Life as a mum of two

Life as a mum of two is crazy. Which is probably why it’s taken me over a year to finally get round to writing about it!

When I became a mum for the first time it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. When I became a mum for the second time, of course things changed but it was different.

In some ways it was easier. You remember the do’s and don’ts from the first time round, you know what to expect during your pregnancy and labour and in some ways you’re more relaxed but nothing can prepare you for the transition from it being just you and your child to then you, your child and a baby.

In some ways it was harder. The lack of sleep is even harder the second time round as you can’t just decide to have a sleep when the baby sleeps as you already have another child to run around after. You won’t always be able to meet both your children’s needs all the time and with that comes a massive wave of mum guilt. You might not cope as well the second time round and do you know what? That’s okay. I’ve made it no secret on my blog, online or in person that I have found becoming a mum to two really difficult and sometimes I still do.

But eventually you do learn new habits that (sometimes) make being a mum to two that bit easier.

  • You learn how to do things with two children and you get better at splitting your time between them both. It’s nice being able to play with both children at the same time but when Kora is napping, that’s my chance to have some time just with Kory and to do something we would find difficult to do if she was awake and wondering off, such as baking and vice versa.
  • You don’t grow an extra pair of hands but you will learn how to hold your youngest whilst doing something for/with your other child.
  • You learn how to get two kids out of the house without it taking 3 hours. In my case, I pack the pram bag and everything I think we might need the night before.
  • You learn how to get both kids to sleep at night at the same time and you will feel like a boss.
  • You learn that you thought having one child was hard and then you realise it was easier than you thought compared to being a mum of two.
  • You also learn that you’re a lot stronger and more capable than you ever give yourself credit for and you can do more than you ever knew possible.
  • You will fall in love with your second baby just as much as you did with your first and seeing them together and love each other will make your heart want to explode. You will never know a love like it.

Life as a mum of two is crazy but absolutely worth it. Of course there are hard days but when I see my two children together and the bond they have with each other I know that making the decision to have another baby was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Parents who have two or more kids, how did you find the transition from one to two? Do you have any advice for anyone expecting baby number two? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Kora turned 1!

Just over a week ago, Kora turned 1 years old. First of all, I would just like to apologise for this post being a little late – since homeschooling Kory it would seem I have even less time than I did before and second of all, how is Kora a whole year old already and where has that time gone at all?!

I say this all the time but I honestly feel like she was born just two minutes ago but then somehow I must have blinked and now here before me stands a toddler that is walking and talking. It is actually mind blowing.

Kory’s first year went by fast and it’s hard to believe he is now 4 years old but I have to say I think Kora’s first year has gone by even faster (how is that even possible?!) I think it may have something to do with having two children to run around after rather than just the one and also – lockdown. (We have Covid to thank for that.) Nevertheless, my baby girl who is no longer a baby but who will always be my baby is now a toddler and I am super excited to share with you all some details and photos from her 1st birthday.

Whilst planning Kora’s birthday, I had lots of things to consider in terms of what we could and actually were allowed to plan. I knew I didn’t want something big and over the top for her anyway but still under the current circumstances (again – Covid) we were limited as to what we could do so we opted for something smaller yet still special. We actually did something similar for Kory’s first birthday too.

Kora’s birthday landed on a Sunday this year so on the day of her birthday, we had a small tea party for her at our house. On the morning of her birthday after she had finished opening all her birthday presents with the help from her big brother of course! It was time to get everything ready for the tea party. With the help from my mum and nan I decorated the house and garden and just put on a little buffet for the close family and friends we had invited to celebrate her birthday with us and somehow even managed to have everything ready in time!

For the buffet, There was various sandwiches, pasta, salad, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, crisps, cakes and sweets.

We decided the theme to the tea party was going to be ‘Unicorns’ which seemed perfect really as Kora’s bedroom is decorated with unicorns also and she seems to love them! Of course, there was the all important birthday cake to match!

