Baby, Personal

My Anxiety 

I thought I’d do this blog post, mainly as a bit of a rant and to let off steam, but also to perhaps help other people, and to see if anyone else out there feels the same as me. And also because it’s been Mental Health Awareness Week recently, it’s made me think about mine.

I’ve always been a bit of a worrier. Like, I am that person who is always procastinating on what “what if’s” of life, or worrying about things that might go wrong or might happen. But when I was pregnant I seemed to be a lot more calmer. Maybe it was because literally you cannot control what is happening to your body, and you cannot (unless of course you have a planned c-section) control or do anything about when you are going to have your baby.  So I just sort of chilled out. (Until I was in labour. And then I was most certainly NOT chilled out.)

When William was born the overwhelming maternal instinct and need to care for him really took me by surprise. I’ve never been the most maternal person, but it hit me like a sledgehammer. I was so in love with this little baby, and I felt so so protective of him. Which I imagine is every mother’s instinct and feelings towards their children.

But with that came more worry. And paranoia. I was fine at first. People would come over to see us and meet the baby, and they would hold him and it was lovely and we’d also sit and have a cup of tea and chat about the Labour and how cute he was etc etc. But when it became most days, and people weren’t actually coming to see me, they were coming just to see my baby, and as soon as they arrived they were straight to his crib or trying to pick him up, I started to feel anxious.

As all new mums know, trying to get into a routine is so hard with a newborn. Your lives are all over the place, your grabbing hard, cold pieces of toast whenever possible, juggling housework and trying to keep your personal hygiene on a somewhat acceptable level, and also having to deal with visitors and friends and family members not wanting to leave you alone. And​  even when they weren’t “just passing so we thought we’d pop in” (yeah ok then) they were texting or ringing you every few hours; “Hows William doing?” “How was last night with William?” “Do you need anything?” “We text you a couple of hours ago and you haven’t replied is everything ok?” “Just tried ringing you and there was no answer are you sure you’re ok?” “We’ve just been knocking at the door and there was no response we are worried” “can we come back and see you at tea time?” Etc etc. Sometimes you don’t want to answer the texts and calls because you’re either elbow deep in korma crap or cleaning up puke or just HAVING A NAP​.

Now I know some people reading this love all that sort of thing all the attention and the fuss, and are probably thinking that I’m being a right negative Nancy, or being ungrateful. I’m not. I’m just wanting to spend some time alone with my new baby, catch up on sleep, perhaps watch an episode of Corrie while he sleeps IN PEACE. Looking like a goblin from another world in my 7 day old sick stained PJ’S and not having to entertain anyone but myself. 

So dealing with all that, and having unwanted advice thrown at you left right and centre, and people coming and disrupting you, plus the sleep deprivation and the fact my husband works away, it made me feel a little on edge if I’m honest. I used to love this little bubble me and William had, just me and him, and I felt like other people would ruin it.

I’m not going to lie, i still feel like it now. When my mother in law used to hold William it used to make me feel sick to my stomach. Even my mum or my step dad. I’d be holding him and people would say “oh, can I have a hold?”, Or Norms would ask his mum if she wanted to have a cuddle with him, and I could literally feel the dread and fear and bitterness bubbling up inside me. It used to give me goosebumps. So I’d hand him over, without really wanting to, and I’d be fighting back the tears, trying to keep my shit together and not lose my rag and snatch him back and run out of the door to the safety of our own house where no one else was apart from us three.

I was jealous of other people holding my own baby. Jealous, even though I spend more or less 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with him. I was scared that they wouldn’t hold him right, or that they would hurt him. I felt angry that they wanted to hold him, to love him, because he was my baby. Not theirs. Mine. 

It got so bad, that when other people held him I’d get myself that’s het up about it I’d have to leave the room. I was concerned that the way they were doing things wasn’t the right way, because it may have been different to my way. And of course, my way is always right. Or in my head, it is.

I’m going to be honest, I’m better now, well, not as much as I’d like to be but I am getting there. There are a few instances where I’ve lost my shit and got myself in such a state because say, my sister in law has held William, and taken him for a little walk around the house, and I can’t see him and it freaks me out. But I’m sure I’ll get better with it as time goes on. I need to.

It may sound ridiculous to some people, and some people totally won’t get it, and may let their baby’s stay out at a weekend and enjoy the time away from them, or some people may be reading this thinking I’m a complete nut job, or somebody might be reading this and thinking “oh, thank GOD it’s not just me”. It’s a silent battle I have to have with myself. I never ever thought I’d be one of these paranoid mums, but hey, here I am. But it’s coming from a good place, a place where the love is overwhelming and unconditional and sometimes painful, the amount that you love them.

