Grandparents Are Superheroes

Grandparents Are Superheroes

No, they don’t wear lycra and fly through the sky (that I know about or want to know about anyway) but they do come to our rescue in times of need.

Our parents are the greatest! If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to return to work after having the boys and we most definitely wouldn’t have been able to go away to celebrate our birthdays recently or have date nights!

We are really lucky that my parents are less than 5 minutes away and the in-laws are only an hour away. They are never intrusive but they have helped us out so much over the years since the children have been born and I’m not sure we could ever thank them enough.

They have come to our rescue when our eldest fractured his femur and required a blue light trip to the hospital. My Mum has never travelled the mile between our houses as quickly as she did that morning. She took amazing care of a very frightened 1 year old as his brother was wheeled off to the hospital.

They also helped out so much in the final weeks of my twin pregnancy when I was so poorly and getting up off the sofa required a crane and about 20 minutes! Days out and extended holidays definitely helped break the boredom of Mummy being a beached whale!

I know they say they enjoy it but looking after the grandchildren does take it out of them. They’re not in their 30s any more! But, at the same time, I think it’s keeping them younger. They get out more and run around which can’t be bad for their health.

It’s also giving our Dad’s an opportunity to get back what they missed out on when we were younger. I know my Dad worked incredibly long hours just so my Mum could stay at home with us. He missed out on a lot of the fun of having really little people and I think he’s making up for that now. He’ll quite often phone up and asks if he can take the boys out or come play with them.

With the rising cost of living, Mums are having to go back to work after maternity leave. This means more and more grandparents are helping out with childcare. It’s a good job really as childminders and nurseries don’t come cheap! Without my parents help, there would have been no point me returning to work. All of my wages every month would have been gobbled up by the long nursery hours the boys would have needed. I also love the way they are cared for by someone they know really well and trust completely. They still do a few hours a week at nursery so there’s not as much pressure on my parents and I like them mixing with other children.

But, does there come a time when grandparents doing large amounts of childcare has to stop?

Yes, for me I think there does. Our parents are still fairly young and in good health. I’m not sure I would impose on them so much if they were a lot older and heading towards their 70’s or their health was failing them. If my children started to cause them big problems such as stress or they became ill then we would reevaluate the situation immediately. I wouldn’t want them caring for our children to make them ill or prevent them getting better.

They say they enjoy it and I do think that’s genuine as they’ve really missed having the boys while I’ve been on maternity leave. If they are enjoying it and everybody is happy, then the arrangement works.

I’ll never be able to thank them enough for all the help they give us and will be forever grateful to them.

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Final Firsts

Final Firsts

I love babies. If we were rich and didn’t keep doubling everytime I fall pregnant, I would keep having babies. The twins are most definitely my last babies though. They are already an added addition to my “last baby” that I had nearly 3 years ago so, definitely no more.

The realisation that there are to be no more squishy newborns in our house also brings with it the sad realisation that we are seeing our final firsts.

The twins are 10 months now and in the last week, the baby of the house has sprouted her first tooth. With the celebration of the fact she wasn’t going to be gummy forever also came the crushing sadness of never making this discovery again. All my children have teeth now and this is another milestone we won’t be seeing again.

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It’s for this very reason, selfish as it may seem,that I am in no hurry for my babies to grow up. When B was born, we couldn’t wait for him to sit up, crawl and learn to walk but this time we are so happy to wait.

How can I feel so sad when I know we are going to have so many more exciting things to look forward to as the children grow up? I’m looking forward to first days at school, first school plays and our first family holiday. But, my children are growing out of the phase where they do something new and amazing every day. The fast learning of a baby is disappearing and they get more independent and need me less.

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I am definitely going to be one of these Mums that gets ’empty nest’ syndrome. With all my children so close in age this could happen all of a sudden!

Why can’t these little people stay small forever? The twins are at such a lovely age at the moment. They smile for everybody, entertain themselves but are still happy to play with you and, the biggest one, they don’t answer me back!

In the meantime I shall have to hope I get some nieces and nephews in the near future so I can still have those lovely cuddles and remind myself how lovely my kids used to be!

Mami 2 Five
5 Great Things About My March

5 Great Things About My March

1. A spa day
My best friend was 30 before Christmas so I decided to spoil her with a voucher for a spa day. I thought it would be rude for her to go on her own so I booked myself in too! We don’t see each other nearly enough now we have children so I’m really looking forward to our day together.

2. Restarting my pilates class
I love pilates even though I’m not very good at it! I enjoy an hour of total silence and relaxation. It’s been 6 months since my c-section now so, I feel ready to go back and hopefully get my waist back again.

3. Mothers Day
I’m a complete sucker for a hand crafted card from my children. I cannot wait for this year’s creation. I’m hoping we might be able to manage a nice family day out somewhere. The children keep nagging us for a trip to the beach.

4. British Summer Time starting
I know we lose an hour in bed, which is critical when you’re a parent, but I’m so looking forward to the lighter days. I can’t wait to get out in the garden and go to the park more often.

