Eight years ago, my husband was on patrol in Afghanistan on his forth operational tour. His Sergeant was trying to set us up on a blind date. Chris asked – “So what is she like?” He replied: “Loves the booze mate. Loves the booze!” “Is she pretty? Is she funny?” "Loves the booze mate. Loves the booze!” Surprisingly, he still wanted to meet me and the week he got back we met with some friends and before we'd even said hello I knocked back a tequila. (God, I used to be fun.) I remember my mum texting to ask how it was going and I replied something corny and she said ‘best buy a hat!’ Never would have thought years down the line she would. 8 years together. 3 years married. 4 house moves all across he country. 2 gorgeous boys – and not forgetting Yankee. It will be our official ‘changed our relationship status on Facebook’ anniversary on Tuesday (we pretty much got drunk together for first few weeks!)
You meet someone in the military and you don’t imagine how hard it will be. You open up your life to them but then you also have to learn to get on with your life without them whether that be days, weeks or months and months. Some weeks without any contact and every day, even if they are in the country you never know when they will ring. Or whether you can get a hold of them. Or when you do speak to them, sometimes it’s just a conversation of “I can’t hear you. What? What? Fucking signal!" And it can be lonely. I’ve lived miles away from family, lived round the corner from family – either way, it’s lonely. Throw in kids, a dog, a mortgage, him still not knowing where to put his dirty washing (NOT ON THE FLOOR) and some lows – and some amazing highs – we are still here. Like all relationships it's hard but I’m lucky that I get to miss someone everyday. And it can be romantic. Writing letters and the excitement of that blue envelope coming through the door. It also makes you appreciate the small things. The things you don’t think you’ll miss but you do. It’s been quite the adventure these past eight years – but wouldn’t want to go through life without anyone else. How did you meet your partner? Love hearing other people’s stories! Please tell me I’m not the only one whose involved tequila!
I was nailing being a mum on Friday. All fed and dressed by 7.30. I'd epilated my moustache the night before so felt like a new woman. We made some cookies (instant packet for the win) which Rafe loved doing, despite 'him' leaving them in the oven for too long so you lost a tooth eating them. Rafe counted to ten and I wanted to cry with pride. Took Yankee out in the stotting rain, Elijah napped, while Rafe kept throwing his socks on the floor. But it was ok. Cos I was NAILING IT. Then all Rafe wanted to eat was his biscuits. But went to Hartbeeps and they were a dream. Got home and needed the loo and two minutes peace but Rafe kept banging on the door screaming IGGLE PIGGLE. He refused to eat his tea despite me shouting EAT THE PASTA. Then I felt bad for shouting. Both crying as tired and refused to nap earlier. Then Elijah wanted boob but needed to clean the pasta off the floor and tell Rafe he couldn’t have another flipping biscuit. Then he took his nappy off and I had to chase him round the room. Elijah did a massive poo. Husband FaceTimed from overseas and I’d been looking forward to his call all day but I went into a massive mood when he said he hadn’t been busy all day. Then cried after because I miss him and was a cow bag. Both kids bathed. Elijah fell asleep on boob so got to read Rafe a story in peace and he hugged and gave me a kiss on the cheek without asking and my heart exploded. Both unsettled for a while. Finally came downstairs to a bomb site of toys to tidy up. Had a bag of ‘more to share' maltesers for tea. On Instagram saw Joe Wicks had made his daughter a super healthy meal and Rafe had pretty much had biscuits and a yogurt all day. And I felt like I was a bad mum. Then remembered how lucky I was and felt guilty for wanting to have a poo in peace. Guess that’s what being a mum is all about, moments of pure happiness, to just needing a break, to joy and overwhelming feelings of pride, to feelings of absolute exhaustion and self doubt. It’s an absolute rollercoaster but must be doing something right when they both just look at me and smile for no reason. Just because they wanted to. We’ve got this mamas.
