Ignorance is bliss….

I’m sat here. I’m trying I get some work done, a bit of writing in the hour or so I have left before I need to collect Oscar from preschool. Because I have nowhere comfortable to work at home and because the walk to preschool and back doesn’t make going home worth it, I’m in a local coffee shop. Who am I kidding I’m in the ice cream shop. And doing what I do every week.

When I came in the place was empty, but a group of three obviously very new mothers have just come in. They’re probably NCT or antenatal group friends. I remember doing something similar when I had just had Oscar. They chat excitedly about sleep and feeding and house prices (well this is Surrey after all). The pride in their little ones and their new status as mamas clear. And it makes me sigh.

I remember bits about Oscar being this small. I remember going for coffee and being able to drink a whole cup with my girls without Oscar making a noise. I remember the excited chattering about how much sleep we’d had, the latest things our babies had done and about this whole new world we were just starting discovering.

But I also remember how hard it was. The panic in all of our eyes when we were unsure of what was going on (which was much of the time), the lack of sleep, the fear, the dread that we, that I, was getting it all, all wrong.

I remember mothers, experienced mothers, telling me to enjoy how portable my baby was at that age. I just remember thinking they were barmy! Thinking ‘look how much stuff he needs. How is this portable?’ But they were right. He was. I could just pick him up (along with a bulging changing bag) and just go. Anywhere.

I’m sat here listening to these women (one of who has pretty impressive mascara on, and coordinated clothes! Who is this super woman?) and I want to tell them. Yell at them, to enjoy this time. Tell them that whatever they’re doing they’re NOT doing it wrong and to just enjoy it. Enjoy the meet ups, relax in the company of other new mamas and bask in the ignorance of what’s to come. I think perhaps that’s what I miss the most. The ignorance of how hard this journey was going to be.

I could, but I won’t. They wouldn’t listen even if I did. Why would they? I didn’t.

They say first time motherhood, when you have nothing to do but love and look after your baby is wasted on the scared, fearful and unconfident first time mother and there is truth in those words.

So here’s my plea to you. Mama’s enjoy your babies, because they won’t be babies for long.










Advice From The Heart

My New Tattoo

In my late teens I decided I want to rebel. In the mildest manner possible. I was never one for starting a revolution, but I wanted to do the things my parents didn’t want me to do. So I took up smoking, drank heavily on a Friday night, got the top of my ear pierced (I wanted to get my nose done to really piss my dad off but I chickened out!), I occasionally inhaled (ahem!) and I got a tattoo. A tiny star at the top of my arm. The star was taken from the front of a friend’s wallet. I walked into a tattoo shop on Union Street, Plymouth, told them want I wanted and got it done there and then. It cost me a fiver. It wasn’t anything special to anyone else, but to me it ticked a box and actually I really loved it. It’s not the neatest work I’ve ever seen, but do you know, I had it done with all my heart and therefore I’ve never wanted to change it. I also didn’t want another one. It served it’s purpose, I’d been there, done that, so to speak.

Although actually that’s a bit of a lie. I have always thought about having another one. I saw other people’s and admired their creativity and courage. But I was looking for something small, nothing fancy. No names, no frills and flounces. Something that meant something, but nothing too painful. I couldn’t find anything that ticked all those boxes, and I was in no rush, so I let the idea go.

Then I had a baby and pain took on a new level of meaning. Pah! I’ve had my entire abdomen cut in two and a person removed. I got over that! What’s a tattoo compared to getting off the bed after a C-section? But I still couldn’t find anything I liked. I played with the idea of having something designed. Something with more stars (I love stars), possibly intertwined stars? Three intertwined stars to represent me, Ben and Oscar? Hmmm. Maybe. But it did get me thinking about the concept of family. My family. And that got me thinking about who I was now, what that meant and about my place in the scheme of things.

And then I realised, that no matter what happens in life, it will never be just me, ever again. Even if my family were to leave me, in any way, I will never just be me again, because I have given birth.

I will always be, regardless of what happens, Me and …….

And that’s when I realised what I had to have.

Me & .....

Me & …..


Monthly Monday Melfie – February 2015

So it’s a day late (so sorry Elfa) but here’s is this month’s Monday Melfie post.

The first pictures were taken all thought out January, with a real effort taken to remember to include myself in our digital records! The middle one is my favourite as it shows Oscar walking around holding my hand. This is a really big step for him and this trip to the farmers market was an absolute triumph because of it.


This is second picture is really special to me. We took the sides off Oscar’s cot over Christmas and ever since he’s refused to nap in his bed as he did is his cot. I knew this might be the case and was totally prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for, was that over the last month he would take to having his nap on the sofa, or more to the point on me. It’s something he hasn’t done since he was a tiny baby. Yes, it means I don’t get as much done as when he napped in his cot, but I wouldnt change it for the world. He’s growing up so fast (he turns three in 8 weeks) and how much longer will he choose to sleep cwtched up on his mama? So I’m making the most of each and every time. Knowing each and every time could be the last.


