Persephone: Parent

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Operation…Yucky!

The lurgy has hit the household and I, once again, feel like I’m dying. It’s just a cold, maybe a mild flu (achey, hot sweats, cough, dizzy/feint spells), but I am always over the top dramatic. Lucky the lurgy hit after my day away at a convention in London. Technically it hit whilst I was away. Yep, the first time that Daddy had both children on his own all day long and they both slept, taking it in turns so he only ever really had one to deal with. Typical! It did result in me getting a message once I was on my way home –

Can you get a taxi from the station rather than walk? We have vomit.

Oh, dear. Elvis then slept all day Monday, too. Ahh, Monday, the day that was supposed to be our last day together for Robin and I. Elvis hijacked it. Tuesday, which was supposed to be the first of 9 super productive spring cleaning days ended up being me watching TV with Elvis (who was hyper and no longer sick, but we didn’t know that at half 7) whilst Robin had her first morning at nursery. Wednesday, which was supposed to be second super decluttering day became a 90% on it day as I started to feel the affects of the bug, but both kids were at the nursery and I got most of my to do list done.

So, today, Thursday, supposed to be day 3 of 9 of cleaning, decluttering, jogging, shopping, being me and being amazing… I slept in until 9am (Daddy did the whole breakfast and get to nursery on his own. He’s amazing), had a bath, ate cereal, watched The 100, bought cookies and cereal. Moved a box. Ate cookies. Tried to nap. Had lunch and lemsip. That was at 12 just before I headed off to pick up both kids. I started to feel better with that lemsip. I think I just needed that amazing rest. This illness has given me such a short fuse. Robin seems to have skipped it. Although this evening she kept crying for incredibly random reasons. She hit me in the face and I jokingly said “Ouch, be careful, no, that hurt.” No sternness in my voice at all, and with a smile. She burst into tears! Elvis has spent the week having what I guess people might call normal toddler temper tantrums, but they’ve been whiny.

“I don’t want to get up!” Whiny meltdown. “I want cinnamon squares.” Whiny meltdown. “I’m tired.” Whiny meltdown. “I don’t want to go bed.” Whiny meltdown. “I don’t want to watch TV.” Whiny meltdown. “I’m tired.”

Seriously, go the fuck to bed because I have an awful headache and want you to just stop fucking whining!

This week I have been far worse than shouty parent. I have been screaming parent. I have wanted to swear at my son. Because swearing tells the other person you mean business, right? I have come so close to wanting to hit him. Just. To. Shut. Him. Up. All because I was tired, drained and exhausted and my head hurt so much. But I went to bed for over 12 hours and spent Thursday morning doing absolutely nothing and I feel better. I feel no guilt because I wasn’t being lazy, I was being protective.

Yeah, I still haven’t done my first jog of 2016 (I had planned to jog on days 1 and 3), I still have a lot of things to do on my to do list, but my junk room is already looking more spacious, I still have clothes shopping to do for work (supposed to do on day 2), but I still have 6 days left.

Unless Robin gets ill. Let’s not go there.

Robin, who has taken to nursery like a pro. She’s even happy wearing her shoes now! Everyone keeps commenting on how good of a baby she is (yes, I kind of hate how a baby is judged by how well they sleep and what their temperament is like, but it is partly true, Robin goes to sleep easily, she is so laid back and easy going, she literally leans back on you and giggles looking up, if you aren’t there she simply bangs her head on the floor and laughs!) I guess in a nursery situation “good” babies are simply because they make the workers’ life a bit easier. Robin started crying in the garden, so she was taken up for a nap and was asleep in a minute. Because she rarely cries. She’s also not overly fussed to see me when I turn up. She’s incredibly content.

Oh, and despite his mood, Elvis came home from nursery this week with two sunflowers that he’d planted and a lovely Mother’s Day card with a tree handprint and pink finger print leaves (it’s Stickman’s family tree, apparently).

