There is no right time

Me at seven and a half months pregnant. I loved being pregnant but would it be the same if I went back for more?

Me at seven and a half months pregnant. I loved being pregnant but would it be the same if I went back for more?

The curly-haired monster is turning two in a few weeks. Yes two. I can hardly believe how fast those years have flown by. I still remember giving birth to him like it was yesterday.

Naturally people have been asking “when’s the next one coming?” or “are you going to have any more?” It’s a very personal question but of course it is something the boy and I have both pondered. I usually laugh it off with a maybe whenever I’m asked.

I think the decision to have more children is far tougher than deciding to have your first. The first time you have no idea what you are getting yourself into, it’s all very new, exciting and daunting at the same time.When your baby arrives you are filled with so much love and you couldn’t imagine loving anything more than him/her. It’s tough – and amazing – but you get to devote all of your time to one mini-human. One.

The first few months are a sleep-deprived blur of feeding, napping, cuddles and trying to find your way. By the time they get to one you’ve pretty much blocked that part of your life out and then you start to think hmm maybe it’s time for another. However then they start walking and you couldn’t possibly imagine having a newborn to care for too.

By one and a half things are much easier – if you’re lucky they are sleeping through, can pretty much feed them self and aren’t so reliant on you for constant entertainment. You think you’ve got this parenting gig down pat and high-five each other. Go mum! Go dad!

Then the tantrums and hissy fits start. So you think no way I will not be able to handle another one. You also wonder how your adorable wide-eyed precious prince can turn from cuddly monkey to demonic spawn of satan in the blink of an eye.

Before you know it your bubba is approaching two and you’re thinking where did that time go? What happened to my little baby? He’s running around, talking, telling you NO! Asking for sultanas, the Wiggles and wants you to kiss his little finger when he shuts it in the drawer/door/toy box for 10th time. He is fiercely independent.

You hold a newborn baby and your ovaries and heart start to ache. Maybe now is the right time. But then it’s bedtime and as you cuddle your boy to sleep (yes I STILL do this) you worry about him missing out on cuddles and attention while you’re devoting all of your time to his new brother or sister. You don’t want this special bond to be broken.

It’s a tough decision. Will I be able to cope with two? What if the curly-haired monster is jealous? Is it possible to love another as much as I love the curly-haired monster? What if the new one doesn’t sleep? I don’t want to give up cuddling my boy to sleep so what do I do? Learning to breastfeed again, ugh. No more sleep. Letting my body be hijacked for two years. Oh God imagine how much crap will be left all over the house with TWO kids! We need a bigger car. I want a bigger house. I’ll have to stop working and stay at home for at least six months. OMG no more poached eggs. My boobs are going to look even worse. How do I go food shopping? Scrap that – how do I leave the house? What if I forget what to do? What if I have to stop running? What if my employer decides to make my job redundant? What if I fail? The list inside my head goes on and on and on.

However on the other hand, another itty bitty to kiss, cuddle and make us a family of four would be pretty damn awesome.

Maybe it’s not such a tough decision after all.

How did you decide to have more than one child? What’s your advice on coping with more than one?

 

 

 

Advertisements

Turning mothers into martyrs

A few days ago I stumbled across this on Facebook and my first reaction was to gag. Now days later my initial reaction is still to gag but also to kill it with fire. Even the title is vomit-inducing A Letter from a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and vice versa.

But why I hear all three of you reading this exclaim – “it’s celebrating both the role of a stay-at-home mother and a working mother”. I’m sure that was the author’s intention but my reading of it is quite the opposite.

It’s turning mothers into martyrs and quite frankly that makes my eyes roll so far back in my head I’m getting a great view of my frontal lobe.

I’m a working mother but more than that I am a strong, independent, intelligent woman. I want respect for what I do – not pity. I don’t need approval or condolences from anyone either. It’s an insult to my intelligence and my feminist values. I’m fairly certain my fabulous friends who are stay-at-home mums don’t want any of that either.

