No office job, lots of new coffee shops, playtime with a cute smiling baby, day time trash tv. Mum life. Seems a lot easier from the outside looking in and I will be the first to admit, the idea of maternity leave and staying at home seemed like it’d be a dream. Don’t get me wrong, my little H is pretty unreal at the whole sleeping and feeding thing. He’s a total superstar cause right now he’s having his morning sleep while I get time to blog. I wrote that last sentence with an anxious knot in my stomach cause nine times outta 10, if I say H is asleep or he’s not peed himself today or is super happy, he proves me wrong and does the complete opposite!
The reality is Mum life kicks arse and I love it but it comes with a few challenges.
There are the night feeds. Waking up at whatever time H decides he’s hungry (he must take after his Mumma). Then there’s the 7am wake up. Every. Day. Sure, 7 is a sleep-in for a lot of Mummy’s so I am NOT complaining but if a few drinks were consumed the night before or a late night was had, 7am is still there and can not be undone. No more sleep-ins. No more snooze buttons. 7am equals breakfast for H and he does NOT like waiting! Insert scream like child has not been fed for a month here.
There are the nappies. Soooo many nappies. Plus H is currently going through a phase of having what seems like endless nappy changes. I tried going for the cheaper brand to save a few pennies but they are so not worth it. So many leaks and so many outfit changes (both H and I) mean that I’m counting down the days until I will have finished these crap nappies. Plus when I do use the good nappies, I swear H knows and does his business almost immediately, resulting in the need for a new nappy. I think I’ve said to him on a number of occasions, “Do you realise how much these cost? Cost per wear is ridiculous!” and he just grins his gummy smile and my heart melts and all is forgiven. Until the next nappy change…
There’s playtime. Awww, playtime! That sounds like fun! Yes, it is… until you look at the clock and realise you’ve been playing for all of five minutes and there’s an hour and 55 minutes left until next sleep time.
It is SO tempting to just put the tv on and leave him to stare wide-eyed and fascinated at the screen but I am trying REALLY hard not to raise a technology-obsessed baby. I will never say never but please remind me of this when I’ve got a toddler who requires constant entertaining and my hands start reaching for the remote!
There’s that pause button currently pressed on my career. I wouldn’t ever describe myself as a career-driven woman. I like working, I like learning new skills and being part of the corporate world (most of the time). But having a baby has certainly put the whole career thing on hold for a while. When I moved back to Perth, I had two job offers at the same time. One was with a small company at the level I wanted and the type of work I loved. The other was a few steps down the career ladder but for a bigger business with better options for family life. I chose the latter and am 100% happy with my decision however taking that step back and then trying to get back up those rungs all while raising a family and juggling mum life with career life is not easy. Sacrifices have to be made and this is something I’m really struggling with. But that’s a post for another day.
There’s everyday life. Baby is asleep and I’m cooking away in the kitchen. Damn it, we need milk. Get baby quietly out of bed and try not to wake him. Put baby into car, faffing around with the buckle and cursing the last person who used the seat for messing up the arm straps (probably me but I blame husband because he’s not here to defend himself). Drive to shops. Get baby out of car and decide to carry him to save time and the hassle of having to get the pram out. Go into shop to get trolley. No trollies with baby seats. Go back out to carpark and struggle to move six trollies before getting to one with a baby seat (true story). Do this while trying to keep baby asleep (note: this is impossible). Put baby in trolley. Go into shops to buy milk. Baby now wide awake. Decide that now baby is awake, I may as well just pick up a few other things. End up with an entirely full basket because it’s on special (they get me every time). Pay for groceries while lovely checkout girl coos at baby and asks what HER name is. Struggle back to car, cursing myself for buying so much stuff and for forgetting to use my envirobags. Put baby back in car. Baby now crying. Go to put trolley back in trolley bay which of course ends up being down the next row in the carpark and cannot bring myself to just leave it in the empty car bay next to me because I HATE it when others do that. And because there is a little old lady watching me. Am sure I’m being judged for leaving a crying baby in the car. Did she just tut at me? Drive home. Take baby out of car, forgetting to straighten up straps for next time. Stuff it, that’s future me’s problem or most likely, I’ll just blame husband again. Attempt to put baby back to bed with no luck. Put baby into bouncy chair while attempting to finish cooking what I started. Baby cries and needs entertaining. Then I realise I need eggs. For F’s sake…
All this seems laughable (and it is, if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry) to those on the outside and I’m SURE all my husband thinks I do is go for lunches and coffees with friends but you know what? I NEED to do that stuff. If I stayed home and just stuck to H’s routine day in, day out I would go CRAZY. I need to get out and make new Mummy friends. I need to catch up with my sister every week cause I crave family time. I need to have endless cups of coffee every day cause being a Mum is hard work! And yes, wine is also essential.
I am by no means complaining here cause H is absolutely wonderful. I feel we have been extremely blessed (aww hashtag bless) with a totally awesome kid. I often don’t feel I can complain about anything because I know other parents do it so much tougher. But this is the life I know and just felt the need to tell others out there that it’s NOT as easy as it looks and it’s NOT all playdates and new coffee shops (although when I tell my husband I discovered yet another good coffee shop and perhaps we should go there on the weekend, I’ll admit I’m probably not helping things). Being a Mum is by far the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe the leaking nappies.
We are THRILLED that the lovely Amy has featured this post on her wonderful blog! You can check it out at www.mytinywardrobe.com.au xx