Supporting other parents

**WARNING – I have wrote this post with a ten month old on my lap and my two year old bouncing on my legs playing horsey so please excuse any typos, bad grammar or spelling mistakes!******

I have only just started enjoying our lunch dates with the kids again.

As soon as George turned fifteen months my usual calm, civilized diners started to resemble a scene out of Jurassic Park.
The one where the T-Rex is flipping cars and tearing down fences while the humans watch on, horried, from behind a tree!

I would get flustered and embaressed while George flung himself out of the high chair (those wooden ones are beyond pointless!).
He would chew food up and then let it spill out of his mouth onto the table while telling me
‘Don’t like it’.
Instead of the pasta Arribiata infront of him, he would have his eyes on my moules mariniere (and happily eat every one!).

The floor around his seat would have a mixture of food, snapped crayons and napkins scattered everywhere. It was so messy that I would leave the servers a 40% tip out of embarrassment and guilt.

If I tried to discipline him at the table, he would scream louder and then would come the disapproving glances from around the restaurant.

Considering I took my first four children out all the time, and we would be complimented on how well behaved they were…this was new territory for me.

Add a new baby Arthur, who had a healthy set of lungs on him into the mix and eating out became nothing but an anxiety inducing stress-fest!

Since November, thankfully things have changed. For a start, George has developed a love for YouTube (yep…and I WILL give him his tablet if It means I can drink my coffee while it is hot!)
Also, now he can talk and communicate more his behaviour has taken a huge turn. I would even say eating out with him is enjoyable!
The most important thing I learnt about my number five is that ‘No one puts baby in the corner. ‘
He is happier sitting in an adults seat with the older kids rather than a high chair next to mum!

Last week we took the younger boys out to our local Italian for some lunch.
It is one of our favourites because it is no only child friendly but seriously delicious too.
It was a Friday lunchtime and the restaurant was full of mums with toddlers and older ladies and gents enjoying a retirement lunch.

We were sat between a couple in their 70’s (I am guessing) and a lady with a baby having lunch with her parents.

The baby next to us must have been about seven month and was crying…and crying…and crying.
Her mum was trying desperatly to sooth her but the baby wasnt having it and the mum looked tired and stressed.

Mike was trying to have a conversation with me but I couldn’t concentrate on what he was saying.
I was so distracted.

It wasn’t the baby that was bothering me…it was her mum.
She was flustered and panicking and I could feel every inch of her uncomfort.

I glanced around and realised the older couple had asked to be moved and the mothers with toddlers were rolling their eyes and tutting!

I felt like crying for her!

I walked over and knelt down to the mum with her baby.
‘Most the people in the room are parents and we have all been where you are. Don’t worry about anyone else, you are doing a great job.’
I offered to take the baby while she finished her lunch as ours hadnt arrived yet.

She burst into tears and gave me a big hug.

The mum felt instantly more relaxed and in turn, her little baby calmed down.

George and Arthur were a joy that day and unlike the mum next to me, we were getting nods of approval. Usually I would feel proud that out kids good behaviour is being aknowledged, but when the praise is coming from the same judgemental dicks that are rolling their eyes at a crying baby I just felt annoyed.
Rewind just a few weeks and it was me that was sitting their being talked about and feeling shamed.

George didnt let us down though. As the bill was placed on the table he kicked his shoes off and ran through the restaurant. He ran around tables, giggling and screaming as I chased him like a overweight hurdler after a bottle of prosecco.

As I passed the mums who had been rolling their eyes i laughed
‘It was all going so well! That will teach me for being smug!’ hoping they might find the hint and advice in my comment.
George ran behind the bar, hi-fiving the waiters and I finally rugby tackled him at kitchen door!

A couple of days after this I read in a paper that a lady with a crying baby was asked to leave a cafe because it was upsetting the customers.
I wonder how many of those people offered some help or advice to the mum, who may well have been struggling herself, before they complained to the owner?
Or whether the owner of the cafe thought to ask if there was anything he/she could do to help before they showed her to the pavement.

I do have sympathy for everyone who wants to have a quiet meal without ‘naughty’ children or screaming babies around them. My point is simply, before you roll your eyes, ask to be moved or tut at the parents, take a second to think.
Could this parent be struggling? Could that child throwing a tantrum have a disability that you can not see? Could this parent benifit from a gentle hand of reassurance? Or more to the point…..were your children always perfect?

