The start of Mat leave

So I’ve finished work. Done, dusted and stored for a year. I’m torn in the sense that I love work and the people I worked with when I was grounded. As I normally fly for a living, a stint in the office is a welcome change.

Now I’m faced with just over a year at home, for a third time, with bump #3 and 2 toddlers. Suddenly it seems very real. I’m very torn between wanting to get everything done, seeing everyone before the mayhem of a newborn and just wanting to spend time with the boys and husband. I’ll admit, it’s a privileged dilemma. Not many other countries allow you to have a year off after baby, with a job at the end of it. The sad truth is, that at times work is my escapism. It’s the one time my husband or the grandparents can have the kids, without me feeling guilty. It’s a legit reason to be out, not being self indulgent (and doing a lap of triumph around a shopping mall/coffee shop etc after a hard week).

I can’t wait for baby to be here but I’m acutely aware of this being the last 3 weeks of only having 2 gorgeous babies, a big and little brothers. Soon they will be two big brothers. I’m squeezing in as many cuddles and adventures as I can, with just the two of them. Although something tells me it’ll all be fine, when, in the morning they come in, demand to see bump and give her lots of cuddles and kisses, ask how she slept and if she’s nearly here to play with yet. To sum up, I’d say I’m just really really lucky to have so much love. To top it all off, I saw a double rainbow on my way home.

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The last days before maternity leave

So today I went to work, for my third to last day. I finish at the end of next week. This time has always been a mixed one, with each of my pregnancies. I feel good about accomplishing a lot. The last few months have flown by and I have finished a few big projects. As Cabin Crew/Flight attendants, we get grounded when we report to the company that we are pregnant. We then work in an office environment, which can be a good thing, for a change and a rest from jet lag.

Today I did some major handover stuff for my boss. We have a course to run next week and I felt the need to organise everything before I left for the weekend. It’s part of nesting I think. I just hate the thought of going into labour and work needing to still be done. As a result, his desk looked like Mt Everest. The photo on here was about half way through. It did make me laugh.

I’ll be sad to finish but also really glad of the time off before baby comes (hopefully!). I’m getting really tired and uncomfortable now. I know with a new born, at times I’ll feel that work would come as a welcome rest, but as with the last two, I have to remember that a year goes by so quickly and before I know it, I’ll be somewhere like New York and missing my babies. I guess I have to learn to embrace the present. Still, looking forward to my leaving lunch next week, a good excuse to celebrate.

Infernal nocturnal hamster

The hamster is truly truly nocturnal. The boys have been campaigning to give her a cuddle, but no such luck! She has been spotted outside of her house once during daylight hours. Night times are a different matter though, all I can hear is “thump, crash, spin, scratch” from downstairs.

It’s like she has her own private spin class all night and then sleeps it off during the day!

1.30am wake ups, why oh why?

My 2 year old sleeps. He sleeps well, generally. So why is it that for the last few nights (but not every night, as that would be too predictable), he wakes up and demands 1) Mummy’s bed 2) play time 3) wake big brother up or 4) song time?

Deep down I know the answer. He’s got big changes going on. Pre school 2 mornings a week, a sister on her way soon, he’s had a tummy bug in the last week. So why do I find it so hard? I don’t want this to become a habit and so I refuse to take him into bed with me (he wouldn’t sleep anyway).

Compromise ended up being me sleeping on the floor between the boys’ beds, singing “twinkle twinkle” and then leaving once he was asleep. I just need my own bed and at 34 weeks pregnant, it’s all a bit of a heavy load, one way or another. The upshot? His brother, who shares a room with him, slept through all of it.

Of course now I’m wide awake and so that’s that. Onwards and upwards as they say.

