A Single Mum at 35 & Baby’s first Easter.

For my 35th birthday this year I shared it with Jesus dying. Not so cheery, eh? Thankfully there’s a metaphor here for my life at the moment as, of course, He rose again to new life. My new life as a single mum has already begun but apart from the joy of my beautiful baby girl, I feel far from good. Emotionally I am still making massive adjustments. Baby steps and I know I will get there (sorry for all the metaphors).

My folks came to visit this Easter weekend and because it was my birthday. They got to do some babysitting too. They obviously adore their granddaughter and one of my Mum’s good friends gave baby girl this Easter tree. The idea is that she can add things every Easter to the branches. What a lovely idea as an Easter keepsake. I’m going to buy a little chick to sit in the egg and add mini-eggs every year for when baby girl gets teeth! I thought this was also a lovely idea as an activity to do with older children and for those of you who love a bit of craft.

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My birthday was surprisingly good on Good Friday despite recent events. Why? AS well as family my friends spoilt me rotten with laughter, good company, a party, fizz and thoughtful presents.

However, the party made me realise how much I have changed, both out of necessity and survival. I was home by 10.30pm. Say what? In the morning right? Wrong.

But I didn’t mind leaving my friends (who obviously don’t have kids) partying until dawn. I’ve been there done that. I’m a mum now. I’m devoted to my baby girl and if that means showing some restraint on the number of drinks and the time I head home, so be it. I still had fun, still got to chat with everyone and still got a night out, all without the clearing up afterwards (it used to be me hosting the party) and I get to wake up to my beautiful baby girl without the hangover. Fair exchange no robbery.

So, at 35, I am definitely older, wiser, and more….sensible. Gulp. Dare I say it, that I have finally grown up?

Does motherhood mean you have to be a grown up at all times or will my naughty streak be allowed to come out again once in a while?

The Baby Chronicles – 5 months

The great philosopher of the 1980’s, Ferris Buellar once said: “Life moves pretty fast and if you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it”. So true. So true. Where has the time gone? Pregnancy dr___agg______ed and yet time with my beautiful baby girl has whizzed by and here she is at 5 months old. I don’t want to miss her milestones so I shall write them down in ‘My Baby Chronicles’.

She has just learnt to blow bubbles, she can attempt to roll over, hoist herself up so she is nearly sitting, do very smelly farts, squeal with delight, stand with support on my knee and she gets angry with the mirror that hangs down from her play mat – is it her reflection? She knows what she likes and prefers boobs to bottles and the left boob at that! She is being weaned on rice pudding and banana and is even beginning to grab at the spoon to try and put it in her own mouth – clever girl!

However, I am going to have to get strict with her. She has developed the annoying habit of waking up lots in the night and I presumed it was for feeding and have felt like a cow on little sleep. She is just using my boobs as a soother so I need to get her out of that habit as she slept better at 3 months.

But it’s hard when you are a single parent and you on your own (discover how this happened on my page ‘The Bombshell…’), you’re tired and you have no moral support. The best laid plans become the path of least resistance. But no – she is a baby and I am the parent. She must learn to sleep through the night before she goes into her own room. If worst comes to worst I will invest a pair of ear plugs to soften the cries when I’m trying to get her back to sleep without sticking her face in my boobs. Wish me luck!

What could your little one do at 5 months? Do you remember?

What were your struggles as a parent? How did you solve the problems you faced?

Please comment as I would love to hear about your little ones and how you coped with the little problems they threw at you.

Survival of the Fittest

I have learnt 3 things about myself in recent weeks. I’m strong, I’m a good Mum and I’m good at adapting. Bloody good job.  What else was I to do? Do a runner? Not get up in the morning? Not me. Besides, I have to set some standards. Start as I mean to carry on. Be a good role model for myself and baby girl. Obviously, my situation still hurts deeply as it’s not even been 3 months. The sense of betrayal is phenomenal. I didn’t want to be just a Mum- I wanted to be a family with my husband and daughter and I never saw it coming. So, I’m hoping my positive demeanor and attitude will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. A friend succinctly summed it up as ‘fake it until you make it’.

So, how have I adapted and survived so far?