5. The twins first swim
We finally have a weekend free to take the kids swimming. Both of our boys went swimming from about 4 weeks old and we had planned to do the same with the girls. But, firstly we couldn’t find a pool that would let us take all 4 children in and when we did, the girls were too poorly to go. Really looking forward to introducing them to the water and hoping for not too many tears!

A Day In The Life Of A Mum To 4

A Day In The Life Of A Mum To 4

I’ve never really been one for strict routines. When the boys were babies, we used to go with the flow and most of the time it worked really well. It meant we could go out and about without it interfering with nap or feed time too much. I have friends with very strict routines and they allow themselves almost no freedom. They cannot come out at certain times of the day and I didn’t want to become like that.

When the twins came along, we decided that things had to change. No longer could we use a baby led approach as there were now far too many babies in the house! So, we adopted a routine and it has been working pretty well. The routine does have flexibility so we are not completely housebound and the routine is relaxing slightly as everyone gets older. Here is a day in my life.

Our days usually start about the same time and if we go out for the day we try to travel at nap time.

7.30 am – wakey, wakey, rise and shine. Anybody who is not already awake gets woken. First job of the day is a production line of nappy changes!

8.00 am – feeding of the masses. It’s breakfast time for the boys while I make the girls bottles.

8.30 am – baby feeding time. I’ve mastered the art of feeding both at the same time so this has halved the amount of time taken. The boys tend to watch a bit of Cbeebies while I do this.

9.00 am – activity time or off to nursery on a Thursday and Friday. I try and set an activity up for the boys so I can grab a few minutes to do something like tummy time with the girls. On a Tuesday my lovely Home Start volunteer comes around this time and entertains the boys. They love having someone different to play with.

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10.00 am – twin nap time. Parenting suddenly gets so much easier when there’s only 2! I realise how easy life was with just 2! I’ll try and play a game with the boys while their sisters are asleep so they get a little bit more of Mummy’s attention.

12.00 noon – lunch time for the biggest ones and around the time the twins usually wake. I feed the biggest ones and myself first while the girls have a kick around on the floor (it’s the safest time).

12.30 pm – solid food time for the girls. Before I clear up too much I let them add to the decoration on the floor!

1.00 pm – clear away lunch items and load the dishwasher. Make bottles for the girls and carry on feeding. After lunch is quiet hour for the boys. We try to watch a film and have a few minutes peace, quiet and rest.

2.00 pm – it’s girlie nap time again so once they are asleep I have time to play with the boys. We tend to try do something active like put on music and dance around like nutters or go play in the garden. One afternoon, a few weeks ago, we played in the snow and last week we planted all our spring bulbs.

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3.30 pm – the twins are usually awake by now. I’ll get them out their cot and bring them down to play with the boys. They love playing with their sisters and can often be found waving a rattle in their face or kissing them. That’s probably how the girls get poorly so often!

4.00 pm – it’s bottle time again. Sometimes the boys like to help otherwise they are left to their own devices for half an hour while I feed. We’ll probably have Cbeebies on or they’ll play their new favourite game, supermarkets.

5.00 pm – it’s time to start thinking about dinner and battling to keep O awake. He dropped his nap around his 1st birthday and refuses to have it even though he needs it. This means that from late afternoon, if we have been busy, he gets very sleepy. If he naps we wouldn’t be able to get him to bed at night so have to keep him awake!

5.45 pm – dinner time. Feeding time at the zoo begins all over again!

6.30 pm – Daddy is home just in time for bath and bed. The boys have to tidy up all their toys before they go up to bed. Luckily O is a bit of a clean freak and loves a good tidy!

7.00 pm – I change and feed the girls while Daddy does the boys bedtime story. Usually everyone is sound asleep by 7.30 and I collapse in a heap, satisfied that I did a fairly good job keeping everyone alive! Actually, scrap the collapsing in a heap. I start the household chores otherwise they would never get done.

Our IVF Journey: All the fun of living life with twins
Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

According to a study conducted by Alton Towers Resort this week, 4 out of 5 children don’t get a bedtime story. For us this is an integral part of our bedtime routine and my favourite time of the day.

We sit the boys together in the youngest ones bedroom and all cuddle up together while we read at least one story but sometimes I get sweet talked into more!

Our current favourite books are

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The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Pointer. It’s a catchy rhyming book plus it has pooped in the title, my kids were bound to love it!

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Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. This book came with a really cute, cuddly alien in pants which O loves to tuck into bed at night. A very colourful book with a catchy story.

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The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Every parent knows this story and can probably recite it off by heart like we can. It’s a lovely story which the boys join in with reading. It also has the sound buttons that they can press at various points through the book (or continuously as ours do!)

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Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe. My boys are vehicle mad and this book covers them all. Ambulances, tractors even road rollers have a catchy, rhyming verses about them which my boys love.

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The Snowman and The Snowdog based on characters by Raymond Briggs. Everyone knows the story of The Snowman and this is a sort of sequel. It is beautifully illustrated and the story is just so lovely. This also has a fantastic CD of the story being read by the wonderful voice of Benedict Cumberbatch! Good for both Mum and kids!

I’m always on the lookout for new books for the children so what are your favourite books? Do you read bedtime stories?

Mums' Days