This meme that Clare sent me on Facebook made me laugh so hard, for a few reasons.
Firstly, because im actually 7 years old and i laugh at very simple things, and secondly because its so true.
I find that at this moment in my life with Sofia (Our 2 week old baby girl) im quite lucky, and why you may ask? well the answer is simple, boobs! Clare is breastfeeding Sofia so this means that i dont have to get up during the night and do the dreaded bottle feeding!
its not to say that i havent been up once or twice with a bottle of breastmilk, but Sofia just refuses to take the bottle full stop.
Memes and more sleep aside, this made me sit down and think about breastfeeding in a little more depth.
We have flirted with breastfeeding our two boys before but them simply refused and preferred the formula, but this led to reflux, baby vomit, and trapped wind and so on, things that were just awful, and especially when its your first child, can be stressful.
But this time, its different, its more relaxed, theres no vomit, theres no reflux, theres no standing in the kitchen making bottles at 3am and coating my arm with milk to make sure the temperature is right!
Sofia is calm, she lets out one or two small cries to indicate she is hungry, she feeds until she is full and content. She is getting more nutrients than she could ever possibly get from formula AND ITS NATURAL!
Clare and I talked about breastfeeding all during this pregnancy and i fully support it, but initially, i was feeling weird, its almost like a stigma than some men have! but being fully on board with it, i do envy how close Clare and Sofia have become because of this, an important thing in the early weeks of both of their lives!
But here in the UK there seems to be an issue surrounding public breastfeeding, and even social experiments have been carried out to highlight the issue! I even seen a facebook video where a lady feeding her baby was subjected to verbal abuse from two men, and another fella stood up for her and physically man handled the two abusers from the train at the next stop, unfortunately they got the guy arrested for assault i believe, but this was subsequently quashed in court.
In an instance God forbid this happened to Clare i would certainly stand up for her, and if i wasnt there i would certainly hope someone else would step up.
and ive taken some benefits from the NHS website which i have the link for you to look at:
So guys, if your partner is or wants to breastfeed, be supportive, be strong and help her! if she wants to change to formula, be assertive that she is doing a wonderful job, and encourage her to continue without being forceful!
I’ve never really opened up about my fears for having 2 children under 2, mainly because no one has asked how I feel about becoming a mum of 2 under 2 and another reason is because I’m the sort of person who keeps things locked away until it fizzles me down and someone eventually asks me, “what’s up” but even then I make the issue as vague as possible to avoid the inevitable pity.
I’m not sure whether it’s all these extra hormones that are making me fear the birth of baby S more; probably is, but I just wanted to share with you how I feel now so that, if there are any other mummies out there, that are expecting their 2nd baby soon, maybe you can share this post with them so hopefully this can help them and give them a sense of relief knowing they’re not alone when it comes to worrying over the littlest things.
Getting out and about with 2 under 2
This has been a constant fear of mine since I first found out that I was pregnant with my second baby, luckily we have a double pram now thanks to my very generous mum, but what’s worrying me is if I’ll be able to push the tandem pram up the massive hill which we live on, and if I’ll be able to manage to get on and off public transport, since me nor my partner can drive, I know it’s going to be more of a struggle but we’ll just have to persevere until Logan is old enough to be able to walk around without the pushchair, as he currently still has 1 nap a day.
Will my toddler’s sleep regress?
Another fear I have is L’s sleeping, he currently has a great routine, he sleeps through all of the night pretty much and we don’t hear of him until he wakes up at 6/6.30 am and if we’re lucky 7 am. What’s worrying me is if his sleep messes up when baby S arrives, will he start night waking again if/when hears baby crying etc. It’s going to a lot more difficult for me to see to both kiddies especially when it’s just me getting up as rob will be working most mornings (after paternity leave). Please, can someone reassure me that this isn’t the case and he will still sleep through! >.<
Small age gap
An obvious concern I have, as with any age gap i suppose has its pros and cons, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that having 2 children closer together is more hard work than having 2 children who are older in age, but I guess every family is different and I may find that i love having the closer age gap, i mean it was my plan initially anyway, we’re not getting any younger are we. L will be about 19 months old when baby S arrives, so I’m hoping that he is a bit more understanding by then, because at the moment he doesn’t understand the current situation with mummies growing belly.
