I’ll get there, I’m just a bit broken.

I will get there eventually, it’s just my road isn’t as straight as others. I will try my hardest, but at times my hardest isn’t good enough. I will still smile and laugh, I’m just not the same as I once was inside. I can’t just get over it, suck it up and get on with it, but I wish I could.

I am a little broken, but I reconise that and I want to get better and work on myself as a person. I am not ashamed of who I am and the struggles I am going through, as they make me who I am. I do need more love and affection than most people need, but I’m lucky enough I have found a partner who is willing to be that person for me.

I am battling, but I’m prepared to fight and get through this.

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What they forget to tell you about a second baby

What they forget to tell you about a second baby.

What I envisioned and what I am as a parent are two very different things. I had so many plans as a first time mum and did well sticking to what I wanted to do, but when my second baby came along things became very different. Miss J was such a text book baby and things went smoothly from breastfeeding, to routines and discipline. Mr T was a completely different baby and I was naïve to think I would just sail through it without any kind of issues. I think if Mr T would have been born first I would have coped better as when you have your first I found I got so much support, advice and help, but when the second comes around people just expect you to get on with it and know what you are doing.

I’ll happily admit it now that when Mr T came into this world I had no blooming clue what I was supposed to be doing. With babies one size does not fit all and when you have a second baby or third you need more support than ever as not only do you need to sort this baby out who follows its own set of rules, you also have to sort out another child that will rebel over this new little dictator, who has come in, stolen their mum and messed up everything for them. This is the stuff the baby books leave out, not that you would have a spare second to read a baby book with a second baby.

Why did no one tell me the struggles of breastfeeding one baby whilst wiping the bottom of another? Why did no one tell me how to keep a three year old quiet whilst settling a baby to sleep? Why did no one tell me that the babies nap times would always coincide with when I have to leave the house for the pre-school run? Why did no one tell me how hard it would be get baby weighed at the Children’s Centre with a three year old in tow? Why did no one tell me how hard it was to take a three year old and baby to do the food shop whilst sitting next to each other in the trolley? Why did no one tell me that my child would always want food when I had just settled down to feed my baby its milk? Why did no one tell me that my three year old would no longer
want to walk anywhere when I have the baby in the pushchair? Why did no one tell me that my child wouldn’t instantly bond with her new baby sibling? Why did no one tell me about the mummy guilt I felt as I was unable to fulfil both their needs? Why did no one tell me that you can get PND with a second baby when you didn’t have it before? Why did no one tell me that my heart would expand enough to love two children equally? Why did no one tell me that I would ditch the rule book and not care anymore about routines?
Why did know one tell me that they would eventually bond and my heart would burst? Why did know one tell me the mummy guilt would ease when I understood that I did everything I could? Why did no one tell me that I had given my children the best gift in the world, which was each other?

I made it through and so will you. 18 months down to a mum of two for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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the muddled mother

My favourite purchases with a second child.

One thing I really enjoyed when pregnant with a second child was buying the little special extras I couldn’t afford first time around and updating stuff that I didn’t like with Miss J. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite purchases and the reasons why.

Babymov Cosy dream

This product was amazing for a peaceful night sleep and especially for a baby with bad reflux like Mr T. I loved how he was cosy and his legs were raised upwards to help ease discomfort that reflux caused. One of the best bits about this is that its machine washable and dries pretty quickly and I can vouch that it last well after washing it most days and using it for six months.

Joie Mimzy Highchair

I wish I had bought this product sooner and not tried to manage with my old one which just wasn’t practical. This highchair is amazing and so comfortable. Not only can you adjust the height, you can take off the whole tray to clean, it folds down for storage and the plastic has an almost velvety texture so even cheese spread wipes straight off. I love how you can recline this so you can have baby up at the table before they are ready to start solids.

Medela Swing Breast Pump

If you do plan to breastfed I really do recommend this breast pump. I went for a cheaper one with my daughter and it was useless compared to this. Its easy to use, clean and transport. I used it everyday for six months and it became my breast friend.

