Saturday, 29 November 2014

At this time of year #WASO

I love and loathe this time of year.

I'm a Christmas person - I love it. I take care and time choosing presents. I carefully plan how I'm going to wrap them all and make them look beautiful. The Christmas CDs and DVDs come out mid-November. Every year we go to a gorgeous Christmas tree farm to choose our tree, and we buy a new decoration each year too, it's tradition to go with Auntie H and Baby Whizz. I have the Christmas movie channel on A. LOT. I make my own mincemeat and Christmas cake. And I have fun planning our Elf on the Shelf activities.
I get so involved in it, and get warm fuzzies thinking about it all. And I'm going to make the most of it all whilst the children both still believe in Father Christmas.


It's also that final term of the year.
The rapidly approaching end of term means disruption to routine at school. It means special assemblies, non-uniform days, arts and crafts instead of normal lessons, plays and nativities, church services, Christmas fayres and worrying about whether your friends will send you a card.

It's also that time when grown-ups (well-meaning ones of course) say things like 'You'd better behave else Santa won't come'. It's the time where so much pressure is applied to children to be good. It's the time when the stress and pressure becomes too great and regulation is hard to come by for some.

I hate seeing Mini so disregulated. I have him having to fight with himself to be 'good'. I hate having to explain to teachers that Mini struggles with the change and lack of routine, because it's met with 'But children should enjoy Christmas and all that comes with it'.

We're lucky in that Mini doesn't struggle with Christmas as such, and he loves shopping and wrapping and decorating and movie watching and tree choosing and elf mischief and planning for it all. He struggles with the routine changes at school more than anything.
So this year I shall snatch the festive moments that I can and enjoy those bits, but the rest of the time will be spent helping Mini relax, calm down, process things and feel safe.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Isaac and William do Movember

Today I'm delighted to bring you a guest post from Daisy and Peter, parents of two gorgeous little boys who have had a bit of a journey in their short lives.
You might wonder why I'm publishing this post on what is essentially an adoption blog and the reason is because both of my children were born before their due dates, my niece was born prematurely, and I know a number of adopted children were born early in many cases due to the poor antenatal care their mothers received. The right care and support for premature babies and their families is vital, so please take a moment to read the post, watch the video and check out the fun fundraising initiative that Daisy, Peter, Isaac and William have set up to help Bliss.
We are honoured to be able to write this guest post on such a wonderful blog.
Our boys were born at just over 28 weeks, and have had a rollercoaster of a journey through hospital. William was born at home with the help of a paramedic who arrived just in time (much to the relief of a very worried dad!). Isaac arrived an hour later in the ambulance on the way to hospital. They were born at around 3lbs, which although sounds very small, was a very good weight for their gestation.
What followed was them overcoming every hurdle that was thrown at them - from stomach infections and brain seizures, holes in the hearts to blood transfusions. They were so brave throughout it all, and every day we watched them getting bigger and stronger, until we eventually got to bring them home after 66 days in hospital. We made a video of their experience:

All the help and care both the boys and us received during their hospital stay has prompted us to try and raise as much money as we can for Bliss, the premature baby charity. For the whole of the month of Movember, the boys have been wearing a different style of moustache each day, and have gathered quite a following on Facebook. We are asking people to donate anything they can to this great cause.

A huge thank you for taking the time to read this! Please share the links and help spread the word, and between us all, we really can help make a difference to babies lives.

And from me, a big thank you to Daisy for writing this piece. All of us at The Boy's Behaviour send you all love, and hope that perhaps one day we'll get to meet your beautiful boys.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Why I love spending time online

This week's #WASO theme is 'Embracing Online Support' and we've also announced that The Adoption Social has been shortlisted for the 'Digital Champion Award' at BAAF's National Adoption Awards during National Adoption Week.

So guess what I'm writing about this week?!

I just really wanted to share all the reasons why I use online and digital support, and perhaps you might too...

  • I write this blog to share our journey, and hope to help and inspire people. I also get useful and supportive comments and emails via it.
  • It keeps me sane - I can tweet and blog about the serious to the silly, and it doesn't matter.
  • I have found a wealth of other people involved in adoption via Twitter. They all understand, and I know that a simple 'help, I'm having a bad day' will be met with support and empathy, without judgement even though I haven't met most of them.
  • Facebook enables me to share my blog with a wider audience, and share other titbits of
    information to my followers. 
  • I've learnt to be more concise - you have to be when Twitter limits to 140 characters!
  • Through blogging and tweeting I have found so many people, some of whom I'm proud to call my friends, and have developed amazing relationships with them. 
  •  Without social media I'd never have met my friend Sarah from The Puffin Diaries, and therefore the Weekly Adoption Shout Out and The Adoption Social wouldn't exist.
  • Through setting up The Adoption Social and tweeting, I met Amanda Boorman, who invited me to be a trustee for The Open Nest - what an amazing experience, and I'm very proud to be involved.
  • I'm no longer isolated. I can reach out and meet people who know what me and my family are going through. 
  • I've learnt lots - I can follow conferences without being there using #hashtags and can take part in Twitter chats and parties. 
  • I have found different websites to help me online like PicMonkey for editing images and Google drive for storing and sharing documents.
  • I've found recommendations for apps on my phone/tablet like Whatsapp - another way of connecting with people.
  • More websites are springing up, and I can now find them easier, these also support me and others in my circles.
  • I've been invited to guest post for other organisations and bloggers - I get a great sense of achievement through this, and validation too. 
  • I've had a poem published in a book, which I'd never have known about if it wasn't for Twitter. Again - another sense of achievement and validation.
  • My blog has been shortlisted for several awards (though I haven't won any yet), which gives me confidence and inspiration to continue writing. 
  • I've found a whole host of other bloggers - a brilliant, supportive community, where people are writing about their lives, so many similar to my own. They pick me up when I am down, they make me realise that my life could be worse, they make me laugh and cry. 
Without the internet, and especially twitter, facebook and blogging, I wouldn't have any of this.  Are there any cons? Yes, I've had a couple of trolls, but they're easily blocked, and I've found a new addiction which involves sitting on my bum for several hours a day.
But the things I now have, far outweigh those couple of cons. If you're in any doubt about stepping into the social media arena, then I hope this helps you see why it's so important to me.