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10 Things NOT To Say To Your Sleep Deprived Wife

Disclaimer Part 1: My husband is AMAZING during daylight hours, he just doesn’t hear anything at night??!! (see point 9)

Disclaimer Part 2: Inspired by my husband but not all of them ARE my husband….

Disclaimer Part 3: Good job my husband never reads this blog as I may come across a little bitter?

1) “I’m tired” Number one on the list. Literally NEVER, I repeat NEVER say this to your sleep deprived wife (or make ANY noise that remotely suggest you’re tired ie: yawning, stretching, groaning)….who has been up allllll night feeding/ rocking/shushing/singing/ jiggling/ patting/ trying not to make eye contact/ stroking/ dodging squeaky floorboards/wet wiping/ burping/ white noising……whilst YOU slept through. I can guarantee that you are not even half as tired as she is. In fact, she is the most tired person in the world ever. And don’t sugar coat it by saying “ahhhh Daddys tired today”. It will make your wife want to stab you……in a non violent loving way obviously.

2) “I understand what Sleep Deprivation feels like…..that one time when I was travelling/ drunk/ on a stag do/ staying in a hotel with an uncomfortable bed/ away for work”….you definitely don’t understand what sleep deprivation feels like (unless you have been tortured whilst in prison?), SHE is the only one in the world that knows what it feels like (and other Mums of non sleepers). You understand what a few rubbish nights sleep feels like whilst you still got to sleep BY YOURSELF.

3) “I can tell your tired”……basically saying that she is not her spritely/ loving/happy self….and she is maybe a little tetchy/ grumpy/ sensitive??!! Its on the same level of saying to a girl when she’s on her period “I can tell you’re on the blob” Just don’t say it.

4) “Oh you had a lie-in this morning”….when his alarm (yes a real alarm, not a baby) wakes him up at 7, he rolls over and sees you are “still” snoozing. Problem is, she has only just got back to sleep after being up at 11/12/1/2/3/4/5/6. Glorious lie in though.

5) “It was a good night last night”……how the f*ck do you know?? In fact, it was up there with one of the worst nights ever. You were just to busy snoring (see point 6) away to notice. You didn’t even notice when your wife was angrily huffing and puffing and muttering under her breath “I’ll fu*king get up then shall I?!”.

6) “Snoring”…technically not saying anything, but still a noise coming from your mouth. If you make any kind of noise whilst you are peacefully sleeping whilst your wife again is feeding/ rocking/ shushing/ burping/ pacing/ Googling sleep aids….she will want to punch you. I’m sorry.

7) “You look tired babe”….no shit!! She hasn’t slept since YOUR children have been born. Sorry she’s not the hot pot you thought you had married. Sorry she now looks like a shrivelled up old granny prune that’s aged about 50 years. Sorry she only has make up on one eye as she didn’t have time/ remember to do the other (not that make up will help her face at the moment anyway). Sorry she has forgotten how to dress as she’s too tired to remember what people in the outside world wear. Sorry she sprayed air freshener in the garden and tried to wash the bread as she was so confused. Sorry she talks about the Unicorn she saw coming out of the wardrobe last night. Sorry she calls you by the dogs name. Yes, she’s a little tired.

8) “I don’t hear anything in the night”…..hmmmmmmm that old chestnut (but actually true, its been tested it by strategically placing a screaming baby by your head at 3am). Although, you have heard enough to be able to move the pillow over your ears??? And check your phone…..yes she saw you.

9) “Why don’t you just get an early night tonight”…….pahahahaha she already goes to bed with the baby at 7.30pm.

10) ” I don’t know what you spend the money on all those sleep aids, they don’t work”……Obviously they don’t work. But DON”T try and take these away from her. Yes she may seem a little crazy but the white noise toy/ lavender spray/ special sleeping cream/ stuff in cot that smells like her/ muslin with milk on/ lucky sleep-suit/ lucky sleeping bag are the only things of “hope” she can cling onto during those long dark lonely nights.

NB: Im working on my resentment issues.

