It’s a bit of a confusing formula world out there, so… ignoring everyone else, I’m just going to write down what I’ve found useful with my boys.
I had a few weird things happen to me postpartum, but those were on top of the standard awfulness that ARE expected i.e: Having to sit on a kid’s rubber ring for a week because ALL THE BITS HURT! I also used frozen aloe vera covered mat-pads, which felt like a very cold, very soothing hug in my knick knacks.
If I take up a glass of water… it never comes back down. We have piles of laundry dotted around the place. I can barely see myself in our dust coated mirror. My son’s old cot is in parts, propped against the wall. You get the picture.
I love that we are making humans so that they can go and live whatever happiness they want.
Now, I am continuously washing up. I don’t understand it. There is a constant stream of filthy plates, bowls, highchair trays, cutlery, cups, lunch boxes, pots, pans, THE BLOODY CHEESE GRATER, and it is never ending.
No matter how you feed your baby, you are feeding your baby. You are making sure that the little being you made is loved, fed, happy, warm, and safe – if you are doing those things, you are a good mum.
There may be a little sadness when you find out the gender, whether it’s at the scan, or at the birth itself. You will have imagined two people, and one of them disappears in a split second. My little girl disappeared the day of our 20 weeks scan. But luckily, the joy of the boy took over. Our little lad.
I would save reading time for the night feeds so that I had some wonder to look forward to at 4am. He’d stir, I’d groan, I’d make his bottle with one eye open and a frown, and then I’d remember…. Harry’s about to visit Diagon Alley for the first time, and I’d be thrilled to be awake.
The past week has been reminiscent of the newborn phase, but I’ve been much less accepting of it, and I’ve been out of training.
I saw the real damage. It was like something from Trainspotting. I decided I didn’t want to do it. No, sir. Not for me. I’ll pass on that gag-worthy atrocity if I can get away with it.
For a small village, there was huge amount of people. My family are quite a mob of madness when we’re all together, so sticking us in the middle of a bustling scene must create quite the cacophony for little ears.
His hat wasn’t covering his ears properly. He wanted his blue coat, not his green coat. He couldn’t walk. He wanted Nanny to walk in front not behind. He wanted me to carry him, but I was breathing too loudly etc etc etc.
He looked at me and said, ‘Now, tell me why you don’t want a forceps delivery?’ and my mind went blank. Why didn’t I want a forceps delivery? I mean, ideally, I didn’t want a delivery. I just wanted a baby to appear with no need for excruciating pain or everlasting bodily damage.
To give our toddlers the best chance of behaving how we’d like them to during a wedding ceremony, we need to give them a heads up, for everything. A heads up and a running commentary at the same time (in a whisper). Channel your inner David Attenborough.
Some kids will chill by looking at books, listening to audio stories or music, playing quietly by themselves, but most of us don’t own those kids.
I never felt lost. During my first labour I was everywhere but in the moment. But this time, I was present, and I got through it.
The more you listen to your playlist, the more likely it is to be a source of that delicious oxytocin we all keep going on about.
There is no perseverance badge when it comes to outings with your little kids. If everyone is having a terrible time, just go home.
We learnt that taking a step back allowed our two toddlers to find their own balance.