Im joining in the #monthlymondaymelfie run by the lovely Elfa over at Californian Mum in London.

Californian Mum in London

Wicked Wednesdays – 21st January 2015

My son has a new game. It’s sooooo much fun.

He pulls me on to the sofa and insists I wail “Help Mama!” and “Stuck!”


Whilst he climbs over me.


‘Luckily’ my husband was there to capture the game for posterity.


Don’t worry I got my own back.


Help Dadddy!

I’m joining in the wonderfully wicked Brummymummyof2‘s link up #WickedWednesdays


Speak up…..

As you probably know, my boy has just turned 2. He’s strong and active and bright and gorgeous.

And he is yet to speak.

Now before you rush off to tell me that you know someone who didn’t speak til they were three or it’s because he’s a boy or because he’s so active he doesn’t have time to talk, I’ve heard it. Thank you. Really. But I have.

I can break it down into two reasons why this lack of speech is bothering me.

The first, and probably the most difficult, is that his lack of speech is eminently frustrating. For both of us. When he was a baby and couldn’t make himself understood he just cried. That was a bummer, but I could try a number of things and usually got to the solution eventually. Also his needs were much less complex. He wanted ‘food’. He didn’t want pirate biscuits, not breadsticks, in a red bowl not a plate, in the garden not the lounge. He now knows exactly what he wants and he can’t tell me. I can have a guess, based on time of day, where we are, simple hand gestures (he doesn’t really point, more throws his arm in the general direction and opens and closes his little fist) but chances are I’m not going to quite get it. Which can lead to anything from a “Uh” and a pushed away item to a full on screaming tantrum. This sucks for both of us.

The second is much more selfish. He never calls me. About a year ago, he would, if he was very ill, call Maaaamaaaa in a crying whingey tone. That was fine. Now I don’t even get that. For a short spell if I asked him to say Mama (at about 18 months) he would. But he never called me. He calls for me, with various noises none of which are words. But he never calls me Mama. Or Mummy or Mum or even a specific sounds reserved only for me. And he wont repeat the word, or any word, now either. And that sucks for me. It doesn’t bother him. Maybe it’s because I’m usually the one who answers his calls regardless. Maybe he doesn’t feel the need to give me a name cos I’ll come whatever he shouts. But it’s starting to make me just a little bit sad.

So here’s the deal. I know he’s only just two. I know some children speak later than others. I know he’s a boy. I know he’s super active. I know he’ll get there. I know! I know all these things rationally. My rational head is telling me them all the time. But it doesn’t help the emotional side of me. Does it ever? The rational side had him up the doctors last week. I thought it best to rule out any rational reasons early on, you know, like maybe there’s a physical reason he’s behind with his speech? I went to get him checked for the toddler condition Glue Ear, a build up of fluid in the ear which makes everything sound like you’ve got your fingers in your ears. It’s very common and extremely treatable. Well the poor doctor was treated to a view of Oscar’s evil twin when he tried to look in his ears! Yowsa! And despite all that, he said he couldn’t see. We’ve been given olive oil drops to clear any build up of wax and told to come back in a week or so. As you can imagine, that’s proving a riot every evening 😉 and we still don’t have an answer on this front.

The other thing that’s got me in a flap I rationally know I don’t need to be in, is that now he’s two, he’s due his Two Year development check. I stopped going to the health visitor weigh ins when he was 10 months old (apart from one time a few months ago when I went with a friend to give her support. Those poor, glassy eyed new mothers, burnt out from lack of sleep staring in horror at my great big galumphing son! “You poor dears” I felt like saying “yes you too will have a terror like this one day Mwahahahaha!”) and I haven’t really thought about it since. But my friends are starting to have them and they’ve also told me snippets of where the children are expected to be by now. Physically I think we’re pretty much bang on track. 50th centile I’d say. It’s the talking and the gesturing I’ve got myself in a tizzy over. He “should have” 20-50 words or so by now and be making sentences. At a push he can say “car” (I even got it on film the other day in case he wont perform on the day and I have to prove it!) and “bye” or “bah” as he says it. So yeah I’m worried what they’ll say. We’ve got his check booked for next Tuesday, at home, alone. These checks are normally held in groups, but I’ve asked for a home visit as I know I’m going to want to chew this development question over and I’m not comfortable doing this with strangers. Well obviously I am here, just not face to face! So we’ll see how that goes.

And this is where we find ourselves. In a sort of limbo. Trying not to think about it too much, til something is confirmed. Or not. Glad that we’ve got the ball rolling, but with no idea where it’ll roll to. If anywhere.

Ben asked me the other day, what, about this whole thing I was most worried about. What was I actually worried the health professionals would say. I didn’t have to think.

Because deep down I’m most worried that it’s my fault. That it’s something I’ve done. Or not done.

Because I’m his mama – whether he calls me it or not. And that’s what mamas do.

If you call it a car, that's good enough for me baby

If you call it a car baby, that’s good enough for me!