Happy New Year

I have been a mother of two children for five months and I’ve learned a lot in that time. So I want to share with you what the latter part of 2014 taught me. Here are some of the things I’ve learned, both as a parent and as a person:

I’ve learned which of my friends are true and kind and loyal, and which of my friends aren’t really my friends and just fake people who only like me when my life goes wrong.

I’ve learned that juggling a toddler who doesn’t nap, and a new baby who has colic means that I can function on a lot less sleep than most.

I am able to travel 200miles, on two trains with a toddler and a baby and two bags without panicking or losing anything (or any child!).

I’ve learned that the NHS is more concerned with money than giving my baby the right prescribed formula. Yes, nutramigen is expensive but if it’s needed why the politics? Isn’t that why we pay taxes?

I’ve learned that a two year old girl can make me more proud than anyone just because she’s learned all her body parts and her name.

I’ve learned that one of the most heart melting moments is when I ask Sophie to do something for me or to get something and she replies “yes mummy” as if helping me is the most important thing in the whole world.

I’ve learned that Madeleine is a tough baby – she prefers being awake to being asleep and that’s exhausting.

I’ve learned that in spite of this, she is the happiest little chicken ever and she always has a sweet smile ready and waiting for me.

I’ve learned that I’ve had no time with my husband, between work and being a full time mother who is awake 24/7.

I’ve learned that we are stronger than I thought, and despite the lack of time together we haven’t changed or grown apart; simply put our time on pause.

I’ve learned that the fact that manners were so important to us paid off, as Sophie is the most polite little girl I could ever have hoped to raise.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I try I cannot bottle the pure scent of my daughters. If I could it would probably be illegal, because that is addictive.

I’ve learned that my mum is resilient and happy to listen to me bawl my eyes out and hear my worries without making me feel stupid. And I love her for this.

I’ve learned who is important to me, who has made me who I am and who I can rely on in times of need.

I’ve learned that I CAN cope and that 2015 will bring so much more joy to my life than any other year.

This is the year that begins with a completed family. It’s for me. No more babies, no more house moves (if I can help it!!) and no more crap. Just a year for us, going on holiday and saving for more holidays next year.

Cheers everyone, Happy New Year

Dear Madeleine…

I am writing you a letter for your baby book because today has been a shit day and if I don’t write it all down I have nothing for you to read when you have your own children.

You my darling girl, are a pain in my backside. An adorable, smiley, incredible, miracle of a creature who is a pain. You’re a pain because, like your mother and grandmother, you are nosey. You want to be held all the time and sat up all the time. But no no the swing just won’t do. The pram won’t do. The basket won’t do. Even daddy just will not do! The only way you are happy is if I am holding you.

This is something that’s tough for me. I love you with all my heart and more, and you’ll learn this one day, but you have a big sister. A big sister that I am used to being alone with and who now has to share me with you. How do I split myself in half to give you both equal attention? I can’t. I have to take it in turns for how much attention I give you both at a time. Thankfully Sophie is brilliant at independent play because this allows me the time to hold you and kiss you and make you smile that beautiful beaming smile you reserve just for me.

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People may read this letter that I am writing to you, my three month old little chunk, and think that I am harsh. I mean, how can a mother complain that her child wants her? Sounds absurd doesn’t it? I love you and your sister very much.
When I had just had Sophie I had a bit of a breakdown in Asda when she was a week old. I couldn’t fathom how I was supposed to love your daddy so much AND love Sophie as much as I did. Some days I didn’t feel like I had room. Some days I still feel like I don’t because now I love you just as much as them. So I split myself and my heart three ways now.

And some days that really sucks. Some days I wish the baby days away so I can play with you and Sophie properly together. Some days I find it incredibly hard to split my focus between you and some days this makes me cry with guilt and frustration.

And you know what? I wouldn’t change it. Of course I would prefer to have better days where you can grow the patience bone and wait for me to finish eating/peeing/playing with Sophie long enough for me to stop feeling such guilt about how I pay attention to you both. But I wouldn’t change it.

I definitely wish you to grow up sometimes. I wish you could talk and tell me what’s wrong. I’ve been so used to a walking talking child which is so much easier to get to know what’s wrong. I wish you could run and play and get mucky in paint. I know this is all to come. It’s all ahead of us and I guarantee you I will spend your childhood, adolescence and adulthood wishing you were as you are right now.

I will wish for the days where you need me and need me to hold you so you feel secure. I will wish for the days where you want to be nosey by sitting in my lap. I will even wish for my hair being caught up in your chubby little starfish of a hand. I love how squishy and new you still are. I love how you look up at me and realise who I am and gummy smile.

I love you. Your existence in my world is necessary for me to breathe every day. I plan on giving you your baby book when you’re (hopefully) pregnant yourself and this letter will be nestled in the pages. You’re probably reading this and smiling and excited about what is to come.

And you’re probably still a pain in the arse. 🙂

All my love,

Your Mummy xxxx

Busy Days of Nothing

Yesterday, my plan was to get out of bed, sort out the girls and start packing the flat for moving before the health visitor comes to see us.

This is not what happened.

