Archive of ‘Parenthood’ category

The Ramblings of a sad girl cliche

Remember when we were all like 2016 is the worst year ever and then 2017’s like “Hold my beer”

Retrenchment in February, a few hospital pit stops, a miscarriage after Easter weekend and then Thursday the 11th of May… Voldemort day.

I once read an article that said 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I think this is why I had such a hard time feeling sad. This happens to 1 in 4 pregnant women, I’m not special; I’m not even the worst case scenario. I was only 5 weeks pregnant. It barely counts as a pregnancy.  I don’t deserve to cry because there are women all over the world who had to deal with far worst.  But through reading and talking to friends I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter how far along you were, you don’t have to submit your tragedy to a panel who will judge if you qualify to feel sad, you can just be sad. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

I’ve since spent my fair share of time on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I’ve stuffed my face with comfort food, I’ve cried at diaper ads and I’ve watched way too much Keeping up with the Kardashians. I can actually feel my brain cells dying.  I’m the walking talking sad girl cliché.

Thing is when you are a mom you are only allowed to have a breakdown from 8 – till end of school day, and then you wipe the tears and get shit done.  I love my little boy so much and I know if it wasn’t for him I’d probably be having a gin with my morning coffee. He makes me so incredibly happy, except for the times when he cries for 30 minutes because I won’t give him a green fizzer, or when he has to take a bath, brush his teeth or go to bed…  But still I absolutely adore this age. His imagination, the way he experience things, the little hugs and I love you’s. He’s a proper little person.

Husband and I recently came to the realisation that we’ve been more roommate than partners the last year. Somewhere between a baby, new jobs, money worries and losing a baby we’ve forgotten the things that use to make us great together. Our biggest problem is communication. I tend to bottle up. I am your typical cowboys don’t cry. But husband is a don’t go to bed angry, let’s talk it out kinda person. See where things went wrong.  We recently went on a weekend away to the west coast just the two of us and it did us the world of good. It’s important to remember marriage is a team sport. You don’t have to suffer in silence when there’s someone right there eager to hand you a tissue.

It’s weird living life somewhere between anger, heartbreak and disbelieve. But I do think that we are heading towards the silver lining. They say bad things happen in three’s so I’m done. Right?

I found a quote the other day that said “Sometimes it takes and overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough” I use to roll my eyes at people who post quotes on Social Media. Now I pin quotes on Pinterest till midnight.  It’s actually quite therapeutic. I get why people do it. I currently find myself in the middle of  “The mind replays what the heart can’t delete” and “When life knocks you down stand the fuck up and say you hit like bitch”

Rocking Motherhood

You’ve probably seen the #RockingMotherhood posts around and I’ve been tagged by Cassey from Bits and Pieces, Zayaan from Surviving the Madness and Maz from Caffeine and Fairydust to write about the 10 Ways I’m Rocking Motherhood. I ignored the first two tags because 10 WAYS? LIKE HOW EVEN? But then after the third tag I was like okay time to buckle down and get it done.

I’m not going to list 10 ways I’ll rather just tell you a little story.

When Ben arrived I was petrified. Husband changed the first few diapers because I was so scared I’d get it wrong. It took me a while to get comfortable, and to embrace motherhood. But when it clicked, it clicked. The moment I got over the fear and doubt and embraced motherhood fully I kicked ass. For the first time in my life I was a 100% proud of something I did. I wasn’t just coasting. I was passionate, involved and fierce.
But then last year I hit a speed bump. We were getting reports from school that Ben refused to take part in class activities and that there were a few fights with friends. The school assured us that we didn’t need to worry, kids go through phases and they were handling it. But then I got the email, the principle wanted to see us. We were told that Ben was hyperactive, did not participate in class activities, difficult to reason with, frustrated and would sometimes become aggressive with friends and teachers. We were shown video footage of the class. The kids would all be sitting at tables colouring in and Ben would be on the play carpet area running back and forth. When it was story time all the kids would be sitting in the reading corner and Ben would be sitting next to the teacher because he was too much of a distraction when he was sitting with the kids. It was sad to hear and heartbreaking to see.
The death blow was when we were told that some of the kids in the class have told the teacher that they don’t want to play with Ben anymore. My heart shattered into a million pieces. I was so emotional I couldn’t even talk. Not only was I incredibly worried about my little boy who is usually sweet and loving, but also heartbroken on his behalf because for how long has he been misunderstood and alone and I didn’t know. I also felt like my mothering was being attacked. Am I a bad mom. I went over every single parenting decision I have ever made. I was disappointed in Ben because why is he being a bully. And I was even more disappointed in me because what did I do wrong.

