Mothers Day

Today is Mothers Day, a day that for me will always be bittersweet. I’ve written before about my issues with my Mother and her effect on my teenage years. She is no longer a part of my life and hasn’t been a mother to me since I was 16. She didn’t come to my wedding and I have now not seen her in over 6 years. I haven’t spoken to her in a very long time either.

But, that aside, you only get one Mother. As I have been told numerous times. I am now at the point in my life, and at the point emotionally, where I can look back and appreciate my Mother for all the things she did for me and the amazing childhood she gave me without any negativity infringing on that.

So today I wanted to write a post celebrating the things that I would like to thank my Mother for. Things that I’m appreciative of and things that I will always be grateful for. We may not be a part of each other’s lives now but for 16 years we meant a lot to each other and that deserves a blog post at the very least.

Mum,

Thank you for giving birth to me – your longed for Daughter.

Thank you for always teaching me the value of money – for pushing me to get my first job, at Woolworths, when I was 14 and from there teaching me that if you want things you work for them.

Thank you for always cooking – For giving me a childhood filled with home cooked British food, a home that smelt of baking and a love of being in the kitchen.

Thank you for giving me green fingers – Wanting to grow things and loving the magic of gardening.

Thank you for taking me fruit picking every summer, for letting me ‘pick one, eat one’.

Thank you for taking me on holidays, every year, camping to the New Forest. For helping me appreciate how beautiful the country is, how wonderful the New Forest is and teaching me how holidaying abroad isn’t important in childhood.

Thank you for always giving me and my Brother amazing Christmases – Even though you spent the rest of the year paying for them and thank you for cooking perfect roast turkey every year and even for making turkey stew that we ate for weeks afterwards – That has made me realise I never want to eat turkey stew ever again.

Thank you for never letting me go without growing up even though we had no money. We were poor but I never felt it really and for that I am hugely grateful. We may have lived in a council house but to me it was ‘home’.

Thank you for giving me my whole childhood in just one home, for making that an incredibly happy home and for filling it with happy times and fond memories.

Thank you for singing, always, always singing. You would ding whilst doing the washing up, whilst cleaning. You would always sing and I loved listening. I now sing constantly around the house and I know I got that from you. The difference being that you could hold a note and I scare the cats.

Thank you for having cats when I was growing up. A home to me is one with cats in it and although our cats annoy the hell out of me at the moment I wouldn’t be without them.

Thank you for taking so many photographs and for buying me camera – even a polaroid camera. Thank you for instilling in me a love of photography.

Thank you for giving me cuddles that I will always remember.

I haven’t said this in a long time – Happy Mothers Day, Mum.

We may not speak now but the 16 years we were Mother and Daughter for were great and I have so many fond memories of my childhood. You may not be any kind of Mother to me now but that doesn’t wipe out the first 16 years of my life. Thank you for those.

Donna x

Motherhood

Having LP has made me think about what type of Mother I would like to be. With this in mind I have thought a lot about my childhood, my parents and my experiences. I think that with your own upbringing when looking at yourself as a parent, you have to repeat the things you liked and do things differently that you didn’t like or agree with.
 
It is because of this that I have decided to write about my Mother. This is a topic that I don’t speak much about, and that I haven’t written about in any depth before. This may be a long blog entry.
 
My Mother had me when she was 27. I was the youngest of three children, and all of us had different Fathers. To us, this was irrelevant. We were Brothers and Sister. There was never any ‘half’ anything. My oldest Brother is no longer in my life – that is a whole different blog post! But my other Older Brother is very much my Brother, our different Dads has never been an issue.
 
I was born at 28 weeks. 3 months early. I was in an incubator for some time, and was tiny, but apart from that, I was fully formed and had no long-lasting medical problems. For that, I feel very lucky!
 
My Mother and Father split up when I was about 6 months old. He turned into a ‘Sunday Dad’ and set up home with his new partner. When I was about 18 months, my Mother met my ‘Dad’ – who she married when I was 3. My Biological Father disappeared when she met my ‘Dad’, decided I had a new Father Figure in my life and so he wasn’t going to be around, or pay maintenance, as I had someone else to provide for me.
 
So I grew up thinking that my ‘Dad’ was my Father. I never questioned my family history. My Dad was all I’d ever known. Until I got to about 10. My Mother sat me down, told me that my Dad wasn’t my Dad and gave me a bunch of photos that she’d kept aside of my Father and I when I was a baby. At this point I wasn’t upset. I guess I was shocked. But to be honest, I wasn’t bothered. I had a Mum and a Dad who loved me, and I was in the middle of a great childhood. I put the photos in an album and put them to the back of a cupboard and carried on with my childhood!
 
