A day in the life of... a family of four.


A good year or so ago, I wrote a post describing the day in the life of me.. a nervous mum. Well, a lot of things have changed since then and so I thought I would give you an insight in to how we live now and what a normal weekday can look for us.

6am: Time to get up, if I am lucky. If I'm not then we will have been up with baby boy since around 5am and will have given up long ago on any hope of getting him back down in time to sneak one last half hour of sleep before the day begins.

I give myself half an hour to have some breakfast and sit with Bee and Bean before having to get dressed for the work day. This also gives Bee the opportunity to get ready for the day and do anything he wouldn't be able to do if he was on his own with the two kids.

6.30 - 7am: Time to get clean, dressed and throw on some makeup. How much effort I put in to this will depend upon how tired I feel that morning. If I'm feeling good, I will straighten my hair, put on a full face and wear a nice dress or something similar. If things are not so good, you are lucky if I put a brush through my hair, slap a bit of eyeshadow on and find the comfiest (yet still smart, of course) work clothes I possibly can, for the work day equivalent of a slobby day.

7am - 7.30am: Time for Bo to get up, get dressed and fed for the morning. Bee tends to take the lead on this whilst I hold on to Bean and try to stop him from wiggling right out of my arms.

This half an hour gives us just enough time to get Bo ready and spend some time cuddled up on the sofa before I leave, which I feel is really important as I will not be seeing them again until an hour or so before their bedtime.

7.30am: Time to go to work. Hugs and kisses all round and I dodge around the crying/tantrumming children to make my way towards the car. 

8am - 5.30pm: The standard work/staying at home day. I spend my day doing a variety of different tasks, generally rushing around trying to get everything done and generally losing track of the time. Bean settles in to entertaining and feeding both children, whilst trying to break up any fights (yes, Bean has only been around for 6 months and there are fights already!), combat tantrums and stop Bean from ripping out his sisters curly hair.

5.30 - 6pm: On a good day I am home around this time. On a long day I can be back as late as 7pm, depending on what has been going on at work. On my way home, I will nip in to the local Tesco, if necessary, to get any bits we need for the rest of the week, and then make my way straight home.

Tea is put in to the oven pretty sharpish once I am home and whilst waiting for that we spend some time with the kids, usually playing hide and seek or just giving much needed cuddles. I will feed Bean his puree for tea time which he will get all down him and then most likely smear across his face using his sleeve.

6.30 - 7pm: Bath time. We will usually take one child each and bath them. Unfortunately I tend to get to bath the little boy and this has become especially difficult over the past few months. He takes great delight in kicking his legs as vigorously as possible, soaking the floor and anyone in the vicinity. We now have to make sure we have an abundance of towels available to clear up after him. When it comes to bath time, Bo is brilliant. She is not overly fond of getting water in her eyes and we combat that using a bath time visor. Providing the visor is there for her to use, she generally sits quietly playing with her toy boats whilst we get on with the cleaning aspect.

7.30pm: Bed time for the kids. Bo goes up to bed and has a book read to her, and baby boy has the last bottle of the day and generally drifts off in my arms. Once both children are down, we either spend time either with each other or on our own projects - with the aim of giving us both a sense of sanity and a break. However, what usually happens is that we fall asleep on the sofa before we get to start anything significantly, or we cannot motivate ourselves to do anything depending on how tired we are.

10pm: Tends to be bed time for us. I don't know how quickly others found themselves being able to stay up later but I can definitely not. 10pm is late enough for me and helps me to make sure I have enough sleep, ready for the next day.

As with all schedules, this does tend to fluctuate slightly depending upon what has happened that day. The smallest thing, like having to stop to get some petrol on the way home or finishing work slightly late, can throw the entire evening off and end up with us all going to bed much later than planned. 

How does this compare to your day to day life? Do you have any tips for how to make life more efficient and less manic? If so, please let me know in the comments section below - I'm always looking for new ideas!

Life Lately.. A Life Update


Life Lately... Me, Bee and Bo Blog

It has been a little while now since I last put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard would probably be more accurate!) and a lot has happened in that time.

