Surviving That First Phone Call From The Nursery

 

Surviving the first phonecall from nursery - Missuswolf
Well I’ve experienced it.
Just a day short of being back at work a month and I thought I’d escaped unscathed.

Unscathed from that first phone call from the nursery. (Well actually, it’s my second. The first one was a couple of weeks ago when I forgot her milk. Bad mam alert!)

But it was the first phone call asking me to come and retrieve my child.
It’s the call you dread receiving. Dread seeing the nursery’s name flash across the screen, the vibrations seeming more urgent and insistent.

In true Missuswolf style – I missed the call.

Argh. Cue even more guilt and bad Mam status.

I’d actually gone for a pee. Something I always leave to the last minute too as my mind is so preoccupied. (I’m in danger  of regressing to a toddler one day. You know – when you’re so engrossed in an activity that you actually piss yourself.)

Jeez what has my life become?!

As I approached my desk I happened to glance at my phone.

And in a nano second my work persona slipped. I knew the sheer terror was etched all over my face.

A missed call from the nursery.

And a voicemail.

Shit.

In that moment I wasn’t me.

I was Mam.

Full on Mam mode – heckles up, on high alert – ready to face  the emergency

I forgot how to operate the voicemail. Stupid I know but my fingers fumbled.

Sod it.

Just ring them straight back you divvy!

No matter how much they say it’s nothing to worry about you immediately think they’ve suffocated in the sandpit. 

Turns out she had a gunky eye and no amount of bathing would clear it. As there’d been conjunctivitis going round they couldn’t keep her there.

So off I trotted to collect her.

And obviously I couldn’t get a doctors appointment that day.

But I was offered a triage call back by the nurse instead.

I described the symptoms and the nurse prescribed eye drops.

She advised that as the little lady has been full of cold she’d more than likely spread this to her eye (you know – wiping snot all over her face yak!) and she’d developed conjunctivitis.

Thankfully the nursery allowed her to return the next day with her drops in tow.

As well as  her previously prescribed  cream for her yeast infection (for under her chin from aaaall the teething dribbles).

I was like a walking pharmacist.

Despite all this, E is still full of beans and fine in herself the little trooper.

Suppose she’s going to catch far worse over the next few years.

But on a positive note – it builds up her immune system in these early years. Hoping she’ll be match fit by the time she goes to school.

And as for me – well, I’m fine in myself too. Normal (chaotic) service has resumed.

I survived my first nursery call-out.

So from now until the next phone call,  I just live in fear of the ailments spreading to me …

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image credit to Anthony on Pexels

Getting Back Into The Workforce: Part-time and Flexible options

Career Loving Parents (Working Mums – and dads too!)

Missuswolf Career loving parents

Image from Pixabay

Are you a Career Loving Parent? Why not take this quiz to find out what your chances are of getting a part-time or flexible job …

Quiz

Full Time But Still Flexible

Here I am. Four weeks into working life following ten months maternity.

And how am I coping?

I’m going to be honest. It is tiring and my head can be all over the place.

But it’s not been as hard as I imagined. Organisation is key and I’m lucky that I have flexible employers that accommodate nursery pick-ups/drop offs.

Which is why I’m massively in support of the Hire Me My Way Campaign.

Empowering Women Back Into The Workforce

Missuswolf women working on car flexible work options

Image from Pexels

 

I’ve blogged previously about my thoughts on wellbeing and a work/life balance. I truly believe to achieve happiness and contentment in your life – especially as a parent – you need a happy medium.

You need time away from being a parent – where you have a role and responsibility outside of raising a small human.

Even if it’s just for a few hours a day.

To regain your sense of person and sense of purpose. Of course I’m not suggesting you don’t feel purpose by being a parent.

It’s the

biggest purpose

in life.

Just that you need that part of yourself back where you’re using your brain, personality and skill set to contribute to the running costs of raising a family.

1 in 4 workers have part-time jobs and everyone now has the right to ask their employer if they can work part-time. But as most working mums know, this apparent easy availability of part time work disguises many problems:

You can ask your current employer if you can work part-time, but what happens if your request is rejected?

And what happens after a few years, when you think it’s time to move on/look for promotion?

What if you take an extended maternity break, so leave your old employer and are looking for a new job when you decide to return to work?

When you’re looking for a new job, less than 1 in 20 are advertised on a part-time basis (for quality jobs with salaries at £20k+ pro rata).

