What on earth is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a complete birth education programme, that teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth.

I sat with my husband, whilst at a funeral actually, discussing children and birth and generally discussing the circle of life. Opposite us, sat a proud father who was describing the joy of child birth. I immediately listened in – intrigued. Joy of child birth? Exactly my thoughts. He described in detail how his wife slept through a majority of her contractions, how she went to hospital without realising she was 8cm dilated and had no pain relief what so ever and easily pushed this little squashy being into the world.

“She slept through contractions? How did she do that?” (I found braxton hicks unpleasant – I thought they were labour every time).

I actually looked over to my husband and rolled my eyes and received a smirk in response.

“She had a hypnobirth.”

If I could, I would have rolled my eyes right up into my head. Cynical it may be, but I actually thought this was a load of rubbish. Yes, when you see your beautiful baby it is magical, but the actual labour has never been described to me as, ‘wonderful and painless.’ Those people are crazy, people who live in ‘la la land.’ Those stories obviously aren’t real. I am the first person to say, ‘.. It’s horrible, birth is horrible…’ even though I have been told that this is the worst way to speak to pregnant ladies.

Now, you have to understand that that day we had had our dating scan. We were pregnant again, so it explains my cynicism. I hadn’t forgotten labour – I had only given birth 18 months ago and was not going to listen to this ‘Mans tale of Birth’ (Sorry men!)

Later that night something came over me…I had a complete change of heart. I do not know if it was amount of lemonade I had been drinking, or I was light headed from the million trips to the toilet that day but, I messaged the Dad I had sniggered at earlier. My hormones had rushed into my head and I suddenly I wanted to be a part of this magical, ‘pain free birth.’ I had decided that I bloody wanted one; I wanted to overcome and change my notion of birth.

Why? Because in my opinion I had had a shitty birth,  pulled the short straw, had the emergency C-section, felt the guilt, got the scar and this time I would like to get the baby out naturally. The issue being – I can’t go past 40 weeks because of the complications with my first… So I want to do what I can to make the recovery as easy as possible, because I can not face the aftermath with a toddler crying, laughing, wrestling, jumping after me, after another c-section.

After a number of messages back and forth and an exchange of numbers from his wife, I had decided that I was going to try this! I was going to have hypno birth! I researched hundreds of courses and looked at all these experts online but, basically, I would have to sell my child to attend courses so I have started doing it the cheap way – I’ve bought books, downloaded music and you tubed a lot vlogs online.

I am going into this with a completely open mind and a small part of me is still cynical, but according to my books I just need to change my mindset. It is that simple. So, as a novice at this business I want to blog about my hypno birthing experience – If I go through with it!

So far, it has mainly been research, reading and listening to hypno tracks weekly. These have given me a great sense of music I can listen to to calm me down and places to imagine when I am feeling stressed. I have so many places to go to in my head that are a great comfort to me, and most of them allow me to escape. One that recurs, is one that isn’t even real – me and my mum just sitting in a field where we used to walk the dog- but its gives me a great sense of calm and tranquility.

I’ve also read unbelievable accounts of women having orgasms during a hypno- birth, which still seems on the verge of crazy to me – I just cannot see that happening; opposite ends of the scale for me at the moment.

But, honestly, I really so feel much more positive about it and I definitely do not feel ‘ brainwashed.’ I cannot do much more than this and just have to persevere and eventually my thought process with change!

At 14 weeks I had this epiphany and now at nearly 24 weeks I am still going with it!

10 things that have helped me understand Hypnobirthing (without all the science language)

So how I interpret hypno birthing…. People may believe I have got it all wrong so far, but this is what I take from it:

  1. I need to think positively about birth and let all the negative emotions and words leave my brain during my whole pregnancy ( Do not use negative words like pain).
  2. If I moan about aches and pains I must tell myself or get my partner to tell me that this is what is meant to be happening and my body is making space.
  3. If I panic during birth my body with close up and cause pain.
  4. If I am calm and allow my body to relax then my body will open and give the baby room (apparently looking at pictures of flowers opening helps but I am just  not there yet).
  5. I need to be in the most calming environment possible ( if think about my senses, I need to have calming smells, calming sounds and images that keep me feeling chilled)
  6. I’m not a scientist but its all about releasing oxytocin, which speeds up birth and this can be triggered by loving and nice feelings.
  7. BREATHING! This is vital. I have been practising breathing exercises everyday to stay calm and breathing right into my stomach to give my baby room.
  8. You have to be in the, ‘birthing zone.’
  9. This is not being hynotised at all – it is about being mindful regarding your body’s motions and feelings during birth; being aware of how your body is reacting to birth and staying in control.
  10. Doing what is best for myself and being 100 percent comfortable in labour.flower

Oh and most importantly, having your partner on board, which, for me is the barrier…

…. Now I am the crazy person that people roll their eyes at,  but I just have to shake it off – positive thoughts only allowed!

It’s not your fault Mummy!

The pressure on parents is undeniable.

The constant questions; am I doing the right thing? Should I be doing this? Why is my child not doing that? Am I a good parent? Is it acceptable that my child ate a mouthful of soil from my plant pot?

I would say these are not on a monthly basis, not on a weekly basis and actually not even daily, I would say hourly (except the soil question, I do not let him do that hourly, but it has happened more times then I care to admit).

I would love to say I have complete faith in my own parenting skills, but of course I don’t. I actually believe that in certain situations, what ever they may be, all parents do what they believe is genuinely right at that moment – it’s hindsight that makes you question your decisions.

A mother once told me that her son tried to grab the steering wheel of her car and she smacked his hand away. She had felt so awful, she pulled the car over and tried to explain to her sobbing son that Mummy did this BECAUSE she loved him not because she was a mean lady. In my opinion, this is a completely natural reaction, but taken out of context, smacking is frowned upon so heavily, that this Mother was bound to feel unnecessary guilt.

Once, I was tried to explain to my one year old that the tap was hot and he could not put his hand under it. He persisted so much that in that moment I just let him try it. He immediately flinched and looked at his hand with a look of, ‘Mummy, that wasn’t nice water.’ I thought about that decision for weeks after and was so worried that others would judge me; I didn’t tell anyone about my awful parenting. He has not done it since, however, which is why I feel confident to share it now.

What worries me more than my own anxiety regarding parenting, is what others are perceiving. I’m not talking about all the time, but the times (and I talk from experience) when baby screams and will not have his nappy changed in public (yes the whole restaurant was staring when I came out of the toilet), when he will not eat his lunch in front of others (and their baby is eating all their greens beautifully) or when he screams when I take something away and instead of a scene, I’d rather just give it back.

