Mummying and studying

Last August I sat at my desk at work and went through my five year plan with my work husband. I was going to be out of the call centre we worked in, have 2 babies with my then boyfriend and if we weren’t married we were going to be engaged, I was going to have a degree and we would have bought our house. He laughed at me and said I was mental. By September I had got a new job, enrolled at The Open University on a law degree and found out I was pregnant with Freddie! I think he was right, I definitely had a screw loose!

Roll on 12 months we might not have even started saving for our house but Freddie is here, I have a ring on my finger and I am about to commence my second year of study. My five year plan basically turned into a five minute plan and I am bricking it for the next 12 months! In my infinite wisdom back in February high on pregnancy life as I sailed through the second trimester (the only weeks I remotely enjoyed being pregnant) I decided that I would make the most of being on maternity leave and do Uni full time this year and signed on the dotted line. Student loans were applied for, notebooks were bought, maternity leave was organised. And then I put it to the back of my mind. I got busy  being sliced open and all the other good stuff that comes with being a new mum. (I had a caesarean by the way, I didn’t mean metaphorically.) I have been incredibly happy plodding along, wasting my days playing peekaboo and watching Geordie Shore, until now. The course material has just been released and it’s starting to dawn on me just how much work I am going to have to do. It is essentially the same as a full time job alongside being a stay at home mum. I know millions of women do this daily, running their own businesses or working from home or studying like me all while raising babies and generally kicking ass at being women, but I just don’t know if I am cut out to be one of those women.  I’ve always seen myself as one or the other. A perfect stay at home mum, who bakes all day and has wonderful children and cooks tea for her man every night (calm your passions you raging feminists, don’t worry that doesn’t happen. We order takeaway at least once a week) OR a kick ass career woman, smashing that glass ceiling and being Elle Woods brought to life. I really do not know if I can manage mummying and studying. The only thing I have got going in my favour is that I am a stubborn bitch to say the least and I would rather try and fail than back down to a challenge, even a challenge I have set myself.

I should warn Liam now that until my exams in June he should not be surprised if he finds wine in my teacup and I run out to the library the minute he walks through the door. I’ll just have to keep reminding him that having a law degree under my belt will definitely help towards a better job. And a better job means more money. And more money means we might be able to spring for a bottle of wine that costs more than £5 once in a while. Hell, we might even be able to afford gin! Hashtag life goals.

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What i’ve learned in the last 3 months

So Freddie hit 3 months this last Sunday, coincidentally the same day his big sister turned 5 and it got me thinking. I have been a part of Layla’s life since she was two years old, I’ve been in her life as Daddy’s girlfriend for longer than I haven’t and I hope to God she knows just how much I adore her. When I was pregnant I was terrified that I would love Freddie more because he was properly mine and I wouldn’t be able to hide it and she would grow up to hate and resent us both. And while I did have an all consuming rush of love for my son, as soon as Layla walked into the hospital room I realised it was the same love I have for her, it just happened a little quicker is all. If anyone asks, I have two children. I love her, care for her and tell her off just like I was her mum.

So with that in mind, this isn’t a post about what I’ve learned as a new mum, it’s what I have learned while being on maternity leave.

1:It is boring. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love spending every day watching Freddie grow and change. But, well, he naps. A lot.

2: You have to keep your hands clean at all times, because why have a toy/dummy/teething ring when you can have mummy’s knuckle? Don’t let the closed eyes fool you. He has my hand in a death grip and is chomping down HARD on my finger!IMG_4050

3: The excited promises of ‘Lets meet for coffee!’ soon start to fade. Everyone wants to see the new baby that will more than likely sleep peacefully the entire time while you coo over them, and if they do wake up they literally only want one thing – food. Fast forward a few months and your little cherub is likely to be awake the entire time, and if they cry, what do they want? Food? Nappy change? Is it wind? Is it your teeth? Have I sat you on the wrong knee? Who the fuck knows?! Childless friends will drink their coffee and smile sympathetically while secretly reminding themselves never to let their child behave like that in public (HA! Good luck!). They’re almost as bad as your mum friends who will instantly offer to help, or suggest multiple things that could be wrong that didn’t even cross your mind meaning you add the fact that you’re a shit mum to the mental list of things you’re already stressing about while baby continues to scream down Costa. Don’t worry though, you are definitely NOT a shit mum and you will feel terrible for cursing Susan’s name as soon as you’re home with wine and you realise she was definitely only trying to help.

4: Going back to point number 1, you eat. A lot. You’re bored. You’ve scrolled through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even the daily mail app 15 times by lunch time. You wont even be hungry, but eating a bag of Malteasers might pass 15 minutes if you nibble the chocolate coat off first.