Everything was then fine until I was about 14. I used to go to bed at night and hear my parents arguing downstairs. Kitchen cupboard doors would slam and they’d be raised voices. This happened most nights but I never mentioned anything to either of them. When I was 15, on my Parents’ anniversary weekend, they had their first major argument in front of me. It ended with my Mum smacking my Dad in the face in the garden and me running upstairs, hiding in my room and crying hysterically. I had never seen anything like that before. My Dad then moved out for a week, until they decided it was best they give things another go, and he moved back in again.
 
Nothing changed, but then again nothing was the same again either. The arguments in the evening continued. The only difference now was that there was a constant atmosphere the rest of the time too. A great big giant pink elephant in the room. It was horrible to live through.
 
I was due to start my GCSE exams the following Summer when I was 16, and a couple of weeks before I started to hear during the arguments that my Dad was going to leave after my exams. This was a repeated comment and I used to lay awake every night crying at the thought of my family breaking apart again and of life as I knew it being over.
 
One morning, a week before my GCSE’s started, I came downstairs to find my Dad shaving in the bathroom. I went and sat next to him on the toilet seat and said to him that I knew he was going to leave after my exams and that I would rather he left before them, at least that way I would be able to concentrate on the exams without this bubble hanging over me.
My Dad left the following weekend, and my exams started on the Monday. I ended up with 2 A’s, 5 B’s, 2 C’s and a D. Not bad considering.
 
As soon as my Dad left my Mother decided that he was no longer my Dad, as biologically he wasn’t my Father at all. She tried to stop him seeing me and when he persisted she then tried to turn me against him – telling me all the gory details of their relationship, things a 16-year-old really shouldn’t be hearing about.
 
I started college in the September following my GCSE’s and had spent the Summer working in Woolworth’s as much as I could, mainly to not be at home with my Mother – she needed me to be there to support her as her marriage had collapsed but I also needed her to support me, as my Dad wasn’t around any more, but all she cared about was erasing him from my life. It meant that we spent a whole summer avoiding each other.
 
The next few months rolled by and I loved college. College was an escape for me – I was academic, I loved learning, I made new friends and I could be me. School had always been difficult for me, as I had been bullied and turned introvert and reclusive. College gave me a chance to get back out of my shell.
 
Unfortunately, in December, my home life came to a head. On the 2nd December at 2am in the morning, when I was 17, my Mother gave me a choice. Either stay at home living with her and have nothing to do with my Dad, or leave and have my Dad as part of my life.
 
So I left. My boyfriend at the time came and picked me up and I lived in his spare room for the next 3 weeks. We then went to Ireland for Xmas. I had never been away from my parents at Christmas before. I had never been on a plane before, and I have never felt so lonely as I did that Xmas.
 
I juggled college, working at Woolworth’s and trying to find somewhere to live for the next few weeks. I went to the council who told me that unfortunately, even though I was only 17, I wasn’t an ethnic minority or pregnant so they couldn’t help me with accommodation. I then went to the benefits people who said that as I was working 16 hours a week, rather than their maximum of 12 hours a week, I wasn’t entitled to any benefits either. I then realised that something had to give. So at the end of my first term at college, I dropped out. I felt such a failure but I knew I had to stand on my own two feet. So I worked full-time and moved into a house share at the end of January, where I continued to live for 5 years.
 
As the months went by I tried to talk to my Mother. I was happy, of sorts, where I was. I had a roof over my head and a job, so it wasn’t the end of the world. I was just independent a lot earlier than I had hoped to be. But I still wanted my family in my life. I saw my Mother every few months and every time we had a lovely day and then she would start slagging off my Dad as I was about to head home. This became so draining. But I still persevered. After all, as everyone says, you only get one Mum.
 
I asked my Mother, when I was about 18, if I could borrow the family photo albums. I wanted to make copies of my baby photos. She threw them at me, told me to keep them and told me that I wasn’t her child, so she didn’t need the albums. I still have them, 10 years later, in my loft. She never wanted them back.
 
I used to get a lot of text message abuse from her, about my Dad, personal attacks on me – she’d regularly say that her friends had seen me out drinking and that I looked like a slag etc. She was always full of compliments!
 
