I have just spent the evening pampering myself. PB is a parent off duty and is out with some friends on a leaving do and, after an uncharacteristically fuss free bedtime for both the babes, I found myself daring to actually contemplate having a long soak in the bath and when that went unhindered I decided to go even further and apply a face mask. It was one of those jelly ones in the shape of an actual mask that you slap on your face and will it to erase all the sleepless nights and non stop days of parenthood. It was quite nice actually, shall endeavour to review it soon for anyone who may want to know more.

 

Anyway, I digress. I was sitting in my self indulgent bath time, marvelling at how I had actually managed to achieve such a relaxing bit of time. And it struck me how funny it is that after one becomes a parent, one views little things with huge appreciation. More so than before parenthood descended. I mean, I felt triumphant in that bath tub! Winning at life! How ludicrous?! And it got me thinking about all the other little triumphs we congratulate ourselves on…

 

Top Ten Triumphs as a Parent

Here Are My Top Ten Triumphs As A Parent

 

1) Getting to drink a hot drink that is actually hot.

 

The amount of half drunk or even untouched hot drinks that sit abandoned on worktops and on the floor next to the sofas is phenomenal. You pop the kettle on in the vain hope that by the time it boils and produces a beverage, you will still have a small window of time in which to consume it. If it happens and you DO get to drink a hot cuppa, it warms the heart as well as the tummy!

 

2) Wearing clothes that don’t have puke/food/crap/snot on them.

 

Rarely, almost ever, do I wear an outfit that doesn’t have some form of stain present on it. I change my clothes every day and they are freshly washed (more about that next) but they literally last a matter of mere minutes before something ends up coming into contact with them. Usually it’s baby puke. Followed by a tiny little hand of a toddler that is caked in peanut butter or weetabix or something sticky and claggy like that. Occasionally it is even from myself because I shall either laugh, cough or sneeze and end up wetting myself or I will hear the baby cry or think how lovely something is and my boobs take it upon themselves to turn on the tap leaving me with two wet circular patches on my front.

2 i) Remembering to put on breast pads is also a mini achievement for us Mums.

 

3) Reaching the bottom of the Laundry basket.

 

The first time this happened, I felt so smug. I walked out of my kitchen with a swagger, did a lap of the living room to work off the adrenalin pumping through my veins and hi fived the cat. Then I went upstairs and found a whole other load and have never felt so pissed off in my life. The sheer amount of laundry that we produce is phenomenal. Considering kids clothes are so small, it is mind boggling that they still fill and overflow out of the basket every day. I feel sorry for our washing machine and thank it daily… hourly if we have the dreaded sickness bug. Poor thing.. it really does work hard.

 

4) Surviving Soft Play

 

Whenever I leave a soft play, I feel so proud of myself. To navigate oneself safely around the minefield of parental politics, the constant threat of either your child being hurt or them hurting someone else as well as the sheer yucky factor of having to get through plastic covered slaloms is always a massive achievement… especially if it something tackled during a rainy day on a summer holiday. I reckon they should hand out little medals for us parents as we leave with our cranky and worn out offspring. Bear Grylls would have a hard time getting through a soft play session on a wet Wednesday in August. We manage it weekly!ha!

 

5) Managing a toddler tantrum.

 

Shit happens. Toddlers are like ticking time bombs and it can be the most random thing that will cause them to detonate. We all have ways of dealing with them, there are a plethora of suggestions, approaches and tactics. Whatever you see fit as being your way of handling one, the sheer glory of getting past a tantrum and having your kid return back to ‘normal’ is always such a great feeling. As is relief. The two go hand in hand in this case.

 

6) A fuss free bath and bed time.

 

Myself and PB are like ducks at bath time. Calm and together on the surface, but paddling like mad underneath. We smile, chat, sing, play and sometimes even dance our way through bath time (like some kind of very weird variety performance for the two princes of our lives) and then we pop them down to sleep and hope for the best. Sometimes they both fight their sleep. We have had times where it felt like we would forever be facing non stop tears and screaming in protest for hours on end at bed time and had our evenings aka together time swallowed up with taking it in turns to trudge up and down the stairs to cajole them into slumber. As a result, if we have an evening where they go down with a yawn and are asleep within minutes, then we both hug each other with delight and spend the evening feeling very triumphant.

 

7) Getting your kid to eat something other than junk.

 

I never considered that kids could be so fussy about food. Then I had some and it is a bloody nightmare half the time! Fads galore! They can sniff out a vegetable from a mile away and if they so much as hear the crinkle of a biscuit packet or a bag of chocolate buttons then it’s game over. Teddy randomly took a chunk of banana off of my breakfast plate the other morning and ate it without a moment of hesitation. I was so excited and shocked that I involuntarily let out what I can only describe as some sort of squeak. At which point I had to then act as if everything was business as usual because if I made a fuss it would have had the banana launched back at me. So I did the only thing I could think of to do. I Whatsapped PB at work stating ‘Teddy just stole my banana…. WTF?!’. Another day, another triumph.

