Another bath time blog. 

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! 


I think I’ve lost my mojo.

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. 

A bit of an update.

The Big Lad’s one next month. Where did that year go? It’s taken eleven months. Eleven months for life with this small person to feel normal. I look back at my ‘old life’; a life of quickly nipping out somewhere, of nine hour sleeps, and basically doing what I wanted when I wanted to do it. It feels odd that these things I used to take for granted were ever the case. Yet aside from the fact I can’t simply pop out for a pint of milk (or in our case, a bottle of red) whenever I please without the kitchen sink in tow, or enjoy a full night’s kip, life with this small person is pretty darn good!

Our lives are pretty mental at the moment. I went back to work last month. I take back everything I said about being tired whilst on maternity leave. This is a whole new level of tiredness, especially now we’ve hit the ‘sleep regression’ stage with Theo. We’re convinced he has a built-in sensor that kicks in just as our heads hit the pillow and we open our books. We pretend for a while we haven’t heard him, and tell each other he’ll fall asleep again. He never does. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s usually stood up in his cot, asleep and crying all at the same time. Everyone keeps saying “it’s just a phase”. I bloody well hope so, because I feel I’ve aged ten years in a month. Childless people keep telling me to have a lie in before starting a late shift. Hahahaha! I laugh in their face. If only they knew. Weekday or weekend, T wakes up at 5:45am without fail. Please Theo, just let us sleep!

Last month we went mad. We decided it would be the best idea ever to go and spend a week in France. Did we book flights and a traditional chateau looking out over a vineyard? Did we use the week as an opportunity to chill out in preparation for my return to work? Did we buggery! We decided it’d be the best idea ever to travel across England, to get a ferry over the channel, to then travel miles and miles with a rucksack, a suitcase, and a buggy (not to mention a two stone baby) to spend a few days with my dad, who thinks anything and everything we do is weird and analyses our every choice and decision. Who knew eating a meal could be so difficult? “Don’t you know you’re supposed to eat the cheese course BEFORE desert?” Poor Alex had to put up with endless comments about not eating meat, and was forced to survive on the worst microwavable veggie burgers. Not only that, but we were forced to have family bonding sessions with my hyperactive 2 year old nephew, who constantly pulled his pants down and farted, bare bottomed, in my face at every opportunity. Needless to say we were glad to leave the Adam’s Family behind, and move on to our next stop; Rouen, where we had a fab time. Alone. So much so, that we’ve decided to be less adventurous next time. We’re giving in and booking a week in the Canaries. Somewhere with a pool, near the beach. Alone.

Anyway I’d best dash. Got to nip to Argos and pick up a plastic-y baby walker that probably plays horrendous monophonic nursery rhymes and gets in the way. Anything to save our backs and let Theo walk on his own!


Boobs, Poo, & Meat. 

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? 

It’s two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring. 

It’s only Wednesday and I’m looking forward to the weekend already. It’s a different ‘Friday feeling’ nowadays. I no longer fancy town, no longer fancy drinking as much Stella as is physically possible, no longer fancy ‘lock-ins’, nor waking up with that horrific ‘kill me now’ feeling on a Saturday morning, and spend the day preparing to do it all again in the evening. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still partial to a fine ale, or a tipple of G&T, but I’d rather do it at home with dribble on my shoulder and the faint whiff of sick surrounding me. Ok, I know, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring.

My friends and I are at an awkward stage in life; half of them are buying homes, getting married, and having babies, while the other half are travelling, drinking themselves senseless, and moaning about their friends who have chosen to settle down. The latter isn’t for me. I’ve got that out of my system. No, there’s nothing I look forward to more than weekends with my two favourite people. I’ve noticed the look of peoples’ faces when I tell them this; the ones who are partying and ‘having a good time’. It’s a look of confusion, and in some cases pity; “Why would you want to go walking at weekends instead of ‘getting wrecked’?” “Aren’t you bored and lonely sat in all week with a baby?” I can’t be bothered with hangovers anymore. I’ve discovered nature; it’s beautiful, calm, and if you look at the right foliage you’ll find loads of berries to put with gin! Ok, I know, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring.