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Things That Are Not Ideal To Do With A Toddler AND Baby

I started writing this a while ago “Things not to do with a toddler”. But now I have a baby, there is a whole different perspective on the matter. Sometimes the logistics just don’t work?!

Get A Filling At The Dentist
Bless my Dad, he had been roped into sitting with the baby and toddler in the waiting room whilst I “nipped” into get a filling. The clock was ticking away, then a panicked text arrived from my dad saying he was caught in traffic. The dentist called me through. He took one look at me, toddler hanging off my legs, baby hanging off my boobs and said “ooh”. Yeh Ohh indeed, there was nothing I could do, they were both just going to have to come in with me. There is nothing worse than being constrained to a chair with your mouth wide open, looking at a peaceful fish painting on the ceiling, whilst hearing your toddler running riot through the dentist draws and pressing buttons on the chair (“wow mummy up”), and your baby crying frantically as you’ve taken him off the boob too soon. Then trying to “shush” and “no don’t touch that” whilst the dentist is sucking the excess spit out of your mouth. Perhaps karma for eating too much chocolate?

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Go To A Gynecoloy Appointment
Another similar medical scenario, but with a different area of the body. I wont go into details, but as the doctor is saying “the more you relax the easier it will go in”, you are trying to access snacks from your bag to stop toddler climbing onto the doctors chair and get “digger” (stethoscope), hearing the keys on the keypad type as he goes (prob accidently perscribing a 2 year old Nicotine Patches). There is nothing more disconcerting than whilst baby is crying (again) the doctor is trying to shush and sing “twinkle twinkle little star” whilst inserting a certain metal instrument into nether regions. Just altogether a weird experience.

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Loose Phone In Foam Pit
My friend and I took 3x toddler plus one baby (mine) to I-Bounce (massive trampoline place with foam pits). We thought “we’ve got this”. And we HAD got it, it was all going swimmingly. No toddlers had been catapulted, not babies had been lost in foam pit (worse than phone??) and we were all pretty stoked with our free (ish) socks. We took it in turns holding the baby (car seat). I had been taking lots of photos (for my Instagram Stories obvs.) and then suddenly realised that my phone wasn’t in my pocket anymore (big gaping open pocket of hoody), it was in fact somewhere in the foam pit. It came down to a choice, concentrate on finding my phone…..or keep track of toddlers/ baby….luckily due to some strapping toddler fathers, we managed to do it all. Everyone pitched in and it wasn’t long before it was made into a fun game for the toddlers/ parents involved. Thank god to a pink glittery phone case, the phone was retrieved from the dark depths of despair and peace was restored. I did feel like a complete DICK, I mean, who takes a phone in a into a foam pit??!

Soft Play
Joyous places. My toddler is at the age/ the type that he wants to go into the soft plays but he wants me to go int with him. Fine if there are others there to hold the baby. A juggle if not. Usually ends up with me carting the baby round with me, taking it in turns to lift toddler/ baby up and through the tower of mesh netting, then crawl through tiny tunnel hooshing baby along on his back, then along wobbly beam holding toddlers hand/ baby clasped awkwardly into boobs, navigating ball pit in similar fashion, finishing up with both of them sitting on my lap to go down the wiggly slide that launches you off into the air (due to weight?!). Next time I’m wearing my gym gear.

Changing Synchronised Poos When You Only Have The Sling
The baby carrier is amazing, I’ve used it so much, way more than the pushchair this time. Leaves your hands free to (control) toddler. But there are certain situations where it just doesn’t work. One of these times I’ve found is if you are out and about and BOTH toddler and baby have pooped. Who do you do first? I’ve tried changing the toddler with the baby in the sling, but just can’t seem to get the right angles and ended up with the toddlers poo covered winky (gets everywhere) smearing a brown patch onto the babies back in the sling. So change the baby first, he comes out of the sling, then where do you put him whilst you change the toddler? Balance on the changing table at same time as toddler change? Do toddler standing up whilst balance baby on changing table (poos are hard do standing up!). I normally end up making a little make shift “cave” on (skanky) toilet floor out of empty sling and backpack to prop the baby up whilst I attend to toddler. Harder now he wriggles more (see photo, not on toilet floor but a reconstruction of events).

