When the toddler starts dropping his nap time…

I suppose that since I’ve had such a terrible night sleeper for two years, that I often felt a bit gloaty about the fact that I knew I’d have 2 glorious hours the next day to catch up on some Z’s. “we’re usually up a few times in the night, but he loves his afternoon nap!” I’d tell my friends. 

On my days off, I usually count the hours down until nap time… until about a fortnight ago, where N decided he absolutely, categorically, 100% was just NOT TIRED. Picture this; I’d put N down to bed, creep into my room, close the curtains and just as my sleep deprived head hit the pillow… N would screech at the top of his little lungs; “MUUUUUUMY!! DRINK! DOWNSTAIRS!!!” And I’d die a little bit more inside. 

Today, N insisted that he wanted to go to bed at 10.30 this morning. I’ve quickly learned that he doesn’t actually want to go to sleep, no sir. He wants his dummy. Bed is the only place where the dummy is allowed these days (excluding the huge embarrassing public meltdowns where it’s used as a last resort). 

You see, naps are great. I fucking love a nap, me. My whole life has been based around naps. If you asked me where my happy place is, then it’s in my bed. The only time I didn’t nap, was when (in the eyes of society) I was supposed to. When N was a newborn, he slept all the bloody time. I’m not sure why, in my sleep deprived state, that I chose the pissing washing up over a nap. I regret that now, and I’ve learned my lesson. 

N might be ready to drop his naps, but I am not. Picture the crying face emoji, that’s me right now. I’m heartbroken that life as I know it to be is about to change once more. The only good thing about N dropping his nap is that I won’t have to wait to go out and do things, or have to worry about being back in time for his nap. 12pm is quite an unconvinient time to sleep, if I’m honest. 

We are in the transition phase at the moment, and I keep trying to convince myself that this is just a phase, and he’ll go back to those lovely, long naps soon enough… but the realistic side of me knows that this is it. Another part of my baby is leaving me. And he’s now even more of a little person. 

Ps, no naps in the day do make for huge tantrums over nothing (from Mummy and N). Toddlers are 90% more arseholish when they haven’t slept. 

Pps- scientific research has shown that toddlers who have less than ten minutes sleep in the car, can add about another 10 hours awake time. These kids can run on fumes alone. (I lied, it wasn’t scientific research. But it is definitely true.) 

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FAQs about Abi/Noah’s mum

Since becoming a mother two and a half years ago (well, shit. That’s gone fast!), I’ve been asked some pretty strange and personal questions. I’ve made the conscious decision to share some of them, and my replies. NB that some of these questions/comments have been left on my blog posts… so they are very real! 

1. Do you actually have any kids? 

Yes, yes I do. I’d be a pretty shit ‘mummy blogger’ if I didn’t have a kid to write about… I am the proud owner of a hilarious, headstrong two year old. His name is Noah (yes like the boat and the two by two thing…) moving on…

2. How do you find time to blog?

If I want to write about something, I’ll generally do it there and then. Currently, I’m sat on the toilet typing this. (Real life, right here!). It takes between 30 minutes and an hour to write one whole blog post. Dependent on N’s temperament and whether he’s asleep or not can be contributing factors on how quickly it takes for me to write. 

3. How do you blog? 

I use the WordPress app and do all of my blogging from my phone. 

4. Do you actually like being a mum? You don’t deserve a kid

What sort of question is that? Of course I like being a mum! I love it! One can only assume that this question has come from someone with no children. In which case, I’m not sure why you’re looking at ‘Mummy blogs’ because that’s just fucking weird. My kid is a blessing.. but the sooner you learn that kids can be arseholes, the better. Come back in five years or so, when your kid is drawing biro all over your brand new corner sofa and tell me that they’re a pissing blessing, then. I love my son more than life itself, but if you’re telling me to embrace every tiny little detail of motherhood, then you are high off of your ass. I defy anyone to enjoy getting up every hour in the night (when the books promised that they’d be sleeping through by at least 10 months old) to get their toddler a drink and sing old McDonald sweetly into their ear until you’re a sobbing mess. Tell me that they’re a blessing then. Other parts are blessings. The cuddles in the bed, the exciting walks and adventures, the joy in hearing your name being called (only in the day time), the book reading (even if you have read it about 12 times in the last 5 minutes). He is a joy, but the life that comes with him sometimes isn’t. To say that someone doesn’t deserve a kid because they openly admit that kids can be dicks, is just a dickish move on your part. #cyahun 

5. What do you do in your free time? 

Usually, I clean my house. Toddlers are very good at making a mess. I generally spend my ‘days off’ cleaning and drinking (cold) tea. How an a small two bedroom house need cleaning all the time? Ask my son. He clearly has a “let’s piss Mummy off and get all of the mega blocks out again” schedule that he likes to stick to; along with a “she’s just hoovered, let’s stamp my cheddars into the carpet for bants” anywhere between 10am and 2pm. When N actually falls asleep in bed, you’ll find me vegetating on the sofa watching reruns of the walking dead trying not to fall asleep. 

6. Did you breast/bottle feed? 

If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s probable that you don’t NEED to know. He was fed and fed is best. 

