Lurgy Leave?

My Parental leave/annual leave wasn’t all what I hoped for, and was filled with the lurgy. I was hoping to be a little more active in the latter weeks of my leave, meet other mums, go to playgroups and Softplay, but instead was struck down with a number of childhood illnesses, chickenpox (glad it is out of the way though, and he seemed to cope with it OK and was at home to look after him and comfort him), then hand, foot & mouth and then to be honest the worse one was the last, just a common cold and cough, that made him sick a lot, he still has the remnants of his cough left and the icy air at times makes him wheezy.

image

Progress or not?

So did we set out what we wanted to achieve with this time off of work? My son is now sleeping in his own room, but the co-sleeping cycle still not really broken. We had a very successful first few nights, but then he got chickenpox and was ill with it, it just felt heartless not to cuddle him through that, then he got hand, foot & mouth, then a really bad cold and cough as I said above, so much so he was vomiting phlegm. Anyway the one real progress we have made is he is finally weaned off his soother, and he now associates it with pain because of how hand, foot and mouth made him feel. He no longer needs it to sleep, yay! Him having a sore mouth actually helped put him off of relying on it, and weaning him off of it was long overdue. He only used it at night most recently and has never been addicted to it during the day, and we have no worries about his speech. Don’t regret using them as it kept him calm as a little baby, and helped with the sleep, especially with turning the persistent catnapper into a more full well rested napper, and lots of research shows that it helps with reflux which he use to experience when he was younger, if only apparently mildly. Secondly, we started viewing primary schools, as we have to apply for our son to start reception class next year, and have a final school to view this week. However, relief, the nearest local ones left us with no negative feelings and probably going to put our nearest one as our first choice, be astounded if he doesn’t get in, but we will see.

image

The search is on

Finally My OH’s job search has been a pain at times, dealing with recruitment agencies, who all have differing advice and want something different, and can end up making your head spin rather than help, but really it seems opportunities are like buses they all come at once or you wait for ages. Just fingers crossed a permanent role materialises soon. It’s been good though over the last 5 weeks that my OH has spent some quality time with my son and I think in-between the stress, they have had a really good time enjoying each other’s company.

 

 

Advertisements

Tough times ahead

image

Friday 30th September 2016

It has happened again, not to me, but my partner this time. I feel awful for him, and do worry about our future. It came at the worst time as we were just about to sign up finally to get ourselves on the property ladder, well at least we hadn’t signed anything. However, now got the worry of keeping the current roof over our heads.

My partner has been worried about his job ever since I met him, his company have been cost cutting, pushing people out whenever they can, almost using this economic instability since 2008 as an excuse to just save money. Maybe the current climate really has badly affected his school now, but it really sounds like a toxic environment to be in right now. I am almost glad my partner will be getting out, he has survived to make it to redundancy. So yes, this hasn’t come as a complete surprise, but was hoping this day wasn’t going to come so soon. I do worry about our future and how we are going to survive, we should be alright until Christmas at least, but will have to make some tough decisions in the upcoming months.

I really do hope my partner finds another job quickly, he deserves to, and fingers crossed to work in a less toxic atmosphere and I will do all that I can to help him. On the plus side, depending on whether his company make him work his notice period or not, I hope he can soon spend some quality time with our son as he has never been able to do this really before. It has always been odd weeks or days here and there, and at least that will be something positive to do until he finds work.

If we get through this then I will post the most useful back to work tips I can find to help others

Our roller coaster update

image

Saturday 15th October 2016

Apologies I have been a bit quiet with the blogs as of late, but it has been a busy few weeks and a bit of a roller coaster ride really. A few weeks ago we were contemplating getting ourselves finally on the property ladder, we had some doubts about the property being right for us (in fact it was too big for our needs and we were worried it was going to stretch us a little too much) and about a very volatile market/economy at the moment. However, then the decision was taken out of our hands and my partner was made redundant, it was a shock, but not as it has been something he has been fearing for a while. To be honest it has been an achievement that he has stuck it out to redundancy as I am quite sure his company would have preferred to save on the pay out. Luckily we also found out this news before we signed any paperwork for the property or put down a reservation fee.

 LinkedIn Careerist?

image

It has been my partners’ first week at home since he has left work, and he has been trying his hardest to look for work and has met up with a couple of recruitment consultants this week, one who has suggested he puts himself on LinkedIn as that is apparently the new fangled way to find work these days. I have helped him set up a profile, we just need to find (take really) a suitable photo of him and get him connected to a few more recruitment agencies. I have even succumbed to creating a profile, how we both hate the idea of it, but what needs must. I just hope we get some good news sooner than later.

