Thinking about my last post and routine, I started to think about what I thought my day would look like as a mum when I was pregnant . Looking back now I think I would punch myself at how clueless I was. But I must give myself a break, as a first time mum, you really have NO IDEA what having a baby will be like. How it will affect every part of your life - how you feel about you, your husband, your friends - your future - your day to day life, how often you wash your hair or shave your legs (never). However many books you read or other mums' you talk too - nothing can really prepare you for, as my friend who is a new mum said, the: "what the heck have I done moment?" And that's not to say I, or other mums' question their reasons for having a baby - I have no doubt in my heart it's the best thing I have ever done. But it's by far the toughest and when you've had little sleep for three months and you haven't brushed your hair in a while - you do look in the mirror and ask that very question. Among others that include: "Who is this person staring back at me?" "Why do I have a beard?" "Can I sleep standing up?" But getting back to what I thought my routine would be like. I genuinely remember thinking in my head this would be my routine. Get up at 7am, feed baby, have a shower, eat breakfast, pop in pram, take dog for a short walk. Feed baby, go to a baby class if on that day or if not, head to the gym, take baby in with me. Or workout in the living room. Have a shower, have lunch, feed baby, take baby and dog for another walk - this time a long walk. Get back, playtime, another nap for baby. Try and get jobs done in the house. Once baby wakes, feed, maybe meet friends for a cuppa. Feed then start bedtime routine - bath, story, feed, sleep by 7. Reality: Peel head off pillow between 6.30am-7.30am. Hope for the best.
Thank you to everyone who commented and messaged me after my last post about being stressed the fuck out about getting into a routine and naps. Sometimes I have a slight panic after reading/googling everything about having a baby. "Oh god my baby should be having three hours worth of naps a day, says this book. What am I doing wrong?" But then I hear from other mums' who are going through exactly the same and I realise I'm not alone. Thanks for all your tips too! Deffo need to stress less and go with the flow when it comes to routine and getting baby to nap. Easier said than done though. I'm just trying not to worry if I have to feed earlier to fit in with a class and have become more flexible and less neurotic about the daytime routine. Though it is starting to naturally shape into a three hourly routine around his feeds - he feeds roughly 7/7.30,10,1,4 - then bedtime routine. But I'm aware it can - and probably will go out the window some days. The only feed I try to keep as near as possible is the 4pm feed as can mess up bedtime routine. (I love how I say I'm trying to be more relaxed and less neurotic and sound the exact opposite!) I have moved the bedtime routine 15 minutes earlier (5.45pm - we have been moving this earlier and earlier as was once starting bathtime at 7pm but he was just too tired) and to prevent overtired meltdown, at around 5.30pm I give him some boobie milk for 10 minutes and that's massively helped. We also have a sensory light bulb (couldn't recommend enough) that I pop on during the bath which relaxes the little one. We even managed to get one page of story time after the bath before big feed so progress. He still needs settling to sleep after about an hour of feeding but doesn't seem to be such a battle and more enjoyable for him and me. As for napping. HAHA. What is napping? It's still 30 minute a time - to the minute, and you have to cuddle, shush, sway from side to side, squat, sing twinkle twinkle, whisper Blaydon Races, pretend you're doing a rain dance and hum, walk around in circles, gently stroke eyelids closed and pray (I've tried them all). Or simply pop in the pram and lights out. The other day I was laughing at a video my friend shared of a poor dad trying to get his toddler to sleep by basically lying in her tiny bed, trying not to move with pure panic in his eyes when she stirred. One hour later there was me pretty much with half my body in his SnuzPod, shushing him, scared to take my hands away so I stayed like that for a good ten minutes. My back and posture is screwed from pregnancy and breastfeeding and carrying my giant breasts and nipples (what has happened to my nipples since breastfeeding?!) so what's five more minutes of hunching over in a stress position going to do? But like one mummy said - enjoy cuddling to sleep now as you won't be able to when they're older. So I'm throwing out the rule book with this one. I know the books say you must let them self soothe and get to sleep on their own but at the moment that's quite frankly, fucking impossible. It may come with time. Who knows? So Indian rain dance and stress positions it is until (he will crack naps...) needed.
