Read time: a couple of minutes
Apologies in advance: it’s late; the grammar, sentence structure and general blog hasn’t been proof read so 1000 apologies!
So I’m not a massive social media kinda girl, and yes I totally appreciate the irony that I am blogging (in my defence only twice a year at this rate) but the reason we started this whole blog was not to become social influencers – I actually just chortled at the thought of me being a social influencers – I can also hear my mates chortling (and yes I just googled this word so thought it appropriate to use twice in this paragraph) as they read this. The main reason was to throw a little humour at this whole mom experience and give you a gap to laugh at us, laughing at ourselves because, let’s be honest, this – hands down – has to be one of the hardest things you have ever had to juggle. Aaaaand we wanted the people who pick this blog up, mainly in the middle of the night, to know that it is totally normal to actually f*cking hate it on the odd occasion. I said “it” not “them” before we start getting any snarking comments about being child-haters.
Hating things like the lack of sleep – which is a-whoooole-nother blog, constantly being covered in something not so kiff (so much could fall into this category), changing a nappy and getting poo particles on your hand … you with me! Strongly disliking first world problems like never being able to look at your diary again without every page being covered in black pen circles … and aggressive ones that have gone through most of the pages from an over eager threenager. Never being able to get shit fully-done, use both hands, finish a sentence. Hating having to always say “noooooo”, “sloooowwwly”, “careful!” – I totally get why those buggers don’t want to listen because it is blady monotonous just saying it! Today I tried to go easy on the warnings and let these turds experience the world old-school style. Let me tell you it was a shit idea as we totalled up the injuries this evening; one pinched stomach in a cupboard, a couple of couch jumping wipe outs, hair-loss (theirs not mine – clips these days can be blady hardcore … you see – doing it again – warning!), two bruises from attempting the balance bike on the gravel and a lipstick jab to the eye.
Tuesday morning early
I’m lying in bed (not my own obvs) and it is 0.31am. I’m listening to my son practising all his vocab in the room next door (boys can be such aholes) and I am smelling like chunder while my girl child suzas (farts) up a storm; welcome bug. It has been full blown Russian roulette out here in our house tonight. The ultimate Ching Chong Cha for which kid you got to man handle as our house erupted in “maaaaammaaaa” at midnight. The girl one is yacking and seems to be the main patient zero bug-carrier and the boy one … well he suffers from fomo so if okes are up so is that little turd.
One thing I have learnt as a mother is NEVER EVER play all your cards at once. You need to be able to bust out the trump card riiiight at the end; stay one step ahead of the kids and at least two or three of the hubcap. Tonight, I was not on top form!
I had picked the girl one on the back of her being able to speak English. My thinking was that she could tell me when she was about to vom or borsh (poo) and we could kick down to the loo. So as I lay in bed next to patient zero, I 100% giggled waaaaay too early while I could hear my hubby shushing the boy one, whom we have now nicknamed the Badger. (If you’ve ever watched the “Honeybadger don’t give a sh*t” you’ll know those things are next level heckies. The badger bites a snake, which then bites him back. They both die but 20mins later the badger wakes up to chow the snake. That pretty much sums up our kid; next level Badger.
So my hubcap is in with the Badger listening to him repeat “dada dada dada” 47 times a minute and shouting “braaaaaap braaaaaap” at the top of his lungs. We did a fundraiser last Sunday for our little girl’s school which was a motorbike fun ride so the sthuthuths (motorbikes) are the topic of toddler speak at the moment.
I let out a real live LOL – if that still stands for Laugh Out Loud? Sadly, I’m excruciatingly behind the times as I am balls deep in new business ventures, kids and living in the now and when I get to social media it is to try and catch up on the latest news so I don’t look completely doff when peeps say stuff like “oh my tits heckies what happened to Notre D hey!!” and my obvs response is “ja I know!” – unmmmmmm nought wtaf happened – zero clue … zero! “Just popping to the loo” … open up Facies (Facebook) and see the whole blady cathedral has gone up in flames. Gasp. Process. Catch up on a few bullet talking points and back to the convo. “Ja did you see that Scientists are on the hunt for evidence …” .
So the Badger has been awake since 11pm and still chatting to his father who is lying in the bed trying to sleep between getting kicked in the head, the nuts and the boy shouting “brrrraaaaaaaaap braaaaap”. Kids are f*cking relentless! Hahaha.
