Becoming a mum young: what’s it really like?

Hey guys, I got such a good response to my post Getting married young: what’s it really like? so I thought I’d do another post similar to that. This post is going to be all about what its like being a young mum!

So, I’m 24 now and was 22 when the girls were born. Whilst I got married young, it was never my plan to have children young. In fact, growing up I never particularly wanted children at all! When Josh and I got together I started to imagine what it’d be like having a person that was half him and half me and I came round to the idea, but we thought we would be having them later in life, maybe our 30s because there was so much we wanted to do before we got tied down!

ANYWAY, flash forward five and a half months after our wedding, I found out I was 2 weeks pregnant! It took me a long time to come round to the idea but by the time my girlies were here I couldn’t have been more thrilled. That being said, being a young mum has come with its challenges that I have discovered over the past couple of years!

First of all, I feel, rightly or wrongly that people don’t take me seriously. Especially when I was pregnant, I felt as though midwives etc. didn’t really ‘get’ my situation and didn’t think I was doing it right. I think this was pretty much all in my head but it was just a feeling I got. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was doing! I actually still don’t most of the time! But I always feel like people are watching my every move, checking if I get it right for being ‘such a young mum’!

None of my friends have children! Of course I’ve made friends with other mums but in terms of people close to me from school etc., nobody has babies! That being said, my best friend Holly has a daughter who is seven months younger than the girls so its amazing to have a close friend to talk to about stuff! But the rest of my friends seem to be at a very different stage of life to me and it can be pretty easy for me to envy them when I see them bossing their careers or off travelling the world! However, I am lucky because my girls have lots of ‘aunties’ to shower them with lots of love and affection!

On that score, I always really worried that other mums would be a lot older than me and would look down on me. I kind of thought nobody would want to be friends with me because I am younger, but I have not found this to be the case at all! I actually have realised that despite the fact I am younger than some people I meet, it doesn’t matter at all. We have so much in common because we have very similar lives and its great to have people to talk to about it. And to be honest what is a few years once you’re an adult? So if you’re a young mum-to-be reading this, that’s something you don’t have to worry about! Even throughout school I had many friends who were a few years older than me and it didn’t really matter then and it certainly doesn’t now! I think with time your confidence in yourself and your “adultness” just grows – these days I’m more comfortable talking to a 50 year old than a teenager!

One thing I must admit I struggle with is finances. Since I had just graduated uni when I became a Mum, I’ve never had a full time job. When Josh and I got married the plan was that he’d work and support us both and we’d live very cheaply for the first year, then when I got a job we’d feel like we were rolling in it and have plenty to spend and also save for travelling, buying a house etc. Sadly, this wasn’t to be… we are still living on one income 3 years in to marriage and I’ll admit at times it’s really tough. There is not much extra left over and saving is just out of the question. Thankfully, because we are currently living in a teeny house owned by my parents (I mean tiny, we share a room with the girls and have to take them to my parents to have a bath) we are able to save a bit. But we still only have one car and can’t always afford to do everything we want to. I find it hard when I see my friends quite a lot further along than us however I also have to remind myself that they are that bit older and all these things take time. I also realise that once the girls are old enough then I will certainly be working and then we will hopefully be able to afford a mortgage and holidays etc.!

On a more positive note, selfishness is completely gone. I think being a young person in your 20s makes you selfish, not purposefully but the thing is, realistically the most important person in your world is yourself! It isn’t a bad thing, but when you have children your selfishness just gets completely zapped. You become selfless, but not because you want to be! It just seems that these little people have to come first no matter what and you just fade in to the background! However, I have become more selfish in other ways such as with my free time and not wanting to share my husband so it’s swings and roundabouts really!

Ambitions and dreams don’t die, they get stronger! For the first few months it was hard to think about life beyond babies, but these days my ambitions are finding the way back to the surface of my brain again. I want to be a good role model to my children, I still want to have a good career and I want to be successful! It doesn’t matter what form that takes but I’m just glad it hasn’t gone away! And I definitely still want to travel the world… it’s just the small matter of HOW. But I’m confident we will do it!