 

8) Having ‘A Productive Day’

 

I see this everywhere on my social media feed. ‘Such a Productive Day!’, ‘We have had SUCH A PRODUCTIVE DAY!’. I have a theory that the reason we, as parents, have to shout out about being productive, is that it is such a triumph to reach the end of the day and have actually managed to DO something! I sometimes lose entire mornings and early afternoons to just getting up, feeding us all (including the cats!) and then getting us all washed dressed and prepped to leave the house. And said lengthy process can be so all encompassing and draining that all one can do once it is achieved is drive to the nearest park for 20 minutes before leaving to come back and face the dinner, bath and bed time shift. So, if it so happens that we are all out of the house by 10am and manage to wade through the to do list and still have time for a brief visit to somewhere all in one day, then it definitely deserves to be sung about from the rafters.

 

9) Getting through a food shop

 

I know I can shop online. If I was as organised as I strive to be, I would be the one who has the 8am delivery slot for the next day and have a full fridge and cupboards by lunchtime. But, dear readers, I am always the one that impersonates Old Mother Hubboard (truth be told, more like her dog with a bone nowadays) and whenever I go to order online I have to click and collect or wait 3 days. So, off to the supermarket I go, armed with my list and a double trolley and I throw myself down at the feet of the Asda Gods and will us all to get through in one piece. Each time that we do, I heave a sigh of relief once the car boot is shut and wind the windows down so I can feel the breeze in my hair as we head homeward (see… just like a dog). The threat of a toddler melt down, a poop filled nappy and possible shop lifting when your beloved infant chooses to add things to the shop when your back is turned is all too palpable. And there are a lot of cranky people with trolley rage that may wish to cause you harm… especially to the backs of your ankles as they ram raid you to make you move quicker past the chicken dippers!

 

10) Having your children sleep in the car

 

Not always. Sometimes it’s a danger nap that you know you will pay for later on at bedtime. But, for the most part, if I am driving somewhere I look forward to it because I know that the toddler will be occupied whilst looking out of the window and the baby will be lulled to sleep by the engine. It leaves me free to think with all of my brain’s capacity (what’s left of it after years of sleep deprivation) and it is another breather during the never ending swim-a-thon that is parenting life.

This Mum's Life

3 Little Buttons

My Random Musings

I am having trouble sleeping. Not only because of the summer storm raging outside the bedroom window, but also because of many different thoughts that have been crossing my mind each time I close my eyes.

One being that this time last week, you were all most probably tucked up in your beds too. Safe and sound. Those of you who attended the concert must have been so excited that tomorrow was THE day! Maybe you got an early night so that the next morning would come quicker. Maybe you were listening to Ariana Grande as you prepared for slumber. Those of you who were picking your children up had probably messaged your companion about times and places to meet. Gathered up a plan of action in mind. Got petrol. Booked a train ticket. Packed a bag.

Sundays are family days. Days of rest. Days of enjoying some me time or catching up on little bits and bobs like chores around the house. Sunday roasts and walking the dogs. Browsing round shops or watching boxsets on Netflix.

The sheer tragedy of Monday then being your last day. So many lasts. Last shower. Last getting dressed. Last time with the cat on the lap.  Last pat on the dog’s head. Last time saying goodbye. Nowadays, we have the haunting insight of a last phone call, text, whatsapp and snapshot on social media. Last selfies. Last tag for a friend and last hash tag and location.

Morbid as it seems, I can’t help but wonder what other lasts you had. What last thought or feeling or view was yours as your life was taken away and your lights so unfairly turned out. Did you see him? Did you notice what he was up to and in a split second feel fear? Most important to me is did you feel pain? I hope you didn’t. The idea of your suffering makes me weep. I don’t want to dwell on such details, they are most definitely superfluous to some. But for me, as my frightened mind and aching heart are desperately trying to make sense out of why someone feels they have the right to cause so much pain and wreak so much hatred on the world… these details are the way my soul is trying to make sense of it all. To piece this horrendous jigsaw together so it may give some clue to help see the sense in such a frustratingly senseless situation. And also, to feel closer to you as, by now, we are not strangers. I know your names. Your ages. Your home towns and professions. I have seen your Instagrams and Twitter feeds, scrolled your Facebook walls and watched your youtube videos.

I have studied all your pictures. Seen your relatives and friends searching for you with worry and anguish written all over their faces and punctuating their fraught pleas on social media platforms. Your loved ones have since poured out their tributes and the words make my eyes well up and my throat close up with emotion. We all feel it. We all feel the empathy, trying on the shoes of your families and friends in order to try and walk in them to see how it must feel. But it is almost incomprehensible. I say almost, only because the pain of attempting to walk in those shoes is crippling and you know you would be brought to your knees.

