Not a shouty Mum

I made a lot of New Years resolutions, as I do every year. Mainly about being more organised, losing weight, excersising more etc etc. And although I am still attempting to stick to them it’s very hit and miss.

One thing I have stuck to is stopping shouting at the kids. Things were getting very shouty in our house. The girls were shouting at each other and us, I was shouting at them to stop shouting and they were shouting at me, sometimes even growling! (This, I think they got from when I attempted to shout quietly at them!)

So a month after resolving not to shout at the girls, I am really seeing the benefits of it and feeling terribly guilty that their behaviour was so impacted by mine. Albeit by me attempting to make them behave.

I have to say that I am not a saint and have raised my voice when Lotta attempted to “help” Molly roll over or run off near a road. But I have really thought about why they are behaving the way they were and 9 times out of 10 it was because they needed me and I was distracted/busy. All I was showing them was how I handled being under pressure (shouting) and they were copying!

I’ve not been growled or shouted at for at least 3 weeks, I’ve stopped being driven by cleaning up, just whipping the Hoover round when they wanted to do something or rushing them out the door in a rush and am more organised. We’re ready for school 10 mins before we have to leave so no more screaming at them to put their shoes on for the 100th time!

It really has made our house a happier one and I feel like I’m really trying to understand the why’s of the girls behaviour rather than just the behaviour itself!  This is one resolution I’m definitely keeping!!

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January 2015: happy days

Here’s the things that have made me happy/greatful in Jan

  1. Molly giggled for the first time – heart melted! She’s still quite sparing with the belly laughs and I have to work hard to get one but she’s such a happy, chilled out girl I don’t mind
  2. Ella has been struggling to really engage with reading at school and while we still have a long way to go, she actually read a whole school book to us ( riveting read “in a pit”) and she was so proud of herself
  3. Progress with the house has moved on a lot this month. Ordered a carpet for the hall and stairs, our rooms painted, downstairs loo has been finished. Really feels like it’s coming together. Next step big wall knocking down and extension!!
  4. Re-connecting with Lotta. Really enjoying spending time with her whilst on maternity
  5. Working out the finances and realising it will cost me what I earn to go back to work before September so extending my maternity till then
  6. Getting back into blogging. Mainly via photos on Instagram. Have lots of things I want to write about and going to get cracking in Feb with that

School: playground politics and the dreaded “clicks”

We have had a whole week at school and ploughing through the logistical nightmare of the introduction and holding down a full time job – with no annual leave spare cuz I’ve used it all up prior to Maternity leave starting.

The first 2 days Ella was in for an hour and a half, and then starting Monday she was in from 8.55 – 12. This is a nightmare. I am supposed to start work at 9 and I don’t finish until 5. I have been arriving 20-30 mins late for work, and then using my lunch break to pick Ella up and take her to nursery. Unfortunately I only get an hour for lunch and the afternoon session at nursery doesn’t start until 1pm. So that has meant me taking extra long lunches and praying no one is clock watching when I leave.

I’m feeling guilty that I am shovelling lunch down Ella’s throat, whilst trying to get her out of her uniform first, I can’t face having to wash it every night. (I did buy her a couple of pinafores, but made the mistake of buying different ones, and she currently has a hatred for one of them grrrrrrr!) and not really having the time to sit and chat through her day at school. I then drive her to nursery and practically dump her outside and speed off back to work.

A week and a half left of that and then yippee she’s in full days… except school finishes at 3.15. Such a nightmare – I know that hundreds and thousands of people have this issue, but I really do not know how they all manage to juggle it all and not get the sack! Thank god maternity leave starts in a few weeks. I’ll have to think about what happens when that finishes, but not right now – I have a headache!

Amongst all this rushing and dashing about I have picked up on the early start of the school ground politics. It started with a particular group of mums discussing the cars they drive, then they moved on to pre-schools the children attended and where they go to get their nails done. All pretty innocent, making small talk kind of stuff. As the mornings have progressed I have noticed by the answers mums provided the group is getting smaller. (NOT EVEN A WEEK INTO SCHOOL) I lost my place in the “cool club” when we all had to bring in wellies for the children to be kept at school. There are about 6 mums in this collection who were all proudly holding a brand new pair of pink or purple Hunters and I rocked up with Ella’s blue boy Wellies from Clarks, decorated with sparkly stickers so she knew they were hers. Apparently that was my out – as for the last 2 mornings I have been offered the groups back.

