Why recovering from surgery sucks.. when you are a mammy.

Ok so I know I’m very lucky. I only had keyhole surgery. My husband is home for the next two weeks. We have lots of family help. I know it could be worse. But still here’s why recovering from surgery sucks when you are a mammy.

  • I’m not supposed to do any heavy lifting for six weeks, I’m sure the girls probably qualify as heavy but much I hardly think I will make six weeks without lifting them into car seats, high chairs, buggies, cots, for cuddles,
  • I have been in bed pretty much since I got home which is confusing my little ones and upsetting them because they don’t know why I won’t come and play with them.
  • I got my husband to pop them in beside me for bedtime stories only for my eldest to jump on my tummy. I explained to her that the doctor put plasters on mammy’s tummy so she had to be careful, to which she replied excitedly “show me!” I did and she burst into tears! Big proper inconsolable tears. So there’s traumatising the kids ticked off the list.
  • The kids are completely out of routine, being minded by different people all day, so they are out of sorts and cranky, cue mammy guilt.
  • Although the biggest mammy guilt of all is from my little one who just keeps crying for me, at naptime, bedtime etc.
  • Switching off is pretty impossible, I am finding myself shouting questions and instructions at my poor husband from my sickbed. “Did they have their breakfast?” “You would want to start putting their coats on now if you want to be out of here in ten minutes!”
  • No housework for six weeks, oh what bliss… or it would be if someone else would do it, most likely it would end in no clean clothes, a house that is a germ-infested and trip hazardous, no proper meals and a lack of clean dishes.
  • My nurse is pretty busy with my toddlers, which yesterday meant me getting stuck, in pain, at an awkward angle trying to get back into bed on my own because I didn’t want to ask for help while he was putting the girls down for naps.

But on the plus side of it all, my surgeon said that I would be crazy to get pregnant with my gallbladder problems but now it’s gone we can jump right back in.. umm.. well as soon as I can move again… and I’m not in pain..

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Handing over control.

Tomorrow will be my first time in hospital, in a non-maternity hospital. I am going in to get my gallbladder removed, it will be keyhole surgery, it only involves a one night stay, the recovery should be about a week or two. It’s a very common surgery, it has relatively few risks.

But I am a Mammy, which is why I am so worried about it. What if there are complications? What if I end up with a longer hospital stay? What about the girls?

I am going under anesthetic which worries me. I’m sure I’m not alone as a mother to never really fall into a deep sleep. The baby monitor is on the nightstand beside me and I am alert instantly if either baby cries or calls for me. The thought of being completely unconscious doesn’t sit well with me.

As a stay at home Mammy, the girls are with me almost all the time. Despite a wonderful support system, I usually visit our family with my kids but rarely leave them there and go off without them. They are my little shadows. I find handing them over to a timetable of different family members difficult, I worry they will be upset by a change of routine, not get enough naps, be overtired and cranky.

And of course my little ones will be fine. They adore spending time with their grandparents, aunts and uncles. I will be fine, home and resting and back to myself in no time. It seems having children serves to magnify every life event for better or for worse. Things I would have done without blinking now involve a more measured approach.

Because I’m not just myself anymore, I am them.

Changing the world.

I used to want to change the world. I was naive of course but still it’s true. When I was a teenager I told people this when they asked what I wanted to do. I didn’t know how I would achieve this but I knew that it would be spectacular.

When I did my leaving certificate didn’t get my first choice, Psychology, in the first round offer. Instead I got offered a degree in Communications. However on the third round of offers I finally got offered Psychology. This gave me one of those “forks in the road” moments in my life. I received the offer on a Friday and could start whichever course I choose on the following Monday. I had an interest in both. On the Sunday at mass, as I drifted in and out of paying attention trying to pin down a decision in my head one of the Prayers of the Faithful read as follows; “We pray for those who help others out of the darkness”. My light bulb moment. I enrolled in Psychology on the Monday morning.

And I did. I helped people who were walking dark paths. I made changes in their lives. I did a post-grad in Education. I taught children to write and read. I played with them and sang with them. I impacted on their life-long learning. I brought two children into the world and my lives and those of my family are immeasurably changed because of them, for the better. I have seen sides of my siblings that I have never seen before, they adore them and spend hours playing with them. They brighten up our home and the homes of our families. They will continue to brighten peoples lives as they grow.

We all help to brighten the world. We all help other people out of the darkness. We are all changing the world, every day that we are in it, and some amazing souls change it even after they have left. Do not underestimate your impact on the world, look around you and at all the lives that yours has touched. I am changing the world. It’s not in the dramatic sense that I once thought I would. I haven’t cured cancer or ended hunger, but I will continue to change the world, one day at a time.

One Lovely Blog

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Thank you to Crazymadmumof4 and Sabrina for the nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award! It’s a lovely way to get to know a bit more about other bloggers!

