What a year.
I’d say that this year has been one of the most difficult – and the best years of my life. Having to deal with not only the four-month sleep regression – IT WILL HAUNT ME FOREVER – but coming to terms with the trauma of Rafe’s birth really hit me pretty hard. And it hasn’t been easy. All the bits in-between have been slightly challenging too…Walking miles to get Rafe to sleep, getting rage at wheelie bins, hating my husband for snoring while I nursed Rafe, getting mastitis – which HURTS LIKE A MOTHER-FUCKER. The loneliness, the realisation your boobs will never be the same, the exhaustion which actually makes you hallucinate (I thought my neighbour’s house was on fire – thanks four-month sleep regression), the worry that you just aren’t doing anything right. And some days you just want to cry. But even though I’ve had some of my toughest moments – I wouldn’t change it for the world. Well maybe my husband for Tom Hardy. JOKES…But being a mum has changed me more than I ever thought it would. I never thought I could love someone so much. And I look at Rafe every day and feel so incredibly lucky. He’s gone from being this teeny tiny baby, still only a few months old at the start of the year – to this whirlwind of a toddler who makes me laugh every day. He is an absolute superstar.
Thank you to all of you for being with me throughout this past year. Your advice and support always means so much. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one going through what I am going through. And I know some of you had a really tough year – but remember, us mums. We are pretty fucking fabulous. And to your son, your daughter – you really are their world. They don’t care if you have saggy ass boobs and a moustache. (My New Year’s resolution is to stop looking like a troll….wish me luck). Rudyard Kipling wrote, ‘God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers’. Which even if you're not religious, is pretty beautiful. So don’t forget to tell yourself how fabulous (say this in John Barrowman's voice) you are – even at 3am when you're up for what feels like the 50,000th time. You're doing amazing.
I just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas – and wish you lots of love and happiness for the New Year. Please do a few shots of tequila on Christmas Day for me!
I’ll be sharing some photos over the Christmas hols on here and more on Instagram, but ‘officially’ I’ll be ‘seeing’ you all next year!
On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, a toddler whose nose is runny,
On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, an ‘up all night’ cough and a toddler whose nose is runny,
On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, no sleep and a toddler whose nose is runny….
Hands up who has yet another poorly baby with the 5,000th cough and cold? I love Christmas. Hate winter bugs.
I honestly feel so sorry for Rafe. He was just getting better and then bamb another cold and cough! And yes, I know this is all good for his immune system and he will hopefully not be ill much when he is at school but fucking hell – give the poor lad a break. He’s been so blocked up, had to stand in the bathroom, running the hot tap and shower to unblock his nose throughout the night. He’s understandably not sleeping great but hoping he is coming out the other end of it. He was much better for nursery on Wednesday but if he picks up another bug I may have a nervous breakdown. Okay, slightly dramatic but it’s awful to see your baby poorly and there’s nothing you can do. I have been recommended Sambucol Kids to give Rafe over the winter – it’s basically like a vitamin tonic (for over 1’s), which is supposed to boost their immune system I think. So worth a try! PLEASE WORK.
So yes, been a bit of a rough beginning of the week but thankfully my husband is working in the North East before his Christmas leave so he has been able to help out at night. And only wanted to kill him a couple of times while he was snoring and I was feeding. While he is back, I’m thinking of trying to replace Rafe’s night-time boobie feed (still feed morning and before bed too) with cow's milk. I still want to carry on breastfeeding but honestly, I’m just bloody knackered and I do think that he doesn’t need (unless he’s poorly and needs comfort) even my milk in the night as he can and does sometimes sleep through and eating plenty too. But it’s hard as I am torn because I know especially when he is ill, boobs are great for comfort. So I’m not sure – anyone else give a bottle of milk in the night? Any advice? Or does he even need a bottle in the night? Just don’t know what to do for best, just a bit conflicted at the mo – think I’m just a tad frazzled. And I look like a troll. And with my husband home for a decent stint, I was thinking it might be the time to try and drop another feed while he is home. Help! Or maybe just having one of those weeks!
Next week will be my last post before Christmas and was going to have a little break (still post pictures on Instagram and here) from the blog till the New Year. Just wanted to be reassured that people are still enjoying what I am writing, the format week by week, or they want more/less content? Obviously some weeks I can write an essay – but other weeks not so much – so I know I’ve asked this before but don’t know whether to still keep the same format (weekly blog if I can), as well as sharing more photos on both Instagram and here?? Let me know what you think, value all your opinion. I actually can’t believe I have almost 2,000 followers! Amazeballs. You’re all legends.
