Everything but the kitchen sink!

I am pretty sure I am not the only parent who struggles to leave the house without several totally random objects being thrust into the nappy bag. Or a whole separate bag, or the car in general!

The back of my car now looks like a terrible jumble sale! Leaving the house takes far longer than it needs to, and try suggesting we don’t need three bags, four hats, twenty hair bobbles and a random leaflet. The only thing that ensues is tears, rolling around the floor and a refusal to leave the house.

When winter finished, and the weather warmed up, we still had to take a woolly hat, scarf and gloves (all worn) prior to leaving the house. Summer brought about a refusal to wear a cardigan or coat, even on the colder days. Yet, we must stuff the bag for nursery full of these items! I am slightly concerned about a social services referral occurring due to her not being dressed appropriately for the weather (I’m pretty sure it wont actually happen!)

If we go on holiday I must pack quickly, and efficiently, without her being aware it is happening. If she gets wind that there is packing to be done then we will take every blanket she owns, the whole contents of her teddy collection and much more. She will have zipped this all into the bag before I have even had a chance to pack any clothes for myself of Daddy!

It came to a head a couple of days in a row the other week. Day one was a flat-out refusal to go to nursery, which hadn’t happened in a while. I think she’d been tired and I woke her up (this never bodes well for getting anywhere). As such she cried that she just wanted ‘breakfast at home’ and ‘not go to nursery’. Unfortunately this was not an option. As I carried her under my arm, crying (definitely her tears, almost my tears) and wriggling, somehow she managed to pick up her plastic toy trolley. Which she carried to the car. I then had to negotiate strapping her in, as she screamed and wielded the plastic trolley. I got hit around the head with it a number of times. As we drove, she screamed and I sang to the Moana soundtrack loudly in an attempt to drown out  entertain her. Eventually the crying ceased and a peace deal was struck. Until I tried to leave the trolley in the car. At this point the crying restarted. Cut to her strutting into nursery with me in tow carrying a plastic trolley.

The next day I dutifully carried an empty box of wipes with one of my perfumes inside in to the nursery. I managed to smuggle out the perfume, whilst the box remained below her peg, for Grandpa to carry out when he collected her that afternoon!

Reassure me that I am not the only parent who has become a professional carrier of ‘stuff’!

Monday morning thoughts

Disclaimer – I am not in the best mood I could be whilst writing this. My little cherub woke at 4 am. I laid in bed whilst she manhandled me for two hours, before I begged the other half to save me for just an hour so I could deal with the day ahead. As such I am sleep deprived and, worse still, I have a sleep deprived toddler.

I answered the door to the food shopping delivery. I must have left the kitchen for up to five minutes maximum, when I return to this sight….

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……A whole box of blueberries strewn over the floor. Her thoughts “Oh no”. My thoughts out loud “Oh no”. My thoughts in my head “Why are you doing this to me? I left the room for five minutes”.

So I ask her if she could help pick them up whilst I unpack the shopping. Her response is to walk through them, squishing them into the floor, and getting very upset as they have dirtied her feet. I mean, seriously, she is an expert at making a mess but somehow doesn’t like to be dirty. That’s going to cause her some serious heartache over the years I should imagine.

After two attempts at suggesting she helps clear up I give in and accept that I am in fact her minion, and it will be me on my hands and knees clearing blueberries from the floor.

This is where the twist occurs. I start collecting them back into the punnet, and she loses it. Screaming at me loses it. Why? Because she actually did want to help? Because she has realised it’s her mess and mummy’s clearing it up? Nope. It’s because I didn’t put the little black mat back in the bottom of the punnet first. And that, according to a toddler, is a disaster. A reason to have a meltdown.

Clearly we are on course to have the best day ever!

Has it really been 12 months?

Firstly I must apologise for the long silence, and secondly I’m not even sure where to begin as it’s been so long. The balance between having a job and a mobile little one who naps less than previously left me with far less time to myself. In turn, I had to juggle all the tasks that needed to be completed and, sadly, the blog was the easiest to neglect.

 

I now have a two and a half year old – where does the time fly. Last time I posted she was just 18 months old. So much has happened in the last twelve months – mostly involving her development and how rapidly that seems to occur!

