises today, because as I said, I’m hosting my first webinar – well two actually, for different time zones.Should be fun, as long as we have no delivery men turn up at the door while I’m mid flow…eekk!

Camping with a young toddler: an encounter with the sick-ups

I had visions of hubby and I pulling our hair out just after a few hours camping with our toddler…and I was so relieved to realise that I’d built it up to be some stressful thing that it’s not. I thought it would be much more hard work than camping with a baby. But no, it’s easier (in most respects)…honestly, I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes on this one, it really can be quite relaxing – at times 😉 The last trip was not necessarily the best example of stress free todlder camping though…so take this next bit with a pinch of salt, I can’t image this happens that often.

We went camping at the end of April with our babe who was 17 months old at the time and it was brilliant – apart from a few hiccups (or sick-ups) due to illness. DD had sickness and squits for a couple of days, puking up all over me, the car, car seat and tent – various times.

It honked, thank goodness we took plenty of cleaning stuff. I seemed to spend half my time during the first half of the week scrubbing away at sicky stains. 

We did cop-out a bit and drove home for one night (which luckily was only about 30 mins away – and there’s a tip for you, be close to home) because she had basically sicked all over her bed and bed-clothes and we had nothing left to keep her warm – so we dived in the car at 9.30pm and took refuge back at home for an evening. BUT we returned the next day and had a fantastic time (apart from poor hubby, who for the last night spent a lot of time with the same issue in the toilet block). But babe soon forgot about feeling queasy and was running around in the field sticking her nose into everyone else’s business.

 

It’s amazing what intrusions toddlers can get away with, without being offensive. Like standing and staring at someone putting their tent up for 10 minutes. You would be surprised at how long they can keep themselves entertained for given plenty of open space and people to watch.

The key is to definitely get toddlers involved, do little jobs like carry stuff for you – and they can be quite helpful at times even.

Off camping for another week with babe in July, so hopefully I’ll be able to share some of my tips with you then. After the previous week’s experience in April, I’m not sure I’m ready to be advising you of the top tips quite yet.

Friday Backchat – Cider Summer Evenings and Football Frustration

It’s been fantastic summer weather and we’ve enjoyed great evening of walks in the park and drinks of cider. The downside has been the football – read on to find out more…

Arn’t summer evenings great? We’re into Cider at the moment, partly because it’s on special offer at the supermarket and works out cheaper than wine. We’ve also taken to walking to the park as a family after tea (diner or what ever you like to call it) which is great for totally tiring babe out and prevents cabin fever setting in.

Clumsy clot does it again. People who know me well, understand what a hazard I can be to have around sometimes. Lock away your precious items, she’s coming to stay. We bought some brand new expensive mugs at the weekend, to replace two that babe had broken. Just five days in and I managed to chip one while dashing to wash the dishes up in super quick time. I was so angry with myself, and hubby was not pleased yesterday morning when he found the damaged item. I was considering blaming it on babe – but she is an all or nothing kinda gal – she’s not refined enough just to chip a mug, its smashed or nothing at all.

When is the football going to end? I must admit, when England won on Wednesday I did get kind of drawn in. But the other matches I really don’t give a damn about, sadly hubby does – argh kill me now! I can’t even argue that there is other decent TV onto watch, that is going to rival the footie. No Ashes to Ashes, Luther, Old Tricks – not even a decent cooking series. The only upside is that I have extra time for blogging writing in the evenings.

My weekly baking fix has been banana cake (with raisins and pecans) and a Madera cake – the later was not so great, as it turned out a bit too dense. Rather than just softening the butter in the microwave, it was half runny. The first veggies are on the stems, a courgette  and some tomatoes. The aubergine and potato plants are even starting to flower. So harvest time soon, that’s if babe doesn’t get to them first and bite them off.