Mam Bottles anti Colic

At first I had my reservations with these bottles but after I was sent one free and Mr T refused any other brand I tried these and he loved them. I was put off my all the bits, but they really do work well and didn’t seem to aggravate his reflux too much or cause nipple confusion. Its great that you can self sterilise the bottles in the microwave.

Breathablebaby Cot Mesh Liner

I know not everyone likes cot bumpers but after having a good look around I found these mesh liners that Velcro on. I didn’t use them when Mr T was newborn but I used them when he went in his own cot from six months and they are great at keeping his legs and dummies inside the cot at night.

Ergo Baby Carrier

I have no idea how I would have managed without this carrier. It was great for holding a reflux baby upright when I needed to do some jobs and so easy for doing the school run. Mr T is 16 months old and we are still using the carrier everyday for the school run.

Milton Travel Sterliser

This was so handy on holiday that I used it when I was home for doing his dummies, rather than having to put them all in the steam steriliser every 30 minuets.

Milton Mini Soother Steriliser

These make life so much easier when out and about. Easy to set up before you go out and also handy to take up to bed with you with a spare dummy.

Nursing Chair

I love my nursing chair and couldn’t be without it. I’m still using it 16 months on for good night feeds and a story.

Mamas and Papas Armadillo City

I bought this when Mr T was 10 months as I wanted a small pushchair that I could keep in my downstairs toilet. This pushchair is lovely to push, folds easily, look good and fully reclines. my only regret was not buying it sooner.

Please see links to Amazon to the side for current prices.

 

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I nurture myself so I can nurture others.

Most the time I am my own worse enemy. I can be so hard on myself and make myself feel guilty when I know I shouldn’t. I’ve been having a hard week this week and I forgot to take care of my mental wellbeing and I can now feel the effects. I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep and again feel detached and not present. I’m so fortunate to have friends that understand me and notice the patterns in my behaviour. My friends have been checking in on me this week and just being supportive of me.

I’m so exhausted but I know this is just temporary and that I can get back out of this soon. I know I have a pattern of self sabotage when things seem to good for me and that is because I don’t feel like I deserve it as I have issues with my self esteem.  I forget at times and take far too much on and become overwhelmed which just leads me to be unable to cope with everyday situations and I start doubting myself as a parent and as a person. It’s a vicious cycle as the more overwhelmed I get the harder I am on my self and the more I isolate myself which then leads to me becoming more anxious and depressed.

Since my diagnosis and my road to recover I have learnt so much about how my mind works and can now spot my patterns in behaviour. I am going to be easier on myself and get rest when I can and stop beating myself up for not being my best. I cannot be the best me and best mother without rest and without time on my own which is nothing to feel guilty about. My wellbeing is important and I need to remember this. Sometimes I need to take a step back and look at who I really am as a person. I know deep down I am a happy, kind and confident person I just need to nurture myself to bring that side out and push the negative away.

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The joys of a toddler who climbs everything.  

Mr T is a complete whirlwind compared to his sister and he has taken me by surprise. Mr T is a climber and a dangerous one at that. I now have a child covered in bumps and bruises and the thing is he doesn’t even care. I spend my whole life trying to catch Mr T and pulling him off various objects but you can’t help but admire his determination.

At first I was actually quiet impressed and would enjoy watching him explore the world in a new way, but now I just mutter “ffs” under my breath and pull him back down. He is getting smarter by the day and now using objects as building blocks to reach new heights whilst mummy is having mini heartattacks multiple times a day.

I’m hoping this new skill will serve him well in the future, but his lack of fear and the fact he doesn’t seem to feel pain does worry me that he may become some crazy daredevil as he becomes a teenager. I am guessing I may be a few trips to the hospital in years to come and I expect my hair to be completely grey by the time I’m in my mid thirties.

His latest trick is now to stand by the window and watch people as they pass. I’m sure the postman must think he’s some poor hard done by child that has no toys or stimulation, but the truth is if he’s climber he’s happy. One thing that I will never mind is when he climbs on me for a cuddle.

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Losing your identity as a mother.

