What does it do? 

There was a conversation going on in the kitchen at work yesterday regarding having kids. The discussion involved parents and two ladies who are yet or may never have children, for their own reasons I guess. 

I butted in as usual, with the fact that one thing I would say to anyone was that if you have anything other than a stable relationship, then you shouldn’t have kids. I stand by that but it also got me thinking about exactly what I would say to someone when it comes to the biggest decision of their life, ever! 

Everyone has their own reasons for becoming parents and others don’t even think about, they just do because that’s what they assume the next step is. Tom and I decided to do it because we have such an amazing relationship that we wanted a little person to be a part of it, we felt we had everything you need to offer a child mentally. We were at a point of emotional readiness, which for us was the key. 

The question was asked of me as to why I felt so strongly that your relationship is key, and here it is. Having a child is brutal, it exposes your  weakness, your darkness, it challenges every emotion you posses and it threatens to consume you pretty much daily.. Every bit of work you have ever done on yourself mentally and physically is laid out bare and all you thought you had a grip of in the world is thrown into an unrecoverable tail spin back down to earth with a crash. 

You are no longer absorbed totally as a couple, you’re forced to do things apart, take shifts with a poorly baby, clean up vomit from your entire house whilst you yourself are fighting the same illness and your other half is dying in a ball of sickness and fatigue too. It’s not pretty, but it’s incredible. Your relationship will never be the same again, but in our case, we would never want it to be. It’s grown even stronger and bigger than we ever thought it could. We have not only seen each others weakness, we have seen a strength of epic propotion, and it’s something you just do. 

When you look at your combined efforts personified, you’re overwhelmed with a love you never even contemplated existed and waves of panic when it dawns on you that you are responsible for shaping this beautiful, infallible little ball of perfection.. But then..

They smile, they laugh, they look at you, they say their first word, they master the smallest of skills, their mere existence just makes your heart burst afresh every time and you know you wouldn’t have it any other way. You have never smiled a true smile until you have experienced a child’s love. 

From the moment I conceived, I was in awe of the process and I never stop being in awe. Leo has taught me the value of small things in the world. There is a game and happiness in everything and we are here to guide him along and enjoy the scariest ride of our lives! 

I am rebuilding myself everyday into a role model he deserves, I don’t see how that could ever be anything but positive. 

So be realistic, you can always talk yourself out of it but trust me, you know when you are ready. We were the last couple anyone expected to have kids and now look. Every moment of our existence now is for his future and that makes us more of a team than ever before. 

In a nutshell, it’s breathtaking. 

Alive

So last weekend was basically a write off for me. Sarah and Leo went adventuring without me and I missed them ever so much. 

This weekend has been so much better. I was meant to race today but I didn’t feel up to it until today so I’d already decided against it. Instead, we had a busy day on Saturday tidying and doing DIY and playing with Leo’s new car and tractor. Today we have been to an amazing soft play with our friend Emily and her super cute daughter Chloe, then more playing at home. 

I feel alive. 

Cow
Playing on my chair
Playing in my box

Reflection

Thinking is hard. Sarah and I have recently been talking a lot about how we differ in the thinking stakes. Sarah likes to think, it seems, approximately 100% of the time about everything. I  meanwhile seem to think mostly when I need to and not a second more. 

Neither of these solutions seem optimal, so we’re working on how to balance them out. Meditation is a good starting point. For me, it’s a time of engaging my brain fully and filling it with thoughts of recent events and family, casting aside any work or noise. For Sarah, it’s a time to quiet her mind, focusing entirely on her breathing and current state. It’s an interesting difference and midpoint. 

The thing I love about Sarah so much is she is not fixed. She is fluid, moving towards a goal that is not fixed but constantly shifting, always further away. I need to adopt such a practice, as I tend towards the easy, hence the bursty thinking levels. Perhaps 100 is the wrong level of usage for long term happiness for me, but maybe aiming for 90 us sensible. 

Things to do: learn to mediate my responses; become more aware of the social impact of my actions; improve my technical skills for work to reduce any friction caused by lack of understanding; hit my fitness and health goals. 

It’s a lot to do, but I have time. It balances out. 

Cinema night!

We haven’t done that for a good while, not since I was pregnant and we had to leave because Leo was clearly distressed by the noise. My normally peaceful little belly bud, was flipping around all over the place.. It was Mad Max and the entire first half is just explosions!

