From Top Mum to basketcase – I walk a fine line…

What a week its been… Its incredible just how emotional parenting can be. How challenging, yet rewarding in the same breath… So I live in Tasmania. I’m used to the whole ‘four seasons in one day’ phenomenon, I should have realised it just as easily applies to parenthood!

Take Wednesday for example. Miss E had spent her second night ever in her big girl bed. She’d gone down without any hassles, we didn’t hear a peep from her until eventually I heard her door rattle at around 8am. I was so proud of her. Two nights in a row of great sleep when really, she could have just jumped out of bed and played or destroyed her bedroom. So I was stoked.

Master O had gone down to sleep at 8pm and slept until 1:45am, fed and went back to sleep. He didn’t wake up until around 10am. We’d been having real issues trying to get him down at around the 7pm mark so I was feeling pretty happy with myself (and him of course).

I’m in the midst of attempting to toilet train Miss E. She’s two and a half and when I was in the last eight weeks or so of my pregnancy with Master O she was showing great interest in using the toilet. I attempted to harness that interest, but in the end I could barely fit in the toilet (its a seperate toilet to the bathroom and its narrow with little clearance between the toilet and door) and the toilet is quite high so even with a step stool Miss E couldn’t get on the toilet without help. So in the end I gave up on the process, sick of bending and lifting and squashing myself into the toilet with her, whilst feeling as big as a whale. Once Master O came along we tried again, but found she was wanting to use the toilet whenever I was feeding Master O (no surprises there) and it was all too hard. So, although I had wanted to avoid the potty altogether I decided to go with it.

Within an hour of getting the potty home she had weed in it. Brilliant! But we have been out and about lately, in nappies lots and not really giving her the opportunity to toilet train. so this week, I decided since I was sick anyway with a respiratory infection, that we would stay at home and concentrate on Miss E’s toilet/potty training and O’s sleep routines (also a big issue for us).

So back to Wednesday… as soon as she was up and out of her nappy, Miss E went immediately to the potty and did a wee – yay! We had two more during the day as well, so I was very proud of her, especially as she was recognising that she needed to do one and going to the potty straight away. At this point though we are still underwear-less as I find as soon as she gets pants on there is a false sense of security and she wees or she sits on the potty without taking them down… I figure get the potty thing working well, then introduce another element.

So sleep success, potty success. A pretty good day so far. Then, even better – Master O rolls for the first time ever! Cue big round of applause and fuss over the baby. Well, truthfully, I should say that I’m pretty sure he rolled… I had my back to him and Miss E was sitting next to him. It is possible that she turned him over, but I doubt it, as I’ve tried to ‘show’ him how to roll but trying to roll him myself and he’s not very compliant. So I say lets chalk it down to his first major milestone…

I was feeling like Top Mum! Sleep, potty, roll, not even the hint of a tantrum from Miss E. It came to afternoon nap time and I was thinking this is where it will all fall apart, she hadn’t had a day nap in her bed as yet, she doesn’t nap every day and it normally takes a fair bit of convincing for her to go down for a nap these days – even if she is really tired – but she went in, had a bit of a whinge and settled into bed. She did come out a few minutes later dragging my big old teddy bear (that is as old as me and has now been adopted by her) behind her. I picked her up put her into bed and read a story (Alexander’s Outing – it’s on constant repeat at the moment), and she fell asleep.

In the meantime I had Master O lying in his basinette still awake but sleepy. I normally have to hold him to get him to sleep (if not feed him), I’ve been unable to get him to self settle to sleep in his basinette – on the couch or laying on our bed, not a problem – so I go to check on him – asleep! Bliss! I fairly danced down the hallway!

With two children napping at the same time I managed to get heaps done – prepare and cook dinner, cleaning up after the kids, folding washing etc. Didn’t get a moment to relax though of course. It was the typical story. Make myself a cup of tea, sink into the chair, take a deep breath and, Miss E wakes up from her nap – sigh, its a Mum’s lot I guess.

But either way, a fantastic day and I was feeling on top of the world. I guess to a lot of people it probably seems like small things, but with a young baby and a toddler who is mastering the art of tantrums it was a day I could chalk up as almost perfect!

Fast forward to Friday… DH had left very early in the morning to fly to Melbourne for work. Miss E had finally realised that she can get out of bed early and I hear her come out of her room and poke her head into our bedroom…  I’m still sick, and both kids are getting it too. Miss E refused to use the potty and wanted a nappy on instead.