Suddenly my Ching Chong Cha victory backfires (bad pun – more chortling). She announces that she needs to “burp”. Holding her hand over her mouth, we wrestle the mozzie net, run down the passage with my bra-free boobs flapping all over the place and me firing off words of affirmation “well done my baby for letting mommy know you needed to burp, gooooood girl, keeeeeeep it in, sh*t sh*t, nearly there!“ … just in time to reach the loo where I usually enjoy so many seconds of catching up on the news. My hubby is probably thinking “ja suck it you azzie (a-hole) for laughing at me getting stuck with the Badger”, as he hears frantic trampling down the runway to the bathroom.
So on the topic of flapping boobs – bet you couldn’t have called where this one was going hahaha. Oh my tits, how hectically does your body change after kids. I often look at mine in the mirror and get the serious giggles. It literally looks like it is smiling at me, caesar scar and all. My boobs, which make up the eyes of the ‘smiling face’, aren’t nearly as perky … or close together … or straight … as they used to be and there is a mouth (caesar scar) that looks like it has a fat top lip (my kiff new post-baby boep). So after I have had a good laugh, I stop and give myself the mirror talk. Enough is enough. Time to drop a few kgs even just for the sake of being a bit fitter for running around, and lifting 30kgs of kid all day.
I had a moment the other day which gave me a gentle nudge to start exercising a bit; a little WhatsApp convo with a few mates a couple of weeks back:
Me: Guys I wish you could see what I am wearing! No time to change between bath and dusting the kids.
Mate: Pic please!!!
Me: I just can’t! I’m crying with laughter. I just grabbed broeks out the drawer and landed on a pair from my hens party which still have the tag on and for f*cking good reason too! There is so much muffin top I could start a bakery and my bum has literally eaten up all the cotton.
So to get motivated – I’ve been punishing myself by not buy new clothes while I try and dust a few kgs off the ol’boep – f*cking ambitious I know 😂 – I have literally adopted the “fit in or f*ck off” attack on my wardrobe and body. I wear active wear regularly in the hope that it cuts off my circulation and triggers … no activates … a “get thin” hormone or I just get thin by association because I am in my blady active wear. I realised that biting manageable size chunks off this weight loss ordeal, would be the only way to go when my daughter said “Mom, this is a beautiful shirt – I can see your pretty skin where those nunus made holes” … moth-eaten, stretched Cotton On tees is all that is keeping me clothed these days.
So I am going back to the drawing board and just going to conquer this in a happier and healthier way. Exercise at the start of a-hole hour (which we have 100% been sold a lemon – it lasts waaaaay longer than an hour), with our kids, outside, and include them in the process because after all – most of the weight gain is from hitting a brick wall wider and higher than you could have ever imagined and coping with it; wine, flattening everything on their plates that they won’t eat and snacking in between breathes.
I miss my boobs. Buuuuut this chubby little smiling body of mine has produced some effing amazing little things whom I love and adore and kiss all day and REALLY laugh at. They honestly bring me SO much happiness even though at times we whisper some horrendous things under our breathe!
So cheers (with a Kale smoothy obviously) – here’s to all of us who are on the path to get a little bit fitter and a little thinner to really enjoy being active with our kids. I just keep thinking losing weight will never be the hardest thing you will have to do in your life … those little buggers are already here hahaha! #motivation
Read Time: 3 mins (Short & sweet because we have zero time these days!)
This one dude asked what it’s like to have a second baby and the dad replied ‘It’s like you’re drowning and then someone hands you a baby’.
So buckle up! This shitstorm requires a head-down, team-effort, brace-yourself, chin-up, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kinda attitude … enter the second child!
In this time, you will drop plenty WTF-have-we-done, several I-hate-these-bastards, the odd do-you-think-one-of-our-parents-would-want-them, and one or two I’m-gonna-drop-kick-this-one! And worst of all, it isn’t because of the newie (newborn), it is the two-ie (terrible two year old) that turns demonic.
Let me take it back a few steps, especially if you are about to have your second child and you are reading this and breaking out into a sweat. The birth of the second bubba is an absolute breeze in comparison. You don’t give a rat’s ass about the way it comes out (natural or Caesar – unless of course you are trying for a VBAC). You don’t over complicate what goes in your hospital bag, or spend a million rand on your baby’s room. You don’t fuss about the breastfeeding, where the thing is going to sleep or the freagin’ sleep routine. And all because you just don’t really have the time. In this way, it makes the second rat’s arrival a gazillion times less pressure, stress and anticipation. This is also the very thing that makes all the things you didn’t wax the first time (like breastfeeding), that much easier because you just put your head down and confidently wing it.
