Sunday, 8 November 2015
Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, Always have done, but as the years go by I'm becoming increasingly disappointed with how materialistic it has become.
This year we've spent a grand total of £30 on our little one, but the money is irrelevant. We've chosen small things which he will get so much enjoyment out of and more importantly we can play with together, and spend time together with, as a family.
My memories of Christmas as a child were all about the family. Spending time together, playing laughing and caring for each other. I can still remember the build up to Christmas, buying the tree together, decorating it and singing the Christmas Tree song. Dad would
make his Rum Baba(?), and mum would be in charge in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I can remember helping in the kitchen, although this was probably actually limited to fighting with my brothers over who licked the spoon, and who got the bowl!
Christmas day itself was a morning of opening presents, and getting dressed up in our Christmas Day clothes before heading over to my Grandparents where the whole family would meet up to exchange gifts, drink coffee and eat too many sweets. We'd all return to our own homes for Christmas Day dinner. Poor mum would be stuck in the kitchen putting together a feast, Dad was in charge of distributing the sherry and lighting the Christmas Pudding. Afterwards there would be a brief spell of just lounging around, playing with our Christmas presents, occasionally playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, before helping mum lay out the table for the Christmas tea.
The family descended to ours in the evening. In a good way, it always felt so much longer than an evening. I can remember me and my cousin disappearing upstairs to put our make up on and do our nails, giggling and laughing and feeling super grown up. Running from room to room, annoying the boys. There was always a board game that the whole family would sit around and play. Particularly memorable was my eldest brother's game of Pass The Pigs, with hilarious consequences.
These days it seems to be spent travelling from house to house, a constant exchange of gifts, constant scheduling and arranging, trying to fit in seeing everyone. A day of rushing, and not enough playing. Checking what we've got and rushing to the sales to buy the things we didn't get. By the time Christmas is over a holiday is needed to get over it.
I want the Christmas of Christmas Past. I want it to be about sharing the love, spending time with people we care about, eating too many sweets, and playing lots and lots of games.
Bring back Christmas Past I say, bring back the fun and the laughter, forget about how much has been spent and who received what. Focus on the family and friends we're proud to call our family. Nothing else matters.
Sunday, 27 September 2015
Take this for example, when he wakes up from his nap, I can almost guarantee that I will say something along the lines of "Hello, gorgeous, did you enjoy your nap?" When he sees his dad, he will probably call him"mate", as in, "Hello mate!" and start trying to play with him. The way his dad and I refer to him is very different and is probably more about our language and communication styles.
Then we have pet names. I can't even tell you where they all came from, how they all started, but each and everyone of them makes me smile, especially when he recognises them as him.
The first one was probably by my lovely mate who took his initials and called him Ogl. Sometimes we vary it and he has Ogl Sprogl. The most frequently used is "Poo", and many variations of this. We also have Oscasaurus as a result of a gift from his Nanny and that just stuck.
Before he was born, he was Wrigglebum, and that has stuck, he's still a wrigglebum now and can't sit still for more than 2 minutes.
His dad has a number of other things he uses but they're not very polite so I won't repeat them here - ha ha!
How many different names is your little one known by?
Thursday, 17 September 2015
Anyway, the reason I lost weight initially was because I always worried that if I had a child I would struggle to keep up with him if I was overweight. I wanted to make a huge change for the better. Once I discovered I was pregnant I was even more determined and monitored my weight while pregnant just to make sure I wasn't gaining more than I needed to.
Then Oscar arrived, also known as LAD (Life After Delivery), and I had lovely new mummy friends. We never went too far, and get togethers invariably involved lunch out somewhere, and quite often cake.
I got back into some really bad habits, and apart from walking places, my exercise just went out the window. LAD was very chilled and I stopped being bothered about my size. My amazing body was feeding my baby and that was all I cared about.
