Life With A 15 Week Old | Just Add Ginger

Just Add Ginger blog

I'd love to sit here and tell you that being a new mother is calm and blissful. That you get to know your baby's routine and everything just comes together in a seamless fashion where nobody ever gets stressed, frustrated or feels like tearing their hair out.... 

....but I'd be lying. Being a new mother is exhausting!

And not just physically. Emotionally too. Every day is different and just when you think you have one part of parenting nailed life throws you a curve ball and you are back at square one, out of breath, dishevelled and utterly clueless once again. 

I don't think anybody should be ashamed to talk about the more difficult sides of parenting. It's important to share the lows as well as the highs. It's natural. It's normal. It's healthy. Nobody should be embarrassed to talk about things that have gone wrong, or things they have cried about in the bath when they finally have a moment to themselves. If anybody was to come up to me and say that every second and every minutes and every hour of every day was easy, I think I'd start searching the sky for a flying pig. Parenting is tough. Parenting is really tough. 

There are still some days where I barely make it out of my dressing gown. I sometimes go for days without having a shower. Some days I just sit in and listen to the background noise of the TV all day whilst Eric plays and eats and sleeps and poos. Often, the washing ends up scattered around the floor in muddled piles because sometimes I'd just rather spend that quiet five minutes scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and eating chocolate. And yes, sometimes the thought of a cheeky beer at the end of the day does see me through This doesn't mean I'm a bad mother. It means I'm human.

Life with a fifteen week old is manic but it is utterly marvellous. Days are never boring and they zip by in the blink of an eye. There's never a dull moment and you are constantly kept on your toes. It is by far the most intense job you will ever have - the hours are long and the breaks are incredibly short. Shift patterns are varied and it's low pay but none of that really matters. Because when your baby looks at you, you are all they see. When they smile, it's because of you. You are their entire world and all they want is your love.

There is no instruction manual for becoming a parent. Nobody can teach you how to care for a child. And becoming a parent doesn't flip a switch and automatically change you overnight so that you just know how to do it all. Nobody is really an expert and nobody can really help. And why? Because every baby is different. How many of us smile through gritted teeth at the mother who tells us little Gertrude has slept through the night since 2 days old? How many of us have secretly wanted to scream at the parent who beams at you as they walk past you in the supermarket with little Benny sitting perfectly in the trolley whilst your baby has a meltdown in the middle of the cheese aisle? As much as we might sometimes want them too, babies work to their own milestone schedule and we just have to go with the flow as they learn for themselves.  

Life with a new baby is challenging and sometimes you feel that you are in it alone, but you aren't. You aren't at all. All around you parents are going through exactly the same things and that is why the lows should never be a taboo subject. We may not be able to help each other but we can listen, we can reassure, and we can be a shoulder to cry on. We might not "get it" or properly understand, but it's just important to be that crutch for one another on those difficult days.

When I decided to vlog one of our family days I deliberately didn't omit Eric having meltdowns (although I did mute them - listening to a screaming baby at double the speed is like listening to a hyperactive chipmunk)! To just leave in the good bits would be lying to you, and I'm not one for that. I may have a pretty chilled out baby, but my God he screams the house down when he wants to.

I guess through all of this my point is that the next time you're sitting with spit up down your top, hair un-brushed and feeling like shit, just remember that even though things aren't amazing in that moment, there will be some point in your day that reminds you that being a new parent may not be predictable, but there is always something that makes the tricky times worth it!


What's On Baby Ginger's Bookshelf? | Just Add Ginger

children's books - Just Add Ginger blog

Books - whether they be real or audio make up a big part of who I am. I love the art of storytelling and even did a degree learning how to do it for myself. The bedroom that is mine in my parents' house is fit to burst full of books, ranging from the easy-to-read to absolute classics. So there was no question that Baby Ginger was definitely going to have a well-curated collection. 

I try to read to him everyday and always reach for something different. His collection is only just starting and comprises mostly of children's books that were either mine or Ryan's when we were younger. Naturally there are some favourites I have that no matter how much I try, I find myself reaching for if one story proves just not quite enough. 

Through The Year With Timothy Bear | Brian Sears

A collection of short stories that are very child friendly, this book was actually written by my primary school headmaster. (Mr) Brian Sears was an excellent storyteller Timothy Bear stories featured a lot in our assemblies. Each only takes about five minutes to read, there is always a moral and afterwards there are some points to think about and activity ideas. Although he's too young at the moment, these will be great to go through with Eric when he's older. 

Very sadly Mr Sears passed away not so long ago, so it is very moving to have this book and let the legend of Timothy Bear live on. The first page is signed with a personalised note from Brian and every time I glance it there is an instant hit of poignancy.

Rapunzel (Ladybird Well Loved Tales) | Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm 

This book was in my Year 2 class library and I bloody loved it. Every time it was there I would ask to take it home to read. It also came with an accompanying audio cassette. For the simple fact that I am a sentimental bugger, when I was older, I tracked it down and bought it. Although Ladybird have since brought this out again, I wanted the one with the specific front cover I remember. And now it's permanent home is in Eric's toy box downstairs. He gets it read to him at least once a week so I'll be very surprised if he doesn't turn round to me one day and says "this one again?" 

A Bun For Barney | Joyce Dunbar

Undoubtedly this was my all-time favourite book as a child. I loved this story so much and read it so many times that to this day the cover is still a little stained with grubby finger marks. The repetition in this story is great for little ones to join in with, even if your little one is too young to read. It's also brilliant for counting. The rhyming and the pictures have stuck in my head all these years, and I just love reaching for this one at story time to relive those memories for myself. 

What are your favourite children's books? If there is a book you love reading to your little one/s, let me know in the comments!