How do you get going again after pregnancy?
It's so hard, isn't it? I suppose I should be grateful that I'm in a relatively good position in that we're not having to pay high childcare costs (although we are paying my mum for looking after Kit as she's retired from work two days a week to do it for us) and I have some peace of mind, knowing that he's being looked after by family.
EF, know what you mean about mortgages - it's always a gamble when you have to renew. We've been generally quids in with our tracker and like you, we thought the base rate couldn't possibly keep on rising ... but it has, and although we're OK and are not likely to get into a position where we're not, it's SO frustrating when another £30 of your hard-earned disappears every month. Not to mention the council tax and all the bills going up all the time, plus our travel to work ... which of course is never offset by our pay increases! My organisation is particularly tight and rarely gives us a pay award much above inflation.
Did my 'long' run (8.5 miles) this afternoon andhonestly wondered how I ever ran further than this! My legs were SO tight and stiff during the last couple of miles. At one point my shoelace came undone and I had to stop to re-tie it - getting going again afterwards was a challenge! Can't understand why my legs are suffering like this - they never did before, even the first time I trained for a marathon, and it's not as though I'm doing much mileage each week. Perhaps that's the problem - I need to run more to keep everything loose. Still haven't decided what to do about FLM. I figure I'll maybe start working towards it now knowing I don't have to make a final decision until around Christmas.
Kit's cut a top tooth this weekend, and I can see all 4 of his top front teeth in his gums, so I think he's going to be sprouting over the next few weeks. Other than some runny nappies a couple of weeks ago, he hasn't had any problems at all. Hasn't been grizzly, or had flaming cheeks, or woken in the night. Think we've been pretty lucky so far ...
Yes we are also on a tracker mortgage. Nightmare and all the increases at the wrong time. Hopefully its reached a maximum now. I worked out that my child benefit now covers those 4-5 extra £30 rises! Poor Joshie only gets the second child allowance!
We have also been lucky with teething. Very little disturbs the boys sleep, which I guess is how I manage to do so much running. Keep going Minks, it takes a while to build up the endurance again. I remember my first longish run very well, was shattered and my knees really hurt.
we're just remortgaging at the moment (or would be if it weren't for the postal strike!) so we've been debating everything that you have all been discussing this weekend!
regards childcare, our parents all live too far away to be able to help out on a regular basis (although my mum and dad do visit a lot). the problem we have is that both of us are expected to work long hours - i have just finished an assignment in reading, which is 150 miles drive in each direction! - and my husband has around 200-odd staff, so is constantly in meetings / dealing with issues throughout the day and only gets time to do his job once they all go home, and is also expected to travel to europe a lot. nursery is fab, but they do expect (and rightly so!) that you pick the kid up no later than 6pm. i can never get back from work by then, so it's always down to tony (unless my parents are visiting) and he finds that very hard. tomorrow i'm in newport pagnell, which is going to be about 3.5 hours drive in each direction for me!
like many of you, we have no option for me not to work. even on 3 days a week, i still earn more than my husband does working 5 days a week. the only really sensible option was for him to go part-time but somehow that didn't seem right. and i'm really glad that i get two days a week on my own with jacob. he's a right mummy's boy now, which is driving my husband mad, because daddy just won't do!
jacob is going through a real light sleeping phase at the moment. everything seems to wake him up in the evening. on friday night, it was the cats fighting downstairs; one night it was the phone ringing. the problem is, he won't go back to sleep again. on friday night, it took 3 hours for him to go back to sleep. ARGH! consequently we are creeping around trying not to make any noise when he is in bed, which is wrong i know. he's never been like this before so i don't understand why it's started all of a sudden. he also wakes up in the morning as soon as anyone gets up for a wee. and when i go to work, i often get up at or before 5, so that can be a right pain for my husband, as jacob won't go back to sleep again. at the weekends, when no-one is up, he will often sleep in until 8am but as soon as he hears any noise, he's awake. and he yells and screams until you go into him - we've tried leaving him to settle by himself and he won't.
any mums got any suggestions about what we can do? short of putting ear plugs in his ears?!
