Monday, 24 November 2008

Advice, Tantrums and Doing Less

J and I have both been battling colds and coughs, which somewhat marred our last weekend's trip to London. Funnily enough though I feel a lot more content coming out the other end of it, more in tune with myself. Being ill slows me right down, because I haven't got the energy to make too many over-ambitious plans and run around that much. Hence, this week has not been a productive one, writing-wise, although I've been teaching a fair amount of yoga, doing some cover classes. I was too ill to teach one on Sunday and had to cancel, which I've never done before, but I literally didn't have a 'voice' to teach. I sound, as I've been teased today, like an old spinster - "Pass the sugar, dearie"- or perhaps an adolescent boy whose voice is starting to break. Not the usual husky deep voice I get when I have a bad chest, just this. I'm sucking furiously on Fisherman's Friends and hoping it will be adequate to teach tomorrow.

Actually I'm settling into winter now, although it's become frighteningly freezing quite suddenly the last three days. I enjoy feeling cosy and anticipating the warmth of my home when I return! I have done some 'free writing' in coffee shops which keeps me going, but my novel has been untouched and I'm dying to get back to it. Today was my breastfeeding peer support course, thought-provoking as ever. This time it got me thinking about why all of the counselling courses I've done insist that no advice can be given. I find this deeply frustrating because I think, once the empathy and the reflective listening and all that is in process, there does come a point, especially in the field of breastfeeding problems, where some suggestions and information are needed - indeed, wanted. How to know if or when to steer things in that direction? When someone is openly asking you, "what do I do?", and you know of things that could help them, how can you not say something? In matters of 'what should I do about my relationship problem etc', then sure, the wisdom and the answers must lie within, but when people come to a place explicitly offering breastfeeding support, surely they expect some information and possibilities to consider?

I have been struggling to deal with J's tantrums: his frustration at not being able to touch certain things, and his seeming inability to let go of it; as well as his resistance to just about anything I wanted to do: change his nappy, dress him, put his coat on, or put an end to an activity so that we could, say, go out. It mystified me as it seemed too early in his development for him to be having tantrums (books say 27 months!) and so of course, in typical mommy-self-bashing style, I wondered if I was doing wrong. Fortunately I found this blog about a mother's experience of what Dr Sears would call a 'high needs child', which put things in perspective for me - I realised it could be so much worse, and on the whole, although strong-willed, J is a delight. Fortunately the cycle seems to have passed and the last couple days he has been better, perhaps in part because I've calmed down a bit and have been more 'present' with him.

I have a lot of blog topics planned...but I'm trying to fit my yoga practice into my evenings now having given up on doing it in the morning - J is just too clingy and I can't get into it at all. And trying to get to bed earlier too...have felt better for some early nights and lie-ins. Will try to write more regularly on here too so as to get all the thoughts out before they build up too much!

P.S. The picture has nothing to do with anything. I just thought it was funny!

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