You also tend to cut out all the spoilings that made your first kid a bit of a pain e.g. sleeping in a dead quiet room, a room that is so dark that you have to silently feel your way back to the door, on your hands and knees, without breathing incase you wake it up. This round … “sleep where you are laid to rest, don’t ask questions and if you open your eyes and it is not ‘awake time’ you will be left to raise yourself”.
The first 3 months, the newbie just does its thing. Sleep, shit, sleep, boob, more shitting. And in this time, the two-ie starts firing up its bullshit and plotting its irrationality revenge for bringing this extra turd into the mix. Oh and a very important side note, they just seem to know that something is on its way when you are preggers; they act out, they stop sleeping through the night and just become general azzies (assholes) – just so you know … totally normal and the best advice I have is accept it and don’t ever under estimate the power of taking 5 deep breathes.
You often hear the phrase “terrible twos” but you could never possibly imagine how irrational these buggers are. It is a serious case of Katy Perry “You’re yes then you’re no, you’re in then you’re out, you’re up then you’re down”. With every melt down, and trust a girl, they start to come fast and furiously with a second child, all I can hear is Vicky Pollard’s, Little Britain, “yeah but no but yeah but”. Your toddler has no effing clue want it wants but it wants it NOW! They are completely and utterly offended by life and no matter what you do, you can’t win.
I read a really interesting article the other day about strong-willed children and the highlights package of it was; the strong buggers need to think that they have options so give them two acceptable ones so that they feel like they have a little control. After their choice, there is a consequence. So for example, the little punk won’t get in the car because she is jolling and you need to leave. The appropriate response in this situation would be to say “Ok sweet child of mine, you have two options. One you can carry on playing but then we are not going to swimming OR you can get in the car, I will take you to swimming and we can come back and play afterwards”. In a perfect world the toddler makes a choice and you carry out the consequence.
Most of the time you end up resorting to “Two choices – you can choose a hiding from the right hand or the left if you don’t get in the car before I am done taking my 5 deep breathes”. My hubby says his biggest problem is that he is not creative enough to come up with a second acceptable option when he is fuming at the unreasonable toddler (haha). Buuut having said that, with a little practice using this tactic, you can actually win … at least 20% of the time.
So with the second child you completely lower the bar, you refrain from judging other moms because suddenly your little azzie is not sleeping through and you have to feed him at midnight because your options are sleep or burn the midnight oil on your own; rocking, winding, dummying, singing, hissing and eventually crying. It’s a dark time this no-sleep zone and it slowly starts to chip away at your personality. I knew I was in for shit when I stopped being super polite to the toll gate people because I had no energy in me to say “lovely earrings you have on today”. Fatigue makes you not so kiff!
We are nearly 6 months in with the second little dude and we have slowly come up for air. The great news too is that hubster and I are friends again after a little team work. Holy smokes your marriage takes the heat round two because suddenly your hubby is experiencing what you had the first round. It is a total game changer because it is now all hands on deck. Your hubby goes from being a babysitter to a parent and it eats them alive. You have to SERIOUSLY remember to take a time out if you have the luxury of such things and do anything child-free otherwise you start to lose each other in the mountain of nappies, whining and crying and general siffness that comes with a double batch of lighties.
Another very important pearl of wisdom, don’t bank too much on the first rat being like the second because that’s when the frustration really sets in. My first kipped through the night from 8wks … this oke … not having any of it. We used the exact same tactics and yet they are completely different! Accept it and learn to make the most of it. For us, the buck stops at 2 and because we aren’t planning on any more, it is for this reason I have also tried my best to soak up the newborn phase. He gets sniffed, and loved and cuddled and it has been easy to love the hell out of this newie this time because you realise they aren’t as fragile as we make them out to be and I think we have a better sense of the time frame. Newborns can be soooo rashy but it isn’t forever! There are some other treats in the pipeline … like azzie two year olds.
Before I attend to the one screaming its pip off in the background of this blog, I wanted to leave you with some goodness. There are going to be days when you want to throw in the towel or strangle someone with it but if you can try your best to accept the shit you cannot change, the fight is not as hard. Try your best not to let your rats divide and rule and most importantly, laugh at yourself and laugh especially hard at your kids. They can be such knobs but they honestly get better and better and you just enjoy them so much more.
Give your first born a shite-load of attention. Their entire world has been rocked. They have gone from being the centre of attention to having to now fight their way past a suckling pig (breastfeeding infant incase I lost you there) and it is a serious serious serious change for them. And at the end of the day the little newie blob isn’t going to notice if you dust them on the couch for an hour or two while you try and make your two-ie feel like their colouring-in skill is their ticket to a tertiary education bursary. Try your best to stay friends with your husband, if only because there are two of those buggers now so it is safety in numbers!
