Things that go bump in the night.

I’d always said that my baby would never fall out the bed and how crazy that even just the thought of it was. That was until early Sunday morning, we woke with a crash, bang and cries from Eleanor who was wedged down the side of the bed.

Yep, you read that correct. Our first accident, not the last I am sure but scary nonetheless. You can bet that I grabbed her as fast as I could, filled with worry that she would be real hurt. I didn’t want to look, didn’t want to see her hurting. Thankfully it was all good and just a fright for each of us.

With babies, everything happens so fast. One second they are sleeping peacefully next to you, the next, they have made their way to the bedroom floor. With an almighty thud.

At near six months on, we are still co sleeping and though this was never a safety issue previously, I am now beginning to rethink our sleeping arrangements. I don’t think my heart could take the blame of a second tumble. I know accidents happen and there will be plenty of bumps and skinned knees to come but I’m not ready for that yet. My baby is so little, to see her hurts brings a great deal of upset.

It is not through choice that it was chosen to co sleep, it was more by Eleanor’s demands and need for constant attention that we came to make the decision to co sleep. We done the research, knew the pros, the cons and accepted the risks. Now, as Eleanor is a little more…a lot more mobile, the risks have increased and I know that it is time to get her into her own cot and into better sleeping habits.

Where I’m sure this can bring nothing but benefits and the security of knowing that she is safe from any potential risks and falls, I know it will be a struggle for some time. Eleanor is so attached to myself and can’t bear to be put down or away from my prescence, if left at all, she cries uncontrollably which breaks my heart.

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We share a bedroom right now with being in a one bed flat, a situation I am aware is not ideal and working to change. This has the benefit that Eleanor is still close and can seek comfort from being next to us in her cot. We can always keep a close eye and watch over her. However, it also comes with the downside that we are perhaps too close for comfort which brings her to not settle without being next to us.

I’m not weak by no means and have tried the whole self settling scenario, Eleanor does not give in or self soothe,her cries only grow louder. I am not against tough love but there are limits, for example, to allow her to reach the stage of painful cries and shaking with upset, I find cruel. We have tried, it just doesn’t work with us.

I am ready to begin to explore options and try to work with her to bring a sense of independence and get her into her own bed with confidence. We have a bed time routine in place with dinner followed by a cosy bubble bath and milk top up, but we don’t get to the whole bed stage, defeats the purpose. Eleanor falls asleep into my arms, any attempts to move her brings a mass panic and chaos.

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Just to report, though we had a scare and a whole lot of Mum guilt to follow, Eleanor is absolutley fine after her fall. Eleanor has been such a trooper, you wouldn’t have known she was hurt at all. We spent the day with a lazy morning, followed by a forest walk, naps and an afternoon of play and cuddles. I kept her close and gave her lots of love.

A close call which has given the push to find a new bed time system and a lesson learnt. I’m so thankful that having checked her over and kept her close for the day, she is perfectly well. My little wriggler is set for a lifetime of adventure and certified to cause me a heart attack any given day.

It is scary how anything with a baby can escalate so quickly, I need a second set of hands and eyes on the back of my head.

Does anyone have any tips for getting a baby to sleep in their own environment? I feel like I am running out of ideas and patience. Especially now after a mishap, I am more keen than ever to make progress and put an end to the co sleeping.

 

Keren.

Yes, babies cry. Deal with it (and love them hard)

I am writing this post having been inspired by a recent trip to the GP for concerns over the health of our baby daughter, Eleanor. A baby who has always been, in my opinion very vocal and dependent. I believe this to stem from her connection with me due to breastfeeding. I could be wrong.

My partner had suggested that we call the GP to make an appointment regarding an issue with our baby who seems to cry constantly and wriggle around in pain. Eleanor has reflux which is currently controlled by medication, however, some days not even medication seems to help.

I called the doctor to make an appointment for as soon as possible. I didn’t want Eleanor to be in pain but nor did I expect much was up. She was after all, just being her usual self.  Euan arrived home to attend the appointment, I discovered that we were taking the car to the GP which is a short distance from home, I became upset and wound up.

You see, this sounds silly but it’s tough for me to get out alone. I spend much of my time alone with her and a lot of this is spent indoors as it’s just too tricky to get out, especially with being in a first floor flat. If I want to go anywhere, there is a whole battle with the Pram getting down stairs and out the door before we even get moving.

Some days it isn’t worth the fight with Eleanor if she is in a particularly sleepy or in a grumpy mood. I find I don’t have the fight in me to battle through the cries very often, blame it on the lack of sleep.