There was so much tension in our house and at school and I could see it was taking a toll on Ben. We had to sort this out as soon as possible. First step was to see the pediatrician and then a play therapist. To cut a long story short after a long chat with the pediatrician and a full check up he put him on an iron supplement and it has made such a huge difference. I now hear him singing songs from school around the house, something he never did before because he never paid attention in class when they were learning songs. I cannot tell you how happy this made me.
Ben bounced back quickly. But it took me a little longer to get my confidence back. I still sometimes stress that I’m failing, that I’m not a good enough mom.

But I now know that Rocking motherhood means:

  • Knowing that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.
  • Knowing there’s no such thing as a perfect mom.
  • That at some point you will be disappointed by your little angel child, whether it be bullying, lying, smuggling booze into a party or taking your car for a joy ride. Deal with it.

Most of all I rock motherhood because even though I kill all my houseplants at an alarming rate I manage to keep my tiny person happy and healthy.

The Rocking Motherhood Tag Rules:
1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog. (Been there done that)
2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10.
3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

Okay so I did some of that.

I’m tagging:

Cass from Leather Jacket Foxes because you rock at all aspects of life 🙂

The worst part of parenthood

The worst part of parenthood. No its not the lack of sleep, missing out on after work drinks with friends or hearing a tiny person call “MOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!” a thousand times a day. Its the constant fear and anxiety you carry around everyday.

Being a parent is like being Ben Stiller in the movie Along came Polly. Before any car ride, activity and outing you first slot it into your little risk calculater to see what could be the worst possible outcome. A scraped knee? Cool I’ll risk it. Cracked skull? Nope, nope, nope!

On the 31 December, the very last day of the much hated 2016 Ben had an accident. He was jumping from one chair to the next when he fell. He couldn’t break his fall with his hands and hit the side of the chair chin first, his neck bending back at a weird angle and then he tumbled to the ground. I though he hit his mouth and expected loose teeth and a cut lip but when I got him up off the floor his mouth was fine, there was no blood. I was relieved. Ben was crying hysterically and it was then that I noticed he was holding his chin with both hands. As I pulled them away they were covered in blood. Parental Meltdown.

We immediately rushed to the ER. When we arrived a very nice nurse checked his vitals, cleaned his face, and told us its going to be a bit of a wait for the doctor. Ben seemed to be calming down and doing better. He wanted hugs and cuddles. The next moment it was like someone flipped a switch. His face went white, mouth hanging open and his eyes were glassy. We tried to talk to him but he was being unresponsive. At the time I was still relatively calm and thought it was just shock.  The nurse checked his vitals and tried to get a response from him. She tried her best to sound calm as she asked someone to get the doctor but there was a definite hint of tension. A few minutes later she shined the little light in his eyes again. She told us to keep talking to him, to ask him questions . Again she called for the doctor this time sounding even more anxious. I looked at my little boys pale face and thought, is he going to die now, right here, in front of me…

The doctor finally arrived. He checked Ben, cleaned his chin and glued the gash together. He then ordered a MRI scan and wanted Ben booked into the hospital for observation. 40 minutes later Ben was jumping on the hospital bed and making grandma draw dinosaurs on old till slips she found in her handbag. The scans were all fine and we got to go home.

We hear these awful, terrifying stories. The 3 year old boy who drowned in his parents pool a few days after Christmas. The Grade R boy who fell from the jungle gym at school and died. How can we not be paranoid.

