Sometimes I feel quite sad that I no longer have a baby. Jesse is three so basically a grown up and Jasper is heading towards 16 months and embracing full-blown toddler-hood.
Sometimes I miss those blissful new mama days when you feel so exhausted but so elated at the same time. I already feel a bit out of the loop especially since I’m surrounded by new mums and first time mums in my job.
But, as much as I miss it, I also absolutely adore the stage we are at right now.
The other day I had a lovely lunch date with my boys and I was relishing in the fact that, though they are still dependent on me, its very different now to life with a new baby.
We sat in a cafe (kid-friendly of course, let’s not get too carried away!) and enjoyed a meal together. Well, I ate a meal while Jesse consumed an entire giant cookie and Jasper shared my chips and dropped his sultanas all over the floor. There was also a few clean ups of spilled beverages. But all in all it was really nice.
Then afterwards they both went in the play area and played together while I looked on. I didn’t have to intervene. I didn’t have to nurse a baby while trying to keep an eye on a toddler. I could just sit. And be quiet. And sip my coffee. And watch as my two little boys played and laughed together.
In that moment I really appreciated how things are right now.
Now, I do need to say that it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Just days before this I was absolutely hating life as I tried to hostage negotiate my way through the basic morning routines.
I still have just enough night wake-ups to keep me coffee dependent and a heavy reliance on nursing bras and easy boob access. So I’m not out of the woods just yet.
As crazy as it sounds I will miss all of that. But getting past the baby stage and seeing your babies grow into little people is also pretty great.
The other day I was escaping the Brisbane heat at the local shops with the boys. We stopped by the indoor playground and I sat and watched Jesse play while feeding Jasper and then he eagerly crawled off to join his brother.
At that moment I was struck with a memory of being at this same playground when pregnant with Jasper and I remember wondering how I was going to cope with two children in moments like this. How could I tend to nursing a baby while keeping a watchful eye on a toddler? It seemed incredibly daunting, impossible even.
I then thought back to a particularly difficult night with Jesse. He just wanted to be held. My back was aching but I held him close anyway. His bottom propped up by my pregnant belly and his long legs draping down either side. I sobbed quietly as I wondered how I was going to cope on nights like this with two babies. How could I possibly give them both the comfort they need if they need me at the same time?
I can do it. I am doing it. What seemed so impossible is now normal.
Soon after, I struck up a conversation with a fellow Mum watching her children play. Two little boys. And she was nursing a 3 week old baby boy. Three boys under three. I was in awe.
I could tell she was exhausted. But the smile she wore as we chatted told me she would not have it any other way. I asked her how she was doing. We talked about the challenges of breastfeeding and the joys of raising boys. I was struck by the rawness of our conversation. Two complete strangers but we just understood each other.
It’s a crazy thing this being parents thing. Being a mother. It stretches us to our limits and so often passes them. It breaks us down and builds us up at the same time. It makes us want to do better, be better. Having children is like constantly looking into a mirror that exposes everything about us. All of our flaws and imperfections. All of our funny little quirks. And suddenly we realised how much like our own parents we’ve become.
I guess all I’m trying to say is mums and dads, you are amazing! You’ve totally got this. And on days when you don’t, tell someone. Even if it’s a stranger at the shops. She’ll get it.
Last weekend we went on a weekend holiday up to the Sunshine Coast with Renee’s family. It was the first “holiday” we’ve had with two kids. I say “holiday”, because what holiday.
You know those posts you see on Facebook that pop up every now and again because one of your Facebook friends has thrown it a like. You know the ones. Where it has two photos side by side, on the left it says ‘before kids’ and the right it says ‘with kids’. Well they’re all true. Every single one of them! Holidays… date nights… meals… you name it. If there is a meme out there with a before and after photo and it shows what a couple does before kids and with kids. It’s 100% accurate.
And this “holiday” certainly did open our eyes to what life is now like when we are on holidays with kids.
