The Village

I’ve often heard people say “it takes a village to raise a child” and whilst it doesn’t particularly resonate with me or even us as a family (we live far from family) in recent times I’ve experienced “a village” type of support and I’m beginning to understand. 

The first week with our second baby we were inundated with offers of help, meals and kind messages of support. Those things cannot be underestimated how much of a support they are. The comfort in knowing we could reach out for assistance if we needed it and it’d be there was so reassuring. 

In the past I’ve thought to myself I should take a dinner over or offer to help in some way, often people are reluctant to accept help, but food on the other hand .. Everyone eats! And especially nursing mothers!! The lesson I’ve learned is even if you think someone has a great support system – that you don’t need to get into the mix there are things you can do. Don’t be afraid to be the village. It turns out one or a few people can be the village to someone. It doesn’t have to be “to raise children” it can be to be an extra set of hands for the parents or some small gesture to make a parents life that bit easier. 

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Friendship ending stuff…

I could be about to do something which is without a doubt friendship ending. The thing is over the last year I’ve wondered if the friendship has already ended. Are we just in that polite rut of the odd message here and there, “we should catch up” and then never make plans to do so. 

My guess is that we are already there. But perhaps my next move is the final nail in the friendship coffin. 

I often wonder about the 7-year friendship cycle, the idea that if you stay friends beyond the 7 years then you’ll be friends for life. If I take a step back to evaluate I can’t help but think there’s a lot of truth there. And it also makes me wonder, these people we allow into our lives and share some of the most incredible moments of our lives then disappear or drift off into non friend territory. Do we celebrate what we thought we had at the time and be “ok” with how it is now?  

So the “current now” I have is that a friend I’ve known for about 6 years I haven’t seen in over a year. Initially it wasn’t thru lack of trying. She had her second baby and I saw the signs that she might be having a rough time of it. I offered to do the drop in for a coffee and chat thing but there was always a reason why it wasn’t suitable. So I stopped trying and left the ball in her court. Months passed and the contact lapsed. A few months back I initiated contact, she explained how she’d had a rough time post child #2 and gave me 2 options for catching up, both when I am working and obviously something I can’t do. (Working full time,  6 weeks out from giving birth and with my own toddler) 

I left it a month to respond because I was pissed off. When I finally did respond I explained that those times wouldn’t be times I could meet whilst I’m working. I’m yet to hear a response. But that’s kind of ok. 

See the issue now is that for the last 9 months we’ve been wracking our brains to come up with a great name for our baby #2. We have possibly agreed on one we like. But there is one issue. This friend. 3.5 years ago she told me the name she would name her son.  That son was was her baby #2. At the time I had another friend pregnant and she asked me to ask my friend (who she isn’t friends with) for them to not name their child that name. Even though on both sides that name has significant family importance. Naturally I refused to have that conversation – that’s not my place or business to interfere when someone is choosing the name of their babe. 

So the issue is the name we are leaning towards is a female version of the same name. I know right, how the hell haven’t we just found another name… Believe me I’ve been trying. But so far we’ve turned up zip! 

So you can see why I know that if we do it then without a doubt it’s friendship ending stuff. But maybe it’s already over? Maybe if she cares so little then she won’t care that our kids have a similar name? Who am I kidding… 

So yep, I think I’m about to end things. 

What would you like for Mothers Day? 

That’s the question my husband asked me this afternoon. 

I’ll set the scene before I explain the rest of our conversation and how it went down. I’m 27 weeks pregnant, we have a 2 year old, I work full time, it’s summer and the humidity at the moment is killing me. Bring on winter is all I can say. 

So any Mum will attest being asked what they’d like for Mothers Day is awesome because we can ask for something that’s selfishly for us, something we wouldn’t buy for ourselves. 

A few weeks back I made the mistake of going into a store which I should not have gone into. Mostly because it’s a shop I loved pre-child with my disposable income. So I quickly responded to his question with “a handbag”. His immediate response was “I was thinking of getting you some personal training sessions”. 

