1. HUSBAND/PARTNER HATE
A friend told me until you have a baby, you never realise how much you hate your husband. 😂 Obviously hate is a strong word but the minor things that may have irritated you slightly, or were maybe endearing pre-kids, will make you want to breathe fire.
You will stare at your partner in the night as they snore away, with their useless nipples while you are up for another night feed and you will feel resentment – and also resentful that seemingly, their life has not dramatically changed, yet yours is truly unrecognisable.
3. FALL IN LOVE
Even though their nipples are useless, seeing them hold your baby for the first time and the look in their eyes, makes you fall in love with them all over again.
4. JUST ‘MUM AND DAD'
The fun-loving couple pre-kids can feel like a distant memory and you look at photos of you pre-kids and that couple is unrecognisable. You become so focused on being mum and dad, you lose your ‘couple identity’ – but it's not lost.
5. DATE NIGHTS
Your life naturally revolves around your children, so much of your time is spent as a family. And a quality date night can be just sitting on the sofa in silence looking at the baby monitor, hoping you get some sleep.
Speaking of exhaustion, you’re knackered. But it will become a competition over who is more tired.
7. LET’S (NOT) GET PHYSICAL
You can feel totally 'touched out', especially in the early days, so it can be the last thing on your mind.
A mother’s focus becomes her new baby and although unintentional, your partner is not at the forefront of your mind anymore so is naturally side-lined.
9. BICKER MORE
Whose turn it is to put the wheelie bin out can start World War 3, the little things around the house that never used to matter, matter a lot!
10. BE KIND TO EACH OTHER
It is undoubtedly a life changing time in both your lives but it is important to remind yourselves sometimes that the reason baby/s are here – is because of your love for each other. Your relationship changes, but doesn't have to be for the worst. Make time for each other through the exhaustion and remember you’re not just mum and dad. And talk to each other, never stop talking to each other.
1. THERE IS NO CHILL
Sitting down to have a hot cup of tea is a pipe dream as from 5am, 6am if you’re lucky, you are on your toes running after two little people with zero boundaries or fear – and zero chill. They don’t stop. Ever.
2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ‘ADULT’ TV
Your life is Moana, Mr Tumble, Bob the Builder, YouTube videos of other people’s kids opening a Kinder egg toy. There will be a Disney song or theme tune in your head right now. CAN HE FIX IT? YOU BET YOUR LIFE HE CAN.
3. SNACKS FOR DAYS
They need feeding constantly, like two bodybuilders in training. Just when you think they can’t still be hungry, they want another snack.
4. CONSTANTLY SHOUTING ‘DON’T DO…'
Don’t climb up there. Don’t hit the TV. Don’t bite. Don’t eat mud, stones, dog hair. Don’t say that naughty word mammy just said. It’s a constant battle to keep your toddlers from injuring themselves and their first words being a swear word.
5. OH, THEY’VE BANGED THEIR HEAD AGAIN
If one hasn’t fallen off something or tripped over or banged their head at some point today – it’s a good day.
6. RING SIDE AT WWE
Two toddlers inevitably means having to break up wrestling matches daily. Some days you feel like you are ring side watching two WWE superstars.
7. WILD AND FERAL
You go from never wanting to tame their wildness and freedom – to wrestling a questionable lump of 'mud' out of their hands while you chase them in a mix of rage and wonder at how fast little legs can run.
8. SLEEP ISN’T AN OPTION
If one is sleeping great, the other one won’t be and just when you think you’ve turned a corner another sleep regression hits you in the face.
9. YOU MISS MILESTONES
You miss important milestones of one toddler as you’re too busy trying pull the other off a chair, a table, the kitchen bench.
10. THEY’RE INTENSE
Toddlers are fearless, wild and at times, the most annoying little people you will ever meet – but they can be loving – fiercely loving. When they stop for just a second to give you a cuddle, you are reminded you don’t want to run away and life with two toddlers can be tough – but you wouldn’t change a thing. Well maybe eating mud.