Before the lurgy hit, I had an amazing weekend. I did my weekly weigh in (forgot to post, but reached my first target! Whoop!), then I spent the day at the arcades and climbing castles with the family. Went on a date night with hubby and after a lovely meal, snuck in a cinema trip and watched Deadpool (weird, not quite my taste, but hilarious). Sunday I spent in London and met 5 actors from TV and film. I finally met Greg Grunberg and Miltos Yerelomou! I’ve waited years! I’m not sure I’ll do a weigh in this week as I still feel a bit rough and, quite frankly, I have a good reason for slacking. It’s not being lazy or indulgent, it’s trying to recover and resting. I guess I’ll count myself lucky that this thing hit once both were in nursery even if it only gave me a few hours a day rest!

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And So The End Begins

This week marks the last week of what I’ve considered for however long as normal because it’s all coming to an end. My maternity leave ended a month ago and I’m still not back at work for almost 4 weeks but it’s all starting to end. Next week we’ll be in a period of transition for a few months.

I’m excited about the future about what will become the new normal but I am also sad about this week.

Tuesday was our last Tuesday where it was just the two of us, just Robin and I all day long. Where she could nap truly whenever she wanted as there was no nursery run. We could take meals slower, potter around playing in the bedrooms, do extra shopping. That’s all gone now. The one day a week where she could call the shots. And on our last Tuesday I spent it napping due to an awful migraine. Next Tuesday, Robin and I get to play at nursery for an hour for her first settling in session! Never again will she truly be able to call the shots. I mean, she has some freedom on weekends with regards to her naps, but if we want to go out as a family, her routine is the one sacrificed. Poor, second child, all she ever got was one day a week.

Oh, the sadness!

Wednesday is the day that I’ve been taking Robin for swimming lessons before lunch and then the nursery run. Next week Robin will have her second nursery settling session so I need to make sure she naps in the morning. Her lesson is during her nap time, which sometimes I can work around by taking her shopping right before and she’ll fall asleep for maybe 20 minutes. Most of the time, I just don’t let her nap and she waits until after the nursery run at 2 or 3pm. She might have been okay next week, swimming and then napping after an hour at nursery, but I don’t want to risk it. Next Wednesday, she gets to go into her nursery room for an hour whilst I fill in paperwork in the office. So she’ll be alone! She’s been in a creche loads for the therapy course I was doing so I’m not worried about leaving her. She also smiles and seems to really like the look of all of the staff when we pick Elvis up so I’m not fussed, but I’d prefer her to not be overtired! As of next week, and for the transition period maybe longer, both children will have their lessons on a Friday, his right after hers. As in, immediately after. Nanny will have to do more than just babysit one of them. Again, I’m quite sad about it as I’m so used to doing each swimming lesson with them on their own. Now, each of them are going to intrude on the other’s time. I won’t be able to get Robin dressed after her lesson. I won’t be able to get Elvis ready for his lesson. Since he was just 10 weeks old, I’ve taken him swimming, just the two of us for most of that time.

Oh, the sadness!

Thursday is the day where, well, we quite often don’t do much and next week Robin will have her third and final settling in session, where I take her and leave the building for an hour! Now, if I’d thought about it properly, I would have done it in the morning whilst Elvis is in nursery and scored myself an hour child-free, instead, I might take Elvis out for a drink and snack, maybe cake and hot chocolate – just the two of us. Sometimes on a Thursday, a friend visits with her toddler, we lunch and then collect Elvis, maybe go to a park. If not, I get cleaning done during Robin’s nap. I don’t know how I’m going to see my Thursday friend in all honesty. With my work hours, her school run, my nursery run. We’ll figure out something, but I can’t quite see how it’ll work out. We might be able to snatch an hour once a week. We could move to a Friday (along with half the rest of the bloody world), but with swimming in the morning, it might still only be an hour, maybe two. With some friends, I quite like to be limited to only an hour here and there, but not with Thursday Friend. I’m not even fussed about the cleaning, that’s built in to my new routine, but Thursday Friend, well, we might get more time during school holidays. Oh, dear, her toddler and Robin are really cute together – they talk and kind of actually play with each other. They might not see each other as much!