Yoga was much more of a success this week. Managed to almost do the full class without a Rafe meltdown. He even did a few poses which was so cute. I'm still as flexible as a tree stump but it actually felt really good. At the beginning of the class you need to go round the group and say anything you like about your week. One woman said she had cracked sleeping and her 9 month old slept for TWELVE HOURS. TWELVE HOURS. WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!!! Imagine? I was speaking to my friend who said that I need to stop stressing about when he will sleep through the night - it might be a long time yet. And to stop counting how many hours I've had to sleep (I was obsessed with this in the early weeks. I remember when I got two hours straight and it felt like a dream) as it makes you more exhausted. And she's so right. I'm still absolutely, painfully exhausted but less so - and dare I say less obsessed with Rafe sleeping through the night. But would love him to do so. Soon....
Baby brain is real. Some days I can't even put a sentence together and struggle to find the right word. The other day I was trying to describe where the keys were but couldn't think of the word. It was table. The word was table Faye. And before my husband left for work he was searching everywhere for his laptop which had some really important documents in. He was adamant that I must have put it away as I did the unpacking. He literally searched my mum and dad's house - his mum and dad's house multiple times and even went to the storage place where we have all our furniture and riffled through there. And I kept saying: "I 100% have not seen your laptop. I would know if I had seen it." Which after being questioned for the 50th time turned into - "I HAVEN'T SEEN YOUR FUCKING LAPTOP. I'M NOT AN IDIOT." (Calm and rational are my middle names.) Just as he was about to head to the storage place he asked me whether I had put any of his things away underneath the stairs. It was like a light bulb moment. "Your laptop. I put your laptop under the stairs." Cue husband telling the world this story over and over again and me apologising. But it was his fault for not unpacking with me obviously.
It's been hard not having my husband around. But I only had one meltdown moment this week when I'd taken the dog and Rafe for a walk and the pram got stuck in the mud and my dog's (Yankee) golden coat was black with dirt and I had to try and hose him down in the garden while Rafe was crying in his pram and the dog was running away from me. Living the dream. The neighbours must think I'm mental. I think Rafe's first words will be "for fuck sake Yankee."
Rafe is coming on so well and is a proper giggler. He finds the light shade in the front room HILARIOUS, so he's easily pleased. He can hold and shake a rattle now and he rolled over on to his tummy but he got such a shock he has not tried it again! But he hates tummy time. We have a tummy time toy which is great but he doesn't like being on his tummy for very long. Any advice on how to make it more enjoyable for him? I lie next to him and make funny faces - maybe that is hindering rather than helping. 🙈 It's gutting for my husband who is missing out on some of these milestones but thank God for camera phones.
Rafe loves his hartbeeps class - and so do I! At first when the woman started I thought oh God - this is cringe. But five minutes into it I was singing along and loving life. Who knew I'd get so excited about a cat puppet that has its own theme tune to Footloose? It's my happy place. If there's a class near you - I'd deffo recommend going if you can.
And finally. I had my first night out since Rafe was born. I say night out but I went round to my friend's house after Rafe had gone down for the night and we had pizza and a glass of wine and it was bloody marvellous. I haven't laughed like that for a long time. It wasn't a late one - I was back at 10pm as Rafe's normally up at 12ish for his first nighttime feed and my friend has two boys - and was equally as tired as her two-year-old enjoys coming into her room at 5am and pulling her eyelids open and screaming "BREAKFAST. BREAKFAST!" (It doesn't really get easier does it?!) and my other friend has one-year-old twins so as she put it: "I have never been so tired in all my life." (They are both superwomen to me.) Next time I plan to not be checking my phone every five minutes and maybe next time I will have a whole bottle of wine. Now that would be the dream.
Until next week....
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.