The tea party turned out perfectly and was everything we could have imagined for our little girl’s very 1st birthday. It really was a unicorn tea party fit for a princess. Kora really enjoyed her special day.

Thank you for taking the time to read all about Kora turning 1! I hope you liked this blog post.

What we’ve been up to

I’m sorry I didn’t post on here yesterday as promised. I really wanted to share with you all yesterday’s activity but as you can imagine, being stuck in with two children to take care of and entertain didn’t leave me with much time to write anything at all! But today I’ve managed to spare a bit of time for myself, both kids are finally sleeping so I’m using this time to write this blog post.

Yesterday was a busy day for us and today has been too. Me and Kory have actually done quite a few different activities together so rather than just sharing the one with you, I thought I’d share a few instead. So here goes, I hope you like reading about what we’ve been up to and if you’re stuck for ideas of what to do I hope this gives you some inspiration.

Yesterday’s activities:

Yesterday we started the day by making a collage. This activity is really simple, very easy to do, lots of fun and doesn’t require a lot of materials either – you probably have most of them lying around your house somewhere already.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Large piece of paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pictures or things to stick down
  • Pens
  • Literally anything you can think of!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Print out or cut out pictures for your child
  • If your child is old enough, you could even let them cut the pictures out
  • Then, use glue to stick the pictures onto a large piece of paper
  • Once dried, let them decorate the collage however they’d like

After finishing his collage, I got Kory to try out the pepper experiment. If you haven’t seen this one already, it’s where the pepper represents the ‘germs’ and the experiment shows what happens when we wash our hands.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Pepper
  • Hand wash

Here’s how to do it:

  • Fill a bowl with water
  • Add pepper to bowl
  • Get your child to dip their finger in
  • Lift out their finger, show them the ‘dirt’ on their finger
  • Put a blob of hand wash on the tip of their finger
  • Get them to stick their finger back into the bowl of water and pepper
  • Watch as the pepper moves away from their finger almost by magic!

This experiment is a great way to demonstrate how germs work to your child and an even better way to get them to wash their hands!

Kory also did some:

  • Cutting out
  • Colouring
  • Playing with toys
  • Helping with housework

Today’s activities:

Whilst we may be on lockdown and unable to leave our homes, everyone is allowed to leave the house just once a day for a walk or to exercise as long as you only go with the people from your household and don’t meet up with other people. We had some lovely weather today so we decided to take our dog, Harley, for a walk. I made sure we went nice and early to avoid bumping into other people. It was really quiet and we had the whole field to ourselves! It was the first time we’d left the house in days, Kory and Kora both got some fresh air and Harley was happy he got to go for a run!

Once we got back home, I got the chalks out for Kory and we did some chalk drawing in the garden. It kept Kory occupied for ages and he got really creative with it too!

Here’s what you will need:

  • Just chalk for this one!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Join in or leave them to it!

Although we have been stuck at home, we definitely had fun in the sun and made the most of the nice weather today.

Kory also did some:

  • Bubble blowing
  • Colouring pages outside in the sun
  • Water play
  • Trampolining
  • Looking for bugs

So, thank you for reading my blog post on what we’ve been up to. I hope you’re all doing okay during this isolation period.

Lots of love,

Kirsti, xo

Rainbow painting

We’ve all been advised to stay home and practice social distancing due to Covid-19, so I have been putting together lots of ideas for me and Kory that we can do whilst we’ll be spending all our time at home for at least the next few weeks. Not just to fight boredom but to also give him some sort of education with the schools now being shut too for who knows long!

We’re all in the same boat right now and it sucks but it is so important that we follow the advice we’ve been given and socially distance ourselves if we want to protect people and to get things back to how they were before. I’m trying not to see it as being ‘stuck at home’ but as a way to spend more time with Kory doing activities that we otherwise may not have had the time to do and that’s helped. A few weeks ago, before this nightmare began. How many of you would have loved the opportunity to stay home and have all the time in the world to do the things you’d like?

