Baby number two?

It’s 2am. She’s wide awake. I know I’m in this for the long haul. She’s not going back to sleep.  This will involve us going downstairs and playing until she’s sleepy and I can start the process of rocking her to sleep. I have to get up at 6:30am. I have back to back meetings. Will we be lucky tonight and be back in bed by 4am?  I purposely don’t look at the clock. When my alarm goes off a couple of hours later I feel like I’ve been asleep for two minutes.  I feel tired.  I feel bloody old.

Lately I’ve been giving serious consideration to the idea of having another child, now that the hideousness of child birth is but a lingering memory (only took 14 months) and our breast feeding fiasco, sorry journey, is behind us (I loved it really but MAN was that hard work).  There’s a big part of me that wants her to have a brother or sister but I honestly don’t know if I can go through this again.

Here is where my head is at:

Age: I’m 36 (nearly 37).  How old is too old for another baby?  I know that women have babies into their late forties now but I’m talking in terms of energy levels.  You can’t deny that you start to feel tired much more quickly as those years tick by.  I had Willow when I was 35. Should I have decided to have children younger when I had more energy or was I right to wait and get a bit of life experience under my belt?  I think that by waiting a little longer I have some smidges of wisdom that I hope to pass on to her and any future child we might have (although god knows this is a VERY different  world to the one I grew up in).  I spent my twenties travelling and hanging out at music festivals.  In my early thirties I built my career.  I’m glad I can set an example for Willow so that she will grow up knowing that she too has the right to make her own life choices about when she starts a family.

Experience: I think the prospect of having another baby is a bit more daunting now I truly know the impact it has on your life.  Gone is the naïve first time pregnant lady with her dreams of strapping the child onto her back and heading off round the world whipping her boob out on demand and having a thoroughly jolly time.  In reality I was ‘crying hysterically at dropping my breast pad in the toilet’ lady who quite frequently had to be peeled off the ceiling by various friends and family.  On the flip side experience could work in our favour as we will be much more prepared on a practical level (we’ve kept all Willow’s baby ‘stuff’ which is probably quite telling in itself about our thoughts on having more children.  Children?  Plural? Hang on a second….)  We would also be slightly less blind sided by the sleep deprivation, colic and cracked nipples (not so much the latter for Anthony).

Finances:  As much as it pains me to say it we would have to think very carefully about if we can afford another baby right now.  Our budget is worked out to the penny.  We certainly can’t afford two lots of nursery fees so if we do decide to go for it we really should wait until Willow is three when we get help with childcare costs.  The last thing I want is for us to be distracted and worried about money when we should be soaking in the bliss of having a newborn in the house (time does really make you forget the reality doesn’t it?)

The existing child. She. Never. Stops. It’s a hundred miles an hour from the moment she wakes (at 5am) to the moment she goes to bed. She’s a little clever clogs and needs constant stimulation or starts rioting. How on earth would I be able to care for two at the same time? I’d be outnumbered and outwitted at every turn. How to you stop a toddler undressing and putting her clothes in the kitchen bin while breastfeeding a new born? (Maybe you don’t?)


A while back I read read Little Love and Sunshine’s awesome blog ‘To the Thirty Something Mums’ https://littlesloveandsunshine.com/2016/07/05/to-the-thirtysomething-mums/ so I revisited it while writing this post. It gave me some perspective and a little bit of hope.  Yes, we’re tired, no we’re not wafty, nubile twenty somethings anymore but this too shall pass.  One day we will be rested and be able to look back on these hectic days and realise how wonderful it actually all is.

Am I overthinking it? Should I take advice from Nike and ‘just do it’? I’d love to hear about your experiences of the reality of having baby number two (and don’t hold back on my account).

Speak soon,

Kat x

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Going for the chop

Going for the chop

I’ve had my hair cut!

“So what?” I hear you say. Well anyone that has known me for a long time will know that this is a big deal. I’ve always had long hair (bar one disastrous episode at university where I went to Toni & Guy and asked for the Meg Ryan razor cut that was popular in the 90s. It did not end

Before

well). It’s been white blond, dark brown and everything in between, sometimes with a fringe, permed in the 80s (what were you thinking mum?) but always long.