Oh, even more sadness!

I’m typing this just as we finished our last ever normal Thursday nursery run. Although for the next two weeks, Mondays will be normal, the other days won’t be. Tomorrow is the last Friday as normal before they both have to go on a Friday, inevitably making my Fridays far busier than currently. Oh, dear, all of this change and I am feeling a bit down about it. But I am also excited. Robin loved the creche she went to, she loves the staff we see at nursery and she is far more of a sociable baby than Elvis ever was or is now. I’ve loved seeing how Elvis developed at nursery, doing things that it would never have occurred to me to do (paint with blocks, cars, animals; use clean food containers to make a shop, paint and cook in general actually, try writing over thicker, highlighter pens), see what he picked as things he liked to play with, hear who he considers friends and who upset who today (haha!) and I am excited about Robin getting to experience all of that. With her big brother just downstairs.

But there’s still sadness at this chapter ending.

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Operation Yummy Mummy: Only 0.3kg to go!!!

Whoop whoop! So last week, I had apparently lost no weight, but I didn’t let that get me down as I was happier within myself. But something stirred myself to do a mid-week weigh (I try to only weigh once a week to stop from becoming obsessive) and I had lost weight! With my 0.4kg drop today, I am now only 0.3kg from my first weight goal! I am so excited. I’ve never been good at losing weight so I am finding this a real accomplishment. During some of my decluttering acts, I have been looking through my old photos as I explained the other day and I seem to have pinpointed my weight gain. Besides pregnancies of course! In March 2012, I had a laparoscopy to check out why I wasn’t conceiving, just to see if there was an issue with my uterus. Somehow, that surgery really took it out of me, in ways that seem far worse than either of my c-sections. Well, maybe not my second. I really seemed to struggle after that one. After the laparoscopy, it really hit me and I ate a lot of junk food. We went on holiday in the May of 2012, we walked a gorge and in all of the pictures I have a tummy that despite me always seeing, wasn’t in any of the other photos I looked at the other day. I think I stopped being as active after the surgery and whilst I did stop being so active after my c-sections, there were a lot of other body changes going on at the same time so I went in to my first pregnancy carrying more weight than usual as I never attempted to try and shift it. I’m not sure that I ever realised it was fully there.

So, to have actively worked at losing weight and thinking that I can do it, that I can get further, it feels amazing to me. Okay, after the next 0.3kg, my next goal is 10kg away and gets me to that first pre pregnancy weight, which was bumped up by post-surgery laziness. Do you know what though, I can do it!

I know I can.

Not only have I done a once through of the photos and emptied one whole album, I have also fully decluttered the bathroom. I sorted out old medicines, bath washes that I have had for years and am never going to use, done an all around tidy and checked my sun creams for this year! I am finished with the first round of clothes sorting. I even found all of my pyjama tops which was good as I no longer need to wear nursing tops to bed. My clothes will need another sort through, but I need to wait and see what my body is like when I feel happy with the weight loss and once I’m back at work wearing normal clothes! Haha. I’ve also gone through all of my cookbooks and added over half to the pile. Maybe one day I’ll go back to trying to cook from scratch and actually cooking rather than just throwing meat and veg in a slow cooker with a random jar of sauce, but not today! I’m also going to start going through some of my books and deciding if I am ever actually going to read them. I think I might donate books I’ve read rather than keeping them because I like the book and/or the author. Apart from my GRRM, Harry Potter, etc sets. Those I’m keeping.

I’m not touching all of my Star Trek books yet though. If I do decide to get rid of them, I need to investigate if there’s somewhere I can maybe sell them on because there are a lot of them and I just don’t think they’d sell well in any of my local charity shops. Plus they’re up in the loft so not a top priority. Yet. I don’t think there’s much that I can do decluttering wise until I get rid of everything in the back room that is waiting for me to sell at the next Little Pickles market, the thought of which is quite exciting. I mean, two hours of trying to sell all of my baby stuff with nanny babysitting so it could be considered a date with hubby! We’ve already decided that any clothes left are going straight to charity. There’s also the excitement that I might then have a clear back room! And I might have more space in my bedroom (where the sit in walker currently lives). Then there’s the excitment that with space in the back room, I can start decluttering that room! And using it for space to help declutter the conservatory, the shed and eventually the loft. I feel a bit stuck until I clear out the back room so next Saturday could be the start of lots of change.

