Living Arrows – 52/53 (2018)

You are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Aoife – 3 Years, 1 Month

This has to be one of my favourite photos of Aoife this year! Just sums up her personality perfectly! This was a gift from the kids childminder!

Cassius – 11 Months

Little man is finally on the mend! After 2 weeks of being under the weather. Hopefully he is back to top form for Xmas day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows
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Living Arrows – 51/53 (2018)

You are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Aoife – 3 Years

I Love the faces little ones pull when you ask them to smile!

Cassius – 11 Months

This poor little guy hasn’t been well this week. Hopefully he recovers before Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows

The Siblings Project – December 2018

I can hardly believe that 2018 is almost over! I started off 2018 heavily pregnant and just a few days later gave birth to my lovely little boy. Watching the relationship between these two develop has been such a wonderful experience.

Don’t get me wrong they definately have their moments! Cassius can drive Aoife up the wall but I am definately looking forward to seeing them grow in 2019!

Living Arrows – 50/53 (2018)

You are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Aoife – 3 Years

Aoife was unwell earlier on in the week. This photo was taken at about 4pm after she had fallen asleep in the car on the way back from her Nanny’s! A rare occurrence for my little live wire!

Cassius – 11 Months

Aoife decided she wanted to play hairdressers with Cassius. To my surprise he actually kept the headband on all day! I was lucky if Aoife kept them on for 5 minutes.

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows

Pushing Through the Darkness – Post Natal Depression

I haven’t written anything personal or meaningful in quite a while now. I’ll be honest it is because there is one post I have been wanting to write and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to. It has quite literally been sat in my drafts for about 6 months. I finally feel now I am at a place I can write about it and not feel ashamed.

I’ll start at the very beginning with this but as you may have guessed from the title this post is going to be about Post Natal Depression.

A lot of the time when people think of depression, they instantly think of sadness. For me, and for a few others, it isn’t at all about sadness. It’s an emptiness. It wasn’t until I sought help for my own mental health that I realised just how empty I felt and how bad I had gotten. I felt nothing.

It took a few months before I realised for myself that I needed to seek some help. I reached a state of hopelessness and the thoughts I was having were taking over my life. I wasn’t having suicidal thoughts but I was thinking about leaving Luke and my children as I honestly thought they would be better without me. I thought everyone would be better off without me hanging about and making a mess of things. The first few months of Cassius’ life are a bit of a blur to be honest but I didn’t feel the joy of motherhood that I should of. At every opportunity I put him down. I made any excuse possible to not be near him. The guilt I feel about that now is so strong but I know it wasn’t intentional. I honestly have breastfeeding to thank for the little bond I did develop with him. He took to it almost straight away. He had a great latch and didn’t cause me any pain. I think if I had the latch and pain difficulties I had with Aoife I would of given up this time around because the motivation wasn’t there. I didn’t feel the need to succeed like I did with Aoife. With Cassius it was more a necessity.

I often look back through my phone and feel a pang of sadness at the lack of photos of Cassius in those early days. When Aoife was born I was overcome with love and awe of this tiny baby that was in my life and demanding every second of my attention. I took at least 10 photos a day of her. Cassius it was a chore to even want him near me.

Slowly I began to realise that something wasn’t right but because literally no one around me questioned these little changes in my personality and behaviour, I began to think it was all in my head and I was blowing my feelings out of proportion! I knew the differences in the way I had treated the children in the first months of their life wasn’t right. I eventually sought help and it was the best thing I did. I was offered anti-depressants (for anyone wondering; yes you can breastfeed on antidepressants. Here are the fact sheets on antidepressants from the Drugs in Breastfeeding Network. I would have these handy if a pharmacist or doctor questions it.)

I am so much better than I was. Still prone to down days and anxiety attacks but they few and far between. I have come a long way and will hopefully be weaning off the medication in the next few months!

Sorry for the ramble but definately time for me to share. It is okay not to be okay.

Siobhan x

Living Arrows – 49/53 (2018)

You are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Aoife – 3 Years

I Love this photo so much. Aoife had chosen her own outfit and was using her imagination to create this sculpture!

