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The Bump Chronicles: The postpartum Years.

This is the post excerpt.

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The Bump Chronicles began as a regular whinge on Facebook about how crap (in my opinion) being pregnant feels. After the safe delivery of my rather hefty bundle of joy we progressed to the ‘Postpartum Years’. So two weeks and six days into my full-time role as ‘Mummy’, in between soothing a crying infant, getting covered in all sorts of unsavoury bodily fluids and trying to remember to feed my two house panthers, I thought I’d share snippets of my ‘parenting journey’. Think less epic, life affirming voyage, more traffic jams, faulty brakes, getting ripped off at service stations, throwing up in the car type of journey and I think we’ll be on the same page!

 

 

A trip to the farm

I booked today off work and decided to do something fun but relatively inexpensive with the boy. After a quick google: ‘farms kids are allowed in near me’ (yes really), I found the answer to my parenting prayers. Hoar Farm (…yes really), a mere 17 minute drive away and cheap to get in!

We weren’t able to leave the house before the emptied nearly an entire pack of wipes in his bedroom. He thought this was hilarious. At least someone did.

When we got to the farm, (which owing to  some heavy rainfall last night was mostly mud, thick, sludgy slippery mud), I was excited to show him the chickens that had crowded round the gate. Will loves to try and say ‘chicken’ and he’s getting better at it, and gets very excited in the process. So I thought he’d love to see some real, live, clucking chickens. (Thought).

‘Look Will, Chickens!’

It was at that moment a cockerel decided to crow. Will did not like that. In fact it made him cry.

Want to know what else made him cry?

The rabbits (they jumped on something that made a noise)

The brown sheep

More chickens

The cat (it surprised him)

Yet more bloody chickens

The deer

The goats

When I asked him to walk

When the big flock of birds suddenly took flight

When I turned the tap on to wash my hands.

There were moments when he wasn’t crying. He quite enjoyed the cat. Which followed us. He felt better about the deer after the cat shielded it from view. He loved mooing at the cows, and the curly white sheep didn’t make him cry. In the short time we were there crying at all the animals, we got absolutely covered in mud. Will fell over, which to be honest, I expected. His insistence that I then carry him meant I have an alarming amount of mud on my coat. Front and back. I have to say walking across the car park with big brown patches on us did earn us some funny looks.

Was it a disaster?

No. You see if you want a day to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Do I wish there’d have been less crying. Absolutely. But I got exactly what I wanted out of today; quality time with my little boy.

In other news:

We’ve discovered breadsticks are like crack for babies. We keep moving the box round the kitchen so he can’t see it. He pretends he wants a cuddle and when we pick him up he scopes them out, points at the box and says ‘more.’

Today Will took all the (damp) washing out of the machine, piled it on the floor, climbed on top of it and snuggled down exclaiming ‘Ahhhhhhhh’.

Will has some new shoes. They light up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current stage of parenthood: The I need eyes in my arse stage.

Today began as a picture postcard of parenting. Hubs got the boy and settled him into our bed with his morning milk, Captain joined us wedging himself between me and the bald kitten, then snuggling up to Will whilst the boy gently stroked him. Beautiful, I felt all warm and fuzzy.

The boy got a little fidgety so hubs let him off the bed. We lay there, listening to the patter of his feet, his exclamations of ‘Marm’ at the cat. Then another sound, it was the scraping of bristles against the toilet brush holder. I don’t think hubs and I would have got out of bed quicker if it was on fire. The duvet seemed to be momentarily suspended in mid-air as we desperately scampered out of bed. After relieving the small boy of the loo brush we gave him his toothbrush, he loves brushing his teeth and it’s a most excellent distraction from his second favourite thing (brandishing the bog bush about). Whilst I put his toothbrush back in the pot he did his third favourite thing, unravelling the toilet roll. The speed at which he can reduce an entire roll of paper to a ribony pile on the floor is almost impressive if it wasn’t so frustrating. Today, as I tried to roll it back up he grabbed a big mound and started ‘blow his nose’ on it. As he doesn’t really know what this entails but he’s heard his Grandad do it lots of times he just bends over and blows raspberries with his face buried in the tissue.

Feeling breakfast would be an appropriate intervention to the carnage already reaped upstairs I took the little scamp into the kitchen.

‘Do you want banana pancakes?’

‘YEAH!’

I go to the fruit bowl to get a banana. I turn around to see the boy has pulled some utensils out of the kitchen drawer and is beating the floor with then. Wrestle utensils off the boy put back into the drawer and find he’s used the split second that took to make a good start on taking all the plates out the cupboard.

He has this very second tried to ‘blow his nose’ on my dressing gown.

On Thursday afternoon after ‘helping’ me to change the sheets, I heard a familiar sound and found him in the bathroom plunging the loo brush into the toilet, splashing water EVERYWHERE with a look of sheer delight on his face. Whilst I tried to clean up he emptied an entire pack of cotton buds (Q-tips) on the floor.