Bo is taking being a two year old in her stride and is embracing the typical "terrible twos" behaviour. It is adding a new challenging dynamic to the family but sometimes it's just so funny that you either have to turn away to hide the giggles or just hold it in until she looks away or leaves the room.

Bean is now nearly 7 months old and is developing nicely. He is just about sitting up on his own and is a real smiley baby - grinning at us whenever he can and rarely being upset other than when hungry or when he really wants a cuddle. He is a proper Mummy's boy and would be in my arms all the time if he could be. 

Him and Bo are now actually interacting - though the type of interaction can vary depending on the situation. Bean loves to pull Bo's curly hair and Bo seems to be developing a liking for teasing him with toys and them pulling them out of his reach at the last moment (big sisters, huh?).

The family as a whole are starting to settle down in to life as a foursome. I am settling into being at work full time and juggling both that and home life, and Bee is getting used to being at home with two boisterous children. We did recently move to a much bigger house which has more bedrooms and a bigger, flatter garden. This threw things off again for a little while and really tired us all out, but we are all starting to feel better and I am pretty sure we won't be moving again for a good long time.

So, yes, that is what has happened to us over the past few months. Nothing too exciting but I think that is perhaps what we need after the excitement of Bean's birth and all the changes and developments we have made over the past four years. 

I am looking forward to delving more into blogging again and am looking to start taking part in some of the chats (if possible!) on Twitter, so please leave the details of any you would recommend in the comments.

I shared this post on the following lovely linkies:
- Humpday linky on the Real Mum Reviews blog.

5 Tips for making going back to work easier


If you follow my Twitter, you may have seen that I went back to work full time this week just 6 weeks after Bean was born. The short period of maternity leave was due to a number of factors, including the fact that we rely on my income to run the house and that I had only recently started back at work after being away on maternity leave with Bo.

I have enjoyed being back at work - I enjoy my job, it gives me a sense of achievement and the social interaction that I didn't get when I was a stay at home mum last year. However, I must admit that it has been a little nerve wracking - not to mention guilty inducing - going back when Bean is so young and also leaving my husband with two young children.

There are a few things that I have found help me feel better about being away from my family for the majority of the day, especially in the first couple of days when I wasn't quite sure how we would handle our new way of life. So I thought I would share them with you all, in case you are going through a similar time yourself.

1. Keep in regular contact with the care giver.
Whether this is your partner, parent or a nursery, staying in contact with the care giver who has your children during the day and asking for regular updates on their progress, will help to put your mind at rest. Even better, get them to send over photographs of things that your children do throughout the day.

Granted, they might be having a bit of a difficult day and your little ones might be running them ragged but just hearing that everyone is alive and well can really help you to relax.

2. Turn off your phone from when you get home to when they go to bed each night.
Use the time in the evenings to concentrate on spending as much time as you can with them - whether that time is spent cuddling up together or running round the house wildly. By turning off your phone, this will help you concentrate on spending time with them and take away the distraction of your screen lighting up whenever you get a text.

Although you may be tired from the day at work, the quality time you spend with them - even if it is only a few minutes worth - will help stop you feeling like a bad parent and keep you feeling connected to your children.

3. Put a photograph of your children in your office.
Whether you share a large office with other members of staff, or have an office of your own, putting a photograph of your children around the area that you work in acts as a reminder of why you are working.

It also helps to keep you linked to the family - you are not a separate entity when you are at work, you are still part of the family but in a different building.

4. Start back on a date half way through the week.
By doing this it means that you will only be working for a couple of days during your first week back, instead of a full week - easing you more gently into the idea of being away from your family and giving you the chance to find your feet as you get back into the world of work.

It also has the same benefits for your children - giving them a taster of what is to come, but easing them in slightly more than if you immediately started back for a full week.

5. Give yourself something to look forward to.
Whether its by booking a family holiday for later on in the year, or just planning something fun to do with the kids at the weekend - give yourself a family event to look forward to. For me, this gave me some guaranteed family time to look forward to, helping me to feel better about being away from them.

These are just a few of the things that I found helped me to overcome the guilt of going back to work after having my second child.

Did you find anything in particular that helped you in the transition from being at home to going back to work? If so, please share it below!

