Threes a crowd 

 

Having three children, is tough. There are now more children in the house than adults. We’re outnumbered, I’m waiting for the day they all gang up on us. A triple strop threat. Lord give me strength. 

Florence is still very young, she’s only 6 years old. So, I try with everything I have not to over do the whole ‘big sister’ thing. Sometimes she tries, to do too much for her Brother and Sister. And I keep telling her “you really don’t have too”.  I was and am the eldest sister, and people forget that you’re still only a baby, but it’s hard to keep that outlook up when, strangers keep coming up to us in public cooing over baby Dorothy. “No one thinks I’m cute anymore” Florence said to me, after Dorothy’s hearing test at the hospital. I told her they do, but Dolly is so little, that they know she’s brand new that’s all. People will honestly blank Florence and Rex. Rex is only 17 months, that’s really heartbreaking for me. My children are still their own beings, they are special in their own way. It’s hard seeing them being ignored or left out. I’m trying to keep them close and at the moment it’s hard work. 

The thing is, one child is always left out. No matter what you do and how hard you try one of them won’t play ball, have a strop and that’s it. Finding something to do all three children can do together is hard work. My eyes are in constant pain from eye rolling behind each child’s back. 

 I made a huge effort with Florence’s baby book. I’ve kept her 1st birthday cards, and she has a photo album dedicated to her first years. I haven’t done that with Rex or Dorothy, I can’t be arsed it’s a lot of effort. Once you get to three kids you are too busy running around to make effort with that sort of stuff. Let’s just hope Instagram will still be going strong by then, if so I’ll be sorted right out. 

Bath and bedtime feels like a military operation, one child down you feel like celebrating and then you remember there’s two more to go. Poor Dorothy seems to spend a lot of time in the Moses basket but that really is the only way I can get things sorted and done. With three children they want three different (for now two) bedtime stories, different bedtime routines it all gets a little stupid and out of hand. I can’t bath all three together as Rex will most likely, hit or kick Dolly. Florence then has homework, she shouts out the words from her reading book so I can hear from bathroom while bathing Dorothy or from Kitchen getting Rex’s milk sorted, every now and then correcting her – with her then responding “WHAT MUMMY?!” Never mind pronounce it how ever you want who cares. 

Once all three are down, I just lay there on the sofa in a Star fish like position. Get up quickly go to the toilet, and eat (two things all parents tend to forget doing). And then it starts all over again. And weirdly enough: I love it. Even though this is such hard work I do live and love for my babies. Somehow the chaos has just fitted in within our home. Can’t ever imagine why! 

I feel like I’m managing to wing this because of their age gaps. Florence is able to go off and do her own thing, and Rex follows her because she is his idol. Leaving me with little Dolly. Every now and then a stampede will enter the room “MUMMY HE SCRATCHED ME” , “play nicely” I reply (a real half arsed response) What else can you say to a 17 month old? I just hope all three stick together and will remain close. Siblings can be annoying as hell, but they really are your best friends. Blood is thicker than water, you three must never ever give up on eachother. 

Having Three children is mental, crazy chaotic but my god I love having them all together, being crazy, loud and in your face. I will miss that noise one day so for now I will make the most of it. Our house is full of love. 
Love Alex 

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Our Dorothy 

 

As I’ve said previously, I never felt ready for baby number three. So when I started having contractions, I went into ‘dig head in sand mode’ and pretended it wasn’t happening. I phoned my friend Su, hoping she would tell me it was only Braxton hicks. But she said “no it sounds like you are….” looking back now that’s pretty hilarious I was expecting her to diagnose me over the phone. I then ran myself a bath and I could see my stomach clenching every 3-4 minutes. My Mid wife told me to go into hospital, so I phoned up Mitch and told him he had to make his way home and that I was packing the hospital bag, as we could be having a baby any moment. 

Mitch didn’t seem convinced, we both didn’t really as we went through this previously with Rex, and it all came to a hault and I was sent home. The contractions kept getting stronger and within 30 minutes of being examined on the monitor they told me we were going to go into theatre to get baby out. Everything was a blur after that, even during the 7th attempt of my spinal injection (surgeon couldn’t find right spot) I just wasn’t with it. 

As they pulled our amazing little girl out, they told me she was breech, and then it was just silence. My heart dropped and I was staring at Mitch who was staring over at staff taking care of our little baby. I immediately asked why she wasn’t breathing, the mid wife told me that she was struggling to breathe, and that she had to go down into neonatal right away Mitch went with her to keep an eye out and be there for support. To not hold your baby after their birth, goes against all your primal instintincts. As I was pushed up onto post natal ward and placed into room with seven other mums and their babies, I felt so depressed. My heart had been ripped into pieces. They finally wheeled me down to neonatal in my bed, when I saw my little baby properly for the first time, I cried like I had never cried before. She laid there in the incubator, a big plastic box with tubes all over the shop, it was all a lot to take in. I sobbed myself to sleep that night. 