I’m not a hero or special because I choose to “juggle” a career and motherhood. I’m just like millions of other woman out there who do the same thing every day.

You know who else does the same as me every day? My husband and millions of other blokes too.

But where is his letter of appraisal or induction into the hall of sainthood and martyrdom? Why are dads considered second-rate when it comes to parenting? In my house we share the load and get on with things there’s no time for sanctimonious bullshit over who’s doing it tougher.

I also don’t sit hunched at my desk beavering away like my life depends on it wracked with guilt because I chose a career over staying at home. I most certainly do go out for coffee and guess what at least once a week I meet up with friends and go out for lunch. I also don’t secretly love days at home when my son is sick – umm hello does anyone like having a sick child? Not likely.

I’d be keen to know who it is that is judging me for “leaving your children in the care of others to work” or who the people are who “imply that you don’t love your children as much as us SAHMs do, and that it’s best for children to be at home with their mothers”.  Seriously??? Thanks for now planting that into my thoughts – I’m sure it will pop up next time I pay a visit to one of my stay-at-home mum friends. Is she silently judging me? IS SHE?!

I can almost pretty much guarantee my mates who are stay-at-home mothers aren’t sitting there fantasising about me having “coffee breaks at work” because apparently I don’t have those anyway as I’m far too busy feeling sick about all the time I’m spending away from my child. Nor do they sit around and feel sorry for themselves – give them some credit for christ’s sake. What an insult.

I’m also tired of motherhood being referred to as ‘”work” or a “job”. It’s neither, it’s life. Once again the double standard – what about dads?

Both letters have smug undertones and neither sit right with me. They make me feel uncomfortable.

Here are some truths – parenting isn’t that difficult. Sure there are really shitty days when you just want to jump in your car and drive away but they are very far and few between. As far as I’m concerned if my boy is fed, clothed and loved then that’s all that matters and none of that is exactly rocket science.

I don’t want to be held up higher than my non-parent mates just because I’ve popped out a kidlet – those mates are pretty f*cking amazing too. Some of them are doing pretty damn special things which I’d consider a lot more challenging than raising a mini-human. They’re not wallowing waiting for someone to pat them on the back.

So can we please stop with putting mums on a pedestal? Can we please stop with these hideous comparisons of who’s doing it tougher?

I’ll tell you who is doing it tougher those who don’t have the same privileges as the ‘mothers’ in that post. The mothers and fathers in the third-world who struggle to feed, clothe and shelter their children. The parents who are fleeing war-torn countries and who are now displaced with nowhere to call home.  The kids who will never have the education or opportunities like the kids of those martyred mothers in that post. Let’s have some perspective please.

End rant.

Pipe down son

Oh em gee the sound of a toddler screaming because they can’t get their own way – is there a more annoying, godawful sound on earth. No I doubt there is.

The past almost two weeks the Curly-Haired Monster has discovered his lungs and the ability to screech at a very high pitch. It is a bloodcurdling sound and I’m certain my neighbours have contemplated calling the police. 

He likes to use this new finely-tuned skill when he doesn’t get what he wants. He is a stubborn little boy – not sure where he inherited that trait from – and often teams the screaming with a little lie down on the floor. On special occasions he will even bang his head on the floor. Good times.

I am not the most patient person in the world and have to restrain myself from screaming back – admittedly I have screamed back – but recently The Boy and I have decided the best way for the screaming to cease is to ignore him.

It works like a charm but I can’t help but feeling like the worst parent on earth. For realz does a mother’s guilt ever f*cking end?

Anyway I am sure I am not alone but I constantly feel like all other mums have so much more patience than me and I am doing a terrible job. I imagine in other homes the parents are calm and laugh off these tantrums where as I am trying not to tear my hair out or crack open a bottle of shiraz at 10am. 