The Need for Positivity

 
During my time writing on this blog, I have prided myself on sharing my story honestly - giving you all of the details, including the good, the bad and the ugly. In fact, only the other week, I chose to share the birth story of baby Bean which was, in short, not pleasant at all and would not be something that I would want to read if I was expecting a child myself (this has now been removed from the blog as a result of some serious second thoughts on my part).

Since the arrival of Bean, it has caught me by surprise how hard I have found it to come to terms with the renewed loss of my time, the upheaval to life and the sleep deprivation that is in full swing again. Don't get me wrong, we adore Bean and are slowly getting to grips with handling two children instead of one (including one incredibly colic-y baby) but these past few weeks have definitely required a positive outlook and lots of self care to keep ourselves sane and the children happy.

During this time, I have noticed that my blog posts - although honest - have had a tendency to air on the negative side, sharing the less pleasant things about being a parent of a newborn and bringing a negative vibe to the blog. 

In a similar way, when I was pregnant with Bean and found myself worrying about how we were going to cope with two children, I scouted around for blog posts which would show me the experiences and opinions of other parents of multiple children. A lot of these were brutally honest, sharing the bad things as well as the good, which actually ended up with me worrying more and more, the more I read.

As I have mentioned previously in the blog, I suffer with nerves, and one of the things I have come to realise over the past week or two is that, in order for me to do the best job I can possibly do as a parent, I need to think positively and remain confident in myself and my decisions. Therefore, in order to do that, I cannot bog myself down with stories about the difficulties of being a parent and I definitely should not be sharing similar stories on my own blog.

Instead, I am choosing to make 2017 a year of positivity, in which I acknowledge the difficulties that a parent can face without allowing myself to become consumed by them - either by finding ways to solve the issue or motivating myself (and others) to get through them. I greatly admire all of those parents who choose to share those difficult times with their readers and give an accurate representation of life with children, but for me that can prove just a bit too much.

You are very welcome to join me in my journey through positivity over the following year - if you know any techniques for keeping yourself feeling positive or if you have any favourite motivational and inspiring quotes about parenting or life in general, please feel free to send them over to me!

I am thoroughly looking forward to promoting positive thinking in myself and others over the next year - I am hoping it will really enhance my life and help to keep us going as a (now slightly bigger) family as the chaos of having a young baby continues. If I can help others feel more positive and see the brighter side of life along the way, then that's even better.

I have shared this post on the following lovely linkies:
Blogger Club UK on the Mudpie Fridays blog.
PoCoLo on the Morgan's Mileu blog.
FortheloveofBLOG on the A Mum Track Mind blog.

New Years Resolutions - 2017



It's nearly 2017, a New Year, a fresh chance to make a change in your life (though lets face it, you could do it at any point of the year really) and improve your quality of living.

I am not normally one for making New Years Resolutions - being rubbish at sticking to them generally means I don't see the point in actually making them in the first place. However, this year I have decided that I would like to make some changes to my life, especially as we have just had a big change to the family dynamics and are about to have a big change when I go back to work in a few days time.

So here are my three New Years Resolutions for 2017.


Spend more time concentrating on living life and enjoying time with my family.
I don't know about you but I am terrible for browsing on my phone or tablet whenever I get a chance and this tends to include when I'm spending time with my family. However, now that Bean has come along, I have realised that I am browsing and looking at my phone when I could be spending quality time with Bo or Bee. 

That, combined with the fact that my spare time has been significantly reduced again now there is a newborn in the family has made me resolve to restrict using my tablet or phone to times when both children are either asleep or otherwise entertained and when I am not spending quality time with my husband. I know that this may result in me having very little time for social media etc, but ultimately my family is what is important and I really want to make sure that I maintain and develop strong bonds with both children, especially as I am going back to full time work soon.


Lose the baby weight and tone up again.
Although the change in my body has not been quite as dramatic as when I had my firstborn (I outgrew all of my trousers and had, literally, nothing to wear), I must admit I am struggling for clothes that fit at the moment. 

Therefore, I have resolved that I would like to drop the baby weight and start toning up my stomach again - mainly just by eating reasonably healthy food and doing some much needed exercise. At the moment I am unsure what kind of exercise I will be starting - as I used to dance when I was younger - but I just need to generally introduce some more exercise into my life, especially as my full time job will be sitting at an office desk.


