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?

 

 

 

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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.

Visiting hours are over

Sorry no one is home.

It’s finally happened I am so over this. I am bored, restless and tired of waiting.

I have run out of things to do and I have far too much time to sit and ponder which leads to me stressing out and feeling quite anxious about impending motherhood.

My insomnia has also returned with a vengeance – yippee!

But I digress this post isn’t meant to be me having a whine, what I want to discuss today is visitors.

There are two things which really irk me – people who don’t RSVP and drop-in/surprise visitors. These people are usually one and the same.

They sh*t me to tears.

I like routine, structure and to be organised. If I am having a party I want to know how many people are coming so I can organise the right amount of food and drink yet so many of my friends can’t seem to grasp this simple concept. So I end up sending out a text after the RSVP date has passed asking if they are attending. Nine times out of 10 their answer is yes. SO WHY DIDN’T YOU RSVP?! It does my head in. I am not looking forward to sending out our wedding invites that’s for sure.

Drop in/surprise visitors always seem to drop in at inappropriate times – such as on a Sunday or after work. It’s not that I don’t like having visitors it’s the fact they’ve thought it’s okay to simply show up without warning. What if I’m still in my pyjamas or about to head out? What if we can’t offer them an ice-cold beer or cup of coffee? What if I can’t be bothered entertaining? Send a text, make a phone call – don’t just show up out of the blue.

By now you’re probably wondering where the hell I am going with this.

With baby Predator arriving any day now I have been thinking about what will happen when we arrive home from hospital and the one thing which fills me with dread is visitors.

I know, I’m a horrible person. I should be pleased so many people will be wanting to meet our mini-human but I know once I am home all I’ll want to do is be left alone for at least a couple of weeks while I find my feet. The last thing I want is people dropping in.

It’s going to be difficult – The Boy has family coming over from New Zealand as Predator’s birth coincides with his younger brother’s 21st birthday. I don’t want to be rude or unappreciative but how do I let people know visiting hours are over?

I am sure I will be stressed out enough as it is without having to worry about entertaining people, making sure the house is tidy and having a well-stocked fridge and pantry.

So far the only solution I have come up with is the old ‘nobody is home’ trick. In other words I won’t be answering the door. Hopefully most people will be courteous and phone first so that way I can assess the situation and go from there.

Mums how have you coped with visitors? Am I being unreasonable? Leave me a comment below.

Update: My dear friend and fellow blogger The Wry Bride just sent me this – Etiquette for Visiting a Newborn Baby – perfect and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Full term baby!

Full-term – me at 37 weeks.

Two weeks and five days until baby Predator is due and OMG The Boy and I are so excited to meet our mini-human. My hospital bag is packed, the nursery is complete and the baby capsule has been installed – now it’s time to play the waiting game.

We’ve been wondering what he/she will look like and asking the important questions such as will he/she enjoy the comedy of Will Ferrel as much as we do? Will Predator be a Collingwood or West Coast Eagles supporter? What if he/she doesn’t love music? How soon is too soon for dancing lessons?

But seriously as long as he/she is healthy and happy that is all that matters. Let the fun begin!

Maternally yours, Ready-to-go

To sling or not to sling

The Hug-a-Bub wrap. Photo: Hug-a-Bub

Help – I really need some advice.

I am keen to buy a baby sling and have been busy researching the pros and cons but I can’t decide which type to spend my cash on. It doesn’t help that I don’t know anyone who has used one before and despite reading countless forums on the topic I am more confused than ever.

I have narrowed it down to three – the Hug-a-Bub wrap, the Hug-a-Bub Ring Sling or the Mamaway Ring Sling.

I only plan to use it for the first six months and I want to steer clear of carriers such as those by Baby Bjorn as I have heard all sorts of negative things about them such as stunting growth and being bad for baby’s hips. I also think they might be too straining on my back which I already have problems with.

Any advice would be most appreciated 🙂

Maternally yours, Confused.