Always ask for hamsters when Mum is weak

So the toddlers have been on a campaign. Mostly to get a dog. This is where the clever part happens. They lie quietly in wait. See their opportunity and strike. We’ve explained to them that a dog can’t happen right now. It’s not fair on anyone for a big furry to join us. I’d love a dog, but not until the kids (even the bump!) are at school. I’m a realist, for once, and realise that I’d be the one caring for it and walking several times a day, once their enthusiasm had long gone. With 3 kids under 5, I don’t believe that to be realistic for any of us. A hamster, on the other hand, is not quite so taxing and relatives don’t mind babysitting quite so much when the pet won’t chew their carpet (unless she escapes!).

So, yesterday, I made the rookie decision to allow us to go to the pet shop, after the sickness bug had subsided. The boys campaigned pretty hard, even though the eldest was sad that “pet-shops didn’t sell dogs”. We decided to adopt a gorgeous little grey and white syrian hamster, who has been christened Sophie by the eldest even thought that’s what husband wanted to call bump

I’ve had to oil her wheel and there was much excitement last night, when she ventured out of her (already chewed) temporary house from the pet shop. It takes me back to being a kid myself.

I remember once, I’d brought a friend from school home to meet my hamster, Eva. Sadly, after being with us quite a long time, the Eva the hamster chose that very day to pass away to the hamster wheel of the sky. Myself, aged about 8, was devastated. A very helpful Uncle told me she was just hibernating. Unfortunately for him, we had already buried her under a tree in the big garden. Much to my parents’ alarm, I then wanted to perform an exhumation. It led to some important conversations about death.

I think that having a creature to see, care for and understand its life cycle is good for children. Even though it will be me cleaning her tray and looking after her. The kid in me can’t wait.

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The dreaded lurgy

It’s happened. The dreaded lurgy has struck our house. The eldest was sick once in Thursday, so kept him off from preschool. I think he must have a tummy of steel as that was it. Sadly for the rest of us, it hasn’t been so straight forward.
I went to work at my office placement and about lunchtime, started feeling ill. Thanks to lovely colleagues, I was dispatched home pretty immediately. Long story short, at 34 weeks pregnant , that night I ended up at out of hours GP at the hospital, with one undignified shot to the bottom region, some buccastem and a wheelchair to the car. Mum babysat whilst long suffering husband took me there and back.

That’s when the real fun started. We got home to find the youngest being very ill on grandma. It wasn’t a good night. I felt awful as couldn’t even help as I was too busy being ill myself.

The calm after the storm came the next day. Things calmed down and we all had a dvd day at home. The eldest, who was fine, thought Christmas had come early, he was allowed to stay in pjs and watch tv all day. Something which never happens here, so at aged 4, this was like nirvana.

Now it’s time to get back to normal. Only 3 loads of washing left to do… Planning on taking boys conker collecting and leaf collecting and getting some fresh air while making some prints. Wish me luck!

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Working 9-5 or flying around the world

Working 9-5 or flying around the world

I have about 2 weeks left at work. When pregnant, flight attendants (also known as cabin crew here in the U.K.) get a ground job. I’ve loved every one of my ground placements and count myself lucky that I don’t have to fly when pregnant. Office work is tiring enough, without having to deal with jet lag, a heightened sense of smell and lots of physically hard work (for hours on end).

I do miss flying, I see friends having lovely adventures on Facebook, I miss “me time” which the office can never give me in the same way. I miss cheap pedicures and trips out to go on safari in Africa. Or skydiving in Vegas. The list goes on. I do love being home every night to tuck my babies into bed though and my emotions on this are mixed. Very soon I’ll hopefully have my baby girl to hold too and maternity leave from the skies and the office for over a year.

I know I’ll miss work for my own sanity. I’m not cut out to be a stay at home mum. I wish I was. I’d love to have the patience and dedication to devote self 24/7 to these tiny humans who are getting bigger every day. I find that a trip helps to keep me sane, I dread going, on the day, but have a great time, being an adult for a couple of days and then cannot wait to get home to snuggle my kids. It’s a life I don’t feel ready to give up (possibly ever). It’s a balance and sometimes a huge contradiction. Like a lot of parenting turns out to be.

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