Get a hobby.
I know what you're thinking - isn't blogging a hobby? Well, you're right, it is, but I have found that it tends to get a little difficult to find topics to blog about when you don't do anything else. I need something that I can relax and enjoy doing in my spare time, something that makes me more of a person, that I can talk about with other people and that adds daily interest to my life.

However, finding a new hobby may be easier said than done. I have been hunting for something that I enjoy doing in my spare time for a long time and, so far, have not succeeded in finding anything. This year I would like to keep on looking for something additional that I enjoy doing, and perhaps even share it on here.


So those are my three New Years Resolutions for 2017. Do you have any New Years Resolutions at all?

Also, if you have any tips on how to find a hobby, or even have some suggestions on what hobby I could take up, please let me know - I would love to hear them!

Welcome to the world...

 
We are very happy to announce the arrival of a new family member, aka Bean.

His arrival into the world didn't exactly go smoothly (something that I may or may not share in more detail in the future, I have yet to decide) and we are currently in the process of trying to remember everything that is to be remembered about looking after a newborn. At the same time, we are still getting to grips with looking after two children under two and have gone into what can only be described as "hibernation mode" over the past couple of weeks.

I am so grateful for the time that we get to spend together as a family, supporting each other in this new stage of our lives and helping each other through the sleepless days and nights. It may not be as big an upheaval as the arrival of our firstborn but it has been an upheaval all the same, and that support has been essential. 

As for Bo, she has been a wonderful big sister - expressing concern when her little brother cries, rocking his Moses basket (sometimes a little too vigorously) and helping me put his cream on after a bath. She has found it a little difficult to come to terms with sharing the limelight but we are trying to ensure that we spend as much one on one time with her as possible and have been asking visiting family members to do the same.

So now that we have our new family member (and our little family isn't so little anymore) I am looking forward to celebrating the upcoming Christmas period, and then seeing what exciting things 2017 has in store for us. I am hoping that the new year will be a slightly calmer one than the past two, giving us a chance to grow closer as a family, get used to our new roles as the parents of two children, and generally sit back and enjoy life without changing too much. 

Sometimes, you just need that bit of a break to collect yourself and recuperate - and that is what I plan to do. 

I have linked this post on the following lovely linkies:
Blogger Club U.K. on the Mudpie Fridays blog.
PoCoLo on the Morgan's Mileu blog.

The Worries of Having a Second Baby


You would have thought that, when you give birth for the second, third or maybe even fourth time, it would be a much calmer, prepared affair because you are a pro now - you've done it all before and if you could do it the first time you can do it again - right? 

Wrong.

Or at least for me that is.

I am expecting the arrival of my second child any day now and I am perhaps feeling even more nervous than I was the first time.
 
I'm nervous because, rather than being a tad oblivious and only being able to guess what labour will be like, I now know what to expect. Granted, I have been able to stock up on paracetamol so that I don't have to rely on a Lemsip to get me through the initial stages like I did the first time, but I am fully aware of the pain I am about to go through and the struggle to get myself back to feeling normal in the weeks after.

Of course, I am also getting excited for the new addition to our family and looking forward to seeing the bond between Bo and her new brother grow over the upcoming years. But so far, and rather ashamedly, I must admit the nerves have been overpowering the excitement.

What will it be like introducing a new baby to the family?

What if Bo feels pushed out by this new baby and doesn't feel as loved?

How do I make sure that both children are happy and well and spend time with my husband and keep the house looking half presentable and keep my career rolling?

What if this, plus the stress of going back to work in a few months time, edges me that bit closer to the oh so dreaded postpartum depression?

There are so many worries whirling round in my head at this moment in time that I felt I just had to get them down in writing. Which, after all, is the purpose of this blog - is it not?

So I am also going to apologise for this being such a downer of a post - I don't like to write negative posts, in fact I prefer to concentrate on the more positive things in life, but sometimes you just need to get it all out, write it all down and lay yourself bare.

Do you know what I mean?

Have any of you that have had more than one pregnancy found the same thing?