A letter to my little guy at 22 months.

A letter to my little guy at 22 months.

Sitting here in bed with you watching hey duggee for the millionth time I feel so lucky to be able to spend my mornings with you. I love that you insist on cuddling close or putting a foot or hand on me to let me know that you are still there when your lost in the tv world. I love how kind you are becoming, I love that you love to spend time with friends and family and share your toys without any prompt. I love that you are so eager to share your knowledge and show other children and people what you have found and learnt yourself. I so love watching how your mind grows everyday, how everyday you say new words and I am so proud of you for even trying. You’re favourite thing to do is play with yours jungle animals and include mummy and daddy in the play. I love how you throw your head back and shout roar and we have a animal noise shout off even at 6 am when you’ve just woken up (not even sorry neighbours).

I love that you tell me if you’d like to go out and tell me you would like to go in a car or a bus which means go out. I love that when we go out you’re always so happy just to if left the house even if just to go to the shops. You tell me what you can see and get so excited even by the fat ginger cat that try’s to steal your buggy when we walk. You’re totally crazy and full of energy when we go soft okay or the park but you never want to be too far from me and I watch you look for me and happily shout mummy and run for me smiling when you get lonely.

Watching films and tv series something I’ve always do with my own finally happens. You will let me cuddle you for more than a second and my heart feels full once more while we watch the lion king AGAIN or something else. I enjoy how you play with toys differently. We used to just hold and look at cars but now we race them and push them and their buttons. We colour together now and use stickers and different colours now too! We play with okay dough and you will make shapes and play with the tools and not get bored and want to run around holding a blue ball for a hour screaming if taken off you. We use your toy kitchen and make fake food together and then you share with your guests when the come over and show them how to cook too. Animals are now given voices and people and not just something to run and hold now.

Even now as I lay here planning you and your best friends joint birthday party for two months time I’m still in shock you will be two. You may be already exhibiting the signs of the terrible twos but even when you have rolled around screaming all day over a toy, I will always miss you the second I put you to bed and check on you several times just to watch you sleep and kiss your sleepy head. How I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy you a little more.

Missing your own baby’s birth.

Missing your own baby’s birth.

Possible trigger…I missed my own child’s birth, yes he came from inside of me but I missed it. I’m not being dramatic or anything like that but I was put to sleep so I missed my own child’s birth. Something I will never get over. A bit of back story…

When I was pregnant I didn’t feel my baby move much. He would have quiet days and I’d be constantly up hospital. It wasn’t until I was 35 weeks pregnant when they decided to give me a scan and locate that the baby was breech. I had a appointment to have something called a turn of the baby inside of me which didn’t work and was the worse pain of my life. So I had no choice but to have a c-section because of how the gremlin was laying. 3 weeks later would be the day he would be born and I would become a mother when I was booked in for surgery. On the day I remember being exhausted from excitement but also I had spent weeks feeling something would go wrong. I was right.

Being prepped for surgery was eventful the staff put a massive ass cannula in me after several attempts and wheeled me in to theatre. I remember thinking the theatre looked a bit boring and like a normal room. The theatres I had worked in had no windows and no outdated machinery. None the less I sat on the bed. I was told not to move while a massive needle was inserted into my back. They do not tell you how much this will hurt. I don’t think the trainee got the placement right to this day. I layed on the bed and meds given to send my body to sleep below the stomach. Although I couldn’t move my legs I could still feel my stomach. They rubbed ice on my tummy and they used needles to feel for pain. I alerted them several times I could still feel the cold of the ice and the prick of the needles. Surgeons being surgeons kind of ignored me. My husband was a bit worried for me when I looked scared as anything holding his hand with wires attached to me everywhere getting in the way.

Then they cut me. I can still remember now the screaming as I felt it. They knew immediately something was not right and that the medication had not worked. I was to miss my own childs birth because it was too late to try putting the needles back in my back as I was open on the table. My husband was pulled from the room and I remember the mask being lifted on to my face and loosing consciousness . I missed my child being born and others met and held my child before me.