I had heard that there will be “clicks” amongst the mums and it really doesn’t bother me. I won’t buy something for my child so that I can show off to other parents; I won’t teach my children that judging someone on their appearance and belongings is a way to behave. I love that Ella chose the Wellies she wanted and that she has not got a clue about what a brand is, and why should she. She is 4. I am well aware that there will come a time when this sort of thing will matter to her. A lot. And I will probably cave in and get her something so she feels she fits in, but she’ll have to work for it in some way. But that is a long way off, and I hope she will have a sense of her own individuality by that point.

It just makes me a little bit sad that this actually still happens. I thought I’d left this all behind WHEN I LEFT HIGH SCHOOL!

Love hate relationship with bump: 37 weeks pregnant

Can you tell I’ve reached the point where I am sooooooo over being pregnant!?

I can’t move without something hurting, I have no idea what my toes/feet look like anymore. I certainly have no idea how much of a tidy up needs to be completed before D-day, well I do, a lot, I’m just delighted I can’t see it!

I’m giving the ducks at the local pond a run for their money when it comes to waddling, no position is comfy to sleep in. I have never been do tired in my life and barely have time to think about what’s in my giant belly, counting down the days till I finish work at 39 weeks. But most importantly I am far too impatient to meet this new tiny (wishful thinking) member of our family. I can’t wait to see if the girls will have a little sister or brother. Although apparently if it is a boy, it has to be sent back!!

But when I do get a moment to sit and think (in the bath as I write!) and see my bump move with a little foot or elbow sticking out, I really love being pregnant. Knowing that me alone is growing a person, I’m keeping them safe and it makes me remember how as soon as I didn’t have a bump before, I missed it!

Very odd to have such conflicting feelings. In summery pregnancy is a bit like marmite. Some days it’s the best thing ever, and sometimes you just want to be able to lie on your belly!!

i will however never stop feeling eternally grateful for the fact that I am able to get pregnant and be a mummy.

3 weeks to go, am planning on trying ALL the old wives tales to get things going. Will let you know how that goes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting school

My big girl started school on Thursday and has been quite a shock at how emotional I’m finding it.

I did think it was probably due to the hormones and being 37 weeks pregnant but it is definitely more than that.

I am so happy for her, she is SO ready for “big school” and going to nursery from 8am till 5.30pm 4 days a week means that I’m not worried about her being away from me or about her settling in. Even though she is one of the youngest starting, being a July baby.

But I just feel like I’m losing my little girl. I’ve realised she doesn’t ask me to pick her up very often anymore, and although she still gives me lots of cuddles and holds my hand – it’s not quite the same as it used to be, especially when I compare her to my very clingy mummies girl 2 year old. She’s even started going to sleep without me being with me.

All of these things are brilliant and just  show me what a happy little Miss independant she has become! But I miss her chubby little baby cheeks and complete toddler abandonment!

I know school is going to change her more and hopefully for the better. I loved watching her go off happily with her teacher and wave goodbye to me, I wasn’t expecting the tears that followed (mine not hers!)

i will be savouring every second with her and those cuddles while she still wants them!

 

Mini gardeners

I’m a natural scientist (without the massive brain required to make a career out of it!) but I have always loved the magic of nature and why things happen. I want to instill this love in my girls too.

 

At 4 & 2 they are a bit too young for full blown nature talks but I’ve always taken them outside in the garden or in the park (when we didn’t have one) and made a point of looking at what’s around us and talking about the  seasons and creepy crawlies. Making sure that we go out whatever the weather.

This year I’ve done some great activities with them. My favourite so far has got to have been growing our own sunflowers.

 

The wonder on their faces when I told them that if we looked after them properly these tiny seeds would grow even taller than them and produce big beautiful Yellow flowers was epic!