Quality Daddy & Son time

The positives have been my partner has been able to spend some quality time with my son, just daddy and son time, which he rarely got the opportunity to do before.

image

Visit to our local Football Stadium with daddy

Threenager – not concerned though

image

One downer has been my son’s nursery think his behaviour is getting odd again, really can’t see it myself, yes he is displaying a little attitude from time to time and gets in strops occasionally, but really don’t see it as a big thing. I mean from what other boys his age can be like from time to time. Anyway they want to observe and monitor him, and well, it’s another worry we don’t need to have again. Fine, if they want to learn and find better ways to manage his behaviour, but hopefully not place a label on my child, as yes I did have fears previously, but they have completely gone now and was reassured by a community nursery nurse that we regularly saw that she had no concerns and we were discharged from her care.

Transition finally here…

Final thing my annual leave and parental leave has come around, which I am using mainly to get my son into his own room, yes finally, and to visit prospective primary schools for next year. My son’s room has been tidied up and quite a few finishing touches added to the room. Tonight has been my son’s first night in his own bed, and well he has gone asleep, it may have taken slightly longer than normal as he was quite excited actually, but he went to sleep so success. We are also doing it the gentle way, so my other half and I are going to take turns to have a sleepover in his room and gradually retreat. Tonight I am on the old pullout bed and finally my OH gets to reclaim the comfy double bed, well he has been down on his luck, so finally he gets to sleep on a proper mattress, at least that is something even though the rest of everything lately has been shit, haha, got to laugh or you would cry.

Hoping we can carry on the successful transition for my son to sleep in his own room…

image

Growing Up, you can go now mummy

Monday 19th September 2016

image

OK, maybe not that fast hehe

My son went to another birthday party, invited by another kid from his preschool, it was his first proper soft play party experience, ours too. We have been to this soft play centre a good few times before and it is a well run one that my son enjoys going to. However, usually when we go my partner and I get a good work out too. This time I lead him into the under 5’s area where the birthday boy and his friends were, as usual he wanted me to go with him and asked me to climb to the upper level. I proceeded to do that and then his friends whizzed round the corner, shouting his name and then I said there is the birthday boy and your friends. My son went on to give a big smile, and then said something, which at first I didn’t hear properly, I asked again do you want me to go up with you? He then told me no mummy you can go now haha I was a bit surprised, yes, surprised, stunned, but pleased, no longer my clingy little velcro baby anymore, but growing up to be a very much independent little boy.

Playgroup and our trip to York

Sunday 18th September 2016

image
Playgroup

Another good start to the weekend by going to our favourite breakfast playgroup with our son, he played really nicely there and even is enjoying getting involved at the song at the end, more than he ever has before. Nice recent touch that they are giving the children a instrument to play, my lo really loved his keyboard xylophone, the musical clamour is great.

However, guess who was there? Yes, my mummy nemesis, if you don’t know why I refer to this particular mum as that it was because of a show down over parenting styles, although I was never being critical over anyone’s style at all, and still very hurt by it. I have to admit I felt a small pang of sympathy for her yesterday, it did look like her friend didn’t turn up or the fact she decided to come again without her. I did think should I be social, but thought no why should I? I was never rude, I just wouldn’t be, but there were a few difficult moments with her two sons, a few accidents and she happened to be away with the fairies at the time. Whereas for any other mum I may have offered more help, but on this occasion decided not to get involve for the mum that apparently knew best. I only have the one child at the moment, so realise it must be even more of a handful with two so close in age. She left early, not sure of her reasons, didn’t notice her go, but doubt the experience would make her rethink she should apply a bit more thought before opening her mouth again.

The rest of our afternoon was filled with travel and visiting my son’s nanny. So while I am on the subject of travel, thought I would return to our recent long weekend trip to York and tell you about the highlights of it.

National Railway Museum, York

image
At the National Railway Musuem

We must have a spent at least 5 hours in there. Great for all ages, adults and kids a like, lots of trains on show, including The Mallard and Bullet Train, got to see a turntable in motion experience, and going into several drivers cabs of steam locomotives, and being explained what some of the knobs and levers do as such. In fact as one of the demonstrators said not many kids can say they bounced off of The Mallard, which my son did, trust him to be so clumsy, slip while pretending to get coal to put into the firebox. Also they have a indoor under 5’s play area, as well as an outside play area, model railways and a miniature train to ride on outside. Also no entry fee, but donations accepted, so terrific value. They are a few cafes to choose from here, but also plenty of areas to eat your packed lunch as well. We chose the Dining Car cafe though.