 

I wont even begin to discuss all of it in one go. But I’m going to set myself some new rules for the blog. I’m going to try to blog more frequently, though it’s likely to be less than I managed previously. In a bid to keep going with the blog, I will probably keep the posts a little shorter. I’m going to stick to posting honest thoughts and situations, because that’s what I want to hear when I read other blogs. I don’t want to dramatize everything, and I also don’t want to appear to live in a perfect little bubble. Because few people really do, if any!

 

The last twelve months has been a steep learning curve – from what I thought were the terrible two’s come early, to what actually is the terrible two’s! I have juggled my desire to develop my career whilst trying to be a mummy, and not feeling guilty doing so. I have also been attempting to find time for myself, and the opportunity to be just ‘me’ and not ‘mummy’ or ‘doctor’. I find myself in a position, where I genuinely feel I have struck a really good balance, and I am satisfied with how things are going. I can honestly say that it has only been in the last few months where I have gotten to the point where I feel like I’m ‘me’ again, and that I’m on top of things (most of the time).

 

I have found owning a toddler a real challenge – perhaps more so that anything else I have ever done. Her character and personality is really clear to see now, and she has a lot of my traits. This, weirdly, is one of the most frustrating things I have found. I realise how annoying it must be to live with me at times! And I must be really irrational at times – especially with our shared ‘need’ to have things that we really don’t need!

 

In a few bullet points I will list some of the changes over the last twelve months. They’re areas I hope to get around to discussing more in a future post:

  • She has gone from eating whatever was given to her to having quite the opinion on what she does and doesn’t eat. But – she doesn’t breastfeed anymore.
  • Her language skills – she now talks for England!
  • Her tantrums are real, and frustrating, and irrational, and persistent. Yet they can all be mostly predicted.
  • She loves pink – we have no idea where this love came from but she does!
  • She loves to sing and dance and entertain – but only when she’s decided she isn’t shy anymore.
  • She loves her babies, and her kitchen, and all her other imaginative play toys.
  • She has gone from being sad to go to nursery, to accepting, to devastated, to asking to go.
  • She runs, climbs and generally tears around the place.
  • We’re in the process of nappy training.
  • I finally kept a new years resolution, and have a gym subscription that isn’t going to waste (that is a big milestone in my life)

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Painting with a 17 month old

This week I decided to get some paint and see what happens. She has come home from nursery on a number of occasions with little paintings, or the report has been that they’ve been doing some painting. It was a nice sunny day so I stripped her down and let her go wild with the paint in the garden. Most of the paint went on herself…..a bit like the yoghurt moisturiser situation!​

Amelia’s learnt how to moisturise….

Since she was tiny we have always added in a ‘creaming’ step to the bath time routine where we basically slather her in Cetraben cream. In the last week or so I have been letting her rub a bit into her tummy herself. Slight fail for me when I thought she was ready for me to squirt it onto her hand because she tried to eat it. But today she decided to cream herself with the yoghurt I let her try devour by herself. The end result included yoghurt rubbed into the wall, the cupboards and the bench but this video shows her mid moisturising…..

The (mummy) dating game

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The beauty that brightens everyday, whatever else is occurring!

This week I’ve been leaving my comfort zone and making some first moves.I signed up to an app called Mush (http://www.letsmush.com/) which is a place where you can meet other mums, with similar aged children and are perhaps like-minded. There are some categories to describe what kind of a person you are, and a section to put a short bio. I logged in and spent some time browsing people local to me and wondering who I might contact. I questioned what children’s age range worked for us (thinking 12 months to perhaps 3 years worked well for playdates). I scrutinized the photo’s the mummies had uploaded – not rating for level of beauty but trying to guess ages – thinking that someone that might be similar in age would be a good start. By the time I had put these two criteria in place it had narrowed the options down quite a lot. I added in a mum who was really local but her baby was only several weeks old. Anyhow, I contacted the first three on the list, those who were most local, fitted the criteria of approximate age of mum and age of child, and seemed to have a similar outlook (‘tea lover’ was a good descriptor!).

