When will I feel like I know what I’m doing?

My weekend has not been great. I’ve had a clingy boy, a domestic and a hangover. My house is in a disgusting state, I’ve had to buy a new phone, my car tax reminder has arrived and my recent junk food binges have caught up with me and I couldn’t do my jeans up this morning.

William has once again spent the morning wailing, quiet only when he got hold of the cat food pouch and (I’m pretty certain) ate some of the cat food. He also covered himself in his own shit this morning, leaving a residual poo smell on my fingers despite me scrubbing my hands repeatedly.

Set the scene?

I’ve been to the shops this morning but have been walking round on the verge of tears. Wills kicked off in the phone shop, and Tesco, and my patience is practically non-existent. And I feel like shit.

I’d always fantasised that I would be one of those uber calm mummies, that is always 100% prepared for any eventuality loves every second of parenting and does all sorts of exciting things to amuse and educate her little one.

In reality, I’m not. I have fallen short of my own expectations. I mourn pre-mummy me. I feed the boy too much toast. I don’t know how to amuse him. I mean I know what he likes doing, pulling the cat’s tail, emptying the recycling, playing with the loo brush, taking hubs’ beers out of the box and putting them on the window ledge… But these aren’t what he should be doing.

I’m not wanting this to sound like a pity party or like I anything but adore my son; I love the very bones of him, but I feel awkward around him sometimes, like a baby sitter not his mum. I don’t know always know the source of a tantrum, I miss-read his hunger signals. I cut his thumb when I last trimmed his nails, it was a nasty cut. I’ve barely touched his nails since, taking off such miniscule amounts of nail it’s hardly worth bothering.

My question is this:

When will it start to feel okay?

When will I start to feel like a ‘proper’ mum? When will I start putting his needs above everything? When will I develop the spine to say ‘This is my son, this is what’s happening’ without being hindered by the crippling fear of offending anyone? When does it get easier? When will I stop feeling like an absolute failure?

 

 

 

Not all fun and games.

One of more bizarre questions I was asked as a very new parent was ‘Do you enjoy being a mum?’ A standard reply was something along the lines of I hadn’t decided yet owing to the fact I hadn’t had him for very long.

If I had been asked that question today the answer would have been a resounding NO. You see today Wills has acted in a way he has NEVER acted before. It involved screaming inconsolably every time I wasn’t in his eye line, or I was in his eye line but I wasn’t holding him. As a human being with functioning ears, I don’t enjoy the sound of a baby crying. I also like to wee without a child on my lap. I like to walk about freely without a child clinging to my legs. I like to apply make-up without a child on my lap. Today was a day that pretty much revolved round stuff I don’t like.

It was a poor start, he woke up crying. I retrieved him and nipped to the loo, he followed me wailing like an air-raid siren. A short while later he pooed. Put his hands in the poo, around about the same time he was kicking hell out of my boobs, saw a big lump on poo on his finger and attempted to put finger in his mouth.

Cue the machine gun no: NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO,

I grabbed the arm with the offending poo finger, he began to cry after all what sort of bitch stops him eating his own crap? Had to get the assistance of my heavily pregnant sister, to keep offending poo finger out of his mouth whilst I attempted to remove all the poo caked round his bum.

He remained clingy. Extremely clingy. And the crying. Good grief. Before I had a baby I vowed that I’d never let my child be sad. That as soon as I saw their lip quiver, I would hold them, cuddle them, reassure them by just being there.

A prime example of some of the fucking moronic ideas I had about parenting before I became one. I had cuddled him, I had tried being soothing but I’m tired. I want to be left alone, I want him to stop standing on my bloody feet. I want a cup of tea in peace. Today that was not on his agenda.

We visited my cousin ( ? Her Grandma is my great-Aunt) who had baked us some truly delicious cakes for afternoon tea. This was lovely but a problem when a mother at the very end of her tether, a mummy to a four month old and a heavily pregnant woman with a lively two year old get together, is that most of the time we’re so exhausted/hormonal/sleep deprived we don’t really have a fucking clue what we’re talking about. I think we had about 17 half conversations on the go. So we’ve had a catch up but probably couldn’t tell you anything we’ve ‘caught up’ on. Apparently we shouldn’t expect that to improve any time soon.

