Real love.

The penny has dropped.

I’ve been in denial about what a separation means.

I’ve been locking up all my feelings about not seeing TJ every day whilst focussing on sorting mortgages and money rather than my own mind.

I don’t know how I am going to cope without seeing my little boy every day.

What if I miss something? A milestone, a moment or simply just some time when he will need his mum?

I’m going to be an hour away. Although I will move hell and high water to get to him if something ever does happen, it won’t always be possible. Like at 3am when he has a nightmare while I live in one of my own creation.

I am doing this for the right reasons – for a better life for all three of us in the long-term. I don’t want TJ exposed to any of the negativity between me and TJ’s Dad that I fear he would experience (and in some ways already is) if I did stay.

I don’t want to be selfish but I am doing this for me too. I want more. After getting my head straight and enjoying some singledom, I want real love with someone who is on my wavelength and who will make me happy, positive and fulfilled. Not sad, negative and soulless. That will make me a better parent in the end anyway and set a positive role model for TJ, I hope.

But I’m trading that for precious, precious time with my baby. Time I will never get back. Time which is going far too fast anyway and that’s before I only get 50% of it.

I keep telling myself that it’s not that much less time really. I will still have at least two whole days a week with him – and on alternate weeks I’ll have my little man all to myself for four days. That hasn’t and doesn’t always happen now as I go out, see friends and do the other stuff in my life that keeps me sane. Time without TJ will, of course, stop on our week days and weekends together. Even on the worst weeks, when he will be with his dad on weekends, we will still have Thursdays and Fridays together – so that’s two full days a week which is all I would get if I worked full-time anyway.

But what about the other stuff?
What about the snatched and sleepy cuddles in a morning before nursery? What about the sofa snuggles and tickling fights at the end of the day before bath time? I won’t have those around my working day anymore and that breaks me in two.

His dad can do that stuff now. That’s a good thing as I hope it will develop and nourish their relationship in ways which it’s hard to do when I am there as he’s a clingy little mamas boy (and I wouldn’t change that for the world).

My family can also be more involved in his life. My parents and sister adore TJ and we will be just around the corner from each other. I’m lucky they want to play such a big part in his life and I intend to make the most of this. TJ will also go to school in my home town, so my family can help with the school runs around my working hours. It also means the current plan for how to split the time is only temporary for the next couple of years.

Only time will help me to get past this. When I am in the swing of a new routine, balance in my life can be restored and I’ll hope it won’t all be a mistake. Until then, I’m fearing every minute until TJ is taken away from me.

That’s real love.

Baby, toddler

Rice, rice, baby.

About a week ago, a lovely friend of ours offered TJ a rice cake while we were at a baby group.

I say offered – TJ stared as she gave her daughter a little tasty treat so the mum must have felt obliged to extend her generosity.

I didn’t know what this was the start of.

Coinciding perfectly with TJ showing some typical toddler traits, he’s now got me feeding him rice cakes on demand.

At first, I thought it was great as they are (reasonably) healthy and a good finger food for him to practise biting and chewing with.

I quite enjoyed how I could magic up a rice cake snack for him and be rewarded with an excited wiggle and beaming smile.

That’s until TJ has started to point to the kitchen on a very regular basis. If I ignore him or try and distract him, a meltdown occurs.

On one such occasion when I ignored him, he wriggled out of my arms and (finger) walked with me to the kitchen cupboard where he knows they are kept and looked at me in expectation.

I tried to carry him away, but the tears and throwing himself backwards moves quickly came.

So I gave in, of course.

And now I know it’s all going to happen again, and again, and again.

Baby fat falls off when they start to move more right?!


Walk walk walk walk walk

When you all gon’?
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn
He no care if I’m
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting

Rihanna may not have been singing about teaching a tiny person to walk – but she definitely could have done.

TJ has very much found his feet and the huge novelty of being able to stand (almost unsupported) and walk (while adorably holding my fingers) is showing no signs of wearing off any time soon.

