I Think You Are A Super Mum

Last Sunday night was another rough night for Renee as far as sleep goes.

Unfortunately for us (although I’m sure Jesse loved it), our little man had a massive sleep that afternoon while we were at a family BBQ. This meant that when it came time for us to get some sleep, he was any combination of wide awake; restless; feeding; smiling; crying.

This made for a very frustrating start to what I expected to be a long night ahead for Renee.

We have a system for night times which seems to work for us most of the time. That system involves Renee getting up throughout the night to tend to Jesse (she does have the boobs after all) so that I can get a good night sleep for work the next day, and me tending to Jesse (again, when he’s not hungry and wanting to feed on account of having no boobs) when I get home and on the weekends.

This does mean however, as you would have read in Renee’s last blog post, that she hasn’t had a full nights sleep since Jesse was born.

I know she had a rough night on that Sunday night, and the next day I really wanted to let her know that she could call on me if she was at wits end and just needed a break or some sleep.

At around 10 am on Monday morning, I sent the following text message:

“Hey babe. So are you sure you’re ok today?

I just really want to stress to you that while I do appreciate how you want to make sure I get enough sleep for work, I would rather be sleepy at work for a day than have you up losing your shit at night with Jesse.

I think you’re an absolute star and a super mum, but if you’re struggling and at wits end, I am here. I WANT to help. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. That’s my role and responsibility as a dad!

Love you.”

I received a text message back minutes later telling how much just some simple words like that really meant. She went on further to say:

“You are such a great dad. In fact, everyone says what a great dad you are. I dont often get told that I am doing a good job so thank you for saying that.”

So I am here today, writing this down, to tell you that you are not just doing a good job… you are doing a phenomenal job as a new mum to our little Jesse.

Super Mum

I know you don’t hear it enough. From me or from others. And for that I am sorry.

But I am here, now, telling you that to me, you are Superwoman! And I promise to remember to tell you more often, just how good of a job you are doing!

You are our super mum!

The Big Sleep Obsession

When you become a parent, in particular a mum, you become incredibly aware of sleep.

You are either doing it, wishing you were doing it, thinking about doing it or talking about doing it.

Everything is now being weighed up against sleep.

Housework or sleep?

Exercise or sleep?

Sex or sleep?

Sleep will usually trump just about everything else. But often you just want to get some things done or simply enjoy a few minutes to yourself to just lie on the couch and stare stupidly into space (there’s not enough brain power to read all those books I thought I’d catch up on during my maternity leave!).

Watching your baby sleep is both delightful and frustrating. It’s 7.30 pm and he is sleeping. I should really go to bed too. But then BAM… suddenly it’s 9 pm and he’s awake and hungry. Or worse, happy and wanting to play! Damn it, was it really worth staying awake to watch some crappy TV show or do the dishes? I could have had an hours’ sleep!

I’ve now gone 3 months without a solid nights sleep. And I definitely underestimated the concept of sleep deprivation. The last night I slept through was the 25th May. And had I have known it would be my last I would have taken notice and really took pleasure in it.

But that is just life with a baby right. I always knew that would be the case. I’ve missed the odd night of sleep due to a big night of partying and I survived that fine. This will be a piece of cake. No ‘job’ to get up for so I’ll just go with the flow and sleep when I can…

Well that’s all well and good in theory but I’ve come to realise it is really f#*%ing annoying to be woken up 3 times a night, our bodies are not built to do that. And you go through your days with a foggy brain which only gets worse. Some days I really wonder if I should be operating a vehicle!

Sleep Post

Other people are now suddenly obsessed with mine and my babies sleep habits too. Any conversation usually includes “so is he a good sleeper?”

My answer is always yes. But what does that even mean? I say yes because at least I’m getting some sleep. Two hour blocks has now increased to 3-4 hour blocks most nights. And when I get 5 in a row I feel like a new woman!

Then comes the obsession with the elusive ‘sleeping through’ phenomenon. When is my baby going to do it? Her baby is two months younger and is already doing it. Am I ever going to sleep like a normal person (aka my husband) again?