You will find rather than the initial reaction being, congratulations – you get ‘are you mad?!’
2. ARE YOU HOPING FOR A GIRL/BOY?
If you have two of both, you will inevitably be asked whether you want or have been trying for the opposite sex. (What will be will be as long as baby is healthy that's all that matters. Happy to have a trio of boys and if a girl comes into the mix - well, what do I do with a girl?!)
3. BIGGER QUICKER
By 12-weeks I’m sure I looked 20 weeks and the pregnancy waddle comes much quicker than first time round.
On top of having 'two kids exhausted' plus pregnancy tired you’re pretty much well, knackered all the time.
5. NO TIME FOR REST
First pregnancy: Oooh, it’s the weekend, going to have a lovely afternoon nap. HAHAHA, those were the days.
6. MILESTONES ARE MISSED
The what size vegetable is my baby now? milestones are missed and you feel guilty for it – and you have little or no bump photos this time round. (Remind myself to take more photos!)
7. BLINK AND YOU’RE HALF WAY
The 12-week scan first time round seemed to take forever to come round, now you blink and it’s your 20-week scan.
8. YOU FORGET YOU’RE PREGNANT
You’re so busy with one and two and everything else – you sometimes forget you are growing a tiny human, though the growing bump and facial hair remind you.
You go from wanting time to go even faster to meet baby, to wanting time to slow down as you want to soak it all in – but then feel guilty for forgetting to soak it all in.
10. KICKS ARE STILL AS MAGICAL
Baby number 1, 2, 3 – or if you go on to have more babies, nothing will ever EVER beat the moments you feel your baby kick. It’s indescribable and reminds you how lucky you are.
1. SENSE OF LOSS
Those early weeks I really missed my first child, even though I saw him everyday it wasn’t how it used to be. I did feel a sense of loss, the alone time we had we would never get back and it was hugely emotional.
2. MUM GUILT
Double the guilt. Guilty for not being able to spend time with your toddler, guilty for not being able to give newborn the attention you gave your first. Just an all round guilt fest really but don’t be too hard on yourself, just know you are doing the best you can.
3. HUSBAND HATE
Double the love but double the husband rage. Yup, they still snore during the night feeds. 🤷🏻♀️
The fear you wouldn’t have room to love another child disappears in an instant and your heart just grows. And seeing them together when the toddler isn’t poking baby in the eye, will make you burst and remind you how much of a gift a sibling can be.
5. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
Some days you will all be dressed before 9am, some days you will resemble Worzel Gummidge and want to scream into a pillow. However your day goes, give yourself a break. Your little people love you and your growing beard.
6. TIME SPEEDS UP
Everything goes faster. Pregnancy, the newborn phase and milestones you were desperate to reach first-time round will come round faster than you want. Time slow down.
7. SPLIT IN TWO
You wish you could split yourself in two so you could give both equal attention and one-on-one time. But you become an expert in juggling and you will get those moments in-between the chaotic days.
8. ASK FOR HELP
It can be tough so absolutely no shame in asking for help. VISITORS DON’T JUST HOLD THE BABY, OFFER TO MAKE A CUPPA, LUNCH, TAKE THE TODDLER OUT, LET MUM HAVE A BATH.
9. FORGET LIFE WITH ONE
Just as you can’t imagine life with two babies, you won’t be able to remember or imagine life without two – and wouldn’t want to.
10. YOU WILL MANAGE
You will have moments of ‘how the fuck am I going to do this?’ But you do and absolutely will. And seeing them together makes it worth while. Just stock up on the coffee, and chocolate and hardcore liquor!
My daddy is a Royal Marine,
He goes by sea, by land,
And everywhere my daddy goes,
He takes a photo of me.
And every night when he is away,
We look up at the stars,
And we know daddy is there,
Here’s never really far.
I miss my daddy when he is away,
He is the bravest man I know,
I hope he knows I’m so proud of him,
And I understand why he has to go.
