Don’t worry, I’m not planning on chucking them all on eBay anytime soon. But four is definitely our number and we are DONE! Greg is waiting for his vasectomy appointment to come through and I am selling off or passing on all of my baby items. So why do people feel the need to suggest I “try for just one more”.
Firstly, I don’t want anymore children. I just don’t. Some practical reasons are that we can’t afford it, we have no spare seats left in our car, even the poor dog has been relegated to non-car dweller because he just can’t fit in! We also don’t have room in the house. It’s full of so much baby crap as it is, even when we take multiple trips to the dump, everything still seems crammed in to the brim. I’d probably lose a newborn in the mess to be honest with you, I’d find it buried underneath wipes, bumbos and rogue dummies with Etti chewing on its toes like a feral ferret.
Also, I genuinely don’t think my body could take another pregnancy, let alone another surprise twin one (seriously it could only happen to me). I know a doctor would probably tell me that I’m healthy enough but honestly, I don’t feel it. I still feel drained physically and mentally from the birth of the babies, I’m so scarred I can’t even watch women in labour on tv anymore, it fills me with the same dread that filled me when Rouxs giant head was crowning, and I just can’t bear to relive that moment.
We also have to take into consideration the four children we currently have. We are able to feed, clothe and love them all equally as best as we can, and I don’t want to push any of that any further. It’s hard to get all 4 kids dressed and looking presentable (yes I like my kids to look nice, shoot me). I want to be able to give them all equal amounts of help when they bring homework home, I want to treat them all when we go shopping and not have to wait for a birthday to come around or to rely on family members to help out financially. They have their fair amount of hand me downs but I like to buy them new things. And I don’t want to have to skip story time before bed because I need to get the baby number 6, 7 or 8 fed.
And the selfish reason is that I want my body back. Not just looking nice but feeling good, fit, and healthy. In mind, body and soul and all that jazz. My current look can only be described as 'Sharon from Eastenders' because my chin has become so chubby my neck is disappearing. It’s not a good look, sorry no offence Shaz.
So, after people insist I will have another, as if they have the power to change my stubborn mind, They always go on to ask “but what if you fell pregnant again? What would you do? Oh my gosh what if it’s twins again?!” The answer for some reason seems to shock them. I wouldn’t keep it or them, regardless of how many of them there was. Now, I don’t say this to offend people or to upset them. I say it because it’s the truth. I don’t want anymore children so why would I bring it/them into the world just because I’d feel bad for having a termination?
We do actually have the choice, we have the FREEDOM to make that choice in this country. And I may get messages from people that have struggled to conceive, or can’t conceive for any matter of reasons that don’t like the fact that I am so straight to the point on this. But we all have our story and our reasons, we have had our struggles to fall pregnant, we tried for over two years before the girls and then when I finally did fall pregnant we miscarried. So I know loss and I know struggle and I wouldn’t let anyone else’s judgements stop me from making that decision for myself and my family.
On the flip side to this, we’ve decided that as soon as I’ve lost some weight, my cycle is back to normal and I am ready, I will go through the process to donate my eggs. In all honesty it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to do until I had Etti and Roux. There was always something very personal about it and I kind of felt like I’d be giving a child away. But now I know I’m fully finito with the twin making a switch inside me just went and it was like the personal attachment I once felt to those little cells in my ovaries had disappeared. I’m seeing them as opportunities for happiness for other people. Exactly what I am experiencing now could be given to someone else. And that’s bloody amazing.
So for anyone wondering, yes I am done, I am happy and I am content. And that is exactly how it will stay.
There is nothing I love more than relaxing by a pool, sunshine beaming down on me, with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other. Our holidays abroad were the highlights of my year; our chance to switch off and relax. Fast forward a few years and my pasty skin has not seen Greek, Cypriot or Spanish sun in too long, thanks to our tiny tornado who now rules the roost.
We haven’t been abroad since I was pregnant. Every now and then we consider booking a last minute beach holiday, but then we come to our senses. We’ve realised that the peace and quiet that we used to enjoy on holiday would be replaced by constantly having to entertain a child who is far too keen on water and would have our stress levels shooting off the scale, as she edged ever closer to the pool; probably throwing away her arm bands, rubber ring and float as she went, just to add that extra bit of drama and danger! So we needed an alternative holiday that catered for all of our needs, but that we could all still enjoy. And this is where we fell in love with staycations.
