I’m not even sorry!

This morning I ate cake for breakfast! Not just any cake, it was chocolate and I am not even sorry! It has been in my fridge since Sunday and this morning I polished it off. For what reason? Well for many reasons actually. I estimated I had about 11 minutes before my husband got back from dropping May to school and I made an educated guess I could stuff it in before he got home and I could save myself the shame of him catching me.

Now before I get messages from concerned folk about my nutritional needs during pregnancy I know! I am aware that I should be eating a balanced healthy diet and I am aware I can not stuff cake in my mouth at 8:30am and expect to be healthy, but you know what? At 8:30am this morning I didn’t care. I didn’t care because this morning I had had enough of trying to keep it together. When I arrived to the kitchen this morning I realised that I had forgotten to turn on the dishwasher before bed (another fail) I used the last clean bowl in the press to make May porridge before school and the thought of actually having to wash a bowl and go about making myself something that would take longer than 2 minuets to prepare had me running for a fork. And so I had cake. My existence for the last couple of weeks (nights especially) were literally propelling me on with each cakey mouthful.

You see if I am honest with you (and myself) I have been finding this pregnancy hard. I don’t mind telling you that its not all shopping for baby blankets and filtered bump pics on instagram! It’s hard sometimes. And I say that statement riddled with guilt. Because I have friends going through IVF and I have friends who are trying to have babies and most of all guilt because I experienced miscarriage not even a year ago.

I stopped sleeping a while ago. It began with waking up with heartburn. I was waking during the night to prop myself up again and chew Rennie tablets. It progressed then to waking because I had pain in my hips, pain in my back, pain in my neck, pain in my legs. Now I need to use the bathroom throughout the night! So now with the peeing and the hip pain and the back pain and the neck and leg pain and the heartburn I am awake most nights for hours at a time. And while I am awake I am thinking of everything I am doing wrong as a mother with my 3 year old daughter. My daughter who since Christmas has not wanted to go to bed or sleep alone. Now that might be putting it mildly. So to draw you a quick picture of family life at the moment, our sweet loving little girl has taken to screaming, slapping, punching, crying, ripping the wallpaper from the walls throwing things……. all the things you might see on one of those programs on the telly where children go wild and they bring in some woman to tell the parents what they are doing wrong and you mutter things like “little shit” at the telly while watching it!

I am not ashamed to say I cried. Not just once either. I cried several times. In fact, during one particular tantrum I locked myself in my bedroom and sat on the floor and cried. I cried for every time I ever got to stay in bed later than 8am. I cried for the impromptu weekends away, for the showers I took alone, the uninterruptedĀ  phone calls, the nice clothes, the nights out, the spare cash, the spa days, the shopping with friends, the “us time”, I cried for all of it. I cried for the life I had before I spent my evenings picking up toys and cleaning dinner off the floor. I cried for the time where someone didn’t throw an x-box at me. I cried for quite time. Then it hit me. That night sitting on the floor in my bedroom the reality that I would soon have another hit me.

I am guilty of looking at other mothers and wondering how the hell they have it together. I can’t get past 3 loads of washing to put on and other mothers are batch cooking gluten free soups and doing squats with new born babies in slings with their faces contoured! What the hell am I doing wrong?! I have never had a child who was a good sleeper.But at some point I sort of got used to it and other people stop believing it is as hard as it is. How long can you realistically tell people your child does not sleep without them thinking you are lying or your a crap parent. So I started to just say “grand” when people asked how she slept, “grand”….. go to bed OK? “yeh grand”…… well behaved? “grand yeh” But now with the weeks until no.2 arrives growing shorter and my own lack of sleep getting in on me, it is becoming more and more obvious that somethings got to give. Today it was breakfast. And with every calorie filled bite I felt a fine balance between guilt and satisfaction.

By the time May got home from school I had managed to dress myself, turn on the dishwasher and buy a book that promises to promote a good nights sleep for children! When she got in from school she sang songs from Annie and asked if we could send water to poor kids. You see that is how I survive. I am convinced that is how all Mammies survive. They load up on all the good stuff during the day. They fill themselves up with all the smiles and hugs and songs and laughing to make the hard bits livable for another day.

I heard today that female rhino’s are pregnant for 16 months. 16!!! Let that sink in. Relatively speaking I am getting away easy. I have myself told over and over that any baby after May will be a breeze. If not I am going to need to stock up on Kleenex and buy more cake!

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Welcome to the family Wendy……

I have been asked numerous times, just when will I be sending my almost 3 year old off to preschool and almost every time I don’t know what to say. You see, when it comes to packing off your little one for a few hours a week some are in the mindset of wait until they are older, some are on team send them early and get them used to it. However I think I don’t fall on either end of that spectrum. You see, truth be told I don’t want to send her at all.

I want to keep her all to myself! As a stay at home mother I get the privilege of being this little ones Mother, Friend, Opponent, Carer, Entertainer all rolled into one. Now don’t get me wrong, its not all singing songs and crafts its actually pretty hard. It would be hard to forget the loneliness you feel, especially in the early days when its just you and baby and bundles of clothes to be put away and the hoover that’s been sitting out for 4 days that you still haven’t had a chance to use. It would be easy for me to skim over the tantrums, and constant questions and the fear she will somehow break the dog, but overall being at home with her is the best job I have ever had. I am yet to hear of another position where you can stay in your pj’s all day, not brush your hair, not get everything done to a deadline and still have the boss give you a cuddle at the end of the day. So you see, I know I am blessed to do what I do, but its her I worry for.

As I said, I know I’m getting a good deal out of this arrangement but I cant help but feel maybe she is getting short changed. You see there is only so much I can do with her before real life kicks in. Before I need to make dinner, or run errands or clean the house. At which point she is on her own. Now obviously I don’t mean physically, but just on her own. To play alone, or have her snack alone, and I wonder how much she would enjoy having friends of her own. That question has been niggling at me for awhile.

Today while making my bed, I could hear her talking to herself. The conversation was with “Wendy”……….. turns out Wendy is a girl who owns a green and white monkey and has been hanging out at our house for some time. Apparently Wendy comes to the house everyday to play. When I pushed for more details about our invisible house guest it became clear that Wendy actually means a great deal to her. She says Wendy comes over to run around and play with Duke (her teddy) As she reamed off the things she does with Wendy and told me “Wendy was a very good girl” my heart cracked a little. My little girl had found a friend and I couldn’t help but think that maybe it was out of necessity that she did! And so I welcomed Wendy into our home and at the same time opened my mind to the idea that maybe a couple of mornings in preschool wouldn’t do any harm. After all, she was already making friends outside of me anyway!