For the most part of the last 3 months we have co-slept. Not something I thought I would do but worked for us and has kept us sane. But I’m now ready to reclaim our bed and sleep comfortably again.

Jesse is not a fan of the bassinet so it looks as though we are going to attempt to move him straight to his cot in his own room. Eek!

Wish us luck!

What are your tips for getting baby to sleep on their own or moving to their cot?

Photo Friday: Baby Discovers His Hand

One of the most thrilling parts of having a new baby is watching them grow, learn and discover.

Mr Jesse has recently discovered his fist….well the left one at least.  Several times a day when his hand passes his face he gets fixated on it for minutes.  Staring and studying it with immense fascination.

Discovering hand

It is such a joy to watch him discovering his body and the world around him. We look forward to seeing him learn to roll, sit up and all the other precious milestones that are no doubt just around the corner.

What are your favourite milestones to watch your baby achieving?

The Fourth Trimester: A Love Letter to My Son

It is done. You are officially twelve weeks old. And it has been swell, my love.

After nine beautiful months, three trimesters, of growing you in my belly every day wondering what you would be like. We have now spent the fourth trimester, your first three months in the outside world, falling in love. And I for one am smitten.

kissing jesse

You are the sweetest little boy. I will cherish this special time we’ve had together forever. Our secret rendezvous in the middle of the night. Our delicious afternoon naps together. Carrying you close to my body making us both reminisce about those months you spent inside. And our morning snuggles in bed, my heart melting with every smile.

You have already grown so much. From a tiny, slippery bundle I could hold in my two palms to a chubby bouncing boy. The tiniest clothes were too big for you and now you are filling out your 000 outfits.

jesse outfit

When I felt you kicking in my tummy I knew we had a special connection. When I held you for the first time I knew I loved you. But now that I know you I know that my heart now lives outside my body. When you are sad and cry my heart aches like never before. And when you smile it sings.

These past 3 months haven’t been easy have they, my love. We have had some tough times together. I know you love it out here with us but it has been hard transitioning from the warm and cosy home in my tummy and sometimes you miss it. I miss it too.

Remember our second day together? You were so hungry and we were both learning what to do. We cried together that night in hospital but we made it through.

in hospital

I can’t promise that there won’t be more hard times ahead. But I can promise that we’ll be together so we’ll be alright.

My precious boy, thank you for choosing me to be your Mummy.

I love you.

Footage Friday: Smiley Bubba

We are waiting with bated breath to hear the delightful sound of Jesse’s first laugh.

He often shrieks with joy as he smiles and kicks his legs. And there have been a few times when he has smiled and had a little chuckle in his sleep but he is yet to let out a definite baby giggle.

Today’s Photo Friday is a cute video of our smiley bubba.

Mission Possible: Getting Out of the House with a Baby

Before having a baby I had heard parents complain about how difficult it was and how long it took to leave the house with a baby. And yes, now I know what they were talking about.

kaine heading out

Before baby, husband and I could be out the door within a few minutes of making the decision.

“Want to go out for lunch?”

“Sure!”

Freshen up, grab keys, wallet and phone and out the door we go.

Now it is a juggling act. I feed the baby while he gets ready then he changes the nappy and preps the gear while I get ready. By then it is time to feed again and after all that we might actually manage to throw everything in the car, buckle baby in his car seat and leave the house.

Phew… nap anyone??

In all seriousness though, I still firmly believe that, with a bit of patience and flexibility, it is possible (and important) to still be outgoing and enjoy a life outside the four walls of home.

So here are some of the things I’ve learned about venturing out of the house with a new baby.

