Tag Archives: Motherhood

Thoughts on Pregnancy: Second Time Round

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I had just come to the conclusion that one child was plenty enough thank you,  when I found out I was pregnant.

My first thought was: oh shit.

My second thought was: oh shit, I can’t drink anything now.  HOW AM I GOING TO COPE?!

My third thought was: oh god, I’m not going to sleep until 2020.

Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased that we are having another baby. It’s taken long enough. But this time things are just a bit different.

When people ask me “is this pregnancy different to the first?” I immediately think: of course this pregnancy is different.

For a start, I’ve been sleep deprived for most of the last 3 years. So, you know, that adds a little edge to things. Also, this time I can’t just lie on the sofa and do nothing all evening when I feel ill. This time, I have a three year old who still wants you to hold them as you walk along the pavement and who wants me to be the fairy godmother when she’s playing Cinderella.

This time around, I have no time (or energy for that matter) for yoga or swimming. I am drinking too much caffiene and I accidentally ate a cheese board the day after I found out I was pregnant because I forgot about the whole “don’t eat cheese” thing.

This time, I hardly have any time to actually think I am pregnant at all.

I also have the benefit/disadvantage of knowing exactly what I’ve let myself in for. I can learn from my previous experience and I know for sure what I want and don’t want to happen this time. But I know one thing I can’t avoid and that is I’ll still have to push this Bubba out of my Va-Jay-Jay. And I know it fricking hurts.

This time, I pay a fleeting glance to emails telling me my baby weighs the same as an avocado. I don’t have the 26 apps I had last time, all telling me the same information that I poured over night after night. I bought actual books last time to read and studied like I was a student midwife.

I might try and do some pelvic floor excersizes on the way to work if I sneeze and start to panic, unlike the military set schedule I had 3 years ago. (Seriously I bet I could’ve cracked nuts with my pelvic floor).

I don’t have to buy anything this time round; I have everything going moldy in the garage. I just need to have a day sometime to go and bleach it all down. But I have plenty of time for that.

I am not sure if I can be described as “glowing” second time round. I frequently forget to brush my hair and put make up on, meaning I look more like a character out of The Walking Dead each day. Hell, I haven’t even shaved my legs this year yet. I used to pour over maternity sections in shops choosing jeans and dresses that accentuated my bump. This time I’m just wearing leggings and baggy dresses. Looking like a pregnant bag lady is quite a skill you know.

Oh, and symptoms: if you’re any different to last time (which, in fairness was 3 years ago so how could you even remember) then you must be having a boy. Or a girl. Or a hairy baby.

I know I am lucky to experience this again. I am grateful for this experience, no matter how tired I am or messy looking I become. Once August is here, we will have our little family complete and that will be a great feeling. I am looking forward to baby snuggles and seeing Nancy’s face when she sees her brother or sister.

And also, I’ll never have to be pregnant again.

Answers to the question Why?

Answers to children’s most irritating questions….

WHY?

Well, because it is.

Because that’s what someone named them.

Who knows?

I’m not sure really.

What made you think of that?

I don’t know why daddy always leaves the loo seat up. Beats me.

Why are you asking me that?

Because we have to share a birthday cake. You can’t eat it all.

Because it wouldn’t be nice!

Well I don’t shout actually I just talk a bit loudly at times.

It’s just the way it is.

Because the Police told me so.

Because if you don’t sleep you won’t grow and if you don’t grow you won’t be able to reach anything yourself one day.

Well that’s what I eat.
No you don’t eat meat because you don’t.
Because you don’t.

Ask your Daddy.

Let’s think about that overnight shall we?

Everyone eats their dinner first.

Well babies can’t talk because they’re too small.

Something to do with clouds which go Grey and then there’s hot and cold air and….erm…well the sky just makes a big noise.

It’s one of life’s mysteries.
It’s something that we don’t know about.
It’s a secret.

I’m not sure why.

I’m not sure why I don’t know why.

