The joys of renting. The crisis pending.

We are not homeowners. First we spent most of our 20’s in education, then we got married and our children followed soon after, all of which exhausted our savings accounts. We were living in Dublin and completely priced out of the area we were living in. We decided to move back down the country to have a better quality of life for our children. We had been saving anything extra since into our deposit fund. That came to a halt when I went on career break to stay home with the little ones. We have a little bit saved, nowhere near the (potential) 20% that we may need to buy but we will persevere.

For the moment we are tenants. We pay rent every month for a house which we call home. And while we pay rent it is our home. Landlords presumably understand this right? We deal with an estate agent who should certainly understand it. I missed a call from the estate agent while at the doctors the other day. We have been waiting for someone to come and fix a few bits in the house that were supposed to be done when we moved in but weren’t. The estate agent left a message saying that someone was on the way and if I wasn’t there he had given him to key to come in himself?? A key, for my home, to a man I don’t know from Adam to let himself in without my prior permission??

Why are you treated as less than if you are renting? My friend who is also renting had her estate agent say to her “Why is it that you are not in a position to buy?” when the house she was renting went up for sale.

Is it the Irish obsession with home ownership? Are people who are renting looked down on? It is such an unstable time to be a tenant and such an impossible time to buy. The situation is all over the news with the dire circumstances some people have found themselves in. People are becoming homeless in many areas as rents skyrocket. We both had full time jobs with the public service and struggled with Dublin rents. We both have full time jobs with the public service and are struggling to buy. How on earth are people who are not in such a lucky situation as us going to cope?

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The best of times.

Before I had my children, the best of times were big events. They were gigs, birthday parties, nights out, holidays. Times that were different to the norm. Times when I stepped outside my “normal” life, everyday life.

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The best of times before babies

Now the best of times are the everyday. The best of times are walks in the park, baths, going to the supermarket or the library. Snuggling at bedtime, cleaning snots and getting kisses. We are wholeheartedly living our normal lives.

When my first daughter was born my uncle wrote in her card. “Congratulations, well that’s it isn’t it, the meaning of life is life”

And it is true for us. They have given my life meaning, they have given my early mornings meaning when I hear “MAMA!” being screamed through the monitor. They brighten every day. When I am down they still jump up and down on me and don’t give me a moments peace and they drag me out of any slump.

So much as I miss the freedom of my life before them, my life with them is infinitely, endlessly better.

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The best of times now

The countdown begins… dun dun dun…

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Just checking that it is still November.. it is right? Christmas panic among the mammy’s in our area has truly set in. As evidenced by the conversation at mammy and baby group this morning.

One Mammy turned to me and seeing my girls said “Oh you have girls, are you trying to get the Frozen dolls?” Emm.. no my eldest is two! Apparently the local toy store has sold out of Frozen dolls, there is a consignment due on Wednesday according to the mum who had been there this morning. One mammy is sending her husband around to all the toy shops in Dublin after work (poor husband),  another is getting her friends to send them over from London.

Now I know mine are little but really?? Can’t Santy just be out of Frozen dolls? Can’t the kids be distracted by something else? Is the Santy list now an order form?

After all the frozen panic one Mam sighed and said “well at least in 5 weeks it will all be over…”

Have all the Mammy’s lost the Christmas spirit already??

 

Biochemical Pregnancy

The official line is now that my pregnancy was a biochemical pregnancy. According to the early pregnancy unit this is where the egg was fertilised but didn’t implant in the lining of the womb. Last week I started to bleed at five and a half weeks pregnant. The doctor said that in the absence of heavy bleeding or pain I was to wait and test again a week later at which stage if the result was positive I would go for an ultrasound.

I tested this week and the test was negative. No further action required. Baby has been and gone. And so we are grieving the idea of our baby. The one that was due on the 8th of July. The one we were going to surprise the grandparents with at Christmas. The little secret myself and my husband have smiled about and planned for. The little lentil that we will never get to know.

And the world keeps turning.

Threatened Miscarraige

At the moment it is being called a threatened miscarraige. I started bleeding on Tuesday. I’m only five weeks. Next week we are to take another pregnancy test to see if baby has somehow, miraculously, managed to stay with me and then get a scan to see whats going on inside. I haven’t stopped crying.

I know that this is a tiny baby. I know that we only knew for a few weeks but I had already fitted this baby into our family. I had envisioned the crib back beside my bed. I had gotten excited about telling everyone at Christmas time. I had imagined a brother or sister for my girls, imagined them all growing up together.

We haven’t told anyone about the baby so I can’t talk to anyone about this either. I want to tell my Mum but don’t really know if it is fair to upset someone else over this. I know she would worry and next week seems like a long way away before we really know what is going on. And so you, cyperspace, will know about it. So at least I can say, yes there was a baby. A teeny tiny lentil baby.

 

Success: What I want for my children

We all want something for our children. We all envision the life we want them to live. I want my children to be successful. I want them to have the best of everything in life. I want them to life life to the fullest.

I want them to understand what it means to be successful. To me success means living the life that you want to live. It means understanding who you are and what you want from life. Success is different for everyone.

This is how I want my children to live their lives;

Do something that you love. Something that interests you on a daily basis. Something that makes you think. Don’t do a job purely for the money. If you wake in the morning and get out of bed to go happily about your day then you are there. You can be a train driver or a pilot or a marketing executive or a hairdresser, a doctor or a garda or an animator. Do what fits you.

Find someone who you love, and who loves you, completely, all of you. When you are waiting for this person never settle, never believe that you are worth less than you are. If that person doesn’t come along remember you already have a family that loves you. Cultivate your friendships. Fill your life with people who make your day better for seeing them.

