‘Enjoy your sleep while you can’
If I had a pound for everyone who gifted me with this nugget of ‘advice’ when I was pregnant, I probably would’ve had change left over even after we cleaned out the Nursery Department in John Lewis. However, sleep isn’t the only thing children
control change, here are a few more things that will never be the same again:
- Social occasions. No longer are social occasions a time to indulge in food, mindless chatter and one too many glasses of prosecco. They’re now spent grabbing mouthfuls of food in between chasing around a toddler who just wants to leg it over to the old ladies at the next table because he’s clearly spent too much time in M&S cafe and knows that they’ll shower him with attention (you know, because he gets none of that from me. None at all. Pfftttt.) And all I can manage is a sip of prosecco because we’ve developed a co-sleeping habit and I’m terrified that if I drink too much I’ll fall into a deep sleep and not wake up if he rolls out of bed, falls on the floor, gets up and walks out of the room and tumbles down the stairs. Which leads me to….
- When we talk about sleep, it’s not just a reduction in hours. I don’t think I ever fall into a blissfully deep sleep anymore, I just lay with my eyes closed, like a TV on standby ready to jump back into action. Well, roll and stumble back into action with my eyes half closed until I’ve woken myself up with a coffee.
- That Friday feeling. Everyday is a workday. Or everyday is a weekend. However you want to look at it. But losing the Friday feeling also means losing the Sunday night feeling and I don’t miss that one little bit.
- How much milk we get through. There’s three of us and we get through about 15 pints a week. Craziness.
- Shopping. It’s hard to reach to the back of the rail for your size while simultaneously trying to keep your child from teetering off the edge of meltdown mountain, keeping one hand on the pushchair so they’re not abducted while your back is turned and apologising to the poor woman you’ve unintentionally trapped in the corner with your pushchair. However, as much as I used to love clothes shopping, there’s now a million other things I’d rather do that Henry loves too that will make for much better memories.
- The use of both arms. There is very little I can’t do with one hand. Make coffee, hoover, hang the washing out… I’ve even made a one-handed spaghetti bolognese and it wasn’t half bad.
So ‘things that will never be the same again’ might be a little bit dramatic for a title. Before long I know that Henry will be independent and I’ll regain the time to shop, use both hands and eat a meal at my own pace. I’ll pine for our first few years together, filled with milestones, playdates, lazy mornings, and long walks. Things are different, but different in the best way.
Before I had Henry I was a make-up and skincare product junkie, I used to waste hours upon hours reading and watching reviews and tutorials online – oh the days when I had time to spare *sigh*. Being pregnant obviously meant the opportunity to try out new products all in the name of stretch mark prevention. My favourite stretch mark fighting discovery was Mustela so when they got in touch and asked if I wanted to review their baby care products I was intrigued.
I suffer with ezcema so I’m quite particular about what I use to wash Henry. In the last few months we’ve tried a few things that have brought out some dry patches and so they’ve been quickly abandoned. The Mustela Nourishing Cleansing Gel I have to say is a revelation and was my favourite of the three products we tested. Despite being a gel it has quite a thick and creamy formulation and smells INCREDIBLE – like a proper BABY smell, a bit like talc if y’all know what I mean?! Now normally I’m not a fan of a two in one product but this is also a hair wash, which in the case of a baby I’ve found is handy not to have to fumble around for more products when your child seems intent on taking the bath underwater when he’s not supposed to be getting his eyes wet after his recent squint surgery. It’s also paraben free, comes with a pump dispenser which also helps when you only have one free hand and there’s an avocado on the front. What’s not to love?!
Mustela also very kindly sent me their 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream. Henry doesn’t get nappy rash very often, but when he does I’ve always been a Metanium kinda gal. While the Mustela offering helped to clear it up, I found it had to be applied quite liberally and the tube isn’t very big. I don’t apply a nappy cream unless there’s a need to but if you do it would probably a better preventative, used in small amounts than as a treatment.
I also tested the Mustela Nourishing Lotion which I have to confess I used mainly on myself. Trying to cream up a child who’s only got eyes for his milk once he’s out of the bath isn’t my idea of a good time. It has the same delightful scent as the Cleansing Gel which I’m more than ok with slathering all over my limbs. If you’re into baby massage – or at the very least you have a child who has the patience for it, I think it would be a lovely formula as it’s quite rich but soaks nicely into the skin without that sticky, lotioned up feeling.
Mustela is available to buy from Escentual & Amazon.
If you’re still reading, have I got a treat for you….I’ve managed to wangle one of each of the products mentioned to GIVEAWAY to one lucky reader. All you have to do is hit the rafflecopter link below to follow me on Twitter and Facebook! Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer – these products were sent to me for review purposes. All thoughts my own.
How much younger we look here considering it’s not even 3 years ago makes me WEEP
We all know that having tiny humans to look after makes it significantly harder, if not impossible to spend time as a couple, doing the things you used to do when you were just a twosome. Even harder when all your potential babysitters are otherwise occupied because the rest of the world are out-out in the land of the living past 7pm on Valentines Day. So if you don’t have a babysitter, or you don’t like the idea of going out on a school night, I’m here to put the cheese in your fondue with some stay-at-home-little-people-are-asleep Valentines ideas:
- Bring back so old habits that you’ve stopped doing. When I was a student Carl and I used to order pizza and eat it in bed watching films. You’ll probably get sauce on the bedding, but a great and little known by-product of having children are packets of baby-wipes littered around the house. And those bad boys can shift a stain.
- Have a picnic in the living room. Light the fire, or if you don’t have a fire light some candles. Heck, light some candles anyway, it’s Valentines day! Bring in a pre-prepared picnic basket and munch away. Don’t forget the fizzy wine and strawberries.
