Tips for Visiting a new mum…..

With 5 of my friends expecting from December onwards, its not only got me excited for some major newborn cuddles and catching a whiff of that new baby scent but its also got me thinking about the rules and things that are helpful or in some cases not helpful when visiting a new mum in the throws of that just-given-birth haze and bubble that is like no other.

Of course once that ‘He’s/She’s arrived!’ text is sent, friends and family are eagerly penciling in slots to come and meet the new arrival often forgetting to stop and realise that the parents are at best often in a sleeplessness shocked state, starving because they haven’t got the energy to step foot in the kitchen, wearing maternity PJs and feeling generally a bit blurred!

I remember so vividly putting off visitors knocking at my door for a couple of days….apart from our parents, we needed them! The thought of making endless pots of tea whilst still sore and recovering from birth just didn’t seem right especially when if you’re like me and like to be in control, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to sit back! Definitely text your friend congratulations and offer support but leave it so they will tell you when they are ready for a visit.

Once I was ready for the world to meet our teeny tiny baby, the gesture of bringing something edible was so very welcome, in fact even better on two separate occasions friends came and cooked for me which blew me away! I didn’t realise at the time but it was exactly what I needed and its one of those things that sticks clearly in my mind and meant so much to me!

Sonny was lucky to have so many people wanting newborn cuddles he would get passed around so much so that he’d get sick of being held and liked to get put back in his moses, this meant  I often sacrificed my cuddles with him and once the house was quiet again I felt like I had missed out. It’s something I have tried to be conscious of when I visit babies now as those first weeks flyby and before you know it you have a toddler who is too busy exploring to cuddle!!

Cleaning, this is something I’ve heard mentioned on loads of blogs, family members coming over to whizz the hoover round, help with some chores and its a great idea however, I also wanted to feel like I was still able to do normal things and try and get myself back into my day to day life so its definitely a welcome gestured and great for anyone who like a C-section needs longer recovery time but don’t be offended if the duster isn’t thrust upon you, maybe the new parents actually want a ‘normal’ routine jobs to do.

I really struggled to sleep when the baby slept, not just the early days but generally throughout my maternity leave, It felt like there was so much to do in those precious windows of time prep dinner, quick scrub of the bathroom or even just to have a shower, so when my mum popped in one day to take Sonny for a walk, it felt like a massive relief, buying me some extra time to complete job and maybe squeeze in a little nap.

It’s important to remember that everyone asks about the new baby, of course they will, I mean you’ve all waited 9 months to meet them but don’t forget to check on the new mum and dad, they often haven’t had time to think about themselves so just a quick chat and put some focus back on them will go a long way trust me!

Just remember to call ahead before rocking up, bring some milk with you..the amount of cuppas you make for these visits is crazy and be ready to offer lots of hugs!

Enjoy that new baby smell…

Love Harriet x

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Juggling Screen time…..

Warning new mum worry has set in! This time the concern is… is my child having too much screen time? The answer to this question for us at the moment is no but its something that’s on my mind especially as the weather is getting unpredictable and rainy meaning we are a little more confined to the house.

The debate of what is too much screen time could go on for ages and I am sure there are plenty of strong opinions out there, mine is a love/hate relationship! Love because its a gentle way start the day, once breakfast is done, a bit of postman pat to ease into the day ahead isn’t going to do us any harm. Like wise after bath time, I love to snuggle with my freshly washed boy under a blanket and watch Bear Hunt or recently the Lion King- I mean I cant wait til Sonny enjoys cuddling up to watch a film and munch on popcorn!

If Sonny is being extra fussy at dinner or I need to quickly hoover the house then the trusty Ipad is a great distraction and helps me to achieve the mountain of jobs I am juggling daily; Having said that, I am conscious I don’t want it to be the easy option and for Sonny to just absorb the TV rather than create his own little games. I don’t want morning TV to turn into the whole day of CBeebies.

A few people have commented on how well Sonny can entertain himself, sit for a while and interact with his toys and role play, so that must mean the balance is right?

We are also a family who loves to get out of the house, a Sunday stroll or play date,  get some fresh air and tire little legs out plays a massive part in our day so surely as long as we continue to break and mix up the routine, we are onto a winning combo?

I haven’t downloaded any educational games for the Ipad yet, he seems content with the little time his does have with the screen but I’d love to know of any programme you’ve heard of or used yourself that you can recommend. Using the screen for learning purposes will help with the mum worry surely!

Love Harriet x

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Give them an inch and they take the whole hundred miles…..

