‘Dancing through life’- Birthday week up north

Baby turned 1 last week. We made it a whole year! Hurrah!

Because we went to stay with family last week to celebrate, we missed her very last sensory class, so the week before was her ‘graduation’ from Baby Sensory. We’ve been going to Baby Sensory since she was 11 weeks old so in the last month or so we’ve found it very strange now that she was nearly 1, that being one of the older babies, the mums with 8 week old babies look at you like you’re the ‘experienced’ one…?! I told them that you blink and that time is gone, even though at the time, you feel like the night feeds and the struggles and lack of sleep will never end. Even getting a shower and brushing your teeth was an achievement. But now, baby has dropped down to just 2 milks a day and 3 full meals plus snacks. And (wobbly) walking! –Ah my little ‘drunk’ toddler. (Toddler?! How on earth did that happen?!) Their little ones were falling asleep on the air bed in the play area. Baby was trying to jump on them…

So back to last week and transferring my ‘experience’ to real life, staying away from home at my parents’ house. Being away from home makes me realise that I know my own mind* about baby now. I do get a little stressed (sorry hubby) if we’re running late for a nap or meal time. This makes visiting multiple relatives in less than a week a bit of a timetable challenge. While spending weeks away like this I of course have to spend baby’s morning nap putting on a full face of makeup each morning , in case of visits to/from every Tom, Dick or Harry, keeping up my best appearances- ‘Yes I am a full time mummy, but ooh don’t I look wide awake’!

We managed to fit everything in, just, with a few baby tantrums in the car. But you see this is why I stress about routine- because I know my baby and I know what she can get like! It’s all set out to make our lives a lot easier and avoid the moaning and whining- driving round Yorkshire with a screaming baby is not a fun jaunt in the countryside!

Another problem with short trips like this is that you’re constantly trying to keep everyone happy, especially those who don’t get to see baby very often. My feelings get pushed to the bottom of the list and although the relatives all say that ‘it doesn’t matter’ and to ‘do whatever’s easiest for you’, you know this wont happen. With only 4 days to fit in seeing over 20 people, you know some things have got to give…mainly baby’s naps and mealtimes. But of course it is easy to moan but I do love catching up with everyone and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And as baby dances/bounces her way through her birthday parties, I use matchsticks to keep my eyes open. We just sacrifice ourselves for a day or 2 and then thankfully have a very tired-out baby who (almost) sleeps through the night- hurrah!

On a side note, a week like this is probably normal for a lot of mums, but for me, living hours away from family and most friends, we don’t actually do much on a ‘normal’ week. We fill our days with walks up to the park and trips to the library, with an occasional meet up with other mums.

Which is why when I went for a much needed run on the chilly Friday morning, I had a huge feeling of decompression and relief. My body is definitely feeling last week- both baby and I are nursing a cold and I hasten to say we both need a holiday from our ‘holiday’.

(*am a control freak).

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