Saturday 4 January 2014

'Meat free' never ever has to be Critic, for 'to go without'

One of the most important concepts when raising a child vegetarian, is to not just serve up a meal and simply leave out the meat...
It is about filling the 'gap', so to speak where meat would of been present otherwise, and replacing it with a nutritious, healthy 'alternative' Organic Tofu, Lentils, Various Beans & Legumes (if tinned make sure it is either sugar and salt free) and as your babies/ childs digestive system grows, organic tempeh and seiten.  As well as green leafy vegetables, and a variety of root vegetables, for example; carrot, squash, sweet potato to name but a small few. Vegetarian parents can opt for flax for their children instead of fish oils,which is available from allgood health stores.
Many tins of baked beans profess on the tin, how they are one of your '5 a day' but be careful as many many brands of baked beans contain a very high, and unnecessary amount of sugar.
One long term,convinient and price conscious way of keeping pulses and beans at the ready is to always have them soaking... buy uncooked beans in bulk from a local health store, and very often now from your local big supermarket,  ready to put on to cook an hr before they will be ready, as we go about our parent duties :) Puy lentils are actually very quick to cook, with no soaking, and make any meat based meal, a hearty, healthy vegetarian or vegan alternative!!
Sometimes, meal times with a small baby especially can be bit of a panic, especially when all you want is to feed your baba the best for their health needs... so convinience is a must, but convinience does not have to mean unhealthy, never :) a quick homemade sauce for some baby pasta can be made prior and heated later on.... frozen veg, which is, in my opinion locked with goodness, can be added to meals and cooked in minutes.
Sometimes, ok alot of the time :) the day can getaway from you, and luckily there are plenty of organic pre made baby foods out there for those days, once we don't do it too often a week ;) An age old mama's saviour for this, is freezing homemade food ready for the next days feed, and so forth!
'Meat free' never ever has to mean 'critic' for, to go without! ;)

Thursday 2 January 2014

Before celebrities, there is mum and dad.

For every bright eyed new mum celebrity, there is a mum who has been awake all night. For every magazine soccer mum, there is a single mother who takes her son to sports, works, makes dinner and still works in the home after her child has gone to bed. For every David Beckam dad, there is a dad who goes out at the earliest hours of a cold morning to provide the best he can for his child. For every Jolie-Pitts with nannys galore, there are parents struggling, and giving hand me downs. And for every post baby body Beyonce, there is a stay at home mum getting asked "what she does all day?" With respect to celebrities, who have worked to get where they are, all parents worldwide, work just as hard, to provide the best... parenthood is not the celebrity accessorie the tabloids and glam mags edit it to be, it is messy, it is hard, it is overwhelmingly emotional, it is very tiring, it is frustrating, it is constantly questioning yourself, it is true honest love, it is selfless, and more than anything .... it is worth it all. AND for every parent who gets to finish a trip to the toilet in peace..... there's another who considers it a miracle!  
We don't all have helpers or nannys, so if you really want a child, know that you may not always have time glamour yourself daily, or to even brush your hair before you bring your baby for a walk.... but what you will have, is the unconditional non judgemental love, no magazine can ever photoshop  
We are the first celebrities are children will ever know... so don't try to become the celebrity parents, we ourselves see in the media. Our children don't care.... be humble and happy with who you are, it gives our children the best possible chance, to follow suit xox -The 'alternative' Parent xox 

Friday 23 August 2013

As parents, does our child's gender give us the right to dictate who they should be?

