a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

Swimming with baby and the new Huggies Hygiene Mat

When “Captain Hook” was born we took him to baby swim class from age 4 months to 8 months. He loved it. Hubby and I would take turns going into the water with him. Funnily enough that was one place that the cultural difference of Hubs being native Belgian would appear. In baby swim class while doing activities with the kids in the water they sing nursery rhymes and baby songs – which are very different in the US vs Belgium. So he’d do the motions but not sing along because he didn’t know the words. Luckily for me, the nursery rhymes and songs in the US vs UK are very similar. I’ve been looking into getting “Tinkerbell” enrolled in a baby swim class as I thought she might enjoy it.So, when I had the opportunity to take baby “Tinkerbell” to a baby swim class last week I jumped at the chance.

baby swim classHosted by Huggies Little Swimmers, the class was led by a teacher from Water Babies, and we were joined by the UK’s most successful swimmer, Karen Pickering.

While surprised at first that the water wasn’t as warm as her bath – she quickly got over her shock and began having fun as the instructor led us through the activities.

I had just bought her very first swimsuit for an upcoming holiday ( SwimZip swimsuit, style: Daddy’s Little Girl, pictured here) and was pleased with how cute it looked and how easy it was to get on and off with the zip up rashguard. I had been a bit concerned that the swim diapers would be too bulky under the bottoms but the Huggies Little Swimmers diapers I used were perfect. They fit snugly under her suit and were easy to put on and off and didn’t inflate into a mushy mess like a normal diaper would have.

Karen Pickering also answered swimming questions and gave tips on how to do swim exercises while holding a baby. She shared that you can get a get swim workout by having the Mum lay on her back in the water, supporting herself under her back and arms with a water noodle. The child then lays on the Mum’s chest with their head out of the water. The Mum then does back strokes the length of the pool or I suppose because of the support of the noodle could hold the child and just use their legs to kick.

Here are some cute pics of Karen Pickering holding “Tinkerbell”

Karen PickeringKaren Pickering and TinkerbellBesides the Huggies Little Swimmers swim diapers, we were also introduced to one of my new favorite things – their “Hygiene Mat.” Not so great a name, but definitely a great product. What it is is a non-slip, machine washable, waterproof changing mat that folds up into one of 2 pouches, a frog or a penguin. Both are adorable, versatile and functional.

While it’s meant for changing your baby on pre/post swim – I was immediately struck with all of it’s other possible applications. My older children take swim lessons and there are never enough changing rooms available so they are standing on tip-toes or balls of their feet to avoid the floor of the dressing room as they change. I could bring this along and allow them to stand and change on it. It can be used for picnics to prevent soggy bottoms from damp grass, or even protect the car upholstery after a child gets soaked on an outing. The list goes on.

What I have been using it for in the last week since I got it is replacing 2 items from my baby bag. The changing mat, and the play blanket. This Huggies “Hygiene Mat” is now doing double duty. It’s more compact than my changing mat as you can see here:

The Huggies Hygiene Mat and my changing mat both folded  and unfolded.

photo (20)huggies hygiene mat unfoldedIn using it I’ve found these to be my favorite features:

  • compact
  • foldable
  • non-slip
  • machine washable
  • thin
  • waterproof
  • bright colors

It’s been functioning quite well as a play mat or blanket would. You can see “Tinkerbell” here playing on it at the BritMums Live conference this past weekend.

Tinkerbell at BritMums Live on the Huggies Hygiene MatI love products that do double duty. Not only has this lightened the load of my diaper bag – but it can be used by my different children, even though it’s a large age gap. I think I’ll be investing in a couple more of these as they are so handy. Yes, I was given this one for free – but I will be buying more. I think it’s one of the most practical parenting products out there right now. You can pick one up at most Boots, Tesco or other retailer near the nappies/diapers. It’s currently available (as of the date of this post) on Amazon.co.uk for £5.11 and free shipping.

This is going to go on my essentials list for travelling with baby.

*Disclosure: Huggies provided the swim diapers, hygiene mat and swim class. The opinions of the product are solely mine, and I really like it so much that I will be purchasing more.

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4 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Review of The Kensington Wing, Private Maternity Ward at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

So as you already know I’d decided to have the baby privately. To Americans reading this – this may seem an odd statement, so do please refer to my past post about this. In deciding to have the baby privately in London I had pretty much narrowed down my choices between the Portland Hospital and the Kensington Wing at Chelsea and Westminster. My Consultant would deliver at either.