York City Walls, Minster and sightseeing tours

image

York City Walls

The very intact city walls are great to walk along and get better views of the city. The Minster is stunning inside and out, got to experience the full glory of the bells chiming, which my son is fascinated with.

image

York Minster

Did the usual tourist things like do a boat trip on the Ouse and open deck bus tour around York, got to know all about its glorious and gory past. Normally usually avoid these type of things, but great for kids and my son was literally begging to go on a bus all the time we were there, so might as well go for the open roof upper deck experience, although he snoozed for half of the tour in the end hehe

image

The Ouse

The Shambles and York Chocolate Story

image

Chocolate tasting

Loved looking around the Shambles and all its unique shops, popped into York’s Chocolate Story, stocked up on chocolate (mainly gifts, honest hehe) and did some chocolate tasting, although my son seemed more interested in our palate cleansers (cream crackers). You can do tours, but avoided it as didn’t think our son would have the patience yet, but ended up being embarrassed in here anyway haha. After behaving himself really well, decided he could have one last treat before going, a hot chocolate, mega tantrum, next time just get one with cream and marshmallows in lol I know shouldn’t always give in, but really tantrum would have been avoided. One final thing never realised York’s connection and history with chocolate so much.

Afternoon tea

Final treat afternoon tea at Betty’s tea rooms, lovely and so proud of my son being well behaved, no huge embarassing scenes were caused, much better than we thought he would be, no crockery broken at all. I hated tea at my son’s age, but he loves it.

image

Afternoon Tea

 

Family Drama

imageThursday 15th September 2016 – Family drama

Had a nice time away in York with my ickle family, 4 days or thereabouts away from reality. Had up and down days with our son, first time he has whined about going on holiday, most of the time he is excited about going away, but he said he wanted to stay home, but then by the end of our short vacation he didn’t want to go home. His worst behaviour was the day before we left, massive tantrum, gasp, but more about our vacation in a separate blog later, and I promise there were more highs than lows.

Anyhow, I wasn’t expecting to come back to family drama and my mum reeling off a lot of gobbledygook. Drama about my dad’s ashes, if you didn’t know, a few blogs back I said my dad passed away during my son’s first year of life. It was a difficult year of change, and far too much at once, but that’s life sometimes, it spins out of control. The other fact to fill you in on is my mum finally separated from my dad late in life. As I have alluded to in a previous blog, my dad was a difficult man with many demons that he unfortunately failed to completely conquer, yet I am sure deep down inside there was a good heart with good intentions and on occasions it revealed itself. However, he was a man of his generation, and some of those wasn’t good qualities, which he seemed to be in conflict with himself, a crisis of masculinity as such. It also depresses me that he never really turned things around for himself, and the only lesson I have learnt is I don’t want to create that life for myself as in my love ones finding it hard to be around me and waste a life being unhappy, and making strife. However, I have inherited his temper, if you believe you can inherit traits as I do, part genetics and part nurture, and I do find it hard to control at times.

His ashes have not been scattered yet or a final resting place decided, he passed away now over 2 years ago and this is the drama that I have come back to that my family cannot decide where to scatter them or bury them. Ideas have been put forward, but no one can agree, and now my mum has his ashes in her flat and is sitting with the light on to go to sleep haha. I laugh as she is so superstitious and really she didn’t need to take charge of this, as she is his ex partner, really his next of kin should do this, my older sisters, but they can never agree on anything, one of my sister sees herself as the boss and thinks she always knows best.

My mum has come up with a well meaning idea of where, but it seems impractical, end of Brighton pleasure pier really seems inappropriate to me, although understand she has probably her fondest memories of my dad there. However, really think my father’s resting place should be somewhere more scenic and peaceful, I think the one thing he deserves in death is finally less drama, somewhere beautiful and peaceful despite his faults.

Family or should I say family drama to be avoided at all costs where possible lol don’t get me wrong I love my mum, she has a good heart, and don’t want to upset those of you who have lost mums. My mum has been very supportive, especially during difficult times with our son’s childcare, and she has been a rock, but she does get huffy when you do not completely agree with her and in the more recent past, especially during my parent’s separation I did wonder which one was the grown up or more appropriately put the more senior grown up out of us.

