2

When mummy threw a tantrum 

I couldn’t breathe! My head was pounding, I was hungry and thirsty and just needed a break. Both kids had been bathed and fed, the house has been tidied. I had had a full day at work, virtually no sleep since Tiger was born 7 months ago and huge deadlines to meet. I just needed a break. And then it happened. They called for me…..each in their own way – all at the same time. 

I felt my insides turn, my head spin and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to scream or cry. Why did everyone always need me? Can no one make a decision? I didn’t want to decide what to eat, or what to play with or what to watch. I wanted to sit in the dark and stare at my phone or read a book or shower without someone needing something.

I heard myself scream….but it was more like I was watching someone else scream. I told all of them to leave me alone, then I stormed around in a circle and moaned about how no one ever put anything where it was meant to be. I didn’t make eye contact, I didn’t “adult”, I tantrumed!

I felt little eyes and big eyes open wide. I saw first concern, then confusion and then irritation, but I didn’t care. I stormed off to the car and proceeded to start it. I drove out the gate, 2 streets down and then turned back and sat in the parking lot and cried. Honestly this is not the first time I have felt this way and I don’t know why I feel this way either. I don’t hate my responsibilities, I don’t want a break from my kids or my husband – I just don’t want to adult all the time. 

I walked back into a house filled with toys and things piled where they shouldn’t be. Back into a space where eyes watched me, while loving hands hastily make me a cup of hot tea and little hands played with my hair, all to the tunes of Frozen. I walked back to drooly kisses and absolute love. And I decided that I could adult for just a little bit more….maybe!

K

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6

Why I think I broke my first born!

Dear Pup,
It took me a while to write this because I honestly couldn’t stand seeing it in black and white but it needs to be said. I hope that one day you will look back and say you handled things better than I did.

What a year 2016 was for you! Mummy changed into a bit of a mom-ster while Baby Bump was growing inside her and you, well you had to grow up pretty quick. Daddy’s hours mean that it’s usually just you, Baby Bump and I at home and that’s not always easy on you.

I look at you now and struggle to believe that you have grown so much. You are taller, leaner and not sure why but you seem honestly a bit subdued too. Your joy seems more restrained now as you quietly go about your business making sure not to wake baby or hesitate before you talk to me when you notice I’m nursing him.

You are strong willed and it shows now more than before. Sometimes I can’t deal with the smart comments, slamming doors and stomping feet. I expected that at 16, I guess, not 5 and so forgive me for being completely unprepared. I watch you as you chat to people when we visit or they visit and how you bask in their attention, and I suddenly realise what it must feel like to not be in the limelight on your own anymore. I suddenly feel how confusing it must be for you to go from yes all the time to sudden “in just a moment” and “I’ll do it just now”.  I suddenly see how it must be to be the other child and not the only child.

As I sit here in tears all I can think of saying is “I’m sorry”. Not for having your little brother or for being pregnant but I’m sorry that I could not have been more of a mummy to you in my time of need. I feel like I broke you a little – or maybe alot, I’m not too sure. 

I tell you I love you and tuck you in at night but I notice your lingering look as Daddy Dearest plops you into the shower when I’m busy feeding baby and I know you’re thinking that I used to share that time with you. I notice how you don’t run to me with open arms like you used to and you don’t laugh that big laugh you used to either, almost asking for attention instead of vivaciously taking it like you used to. I ask you if you’re ok and you turned to me with those big eyes and said, “I’m ok mummy, don’t worry about me”. For some reason that broke my heart. I never want you to feel that I shouldn’t worry about you. You’ll always be my baby.

You were the centre of my world for 5 whole years, you were the only one. You held all our attention and were the only one we focused all our love on. Now, well now,  we try this balancing game that I think we’re failing at. 

So, I’m going to fix it. I’m going to try harder to do better and be the “old mummy”. I’m going to hold you more, lie with you at bedtime for those stolen squeezes and maybe, just maybe we’ll get back the “us” time as the days roll by. I’m going to stop calling you a “big girl” and understand that you are still only 5 and can’t possibly know what I expect you to know. I’m going to stop treating you like an older child just because there is someone younger. 

You are my first born, and all my firsts as a mummy live with you. You made me a mummy. You said mum mum first, and all those memories I cherish, my baby. I am grateful and thankful to you for those privileges . I watch as Bump and you create firsts of your own, how you play gently with him, how you race to him when you get home and how he searches the room for you when you leave. Despite the changes, you have never blame him – your soul is wise and your love is pure. You are, as Daddy Dearest says, our Pure Joy.

At 3 months Baby Bump has already fallen in love with you as I did before you were even born.I look forward to you two building on this foundation for years to come.

So, my Pup, whether it’s you growing up or me breaking what was – I hope it all gets better as we learn how to deal with 3 becoming 4.