Being a young (ish) couple with a toddler is not that expensive really, as long as he’s fed and has new trainers when he needs them and the other expenses like nappies and wet wipes, it’s quite manageable. But the fears come when I start overthinking the whole situation, can we afford to have another baby? Then I remember, i have kept a lot of L’s baby clothes so that’s saved us a heck of a lot of money in the long run. The only things we really need to purchase for baby S is the larger more expensive items like a breast pump and Moses basket/baby bean bag as i really would like one of them for when baby naps during the day, and it’s quite transportable, so if we go to my mums then he can nap on the bean bag instead of lugging around the tandem pram.
Coping with having a toddler and a newborn
Something else that has been playing on my mind is, how will I cope with having a toddler and a newborn? The fear of Rob going back to work after paternity leave is too much to think about right now, and I’m just praying that we get into some sort of routine before he goes back to work because the first day being a solo mum of 2 is going to hit me like a tonne of bricks i can imagine. What do I do when baby S is crying and L wants me at the same time? Will I be able to do anything for myself, e.g. make a brew, or even eat/cook etc.
Will my toddler still love me when newborn arrives
This has been a fear of mine for a while too, not that I’ve read a horror story on the internet or anything. And I’m sure L will love his new baby brother, right? Or am i being too optimistic? I just hope that L doesn’t start getting jealous, or hitting/smacking me or the baby to vent his frustration that he won’t be the only child anymore. I will try to avoid this by getting L involved with baby S as much as possible and trying to play with L while baby naps, and will be a bonus if i get them both to nap at the same time! #parentingwin
On top of all the above fears, this has to be the one that i’m worried/anxious about the most, because it’s a completely new concept to me as i bottle fed L, so In that respect it’ll be like im a new mummy all over again, and that’s terrifying! I’m scared that I won’t be producing enough milk or the latch is wrong every time, and end up with mastitis. I fear that Logan will need me at night when i’m feeding baby S, is it ok to send daddy in to see to L if he has work next day? I fear that people will judge me and give me dirty looks if i’m feeding out in public, especially the first time, that’s the worst part for me, not knowing what to expect!
All in all, after all is said, I am more excited about the arrival of our second baby boy. I’m looking forward to the bond that L and S will share (once L has warmed up to the baby ofcourse). I’m excitied for all our future family adventures, days out and the first smiles and giggles, and more importantly i’m excited to become a family of 4 (5 if you count the cat!) lol
I hope you all enjoyed reading this, and if you are expecting another little bundle soon, i’d love to hear your thoughts, do you share any of the same fears? And if you have recently become a family a mummy/daddy of 2 under 2 how are you finding it? What are you’re greatest struggles so far?
Parenting is hard. Really hard. There are up's and down's. We do so much to protect our children, from the moment they are in our belly till our last breath. Unfortunately there are some things that are out of our control. I've read a few stories recently where parents have lost their children. Each time you read a story like that your heart breaks, but then after becoming a parent and reading something like that it hits you. it hits you hard. You can never feel what these parents go through, but you understand. We are parents. Parents who are reading every parents worst fear. I never know what to say if someone tells me about a loss of a child, its such a taboo subject, but it shouldn't be. I sometimes feel it best to listen, listen to them remember and live every memory again. We lost our first baby at 12 weeks pregnant. We were heartbroken, but it's not until you go through something like that, that you realise that it happens to so many women, yet you never hear of it unless you have physically gone through it. I don't get it? I remember a work colleague had lost her baby to cot death at 4 months old, i came back to work following our missed miscarriage and she was the only one that came upto me and say "i can't imagine what you are going through, i am so sorry" i just stared at her, my heart sunk. After what she had been through she was so compassionate, why? because she is a mum. A mum to a beautiful angel.
We were blessed and went on to have two perfect baby boys. Again, you don't realise how lucky you are to be able to conceive and carry a child naturally. We have friends who are going through their second round of IVF, as they were telling me what they have to go through, a pang of guilt ran through me. Guilt that i have been lucky to fall pregnant with my two boys naturally, that Grayson wasn't planned and he just happened, and i feel like shit when i say that to people, especially people who struggle to fall. I think end up sitting there thinking about how i take it for granted. I feel selfish. I know my friend will probably read this and think I'm a wally, but my heart goes out to them, every single person who has to go through so much for something i sometimes take for granted on a daily basis.
I'm not sure what the reason for this post is, it's just something that has played on my mind.
There is so much judgement around parenting. It's so wrong and puts so much pressure and anxiety on mums. Whether you had a natural birth or c-section, whether you bottle feed of breast feed, co-sleep or put baby in their cot, jar feed or make all your dinners from scratch, use organic food or freezer food, rememeber this. You are perfect. You have come into parenthood blind sighted - no one prepares you for what happens once you get your baby home. Your children adore you, you are their queens. As long as you and your children are happy thats all that matters. Screw society, do what's right for you and your baby. Not anyone else.
