11

Making a Comeback

Turns out I’m not such a slummy mummy! I know! those of you who have seen me answer the door in just my pjs and odd socks with a baby slung on my hip may find it hard to believe, but, 9 months of maternity leave and a er…… Break from blogging opened my eyes a little.
Turns out I’m just a perfectionist who takes on too much. 

I’d have felt a fraud if I’d continued blogging in this time, great excuse right! But it’s true. Following nergs birth I actually turned into Martha fikkin stewart!!

Septembers a good time to be born… Oh I’m not talking about the academic school year, although, as a late August baby I know this will be advantageous to him, but actually, it means mummy is work free for the most important milestones…… I’m talking about Halloween, Christmas and Easter. Bonding time with baby is good too

I spent the first few months alternating between boobing baking, cleaning, and box sets. All those buffy and Dawsons creek episodes that had built up over the years, were now within my grasp, and, when more quiet time was needed, I would browse Pinterest for my next project, 

Now I’m back to work…. Or have been since August. I miss those moments. But surprisingly I wonder if I’m happier slummy?! I’m still trying to create the Pinterest image but I think my husband likes me more now. 

I kept an immaculate (and I mean immaculate) home, the children were fed home cooked concoctions and there was time for crafts without neglecting the clean up afterwards. But I was a bit like a broken record…. I’m not sure he could not have coped with anymore conversations on which colour scheme to do this or that occasion…. Also it all seems a bit shallow now, my days marked only by the next event coming up… I feel sure I was turning into my mother in law… Who writes ‘start packing’ on the calendar a week before going on holiday. Coupled with the fact that the spouse spent the first 6 months on the sofa bed while I co slept, demand fed and drank coffee in the king size, I began to see how couples grow apart. 

We hear all the time that you should have your own identity as a couple but being a homemaker turned me into a subservient little wife. I loved it in a way, being needed by my family, everything was done, clothes washed, beds made, toilets frikkin sparkling…. A clear surrounding does improve your mood. But then what? My whole existence and sense of pride, was based upon being needed and doing things for others… Omg!! I’m selfish if I’m saying that’s not enough right?

What about the kids? Surely it was better for them, me not rushing about grabbing a homework book with one hand and the laptop in the other? answering questions on phonics while writing about parenting that I’m not actually doing. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty certain I began living through them, in manner of scary stage parent. The homemade costumes, the non parenting with biscuits… They prob missed the iPad apps and dreaded the lets browse Tesco again for craft supplies… Lets bake another lasagne from scratch when what they really want is fish fingers. Less complicated meals without the expectation of gratitude at the bottom of the plate. My eldest certainly drew the line when I mentioned marching up to the school to retrieve the worn once PE kit…. Just to give me something to wash, no questions about what this is in her pocket….. She can collect as many stones as she likes now because I’ve not turfed out her Parker for at least three months.

What’s funny is no one was anymore grateful than they are now I’m back to my slummy ways. I feel crappy that I can’t do all I did then, but actually I think my other half will chose to tackle the laundry basket over listing to the drone of my voice as I describe in detail again, how I discovered an awesome new stain remover for real nappies. I think he’d rather wear odd socks than hear how I spent the last two days pairing up 3 years worth of uncoupled ones. 

Dont get me wrong, not all SAHM are like this at all!! But I’m obsessive, a perfectionist… Better I be a slightly grumpy one throwing my being into a million projects and incomplete tasks, than a neurotic one throwing herself  into two or three…. Im not sure, I’ll have to ask hubby which ‘me’ he prefers when he comes home… To our messy house, with a 17month old at the breast and no dinner ready… Hey, today I cleared my work email inbox and put the clean but un ironed washing on the stairs go me!!! 

Oh and I had no time to upload images this time so here’s a picture from peppa pig! We have reconnected with the show over the last four months, fab babysitter!!  
 

1

The Smug Beastfeeder

I hope this this post isn’t as controversial as you may think, I’m a proud breast feeder, I’m one of those annoying women who do like to slip it into conversation whenever I get a chance. Now not many bfeeding mums will admit this, but we are bloody chuffed with ourselves and, actually it gets on our goat when we feel we have to dumb this down for fear of offending our formula feeding friends. But do we judge you for your choices? This is a difficult one perhaps outlining the real reason I breastfeed will help you see there is no prejudice.