But kids will always explore, climb, jump, push boundaries. Its how they learn. There will be falls, there will be ouchies. We cant helicopter parent them every moment and we shouldnt treat them like bubble boy. All we can do is hope and pray. Be present. Be aware. Kiss them a million times everyday even when they don’t want to. Love in abundance. BE THANKFUL. And have faith.

How to shop with a toddler

First of all lets get one thing straight. Unless you thrive in highly tense, volatile situations rather leave the shopping for when your husband is home to watch the kids. OR even better, take him with. Let him experience the utter terror of shopping with a toddler first hand and then next time he asks you why you are exhausted after grocery shopping (men have real short memories) you get to punch him in the face.

ben-shopping

When shopping with a toddler ALWAYS pick the store you know best. You should be able to name the number of the aisle of every single item on your list before you even leave the house.

Entertainment is key. Pack the tablet, the mini DVD player, books, anything else that might keep them busy for more than 15 minutes.

Unless you have R5 with you AVOID the entrance with the car or plane ride. Actually even if you have R5 on you AVOID AVOID AVOID. Because one ride is never enough. Once you’ve popped you cant stop.

Blind fold, distract whatever you need to do to get pass the toy aisle.

Keep them snacking. Even if that means breaking the sugar before lunch rule. And don’t worry about the sugar high, if you are quick about shopping the sugar will probably only kick in once your home and there’s no one to eye role at your screaming kid.

Make high speed car chase noises as you take a corner of an aisles at a 100km/ph. Even better if you make crashing or exploding noises as you pass other trolleys.

Pick the shortest line at the till, hastily throw the items in the direction of the check out lady, wipe the sweat from your upper lip while drummer your fingers on the counter.

Unpack your trolley, stuff your Flings faced toddler in the car and high five yourself on being a super mom.

Get home and realise that while you checked your shopping list your toddler loaded about half the shops Oreo stock into your trolley.

Explore your online shopping options.

 

Let them be little

After University I spent a year teaching English in Taiwan. It was a private English school and classes were from 17:00 – 21:00. These kids came to English classes after spending most of their day at school and other extra murals. I even had a class of 2 -3 year olds. They could barely speak Mandarin but they were there to learn English. They basically just ate Oreo’s and cried the whole time. After classes I’d usually walk over to the night market for dinner and the parks would be filled with teenagers playing basket ball or huddled in groups chatting because this was basically the only down time they had, at night, just before bed time.

Now for them this is normal, but for me it was not. I just wanted to scream “let them be little” while shoving an overtired 2 year old English ‘learner’ out the door.

Even though South Africans are more laid back when it comes to raising our kids and very much value playtime, I have definitely noticed a bit of a shift.  Parents are becoming more competitive, pushing their kids towards milestones long before they are ready. Even I fell into this trap at first.

Instead of enjoying my little one I was counting milestones and comparing him to other kids. We all know kids develop at their own pace; they have their own personalities and talents and strong points, so why are we choosing to ignore this? Why are we rushing off to therapists and specialist before giving our little one the time they deserve to figure it out on their own?

In March I was telling my husband about how basically all Ben’s classmates walked from the car to class on their own carrying their little backpack, but Ben still clung to me like a monkey wanting me to carry him. Should we be worried, is this an issue? I talked to another mom and she said she just one day flat out refused to carry her little one in. There were a few tears but now he’s happy to walk on his own. I’m a bit of a push over and always try avoid tears, so I decided to give it more time.  Two weeks later he got out of the car, asked for his bag and walked all the way to class on his own. I was the proudest mom at school that day, and Ben looked pretty chuffed himself.

Off course there are limits to this. We don’t want 5 year olds in diapers only being able to count to 5 but do we really need 1 year olds that can count to 10. Do we really need to drill the alphabet into a 2 year old when all they want to do is climb a tree and ride their push bike? We are so focused on turning our toddlers into little stepford kids with all their fancy educational toys that we forget about the good old blanket fort and cardboard box turned racecar. When last have you met a little kid with an imaginary friend? We need more little one’s wearing a snorkelling mask to the shops or running around in a super hero outfit and less 2 year olds going on 20.