My cousin(?) Katy has a dog. I can’t remember the breed (Yorkshire terrier?) but it’s tiny. Wills likes it. Except today. When he screamed. I’d pick him up. He’d point at the dog chatter to it, wiggle to get down. Follow dog. Dog would then see her new friend, get excited, jumping and licking would ensue, son would cry blue bloody murder again. Having said that, he was fairly quiet at Katy’s house he was busy eating his food off the floor. I tried a feeble intervention but my fallopian tubes were busy tying themselves in knots and quite frankly I didn’t want to stop them.

Afternoon tea over we faced the task of trying to get a two and one year old in the car. The two year old wanted to sit in the front (the driver’s seat), she is also terribly independent and we’d learnt, (to our cost) that she likes to ‘do the big step’ into the car by herself. SHE MOST DEFINATLY DOES NOT WANT LIFTING INTO THE CAR. However, actually doing the big step into the car, takes a long time. A very long time.

After dropping off my sister and my niece and enjoying some less-clingy William, I headed home. Got home to find hubs mowing the lawn. Wills continued to be clingy.

To cut a long story short I *might* have lost my temper (I did) whilst my poor mother-in-law was on FaceTime, trying to talk to her balling grandson, snapped at hubs (who was actually trying to help but I’d gone ‘rage blind’ and considered all the enemy) and stormed off into the house. (Slamming the door behind me).

Once in the house I spoke to my little boy in a manner that suggested I was absolutely fine and I had not marched off in a temper (OSCAR worthy performance, BTW) and popped him in the bath. Of course he cried when I put him down to turn the taps on, then ran off with his shampoo and his dad’s shower gel.

We made the sounds for his letters whilst he was in the bath. He concentrates so hard on the foam letter stuck to the side of the bath, I sound it out, he turns, grins at me and occasionally he will try to make the sound I’m making (most successful is the ‘zzz’ sound) (kudos for me for refraining from ‘P P P Pissed off’ and suchlike). I calmed down a lot until the cats started YET ANOTHER fight. Not quite sure why I’m paying an arm and a leg for a Feliway plug in, they’re still being wankers.

Anyway, the boy is in bed, his trusty monkey tucked under his arm. Hubs has poured me a wine and is cooking in the kitchen (I suspect partly to keep away from his moody and irrational wife). The ball of fury in my stomach is slowly dissipating, and I’m hoping to wake up a more balanced and reasonable individual. (And convince the MIL her son hasn’t married a psycho…)

In other news:

The washing machine is broken.

The cats have left two dead birds in the house and two on that lawn. (Fuckers)

I have a very exciting unicorn pad for work.

Decision Fatigue

I am bloody sick of making decisions.

They’ve never been my strongpoint. Ask anyone who has ever been to a restaurant with me. My idea of hell is going to the shop for someone with the instruction ‘get me anything,’ or ‘get me a chocolate bar, I don’t mind which one.’ I can’t do it. You need to tell me exactly what I need to get or expect me to take hours and be close to tears when I return.

But now, in addition to making decisions for myself I have to make them for my son. What he’s wearing, what he’s eating, what toys to pack when he goes to his grandparent’s house, where to take him, how long to be there, whether to put him down for a nap, how long to let him sleep. The list goes on, decision after decision after decision.

And truth be told it started before he was born,  when to conceive, when to tell family, when to accept I needed to wear maternity clothes, where to give birth, what clothes to get. The list goes on.

Hubs asking me what I wanted to eat on Monday very nearly tipped me over the edge. Perhaps it’s not just the decisions that are getting to me, it’s the stress of always thinking of another human being because he needs me to do that for him. Every decision is fraught with feelings that this choice might screw him up in the future. That it will make people think I’m a bad mum. No wonder I’m feeling on edge. I used to be able to please myself. That was nice.