I question myself when I give my toddler chicken nuggets, when he cries when he finishes his mini milk so I let him have mine, whenmini milk I leave him at night to get himself to sleep, when I see him eat a handful of sand, let him pull my DVDs out of the cupboard when I am too exhausted to stop him or when I whatsapp too much when I am having a quality bonding day with him.

What I do not need is someone telling me the obvious, ‘You are getting him in bad habits, giving in like that.’ I know this, but each of us have had days that are completely exhausting and you are just seeing a snippet.

Mothers are viewed as a united front; a group of people who can truly say they understand the relentlessness of parenting. We are a tribe of people who can give each other a knowing nod, a sympathetic smile and ask a loaded, ‘How are you doing?’ which has a hundred other questions between the lines. And most of the time this unspoken agreement and support helps Mothers pull through each tantrum filled, food throwing, bad day that will inevitably happen at least once a week – or definitely more than that.

I took my toddler out to the farm one day and I witnessed a simple, beautiful moment that has stuck with me.

I was waiting to change my little boy’s nappy and there was a lady in the toilet in front of me and by the sounds of it she was having one of those days. Myself and the long queue that was growing behind me could hear irritated shouts of,

“YOU WILL SIT STILL WHILST I CHANGE YOUR BROTHER’S NAPPY.”
“SIT DOWN.”
“WILL YOU STOP STANDING UP, I NEED TO CHANGE YOU.”
“THAT’S IT WE ARE NEVER COMING AGAIN.”
“I CAN’T GET YOUR TROUSERS ON.”
“WASH YOUR HANDS.”
“.. I SAID WASH YOUR HANDS”

This went on for a while, until a tired, fed up Mummy dragged a small child and toddler out, carrying enough bags to weigh a horse down.

The long line said nothing and the poor lady was clearly embarrassed as she must have assumed no one was listening. My heart went out to her. A voice within the line suddenly piped up,

“I’ve been looking at you all lunchtime, that dress you are wearing is lovely, it really suits you. Can I still get it now?”

That is all it took, one simple, flattering compliment for the lady to smile and respond. What she said I cannot quite remember, but that is irrelevant. You just know that is the moment she will take home with her, a silver lining, a comment that was not child based or judgmental, just that small comment that took away the embarrassment, but instead, drew attention to how nice she looked.

From that moment I swore to myself that this is what I will do when Mummy’s are in need of an obvious lift.

I was at the receiving end of a simple, kind gesture when I struggled into Tesco one morning. I stupidly decided to leave the buggy in the car thinking (wrongly) I could carry my heavy toddler. I got to the till, sweating and carrying way more shopping I had popped in for and obviously struggling. The lady at the self serve till kindly and quietly offered to hold my child. Yes! That would help massively! No, it is not intrusive. Thank you!

I hate that we live in a society now that somebody kind or willing to help is in the minority because of all the creepy stories on the news!

So…

Team Mummy out there, or even team Daddy, or actually anyone, trust me when I say that you should hold back judgment when you catch a two minute moment in a Mother’s day. I can nearly guarantee that whatever you see: a grab of a coat, a shout, a snatch, a sharp word or an angry look, that Mother will feel bloody awful. Personally, before I was a parent, I was so quick to turn to my husband say exclaim,

“We will not be bringing our child up like that!”

What the hell did I know?

The Mother may even cry when she gets home (because I have), she will snuggle that child at night and love him because it is not her fault!

IT IS LIFE.

It’s always because of teeth…

Help!

Seriously, help.

What do I need help with?

How do you brush a toddler’s teeth? It is like trying to brush a bouncing tennis ball (that cries and wiggles). Once that tooth brush is coming towards him, his mouth disappears into his face.

I really, really need the answer. My little boy has been sprouting teeth since he was 3 months old. To begin with it was simple; he would let me brush his little front teeth without much resistance and he even began to understand the instruction, “OPEN” (referring to his mouth, even though that also meant the washing machine, drawers, doors and shampoo bottles, but a promising start none-the-less).

Every time we head into the bathroom he gestures wildly towards the tooth brushes and toothpaste, and every single time I am so hopeful that he wants to brush his teeth, but no, he is tricking me every time and just wants to play, ‘teeth brushing.’ Then, I have to battle him to take the tube away when he tries to squirt toothpaste on the floor, or down the toilet. Today, my husband actually caught him fishing water out of the toilet bowl with the toothpaste box. He did not learn that from me. teeth

Anyway, now, he has a full set of gnashes and, my god, I cannot get near them. People always comment on the lovely mouth of teeth he has, but all I want to reply with is,

“Yes, but do they look clean to you?”

But, I do not want to look like crazy case, so instead I laugh and say honestly,

“Let’s hope that’s nearly all of them, I need sleep.” Teeth are, actually, the answer to EVERYTHING!

Not sleeping = Teeth
Whining = Teeth
Cough = Teeth
Diarrhea = Teeth
Runny nose = Teeth
Crying all through lunch with friend = Teeth
Screaming through nappy change = Teeth
…and you get the idea.

Anyway, I am completely going off topic; this is turning into a bitter rant as I sit here all blurry eyed and exhausted from a 3am teething wake up call.

So, here are some of unconventional methods we have used to brush teeth and ARE UNSUCCESSFUL.

1) Try to gently open his mouth with a toothbrush, resulting in maybe brushing one tooth slightly.
2) Give him one tooth brush to hold to distract him and sneak his toothbrush in.
3) Give him two toothbrushes to hold to distract him and sneak his toothbrush in.
4) Tickle him so he does an open mouth laugh and quickly brush teeth for 2 seconds (repeat)
5) Wait patiently for him to open his mouth (This is the worst one of the lot).
6) Squirt toothpaste directly into toddler’s mouth (thinking that as long as tooth paste enters his mouth it counts, right?)
7) One person holds his arms down and other has to wrestle a toothbrush into a pursed mouth. (HOW does a 1 year old have such a strong jaw?)
8) Brush my own teeth, in the hope that he wants to copy me because it is such a cool thing to do. (Actually, this resulted in him hitting me in the mouth with a toothbrush numerous times).
9) Our current method – holding his arms down and holding his head still. Although it sounds like torture we are gentle and is our most successful yet (Do not judge.. please). Actually, as I re read this the next day he actually started laughing when Daddy held him tonight, so to him this dental hygiene is a big joke!

I was talking to parent one morning who informed me she had taken her little one year old to the dentist. I do not think I had a response. How….? How could a dentist physically open their mouth long enough to judge the state of their teeth? Instead, I responded, ” Oh really, I must do that soon.” (….in few years maybe…is that too long?)

I have read so many horror stories about babies teeth due to milk, juice, sugar; the usual culprits. So to stop me panicking… How do you brush a toddler’s teeth successfully?

