We just got back from our first family snowboard holiday as a family of 4:) I wrote a blog about how I feel about snowboarding now I’m a mum for the Ticketoridegroup website. Please click on the link under the photo……..
We just got back from our first family snowboard holiday as a family of 4:) I wrote a blog about how I feel about snowboarding now I’m a mum for the Ticketoridegroup website. Please click on the link under the photo……..
Its taken me a while to write this as I’ve still been recovering from the trauma…ok thats a bit dramatic as I know there are waaaaay worse things in life. However, a solo flight with my toddler and baby was not up there with my most pleasurable experiences. Nothing went crazily wrong, but it was certainly a “challenge” (I’m well aware that people do it all the time and with more children so really I shouldn’t dwell on it)
I had conjured up a few scenarios in my head pre flight about things that could go wrong:
1) Both children would get the chickenpox the day before the flight
2) I would get ill the day before the flight
3) One or both children would puke and we would have to stay in crusty stinky puke clothes until our destination and no one would want to be fiends with us
4) Arlo would run off and get onto a random flight and be sold for a camel
5) Various poo scenarios
6) Flight would be cancelled/ delayed and we would have to spend 17.5 hours in airport or worse, sitting on aeroplane whilst they fixed the engine
7) Would sit next to someone who didn’t like children
8) Would loose passports, possibly thrown in bin along with shit nappy and puke clothes
9) I would forget a child at some point a long the way
10) My husband would forget to collect us
Now what silly parent of a toddler/ baby books a flight in “the witching hour”?? Ok, that was us because it was cheaper. I think this was the mistake
Here’s how it went……
COMMUTE TO AIRPORT
I used Chloes Taxi Service (actually just my mate Chloe in her Mums car) to take us to the airport. This was the best part of the journey and I would highly recommend her services. Toddler and baby slept in the car to Bristol, and I steamed up the windows with my nervous sweating, true story. We unloaded and the lovely Chloe sent us on our merry way (just wanted to grab onto Chloes legs and cry “please don’t leave us”).
Baby in pushchair, toddler on buggy board, backpack on, Arlos backpack on (so he felt important) and suitcase in hand. Assumed people were looking at us and thinking “wow, she’s got her sh*t together”…..when it was probably because I had left the silver shampoo on too long and gone grey.
Found our flight on the big screen and went to check-in desk with super organised tickets printed out. The lovely (pretty gay) man asked if I was flying on my own. I nearly broke down and started crying “yes, yes I am, please help me, don’t leave me, don’t make me do it”…….
Went to security thing where you have to get EVERYTHING out of bags, liquids into other bags, shoes off, babies out, push chairs collapsed etc. Quite a palaver at the best of times, different ball game with a toddler and baby….with only 2 (clammy) hands. Random security guard had to hold the baby (he seemed nice?) and someone had to get Arlo off the security belt as he wanted to go through in the box with his important backpack.
We made it through, but disaster struck. The pushchair was now broken. This prompted a blunt text to my husband saying “the fu*king pushchair is broken FULL STOP NO KISSES (totally HIS fault as I said we needed a new one). It was so chaotic after securtiy with people and STUFF, after considering just ditching the pushchair all together, I decided I would just have to lug the 2 broken pieces, the baby, the toddler, the buggy board, discarded jackets, the 2x backpacks, pammy panda, dino dinosaur through the airport. I made it approx 52.7 meters and decided I couldn’t carry on. Thank you to the lovely security guard (number 2) who fixed the (shit) pushchair.
We got some dinner and hung out (mostly in the toilet as they seemed happiest in there??) and waited for the flight. Arlo had a melt down as couldn’t see planes out of the window as promised, prompted many laps around the airport to find planes with upset plane deprived toddler (where were they????)
Witching hour was now upon us. Arlo turned into crazed-demented-toddler. Kitt turned into screetchy-teething-baby.
Boarded flight. Arlo was pretty excited (uncontrollable) by the enormous plane we could finally see. I had bought him a book about flying and how he could sit next to the window. I had booked a seat specifically. Weirdly the seat WAS next to a window, but alas, there was no actual window. Hysteria (god I felt bad)…..”mummy fix it please” (I couldn’t, it was a wall), “where’s my window mummy?”….” I want my window” Oh my
So Arlo next to “window”, me and Kitt in the middle, and then a middle-aged man next to us. I totally pre judged him and my heart sank as he sat down. I was wanting another mum-type-figure….she would understand. I turned to him and said ” I’m so sorry, this isn’t going to be a relaxing flight for you”. Hurrah!!!! He said not to worry, he had 2 boys too, grown up now but he understands. He was my saving grace. We shall call him Dave.
Dave helped so much, he held Kitt, he played with Arlo, he retrieved various items off floor (yeh fun game) he wet wiped, he pulled faces, made animal noises, mended broken snacks so they could be eaten, he even helped do up my baby carrier. Thanks Dave. The world needs more Daves. But alas, Dave definitely saw my boobs.
The following events continued for 1.5 hours…..the longest 1.5 hours of my life (the 16 hour drive home was mellow in comparrison). I don’t think Dave will ever be the same.