  1. Preparation is key. Always take more stuff than you think you will need including clothing, blankets, bottles and nappies.
  2. Time your outings so that you leave straight after a feed. This way you can maximise time before the next feed is due, in theory anyway.
  3. Try and avoid taking baby in and out of the car more than twice in one outing.
  4. Breastfeed in public. It will feel really awkward at first. Much harder than simply whipping off your shirt and unashamedly popping your boob out when at home. It takes some practice to be able to juggle baby whilst trying to modestly unhook your bra and subtly hide your breast pad somewhere whilst getting bub to latch. And hey, if you happen to flash a bit of boob, try not to worry. It is natural, your baby is hungry and people should just get over it.
  5. Even when using the pram always have a wrap or carrier handy just in case bub gets cranky and wants out.
  6. When baby starts to get grizzly, it is time to go. Avoid being tempted by one more shop or one more errand as this will often lead to a screaming baby and stressed out mum on the ride home.
  7. Enjoy being out. Having a baby doesn’t mean your social life has to end or that you need to be housebound. Getting out every so often will help you to appreciate those days at home endlessly feeding on the couch whilst watching Netflix.
  8. If it all seems too hard, just try grabbing the pram or your favourite carrier and going for a walk around the block. The fresh air will do you both a world of good. Not to mention a little bit of exercise too.

feeding in public

So my question to you is, what are your tips and tricks for getting out of the house with your little ones?

Family Shot - Beach

Photo Friday: How Much Has Jesse Grown?

So for Photo Friday today, we thought that we might share some photos we have recently taken, showing the comparison between Jesse from just after birth, until just recently.

Our little Jesse is growing so quickly. Well, that’s how it seems to us. Being only around 2.6kg when he was first born, to now being 5.5kg, means that we can definitely see the difference.

He is growing and filling out more and more every day and lately, we haven’t been able to control ourselves when it comes to playing with his chubby little arms, legs and cheeks.

So how much has he grown, well have a look below and see for yourself. We think he is just getting cuter and cuter every… single… day!

Jesse at 14 days old:14 days

Jesse at 9 weeks old:9 weeks

Jesse at 10 days old:10 days

Jesse at 10 weeks old:10 weeks

Do You Even Baby Wear Bro?

So, baby wearing is a big thing. Like, there are Facebook groups dedicated to it and everything!

And why not, it’s awesome!

I first became familiar with the concept when I was pregnant. I fell in love with Chekoh Carriers when I spotted them on social media and I couldn’t wait to get one. I really love the idea of the ‘fourth trimester’ and I thought that baby wearing was a great way to keep bub feeling safe and secure as well as being practical and super stylish with the Chekoh wraps.

It took several attempts (and about 37 views of the video) to get the hang of putting it on. And my bub was very small so it was tricky to get the tension just right. But now we (yes, Kaine loves to baby wear too!) have got it down to a fine art. Jesse loves it and so do we.

Baby Wearing

I then visited a friend while wearing the wrap and she mentioned that she uses a wrap like that when she goes out and a Baby Bjorn at home.  I thought that seemed like a good arrangement and by the next day I was the proud owner of a near new one I found on Gumtree.

It certainly makes doing chores around the home much easier and the little man loves it, falling asleep almost instantly every time.

The thing is it seems that I may have developed an obsession with carrier collecting!

I went to my first KangaTraining class last week and, as the Baby Bjorn is not suitable for that, I had to borrow one of their Manducas. Well… I might just need one of those too! There are so many great options available and now Chekoh are now teasing me with their soon to be released ring slings…

Oh my, I may have a problem!

But it wasn’t until recently that I realised just how much of a big deal this baby wearing stuff is.

I went to the ‘Babes in Arms’ session at the movies to see Magic Mike XXL (I know, excellent parenting right there!) and I wore my Chekoh figuring that Jesse would sleep throughout the movie and I’d avoid the need to take a pram (which I still do use by the way). In the parents room afterwards a fellow mum asked me which wrap I was using. When I told her this prompted a several minute long conversation about wraps, carriers and baby wearing. It was fascinating. She told me about the local baby wearing community on Facebook and suggested I join my local group.

I did and was slightly freaked out at first. It’s like a exclusive society complete with secret handshake! But it appears to be an extremely supportive community and a really great way for mums to feel a part of something positive unlike so much of the ‘mummy mafia’ beahaviour out there nowadays.

So I suppose I’m officially part of the club. But, as a newbie, I’d love to hear from my fellow baby wearing enthusiasts.

What’s your favourite way to wear your Bub?

And if you haven’t tried baby wearing yet, give it a go. But beware, it’s addictive!

New Mum Reminder: Go Easy on Yourself!

Our little man is two months old today. He is getting so big and changing every day.

