‘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.
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’ve always been quite partial to a skirt or dress, call me a floozy if you wish but I also like a short hemline. That is until I became a mum.
After I had Henry, my first wear of an old favourite mini dress last approximately 25 minutes before it was removed and replaced with what has become my uniform of jeans and a t-shirt.
Obviously feeling brave after reacquainting myself with a bum skimming dress on a baby free night out, I chose a Saturday to introduce my rekindled flame to my new life as a mum, a day with a co-parent so as to ease us in gently. What I found was that this little dress complicated my day in the following ways:
1) Getting Henry in and out of the car was difficult. I can normally be found putting Henry into the car seat bent over, bum sticking out of the car door. Wearing a dress meant this normally simple exercise had to be much more considered. So as not to give the street an eyeful I had to balance precariously on the 10cm of seat not occupied by the car seat, trying not to suffocate Henry with my hair. This also put my hair at a grab-able distance and prising my hair from Hen’s hands while not flashing my derriere was quite a task.
2) Instead of bending over carelessly when objects were dropped from the pushchair, which happens ALOT, I had to kneel down in a fashion similar to that which is taught in manual handling training, but legs together so as to remain dignified trying to maintain balance. The whole picking up objects, or picking up baby thing had to be much more considered and I don’t think I appreciated what a luxury it was not to have to bend over 78,654 times a day.
3) Sitting in a dress with a baby on your knee causes the dress to ride up. Especially when said baby is a fidget. It’s also hard to adjust the dress with the baby on you knee so the bottom of the dress ending up around your waist is inevitable.
I returned home and immediately changed out of the dress. Considering how not to flash my bum is a consideration I don’t need in my already very considered day. For now I have accepted that mum life and short skirts don’t mix.
However I do feel like these Topshop loafers are too good not to mention, which I picked up for the bargain price of £29. Super comfy and compatible with motherhood. Winning.
Have you had to banish any items of your wardrobe in favour of motherhood? Do you dress differently?
Becoming a parent brings a whole host of newness – new baby (obv), new clothes, furniture, decor, routine, vocab…yep, you read correctly. Lately I found all kinds of bizarre words and phrases flowing out of my mouth like milk from a bottle that my pre-motherhood self may have shot more than an eye-roll at:
- ‘Has he done a poo?’ ‘ Was it a big one?’ ‘Was it hard?’ ‘Did it have bits in it?’ – Can you imagine asking anyone else for a detailed description of their fecal matter? And worse – in ear shot of anyone and everyone. Or directly to baby – ‘Have you done a stinky poo?’
- ‘Don’t eat the rug’
- ‘Is he still breathing?’ Again, who else do you ask this about on a daily basis?
- ‘Dogs are for stroking not for licking’
- ‘You’ve just piddled in the bath so don’t try to drink it’ – ’cause you know, it’s ok to drink if it’s free of urine…
- ‘Is that yummy, yummy in your tummy?’ – said with a huge smile to encourage a positive response to all the vegetables.
- ‘Five little ducks went swimming one day, over the hill and far away, Mother duck said, ‘QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK’ but only three litt… I mean… four little ducks came back.’ I’m sleep deprived, ok? I must make more effort to remember where I’m up to or the poor boy doesn’t stand a chance where numeracy is concerned.
- ‘You sit there while Mummy has a wee.’ *places bouncer in front of the toilet*
And the last few, in dedication to the mobile baby nappy change…
- ‘Don’t roll over, Mummy’s trying to change your nappy’
- ‘Noooo… don’t put your feet in the poo!’
- ‘Don’t undo your nappy, we don’t want poo poo and wee wee everywhere!’ (although it’s so difficult to get a nappy on these days sometimes I feel like cleaning up would be the easier option…)
20 weeks pregnant
Although I couldn’t be happier to have Henry bringing me immeasurable joy every day, as I approach the anniversary of my 20 week scan I’ve found myself becoming all nostalgic for the nine short months spent growing my beautiful baby. Here are my favourite things about being pregnant:
- Eating all the food. Stuffing your face with carbs and not having to worry about looking bloated, being able to blame your fifth cookie on cravings and playing the ‘eating for two’ card when you feel like eating two lunches. Winning.
- Naps. I’d never been much of a napper, but while I was pregnant I took advantage of every napping opportunity. On the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, in the car, when I didn’t feel like making tea….I’m also aware that I won’t have the same napping opportunity if I’m lucky enough to bear another child.
- Maternity clothes. A lot of people don’t enjoy maternity dressing. I did. It’s a valid excuse for new clothes when nothing else fits and jeans that are as comfy as pyjamas. What’s not to love?
- Feeling my baby wiggle was the best feeling, even better when I could see a limb make its way across my tummy.
- There are no awkward silences. Everyone always has something to talk to you about and a million questions to ask – although admittedly not always appropriate. The most common being, ‘was it planned?’. Why does that even matter?!
- No one wants to be the person who upsets the pregnant lady so you get your own way ALOT. I managed to not only wangle a new chair at work, but I was also taken to Staples to pick my own chair. That was a fun afternoon.
- Watching the fleeting expression of sheer horror on the face of someone who asked a pregnancy related question when I began my answer by fibbing that my bulging stomach was the result of a large lunch. Hilarious! As a sidenote – if in any doubt as to whether someone is with child, DO NOT ASK. There is a waitress in Sheffield who will probably have thrown away an oversized shirt this week after my good friend who shall not be named did not follow my aforementioned advice.
- The excitement of the unknown, of finally meeting the baby you feel like you already know looking forward to the months of maternity leave ahead, still naive enough to think of it as ‘time off’.
- Buying stuff. I love buying stuff and a baby needs a lot of stuff.
- My husband also managed to wangle us a free room upgrade on our last pre-parents city break. See point 6 – no one wants to upset a pregnant lady.
Did you enjoy being pregnant? Do you have anything to add to this list?