Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday.
1st March 2015
In this blog post you’ll find twelve photos taken every hour from 8am to 7pm on Sunday 1st March 2015. I include a blurb underneath to further illustrate the photos. It is a ‘typical’ day in the life of our family, as far as any day is typical!
Every morning, Ewan and Tessa have a shower, which becomes a bath as we keep the plug in. They’ll happily play for long periods in the bath, fascinated with the very simple pleasures of splashing and water play. I’m usually dashing around getting ready for the day ahead whilst they’re happily occupied, or if I can, I’m doing my morning yoga stretches. Ewan is looking a bit peeky in this photo, as he was up with a fever in the night and was not himself today. That is why there are fewer photos of him than usual in this blog post and why it appears we only have a daughter!
Tessa saw Ewan writing a ‘sick note’ in his medical vet toy kit and insisted on doing the same. Whatever Ewan is doing, she wants to emulate him, so here she is mark making with daddy’s help.
Today we should have been at Ewan’s martial arts class, but Ewan wasn’t well enough to go. We usually take Ewan twice a week to Marsden Martial Arts and stay there, watching him doing martial arts and keeping an eye on Tessa, who likes to run around in the studio or breastfeed.
Instead, we had a rather relaxed morning at home, which is unusual for us, but was actually enjoyable and beneficial. We spend a lot of time out on day trips and at playgroup or forest school, so it is quite rare for us to spend a whole morning indoors at home. Ewan asked if he could play with the playdough, which of course sparked Tessa to ask to do the same. Here they are happily playing the the playdough Ewan was given as a present from his pre-school at Christmas. I find playdough is very simple and tactile, yet offers endless scope for the imagination with young children.
Ewan asked to lie down and relax after eating only a little breakfast, which is most unlike him, poor thing. Here he is looking a little feverish and tired.
On our way to Hardwick Hall for the afternoon Tessa fell asleep. Hardwick Hall is a National Trust property in Derbyshire close to our home. It is a great place to bring children and dogs, so we are frequent visitors. We are National Trust members, using our membership a lot to visit National Trust properties and grounds with the children. We spend a lot of time driving, although ideally we would like to drive less. As Ewan was ill today, he also fell asleep and was lifted into his pre-school sling on arrival at Hardwick Hall.
Having lunch at Hardwick Hall cafe with our friends Matt and Carol. Matt is Rich’s work colleague and good friend, Carol is Matt’s wife and also a good friend of ours. They recommended us to the dog breeder’s where we bought our yellow Labrador Hector from. Their own yellow Labroador, Benson, is Hector’s second cousin and he was from the same breeders. He nine months older than Hector and a little wilder than our placid dog, in the nicest possible sense! We meet up with Matt and Carol every few months in order to catch up and for our dogs to have a play-date. Our dogs love having a run around together, generally causing a little havoc and a lot of amusement! Many times I have found it hard to distinguish one dog from the other as they race enthusiastically around.
We tend to eat outside with Hector as we don’t like to leave him tied up outside alone, so here we are braving the cold of early March in the UK. We often pack a picnic, but today we treated ourselves to lunch out with our friends.
All the family at Hardwick Old Hall, owned by English Heritage. Ewan is in his pre-preschool sling, Tessa is in her toddler Wombat sling. It is fairly typical on a day out for Tessa to be carried a lot of the time and Ewan a little, so our slings come in very handy. In fact, they are an invaluable part of our daily existence; I wouldn’t go anywhere with children without them.
We have visited the Old Hall many times, which Ewan finds interesting as it is a ruin and therefore ‘very old’. He asks a lot of questions about the building each time we visit. It is also great as dogs are allowed in the ruins, so Hector can plod along with us and climb up to the top of the hall, where we look out at views of Derbyshire stretching almost to our house from that height.
The dogs in the boot of Matt and Carol’s car. We know that Hector would happily go home with Matt and Carol and live there! He was rather reluctant to jump out and into his own pen in the boot of our car, where we left him as we explored new Hardwick Hall. Our meeting with Matt and Carol was unfortunately somewhat curtailed due to the heavy rain and wind.
