The first year

Nappy cake by Little Grasshopper

Faith H celebrates her first year as a mummy.

As I give my daughter her bottle and put her down to bed tonight, I find myself looking back over the last year.

She is fast approaching 1 and it is a real milestone birthday. Feelings of paranoia wash over me again, have I really been the best possible parent to her since she arrived last January?

She is a happy little soul, eats well, sleeps well and so I know I should be thankful, but in a funny way, as scared as I was of her when she was just a new-born, I guess it feels almost the same. I pack out my days with play dates and activities, and I thank god for my new found mummy friends. Where would I be without them? Our friendships have solidified over the last year; a bond we may never have known if it had not been our due dates so close to each other!

I try to remember what life was like before we had a baby; social, drunk, fun! Well, we have done some of that since she arrived so check that box. And as for the future, I just hope she loves me, heck, even likes me would be great. My love for her keeps getting stronger and I will do my absolute upmost to have the best relationship with her, give her guidance, encouragement and the confidence to enjoy life to the max!

Roll on the next 18 years! I love being a mummy!

Yummy Mummy week – will you get involved?

Yummy Mummy week

Nicola from MumPanel shares the details of an important initiative to support children with cancer.

Today 10 children in the UK will hear the news they have cancer.

It’s not an easy thing to hear and organisations like CLIC Sargent are there to offer ongoing support to children with cancer and their families.

Just imagine for one moment hearing your child has been diagnosed with cancer and then learning you have to do a 50 mile round trip three times a week for the next year. How would you cope? How would your child cope? How would their siblings cope?

CLIC Sargent offer vital services, from clinical care, to financial support, homes from home so parents can stay with their children during treatment and play specialists to help children deal with their diagnosis.

We want you, as a parent with a powerful voice, to get involved in CLIC Sargent’s Yummy Mummy week 10th-18th March.

We’re hoping as many mums will get involved by signing up at www.yumymummy.org.uk

We’re also looking for bloggers to join in with our Yummy Mummy Week writing prompts and spread the word – you can read more here.

You can also join in on Twitter by using the hashtag #dosomethingyummy

Life overload

Feeling overwhelmed with your life?  Lauren Lloyd has the answer.

Photo: Betsssssy/Creative Commons

I have to admit to feeling slightly overwhelmed with the amount of things that need doing around my house, in my life, throughout the day and every evening.

To be fair, this is most probably because I have got a newborn baby – she is three weeks old today.  She is also my third child, so not only do I have the demands of a little baby to contend with, I also have a three and a five year old who need a fair old amount of entertaining and attending to.

However, today I have seen the light!  I have come up with a genius solution to making your life seem easy, straightforward and stress free. …

One of my best friends has just moved house this weekend.  My husband and I offered to have her three lovely children for the afternoon so she could get on with unpacking boxes, and while many people might see this as a bit of a foolish move, all things considered, I have to say it was absolutely brilliant.  It put a lot of things in perspective.

Taking 6 children to the park makes taking 3 children to the park seem easy.  Feeding 6 children a two course Sunday dinner makes feeding 3 children seem straightforward and achievable.  Bathing 6 children and putting them all in pyjamas ready for bed makes the bedtime routine for 3 children seem like a breeze.  It’s brilliant… all of a sudden our life seems less chaotic, calmer and all together more enjoyable.

In addition to this, our friends with the aforementioned 3 children are a few years older than us and this house move is a move into the hallowed “house for life”.  This particular house happens to have 9 bedrooms, 7 toilets, 3 sinks in the kitchen and an apple orchard in the garden, and is a massive renovation project.  Seeing it has also suddenly made our house seem rather appealing.

We live in a small 3 bedroom detached house.  It is by no means tiny, but our children share a room, and we do feel like we are living on top of each other most of the time, so we are constantly looking for a bigger, better, more suitable home.  However, seeing the enormity of my friend’s house and project, I feel a renewed appreciation for how relatively easy our little house is to manage.  Especially with a newborn and two other children in the equation.   We returned to our house with the belief that we CAN keep on top of all our mess; that we CAN keep it clean; that having 3 children in a small house is a walk in the park compared to having 3 children plus a 9 bedroom house renovation.

So although I have to admit to feeling a teensy weensy bit jealous of all the space our friends have, I also don’t envy the task ahead, and all the work that renovating and running a nine bedroom house entails.  I am so very happy for my friends and the move that they have made into their new house, but as of today, I no longer feel I need to do the same this year, next year or any time soon.

Having said all this, it is Sunday evening.  It is not 8am on a school day.  I am not desperately trying to get out of the door with three little ones through a hallway not big enough to squeeze, let alone swing, a cat.  It is not the middle of the night when one child has woken the other up because they share a room.  In fact I have rather conveniently temporarily forgotten the reality of life with 3 children in a small house.

As I sit here in all the mess, disorder, and amongst all the stuff that is piling up after three weeks of newborn baby chaos, I really must keep hold of the belief that I CAN do this… keep on top of it all, run a house, attend to 3 lovely children… I CAN do it.

…if only I had an ounce of energy to actually get off the sofa!

My Little…Pony?

Pony - Wikipedia Commons

Irina P is enchanted by an unlikely TV show…

Janna changes hobbies often – one day she is a fan of anime, and then tomorrow she joins the forum for Danny Phantom’s fans. Today she plays SIMS and tomorrow she turns her attention to World of Tanks. And so on, endlessly. But My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic seems to have really grabbed her.