Anyway, im off out for lunch with all the kids….wish me luck 😜

Baby One vs Baby Five

​ I’ve been thinking about how much I have changed from the first time mum of twins I was ten years ago to the mum of nearly six now. 


This list worried me a bit,  and before you contemplate calling social services after reading this, George is the happiest baby I have ever known! 

You tend to do so much different the second, third, fourth,  fifth and sixth time round 😱
Baby One :

I started looking at buggies and cots when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. 


Baby five: 

I dragged the dusty cot out of the loft on my due date. 

Buggy? I don’t have time for a buggy, I just strap baby to me and go! 

_________________

Baby One:
Book pregnancy massage at 30 weeks to relax.

Baby Five :

Radox relaxing bubble bath while one child is talking to me whilst taking a dump on the loo and another throwing toys at my head. 
___________________

Baby one :

‘oh wow, congratulations,  that is such wonderful news ‘

Baby Five:

‘ANOTHER ONE!?  you need to stop now!  Send him for the snip!

_______________________

Baby One :

Panic and Google everything about childbirth, gather as many stories as possible and hope your hospital stay is minimal. 
Baby Five :

Not to worried about the pain,  more concerned how I will muster the energy to actually push the baby out. 

After two homebirths,  considering a hospital birth to blag a couple of peaceful days with my feet up being waited on. 

_____________________

Baby One:

Sterilise the sh*t out of everything, dummies,  bottles,  hubby’s hands….  

Baby Five :

Put the dummy in my mouth to clean it!  (come on,  I just watched the dog lick the babies hands and my five year old put her fingers in his mouth!)

_____________________

Baby One :

Keep everyone away for a couple of days after the birth to recover,  when they do come,  hostess and act like the perfect, coping mum  

Baby Five :

Invite as many people as possible over as soon as baby is born and go straight to bed to ensure you can buy enough ‘visitor baby hugs’ time to get a good couple of hours sleep.

_____________________

Baby One :

Boil wash every item of clothing prior to baby wearing it and clean bedclothes daily.

Baby Five :

Wash at 30 degrees with the other kids clothes and only wash bed clothes when baby has been sick!  

Otherwise it falls in the general house rules of one wash a week! 

______________________

Baby One :

Buy every lotion, potion and gimic you can afford. 

Baby Five :

Olive oil for cradle cap, lavender oil in the bath rather than the £10 bottle of lavender scented baby bath cream.   

Oh, and FYI, Calpol is exactly the same as the own brand baby paracetamol but triple the price. 

_____________________

Baby One :

Two weeks post birth spent in hibernation.

Baby Five :

School run six hours later.


___________________

Baby One:

Panic over the ‘ right ‘ time to start your baby on solids. 

Baby Five:

Disregard the professionals and as soon as baby isn’t getting satisfied by milk the porridge comes out.


______________________

Baby One :

Toddler groups three mornings a week. 

Baby Five:

Organising coffee mornings around what coffee shop has  the best ‘kids area ‘ 

______________________

Baby One :

Never take the babies to McDonald’s! They will only eat healthy, organic food including their 5-a-day until they are 9!

Baby Five :

Tried McDonald’s by nine months and even substituted the fruit for an apple strudel.

______________________

Baby One :

6.30pm bedtime,  no excuses. Boom!

Baby Five :

It’s 8pm and the baby is watching Fresh Prince with the older kids. 

If the house is quiet why rock the boat? 


____________________

Baby One :

Plan toilet training like it is a military operation.

Baby Five :

Forget to put a nappy on the baby and realise after two days he has been using the potty in the corner. 

______________________

Baby One :

At one month old, researching primary schools, high schools and universities so that my angels can become the next prime minister, doctor or lawyer.

Baby Five :

Now looking at high schools for real for the older kids.

Primary school is already planned under the sibling rule and ive actually realised,  as long as they are happy and have good support, who cares what they are when they are older. 

_______________________

Baby One :

Baby gates everywhere! Can’t possibly risk baby falling down the stairs. 

Baby Five :

Teach baby how to climb down stairs safely before he can even walk. 

________________________

Baby One :

Worry at 2pm that baby hasn’t had lunch and stop everything to make sure they have a suitable meal. 

Baby Five :

At 2pm wonder if the two ginger biscuits and a mouthful of mud he had at the park is ok to pass for lunch.


