Posts Tagged With: motherhood

Motherhood is bad for your barnet!

In the shower this morning my mind, as usual, started to wonder. Some days I could put the world to rights while standing alone (yes alone!) under that wonderful, warm running water. On this particular occasion, though, my thoughts turned to hair…

Motherhood is bad for your hair

Today was a no-wash day. I’d have quite liked to but, as is so often the case now, there wasn’t enough time. Back in the days when I was young and childless my locks were washed every day without fail. Sometimes twice if I was going out on the town that night or had been to the gym (ha!).

In those days I only had a very vague idea of what dry shampoo was. My mum had mentioned it once. I’d certainly never used it.

Back then I also thought nothing of regularly spending a hundred quid in a hairdressing salon. Full head of foil high and low lights, cut and blow dry? Yes please. And of course I’ll blow an extra twenty quid on a fancy shampoo and styling product combo that I don’t really need! And I’d do this every 3 months or so.

Fast forward to now? My hair gets chopped once every six months at best, if I’m lucky and/or remember. Basically, once it gets long enough to become really annoying. High

And it is just a cut – a dry cut for twenty quid at a salon in town where I know I can pretty much walk in off the street at a moment’s notice, ie when the stars align, I’m getting desperate and Little Mister decides to nap or the husband can take the kids for half an hour.

Yes, my hair has definitely been a casualty of children. And incidentally, I was also one of those who missed out on the promised so-called pregnancy boost to hair – my maternal locks were more limp and greasy than thick and glossy and once the babies were here I then spent weeks molting like an overgrown household pet!

So it seems, for me at least, that motherhood isn’t great for your hair.

Lady at hair dressers

Living the dream! (Not me, in case anyone was seriously wondering!)

Pic credits: freedigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles and Marin

Twinkly Tuesday
Let's Talk Mommy
Categories: Motherhood, musings, Things I've learnt... | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Working mum woes…

Today, juggling motherhood with work has felt difficult. Balancing my priorities and responsibilities has felt almost impossible and I’m left with the feeling that I haven’t been able to perform either of my roles as well as I’d have liked. I’ve felt tired, guilty, frustrated and overwhelmed.

Poor Little Mister isn’t very well. He’s been fighting a temperature and is so miserable. My usually happy, busy little boy has been floored by a nasty virus. Really, I should have been at home with him.

Working Mum WoesThe problem is that working part-time, Monday to Wednesday, means that missing today would have made my short working week even shorter. With some big deadlines looming and the two recent Bank Holidays having already curtailed my hours, staying at home didn’t feel like an option.

Having only recently returned from maternity leave, I do feel under pressure to prove myself again. My work is important to me and, of course, I want others to value what I’m doing. After almost a year out of the office, I want to show that I can still have an impact and am good at what I do. I want to feel good at what I do again.

But my brain just wasn’t feeling it today. After a broken night responding to the little man’s distressed cries, my thoughts were sluggish. My creative juices just wouldn’t flow and any flourish that I might have had in the past felt totally diminished.

I’d arrived late, thanks in the main to an unhelpful fit of willfulness from my toddler. The persistent rain and traffic that seemed to be conspiring against me didn’t help matters either. And Little Mister was never far from my thoughts, even though he was safely at home being looked after perfectly well by Daddy who was in a better position than me to take the work hit.

I know we probably did the right thing today. That I at least was able to get something, rather than nothing, done and be present among my colleagues. But my inner critic keeps telling me that if I’m going to spend a day away from my sick child then I really should have made it count. I should have been firing on all cylinders, producing dazzling copy. I can’t help but feel like I’ve failed all round.

I know I’m being over dramatic and that I’ve heaped this pressure on myself – why do we do that? I know that my colleagues probably didn’t notice that I was struggling to be productive and that I still have time to ‘pull it out of the bag’ before next week. I know today could have been so much worse on so many levels. That I should, and do, feel grateful for all the good things.

As can be said about so many things in parenthood, I know this will pass. It will all be ok. Tomorrow is another day.

Has anyone else been struggling with the juggle this week? Do let me know any tips

Image: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Super Busy Mum
Categories: Mind matters, Motherhood, Working mum | Tags: , | 12 Comments

Our first fantastic month as a family of four…

So the ‘Babymoon’ – a daft word but it seems appropriate right now – has finally come to an end. Last week saw Daddy going back to work and the routines of everyday life beginning to resume after three lovely weeks all together. And this morning Little Mister turned four weeks old, before officially becoming a one-month-old on Friday. But before these magical early days become too distant a blur and I’m overcome by the exhaustion of looking after two little ones on my own, I wanted to share some of the memories and milestones from the first 28 days of Little Mister’s life. It’s taken me a week of snatched moments to finishing writing this post, such is the daily juggle now!Our first month as a family of four

Our baby son’s arrival coincided with a spell of decent hot weather and we’ve been out and about much more this time around than in the weeks after his sister was born. I suppose we’re more confident and a bit more relaxed having successfully reared one newborn! And staying inside with a boisterous toddler is a surefire way for everyone to go mad.