I remember coming round. I remember coming round by choking for air as I had a saw throat from the breathing equipment inserted into my airways which had been taken out and then shivering with pain as my stomach was in unbearable pain from surgery and coughing was pulling at it. I was given water and woke up alone. Without my baby. I remembered that I had been pregnant but I thought it was a dream. I thought I had been in a terrible car accident and that I was not really pregnant. The drugs where so strong I didn’t realise my son had been brought in the room to meet me and told my husband it wasn’t the time to bring in blankets. Then it came back to me when I was brought down to my room and I started to come round more. I met my son but at first I didn’t have that immediate rush of love. How was I supposed to know he was really mine? I remember thinking he was too beautiful to be mine. I remember feeling robbed and I think it caused me to struggle to accept I was a mother because I had missed the birth. After drugs had worn it and time had passed my love started to grow and I could see bits of me and his dad in him as I stared down into his eyes.

I’m always jealous now of mothers who witnessed their birth. I’m always sad when people say they had traumatic births and still got to see their baby born and that love that comes with it. I’m not downplaying others emotions or their experiences because I like to think if I was in that situation I would struggle to but I always find it so hard to see others not feeling lucky they witnessed their own children’s births. To see other people’s reactions when the baby comes out. To hear the first cry. To share the first touch, to see them first. Instead wait a hour to meet him and my mum and husband had seen him and changed him, had held him and loved him first. Maybe one day I’ll get over it but for now it’s still fresh and I still long for seeing that moment when he was born. When people say to have a section is the easy way out I want to scream in their face because it’s not. The feeling of not seeing your baby born and struggling to bond as they are born in a unnatural way to not be able to move to hold them straight away and to be in pain for weeks/ months even years after isn’t and never will be the easy way.

It’s okay to hate your body after a baby.

It’s okay to hate your body after a baby.

Its okay to hate your body after having a baby, of course you’re thankful to your body for being able to grow a life inside there but it is more than ok to not like how it looks afterwards. Nobody tells you when you have a baby you’ll still have somewhat a bump sometimes and that your stretch marks will stay and cause lumps and bumps in some unmentionable places.

Hips get big and don’t work like an elastic band going back into place once your child’s out. Csection scars are not always pretty. Overhang causes a literal muffin top that will never go away. You’re stretch marks stretch to the thighs, hips and boobs aswell as going around and round on your stomach. Your hair falls out in clumps and doesn’t come back. You’re complexion is fairer with darker circles surrounding your eyes that no amount of concealer can single handedly fix.

Boobs deflate and become somewhat saggy after breastfeeding. No mater how little or often you do it. You’re love handles become love drawers, rolls apon rolls that refuse to go. Loosing weight is harder because you’re still trying to recover whilst also feel the need to rush every meal. You’ll notice your body doesn’t feel like your old one. Straight after having my baby I had people tell me it’ll go back soon and soon still hasn’t come. Diets, excercise and body butter rituals later I still look like I’ve got a deflated balloon bump for a stomach waiting to be blown up again and get even more saggy.

My point being it is is ok to not love your post natal body and not everyone’s snaps back to their original size straight away and that’s ok. You’re aloud to hate reading posts where people say they love their body because they have a kid! I am thankfull and greatfull that my body could do this incredible thing such as grow a baby. But it is ok also to look in the mirror and not be happy. It’s valid to not be grateful that you look like a half deflated beach ball at times. It’s ok to want to wear swimsuits now over a bikini or long sleethed tops and jeans now instead of crop tops and shorts. It’s ok to look in the mirror and not be pleased. It is okay.

Wedding talk: Part two-Invitations.

Wedding talk:  Part two-Invitations.

When we where wedding planning we knew full well we wanted an intimate wedding only with our nearest and dearest friends and family. No acquaintances just people who we where the closest too and people who didn’t just want a free meal and excuse to dress up. Choosing who to invite to your wedding can be VERY stressfull. They say that getting married, having children and buying a house are three of the biggest stressfull life events you can ever do and we choose to do all three in the space of a 2 years. FUN! Nonetheless we enjoyed wedding planning all the same. When it comes to inviting people you really need to decide who you are the closest too and if you want them involved in your special day. Do you want a massive event everyone will talk about or just a special day you will cherish…

You will get a lot of people wanting to invite their friends and dictate who can come and who cannot, it gets rather stressful and tiring when people think they have any say in your day whatsoever. Also the more people you invite the more expensive it gets not just the meal but the decorations to cater and chairs and sashes.

When you invite people you want to give well enough notice so when you have found somewhere i found that i benefited from save the dates. A save the date is a slip you send in the post which states the day of your wedding well in advance so people can take the day off work. I had a lot of medical staff and self employed people attending my wedding day so i wanted to get them out as early as possible. I sent these off 9 months before our wedding day. This gave people ampule chance to say if they could or could not come. We only received one person telling us they couldn’t come because they where on holiday but lucky for us they got pregnant and couldn’t fly that close to their due date (She was one of my bridesmaids so i was thrilled she got to be in my special day).