Do you want some sweets?

Toddlers: The Top 25 Rules

The top 25 rules of having a toddler, as observed by me. These are the things I just know are going to happen. Let me know what you think! 


Toddler Rules:

1. They will always fall asleep when you don’t want them to

2. They will always stay awake when you don’t want them to

3. They will always tip a summer fruits drink all over themselves just before you leave the house

4. They will always do the most disgusting poo ever just before you leave the house.

5. Or, they will always do a massive poo on the way to nursery, making it look like you didn’t change them before you left the house. Which you did. Twice. 

6. If there is a teeny tiny piece of crayon somewhere in the living room, they will find it, and use it. ON YOUR WALL. 

7. They will become obsessed with one song, one TV show, one type of food at a time 

8. They will always eat all the food at nursery even stuff they say they don’t like at home

9. They will always like the noisiest toys

10. If there is an opportunity to fall over and get covered in mud,  they will do it

11. If there’s a puddle, they will jump in it, wellies or no wellies

12. They will always like the weirdest, oddest sounding nursery rhyme on YouTube 

13. They will like random items and call them toys, such as a giant red plastic spade that has to be taken everywhere in case we find sand 

14. They will always rub snot on your cardigan. Always. 

15. They always remember. Everything. Don’t say anything within a 3 mile radius if you don’t want them to know about it.

16. They will always want your dinner, or lunch, or cake. 

17. They will always want your things. 

18. They will try and put your make up on. And eat your lipstick.

19. They will always want the toy that another child has.

20. They will expect you to fix things magically, like a book that has been torn to shreds or produce items at their request instantly

21. They will break stuff at other people’s houses. Or wee on their sofas

22. They will shout BOOBIES or other such body parts in public. 

23. They will ask for milk, then when you give them milk, they ask for orange juice. Like you should’ve known. 

24. They will always want to go on the ride outside of the supermarket, when you don’t have the correct change 

25. They will always want one more, of whatever it is.

Embracing the Mess

The other day, Nancy asked to go into the garden.

Ok, I said.  I was watching her like a hawk. Like one of the guards in a prison like Orange is the New Black. “Don’t touch this, don’t touch that!” “You’ll get MESSY!” I threatened, panicky and nervous that I would have to clean up, re-dress, re-change.

It’s the same when she gets her felt tips out, I feel my blood pressure rising.

“Put the caps on!” “Write on the paper!” “Argh you’ll do something in a minute to ruin my carpet!”

She got Play-doh for her birthday, which I hid.

She started to get funny about dirt, or food or pen on her hands, wanting to wash it off instantly.

Then it hit me: Where’s the fun in this? 

She needs to explore, and learn, and get messy.  She shouldn’t be afraid of getting messy, of having dirt on her hands. She should be playing in the mud, picking up worms, learning about the world around her. At nursery she is always rolling around in shaving foam and bits of pasta. Why can’t I do the same with her at home? What’s my problem?

Because it is my problem. I am stopping her doing things because I am worried I will have to clean up or sort out the mess. Granted, I don’t want her painting with Nutella all over my walls, and there has to be limits, but can’t I do some messy activities with her?

So, I embraced it. I set her free into the Garden, and I went with her. I took a big deep breath and I let her get muddy, and messy.

We planted seeds and dug up mud in the flower bed. We watered the garden. We spotted worms and watered the garden a bit more. She had a fantastic time. I had a good time. Yes, she got a bit muddy, yes our hands were filthy, but when we came in we stripped off and we washed our hands, and that was it, done. It felt good to have been out in the fresh air, to see her face as we explored the garden and when she found things such as the worm. Her face when she tried to weed my flowers and her delight at watering the garden.

Then another day, she found a big tub of crafty bits I’d bought ages ago, and asked if we could use them. I must admit my heart sank a little.

