FAO: New parents

Having a baby is possibly the most daunting time of anyone’s life. It is the hardest job in the world. Mostly due to lack of holiday days and lack of pay. But saying that, it is the most rewarding. On levels you did not even know exsisted until it happens.

At the moment I have four friends who are due around christmas, two with their third child and two with their first. The two with their third will already know how to change a nappy in the dark without waking them. Ninjas of motherhood. The other two, their journey is about to begin. And boy, what a journey it will be!

Offering a mum to be advice is like trying to fly a kite with no wind. You can see they have no idea what you on about, that it goes in one ear and out the other. They can get offended or just do that awkward laugh and shrug it off but we are just trying to help. We have been there before, we are only trying to help so I have composed my own list of advice goodness that I wish someone had told me about when I had my first!

  1. Buy the best possible concealer/foundation you can. You might not look yourself.  No one glows after birth, your exhausted and sore. Your house will be full of visitors in the first few days so perk yourself up a bit knowing those black bags are hidden
  2. From day one, Teach your baby what day and night is. Light and loud in the day, dark and quite at night. You’d be suprised how easily they get confused
  3. Get at least ten of everything. That includes bedding. You’d be suprised how those little bundles of joy make a mess!
  4. As early as possible, teach them to fall asleep on their own. We made that fatal mistake and rocked our first one. It makes it easier in the long run.
  5. Routine, routine, routine! That one is a must.
  6. Stairgates. Buy the ones you even struggle to open. And put them on asap to get used to closing them. It does take a while to adjust. Buy the time your baby’s there you’ll be a pro, doing it subconsciously. Again makes it easier in the long run. Especially when they move at the speed of light and are up the stairs before you know it.
  7. Do not at any point think you are a bad parent when they are screaming and crying and you’ve tried everything. You need to take the time to get to know them. They are their own little person. Like meeting anyone new, in time, you will figure out who they are. That’s when it becomes second nature. You will know them better than they know themselves.
  8. And yes, they cry. A lot. Hungry (milk) cold, hot, thirsty (water), tired, dirty nappy. Once you’ve tried all of those, sometimes you just have to let them get on with it. It’s not a bad thing to let your baby cry for a few minutes before you pounce on them.
  9. Be prepared for the vomit. How can someone so small produce so much. Stock up on the dettol/carpet cleaner.
  10. Adjusting. You will become a pro at the one thing you struggled with to start and by the time you’ve figure it out, they will move onto the next step in their development.
  11. The internet. A wonderful place full of other parents in the same boat as you. Forums, advice pages, pictures. Many a night we have sat up till 3am googling what we could be doing wrong. It’s a good thing to know you are not the only person going through the same thing as you.
  12. It is a lonely job. Once your other half returns to work your left to fend for yourself. Even if you have friends with baby’s or children, they won’t want to meet everyday. There’s some weeks I’ve gone all 7 days without speaking to a sole other than the kids and my husband. Be prepared.
  13. Coffee. If you don’t like it, learn to. It is a lifeline
  14. If someone says your doing it wrong or ‘oh no, don’t do it like that’ ignore them. Its your child. Not there’s. Don’t be afraid to say no or offend them. To be honest, you already lost your dignity during birth so what else Is there to lose!?
  15. Before you know it, in the blink of an eye your celebrating your child’s birthday. That past year has been a sleep deprived blur. You look at the photos and think ‘ I don’t even remember that’. That is why you need to enjoy every single minute. However stressful or exhausting it is. For some of us you won’t ever have another child. The first child is how you found out what kind of person you were. Someone so strong you didn’t even know you had in you.

Enjoy it but don’t be afraid to ask for help. We won’t think any less of you! Promise!

Since Nov 2013 I have lost almost five stone. Woohoo! That was the baby fat from both pregnancies. It worried me at first because the weight was falling off without even trying. So after a visit to the doctor and numerous blood tests, I was given the all clear and sent on my way. Turned out two under three and a 25 hour week at work was my diet and gym in one. Win win I suppose. Getting paid to get skinny was enough motivation to go to work.

But now I am stuck in a rut. I still haven’t got round to getting me new clothes and since my last visit to hairdressers was getting on for almost a year ago I’m in need of a bit of tlc. But how do you fit it in?

Internet shopping has its perks but when you buy new clothes, you need to touch and feel them. Well I do anyway. I try to imagine them covered in chocolate fingerprints or paint and if the material/colour would show it up. When it comes to my hair, will it be too short to get it up in a ponytail, or get away without washing it in a few days if I have it cut like that?

One answer: Time. Or lack of.

Mom said it will get easier but I’d like to not look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards for more than once a week.

To any clothing designer, you need to start making affordable clothing that are wipe clean, loose and non restricting.

As long as the kids look beautiful and have everything they need, I’ll just wait for my turn!

