‘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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Mummy and toddler Friday. The fifth day of the week. To me, that was the fifth day of endless whinging, tugging at my pyjama top with such force that my boob popped out, body-stiffening-head-thrown-back-tantrum-having and food throwing. I am of course talking about my toddler, who this week has been IMPOSSIBLE to please.

His objections have included, but are not limited to;

  • Reaching the third verse – or my third verse of, ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ (does anyone sing that song in the same order?!). Anyway, apparently touching your nose is NOT something you do if you’re happy and you know it. It’s something you do if you’re utterly grumpy and want to cry hysterically.
  • Throwing himself on the floor in Ernest Jones because I wouldn’t let him run out of the shop. For once I was thankful I wasn’t in there to pick myself a 2 carat diamond because I don’t imagine that selecting expensive finger-ware would have the same effect to the soundtrack of screaming.
  • Because when we went for a walk, he didn’t want to walk. I picked him up, he didn’t want to be carried. I put him down, he didn’t want to walk. I picked him up, and he didn’t want to be carried. So I put him in the car and he wasn’t all that happy about that either.

I’m all about picking your battles in parenting because I feel if I oppose everything that’s mildly irritating I’d never be able to follow through with everything and so how is he to know when no really means no? In other words, I want my child to take me seriously. Which evidently he doesn’t as when I tell him not to do something, even in my most stern tone (must work on that) he laughs in my face and goes right back to doing said thing anyway and the whole cycle is repeated. What does one do in that situation?!  Answers on a postcard.

I really am confused in this area. My pre-parent self – who I know think was a total kn*b – always wondered how people were so lacks in the discipline department that they ended up on Supernanny. Now I fear that it all started with their thirteen-month-old laughing at them when they were told not to climb on the fireplace. What actually do I do?!

Thankfully after a testing week where ‘FFS’ was said in my head, or under my breath (and I NEVER drop the F-bomb) countless times, he’s been a dream this weekend. His usual happy, funny self AND he seemed to understand that he’s not allowed to walk in the street without holding my hand. Definite progress.  And so hopefully last week was a phase? TELL ME IT WAS A PHASE?! I’m sure the experienced parents among you are also going to tell me that there will soon be a similar phase and so I don’t mind if you lie to me, or alternatively share a funny story? Lets make light of toddler-logic together.

 

My Petit Canard

 

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So it’s the first Monday of the month which can only mean one thing around these parts; the second instalment of Mum Crush Monday.

So whats the deal? Basically I tell you who I’ve been fan-girling over and then add them my Mum Crush Directory for my blog stalking  *ahem* BROWSING pleasure. So, off we go…

Alexie – Always Alexie

Now I am just a little bit obsessed with  Alexie; she’s gorgeous, she’s the owner of the most swoon worthy Instagram (she has a crazy number of followers so I’m clearly not the only one who thinks so!) and her blog is the perfect mixture of positivity – the joys, triumphs and overwhelming love that comes with motherhood and the tantrums, worries and sleep-deprived REALNESS that we can all relate to. Her gorgeous little boy is just a little older than Henry and she’s recently announced her second pregnancy and I’m looking forward to following her journey. Always Alexie is an incredible read for any mama.

Kimberly – Odd Hogg

I’ve recently gotten to know the very lovely Kimberly a little better on Instagram where she shares (mainly) beautiful black and white photos of her insanely adorable little boy. Her blog is filled with handy hints for mamas – bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Her recent post on how she increased her Pinterest has become my Pinterest bible and I’m currently working through the steps to hopefully emulate her success. She also shares meal plans, recipes and – excitingly for me as wannabe professional competition enterer – a monthly round-up of competitions and giveaways. The March round-up went live last week so hop over and get entering!

Natalie – Hello Cuppies

Hello Cuppies is a parenting blog which is a spin off from her bespoke cake company called Cuppies ‘n’ Cream and so naturally, amongst the insights into parenting are an array of mouth watering recipes including my favourite red velvet cupcakes, the ultimate brownie recipe and french macarons. Natalie also shares baking tips and tricks right from the mouth, or keyboard(!) of an expert. I’ve been itching to get stuck into some of her recipes since I discovered her beautiful blog a few weeks ago. First on my list are these healthy home-made granola bars which I’ve just purchased the ingredients for.

So before I go and get my bake on, last but not least is a mademoiselle who I’m sure doesn’t need an introduction….

CécileFrenchie Mummy

I just love Cécile! I love, love, love the whole concept of her blog and the french…oh my days I was hooked after the first read of the first sentence of the first post I read. She’s incredibly supportive and was one of the first bloggers who reached out to me when I first started, despite being pretty new to the game herself. She’s been running some great giveaways recently as part of her ‘Baby Fashionista‘ series which I’ve discovered some pretty swoon worthy brands through. Her posts are hilarious and as her little boy is the same age as Henry I find her blog so relatable. Now if only I was half as fabulous…

Don’t forget to comeback next month for the third Mum Crush Monday. You can find all of these mamas and the lovely ladies featured last month in the Mum Crush Directory.

My Petit Canard
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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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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!
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Disclaimer – these products were sent to me for review purposes. All thoughts my own.

Diary of an imperfect mum
Mummuddlingthrough
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