Tag Archives: parenting

Lunch at Miller and Carter.

Hello all, I thought since I’ve slacked so bad on my blog, I will catch up with approximately one hundred posts just so you all can be assured that I am in fact, alive. I say I’ve been busy, I have but I have also got to have some fun filled weekends in the haze of the busy days and long nights.

For my Mothers 51st birthday on the 14th, I decided to treat her to a special lunch out, often my mother is the one who treats me, takes care of me and takes me out for lunch or a coffee trip, so I thought for a change, I’d do the treating. I booked into a local steakhouse and arranged to meet with my Mum on the Saturday morning following an eyelash appointment.

True to form, we had a browse of the shops and arrived earlier than expected for lunch – we were actually locked out. I knew we should have had a fly cup before headed, damn. Anyway, a short walk after, we were allowed access and greeted by friendly staff members who took our coats and had us seated at a window table.

What was best, the wine came fast, just what we needed to wind down and chill out on a Saturday with. My Mum is my best friend so most things we do together and I like it that way. We shortly ordered mains – I opted for a steak burger and Mum went with schnitzel. Both immediately impressed with the food and the service, I knew my Mum was feeling good and that is exactly how I wanted her birthday to be. A day just for Mum to feel loved and appreciated as unfortunately, often we forget to say how much we love our family and appreciate them. There is no excuse frankly, but all too often we take those we hold close for granted.

Since becoming a Mother myself, I am determined to treat life with more gratitude, be more sure of my surroundings and try to be more focused on those close. Time is short and life can pass all too quickly. I think taking time out to enjoy and appreciate those we love is the most important gift you can give to someone as after all time is precious. Anyway, enough soppiness. Following our mains we were kindly offered the dessert menu which we glazed over with awe but truthfully couldn’t handle as we had full tummies from our mains and were patiently waiting our daily flat white.

Much to my surprise, and Mum’s for that matter, our lovely waitress very kindly returned with a Birthday profiterole plate for my Mum, complete with chocolate sauce spelling out ‘Happy Birthday’ – a lovely gesture and only added to the excellent service which we had received. My mum was delighted if slightly embarrassed and I was just glad to see her smile so widely, a lovely treat and proves that the little things go a long way. Miller and Carter , I will always look upon this trip out fondly and will definitely return in the near further.

Euan?…it is my Birthday soon.. hint, hint.

After lunch we met with my sister and went for a further browse before calling it a day and grabbing our long sought after coffees. It’s pumpkin spice season after all. I headed home early and left my Mum and Sister behind so that I could spend time with my own family, soon after arriving home we all snuggled up and had a rare old snooze, just what was needed after a long day touring the town and socialising. The older I become, the more unable I am to cope with long periods of social affairs, the days of going out and probably not even coming home for a day at a time due to having too much fun partying with friends are truly over – give me family naps and 9pm bed times any day.

As I finish up my post my eyes are escaping to the back of my head, true to form before 10pm. These 5am starts, long days on your feet and Mother duties really take toll. This girl needs a magic face serum, some anti ageing pills and oh, how about energy? What is that? Ashamedly, I can’t even stay up and have a wee gin with my Husband – he is probably rolling his eyes in the next room at my poor social abilities yet again. Anyway, not to pass my internal curfew, I am off to catch some sleep. Your girl has a hot chocolate date with her Mum tomorrow, better catch some beauty sleep.

Valentine’s Day planning.

Before leaving on a work venture for the best part of January, Euan surprised me with news of a Valentine’s weekend trip to Glasgoe for some shopping, live music and good food. Perfect, I was..I mean,I am delighted.

As a couple, we love Glasgow and make time to visit yearly. It’s a City where we have so many memories and essentially fell in love in the first place. From drinking grappa at Jamie Oliver’s, to karaoke with strangers in a pub I’ll never remember – we always have a blast whike visiting.

Visits these days tend to be more tame than a wild night out but it suits our lifestyle just fine. We enjoy dining out, having a browse of the shop selection and going to music gigs. In this instance, we are off to see CHVRCHES which I am really excited for. A long time fan since the first album, I’m hoping for good things and have high expectations.

My Husband is pretty good with booking gigs for us to go to and even more so with his hotel selection, we’ve not stayed anywhere terrible yet and we have stayed lots of places over the years. I’m really keen to go back to Glasgow once more and look forward to catching up with all our favourite spots and shops (ahem, urban outfitters).

A trip away just the two of us on the most Romantic weekend of the year will be perfect. It’s so important to take time out together and remember why you fell in love. It’s nice to be able to get out from Parent duties, let our guards down and get a bit of time to relax and enjoy a nice cocktail or two.