So take off: I had got Arlo a lolly to help with his ears, lolly would not come off stick, he wanted it to come off stick. Got emergency lolly, that would also not come off stick. Kitts ears popping, boobs out trying to feed Kitt to stop ears hurting, trying to simultaneously to wrench lolly off stick for Arlo. Got Calpol out of bag with foot. Calpol exploded due to air pressure, cleaning Calpol/ sticky lolly residue off baby/toddler/Dave. Calpol in Kitts eye rather than mouth. Snacks offered to Arlo to recover from lolly ordeal. Wong snacks (they were new and exciting?). Snacks on floor. Correct snacks given. One snack broken. Cant eat a broken snack? Inconsolable toddler. Sticker book out to distract toddler. Didn’t realise that toddler would need assistance pealing stickers off. Screaming baby in one arm, trying to retrieve George Pig sticker off floor and Grandpa Pig sticker off “window”. Teething gel for baby. Made him sick (just a little). Try to entice baby with teething necklace (worn round neck as god intended). Toddler wants teething necklace. Pulls very hard at teething necklace. Made Mummys voice very squeaky and strained as crushed wind pipe. Ipad (new spanking never-seen-before-blue-case-to-buy-me-5-mins) whipped out. Peppa pig. But wrong Peppa Pig. He wanted Postman Pat (wtf its ALWAYS Peppa Pig). New sparkling headphones (never-seen-before-to-buy-me-5-mins) put onto toddler. He didn’t want to wear them. He wanted ME to wear them. “but mummy doesn’t want to wear them”…..”MUMMY WEAR THEM”…..ok ok ok Mummy wear them. Random headphones on head, lead getting tangled in various items including baby seat belt that made baby angry, boobs still out, Kitt grabbing lady in fronts hair, Arlo kicking chair, frantically jabbing at Ipad for Pat (wheres Pat, PAT, HELP?????), snacks flying, toddler screaming as high pitched frequency of baby screams hurting his ears now…..and so on……..
Time for my “piece-de-resistance”……..the presents!!!!!!!
A friend had advised me to wrap up little presents for the flight so they take a while to unwrap and then they have stuff to play with.
I’d wrapped them up too tight. Shit. Trying to unwrap bastard presents with one hand, un stick breast pad from Kitts head with other hand….red car unwrapped, red car landed in aisle 31, stopping toddler from trying to get to aisle 31 underneath seats, baby still crying as now a worked up teething monster….leading to altitude poo explosion (worse than sea level ones). Simultaneously toddlers delayed morning poo arrived. Used Dave to relay poo rescue. What do people do without a Dave?
Finally air stewardess came over and said “do you need some help love?”. They gave me a bottle of water for the children (maybe heard Arlo screaming that his juice had run out?). Kitt doesn’t drink water, Arlo cant drink water like a normal human from the bottle, but REALLY wants to try. Water everywhere……including my crotch: pissypants
The rest of the passport control collecting luggage reuniting with husband actually went smoothly (bar some silly jokes with French passport control that one should not make at the airport, wheres their sense of humour??!). As soon as we were off the confines of the torture plane, things (children) seemed to calm down.
We had made it! We survived!!! And as soon as I saw the mountains again, memories of the flight faded. And you know what, I would totally do it all again if it meant going snowboarding.
I was so touched by everyone that helped me (I must have had fear written all over my face). And Dave, i’ll never forget Dave.
Hello its me!! Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been busy rescuing Sally the Spider and her brother Stan and building them a house “to keep them safe” outside so we can play with them again tomorrow (successfully avoiding toddler melt down) AND stripping off to my underwear (non-matching) to wrap my toddler and baby in my clothes after they projectile vommed in my car and I forgot to pack any spare outfits…….. but here is an update on more recent times on negotiating life with 2……
Things Become A Luxury
A friend (another wise one, I have a few) said to me on my doorstep (as I cried and blow snot bubbles on her shoulder whilst she handed me over a Sleepy Head on day 3 of newborn baby Kitt), that now I had 2 children, things become a luxury. I totally get this now. I needed to lower my expectations. Someone else said (can’t remember who??) that having one child is like having a pet (Arlo was more like an angry Parana if that counts?), but anymore is like having a zoo. No word of a lie, I have gone nearly 2 weeks recently without washing my hair. There was that much dry shampoo in it that I had actually started to go grey (trendy?) and wherever I walked a puff of cloud followed me. So yes, things like general self-care (washing, plucking, shaving, dressing, drying) actually become a thing of luxury. And a hot bath (you know the sort…on your own, actual hot water, YOUR bubble bath and no plastic green turtles called Terry getting accidentally stuck up your backside) is THE HOLY GRAIL. I had one, for 10 mins, on 7/2/2018 at 6pm.
YOU time is a thing of the past. Maybe im doing it all wrong?? But you just don’t seem to get any time to do anything??!! Like ever. How do people do it with 2 plus kids?? Hats off to you!! Must be hectic every day. I’ve not even had to deal with “the school run” and school stuff yet. Apart from the hour I spend in the gym (god bless the creche of dreams), I ALWAYS have at least one child hanging off me. Oh actually, I went to Sainburys once by myself, was like a Spa Weekend!!
Day shift: kids (still weird saying kidS-as in I have 2!!) get up anytime from 5.30 (or has Kitt only just gone to sleep?? It’s all a blur), all day running around like a Hyena on speed making sure they are fed/watered/semi clean/ stimulated/ educated (Peppa Pig)….kept alive. Try to get them to sync their naps…….failing (again) and considering selling one of them on Ebay. Dinner, bath, bed (settle Kitt, settle Kitt settle Kitt….then so tired I go to bed)……….then the night shift begins. The long lonely shift. My aim was to be able to watch the X factor finals…..when that ship sailed at christmas time, my new aim now is to be able to come downstairs once the boys are in bed and have a Mint Areo watch Stranger Things. Always torn between having some “me” time and getting some sleep. Sleep normally wins.