The first thing I did was I sorted a drawer for Kory just with different activities inside; work sheets, craft stuff and that sort of thing. The next thing I did was I made a list of different activities we can do. Pinterest is a great place to find lots of ideas. Here’s mine if you’d like to have a look: www.pinterest.com/lifeasthelonsdales I’ve pinned lots of a different ideas and even have a board called ‘For the Kids.’ Which has come in very useful during all of this!

Continue reading “Rainbow painting”

Good days and bad days

When you’re a parent, there will be good days and bad days. Fact. Days when you have to shout more than you’d like to, days that make you question yourself as a parent and days that leave you feeling like utter crap. But in saying that, there’s also those days that you don’t want to end, days when you’ve genuinely had fun with the kids and days when you go to bed feeling like a rockstar. For me, realising this made it a lot easier for me to accept that not every day is going to run smoothly or even be enjoyable and that that’s okay, and in doing so, I allowed myself to cut me some slack.

For instance, yesterday was a bad day but today has been a good day. Not every day can be a good day, I wish it could but it just can’t, can it? Otherwise we wouldn’t have ‘good days’ would we, without bad days to shine light on the good we’d just have… days, I suppose? When we’ve had what I would refer to as a ‘bad day,’ it’s usually a day when I’ve had to lose my sh!t with the threenager to get him to listen or like yesterday, a day when out of nowhere he just decided to throw the tantrum of all tantrums. A day when even though I did nothing wrong (I wasn’t the one throwing a giant wobbler for no reason!) I end the day going to bed feeling miserable and guilty.

Not fun.

And to be honest, I’d had enough of feeling that way. I’ve always been really tough on myself when it comes to parenting right from day one, always doubting myself over the slightest of things and I can admit that but it was starting to make me feel exhausted. Both physically and mentally. I’d had enough of crying to myself in bed at the end of every sh!t day.

God, I sound pathetic.

So last night I didn’t do that. Instead I had a takeaway, watched a movie and drank some fruit cider. Friday night is usually mine and Kory’s takeaway night but because he’d been a turd yesterday I made him his tea and once he’d gone to bed I ordered a takeaway but for myself. I’m not gonna lie, I did start to feel guilty when I was eating my cheesy chips (Kory’s favourite) but then I got the urge to slap myself and reminded myself that having a takeaway was a treat. One that yesterday, he didn’t deserve.

Being a parent is tough, it is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done but I can’t keep giving myself a hard time. I just have to keep reminding myself, there will be good days and bad days. I don’t know what tomorrow has in store for us, we can only see but one thing is for sure, I won’t be punishing myself at the end of the day.

Just remember that at the end of every day no matter how sh!t it’s been there is always a new day tomorrow… I can’t promise you that it will be a good one but it’s a new day nevertheless and there will always be tomorrow.

Explaining the Coronavirus to my 3 year old

I think we can all agree that what we are all currently living through is a very confusing and scary time for everyone. I have never experienced anything quite like this in my life time before. The Coronavirus has impacted more than just peoples health. It’s had an impact on everything. It’s affected our day to day lives, it’s affected work, school and even leaving the house. Since the Coronavirus hit, everything just feels surreal. Almost apocalyptic. Different. And Kory, who is 3 years old has picked up on this.

When all this first came about, there wasn’t much I needed to tell him and I wasn’t even sure what I should have told him. The Coronavirus has caused a lot of uncertainty and nobody really knew what to do or expect. In fact, I know I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. But as events have changed and escalated, I have tried my very best to protect and shelter Kory from what is happening around him but 3 year olds are more aware of their surroundings than we might realise and he definitely picked up on the fact that things have started to change.

Kory started to ask questions. He wanted to know why schools were shutting to be cleaned, he wanted to know why he had to wash his hands more often, he wanted to know why more and more people at his school were off sick, he wanted to know why his teacher hadn’t been in and in the coming days when his school closes until further notice and if we have to go into lockdown, I’m sure he will have even more questions. So, I didn’t see what good keeping him in the dark would do so without scaring him, I explained the Coronavirus to him the best way I could. I explained the Coronavirus to a 3 year old the best way that I knew how.

