The Guilty Mammy Blog

Blagging it badly


July 2015

Cats poo too

You know you’re a parent when you get excited about shit. I mean actual poo. It’s one of the topics most frequently discussed by couples new to parenthood, admittedly 99% of the time you’re talking about the baby’s shit but just to mix things up you have to cast the net a bit wider than just baby’s bowel movements sometimes.

The cat got spayed the other day and she is in a deep, deep depression since. The cone of shame weighs very heavy on her and it’s heart breaking. She wasn’t eating much and therefore her loo activities ground to a halt.. to the point where we moved the litter tray to our room so she didn’t have to haul ass downstairs to relieve herself. A few days passed without a dump. Then she lets loose about 3 days in. And it’s smiles all round (except her, cats rarely smile).  A day or two passes before she goes again. I’m sitting in the living room watching TV after baby is gone to bed and in walks husband proudly brandishing said shit (in a bag before you ask) and announcing like proud father that the litter box is back in action! Hurray! I can’t help but wonder when it was ok to walk around the house cheering a bag of shit but what the hell you have to be happy for the poor little fella.. he doesn’t get out much these days and he is feeling guilty about having the cat spayed.

Sleeping through?

You know you’re exhausted when you wake up and have no recollection of getting up to baby in the middle of the night but you can’t figure out if you got up and dealt with her or if she never woke up.. it takes a couple of nights before you realise that she hasn’t been setting her 4am alarm call.

So that’s where we are, you expect a bit more pomp and ceremony when she sleeps though (for us its been from 7pm to 6am).. but it just sort of happens and then you have to deal with the fact that you’re still a bit knackered but it’s nice to know that she is at least capable of it. Happy days, and more importantly happy nights.

Have we made a booboob?

During a (now frequent) barney with my other half recently I demanded more ‘time off’, it was a particularly emotional scene where I broke down in tears and did a lot of shouting and asking for help and announcing I wasn’t coping. It was a bad day and it probably coincided with one of her infamous nap-less afternoons. The long and short of it is after him making a massive error along the lines of him saying he has to work and I was on leave he soon agreed that yes, I should have a little more time to myself. So he comes home from work and, all delighted with himself, announces I should go away for the weekend. Indeed. Off I go for a whole weekend. I should tell you that she is breast fed and has never gone to bed without boob.. let alone gone a whole day without it/me so the idea was ludicrous. Anyway I don’t want to go away for a whole weekend on my own.

My husband is lovely and helpful and usually does what he is told but the idea of him spending any real time alone with the baby seems preposterous right now and that got me thinking. I mean he can do an hour here and there, especially if she is asleep when I leave but we’ve never done the naps without me or bedtime or anything really. I don’t think we ever progressed from the natural process of mummy looking after the new born. I wonder should I have persevered with expressing when she was younger so we could share the responsibility more but the situation is what it is and we are dealing with it. And of course if I didn’t want to be in this situation I don’t have to be (she now takes a bottle occasionally). I could play hardball and get her off the boob but clearly that’s not what I want. Although every now and again it feels like I’m in a prison of my own making.

This is what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding in those classes, it’s bloody hard work, only one of you can do it (expressed just doesn’t cut it round here) and it’s not easy to stop. Perhaps if we had given her a bottle every day from 6 weeks old it would be easier but if you breastfeed a baby they will fall asleep on you in 99 out of 100 instances. This is fucking good news when they are 2 weeks old, 2 months old and even 6 months old but then you realise you have a 9 month old who is completely reliant on you for her chill out time you wonder if you have gone wrong somewhere. I’ve read all the nonsense out there about putting baby down awake and it’s all horseshit. A breastfed baby will be either out for the count or milk drunk as a monkey at the end of a decent feed.. it’s one of the perks of breastfeeding! But can someone please tell me how to go from that to, well, anything else??

And then I remember that I might just get hit by a bus tomorrow and they’d cope. She wouldn’t starve and she’d sleep eventually. And after a very short time she’d have forgotten all about me (sob) and I wonder if I need to get out more. Maybe this prison is more than a figment of my imagination.