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Baby Photo Shoot

The amazing Tara Statton (https://www.tarastattonphotography.com/) has taken some more beautiful photos for us. Thank you SOOOOO much (sorry we had to bribe Arlo with chocolate buttons!). Here are some of my favourite:

 

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Justifying Mum Guilt

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.

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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.

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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.

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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??

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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.

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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?!

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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………..

 

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My Birth Story

Everyone has one, to be honest, this time round mine was pretty normal……almost a beautiful (pahahaha) experience??!

So let me first remind you of Birth Story Round One (Arlo)……pre eclampsia, induction 2 weeks early, couldn’t break waters (4 diff docs tried….eventually had to call doctor with very small/ agile hands), contractions for HOURS, pushing for HOURS, baby got stuck, Ventose, Forceps, baby distressed, rushed to theatre, Emergency Spinal, Episiotomy, one last go with Forceps before C-section…….luckily baby (with brute force) came out. Baby not breathing – rushed off. Haemorrhage, blood transfusion (me), baby jaundice, tongue tie, low blood sugars, problems feeding, over a week in hospital, episiotomy infection….colic, reflux, GERD…..the whole experience was traumatic and definitely put me off having anymore children EVER

However, baby number 2 got in there somehow (!!) and had to come out. Everyone reassured me that another birth couldn’t possibly be as bad as that again??!!

Actually they were right!

So it was 20/7/17, my due date. I wanted a really exciting story ie: my waters broke as I was just about to do a sky dive (pretty sure you can still do these preggers??!!), or, my waters broke when I was in Tescos and I now get free food for life……but at 2.30 pm I was sat on the sofa watching a repeat of Loose Women with my Dad (!!!) and suddenly I said “oh I think my waters have gone”. Went to check, and it was in fact my “show” (soooo gross btw). After googling “can waters trickle out rather than gush”, I established that my waters could slowly be going / or I had lost control of my bladder also. Was pretty gutted I didn’t get the big Hollywood gush (yet), but I knew instantly that things were going to happen TODAY, just had a feeling

Waters/ pee kept trickling, until 10.30pm, I was in bed not sleeping, and I felt a “pop”. I went to the bathroom and WOSH, all my waters went. Instantly I had my first contractions. And it was a big one. They then followed fast furious after that. midwives say you should chill at home first for a bit, but I kinda knew we should get going. Action stations. First things first, mascarra (you never know who you might bump into!). This was very hard to do between contractions. My Dad arrived to look after our 2-year-old, and off we set to the hospital at 11.30pm

Of course my husband would choose the way that has the most speed bumps. Who knew these could be so painful. I just remember driving past loads of Uni students spilling out of the bars, drunk and care free really making me contemplate my life choices. Once we arrived at the hospital, literally took me about 20 mins to get up to the ward, you just cannot walk whilst you are having a contraction

My husbands brilliant idea of “oh we don’t need to call the labour ward, we will just rock up”, meant they weren’t expecting us and we had to go and sit in the waiting room….for 45 mins. I was rolling around on the floor and was sick in the bin. “THIS BABY IS COMING”, I said (yelled??) to my husband and demanded (nicely?) that he had to go and get someone, else this baby was going to start its life next to the bin I was just sick in

Finally a student midwife appeared and took me to a room with a pool. She was so lovely, but couldn’t do anything for me as she wasn’t qualified. I had FULL intentions of taking all the drugs they could give me this time (no need to experience that again). I just remember calling out “help, help, somebody help me” haha. Then “please, send help”….then “please can I have an epidural….I’ve changed my mind, I want a c-section”….then “I don’t want another baby anymore”

And then the noises. I haven’t mentioned these yet. With my first son, I’m not sure how, but I was completely silent. Maybe the occasional “fuck” , but not screaming. This time, oh my, I was SOOOOO loud. But really weird noise. First of all I sounded like a cow, then that morphed into some kind of constipated donkey noise, then into a dying Dinosaur. I couldn’t believe the noises were coming out of me, but there was nothing I could do to stop them.

