My eldest is 3 1/2yrs and my youngest is 3 1/2 mths. Ever since I announced my pregnancy with my youngest (son) people kept saying :
Have you started to prepare for the jealousy from the oldest?
Have you explained how there’s going to be a new addition to the family that will be loved equally?
Why don’t you get a dolly for Toddler so that they get used to having a baby around the house?
We were of course aware that bringing back a day old baby into a house where my daughter has been the ‘star of the show’ for 3 years would be a change, I mean a really big change, but we were prepared!
Even the nursery said she may ‘regress’ to being a baby because the attention is often taken away from the older sibling so we sort of came to expect it to happen. My son is now 3 months old, and I can honestly say there’s been no dramatic regression, she’s not smothered him…yet, and she seems to…well…love him!
We’ve always encouraged her to help out by fetching nappies, reading stories and kissing him good night.
We never shout at her for giving a bit-too-tight-a-cuddle (which she does regularly!)
We always say she’s our big girl and is a great big sister.
We do make a greater fuss of her when she comes in from nursery.
We do try to have 1-on-1 time just me and her even if it’s just for 5 mins.
Too quickly we are told the toddlers nature is to be jealous and to cause havoc, but I think a lot of the time we impose it ourselves by expecting it to happen, because of what other people say. Each family is different. I know they will have their arguments as they grow older, and I may well have a full basket of eggs on my face in a few months time – but for now just call us the Waltons!
What are your experiences of introducing new siblings to the family?
BK (Before Kids) Saturday night was THE night! Mr Balderdash and I would rise lethargically from our pits in the morning and plan the night ahead. It would mainly consist of pre- drinks at home, then meeting friends for a few more drinks, maybe a meal, definitely a dance and then a night cap at around 2:30am, happy in the thought that Sunday – our day of rest (remember them?) would include the notorious consumption of hangover munchies and coca cola.
Those days are long gone – which to be honest I don’t really yearn to feel like shit every Sunday anymore, and the thought of staying out later than 10pm quite frankly fills me horror – the thought of having to queue in a bar, or wait in the cold for a taxi! What I do miss is the ‘Saturday Routine’ we stuck to so adamantly, which got me thinking what it my ‘Saturday Routine’ now?
1. Texting Friends – We would arrange to meet at the same pub each week, ask what each other is wearing, who’s going out and general balderdash that comes with not seeing your friends for a whole week! Nowadays, if I’m lucky I text the cripplingly expensive Xfactor to cast my vote on who has sang the shittiest this week. I may also text Santa or any other charity show to still justify my existence and attachment to the big, scary outside world.
2. Getting My Bag Ready – First I would choose my bag to match my outfit. Place following items in said bag; Lipstick / gloss, chewing gum, purse, comb, blusher, eyeliner, phone, cash. My current ‘bag’ is the one I make up every night to take up to bed. It includes everything I need to get me through the night with a newborn so that I don’t have to come downstairs in the dark. Nappies, wipes, Infacol, formula, bottles, change of baby clothes, muslin clothes, dummy, phone (to use the torch app in the night and vote on xfactor).
3.Getting Dressed – I’d match my dress with my shoes add strapless bra, spanks, high heels, straighten hair, apply make-up whilst sipping wine..oh how I miss wine. Nowadays my staple item of clothing are my PJ’s, they often have an aroma of stale milk, mustn’t forget the nipple pads, oh and maternity pads, grandma knickers (they are so comfy) slippers and maternity bra.
4.Listen to some Music – I would plug in my phone and listen to some dance music, maybe even have a sing a long looking forward to ‘drunk dancing’ in around 5 hours time..whilst sipping wine..oh how I miss wine. My playlist now consists of nursery rhymes, white noise and the Fun Song Factory soundtrack, and the closest I get to drunk dancing is swaying gently in half light with my baby in arms ‘milk drunk’. At least one of us is drunk.
5.Call a Taxi and wait in anticipation for the night to begin! Cue, getting weed on for the third time today on my third set of clean clothes…can’t even be bothered to change them now…taxi for Mrs Balderdash…
I may only be 2 yrs old but I can tell my Mummy and Daddy exactly what I need (want). My actions speak much louder than my words!
When I put on the wrong shoes, or when Mummy gives me the wrong biscuit I scream and shout. It’s the only way I know how to tell my Mummy ‘I Love You’!!
When you helped me with my colouring book, teaching me to keep in between the lines. I kept scribbling all over the page so hard that the paper ripped and I drew all over the table!
That was so much fun and I tried to say sorry by drawing a heart on your arm but you took the pens off me.
When you lovingly cooked me a hot delicious, nutritious meal and I said “urghh don’t like it” so that Daddy will play the aeroplane game with me. I push the food off the fork and it goes all over the floor! You say “no dessert for you unless you eat your dinner!” It’s so funny that game, and you let me play that one nearly every night!
I leave you my favourite stickers on the doors and walls so that when you are on your own they will remind you of me!
I tore a page from my favourite book to keep under my bed. It reminds me of when you do that funny wolf noise in the story and he comes to eat the children and we scream and shout together.
I look at that page every night and the safest place I can keep it is be under my bed.
And sometimes when I’m tired and I shout out things like ‘Put Dora on TV! ’ or ‘I want sweeties! ’, what I’m really saying is ‘I love you’.
I love to empty your purse of all those receipts and rip them up! That’s me letting you know that there’s no need to return those clothes you bought because you look beautiful in all of them!
You get annoyed when I play with your lipstick but that’s because I want to be like you Mummy and look like you Mummy.