The week that changed my life…

“The Departure of life Eclipses Everything” – Call the Midwife.

 

A year ago today (when I started writing this) the contractions started. I knew as soon as felt a twinge in my back He was coming and I wasn’t scared, anxious or any of the like; I was bloody excited. I crept back into bed and actually tried not to make a fuss, but it was obvious – this was it.

daddy and harryThey did not want to come on thick or strong, however, so I sent Matt to work the next morning (as much as he disapproved). Watching his beaming face leave, was a mirror image of my own feelings. I actually didn’t tell anybody that it was happening to start with, it felt lovely being my own little secret… until lunchtime when I text my friend asking, “Is it too late to get a Mcdonalds?”

All day they were 6 minutes apart and not changing and I was actually frustrated that they weren’t getting any closer – I wanted to go to hospital and push him out! I even managed to do the washing and ironing. Crazily, I decided I would make sausage and mash for myself (Matt can’t eat sausages and all this pain deserved a treat). What an image: a contracting, fat lady trying boil and mash potatoes.

… The issue. My Mum was at home. The other side of the coin.

Going back a few weeks, Mum had collapsed again and returned to hospital. She had had a whole glorious month at home with family and friends visiting, keeping everyone positive. Continuously, she knitted (she knitted 6 months worth of jumpers for my baby which is a sad, tear jumperjerking idea, but wonderful all rolled into one). Each of us enjoyed the precious family time and we savoured every moment.

The nurses then lowered her dose of steroids, which affected her badly, and she was rushed back into hospital. Quickly, they administered another bout of tests and found that the cancer was not going to hold out till Christmas, not until my wedding in November, and not till my baby.

She had 4 weeks – it was everywhere.

Dr Doom, as Mum called him, had told us in hushed tones that end of life care had to be organised. Did Mum want a visit from the vicar? In actual fact, Mum did not want to know anything; she continued to be chirpy and laugh at other patients and come up with quirky nicknames for the doctors. The cracks, however, were starting to show, and she was beginning to have muddled memories and confused morning phone calls. Each morning I rung her from work and just wanted her to answer, please still be here this morning. 

She obviously knew she had cancer, but the extent of it, to Mum, was not necessary. This begs the question, would I want to know? We always discuss if Mum actually knew, would it have changed her mentality? If she did know, would she have given up after four weeks?

That is the shit thing about cancer, it doesn’t stop for anyone, no matter what is happening in life – it’s selfish, it’s unforgiving and it’s so bloody unfair. Why the hell didn’t it stop growing? Why couldn’t it wait? Why couldn’t it understand that Mum was the best Mother and let her enjoy the life she deserved?? Words can not even describe her, or do her justice and Cancer chose her! I wouldn’t wish for someone else instead because I do not want it to affect anyone, it can just fuck off and leave everyone to grow old and allow people to meet their grandchildren, see their children marry and let them enjoy retirement.

…Back to contractions. There I was, anticipating my child and I had a phone call from my brother.

“You have to come home, I think this is it.”

“Henry, I can’t I’m having my baby.”

It was pointless arguing it. Within twenty minutes, I was in the car, in labour, about to say goodbye to my Mum forever.

Laying there, she was not the Mum I remember. She had nurses coming three times day to clean and change her. She was on countless amounts of morphine and was doing everything possible to keep going. This, unbelievably, was nine weeks after her four week diagnosis. I had hobbled in and hugged her like always. It was pretty obvious that this baby was coming and what did she say? What did my dying Mother say to me?

I wish I could have your pain. 

I do not think there is anymore explanation needed to describe her character. See, Cancer, that is the kind of women you have taken away. Happy?

I could not stay long and had to guiltily go home. I had to walk away not knowing what was going to happen first…

The contractions were getting stronger and stronger and by the following morning they were four minutes apart, I was being sick and I was concerned for the baby’s movements. Eventually, I was allowed in. Those pesky nurses are so adamant that you have to wait so long. Do they not know it hurts!?

Once I got to hospital I was only two centimetres dilated (WHAT? ONLY TWO?) and was told to go for a long walk and they put these tags on me. They also gave me a paracetamol – Ha! Was that a joke? A bloody paracetamol- that will get me through labour. I went for a little waltz down the corridor and had a little bounce on the ball. The nurse looked at me like I was stupid.

“No, go outside, walk around the block.”

Oh, I see the tags were for if I got lost!? Or decided I did not want to go through with it and run away!? Off I trotted and when I came back I exclaimed that it was time for Gas and Air. I was four centimetres and when the nurse (also called Mary, weirdly enough, well I though it was weird but I was high on Gas) told me she could feel hair, the pin dropped – there was a human inside me! I was sure I wanted a completely natural birth and Gas and Air was the extent of my pain relief. Little did I know.

Now, I do not like to talk about my birth like it was the worst thing in history, or it was bad because every birth is bad, no matter who you are. But in a nutshell, he did not want to come out; my cervix swelled up, they had to burst my waters and when they did, it was blood, I was moved to a special unit (I had refused to go anywhere without Gas and Air and the Nurse had told me suck the nozzle and pretend. Halfway down the corridor I did just that. What a plonker I must have looked), they recommended I have an epidural, I begrudgingly had one, it caused my blood pressure to drop meaning my baby’s dropped, I had to be put on oxygen and adrenaline and had constant monitoring.

My baby’s heartbeat was up and down for hours and eventually they suggested a c-section. Matt got all dressed up and ready to go and as we got there his heartbeat dropped completely and I was knocked out. Stubbornly, I wouldn’t drink the weird black stuff to knock me out, but it was forced down my throat. I also had a blood transfusion, which I didn’t know about for ages until I read it in my notes months later. Gas and air clearly was not going to cut it for me.

Next think I knew, I felt my tummy and there was no baby. He was out and he was being carried over to me. My first question – “Is he cute?” first picWhat an idiot! He was fine actually, a perfect little boy. Unbeknownst to me, my whole family had already seen my baby and so had my Mum.

She had done it, she had lived to see him. What is really sad is that I had spoken to Mum that Sunday morning and I do not remember it, I was so high on drugs. I do not know what she said, however hard I think. Sometimes I think I do but I think it is just my imagination, just wishful thinking. Sometimes, I make up in my head what she said, or what I know she would have said.

Having a baby is the most magical feeling, but my head was in two places. I felt on a different planet that Sunday. I was in the same hospital Mum had been, for the complete opposite reason. I vaguely remember Dad dadcoming alone, but Mum wanting him home in case…

I had in influx of visitors including Matt’s Mum, Dad and Sister and all I remember is the amount of food they bought (typical Italians).