I wouldn’t, but to settle the argument let’s do a poll, I wouldn’t really as it is inappropriate. However, to settle an argument choices are

A) Bluebell woods by the Bluebell Railway as he loved going here and loved the trains

B) End of Brighton Pier and I really don’t like this idea, but anyway maybe I am missing something as I think it is too busy and not appropriate place to scatter ashes

C) Somewhere near the Northumbria coastline as he is originally from this region and always talked about how unspoilt & beautiful it was

D) Memorial Tree planted in the Lake District with his ashes, again as he loved the beautiful scenery here and the only family holiday I actually had and remember

Vote if you want to, although not necessary.

If anything I hope I have made readers feel comfort in the knowledge I am from a dysfunctional family, perhaps more dysfunctional than your own haha. Also there is really life after death, for the living as well.

Not a Saccharine Mum

imageWarning! SPOILER ALERT – Bitch blog, no not really, but as I have started to process my own thoughts and experiences into a blog, I have been reading more mummy blogs to get an idea of other women’s experiences. Of course, all our experiences of motherhood and this journey into it will be unique. However, jeez, everything isn’t so perfect or positive, and afraid my blog isn’t for the faint hearted, I do not put a positive spin on everything, sometimes life is really shit and let’s just be honest enough to say that it is, OK with humour when possible, yet it is fine if one day humour doesn’t live here anymore.

I never understood the saccharine sweet mums, never, never, having babies isn’t all wonderful, it is bloody hard work and yet there are moments of joy of course along the way. Maybe I come across as a moaning ninny haha, well sometimes I am, but I am nothing, but honest. I didn’t get that warm glow of love when my son was born, I had a burning sensation between my legs though. I clearly remember thinking at one point I am not going to push anymore, I give up, then changed my mind and thought lets get on with it and get it over and done with, and finally the astonishment that this new life came from me. I think I was in disbelief for a day or two, just like when my test first revealed I was pregnant. Honestly, the love between my son and me was a slow burn, I got the responsibility, I always got that, and it was a life changer, one sometimes I couldn’t cope with. At times I wanted to run away, wanted my old life back, but now I cannot imagine what to do with the free time I had a little bit more of (OK, sometimes I do) and a son that makes me laugh, and tries my patience at the same time. I will never imagine what that instant love feels like when a baby is born, I didn’t experience it, it took a lot longer for me to feel it, and almost a year of knowing my son. Also it started blossoming a month or two before I went back to work, I didn’t take the full year off as I couldn’t afford to, but in hindsight I wish I had despite the lack of money.

I looked forward to getting back to the routine of work as I really am not cut out for the stay at home mum routine, I do not enjoy mummy social circles, although really did try with that. The thing that was the most difficult part was my son was a very clingy, Velcro baby and I couldn’t bear the anguish of him not being happy when I left him. Really this is not me being just an overanxious mum, but the first nursery really did not cope with him so that did not fill me with confidence, the next childminder we tried showed herself to be more promising, but then couldn’t handle his terrible twos behaviour and kept calling us out of work to collect him, even though he wasn’t ill. Finally the nursery he now attends has cracked it, it’s not been a perfect experience, but he settled in much better than I anticipated there, and they have worked better with us than any of the others. It really pleases me now when I leave him there that I can see he enjoys the experience. However, the lack of good childcare has really been astounding, God knows how they will cope when this UK government roll out 30 free hours childcare out in a year’s time? Yes, not bitter I am missing out on it haha If I knew what I did now I would have prepared things a lot differently before going back to work. I would have used my annual leave to go back part time for the first month or two, so both of us could have got use to the transition of me going back to work and my son being cared for by someone else in a more gradual way. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but pretty useless haha I am also jealous of those whose return to work seemingly appearing for it to be a breeze, I guess it must be possible, but to me that would just seem like a work of fiction.

Our routine is more or less stable and good now, but don’t be scared to say everything isn’t alright and talk, be honest and seek help & support if you need to from a close friend or member of the family or even a health professional as being a working mum isn’t easy, in fact, being any kind of mum isn’t.

Our Co-sleeping journey

image

I am hoping my co-sleeping days with my son will be at end soon, well in the next month or two providing I get the time off of work I would like and finally get my 3 year old into his own bed in his own room.

