Things I’ve learnt

Freddie is now 2 years old. 2 YEARS OLD. Well, 2 and a quarter, if we’re being pedantic.

I’ve learnt that with a 5 year old and a toddler you don’t get much “done” except doing life day to day, so your goal posts have to shift, your expectations have to soften. As John Lennon said, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Eating chocolate without your children noticing is an art worth perfecting.

Nothing beats the smugness of having successfully and single-handedly magicked two children to sleep. Even though you know that one of them will wake before the glass of wine makes it to your lips, savour that damned smugness in all its glory.

Things are 100% easier, and 100% harder second time round. Easier: how to work out a car seat; how the hell to change a nappy while half asleep and in semi darkness; the paraphernalia, sleep deprivation and chaos of babyhood is already in place and therefore not a huge body shock. Harder: getting dressed. Getting out the door. Eating a meal. Finishing a senten…

I’ve now been breastfeeding for 2 years. First time round it was a hellish nightmare of self-flagellation and “failure”, ending in tears and nipple cream tubes squeezed out in frustration and angst. A traumatic birth experience and no contact with my babe for 8 hours after his birth froze all chance of it happening in that moment. We tried, oh how we tried, and my sanity nearly left us along with Maurice’s chance of thriving only on breast, so I had to bottle it. At the time this was laced with feelings of failure, judgement and depression. Looking back I can see just what a warrior I was. I was at my most supermum in the simple act of trying to get it right.

Second time round it’s been a breeze: Freddie latched on within 20 mins of birth and hasn’t let go since… but now I have no idea how on earth to stop…and experiencing the occasional judgey glance when resorting to his favourite thing in public. Judgey pants glances suggesting failure at achieving normal status of good mothering. Freddie has been whining BOOOB BOOB BOOB at me all morning – which has made me see that there is no bloomin failure, we’re all just getting on with it as best we can.

When people say that breastfeeding makes the baby weight “fall off”, they fail to take into account the amount of cake/chocolate/biscuits you desire while breastfeeding and sleep deprived, while sitting down for large periods of time.

Me time takes on a different shape: a trip to the loo without company, or a peaceful solo jaunt around the supermarket. Bonus me time points if the supermarket visit includes shopping for any luxury items such as loo roll, or moisturiser of any kind not related to babies’ bottoms. Might as well be a trip to a spa resort.

Be grateful and arrogant every day. You are Wonder Woman. You are bloody beautiful amazing and brilliant for getting not only yourself but two other people up, fed and dressed today.

Exercise should be appreciated and valued in its myriad forms. A softplay visit incorporates cardiovascular fitness, agility and strength.

Watching Finding Nemo offered me a new mantra for when days are long: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

I looked at Maurice asleep the other day and realised he is no longer a baby, or even a toddler. He has shed his baby skin by stealth. Metamorphosis before my very eyes.

I have learnt that the days are long, but the years are short.

You can buy a copy of my book Pregnancy: the Naked Truth here

#parenting #toddlers #motherhood #wellness #honestmotherhood #energy #supermum #toddler #breastfeeding #gratitude #baby #motherofboys #selfcare

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