For me learning to let go of guilt is something I really struggle with, but I know I need to address this and except that I am doing everything I can. When we become mothers I think we often forget how to be anything other than this and we feel guilty wanting to be anything else. I’ve lost my identity along the way and have forgotten what I deserve and what I need as an individual. Since my first came along I have only really met my basic needs and haven’t spent the time focusing on my own wellbeing.  I not only look after and raise two children, I also keep the house clean, every one and everything organised and I work part-time. I forgot to appreciate that I am doing a pretty good job and I deserve time to myself and I also deserve to be treated as someone who isn’t just mum.

Parenting when there are two parents in the home should be a team effort but at times I feel like I am the one who is parenting and I am in fact looking after three children. My husband works long hours but I think he often forgets that I am not his mother and he needs to look after himself at times and not expect me to do it all for him. I also need to remember my husband needs his wife and at times I am not just mum. It’s so easy to forget our identities and that we can play different roles in the house, especially when the children are so young and we fall into traps of only meeting their needs. It isn’t a competition on who is more tired and who’s job is harder or a game of tit for tat.

We need to take time to be by ourselves individually and as a couple as often as possible and be open with our emotions. We shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that we miss our partners or that we need for them to emotionally connect with us. These problems will never reslove and will just escalate and turn to resentment unless we can communicate and be honest. I know I sit down and ask my daughter why she is upset and what emotions she is feeling so I can understand her and meet her needs, so why don’t we do this with our partners? We need to not forget how to be wives when we become mothers whilst men need to remember to treat us as our partners and not their mothers. I made a promise to my husband the day we got married and I think it’s time to revisit those vows and remember why we are here.

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Trying to see clearly through the fog of depression and anxiety.

The exhaustion that postnatal depression and anxiety brings is deliberating and consuming. My days at times have merged into one where I get up and do the things I have to do, but I’m not present in the moment, I am detached, I am just running slowly on autopilot. This has made me feel like a terrible mother at times as all I’ve been able to do is focus on the children’s basics needs but nothing more. The antidepressants stop me from feeling any heightened emotions, sure I can feel happy and sad but not in the same way I used to.

Anxiety is such a struggle for me, the way it makes my heart race, sweaty hands and that need to leave the situation immediately. CBT has been so helpful to me but I constantly have to stop myself going back to my old coping mechanisms that hold me back from getting involved and living my life. One of the hardest things I find about anxiety is how exhausting it is, over thinking everything and not being able to sleep which then starts to really negatively effect my mental state.

Depression and anxiety really have controlled my life for so long and have put in so many limitations. I hate how depression has taken away my confidence and made me feel guilty over things I haven’t been able to control. I believe that I am always going to have to fight this battle and that scares the shit out of me. I feel so weak and overwhelmed at times but the rational side of me knows that I am not weak ad I have come so far, but at times that all feels pointless. When my head is ready to explode all I want to do is run away and escape, not permanently, I just want a break from my own mind.

I am still fighting and will continue to fight for my husband and kids as it’s all I know how to do. I mask the pain well to spare them the burden of my problems and even though I feel hopelessly alone at times I know I never will be. I take comfort in the fact i have more good days than bad days now and when I do have a blip it is usually short lived. Please get help if you need it as talking about it does help and if I hadn’t of got help when I did I really don’t know what would of happened to me.

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A letter to my darling daughter

My letter to my darling daughter.

Miss J you are now 4 years old and have started school. You have grown up so much this past year and have made me so proud. You don’t want to hold my hand as much as you did and you are now eager to run off to be with your friends, but you are still my darling baby girl. You still get in my bed in the night when your daddy is on nights and in the dark when you’re cuddled close to me, I stroke your soft cheeks and you still feel like my sweet baby girl.

You taught me so many lessons and made me become selfless. You always see the good in everything and teach me everyday to be a better person. To see the world through your eyes is something beautiful and magical. Without you I wouldn’t have had the strength to get through things and when my anxiety was bad and making me want to stay at home it was your voice and your hand that gave me the courage I needed. I have given you everything I have but you have given me so much more in return.

