Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Elf On The Shelf.

It's the run up to Christmas, and lucky us, the shops have been playing Christmas songs since the moment the clock struck 12 on Halloween. Not a problem for some folks, but for parents, a fucking Nightmare. Not only do we have to put up with the "How many sleeps?" question every single solitary day, but we also have to sit back and watch as our children's attitude becomes more and more shitty with each passing minute.
As I walked down the street on a frosty day at the back end of November, my 5 year old wearing a Santa hat and snapping my head off at every opportunity I decided something had to be done.
I'd heard rumours of a magical Elf who visited children in the run up to Christmas and reported their behaviour to Santa every evening. I decided I needed to get me one of those Elves! I was going to get that little arse hole in check if it killed me.
And I believe kill me it will.
For it appears this Elf is not really magic at all. Well, it is, but it's me that has to do the magic. Every night. For a month. Merry Christmas.
Still! It will be worth it to see the look on my sons face, and will save me a fortune in the Prosecco that I'm forced to drink daily due to his crappy behaviour.
After purchasing an Elf, a magic door, and composing a letter from Santa to my son telling him how god damn awful he was I decided I needed some ideas of what my Elf could get up to and decided to enlist the help of a friend (she knows who she is but let's called her Dee)
Dee is the Mother of my sons best friend and Elf on the Shelf extraordinaire. She added me to a secret group on Facebook for Mums whose children were lucky enough to have an Elf visit them at Christmas.
And it soon became pretty apparent that most Mums were in fact doing this for fun, not in an attempt to blackmail their asshole kid.
The more I delved in to the group and was notified of members comments the more I started to become a little 'elf conscious (see what I did there?)
These Mums didn't just have an Elf door that they'd grabbed from Card Factory for £1.99. They had Elf 'areas.' Yes, that's right! AREAS!! Debbi (oh, I mean Dee) herself had set up a 'construction site' in preparation for her Elfs arrival and was planning to put up a miniature fibre optic Christmas tree for him as well as a flashing wreath on his door.
(It actually looks amazing and I'm totally fucking jealous. But let's not tell her I said that.)
Some mums had designed an entire garden outside their Elf door, with a snowy post box and everything!
There were pictures of Elves floating around in hot air balloons in the living room, discussions of 'North Pole breakfasts,' and fizzy pop labels to make 'Elf Punch' and 'Reindeer something or other.'
There were links to shops on Etsy who sell Elf props and Elf clothes.
And I am totally not cut out for this shit!!
I wanted my son to behave! I didn't think I'd have to put this much effort in.
The Elf will arrive on Wednesday 7th December (because I'm a sucky Mum whose Elf is arriving a week late because she's still waiting for it to be delivered from eBay! Ahem! I mean Santa is still awaiting a signal from me that we're ready to welcome our Elf).
 It looks terrifying on the picture, so I'm now holding out hope that instead of my son behaving because the Elf is magical and does super cool things, he will behave because the Elf looks demonic and he doesn't want it coming in to his bedroom at night. Staging the Elf in that scenario would probably be a lot more fun!

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Sleeping Through The Night

Two questions you will definitely get asked by somebody as a new mum
1. Is the baby good for you?
2. Are they sleeping through the night?
The answer to question one is always going to be no. The baby is not good for me, because when you ask this question your definition of 'good' means you are in fact asking "Is your baby not acting anything like a baby?" And of course this is ridiculous considering they are a baby.
Whilst answering question one, you may find you link in by answering question two before even being asked. Because again, we seem to define a baby being 'good' with them sleeping all night long. The pressure for mums to have a 'good baby' who sleeps through the night is immense, and hitting them from every angle. Friends, family, articles on social media (you must know that the internet is aware you're sleep deprived and desperate), apps, books, and even your Health Visitor.
At a recent appointment my Health Visitor was rather concerned that at the grand old age of 5 weeks, my daughter was still waking every 2-3 hours through the night. Apparently we needed a plan to fix this! Immediately! I'm not quite sure why. She asked me how often she fed through the night. I gave her an honest answer. I never once said I had an issue with the amount of times she woke. And if I don't have an issue, I'm finding it hard to understand why she does? Or anyone else for that matter.
It made me feel quite sad. Sad that new mums were being bombarded with the thought that their child acting like a baby was a problem. Sad that those mums would then go down every route they possibly could to fix the problem, and then feel hopeless when nothing worked. Because it's just not reality.
Which is why instead of blogging about 'how to get your child to sleep through the night with ten simple steps!' I decided to blog about how my baby is definitely not 'good' through the night, and why I like it! Well, not like it know. Im trying to see some kind of silver lining here guys!
1. She pulls cuter faces at 1am, 3am and 5am than she does throughout the daylight hours. Only I get to see these. It's just me and her. These are moments that I'll miss when she no longer needs me physically or emotionally through the night
2. You can learn a host of new things whilst feeding your child through the night. Last week, whilst scrolling through Facebook in the dark in an attempt to keep myself awake, I came across an article that stated yawning is actually your body's way of cooling your brain down when it's overheating! Of course I now think my brain is about to explode every time I yawn, but STILL! Amazing! Think of all the new knowledge (useless facts) I'll have gained by the time she actually does start sleeping through the night! I'll be like a walking encyclopaedia!
3. Regular waking through the night can protect your child from SIDS. Night nursing can also help to develop your child's sleep cycle. So by waking regularly my darling daughter is in fact preparing herself to do the exact opposite, when she's learned how.
4. The twilight hours are a great time to do online shopping! There's nobody around to tell you that no, you really don't need that and yes, you should put down your credit card! In fact, this point alone may actually be a reason to gently prod your child awake, around 3am, just so you have an excuse to buy lovely shit. Can't have them sleeping through and ruining the retail therapy can we?
5. I know I'm following my baby's lead, instead of forcing her in to some regimented routine devised by the likes of Gina Ford and other such Ass Hats. My baby knows best. She is A BABY! She momentarily lives purely through instincts. She is totally incapable of acting a particular way because of 'behaviour.' At least this is what I believe. You're free to believe what you choose and that's why you parent your child and I parent mine. And that's fine!