Minks it sounds like you're surviving, I'm dreading going back to work. I'm supposed to be going back full time but don't think I can justify paying someone £700 a month to be with my baby... Going to look into part time working but think I will probably lose my management allowance. Need to speak to my union about how I will be affected but know that I am actually only entitled to my original job back. A friend has said thought they need to consider my case under flexible working law from the EU.
Has anyone looking for a new mortgage tried the Yorkshire Building Society? We've been with them for several years now and they always come up with a competitive package at the end of each product. We were really lucky that our last product came to an end in March so we remortgaged then. It was a £100 hike at the time but that was only after one or two rate increases.
DCM - which nursery do you use? Sounds like Jacob loves it and it may be one for us to consider!
Well we had a fab break, Center Parcs was great for a first holiday as we had all the facilities of home and didn't need to worry about being locked in a hotel room. Ted has managed to stay pretty much in routine and we had fantastic weather. Can imagine it would be extortionate for anyone who has older children, thankfully we were just walking and swimming really but the cost of the extras (and what the extras are!) is just shocking.
Had my youngest nephew's baptism yesterday so it was great to meet up with family and old friends. Mum was suitably stressed out by the whole situation but everything was fine. Ted was much admired in spite of it not being his day even by my sister's scary mother in law (yes, she managed to find a classic example too, as did Mum, what is it with my family?!!! Big sister and I have a pact that if we ever start to turn into either of our MILs then we have to sort each other out ).
Welcome home Janie... glad you had a good holiday. How is Teds reflux doing?
My clever girls rolled over today... now in training for 2012 olympics!! Poor M, she has been really trying and struggling for a week or so...E showed no interest but casually flipped herself when I put her on her tummy today! Had to give M a little nudge!
Wow Hetty thats early. My two have done well developmentally but not that fast! Am pleased that them being small and prem hasn't held them up at all. In fact they seem to be doing better at some things than their bigger friends. Both close to walking at nearly a year, but I guess being small and light is a bonus for that. J has worked out the stairs and H Almost. So bathtime now involves me following them up the stairs, good way to wear them out and save my back!!
Grim day today, but got out for my run with friend and had massage ready for race on sunday. Boys at childminder today while I do stuff for hubbie's business and my diploma. I have also looked at part-time nannies as they cost around 7-8 quid an hour the same as I pay the childminder for the two of them. My other option as childminder can only give me the one day is a nursery which costs £5.50 per hour x2 plus food at £2 each per day. Is this expensive? Seems is to me. It is a lovely nursery, but I think they are relying on the rich Mums round here which doesn't include me!!! Have reserved a place for Jan for half day weds but we'll see!
janie tri - glad you enjoyed your hols. is carol's page 3-girl position still working for you and ted?
our nursery is osborne childrens nursery, off chepstow road. wrong side of town for you i think. there seem to be many more over your side of town than there are over here, and some seem really good so i don't think you will have trouble finding one. a new one has just opened up by junction 28 of the M4, which is where my husband's work is about to move to. we were going to have a look at it, but we decided not to in the end because jacob is so happy where he is and i thought i was bound to think the new place was lovely because it was all new and shiny, but i really don't think jacob could be happier or more stimulated anywhere else.
my little baby isn't a baby any longer! he's moved up into playroom 1 from the baby room one day a week. i think they just wanted his baby room place for another baby so have moved him up early, but he loves it. apparently he spent 45 minutes 'creating' a collage with bits of paper and glue. i find this hard to believe as the most creative thing he does at home is eat crayons. but it is incredible! they do come on in leaps and bounds when they are copying bigger children.
Childminders are generally £3-4 per hour which works out cheaper and their hours are more flexible too.
I agree with them coming home having done all kinds of things - we have James' first pictures (dots/marks) he will not do that for me!