The years rolled by, and I made sure I never missed her Birthday or Mother’s Day. I would buy her a card that said as little as possible, which is very hard when you try. They all say ‘You’re the Best Mum’, ‘Mum in a Million’, ‘I Couldn’t Ask For A Better Mum’. I tried to find one that would say purely Happy Mother’s Day. This carried on until I was 21, and I didn’t receive a Birthday Card, Birthday text, Birthday phone call. Yes, our relationship wasn’t great at all. We hardly saw each other. But we had always sent cards. At this point I decided to stop sending her cards too. It was always an emotional thing for me, choosing cards, so I stopped sending them, and felt like a weight had lifted.
When I was 23 I got engaged. It was at this point that I thought I should be honest with my Mother. Very difficult, as we hadn’t had a decent conversation in months.
 
When I was 17, and moved out of home, I had got in contact with my Biological Father. I hadn’t, up until this point, told my Mother that he was in my life. Saying he was in my life is a bit rich – I saw him probably less than once a year, and his wife and I exchanged emails about once a month. But nevertheless, they were there, and they could be at my wedding. So I had to tell my Mother about them.
 
I chickened out, and sent her a text message saying that my Biological Dad and his wife, plus my Dad and his new partner, could be at our wedding. To this I received a barrage of abuse. The main jist of it was that I was ‘parading her ex’s in front of her’. To cut a long story short, just after we got engaged, my Mother decided she couldn’t come to our wedding. It was at this point that I decided to keep more distance between her and I, and I haven’t physically seen her since. 5 years.
 
We got married just over a year later, and I can honestly say that I did not even think about my Mother on the wedding day. People had varying views and thought I should at least invite her. But she had made her feelings clear. I didn’t see the point in wasting an invitation.
 
I didn’t hear from her around the wedding date, she didn’t make contact at all. But she did send me a text message three months later to say that the weather had been nice on the wedding day. She aways had a habit of texting me out of the blue, at random, and upsetting me. So I responded that yes the weather had been fantastic. But why was she texting now? The wedding was three months ago. She responded that it felt like unfinished business as she hadn’t been in contact. Apparently she felt better now that she’s text.
 
She then sent me a text message in September 2010. A year after the previous text. She text to say that she was moving house that weekend and thought I should know. From knowing the way she worked, I knew that she wanted me to go to her house that weekend, to beg her to stay or help her move. But I wasn’t playing games. I was a married woman who had dealt with her rubbish for nearly 10 years. I had mixed feelings too as she was moving from the house I grew up in, the only house I had ever known as a child, a house that held so many memories for me. But I house that had felt so cold and empty the handful of times I had been there since moving out. I knew that my Mother hadn’t been happy there for years. So I responded that I hoped she was happier in her new home, and that we too were looking to move in the December.
 
I then sent her a text message about a month later saying that we were moving from the area, and I wanted to see her before we moved to try and build bridges for the future. I explained that I had a great childhood, and the last few years had been difficult for both of us and that we had both made mistakes towards each other and said things that we regret. I couldn’t forgive or forget, but I could try to put it behind me and start afresh, so that when we had children she could have a relationship with them. I didn’t want her missing out on the chance to have grandchildren just because we hadn’t got on for years. She was a great Mother to me when I was growing up, and I wanted her to have something to show for that.
 
She responded that she didn’t see the point in meeting, that she could never forgive or forget and so there was no point being in each other’s lives. After all, I hadn’t invited her to my Wedding….!
We moved in December, and I received another text message from my Mother in February 2011. She text saying that she hoped we had settled into our new home. So I responded – Yes, we were happy, and as the saying goes, new house, new baby! She was going to be a Grandmother and Baby was due 25th August.
 
I received a short response. ‘Good Luck With That’
 
That told me all I needed to hear, and I decided at that point that I could not keep trying to have a relationship with that woman. She had upset me far too many times, and now that we were having a baby there was no way that I could let her anywhere near my Baby. I would not let my Baby be upset by her, and she obviously didn’t care that I was having a baby. So C’est la vie. She would not be part of our lives.
 
I didn’t reply to her message, and I received another message in the July saying that she hoped my labour went well. I also ignored this message.
 
When LP arrived in August, I didn’t tell her. I purposely didn’t send her a text or ring her. I felt that she had no right to know anything about our child, or any right to know anything about our lives.
 
