15,897,600 seconds.

It’s amazing how time differs for different things.

Pregnancy. The 40 longest weeks of your life. Then your baby is born, and its ‘blink and it’s gone’ fast. Everyone tells you how quick it goes, everyone. You believe them, but you don’t quite get it until it’s your baby. One minute he’s next to you in the hospital bed, drowning in his new-born baby grow, all pink face and puffy eyes, and the next thing he’s rolling, and sitting, and shouting, and eating solid food (sometimes) and you’re booking his first birthday party in your diary.

Carter James is 6 months old today. Half a year. I can’t quite believe it. On one hand it happens too quickly, and on the other hand I can’t remember a life before him. How did I fill my time for the past 31.5 years? (Actually, that’s a silly question. I slept, and exercised, had boobs that stayed in their bra, had a clean house and went out, a lot.)

6 months. 184 days.4,416 hours. 264,960 minutes. 15,897,600 seconds.

I wasn’t quite sure I’d enjoy having a baby older than infant sized. Honestly, I found them exhausting to be around. Always moving, always vocal, always needing stimulation and always so busy. SO BUSY. My naïve pre-mom self thought that newborns were perfection. You could doze with them on your chest, dress them in doll sized clothes, and gaze adoringly at them for hours on end. While this is all true, and while Carter’s newborn stage was one of the highlights of my life, I cannot explain just how much I am enjoying him more and more as each day passes.

I’m sorry, moms, for ever judging you when you posted another ‘solids’ pic on Facebook, or gushed about teeth, sitting or milestones. You deserve to post them. It’s an incredible feeling to watch this tiny, helpless (read: boring) infant turn into a small human who swallows, and grabs, and chats and rolls and learns new things every single day.

Carter smiled at 4 weeks, rolled at 11, got his first tooth at 5 and a half months, and then straight away a second, sat just before 6 months and fell off the bed the very next day (induction to parenting I suppose). Carter laughs at funny things, grabs and chews everything in sight, gets frustrated when he can’t do something on his own (definitely his moms child then) and smiles at everyone he meets.

So yes, whilst I may be in a spin about just how fast they do grow up, I am also shit excited for the next 6 months, and the next after that. Because watching your child grow up is a privilege that just cannot be explained.

Happy 05. Birthday to my beautiful son.

6 Months In vs 6 Months Out
6 Months In vs 6 Months Out
Carter is 6 months old today!
Carter is 6 months old today!
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Today I Feel Like The Worst Mother In The World.

Kid, you and me, we’ve been inseparable these past four months. Even before that, when you were physically a part of me for 38 weeks and 4 days. From the second you were born, your body has always found a way to be connected with mine. From the way you rested on my chest, just seconds after taking your first breath, to the way your fingers will always find mine. When you sleep, you curve your proud little chest into me, and when you wake, your hands swat my face in play.

I’ve always battled to be without you. Not in a ‘helicopter parent’ kind of way, but because I miss you when you’re not around. From the very beginning, being your mom has been my proudest role. I love how we read each other, and how happy you always are to see me (although, you’d smile at a brick wall if given a chance and I’ve watched you flirt with anything with a face, so I guess you’re not quite at the monogamous stage just yet.). Even when you were tiny, and the pain meds from my C section forced me to sit on the loo for hours on end, you would always be nestled on the bed within earshot, whilst I coo’d sweet nothings from behind the closed door, holding back tears of pain. Soon after, I stopped taking the meds altogether.

Maternity leave for me, albeit not ‘leave’ in the true sense of the world, has been the most intense four months of my life. You have come pretty much everywhere with me. Ive 4×4’d your pram up steps to friends houses, I’ve plopped you in a Pick n Pay trolley to buy groceries and you’ve experienced the sounds of the bush house more than once. You come to the gym with me 3 days a week, and you watch me from the floor of the kitchen while I make dinner.

I wont lie, at times I’ve dreamt of a nanny, to help relive my aching arms at the end of a long day, to watch you for “just 5 minutes” so I could shave my legs or to unscrew the lid of your bottle when my hands were needed for rocking you, but we can’t afford one (have you seen the price of education?). I’m proud of the way that we’ve done this together, you and me. Thank you for your patience when I nearly let you fall off the changing mat, or when I placed you in a way-too-warm bath. You’ve made this easy for me.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. I’m trying to rationalise with myself that I’m not a bad mom. That me leaving you for a full day in the care of strangers is acceptable. That this will make you a well rounded boy, and that you will know that it wasn’t without severe deliberation or self blame. The thing is, a part of me wants to go back to work. My brain has fossilised these past 4 months. My friend Sheena and I (also a new mom) laugh about our ‘mum dumb’ daily. I love my job, I’m excited to see my colleagues and meet my new team. I’m excited to reunite with my favourite client, and push myself again. I am happiest after a busy day and I hope you know that you will always still be the favourite part of my day, and that when I see you, it will always be the best of me. I know that your new creche teachers and carers are going to fall into the Carter trap. You’re bloody cute, and everyone who meets you is taken in by your comical smile and sweet nature. I know you’re going to a place where you will be treated with love and care. Your two cousins are some of the greatest kids I have met – and I know that the school will help you get here too.

