Tag Archives: parenting

Goodbye Granny Pants

When I was pregnant and I was told that I had to buy some massive pants for after the birth, I was half amazed and half disgusted that I had to buy some Granny Pants. 

They looked bloody HUGE.

I couldn’t find any to start with. I just needed some non fancy everyday kind of granny pants. I didn’t even think I’d wear them. In the end I went to BHS and bought about 5 in varying dark colours. One thing I noticed about pregnancy was that every book I read and everyone I spoke to talked in hushed tones about wearing dark clothes and using dark towels and dark granny pants. I couldn’t imagine wearing them at all.  In BHS, I hunched my shoulders, trying to shield my face in case anyone I knew saw me in BHS and then, buying Granny Pants. It was an ordeal. 

2.5 years later…..

I am wearing the same granny pants. The granny pants moved in and they never moved out. I found the Granny Pants to be quite comfy, actually. Reassuringly secure, if you will. They held everything that was starting to flop down quite well. They also hid the bushy nightmare that was my bikini line.

But.

But I am 32 years old, not 92. I really should wear some non Granny Pants for a bit, right? Something that may make me feel a little more Giselle rather than Granny. I realised one day that I had given up on my pants. I had become accustomed to pants that came up to my belly button. They didn’t exactly make my VPL look any better. Skinny jeans and Granny Pants is probably not such a good idea, in retrospect.

So I set off to look for some sparkly new pants. I felt excitement as I entered M&S (yes, I could’ve picked a sexier shop, but you know, I’m starting off gently). 

As I walked into the lingerie department, I looked around at all the pants. Loads of pants. 

And I got immediately confused.

So. Many. Pants.

What the hell was a Brazilian pair of pants? Why were these pants made of what looked like spandex? I picked up a thong, which looked menacingly floss-like. They were the same size as my daughters pants. 

My head swirled with lurid pink, and black lace and little white bows. 

Shorts, high leg, bikini, Brazilian, no VPL, short leg, French knickers, high waisted, midi, waist cincher, thong….the words meant nothing to me. 

How do you even know what knickers to wear anyway?! 

I just wanted some nice pants. Pants I could just wear and not feel like I had a piece of string up my bum.

In the end I just picked a pair that looked like it covered at least 65% of my bum. Brazilian. That’d have to do. 

I purchased my new pants and felt a nervous anticipation about wearing them. 

The next day, I examined my pants. I seemed to have picked up a pair of pants that looked like they were the wrong way round. My derrière was barely covered by a lacy back and the front was just as bad.  

I realised I needed to sort out the lady garden area pretty nifty too. A VPL was the least of my worries, at the moment I had a VBL (visible bushy leg).

But, they looked nice at least. If I breathed in. So I wore them. I spent half the day scratching my bum due to the lace and the other half trying to sit down without getting a wedgie. 

Does that happen to everyone, I wonder?

Thing is, putting on my Granny pants, I feel comfort and minimal effort is needed to just throw them on. Maybe they’re not so bad after all…..

Mum Fog: Things you forget when you’re a Mum

You give birth, you don’t sleep for months, brain cells dissipate..you think you’ve got through it, but then the Mum Fog descends and you start to forget to do everything…..

1. Shave

You get to the swimming pool, you get into your costume and you just remember you didn’t sort out your lady garden which is growing down your legs.

2. Nail painting

Paint one lot of nails, and then  get distracted and forget to do the other hand until you only remember when you sit down at your desk at work.