It’s easier for me to simply just return home than to deal with the stares of strangers passing judgment as I still past with my baby screaming out from her Pram. I’m not cut out for public judgement, it brings a great deal of anxiety. So, with that mental image and sound of a babies cry echo through your eardrums, forgive me for getting upset having had my dream of five minutes in the fresh air, shattered.

What might not seem a big deal to some, can be a huge deal for others. Something which I have recently learned. We all handle things differently and lately, I feel like I can barely handle things at all. I spend most days alone and some times I feel as though I am losing my mind. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I lack social interaction.

I understand that my partner has work commitments but a five minute walk is not really going to make such a big difference to the working day when  opposed to three minutes in the car? I feel alone much of the time right now and the inability to get out can lead me to feel like I’m stuck in these four walls, all I wished for was my partner to take a short walk to the GP clinic with me. I was once very active and I crave to lead an active life again.

A life that has more challenging excercise to it than the constant bending to change nappies or emptying the tumble dryer. I need to walk, I need to have fresh air. Without it, I go crazy. I’ve given up on my fitbit for the moment as the step count became so pitiful, I felt ashamed to even track and document it.

Back to the GP, the reasoning of this post, I had a feeling that I knew what the doctor would say, having been in this position before. I’m usually lucky to get an appointment as its normally an automated phone service. Nonetheless, the story never changes and the outcome is always “babies cry, it’s a phase” or something along those lines.

I’m never taken seriously with the GPS and feel as though my worries are over looked and brushed off as though I am a mere hypochondriac. Even if I were, I would expect better care and time in the hands of the professionals than what they tend to give.

There was no answer. Babies cry and that’s just how it is. Some are more vocal than others yes, but it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. It were suggested that we try control crying.. as if this would help with her round the clock cries. I wasn’t looking for answers of how to get my baby into a night sleep routine, and I didn’t want advice for control crying, I’d get more information from a book to be frank.

I wasn’t looking for anything actually,  I knew all too well how the appointment would go and knew that I would leave feeling stupid. My partner wanted this appointment as he was certain something was up. I merely booked it to prove a point and to show him that what I tell him when I call the GP each time is not a lie. I wanted him to see for himself how it goes. I wanted to prove my point and stamp my feet at the same time. My inner diva was out to play. I fear you not.

Some babies cry more so than others and they want held. This I know to be true with Eleanor. We were told that she was on the top dose for her reflux medication and to keep with this. When solid food becomes more frequent, her reflux should improve. Other than that, deal with the crying and just get on. If I felt it necessary, I could make an appointment to see the Health Visitor for advice on control crying but there was no cause for concern.

This was all said as I sat there choked up and crying spontaneously myself. I was crying because I was mad to have taken the car when I had hopes of fresh air. I was crying because I was drained, physically and emotionally. I was crying because this was the first outing of the week that involved human interaction  and it was now Wednesday afternoon.

I was mad at my partner, Euan for making me book an appointment to which I knew the outcome. I was told that he would get answers and yet here we are, no further than I have ever got before, Eleanor still crying.

I feel an element of guilt. Guilt that I can’t help my crying baby, I can’t take away her reflux and stop the back arching pain soar through her tiny body. I feel guilty that I want so desperately to have a break from her, even just for five minutes of peace. I feel guilty that I feel the need to have a break from her. As her Mother, I shouldn’t want a break from her. Should I?

I often can feel a whole lot of guilt and it seems that my best is never nor ever will be good enough. I ponder over thoughts about my parenting and I wonder if I’m a good Mother. I wonder if my Daughter knows how much I love her and I worry that I am incapable of the around the clock care she requires.

The Gp, I assume was left wondering who the appointment was initially made for. The sobbing mess of a Mother that I presented to her, or the baby sleeping in her car seat as though butter would not melt? Typical.

The thing is, the GP was correct, babies cry and all that we can do is hold them close and love them harder. It’s hard, it’s real tough, especially when you feel so hopeless and can’t help them take the discomfort of reflux away. Or even know the reason behind the cries. Is it reflux, teething, ear ache?

The guilt you feel along with the pain can be overbearing and overwhelming and I forget that as parents, we too are only human and we need to give ourselves a break and cut some slack or we will lose our minds. Its hard to always remain on top on situations and it’s hard to mimic what a baby wants at all times. Some days, there is just no pleasing these tiny humans.

I guess, I should be both grateful and thankful of Eleanor’s super dependent personality. I am lucky that I have my baby to hold and come time, I will look back and miss the cuddles and the closeness of my baby girl.

The days when I’m back at work and wish I could be curled up with her lovingly by my side at home, when she is a stroppy pre teen and I’m no longer cool enough to cuddle. I should take these moments to appreciate my ‘needy and vocal’ baby and love her as hard as I can all while embracing her before it’s too late and she no longer cares for the comfort of my company.