To eat alone while at a restaurant without having to pick up spoons from the ground, wipe food from your clothes or have your child pull at your hair in a plea to escape from the high chair is something to take full advantage of. We don’t often head out for meals at home as the reality of having a toddler and sitting out to eat, is not a very pleasant experience. You rush food, you get stressed and all bothered and to be honest you leave wondering why you ever thought it would be a good idea, or at least on my case this is how it goes.

As we head to Glasgow soon , I’m looking for an insight on restaurants to try, pubs to spend some time sitting in and even cocktail bars to sample if the mood takes us! I don’t know how we will work out way through everything I would like to do in just a short twenty four hours but, I’m keen to give it a shot and make the most of the time we have.

Who said I can’t drink ten cocktails In ten minutes? Right? Well, that said I can barely drink one in a hour so yes, ten would be a push but who knows, of I’m feeling it, I’ll really make a go of it. Anyway, any recommendations of haunts to stop by for a nice meal or some leisurely drinks please do send your recommendations my way, I’d love to hear them.

We like anything quirky, something with a spin to it and a relaxed but plesant atmosphere. Nothing too busy nor too loud (I am not a teenager anymore and crowds bother me). Certainly no place where you spend half an hour queuing to get your orders in, we don’t have the time for that.

Here’s hoping I can pull together a light intinery or magical places to visit and enjoy some live music in the flesh. What’s on the cards for your Valentine’s Day?

Keren.

Eleanor’s First Birthday.

IMG-20180831-WA0013Firstly, I’m going to apologise for my lack of online presence, it’s been such a busy eight weeks and to round it all off, the past two weeks have been full of celebrations and joy. Celebrating all things family and all thegood in life. With a lot of blogging to catch up on and some spare time to kill on the drive back to Amsterdam from Bruges, I’ll begin with the first in the run up of events. Eleanor’s first birthday, one of the best and most exciting days I have ever had. What a buzz around a First birthday, we had an absolute blast and I’m now more in love than ever.

Yes, you read correct, on the 31st of August my baby Daughter turned one and I don’t quite know how to handle that. A year has past so soon, so sudden and I’m not sure that I am ready to let go a little more. Motherhood, It’s a process and it’s an emotional challenge. It can be lonely, it can be scary but most of all  it can be so, so rewarding and the love that consumes you is something quite euphoric. My baby girl has brought so much to the World that I live in within in such a short year and had made the process of becoming a Mother so very easy for me. She leads the way, and I follow.

There are few words to explain just how Eleanor has changed my life in such a short space of time, all for the better. This tiny little baby appeared and suddenly everything becomes so different and the life you knew is no more. We have to change and adapt, grow and nurture, it’s not easy to get to grips with but before you know it parenting is second nature and I wonder if we need these tiny babies more than they need us. Or at least in some respects. What a crazy year it has been and I can only thank Eleanor for the life she has brought to me and the joy she has filled me with.

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As a new Mum, I’m so grateful to have the time that I do with Eleanor to raise and watch her as she grows. Keen to capture it all and document her firsts, her achievements and her happiness is just so important for myself and my Husband, Euan. Oh, yes, you read that right.. Husband. I’ll elaborate later.

To celebrate the first year of Eleanor’s life and the good she has brought to us all, we decided to have a morning of present opening followed by Eleanor’s favourite breakfast, pancakes and Yogurt. Messy but absolutely delicious, she is a girl after my own heart and our love of pancakes will bond us forever more. I picture life with Eleanor ahead and can see us sitting around a cafe table washing down our favourite food with different juices and coffees, it makes me smile to have all of these images and ideas of happy family life full my head and I feel warm.

My baby has brought so much to our lives and her soul is just so alive and pure. Charismatic, friendly, loving, cheeky and more, Eleanor really does make for quite a special little girl. I’d be lost without her and life would certainly not be half as bright. I can’t believe how such a small person can have such a big presence, Eleanor lifts and lights the room, I love her.

Looking like my big little girl, all dressed in her pink Birthday dress which I had purchased the day prior, what follows was a family day trip to a local family soft play center and outdoor play area, den in the Glen. A coffee stop on the way was essential however as without coffee i wouldn’t have made it.

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A place familiar to myself from childhood play dates. We walked around the grounds as it was a lovely and sunny day, pointed out each artefact and piece of nature to Eleanor and just went at our own pace taking it all in. I think I was trying to digest my baby being one to be honest, something that I am still trying to get my head around.

After a walk around, I nursed Eleanor in the car before heading into the soft play area for a wee seat, a spot of lunch and a play in the open space that was suitable for both babies and parents. The hall was busy, families were enjoying lunch together, babies were nursing or snacking and of course, the play area was full of small children and adults, running around, splashing about in the ball pit and having a good day to themselves.