The result is that many people (mostly women) get stuck in their current jobs. And when they have no choice but to look for a new part-time job, its commonplace to be forced to down-skill, taking a salary below their true value in the workplace.

I feel passionate about this. It’s not the world I want to bring my daughter up in.

1,500,000 people in the UK are currently trapped in low-paid part-time jobs below their skill level.

I want her to go out there, get a career she’s happy with, have a family and then return to working in a flexible role that matches her skill set.

And not get trapped and become de-skilled.

Missuswolf career loving parents flexible working

Image from Unsplash

 

The Hire Me My Way campaign is calling on all employers to start advertising their new jobs as being open to flexible working options. In other words, extending the ‘right to ask for flexibility’ to day one of a new hire, rather than just being a right for existing employees.

 

Anyone who feels strongly about this issue can sign up to the campaign here: http://hirememyway.org.uk/  to help the Hire Me My Way team put more pressure on employers.

You can check out employers who have joined the campaign and agreed to start hiring flexibly here.

I feel like now is the time to make some changes.

Women are at a stage where they are thriving in careers and we need to keep that skill set in the workforce.

Not penalise them because they’ve had a family.

Take the Quiz here.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Disclosure: Collaborative Post

Stripped Back: Red Wine, Terry’s and a Good Old Fashioned Black and White

Missuswolf stripped back bare trees

Despite one of the tag lines of my blog revolving around Fizz, I occasionally cheat on her with her cousin.

Vino rouge.

For those of you who know me, you know my strict relationship with wine.

Those of you who don’t, here I shall explain.

Once the seasons change, so does the colour of my wine.

As September sweeps in and the Autumn leaves curl, the crisp and dry vino blanco, once shared at sunset on patios, becomes an evocative shade of red.

A big, strong glass that can be sipped all night long. Preferably in front of a roaring fire.

Which I don’t have.

Once upon a time I would seek one out in a pub. And sit until last orders with my OH. Putting the world to rights.

Planning our next venture.

Well tonight, on this bitter eve after the Thundersnow (FYI I saw snow but missed the thunder) it’s been more of a toast to our ventures.

Life is deliciously chaotic at the moment and after the weeks militant routine, sometime it’s just nice to kick back and, you know, just chill.

Warts and all. By this I mean cosy in my winter jarmies, hair scraped back with sudocrem (yes you read right) over the winter boils that encroach my face.

Sipping red wine with a bar of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Watching a good old fashioned black and white film with the mister.

We may sound old, boring or uncouth. But I feel incredibly relaxed. There’s something utmost soothing about watching old films.

They appear to have lived in simpler times.

And in these crazy times that we live in, sometimes it’s just nice to take a step back. Out of it all.

So tonight we watched Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A title so well known yet I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t at one for knowing the story line. Argh.

But now I do.

And I want to know many more story lines from many more good old-fashioned movies.

Just while the nights are dark and the wine is red.

Until I’m back on a patio at sunset and the wine is white.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image from Pexels

The First Week Back At Work After Maternity

Missuswolf First week at work after maternity girl in the air

Image credit – Pexels

We made it! I’ve got the Friday feeling for the first time in nearly ten months – and boy does it feel good!

Granted my Friday now involves picking up a Little Lady from nursery and heading home. As opposed to picking up the hubby and heading to the pub.

But what the hell. The fact is I’d been out the house by myself for nearly eight hours. Me Time 🙂

Well, the one thing I’ve learnt from my experience in my first week back to work is:

Organisation

is

key.

Packing bags and laying out clothes the night before equates to a smooth running morning.

Alarm goes off – jump in the shower. Snaffle a banana while I do my hair and make-up. Throw my clothes on. Get Ella dressed and then go go go!

All Christmas Ella was up about 6.15. Bloomin typical.

What does she do on the first day?

Lie in.

So you can imagine my horror as I tapped her lightly to wake her up. Pulling that wincey face as I braced myself for huffy tears.

None came.

Hurrah.

In the car off to work with my bag (yippee, I actually have my own bag. Although I need a new one desperately. Waiting to earn myself some pennies first) her bag and I even managed to pack a gym bag. Go me.

Arrive at nursery at just after 7am (Ella is there everyday from 7. Her finishing times vary between 1pm and 3pm. Pickups are shared amongst me and the family).