On Monday, after my first night alone with my child, it all sunk in. I was a Mother and I was ready to go home and enjoy our family. But, because I had had a traumatic birth they wanted me to stay in. I was harrisonthrown into absolute panic. I had to go home, Mum had to meet him! Thankfully, within a few hours, I was deemed fit enough to go.

We did not even go home, we went straight to Mum. (Mcdonalds first actually, but that’s irrelevant). And when we walked in, she actually tried to jump up, she was so excited. Everything inside me, was so happy that she could cuddle him – or lay him next to her as she couldn’t really move. But she did it, he lay with Grandma and I can say that she did it; that she loved him so much that she was not going anywhere until she met him. The image sticks with me forever, where she lay there patting him and him wriggling around. It was amazing really. Christ, it’s hard to remember.mum

One more time, the next day, we went back. The nurses said that they had not seen such a rapid decline in a patient. She was gone, mentally. I went over to hug her and cliche as it may be, her last words to me were

Mummy loves you. 

The phone call came later that week.

There we have it. She was gone.

The more I think about it (especially approaching Harrison’s birthday) the more amazing she was. I would love to say that she went peacefully and in her sleep, but she didn’t. She was in pain, as much as I hate to say it. She had to go, she could not live like that anymore; she was not Mum laying in that bed; she was a shadow of herself and she would not have wanted to live without dignity.

As a mother now, I cannot understand how she did it five times over; had five children. I do not think I can ever live up to her standard, to do the amount she did for us each and everyday – the hours and love she dedicated to family. She was the epitome of a Mother; what you imagine in films and books – the dictionary definition.

This past year has allowed to me reflect and realise, even more so, what a truly fantastic, giving person she was, to raise a family as successfully as she did is harder than any job in the world. She put all her heart into us and if I could be even a tiny bit like her, I would be happy.

Bloody hell I love her.

Work, work, work….

“I just can’t face it, I might call in sick.”

“What’s the matter?”

“I have to go back to work on Monday.”

My response was something I never thought I would say; I never thought that I could confidently, believably tell anyone the following:

“Really, You will be fine. It really isn’t as bad as you think it will be.”

I then received a highly doubtful look from this stranger in the swimming changing room. I had been eavesdropping slightly and I felt the overwhelming need to tell this lady my views on the impending matter. Why? Because I felt like I was looking at myself just last week; that sad look, the fear and anxiety. I felt like I needed to tell this Mother; that it was my duty to tell this Mother that the day will come and it will be, ‘Okay.’

She obviously did not think too much of my advice because she just walked out after, I will put that down to the fact she thought I was a fibbing stranger, or some nutter who desperately wanted conversation.

I am writing this now because as people may know from my previous post, I was dreading the beginning of being a, ‘working Mummy.’ It is in my character to over think, over worry and over analyse; I like to psyche myself up too certain events and come to terms with them. This part if me has led to many disagreements between myself and hubby, ‘Just chill out Mary.’ ‘Why are you getting so worked up?’ ‘Why worry?’ And, most certainly, now my son was involved multiply this ten fold, so this is to reassure all Mummies, like the lady in the changing room, that you will definitely worry (let’s be realistic) but life will go on – happily.

Anyway, Monday came and I decided that I would treat this as my first working week, as I started Wednesday. I can honestly say that if my baby snugglecould talk he would have most definitely have told me to, ‘get off Mummy,’ because I have never hugged and kissed another human being so much in my life! I assume this was the guilt kicking in. I claim that he definitely knew something was going on, every time I sat down, he snuggled me back and he is not the most cuddly baby; he likes his own space (he wouldn’t even hold my hand when he learnt to walk!)

Wednesday was actually fine, I feel bad saying it, but I was a bit excited. I felt like this was the beginning of a new chapter. I even got my outfit out the night before (yes I tried it on) because let’s be honest, a new outfit makes us all feel great. I toddled into school and what do I find? It’s Eid and we had 19 children in! I had nothing to do….except think about what was going on at home.

Daddy was actually out buying the little one his first pair of shoes and was so excited about his bonding day (although he didn’t actually get the shoes due to a stubborn little man who wouldn’t uncurl his toes) but this did not phase him, saying that he had, ‘THE BEST DAY EVER,’ with his son (Stuff our wedding day or the day he was born!)

Even this, however, did not bother me too much because I was actually enjoying being back. It genuinely felt like I had never left, except now I was bump less. I had great pleasure chatting to actual adults, going to the daddy and harrisontoilet, sitting down for lunch. Daddy sent me so many pictures, and instead of being jealous I was happy that they were having some bonding time, that Daddy was getting his share of his son – plus I was secretly hoping he would find it a bit tricky (When I got home, the house was spotless, dinner was on and they had had a fantastic day. This isn’t a joke, it genuinely happened. I felt so mean, I didn’t even mention it because when he gets home there are toys everywhere, dinner is vaguely prepped and I have a crying child on my leg – half the time. I thought this was maybe a one off, but it hasn’t been, the next baby I’m having he is taking the year off).

Thursday and Friday were so much harder; the novelty had worn off, especially on Friday when I had to listen to him crying at the door. I mean, It was still ‘fine’ when I got to work and I tried to keep as busy as possible, but leaving him actually was quite painful. Every time someone asked me about my son I had to stop myself from boring people with my baby stories because, let’s face it Mummies, we could win competitions talking about our children. I could have spent hours telling people in minute detail about his sleep and feeding patterns (not that he really has a pattern). By the end of the day, I think everyone I came into contact with knew he had gone for a shoe fitting. I just wanted to be with him and share his day.

By the time it hit lunchtime I was clock watching and zoomed out at half past 3. I was angry at every red light I hit and when Hubby asked me to stop at Tesco to get some mundane purchase I got so irritable. JUST LET ME COME HOME. Why was the universe stopping me?

…I do not think the little man knew I had gone. I assume at this age they have no concept of time! I was playing a super long game of peek-a-boo for all he knew.

My biggest positive about going back to work – I feel Daddy understands a lot more now. He definitely helped a lot before and has always been a fantastic Dad (I hope he is not reading this because I do not want to inflate his ego), but when Saturday morning came and I was exhausted from my first week, he got up, got the little man dressed and fed without me even knowing. I woke up to the sunshine gleaming through the window, baffled that I had not been woken up by babbling. It made such a difference having an extra hour in bed.

He also does the night feeds now every time I have work in the morning and after a year of doing pretty much all of them, I feel like a new women being able to function; it makes such a difference.

Signing off…

After all the panic and sleepless nights, it has been fine and I’m actually enjoying it. I just sat here and realized I’m not working tomorrow and I think I genuinely appreciate these days so much more now! I do not even mind the night shifts now and just want to hold on to him and enjoy the moment because I know that time will go even quicker now I am even more preoccupied; I do not mind getting up at 5am because I get a couple of hours before work to play and give him breakfast.