3. Where you’re going

Get in the car, turn the key, set off down the road….end up anywhere because you either

a) zone out completely and don’t remember how you got there

b) panic that you’re going the wrong way because you suddenly don’t recognise anything on the route your going on (even though it is the right route and one you have done for years…)

c) whatever the day or time, you start driving to work. Or even get there, before you realise.

d) start driving and actually forget where or why you left the house

4. Names

a) Before I gave birth, people’s names easily rolled off my tongue. I knew who people were. I knew their goddanm names. Now? Well, nowadays, my brain seems to paralyse when I have to start mentioning people’s names, so now most people are referred to as: Lydia-Eleanor-Linda-Dan-John-Mary-Jane-Sarah-Sophie-Nancy.

b) Same goes for the TV. Shows I have watched for years, suddenly I don’t know anyone’s names, reducing characters to ‘Thingymebob’ ‘Whatsisname’ and ‘Him/Her/That one from The Bill’ thus making people think I don’t actually watch said programme and am making the whole thing up.

5. Reply to text messages

You send me a text, I may even read it. But then I sort of answer it in my head, or think about answering, and then Nancy starts throwing Yoghurt at the TV, and then suddenly it’s 11pm and I’ve fallen asleep dribbling on the sofa. Soz.

6. Shampoo

I’ve washed my hair once, twice,  heck sometimes I can’t remember how many times I’ve put shampoo on. But then did I use conditioner? Maybe just do it once more, just in case….

7. Wee

a) I spend my whole day asking a two year old if she needs the loo and in the process forget to actually go have a wee myself. My bladder is now made of steel, and I shall probably become incontinent very soon.

b) When I do finally open the floodgates and have a wee, I can’t do it in peace, there always being a small child wanting to share this moment with me.

8. Listening to nursery rhymes or watching Cbeebies when there’s no children

Yes, I have driven most of the way to work before I realise I’m listening to nursery rhymes, or been sat in front of the TV watching Tweenies before I realise there’s no children around. I’ve even sat staring at the blue screen after 7pm on cebeebies. For like, ages.

9. What to do with no kids around

You’ve got a baby-free night! hurrah! You go to a restaurant and sit in silence looking at each other. Or you might be in the car, and you see a postman, and you just want to shout “Oh, Look! Postman Pat!” but there’s no-one in the car who appreciates that comment.

10.  Er, I’ve forgotten what I was going to write here.

forget-mum-parenting

 

How do you do it? The Life of a (full-time) Working Mum

One of those questions which makes you wonder why they’ve asked it….

 

Recently I have had a similar conversation with several people at work. They ask me how I am doing, I usually say busy, and tired, they ask me how many days I work, I say all of them, and they say 

“Oh! I don’t know how you do it”

Now, each to their own. I don’t really think how, when or why someone works is really something to comment on. But, why ask me how do I do it?

What sort of question is that?

When the comment is said, a few thoughts run through my mind.

Do they mean, How do I do it? because I must be such a cruel Mother to go to work?

Do they mean, How do I do it? because I must be a super organised and amazing mother/worker

Do they mean, How do I do it? because they have no idea how you fit in parenting and a full time job?

Do they mean, How do I do it? As I must be feeling so guilty for leaving my little girl each day?

The answer is, I DON’T KNOW how I do it. I just do it. I have to do it.

I started working full time again in January, I have now had 6 months of working Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. It’s hard. I miss my day I used to have off with Nancy. I feel tired a lot of the time. But, I am doing this for all the right reasons.

Money

I am doing this, as working full time means I get more money, obviously. This means I can afford to by Nancy nice things. It also means that her Dad can reduce his hours, and we still have about the same family income.

Career Development

I am doing this as at the moment, I am doing some really interesting stuff and it is all part of my career progession and development. This is stuff I haven’t had opportunity to do before.

Enjoyment

I am doing this because I, on the whole, enjoy my job. I don’t mind going to work. Sure, I’d love to just be at home with Nancy, but I do love my job and my vocation.

To Make a Difference

I go to work to make a difference to the people I work with.  I support people with a learning disability to have better health outcomes and more independence in their lives. It’s a rewarding and fulfilling role to have.

So, How do I do it? 

