Unpredictable

  

We all know that children can be unpredictable, no matter how much planning goes into an event or an outing, something will happen which we didn’t cater for. 
Today we bravely decided while we were out shopping with the girls that we would have lunch in the restaurant of the garden centre. 

It seemed relatively simple, our eldest was ready for it, as were myself and my husband, and our baby wasn’t due her feed for another hour. Timing couldn’t be more perfect! 

Yet, we were dealing with two small children, we should have known better. 
We could not have predicted that our baby would suddenly develop a dislike to high chairs and uncharacteristically scream as loudly as possible while I was alone with them. 
At the same time, we could not have predicted that our eldest would suddenly develop a pretend cry and try to out-scream her sister, again, something she has never, ever done. 
We were the family in that restaurant with the loud children that received the pitying stares from other customers, something which, after the lovely, playful morning we’d had, I could not have predicted. 
We could not have known that our toddler would need a nappy change right in the middle of lunch, while our food was still nice and hot, and we could not have known that today would be the first day in months that the changing bag would be accidentally left in the car. 
All these things are unexpected, yet expected when any of us dare do anything with babies that involves us leaving the house. 
However, at the same time, we could not have predicted that our toddler would be the one to tell us that her nappy was full and ask for it to be changed; something which, whilst on the slow road towards toilet training is quite a remarkable achievement. 
We could also not have seen the new words and phrases which would be coming out of her mouth. We asked her a question to which her reply was, ‘I don’t know.’ My husband looked at me with a surprised expression and asked me had she said that before. Of course, I think he could tell by my expression that she hadn’t. 
Yes, babies are unpredictable, and yes, things happen that we don’t expect, but when I reflect on today it strikes me that everything we didn’t know would happen, good or bad, is shaping who these little girls are. 

And the situations we found ourselves in that didn’t make us smile at the time certainly made myself and my husband smile when we spoke about them at the end of the day. 
I would say that no matter what happens, how much pride, joy or embarrassment we feel during a given situation, embrace it! 
And laugh things off. 
Many of those people in that restaurant may have been there themselves and we may have made them remember their own unpredictable children. 
But looking back on today, the unpredictable instances that were ‘good’ far outweigh the ones that made us cringe. 
Our children make us proud. They are funny, noisy, caring, mischievous, loving and yes, unpredictable. I have realised that every day is different, every day is wonderful and myself and my husband, we are going to try and embrace the unpredictability of each new day!

‘Mummy guilt’

Why is it that whenever I can’t be with one of my girls because I’m seeing to the other one I feel guilty? If I’m changing baby’s nappy and my little girl wants to play, I obviously can’t just stop what I’m doing. Or vice-versa, if I’m getting my little girl washed or changed and baby is crying, even though my gut instinct is to rush immediately to her side, sometimes it’s just not possible and she is left for a few minutes to cry it out. I know I won’t be the only one who feels like this, I suppose the feeling is quite natural, however, I also know that the ‘voice of reason’ in my head is telling me that actually, it’s fine. And I know that it is fine because I can see before me two little girls who can, most of the time, occupy themselves if they have to, who are not ‘needy’ girls, especially if their mummy is busy with something and who understand, as much as their brains will let them that it is ok to play games alone. My eldest daughter’s independence shines through when she’s playing alone and occasionally doesn’t even want adult intervention even if it’s offered. On a recent visit to our health visitor this was noticed and my little girl was praised for her prolonged interest in a certain solo-activity. And when I think about parents with three, four or even five children, I realise that there is no way every single child can be entertained every single minute of every single day. What’s happening is ok, these two daughters of ours are ok, I guess it’s just a case of ‘mummy-guilt’ striking again!

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Blessed!

This morning I read an article online.

A tragic story of a mother’s pain when discovering, one day before her due date that her little boy had died.

It was unavoidable, sudden and completely heart-breaking! He was born the very next day, when he should have been, and he was born sleeping.

I sat there reading with my six-month old on my knee and the tears began to stream down my face. Exhausted, worn out after a terrible night due to my teething baby, I cradled her in my arms and didn’t ever want to let go.

I had been grumpy during the night, snapping at my husband who was equally tired and playing the victim just because I wasn’t getting the right amount of sleep. But my baby, my second daughter who now sat before me with the most beautiful, beaming smile had needed me to ease her pain. And no matter how tired I was, no matter how weak or rubbish I felt, my little angel was here, in my arms, and after reading about this poor woman’s pain and anguish, I felt utterly blessed!