No, of course it doesn't. So why do so many parents feel it is their child bearing right to dictate who their child should be because they are a boy or a girl? I have witnsessed little boys pushing prams down a toy isle in a store, to see fathers snatch it away from them, as though it was sealing some sort of homosexual fate for their son's future. Mothers directing their daughters out of the toy isle with the toy cars whilst quipping "these are for boys".
Our son has a colourful array of clothing, and he even has a purple buggy and pram.... will this make him gay? No. And if he does turn out to be so, then what? Well, then nothing. Because once he is happy, healthy, respects others and has a kind heart then what more could any selfless parent want?
I have known people in my lifetime, gay friends, who because of how their family would react, have said to me, "I am gay, but I will marry a girl".
That then, is an endless circle of ruined lives. All because of a parents ignorance not judge their own child. The heart of this is surely an insecurity within the parent? Which, in turn will create an insecurity in your child.
Just because you have a son, this does not mean he has to play with toy cars, if he does not want to. And, maybe more importantly,  if he wants to play with his sisters doll, let him. This won't make your son gay, no more then a little girl who wants to play with toy trucks will make her any less of a girl.
Why then is it that so many parents have gender specific regulations for their children? Our children are surely going to grow up to become who they are meant to be regardless of whether they choose a boy, or a girls toy, or what colour clothes they wear. As parents in todays world, more then ever, I myself do not believe we have the right to push, or force our children to be who we want them to be. All that will do is cause friction in parent and child relationships and boost many an insecurity in your childs self esteem for many years into the future. As a mother, it is my duty teamed with my unconditional love, to encourage and nuture my son's personality, and input values of kindess and respect whilst creating awareness of right and wrong. Discouraging him from mistreating others , dispresecting his parents and peers, and as he grows, deter him from any dark paths he meets along his journey through growing life.
We must encourage our children by making them feel safe, and keeping them healthy, mentally just as importantly as physically. We can do all of this without dictating their lives to them. Because, as a parent,  there is as I believe such an huge difference between encouragement and dictation.
So as a parent, is that not something we should focus on being more specific about?

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Losing our Disney. Would the children we were, like the adults we turned out to be?

Childhood. A time where innocence and naivity are at its highest peak. A time where we escape our minds to other worlds of imagination and wonder and have a set of morals that are unmatched with the morals of those who have already lost what it was to be a child. But why are the morals that we held as children, now distant ideals, to be scoffed at?
I often wonder, how does a child sit and watch Dumbo, and feel what you felt when you saw that for the first time, when you knew, how wrong it was to have an animal in a circus, and what it stirred in you back then. But, as an adult, will bring your own children to a circus with performing elephants?
I remember once, being in a friends house. And their daughter, who was being raised as a vegetarian herself (so was used to a background of parents who believed in animal welfare)was sitting watching Dumbo. She said to her parents, those people are being horrible to Dumbo... it isnt right. Now, for me, I believe every child who ever watched Dumbo, felt the same way as she did, I did. Even so, do the ethics we are raised with influence how our childhood morals change? Does a child who is not raised with such ethical beliefs on animal rights, or well being have more of a tendancy to lose what they once themselves believed to be wrong or right?
There must be children out there who watched Bambi and like me, were heartbroken,  litrelly watching it, but have gone out in later life and hung a deers head on their wall as a trophy of what they have just killed?
The world is too often out to take away our childrens innocent minds quicker then we would like. I don't need to have a teenager to state that, because I was a child who grew up myself. I hope that my child stays with the morals he will be brought up on. Whether its what we teach him, or what he feels is right or wrong for himself. I think maybe, if a young child, can say, this is wrong, then maybe we should listen and encourage that so they don't lose it? It too could just be natural progression, and that all disney films and others like them feed on the emotions we were more sensitive to back then... whatever the reason for losing the morals we had, I hope that my baba never loses his. Because even now all these years after I first saw Dumbo as a child, I would never support a circus that has any animals there to perform for a morally sedated audience. And I will raise my son, to the same morals, whether he watches Dumbo or not.
So, I guess I would just ask this, if you go back, to before you lost your disney, would the child you were, agree with the morals you now hold, and like the adults you turned out to be?

Feeling lost after taking a short cut....