A few months after when i had started to finalise times and meal times i decided to then create wedding invites. I quite enjoyed the proceess of handmaking our own online. We put every relevent detail we could think needed to be noted. As i chose a local venue alot didn;t need saying but with my guests from outside of town i though important to state where to stay in the area near by. It is a good idea when making a invite to include a few details. i will list bellow

  • Time to arrive. Not the time of ceremony as guests who are late will end up missing your day. You also want your guests to relax.
  • Time of ceremony. So guests can roughly know how smoothly the day is going to go and if they are that late they arent coming in.
  • Time of food. So guests can know what time to eat before leaving and decide if they need too. People then wont be complaining about waiting and not knowing when they are going to eat.
  • Time of reception. To let guests know there will be a reception and that they are invited so they can plan their day and where it is if not in same place.
  • Time to leave. So you don’t have to kick people out and taxis can be pre-booked.
  • Local places to stay overnight. For out of town guests wanting to get wasted pretty much.
  • The venues address including postcode.Guests have to know where to go and don’t want to be chasing you up.
  • The date. Clearly so people don’t get confused.
  • Food options. So you can cater to allergens and needs.
  • The names of who are getting married. So people don’t get confused if they go to a few weddings or think whos wedding have they been invited too.
  • State plus ones or not. Name who is invited and if they can bring a plus one or not so people do not assume and you can have numbers before the day.
  • RSVP day. A day for everyone to reply to with contact details.

Where to buy your invites. You can get a lot of invites from shops such as paper chase and hobby craft as well as etsy. However i wanted to make my own online as i cannot write all that neatly. So i used vista print, i didn’t know until we looked online. I looked on their website and they have lots of templates and everything is completely customisation from material made on to the text and fonts. You can even add envelopes so all you have to do is write the names and addresses. They where also pretty cheep. I brought my save the dates with magnets so could be stuck to fridge so guests could keep the date clearly displayed in their home from here too. Both sets and envelopes for both with postage to my house cost 50 which was so cheep and my invites where double sided and made with linen. So have a good look around and choose what you want and only what you love!

Running a house with a toddler

Keeping a house tidy is so hard with a toddler. Whenever you get the chance to clean you’re exhausted from running around all day and you just want to avoid it as much as you can. I find utilising naps when he has them is helpful. If he naps I’ll normally do a quick job e.g cleaning the bathroom as harsher chemicals so can open window and shut door and take the monitor in with me and clean.

My favourite products to use are flash bathroom spray, minky sponge, bloo toilet cleaner, bleach, zoflora and antibacterial spray. I spray the whole rooms basins, and toilet basically with the the flash then I start cleaning the sink then the bath and toilet with minky (toilet I use a single bit or kitchen roll to not spread germs). I put zoflora down the drains after I’ve rinsed everything away to make it smell good. I put bleach toilet with brush then I put bloo down. I then spray everywhere with antibacterial spray the detol spray.

After that If he hasn’t woken up I’ll clean the kitchen wash up breakfast items and clean the surfaces. I’ll tidy up the toys quickly and wait for him to wake up. I dust while he’s awake as he doesn’t mind and hoover with him he enjoys fake sweeping and hoovering with us. I feel it’s important to clean around him so that he learns a house doesn’t run itself and that it’s ok to help. When he goes to bed at night I try to teach him to tidy away his toys and that’s when I normally wash up after dinner and clean everywhere down with febreeze and odour neutralising sprays. The bins get emptied too and sprayed down.

Deep cleaning can be pure hell. With a toddler they don’t want you to leave the room much and if you do they turn into gremlins and destroy whatever room they’re in. Things like cleaning oven and the fridge out is hard to do and I can never do it as much as I want to but a quick spray of oven cleaner or anti bacterial spray and fairy liquid is the way to do it quickly. I mop as often as I can but again when he’s in bed as he gets in the way and wet floor and toddler is not a good mix for success.

Shopping. I often get a food shop in for ease but sometimes I’m sent the wrong thing and the dates are terrible so some days I go shopping but it’s so hard with a toddler who needs entertaining the whole time or a snack so we choose supermarkets that give free fruit sometimes which is great! Obviously a house doesn’t run itself so shopping is unavoidable.