I don’t mind: children need something apart from school to keep them interested and happy. Something they have chosen for themselves: I absolutely don’t understand parents who won’t allow their kids to choose their hobbies and activities. But in this case I went a step too far and allowed her to turn me into a fan of the series as well.

I didn’t believe it would ever happen. Little did I know. This simple stories meant initially for little girls definitely have some special charm that quickly enchants people regardless of their age or sex.

One day after watching our daily quota of episodes she told me that she wanted to sew a toy pony. After turning her old jeans into shorts we had some fabric to spare, so we started soon… needless to say I had to do all the sewing, though initially she was going to do it herself.

The samples she showed me on the Net presented work of real masters, and their ponies were even cuter than their drawn originals. But we had to do everything for the first time, figuring out the way to stich the parts together or to attach the eyes just as we were working. And the fabric wasn’t really suitable. But we were determined to finish what we’ve started.

To make a long story short, here is the result of our three-day work. Very amateurish, I know, but if you knew how much effort… well, never mind.

Sometimes mothers need to share their daughters interests and even do something together – or how else do we get closer? This year hasn’t been easy for either of us: Janna has just turned into a teenager, and this transformation has been extremely complicated in many ways. Often I have to yell at her like mad, and then we sit apart, sulking, but the ponies provide a relief, giving us much needed feeling of comfort and unity. At the end of almost every episode my eyes get moist, perhaps, because I project the story onto our own family life, but those are tears of happiness. And if so, who cares that Twilight Sparkle and her friends were initially supposed to be watched by much younger audience?

A dad’s birth story – 16th December, 2007

Crying newborn - Wikipedia Creative Commons

One Born Every Minute returns to Channel 4 at 9pm on 04/01/11 with an episode all about dads. The lovely people at Netmums have invited bloggers to share their birth stories from the dad’s perspective.

We love a good challenge over here on Mums on the Blog, so after Faith H’s partner stepped up yesterday, today our newest Mum on the Blog, Claire Jeffreys introduces her partner’s story…

16th December, 2007

Happy New Year lovely parents! We’ve had a very relaxing time in Northumberland, the homeland of my husband and probably one of the most beautiful places in the world. This year’s festivities has had an added element of excitement, because the J clan have been waiting to welcome grandchild number 9 to the brood.

My sister-in-law was finally taken into hospital, 13 days overdue, to be induced this morning, and a few hours later we all breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed another little boy to the family. At the moment, various family members are gathered around the dinner table, champagne on ice, waiting for the proud dad (now of three boys) to return from the hospital. This may be number 9, but we still want to know every little detail, and each birth is just as exciting, emotional and life-affirming as the last.

It has made me reflect on the birth of my two children, particularly my first. 4 years ago, my husband and I had the most surreal, intense traumatic experience of our lives. We weren’t married then, and had only been together for 5 months when I fell pregnant. So we had to get to know each other pretty quickly. The birth of our son was a massive turning point in our relationship. It’s an occasion we never tire of talking about.

Here are some of my husband’s recollections…

“I felt really helpless! You were 11 days overdue, emotional, exhausted and impatient. I was also emotional, exhausted and impatient. I drove you to hospital on 13th December 2007, expecting that something would happen that day. It wasn’t to be. You were given a bed, but the ward was busy and we were quickly warned that it could be a long wait. You cried. I felt even more helpless. It was also your 30th birthday, and you moaned that this was not how you imagined spending it. I had to leave you at 9pm and I drove home, biting my nails.

To top it all off, I had the added pressure of looking after your mother, who had been staying with us since your due date (2nd December). Now that you were in hospital, I had to cope with her all by myself. We visited you every day, bringing you magazines, tissues and words of encouragement.

Finally, on 15th December, your waters broke. It happened in the early hours – you told me you woke up with a fright, thinking you had wet the bed. Your mum and I came as soon as we got the message, expecting things to be well underway. Again, it wasn’t to be. No contractions, only more frustrated tears. I held your hand as you shuffled up and down the corridor of the maternity ward, desperately trying to kick things off. This was one of the longest days of my life.

At 10pm on Saturday 15th December 2007, you were taken down to the labour ward to be induced. The next few hours are a complete blur. We were all exhausted. You were put on the drip, and cried when the midwife couldn’t find a vein on your wrist. I wondered how on earth you were going to get through childbirth. i helped you to the toilet, drip in tow, and you told me that you didn’t think you could get through this. I didn’t tell you that I was thinking the same thing myself.

After an hour or so, not much was happening, so you sent me home to get a pack of cards. I think you were delirious, but I obliged. I went home, sat on the couch to catch my breath, and promptly fell asleep. I woke up three hours later. I raced back to the hospital. The doors were shut as it was after midnight. Somehow – I can’t quite remember how, but it involved a lot of banging on glass – I got back to the ward and realised I had forgotten the cards. It didn’t matter – you were in the full throes of labour. From that point on, I sat at the top of your bed and you gripped my hand. For six hours. You cried, screamed and told me you couldn’t go on. Somehow, from somewhere, I found the strength to tell you that you could. You found the strength to go on, and to give birth to our beautiful son.

Our boy was born just after 9am on Sunday 16th December 2007. I had never experienced anything like it. I was amazed at what you had done, at what we had created, and at how much noise you made. I think I called you a wild animal – but I meant it in the nicest possible way. From that moment on, my life changed in ways I cannot even put into words.”