Battling the Big Box

And the award for lazy parenting goes to, Mad Mummy Marshall. That’s how I’ve felt over the past few months. I’ve seriously dropped the ball when it comes to mainly everything, but it’s easy done when your waddling like a penguin and struggling to move due to SPD. And having to charge round after a 3 year old is tough, I really commend those parents that have three or more children, I really don’t know how you do it!
I spent most of my third trimester when I wasn’t working sitting on my bum recovering from working and plopping my daughter in front of the TV.


I would suggest putting on a film and snuggling on the sofa and within minutes we would both be asleep in the early afternoon. But she soon got wise to it and would demand to go to soft play and the day I relented I was seriously punished. It wasn’t just the moving around that was difficult but the fact that I physically couldn’t fit or manoeuvre around the complex was a big factor. At one point I had to rely on a stranger to get my daughter when she had bumped her head and was crying for me, that was tough!
So after that day I decided swimming, or should I say bopping around the pool was a better choice of past time.
But at home it was just easy to put the tv on so I could shut my eyes for half an hour.
Than baby came and not much changed, I was still tired and tv was still an easy option. Deep down I knew it was becoming a problem, so the day I decided to make a change I wasn’t suprised when my daughter looked at me with shock and demanded to know why she couldn’t watch TV.
It had become normal, which had always been a worry for me. I’m the mother that used to restrict tv to an hour a day and now the tv had become a constant norm. Now a month later we have cracked it, she rarely asked to watch it and her toys are getting the use they deserve as toys.
It wasn’t even that difficult to be honest it was just the case of breaking habit and distracting.
The first thing I did was join her to the library and made a point of going every week. I also arranged play dates with her friends and lunch dates with mine. We’ve been so busy she doesn’t get much of a chance to watch TV and when we are home we either do crafts or she asks me to read her books. When the TV has been on she’s even asked to turn it off, I’m one very proud mad mummy and I finally feel in control.

But at times I still feel slightly guilty when she wants me to play and I’m saying in a minute cause I’m feeding the baby or changing nappies, it seems to be my catch phrase at the moment.
I know we all have those moments where we think we could do better as parents, but the important thing is that we know when we have to do better and try and do what we can.


The Question


Well despite me feeling slightly normal and regaining parts of my identity, I was reminded this week that my hormones are still in full control! This week we attended our last week of baby group and it got quite emotional, not because it was our last group, but it was the question we were asked. what are you enjoying most about your baby? Well in true mad mummy fashion I added that being off work was what I was enjoying most, now to be honest that was just a joke. I am enjoying not being at work, until the three year old is asking me the same question over and over and over and over again.
But taking it in seriously and really thinking about the question, it’s always been one thing I’ve enjoyed most about both of my children and that is the gaze. Breastfeeding was very natural for me with my first daughter and I was lucky my daughter took to it so easily. The second time however was not so easy and I’ve always said if it was my first child I may not have continued. But what spured me on through the difficulties was the gaze of my new born, her big eyes taking me in.
Her happy and content face and that loving and lingering look in her big blue eyes!
My first child would not take a bottle no matter how hard we tried but my new born is happy to take my milk from me or a bottle. But this has come with mixed emotions for me, I was going to have more freedom but at what cost, I felt like I had lost a little bit of my exclusivity. However I’ve got over it and every time I put her to my breast nothing else matters. Explaining this to the group brought tears to my eyes because this is my last child and the time goes so quickly.
Recalling to the group the memory of my first child got me so emotional as I realised how special those moments were to me and watching her running around in her usual crazy fashion I knew that she had no recollection of that time. She didn’t remember and it was gut wrenching, it was then I was reassured that it was those moments that made our close bond, that made her so confident and secure.
So Wether I’m breastfeeding or bottle feeding I will hold every moment close to my heart and always remember. I’ll never forget the glare of wonder and comfort and the beautiful sounds of my baby suckling and wimpering and I’ll always remember that question. What are you enjoying most about your baby?