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you’ll be well aware how I wanted to go back full time. And how much I was really looking forward to going back to work (I never shut up abooot it).

Although I’m on a phased return at the moment, I’m still happy with my decision.

In fact, I’m so much happier all round.

For the first time in ten months I feel like ME again. The variety of going to work and slotting a few gym sessions around my phased hours has instantly made me a happier, nicer human being.

Although the snatched gym sessions are just a brucey bonus at the moment. Come full steam ahead I’m going to have to factor them into my evening time.

I’m not going to lie and I think it was blatantly obvious. I didn’t really enjoy being off with a baby. Gasp. Or does that sound too harsh?? It wasn’t healthy for either of us and this proves it:

Ella was never a snuggly baby and was so used to my presence that being with me was never a big deal.

Everyday this week I’ve had lots of snuggles, she crawls over to me and onto my lap, plays with my hair and sits on my knee. She pulls at my face and has lent in a few times for some kisses.

Likewise when I’ve walked into nursery and seen that unreal smile. A smile that lights up her excited little face while her arms and legs flail about. You can’t buy that feeling in a bottle.

Surprisingly there were no tears from either of us on the first day. I think we were both looking forward to our new ventures.

And she’s thoroughly entertained at nursery. Which is what I wanted and I knew she would be. They give her far more than I could ever give and I feel like she’s grown loads in the space of a week.

It wears her out.

The afternoon nap-time-battle seems to be slacking. In fact, she had one at 2pm today. 2pm. On my watch by 4pm I was stomping the beach front with the pram willing her to drop off. Selfishly so I could go back for a cuppa in peace obvs.

By bath time she’s rubbing her eyes and come bed time she’s passed out as soon as she’s tucked in (by daddy – the super-tuckerer-inner).

And me?

I’m on a roll.

I feel productive, organised, satisfied, motivated.

And happy.

Incredibly happy.

I feel like a superwoman.

My brain is gradually coming back to life. Granted my heads all over the place trying to work out where I need to be. But it’s nothing a good diary system at work and home isn’t sorting out.

Plus I’m learning a new job too. So the days are flying by. Dare I admit that I don’t even miss her??

Wait – that sounds harsh.

Of course I’m aware when she’s not around but I don’t get a chance to think about it as I’m so distracted. But it’s been healthy for me.

One day she’ll go to school five days a week so I wouldn’t see her then anyway. I think of it logically and that this is just good prep for those days.

What I said in T’was The Night Before … Returning To Work After Maternity is all true.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated tea, bath and bed time. A time I’d come to despise when I was off alone with her.

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again. Happy mama equals happy baba.

I don’t want readers to feel like I’m preachy about this. Everyone’s family and circumstances are different. But if you’re considering a family and are very career orientated, I just wanted to reassure you.

That you can still be a good mam, in my case I already feel like a better mam, by going back to work. Hell I was even dancing around the kitchen to ‘Kids’ by One Republic with the Little Lady in my arms Wednesday tea time.

Throwing our heads back, laughing as I balanced her on my hip while marching up and down the room tango-style.

It’s a sight my OH came home to. And I’m sure he’ll agree. It was a much better one than having a baby thrown at him.

Happy Wife – Happy Life.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Snacks On The Go With a Baby: Naturelly

 

For those of you who have stuck by me long enough on my weaning journey (cheeky post plugs here The Woes of Weaning and Baby-Led Weaning Essential: Tidy Tot All In One Bib and Tray) this is the latest installment: Naturelly.

Firstly. What is it?

Naturelly is a gelatine free, juicy jelly fruit snack, sweet by nature with nothing naughty added. 

That’s right – a jelly fruit snack.

So you know when you’re on the go and your small human makes those hunger noises? And if you’re like me there tends to be a stash of emergency baby biscuits in your changing bag to tide them over until the next meal?

You can now have an emergency pouch of jelly.

A pouch of jelly that’s:

– No added sugar or sweeteners
– 100% RI of Vitamin C
– Only 36 Kcal per pouch.

There’s three flavours to choose from: Summer Fruits, Apple and Blackcurrant and Tropical Fruits.

They have a screw top and can easily be sucked out the top.

I used this in the above scenario as an emergency snack for the Little Lady when we were out and about. She loved it. It went down a treat.

She was happy.

I was happy.

Yey winning at parenting.