  1. Friendship: old and new; close and far away. If anyone is pregnant or thinking of being pregnant sign up to an NCT course. My NCT group has been invaluable support and the lovely ladies have become firm friends. As they are also on maternity leave it has meant I have not gone stir crazy during the day. Instead, lots of tea, cake (I’m allowed. I’m still breastfeeding), baby advice and gossip.
  2. Family (Obvs.).
  3. Discovering the art of play with my daughter. It’s amazing how many hours you can kill just by being very silly with a baby and the giggles and smiles you get in return are second to none.
  4. Keeping busy. There are lots of baby/toddler activities out there: http://www.mumsintheknow.co.uk/
  5. Patience is a virtue.
  6. Getting on with it – there is no respite as a single parent.
  7. Joining a gym with a crèche. When I exercise, it’s the only time my mind is clear.
  8. Blogging and Twitter: The new therapy.
  9. The one-armed bath time. It’s quite a skill. All without drowning my baby and she bloody loves it (phew!).
  10. Routine. This is good for baby girl and me. It means I can compartmentalise my day. Bath and bedtime has gone from being my most stressful time of day to my favourite. But I’m not sure whether that is because baby loves bath time or whether once she’s asleep I get some ‘me time’!

However, I’ve not just had to adapt to singledom, motherhood and single motherhood at that. Socially, my life is so different. Pre-pregnancy, I was out all weekend – getting drunk with friends, dancing ‘till dawn and traveling the world. Now, as a single Mum, there is a whole new meaning to ‘pulling an all nighter’ and the only dancing I’ve done recently was to ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.

I’m coming to terms with my social life being different. Apart from to very close friends, I was known to people as part of a couple. So now I’m single and a Mum I no longer fit into the world I used to live in.  Now my social life only exists in daylight hours and I will never have a lie-in again. Oh, and I’ve never watched so much bloody telly. And I guess, once my maternity leave is over and I’m back to work, my social life will only revolve around my wonderful baby and only at the weekends. That’s not so bad, I suppose.

When I’m feeling sad I mourn for my old life and feel lonely. When I’m feeling positive, I look back with fond memories and I hope that with a bit of perseverance, my life could be even better. Different but better. That was then. This is now.

I’ve already gained the immeasurable joy and love of my beautiful daughter. I’ve been forced to adapt and as a consequence I feel very different. I’m a Mum and will be forever now. It’s a new stage in my life but I never thought I would be doing it on my own. You’re not meant to be a single parent as the joy and love should be shared between both parents. I will share it with family and friends instead. I wonder what unknowns await me in my new life I am adapting to? It better be good.

Happy Mothers Day

Well, it’s Mothers Day. Lie in? Breakfast in bed? Bunch of flowers? Ha ha ha ha ha! What a good joke – not if you’re a single mum. My beautiful baby girl gave me the gift of a massive poo that spead all up her back instead. Bless.

So, I wondered if my baby could talk what would she say to me on this day, my first Mothers Day?……

A Letter to my Mummy:

I thought I would put into words how much I appreciate and love you, Mummy.

I can’t speak properly yet but you know when I make those cute noises and you say “Oh really”? Well, that noise, is me telling you that I love you.

Thank you very much for the lovely milk from your boobies. They’re great. I know you are trying to get me to go onto formula and I keep turning my nose up at it but it’s just not the same because you are warm and squidgy and you give good cuddles.

I also love chillin’ with you and watching telly together. I really enjoy tummy time and get excited when you bounce me on your knee and make me clap my hands and pretend I am riding a horsey. I can’t wait until I can crawl and sit up on my own – I’m nearly there! I know you will be proud of me when I do.

Thank you for taking such good care of me all on your own. You keep me lovely and clean every night with a soothing bath and I really like the oils you rub on my skin so that I smell nice. I enjoyed going to the swimming pool for the first time last weekend. Thank you for taking me – it was a bit chilly at first but I didn’t cry and the splish splashing in the water really relaxed me. I slept well that night! . Do you think I will be good at swimming like you?

Sometimes I dribble, puke, poo or pee on my nice clean outfits you choose for me. Sorry about that. I can’t help it – I’m only 4 months old! But then again, I don’t think you mind at all as you are always smiling and singing funny songs to me. They make me giggle and make me happy.

Happy Mothers Day.

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