On my social side, I had a mum date last weekend which was fantastic and I have a few plans in the pipe works for other mum dates. I had made lots of plans to meet up for lots of playdates this week, but Elvis was off nursery 3 days out of the 4 so they all got cancelled. Being stuck at home with both kids was pretty awful for me. It’s the biggest trigger. I just feel down, tired, bored and I still can’t figure out which tool is the best to help me sort it. Luckily, I didn’t get too low and I think I quickly realised that it would be done by today and then back to normal. Theoretically it’s the last time that it could happen as well, I’ll be back to work in a month and then any illness from the kids means that I get to actually spend time with them at home. I might enjoy it!

And I booked Elvis’ birthday entertainment this week! I guess, despite the really low mood that I suffered with being trapped at home, I still had a good week and made it to the end of it.

Now, next Saturday will I be posting about how lovely and clear my house is and how I reached my first weight goal?

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The Blame Game

And how to get over it?

With only a few weeks before my return to work, I think I’ve realised why I really don’t want to go back. Rewind almost three years ago to when my maternity leave with Elvis was almost up and work errors meant I didn’t get paid. Then I got paid too much. Then they took back my overpayment leaving me with nothing that month. No warnings, no explanations until I questioned, no communication at all and still no real explanation as to why I was penalised for their error.

I was given assurances that it wouldn’t happen this time.

Rewind to a year ago when I recieved a letter telling me you’ll be surprised to learn that you’re not entitled to maternity pay. Replace surprised with fucking fuming.

Rewind to the beginning of this tax year when, 4 months into it, I discover that someone hit a reset switch at work and started paying me. I never realised. I didn’t get payslips. I told them, the payments stopped and I heard nothing else from them. So I owe them money. A lot. I have no idea how much. And I was technically claiming benefits because I knew I’d have to pay back the overpay. (And the benefits are because I wasn’t entitled to maternity pay, which they could have told me before I went on maternity leave, but didn’t because they’re incompetent).

So I fully expect to either not be paid this month or to receive a huge bill. And if they don’t pay me, will my nursery fees be paid? Nope.

And I blame work. I blame work for every second of stress the pay issues have ever caused me. I blame work for not being able to pay my mortgage when I returned. Most of all, I blame work for how my daughter was born.

The letter about my pay, or lack thereof, came 14 hours before my waters broke and over a week into my maternity leave. 36 hours later I had the choice of induction or emergency surgery. I spent two nights away from son. Two whole days and Robin was born only about 36 hours before my planned surgery in which I might not have visibly been away from home at all due to nursery.

I could have gone in to labour at any inconvenient time but that’s out of everyone’s hands. That’s nature.

Instead I seem to firmly believe that the waters going was from the surprise at not being entitled to pay. I was fuming. I was so angry at their incompetence, not to mention the fact that I had no idea if we could afford no income from me after about 6 weeks. I blame them for not having figured this all out earlier, giving me extra time to fill in the paperwork and find my payslips. As it was, I filled it all in, had a baby and had to redo the forms because the forms were invalid. If we hadn’t have changed management, I might have been told earlier. I might have been calmer. And I blame them for all of that pain, for sobbing on the second night away that I just wanted to see my son. I blame them for rushing home to see my son and having a longer recovery.

The drugs played a part in me sobbing hysterically to just get my baby out because I wanted to go home to see my son. The hormones, lack of sleep and pain definitely played a part when I was alone in the hospital so Daddy could put Elvis to bed and sobbed every time I heard a newborn cry because I wanted my son. But the reason, I believe, in my irrational head, is that my waters only went because I was stressed by the fear and anger that letter provoked within me and if the waters hadn’t have gone, would contractions have even started? Because the doctors only made me stay in due to potential issues with my scar tissue.