That’s what it’s all about – being one step ahead.

If you’ve got school kids you can pop one of these in their lunchboxes.

You can buy them in bulk off the website and, as with anything in bulk, the more you buy the cheaper it is.

Plus you lovely lot for being my readers get to enjoy 25% off. Just pop in Natblog25 at the checkout.

There’s nothing stopping us adults having one either. If you need to quash a sweet craving or a pick-me up after sport.

Vegetarian society approved. Coeliac society approved. School Approved

Parent Hack: It’s always handy to have emergency snacks.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Disclosure:

Missuswolf Typewriter Compliments Disclosure

 

T’was The Night Before … Returning to Work after Maternity

Missuswolf mother and daughter in rocking chair

So here it is.

The night before I start my first day back at work since 11th March 2016 (I’m discounting the odd KIT day).

Since I joined The Motherhood.

Wow. It feels weird (but good!) to be getting into a routine of packing our bags and setting our clothes for the next day.

Something I’ll probably grow to hate. Or will I? I like being organised. Hopefully it will become autopilot and my future self (the tired head-less-chicken one in the morning) will thank me for it.

A nice bath. Early to bed to read a book and set an alarm.

Argh I haven’t set an alarm (bar the KIT days) since March 2016.

I’ll probably not sleep tonight for fear of sleeping in.

I know, I know. I’ve shouted from the rooftops how I’ve looked forward to this day. How I’ve longed to get back to work for some ‘me time’.

Ha.

It’s comical isn’t it? Who would’ve thought I classed work as  my time. 

But I do.

And I am looking forward to it.

However, do you know what I’m looking forward to the most?

Coming home to this gorgeous, happy little thing I’m proud to call my daughter.

I’ll look forward to having tea with her. To enjoy preparing it and then watching her eat it.

And bathing her. Watching her play with bubbles and the purple and yellow ducks. And the little spikey orange ball that lights up.

Splashing her little hands on the water and giggling every time she does it. Looking at me with those big blue eyes. Eyes that ask me to giggle back with her too.

Then wrapping her in her hooded towel where she resembles a baby Yoda.

Patting dry her utterly delightful skin.

Dressing her for bed.

Giving her a bottle of warm milk.

Reading her a story. Or two.

And then lying her in her cot. Her big girl cot which has been completely lowered now (when did that happen?)

Then tucking her in.

Actually, this is a daddy job as I don’t tuck her in tight enough. She’s like that magician that can escape being chained, bolted and dropped in water. Wriggles in all the right places and breaks free.

And do you know why I will look forward to all of this?

Because for nearly ten whole months, the monotony of everyday motherhood – looking after a small human by myself – takes it’s toll in the evening.

I’ve been too tired or sick of her by this time of day to actually embrace and enjoy these moments.

Gasp. What an awful thing to say.

But it’s true.

These moments tend to be flung at the other half. For him to try and embrace after his day at work.

So no doubt I’ll still be tired from my day at work.

But that’s just it.

I’ve been at work. I’ve had time away from her. She’s had time away from me.

So those moments that we are together.

Will be unbelievably special.

I can’t wait to see how excited she gets when I come home from work.

This festive period I’ve had the hubby on hand so I’ve had little breaks.

Little breaks like having a lie in.

Where I’ve surfaced and she’s already had her breakfast and her dad has dressed her. Dressed her like only a dad can dress his daughter – in obscure outfits that should never leave the house.

I inch my way through the living room door. As sometimes she’s crawling around right behind it (again – when did this happen?)

Then, she sees me.

With those innocent blue eyes.

Taking me in.

All dishevelled in my dressing gown and untamed hair. My make-up free face still puffy from sleep.

And she looks at me like  

I’m the most beautiful person

in the world.

Her  long little legs kick wildly.  Her smile lights up her cheeky little face and the excited giggles that escape from that tiny little mouth are breathtaking.

I do have a heart underneath all of this Warrior Mode.

And my god it explodes.

My little buddy for life.

I’ve come a long way in nearly ten months.

It’s been the toughest, hardest most emotional time of my life.

I’d go so far as to say it’s been the craziest.

I’m still me. Just a different version.

One that has been on a huge learning curve.

But I look back upon my time with fondness. There have been plenty of highs and there have been plenty of lows.

There’s also been some questionable parenting moments.