My daddy is a Royal Marine,
He goes by sea, by land,
And wherever my daddy goes,
He leaves a piece of his heart with me.
Happy Father's Day to all the military dads' who can't be home today. ❤
1. YOU CAN'T PREPARE
You can read all the baby books in the world, google everything, talk to other mums but nothing can prepare you for the whirlwind of black poos, mustard poos, the first solid poo, the exhaustion, routine-stress, naps, cracked nipples, when your baby first smiles (your heart will stop), when they laugh, the constant worry - you can’t prepare for any of it.
2. NAPS AND ROUTINE OBSESSION
You will spend a large majority of your time googling sleep routines, ‘why won’t my baby nap?’….it will become your life's obsession.
3. SLEEP REGRESSIONS ARE NOT FUN
Who knew? Apparently there's one at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...months, you get my point. Coffee is life.
4. HANGOVERS ARE EVEN MORE HORRIFIC
I'll just leave that one there. You really don't want that second tequila shot love.
5. MUM GUILT IS REAL
You will feel guilty for feeling guilty about feeling guilty. And judged. So judged. Do what is best for you and your baby.
6. THE LOVE FOR YOUR BABY IS OVERWHELMING
The love you feel for your baby will some days take your breath away. Like literally stop you in your tracks, you have never known a love like it.
7. WOMEN ARE AMAZING
We all struggle some days and it's nothing to feel ashamed about. Just because being a mum might not be joy every second of the day – it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mum, or you love your baby any less. And you’re never alone. Remember that.
8. THE WORLD IS SCARIER
You will be so much more aware of the tragedies that take place in the world and you will worry much more. The world does seem scarier. All you want to do is protect your child forever.
9. RESPECT PARENTS MORE
You love your parents more because you know how much they really love you. They have been through the four-month-sleep regression and survived – that deserves a medal.
10. CBEEBIES IS LIFE
Mr Tumble and his spotty bag, Bing (ANNOYING), that guy with the floppy hair who loves dinosaur adventures. This will become your world. Enjoy your Netflix while you can!
1. THE FIRST NIGHT 'ALONE'
I remember my husband driving us back home from hospital and I was looking at my baby and I was TERRIFIED. I don’t know how to look after a baby? But you get through it – and the next night and the next night…
2. THE BLOOD
Although my friends told me to expect lots of blood, I was unprepared at how much there was. Maternity pads are your new best friend. You feel sooòoo sexy in those 6 weeks.
The exhaustion is like nothing you have ever experienced. You will feel like you have sand in your eyes and you will be amazed how excited you get when you have 2 hours un-interupted sleep.
4. YOU ARE A COW
If you are breastfeeding, you will feel like a cow. Boob out, biscuits in mouth, just roll with it. It’s relentless and hard but remember it won’t always be this intense and you won’t always be a cow, though your boobs may look like udders forever. #ripboobs
5. THE FEAR OF THE FIRST POO
Never in my life have I been so scared to have a poo. That first poo after-birth nerves is one you’ll never forget.
6. HUSBAND HATE
My friend wisely told me that once you have kids you realise how much you hate your partner. 😂 But you equally fall in love with them more when you see them with baby, but when they snore during the night feeds you wonder whether the patio is big enough…
Those night feeds at 2am can be so lonely. But remember there’s another mum out there at 2am, doing the same as you – you are not alone. ❤
8. MOURN OLD LIFE
My doctor said to me that once the flowers and cards dry up, everyone gets on with their own life – but you. Your life has changed forever. You will feel unrecognisable and there will be times you will mourn your 'old life'.
Other people will coo and cuddle your baby but you feel like you’re getting the ‘hard’ bits – the exhaustion, the cluster feedings, the explosive poos.
10. FIRST SMILE
Through all the blood, sweat and tears, your baby's first smile will complete you in ways you can't ever describe and make every explosive poo worth it.
