So many things to say when introducing this blog. I have been thinking a lot recently as I nearly hit another year in my 30s – just how different they were to my 20s. Amazing different.
I mean any mother will tell you how amazing it is to have kids. They change your life in so many ways and every day I am grateful for my two boys. This time 10 years ago I was living the dream working for an amazing Fashion PR company in trendy Islington, London. I was working late nights, organising press shows, getting in undated with free clothes, beauty gifts and more, hanging out with beautiful models, talented stylists, make up and hair teams, going to swanky London restaurants and coming home late to do it all again the next day. Do I miss is? Not all of it. No. It taught me so much and I have said before everything happens for a reason. I am hard working, passionate and driven and I know I have amazing things coming my way – I had my time in the hustle and bustle and loved it all but right now my time is with my kids.
Having 2 kids – one 6 and the other 3 has taught me so much about them and myself – as well as my marriage and more. But there are certain things I wish I knew when I had just the one baby and oh my God – definitely when I had 2. So I thought I would blog about it and break it up in 2 parts – 1 baby and then when you have more than 1. Here goes…
- The fact that sleep is so important.
To all my friends and people who are young, free and living the dream. When you have kids say bye to sleep. Say bye to lay ins and yes don’t even think about it. Whether you have a good sleeper, a bad sleeper or just a baby who wants to always have your attention. When you have kids you DO NOT SLEEP ( well no where near as what you did before). They want to play with you, they want a cuddle, teething, sick, diarrhea, a drink of water, nightmares the list goes on and yes even when they are 6 they still wake up for something. Enjoy your sleep and for the love of God, do not moan about it to a parent! Your funeral.
2. How having a baby can effect your confidence.
I thought I was quite confident when I had Khillian. I wore clothes I liked and even though I had put weight on it never really bothered me. Until I stopped looking in the mirror, showering as much and biting my nails. Every person whether you are a mum of 1 or 5 needs to make sure she is doing something for herself to make her feel confident. It could be buying a new dress, having a pedicure, going for a coffee with your friends. All these things make you smile and boost your confidence. Making you feel so much better in your day and in yourself.
3. Do not sweat the small stuff…
All the silly things you worry about. Why hasn’t so and so invited me here? Why are my trousers so tight? Why didn’t I get that promotion? I hate my boss. My friend hates me. I haven’t text her back. All that stuff doesn’t bother you as much and should not bother you when you have had a baby. You have more important things to worry about. What is that rash? Why will he not stop crying? I am going to be late for the appointment at the doctor and so on. Babies come first. But if something is bothering you, sleep on it (if you get any sleep) and think about it when the air has calmed down. I worried about so much when I had Khillian and now I laugh about it, as it really is playground silliness.
4. Have a mammas whats app group with your friends.
I wish I had this. Just people to talk to, send funny memes too, help each other out and someone to talk to during those early and late night feeds. Knowing you have people in the same boat as you really helps when you feel like you are sinking in motherhood.
5. Do not worry about how the baby is being fed
Such a big and debatable topic. My boys were both fed differently and they are both alive, can talk, play, run, see and hear (most of the time) so there is no right way to feed a baby. If you want to breast feed good for you. If you want to bottle feed good for you. Every mother should be supporting another mother when she needs help or is unsure of how to feed her baby, not encouraging her to do it a certain way. When Khillian was born I felt utter pressure to breast feed as every woman in my family did it. I didn’t get pressure from them, I was the one who was adding the pressure to myself. When I gave up with Khillian at 6 weeks I was devastated. I didn’t think about the positives – the help I would be getting, the connection he as a baby would get from family and friends. With Lorenzo I simply went with the flow. Didn’t care, if it worked – amazing. If it didn’t hey guess what supermarkets have baby milk!
6. How great slings are.
To be honest – I was scared that if I used a sling the baby would get too attached to me. How bad is that? I do not do well with clingy babies and thought I would be making it worse for myself if I used to a sling. Nowdays that is all mums do due to you being able to have 2 hands. Cooking dinner, exercising, walking the dog, supermarket shop. You can do all of this with a simple basket and baby in sling. And nowdays they have amazing designs and fabrics too.
7. Get everything checked.
After baby comes out you need a MMOT. Yes a Mamma MOT. Have everything checked…Smear test, eye test, dentist, roots. Have it all checked over and you will feel like a new fresh woman. Trust me. Your vagina will thank you in years to come, you can read your book better, your teeth will not hurt and you will look like a new J.Lo with your fab hair colour. Because, you know what no one tells you? Children, babies, hormones – – – – -they change everything!!!!
