A Week of Firsts

This week was A’s first week at nursery, you might think this means I went back to work this week but think again! Nope, I am a planning genius and have given myself 2 weeks of no baby and no work, which is equal to a life of leisure basically!

Anyway back to the harsh reality of leaving your baby at nursery for a whole day for the first time, it can be summarised by this: she screamed, I cried, I nearly called work to resign and take her out of nursery and then we both got over it and she was fine when I picked her up:

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By the time I picked her up last night, she was even happier after a week of stimulation and fun and tons of food it seems (this has had some very annoying consequences, which I won’t go into here…)

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She still screams every morning when I leave her but I’m not crying anymore and as soon as someone picks her up, she stops (I’ve spied through the window to check). On Monday, I had a lovely “sisterhood of mothers” moment when another mum noticed how upset I was after leaving her and spent 30 mins chatting to me and making me feel better. I got home and it felt WEIRD, it was even more strange to go on the tube WITHOUT A BUGGY, go shopping without her, have lunch with my aunt and uncle without a baby etc. Still the only clothes I bought were for her, Bella-Roo you are always on my mind!

On Wednesday, I took baby steps into the world of television…I will write a whole post about it with links etc. but if you’re interested, tune in to Sky News next Wednesday around 8.50AM and all will be revealed for 2 WHOLE minnutes! One of the most exciting parts involved having professional make up done, which hasn’t happened since my wedding!

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Yesterday, I finally got to use one of my best presents EVER! A great friend of mine gave me a spa voucher after the birth of baby A for what must be the best spa in London. 

  
I had a one hour body massage and then a facial, it was bliss. The facilities are amazing!! It was virtually empty so I had the whole “Thermal floor” to myself, it was such a treat and SOOOOOOO needed.

This was also the first week I didn’t breastfeed in the day and I am happy no report there were no embarrassing leakages, would definitely not be a good look on TV!

Next week, the life of leisure continues with shopping, afternoon tea, lunches, pedicures…

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24 Hours Pre-Baby Versus Now

On Saturday we went to the Grillstock Festival down the road from us, they had given away tons of free tickets for local residents so it was a great opportunity to go and listen to some music and eat some BBQ! My husband being American, this was right up his street. However 15 mins in, I basically said “This is when you wish you didn’t have children ( I don’t mean wish they didn’t exist but wish somebody else would look after them for a day!) and could just sit here and drink all day and not have to get up tomorrow morning”. So it got me thinking how does 24 hours in a pre-baby life (PB) compare to now?

Friday 5PM

PB: Have a look around the office and ask: “Can we leave work and go to the pub now?”

Friday Feeling= it’s the weekend! We get to sleep in!

Now: Put baby in the high chair with finger foods and try to shove as much puree in to her mouth in the hope this will help her sleep.

Friday Feeling = it’s the weekend! Daddy will be here to help to look after the baby!

Friday 5.30PM:

PB: Drinking in the pub or on the way home wondering where we can for dinner

Now: Check time, 90 mins to go (until 7 PM, which is BED TIME!)… Clean high chair, clean baby and wonder if you have to bath her or if she’s “not that dirty”

Friday 6.30PM:

PB: Still drinking in the pub or on the way somewhere for dinner.

Now: Check time, 30 mins to go… whilst breastfeeding baby and reading stuff on the iPhone

Friday 9PM:

PB: nice dinner out somewhere

Now: TV and start contemplating going to bed

Friday 11PM:

PB: Go to bed or have one last drink somewhere

Now: Asleep

Saturday 3AM:

PB: Asleep

Now: get up to deal with baby (sometimes for the first time in the night, sometimes not…)

Saturday 7AM

PB: Asleep

Now: wake up to the sound of a baby moaning, feed baby in bed and put her in between us with plenty of toys and hope she will play quietly so we can snooze, what actually happen is she “attacks “ us, pulls our hair, screams (happy scramming but still screaming!), tries to leap off the bed etc.

Saturday 9AM:

PB: Asleep

Now: Go to your Osteo appointment because giving birth has wrecked your body and having your bones cracked now counts as “me time”. It’s raining and the streets are empty and the peace and quiet alone feels so nice!

Saturday 10AM:

PB: Wake up, have a leisurely peaceful breakfast

Now: Make your way home from the Osteo to find the Baby has had a 90 mins nap, this only happens when daddy is in charge.

Saturday 12PM:

PB: Put on a coat and your shoes and make your way to the festival

Now: Feed baby in the high chair, clean high chair and clean baby. Spend 15 mins getting “ready” and loading the buggy with water, snacks, toys, rain cover etc etc. Pray baby falls asleep in the buggy on the way there.

Saturday 3PM:

PB: relax listening to music, eating delicious food and drinking

Now: listen to music but not too close for fear of damaging baby’s ears, play “pass the baby” so one of you can eat whilst the other tries to entertain the baby and stop them from eating grass
Saturday 5PM:

PB: have another drink and keep enjoying the festival

Now: Home! Time for dinner. Feed the baby, clean the high chair, and clean the baby. You could have fed the baby in the buggy at the festival but you forgot to bring food and everybody was getting tired.

Saturday 7PM

PB: now you’re really having a good time and loving the music

Now: now you’re really happy as baby is asleep

Saturday 9PM:

PB: head home from the festival pretty drunk!

Now: think about going to bed and then remember it’s Saturday night so stay up until 10PM.

In summary:

PB: lots of sleep, drinking, relaxing and peace

Now: lots of work, cleaning, not so much sleeping but so much love and pure happiness

The end

An Open Letter To Marissa Mayer

For those of you, who don’t know, Marissa is the CEO of Yahoo and recently announced this

Dear Marissa,

First, congratulations on your latest pregnancy! Secondly, I don’t actually expect you to ever read this, you clearly have other things to do. Finally I really admire you for being so successful in business, it’s a real achievement and inspiring for other women.

