Where have the past 8 (nearly 9) months gone? Seriously, how have they passed so quickly? It honestly doesn’t seem that long ago since baby girl was born and now she is growing up with frightening speed!
Over the past month and a half she has started to pull herself up to standing and can now crawl at the speed of light. Come on now child, slow down! Please!
I love that she is learning new things and I am incredibly proud of her when she masters a hard practised skill. It just scares me if I am honest. It scares me that these days, when my children are young and need me, are flying by and I worry that I am not making the most of them. I am not making the most of the time I get to play with my children, or cuddle my children, or read with my children. Instead I get frustrated that baby boy wants me to do a jigsaw with him when I am trying (and failing) to clean the kitchen. I get annoyed when baby girl won’t stop crying and just wants to be held when I am trying (and failing) to hang the washing out. Instead of revelling in the time I have with my babies and making the most of every single second, new skill and milestone, I am stressing about things that need to be done and aren’t getting done. In short I am missing out on my gorgeous children.
The funny thing is that I haven’t even gone back to work yet. I am still at home full time and yet I feel like I am missing out! That obviously then sets off a new worry about being a full time working mum and missing out on even more things. My god, the guilt is everywhere!
The next few weeks before I start my job are going to be hectic but I really need to slow down and spend some quality time with my beautiful, perfect children. They deserve my time and full attention whilst we have the opportunity. Things are going to be very different soon and I can’t help but feel sad and slightly resentful that someone else is going to spend the majority of time with my babies.
Mummy guilt is hard!
For over a week now we have been attempting to encourage baby boy to use the potty. We have had some success yet I am constantly feeling that it is a 1 step forward and 2 steps back process! I have reached the point now where I can honestly say that I hate potty training with a passion! Right now, at this point in time, I don’t care if he wears a nappy for the rest of his life (the very small still rational part of me is screaming ‘you don’t mean that’ but I am ignoring her).
We have had a degree of success, like I said though. Baby boy will happily use the potty as long as he is not wearing any pants. As long as his bottom half is naked he will sit himself down and then proudly tell all and sundry that he has done a big wee or poo. He then gets a little sweet (I am not above bribery). Brilliant! Put some underwear on him however and he doesn’t even try. He just goes in his pants. Arggggghhh! It’s great that we have made some progress but seriously, he can’t just walk around naked forever! We do actually have to leave the house.
One of the worst parts of this whole process is that baby boy has discovered that he can wee on purpose if he wants to and he finds it hilarious. I call it revenge weeing and it goes like this: ‘Stop hitting your sister’ = wee on the floor. ‘No, you can’t have the bricks out until the cars have been tidied away’ = wee on the floor. ‘Eat your lunch before you have a biscuit’ = wee on the floor. I am sick to death of cleaning up wee and poo!
It’s at times like these in your child’s life that everyone around you seems to have done a better job than you. ‘My child was potty trained by 12 months’ or ‘my child potty trained in 3 days’. Well good for you and your exceptional toileting child! I know that it will get easier and that one day it will just click but my god it feels like this hell will never end!
How did you go about potty training your child? Any tips?
Just look at those faces. Those sweet, adorable, butter wouldn’t melt faces. Those drive me crazy, make me want to tear my hair out yet I love them unconditionally faces. Now tell me how I am supposed to leave them for up to 9 hours a day.
My maternity allowance runs out in just over a months time and I am faced with the unenviable task of finding a job. I don’t want to find a job. I want nothing less. And before anyone starts to moan at me and tell me that I’m lazy and a scrounger, it’s not that I don’t want to work per se, I just don’t want to leave my children. The thought of leaving them is tearing me up inside and some days I feel physically sick. I look at my children and despite some days just wishing that the Goblin King would come and whisk them away (it would have to be the David Bowie version obviously), the thought of leaving them in a stranger’s care is eating away at me.
I didn’t feel this way when I returned to work when baby boy was only 9 months old. In fact it felt like a sort of relief to leave the house, converse with other adults and have a bit of ‘me’ time. This time is different however. It’s the polar opposite! I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do it. Everyday I tell myself that I need to start looking for a job and everyday I procrastinate and put it off until tomorrow.