- Create a restaurant at your dining table, set the table, share some wine and eat at least two courses.
- Play games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo, even the Rightmove game. Something where you’ll have to actually talk to each other is always fun.
- Bring the cinema experience (kind of) to your living room with popcorn, nachos, hot dogs and drinks in paper cups and sit next to each other on the sofa, turn the lights off and put a great film on.
Now I know what you’re thinking;
“I have a child who has a sixth sense for when I’m about to eat anything delicious, watch anything interesting or do anything remotely fun that doesn’t involved them They’ll be wide awake faster than you can say ‘Cupid’ and promptly at half hour intervals until we admit defeat and Daddy’s hot-footing it to the spare bed.”
Which is why I have BONUS idea number 6
Pretend the nearest weekend is actually Valentines Day, call in a babysitter, get dressed up and go out on an ACTUAL date. I know, I know…I’ve thought of everything…
I generally think I’ve got a pretty good level of tolerance for musical baby paraphenalia. But oh-my-days don’t those things have some catchy songs that’ll stick in your head far into the night, long after they’ve been put away (or discarded in a corner of the room) for the day.
My tolerance hit it’s peak the other night when I’d sneaked off upstairs for five minutes of bathtime peace. No sooner had I dipped my toe into the inviting, steaming hot, bubbled water did Carl, Henry and the feral pug make their way into the bathroom bringing with them the mother of all irritating toys – the V-Tech First Steps Walker. Carl then put on BBC news which was showing Donald Trump making a speech. Now let me tell you, you’ve not experienced annoyance until you’ve heard Donald Trump talking and various songs from the walker playlist AT THE SAME TIME.
So, I thought I’d list some of the frustratingly cheery ditties and phrases from various baby toys for you to guess what they’re from. A fun little way to see how much your brain is taken up by storing this nonsense….
Kicking things off with an easy one…
- ‘Welcome to ourr learninggg farmm, weee’ve got lotttsss to showww youuu’ – V-Tech First Steps Walker. I could’ve filled the whole list with this bloody thing.
- ‘Turn the pagess to exxplore!!’ – V-Tech Musical Rhymes book
- ‘Put a bawll in the monkeyss hat!’ – Bright Starts Having a Ball Hide and Spin Monkey
- ‘It’s a great day to visit the BEACH! Full steam ahead!’ – V-Tech Push and Ride Train
- ‘I have two feet; one purple, one blue. I have two feet! JUST LIKE YOU!’ – Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Puppy
- CHUG, CHUG, CHUGGING RAIN OR SHINE! I hope you enjoy your riddddeee’ –– V-Tech Push and Ride Train
- ‘The cat in the square, is speaking out of there! Meow! Meow!’- V-Tech Turn and Learn Cube
- ‘Hop on board the animal train, come onnn EVERYONE! Learning about animals is really LOTS OF FUN!’ -Fisher Price Amazing Animals Train
I’ve put the answers in white, so if you highlight the whole page you can see how many you got right. Clever eh? If you’re on a phone you may have to copy and paste into notes to see the answers. Sorry about that. Extra points if you know another song from the same toy.
Despite their annoying sounds I actually quite like all of these toys, Henry dances to the music they make which is just the CUTEST thing.
IAs you’ll know if you read my last post, this week we celebrated our little Hen’s first birthday, and I couldn’t resist a glass of prosecco to celebrate that Carl and I had successfully parented for a whole year. And I figured that this time last year, a prosecco might have taken the edge off a very long labour. So I owed it to my birthing self of a year prior to toast not only Henry’s birthday, but my birth-ed day. Justification right there, should ever I need it.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learnt after 365 days of playing the mum game:
- Age old advice, but EVERYTHING IS A PHASE. I know it doesn’t help when you’ve not hoovered for a month and the blinds are sporting an inch thick layer of dust (who am I kidding, I’ve never cleaned blinds in my life) because your child has lost the ability to nap, but it’s true. Unfortunately good phases are still also phases. Four month sleep trickster, I’m looking at you.
- Do what works at the time, regardless of what anyone else says. We’re currently co-sleeping (following Lullaby Trust guidelines). I’m aware that at some point it will become an issue, but at the moment we’re all getting more sleep, which means we’re all happier. You may be told you’re ‘making a rod for your own back’, but motherhood is blooming hard work and sometimes I need that rod to lean on.Trust your instincts, have confidence in your decision and move on.
- A new dawn is a new day. Yesterday might have been a washout. You’ve been sicked on, snotted on, pooed on and achieved nothing more than wiping off said excrement with a baby wipe, but tomorrow could be incredible. (Parenting) Life is a Rollercoaster -ahh wise words Ronan.
- Cutting little nails, cleaning first teeth and navigating a busy supermarket with a baby who’s on the wrong side of peckish all make you feel like you could play The Cube and win. Take your victories, however small.
- Hormones have ALOT to answer for. Y’all know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that make you wail to your husband that you miss him WHILE HE’S SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.
- Words spoken in the depths of sleep deprivation should be taken with a pinch of salt. Daddy: she doesn’t really think life is easier when you’re at work. Mummy: he doesn’t really wish he’d stayed at work. Hopefully not anyway.
- Accept that you will never wee alone, enjoy a hot beverage, sleep more than four to six consecutive hours, use an escalator, or any of these things my lovely friend Becky has listed in this hilarious post anytime in the near future. Then, if you do ever manage any you’ll have a whole new appreciation for them. Using an escalator is like Disney Land to me now….
- Despite any challenges our offspring might throw our way, the joy they bring you is immeasurable and there is no problem in the world feels like it can’t be appeased by seeing your baby smile.
So I’m sure I’ve missed a few parenting words of wisdom, as a year does not an expert make. Do you have any to share?