Replies came through surprisingly quickly. It pretty quickly became apparent that the mummy with the younger baby wasn’t like-minded currently. She was on maternity leave and had all the time in the world to go to every baby group know to mum. She was really good at suggesting all the groups that were fantastic but not so much at wanting to meet up. The other two mummies I contacted were so much easier to message, and after a quick chat ‘dates’ have been set up, which I’m really nervous about but at the same time relieved to know that there may be hope out there. I will keep you posted as to how they went.

In addition to signing up to Mush I looked on Netmums (http://www.netmums.com/) to revisit what groups are going on locally, and on what days. Turns out there are a few groups but quite a lot of them just don’t work for the days I have off. But I’ve found a mum and toddler Yogabellies (http://www.yogabellies.co.uk/) class that’d work, and I’ve made contact with a view to going along in September as there’s a little break coming up. There’s also a local mother and baby/toddler group thats had really good press and is pretty popular. This runs on my other day off. So I’m going to try and make it along to that group.

We’ve also got a family membership to the gym and so far we’re really happy with it. We went on the weekend and there was a really good family atmosphere. Daddy and I used the gym, we all went swimming together, and then Amelia devoured the pancakes on offer! It’s got great facilities, including a creche, play area in the cafe and swimming lessons for Amelia. Also, as she gets older there’s lots of activity groups and classes she can try out too. I’ve been trying to be proactive at attending classes to try and meet people (and I’ve made lots of small talk so far), and I’ve been getting some solo workouts in to try and follow through with my new years resolutions (https://newmummydiary.co.uk/2016/01/11/new-year-new-resolutions/) and just using it as a time to destress and try and process my worries. I’m really enjoying it, and hopefully will stick with the regular visits!

Finally, I’ve really tried to spend some time visiting, and planning meet ups with those friends I already cherish to reinforce the fact that I am not alone at all. I have an amazing set of friends and family who I love dearly!

So, I’m making a start, and feel like I’m heading in the right direction. I’m also aiming to be a bit better with the blogging frequency because I find it very therapeutic to put my experiences down on paper (or should I say screen?).

Any more suggestions greatly received, otherwise I will get back to my ‘dating’!

A fun day was had…

First of all I can only say that everyone that reads this blog is amazing! You are all really kind, and very helpful!

It’s been reassuring to know that many other mums have had similar experiences when making the transition to motherhood. It was also really helpful to see how different the ideas and thoughts about how many, and what kind of friendships people have made post-baby. The tips on how to approach making friends was really helpful too. One lovely mum said she found an app called ‘Mush’ good – it’s a bit like a dating app for mum’s. I’ve downloaded it, signed up, and had a browse. I’m just plucking up the courage to make some first moves! I’m not the best at making the first move (my husband may beg to differ but I’m pretty sure he made the first move), so I just need to spend a few days thinking it over (and probably overanalysing the profiles too much – I really need to stop overanalysing).

We’ve also lined up some weekends of visiting good friends. This weekend includes seeing a great pal who still actually wants to hang out with us despite the fact that I convinced her, and her then few month old, to come to Malta with me and Amelia. Anyone who has read ‘the worst week of my life’ post (https://newmummydiary.co.uk/2015/12/)  will know that Amelia got admitted to hospital on the second day of that trip. So this lovely friend spent the rest of the trip hanging out with her son, my sister now and again, and visiting us in hospital. The best part was that I had suggested at the start of the trip that she could use that trip to assess if she might want to holiday with us again. As I said, I’m surprised she still answers my messages!

But today was great… We went swimming. This sounds really simple, and we were going to regular swimming classes on a Sunday so it may seem odd that I could have this as a highlight of the week. But we joined a gym, and today I took her to the pool for the first time. There was no pressure to be in the pool at a specific time, it was just me and Amelia playing around, and there was no structure to the session. We played in the water, watched the older kids jumping in and splashing around, and Amelia practiced climbing in and out of the pool and up and down the steps! She was in a really happy mood and giggled and did her excited wiggle! She even enjoyed the changing room. Although it became somewhat embarrassing when I turned around to find her presenting me with another woman’s bra (luckily the woman was not around), and even after I put it back she tried to collect it again!

Once again, thank-you so much for being such an awesome community!

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