I’ve even left him three times, one night with my mum while we went for a meal with friends, one afternoon also with mum when we went out for drinks and lunch, and also with my mother in law while we had drinks again one afternoon. Each of those times has been really hard for me to do, and I’m not going to lie in the lead up to the event, I’ve been awake in the night, worrying if he is going to be okay, worrying if I should be leaving him, etc etc . And when I have left him, there have been a few tears. All mine. He doesn’t realise I’ve gone half the time I think.

Of course I know I need to leave him with people more. I feel ridiculous that I don’t, and if I did I would probably feel a whole lot better about things as I would have time to be  me, rather than just mummy. Plus I know that he needs to learn to be comfortable around other people. When I go back to work, I’m going to have to suck it up. Its going to happen. I just feel like I really have to take it one step at a time. I feel silly, and embarrassed​, i mean, i come across as this over confident, bolshy, loud mouthed woman, who seems to have it all planned out, yet in reality, i am actually so weak. And I’m sure other people will agree. And maybe some people will be wondering why I haven’t just gone to the doctors, got some happy pills and got the fuck on with it. 

Ok, so maybe I have got a little bit of post natal depression, who knows, but I don’t necessarily want to just go get some pills and forget about it. I talk to my friends, talk to my family, talk to my husband, they understand I find it difficult, and they are there with me 100% . They might be frustrated, I know sure as hell my mum and mother in law are itching to have William more, but they also probably see me, a new mother, and understand it’s each to their own, and understand that everybody is different and everybody does things at their own pace. And for that I thank them, and my friends, keeping my head from spinning off when I feel like I’m not in control. And also i thank my husband for putting up with my little panics, my endless crying, when I know he wants to spend more time as a couple with me, yet I am so consumed with being a mother and being afraid to let William go, I know it must be frustrating for him. Especially if you take into account the sex evacuation I was speaking about in my earlier post . The poor bastard. 

People may also be reading this and feel the same as me. And if anyone is, then please don’t feel alone. Speak to someone. It does help. And don’t think that your stupid, be embarrassed or struggle on your own. Anxiety is real, it happens, and it doesn’t show that you aren’t coping.

It shows you care. It shows you are being a mother. 

Baby, Food, General, Parenting

The Choke.

Ok, so I said in my last blog post that I would write about weaning, and I will, but first I wanted to get this “experience” out the way, as it’s quite shit and it put a proper downer on things, brought out the old friend MUM GUILT again and I’ve found it quite hard to move on from, as it was really scary and I dread to think about what would of happened if circumstances were different within that split second. 

So, as you may or may not know, my boy William is a hungry lad. We started putting baby rice in his milk from about 10 weeks old as he was just NOT FULL after having 9oz bottles. A lovely friend Emma gave me some fab advice as she has a similar hungry little boy and after speaking with her, and looking into it a bit I decided to give it a go. Shortly after this I started weaning slowly. When he was about 16 weeks, on my health visitors advice. 

When I say weaning, I mean offering him a taste of a fruit of vegetable puree at tea time. I was adamant I was going to be this super-mum and puree all my own food and he was only going to have organic and it would be loads cheaper and he was not going to have jars of baby food, and all the rest of it blah blah blah. 

Well, it all started off so well, I did a small variety of fruits and vegetables; mango, apple, pear, banana, sweet potato, butternut squash, that sort of thing. I spent one (long) afternoon doing it all and blending it all up in this blender hubby once got me for my Christmas present (don’t ask, you can imagine my reaction on Christmas morning when I open this present to see a Kenwood fucking blender there on my bed surrounded my soap and glory gift sets and frigging lindt chocolate reindeers), and had them all in little ice cube trays in the freezer ready for each day. 

So, as time went on and William was enjoying more and more food, I thought I’d mix it up and do some broccoli puree for him. So I did the whole boiling to a pulp, making the house smell of fart and death (what is it with green vegetables they REEK) and froze them all ready. I used one the next day. I used to get excited to see what flavours he would Like, and also felt proud that he was having food I has made for him. 

I sat him in his little Mamas and Papas bumbo seat thing and bless his heart he sat there patiently waiting for me to defrost this green slop in the microwave, and he had a couple of spoonfuls of it. He seemed to enjoy it! I was buzzing, I felt like superwoman as he had tried and liked all my homemade purees. I was at one with nature. I was at one with my child. I felt like Yoko Ono. 

However. I think it must of been the 4th spoonful, he started to gag a little. I know that this is all part of the learning experience for them and they have to learn how to gag and bring up any food, so I let him cough and splutter a little bit, gave him a little pat on the back to help him alone and get it up. 

But he didn’t manage to get it up. He coughed a little bit, and made gagging noises and actions, but nothing came up. Then he kind of…froze. it was literally the scariest moment of my life. He went really still, sort of leant forward in his seat, and his mouth was open. His eyes were staring, wide open, at nothing, and he wasn’t really blinking. There was no sound from him. He looked like he was struggling to breathe. 

He was choking.