Priorities change. This has been a huge learning curve for me. Whilst many people my age prioritise amazing holidays, nights out, new clothes and nice meals… I prioritise nappies, sippy cups and shoes that will be outgrown in a few weeks. My own health is less of a priority than my children’s, my happiness is less important than theirs. It sounds harsh but at the end of the day they won’t rely and depend on me forever and for now I can give up the new pair of trainers in favour of a new toy box and hope that my kids grow up to have amazing jobs which pay for the plastic surgery to remove the years worth of dark circles I will have (just kidding… sort of!).

In the end, I believe there is no “right age” to have children. 17, 25 or 45 – you can make it work. You can give your child the best life and still have a pretty amazing one yourself, all it takes is a little perspective, confidence in yourself and your abilities and lots and lots of coffee.

The twins turn 1!

Hey everyone!

I am really trying to get back in to the flow of blogging more regularly but life just seems so busy at the moment with moving house, visitors, weddings and everything else! It was the twins’ first birthday a couple of weeks a go so I wanted to share what we got up to on the day!

I can’t believe that the girls are now one year old, you can see the letters I wrote to Dotty and Margot for their first birthday by clicking the link on their names! The day wasn’t really what I had planned, originally I’d wanted to plan a lovely party with a teddy bear picnic theme out in the garden. I was going to invite a few new people that we have met whilst living here and Josh’s family were coming to visit. However, due to the building work we were unable to have guests come and stay as there was no spare rooms and we didn’t move in to our cottage until the night before. Also, because we couldn’t rely on the weather being nice and there was no bad weather alternative a party was out of the question! Needless to say I’m excited to plan their second birthday party now!

The day started with our usual routine, we bought them a number 1 helium balloon from Asda and I customised their vest with a floral “1” which I bought from Etsy shop craisymissdaisy and ironed them on. I really love how they turned out!

Our celebrations began with breakfast at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery cafe. Its in Lostwithiel which is very local to us and is an absolutely lovely place. I’ve had afternoon tea there before which was lovely and the breakfast was great too. The girls had their first ever cooked breakfast which they really enjoyed!

Once we got home the girls opened their cards and presents. My sister, who had come up from London, bought them a slide which they loved! They got lots of other bits and pieces including a ball pit, clothes, vouchers and a seesaw but Josh and I personally didn’t really get them anything. We asked their close family (Grandparents, aunties and great grandparents) to write them a hand written letter as a keepsake. I just don’t really feel the need to spoil them and get them lots of presents for their birthday as I believe its important to teach them that presents aren’t the most important thing. They get everything they could possibly want or need throughout the year as and when they need it and I want their birthdays to be about making memories more than anything else! That said, I’m extremely grateful for the presents they did get!

We decided to do a cake smash for the girls. We baked individual sponges in a number 1 tin and then I iced them with pink icing, sprinkles and glitter! At first, the girls were quite overwhelmed and even cried a few times because everyone was looking at them and laughing! They both had different tactics when eating the cake, Dotty just went for it and Margot was going slow and steady, trying to eat as much as she could without us noticing! Of course we didn’t let them eat the whole cake – it was way too much sugar! If you know me you know I am quite keen to keep the girls as sugar and salt free as possible but for their first birthday I made an exception!

20170811_170849

Their main cake that everyone got to eat was made by yours truly. I absolutely love baking and I had a particular idea in mind of what I wanted their cake to look like. Naked cakes are actually pretty easy to make look good because you just shove a load of fruit and flowers on it and it makes it look fab! Their cake topper was from the Etsy store RachelEmmaStudio which I have kept for next year too!

I did a teddy bear themed afternoon tea but it wasn’t as much as I would have want. We cut out some teddy bear sandwiches for the girls and of course the classic pombears! Next up it was time to put the girls to bed with their new cushions from the Duchy!

Finally, the next day I took some pictures with the girls final age milestone card! We got these cards from mushymoments on amazon and absolutely love them!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the girls’ first birthday.

