If you could go back in time and change something in your life, would you do it?
I've had some rough stuff happen in my life. Some of it more serious than other stuff. Some stuff I'm not willing to post publicly. Some stuff that I am. My parents split when I was 9 years old after a rubbish marriage. I wasted 5 years of my life dating and then being engaged to a guy who turned out to be gay. I tried to set up my own business and it failed miserably. I'm still paying for that mistake.
But none of these are things that I would change. They made me who I am today. My parents are better off apart and have built new relationships. The relationship I had with my gay ex lead me to meeting my husband, we wouldn't have ever met otherwise. And as for the business... well I know I'm much happier being an employee!
So what would I change?
I'd go back and raise my eldest child like I'm raising my youngest. I'm not saying I've been raising Jack badly, he's turning into a wonderful young man and I am hugely proud of him. It's not HIM I would change, it's the way I was with him as a baby.
I'd never had much to do with babies until I had my own. Never been a baby sitter, no siblings of my own to help bring up, no real contact at all beyond a few minutes cuddle and then handing back to mummy & daddy. I was scared to death! I worried that I was cuddling Jack too much, or not enough, worried that I was neglecting him if I left him to play, or smothering him when I played a game with him.... It didn't help that I had a touch of the "baby blues" too. I went through a phase of resenting every feed, every nappy change, every cry for attention. It's not something I experienced with my other two. During this time I'd just shove a dummy in his mouth and try to ignore him for a few minutes while I tried to do something - anything - for myself even if it was just have a cup of coffee while it was still warm.
In short I wasn't enjoying him as much as I could. I didn't have the confidence to relax enough to enjoy him, even though he was the greatest love of my life!
Now I have 3 boys who are the greatest loves of my life, and I am more relaxed. I'm making better choices now. For example Georgie is still breastfed (usually just once a day now before bed) where as Jack was taken off the breast at 9m because I hadn't learned how to stop him biting. Tom fed for 12m 1w and self weaned. I'm planning on letting Georgie self wean too, and at almost 13 1/2m he's still wanting his mummy-milk. I could give you a dozen examples of what I would do differently, but I wont do that here today.
I do enjoy all my kids now. I have so much more confidence that I ever dreamed was possible But I feel bad that I panicked so much when Jack was little. I wish I could go back and have him all over again with the knowledge and confidence I have now. But since I can't do that I'll have to make sure I enjoy every moment have have with all of them NOW!
Any my word of advice for mums (and dads) ENJOY YOUR BABIES! This cute little fella in these pictures is 5 years old now, gels his hair, says he has a girlfriend, and is planning his future career as pizza restaurateur and games designer. Anyone would think he was 15 not 5.
I got some freedom today! My day for me.... A long trip to the hairdressers and some shopping for birthday and christening presents for the next few weeks. Without the kids! Jack was in school anyway (well, a school trip to seaside at Morecambe on the train) and hubby was home to mind Tom & Georgie. I love my hairdresser appointments. I only go every 2 months coz it costs a bomb and takes about 3 hrs. My hairdresser is lovely, she's expecting her first baby too so naturally conversation turned to kids.
3 hrs later and I emerge looking spectacular with my beautiful new and expensive hair, still smiling from the stories of pregnancy, babies, and children we've just shared. I head off present shopping and spend far too long looking at suitable christening gifts. I buy a photo frame for the proud parents, a cute shirt as a practical gift, and a wooden 'book' toy for fun. It's something Georgie would love so I'm guessing Baby Harry (who its for, and he's only a few months younger) will love it too.
I'm starting to miss my kids now. I've been away for almost 4hrs.
I still have some stuff to do so I hop in the car and head to the supermarket. One of the kids favourite songs comes on the radio and I damn near turn the car round and go home! But tell myself not to be stupid and carry on. I do my food shop.... And then call hubby to check if the kids are ok under the guise of asking if he thought I should by them white shirts to wear to the church on Sunday.
Since its well into the afternoon by now and the kids have had their lunch I choose to stop off and get myself a bite to eat before driving back home. The woman who serves me askes where the kids are today and I feel myself blush like I've abandoned them somewhere, bolt my lunch, and get home as quickly as I can!
But when I get home we get a call from the school. Jack isn't well can we come and get him instead of him doing Jujitsu after school. Turns out its just a tummy ache and tiredness but he took himself off to bed at 5.30!
I'm not a smothering mummy - at least I don't think I am - but I do miss my kids when I'm not with them, even though there are times I'd like sm peace and quiet and alone time. And I do worry about them. I probably always will.
Today a friend of mine, and his passenger, almost got killed when his motorbike ceased up on him driving along country roads. They're both ok, but they so nearly weren't. While he's on the phone telling me the story a few hours later be passes a guy trying to throw himself off the viaduct. The emergency services were already there and it sounds like they got him down safely.
What has this got to do with my story? It just goes to show how fragile life can be. All of those people could have died today. One day it might be my kid on a bike that locks up, one day it might be my kid who is pushed to the brink. One day I might lose one of my kids, or more than one. Now, I'm not about to lock them away or wrap them in cotton wool, but I reserve the right to worry about them, to miss them madly when we're apart.... And to feel a little guilty for having fun without them.
It's such a shame! Today is Jack's best mates birthday party. All my boys got invited and Tom was as excited as Jack. It was a brilliant party with a bouncy castle, dance competitions and loads of party games.
But then there was George. He'd been a bit sick in the night.... We've put it down to how much of that home made pizza put away last night. He ate as much as his big brothers! He seemed perfectly happy and jolly and not at all poorly so we were sure he'd just over faced himself and that he would be fine.
I was wrong.
5 mins into the party ad he was sick on me. Just a bit... It cleaned up quickly enough.
Food was served. Jack & Tom stuffed themselves! Georgie just had some juice, he had no interest in anything else. Then he went to sleep in my arms and I cuddled him while chatting to the other mums and dads. I thought about putting him his pram to sleep but decided to just snuggle instead.
Depending on how you look at it that was either a very good or very bad idea because minutes later he started to projectile vomit! All over me. Down my top, into my bra, everywhere.... I tried to mop us up the best I could with wipes and tissue paper but he was still going. And we STANK!
Birthday boys daddy came to the rescue. We'd walked to the party because its a nice day and we'd planned to go to the park afterwards, and he offered to drive us home so I didn't have to treck for half an hour coated in puke. Lucky for the bigger boys it was just about the end of the party. They got their party bags, said good bye, and got loaded into the car.
So now we're stuck at home on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Jack's playing on his DS, Tom's gone for a nap, and I'm sat with a very sad Georgie (and a towel, just in case) watching Cbeebies and hoping he might drift off for another snooze.