Why Mummy Friends Matter

I’ve never been one for making many friends. Aquanintences yes. I’m polite, I can do a little chit chat, but then if I’m perfectly honest I’m usually pretty happy in my own company.

My three oldest (yes, ok, I know at least one of them is likely to read this, so I’d better clarify that they aren’t that old) friends are girls I met at university. They were my first real friends, and over the years we have grown up together. We have seen each other through parental strife, failed relationships, classroom dramas and mummyhood.

We don’t speak every day, in fact there have been times we’ve gone months, but we always know that if we need each other, one or all of the others will be there for us. We have cried together, laughed together and worked out the meaning of life together. We’ve washed each others’ underwear and talked men together. We’ve gone from being girls to being women. And without them, if I’m honest I’m not sure I’d have survived life as unscathed as I have. There aren’t many people who would drive five hours to be with you if you needed them, but I know without hesitation that any one of these three would, and that has always meant a lot.

Having met such incredible friends so early in life, I think I just stopped looking for more. I accepted that my friends were scattered from one end of the country to the other, and relished the fact that although we no longer lived down a corridor from each other we very firmly had each others’ backs.

But this year quite unexpectedly I have been lucky enough to meet another set of friends, who I trust and who I hope trust me in the same way. Six women all with babies the same age as mine, six women who a year ago I had never met, six women with whom I sat today at our babies’ Christmas party and wondered how without them I would ever have got through the last year.

You see despite the drama of the last year, through everything that has happened, I have known I have back up of the best kind. I have known that no matter what these women would be there for me, and I have never once worried. These are women who have grown to love my baby, and whose babies I have grown to love, women who treat my daughter as though she was their own, women with whom I instantly felt accepted. There is a rarely a day that goes by where messages don’t fly back and forth; happy ones, sad ones, excited ones and worried ones; from the colour of poo to renegotiating relationships post children, there’s little we haven’t talked about at some point or other.

I have come to realise that not only do I enjoy their friendship, but that I need it. My son is lucky to have their children to grow up with and I am beyond lucky to have these women to share our experiences and navigate the world of parenting with.

We often spend so much of our lives rushing from one thing to the next, it can be hard to make time for others. We get caught in the mundane; work, shopping, cleaning. And yes that is important, they are parts of life we cannot avoid, we need to do them in order to function. But sometimes we really need to make time for us, time to build friendships, to work on old ones and to grow new ones. After all, we spend so much time arranging play dates for our children, so we do know the benefits of friendship. We just have to remember it applies to us as mummies too.

So if you haven’t met up with friends in a while, why not pick up your phone and make a plan now. After all a happy mummy means happy children…

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

What Are You Celebrating This Christmas?

The women on my Christmas gift list are always easy to buy for. The men on the other hand are a different story. Stocking fillers are easy; chocolate, socks, a book or two. But trying to find something special, something meaningful is much more challenging.

This year has been quite a year; it’s been both the best of them and the worst.

We have been blessed with our long awaited second child, Number One has made real friendships and had her first real birthday party and this Christmas will be the first the Other Half and his dad (who lives in Spain) will have spent together in 11 years. There is a lot to celebrate and I want to do that justice.

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Yet at times we have also faced unimaginable fears, when we put Number Two in that MRI scanner the feeling was like nothing I’ve ever imagined. We were so frightened for such a long time when he was tiny; he had stopped growing, wasn’t looking at anything, and struggled to move. More than anything he was unbelievably sad. He is doing so well now, has come so far, I want to do that justice too.

Through it all, the Other Half has been amazing. He has held me when I cried, laughed with me when we could and been an amazing dad to our children; most of all I have known that whatever the future holds he will be there for us. This year I want to do him justice. I want to give him a gift as special as he is. I want to give him a gift that celebrates all we’ve come through and one that will be with him throughout the years, whatever new challenges we face. I want him to know how much we love him. Now and always.

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The Ebony and Copper Dover Series watch from Jord says everything I want to say. It says I love you. It says I want to grow old together. It says I know you. It says I want you exactly as you are.

So how can a watch say all this? Quite simply because this unique watch is perfect for him in every way, it even comes ready sized so I know it’s going to fit perfectly.

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The Other Half adores things made from wood, and frequently drags me round looking at such things (he is the shopper of the two of us without a doubt), and I know he’s going to be stunned by everything from the stunning box to the gorgeous watch itself. But this is a watch, even more perfect than that. Made from Ebony it’s jet black, his favourite colour and I know he’s going to be amazed when he sees it, that not only have I managed to find a watch made of wood but that I’ve found one in black! But it doesn’t end there, he’s developed a bit of a thing for copper over the last few months – and yes you’ve guessed it the watch has a copper face. If I was designing a men’s watch from scratch, I couldn’t design a more perfect one than this. It is totally and utterly him.

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Giving him this gift on Christmas morning is going to be the perfect end to our year. It’s my grand romantic gesture, to make up for the freezing feet he shares a bed with the rest of the year, to show him that despite the fact I take my laptop to bed more often than I should, he is still the man of my dreams.