You've got this mama 💪
1. YOU CAN’T PLAN ANYTHING
Want to book a holiday? Want to know how long they’ll be away for? Want to know whether you need to shave your legs on Friday? Ha! Things constantly change and you can never plan anything with certainty. And if you do - it will change!
2. YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO
Did I? ‘You chose this life,’ did I? A what not to say to a military spouse.
It is lonely. Whether you are on your own, have children, live on a patch or live close to family. It is lonely. Once the day is done and you sit on the sofa in the evening the one person you want to talk to is more likely to be away than be there.
4. COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS
You go between counting down the days until they are home to when they are home, just wishing time would slow down. How is it Sunday again?
5. PART OF A UNIQUE CLUB
Whether they are your neighbours, you have never met, you’ve been friends for years - you’re part of an amazing group of women who are the only ones who truly know what you are going through and will be there for you whether that be a phone call, message or a wild night out.
6. YOU LOSE COUNT OF POSTCODES
You finally get settled and then it’s time to move again. Lucky to see so much of the country but equally - you just want to stay put for longer than 2 years.
7. MAGNOLIA WALLS
Married quarters are a beautiful mix of well, magnolia. You will come to loathe those magnolia walls!
8. MISSED PHONE CALL IS HEARTBREAKING
You end up being glued to your phone but if you miss a phone call, well you will cry - a lot. Especially if they’re overseas and you don’t know when they can ring back.
9. SUNDAY DREAD
The Sunday night dread is real. Having to watch them pack their bags, knowing you’ll be flying solo for a week, weeks, months. It’s hard.
10. YOU FEEL LUCKY
As much as it is hard, you get to experience the butterflies that are sometimes lost in long-term relationships when it’s been months and they're finally on their way home. Nothing beats deployment coming-home butterflies.
10 things nobody tells you
Pregnancy is undoubtedly a life-changing part of anyone’s life and like all things in life, everyone’s experience is different. But hand on heart I can say that feeling your baby kick for the first time is one of those moments where time really does stand still. But amongst the highs, there’s some symptoms you can experience that leave you feeling quite far from that ‘pregnancy glow’.
I was quite troll like during my pregnancy to be honest – sweaty, hair and angry.
So here’s my ‘top 10’ things nobody tells you when you’re expecting…
1. MORNING SICKNESS
I still do not know why this is called morning sickness when it is in fact, morning, noon and night sickness. And ginger beer. No thanks – don’t want it near me when I’m not pregnant, never mind when I’m pregnant. (Tip another mum told me: Dry crackers – take some to bed with you. I used to nibble on one when I woke up as I would always feel worse first thing. Wild times having a cracker in bed each morning).
2. PREGNANCY RAGE
I don’t think I can actually put this into words but pregnancy rage is real. It’s the REAL DEAL. I would mostly get rage at my husband and I honestly thought I would explode some days – over absolutely nothing. But at the time it was EVERYTHING. So partners if you are reading this. DO NOT ARGUE BACK. DO NOT SAY I THINK YOU’RE BEING UNREASONABLE. WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? I THINK YOU’RE SLIGHTLY OVER-REACTING. WHY ARE YOU IN A MOOD ALL THE TIME? I REALLY THINK YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN. Just let your pregnant partner lose her shit over the most trivial of things – just step back and feed her chocolate. (Fun fact – When I was pregnant with Rafe, I also got rage at McDonald’s when they didn’t serve me my breakfast hash browns quick enough so I wrote a 2-page letter of complaint. Got an apology and a voucher so win win really).
3. FACIAL HAIR
Having dark hair, I’ve always been partial to a bit of a tash but I had some delightful hairs on my chinny chin suddenly appear when I was pregnant. Hormones apparently. And hate to break it to you – the facial hair stays. Yummy mummies all round!
4. I’M BRINGING SWEATY BACK
For me, pregnancy was less glow and more sweat. Especially extra boobie sweat – so yeah, full on glamour-puss I was.