Anyone can judge from the outside, but until their living it, their opinion is nothing.
I am a stay at home mum. I has two boys aged 4 and 2 and a crazy cockapoo. Married to my soul mate. Welcome to our fun parenting life, follow us for all our ups and downs. Read more from me at:
My story is probably very different from yours and you’re probably feeling things right now that I never had to face. You see, River wasn’t diagnosed with Down syndrome until he was 6 months old, it was missed by medical professionals and strangely I often feel very grateful for that. I feel that way because throughout my pregnancy and for the newborn baby period I was just incredibly happy. I wasn’t overloaded with scary medical advice, or told that my baby would have a terrible life, or that it was unfair on the siblings, or that I should have a termination. Nobody told me they were sorry. I suspected River had Down syndrome when he was born, but I was assured by doctors and midwives that he was fine. Even after that I think I still knew deep down, but I clung to the fact that everyone told me otherwise and put it to the back of my mind. Or at least I tried to. Either way, for the first 6 months of River’s life he was just my beautiful newborn baby, without a diagnosis and I fell head over heels in love with him.
I always wonder whether I’m the right person to be dishing out advice to new parents, whether they learn during pregnancy or at birth. It may sound a bit strange but I often feel a bit left out, a bit on the sidelines because I missed out on such a huge part of having a child with Down syndrome. I never had that life shattering moment of sadness, that moment where you feel like your life will never be happy again. I just didn’t feel it, and the only thing I can put it down to is the fact that I had already gotten to know my son and just knew it was all going to turn out ok. And I guess that because I had suspected and known deep down that River had Down syndrome, that I’d already in some way processed those feelings without them really bubbling to the surface.
But I do understand. I do understand the sadness you feel and the fear that you have, because I know I would have felt exactly the same way. I know I would have felt devastation, I know I would have felt angry and I know I would have felt unable to cope or see a happy ending. I know I would have felt lost, not knowing which way to turn and how to make things ok again. I know that I would have felt like a failure, that I’d failed my family and that I had failed my new baby. I even know that I would have felt guilty for feeling everything that I was feeling.
What I thought I knew couldn’t have been more wrong
I would have pictured Down syndrome and imagined the outdated and false stereotypical vision that so many of us within society believe. In my mind I would have seen a lonely adult, with no friends, old fashioned clothing, with no understanding and always with their elderly mother. It would have been so wrong and now I can see how views of Down syndrome within society couldn’t be further from the truth, but I’m being honest and that’s how I would have felt. I would have pictured my son as a man without any type of ‘normal’ existence, a man who could never feel true feelings, and a man who would never have anything to offer society or who society would never accept. I would have seen a bleak and grey existence for the life I had wanted to create so much, and I would have wondered if it would be kinder for him to never have existed at all.
It breaks my heart that I know I would have felt this way, and I know for sure that I never would have pictured River as a man who could lead a fulfilling life. I can now tell you though, that everything I never would have been able to picture for my son, I hand on heart picture it all for him now. With honesty I can tell you that when I think of River’s future I see him with some form of independence, with a circle of friends, with a job, with hobbies, with passions, with ambitions and with love. I envision a school life full of childhood friendships and an ability to learn along with a love of it. I can see a life filled with travel, a life filled with adventure and a life full of substance.
I’m ashamed to say it now, but before I knew what I know now, I never would have thought my son’s life could be meaningful, or anything other than just sad and disappointing. I can tell you without any uncertainty that I never would have been able to imagine the feisty, determined, funny, cheeky, sweet, loving, adventurous, fearless, smart, mischievous, social, amazing and totally gorgeous little boy we have been blessed with. I never would have imagined our River.
I know you’re feeling a huge sense of loss – I get it
I may not have the initial diagnosis in common with you, but something I’m sure you are feeling is a sense of loss. I know as I felt this loss myself, and I can only compare it as a sense of mourning for the life that you had pictured in your mind for your child. A sense of mourning the life you thought they were going to have. That life that you had let yourself imagine doesn’t exist anymore and it’s a deep feeling of sadness, it can even be compared to a death. We’ve lost the life that we thought our child would live, it’s just not going to happen and that is hard to bare. We all do it as parents, picture a life of milestones, education, careers, marriage, children, etc. We picture our future grandchildren and the life that society has decided we should all lead. We all have our children’s lives practically mapped out before they are even born and when we feel like it’s been ripped away from us it hurts. It hurts and it takes time for those feelings of loss to heal, it takes time for us to move on from those emotions.