I enjoy getting the updates and seeing the masterpieces that Daddy has dressed the little man up in. I showed someone a picture the other morning – the shoe fitting day- and someone commented that Daddy had dressed him like a prisoner. lunch

I enjoy seeing that he has taken him out to lunch (or more recently taking him on Pokemon hunts). He is definitely making the most of it because In September Nonna is having him and I think he is squeezing my years worth of fun into three weeks!

I absolutely loved having the year off, but I am so much more excited about this next chapter…

Do you mind if I move this?

Recently, I have been experiencing something that I never thought would be an issue – another parenting problem that I was never warned about. It is the ominous fact that at some point (or quite frequently, depending on who you are), you are going to have to  VISIT OTHER PEOPLES HOUSES!

This sounds like such an obvious statement, I mean, we cannot lock ourselves in our four walls – we would go slightly mental. We also cannot stick our babies to the walls which means that this is a new challenge to embrace. I know many Mothers will be saying,

“Who care’s what others think. Let babies be babies.”

But I am not one of these parents, I worry.

On a positive note, let me begin by saying how delighted I was when the little man started to crawl. I was the proudest parent in the world, it was  truly a tear in the the eye moment. He could venture out, and touch things and not get frustrated. How exciting – until he got in my cupboard and smashed my plates.

When he started to cruise with confidence, I would proudly watch him circle a room with ease (In my house I would add).

Now he is near walking (since beginning this blog he is walking, seriously where has my baby gone?). Now, however,  I want him to learn to sit still when told – especially when there is breakables in the vicinity. Not even walking 2just breakables, I want him to steer clear of most things that are not his toys. He managed to reach a book on a high shelf the other morning and although I am seriously happy with his love of books, I was not happy with the fact that he not only lifts the flaps, he rips them off and eats them… like a goat.

Now, I am a parent that goes a bit stir crazy when I am sat in all day, so I try to venture out each day (not easily I may add, I’m sat here at 12:37pm still in my pajamas, obviously blogging and not getting ready to leave, as baby naps). But eventually, I will get out to other peoples homes…

My word, the anxiety I feel when I realise I have to put my child down, over the threshold, of someone else’s house. The anxiety level is dependent, in my opinion,  of three things:

1). The tidiness, cleanliness and amount of ‘ bits and bobs’ in the house.(especially when they are within reach. Hopefully there is nothing breakable/edible at ground level.) One time My little man decided to to take a bite out each apple when discovered a ground floor fruit bowl.

At ground floor level, at my friends house, is an Xbox. Now, my baby does not even pull it out, he just switches the button on….off….on…off…on…off. And it beeps every time; I cringe every time. Every time I try and stop him he uses his full force to go and start the process gain. We have tried to cover it up with pillows, cards even my own body by, but there is obviously something magical about that little Xbox button. Also, My husband is a game player, and I know I would not want to be responsible for my friend’s husband losing all his hard earned game achievements if this button pressing is damaging. At the said friend’s house he even managed to get hold of the phone and ring her mother- in-law. What is it with electric items? Why are small hands drawn towards them? (note to self, take speed dials off phone).

2). Do they a have children? I am not childist at all, but there is a different level of understanding when a household has children, because at some point they will probably come round yours return the favour.

wrappersWhen I have other children come round mine now, I have a new level of understanding; Really, I genuinely mean it – It is fine that they are sick on the sofa, it is fine they have trodden cheese into the floor, it is fine that bash My little Man’s toys and draw on the place mats. (I am honestly not being sarcastic, because I really hope if Mine does it back you will be equally understanding).

3). The level of friendship you have with them.This is a huge factor. Twice, my little man  tipped over a plant pot in doors. Once, was at a close friends and I knew it would be no problem, she just laughed and exclaimed that the floor needed a clean anyway (and breath.) Even though I knew she meant it, it did not stop me continually picking up soil for the rest of our chat and popping it back in the pot.

The second happened in uncharted territory and I think I just over panicked, but it was at my best friend’s Mum’s house who had a pristine white carpet (EeeeK). I was standing talking and I didn’t even see the suspect plant pot, I definitely knew about it when it was all over his, hands, legs, floor, carpet (I swear this soil was extra dark and mushy, or the shine of  a white room made it look worse). I literally could have cried on the spot; I was so embarrassed.  I apologised profusely, but the deed was done and said Mum was actually fine. I think I made the situation more obvious with my panicked, babbling, ‘sorry, sorry, so sorry, I’ll help tidy it up, please let me help,’ at about 5 thousand miles an hour.

Basic trip out to a house (Timings obviously vary)

10:00 : Judge whether the little man in in a good mood and decide to leave house.

10:30: Yes! he has pooed, hopefully that means we may not to have a public nappy change.

11:00: Leave house, with a jammed pack bag of toys for distraction.

11:30: Arrive at destination. Scan the room. Zone in on ominous looking objects that can be thrown or moved. Ask if you can move them, or casually move them anyway.

11:35: Baby has found his toys and I can have a quick conversation.

11:40: Baby is bored of toys and has found ANYTHING ELSE.

11:50: I am now juggling about 5 objects that I have moved out of reach. Also asked a million time, ‘ do you mind him touching that?’

12:00: Given baby a snack for distraction.

12:05: Baby has made an absolute mess of the snack and I am trying to sneakily tidy it up.

12:15: Stairs are found.

12:30 – He is getting irrate because I am  pulling him away from most things that he desperately wants to touch. I feel awful because he is just curious and wants to look and investigate.

Now, sometimes I am in a crazy sweat by this point and my hair has gone frizzy. Depending on where I am, I either go home feeling sweaty and like I had just run a 10k or I stick it out if he is not posing a danger to himself.

Signing off….

I do not want anybody thinking I am crazy and this issue is keeping me awake at night, but at times I do get myself in abit of a worried state. The main reason is because I am torn between not wanting to disrupt the dishwasherbalance in other peoples homes and just letting my little Man be a baby, and let him explore. I have found the best situation is to meet people out and about and everybody is happy, but this is one of the many ways in which your life will change when you become a mother. Long gone are the days of long gossips over coffee and giving friends full attention because you will, and you will want to, talk and chat your child. You will want to teach them and play even when others are around (even if it is learning they can’t touch everything).  I can say, easily, that for ages I was the only one in my group of friends with a baby and the real friends will not care about any of the above issues and always, always welcome you with open arms, regardless of the chaos that we now bring. I have friends that love it, and family embrace it like it has always happened, and even though I still feel anxious when I have an approaching visit, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Cuddle Fairy

Moogles: Head Bobbing, Head Banging & Finger Painting

Here a few ‘Mummy Googles’ from the past week, the first sent me into a slightly hysterical state…

Is head bobbing normal?

