Doing a poo is harder work.
Dudes, I am no longer pregnant, so why the hell do I still have hard as concrete poos? Could it be all of the SHIT I eat? Yeah probably, but seriously, I HAVE 2 BABIES when am I supposed to find time to feed myself properly? I have a hard enough time making sure I feed my toddler. Surely coffee and chocolate constitutes a balanced meal?
Poo rant over. What is a post from me without the mention of poo anyway.
I have a 17 month old and a 7 week old. That is a whole lot of baby to look after.
I have to say it has been better than I thought it was going to be. A lot of the things I was worried about have not come to pass. H is a super chilled, super star, super fantastic baby. She is totally my best one yet! And yes, I realise that I am really really REALLY freaking lucky to have such an angel. Things could be a whole lot worse. I believe she is my pay off for having survived a house full of doodles for so long.
Right now, both of my babies are having a nap AT THE SAME TIME. Not quite sure how I managed that, but rather than catch up on a few zzzs I feel compelled to catch up with my blog. So here I am.
D went back to work last week, so I have been on my own with the babies for nearly 2 weeks. At first I was a tad nervous about how it was going to go down. T had been going through a bit of a stormy (I’m going to stab myself in the eye if you whine/have a tantrum/scratch at my face/throw your food again) phase and I wasn’t sure I’d be patient enough to handle him with grace while also having to look after a helpless and needy little baby. How was I going to be able to divide my time between the two of them and keep them both happy (and clean and fed and alive)?
While D was home he took on the lions share of T duties for me so I could focus my time on H and recovering. So he got up with T in the morning and did breakfast, drove the big boys too and from school, took T out with him here and there and for rides on the bike which gave me a lot of time to rest and generally have my boobs out round the clock for hungry H. However, while it was wonderful having D home, and I really don’t know how I would have coped without him in the early days, I was kind of looking forward to some quiet time so T, H and I could find our groove and I could work on putting some ‘systems’ into place to make my days run smoothly.
It’s been good. Actually, it has been great. T has calmed right down and his sunny side has shone through. My wonder weeks app told me that he has just gone through a major developmental leap and now he is a baby genius. And H? Well, she is just sweet and chilled.
This is how I manage (my 2 baby systems):
- Try and get out or do something each morning. I do not know how mums who do not drive get through each and every day. I get the worst cabin fever if I am stuck at home for too long and I am sure T feels the same way. Our days always run much smoother if we get out and about. I go to a playgroup once a week, set up playdates with friends and their babies, find something that I MUST BUY whether it be nappies or rubber bands or fly spray or tictacs and use that as an excuse to pack the babies up and go to the shops. I order a hot chocolate and take it into the parents rooms where T can play in the play area and I can nurse H. Quite often I can have a chat with other mums doing the same thing as me. And maybe, just maybe T will be happy enough in his pram to let me cruise the shops for a bargain or two.I always make sure T has his morning tea while we are out and then I wrap up the morning activity around 11ish to get home in time for his nap time. Because seriously, dudes, nobody and nothing messes with nap time. Mumma Bear fucking NEEDS this hour and a half every day to SURVIVE!
- If I cannot get out in the morning, I make sure we do something busy at home, like today, we cleaned up and vacuumed the house while H slept. T loves to help vacuum so first we tidy up one area and I vacuum it. Then I give him the vac (turn down the suction and shorten the nozzle so it is just like one of those kiddy toy vacs, but this one actually works!) to get to work while I go into the next room and tidy it. Rinse and repeat until all the rooms are done! A handy little system if I do say so myself, and as an added bonus the floor gets a double vacuum. Child labour at best. Gotta train ’em young.
- T loves to help with the washing. I can always put a smile on his face with the simple words, ‘want to help me hang out/fold the washing?’
- Baby Einstein/Psy/Sesame Street Celebrity songs on YouTube. When all else fails whack on a Baby Einstein episode and not only do you get a moment to breathe you can also make your baby smarter. Or make them dance Gangnam Style.
- Number 5 is possibly the most important of all my systems and it involves the dreaded ‘sleep training‘ or as I like to call it ‘sanity’. If you have followed my blog from the early days you will know that I am a big advocate of teaching your babies the skills they need to become independent sleepers. I consider this to be one of the most important lessons we can teach them while they are young.
I realise that my way might not be for everyone and you might be happy to co-sleep or rock/nurse to sleep – whatever works for you. Peace, love and mung beans to all parenting and baby sleeping styles but for me, having nursed and rocked K to sleep until it turned around and bit me in the arse, I knew that I wanted to teach T good independent sleeping habits from the start. It wasn’t easy, but I did start teaching him from about 5/6 weeks, and did so without letting him cry himself to sleep – so get off your soapboxes and put away your pitchforks if you are about to shoot me down. I am not evil.
With Princess H, I was mindful of the fact that I would not have the time to sit with her while I patted her bottom for 20 minutes so she could fall asleep. God knows what damage Cyclone T could do left to his own devices for 20 minutes! H’s winding down to sleep routine would have to be a quick one. I could pat her bottom 20 times, but not for 20 minutes. I needed to get to the point where I could say, ‘Right T, we need to put H to bed. Say goodnight to H, kiss kiss.’ Put her to bed and walk out. My friends, I can cautiously say that I think I’ve nailed it. I know, I am the baby sleep champion!!!
Realistically, I know that her awesome sleep skills are mainly to do with her laid back temperament, but I like to think that my sleep guru skills played a big part, or at least that is what I want all the domestic goddesses to think. If I can’t be the ideal housewife and bake a cake with one hand and clean a toilet with the other, while giving my husband a blowjob and providing the children with wholesome craft activities, then I’d like to kick all those bloody perfect bitches butts in the sleep stakes. So if you see me down in the local parents room sipping a chai latte, bragging about how fantastic I am – wink wink – just go along with it.
While I have said things have been good, do not mistake that for things have been easy. It was never going to be easy. It’s bloody hard work. I have to be ON from the moment I get up until I go to bed, and even then, let’s face it I am always on. Even in sleep I still have one ear listening out for babies crying.
I must read the same books 492648600274529057532 a day to T (while nursing H with one hand and turning pages with the other), and each time I have to read it with as much enthusiasm as the first time I read it. Everything has to be a game and I am constantly watching T so he doesn’t poke H in the eye or pat her a little too vigorously. He loves her so much but sometimes his idea of love can be a tad heavy handed.
The hardest part of the day by far has been T’s dinner/bath times. If D is home it is ok, but when he is out it can get pretty crazy as it seemed to be the only time of the day that both babies were really needing me at the same time. I’d be getting T’s dinner ready one handed while holding H with T weaving between my legs on the floor. Then feeding him one handed while nursing H or bouncing her with my foot in the bouncer. Multitasking at its best. I’d bath T while H watched on. She would cry, then I’d be juggling holding her and drying and dressing T. It was stressful. Quite often I would have to call on K to come and be a parent with me.
But the last few nights we’ve turned a bit of a corner. I have managed to get H to nap while T has his dinner and bath, she wakes up for a feed and then T goes to bed. Following that, H has a bath and then a top up feed and she goes to bed! I’m loving this! Systems and routines are working for me.
I just hope now that I have put all off this goodness out there, the universe doesn’t turn around and bitch slap me up side the head and ruin things for me. I hope I haven’t been lulled into a false sense of security and H is going to turn into crazy up-all-night-screamer. Time will tell peeps, so watch this space for an update!