Persephone: Parent

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My Planned Mummy Moments

Back in August of last year, I wrote a blog about things I desperately wanted to do — it was written in a sleep addled, desperation for some sort of normality in those first few months where suddenly you are no longer a person in your own right – you are a mum and that is all!

Here’s what I wanted to do:

1. Attend Hogwarts. Of course I mean the studio tour. As I’ve toured all the major studios in LA, I really need to do the Harry Potter ones.¬†Not managed that one yet. I started to think about doing it this Autumn, either leaving Elvis with Nanny for a day away, or taking him with us, but I can’t survive a whole day like that, especially not with Elvis in tow. My body¬†sometimes aches before I even get out of bed!

2. Go on the London Eye. I promised my mum a trip on the Eye when she had foster children. Well, they left as I had my IUI so we still haven’t been. Not even really considered that one, still really want to do it and maybe in another year or two. I like the idea of a weekend in London with my mum. See the Christmas lights from up high and visit all the Christmassy tourist things!

3. Have a pedicure. Or more than one. This might be doable sooner than a lot of others. Done. Just before Elvis’ first birthday in time for our first family holiday.

4. Visit a spa. This mummy needs a day of pampering! April of this year (actually around the time that I conceived), a friend invited me for a day of jogging, cycling, swimming and saunaing it up! I loved it!

5. Enjoy an afternoon tea. Some friends recently went to a local hotel for afternoon tea and it looked so yummy. It may have a spa there too. Still considering this as a pre-Christmas thing, either with a bunch of friends as a kind of second baby shower thing, or just me and hubby as one final date. I really want scones, cream and all the other fancy cakes. I’d love the spa aspect, but I can’t use half of it so there is very little point.

6. Have a lie in! Can’t remember how frequently this happens! There have been a number of occasions on the weekend that I have had to go and wake hubby up as he’s still asleep, as is Elvis – I try not to wake Elvis up on weekends as we often have to on weekdays. I think this Mummy Moment was written when I was listening to everyone’s horror stories about never sleeping ever again. My first child is a very good sleeper. My second? I hope to God s/he will be!

7. Sleep 8 hours with no interruptions! Has definitely happened, but with my pregnant bladder issues, I can’t remember what it feels like. I definitely got there, and not just the occasion I got a stomach bug.

8. Have a date, or two, with my hubby. Our wedding anniversary last February was the first date since Elvis arrived. It probably won’t happen at the next anniversary, Robin will be far too little. We’ve also had a few Sunday Cinema dates and evenings away for parties.

9. Go to the cinema. With me only managing to get in Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 before giving birth to E, there are many other geeky films that I missed. I’ll settle with most of them on DVD for Christmas though. I didn’t miss a single Geek film that I wanted to see. Thor Dark World, Captain America Winter Soldier and the X-Men film. We didn’t get to the Spiderman film or Guardians of the Galaxy, but we only watched the first Spiderman film on DVD this year! I watched them all in the cinema, and even took Elvis to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2.

10. Go shopping for new clothes. And I mean when I know what my body’s like and normal tops that don’t need to be nursable. Ummm, yeah, did this and then discovered I was pregnant. I did not get back in to wired bras and I only wore my new wardrobe for a few weeks, including our May family holiday. Next time, eh?

11. Attend my conventions. Now, I’ll happily take E to most of them, but he probably can’t do the Milton Keynes ones due to the distance and cold location so I’ll do those alone. Hopefully! I tried in July, it was an organisational disaster, but I did get there, just never got in. But I went to one in London, October whilst 6 months pregnant and I loved it. I needed lots of breaks and seeing other mums with their toddlers made me crave a cuddle with Elvis (who coped perfectly fine not seeing me all day), but it was really nice just being me!

12. Spend a night in my bed. Maybe with my hubby, but certainly without E! When do night feeds stop???? It’s so strange that I wrote this at the beginning of August, within a few weeks, I had made the decision that I could not handle it anymore, that enough was enough, and Elvis transitioned into his Moses basket by the side of the bed with perfect ease — we had maybe a week of partial co-sleeping. As for his night feeds stopping, well, that was only two months later at the beginning of October. We’ve bought a co-sleeper cot this time to try and keep hubby in our bed!

Is there anything I would have added? No, and, yes, in retrospect, a lot of the above didn’t matter when it came to it. But they did matter at that time. I read somewhere the other day that, once you become a mum, you are never, ever the same person ever again and it is completely true, but I do think that you can start to feel like a new normal. Some mums seem to jump back into their life, have nights away within weeks of giving birth. Some mums still desperately miss their child a year later or refuse nursery places because they can’t bear to be separated. There is no right or wrong. I’m pretty happy now with the balance I have in my life (aside from the pregnancy pains) and I do worry about those first few months when Robin, like Elvis, will depend on me and I will simply, only, just be their mother. But I also know that the day will come when I can spend a night away, go out alone with hubby, socialise with work, be an adult. It might not be at 4 months when Elvis started sleeping 9 hours for Robin, but it will happen.