I go to work, and I don’t feel guilty. I feel me. I feel like myself again. I don’t feel a cruel and horrible mother because I know that Nancy is enjoying nursery a lot, and she also has a great time with her Dad and other relatives when I’m not around. Some days are better than others, certainly. There are times when I am super organised and I feel on top of everything. There are days when I get up and look around the place and I think a bombs gone off. There are days I wonder what’s the point? Why have I done this to myself? But most of all, I feel that this is my life, my choice. I don’t really compare or think about how others are living their lives right at this moment. I accept that everyone has a different way of doing things, and some of that may involve working, or not.

Most days start with me getting up around 7am. I have a five* minute sit down with my cup of tea and my ipad, and then I have to get Nancy ready, me ready and out the door. There are days when I have to drop Nancy at Nursery, my partner at work and then get to work. I work 9am-5pm, then get home, some days have to pick Nancy up first, sometimes have to get my partner too, then home. Sometimes I also have to go food shopping after work too. Then its Nancy’s dinner, bath, bedtime stories, seeing Nancy off to sleep and then I can eat my dinner, watch TV, or do something else like Read or Blog. Before I go to bed we have to do the dishwasher. Sometimes I also do the clothes washing then hang them out before I go to work. I try my best to cook meals but some weeks we do go for a takeaway one night a week.

My weekends are my time off, but my partner works every other weekend. That means two weekends a month when we can spend time together as a family, and two where I look after Nancy for 12 hours a day, usually on my own. I take her to see my parents, we may go shopping, but usually we don’t have the car and I find these weekends the hardest. No car means it is doubly hard to find the motivation to leave the house and do something to make the day go quicker. I love my weekends with Nancy, though, because they are my time, and I do try and make the most of my time with her. Having cuddles on the sofa or goin to the park are simple pleasures that I appreicate more now I am at work.

I think my biggest issue with the question How do you do it? Is that people feel they can say these things to you. Maybe they mean it as a compliment, but to me it is questioning my commitment to my family as well as my job. Maybe people can’t believe I would choose my job over my child – not that I have, but I think people think that by going to work full time, this is what you are doing. I feel proud of myself for what I have achieved these last 6 months. No decision or life choice is ever easy, but I feel I have accepted and come to terms with my life and how I live it. Yes I get the sunday night blues, we all do, but when I drop Nancy off at Nursery I don’t feel dread, or guilt, I feel…happy. Happy for Nancy that she gets to make friends and have adventures, happy for me to be doing I job I (most of the time) enjoy, Happy because I get to have some time to myself, Happy because my life is going in the right direction, and Happy because, well, you have got to be happy with what you’ve got and make the most of things, don’t you?

That’s How I do it.


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.

(null)

18 Things at 18 Months

Dear Bubs,

Here is a list of some of the things you do now you’re 18 months.

1. You want everything, all the time
2. You don’t like your high chair
3. You’ll eat anything if you think it’s mine
4. You keep asking for chocolate when we never have any in the house
5. You have acquired an obsession with peppa pig
6. You like to say “please” and usually blow a big raspberry for the “p” sound
7. You can use an iPad better than I can
8. I had to tell you that you can’t use the TV like an iPad
9. Your favourite songs are ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle
10. Your favourite saying is “it’s all gone!” Or “more please”
11. You like to pretend to sleep and then Jump up and shout “boo!”
12. Favourite toy – well gang of toys – is a Portsmouth FC Duck, Upsy Daisy and Spot the Dog.
13. Favourite books are Noodle loves bedtime (read so much it’s broken!) and a tiger who came to tea
14. You still don’t like eggs, at all
15. You love jumping around the room
16. You like to pretend to drive the car with Daddy
17. You love kicking a ball around the garden
18. You’re always so happy, and smiley. Unless it’s bedtime.

Love,

Mumma x

What Being A Mother Means To Me

I was filling in a form a few weeks back and there was a question: What does being a mother mean to you? And at the time I couldn’t really answer it. But this morning, whilst I was doing something mundane like changing Bubs’ nappy, it hit me.