I only managed to get two hours sleep, mainly because of the situation and partly because I was placed next to the most annoying, screeching baby. (Seriously you have no idea the Mum was deffo a nazi in a past life) got showered, my little gang turned up and we headed down to see our Dorothy Diana Rebel. From then on things went good bad good bad, it felt like as soon as we got somewhere we went backwards. To not breastfeed straight away was a killer, I was desperate to but for now they fed Dorothy formula. 

 

Two days past, she was out of the incubator and into my arms. She smelt so good that baby smell never gets boring. We rubbed our noses together and I spoke at her like all mums do, pretending babies respond back. Talking to each other through our eyes. I felt like I had to build up a relationship with Dorothy. Our bond was running late, and it made me feel like a terrible mum. The guilt came tumbling in, I wished I hadn’t gone into hospital, I wish I just stayed at home and stayed in pain for as long as possible. I felt like it was all my fault that she couldn’t breathe. 

I held her closely and said sorry. She felt so tiny.  I never wanted her to be in pain again. Seeing my other two babies in hospital kissing and stroking their little sister filled my heart, with so much joy. These moments are the ones that matter. A few things have happened this year, life changing things that’ll always stay with me. Family is the most important thing in life. Family do not give up on each other. Family do not stop trying, they are always there for one another, even if times have been rough. I know that my family would and will always be there. I’m the luckiest woman in the world. If you don’t have the pleasure of knowing my little family I feel bad for you.  


My babies are my world, I will always protect them. Good luck to those who mistreat them. 

My fabulous baby shower 


I’d never had a baby shower before..(third time lucky!) so I didn’t know what to expect. It felt extra special for myself to be celebrating all three children at once. I am very over the top, opinionated and at times in your face, but when it comes to events and birthday parties for myself, I like to be low key and casual. Not too many people and not too much attention is my thing. And this baby shower was just that.  


A little group of fabulous women, decent food and drinks and great chat. The reason I hadn’t ever had a baby shower before, was because I didn’t really see the point, and thought it was rather too American for me. But this felt fabulously British, afternoon tea, scones and the best tasting/looking/most incredible cake you’d ever seen in your life. I’ve always put in 100% when planning other people’s birthday parties and events. When it comes to my children’s birthday parties, I love adding lots of detail and surprises. But for me I really hate being fussed over. I used to not tell anyone at school it was my birthday, and I hate opening presents in front of people because I get so awkward and unsure of how to react when people spoil me. I find it really overwhelming. 


I still can’t shake off how lucky and happy I feel about Sunday. And the ladies who went are probably thinking ‘don’t be daft’ but it really meant so much to me that they took time out of their day to put a smile on my face. They bought the most wonderful gifts (and boy am I fussy with gifts) and I felt reassured about bringing this baby into the world, because I have been so nervous almost dreading it until now. The one thing I love about these ladies, is the fact they’re all honest about their parenting. No ones there lying or making out their child’s perfect. They are all down to earth and real. I need that in my life I can’t be having fake people making me feel like the worst parent in the world! No one deserves that. They all except I’m crazy opinionated and poke fun at it which I allow because I like them and I know they are only messing. 


I’m really shit at putting into words (verbally), how grateful I feel. So I felt like I had to write this blog post so the message is loud and clear, at how blessed I feel (cringe word but it must be said). I really will remember that afternoon forever and I can’t wait to tell little bump about it all. You made me feel like the richest person in the world. One time in my life I felt very alone, and felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone and felt deep down that the world was out to get me, because I’m surrounded by people like yourselves I now feel okay. 


Special thanks to one of my best friends Su who organised it all, to of course everyone that came the gifts are beautiful can’t believe it, and to Kristy for making that cake I’m truly shocked at how talented you are at baking! The best I’ve ever seen and tasted!!! And to Lyn who made the afternoon extra special by painting my tummy I can treasure those pictures forever. 

The power of friendship, knowing that you are loved, and knowing people are always there for you, is such a wonderful thing. I wish everyone felt this way. 

If there’s anything I can do for you ladies, just know I am always here for you! 
Love Alex 
X

Why I won’t be buying my baby girl any pink 

 

This month our newest addition will be arriving. It doesn’t seem real yet, I’m very much in denial. I’ve only bought her one babygrow and a few pairs of socks. 