Working parent woes

postit Last week I was presented with my first bill for childcare for when I return to work in August and it’s given me a lot to think about. I’ve been paying nursery fees for 3 years and it was only when my daughter started pre-school last September that we started to use a childminder.
But despite their differences they ultimately have one thing in common and that is they like to take all of my money. I spend roughly 90% of my wages on childcare so the last 3 months have been truly amazing, well the first month after that I went on maternity pay and that sucks big time too.
So now I have two to pay for, although I am lucky that my eldest will start reception in September so I won’t have to pay for two children for long. But I still have to get her dropped off and collected and pay the childminder to look after her till 6pm. So how much do you think I was quoted? Well it was less than £1400 and more than £1250, to be fair my childminder knew this would be a shock and pre-warned . But my husband just said we’re not paying that!
Which led my mind into overdrive, could we afford for me to stay at home, which then led me to freak out and all I could see was me in 4 years sitting in front of people trying to sell myself in job interviews, it makes me shudder just thinking about it!
Not that I’m not good in interview situations, I tend to ramble and let my personality take over, apparently that’s a good thing.
In my experience in being the interviewer I’d much rather hire someone I liked with personality than someone with the skills but no people skills. You can always train someone, well not always, I definitely learnt that, but most of the time. I guess that’s what got me into training, wanting good people to genuinely learn and grow.
But the thought of starting the career ladder again is daunting and I genuinely love my job so it doesn’t seem like an option for me to stay at home. So I’ve thought about using this as an opportunity to move into teaching, do a degree and teacher training course, but the more I think about that the more daunting that seems. Basically I need to stop thinking! Which is kind of what I’ve done, because if I don’t think about it, I don’t have to make a decision and it will all go away, problem solved Ta Dah!!
Not that easy though, is it? I feel like I’m 15 again having to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I didn’t know then and now I just ride at what I’m good at and that’s training and teaching. So I got even more confused when I went to help a friend with a business plan and she suggested that I could be a business advisor and charge people for the privilege of my knowledge. It was a great compliment that she thought I was good enough but it just confused me even more!
So I made a decision and that is to think about it another day and right now enjoy my baby and what’s left of my maternity leave. I’m going to embrace the arts & crafts, enjoy time with my mummy friends and coffee mornings and not stress about something that basically I knew was going to happen. What’s your experience? Did rising child care costs prompt you to change careers or put plans on hold?


Who Are Bronies??


This week has been all about dry nights and my little ponies or MLP as I have learned this week. To say I have been distracted over the past few months would be an understatement, however I have taken my eye off the ball when it comes to getting my crazy threenager dry at nights. But all it took was a sympathetic friend and some wise words of wisdom to give me the kick-start I needed.
So as MLP is the toy of the moment for her we thought we would reward her with an MLP blind bag for a dry night.
(A blind bag is a foil bag with a small random toy) I’m not going to bore you with the success and the failures as there has been an equal amount of both, just know that overall all is going well!(I will do another post all about tackling that one).
But I have learnt something new through out this whole process, and that is I’ve discovered Bronies! Yep that’s what I said, Bronies, for those who don’t know like my husband and I, let me explain.
Bronies are teen and adult men that make up around 70% of the fan kingdom of MLP but what I’ve recently found out is you don’t need to be male to be a Brony, I think the title is just reserved for any teen or adult that is a fan of the MLP show. Just in case there’s any Bronies reading this I do not write this to offend but just to educate.
We stumbled upon this information after researching the Internet trying to work out which blind bags had the characters our daughter wanted.
My husband was intrigued and then went on a Brony fact finding mission, which brought up documentaries and countless articles which all had the same underlining thought, WTF!!
I still really didn’t understand so I did some reading myself and after reading this article I had a much better understanding of the fan base. From what I gather they are slightly misunderstood, and I can see why. But if it makes them as happy as my three year old than who cares what we all think!
My husband however went to great lengths while buying the latest series of MLP blind bags to explain to the lady at the checkout why he was buying them, just incase she too had stumbled across a Brony’s  documentary.  So next time you notice that you’re still watching cartoons when the kids have gone to school or having their naps, or you find yourself wanting to know the outcome when they want to watch something else, don’t feel bad just Remember the Brony’s! There proud and love My Little Ponies!


So, So Tired!!

Waking up early isn’t a problem when you have a 6 week old baby, because most of the time you were up anyways! Having more than 3hrs of consecutive sleep is a real treat for most mom’s in the early weeks. What I’m finding difficult is the dreary cold mornings, it’s so uninviting when you know you have an hours walk ahead of you.
But despite this I haven’t flagged and am still rocking up to the school gates early.
Not always as organised as I think though, for example the other day I woke up at 5:30 had a coffee watched the news and chilled out before the madness ensued. By 7am I was waking everyone up confident in my morning routine as I had got myself already first for a change. It wasn’t until I neared the pre-school gates that I thought back to my morning and couldn’t remember getting my daughter to brush her teeth or clean her face! So much for waking up early, luckily I had wet wipes to hand and a quick wipe over the face and she was good to go!
It’s only my second week of walking and in total I will have walked 30 miles this week, which is 6 miles a day. I’m feeling good, albeit a little sore still and I may need to find a really good chiropodist by the end of the month but I’m not looking at getting a new car any time soon. So far I’ve lost 9lbs and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to see some real results soon. But my eating habits haven’t changed, I’m hungry all the time and I’m spending energy all day. When I’m not walking I’m nursing and I’m already tired due to the lack of sleep, so food is definitely my friend at the moment as it’s the only thing keeping me going, oh and the caffeine!
So I haven’t lost any weight this week but I’m not disheartened and I’m not surprised. I know I should be watching what I’m eating but that’s not proving to be easy. Especially with the weekend looming. Look out for my video update next week by following the link Rantings of a #madmummy to see how I got on over the weekend.