I received a message from her in February that said ‘Now that you yourselves are parents, can you even conceive that the perfect much-loved little Daughter you hold in your arms right now, might someday not even want you at her wedding? No, inconceivable isn’t it? but believe you me, it happens. Good Luck’
 
To think that I had not heard from her in months, and she had obviously heard from a relative that we had the baby – we’re not a big family, and my Mother doesn’t have anything to do with anyone, which is why it took 6 months for her to hear about our Daughter. Instead of a nice, congratulations text, that was what I received.
 
My Mother chose to not come to our Wedding, yet she always throws that back at me. Just like the awful Christmas I spent in Ireland – she would always say how she spent it home alone with a tin of soup and the cat. My Mother would never let go of anything.
 
I responded to the text ‘I gave you the opportunity before we moved house of putting the past behind us and trying to build on a future in each other’s lives. You said you couldn’t forget all that had happened. I then told you I was pregnant, expecting your grandchild, and the only response I received was ‘Good Luck with that.’ I think that was enough of an indication that you didn’t want to be part of mine or my future child’s life. So I then chose to ignore your next text towards the end of my pregnancy and not contact you, hoping that you would understand that I can’t engage in random conversations with you if you aren’t going to be part of our lives. I have given you the opportunity to move on and have a relationship with me so many times and I cannot do that any more. Each time you make contact out of the blue it is only to hurt me, to try to make me feel how you have felt in the past. I want to live the life I have now and not keep dwelling on the years that have gone by. I no longer want a relationship of any sort with you, and haven’t tried to have a relationship with you and haven’t contacted you for over a year now. You have made your feelings clear repeatedly and I would appreciate it if you could now stop contacting me.’
 
I then had one word back from her ‘Happy’
 
And I hadn’t heard from her since.
 
The reason I really wrote all this, was because Tuesday was Hubby and I’s 3rd Wedding Anniversary. Our wedding day was the best day of my life. I spent the day surrounded by everyone that cared about us, everyone that meant something to us, and the hours flew by. I had never been happier than I was on that day. I felt incredibly proud to have Hubby by my side. I felt beautiful and knew without a doubt that my past was behind me and I had a bright future ahead of me. With Hubby by my side I felt like we could conquer the world. We are such a team, we are best friends and I love him more than I ever thought possible.
 
No one is perfect. But Hubby to me is everything I could ever have hoped for in a partner. I feel incredibly lucky every day that I met him, and am thankful that I met him so early in life – when I was 19 – so that we have so many years to share together. Some people wait their whole lives and never meet someone who completes them, like Hubby completes me.
 
3 years of marriage – a new house that we will live in forever, a beautiful Daughter, a family.
The only negative? Another text from my Mother. ‘Happy 3rd Anniversary’. I cried, and threw my phone of the floor. Shouting ‘F*ck off’ at it.
 
I honestly don’t know how to stop her contacting me. I don’t want to change my phone number, and as it is I don’t know where she lives, I don’t have her phone number stored in my phone – but recognise it when it comes up, she doesn’t know where we live either. But she insists on contacting me out of the blue, and it upsets me every time.
 
There was a time, I don’t know how long ago, that I would have loved her to be part of my life. But now, she has missed so much that we just can’t get back. The last time I really knew my Mother I was 16. I had my first boyfriend, I was at school and working part-time in Woolworth’s. I had posters of Ant&Dec and Savage Garden on my bedroom walls, I had just got my belly button pierced, had never been abroad, never been on an aeroplane, had just got my first mobile phone from collecting ring pulls on Coca Cola cans. I was a child.
 
Since then I have owned two homes, met and married my Hubby, had two feline additions to our family, I work for a different company and have changed locations with that company 5 times, I have learnt to drive and have owned three different cars, I have had a baby. The baby is now 9 months old. I am a woman, a wife, a mother.
 
I have come so far and I don’t realistically think that even if I wanted it there would be a space for my Mother in my life now. My life is full with great people, great family and as I have come so far, my Mother has also changed. She would no longer be the lovely, round, huggable Mother who baked me cakes as a child, who always cooked from scratch, who taught me how to make a home, who gave us amazing Christmases and Birthdays with very little money, who took me on days out to the park, to beauty spots – anywhere free, who took me camping each year to the New Forest, who gave me an amazing childhood on a shoe string.
 