First of all, I asked Kory how does it make him feel when he has a cold and a cough to which he replied ‘rubbish.’ So I told him that there is a new sort of cold going around except when you get it, it can make you feel worse than rubbish and sometimes it can make some people very poorly so in order to try and stop people from getting this nasty cold, we have to stop the germs from spreading and to do that we have to wash our hands more. People have been off school if they’ve been poorly so that they don’t make anyone else poorly, the same with a normal cold and we have to shut the school and keep it clean because that also helps to stop the germs. He must have been satisfied with my answers as he just said ‘Ok, mum. Do you want to play on my game with me now?’

I have just been trying to keep everything as normal as I possibly can for Kory, I do not want him to have to deal or worry about any of this. I really have tried to remain calm for the both of us despite everything but as someone who already suffers with anxiety, all this talk about the Coronavirus has only added to that and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy trying to keep my stress levels and feelings under control. I can’t help but worry sometimes as I’m sure you’re all the same and these are worrying times.

Let’s just all hope and pray that everyone stays well and that things start to get back to normal soon.

Have you had to sit down and talk to your children about the Coronavirus? If so, how did you find that? What did you say? If you’d like, leave me a comment and let me know!

The C word

In this blog post I am going to be talking about the C word. No, I’m not talking about the word c%nt. I’m talking about the Coronavirus. Although the Coronavirus is a bit of c%nt too – let’s be honest.

The Coronavirus has ruined holidays, stopped social events and gatherings, forced parents to stay locked at home with their feral children, (just kidding!) caused idiots to bulk buy which if this is you, then you’re the C word too. I understand people want to be prepared incase they have to unexpectedly isolate themselves for 2 weeks but no one needs 40 bog rolls! And if you have bought essentials just to sell on for triple the original price to make yourself a profit then you are the biggest C word of all. In all seriousness though, the Coronavirus is the worst because it has made people seriously poorly and tragically it’s even cost some people their lives and I will be so glad when all this is finally over with. I worry not only for myself and my family and friends but for others and those who are vunerable and at risk.

I know that I am sick of hearing about the Coronavirus as I am guessing the majority of you are too. (Which is kind of ironic because here I am talking about it…) You can’t switch on the tv or look at your social media without hearing or reading about this bluddy virus. And although it’s important and we need to be aware of what’s happening in the world and how to stay safe, a lot of what we’re hearing and reading is just making people worry.

So this post isn’t going to be all about the Coronavirus and I’m not going to tell you anything you’ve probably already heard a million times already. Instead I’m just going to give you some ideas of what you can do if you do find yourself needing to self isolate and I’m just gonna try and lighten the mood a little.

If you do need to self isolate and have family or friends that can pick up some shopping for you so that you don’t have to leave the house, then do that. Just don’t get them to take a 3 year old that doesn’t have a cough but will sense the tension and cough really loudly in the middle of Tesco causing everyone to give them and said 3 year old the death glare. Like Rory did.

If I was in isolation, I would like to say that I would do absolutely nothing and just eat snacks and binge watch Netflix ALL day but let’s be honest, my kids would never let me do that and I would more than likely just end up watching Peppa Pig on repeat all day until I went insane but if your children will let you binge Netflix series (I’m not jealous at all I promise) then that’s something you could do.

So here goes, here’s my list of things to do if you need to self isolate:

  • Start a new series
  • Watch a movie
  • Read a book
  • Bake
  • Learn something new
  • Enjoy doing nothing
  • Organise and tidy your home
  • Do that thing you’ve been meaning to do
  • Have a clear out
  • Do something crafty
  • Make something
  • Teach the kids some new skills

Whatever it is that you want to do, if it involves staying inside then knock yourself out! In the meantime, let’s just try our best to carry on as normal and if we can then to help one another.