I’m not bothered about clothes anymore. I know, I can’t believe it either. For those of you who don’t know me, I used to sing on cruise ships and had a different sparkly outfit for every possible occasion. It’s not a priority anymore. In fact I’ve just finished teaching, and realised I’ve taught for two hours with sick on my shoulder. Thanks for telling me, kids (not). I live in jeans, sick-covered t-shirts, and my DMs. Long gone are the lace knickers. I swapped them a year ago for ‘Bridget Jones style’ pants (sorry Alex). I even go to the shops with no make up now, and leave my ‘Brian May’ hair to do its own thing. I’ve even replaced the Topshop app on my phone with Baby Gap. Ok, I know, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring.

The thing that shocked me the most is that I’ve developed an interest in politics. I fully support Britain in taking on the Syrian refugees, I think it’s fantastic that Corbyn got in, and I’m considering joining the Labour Party. Perhaps I’ve got too much time to tap away on the iPad whilst I’m feeding Theo? Who knows? I’d rather be doing that than watching Eastenders (which I’ve secretly been known to do). If you hadn’t guessed by now, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring. And I don’t care.


How To Deter Your Health Visitor

I’m typing this in the bath. These twenty minutes are very precious. There’s nobody else here, and it’s bliss! Writing my blog clears the mind, and prepares me for the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes of the day.

Today’s been particularly tough. I’ve no idea why. Perhaps it’s the two hours sleep I’ve missed out on every night for the past eight weeks? Maybe it’s the fact we had a brilliant day in the Lake District yesterday, and staying in today, staring at ‘Washing Up Mountain’ isn’t quite living up to it. Or maybe it’s because we’ve just used the last of the coffee beans; the thing I’ve come to be most reliant on. Whatever it is, I know that having a good old moan via my blog will fix my mood. Here goes…

There’s few people in life that really get on my wick. It’s easy to avoid the ones that do; delete them from Facebook, pretend you haven’t seen them in the café because you’re far too busy being busy to notice them. I sometimes don’t even open text messages from certain people, just so it doesn’t say ‘read’ on their phone. I’m well practiced in this. There’s one person I can’t seem to get away from though. The Health Visitor.

She hates me. I can’t say I’m too keen on her either. Don’t get me wrong, she’s pleasant enough and is obviously good at her job, but she doesn’t half nag! I don’t know how many more times I can tell her I’m not depressed. Unfortunately on her first visit I responded to the question “Have you felt tearful at all since bringing the baby home?” by saying “Yes.” Red alert! Red alert! Her iPad didn’t like my answer at all. Why, oh why did I say this? I cried the first evening we came home. Most probably because I’d just had a baby via a very unplanned Caesarean, for three days had been trapped in a hospital ward surrounded by undesirables, and had literally slept for five hours within 72. Who wouldn’t shed a tear upon stepping through the door to their home with a beautiful new baby whom you’re responsible for forever, a clean bed, your own toilet, and your partner making you a proper brew instead of the crap they provide at hospital? I’ve always expressed exhaustion through crying. I remember when I was 10, I was in a production of ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’ (I was a badger.) The dress rehearsal had been so tedious, and I was so stressed with remembering my one line, that Sunday evening I sat in the bath with the muffled sounds of ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ theme tune coming from the living room, and balled my eyes out. So I’m sorry if I cried once on the first evening in our own home with our new baby. It does not by any means suggest that I’m depressed. I was just bloody knackered!

And I’m not being abused either! I’m sure that sadly there are many women out there being abused by their partners, but I wish she’d take my word for it that I’m not one of them! No amount of questionnaire-filling in, or book marks with help line phone numbers on them are going to change that. Please desist!

Last moan now: I accidentally told the Health Visitor that I’ve been giving Theo a bottle of formula milk every now and then. I know I can’t ‘run out’ of milk. Believe me, I’ve read every bit of NHS advice regarding breastfeeding. But we had a couple of horrendous nights where he seemed to be starving, and it didn’t appear as though I had enough milk to meet his demand. So Alex nipped to the shop and got a tin of formula. Wham, bam, thank you mam! Theo fell asleep a happy baby in the end, and my boobs had enough time to build up a better supply before the next feed. Needless to say the Health Visitor took this news badly. Despite having just told me how well the baby was doing, that he was putting on weight, and that a lot of the things he was doing were quite advanced for his age, she went on to recite a monologue recalling the downside to formula fed babies. With the way she was blabbering on, you’d think all the millions of formula fed babies out there were malnourished, quivering wrecks. I’d like to see how she’d cope when reality hits with a baby who had been screaming uncontrollably for four hours! She wouldn’t be so quick as to throw her ‘rule book’ at me then. I must remind myself however, that this is her job. Boxes must be ticked!