Why is it when you are doing something nice for your toddler, you know buying the odd ice cream, some time on the ipad, putting on their favourite film why cant they just be content, grateful and decide to then be little treasures for the rest of the afternoon as a way of saying thanks??…At the moment in our house you give Sonny a treat and he wants more! More ice cream, more ‘Bing’, more Gruffalo; the little monkey will push and push and then proceed to tantrum til his little hearts content just to get something else!.

Once a million toys have been launched around the lounge, he’ll eventually calm down leaving two pretty dishevelled parents scratching their heads as to how that little offering of a treat escalated with such dramatic emotions! The tantrums are hard to control once they are in full swing so if I walk away for my own sanity as well as taking the attention off the little devil they usually stop pretty quick and if we haven’t quite reached the peak then distraction is my go-to technique!

The emotions of a toddler will always baffle me, I long for the day when he says thank you Mummy that was really nice (I hope) I will continue to stick to my guns in the hope that you know its shaping him for future life (ohhhh the pressure) and just ride out this phase with regular chocolate consumption!

Please tell me your child does this too!

Love Harriet x

 

 

 

 

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Sonny you are 2!

I literally can’t believe it was a year ago that I wrote Sonny’s first birthday post ! 730 days you have been with us and my goodness you’ve grown into such a little character! I look back and think that first year was such a shock to the system, some days felt super long but the months altogether went quick! We were learning so much and speeding into this massive world of parenthood.

Fast forward, year 1 to year 2, don’t get me wrong hasn’t been easier but it hasn’t been harder, we’ve learnt that we actually are making such an impact into your little life. The affection that you show has surely come from what you’ve received? Your knowledge and development is so rewarding to witness, you really are giving back to what we are so happy to put in.

Everyday we are amazed at something you’ve done or said and you have that power to stop us in our tracks…my heart skipped when you sang ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ on your own whilst walking down the stairs or when we spot diggers and you shout ‘I see it mummy’ literally my womb aches!!

Of course I have never needed a more peaceful evening cup of tea or sweated as much (even after many HIIT sessions) as I do when you sprint off towards a busy road, throw your dinner all over the floor that I literally just cleaned or throw a tantrum in a very public place…you really know how to rise the ol’ body temperature!

18 Months onwards has really taught me patience, I mean repeating ‘hitting hurts’ ‘don’t bite mummy’ ‘you’ll break your toy if you throw it’ a million times a day will push even the most zen of people over the edge!

All that being said I take the repetitive talk and the massive task trying to teach you right from wrong on, I’ll take that as the flip side is so worthwhile, your little face when you get excited over ‘Bing’ or we treat you to an ice cream is just too adorable! The excitement you show us is just way too bloody cute!!

So my little friend roll on 2-3 years, I cant wait to go on more adventures and just generally have more conversations with you, you really are amazing and such a little mate!

Happy birthday for the 17th!

Love you Sonny x

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Tag Team Parenting…

I never really paid much thought to how I would parent or the choices Ian and I would make once we had a family together but what we seemed to have developed is some sort of tag team?? I don’t even know if its a known term or if I’ve made it up but it very much sums up the parenting style that has found us and also I think saved me from going insane!

I couldn’t imagine parenting alone, I am not weak , challenge me to a challenge and I am the most competitive person with a strong mind however, gone are the days (thank god!) where the women is expected to bring up the children, run a household, hold a job together  whilst spinning on her head and applying a slick of lipstick at the same time.

I’m not ashamed to say I need my husbands help & support, I need him to equally take on the challenge of bringing up Sonny, after all he is both of our responsibility  plus I work hard too, I love my job so I need him to chip in and help run the household for the good of our family (and marriage).

Ian is so good at the above but wow I get told how hands on he his far too frequently, don’t get me wrong it is so great but no one has gone to him and said how lucky he is that I am hands on, that’s just a given that the mum is involved.

Through this parenting journey we’ve found that we both need time to have a breather, whether its time for exercise or meeting our mates, we tag team so that we can allow the other person that piece of space.  Sonny has 2 happy parents and a strong bond with both of us, he gets to see Mummy and Daddy working together whilst having an ‘hour or so off’ and coming back refreshed and revived ready for a happy family life.

I am so thankful we live in a time where dads are typically stepping up and the roles are more equal. I don’t know how the women generations before stayed sane..maybe they didn’t! Seriously though maybe its because they didn’t have to go back to work or other commitments outside of the home?

The only thing we personally need to consciously continue to do is keep allowing a day free for family time, time as a 3 ohhh and also time for date nights so we don’t do too much separately!

Love Harriet x

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