You kind of expect the guilt the impact having a second child may have on your first born. The feeling left out. The jealousy. Not having that ‘one on one’ time. It's tough. Tougher than I imagined. But I never really thought about the guilt I’d feel for my second child. With Rafe it was all about routine, getting him to sleep (trying) at the same time every day, making sure he has tummy time, goes to a few baby classes, make sure he has ‘play time’, gets some fresh air, a feeding routine....but with Elijah. Some days I just feel so guilty because it still is all about Rafe. He's in and out the car seat, off to one of Rafe's classes, in the pram at the park, breastfeeding him on a bench on the beach while almost getting blown away because I wanted to take Rafe to the beach, can't even attempt any type of nap routine, still just breastfeeding totally on demand and if we are in the house some days he just sits and watches me run after Rafe. And although we do have days where we have some alone time, we squeeze in some tummy time and he does have a baby class on his own – there are days where the only time I feel like I’ve paid one on one attention to him, is when Rafe is asleep and he’s lying on my chest before I put him down to sleep. And I leave him to cry more than I did Rafe as sometimes that's all I can do. Oh and at the moment he doesn’t have any of his own toys, or books, most are/were Rafe's – and so many of his clothes are Rafe's too. And I know he won't care or even remotely understand any of that but I just don’t want him to ever feel he was second best. I just feel guilty. Like I’m not giving him all of me – but likewise I’m the same with Rafe. If only you could split yourself in two ay?
So yeah, the mum guilt lives on. I haven’t written a post in a while as been a bit manic with husband away and both kids and me having a cold. Rafe was back at nursery one day and had a full on snotty nose which he gave to me and Elijah so it really wasn’t overly fun for any of us. Nights were pretty rough especially when Rafe was waking up crying and I had to basically run between them both to settle them. Or dealing with Rafe’s horrendous nappies that ended up all over his bed, his hands – the carpet downstairs. And his final tooth has come through which has been a mother fucker. Poor thing has been really upset with it and must have been in pain. Put that’s all teeth in now! Amen. Just got to wait for Elijah to start teething...
Husband has been away for a few weeks but came back on Tuesday for the week and when I took Rafe to nursery he had Elijah for literally half an hour to try and get him to sleep. Came back and he looked broken and simply said – I couldn’t do this all the time like!” “I’ve only been away fucking half an hour!!!” Haha. To be fair Elijah was refusing to nap which can be really frustrating. Honestly my kids hate naps. I must be doing something wrong. 🤦🏻♀️ Some days he will just fall asleep on his own, other days I need to pop him in the pram, other days shush him – or the car normally does the trick – normally only for 30 minutes like Rafe used to knock out. Or some days he screams and screams and fights it – or the other day he fell asleep in the car, brought him in the house and slept for two and a half hours. I was in shock! I don’t know whether he just hates naps like Rafe did, or whether because I haven’t really for a nap routine down yet he is just all over the place, or because he just wants to sleep when he wants. I just really don’t want to be obsessively googling sleep schedules again but might have to be done. Anyone got a good routine for a 3 month old or is it impossible with a toddler in the mix too?!
Can’t believe Rafe will be two next week. Actually want to cry. Just want time to slow down. He is growing so fast. Everyday he seems to learns a new word and he is such a character. I asked for recommendations for birthday presents (thank you!) and we are doing the four present rule which I think is such a good idea (again thank you!). Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. So we have for him a balance bike, some wellies, an outfit and a pack of Gruffalo books. Someone asked me to share other ideas from people so here you go:
Went to the doctors about Elijah's reflux and at the time it had been a bit better a few days. He was still being sick quite a bit but wasn’t screaming like he was in pain or constantly crying. The doctor said sometimes with reflux or colic, 12 weeks was like a ‘magic period' for some babies and it settled itself so I have been monitoring him to see when it is worse and if it happens more when I have eaten something (cow's milk in particular the doctor recommended). He still has moments of crying after a feed but a good burp normally helps and he can be squirmish on the boob, especially in the morning when boobs are fuller so have been taking him off and burping him and then popping him back on or giving him a break. Also keeping him upright after a feed which many of you recomended which helps. He is still sick quite a bit but kind of accepted I will be covered in baby barf for quite a while and as long as he is putting on weight and not distressed then nothing to worry myself over. Doctor said could give him gaviscon or ranitidine if still bad but will see how we go. Really feel for people whose baby has colic or really bad reflux and doesn’t settle as that week where he was screaming pretty much constantly was so tough. It really does affect you so I hope anyone going through that is getting some support as it is relentless.