I hope that through weaning, the reflux will ease off. Our journey with food has only just began and we are still on select puree foods. I hope that when we venture into more tastes and textures, introduce baby led weaning her reflux will slowly disappear and we can forget about the difficulties that it has brought. Until then, I will continue to monitor and control it as best as I can with medication and a whole lot of baby cuddles. I hope that as she grows, she will become more independent and less reliant on myself, with this, the tears will stop too.

If you too have the struggle of a very vocal baby, don’t feel so alone. There’s always someone going through the same and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

We as parents are often too hard on ourselves and can be our own worst enemy, let’s be a little more appreciative of our efforts. After all, we are only doing our best and there are days that push the limits but we have to see past this. Take the good with the bad.

So here I am, sat on the sofa, same spot as always with a lukewarm cup of coffee, staring at a blank screen with a numb buttom from lack of movement,  preaching to all you parents out there, to take your baby and love them hard.

Keren x

Motherhood. Finding myself through creativity and balance.

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As you will be aware, I have began preparing and planning for my Wedding day. Upon doing so, making up lists, gathering material and fabrics.. It has all led to some new found and very welcome creativity. Who knew?

Having finished the whole seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, I was on the hunt for a new past time. Something that involved a little less sitting on my ass and a little more thought. Man, those first few months of Motherhood were well spent if I do say so myself but you can’t stay in a newborn bubble forever. It was time to grow and nourish myself now that I had the whole parenting thing under control.

I have began to enjoy nothing more than taking a day trip out with Eleanor and hunting for cute craft supplies and fabrics. Putting ideas together and creating. It’s nice to get busy and to produce something that you have created by yourself from just ideas is really quite thrilling. It brings a sense of achievement and joy.

Having become a new Mother recently, I got a little lost and almost became just a Mum, forgetting that I, too am my own person and need some time to myself for myself. It took a while to figure out some sort of balance and to find happiness from within in every aspect of daily life but I think I’m finding my feet at long last and beginning to suss out a balance between being Mum and yet being myself.

I have come to conclusion that life really is too precious and much to short to waste and wish it away. I can’t remain a prisoner in the home for fear of stepping out and I can’t stop time, rather I can get out and enjoy it. To make the most of each day and enjoy special moments in each day. It is time to start living and appreciate life for all that it is.

I still get anxious going out alone and I do struggle when faced in some situations, especially social events, but it’s never as bad as I come to imagine. I don’t know what triggered such anxiety build ups, I’ve ways been shy but ever since labour I have been having almost mild panic attacks, mood swings and feel as though I will burst out crying at times for no specific reason.

You can’t control the world and you certainly can’t have everything you want but with a little positivity and creativity I think you can do whatever you want and live in the way you wish to live. Happiness can be found from anything, it’s different for every one. For me, I have my beautiful baby, my family and a busy mind to keep me strong. I couldn’t have wished for a better family or to be surrounded by more love. I really am very fortunate.

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Something which doesn’t come easy, after having Eleanor, I would say I sort of shut myself off from the outside and didn’t take any time off. I was in full baby mode all day every day and it began to drain me of me. I needed a release and a relief from Motherhood but  couldn’t figure out what it was. I couldn’t even figure out how to get dressed with a newborn around, never mind find some form of hobby. I guess you could say that Motherhood didn’t come to me as naturally as I would have hoped at first.

With a new venture, I began to plan and prepare for my Wedding day. A small and intimate affair but that doesn’t mean I don’t have just as much help to plan as any other Bride. Through the use of glitter notebook pages, confetti hearts and paper butterfly’s, I suppose you could say I’ve became quite the crafty dab hand. By no means do I mean that my work is a piece of art, I simply mean that I enjoy this crafty business. I think that it suits me well and is good for my soul. Keeps my mind busy and my anxiety at bay.

Lately, my mind doesn’t seem to shut off. I try to drift off to sleep and ideas pop into my head. Both a blessing and a curse. Damn you, insomnia.

As a bit of a magpie, (self confessed and glitter obsessed) I have an eye for all things pretty, I always have and I love putting together looks and ideas that I have planned in my head. Wedding planning has given me a sense of freedom back. This has become a hobby and an escape, something that I would have previously laughed at and not taken serious but have fully got into and can say that I am really enjoying this whole busy business. It really is good to get up off the couch and get out again. I now have something to look toward other than the TV screen.

Although, I will admit, I do still find myself losing hours staring at and holding my baby close.  The most gorgeous little lady I have ever laid my eyes on. What a truly lovely soul.