Because sometimes we need to take a step back and show our love, especially at Christmas. Because sometimes, even though we’re tempted to just put extra presents under the tree for the children, the grown ups in our life need to be told that they are special too.

I can’t wait to see his face.

Disclaimer: This watch was gifted to us by Jord in return for a post. Everything I have written above is true, all opinions as always are my own. I’m just lucky that this year that means I get to spread a little happiness to the kindest man on earth.

If you would like to make someone happy this Christmas, Jord are offering all readers a chance to take part in a competition to win $75 to spend in their online store. Why not enter the competition here: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/mummytimestwo

Are Dads Underestimated?

In a recent conversation (or I should probably say argument) the Other Half, told me he wished that he had been the mum.

It made me realise how much dads miss out on, sometimes through biology and sometimes through society’s expectations.

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I don’t make a very patient pregnant person, but I’m glad I had the experience of feeling my children grow inside me. I’m glad I got the chance to bond with them before they were even born. I’m glad I got to keep them safe, and warm and fed right from the moment they were conceived. My Other Half didn’t have that chance. He never will.

I’m glad I was the one that gave birth to them, the one that fought for their existence in this world, the one whose views were listened to my midwives, the one who got to make the choices. My Other Half didn’t get that chance. He never will.

I’m glad I was the one able to breastfeed my babies, to nuzzle them close and feel that at that moment they needed me and only me, that I was the most important person in their world. I wouldn’t have swapped that experience for the world, yet I wish my Other Half could have experienced that too. I know how sad it made him, that he couldn’t feed our baby. I wish nature had designed us differently.

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I’m glad that society expected me to be the one to take maternity leave, that I was the one who got their precious first year with them, to get to know with them, to bond with them, to be with them. I wish he could have had that chance too.

You see, I understand why he feel the way he does. I want to be the mum too, I wouldn’t swap my role for the world. But I know, if I’m honest, he could do it just as well. He would have eaten the right diet during pregnancy, carried our children safely and given birth to them with more stoicism than I could have managed. He would have loved a year of playing with them, and my house would have been far tidier than it is when I’m at home.

I wonder if I could do his role as well as he does though.

He leaves the house early in the morning and arrives home just before the children goes to bed. He does a difficult job, and one that he doesn’t always enjoy. But when he walks through the door he greets them with a smile and he plays. He has fun, he throws them in the air, he listens to their stories, he listens to mine.

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He is interested in what they want to do always and forever. He encourages their passions, and believes in their dreams. He cooks the most incredible meals, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of nutrition, yet isn’t afraid to spoil them rotten.

He is their biggest defender, their protector, their keeper of secrets.

He’s an incredible dad. The best there is. But he’s right, he would have made an incredible mum too. Maybe one day there will be a way…

How Do You De-Stress?

When the other half and I are stressed we have two very different coping mechanisms. He cleans. I eat.

I (hater of all things remotely related to housework) cannot for the life of me understand how cleaning can in any way reduce his stress levels. The mere thought of it is enough to stress me out on a good day!

Now don’t get me wrong, objectively his coping mechanism is far healthier than mine. His cleaning won’t make him fat, and he won’t feel guilty about it after the event, what’s more it will result in us having a lovely clean house!

In reality though, I just can’t see how cleaning can compare to a delicious bar of chocolate, a satisfying ice cream, or cake!

In my pre mummy life, my stress relief technique didn’t bother me at all, during exam marking time I would happily munch my way through endless boxes of chocolates. After all, I deserved it! But now Number One is old enough to understand and emulate, I can’t help but feel I’d rather she copied the Other Half’s way of stress relief than mine, so consequently I eat my chocolate more secretly these days.

The top of the cellar steps is quite a good place I find…

One Day I Will Be A Superhuman…

I have a friend who says that in the next life she is coming back as a man, or failing that apparently she’ll be a cat.

And it’s not about childbirth or periods or even housework that have brought her to that decision, but rather packing. A subject which having just moved I can more than relate to.

You see in our house whether we go out for the day or the week, or move house for good very little changes. The other half packs his things and I pack mine, and then I pack Number One’s and Number Two’s. Admittedly, this is pretty much entirely because I am the control freak in the relationship and like to plan for every available eventuality, but still I do it.

This is not the problem. We apportion jobs. He deals with spiders, pets that die, problems with the toilet. I think on the whole I have the best side of the deal.

The fact is that on leaving the house at any given time I have a million and one things to think about – ok maybe a slight exaggeration – but you get the point. He on the other hand does not. Again not a problem. It is my control freak tendencies that cause this, I have to live with the consequences.

The problem. The moment I want to scream is when we get to said destination and he asks if I have a particular item, let’s say for argument’s sake, the suncream. And I’ve forgotten. To which he replies with disbelief ‘What you’ve forgotten the…’ I have remembered thirty items, but of course those are not mentioned. It is always the one I haven’t.

One day I will be super human. One day I will remember everything.

Until then I’ll just be human ?