Work has been MANIC, yet quite enjoyable and satisfying apart from getting dragged into a stupid argument about how we name our distributors/resellers/sales agents. Its amazing how much time something like that can eat up. I have been trying my hardest to side step getting involved, because it’s not my area and to be quite frank – it’s not my place to stick my nose in. That’s my work gripe this week, people who have delusions of grandeur in the workplace and want to stick their noses into everyone’s business. Sometimes I just want to say, shut up, keep out – know your place! I don’t think some people have enough REAL work to keep them busy for the whole day – instead they must meddle in others business. Grrrr

When will our men grow up? Hmmm…never!

The amount of mums I speak to who tell me that with our partners, sometimes it’s like having another child around – on so many levels.

It’s not all bad though, for me one thing I adore about my hubby is his fun loving and often downright mischievousness. Who wants someone who is just sensible and moralistic around all the time? No not me.

But there’s a fine line, knowing when enough is enough. Hubby struggles with that a bit, he really needs to sharpen up his radar. Beep, beep, beep – she’s hormonal, better not step out of line. Beep, beep, beep – she’s tired, keep a lid on it. Beep, beep, beep – she’s had a bad day – don’t go there.

All these child like behaviors are also great for connecting with the little ones – no problems in finding a common level there.

The latest was last night, when hubby got stuck half over the stair gate, after trying to vault over it (going upwards not down) after a few many drinks watching the football. I’m afraid I had no sympathy and left him stuck trying to squirm onto the landing. Babe proceeded to then head-but him after he had landed on a heap on the floor – it seems to be a new thing she’s trying on daddy. I could imagine her saying “doh, you’re not supposed to do that daddy.”

Me, I made no comment. Nothing about setting a good example, acting your age – sometimes I find saying nothing is more powerful.

Sling alert – 5% discount code for slings at slumber-roo.co.uk

Hey, I wanted to share this with you – a 5% discount code from the lovely Debi at Slumber Roo – the online sling and soft baby carrier reseller. She said any of you ladies could use it during 2010.

Reference: BLOOM

Sling Alert
I’ve got sadder, it’s a deteriorating condition I’m afraid (and catching too so don’t get too close). I am now on ‘official sling alert’ – I can’t help checking out people’s set up when I see them out and about with a sling. I was sad enough to approach a lady on the london underground the other week who had her 17 month old in a Baba Sling, which I might add she loved. We actually had a really lovely conversation about how great slings are – even her hubby joined in. Not what you would expect on your journey along the Central Line.

The secret hoarder, a result of when a hoarder and minimalist live together

I confess I am a secret hoarder, and that’s because my hubby is a stubborn minimalist – so I find secret ways of hoarding things. These items sometimes ‘reappear’ several months later or may just be stored away until I can find a suitable home for the item.

Hoarding in action!

My current problem is, I’ve got very few options for secret hoarding at the moment as the current rented property we live in has limited hoardy hiding holes. I don’t even have my own car boot, which used to be my prime hoardy hiding place – under my lock and key. Mostly things were kept in there until I found a friend who wanted the item, like an old video player that only played and didn’t record, or random CDs and books that we didn’t want anymore.
 

It drives me crazy, every now and again hubby declares that its time to sort out the cupboards – alarm bells ring in my head. Admittedly by this point they are usually rammed full of all kinds of random ‘keepers’. But I dread those days never the less. He’s a stubborn little so and so and so was I. But now I’m just sneaky, I nearly said smart, but well, I’m not that good at the secret hoarding thing yet. Not all things he says should be thrown in the bin, go to the refuse men – I just choose my arguments carefully. Assesing if the item can be easily salvaged afterwards and if it something that I am really bothered about – he does give in if I push hard enough.

More 'keepers'

BUT when things get put in the bin, somehow they find their way out…oh I wonder?

Sometimes some of the items I keep , just in case they come in handy, or for sentimental value – but often I do eventually realize that I was being rather stupid and throw away or donate to charity. But there are other times (in my defence) when hubby is wishing he hadn’t thrown something out, that I can miraculously show has reappeared – and then he is very grateful to me. Sadley this is not so much the case.

Roll on the day when we get our own house again with more storage space for my secret hoarding!

Are you a secret hoarder, or do you live with one?