Small, unseen sacrifices

When you become a momma there are so many things you gain, but let’s be honest you lose a few things too, and lots of things definitely change. Here are six things that I’ve lost, and things that have most certainly changed,  see if you relate to any of them:

1 Clean hair – Pre-children, my hair used to be washed daily, or every 48 hours on the odd occasion. It used to be cared for, trimmed, moisturised with hair masks, lathered with designer conditioner, unfrizzed with the latest serum, tamed with GHD’s, and often treated to luscious hair extensions. Washing my hair was a relaxing, thirty minutes minimum experience. Nowadays my hair is washed once or twice a week with whatever shampoo and conditioner was on offer that month at the supermarket, trimmed once a year at a push, never straightened, and is shoved up in a top knot at least 26 days out of every month. It’s no longer a relaxing experience, it’s a quick one, 90 seconds on a good day, 10 on a bad day, and it is never a solitary experience, ever. I either shower with a two year old, a three year old, Partysaurus Rex, or all three if I’m extra lucky!

2 Three meals a day – Pre-children I had three meals a day, all at the normal times. I had breakfast type food for breakfast, I had lunch type food for lunch, and dinner type food for dinner, sometimes supper. Nowadays I rarely eat breakfast, somedays I forget lunch and only remember around 3pm when I wonder why my heads pounding. Somedays I skip breakfast and lunch, unintentionally, and swap them for a biscuit or whatever my children left on their plates. Most of the time we eat dinner around 8pm, I used to cook it every day, my husband cooks more than me lately.

3 Hot drinks – Before my munchkins arrived I used to drink a lot of hot tea, this is no longer true. Sometimes I boil the kettle seven times before I have chance to make a cup of tea, other times, which is actually all the time, I forget about my tea until it’s unintentional iced tea. When I say forget, what I actually mean is ‘I’m doing one million other things for two tiny little bosses’.

4 Watching the Soaps – Pre-children I used to watch every single soap going, I loved them, knew all the characters, all the story lines, and even got excited waiting for them to come on tv. Nowadays I couldn’t even tell you the last time I watched one, probably 2012 some time. I don’t know any characters, or story lines, or even the days of the week they are on. What I do know is Chugginton story lines, the words to every Sheriff Callie song, the plot of every Disney movie, and every dance move of Zingzillas.

5 Clothes shopping – Before my babies, I loved clothes shopping, a little addiction of mine. I loved sales, I loved grabbing a bargain, I loved rummaging. D1 didnt mind up until 18 months old, he was a quiet little shopper with momma, D2 wasn’t and still isn’t, not at all. If I so much as even turn the pram wheels slightly towards the entrance of a clothes shop D2 yells, and shouts, and moans. Clothes shopping is now only done out of necessity, or better still,online. Clothes shopping used to make me feel warm, and fluffy. Clothes shopping now makes me agitated and sweaty.

6 Phonecalls and texting – Pre-children you could reach me 24/7, and I’d reply pretty much straight away, but today is a different story. I no longer reply quickly, this will be due to various reasons; I read it and forgot to reply, I started to reply but had to prepare a bath, or snack, or wipe a bogey, or clean up spilt milk, I read it and then had to referee a wrestling match in my lounge etc. The list is endless, it’s no reflection on how I view you, it’s me failing at multitasking. I reply, eventually, but my time scale can be up to seven days. And phonecalls?!; they just don’t really exist in my life anymore, I rarely have the time or two hands free to answer a call.

These six things are actually nothing in comparison to the joy my munchkins bring into my life though, but they’ve happened nonetheless. I wouldn’t trade any of it back though, they’re the most important things in my life, and their health and happiness comes before everything, even clean hair!

Keep going momma, you’re not the only one with bogof hair products!

Grazed knees and booboo kisses

Being a momma is a powerful job, even your kisses are magical!

Today my three year old grazed his knee scaling a wall to join some bigger boys. His immediate reaction was “Argh, mummy!!!! Kiss it better, quick!” I don’t hesitate, I don’t care about germs and blood, my momma instinct kicks right in and I kiss that booboo all better.

In that split second of a graze and a booboo kiss you reach deep down into your child’s heart, and that booboo kiss makes him feel secure and safe again after a painful experience. Psychologically, a momma kiss restores his safety, and ensures no emotional damage or fear buries itself in his little heart. A booboo kiss is a very important thing, never overlook it.

Your toddler will never bore of booboo kisses, and your booboo bucket should never run dry. Sometimes ten booboo kisses are required, sometimes only one, but their magic is mighty!

A booboo kiss is a little security blanket each momma should offer their child the very first time they experience physical pain, they’ll soon learn how to regroup their emotions and feel safe again. It not only helps you connect with your child, it also let’s them know how important they are. It let’s them know you’re available to help them whether their need be big or small. Don’t downplay their booboos, their little worlds are not as complicated as our grownup worlds, that invisible booboo bothers them, let it bother you too!