I read as much info and talked to people who had been at both and for me the Kensington Wing won out due to it’s proximity and that they had a NICU and adult trauma center. I could be moved from private to NHS if an emergency merited. I had friends who’d been in the Kensington Wing, all of whom had a positive experience. Most private maternity wards and hospitals allow you to visit if you’re interested in seeing them before booking – you’ll generally need to call ahead though to book a tour.

When I first decided to go private (vs NHS) I was told to book my private place ASAP. For the Kensington Wing, they only have 16 rooms and can be booked up if you wait too long. They take the booking via your Consultant’s office. Mine delivered at both The Portland and Chelsea Westminster, Kensington Wing. I decided on the Kensington Wing as Chelsea Westminster is close to my home, has emergency care for both babies and mums. Further, I had friends who’d had positive experiences there.

When looking for more info and reviews, while I did find a few on Mumsnet.com I didn’t find as many as I’d like – as an info-mongering mum-to-be, so I decided to help others by writing about my personal experience there.

hallwayWhile we did have a c-section scheduled I ended up going in early for an emergency c-section. If you’d like the delivery details I’ve written of those previously. For this post we’ll continue on to the experience of the Kensington Wing. While vaginal deliveries do occur in the birthing rooms within the Kensington Wing (I’ve heard the birthing pool is lovely!) c-sections are performed outside of the wing in the surgery theater also used by non-private deliveries. You are wheeled on the gurney out of the wing and down the hall and back again. Not a huge deal as you’re generally more focused on baby in/out than who you might meet in the hallway. Further, its not a hall full of people but still worth noting.

When it comes to the rooms in the Kensington Ward itself, and the patient care – I found these to be very good.  Each of the rooms has windows, either facing outside, or the internal atrium and lavender walls. The rooms that face the internal atrium have baths with showers, seem a bit more spacious but require a sleeping cot to be brought in for husbands. The external facing rooms, while narrower – have built in murphy beds for hubs and only a shower not a bath.

I did have a Diva moment and ended up trying out both room types. As long as they aren’t full they are ok with asking for a room change (within reason of course.)

chelsea

When I toured the ward before my stay I had liked the exterior facing rooms because of the sunlight. So, when I arrived on the ward I requested one of these rooms. Living nearby, city streetnoise doesn’t bother me and the windows are fairly thick so while there was some noise I didn’t hear it as I’m used to filtering it out. It was handy having the murphy bed (pull-down bed) for hubs and just having a c-section, the walk-in shower was much easier to navigate. It was a bit cramped for space with my hospital bed, baby bed one side and hubs bed on the other but we managed.

kensington_wing

Layout of the Kensington Wing

Each room also had a chair, a small desk, flat-screen tv and fridge. They’ve replaced the usual tv remote with these mini remotes. I found this annoying as mine would stop working all the time, I’d ring the nurse and they seemed to be aware of the issue already as they’d often bring a larger remote to change or reset the tv then `i’d use my small one again until it would malfunction again. While they do provide meals, each room also has a mini-fridge for snacks or drinks. Mine in my first room wasn’t working. They kindly offered to keep my drinks and yogurt in the staff fridge, and that worked for about a day. I got tired of having to ring for someone to come, then me to ask them to go get a yogurt at 4am. It seemed like a really annoying thing for me to do to them, as if they didn’t have more pressing things to do – so I asked to move rooms, as most at that time were empty.

I decided to try out one of the internal rooms which faces the atrium. They wheeled in my bed while hubs and my Mum trailed with my stuff (and baby of course!) The room was larger, but being in there for just a few minutes I could already hear shouts and sounds echoing through the atrium. While perhaps the volume wasn’t as loud as street noise, for me – it wasn’t one I felt I could easily tune out, so quickly asked to be moved to another external facing room, this one with a working fridge. It was a total Diva moment – my entourage and I moving from room to room to room. Finally I settled in the room next to my original which was a bit disconcerting at first as it was the mirror opposite of my previous room.

In general the food was very good, someone would bring a menu in the morning so you could choose lunch and dinner etc. Having only stayed at hospitals in the US not UK I don’t have much to compare to here but I’d say the food was pretty good.

