It’s 8.14pm. I’m lying on the bed gently overheating in my new furry slippers, laptop optimistically open and my work emails up but I’m actually starting to daydream because I’m tired. A day in London does that now – packing in five meetings, a snatched lunch and a rush to and from the station. But I enjoy it, punctuating my month with a slice of the capital.
Now late September, school is officially underway and half term discos, books at bedtime and Trick or Treating are already hovering on the horizon. I’m not quite sure where the last few weeks have gone but they’ve hopped, skipped and jumped past me, leaving behind only vague memories of Facebooked school uniform photos and the name tag ironing frenzy.
My work emails are still open (it’s 8.22pm now) and instead of following up with my meeting notes I’m thinking about inventions that would help improve my life. Here are a few that spring to mind:
Non-colour-mixing playdoh – no more inevitable green, sludgy mess – playdoh yellow is always bright and fresh and the special edition pink sparkle version stays forever pink and sparkly
A wearable hair dryer – so I can wander around upstairs hands-free in the morning supervising the children as they hide and refuse to get dressed
The school uniform folder-upper and hanger-upper (because Scrip clearly doesn’t understand the concept) which doubles as a clean clothes sorter and distributor (there’s a theme here)
Never-ending cereal – to avoid the endless squabbles over the last three Shreddies
The shoe auto-organiser (why is there always one child’s shoe missing?)
It’s 8.32pm and I think my curfew might be 9pm tonight. I’ll be dreaming of hairdryers, cereal and playdoh.
As I sit here, one ear on the monitor to check Scrip really is napping and not chatting away to herself, I know that we’ve got a good routine going. We’re living family life with one toddler and managing OK. That’s not to say it’s easy – it’s never easy – but this is our life now and we’re in a pattern. So just the time to throw it all off track by introducing number two into our reasonably balanced equation.
I was reminiscing with a friend this week about the early days and about how hard we both found it – especially with the first (she has three). It’s funny but it’s a Continue reading →
My husband’s cousin was staying with us for a few days this week as she did a course in London (she’s a super-smart Obs and Gyny Senior Registrar). It was lovely to have her up here, but she probably got the impression that this was a completely frantic household (which it can be sometimes) as my husband and I were hardly in at the same time. We had a clash of busy weeks, which meant our Nanny had to do some extra childcare, my in-laws had to fill in for a few hours as I went into town on my day off, I had various events to fit in, my husband was pitching so was out and about and it was generally pretty hectic. It was just one of those weeks.
Anyway, although I feel like I don’t know what day it is, I’m pretty sure it’s Friday and I’m glad of that. I work 4 days a week and it can get busy but I couldn’t keep up this week’s pace permanently – although I’m sure some people do and manage it well. Anyway, in amongst it all there were some nice moments of being in lovely places, enjoying the spring weather and life in London, so here’s a selection of my pics from my soon-to-be-retired iPhone (a new one is arriving tomorrow after a few false starts, fingers firmly crossed).
Sleep’s got to be right up there as one of the, if not the, most talked about topics by parents across the land. At one stage, ‘how’s he/she sleeping?’ was the first question on my lips as I heaved my over-loaded pushchair into a cafe to sit and gulp down strong coffee with a group of other over-tired mums. That stage seemed to last for a while, as I’ve already written about.
It does get better (as I’d reassure my former sleep-deprived self if I could), but then there are lapses. And Continue reading →
If having a baby brings you closer to your partner (which I’d say it has done overall, but maybe not during the third wake up call of the night, with Calpol all over your carpet and a screaming baby in your arms), it also brings you closer to his family.
I know this is a difficult terrain to navigate, but although I’ve always got on with my in-laws, I’ve also always had a very clear line dividing my family and my husband’s. Which I’m sure is normal. I’m a version of myself with them – I wouldn’t be as honest or free with my opinions as I would be with close friends and the family that’s surrounded me my whole life. They’re quite different and I’m aware of the differences.
But having a baby has changed that. It’s made me relax a bit and appreciate them more. I’ve needed them more than I have before – they’re closer in distance than my own parents, and being retired, they were able to dedicate quite of bit of time to helping us in the early weeks, and looking after Scrip for us nowadays.
They really were particularly helpful when we were acclimatising to being new parents. For the first time I couldn’t move the pile of washing or polish the bathroom taps before they arrived – I didn’t have the energy or the focus during the hazy early days. And I couldn’t even refuse when they offered to cook or tidy the kitchen – in fact, I was grateful.
I’ve been planning a blog post about something totally different, but I’m just so tired I can’t muster the words. So instead I’m going to write a bit about being tired. Maybe it will send us both to sleep. I’m certainly ready.
The epidemic started during pregnancy – in those early weeks when I was so exhausted after a day at work the stairs seemed like Everest. Then there was the late pregnancy tiredness, accompanied by the kind of aches and pains I didn’t expect to be experiencing for at least a few more decades. Then the hazy, day/night merging tiredness punctuated by black-out sleeps if I did manage to nap during the day. And finally the ‘up 4 times a night’ tiredness with days fuelled solely by caffeine.