Like the time I couldn’t remember leaving chocolate in her cot, only to discover it wasn’t actually chocolate on her hand – that mammy had left the dirty nappy bag in the cot …

And as much as I’ve wanted this absolutely crazy time off to hurry up, I’ll reflect on 2016 in years to come as the year that not only broke me – but it also made me.

I’ve poured my feelings and frustrations into what can be looked upon as an online maternity diary. Like diaries, there will be some entries I look back upon and downright cringe, even regret. But for most of it, I’ll look back with pride.

That maternity leave not only gave me a chance to spend (albeit some frustrating and exhausting) time with this little human of mine.

It gave me the chance to take a step back from life.

To focus on something I’ve absolutely loved doing since I was a little girl myself.

Writing.

Last week, I watched the BBC film on the Bronte sisters To Walk Invisible.

And that was empowering in itself. Three women masquerading as men to get their novels published. What a significant piece of history.

A piece I want to share with my daughter. I’d like to think that by writing this blog I’m writing some history for her too. That mammy loved writing and her dream came true to share it with the world.

Missuswolf mother and daughter reading

Image credit to Pixabay

On the subject of the Bronte’s, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read Jane Eyre. Ouch.

I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle. I want to get into the routine of reading before bed again.

I digress.

This whole pregnancy and maternity experience has brought me new friends. Friends which some of whom I’ve not even known a year. But it’s felt like I have known them a life time. Who’ve been there on the toughest journey of my life. And that’s a strong bond.

Missuswolf Maternity Friends for life

Image credit: Pixabay

Then there are friends I’ve always had who’ve been on this journey with me too. Through the raw parts. Who have seen me at my worst and I have seen them at their best as they support and pick me up.

Friends who bring you pizza when you’ve got a teething baby and all you have eaten is a bowl of trifle for tea.

Those people are priceless.

And I thank them.

For sharing this crazy ass journey with me.

That’s Sisterhood for you.

That’s Motherhood.

Here’s to my next chapter. I’m off to make it a good one.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

Out With The Old. In With The New. 2017 – here’s to you.

Missuswolf Happy New Year picture 2017

I love New Year.

Not necessarily New Years Eve. Although we had a lovely quiet one with friends at home. As we have a baby. So staying in is the new going out.

I love the clean slate.

To start afresh.

And returning to work (following ten months maternity)  in the New Year with everyone else makes it easier for me.

New Year New Start.

I’ve made resolutions in the past.

The usual ‘eat healthy/drink less’ variety.

But this year I just want an overall resolution.

To be happy and positive in life.

Oh, and if we’re sticking to the optimistic front – in the words of Del Boy: This time next year we’ll be millionaires.

Here’s hoping.

All the best for 2017.

Make it the year of you.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Merry ♡ Christmas 

Wow. What a year it’s been.

I just want to say a very quick Merry Christmas.

I’m signing off for the festive period now.

When I return it will be in the New Year.

And 2017 is looking crazy already. Crazy in a good way.

New job. New house (fingers crossed).

And the blog?

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see 😉

Enjoy this time to relax and unwind with your loved ones.

Missuswolf Merry Christmas Rocking Horse Tree decoration Unsplash
I’m going to deviate from character here and coo ‘oh wow it’s Baby’s First Christmas for us’.

Haha. It certainly is Baby’s First Christmas and I’ve been the most unprepared I’ve ever been for Christmas in my life. Ooooops.

Obvs I am excited but it’s taken me twice aslong to do anything. Thank god for online shopping as I get pram rage.

Thank god for the nursery trials this week too (which were successful yeay). It meant I could run around the shops shackle-free and buy cards and presents.

And Thank You for sticking with my ramblings these past few months. Possibly the hardest months I’ve experienced. Ever.

So I’m off to pump Prosecco through my veins for the next week.

Cheers – here’s to 2017.

Bring it on.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash and Pexel 

Not Losing Yourself To Motherhood

Image from Unsplash

I’ve been married nearly ten years and part of the reason I didn’t have a baby straight away is that I was scared to lose myself to Motherhood.

I didn’t want to become a ‘modern mum’ who had ‘lost the plot’.

I’ve written this post on the back of reading Why Mum Must Come First (Sometimes) – a very interesting and honest post by Gemma Capocci.

I found myself reading about a person that – if I’d have had a baby at aged twenty-three – I know I would’ve become.

