Monday, 15 September 2014

How To Be A MILF (How To Lose That Baby Weight)

Before I start, I just want to say that the majority of this post is very tongue-in-cheek to counteract the negativity of my previous entry (I'm on a bit of a guilt trip about how negative I was- also, Percy has stopped crying and gone to sleep so I can actually hear myself think now).


STEP 1: Ditch Your Boyfriend/ Husband/ Partner/Baby Cakes/ Honey Bunch/ Sweetie Pie/ Whatever You May Call Them

Significant others are a big no-no in the world of the MILF. Romantic meals for two? Date nights? Sitting down???? What do you think you're doing?! If you want to be that yummy mummy, you've got to start by NOT STOPPING AT ALL. Shut that door on your partner, and don't let them back in. Now, get ready to start doing everything BY YOURSELF. YOU are now the home maker, and the bread winner. That's right, you are going to be on your feet for 24 HOURS A DAY, and you are going to LIKE IT. MOVE, MOVE, MOVE.

STEP 2: Get A Difficult Baby

Is your baby nice and content? Never cries? Sleeps all day? Well, this will never do! To start with make sure that you're always at the opposite end of the house when they start crying: this way you've got a quick sprint to dash to grab them- FANTASTIC high intensity interval training. Even better, why don't you throw a bit of teething in there? That's a good one to get them all unsettled and keep you nice and occupied.

STEP 3: Move House And Get Some Cats

This is a really good one for shifting those pounds. It's also good if you can end up homeless at some point. All that stress kills any hint of an appetite you might have. As for the cats, dogs would work just as well, I imagine. Any animal that demands food and makes a mess: keeps you on your feet more, see.

STEP 4: Jillian Michaels

Just do it. Go on Amazon right now. Search Jillian Michaels. Start with 30 day shred. This one isn't even a joke. SHE WILL TRANSFORM YOUR BODY. SHE WILL MAKE YOU A GODDESS.


As much as you can get. Dr Atkins wasn't crazy- he was a revolutionary. Don't eliminate carbs completely (you're going to need those for all your running around)- but limit them. Find a good carb balance, and make sure that you ALWAYS have protein at EVERY OPPORTUNITY. I basically live on scrambled eggs and protein shake. PROTEIN IS ESSENTIAL FOR MILF TRAINING.

STEP 6: You've Been Tango-ed

Get your tan on. If you're rich then get that fast action fake bake liquid- it says leave it on for an hour, but MILFs need at least 8 hours tan development time. If you're poor then St Moriz will do just fine. You need to get the right tone of orange- make sure you're just bordering on Oompa Loompa territory.

In all seriousness, I wanted to do this post because I've been asked how I lost the baby weight by a few people, so I thought I'd share. The first three are clearly a joke, Don't ever do these: cling to your partner as though they are your life support; never wish for teething; and don't, ever, under any circumstances get kittens. If you want a cat, get one that's 20 and has three legs.

Jillian Michaels is fantastic, though. A lot of her workouts are only half an hour- just get up half an hour before you normally would. If you're that bothered about shedding baby weight, or any weight, then you can do that for yourself. You can do them at home, so you don't have to look like a banana in front of other people. You just need a yoga mat and some hand weights- I got mine from sports direct and they don't cost the earth. And it's astonishing how much fitter you get in such a short space of time: both visually and in terms of actual "fitness".

I carried on running whilst I was pregnant with Percy up until I was about 27 weeks, which is when they recommend you stop anything high impact. Obviously then I had the 6 week downtime after the c-section. I was a bit naughty about this, and actually started with the DVDs and a bit of running, 4 weeks post-delivery (I'm not recommending this, I am just stating what I did- nobody shout, or sue me if your scar breaks open, or anything like that).

The protein thing is also meant seriously. It's fantastic. I spent a lot of time avoiding protein, and weights because I never wanted to build muscle and be "bulky"; you won't get bulky. You're not using huge weights. And it's protein, not steroids. You get lean. And fit. And strong.

Be patient. Don't expect to wake up the next day 20lbs lighter. It's a gradual change, but it does work. You will fall off the wagon, maybe several times. But that's ok. Anticipate that. Don't be like "oh no, I've ruined it so I'll just give up." Keep going.