Our toddlers are too little to guard their hearts, so we have a huge responsibility to guard it for them. This doesn’t mean shielding them from all danger, but it does mean acting as a filter for psychologically harmful emotions, and fears. I want my children to run to me, not from me.

Next time your little ones hurt themselves, minor or major, offer a booboo kiss, they work wonders! Love is a powerful healer.

A Typical Day With Two Under Three

I love my children beyond comprehension, they also drain 99% of the life out of me at the same time. How about yours? I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. My children are generally well-behaved, but they’re children. Gorgeous, world changing, life sucking children.

Do you ever wonder what it is like to have two under three years of age? Well, wonder no more! I’m glad they’re now school age!

4:55am – One child needs a wee. He wakes up half the street on his two metre journey to the bathroom.

4:58am – One child jumps back into bed so loud that the other awakens and shouts “I scared!”

5am – They both drift back off to sleep. Daddy continues snoring. Mummy lies awake dreaming of sleep and winning the lottery. Mummy eventually slips into a half-asleep half-awake state.

5:50am – One child cries because he’s hungry and needs a ham sandwich. Mummy convinces him to watch a movie in bed. Mummy’s eyes hurt. The other still snores. Daddy still snores.

6:15am – The awake child is starving and needs food now before Hanger becomes an issue. Mummy fetches a pre- breakfast. The other child still snores. The awake child doesn’t want to eat anymore, he flails. Hanger reigns. We cuddle. We find a TV show. He now eats. Mummy’s fully awake. Daddy snores.

7am – Alarm is snoozed by daddy. Alarm wakes the sleeping child. He gets into bed with mummy, daddy, and his brother. Daddy snores. Daddy gets jumped on and wrestled by the two boys. Daddy is not a morning person.

7:15am – Alarm snoozed again. Both boys are now in full Wreck it Ralph mode. We go downstairs to play. Daddy snores.

7:30am – Breakfast, milk, blanket & movie time. One child doesn’t share. The other child pulls the blanket. My floor is full of butter side down toast and blueberries. One of them stands on the blueberries. We clean up. We play.

8:45 – Daddy leaves for work. The boys play Duplo. My eldest doesn’t want to share the Duplo, he whacks it off his brthers face. His brother slamdunks him. Both boys get sat out. It takes six attempts for them to sit out. This sharing / wrestling goes on until snack time. Mummy is referee. Mummy plays. Mummy tidies. Mummy puts the kettle on to boil.

9:15 – Bath time. One child agrees. One runs naked around the landing. Mummy ignores him. The complient child gets in the bath. He pours half of the water over my floor. He is in trouble. He laughs. I get annoyed. I drag a screaming other child into the bath. I plonk him in. He cries. He moans. He eventually plays. Shampoo time. They scream to have it on, they scream to have it washed off. One cries about the plug dragon getting his toes. One pretends he is the plug dragon. Mummy is soaked. We get dry, all of us, after two games of naked chasing. Mummy gets washed and dressed with an audience.

10:15am – Snack time. Mummy reboils kettle to have that first drink. One child needs a poop. One child wants snack. Poop then snack. Now the other poops. Poop then snack. Boys sit on sofa and eat snack. One child needs a bath from snack. He gets a baby wipe bath.

10:45am – We draw some pictures. One child draws a storm cloud, which he scrunches up and throws off his brothers head, apparently it’s raining on him. Luckily he ignores him and doodles away. One draws around his own hand. The other copies. My youngest tattoos his whole body with a Crayola marker before I can reach him.

11:15 – We build a fort. We watch a few minutes of a movie on the tablet in the fort. We have a tea party in the fort. One child is a dragon and breaks down the fort. The other child breaks down about the dragon. We rebuild the fort which is now a pirate ship. One child becomes a crocodile. He bites his brother on the foot. He cries. My eldest is still a crocodile.

11:45 – Mummy prepares lunch. One wants six ham and six jam sandwiches, the other wants cheese and ice cream. The boys eat a ham sandwich and a salad in their fort. Mummy reboils the kettle for that first drink.

12:30pm – One child makes a Duplo stadium. The other breaks it. He pushes him over. Both boys are warned. They repeat this. One cries for fifty minutes and the other goes on a rampage with the Duplo. Mummy counts to ten.

1pm – We bake cakes. One child sneezes into the mixture. One eats a tablespoon of butter straight out the packet. One cries his cakes aren’t cool enough to decorate yet. We decorate warm cakes. They eat 75% of the cakes. One needs a poop. Mummy reboils the kettle and grabs a biscuit to eat.

1:45pm – Snack time. One wants raisins. One wants chicken. We have yoghurt. Then raisins. No chicken. My youngest now wears a yoghurt face mask and so does my fireplace.

2pm – One drums. One sings Summer in the style of Olaf. One sneezes, it goes everywhere. The other cries because he has bogies on his arm from brother. We use more wipes.

2:10pm – Mummy reboils kettle, throws in some washing, and eats half a banana. One cries for half a banana. One poops.

