How you know it’s your second kid: you’re breastfeeding and expressing milk while watching CBeebies Boogie Babies and you realize your toddler and hubby left for nursery 20 minutes ago.
How you really know you’ve embraced motherhood: Instead of switching to the news, you settle in to watch the rest of the show and wish you didn’t have your hands full so you could get up and dance with Pete too.
This is why I became a mummy. I was so proud of Duncan and I for our explorations on Monday’s hike.
Identity For me there’s a real serenity in being a second time mother. The anxiety is gone and I’m loving these weeks rather than willing them to fly by. Last time around I was constantly looking forward, to going back to work, to worrying about what was going to happen. This time I’m living in the present.
The first smile caught on camera. The first time Fraser smiled at me I cried. (Way to send mixed messages mummy!).
Identity In an entirely sexist way, having two boys feels like a release. I no longer need to pave the way for a daughter, my boys wont have the same struggles I’ve had to balance motherhood with a non-traditional career. They will have their own struggles, but not this one. I can identify myself as a mother without betraying my gender.
Identity Being more comfortable in my role as a mother doesn’t mean that I’m comfortable in my skin though. Pregnancy and motherhood require different types of grace and pregnancy is something I’ve struggled with. The extra weight, the lack of fitness, these feel like signs of a foreign invasion. (Inconsistently, my stretch marks feel like proud scars of achievement.) So to feel more like myself I watch what I eat and celebrate the meager exercise I get. This body identity is something I can claim back amid the adjustments of new motherhood.
Writing this on the intranet will invariably draw concern though. Am I shallow for obsessing with my weight? Am I risking my milk supply? While I may be shallow, my ‘diet’ is replacing 1/2 a pack of chocolate digestives a day with apples and bananas. It feels traumatic to me but that’s just because I’m no longer eating for a family of four.
The title doesn’t refer to the hot man (Cory) in my life, but unfortunately the youngest wee boy. Fraser and I have both had fevers for the past few days, courtesy of big brother Duncan who was sick last week. Unfortunately fevers in babies under two months are not good things, but after a home visit by the lovely out-of-hours GP, Fraser’s been allowed Calpol (baby tylenol for all the North American readers) and I think our fevers are on the way out. After two nights of almost no sleep, Cory let me sleep downstairs last night and did the night shift with Fraser (who is not an easy baby to put back to sleep the middle of the night) so I was only up for the feeds. I’m feeling more human today.
Fraser’s not a good baby in the evenings and night, but he is a great baby in the day, settling himself in the carry cot or sleeping happily in my arms or the sling. We even get to hang out for hours on the sofa where I see his lovely eyes (blue or hazel? what do you think?) staring at me. We are so close to smiling too – there’s the occasional one but we haven’t reached that stage where he’s smiling in response to my smiles yet.
I will post more often when we’re healthy and actually doing something to post about. In the meantime, I’m trying to spare everyone from the stream-of-consciousness threatening to spew from my head about my weight loss plans. I’ve got a stone (14lbs) to lose and am very sick of the two pairs of trousers that actually fit me. All I want to do is eat carbs, since I’m in the habit of overeating, and with rampant postpartumn hormonal fluctuations, when faced with emotional torture or a jelly-belly, I’ve been opting for the belly too often.
When my little boy wakes up in the morning and one of the first thing he says is “Duncan on Thomas Train”, we know that yesterday made a huge impression. Cory booked us tickets on the Caledonian Railway’s Day out with Thomas and we had a very exciting morning travelling from Brechin to Bridge of Dun and back. It was almost too exciting. Rather than my silly chatty boy, he was a silent, wide-eyed face staring out the window, except when the whistle blew and his excitement bubbled over into an “oooh!” and a smile.
Fraser you’re one month old already. It feels like time’s gone so fast, but we’re still having to remind ourselves that you are just one month old and it’s okay that we’re not in a routine yet, with days and nights sorted fully and breastfeeding perfected. But you are a generally easy baby now that we’re getting to know you. It just threw us at first because you’re so different from your brother. In place of his fierce independence (‘don’t cuddle me!’), you love to snuggle up close with my hands holding you tight. You prefer the sling to the buggy and would happily live in our bed instead of your own. I love that you’re your own person already, and I love cuddles. You definitely get that part of your personality from me.
After one month of two boys, I’m starting to figure out how to structure our days too. The real challenge will be next week, when Nana goes home, and I’m on my own with the both of you. Trips to the park will be important, but since I can’t feed you while your brother is playing, they’ll have to be carefully scheduled around feeds. All these new things to think about and plan… the next few months will be interesting.
But I am able to indulge in something your Dad thinks is very silly – dressing the two of you alike. No one will ever convince me that you two aren’t the cutest wee boys in the whole world.
A lovely moment – although Duncan is faking sleep.