A staycation is simply a holiday spent in your home country, or even just in your home town and venturing out on day trips. Having grown up in a seaside town, I could never understand why people would want to holiday within Britain. Why weren’t they racing to the travel agents to book themselves on the next flight to Corfu?! But since becoming parents we have realised that staycations are actually a great idea. If you are still yearning for the sun, sand and sea of international shores, but don’t think you are ready to face it all with kids, then read on as I share with you the reasons why a staycation is a great alternative.
It’s cheaper than holidaying abroad
Obviously if you decide to spend your break at The Ritz for a fortnight, then that will be much more expensive than a package deal to Spain. However, staycations can be done on a tight budget if you shop around and are flexible with your dates. There are lots of budget friendly hotels in Britain, and a huge number of holiday camps and caravan parks that cater specifically for families with young children. And as much as I enjoy holidays abroad as an adult, some of my best childhood memories come from holidays to a Butlins that was 25 minutes away from my house, or from trips to British seaside towns. I didn’t need a huge complex with an on site water park and spa: all I wanted was a face painter, a decent disco and Slush Puppies on tap. Holiday camps and parks have also come a long way since we were kids and are now providing much more for families, but still at relatively low prices. So get booking and make some memories!
We try to pick destinations that are far enough away from home so that we actually feel like we are away; but then we try not to travel too far so we can avoid having to spend too much time in the car. We have found that breaking a long road journey up into shorter parts makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. For example, on our way to Scotland we usually stop off in Leeds for a night or two to visit friends before setting off on the next leg of our journey. This also gives added bonus of making it feel like another mini holiday.
Less travel time
I hate flying. I’m always convinced that something bad is going to happen to the plane, to the point that I have to sit by the window just so I can keep make sure that everything looks ok and no bits have fallen off the plane. Thankfully so far no wings have dropped off on my watch, so I’m here to tell the tale. Flying is quite a stressful experience for me, so if I was to add a toddler into the flight equation, the anxiety levels would be through the roof. Trying to keep myself calm whilst dealing with a toddler confined to their seat for hours on end, after having spent a good few hours in the airport terminal, and so is understandably bored, is not the calm and peaceful start I’d like to my holiday. By staying in Britain we have managed to avoid most of the issues that can come from traveling with small children, and that has made our holidays all the more enjoyable. We try to pick destinations that are far enough away from home so that we actually feel like we are away; but then we try not to travel too far so we can avoid having to spend too much time in the car. We have found that breaking a long road journey up into shorter parts makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. For example, on our way to Scotland we usually stop off in Leeds for a night or two to visit friends before setting off on the next leg of our journey. This also gives the added bonus of making it feel like another mini holiday.
You’ll have everything you need nearby
Accidentally left behind the only nappy cream that your child’s sensitive skin doesn’t react horrendously too? Pop to the local Boots and pick up some more. Have they decided that the only thing they want to eat that week are some very particular own brand yoghurts/cake/chicken nuggets? Get yourself down the supermarket and stock up. The beauty of a staycation is that all the familiar shops that you use on a day to day basis at home will still be just a short drive away, perfect for when a toddler tantrum demanding is close to ending the holiday before it even starts.
Discovering hidden gems
Millions of people from across the world flock to Britain every year to visit our world famous tourist attractions. We are a nation steeped in history, culture and beauty, but so many of us choose to jet off to other countries to explore when we actually have so much left to discover on our own doorsteps.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start enjoying your staycation!
Mama of a Cool Kid
Travelling with kids. Yeah.. that!
So, we just travelled to Majorca. It was amazing, but, it was also insanely tough! This was our first 'holiday' as a family of four and the first time that we have had a beach holiday since becoming parents three years ago (our previous trips have been to California to visit friends, so had more of a home from home vibe.) We went away with friends and we decided on a villa because none of us could face the hell of keeping four small humans alive in a holiday resort. BEST DECISION EVER!
