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The Philippines- PART 1

PRE TRIP JITTERS

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I really thought my back-packing days were over. I was wrong! They have just got better (albeit very very different).

There were highs, and there were lows, but I honestly found back packing with 2 kids in the Philippines almost easier that being at home??!

Before I explain, here is a brief run-down of the trip……..(ended up being longer than expected so part 2 coming soon, story of my life, just have so much to say!)

As any mother would be, I was apprehensive about out 3 week “back-packing” (loose term as we had 2 kids, suitcases and only 3 weeks) in the Philippines with our 2 boys, 21 months (Kitt), and nearly 4 (Arlo).  My husband and I had done quite a bit of travelling pre-kids, but this was going to be our first taste of proper travelling with kids.

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My brother was getting married to a lovely Filipino girl, Janice. They lived together in NZ but we having a wedding in her home town of Davao. We were to spend a week there, then 2 weeks travelling.

I had a million and one things I was worried about- rabid dogs with red eyes, loosing luggage, loosing kids, kids being sold for goats, husband selling me for a goat, kids eating random shit off the floor, kids licking random shit, Kitt using random flip flops as teethers, drowning, getting eaten by sharks, swallowing dirty water, shitting dirty water out, getting poorly, getting bitten, earthquakes, tsunamis, sleep being even worse, loosing passports and having to stay in Philippine forever (should have done this), inhaling cockroaches whilst asleep etc etc. Weird, I would never have worried about so many things pre kid travelling. BUT the main thing I was worried about was the 14-hour flight.

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THE FLIGHT

Pretty sure I’ve blocked most of this out? From what I can remember……my 1 year old cried for maybe 10 out of the 14 hours? He was on my lap for the duration…but of course wanted to be either on top of the seat, on top of passengers, in aisle 45, under the seat or in food trolley.  Zero sleep from him. I let him feed from my empty boobs for 14 hours in awkward positions to try and keep him still, quiet and happy. Zero sleep from me. My 3-year-old couldn’t get comfy, angry that he couldn’t get comfy, husband angry that he couldn’t comfy, I’m angry that husband is angry etc. Zero sleep from them. Ran out of snacks. Ran out of Peppa Pig episodes. Ran out of nappies. 1 year old had diarrhoea, had to use 3 year olds pants-sanitary pads-nappy bag to tie round. No baby change, so had to change shit nappies on seat or toilet floor. Our cocky “lets book a night flight then they will just sleep” statement totally backfired. It’s like they were on crack. Babies crying everywhere on flight, setting each other off. Apart from one baby opposite that slept the whole way. The mum even had a glass of wine. Yes, I was watching you. I’m surprised this flight didn’t end in divorce.

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I literally balled my eyes out when we saw the bright lights of Manila as we were about to land. Part of this was probably pure relief that we had made it. But most of it was I just felt so emotional that we were DOING IT, travelling with 2 kids!!! Giving them their first taste of the world. Such an amazing feeling. I felt more like “us” again.

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One more short flight and we arrived in Davao. We knew what to expect when you walked out of a foreign airport: the heat, the craziness, people everywhere, people grabbing at you. Even though I felt like a total zombie, I kinda enjoyed this. I had missed this craziness. The only westerners I saw, what we must have looked like (ginger, blonde, freckly, back combed hair, whiter than ghosts). Jumped in a taxi and drove through the back streets (and rabid dogs) to our hotel. Realised we had been totally ripped off but didn’t care as WE WERE THERE.

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Had struck the gold mine with our hotel. S-W-A-N-K-Y (we didn’t pay for it). Checked in, all in one room, but had air con and a Snickers in the fridge. Must had been about 3 am? And I can’t remember how we did it, but we all went to sleep.

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FIRST STOP DAVAO

The next morning, opening the curtains onto the tropical gardens of our new home for the next week was a lush moment. Our balcony (hello!) backed onto the pool. Yes, we were going to be very happy here.  Jet lag is a wonderful thing, the boys slept until 8 am, unheard of at home. And we all napped, also unheard of at home! All you can eat buffet breakfasts are also a wonderful thing.

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Here was our first taste of how much the Filipinos loved western children. Literally everywhere we went “hey baby, what’s your name”. They were like celebs. I should’ve started charging, would have made a fortune. Dread to think how many FB they have ended up on. Everyone thought Kitt was a girl, in the end I just rolled with it as I had always wanted a girl!

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We stayed here for a week, did little trips out but mainly chilled by the pool. Poor Kitt was suffering, constantly crying and HATED being out in the heat (turns out he was actually poorly but we just thought it was heat/ teeth). Old ginger Arlo was loving it however, totally surprising us how well he took to it all. I ended up chilling in the air con quite a bit with Kitt, (he needed my boobs) watching the boys tan by the pool…..I think I became whiter this week

THE WEDDING

Then the wedding was upon us. Like any Asian event, to an outsider it all seems chaos, but then it all comes together at the last minute and is the most beautiful thing ever. What wasn’t so beautiful however, was my face!