Even writing this now makes me feel sick to my stomach .  Like..it literally makes my stomach churn. The memory is so strong. For that split second I didn’t have a fucking clue what to do. Then all of a sudden, I dunno, instinct I guess kicked in. I screamed “William!” Threw the little play tray off his seat, grabbed him and just kept saying his name over and over. He was really stiff, like he was tense. I put him upside down, my hand on his chest, near his neck, and quite literally, smacked his back like fuck. Like, so so hard. I think I did that three times and he finally coughed and started wretching and gagging, and some spit came out, and he started crying. I flipped him over and sat down, and had a look in his throat and mouth. There was nothing there. He was proper crying his eyes out, I must of really hurt him. But he was crying. He was safe. He was alive. 

We sat on that chair and cried together for a good 10 minutes. I just kept hugging and kissing him, asking him if he was Ok (fuck knows why, I’ve just slapped the fuck out of him and he at the time was about 20 weeks old, it’s not like he could answer is it?!), I looked for the piece of broccoli that he had choked on but I couldn’t find it. It must of been so so small. Or, maybe the puree was still a little cold from being defrosted? And he was storing it in his mouth rather than swallowing the small spoons I was giving him? Who knows. I mean, I have always been very cautious with what I give and do give William. I’ve never loaded the spoon up with a shit load of puree, or left him unattended whilst weaning. And he seemed to be really enjoying the flavour and the taste, and I believed that the puree was smooth. Obviously for him at that time of weaning it wasn’t. 

Afterwards I threw the bowl of puree in the bin, and I started to feel really shocked and shaky, I was shivering and was feeling so bad and guilty. I believed it was my fault William had choked on this broccoli. I rang hubby crying my eyes out, i felt so bad, how could I of done that to our baby? 

The rest of that night went the same as usual, we had a play, I was a little (ok a lot) more cautious with William, when we had a bath I sat there staring at him crying, apologising for weaning him, apologising for hurting his back, apologising for being a rubbish mum. When he fell asleep in my arms that night I didn’t want to put him in his cot, I was petrified something would happen to him, what if he choked again while I was asleep? (Just for the record I have always had a phobia of this, as he was a very sicky new born baby and would often be sick in his sleep when he was laid flat, I used to sit up awake all night at first, just watching him sleep to make sure he didn’t choke on his own sick. I completely understand I sound like a lunatic. That’s just me, I worry and overthink every possible little detail or possible outcome. I’m always the one who says “yeah but what if…”) I think that night i maybe had about 1.5 hours sleep. Not just from the worry and watching the monitor endlessly all night. But also because every single time I closed my eyes all I could see was his little face , his eyes wide with fear, and it made me shudder and jump out of my skin. I still see it now sometimes. Thinking about it makes me feel cold. Writing this, it upsets me.

Now some people (if anyone is still reading) may be thinking that I’m over exaggerating, or just think I should get over it, and yeah, you’re probably right. But I you can honestly say, it is exactly how I described it. Afterwards I didn’t give William any puree for I think it was 5 days. Norms had to sit with me when I finally plucked up the courage to do it, and i was literally sweating and shaking the whole way through. He even had to tell me to stop and calm down at one point because the spoon was shaking so much from me being frightened it was going to happen again, that I kept getting it all over Williams face. 

I know now that it wasn’t my fault, and it was just one of those things. Babies have to learn, and in this instance he just didn’t have the knowledge and didn’t know what to do, or whether the puree was too cold or whatever, but the fact is, it happened. I have been very cautious (even more so than I already was), with what I give William, I analyse how lumpy or smooth something is, and I now don’t trust my own purees. So since this incident I have just weaned on shop bought baby food.  Because I honestly don’t trust what I have made for him. Which is silly really, because he was doing absolutely fine before and didn’t have a problem with any of the others I’d made for him. But the thought was in my head. I had mum guilt and self doubt. And one thing I have learnt since becoming a mum is, even if your not sure , you have to just suck it up and go for whatever decision you’ve made with pure confidence, and with this I had gone from being quite confident and enjoying weaning, to having zero confidence and not trusting myself, and dreading mealtimes.

Another thing that it has made me think is that I would love to do a first aid course for babies/children. I am going to look it up for my area, as it just shows that you really don’t know what is going to happen, and I am one of those people who like to be prepared for every eventuality, no matter how good or bad (but of course you all known this as you’ve seen the endless amount of shite I carry about on the daily). So if anyone in the Hull area wants to come on a first aid course let me know! 

Of course, William was fine the next day and was his usual happy self, as if nothing had ever happened. And he is loving trying all the new foods again, I am slowly building my confidence back up with the whole weaning thing. I do still over analyse every thing I give him and I sometimes panic the whole 45 minutes of a meal time, but I think as time goes on it will eventually all just be a distant awful memory. 

As for being an earth mum and doing all my own purees, I have one thing to say about that. 