Jonas Harrysson a school teacher recently posted the following on Facebook “I’ve met many parents who are soooo proud that their kids can read and count before starting preschool. Well, I hate to break it to you, but reading and counting, they’ll learn to do soon enough. Teach them instead to play, to be a good friend, and to share” Amen to that.

March: The highs and lows.

My mom use to tell me that the older you get the faster time goes and obviously as a kid I didn’t believe a word she said. Oh mom how right you were. It feels like I packed away the Christmas tree just yesterday and already we are done with Easter.

March went by so quickly that it actually took me a few minutes to remember what happened.

Low:  Bilateral Grommets & Adenoidectomy

We’ve been discussing grommets for quite a while now. I was very hesitant at first. It felt like every kid and his cousin was suddenly getting the Op, I wanted to make sure it was really necessary, but after a year of every snot nose and cough eventually turning into an ear infection needing antibiotics I knew we had to see a specialist. Ben is also a little behind when it comes to talking and we were worried that the constant ear infections might have a part in this.

On 9 March at 7 am we booked into the Cure Day Clinic Somerset West. Now in the medical world Grommets is a ‘no brainer surgery’ Millions of kids get them everyday. For me though it felt like he was going in for open heart surgery. I was so stressed and nervous.  A pretty big hurdle was the fact that Ben was not allowed to eat or drink after 2 am. Food is fine but my little boy is pretty adamant when it comes to his morning bottle so I was very worried about him having a major meltdown before we’ve even started the day. Luckily he woke up just before we had to leave so I quickly changed his diaper, gave him a little good luck present as a distraction and bundled him into the car.

ben 1

Everyone kept warning me that seeing your kid fall asleep, so lifeless when getting anesthesia is really horrible so I was prepared for the worst. So how it works is you go into theatre with your little, hold them on your lap tight while the Anesthesiologist holds the mask over their mouth. They squarm and wriggle and cry and then their tiny body goes completely limp. The crying is actually a good thing since they take deeper breaths and fall asleep quicker. Luckily Ben’s eye’s didn’t roll back as so many moms warned me would happen, instead he closed them and just fell asleep. The part that did actually frighten me was when they removed his mask and he made a horrible sound as if suffocating. My heart went cold, but the doctor reassured me that its normal, so take note.

The op takes about 45 minutes so its really quick. Another thing I was warned about is how they freak out when they wake up from the anesthesia. They can be disorientated, confused and even aggressive. My one friend told me her little one wanted nothing to do with her when he woke up, screamed blue murder and eventually passed out under the bed. I was scared, very scared. Luckily I had my mom with me. I thought Ben would be asleep when he came out of theatre, but we could hear him cry all the way in the waiting room as he woke up and they started wheeling him out. I got such a fright when I saw him. He was looking very confused and scared and had a bloody nose (apparently this is from the tube’s and completely normal) Back in his room I climbed in bed with him and he started to calm down and eventually fell asleep. He slept for what felt like ages. Woke up a little groggy, wanted to get out of bed, moaned a little and then took grandma’s hand and wanted to explore the hospital. He was walking up and down the hall in his little blue gown chatting away. Doctor took one look at him and said its fine to go home.

ben 2

ben 3

So all in all a stressful day but not as bad as I thought it would be. Little dude was such a champ.

ben 5

High:  Easter in The Baths Citrusdal

We had a family wedding in Citrusdal over easter weekend and stayed in The Baths. Our house was just outside the main gate, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchens so perfect for a large group. The house has an outside bath and a Jacuzzi that fills with water from the hot springs up in the mountain. We pretty much spent all our time in that Jacuzzi. Ben played in there till his fingers and toes were totally pruned, we had to bribe him with chocolate to get out at night.

the baths

the baths 4

the baths 5

The resort also has a restaurant, a hot pool, cold pool and rock pools. This is such a cool place for a family vacation.

