So Saturday was Luca’s birthday and unfortunately he had to work, I hate spending birthdays away from the family as I always think we should all be together and make the most of the special time that only comes once each year. But work is work and we all have to do it!
So I pottered around waiting for him to come home, the twenty-nine year old decisive male that he is…not! And much like my birthday the weekend before, we left it until the last minute to make plans and it was all very much up in the air. Gabriele has been a little cheeky monkey at night time recently and is waking us a lot more than usual, struggling and stropping and tossing and turning and refusing to go to bed, he’s like a bear with a sore head at the moment and we’re unsure as to what we owe our sleeplessness to this time: teething, a growth-spurt or an imminent cold perhaps? But either way it’s knackering us out, and the day he returns to normal we will be letting off party poppers at midnight with matchsticks holding our eyes open.
So my parents had been over during the day, as is often the case at the weekend when they come to visit the grandchildren and we’d had an afternoon of shopping, chores and lunching – they must love coming over to effectively babysit the children whilst I take five minutes to scrub the toilets and hang out the washing, continuing our conversations in vain down the hall or through the window. Where are the days of being able to sit leisurely at the table with your parents, have a cup of tea, read the paper and talk about life eh?
And as Luca finished work en route for home he called to say that we would be going out for dinner, but unsure of where or how many people would come, hmmm! So I called a few local restaurants of his choice and all were fully booked on a Saturday evening one hour before we wished to dine, d’oh! And the fact that we were going out, we were unsure of how long for or where to, would it be just us for dinner? Would we go for drinks after? Would it become an all-nighter? Or would we fall asleep before we even got out of the door? Great forward planning on our part, as ever.
And my parents waited with baited breath as to what their requirements would be for the evening, and down the road Luca’s parents waited as well. Now this can be a very horrible and difficult situation to be in, in fact its absolutely gut wrenching and impossible, and every time we’re faced with going out I physically dread choosing a babysitter; and it’s not through not wanting to, and I won’t even entertain the thought of showing preference to either side but it feels like being on a sinking ship and being told that you can only save one of your two parents and who do you choose? It’s horrible, it’s impossible and I detest it. And I’m sure a lot of couples with children must face the same dilemma somewhere down the line, obviously not being a lifeguard, but when two sets of people want to see the children at the same time and whoever has them is going to deprive the other and it’s down to you to deliver the blow. And it possibly doesn’t help the situation when Luca says yes to his parents and I say yes to mine and somehow we’ve crossed wires as to what’s going on. I know that I should be jumping for joy having the pick of two babysitters for a night out, but I’m not, I hate it and want nothing to do with it ever again.
It definitely doesn’t help the situation when Luca and I start a babysitting war down the phone on his way home along the lines of “What!? You didn’t tell me? Yes I did! Well for how long? What do you mean you don’t know? The children need to be in bed already! No you sort this out!” Shit!
So not only did we not have anywhere to eat, not want to let our parents down and not know who would be coming with us or for how long, but now we were arguing on Luca’s birthday too and we hadn’t even seen each other all day. Fan-bloody-tastic. But after some toing and froing and a few heated words it was decided that my parents would babysit as they were already at the house, it was approaching the children’s bedtime already and the evening would be over before we got out at this rate.
As a mother I find it very difficult to let go of my ideals and the way in which I view parenting. My children mean so much to me it’s impossible for anyone to understand, I have such a divine love for them that it could easily be confused as a religion and I’m surprised that I don’t have a string of sheep following me right now. We’ve been blessed with two beautiful, and in my eyes, perfect children who are such a joy to be around that quite frankly I see no reason to ever want to leave them in favour of anything else. I could understand if they were fighting and screaming all day, causing chaos and being annoying, then going out for the evening would be a frantic escape plan and welcome oasis; but it’s quite the opposite, my home is my oasis and my children are my cherubs. But I go out to give Luca and I space and quality time together, and I do enjoy it, I just hate leaving the children and I hate putting others out to have to give up their own time to babysit when we always end up being out later than imagined as nothing ever goes to plan.