I am really blessed that I have 2 lovely healthy boys, but I don’t think I’m blessed with sleepers. Kitt is awful….just putting it out there, but maybe even worse than Arlo was??!! I feel like at the start people are understanding about the sleep deprivation, you have a new-born! By 7 months, people stop asking how sleep is, even though the sleep deprivation is even worse now as its accumulated over a whole 7 months. Sleep is EVERYTHING, without it, everything is pink and fluffy and there are unicorns and rainbows and sometimes dragons. Im finding it hard to function and definitely feel like a shadow of my former self with the worst/ most boring/ dribbling chat…..normally about how much sleep I had last night. I have googled “can you die from sleep deprivation”, and in fact you can’t. But some days I really feel like I might. I need to try to do something about it, but im too tired to haha!!
So so different to Arlo, weird how they end up so different when they both came out of my fanny. He is honestly the happiest, nicest, smiliest baby ever! (not that Arlo wasnt, he was just different). Poor Arlo cried pretty much constantly for the first few months of his life. Was so unhappy and unsettled (lots of medical things) and was just angry. He was chomping at the bit for his independence (fully crawling at 6 months), didn’t like to be smothered and wanted to do his own thing. Also had the attention span of Dory the Fish. Kitt however is just happy to chill and watch the world go by, no need to “get going” when you can just sit there and smile at people for kicks. He loves a cuddle and lives in the sling. You can give him a Duplo block and it will keep him happy for hours. So it would seem that actually Kitt just doesn’t need to sleep. He has 3x 20min “power” naps a day, and normally wakes every hour at night…a good night is every 2. Once I got 3 hours. But he is happy?!
Apart from Arlo saying “Baby Tit die” (he means baby Kitt cry), Arlo hasn’t been too interested in the new edition. I think when he’s a bit more interesting and he can play it will be a different story. Occasionally Arlo will give Kitt a toy (and I feel like crying it’s so beautiful to watch), but apart from that, Kitt unfortunately is just a part of the furniture. Kitt on the other hand LOVES Arlo. He just watches him all day and smiles at him and laughs (particulate when he’s crying?? Not got emotions sussed yet). He tries to touch him and just be as close to him as possible. Even started doing this really loud seagull impression to get Arlos attention, which obviously Arlo is VERY keen on…….
I literally hate weaning. Just milk and boobs are so much easier. Decided to give baby led weaning a whirl this time for a change, but oh my it is MESSY. And so far I think only 2% has made it into his mouth (the dog has become rather plump??) But then apparently this is normal and just have to go with it. Also the choking and puking apparently normal too….but I freak out so much each time. The faves are cucumber, strawberries and broccoli….which to be honest if he just eats these three, it’s already more fruit/ veg than Arlo eats so thats good:) I’m also trying to wean Arlo again (he’s super fussy). Three and a half weeks ago Arlo licked a piece of broccoli. This was a real break through.
So in other news…….WE ARE GOING SNOWBOARDING (although don’t want to jinx anything….so jinx, double jinx, touch wood etc). Starting off in Tignes which is like our second home, where we met, where it all began, where love was found blah blah blah. Then over to Morzine to cat sit for a friend (the cat will not be snowboarding however, he is a skier). Literally so excited, but like I said I don’t want to jinx anything. I’m not having any expectations of how much riding we will actually get it with a red-headed toddler and milk sucking vampire baby in tow, but just to be in the mountains and in the snow will make me very very happy indeed. Im sure I will actually cry when I first see the mountains again ( I wanted to last time but Arlo got travel sick on the way up and it kinda tainted the special moment). Hoping to get Arlo on a snowboard properly this time and not just posing on one for Instagrams. He has been “snowboarding” around the living room, tail pressing cushions and 180s (assisted) off the sofa. And he’s really got the idea that he’s going snowboarding soon (like asks me a zillion times each day if we can go snowboarding now)
Obviously Kitt will be snowboarding too, that goes without saying.
I do have an ulterior motive however……… I want Rich (husband) to see how fun and “relaxing” it could be in the mountains as a family of 4 and realise that we need to relocate there ASAP….to follow Arlos Olympic dreams of course
The only bad thing for the trip so far is that my husband will already be out in the mountains. So this means I will have to fly out BY MYSELF with a toddler and a baby. HOLY FU**KI*G SH*T, I may not survive. It will be worth it though, and an adventure?!
I’ve noticed now my toddler is getting older I have to be a lot more careful what I say ie: fuck, shit, bollocks. But also, a lot of white lies are spun (these are good aren’t they?) and twists of the truth are spoken to help keep their innocence/ control them/ make parenting easier. Here are some “phrases” I’ve found myself using in the last month…..
Dead fox on the road…..”Aw he’s just having a little sleep, he wanted to have lots of energy for crossing the road later”….Mr Fox will be asleep for a very very long time
Jazz things/ places/ food up by saying its SPECIAL……” ah this is a special sandwich” or “we need to go home to do some special things now” (actually nothing at all, but hopefully will entice toddler into car and he will totally forget about it by the time we get home)
“Santa wont bring you any presents”….I went through such a tough time after christmas when I couldn’t use this bribe a million times a day, I mean, what do other parents do in the “off-season”? But really, I’d been buying presents since September, I was never going to cancel christmas and not give him anything, seriously
“It tastes like Bacon”…….favourite food, so a good incentive to eat/ try things. Broccoli even tastes like Bacon, promise.