Our worst decision ever was travelling with a low cost airline. The plane just got lighter and lighter as cans were sunk two at a time, screaming kids, rowdy parents, hen do's.. you get the idea! And I hate myself for saying that; times have changed and I'm submitting to old age! The return flight was even worse because the airline messed up and we almost missed our flight- not ideal with four small humans under three at 10pm. A week later and I can still hear the ringing of my friends banshee yell in my ears 'Stoppppppppp the plane!!'
I need a holiday after the holiday.
The reality of travelling with kids is that it's just not what it used to be. In many ways it's so much richer than before. Making memories with the boys was amazing; watching them have so much fun and spending time showing them new things. The thing is, my brain is still wired to think of a holiday as a time to tan, read and relax. The reality is really quite different. I did get a tan, I did read a book but it was laboured and, well, I'm not sure that I even know how to spell the world relax anymore!
So here are some top holiday tips for those brave enough to travel with small humans:
1. F&F do the greatest shapewear bikinis... I felt amazing (which I really didn't think I would).
2. Don't be fooled by big brands with fancys ads, Aldi sun cream is not only cheap but it has one of the best UV star ratings, we loved it!
3. I can't recommend the UV protection swim tops and hats from Decathalon UK enough, the boys looked super cool but were also super protected.
4. If you want a good book then you must read 'Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine' by Gail Honeyman. I read it at every opportunity, it lived up to the reviews and is a total steal on Amazon at the moment.
5. My holy grail, must have, top tip... ALWAYS take spf lip balm! I hate burning my lips! This year I bought the EOS spf30 grapefruit lip balm. It was beaut, tasted yummy, was smooth and my lips didn't burn at all.
On Saturday, my tiny newborn baby turned two. How has that happened? How have two years passed since she entered the world as this helpless, gunky, squishy baby? She is fearless, but loves a mummy cuddle. She is strong willed and independent. She is loving and cares for her dolly and I am very proud of the little girl she has become.
Gift wise, we really struggled with ideas this year. Lets be realistic, she’s two and is more interested in the paper and boxes things come in, but you still want to get them something, right? What makes it even more difficult is that she has all her big sisters toys and things to play with too, so really, we were stumped.
In the end she got a new dress, a paddling pool, a wee bag full of sweeties and a bubble gun... and you know what her fave bit was? Opening the cards! At this age, they really don’t need any stuff, and they definitely prefer you spending your time with them, rather than money.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to the Wildhood Festival in Kinross and it happened to fall on Ivy’s birthday, and it was the absolute perfect way to enjoy some family time and celebrate her birthday. This year it was all to do with animals and you were encouraged to come dressed up, so naturally we obliged and donned all of our sparkles, glitter and wings and came as a family of butterflies - Gary was in his element I’m sure!
On arrival, it immediately felt magical. There were wonderfully dressed characters walking around, a ukulele orchestra, story telling, a graffiti garden, water and bug discovery, animal trail, crafts, crown making, fairly lessons (which was a huge hit with Lily) and don’t even get me started on the food... which all looked amazing and fortunately, we sampled quite a lot of it! There was excellently stocked bar too.... unfortunately i was driving. Next year we will definitely be going back, and I’m hoping we will camp the whole weekend!
Thankfully, Mr Sun came out to play, which made the whole day more enjoyable. We left around 3pm and spent the rest of the afternoon in the new paddling pool, laughing, drinking cider and soaking up as much family time as possible.
So, if your little one has a birthday coming up, remember it’s not all about presents, but more about presence. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to buy your child something special, but isn’t it great when you can do something the whole family can enjoy and make treasured memories from? I know seeing the smiles on the girls faces will last a lifetime, and that’s the best gift in the world.
Lots of love xx
Forever A Mum
My poor husband works so hard to make sure our family are happy and he often gets overlooked. Sure he’s a grumpy git at times and his toilet aim could use a little work, but he always puts us first. He doesn’t get out much and his Xbox has a layer of dust from neglect, but he never tires of sleeping bunnies or wrestling with Lewis.