I know what you’re thinking, put things out of reach, close the bathroom door! But he doesn’t seem to have an out of reach. I suspect he has secret extendable arms and legs and can make himself at least six foot tall! As for closing the door he can open them now, it serves only to slow him down a bit.

So it sees that for the time being, vigilance is the key. Sitting and relaxing are not an option whilst he’s awake. And whilst not all the things he does pose a danger or risk of damage to property (he’s currently walking round hugging an empty milk carton) you can guarantee if you fall asleep on the sofa he’ll defrost the freezer whilst eating cat biscuits.

If you need me, I’ll be chasing after a toddler.

In other news:

I *think* one of the cats might have peed somewhere but I can’t find where.

Will is still calling both cats ‘Marm’.

I should be leaving the house in 20 minutes but I’m still in my pyjamas.

 

One week in.

I’ve completed my first week back at work (well two and a half days…) and it’s safe to say it’s nearly killed me!

My son continues to shun my affections and on Wednesday instead of giving me a kiss goodnight he shouted ‘No!’ and smacked me in the face. I felt my eyes well, hubs said not to take in personally (easy words from the favourite…) but I’ve decided, instead of getting upset I’ll wait until he’s a teenager and wants a fiver or a lift somewhere, I’ll refuse. That’ll learn him.

I am considering taking the little scamp out for a walk today, but reluctant after the new years day shenanigans. And if it’s only me with him and he kicks off I can’t walk away and pretend he’s not mine. It’s safe to say the festive season has taken its toll on my waistline, hubs and I have resolved to walk more (even if it means carrying a bawling toddler all the way round). On Tuesday evening we did a belly comparison, Will walked into the kitchen to see us pressing our bellies together and was furious. There was shouting and arm waving involved. I guess either he didn’t like the fact I was touching daddy or he knows the midriff is a dangerous area to carry extra weight and he’s concerned for our health…

Before any of that though, I must give the boy a bath. It seems he’s a little under the weather. It could be his teeth, it could be something that’s going round. All I know for is whatever the issue is he ‘sharted’ as some point last night (a fart with poo) so a bubbly bath should freshen him up a treat.

In other news:

The cats are at loggerheads again. The season of peace and goodwill is most definitely over.

Hubs and I attempted to learn how to whistle last night, fingers in mouth whistling. All we managed was loud blowing. Must. keep. practicing.

Two sleeps until my 32nd birthday.

 

 

The first day of the first month of the new year. Time to get honest.

Call me cynical but I purposely refrained from any sort of ‘Have a happy new year’ post on Facebook this year. My refraining from any sort of post on Facebook is rare but I couldn’t face pretending to be optimistic about how fantastic this new year will be. That’s not so say I think it will be awful, but every year I get lured into the looking back over the year and planning on making the next one brilliant. It’s almost as if I’m setting myself up to feel like I’ve failed somehow when once again I don’t lose that excess weight, or stick to an exercise plan or remember to put money aside to pay my car tax…

When Big Ben chimed midnight, Will was tucked up in bed, I  had a glass of wine in my hand, shared a kiss with hubs and felt content.

Content.

That has not been an easy feeling for me recently. I’ve not discussed the reason for my extended absence from writing because quite simply, I felt ashamed. Last year (I can say that now) my anxiety returned. Slowly at first, the odd fleeting feeling that something terrible was about to happen. An occasional night of broken sleep. I ignored it. Pushed it back, telling myself ‘I’ve dealt with this, I’m just being paranoid.’ But it got worse. If you’re curious as to what it’s like, I can only offer you my experience of it. Imagine believing that every day when you go into work, you’re going to get fired. How that would make you feel and behave. I am convinced that every day I am at work, my boss is going to pop into my office, tell me I’m terrible at my job and ask me to leave. I think I am terrible at my job, and I’ve told myself I’m terrible at my job so many times that often, I am actually terrible at my job. I’ve hidden under my desk several times, called my husband ‘just talk to me please babe’, he knows the drill, talk about anything and keep talking, until I say ‘Thank you I’m okay now’, then creep out from under my desk hoping no one is walking past, but ready with an excuse of ‘Dropped my sodding pen, it rolled under the desk, what am I like ay?’ Deception seems to be a big part of it.

I am nervous around family, because I feel they have meetings to discuss what an awful mother I am. How my husband would be so much better off without me and how they would do a much better job at raising my son. I’ve wanted to leave my house but found the prospect of getting myself and the boy in a fit state to go out so utterly daunting that I’ve sat and cried. And when my little boy stops in his tracks and gives me a worried look, furrowing his tiny brow unsure of what  to do next, I stop the tears and smile. Make my voice as jolly as I can and try to distract him with a game or a book. He knows my joviality is a lie, and I wonder if that’s why he’s changed towards me. I’ve pushed him away with my lies.

Now I have seen a doctor, I am seeking the appropriate help. I’ve overcome this once before and I will do it again. My social media accounts will still portray the version of me I want everyone to see and I will not mention this again after this post. But if you’re struggling;

Get help.

