2

In The Blink Of An Eye

It’s been just over 3 weeks since Parker turned 1 and I felt like I should take the time to reflect on the year that’s been.

When we first found out we were having a boy I was so nervous. I have 5 sisters and 1 brother so growing up it has always been a predominantly female orientated household. I wasn’t sure I was ready for changing boys nappies and dealing with all the boy stereotypes I have perceived over the years. Sports and the thought that one day another woman will wisk him away and make him a married man (yes I’ve thought that far ahead lol). How would I cope?

Well as soon as he was born all those worries left my mind. The most important thing for us is he is safe, happy and healthy.
In fact a lot of things left my mind when he was born and it was a real moment of honesty and self reflection where I learnt who and what mattered the most to me. It’s amazing what a reality check having a baby is. You really just have to go through the experience to understand what I mean. Those things that bothered you before don’t matter any more. The birth of our son was the rebirth of my sense of self. I was someone’s mother. Is there anything more important?

The first few months were amazing and challenging all at once. You can never truly be prepared for what’s to come. Between being completely overwhelmed with responsibility, my troubles breast feeding and other stresses in my life we got through. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive partner who has helped me through all the ups and downs.

Looking back Parker was a relatively good sleeper in the beginning and even though we had (and still have) our rough nights now I would say that we’re still pretty lucky in that department. Mind you, the nights that aren’t so good…really aren’t so good. I can understand why they use sleep deprivation as torture. It really messes with your brain.

People always said to me in the beginning ‘Cherish it whilst you can because they don’t still little for long’ and I would be like yeah yeah yeah. Well now that I’m on the other side of that I can totally agree and urge others to do exactly that. Cherish every single moment. Even when it’s 2am in the morning and you haven’t slept and this brand new baby is screaming and you don’t know why and the only way you can get them to sleep is tie them to yourself and pace for hours and hours just so they can rest. Yes those times are trying but you will miss them.

We went from a lovely little newborn who would just stare at us for hours (we seemed to of skipped the cuddly sleepy during the day baby) to a baby that rolled, army crawled, crawled, started solids, grew teeth, started to pull himself up and then started walking all in the blink of an eye. We now have a giant toddler who eats, poops human poops, laughs, throws tantrums, cuddles, claps, shares his dummy and comes and sits on your lap to read a book. How did it happen so fast? More importantly, how did we survive?

I think one of the most important things I have learnt along the way is to stop listening to other people. Stop googling. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Yes that sounds harsh but you can only take so much advice from people who haven’t had kids, or their kids are 25 (yes you can offer some valuable been there done that knowledge but some of it is a tad out dated sorry) or ‘those people’ whose kid did everything way before the average age. Wow your kid can tap dance and juggle whilst singing the national anthem and they’ve only just turned 1? Good for you.

Parker was an early crawler and an early walker (apparently) but I don’t try rub that in people’s faces because you know what? He doesn’t say any words yet (although I swear I heard him say ‘oh shit’ the other night lol). Some babies I know are babbling away and saying plenty of words and that’s great but I’ve decided not to stress because all kids develop at different rates. Parker communicates in his own cheeky little way and that’s ok by us.

Just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing sorted something will change and you have to readjust all over again. Like how all of a sudden your toddler has decided they will on have one sleep a day. Or they won’t eat their dinner unless they get to use the spoon themselves. The best thing to do is go with the flow. In the early days I threw all strategies and text book schedules out the window and listened to my child. Call us crazy but he calls the shots and it’s honestly made life a lot less stressful then trying to implement routine and dealing with hours of resistance. Yes we’re team attachment parenting all the way here and it’s worked great for us.

In a years time I’m sure life will be completely different. A two year old will be a whole set of challenges and adventure. I will embrace it and learn from it. I will remind myself that it just goes so fast and it is time you will never get back so I will make the most of it. I hope you do too.

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7

Making Mummy Friends

I read an article recently that compared making new mummy friends to dating.

It gave me a good giggle as I could relate to a few of points made.

I remember when I first joined my mother’s group when Parker was only weeks old that I made a connection with a few of the mums. One mum in particular was always so nice and actually made the effort to talk to me and I knew right away that we would be friends. Over time we have become good mummy friends, swapping war stories and snap chats of our children throwing tantrums or learning to walk. She’s great and I laugh because I remember in the beginning I didn’t want to text her too often or seem so desperate for a friendship so that’s where it felt like dating. Now i’ll text her all hours of the day or night because I know she gets it, she’s on the same page as me and it’s someone I will always be greatful to have met.

