Friday, 27 January 2012

One of those weeks...

Well all I can say right now, is what a week it's been. It was only the other day I thought to myself "wow, my immune system has really perked up since being pregnant, I've not been properly ill since having Princess". It seems someone was listening and thought it was clearly unfair that I had not been ill in so long so decided now was the perfect time to pass me along a nice little cold.
Monday morning started off as any other day, that was until I got out of bed. Leaning over Princess's cot in order to change her nappy I was overcome with cold sweats, stomach ache and the knowledge that I was about to throw up. Fortunately for me, that moment didn't come - the last thing any Mum wants is to throw up all over her child, talk about traumatic. On the bad side, this continued all day. The nausea was so strong I often found myself running to the bathroom, only for it to disappear. For the rest of the day I carried around our nominated sick bowl and felt ever so sorry for myself.
The next day was much better. The nausea had gone and so had the stomach ache. However, my joy was short lived as mine and Princess's noses started to run simultaneously. We both then began with the sneezing which was uncontrollable. The watering eyes came next. Whilst trying to wipe away the tears, blow my nose and wipe away the forever flowing snot from Princess's nose, the achiness decided to make an appearance. By the time OH made it home from work I was so determined that I would not let this illness beat me, I put Princess to bed and whipped out the paintbrush and gloss and got to work. After only an hour of glossing it came to the first wake up call. She usually sleeps for longer than an hour when I first put her to bed, but I was half way up the stairs anyway so I didn't mind. 
However, Princess quite simply turned her nose up at her bottle of juice and her bottle of milk. Instead I had to stroke her hair until she fell back to sleep. Usually I love doing this, it's one of the things that I love about being a Mum, being the only person able to soothe my daughter back to sleep. But, standing over her cot, tissue wrapped around my nose and attempting to wipe my eyes and not sneeze all over her, turned out to be far more difficult than I would have hoped. Finally she fell back to sleep so I decided to give up on the glossing and go and watch some TV. Ten minutes later came another wake up call. I can tell you that sometimes this is normal, for the first few hours of her bedtime Princess can wake up literally ten times. It doesn't bother me, I'm completely used to it now. It's not so much fun running up and down the stairs whilst you feel like death warmed up, but you deal with it. 
Now to cut a long story short, I didn't get a wink of sleep that night. Not even five minutes. That's no exaggeration, it's the truth. I've pulled all nighters with her before when she's been ill, but not when we've been ill at the same time. OH took his quilt downstairs and slept on the sofa - and I don't blame him! Princess was quite obviously not happy, she couldn't breathe through her nose meaning she couldn't drink properly. Nothing on this earth could settle her.
The next day I planned on grabbing a nap whenever she slept. I was convinced that at some point exhaustion would take over. Surprisingly it didn't. She refused her nap, refused her lunch and refused any cuddles. By the time it came back around to bedtime I was sure that she'd have to sleep now. She went to bed at 9pm and I settled on the sofa to watch some TV before bed. By the time OBEM had finished, Princess was awake again. Once again she refused any sort of bottle and any comfort. The one thing that caught my attention this time however, was the barking cough that followed every cry. After a few hours of Princess clearly not feeling well I called NHS Direct to be told to take her straight down to the Childrens Emergency Hospital. By this point it was 1am, I hadn't slept since Monday night (It was now Wednesday) and I was feeling it. We took a taxi to the childrens clinic and saw the Doctor there who before even examining her told us she definitely had croup. Because it was now 2am and no pharmacies were open he told us to take her over to the hospital. He said that because it had only started at 10pm and that it had developed so quickly and she was so bad with it that she needed steroids and observation. He also mentioned the possibility of oxygen. At that moment my eyes filled with tears imagining my poor baby girl hooked up by wires to various monitors. It's something I can imagine every parent would say is their worst nightmare (not the oxygen part, but their child being hospitalised).
We took her over to the hospital and was seen straight away by paediatrics. Every Doctor we saw all said the same thing "she has croup". Now don't get me wrong, I'm glad that these Doctors weren't fobbing us off and telling us to simply 'give her some paracetamol and she'll be fine' but having to explain over and over and over again why you are there is possibly the most infuriating thing ever. If three Doctors have already established she has severe croup then treat her for it. Why pass us about from ward to ward, doctor to doctor, if her illness has already been confirmed? 
Finally we were sent into a playroom where once again we had to explain why we were there to a Doctor, but she then told us she would be back to administer steroids to Princess and then see how she goes. A junior nurse came back to do these steroids. I understand that every junior doctor/nurse whatever has to learn, but to cut open my childs gum (where a new tooth is breaking through I might add) trying to give her a syringe of steroids is not the best way to go about it. It was coming up to 4am, I still hadn't slept, neither had Princess and all I wanted to do was go home. Eventually we saw another Doctor (who I had to describe to AGAIN why we were there) who decided she seemed well enough to go home. We were told if she got any worse or her breathing became shortened we were to go straight back.
We finally arrived home at 5am. Princess had fallen to sleep in the taxi and I was very grateful for that. I whisked her straight up to her bedroom, wrapped her up and promptly curled up in my own bed. That morning she slept until 11am (with 8 wake up calls inbetween) but I can't express my relief when she finally took a bottle of milk from me and settled with it straight away. 
Thursday daytime was a bit nerve wracking, I was constantly wondering if she would suddenly get much worse considering how quickly the croup had come on in the first place, but thankfully apart from feeling a bit fragile, she seemed fine. We both grabbed a cheeky nap on the sofa whilst Dad cleaned up and by the time we woke up, we were back to normal.
Well almost, it's now Friday daytime and I still have my cold. To accompany my cold I now have an awful hacking cough. Princess seems a lot better now, apart from croakiness and a new appreciation for Mummy's cuddles, she's on the mend. Now I think it's my turn.
So that has been my week so far. It was an interesting, tiring and scary one all at once. One thing I know for sure, is I'll be glad when it's over.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