The midwives and other people there to care for patients in the ward were very kind and proficient. They were available when required but give you privacy and space to recuperate the rest of the time. That was the biggest difference between delivery in the US and UK. In the US it’s almost impossible to sleep in the hospital after delivery. While in the US you in general almost always automatically have a private room – which is not standard in the UK – in the US you are monitored and managed and interfered with on a regular basis.

I didn’t realize there would be this difference until after my first night stay. In the US there are constant noises – calls over the hallway speakers for Drs etc, beeps from machines, patient noises etc. The Kensington Wing was almost silent – only the very occasional faint baby cry.  In the US nurses come to check your blood pressure, blood oxygen etc every couple hours and if you’re sleeping, wake you up to do it. In the Kensington Wing, they tend to leave you alone at night unless you ask for assistance. No waking you up to monitor you, so you actually get to sleep in the hospital! While like the US they did try and get me up and moving soon after the c-section, I didn’t have to do the hallway laps, and breathing machine exercises that were required in the US following a c-section.

Assistance was on hand whenever I needed help for myself or baby. While they don’t have a nursery like in the US, they were available to take the baby for a bit if required, but as my husband was there, and it was so restful (unlike the US) there was no need to send the baby to the nursery or away to catch up on some sleep.

All in all – my experience was good. While the facilities are on-par or average for what’s expected in the US, the quality of care and service was tops for either US or UK. I’d highly recommend the Kensington Wing to other expectant Mums.

Here’s another review of The Kensington Wing

An American Girl in Chelsea – her review of the Kensington Wing and comparison to the Portland Hospital

and if you need more info or contact details of the Kensington Wing they are available on their website.

Feel free to share your experience or questions on the comments below.

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4 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Pregnant and Passive Agressive, Undeground – What do you think of the “Baby on Board” badges?

So the bump and I commute to work daily by tube. For any of you who’ve jammed yourself into the tube during rush-hour you’re aware of what it’s like. For those of you who drive to work or have never taken the London Underground, it’s a hot, steamy smelly metal tube so full of people you don’t need to hold on to anything as the carriage sways because you’re propped up in some stranger’s armpit. Seats on the tube are always a hot commodity, seats on the end of the row even more so. People like them because you have a glass partition on one side you can lean against, are close to the doors and only have to sit next to 1 person.

For me, I haven’t had too much nausea with this pregnancy, but I’ve had a lot of hip pain which makes standing for long periods difficult, and certainly my center of balance has and is continuing to change making it more likely for me to tip over as the train sways and I lose my balance.

TFL (Transport for London) has recognized the tube is a problem for Preggie Ladies, and have developed a “Baby on Board” badge.

Research shows that Londoners agree that pregnant women should be offered a seat but also reveals that men are afraid to act on their chivalrous instincts in case they give offence. The badges give pregnant women the opportunity to identify themselves to other passengers and it is hoped that they will give them the confidence to ask for a seat if they need one.

London Underground’s Elizabeth Norris said: “It is sad but true that passengers who need to sit down feel that they cannot ask fellow passengers for a seat. Priority Seats on the Tube are clearly marked and anyone who really needs to sit down, including pregnant women, should ask.

“We want to find out if pregnant women will find these badges empowering, encouraging them to ask for the seat they need. We also want to find out how their fellow Tube passengers will react when they see the badges, encouraging them to offer a seat when they know it will be appreciated.”

London Underground has conducted some preliminary research into the issue of pregnant women and seats on the Tube. The research showed:

  • 92% thought that people sitting down should offer the seat to a pregnant woman without having to be asked;
  • 85% think pregnant women should ask for a seat if she needs one;
  • 78% of currently pregnant women stated that they never ask for a seat when they need one.

The end seats I mentioned, are designated “Priority Seats” and are labelled as such with instructions to give your seat to those less able to stand and include a picture of a pregnant woman and a person with a cane.

I don’t feel comfortable just flat out asking the person already seated in those seats to get up and give it to me. I’d like them to – but what if they have some disability I can’t see, a gimpy leg, or just had a really crappy day? Maybe they need it more than me.

My “solution” therefore to try and secure a seat on the tube has been to get on of those “Baby on Board” badges from TFL. I feel like such a ridiculous dork when I wear it.According to TFL:

MUMS-to-be travelling by Tube can get a baby on board badge so passengers know they may need to sit down.