Father's day usually falls around our anniversary so we never really do much, but this year I wanted to make it special by putting together some things he’d love to make him feel a bit more appreciated. Here are some of the things I’m including in case you’re stuck for gift ideas. I’m sure your hubby has plenty of socks already!
I’m almost disappointed Steve has fallen in love with these as now I have to share, but Harriet the creator is so lovely I’m happy to support. These are little one-use eye masks that heat up for 15 mins once opened and give off the nicest jasmine scent. Spacemask = the best sleep ever! What parent doesn’t need more sleep? Spacemasks are £15 for 5.
Yes you read that right. Dust. For your nuts. I’m no testicle expert but sweaty balls can’t be fun right? Eliminate chafing and stay fresh for £4.99.
A YEAR OF DATES
We were given these recently and they are amazing! We all know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut when it comes to date night, but these beauties can help with that. 52 individually wrapped date ideas colour coded for going out, staying in etc. Such a simple yet lovely idea. Prices range from £25-£29
COCO CHOCOLATIER GIN AND TONIC CHOCOLATE
We are lucky enough to have these made locally and the flavours are to die for. Steve is a gin man so this is right up his street. He might even share! £4.50 for this beauty.
WILLOW AND PLUM NETTLE SOAP
This is another of my favourites that the whole family now uses. Is anything sacred? Steve suffers really dry skin and was guilty of using harsh soaps, but this has really saved his skin. If it keeps his skin happy then I’ll gladly share. This is £6 and seems to last forever.
Naturally a bathboard had to feature. One of my favourite purchases of all time and another that Steve steals so I’ve included a beer board in the hope he might leave mine alone. These have a slot for candles, a tablet and a beer but are great for snacks and books too, starting at £23.
ANATOMICALS FACE MASK
Anatomicals face masks. These little beauties have given us so much fun and many a silly selfie. Self care is for men too and this brand is amazing for reasonably priced body care with hilarious names. These masks are only £1 each and stockists can be found on their website.
So that’s my little box of gift ideas for Steve and I think he’ll love it. He really deserves a treat. Do you have any novel ideas to add? Do you agree men are much harder to buy for? Drop me a comment and let me know what you think.
Champagne and Snotty Noses
*Please note this is NOT a sponsored post. Just some brands I genuinely love.
Being a Mama is FULL ON. What if I told you you could have more time to yourself? My kids are 8 and 2, and my husband and I are yet to get a night off. Recently I was asked to try the new bubble babysitting app and I was probably far too enthusiastic to try it out, but this Mama misses time off! The way the app had been described to me was like tinder for babysitters and I can sort of see why - you swipe through prospective babysitters and choose the one you thinks suits you best.
Obviously I was wary. I’m sure no-one would try a new babysitter without having some element of doubt, but I decided I’d try it out by using some time to get things done at home while the kids were still in earshot. That way I wouldn’t have to worry, but could use the time to do all the things I like to do in peace like prepare lunch, pee and put some make up on.
On downloading the app it's really easy to see how to book. You have the option to put in the day and time you want and see who’s available or you can let people offer the ‘sit’ time you request. You can then have a look over their profile and accept or decline. You can also ask any questions you may have. Simple! I chose to search through- cos I’m nosey- and by luck I could straight away see who my friends had used in the past and left reviews for. This was a no brainer for me and I quickly booked a 21 year old medical student called Giorgi who my lovely friend vouched for.
Lewis – my 8 year old is very sociable and was really keen to have someone new to play with but I was slightly concerned about Joy as she can be extremely shy with new people. When our sitter came it was a lovely day so she suggested playing outside while I got things done upstairs. The fee for my sitter was £8.00 and hour and you only pay for the time they are actually there. If you let them go early you end sit and it’s stops charging you. This is really handy - if you were out and enjoying yourself it means, if your sitter was happy to stay on, you wouldn't have to rebook. You can just end the sit when you arrive home.
Our sitter was really chatty and straight away at ease with the kids (even the very apprehensive Joy). She read them stories and entertained them fully for the 4 hour duration. I didn’t want to get in the way but I could hear lots of happy noises from both children and she even offered to make them lunch. At one point I heard Lewis try his luck asking for endless sweet supplies and Giorgi confidently told him no as they hadn't had lunch. At that point I knew she was a keeper.
