A worthy wake up call

In theory I have 5 days to go until this new little person enters our lives, though anyone who has had a child knows that due dates are not something to bet on. The last few weeks haven’t been easy,  and I’ve found myself getting stressed about the impending arrival – not because I’m worried about having two children, but because we have decided to start building works on our house, meaning we have to move out whilst this happens and have said baby all in the same week whilst also having a couple of baby scares and general illness. This is all our doing, so I wouldn’t even be sympathetic to me having read this.

Anyway, I was hoping to go into this next stage of motherhood relatively relaxed and feeling strong, but I’m not quite there yet. I do remember though about 10 days before my due date with Rex, we (myself and a bunch of school friends) were supposed to be going down to the countryside to see our dear friend who was over from Australia, but I was bed bound with a mega stomach flu so I’m pretty sure it’s just our pretty incredible bodies getting rid of all the grossness and preparing for the impending arrival.

However, yesterday and infact this morning I have been reminded, which I shouldn’t really need to be, just how lucky I am and it has come through the medium of Social Media (which I have frequently discussed my love/hate relationship with). There has been a story doing the rounds about a girl called Holly Butcher who passed away only a few weeks ago and at only 27 years young from a rare form of cancer. In the lead up to her passing she wrote a note for her family to share when the inevitable happened and she sadly lost her life to the cancer and it is the most honest and beautifully written note, something that I dare anyone to read and not feel like they should re-evaluate. I (as I’m sure many other people do) have a habit of complaining about relatively minor things sometimes (see paragraph 1), ‘I have a cold, ugh’, ‘I’m tired, ugh’, ‘I wish I could have this, or do that’ and when you read a letter like that of Holly’s you are quickly put firmly back in your place, not in a harsh way, because lets face it, we all need to complain sometimes just for a bit of relief, but if you let it get the better of you (which we all have) it is actually just a huge waste of time, when instead we could be using that precious time to do something that makes you happy. I’m not talking about having the flu, forcing yourself not to complain and instead booking yourself to do a sky dive because we should all be doing things that make us feel more alive, but having the flu, having a quick sulk and then allowing yourself to curl up with your children or partner or friend or pillow and watch your favourite film for the afternoon and NOT feel guilty about it, not feel lazy, not beat yourself up about it.

This weekend I had planned to take Brute away for a special birthday lunch in the countryside and my sister had said she would take Rex for the night so we could have a good old sleep in before baby two arrives – it would have been the second time in 2 years that we had a night off so we were just the tiniest bit excited about sleeping in. Also it was the anniversary of my own mummy passing away and I always like to keep myself busy on that day each year and do something that is fun and happy. However as luck would have it we were all struck down with some gross flu bug so all plans were cancelled and we were house bound, now whilst I certainly complained, 2 hours sleep a night at 39 weeks pregnant with a sick family just isn’t cool but I kept reminding myself that actually we were all in it together and really, how lucky that I have this little family to sit around and watch endless telly with while we all groan about how rough we feel. More than that I knew that it would pass and I could change plans and as Holly said, ‘It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.’ Instead we went down to the river in the evening, walked in the freezing cold to the pub and over ordered food, then sloped home for a night in front of the TV, together.

I couldn’t have been more thankful for reading that extraordinary letter these past few days, it lifted me out of a ball of self pity and instead has made me make some little promises to myself for the year(s) ahead – Less whinging and wallowing and more appreciating, doing, finding the positive and loving – I am luckier than I ever imagined in so many ways and it would be a great shame to not realise, cherish and use that. It also made me realise how wonderful my friends and family are, those that sit by and gently take on the barrage of sulky messages whilst sending back only positivity, flowers, options, resolutions etc.

This will likely be my last post before the babe arrives and so on this rainy, grey London day and with a slightly bunged up nose I’m going to take my son and do what he loves the most at the moment and that is to build a tower of wooden blocks, over and over and over again whilst Sia plays Chandelier on repeat in the background, because the genuine excitement on his face as the tower falls down for the 100th time never gets old.

