Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Hard Parts

This saying has rang true for me on so many occasions this year. It has been the most enjoyable/exciting rollercoaster I have ever been on but it hasn't been without its hard parts and its those hard parts I want to write about for this post. As with most of my posts, I can only talk about it from the perspective of being a single mother but I'm sure some of the things I'm going to talk about can ring true for any parent at some time or another, single or otherwise.

The loneliness. My baby boy is the best company! Even though he has me awake at 5am most mornings, the day seems to fly by and before I know it its 7pm and time for bed again. That said, when he goes to bed I can sometimes feel the loneliness set in. In order to stave it off that's when I normally throw myself into cleaning, cooking something to eat and paperwork. It means that I never really relax.

No other team players. Not so much now but in the earlier weeks/months I found it hard not having anyone to hand the baby over to. I found myself bathing at 2am on some occasions because I knew it would be my only opportunity. Sometimes my first proper bite of food would be midnight. People are very happy to talk about "helping" but what they really mean is they'll hold the cute baby while you bust a gut doing something else.
Now that my son is crawling and climbing up on everything, I find I can't take my eyes off him for two seconds. So once again I find myself longing for someone to be there just to keep an eye on him while I make him lunch/dinner etc. without worrying that he's swinging from the chandelier! ;-)
I also sometimes wish there was someone there to take their turn at getting up at 5am while I catch up on some much needed sleep. I have never lusted after anything, or anyone for that matter, like I lust after a full/long nights sleep.

Nobody to tell me I'm doing a good job. Ok, this one is a wee bit self indulgent but we all like to hear that we're doing a good job, don't we? After a tough day or long night its sometimes just the boost you need to hear to keep you going.

Sleep deprivation. This one is the b*t*h. There's a reason some countries have used this as a method of torture....it works! It affects how you think, how you feel and it makes you become someone that you don't recognise.

Nobody to share the amazing moments with. In quick succession my boy started to sit up unaided, then started to creep, then crawl and he's pulling himself up on the furniture now. He's doing a combination of baby led weaning and traditional weaning. He's about to move into his own room (I don't want to talk about it! lol) So many moments like these have passed by and each one has brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. I couldn't be more proud of this little bundle. I don't miss my ex (not in the slightest), I don't miss that life and what it done to me but I do miss the notion of having someone there to dance around the room with me when my child has reached yet another milestone. Instead I phone family and close friends and they do a brilliant job of being just as elated as I am. :-)

How have you other single mothers found things?

Love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Friday, 22 November 2013

What I've Learned So Far

I'm a single mummy. Its the best job I've ever had, its rewarding and makes everything worthwhile but its hard. Its not all sweetness and light but then most parents have learned that little titbit, haven't they? :-)
While pregnant the label "single mother" scared me. Were people going to judge me? Were they going to think that I was someone that had messed up? Were other women going to think they were better mothers than me because they had managed to "keep their man"? Granted, a lot of the doubt was down to hormones but still, I'm sure I'm not the only single mother that thought those things.
My baby is 8 months old now and I've learned quite a few lessons so far. This is what this particular post is about.

No regrets. When I split from my ex I wished I had never met him, I regretted that I had wasted so many years of my life in an abusive, dysfunctional relationship. Then my baby boy was born and the moment I held him I instantly realised that the past is just that, the past, over, gone. I never need to repeat it. I've learned my lessons and I'm moving forward. I'll never get to the end of my days and think "I wish I had spent more time looking back".

A couple with a baby doesn't make them happier than me. I've met some mummies through baby groups etc. and some of them are miserable in their relationships, others are as happy as me. Its taught me that having an other half might make the load a wee bit lighter at times but it doesn't make their "happy tank" any fuller than mine.

Not all families look the same. I've always known this but being a single mummy brings it to the forefront. Baby boy and I are still a family, a unit. I'm glad that things have changed so much over the years. As my son grows older he will be able to look around and realise that families are all very different - 2 mummies, 2 daddies, different nationalities, races, 1 mummy or 1 daddy. I'm not saying the nuclear family is bad - I'm just glad that there are many different variations now.