So far I hadn’t even had a squirt of gas and air. I was stuck in this cycle of constant contractions with no way out, no break in between them and I felt like I was out of control. I actually wanted to shoot myself at this point. Finally a midwife came (she probably heard the donkey noises??). “oh you’re 8 cms already”….no shit! Finally she hooked up the gas and air, once I could control my breathing and had something to bite/scream into I started to feel “better”

Then something really weird happened, my whole body shuddered like a wet dog shaking its fur. My body started to push the baby out all by itself, such an odd feeling. I literally didn’t have to do anything, it was doing it all by itself. The baby was coming!! Maybe it was the lack of drugs but I could feel everything, could actually feel the head moving its way down. It was then I saw the midwives exchange looks and say “lets give Katie a fresh mat”……yes, through feeling everything, I had also felt a little poop slip out. At this point though, I really didn’t care. I wouldn’t have cared if I had farted in their faces to be honest

OOooooh the ring of fire??!! Def hadn’t felt this last time as by the time it had come to this point I had already had an emergency spinal and couldn’t feel anything. oh the burn.

“The heads out” called the midwives…..”is it ginger” I asked??!! No idea why this seemed like the right question to ask at this point, but out it came. The next push/ body shudder it was out…….ITS A BOY!!!! They passed him right up onto my chest where he has stayed pretty much ever since! Freaky bit, like a little mole he kind of scrabbled his way up to my boob for milk. I latched him on and hey presto!! Literally took me 3 months to achieve boob feeding last time.

 

That moment straight after birth when your partner is SOOOO proud of you and in awe of you is the time to strike if you really want something. Bless him, my husband was totally amazed with what I had just done, I’m pretty sure he would have done anything for me…..wish I had had a list ready of things I wanted ie: new shoes, a holiday, a ginger cat etc

So quite a textbook birth really (almost makes want to have more….JOKES), don’t get me wrong, it was VERY VERY intense and crazy painful, almost more so because it was so quick. I did tear pretty bad because of this, so few stitches to glue me back up and I was right as rain again.

I never seem to have this immediate rush of love that most mothers have as soon as their baby is born, maybe I’m in shock/ weird, but the baby just seems like an alien at the start. I do bond about 10 days later, normally have “a moment” of realisation/ love and then the rest is history:)

So there you have it, welcome to the world Kitt Leo Jonas, born at 1.46am on 21/7/17, weighing 7Ibs

Pete the Placenta was born shortly after. Unfortunately my husband accidentally saw Pete, and his words were “I wont be having steak for a while babe”

 

 

 

 

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Life With A New Born And Toddler……

I’m back!!!

I’ve been rubbish and haven’t posted for a while, mainly because I was fat, hairy, swollen, sometimes dribbling, sweaty pregnant mess. But all is well now, albeit I cant remember what sleep is and I still look like I’m “with child” (no sorry, I’m not pregnant, I’ve actually had the baby now, its just cake)

I’m going to share my Birth Story with you in my next post, but for now I just wanted to update you all on the first few weeks of life with 2 children…..totally different ball game. Some days I feel like I’m getting it….most days I feel like I’m drowning. Sure i’ll get used to it soon? Help? Worst thing so far, what on earth do you do when both children cry at once??? I must say, not sure why God (???) didn’t invent Women that grew another arm with each child they gave birth to?!

Your Body
First of all I have a serious problem, I’m so chubby now but I just can’t for the life of me stop eating. I think I actually looked better pregnant (how long can I wear my maternity clothes for?/!) I’m not pregnancy fat now, I’m fat fat. My fat clothes from post pregnancy last time don’t even fit me:( Im actually quite upset about how rounded I am but I just cant stop shovelling chocolate in my face. Whats wrong with me??!! And it’s definitely WAY WAY worse second time round. Im afraid there is definitely no snapping back for this sack of spuds. So I have now decided I’m just going to roll with it until my 6-8 week check (maybe 8 weeks, give me more time??!). No point doing anything drastic until the doc says I’m ok right??!