Cassius – 10 Months

This little man is getting so big! He pulls up on everything constantly and is getting stronger every day! At this rate I am predicting first steps by the time he is one! Maybe even by Christmas!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows

“Craptivities” at Christmas Time… Some Thoughts

Some of you may know that my day job is within the early years education sector. It is something I am massively passionate about and I am always striving to keep my knowledge current. It was through this research that I discovered a wonderful innitiative called “The Curiosity Approach”. If you haven’t heard of it, I advise you look it up. Their settings are absolutely stunning and offer an array of inspiration. However, recently they posted this somewhat controversial post on their Facebook page about so-called “Craptivities” in the run up to Christmas. I turned to fellow bloggers, professionals and parents for their opinions on the idea of process vs. product.

Jaymee of The Mum Diaries says: “As a qualified nursery nurse I kind of agree. Too much adult help and it is no longer really their work. However, as a mum sometimes it is useful. The amount of squiggles and weird stuff that gets sent home. With a little adult guidance at least I will know what it is meant to be!”

Sarah of Arthurwears says: “I am an EYFS primary teacher and I do agree that things that are too directed and changed/led too much by the adult are pointless and don’t teach the child much – but I don’t think it should be completely the opposite either. Children need to be inspired and the best way to go about it is to let them watch you making a few different ones and then leave ALL of the resources (along with the ones you’ve made) out for them to make their own independently. They need to be shown how first and if they copy then that’s fine too. Just don’t do it for them.”

Catherine of Shipley Mums says: “I’m an early years practioner and parent. Looking around primary schools this week for my daughter I was horrified by the rows and rows of identical artwork adorning all the walls. I also think that by focusing on a product you’re setting children up to fail. If my 3 year old knows what something is ‘supposed’ to look like, if she can’t achieve that she’s devastated. Process over product every time.”

Alex of Actual Ar says: “I agree too but as a former primary/nursery teacher I do think that there’s a place for process when it comes to these things too, especially for children who may need more support with concentration or fine motor skills etc. I think whatever they bring home is going to be something they’re proud of anyway, so really it’s kind of a strangely worded stance in my opinion 🤔 as long as they’re making and they’re happy, who’s arsed?”

Natasha of Mummy and Moose says: “I see why the projects are guided. Some of the stuff my son “creates” at home is a solid 2/10 but that’s the point. It doesn’t matter because he has the space and time given to him at home to allow him to make the thing he wants to make (even if I have no idea wth it is) so I don’t mind the guided work happening at school if that’s what the teachers have time to do with him.”

Emma of Dirt, Diggers and Dinosaurs says: “I agree in principle as I’ve witnessed the joy my son gets from getting stuck in by himself BUT I have fallen fowl of the ‘guess what it is Mummy’ scenario. A little help from an adult gives me a sporting chance.”

Hayley of Devon Mama says: “It’s hard because this year we’re giving Christmas cards that are literally one sticker and a felt tip wiggle across the page. Last year they made (super cute) footprint reindeers that clearly had a lot of help – even if ours looked drunk! In that instance part of the loveliness was having his footprint to treasure and see how small he was and I can guarantee he wouldn’t have managed that alone! Do I love the random sticker and squiggle as much? Yes, but in a different way. So for me there’s a place for both types – the ‘well done but what is it?’ bits and the ‘thank god someone helped with that’ pieces.”

Becca of Pears and Chocolate Sauce says: “I’m a primary teacher and I agree. Much better to put out a range of materials and say – ‘lets make a reindeer’ than to have a prescribed activity where they all come out looking the same. In the pictures above, for example, an early years child won’t do much more than glue on the eyes and ears. That’s not to say you can’t give them any guidance. But the guidance should be guiding them in thinking about and planning their creation rather than step-by-step ‘how to’ instructions. But so much more to be gained from it if they have some autonomy and much more interesting creations! (And potentially less likely to end up in the recycling bin!)”

There you have it a mix of opinions but basically upon the same gist. For me personally, I believe the process is important for the child but the product is more important to the adult. The thing that needs to be remembered by adults (specifically those working in early years) is that the children are the learners and they need freedom to explore to learn!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!