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Having not been to soft play previously, I didn’t know what to expect really. A lot to take in and afterward Eleanor was so exhausted that we went out in a drive to Stonehaven to kill time and allow for a car nap. If left without a nap and over tired it can be an absolute nightmare and I wanted Eleanor to be able to enjoy her day as much Euan and I were, after all it was a day all about her.

In the evening we heading up to my mums to enjoy a birthday tea full of everyone’s favourite snacks and nibbles, Eleanor included. There were sandwiches, pizza, chips, falafel. You name it, we had it. An exceptional spread hosted by my Mother. I brought the birthday cake which I had baked the previous day, a lemon sponge cake in the style of a Victora sponge with buttercream..

The whole family had a great day of celebrations and feasting and Eleanor had a blast. Turning one hasn’t ever looked so good, our baby was spoiled rotten with love and attention while being catered for with all of her favourite foods. I’m usually quite strict with treats and snacks but a birthday is an exception and an excuse to go all out.

To wind down at the end of the day, we headed home and it was straight to bed. Yes, 8.30pm and my baby and I were off to enjoy a cuddle and a snooze together while Euan sorted out some bits and bobs. I don’t know how much longer my baby will nurse from me, accept my cuddles and hold my hand as she falls asleep but for now I’m not ready to wave goodbye to those special moments. I’ve let go of our first year together and that’s quite enough for right now. It’s been challenging, hard work and an emotional roller-coaster.

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There’s been good days, bad days, days where everything just falls out of place and goes wrong but I would do each day all over again if I could. As they all say, blink and you miss it and I can fully say that the statement is so very true. A moment will pass at the blink of the eye but a memory can last a lifetime. That’s what I’m keen to continue to do as Eleanor grows, to make memories and capture as much of our time together as I can.

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Happy birthday baby girl, for I love you so.

Hey! I think I’m getting into this whole Motherhood thing.

Let’s get this straight, in honesty, I’ve always been into this Motherhood thing, from the night that I realised I was pregnant. I stopped smoking, stopped any alcohol consumption and lived on mounds of fruit, veg and vitamins. I very quickly took on the responsibility of parenthood and gave up what was no longer advised. Since becoming a Mother, I’ve shared my struggles and the darker days with you all. I won’t lie, it’s been tough.

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I wasn’t ready to become a Mother and had no intention to start a family any time soon, however, it happened and from the moment that I came to terms with this, my family has become my only priority. Now, I wouldn’t have a day go by without Eleanor by my side and its hard to remember a time when she wasn’t around. My little snugs, my ray of sunshine and my whole life. My baby has brought so much love and so much joy, I’d be lost without her.

The adaption from a family of two to three, the sleepless nights, the constant nursing, the balance.. If there is one? I’ve fought many battles in such a short time and I finally, nine months on can say I’m feeling content and happy. I’m at my most content since pregnancy, I can praise myself and recognise my strengths. My outlook and passion for life is looking up and life is good. Hurruah!

I’ve just a few weeks before my return to work, I’ll be going part time and working a three day week. This takes some anxiety off as I will still have days with my baby and can still treasure all those little moments. I have finally started to really enjoy my time off from work, I have a good routine going with my girl and we have the whole days planned out, it seems to work a treat and keeps everyone happy. Happy baby happy Mum, right?

It has taken nine months to establish any set routine, I’ve finally got it and I’m getting some time for myself back in a day. Of course that’s not what Motherhood is all about, it’s about time with baby, and raising a child, but If I get just half an hour to myself, a short break, I feel refreshed and relaxed, ready to be with my baby and give her my whole attention. I can be the best that I am and it feels good to be getting a little balance at long last.

Eleanor has dropped to around three feeds a day, as an EBF baby, I thought this would never happen, I believed she would breastfeed until she was into adulthood, it was testing and draining but now, I cherish those feeds daily as I know each feed is drawing closer to her last. There will come a time when she no longer feeds and that bond will be over, this upsets me but also empowers me.

I’ve fed my baby girl since birth all on my own, I’ve nourished and nurtured her, doing the best job that I can. Feeding day and night some days and without much time to care for myself. It has been a privilege and it will be an accomplishment that I will remain proud of for my life.I have had the time to reflect and realise that I’ve done the best that I can and that will always be good enough. Yes it was tough but you know what? It was great and I’d do it over and over. The exact same way.

I have began to relax and appreciate my way of mothering my child. I am now content with the decisions that I make daily and I feel as though I over come challenges as best as I can. I no longer get upset over things I can’t control and I no longer obsess over the mess. Fiona from across the street doesn’t care if the floors haven’t been steamed and nor I should. The mess can wait, my baby and family time cannot.