Gummy bear

She is now 9.5 months and still completely lacking in the tooth department. Is that normal? I think she looks unbelievably cute in her gumminess but often wonder if she would eat a bit better if she had a couple of knashers.. I have perhaps wondered a bit to hard about this. Is it weird that I have actually tried to eat her meals without using my teeth?? No it’s perfectly normal for an unhinged, sleep deprived, mother of one to carry out such research. I am quite sure of that.

Results of the test are:

  1. It’s practically impossible to stop using your teeth once you have them.
  2. The back ones are far more useful than the front ones.

Ikea can go fuck itself..

I’m willing to guess that those of us with a baby or small child or probably any other person in their house treats their free time like fairy dust.. it’s not common and you don’t fuck around with it. And so you’ll understand my fury with Ikea this evening.. I’ve just spent the best part of an hour on their online kitchen planner and holy shit and what the fuck??? I can only compare it to spending my evening using Microsoft paint to design a kitchen, except on the Ikea version there is no undo button.

She eats!

So after 3 months of cooking for her, not cooking for her, trying every Ella’s kitchen dish on the market. Baby led weaning (baby won’t be led/doesn’t want to wean) one day she just starts eating. I’m cooking for her and she is sometimes eating it!

I guess we are doing BLW now, in so far as she is totally in control. She is eating white fish, potato cakes, fish cakes, turkey burgers & sausages, beef burgers. Anything she can pick up and gum down. She still has no teeth so I can sort of understand her difficulty with food to be fair. Vegetables are not popular but she likes fruit so in the interest of my mental health I am letting that one go for the time being.

And sorry to disappoint but eating during the day has made absolutely no difference whatsoever to her waking at night.. in that she still does it.. at the same time.. every night.


Naps.. bad times

So in the 9 months I’ve known her my baby has never been a fan of naps. It’s by far been the hardest and most depressing part of motherhood for me. I have been in tears on the floor of the nursery on more than a few occasions when she simply refuses to sleep. On the whole going to bed at night has been ok, there have been problems but that’s a story for another day.

I have a confession to make, it’s horrific but hopefully I will feel better after telling you this.. I breastfeed her before every nap to the point of her being completely milk drunk. Then I put her down. I am shitting myself about what is going to happen when I decide to move on from breastfeeding (I go back to work in 10 weeks – eeek!!). She can settle herself to sleep, she does it at night but due to aforementioned hatred of napping I have to do something and this is the only thing that sort of works. But let me tell you this – it doesn’t always work! Or it does but she wakes up after 30 minutes (or less).

I was under the impression that babies slept for most of the first few weeks of life. I was also under the impression that after the initial few weeks they then went to nice long two hour naps every afternoon with a shorter nap in the morning and late afternoon. I now know that this is complete and utter horseshit. I’ve trawled the internet for hours trying to find out how to get this holy grail of naps – the two hour lunchtime snoozefest – and what I have discovered it that many babies aren’t even capable of this until at least 6 months. Most newborns are catnappers.. 30 minutes here, 45 minutes there. Just enough time for you to get in the shower and perhaps brush your teeth. Sleep when they sleep? Unless you forgo any aspirations of being clean or fed this is never an option.

So after reluctantly accepting my catnapper I chilled out a little bit on the naps. It’s bloody hard though, I love my baby with all my heart but fuck sake an hours break would go down a storm around here at times. And then one day she sleeps for an hour and 45, next day an hour, maybe an hour and a half. And you realise she has past the catnapper stage. For us that was about 8 months. She is now on one morning nap of about 90 minutes and the same in the afternoon.. on a good day. When the planets align and there are 5 Sundays in the month.