Love you my sunshine,

Manic mummy

2

Letter to my Daddy on the morning of my birth – Love Your Son

Dear Baby Bump,

This is the letter Daddy Dearest got on the morning of November 28th as we waited for you to be born. We were so excited to meet you and you have far exceeded our expectations with the amazing light and experiences you have already brought to all our lives.

You arrived at 9:17am, 3.75kgs and 53cms.  Our hearts skipped a beat and continue to do so every time we look at you. 

” 28 November 2016

Dear Daddy
I cannot wait to meet you daddy
And have you guide me on
I heard your voice around me
Everyday before I was born. 
My feet are very little now
And I cannot run its true
But I look forward to walking along
This journey called life with you.
Mummy told me stories of how she met you 
And how she loves you more every day
And Rachy said that you’re the bestest daddy
That ever came her way.
I’m excited to say I’m almost there
I’m imagining you in my mind
I already love you daddy
God said you were mine to find.
I hope one day I am just like you
In every single way
And I hope we have tons of magical memories
Starting when I meet you today!”

Mwaaah!!! 

Mummy and Daddy

4

10 things I had forgotten about newborns

Dear Pup,

So by now you have discovered and made peace with the fact that Baby Bump was not born ready to play. In fact he doesn’t really do much at this point  (he’s 8 days old today) except cru a bit, eat a lot, dirty lots of diapers and lie around looking cute).

You turn 5 in a month so mummy had really forgotten what newborns are like. Here’s what I had forgotten about newborns!

1) They are teeny tiny

You are little, 4 years old and gorgeous. I have always held  your hands and feet in my hands and thought how little you are. Now, as you hold your little brother I realise how really teeny he is (and you were smaller than him!)

2) They sleep – alot

When you were born I always felt I had no time but this time around it seems a little more (ok alot more) do-able. Baby Bump wakes and if we’re lucky we get 30min just to play with him, then he eats and sleeps pretty much for 4 hours until the cycle starts again. I’m actually relieved because I actually have time for either a really long nap or time with you if you are home from school.

3) They are born to be stared at

How we enjoy just staring at Baby Bump and his facial expressions. He is a natural entertainer with his cute smile and huge cheeks. He is even cute when he sleeps! You especially love the way his cheeks overflow when Mummy burps him – I used to love that about your cheeks too!

4) They poop and wee – alot!

Oh my word!! So many diapers and so few wipes!!! Baby Bump has already gone through a record numbet of diapers and wipes in his 8 days with us. No one is more shocked than you at the multi coloured contents of the diapers that you and Daddy Dearest watch Mummy change. How can so much come out of someone so little?

5) They are insanely manipulative (in the cutest way)

Baby Bump has  already figured out that it is easier to drink by bottle than mummy’s natural milk dispensers. He archs his back and cries and screams until he hears Daddy Dearest shaking the expressed version and then suddenly all tantrums stop – all hail the bottle! 

6) They always seem to cry or move when Mummy needs to eat

I’ve tested this and it’s true. Every mealtime is disrupted by Baby Bump waking up, cooing, needing a blanket, needing a blanket taken off him or similar. It’s like baby knows Mummy is about to relax!

7) They are incredibly soft

From the hair on their little heads to their chubby cheeks and down to their tiny little toes – babies are super soft. I had forgotten just how soft a human being could possibly be! All this results in more cuddles and more staring.

8) They re-unite you with people you haven’t heard from in years

All you need is one upload of a single photo and your social media accounts explode with well wishes from people you haven’t seen or heard from in years! Everyone wants to see more and hear all about him and your phone suddenly starts ringing! 

9) They make you fall in love – fast

I cannot explain it but it’s true. Once you hold your baby in your arms, it’s love at first glance. I always wondered how I would love Baby #2 when my heart was so full of you Pup, but it’s like your heart’s capacity suddenly doubles! 

10) They make you re- prioritise 

Suddenly doing the laundry is not as important as quiet time or cuddle time. WhatsApp messages go unanswered and the laptop gathers dust. Phonecalls are not always returned as quickly as they used to and life takes a slightly different turn. It happened when you were born Pup, and it happened again. Bringing a new life into the world means you are responsible for the people, the energy and the resources around that little person.

Can’t wait to share this with you one day when you are holding your own newborn!

Love you!

Mummy

 

0

What’s in the Dischem baby bag? – Dischem Baby Programme

Dear Rachy,

There are some some amazing loyalty programmes out there and you know mummy is a member of them all!

Some (that shall remain unnamed) have not sent me a proper card in 5 years leaving me with a paper version that barley holds together (despite lots of calls). Others, like Dischem offer great deals a dischem and rewards especially the Dischem Baby Programme.

So, I visited the customer service desk and activated my Dischem Baby benefit on my existing card. This took all of 10min and all you need is your estimated date of delivery. I was soooo late with this (only activated it at 32 weeks) so would advise mums to do it sooner. Basically you need to send a total of R350 to be eligible to receive the bag. 