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I no longer feel the need to beat myself up about something that hasn’t gone as planned. Eleanor hasn’t ate much dinner, Eleanor has been in a wet nappy for too long, missed her bath, Eleanor has skipped a nap.. no longer bothers me. For now, I just make do with the daily cards I’m dealt and deal with it. Have I played enough today, read enough, danced enough?

Sure, I’ll always question if I have done enough or if I could have done better,i think all parents must. Has she had enough nutrition today? Have I fed her well enough? The questions always plague my mind and the insecurity will always creep in. My abilities are questioned daily, but I’m the only one that is questioning myself. I put the pressure on myself, something which I am working to ease off on. Something which I am beginning to ease off on. I’m becoming at peace.

I realise that in that moment, each day, I do the best I can. My best will always be good enough. I’ve beat myself up too much and made enemies with my mind, questioned my abilities for months. I’m taking control and will enjoy Motherhood and enjoy giving myself that pat on the back because you know what? I do good and it is okay to recognise and self appreciate from time to time.

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Motherhood is messy, it is Challenging and some days, some circumstances are out with control, I’ve figured that rather than dwell on what I can’t change, or get upset with circumstances outwith my control, I take it in stride and move on. For the most part at least. As long as my baby is happy and healthy, not much else matters on the grand scheme of things. I can sit down in an evening and enjoy that glass of wine, or that biscuit and know that I’ve done good and that my baby is happy. What else matters?

I feel relaxed about going back to work, it’s a necessity and I’m okay with that. Sure, if I could, I’d spend all my time with Eleanor and work from home, doing something creative and wholesome, however, I don’t have that luxury and I need to make some money so we can enjoy days off and trips out all the more.

I no longer punish myself for the bad days and I no longer sit inside waiting for a good day to come. I get up, get out and have the best day every day, something which I believe a positive mindset and care free outlook can and does make possible. To any new parent out there who feels alone, or who feels stuck in a bit of a daily rut I would say soak it all in and appreciate every single day for all that it is, just know you are the best you can be and if your baby if fed, dressed and loved, little else matters. It’s taken me nine months to realise this and relax but now that I have, I know there is nothing to worry about and no reason to cry. I’m going to enjoy knowing I work hard each day and I am going to enjoy a glass of wine this Tuesday evening as a thank you to myself, to my body.

Here is to being a parent, self appreciation and working bloody hard each and every day. My baby is happy and healthy, my heart is full and my family is my world. Thank you Motherhood for teaching me to be grateful, to be thankful, each and every day.

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Keren x

 

A week in the life – Cyprus.

 

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Hey guys, sorry it has been a wee while since I have posted, as mentioned I was taking a short break from blogging to enjoy a family holiday with Euan and Eleanor.

It has been a busy old week or two and there have been a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Literally, but you will be glad to hear that we survived our first family as a three and two plane journeys. I’d like to mention I’ll not be rushing back to holidaying with a small human but I will share the experience that we have had.

I plan to write a detailed blog on my favourite day and activities but on this post, I’m going to do a day to day guide of how we spent out time. To the best of my memory that is. We have had a great trip and it has been a great bonding experience for the three of us. I have loved being away in the sun and enjoying down time with my family and I loved to watch Euan with Eleanor and the bond they have grow.

Eleanor has come on so far the past week. She will now roll, wave and clap her hands. Mimicking the behaviour of others and taking in her surroundings seems to be her favourite thing to do right now and she has an obsessed over my hairbrush. Not to mention that she has picked up on the classic screaming, you know.. That high pitched, give me what I want type of scream? Yep, she has perfected it, much to my dismay and I’m trying to fight a way out of this habit. Goodbye hearing! Anyway, I’ll get to it and give you a daily break down of our holiday.

Day 1 – Euans birthday (30th) so we decided to get out and explore we had a walk along the shore front and explored the main tourist area.

Hallomi pittas by the beach with a cocktail in a local restaurant for lunch which was divine. We had the good food and a view, what more could you want!

Day 2 – Euan had a diving trip in the morning, I shared a girly morning with my baby at the resort, we did try to venture out alone but the roads aren’t great and the cars don’t always stop at a red light. I played it safe and returned to the hotel until Euan got back for an adventure. It is a lot easier to navigate your way around someplace new when you have a companion.

In the afternoon we explored a different part of the island and had a trip for iced coffees (much needed with the temperatures hitting up to 28 degrees)

Day 3 – Saturday – The sun was shining and we opted for a walk to the tombs of Kings, a local tourist attraction where the rich were once laid to rest with their riches. We explored the grounds, got some photographs and enjoyed the peace and quiet from our surroundings. The tombs weren’t busy as we heeded out early which was nice as we got a whole lot of time to ourselves to explore and take it all in.