I can’t wait for all this to blow over (who knows how long that will be!) but for now, take care of yourselves and one another.

Making a change

If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll know that i’ve been feeling a bit low lately and i’m sure that many people who read what I wrote thought:

What problems do you have?

What have you got to complain about?

And they’d be right to think that because my problems are a lot less significant when I think about what problems other people are facing. I know that and there will always be someone who has it worse than you. I hate feeling down and stuck in a rut (who doesn’t?!) I don’t choose to feel this way and I’m not usually one for feeling sorry for myself, in fact I’m usually the person who everyone comes to with their problems but I’m only human myself and I just think things had got a bit much for me.

Since then I’ve had some time to think about things and I’ve realised that although I can’t necessarily help how I think and feel, if I want to change my mindset and how I feel then I’m going to have to actually do something about it. Sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself has never helped anyone. Life has a habit of trying to bring you down and it can keep you down too – if you let it.

I read a quote that said ‘Remember when you used to wish for everything that you have now’ and it really resonated with me. I used to dream of having a family of my own, a son, a daughter, a partner, a car, a nice home and to be happy and I have all of that. I am so lucky and I realise that but when you feel like I do, you could have everything in the world and you would still feel sad and that made me feel so guilty because what a waste. I have everything I could ever possibly want and I’m not going to enjoy it because I’m going to let my negative thoughts and feelings get in the way of that? I knew I needed to make a change.

I have already started to make changes. I read back to myself my blog post from yesterday and it was clear for me to see what the problem was/is. The problem lies with how I think.

So here is what I think I need to do to help with how I’ve been feeling:

  • I need to train my brain to think differently.
  • I need to remind myself that small inconveniences don’t have to be such a big deal.
  • And I need to think more positively.

Yes the knob on my oven has snapped clean off but at least the rest of the oven still works and the knob can be replaced.

Yes the headlight and side panel on my car are broken but at least I have a car that runs and these things can be repaired.

My phone screen has smashed but my phone still works and I can always get a new screen.

I feel lonely because people don’t spend much time with me and/or my kids? Then that’s their loss. I have my kids and they have me.

I am not a person who sits around and feels sorry for themselves, that’s just not who I am, it never has been and I’m actually quite embarrassed by how low I’ve let myself get. I thought about quitting but then I remembered who is watching… My kids.

So watch this space because I’m about to find Kirsti again…

2019

With only 6 hours left of 2019, I thought I would try to write this post before we enter the new year.

Firstly, I would like to recap on the year. And what a year it has been… Kora was born and completed our family, Kory became a big brother, I learned some things about myself and I honestly feel like I’m in a better place now than I was when the year started.

2019 has been a better year than I could have ever imagined!

Last year I set myself some goals for the new year, as I do every year. And these were:

  • Read read read. I used to always read, I used to always have my head in a book but it’s been so long since I started a book and actually finished it. It’s not because of lack of interest – I love books, it’s having the spare time to read that’s an issue! But I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to make more time for reading, even if it’s just a couple of pages at night and in doing so, hopefully fall back in love with reading all over again.

  • Blog more. I’m really enjoying blogging at the moment and eventually I would like my blog to go somewhere so this year I’m going to blog as much as I can and take blogging more seriously.

  • Stay positive. I like to think I’m a pretty positive person anyway but sometimes I let things get me down and I can get quite stressed. But life’s too short for that and I just want to be happy

So how did I do? I honestly think I could have done better. I did attempt to read more but I didn’t read as many books as I’d have liked to but with two kids to look after, I don’t get a great deal of time for myself.

I did try to blog more and for a while I was doing well with that but then I started to let it slip again and I also neglected my social media too. I still am neglecting my social media if I’m being completely honest. I don’t know what it is I just don’t feel in any rush to get back into that just yet and besides, I think a social media break can do us all some good from time to time.