The badges, available from Transport for London (TfL), overcome the awkwardness often felt by pregnant women of having to ask someone to give up their seat.

It also means passengers in priority seats can see when they should give up their place.

But the thing is – I’ve found it only helps me get a seat about 10% of the time. It looks like a follow-up study from TFL has validated my personal experience:

The ‘Mind the Bump’ study revealed that pregnant passengers are currently made to stand for an average of five stops before being offered a seat, and 35 per cent of mums-to-be are never offered a seat.

I’ve found myself racing men to seats, they win then spend the rest of the journey trying to avoid looking at me. It’s only been women who’ve given me a seat, and those have never been one of the “Priority Seats.”  Ok, I understand men are less observent, but I wear the badge on my boobs – can I put it anywhere more likely to be viewed?? Besides, most of the time men take a seat they race me to, other women on the tube start grumbling – so it’s not like the guys can’t hear what’s going on.

This guy (pictured at left) sat in the Priority Seat for 6 stops while I stood directly in front of him, bump and badge pretty much in his face. His face got closer and closer to his paper as he studiously avoided me.

I’d like there to be a second set of badges, stating something like “I’ll give you my seat if you need it” or “Knocked up? I’ll stand!” so then I could say to those people hey, thanks I’d love your seat, thanks so much! Or what about rewarding good behaviors we want to encourage in others. When the TFL gives us the badge they should give us a coupon booklet. Anyone who stands for us and offers us a seat unsolicited gets a coupon or voucher for something.  I’ve been so grateful the few times someone’s given their seat for me – I wish I could have done something more than offer my heartfelt thanks.

What do you think of the badges? Have you worn one? Have you given up your seat for someone wearing one?

Lastly, some interesting stats from LU’s “Mind the Bump” Survey:

  • One in three (36 per cent) frequently felt they had to avoid public transport for fear of having to stand for the duration of the journey
  • One in five (20 per cent) of expectant mums in the Capital spend more than £100 on taxis and private vehicles during their pregnancy to avoid situations where they may have to stand for long periods of time on the Tube
  • London emerged as the least pregnancy-friendly place in the UK, with 45 per cent of London mums having been shocked by the lack of consideration they were shown while pregnant.  (full survey results here on TFL)

LU’s Baby on Board badges are available from the LU Customer Services Centre (0845 330 9880) For further info, or to request a badge, email TFL at babyonboard@tube.tfl.gov.uk  (and if you do get a badge and wear it – let me know what your experience with it is)

 

 

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5 years ago 19 Comments Short URL

A Royal Education – have you prepared your child?

What’s really struck me in all this furor over nakey pics of Prince Harry isn’t the fact he’s naked, or caught on camera while being so – it’s that he clearly lost at the game of strip-pool and lost badly. (he’s not even got any socks left!)

As a Mother – it behooves us to prepare our children for life. Whether it’s providing a good education so they can get good jobs and support themselves, or even swim lessons so the know how not to drown.  Sports and games lessons and clubs prepare children for competition and teamwork in adulthood and develop coordination and dexterity.

It’s not like he’s not coordinated and sporty – he’s well known for his polo playing. So how did this gap in his education come about?

I did a little research and it turns out Pool or Billiards has a noble heritage.

The game has been played by kings and commoners, presidents, mental patients, ladies, gentlemen, and hustlers alike. It evolved from a lawn game similar to the croquet played some-time during the 15th century in Northern Europe and probably in France. Play moved indoors to a wooden table with green cloth to simulate grass, and a simple border was placed around the edges. The balls were shoved, rather than struck, with wooden sticks called “maces.” The term “billiard” is derived from French, either from the word “billart”, one of the wooden sticks, or “bille”, a ball.

Most of our information about early billiards comes from accounts of playing by royalty and other nobles. It has been know as the “Noble Game of Billiards” since the early 1800’s but there is evidence that people from all walks of life played the game since its inception.

History of Pool via thebilliardshop.com (you can read the long detailed history here)

So, you’d think being a royal and all Harry’d have a leg up on the competition, right? But if the photos are anything to go by, he was equally poor at the sport as his companion.

Mums – as part of preparing your child for life out in the world, I think it’s up to you to ensure your child learns valuable life lessons like, how to balance a checkbook, how to do the laundry, how to cook a few meals, how to play well with others – and as importantly pointed out by Prince Harry, how to play pool.