Back to it, before I turn all proud Mum gooey – the table arrangements, the favor creating, decoration hunting. It’s totally keeping my anxiety at bay and giving me a focus. I used to enjoy nothing more than arts and crafts as a child, that and writing. It seems having grown older, these old hobbies have come back to me..with a vengeance. Old habits die hard they say. Now I can fully vouch for that.

I am happy to say that through finding a balance and getting busy with a hobby, I have really discovered happiness and unleashed a creative spark that I don’t think will be ending soon. I can now again be at peace with my mind and my body. I am much happier with a focus and have started to feel content as a Mother and realise that I am in fact good at being a Mother and with that, I can again return to being myself. Slowly but surely I will get back into my old skin, only it will be new skin and better. Wiser and happier.

This latest creative spark has had me thinking about creating a small business on Etsy. I am not sure what I could sell yet, or if my creations would sell but I’d like to venture into this throughout the year and put my busy mind at work. I think that a hobby has been just the thing my mind was screaming out for and I’m glad that with getting out there, and getting busy I have also become a better version of myself. This reflects well not just on myself, but on my family. Happy mum, happy baby..right?

I have many ideas running ragged in my mind right now. Everything from wedding crafts to creating a local etsy store to getting experience in a florist. I think 2018 will bring a new experience and a sense of peace. I have a few travel plans coming up this year, if I’m lucky I can draw some inspiration from these trips and the travel experience.

Now if you dint mind, I have a wedding to plan. Must get back to work. What would you like to see from Etsy?

Keren.

 

Reflecting on the past, working for the present. Cheers to 2017.

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As we reach the end of another year, I wave goodbye to what seems an era. I can’t help but to think that 2017 has brought so much good to my family and it has been a year of some very important firsts. First trip to the States, the first time I practiced yoga,  first pregnancy, first baby. The list goes on.

I am not a “new year, new me” kinda gal, rather I am waving goodbye to 2017 with many fond memories and a heart full of love as I look forward to the pending year ahead and all that 2018 has to bring to the table.

I reflect on 2017 as one of the best years of my life and I feel that during the course of the year I really did discover myself more as a person, hold relationships close and love harder. 2017 was the year for me, there’s no hiding that fact.

I discovered I was pregnant on January second and ever since, the news just kept getting better. At first, the news was a little daunting and quite hard to take, especially as I didn’t plan to conceive at this time. It didn’t seem the right time but in hindsight it was the best time to begin a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They say what’s meant for you won’t pass you by, I’m beginning to believe that.

I passed my driving test and obtained a license, flew over the Grand Canyon on St. Valentines day, birthed my beautiful girl, Eleanor. I said yes to the one I love. The year 2017 not only brought a host of good memories and achievements but it brought my family and that is something I will be forever grateful of.

I end the year as a Mother and a Wife to be, a Daughter and a friend. As I step out of one year and into the next, I can only hope for a bigger and better year. I have goals I would like to reach and milestones to hit.

I hope to be a great Mother and a partner and I hope to find my feet on the career path. I wish to be happier and healthier than ever and for this to shine on through to my Daughter so that she can be taught good lessons for life and follow on from a good example.

I wish to become more confident both as a Mother and as a person. Since birthing my daughter I have found that I have become more anxious than ever before, this is something that I want to work on and improve. I’ll never be the most confident woman in the room but I want to be able to speak up and step out without fear. Not just for myself, but for my Daughter. I wish for her to grow to be independent and strong with the ability to stand her ground and hold her head with a great confidence.

I wish to become healthier and find happiness in food. I would like to experiment and try out different foods from porridge oats, fruit and chocolate. I want to restore my faith in the kitchen and get back to cooking healthy and nutritional meals to share with my family.

The shopping cart has been filled with goodies of all variety and I hope to continue to keep a healthy balance and a meal plan to regain strength I have lost from years of eating scarcely. I am ready to enjoy food and the benefits of food once again. Enough of skipping proper meals and cutting foods.

I would like to travel some places, first up, Cyprus come April – First family holiday as the three of us. I wish to read more books, a past time that I once loved yet has drifted from me with the recent course of events and a whectic schedule and I wish to plan a special wedding day. I’d love to say that I’d stop biting my nails but that has been a life long habit that I can’t seem to kick, no matter what the year has been!

I sit here and write this with my baby in my arms as we await Euan to arrive home from work. As a family we will be bringing in the New Year with a tin of fizzy juice (full fat, how dare we?!) and a midnight kiss goodnight.

No party animals over here, just two tired parents and a lively baby looking forward to the year ahead and all that it may bring.

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Here is to 2017,the best year of my life to date and to 2018 – let’s try to do one up on this year. Onwards and upwards we go as we carry on our journey into the New Year as a family of three.