What happened was Husband waking up at 4.45am with Madeleine who needed feeding and changing and refused to go back to sleep, Sophie waking at 6am full of the joys of the morning, sorting Sophie’s nappy, breakfast, teeth, hair and clothes, multiple trips to the naughty chair for refusing to listen and throwing tantrums every twenty minutes over simple things such as being told to wait so I could wipe her nose, sterilising bottles, washing up, changing Sophie’s nappy again as the Movicol finally worked and she pooped, getting her a drink before I forgot and settling her down with PlayDoh. This got us to 10am. At this point, I finally got a drink for myself, got dressed, had a wee and did my own teeth. Then I had to relieve Husband from holding Madeleine and settle her myself in her basket so he could do all the human things for himself.

After all that, Husband took Sophie to the park so I could construct boxes and get some packing done. They left around 10.30am so that was my chance to get something to eat, at last! Just as I sat down, Madeleine woke up, so cue me eating my breakfast one handed as my darling girl HATES to be left lying down should she be wide awake. So I brush down my crumb-covered baby, give her another bottle and settle her long enough to be able to build TWO boxes and fill a bin bag full of teddies. Then the door bangs open and my toddler tornado runs in shrieking that she had a good time, and demanding lunch. So I make lunch, wipe her nose, wash her hands, manage a five minute conversation with my husband about the bombsite that is the flat and make a plan about packing. They then leave to go back to the park. It’s now 2pm.

The health visitor isn’t due for another half an hour, so I take that moment to pack some more, but the health visitor turns up twenty minutes EARLY. 90% of you Mum’s reading this will know that this is an anomaly. Health visitors are usually late! I spend an hour with her, getting Madeleine weighed (8lb15oz, my chunky baby has gained over a pound in 19 days!) and talking about post natal depression (I don’t have this, we chatted more about the weepies!).

At this point, it’s time for dinner to be prepped, Sophie to be bathed and Madeleine is due another feed and change. I change her clothes, because she pukes on herself and just as I’m changing her nappy she wees all over me, her clean clothes and my couch cushion. So cue another change.

And this, this is why we ordered a pizza and watched three episodes of Prison Break once Sophie went to bed, instead of tidying and packing and getting things done. Because why try, when a child will inevitably interrupt?!

Ah well. We can try again tomorrow.

Right???

Week One…DONE!

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Achievement Unlocked!!! I have been a mum of two children for a whole week already. For those that missed it, Madeleine was born at 38 weeks on the 1st August at 6:58pm. She weighed in at 7lb 14oz and you can click here to read her birth story.

We brought her home the next day and since then it has been one heck of a learning curve. Two children equals double the work at bed, bath and meal times. It means choosing the moments when to eat or shower and building that around them. Thankfully Husband is home for the month of August before starting his new job in September, which is alleviating a lot of pressure on me. This has meant I haven’t had any real post baby breakdowns, or feelings of helplessness, uselessness or depression. I am so grateful for this you have no idea. When Sophie was born, I was terrified of even dressing her; I wouldn’t put her vests on her for fear of hurting her head. This time, because Husband is home I can get past the initial scary new baby weeks before going it 90% alone when he is doing shift work again.

I haven’t been afraid of dressing Madeleine, or changing her nappy or any of the things that scared me with Sophie. I am so much more relaxed and because of that, Sophie is relaxing around her new sister. It has taken the week for her to be comfortable enough to touch Madeleine and give her cuddles. All week long Sophie has been happy to peep in and look at her and tell us ”Maddie pretty!” but otherwise she has stayed well away. She’s coming around though! She now wants to watch her nappy get changed, and she wants to 10417525_10152338703387153_5243495858596318753_nkiss her on the forehead and show her her toys. It’s so lovely to watch and it’s going to just get better as they get older together.

Sophie is now sleeping right through the night. We’ve had four nights of no waking up at all aside from a sip of water, which I won’t count seeing as it’s fairly humid. Perfect timing seeing as Madeleine is on a schedule of wake ups! While Husband is home, we have strict shifts for nights so that in these early days while we all get used to each other it’s fair. I do the 10pm-2am shift, and he does 2am-6am. Before 10pm we take it in turns and Sophie wakes up at 6am so we all get up together. The first two nights were flipping horrendous, but I think that’s down to the fact I had just had a baby and didn’t sleep in the hospital ward! I wouldn’t cope without the shared night shift, not at the moment anyway – I am aware I will have to when he goes back to work. I don’t expect him to do night shifts when working 14 hours at a time! Until then, we share the workload and he is so hands on, it’s one of the reasons I love him so much.

10547643_10152342833162153_5847535588831934647_nWeirdly, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that I have two children. I can’t imagine Madeleine not being here, but at the same time cannot quite believe she’s here! I’ve never felt more content with my lot. I may not be cash rich but I am rich with my family. It’s exciting, the fact that the ‘trying for a baby’ chapter of my life is now over. I’ve had my babies, now I get to raise them! I get to be Mummy and I get to be a wife again. Not that those things stopped when I was pregnant, but I definitely feel more human than I did a few weeks ago. I have two beautiful little girls and the amount of glitter that is going to cover my house in years to come is going to be insane!

Sophie is a chatting little monkey and in a couple of weeks we are revisiting potty training. With all the upheaval of Madeleine’s arrival and moving house, we are waiting until we’ve moved to concentrate properly on getting her out of nappies. It’s going to be nice to only have one child in nappies at a time.