Without further ado, here are several sources you may find useful

Guide- Pool for Kids

Teach your kids how to shoot pool

(And in case anyone was wondering – yes this post is half in jest, but also kind of not :0) )

 

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5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Moving is no fun

For the most part – moving is never fun. We seem to be on a 2-4 year cycle, moving within cities, across state lines and even across the pond. None of my moves have ever been as crazy as this one.  Seriously. I feel like I’ve really caught a case of the crazies with this move.

A few months back a little over halfway of our multi-year lease, our babysitter and youngest son were surprised when realtors showed up in our living room. No notice – and they didn’t even knock on the door. It turns our our landlord was interested in selling but told no one the place was already tenanted so they just took the keys and waltzed right in – much to our surprise. Needless to say I wasn’t happy about that – and we decided that rather than go through weeks/months of showing and being on their timetable regarding when we’d move it would be better to find a new place and give notice on our own terms and schedule.

So we spent weeks trying to find the perfect place, and we finally did. We paid the first month’s rent and 6 weeks deposit and gave notice on our existing flat and spent the next 2 months getting ready for the big move. Until that is a few weeks before we were supposed to move, and our new place was supposed to be empty …. when it turned out the last tenants hadn’t left and it appeared they’d not be leaving for some time.

Suddenly the Property Mgr and Landlord were embroiled in legal action trying to get them removed – and we were left in limbo, having to move out of our place, but unable to move into the one we’d already paid for since the tenants were still in it! The tenants wouldn’t take the calls of the landlord or property mgr, and we were told then that it could take up to 6 months for the legal process to go through with getting them out.

On the advice of the Property Mgr we were advised to take a 1 yr lease with 6 month break clause on a place nearby – so that we wouldn’t be homeless, and could then move into our place after 6 months when it was available.  So we went for that, getting a place that’s about 600 sq ft and on a noisy street as a temporary measure so we could move into the one we were supposed to later, or if it was still not available then have to find a better long term solution.

On this past Friday we moved into the temporary flat – and much to our horror, the tenants finally moved out of our flat we’d been supposed to have. Now here we are. In this flat that was supposed to be a temporary measure and our dream flat is already available. *Sigh*

So now we’ve spoken to the Property Mgr etc – and have found it would cost thousands of pounds to buy our way out of our current “temporary” place to get into the flat we were supposed to have. But, seeing as how that was only for 2yrs anyway that hardly seems worth it…. what a mess.

The fault for most of this falls at the door of the property company – through the process the three people we’ve worked with have all either left the company or gone on extended leave. I think next time we’ll try and find a property being let directly by the owner.

The one positive thing that came out of this move was that I used an online service to find a moving company. I originally posted the job on Shiply and and Anyvan and ultimately chose a firm through Anyvan and was very happy with their service and would use again.

 

 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

A whole lotta why……

I was tagged by another expat, Erin aka @SilentBeauty aka American Mom in England (that’s a whole lot of aka’s I know!) to take part in a “Why” meme. She was tagged by  and now it’s my turn to let you know all the why why why’s… filling up my brain. But it’s not just any why’s. apparently, there are rules:

1. Post your whys – as few or as many as you like.
2. Link up your post at Mummy Central & leave a comment here too.
3. Tag 5 bloggers to keep this going.
4. If you’re not a blogger, leave your whys as a comment below. I’d love to read them.
5. Show your support by reading a few others and commenting on them.
Why is my inner front door so thick – were the builders afraid of Zombies?
Why no matter how many times do I tell my kids not to take food into the kitchen do I find crumbs all over the house?
Why does my bed not make itself?
Why can the kiddo’s remember every name of action figures and moshi monsters but not to wash hands after potty?
Why do I go to bed with just my husband but wake up with 1 husband and 2 boys hogging the blankets?
Why am I still tired when I’ve just slept.
————
These are my why’s for now, I might sneak in a few later….

————

Now here are the 5 bloggers I’m tagging to keep the why’s coming….

City Girl No More, @citygirlnomore just plublished a book – would love to hear your why’s

Pippa, @StoryofMum would love to hear your why’s – I’m sure they are less whingy and more inspirational than mine

Claire @clairemaccy was a fab #MumsNight co-hostess

Lousie, @Louisewkr would love to hear your non bloggy perspective in comments below

Andy @dadscooking2nite would love to hear your Daddy why’s

 

 

5 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Carelessness at Son’s School. What would you do?