But then I remember my ‘mum roar’, it’s been a little quiet lately, but our little boy needs us to make these decisions for us and frankly I should enjoy it before he starts telling me ‘no’.

In other news:

Took Wills to the zoo, he pointed at a monkey and shouted ‘DADA!’

Captain has been back to vet and cost us a fortune (again).

Hubs and I are looking forward to a weekend with no plans, I would say we’ll have a lay-in, but I think we all know that won’t happen.

 

 

Wills is turning one!

Well, one more sleep until our little boy turns a whole one! This time last year I was in hospital, being induced. It hadn’t started hurting yet and I was feeling pretty smug about the whole birth thing. (Fast forward a couple of hours, definitely not feeling smug, groaning like some sort of large mammal).

I’d always looked forward to feeling the first signs of labour and waking hubs up to tell him baby was on they way. Not sure why I convinced myself I’d go into labour in the night. As it happened I was told a day and time I’d be going into labour. I was so nervous in the morning, I started scrubbing all the doors, panicking and telling hubs we couldn’t possibly bring a baby back to such a filthy house! (It was immaculate.)

I’ve talked about the birth before, and shortly afterwards. So much has happened in his first year! He is walking now, experimenting with sounds, occasionally he shouts, it’s both unintelligible and adorable. When you have a baby people say ‘blink and you’ll miss it!’ How right they are! This year has flown by. There are already a million things I’d do differently if I could have him again, things I wish I had known, things I wish I hadn’t worried about. We’ve had the steepest learning curve of our lives, but the most exciting. We still stare at him in disbelief sometimes, we made him. Our perfect little boy. I’m watching him shovel strawberries into his mouth, he loves them, and I love the smell of him when he’s eaten. I love how he scrunches up his nose when he smiles, and how he smiles with his eyes, just like his daddy! I love how he holds his hands if he’s unsure about something, how he giggles when I sound out C-A-T. How he cocks his head to one side and rests it on my shoulder if he’s feeling shy. How when we’re in clothes shops he grabs hold of clothes and shakes them. How he devours toasted teacakes.

There are of course some things I’m not so keen on. Like his habit of crying when you tell him ‘no’.  The fact that he’s always finding and dragging my toothbrush across the bathroom floor. That he won’t stop eating the cat biscuits. That he likes to lick the cat. (Captain doesn’t seem bothered by this). He keeps pulling my top down in public. My food is no longer my own. He puts his sticky fingers all over me he has temper tantrums which involve screaming in my face whilst furiously smacking me.

Have I learnt much in this first year? Heaps. If I can save you some time, stop second guessing yourself and stand by your decisions. A lot of well meaning people will give you ‘advice’ you don’t have to take any of it.

I always thought I’d be a tad more emotional when William turned one. (Granted there’s still time) and I do feel like our baby is slipping away from us at an alarming speed, but I adore the little boy that’s replacing him. Every day he amazes us, and yes we’re tired, emotional and at times frustrated, but he’s been our world for a year. And what a wonderful year it has been.

In other news:

Baby-proofing has made our kitchen the most annoying room in the house.

We will be getting William his first proper pair of shoes next week.

I can no longer poo in peace.

 

Talk baby to me.

Baby talk. Some love it, some hate it. You’ll find most people have an opinion on it. I had opinions on it too, it then I had a baby and nothing makes you rethink your opinions like having a baby.

I’d never been one for baby talk. In fact I was decidedly awkward around babies, mostly because they ALWAYS cried around me. Some women from a young age are magnetically drawn to babies, and they’re good with then. I was never one of those women.