JT I think often with teaching if you want to go part time they ask if you can find someone to share with - to make it really difficult. It is worth finding out though. I got exactly what I wanted. Even if you work out your full time and look for parttime elsewhere to keep your full maternity pay
our nursery is 26.50 a day (i think it's less if you are full-time) and that includes all food / drink but not nappies or wipes. i think that's pretty cheap though. it was the cheapest we looked at but that's not the reason we went there.
i was paying 30 quid a day at a childminders initially (3 quid an hour, and was taking j's food there as well because she wouldn't do dairy-free and i hadn't introduced cow's milk at that point) but i didn't get on with her. i don't know whether it's common with childminders or not but she wouldn't follow my routine. all the children irrespective of age were fed and slept all at the same time. so she had jacob having one sleep between 10am and noon and then another one between 5 and 6pm. that was no good for him because he then wouldn't go to bed for me in the evening. i wanted him to have a nap in the morning for half an hour and his main sleep after lunch, but she wouldn't accommodate that. she also wouldn't give him his milk feeds when i wanted him to have them and decided he didn't need his mid-afternoon milk at all!
so we moved him to a nursery where they do (or at least they say they do!) everything as i want it. yesterday he woke up very early for him (6am) and when i picked him up in the evening, he'd only had half an hour's sleep all day! apparently after 30 mins he was up and bouncing in his cot. i think he just doesn't want to miss out on the action there. at home, he will sleep for hours after lunch but i always wake him up after an hour and a half or so so that we can go and do stuff!
on a totally different topic, is anyone else doing waterbabies with their babies? we have been doing it for almost a year now and jacob absolutely adores it, as do i. he is now so desperate to be off swimming on his own. if i let him go, he sinks, comes up to the surface, thrashes around, sinks, comes up to the surface, thrashes around and then when i put my hand under his tummy to try to support him for a while so he can breathe he just wriggles away and wants to go again. it's incredible! it should only be a few more months before he can learn to go solo properly on his back.
DM waterbabies sounds great. James loves the water but we have not gone to anything formal yet. I will look into that though.
Sleepwise James sleeps in the car on the way home from the childminders. I worried this would put out his normal sleep but it hasn't. he sleeps very little when he is there, as you say, doesn't want to miss out on the action.
Have to say my childminder is great, but she won't do any food except for things like scrambled eggs. She does everything I ask. The boys don't sleep so well there, but thats fine really as they sleep well for me the next day. Only trouble is she can't give me anymore days. She is only 5 doors away which is great!
So i'm guessing that £5.50 an hour plus food is pretty pricey its around £44 per day 9-5, plus the £2 for food as well. Fab nursery though, guess we'll see. Others are miles away, literally a good 20 min car journey about 15 miles. Other closer ones about 5 miles away don't have a very good reputation.
My two are starting at a local swimming pool. One of the mums from the village toddler group runs her own swimming businesss for kids. They are going after christmas.
Wow DCM that's really cheap for round here! Sadly the Chepstow road is the wrong side for us especially as hubby and I both work in Cardiff. Best one I've find so far for us is Three Bears which works out at £160 a week full time and £34 a day part time. I did go to another in Newport but it was just awful!!! I've heard good things about Water Babies from other mums too, may have to check it out soon. That first child minder sounds like a nightmare!!! Oh and yes, Carols page 3 position is working along with the cherry buns
Hetty - that's really quick with the rolling to the side! Ted is spinning round on circles on his back but isn't really interested in rolling yet. He has a small playmat that he can move 360 degrees on which is quite amusing to watch. His reflux is much better thanks, still needs some work, but a definite improvement.
ploddingalong - I'll bear the find someone else in mind... We're in a funny situation at school this year as we're likely to be facing redundancies (again) for September, so radically part of me is considering taking voluntary redundancy if the package is right. The trouble is jobs are SO hard to come by here (57 applicants for a bog standard maternity cover for my job) and I would be expensive to reemploy. I'm at a stage where I could start to apply for DHT positions if I wanted to (not that I do) but don't know if voluntary redundancy would affect this. Going to have a chat with my old head (calls a spade a spade and very no nonsense) to see what she says.
Well recovering from a combo of a sickness bug and Ted's twelve week growth spurt. It's been pretty knackering to be frank. Hubby was fab and came home early yesterday to give me a break. Didn't think he'd manage it as it was his first day back to work. I'm fine today and Ted doesn't seem to have been affected by it, he's very busy attacking the animals on his play gym!