What I can tell you though is this. You will move on and it is all going to be ok, in fact, it is going to be incredible. The loss you are feeling right now will pass. The sadness, the hurt, the fear and the pain will all pass and you will see a light. You will get to know your baby and you will soon come to realize what a blessing you have been given. You will soon learn that you are one of the lucky few, and that your child is exactly what you never even knew you wanted or needed. You will get to a point where you won’t want to change it even if you could.
It won’t be easy, but the best things never are
I’m not for one minute saying it’s going to be easy, it won’t be. You will face hurdles and barriers, and you will have days where it all feels too much. You will worry about your child’s future and you will worry about their acceptance within society. You will worry about their health and you may face dark periods where your child faces illness. You may feel frustrations regarding development and you will without a doubt feel a frustration about the struggles of receiving services they are entitled to. But I promise you this, those worries and fears are nothing compared to the sheer joy your child will bring to your life. You will feel an overwhelming sense of pride and admiration, and you will become their biggest supporter. Your child will show you the world through new eyes and you will become a better person, becoming more accepting of others and really seeing a person for who they really are. You will embrace differences and you will want to teach others to do the same, you will want to make a better society for your family. You will become stronger than you ever thought you could be, you will find a voice that you never knew you had and you will fight with every last breath you have to create a better world for your child. You will not be able to imagine your life any other way, or yourself on any other journey in life. Most of all you will feel lucky, and you will wonder why the hell you ever felt so lost or so sad.
So New Mum, my advice to you is this
Feel exactly what you need to feel and feel it without guilt. This is a journey for you, and it’s not an easy one. You need to feel these things in order to process them, deal with them and come out the other side. But you will come out the other side, you will get stronger and your life will be beautiful. Your child will shock you, teach you and you will burst with pride every single day. Your life will be filled with love, laughter and adventure and you will adore your child. You will love your child, you will love your life and you will love Down syndrome. You may not believe me right now, but one day you will love Down syndrome. It is part of your child, and it is the part that will show you what life is really about and what is really important. Believe me when I tell you this, one day it will be a part that you wouldn’t want to change in a million years.
Good luck and Love Always
From a Mum who is a little further into this wonderful journey.
The World Is a Scary Place – Everything affects you when you’re a parent, you worry for your children more than ever & you will do all that you can to keep them safe.
Being a mum is bloody hard work – Its not easy, and anybody who says it is (is lying) Whether you’re a mum of one, two or even ten… parenting is hard!
Never Underestimate the healing power of a hug – If you’re ever feeling down, a hug from your little one will make everything better. There has been a few times where I have just broken down in tears & a cuddle from my little girl has made the world such a better place to be. Parenting isn’t easy, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
Parenting is not all sunshine & rainbows – I hate to say it but quite often its shitty nappies, sweat and tears.. There will be days where you just don’t want to parent anymore, you will be running round the house like a crazy lady packing bags & getting everything ready to go to baby group for your child to do the biggest poonami ever which not only means that they’ve ruined their brand new outfit, but its also made you late for babygroup.. Sometimes its just easier not to bother, have a pyjama day & chill out!
You will probably find yourself crying over the most ridiculous things – But that’s okay, parenting isn’t easy.
You need to take wetwipes everywhere you go – We’ve all done it, we’ve all braved it and gone out without the changing bag.. Note to all new mums – Don’t do it! It is 99.9% guaranteed that the one time you don’t take it because its just a ‘quick pop to the shops’ your child will leak through their nappy and you will wish you had taken the changing bag in the first place.
The Mum guilt is unreal – You will worry that you haven’t spent enough time with your little ones even though you’ve given them your full attention for most of the day. This happens to me all the time, I will spend a whole day entertaining my 1 year old but as soon as she’s gone to bed, I miss her like crazy and start to wonder if I’ve spent enough time with her.
You will love more intensely than you ever thought was possible. – This is true, so very true. I have never felt a love like this before it really is amazing.
When your child spills something on the floor, don’t shout & scream – just say ‘uh oh’ mop it up and carry on.. even if you did just spend all morning cleaning those floors. There has been a few times now where I have steam mopped the floors, blitzed the kitchen etc & my daughter has thrown a yoghurt on the floor or poured a drink everywhere.. It’s almost like they do it to test you.