Little Mister has already enjoyed a family barbecue to celebrate his cousin turning seven – I blame her for his late arrival and my subsequent discomfort since she was so desperate for the new baby to share her birthday month! He wasn’t much interested in the fabulous Narnia-themed chocolate birthday cake but Mummy was and I’m sure it was good for my milk supply! It was a lovely family occasion and, of course, a chance to show him off.

There have also been several picnics, one in the park and one at our local vicarage. Little Mister has already felt the air on his cheeks – yes, those ones – as we’ve got to grips with his lunchtime nappy explosions! But it’s been wonderful to sit back on the picnic rug and enjoy our little family.

Family picnic

Family picnic fun

Food actually features quite heavily in the last few weeks. I’m a nervous eater when pregnant. I worry about everything, especially food that’s been prepared outside the home. Eating anything more adventurous than a cheese and tomato pizza in a restaurant was out of the question.

So I’ve been making up for months of self-inflicted food tedium… starting off with a takeaway curry binge the night Little Mister was born – a tradition started when Little Miss arrived. I have to have the sweetest, creamiest, sickliest curry on the menu. We followed up with takeaway Chinese the next night, fish and chips a couple of days later and several lunches out before returning to the Indian menu and a lamb biryani, which it turns out Little Miss will happily eat!

We also has a trip to Wagamama as a threesome on one of Little Miss’s nursery days. Little Mister was impeccably behaved, sleeping throughout the whole meal, so it was a chance for Daddy and I to feel like a proper grown-up couple again for an hour or two. It’s been a while! It also brought back fond memories of us eating out together when Little Miss was the sleeping baby in the pram.

Food, we can already tell, is clearly going to be very important to Little Mister too. After a slightly slow start, he’s taken to breastfeeding with great enthusiasm! He almost beats his little fists on my chest when he’s hungry and will try and nibble the shoulder of whoever happens to be holding him when that tummy starts to rumble.

Post-feed calm and cuddles

Post-feed calm and cuddles

When he was weighed at six days old he had lost less than an ounce – his sister, at the same stage, had dropped more than half a pound. He obviously takes after his father, who apparently actually gained weight in his first week! By his most recent check, at 13 days, Little Mister was up to 10lb 1oz, a weight it took Little Miss more than six weeks to get up to! He definitely has his Daddy’s long limbs, while our daughter has inherited my shorter ones!

But although our baby boy is bigger than his sister was, and has more hair, they do look very similar as babies. We’ve got very similar photos of the two of them, as you can see…

Spot the sibling difference

Spot the sibling difference!

Little Miss has taken her brother’s arrival pretty well for a 2-and-a-quarter-year-old. It must be hard having to suddenly share Mummy and Daddy. It probably helps that she was already obsessed with ‘dollies’ before he arrived so she now loves pretending to look after her own babies, copying the things we do for Little Mister. It’s very sweet. She has a few dolly-sized nappies and we’ve let her have a few of her old tiny baby clothes – they never fitted her ‘big’ baby brother anyway. But I constantly have to stop her stealing more of her brother’s stuff – nappies, muslins, the car seat, his bouncy chair, all of them are nabbed for her dolls given half a chance! That said, her dollies are proving a very useful distraction for when I need to change poopy nappies without a toddler’s help!

Mini me nappy changing

Dolly needs her nappy changing too!

Little Mister’s early milestones have included his first experience of water (excluding his unfortunate habit/our parenting fail of weeing in his own face on the changing mat) when he had his first bath. He was a bit angry about it to start with but since then he’s become pretty chilled in his little tub and we think he takes after his sister in enjoying a nice warm soak now.

Another milestone saw the little man being made all official when we registered his birth. He greeted the occasion with a demand to be fed while we gave all our details to the registrar, followed by a loud poo just as we were handed over his certificate!

It’s been a lovely laid back first month. Of course we I’ve had my moments of feeling completely overwhelmed – with love, responsibility, exhaustion and frustration – but I’ve surprised myself with how well I’ve coped most of the time. Looking after a newborn baby does feel that little bit easier second time around. Keeping a bossy toddler happy, now that’s the real challenge!