My 4 yr old son had an ear infection a few weeks back in Belgium (you can read about it here). His eardrum perforated – but hasn’t healed yet. In fact there is almost no eardrum – it’s a giant hole. We have taken him to the GP and ENT because it hasn’t healed. One of his favorite activities at school is swimming – but because of the perforation, upon doctors orders he’s not allowed to swim until it’s healed. We gave his teacher a letter explaining this and and that upon our request and Dr’s orders he not be taken swimming. We then discussed it with the teacher after he read the letter. We even sent him to school without swimsuit and towel so that he couldn’t go. The same day, we picked him up and he was all wet – they’d taken him swimming!

I’ve called the school office and will be meeting with the Headmaster next week to discuss this and complain.  My husband is upset – but is worried about the Teacher’s career if we complain.  But I see it a bit differently – yes, it didn’t kill him, but they aren’t the ones who have to sit up with him all night while he screams in pain from because of his ears – also, what if this was something more life threatening, like a peanut allergy?

Also you should know this isn’t the first time they’ve been inattentive and careless with our child.

A few months back we had to send a friend to go pick him up from school. We had sent a note saying she’d be picking him up and also had her added to the list of approved people to pick him up. She arrived as school was ending and the children leaving with parents etc. and didn’t immediately see our son. She asked his Teacher and was told – “He must have been picked up already.” She told him he couldn’t have been picked up – because she was doing the picking up. She was then told, that perhaps he was in the school office and go look there – which she did to no avail. She then went back to the classroom which they were in the process of locking up (it has doors to the outside etc.) She explained that he was not in the office and she would very much like to know where he was.  At that point the Teacher began to panic – and actively look. My friend helped search the classroom and found him asleep with a high fever in the book nook.

How do you lose a child in your classroom? How long must he have been there? Hours perhaps? Would they have just locked him in there? What if it had been more serious? What if he had had a seizure etc.?

I do like the Teacher – he’s a nice guy and that’s why my husband is concerned about me saying something. But just because my son will get better – doesn’t mean that their carelessness is ok.

I will tell the Headmaster that they apparently have too many children in the classroom for the Teacher to actively monitor – and that the Teacher needs to pay more attention. I have expressed my concern and displeasure to the Teacher – but I think it should now be escalated.

Our son will be attending another school next year regardless. We’ll be sending him to Reception at the same school our 6yr old is at – he’ll be moving from a class size of 30+ down to 12.

What would you do?

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5 years ago 7 Comments Short URL

My 5 Step plan for overcoming Comment Anxiety

If you haven’t read about my “Comment Anxiety”, go here first.

Ok right – so by now you know I’m working to overcome my Comment Anxiety – so I’ve created a plan that I thought some of you might find helpful. Let me know what you think or if there are any other steps worth adding. (I’m ok if this becomes a 10+ step plan)

  • Comment on every blog post I read – (even if I think my comment is lame)
  • Reply to all comments received on my blog
  • For everyone who comments on my blog and leaves a link to theirs – go comment on their blog
  • Visit every #MumsNight participant blog – read a post a leave a comment
  • Discover and comment on 3 new blogs a week

So according to research from UCL it takes about 2 months of daily repetition to build a new habit. So here goes my 2 month plan for overcoming Comment Anxiety and becoming more generous with comments and bloggy contributions.

 

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6 years ago 4 Comments Short URL

Does anyone else besides me get “Comment Anxiety”?

I read so many blogs with posts that make me laugh, cry, or think somewhat deep thoughts. When I read these posts I want to reach out – respond, publicly share how the post touched me or the communal experience – but I freeze. Hand frozen over the mouse – thoughts and possible comment worthy responses running through my head.. and keep thinking, and thinking until I kind of overthink it. What could I possibly write as a comment that isn’t lame? That doesn’t take away from the writing of the post – or point the direction to a memory or experience of my own that the post triggered in my head.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Here’s a case in point. Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Tiger Father. Specifically I was reading the post Grumpy Old Man Doesn’t Seek the Same – a well written post about how uncomfortable it can be to be matched up with others just because you’re in the same place in life – regardless of personalities, interests etc.