Let the wedding planning commence. I wish for you all a very happy New Year, let’s hope it’s good to you all and brings to you the joy that I have experienced from this year.

Happy New Year and all the best, Keren x

A family filled festive Saturday.

Alright, now we are into the beginning of December, time to dig out the old Christmas decorations from the store and get busy… decorating that is. As the first Saturday of the month, we had some time alone just the three of us to enjoy. What better a time than the first weekend of the month to get the decorations up and organised to make way for Christmas day.

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With a busy month ahead and such  little room to add to the calendar, we decided that it was a day to spend as the three of us and enjoy a whole lot of festive treats. First up? Coffee and cake from Starbucks and a trip to Ikea to check out the Christmas stock.

Ikea was a little disappointing, I expected to leave with a bag full of goodies. Tree decorations, chocolate galore, you name it. I already had set my sights on a mini haul of goodies but Ikea failed me. Not on purpose however, the stock that was in store was bland and not to my fancy. I wanted more sparkle and there was a good lack of that in store. Onto the next task.

Having left Ikea disheartened, we headed out to the Disney store to check out the Christmas baubles. Again, there was nothing to our taste and the selection was rather poor. Perhaps we were too late to the game but I felt online had more to offer. Having left the store we venture out to the Christmas Market with Eleanor in tow – she was sleeping soundly and missed out in the chaos of frantic shoppers rushing around.

I’m not a fan of busy. Busy makes me nauseated and uncomfortable, however for the sake of the day, I braved the market in the street. The market didn’t have too many stalls to browse and shop but there were fair ground rides to keep you entertained and an ice skate rink. The ice skating could have been a good way to spend some time but with Eleanor in the Pram, it wasn’t really the time. It was nice to watch the others on the ice for a little though.

There were a selection of huts serving food and drinks. Hot dogs, Pancakes, waffles, mulled wine, hot chocolate. Now we are talking. I opted for a mid afternoon tipple, warm mulled wine. Which left my body Just the right amount of fuzzy. Euan opted for a German hot dog with all the trimmings. Safe to say that we left with happy tummys and a feeling of Christmas cheer.

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Home and onto the main event. The decoration of the tree. Eleanor’s first Christmas,of course this had to be a well documented event. We spent the evening decorating the tree together, hanging decorations as we shined them around Eleanor, trying to introduce her to the idea and concept of Christmas. The tinsel came out to play and I spent some time trying to get Eleanor to grab the tinsel and play with it, she was more interested in her songs that were on the television than the tinsel but I’ll keep at it.

The lights were thrown around the tree and turned on and the Lego train set was put in its place at the bottom of the tree. What’s a Christmas tree without a train set? Especially a Lego train set! I’m not sure how long it will last with the dog running around and the overlap of baby supplies but we will see how we go. I’m feeling optimistic.

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Decorating aside, having had put the tree up, we spent time playing with Eleanor as she babbled away and told us stories. We sang songs together in the form of nursery rhymes, we danced around a little, played with soft and cuddly toys and the tree decorations. I’m super keen to have as much family interaction time that I can with my family and to introduce Eleanor to all of these special events such as Christmas. We had a really lovely time, there was so much fun and laughter from all three of us.

I live for the beautiful gummy smiles that Eleanor gives. Right now, we are seeing so much more of the smiles and hearing her tell stories as she interacts with us. The light in her eyes when you play and interact with her. I wonder what she thinks or feels. I hope she knows just how loved she is. I’ve never been more in love than I am with her. To see the world through her eyes. Ah, my baby.

I know that at just four months old she will not be able to grasp the concept of the holidays and the whole festive spirit but it would be wrong not to try and introduce her to the fun and teach her the ways. I have always loved the Christmas period, I think that this was inflicted on myself from my Mother over the years, she always made Christmas so special. I aim to do the same as she has done for me with my family. After all, what is Christmas without family and a whole lot of love?

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We finished the day with a festive evening spent cuddled up watching movies on the sofa with a hefty helping of popcorn. Jingle all the way and Hacksaw Ridge were the movies of choice before heading off to bed for some big sleeps. I think we definitely deserved the long lie that we had ON Sunday morning. It’s a busy life with a new baby to care for, I tell ya. This mana is tired.

The whole day was so great and to have the time as a family to spend enjoying all of the good things in life is so precious. Family time is the best time, I love it being the three of us and it’s a shame that we can’t get more time together than a few hours of the evening and a Saturday.

It’s certainly a busy life and I don’t know if we are headed for a break any time soon. I’m keen to embrace the time that we have together and to document as much of this time as possible for the times when we can’t be together, I can look back on these memories and smile. Family really is everything.

Hope that you have all had a lovely weekend and spent your time well with your family and loved ones. I wish you all a restful Sunday evening.

