Wedding photo with sunsetThis week Carl & I ‘celebrated’ our third wedding anniversary. By celebrated, I mean that Carl went to work, I went to playgroup and ran some errands and after Henry went to bed we exchanged cards before watching Coronation Street on the sofa with a cup of tea – who said romance was dead? Anyway, after three years of marriage and one as parents, I’ve been reflecting on a thing or two I’ve learnt:

Men like to be looked after.

This becomes all the more apparent when you have children and your priority is looking after them – you know, the little people who need your constant attention so they don’t accidentally kill themselves, as opposed to the fully grown man who just wants your attention.

But they’re also quite easily pleased, if you can be bothered. 

No, I’m not talking about rumpy-pumpy…. this isn’t that kind of blog, not least because my mum reads it. But little things, like making a cup of tea or bringing home Carls favourite crisps makes his day.

They’re not so great with the sympathy…

Don’t tell a man a story and expect to be met with a sympathetic response. They’ll either tell you they’ve had a worse day – just why is everything a competition?! – or tell you what to do as if it’s the most obvious solution in the world, eg. ‘just ignore them.’

…But they are great at maintaining perspective and rationality…

There’s only one person in this house who brings the melo-drama and it’s *ahem* the one doing the typing.

…unless they’re in the car. 

Expect road rage. Ignore the road rage. Although it’s only annoying you, not the person who’s just cut them up. It’s not aimed at you, it’s aimed at the person who just cut them up. Earphones are handy.

They say what they mean.

I might say I don’t mind if he goes out on Saturday. But I do mind a bit because we like having him around on a weekend. But I’ll insist that I don’t mind because I want to be a good wife. Or if he asks if I’m ok I’ll say, ‘I’m fine’. But what I really mean is, ‘I’m a bit pissed off because you left crisp wrappers all over the kitchen table again but I’m not going to tell you that’s why I’m pissed off because you should realise it for yourself, so I’ll just say I’m fine until you guess what’s wrong’. A man on the other hand, will just tell you straight.

Sleep deprivation is the root of all arguments…

You never even bickered before you had a baby and suddenly EVERYTHING annoys you because you’re both exhausted. Carl copes with tiredness with quietness. I’m a little more emotional. Also men still look good when they’re tired – what IS that?!

…but watching your husband grow into fatherhood is indescribable.

Henry’s all about his Daddy at the moment. He clings to him before he goes to work and he jumps with excitement when he comes home. He shouts, ‘Dada’ every time he sees a van and watching Carl read and talk to him, play with him and nap with him, developing the bond they have now is amazing and I love him even more for the incredible Daddy he is. It almost makes me forget that he leaves his dirty clothes in the bottom of his wardrobe and complains they’ve not been washed. Almost.

They need nagging disguised as gentle instruction.

Or nothing gets done. I think they actually thrive off it. What’s the saying…behind every great man is a great woman?

Daddy is always going to bring the fun.

In our case it might be because he sees less off him, so Carl has the novelty factor. Or it could be that he throws him around and lets him eat biscuits before breakfast…

Sometimes it’s easier just to let the little things go.

Who wants to argue about emptying the dishwasher everyday? Although it’s easier said than done when you’re existing on four hours broken sleep, the most important thing in a marriage is each other, not winning a tally of how many times you’ve had to take the bin out.

They make us laugh even when we don’t want to.

It’s really annoying but Carl really knows how to break my poker face.

If they run you a bath on a Saturday afternoon it’s probably because they want you out of the way to watch football.

Not that I’m arguing…

 

Have you got any learnings to share?

http://nowmynameismummy.com/?p=983&preview=true Tips for a happy marriage

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Offspring; the apple of your eye, your sweet little darlings, sponges of love, thieves of sleep and all round controllers of life. They give you joy you’ve never experienced and love you’ve never known. But that doesn’t mean they’re not bloody hard work, their moods can change completely at the mere wake of a nap – or lack thereof – taking the day in a completely different, frazzled direction.

I’m a natural worrier, but I want Henry to look back on his childhood and remember me laughing and smiling rather than with an expression of stress etched across my face. So far this year I’ve been pretty successful in embracing a new-found laid-back persona, so much so that I actually think I’ve always been relaxed and carefree, and started masquerading as a highly strung worry wart around 2011 when I had the job from hell. So here are a few tips I’ve found to leave me feeling chirpy, because happy big = happy little:

Take each day at a time…

I used to panic at the prospect of a week without plans, worry about the future, in particular –  returning to work. It turns out that I’m not going back to work and the decision was largely out of my control so I spent far too many hours wasted worrying. I’ve learned to take each day as it come and it ultimately means I’m living more in the present, enjoying moments as they happen and not having them tainted by fretting about what may or may not happen the next day, week, month or year.