I’d love to say that I’m motivated purely by the health of my child, that I’m selfless, which in turn would mean I consider formula feeders to be selfish right? This simply isn’t true. We hear about the guilt women feel when they give baby a bottle, the pressure and expectations on mothers to breastfeed is very very real and this is a strong motivation for me. I’m a perfectionist, I worry a lot about the opinions of others and I couldn’t cope with that guilt even though I know it is ridiculous that any mother should feel this pressure. I’m motivated by fear of judgement…. Not the health needs of my baby

I’m a ‘slummy mummy’ we know this, That is to say I’m not a domestic goddess, I had much admiration for women who have to spend time cleaning, sterilising and making up bottles, I would never call formula feeding a lazy option. I couldn’t do it, bottles would build up and cause stress and anxiety, I know myself well enough to say that if I had to deal with this endless stream of washing I would struggle emotionally, I’m motivated by my own limitations….not the health needs of my baby

Having had a turbulent childhood I have struggled to form attachments in my life, I had never been in love until I met my husband and having children does full fill a need in me to connect with others. That is not to say that I’m unaware that my children need to form identities outside of their family unit or that they are merely extensions of myself, It’s very important that our children are encouraged to be their own person right? but, breastfeeding is vital for me personally as it enables me to form a bond with my child which I may struggle with ordinarily given my history. Childhood attachment is built by many different factors and formula feeding would not prevent a strong healthy attachment from forming, however, for a mother who struggles understanding even the basics of human attachment it provides a foundation to work from….. I’m motivated by my desire to connect….not the health needs of my baby

Having outlines these reasons I hope to show that it is these reasons which kept me going in those early hours of the morning, there seems to be a misconception that if you breastfeed you were lucky, In fact I often find myself saying that to people, well my children nursed well, I had a good supply, didn’t encounter difficulties etc. But it’s not true, I struggled through pain, thrush, lazy attachments, hours of nursing, tears and arguments with my partner, feelings of being touched out etc, Once I remember going for a drive and leaving my baby and husband at home for half an hour just because I could bare to draw my baby to my breast for the eighth time that morning, but it’s for the reasons above I pushed on through…

I’m not a saint, motivated my some earth mother like desire to selflessly provide for my offspring, I’m not judging you for doing what any sane person would do given the many difficulties faced by breastfeeding … but the health benefits which are so pushed at us as new mothers are merely a bonus to me. I breastfeed because it’s the best thing for me and my child and if you formula feed well, I can pretty much guarantee you do so because you know it’s the best thing for you and your child also.

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2

Sweet 16

Those of you who read my articles on Bella Kidz or follow me on facebook will know that the morning sickness has struck…. At week 15/16… yep, who knew that could happen? It’s possible that some pretty crippling headaches could be the cause of this sudden occurrence and I’m feeling pretty darn sorry for myself at the moment. That said, I can finally feel baby moving around which is magical. The hubby is convinced that means it’s a boy (footballer in the making) but I’m not quite so sure.

My blood test results came back all clear and I think the re-test maybe related to that toddler group cold I came down with a few weeks ago.

My bump seems so small and while many people will look and say otherwise, I’m certain that is because I’m OBESE! Yep it’s official, I’m a chub! I don’t think even my stone weight loss since conception (I know! how chuffed was I when I stood on the scales last week) is enough to shift this label quite yet, and I really hope it doesn’t prevent me having a home birth. But, if I lose another stone I will fall nicely back a weight category which would be ideal, we shall see. For the moment it’s no fast food, no full fat milk and def. no more lemonade. In fairness I think I suffer from lack-of-exercise-itis (it’s a serious condition you know) so lots of brisk walks are planned, we could all do to get out the house more anyway, but it’s good to know all those school runs on foot are paying off.

I got my wedding dress out earlier, and I couldn’t believe how much I’ve piled on since that special day. I didn’t dare try it on. I think it’s time to make a sale, I’m pretty sure I’ll never have occasion to wear it again and providing I can get the fake tan off of it (fail) the contribution will be very helpful considering our new arrival.

We have started preparing the other children for a sibling and I’m pretty sure H knows what to expect, ‘I know when mummy makes cow noises, the baby will come’. She’s determined she will have a sister this time and I must admit seeing all those little girlie clothes in shops is sending me a bit gooey. But, we have cupboards full of boy’s clothes….. it’s very tempting to find out this time so we can plan more, luckily the nursery and general paraphernalia are neutral… and in fairness a baby poos, sleeps and boobs for the best part of three months anyway, I don’t think they’ll care what colour they’re wearing.