So in my first real post I told you all that my OH has a new job. Well, he has now decided that the job isn't secure enough for him and has decided to stay at his current job for now. Hopefully it won't be too long for him, but it's his decision so I respect him for that. 
Now I didn't think I'd be saying this for a while, but we're moving! I am so excited yet terrified at the same time because for the first time in my whole 22 years of life, I won't be a mere twenty minutes from my Mum. As sad as that may sound, considering I don't even live with her anymore, it's possibly the strangest and most daunting feeling ever. We've decided to move closer to OH's family because it's difficult for most of them to come all the way over to where we live to see us. It also means I will have people to see and visit in the day time which I don't have down here at all. 
After having moved out of home and into my own house with OH, and then finding out I was pregnant exactly 2 weeks after moving in, you'd think I'd be ready for anything that was thrown my way. The secret is, I'm not. It took a whole month to pack up my bedroom back at my Mums house, a weekend to fully move in to the new house and then about a week to unpack everything we had. Considering it all came from my one bedroom it seems unreal. But now I think this time I have an entire 3 bedroomed house to pack up and move. Each time I go into a room I think about how many boxes worth are in there, and honestly it doesn't seem like much, but I know it's going to take a very long time.
The house needs to be completely returned to the way it was when we moved in. Empty. Magnolia walls, simple white blinds at the windows and it needs to be spotless. Part of me is looking forward to all of it, but there's another part that is absolutely dreading it. OH gets stressed out just moving the furniture around the living room, nevermind packing up 7 rooms. 
I am desperately trying to find everything in the house we don't need and sell it on. The stuff that I'm not too fussed about can be given away or thrown out, but the majority of things that are in the house, I refuse to just give away. Mainly because most of it has sentimental value to me, but also because I think to myself, if I've bought this, then why should somebody else have it for free? Don't get me wrong, I often donate my unwanted clothes, books etc to charity, but I'm talking about Princess's clothes, my jewellery and things that I really don't want to get rid of, but I have no actual need for. I am a terrible hoarder (as you can probably guess from the fact it took over a month to pack a bedroom) and find it difficult to throw things away.
 Despite all of this, I'm still really excited to go house hunting. I find it exciting to look at new houses on the internet, view them and then make the big decision about whether we like it or not. The main problem with this is, the majority of the houses within our price range that we have already seen are pretty much the exact same layout as the house we're in now. Don't get me wrong, if it comes to it and that's all that's left then we'll go for it, but moving into a house that is already the same as the one you live in takes the excitement out of it. You already know where your furniture is going to go, where you're going to store things. I might be expecting too much, but I want it to be different, otherwise I am going to find no joy in moving what-so-ever.
I really have rambled here so I'll bring it to a close. As scared as I am to be away from my Mum, I really am very excited to be starting a new part of my life somewhere different. Lets just hope I still feel the same in a few months time!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Work and the stay at home mum...