“I’m so sorry, the machines broken”…seems to be A LOT of broken machines around these days. But why do they always want to go on the yellow plastic bus ride outside Sainsburys, or get some weird wind-up toy from the slot machine in the theme park. Damn the children that then go and “manage’ to get the machine working right in front of us and spoil my master plan.
When friends/ animals/ family have to leave our house after visiting…..”Lottie (dog) has to go home for a sleep now”….she’s a dog, she doesn’t have to go home for a nap/ dinner/ milk/ stories etc. but this seems a totally acceptable reason for ending a fun time and saves a toddler melt down
Comes home with ANOTHER beautiful drawing (smudged squiggles on a tattered piece of paper), the first few I certainly kept, but can’t keep them all, can I? …… “where’s my drawing?????”…..”Ive put it in a very special place, where I keep all the most special things” (ie: the bin)….bad Mum
“ah im sorry, all the yogurts/ chocolate/ bacon/ snacks have gone now”…….still 5 chocolate bars in the cupboard that I will sneak into the bathroom later and scoff and hope he doesn’t catch me. He’s becoming wise to my secret Mum bathroom retreat
“I’m really sorry but you cant bring that stick (stick number 5678) as you need to leave it there for the other girls and boys to play with”……we have a stick cemetery in our garden
”Magic cream” pretty much any cream ( Vasaline, nappy rash cream, Fairy Liquid?!) that makes everything better in an instance
“The Dinosaur eggs in the garden (stones) still haven’t hatched…..because they only hatch in the summer time”…….buys me a bit of time to think up new excuse as to why stones haven’t hatched beautiful spikey baby T-Rexs….
When you become a mum you start feeling really guilty…..all the time. Not the “I got really drunk last night, tied my maxi skirt up to make a mini skirt, puked in glass and woke up with kebab stuck to my face” kind of guilty (not me??!!), but a really powerful ” you’re shaping someones life/personality/future” kind of guilty.
I’ve been thinking about “Mum Guilt” recently (mainly because I’ve been feeling so guilty). Its something I hear mums talk a bout a lot. Surely it just makes us good mums that we are worried about things?? Or bad mums because we are doing things wrong??
And then it came to me (as I was rocking/shushing/nippling/ online shopping at 3am), every cloud has a silver lining. So in fact, all of these things that we have been feeling so horrendously guilty about are totally fine. If anything, they could actually be viewed as GOOD things. It’s all about turning negatives into positives.
1) Feeding Child Snacks To Keep Quite
Children love snacks, snacks are food, food is good to help growing children, child is quiet whilst eating. WIN WIN. If child has filled up on snacks and wont eat
“proper” food…..saves cooking/ money/ time.
2) Too Much TV
On “Go Jestters” the other morning (go go, go go, goo jesters…..song in head all day long), they were talking about wind power and windmills. My 2 year suddenly chirped up “wind power”. I mean wow, how advanced to know all about how power is generated, child genius right there (!!!!). So, I really feel that TV is actually very educational. Kids programs these days are so informative, covering so many different topics that it can only be a good thing?! I was poorly when I was a kid, I had a very long time off school and just lay on the sofa and watched TV everyday, and I’m fine??!! Even TV programs like Hollyoaks (if they happen to be on) for example, your child can learn about emotions, relationships, life lessons etc. Then you can switch over to the news (ok Loose Women, basically news) for more political debates. You then have problem solving in programs like Broadchurch. Also environmental subjects covered in programs such as Love Island (travel) and talent inspiring TV such as X-Factor. So you see, TV is actually a GOOD thing. Its like being at school.
3) Too Much Time On MY Phone
I feel guilty about my children, even my 12 week old baby, seeing me on my phone. I even go and hide in the toilet to check Instagram, or cover my phone with a blanket “den” so I can check FB. BUT if you just say “Mummy’s working” then they will see just how hard you work and how you can multi task your “work” with mothering. In this day and age (unfortunately) it’s the way our world is going (back in my day……..) so I guess it’s a good way of them getting used to it. They don’t want to be behind their peers at school. PLUS I find Instagram/ FB and just taking a million photos/ videos in general on my phone is a brilliant way to capture moments. YOU ARE RECORDING MEMORIES, so well done you. Your children will love looking through them all when they are older.
4) Too Much Cake
Me/ children?? Both! Now, my son is really really fussy (to do with all the snacks??!), but doesn’t seem to be too fussy when it comes to cake?? Its got to a point when I feel that any sort of food I can get into him is a bonus. So I do make a lot of cakes. But I always make ones with fruit/veg in to make it “healthy” (Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Apple Crumble, Flapjack with raisens?), therefore he’s getting one of his five a day…and you don’t have to feel bad anymore. Plus cakes have eggs in too.
5) Eating Food Off The Floor
All I can say is….”good for the immune system”. Sometimes I rub my childs food on the floor to help protect my child against colds.
6) Talking To Friends And Ignoring Child
I love a good chat. But I’m very aware then when I meet up with other mums and kids that I talk too much and don’t pay enough attention to my child. They are called mothers meetings for a reason I guess. However, It’s good for your child to venture out on their own without you having to hold their hand, makes them confident?! Anyone that knows my mum will know she talks A LOT (sorry mum if you’re reading this), and I feel, as an adult, I am pretty patient person. Maybe this is because my mum talked so much I had to learn to wait. BUT, you know when another mum comes up to you and says “is that your son in the Lama pen”, that you maybe haven’t been paying enough attention and to tone down the chatting.