You probably won’t pee in peace ever again – Sorry, but its true. When your baby is young, good luck trying to leave the room without them screaming – the amount of times I used to have to take the bouncer into the bathroom with me just so that I could have a wee without my child screaming the house down. And I hate to say it but when they grow into a toddler you still won’t be peeing in peace, they’ll follow you everywhere.. and even if you close the door behind you I can assure you that they will be their banging on the door waiting for you to finish..
Is parenthood different to what you imagined?
Yes definitely, I don’t think you can ever really prepare yourself for becoming a parent.. You can try but nothing will prepare you completely. I have always wanted to be a mummy, growing up I was surrounded by baby dolls and I always loved looking after the other children in the family. Before I had my little girl all I ever saw pregnancy as was cute and exciting.. in which it is, but its not that easy. When I had my daughter I soon realised that the reality of being a mum is actually quite different to what I had thought.
Absolutely nothing goes to plan, pregnancy being one of them. There’s not really much point in a birth plan if you progress as quickly as I did (I was 10cm and already pushing when I arrived at the hospital) Weaning being another, I thought it would be plain sailing but Alyssia was diagnosed with a CMPA which made things 1000% harder. I was naïve, I thought that being a mum would be easy (lol) but in actual fact its bloody hard work.. I appreciate my own mum a lot more now. I thought that having children would make relationships so much better and we would be ‘family goals’.. I mean yeah, It has made us stronger in the long run and I love him more than ever now but at first I resented him so much and the tension between us at times has been unreal. If you want to learn about somebody else’s flaws – have a baby with them. Don’t have a good nights sleep for maybe a year? And If you are still in love after that, you know its real haha. Your sweet baby wont always be sweet, they’ll grow up one day and have a meltdown in the middle of a shopping centre. Parenting is hard work at times and anybody that says it isn’t is lying..
Thanks for reading,
A little Bit About Mummy & Liss:
I'm Zoe, 19 years old and a young mama to Alyssia Grace. I run a parenting & lifestyle blog over at www.mummyandlissblog.com where I talk about all things mummy, toddler & baby related and love sharing my experiences as a young mum. I run my own guest post series called the #YoungMumsProject and you can find me on facebook, twitter & instagram.
It’s not all doom and gloom when you become a Mum, you know. People will bang on about how little sleep you’ll be getting and how you’re always spending money on the kids instead of yourself... Well, I guess they’re somewhat true but, they’re only negative things if you let them be negative things.
Since having Millie, I’ve probably taken it upon myself to do more things for myself than what I did before I had her. I started blogging properly when I was pregnant with Millie, documenting my pregnancy and sharing her birth story too. Since then, I’ve dabbled in many things to try and give me something else to focus on and something that is just for me! I even did a degree with the Open university and I graduated last year!!
Some may call me crazy and I’ve always got people asking me ‘How do you do it!?’ and the simple answer is, I do it because I want to.
I have a few hobbies that have stuck with me over the years, and since having Mylo, have taken up a few more too. As mentioned, I have had my blog, www.notyouraverage.co.uk for nearly 5 years now - it’s my place to zone out, my way to be creative and talk about things I want to talk about, being with a 4 year old and a 7 month old all day is draining and it’s my escape sometimes. Knowing I can tap tap away or sit with a coffee and read through posts is relaxing to me and I really enjoy it.
Along with writing my blog, I also have my own handmade earring business, Pixel Stones. I make and sell these earrings to friends and family and it’s just something to give me a little bit of pocket money and I actually find it really relaxing! Make sure you take a look at the website.
I also am a Younique rep - Younique is a makeup brand which specifically is sold by reps all over the world. I joined Younique 2 years ago now because I just really liked the makeup and thought it’d be a nice way to get some extra cash in. 2 years later, I still love it and all of the products and it’s actually paid for a lot of Christmas presents! I also love the meaning behind why Younique was founded and it’s to help and support, including raising money, for victims of sexual violence. You can read more about it on their website if you like.
Don’t get me wrong - I’m super busy but that’s how I like it. I like knowing I have things to do during the day and the sense of achievement is fab. There’s nothing better than knowing there are some things out there just for you - no kids involved, but just a chance for you to be yourself. Having children was always something I knew I wanted but perhaps it just happened a little quicker than expected and is why I like to try and stay true to myself and ensure not everything is about the kids (even though it probably is!).
Do you have any hobbies or would you rather lap up parenthood whilst you can?”