I don’t know if it’s because baby girl just seems so little still or if it’s because I am just so used to the 3 of us being wrapped up in our little bubble everyday (4 of us at weekends). I detest the idea of having to pay for somebody to look after my children for me. I imagine all of the things that I am going to miss. All of the firsts. What if baby girl takes her first steps or says her first words for somebody other than me. What if I miss baby boy recognising his numbers or pedalling a trike for the first time.
Baby girl has started to eat food now and we are still getting to grips with her allergies (cows milk protein being the main one). The thought of her being looked after by someone who doesn’t know her and her accidentally eating something that she shouldn’t frightens me to death. I run through scenarios in my head of all of the things that could go wrong. I know that it is ridiculous and that nurseries and childminders have procedures in place to protect against such incidents but I just can’t stop my mind from over-thinking.
The problem is though is that I have no choice. Whether I am ready or not, my money will soon run out and I will need to go to work. We have bills to pay and food to put on the table and the deadline is looming.
Oh what I would give to just be financially comfortable enough to stay at home and raise my children myself.
So we’ve had an early summer this year which can only mean one thing – playing outside! It’s amazing how a little warm weather can make all the difference to a day and ever since the sun has been out we’ve been spending the majority of our time doing outdoor activities.
A lot of the time we have just played in the garden. We had a new patio laid in an attempt to not only make the garden look nice but to avoid an inevitable serious injury that the uneven, stony ground was going to cause. Next to the patio I put some bark chippings and a playhouse and an old plastic toy kitchen. It is here that baby boy now spends the majority of his day. I drink endless cups of tea and eat plates of cake, all of the plastic variety, thoughtfully made by my 2 year old. It’s great fun.
The park is another favourite place at the moment. If I had to guess I would say that 60% of time there is spent on the swings, 30% on the slide and 10% on everything else. For a 2 year old, swings rule! For a Mummy, swings mean aching arms and getting kicked repeatedly when she misjudges the push. Baby boy loves them though so I give in to his cries of again, again because the look on his face and the laugh that escapes as he flies higher gives me the best feeling in the world.
It is tiring work playing outside though. Baby boy stopped having an afternoon nap shortly after baby girl was born but these past few weeks he has quite often fallen asleep for half an hour in the middle of playing. When it coincides with baby girl having a nap I feel like it’s my birthday and Christmas rolled into one (although they are actually only 3 days apart so at the time do feel like they are rolled into one). I actually got 2 fence panels painted yesterday!
Hopefully the summer has only just begun and we will have plenty of time outside. I am looking forward to baby girl learning to crawl on the grass, baby boy splashing in the paddling pool and hope against hope … A BBQ!
What are your favourite outdoor activities?
She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about your life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!
You go home and she is alone with the children. She loves the children but she hasn’t got the energy to play with them. She flicks listlessly through the TV channels. Nothing captures her attention and it wouldn’t matter anyway because not much really interests her at the moment. The house is a mess and although she knows that she needs to clean it, she just can’t face that chore. The youngest child comes over for a cuddle. It brings tears to her eyes. She knows that the children love her unconditionally yet she can’t bring herself to be the full of energy Mother that she once was. Where has that person gone? Where has the love for life gone? It was there not so long ago, she’s sure that it was. The eldest child wants to go to the park. Getting out of the house might do everyone some good she thinks so coats and shoes go on, changing bag is packed and half an hour later everybody is ready to depart. The park is bright and sunny with children running around and parents happily chasing them. She looks enviously at the happy families. They look care free.
A friend spots her and approaches to say hello. She laughs and smiles, playing with the children, happily chatting away. Nothing much to say about what’s going on with her but the children are doing great. The eldest won a dance award and the youngest is cutting a new tooth. Full of questions about her friend’s life, she listens intently, nodding, smiling and offering words of encouragement if needed. She’s happy, right. Life is great – she said so herself. She smiles all of the time and always knows what to say to cheer other people up. Of course she’s happy!
Do we really know how people are feeling inside? According to the World Health Organisation more than 350 million people worldwide will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. This doesn’t mean that all of these people will receive help and support however. Mental Health issues such as depression still have a social stigma surrounding them even in this day and age. Many people hide how they feel for fear of not being taken seriously. Depression is an illness and if we can raise awareness of this, then maybe more people will seek the help and support that they so desperately need.
Mental Health Awareness Week
16th – 22nd May
Image Credit – http://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-hiding-sadness/