7. How many cups of tea do you drink a day? 

Around six cups a day… All with two sugars. My dentist is going to fliiiiiip his shit the next time he seees me. 

8. Are you this outspoken in real life? 

I like to think of my blogs as my own personal outlet. I write how I talk. So yes, I have a mouth like a sewer in real life. I can control it at work and generally in front of N (although I’m sure he said ‘shit’ when he dropped his cookie the other day…) well. I don’t tend to force my opinions down people’s throats unless they ask for it. A bit like this here blog post. I’ll post the link, and whoever wants to listen to me ramble on, will do just that. 

9. Would you be financially better off if you didn’t work? 

Unfortunately, it’s quite probable. Not working just isn’t an option for me. I love going to work. I’d like to tell you that working part-time is the best of both worlds. In a sense, it is… but I generally feel mum and work guilt through out the week. On a Monday, Thursday and Friday; I feel mum guilt. That I’m paying someone else to look after my kid whilst I go to work. I feel guilty that I’m missing out on these baby years that I won’t ever get back… and I get serious mum guilt that brings me to my knees when I have to leave N tearful at the door for me. 

On a Tuesday and a Wednesday I feel work guilt. I feel like I should be at work doing something productive instead of watching the same episode of Peppa Pig all day. I feel work guilt that is sometimes rather be there than having to deal with a small person meltdown because I gave the wrong drink container. And I feel work guilt because I feel like I could go full time (if finances would allow it). 

Sometimes, I feel that I cannot give 100% in either of my roles, which can be pretty dehabilitating. 

10. When is number two on the way? 

Not just yet. Again, finances won’t allow for another member of our family right away. Also, I’m not sure my sanity will take another pregnancy with a toddler. Kudos to those that can and have done it… I just don’t think we’re quite ready right now. 

Teenager in training

Maternal mental health

You’ve heard a lot about post natal depression, haven’t you? Not many of you are aware of pre-natal depression, that can occur during pregnancy. 

I had a hideous pregnancy. I mean, I thought it was all normal. I was in and out of hospital through out the nine months with many pregnancy related ailments; all day sickness, Brixton hicks, reduced movements from baby, reduced fluid around baby and frankly just feeling like a piece of shit for 38 weeks. 

It’s natural now to think with the stress on my body, that my mind was also under pressure. It wasn’t until a few weeks after I gave birth that I realised I almost certainly suffered from pre-natal depression. I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy AT ALL. I hated every damn minute of it, and pushed for induction at 38 weeks. 

Then, my beautiful baby was born and we all lived happily ever after… right? 

Wrong 

Things immediately after the birth shocked and scared me. Spoiler alert; they don’t tell you that the whole world feels like it’s going to fall out of your vagina for weeks after, that your arse will represent a bowl of grapes, and that your tits will actually balloon and hurt like fuck… apparently it’s normal, but it doesn’t stop you feeling like shit. Your belly button already represents  a deflated cat’s arsehole, under your eyes are already representing bin bags and your pregnancy hair falls out. You look and feel like a wreck. in most circumstances, you’re still on a high from delivery, and if you’re lucky, you haven’t torn from your V to your A, which is always a good start. 

The baby blues can come a few days after baby is born, and can last up to six weeks. I remember looking at N, stroking his little face and sobbing. He was just so beautiful, and perfect… and tiring. Euphoria mixed with sleep deprivation seems like a good thing at the time… but eventually, I hit a wall. Daddy went back to work and I wasn’t sure how to cope by myself. 

The weeks went on, and I was battling through the days. The days and nights became longer and I became hysterical at the smallest sort of thing. This is where I should have gone and gotten myself some help… I didn’t. 

I didn’t need help. I was fine. N was alive and well, and the house was clean-ish, and that’s where the being fine stopped. I became an insomniac, I would constantly think in graphic detail how every day situations could kill my baby, my relationship with Daddy became strained. I would yell at him for nothing, and I actually did think about causing some serious harm. I didn’t know how to control my emotions. 

Things buried and manifested themselves until about 5 months ago; when I realised that actually, what I was feeling was not normal. Not every mum goes through this, and that actually, it was time to get some help before I became too engulfed in the cloud of depression and anxiety. I finally accepted some help and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve had some wobbles since, but that’s all they are. I have acknowledged that not every day is going to be plain sailing, and that every day is not going to be good. 

I’ve learned to speak to Daddy, or my friends when it all gets a bit much, as well as the support from my GP and health visitor. I feel great these days, compared to a few months ago where I had convinced myself that I was a shit excuse for a mother and a human being and that maybe the world would be better off without me in it (I didn’t want to die, just to crawl into my bed and disappear). 

This week is Maternal Mental Health awareness week and this is my bit of awareness. Maternal mental health isn’t just affected after birth, but can be as soon as you get that positive pregnancy test. This post isn’t here to scare anyone, but to let you all know that if you’re unlucky like I was… that things can always get better. 

I want you all to be aware of your GPs, your health visitors and your support network. It’s never too late to talk, and get help. It took me 18 months, and I wish I could have accepted help sooner. 
And you’re all awesome. We are all super mums 💪🏻