Before I give you a glimpse into a day in my life here’s what I dreamt it would be like…you know before I gave birth and all that – what it’d be like in my head.
Get a lay in, wake up with a cup of tea, feed Phoebe, change her, get dressed, go out somewhere, come back, get some lunch, get her to sleep for a bit, do some stuff on the laptop, have dinner, watch some TV and then put her to bed. So basically exactly what I was doing before I had her but with some extra bits in between.
Who am I kidding? This post alone has been written so stop start that I’ve literally written it one handed at times, one sentence at a time, with a hot cuppa staring me out knowing I can’t get to it because I have a Phoebe on me.
So this is the reality.
Phoebe is now almost four months old so luckily for me she’s sleeping through the night. Although we still get an early wake up call at anything between 5am and 7am. We hear her grumble a few times and then I go through to her once she’s started that ‘get in here I want to see you now’ cry. And then the light goes on and there she is gurgling away, smiling at me and looking as happy as can be. And me well I’m cold and am wearing the sick covered t-shirt I had on the night before.
So we get down to the business end of this early morning wake up call. We get a nappy change and then she hits the boob. She doesn’t ever stay on me that long so she has a top up of formula. 150ml later and we’re into the burping and the little bit of sick she regurgitates. And then it’s back down for a while longer. “Come on darling, mummy wants to have a teeny weeny bit longer in bed”, she obliges mostly but sometimes she starts shouting. About half an hour later she’ll drift off, just as the sun is rising and bringing light into the room – so at this point Phoebe must be thinking what the hell, it’s light now. I want to play.
I’m fortunate enough that my partner – POG -will get up and take her downstairs for a bit as he starts his working day.
I’ll then come downstairs and she’ll be asleep. Aha peace…I can get myself a cuppa. Kettle on, decaf teabag in my favourite mug and it’s as if she knows my bum is within a whisper of the sofa because her eyes are like bolts – wide awake and waiting for my lips to just take that first sip before she starts kicking off.
And in that moment, I get a kiss goodbye and a see you tonight from POG. So then I have a tea getting cold, a stinky top on, a Phoebe to get settled and a baby group to get ready for.
My next challenge is getting ready myself. I always have that daily dilemma. Do I get showered and dressed for the other mums, or just slum it and just look in the mirror without my glasses? Be better that way wouldn’t it and a whole lot easier. I can’t see what state I look like then.
Getting ready normally means strapping Phoebe into her baby rocker and hoping she settles or I take her upstairs with me and let her kick off in her cot. She’s only been up a while and she’s clever – she knows it can’t be bedtime yet. But I do the latter anyway, jump in the shower put a splash of shampoo on my hair and body and then out. Quicker than you can say jumping jack flash I’m in and out, half dry, half wet – back to get Phoebe and settle her again.
She then lays on my bed wedged between four pillows while I dry my hair and put a touch of make up on. Still not had a drink and I can hear Homes under the Hammer starting on the TV downstairs. My whole life timings now revolve around what’s on the TV. So I know I’m running late and Phoebe still isn’t dressed.
Same dilemma with her too. Do we go out with her just in a sleepsuit or shall we make an effort and dress her properly. I mean she has more clothes than me, she needs to get some wear out of this stuff. So again, I opt with the latter and she’s now ready for the day. It’s almost 11am.
I need to pack my changing bag – quick check – nappies, wipes, bottles, spare clothes done!
Snowsuit on and then our daily tussle to get her in the car seat begins. Is it just me or does the strap play games with you too. Overnight the strap seems to have twisted. Phoebe also likes to play this game where I get one arm in, then the other arm and the first one has popped out. We continue to do this until we’re in fully secure like Houdini. Normally takes at least 10 minutes just to get this bit done.
I’ve said goodbye to the days when I can just nip out quickly. We’re talking at least 20 mins just to get from the front room to the car.
So we’re all ready to go. Coat on me, shoes on, dog fed, dog happy, got keys, got glasses, got money, got phone. Great were good to go.
I then have to wade through the muddy verge outside my house and get Phoebe in the back of a three-door car. What fun. Did I mention the verge is on a little slope so the whole time the door keeps shutting itself. She’s strapped in and I can relax. But this is when she starts crying again. Thank goodness I know as soon as the car starts and we get going she’ll settle. We travel about 15 minutes up the road to the local children’s centre. Parking is a nightmare so I have to get her out the car, into the pram and then finally we’ve made it to our destination.
The baby group stresses me out too. I don’t know anyone and I find these things incredibly nerve-wracking and just hope that someone talks to me or at least shows some interest in Phoebe and I. This group starts with baby massage… and normally I remember but odd days I’ve just sat down and forgotten my baby oil or we just get started and Phoebe is hungry again. That’s not to mention as soon as I start stripping her off she’s screaming wondering what the hell is going on. She’s thinking only half hour ago mummy was getting me dressed, now I’m starkers again. But she goes with it, embarrassing me the whole time by giving her lungs some exercise. That finishes and then she’s quiet. So we’re back in the clothes, back in the snowsuit, back in the pram, back in the car seat, a scramble to get her back in the car and we’re back home.
My half drunken, now cold cup of tea is still on the table and I just sit down for another and guess what. She’s hungry. Again. So nothing for me. And all the milk for her.
She finally drifts off to sleep, usually on the sofa, on my lap, in her rocker or on the play mat. And I can get that eagerly anticipated hot cup of tea. Loose Women on in the background. Ahh peace at last… I must also remember to eat.
The we’re onto the afternoon routine. TV is rubbish – 1000 Heartbeats, Tipping Point, 15 minutes of The Chase then switch over to Pointless. I’ve never been at home in the day so much and there’s so much rubbish on the TV – it’s quiz show, after quiz show. I get the laptop out for a bit and then she’ll wake again. Either being sick or needing a nappy change. Luckily she tends to just lay awake without crying in the afternoons. We play with all her toys, which she has no interest in whatsoever and I spend ages trying to get a smile out of her. I talk so high pitched I could be mistaken for a Bee Gee. “Are you going to give me a smile, are you going to smile for mummy?” Nothing. She is a very serious baby, with very stern facial expressions.
Another nappy change, perhaps with a cheeky poo thrown in and another feed.
Then we’re back in the snowsuit only this time I’m getting her in my Ergobaby 360. So she’s attached to me, lead on Charlie our dog and then we’re out. Two minutes later we’re on the beach. This is the moment I get to take a deep breath and take in all that fresh sea air. Charlie gets a massive run on the sand and Phoebe gets some of that beachy goodness too. After about half an hour I’m back home again and usually in for the day then. More quiz shows…
I feel shattered and luckily POG is home from work soon.
When he walks through the door I light up, desperate to tell him about my day and the funny little things Phoebe has done or what we’ve been up to.
He’ll cook dinner while I play with Phoebe and then we get to watch a bit of evening TV together while eating dinner. Phoebe will feed again at about 7pm and then perhaps at 10pm. Depends on timings and how she’s feeling. Between these times she’s winding down and then once she falls asleep downstairs I take her up tightly in my arms. In the cot, light dimmed, whale music on. I always tell her I love her and always give her a kiss goodnight and that’s bedtime until we get to do it all over again.
Funny thing is I actually think this is the easy bit about being a mama. When they’re this age. I’m expecting it to be a whole lot crazier when she gets older. Being a new mum is hard. Harder than I really ever imagined, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love the way my normal routine has been turned on its head and shaken around a bit more. Phoebe is keeping me on my toes and makes me smile all the time.