Smiling faces. Innocent eyes and warm expressions. Happiness. You all look so incredibly happy and content in your snapshots. That is a small consolation… a bit of relief in all the hurt. But still so bittersweet.

You were here and you were loved. And you still are. To all of your families who are now grieving for you, missing you and embarking on the rest of their life’s journeys, may they find the strength to keep going and only look back at the good times. May they focus on the good in people from that dreadful night. The men and women who ran towards danger to try and help. The businesses who rallied round to provide food and toiletries. The taxi drivers who bought the fearful and the lost back home. The doctors and nurses who fought for you to stay and who put the broken bones and bleeding wounds of the injured back together again.

You are all missed. The storm is still raging and it is a relief. Because if the sky can cry for you, then I feel less indulgent for doing so too. From now on, I shall hold my babies that little more tighter and think twice before I resent the mundane. I promise that I will not be afraid. That I will teach my sons to live for each day and keep the faith in humanity. And I will not hate the man responsible. For only love can drive out hate and I will hold onto that… that is my promise, to all of you. The Angels who fly high and who will be forever in our hearts. 



A Blogging Good Time




Reflectionsfromme

We’ve struggled to find time together as just a family of four lately. PB works for the NHS Ambulance Service and his shifts are long and seemingly never ending. He gets good stints of time off usually, but when we were due to take a weekend break with some friends (that sadly fell through at the last minute!) he had to work a whole new rota in order to gain the time off. He got it the time, but then we all got ill with nasty viral infections and that time off was wasted, with us both acting as a tag team and negotiating ourselves around finding time to rest off the illness and mustering up the energy to still get out and do things with the kids. Then I went away with the boys and we were gone for a whole week so our little family felt a bit in need of some togetherness and fun time. 

Which is exactly what this week has been about. We went to the Airbourne Show in Eastbourne to watch all the planes loop the looping in the sky and we ate icecreams the size of our heads! 

It was bright and sunny, families filled the seafront to take in the sights in the air and we all arrived back home content and sleepy from all the fun. 

We’ve spent time with friends and visited family. Our friends in Littlehampton have just moved into a new house so we went to see them and had a walk along the harbour and ate fish and chips. 

We also ate fish and chips when we went to visit my mother in law too… typical British summer nosh! She put up a little Wendyhouse* for Teddy to play in and after I managed to cram myself into it, he soon saw the appeal and dived right in too. 

*Why are they called Wendyhouses?? Is it because of the character, Wendy, in Peter Pan? He built her a little house didn’t he?? 

PB and myself have also taken turns to allow the other to enjoy a night out each this week. He spent a night out with his work buddies and, from his hungover state in the morning, had a great time letting his hair down. I myself went out for dinner and drinks with some of my oldest girlfriends and made the most of leaving the house looking vaguely unmumsy, holding a clutch bag instead of a rucksack and with washed hair instead of a mum bun. Felt quite proud of myself to be honest. 

Note: Below is the only pic I got as documented evidence that I managed it out of the house looking presentable. Would have taken more but I was too enthralled with my mexican food and margaritas to remember. Bad blogger! It was great though… I have a tradition where on my first night out after having a baby, I go for mexican food and drink margaritas the size of a small dog. It’s my little pat on the back for all the hard work!

It has been a really lovely week that was much needed. We work, work, work and it has been nice to just chill and have a little bit of play time. 

The fish and chips, ice cream, meals out and drinks shall all need to be worked off over the next few weeks (months) but it was all totally worth it. Who has a week off and doesn’t indulge a little? 

Answer: Gwyneth Paltrow but ssssshhh, we’ll just ignore that. 

Additional information and findings for this week:

  • Pilots are just so brave. I was watching the airshow and trying to imagine what it takes to fly a plane and then perform tricks in it. I can just about stick to the highway code in a car so the mind boggles. 
  • We have started to wean George and he is loving it! Only little bits at the moment, I just wantrd to see if he is ready and he is so things will be being added to his feeding times over the next few weeks. He’s only 5 months old but I couldn’t hold out any longer. He was beginning to growl at us during meal times and attempting to steal food from our plates. How much more of a hint do we need?! 
  • Having PB home from work is just so nice. When he is on shifts, especially night time ones, it gets quite overwhelming and lonely for me. To have him home and have us all together has been lovely. 
  • Going out out still makes me anxious. I worry about what to wear, where to go and then suffer a dose of mummy guilt whilst I’m out. I shake it all off eventually but I miss the days where I would just get ready, go out and have a bloody good time without overthinking it. I have decided that the only way to get back to that mind set is to do more of it.  



A Blogging Good Time