I went to a hen do a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I’d left Wills for more than one evening. Although I was dreading being away from him in the run up, I had the most lovely time, and I didn’t miss him as much as I thought I would. (Enter mum guilt.) Some of the women there had said they absolutely do not do baby talk. And I have no problem with that, how other people talk to babies and children is not my business. I don’t feel there is a better way and if I did what makes what I think right? (I’m not always right. Although don’t tell hubs that…)

Anyway, through the miracle of FaceTime, I was able to see my little boy who was decidedly confused as to why mummy was now in the square thingy and not nanny. On the morning we were saying our goodbyes, my phone trilled signifying daddy was true to his word and keeping in touch. I pressed ‘accept’ and the small screen was filled with the face of my son. My beautiful baby. And my voice went high pitched ‘Good morning pookie! Have you been a good boy?!’ William is only 10 months old (well he was nine months when this happened) he doesn’t understand most of what I say, so it’s not what I say, it’s how I say it. He smiled at me and I felt an ache, I wanted to cuddle him, I wanted to hold him close and take in the scent of his hair. But I couldn’t so out poured torrents of baby talk, and his little face broke into a massive, adorable grin. And he clapped. ‘Yay! Who’s a clever boy?’

And that’s when I heard a friend say ‘What is it about babies that makes people talk like retards?’

Wow.

Not only is that far from politically correct, it was upsetting.

Not so long ago I probably would have cringed hearing myself. But I absolutely delight in William, I feel genuine excitement when I see him, sometimes that bursts out of me in the form of baby talk. Kind of like what seeing puppies does to people, gives them a warm fuzzy feeling that sends them into a mini meltdown. Was there any need to make such a comment? Is that the reason I’m now trying to justify how I speak to my child right now? Well I’m nipping that in the bud right now!

I talk baby talk. If you don’t like it that’s your problem, not mine.

In other news:

Wills is once again a little snot factory, he doesn’t seem bothered, he seems to enjoy licking it off his face.

We are off to a wedding on Saturday. I’m hoping to get a nice family photo before Wills gets filthy and daddy gets drunk.

Our garden continues to be the place all the cats get together in for a scrap.

Where has our baby gone?

Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, and just to be clear we haven’t lost him.

I’ve been growing increasingly annoyed at the state of William’s room so have just spent the last hour or so ‘sorting’.

Shortly after we brought Wills home from the hospital we had a lot of visitors (none of which brought food, apart from my little sister, if people try to visit you without food, don’t let them in! I am serious; no food = NO ENTRY). Many came bearing gifts (of the non-edible variety) we had some beautiful clothes in size three to six months, I remember holding them up thinking ‘Shit! This is MASSIVE it’s never going to fit him!’

Well they did fit him, for about five minutes and now….

they are too small.

Too small.

He’s growing so fast he’s eating solids, he’s sitting up, he does a sort of crawl (sort of) he giggles, turns when he hears his name, splashes in the bath, smiles and reaches out to other babies.

What seems like only five minutes ago, he ate and slept.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, I’m not used to being a mum yet. There are so many things I’m unsure of, I feel like I’ve gotten a job I wasn’t quite qualified for and soon people will start to notice that I have no bloody clue what I’m doing or what I should be doing. I feel everyone has something to say about how we parent, apparently paranoia is a big part of it. Nothing quite damages your self esteem like bringing up a human.

And nothing makes time go by so quickly. People told me to enjoy every second and although some seconds are far from enjoyable, they’re right.

And when time has left us older, wiser and saggier, and our little boy is all grown up and we are left with a gaping void to fill….. we’re getting a puppy.

In other news:

Captain has been stalking a spider that seems to be residing in the living room. The spider, being both superior in leg and brain power, has continued to outsmart him.

Marms is still seen only fleetingly.

I’ve just completed my first week back at work.

 

 

Swimming

 

I took William swimming on Tuesday.

 

I have always found public swimming pools traumatic. The hygiene in the changing rooms is usually questionable. The walk from the changing room to the pool is always just a little longer than comfortable for walking around with very little on. And the pool itself is essentially a bath you share with people you have never met. A bath that has the occasional plaster floating about in it…

 

*Shudders*

 

Anyway in my mission to do absolutely everything I possibly can with Wills so he doesn’t forget me when I go back to work, I figured swimming is a fairly cheap but fun thing to do.