I also know that there’s a good chance that the only thing I’m going to achieve tomorrow is trying not to spend half the day in the bathrooms, sobbing. That I’m going to be looking at my watch every hour, counting down the minutes until I can fetch you from creche. That if Eskom initiates load shedding and I get stuck on Jan Smuts, that you may be visiting your mom in a state prison.

I also know that in a weeks time, and a months time, I probably wont cry anymore. And that in a few years time, you would rather be at school with your new friends, than stuck at home with ‘boring dad and me’.

Kid, you are going to be so great. So am I. We are not the first mom, nor the first baby to have to do this. In fact, I have a feeling being a working mom is going to help me more. You’ve given me a new found strength and set of balls. I want to work for me, and for you. I’m working so that I can be an employable and well rounded person, and so you can get that fancy new cricket bat when you need one.

So, while I may feel like the worst mother in the world today, I know I’m not. I also know that when it matters, I will be there for you. I’m going to be at your parent teacher days, and your first swimming lesson. I’m going to embarrass the shit out of you at your first athletics day, and your art is going to drip off every available surface of my fridge.

Here’s to new things, kid. But please, just always remember, if you have a bakerman day at school, your mom bloody better get that first cupcake.

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Sheena, my partner in ‘mum dumb’ gave me this ‘back to work’ survival pack.
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My mom gave me this beautiful locket, so I could always keep Carter close to my heart.

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Wishing It All Away

When I first fell pregnant, people would comment about ‘how my life was about to change forever’ that ‘I wouldn’t have time for anything’ and to ‘forget about blogging ever again!’.

Towards the end of my third trimester (or as I call it, 2019) people would say how it was ‘easier out than in’ and remind me to sleep while I could.

Then, he was born, and amongst the genuine warm wishes and congratulations came the well intentioned advise of ‘don’t worry it gets easier’ and ‘just wait until he’s 3 months, that’s an awesome age!’.

I’ve also been told that it gets better when he smiles, or when he learns to sit up, walk or talk. 2 years of age is awesome people exclaim, whilst others tell me that 5 is the magic year.

I have had countless people message me, or email me to ask how it’s going, and whilst I am always honest (“Oh, he was a bit niggly today” or “he’s waking up more during the night”) I never paint a picture of doom and gloom. Even so, almost every single person automatically responds with a ‘don’t worry it gets easier’. It’s almost as if they haven’t heard me when I’ve told them how much I’m loving it, or how good he is, or that I’m so fortunate that I’m a creature of habit and so the daily routine for is not a burden, but a joy. I haven’t found it hard (yet?) so why does everyone expect me to?

Why are we always wishing time away?

I don’t want to close my eyes and wait for my baby to be bigger, I don’t want to wish away every single day. Already my heart is sore at the thought of leaving him in 3 moths time to go back to work.

I’m so tired of people trying to get my child to grow up before his time, that I’ve decided to find something new, wonderful and special abut Carter every single day. It’s not difficult. Some days it’s the sound he makes (exactly like a hadeda) for no reason at all. Other days it’s the rocket fire diarrhea just as I’ve changed his nappy. Today, he came with me to a studio and chilled for 1 and a half hours while I did five voice overs. He’s also started smiling, and gazing at objects for hours on end. Sometimes he grabs my finger so hard it goes white, and other days he patiently waits while I fumble with his nappy, trying to get the bloody frills out. I even love it when he wees all over me during a change, projectile vomits down my hair during a burping session, or head butts my boob during a feed.

My baby boy is 4 weeks today, and already I feel like time is going too fast.

The sitting and the walking and the slamming of bedroom doors in his teenage years can all wait. For now, I want to breathe it all in, and enjoy every single second that I have with my new (ish) born baby.

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8 Things I've Learnt As A New Mom

I have been a mom for 16 days. 16 amazing, exhausting overwhelming confusing, love-drunk days. So many people have asked me what motherhood is like, and what it is that I do all day with my ‘free time’.