I actually think I did quite well with the staying positive one. I’m quite positive anyway but I am known for letting things bother me quite easily so that was something I wanted to work on for myself and I think I managed to do that. I let things go over my head a bit more and I feel better for doing so.

So with the year coming to an end, I think it’s a good time for me to set myself some more goals. If there’s ever something you want to achieve or work on there is no better time than right now to make a start but I just think there’s something about a new year with new beginnings to focus on what you want for the future.

So here goes…

  • Make something of my blog. Yes – no more excuses, this year I am going to take my blog seriously, knuckle down and seriously put in the work. Blogging started off as a hobby for me, it’s still a great way for me to talk about my feelings and share my experiences with you all but blogging has also given me a lot of opportunities and I’m interested to see where else I can take that.
  • Spend more time together as a family. We do spend a lot of time together as a family but a lot of it is spent just at home. Since having Kora I’ve found it difficult trying to get out of the house, I am getting better at it but it has taken me a while so my goal for the new year is to take the kids to more places, do more things and make more memories together.

And that’s it. Not much really, nothing big and extraordinary but small goals that I’d like to achieve in the new year.

I hope you all have a lovely New Years Eve whatever your plans may be. Every year on New Years we do the same thing, it’s sort of a New Year’s Eve tradition for us if you will.

See you all in 2020!

My hands may be full but my heart is fuller

This little one doesn’t want me to put her down today but at least it’s Saturday and we don’t have to rush out of the house to be anywhere, it’s okay that there’s still pots to be washed and it’s perfectly acceptable that Kory is still wearing the same pyjamas he went to bed in the night before.

Because I realised something today.

I realised the house work can wait.

Everything can wait.

I’ve always liked to keep a nice, clean and tidy house. In fact, I like to keep everything in my life neat and organised. I’m known for being quite a particular person.

When I was pregnant with Kory, people would always tell me ‘you’ll have to get used to mess once the baby arrives’ but that wasn’t the case for me. Without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, after Kory was born I somehow still managed to stay on the ball with everything. I still managed to keep on top of the house work and keep my home looking nice. There’s been times when I’ve found it difficult to do so don’t get me wrong, like when Kory dropped his naps during the day and started to sleep only at bedtime but I still caught up and got done what I needed to get done. Even if it meant waiting until he had gone to bed before I could make a start on the house work.

But since having Kora as well as Kory to look after, I’ve found it really hard to find the time for house work or the time to do anything in fact! I have every intention of getting through my to do list for the day but I’m busy looking after both kids and running a house that I feel as though I blink and the day is over with before I even know it and once they’ve both finally gone to bed I’m way too tired to be cleaning the house.

But you know what? It can all wait.

I don’t want to lose my patience with Kory because there are dishes in the sink or because I haven’t managed to hoover yet. I don’t want to put Kora down as soon as she’s been fed, changed and fallen asleep. I want to cuddle her.

It was much easier to keep up with the house work when it was just Kory I had to take care of because he goes to nursery 3 days a week and when he’s home he likes to play in his bedroom which means I had a lot more free time to get stuff done. I think one of the things I have found the hardest since becoming a mum of two is accepting that I may not be able to get as much done as I used to be able to and to not punish myself for that.

What could be more important than playing with your child and cuddling your baby? Nothing. Because even when I think I’m doing ‘nothing,’ playing and cuddling is doing something and it’s a lot more important than those pots that need washing.

Kory is now 3 years old and the time I have had with him has already gone by so fast and I want to treasure my time with both of my children. He isn’t going to be my little boy forever and Kora isn’t always going to be this small. One day when they’re both grown up and they don’t want to play with mummy anymore, I’ll feel sad and I’ll have all the time in the world to tidy the house.

When Kory and Kora look back on their childhoods, I don’t want them to remember a mum that never had the time for them, a mum that would always brush them off because she prided herself more on what her house looked like. I want them to remember a mum that made them laugh and smile and actually spent time with them.

I want them to remember all the mess we made and all the fun we had making it together.