FUCK. THAT. Let’s be honest. I don’t know who I thought I was, Mary fucking Berry, making all these purees, half the time it goes up his nose or on the wall. I might as well just buy the bloody stuff then when he doesn’t eat it for whatever reason, I can’t be offended. But fair play to those who do make all their own food, i take my hat off to you all!

Besides, I don’t buy organic fucking sweet potatoes or bananas. I buy the cheapest. 

I’m going straight to earth mum hell.

Baby, Parenting

Just Keep Swimming

I haven’t blogged in a WHILE. It feels like ages if i’m honest. Things have just kept cropping up, been busy and i’ve started weaning William, and that makes mealtimes/breakfast/nappy changing time that little bit longer – I will be doing a blog post about my experiences of weaning so far shortly so watch this space for that one – it involves a choking incident which I am still struggling to get over..

ANYWAYS.

I thought i’d do a blog post about something me and the little (well he’s not so little now – he’s 24 weeks and weighs 19lbs 11oz my little porky sausage) man get up to every week. And to be honest, me as an individual doesn’t really enjoy that much. SWIMMING.

It’s not that I dislike swimming, i’m just actually really shite at swimming. Everytime we go abroad, I always have to get hubby to hold my hand the first few times we go in the pool and I NEVER go to a point where I can’t feel the floor. You should see me in the actual sea. I’m like a crazed lunatic digging my toes into the sand,but then the thought of some weird sea creature biting my toes gets in my head so I just sort of doggy paddle in the water trying to look cool in my bikini from 3 years ago while all these ultra cool hip women who are all size 8’s just smoothly swim past me, wearing Armani sunglasses and a waterproof obligatory Michael Kors watch their boyfriends with a 53 Plate audi bought them for christmas the previous year, that they instagrammed with the caption “the boy did good”. 

Anyway, I digress. Because of how RIDICULOUS I am and have been in the past (i’m sure I have been rescued from a swimming lesson while I was at secondary school by my P.E teacher as I had a little panic attack – not embarassing at all I assure you. I think after that I was on my “period” for approximately 8 years, and never did swimming at school ever again. MEGA LOLZ.) I want William to be comfortable in the water, and be a good swimmer, not just for the holidays I hope we are going to be going on in the future (nudge nudge Norms – Cyprus????) But also for safety. I want him to be competent and able to get himself out of trouble if the awful circumstance ever occurred. 

So I take him every Tuesday with my bezzie Laura and her little girl Chloe. Its lessons, and I use that term very loosely. I mean the instructor isnt teaching him butterfly stroke, And how to do a forward roll turn with a backflip from a 13ft diving board, I mean he’s only just learnt that he has feet for goodness sake. But it’s things like throwing a ball in the water and us holding the babies and encouraging them to try catch the ball with their hands, and encourage them to kick their feet and legs, holding on to the sides and moving along, lots of singing and woggle use. (Anyone who doesnt know what a woggle is, its basically a massive sponge like thing that floats, and its like 6ft long. Google it. Hours of fun.)

Then there is also the SUBMERSION. Well, I was more nervous about that I think than the prospect of people seeing my post-baby body in my Sainsbury’s swimming cozzie. I mean what happened if he DROWNED?? (Obviously he wont – I have hold of him the whole time.) He always looks mega shocked and very taken aback at whats just happened. He also looks at me like a piece of shit on his shoe, that he cant actually believe that I have just done that to him. But it is literally for a split second,and to be fair it makes it lots easier at bath time washing his face, as he gets used to his face being wet. He just hates his ears being in the water, which I think most people do. 

One thing I wasn’t ready for was the amount of CRAP you have to take for one 30 minute swimming lesson/”lesson”. I mean. It’s ridiculous. You have to take a fair amount of shit with you out and about everyday anyway, but going swimming is on a whole new level!! Here’s just a little list of all the crap I take with me every week:

  • Swimming costume for me
  • Swimming costume for William
  • Towel for me
  • Towel for William
  • Pants etc for me
  • Change of clothes for William (I usually take him in his PJ’s then get him changed into new clothes afterwards)
  • Spare clothes in case he sick/shits/pisses on previous set
  • Moisturiser/baby oil for his skin as he gets dry skin after swimming
  • Nappies
  • Disposable swimming nappies
  • Nappy bags
  • Baby Wipes
  • Bum Cream
  • Dummies
  • Teething Gel
  • Milk
  • Muslin cloths/bibs
  • Spare milk in case he is mega hungry
  • Plastic fucking bag for all the bleach smelling wet shit
  • Change for bloody lockers because of course they couldnt possibly be free could they (imaginary eye roll)

I mean…..seriously. So all that shit is crammed into a bag, plus you have your usual changing bag, when you walk in the receptionist probably shits hersef that you are staying for 2 weeks and are going to ask her how she likes her eggs in the morning. It really is THAT much. Plus all the other shit like Calpol “just in case” etc etc – my life is now just carrying crap around in a 15 tonne bag “just in case”. 