Roo now points to my belly when I ask where the baby is, I’m not sure if this is confusing for him, because let’s face it, he has a permanent look of confusion on his features anyway, but he has taken to playing with one of H’s dolls and fingers crossed he won’t mind moving up to his big boy room soon.1533849_10152787996259498_3579530736342946911_n

So ‘Mcfly’ is now the size of an avocado, wow! less than a month until we can see him/her again and hopefully we can hear the heartbeat when we visit the midwife next week. Unfortunately the OH is working late on the day of the scan so may not be able to come along; I do hope we can change the date. Maybe I’ll tease him and say I found out the sex… maybe I will find out… hmmm…

0

Things that annoy me when I’m pregnant

Ok so hormones go a little bit crazy during pregnancy, and most of this stuff is my responsibility, but that doesn’t stop me breathing fire once in a while.

1. When people do a pee in the toilet I just cleaned……

2. Cooking disasters

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3. When my cup of tea goes cold

4.When people put anything other than books on the book shelf

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5.When I get up for the 3rd time that night to pee

6.and the toilet roll hasn’t been replaced correctly

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7. Having to adjust the seat in the car

8. When things are left on the stairs

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9. Forgetting why I have walked into a room

10. When the stair rail is used instead of the coat hooks

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11. Finding myself sobbing during the opening sequence to Fireman Sam

12. Tea bags left on the side

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13. Toothpaste in the sink

14. When the table isn’t cleared from breakfast before creativities begin…. mmmm toast crumb cards

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15. When my husband has hic-ups…. or sneezes, or snores, or burps…. or breaths too heavily

16. The vacuum cleaner lead….. enough said!!

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17. Discovering there’s no milk….. after brewing my cupa

18. Forgetting to remove the veg crate before using the microwave and praying for thanks that the house didn’t go up in flames

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0

Sucking on coins at week 14

That’s right, I’m 14 weeks preggers and I have no idea when that happened, I’m still not even sure I am pregnant (bar the scan pics but they could be faked right?)

…. I had visions of telling you all about the real side of pregnancy, the un-glossy version you don’t read about in parenting magazines, but this little bean is so different from my previous two ‘monster symptom’ pregnancies that I’d feel like a fraud if I told you I was puking every day. Oh yes I’ve been sick, but with both H and Roo I did the exorcist impression every day for pretty much my entire pregnancy (and into labour last time) this time around I’m doing so much better.

I do have that ghastly metallic taste thing for the first time though, It doesn’t matter how many times I clean my teeth you can pretty much guarantee everything tastes like copper, yuk! I’m drinking lemonade like nobody’s business to try and counteract this, but I’m pretty sure that rotting my insides with fizz is probably counterproductive, I don’t know what else I can do though, two weeks of sucking on a coin!! Given this, it’s surprising the sickness is kept at bay really…lemon

Had a call from the midwife with my blood results and looks like they need to test again this week, I suspect anaemia because it doesn’t matter how much broccoli I munch on I always seem to suffer from this, It’s a little worrying because I’ve been taking iron supplements for months now, but I’m sure all will be well.

I’m determined not to pile on the pounds this time around and I’m very proud to say that, other than family outings, I’ve not driven the car for weeks; you know that your fitness is improving when you can hold convocation with other playground mums without having to wheeze a hello after walking up the hill to the school. Having said this I’m a little miffed to find my clothes getting tighter, not a problem if I wasn’t still in maternity wear from the previous pregnancy though! I’m loving that I don’t feel I need to hide my baby belly although given the looks I’ve had, I think some people suspect I’ve put on weight, or worse, when they look at Roo then my tummy, that I must have more chub left over from 2012 than I really do, All should become clear to them when it rounds out a bit more though… bring on the summer maxi dresses.suck-in-gut1

So apparently baby is the size of a lemon now and I’m starting to look ahead to our scan in 6 weeks, Hubby is refusing to play the name game as he says we settle on one, he gets used to it then I change my mind again… he has a point! Baby Roo was always Baby Roo but we went through a few girl name ideas settling on Viola in the end (I’m so relieved he was boy as I really don’t like that now) and I still find female names harder, H was Beth for quite a while and was going to be Samuel for boy but I do prefer more quirky names now…. Hubby is set on a particular boys name and I think he reckons he can convince me of it but I’m not sure….. Difficult! I guess it’s just ‘Macfly’ for a while longer

2

The Thin Red line

So, we’re pregnant! I hope this goes a little way to explain my absence of late, I’ve either been with the kiddies, working, or sleeping. Bfeeding a toddler during the early stages of pregnancy is exhausting not to mention slightly painful but, we’re still pushing forward in an earth-mother-with-kids-hanging-of-her-boobs kinda way….