5: Speaking of Facebook and Instagram. Remember while you were at work and you couldn’t believe how many baby photos there were? Yeah, you’re going to be posting the vast majority of them. For one, why wouldn’t anyone want to see how cute your baby looks in the wash basket, stuffing their whole fist in their mouth, on their daddy’s knee? (just three of the photo’s I’ve had to stop myself posting on social media this week!)

Secondly, taking the photo’s and editing them might eat up another 20 minutes of your day!

6: You won’t even hesitate to put on a shirt that was vomited on yesterday if it means you will get out of the house even 30 seconds faster than if you found a clean one. You’re already 20 minutes late and it will only get more sick on it.

Stop growing, baby bear! 

3:30am and yet again I can’t sleep after waking up for Freddie’s feed. I’ve done the washing up, I’ve read several blogs, repeatedly refreshed my Facebook and Instagram feeds and even had a few games of bingo, yet here I am. Wide a-bloody-wake. 

So I started looking at old (old? OLD!? He’s only 12 weeks woman!) photos of Freddie and I just want to freeze time. I can’t get over how much he’s grown in such a short space of time. He’s almost double his birth weight, up from 8lbs to 14lbs 15oz and I am not ok with this. I can only imagine what sort of emotional wreck I’ll be at all of his birthdays! 


Week one vs week twelve. Where has my tiny baby gone? 

He’s now holding his head up, trying to stick his tongue out when you do, cooing and gurgling, bearing weight on his legs (he even pushes himself up to stand from sitting when you hold his hands!) and he is so close to giving us a real belly laugh. And me? Well I’m still trying to master not crying with happiness everyone I look at him. I can’t say it’s going too well to be honest! 

Motherhood and gin

After being with her partner for 13 years, my big sister is finally getting married next month and I am her maid of honour. When she asked me 18 months ago (Ok, I pretty much demanded that I should be) the first thing I thought was “YAY, new dress!” closely followed by “YAY, hen do!” I was so excited to start planning her big night out. Liam and I had decided we were going to start trying for a baby, but I told him up front if we (side note, why do we say ‘we’ were pregnant? Last time I checked he didn’t lose out on 9 months of wine!) weren’t pregnant by Christmas we would have to stop for a few months, because there was no way I was walking down that aisle looking like an elephant, a very SOBER elephant!

As it happens we were exceptionally lucky. I had the implant out, came home and celebrated this next chapter by having a quickie on the sofa (who said romance was dead!?) Two weeks later he fetched me a bottle of wine home from work and I handed him a positive pregnancy test. Apparently fertility was not an issue for us!

So while planning everything baby, I also started planning all things wedding. My sisters best friend is also getting married in September in New York and as it fell on the weekend of my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s stag Vicki offered to pay for me to go with her! While I was pregnant all I could think was “Oh my God, YES!” This meant that when Freddie was born in May, I then had my birthday in June, Karen (the friend) and Vicki’s (the sister) separate hen parties in August, and then New York and Vicki’s wedding in September. My social life never looked so good! Throw in that in July Liam asked me to marry him, I have been a busy, busy bee.

This weekend came around in the blink of an eye and it was time to go celebrate sissy’s wedding. We went all out, several gins, a fancy meal, surprise limo, a few more gins, beer pong and more tacky sashes than you could shake a stick at! Saturday was such a good night. The only trouble with a good Saturday, is it means there is invariably a horrendous Sunday that follows. After a pretty nasty stumble, 12 hours in heels and a 3am bedtime I felt horrible yesterday. Now I know parents everywhere have lamented having to look after the kids with a hangover, and I get that. But that wasn’t the issue for me. I am exceptionally lucky in that Liam was more than happy to be on Freddie duty all weekend. He let me take a midday nap, cooked us Sunday lunch and kept me hydrated with full fat coke. What I hated though was how guilty I felt and how much I felt like I was missing out on a day with my baby. I 125687% know that he will definitely not remember that one weekend when he was 12 weeks old where I couldn’t soothe him to sleep because I couldn’t stand up, and I know he won’t remember me slouching off to bed the second he woke up from his nap because his happy gurgles were too loud, but I will! It sounds strange, but I used to love my hangover days because it meant I could sleep and eat chicken nuggets all day, but this time around it just didn’t seem worth it at all. I don’t even want to think how many smiles I missed because I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Now this isn’t all to say that I am now 100% on the wagon, because lets face it, I have 4 baby free days in New York in 3 weeks time and I will be celebrating once again in 32 days as I watch my big sister get married. Oh and I have a bottle of wine in the fridge as we speak (waste not, want not!), but I do definitely think that once the  rosé has gone, and September is done with it will be a very long time before I get drunk to the point of a hangover again.

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it was a very good night though!

Procrastinating, again.

So, yesterday I posted a massive to do list and guilted myself into actually doing some of them. I wonder if I do the same again, will it work twice in a row. I doubt it. All I feel like doing today is wandering round Ikea buying useless things for the house we don’t need. Or that we don’t need for this house more to the point. I cannot wait to get out of the house we’re in at the minute, though most people can’t understand why. Allow me to explain.