What being a mother means to me

Being a Mum is a connection. A friendship, a comeraderie, a feeling of togetherness. This person needs you, but you need them too.

She fills a void in my life I didn’t even know was there. She makes me feel whole, complete. I am never alone, and whilst that can sometimes feel like agony, I couldn’t bear it if she wasn’t here. Even when I am not physically with her, knowing she is there is reassuring.

I used to feel so lonely. I have friends, but some are far away. What I mean is, when it was just the two of us, I spent a lot of evenings and weekends alone, due to my partners working patterns. I didn’t seem to have the get up and go that I do now. I never used to do much, and felt very scared and shy at meeting new people. She has changed this – I feel more motivated now than ever. She has given that to me. I make sure we have things to do. We go out and explore. We go out for a walk. I was lazy before, not making an effort when really I should have.

She has given me a reason to do more, to learn more, to improve myself so that I can be the best I can for her. I am all she has – she is dependent on me, and in return I am dependent on her. I only know I am doing things right if she lets me know in her own way.

I do things automatically, and I put her before anything else. It’s a subconscious decision, and half way through doing something like changing her nappy, I realise just how normal this has all become. I don’t even realise I’m doing it.

Being a mother is about loving, teaching, playing, laughing, guiding and I think most of all, being yourself.

Yet she has changed me, I have a different perspective on things, seeing things with different eyes. She’s made me see that just staying indoors was not an option. We go out and face the world – sometimes I even have the guts to face the world on my own. Her being with me has given me the confidence to do it.

What does being a mother mean to you?

Challenges

Screaming. Screaming high pitched and over and over again.

She’s not upset. When I walk up the stairs she has a great big smile on her face.

She’s challenging me.

I am trying my best to ignore. I don’t want to make it a game.

But in the car. In her cot. In her high chair.

It’s hard not to resort to wine, beer or in fact hard spirits. Headache looms and I can feel myself tense.

She knows what she wants to say, but she can’t find the words yet. Her mind must be jumble, a scrabble of words trying to make sense of this mad world.She will point and gesture wildly. She will grizzle and groan. It must be exhausting. I find it exhausting trying to interpret it all.

She finds boxes, and pulls everything out of them. She will rummage through my bag and pull out my purse and all my cards. She threw my shampoo down the toilet today. Little things chipping away at my mind, my soul.

She takes off her shoes and throws them out of her buggy. In my mind I feel like screaming too. Or throwing my shoes.

Yes. She challenges me.

But I must challenge her.

I talk to her, naming objects and singing songs.

Playing games, showing her new ways of doing things.

I give her new foods to try. I wipe her face when she doesn’t like it. I change her bum and make her wash her hair and brush her teeth.

I put her into her cot and tell her when to go to sleep. Sometimes we are early, sometimes we are late.

I stopped giving her a bottle. (She wasn’t drinking out of it at all but she still got very annoyed at me the first time her bedtime milk came in a cup).

When I think about it, I challenge her every day to learn, to grow, to be looked after.

So when she screams, I am trying not to get wound up. I still have a good glug of my wine and chocolate helps. It’s easy to get frustrated and agitated. But I’m trying my best to be calm and collected and to understand things from her point of view. She’s little, I’m not. She’s still figuring it all out – as am I but I guess I have a 30 year head start on her.

Because she can’t keep screaming like this forever. Can she?!

What do you do when you feel challenged by your children?

I am also linking up to the reading residence Word of a The Week as I think “Challenges” sums it up!

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10 Survival Tips for the first few weeks of parenting

10 Survival Tips for the first few weeks of parenting

For what it’s worth I have been compiling a list of Tips for surviving the first two weeks. This has made night-time feeds slightly more interesting for me, and I hope that someone may find some of these useful.

1. Remember to brush your teeth

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But I’ll confess: day 3 in the hospital and I realised I hadn’t brushed my teeth since Sunday. You worry so much about the baby you forget about yourself.  Showering can be more of a challenge, But brush your teeth, your dentist will thank you and you will feel so much better.