I’m not saying anyone has to be an older parent to be a better parent. That’s not my point at all.

But I just did.  I needed a few years under my belt to let off steam. To go on holidays and grow in my career.

I feel stronger and more secure in myself than I did ten years ago.

All that combined gave me the strength to recognise my faults and weaknesses as a person and gauge how I’d react to Motherhood.

I knew breastfeeding wasn’t for me. And I felt strong enough to vocalise this.

Thankfully, the battle I envisaged with a matron health visitor turned out quite the opposite. The most unmatronly HV simply said that as long as the child was fed, she would be happy.

How I chose to do it was up to me.

How liberating!

I feel like there’s a shift coming up in Motherhood. Thanks to the internet and blogging world, information and experience is readily available.

Yet so are opinions.

I don’t give advice. I just say what has worked for me.

You can listen to advice and scaremongering until the cows come home. But one thing I will say is that old cliché of trusting your instincts. Be strong in your mind, your thoughts and intuition.

What I’ve learnt about myself over all these years is that I knew if I didn’t keep busy and look after me too, I would get depressed. There’s been days where I’ve felt down and pissed off that this had become my life.

Frustrating seems to be the word that’s summed my maternity leave up.

And I’m glad it’s nearly over.

There. I said it.

But I don’t care. Because I’ve fought for nine months to make sure that I’ve made time for me.

The Perfect Parent brigade can throw stones at me all they want.

Even they’ll break eventually.

No one can keep up that perfect act.

So I’ve gone to the gym. I went on my first night out six weeks postnatal. I’ve sat and wrote blog posts. I’ve had my hair and nails done.

And do you know what?

I’ve got a very healthy happy nine month old whose got a very happy, healthy mamma bear.

She’s going for her first hour at nursery tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited.

One whole hour to myself. One whole hour for her to explore and play.

Balance.

I can’t wait.

To restore that balance.

And don’t feel guilty that you’re sending them to nursery. That post above discusses the need to feel we have to stay at home to give them the best in life.

It had the opposite effect for that person. They experienced anxiety and depression. Which didn’t benefit mother or baby.

Childcare is costly but it’s only temporary. And they develop unbelievable amounts mentally and socially.

And so will you. As you have a break. A chance to go to work and get your identity. Feel like you have a purpose in life other than being a parent.

I knew before I had a baby that I wasn’t going to be forced into anything I didn’t want to do. My main priority was that she took her milk, we all got some sleep and that we both got fresh air once a day.

And gasp – I wasn’t always thinking what was in her best interest. Some days I was like ‘What can I do today to stop me losing the plot in this mundane cycle of Motherhood?’

I’ve written about it before and I’ll bleat on about it again: Looking after yourself benefits both of you.

We’re not going to be joined at the hip forever and one day she’ll have a mind and voice of her own. She will want to do what she wants and thinks is best.

Then what’s left of me if I’ve neglected myself?

So please please please look after yourselves!

Get involved in buggy bootcamps/swimming/pregnancy and postnatal yoga. Treat yourself! Buy that damn top for you instead of another baby outfit. Don’t forget yourself!

Join a gym and get your mam/dad/gran to push the buggy round the local shops while you do a class. I did bodypump at exercse4less while my Mam pushed E round the Range.

It was good all round. I got to a class, my Mam got to see Ella and she did a bit of shopping too.

Of course you want what’s best for your baby.

But you also want what’s best for yourself.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Nine Months In. Nine Months Out.

Sunday 4th December 2016

img_1545

As we approach your ninth month, I’m having a weird sort of reflection.

On the 11th of December, you will be nine months old.

We’ve passed the six month stage and it’s not as if it’s even your first birthday. Those are much more mega milestones.

Nope.

For some reason I’m very nostalgic that you’ve been alive nine whole months.

Because that’s the amount of time you were inside my body.

Nine whole months – from egg to cell to foetus.

That’s the amount of time

your body

developed in

my body.

And in that same amount of time out of my body, you’ve learnt how to feed.

How to differentiate night from day.

You’ve established a sleeping pattern.

You rolled over.

You’ve learnt to feed yourself finger food.

You’ve turned that roll into a crawl.

You sit up unaided.

You can even pull yourself up into a seating position.

You’ve even made attempts at scaling the furniture in prep to pull yourself up.