As I’m sure you can relate to, after I had Willow sorting my bonce out was the least of my worries. It was always thrown up in a bun to stop Willow swinging from it or trailing strands through her nappy. Long hair does not lend itself well to clambering around baby groups and getting infants in and out of car seats. Washing and drying it became a painful process as I would have to put her in the baby seat in the bathroom while I was in the shower. This was on the understanding that I had a maximum of five minutes before she started screaming and the neighbours came knocking. A tiled room can’t half amplify the shrill cries of a new born – ouch. Then she decided that she was scared of the hair dryer so I usually had to leave it to air dry naturally resulting in my ‘mad mum hair’ ™ again which would lead to it being shoved on top of my head. I’d not bothered to have it cut for ages so to be honest it was looking a bit Ian Beal in his tramp phase and you can only dry shampoo for so long. Five days is my record until it looked like I’d gone prematurely grey and Anthony was imploring me to do something about it (isn’t hair supposed to start washing itself at some point?)

No going back!

When I came back to work I had to start attempting to wrestle my hair into a semi-professional style and it dawned on me how long it actually took to dry and style long hair. Every second counts in the morning now so that’s how I found myself at the hairdressers asking the lovely young lady there to cut it to my shoulders. “Are you sure?” she asked eying me up to make sure I wasn’t having some sort of Britany moment. “Yep, go for it” I said and I am so glad I did. It was like some sort of cathartic experience. The weight literally and metaphorically fell of my shoulders. I said goodbye to ‘maternity’ me (who I love dearly but I needed to let go of and embrace the next phase of my life) and said hello to the old me,’working’ me that I knew was lurking around somewhere under the pile of nappies and breast pads. It’s not a drastic change granted but I now have a style that dries quickly, looks healthy and suits my work and personal lifestyle. Win win! Also, aside from having to listen to some very loud music

After!

(I literally didn’t recognise any of the songs #old), it was lovely to have a couple of hours to myself to sit, drink a hot brew, make small talk and ready trashy magazines (again I didn’t recognise anyone in them #doubleold).

Now I’m the last person that you’ll probably come to for any hair or beauty advice but if you’re thinking of going for the chop or updating your style, I say do it! Do it for you mama! I’d love to hear about your hair style choices – good and bad! Pictures too if you’re brave enough….

Speak soon.

Kat x

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The Rocking Motherhood Challenge

I’ve been wanting to do this challenge for ages so thank you to the lovely Mrs Mummy Harris for the nomination. We’re all rocking mama hood in our own individual way every day, I think we just don’t realise it! It was nice to take stock of my parenting rollercoaster so far and have a think about what I do that rocks. We should all be very proud of

My world

ourselves for doing this insanely hard ‘job’ and celebrate our achievements (even if it is just remembering to brush your teeth in the morning!) You all rock mamas!

 

When I was thinking about my ten things I asked Anthony what he thought. He ummed and ahed for a while then said (in all seriousness) “You look good pushing a pram.” WTF? Thanks very much mate.  Fourteen months in and that’s all you can think of!  For the sake of our relationship I didn’t press him any further and came up with my own ideas:

 

 

 