On the odd occasion when we go out or if I’m at the gym in the evening, I like to know that the children are fed, clean and dressed ready for bed, safe in their own home and secure in what they know. Up until recently even, Millie has been to sleepovers with the family and said she hated sleeping in a different bed by herself to the point that she refused to stay with anyone ever EVER again. And I know children say one thing one day and do the opposite the next. But I know from my own experiences as a child, that even when I was eight and going to a friends house for a sleep over, it was so unnerving being in someone else’s house, not having the familiar comfort of your own bed, pillow and teddies, knowing your Mum isn’t in the next room for a cuddle and not wanting to walk down the dark hall at night to a strange bathroom that you’re not used to; and even though you’re incredibly desperate to be there you don’t sleep a wink because of the upheaval. And I know that after seeing Millie so scared and upset after staying out for a sleepover not so long ago and the way she reacted to have been away from home that I don’t want that to happen again and she simply isn’t ready for it at this age.
And as lame as this may sound, I find it hard enough leaving the children for four or five hours at a time with anyone, let alone overnight until the next day. It’s like taking my oxygen away and I’m not being clingy, I’m being a mother who actually gives a damn. I honestly think every couple needs time off from the kids to go out together and have a good time every once in a while, but I can’t stop the guilt I feel for not being there for them, or the fact that somebody else is having to go out of their way to fill our shoes when we completely and selfishly take full advantage of it!
And as we finally decided to leave the children with my parents at ours so that they could put them to bed and wait for us to come home from dinner in the village before they returned home, I again felt like such a cow bag for saying “We won’t be long!” knowing full well that our quiet evenings out locally are usually on par with the antics of a stag weekend! So we kissed the children goodnight the two of us headed out for a Chinese, two courses and £100.00 later we crossed the road for some drinks with a few friends. And it was a really lovely evening, and all the stress and arguing from earlier on fizzled away with every drink that passed our lips.
I can’t remember what time we eventually came home, but it’s such a lovely feeling to kick off your heels after a night out, jump under a sumptuous duvet and know that the world is silently tucked up, the children sound asleep and Luca snoring beside me like a protective Daddy bear on patrol. My poor sleepy parents eventually headed home and after another restless night with Gabriele we drove to Luca’s mum and dad’s for his birthday dinner the following afternoon; cosy and warm safe from the misty rain outside and well fed from the delicious food, patting our tummies with contentment and sinking into the sofa for some cuddles. Bliss!
And this morning it was back to reality with a bump as the alarm screeched it’s relentless meep-meep-meep-meep in my ear, my eyes burning with tiredness and the duvet somehow refusing to send me out into the cold and feeling more inviting and cosy than ever; I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed and downstairs into the chilly dark morning to make the breakfasts and lunch for the school run. Oh joy!
Mondays can only mean one thing: weighing-in day! Lordy lordy me, I don’t know which way to call it this week. We’ve been out for dinner more times than I care to remember, drank a brewery dry and then some and binged and nibbled in preparation for the apocalypse so I’d expect to put on a few pounds at least; but on the other hand I’ve been going to the gym, running around after the children like a headless chicken and managed to do a nice poo this morning for once. Hmm… I’m sitting on the fence with this one.
After a quick snap of underwear pictures, a hop, skip and jump onto the scales and a twitching left eyeball waiting for the digits on the scales to seal my fate, I was pleasantly surprised by a four pound loss! How the hell? But let’s not draw attention to it incase it’s a mistake in danger of being rectified.
Now it feels absolutely normal for me to take pictures of myself in my underwear every Monday and share it with the entire world ready to possibly be thought of as attention seeking or self-obsessed by others, and I laugh as I can hear imaginary voices saying “Who does she think she is parading around in her underwear like that for all to see!?” But not so long ago now I set out to make a difference when I was pregnant with my second child, knowing that regardless of the outcome I was going to write an honest blog about the reality of bringing a life into this world, with all of the ups and downs that it brings and no holds barred. And I nor anyone else would ever have been able to know what would happen, would the birth be as planned, would I ever lose weight, would I be left scarred and stretch-marked and would I cope with a second child?