Honeymoon

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It has been almost three years since we got married. And we are finally getting a honeymoon! *grins like the chesire cat*

When we tied the knot, I was on maternity leave with my daughter. She was only ten months old (and looked beautiful as a bridesmaid!)A few days after, I went back to work. So we have kind of forgot about our honeymoon. Till my mom actually asked if we would like a long weekend away somewhere and she would watch the kids. So, naturally, we booked a long weekend in Paris.

It might not be till next year but I can not wait!!

But, there’s always a but, I feel guilty for leaving the kids. It’s not for another year but the thought of even leaving the country without them fills me with guilt. I know they’ll be looked after, spoilt even but still. I guess if we took them it wouldn’t be classed as a honeymoon.

So for once in the four years of being a parent, I am going to be selfish. I am having some me time in the one city I have always wanted to return to. Plus as me and the husband are like passing ships in the night, it will do us some good too.

After all, I can always bring them a present back!!

Dreaded lurgy

It’s that time of year again when we all share the wonderful gift of germs! Had a feeling it was due as it had been a couple of months since the last spree.

This time, mommy has it. And while daddy escapes the dreaded scent of vicks, I have two snot monkeys and myself to drag through it. As it happens, we had a weekend off (I usually work Sat nights and all day Sunday) so perfect timing and all that.

They sense I am not at my best. Then they go for the kill. However, today was quite different. Rather than madam wanting mommy or daddy, It was nannys turn. Ayla demanded and as with most grandparents, Ayla got. That just left me and little man to spend some time curled up on the sofa watching the minions for a few hours.

I am hoping it won’t last too long. But as with any illness, the nights are the worse. Thus lying in bed, blanket over head waiting for them to wake up crying for one of us. I am prepared. Calpol plugin at the ready!

Go go go!

Let down

The one thing I have learnt about having kids is that you can’t plan anything. If you do it never goes to plan. The usual reasons plans fail are because they are ill or they are having one of those days where they hate the world and everyone in it.

The bike ride we had planned for Clic Sargant charity was today. Set off time was right now actually. And I’m sat at home with a pile of sicky bed clothes which will proberly take me most of the day to get through. Excluding the hours to remake all the beds.

3am. The usual ‘daddy’ cry from my daughters room. This time she wasn’t well. Raging temperature and after she came into our room to cool down, vomit all over our bed. Complaining of a bad headache which is unusual as this is the first time for that symptom.

So I’ve had to let my friends down. AGAIN. On the phone to 111 at stupid o’clock. On the plus side I’ve already done two loads of washing.

I wonder how long my very few friends will actually hang around for at this rate. Full of plan changing and disappointment. Not only have I let my friends down, I’ve let myself down. I’d prepared for this over the last few weeks.

Not only that this week’s been full of disappointment. Hospital appointment was cancelled and the exam I’d prepared so hard for, I was 8 marks off the grade I needed.

Meh! feeling sorry for myself. Thought I’d share!

Get those cycling shorts ready!

So every year, my fellow’ spooners’ do a charity bike ride for Clic Sargent. This charity is amazing. Helping young people with cancer. Over the years Wetherspoons have raised and donated large sums all in a good cause. And Saturday, it’s my turn to participate.

A forty five mile bike trip along the canal from Brierley Hill to Stourport and back (UK)

Even though its for a good cause, I am dreading it.

I haven’t been on a bike for years. Probably about ten/fifteen years.

And forty five miles is a LONG way!

However, I’m going to do it! Check back to see whether i made it.

Please donate. Every little does really help!

http://www.clicsargent.org.uk/

Birthday cupcake

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So today is my birthday. Twenty six going on eighty the way my backs playing up!

When I was a kid, my birthdays were always a big celebration. My parents put in a lot of time and effort to make sure everything was perfect. Cake, presents, birthday partys, the works. They did this with both me and my sister. Every year without fail. We made some lovely memories.

Now I’m the mom and how things have changed. I had a lovely changing bag for a present, along with a Yankee candle. I didn’t actually get to open my cards because they had already been opened by a birthday ghost yesterday, apparently. We spent the day at a farm because they wanted to feed goats. Had a sneaky pub lunch with the tantrums because there was too much cheese on her burger. Then a trip to the toy shop so she could spend her pocket money on shopkins. My son, during all of this, was happy stuffing his face and running from aisle to aisle with a pack of plastic dinosaurs. I had to repeatedly ask my husband to make sure he had today off so we could spend some time together. I had no phone call from my parents, just a text saying happy birthday. I really miss those days when all our relative came round to see me. All in one room, together.

Dad always said to me as you get older, they just seem like a regular day. Last year I worked on my birthday. The only reason I didn’t today was because I’d pulled some strings to get it off. I agree with him. It does suck.