Since becoming a mum, I’ve learnt not to judge other parents so I’m not going to judge you but I do have some questions for you following your announcement that “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.” Indeed I don’t understand a few things and was wondering if you could explain yourself?

  1. I’m sure you realise twins are often born premature (you’ve already quoted the likelihood of being pregnant with twins so I’m sure you’re clued up on all things scientifically twin-related) and might arrive months before you are due. Would this affect the length of your maternity leave as you may not give birth in December as planned?
  2. If they are indeed premature (which I sincerely hope they aren’t, my brothers were and it’s horrible to see them so tiny alone in incubators, I don’t wish that on anybody) and have to stay in hospital for while, how often will you visit them? would you still go back to work after 2 weeks and only see them in the evening?
  3. I assume you’re not even considering breastfeeding? Even the first week when the colostrum and first milk can have amazing benefits for newborns?
  4. What time will you be finishing work when you go back? Apologies for the detailed questions but I’m trying to get my head around all this.
  5. Why don’t you take a month off? Surely if Yahoo can survive 2 weeks without you, it can survive a month? especially if they are born when planned around December, surely things slow down around Christmas and it’s a nice time to be hoe with family?

It clearly isn’t easy for you whatever length of maternity leave you choose to take, you’re going to be judged harshly for it because you are a powerful, successful woman in the public eye. I think it’s a shame your announcement didn’t say anything about other working women, including your own employees and their choices around maternity leave.

Didn’t you think that other women working for Yahoo might think that, despite you having increased the paid maternity leave to 16 weeks since joining the company, you actually don’t think women should take that long? Maybe you wish to take longer but fear it may negatively impact the company too much? Is that more important than  newborn twins hardly seeing their mother? Didn’t you think clarifying that you do/or don’t expect any of your employees to do the same would be helpful?

You had the opportunity to to address a big issue that matters to millions of women and you just made it sound like you couldn’t take more than 2 weeks because the company needs you more. Maybe this is a misunderstanding, maybe not. I know you once said that you wanted to take 6 months maternity leave but then you were just about to start the new job at Yahoo so it was impossible, is it really impossible to take more than 2 weeks off this time?

Maybe you simply don’t want to take longer off and that is totally fine and respectable but then why didn’t you say “I find looking after newborns boring and tiring and would rather be in the office, qualified nannies would probably look after them better than me anyway”, if you said that, I think people would really respect you for being honest, instead you’ve just been vague. Given how bad the law around maternity leave in the US is, its a shame you didn’t use this opportunity to make a stand. I guess you’re not a politician and you don’t have to justify anything to anyone but with great success, comes great responsibility and it’s a missed opportunity to further working women’s rights.

It’s not easy for working mums and I don’t feel like you are helping anybody, on the contrary, I think it puts even more pressure on working mums to come back to work quickly, especially women in senior positions.

Lots of commentators have been saying “if she were a man , we wouldn’t be having this discussion”, no we wouldn’t but I doubt there are many male CEOs, whose wives give birth and then within 2 weeks, they are both back to work full time. I don’t imagine your husband is going to stay home, is he? So the babies will not have either parent at home, I think that’s sad.

I respect your choice and you are VERY lucky to be able to choose to go back to work so quickly despite being a millionaire and obviously not doing it for financial reasons, lots of women, don’t have a choice and have to go back to work to earn money.

I respect but can’t understand your choice (I’m not a CEO so clearly can’t imagine your professional life) and I can’t understand why you didn’t just add a few sentences to your announcement that said something along the lines of ” I am not trying to set an example to other Yahoo mothers, they are fully entitled to use the 16 weeks of maternity leave that is our policy, they should be supported in their choice. I do not see it in a negative light to take the full allowance and it should not have a detrimental effect on any woman’s career”.

I wish you all the best with the rest of your pregnancy and just hope that in the future the US government dramatically improves the maternity leave situation and no woman working for Yahoo or another company feels guilty about taking longer than 2 weeks off after giving birth.

You can respond to this in the comments below 🙂

Linking up to:
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

How My Life has Changed in 7.5 Months

Back in November 2014, out “popped” Bella-Roo and as the cliche goes “our lives were changed forever” but how so? Here are a few insights into my new life…

I am now thinner than before I got pregnant but my boobs will never be the same again, this is very sad as they used to be one of my best “assets”, I need to think of what my new “thing” will be and probably have to wear push up bras for the first time in my life. Sigh.

We no longer regularly eat in restaurants, again I am thinner (I’m not saying thin, let’s not get crazy here) but we spend less money.

I get excited when Bella-Roo sleeps past 7AM, I have indeed learnt to take pleasure in the “little” things. Indeed I now love Lidl chocolate, good bye Paul Young, hello SMP and Lidl.

I have an excuse to have beauty treatments at home in the evening, however this happens once about every 2 months (see SMP above).

Going to a bar on a Saturday night and being asked for my ID was probably the highlight of the year but then once I was in said noisy bar, I just felt like a MUM.

I have plenty of time to buy clothes online in the sale for Arabella for when she is older (this is called saving money Mister B), yet this means she has about as many clothes as me, good for any friends having a girl in the future bad for my wardrobe space.

I have a lot of time to read things on my phone so am quite up-to-date on current affairs, however I am getting tendinitis, yep life is hard.

The good times (her giggling, smiling, playing with her, teaching her things, putting her in cute clothes, seeing how she loves the bath etc) do make up for the bad times (the crying, dirty nappies, whining, trying to do everything with one hand, the mess from feeding her, the list goes on…). I’m definitely trying to make the most of it before I have to go back to work, oh no I won’t have to because I AM GOING TO WIN THE LOTTERY.