The Saturday was the wedding. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy, not ideal for a farm wedding. Ben had such a ball running up and down the dance floor and even made some friends. At around 10pm my parents took Ben home and we stayed behind to party with my 20 year old cousins. There were dancing and shots and pretending to be party animals but at around midnight I was feeling my age and ready to hit my bed. In good old parent-life fashion Ben woke up crying hysterically just as I was about to get in bed. He spent the rest of the night in our bed kicking me in the face and hitting his head against the headboard. Lucky mom woke up with a hangover and a sore neck.

When your toddler says no to books

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Ben has always been a real active kid. Since he took his first step at just 9 months there has been climbing, jumping, running, motorbike rides, trampoline jumping and the list goes on. Reading on the other hand has never been high on the list of daily activities. He was far more interested in the physical aspect of books. First it was chewing books or ripping pages, then building a book tower and jumping from it or seeing how far he could throw them. When he actually did sit down for story time he would insist on turning the pages long before I’ve even finished a sentence.

I think this lack of book love is partly my fault. We just never incorporated a specific reading time into his daily routine. When he was 3 months old I noticed moms on Twitter talking about reading to their babies. Serious FOMO kicked in and I tried it for a bit but he was just so tiny and uninterested that I decided he is still too young. Then as he got a little older I tried books again but it was just so frustrating to try and get him to sit still and listen to a story that it just raised my heart rate and made me shouty mom.

Now we have reached the point where literally every kid on my timeline belongs to the monthly book club and my kid still has a 2 second attention span when it comes to books. I’m just so stressed that the lack of reading will make him fall behind. He’s already a bit of a hesitant talker so its definitely a touchy subject.

So I’ve been doing a bit of reading on kids who resist books and am relieved to hear I am not alone in this. There are plenty of toddlers who would rather spend 10 minutes trying to throw the book at the ceiling fan rather than sitting down for story time.

Things I’ve picked up from my ‘research’:

  • It’s important to nurture an early love for books (oops) Even if they just get use to holding a book and turning the pages. (now they tell me)
  • Choose bright and colourfull pages and start by just getting them interested in the illustrations – The only book Ben actually does like is “The hungry Caterpillar” so this makes a lot of sense.
  • Read infront of them. Kids usually copy their parents, so if they see you read they will want to follow. – I usually wait till Ben is asleep to read, because who sits and read infront of their kids, but actually it makes so much sense.
  • Create a special little reading corner that your kids love. Make a big fuss about it.
  • Buy books about their favourite TV show or characters, but don’t make the mistake I did. I bought him a ‘CARS’ book that includes tiny little Mater, Mqceen etc cars. He ended up throwing the book to the side and playing with the cars.
  • If your kid refuse to sit still for reading time try keep their hands busy with playdough or colouring in to force them to sit still. I’m currently reading to Ben during bath time when he is relaxed and playing with his boats and it is definitely working.
  • Also rather than forcing your kid to sit still and read, try make the book come to life. When the monkey in the book is dancing put down the book and dance with our kiddy. If the book is about fruit, ask your little to go get an apple from the kitchen and show it to you.
  • Keep on trying. – I now ask Ben regularly if he would like to read a book. Sometimes he says yes and (often) no. If he says no I don’t force it but when he says yes I make a big deal about it and he gets very excited. Also where I use to get stressed out and angry when he jumps up after one page I now see it as a triumph. We read a whole page, yay, high fives, and so in me being more relaxed about it I find him asking for books more often.

The golden rule is always to “Let them find it in their own time”

Back to school problems

Monday is back to school for Ben and I’m so anxious my head might just explode. Sure this isn’t our first time like some of my other mom friends, but Ben will now be in the 2 -3 year old class with a new teacher and a whole new list of ”what to bring to school” requirements. Also only working parents will understand the madness and chaos that happens between 6am – 8am every morning trying to get you and the toddler dressed and out the door in time. I am not looking forward to that at all.

