Almost a wifey

It’s less than five weeks until the wedding. One month and four days to be precise.

I had no idea just how stressful wedding planning would be. It has kept me awake at night more times than I care to remember and consumes about 60 per cent of my thoughts.

Now that we are on the final stretch the stress is dissipating but mainly because I have come to accept whatever happens, happens and that it’s about The Boy and I – no one else. If people want to complain about choices we’ve made or not attend then that is up to them – we are not going to let it rain on our parade.

What has blown my mind and impressed me the most is guests RSVPing. Anyone who knows me knows how much I despise it when people don’t RSVP. It is the height of rudeness in my book. That and people who are always late really grind my gears. It’s just plain rude and inconsiderate.

Anyway 95 per cent of guests have RSVPd and I am over the moon about that. I was expecting to write a ranty blog about RSVP etiquette but alas there is no need. Woo hoo to awesomely organised friends and family!

There is still quite a bit of work to do but most of that can’t be done until the final week and luckily my fabulous bridesmaids have already volunteered to give me a hand. They are probably sick of me asking 5 million questions about the hen’s weekend – which is the weekend after next – not probably I know for a fact they are, but I want them to know I appreciate everything they have done. They truly are the best ‚̧ I love you girls to the moon and back.

I cannot wait to call The Boy my husband and for him to call me his wife. It has been a long time coming – almost fifteen years. Hey these things take time ūüėČ and we had to be sure. It will be nice to finally solidify our relationship and it will make our little family feel whole.

The Curly-Haired Monster won’t be coming to the reception – he goes to bed at 7.30pm and personally we don’t think weddings and babies really mix – however he is playing a significant role in the ceremony. We are eagerly trying to get him to walk by then and while two days ago I would have said no way we have now noticed he has progressed in leaps and bounds. I will no doubt cry my eyes out when I see him walk down the aisle. My little boy is no longer a baby – waaah!

I won’t be changing my last name which may ruffle a few feathers but it’s my choice and I don’t think me taking The Boy’s surname is a declaration of love – to me it would be symbolic of me giving up my independence, my individuality and my heritage. Thankfully he understands where I am coming from and has not put any pressure on me to give up my name and values. There wouldn’t be a wedding if he objected anyway!

I know whatever happens on the day rain, hail or shine it is going to be one of the best days of our lives. I am so excited to share it with all of our closest friends and family.

Our goal for the day/night is for everyone to relax and have as much fun as possible. We want guest to stuff themselves silly with food, drink up and have a boogie on the dancefloor. So it’s a night to remember for everybody ūüôā I am so excited. So excited.

Let the final countdown begin … I AM GETTING MARRIED WOO HOO!

 

Confessions of a tired mum

We are exceptionally lucky in our house because 95 per cent of the time the Curly-Haired Monster sleeps through the night and he has done for about the past six months.

However there is the odd occasion when he likes to keep us on our toes and will wake up every two hours for three nights in a row – which is what happened this week.

It happens every few weeks and it is absolute shit when it happens especially as I am now working three days a week and the Boy gets up at 3.45am. So. Damn. Tired.

But I digress because it is not the point of this post and we have it pretty easy compared to a lot of families out there who haven’t known a full night’s sleep in months/years.

The reason this only went on for three nights was because on the fourth I had reached the end of my tether. I was well and truly over it.

He went down for a couple of hours, woke up and refused to go back to sleep. We tried everything. I even chucked him in bed with us which is always a last resort – who knew something so small could take up so much damn room!

It was late, I was tired, he was crying, the Boy was tired and getting annoyed too so I made the decision to let him ‘cry it out’ in his cot.

Ten-fifteen minutes later he was fast asleep and slept through the night and has done ever since.

It’s ¬†not the first time either and it certainly won’t be the last.

There’s been times when I’ve even shut the door so I can’t hear him just so I can get five minutes of peace so I can collect my thoughts, calm down and then be a better parent rather than a frazzled lunatic.

Before I returned to work there would be days where I’d be hanging out for the Boy to get home so I could hand the Curly-Haired Monster over, lace up my runners and pound the pavement for an hour before I seriously lost my mind.