But it really is so funny to see William in the water, interacting with the other babies, and me, its nice because it’s something we can do together, just the 2 of us, and he has to put all his trust in me, which is a nice feeling. It’s a really good bonding time for us. 

However I do look like a shitty mum because I literally have NO IDEA what half the songs are, something about a monkey swinging in a tree and a crocodile coming…?? Also using said woggle further up in the post as a horse, literally straddling this bloody 6ft long sponge sausage jumping around as if you’re on a horse…its very degrading. As if having your fadge out with half of the local hospital (in which you work at) coming and eyeing it up isn’t bad enough. You then straddle and jump about on a 6ft piece of sponge. Getting off the thing is the worst. Whilst holding a beast of a baby. Needless to say, my street cred (if I had any) is literally being sloshed away with baby piss and spit down the local council’s drain. 

Also, getting dressed and dried afterwards is quite a stressful experience. You are there with a 56 year old beach towel that your grandma once used in the Cold War, wrapped around you which keeps sliding off, trying to wrestle a slippery chlorine-smelling baby out of a little swimsuit which has gone skin tight onto his little sausage rolls, sometimes not on a baby changing table, because there are like the smallest amount of changing rooms with baby changing facilities, and trying not to drop water on them, they are cold, tired and more often than not hungry (well mine is), so they usually KICK OFF. And I don’t mean a few little cries that can be subsided with a few raspberries on the belly or a tickle under the chin. I mean like a full on, screaming, coughing, kicking MELT DOWN. As if the end of the world is nigh.  So there’s always that thought looming over you as you exit the pool, trying to walk fast (because you can’t run in a swimming pool can you) because your baby is cold and because you don’t want to see someone you know and for them to see your cellulite, that you blame having on being pregnant when really you had it before.

But all this aside, the endless baggage, the stressful change afterwards, the dry skin and the stinky washing, swimming is so much fun! It really really is, and I would DEFFO recommend that if you have a little one, and you are able to then take them. 

Baby, Beauty, Friends, General, Parenting, Personal

An Open Letter to My Friends

Dear Friend, 

It’s me. Tara. Aka Mummy. 

I’m sorry I haven’t seen you in a while. I know you text me 4 weeks ago asking how things are and how William is doing, and that we needed to catch up soon. I did see it. I did want to reply. I really did. But these days, I barely get time to sneeze or go for a piss in peace. And by the time it gets to 9pm and the baby has only just gone down to sleep after me trying  since 7pm, all I want to do is eat something (But I usually dont) and go to bed myself. So please don’t be mad that I didn’t text back. I agree, we do need to catch up. I miss you too. 

I’m sorry I forgot to send you a birthday card. Or a Christmas card. They were written, and on the side ready to post/pop in to you. But the truth is, I can’t really “pop” anywhere these days. Gone are the days of just nipping out, as now it takes me an hour just to try and get a shower, amid all the crying, sicking, changing shitty nappies, cleaning up dribble from various areas of my hair, putting a dummy back in, finding said dummy that baby has spat out and managed to sit on, winding, sssh-ing, reassuring the baby that I haven’t abandoned them , that I’m merely washing the smell of baby shit and B.O. from my body, only to be a sweating mess again in 10 minutes after picking the baby back up to stop him from crying for him to show me the reason he was crying was in fact because he had trapped wind that turned into an acidic white vomit that is now all over my freshly soap and glory’ed skin. Excellent.

I’m also sorry I haven’t popped to see you after work because as well as how long it actually takes me to get out the house now with a small human, the amount of crap I have to bring with me for a small outing is actually unbelievable. I have a £60 bag, which is essentially the size of a weekend holdall bag, filled to the brim with so much shit, that it won’t zip up, and when strapped to the pram it makes the pram wonky and lean one way. All this crap just in case. Gone are the days of me leaving the house with my keys, phone, purse and perhaps a lip gloss and hair brush in a cute little Michael Kors bag. I don’t even use a handbag anymore.  I don’t need one. It’s not like I have time to put on my new Barry M lip gloss anyway. Plus, even if I did, within 3 minutes 45 seconds William would have smeared his little hand into my lips and subsequently into my hair and I will be basically a walking talking scarecrow with a baby attached to me hanging from my knotted but shiny and glittery hair in Barry M shade 678.

I’m sorry that you can’t pop here after work like we used to do. When we used to get chippy teas or naughty takeaways and sit and watch Corra Norra and laugh about Audrey Robert’s funny noises she makes or swoon over Danny Dyer and talk about all the rude things we’d do to him if we ever had half the chance. The truth is, I don’t even know if Audrey Roberts is still even in Corra Norra anymore, by the time I sit down after putting the baby to bed all the good telly is finished and I’m left with some weird fishing programme or QVC selling me a hoover or overpriced hand cream. The term “bath, bottle, bed” is followed as loosely as possible. It’s more of a “do whichever stops him crying and puts him to sleep” the fastest routine. So I sack it off and go to bed, to wait for the next time the small human beast will wake screaming at the top of his lungs like he is sitting in a pool of his own piss and up to his eyeballs in mustard poo, and hasn’t been fed for 45 days. (Obviously he isn’t any of these things).