This post is rather random. I don't expect anyone to be interested or comment but I just want to ramble a little bit because I'm so unsure as to what to do.
Basically, I described on my first real post that my boyfriend has a new job. As fantastic as this opportunity is, he has decided that it's not for him and we are continuing the job search. However, whilst hunting for these jobs (and also jobs for my Mum) I have come across quite a few that would be perfect for me. My ideal job would be as an administrator/receptionist. Now as unglamourous as this may sound, since I was a young girl I have always wanted a job that required me to dress smart, work at a computer, file papers and answer the phone. It's hardly your high-flying career or a goal setting job, but it's something I've always wanted and feel I would be good at. The problem is, I only have experience in retail.
I was an evening supervisor in my previous job, and I like to think a decent one. I may not have the relevant 'on paper' skills that say I was a shop manager, but I have actually done that job. My old manager reads this blog, and as far as I am aware she would say that when she wasn't there, I managed the shop fairly well. So in reality, I have the experience to also apply for a management position (although lack the confidence to do so).
I really am rambling now and I'm not even sure where this is going. But my biggest fear is of going back to work and not seeing my Princess all day every day. I might sound ridiculous to some people, but I more than love my role as a stay at home Mum to my daughter and I can't imagine my day not including her 100%. Whether this means Dad stays at home full time to care for her or she enters childcare for a while, either way, I don't think I could handle it.
When faced with this predicament what do you do? Do you go for the option that could possibly allow you a better income, or do you go with your desire? I am privileged enough to not have to work but sometimes I feel that I am not doing enough or providing enough for my family. I feel guilty that my OH has to go out to work every day to provide for all of us whilst I sit at home and take comfort in the fact somebody else doesn't have to look after our daughter. Is it fair? Should I look for a job in order to contribute a wage to our family, or am I doing enough by being at home all day raising our Princess? Don't get me wrong, we get by each month, but sometimes it's a real struggle.
During a regular day I will do all of the cleaning, the washing, food shopping and other shopping if needed. All of this whilst looking after Princess, feeding her, keeping her entertained, putting her down for naps (well trying!) and keeping sane all at the same time. Some days are ridiculously easy whilst others are unbelievably hard and trying. Now I don't want to sound full of myself, but I do feel I am the best person qualified for this job. Mainly because I have been doing it since day one and am now a master, but also because the thought of being away from her to go to work very much nearly reduces me to tears. Surely the simple fact that I cannot bear the thought of being without her for 8+ hours makes me more than suitable to be her main carer.
But I'm not sure if I'm just being selfish. I know how difficult it is for OH to get up every morning and kiss Princess goodbye before he leaves for the next 9 hours, and I do nothing about it. I know he would give anything to stay at home with her all day like I do, but I just can't find it in me to give any of that up. I know I'm being old fashioned, unrealistic and completely selfish, yet I can't help myself. 
I fully expect to go back to work eventually. As soon as Princess turns 2.5yrs I am looking for a part time job to fit in around her nursery hours. Is it unreasonable to want to wait until then to do so? I'm not sure.
I know plenty of Mums who are permanent stay at home Mums who never intend on going back to work until they're children are in full time education, or even finished their entire education, but I don't think that's for me.
I'm not sure whether to go back to work now, whilst there are jobs out there for me, or wait until I'm ready. How do you know when it's the right time?

