‘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:

  1. 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….
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. How much milk we get through. There’s three of us and we get through about 15 pints a week. Craziness.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

things that change when you've had a baby

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I debated whether there would be any point in posting this since most of my readers are mothers and are unlikely to buy gifts for themselves, but we are mums, we have mums, perhaps we have partners we can ‘accidentally’ send a link to….so here is my Mothers Day gift guide 2017 which I hope you’ll find useful.

Favourite Things Personalised Sweatshirt – Ellie Ellie – £39

Available in pink, navy, grey and black with up to three favourite things. I’d probably go, in no particluar order – Henry, Coffee, Avocado (I was tempted to throw Coronation Street in there but decided it’s bad enough that the internet knows how lame I am without walking around with it on my jumper)

Mummy Duck – Little Pieces via Not on the Highstreet – £13.50

Henry’s favourite song is ‘five little ducks’ (although this is currently being overtaken by ‘footballs coming home’ …don’t ask) AND it’s Now my Name is Mummys logo so of course I was drawn to this cup like a duck to water. *hehehehe* You can add up to 7 little ducks each with their initial. Too cute, no?

‘First I Drink The Coffee’ Print – The Motivated Type via Not on the Highstreet – £7.50 for the print + £25.50 to add a frame

Need I say more?

Personalised Mama Make-Up Bag – Twenty Seven via Not on The Highstreet – £14.50

Because we all need a bag to keep all the make-up we never get time to put on anymore don’t we?! Jokes. I love this, it’s the perfect size for my baby-enforced condensed routine and I love anything personalised. It can also be printed with your grown-up name so isn’t strictly for Mothers Day.

Mum Copper Lid Candle – Ellie Ellie – £23

Not only can you add your own message to the top, but it also comes in Tahitian Vanilla and Black Pomegrante. LOVE.

‘You Are So Loved’ Wire Wall Plaque – More Than Just via Not on the Highstreet – £65

This is my favourite on the list. It’s just gorgeous and I’ve never seen anything like it before. There’s a array of background colours to chose from and the wire can be selected in either copper or black. But I love it just the way is is. And it’s handmade by a Mama who set up More Than Just to work from home while looking after her two little ones.

Tiny Initial Necklace – Etsy – £15.25

I’ve had my eye on a few initial necklaces for a while but this is my favourite as I love how tiny it is. A perfect gift for anyone so I’m sure any mother would love it!

I hope you enjoyed and feel inspired to either give, or ask for one of these lovely gifts!

 

http://nowmynameismummy.com/index.php/2017/03/08/mothers-day-gift-ideas/ Mothers Day Gift Guide

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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/

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The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
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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…

 

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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

 

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