You’re not weak. We all know someone who doesn’t believe anxiety is a thing, who will air quote ‘anxiety’ when they say and make you shift uncomfortably, but not correct them because god forbid anyone discover you’re having mental health issues.

Fuck ’em. Do right by you, fragile, imperfect, wonderful you.

Will 2018 be ‘my year’? Probably not, due in no small part to the fact that I have no clue what has to happen to make it ‘my year’.  On the plus side, with a estimated world population of 7.6 billion* people, it’s bound to ‘the year’ for someone.

In other news:

Hubs and I thought a nice family walk would be a lovely new year activity. Turns out William did not share this opinion and every time he was put down to walk he wailed and refused to move an inch (unless it involved throwing himself on the floor).

Captain has decided his new favourite place to sleep is my pillow. Even if I’m using it. Unperturbed he just curls up on my face.

At 31 years and 11 months and two weeks old, (and after one large glass of wine and three cocktails)  I finally got my nosed pierced.

 

*Thanks Google!

 

It’s been a while…

It has indeed been a while since my last post, I’ve been going through some things, maybe it’s a  mid/quarter life crisis. The most upsetting thing I’ve been trying  to handle is the unshakable feeling that my son doesn’t love me anymore.

Sounds a tad dramatic, so was calling my sister last Sunday in floods of tears declaring ‘He hates me! I love him so much but he hates me!’ She tried to calm me down and I tried not to choke on my own snot.

I’ll explain. It’s been gradual, my decline in his esteem. It started as a running joke when he preferred to be cuddled and put to bed by his dad. Wrapping his little arms around hub’s legs, hugging him and exclaiming ‘Ahhhhhhhh’, but not cuddling me. Despite the fact that I would put myself in his way giving him lots of opportunity to do the same to me. Like a silly schoolgirl going out of her way to be around her crush. The thing that pushed me over the edge was trying to kiss him when he was in his dad’s arms and he pulled away from me, swiped at me with the little arms, (that I grew, inside me) and burst into tears.

Wow.

Hurts much. I excused myself sharpish, not wanting to ball in front of the boy and proceeded to alarm my sister by wailing like a dying moose down the phone.

In company I’d joke about it, and relish the days when I was at home and hubs was at work being the only adult around meant I would get affection from my son. Hubs is still the clear favourite, but waking up on the sofa, with my son’s favourite monkey teddy wedged in the crook of my arm was all the proof I needed that actually… he quite likes me.

In other news:

The new year is upon us and in lieu of a resolution I won’t keep, I’ve accepted I’ll be the same train wreck of a person I’ve always been.

My sister gave birth to my new niece in October and has confirmed birth the second time round is a walk in the park. (That’s definitely NOT what she said but I spoke to her on the phone afterwards and she had the same care-free tone as someone who’d just popped out for a coffee)

If I have to read Meg and Mog one more time, I may kill myself.

 

Feeling redundant.

The boy is becoming more of a ‘character’ every day. He’s beginning to really communicate what he does and doesn’t want.

Which would be great if 9 times out of 10 it’s me and hubs that he doesn’t want. 

It’s a wonderful feeling when you pick your child up and they scream and squirm because they don’t want you. He’ll happily snog the cat, but heaven forbid mummy and daddy get a kiss. 

Daddy is also firm favourite this week, if he goes upstairs Wills will stand at the baby gate wailing, then smack at me if I try and comfort him. This smarts, I ruined my vagina and got a daddy’s boy. ‘Triffic. 

Luckily the Captain is extremely needy.

In other news:

The path leading from our front door to our drive has turned into ‘massive spiderweb land’, i just love starting the day sticky.

Marms seems to have rememberd that she is, in actual fact, our cat and  is home a lot more. There are now daily cat squabbles. If a cat squabble causes me or hubs to shout, Wills will start to cry. Hysterically. 

No the boy is picking up language at an alarming rate I really must stop swearing. (But that’s hard when your cats are arseholes.)

It takes a village to raise a child.

Now I’m not sure if the saying is ‘a’ village or ‘the’ village but what I do know is I don’t agree. 

You see support is a wonderful thing, no question. Offers to babysit/look after the little one are great. Advice, when it’s asked for delivered in a non-judgemental way in truely invaluable, but the village…. no thank you. 

You see raising a baby is hard enough but it’s even harder when everyone has slightly different ideas on the right way to do things. It’s even harder when people take you ignoring their advice and doing your own thing personally. What do you do if that happens? Let ’em be upset, don’t try and justify how you’re choosing to raise your child or you’ll spend the next 18 years apologising!

It’s also worth bearing in mind that all of these villagers were once exactly where you are now, no matter how authoritative their advice no-one is born knowing exactly what to do with a tiny human in all situations. 

In other news:

The boy has a cold. So. Much. Snot.

The cats appear to have called a truce.

The winter wardrobe is out the loft.