Just to convince myself even more that I'm not ready, here is a picture of Princess and I enjoying our time at home..


Thursday, 12 January 2012

How do you decide what's acceptable?

Since becoming a parent many things have changed for me. For example, I barely ever drink. I'll have a glass or two of wine on the odd weekend, but as for going out partying in town etc, I have done it twice.
Once it was an occassion I had been planning for weeks, one which I think I rightly deserved after six/seven months of never really going anywhere. The second was a spur of the moment idea during a house party - which also was the first night Princess had ever stayed over at her Grandparents.
Now some people might think I'm crazy, who would give up all of that fun when there's always someone available to babysit? However, I am very much aware that I am an overbearing Mum. I can't bare to be away from Princess for more than a few hours. Everytime she goes somewhere without me, or me without her, I feel like I've lost a limb. It's almost so bad that I find it near impossible to walk without pushing a pushchair.

Sometimes I think I am the only Mum like this. Especially considering that I am in fact only 22. But to me, it seems like such an easy sacrifice to make. If I wanted to go out and drink my cares away in bars, I probably could, but I choose not to because I am always a Mummy first. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my time when Princess has gone to bed, but I'd just much rather be at home.

This can't be said for all parents though. I have absolutely nothing against those parents who do go out on the weekends with their friends, it is completely down to personal choice, but where do we draw the line? I know a girl who most weekends is out drinking with her friends and fair play to her, she's a single parent, why shouldn't she let her hair down? The thing I have a problem with however, is she drinks whilst her son is in her care. Now if she were at the pub and had a drink or two, then that's fine, far be it from me to judge. But to get absolutely slaughtered whilst your son is upstairs sleeping, just seems unacceptable to me. Not only does she get drunk most nights whilst she's home alone with her son, she also smokes a lot of weed whilst they're both home.

Personally, if I were a weed smoker, if I didn't want to give up that habit, I would simply compromise. I'd smoke it whilst out with friends etc. NEVER would I smoke it whilst I was the main carer for my child. Every time I see her updates on Facebook I am overcome with an overwhelming desire to phone social services. The one thing that stops me is that it's none of my business. There is nothing that suggests to me she is a bad Mum or incapable of looking after her child, I'm just uncomfortable with the risk she is putting him in. I have often wondered what on earth she would do during one of these nights when she's off her head from alcohol and high as a kite from weed, if something was to happen to her son. It's a horrible thought and one that shouldn't even concern me, but I always wonder what her first thought would be. Would she be capable enough to know that her son needed to be taken to the hospital? Or would she panic, knowing that if she were to take him to the hospital, the Doctors and nurses would notice the state she was in? And before any of that even happened, would she even be in the right frame of mind to know that there was anything wrong with her son in the first place?

Now this girl has been reported before and bragged that she got away with it. I realise that I am being massively judgemental about this girl, I barely even know her, but whether I am an overbearing Mum or not, I can't see how this is acceptable. But when do we decide, as a parent, what is acceptable or not? My own parenting habits are based on instinct and the overwhelming love I have for my Princess, and even though I know this girl probably loves her child just as much as I love mine, I find it hard to comprehend that she has decided that this is an appropriate way to live and a good enough atmosphere to raise him in. When did she stop and decide that getting drunk whilst she was alone with her child was a good idea? When did she decide that getting stoned first thing in the morning before taking her son to the park was absolutely fine? (And that isn't a judgement from me, that's a fact)

I may be judgemental sitting up here on my high horse, but when as a parent, do you decide that your own pleasure in life comes before your childs? Because as much as I try, I cannot find the answers.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Sleep is overrated... but then again I wouldn't know.

I must warn you before I begin, that this may turn in to a bit of a rant. Not intentionally, but I have a tendency to go that way.

My daughter, we'll call her Princess (because I always do) is 15months old exactly today, and doesn't sleep through the night. On average I have about 5 wake up calls a night. During these wake up calls I simply wander into her bedroom like a zombie, and pop a bottle in her mouth and she drifts back off to sleep within minutes. Now you may be screaming "WHY WOULD YOU GIVE HER A BOTTLE!?" The answer is simple: if I don't, she will scream the entire house down for the rest of the night.