Little Mister 3 weeks old

Little Mister at almost 3 weeks old

Categories: Baby days, Motherhood, Mummy memories | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Newborn memories…

Yesterday Little Miss and I were looking at a photo album of her first few weeks – she’s fascinated by babies and loves looking at these pictures. While turning the pages we came across this photo, which at the time I don’t remember being a particular favourite but now I’m so glad to have rediscovered it.

It was taken on April 17 2012, making Little Miss just under three weeks old and I can’t actually believe how serene we look! I think the lighting might help. If you look very closely there are tell-tale dark circles under my eyes and I’m actually in my old black jogging bottoms! But that doesn’t matter, for me it’s a picture that’s filled with such love and warmth.

Newborn Little Miss

Looking at this magical picture takes me back to those very early days with Little Miss, when evenings were spent on the sofa feeding and enjoying endless cuddles. We were only just getting to know her but even then little glimpses of her wonderful personality were already coming through. It was a priceless time and one I’ll happily remember over and over again.

SuperBusyMum

Categories: Motherhood, Mummy memories | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Notes of a new mum – my best ever list!

So, as you’ve probably gathered from my blog’s name, I’m a bit of a list maker. Well, this weekend I re-discovered what must be my all-time-favourite list, the mother-of-all lists if you will. I can’t take all the credit for this little beauty. It was written in cahoots with my sleep-deprived, first-time dad husband (in fact, he did most of the actual writing). It makes for hilarious, heart-warming and ever so slightly worrying reading!

Charlotte3 006

This list was made during the first five days after bringing our newborn daughter home from the hospital. It details her every activity. Every nappy was analysed and compared against the NCT poo colour chart we’d been given as a handout during antenatal classes. Every feed was timed and written down, along with which breast had provided the said sustenance.

For some reason, in the new baby blur, we both became convinced that when the midwife came to check in on our tiny charge she was sure to give her hapless, exhausted parents an FBI-style grilling. I’m not quite sure what we thought might happen. It was as if  we expected to be asked to sit some kind of parental exam to assess our fitness to take care of this helpless little person.

Since we were both in a sleep-deprived, emotional haze we must have decided that neither of us, not even my usually cool-as-cucumber husband, could be relied upon to provide an accurate enough account, so we’d better just write it all down, just in case.

It seems so funny reading it now, almost two years on, but back then it must have felt like a totally sensible thing to do. Another thing that had seemed entirely logical at the time was ordering another three baby care books from Amazon at 3am in the morning from my hospital bed, just hours after I’d given birth! I already had at least two at home but as the enormous weight of responsibility hit me it was all I could do to feel that little bit more in control. And I couldn’t bring myself to sleep when I had such a precious bundle lying next to me.

So here is the first 24 hours from that list, our daughter’s second day in the world… it may be a tad repetitive!

1.15am (when the list appears to begin) – Big nappy change, dark.

1.25am – Right side feed, ten minutes.

1.45am – Left side feed, 20 minutes. Unsettled until 2.40am then another feed, right side 20 mins.

3-4am – Husband settling her.

4am – Sleep on/off, 5.45 am swaddled.

6am – Unsettled.

6.15am – Big nappy change.

6.25am – Swaddled.

6.45am – Left side feed, 20 mins, then swaddled (after a few more days we realised that Little Miss actually didn’t like being swaddled, she much preferred to stretch out all her limbs and kick her feet!).

7.05am – Sleep.

9.40am – Right feed, 15 mins.

10.10am – Little bit sick – uncomfy (windy?)

12pm – Left feed, 20/25 mins

12.45pm – Right feed, 30 mins. Bit of a struggle getting into position.

1.45pm – Nappy change, dark poo. No smell, poss bit wet?

3.10pm – Midwife visit.

3.30pm – 15 mins feed each side. In-laws visit.

5.45pm – Feed, 20 mins left, 15 mins right.

6.45pm – Left feed and right (15 mins each until asleep).

7pm – Nappy change – poo bit lighter. More poo while being changed.

9pm – Left feed 10 mins.

9.30pm – Cleaned top and tail and changed wet nappy – pinkish tint, no poo.

9.50pm Right feed 15 mins, then sleep.

And so it continued. Poo became green, then yellow. We had some hiccoughs, some grunting and a few more sick spells. As the days go on, the lists get that bit shorter until we finally realised that, actually, we are doing ok and don’t need to do this.

Are we the only new parents to have done this? Did anyone else do anything similar?

And hope you like the early picture of my gorgeous Little Miss.

Categories: Motherhood, My 'to-do' lists | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

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