Anyway, we were both working from home and mum had Leo so we took advantage of the new cinema that is 5 mins from our house. Aside from the permanent fear that we were going to miss contact from mum whilst we were in there, it was great to go out AND we were still in bed by 9 AND I did 7 hours sleep without snoozing! Do I feel amazing? No, but never mind! I’m still up and out in the gym by 5.30 so today is a good day!

Baby weekend

Every weekend is a baby weekend of course, bit this one was minus a poorly daddy in parts. Finally, the latest lurgie got to grips with Tom so I took Leo out each morning so that he could catch up on some sleep and chilling.

It made me really miss my maternity leave time and that full one to one immersion. It’s a shame you stop maternity right at the point they start to become your little pal.

We made goop! This stuff, whilst very dodgy to the adult eye, is amazing! I can’t believe I have made it to this point and not found out about it! It’s just cornflour (or potato starch on this occasion) and water and it is a Non-Newtonian fluid; Google it.

Leo also thought it was amazing and threw it around the kitchen, which some may recoil in horror at the thought of, however, due to its properties it is the easiest thing in the world to clean up! Perfect toy!

We also did some super chilly walking so that I got my low intensity fat burn, which is the order of the day at the moment. I really have some work to do to be ready for Tough Mudder and just get back to a point that I’m happy with. I am tracking it on my other blog so this doesn’t turn into all about me, it’s about the family!

Anyway, non-Newtonian play turned into kitchen sink bath time which was obviously also amazing! You can have so much, cheap fun in a kitchen if you put your mind to it!

Finally!

I think this is the most restful nights sleep I have had in 17 months and it feels wonderful! However, little man’s next set of teeth are starting to bud, so I am guessing it’s the calm before the storm!

There is so much progression in general going on, he’s such a little boy now and he just makes me so proud.

We have been discharged from the clinic for his coughing issue now, which is great news and whilst we were at the hospital, he desperately didn’t want to give up a little car that he found in the play area. I just asked him to put it back as it lived there and we were going home and he said no. So I just explained it again and asked him to put it back and say bye bye to it.. And he did. It sounds so small, but before making the decision on how I want to parent based on respect and age appropriate approaches based on their stage of brain development, I would have just taken it off him and he would’ve been distraught. He had a similar thing with his cousins car and I asked him to give it back to him, and he toddled off.. So cute. I am also under no illusions that it will always be so simple and as his emotions increase in complexity, so will his will but I am adamant we will continue to manage everything in this style.

Bear hunt!

We went on a bear hunt this morning, organised by a company who also does outdoor pre school. It was great, lots of mud and mess, what more can you want!

This lead me to start reading about outdoor pre schools, and I simply have to find one that fits in with our schedule.. Leo would love it, and I love the idea of him having nap time in a sleeping bag hammock, outside!

There are a couple around us, none majorly convenient for the times I work and distances etc so I am going to have to get my thinking cap on. They have limited spaces so you need to get your name down early, but they don’t take them until they are two, so we a little bit of a window.

I hate the fact that working parents are faced with these situations!

Adventure time

Today’s little outing was Formby beach. It has always been one of my favourite beaches, I used to take the horses there as a teenager and we regularly went dog walking there over the years. Tom has taken on the love of it too and we will obviously be exposing Leo to it as much as humanly possible.

The air seems more comforting somehow, almost softer.. Very strange I know, but it does, even when the sea is tempestuous and dark and the beach windswept and ragged, it’s still comforting to me and exhilarating. If it wasn’t so darned expensive around there I would be there without a thought.

Leo of course loved it. We took him for his birthday, but he is a very different little man now and water and mucky sand are just the best combination of things in a little boys world, well, this little toddler’s world anyway!

I think he would’ve stayed there all day if we’d let him. He was a little disgruntled to leave even though his little hands were like ice cubes!

Successful Sundaying

Time out

I decided in the early hours of Tuesday morning, after waking at 3.30 and not being able to get back to sleep, that we needed to do something drastic. Tom was starting with a cold and I am still not well.

I asked mum if she could take Leo one night a week, at least Tom could sleep through on those occasions and I stood a better chance of not being woken up and lying awake for hours as normal.

Kindly, she agreed and we did our first night on Wednesday night. We missed him horribly and I woke on several occasions but managed to get back to sleep. We went over to mum’s first thing in the morning before work so that we could see him and he was merrily snoozing in bed with mum.

It seems a strange thing to do, but we need to be well and I need to sort it once and for all