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Damned if we do…..

So, during preparations for my earth mother experiment (real nappy, breastfeeding and sling research) I came across a fantastic article on extended breastfeeding, this got me thinking about how us mothers are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts with you:bitchymoms

  • Are you breastfeeding?: This question, if coming from genuine interest, maybe a curious mum-to-be or a health care professional is all well and good, but if it’s to gauge my suitability to join your baby gang you can sod off!
  • Are you still breastfeeding??: So, you’d judge me if I didn’t but beyond the age of 12 months there must be something wrong with me for continuing…. Right!!
  • You’re doing baby lead weaning: Won’t your baby get really hungry? Throw most of it around? Won’t he choke? no I wont look at the book you bought to understand it better.
  • You’re mashing his food: Oh,how will he learn to feed himself, you’ll never get him to eat lumps, you’ve made a rod for your own back (agrahhhh I hate strongly dislike that saying).
  • Make noise around your sleeping baby so he gets used to it: who really feels like hovering when you have a new born? and at 3am I’m not risking it….sorry
  • Sleep when he sleeps: I thought I was meant to hoover?! (also this advice only counts for the first 3 weeks after that, no matter how little sleep you’ve had, you’re lazy for wanting a nap)
  • Is he still not sleeping through? No, I like my two hour a night cuddles. (if I’ve not offered up the info, or said I’m struggling its NOYB)
  • Its psychologically damaging to let your baby cry it out: agrahhh I can’t win

Can you think of anymore??

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The Bedtime Rout…..

The bedtime routine in our household starts around the dinner table, as this is when I start mentally preparing for the task ahead. Each evening we play a round of ‘what did you learn today’ in which all members of the family are required to contribute to the discussion.

H has learnt that, if you’re the boy next door, you get into trouble for trying to sell her conkers. I for one can’t understand this; I think this boy must have been fairly ingenious, what’s that saying? ‘Selling ice to Eskimos?’ I think him rather entrepreneurial myself.

The hubby has learnt that, if you complain to the railway network that there are too few carriages on the rush hour service, you actually get a personal phone call to discuss your grievances….. wow, who knew?

Baby Roo has learnt ‘mmmmmammma’, I translate this to mean ‘if I empty all the nappies from the box every half an hour, mummy stops the dishwasher shuffle to pay me extra attention.DSCF2680

But what have I learnt…… hmmm, if you question why the Christmas present delivery didn’t arrive as expected, the company will explain that the courier delivered them instead to a Mrs J Hillman?! Who happily signed for the items despite having no recollection of ordering them….. I hope you’re enjoying Harriet’s fashion designer set and Rupert’s wooden blocks B”%*H!!! (Bet ill see them on ebay soon).

Once dinner is over and the crock pot left to soak for a few days, all attention turns to bath-time. While the husband negotiates the baby I survey the carnage of the day: the nappies out of box, the train set chewed then discarded, the dressing up box upturned, the cushions now a fort in the centre of the living room and a half eaten gingerbread man squished into the rug…. I think bath-time would be preferable to this lot! Trouping up to the top floor I casually ignore the debris on the stairs begging to be taken up, stop by my office to count the coffecups and note the trail of mashed potato which has fallen of the baby on his way to meet ducky and boat….. No wonder I’ve not got around to putting the pictures up in the hall or painting my chalkboard list…..DSCF3345

Harriet has pulled out the entire bookcase to find her favourite story; she is prancing about to ‘the Disney collection’ CD and clearly doesn’t understand that calm down time does not include demonstrating a new dance routine. The baby is chewing his tooth brush and the husband is searching for the shampoo with one hand. Perhaps that gingerbread man downstairs needs some company after all? I settle the eldest to read and get a rundown of every bruise and bump from the day at school, this is from a football, this is from the adventure playground, this is from the where I bit my nail… it’s thrilling stuff! But it’s also ‘CALM DOWN TIME’

Next begins the ‘which teddy to cuddle tonight’ fiasco, everyone gets an equal turn but it appears, Sally dog has gone walkies on her designated night…. She needs to be located otherwise she will miss out! Ofcourse you can’t swap the order, it could cause a rift and apparently the stuffed animals in particular are still recovering from the shock of moving house.

