Wow, Wibee (little pink/Willow Phoebe) is now 3 months old. I can now pop her in a bumbo and eat at least half my meal without her needing a cuddle. We have reached that magical second milestone, where she’s transitioned through the squeaky, alien phase, into the gradually becoming more aware phase, and is now in the plump cute looking baby phase where things start to get more interesting.
She is teething; bummer. Plus she has already rolled once, which might have been a fluke, but means I can no longer leave her on the kitchen work surfaces (not recommended anyway really!). But it is getting much easier to differentiate her cries, and her dimples are darn cute!
I was worried that it might be the same kind of difficult second time around, and the good news is that it isn’t. Of course the degree of ease and difficulty in my life has been maintained, as it always is. I’ll talk about that in more detail another day, but basically it’s about the philosophy that there is aways ease and difficulty in our lives, in equal amounts, it’s just that we don’t always see the other side of the story. However, I am kind of relieved that it isn’t the same kind of difficulty, however tough it has been.
I called the first year with Monster/Angel Boy the ‘black times’, NOT because it was horrid, but because there was such a huge shift in my identity and what I valued in life, that I kind of disappeared for a while. That has certainly not happened again, but there has been another change. I’m a hell of a lot more focussed on practical stuff right now. All I’m looking for is a practical car, for the house to work for the family, for my clothes to be washable, my hair is tied back and there are no hoops in my ears (otherwise ‘ouch’ from little fingers!). I’m just looking for a easy life at the moment, and for ways to make life flow more smoothly. I’m sure that this will be just a phase of it’s own, but I still suspect that some of these changes will stick, especially the one where I’m so much stricter on my priorities.
In comparison, the first 6 weeks with Max was intense, scary, exhausting, and interminable. I was all alone, I didn’t know any Mums because anti-natal classes didn’t start until later, and I felt like I was floundering along with no clue. Then David got made redundant, and all the stress of the previous year kind of fell on top of me for a bit. The good side to that, is that this is where the ‘Mummy Whisperer’ was born, because my training was great, but impractical for a new Mum to do on her own, so over the coming months I worked out what would work within the resource limitations I was now under and created the ‘Fun Creation Equation’. The key was that I found that I became increasingly confused by the number of different parenting techniques out there, none of which totally worked for me. Whereas, when I managed to calm the noise in my head (you know, the worries, and guilt about EVERYTHING!) I found out that I was pretty good at working out my own solutions that matched the family perfectly. So that’s what I now do for other Mums; help them to learn how to listen to themselves, so that each day can flow a little more easily, with a little more fun and sparkle.
Ironically, this time David had problems with his job again, but within 1 day of her being born, rather than 6 weeks; which suggests that we shouldn’t risk having another child! But this time I didn’t get the intense 2 weeks of bubble time with Wibee, because after an easy home birth I was thrown unceremoniously back into real life and nursery runs, which initially I found really hard. I had a long tearful chat with a friend of mine from who uses the same techniques as myself, and I settled after we worked out that the bubble was there, but this time was more widely spread as it included Max, plus I wouldn’t have wanted to have such an intense bubble and upset Max by excluding him. My body didn’t agree though, and 3 weeks ago I fell very ill and was forced to spend 2 weeks with Willow on the sofa, which was a lovely, if painful opportunity to be with her and learn more about myself. (See all my blogs about asking for help).
So we are 3 months in. David has still got a job; result! The in-laws have visited twice because of me being ill, and really bonded with both kids, which has thrilled Max. I’ve realised that I’m just not able to do the day to day stuff on my own (hubby works late and I don’t have family of my own), so I’ve employed a lovely irish granny, and a fabulous local mum to help me out a few hours a week. I woke up 2 days ago and felt loads better after my illness, but also like I was ‘back’, which I think is just getting to the magic 3 month stage. I’m not getting a load of sleep, but I get some, so that’s not bad. Max loves his sister and has shown no jealousy, just a little sensitivity at times which we have to be careful of. The dogs have been very jealous and very badly behaved just to balance him out! I’ve got a couple of tests in the next week or two to find out how come I got sick so badly, and then I might have a think about starting to do a little work in while. And now it’s on to the 3-6 month phase: sitting up, grabbing things, teeth, summer holidays, swimming classes, music classes …. lots of fun and trouble all rolled into a monster/angel boy and a Wibee girl, I wonder if that will feel faster too?