The child I was, and the Mother who brought me up no longer exist. I think I have spent the last 12 years mourning everything I had as a child. But I know that I can never get that back. I can never be that child again with that perfect family. And unfortunately, my Mother is now incredibly bitter, incredibly focused on the past, and unable to change, that the person she is now would never be able to have a relationship with the 28-year-old me.
 
Our ships have sailed. I am happy in my life now and I sincerely hope that my Mother is happy in her life now, wherever that is and whatever she may be doing.

When all you want is a duvet day…

Our two nights of sleeping through were swiftly followed by teething hell. Teething hell then turned rapidly into poorly baby.

LP has had a runny nose, cough, watery eyes, temperature and general ‘unwellness’ for a few days and I have spent my time giving her cuddles and dosing her up with Calpol!

The sickness meant that LP went off her food so I have been breastfeeding every 3-4 hours throughout the day again. This meant that we were back to regular night feeds and also ‘breastfeeding nappies’ which has led to explosive nappies and endless changes of clothes.

Bedtimes have been a carousel of raised cot one end, vaporiser on, Vicks on her feet, Calpol. Then we’ve been up with her nearly constantly through the night as she was so bunged up she could hardly breathe. There were times when she was so unhappy with how she was feeling and so doped up that she would cry such a sad cry and Hubby and I felt so helpless. That has definitely been one of the hardest parts of parenthood to date, not being able to take your Baby’s pain away. It is so upsetting, so awful to have a sick baby and feel so useless as there isn’t more that you can do.

We were just starting to see an improvement in the sense that LP was coughing less, eating again – even if just a very small amount and was sleeping better, when what should happen – I catch her lurgy!

I hate being sick. It started with a sore throat and tiredness a few nights ago. Then I woke up with a streaming nose and a pounding head. Since then it’s got worse and all I have wanted to do is get into bed and pull the duvet over my head. But I can’t.

Because I have a little person to look after. Being ill is horrible. Being ill when you’re a parent is even worse. Being ill when you’re a parent and the other parent has to be at work is horrendous.

I dosed myself up with everything I could… That’ll be paracetemol then. I drank lots of hot honey & lemon, and I tried to rest. I took LP back to bed for her naps and tried to nap with her, I stayed in my pjs and LP spent the days in sleepsuits. We did very little for a few days!

I can now say that LP is better except for an occasional cough or little runny nose. I still can’t breathe out my nose but feel a lot better. Sadly though, Hubby has now caught our germs! It’s good to share…

This has been a tough week, and I hope we don’t have to repeat it any time soon. Being sick is pants!

Sleeping through…

As you all probably know, LP has never been the greatest where sleep is concerned. For the first few months she slept during the day for an hour or two at a time, waking for feeds and a little play time but at night she would be awake from about 8pm until anywhere between 3am and 6am! She would sleep on us but wouldn’t let us put her down.

Gradually LP’s sleep has got better. She regularly wakes 4 hourly for feeds at night but up until recently she would only nap for half an hour at a time, every couple of hours throughout the day. A few weeks ago LP started to sleep for longer during the day – we would put her in her sleeping bag, rock her to sleep and put her in her cot and she would sleep for at least an hour 2 or 3 times a day.

Last week LP got her first tooth. This coincided with a week of really bad sleep for LP and I. She would wake every 2 hours at best and would take forever to settle enough to be put down. She would also wake every night at around 3am and would lay awake in our arms for a couple of hours, not letting us put her down but not going to sleep either.

This changed yesterday. Yesterday LP slept from 7pm until 6am! She woke roughly every 4 hours, cried slightly and settled herself and I didn’t have to get out of bed at all! However, as she usually wakes every four hours for food I went to bed at 10:30pm and then stayed awake until 1am waiting for her to need her feed – she didn’t need the feed and I eventually must have gone to sleep.

I woke at 6am when she started stirring in her cot and could not believe it! A whole night of her sleeping! I was amazed. I honestly never thought that she would sleep through, and I am more than expecting it to be a one-off. But I now at least know it is possible!

I also know now that LP doesn’t need night feeds. If she wakes I am now happier to shush her or rock her back to sleep without feeding her, as she can go all the way through the night without a feed – this was evident in my massive and painful breasts this morning! I have never felt so painful and engorged! Luckily she fed well this morning and I felt so much relief afterwards!

When I went to get LP from her cot at 6:30am, after she’d had a little play, when I first saw her I felt so emotional. I realised that we have never been apart for 11 hours before. I know she was only in the next room, but I have always seen her every few hours. The longest I have been away from her was 6 hours when I went Bridesmaid dress shopping with a friend.