Till next week,
I’ve always loved Christmas. But as you are rather dramatically told (after you have had a baby – nobody tells you this before) that you will at some point during those early weeks and months, ‘mourn your old life’ – well that definitely hit home for me during last Christmas. Although it was of course, so incredibly special as it was Rafe’s first Christmas, I must admit I did feel rather sorry for myself too. Don’t get me wrong – I knew how incredibly lucky I was. But there was a lot going on inside my little head (I understand more about that now) and Rafe was only a few months old and I really didn't (and still don’t) know if I was doing anything right at all. And for me, before Rafe, Christmas had of course been about being home and being with my family and friends. But honestly – without sounding like a plonky – it was also a time where there would be a merry amount of booze consumed. Especially when I was younger and didn’t have crow’s feet and saggy boobs, Christmas Eve in Whitley Bay was like the best night ever. Starting in Weatherspoon’s, drinking a jug of woo woo and dancing to Christmas songs all night was at the time – pretty fabulous. And a few years ago, I loved going out on Boxing Day for a ‘few’ drinks (and shots of tequila) with my friends. And I remember last year, sitting upstairs while my family all chinked their prosecco glasses while I was trying to get Rafe to latch on and I felt a mixture of guilt because I had my little boy and was so lucky – but also aware that I wasn’t going to be drinking tequila and singing Mariah Carey and I felt well - a bit pump. And it wasn’t about the boozing that I was missing – I guess it just hit home that my ‘carefree’ life where I could pretty much go out anytime I wanted, wherever I wanted, at the drop of a hat with a shot of tequila – well that was over. And I wasn’t ‘mourning’ the jugs of woo woo, I just realised the ‘old’ me had become the Ghost of Christmas past. But you know what? What is even more special? MORE SPECIAL THAN GETTING DRUNK TO MARIAH CAREY? You ask. Seeing Rafe’s face light up when he sees the Christmas tree for the first time after his mum and dad tried quietly to put it up – without killing each other the night before. Although he still doesn’t really have a clue what is going on, it just feels even more magical. Like real magic. And I love Christmas even more than I ever did. And in years to come, when Rafe believes in Santa – he can leave him a couple of shots of tequila and a jug of woo woo out for Rudolph….
Like I said last week, I’ve been a bit poorly which hasn’t been overly fun and juat as I was thinking, it's been almost two weeks of no nursery germs...Rafe has literally just come down with another cough and cold. Last night was particularly rough as he was so blocked up, coughing and teething. His big bad boy teeth are coming in (think that's the right term) so he is really not happy. Poor lad. Amen to Calpol and baby Bonjela.
Literally counting down the days until the Christmas holidays – it will be the first chunk of time I have had with Rafe since maternity leave. And my husband is home so just looking forward to family time – and having Chris do everything. Jokes…Although his Christmas leave will be a bit bittersweet as early January he is going away for a couple of months so not overly excited about that. He’s been away since we had Rafe, but not for such a long stint where he won’t get to come home at all and contact might not be great. So although he’s not around normally during the week, we’ve been lucky for a while that he’s been home most weekends. But we will survive, just always the thought of it and those first few days that are really hard. Will just have to stock up on the chocolate and make sure I have plans to keep us busy every weekend and fingers crossed it will fly by.
Rafe’s not walking yet – and some days just doesn’t seem bothered to try at all. At first I was starting to worry as I was comparing him to other babies of the same age who had been walking for a while – but I need to not do that. And remember he will walk when he is ready. I remember the health visitor saying some babies don’t walk till 16-18 months and that’s normal. He just loves whizzing around crawling at the moment. We try and encourage him best we can but at the end of the day, Chris and I are incredibly stubborn and like us, if Rafe doesn’t want to do something. He simply won’t! So will see. Would be nice to think he will be wobbling around over Christmas – but equally I’m not going to stress about it if he doesn’t. He’s at such a special age at the moment that I am just loving seeing how he is developing his little personality every day. The way he chats away (no idea what he is saying!) to himself in the morning, to how he loves to share his food/stuff it in your face and how he finds it hilarious if you jump out and give him a shock. I’ve been watching Babies, Their Wonderful World on BBC 2 (highly recommend) which looks at the incredible changes in the first two years of life and it is just fascinating. You don’t actually realise how much babies are taking in at such a young age. So best start curbing the ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ conversations with my husband….
Until next week,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.