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!

 

Today was not the day to sacrifice my penguin

I had decided that I needed to get my ass in gear and finally loose the baby weight. I had decided that 4 months after she was born actually, and now over 2 years after that initial decision I was going to make it happen! Now don’t get me wrong, I had tried! I tried all the diets that I just knew would work “this time”……

It started with Slimming World. It seemed everyone and its dog had been loosing stones on Slimming World, and were managing to eat bowls of pasta and Curly Wurlys to beat the band. Sur all I heard about was “speed foods” and “healthy extras” and “syns” so I took myself off to my local group and after hearing the stories from the other group members I was hooked. I was going to get the weight off and would be sitting in that group circle in a few weeks the envy of the newbies! I arrived home after that first meeting armed with recipe books and confidence all I had to do was eat and get skinny in the process. WINNING! Turns out, you had to work! You couldn’t eat all the food and loose weight! You did need to watch portions, you did need to ditch the rubbish and be sensible and i just couldn’t do it. Slimming World just didn’t win out because what I didn’t realise was that I needed head space and motivation, two things I didn’t have with a reflux baby and a husband who couldn’t handle his life post baby. But more of that another day.

About 6 months after my failed slimming world attempt I decided I would try the “I will no longer allow a carb to pass my lips diet” I did this diet before I got married with good results. I lost over 30lbs so doing it again would be a breeze. And the first couple of weeks it was. But with Christmas season and my own mothers dinners, the trusty carbs sneaked their way back in. To be fair, dinner in my Mam’s would include roast potato, boiled potato, mashed potato, sur I didn’t have a chance. Anyway long story short, Carbs 1, Me 0!

Heading into 2015 I decided that I would give the old “clean eating” a go. Everyone was jumping on this bandwagon, far be it for me to be left behind. To be fair, it was really good. The weight came off slowly but I found myself constantly being thrown off course with holidays and communions and christenings and bla bla bla more excuses to drink wine and eat cake! By December just gone I was exactly the same weight as when I started in January! Even writing that is demoralising!

I made a promise to myself that I would stay on track in 2016 but didn’t jump straight in. I spent the last few weeks deciding how I would approach this years weight goals. I decided to do Dry January. To be honest as much as I like a glass of wine, it doesnt kill me not to have it, so not a massive sacrifice. I then came to the conclusion that I would follow the IIFYM lifestyle. For those of you who don’t know IIFYM stands for IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS. Something about it really appeals to me. You can eat, you just keep within your daily macros. Simples! Armed with a little knowledge (thanks google) I downloaded a free app and input my stats and hey presto I was ready to go. I decided to start this morning. Although its Friday and although I have to face in to a weekend of getting used to counting up the macros in my food I thought why put off tomorrow what I can do today. And then motherhood kicked in……..

12.30am that was the time she woke last night. My other new years resolution was to get my almost 3 year old to sleep in her own room. And having started this last Sunday we were now 5 nights in. The previous 5 nights were relatively OK. Yes I got up about 5 times a night BUT I always managed to get her back to bed. “Mammy I need a drink”, “Mammy I need a snuggle”, “Mammy you didnt give Lambie a kiss goodnight”, “Mammy get in beside me”, “Mammy I need another drink”, “Mammy I had a bad dream” and on and on it went for anywhere between 30mins and an hour. Last night however was a new experience! Last night between the hours of 12.30am and 4.55am I was met with a new kind of toddler determination. It was somewhere between the child you see in the supermarket having a melt down and the incredible hulk. She was sleeping in my bed and that was that! In the past I probably would have given in at around the 2 hour mark hence the reason I have an almost 3 year old who is only now learning to sleep in her own room. Last night I was determined to win out. When I finally did manage to get her to drift off and get some shut eye for myself, which felt like 30 seconds she was back in. This time with the “morning mammy, open your eyes its morning” She was right, it was morning. It was 7am and she was up for the day.

It was when I boiled the kettle for coffee that I realised that today was the day that I start counting my macros! Of all the days to start a new diet I picked today. I pushed on and logged into the app and started logging what I was going to eat today. First question “is today a training day” Are you kidding? NO! If I dress myself today I will feel like I have done my bit. No, I would just scrape by today doing minimum amounts all the while eating in accordance with my allowance!

4 times already I have had to put the penguin bar back in the press. Its only 3pm and already I am giving myself silent pep talks “put it back fattie” The penguin is safe for now. It has always been a coping measure for me to eat my feelings. In fact I had started to do it at expert level. Not anymore. So far today, sticking to my macros. It is in the back of my mind though that I still have dinner time, getting dressed for bed time, brushing teeth time, putting to bed time, staying in bed time, all ahead of me, That Penguin may not be safe after all……..