So here is my problem.

I have moved states. All 1800kms away. So as far as mummy friends go I am starting from scratch.

I love our new home, I love the city we have moved too. I love the opportunities, the culture, the weather and I love love love that as a result of the move N can come home to us every night.

What sucks though is having to start this ‘dating’ of new mum friends all over again.

I’ve left behind my tribe and have the frightening task of trying to find another and with all my newely acquired insecurities and lack of motivation it’s proving difficult.

When I first moved here I went to a couple of playgroups. I didn’t click with either of them so I threw in the towel. I have another couple of groups I could go and meet some people but I haven’t found the courage to do it yet because my first attempts left me so disheartened.

I just wish I could have moved all my people with me.
Part of me aches so bad for these friendships it hurts inside.

I am missing my best friends little boys growing up. Our kids were meant to grow up and play together.

I am missing another dear friends entire pregnancy and I wish I was there for her more.

I miss all of my mothers group friends and their adorable little kids, Parker’s buddies.

I miss our same sex mummy friends who understand us as parents on a level that other people don’t.

What’s worse is moving away makes you feel invisible. The distance starts to creep in, the replies become slower as real life takes over. You can only maintain the level of contact for so long.

I do understand that real friends will always be there. No amount of time or distance can change that. The true friendships are the ones your can pick up where you left off. I know all that but it doesn’t mean I’m not missing them right now.
I hope one day I can look back at this post and say to myself:
‘You goose, you just had to give it time, look at all the amazing friends you have now. Yes you still love your old friends, you always will but you’re ok now. You’ve made new friends and they have your back. You’re ok, You made it.’

0

Mum-Life Crisis

I think i’m have a M̶i̶d̶ Mum-life Crisis.

I’ve been trying to write this post for months now but have been unsure how to approach it without sounding selfish.

So I’m just going to be honest.

I sometimes have moments of panic where I feel like I have lost myself. I worry I have lost my identity as an individual. I worry about lack of goals. I worry that there is something more to all this and I just haven’t been given the memo. I worry that my children will grow up and start school and i’ll struggle to get back in to the workplace. I worry I’m too old to start new things. I worry that time is going to quickly.

I was once a very motivated, outspoken, determined and goal orientated person. I had plans. I was going places and doing things but somewhere along the way that person has disappeared. Reality has shifted completely since having a baby.

It’s a good day for me when I can feed, change, entertain and keep the little guy happy. It’s an even better day if I manage to do all this AND brush my teeth and get dressed. That just sounds silly though doesn’t it? Since when are such basic things such a struggle?

I panic at the thought of having to leave the house some times. It is such a mission. Not to mention the thought of having to socialize with people these days. I am inside with a 1 year old majority of my time so hanging out with adults and having conversations makes me nervous. Do I even remember how to have a social conversation? If I stand here and smile and nod will they recognise my eyes glaze over as my mind drifts to where my child is, how can I wrap this up and retreat back to changing nappies and picking up half chewed food off the floor, did I forget to do something, what’s next on the never ending list?

There’s always dishes to be done, clothes to be washed, toys to be picked up. There’s always something and I know this will only increase as we enter in to school life, extra curricular activities, sports, sleepovers…MORE CHILDREN.

That leaves me with these questions. When does one get the chance to find themselves again? What does that even mean? Do I even have the right to think that? Where would I find the time? Does anyone even care? Why do I feel so guilty for thinking these things? Do I just give up and accept that this is what life is now?

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mum. I love that I am lucky enough to stay home with Parker. He brings me so much joy and happiness. He is amazing. The most adorable, lovable precious thing in the world to me. We made the decision to have children because we wanted to, because we were ready and we are so happy for the family we have become. I do not regret that for one second. I would not change it for the world. 

It’s just this part of me, the creative one, the thoughtful one, the excited one, the desirous one who deep down is scratching at my insides, begging to come out and I worry, if left ignored, that she will retreat and disappear forever.

1

Contemplating #2

So we have always planned on having more than one baby. N and I both have siblings and can’t imagine Parker being an only child. 