8. Be honest – if you need help. Ask for it.
Do not think that motherhood is a competition. We are all doing the same thing. Raising humans and winging it at the same time. If you feel that something is wrong, or just a little off, grey and blue. Ask to speak to someone. It could be a friend, a relative, your partner, a GP. Do not be embarrassed. Being a parent is hard and when you are a woman and a parent its the hardest job of them all. Asking for help will instantly make you feel better. Having a chat over a cup of tea, asking someone to feed the baby so you can have a lie down, asking your mum to wash your whites, having your best mate come over for bath time. Every little helps to make you feel like you are having a great day.
9. Walk, walk and walk everywhere
Baby is not sleeping, baby is not eating, I’m tired, its too hot, he won’t stop crying. Grab your coat, pram and water bottle and go for a walk. It always helps. Traffic, noises, fresh air and movement helps you and your baby through any situation. Just make sure you are wearing comfty shoes, a hooded coat and you have a waterproof cover.
10. Teething amber bracelets
Some people do not believe in them but anything that helps little ones in all their stages of development I am a fan of. Make sure you buy from a secure website and that the amber is pure and the clasps are tight and secure. I brought both my kids amber bracelets to help them with teething problems but wish I brought the necklace too.
11. Hypo birthing / Meditation and Placenta Tablets.
Once again, yes I am into anything that will help me feel great after having a baby. With Khillian there was nothing like this and no one really mentioned it. When I had Lorenzo I looked into everything. It was not expensive. I downloaded Hypo birthing affirmations from online for free and listened to them in bed to help me sleep and prepare me for birth. I think it helped I concentrated on visual representations that were repeatedly said in my ear or that I read. Using images of the sky, balloons, clouds etc and when I am having problems sleeping I play them again and again. In regards to the placenta tablets I think this is each to their own. I had my placenta encapsulated and yes it did help. So many benefits as I planned to breast feed (well it worked out better) I got lots more milk in, baby drank and ate well and it really did help with my mood and the baby blues.
12. Your fashion wardrobe will change
As I mentioned before. Do not think when your baby is big and you have a wild girls night out you can wear the same things as before. I don’t know maybe you can. I felt that suddenly, there is a time warp and all the girls are acting, dressing, and even walking different. Lip fillers, hair extensions, new eyebrows and eyelashes were never a thing when I was younger. Ladies used to all put their bags in the middle and dance around them like a water fountain. Now everyone dance, talks and shouts into their phones. Dresses are out and people are going to clubs in cycling gear or PJs. Check it out – see what trends are in and you like and see what you feel comfortable in. Do not follow the tribe. Start your own…
13. You have to teach them to sleep.
Who the hell bloody knew. I thought a baby is tired, they fall asleep like angles to you singing lullabys. Hell no! Some babies you have to let them cry it out, some will suck their thumbs and fingers, some need white noise machines. Some need blacked out room and you will not know which thing your little one needs. Yep, you have to try them ALL out until the right recipe is there. Aren’t kids fun creatures like that? You can read all the books and online forums, ask your mum, mother in law, best friend…it takes patience, time and a lot of love and tears but they and you will get there.
14. Going out is a bit different….
Gone are the days when I get home at 3am with a cab, high heels, red lip and glitter everywhere. Now I make sure I have a ride home, suitable company and my evenings and outfits are all well spent as I am not sure when I will be doing whatever I am doing with whoever I am doing again. Going out is still fun and SHOULD be done. Being a mum doesn’t change you at all. Its how you deal with the situation that changes everything. You can go out but you might be too tired by midnight and who cares, go home, put your PJs on and watch Power – that in-itself is a bloody great night!!!
15. Do not be scared to book that holiday.
So many what ifs and you know what? None of them matter. You want to go away on holiday yes BOOK it!!! It is worth the magical memories. Trust me!
and then you decide you have made it through to a year and you kept them alive. Sleeping is getting better and you and your partner have stopped being so sarcastic and forgetting the sleeping competition you have going on – ‘Well I woke up at 6 and started breakfast and worked’ ‘Well I woke up 3 days in a row with the baby and am feeling fine so why aren’t you?…
And you decide to have another baby….
16. Date nights!
Once a month at least. So important and it could be anything from cinema, to a walk in the park, ice cream at your favourite spot. Get that baby sitter in and go out. Try not to talk about kids. Talk about other things you wish you could talk about but your kids keep bloody interrupting you on. House stuff, friends, films and a personal favourite of mine what would you do if you want £100 million. Phones will instantly be put down for this topic.
We were very strict with the boys bonding. Everything we needed help with we made sure Khillian was involved. The kids are treated and brought up the same, with the same people around. It really does effect children when a sibling is around so you must make sure the kids bond straight away. Having a sibling truly is a magical thing! When the little one is naughty tell them off, show the big kid it is not always him, he is not always to blame just because he is older. He is not always the loser and he is not always the winner. Everyone is equal.