[insert WT..actual..FUCK] what kind of monster did I marry?! Surprisingly enough I didn’t loose my shit right then and there. I stewed on it for a few hours before telling him how insulting that was. 

He has now realised what a ginormous fuck up that was. 

Forced to slow down 

It’s funny how your body forces you to slow down. Recently I was on a trip where normally I’d flit all over town doing all the things I want to do, maximizing the small window of time/freedom. This time around I’m approaching the 3rd trimester and whilst I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit it (shopping) the way I normally would, I didn’t anticipate that my body would put a holt on it. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned surviving pregnancy it’s that if I listen to my body things usually go better than if I don’t. So this time round I feel a strange sense of peace knowing I did most of the things I planned. The rest is not that important in the big picture. 

What’s in a name? 

I swear I am the most particular person when it comes to names. I put it down to my parents poor choice of mine. No seriously….

So when we were expecting our first baby girl when people asked me what names I like I’d respond with “I like normal, slightly vintage names, think names your grandmas friends might have”. So no made up spellings with extra y’s or x’s, I was thinking normal names that my child won’t have to spell out every time she gets asked her name. Her name was fairly much agreed on early on, although there were a few names that we liked and we’d add to our list along the way. We wanted to see her and see if her name suited her. 

Somewhere around the 4 month mark I was driving to work, listening to the radio and I heard THE NAME on the news. I can even remember where I was in the journey, it was like a massive slap in the face moment. Anyway I added to the list and casually suggested it a few times to the husband, but didn’t want to over invest in it because it was more left of centre than I thought he’d agree to.

Anyway fast forward to 38 weeks and the thought of calling our daughter the name we thought seemed like the worst idea in the world, to the point where the idea totally repulsed me. I mentioned it to my husband and funnily enough, he was feeling the same way. So when she was born we took one look and knew the alternative name was hers. 

22 weeks into this pregnancy and I’m praying that one day soon that I have a name slap in the face moment! The weeks are flying by and we are yet to hear a name that is anywhere as great as the name we chose for our first born, and it’s not like we can have one child with a great name and one with an average one… 

Fingers crossed it happens soon 

Pregnancy Phobia

So it turns out Pregnancy Phobia is a real thing. It also turns out that a woman at my workplace suffers from it (is “suffers” the right term? I don’t know) but anyway incase you missed it – I’m a pregnant woman. 

I’d never heard of this phobia before and when my colleagues warned me about our other colleagues phobia I didn’t really take it seriously. You see, at work I’m there to work. Sure I’ll have a chat to my colleagues about whatever but I won’t instigate speaking about my pregnancy. That’s just a bit weird and personal. Although I have been asked some awkward questions from time to time and I try to give the best awkward/TMI responses to those! 

Anyway so we managed to get to about 19 weeks before I wore a fitted top /it was obvious and then things became weird. 

It’s a bit of a shame really, because as a person I thought she had a great personality and I thought we clicked. But the obvious avoiding is now in its 2nd week and honestly I don’t understand it. I want to say just pretend I’m getting really fat! We can ignore this, just go back to being normal. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Or has a phobia of pregnant women, if so give me some tips! 

Preparing for a newborn – round 2

It’s funny I’m constantly comparing myself to the mother-to-be I was 2 years ago and boy am I different. 

After having my first child I’m less worried about “getting everything organised” Ie. Buying everything we could possibly need for a child. I remember a friend touching base with me just before our first arrived. She has 3 kids and said all you really need is somewhere for them to sleep, some clean clothes, nappys and wipes. And you know what… She was right. All those extra things we have are great (well the majority! There’s some things I shake my head over the money wasted). But you don’t actually need that much for when baby comes home. 