The day the red line appeared I had stocked up on the following at Tesco…. A bottle of Malibu, 3 ovulation kits, a pregnancy test and a big box of tampons…… I secretly snuck away to the loo when we returned home (thanks to ‘In The Night Garden’) and obviously was delighted when the line appeared! But my second thought, was ‘dam it!….. What a waste of a shopping trip’

I hadn’t really expected to be pregnant that month, I mean, my cycle had been all out and all attempts had failed for 3 months previously. Plus, with the pressures of Christmas and various house guests, hubby and I are certain we didn’t actually do the deed….we still don’t remember when said event took place….. gosh is that marriage for you? I mean I often forget when he asks to me wash certain jumpers… and in turn he has forgotten to sort the tv wires for 6 months now, but sex… erm that’s never happened before…

Yes Aunt Flow was late, but it wasn’t the first time since she reappeared following Baby Roo’s birth, I took the test out of habit really… and low and behold, there it was, the thin red line!DSCF4218edit

Our dates have been very hard to decipher as this line appeared a week after conception (even odder now that I don’t remember). Those hormones must have been strong… I spent the first 8 weeks thinking I was two weeks ahead of myself and couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel particularly sick…. An early scan revealed our ‘Macfly’ (After the BTTF character, not the band) was strong and healthy but wouldn’t be sharing my Virgo birth sign as suspected (no I don’t believe in that, but sounds cool right?….. ok, I couldn’t think of another way to wrap up that sentence).

Surprisingly the sickness is so much easier to manage than both my previous pregnancies, maybe its because there’s little time to dwell and wallow but I feel so much better than before. The problem with third time around is the good old pelvic floors are less forgiving…. I’m not trying to gross you out but, ever puked and peed?…. its humiliating!! I’ve taken to attempting to reinstate them every time I boil the kettle…. This is fairly often, as, when you have a toddler the kettle is re-boiled at least four times before you actually get round to making a brew!

As you can see I’m not going to be sharing the glamorous side of pregnancy (does it really exist). I’d love to do a bump update every week for you but erm at the moment I look about 6 months gone, the joys of close pregnancies! Ill simply relate as I always do, the reality of being a slummy mummy of two three!!DSCF4155edit

2

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

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Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

1

The Shame of a Messy Car

Today, as I procrastinate on the web I find myself thinking of those little jobs that never get done. Sure, I could be working my way through them now, but cleaning the car out won’t enhance my career as a writer will it?

Of course I could do what I’m sure sensible people do and bring the rubbish in after each trip rather than letting the footwell’s fill up with wrappers, books, children’s clothing and various debris: That would be far too simple wouldn’t it? I have instead, a boot full of plastic bags, each one signifies my intention to tidy….. Before I set off on various exciting expeditions to the supermarket or the thrill of the school run, I load up the children into their car seats and add a carrier to the boot: for when I return home I shall bring in the wildlife!! On the very few occasions I have managed to achieve this, the plastic bags sit on the stairs for at least a week before my long suffering husband decides he has had enough of me walking past them and sorts them out himself….. Many a suitable child’s jumper has be worn and discarded in that car, only to be retrieved with such a lapse in time that it nolonger reaches the wrist.

But who cares right? I don’t often have car visitors. The other half has a quick jog round if the in-laws are coming for fear they will see it as another reason why I’ll never be good enough for their son….. If the MIL starts clearing it out then I know I’ve gone too far. Shame on me for allowing life to get in the way of a spotless car eh?. She does have a small point though, if passive aggressively made: It is fairly shameful isn’t it? I mean, I hate that moment just before I step out the car door, where I pray that a red bull can will not clatter out after me or heaven forbid, someone finds out we had drive-through Macdonalds a week ago… oh the shame!

Not too long ago the eldest opened her door, only for a sudden gust of wind to blow 10 sandwich bags across the playground (leftover from our half term trip, should H get travel sickness). Of course I then had a choice, do I run after them thus alerting even more people to the fact that I’m a complete Slummy Mummy, or do I leave them and risk the raised eyebrows of the few Chelsea tractor driving yummies who did see….. I opted for a third option, yes, I made it into a game…. Quick H, chase the bags, catch the bags, oh isn’t this fun….. Since that day the eldest has continued to ask me ‘when can we play the bag catch game again mummy?’….

The upside to all this however, is that as the car gets messier and messier I HAVE to get more organised in the mornings (?). I can now be found leaving the house at a reasonable time in order to avoid having to park at the school: I’m officially a walker now. The shame of being the parent who gets in THAT car is all consuming. I’ve seen more than the odd glance at the dashboard by families walking past, ‘wow mummy look at that’ the children point at the lose change, pair of sunglasses (yes, in the middle of winter) pieces of lego and wetwipes which festoon the ledge….. I can only hope that such families passing have the same walk/drive debate and can empathise…. If not, well…. Maybe they are cleaning out their cars rather than writing about not doing it..….
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