We've just moved house so I managed to get a lot of unpacking done as well as enjoying my own lunch in peace. Even as a complete worrier I’d be happy to leave my kids with Giorgi so I could go out. The great thing is as I know my friend uses her it’s no different to any other recommendation for childcare, but the app just makes it a whole lot easier to book.
After my sit I left a very positive review so that my friends can see how much we liked Giorgi and can feel confident in booking her themselves. For me word of mouth is the best thing when it comes to childcare and bubble shows any connections you have with friends and sitters which I think is a fab idea.
The price of a sitter ranges and sitters have a little blurb about their interests etc and you can see a picture. You can also see which sitters are PVG checked and who has first aid training which is really handy. If you have the basic package there is a £3.50 booking fee for each sit but if you upgrade you don’t pay the fee. I was pleasantly surprised that there were so many sitters available in my area as I live quite far out of Edinburgh. Its not the easiest to get to but I had 25 to choose from.
In this month’s mamaME box there is a £10 voucher for the bubble all so get dropping hints for a box so you can start browsing for babysitters. I’m sure we could all benefit from just that little bit more ‘me time’. Regardless of whether its a date night you need or just 2 hours to enjoy a coffee alone I’m a firm believer in time off from the kids. I’m a definite bubble convert!
Champagne and Snotty Noses
As some of you will know, I welcomed my second daughter into this crazy world in January and – as you can probably imagine – the last few months have been a bit of a wonderful whirlwind. Now that we are out of the first three months and starting to find our groove, I’ve been reflecting on the things that I did this time round to look after myself, where I failed first time round.
Here are my Top Five Tips for Postnatal Self-Care in that (oh-so-important) first three months of your baby’s life (no matter whether it’s your first baby or your tenth!):
Finding the right nursery to suit your family can be a difficult and scary time because it usually signifies that it's time for mat leave to come to an end and the impending return to work. It's tough to trust a stranger with your precious little love nugget, but sometimes you have no other choice if you have to go back to work and don’t have relatives or friends close by to give a helping hand.
I'll admit, our approach to finding a nursery for Harris was pretty slapdash because I was trying so hard not to think about going back to work and was pretending that I still had lots of time left. I damn right went and freaked out when I had a call to say I was due back in eight weeks’ time and needed to discuss what my plans were.. I decided right there and then that I was handing in my notice, I was going to be a SAHM. A week later, I called my manager to retract my resignation and apologise for messing her around. My brain was scrambled - I was about to start leaving my baby for long days at work, and I was terrified. I so desperately wanted to quit my job, but financially it just didn't make sense for us and I did want Harris to be around more babies his age. However, as I've mentioned in a previous post, going back to a working environment after over a year off was pretty difficult to get my head around. This, coupled with not having a lot of time to make arrangements, met for a few stressful weeks but we got there in the end.
Honestly, we went and visited one nursery and we just knew that we didn't need or want to see any others. Everything about it was appealing - it was affordable; staff came across as upbeat and welcoming; the babies and children seemed happy and well looked after; meals were provided and included in the cost; and it was less than a five minute walk away from the house. I think we filled out the paperwork the following day and handed it in along with our deposit; Harris then had 4 settling-in sessions the following before beginning his two full days each week.
There are a lot of factors that have to be considered when choosing a nursery although for us, you could say it was relatively easy to find the 'right' one. Apart from the obvious, having qualified and well-trained teachers, and being available on our preferred days, we didn't have any other real criteria that we felt had to be met other than being close to home. Our choice of having childcare closer to home rather than work made more sense to us because, as we don't drive, it meant we didn't have to take Harris in his buggy on public transport during rush hour - this is something you might want to consider if, like me, you feel quite anxious in crowded places with a pram. It also offers the added bonus of less travelling time in the mornings and evenings for all of us!