So, in the last few days, my little man started this gentle bobbing of the head. I’m not talking heavy metal head action (although that is Daddy’s preferred music and whilst brewing in my belly, he did go to a few of his gigs, so maybe?). He does it with this smile on his face, so to start with I smiled and did it back – not really acknowledging it, but grinning along. After a few days, we went to the grandparent’s and I heard Nonna, laughing, exclaiming, ‘What is this head nodding business he has started? I shrugged it off and replied, ‘I know, he is nuts. Maybe it is his way of talking.‘ It was, however, starting to niggle me, because although he looks pretty happy, it does look strange!

The nodding, however, continued and eventually Daddy asked if something was wrong. What? No? There’s nothing wrong! Does it look like there’s something wrong? Enter Google. This was the first thing I found:

I worry that it could be Tourrete’s, or epilepsy, or worse yet, a brain tumor or something equally serious.

What? I let panic sink in momentarily before convincing myself that I had stumbled across a super paranoid Mum extract. I tried, at this point, to tell him to stop. He didn’t stop – maybe he couldn’t hear me over the bobbing. I rapidly clicked on every other possible site I could, including trusty Net mums!

Everyone else in the Mum-sphere was telling me that at around 10 months this is completely normal and they are pretty much just getting in touch with their bodies and experimenting with their movements. Phew! All of the above problems do not develop until they are older, and would not come to light at 10 months old. What I thought was a crazy Moogle had been Googled by hundreds of other mums and many have convinced me that this is normal development, however nutty baby looks!

Obviously, if you are more concerned about their movements, call a doctor, but I think the happy, smiley nodding that my little fella does is development. When Daddy came home and gestured to the bobbing I confidently told him not to panic, let him nod away! One mother suggested that maybe they are imitating pets, which, I think, is a little bit cute.

What to do when baby bangs his head?

We have a stone garden, what a nightmare! Now, we have some soft mats outside because one traumatic afternoon, whilst hanging with baby friends, my little man decided that the stone flooring was the perfect place for a forehead plant. We had been having a little inside picnic, but even the snacks were not enough to keep him from wanting to be in the sunshine!

He had very, very carefully managed to manoeuvre himself over a small step and once he had done that I thought that was the hardest part. Therefore, I turned away for split second and I heard a ‘booof.‘ Evidently, he had carried on crawling slightly too enthusiastically and slipped, banging his head.

Silence. Really sad face. CRYING.

Now, I am a very chilled out parent, perhaps too laid back at times, but I can tell you now, that I was concerned.  Even the mother that I was with grinned worryingly and exclaimed, ‘He will be fine, just keep an eye on him.’  Funnily enough, she was on Google before I was, telling me that he just shouldn’t sleep. In time of emergency, I had been out-Googled.

He had fallen straight to sleep. OH MY GOD! This must be serious. And look at the size of it! I sent a picture straight to Daddy who responded – ‘that is bumpnot small Mary’ – Great, that made me feel worse. I already felt like I had ruined his perfect little face.

After moogling on many, many sites these are the top things to keep an eye out for with a head bang.

  1. You can not tell how serious a head injury is in a baby, so keep an eye on them for 24 hours.
  2. Put a cold compress on the bump – frozen peas wrapped in tea towel will do (if they let you.)
  3. Watch out for vomiting, seizures dizziness and irregular breathing.
  4. Stay away from rough and tumble play for a bit (lots of cuddles I say).
  5. Try not to worry, it does not make you a bad parent. I felt horrible for days, but things happen.

It turns my little man was absolutely fine, and when he woke he was back to grinning like a loony, resisting the ice pack, but happy. It seems, according to Google, bumps happen ALL THE TIME, DO NOT PANIC.

Can you buy edible finger paints?

I loved the idea of messy play. I was, however, having the issue that my soillittle man is still eating/chewing everything. I tried jelly – wanted to eat it. I tried spaghetti – wanted to eat it. I tried sand – successfully ate it. Nonna even tried playing with him the other day with soil and he actually loved it, so I tried it at home – he found a snail and tried to eat it. I’m not sure if part of it was actually eaten, I like to pretend it was just an injured snail and had lost some of its shell previously

Anyway, I got an invite to a ‘finger painting party’. I immediately started looking at where I could buy these magical paints. Now, on maternity wage I cannot afford to splash out and it seemed that these paints were a fortune. Texting my friend, she told me I can make them! Naively, I had never thought about that. So, for all you mummy friends that are stuck for ideas and, yes, I am stealing the idea (but isn’t that what being a mummy is about?) here are a couple of links to help.

There are actually lots of different methods, but here is one that I used, using corn flour which costs about £2.00 (which you can probably find down the back of the couch). It’s stolen from the imagination tree. I did find, however, that it can go slightly stodgy and obviously cleaning up is tricky because cornflour and water make a sticky gloop; this is messy play though. Just make sure that you do not over heat it too!

If you are not concerned about your baby eating sugar, then this is a little tastier (see to the right) and is equally simple to make. I actually used brown sugar because I had no white in, which made it that little bit more crazy. I also used corn flour instead of corn starch. finger paints

There are also some lovely ideas on learn play imagine, including using yoghurt and fruit! It goes to show that fun can be inexpensive! I read that you can use chocolate to let them paint with, but knowing my little greedy guts, he would eat the whole lot!

Signing off…

So, if any mummies have any great messy play ideas that are cheap and cheerful, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

And please do not worry if your child is going through any quirky habits, it doesn’t matter, because it seems that all children do at some point; it is just the way they are. I just nod back at my little fella now and it makes him laugh!

Why go back to work?

I was about to write the end of my story for the blog but I cannot for two reasons:

  1. I’m finding it hard to revisit the past, and it is taking longer to put into words than I thought.
  2. I AM GOING BACK TO WORK AND I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!

Yes, after a year and a bit out of work I am finally going back. Eeeek! The next few sentences may make you believe I am an overprotective Mother who just needs to get on with life, but, in fact, I am quite laid back and these are completely new emotions and I’m not quite sure how to express them.

Working, feels like it’s going to be a challenge in itself, even without coming home to a family. Suddenly, I am having nightmares about planning lessons, marking books, playground duty, behaviour management and staff meetings (that shortened list fills me with dread already and I actually loved my job). I didn’t haave time for all this ‘before’ so how on earth am I going to have time now? Especially if the little man and I have a ‘dodgy night.’ Right now I have an inner monologue playing, Most mothers do it, you can too!

