3

Stupid sh*t I said before I had a kid. 

We all say things we don’t mean, sometimes we don’t even know we don’t mean them till after the fact, so for today’s little peek into my world, here’s a little list of some of the stupid shit I used to say before I had a kid!

Are you someone with no children? Do you think your tired because you worked this week? And because on your day off you had to do something adult like laundry or food Shopping? And you sit down at the end of that day and think to yourself “God, I’m shattered now” 

YOU’RE WRONG.

You’re not tired. You’re not even close to tired. You’re merely a little low on energy, but you’re not exhausted.

Exhausted is when you have a tiny human following you round like they are your shadow for 12 hours a day. Tired is when you haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night since before you became the size of a 2 bed house about a year ago. Knackered is when you don’t remember the last time you didn’t feel like you needed to nap 5 minutes after waking up in the morning.

Word of advice: If you don’t have kids, don’t EVER say you’re tired in front of someone who does. And if you do, and they bitch slap you, you deserved it.

Let’s start this point with this: Hahahahahahahahah. 

Okay, so you think you’re busy between work, socialising, Instagram story-ing, and drinking? Try doing everything ever with a 19 pound dead weight attached to either your hip or leg. Like 4 loads of washing in a day. 3 loads of dishes. Emptying the rubbish twice. Showering yourself. Bathing the baby (granted at this point baby is not attached to legs or hips but still requiring 100% of your attention) Going grocery shopping. Cleaning the fridge. Putting that shopping away. Trying to drink a cup of tea that’s actually hot (yeah right!) Making dinner for baby. Making dinner for yourself. Put washing on line and in tumble dryer.  Still trying to drink hot cuppa. Putting washing back in tumble dryer because baby pulled it out again. Putting dry clothes in wardrobes. Repairing a fallen curtain pole. Changing ALL the bedding in the house. Bathing baby AGAIN and showering yourself again. Then putting baby to sleep.

And only then, can you cook dinner for yourself again, because it went cold the first time, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to scoff it down in 4.5 minutes before the nasty neighbours next door wake the baby up because it’s like the Caribbean outside so all the windows are open and they are loud chavvy nutcases.

3 words. Statutory fucking maternity pay. 

Sorry that’s 4 words. But whatevs. The swearing is needed. It’s shit. I paid my damned taxes. Alot of them too. But statutory maternity pay is crap. I know I know, I should be grateful I get anything, some people get nothing, i know. I am grateful. I’m grateful I get enough to pay my rent, that doesn’t mean I can’t say look, if you (the government) are only paying me half my wages, why can’t my employer pay the other half, y’know. Like, I just birthed a damn human being, kick a girl while she’s lying on her bed on a donut pillow why don’t you!

Why can’t they be like “hey, you just gave birth, and as you’re gonna be home all the time now and you also are going to feed a tiny human with your boobs so your food shopping bill is going to double because you eat like a starving racehorse now! Or your going to feed that tiny human with formula which is EXTORTIONATE! So here, have some more money, you’re gonna need it.”

Plus, every time you do leave the house now, you will always see something your kid might like or need or want so you buy it because you forget you have no fucking money anymore!

Don’t talk shit to me about having no money when you “spent your last 20 quid on cocktails cause oh em gee there was the cutest bartender” I will cut you.

Try being responsible for another person, that can’t do anything, except rely on you to be responsible for them, for everything. 

You have to give up everything so they eat, sleep, poop, smile, talk when they’re supposed to, and when they need to, because they’re small and helpless and perfect and it doesn’t matter what time of the night it is, if they need to eat, you ain’t goin’ to sleep.

Aannnndd, you really have to make sure you pay your bills and stuff cause now the roof is over the tiny human’s head too. No more frivolous anything! (Unless it’s that really cute little book with the pop up things in it that will really make the kid laugh like crazy and it’s costs a small fortune but who cares cause the 3 second smile you’ll get before they eat the book is worth £24.99!)

Again: Hahahahaha. 

I’m sure eventually there may be some days that I might be within 5 minutes of the time I said I’d meet you. But in reality, expect a half hour window either side of that time. Because the likelihood is, that the child will be dressed and ready to go and then he will decide to do the world’s largest poop, which will spread out of the nappy, down both legs and up to his armpits because fuck you mum, we’re not being on time for anything. So then he has to go back in the bath and get dressed all over again, and then so do I because I’m soaked and smell like poop.

Now I can’t say for certain on this point, cause I’m not actually back at work just yet, but I am dreading it, so I’m pretty certain I’m not going to be fine going back to work. It’s the dark cloud looming on my horizon. All I want to do is hide behind my baby. I keep telling him to stop growing because he’s a little toddling boy now, and the longer he stays a baby, the longer I get to spend with him. He pushes me away when I try to kiss his cheeks instead of lying there like a little cute sack of potatoes just letting me kiss him for-like-ever. Because kids are SO my thing now and he’s amazing and I’m going to miss him so much that oh god I think my heart might burst.