7) Not Playing Enough
This follows on nicely to this point. How much should you actually play with your child? If you play with them all the time then they will never learn to play on their own, but if you never play with them then they become neglected? I always feel that I don’t play enough with my 2 year old. I’ve discovered I’m rubbish at playing, I thought I would be a lot more fun but I’ve turned out pretty boring. BUT, I do let my son play on his own (quite a bit) telling myself that this is called “baby led play” (??????) and is VERY good for them to learn how to be by themselves and entertain themselves. By doing this I’m shaping their independence and helping them develop their imagination. Well done me??
8) Not Enjoying Diggers/ Tractors/ Cars/ Trains/ Aeroplanes
Again, this leads nicely onto this point. I’m quite a girly girl (but like extreme sports and wearing Vans)……but always feel hugely guilty that I really don’t like playing with all the ‘boy” stuff AT ALL ie: diggers/ Tractors/ Cars/ Lego (although I know girls can be really into this too). I feel bad that I find it boring and my son finds it AMAZING but I just don’t really know how to make a fun game out of a digger…day after day after day. I really need to get stuck into boy stuff now as I’ve just had boy number 2, this will be my life. Soccer Mum. BUT by playing with dolls, putting hair clips in his hair, dressing up, going shopping….(all whilst dad is out of course) I feel I am broadening his horizons and showing him its ok to be whoever he wants to be. The whole “not being gender specific” is quite popular these days so I’m bang on trend.
9) Bribing/ Incentives
Only recently (would have started way sooner if my son had understood)) I have started using bribes. Honestly, it has opened up a whole new world for me!! You can get toddlers to do pretty much anything. I did feel bad using bribery to get him to do things, until a friend pointed out another way to look at it. They are INCENTIVES not bribes. In life its good to be able to set oneself goals and aims and rewards when you achieve them. So therefore I am basically giving my toddler drive and focus and teaching him the value of commitment and results of actions etc.
10) Too Much Time In Car
I’ve always used my car as a tool to get my toddler to sleep, then doing “the transfer” (heart in mouth, blood pumping, sweating, could kill the noisy car that drives passed just as I’m getting him out of the car and into the house). Sometimes I’d drive around (for hours) to get my son off to sleep, then park up somewhere nice and leave the engine running to keep him asleep. Now I have a baby, I use the car/ car seat to contain my toddler whilst I feed the baby. (plus feed toddler snacks to keep quiet, see point 1). So all in all we spend A LOT of time in the car (also why car is so skanky). BUT, my toddler looks out the window and sees lots of different places (we cover some miles!), people, animals…diggers, tractors, cars. This gives him experience of the outside world and see lots of different places and gives him a zest for travel. I just wouldn’t be able to cover these sort of miles of foot everyday. Also my toddler is so full of energy, that I think being contained in the car seat forces him to have some down time, which he needs.
11) So much time feeding
Since having baby number 2, I feel so bad on my toddler that I have to spend so much time feeding him. A lovely lady at work suggested having a special bag with special toys to bring out for him whilst I feed, but then when he was feeding every 45 mins or more, the novelty soon wore off. I try and play with toddler whilst feeding but this is difficult to juggle as you are trying to dig in the sand with a digger (good at digger games??) and keep your wriggly baby on the boob with the other hand…….all whilst containing your modesty. So as a result, my toddler has to fend for himself once again. But I feel this teaches him all about mothers and milk and feeding/ babies. There was teething problems at the start where he got a bit confused and tried to latch onto my husbands nipple in the shower. But now he has really got the idea of it and likes to breast feed his own Teddy?! Also I guess this teaches him lessons on sharing ie; he has to share his mum…and share his breast milk with his teddy?!
These are just a few of the million things I feel guilty about on a daily basis. I actually feel guilty about writing this when I should be tidying bombsite/ interacting with baby on play gym/ cooking some sort of nutritious dinner/ preparing an education game for my toddler etc………..
So this was how definite I was NEVER going to have another baby….. I threw out ALL my maternity clothes, most the baby clothes (well, kept the special ones….which worked out to be quite a few), told my husband we might as well throw out the baby car seat/ swinging chair/ mosses basket/ steriliser/ baby gym and definitely Euan the Dream Sheep as we were 100% never going to go through all that again.
We were to get a dog instead
Well that all changed didn’t it??!!
It all started when I began to have these weird feelings. I wanted to look at babies in pushchairs, sometimes make faces at them. If I couldn’t catch a glimpse of the baby in the pushchair, I would feel devastated, like I had really missed out. I spoke to a few people and discovered that this ailment was called “broodiness”!!! Who knew! I had literally never experienced this before, not even before having Arlo.
Still, I didn’t want another baby…….
But then I started getting these feelings like it would be nice for Arlo to have a playmate (for his sake obviously, not me because I was MORE than happy with “just one”). Then a dog would actually suffice for this and I DEFINITELY didn’t want another baby.
Then people started to ask when I was going to give Arlo a brother or sister. I’d always been definite in my answer (eg. pet dog). But then I started to waver. Should I do it out of duty to Arlo?? Am I a bad mum for not creating another one for him to play with. No no no don’t be silly, Arlo LOVES dogs.
A couple of weeks later I was pregnant.
It was like my womb had sensed these wobbles and BOOM, had put a bun in the oven before I had the chance to say officially “hey, let’s try for another baby”
Snowboarding dreams out the window, gymnastics down the pan for a few months (years) and back to being fat and owning a milk farm. An AMAZING surprise of course, especially after how hard it had been to get Arlo:) We are so lucky!