It’s all about finding your own pattern and what works and sometimes the housework doesn’t matter and you should just enjoy the mess as it means you have a happy home.

Toddler talk. Parent comparison.

Toddler talk. Parent comparison.

Sorry I haven’t been present I had a sick husband and a tantrum fanatic child the last few days so we’re kind of hoping me and the kid aren’t next on the sickness bugs hit list.

Today’s topic isn’t really that different to my normal speal but it’s something I’m really noticing more and more is people’s competition between children. I was speaking to my friend today about it and she said it still happens in primary school! Now I ask, can you tell by talking to your friends which ones walked first, wrote there name first or if they where bottle or boob fed? Because I can’t. It doesn’t matter in the long run!

Milestones are only put into place so that developmental issues can be found not who’s child is better than the next. We all do things differently and we all learn differently. Children learn at their own pace and they will master things in their own little way way. You cannot just expect a child to hit 9 months and be running around singing a song!

Why do we judge others either? Why do we care if this particular child does something ours can’t. There’s been many times I’ve worried about my child because of others yet he has been advanced in many other things. I’ve worried enough to go to doctors over and over and to worry and not want to talk about my child because of it. I think people love to bost as they are so proud of their children, who wouldn’t be! But there’s only so much someone should do. For example I got a lot of parents asking me oh is Elijah not walking yet at 13 months like he was damaged or something? He was just deciding when he was ready! Because of this I wasted so much time worrying about his walking when I should of been enjoying him learning and crawling and the peace and quiet of him not getting everywhere quicker! It becomes something we all do. James tells me he’s started to judge other parents at times when we are out and about in public and he hates that he has. You just start comparing when they start comparing and sometimes you end up getting s but mad and comparing your child as if they’re better. Let’s remember they are children and so long as they are happy, paid attention to and healthy that is all that matters. And even if a child is behind it doesn’t matter. I think from now on I’m just going to stop talking about developmental things and just talk about what we’ve been up too and how much of a treat or terror he has been! Because tbh nobody really gives a shit and neither do I!

Making time for your other half after a child.

Making time for your other half after a child.

Once you have a child it is so difficult to have any me time let alone we time as a couple. The offers of childcare dry up and sometimes your waiting months for time to just leave the house just the two of you and I know better than anyone finding childcare can be hard sometimes.

But something I’ve really concentrated on recently since I’ve stopped working is to spend more time as a we than a me when I’m tired from a busy day chasing after our child. Every night once the child’s in bed we both tidy up and I now try to be present. We’ll watch a tv series together and have a chat or a film. We’ll play games together or if we both want to do our own thing James will play on his phone and I will blog or I will watch tv and he’ll play on a game on his laptop while being in the same room and just enjoying the comfort of being next to each other. On weekends we don’t have ridiculous lay ins now so we can join the other two members of the household and have family time.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for childcare if you have in-laws or parents don’t be afraid to ask th to watch your kid or sometimes to sit round while your kid sleeps so you can go to the movies. Today we had an unexpected offer of childcare from family so we jumped at the chance. We where going to slob around the house but I decided no we would get dressed up and have a date day for a change. Be Charlie and James again. We went for a lovely Italian in the sunshine and then after we drove to the beach. We sat on the sand and had ice cream and then we went and wasted 7 quid trying to win a toy pumba and I’m very angry I didn’t win! We just enjoyed being in each other company without noses to wipe, tantrums to tackle and food to share. It was nice to go where we wanted when we wanted and not have to plan ahead (even if I had to pack a bag for my sons day out with his grandparents without us). So please just remember why you choose to be parents with your other half and remember why you fell in love as there’s no stronger team then you two. It’s important and your love is still as important as your Little one.

Don’t judge my toddlers meltdown I’m doing my best!

Don’t judge my toddlers meltdown I’m doing my best!

I shouldn’t feel a need to explain myself when my child has a meltdown. You see my child is one. He cannot understand what is right or wrong yet as he is still learning. Everything is new and he is gathering and learning new information everyday and using that to become a person. He gets angry when he cannot be understood by others or get his own way. I mean who wouldn’t? Shouting the same thing at someone and they still don’t give you what you want or say no? It’s like going for dinner and someone saying no to everything you want and you don’t know how to react. He will try to communicate with me and everyone around him with the only mean of communication he has ever known since the womb which is to cry. If he cry’s he knows he will get what he wants. Be it food, a cuddle or anything atall he knows he will get what he wants. But he is older now. People judge him more when he throws something he doesn’t want on the floor. Nobody would of judged him a year ago as a precious baby throwing something. He looks silly when he screams and cry’s on the floor because he doesn’t want to go in his pram or has decided he doesn’t want to walk anymore. He’s tired but he can not communicate that with you. You just guess what he wants until you understand what he wanted all along.