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In the afternoon it was getting a bit hot so we mulled around the wee tourist stores and markets,keeping to the shade and making sure that Eleanor was comfortable.

Day 4 – a trip to the zoo with Eleanor who slept through the most part however did wake up for the journey back to the resort. A grizzly experience that I’ll not revisit in a hurry. The zoo was fine but we went especially for Eleanor and she did sleep through the most part, comfortable in her stroller as Euan and I got bitten by ants all over our feet. The zoo was rife for bugs and was exceptionally hot, even Euan struggled. We ended up sitting and having an ice cream in the shade to get a break from the walking around.

The bus back to the resort was painful, picture a screaming baby on a real hot bus full of people and judgemental stares. We ended up stripping her off on the bus but noting was really helping her and she didn’t even want the comfort of breastfeeding.

It is safe to say that we had a chilled evening and ate separately as Eleanor was so upset, bed time was around 8pm and Eleanor slept right through as she was just totally knackered. I think we were to be honest, I didn’t anticipate just how stressful one bus journey could be.

IMG_20180415_174655_584.jpgDay 5 – Stopped past the shopping mall for a browse of the stores and an iced coffee out on the malls balcony to cool off a little and enjoy a caffeine fix.

We got tattoos. I know, silly huh? Seems to be a year of firsts so to follow the trend we got our first tattoos. A little bit of fun and letting our inner youth come out to play. Who says 30 has to be boring, eh Euan? I’ll give a we post on the experience at a later date and be sure to upload photo evidence. I kept it small and cute, a but of a novelty tattoo on my part where Euan went for something a bit bolder.

In the evening we went for a stroll and an ice cream trip before dinner. I thought after a wee bit of pain we deserved a yummy treat. I had a coconut cone and Euan had erm.. I don’t recall! Sorry!

Day 6 – Our last day, Tuesday spent down by the beach front having a long walk and eating gelato from a little parlour which was really sweet. I had a raspberry cheesecake flavor and Euan went for pomegranate. Delicious. This holiday was a lot different from usual holidays, I had perhaps six alcoholic drinks the whole trip and favoured the snack bars over alcohol. Times have definitely changed as have our priorities.

Spent the afternoon at the complex, just kept it causal and chilled to prepare for the journey home and get Eleanor settled as best as possible. In the evening, we went for a traditional dinner of moussaka. We were torn over where to dine on the last evening but stumbled across a tavern which I’m glad that we did.

Moussaka seems to be the traditional dish over in Cyprus and we like to enjoy a traditional meal on each trip we go to. In Prague, for example we had a stew in a local pub. In Cyprus, we had moussaka.

We were stuck between an Indian or a traditional meal, it seems that Cyprus is not a great place to favor a vegetarian diet and we did have some issues trying to find places to eat and cater to our needs. For the most part, we lived on a diet of Hallomi, rice, fries and ice cream (hello extra rolls).

The dish we had was delicious and it was  enjoyed with a white wine, all while Eleanor sat and practiced her wave. We couldn’t have asked for a better last meal or evening, our baby was well behaved and the meal was gorgeous. I’ll definitely be searching for vegetarian moussaka recipes when I get a minute. It’s moments like these that you learn to appreciate the little things on life and family bonding over a nice meal is such a good way to get you feeling all fuzzy.

Day 7 – Morning lounging and a coffee trip before getting organised and sorted to leave for home. The bus pick up for the airport was at 3pm so we had some time to kill and entertain Eleanor before our travels. I won’t bore you with the details right now but I’ll share a post about flying with baby very soon.

Look out for a more detailed post of our time in Cyprus. I’m working my way through all the blogs I’m to catch up on, be patient with me as I prepare a lot of new content for my page.

Keren x

 

Babies first.. . (squeal) teeth.

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It seems that the Easter bunny brought with it not just chocolate and candy, but something a bit more sentimental, our first two teeth! I’m sure those first teeth bring the same bout of excitement to all parents around the globe.

You must excuse me if this isn’t your cup of tea, I tend to write a lot about Eleanor’s firsts, mainly because as she hits these first milestones, or bumps in the road, I like to have a documented account to look back on and cherish. Both good and the not so good. This next milestone has been a long time coming and a very much tough process for my poor babe, teething.

It’s inevitable and you can’t prevent it, some babies cope better than others, some babies are able to mask the pain and others, much alike my wee Eleanor, struggle. The battle of teething has been the worst yet, sleepless nights, restlessness, relentless comfort feeds which leave me drained and an all around fussy period. There is certainly a lot of personality flying around right now in our household and Eleanor has diva written all over her.  Teething is hard and it is not forgiving. It is a good job that looking back from adulthood, you fail to remember the trials of teething in those first months.

