I called Theo a ‘dick head’ today and instantly felt the familiar feeling of ‘mum guilt’. I usually get this feeling when we’ve had a brilliant morning, then I have to abandon him screaming at nursery whilst I have ‘grown-up time’ at work. Or when, for the third day running, I feed him fish fingers,chips, and peas because I can’t be bothered entering another super market after spending 40 hours a week in one. But I’ve never before called him a ‘dick head’.
I knew it was a bad decision before it began. Pressure to actually start Christmas shopping had begun, and instead of doing what I now realise was the sensible option of online shopping, I thought we’d have a fun day out in Hebden Bridge and combine it with visiting my ancient relatives.
I took the pram. Great. By the time we’d got there Theo was asleep. I could get what I needed, then he’d wake and we’d go to a cafe for mummy/baby bonding. In theory. Wrong! Hebden wasn’t made for prams and neither were the people. I struggled to get in most shops whilst customers and shop owners looked at us like we had the plague. In the end I got so pissed off, I couldn’t face a cafe full of mums with babies in slings (smug bastards. I challenge you to carry a 2.5 stone toddler on your back), we ended up getting a pie from a bakery. Theo didn’t like his. He decided mine looked better. It did, but I was marvin’ and didn’t want to share. Two mouthfuls in, the tantrum kicked in. That’s it! We were going home. In theory. When we got to the car, Theo was hysterical. A rigid, spitting, biting, smacking, hair pulling animal (he definitely didn’t inherit that from me). That’s when I called him a “dick head”. Forty minutes of trying not to be violent, of offering rice cakes, bananas, and water, the FUCKING parking attendant told me my time was up. Theo stuck up for me, glared at him, looked at me angelically, and politely allowed me to strap him in. Thanks, son.
We went home. Traumatised. So it’s a massive thumbs down for the people of Hebden Bridge. Small businesses, I tried to support you. This year it’s all about internet shopping with a brew and on demand Peter Rabbit. At least the thought was there.
When I first started blogging I had every intention of being prolific, writing funny, witty, and inspirational guides on parenting whilst sat in coffee shops with Theo sleeping peacefully in his Urbo2. It hasn’t exactly worked out like that. WordPress reminded me that I haven’t blogged for four months! That’s crazy! Why haven’t I done something that makes me feel so much better? Blogging is like a cleansing, letting me rid my mind of all the annoyances I bottle up. So as I sit waiting for a meeting that’s been delayed half an hour, I thought I’d offload.
Where do I begin? Four months have flown by; we’ve moved house, been on holiday (the less said about the “japoozi” the better…those poor, poor girls…). We’ve knocked down walls, and worked a hell of a lot. Life’s been pretty chaotic, but it’s starting to sink in that this is our new ‘normal’.
Yes, that’s rights, after deciding we definitely weren’t going to buy a house until the winter, we definitely went and bought a house slap bang in the middle of summer. We wanted a three bed in ‘the sticks’. We ended up with a two bed (although they are colossal bedrooms) in the middle of town. So life hasn’t gone according to my very rigid plans. But you know what? I’m cool with that. Becoming a mum has made me think “to hell with the rule book.” Me and Alex getting together was a surprise and that worked out well. Theo was a surprise and that worked out well. Buying our first house has also worked out pretty well! Come on life, what else have you got?
It’s now getting to my least favourite time of the year. Puddles, snot, darkness, and the dreaded ‘C’ word. Yay. And since I work in retail, it’s been lurking in the back of my mind for what seems like forever. Everyone keeps asking what Theo wants for Christmas. They keep telling me about all the things they’ve got their kids, and that they “just couldn’t wait” and “had to give them a present (or ten) early.” I know we don’t deprive Theo. Believe me I’ve stood on every piece of his Duplo, gone flying on all three of his red vtech buses, and know every song on his Peppa Pig remote. I just don’t think we should be encouraging our kids to become mini ‘Dudley Dursleys’. I know my Instagram feed will be full of photos of present mountains on Christmas Eve, and excited mummies and daddies doing their Santa duties. But are we really helping our kids? We’ve got Theo a tool bench because he’s been helping Alex with the DIY. At the time of buying it I could imagine him busily hammering all the plastic nails in the holes, yet deep down knowing he’ll only be interested in the cardboard box, or hammering the cat’s head. Basically I think we’re all getting way too sucked into marketing. Our kids don’t give a damn! They just want to roll in mud, eat raisins from down the side of their car seat, and empty all the kitchen cupboards.
I’m going to try desperately to keep my shit together through this dark time, and not fall into the consumerist trap. I hope you can do the same. Good luck fellow Mamas!
Crazy day. Well, crazy day AND night. Theo’s teething, and bloody hell, don’t we know about it! This weekend alone we’ve spent a small fortune on Fairy washing gel, bum wipes, Sudocreme, and nappies. I curse every mother who brags their baby never suffered with teething. Damn you, damn you all! Here I am soaking the dried sick from my hair, and scrubbing the yellow poo from under my fingernails, whilst blogging in an attempt to rid myself of the memories of this traumatic 24 hours.
You’ll all be pleased to know, despite said poo-gate and even more lack of sleep, I feel ‘the fog’ is starting to shift. I’ve had a good week at work (it’s amazing what a little bit of praise does), and I think my team realise I’m not the Wicked Witch. I’m attempting to start to have a little bit of ‘me time’ (even though this week I’ve just been alone in the bath). We’ve just been making plans to have a rare night out together, and we’ve been researching not-too-tacky-baby-friendly holiday destinations. I think another massive weight off my mind is that we’ve said we’ll stop house hunting until after summer. We LOVE where we live so much, and want a carefree summer, picnicking in the park, feeding ducks.