Over the last 16 weeks I have been thinking more and more just how different a second pregnancy feels, and here’s what I’ve come up with:
People keep asking me if I’m excited to be having another baby. Errrrr Yeah?! To be quite honest with you, I’m really freaking out. The first pregnancy, you ARE excited as you are so naive as to what is about to happen. Yes you have heard stories about the sleepless nights, the feeding, the crying, THE BIRTH (uh oh), but you really have no idea how hard it all is until you have done it. After Arlo, I would actually look at expectant first time mums in a different way…almost feel bad for them as they are all glowy and expectant, excited for their new journey. I would just think “you have no idea about whats about to hit you”. So now, second time round, I can honestly say the feelings of excitement are totally out weighed by the apprehension of the hurricane that is going to arrive with us in July. PLUS this time round it will be waaaaaaaay way harder as not only will I have a new born to look after, but a toddler too, yikes. So many people do it all over the world, so it must be possible:). Lets just pray for one a lot more mellow than Arlo was.
Someone posted a comment on one of my blogs once that kind of upset me at the time. It said something along the lines of “you only have one, you don’t know you are born until you have 2!” It did get me thinking, this guy was totally right. I’m sure I will look back on my “one child” days and realise how easy it was in comparison, and probably what an idiot I was to moan about how hard things were. I hope I didn’t upset too many people before. One thing for sure, I’m going to experience what he meant soon……….
NB. Same can be applied to mothers of 3/4/5 kids (brave) looking back on their “2 children” days. So I apologies in advance for saying 2 is hard.
On the flip side of this, I’m almost more excited, because you KNOW what’s to come. Like you know how it feels now to see the first smile, first giggle, first “Mumma”. So I’m looking forward to that:) Actually really looking forward to that.
I had totally forgot just how horrendous the first trimester is. In fact, If I EVER (I will never, husband is getting the snip) say that I want a 3rd baby, just remind me of how I have felt for the last few weeks. Thats a birth control right there. I felt awful in my fist pregnancy too but I could wallow in it. I got signed off work for 3 weeks and I just lay in bed and watched Greys Anatomy eating ice cubes. I could nap when I wanted, rest when I wanted, actually I could pretty much do whatever I pleased. This time round (sure I feel worse?) but I’ve had to pull myself together, you have a toddler to look after Katie! And its been a struggle. Even though all I’ve felt like doing is lying on the sofa and crying, I’ve not wanted Arlo to miss out on all of his things (and think I’m a boring mum). So I’ve just plodded along, throwing up out of the car, in bushes and in super market aisles (soz Sainsburys). Luckily Arlo LOVES it when I’m sick, he thinks its the funniest noise ever and best game ever! He’s invented his own “mimc mums sick” noise, way cuter than mine I might add. Pretty much seeing any food in the early days would trigger the sick. So trying to feed your toddler 3 meals a day that he mushes up in his little fat hands and then regurgitates has been hard. I think you have to have a strong stomach at the best of times to feed a toddler!!! And the tiredness zzzzzzz A couple of times I’ve actually nodded off sitting up in the living room, to be woken to Arlo scaling the book self or creating a master piece on the kitchen wall. Everyday I cling onto the fact that Arlo might nap so that I can have an afternoon siesta too. Days he doesn’t, are loooong old days. 5am starts seem to be A LOT more of a struggle these last few weeks too. Needless to say I’m tucked up in bed with a glass of milk and hot water bottle by 8pm. ROCK AND ROLL
Does this make you feel sick???
Saying all this though, I am starting to feel a bit better and get my motivation for life back. Spring is in the air. The days seem less depressing and I can eat more (like 10 billion bowels of cereal a day). I’m emerging out of my black hole.
First time round we were REALLY trying for a baby (even though it was still a surprise that it actually happened….long story), it was the thing we wanted the most in the whole wide world. So I was almost mentally prepared that I would have to give up snowboarding/ gymnastics/ my life/ my body for a bit. Granted, it took A LOT longer than expected to get back to these things. Second time round, I really felt like I had just about started to get my life back, I had plans, goals, aspirations and then all of a sudden in 2 mins flat, that all changed completely. I wasn’t prepared. And I’m under no illusions this time…..”I’ll pop the sprog out and be back to gymnastics within a couple months”. Yes, I said that. All these sacrifices are minimum though in the BIGGER picture. I need to remember that…..and stop crying over snowboard pictures on Instagram.
I actually started to get a bump about 8 weeks. Now, one could argue that this could well have been “Christmas”, but by 12 weeks I was pretty much the size I was last time at 20 weeks. Now at 16 weeks I look like I might actually give birth. You really do seem to get bigger quicker second time round. Apparently your stomach muscles don’t back from the first time, so all those sit ups in the gym were alas in vain:( The sickness was good I guess in that I lost a bit of weight at the start to set me in good stead for the fattening. But oh my, I am making up for lost time now. I can’t keep growing at this rate surely as by full term I will look like a fully obese hippo that’s eaten another hippo.
I’ve always been pretty soft and emotional. Since having a child you get even softer. Every bad thing that happens in the world now you just relate it back to your baby. All the charity adds on the TV, the stories of children/ mums in the newspapers, kids getting ill, mums getting ill, families being torn apart, kids loosing teddies, accidents……….everything just hits you more now as you can relate to it. Throw a second hormonal pregnancy into the mix, wow I’m a blubbering wreck. Who knew that the movie Shrek was such a tear jerker. Or crisp packet floating in the wind was so beautiful. And meeting Father Christmas, well that just finished me off. The stupid mechanical Reindeer even got me. Sure I wasn’t like this last time? Rich??
