It has been a while since I last blogged as the four of us have been learning a new routine now I’ve returned to work full-time. The morning schedule seems to work, although it does involve me waking up naturally about 5am! Argh! At least it normally gives me time to prepare all the bottles my youngest will need for his day at nursery (a fun series of bottle sterilisation, water boiling, etc.), wash up, hang washing out and prep breakfast.
No matter how efficient that hour is though, as soon as the boys wake up I seem to enter a time warp. It’s a magic time when they are both drinking their morning milk, then the oldest asks for a book to be read to him – or two, or three. The cheerful gurgles from the youngest and the excitement of the oldest listening to the story being told are hard to disrupt and this only happens when a look at the clock reminds me that we need to get moving if we have any hope of getting to our respective destinations on time.
I’m still getting it wrong though as the boys are changed, fed, washed and dressed before I even think about getting ready myself. Then it is a quick game of catch up to get out of the door.
I remember trying to work out the morning logistics before my second child was born and thinking that it was never going to work. It – like an awful lot of things related to caring for children – is just one of those things that is easier to do than plan for.
The good news is that both boys seem to be enjoying nursery – the youngest getting loads of cuddles from all members of staff. I think it’s mum that finds the morning drop off the hardest.
Routine is good, but the unforeseen can make a huge difference – whether it’s an extra big hug, toothless grin or impromptu dinosaur impersonation. What’s certain is there’s nothing routine about being a mum and that’s half the fun!
My youngest has started going to nursery this week in preparation for my return to work next week.
I thought it would be easier this time around, having done the same with my older son just a couple of years ago. Surely knowing how happy my eldest is at the same place and seeing how well he is growing up in terms of speech and social skills would mean the morning drop off would be a piece of cake?
Seems not. Good job the sun was shining and I could wear my big sunglasses as I couldn’t hold back a few tears. To be fair, having been the main carer for my baby since his birth five and a half months ago, it was hardly a surprise that it was an emotional time.
I had learnt enough from the first time around to know that I would be the one needing a few days ‘settling in’ period rather than my baby – being close to the nursery in case of any problems, being able to drop off late and pick up early, as well as not being an emotional mess when returning back to the office (not helpful for anyone!). My baby on the other hand seemed to have had great fun being cuddled by all the staff, playing with loads of new toys and getting to see his big brother throughout the day.
This week’s survey results that show 75% of new mothers would stay at home if financial pressures allowed has sparked a lot of comments on news sites such as the Daily Mail from mothers in a range of circumstances. It was not surprising to see this story run in the DM. However, I truly believe that everyone has to find out what works best for them – emotionally and financially. There is not always the ‘perfect’ scenario for all concerned but as long as the children are healthy and happy, what more could I ask for?
When my first child was born, I spent a lot of time reading the ‘what to expect’ style books so I could find out what my baby should be doing by when. I often found myself thinking, ‘won’t it be good when they can roll over / sit up / crawl / etc.’. Each milestone was something to work towards and I felt personal pressure to ensure my child reached those targets about the same time as their counterparts. If not, I felt I had failed as a parent.
Only now they are walking, talking, eating on their own do I realise that children develop at their own rates and sort themselves out when they are ready – maybe with a little encouragement ; )
Of course, I still find myself worrying about the next stages of development, such as whether they will ever get excited about potty training!
The second time around, I haven’t seemed to have the time or drive to read the books. And rather than looking ahead to the next phase, I’m permanently shocked that my second child has already got there.
This has been a week of firsts for my five month old – sitting up in the bath (with a protector support), sitting upright in the pushchair and this morning sitting in his own high chair. He has had strong neck and back control very early on which has enabled all of this to happen, but I can’t help thinking he’s growing up too quickly.
Is this a result of him being the second child – copying what his older sibling is doing? Is he just advanced? Or is it that I know this is likely to be my last child and so want time to slow down a little so I can really enjoy his time as a baby.
I am sure there is an element of my being a bit more relaxed as a second time mum – I remember being petrified the first time I gave my first child a bath for example! Now, two bath times each night is just what happens.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and also to hear whether you think time goes by faster the more children you have. In the meantime, I’m off to stop the clocks!