And frankly, right now, my career can get fucked. For a lot of reasons. Mainly baby. Maybe I’ll feel different once im actually back in the swing of it, but I doubt it. Me = Baby Mama now and I’m cool with it, I never much liked my career anyway, I was just really good at it.
There’s probably a lot more to this list. What stupid shit did you say before tiny human’s entered your life? Do you look back now and think “Ha! What a twat!” Like I do?

Let me know in the comments, or come follow me on Twitter @Babybird_Mum

0

Why I chose to Breastfeed. 

As part of National Breastfeeding Week, I feel like it’s an appropriate time to write my first post about breastfeeding.
In my post “6 things I wish I had been told about childbirth” I touched on how i found breastfeeding within the first few days of my son’s life, but here I’ll go into more detail about all aspects of the subject (That I can remember anyway)
Let’s start off with why I chose to breastfeed. Money. Money is probably the biggest reason I chose to breastfeed. Formula is darned expensive!! I remember my midwife asking me what I wanted to attempt to do once my baby had been born, and my answer was almost instant. I was determined to try breastfeeding because it would save us a crap load of  money every month, and when your wages get cut in more than half by statutory maternity pay, you gotta figure a way to save somewhere.
Now I know the outcome could have been difficult if R hadn’t been such a champ from the start. He latched on within 30 minutes of being born. The sonographer for my final scan did say he would probably be a “Good eater” because he had most of his hand in his mouth for the scan! But even the midwives were surprised by how well he went for it. 

We went for skin to skin as soon as he was out, which I believe does help the baby start rooting. The midwives checked me over and left the room for about 20 mins to let us all get acquainted, and when they came back he was already latched on perfectly, and fed for 35 minutes. It’s safe to say that I was definitely relieved when he latched so well and knew we weren’t going to need to buy formula. 

One thing that can drastically change a BFing relationship is the pain. I remember feeling like I couldn’t go on. I remember feeling like someone had taken a lighter to my nipples. I remember crying every time he latched. I remember clogged ducts, and trying to remove them. The back pain, the nipple pain, the let-down pain. 

There were a lot of times I questioned how natural this actually is! No wonder someone invented formula! What a brill idea! Many women simply can’t take the pain, many women get the pain much worse than I had it. But I did almost quit. 

I went through 3 weeks of constant clogged ducts in the same place. It would take 2 days to remove it through constant feeding and then hand expression, combined with hot compresses. And it ached all the time. I couldn’t sleep because if I so much as touched the area it would make me yelp. And I just couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to stop, but a few people encouraged me to keep going and I did, and I’m so grateful to them for making me stick at it!
The nipple pain for the first few weeks was a real doozy. I went through tubes of Lanolin, huge globs of it before and after feeds. I couldn’t shower without a bra on, because the water was too painful. I couldn’t take my bra off because fresh air was too painful!

Lanolin was my best friend, and honestly, more than anything else, or anyone else, Lanolin is the only reason I got through any of it. I don’t know what it is, I don’t care. It’s gotta be made from the tears of angels or something cause it’s just that good!
The pain is a big thing, and like I said, it’s why a lot of women don’t continue. My own mother and step mother included in that! But I feel like I also need to say, it doesn’t last forever!

Yes there are days when my boobs feel heavy and achy. Yes there are days when my nipples feel raw. And my let-down does still take my breath away most of the time, but for the most part, it’s not painful at all anymore. I barely notice it. I sleep with him feeding. I eat with him feeding. Whatever’s necessary. So please don’t be put off by my in depth moment about pain!
Baby blues. Let’s talk about the damned baby blues. Again, I am lucky, I know this.

You get warned about it, your partner, your mum, your friends. Whoever your midwife comes into contact with, they talk about the baby blues. (For good reason)

Day 3, it’s the day they say your hormones take a nose dive. It’s the day your milk is supposed to come in. When you wake up in the morning absolutely sopping wet and with boobs the size of Mount Everest. It’s a fun day. (NOT!!) The hormones. There’s a shift in the balance. They call it the Baby Blues, because you spend the day being a sopping wet mess of a human being. 

I cried at everything that day. Waking up soaked with milk, cry. Enormous boobs (something I’d been wishing for since age 15), cry. Forget to actually put the kettle on, cry. Yep, that was my day. It finished with me sat on the floor of our bedroom, swaddled, happy, full baby in the crib, but me, sat on the floor crying because I thought i was a was a cow. Like on a dairy farm kinda cow. Hook me up to one of those machines they stick on their udders and feed me some grass. 

Eventually my other half managed to convince me that it was just the hormones. And bless him for trying, cause it took a while, I was adamant I was not hormonal and that he was a jackass for suggesting so (As is the standard response when a man tells you that you’re just hormonal) Until he reminded me how old our son was that day.
All joking aside, I had it easy. Day three is a doozy. But it’s the point of where baby blues can very quickly turn into postnatal depression, and that’s no laughing matter.

