This is the post excerpt.
This is the post excerpt.
I am on many facebook pages that tell me stories of other mothers and their daily struggle of sleepless nights, making bottles, breastfeeding, potty training, tantrums, siblings and weaning; the list seems endless. I see many memes making light about what is sometimes a hellish role.
It is a role that forfiets sleep and compromises your entire being. A chef, a waitress, doctor nurse, cheif hugger, tear wiper and dummy finder on the darkest nights. Battling through those first few unforgiving years when you get very little interaction back from a child.
There are mothers internationally forgetting who they were prior to children and looking for the best concealer for those bags under their eyes (the real meaning of bags for life!) Mothers trying to work the best life for their kids. Mothers going it alone and Mothers raising children with other Mothers.
Raising children is a job that should come with some sort of certificate or trophy to say that you as well as the child, completed tasks such as breastfeeding and potty training. Either that or each potty sold should come with a bottle of gin strapped to it.
We have overcome daily struggles. Our three year olds are ones for putting on a little tantrum show now and then and singing us the song of their people, which is one of high pitches screams and a dance of leg kicking and alot of floor work. This is shortly followed by hugs and apologies. We learn to deal with them. As much as Super Nanny can tell me about the naughty step, she didnt tell me to also purchase some ear defenders for the screaming…
There are copious amounts of parenting books available to read to prepare you for the trials of parenthood. I even naievely bought a book on breastfeeding. The bit the book failed to mention was that the twins would be in hospital for three weeks and I would be at home, therefore rendering it near impossible to actually breastfeed them.
So the bit that nbody tells you about…
It was recently our twins third birthday and we have just come home from the wonderful and much needed sunshine.
Nobody told me that when we went to Thomas land for their birthday how much joy I would find in their joy, to see their little faces light up at their favouite recognised characters. They were so excited for the whole day. It was a feeling that filled my heart with love and my stomach with butterflies.
When we were away we stayed in a caravan which they were ecstatic about. The novelty of bouncing on a different bed and unpacking their little suitcases (on wheels for added novelty) was so apparent.
It was as if they were made for the beach. The loved jumping in the waves and chasing each other and Daddy!
And in these moments of their sheer elation, my face aches from smiling at them and that warm fuzzy feeling washes over me like a huge wave of complete happiness- nobody tells you that will happen, that you will feel that.
To witness them independently join in with dancing and singing at the evening entertainment with a broad smile and no cares is an incredible feeling the real meaning of parenting. True love.
To see that they are so happy and carefree is something that no book or facebook group can tell you about. Nobody tells you how very much you will love them. Nobody tells you about the sheer joy you will find in theres and nobody tells you how very much they will love you for it too.
My favourite kind of poorly is one not many can imagine. Its not one parallel to war hunger or famine.
It is however one of siblings, twins to be precise. The kind where there’s two of everything, everywhere, twice!
They’re rarely poorly at the same time, its always staggered, taking it in turns means Mommy is always shattered!
One is horizontal, doing the dying fly and the other is full of beans asking 400 questions; what’s this? Where and why?
“Hold me Mommy”, she says with a plea. Ok just a little while and then I really must wee!
There’s piles of washing everywhere covered in sick snot and germs, a trip to the doctor, a chest infection I question and he confirms.
So while the smallest whimpers away the day and into the night, the other bounces off the walls kept inside until her sister is right.
It will only be so long, until you catch it too, then it will be your turn to produce vast quantities of goo!
My favourite kind of poorly is not this at all, I was joking really, I’m almost crawling the wall!
The two of you are taking it turns to catch the winter bugs, I’m sure it’s so you can get plenty of extra hugs.
Twins that are poorly are hard to entertain. They’re tired from all the coughing; pyjamas and Thomas, your favourite train.
Everything is bleached, boiled and cleansed. UV sunshine and windows open; your immune system and I making amends.
Get well soon my babies, the Spring will be here soon. Then it will be hayfever all the way into June!
So for now I’ll carry on worrying and dishing out the hugs as long as Daddy keeps the tea coming in those big flowery mugs.
Bath time in our house doesn’t happen every day. How dirty do children really get these days?
Anyway, Once the twinnies know its bath time, they’re super excited!
They take all their clothes off downstairs, which makes them even wilder and climb the stairs calling each other, telling each other to hurry!
The water is running and they’re trying to climb in the bath before its ready like eager ducklings.