My first feelings after finding out I was pregnant this time (well after holy cr*p) was guilt towards Arlo. It was like I had cheated on him. HE was our baby, the most important thing, and now we have gone and created another one that was totally going to change his life…and the poor little thing doesn’t even know it yet (tried to show him the scan photo but he just screwed it up and ate it, then put it in his potty, hopefully this isn’t a taste of things to come). He’s been our world and now someone’s going to have to share that with him.
I feel guilty just thinking about things that are going to happen when the new baby arrives…….not as much attention for Arlo, he will miss his socialising, he will miss all his activities, crying baby all night, feeding ALL THE TIME, he’ll have to share his room, share his toys, share me!
I also feel guilty because I’ve become a rubbish mum since I’ve been preggers. Just lost my motivation for everything. The TV has pretty much been on constantly and I have been doing a lot of lying on the sofa whilst Arlo has been running riot around the living room. When times are particularly bad, out comes back to back episodes of Peppa Pig on Netflix, Arlo’s drug to make him sit still and cuddle me. I have turned my son into a couch potato:(
And I feel guilty because I just can’t imagine how I could possibly love another child as much as Arlo. Or that he will feel replaced.
Where as before you were happy to let your child develop at his own pace, no rush, when you are expecting another, you start thinking about all these things you need to get your first child to do BEFORE baby number 2 arrives. I need to get Arlo into a good place. He needs to not wake ready for the day at 4.30/5am, he needs to be potty trained (visions of me breast-feeding at the same time as rushing Arlo to toilet to do a sh*t), he needs to be sleeping in a toddler bed (we need your cot mate!), he needs to be able to walk where we want him too so I don’t have to retrieve him from bins and bushes. Would love to train him to make me a cup of tea, but will give that time.
As far as potty training has got
No fuss, no worries
The first time you’re pregnant you feel so special. Everyone’s fussing over you and it’s such a big thing. Second time round, it’s like you just have to get on with things. There has definitely been less bump touching, attention and pampering from my husband (where’s my foot massage??!), and to be honest, I forget most of the time as we are both so busy with a toddler and life we don’t get a chance to think about it. This makes me less worried this time round as it slips my mind that I’m “with child” until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and remember “oh hey fatty”. It’s really nice at work though as it’s the FIRST time they have seen me pregnant (I changed jobs since last pregnancy). So it’s like having the fuss of my first pregnancy all over again. That gives me my fix twice a week.
Now you’ve done it before, so you know what you’re doing right??!! But I feel like I’ve forgotten everything already. The baby stage seems so long ago already. Hopefully it will all come back to me:) Also, I just can’t get my head round how logistically things are going to work with 2….I already need to take a small suitcase with me wherever I go, will I need a lorry? What happens if both are crying at the same time, or get up in the night at the same time, or poo explosions at the same time, food shopping WITH 2, swimming with both of them (maybe not)……I guess you just figure it out and DO IT. And you must remember to have a lot of admiration for people with 3 children. One thing is for sure, at the birth (oh dear lord I’ve got to do that again) I am going to take allllll the drugs they offer me this time. Don’t need to experience that again.
For now, I want to actually leave the house more and commence operation “be a better mum”
Why is it whatever I wear these days makes me feel Mumsy??!! “Well Katie you ARE a Mum “is the simple answer my Husband (man of few words) will give me. Well there you go, that explains it all, no need to write this blog then.
But WHY do I feel Mumsy when I’m wearing pretty much the same wardrobe I had pre motherhood (give or take a few….BILLION…. items bought on impulse after having a baby, jacked up on hormones and in my “super Mumsy identity crisis” phase). This is a question I’ve often pondered whilst picking dry crusty Wheetabix out of my hair, simultaneously frantically digging through mountains of clothes exclaiming I have NOTHING to wear.
Do other Mums feel like this???
Is this a midlife crisis?
Am I screaming out “MUM” even when I am without child??
Is it time to re-invent oneself?
Reality check…….have you possibly just let yourself go? Chocolate cake for breakfast is actually NOT a good idea/ example to set?
So many questions.
Right, here’s whats been going on:
Your body has changed
Lets start with the tummy. Try as you might it will never be quite the same as it was. Even if you are back to your pre pregnancy weight and same waist size, it will never be quite as tight as before (was it ever tight or is this just a rose-tinted version of yourself you have created, actually you looked the spitting image of Miss Universe 2016). That gap in-between your tummy muscles is STILL there, your tummy skin is unfortunately like a deflated pink balloon and your belly button looks like ETs finger. Anyway, no more crop tops (??!!) or skin-tight tops (apart from those ones that have secret structural scaffolding). Tops that flow nicely over (hide) tummy are the style of choice these days. I’m sure I have shrunk height wise a little too?? Maybe when you are a pregnant WHALE it compresses your joints together?? To hold the baby inside you ( WE ARE SO CLEVER), hips also get wider. And goes without saying, you look a lot more tired these days and on some particularly bad days, you have even aged by 50 years. So with all these changes to your appearance of course clothes are going look different on you now. Well that is a good excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe if ever I heard one!!
For starters, you’ve gone from average size boobs, to monster-cant-even-be-contained-in-a-bra breast-feeding boobs…….to disappointing empty Tetley Tea bag boobs. Clothes look totally different with different boobs and you just cant keep up with it. You feel you should take the opportunity to flaunt your newly enlarged BF boobs, but then feel extremely guilty as this is perhaps wrong (??) and they aren’t real anyway ie: filled with milk. Then you realise, even though you have Jordan type boobs, the rest of you body is more likened to a Sloth. You just look odd. And no matter how hard you’ve tried to be consistent with BF sides, you are still lopsided, not such a great look. Then once all this palava is over, you are left with nothing. The expressing machine cant get anything out of them, your baby has given up trying and unfortunately there is nothing you can do to “cheer them up”. The thought may even cross your mind to have another baby just to get them back….are you crazy??!