I leave her to deal with teddy anxiety issues and manage to catch the final page of ‘That’s not my monster….’. Hubby and I do a swap, he locates Sally dog, inside the fort and manages to squish the gingerbread man further into the rug with his bare feet…. Cue the sound of running water and the eldest needing to inspect the damage…

I feed the baby and, for a few serine minuets, I consider falling asleep also, but, baby must be put in cot awake, or I’ll be up and down the stairs for the rest of the night while he tries to remember how to ‘self soothe’…… I lower him into the cot, nice and drowsy…….very calm and content, he might just drift off….BANG!! H is showing Hubby the dance routine, baby starts to cry and I hear from the eldest’s room… ‘ITS CALM DOWN TIME’.DSCF2994

Baby settles on boob once more, I lower him down into cot…. He Parps, then throws up the extra milk down my top…. Still, I think he might actually go to sleep……yes, yes, he’s rolled onto his side, I close the door, locate the monitor and WOOOO HOOOO, one down!

Upstairs she is in her Jammies and finally in bed, I lean down to give a kiss good night……thinking ahead to the carnage downstairs….. ‘Goodnight Mummy, love you too, don’t forget my costume for tomorrow’s School trip’

‘Oh crap!!!!’

When’s OUR calm down time??

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Mum Flu

I’ve been a bit MIA of late, I call it mum flu, not to be confused with the male variety of this illness, mum flu is very different. For a start Mum flu is real, it’s the weight of the world feeling which creeps up on you after a week of insomnia, that run down ache which means that you crawl into bed at 8pm leaving the previous night’s washing up on the side and setting you out of whack for a good few days to come. umbra-casa-tissue-box-cover-3Having recovered enough to be up at 5am with a cupa tea I’m able to reflect on how colds and flu affect our household, because you can be sure, we all act very differently.

The man of the house: now I’m very lucky that the man of this household doesn’t suffer from man flu. Instead, his bunged up snoring could keep even the most run down of partners awake, a little shove in the side serves only to irregulate the rhythm….

When the OH has a cold you can be sure it’s a gamble at night, do you leave him to his earth trembling wheezes? or risk awakening the snot ball with a jab in the ribs? My husband is far too polite, which increases my annoyance, a quick poke and request to stop is very often followed by a heartfelt apology, a few blissful seconds of peace then a volcano like explosion of the snores withheld during the altercation…..ill just leave him to it, maybe leave a passive aggressive note on the notice board in the morning…… I can’t possibly send him to the sofa if he is ill…. Can i???? Might have to get a sofa bed for his man room/office, I’ll put that on the to-do-list!Lemsip-Logo

In the day he’s fairly good at getting on with things, now, this may seem ideal to you mummies who’s other halves lay about on the couch demanding Lemsip and sympathy, however, to me, when the hubby is ill and trooping on, that means the cold can’t be that bad.

Inevitably he starts the cycle off meaning not only does he get the blame for giving me the lurgy, he is more than likely two days ahead of me in its development. No matter how I feel, he has been there and done that 48 hours before…. No lolling about for me.

The only thing I can possibly find to fault this annoying man with is, that rather than use one tissue until it disintegrates, which I’m charged with doing, he manages to: a, sneeze once into every tissue in the house leaving me with kitchen roll and b, leave a loo roll on the dash board of both cars, not great if you’re trying to play yummy mummy on the school run that day! This annoying bugger always remembers to put his tissues in the bin though… far too perfect if you ask me!!