Believe me when I tell you, I have tried every possible means of getting her to sleep through. I have tried refusing her a bottle, which just results in incessant screaming. I have tried dummies - but she has refused them since she was 2 weeks old. I have tried substituting milk for juice - she'll just wake up for that too. I have tried controlled crying - trust me, it's Princess who does the controlling. Every single idea the Health Visitor has thrown at me, I have tried but to no avail. Princess simply doesn't want to sleep.

Usually it doesn't bother me, but after a particularly bad Saturday night in which she woke up more than 15 times, I feel that this is hugely unfair. I have not had a full nights sleep, no scratch that, more than a six hour block of sleep, in over 17 months. The last 2 months of my pregnancy made it impossible for me to sleep through the night, between the constant leg cramps and needing to pee, it just wasn't happening. Princess has not slept through the night ONCE, since she was born.

I've come to terms with this now, sort of. I've accepted she probably won't sleep through for a while. Lets face it, she's not going to be waking up in the night for a bottle at the age of 16 now is she? *crosses fingers*

Although I have now turned into one of them women who will give you evil daggers if you declare to me you are tired. Couldn't sleep? At least you have a choice. Know what I'm saying? If you've been ill, I'll allow you that, it's hardly your fault. But the ones that annoy me the most, are those who's children sleep through the night 99% of the time, yet the one night they don't, all they can do is moan and whinge about it and declare that they are a zombie through lack of sleep. I would very much like to give them Princess for a night and then wish them well waking up in the morning. 

This post isn't for sympathy, far from it. In fact I would love it if somebody else came on here and proclaimed that their child also doesn't sleep through the night. At least I would know at 3am in the morning when I'm sleepily trying to mix formula into water and miss the bottle resulting in a pile of powder on the carpet, that I am not the only one. 

People often say that sleep is overrated. I would very much like the chance to find out for myself.



Friday, 6 January 2012

New Year, New Start? Looks that way...

I’ve never been one for New Years Resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made them, a lot of them, but never once have I kept to them.
During this time of year I often feel too much pressure to succeed in a goal I’ve set myself. Now I’m not sure if I’m alone in this or not, but I do not perform well under pressure. In school I was always far better at the coursework and essays than I was at the exams. I’d revise and study until my eyes felt like they were bleeding, but come to that dreaded day when I’d have to sit down and remember everything I’d learnt that year, I crumbled.

The same goes for new years resolutions. First and foremost – I’m a smoker of 8 years. Disgusting I know, smoking since 14, but its part of who I am, like it or lump it. For several years I have made the decision come new years that I would give up. My shocking lack of will power has always meant that I have failed, and come the end of January, I’m still smoking. But not only do I blame my lack of will power, but also the fact that because everybody knows I have made this decision I feel more pressured into succeeding. Never a good combination for me. Most people will probably say that the thought of disappointing their friends and family by failing would give them the extra push to follow through. I am the complete opposite. The extra pressure I feel from everyone around me just convinces me to give up. It’s probably a complete cop-out on my part, but I’d rather fail sooner rather than later. I would delve further into this, but I don’t want to bore you on my first post. So moving swiftly on…

This year, I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t see the point. My boyfriend and I are still smoking, I haven’t decided to lose any weight despite the fact I’d like to, I haven’t even harped on about ‘the new me’ (Which to be fairly honest if you have ever said that, we can’t be friends!) And even though my new year is currently goal-less and I have nothing to work towards, it’s shaping up to be a pretty fantastic year so far. I know we’re only on the sixth day, but a girl can be content can’t she?

So far, in the short six days since new years, my boyfriend has already found a new job. It’s far better than the one he’s currently in and most importantly, he’s already so much happier. This in turn makes me crazy happy that he’s no longer in a dead end job, working for idiots that make him miserable.  A new job is quite an achievement for day six of the New Year, wouldn’t you say? Personally, I haven’t achieved anything yet – apart from finding him the job, I do take credit for that. I haven’t lost 1lb in weight and I don’t have a new outlook on life – but this new change in our lives is sure to be something great.  Once he’s settled and things are running smooth, we can finally look into moving closer to his family. It’s something we’ve been discussing for a while and this positive start to the year means that it’s pushing us to do something about it.