I’m sorry as well that when we do meet up, I don’t have anything exciting  to tell you anymore.  No gossip from work.  No funny stories to tell you about how I bumped into so and so we used to go to school/college/on nights out with and she’s looking like God knows what now , or her new fella looks like someone from Shameless. Or how I saw this really cute outfit in New Look that I thought would look amazing on you. Or talk about what the Kardashians are up to this week and oh my God did you see Kim K in Heat magazine..? All I’ve got to talk about now is nappies, how many bottles of milk William has had that day and how many ounces he drinks, and how he cried all morning  and the only thing that would console him was me blowing raspberries on his feet. I’m sorry that this is boring for you. But literally, that’s all I have to say. Because that’s what my day consists of, day in, day out. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sleep, Feed, Change, Wind, Cuddle, Clean up, Play, Sing Row Row Row Your Boat, repeat. 100 thousand times over.

I’m sorry that I can’t go with you on that night out. I would of given anything to go out with you, get dressed up in something other than leggings covered in milk and spit, and a t-shirt that smells questionable under the arm pits. I would of loved to have been able to go out without carrying the contents of my house, not worrying about lip gloss being smeared into my hair, and sitting at a table that doesn’t need to have room for a pram. It would of been amazing to drink something other than cold tea, from a clean glass rather than a cup that has been used for over a week and not washed because you just simply haven’t got the time or the energy to stand and do dishes.

The truth is, since becoming a mother I have in fact turned into a bit of a shite friend. And for that I am sorry. But the truth is, I’m not sorry I’ve become a mother. 

Yes, I look back on the times when I could leave the house freely, carry my little bag around in the crook of my arm, smell clean and divine and have washed hair that’s nourished and conditioned and not stuck in some bobble and unbrushed for the 3rd day in a row, and feel a little bit sad. I do miss the life I had, when we could hang out whenever we wanted to, go have a drink willy-nilly and end up getting in at 1am wondering how the hell we managed to end up in a club on a Tuesday night?!

The truth is though i don’t miss the life, I miss you. However, being a mum is my priority now. The nappies, the milk, the gummy smiles and the belly laughs at me tickling under his arms. The 4am cuddles because he’s had a bad dream and only mum cuddles will do. This is the life I’ve got now, and I can’t imagine any different. 

It’s not that I don’t want to see you. It’s just that with all the other crap that’s going on, it’s hard to fit it all in. 

I am a mum. But I am still Tara. It’s just Tara has changed. But she does still love you. And I just wanted to let you know that even though we don’t see each other as often as I’d like or as you would like, I still care. I just can’t do a lot of the things I used to any more. My priority is now this tiny human I pushed out my vagina, and unfortunately all the other stuff has to wait. 

Please be patient with me, this is all new to me and I maybe haven’t got the whole social life-parenting-ratio figured out yet. I’m not doing it on purpose. And I’m certainly not pushing you away. It’s just life has now changed.  I enjoy nothing more than lying in bed staring at a tiny human I made, or singing The Wheels on the Bus to try and make my baby smile while holding a wet wipe over his little you know what so that he doesn’t piss everywhere while I change his nappy for the 50th time that morning.

But please know this. I’m always here, if you ever need me. And again, I’m sorry.

But if you ever need wet wipes, I’m the one you should call. I’ve got thousands of the fuckers upstairs.

T x

Baby, General, Parenting

Hey Roomie!

I thought I’d do this next post BUT I would just like to say that there is no right or wrong way to bring up your child, and this is just MY experience and way I have done things.  Also, please no criticism. Us mums need to stick together! 

So, in case anyone was unfamiliar, the Government has decided and given us guidelines about all aspects on bringing up your children. And the guidelines for sleeping are basically, that they should sleep with you in your room, be it co-sleep, in a crib or moses basket or the sort, until they are 6 months old. This is to minimise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome  (SIDS). 

Well that’s all well and good, but what happens if you want to (or need to) put your baby in their own room earlier? Please note again that I’m not a health care professional nor am I a member of this so-called Government who make these policies up. I’m just a first time mother giving whatever works a go.

So basically, William is 4 months old (19 weeks to be PRECISE) now and he is in his own room, and has been since he was about 11 weeks old. 

Cue the shocked and appalled gasps and people running to their phones to ring  Esther Ranson up at Childline HQ. 

The truth is, it all sort of..happened by accident. That sounds ridiculous. Let me explain.