Maybe because we already have a baby we notice more and more people around us announcing pregnancies and I’m always spotting the pregnant ladies in the shops and smiling like that creepy person but really I’m thinking about going through it all again. 

The thing is I’m not sure when the right time would be. Considering the way we have to fall pregnant (and the fact we pay for storage of sperm) part of me just wants to get all the baby making done and out of the way. Yes times would be time both physically, emotionally and probably financially but I don’t particularly want to leave massive gaps between the kids so that I’ll end up parenting small children for years and years. 

Then part of me doesn’t want to rush. I want to cherish the time I have with Parker because once a new baby comes along my time and attention will be split in two. 

One important thing before baby number two is feeling a bit more in control of my life. I need to be fitter and healthier and I guess feel like I have a bit more of a grasp on everything now. 

Then I have my fears and worries. Another pregnancy!? Dealing with all the feelings, concerns, appointments and stress of hoping everything is ok. Constantly. Does it get easier with the second pregnancy? I hated the stress and constant worrying in the first pregnancy. I know it was normal but geeeez. The things we put ourselves through. 

And lastly… The main hurdle. Actually falling pregnant again. We were so lucky and got it first go last time. I am nervous it won’t be as easy next time (and trust me we don’t have an expectations that it would happen straight away second time around) and that it will be so much more of a challenge because our new location (we’ve just moved states) and financials as we are now living off one wage. 

I wish it was easy as going ‘ok let’s start trying tomorrow’ but realistically it’s so much more complicated than that and that hurts my heart a little. 

That’s life I guess. 

5

Not So Perfect

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. Honestly I’m not sure how I even manage to get out of bed some days so blogging hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind. 

I have a long list of things I keep meaning to write about and maybe one day I’ll get around to it but most likely it will go on the other long list of things I start and don’t finish. Or the things I keep meaning to do but don’t. The creative things I want to make but never get around to doing. The DIY home makeovers I plan and think I’ll do that one day. The baby book I need to start. The list of chores to do. It goes on and on…

I guess I’m feeling disappointed in myself for not doing MORE! 

When I was pregnant I had all these ideas of how things would look, how things would be and how I would be this amazing functional house wife with dinners and an organized pantry right off a Pinterest page. I wouldn’t use these products, my baby wouldn’t wear that, wouldn’t play with those type of toys and so on and so forth. The thing is I’m barely functional on the best of days and all those other things went out the window when I went with the ‘whatever works’ motto. 

I know they say when you’re a new mum you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself but I’m nearly 9 months in to this gig and I feel like it’s an achievement when I manage to brush my teeth and get dressed on top of Parker’s every day routine and trust me, there’s days that doesn’t happen. Getting out of the house to go get milk seems like a daunting task and if someone says social gathering I’m already feeling stressed.

I find myself sometimes feeling jealous or upset when I look at other mums online who seem to have it all together. I really hope that underneath all the filters and perfectly posed children that they’re like me and have messy kitchens and piles of clean washing everywhere that needs folding. 

I think there will always be a part of me that wishes I was doing more. Be more organized, present yourself better, lose weight, read more, sing to the baby more, persue a hobby, make more friends, be a better partner, cook new foods for baby to eat. Just try hard in general!!! 

I’m guessing this is part of that ever continuing mum guilt people mention.

Mostly I try not to get to bothered by it because at the end of the day my child is happy and healthy and so damn adorable so that to me is the most important thing. I just try to remember no one is perfect (even those that think they’re going to be) and you just do the best you can do. Deep down there’s always a little bit of pressure either from societies expectations or my own, I’m not sure. 

Maybe it’s time I cut myself some slack and stop beating myself up about it. They’re only this little once right? Eventually one day they’ll fly the coop and I’ll be wishing for these times back. 

So for now I’ll step away from the Pinterest board, away from the instagram feeds and the Facebook pages filled with ‘perfect’ mums and just cherish the moments I do have and look forward to all the new things to come. 

6

Stay At Home Mums

*** A post from N***

I’ve come to the realization that stay at home mums are underappreciated and highly often so misunderstood!

After Parker was born I had 5 weeks off and both H and I knew that eventually I would be returning to work. I don’t know who was more wary, H for being left at home with a young baby or me for being away from them.

It felt like this parenting gig was hard enough with 2 of us to tag team out for naps or breaks of sanity.. But when I returned to work H would be riding solo for a whole 2 weeks!