Miss The Bump
Brings me onto my next point, I really miss my bump. I know now I have the real thing, but I keep waking (haha from “sleeping”) in the night and thinking I feel kicks in my belly. I still stroke it like there’s something in there (again, now just cake). Maybe it’s because I know it was the last time EVER I will be preggers (yes really), but I look at other pregnant ladies and I’m finding myself getting really jealous! You get soooo much attention when you are pregnant, such a talking point, now I’m just a normal fat person.

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New Born Phase
I must admit, I am slightly enjoying the new-born phase more this time. Apart from the relentless crying/ literally NO sleep, I’m quite enjoying having a little baby. I think the first time is such a shock to the system, but second time round I think you try to “enjoy” it more and savour it as you know how quick it goes. First time I was wishing away the new born phase as it was so horrendous. You know when you’re pregnant you kind of “round-up” the weeks…more impressive to be more pregnant ( eg. when you are 35+1day….you are 36 weeks pregnant), but I’m finding now with a new born I’m rounding it down (eg. he’s 1 day off 5 weeks but I still say “he’s ONLY a month old). People love a new born, I love the way people look at you like “awwww look at that tiny new baby”…..I don’t want him to grow and that to stop.

Life Goals
You’re new life goals become: syncing naps/ keeping 2 children alive/ brushing teeth/ clean underwear. My friend said to me you have to totally lower your expectations with 2…..that I have now done. I’m literally stoked if I’ve managed to put on one eye of mascara. I’m learning to set myself low targets….today I managed to tan my mum-tum for 15 mins outside….on my own! (Whats the expression?? Cant polish a turd?!)

Multi Tasking- Next Level
If you need to be somewhere are say 2pm…..you will need to start getting ready at 9am. S*it just takes so long now and someone always poops. I literally feel like I’m on some crazy fair ground ride constantly flitting from one thing to another like Meerkat on speed. So much coordination and JUGGLING (baby in swinging chair whilst change toddlers nappy, toddler watching Peppa Pig whilst feed baby, restrain toddler in cot whilst dress baby, baby on boob whilst YOU go to the toilet, feed toddler snacks whilst you put baby in sling to pack the bag (suitcase now actually). The list goes on. NB: Gets even more difficult when you are actually “out out”. I have a friend that used to use a toddler leash to lovingly tie her toddler up whilst she breast-fed her baby, I thought this was a wonderful idea and I’m definitely saving that for a rainy day! You remember what its like to do everything one-handed again, but you kinda feel rusty at it again. The feeling once you have both kids strapped into the car is AMAZING, I always take a min to enjoy it before actually starting the engine.

Your Toddler
Now lets move onto your toddler. First of all he WILL regress. Mine has started drinking out of baby bottles, sitting in baby chair (now broken), watching TV in the baby car seat….and insists on being swaddled?! Plus I swear he cries more than the baby? And it seems more annoying when he cries now for some reason.

When you first get home from the hospital and see your toddler again, he will seem HUGE. Like his face will just seem like a massive Elephant face. Has it always been that big? And whats happened to his head? It’s like a football! And those massive hands. It’s really like they have grown over night.

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But that moment when they first meet is honestly one of the most amazing and emotional things EVER!!

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And you must never ever ever leave your toddler in a room with your new born (not sure of that’s just my toddler?!). The first morning I learnt this after I caught him trying to feed the baby Shreddies (out of love obviously). The toddler just loves the baby SOOOO much he wants to give him kisses (eat is face), cuddle him ((belly flop on top of him), pick him up (drag him across the room by his feet), clap his hands together (pull his hands off) and tuck him up (put the blanket over his head so he can’t breath). Really don’t think he means it, but its scary sometimes. You really need something safe to put your baby in to protect him from your toddler (padded cell?)

Your toddler will become feral (like he wasn’t already??!). Discipline goes out the window and you definitely find yourself turning a blind eye to things. I misplaced my toddler at a birthday party recently, he was found underneath the party table eating crumbs off the floor. Debatable if they were actually from THAT party. Out and about breastfeeding a new born, you notice out of the corner of your eye that your toddler is grabbing fat fists full of mud and putting it down his shorts……you just have to make a decision to “deal with that later”. Better that than run across the park, new born suckered onto your nipple, other nipple standing alert in the breeze as you’ve only just realised you forgotten to put it back in from earlier.