  1. I’ve found my inner lioness. Not that I was shy and retiring before but now I have a cub to protect and god help anyone who tries to hurt the most precious thing in my life.
  2. We love a good kitchen disco. Every time a great tune comes on the radio we crank up the volume and have a boogie on the lino. We are quite literally rocking it.
  3. I breastfed until Willow was nine months old when it came to a natural end. I’d still be doing it now but I let her lead when she wanted to stop. It was a difficult and tiring journey at first but I’m super proud of myself for sticking with it.
  4. I stopped listening to ‘advice’ from other people about how to parent. I know everyone always had the best of intentions but once I concentrated on doing what was best for us and our family, things got much easier and calmer for everyone.
  5. I work full time but my job is important to me and I can be both mama and career girl. It’s hectic and yes there is guilt about leaving her but she’s happy and thriving at nursery. I think we all need our own time to feel like ‘us’ no matter how you do it. For me that’s work and I feel like I’m setting a good example for Willow when the time comes for her to have a family and has to make decisions about work.
  6. Equal parenting. Anthony and I share the load across all aspects of bringing Willow up and I think I rock for doing this. I can’t do it by myself and am the first to admit it. Sharing our responsibilities means that Anthony has built up an amazing bond with Willow, particularly because we were lucky enough for him to take some paternity leave.
  7. I am the sugar police so we hardly have any sugary food in our house (except for Anthony’s secret stash of biscuits) so I’m proud that Willow loves healthy food. She points at the fruit bowl all the time (so much so we had to move it because she wanted to eat bananas and mandarins for every meal) and loves Sunday dinners because of all the different types of veg in her bowl. I don’t enjoy picking rogue peas out of the carpet though.
  8. I’m proud to say that Willow is brought up in an environment of tolerance and love – shove off Trump! It’s really important to us that she grows up to respect differences and that everyone is entitled to love who they want and follow any faith they want without fear of persecution. My little girl will know her worth and her right to achieve all her dreams regardless of what anyone says.
  9. We look out for new experiences for Willow as much as we can whether it’s a trip to a farm (she loves animals!), the beach (she loves sand!), an aquarium (she loves fishes!) or a nature park (she loves the mud!) Wherever we go we let her explore her surroundings and try and let her lead where she wants to go and what she wants to do. We love watching her taking everything in, touching things and squealing with delights at new sounds, tastes and sights. We’re planning on taking her to her first festival this summer – I’m so excited!
  10. I’m not a perfect mama, nor do I strive to be because therein lies the route to madness. I’ve made my fair share of parenting mistakes which Willow has largely forgiven me for. I rock because sometimes I just have to say “OK, that was a bit shit”, learn from it and move on. No point crying over spilled breast milk!

So that’s me!

The Rules:

1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.

2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10. I really don’t mind).

3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.

4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

Here are my nominations:
Emilie at Parenting With Biscuits

Selena at My Rambling Thoughts

Katie at The Sqirmy Popple

Don’t forget to tag me in your post when you publish it so I can have a read and share!

Kat x

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Morning madness (why do I never learn….?)

Ah the morning ‘routine’ (I use the term loosely). Every week day morning I’m whirling around in a vortex of mascara, nappies, dry shampoo, Weetabix and nursery bags, sucking up anything and everything in my path.  The whirlwind eventually spits me out a harassed woman on the edge at my desk by 9am feeling like I’ve done a day’s work already.

And every god damn day I convince myself I’m going to be organised. Enough of the madness; tomorrow I will be prepared.  Here’s what I promise myself I will do that evening:

  • Iron my work clothes
  • Wash and dry my hair
  • Make a packed lunch
  • Get Willow’s nursery clothes out ready
  • Pack her nursery bag
  • Get into bed by 10pm

What could possibly go wrong?

By 5pm my resolution is waning, I’m tired, I’m hungry, I have to collect Willow from nursery and the whole play, tea, bath and bed charade is looming in front of me.  So here’s what actually happens:

  • We usually don’t get to eat our evening meal until after 8pm, fraught from  bedtime negotiations and attempting to put the house back together.
  • I’m still up at 11pm in a vegetative state watching some rubbish on TV mentally chastising myself that I should have gone to bed an hour ago. I still don’t move. Hair is not washed or dried. Idiot.
  • I have to get up at 6:30am, knackered because of the pointless TV watching, but this is the only way I’ll get my hair washed and dried and a smattering of makeup applied before Willow wakes up.
  • I grab clothes of the ‘clean’ pile that look the least crumpled.
  • I consider making a sandwich for my lunch then Willow will launch her breakfast everywhere and the thought is forgotten only to be regretted later on when I’m stuck with a crusty cheese sandwich from the canteen at work.
  • I wear my dressing gown over my work clothes to prevent being covered in Weetabix, snot, and or toothpaste. The result is slightly crumpled clothes now look like they have been trampled on by a rhino.
  • I remember to pack Willow’s nursery bag as we are leaving the house but only because I see it hanging on her hook by the door and am reminded to do so.
  • I run out the door, wrestle Willow into her car seat and vow that I’m going to be more organised that night.