Final point: remember that you're building muscle aswell as shedding fat. There will be times when you think your scale is stuck, but it's not. You'll have weeks where you gain a pound, but your clothes feel like they're five sizes too big: it's just because you're laying down muscle. To be honest, the number on the scale isn't that important; you could be losing weight, but if you're losing muscle then that sucks. That happens in crash diets and kills your metabolism. Just don't do it. Avoid crash diets like the plague.

And, to anyone saying "don't be ridiculous, this won't work"- I've lost over 3 stone in the past six months, and I've kept it off. It's insane, but it's absolutely amazing.

(I promise I will have stopped sounding like a personal trainer by the next blog entry)

Runner's Highs and Mother's Lows

So, this weekend Percy and I went down to Stoke because we were running a 10k there on Sunday (14th). It wasn't the first race I'd ran with the baby jogger, but it was the first one I'd done in a while so I was a bit nervous about the whole thing.

It was quite funny actually, because at the start people were like "you're running with a baby...?" and then by 6km, everyone was asking if they could ride on the back. We got a high five from one boy. Lots of support. It was really nice. I was also a bit nervous about the distance itself. Obviously I did my half marathon in June, but in the past month we haven't had that much chance to get out and run. And when we have, I wasn't overly in the mood for it- I felt I had to do it because of the race. Thus, the longest distance we ran during "training" (hahaha) was 5.96 miles last Thursday. Which took us an hour and 10 minutes (although I did keep stopping to change music quite frequently).

When I initially signed up for the 10k, I had set myself a target of doing it in under an hour (I didn't want to be too optimistic since I had the baby jogger). 10k is 6.27 miles (according to their route, anyway), so I really didn't think I was going to be able to do it. Completely under-trained; unfamiliar with the course; weighed down with the baby jogger: my chances were pretty slim.

The course was ok, initially. Got to 5km pretty easily. There was a water point there which I was massively in need of. No energy gels though- I should have taken some of my stash with me. I struggled a little after that point to get my momentum back up, but I really hit my wall between the 7 and 8km markers. And there was a HUGE hill at this point. I'm not talking about a quick, steep, "just do it and it's over" type hill; I'm on about a long long long long hill with a sufficient incline that just keeps on going and going and going. After what seemed like an eternity, it was over. Staggered on to 9km...and then sprinted. Honestly, we were Usain Bolt for that last kilometre. Crossed the finish line... 59 minutes and 38 seconds.


So, so, so happy- both about the time. and the fact that it was over. Percy slept the entire way, except for the last five minutes, and she didn't even make a noise then. She really likes going for runs (they're actually the quickest way to get her to sleep). 

Whilst we were down there we stayed with my Gran and Gramps, and saw my Nana aswell. It was lovely to see them all. Percy enjoyed herself. (Gramps has also put a bell on the running pushchair for us, so that we can warn people that we're coming- VERY good idea). 

We got back home yesterday, just before midnight. The cats had surprisingly not been sick everywhere. I was very impressed with them. Well done, boys. 

Now, I don't know if it's because we had an exciting weekend, so now she's a bit bored; or maybe it's because of teething; or maybe she's a bit poorly; or maybe she's just a moody poo, but Percy has been a nightmare this morning. An absolute nightmare.

Oh wait, hang on: I'm lying. She was wonderful for an hour whilst the health visitor came round to teach us baby CPR; and then she turned into a nightmare. She has cried. And cried. And cried and cried and cried and cried and cried and cried and cried, and I am going to shoot myself. 

(Also, as an aside: baby CPR- dead good. Learn it.)

Initially, it was because she was tired. And she wouldn't go to sleep. This is one of those things that really, really, really irritates me about babies. If you're tired, then sleep. I can't fix the problem. Stop moaning about it- only you can fix it, with sleep. 

So, we had an hour of crying before she finally went to sleep. At which point I thought "BRILLIANT! Now I can get everything sorted that I need to do, whilst she sleeps".

She woke up after 10 minutes and was crying again.

