Motherhood, toddler

The truth.

I never want to lie. I haven’t intentionally perpetuated any myths about parenthood. I’ve actually gone out of my way to be real about all of it.

But, just to be clear, here’s the facts.

Motherhood is hard.

I’ve just spent two days with TJ and they were much more tiring and testing than the prior two days in the office. I feel like applauding myself for getting through the 10 months of maternity leave if this is what it was always like.

Of course, it wasn’t always like this. TJ has changed, developed and grown both in size and personality. It’s easy to look back at those newborn days through rose-tinted glasses but I know that’s not the case – I’ve still got the bags under my eyes to prove it.

Yesterday, I willingly did a big food shop just for something to do.

I’ve also gone to two baby classes a day just to get out of the house as TJ is apparently bored at home. He loves other people and children and I’m prepared to indulge him in that to avoid meltdowns, to give us some fun time together and also to keep me sane.

During these outings, several people have commented on how happy my baby is. My stock answer is that he’s happiest when we are out of the house.

At home, the following are currently a battle:

Feeding – spoon feeding is off the menu for TJ so I’m ransacking Annabel Karmel for finger foods which my limited cooking skills and budget can take on.

Nappy changes: This particular battle starts around 7:30am, the first change of the day. This is usually a code brown, and I have to forcibly pin TJ down so I can clean him up.

Sleeping: as always. This one has never changed for us. Thank God TJ’s Dad usually looks after bedtime so it’s just those precious day naps which are the issue for me.

Leaving the house for a car ride or pram trip: This is when I also have to forcibly get TJ strapped in and endure a few tears from him before we can go on our way (usually to a baby class).

Moving around: TJ is constantly on the move – finger walking being his preferred mode of transportation. So, I spend my life crouching down to hold him upright by his wrists. I would hold his fingers (as the name suggests) but TJ has taken to carrying some random treasure around with him, like my shoes. Or a coaster. Or a toy which he doesn’t play with.
If he’s not walking, he’s desperately trying to crawl but then he just ends up frustrated, crying, face down on the floor, resting his face on his arms in a proper toddler tantrum style (which I thought he was too young for!)

That doesn’t leave much time for anything else does it? Well, yes it does. This I must remember.

It leaves time for cuddles, which he has learnt to climb into my lap for.

It leaves time for uncontrollable giggles when I tickle him by his ears or on his tummy.

It leaves time for how he insists on holding a bit of my hair when I give him his bottle whilst he’s sitting on my lap.

It leaves time for me to love TJ more than I thought possible.

Motherhood isn’t easy. Despite what TV, Instagram and all the rest of it make it look like through a good filter, it really is the hardest job in the world.

But would I change it? No. Well, I say this whilst TJ is snoozing. Ask me again at a nappy change.


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.


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.

Motherhood, Parent

Bed time

And I’m not talking about the baby here.

For the last few nights, I’ve been crawling into bed approximately 10 seconds after TJ (finally) goes to sleep.

I did put up a fight for a while – persevering through bleary eyes to have some baby-free sofa time with the other man in my life (TJ’s Dad)

But there’s almost a direct correlation between how heavy TJ is (currently tipping the scales at 20 pounds) and how early I’m a walking zombie. Lugging that not so little man around is tiring work for most, never mind someone with my shockingly low fitness levels of late.

So in the battle between binge watching box sets and bed, I’m afraid the latter is definitely winning at the moment.

At least TJ’s Dad gets to enjoy hogging the remote.

Motherhood, Mums

The knowing look

I walked passed a fellow mum today and we exchanged a glance which said a thousand words.

It said that we knew why neither of us was wearing any make-up.

It said that we knew why both of us were wearing leggings.

It said that we’ve not had a full night of sleep for too long.

It said that we’re both finding our feet in parenthood.

It’s a good knowing look because we’re all in this crazy mess of marvellous motherhood together!

Do you know the look I mean?

Image credit – The Mirror

Motherhood, Mums, Parent

The first two months 

So as I type this with little TJ resting on my chest, it’s a good time to look back on the madness of the last eight weeks. Like all new mums, I set out with all the best intentions. Here’s a list of stuff I’ve done differently to those best laid plans. Amongst the intense pressure on new mums to be perfect, here’s how I’ve been happy not to be.

  • I wanted a water birth with gas and air as my only assistance. In reality, I was induced (bye bye birth centre), I didn’t dialate despite all the pain (hello epidural and pethadine) and then I ended with a c-section. 
  • I would not have a problem with my post-natal figure. Well, I’m sorry, but I haven’t got there yet. My c-section left me with a proper mum tum and I haven’t got over that. I will, just not yet. Let me do those 10,000 planks first.
  • I would exclusively breastfeed. Here’s one form of pressure all new mums know about. I read all about it and thought the main issue would be latch. No one warned me about low supply – even copious amounts of nursing tea, fenugreek pills, expressing and lactation consultants haven’t got me over that one. So me and SMA have become close friends. A Medala Swing pump continues to be a close companion too.
  • I would shower and eat properly daily. Ha ha ha. My weekly shop largely consists of Babybels and other food I can eat with one hand and Batisse Dry Shampoo.
  • We wouldn’t co-sleep. That lasted around 3 hours after we first got home and I realised the effectiveness of Moses baskets is about as mythical as the bible itself.

The only promises I’ve stuck to are not filling my social media with pictures of TJ (I won’t be sharing pictures here either) and not checking my work emails – which OK has been pretty easy! But, we do what we can do to get by and keep our new little ones at the centre of our world.

As TJ develops daily and is starting to flash me some toothless grins, it’s a fun journey. 
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