Due to my baba being breached right up to 38 weeks, he was delivered by a planned cesarean section. I suppose what I want to write about, is the mental and physical aspects on a mothers mind and body from having a baby by cesarean.
My story is that it was planned, so it almost took away from the nervous excitment of "not knowing when the baby will come" but yet there was a convinience to it all.
The whole thing was very clinical, you go into an operating room, and to be fair, you are very distracted to the whole thing because all the practitioners and nurses keep you so. Which is great let me tell you!! But, at the same time, the baby is out, before you even realise or are able to process what is kind of going on. And litrelly, what seems like a few minutes since lying on the table in the first place, and there he was. my first born.
He was taken off to be cleaned, but unlike what you expect from TV, he was not lifted straight away onto my chest. So, I was all sewn up, which did not even take that long either. After been closed up, baba was in my arms and I was wheeled into the recovery room. Now, slightly off the record for a second, when he was born the song we danced to for our wedding first dance happened to be playing on the radio, and it was a really meaningful, weird, destiny type moment. It was Green Day, Time of your Life.
Back on track now...because my body had not gone into labour as such, my breast milk would not flow, so I put baba onto a bottle because he was so hungry. Then, within about an hour I was back in my ward room with the feeling nearly totally back in my legs. Now, the pain afterwards in my stomach area was hard going, even with morphine, and for a good while after. But, that was expected,  what I was stunned by, was the emotional and mental after effects to it all.
I want to share this, because I had a great support at home with my husband, but I can see how other people, if they felt the same way, could feel guilty for it, which I sort of felt, so I just want to reach out to anyone who may of felt down or lost by the mental after effects of a section over a natural birth.
Natural birth is what you mentally prepare yourself for, the entire pregnancy. You brace yourself for a pain you cannot imagine, and an experience your body is able to endure, both mentally and physically. But, with a ceserean, the pain is much different, and even your body knows it without experiencing the alternative. But, it is not for a few days after you start, or at least I did, to think or feel, as though you were just sort of well, handed your baby... like you did not do any of the work your body was prepared for, as though the penultimate moment you had been building up to, just never happened. And for that reason I did not feel any less love, or connection, or attachment, but that, somehow, I had missed out on actually giving birth to my son. Because, in a manner of speaking, I didnt.
And for this, I can understand that many mothers out there could end up feeling some sort of guilt for that, and I just want to share my experience, incase it would help someone who may feel down, or depressed or worried about what it all means.
Even though I did not really want to be too personal here, for this I was willing to. So mums, you're body did endure a lot, and your mind endured a lot. We had prepared to go through natural labour, but for whatever the reasons were, we had to just bring baby out via a short cut. And now baba is here. It does not mattter how baba got here, because we got them here safely.... and that, is the most important end to any pregnancy, yes?
Admittidly, because of the section I felt a little lost after, but it is ok to admit this, I think it is important not to be afraid of how you feel, and I hope if this even reaches one person doubting themselves, then it was an article worth the time written.
And remember, sometimes it is the most natural thing in the world, to get lost on a short cut.... there is no need to beat yourself up about it.

Monday 12 August 2013

Everybody needs a pulse...

....and so does every vegetarian and vegan diet. Pulses can make any meal thrive, they are hearty and filling and low in fat, yet full of fibre and an amazing source of protein! Accomodating them into a growing childs diet I believe is essential!  And you can make many a child friendly meal with pulses. Be it a hearty casserole or shepeards pie, or a tasty yummy lasagne.
But hey, what is a pulse? Pulses can be found in the form of beans and lentils and peas! And with so many variaties your meals will never be dull or repetitive!!
At the heart of every meal there should be a strong pulse.

Sunday 11 August 2013

An honest approach into the somewhat unknown....

I want to write about the things that I would like to read about. Hopefully I am not the only one who wants to read about such topics  I want to write from the point of view of someone who is learning, as well as things I know, or believe. I don't think there is anyone out there who knows it all, especially with the ever changing advice and protocol. I certainly dont, and I hope that will add to the appeal xox