So, I’ve been desperately wanting to write this blog for a while – however my baby got in the way of my business! Yikes – that sounds harsh doesn’t it? But if you read my last blog I Won’t Stop Working For My Children, you’ll already understand where I’m coming from.
Finn is just over 3 weeks old and is a lovely baby (compared with how his brother was anyway!) But man he feeds A LOT. Always when I’ve just made a cuppa or switched my laptop on, or so it feels. It’s really easy in a sleep-deprived haze to believe that he does it on purpose, or that he never does it to his dad! Even though I know that’s not true, it definitely feels like it.
Business with a baby is hard.
I had a lovely naïve vision that I could take a few months off from Mind Matters, my face to face therapy business, and that I’d be able to focus solely on you lovely High Heeled ladies and that Finn would just slot in easily. I mean he’s only little right?
Unfortunately, it’s not true.
Babies don’t understand “just a minute”.
If Charley (he’s 2 and a half) needs me and I’m working, I can easily explain that I’m working and I’ll play Thomas in half an hour.
“Yes I’ll wear the hand puppet and pretend to eat you when I’ve finished my list darling.”
“Yes, I’ll watch Toy Story 3 with you and find the bit with the flying pig on for the 400th time today, in 10 minutes sweetheart.”
“Yes, you can have crackers with butter on half and cream cheese on the other half, with cucumber without the skin on and a mini malt loaf with ketchup to dip it in in a minute baby (WTF? Fine whatever!) Yes, you can have your dinosaur plate. Yes, the stegosaurus one, not the diplodocus. (Fuck, it’s in the dishwasher. OK, I’ll get it out and scrape off yesterday’s hummus.) Yes and you can have your Buzz Lightyear cup (that doesn’t have a lid which means you’ll spill it everywhere.) Yes, you can have water, not juice (who would choose just water?) Yes, in a minute monster man.”
See how productive I can be with a toddler! But even that is SO much easier than with a baby (and Charley goes to nursery 3 days a week). Once Finn decides he wants feeding it is game over. Everything else has to stop. Though I’d like to brag that I’m getting great at wandering around with him attached to me. The IKEA delivery man got more than he bargained for when he knocked last week!
Babies can’t entertain themselves – and they’re impossible to entertain.
When Finn is awake (which is obviously getting more frequent) he’ll sit in his vibrating monkey chair perfectly happily for all of 4 minutes. Then he starts squeaking, which progresses to squarking which I think is a baby version of yelling at me. This is the absolute last point of intervention. If I don’t take action at this point he’ll move upwards to blood curdling, I’m being tortured, kind of screams. So I pick him up. But then what? I can chatter for a couple of minutes, or maybe sing if I feel I have to. I can try the play gym and entertain him with his reflection in the mirror for 30 seconds. But then what? It’s not like he wants to snuggle up and watch Sherlock with me (sadly).
Obviously I’ve Googled it. (I started typing in “how to entertain a b” and the first result was “how to entertain a bearded dragon” which was infinitely more interesting than a baby!) WikiHow told me that if I remember my baby’s sensory system is still developing then I’ll be able to provide hours of entertainment using ordinary household items! I’m not even going to list the ideas – go and Google it – but needless to say it was such a heap of bollocks! Maybe they meant they’d entertain him for hours over the course of a year in 1 minute bursts, because wiggling my baby’s limbs is definitely not going to kill hours of our day.
Babies can sleep through a 2 year old yelling, but wake when you get a Facebook notification.
I’ve stopped trying to shush Charley. I think Finn must have heard him so much in utero that he just tunes him out! But any noises that pertain to me having a life are a different story! As I write this I’m bursting for a wee. But I just daren’t go! Finn is sleeping in the Moses basket and I’d genuinely rather wet myself/get a urine infection than risk waking him. I’m even trying to type quietly. But true to form he’s just starting to grunt and stir – and that’s why this blog will be in 2 parts (at least!)
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Part two to follow soon (hopefully!)