Kate-Sig-1

The twins’ first flight! 

I wanted to write a blog for a little documentation of how the twins got on on their first flight experience! 

We flew from Manchester airport to Exeter, where my dad picked us up and took us onward to Cornwall! 

Manchester airport was not the greatest of experiences for us. We had difficulty getting through security with both girls and only two pairs of hands. The staff were not very helpful or accommodating and made mistakes with our baggage meaning they had to be unpacked and of course it was hard to repack them whilst holding the babies.  

Once we were through security it was very busy. We expected this as it was close to Christmas however I did think that perhaps seats should be reserved for families with infants. There was nowhere for me to breastfeed that was appropriate so I ended up having to sit in Costa and do it whilst many people could see me! 

We then boarded the plane. We flew with Flybe and it was a good experience. We were all sat together which at the time we were very grateful for. The girls were fantastic. They both fed and then were smiling and laughing the entire time. We have since found out that two babies and two adults should not be sat together as there wouldn’t be enough oxygen masks! We were very disappointed with Flybe for sitting us all together and putting our safety at risk.  

On the way back we flew from Cornwall airport. Originally we wanted to fly there too but it was much more expensive. 

Cornwall airport was an absolutely fantastic experience. It’s very small and we were the only people going through security ! This meant we had 6 members of staff helping us. The girls weren’t quite as happy on the way back as it was closer to bed time but in all we had a great experience flying and would be more than happy to do it again! 

Two very happy girlies!

Being mum: 2-4 months 

A lot of people told me that things will get easier at around 4 months so here’s hoping that’s true! Although there’s also the threat of the dreaded 4 month sleep regression hanging over my head! 

Since my last update and 2 months old things have improved dramatically. The girls have got in to a loose routine and go to bed at the same time each night. This is really nice as it’s given Josh and me sometime to just be us! The girls also feed less frequently and I’d say they have around 8-10 feeds a day now, rather than the 15-16 previously! They only wake once or twice for a feed in the night meaning their feeds are more concentrated through the day, though. We still tend to feed every 1.5 -2 hours. They are also so much more aware of the world now…watching TV, enjoying looking around from their push chair and engaging with toys. They laugh and have certain things which they enjoy personal to them. For me, this stage has been challenging as the days have got much shorter and it gets dark earlier which means I struggle to get out for walks… especially since the weather has got so bad and it rains a lot! My aim for the new year is to get out to more groups etc with the girls because it’s hard being home all the time. I guess I find it a challenge especially because it’s hard to keep both girls occupied when we’re out and about. I would definitely say that I feel more settled being their mum now than before and more confident in my abilities! 

 HAPPY 3 MONTH BIRTHDAY 🎈my precious little Dotty Lou! At 3 months you are such a smiley baby. Your hair has almost all fallen out, your eyelashes have got really long, you still love your dummy and have sharp little finger nails! You’re smaller than your sister and weigh 12lb 5oz but you’re growing well and have a perfect growth rate. You love face to face time and are happy to interact with anyone. You still struggle with tummy time and your head always falls to one side! You coo and gurgle much more than M but physically you’re not quite as strong. You have beautiful eyes and a smile that could melt anyone’s heart. I have a feeling you’re going to be incredibly kind and understanding when you grow up. You’re chilled out and are happy to just look at people… you love your Daddy so much and search for him in every room. You also get fixated on random spots in the room and start giggling. You still don’t particularly like baths and you scream so hard it makes us feel awful just for cleaning you!  You get rosy cheeks when you’re hot just like daddy and furrow your brow constantly. You love sleeping in mummy and daddy’s bed and enjoy waking up at random times in the night and deciding it’s playtime. You enjoy trying to hold your own bottle which makes us think you might be quite independent. You have a perfect latch but you fall asleep on the boob and then you get hungry quickly! You’ve realised you have a sister and love talking and giggling at her… even when all you get in return is a smack round the face! 😂 congrats baby you’re a quarter of a year old and we love you soooooooo much! 