I am sorry you had to grow up so quick this last year whilst mummy wasn’t well and you have seen me at my worse, but please remember your words of encouragement and telling me you loved me meant more than anything anyone else could have told me right at that time. Without you my darling I’m not sure how I would have got through and you were the one that made me admit defeat and get help. I am eternally grateful for what you unknowingly did for me.

Now you have left for school my heart aches for you as I wasn’t ready to let you go just yet, but I know you are ready to be independent away from me and that I need to be strong on my own. Me and your baby brother are doing ok but we miss you terribly when you are not with us everyday. I took it for granted how much I needed my little helper with me when your brother is having a grumpy day. The way you care for baby Goo Goos is way beyond your years, but I know that isn’t your job it’s just the caring girl you are.

When I pick you up from school later I hope you have had a fun, exciting day, but I also hope you are a little tired so I can steal a nice cuddle on the sofa with you. As always my darling girl I shall tuck you into bed, read you a story, kiss your forehead and tell you I love you and I shall do this as long as you want and need me to. I love you Miss J.

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I have postnatal depression and I’m not ashamed.

Yes, I do have postnatal depression and no I’m not ashamed of it anymore. For over a year I have battled it every single day when at times it has made me close to the edge. It has consumed me and isolated me. Postnatal depression has been the dementor in my life for so long and at times it paralysed me and fed off my fear.

We need to get rid of the stigma around mental illness and educate people. I can’t just get over it, I can’t just suck it up. It has invaded every part of my life and damaged my closest relationships, but the day I admitted it and asked for help was the day a huge weight was lifted and the PND lost its control over me.

I’ve come along way in my battle and can see things from the other side now. The mummy guilt was horrible and the fear I would get my children taken away for admitting I had suicidal thoughts was frightening. Now I’ve got help even though some days are a struggle my life has got so much better. I now understand myself so much more and I appreciate that just like my body I also need to look after my mind. Isolating myself is a problem for me when I’m having a down few days, but now I recognise it I stop it from becoming habit so I don’t fall back into old traps.

If you you are going through this your self please do not be ashamed and talk about it. If you don’t have it and never have then be supportive and understanding as you never know the battles someone is going through in their head. They may look fine, but believe me they are not making it up and by being ignorant to it you are contributing to the problem. Everyone please open your minds and support each other. Please do not be ashamed over something you couldn’t help getting.

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I never knew how much I needed a boy in my life until I got one. 

“I never knew how much I needed a boy until I got one” were wise words passed on to me by a friend when I was pregnant with Mr T, and boy she was right. I was so happy to find out that Miss J was a girl as I felt I needed a girl so much in my life. I have a very close relationship with my mum and my sister and really didn’t get boys growing up. I was girlie girl and spent my whole childhood playing with barbies, dolls and polly pockets. Miss J was everything I had dreamed off, she liked to be clean, played delicately with her toys and had a beautiful soft voice. We lived in a pink bubble for three years and it was magical.

When I went for out gender scan I was excited to find out what we were having, but if I could have chosen I probably would have said another girl as having a sister is all I ever knew and I dreamed that Miss J would have the same closeness as us. We found out Mr T was a boy and headed straight to the shops to get some bits, but I couldn’t be helped heading to girls sections. I figured out that I needed to find what I wanted for a boy and started looking at Pintrest for ideas on nursery’s and clothes.

I really enjoyed getting everything ready for Mr T and styling it all, but was completely unsure what to expect with a boy. Mr T arrived 3 weeks early and my heart filled with love. Mr T is messy, gross, loud and naughty. He’s a complete contrast to Miss J and has definitely shaked things up in our house for the best.

Mr T is incredibly loving and likes nothing more than a big cuddle and kiss. He eats anything and everything whilst rubbing it all over himself. He has helped me and Miss J to get out of comfort zones and to get messy and act crazy. Mr T pulls his sisters hair, jumps on her, but every morning after his milk he gets out of my bed and goes straight to his sisters room for a cuddle in bed with her.

Mr T has completed our family for now and the bond him and sister have is beautiful. Our house is no longer just pink, it now has trucks and trains. Miss J loves to play with her brother and get messy and he loves playing with her barbie car. I never knew how much I needed a boy until I got one.

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