Perhaps I can take ownership of some of it, but not all of it. Their incompetence caused so much stress and so much pain. It is their fault that I had emergency surgery and their fault that I spent so long away from my son. I blame them for the stress of trying to fill in paperwork within days of my daughter being born. I hate them for having the nerve to call me twice in the week after I gave birth, the first time less than 24 hours later, to discuss my complaint. And management knew I’d had my baby as I’d had a congratulations from them, an email promising that we’d discuss my complaint, but to forget it for a while to focus on my family. Well, the other guy who was ringing me, clearly didn’t want me to focus on my family.

Meanwhile, no one has kept in any form of contact. None of the admin people even still work there. I randomly bump into people and hear about the redundancies, hear about who’s walked out, moved to another school. I used to work in a team of 12, now I think we might be about 10, maybe 11, but I only really know 3, maybe 4. I think it is compounded by the fact that I was only back for a short time in between maternities. I think I made about 5 months. My job is pretty physically active. I’m on my feet all the time, rushing from lab to lab to prepare things, lifting and carrying things constantly whether they’re heavy or not. I couldn’t do that during my 5 months back. I couldn’t even sit in the usual work room due to the chairs being too high. So, really, I’ve spent over 3 years not doing my job and I don’t know what to do to. Because of all of the departmental changes (we became an academy during my first maternity leave), I don’t think I even know the people I work with.

So, I don’t know how to do my job, I’m the new person walking in to a department almost, I probably won’t get paid properly for a good half year and, yeah, I’m anxious, desperately trying to put the steps I’ve learnt in therapy into use to not completely lose it.

And I don’t know how I’m supposed to walk into work and not hate everything and everyone I see. I hate the very thought of it.

And I truly don’t know how to let that go.

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Mothers Make Strangers Known

There’s a lady I see, a mother, always walking in the opposite direction to me no matter the time of day. As I walk towards Elvis’ nursery after lunch, she’s walking in the opposite direction. After I have collected Elvis, I return home and pass this mother. She has a double pushchair, one of the ones where one child sits above the other. As I go to nursery, she has one child, a boy, in the lower seat and I have an empty pushchair. On the return journey, my pushchair has Elvis in it and hers has a girl in the upper seat, the younger brother still hidden away underneath. We smile at each other although we have never met.

There is no recognition from baby groups. I’ve never seen her at a Sure Start Centre, although I have seen her around town with one child in her double. We “know” each other purely from walking our nursery runs in opposite directions. The other morning, I went out to yoga alone at half 8 in the morning and I saw her doing her morning nursery run, both children in the double. She was across the road. We had never seen each other at this time of day and I was without a pushchair – empty or full – and our eyes met across a busy main road and we smiled at each other.

Her children are both older than mine so I doubt we’ll ever run in the same circles. Maybe some under 5 groups. Probably not. But we smile and nod at each other. I don’t know what she thinks of the stranger who smiles at her. Does she think back to her days with only the one child, the single pushchair and a growing bump? Does she look at me and realise that I see her as my future? Not that I want a double pushchair where one sits above the other (I’m hoping for some baby wearing and toddler walking before a side-by-side stroller for certain journeys), but soon I will be the mum pushing a pushchair with one child, on my way to collect the other. Making the journey every day, times as strict as anything as the eldest can’t be left to go over their time. Does she look forward to the time soon when her oldest goes to school and her youngest starts the nursery? Does she think that when that happens, she will pass me with my one, her pushchair empty? And then we’ll pass again, me with two and her with her son. A few hours later, she’ll be needed for the school run for her daughter.

When these changes have all occurred, will we stop seeing each other? Will we forget each other? That nameless woman and her two children who are simply living their life, passing me by as I live my life.

~ P

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Irresponsible Mothers

On the 10th January, I took Elvis to a birthday party and the next day I was informed that someone at the party now had chicken pox. About 19 days later, Elvis got them and about 17 days after that so did Robin. From my understanding you’re contagious the few days before spots come and maybe whilst you have the spots. So for those 19 and then 17 days neither child was contagious until maybe day 16 and 13.