Trust my instincts. People offer lots of well intentioned (but often uninvited) advice when you have a new baby. Everyone seemed to want to offer me advice, even though it was the last thing I needed. The baby thing has always been easy. I've worked in childcare for 15 years so a newborn baby didn't worry me. Though, when you have just given birth your hormones are raging, you're running on adrenaline but you also feel quite vulnerable. Because of this, the "advice" started to make me question the decisions I was making. Maybe I was doing things incorrectly? I had a moment during a night feed and decided that from then on I would smile sweetly when offered advice & then do things the way I wanted to. There aren't many people that I trust as much as I trust myself. :-)

How to be frugal without being miserable. I have to be smart with my money for obvious reasons but I've learned to make it go quite far without having to be miserable. Only buying what I need, making lists and only buying what is on the list, freezing the food I can't use before their date, batch cooking etc. I'm still learning. :-)

I'm extremely proud of the job I'm doing. I have a baby who is happy and more loved than he could ever imagine. We're just at the beginning of our story but I look forward to the next page.

What are your thoughts and experiences?
@latte_fiend on Twitter

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Yu! Healthy Snacks

In an older post I wrote about wanting to lose my baby chubb. Once I get into the swing of things I find dieting relatively easy but I do struggle with wanting a tasty treat or a sweet hit on an almost daily basis.
Just recently I won a small #FF competition on Twitter. Its the first time I've ever won anything so I think I was more excited than really necessary. :-) It was a small goody bag of Yu! Healthy Snacks. I received:

- Raspberry pieces covered in yogurt
- Blueberry pieces
- Cherry pieces
- Raisins covered in yogurt
- Strawberry fruit bar with yogurt coating

These things were yummy! My personal favourite was the strawberry fruit bar with a yogurt coating. It really hit the spot and killed the sugar craving I had that afternoon. I normally find yogurt coatings taste too processed & unpleasant but this yogurt coating was creamy & delicious...more like white chocolate than yogurt.
My dad loved the raisins & has since went out & bought more for his lunch at work. :-)
For someone that is on a calorie controlled diet these wee snacks are perfect. I get to be "bad" without actually damaging my diet for the day.
If only I could win more competitions like this one. ;-)


@latte_fiend on Twitter


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Single Mum & Dating - Where To Begin?

So I've been single for a long time now. I split from my ex at the end of last summer & was 7 weeks pregnant at the time. My priority was to heal after my that relationship & prepare for my baby to join this wonderful world. He arrived in March & its been everything I thought it would be & much much more. In one word, its been magical. An adventure. Though I digress. Baby is now 8 months old & we've found our groove together.

While I don't think I'm quite *there* yet, I am beginning to think about dating. The question is, where do I begin? In my adult years I've been in 2 serious relationships that both stemmed from friendships so I don't really know how to "date". I cringe at the thought of it if I'm honest but how am I to ever meet anyone if I don't date?

I also need to get over this overwhelming sense of guilt at the notion of leaving my baby while I go out with someone. This is why I say that while I'm thinking about dating, I'm not quite *there* yet. I'm a big believer in the idea that if it doesn't feel right, its probably not right. And dating right now doesn't feel right....but maybe in the future.

I've spoke about it with friends & they seem to think I won't feel guilty if I arrange dates for times when I know baby will be in bed. That way I can still do the bedtime routine (which is so precious to me) & I'm not giving up any quality time with son because he will be snoring his gorgeous little head off.

The whole dating scene seems like a minefield & I don't know if I'm cut out for it. That said, while I'm not overly eager to start meeting new people at the moment, I also don't want to be alone for the rest of my life either. That's exaggerated but you get the idea....

I never thought this would be so hard to ponder over. Or maybe I have too much free time on my hands.......as if. :-)


@latte_fiend on Twitter