Neglect
Your second/ new baby will become neglected. With my first baby I lovingly laid out his clothes in his BIG wardrobe, cut up all of his baby cards to make beautiful collages to go on his wall in HIS room, plastered the house in baby photos, brand new play gym/swinging chair/ cot etc, even a personalised wooden skate board to go on his door……….this time I’ve barely had time to take photos, the cards have been shoved in a draw, his (hand-me-down) clothes scrunched up in a small draws and there is no room on Arlos bedroom door for another wooden skateboard (the boys will have to share a room soon). Im still not used to having 2 children that I almost sure that at some point I WILL forget the new one. Also remember all that time you spent looking at your first born child (ie.wow we made him, isn’t he beautiful etc) you just don’t get that 2nd time round. Sounds awful but sometimes I cant even remember his name half the time…..Arlo, Rich…Lottie (the dog)??? So many names to remember.

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Mum Guilt
leads me onto the next point, MUM GUILT….it’s at an all time high. The main thing is I feel MASSIVELY guilty about throwing my toddlers world upside down by having a new baby. These are the other things I’ve felt guilty about in the last few weeks….having a baby (obvs); paying more attention to the baby; if toddler thinks I love the baby more: if baby thinks I love the toddler more: not being able to play with toddler as much; hours upon hours of breast feeding; my patience being less; less time spent cuddling toddler; more time spent feeding toddler snacks to keep quiet: a million hours of TV to keep toddler quiet; telling toddler off about touching (gentle gentle gentle….repeat) baby when he’s only trying to show love: when the baby cries; giving new baby old toddlers car seat/ baby gym/ swinging chair etc (bad on baby for old things, bad on toddler for giving baby HIS things); having to sit in the car (to contain toddler) to feed baby: not doing my silly voices at story time; not being the one to get toddler up in the morning and the first one he sees; guilty that I’m tired all the time: guilty that I keep hiding in the bathroom to eat chocolate; guilt if I’m spending time with one and not the other; forgetting new babies name; calling new baby dogs name

A Break
I’ve been very lucky and my Dad/ Mum gives me a break by taking out my toddler. I think its funny how a break becomes still having one child. If your baby is boob feeding, you literally are surgically attached to your baby for the foreseeable future. But it does actually feel like a break being left with just your baby, when did that happen?!.….makes you realise how easy you had it with “just one” the first time round…and why didn’t you find having a baby “a break” when you had your first baby?! I actually find it quite relaxing taking my baby around town now!!! When 2 children are there, you literally don’t get a chance to do anything, you’re just bouncing back and forth from one to another. IF your partner is there, then you have a child each. So basically you always have at least one child now to deal with and NEVER get a break, ever.

People Help
After countless comments of “oh you’ve got your hands full there”…people do help you when you have 2 plus children. I do feel like whenever I leave the house with both boys I have fear written all over my face,: heart punding; my eyes are bulging, I’m sweating, I’m red, my jaw is clenched, all my movements are really jerky and fast like a rabbit in the headlights. Pure focus and determination in my eyes. So thank you to the man in the doctors waiting room for bringing my toddler out of his depths of despair by showing him his walking stick… and thank you to the lady in Sainsburys for helping me pack my bags as my toddler tried climbing onto the converter belt and my babies head was flopping at a weird angle out of the sling and dangerously near to the raw chicken packet. My worst nightmare and hardest thing so far, is literally not knowing what to do when both kids are crying at once….I normally cry too.

So I’m sure it will get easier once I find my own grove and routine. After all, I’m not the first person in the world to have 2 children!!! Hats off to mums of 2 plus children!

PS.A little secret, I now keep chocolate in my bag for “incentives”….(bribes) mother of the year. You’ve literally gotta do what you’ve gotta do to survive and make things a bit easier on yourself.

PPS. And I can confirm you CAN love more than 1 child;)

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