This has continued throughout the day. She finally shut up about half an hour ago. And now she seems almost happy...? Maybe? (Tempting fate by saying this: no doubt she will be screaming again in 10 minutes time).

Anyway: to anyone who has ever had the thought: "urgh, it's so easy for single mums, they just have a baby and the government gives them a load of money, and they can sit round all day doing nothing"- that isn't true. I do not sit around all day sipping fucking sangria, and watching Made In Chelsea. Dear God, sometimes I wish I bloody did (she's started crying again now- what did I tell you?).

I will swap with you. For a week. Quite happily. And then we'll see what you say on the matter. Because it is hard. I can't just go home from work at 5 or 6 or even midnight- I am always on duty. I've worked three jobs at once, before; I've worked 15 hour shifts; I've had days where I've been at uni from 9am-5pm, gone straight to work until 2am, got home at 3am, and had to be up by 6am; I'm telling you all now that this is harder than any of those things.

It is worth it. But it is hard. When she is lovely, it is wonderful. I am not being a complete negative Nelly, I am simply venting my frustrations so that I don't throw myself off a bridge. 

The worst thing of it all, is that Percy is in the class of "good babies": I dread to think what bad babies are like. And to anyone who has more than one child- especially anyone who is by themselves with more than one child- you are crazy, and you deserve 73051630 medals.

So, finally, to my future husband, whoever you may be: I'm not having your babies. I have no desire to have babies ever again. I am a one child kind of girl. I am no Angelina Jolie. I apologise in advance.

(NB. This is just my take on the matter. It might be a lot easier if you're a maternal person? I've never really been into babies, or kids, or anything like that.... Please don't let me put anyone off children. I don't want you coming up to me in the street in 40 years and being like "It's all your fault I never had a child!" They are wonderful. Just get a nanny. Or maybe even 5 nannies. As many nannies as you can possibly get.)

Friday, 12 September 2014

A Note on "Mistakes"/ Dear Haters

Sorry about the mass influx of blogging; I'm mainly using it to try to avoid housework and DIY. That being said, I have had a lot on my mind, and I wanted to write it down. Because I wanted this message shared. 

Right, this post is mainly aimed at anyone who has ever been judged. Or told that they are a failure. Or that they have made a mind-blowing, life-altering mistake. It's a message of support. It's a message about strength. It's also a bit (a lot) of an "up yours" to anyone who has ever bitched about me (of which I know there are many), and to tell them that they're wrong.

In a lot of people's eyes, I have made many mistakes. I have heard about people who have said that I've "messed up again" or that I had "so much potential, and I've wasted it". These people are wrong.

When I was ill, and I had my year off, obviously it was all kept under wraps. I didn't want to share the real reason that I was taking a break from Uni, for fear that I would be judged. I did not look unwell at this point; physically I looked healthy, yet mentally I was still very scarred. And I know what people said. People speculated, they talked, they gossiped, and the crowd's verdict on the matter was: "Harriet is a failure".

Wrong. You couldn't be more wrong. It was one of the bravest things that I've ever done, and it was something that I needed. It was one of the most sensible things that I have ever decided to do. It helped me a lot, and I think that anyone who can stand up and say: "You know what? I just need a bit of time, to heal myself", is a really strong person, and is highly commendable. 

When rumours began to spread about my pregnancy, they said the same thing: "Oh, look, she's messed up again". HA HA HA HA. Percy has made me. She has given me more than I could ever have imagined, and enhanced my life in ways that I didn't think were even possible. My biggest "mistake", as they would call it, has been my greatest achievement. I am so much stronger, and more patient, and understanding, and caring, and responsible, and assertive, and confident, and I've learnt to multi-task (finally!). It's been damned hard work, but it's made me grow so much. 

Interestingly, if you look at the bigger picture, it is my eating disorder that gave me my daughter. If I was never ill, I would never have asked for the time away from Uni; I would never have met Percy's dad; I wouldn't have my baby.