But let's face it. It is pretty shitty being dragged from your slumber every few hours, relentlessly. I truly believe that the ageing process officially starts when you have children. I definitely have a noticeable amount of new crows feet of late. BUT! The point I'm trying to make here is IT'S NORMAL!!
Your baby NEEDS to wake. They need YOU! The sooner you embrace night waking the sooner you will accept that it won't be forever. Baby's are cranky, miserable, irritable, sleep robbing bundles of pudge. But that is kind of what happens when you don't have the ability to talk. You can't say "hey mum! My tummy kind of aches and a breeze went past my toe!" So you have to cry. At 3am. Exactly 11 minutes after you cried the last time.
But don't worry Mummy.
You were made for this.
You'll survive the lack of sleep.
I promise!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Let Me Just Warn You

A few hours after you have given birth, been plonked in a wheelchair, wheeled backwards and delivered to the postnatal ward, you will feel like you have literally been beaten to a pulp by a heavy weight champion. You'll hear every other new mothers sigh, every baby apart from yours will cry, and other people's visitors will make you want to drop kick them to the floor through the adjoining curtain. None of this will matter of course as you spend endless hours staring at the tiny little human you made, lying there in a see through box.

Prepare yourself in advance for the sight of any children that already exist in your life, as it will shock you to the core. Your once cute son, daughter, niece, nephew have now warped in to actual manbeasts. How did you never recognise how gargantuan their heads were? And what's with those enormous eyebrows and saucer like eyes? Grotesque. Be warned.

You might become a bit of a shit friend. Or realise that your friends are a bit shit. Whilst you're still the person you were pre baby, you're simultaneously almost completely not. Your new best friend is now Google. Google is always on standby, and never gets tired of hearing you ask questions that begin with
"is it normal if my baby....?"
or "why does my baby.....?"
Google never rolls its eyes at your insufferable over anxiousness, or tells you that all you talk about these days is the baby. It only serves to provide the answers you require. Even though most of the time they will be completely inaccurate and quite possibly cause an emergency doctors appointment with suspected meningitis for a mere milk spot.

You will never come closer to slamming a hardback book on your partners head at 3am whilst you sit there feeding your child, head bobbing as you try not to nod off, with your partners snores echoing around the depths of your skull.

It will be the best of times and the worst of times. All at the same time. Before 8am on a Monday morning.

You'll become a weeping, paranoid wreck. Your first child thinks you don't love them anymore. Nothing will be the same again. Your partner thinks you're ugly. That blanket is going to smother the baby and can't possibly be used. The midwife looked at me funny.
And then all of a sudden you'll be fine again, and you'll curse fellow mums for not warning you about the nuts stage a few days post birth.

The squelching sound of a freshly soiled nappy will evoke multiple emotions from you, dependent on time and situation. Annoyance, as you tip the pram to be wheeled out the front door; relief as you rub your child's tummy who has been squirming and struggling for the past hour at 3am. It will be the first time another humans bowel movements will toy with your emotions.

Your baby will always want to eat when you eat. Standard behaviour.

Intimacy with your partner will have to be 'booked in'. Gone are the days of spontaneity. And you'll have to be wary of not spoiling the  mood by discussing the colour of the baby's last turd before you get it on. Although it's guaranteed you will. You won't be able to help yourself.

You will be so tired, the word tired doesn't even cut it. We're talking eye stinging, body shivering, everyone's face is pissing me off kind of tired. And then some.

Be warned.