As we get caught up in the daily rituals of nappies and meal times it feels like Jesse has been apart of our family for longer than he has. Sometimes this can lead to disappointment that I don’t quite have it all together all of the time.

Then I am reminded not be so hard on myself, after all it has only been 8 weeks!

So here are some things I think I need to be reminded of. Perhaps you can relate to some of these or add a few of your own…

  1. You are still new at this and that’s OK! You’re not expected to have it all figured out just yet. So your baby likes to be cuddled while he sleeps. He has a textbook breastfeed one time and then doesn’t want a bar of it the next. The dishes are piling up in the sink and you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the loo. Just go with it.  A stressed out Mum will only result in a stressed out bub.
  2. Some other areas of your life may have fallen by the wayside but it’s only temporary. I know you have high expectations of yourself and want to be able to be ‘Super Mum’ and do it all, all of the time. And in time you probably will. But for now, just relax and enjoy this special time. Baby steps are still progress even if it is slower than you might like.
  3. You may catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and wonder who the hell that fat, tired person is glaring back at you, but give yourself a break. You just had a baby for goodness sake! Yes there are some wobbly bits and lumps and bumps where there wasn’t before. Just focus on being healthy and happy for now and your body will soon follow.
  4. So those formula top ups you thought were temporary are still going, so what! Your baby is happy and healthy and that is all that matters. Remember this, each and every breastfeed, even if it is for just a few minutes, is doing wonders for your baby. Don’t be ashamed that you also have to give your baby bottles. You might feel like everyone is judging you but in fact other mums are probably thinking ‘Thank God, its not just me’!
  5. Trust your instincts. Sleep routines, controlled crying methods, co-sleeping, bed sharing, breasts, bottles, dummies, disposable nappies, cloth nappies, baby wearing; it seems everyone has an opinion about everything and there are so many concepts and ideas out there that at times, it can be very overwhelming. Just do what feels right. And if in the end it doesn’t work out, well, just try something else.

Just remember ‘this too shall pass’. That is both a blessing and a curse. Yes waking up several times throughout the night and a baby that won’t sleep for more than an hour on his own will eventually be things of the past. But so will those sleepy snuggles and those goofy gummy grins. So try to enjoy it all; the good, the bad and the sleep deprived.

be-a-good-mum

As women we can often be our own worst enemy. And as mothers we are often each others. Let’s cut ourselves some slack and while we are at it, be nicer to each other as well.

Breast or bottle, disposable or cloth, controlled crying or attachment parenting – no matter how we are doing it we are all going through the same things and just trying to be the best Mums we can be.

So try to be kinder to yourself and while you’re at it, give a smile or a word of encouragement to fellow Mum. It might be all she needs to brighten an otherwise stressful or frustrating day.

First Week of Work Wrap-Up

So I officially made it through my first week back at work after my paternity leave.

Was it tough? Yes and no…

That very first Monday morning was the hardest. Having to get up at 5am for the first time in 7 weeks was hard. Having to leave Renee and Jesse for the day for the first time in 7 weeks was even harder!

But I must admit that it didn’t take me long to get back into the groove of working life.

What made the transition easy is the fact that I work with a great group of people. The team at work made me feel amazing getting back into work life, and it was a real pleasure having everyone come up asking about Jesse and how he is going.

The biggest surprise was that I never really felt tired while I was at work. Toward the end of the week, Thursday and Friday, I was feeling tired earlier in the night. But I seemed to cope fairly well while I was at work. I have to send out a huge thank you to Renee for this fact, as she is the one who gets up during the night to tend to Jesse so that I can get a good nights sleep for work the next day.

It is nearly 12pm on Sunday, and I fell like I am definitely making the most of my days at home by spending as much time as a I can with Renee and Jesse. This is more important than ever now, considering my time with them is somewhat limited during the week.

It makes me wonder how other new dads cope trying to get the best work/life balance they can with a newborn.

If you are a new dad out there, what are your experiences in trying get a good work/life balance with a newborn?

I will say this, one of the biggest things that gets me through my work day is knowing that at the end, I get to see this little guy again!

Work Post