The whole thing got me thinking… by simply sailing into the new year with no pressure and no new goals to work towards, things have seemed to come naturally. A new job may seem a small change to some, but for us, it’s a huge step. I didn’t set out into 2012 expecting or hoping things to change, I had decided to just let life come as it may and I would go along with it.

So far, I'm liking this outlook. Resolutions are the worlds way of allowing us to set ourselves targets in the hopes that it will make the New Year far better than the last one. Last year was pretty brilliant for me, my baby girl turned one, I was surrounded by family and friends and I was pretty happy. If I’m being honest, if there is something you want to change about yourself, or your life, why wait for the clock tower to ring on the 31st December? Why not do it now? Make your own year better rather than waiting for a specific date to do so. If the first six months of your year is pretty shitty, then make the changes that will allow you to have a much better six months.

 I’m hoping that 2012 is going to be just as good a year for me as 2011 was. If I ever feel the need to change something about myself or my life and I don’t do anything but moan about it – please refer me back to this post!

So that brings me to the end of my first blog. Opinions are all welcome and greatly appreciated. I am new to this remember, so any advice would be fantastic.
I hope all of your 2012’s are shaping up to be as great as you wanted to be – even if it is only the sixth day!

Well I finally did it..

So, after much consideration and deliberation, I have decided to start my own blog. There are many reasons for this, some of them you’ll probably agree with and some you may think I’m crazy for. Either way, welcome. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I love writing. Here goes…
 I am a huge fan of reading other blogs, as I’m sure many of you are. This has been a habit of mine since the tender old age of twelve when I began reading the blogs of American girls Renee and Tori. Now you may or may not know of these girls, but I was so addicted with them I would log on every day just to read about their lives. I’m not sure what captured my attention so much, these girls were just a few years older than me, but I was so interested in their lives, despite the fact they weren’t that much different than my own. Maybe it was because I related to them in some way? I’m hoping that others will feel the same about this blog
 I’m still a blog stalker to this day. Mainly I’m a lurker, I’ll read the posts, but I won’t comment. I’m not really sure why this is – I’m definitely not shy – but something has held me back. Maybe now is the time to start. In order to get readers on my own blog, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to come out of my own lurker cave and finally introduce myself to the blogging world.
My other reason is because quite simply, I’m a writer. I write everything. I’ve even written my own novel. At the age of 22 I find this quite an achievement. Nobody has read it yet, not fully. I’m not sure if I dare share it with the world and pursue anything with it, but I love to write regardless. Ever since the age of five, before I knew what a full stop was, I’ve been writing my own stories. I wrote a diary for several years before deciding that chapter of my life was over and I needed to start a new one. All of my writing has been private, but now, I have decided to inflict it upon the poor unsuspecting people who come across this blog.
I’m sure most of my posts will be the ramblings of a crazy young mother, opinions on subjects most people probably won’t be interested in – because I have to tell you now, I’m not even the slightest bit interested in politics or current world affairs, I don’t even watch the news!
Another reason is because I like to share. I’m that girl who always divulges too much information into a conversation and makes everything awkward. I’m the girl who makes an inappropriate joke during the most serious of chats. I like to give advice yet never expect people to take it. Sometimes I’m too over opinionated for my own good and it often gets me into trouble. I say the wrong things at the wrong times. They may not seem like good, or the right, reasons to start a blog. But hell, if I didn’t have my own crazy reasons, then I’d just be like every other blogger out there!
So welcome to my world. To summarise - even though I didn't tell you most of this - I’m 22, I have a beautiful daughter who is currently 15 months old. I have an adoring boyfriend who I have lived with for 2 years. My family are crazy – on both sides – but I love them all dearly. Friends? What are those? Nevermind... haha.
So here’s to my new blog, 2012, and of course, to you!