So I started this blog back in 2011, I had settled in to parenting by this point. Still not sleeping through the night but I had two beautiful children and I had thrown out all of the ridiculous parenting books I had bought during the first few months of pregnancy.
It was crazy really, I read nearly every pregnancy and baby related book I could get my hands on. I had decided to breastfeed so my body would bouncy back (yeah cause that happens!) and I would have my daughter on a strict 4 hour routine. Eat, change, sleep, repeat. The books said it would be easy. The books were very wrong.
The pregnancy itself was easy enough, not too much to complain about apart from the 5 stone I seemed to pile on in those short nine months. Actually giving birth was a whole different matter and we ended up greeting our first daughter after a traumatic emergency c-section.
See those dark rings under my eyes, well her peaceful face is basically lying to you. She was never a good sleeper and the more I forced her into a routine the worse she got. That book was the first to go.
As she got older I started to worry about other things. Weaning was a huge thing as baby led weaning was just becoming popular. We were told not to feed kids too early yet to feed them when they grabbed for food and put it in their mouths. We were only allowed to give them things they could hold, well at 6 months old Elizabeth could pretty much hold a can of beer and munch on a piece of KFC chicken. Obviously not a good choice for weaning. I soon threw out the book about weaning too.
I learnt a lot as a first time mum that was not mentioned in the books. I learnt that pregnancy has lots of horrible side effects people dont talk about such as piles, I learnt that giving birth is not the happy smiley affair it looks like in all the pictures, I learnt that breastfeeding could cause your nipple to almost fall off and that you will stare at your baby when they sleep even if you are completely exhausted just waiting to see that they are still breathing and that you will do this repeatedly for months. I learnt that no matter how many books you read none of that knowledge helps you when you are handed your baby. I leart that coping with a sick kid can be the most traumatic experience of your life even if it is just a sniffle or a temperature and that a bottle of nurofen for children can be your best friend. I learnt that I would give up anything for my baby to be well again and a trip to the supermarket in your pjs to get that all important medicine at 3am is something you do without thinking about it. I learnt a lot as a first time mum and second time around things were a bit different.
When Alison arrived I had thrown out all the baby books, given up on any sort of routine and settled into my life as a perpetually exhausted mummy. Life on two hours sleep meant that I looked for the easy way in everything I did and if that meant we didnt get dressed some days, well who was there to judge me especially as we moved house and forgot to tell the health visitors.
Life with two young babies was easier than with my first one, I became less neurotic about sleep patterns, how much they were eating and started to enjoy my life with my babies. I trained one to fetch nappies for the other one and soon had her thinking it was a great game to play. I still hadnt managed to train Hubby to wake up during the night and Elizabeth has never been a good sleeper but I had started to get used to the lack of sleep and I headed back to work too which meant I could catch up on sleep during important work meetings or when commuting. I often found myself jerked awake on the bus with drool down my chin, baby puke on my shoulder and a changing bag instead of my handbag. In fact I am surprised I even made it to the office most days.
Being a parent has turned my life upside down and given it purpose. It has made me love a bottle of Nurofen for children like I used to love my hangover cures and made my whole life revolve around my childrens smiles.
I used to be a neurotic mum who wanted to follow all the rules. Now I realise that as long as you are all happy there are no rules and each child is completely different.
This post is sponsored by Nurofen for Children, however all words and opinions expressed are my own