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.

 

 

Mum authority

Mum Authority is a term I’m pretty sure I’ve made up. And it’s something I didn’t feel I had until quite recently.

When we transported Wills home from the hospital it marked the beginning of us being in charge. Occasionally he’d cry (spoiler alert, that can happen a lot) when he cried, visitors would often ask me what was the matter with him. And I wouldn’t have a bloody clue. My standard response was usually, ‘I don’t know, I’ve only had him a week…’ and sometimes I’d feel bad. Does this make me a bad mum? Don’t mums usually know what’s wrong with their children, don’t they sense it? I didn’t  know him well enough to know if he was out of sorts. Does this mean we haven’t bonded, after all I was whipped away so soon after he was born to get my bits sewn back together.

The thing is, there are two things I’d like to point out: 1, when Wills was born he looked like a baby, not me or his dad, just a baby. He could have been anyone’s. Now he’s the spit of his dad, even the postman has told me so (‘must look like his dad because he looks nothing like you…’). And 2, he had no personality. People might think that’s a mean thing to say but how could he? He’d been floating around in a womb for nine months, he’d never experienced anything other than that.

I’d felt him move and he’d heard my voice but we’d never met until that hot afternoon in hospital. And yet here I am, expected to know everything about him. Fast forward nine months and he is rapidly becoming his own little person, and I have developed a ‘mum authority’ I know when he’s not quite right. What he does and doesn’t like, the reactions I’m going to get. And with this new knowledge of my son comes not the feeling that I particularly know best, but that what I say goes.

What I say goes.

I am rapidly building a dislike of him being tickled. A little is fine, but people go too far, do it for too long and I don’t like it. And if I don’t like it, guess what? It’s not happening.

He doesn’t want to kiss you goodbye? Guess what? He’s not kissing you goodbye, my son chooses who he kisses, not me.

If I say he’s had enough of something or I don’t want him to have something…. guess what? (Pretty sure you get the gist)

I’m embracing my newfound mum authority, maybe it was a long time coming. Do I always know what’s best? No. Am I always right? Of course not (don’t tell hubs!) but I think it’s about time the world knows this:

I am mum. What I say goes.

In other news:

Marms has been once again gracing us with her presence, last night she sat next to my feet for a whole tewnty minutes! Some of this time was spent chewing my slipper socks.

Hubs is on a stag do this this weekend (bachelor party to any readers from the U S of A) so I’m solo parenting for a couple of days.

The boy has learnt to clap. We are super proud.

 

 

Working and working at parenting.

I am on my third week back at work. The first two were a breeze. This week, not so much. I put this down to two things:

Firstly- the novelty of being back at work is starting to wear off and I’m realising ‘this is my life now’

Secondly – daylight sodding savings. My alarm clock may have said six thirty this morning but I think we all know it was actually half five. I was present in body only today. I also forget where I work… whilst at work which wasn’t great as I was on reception.

I also had a slight wobble after loading Wills into his dad’s car this morning, as I looked at him through the window, he looked all wide-eyed and sad. I didn’t want to leave him, but I had to, ‘my son looked a bit sad this morning’ is not a valid reason not to go in. So gave him exaggerated smiles and waves as his dad drove off and cried on the journey into work.

With gallons of coffee and fizzy drink I made it through my working day, (and three bags of crisps), popped to the shop for nappies and got home, to put the dinner on. After tea hubs and I prep for tomorrow. Then Wills goes to bed and we vege out on the sofa. Tonight Wills decided sleep was definitely not on the agenda. When his wailing showed no sign of abating I retrieved him for some cuddles on the sofa. This was going swimmingly until he smacked me in the face with his monitor. I’m still not sure whether this was an accident or his way of voicing his disquiet about the sudden life upheaval he’s experiencing. What I do know is the inside of my mouth is swollen and my tooth is now moving.

William has very recently started crawling. It is quite literally amazing how they go from crawling a few tentative paces to all over the sodding place. Naturally he finds the most dangerous things to crawl to.  And his new found mobility has meant a huge rise in bumps, usually gained at the exact moment you take your eyes off him. It’s also meant he can indulge in his favourite hobby of following Captain around. I’m okay with this as it helps both of them burn off some extra energy. I’m not okay with William eating cat biscuits so the pursuit often involves Captain, Wills and Mummy.

