1st Birthday

Here's a question. Who should be the first to say 'Happy Birthday' to your baby? A few weeks ago I met up with a friend who asked me if I thought I might get emotional on BB's first birthday. I told her what I truthfully felt, that no, I didn't think I necessarily would and that I was simply relieved that we had all recovered from her birth and that we had got through the first year relatively unscathed.

That was until the morning of BB's birthday. The days leading up to the day itself were pretty hectic with organising her Baptism the day before her birthday and arranging the logistics of the family for both events, as well as the catering. We ended up having a pub lunch on the Sunday after the Baptism service and then tea and cake (the top tier of our wedding cake, which had been defrosting for the last couple of days following almost 5 years in the deep freeze!) back at ours. Friends popped in throughout the afternoon and it was a lovely leisurely afternoon.

The following morning was BB's first birthday. A special day to me. Unfortunately, the day before, BB had started to get a bit of a runny nose and we weren't totally sure if it was teething again or another little cold (she had just had a week of being well after all of us having had horrible colds - Mr B blames BB being at nursery and actually threatened to take her out, over a cold!). So, as her nose was full of gooey green snot, we cleaned up her nose, gave her a bit of an eye bath (as her last cold led her to having a bit of an eye infection) and getting her up in the normal way. As we were finishing, Mr B went downstairs to get breakfast going and then my mum came in to see BB (she was staying with us for a few days). She asked BB if anyone had wished her a happy birthday yet and proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. I asked her to stop, please stop (I hadn't had a chance to say those words to her myself yet as I was wanting her to be nice and clean and comfy before we started all the lovely celebrations) but mum just kept on until I forcefully said "Stop!" as she took BB off me for a cuddle. I simply walked out of the room rather upset that I hadn't had the chance to be the first to wish my little girl a happy birthday for the very first time, on her very first birthday. Those words had been stolen from me, and the sentiment. Or at least, that is how I felt at the time. Was I being oversensitive or was I right to feel more than a bit put out?! Hmph!

Motherhood Understood

I was speaking with my sister-in-law the other day, whose little boy is now 10 weeks old, and she was telling me about how surprised she was at how long it was taking her body to recover from the birth. But what surprised her most of all was that even the antenatal classes didn't really prepare you for it. They go into great detail about the labour and birth (of course) but not nearly enough about the aftermath - and she's a nurse! I agreed with her, as it took me a long time to recover too, and at the time I thought it was just me not being "made" to give birth. It also reminded me of the new Cussons Mum & Me advert I had seen on TV, which I am glad they are showing (even if for a split second - the painful sitting down even on a comfy sofa springs to mind) the realities of recovery and the difficulties of being a new mum - #MotherhoodUnderstood - I think there is an element in that advert that most mums can relate to.

Heart to heart

I finally managed to get myself for a dental and hygienist check up this week at my new surgery, the latter of which ended with a bit of a heart to heart about being a mum with a career, and how conflicted it makes us. My new hygienist has two daughters, one 13 years old and one 9 years old, and yet we both understood each other's positions. She told me that she was now a single mum, so the pressure was really on.

Our mini-discussion led us to agree that the wish for having a family and a career should possibly be discussed during the career talks at school, so as to help decide what job may be more flexible around having a family (but I fear that might scare parents, making them think that their children are being encouraged to have a family), and yet, part of me wonders why we should sacrifice the careers we really want just because we may want a family too some day. This reminded me of Licia Ronzulli, an MEP from Italy who took her tiny baby to work: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314283/Licia-Ronzulli-brings-baby-EU-Parliament.html proving that both are just as important as each other to some.

Will we ever feel as if we get the balance right? Possibly not - but that wont stop most of us from trying!

Standing Tall

This month has been a rather busy one for BB. Not only has she mastered crawling (now reaching high speeds from room to room, following us like a puppy), BB is now the proud owner of 4 gleaming teeth, she has added the word dog to her vocabulary and she is now able to stand tall (whilst resting on our coffee tables) confidently for quite some time. I was extremely excited to buy her her first proper pair of shoes this week, being measured and everything!! She now has her first shoe box - proper girly! And she seems pretty happy with them.

We also had BB's first ever parents evening! Yes, seriously. It seems that even at just 11 months old there is enough to talk about beyond our handovers at nursery. Happily she seems to be doing well and the staff are pleased with how well she has settled in nursery even though she is only going once a week.

Unfortunately over the last few days, however, BB has not been very well. She has only had one or two bouts of snotty-ness before but she now has a bit of an ear and eye infection, together with a streaming nose, poor thing. Luckily, it doesn't seem to be affecting her sleep too much at night (apart from the first night when she was up 4 times). On day three of her having some medicine she seems a lot happier but pretty sleepy.

On the work front I can confirm that I have recently handed in my notice and become self-employed. I am trying to build a couple of businesses, slowly, around BB's and my family's needs, which take priority. However, I am keen not to lose touch with the traditional working world and want to set the foundations of possible businesses for me to run when BB (and any siblings she may possibly have in the future) is at school. I want to be a mum and be there for her, but I also want to be myself and earn my keep. I have never coped well with the thought of living off "pocket money" from Mr BB - although it is not really set up like this in our household - we do share everything, which is great, but I still feel as if I am watching the pennies a lot more than before I went on maternity leave. Even with this I still feel that handing in my notice was the right decision for me and the family. Financially, it wasn't going to add up with nursery fees, travel and parking costs etc...not to mention the stress of trying to deal with a full on job but having to leave at my contractual time in order to pick BB up from nursery - pretty much frowned upon by others in the office. I am hoping that being more in control of the work I take on, the type of work and when, will make my life a lot more balanced.