Why am I telling this boring story? Because it’s the truth. Because sometimes it gets too much and all you want to do is get some sleep or some much needed time for yourself.

Sometimes the crying and relentless whingeing is like a hammer to your brain ¬†and you’d do anything for just five minutes of quiet and hot cup of tea.

It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent or that you love your child any less. EVERY parent has these moments/days and anyone who says they haven’t is a goddamn liar.

Recently on Facebook a local woman who runs a parenting-support group – with a huge lean toward attachment parenting – linked ‘crying it out in order to get a good night’s sleep’ to children growing up to be murderers or more likely to commit assaults. I wish I was joking. As you can imagine some ¬†mothers were outraged whereas others agreed with her.

It’s this sort of bullshit which ends up causing parents to self-doubt their own methods and feel they might be doing something wrong and/or going to raise bad children. Enough with the mummy wars. Seriously enough.

Parenting is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. What works for one family may not work for another and vice versa. I don’t follow anyone’s advice in fact I haven’t for months and I don’t ask for it either because if it’s one thing I’ve learned is everyone thinks they are a goddamn expert.

These ‘experts’ are what f*ck up the new parent’s confidence.

While we’ve only let the Curly-Haired Monster cry it out a handful of times – oh did I mention we tried the Ferber method for awhile too (now I’m defintely going to be cast to the fiery pits of hell) – I’m a huge believer in doing whatever works for you and your family. No one should ever make parents feel guilty or question their parenting methods. Ever. (Unless the baby/child is being put in harm’s way of course)

Don’t self-doubt – go with your gut and if it means leaving your little one to scream for a bit or if it means sleeping side by side in bed each night then so be it. Who am I to judge.

 

 

 

It’s all happening

Oh hai there abandoned blog .. I finally have something to post about – yippee!

In four sleeps I make my return to the newsdesk after almost 12 months of maternity leave. I am excited, nervous and apprehensive. Not to mention there is a tad bit of guilt creeping in for good measure. I will be working two days for six months before returning for either three days or full-time depending on how I feel.

My fabulous mother will be watching The Baby for one day and the other day he will be going to day care.

I am looking forward to working again, I really am. Some people work because they have to while others work because they want to. I fit into the latter category. I can’t wait to immerse myself into the news again and get my brain cranking – although it might take a couple of weeks for that to happen!

Since I have been on leave my office has had a dramatic makeover so I can’t wait to sit at my new desk with my new equipment. I also have a team now – whereas before it was just me so that is also something I look forward to.

Being surrounded by adults and having proper conversation which does not revolve around parenting and babies is also going to be a breath of fresh air. Dressing for the office and not for comfort and practicality is something I oddly long for. As are takeaway coffees, long lunches and office gossip with the other journos.

However at the same time I wonder how on earth will I be able to get The Baby ready, get myself ready and have the house looking presentable all by 7.30am. Will he notice I am gone and resent me? Or will he barely bat an eyelid and love spending time with his Nanny and make new baby friends at day care? I am fairly confident it will be the latter as he is a very social little boy and loves people especially mini-humans.

Will I still go running after work? I am currently in training for my first-ever half-marathon (28 days to go – eek!) and I cannot miss any self-imposed training sessions. I know I will want to go but will I feel guilty about leaving The Baby for an extra hour on top of the nine I have already left him for?

How will we eat dinner before midnight on my two working days? I am thinking slow-cooker at this stage or meal prep. Or convince The Boy it is his job as he finishes work a few hours before me.

Do I let The Baby eat day-care food or prepare food for him to bring? What if he gets sick Рhe has yet to get sick (touch wood). How will I work productively if we have had a shocking night before and have had barely any sleep?

I also fear the house will end up looking like a crack den because I would not have had time to clean during the day. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who can handle a bit of mess but I can’t it gives me anxiety. When I go back full-time I am seriously considering a cleaning lady come through once per week. The last thing I want to be doing on weekends is cleaning – ain’t nobody got time for that!

Do I have a tendency to over-think things? YES!

Ugh I am sure everything will be fine and I am just being over-dramatic. Just typing this all out has made me feel better about the whole situation.

The Baby is nine months old tomorrow. NINE MONTHS. Which means in three months he will be one. OMG. Yes I am already planning his party in my head.