Eleanor has finally over the Easter weekend cut her two lower A’s. I can see her lower B’s are ready to pop through any day now also, this doesn’t mean that they will. I hope that with those first two teeth having cut above gum margin, my wee tootie will get some relief, she certainly deserves it and I would like to see the spontaneous cries come to a halt, at least temporarily (until the next thing).

I’ve been rubbing her gums as she gnaws my hand, the anbesol has come out to play more than I’d have liked, teething powders have come and gone and calpol has failed to hit the spot. We try countless teether but to no avail, Eleanor tends to throw them away in a bout of rage rather than enjoy the chew. I have tried cold compresses and hard biscuits to gnaw on for her but the battle never ends. I try to distract her with play or hideous dancing, at least this brings a little laughter her way during those tough days.

With my wee girl, the only thing that has seemed to aid her teething is through the comfort of feeding or chewing on her own hand. I really feel for her and the pain of her cries can be very upsetting but as always, you get on and move on as these things do. This teething phase has only just started and I really hope that after these first few teeth break through, some relief will be a given as I think Eleanor could do with a break.

From colic, reflux and the sorts to an ear infection and trouble from teething, the battle with a baby seems never ending and there is no magic cure that will kiss it better. Each stage of life comes with a new trouble and each stage seems to become a little tougher than the last. Our babies develop and grow so rapidly that we can only expect things to get tougher with each coming month. Sometimes, I’d like a little break. A month without any sort of pain or hardship, not only for my baby but for myself and Euan!

I’m so pleased that we have reached the stage of those first teeth, so very pearly white and so very cute. Baby teeth really are the sweetest, especially when you see them poke through as your baby giggles and smiles. I’m hoping with these first teeth coming through, I can introduce a little more foods and variety with Eleanor’s diet and that she can continue to build a healthy relationship with food.

Right now, she tends to love anything that she can hold and eat, I think that she likes to have the independence. Whenever I watch her munching away on a melting puff or banana biscuits, she looks proud as punch with herself and that really is quite special to see. Each month brings a new struggle with it however each struggle is over come and we always pull through smiling. If it wasn’t for the struggles, we wouldn’t have our little baby girl hitting such big developments and milestones and that is something that is truly magic.

I love watching Eleanor develop and grow, by the day she is coming more and more into her own. Her personality shines and her sense of humour and charisma is something to be proud of. Although hard work, Motherhood and caring for my baby girl really is my favourite job in the whole world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All those milestones, all the firsts, it’s just so sacred for me and will forever hold a special place. I’m sure that the trials of  these tough times and sleepless nights will all be washed over and what will remain will be so much more precious, the loving memories.

Have any of you parents out there shared the teething battle? What aids and methods did you swear by, during this troublesome period?

 

Keren xIMG_20180403_201433_018.jpg

 

Fighting feelings; mind over matter.

Storm in a teacup

Before I even begin to write this post, I already feel an element of guilt, concerned by how my words may come across. I even feel bad about thinking these thoughts and sharing them on a public media platform, for others to read and share. However, from the beginning of my blogging journey, I have always been open and honest, accounting each day, each moment as honest as possible. Every emotion, guilty thought or happy time, I write it all down and share this with you no matter how dark, I dig deep into my thoughts and I pour them into my writing when they are fresh and raw in my mind. My thoughts are very real and brutally unforgiving.

You know, I recently became a new Mother, something which came as a surprise and a very big shock to the system. Whoever said that all babies do is eat, sleep and poop lied. There is a grey area in between all of theses stages, an area that is not so simple to define.

Motherhood, its a whole different ball game to anything I’ve ever experienced, there are no rules and it can often be isolating. Yes, a baby is a breath of fresh air but the newborn phase doesn’t last forever and the bubble must burst at some point. With that, a baby can be a slap to the face with the force of a tornado when a storm is already brewing.

Is there ever a good time to fall pregnant and begin a family? Is there ever a good time to say goodbye to our own lives, our own person and to step up and become a Mother?  I for sure have lost some of my old self with this new transition, I don’t recall much of the person I was before ‘Mum’. A part of me will always miss the child free days, the days where I had time and I had personal space. I could do as I would please and had no routine and I was in control. I feel I have ventured into this journey perhaps too soon, there were things I had hoped to achieve, places to see, places to live, before settling to family life.

To admit struggle feels as though admitting defeat. To speak up and hear myself aloud say and write all of the thoughts from my mind, makes the struggle feel very real, makes my thoughts come to life, to be true and not just tucked away in mind. I’m going to get down to it and talk about my struggle with Motherhood and becoming a new Mother working to find a balance that seems non existent, working to fight a battle that seems endless, working to provide what she can’t provide physically or mentally. To be there not just for her baby, but for herself and her partner. Fighting the good fight against a healthy mind and wellbeing, if there is such a thing as a good fight. I struggle to know how I should feel or what I should feel.