So here are my top three tips on how to deter your Health Visitor:

  1. Don’t get depressed.
  2. Try to avoid domestic abuse at all cost.
  3. (And this is the worst thing ever…) Feed your baby a few bottles of formula milk a week. She’ll soon get the message there’s no need to come back.

Anyway enough moaning. I’d best dry off. I’ve gone all wrinkly and can hear the grunts of starvation coming from downstairs. Don’t worry, Theo, it’s Wab Time.

I Have No Time At All.

Before I got a ‘real job’ in September last year, before parenthood, and before I had to grow up, I was a musician. Time was disposable. The only responsibilities I had were shoving a bit of ‘slap’ on my face, singing a few songs to half-filled pubs, and getting home to a well-earned G&T, scrolling through the ‘What’s New’ section on the Topshop website, and telling Alex about all the freaks and weirdos I had encountered that night, before going bed. Day time was my time to do as I wished with, and so, was divided into units of time; gym: 1 unit, nails: 1 unit, drinks in the local Wetherspoons with my fellow musician pals: quite a few units. And although I’m loving being a mum and spending time with ‘Mr T’, the days whiz by and are now slipping uncontrollably through my fingers.

I have no time at all; hardly enough time to even have a wee, never mind snatching that precious ‘alone time’ reading Private Eye on the toilet. The days of merely being able to drink a hot coffee are long gone. Mornings are the worst. I feel we run a military operation before we even go downstairs. It all starts around 6am (if we’re lucky). We wake up to the sounds of him stirring; a small grunt at first, then the kicking of his legs, a few farts, an amplified squelch of shit from his nappy, then all hell breaks loose as he screams blue murder. He’s got attitude and he’s hungry. We try our best to ignore it, not making eye contact, thinking he’ll get bored and forget he’s not eaten for three hours, and fall asleep again. But then my boobs start pouring. I’m like a cow. I’d best get up, sort his arse out and get him fed. That’s a large chunk of units eaten up before I’ve even said “Good morning” to anyone. Days are then broken up into three hour blocks. This is the time I have to do the mundane chores, like washing up, before the next feed. I’ve worked out I spend eight hours a day feeding him; that’s eight hours a day with my tits out. That’s the same amount of time I spent at work. I’ve swapped work for milking time!

Another change…We’ve turned into one of ‘those families’ who are late for everything. And I mean everything! Prior to entering Mumsville I could not abide being late for anything, because I know how much lateness pisses me off. It irritated me when students would arrive late for their music lessons, knocking all my carefully planned timetable completely out of sync. Yet it’s now I’m a mum that I can (sort of) understand why they were late. Feeds can take anything from 20 minutes to an hour, you’ve to pack everything but the kitchen sink when leaving the building (heaven forbid you forget the Muslin Square or the emergency dummy), and getting him in and out of the car is definitely two units in itself! Even if you get organised way ahead of time, you can bet your life on it you’ll walk out of the door having forgotten to do or pack something. So if you’re arranging something with me, never expect me to be there when I say I will, for I am a mother now, and cannot possibly run on time for anyone or anything.

So it’s taken us a good three hours to get him to bed. We’ve bathed him, changed him, fed him (again), walked round the park (again. I swear he’ll quack before he speaks English.) We’ve done ‘bouncy Theo’, shushed and rocked him, and he finally falls asleep. This is ‘our time’. Do we sit down and watch a film? Enjoy a bottle of wine and munch nibbles outside enjoying the last of the evening sun? Do we buggery! We’re watching him sleeping, checking he’s still breathing, talking about the last cute thing he did, and analysing the colour of his last shit. A few weeks ago, we left Theo with Alex’s parents for the evening, loaded with bottles and dummies, while we poured as many G&Ts down our necks as was physically possible in two and a half hours. It’s true what people say about not having a social life once you become parents. With the amount of planning it took, and time spent attached to my trusty breast pump filling emergency Tommy Tippees, we did wonder whether it was worth it in the end, or whether we’d have been better nipping to Lidl and getting a cheap bottle of ‘plonk.’  It was nice to get out of the house alone though, without the kitchen sink, albeit for just two and a half hours.

So if you see in the distance someone resembling ‘Stig of the Dump’ pushing a pram round the park shushing like something deflating, and smell the faint wiff of puke, baby poo, and B.O., it’s probably me; the was glamorous cruise ship singer, now turned mother.