“Nnnnnno…” was on my lips, but then I stopped myself. I said “Yes” instead and we got out the crafts and we got out the glue and we got out the glitter and we made a little picture. And it was good, and fun. It was a bit messy, and things got everywhere, and at times I felt like saying “stop!” but she loved it. I loved it.

Ah, and then the Playdoh. I relented and got out the playdoh. We got out some cookie cutters, a fork, anything to make some pretty prints and marks in the play doh. We made pretend food and we made wriggly worms to her delight. She ‘fed’ her toy baby playdoh pasta, which was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I tried not to think about the state of my floor or the inevitability that a minute speck of playdoh will soon reach my carpet and that’ll be it.

I am starting to say Yes, I am starting to embrace the mess, embrace the fun.  It means that we have spent quite a few hours now doing some lovely things together, with no TV, no ipad. It has been positive, and happy and I haven’t been moany old mum who’s scared of a pair of muddy jeans.

I clean up, happy that we have spent fun time together, that we have made (sometimes quite literally) some memories. Every mark on my carpet has a story to tell, every pen mark I wash from my hands remains there invisible, a mark of a time I spent playing with my girl. I quite enjoy it really. Apart from touching worms, coz that’s a bit icky.

Sick Leave Mummy Style

When I used to fall unwell, before baby, although I felt rotten there was some slight excitement about being able to lie on the sofa in a lempsip stupor, watching Homes Under the Hammer and This Morning.

Now, when I first feel the signs of a cold, I’m necking echinacea like no tomorrow and ramming oranges down my throat quicker than a martini.

You see, nowadays, I don’t want to be unwell. I dread being unwell. It’s probably the worst thing that could happen to me (yes I know when anyone is unwell it sucks, but still, I feel the dread).

You can’t call in sick to the Mummy job. Oh no. That is not part of the employment contract.

Whether you have been coughing your guts up all night doesn’t matter. You will be up at 6am making playdoh bananas and feeding the baby jelly like there was not a problem in the world.

Peppa Pig will be pounding into your head like a hammer, and your head will be so fuzzy you’ll wonder if you’re hallucinating when the twirlywoos come onto the TV.

The child may demand to Play shop, for you to make juice, (not orange juice, purple juice), to go on the potty, off the potty, dress up, dress off, reading hairy mclairy very loudly and demanding pasta and pesto for lunch and not eating it, all the while you’re breathing like Darth Vader and dragging one foot behind you.

Your only contact with the outside world, your phone, will be demanded to watch YouTube videos of adults opening glitter putty coloured eggs. There is no escape.

Child will want to sit on you, preferably your chest so that you actually can’t breathe much. Even better when they sing a song in your face.

You’ll consider going back to work. I did once, and was sent straight back. I cried all the way home.

Food wise, you manage to survive on dry cereal, hula hoops and squash, muller light yoghurts and quorn chicken nuggets. Time will tick by very very slowly.

Where is the other half to free you from this nightmare?

Then they come home, tell you they don’t feel well*, and go to bed.

You read bedtime stories to the child until your voice cracks and you can’t stop coughing. Then you manage to wheeze ‘twinkle twinkle’ and crawl out of the room with the last ounce of energy you have, to the safety of your bed. You may forget to brush your teeth and wear the same pyjamas that you’ve have been wearing for the last 48 hours.

And then if you’re lucky, you may sleep for a bit.

I’m all for a cure for the common cold, me. Anything to try and prevent another sick day.

*Is it me, or when you say you’re unwell, your partner will say they are unwell too? And they are always worse than you, aren’t they?

Time

I am running out of time, Like sand through my metaphorical fingers. I just never seem to have enough.

Running out of time sounds dramatic, but I really don’t know where it all goes. I never feel I have enough time to do everything properly.

I am not sure what I do with my time, but I do something and then I blink and then it’s time to go to sleep or get up.

Just to prove my point, I fell asleep as I wrote that last sentence.