The bathroom fills with swirlig clouds of steam and the smell of lavender. Toys are tipped into the bath and there’s a squabble over the best sponge.
Finally, its ready. The water is cool enough for Clara and warm enough for Molly.
In they get, splashing about and there is a game of tea cups going on and washing dollies.
Squeals of delight when they splash each other until it goes too far.
“Mommy i need a towel!”
I sit for a moment and think about the time when clara had her first bath in hospital and she screamed or when they were home and couldn’t sit up in the bath and they had just realised they could kick and splash.
Time to wash their hair.
They do not love their hair being washed.
Two lots of goldilocks hair to wash.
I leave their hair wash till last.
Lots of moaning and trying to get away later…it’s time to get out.
Whilst one gets out the other finds the plug and pulls it out.
I wrap the first one up in a warm towel and for a minute they are a baby again. All snuggled up, just us two. I look at their baby face, content and clean, rosey with warmth and for just one more minute, they are my baby.
Creamed and dressed in warm pyjamas, they wait for the other.
The second child is invariably skidding round the bath enjoying the last few suds before it all disappears down the plug hole.
Once again, I wrap them up in a warm towel like a big bear hug. My baby once again. They never wriggle away from this embrace unlike the rest of the day, they stay there all cosy and loved.
Bath time is one of my favourite times of the day; to see and hear them play and splash about. Chat to each other and ask questions. Their imagination unleashed in a watery playground, it’s both amusing and heart warming to see and hear.
Until the next time. Glug glug
This post comes as i listen to my almost three year old’s defyng their sleep and not taking the nap i have put them down for. They used to be such good sleepers. My Mom will tell you they still are. Anyway, I’ll remind them of this time when they’re 15 and can’t get out of bed.
Dear Molly and Clara,
I have watched you when you think I’m not looking. i can see you playing with each other. I have watched you teach each other things, just this morning you were teaching each other how to do forward rolls on the trampoline, “Not like that, watch me!” i heard. I watch as you show your toys such affection and mimic what Daddy and i say to you. You hold them tight as i hold you tight and tell them you love them. I have watched you learn to eat and talk and walk on your own. Such tiny little things when you were born, you’re so clever to have achieved so much already. i can see how much you love each other. I can see you hug each other when you play in the garden and i am in the kitchen. I see you look for each other at playgroup.
I have listened to your chatter over the baby monitor; talking to each other, being bossy and saying sorry. I have listened to you tell Daddy about our day and recall the things you have seen. I have listened to your howls of laughter at each other, at me and at Daddy. Squeals of delight as you all play hide and seek. I have listened to you say goodnight to each other and to your toys, that’s when i know you’re getting sleepy. i have listened to you tell each other you’re scared and the other say “its ok, don’t be scared!”. I have listened to your over tired sobs. i have listened to your baby feet bump on the floor wherever you go and the splat of your hands and knees when you fall down.
I have sent off your application form for nursery this week. i cant tell you how much it breaks my heart that someone else is going to have you for a few hours every day. Someone who you don’t know. Someone who doesn’t know you and the things you like or don’t like. But i know you’re going to love it!
I don’t know where the last three years have gone.
You’re going through so much change already. Right now you’re trying to change your sleep times and neither me nor you know when you want to sleep. But i know this phase will come an end soon, just the same as all the others have and a new one will start and i’ll be there for it.
We are women.
We are Daughters, Aunties, Sisters, Nannies, Grannies and Nieces.
We are the cogs in our families wheel, keep turning.
We cook, clean, iron and wash…and wash…and wash!!
We see life, we see death, we bring life into the world.
We love, we despise.
We hug, we kiss, we nurture, we grow life.
We know what we want.
We are strong, the mighty!
We put out fires, teach, unblock pipes, build houses, diognose, comfort and heal.
We can do!
We are women.
We laugh, we cry, we get angry. We are emotional.
We can be tough, we can be soft.
We are adaptable, flexible and willing.
We can grow, flourish and change.
We are women.
We are amazing!
We can be solitary, detatched and devided.
We can unite!
We are powerful, forceful and passionate.
We are determind and driven.
We are women.
Don’t think we can’t.
We are gorgeous, elegant and classy.
We are influential game changers.
We are capable.
We manage, support and praise.
We fight for rights, for votes, for presidency.
We are women and we run this.
Many people have asked me how we look after the patients who are dying. We, as nurses see many stages of various palliative conditions. Conditions sent to expire.