As selfish as I sound, I would have loved a few more presents, balloons (im a sucker for them) a proper birthday Cake (not a cupcake with a candle because the hubby forgot) and a day doing what I’d have liked (bed ALL day) but with two kids under four, that just wouldn’t happen.

I sound ungrateful but I’m not. I actually had one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a very long time. I did spend time with my family, all under one roof. We played, we laughed, we stuffed our faces and I smiled all day. Maybe birthdays aren’t what they used to be but I think I like them better like this.

And to top off an amazing day, Chinese. Yum!

As i mentioned before, I have few friends.

The ones I was closest to during my college days are still at the ‘going out every weekend’ stage of their lives. Why wouldn’t they be? They are all in their early twenties. There is obviously nothing wrong with that because, given the chance of a new outfit and a babysitter, I’d be there in a shot (Immediately regretting it the next morning).

However, when you have kids, you realise who your true friends are. Some might already have children, some might want to hang around to see what Is in store for them. Many of mine visited me once when I came out of hospital with gifts and cards, never to be seen or heard from again.

I can count on one hand how many friends i have. One from nursery, one from high school, one I met at a playgroup and the rest are from work. Luckily the ones from school now have children the same ages as mine so we have someone to share our play dates with. Not that we have much time. They work days, I work nights and by the time the weekends roll around, we are too tired to do anything anyway.

The point I am trying to get to is this; others can give you all the advice in the world when it comes to bringing up your little ones but the one thing I have noticed the most is no-one tells you about the loneliness. True loneliness.

Every once in a while I actually knock on my neighbours door knowing they’ll offer me a cup of coffee and I can chat to them for half an hour while the children play. Desperation comes to mind.

An adult conversation about anything other than Cbeebies or company for ten minutes. For someone who knew what I felt like without them thinking I was insane. For someone to admit this was how they are feeling.

Truth is, I am never alone with my two little ones. NEVER. Showers, toilet visits, taking rubbish to the bins. They are always behind me, or pushing past to escape through the front door and down the street. So why do I feel like this? Am I the only one?

Who knows.

‘Its going to be a very long night!’ When all you can quote is a Disney film.

So this is my first blog. First time for everything hey! Now I warn you, I have limited adult conversations on a daily basis. Maybe my Nan if she is in. That counts right? For a twenty five year old it may not be healthy and at times I question whether I have lost my sanity. I have very little spare time, few friends and I don’t get out much. Thus starting this. Almost an escape for an hour to actually use my nursery rhyme numbed brain cells.

You see, I am a mom of two (three and one), happily married (most of the time) and I work night shifts in a pub (the late nights kill me). Nothing spectacular about my life but I like it. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe change where we live (village, somewhere miles away from your neighbors) and possibly that every once in a while, I could look presentable and not dragged through a hedge backwards!

Three and a half years ago our lives changed forever. First time mom, all excited. Never once nervous which I found, is unusual for a first timer. We were nine months pregnant, arranging a wedding and finding a house with a garden. It was hectic. No where near as hectic as that little girl would make surviving daily life on minimum three hours sleep. However, we made it, almost. Eighteen months later, bundle number two arrived. A boy. Slept through from the word go, did not last long; tempted fate. Nicknames, Madam and Buster. Family complete. One of each.

Now I am sat on the sofa, laptop on while my husband attempts to get that 2nd bundle of joy to sleep, third time lucky. How is it people so tiny can make you want to pull your hair out due to lack of twenty winks. Don’t get me wrong, I would go a thousand nights without sleep to make sure they were safe but after a weekend of stomach bugs, I, I mean we, need to sleep. We sit here every night when i’m not at work waiting for either one of them to wake so we can go to bed once they are settled, usually after 11pm. Every once in a while, we get lucky if they sleep through. On those blue moon occasions they even sleep past 6.30am! Yes, lack of sleep does have a strain on our relationship but to be honest, he’s the macaroni to my cheese. There has been many an early morning hour where, before we pass out from sheer exhaustion, we tell each other ‘I couldn’t do this alone’. Then we roll over and become the un-dead.

I once read that for the first two years of your child’s life, you feel like your in a permanent state of being hung-over due to lack of sleep. They lied. Its been almost four years yet I still walk about on autopilot.  To everyone else I must look insane and homeless.

Attempt number three was a fail.

I have a friend with a boy around the same age as my two. We have been best friends since nursery. It has got to the point where we don’t really talk anymore, we just send tired/crazy mom memes to one another. We don’t need to speak to feel each others pain. Her little one does not sleep either.

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And now it’s silent. That dreaded light on the baby monitor is still but the question is how long for? This is where i run to bed and embrace my pillow because it is sometimes the only material item i have in this house to call my own. Short and sharp exit.

As my little girl says ‘See you later alligator!’