Missuswolf vintage baby touching wall

 

And just about the cutest – you chatter away in your little voice when you wake in a morning.

I love how you now play and interact with other children.

I love how you sit and entertain yourself with toys – and even watch TV. (Thanks – these latter skills are extremely helpful to your old mam – so she can fanny about on Facebook or you know – write posts like this.)

As we both laze about in our dressing gowns on this Sunday morning, you look so cute that I could die.

I’ve never considered myself maternal. I’ve admired babies from afar. The old give them a little cuddle. And then hand them back.

Like I’ve said previously, I’d been in no hurry to have a baby of my own.

Even despite a good pregnancy and birth, I’m in no hurry to have any more.

I openly admit I dislike the newborn stage. I selfishly hate the fact I put in so much (sleep-deprived) time and didn’t even get a smile in return.

I know.

Selfish.

It’s only human nature to want interaction – a smile, a cuddle.

Plus everyone tells you as a new mother to slow down. Enjoy it. Make the most of it. As time really does fly.

That’s not what my sleep-deprived self wanted to hear. In the fog of surviving on bouts of two-hour – sometimes even ninety-minutes – naps (as that can not logically be counted as sleep bah!)  I thought this was my life.

Forever.

No sleep and a tiny (and I mean tiny – the whole of five pounds) living, breathing, heart-beating human that relied so heavily on me.

Looking back, of course it went quick, and in nine whole months, it’s ridiculous how far we’ve all come.

And how much you’ve changed.

Missuswolf Rocking horse christmas decoration

I type this while shouting ‘no’ for the umpteenth time as you crawl under the Christmas tree to pull the baubles off. Or crawl towards the TV cabinet. Or the stairs.

But most of all, you’ve become your own little person.

So content and happy.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I was constantly moaning at being the designated driver during the festive season.

If truth be told, I thought you’d ruin my life (sorry) and my body.

You haven’t.

For fear of sounding corny or cliché, my life has more fulfilment. My former self would have slapped this self at writing such drivel. I’d read it all before and just thought blah another boring mam post.

Haha! I’ve become that boring mam!

A boring mam who now bleats on about her new-found sense of purpose. I love that I can be your role model. That you (annoyingly) touch (pull) my hair and my necklace. But I can’t wait til those are the things you want to talk about and play with.

And you’ve awoken a drive and determination in me that I never knew I had.

I’m actually healthier now than I was before I had you. Pregnancy taught me to eat well (aside from the slippery slope of Cadbury’s Easter Eggs towards the end). I ate a lot of green beans and boiled eggs – so much so that the midwives were in disbelief of my iron levels after I gave birth.

I don’t drink as much as I did beforehand. Obviously I still reward myself for keeping you alive with a glass of wine or two here and there. And on the rough days it’s a given.

But I don’t go out on benders every weekend

If I’m honest, I actually feel fitter and stronger since having you. And that’s something I never thought I would hear myself say.

I’ve not hidden the fact I’ve struggled being off work and looking after you constantly. But each passing week you’re getting more independent. Obviously we’re a long way off from the mainstream stuff like driving and moving out, but we’ve conquered a fair few stages already.

In just nine months.

But I’m finally taking the slow down advice this month. December is the perfect, snuggly time of year to wind-down anyway for Christmas. So we’re winding down together. Enjoying each other’s company in our dressing gowns a few days more than we really should.

In the beginning, I was forcing myself to be showered, dressed and made-up. Pressure I know. But I was worried that if I didn’t, I’d fall into a trap of never getting changed or leaving the house. I had to do that to save myself.

And because I did that, I’m happy in the fact that in less than a month now, I return to work. Where we’ll be up super early for nursery and family drop-offs. Life will be back to a million miles an hour that I’m used to.

We’ve gotten out of the last nine months exactly what we wanted from each other; you learning how to feed and entertain yourself, me learning more about myself than I have in my whole lifetime.

Now we’re both ready to face the big wide world. You have the excitement of nursery; learning more new things and making new friends. I get to go back to work to a new role where I too will have to learn new things and make new friends.

But we’re both well equipped. We’re happy, strong, determined ladies.

So we’ll spend a little longer lazing around this Sunday. As that’s what our Sunday’s will become. Our day of rest after our chaotic week back in the real world.

Your small life in this big wide world.

But that’s just it.

You are my big wide world.

In this small life.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash and Pexel