The irony of the whole thing is that the people who are talking about me in a negative light, and who see me as a failure are those who I would place in that category. I may not have followed the generic path; I may have taken a few side streets, and diversions. But at the end of the day, my destination is so much better than theirs. Sure, it's taking me a bit longer to get there, but I'm a stronger person for that. I'm a better person for that. I'm not judgemental, I'm very liberal, I'm very tolerant, and all of these are characteristics that I have developed along my journey. The 16 year old Harriet was a very different person to who I am today. And I like who I am today. Everything that has happened has made me a strong person. And (especially after the last few months) I truly believe that I can cope with anything that is thrown at me. 

To all of you who are "failures"; who have "made mistakes"; who have "wasted your potential": Welcome to the club; I'm the President. 

And to anyone who has bitched; to anyone who has gossiped; to anyone who has judged:
Up yours.
You're weak.
We're not. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Dear Wiggle Piglet, (6 Months)

To my little Wiggle Piglet,

I worry about you. I worry about us. This is nothing new. Ever since I found out that you were on your way, I have worried. I worried that you weren’t there at all to start with. That I would go to the 12 week scan, and they would say “oh sorry, you’re insane, there’s no baby here.”

I worried that there would be something wrong with you. I eliminated everything that had even the slightest evidence of causing a foetus harm. No caffeine, no tuna, no sushi, no paracetamol, no partially cooked eggs, no herbal tea, sleep on your left side; the list was endless. At around 17 weeks pregnant, I cracked and had caffeine. I was paranoid that I’d harmed you.

That wasn’t the case, and at the 20 week scan, they said you were absolutely fine. I remember being in the waiting room with your Mimsy ahead of the scan, upset (borderline hysterical) because I was so convinced that you weren’t ok.

After that point came the paranoia of early labour. I used to have recurring dreams that you were born at 22/23/24 weeks and I had to deliver you myself because nobody was around. We had a growth scan at around 30 weeks, and they said you were small. You didn’t look like you were following the growth curve that you should. I started to get really bad headaches. I was convinced that I had preeclampsia, and that’s why you weren’t growing.

Then came the fixation on the birth. I was worried about anything happening to you; I was worried about the lack of control I would have; I was worried about the potential damage to me. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t happy with the risks of either a natural birth or a c-section, but you had to come out some way.

I spent the entire of pregnancy worrying about you. I was a very anxious pregnant woman.

6 months ago, on the 11th of March, 2014, I headed into hospital to await your arrival. Before going into theatre, they conducted a general antenatal check on both of us, to make sure that we were alright, in terms of our health, and that everything was fine for them to carry out the surgery. This included monitoring your heart rate. The midwife wasn’t happy with your heart. She said it was too slow, and sent for the doctor. The doctor wasn’t happy either- he said they needed to get you out as soon as possible.

Panic. I thought that this was it. It was everything that I’d feared. You weren’t ok. I’d managed to keep you safe for 8 ½ months, and at the final hurdle you were being taken away from me.

You were fine though. It was the most wonderful day of my life, when you arrived. Everything happened just as I had wanted it to, and I fell in love with you as soon as I saw you. You were very small. Very small. And you weren’t very good at drinking your milk to start with. I was very worried about you. Your weight dropped to 5lb 5oz. I didn’t want to take you home until I knew that you were eating enough. So we stayed in hospital a bit longer, and gradually you got the hang of drinking your milk.

We struggled a little in the beginning adjusting to one another. You liked to be rocked to sleep, but you wouldn’t sleep for me if I rocked you; only when Mimsy did it. I didn’t like being woken up in the middle of the night (who does?), but you were almost nocturnal for those first few weeks. You always wanted to eat whenever I did (this is probably why I lost a lot of the baby weight very early on). It took us a little while, but we learned about each other. You “agreed” to sleep all night as long as you were in my bed; I learnt to eat with one hand, so that I could feed you at the same time, (we’re still working on the rocking- that is still an issue at the moment).

It’s just the two of us living together now. You’ve had a lot of changes in your life already. This is the third house you’ve lived in! And whilst you’ve been a bit moany whenever we’ve moved, you’ve generally coped so well with everything; despite my anxious pregnancy, you are a very calm, chilled out baby. And I am a very lucky mummy, in that respect.