Then I returned to work and all those leisurely lunches and coffee mornings stopped. Oh, yes, everything goes back to normal right? Nope. Work is full of goodies and work doesn't fulfil me like being at home spending time with the wee boy, and I'm forever distracting myself with food, cakes, sweets and crisps. Whatever I can grab to be honest.
Combine that with being super tired all the time, never exercising and eating rubbish at home, I'm starting to resemble a blimp again.
Trouble is I have no idea how to motivate myself again. I need a goal, I need a plan.
Until I work it out, you'll find me in the corner eating cake.
Thursday, 23 July 2015
While I don't remember writing it, as I read it, I'm struck by how little has actually changed except I've learnt to cope with the exhaustion and I actually somehow fit in a full time job on top of everything else.
"During the night, the baby who can't yet crawl out of his cotbed somehow ended up in my bed. Of course I must have carried him, yet I have no recollection. Hardly surprising given that after nearly ten months of feeding my baby every 2/3 hours day and night means I hardly sleep.
We probably argue every day, usually late evening after little legs has gone to bed. It always starts the same way, "Make a cuppa."
The debate is the same everytime. Who's the most tired? Who's the most stressed out? Who's had the least sleep? (I win that one) Who works the hardest? It goes on and on. Eventually one of us (me) gets up and just makes the tea. I obviously don't care enough who makes the damn tea otherwise I'd refuse, maybe I just like the drama :)
It amuses me that while we disagree on lots of things we never really argue per se, but the making the tea argument is a regular!
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
I'm not a mum who uses an instruction manual. Nothing against other mums who read books on what happens when, and how to do such and such, and what baby 'should' be doing etc... I guess my philosophy is that babies do things when they're ready and you should just be there to support them and enable them to do things safely, securely and in a loving environment.
Oscar is almost 14 months and has increasingly been fighting me at nappy changes. Since he found his running away skills he practices them at every opportunity. I can be regularly seen chasing a semi naked baby with a nappy in his hand around the house while he giggles like a loon.
More recently he's been coming up to me and then squatting down. This has been followed by the well known Eau de Pooh. Since he's started communicating when he's doing this I decided to introduce the concept of a potty.
Obviously I have no idea how anyone else does this, and it doesn't matter, I'm working on the basis of what works for us.
My thinking was that I would just let him see the potty and take it into the bathroom while I use the loo and give him opportunity to copy. On a whim last night as I got him ready for bed I showed him the potty and pretended to sit on it. He immediately wanted to do the same. So I stripped him and let him sit down. He happily sat and played with his toys. Within a minute the smell arrived. It's very sad how excited I was, ha ha!
A little later I said to D that actually as much as I'm proud of him, I'm so sad my baby is growing up. This morning, on reflection, I've realised that this is just one of many things he will do on his life and rather than 'miss' my baby I need to focus on enjoying the experience and watching the boy he is becoming.
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
So the answer to the question is that I have no worries about his care. Am I happy with someone else looking after him? Well that's a completely different question.
I wish that I could afford to spend more time with him. I've already reduced my hours and condensed them across 4 days in order that I get a whole day in the middle of the week with him. It's not enough though. I want to be spending time with him when he's not tired, when he doesn't just want me for my boobs ha ha! I want to be able to catch those milestones. It doesn't seem fair to me that I grew him for 9 months, nurtured him, gave birth to him, kept him alive and developed him this far into the cheeky character that he is, for someone else to then see him take his first steps, say his first words and give other people who are paid to care for him those hugs and kisses when he wakes from his nap.
I do feel resentful, but what alternative is there? It's not reasonable to expect an employer to fund my desire to be a mum, and I can't expect the Government or the tax payer to pay for my choice to have a family. But I do think employers could do more to allow parents to find that balance between family and work.
I know I'm lucky in that my employer has a decent maternity package, allowed me to change my working pattern and has flexible working hours. But that's a rarity. I count my blessings I'm able to leave work early when I need to, that I can get a tax break in my childcare, but, if I'm honest, I'm pinning my hopes on a big lottery win :-D