Tag Archives: Connecta Baby Carrier

Why I (still) love wearing my preschooler

The unschooling diaries: week thirty-eight

Arthur is definitely in the process of levelling up again at the moment, and there are so many moments I could write about that I’m struggling on choosing one to focus on!

Seeing as it’s International Babywearing Week, though, I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on our continuing babywearing journey – one thing I am very glad he hasn’t grown out of just yet.

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It certainly raises eyebrows with some people, seeing my tall three year old perched up on my back in one of our trusty preschool Connectas. I suspect they think he’s older than he is – though admittedly plenty of people would balk at still wearing a child of his age anyway!

I don’t wear him as often as I used to, but I still very rarely leave the house without stuffing a Connecta into my backpack – just in case. It gives us the freedom to set off on adventures (in the city or the country) without a particular destination in mind. There are days when Arthur can quite happily walk his ten thousand steps alongside us, but there are others when his legs get tired and all he needs is a cuddle.

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Sometimes he’ll sleep, but often he’ll want to chat. We talk lots when we’re holding hands as well, but there is something about the closeness that babywearing affords that makes the conversation flow even more easily. I was reflecting recently on why babywearing seems to have such a positive impact on language development, and there is no denying that it has helped Arthur become a confident communicator, just as happy talking to adults as he is to children of his own age.

It is an important reminder too that whilst sometimes he seems wise beyond his years he has only been on this earth for less than four, and so much of what he is experiencing balances precariously on the fine line between inspiring and overwhelming.

In fact there are lots of things we do together – many of them revolving around live music – that I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to venture into if I didn’t have the ability to hold Arthur close in the sling, to keep him safe and secure.

I am so grateful that I persevered through those early, sometimes confusing, babywearing experiences to find a way to make it work for us – and especially grateful that Connecta came into our lives when Arthur was eight months old to open up a whole new world of opportunities. It remains my one and only real blog collaboration, but has developed into so much more now that I manage the company blog at Connecta Lives and get to work within a truly inspirational community – one which has given me so much confidence as a parent and as a writer tentatively trying to carve out a new career.

Both Arthur and I have benefited so much from this babywearing adventure: we’ve no intentions of giving it up quite yet!

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My editing essentials

This really isn’t the easiest time of year for keeping motivated and focused on an edit. The burst of enthusiasm that January brings has passed, and yet it’s still very much still winter. The cold, wet days are taking their toll and, whilst there’s a glimmer of hope in the lengthening hours of light, springtime – let alone summer – still feels a very long way away.

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At this point in the last two years I’ve been in the early stages of first drafts, when everything is exciting and new and I’ve just been able to write without fear of getting it wrong. But this year I’m attempting the third draft of my latest novel, and whilst it’s actually going pretty well I’m having to pull out all the stops to keep things that way.

So I thought I’d share my editing essentials: the crucial elements that have kept me going when the going’s got tough, the crutches I’ve turned to when I’ve been sorely tempted to curl up under the duvet (or at least under a blanket on the sofa whilst Arthur watches The Lion King for the umpteenth time).

First on the list is…

Coffee

No surprises there then. I have always really appreciated a decent cup of coffee, and since Leigh bought me a gorgeous DeLonghi coffee machine for my birthday last year it’s become something of a ritual.

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I like my coffee organic and strong, with a generous serving of frothy milk. One with breakfast, and another (with a large glass of water for good measure) when I sit down to write.

Almost as important for firing up the brain cells is…

Chocolate

I’m generally on a bit of a healthy eating tip at the moment, but decent dark chocolate is definitely one of my weaknesses. My brand of choice is Plamil – organic, nut free and delicious – and I will invariably enjoy a couple of squares of their ginger chocolate, or if we’re out of that a handful of chocolate drops, whilst I sit down and gather my thoughts.

For that of course I need a bit of peace and quiet, which is one of the many reasons why I love my…

Connecta

I have made no secret on this blog of my love for the Connecta baby carrier – and in fact you will find me extolling its virtues over on their blog too. But it really has been invaluable for the tricky business of writing whilst looking after a toddler.

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Arthur still naps in the sling, as he has ever since he was a tiny baby. I think the fact he enjoys his cuddles so much is one of the reasons why he still often has two naps a day. The design of the Connecta means that it is essentially supporting him to sit on my lap, so his (ever increasing) weight is spread evenly and unless he has a really monster sleep it’s pretty comfortable. And knowing that he is safe and close and happy means that I can focus all my attention on my work.

And for that I am still reliant on…

Scrivener

My discovery of this software has done wonders for my organisation. I found it great to write the first draft in, following my carefully planned structure and using the daily targets to keep me motivated, and now I’m deep into the edit it’s really coming into its own. I love how I can flit back and forth, move things around or cut them out completely safe in the knowledge that I can still get them back if I need them. I can keep an eye on my word count, and refer back to all the bank of research that I built up whilst I was writing the first draft. And all in one window.

Though when I’m tired of looking at that one, I can instantly refresh my soul by looking out of another at…

The view

I always dreamt of one day living by the sea, and more specifically having a place where I could write looking out over it. When that dream became a reality I was worried at first that the view might be a bit too beautiful and would distract me from getting anything done. As it happens though, that’s not a problem. I think my big computer screen helps – I have to consciously shift my gaze to get away from my manuscript. But there are times when I’m getting so frazzled that I really need something to give me a break from it all, and looking out at the big open sky and the ever-changing landscape of the sea is just the ticket.

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And that’s about it! Those five things have done a sterling job of keeping me on the straight and narrow so far, and I’m hoping I can continue to rely on them over the next few weeks as I bring this edit to a close.

How about you? What are the things that help you keep your focus when you’re writing (or editing)? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Connecta Lives

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In the craziness of the run-up to Christmas I forgot to mention a very exciting new venture I’ve become involved in – the blog for Connecta Baby Carrier, otherwise known as Connecta Lives.

Having done a bit of modelling for them back in October 2013, I have become very attached to my Connecta carriers – as regular readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed.

So it’s a real privilege to be working with them in a more formal capacity as one of their regular bloggers, especially as they have sent me some particularly beautiful carriers in exchange for my words. And also, let’s be honest, it’s awesome to have another outlet for all that babywearing love…

I’ve just published a post about how handy the Connecta was over Christmas so feel free to go and check that out, as well as all the other fabulous content of course!