After a good few years of having bigger children (the original home educated children of this site are now 16 and 14 would you believe!) I’m back to life with a toddler again. Life with a little boy in the house has brought back much joy to a household determined to enjoy every last moment of him. But some days are harder than others, as they always are when you have a baby or toddler; it is easy to feel overwhelmed when they are full of cold and haven’t slept for nights on end and patience can be a hard thing to find when you can barely keep your own eyes open.
Cussons wanted to lend a voice to the reality of parenting; the sick, the sleepiness, the relentless servicing of small people for little tangible reward and, of course, the drag of guiding an entire household through the onslaught of colds and coughs that start as soon as the older ones go back to school and the germs start coming home. Last year I counted 3 snot free weeks from September to March; given our little chap has asthma and a chest that falls apart at the drop of a hat, I spent an awful lot of time steaming him in shower rooms and baths, trying to give a cross, tired boy some relief and hoping for some sleep and respite from worry.
Finding a way to count your achievements in parenting can be worth it sometimes. Some days my checklist runs like this:-
Everyone is fed.
Nobody hates me.
Everyone is in bed.
Other days are about Pinterest crafts, huge achievements at school (yes, they go to school now) and nailing a music exam, a gym competition or a dancing show. But those aren’t my achievements, even if I have helped them get to that point of success. My successes are noticing that someone is down in the dumps, that an activity isn’t suiting them any more or even that they are soldiering on when what they really need is a day tucked up in bed to get over being poorly.
My top tips for looking after a toddler and a snuffly nose have been honed pretty finely over the years but by no one has tested them so hard as our youngest. I’ve really learned to value steam this last couple of years and a last minute bath (perhaps with the new Bath to Comfort Snuffles liquid) or sitting in the ensuite with the lights off, the door shut and the shower running has worked wonders for him.. Sometimes we let the steam drift into our room and keep him with us, propped up on an allergen free pillow, to make the effect last as long as possible. Real tissues are also a must as noses get too sore too quickly with loo paper and some lip balm smeared around the outside edge of nostrils can sooth them too.
Those times are parenting successes and when you really make a difference; they might not be glamorous, but making it to morning is a job well done.
Disclosure: this post is in association with Cussons.