I opened up the comments section to leave a comment as I enjoyed the article so much and it got me thinking about so many things and then I over-thought it again and couldn’t leave any comments.

The same thing happens to me when people write deeply personal posts – where you can see the writing in itself is cathartic for them. Something that heartfelt is so touching – how could I not respond, reach back out over the bloggy void and say I’m here, I hear you, or I’ve been there, or I can’t imagine how hard that must be but I’m truly thankful for you sharing it.

So what am I afraid of – it’s not like someone is going to come along and redline my comments or rate it 1 out of 5 stars publicly. Is it the opening up of my life/thoughts to scrutiny – it’s a little late for that given I’m writing this on my very own blog.

If I think about from the Blogger’s point of view – who’s post I’m reading. Almost all Bloggers love comments – (expect for spammy ones about perscription drugs online,cheap rolexes, and redirects to malware) no matter how lame. It’s wonderful when people let you know they’ve been there – they’ve heard you and they “get it.” Even if “getting it” is in their own way.

Perhaps I should set a challenge for myself – no blog post read goes uncommented upon, no matter how lame I think my response would be. Is this a realistic goal – maybe. I guess we’ll see. In a way it occurs to me that it’s kind of like virtual consciousness raising. You know those exercises in the Real World – where you are supposed to pay attention and be conscious in each moment – taking nothing for granted – thankful for the experience. Maybe we as Mummy and Daddy bloggers and SocialMedia-philes should all set this as a goal.

What do you think? Do you or someone you know suffer from Comment Anxiety? How did you overcome it? What do you think of the challenge I’ve laid out?

You know what – I’m heading back to that blog right now to leave a comment. Step 1, my first babystep.

*update* O.K. I’ve taken my first step and here’s the proof…

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6 years ago 9 Comments Short URL

Have boys? Read this now and prepare for your MIL pre-nup

So having boys seems to be different from having girls – we don’t bond over clothes, shoes or boys (generally) and can’t quite jive over the Disney Princess thing (um ok) or Justin Bieber (never!). But that being the case, Mothers and Sons do have a special bond – which as one Blogess, Jenny Isenman goes into detail over in the Huffington Post (if you have a boy you must read this!!!)

For those of us Mums who are afraid of what will happen when our boys get married and move away – I’m sure you’ll be glad to have this Mother In Law Pre-nuptual Agreement

This is a MIL-nup, and it goes like this:

    • I will compliment my mother-in-law’s (MIL’s) cooking, her decorating, and, most importantly, the incredible way she raised her son, my husband.
    • I will marvel at my MIL’s beauty and miraculously never-aging skin every time I see her.
    • I will acknowledge that my MIL’s son is on loan to me so that we can make grandbabies, which will probably look like her and have her wonderful traits, which I will mention in conversation frequently and with great fervor.
    • I will remind my husband to call my MIL daily, saying, “Have you told your mother you love her today? You should, she rocks.” Plus, I will throw in phrases like this:
        • “That amazing woman raised you! You should call and thank her… again.”
        • “You can truly never thank her enough.”
        • “Let’s go over and thank her in person.”
        • “We should bring her a gift when we go.”
        • “She’s so deserving of gifts.”
        • “Let’s take her on vacation with us.”
        • “And get her another gift.”
        • “Maybe a beautiful locket with pictures of you and our children.”
      • “No, I don’t need to be in the pictures; she didn’t raise me… unfortunately.”
    • I will tell other women that their mothers-in-law are not as fabulous as mine, and I shall be willing to throw down in the event that said women disagree.
    • I will take my MIL to her weekly hair salon appointment and shopping at Loehmann’s, when it is deemed necessary by age.
    • I will spend all holidays with my husband’s family, because they are so awesome and gracious, and I realize how much mine sucks by comparison.

And lastly:

    • I will move to be near my MIL, whether she has retired to Century Village in Florida, decides to live in a nudist colony in Arizona, or goes bat-s**t crazy and moves to Alaska for the fresh sushi. She is so wise and wonderful that I’m sure her choice of habitat will suit me and my husband perfectly!

Oh, and:

  • My MIL can so live with me and my husband when she’s old and can’t remember who I am.

There. You can print this to be signed when the inevitable happens. I just saved you from losing your sweet, sweet boy. You’re welcome.

 So what do you think? Is there anything you’d like to add?

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6 years ago 1 Comment Short URL
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