You have grown so much. I’ve watched you go from being so fragile and tiny, to being a big chubby wiggle who won’t stay still for more than two seconds. From being silent, to non-stop chattering. You sat up for the first time last week. And it is only now, as I pack away the next lot of clothes that are too small for you, that I realise how quickly time has gone.

And I feel like I’ve missed it. Like I wasn’t there. I’ve spent the past 6 months trying to juggle everything; the last month in particular has understandably been very chaotic. The time has gone too quickly- and I can’t go back.

You’re lying on your playmat at the moment, with Roger Rabbit, Jangles Puppy Dog and your Piglet. Laughing and chatting. Rolling around. You really are so beautiful, and so clever.

I want you to know, that I’ve always tried to do what is best for us. And I hope that you understand that one day. I didn’t realise it was possible to love somebody so much, until I had you. Whilst it’s wonderful to see you growing and developing, it’s also making me a little sad. So, try not to grow up too fast, please?

Mummy xxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

How I Became A Stripper

Money was tight. It was something I’d wanted to do for a while, but I had never had the opportunity before. It seemed like a good idea. I was incredibly anxious as I started. What if something went wrong? What if I was awful? It could have been a complete disaster. I found it harder than I thought I would, but I persevered, and I'm still doing it now.

This is the story of how I became a stripper. A wallpaper stripper, that is. (To everyone male reading this: I'm totally fine with you leaving this page now. I'm aware that I lured you here under false pretences.)

So, I've started properly decorating. I'm still mid-way through removing paint/varnish/god-only-knows-what from the woodwork, but I figured I’d make a start on the walls too. (NB. This is code for "got some nitro mors onto the wallpaper and it started peeling off, so I began picking at it.)

It's been an...interesting experience. Started with the stair wall in the hallway. Now, I'd been warned about dodgy plaster under wallpaper, so I have no excuse. I wanted to get rid of the wallpaper anyway. I didn't want to paint over it; I wanted it gone. (Clearly I just want to make things harder for myself.) Anyway, so there I was, pulling away at this wallpaper; feeling pretty impressed that I was such a DIY goddess. 

Pulled at the next bit of wallpaper- and a load (and I mean A LOAD) of plaster came off with it. I was like, ok, that's fine. I can just fill it. That is ok. So, went and looked at my DIY book that I'd got from the library. It says that if you've got a big thing in the wall that you need to fill, you need to make sure all the edges are secure; basically, start picking at the wall surrounding the crevice (or crater in my case) and get rid of the loose bits.

The area that needed filling was big anyway. When I'd finished picking at it, it was massive. It's probably about 1.5m x 0.5m, and at least a couple of inches deep. This was not a job for filler. Went and got some plaster and pva, primed the wall, and put the first coat of plaster on. Ran out of plaster.It's looking better than it did already, but at the moment I'm just waiting for some more money so that I can get more plaster and carry on with it. It's pretty obvious that someone had tried to fill it a bit before, but they'd done an absolutely shite job of it. 

TO SUMMARISE: Never ever ever strip wallpaper. Unless you are crazy, like I clearly am. Or rich, and can hire someone to do it for you. Or bored, and you want something that's really time intensive.

In terms of Percy's world, I realised that with all my moaning, I'd never discussed what happened at the groups we went to! So, baby massage was lovely. Like I've said, we'd done a bit before, but I needed a bit of a refresher. They give you handouts after each session here, which I really like, because then you can refer to them if you forget all the techniques (which I always do). Baby yoga- really enjoyed it. Percy really liked it. She loves seeing other babies, so she was very excited about that. She seemed to like the yoga aspect of it aswell, and it definitely calmed her down, and made her sleep better (praise the lord). 

We've got baby sign language tomorrow. Our old baby sign language teacher in Stoke (who we went to one class with, and were supposed to be starting with this week) completely sorted this out for me, and was really wonderful. There was a class in Sunderland, but it was full, so I put our names down on the waiting list. Our old teacher got in touch with the teacher there, who e-mailed me and said that she would happily extend the class by one place, just for us. Really, really lovely. Very grateful.

