First full day back at work and the feeling in my belly is like emptiness. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve eaten or drank today, the emptiness is still there. And it’s not an emptiness I can fill because what I’m missing is my little boy. Not only is it my first full day back at work, it’s also his first long day at nursery. We have done settle in days of two to three hours at different times of the day but today is the full schebang. And no matter how much I know it’s good for him and it will help mould him into a better person and prepare him for his life ahead at school blah blah blah, none of that fills the empty gap inside me. The gap that is usually dancing around, singing a variety of nursery rhymes and pulling silly faces, with a gorgeous little man, his own unique smell, tugging at my leg and demanding what he wants in his own little way.
My method at the start of the day was to pretend that me and this little man hadn’t become a part of each other’s lives, because the less I thought about him, the easier and more pain free it was. But as the reality sunk in that I couldn’t eat and go out for walks when I wanted as I was now restricted to this structured day, then suddenly this little man popped back into my head. And I found myself dialing the nursery to check up on him. Something which I justified by the fact that I always call to check if my cats are ok in the cattery on holiday so why would I not call to check my baby is ok in nursery!?
Hearing that he had been crying intermittently but was now napping was reassuring for me but my mind was now on him. I couldn’t concentrate fully. My imagination was playing ball and reading stories and blowing bubbles. Yet here I was in an office catching up on the last years standard operating procedure updates and getting my qualifications back up to par. But as all my fellow mummies had reassured me, i did survive the day, I even managed to get through my new three day week without shedding a tear. My gorgeous man presented me with his first painting and a hug with lots of kisses.
I am yet to be convinced that I need this apparently fabulous thing they call “mummy time”. Unless i am misunderstanding, my perfect “mummy time” would be time spent being a mummy.
Until next time……
Motherhood! It’s like having a very nervous, dependant, excitable and energetic puppy dog for some of the time and a very old, wise, independent yet loves his cuddles cat the rest. Speaking from an animal lovers perspective of course. And throw in the occasional moments of your typical cheeky monkey that pees in your direction and throws his banana skin at you, mixed in with the obligatory goldfish that likes to suck your finger. As you watch them grow you’ll find they begin to develop into a squaking, mimicking parrot with the temper of a chimpanzee who just wants his food and will bang his fists on the table to demand it then promptly nibble it and throw it at you if they’re not filling their cheeks full of it in true hamster fashion. Followed by the beautiful moments they begin to emerge as a worm, wriggling across the floor, with the odd meercat moment up on their knees and then one day they just walk across the room to you nonchalantly like its something they have done all their life! Then there’s bath times. You’ll either get a cross between a dolphin, confidently flipping and flapping around without a care for how much water covers their face. Then there’s the occasions when your confident dolphin decides to be an extremely rigid and determined not to get clean moggy who will do anything in its power to avoid having that water touch them.
So if you ever want a small inkling of the honest trials of motherhood just imagine you are in the zoo and as much as you’ll enjoy watching these creatures in their habitats and observing their behaviour, you’ll sympathise with the zoo keeper for the marvellous job they do at just keeping the animals clean, fed, watered and happy.
Until next time……
So it all started with a memorable (maybe for all the wrong reasons) but lovely family holiday to Scotland to celebrate my mums 70th birthday. She’s not an old dear mind you, so do not by any means start conjuring up images of a decrepid old lady. Oh no! My mum has been likened to giving Helen Mirren a run for her money. Faux leather waterfall jacket and denim jeans an all.
The week had a few surprises, most of them nice and most of them for my mum. However, unfortunately, the last surprise of the week was going to be for me. To cut a rather long and painful story short I’ll break it down into one word descriptions. Packing, spillage, slipped, fell, arm, numb, crying, A&E, X-ray, pain, bruising and then we arrived back in England.
On the advice of the A&E department in Scotland, I kept my arm moving over the course of the next week, possibly too much. 8 days later the elbow began, rather unpleasantly, popping in and out of the socket. One trip to the GP surgery, one referral to my local A&E, one more set of X-Rays, one week with my arm in a sling and one follow up appointment at fracture clinic later and I found myself as an inpatient on an orthopaedic ward awaiting a place in theatre!
This was now 18 days after my fall. One overnight stay and a 9 hour fast later, the consultant decided he couldn’t fit me in that day and sent me home to return two days later.
Finally, 21 days after my fall, I was anaesthetised and wheeled into theatre where the consultant and his happy team were able to manipulate my elbow back into place and send me on my merry way with no more than a few canula bruises and a feeling that I need to not rush about in future.
Until hopefully NOT next time….
After a week of suddenly refusing food, I was starting to think our Gorgeous George had become the first 9 month old to develop an eating disorder! I had tried every trick in the book. Although none of these tricks came to me from a book but rather from well wishing friends and family and facebookers. He had suddenly turned from a one and a half pouch per meal kinda baby to a “you’ll be lucky if you get that spoon past my lips 5 times mummy” kinda baby. His milk intake was gradually increasing in frequency again and I was starting to fill with dread. We’ve breastfed exclusively more or less for the last 9 months but this past week of having my nipple yanked and laughed at had completely made me wanna jack the whole thing in. So off I went to the local supermarket and guiltily picked up my first tin of follow on formula. There’s no reason to feel guilty and I would by no means recommend inflicting these feelings upon yourself but ever since I became a mum I constantly challenge myself for not being able to do right for doing wrong. Something I have discovered is normal Mummy behaviour, (whatever that is).
So overall we were in a pretty unhappy house with me wondering why on earth George wouldn’t let me feed him! He was holding his own spoon, he had plenty of high chair entertainment. His high chair did a tour of our small house to see if maybe he wanted to watch tele, look out the window, watch the washing machine, listen to the radio, anything to distract him whilst I slipped some yummy spoonfuls of the latest Ella’s kitchen past his lips. We were also trying a mix of baby led weaning and from near on 6 months old had been giving him little bits to chomp on. All of which scared the hell out of me. He was happy to pick them up and put them in his mouth but any swallowing of lumps was out of the question and he soon became a master at gagging.
It was only when my sister observed me giving him milk on demand not more than an hour before his “dinnertime” that she suggested when he asks for milk I give him food and give him the milk after. A fresh pair of eyes she called it. I couldn’t believe I’d been tearing my hair out when the answer was staring me in the face. The reality is that is doesn’t actually matter. As long as he is exploring different foods and textures, it’s not like we’ll still be spooning prunes, pumpkins and pear pouches into his mouth at 18 years old. “But the pouch says from 7 months so he should be eating it surely! Why won’t he eat it?” My poor exhausted mummy mind cries out whilst I give him the spoon to the tune of “George do it” and get showered in Lancashire hot pot before he smuggly puts the empty spoon in his mouth. His willingness to eat is slowly improving and his desire to explore new foods is extending to grabbing food off my plate. I even caught him eagerly tasting the cats biscuits today. It makes a change from tipping the bowls upside down and playing them like bongos. He also quite enjoys sucking on the shoe of our latest visitor or testing out his two lovely bottom teeth by biting my big toe. He was even eyeing up my mum’s coal in the unused fire the other day, with me having to point out not to touch it, whilst my step dad pointed out not to worry because they all ate coal when he was little! The child has the bizarre cravings of a pregnant woman!
For now I will continue to offer him a variety, and persevere as many fellow mummies have highlighted to me “food before one is just for fun”. Don’t tell George though.
Until next time….