 

After having a baby I needed to buy a new, larger swimming costume. I remember being very upset when the one I bought, that looked massive stretched out on the hanger in Sports Direct, not only fit, it was a bit tight. I seemed to have acquired new fat bits after pregnancy including two weird lumps on the top of my thighs.

 

Why do most swimsuits have such high legs? The kind an 80’s aerobics instructor would be proud of. Even my maternity one was high legged, why in the name of arse? When I bought it I hadn’t seen my bikini line in months and I was going to a hen do. Not wanting to be known and forever after referred to as ‘ the one with all the pubes’ I had to rope hubs into sorting it. (If someone is popping your offspring out of their vagina, a bit of bikini maintenance is the VERY LEAST you can do.)

 

Anyway, bikini line acceptable (from a distance) I tucked my saggy belly into my new costume. Surveying the damage in the mirror, the belly was not my biggest problem. I think my new nickname is probably going to be ‘back fat’, unfortunately I couldn’t reach those bits to do any tucking. After getting dressed I chucked a few swim nappies in a bag along with Wills’ swim body warmer thingy. As I purchased it form Amazon I keep getting emails ‘Can you answer this question..’ it’s usually size related but the last one was ‘is it a swimsuit as well as a floatation aid?’ I felt it was my moral duty to reply swiftly and make it absolutely clear that although it is described as ‘swim vest’ it in no way aids floatation in any way. Its sole purpose is to keep a baby warm. I had images of a poor baby being chucked into a pool at Centre Parcs whilst it’s parents disappear to the bar ‘It’s a floatation vest love,  he’ll bob back up to the surface, voddy and coke?’

 

That’s my good deed done.

 

Anyway we arrived in the changing rooms and they were as grim as I remember. Didn’t particularly want to put William down anywhere and the mass of clothes left in plain sight signalled a school was in for a swimming lesson.

 

 I covered a grotty changing table with a mat and got Wills ready took my clothes off to reveal new trusty one piece and made my way to the ‘learner pool’.

 

The learner pool was nice and warm, Wills seemed immediately delighted and spent the whole time we were in there squealing and smacking the water. (We were the people other people were avoiding.) The boy made a pretty impressive splash zone. We poured brightly coloured watering cans (Will tried to drink from them) and swan after footballs (Will tired to eat them), Wills found a squirty crab (tried to eat that too) and it was lovely. The sheer delight on his face kept me grinning like a mad woman! I saw two women with a baby girl, both in bikinis, both with gorgeous tummys, I’m sure one of the slender tummed women was a mamma, and I felt pure unbridled envy at such a lovely tum, which was interrupted by Wills pulling the front of my swimsuit out as far as it would go. I spotted a couple of mums in the same swimming suit as me, I couldn’t decide if that made me like it more or less.

 

We exited the pool, I swaddled William in a towel and carried him past several bored looking lifeguards into the changing room, which was freezing. So I wrapped him in my towel too. I took him into a cubicle with a changing table and removed my suit. He took the opportunity to squeal and smack my boobs. Not that there is ever a good time for a fire alarm, this would have been a really, really bad time. By the time I’d got him dressed I was pretty much dry. I tried not to feel too much dismay at my now pendulous boobs and saggy belly as I tried to stuff myself back into my clothes. Although on the bright side, the tum isn’t always saggy. Whenever I have a postpartum monster period, it fills up, so it’s a big roundy belly that leaves people wandering if I’m expecting or not…

 

Will fell fast asleep in the car and I put him straight to bed when we got home. Any activity that makes him nap is good in my books.

 

When I went to retrieve him some time later, he was licking the bars of his cot. Make of that what you will.

 

In other news:

 

It snowed for the first time in William’s life yesterday. I excitedly picked him up and took him to the window. I don’t think he could have been less bothered.

 

We’ve had some lovely pictures of William taken today. So I’ll be busy getting them put on to mugs, mouse mats, magnets, clocks, cushions, wallpaper, curtains etc.

 

We’re off out to celebrate hubs’ cousins birthday tonight, and I’m not driving… see you all in hangover town…