So problem number one on the list is an Art Apron. Sounds easy enough right. Nope! I spent the day driving from store to store without success, sure I did leave this till the very last, but still who would have though an art apron would turn out to be such a unicorn. First place I tried was Mambo’s. They had 2 kinds and I really liked the one but it was made of a really think PVC material and I don’t even want to imagine what it must feel like wearing that during a 39 degree heatwave. The other option was a thinner material but had string around the neck and back and knowing Ben he will never tolerate that string around his neck. It was also and awful bright construction worker bib yellow. Clicks had no idea what I was talking about and Crazy Store’s was so big it would probably be a loose fit for a 4 year old. Toys R Us had a really nice one but also for 3 years and up and at R200 it was a ridiculous option. Is the universal perception that only kids of 3 years and older paint?  So tail between my legs I went back to Mambo’s for the ugly yellow. It will have to do till I can find a better option.

Problem number two on the list is the schools new ‘No hat, no outside play’ rule. A very very good rule to have unless you have a kid who feels about hats the way I feel about Uma Thurman’s acting. Totally hate it.  Since birth he could not stand having anything on his head. I have a bunch of cute knitted owl hats and beanies with ears that was never worn for more than 5 minutes. The only hat he will wear is my Panama hat and only to be funny. Once the joke is over so is the hat. So I’m sending him to school on Monday with a brand new Cotton On hat, how they’ll keep it on his hat is the new teachers problem.

And that brings me to the biggest problem of all. The new teacher. You see Ben adores his previous teacher and even though teachers aren’t suppose to have favourites Ben was definitely Snowy’s favourite. She scratched his back while he drank his bottle at nap time, she often sneaked him an extra cookie and he was permanently glued to her side. When he had an off day and cried in the morning he would immediately stop as soon as she picked him up. She is also the only person who can successfully get him to take antibiotics. I never ever worried about him while at school because I knew he was in loving caring hands. I’m sure the new teacher is lovely and will take good care of him but I just know to Ben she’ll never be Snowy. So yes I expect tears on Monday and I definitely expect to hear that he tried to escape to his old classroom a few times. I spoke to Snowy about this and she said its quite normal for them to walk back to their old classroom but she always walk them right back and eventually they will stop and accept their new normal. I just don’t want Ben to think he has been abandoned by someone he loves, that Snowy no longer wants to spent time with him. I’m probably over thinking this but my poor mom heart is just so sad for my little boy. I’m hoping he’ll prove me wrong and be all cool with the change. You never know with these tiny people.

So good luck to all the moms dropping a tiny one off at school this week. May we all make it to the car before we start to cry.

Welcome to the Dennis the Menace phase

When I say the Denise the Menace phase, I’m not saying my kid is a menace. Not at all. He is sweet, and loving and busy and curious and loves to explore and sees everything as a challenge. What I’m saying is that he hardly ever sits still and that in every adventure he sets out to do something will probably go wrong leaving a wake of destruction. So all moms with kids nearing the toddler stage, come closer, listen carefully, take some notes, for here is my little nugget of truth on how to survive the toddler age. Always prepare for the most unimageneble situation you can think of.  If your husband says “what if he does (fill in action)” you never ever answer “Oh no he is too young to figure that out” Toddlers find a way. Nothing is ever impossible for a toddler.

In the last 2 weeks Ben has tried to flush a golf ball down the toilet, spilled bubble bath on the carpet, got stuck in the burglar bars of the living room window and locked himself inside our bedroom. Now before I get stuck into the kid locked in bedroom story can I just say: Have you ever tried to clean bubble bath from a carpet before? The more you scrub and clean the more foam it makes. Our living room was transformed into a 90’s foam party. Except I remember foam parties being a lot more fun.

