Another solo parenting week survived.
Freyja has been unpleasant to parent this week. We’ve had the conditions for a perfect storm brewing for a while, let me explain.
A few weeks ago she started to get very distressed whenever she pooped in her nappy. She would scream and hide, not wanting us to change her.
She stopped telling us when she’d done a poo, increasing her chances of nappy rash and perpetuating a cycle where she hated being changed even more.
I didn’t think she was ready for potty training, her language is mostly signing still and she gets frustrated when she can’t communicate her needs with a series of pointing and whines.
I am good with her sign language but only if I’ve witnessed all of the context. Sometimes I don’t and I’m not a mind reader.
The nappy situation was so bad that we bought step stools and toilet seats as a gentle first step of exposure.
‘If you don’t like pooping in your nappy, you can do it here’
Two weeks ago, we saw the signs that Freyja needed to poo.
Grabbing her bottom, running around crying shouting ‘weewee’ because she refuses to say poo.
So we put her on the toilet. She immediately wanted to get off so we respected her decision.
Two minutes later the crying and grabbing continued. We went back and forth to the toilet and weren’t sure how long we could keep this up for.
In the end, we sat her on the toilet and kept her there until the poo came out. Well, you have never heard screaming like it.
It was like an exorcism. But when the demon was summoned, we praised and praised. Showed her the poo. Let her wave bye bye to the sucker and that was that.
Unfortunately, a week passed and she hadn’t been for another poo. It seems like she was already in a cycle of holding it in, leading to constipation.
And this was really impacting her mood and ability to eat.
Mealtimes became a source of anxiety and stress for her (and me by proxy).
She wouldn’t eat, not even her favourites, and would just scream and shout at me. It was even impacting her day to day, she only wanted to lay on the sofa.
Her nanny had to bring her home early from her toddler group because she wouldn’t stop screaming and holding her butt.
We’ve managed to get two more poos out of her this week, one on the toilet through screams and one in her nappy which was relatively drama free (after screaming at me all day).
But we know she can’t carry on like this. With her just generally being a ball of rage because she’s two, we don’t need added rage inducing poop episodes.
I am exhausted.
I’ve ordered her a potty for the living room, something more accessible and child friendly. I let her choose the design and everything. And in the morning, I’ll ring the doctors for some advice and maybe some stool softener.
It’s not the start to potty training we wanted and I still don’t think she’s ready but I’d be happy for her to poo anywhere if it meant she was healthy and not stressed.
This soup was one of the only meals I could get her to eat calmly this week, I even made croutons out of a stale piece of crust in air fryer. She loved those too. It was during this meal that she calmly passed a poo in her nappy. Thank the poo gods.
I didn’t really exercise last week, I went for one short dog walk.
I couldn’t go to running club because Matt was away and I just generally didn’t feel like showing up to CrossFit because I wanted a lazy Sunday morning instead.
I’m starting to feel bad about the fact I can’t get in my own studio gym. It’s like RIGHT there in my garden.
But it’s too cold to take Olivia in there at the moment (note to self, need to buy a small heater) and since I’ve not been using it, it’s become an extra dumping ground for items we needed to store safely.
Like a new mirror for upstairs that no one’s had time to hang since we bought it.
On Friday I sat at home feeling pretty rubbish about the lack of movement towards my goals.
First of all, I’m a personal trainer so I think the guilt of being inconsistent with exercise is more sore.
But on the flip side it shows how hard it is. I have the equipment, the space and the knowledge and yet here I am, still barely moving.
Yes, I’m lacking some time but it’s not like I’ve actively tried to do a bodyweight workout in the living with Freyja. It’s been so long since I’ve workout with her around I don’t even know how she will respond or if she will even care.
There are nap times, but at the moment nap times are needed to focus on my research and course writing. Otherwise that’ll never get done and it’ll be another thing to feel shit about.
WHY IS LIFE LIKE THIS
I saw pregnant then screwed share a post (I’ll link it here) where in a taxi, the taxi driver said to campaigner Joeli Brearley ‘why should my taxes pay for your childcare’.
I find this opinion incredible. How can someone be so short sighted that they can’t see how affordable, state funded childcare benefits literally everyone?
If I could get even one day of free or partly funded childcare, I could spend an entire day working on my business. Over time, this would generate my family more income.
I often sit and daydream what I would spend money on if we had more disposable income.
You think it would be the likes of a spa day or Instagram self care but it isn’t.
If we had more disposable income I would probably hire a cleaner to come for a couple of hours each week and deep clean our bathrooms and the utility (where the dogs reside mostly).
These are two areas that I just can’t keep on top of besides occasionally sticking the Hoover in and plopping some bleach in the toilet.
They never get a good deep clean.
That’s the first thing I would pay for. A clean bathroom.
Then it would probably be someone to do a couple of hours worth of gardening a month. I love gardening but it’s something I don’t have enough time to keep on top of. Weeding, cutting the lawn and generally keeping on top of pruning would really help me to live out my gardening dreams. I just like to buy plants and plant them.
This in turn helps out two other businesses, probably self employed businesses too.
Let’s say our cleaner likes to get her nails done but currently she doesn’t because it’s an expense she can’t justify. With me suddenly paying her for two hours a week, she can to get her nails done.
The nail bar in her local town then gets some more income, as the cleaner now goes here regularly.
I could go on and on with this point but I think you should get the idea of what a knock on effect that quality early years childcare would bring if it were accessible to be more people.
Freyja is being a brilliant big sister, despite her poo rage.
Anyway, let me know how your week has been?
If you follow me on instagram you’ll see we spent our Saturday attending a family rave.
We’ve often discussed being a family who would one day attend festivals but I panic about taking all three kids out together, even when there’s two adults.
My confidence ebs and flows with this. I think it’s so difficult to find activities that will cater to all 3 of their needs and unique life stages.
I worry about going to the toilet, changing nappies, feeding.
We made it to the family rave all 5 of us and honestly it felt so good being in a room full of parents who were absolutely smashing it. People dancing while baby wearing, letting their toddlers be free and just fully leaning into the imperfect experience it is to take your small kids out for the day.
But it’s still fun. I think that’s supposed to be the point?
There’s no product feature this week, I have ordered a few bits this weekend that’ll tell you about next time if I think they’re worth it.
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Week has been busy, lots of firsts with 11 week old, very worn out now!