5. PEOPLE TOUCH YOU MORE AND ARE OPENLY OFFENSIVE
So apparently when you’re pregnant a) strangers can touch your stomach and comment on your bump as much as they want b) People can be openly offensive to you and it’s ok. ‘YOU’RE SO BIG! IS IT TWINS?! YOU’RE MASSIVE! WHAT - YOU’VE GOT 5 MONTHS LEFT! I WAS TINY COMPARED TO YOU. Erm, thanks.
6. SWOLLEN VAGINA
Probably too much information but I’ve just told you I had sweaty boobs so one side affect (for some) can be a swollen lady garden. All about increased blood flow during pregnancy apparently. It was particularly bad if I’d been on a long walk. I’d literally end up walking like John Wayne – fun times.
7. HORMONES ARE MENTAL
As pregnancy rage proves, emotions can be all over the place. Probably not the best example but we watched a film about a dog that kept dying and coming back to life and I literally lost it. Was hyperventilating through the whole film. So yeah, you’ll probably cry a bit more.
So that pregnancy glow could be embarrassment from letting off more trumps than normal. This is because your body produces higher levels of the hormone progesterone – who knew?
9. MATERNAL INSTINCT
For me, this started from the moment I found out I was pregnant. You become so in-tune with your baby and body – you just get a feeling if something isn’t quite right. Always, ALWAYS speak to a midwife, even if your concern may seem small, they’d much rather you rang them than not. Trust your instincts.
10. UNSOLICITED ADVICE
People can be amazing during pregnancy and offer you some great advice, the kind of advice you really need for reassurance or to just know you're not alone. But equally, they can inadvertently make you feel like poo. Someone told me when I was pregnant to just put some people’s advice in the fuck it bucket! And don’t compare yourself to other people, your experience is your own.
So yeah - I was just a delight really. But honestly – I would do it all again in a heartbeat. (Husband just three-wheeling out the drive now). Those first kicks outweigh any extra hairs on your chin though.
Till next time,
So hopefully this is helpful. I’ve also included other things we brought that we found useful for both our little darlings in those early weeks.
And on a side note, ladies you don’t have to get waxed, shaved, fake-tanned to give birth – unless you really want to of course. With Rafe I had my hair done, waxed from head to toe, nails done…where in reality by the end of it I couldn’t have cared less – nor do the midwives. And second time round, well they were lucky if I shaved my big toe.
On that note, what is the one thing you are glad you packed?
What I packed in my hospital bag
You can pick and choose what you want to take – at the end of the day you will probably have so many people saying ‘you need this, you don’t need that’ but this is what I packed.
And for when the fun begins at home….
(I've went for the 'little' things here -not necessarily the big essentials i.e. cot or pram but happy to share what we have, just holla.)
This is a tough one as babies really don't need as much stuff as you think they do - but equally you somehow accumulate so much stuff. In the same note, just because Grandma Audrey slept in a chest of drawers when she was a baby, it doesn't mean you won't want to buy a cot.
I breastfed Rafe and I'm still breastfeeding Elijah so I’m really not that clued up on bottle feeding at all but the list below is what we brought when pregnant with Rafe. I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed but thought I’d prepare for both just in case.
The main thing I would say after looking back is if you want to breastfeed – do some research, as much as you can! I literally didn’t have a clue, I just thought it would be relatively easy. Lucy Webber, a lactation consultant recommends the following books - The Positive Breastfeeding Book - Amy Brown, You've Got It In You - Emma Pickett, Dr Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding - Jack Newman, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - La Leche League.
Anything else/present ideas for people to get you
Hope this helps. I know the list looks daunting but like I said, you can just pick and choose what you want. Feel free to share this with anyone expecting!
Next blog post is WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING...
Till next time,
P.s For those who have been reading my blog for a while, I will still be writing about my 'here and now' (send wine) but those posts will be more on Facebook and Instagram. I will be doing a bit more 'general mum posts' on here. Just for a few weeks, see what people want to read to be honest. If there is anything you want me to cover, PLEASE just message me.
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.