When I got LP from her cot she gave me such a huge smile, and I gave her such a tight hug. I realised then, more than ever, that I won’t be breastfeeding forever. The night wakings won’t happen forever. My beautiful baby girl is growing up, and before I know it she will be sleeping all night, drinking cow’s milk from a cup and needing me in different ways – for cuddles and bedtime stories, for play time and teaching, for kisses and hugs and all the love that is there but that you just can’t see it.

For now, I am happy to keep breastfeeding whenever LP needs it, and for as long as she needs it. I always said that I would breastfeed for a year if I was able to. But now I realise that LP will wean herself from my milk when she is ready – at this rate it will be around a year anyway. That day will always come too soon. I have never seen breastfeeding as an inconvenience, a chore. Breastfeeding has become such a lovely part of my day, a time that I can sit quietly with LP and just appreciate how much I love her. It is usually now only night feeds, her bed time feed, first thing in the morning and then lunchtime that I feed her, so as the feeds grow less I appreciate them more, knowing that it won’t be forever.

LP, grow into the person you are to become. Grow strong, learn all that you can and laugh every day. But please, don’t grow too big too soon. Take your time and enjoy every moment of life. Life really has only just begun.

Parenthood and Shiftwork

As you may or may not know, Hubby works shifts. He works 6 days and then has 4 off. The 6 days he works are between 8 and 12 hours, and generally he leaves home an hour and a half before he starts work and gets home an hour and a half after he finishes work. He always starts with two days where he leaves before we wake in the morning and finishes on two night shifts.

There are definitely pros and cons to him working shifts as far as LP is concerned.

The negatives are that Hubby being a consistent part of LP’s routine is impossible. He will never be able to read a bedtime story every night, bath her every night, see her first smile of the day every morning, have dinner with us as a family every evening…

It also means that nights when he is working are sometimes incredibly hard. The nights where she wakes every four hours for a feed and then goes back to sleep are fine. But the nights like tonight where it takes me two hours of rocking and shushing and singing to her to get her to go to sleep are awful. I end up putting her in her cot and going to sit in our room for a minute or two whilst I calm down and compose myself, before trying to get her to sleep again. I always try to remind myself that she will go to sleep eventually, and now that LP is 8 months old it is so much easier to the early weeks where she didn’t go to sleep at all between about 8pm and 4am. So things are getting better!

The shifts mean that Hubby misses the day-to-day interaction that I have with LP and so I make sure that I take photos as much as possible when he’s working so that he can at least have a glimpse of the day she’s having. LP doesn’t differentiate between us being there or not being there at the moment, but it is always lovely to see the smile she gives her Daddy when she sees him for the first time after he’s been work. She definitely saves the biggest smiles for Daddy!

I honestly can’t think of any more negatives now that I’ve taken the time to write about it.

The positives though, are that if he were working 9-5, he would never be there for LP’s lunch, and maybe not even breakfast and dinner. With his hours the way they are, he gets to be there for the morning some days, the afternoon sometimes, and dinner/bath/bed sometimes. He gets to be there for a different part of the day each day which must seem to LP like he is there a lot of the time as a big part of his working hours do fall into the times when she is asleep anyway!

He also has 4 days off in a row. The first day off he finishes work at 7am, home about 8:30am so spends the majority of that day sleeping off the night duty but he then has three days with us as a family. We don’t have ‘weekends’ like conventional families, but we do have quality family time which may end up being mid-week!

It also means that when Hubby takes a holiday from work, he takes 6 days holiday but with the 4 rest days either side, he has 2 weeks off work. Not bad really! Definitely something we will appreciate when LP’s at school and we need childcare for the holidays!

So really, shift work is swings and roundabouts. It will be different when I go back to work in October – we will have one ‘weekend’ a month together, but Daddy will have a lot more quality time with LP as he will be sharing ‘childminding’ with the childminder, and will end up having her on average for at least half the time I am at work.

When I’m back at work, I will definitely appreciate Hubby, and the time we have together, more. Before LP, we would often be ships passing in the night – not seeing each other properly for a couple of days at a time. When I’m back to work it will be the same situation except that we have LP too. It means that evenings when Hubby is home will be quality time for him and I. Weekends when he’s home will be quality time for the three of us, and the rest of the world can fit in around that.

I am just glad in all this, that I am not a shift worker. If we both worked shifts I cannot imagine ever having quality time together!