The Health Visitor came round on Friday. I love her. She's fantastic. We're off to baby clinic this afternoon to see how chubby my piglet has gotten (very chubby, is the answer to that), and then we've got Percy's first "settling-in" visit at nursery. Which I am simultaneously very excited about, yet also very nervous. She loves other babies, so I think it will be nice for her to be able to "socialise"; I am getting a little freaked out about leaving her now. After all my months of moaning. Reverting to being a clingy mother. Who would have thought it!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Bad Mothers Guide to Socialising

Ok, so Percy and I have been to a few groups this week, (baby massage on Tuesday; baby yoga this morning; due to start baby sign language next Wednesday), and it's made me realise that I am not very good at making mummy friends.

Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't news to me. Generally, I've never been good at making female friends. Over the past 18 months, I've been very lucky to have met some girls/ladies who I would consider to be good friends, but throughout my life the majority of my friends have been boys.

I'm not really sure why this is. Maybe it's because I have a "man brain", as my mother would put it. Maybe I simply get on with men more easily than I do women. Maybe women are wary of me, or I of them? I really don't know.

Anyway, this has never been a problem before, but since becoming a mummy and moving somewhere entirely new, my main way of meeting people is through baby groups. Which are obviously predominately female based. Hence, this is an area I need to tackle.

Let's explore the issues:

I think part of it might be that I am in a minority group when it comes to motherhood. I am a single mother; I am a student; I'm not from the area (which is very apparent as soon as I speak- should probably work on my geordie accent). People probably think I'm in witness protection. Seriously. Everyone I speak to is like "why have you moved here????" The guy who I'm renting the house from even asked if I was hiding from the police. I'm not, by the way, incase anyone was wondering.

Another thing is that I don't like the competetiveness that some mums have. The whole: 
"my baby can do this"
"well MY baby can do this and that"
"well MY baby can do this and that and stand on her head and moonwalk AND do somersaults". 
That's not really my scene. I measure my achievements on my own performance, not my child's. I don't need reassurance that way.

I think part of it also, is because in my opinion, a lot of people forget about themselves when they become mums. They lose their own identity. I am not just Percy's mum. I am Percy's mum, and I love that, but that is not all that I am. I'm Harriet. 

So, after a bit of a mini-analysis, I guess the problem is actually me. I'm not good at mummy socialising, because (generalising massively) I'm not that keen on the mummy scene. Which sucks. A lot. 

I guess I'm going to try to have to find some activities for us which aren't mummy and baby based. I think I'll attempt to find a running club that will allow the baby jogger. God knows what else. Maybe everyone could try and get #beHarrietsFriend trending on twitter?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Five Stages of Motherhood/ The Kubler Ross Model of Being a Mother (25 weeks)

Ok, so I guess some may say that I’m being a little farfetched when I compare becoming a Mum to losing somebody, but I think you definitely go through the same emotions. I’ve placed them in the order that I’ve experienced them/ am experiencing them; I think I’ve still got a long way to go until I hit acceptance! Feel free to disagree with me/moan at me whining. Alternatively, give me a shout if you get where I’m coming from. To everyone reading this who doesn’t have children yet: I promise that as much as I am a moody cow about the entire thing, being a parent is wonderful. Honest. 50% of the time. When they’re not screaming at you.

1) Denial

Easy one- “I AM NOT PREGNANT!” This was my experience anyway. From the moment I got that positive pregnancy test result, I was massively in denial. I think this lasted quite a long time for me. Probably until towards the end of pregnancy, actually. Obviously, I knew I was going to have a baby, but I didn’t know I was going to have a baby, if you get what I mean? And that was probably why I left it so long before I went to ask for my referral for my c-section (ha ha ha “ask”- more like bloody fight tooth and nail).
 In fact, even now I’m still marginally in denial about the whole thing. I find myself stopping every so often and being like- “Oh my god, this is actually my life. That is my child. When and how did this happen?” So, yeah, denial a very big stage for me. Even now.