Please tell me, working mums, that you feel the same as me and these are normal feelings; terrified, guilty, anxious, sick, nervous and maybe a tad excited. How can one person feel this? Surely all these emotions are going to make my heart pop!  How will my baby cope without me and the more scary question: how will I cope without him? The idea of passing him over to someone else fills me with unimaginable panic. I keep telling myself that so many mothers do it and this is part of life, but I just want to cry. Can someone out there tell me that I am not being over-dramatic. I am so worried about silly stuff: Will he forget me when I’m gone? Will he even notice? He might even hurt himself and I won’t be there to give him a kiss and cuddle and make him feel better. I know that these feelings are only present because he is so little, but after a year of his constant company and, well, for his whole life, it’s daunting to just wake up one morning and say, “Bye, I’m off to work.” I’m hoping that when he goes off to school or his first sleepover, these thoughts would have diminished somewhat (or I hope they have and I won’t be a crazy mother sitting in a tree with binoculars).

When I originally found out I was pregnant, I was no way in a million years taking a year off work; I would be bored out of my brains and couldn’t possibly fill EVERY day! I was taking 6 months max. Then the little man came along and I begged the question, ‘How can I leave him after 6 months?’ After a discussion with the hubby, we agreed 9 months was fine.

But 9 months rolled around way to fast and it was easily decided that I would be off for the year. I do not even think we discussed it, we just plodded along and hubby never asked, so I didn’t have to explain. Actually, I was gradually becoming more and more in denial that I would ever have to come out of my little home/baby bubble.

Then I began to question my original, pre-pregnancy notion that I would have to go back full time. I felt like I had an epiphany when I realised that mothers do not go always back full time! 4 days would be lovely! A wonderful 3 day weekend with my boy. What more could I ask for?

… 3 days. I could just do 3 days. I was dubious about suggesting this to hubby because I could hear him questioning the financial issues (eurgh, so grown up). But he agreed and this is what we settled on. And in about three weeks time I will be starting this new part time mummy, part time teacher role and how am I feeling? Terrified. I am literally counting down the days, hoping that some sort of miracle will happen and time will stop. Sitting here now, I know without even checking its 23 days. Many people will be telling me to suck it up and get on with it! So, I will attempt this; I will list things that I am excited about in a brave attempt to feel better (this post is genuinely my attempt to wipe away any anxiety I have).

What to look forward to as a working mummy

(I actually stopped writing here to sleep on it – so now it’s 22 days).

  1. I would like to think I’ll get a hot drink.
  2. I can have adult conversations, or conversations that are not all baby related.
  3. I can look forward to seeing my baby at the end of the day (absence makes the heart grow fonder).
  4. I will have money again, without asking hubby to borrow his bank card for a coffee; I can have a little bit of independence back.
  5.  My hubby may cook dinner if he gets home first.
  6. My little man will get to spend quality time with his Nonna and Grandad (who are looking after him – is it normal to feel a little bit jealous?)
  7. I will still get to wake up to his happy face and and put him to bed.
  8. I can still bath him and read him his bedtime story.
  9. I can make food without the fear of having my trousers pulled down.
  10. I will have purpose (outside of being a mummy) by doing what I trained four years to do.
  11. I get to buy a new work wardrobe – with clothes that haven’t been stretched with a bulging belly.
  12. I won’t be expected to do ALL the mundane chores around the house.
  13. I can use my money to spoil my little man without justification – or even book us a little holiday!
  14. I can go to the toilet without an audience, or someone sat on my lap.bathroom

Right now that is all I can think of!

I keep telling myself that I have to go back, of course I do, I have a mortgage to pay and bills. This is what life for my little boy will be and he will always have a working mum, so this is just the beginning of the next chapter of his life, and, eventually, he will not know any different. Also, these extra pennies will give him extra luxuries in life. This, of course, is the adult in me talking – the sensible, sane version of myself.

Signing off

Please, if anyone out there is a working mummy, reassure me that it’s fine that I am going back to work, that my little man will be okay and he will still love me the same, even if I am not home all the time.

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!

Just Google It: Lunch, Separation Anxiety & Melon Skins

I am sure that at least 90 percent – no, I think nearer 98 percent of mothers (and possibly dads, aunties, brothers, grandparents or just caring friends) have dived into the depths of Google to search for parenting phoneadvice or just reassurance that they are doing the best for their child.

I am also sure that many of these marathon Googling sessions took place in the dark of the night, in the early hours of the morning, whilst millions of other mothers were in the same situation, tapping rapidly at their phones and sending, probably, the same questions whilst trying to comfort a crying child. (I find that almost a magical image: many are sleeping peacefully, but the glow of phones and iPads are dotted like stars around the world, held by the tired mummies and daddies that are forever striving to solve the mysteries of their helpless babies).

I am also pretty sure that Google has told you that your child has something drastically wrong with them, or has sent you into a mild panic that your baby has not reached milestones, is not eating enough, or should most definitely be sleeping through the night at seven weeks old, thus sending you into a hysterical meltdown that your child is different to everyone else and you must definitely be doing something wrong! In a previous blog post I have discussed controlled crying and after reading a heated debate on a mummy site, I was being accused of neglect and I honestly felt depressed about my techniques for a few days. You may, then, as I did, throw rhetorical questions at your other half.

“Am I doing something wrong?”

“What’s wrong with my child?”

“Shall we take him to the doctors?”

“Is this normal?”

Obviously, your other half should NEVER actually answer these because, let’s be honest, Google must know best! (In my house, if husband has answered or questioned me back, it has spiraled into a sobbing ‘discussion’. He actually took my phone off me today, stating that everything I read upsets me, so just bloody put it away – all in caring way, of course!)

Everyone will tell you that you should not Google, but EVERYONE does it! So, I have decided to create a section where I sum up answers to my most Googled questions. There are, in fact, too many to put in one post so this is deserving of its own category!

Here are three, of many,  ‘Mummy Googles’ (can I call them Moogles?). There will be more to follow in up coming blog posts. 

What can I give my 10-month-old for lunch?

I genuinely cannot think of new things everyday to give my little man for lunch. He is already scarily stubborn and likes to feed himself and purees actually make him sick now. He has a love of all things carby; bread, image1potatoes, crumpets, pasta and I think as long as I mix it up with a bit of fruit, veg, cheese and yogurts everyday, maybe fish or beans, I feel content. What do I do on days he doesn’t fancy eating? Obviously Google it, or give him a banana. If he is waving his arms excitedly when eating, what more could I want? Today, However, I made the mistake of Googling lunch ideas and, wow, I felt inadequate! image4Please tell me that not all parents make salmon risotto for lunch, or minty lamb stew and what on earth is baby kedgeree? Am I just a terrible mother, that my little man just likes a cheese and tomato sandwich?