I start lots of things, I have lists in my head of things I want to do. I want to try my hand at crochet and also sewing (yeah the Sewing Bee really convinced me that I too can be a dress maker), I want to write lots of very funny and popular blog posts, I want to watch TV programmes right until the end, and not fall asleep.

I have ideas of washing my hair everyday and shaving my legs at least weekly (well, I can dream.) I  even think about getting to the bottom of the washing pile or even cleaning my bathroom.

I need to get better at managing my time. Where did all the time go?

I was asked recently what I did before I had Nancy. I can’t really remember.  All I can think of is big gaps of nothingness, days where I had so much time, it wasn’t a luxury to me.

I try and make the most of the time I have, but there are moments where I just think everything is half finished. Rushed. A bodge.

I make lists, and lists of lists, and that does help. I plan my time, but there’s always something else I could be doing, too. I have to prioritise and sometimes it is a hard thing to do.

I know I want to make the most of my time now. I think that’s what being a Mum has taught me, time is precious, and we need to make the most of it. So yes, sometimes I throw my lists out the window and do something different instead, because you have to make the most of things.  But then I come back with my tail between my legs, scrabble around picking up my lists of lists, and I’m back on that rollercoaster again.

Sometimes I have every will in the world but I’m just so tired and sleep takes over every other priority in my head.

I better go now as I am actually supposed to be in the shower, but I chose to write this instead. Oops!

I don’t really think there is any answer. We muddle along the best we can. Anyway really should go now as shower has been reduced to a wet wipe…

How do you manage your time? Any tips?

Short Thoughts 8/3/15

Occasional Insights into my Brain… 

Short Shorts and tights combo is not a look I want to replicate

90s is now considered “vintage” – I wish I’d kept my cullottes and a pair of kickers shoes now

And how old does that make you feel when 90s is like what the 70s (or 40s/50s/60s depending on age)…was when we were growing up…..mind boggles

I broke my necklace, had tea accidentally spilt on me, and nearly walked into the gents toilets yesterday but still it was a good day

I’ve learnt how to take nice photos so you will be astounded by my photography skills (see below) but I have to lie everything flat including children

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Sometimes you meet a few people  and they instantly make you laugh and you know you could be good friends but you hope you didn’t come across as a complete raving idiot

Bryan Ferry hasn’t aged well. Some things are best left in the past

Yesterday I referred to Lionel Ritchie as a historical insignificance, which I now regret

Staying focused and true to yourself is the best way to be.

I’m embracing happy 🙂

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Happy Birthday, Kiddo

I can’t say that from the moment I saw you I was filled with a rush of love and wonder; we were both doped up on pethidine and I felt like I was in a dream. Time stood still; things seemed to take forever. When I held you, however, all purple, and angry looking, I know I couldn’t believe that you were mine.

Later, when everyone had gone, and it was just us, I never ever panicked. I knew I was your mum and I knew that somehow, we would work it out. From that moment we were tied, in a journey both of us had to take. I remember when I had my first shower, whilst you lay in your crib next to the shower cubicle, and I, wobbly from drugs, scrubbed my bits as best as I could, all the whole not really looking at anything but you. When we arrived at the postnatal ward, yes I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but neither did you, and we taught each other along the way.

It was hard. So hard. I never knew how hard it would be,at the start. But not because you were hard; being a Mum is hard work. I want you to know that I treasure every feed we had together, every wake up, every cuddle. And I still do. Every moment I am with you, I am so grateful for. I try and see this in the moment, but at the start it’s quite hard.

I can’t believe that two years have gone by.

You have grown up into a little girl. You love the colour purple, peppa pig, postman pat and weird YouTube versions of nursery rhymes. You love books, especially The a Tiger Who Came to Tea. You have Baby, Other Baby, Big Upsy and Baby Upsy, who all love to be sang and stroked to sleep or taken for a walk in your little buggy. You love wearing your aunty lyds shoes, and pretending to go out to work. You love Old McDonald ( or EIEIO as you call it), the ABC song, and twinkle twinkle the best.