 Little Margot you are a quarter of a year old! You look completely bald but you actually have a lot of blond fluffy hair growing on top! You are a chunky monkey at 13lb 8oz! You are different from your sister in a lot of ways … you certainly aren’t chilled out. You need attention constantly and always want to be held. More than that you have to be bounced around and played with… sitting quietly is not an option! You are such a gorgeous and smiley little bubba and you have a little laugh scream you give us when we’re lucky! You still love feeding and seem to be doing it constantly. Lately you seem quite clingy on mummy and have a funny little bottom lip when you get upset!  You suffer with a bumpy little heat rash and you’ve got a big double chin! You fall asleep pretty easily at night and have adapted to your sleep routine well. White noise is like magic with you… calms you down instantly. The last few days you’ve only woken up once through the night and we’re praying it continues! You are so strong and can do baby push ups  for ages… you bring us so much joy and we cannot imagine life without the joy you bring us! We love you tonnes bubba! 

 4 months old already! Dotty is getting more lovely every day. She has recently found her hands and cannot stop staring at them! She was the first to do a proper laugh and although she’s still much smaller than M she is feeling a lot more solid and less delicate these days. Her head control has got so much better and she is getting better at tummy time. She loves watching cartoons on the TV particularly Curious George and King Julien and grabbing everything that comes her way! Her hairs growing back and she loves sticking her tongue out. She’s very chatty and enjoys being sang to. She’s sleeping better at night and only wakes once or twice however getting her to bed is tough because she likes staying up and watching TV with mummy and daddy! She’s wearing 3-6 months clothing now and size 3 nappies! She’s very dribbly and very cuddly when she’s sleepy. However she’s independent and would quite often prefer to just sit in her chair and look at you… but don’t go out the room or she’ll cry! We love you Dorothy! ❤

 Happy 4 months Margot! Margot has come on so much in the past month and is now laughing and jabbering away like crazy. She still has a huge appetite and is noticeably much bigger than her sister. She is quite routined with her sleep and is very good at settling herself as long as she has a full tummy. She’s getting better at spending time independently and enjoys playing on her play mat. When she wakes from a nap or in the morning she’s in a fabulous mood and is very happy to see you! She is very easily startled and can jump at the slightest thing… (including D crying!!!!) After that she’s very hard to settle. She cries tears now which breaks our hearts and leaves her with salt all over her face! She loves to be thrown about and rough play and likes mummy and daddy to get a good work out! Anything that goes near her mouth goes in it … including Dorothy’s head, dummy or hands! We love you so much Margot!

Mum guilt is real

Whilst I was pregnant I was reading a few blogs by mums and heard about this concept called “mum guilt”. It essentially meant when you’re a mum and you feel guilty because you don’t feel like your child is getting the best. It can be if you buy something for yourself and you feel guilty for not spending the money on your child or simply when your child falls over and you feel guilty.

I never thought I’d suffer with this being that I’m not a particularly maternal person. I didn’t think having babies would affect me so strongly. However I can tell you now that mum guilt is definitely real and hitting me quite hard!

Right now I don’t feel guilty about spending a bit of money on myself as I know the girls have more than everything they need. I don’t feel guilty for taking an hour away from them if I know they’re well looked after.

The guilt I feel should be renamed twin guilt. I feel guilty that I have to split myself down the middle and yet someone always ends up getting less. As I write this I’m feeding Margot and I can hear Dotty getting grizzly. She’s just filled her nappy and is probably a bit uncomfy. There’s nothing I can do right now because I’m giving Margot what she needs! It’s worse when I’m home alone and seeing to one of the girls and the other starts screaming the house down and I can’t do a thing about it. As I imagine happens with all twins… one of my girls is much easier though I won’t name names on the Internet! But because of that I often feel the other will get so much more of my attention and precious bonding time. Then again I sometimes think I favour the easier twin simply because she is easier.

Either way I seem to be stuck in an endless cycle of feeling guilty. It’s probably something I’m going to be experiencing for the rest of my life. I’m sure things will change as they grow up buy I suspect the guilt will never go away!