It’s hard on the mother too. The mother has probably dealt with a ton of these tantrums before today’s and is exhausted from the guessing games. The mother try’s everything to persuade him to behave such as snacks, water, cuddles, toys and to try and explain at times when he is not aloud something why to sort of bargain good behaviour. The mum is drained and is very nervous when in public. Not because of their child’s behaviour as this happens at home constantly because it is their safe place, but because when they are out people stare. People stare and talk and loudly moan and make the mother feel like pure shit. It’s quite normal to feel ashamed when someone is making a dig at you but you shouldn’t be. Being a mother is bloody hard work and raising a child to be a responsible, kind and well behaved child is even harder. If you see the mother trying her best just cary on your day and ignore them. They don’t need eyes and to feel the heat of embarrassment .They are already struggling with the feeling of their eyes tearing up and the lump in their throat growing larger the louder and more aggravated a tantrum gets. It’s so damn hard for the mother. The mother also does not need you getting involved and undermining her and making things worse and harder to control so just try to back off and ignore what’s going on as quite frankly it’s nobody’s business.

Mum guilt is real.

Mum guilt is real.

I know it’s not the most upbeat subject to talk about but I personally feel when you don’t talk about your feelings they spiral and get worse. Mental health discussions are ok and my inbox is always open!

What is mum guilt? Well it’s kind of a standard mothers set themselves to kind of basically be super woman. To be this domestic goddess who makes homemade nutritious meals from scratch every meal and never ever gets stressed or have a down day. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to feel a element of mum guilt especially in a generation of social media. I find social media a great tool and a good escape from the works around ya but I cannot lie there is many times i scroll through and think I’m not as good as these mothers. It can make you feel incredibly alone and down and sometimes you just can’t help it!

I will see a mother putting on Instagram that she lives this seemingly beautiful life and her children never misbehave and she has time to do everything and everything is done solo. Of course they leave out the bits where they’re children are laying on the floor in the street screaming at the pavement because they don’t know why they’re mad over something or that they do not always cook from scratch and dare I say it buy frozen food sometimes! I am always left with this guilt when Elijah is a picky eater that he’s not eating enough veg and fruit. As a baby he was incredibly good at eating fruit and veg and now all of the sudden certain colours such as green will not be touched and if I blend it into something the boy has some sixth sense and can tell without seeing or eating it. I feel awful if I spend too much time cleaning the house and not playing with him or visa versus the house is a mess.

I worry am I taking my son out enough to socialise with other children and is that stunting his emotional and social growth? He used to go to nursery two days a week until July when I stopped working and now I feel like am I depriving him of those social skills. Yet I’m out the house at least 4 days a week to see other children and friends and family to make sure he get social interaction. In the same heartbeat I am exhausted and emotionally drained as-well. If I am tired I still go ahead with plans to go out and feel like I seem moody and apologise to people and I’m not my bubbly self which I feel he’ll pick on. I also worry am I taking him out too much is he tired. Should we stay in today? I worry am I being moody today with him or is it just me?

Do I let him watch to much tv and use my phone too much? Does it make me a bad mother? In reality it doesn’t and he barely watches anything unless we are on bus, changing nappys or having some down time. Is it really any different to when we where stuck in front of tvs when we where children because I remember every minute at home being in front of a tv.

I worry so I spoil him to much and he have to many toys and treats and also do I not buy him enough?

I think the thing I struggle with the most with mum guilt is the quite simple fact of comparing myself to others. It’s something I don’t think I ever did before falling pregnant but I hate that I do. It’s so difficult not to and to always feel you’re not a good mum when you try your best. When it makes you feel sad you’re trying your best but is your best really good enough? Who knows. But what I do know mums is NO mother is better than YOU. Every mother is good in their own ways and you are doing nothing right or wrong just trying to survive and raise a child. You are keeping a life alive while also teaching that child every single last thing so that they can learn how to become a adult one day and do the same thing to their future children. Build yourself up and build others up you’ve got this you mother!