How was I supposed to know that?

The moment Elvis came into contact with pox, should I have kept him at home just in case?

Should I have kept him at home for those 19 days and then a further ten for the spots to clear? Should I have taken a month off work?

Just in case he had it and could pass it on at nursery?

Should I then have not allowed Robin out of the house, just in case, and despite medical professionals telling me she’s was protected against it?

Was I irresponsible in both cases?

I rang the nursery immediately to tell them. I cancelled all plans for both of them in the week they each got pox. I rang/contacted everyone that had visited/seen Robin.

Was that irresponsible?

Yet I then get told by a friend that a bunch of work colleagues were unhappy that I was joining them for a lunch. Because of Robin and her pox. Uhhh, except I’d already cancelled. Despite how she probably wouldn’t be contagious by that point, I’d already cancelled.

Was that irresponsible of me?

It’s really upset me. Mainly because I was already upset that I’d let people, babies, come into contact with Robin at her contagious times. I feel awful about it. We’re not talking the toddlers at nursery, we’re talking babies – some under a month old. And I feel awful that I could be responsible for making those babies ill. I really don’t need someone making me feel worse.

Especially not a mother so irresponsible that they can make another mother feel so awful.

It’s made me paranoid that the group I went to, allowing Robin to potentially infect other babies, will never allow me back because of my irresponsibility. That they will make me feel awful and unwanted, too.

The mother in question might just simply have been worried about her own child but perhaps she should have spoken directly to me rather than make me feel like crap and irresponsible.

~ P

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Toddler Proofing A Toddler Proof Home

You’d think it’s  easy, right, having toddler play dates in your home when you have a toddler already. We have safety gates, door catches, plug covers, no exposed wires, radiator turned down/off, etc, etc. Yet it really isn’t that easy. Or I’m too much of a control freak.

In the week after Christmas, Elvis was off nursery for the week so I thought it would be good to have some toddler playdates (and mummy catch ups). I feel bad during a normal  week that I put Elvis’ naps (and rest time for me) before him socialising. But he socialises at nursery. I miss out on seeing him interact with children though. And I wonder how he will be with children in his home.

We had 3 in total in that week — I was 38 weeks pregnant so everyone happily came to me! And I learnt quickly after the first. Just because I have the safety issues covered, it does not mean that toys are safe. We have a fireplace in our living room (never turned on but has edges that could hurt a child). Elvis knows not to touch it, that it’s hot so I don’t think about it. Elvis has a play desk that he knows not to climb and he knows not to take the chalks and crayons away from the desk. He has jigsaws that  he knows not to chew.

I’m not saying these things to say “my son is perfect” these are simply my house rules and I’ve taught him them. Sometimes he’s cheeky and disobeys one. We have had to take away a few pop up books as he wasn’t careful enough with them (that’s what library books are for!) That’s our rules. There is nothing wrong, nothing right about our rules, friends’ rules or anyone’s rules.

But I do need to chill out when guests come around. Or, as I quickly learnt, tidy up and hide questionable toys. I now hide the chalks and crayons, the bouncy horse that can be climbed on, the wooden jigsaws that can have their picture chewed off, the books that could be damaged by toddler hands, the more delicate pieces of train track. I considered hiding the garage with extra track that took hours to figure out a configuration, but then realised no toddler could damage it, only break it up so Daddy and I would have to spend hours refitting it all!

I was much calmer on the second playdate. And there were two toddler guests! I didn’t even mind the mess – some toddlers play with everything all at once, others tidy as they play. Just like some toddlers happily play alone, others need someone to interact with. As with all things there is no right or wrong. There are pros and cons to both. The first playdate saw Elvis share brilliantly (except his Santa hat that no one else can touch ) which is my primary concern for an only child. The second playdate saw Elvis throw a mini fit whenever I passed a toy to another child (what’s mummy’s is mummy’s which doesn’t bode well for the baby!) And saw him push another child over.