…But that’s not to say don’t have goals intentions*.

While I like to take each day at a time I also like to keep one eye on the future, keeping in mind where I want to be and focusing on the steps I intend to take to get there one at a time, rather than worrying about how I’ll get there. Having children is actually a great time to evaluate what you want in life and even a great time for a career change. I enrolled in a college course which I attend two evenings a week and I intend to work towards a new career which I can work around and adapt to my family. *I recently read a great post about the power of mindfulness, and using terminology to make things feel more achievable. Having intentions, rather than goals doesn’t come with the connotations of failure and is therefore much more positive.

Do something for yourself everyday.

Whether you’re on maternity leave, a stay-at-home-mum or a working mum it’s hard work. Have a little bit of time everyday to do something you enjoy – reading, having a bath, watching Corrie – to keep you sane. If you can’t do it solo that day, walk to the park via the coffee shop, bake a cake, arrange some flowers. There’s loads of grown-up activities that the tiny’s can get involved in too and so everyone’s a winner.

Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air & a smile…

If you’re stuck in the house and everyone’s miserable, it’s amazing how going for a walk can be a game-changer. Smiling is also infectious, be the weirdo who smiles at strangers. You might brighten their day too.

…And don’t overestimate what you see on social media.

People only show what they want you to see. What you see is a beautiful picture of a well-turned-out toddler.  What you don’t see is that ten minutes after the picture was taken, said toddler poured the dogs water down his front. True story. Appreciate a nice picture for what it is, but don’t think the person behind it doesnt share similar problems to you. They probably do.

Choose laughter.

Where you can, when something frustrating happens try to see the funny side rather than how inconvenient it is. Probably best to delay or stifle a giggle when your child is flinging yoghurt at the dog – I like to think of myself as a reasonably responsible parent – but losing your temper over it achieves nothing and it’s probably best to take it in your stride. Embracing a bit of silliness livens up the day. I dance and sing for Henry to distract him from his hunger while I’m making breakfast and he finds it hilarious. His little giggle is contagious so I’ll do (almost) anything for such an appreciative audience.

So there you go, do you have any tips to share?

 

How to be a happy mum http://nowmynameismummy.com/index.php/2017/02/12/how-to-be-a-happier-mama/

My Petit Canard
The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
Tammymum
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Create a restaurant at your dining table, set the table, share some wine and eat at least two courses.
  4. Play games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo, even the Rightmove game. Something where you’ll have to actually talk to each other is always fun.
  5. 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…

 

The Pramshed
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One day, at a time where sleepless nights are enough of a distant memory that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk around like a zombie everyday, but not far enough away that I’ll never want to do it again, we’d like to give Henry a brother or sister.

My brother was born when I was three, and I had quite an indifferent attitude to his arrival. After meeting him briefly I was more interested in going home to watch the Thomas the Tank Engine video (ah video, I feel so old!) that ‘baby Jack’ had ‘bought’ me.

Like all siblings we haven’t always got on amazingly, infact it’s a miracle he made it to his first year as a victim to his older sisters carelessness – standing on him to look out of the window and pulling over a shopping trolley with him in it are two of the favourite stories. I always saw him as my little brother, I was older so I thought I knew more and thought I was in charge. But we also had alot of fun, and my childhood wouldn’t have been the same without him, when we were partners in crime. Now we’re friends.

Our dad sadly passed away just before I was 15 and Jack was 11. So it was Jack who Carl told he was going to propose, and it was Jack who gave me away, delivering quite the speech at our wedding. He’s kind, funny and significantly less annoying than he was when we were younger. On the day he turned 25, Henry stole his birthday. He left work and shot down the M1 as soon as he heard I was in labour, despite knowing all he could do was hang around at my house until he could come and meet his new nephew. He’s an incredible uncle to Henry and a great by-product of having a baby is that I see my brother more than I have in years, despite living an hour apart.

My brother is the best gift our parents ever gave me, despite my younger protests, and that’s what I want for Henry.

Mum – don’t tell Jack I’ve written this, I’ve never told him and I need to keep face.

3 Little Buttons
Tammymum
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IBaby with ballonAs 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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….
  8. 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?

Mummuddlingthrough

 

Diary of an imperfect mum
Twin Mummy and Daddy
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