2) Anger

Oh my god, always. I flicker in and out of this one on a day-to-day basis. Not anger towards Percy, obviously, but definitely anger towards the situation that we are in. And anger towards her dad. A lot of anger towards her dad. Even now. I actually thought it would pass, but it’s getting progressively worse, especially when Percy is being difficult. Because I blame him. I shouldn’t blame him, as I knew he wasn’t going to be around. And I don’t want him around. But I’m angry that he has been able to continue with his life completely “unscathed”, for want of a better word, whilst my life has had to change quite dramatically.

I would have graduated by now, had I not gotten pregnant (well, I hope I would have!); I would have an actual “career”; I would find it substantially easier to meet a new partner; I would be able to do simple tasks and they wouldn’t take 573850 hours, like they do now. I am angry that he can turn round at any point in the future, when she gets to the “fun” stage, and suddenly decide he wants to be involved. And that the law is on his side in that respect.

I am angry that she will inevitably want to meet him in the future, and he will probably spin her some bullshit line like “oh, I really wanted to help raise you, but your bitch mother wouldn’t let me”. I am angry that I wasn’t even able to walk round where we used to live without being glared at, because of him.

I’m not one of those people who could say “oh I have no problem with my children seeing their father”, because I do. I will never stop Percy seeing him when she is older. But I will have a big problem with it. I will really struggle. Personally, in a perfect world, I would love to co-parent. I think that’s really wonderful when two people who are no longer together are able to do that. I think it benefits not only the child, but the parents aswell- you get a “break”.

 (Another of my pet hates: I think everyone if they are being honest would like a break from parenting for a while. I think it’s wrong to propagate myths like “I couldn’t be away from my child for even a second” because it leads to people thinking there’s something wrong with them if they don’t agree with that mantra. There’s nothing wrong with saying you want a break every now and again.)

Unfortunately, I’m not in a perfect world. I do not trust Percy’s dad. I do not know him. He isn’t who I thought he was at all. I do not trust his girlfriend. Were Percy to go and see him/them, it would be all too easy for an “accident” to happen. Call me paranoid, but I wouldn’t even want to take that chance. And so, co-parenting is 110% not an option for me.

Also, big anger towards anyone who says to me: “Oh yeah, sure you can do x, y or z- as long as you get childcare”: shut up. Just, shut up. Childcare, is not fairy dust. It is there.

I have a lot of anger. And I really wish that I didn’t. And I’m trying to let it go. Hence, writing it down. Not holding onto it. Be free, anger! Fly away!

3) Depression

Oh, yes. Again, flicker in and out of this one. When she’s crying, and she won’t stop, and nothing works, and she doesn’t want milk, her nappy has been changed, she won’t go to sleep, she’s had calpol, she’s had teething gel, she’s had a cuddle, she’s been put down, she doesn’t want a story, or music, or quiet… that’s when you cry. That is the depressed stage of motherhood. And then you are worthless, and useless because you can’t stop your baby crying, and you don’t know what they want. And all of a sudden, it’s not just the crying baby that is wrong, it’s your entire life, and it’s falling apart and you’re in a black pit of darkness. Luckily, 10 minutes of post-baby-crying-silence is all the remedy that is needed for this.

4) Bargaining

I tried bargaining, for a little while, but she’s not really old enough for it to have any effect. I imagine this is going to come into play later on.

5) Acceptance

This happens when they are 45 and have left home, and you are once again free to get on with your life. Happy days!

Baby-related news: Percy just sat up, unaided, for the first time. Literally, as I was writing this post. Ok, so she was practically folding in half, (so more like doing a pike crunch, than actually sitting), and it only lasted for about five seconds, but yay! Go wiggles!

We’ve got our childcare sorted. Percy is all set to start on the 4th of October. We’re going for some visiting days beforehand to get her all settled in. I think she’s going to really enjoy it there. It’s right by the sea, so they can watch the boats coming into the harbour, and they have guinea pigs. What more could anyone ask for!

We went to baby massage group this morning, which was lovely. We need to brush up on our techniques a bit since it has been a while since we last did any. Percy really enjoyed it. I think she likes it a bit more now that she’s older. We’re also popping off to baby yoga this weekend, and I’m hoping to get baby sign language sorted soon. Then all that’s left to do is find the pool for swimming, and we’ll be all sorted!