This weekend we went shopping for little bump but I ended up buying Rex more clothes and some little stocking fillers for Xmas. The reason I didn’t come back home with much baby stuff is because I can’t bring myself to buy the traditional ‘baby girl’ style/colours of clothing. People will stop and think ‘why is colour such a big deal’ after reading that, and that’s my question and frustration exactly – why is it all types of girls clothing is pink, frilled, princess, cute bunnies, kittens, ballerina type prints and boys – blue, trucks, cars, dinosaurs, ‘here comes trouble’ prints. Society have made colours a ‘thing’ and we’ve all helped make these gender stereotypes stay around. And I’m so bored of it. 

I liked the look of some of the baby clothes on the Mother Care website so I went in store to have a mooch around. Little Bird by Jools Oliver have gender neutral style clothing with bright colours which is absolutely perfect. Downside to this brand is it’s quite pricey, and lets be honest a child’s just going to be sick all over it and get poo stains on it all so I’d rather not spend tons of money. Luckily there was a sale on (Little Bird) so I could get a few bits for Rex as there wasn’t much stuff for baby left. The other brands in store were the usual stereotypes. We popped into John Lewis as I thought since they’ve taken down their ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ labels there would be much more choice. Just because the labels were no longer on show.. didn’t mean they still laid out the clothing in separate places and had pictures of boys and girls situated on the walls. I was disappointed with this I thought we were taking a step in the right direction turns out not so much. On the blue coloured jumpers there were words such as ‘genius’ and on the pink ‘beautiful’. 

I know some of you will think ‘oh get a bloody grip it’s just clothes’ and once upon a time I thought that too. But it’s more than just clothes and it’s more than just colours. It all adds to the stereotypes that damage us all. This isn’t me being dramatic it’s simply the truth. As I had Florence so young I couldn’t really afford to splash out on the types of baby clothes I would’ve preferred, and it would’ve been dead cheeky if I turned around and said “nah don’t like it” beggars can’t be choosers! But if I had a choice they wouldn’t have been so outrageously pink and frilly. Florence has two personalities, the one she shows to the world and the one only close family members see behind closed doors. One : diva, in your face, pink everything. Two : dinosaur obsessed, spends hours learning about dinosaur facts, and wears boxer shorts with rugby themed clothes. Guess which one the public sees?… Because she only has confidence to portray that image as it’s what’s deemed as ‘normal’. She picks the ‘boy’ types of books at library, books about dragons and cars. And I love that but she would feel embarrassed and ashamed if her friends were to find out. 

‘Kids don’t think that much into it’ you’re thinking? Well sorry but..Bullshit …yes they do. Whilst waiting in the playground for school pick up, or hanging about at the park children will ask me questions such as – “why has your little boy got a hair clip in his hair that’s only for girls?” , “why is his hair so long it looks funny?” , “why is that little girl playing football?” (Rex). If you ask your child simple questions such as : is pink a girl colour or a boy’s? Who’s better at football girls or boys? Who’s more clever boys or girls? Who’s funnier boys or girls? And other stereotype questions the answers will shock/upset you. Children’s little brains are sponges they sponge everything and anything they pick up. Visually they’ll assume pink and blue belong to different genders. And that’s how the toxic stereotypes begin. 

‘How is it damaging?’ You ask. Girls as young as 4 have insecurities about the way they look. Perhaps it’s something to do with the – princess, beautiful, gorgeous, labels we plaster them with. Boys tend to have more confidence in class perhaps that’s got something to do with the labels their clothes say and also what we say to them : clever, smart, hero, legend, super star. I don’t know that’s just my opinion.. (side note : based on facts meaning I’m right). It’s quite interesting if you’re willing to open your mind and really research and learn about these simple small things that create such an impact on our children. 

And this is why I won’t be buying pink. I want a clean slate for my baby girl. I want her to grow up in an environment knowing she’s more than just her looks. Actions speak louder than words so the eductional themed toys we tend to give to boys over girls will be in her stocking during Xmas time. No dollies, no barbies, no pink princess unicorns. Scientists have evidence from experiments that these type of toys do not educate or stimulate the brain as much as building type toys that we tend to give more to boys. I’m glad she has an older brother that has a lot of these type toys so that they can play and build together. 

I’ve always given my children choices. Florence dresses herself now and sometimes I’ve drawn the line with ridiculous high heels, But I’ve always told her it’s her body and it’s her choice so that includes clothing, even if it’s pink and frilly. And the same goes for this little girl if she wants princess themed clothing when she can start to ask and choose for herself, then so be it. But for now I’m going to go with the gender neutral style of clothing and toys and I bet you she will be much more confident than Florence unfortunately, because it will be her ‘normal’. 

It’s not the colour pink that’s evil it’s the stereotypes that come with it. 
Love Alex