The metaphorical advice that I read, and the one I will stick with, is the notion of baby eating the rainbow. Picture what they eat throughout the day and if it’s full of colour, they most probably have eaten what they need!

Is separation anxiety normal?

I actually listened to someone once saying that their child must be cleverer than most because at six months they were suffering from ‘separation anxiety’. (Seriously? Feel free to roll your eyes too!) I was told that this is due to their memory developing. I didn’t think much of it because I had not experienced it yet, but, three nights ago I felt the full force of it; every time I left the room he went MAD. I was completely baffled, but after Googling it, the diagnosis was unanimous. Other beads of wisdom that were the consequence of this question were: that it can last until they are four (WHAT?!), to try and practice separation during the day (peek-a-boo is not effective enough) and minimise scary television (I best turn the Walking Dead off then… JOKE!) There was some really useful advice too, but nothing would work immediately; it had to be practiced over time and I wanted to sleep NOW! (It actually lasted five hours in the end, no, it didn’t feel like five hours, it WAS five hours of screaming).

My husband was really poorly at the time (not man flu, actually real flu) and I did not want baby to catch it, so what did I do? I lay on my child’s bedroom floor with him in my arms and fell asleep. Tiredness can make you do crazy things. According to Google this is not the correct way to deal with SA, but in answer to my actual question (see above), yes, it is completely normal; do not panic, it is not just you, you are doing nothing wrong and you can’t stop it!

What happens if baby eats the skin of a melon?

Yes, this happened. I had very, very lovingly cut up melon pieces into triangles for a snack (I was loading the dishwasher and I needed a distraction). I had done this many times before and he usually uses it to chew as it was chunky enough to not be a choke risk. He had eagerly taken a piece and I zoomed off to empty the dishwasher. I came back and the melon was gone – totally, all gone. I assumed he had got bored and thrown it somewhere, however, I searched high and low and it had vanished; eaten. (Since then the house has been tidied and furniture moved and it image3was definitely GONE). He was perfectly happy though- actually reaching out for more.

What did Google say about this? Nothing (that I can see). Clearly no other baby has been hungry enough to eat the skin of a melon. Or no other parent has been awful enough to not chop the skin off. I knew my child has quite a lot of teeth, but I didn’t think  he could stomach that! After Googling, I could tell you that melon is a healthy snack, list the name of melons and when they are in season, but are the skin of melons deadly if digested by an infant? Who knows? This was a terrifying fact – Google could not answer me. I glanced at my child, who was not choking, not coming up in any rash, and just wanted to stack cups. I try not to think about the incident of the ghostly melon skin now and just glance a lot in his direction when this is the chosen snack.

As there was no real answer, I have made up my own: cut the skin off, give baby an apricot instead, or just keep an eye on baby if you have any inking that he a might monster chewer.

Signing off

I have many more Google (Moogle) questions to chat about, but, for now, I will leave it at that.

Please be assured that you are not alone.

And feel free to share any of your Moogles in the comments section below!

Nap ‘O’ Clock

I love my child, but some days don’t you look forward to those precious moments when it’s, ‘Nap Time.’ Those few moments in a day where you can just BREATH, without chasing after them, making sure that your keys aren’t going down the toilet, the toilet paper/baby wipes aren’t making baby look like a mummy, baby isn’t getting stuck under a chair (or is that just mine?) or playing heartwarming games of peek-a-boo and trying to get that wonderful baby giggle.

I have such big plans for ‘Nap ‘o’ Clock’ each day…

  1. Make  a lovely cup of HOT coffee. I may even make a fancy cappuccino with my fancy milk frother.
  2. Get as much washing in the washing machine as possible. I try and narrow it down to two washes – light and dark. There is not enough napping time to sort out the ‘in between’ colours. I can forget the ‘hand-wash only’ items until daddy is home – or forget them altogether.
  3. Head to the ironing board with the intention of ironing a whole batch, but giving up after 2 items. Once I actually did half a shirt and thought, “stuff this!”
  4. Turn on Netflix and see how many episodes I can squeeze in. My chosen guilty pleasure at the moment is ‘Gossip Girl’ (again!) or ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ But feel free to replace this with your chosen box set. Judge me, if you wish, but I tend to catch up on ‘Teen Mom’ or (recorded) ‘Catfish.’ If I make it to a second episode it’s a sign it will be a good day!
  5. Bring the washing in. Again. I struggle doing the full job. My friends laugh at how long I leave washing out for, or that it’s out in the rain, or they ask, ‘Is it the same batch that was out there 3 days ago?’ (Wow, this is making me feel lazy!) But, come on, socks and knickers seem to take forever to get off the line!
  6. Make something to eat, without thinking, ‘Can my baby eat this, if he wants some?’ Today I splashed out and made a salmon and cream cheese bagel! (I am so sophisticated) I even wondered if I had time for two because who knows when I would eat again? Some days I binge eat during ‘Nap ‘O’ clock’ and I know some of you reading this do as well!
  7. Tidy -ish. Dump all baby toys in a corner, wipe down sides (with a baby wipe or a sock), empty half the dishwasher (I’m starting to understand why the hubby calls me ‘half-a-job Mary’).
  8. Look at the hoover.
  9. Wash. Have a really quiet shower, trying not to wake the baby. Sometimes I even have time to wash my hair, or shave a leg or two (gasp!) Today, I discovered a bath is possible, if it’s quick. I found myself thinking that spirt frogthis was the equivalent of a Mummy Spa morning! Even with the Vtech singing frog squirting water.
  10. Do make up – sometimes I have to prioritise and if I know I’m going out for the day, make up comes quite high up on the list. I know, however, I can do it in under 5 minutes if I need to! (Erase this job if you do not plan on going out, or just nipping to the shop. I may, however, have multi-tasked and done it during Catfish.)
  11. Google stuff (and decide to write a  blog about favourite things to google as parent).
  12. Facebook stalk – everybody you can.
  13. Play ‘Cooking fever’ on my phone. Can I get three stars before the little man wakes up. One time I heard him crying and had to PAUSE my game! (The cheek of it).
  14. My favourite one – sit and do absolutely nothing and just wait. Worried that if I start a job (let’s be honest, I clearly do not finish them) I will just have to stop anyway. So, its just an hour of living on the edge.

Please note that in my world, none of the above include napping. I think I only napped when baby was asleep a few times because, now, I think that being asleep is a waste of this this precious, precious time!

I say all this, but one morning the little man had a three hour nap, and I was, actually, BORED! Yes, it’s true, I found that I had nothing to do and I kept creeping into his room to see if he was nearly waking up! I was in his room when he decided to wake up and I could see, on his face, he was baffled that he didn’t need to cry to get me.

All this has left me thinking, what on earth did I do before baby?