Hopefully that thought alone, that sentiment from this post will keep me going through those months where all I am is a milk machine. I can remember wishing for 30 minutes to do my hair, pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs and have a relaxing bath. It was so important to me to be able to do something so normal as paint my toenails. Now? I get a bit bored sometimes and really couldn’t care less about painting my nails!

I do, however, have a few pregnant mummy moments that I’d like to plan in!

1. To have a glass of cider. I don’t enjoy alcohol at all whilst pregnant, not even a sip, and I spent all summer wanting a nice icey cider. Hello, next summer!

2. The above mentioned afternoon tea and/or one final hubby date before Robin comes along, or as a first date after Robin’s here.

3. To go swimming and actually swim rather than be in pain and feel utterly inept at simple breaststroke. I may never pay for a swimming membership again, but I will go swimming again. Hopefully next summer.

4. I’m going to say a jacuzzi which obviously I can’t do whilst pregnant, but I only actually really want to do it because I don’t fit in my current bath and I can’t submerge myself in it. A jacuzzi I could. This desire will probably wane, especially if we get the bathroom redone in the next 6 months (yes, I might be crazy).

I’m going to call these 4 things my New Year’s Resolutions and that I will do them all at some point in the New Year. I know I can and will, because I did the equivalent last time!

Happy New Year!

~ P x

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A Question of Etiquette

Sometimes a random comment made by someone or yourself, directly or indirectly or simply overheard can make you do a double-check. Or flush with embarrassment. Or even perhaps start simmering with anger.

Have you ever ended up, hours later, questioning your own or their etiquette?

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Monthly Update: Month 4

Weight: 17lb 7. Pretty sure he’s doubled his birth weight now! Woo!

Bedtime: He now goes to bed at 7pm in his cot! We did the big move! My bedtime is now 2130 after dreamfeeding Elvis. He still stirs overnight and the cot is further away than the Moses basket ever was, but it’s manageable. We try our hardest to not bring him into bed, so I no longer feel completely attached to him!

Naps/Length: 4 at half an hour. His final nap is at about 5, that’s how we delayed his bedtime back to 7 slightly so that Daddy can actually see his son! The naps are now also in the cot. All sleep can take about half an hour of settling, being on hand to replace his dummy. Sometimes I hate that thing!

Number of feeds in 24hrs: Approximately 6. He can now go 9 hours overnight, he still stirs, but he doesn’t need feeding so I certainly don’t get 9 hours!

Favourite toy/objects: He loves rattles. To chew on mainly, not rattle!

Clothing age: 3-6 months still.

Foot length: 10cm

Milestones: Elvis can sit up unaided. Still no signs of rolling, but he can sit so who cares!

My swimming ability: 900m.

What I’m reading: Still on a slow re-read of Game of Thrones.

New Foods: N/A

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Monthly Update: Month 3

Weight: 16lb, that’s over a pound since last time! But he hasn’t quite doubled his birth weight yet.

Bedtime: Elvis has started going to bed at 1800, me at 2000. He’s in his moses basket in our bedroom for the first part of the night, then he ends up in bed with both of us (Daddy’s not on the sofa!). I was sick of the co-sleeping and it had to stop. I now have a few hours to myself on an evening. What a luxury!

Naps/Length: He’s started having proper naps, he has about 3 of half an hour. In his Moses, not on me and with a dummy, not from a feed. There is a definite routine starting to form now.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: approximately 7. He can go 6 hours overnight now!

Favourite toy/objects: Same as last time, his playgym and mobile. He does also like some of his rattles and teethers a lot. He also likes batting at his normal playgym, giving me time to have a quick wee!

Clothing age: Still in 3-6 months.

Foot length: 9.8cm.

Milestones: No significant other than sleeping on his own!

My swimming ability: 700m, in perspective, when I started regular swimming at about 24 weeks pregnant, I could manage 400m and when I stopped swimming at about 38weeks I could do 600m.

What I’m reading: Slowly on my first re-read of Game of Thrones.

New Foods: N/A

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Mega Mummy Moment

I’m going to write this post as a two parter – the lead up and after-show of a Mega Mummy Moment.

Daddy has the day off to visit the dentist in an hour and the sun has finally gone, the breeze is actually kind of chilly! It’s lovely. So after what should be a feed at 2pm, I’m going swimming!

I am going to leave the house, leave my boy and go swimming. Alone. I am going to have a 15 minute walk there and back. Alone. I’m going to swim for 30 minutes. Alone. I’ll probably leave washing my hair until I get home, just so I’m not out too long. Just in case.

I haven’t been swimming since week 39, 12 weeks ago! I found it so relaxing whilst pregnant. I could manage 22-24 lengths in 30 minutes. My quick, painless recovery from my c-section is all down to swimming, I reckon.

I’m quite excited, fingers crossed nothing comes up!

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Mummy Moment: Times Two

Elvis is thoroughly confusing! I’m sure all babies are. Last week he barely wanted to sleep, could not be put down and fed regularly at 3 or more hours. Then it seemed that he was alternating days between sleeping lots and being awake.

Now he’s on his second day of sleeping a lot.

