What I wish for..

Next year is hard for me to picture. I don’t have a plan for it. It might be the year I get pregnant with my third baby, but we all know that these things don’t always go to plan. It might be the year that I take a leap and leave my permanent job to take another, less permanent one. It might be the year we scrape together enough money to buy a house. Anything could happen, of course, every year, anything could happen. We don’t know what is ahead of us.

But this post isn’t about plans, it is about wishes and hopes.

I hope we are all healthy in 2015, colds and flu’s I can take but don’t strike any of my family down with illness. I hope we are happy in 2015, there will be days of course that are stressful and things that will make us cry but overall a happy year. I want us to move forward, to be closer to our dream of a family home. I want to pour everything into my children, to scaffold them, to allow them to develop and learn to their fullest potential.

I am looking forward to watching my children grow, to hearing my baby learn to talk, to watch the world through their eyes. Whatever happens, I wish for that. I hope for that.

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Christmas gone wrong.

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So this was how Christmas was supposed to go;

Gifts ready for everyone, thoughtfully chosen, spirit spilling out all over the place, Santa visits and mince pies, the news that next year we would have another little person to join our family. Family and friends visits and lots of cheer.

This is how Christmas is shaping up with three days to go:

Mammy has been out of action since Friday evening, my lovely babies have been unwell, we have been home for the past two days watching way too much tv and going stir crazy. We didn’t visit anyone at the weekend and no one was allowed visit us. Operation quarantine.¬†We’ve been on a diet of toast and water, flat 7up and ice pops.¬†Babies have recovered and are off seeing Santa without Mammy who is still bloody sick in bed.

Santa is not ready, at all, Santa hasn’t even started. Also family and friends presents which were to be taken care of with a whole weekend of shopping (why do I leave things so late??) are still woefully absent.

So ready or not body, and body is feeling decidedly not ready, we are going to drag your sick backside out of bed and all around the shops tomorrow.. (any with a loo nearby) and buy any old crap at all that will do people. Slippers, gloves, socks and hats for everyone. Stop complaining you know you use them.

Lord only knows if anyone will stomach Christmas dinner, my favourite. Prosecco and wine are probably off the list. Christmas pints? Hmmm…. no. Visiting babies and older relatives, afraid not on contamination grounds.

Can we have a reprieve? Can we all just agree to put Christmas off for a week or two??

But worse than all of this, the lack of presents, the lack of stomach control, the lack of goodwill and Christmas spirit is this one thing;

The absence of the baby. What was to be our big Christmas surprise has fallen flat and our baby was gone before we ever saw it.

Hope

It’s been over a month now since I started bleeding five and half weeks into my pregnancy. On Tuesday it will be a month since I looked at a pregnancy test announcing that my baby was no longer with us. Today despite drinking nothing stronger than a decaff coffee last night I feel hungover. Massively hungover.

My stomach is nauseous, my head is sore. My bones ache.

On my last three pregnancies this is exactly how I felt. This is when I knew I was pregnant. This would be the point where I would go out and buy another Clearblue pack of tests.

Only this time I am scared. The doctor told us to wait at least one cycle before trying. Have at least one period in case, “there is any residue left in the womb”. Residue, from my baby.

I might be wrong. It may be the start of my period.

And I am terrified that it isn’t, that it is another baby. And I might not get to keep it.

I am also so hopeful. In the bottom of my tummy, underneath all the nausea, underneath all the nerves, underneath all the worries, there is a tiny little spark left, of hope.

I can’t voice it out loud. I can’t say the words, even to my husband, for fear that I am wrong. For fear that by saying it I will somehow make it not happen.

And so it remains here, with the evidence of my last pregnancy, on my blog, unknown to the rest of my world.

Becoming that “boring” Mammy

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I am currently being frozen out by some of my college friends for missing a Christmas party. I also missed someone’s 30th birthday a few months ago. Both required a night away from my children. And guess what? I just didn’t want to go.

These same friends dragged me out to dinner before my baby was a month old “because it will be good for you”. I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t want to leave my tiny bundle and drink glasses of wine and gossip. I had become a boring mammy.

To my friends:

Yes I have changed. My priorities have changed. I don’t want to drink all night and go to clubs. I’m not sorry about it, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. There is nothing wrong with me, I’m not depressed, I’m fully aware that other people with kids go out all night but I just don’t want to right now. I will again but bear with me while my babies are small.

I will meet you for coffee during the day, I will visit you at home. We can go for a walk in the park or stroll around town. I’ll even come without the kids if you want. I just don’t want to spend the night away from them. I don’t want them to look for me in the night and not find me there, I want to kiss them when they wake in the morning. I want to be boring and predictable to them.

I know other mums don’t mind leaving their kids, I know whatshername went and she has three kids. I don’t judge her in the slightest, but don’t judge me either. If my friendship with you is all on your terms then its not really a friendship. If I’m not fun because I’m not getting hammered like I did in college and chatting up guys with you then I guess I’m not fun anymore.

I want you in my life, but you will always come second to my children. I may not have crazy stories to tell you anymore but I will still listen to yours. You can ask about my kids if you want and I promise not to bore you. I might have changed my lifestyle but I still have the same sense of humour I always did, I still have thoughts and opinions, I still care about yours.