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I was a bridesmaid and they spent maybe 2 hours doing my make-up, telling me how beautiful I was. I’ve never had my make-up done before and I was so excited for “the big reveal”. He held up a mirror for me at the end and wow…….I looked like a lady boy!!!! Maybe it was just because I looked so different, but I think I looked a bit like a tranny?! I kinda got used to it as the day went on and by the wedding and by the end of the day, I had grown to love “Kevin”. I think the amount Kevin’s face sweated during the day softened the tranny effect.

Rich obviously refused to wear anything Filipino. Rich wasn’t keen on Kevin

The ceremony was just magical. My brother said his vows in Filipino (no idea what he was saying but it was so emotional). Janice was beautiful, the view was beautiful, Kevin was semi beautiful. Just everything was perfect. Paige boy Arlo even walked down the aisle holding a sign like he was supped to. And didn’t piss on any of the wedding party.

Poor Kitt was hysterical during the ceremony, so luckily Rich took him off to try and calm him down. There was no air con and it was 35’. Just before the reception Kitt was at the peak of his illness. He had a fever and was going all floppy. Only wanted me. There was a doctor there and she thought he had an infection from the water and might need to go to hospital. Obviously, everything starts running through your mind.

I had to make such a hard decision. Do I go to my brother’s wedding reception, who I haven’t seen for 4 years, who I might not see for another 4 years, flown half way across the world to see……or do I stay with my kid, who was really really poorly by this point and needed medical attention???

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I stayed with Kitt. I hope this was the right thing to do. It felt like it was, but I still feel so guilty on my brother

Anyway, so no wedding reception, saw bits from the outside whilst waiting for the taxi, it was honestly like a full-blown theatrical performance! Like something you would get on an all-inclusive holiday but way way more classy. My brother even sang and danced. Ricky Gervais springs to mind (sorry bro, stick to the day job).

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ISLAND HOPPING

We were really limited with stuff we could do in Davao as Kitt was still poorly. But we did squeeze in a little island-hopping boat trip when he perked up one day.

This was AMAZING. Arlo went “snorkelling” (put his face in the mask for 3.5 seconds) and we all went swimming off the boat and hung out on beautiful beaches. Kitt had diarrhoea in the sea and Rich nearly swallowed it through his snorkel.

PART 2 COMING SOON– trikes, waterfalls, beach huts and cock roaches, coconuts (not mine)

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Girls Snowboard Camp- Megamum Recap!

So I have written a recap for Ticket To Ride (Recap-Girls Snowboard Camp)   already….this is semi professional I guess. Here is a recap from “megamum”s point of view (ie: talking more about kids/ boobs)

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As you may know, I was previously supposed to host the last 2 camps….first year…..got up the duff, second year……had a baby still attached to my boobs 24/7 (maybe not what the girls would sign up for?). Third time lucky and I was back in the game. Jenny Jones was my replacement. In fact, I think I actually did the camp a favour as getting Jenny was a waaaay better deal! Sorry 2019 ladies

I was nervous leaving the boys. I knew Arlo would be fine as pretty sure he doesn’t like me that much anyway?! Plus I had left him before, but only for 2 days. Kitt I had only left for 24 before. A whole week was a different ball game

And yes, I was still BF, which I had no idea I would still be doing when the camp came around, Kitt is 21 months! Would Kitt survive? Would the empty Capri sacks survive?!

The most exciting thing was, my husband would have the kids for a whole week and finally see how hard it was motherhood could be….on zero sleep. HE would have to get up in the night. HE would have to do 4.30 am starts. Finally he will understand……finally…….oh how the tables had turned, me going snowboarding for “work”*

 

*Husband sent kids up to Granny and Grandpas for the week

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So leaving motherhood behind, I set off to Meribel with 2 free hands and a bag free of snacks and baby wipes. Oh how beautiful it was travelling solo. The anticipation of a week of sleep by myself was very exciting.

I met some of the girls at the airport to get the transfer. As soon as I met them I knew the week would be fun. The drive up to Meribel was soooooo beautiful, I had forgotten how magical he mountains are. I definitely took it for granted when I lived there.

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The chalet was bloody PIMP, hot tub and all! The rest of the girls arrived and honestly, they were the coolest bunch of chicks. I felt so lucky. AND a few of them were mums too! I hadn’t even considered that, I’m not sure why. But of course, it made total sense that shred mums would come! Like minded girls that used to do seasons/ snowboard, then had kids and wanted to get away for some kid free shred time. YES!!!! This also made me feel more at ease I think. We were all in the same kid free boat. One chick was leaving 8 month old twins, she was the most hardcore in my eyes!!