It has been a long journey, not one we initially planned for, but one we fell into and had to for our sanity. My son did sleep apart from us for the first 4 months in his Moses basket, and we never intended to bed share as we were scared of the risks. However, after my son gradually started to sleep more at night and I have to tell you the first two months were tough, and he suffered from reflux so was never an easy sleeper. I finally know why sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture. I started to just bring our son into the bed from about 4am as he always started to stir from around that time, just to get an hour or so more sleep before he finally woke up wanting another feed. A cuddle and him sleeping on my chest at that time in the morning would send him back to sleep, I think the first time I fell asleep doing this was an accident as I was very tired, and he went back to sleep as I held him to my chest, and I thought I will just rest here and feed him in a bit, but then went to sleep with him for another hour. I think even for while it wasn’t every morning that I had to do this and I remember we had a very small period where he was sleeping through, and waking up for a morning feed at an hour we could cope with.

image

How it started…

Then at 4 months, the dreaded sleep regression hit, that’s how it seemed. I remember it was difficult to settle him to sleep at night, he was in a hyper alert state and also around the same time he had the worse cold he had ever had by that point in his life. He was so snuffly, and couldn’t breathe properly, that we didn’t know what to do and wasn’t even sure whether we needed to see a doctor. However, sleeping upright on my chest in our bed settled him and sent him back to sleep on that awful night where he was finding it hard to breathe, and really that’s how it all started.

A life behind bars…

image

We did try to move him to his own cot in his own room, but he was having none of it, he would just cry and cry if I left him in it and if I put him in his cot asleep, he would manage to wake himself up very quickly and I didn’t find the whole thing that easy with a back problem, getting up and down several times. Also as I mentioned in a previous blog we tried cry it out, but we decided it wasn’t for us, it made him too stressed, so much so he would gag and vomit. I didn’t like to see him like that, it made us feel stressed and anxious too. Also after 2-3 months of not wanting night feeds, from 6 months he wanted them again and he didn’t drop the habit until he was around 2 years old. So, that is how our bedsharing lifestyle came about.

The pros and cons, but overall positive for us

image.jpeg

My other half has been very understanding and even moved out of our bed, and sleeps on a foam pull out bed on the floor, and has done so for a good while to give us more room and to make it safer. The lack of intimacy and moments to talk between us at times has been a difficult sacrifice and one of the down sides of choosing this lifestyle. However, am grateful to have a loving, understanding partner that supports me through this choice. The lack of my own occasional me time is another sacrifice too, and not just to drink wine haha, but to do other things. I do love an occasional glass of wine as you will see from my FB page, but that has cut down dramatically, which is a good thing for my liver anyway. Although my own personal free time in the evenings has got a little better since my son has got older, we now have bed guards on our bed and a camera to monitor him so I can leave the room for a bit. However, if my son does wake up while I am gone he will not settle himself back to sleep yet and needs a lot of reassurance, if I am with him he settles back without any need for anything else these days.

Bed sharing is a controversial subject, but we didn’t enter into this choice lightly and have tried to do this as safely as possible. It has not affected my son’s development in any way, he is becoming a very much independent little boy, a bossy one at times too, but he does need a lot of reassurance when he goes to sleep and that is fine. I would never advocate that this is the only way to do things, but it is the way that has worked for us without losing our sanity, but yes there has been sacrifices and it hasn’t always been easy at times.

The Transition…

My son now very much wants to sleep in his own room, it is pretty much ready for him to go into, we have a big kids bed for him and we just want to give it one last tidy up, and add a few finishing touches to it. My son is now scared of the dark, so we will get him some more night lights and I recently told him about dream catchers. I love the whole mythology behind them and have explained that they catch bad dreams, so stop him from having them. He very much wants one now, and if by having one it helps to reassure him and improves his psychology then that is another final touch I am willing to get for him. I have also found a lovely hand made one and a couple that light up for him, and some again lovely hand made London themed string lights for his room as he is obsessed with some of London’s iconic imagery.

I expect the next transition to his own room will not be easy, and that I will be staying a lot in his room at first to reassure him that it is fine. In one way even at times when I wish to just to have the bed back to myself and with my OH in it, I love my snuggles with my son and have got so use to him being there, that a part of me will miss it, and yes one day he will not want to do this anyway. He will want his own privacy and will want his mummy’s cuddles and kisses even less, so I am trying to cherish these moments, rather than see it as a chore. However, wish us luck and if you are going through something similar, I have added some links with advice about a gentle transition from co-sleeping to sleeping on their own, and I am sure I will update my blog with our progress on this new transitional journey for us.

image

http://www.madeformums.com/baby/co-sleeping–how-to-start-and-how-to-stop-with-your-baby-or-toddler/17109.html

http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby-sleep/how-to-transition-from-co-sleeping/