So, maybe I am that boring Mammy now, and if you don’t want anything to do with that, that’s ok. I haven’t been bored once since my babies were born, it’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in.

Capturing moments in time

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I used to be good at English in school, I used to write for the sake of writing. As a teenager I wrote stories and poems constantly. Not for an audience but in order to have some direction for that teenage drama and creativity that threatens to explode out of you at that age.

In college I wrote papers and essays. I studied psychology and was provoked to think and to learn. During my post-grad I explored education and philosophy. I adored all of it. I loved nothing more than spending 40 minutes in a lecture hall absorbing. I loved spending hours in the library and in my room constructing essays.

Then I started to work with children and all of my learning because based around their learning, my world was full of phonics and ready steady maths. I researched and learned but all my energies went into teaching and my own writing dwindled to lesson plans due to my workload.

Blogging was supposed to be a way to try and spark those creative juices again. Instead I find that my writing is stunted and amateurish. A potential audience is terrifying. I have yet to let go of my inhibitions and just write. Instead I feel stilted. I haven’t found my voice.

And yet I am living the most amazing experiences. I have given birth, I am watching my children grow, they amaze me on a daily basis. My world has slowed down and filled up. But these experiences are too big for me and my useless attempts to catch them in writing. There is no way to express my love and amazement, the fact that I daily witness small miracles and that these miracles are the most ordinary everyday things.

I wish I could write and capture them, these moments in time that I dread forgetting. These little ordinary things, the chubbiness of their hands, the sound of their voices, their faces. These fleeting things that are changing every day.

So I will write, with my halting, awkward style. Not for an audience but for me, so that when I read back, despite cringing of my lack of talent I might catch a flicker of these moments when they are long gone.

Life’s little anxieties.

I’m not the type of person that people would think of as being anxious. I work as a teacher and so deal with people on a daily basis. I can take an assembly, chair a staff meeting or give a talk to groups of parents without blinking an eye. I’m confident and chatty. Now on career break I go to two mother and toddler group and a library toddler reading hour. I strike up conversations with mums and dads in the playground and the park. I am sociable.

I am also sitting here dreading the doorbell ringing because I hate answering it. Today I know there is a parcel arriving and someone is coming to fix the timer on the heating and I’ve been stressed about it since yesterday. I have no reason to be. But I am. I don’t think I’m alone in this.

I don’t suffer from any anxiety disorder but here is a list of daily little things that make me anxious.

  • Answering the phone. I often let it go to voicemail. If it is a private number I just don’t answer it.
  • Making a phonecall. I have to build myself up to do this. Again I am perfectly capable of making phonecalls, I just hate it. When we moved house I cursed every business that didn’t allow me to change address online.
  • Answering the door. Again I’ll ignore it if I can, signing for parcels, charity collectors, a neighbour or the delivery guy. If my husband is here I will get him to answer.
  • Buses: in particular knowing what the right fare is. Also ticket inspectors, even though I always have a valid ticket.
  • Driving somewhere if I don’t know the route, or if I haven’t worked out beforehand where to park when I get there.
  • Going to restaurants or pubs when I don’t know where the toilets are.
  • Being late. I had a massive row with my husband the last time we went out because going to the bank machine would make us five minutes late for our restaurant reservation. (we live in a pretty chilled out town and I doubt the restaurant even noticed)
  • Spiders, I know scan every room I go into for spiders and if there is one i need to watch it constantly so that I know if it moves.

There is a lot of talk in the media at the moment about mental health, about how it is something we should discuss openly and support people. I am lucky enough to be in good mental health at the moment but we all need to be aware that difficulties can hit any of us at any time. There is no-one who could confidently say that they will never experience mental health problems. No one is immune. As my mother-in-law (a former psychiatric nurse) says “We are all hanging by a thread”

Healthy Lifestyle aka Do I have to??

I used to be healthy.

I used to go to the gym, go for runs around the block, cook nutritious meals, I really did. I would eat a small lunch in work and then cook a meal at home after the gym and not snack in the evening. At the weekends it was take aways and alcohol but my figure never really noticed because I had been good all week.

I now have children. Two beautiful children under the age of three.

I didn’t deprive myself during pregnancy. I craved carbs… a lot… as in all I wanted to eat were white bread rolls. So I did, well if I wanted it it must have been because baby needed it. My eldest was six months old when I got pregnant again. After I had the babies I was feeding them and sleep deprived and constantly starving. Also some well meaning (read evil) people kept arriving at my door bearing biscuits and cake. Most of the time I’m not really that in to biscuits and cake but post babies I inhaled the stuff.

Now my youngest is one and I have officially run out of excuses. I am a stone heavier than I want to be right now, and it is all currently sitting on my stomach and my behind. I don’t fit into any of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I don’t feel fit, I don’t feel strong. So I probably need to address my lifestyle now before I start on a slippery slope.

There is only one tiny problem, I don’t wanna! I am with the babies all day, usually until about 6 or 7 when the other half of me gets home and then about 8-9 the kids are in bed. When on earth do I exercise?? I have a double buggy so I could walk except my eldest now wants out of the buggy walking which is lovely to wear her out, but not exactly the power walk that I need, more of the gentlest of strolls. And I snack constantly because I am at home most of the day.

Any Mammy’s out there want to let me in on the secret of how exactly you look after yourself with kids hanging out of you??