Although I can’t quite believe it, Big Lad turns 1 in a fortnight. I’ve turned into a crazy mama party planner. With a little help from Pinterest, he’s having a Peter Rabbit themed party, with allotment cake, Mr McGreggor signs, carrot baby buns, and we’ve even spent our evenings making carrot bunting! I think I’ve found my vocation in life. What I need to realise is that there’ll hardly be any kids there, and it’ll just be our mates sipping Pimms, and stuffing their faces with Beatrix Potter inspired party food.
Anyway, I’m getting all wrinkly so I’d best sign off for now. No iPhone after 9pm; my new plan to ‘switch off’ and relax. I’ve also been reading about this ‘Mindfulness‘ malarkey, so thought I might give that a bash. I’ll let you know how it goes!
It’s bloomin’ hard to write about feelings when you’re feeling a bit pants. Blabbering on about being tired, and shitty nappies is pretty easy. It’s what you’d expect from a new(ish) mum, working full time. It’s what I expected to feel. But this fog in my mind that I’m feeling wasn’t exactly what I’d imagined.
I can’t focus. Although I’ve never been a big TV fan, I can’t even be bothered to sit and watch it for half an hour with a glass of wine in the evening. Literally nothing, other than my boy, seems to interest me. I thought I’d try and do something for myself, and play piano in the evenings, but I’m just finding it so difficult to motivate myself. Tonight would be the perfect night to do that with Alex going out, but instead I’m feeling sorry for myself, and faffing with the mountain of chores that constantly pile up now that I’m back at work.
Then there’s this sudden feeling of self-consciousness. Three years ago I was three stones heavier and never bothered what people thought of me. These past few months however, I’ve lost my mojo. I hate looking in a mirror, I see every imperfection, so have stopped bothering. Now I get why some mums just ‘let themselves go’, so to speak. My mum says I look good (cheers, mum), but all mums think their kids look great, don’t they?
You might ask why I’m writing here, or ‘airing my dirty laundry’, as my grandma would say. It’s because I know this is probably normal, but no one talks about it. Why not? I’m pretty sure these super mums on Instagram, with their perfect homes, and their manicured nails, have felt like this at some point. I reckon us new(ish) mums need to speak out more, or we’ll all end up wearing unflattering leggings (leg wear sent from satan), and scraping our greasy hair into birds nests.
Please fog, lift soon, so I’m able to shop in Topshop without thinking about muffin tops, and focus on my Kate Middleton blow dry.
I’ve got the best Dragon’s Den idea! ‘Rent-a-Boob’. I’m not bothered about the money or the title of ‘inventor’, I just think it would be the best thing ever right now. Mondays and Wednesdays are tough. I teach a few students music these nights, so it means Daddy’s left ‘holding the baby’. Brilliant! I leave them laughing, joking, playing ‘boo’, and generally being happy and laddish. Twenty minutes in, Theo becomes restless. He knows Daddy hasn’t prepared a bottle. Daddy’s feeling tense, because he too knows he hasn’t prepared a bottle. The grunting starts. The bottom lip comes out. Theo becomes rigid. Here comes the screaming; so bad it’s like he’s being murdered. He’s such a…man! We both know the only thing that will stop it is boob juice. So why can’t some sort of silicone substitution be invented that will trick breast fed babies into thinking Mama’s there, when in actual fact it’s Daddy with fake wabs? Entrepreneurs, take this seed from a busy, breast feeding Mum, and let it grow!
In other news: poo. I’m pretty sure it’s something most parents talk about when their baby has gone to bed. It’s certainly up there with ‘we could both do with loosing weight’ (whilst testing out Lidl chocolate), or challenging each other to speak in as many different accents as we can (or is that just us?). Not our poo, of course (however since I’ve started taking iron tablets again, the topic of ‘constipation’ has been creeping into conversation), no, Theo’s poo. I took him to the doctors yesterday. He’s always been very regular, often at very inconvenient times (we won’t talk about Theo and Alex’s traumatic bath…), but since Monday we’d had nothing. By the time Friday comes I’m becoming increasingly worried, even recreating the ‘Shooting Stars” ‘Dove From Above’ call, renaming it ‘Poo From the Loo’. I’ve gone mad. So there I was at the doctors explaining Theo’s nappies have been like a ghost town, when Theo starts to cry. It’s his pre-poo cry. The little bugger! As soon as I walk out of the surgery the comical grunting begins. He knew I had no nappies. So there I am running round Colne centre buying Pampers, and changing him on the floor in the ladies toilets in Weatherspoons. It turns out breast fed babies only need to poo twice a week because the majority of the milk is absorbed, as opposed to formula milk that needs to be excreted.
We’re going to attempt weaning in a fortnight. We’ve done it! We’ll have waited a whole six months before giving him solids. After going to baby groups and walking to others mums this seems to be a rarity. I’ve found other mums can’t wait to get their babies into eating real food. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with it, I’d just rather follow NHS guidelines. Plus we’ve got the added complication of deciding whether or not to bring Theo up a vegetarian like Daddy, or a meat pie lover like Mummy. Every time we discuss it we end up saying we’ll decide at a later date because we can’t be bothered arguing the same point over and over again.
Boobs, poo, and meat; why is everything so complicated?