Our weekend holidays up or down the coast would usually go something like this:
Pick a destination, anywhere will do. Book. Pack a bag for the weekend. Drive there. Relax in or by the pool. Have a few drinks on the balcony. Go out for lunch and dinner. More drinks on the balcony. More relaxing by the pool. Game of mini golf. Relaxing in bed. Late night champagne with a movie. Go out for breakfast. Anywhere will do. More relaxing by the pool. Maybe we could go to the beach. More drinks on the balcony. Go out lunch and dinner. More relaxing. More relaxing. More relaxing.
Our holidays no longer look like this. Because kids… So now, a simple weekend away, looks more like this:
Pick a destination, but somewhere that close to amenities or is kid friendly. Pack your bag for the weekend. Pack the kids bags. Pack toys for the kids. Triple check you haven’t forgotten anything, especially nappies or wipes. Pack the car. Get the kids dressed. Get the kids in the car. Hope the 6 month old doesn’t have a tantrum in the car the whole way there. When you get to the hotel, make 3 trips up and down from the apartment to the car because of all the stuff you now need. Put ABC Kids on the television to keep kids occupied for 5mins while you plan your attack on the weekend. Order dinner to eat in the room because the kids won’t deal with a restaurant environment while they’re this tired. Try and find a kid friendly restaurant for lunch the next day. Hope they don’t throw tantrums or run amok while eating lunch. Go to pool. Change kids into swimming nappies. Try and get sunscreen on them. Run after them so they don’t slip and break an arm or don’t slip into the pool and drown. Generally run around after the kids when they need you. Pack the car back up on last day. Drive home. Unpack everything. Put kids to bed for the night. Fall in a heap on the lounge and realise you haven’t actually had a holiday at all.
And that is only just scratching the surface!
But with that said, it really was a fun weekend away. Hectic fun. But fun none the less.
Holidays are just different for us now. But we wouldn’t change that for the world.
Last weekend we decided to take the kids to the Festival of Lights at Westfield Chermside.
And they absolutely loved it!!!
It was Jesse’s first time seeing fireworks… but, he didn’t get frightened, and in fact, he didn’t know where to look there was so much happening.
Jasper was also a little trooper, not even flinching when the fireworks started up!
We will definitely have to do something like this with the kids again!
If there are any Marvel fans in the house, put your hands up!!!
Yesterday, I finally made it into Brisbane and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) to check out the Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe exhibit…
And wow… it was AWESOME!!!
According to the GOMA website:
“Drawing on Marvel’s extensive archive of original comic books, spectacular concept art, props and costumes, as well as private collections, the exhibition features over 500 unique objects including Thor’s hammer, Iron Man’s suit of armour, Captain America’s shield, and never-before-seen set pieces from the highly anticipated Thor: Ragnarok 2017, including the majestic Asgardian throne room.”
I have never seen so many awesome superhero things in place before. It was just amazing!
And as photography was welcomed, and I just happened to have my trustee Olympus mirror-less with me, I managed to get enough footage to put this short video together.
If you don’t end up getting to the exhibit first hand, I hope you enjoy this video instead!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a morning tea hosted by Milk & Love; a gorgeous boutique business specialising in maternity and nursing fashion.
It was a beautiful warm winters day, the boys were super well behaved (despite a poo-nami from Jasper just as we arrived) and the company of the other mum’s and business owners Corryn and Richard was delightful.
During our time there Richard captured these devine photos of me and my boys.
I feel incredibly blessed to be on my second breastfeeding journey. Already a different experience to the first but every bit as rewarding.
I was nervous about how I would breastfeed a newborn and take care of a toddler knowing how time consuming feeding can be. But for the most part Jesse is extremely respectful of Jasper’s need to nurse and often takes the opportunity to snuggle on the couch with us. He also often chooses that exact time to climb precariously onto something or need me to fix a shoe or a toy that really requires two hands but hey, we’re doing alright.
Big thanks to Richard for these photographs. And to Milk & Love for making beautiful clothing for us mamas.
It seems we are on the grip of a month-long heat wave here in Brisbane. It is unrelenting! And at 30 weeks pregnant I have no qualms when it comes to complaining about it.
Our Tuesday Kanga class is held at an aquatic centre so after class this week, Jesse and I headed out for a swim to cool down.
I honestly don’t know who enjoyed it more. It was so great to feel cool and weightless in the water.
We played and cuddled in the water for over an hour and it was heavenly.