I’ll be honest..I was nervous.. I wanted to be able to grab that nappy or that bottle when my wifey needed an extra set of hands, how was she going to even sleep? Was I going to come home to a crying mess? So many questions…

Reality was she was an ABSOLUTE pro at being a great mummy and I was so relieved! Infact I was the one in tears when I arrived home for the first time! We had all survived.

I totally understand that not everyone has the luxury of staying at home to raise their babies. I myself was a daycare kid, raised by my mum on her own and I turned out just fine. I also know that if mum had been able to stay home with us she wouldn’t of hesitated and I know she wishes she had the chance. I’m greatful that through everything she was still able to provide for us girls!

Pretty much anyone who’s spoken to me since Parker was born knows that we’ve got a new baby so I was so confused when people begun asking me what my wife did?
“She’s a Stay At Home Mum” was my reply with a great smile across my face, oozing with pride. To my shock people often responded with “Yeah but what does she do?”

I’m sorry? I’m confused, What are you asking?
She looks after our baby fulltime!?!

After a little while I begun to hate this question, ‘What does she do?’. I felt hesitant and felt the need to back up my answer with the fact she’s completing a science degree and rattle off her previous role description, hoping this was enough to satisfy the person asking me. This made me feel bad. I’ve always been proud that H stays at home.. And why should I question that? She’s looking after our boy!

So I’m not ashamed to say that I’m so proud and thankful for all the stay at home mums (and dads) out there! I think it’s a role that is so underappreciated. There I said it!

It’s a full-time job! Whilst we go to work and slog it out to bring home the bacon our women are doing their fair share at home changing nappies, feeding our kids, burping, rocking, entertaining and giving more hugs and kisses than you can imagine. They’re creating beautiful little humans, teaching them right from wrong and explaining numerous times why they can’t touch that or why our little darlings need to have a sleep. All this and more from the crack of dawn until they fall asleep in a heap only to start all over again the next day.

Then of course us partners get home and our babies are well behaved and totally innocent (typical) so surely you mum’s are making it all up by looking exhausted right? Lol just kidding. Rest assured we know they have run you around all day and you need 5 minutes to regain your sanity when we walk in the door! We will happily take them for a cuddle.

So here are a list of a few things to maybe not say to someone who has a stay at home wife because let’s face it, it’s rude.

-Oh, so she doesn’t have a job?
-Jealous, I’d love to stay home watching movies all day!
-So what does she do all day?
-Man, I wanna get pregnant so I can stay home all day too.

Just a few that I’ve come across anyway! So far from the truth!

So THANKYOU to all you beautiful stay at home Mummies out there! You make our life easier and we are grateful for your hard work you do (often under paid). We appreciate you shortening your morning showers and sometimes taking it in front of an audience of little people watching so you can feel normal. We understand why you have vomit stains down your back and your hair is a mess. We think you’re super skilled for being able to balance a baby in one arm and eat your dinner with the other. All these things you do without thinking are pretty impressive.

So now when people ask me that silly question now I don’t bother justifying it. I just smile with pride and be grateful we are in a position where H can stay at home with Parker.

I wish everyone had their own stay at home wife. Very lucky indeed!

xx N xx

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5

And The Kitchen Sink….

Getting out of the house with a baby is no mean feat. Pre-Parker I used to take my time and punctuality wasn’t really in my vocabulary.

Now with a little munchkin to escort me everywhere I need to put some much thought and planning in to every outing.

Nappies, bottles, change of cloths, burp cloths, bibs, toys, wipes, blankets, pram etc etc. The list really goes on and will on get longer i suspect when he starts solids.

I am also slightly weird so I take everything with me even for a quick dash to the grocery store to get milk. You know why? Because I’m paranoid. I worry that I’ll get locked out of the house and have no nappy to change him or bottle to feed him because sorry buddy but these boobies are dried up.

Also I’ve said goodbye to nice handbags because I carry a giant nappy bag around with me always. Luckily I quite like my nappy bag so that’s fine.

It really is such a mission but is it weird to say I enjoy it? I mean I enjoy everything to do with Parker because I love him to bits but having to lug all the extra things around really forces me to be a bit more organized in life. So I guess that’s a good thing.

Does anyone have any hot tips on how to be more organized for outings?