JT - yes, our nursery is cheap. the thing is, it's also really good! it's quite small (only 25 places in total) but they have a full-time teacher for the pre-schoolers, as well as programmes to help with speech for kids who are struggling. they do music sessions with them, messy play every day, and all the standard stuff like themes /dressing up / festivals and stuff. even for the babies, there is structured play around themes. some of the places i looked at were truly dire in comparison. i don't really understand why it's so cheap, because the quality and consistency of care is excellent. all the staff know everything that jacob has been doing that day (even the ones not in his room), how much he's eaten, how long he's slept (and i get a report every day detailing what he's done, how many poos, what consistency (!) etc). they are pretty strict there - all the staff are known as 'miss *surname*' etc, and they all wear uniform. but jacob seems to love it - and i haven't found too much to complain about.
if you are thinking of waterbabies, see if you can get into the class at Maes Ebbw (special needs) school. It's a hydrotherapy pool - REALLY warm, and lovely and small. And not too far for you to go. I go to Chepstow on a Sunday now, but there are fewer classes for the advanced class and beyond, so we don't have as much choice.
I also take Jacob to Joe Jingles in Rhiwderin on a Friday morning (music session - or just an excuse for him to hit me in the shin with a triangle! Ouch!) He loves it. You can take them from about 6 months or so, so a while yet before Ted could go, if you are into that sort of thing!
Sadly nothing is cheap around here. Too many rich mummies!!! The rest of us have to pay or stay at home!
My two go to music groups and they love it. We also go to soft play and the toddler group in the village is great. We also go to a rhyme time in the library every friday, which is only 20 mins but its free and the boys love it. We keep ourselves very busy!!
MM - i should imagine the only way to cope with two nearly toddlers is to get out lots! we are out all the time now - it's the only way to control jacob because he gets bored and rampages around hitting the telly and swinging on the fireguard if we spend too long at home (even though he has 70 million toys and books!). soft play is great, but i find that jacob gets a bit bored in the toddler areas now and is still too little to manage the bigger kids areas. i end up trying to drag him round the bigger bits and killing my back in the process from stooping and lifting him at awkward angles! need to be fitter / stronger, i guess!
Jacob LOVES going to the library. i don't really know why because the library we go to in newport is pretty dire, but he loves it anyway. i think he just loves pulling all the books off the shelves and running around.
JT - when Ted gets a bit bigger, there is cheap soft play in the Tennis Centre at Spytty Park (or should I say 'Newport International Sports Village'?!) on a Monday and Wednesday morning (10-12). It's only £1.85 for up to two hours' play. It's not as good as Eeezeeplay (or however you spell it) or Jump (which you pay a fortune to get into!), but as soon as he can crawl / walk, it's a good way to pass an hour or so and to talk to other mums. It doesn't have a ball pool but it is a big area for them to run around in, and has a bouncy castle and soft crash mats / climbing things/ tunnels etc.
I would love to go to waterbabies but at £24 a session for the both of them I just cant justify it... also i would need someone to go with me. My friend did it with her twins and has got an ace photo of them swimming underwater together!
I have contacted the local college to see if I can get a childcare student (they do 1 or 2 days a week with you) thinking that it will enable me to go swimming, music groups etc that are difficult to do with 2 babies alone, and maybe get some sleeping/housework/decorating/running etc done. They cant be alone with the babies but I figure they could walk laps of the park while I run!
I would also love to do signing classes with them, I use makaton signing at work and it makes sense to sign to babies to help thier communication. Anyone got any experiance of using it with babies?
Hetty, I use Makaton at work too and wanted to use it with James. However all I seemed to use was good boy and occasionally the odd sign here and there. My sister gave me the baby sign video course but I have not had time to look at it and I think it might have videos and we have no video player anymore.
My sister used some signs with her 4 kids. I guess it helps with the particularly important words - more, milk, drink, food, sleep, toilet early on.
I started Sing and Sign last week. I enjoyed it. the signs are taken frm BSL and Makaton then sometimes adjested to make them baby friendly. I never found a music group that I really liked so this is what I thought would work for me as I love the signing. None of the babies sign in the lessons at all, it would purely be with practise at home. As the teacher said they learn to sign early on with waving goodbye - we encourage that and say bye bye with it.
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