See your body in a different way
YOU’VE GROWN A HUMAN IN THERE….RESPECT. I look in the mirror sometimes (after the self loathing and tugging at excess skin has finished) and think “wow, I grew an actual baby in there”. Just knowing what you can do, well what women can do, makes you feel your body is less like a sex machine (!!!) and more like a holy shrine to be worshipped and appreciated. It sometimes feels bad flaunting this serene “temple”. It becomes less important to look good and more important to realise what we are capable of.
Mutton Dressed as Lamb
You are constantly in this grey area of “am I dressing too young/ am I dressing too old”. The balance just never feels right. I fear I have been over compensating since becoming a Mum and trying to dress younger. Its like I need to make a statement that I am still cool and down with the kids??! Backward baseball caps and tie dye shoes sometimes make me feel like mutton dressed as lamb. Its like I am in total denial that I’m over 30 (21 to those who ask), have a child and a house. Should I be dressing more respectfully now I’m a Mum? My skirts should be a little longer, no flaunting of cleavage (what cleavage), swimming costumes over bikini, no rips in jeans and defo no tops with side boobs??! I do feel like I can’t carry certain items off now I am a mum. Might be me over thinking things, but do people almost expect you to dress more appropriately now you’re a mum. ANYWAY, we need to come to terms with the fact we ARE Mums and in a new category now…..The MILF Category. Accept it and work it!
No time to dress
Dressing is no longer a pleasurable thing. It’s a necessity. You have to wear clothes to go to Tescos. Spending hours deliberating on what scarf to wear with what top, what jeans flatter you the most and what necklace brings out your eyes, are days of the past. Most of the time its a case of just grabbing whats on the top of the unwashed/ unfolded/ scrunched clothes pile (BTW that you have worn for the last 3 days) with one hand, whilst trying to retrieve your favourite earrings from the nappy (possibly poohy) of your toddler with the other hand. A lot of the time this could lead to accidentally standing in front of your bedroom window (that faces the road PLUS neighbours) with no bra on. Yes you could be more organised and devise an outfit the night before once your child is in bed, but who can be bothered with that?! So in my eyes, if it hasn’t got puke (visible) or sh*t (smellable) on it, its ok to wear.
More aware of brand clichés
There are certain brands that are considered “Mumsy”. These brands I actually really love and before becoming a Mum would not of hesitated to buy (if I had lots of money). But now I think twice about whether, for example, a Joules rain coat or Kath Cidson bag would make me look Mumsy. I guess they are tailored to suit Mums and fulfil our needs at this time (Cath Kidson= wipeable bags, Joules= practical/happy rain coats/ flattering fits). PS. I have a Cath Kidson Bag AND Joules Wellies. You do somehow just feel more drawn towards these Mumsy brands.
Personal grooming/ different priorities
The “other things” that make clothes look good and YOU look good is personal grooming eg. actually brushing your hair, remembering to brush your teeth, shaving your gorilla (extra layer to keep warm) legs, completing your make up routine thus achieving TWO eyes of mascarra, wearing jewellery that isn’t going to be used as a rope swing, DIY on your mono brow, showering, considering shoes you don’t have to run in …..non of this matters now. It’s all about being quick and practical with your decisions and personal grooming. Your priorities aren’t your appearance anymore, its stopping your child drinking toilet water and painting the dog purple.
The past time of shopping itself isn’t an enjoyable activity AT ALL with a toddler in tow. You need to be focused. It’s about knowing exactly what you want and GRABBING. Knowing that you maybe have a window of 15 mins to do EVERYTHING makes shopping a different mpre stressful ball game. Super Market Sweep anyone?! However you’ve realised actually its way more fun shopping for your child anyway. This can be done quite nicely from your I-Phone in the comfort of your own home. And have you thought about the reason you may now be attracted to younger clothes??? Perhaps not an identity cries, but you are spending a lot more time surrounded by kids clothes these days you have actually forgotten that there’s a whole other universe out there (including Topshop, HM, Urban Outfitters etc).
You do lose confidence in your own judgement of dressing yourself when you become a mum, so an easy and FUN option is to just dress the same as your child. Then it’s just seen as cute (cheesy) and you can’t be blamed for dressing to young and your child cant be blamed for dressing to old. You just look awesome!!
You cant help but always compare yourself to your pre baby body/ life and try as you might, you just cant let go. Don’t torture yourself, don’t put a pre pregnancy bikini photo up of yourself on the chocolate cupboard, don’t troll through FB looking at younger/slimmer pictures of yourself (and FB stop “reminding” me of these skinny memories), don’t reminisce over old fancy dress items (why did you always have to make everything slutty?!), don’t keep prodding at your skin and considering chopping parts off and don’t whatever you do, weigh yourself……whilst shovelling carrot cake into your moth (technically vegetables). Easier said then done but just be amazed at what you have achieved (grown a real life human- GIRL POWER) and how your kid is the most important thing now. Once you stop trying to be the old you, you should feel more content. I’m still not there yet and in my “mutton dressed as lamb” phase….for the foresable future.
So as this is a very confusing time for us new Mums, it totally justifies excessive purchasing (online preferable) to experiment with our new identity. This is for your mental well-being therefore well-being of your child. Their future is in YOUR (credit card) hands so you MUST buy that new dress.