2:30pm – Playdoh time. One child makes a ship. One eats a playdoh snake. We cut. We roll. We make a whole playdoh happy land village. He still eats the snake.

2:55pm – Mummy boils the kettle for that first drink.

3pm – One wants to play shops. He gets his cash register and trolley. His brother steals his trolley. He screams and throws the cash register. He apologises. His brother wants a kiss. He doesn’t.

3:15pm – Mummy boils the kettle, and makes a drink.

3:30pm – Mummy prepares dinner. Mummy drinks a cold cup of tea. One child cries for carrots and chicken. Dinner cooks away. They have a 15 minute technology chill. One wants the game that his brother is playing. He snatches the tablet and throws it over the sofa. One cries. One gets sat out. He cries. Mummy wants to cry.

4pm – Dinner time. One refuses to eat. The other eats his in one go and tries to steal his brothers. One knocks over his milkshake. Mummy cleans up. Pudding time. One child needs to be hosed down.

4:45pm – Mummy tries to clean up after dinner. Both kids throw the sofa cushions into a heap and shout “soft play!”. Mummy says otherwise. Mummy says otherwise again. Nobody listens. Mummy now doesn’t care less about her sofa. We have a soft play session. They wrestle. There are tears.

5:30pm – Chill out and pyjama time. Nobody chills. Nobody wants pyjamas on. Daddy is home. More wrestling, now with three children.

6pm – Bedtime. Nobody wants milk. One child has to be held down again for his teeth to be brushed. There’s bed jumping, screaming, wrestling, dribbling, sweaty boys, and tears. We persevere. Two boys snore.

6:30pm – Mummy sometimes falls asleep until morning. Daddy plays his Xbox.

Then cue getting up at 30 minute intervals until morning.

How does yours compare? Are we normal? I doubt it!

 

Do You Encourage Your Children Enough?

Do you encourage your children enough?

Being a momma can be such a tiring job. Don’t get me wrong, I am besotted with my babies, and I’d sacrifice my life for them, but it is an exhausting role being a momma, and it’s ok to feel like that. It’s ok to mentally pack your suitcase, it’s ok to dream of walking out the door, it’s ok to cry into your pillow every once in a while, and it’s ok to have regrets; you’re only human! What’s not ok is venting our own hang-ups, disappointments, annoyances, tiredness, anger, hurts, and negativity onto our precious babies.

We all have those moments, those outbursts we’d rather forget – the moments we turn into a Momster; you woke late, the kids woke grumpy, the iron blew up, the milk was off, the kids wiped a bogey on your clean clothes, milk got spilt, you have a headache, there’s tears over an unsticky sticker, there’s throwing, kicking, screaming, pushing, Cheerios are all over the sofa, nobody wants to get dressed, poopy nappies, and stress levels rocket. In those moments I try to stay cool and calm, and sometimes I do, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I yell, my frustration and tiredness take over, but one thing I never do is belittle my children. I never want to chisel away any of their confidence or self esteem. A good self esteem is one of the most important things you can nurture in your children.

Helping your child understand they’re not a failure, just because something they did failed, will give them a solid foundation to base their future upon. When they cry and yell because they’re frustrated they’ve failed at their favourite game, try offering your help and reassure them in trying again, instead of getting annoyed at the whining and the tears. Show them how to handle difficult emotions.

When your child sees you looking in the mirror, never criticise yourself, affirm who you are, they will then learn to affirm themselves. This is a key ingredient in leading a happy life.

I tell my children countless times a day that I love them, and this will always be the case. I snuggle them, I hold them, I high-five them, I tell them they’re the best things since sliced bread. They love being loved; it melts stubbornness, it heals hurts, it wipes away tears.

I get tired of hearing the way some parents talk to their children, and I have to bite my lip. My biggest peeve is hearing a toddler being scolded with “Who the hell do you think you are?!” I mean what kind of stupidity is this? Who do they think they are? Chances are with comments like this they think they’re a nobody. This corrodes self worth, even that of a toddler.

Our words bring life and death. We even have to discipline with love. Disciplining your child isn’t about making sure they know who’s boss and making them feel like a nobody and unimportant. Discipline is about showing them which behavioural path they need to choose, and the best teacher is Mr Example; they watch everything you do and hear everything you say so be very selective.

Our little rascals need affirmation constantly. They need praise; good listening, tidying, being thoughtful, good manners, artwork, trying something new. Praise goes a long way in raising a child who believes in themselves. It’s much easier to build self worth into a child than it is in an adult. I make a conscious effort all day long to praise my children for both big and little things. They’re little faces beam with pride when they know mummy noticed how particularly good they were. I want them to know they’re good enough just as they are, and always will be.

Take the extra few minutes for that second book they are nagging you to read, let them lick the spoon then dip it proudly back into the cake mixture, let them have a water fight in the garden, let them paint each other then throw them in the bath, just let them be. Live a life full of more yes’ than no’s. Live a life of love, lots and lots of love, it conquers all things.