My Crazy Threenager

TyraAround 5 years ago my husband and I were taking a Sunday stroll along the river in Cambridge. It was a beautiful spring day, picturesque.There were people walking their dogs, people out on their bikes, the college boat teams were out on the river, it really was a lovely day and it seemed everyone was making the most of it.
But then out of no where the peaceful ambience was broken with that now all so familiar toddler tantrum sound. My husband and I turned to find a woman and her small son not too far behind us. The boy had a scooter, which seemed to be at the centre of his angry out burst. But not wanting to be nosy or show any concern we continued walking, it was then a few seconds later we heard a big splash. We turned round and could see the mum standing in shock as she told the boy how silly he was for throwing his scooter into the river. At the time my husband and I were also shocked at how calm the mother was and perplexed at how she had seemingly let him get away with his bratty behaviour.
Now fast forward 5 years, and I commend her for keeping her cool in what I can only describe as a highly stressful situation. As now I too have a high maintenance threenager with crazy behavior. It was only before Christmas that I had to leave my shopping and walk out of the supermarket carrying her as she kicked and screamed and I too had an audience, everyone looking at the heavily pregnant lady who can’t control her child. But I have to say that behaviour is a rarity, usually she just doesn’t listen and is way too over excited. I get many comments from strangers that our amused by her confidence and cheekiness and despite her being a girl she is not at all girly. She would never where a dress even when she was 18th months old and it was only the phenomenon of that Disney movie, you know the one! That I credit for her princess interest but still it’s minimal and she has more fun playing with her Ninja Turtles. But with the arrival of her sister I have seen a huge change and it’s hard to believe that this time last year she was still 2. Now I see a little girl and I’m met with a forehead when I ask for a kiss. I went to wake her up the other day and I got told to go away cause she’s still tired.
Her will is stronger than ever now and she’s still crazy but at least now I can reason with her and she understands consequences, which makes punishing her much easier. So now I may not get kisses and cuddles but I get the same question over and over and a question for every answer I give.  However despite how annoying and testing this phase is, I have a feeling I’m gonna miss my crazy threenager just as much as I miss that crazy toddler!


Not so organised!

We got a new toy in the house this week, a new games console. This was a family treat, something that we could all enjoy and I’ve got to say it really is taking my mind off of my constant mind battle between me and my inner skinny me.
Although it may have been too distracting as I turned up at the doctor’s surgery for my 6 week check a whole 24 hours early. Whilst I stood there tapping my details onto the screen it never occurred to me that I had the wrong day. I was simply proud that I had managed to feed the child, nurse the baby and get to the surgery with time to spare. This may seem like a small victory but I had to walk pass the duck pond and deflect numerous request to feed the ducks. For some reason my responses were not justifiable to a three-year old and we found ourselves still having the duck pond discussion as it disappeared round the corner. Apparently ducks don’t eat receipts isn’t a good enough reason to not feed the ducks!
The receptionist seemed quite amused at my blunder and even more so at the struggle I was having trying to keep my child under control as I deflected further questions about buying lip balm at the pharmacy. Then the whole scenario seemed to get worse as she began to question me about my baby and when I had registered her, it was only then I remembered that I had forgotten to pick up the forms that I had filled out two weeks ago, which were laying safe on my desk! I was then reminded that my baby couldn’t be seen until this had been done and was shoved more forms to save me the walk home. So even though the whole trip out of the house had initially seemed like a waste of time at least I had completed a job I should have done two weeks ago, silver lining I suppose!
But then my heart sunk when I enquired when my appointment was, because the following day I had my first baby group. I had never experienced groups with my first child and as I’m fairly new to the area I’ve been invited to the first time mum’s group and I was really looking forward to it. So despite our 6 week check being rather important I rescheduled until next week, and hopefully I’ll be a little more organised and actually get the right day!
I’m now thinking that the games console was a little too distracting! Oh and no Tyra didn’t get her lip balm and ducks still don’t eat receipts!