Elvis isn’t at the stage yet where punishments work. Normally when he’s naughty he gets a time out to stop crying and then has to cuddle whoever he disobeyed/hurt/upset. Well, he was never going to cuddle his friend. I really need to work on “telling off” and discipline when it comes to others! He did then play brilliantly with both boys – they were giggling and playing away and we had no idea what they were doing!

I love seeing him play with other children! But I also need to figure which are his toys – toys that he just won’t share. Which I’m fine with. Everyone has a few things or one special thing that is theirs and I don’t think they should be forced to share everything. During the week of playdates, Elvis’ special toys were his bouncy horse and Leeds Santa Hat. Fair enough. Now, when he refused to share his cars (he has 7), that is not fair and I will make him share.

And those toys that he refuses to share (because they’re special to him) will be removed from the room so no one can play! Along with the chalks, crayons, jigsaws and other delicate/damageable toys!

Here’s to more sharing and more playdates!

~ P

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Parenting Wisdom of Star Trek Deep Space Nine

I’m currently watching Deep Space Nine, Season 4 episode 17 and there has just been a scene between Julian Bashir and Miles O’Brien. I’ll try and find a transcript later, but the jist of what O’Brien just said was: “Well, now that Molly (his and his wife’s pre-school daughter) is a year older, I was hoping to spend more time with Keiko (his wife). You know, like, go out in the evening.”

And all it made me think was the fact that so many people have told me that I’m crazy for having such a small age gap between Elvis and Robin (others have plenty smaller though, fcol!) and here is a reason why it isn’t so crazy. I haven’t been raising Elvis for 3 years, yearning for a weekend away or an adults holiday, getting to the point we can do that and then having Robin come along. Nope, I’m in the getting it all out of the way camp.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own choice, their own decisions and their own wants. I don’t do newborn. Or at least I didn’t a year ago. Either way,  the very thought of spending so many years as a parent of young ones… it just is not me. I know a few mums that have multiple children over a huge age gap (10 years eldest to youngest, 12, and 20!) and that thought, at the moment, absolutely horrifies me.

Maybe I’ll change my mind. Maybe in ten years time, I’ll jump back on the baby bandwagon, but right now, I could not think of anything worse! I love my son and I plan on loving Robin, but that doesn’t mean I should want to parent young children. And it isn’t that I yearn for my life, selfishly away from my family. No, if anything I want to be everything I was but from within my family. It may sound corny, bit I want to show my children the world. I don’t want to turn to a 5 year old, a 10 year old, and say we can’t do something because of the baby,  because I’m pregnant. Yes, that might sound like I want to get on with my life, and it kinda is. My life with my family.

~ P

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Have We Survived The Move?

A.K.A were my worries just me being silly? Hehe!

Before we moved house, I made a series of three blog posts about the impending move: What Worried Me, What I would miss and Things I was looking forward to.

These were my worries:

  • Elvis coping
  • Losing everything
  • Losing time on the lunchtime nursery run
  • Being exhausted in general

Well, Elvis was fine and I lost nothing material wise. I have lost time on the nursery run and am struggling to make it until December without relying on hubby to come and collect me every day, but I could never have foreseen the back pain (as the pelvic pain has actually all gone!) As for the exhaustion, well, Elvis took to his new home very well and continued to nap all afternoon which greatly helped me with all of the unpacking. I really was worrying over, well, not much!