Then it makes me question my ability to have more than one child? Could I handle it? How the hell do other parents do it? Will this hideous guilt which cloaks me every minute of my life ever dissipate? Does it ever get any easier?

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 😉 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 🙂 I am so excited. So excited.

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

 

#firstworldproblems

This week I have been having a fair bit of self-doubt across many aspects of my life and I really need to give myself a big kick up the arse about it.
Self-doubt at being a mother, self-doubt at work, self-doubt at organising the wedding to the high standard I’ve set myself and doubting that I’ll be able to run a marathon in two months time.
I’ve been sick all week and have been house-bound pretty much the entire time which means I have only ran once and that does not help my overactive mind one bit. Far too much time to over-think.
The Curly-Haired Monster is also sick which is where the self doubt as a mother comes into play.
Being winter he often has the sniffles and more so when he is teething so I wasn’t overly concerned when he had a runny nose early in the week. He also had a slight cough but nothing to be concerned about – I’m not one to rush him to the doctor over every snotty nose and little cough.
He had a bit of a weepy eye too on Monday but it appeared to clear up.
Anyway he had been a bit hard to handle this week – a fair bit of tantrum throwing and waking constantly at night. The Boy and I were getting pretty frustrated and put it down to teething and just a phase.
I dropped him off at day care on Wednesday only to be called later in the day to be told he might have conjunctivitis. His eyes started to weep mid-morning. I immediately made a doctor’s appointment and picked him up.
Fast-forward and he was diagnosed with an ear infection in both ears, conjunctivitis and very, very mild bronchitis. Oh. My. God. Worst. Mother. On. Earth.
The poor kid was in immense pain and The Boy and I were annoyed because we weren’t getting any sleep.
We both felt so bad and I started questioning my ability to be a mother. I kept thinking a good mother would have taken him to the doctor straight away, a good mother wouldn’t get frustrated, a good mother has the patience of a saint.
I was doubting myself so much I even thought at one stage I shouldn’t have had a baby – I’m useless, too selfish and suck at this parenting gig I thought to myself.
Ugh. Shut up brain.
I took a day off work also this week because I was feeling so ill which inevitably put me way behind. I got to work yesterday and had so many emails requesting help, not to mention a list as long as my arm of stuff to get through.
Also my workmate is on leave so I was already doing the work of two people crammed into three days – now make that two days.
If there’s one thing I hate doing it’s asking for help. I hate it – I don’t want to be seen as weak or incapable. Long story short I had to ask for help yesterday to get through my workload. Ugh cue self-doubt at my competency to handle a heavy workload.
The wedding. It is literally keeping me up at night. I can’t sleep because I’m stressed it won’t all come together.
I’m stressed because I am doing everything on my own. I’m stressed because The Boy just doesn’t get how much stuff is involved.
He has not once taken it upon himself to organise anything and if I delegate a task it’s “forgotten” about or left to the last minute so I end up doing it myself.
He offers to help but I know he doesn’t really want to. I know he is going to so angry at me for typing the above.
I am a control freak. He knows this, I know this.
My bridesmaids offer to help but I feel bad asking them to.
Ugh I just want it all to be semi-perfect. There’s so much to do and it’s only three months away.
Prior to the wedding I am going to run my first full marathon. That’s the plan anyway.
This week my training had been a massive fail. It’s not my fault – I can’t breathe properly and I feel awful.
I’m better off resting but now I’m thinking what if I don’t get enough long runs in, what if I hit a wall and can’t go on, what if I don’t finish, what if my hip gives me too much grief and I have to pull out. What if I go out too fast and end up crying/walking the last 10km.
Ugh shut up brain.
To non-running folk this is going to sound ridiculous but I know if I could just get outside and go for a run all of this self doubt would evaporate and I’d be rearing to go again.
I’m aware how very first-world problems this all sounds but I’m not even viewing them as problems I’m just going to accept I’m feeling very overwhelmed this week.
In a nutshell – shit happens and life goes on. *Arse kicked*
Lets do this!