Do things you love daily: read, walk, jump out of aeroplanes, whatever makes you happy. Do it often. Go backpacking in Asia or go caravaning in Tramore. Travel to places that appeal to you. You don’t have to go to the far corners of the earth to experience the tranquility of being in a different space. Go clubbing or go to gigs, wear heels or flats, go to a play or to a hurling match.

Find out who you are and don’t let go of it. Don’t try to be anyone else. Who you are is perfect. Trust me; I look at you every day and I think it, other people will too.

 

A day in the life.

I always wonder what other stay at home parents do with their days. How do you cope with all the hours in the day??

As a teacher I loved timetables. Ok english until 9:40, then maths, then break… My whole day used to be so structured. On days that we don’t have mother and toddler groups/ toddler hour in the library etc, I sometimes find all that time stretching out in front of me while I panic thinking of ways to fill it. Do other parents panic like this faced with unplanned days? I feel like I should have “activities” planned in nice little half hour slots but in a full 12 hour day that seems impossible.

Today is an example of what we do all day (not really sure when the day starts with little ones as I was in and out several times last night…but we will go with the actual all out of bed get up time)

8.30: Baby crying on monitor. Go to kids room. Pick up, kisses, two nappies changed. Pick out two sets of clothes, dress. Down to Mammy’s room. Try to dress with one year old literally stuck to my leg, while two year old tries to find anything that she can that is remotely off limits (deodorant, eye cream, tweezers). Brush our teeth. Downstairs.

9.00: Breakfast. Toast for two year old on a cereal strike. Weetabix for little one. Feed little one. Give toast to distract while Mammy eats muesli. Put on youtube nursery rhymes while Mammy goes to the loo and both are strapped into their chairs.

10.00: Playroom. Change a stinker of a nappy. Do an alphabet jigsaw while one year old keeps chewing on pieces and her sister screams at her. Make bottle for little one. Feed at 10.30. Brush hair. Put on coats and hats.

11.00: Pop kids in car. Go back for double buggy, eventually manage to shove it in boot. Off to the supermarket. Pick up some shopping, pack up car.

11.30: Playground. Spent the majority of the time on the swings, pushing both kids until Mammy runs out of energy and suggests a go on the slide. Cue meltdown from First in command, eventually solved by getting her to “teach” her sister how to use the slide.

12.15: Home for lunch: leftover lasagna. Then banana for after, almighty mess left in kitchen. Sigh.

1.30: Naptime a.k.a. Mammy’s favourite time of the day 🙂 Upstairs, First in Command in bed, feed baby, put her down, sneak downstairs. Turn on Monitors, “MAMMY!!! Sing me a song!!!” “Hush you will wake your sister, nap time, no singing” Miraculously this works.

3.30: Up from naps and its playtime! Our current toys de jour are alphabet blocks and a magnetic red riding hood jigsaw.

4:15: Playdough: “Make something; is that a snail? Make him a slug, give him spikes. Make a mermaid. Make the slug a mermaid. He wants to fly, give him wings. Make him a pool” Your wish is my command. Let baby bash playdough while continuously trying to stop her eating in, fail on two occasions.. ooops.

5.00: Telly time! So Mammy can make dinner! Set up kids in front of Dora and go to boil potatoes, Daddy comes home and takes over cooking while Mammy has a lay down on the couch, albeit with two children crawling all over her.

6.00: Dinner. Peas are always a good idea. Takes them ages to catch and eat.

7:00: Playtime; Blocks, pretend food, mostly climbing on Daddy.

8.00: Bedtime! Pj’s, Story, bottle for baby, soothers and then Mammy or Daddy stays until they are asleep (could be 9.30!)

9.30: Mammy and Daddy time! (aka watch crap tv, drink decaff coffee and have half an attempt at some adult conversations)

And then in the morning it all starts all over again!

Three is the magic number?

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My husband and I don’t really plan. When I got pregnant with my second baby our first was 6 months old. It’s not that we don’t understand how contraception works (we do!) we just kind of think “sure feck it, it’ll be fine”. And do you know what? It really was fine. I worried so much before I had my second about how I would cope with her and her sister. When I first saw her all I could think was “Oh look! It’s only you! Why was I worrying?” I don’t know how it is with other mums but once mine are born I feel like I’ve known them forever. It’s like a family member coming home.

That’s not to say that there aren’t days when I am tearing my hair out and when my second was a newborn, my eldest watched WAY too much TV, but overall I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I may not have showered today or pee’d on my own but I am happy.

And now there will be three… I’ve only just gotten used to two and I’m starting to wonder whether we should really have done just a little planning this time. I have two hands, that works fine now because I have two kids, but how will I hold on to a third? My eldest will only be three! Will three car seats fit in the car? And how do you get a kid into the middle car seat?

I keep reminding myself of all the positives. They will be close in age, they will be good company for one another. We love our kids and we will love this one. Once the baby is born we won’t be able to imagine life without him/her.

And we will be happy. Frazzled, tired, impatient at times, but happy.

Lentil

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So little Lentil has announced its arrival in my womb.. Our test reads 1-2 weeks pregnant which makes Lentil a month old.

So far Lentil is fond of:

Making Mammy feel queasy.

Giving Mammy headaches.

Making Mammy want to lay on the couch for most of the day.

Next week we’ll take a trip to the doctor to confirm Lentil’s existence and get signed up with the hospital.

You blog readers will be the only people to know about Lentil until I inevitably give the game away to family before the crucial 12 weeks…