Sound familiar?  I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this morning shambles.  People tell me it will get easier.  Whatever.

Any suggestions for getting my ass organised? Or am I a lost cause – you can say it, we’re friends.

Speak soon

Kat x

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Diary of An Imperfect Mum
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I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date! 

This blog is part moan, part apology.

I’m sorry if I forget your birthday or your child’s birthday or your wedding anniversary or your dog’s naming day or any other special occasion that requires marking. I’m putting it out there because it will happen. Not because I don’t care, or have turned Jehovah’s Witness but genuinely because if I remember to clean my teeth in the morning I count that as a good day.

These days I constantly find myself apologising for forgetting things. I’m like the March Hare bounding about checking the 21st century equivalent of the pocket watch – my iPhone calendar. I always get there in the end, with cards and gifts (well nearly, I still owe my lovely friend Kate a birthday pressie for last May but she’s really tricky to buy for) I’m just a bit tardy. It’s the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ that overwhelms me. These days there are so many things you have to remember to do – a Facebook post, WhatsApp message, cards, email, gift…. How about I sky write you a message too?  Don’t even get me started on the trend for making homemade gifts.  No I don’t have the time or skills to knit you a scarf, whip up a batch of jam or make you a Welsh Dresser.  If I do remember then there is the gift etiquette to consider. How much to spend? Too little and you look cheap, too much and you look flashy (rest assured my budget dictates I’m always leaning more towards the cheap side of things) Then there’s the wrapping – paper or bag or both? Bow, ribbon, gift tag, tropical butterfly that flutters out once opened? Too. Much. Pressure.


I sound like a right miso and I’m really not. I love special occasions, in fact birthdays are the only time my friends and I manage to get together such are our stupidly hectic schedules. I’m just imploring us all to cut each other some slack. We have so many balls in the air (actually it’s more like juggling with chain saws) keeping  the small humans alive. In the grand scheme of things is it not better to be a bit late than not remember at all (and perhaps your gift will be wrapped in newspaper)?

For what it’s worth, here’s what I think about this thorny subject: It’s not a competition, it’s the thought that counts and I love you all lots 365 days a year.  Not just on your birthday (if you could just remind me when that is again….?)

Speak soon

Kat x

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Diary of An Imperfect Mum

Under the sea…..

Urgh January, it’s cold, it’s damp, it’s generally grim. Seeing as I don’t want to set foot out the house and leave the snuggly warmth of our log burner I thought I would reminisce about happier times and our trip to the Sealife Centre in Blackpool last year.

We decided to go for Willow’s first birthday at the end of November. The original plan was to go to the zoo but it was so cold on the day we thought that we (ie.me who is always freezing and would be moaning within the first five minutes of getting out of the car) wouldn’t really enjoy it, so the Sealife Centre seemed to be the next best thing.

I wasn’t really expecting much, as well, it’s Blackpool. I thought it would be tacky with a few sad looking fish in some grotty tanks (it’s ok I live here, I can say it) but it really wasn’t.  In fact it was the complete opposite. We had a voucher to get in which gave us £5 off per adult but it still came to £25 which I think is a little pricey, especially if you have older children that you have to pay for as well. I think they sometimes have offers on and I think you can buy a yearly pass which works out cheaper.  Also you can come and go as many times as you want in a day, say if you want to nip out for some lunch.

Anyway, far from it being tacky it was actually really fun and educational – for me the perfect combo!Of course Willow is too little to take in the educational side of things but they massively support sea conservation projects and aim to teach children about protecting the earth’s waters and sea life.