Something’s clearly been changing overnight – my boobs proove that!
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Mummy Moment: Sleep!

Ok this Mummy Moment doesn’t follow all the rules, but it’s an amazing one. Last night Elvis fell asleep at 1900 and an hour later we decided he was sleeping solidly so I went to bed. I got up at 11am!
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Mummy Moment: Nanny to the Rescue!

This is Wednesday’s mummy moment because I was so far out of it yesterday! Honestly though, what a difference a day makes!

So Wednesday was just awful. Husband woke up, I was crying. Husband went to work, I burst into tears. Health visitor came around, I didn’t cry and Elvis fell asleep on me. HV left and I tried to go for a nap, Elvis woke up and I cried.

So I ran away to Nanny’s.

With Elvis.

Whereby I fed him and handed him over before going to sleep in the spare bedroom – the new carpet has cars all over it so it’s clearly for him. Well I maybe dozed for 20 minutes and got up after an hour. I miss my mum’s house (we lived there until we got pregnant). I miss having a spare bed. I miss good, solid thick walls and ceilings so I really couldn’t hear Elvis cry.

But we need our own family space.

After getting up, I realised that there’s no food for me there! So Nanny kept her grandson whilst I popped to the shop. It’s the first time I’ve been out without him. He’s been out without me plenty of times.

Perhaps its the exhaustion or always knowing that it isn’t for long, that Elvis is always with someone I trust, but even at 5 weeks old, I don’t miss him or worry about him. Is that so wrong?

So I bought and ate lunch, stayed at Nanny’s all afternoon and went food shopping on my way home at 5pm. There was only an hour to wait for husband but as soon as we got in Elvis started crying.

And so did I.

Hubby got home, I was still crying, took Elvis and I went for a bath – more mummy moments.

Thursday and I’ve had sleep, no mummy moments and tears? None in over 12 hours. I would like Elvis to stop feeding sleep soon though – there’s a sure start session I’d really like to go to in less than 12 hours!

~ Persephone M

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Honesty

A few days (or maybe weeks, but Elvis isn’t quite 5 weeks old yet) ago a comment on one of my posts mentioned how honest my posts are. Well, I have two big secrets that I’ve not been honest about. I don’t know which to admit first.

Okay, today’s secret. I’ve been feeling a bit down today. I woke up feeling crap – headache, backache, sore shoulder. I was in desperate need of extra sleep and, of course, Elvis was wide awake with his daddy heading off to work. There was no extra sleep until until lunchtime where I got over an hour. I’ve managed a few days with no naps, but I think I’m getting a cold and I’ve always suffered with man-flu.

Until 4pm I essentially refused to do anything other than the basics – I fed him, changed him, held him. There was no playing and barely any talking from me. But at 4 I did a bit of playing. I didn’t get a mummy moment and at about half 6, just before daddy came home, I was sitting there, trying to drink a cup of tea, eat a cookie and rocking Elvis on his chair and I had an utterly shameful thought.

Clearly, given my history, I can be described as desperate to have a child – I bloody well paid to get pregnant. And to me parenting isn’t simply giving birth. I want to be a stay at home mum, but I get why some can’t. I also want to actively parent and not just sit around ignoring my child.

Whilst rocking Elvis it ocurred to me why some parents choose to work for non-financial reasons. You see my utterly shameful thought was that I can’t do this day in and day out, that I could give up my maternity leave and pay, stop breastfeeding and go back to work. All just to get me some time to myself.

There’d be my lunch break and the walk to and from work. I’d have time alone, time away from a screaming baby who pulls at my nipples, crying whilst attached at bedtime, time where I don’t have to entertain/think about how best to educate and bring up my child because a childminder/nanny/nursery worker would be. Of course that would all be time that I would simply be worrying about him, feeling guilty for passing him off and regretting not having that bond.

No one ever mentions how hard this all is. Or everyone else finds it far easier. I don’t co-sleep to bond or because it’s natural; I do it so he doesn’t snore and I can sleep, but it means I get no time at all on my own. Not that I’d have any idea what to do alone.

Is it all supposed to come naturally, is that why everyone else finds parenting not as difficult because none of this is natural, which leads into my second secret that I’ve only said to 2 people – is this all so hard because it wasn’t meant to be, because Elvis isn’t or wasn’t supposed to exist?

~ Persephone M

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Mummy Moment: Mac Time

First of all, here are the latest Nanny purchases – I love the Monsters Inc one. All three are different ages to really prolong their life! I might have to go back to the shop and buy this adorable swimming outfit I saw for Elvis in a year.
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Onto the Mummy Moment though. These are moments when I get to do something purely for me, preferably with no baby anywhere near me! So, Mac Time means me getting time on my mac without Elvis feeding off of me. He might be asleep in the same room or next door, but it’s my time (he happens to be asleep downstairs with Daddy keeping a close eye on him, and seeing as the nights are better, I don’t feel the need for a nap). So I’m going to sort out some photos of the little one and get a printing batch ready.

Afterall he’s already over a month old and no one has any photos of him!

~ Persephone M

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