When I discovered that I was pregnant in January 2017, I cried. Not tears of happiness, tears of fear, of unwillingness. I was not yet ready to be a Mother, my relationship was new, could it withstand a baby? I had high aspects and prospects for myself, I wanted to achieve and create but with the discovery of a baby on the way, I had to put on hold everything I wanted for myself, to try to be less selfish and more patient with my body and to wave goodbye to parts of me that now seem so distant. I was afraid, but I was optimistic and open to the idea of a baby. Family is everything right? A baby is all sunshine and rainbows… right?

To become a Mother and take those first steps into family life is one of the most powerful things that we can do. To create life, to raise young , to love and to nurture. It’s almost what is expected when two people come together in union, it is only a matter of time before we procreate. I can only wish that I had more control with when that time would be. I wasn’t ready, I still don’t feel ready and fear I never will be. I was barely finding my feet, how can I be expected to guide my Daughter to find her path?

Becoming a Mother has changed me in ways I can’t describe, not all good. I have become reborn as a lesser version of myself in some ways. I feel deprived of social interaction, I feel a great deal of isolation and loneliness and I no longer resemble myself in the mirror, I no longer even like to look in the mirror. With this, there is the counter argument, I may be a less version of myself but I have never been able to love as I do now, I see beauty in things I hadn’t previously and I have learned that the little things in life, have the biggest meanings. My baby has taught me how to feel and Motherhood has/is a whirlwind of emotions,skyscraping highs and rock bottom lows.

I find flaws with myself more than ever now, flaws that are much planted much deeper than the surface. This may be because I am set to lead by example and want to lead the best example I can but I fear that I will never feel good enough, not within myself or as a Mother. There will always be someone who can do it better. I shouldn’t compete with anyone but myself, I know this but from time to time, Motherhood and my lack of self awareness can all get on top of my mind, especially on those days that have been particulary testing. I should be kinder to myself, I know this . I hope that I am a good Mother, a good friend, and  lover.

I felt very alone during my time of pregnancy often, this is something which hasn’t changed, I guess it is part of my reasoning to blog, to find a community of my own and to connect. Loneliness can be quite harrowing, it brings with it a great deal of anxieties and worry. It’s not all magic and rainbows that surround a new born and Motherhood is tough. I’d say I find it very tough, especially in my situation..an introvert with a lack of social skills, and a great deal of OCD and horrific mood swings. With Motherhood there are feelings of worry, of isolation, of fear, defeat..they take over and consume my mind. The highs and the lows, I go through it all, every day.

My baby is not exactly a breeze to care for. Eleanor cries, relentlessly. She is a breastfed baby who will not take a bottle, who seldom gives me a break and cannot be left alone for screaming. I have to co sleep as I have previously shared.  This is not something which bothers me greatly as at least this way we all get a nights sleep, but it does affect my relationship and I miss having the closeness of sleeping next to Euan. Often, we are left on the outskirts of the bed as Eleanor stretches out in the middle. Talk about a bum deal.

This may seem funny, but please understand that I must take Eleanor to bed for 10pm each night, week night? Weekend? Yep, EVERY NIGHT , wether I’m tired or not, wether I’m busy or not. I have to retire early and can’t stay up to watch a show or have a mini date night with Euan. Co sleeping and breastfeeding have left me robbed of alone time with my partner. I know that I may be at fault of this, my decision to breastfeed at the beginning meant I had to be next to Eleanor, she fed compulsively and to catch any sleep at all, I would have to take her to bed next to me and sleep while she fed for comfort.

To battle with a screaming baby who only wanted comfort from feeding at all hours of the night with severe sleep deprivation was just not plausible and I had to take the easy way out, or in my case, the only way out.I too have to function daily to provide the best care for my baby that I can, to do so, I must rest. I will never feel guilty about my decision to breastfeed or co sleep as it was the option available to myself and the best one at the time, I do have regrets and would have liked to do things differently, get better habits in place, sure, but I don’t have guilt.

When you lack time for affection with your partner it can cause strain, and you do tend to forget about one another when a baby is thrown into the mix..not literally. Tensions arise and bickering occurs. It is tough to get the right balance and share time together as well as with Eleanor. Our relationship is on the back burner for now, we are more like colleagues just trying to get the days work done, than we are lovers. We are passing ships, it is sad and the reality does hurt. I miss my partner and I miss the alone time that we have previously shared. I can’t help but fault Motherhood for taking away precious time that I could have  with my partner. I do wonder if we had waited, got pregnant at a later stage, if I didn’t breastfeed, would we have had a happier baby and a healthier relationship?