The days when this doesn’t happen, like yesterday are the bad days. She went down for her afternoon nap as usual and woke up 30 minutes later like the antichrist.. still tired.. and now furious. I did everything I could to get her back to sleep to no avail.. and herein lies the problem. Ok she hasn’t slept, she is tired, she may be grumpy for the afternoon. But all that is nothing compared to the utter horror of spending two hours trying to get her back to sleep. There are tears (mine) tantrums (mine) nappy changes (hers) rocking, singing, boob, hair pulling (both) and eventually she is downstairs playing and I am half dead on the ground next to her. What I should do is get her up, get her in the buggy and get out of the house. Or get out all her toys and give in. Either way I should give in. Because it’s utter misery trying to get a baby to go to sleep when they don’t want to. It’ll ruin my day to the point where I am actually depressed. So why don’t I throw on a pair of shoes and head out walking with her? Because ladies and gentlemen I need a fucking break sometimes.. and the only real break is when they are asleep. Even then it’s not great, constantly checking the monitor to make sure I can hear it, wiping steam off the shower door so I can see the monitor in case I can’t hear it. But it’s necessary for Mammy that break is the only thing that keeps me from calling up work and asking if I can come back earlier.

Today is a good day.. she is asleep, and for that I am thankful.

Pests.. I mean pets.

Our neighbour asked if we’d be interested in a stray kitten that has been dumped at his sister’s cattery and I stupidly said yes.. a load of hassle later and we have a small cat (kitten she ain’t), who has to be kept in the house because she isn’t spayed or micro-chipped or vaccinated or anything that you want a cat to be when you rescue it.. oh and she has ear mites. So we are spending quite a few quid sorting out this cat which I see about twice a day as it tries to race past me on her way to or from the food bowl. I say tries to because we have a really dodgy laminate floor in our hall and every time she sees me she tries to run which ends in a comedy scene where she is panicking and going no where.

Oh and she isn’t going to win any beauty contests either.. the only thing going for this cat is she is using the litter tray with no bother. And her hiding place is under our bed which is sort of cute. I’m making every effort with this cat but she isn’t exactly generous with her time. So in an effort to appease her I decide to treat her to a saucer of milk. Back in my day when a cat strayed into our house it would always get milk, in fact we had a cat once who would only drink warm milk and my Dad used to warm milk for it every morning.. anyway I digress. Cat enjoys said milk and as per usual disappears under my bed for the rest of the day again.

Fast forward to about 1am and we are asleep in bed and I hear what sounds like a mixture between shushing and puking.. I sit up to see the cat on the end of the bed and realise that shit is spraying out of her arse all over the bed. I shout at my husband ‘the cat is shitting on the bed!!!’ which of course frightens her so she jumps down while shit continues to spray from her arse – over the carpet, the walls, the curtains. My God the smell is horrific.

The baby is fast asleep and I am awake cleaning cat shit off the bedroom wall. Who knew cats were allergic to milk? Not I.

Pillow Talk

So we’re in the park the other day, we meaning baby, baby daddy and mammy. We bump into one of our NCT ‘friends’.. our NCT group wouldn’t be what you might call close. We don’t see much of these two, and we’re not cut up about it.

So the other Daddy asks the same question he always asks and the only that other parents care about – is she sleeping through? in fact let me break it down like this..

Him: How is she sleeping? What time does she wake up at?
Me: Not too bad, getting better.
My husband: Yeah, she wakes once or twice a night now. But sleeps until 7 or 8.
Me: (Tries to kill husband with the evil eye, fails) No, she only wakes once a night now.. hasn’t woken up twice in ages! Silly man..
My husband: Oh yeah just once a night around 4. Then back to sleep until 7ish.
Me: Or 8.
Other daddy: Oh ours is sleeping through now.. yep, it’s great. He is up at 5am but he sleeps through until then.
Us: Oh great yeah, we’re lucky she goes back to sleep until – actually it was 8.45 the other day.
Other daddy: Yeah but at least he sleeps through at last.
Us: (walking away) – how the fuck did they win that??? He is up at 5am but they won???
Me: that’s your fault you gobshite – when was the last time she woke up twice in the night??????

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