Baby Roo: Now this little monster is always bloomin ill, a mouse could sneeze 10 miles away and you can be sure ‘little boy’ will turn into a giant ball of snot by the end of the day. Does he suffer in silence like his daddy?? Oh no! he likes to mix it up a bit, see what other ailment he can add to it, just to get maximum attention. So far this week (and remember its only Tuesday) he has had the cold, appears to have an 8th tooth on the way (ridiculous as he is only 9 months old) DSCF3178and has decided to try his hand at letting go of the sofa when cruising about, that’s not an ailment you say? Nope but tripping on your own feet or head-butting the stair gate is….. therefore my day is spent (remember I’m ill too) changing snotty clothes locating the loo roll from the cars, and allowing the baby to latch on for most of the day. Does this send him into one of those ill, but cute 2 hours naps? Nope he sits on boob, trying to breathe through blocks nostrils, playing with his toes…. The rest of the time is spent feeling very sorry for himself and rubbing is little eyes, demanding to be carried and refusing his cot…. Sensitive, serious little boy!!

Big girl H: What a miracle child, she’s like Bruce Wills in that underrated superhero film, Unbreakable, this little girl never gets ill, she sneezed once but I think she just had a tickle under her nose…. She’s fantastic at playing the big sister/caring nurse maid, inevitably it is her who: retrieves the loo roll, tuts about the disintegrated tissues left in various locations, and sneaks the occasional soother from the packet (she thinks I don’t know). DSCF2757Harriet is a smart girl, far too wise for her own good, she had learnt from who knows where, various phrases to use when the rest of us are ill. These include….. ‘the best thing you can do is let the air get to it’ (we’re talking about a sore throat here) ‘an apple a day, mummy, you don’t eat enough fruit….’, and ‘pull yourself together, it’s not the end of the world’. All these sayings while v v funny, neglect the real issue…. That is to say, you can be 99.9% sure SHE was the one who carried the beastly virus into the house to begin with.

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The mother of all insomniacs

DSCF3302I don’t know what it is about us mums, but according to my extensive research (Googleing for 5 mins) insomnia is fairly common for us.

WHY? You scream, surly the never ending merry-go-round of childcare, washing, cooking, cleaning, work, blogging and the wiping of little noses, is enough to send us into a coma as soon as our tired little heads hit the pillow of our unmade beds… I wonder if the constant night feeds, puts us out of sync? If grabbing those 30 mins to yourself each night to watch re-runs of Dawson’s Creek (just me?!) mean that, like our offspring, we miss that tired window sometimes….. Unfortunately, unlike baby Roo this issue can’t be cured with a bit of boob and a snuggle with my blanky (v v v odd and disturbing if it could). So what to do??DSCF3309

Well I’m heading downstairs to grab a Horlicks…. I vaguely remember seeing it in the cupboard recently, which given that I must have been the one to unpack it after the ‘big move’ a month ago, shows just how sleep deprived I must be. I don’t even know if I like the stuff……. Here are my tips to motherhood insomnia

  1. Grab a Horlicks  oh for the love of…. Don’t, don’t grab a Horlicks, it tastes like feet!
  2. Remember, those self-aware angsty teens with a vocabulary far beyond their years can wait…. Yes even Pacey!
  3. Don’t check on the children, yes I know they look beautiful when asleep but don’t let that cloud your memory of the other 12 hours a day
  4. Don’t start fretting that there is no way your children sleep for 12 hours (neither do mine, It just sounded good)
  5. Do, make a to-do-list
  6. Don’t write to-do-list then sing ‘Hang me on the wall’ to the tune of ‘Fly me to the moon’, (you’ll never get to sleep if you’re being a silly billy)
  7. Don’t do some cleaning…. (If I’d have said DO some cleaning you’d feel guilty for not, so better me take the option away from you)
  8. Do make a delicious Options wicked white chocolate
  9. Don’t let it go cold while you write a blog
  10. Noooo, don’t make another one; you’ll never get to sleep!!!