2. Learn to take showers that last 30 seconds

As above; even simple tasks can seem impossible when you’re on your own with the baby. But you’ve got to shower, even if it is just your big toe. I put baby in their Moses basket in the bathroom with me, jump in, scrub myself like a bat out of hell and jump out again before the baby goes too high on the Richter scale. Each time you do it,it gets easier. So best to start sooner rather than later. And besides, you don’t want to smell too bad when your relatives come round.

3. You’ll only have one arm

To start with, babies need a lot of attention. I sort of knew this, but I didn’t really think about how this would affect me living day-to-day. Newborns can feed very regularly, and Nancy fed practically every 20 minutes to start with, when we began breastfeeding again. This can cause you some issues; namely, you will be holding the baby a lot, which will mean that you will have to adapt to doing things slightly differently – i.e. – one-handed. I have perfected eating roast dinners one-handed, so the opportunities are endless once you get the knack.  There are a few things that you should have to (one) hand at all times in this situation. These are:

  • TV Remote – you do not want to be stranded on the sofa one-handed without the TV remote. I got caught out once and had to endure Alan Titchmarsh. That was a low day.
  • Mobile Phone/Laptop – you need to be able to communicate with the outside world. Twitter is my friend, as is Candy Crush (or is that enemy – damn jelly sweets)
  • Kindle/Book – if you can still see straight, then reading is an option. Kindle is much easier as you don’t have to turn the pages. So I am very thankful for that one.
  • Snacks/Drinks – its important to keep yourself hydrated and fed especially if you’re breastfeeding. being awake 24 hours a day means you’re body needs fuel. I have devised a snack table for myself (pictured) to ensure that I have these things to hand. I try to keep it fairly healthy but chocolate is a must if you ask me.

4. Buy a box set

This is a perfect opportunity to watch some TV shows you’ve never got round to. So far I have watched Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and am currently halfway through Breaking Bad. If you’re not going out, may as well make the most of it!

5. Freeze meals

One armed, you wont be able to knock up many gourmet meals. So if you try to make them (or get someone else to) in advance, freeze them, then you can get them out of the freezer and microwaved quite easily one-handed, or if you just can’t be arsed, which I find, is quite a lot.

6. You’ll become Obsessed with wee and poo

Just to warn you; you’ll become obsessed with wee and poo, no joke. You’ll be ringing people up to tell them your baby has pooed and what colour it is. I never thought I would, but look at me now. I even tweeted about it earlier. To be fair it is rather important to keep track, just in retrospect i doubt everyone wants to know. However I really need to heed my own advice here.

7. Work around the baby

Don’t make the baby work around you. It’ll make you stressed and it won’t work. You can still do things, just not when the baby needs you’re attention. This may be at odd hours of the day, but it’ll work. I know the baby will be asleep around 7am, so I make sure I shower then, that is if I want to wash my hair, face and actually feel like I’ve had a shower as opposed to a quick dash (as described above). I can wash up, put the washing on, even leave the house – but I prefer to do this once I’ve sorted the baby. It’s just so much easier and less stressful.

8. Things take time.

Things slow down. But you still get them done. Why do you need to be in a rush anyway? You’re on maternity leave! I do little and often rather than all at once. It still gets done.

9. It gets easier.

Everyone tells you this. But it does. You just need to take it day by day, night by night. Think of all the fun you’ll have eventually! Think of that day when you may sleep 8 hours again! These are you motivators for getting through the first few weeks.

10. It’s up to you

No-one tells you how to do it, you have to work it out yourself. And suddenly you have to make the decisions. People look at you, and will ask you what you think. They won’t judge, and they won’t tell you what to do either. It’s a bit disconcerting for me, but I’m realising that no-one has the right answer, no-one knows everything, and you may as well go with your gut instinct as if you ask there will be loads of people with advice if you really need it. (and you’ll get it if you like it or not anyway)