We have Williams room all set up and it has been since before he was born, you know you do the whole painting and decorating the nursery before they arrive, all excited, only you can’t really do anything because your heavily pregnant and crouching down to paint skirting boards isn’t really an option when your top heavy as you just fall over, the baby squashes into your vital organs and you end up panting and needing someone to help you up, which is a job in itself as your about the same weight as a male walrus with tusks and everything.

Anyway, Williams room is all set up, ready for him to eventually go in there. We have a cot, a changing table/chest of drawers and wardrobe, and a chair so we can feed him in there if we so desired. It was all lovely and tidy and looking like something from a mamas and papas catalogue, shiny and new.

Our bedtime “routine” (I use that word loosely, there is no set time for bedtime, we just work it around when he’s had his “tea time” bottle and take him up a couple of hours after that) consists of us bathing him, and then going into his room to get him dressed and lotioned and potioned up and ready for his last bottle. We used to, when he was first born, take him downstairs to feed him then put him in his moses basket and sit in deathly silence downstairs afraid to make a noise as he is a light sleeper, and risk waking him up. We eventually got sick of this, and I was getting pissed off at trying to lip read Danny Dyers Cockney slang in EastEnders  (its bloody hard that. Plus he’s got a sexy beard thing going on. I don’t really lip read to be honest I just gawp at the fitness. Thank you BBC for employing him)  that we decided to put the moses basket upstairs and get a monitor with a screen so we could keep him upstairs and have some time to ourselves and eat tea etc etc without tiptoeing around like church mice. So I bought a second hand BT monitor from eBay and off we went. 

The only problem was, that William is a little chunk. He was waking up because he kept wriggling up his moses basket and having his head pushed up at the top, it was a very strange position. He obviously moves around a lot in his sleep if he isn’t in his sleepyhead. So me and Norms just used to use that instead, put that on our bed and let him sleep in that as he couldn’t move around, and quite honestly he was so comfy in there he didn’t feel the need to. In case any of you don’t know what a sleepyhead is, it’s basically a massive breathable pillow thing, one pillow is in a U-shape and with a little mattress pillow thing in the middle, and it’s supposed to make them feel safer and like they are being held/in the womb/very comfy cosy. Google them. They are ace. To be honest if they did them in adult sizes I would buy one. 

Anyway, we had been thinking about moving Wills into his own room for a couple of weeks back in December, as he kept waking up all the time in our room. Not for a bottle, for winding, for nappy change or one of the other 100,000,000 things it could possibly be that you have to guess, but because of us. I am a light sleeper and move around the bed a lot when I sleep. Beds creak and make noises. Plus normal human noises, heavy breathing, farting etc etc. Plus there was one other major factor. Well I say factor. I mean thing.  The wild bush pig next to me, aka my husband. He snores like I DON’T KNOW WHAT. Seriously. It’s like having Pumba from the lion king next to me, I’m half expecting him to burst into a verse of Hakuna Matata any minute. He is SO. LOUD. And it was waking the little guy up. So we had been discussing it and what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. 

It just so happened that one night, it was my turn to bath and put William to bed, so we did the bath time  (my favourite time of the day, William is so cute in the bath) and I slathered him in all his lovely smelling Potions and decided I would feed him in his room, as he was getting aggy and wanted his milk RIGHT THERE AND NOW and couldn’t possibly wait a millisecond later (its as if they’ve never been fed – cue the calls to Esther again – this time probably from the neighbours the way William screams the bloody place down). So I sat in the chair and gave him his baby crack (milk) and then it hit me. Like, really bad.

I really, really needed a wee. Like, really. You know when you need a wee so much it hurts your insides and one sudden unplanned movement could cause a flood. Yeah, one of those. And since having the milk machine my pelvic floors aren’t what they used to be. I mean, I can hold my wee, but not for as long as I used to be able to. I remember once I held a wee in all the way from York area to Manchester on the train while on a hen do, and carried on drinking, because the toilets were out of order. I ran off that train like Usain Bolt, and left the other girls behind. It was a close shave let me tell you that. Anyways.

So there i was, my little babe literally in arms, he had just fallen into his milky sleep and I so so desperately needed a piss. Shit! I thought to myself. I remembered I hadn’t got the moses basket ready before bath time and the sleepyhead for some reason was in his cot, (I think we put it in there to keep it out the way) and I didn’t have enough hands to move it without waking him up. I needed to make a decision and it needed to be a fast one. Before I covered my little 11 week old baby in piss. This was not a drill.

So I just did it. I placed him in his little sleepyhead that was in his cot, covered him with a blanket and dashed out to the loo. It was one of the best wee’s I have ever had. When I was finished I crept back into Williams room, convinced he would have woken up as he wasn’t in his usual surroundings and I had quite literally just plonked him in. But alas, no. He was still asleep. So I got the monitor and set that up on the side of the cot, and decided to see how it went. 