Just having a small family party next weekend. Feels like yesterday we were celebrating his first birthday. I actually want to cry at how fast he is growing up. He is a proper chatter box, loves to sing makes my heart explode when he tries to say certain words. He is obsessed with the free hero cards from Sainsbury’s at the mo. He loves saying Peter Pan which I can hear him saying as he goes to sleep which is bloody cute. Or when he says ‘big truck’ and is sounds like something else...My friend’s son when he was a bit younger (for context her husband is called Paul) turned around one day and said: “for fuck's sake man Paul!!” So best start watching what I’m saying! Has your child said anything funny/copied you?
Best go give my husband a few jobs to do till back to work. Till next time,
You may have your brother's babygrow on – but that doesn’t make you second best,
We may only have stolen moments of quiet - when you’re lying on my chest.
Your brother may seem jealous some days and poke you in the eye,
But I promise one day son, he will be your best friend for life – just give it time.
You may not be the first we cheered on those wobbly first steps,
But that doesn’t mean we won’t be cheering as loud - or they’ll be celebrated any less.
You may not have been the first to make tiny footprints in my heart,
But I will love you always - and will forever hold your hand in the dark.
You weren’t our first - but you’re our missing jigsaw piece, you’re exactly where you belong,
You may not have made me a mum my son - but you’ve made me a braver one.
Remember when you would climb into bed and think ‘I’m going to have the best night's sleep tonight'? And you'd wake up after 8-hours sleep and feel like a million dollars. Or when 5 hours sleep was a ‘really bad' night where in reality now, 5 hours would be the DREAM. With us all full of cold (cheers first week back at nursery), Rafe also teething and Elijah who I think may have reflux (doctors next week) and husband away, I’ve been living on broken dreams and gallons of coffee, running between two bedrooms throughout the night like some kind of Benny Hill sketch which isn’t remotely funny.
I have a recurring dream where I get to escape for the night. Not to anywhere exotic, literally the Premier Inn up the road (cheap date 😂). Where I can check-in, just me and sleep for 12 glorious hours. What a dream. I have said before how amazing it would be to have sleep clinics for mums to go and just rest and sleep, have a hot cup of tea, a poo in peace and to not have to put a load of washing in as soon as you peel your eyelids open.
I’ll never forget during Rafe’s four month sleep regression when I sent my dad out into the street as I swore the neighbours chimney was on fire. Totally hallucinating. And this week, although no fires, I’ve just felt like I’ve had permanent sand in my eyes moments.
Although this week hasn’t been all #cherisheverymoment days, we’ve had some great moments. Went for a long walk on Friday and my uterus didn’t feel like it was going to fall out so all good. Kids even slept for some of it and I didn’t once say ‘for fuck's sake Yankee’. Elijah, despite crying A LOT has been giving some amazing smiles and Rafe is keeping me entertained on his keyboard and could give the Backstreet Boys a run for their money. Also spent the day at the farm yesterday with my mum and dad. Rafe LOVES animals. My dad almost fed Elijah to the goats but think he had fun. It's amazing how good you feel just getting out the house, however long it may take to get out the door, it does you good in the end. Oh and took Elijah to Rafe's hartbeeps class on Friday and he loved it! So yeah tears and exhaustion this week – with a few amazing memories thrown into the mix!
New blog post hopefully next week! X
P.s More photos from the week on my Facebook and Instagram page!
Going on holiday with a newborn and a toddler is not a holiday. It’s basically all the stresses, lack of sleep, need for wine, washing, chances of a divorce – doubled. In a hot country. So you are sweating more when you are muttering under your breath: “for fuck's sake". So my tips for going abroad with 2 under 2 are simply...