Price and affordability is probably the biggest deciding factor for a lot of families too. If I'm being completely open, I didn't even compare the price of the nursery we chose to any others because I knew the one we really liked was within our budget and I was happy with that. However, a nursery can be more expensive than a childminder and we still have to pay our usual fees if we are away on holiday. Family and Childcare Trust report that, in Britain, the average cost of 25 hours of childcare for a child under 2 years old is £116.25 - that's over £465 per month. Considering most nurseries operate for ten and a half hours every weekday (typically from 7.30am til 6pm) this means that this is the average costs for less than 2.5 days in nursery per week. So, what about the cost to those who have no choice but to return to work full time? Crazy, right?! The total cost for a full time nursery placement doesn’t even bear thinking about, and for us it just wasn’t financially viable.
Something that I think a lot of other parents think about when choosing childcare is how much attention their child will need in order to feel secure under someone else’s supervision. Harris was always what I describe as a ‘high-needs’ baby in that he would scream unless he was attached to someone, ALWAYS. Naturally I was worried that he wouldn’t get as much attention at nursery where the staff to child ratio is one to three, but he seems to have adapted well and enjoys some time to play on his own now too.
Reliability and stability is another important factor for parents. I find it difficult enough to take time off work if Harris is unwell and unable to go to nursery for whatever reason, so I couldn’t also deal with the possibility of having a childminder be ill and calling in sick leaving me with no childcare. In a nursery setting, there is usually plenty of staff to cover should anyone be off sick so at least that’s one less thing to worry about!
Harris has been going to his nursery for just over four months now and the change in him is phenomenal despite it only being two days per week; the nursery staff always have such pleasant things to say about him. I firmly believe that being around other kids has worked wonders for his development - he's now walking and saying lots of words; and his cheeky little personality is really beginning to shine through. He has the freedom to toddle around and play all day, but also sing songs and read books; as well as create pictures and go on outings to places like the police station or library. So, whether you're choosing a nursery or not just remember that there are pros and cons to all childcare... but it will all work out in the end!
Stacey and Harris
Having children has changed everything. Nothing in my world looks the same as it did. My house doesn’t look the same. My wardrobe. The contents of my fridge. My face. My hair. My schedule. My thought patterns. Literally... everything is different.
That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, I don’t resent those changes, and if things had remained the same as when I was young, child and care free, I probably wouldn’t be a very good parent. It’s inevitable, when you take on the enormous challenge of caring for and raising a helpless little human, and aiming to do a reasonable job of it, things just have to change.
I can’t spend hours with my nose in a book all night anymore. I can’t drink gin and juice in the middle of the day (some may be able to but I’m a complete lightweight so I’d be in no fit state to keep my kids alive if I did), I can’t have a leisurely bath and spend as long as I want on perfecting my eyeliner or curling my hair or polishing my taps or booking spontaneous trips away.
Most days, I can’t even think straight. The constant toddler whining and baby crying and snack demanding and nappy changing and disaster diffusing...it’s a second by second assault on the consciousness. I wouldn’t be surprised if my IQ since having children has seen a sharp decline. It certainly feels like it.
Some days I will long to feel like I did back then. How I miss all the things that used to make me...me. It seems like there is no room in my new life for me anymore, she just doesn’t get a look in. Even basic things like having a quiet cup of tea are a thing of the past. My every waking thought revolves around the kids. My every action is in service to the kids. My every minute of rest is spent in recovery from the chaos that is the kids. By the time it comes to doing the things that I really wish I could do, silly things really, like paint my nails, I just can’t be bothered. There’s nothing left in me at the end of a long relentless day for it. So it doesn’t happen. And I will glance at my chipped red nail polish from a fortnight ago in the middle of wrestling the baby in to her pyjamas and think ‘when do I get to be me again?’
But the truth is, I don’t think I will ever be that girl again. That’s not to say I won’t be me, just a new me. I will never be carefree again. It’s true what they say, once you have children it’s like your heart leaves your body and walks around in the world. There will always be a part of my mind that is obsessing over them and their needs and their happiness. A me that will probably always look at least a little dishevelled and tired. My body will never look the same. My house may one day look as neat and tidy as it once did - but that is the day I will probably break down in tears that my babies have flown the nest. And I will be a whole new kind of hot mess.
What I’m trying to say is, I will never be the same again. And I don’t want to be.