I went downstairs to hubby and asked him if he thought I had done the right thing, should I go get him out, is it too soon? He just sort of grunted something about seeing how it went, probably engrossed in some shitty police interceptors programme, so I sat and watched the monitor as if it was telly and Danny Dyer was on it topless. But I didn’t need to. That night, William slept 7 hours straight.

SEVEN. 

WHAT. THE. FUCK. 

I went to check on him probably a million times, to make sure he was breathing and hadn’t slipped into some sort of coma, but everytime he was fine. 

He obviously needed the quiet and darkness, and probably thats the reason. When he woke he was like a different  baby. A baby who had caught up with their sleep. He was all smiles and giggles and just generally happier. So we tried again for the next few nights, and he did the same. Maybe not for as long, but he certainly slept longer and better than he was doing in his moses basket or his sleepyhead on the floor in our room. So we never looked back. This is just how we did it, like I say, totally by fluke and because my bladder was about to burst. Some people may have put their children in their own room earlier, and some may not want them to leave their room ever and thats fine. This was just our experience. Now this isnt to say that William sleeps brilliantly every night. He still has his nights where he wont settle, and he just wants cuddling and being on somebody, or he will wake up 45 times in the night and it will generally be horrendous. But thats what babies do. They are crafty. They trick you into thinking that you have won the battle, when really they have already won the war. Sometimes William still sleeps with me for a couple of hours in the morning, because lets be honest, a couple of hours of precious uninterrupted sleep is better than getting up every 5 minutes to put a bloody dummy back in or give them a rock and a “ssh”. 

One thing I wasnt prepared for though was how MY decision about MY child would cause a Health Visitor to be quite rude, really. Now if your reading this and you’re a Health Visitor, dont worry, i’m not slamming you all and saying you are all in some kind of evil witches cult sat there around a cauldron. But this PARTICULAR Health Visitor was a bit shitty really, and she made me feel like a bad mother for making the decision to put William in his own room when we did.

Basically, I take William to one of my local health centres to get weighed every Tuesday, one of my best friends works there and its a good excuse to get out the house and I also get to catch up with her while I wait to be seen. Well this one time, I STUPIDLY mentioned when the Health Visitor asked about how William was sleeping, that he was in his own room. I was met with a right salty look. Literally you could of seasoned about 70 portions of fries with the amount of salt that was in that look. Then came the questions. In the obligatury sarcastic and patronising tone;

“Why is he in his own room? Can I ask what made you decide to do that? What is he sleeping in? What’s in the cot with him? There aren’t any toys are there? You do know the Government guidelines say 6 months? Do you realise he could suffocate? You really should all still be in the same room. What exactly is a sleepyhead? Is it safe for sleeping? He could put his face in the sides and suffocate, we’ve had babies die by being in their own rooms too early. It really should be 6 months…”

She trailed off when she was met with my returning salty look and heavy sigh. She just basically (or so I felt) accused me of just being a bad mother. How DARE she? I had actually made the decision based on the fact of what I thought what right for him – considering he is, funnily enough, MY CHILD. I then answered all her sarcastic condescending questions, about how he is too big for his moses basket, his neck was getting bent by him moving up and around in the basket, the snoring, we have a monitor and watch him, explained what a sleepyhead was, and that he cant suffocate because he is in a sleeping bag and cant actually roll over yet, and that the sleepyhead is actually completely breathable, and yes its safe for sleeping as the clue was in the name (????). She just sort of looked at me with this patronising look in her eyes, as if she wasnt believing anything i was saying, and that I was the world’s worst mother and Satan should come and take me away in his fiery carriage and William should be blessed with holy water to rid him of my cardinal sin. And then proceeded to tell me AGAIN that the Government recommended babies stay with their parents until they are 6 months old. I answered with “Well the government aren’t in my house day after day and don’t know my baby, do they?” And then I just kept quiet, didnt say anything else. I think she got thr hint i was pissed off, and promptly shut her trap and started to write down in Williams red book how much he weighed. The air was very tense, literally you could of cut it with a knife. I politely said goodbye and turned on my heel, going to my friend and telling her what a bitch the health visitor was. Inside I was seething. I’m sure she was just doing her job, trying to give me some helpful advice, yet the way it came across was not in that way. I think sometimes Health Visitors can come across as a bit patronising , some of them are old school, and sometimes the way that you possibly do things may not be the way that either they would do it, or the way the “Government” (whoever these people are who think up these rules are) would recommend. I think they mean well, obviously, however sometimes the way that it comes across is sometimes a bit demeaning and can make you feel a bit shit. So from now on, I just tell them what they need to know, and that’s the way I choose to deal with that.

The point of this post was just to share an experience, and also just to say, that whatever decision you make for your child, you are the only one who can make it, your the only one who knows your baby inside out, so don’t ever be made to feel bad for a decision you have made. Because lets face it, no one really knows what the fuck they are doing. We’re all just winging it day to day, getting into bed on a night and wondering how the fuck we managed to get through another day without anything monumentally going tits up.