1. Don’t do it.
It would be like War and Peace if I wrote down the things that went tits up on this holiday. In a very short nutshell I’ll give you a brief rundown. Couldn’t book Elijah on to our flight as flights had changed to a different airline so had to cancel original flight and rebook, told we would be reimbursed, this has not happened so going through a complaint procedure as owed almost £2,000. UNBELIEVABLE. As you can imagine this was not a good start to the holiday. When my parents got there a day before and picked up the hire car, there were no car seats in it. Told they weren’t sure whether there were any available despite booking a car with two car seats, so they had to cancel and go to another provider which cost more money. (There is a theme here). I had to sit next to random strangers on the flights as there was only one infant oxygen mask per row with the airline we were flying with. So having to whack my boob out next to a stranger (always a man) was slightly uncomfortable but my husband made it better by shouting: “go on man, just get them out...” On the day of the wedding me, my dad, husband and kids got completely lost in the car and drove around Porto for over an hour (kids screaming obviously) while sweating in a bridesmaid’s dress wanting to bang my husband and dads' heads together. It was a fucking nightmare. And the list goes on. Honestly those tit bits only touch the sides! So as you can imagine if someone asks would you recommend going abroad with 2 under 2 I would say NO. I think if everything went right it would still be stressful but I think as long as you are aware that it might be slightly challenging and not go to plan – you'll be fine. And probably not helped that I was 8 weeks post-partum, hormonal and I'm a ‘bit’ of a stress head anyway. I think the heat as well, it wasn’t a pool holiday and they are still too young to be out in the sun with limited shade so when we tried to venture out to look around Porto with a double buggy, cobbled streets on quite a hot day – it was always going to end up close to divorce. But not to panic people who have booked to go away – we were lucky to be treat so well by all the airline staff and other passengers too. On one of the flights a couple I sat next to offered to take Elijah while I got myself sorted and the lovely old man put my backpack on my back which made me almost cry. And we can sit and laugh about it now...kind of. And it was my brother's wedding and they had an amazing day so that is all that really matters. Just well aware you can never call it a holiday when you have kids!! Even though they actually were pretty fantastic. Though we have decided to explore the UK (which to be fair isn't too shabby) for our holidays until kids are a bit older....
I said I would write a few tips to anyone flying with 2 under 2 so here it goes...
1. Don’t do it.
2. Joke! If you can, try to just have one flight each way. We had to do Newcastle to Amsterdam. Amsterdam to Porto. And same coming back. It wasn't awful (Amsterdam had a great baby room with little private pods with seats and a cot in) but having to entertain a toddler in an airport for 4 hours is challenging and would have been easier if just one flight.
3. Find out about oxygen masks so you are at least prepared not to be sitting all together, rather than having a meltdown the night before as ‘someone I know' did...
4. I know this is hard but try and avoid an early morning flight as it just adds even more to the exhaustion you are already feeling. Our flight out was at 6am so had to lift kids out of bed at 3am. To be fair kids were amazing but you are needing coffee on a drip.
5. If you are having to get up early – or flight is late at night, pack the car in advance and literally the last thing to do is to get kids out of bed and straight in car. We kept them in their pj's until we got to Amsterdam.
6. I was surprised how much food I could take through (thanks to everyone’s advice!). Packed lunch, fruit pouches (any liquids I kept in a clear bag and some airports test apparently)...we just packed some oat bars, crisps, yog and fruit pouches and chocolate buttons for emergencies as we got sandwiches free on plane and wasn’t a long flight. I would definitely pack more food than you think you need!
7. To keep Rafe entertained I went to Aldi and bought a handful of cheap books and also sticker books which he loves. I also bought an aeroplane book which I gave to him before we flew to try and explain where we were going. None of the new things I gave until on the plane. Also bought some headphones and downloaded some of his fave programmes on to our iPad. Try to limit screen time normally but in reality iPads are a lifesaver and would stick a 70 inch plasma in front if him if stopped him having a tantrum on the plane. Other people recommended buying some bargain toys/puzzles too which is a great idea.
8. On take off I breastfed Elijah and with Rafe we bought some milk at the airport and popped in his bottle and also some juice for other flights. To be honest we never had any problems with ears popping.
9. We were lucky the boys didn’t really cry which was what I was stressed about but at the end of the day if they cry, it is understandable and we found people kind and helpful rather than knobs.
10. As much as I may have painted a bad picture, it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be. (Maybe for us haha...) Rafe was so excited most the time and Elijah didn’t have a clue what was going on.
11. Take advantage of any free alcoholic drinks on the flighy I wish I did.
12. Try and enjoy it. It's an adventure for them – and for you. Even though there are a few hold on to your pants what the fuck have we done moments.
So probably not ground breaking tips but if we can survive it and still come back married, there is hope for everyone. Oh and take photos! I’m all for living in the moment and may have wanted to wipe certain moments from my mind but I hardly took any photos which is a shame as was our first family ‘holiday’ as a four.