I do need to start asking for help, and allowing myself to take a break and do the little things that make me feel human again, that make me feel like a woman and a wife and a friend and a sister and everything other than just a mother.
But in the grand scheme of things, this crazy, sleepless, chaotic, messy, exhausting life is exactly what I want and the woman running on empty with her unwashed hair in a messy bun sipping her cold tea between nappy changes is me now. Me in all my mothering glory. And I wouldn’t change it. And one day I will wish for it all over again. One day I will look back and think ‘if only I could be that me again.’ So I’m going to embrace it and enjoy it for everything that it is and everything it has made me.
But I’m painting my nails this week. No excuses.
Ever After With Kids
It's the thief that you will never catch up with, taking the years, months, minutes, even precious seconds that you will never get back. It's just pinched an hour from your cherished sleep and the children have become feral for 3-4 days in adjustment to the one hour time change.
As the babies turn 6 months, I’ve been thinking a lot about time. It’s such a weird one, we flit between wanting it to speed by so we can celebrate milestones, see certain people, look forward to events and better weather. Then when we realise how fast time passes, we beg for it to slow down, feel saddened by how quickly our lives are progressing and feeling guilty for not cherishing special moments as much as we should.
I’ve learnt from my mistakes, Mila and Iris have just turned 4 and although I'm totes looking forward to shipping them off to school full time come September, I’m also well aware that these next few months I'm not going to get back so I need to make the most of each and every day while I still have them as my ‘babies’.
When they were tiny I rushed EVERYTHING. I weaned them at 17 weeks because I was dying to see their reaction to solid food, then because I felt judged I told people that my health visitor told me to do it because they were prem! I always willed them to grow fast because I had brought an outfit in the next size up that they would look mega cute in, I couldn’t wait til they crawled then instantly regretted it when I had multiple head injuries and constant biting between each other because they finally realised they could reach and beat the crap out of each other.
When I look back at their first year I just remember it being a complete blur of vomit (on each other, on me, on the bed multiple times per night), crying (mostly by me) and sweating so much I resembled a overweight melting barbie doll. I kick myself now so much that I let those moments pass me by without really treasuring them enough.
This time round with Etti and Roux, I went totally the opposite end of the spectrum. I wanted time to slow down so much it made me anxious to think about the next week. I wanted to wait until they were 6 months to wean them, not because I'm the type to stick to the rule book and guidelines (clearly, cos I'm a rebel) but because I just didn't want to make that next step because that would be admitting my babies are growing up, and they’re 100% my last ever babies. I’ve cried about it, I’ve felt sick, literally full on nauseous when people would ask me when I was going to start weaning. I get a pit in the bottom of my stomach when someone asks how old they are and the realisation dawns on me that the time thats passed already has gone so fast and once that time has passed again they will be an entire year old. My little babies will be one. It’s completely devastating to me.
Then I saw a wonderful quote on instagram stories that really resonated with me...
"This I know, you are more passionately alive when you are living in the present moment, but so often, you rush away time, wanting something to happen, waiting for something to happen. And do you know that in the waiting, you are resisting the present moment, choosing not to live - denying life?” - April Green
It made me realise that by worrying about it and willing time to slow down, I was still wasting those days feeling anxious and sad when I could have just been living in the moment. Now when the babies won’t go down for a nap because I just want a break and a cuppa with 8 biscuits, and I’m rocking them so fast my hips start to click and I feel myself getting annoyed, I've started to just stop.
Stop and let go of the stress, take the time to stare at their little faces, their perfect little lips and those long eyelashes im so envious of, and sniff them so bloody hard. I’ll keep rocking them for longer than I need to because that moment is gone once I lay them to sleep. There will soon be a day they become so heavy I can’t rock them anymore. I’ll take those extra minutes and snap a mental picture for my memory, lock away their beautiful baby smell in a special little treasure chest inside me because it won’t be there forever.
You see we have to use time wisely, you cant keep it so spend it, yes it will pass us by, and we will have feelings of sadness when we look back. But we need stop to savour the moment rather than rushing it on or willing it to slow, by living in those very seconds and minutes as much as we can.
Life is time, so lets live it. (Total cheese I know, but so bloody true).