We currently rent off my sister who has said we can rent for as long as we want and as soon as we’re in a position to buy, we can have it from her at a discounted rate. Sounds perfect, right? No. It’s a two bed semi which was perfect 12 months ago when it was just me, Liam and his daughter Layla-Mae at weekends. Layla had her own room, we have a nice garden for our dog Mia, it’s on a quiet street. However, we now have Freddie. Ok, for now he’s in our room with us but in 6 months time we are going to have to look at moving him out. Though I know Layla definitely will not mind sharing with her brother while she’s here I want her to have her own room. I love her like my own daughter and I never want her to feel like she is coming second to Freddie, especially as she gets older she is going to need her own space. This means we would need to convert the loft into a third bedroom, which means spending several thousand pounds on a house we don’t even own and taking us further away from a mortgage.

There is also the fact that although my sister lived here for 10 years with her partner and two children, she never did anything with it other than basic upkeep. The kitchen needs re-painting, the cupboards need replacing, it needs a new toilet, the tiling in the bathroom needs updating, the carpet in the living room needs taking up and replacing. The list is endless really. Now I know I could do all of these things myself, and I would. IF it was my house. While I know my sister would never sell it from under me and she would never kick us out (for one, we have the tenancy agreement binding us!) it’s a lot of time, effort and money to put into something that isn’t yours. And the more money we spend doing this house up is less money in our savings pot (HA! If you can call it that). To be honest, living in a house that I am not happy with is starting to get me down a little bit.

Because of all this we’ve decided to rent elsewhere. Somewhere that is completely maintained by someone else, and with no work needed to it so we can concentrate on getting our foot on the property ladder. I cannot wait! I guess in the meantime I should crack on with this list. I did actually do everything in bold yesterday, go me!

 

  • Tidying the living room because, to be honest, it’s not had a proper clean in the 11 weeks since Freddie arrived, just the odd straighten up when the health visitor is due.
  • Doing the washing up that didn’t get done last night
  • Cleaning the oven. I bought oven pride specifically for this task…3 weeks ago.
  • Putting away the laundry because there’s 3 baskets full cluttering up the back of my kitchen
  • Sorting out bottles for Freddie.
  • Sorting out my visa because I go to New York in 28 days.
  • Blasting out Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, because I go to New York in 28 day and have stepped foot in the gym precisely once in the last year.
  • Cleaning the fish tanks despite the fact I never wanted two bloody huge fish tanks and I said I would never ever clean them, but apparently neither will my fiancé!
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Cleaning my bedroom
  • Cleaning Layla’s bedroom
  • Posting my agreement for student finance

 

Maybe I’ll just sit and stare at this face some more first though!

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I really should be doing something else…

Here’s a list of everything I should be doing right now:

  • I should probably be interacting with Freddie and keeping him awake for another half an hour or so to keep him in line with his routine. I’m sure he’s losing 3627845272920 brain cells by me letting him drift off on his own instead and proper mums everywhere will be screaming at me!
  • Tidying the living room because, to be honest, it’s not had a proper clean in the 11 weeks since Freddie arrived, just the odd straighten up when the health visitor is due.
  • Doing the washing up that didn’t get done last night
  • Cleaning the oven. I bought oven pride specifically for this task…3 weeks ago.
  • Putting away the laundry because there’s 3 baskets full cluttering up the back of my kitchen
  • Sorting out bottles for Freddie.
  • Sorting out my visa because I go to New York in 28 days.
  • Blasting out Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, because I go to New York in 28 day and have stepped foot in the gym precisely once in the last year.
  • Cleaning the fish tanks despite the fact I never wanted two bloody huge fish tanks and I said I would never ever clean them, but apparently neither will my fiancé!
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Cleaning my bedroom
  • Cleaning Layla’s bedroom
  • Posting my agreement for student finance

 

Heres a list of everything I am doing right now

  • Making to-do lists that are just getting me down
  • Rocking Freddie’s chair with my foot
  • Eating Aldi’s own brand Weetos. Which, coincidentally, are a million times better than actual Weetos!

 

Maybe I will spend this week working through the first list. Maybe I’ll eat more chocolate cereal. Who knows?

 

 

First blog post

Hello. Is that how you start a blog? I’m not sure. That’s how I will start my blog, it’s polite.

Introductions; twenty four years old, first time mother who may possibly have annoyed all of my friends in the last 11 weeks by posting almost daily pictures of my child. Basically, I need somewhere I can allow my addiction to showing everyone pictures of my boy to run wild and free without making all my childless friends want to run a mile, and maybe I can entertain someone along the way with little anecdotes about year of maternity leave while I’m doing the 2am feed*

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*Should read: I’m really trying to keep myself awake right now, so I thought a blog would be a really good idea, but will more than likely forget all about it when I go to bed!