I feel like this post could go on for looonnggg time and haven’t even touched on other things that went Pete Tong while away, or the fact Elijah is like Rafe and loves a good 30 minute nap (if he has one), I’m going to be walking the streets for miles aren’t I? Cracked bedtime for one night at least. Felt like a Queen. Might never recreate that magic again but it was a fucking moment I tell you. Oh and Rafe has started to get really hands on with Elijah and ended up scratching him, although didn't mean too. So it’s like a wrestling match now when I’m feeding Elijah. Oh and first week back at nursery - guess who has a cold? FML. But will save all that till next week!
Till next time,
Flying with two under two...
My husband put it perfectly when he looked at me mid-flight and said: “This is fucking carnage. Absolute fucking carnage.”
To be fair, they were so so good but the reality was we were travelling with a newborn and an almost two-year-old, four plane journeys altogether - so it was never going to be beers for breakfast.
I was standing in the queue at Boots at 5am in Newcastle airport and some lasses were in a full face of make-up, hair rollers in their hair, while I was covered in baby sick and looked like Worzel Gummidge. That moment was the start of everything travel wise (planes and cars we left ni stone unturned) going slightly Pete Tong.
Just going through 50 loads of washing so haven't had time to do a blog post yet, it will come! In the end though all that matters is my brother and his wife had the most amazing wedding. And it's all an adventure right? Just won't be going abroad for a few years...
Oh Rafe. My first born. The one who made me a mum. The one who stole my heart and my sleep. You never asked to be a big brother. But now you are. But you’re really just a baby yourself. You took to the role so beautifully but you never really understood the ‘baby' in my tummy you kept pointing at would become someone who would take up so much of your mum's time. And maybe some days you do feel left out. Your face lights up when you see your brother but you’ve started to get quite jealous. And you love to poke Elijah in the eye. I read the second baby book, I googled, I asked for advice but nothing quite prepares you for not being able to simply split yourself in two and give both your children the attention they need - at the same time. That sometimes your toddler needs a cuddle so you have to leave your baby to cry. Or your baby needs fed so you have to stick on YouTube and leave your toddler to entertain himself. And when trying to get them both to nap at the same time will require the patience of a saint – which you don’t have. So you will all end up crying. And saying ‘oh flipping flip flip flipping flip flip’. Might have used a different swear word...But waking up with you both when nobody is crying and you’re both smiling at me is the best feeling in the world and I remember how lucky I am. Then Elijah shits up my arm and you have an explosive nappy. So sometimes we don’t always have #makingmemories moments but wouldn’t change it for the world. Maybe the sleep. Sleep would be good.
With husband being away and it just being the three of us, I think it has hit Rafe that maybe baby might not be as fun as originally thought. That maybe he has to share my attention. When Chris was home, he would be able to play/sort Rafe out. Bath him, put him to bed. But now it’s just me, although I have help during the day some of the week (thank the lord for grandparents), he doesn’t ever really get my undivided attention. Even when I’m bathing him I’m normally having to shout ‘it’s ok Elijah!” (I have tried Elijah in a baby carrier when doing bedtime routine with Rafe but I can’t bend down or lift Rafe with him in it – so any suggestions are welcome?!) So as I said last post, most nights I normally have to just let him cry, quickly bath Rafe, put him on my boob, Rafe has his milk and read him a book. Run Rafe in his room, continue story, put him down, back on boob, Rafe will cry...go back to settle him...run back in to Elijah...honestly the other day they were both having a cry off. So that was fun! But just got to roll with it. At least I have support near by if needed and know plenty of other people who are in similar situations - I guess you still feel lonely though some nights. It's not just about putting kids to bed on own, as many mums and dads do, it's the not getting to talk to someone after. To go downstairs and say 'fuck me, that was eventful!' and have a laugh/ugly cry about it. But the plus of this is I can still eat biscuits for tea and binge on whatever I want on Netflix.