Hubs and I are slowly getting into this new phase, our parenting has to be different now, all the rules and routines have had to adapt with him and now we’ve thrown working into the mix. We now need to consider childcare, dropping off and picking up, making enough food to send with him (he doesn’t stop eating!) I’ve said it before, every time we think we have this parenting malarky down, he changes and we are back to square one.

In other news:

Captain continues to steal things from the neighbours house, his latest crime was witnessed by said neighbour.

Marms has eaten a couple of meals at our house, but she growled at me when I stroked her. (The cow.)

My first Mother’s Day was lovely! Flowers, a mug and the promise of a night out for cocktails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

Making it out of the house with a baby – Mission only just possible.

As the end of my maternity leave draws closer, I find myself trying to cram in as many activities as possible in with Wills. I feel annoyed that I didn’t do more earlier, but such is life. I’m just hoping that not taking him to every conceivable baby group from the moment he drew his first breath, won’t have a long term negative impact on his life…

‘So, Mrs Warwick, how do you feel being the mother of the most infamous drug lord/murderer/dictator on the planet?’

‘…. urrrm, obviously I’m very sad, if only I’d taken him to baby mingle/my kid’s better than yours/parenting – you’re doing it wrong, he’d be a well adjusted surgeon instead of a drug lord/murderer/dictator. I knew I’d screw him up!’

 

Okay so probably not that bad, and I’d like to point out baby groups are fantastic things to join but I just don’t like having them shoved down my throat. I always thought I’d join loads. But then I actually had a baby. And when hubs went back to work, I was frightened to take him out on my own; what if he cries and I can’t stop him? What if I don’t have enough food/nappies/spare clothes? What if I have a car accident on the way? A million different anxieties, so I stayed in. I cuddled him, I cried sometimes and my god did I want to get out the house, but I felt tethered to it.

I still occasionally feel like that. Leaving the house with a little one is a monumental pain in the arse. It’s the reason why we pretty much NEVER do anything spontaneous. Yes ‘popping’ over for a cupper is fabulous in theory but it’s no longer an option. Because this is how leaving the house goes for me:

Dress baby in something clean and presentable, go downstairs to pack the bag, Baby throws up all over himself. Change baby in the next best clean and presentable clothes. Make food to take (just in case) gather coats etc, realise need more clean nappies, run upstairs to get them. Pack nappies go to put coat on baby. That moment is right when he decides he is hungry, starving  in fact. And why let just me know when he can inform the neighbours too. So I make a bottle, only to discover that William is participating in the worlds SLOWEST FEED EVER competition. Pretty sure he’s the winner. Then I attempt to  burp him. Just. not. happening. Then I have to change his bum. With a fed and clean bottomed baby I head for the front door and realise that now I need a wee. Up the stairs I go. Then because I don’t like taking several trips to the car, I laden myself up like a donkey in an attempt to get everything in the one go. Wrestle Will into car seat, cursing  the fact my car only has three sodding doors. As soon as the belt clicks William throws up over himself. I swear and search for his binky (rag), it’s not in the bag. Back to the house, unlock the door, run round like a mad woman trying the find a sodding binky that’s not already a health hazard, all the while imagining Wills is being kidnapped. Find binky, lock front door, attempt to wipe sick off baby but it’s already gone crusty. Try not to cry with the sheer frustration of it all. Start car. Hear baby gurgling content. Begin drive to destination. Baby stops gurgling. Convince myself that he is in some sort of life threatening situation in the back of the car. Call his name, nothing. Glance quickly over shoulder, as he’s in a rear facing seat, I can only see his feet. Feet are still. Oh god oh god oh god, pull over, undo seat belt contort body round. Baby is awake and frowning. Sigh with relief and curse self for being so silly. Continue on journey. Arrive at destination, frazzled, sweating, pissed off and wanting something stronger than tea!

I am faced with this daunting task every time I attempt to leave the house. Last week I had that PLUS wrangling a cat into his travel carrier, which as he was poorly, there wasn’t too much wrangling.

Did I mention most days we had to get to the vets twice?

So although groups are fantastic there is a hell of a lot of work to be done just to get through the door.

I’m sure it will get easier. When he’s a teenager he might find me so embarrassing he takes the bus…

In other news:

Captain continues to improve. I’ve even yelled at him a couple of times (He has five scratching posts but prefers clawing the sofa, you’d shout at him too.)

Wills is now going to bed earlier, huzzarh! But he’s waking up earlier too (6:15 am, I can’t wake up that early and be nice).

Woke from a nap to find both Marms and Captain joining in on the action, it’s nice to do things together, even if it is sleeping.