He is an itty-bitty thing – so itty bitty he wasn’t even on the chart for his weight at his eight-month check up and was in the bottom-half percentile for height. Small things come in good packages, just look at his mum ūüėČ

He has four teeth and is crawling. This week he started climbing and standing while holding onto things. We bought him a walker despite vowing never to and he doesn’t like it thankfully as he prefers to explore on all fours. So now we are selling the walker.

He is very chatty and almost always happy. I don’t want to jinx it but he sleeps through the night too. Sometimes he doesn’t but more often than not he does.

Like his mum he loves his food and enjoys feeding himself. I call him my curly-haired monster because also like his mum (when I was a baby) he has super curly hair.

It’s hard to tell who he looks like the most. He is a good mixture of the two of us I think. He has inherited our love for music and socialising which is good to see. He is also very independent and is happy to entertain himself.

One thing which has happened just this week and has saddened me is he no longer wants the boob. I wanted to breastfeed for at least a year however he has decided otherwise. I still persevere but he is not into it and prefers to bite me and it bloody hurts. I am determined to keep trying but I think we (more like me) will have to move on soon. He does look ridiculously cute feeding himself his bottle though.

It amazes me how fast the past nine months have flown by and I can’t wait to see what the next nine months bring.

If any working mums have any advice for me shoot away!

Attachment parenting – yawn let’s move on

It appears the topic du jour on the majority of parenting blogs this week is attachment parenting. Ah yes that old chestnut. Well here is my two cents on the issue – *yawn*

For those who have been living under a rock or who have more important things to concern themselves with, this somewhat controversial method of parenting can be described as the following –

Attachment parenting is based on the principle of understanding a child’s emotional and physical needs and responding sensitively to these needs. The focus of attachment parenting is on building a strong relationship between parents and child.

A strong and trusting relationship with your child can be developed by following your intuition; responding to your baby‚Äôs cries; ‚Äúdemand‚ÄĚ breastfeeding for an extended period; carrying or ‚Äúwearing‚ÄĚ your baby; using gentle ways to help your baby sleep; co-sleeping with your baby and minimising separation from your baby during the first few years.

Source http://www.attachmentparentingaustralia.com/#What_are_some_aspects_of_attachment_parenting_that_help_parents_connect_to_their_children_after_the_early_infant_period_

Apparently on Sunday night current affairs program 60 Minutes featured a segment on attachment parenting hence why the topic is making headlines again. I didn’t watch it but I have read several blogs and news articles regarding it and once again mothers are being pitted against one another in the battle of whose method is best. Ugh give me¬†a break. Whatever works for you is best – there is no one-size-fits-all method to parenting.

I posted briefly about this topic a few months ago here when Time magazine published what was likely its most talked about cover ever. You know the one Рwhere the mother, an advocate for attachment parenting, is photographed breastfeeding her three-year-old son.

Like then I could not give two hoots whether a mother chooses to adhere to this method and neither should you. In fact let’s all move on because quite frankly I am sick to death of the topic.

If you know a mother who favours attachment parenting tell her she’s doing a great job. If you know a mother who is not a fan of the method tell her she is also doing a great job. Because at the end of the day we are all trying our best and it’s not an easy job whichever route you take.

Maternally yours, Moved On.

Baby’s first mail

Dear Predator,

First of all let me sincerely apologise for what your dad and I have been calling you whilst you’ve been in utero, Predator. It’s not that we believe you to be an extra-terrestrial being from another planet it was just that when we saw you via ultrasound for the first time you resembled the creature made famous in the 1987 film of the same name starring Arnold¬†Schwarzenegger.

12-week ultrasound – just kidding.

It was your dad who made the connection by the way not me – I haven’t even seen the movie so if you have any beef take it up with him.

You are due to make your appearance into the world in 10 days but realistically you could arrive any day now. We are super-excited to meet you and hope you won’t be¬†disappointed when you meet us. Just between you and me – your dad and I are both pretty fantastic and I’m certain we will be great parents. However please keep in mind we are new to this parenting gig and there may be times where we make mistakes and seem overwhelmed by it all. There may be yelling, there may be crying but it doesn’t mean we don’ t love you.