 

We planted the seeds in May and just 8 weeks later, true to my word, our sunflowers are huge – even taller than Daddy! (Daddy is the biggest person the girls know!)

They now think we’ve performed magic, which is essentially true… Plus they’ve learnt about what soil does, what the water does and why plants need water. Winning all round I think!

 

 

 

 

Three’s a crowd?….Anyone

I’m from a big family, one of four, number 3 in the pecking order and loved having my sisters around me as playmates when I was younger and now as my best friends. I realise that this is a reasonably modern term for a big family, as back in the day, people would have up to 10 children (eeeeeeek) but I guess that was more survival of the fittest and unfortunately as we all know, not all of those children would survive. We are so blessed to live in the time that we do and I thank god every day that I live in a nice place and although I complain about being skint a lot of the time, I do realise that we do pretty well for ourselves and are very very lucky.

 

 

But today’s ‘norm’ seems to have slipped into that 2 child family. As soon as you get married people start asking “when will the baby come”? or, like in our case, once you’ve been together for a loooooong time and your boyfriend takes 10 years to propose, people stop asking about when will you get married and start asking about babies!

 

 

You generally get a year’s grace before the questions start again, “when will you give X a baby sister/brother”? “You won’t let them be an only child will you”? “You’ve got a boy/girl, surely you want one of the other too”?….. and on and on it goes until you do indeed produce another small person.

 

 

Then that’s it. The questions stop and “people” assume that you now have your perfect family. Obviously if you get 2 of the same sex you get the old “Are you disappointed?” “didn’t you want one of each?” I mean really who are these “people”? It really never ceases to amaze me how people feel so at ease making these very bold statements with a straight face!! (I am aware that gender disappointment is a real condition and I really feel for people that suffer) I would NEVER ask someone something like that.

 

 

Anyway, I digress. We are now expecting no 3! AND YES IT WAS PLANNED!!! Just to answer the question that I have been asked about 400 times since anyone found out. I mean, I don’t go into the whole ovulation sticks, having endometriosis and polycystic ovaries and the journeys to get pregnant with them, but just reply with a “yes it was” and then you get the “Wow, you are so brave” “how are you going to cope” “Aren’t you scared of having 3 children 4 and under” to the simple but pretty concise, “ I think you are crazy”

 

Being from a big family I always knew that I wanted a big family too, as does my husband. I love our girls so much and the relationship they have with each other is amazing. Having 2 of my own children has made me even more in awe of my mum, managing 4 small people!!! Why wouldn’t we want to add to our family?

 

 

But now at 30 weeks pregnant, all those questions have started going round and round in my head. Life is great but can be very tough at times, with sleep deprivation, (4.30am wake up anyone!) building renovation, working, money and our Eldest about to start school. We’ve just got rid of nappies from our house and can leave the children to play in the garden while I wash up without fear of them falling over and seriously injuring themselves. I’ve just started to wonder whether this may not have been the brightest of ideas and I am also incredibly cross at letting myself get to this point, because of other people.

 

 

So I’ve taken to the trusted internet and searched things like “third child, practicalities” “3 children, yes or no” “life with 3 children” and there are a lot of mixed reviews out there – not that this is a film, just a major life decision!! Essentially there are lots of people who are debating no 3. Toying with the idea of odd numbers, new cars, holidays, bedrooms, trying to get that gender that they didn’t get before. And people who have families with 3+ children who say that life is amazing/difficult/challenging/rewarding….

 

 

What I have concluded is that every family is different, every dynamic, every personality and situation, so therefore why am I trying to work out what it is going to be like for us now? Until this little person arrives we won’t know. I cannot wait to meet our new arrival and NO I couldn’t care less if it is a boy or a girl (and no we did not find out what we are having!) I am fully aware that these are going to be tough times while we work out our new routines and get to grips with being a family of 5. But I am also very excited about increasing our brood and watching my girls becoming big Sisters, one again, and one for the first time.

 

 

If we have a little girl, I worry that 3 will be a crowd, and would we have to have a 4th to even things out… but I don’t think now is the time to be thinking about that yet!!