Finally, when you are rushing to get me to nursery and you need to get to work and I take so long to do ANYTHING!
I take my time eating my porridge and spill a bit on my top so you have to change my clothes.
I put my shoes on the wrong feet and ask you to help me.
You get annoyed when you do my hair and I pull it all out. I sometimes throw a tantrum and hide under the table.
But the truth is, once I’m at nursery I won’t get to see you for the rest of the day.
In fact I do all this at bedtime too because I want to spend every minute I can with you.
I love you.
Can you pass me that biscuit please and pop Peppa Pig on TV before bed? X
So, my maternity leave started four whole weeks before my due date. It was the first time I would have had a year off working since I left college in 1998. A whole year away from office banter, clocking in, emails about how my pension was diminishing the older I got, colleagues bitching about ‘her’ in finance, and meetings with toffee nosed graduates in suits, I was ecstatic!
I strategically planned the next 12 months with precision.
I was going to change my life so that I didn’t have to go back to work, and my plan looked a bit like this…
Task 1 – Write a Book
Projected Outcome – Write a best selling book and make approximately £500k in sales to achieve not going back to work.
Actual Outcome – I decided on a title and the ending…I got ‘writer’s block’ around 4 months into my leave and my brain just stopped thinking. I started to write lists. I wrote lists about lists! I even added things to the list things I’d already done so I could just tick them off.
I did however manage to keep a baby diary for the full term of my pregnancy and I also half completed three ‘Baby’s First Year’ books I received as presents. Task completed.
Task 2 – Start a Business
Projected Outcome – Start Business (work from home) to achieve not going back to work. To elegantly swoon downstairs of a morning for a 9am start, buying and selling, making profit and securing investors into my niche market.
Actual Outcome – Bottles, nappies, playtime, food shopping, cleaning, tidying, walking the dog. I’D CALL THAT WORKING FROM HOME! Task completed.
Task 3 –Learn a New Language
Projected Outcome – Again…elegantly swoon into a French Patisserie in Paris and have a conversation with the locals imbedding myself in local culture and hosting wine tasting evenings from my chateau in Brittany. (Using profits from the book to fund Task 3)
Actual Outcome – I know what mam, bindy, hiya, abble, yish, all gog, wowo, elloo, fshhh, botbot, barf, all mean without a translator or baby language dictionary. Expert in baby language. Task completed.
Task 4 – De- Clutter (have a ‘big sort’)
Projected Outcome – De-clutter and live by ‘clean house, clean mind’.
Actual Outcome – Got rid of a lot of my stuff and replaced it with bigger baby stuff. Now need extension or move house to store more ‘stuff’. Task completed.
See? I did achieve everything I set out to achieve, just not in the way I thought I would!
I also managed to keep up my work life routine:
Attended Meetings – Ante-natal, baby group, health visitor
Met Deadlines – Feeding, bathtime, bedtime, teatime, naptime, daddy time, me time
Strategically Planned – Prepared and packed correct items for days out, walks, visiting friends and family.
Finance Management – Budget? What’s that?
Extra Hours – 24hours with no extra pay or holiday entitlement
Conclusion- My real job? Being a Mum.
What things did you plan to do on Maternity Leave?
Ever wondered why our toddlers love to play with EVERYTHING that there not supposed too?
My daughter, Florence is almost 2 years old and yes she’s the type to want to play with the box that the toy arrived in. Out of a line up of toys and boring grey metal stuff she would prefer the boring grey metal stuff.
Toddler: OOOh a pen! Stick it my pocket, hide it down the couch, stick it in a plug socket, hear my mum scream “OUCH!” Tastes nice too. Mummy: I can never find a pen Toddler: OOOh fluff on a stick! Suck them and squeeze them and stick them down my nappy! Pull them and swallow them these make me so happy! Mummy: I can never find a cotton bud Toddler: OOOh goggles! Mummy and Grandma wear these on their eyes, it makes them laugh when I put them on but not when I stretch the sides! Mummy: I can never find my glasses Toddler: OOOh a phone “HIYA, HIYA, HIYA, OOOH, HIYA, HIYA, HIYA, HIYA, OOOH, HIYA, HIYA, HIYA” Sometimes it makes a big loud noise and flashes and Mummy ignores it. Daddy hides it down the couch then Mummy can’t always find it. Mummy: Where IS the phone?
Toddler: Ooh a face to put my fingers in! Holes, and prongs and switches and wires, there’s loads in every room! They make music, and sounds and warm fuzzy fires and glass bulbs full of perfume! Mummy: I should clean more around the plug sockets.
Toddler: More grey metal stuff! Mine is blunt and small and pink and doesn’t make any loud sounds. The shiny one goes crash, bang, clock, clink when I throw it to the ground! Mummy: Why do I not have a dish washer?
Toddler: Ooh a cap! Take it off, put it back on, hide it under the chair. Taking it off, Dad grabs it off me, life is SO UNFAIR! Mummy: I really should clean more behind the radiators.
Toddler: I like pink shoes, brown shoes, green shoes, yellow shoes, and ones where I can wear socks. I hate blue shoes, plastic shoes, holey shoes, and waterproof shoes – these aren’t even proper CROCS! Mummy: Who’s ARE these shoes?
Toddler: I like the big white one with all the flashing lights and the noises and the turning and the swishing and swashing and the spinning and the smells and the bubbles and the foam and the…yawn zzzzzzz Mummy: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz What household appliances is your baby drawn to?!