So I’ve digressed a little...but Rafe has been getting a bit jealous. When I’m feeding Elijah he tries to climb on me/Elijah. Or there are times where he tries to pull my hands off Elijah. Or he cries as he wants me to cuddle him or dance with him and I can't at that exact moment. You forget how much of a change this must be for him and he is obviously upset/affected by it. And still so young. He has been so upset when dropping him off at nursery, hysterical. It has been awful. Have a 3 week break now so hoping he settles before nursery starts again. But his reactions and emotions are understandable. He was my total focus and got attention off everyone – now he has to share that. So I’m trying to have some time alone with him as much as I can. I went to the park without Elijah this week and had a couple of hours with Rafe, which was so lovely. And when I’m not feeding Elijah and he is settled, I make Rafe my focus but the guilt still lives on. But don’t think mum guilt will ever go away. I keep reminding myself that when they’re older they will be the best of friends, in the meantime Elijah will just have to deal with getting a poke in his face everyday...
Last week our 6 week check-up went well. Nothing to worry about for either of us. Though I am going to see someone to talk about the birth but will go into that another time. I basically got quite emotional when speaking about what happened so I know I need to go over it properly with the birth reflection service I spoke about previously. So I'm going to book an appointment when back from Porto.
So yes. All great with the little man. Elijah is huge! I swear he is going to catch up with Rafe soon. When weighed a couple of weeks ago he was 12Ib 16oz. Such a chunk. And as for me, I’m at that awkward stage where I don’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but my maternity clothes are baggy, so living in tracksuit bottoms and oversized shirts - so the bird lady from Home Alone 2 lives on! I forgot how you don't just put on weight - you get wide! Going to Portugal next weekend for my brother’s wedding so can’t really wear Adidas pants everyday – maybe get away with pj's? Oh and don’t even get me started on how slightly stressed I am about getting through the flights with a baby and a toddler – think I’ll be doing a new post about that!!! Rafe also had a check-up and was at the hospital this week about his heart. Rather than 6-month check-ups we need to go back in a year which is great news. Thr hole is getting smaller and still not affecting him. And hopefully next visit the hole will be closed, but if not consultant said he would still go on to lead a normal life and will not affect him. Which is such a relief.
I feel like I have a million other things to say/ask so might have to do a mid-week post! Also waffled quite a bit but some days I forget my own name. But it's all fun and games, until someone shits up your arm right?
I'll be in Porto next weekend so no blog post but hopefully still be able to post some photos on social media of me relaxing and enjoying cocktails. HAHAHA. Who am I kidding?! The dream though. The dream...
Till next time,
Little update...Elijah's face pretty much sums up this week. ❤😂 We've had some highs - lots of smiles from Elijah and when Rafe isn't trying to choke hold or poke Elijah in the eye he is so lovely with him. A few lows - bed and bath is still a bit of an epic. Half an hour of 'hold on to your pants kids, it's going to be a rough ride'. I've tried the sling but find it difficult to lift Rafe and have Elijah on me, feeding Elijah before and during Rafe's story - me rocking in the corner of the room 🙈 but we always have tears from one or the other but just rolling with it for now. Counting down the days till husband is back - so lucky it's only 5 more sleeps. Though he went on the drink last night and haven't heard from him so normally means he has lost his phone (WHY DO GROWN MEN STILL LOSE THINGS?) so may see red and not want him home. 🙈 Do miss him though. Despite it like having three children.
New blog post will come next week, just need to unglue my eyes long enough to write something!
First week on my own with two under two...
Week before husband's leave is over and he goes back to work.
1. Right, I’m going to meal prep on the weekend so I don’t have to cook during the week.
2. I’m going to make sure I get out the house and do some gentle exercise.
3. Going to start eating healthy – I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in a few weeks.
4. Won't get stressed or swear in front of kids.
5. Try not to tell Rafe off as much, even when he pokes Elijah in the face for the 50th time.
1. Haven’t had a proper meal all week. For my tea every night, no joke. I’ve either eaten a full pack of biscuits or a large bar of chocolate, sat in bed, in the dark, trying not to wake baby.
2. Walked to the shop – to buy more chocolate.
3. See point 1 and 2. Epic fail.
4. Oh for f's sake has been thrown around a few times...
5. “Rafe don’t poke Elijah in the eye.” “Don't eat my nipple cream.” “Or the infacol...or your book. Why are you eating your book?” “NOT THE SUDACREM!!!!”
But hey. They were fed and dressed every day. So pretty happy with that.