Please note that I feel guilty that I think about this and I know that had I got pregnant later, there would be no Eleanor , I can’t see life without her. My little fireball of strength and emotion so pure. My Daughter has brought me life and a reason to be better, I feel guilty that I ever want to have a little alone time without her. She is mine and she deserves nothing shy of my best, my full attention. Some days, I feel I don’t have this to give and that can hurt.

Motherhood isn’t to be taken light, there are worries, there are boundaries that get crossed, the stress..the social anxiety that I have developed.. It can all get too much and there are days I don’t even want to get up and face the world never mind the list of chores to catch up with (seems to grow over night!. They don’t call Motherhood a full time job for nothing,.. if only it came with a salary. I can’t face the outdoors alone most of the time lately, a trip to the shop can feel like climbing Ben Nevis when Eleanor is in her Pram screaming blue murder and passers by or fellow shoppers pass looks my way. This happens often, most of the time if I am alone, I choose to stay indoors to avoid the blood pressure hike. I choose to settle and admit defeat. Can you believe I am twenty five years of age and a baby is ruling my life? Not something I thought I would ever be contemplating at this stage. I miss the freedom that I once had.

There are days that I don’t want to have to sit and try to play or entertain my baby when I lack the energy to do so. Okay, that’s a lie, I love to play and interact with Eleanor..but there are days when I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy and I can find myself sitting in the floor just staring blankly into space as my baby lays on her change mat trying to catch my attention, some times with tears rolling. I sit and feel nothing in a trance like state, completely numb to the sounds or any sort of feelings. I ask myself what is wrong with me, how can I not be bothered? I snap out of my trance and rush to grab her as the guilt washes over me. How could I ignore her? I scoop her up and give her endless cuddles and know that she is mine and I am OK.

I know just how fortunate that I am to have been gifted with my girl, my beautiful, fiery girl, the girl with a hot temper and full of charisma. The girl with the smile I will always look for in a room first. I know how much love and hope that she has brought my way. Believe me, I know.. the sparkle in her eyes when she catches a glimpse of me could reduce me to tears some days. The smile she pulls each morning she awakes next to me. Each day she teaches me to love a little more, to be a little kinder and to grow more patient.

Each day I am thankful for this little spark of life that I carried and grew, this little soul that I can love and nurture to my best efforts, this little girl who has stolen my heart and taught me more than anyone ever could in such a short period of time. Each day, I wonder how I can feel so empty from time to time yet be surrounded by so much love? I struggle to know how am I supposed to feel right now, some days I feel everything, others there is nothing and I wonder if I am doing this whole existing thing well.

I wonder if I ever will find the pure magic of Motherhood, if I will ever be able to have and hold it all together as some do and I wonder if I will ever be able to feel truly at peace and comfort as a Mother. I hope that as time passes I will become more at ease with myself and my abilities. I know that I am a good Mother, I know my baby is loved and healthy, she is happy, nurtured and safe.

Honestly, you couldn’t find a baby more loved, it surrounds her and if I could, I would like to keep that love with her throughout her whole life. I want for her to be protected and sheltered, forever safe in a bubble of love. To never feel pain, loss or hurt..yes Motherhood brings with it a fierce need to protect and believe me, I will protect my baby for the rest of my life with all my might, it is my job and a privilege to be able to do so.

I just fear that with having to give so much of myself away to my baby, to others, to searching and finding a whole balance that seems unsustainable I will have nothing left to call my own. Nothing left of myself for myself but an empty and broken shell.  Those empty thoughts, empty feelings will take over and consume me and my mind will be swallowed whole, only functioning on a form of auto pilot with no real thoughts or feelings left to give or to hold sacred as my own.

Some days, some days where I am a tired, anxious and a broken shell of myself, I feel that I have lost everything. I feel that Motherhood came all too soon and with it took parts of myself that I fight to find. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness are feelings that I have to fight. A battle with my mind and a sanity that is on edge.

No, Motherhood has not brought me everything that is magic, Motherhood is so much more than I could have ever imagined and it is more powerful than anything I will ever experience. The emotions are raw, the exhaustion is real and the task of raising young and supporting a family is tedious. The want to do better is constant, the feeling of judgement is ongoing and the fear of doing wrong, of simply failing is all too real. Motherhood brings not just happiness and sunshine, it can bring a bitter pill to swallow and a new reality.

Motherhood has brought with it pain, it has brought worry and it has brought defeat but it has also brought a determination to do better, to be better. Motherhood is a force not to reckon with and so long as I can put up a good fight, I think that I can overcome consuming thoughts and find my happy place between all the chaos and mess. I’m fighting the daily fight for me, for my baby, for my family.