Now Dischem is like Walmart (10 years in the US and mummy’s favourite “everything” shop). You go in there for lip gloss and come out with 10 bags!

That amount was spent in about 20 minutes and although you do not have to spend it on baby related items,  I chose to get Baby Bumps supplies for at least the next 2 months. While you are there check out their  Baby Things Baby Product Range and again, if you do not leave this to the last minute, small spends will have you reach the milestone in no time!

Then in no time at all you receive a call letting you know that your bag is ready and at which store. It took them all of 5 days to process mine which was lovely, but I had to drive to my work location instead of my preferred store close to home (not so lovely).

So, what’s inside? Let’s take a look!

Firstly, I love the bag itself. It’s gorgeous, waterproof, just the right size and has all the basic sections you need.

It also comes secured so that you know nothing has been removed. 

Very cute diaper changing mar

Pampers sample pack

And lots of other diaper bag sized goodies

There is a definite reference to their Baby Things brand and they seem to have read my mind ands I did forget to buy cotton balls and surgical spirits for Baby Bumps entry into the world in 10 days.

All in all, I love love loved it! 

9

Discovery Vitality Baby Box 2016 – What’s Inside!!!

This mummy to be felt very spoilt when I opened this amazing treasure chest of delights. What’s even better is that it is free (if you are a Discovery Vitality member). All you need to do.is register on their website and take the email they send you to the nearest Toys R Us. Service upon pick up at Toys R Us Cresta was amazing with everyone making a big deal of Baby Bump (and by default, myself)!

Here’s a peek of what you can expect! 

Glorious selection of baby books!!! Love, love, love!!!!

Diaper bag ready samples (from Johnsons Baby and Bennetts) are always a welcome treat and the Nuk pacifier is a nice touch but Baby Bump (like Rachy aka Pup) will not use one.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature breast pads and Carriwell maternity pads and panties are sure to come in handy.

My absolute faves is the cute receiving blanket and even cuter soother blanky!!!

Adorable Disney baby rattle socks and a Discovery window shield competes the box. Can’t wait to try out both! Disney baby also has an amazing website for support and great to know tips during and after pregnancy. 

Thanks to Discovery Vitality, Discovery Health and all the sponsors! What an awesome gift! 

K

2

Limiting screen time, child addiction to technology : Confessions of a rambling mummy

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My rude awakening occurred about a month ago. I noticed that Rachy (who just turned 4 a week ago) would get very restless when the television was not on. She constantly needed the background illuminated by the sounds of Disney Junior or the like. Her bedtime ritual suddenly also required a session for her Leap Pad and no trip to the mall was complete without her reaching for my phone to keep her busy. I kept telling myself it was ok just “this once”, that I was tired and deserved a break so I gave in – until it became a habit.

A week later, out of curiosity and in an attempt to make myself feel better, I counted up the time she spent in front of a screen, it added up to a staggering 4 hours (clearly that plan backfired)! Granted this was not purely sitting and staring at the screen, as she always is doing something else too, but that’s 3 hours too much for my personal liking!

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Suddenly it dawned on me that my little girl was becoming reliant – on technology! I had failed her (as if I needed more guilt!)

Now I am not one of those mum’s who does not let their children watch any television at all (not that there is anything wrong with it), but I have always been an advocate for limiting screen time. As someone well versed i  early childhood development and immersed in Learning and Development daily, I fully understand the effect of the flashing images on a young brain. I was in total control until the accident – when Hunky Hubby was recovering from his near fatal motorbike accident I honestly resorted to allowing her a “little” more time watching or playing games so that she would not be privy to the conversations about x-rays and physiotherapy. Then it dawned on me – I realised I was making excuses and I decided to implement change – immediately!

Honestly, 3 weeks later, its been a relatively easy journey from her side. I expected more of a battle honestly. I’m happy to announce that all that has changed now. Her birthday party consisted of a few telling moments, but I did not give her my phone and we survived!

The method to weaning her off meant I had to resolve to do a few things differently.

My phone gets put away from the moment I pick her up until she goes to bed. Too much of a distraction and she is more prone to demand Peppa Pig if she sees it.

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Her after school routine is longer and includes a snack, an arts and craft activity  or game, dinner, bike ride or trampoline fun, a shower and bedtime story followed by my method to end “bedtime tantrums” that has her sleeping in less than 30 minutes.

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I have stopped saying “I’m tired” and accepted the fact that I’ll rest when she’s 18!

She sleeps better, wakes better, he tantrums seem better even (I’ll let you know by the weekend if this lasts).

All in all, I feel better about doing better! And I’ve got those 3 hours back and converted them into memory making moments. She still gets her 15min during brekkie and her 30min during dinner so there’s a balance, but my television is no longer a babysitter!

Good luck everyone, life sometimes just happens!

K