Here are 8 things I have learn about being a new mom:

You have no idea what you are doing. Oh yes, I read the books, downloaded the apps, browsed the forums, joined the groups and asked fellow moms. I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed, and that I wanted a routine, but I never thought further than that until he was here. Suddenly, I had a million new questions – How often must he eat, how much does he eat, why are my boobs leaking everywhere, do I wake him to eat, why is he crying, am I a bad mother for leaving him in his cot while I brush my teeth, if I’m buying premium nappies then surely they can change themselves?!

Your time is no more. We have Carter down on a 3 hour routine – which sounds great in principle. 3 hours in between to do what I like – long walks in the park, afternoon naps and Box Office Movies. Ha! Having a baby is like running a small army. Sure, one has 3 hours between feeds, but if a feed lasts 30 minutes, a burping session lasts 15, a nappy change 5 (I’m getting faster, promise), putting him down to sleep takes 10 minutes (if that even happens) then that leaves me with 2 hours to get myself dressed and ‘presentable’, eat some food, express some milk, sterilize bottles and gear, wash a million tiny baby things and see actual human beings, then your time isn’t really yours, at all.

Babies cry quite a bit. Let it be known that my child (and long may it last) is heaven sent. He is a delightful baby who cries a regular amount. (I’m basing this on a little equation: Regular amount = not wanting to kill yourself from frustration. However, when he does cry it could be for a multitude of reasons. As I am now obviously an exert (being 16 days in and all) I have worked out the following reasons as to why your baby might be crying:

  • He is hungry
  • He is tired
  • He saw the speed of your ADSL line
  • He woke himself up and got a fright
  • He has a dirty nappy
  • He has a clean nappy and prefers the feel of a dirty nappy
  • He saw the price of nappies
  • He spat his dummy out
  • He saw you have that glass of red wine and is now laying a guilt trip on you
  • It is bath time
  • It is naked time
  • The dog farted
  • He sharted so loud that it woke him up
  • He saw his mom up close for the first time and realized she hasn’t tweezed her eyebrows since March.

They are a lot smaller than you anticipated. When Carter was born – at a sizeable 3.64 kilograms – he was still tiny. We had to rush out and buy newborn clothes for him, which he still drowns in. Note to self – always have a few tiny baby things for your newborn, they actually don’t come out ready to wear 3-6 month baby grows.

You leak milk. Everywhere. Breastfeeding is the messiest activity I have ever taken part in (and that includes the one time I vomited tequila on a friends shoes in the Billy The Bums parking lot.) I doubt there is one surface area in my house that has not been drenched in milk leaking from one of my oversized pendulous bosoms. My poor child is soaked through before he even gets close to my chest. This makes feeding in public a rather risky and messy affair. Praise the Lord the inventors of the breast ump came along before my child did.

Baby blues are a thing. Everything I read leading up to the birth of my child warned me about the ‘day 3 blues’. “Beware” they warned ominously “the 3rd day of having a baby shall be your darkest day yet”. I was terrified and put my husband on high alert (after hiding away all sharp objects in the house. Then day 3 came… with my milk…and went. As did day 4. On day 5, Mothers Day, after a lovely lunch out at a restaurant with my angelically behaved child, my hubby and I climbed in the car to go home and I burst in to tears.

“Why are you crying babe, what’s wrong”

 “I don’t know”

 “Are you feeling sick?

 “No”

 “Are you sad?”

 “Yes”

 “Why?”

 “I don’t know”

This went on for about 15 minutes while my poor husband tried in vain to gauge just what in hell was going on with me. Turns out I was sad for no apparent reason, and the more I cried the guiltier I felt, so the more I cried. Hormones are bastard things ladies, and if this ever happens to you, know that you are not alone (I know this because I Googled ‘Am I the only new mother alive sobbing uncontrollably for no apparent reason”)

I wasn’t.

You will mourn your former life. And that is OK. Everything I do now is with Breitling precision. Need to pop out to the shops? Do it between 1:15 and 1:45. (but get someone to drive you because you’ve still had major surgery and can’t drive yourself). Want a glass of wine? Make sure you’ve expressed some milk, or that you drink it with 2 hours to go before the next feed. Want to wear jeans? Haha, cute.

Having a baby means that your life gets turned upside down and hung out to dry. And that’s OK, because

You will love like you have never loved before. I battle to imagine a life BC (see what I did there?). This tiny, perfect creature has landed in our lives and turned what we thought we knew about patience, tolerance and love on its head. I battle to not stare at him for hours, or rub my hand over his tiny shoulder blades or crave my finger to be grasped in his fist. I miss him in my sleep and I cant stop kissing his tiny milk scented mouth.

I still even find his screams endearing.

Motherhood, you can stay.

I call this one ‘honest parenting’ 😉

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