Some patients are well enough to continue about their daily life with the illness lingering over them like a grey cloud.
Some are going through treatment and riding the roller coaster of side effects that comes with it.
Some are deteriorating rapidly and unpredictably. Some patients are already too poorly for us to have known them as they were, And it’s those that I wanted to tell you about.
District nursing prides itself on caring for palliative patients in their own home.
Let me tell you, to care for someone who is so poorly and so near the end of their life isn’t scary or daunting. It is huge honour. It’s privilege to be able to make them comfortable, to tend to their needs, to support their families.
I’ve met so many wonderful families, and while they’re sitting with their loved one, comforting them, they reminisce about times gone by. About how they met. About when they were young, where they married or about a funny story from that Christmas in 1984.
To be in that person’s house which has held so many memories of Christmas and holidays and babies being born. Arguments and tears. Teenage tempers and grandchildren. To see the pictures on the walls, in frames illustrating their lives out; holidays in Weymouth and Blackpool on the coach. A kiss-me-quick hat upon on jolly faced man. Maybe we’re in the living room of their family home as they are too poorly to climb the stairs. The room that once held cosy evenings together.
To see out the last few hours, last few breaths of a person’s life, them leaving their whole story behind.
Yes, it’s an absolute tragedy to see the family upset to see them lose their loved one, to see their hearts break and not be able to fix that other than to offer compassion and assurance that their loved one is no longer suffering. Time is the healer there, not me. The unmistakable silence falls then. A silence like no other. Deafening.
You may think that Im hardened to it. Im not. Sometimes I cry all the way home or think of them or their family the next day or the day after that. It is incredibly sad to see this play out in front of me. Its the end of someone’s life, however long or short. They’re invariably leaving loved ones behind and my heart breaks for them as fat salty tears roll down their distraught faces.
However, this is a tragic fact of life and to be here to make the journey more comfortable, to be a holding hand, to have that persons trust, that’s what you need to take from it. And it’s not really about me. Families express their gratitude, but thats the least i can do for their loss is so great all beit an expected one.
It’s an absolute honour to do that job and one I’ll never take for granted.
If you or someone you know wanted to talk more about this as im sure we as Brits don’t, try looking at this website. I’m sure there’s cake involved too. http://deathcafe.com
An appropriate song to go with this. https://youtu.be/bIB8EWqCPrQ
Photo courtesy of Happy land and my terrible photography
This Comes from the point of view of toddlers, nationwide. A set of rules to be adhered to at all times. Dont dissapoint now!
Toddler Club Rules:
1. Always leave asking to go to the toilet until the very last minute. Mommy will appreciate you leaving it that long
2. If your sibling has got something you NEED then you must take it without hesitation.Just snatch it away. If you cry, Mommy will come anyway.
3. Cry out for absolutley no reason in the night at least once or twice.
4. Ask for a specific cereal, then change your mind. You’re allowed to, you’ve had a hard night of wailing!
5. If Mommy pours you a big bowl of cereal, dont eat it. What are you a hamster?
6. If Mommy only does you a small bowl of cereal, ask for more, but don’t eat it.
7. Ask for a banana, take one bite, but dont eat the rest. Infact, leave it wherever you like.
8. When you’re being told off, always make Mommy or Daddy laugh, that will win them over.
9. Try and be naked at all times especially when there are visitors.
10. Always blame your twin or sibling for anything you might have done which you might get in trouble for.
11. Be sure Mommy pours your juice in the right colour cup, if she doesnt know which colour that is, she even your mother?
12. When being put for a nap, fight it with all your might. You do not need sleep!
13. When Mommy walks out of the room, call her back straight away to ask her something.
14. When being put in your car seat, try out yours and Mommy’s core muscle group by going as stiff as a board. You cannot be tamed, youre a free spirit.
15. When having your hair brushed, scream!
16. Don’t take your medicine when you’re supposed to, the germs are your friends.
17. When brushing your teeth, why not have a fight with your sibling about the right colour toothbrush. Then cry.
18. Be an absolute pleasure when with grandparents, to make your parents out to be fibbers.
19. Add ‘plleease’ to the end of any sentence when asking for things, works wonders!
20. Be Grumpy all day until Daddy comes home. Daddy is so much fun! Mommy doesnt know what shes on about. Toddlers are a delight!
Feel free to let me know your Toddlers rules.