We have set up your room, bought you a pimped out ride and don’t worry you have many clothing options – although most items are white or¬†neutral. It’s difficult to find fashionable items which aren’t considered gender specific. Although hopefully we will raise you to realise there is no need to conform to gender stereotypes.

Your wheels – three to be precise for all our off-road adventures.

On the subject of raising you to be an awesome human all we want for you is to grow up to be healthy, happy and to never give up chasing your dreams.

Don’t ever let anyone say¬†you can’t do something – unless it’s your dad and I – and you’re asking to go to so-and-so’s unsupervised party. We were young once and we know what goes on. We know alcohol will be involved and no we will never buy it for you so don’t even bother asking. Also if we catch you smoking we will force you to smoke an entire pack of¬†filter-less¬†Winfield Reds in one sitting.

Don’t even think about it.

Lately we have been wondering what kind of human you will be and what traits you will pick up from the two of us.

Hopefully you will have your father’s sense of humour, he is a pretty funny guy, although I must warn you he has been¬†practicing¬†his ‘dad jokes’ for the past 13 or so years – they can ¬†be quite embarrassing. He has this habit of repeating the joke several times if no one has laughed. I then have to inform him it wasn’t that no one heard the joke, it was that nobody found it funny. Awkward.

I hope you inherit my literacy skills and from a young age can appreciate the difference between¬†there, their and they’re as well as your and you’re – if you can do this I will be the proudest mum on the planet. Please don’t ever unnecessarily change the spelling of words or resort to net/textspeak. This will make mummy very angry and we may have to find new parents for you. Also alot is not a word.

Alot – not a word.

Your dad loves sport – sometimes I think he loves it more than me – I am not so fond of sport and it’s okay if you are not so fond of sport. However you must follow the AFL and no matter what you must never, ever become a supporter of the Fremantle Football Club. EVER. This is also grounds for a new home. You will be upsetting a lot of people if you break this rule.

At the age of six months I will be forcing¬† enrolling you into dancing lessons. Your dad thinks it’s way too young I say you’re never too young to become the next Beyonce or Justin Timberlake. Anyway it’s not technically dancing it’s more to do with musicality which was recently proven to produce better humans¬†– you can thank me later.

You have been born into a world which is heavily driven by technology. There are positives to this yet there are also some downsides to this. One such downside is children – or perhaps it’s their parents – have become lazy. Instead of going outside and using their imagination to play they are indoors on computers playing video games. You will not be one of these kids. There will be time¬†constraints¬†for television watching and you will not be able to work my smartphone better than me. Sorry kiddo it’s old-school playtime for you.

Toys will be limited too I’m afraid. We’d much rather spend our money taking you to exciting places than splashing out on the latest plastic creation which you will no doubt grow sick of after a week or so. We are already planning your very first overseas trip to New Zealand next year. I’m also trying to convince dad that a trip to Bali is necessary in order to expand your cultural horizons.

Now is probably a good time to reveal you are half Kiwi thanks to your dad who is New Zealand born and bred. You don’t have to let anyone else know if you don’t want to. I completely understand. It can be our little secret.

Your dad is from Hobbiton – this is not entirely true.

If there is one pearl of wisdom I can impart on you, it is to always be yourself and try not to worry what other people think. Granted this is much easier said than done. During your high-school years you will find this especially tough but I guarantee life is much easier once you learn not to care what others think. The people who try to bring you down in life are usually jealous and have their own stuff going on so don’t take it personally.

Other pearls of wisdom include:

  • Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and be sure to question everything.
  • Chase your dreams.
  • Travel the world, go on crazy adventures, meet lots of new and exciting people.
  • Try different things.
  • Read books – or whatever the equivalent is.
  • Ignorance is not bliss – stay educated and never stop learning.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Don’t eat junk food or drink soft drink – both are unnecessary evils.
  • Always use your manners and be respectful to others.

This is the best book ever written – when you can read I suggest you give it a go.

There are many things your dad and I hope for you but we especially hope that no matter what you will always feel comfortable enough to talk to us about anything and that you remember we will love and support you no matter who you are.

Now hurry on up out of there so we can get to know you!

Maternally yours, Mumma.