You will rock this … fake it ‘til you make it. Be confident with your kids so they don’t smell the fear and together, you and your partner, will take them down.
Read Time: This is a longie but worth it – 7 mins or so.
OBB: 4 (newest member to the kitty) – Sleep Tactic: “The Zuma to our Gupta”
Mother of: 1 | Age: 2
We’re one child in and have what you would categorise as a good sleeper, amazing in fact. She started out as a cluster feeding newborn from hell but after those first three months of apocalyptic exhaustion, she settled into being a great sleeper and napper (even once sleeping through our burglar alarm going off but then so does our dog).
For those of you who haven’t already thrown your phone across the room in disgust, I know that there is every chance the next one will be feral or this one will turn feral when the next one arrives one day or that the sleep gods will smite me for daring to put this in writing but, well, this is where we are right now.
We have had patches where she hasn’t slept well (teething you evolutionary fail you) but have managed to get her back on track and here’s how we did it (oh sleep voodoo please spare me).
We decided on a routine and stuck to it from the get go. And you have to be on the same page as your husband with this, don’t let those little buggers divide and conquer. Put your game face on and decide what the rules are before the toddler even starts their warm up.
Now none of it is military level, it’s just so she understands that there are certain steps and they lead in sequence to that holy grail that is bedtime (cue angels singing, personal space, being able to put things on the coffee table…) We also explain to her what step is happening next as we’re going so she’s prepared. Toddlers like to think they’re part of the process and making consequential decisions but really they’re just the Zuma to our Gupta.
First it’s supper followed by a bath because, as you could tell from her cluster feeding roots, she doesn’t mind some grub and it usually winds up all over her. Then it’s pjs, brush teeth etc followed by a story which she gets to pick (see Gupta reference). Then it’s good night kisses and bed. We have a little music machine that we put on so she knows when she hears the music that means it’s time to sleep (thanks Pavlov). Then we walk out. And she sleeps. And we lie on the couch enjoying the sanctity of Peppa Pig-free adult time. Nothing makes you love your kids more than when they’re sleeping.
Bedtime is usually between 6.30 and 7 and she wakes up between 5.30 and 6. And no, putting her to bed later does not make her sleep later. Scientists should be working on that.
If she does fight it or cry or get out of bed, we just go in (calmly, like serial killer level calm – seriously, they smell fear) explain to her that it’s time to sleep and put her back into bed. And that’s it.
Consistent routine works for us but even as I type it I realise it sounds like one of those things parents say just before they’re hit by the 5 ton truck that is the terrible twos or the arrival of a sibling. I’m only playing in the first half here so hold the oranges…
OBB: 2 – Sleep Tactic: “White lies! All white lies.”
Mother of: 2 | Ages: 2 and 3 | Age Gap: 13 months
My first born was literally sent from the heavens; the clouds opened up and dropped a small angel into my arms. She has slept through from 4 months old and, to this day, nearly 3 years old, I can literally say I can count the number of bad nights she has given us, on my hands! Yes, yes … I hear you … “eff off mother with zero problems!” but hear me out …
She set the bar so high and made our other babies who followed, look like such assholes. I 100% stuck to the steps of our OBB4 (*Oh Baby Boss 4 – newest member) above and sailed through the nights, waking up fresh and feeling calm – much to my friends’ disgust. I kept on thinking at some stage this would all change as it was waaay too good to be true! Not even teething made this mamba-sleeper wake up in the night – bliss, pure bliss.
And then the second rat came along! She also kicked off on the good foot and I followed the steps above. Things were going well until … dun dun dun … TEETH. The devil of all that is child-raising.
I was then faced with a “normal sleeper”. Suddenly, my opinion on sleep took a beating and I had to change tactic: –
When it comes to sleeping just do what works and try not over analyse things too much. Don’t fear a future full of kids still sleeping in your bed at 15 years old or worrying about the effects of a dummy making your child’s teeth look like a muscle cracker. Don’t stress about over loving them to get them to kip or, the extreme, letting them cry it out. Hells bell girlfriend, do what you need to do to get that kid to sleep!
Everything is a phase with parenting, nothing is permanent. Just when you think you have it waxed those suckers will mix it up and you’ll be back to square one so try not over analyse.
I am now at the stage where my two rats are kipping in the same room. I must admit I put them there from quite early on against my husband’s wishes. He was of the opinion that they should sleep separately until they were older. I couldn’t admit it to him then and, don’t judge me for this one now, but I was kind of hoping that the angel first born would do some of the leg work for me in the night; maybe help a brother out and put a dummy in once in a while to get ol’knobby-no-sleep sleep trained.