All kids are different. My mum has always said she has had chalk and cheese and me and my sister are different in SO many ways but we get on so well. She is my soul sister. We laugh just by looking at each other and know when each other are down, happy and stupid. Do not compare kids as no 2 are the same. They can look different, walk at different ages, talk at different stages, have the same interests, hate the same things. The most important thing is that they love you and themselves and your partner. Everything else will work itself out. They will be who they are meant to be.
19. Separation of Love.
I always make sure when its half term I do something just me and Khillian and I learnt that when Khillian was at school I had to do something every week just me and Lorenzo. Separating your love shows your little one just how much you love to spend time with them and be with them. Just going to the shops with both kids and having both of them barking at you at the same time feels like world war 3. Having separate activities is a lovely thing to do and that one on one time is beautiful for mums and dads too.
20. Buy 2 of everything. The same.
EVERYTHING!! I say it to anyone who walks in my house. Did you get 2 lollipops? Buy 2 of everything and exactly the same. Simple.
21. The 2 year battle.
Terrible 2s are not fun. No its the age when they cannot fully express what they want, what is making them sad, hurting them so they lash out, throw tantrums. It is also the age with siblings where they start to fight each other, bite, argue and basically try to drown each other in bath. True story. NEVER leave them alone together at this age. Someone will get hurt.
22. Working Life.
It changes. Nothing will ever be what it used to be. It might be better but it will not be what you are used to. You have to work out what you love, what your passions are, what you are keen to do and explore and new things will come from there. Having kids does not stop you, it empowers you. Remember that! You have to do better than before as you have little ones to look after. You want to be a better person and bring more money in. Kids are great for a work incentive.
23. Break Away.
You want a spa break with your husband? A girly trip abroad? Why not! Do not be scared to try new things. When you are older you will be proud of yourself and when you explain the situation to your kids, your kids will be proud of you too. We all need a break and if my husband can go on a three day work trip. So can I.
24. Potty Training doesn’t get easier.
Whoever told me that was a bloody arsehhole.
It all goes back to kids being different. Khillian got it in a day Lorenzo got is in what felt like 65 days. But he is dry and loving life and that is all that matters. Go to my potty training post here for more details. Literally all the shits and giggles.
25. School run is a bitch.
Yes, they are. I remember driving to Khillian’s school at 12:30pm just to make sure Lorenzo had a long afternoon nap as he was refusing to nap anywhere but the car. That was my whole afternoon gone. Sitting in the car waiting for him to fall asleep. When your big man starts school everything changes. After school clubs (that the little ones get dragged too), naps in cars, short naps, rushing around, homework, projects. Its all something new but with little ones it can be tough.
26. Blabber mouths.
Both of them. Talk and talk and talk. To each other, to themselves, shouting at me, at animals, in the bath, upstairs, at bed time. The funny thing is when I want to know information they both give it to me as they do not want to be in trouble…
‘Lorenzo did it because he wanted more biscuits.’ ‘Khillian hit me because he wanted to play my game, but I hit him because I want to play it with Papa.’
‘Where did you sleep last night Lorenzo?’ ‘Nonno’s bed’
‘But you know you are not aloud in Nonnos bed.’ ‘Nonno said I could because I was cold and he is nice and warm. Mummy I was so cold.’ See what I mean.
27. Bed cuddles are the best.
They really are. Both kids, Sunday morning. The best. feeling. ever.
28. Do not loose sight of your friends
When the kids are killing each other, stressing you out family and friends really help. Laughing and doing something fun, different and for the giggles is amazing. Everyone is going through stages but having fun with people you love cannot be lost and instead should be worked on more when you have kids. We all need our sanity and that’s what friends are for.
29. Holidays are the best with kids…
My summers since having the kids have been fantastic and the best summers by far. The memories we have made, the destinations, countries and people we have met I will and they will never forget. Save up, go for 5-7 days and enjoy your time with your family. Yes, no one sleeps, it takes 4 hours to get out of the hotel room, you will live off of pizza and steal your kids ipad when they are asleep. But my God it is worth every penny!
30. Soak every moment up.
My big man just turned 6 and the little one 3. It has flown by. I remember having Khillian and the feeling of Euphoria it gave me I will never forget. It was a drug on another level, I remember the amount of times in one night I went into Lorenzo’s room begging him to sleep, the arguments with my husband over petty things, the smiles at the beach, Khillian reading his first sentence, Lorenzo calling for Khillian to wake up. It goes too quickly. Soak it all up.
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. I have loved writing it and really hope you leave me some comments to see what you wish you knew before you had kids or 2.
Much Love Always.