It’s a pure delight to see TJ show such an active interest in the world around him and he’s clearly relishing his first small taste of independence.

But it’s quite literally back breaking work. Stooping to hold his tiny little hands while he toddles along is likely to end up with me needing to see a chiropractor.

I tried some of those kiddie reins but he won’t go for them – yet. I’ve tried getting TJs dad to share the workload – TJ won’t have it. I’m his cruising companion and no one else – yet (hopefully)

I’m not knocking it as it’s a joy which touches every part of me seeing him develop in this way.

And it won’t be long before he’s running around without the need for my physical support. So I’ll cherish it while it lasts.

I may just need to book myself in for a massage first.

Baby, Parent

Rock a bye toddler

Not another one. Please not another one. Just when we thought we had got through the worst of the sleep-related battles, another regression appears to have come along.

TJ is nearly a year old, which according to Google, is a common age for them to decide sleep isn’t for them. Again.

It had been going so well. A reliable 90 ish minute cot nap in the morning, and another nap of varying length in the afternoon. He was sleeping at nursery. And sleeping at night.

Something has to give – and it’s the day naps at home.

I think someone at nursery – a kid from an older group – whispered to TJ “hey, you know you don’t have to do this napping stuff”. And TJ relished the thought.

This has resulted in three days (and counting) of battles for morning naps and a regular-as-clockwork 30 minute wake up with a will he/won’t he go back to sleep few minutes of tension thrown in for good measure.

I’m going to keep going as TJ may feel like he doesn’t need the break – but I sure do.

In years to come, I’ll laugh at this even being considered an issue. Probably.

Baby, Mums, Parent

The look of love

And I’m not talking about the expression on my face.

Today, at baby class, Theo double rolled. One of the activities was to “sausage roll” down a soft-play-esque slope. I helped TJ the first couple of times, but soon he was doing it himself with an expression of pure delight on his little face.

We did it a couple more times as he giggled away at the marvel of movement.

Then he did it a few times when we were back at home on the floor, not the slope. He still loved it.

The giggle and that (soon to be toothy) grin from terrific little TJ totally made my Monday.

Who said teething was all tears (yes, I know I may well live to regret thinking that!!)


Boys and their toys

I dread to think how much money I’ve spent on toys for TJ.

Educational toys, fluffy toys, toys which take up my entire lounge toys.

He’s pretty good at playing with most of them. By playing with, I of course mean putting them in his mouth, knocking them over or trying to make everything shake like the maracas I bought him.

But, today, he’s spent much of the (very hot) day starting to cruise around the furniture. I have to bum scoot around the lounge behind him as he’s still oh so wobbly. But what’s he taken with him almost every step of the way today? My lip balm. A little pot of Vaseline which is quite conveniently perfectly sized for a baby hand, and makes a good noise when you bash it on stuff. That pot cost me around £1 a year and a half ago. Not one thing from Fisher Price costs that and will enjoy such longevity.

Update – TJ now won’t go anywhere without a coaster.

Baby, Motherhood, Mums

What a boob.

Where did my boobs go?

I swear I just spent around 18 months having a fairly decent pair for the first time in my life.

But, a couple of months after stopping breastfeeding my TJ, and my chest is pretty much back to being just nipple.

I’ve never been particularly gifted in that region. The irony is I was the first of my friends to get boobs at 11 years old. But, they stopped growing at 12 years old so I had to be happy filling an A cup.

During pregnancy and the months immediately following, when I combi fed my little man, I sported quite a rack. I loved it. I finally got that boob job from Mother Nature, and it was better late than never.

But now it’s gone again. I’ve had to sadly stash away the bigger bras in the hope one day they may fit again while I go back to the smaller varieties I had happily hidden at the bottom of my underwear drawer.

I suppose as they are small, least I don’t now have saggy boobs. But I don’t have any boobs at all.

Now I understand why women have more than one baby. It’s all about getting the boobs back…!