It kinda paid off … when I can actually get them contained and settled in their room.
I heard them the other night chatting away and left them to their own devices because I was so stuck into the series I was watching. Eventually I thought, “No ways, these buggers have been chatting for far too long now”. I marched in there like a matron. A potent combo of Vicks and baby powder hit the ol’nostrils. Fearing the worst, I switched on the light. Holy smokes, the entire room, top to bottom, head to toe, was COVERED!
Luckily for our children, my sister and I were brought up in a home of dealing with most things with a sense of humour, so I laughed hard, lined them up, got out the vacuum cleaner and suctioned their beds, linen, hair and pjs, wiped down the walls and tossed them back into their beds.
So here is my advice for kids that fight going to sleep …
You know we were brought up to feel like dickheads if you told a lie?! Well, I have to believe in the exception to every rule and this is how I use this one. A little false sense of hope on a few more minutes of being awake, should have you back on the couch, watching series and sipping on vino in no time.
Just as you are about to get asked for one more back tickle, one more story, one more nursery rhyme – gooi this tactic at them.
- The key is to tell an Exception White Lie (EWL) with conviction. Don’t EVER forget that these little bastards can sense fear so confidence is the name of the game.
- Give them some options on what you may be returning with. Toddlers love to feel like they are in charge.
Then for the EWL:
- “Cool night, night you guys. Can I call Dad for you to come and scratch your back?”.
- Daddy ain’t coming girlfriends – he is busy drinking a beer and catching up on cricket.
- “Would you guys like a bottle?”.
- Leave the room and go make yourself some tea.
- “I’m going to call Dad now to read you guys another story”.
- Moonwalk outta there and go put your feet up.
It is a win win; you go and relax at the end of the day and they fall asleep waiting for something awesome.
OBB: 1 – Sleep Tactic: “I say f*ck it”
Mother of: 2 | Age: 2 and 3 months old | Gap: 20 months
Oh my sack, as per my previous blog with my shitstorm of a sleeper all of a sudden (the 2 year old), I am of the opinion that children are relentless so lower your expectations and this, in itself, becomes one of the best sleep tactics you get.
Kids sense when they are unwanted and being hurried into doing something that, in their minds, is completely unreasonable. On that note, it TOTALLY pisses me off that we have to try and convince these things to sleep. What the actual F. That should be built in to their systems; end of the day comes … whoop there it is … off button … she be gone … night night child of mine whom I love and adore and sometimes could easily strangle and smile about it.
So the added pressure to my panda eye balls and blurry vision (from no sleep) is my little newborn. I have decided not to over complicate this one. He sleeps when he is tired, he sleeps in noise and he goes places. I bundle him up in the car seat and whip him off to socialise. Some nights he wakes once and I feed him, love him, change him, stick him back in his bed. Some nights he wakes up every two hours and seriously I just roll with it and try and fill the need e.g. Are you hungry bugger? Have a boob!
I know this doesn’t really sound like much of a sleep tactic but hear me out; with two kids I have realised that the acceptance of the lack of sleep makes your lighties that much more enjoyable. When you are lurking in their room like a bad smell at 2am just accept that they are waking up because something isn’t hundreds and the more you fight it, and resent it even, the more they feel that rashy, needy urge to want to destroy your life.
** If you are at the boobing stage, midnight feeds are the hardest but if you put your back into a little bit longer and they get that extra bit of a top up, it will save you having to wake up sooner.
I’ve tried it with my toddler, the tactic not the boobing, and she has got a gazillion times better, waking up once every third night or so. When it comes to bedtime, I don’t rush her, I just start the bedtime routine earlier. Bad genes … she suffers from FOMO like her mother so an earlier start gives her a sense of ‘burning the midnight oil’ and you get her into bed at a reasonable hour. When she calls in the night, I leave my bed saying “oh for f*%k sakes” and by the time I get to her I have taken a couple of breathes and it’s all “yes my baby, I’m all yours”. So far so good, the sleep struggle has definitely lessened.
Maybe we shouldn’t have ended with mine … maybe pop up to the top and read that section again and stop reading when you get to “I say f*ck it!” or when you have a bad night and you are up … think of me, take a few breathes, smile at your offspring and whisper “God help you if you are a dick tomorrow because this is love of the highest degree!”.
Sleep be with you.
The things you think are kiff to do with a toddler but end up as a total f*%k up. Watch this space – it is coming seriously soon and trust us … the list is loooooong. Break out the baby wipes.