Keren x

Maternity leave and Motherhood. Where dreamy expectations meet reality.

The illusion of Motherhood.

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Call me naive but I had great hopes for my spell off work on maternity leave. Maybe, I am just too new at this whole baby game and Motherhood to understand exactly how much work a newborn entails and how little time there is left for leisure.

Perhaps if I had been more in the know and more accepting of a new lifestyle change I’d have not been hit with such a harsh reality and have my illusion of maternity leave shattered. Perhaps if I were wiser, I’d have foreseen that with Motherhood and maternity leave, there are no dreamy illusions.

Let’s get to the point, with a spell of maternity leave from work, I had such great expectations and ideas.

For a start, I believed that I would still be able to get up and get dressed each morning, to pick out a pretty outfit and to do my make up and my hair real nice. I believed I would have the time and then some to feel like myself all while nursing a newborn. My baby would sleep and I would have all the time in the world to take a hot shower and get myself ready each and every day. Yeah right. I was met with a harsh reality. A reality that is now every day life. A reality that is now me.

I’m afraid to say that maternity leave is not all I expected it to be, at least not at this  initial first stage. I lack the time to shower and get myself ready, I don’t have time to bake homely goods and make the dinner that I’ve been perfecting out of the dozens of recipe books I own and I certainly don’t have time to be heading out on leisurely shopping and coffee trips. The only escape I have from my reality is through writing my blog and even with that, I’m still plugged into Motherhood. There’s no escape. I am completely consumed.

I am lucky if I have ten minutes to myself to have a cup of coffee and settle down to one of the books I bought myself as a treat for maternity leave. I cannot watch a TV show without the interruptions of a hungry baby demanding to be fed and I certainly don’t have the opportunity to work on my culinary skills.

In fact, I lack so much time that dinner is a slap up meal that’s come straight out of the oven, or in my case, a bowl of cereal which I dribble all down myself and my baby as I nurse her while I eat with one hand. My fiance has been living on beans and various forms of supermarket frozen meats. The occasional vegetable thrown into the mix for good measure. I swear I will make a good wife yet..

Baking? Well, you can forget that, I can barely make it out to the supermarket alone to collect baking supplies, never mind start the baking in question. I did once love to bake and I wanted to try to improve on this while I have time off to do so.I could becoke and frequent baker and teach my daughter the skills but I have found that i lack the time, the energy and the motivation for any form of creativity right now. The carrot cake has been put on hold. Baking can wait.

Yes, maternity leave was full of high and mighty expectations. I had so much plans. I could join all of the mum and baby clubs, I could have coffee dates daily, go out and take a shopping trip each week – one that wasn’t met with a dose of anxiety as I waited for my baby to kick off and begin to cry and fuss in public. Hell, maybe I could even join the gym and go to some classes in the day time. Meet some new people. Make some new friends.

Friends are something that I lack, and always have. In primary school and even into secondary school I found I never really fitted in to any friendship groups or any clubs. I’ve always been a it of a lone wolf. It’s not that I don’t try to make friends, it’s just I’m a bit socially awkward and as an introvert, I really struggle in a social setting and meeting new people is a very big deal. I also don’t do touching..

Let me elaborate. You know that friendly hug that people do? That friendly peck on the cheek? The type that you never know which way to turn or wether you are meant to return that peck? Yeah? Well, you can guarantee I’m shying away and half way out the door before anyone is touching me. I don’t do hugs.

Shudder.

Let me mention that I’m also a bag of nerves when I’m out alone. Especially these days. I didn’t quite come to imagine this is how life would be spent with my newborn on our maternity leave. I certainly haven’t signed up to any baby clubs and I don’t know if I will. I don’t think it’s for me and I don’t feel I will fit in to the local mum clubs. Does that make me a bad mum?

Most days I spend at home with Eleanor and meet her demands as and when required. Around the clock nappy changes and feeds met with the household tasks in between and whatever I can catch of a TV show. I have become nothing more than a Mother.

The best job in the world some might say and sure, I love being a Mother. I love having my baby and feeling such a string bond with her, a bond I haven’t experienced with any other. I love that I have someone who depends on me, who needs me. I have someone I am responsible for and someone who gives me a reason to be the best I can be. However, I fear that I may be losing my identity at the same time as I find my feet in the journey of  parenthood. I am not really myself anymore, I’m in a mum zone and can only relate to all things baby. My mind doesn’t see past baby and I lose concentration easily.

No, maternity leave is not as creative or as fun as I had hoped. It can be lonely, days can be long and it can be grueling. You get some days when you fail to function. If it weren’t for auto pilot kicking in, I fear I’d not be able to move from my spot on the sofa to see to my baby. That’s the extreme days though and no, not each day is like that.