You eat so many things, and are only fussy when you don’t feel well which I think is acceptable. You appear to have your fathers love of pizza, but also love fruit. You love warm Ribena and a cup of tea. Oh, and chocolate cake. You sure do love chocolate cake.

You are so happy. You light up my life, and your Daddy’s too. Even when I am tired, or feeling down, you make me smile. It almost breaks my heart when you say Thank You Mummy when I make you a special bath or when you ask for a cuddle, or if I let you have a second mini roll. You are such a polite, caring, loveable girl. Everyone loves you, everyone smiles when you are around. I have learnt so much about myself because of you.

My life is so different now, and I could never have imagined what being a Mummy feels like. You are a little person now, and every day is such an experience. You are learning but I am too, all over again. If I could cuddle you all day, I would. You’re such a darling.

Happy Birthday my gorgeous girl, my cheeky chops, my Bubs. Xxx

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Nobody Thinks About After Babyhood….

Nobody asks for a 2 year old. Nobody gets pregnant and thinks ahead 2 years.

Before, when I was thinking about getting pregnant, and when I was pregnant, all I thought about was babies. Little, chubby little babies. You know, the ones that giggle and laugh through nappy adverts. That’s as far as I could think. Just having the baby was something I could barely contemplate. Giving birth was my biggest fear.

Well, I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.

Not many people talk to you about after babyhood. Everyone loves to coo and goes bananas about babies, feeding, weaning, poo, wee, blankets, toys, winding, baby smells, lullabies – you catch my drift. Having a baby is a total shock, like drowning before being rescued and then taking a massive intake of breath as you wake up to this reality which is nothing like you remember. You wear heaviness like a blanket. But babies are babies, and eventually you do sort of get the knack, even if they throw you a curve ball.

As they get older, people, and advice, start to drift away. Which is nice, actually. Life goes from new to…normal. Having this little person is no novelty. It’s real. Everyone gets to know each other. Lines are redrawn. Lives are adjusted. Babies turn to toddlers. And they start to be….them. A personality, a character. Thoughts independent, unknown and secret. They have a will, and they want their way.

Suddenly, you look down at this little person, with a scarily large head, who’s actually talking to you, and it hits you, you wonder how this has happened at all.

You have a 2 year old. A person. This was all your own fault.

And this is the unchartered territory. This is the bit that I should’ve worried a bit about. When a 2 year old kicks off, no one is there quoting anything at you, you can’t think back to that antenatal class which showed you the correct position to rugby tackle your toddler as they run off in Sainsbury’s Car Park.

This is really when parenthood begins. She’s looking up to me and she thinks I know everything. And I have to pretend that I do.

I never really thought about what it meant to be a parent. The baby bit was all I could even imagine. To be here now, it’s wonderful, exciting, terrifying. I think I’m doing alright. I know there are books and TV shows and yes a lot of great blogs out there I can refer to, but nothing really prepares you for having a little person. Your little person. You just want to make everything perfect for them, and I’m sure, to them, it is.

But I’m cacking myself.

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Short thoughts 5/2/14

Almost daily insights into my brain…..

I found out today what Beyoncé was warbling about when she was talking about drinking watermelon. Urgh.

Yesterday I realised I hadn’t got dressed, washed or brushed my teeth today. At about 6pm. Nice.

I feel like I meet so many people who I just KNOW I would be such good friends with, if only they didn’t live bloody miles away. Sometimes I feel lonely.

Marvellous creations popping candy is my nemesis. And probably the reason I’m still fat, tbh.

It hit me today that my little girl is 2 this month. Where the hell did 2 years go. No, seriously. Where did they go?

I haven’t sorted out a birthday party or anything. I’m pretty shit at that sort of thing. I sort of wish I could forget about it, really.

I want to do so many things I just need to actually do them, book tickets, make arrangements, live my life.

I keep writing 01/14 when I write the date, I can’t get used to it. I’m living in the past.