This time round I know what I actually need for baby, and if there was some kind of emergency item we absolutely have to have, then we’ll go and buy it then. But this time the emphasis is on preparing our 2 year old. Getting her moved into a “big girl bedroom” and helping her to try to understand how our lives are about to change. That in itself is going to be a challenge and who knows how successful we’ll be. 

It’s amusing looking back and seeing the shift in perspective. 

How did you prepare for a new baby

The types of newborn mothers

I’ve realised since becomming a parent, there are a bunch of different types of parents out there, and while I’m not across all the types of toddler parents (I’m still consumed by that whirlwind), I have come to some conclusions about newborn mothers. 

“The everything is fine mother”: the mother who you ask how things are going and you get the standard “everything is fine”. You respond with the standard, that’s great. Because what else can you say. You hope behind closed doors things are as good as they make out. 

“The realist”: The mother that can have a laugh at the craziness of being sleep deprived, but crack a joke because they know this is only a phase. The parent who will have honest conversations, who realises that life will never be what it was before, but isn’t chasing that life either. 

The “attention needer”: if their kid has a cold, is grumpy or feels like “the meanest person ever” for taking their kid for immunizations , you will know about it because their Facebook feed is a constant stream of drama. 

“The competitor”: how do you know a pilots in the room? Because they’ll tell you. It’s very similar to the competitor mother. You didn’t even realise you were a part of “the competition” except she thinks you are and she’s determined to win. Your kids not sleeping thru the night, not poo’ing everyday, then you are the looser (in her eyes anyway).

“The quiet achiever”: the mother who goes about her business of mothering, not seeking a medal for her achievements. She’s polite, interested in your journey and will only tell you about hers if you ask. She’s the mum who even if she had something to boast about wouldn’t. 

The newborn stage is hectic and I guess when we break it down it’s a lot about survival mechanisms. What kind of newborn mothers have you encountered? 

Pregnancy Pressure

And I’m not talking about that pressure on your bladder! 

Has anyone else experienced the incessant questions? This time around they’ve either changed from last time or their just annoying me more. The pregnancy fogs stopping me from clearly deciphering the difference! 

This time is about our/my decisions: 

  • Are you making it Facebook official ? Yeah coz the basketball under my shirt isn’t going to pop out until it’s on Facebook. Ha 
  • Are you going to have a surprise this time? Because finding out at 20 weeks for when you give births is still technically the same number of surprises you’ll get, your just getting it earlier. And for an organizer like me it would kill me, not having all the outfits purchased, washed and organised in the wardrobe. I may have done an inventory list this weekend. Yep 
  • Have you told (insert friends name) yet? Followed by: why not? I guess she’ll find out eventually. Guess what, Weve told our nearest and dearest, if we haven’t specifically told someone then read between the lines. 
  • How do you think Miss 2 will go? Who the f knows?! But guess what we’re going to find out soon enough. And it’s not like we can put the baby back if she doesn’t like it. I’m sure she will be just fine eventually. But thanks for point out how challenging it might be, I hadn’t realized that for myself. 
  • Would you like a coffee? I mean can I get you a decafe, no caffeine for you! Actually I haven’t had a coffee today, don’t make it a decafe I need the hit, get me a small! (How about you don’t try to control me, thanks much appreciated!) 

Perhaps it’s me, maybe I’m more sensitive. Actually yes I am. But really… How hard is it to be positive and mind your own business! 

That lazy ass b*tch

I’m pretty sure our holiday guests are thinking the above. Everytime that see me I’m sitting on my butt. 

It’s insane the energy that is robbed by your growing child. The holiday season is rough when your growing a small human. Last time round we had no plans, no visitors and now that I think about it, I didn’t cook the turkey I bought because the thought of touching it sent me reaching, so for dinner I’m ashamed to admit to it we went out for fast food. Yep on Christmas night. So there probably isn’t a lot that is different, except it’s funny/embarrassing that people (other than my husband) witness my useless-ness. 

I’m probably a walking advertisement against having children.