So getting back to the locked door.  Last week Wednesday we had an especially hectic morning. Getting you and toddler ready for the day when on a tight schedule is just total madness. Husband starts work at 7am so he leaves early. I was running through the house like a mad women when I suddenly smelled the distinct smell of a teething poo diaper. I felt a little teary because the last thing I had time for was a crazy diaper especially with Ben who refuse to lie still for a diaper change. It takes an immence amount of patience. I had none. So we struggled through diaper change, I left him in his nappy in our bedroom while I went to fetch him clothes. When I got back to our room the door was locked. LOCKED!!!! So there I am on the one side and my toddler on the other. Now I am not a sane level headed person when in a tricky situation. I panic immediately. But I knew I had to stay calm because if Ben hears the panic in my voice he will panic too. So I very calmly told him to turn the key to the other side. Over and over and over till I realised it was not going to happen. So second instinct was to phone the husband, he always knows what to do. That’s when I realised my phone was locked in there with him. I am now in a state of full blown panic and very close to crying.  I suddenly remember our neighbour should still be home as he leaves for work around the same time as me. He is also super handy. “One of those guys guys. The kind you send into the woods with a pocket knife and a toothpick and he builds you a shopping mall”. For a second I stood there thinking what I should do about the PJ’s no bra situation I found myself in but time was not on my side so I decided that this would be the morning my sweet neighbour meets the real make up less, bra less me in all my horrid freshed faced glory. Next challenge was finding my house keys that was suddenly not  in any of he usual key spots. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME!!! I finally find the key and yell “Mommy will be right back” to Ben as I head out the door.

Thank goodness my neighbour was still home. He figured out that Ben didn’t fully twist the key all the way so it was possible to open the door by dismantling the door handle on our side and then jiggling the lock with a screwdriver. We opened the door and there stood by sweet little boy in just a nappy with the biggest smile on his face. It was all just a massive joke and adventure to him. I on the other hand aged about a 100 years. All keys are now firmly out of toddler reach.

Having another baby.

baba

It all starts when you meet the boy. You go on dates, you fall in love and then get married. You go on Honeymoon, return and move into your first little home together. You have the best time finding the perfect spot for all the wedding gifts and having the best time playing house. You spend weekends in the garden drinking beer and dreaming about the future. You go on long scenic drives, sleep late and binge watch Dexter in bed. You giggle when he calls you ‘wife’ and Instagram your new ID and Passport. Life. Is. Perfect.

But after a year you get restless. Something feels missing. And before you know it you both have this love sick look on your face when looking at babies in the park. You give each other that “I want one” smile and so the talks start. That big life changing talk. Are you ready for a baby? Do you have enough money? Will a pram and car seat fit into your tiny car? If you turn the guestroom into a nursery where will the guests sleep? Will you cope with limited sleep? But then also who needs sleep. So you say ‘Fuck it’ and have the baby anyways because you love each other and you will find a way to make it work.

You always think the decision to have that first baby is the biggest. Well its not. Deciding on when to have your second now that’s when ‘ish’ gets real. Because now you know what the word tired REALLY means. You have worked a full day on 3 hours of sleep and it aint pretty. You know your marriage barely survived those first few months and how little time you had for each other. You know what a trip to the paediatrician cost. You have added up the pharmacy bills. You have calculated exactly how much every poop costs you in diaper bills. Your guest bedroom is already a nursery and on weekends away your car looks like a Taxi heading for the Transkei. You will need a bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger wallet. You are now fully aware of what having a child means. There is no more luxury of reckless abandon. You have to be smart about this because when cash is tight it is no longer just you and husband eating marmite toast for a week. You now have a little person to consider and take care off. What is best for that tiny person.

And so you decide the time is not right. You need more money. You need to wait. But then you already know how the new nursery will look. You have narrowed it down to your favourite names. You feel like it will be a girl but a boy would be great too.

You cry when a friend announce her second pregnancy. You are so happy for her but also a little heartbroken. Even though you try not too you instinctively distance yourself from her. Because you want that second baby so badly. You want to say ‘fuck it’ again but you know you have to be smart about this. And so you push it to the back of your mind and focus on your gorgeous two year old. But you know its just a matter of time before your friend starts posting bump pictures and you spend the rest of the day eating your feelings. And this is a problem because these jeans were a perfect fit just a week ago and now they aren’t…

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