Wow, 100 weeks of being a mum of two. And surprisingly, this is the week that things are finally starting to fall into place.
I grew up as an only child. I have siblings, but they are all half-siblings, they are a lot younger than me and I’ve never lived with them. I had a happy childhood, I had everything I needed and had a good relationship with my parents. But I was lonely.
I know a lot of people stick with one child for various reasons and there are definite advantages to it, but I never wanted it for my children. I wanted them to grow up with the built in company, the confidante, sparring partner and best friend that I never had.
I was fully aware that having two under two was going to be difficult, and I was right. Those first few weeks after Lia was born were really tough. But after that, things got slowly easier as I got used to it and as Lia got a bit bigger.
The girls loved each other from the start, and they slowly but surely started to entertain themselves at home for short periods of time. But when we were out, it was always still difficult. I had to have an eye on each of them. Helping them to eat, making sure they were quiet if necessary and making sure they were both safe.
But this week, I’ve noticed a change. I think the change has been in the pipeline for a while. I look back to a couple of weeks ago at Drayton Manor when Libby took Lia into the big soft play for the first time. And all the times at home when I’ve managed to get some work done because they’ve been so absorbed in their own little world that they didn’t need me to entertain them.
And today, we went to our local pub for lunch. Our local is incredibly friendly and serves fabulous food. They are happy for children to eat there, but they don’t provide high chairs or changing facilities and they expect children to be well behaved.
This has never been a problem for us, the girls have always had great table manners but eating there always required a lot of input from me. The last time we went, Lia still needed help eating and Libby needed reminding to sit still and not try to get up from the table with hot plates of food being carried around.
Today though, it was different. The girls shared an enormous plate of fish and chips. The waitress kindly brought me a spare plate to divide the food up between them. I cut up the fish, found a teaspoon for each of them because the forks were too big and they sat on their chairs and ate their dinner.
When we’d finished eating, I chatted to my friend and my husband without worrying about the girls. They were playing, chatting and laughing together and causing no problem at all. It was such a relief. It wasn’t until we left the restaurant that I realised we’d turned a real corner.
My husband and I no longer had one of the girls either side of us, keeping our eyes and ears open. We were having proper, grown-up conversations that the girls weren’t involved in, and they were just as happy in their own company.
Food has been a bit of a theme this week, with our Thursday Photo 100 being taken on a picnic at the park earlier in the week. Both girls were pulling a face when I took their photo, with Libby having a bit of a giggle when I got the camera out and Lia joining in.
Our Thursday Photo #100