There is a lift to the aquarium so perfect for prams and little legs. They also have a pram park at the start if you don’t want to take your pram round which, if it’s busy, could be a bit of a pain. It’s probably worth noting that as it was the end of November it wasn’t very busy so we could see everything at leisure.  I suspect at busy times you may have to wait to get near a tank or queue to see things.

Willow was a bit reticent at first and clung to one of us like a limpet (get it? Sorry.) I think this was because it is low lit and to be honest she’d never seen real fish before. She soon got into it though.  Following the fish about, pointing, laughing and touching the glass.  It was hilarious to watch her as she thought she could go through the glass to be with the fishes.

She got really brave and stuck her head in the glass bubbles which make it feel like you are in the tanks. She literally squealed with delight.  Visually it was so stimulating for her, the movement, the light hitting the water.  She loved it.  I thought she might have been a bit frightened to go in the tunnel but she loved watching the sharks and rays gliding over our heads.  In fact she didn’t want to come out of that bit and got into a grump.  Of course because she enjoyed it so much we enjoyed it all the more too.

We kept missing them but they hsve feeding session for different fish throughout the day. I really wanted to see the shark feeding but Willow was obsessed with the ‘Nemo’ fish so we stayed at that tank instead.  We let her set the pace for getting round which worked really well.

I would definitely recommend the Sealife Centre for a family day out. For babies and toddlers they can soak up the new sights and sounds and for older children they can learn, touch starfish and get involved in conservation projects.


I think I’m legally obliged to say that the Sealife Centre didn’t ask me to write this. These are my own views but it was so lovely I wanted to share it with you and hopefully inspire you to visit something similar.

Have you got any aquarium/zoo/wildlife park suggestions (preferably in the North West area). Willow loves animals so we’re keen to start going to as many as possible – it just needs to warm up a little for mummy first!

Speak soon

Kat x

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My 2017 blogging resolutions


Happy new year!  I hope your Christmas was fab and sparkly and largely devoid of familial melt downs.

I was really crap in December and didn’t write any blogs because Christmas totally got the better of me and acting as Willow’s social secretary was bloody exhausting (but super fun).

So sorry about that but I’m back now and feeling refreshed – kind of. I’m still sweating Brie and Baileys. Does that count as a New Year de-tox? Deffo.

Anyway, I’m writing down my blogging ‘resolutions’ for 2017 and expect you all to hold me to them. Please feel free to give me a virtual kick if you think I’m slacking.

  1. Manage my time better. I work full time so have been trying to write in the evenings when I’m usually tired and not at my creative best. This year I’m going to try and set aside some time at weekends (subject to negotiations with Anthony) to see if this suits me better.
  2. Go with the writing flow. I work in communications where content is drafted, reviewed, redrafted and signed off before being published. I’ve been applying this mind set to my blog but I think I just need to go with the flow a bit more. Nobody is expecting it to be perfect, I’m not going for a Pulitzer for Christ’s sake! This should help me with time management too.
  3. Work on my brand. I’ve been playing around with some of the free apps out there to create a logo. Having a consistent logo and theme will help make my blog more recognisable and searchable so this is definitely high on my to do list.
  4. Link up my social media accounts. I’m obsessed with Instagram but I know I need to spend more time on my Twitter and Facebook pages too.
  5. Take part in more Linkys. I started to do this towards the end of last year and really enjoyed discovering new blogs and interacting with other bloggers but it is time consuming. I’ve decided the answer is to try and get away from my desk at lunch times to take part – Lunch time Linkys!
  6. Go to a blogging event. If you’re thinking of going to one and want a buddy, give me a shout!
  7. Pay off my credit card. OK I know this isn’t related to my blog but I really need to get on top of this shiz so I’m writing it down in as many places as possible….

Most of all I just want to continue to enjoy writing and not put myself under pressure . There are times when family life means I’m too busy or I’m just genuinely dog tired but that’s ok.  I’m sure you all understand this and will let me (and each other) off once in a while.

Any advice or help on the above would be received with a million squishes (non negotiable).

Speak soon

Kat x

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