Here I am breastfeeding Tessa whilst reading about Hardwick Hall. Tessa woke up from a nap in the sling and immediately asked for milk; ‘miilt‘ as she says! She often feeds on waking up, as a way to come round and rejoin the land of the living. Having breastfed for almost five years now, I am a confident, you could even say, expert feeder, and feed absolutely anywhere, whenever necessary.
After a quick feed she felt most comfortable back in the sling, from where she delighted the staff volunteers at Hardwick Hall with her smiles and cute words, as we looked round the hall. As always when we baby-wear, we experienced lots of stares and a few comments, which we take in our stride now!
Back home busily cooking tea with the help of Tessa, who is often keen to help out in these kitchen. It is always a joy to involve the children in everyday household chores. If Ewan wasn’t asleep on the sofa, he would also be joining in helping to cook.
Like the last photo, Tessa is very keen to help wash-up. She usually gets soaked in the process, but that’s all part of the fun! Here she is delighted to be doing an activity just with Daddy.
Amazingly, this is the first time I have read to Tessa alone at bedtime. It was a novel experience, which we both enjoyed. As a second child, Tessa was revelling in an evening with her parents to herself, as usually she has to compete for attention with Ewan. It was lovely to read just to her, as I could really focus on her developing language skills and give her the time she so often doesn’t receive, as well as choose books more appropriate to her age than Ewan’s. I read to them every night in bed before nursing Tessa and hugging Ewan. Tonight, Ewan slept soundly next to us in our family bed, ill but recovering from his horrid illness.
The end of a happy and quite typical day. Time to tidy up and prepare for the next day, and even time to sit down and relax for awhile with Tessa in a dream feed . I also had time to write my diary and carry out my gratitude practice, where I stop for a moment and thank the Spirit World / Mother Nature / The Buddha for my children, my husband and family, my friends and my life. I am so fortunate to be here and to live such a rich life, both materially and emotionally.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- A Day as Mama and Data Manager — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook explains what she actually does as data manager of a social science research study, as well as Mama to a baby and a fourth-grader.
- Pictures of a Day — A photo montage of a typical day in the life of Life Breath Present! You can see how she wakes up and spends her time in quiet, to Baby Boy sleeping at dinner, making natural products, and so much more!
- Escaping a Mekong cityscape for a slice of rural life — It’s often necessary for Nathalie of Kampuchea Crossings to escape the heady concrete jungle that Phnom Penh is rapidly becoming, for the calmer environment of rural life.
- Community-schooling — Dionna at Code Name: Mama and her family don’t *home*school, they *community* school!
- A day in the Life in La Yacata — Read how Survivor and her family at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters spend their Sundays off-grid in rural central Mexico.
- Day in the Life of our Family — Stoneageparent details the everyday life of her family through twelve photos taken over twelve hours
- The Days Are Just Packed — Holly at Leaves of Lavender talks about the beauty and simplicity of daily life with a toddler.
- A Day In The Life of a Heavily Pregnant Naturally Parenting Mama — At 37 weeks pregnant, Sam Vickery of Love Parenting shares her current reality as she naturally parents her four-year-old and awaits her sweet baby.
- My Life in Pictures on a Random Day — Donna at Eco-Mothering captures a random winter day in Rhode Island through a series of snapshots. What seemed boring at first made her smile in the end.
- How One Book Inspired Our Whole Day: A Day in the Life — How to plan the whole day with a toddler after reading one book together from Rachael at B is for Bookworm.
- A day in the life of an unschooling, work-at-home family — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares a picture journey through a typical day with three little homeschooling boys.
- Day in the Life of a Toddler — From mess making to cleaning up to trying new things, All Natural Katie shows the life of a toddler.
- Things I have done today (and every other day for the past seven years) — Marija Smits shares what a ‘normal’ day looks like in her crazy world of kids, writing, creativity and household chores!
- Just Another Wednesday — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shares a glimpse into a typical Wednesday in her family’s life.
- Day in the Life — Dr Sarah at Good Enough Mum gives us glimpses of her life as a British GP and mum.
- Our days, these days — Dietary restrictions and health issues take a lot of time for Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, but she still follows her passions and tries to show up for her kids.
- A (Typical) Day in Our Life — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes a typical day with two kids, eight cats and two dogs.