If and when I enter the outside world, I prefer to have my mum or Euan with me, I can’t stand to be out alone with Eleanor. It’s much easier to take her out with company. I feel less alone and have help at hand if I need it.

I know that I shouldn’t worry if she does fuss while in public, she is after all a baby and it is expected. A great anxiety builds within me each time I leave the home and If I’m alone, all I want to do is run back home before I begin to cry. I feel myself well up and have to try hold back from crying whenever I step out alone. That sounds crazy. I know.

Wait, have I gone crazy?!

Even just nipping five minutes down the road and queuing in the local shop to buy a sandwich and a tin of juice for lunch has my body twitching with nerves. I never used to be so anxious but since having Eleanor, I’ve definitely noticed I have become a bit of a nervous wreck. I can’t pin point why. It’s perhaps just a phase which will pass, I’m sure if I asked any health professional that’s what they would tell me anyway. It seems to be all they tell me.

I had planned to look the part of the stay at home mum, all while making the home look nice and stay that way. I wanted to work on my culinary skills, to bake lots. I wanted to still take the time to look good, not only for myself but for my fiance to admire each time he walked in the door. I didn’t want to have my baby and let myself go.

Yep, I set the standards high for myself and I expected to meet them. It’s safe to say, any standards I has set for myself are regularly not met. I’m on a losing streak.

In honesty, yes I shower every day but I don’t often have the time to dry my hair, make up is either half done or not at all and I don’t have the time to pick out one of the many pretty dresses I own. I live in a £2 Primark bra that kind of fits my swollen breastfeeding breasts, jogging bottoms and a dressing gown with slippers that are too small and squish my toes. Real glamorous.

You can often find me changing from one over worn t shirt to the next in between baby naps due to excessive sweating as a result of breastfeeding and my hormones. Maternity leave will be so much fun she said..

I don’t get the time to sit and read a book with a hot drink, I don’t watch the TV, sure it’s on as background noise but that’s all that it is. I certainly don’t cook and the most nutrition I get is from my daily dose of vitamins – which I swear by, by the way.

I wanted to be the picture of a stay at home mum. The type of mum who plays an active part on the local baby clubs and the mum community. The type which I have come to realise that you only find on those far fetched American TV shows. The TV shows aren’t true to form, trust me. It’s all an illusion and Motherhood is not glamorous.

I wanted to be the type of mum that you see on adverts and wonder how she does it. Wonder how her home can be so clean, her meals so wholesome and her face immaculately painted all with the happy baby in the fresh white baby grow and the smug smile to match. The bitch.

Maternity leave is nothing like I had imagined and I find it quite difficult to adapt to having the time off but failing to meet any of my expectations of this time. I get out with the help from my Mother, I have no friends near by that I can simply just meet up with and even if I could getting out the house is a big effort which leaves me a little drained.

I’ve even began to do the weekly food shop online because getting out to do it was too much of a challenge and it stressed me out to the point that I’d end up in a bad mood and feeling upset.

Maternity leave is like nothing I had imagined. It isn’t glamorous, I don’t get to look nice I often feel like a bit of a hag with terrible eye bags and a headache that does not leave me. I’m tired, nervous and a bit behind on the household tasks.

However,what I have learned during this stage of maternity leave is that I love my baby. I love her so much that almost none of the above matters, what matters is caring for my child,not how good I look or how good I smell as I care for her. What matters is that I raise my baby well and do the best that I can along the way.

Perhaps right now we aren’t fine dining, I’m not in the best shape I have been and the house is a bit dusty. Perhaps I am not top of the mum committee’s and perhaps I am missing out on a good old shopping and lunch trip but this is only right now. It’s just the beginning. Maybe someday I will get it right and I will be able to find the balance. Is there ever a happy balance post baby?

Someday, I’ll be that mum from the adverts and I’ll be able to provide good meals, fresh bakes all while looking good and having the home sparkle. Yeah right…

One can dream, the reality is that life is not how I expected post natal and I didn’t expect to spend my time on maternity leave slumming it but that’s how it is and this is my reality. My baby is happy and my fiance never goes hungry so I suppose I’m winning in my own way. It’s not picture perfect but I am learning to deal with the fact it never will be.

I can’t do it all, no matter how much I would love to. Shout out to all of the mum’s out there doing the best that they can. If your reading this, you are probably most definitely doing better than me.

 

Keren x

No nursery? No problem..

Hush little baby

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I find myself spending a lot of my time looking and swooning over baby nurseries. With just mere weeks before my own child’s arrival due, I can’t help but look. A room decorated to perfection with so much attention paid to every single last detail. New parents awaiting their babies arrival, trying to get it right.