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Then the legend (and also mega friend of mine) Cozza arrived. She was to be the coach, and I (Katie-washed up snowboarder) was to be the host. I think (hope) we made a good little team me and Cozza. I literally couldn’t have done it without her. Plus I had never actually been to Merible before!!!! Was terrified at the fact I was hosting a camp there, but luckily Cozza knew her stuff.

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I won’t go into what we did every day……but we had sunny park laps, powder, bluebird, flat land jibbing, tree runs, hot chocolates, too much afternoon cake, yoga sessions, quiz night (what happens at quiz night stays at quiz night), chick flick night, girls chats, wine, amazing food that ruined bikini bodies, hot tub plunges (see pics),,,,,I even had a nap! Felt like we covered a lot in one week. I put my heart and soul into the camp, but honestly, it never once felt like work to me.

I even got to do some park laps, maybe only 4 or 5 but oh my it felt gooooooood, also sketchy ha!

 

 

 

My boys back home were having a whale of a time, and I was so busy that I didn’t even get a chance to miss them that much. I guiltily was enjoying not having to clean poo off puzzle pieces and watching Peppa Pig. And obviously SLEEPING/ drinking HOT tea on my own/ toilet on my own/ etc

AND GUESS WHAT……..reports were that Kitt was now sleeping through the night??!!! He has never once slept through for me? Say what?! Is it me????

Left the camp a day early to get home as we were flying to the Philippines a day later for my brothers wedding (blog coming soon). Was pretty gutted not to see it through to the bitter end, but you know, when you have to fly to a tropical country with white sandy beach’s and crystal clear waters you just have to do it.

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DO NOT READ IF YOUR SQUEEMISH…..the camp for me was more than just a camp. It was the first time since kids I had really felt like me again? Katie the snowboarder rather than Katie the Mum ya know?! Even though I was technically working, it felt like I was doing something just for me.  I definitely felt my confidence coming back as the week went on and loved the novelty of something completely different to my day to day life in the UK. I may be pretty late to the game, but it even made me think about properly coaching? Crazy idea I know.

I really had a ball, and hope the girls did too. Thank you all so much again for comingJ

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The camp is on again for next year….and watch this space for more exciting things in the future……..

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I can confirm that Kitt is NOT sleeping through the night…it IS me:(

 

My boobs were fine, Kitt returned to his habitat as soon as I got back and hasn’t looked back since!!

 

Arlo didn’t notice I was gone

 

Husband still hasn’t got up at 4.30 am

I’m not bitter

 

 

 

 

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Hello Poor Neglected Blog

Oh my, I haven’t updated my blog for soooo long. Life life and more life has got in the way. I’m still planning to blog (Arlo will be starting school in September so watch this space), and have lots of ideas…….I’ve started to write about 10 different blogs then never got a chance to finish them. Seriously, I have no idea how mums work from home with children at large. Even if I “put a nice relaxing film” on, they do circuits of the living room whilst watching?!

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I have lots to tell and could go into detail about everything but I have 45 mins flat to write this so GO……

 

Potty Training

One of the last blogs I wrote was about potty training. Well I am most pleased to inform you all that Arlo, bar outside nature wees and the occasional shit in a bush-picked up with nappy bag-put in dog bin…… is potty trained. It took a good 6 months to do, was not one of these little gems that “did it in a week” type kids. Haven’t even contemplated night times yet though……

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Sleep

I literally had no idea that when you had kids that you would never ever sleep again. I thought once you got the new baby phase out of the way, it would be ok. I didn’t even contemplate that it would go on for months/ years. So yes, still not sleeping. And its still bloody hard. Sleep is everything. Plus, lack of it ages you a million years and makes your left eye twitch. But I’m so bored of even talking about it now, so let’s leave it there. Maybe ill finally get to use that milestone card “my first time sleeping through the night” in a few years. I’d take 3 hours straight right now. It’s always the nights I get cocky and stay up until 10pm that are the worst, its like Kitt knows?! However, my husband is still sleeping through the night fine.

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House

We sold our house! But house we were moving too fell through. So two weeks before xmas we were (on paper) homeless. We weren’t out on the streets though, we moved up to sunny Stoke-on-Trent to stay with the in laws. Also managed to squeeze in a week in the mountains snowboarding, which, may I add, would never have happened had we moved into our new house. Silver lining. Our new house is a new build in Budleigh Salterton, near the sea. However, we are still waiting, 6 months later. It will be worth the wait though if it comes off. IF it comes off. If not, I have no idea what/ where next. Snowboarding?!