Starting this blog I absolutely hated my body, had no confidence and my nipples bled daily. But that’s life, it’s real, it’s open, it’s honest and to the millions of women going through the same thing as me I hope you realise that you’re not alone and nobody is perfect. I could have been a completely torn up and disgusting flabby mess by now or a sickeningly perfect Greek goddess but it’s down to Mother Nature to decide. I hope for everyone involved in a new babies life, from friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances that I’ve possibly given you an insight into how it honestly feels to have a child, to be smiling on the outside but breaking inside from sleep deprivation and painkillers. I hope that I’ve managed to open people’s eyes to consideration and shown others to not be selfish and only please yourself when you can go that little bit out of your way and make such a massive and welcome difference to help out new parents. I hope that men understand what women go through physically and emotionally to carry and raise a child and I also hope that couples who argue and fight over family matters see that it’s nothing new and it’s not the be all and end all in life because it’s your children that matter.
I love hearing that people have read my blog and I welcome your thoughts, I am who I am and won’t ever pretend to be what I’m not. I welcome everybody to comment on my posts and share their experiences and opinions with me for everybody to see. I don’t censor any comments, and if anybody wants to criticise or compliment my actions publicly they are free to do so in the comment box after each post. I don’t pretend to be perfect, I’m just me, a simple human being who can only learn and grow from the experiences and input of others around me just like everybody else.
Speaking of being imperfect, I was taking a picture a moment ago for my weight loss progress and the flash went funny so I didn’t use this, but just as I was about to delete it I noticed how big my feet look next to my ankles and couldn’t help but laugh, and snort a little, at how big my shovels are! And if ever I fancied a career in drag I’m confident I’d fit right in. 🙂 I also need to remember to tell Millie not to stand so close to the mirror when she brushes her teeth because there are toothpaste spots all over it! Oh the shame!
So looking at our lovely little Gabriele’s sleep routine this week it’s pretty much a baby’s prerogative as to when and for how long that he sleeps. He is undoubtedly teething, restless and explorative at bedtime, or should I say at what should be my bedtime! Maybe I’ll clean a few dots off of this chart when I’m cleaning the toothpaste dot off of the mirror!
And my gym routine is going really well. Luca got me some men’s dumbbells – as the women’s weren’t heavy enough – so that I can lift weights at home instead to optimise my time spent at the gym for cardio. And it’s definitely working a treat as I’m eating like a complete piggy and living the lifestyle that I love but putting in the hard work and dedication to break-even and not become a twenty tonne mum. A part of me knows that I work so hard to just waste my efforts on eating treats and take-aways, and if I cut back on the little luxuries I would see much more of a result and feel so much better. But if you can’t have what you love in life then what kind of a life is that? And if you can have your cake and eat it, then make mine a big slice and don’t spare the butter cream! 🙂
Gabriele is still revving up and raring to crawl like a fast little race car making all of the right noises and with bags of enthusiasm, yet when it comes to getting off of the starting line he pops his bum up in the air, his face down and pedals into the ground almost like he’s running a wheelbarrow race but with nobody holding his legs. I know it’s not long until he can crawl and then I’ll have to bubble-wrap half of my house and lock all of my cupboards, but for now it’s lovely watching him edge that little bit closer everyday. His hair is also thickening and he doesn’t look so bald, his features are maturing and he looks less like a baby and more like a human, and he’s becoming more and more vocal by the day, rolling on his side, biting his toes and talking in baby garble to himself.
Millie has been learning to read at school and she’s coming on leaps and bounds, it gives me so much pride and love to see her achieving new things and learning new skills. She really does take my breath away with her enthusiasm and willingness to learn and I could never have wished for more.
And I have my first cervical smear booked in two days time and my body MOT with the doctor, so I guess if I’m going to be unhealthy then I should make the most of it now just incase they tell me I’m diabetic and can no longer eat cake, or that wine somehow affects my circulation and I must never drink again! Hmmm… let’s not imagine that! x