Preparing for a baby is an exciting time, emotions and hormones are all over the place and I have found myself buzzing around in a frantic state trying to get things perfect. Prior to the arrival of a newborn, you want everything to be perfect, to be ready, to provide the best start in life to your child. It is understandable that parents to be spend so much time in baby stores and home stores, decorating the home, the nursery to suit this tiny new humans taste. To have the home ready, to have a room ready for baby, a room fit for that little Prince or Princess. A room to be proud of. A room to represent this new change in lifestyle. It has to be right.

I have a very vivid image in my mind of how I would have wished to decorate a nursery for my baby. I would want everything to be pristine, clean, light and open. Minimalist but fitting. White oak furniture and a wicker feeding chair. A sheepskin rug and few shelving units. I have it all planned out.

The only issue; I live in a one bedroom flat. My baby does not get the luxury of a nursery. We have a ‘baby corner’ in the bedroom. Plastic drawers for storing supplies and materials, clothing and a cot bed. We cannot put any murals or paintings on the wall, due to risk of the wall crumbling above us. Not ideal. Not what I had in mind. Not what I would wish for my first child. but, at this time it is all that we have. We make do. I try to be happy.

I observe the nurseries of others and fill with envy. I wish to have this for my child, a room for my baby. A calm place to sit with them, a room to be alone and to bond. A room to make memories in, a place my child can grow. I thought that when I was to fall pregnant for the first time (I want to have three children), I would be newly engaged, in a good position within my line of work,moved into our first time family home – a real home. It would be the perfect start, the perfect time to welcome baby. A place to grow.

 

 

As I prepare to begin family life, I mull over the fact that this is not what I had in mind. Not my picture perfect heaven. Not how I had ever planned or imagined this to go. Not how I wanted to bring my first born into the world. I think about this and begin to feel sad. I will give a little insight, I reside in a one bed flat in a block of six. I live with my boyfriend and his dog. There is a communal garden, only it doesn’t really amount to much. The neighbors are quiet, just a few others reside in this block. A few flats lie empty. It is peaceful, little bustle.

I have tried to make our home a pleasant and cosy spot. To smell warm, to look cosy and to feel homely. I do my best with what we have. I try to have it lovely and I work hard to maintain things. To keep home in good order and clean. I suppose it is a place to call home, ideal or not, for now, it is all that we have.

I fear that this may be home forever. My child will never experience a bedroom of their own, we will remain living in an over crowded space and my family will never be able to expand or to grow. I can’t have three children as long as we remain here. My child cannot have friends round, we don’t have the space. At this stage, I feel uncertain of our living arrangements, the future and feel helpless. Will my position ever allow us a family home? The unknown worries and stresses me. I feel hopeless, there is little that I can do to better my family and our position. Will this be it? Is this all that I have to offer to my family, my child? Have I already set myself up for failure? Heartbreaking.

My baby is yet to take their first breaths of the outside world. I wonder what life will bring to them. What is in store? I hope for a happy and bright future, for that family home, for good health and happiness. I hope to better myself, to do well and work hard. To get myself into a better position and improve my families situation. I feel that I NEED to do well and succeed. It is not just about me anymore. I am about to become a Mother, I cannot fail my child. They deserve the world. If I could, I would give it to them.

I continuously examine what we have or don’t have for baby. I hope that what we have and what we have done so far will be enough. I hope that I can provide, love and nurture my child. To be the best mum that I can for them. This tiny human whom I can call my own. Right now, my inability to provide some things make me feel that I lack the ability to be a good Mother.

I know that I should be more positive, I have to be. I must be kind to myself but it doesn’t come easy. Especially not at this time, emotions running high, feeling tired. The unknown and fear of the future scares me. I do not know what life will bring. I do not know what I can bring or if the family home I have always desired will ever be in reach. It consumes me with sadness.

I hope to be more positive, for my mood to improve and to feel happier. To feel at peace with life as it stands and to take each day as it comes. After all, we can only work with what we have. This doesn’t make me a bad mum, surely? I am going to try to live in the moment, to think more happy thoughts and to shine through this darkness and fear. The say that good things come to those who wait. I guess I am yet to find this out. If waiting will get me anywhere, if waiting will provide for my family when the time is right. I hope that this is not all that life can provide.

I can only dream of a better future, that picture perfect future that I had predetermined for myself. I have to be thankful and grateful for this time. I feel like I should feel happy, I should feel content and filled of joy but it can be tough. I try. In the mean time, I can only work on doing what I can and being the best that I can. The best Mother, daughter and girlfriend.

     Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction, ends up being the biggest step of your life.