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For now we are renting a lovely little flat in Budleigh from a friend, a friend that I owe lots of cake to! Weirdly, I actually have been feeling a lot better since we moved and not really known what we are doing?! I think I like the freedom of it? Spontaneity? Since age 18 I have always moved/ travelled somewhere every 6 months. I guess I like change! Budleigh is so lush, all the old granny’s talk to me about the weather and help me with my food shopping/ screaming kids. I actually feel quite at home here. Please cross your fingers for us!

Job

At the same time as being “homeless” I lost my job, also just before xmas. I got made redundant, yikes! I loved my job, but again the cloud with the silver lining. I had xmas off work, redundancy pay helped with xmas shopping AND I’ve landed my dream job!!! I’m working at The Board Basement in Exeter (snowboard, wakeboard, everything board- company) with the most awesome bunch of guys. My job title is vague, but I do their content writing, blogging, hopefully social media etc…….pretty much get to talk about/ write about/ dream about snowboarding all day. I can wear a beanie and Vans to work and snowboarding and wakeboarding will be part of my job…for research obvs! I also get to work with my husband for 1 day a week, which he is THRILLED about?!

The Boys

Arlo is 4 in May. He will be starting school in September. He’s full of life and energy, lots of energy. He makes me genuinely laugh on a daily basis. He non-stop talks and is very bossy, some would say “defiant”. Sometimes I actually can’t control him. If we are out in public I just pretend he’s not mine!! But on the flip side, he’s a charming little boy and very caring. Once he held Kitts hand, I cried.

 

Kitt is 19 months (I think??), happiest little boy ever. If I had had him first, I think I would have wanted 5 babies. He seems very content and genuinely loves life….and dogs. Dogs are his thing. I am aware he could “turn” at any moment, so enjoying this time before the terrible twos hits. Kitt is also very very full of energy. Especially at night.

 

Rich is ok, and now 105 years old.

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Future plans

I get so worried about jinxing things so don’t want to say too much…..

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I have my snowboard camp I’m hosting (finally as I’m not pregnant or BF…much) 31st March-7th April. The most exciting thing about this is I get to sleep for a week! Then 1 day turn around, then the Philippines for 3 weeks. My brothers is getting married there (thank you Jamie as obviously I HAVE to go!). A week at the wedding, then travelling around after. This will be our first bit of proper travelling (can you call it that with 2 kids??) since having babies, so we shall see how it goes. I’m buying them both leads and dying their hair brown. Not sure how the ginge is going to fare in the heat.

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I really want to make more of my felt mobiles and sell them in REAL LIFE, do more gymnastics and parkour (1 night a week isn’t enough!!), and give megamum.com some love, get a bikini body etc….also just be a semi ok mum and stop y children eating food off the floor??! But for now I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel of life, I’m just going to do my best for now x

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I Have Never…..

Is it just me, or when you become a Mum you become almost feral in your behaviours? The following may/ may not have been me…..

I have never…..

…….caught my childs poo with my hand rather than let it go on the floor

……..eaten what one thought was a raisin off the floor when in fact it was not……..

…….in the dark depths of the night taken a massive gamble and slid my finger into my childs nappy (rather than turn the light on and wake them up) to see if they have/ have not done a poo. The results are varied

……..had to prise my toddlers willie out of the hands of my baby after protests (on both sides) from my toddler claiming that it was “the babies toy”

…….turned a blind eye to my child eating dog food (pick your battles)

……eaten childs left overs as it was closer to your mouth than the bin

…….eaten childs left overs off the floor purely because you’re feral

………taken refuge in the toilet to eat (stolen from the kids) chocolate

……disposed of potty full of piss in various places including pretty flower beds, underneath cars, beaches, alley ways, gardens and drains outside people’s houses (sorry Helen)

……used various items of clothing (including socks/ own sleeves/ dirty pants) to wipe various forms of baby/ toddler grunge from child

…….been in a situation that has resulted in the dog eating your childs poo……visa-versa

…….left a nappy in the boot of the car for a few days (weeks)

……..used air freshener on child

……..used wets wipes as a legitimate form of cleaning…..on baby puke, shit stains, snot stains, toddler stains in general, dusting, shoe shining, armpit freshening, dog cleansing, window cleaning, toilet dribbles (boys), carpet cleaning, as a replacement washing machine, make up remover, baby teether, cutlery washer, high chair cleaner, shampoo/ conditioner/ dry shampoo, fly squatter and ear cleaner

…….picked my child’s nose and found great satisfaction in doing so

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Snowboarding, A Different Persepctive

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……..

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Snowboarding, A Different Perspective

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Just An Update!

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.

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Time
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.

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Sleep!
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!!

Kitt
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?!

Sibling Love??
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…….

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Weaning
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.

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Snowboarding
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.

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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?!

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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………..