______________________

Baby One :

Perfect changing bag packed and full of baby necessities at all times.  

Baby Five :

Two nappies in one pocket and baby wipes and a dummy in the other and off we go! 

_________________________

Baby One :

If the baby starts creating in a restaurant,  stick by your guns,  ride the tantrum out and beam with pride when you win and other diners are patting you on the back. 

Baby Five :

Baby creates in a restaurant and you pass them the lemon from your g&t, a left over rib, order a chocole brownie or do just about anything they want just to shut them up…..then roll your eyes at the disapproving diners! 😂


 

Happy New Years……Resolutions? 

​2016 has been an exciting year for me.   My new addition, George has given me his first giggles, crawled, taken his first steps and become a fully fledged toddler.

I watch my beautiful sister in law get married on one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.

I spent a fantastic weekend in Dublin with some of my favourite girls. 

I found out we are expecting baby number 6 and started my Modernmum blog.

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me throughout my blogging experience.😘

I have met some wonderful new people through this journey and still feel it is only just beginning.   

Looking forward to seeing you on the other side…2017! 🎊🎉

I was chilling in the bath earlier,   thinking about what my new years resolutions will be for 2017.
I’ve never made NY resolutions before (mainly because I know I’ll never keep them,  why add pressure!?) 
But this year, I feel like I want to challange myself,  to see if I am capable.   

So here it goes….   

-Being pregnant I’m not about to put pressure on myself to lose weight,  however,  baby is due in April.  By next Xmas I would like to be pre pregnancy weight. #goals

-Stop convincing myself Libby’s messy bun is an acceptable school hairstyle.   Actually start brushing and tieing it up neatly every morning. 

-Take George to more toddler groups and less coffee shops. 

-Start working at a desk rather than on the laptop infront of the TV.

-Always make sure the kids have lots of paper/supplies for homework projects.  They get so embarrassed taking in a scrappy bit of A4 when little jonny looks like Monet has done his homework. 

-With the children,  sign up to at least three charity fundraisers.

-No more dogs! 
-Always answer my mobile phone, even if I know it is cold callers, politely tell them to fuck off.

-Go out for more family walks,  such a cheap fun way to spend time together.  If we end up at the local pub… Even better!

-Stick with this blogging lark, I am really enjoying it and maybe even double my followers (feel free to share away😘)
-Get my arse into gear and make sure we have turkeys here in the summer.  Next Xmas we will be supplying your Xmas dinner) 
-Laugh more,  love more and try harder. 
So what’s your news years resolutions?  Or like me in the past,  do you just not bother? 
Happy New Year, Lots of Love
Kate xxxx

How I get shit done with a baby 

​One of the most common things I get asked as a mum of thousands of children is ‘ how do you get anything done with a baby? ‘

The answer is really simple,  at home, behind closed doors, we call it ‘ the cage’ on the outside you call it a playpen!

You could stress yourself out, intent on baking cookies with your 9 month old who cant even eat properly yet.   

Or spend hours with play doh that your toddler would rather eat than play with.

Or try and get jobs done with a year old on your hip.

All this is lovely of corse, memory making and learning but don’t let the ‘perfect mum’ give you shit for needing to get stuff done,  especially when you have older children that still need your attention.
When George was a baby I used the playpen to keep him safe.


So that I could go and start dinner, sort the washing out, help the others with homework or simply chill out for 10 minutes without the worry that Libby might start feeding him like one of her dolls or the dog didn’t lick his face after giving their doggy bits a chew.

As he has got older and started to crawl and walk I put a couple of his favourite toys in their and let him play.   

Not only does this give me time to get stuff done it also teaches him how to play without me,  gain confidence and problem solve. 


Obviously, before you start judging me I’m not talking about putting him in the cage and popping out for a few vodkas at the pub.

I’m usually in the next room or running up and downstairs constantly checking on him. 
By doing this when I need it it leaves me calm quality time to spend when I do sit down and bake cookies and play with the play doh (😂😂😂 whatever,  he is 15 months, I have years of that to come) when I play blocks, helping him climb in and out of his toy car or play who can scream the loudest.
My point is,  don’t try and be a martyr, it doesn’t hurt them to play on their own for a while while you do whatever you need to get done or just sit down with a cuppa.
I have done it with all of mine.