Here are seven facts about me:

  1. Although I adore teaching it wasn’t my first love, I started out with a degree in Psychology which I always adored and have unrealistic ideas about returning to someday.
  2. I went to an Irish speaking primary and secondary school.
  3. I took my husbands name when we got married but took the Irish version of it, so although we have the same surname it is in two different languages… awkward me?
  4. I make decisions very quickly. I know where my heart lies and I tend to leap before I look, luckily this usually pays off for me.
  5. I am very law abiding. I hate littering, speeding, parking in disabled spots etc. I think we all live in a society and that we should be working together rather than against each other.
  6. My brother once hired and then fired me in the same week when he was accused by his boss of nepotism, luckily it was only to be a summer job for me.. and in fairness he had already hired my cousin and one of my other brothers 🙂 I come from a very large family.
  7. I drink pints of Smithwicks…. It all started when I was young and wanted to order something that didn’t make me look underage and grew into a love affair!

And now for the nominations;

Ali Coghlan

Speech Therapy Mom

Minis and Mum

The Two Darlings

Stuff and Nothing

The Now Moment

Raising Elves

Confessions of an Irish Mammy

Where is my mind? 

Raising Mighty Girls

 

Position: Stay at home Parent

Role:

The purpose of this role is to provide 24/7 care to your children, which will cover all aspects of physical, mental, emotional, social and cognitive development. This particular role requires high levels of flexibility, patience and quick-thinking.

Key duties associated with this role: 

  • Deal with all nutritional requirements for your children, to include meal planning, shopping and food preparation. May also serve in the role of dietitian and deal with difficult children’s particular meal requests e.g. I don’t like carrots anymore.
  • Undertake all laundry to be completed in the household. Washing and drying essential, ironing not required.
  • Have a responsibility for the personal care of your children to include, dressing, washing, changing of nappies/potty training, nail and hair care.
  • To implement a comprehensive physical education programme on a daily basis compromising activities directed towards “wearing them out”.
  • Develop a social skills programme to ensure the children becoming functioning members of society and abstain from biting, hitting or pushing other members of toddler groups.
  • Deal with all emotional requirements for hugs, kisses and requests to be carried. Must also be capable of dealing with emotional meltdowns and tantrums, most often occurring in public places when you bump into a friend of your mothers.
  • Implement an extensive educational programme that goes beyond turning on Dora the Explorer and telling yourself they are learning Spanish. This programme should include badly constructed crafts, and lots of time spent on the floor doing jigsaws/colouring/playing house and extends to singing nursery rhymes in the car and bedtime stories.

Criteria for Applicants: 

  • All applications should have given birth to, sired, adopted or fostered a child/children.

We offer: 

  • A dynamic working environment. Never-ending entertainment and total devotion (n.b. not always evident but always present)
  • Ongoing opportunities for learning and development
  • The opportunity to employ a part time co-worker of your choice.
  • The lucky position of watching your child/children grow and develop on a daily basis.

*Full nights sleep, hot cups of coffee/tea, using the toilet alone and showering daily are not guaranteed.

Modern Dad Pages

Toddler February Favourites

Crafts:

Ok so I will preface this by saying we are not the most crafty of people but it’s something I would like to do more of now that the eldest is 2 and a half and is getting to the age where she enjoys and can manage simple crafts.

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Easy craft, paint and pom poms

 

These bunny’s were an easy pre-Easter craft. I literally drew bunny shapes on paper, let them paint all over them and then cut them out. We then dipped the pom pom’s in glue once the paint was dry to pop on his tail.

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Valentine’s Day Cards
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Toilet roll stamped hearts

 

Our Valentine’s Day cards for the Nannys and Grandads were easy as, we just made a heart shape in toilet rolls and dipped them in paint, then stamped the cards with them. Unfortunately the only card I had to hand was black so I added the white heart on paper to the inside so that we could write a message.

 Toys:

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Lego- hours of entertainment

Lego has always been one of my favourite toys and it keeps the girls amused for ages. They have been playing with this a lot in the last month, the eldest is getting good at building things and the youngest is helping by knocking everything down.

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Our current favourite “Mermaid Lego”

The girls are on a bit of a mermaid buzz at the moment and Santy brought some “Mermaid Lego” that we bring out on special occasions!

 

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Lollipop Sticks

Ok bear with me on this one! I currently have a lot of my teaching supplies boxed up in the office and took these out one rainy day when the little monsters darlings were wrecking my head and I wanted to distract them.

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Good for counting, sorting, making patterns

They now LOVE the “sticks”. We do counting, colour sorting and patterns with our eldest and our youngest mostly enjoys putting them in and out of different cups and throwing them up in the air…

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Melissa and Doug Food and Cooking sets

Our eldest got the Melissa and Doug cooking set for her second birthday and then they both got the food for Christmas. I love love love this stuff and the girls have been spending the last two months throwing dinner parties and picnics. It’s all wooden so lovely and sturdy.

 

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Books: 

I love books and was always a bit of a bookworm so books are the one thing I never mind having too much of. Friends and family are always gifting them books and we always give books at birthdays and Christmas. We also go to the library every week and they get new books for the week. Our favourites this month are;

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Our eldest girl is currently loving these books. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt was always a favourite of mine as a teacher and although we have been reading this to her since she was really small we have lately started acting it out in the playroom and so it is getting loved all over again.