There will always be good days and bad days when it comes to raising children, surely every mother at some point feels as low as I did this morning. But the article I held before my eyes was only one of dozens of stories that circulate the media every day, many of which I had previously read, many of which had reduced me to tears.

I know that I will not always have huge amounts of energy, I know that there will be many more sleepless nights ahead of me and my husband will endure more of my short-tempered comments. I won’t pretend that life will always be rosy and that I will never feel grumpy again, we have two children, we are going to be busy!

However, what I do know, what I promised myself this very morning as my little bundle of wide-eyed innocence stared intently at my sleepy face, is that no matter how I feel or how these children behave, I have them, they are here and they are mine. They need me completely, regardless of my mood, and whatever each day brings, whatever we celebrate, struggle through, laugh at or endure, my babies will know every single day that I love them with every ounce of my being, and I will thank God for the precious little girls that He has placed in my care.

Reading of losses such as the one I came across this morning is heart-breaking, many parents across the world are going through turmoil, and while I can’t pretend that I will never again complain, I can say with absolute certainty that I will wake up a little happier each day and go to bed each night with a fuller heart, all because of my little family.

I am extremely blessed. I have my loving husband and my two baby girls. I will never take that for granted!

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To wash or to watch … ?

Picture the scene; its weekend, the sun is shining, my husband and I are in the garden with our two children, the toddler (Miss C) is running around and our baby (little Miss A) is sitting on a blanket.

I have a lovely opportunity to sit on the blanket with her, to enjoy the sunshine, to relax in the fresh air and make the most of a bit of peace.
So what do I do?

Hang the washing out.

It’s like a race, a sense of urgency rushes over me the minute I spot a bit of blue sky and I absolutely cannot rest until I know I am making the most of the weather.

And once the clothes are on the line I then rush around to get the next lot in the machine in the hope that they, too, will be done and hung out before the sun disappears.

It doesn’t seem to matter to me that nothing has been washed in two days because of the terrible weather and limited indoor drying space, it doesn’t seem to register with me that one more day probably wouldn’t hurt. No, the sun is shining, we are all outside, and my first thought is of housework.

I need to make a change.

Of course these jobs are important, of course they need doing and of course I want to be organised enough for my family. It is my job, I enjoy looking after them and they deserve no less than a well-kept house and clean clothes, but as important as it is, none of it matters more than quality time spent with them and none of it should have me racing away instead of sitting outside and enjoying my loved ones.

Something inside is trying to tell me that time sitting is time wasted, especially when it already seems as if there aren’t enough hours in the day. I am going to ignore that little voice.

I am going to turn it around and program myself to believe that it is actually ok to sit and do ‘nothing’, because ‘nothing’ in this case is sharing in moments that will all too soon be gone. ‘Nothing’ today means laughing with my little girls as they explore new surroundings, new experiences, as they get used to the sun shining on their little faces. ‘Nothing’ means picking flowers, looking at aeroplanes, eating fresh fruit and feeling the grass tickle our feet.

From now on, if an opportunity such as this one presents itself, which probably happens most days (minus the sunshine), I am going to put down the washing basket, turn off the taps, stop folding and sweeping and let my living room become awash with toys, and I am going to enjoy my children.

As a family of four I am going to allow us to be just that, ‘a family of four’, especially on days when my husband isn’t at work. Don’t get me wrong, we do things together all the time and each of us plays with our children, even if it’s while the other one gets stuff done, but instead of racing towards the next job that doesn’t ‘need’ doing apart from in my head, I am going to race towards them.

Housework can and will wait, my children growing up will not!

Off we go …

Where do I begin? I am completely new to this whole ‘blogging thing’, but I am certainly not new to writing! So, I thought I’d take a leap of faith and go for it. My name is Catherine and I am a mother of two absolutely beautiful (I’m not biased – honestly!) little girls. My eldest is two and my youngest is six-months. My passion for writing became overshadowed by my new-found love of motherhood, so I combined the two and decided to start a blog. Writing about being a mummy and about my gorgeous girlies seems to come more naturally to me than anything I’ve ever written about. I hope my ‘mummy thoughts’ will be an interesting read to someone out there. 🙂 xx