Regardless of whether you choose to breastfeed or not, this day still exists and needs to be closely monitored by anyone around you.
My last point here as I am now verging on writing a book rather than blog post,  fuck what anyone judges you for. 

If you want to breastfeed, great, do it. If you don’t, then don’t. If you want to feed your baby for just 6 months, fine. If you want to feed them for 5 years, then fine too. If you want to feed your kid in a coffee shop, with no cover then go for it. If you prefer to find a quiet place or use a cover, then that’s cool too.
I found the judgement came from all sides. It came from people who don’t know me, judging me for feeding my child in public, whether i had a cover or not. I actually walked out of one chain cafe because i felt so intimidated by the management that I even had a baby with me! I hadn’t even begun to feed my son.

I also got judgement from family, telling me that he’s too attached to me, telling me that I should have some formula so that they can feed him, telling me that he wasn’t gaining enough weight on my milk, telling me that he should be on solid foods from 3 months so other people could take him for whole days and nights. And this was all without any regard for what I wanted to do, or how my son was doing with breastfeeding, no one cared about that, what they cared about was their own agenda.
There’s too much judgement when it comes to feeding a child. Society needs to remember that boobs were actually made for babies to drink from, not to be dressed up as pretty little ornaments for men to oogle at, and that a mothers decision on how to feed her child is hers, and though advice is always welcome, pushy opinions and outright rudeness is not. This goes for both sides of the coin, breastfeeding and formula feeding.
I am not against formula, I was formula fed myself as a baby. There seems to be a big stigma surrounding BFing mum’s that we hate formula, but I stick my flag in the sand on the side of Fed Is Best. It doesn’t matter if you choose it, or if it chooses you, your child is not hungry and that is the only thing that matters.
National Breastfeeding Week is running from the 26th June 2017 and is run by UNICEF. Their website has plenty of links for support, shared stories and articles about the benefits of breastfeeding.

UNICEF

The Breastfeeding Network

La Leche League 

Share your breastfeeding story here with me, or on your own platform and link it in the comments below! I’d love to read them! And don’t forget to tag them on social media with #BFfriend17

0

Why I have a Love/Hate Relationship with Kids TV. 

Lets dive right into the nitty gritty here.

I love Sesame street, it’s educational, it’s good for baby development with speech, sounds, colours, letters, words, the list goes on. It’s cute, they sing and dance, little spin off side shows. It’s pretty great.

My son loves it too. He stops whatever he is doing if I put it on, even if it’s just to watch the theme music, but he stops. It calms him down. And like I said, it’s super educational, even for a 10 month old.

And before anyone gets at me on their high horse, no I don’t use television as a babysitter, but I do sure as hell think it’s better for that to be on in the background than the deal with the crap they put on regular channels during the daytime. He also doesn’t watch past 5pm.

There’s one particular set that my son enjoys. We watch it on YouTube because sesame street isn’t aired on a constant loop so, ya know, needs must.

In it’s essence, this is wonderful, technology is wonderful in that I can find on YouTube, the same episodes that I watched as a kid. I recognise them! I find myself staring at the television realising that I remember this episode, not to the time or how old I was but I know what happens in the story of the show that day.

However, there are certain things seasoned parents don’t tell anyone about parenthood and this is one of them: You will love and hate children’s tv at the same time.

I love that my son loves sesame street, I love that it teaches him, I love the smile on his face when it comes on that is true, genuine happiness. I hate Elmo’s song. I hate how many times a day it finds its way onto the playlist. I hate that I know every word and that i actually sing it in my dreams.

I do however have to admit that I love the side shows. The spin off Star Wars “Star Smores” from “Crumby Productions”, “The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon” was a particularly good one. And they can only really be made to keep adults sane right? (I cracked up when “The Hungry Games” started playing)
Image copyright of Sesame Street

It’s a difficult position to be in, to choose between your own sanity or a child’s happiness. Really it’s no choice at all, when you think about it. And I’m not even talking like “Oh I put my child’s happiness over everything else” which I do, but I’m talking that, he’s doing my head in right this minute and I need to pee or make a tea without him scratching at my legs and whining, so sesame street will shut him up for a second, and maybe I’ll be able to think.

I also hate how invested I get in the storylines of kids tv, cause trust me, it ain’t just Sesame Street. I know I’m not the only one to say how i find myself still watching Paw Patrol even after R is either disinterested or asleep.

Sometimes I don’t hate it at all. Watching Disney movies all day instead of getting angry at the way the news is being reported is not something I mind doing at all.

I’m sure that many seasoned parents will laugh along to my first time experience of this, remembering back to how they felt when they made the sweet realisation that they probably will never catch themselves with a chart hit in their head again, but always the theme tune to Peppa Pig or Elmos song.

So I’m putting it out there in the atmosphere in a one of many posts I may write catagorized “Things other parents never told me about parenting before I became a parent myself” for any parents to be, or parents who haven’t gotten here yet, or even parents who thought they were the only ones singing kiddie songs in their sleep, children’s tv is very much a love-hate relationship.