I was going to miss:

  • Having Elvis in another room but so much closer than he is now in the new house
  • Only having two small bedrooms to clean
  • Knowing that I can hear Elvis from downstairs
  • Traffic noise masking Elvis overnight
  • The closeness of all being in the one and only communal room
  • Being forced into moving Elvis (now Robin) into their own room
  • More carpets to hoover
  • Watching TV all of the time

Okay, Elvis has been an amazing night sleeper for months so him being those few steps further away was never gong to be a massive problem — it also is not a problem at all, when I have hubby take over night times as it’s difficult to lift in and out of a cot with a bump the size of mine! So far, the cleaning has not really been a problem. I have my Tuesday mornings off where I can get the hovering and dusting done. It doesn’t physically exhaust me yet! I can still hear Elvis when I’m downstairs in the family living room, maybe out in the back garden I can’t, but that’s what the baby monitor is for and I can hear him perfectly all night long (his 5am conversations with himself still wake me!). We also changed our plans for the living arrangements and still all live in the one room downstairs together rather than spreading over two, I’m also enjoying not having a TV in the kitchen and not always allowing the TV on when Elvis and I are playing. I do still have worries over deciding when Robin will leave our bedroom, but then we haven’t actually decided which is going to be our bedroom yet! I don’t think I actually miss a single one of those things yet!

Here is what I was looking forward to:

  • Space for all of Elvis’ things in his own bedroom, space to put away the toys and clothes he’d finished with (ready for Robin) and space to have all my DVDs and books out!
  • A spare bed for me when I have insomnia!
  • Escaping to get 5 minutes without hearing a screaming baby cry
  • Peace and quiet at night with no traffic noise or drunken chavs
  • Less dirt and dust from the traffic
  • Multiple rooms to escape to, away from crying, away from hubby, not being trapped because there’s someone asleep on the only sofa!
  • Having a garden!
  • Having different wardrobes for different seasons (at the moment, different times of life – maternity, normal, nursing)
  • having a home for coats, shoes, bags and pushchairs
  • Drying clothes outside!
  • Not having a dodgy fuse box.

And, yes, I do love each of these things! I love having space to spread out, space to store everything and sort everything. I love having the spare bed for insomnia, for family and friends. I love not having a TV at mealtimes, but I love the freedom of having a second TV and sofa for when sport is on or friends are around. I love having a spare living room where I can keep my crafting materials. I love having a wet room where the pushchair rain cover can dry!

Yes there was stress with moving, no we haven’t actually moved everything or unpacked everything, but we’re mainly all done! Next step will be to plan our refurbishments and decorating. After Robin gets here!

~ P x

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VBAC Agreement

I had my final VBAC midwife appointment and had the consultant sign off my plans – c-section at term +12 if I haven’t already had a baby of course!

And I just feel so tired. Physically, mentally. I have no fight left even though I haven’t had to fight any medical people. Yet (I worry that I will as I reach term). Somehow I still feel like I’m too tired to fight. Maybe I’m too tired to keep juggling everything – work, pregnancy, mother to a toddler, being a person. Maybe I’m tired. Maybe I’m finally succumbing to the awful cold that has plagued my house. Being pregnant, doing what’s right for my health, Elvis and Robin is draining.

Maybe I just want February to hurry up and get here.

I physically ache. One hour of shopping leads to agony. A night of recuperative sleep is no longer a fix all remedy to my aches and pains. Sometimes I feel like becoming a mum has cost me so much. Sometimes I feel like being pregnant this time has cost me so much.

Other than at work, I don’t socialise. I don’t let Elvis socialise (he does get it at nursery of course). This pregnancy is so much harder than my first. I spend a huge chunk of my night, my time, sitting on a gym ball. It makes me unproductive. It makes me unsociable.

I wonder if anything will change when Robin arrives. The exhaustion and pain makes me snappy, makes me lazy and I fear for my parenting. It makes me fear if I can recover from this laziness once Robin’s here. Will the newborn exhaustion stop me being a good parent still?

Then I question my social life. I enjoyed my year with Elvis. The new friends I made and saw all the time who all slipped away when I went back to work because of my juggling acts – a ball had to drop. The existing people in my life who were also a ball too many. Will I be able to pick up a ball in a few months?

And will there be any point when a year later I’ll go back to work and potentially have to drop one again (although will I have the pregnant ball again? Doubtful). I guess I’m just feeling really down and know that I still have 3 weeks until I reach term and then another 5 until it will be over. 8 weeks of back pain, of pelvic discomfort so bad it’s physically draining.

And then a new period of exhaustion and pain.

~ P x

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