She adores the Mog books, we have quite a few now and this one is a lovely story about Mog unwittingly obstructing a burglary. These books are old school and not always PC but they are adorable and mine love them.

IMG_5445 She got this book for Christmas and it is full of rhymes but has been largely undiscovered until this month. The illustrations are lovely and it is full of old half-remembered Irish rhymes that you will have heard from your Mammy and your Nanny but forgotten. She gets us to read these rhymes over and over.  The book is also beautifully illustrated and would make a lovely gift.

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Our littlest is about 15 months now and currently Dora obsessed! Every time we go to the library we have to check out another Dora book (thankfully they have a few!) She loves these because she can point out the familiar characters and find Swiper (“Wiper, NO!) She is also loving this Maisy pop-up book that she got from her auntie, although usually we have to supervise her reading of this as she yanks at all the pop ups.

Places: 

Mother and Toddler Groups: We go to two Mother and Toddler groups a week, one is the local one to us in the village hall and the other is run by Cuidiú the parenting organisation (these are nationwide, you can check their website to find one near you). Both are great as they get the kids interacting with other kids, they do songs with them and they get to run around and play. I love them for the coffee and chats and they are a great way of the kids using up all their energy before naps (especially with the bad weather lately).

Library: We also go to the library once a week, they run a Toddler hour in our local library where the librarian reads a few books to the kids and then they do a simple craft with them, (which our littlest is too small for but the eldest loves) then we pick out our books for the week.

The Nanny and Grandad’s houses: We all love going to visit the grandparents, being close to family was the biggest reason behind our move out of Dublin and we usually do a visit to each at least once a week. Then Mammy gets to drink hot cups of tea while the children are entertained by grandparents, aunts and uncles! Everyone’s a winner 😉

Love is.. the Parenting Version.

Love is…

  • Getting up to the kids in the morning when you are barely functioning to allow the other to lie in
  • Holding hands even while pushing buggy’s and catching wayward toddlers.
  • Making cups of tea… and coffee… and more tea.
  • Having moments when a genuine panic attack hits at the thought of ever being without them.
  • Accepting that it wasn’t them but the sleep deprivation talking.
  • Knowing it’s ok to miss your children when out on a “date” together.
  • Not having an ESC button.
  • Appreciating the increase in boob size and being unphased by the increase in belly size.
  • Finding the love for your children only amplifies your love for each other.
  • Getting a “you look beautiful” while wearing no make up and a pair of tracksuit pants.
  • Being exactly where you want to be.

Toddler Tantrums.

My oldest toddler is lovely. She is smart and kind and funny. However lately she has decided to try out being eh.. not so lovely. At first I just thought she was tired. Then I thought maybe the terrible two’s had descended a little late (she was two in July). But still the tantrums continued. She didn’t want to share with her sister. She cried and stamped her little feet. She said “NO!” to everything. I decided that we needed to be strict on her. “You have to share with your sister” “Mammy said coat on now” A little bit of structure and not taking any nonsense. I upped my strictness as she upped her tantrums. And I didn’t like being that Mammy. I guess I was just tired and not really thinking.

Yesterday it dawned on me. She is only 2! What on earth am I thinking? I’m treating her like an eight year old when she is really only a baby. So I’ve stopped. I’ve given her extra hugs, I’m praising everything she does well again. I’m being patient and giving her time. I’m treating her like my baby again and she has calmed right down.

She missed the sibling rivalry when her sister was born, she was only 16 months old so really she barely noticed. Now I think she has started to notice that her sister is getting babied more than her. That her sister is let away with more, isn’t given out to as much. Kids really do notice everything. So we have decided to give her some big girl things that are just for her, special markers, a “cleaning” spray to help Mammy. Things that her little sister is too small for, something she loves “No, baba, you’re too small, this is only for big girls”.

So as much as I hate them growing up, at least there is this: They will always be my babies, no matter what age they are.

Mindfulness.

I have a friend who whenever something is going on, stops, takes time out and listens to herself and her body. She goes for a walk or for lunch alone and just contemplates on whatever is bothering her.

Inspired by her I decided to give it a go, and I am finding it impossible. I have discovered that I rarely, if ever, listen to myself. My mind is mostly listing things I need to do. It is keeping track of daily life, my kids, my husband, our future. It is making plans and getting information.

Most of the time my mind is dealing with what is in front of it. Does she need her nappy changed? Does she need her potty? Did I defrost meat for the dinner? What time is it? Does she need a cardigan on with that top?

It’s reading a story, cutting toast into triangles, putting on the washing machine, driving the car, doing the shopping.

And in it’s quiet time? When the children are asleep for the night or napping, am I catching up with myself? No, I am reading blogs, writing, scrolling twitter, catching up on the news, watching The Wire, reading a library book, anything at all to keep my mind busy.

I don’t contemplate decisions, I almost always go with my gut. I make decisions quickly and stick with them. I know my likes and dislikes and so I don’t have to think about them do I?

Except that I want to. I want to be mindful. I want to know myself. I want to listen to what I really want instead of always storming ahead. But my mind is so used to being kept busy, it doesn’t know how to be quiet and listen.