So my husband being away has been slightly challenging. But also the thought of it was worse than it was. Because at the end of the day, I’ve just got to get on with it! When my husband left on Sunday night there were many tears. As well as knowing I would miss him, I felt so sad for him. He’s had five weeks with us which is like a year in military terms and him and Rafe had bonded so much, it was so lovely to watch them together. Proper best pals. And I knew they would both miss each other. We Facetime everyday so we are lucky we can do that. I remember when we first got married, we moved up to Scotland, where I knew nobody, a week after we moved, my husband was away for what was a three month deployment, that turned into 6. It was pretty tough – but now with children in the mix, even if it’s for a few days, it is equally as hard and lonely as that long stint. Because you are feeling it for them too. Although they are still so young to really understand, Rafe has definitely felt it more than he has before. And has been crying for dada at night as he is used to him putting him to bed. But he has been back this weekend so lucky it was only a super short stint - he's away now for two weeks but in the scheme of military life that’s nothing. Though not looking forward to it!
So it’s only been four days (and had help with Rafe through the day - grandparents/nursery) so it’s not like I deserve a medal or anything, although Elijah has been particularly challenging this week so if people want to give me a medal, then I won't refuse. He has gone from being a nap king, to well no offence son – but Rafe. Not napping great, getting over tired. Not able to settle him. On Monday he literally cried all day. Not sure whether it is reflux, or just being fussy/over tired as it isn’t after every feed he is unsettled or sick - so just going to mention it at 6-week check next week and see what doctor says. He has stopped (for now) the epic 6 to midnight cluster feed which is a blessing. Still feeding every couple of hours through the day and on an evening (a good one) - cluster feeding from 5-6 to 8ish, goes down till 11.30-12, then between 3-4, then wakes between 5.30-6. So not horrendous but a few sand in the eyes moments at 3am. And still have rough nights which will continue I'm sure. What I’ve found most difficult this week is the bath and bed routine. I can distract Rafe with books, TV, YouTube when on my own with them both and feeding Elijah – but at night it's all about survival (such a drama queen). And the fact I have to more than likely leave one to cry for the other one to settle. It's hit or miss whether Elijah is going to be awake during Rafe’s bath, only ever been asleep once which was a dream. So he pretty much cries through Rafe's bath, book and bed. Then Rafe cries when I put him down as can hear baby crying and that upsets him and knows I’m going to leave him. When I put Rafe down, put Elijah on my boob I then have to listen to Rafe cry (thankfully not for too long). Makes me feel pretty shit to be honest but not a lot I can do. I’ve tried feeding Elijah before Rafe's bath (I try and bath Elijah earlier in the day for now) and bed routine, feeding him during, trying a dummy (he is refusing it a lot of the time) but because 6ish is the time he starts to get fussy/that delightful witching hour he just doesn’t settle. I’m going to get him in the sling to see if that helps. I feel guilty for leaving Elijah but also guilty for rushing through Rafe's bath and story time but we will get there. In the morning I just pray they don't wake up at the same time which inevitably means they do. It's just about winging it for now – well forever really. Thank fuck for Mr Tumble and YouTube.
My plan to prep meals before husband goes away was a pie in the sky idea. And no word of a lie I have lived off biscuits and chocolate for days. But got to be done. Going to try and be more prepared over the next two weeks as I am bridesmaid at my brother's wedding at the end of August (in Portugal) so don’t want to look like a teletubbie.
Back to mum guilt – I do feel like I’m telling Rafe off constantly as hard to keep him entertained all the time and feed/comfort Elijah. And Rafe is naturally starting to push boundaries so it’s a constant battle to stop him covering himself in sudacrem. Rafe has been amazing with Elijah though, there has been a few jealous moments when I’m feeding him and he wants attention or he looks a little sad (well I think he does) when I’m feeding Elijah and can’t give him a cuddle. He does love him though as his face lights up when he sees him which is so cute. And the photo of him cuddling him, he was smiling and laughing - he was so happy. And he tries to help by bouncing him in the bouncer/give the poor lad whiplash.
Had some back pain and a really sore tummy as think I’ve just been doing too much. But can’t not pick up Rafe (I had to basically drag him into nursery on Wednesday which I think caused the pain, he is hating it at the moment but think he is just unsettled with all the change. Only in one more week, then a break for 3 weeks) and do things around the house but have tried to take it easy this weekend.
Could write another essay but will stop for now as Elijah is crying and refusing to nap so losing the will. Love them – but hard bloody work! People who raise children with no support network around them are superheroes.
Till next time,