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An oldie but a goodie – This is from July 2016 when we were housebound & Ill but also super pumped to just be in it together

 

 

 

BABY ON BOARD

I’m on the home straight now with my pregnancy (as opposed to life in general I hope) In fact I am on maternity leave officially from 6pm this Friday – It seems strange to say your going on maternity leave when you only work 1 day a week, but having said that I more or less work all the hours that rex is at nursery so I’m not hanging out watching Escape to the Country all day – though my god I would love to do that. Normally all my work is done from home, but recently I have been travelling into town on one morning a week and what that has reminded me of is the good old London Commute and how much I bloody hate it.

The thing is everyone hates the rush hour commute don’t they, no one wants to be shoved like sardines into a metal box with coffee breath and smelly armpits shoved in your face, but that’s life. What does drive me slightly nuts though is the zombie like nature of people on the tube sometimes. Last week at 34 weeks pregnant I had to go into town at rush hour, so for the first time in two pregnancies I pinned on my ‘Baby on Board’ badge and waddled to the tube station. As presumed the station was pretty full and the trains arriving were much the same, but I got onto the tube with my badge glaring at the members of the public in front of me. Having not worn said badge before I sort of assumed it would be akin to wearing a flashing siren with a tannoy demanding that people immediately move and vacate their seats for me. However this was far from the case instead I got eyes firmly placed in phones as if glued to the screen and unable to look anywhere else. The other thing I noticed was the the awkward side glances, quickly looking up or across at me, and quickly looking away. I get that no-one wants to have to give up their seat at rush hour, and honestly If I hadn’t been in my third trimester and suffering from pretty bad Pelvic pain I wouldn’t have been too bothered, as I said before this was the first time I had worn my badge in two pregnancy’s.

I know people will be thinking, why didn’t you just say something? Ask someone to politely give up their seat for you? Well the answer is, I totally could have and on my way home I gently locked eyes with someone and in my terribly British way apologised profusely whilst asking if I might possibly bother him for his seat. He duly got up without making eye contact at all which perhaps was for the best. But on the way into town that morning as my blood pressure was rising I thought I would just stand there and see what happened, a little experiment shall we say. I counted that in each seating compartment there were 12 seats so in each carriage were were 24 plus the areas by the door where they have those padded bench things you can at least lean against. What struck me the most was that in the 24 seats that were in my carriage, ALL 24 people occupying those seats were on their phones, and I don’t mean listening to music but with eyes at least up and aware. No they were all face down in their phones, probably watching you tube clips of cute puppies dressed up as Santa (we’re all guilty) or watching the latest Netflix drama. I don’t know exactly why it pissed me off so much, but it really did (It’s lucky I didn’t have rex with me too or it may have tipped me over the edge.). I’m fairly sure most people get home from work and watch plenty of crap on TV (I know I do) so why do we need to spend every moment of unoccupied time watching a screen also? In an environment where you’re with other members of the public isn’t it nice to be a bit more aware of your surroundings?

I’m sure many of you have seen this animation by Steve Cutts, I fear it rings more true with every passing year.

 

I am just as guilty as the next person of spending too much time on my phone, but it is something I am acutely aware of, infact I wrote about it before in a previous blog Unsocial Media but I do try and stay off it in public, unless I’m listening to music or boring friends with another picture of Rex or Tony.

I digress, I have spoken to various friends about this, both female and male and I totally take on board that if someone isn’t wearing a badge when pregnant and on public transport there is most definitely that stressful feeling of ‘is she or isn’t she?’ People can’t be expected to guess and risk mortifyingly offending someone on their post christmas diet. I did that very thing about a year ago, a lady got on who was not at all big but had a round tummy which made me think she was pregnant, my instinct though was to immediately stand and offer her my seat. She then took on the terribly British role of apologising TO ME and saying she wasn’t in fact pregnant but had just had her baby a week ago and so had the postpartum tummy, I died inside, but she instantly, upon seeing my cheeks flush, said she was grateful for the offer anyway.

So what is the answer, I think it’s quite simple really. If you are pregnant and know you will need/want to sit down on public transport wear that badge and wear it in pride of place so it can’t be missed, it’s only fair. Failing that I’m afraid you might have to muster the courage to ask for a seat (though I hope you would be spotted first). Members of the public who aren’t pregnant/disabled/elderly, be aware, pull your eyes up and off your phone every so often to check the people around you, if it looks like someone is less able to stand than you then get off your backside and make room for them. Simples!

Please do leave a comment if you agree, disagree entirely, or have your own story to share, I’m open to all 🙂 xx

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I might need a bigger badge…