After making breakfast – googy eggs with toast soliders (yum) I went to put the toaster away, it literally fell through my hands and I instictively grabbed the cord, but at the plug end so it still hit the ground and ripped half the cord from the toaster. I swept up all the crumbs and then dropped the dustpan before I made it to the bin, so had to sweep up again. Then I picked up a mug from the side table in the loungeroom and the coaster stuck briefly to the mug before falling on the tiles in front of the fire. Shattered. Sigh.

Master O refused to breast feed all day – maybe 5 minutes at most. I’ve been doing formula top ups due to his weight issues so I just gave in and made him bottles all day after attempting to BF first. I wanted to express but it was just too difficult with two unsettled kids, it just didn’t happen, so add that to my supply issues (which started the last time I was sick) I was really beginning to question whether to continue with breast feeding or not. This got me really upset, as with Miss E I had real problems with her attaching (she had tongue tie) and feeding was never a joy. Every feed (until she eventually self-weaned at around 16.5 months) was painful. I got used to it, but never enjoyed it. With Master O its been so easy as far as attachment goes, but he has been such a fussy feeder, constantly pulls on and off. So frustrating after working so hard at it last time, with a baby who wanted the milk but just couldn’t quite get it right. This time I have a baby with no attachment problems but is just so fussy when feeding…

I made lunch for Miss E, she only ate a few bits and pieces. I didn’t get to eat mine until 4pm – again bad for milk supply!

Master O refused naps too and when he did eventually go down, he catnapped. Miss E refused to nap as well, within two days she’d mastered the art of getting out of bed and playing, or pulling all the tissues out of the tissue box in her room and ripping them up to make a bed for her toys. So she didn’t nap, just kept getting out of bed. By the time it got to tea time, I had two feral children and arsenic hour was about 4 hours long. Miss E managed to make her cup of milk explode everywhere and refused to eat all but two mouthfuls of dinner. After I got a couple more into her, I gave in and gave her some yoghurt just so she would eat. DH wasn’t due back until after 9pm, Dad was going out for the evening and I was exhausted and distraught myself. Thank goodness to some of my lovely fellow Mammas who gave me lovely words of support and made me feel much better ♥

After Miss E getting out of bed around 15 times, she eventually went to sleep after I got Master O down to sleep finally at 9PM. I cried with relief when they were both down. Ran myself a bath, and soaked whilst eating some chocolate and the latest Donna Hay kids magazine. Very delayed bliss. Very nearly cried again when DH came home – especially when I saw he had brought back Krispy Kremes! Only bad thing was he was now sick too!

So its been a week of highs and lows to say the least. On one hand it made me think, if we can have so many achievements in just one day where we have stayed home, am I doing my children a disservice by going out so much – play dates with friends, mothers group, dance class for Miss E etc. Should I just be spending more time at home? But then Friday – our stuck inside day with nothing going right, made me think, that yes, social interaction is required for all of us otherwise we go stir crazy! I guess it’s a matter of finding the happy medium. One day we might work it out…

I’d love to know how often other people get out and about with their kids? Feel free to comment and let me know!



  1. dannijh says:

    Well I can definitely feel for you! Miss N, (at 4 going on 27) is the queen of talk-back and tantrums and time delay…however I’ve only just added child no 2 to my lot so I can’t really say I’m in the same boat just yet!!! Give me a few weeks until Miss Z gets over the sleeping-all-day-new-baby thing and I will let you know!!

  2. I think you’re amazing! It will all come together, and some days it’s just getting through the next hour (half hour, ten minutes). We are always here if you need us to listen and we will visit you soon! xoxo

  3. Mel, I really wished we lived closer!! I can feel all those high’s and low’s in one day too. I clearly remember one day with Mr.L on time out! He refused to say sorry after his 2 minute time out, so he had to have another 2 mins, this went on for 20 mins – talk about stubborn!! I was getting so frustrated with him, I went up to him after 20 mins and asked him AGAIN if he was ready to say sorry? He grabbed both my cheeks and squeezed them as hard as he could – I was ready to explode!! I grabbed a roll behind me and threw it (I was so angry), I then thought I really need to get away from him because although I love you with every bone in my body, I really need a deep breath of fresh air!! I stepped outside, walked to the letter box and back again, came inside went over to him and asked again if he was ready to say, Sorry? He gave me a big cuddle, said “Sorry” and proceeded to say, “Mummy you really shouldn’t throw rolls”!!!!!

    Also a warning with the new bed arrangement, I remember Mr.L finding the sudocream on one of his day sleeps and massaging it into his CD player and doona cover!
    As you know he is now 7 and all these things are memories I have a giggle about now. I’m now dealing with attitude and talking back – that’s fun!!!
    I can now see Mr.F is starting all those great 2 year old traits and the Fun begins again!!
    I do stay to Drew that it doesn’t matter how bad the day has gone; when I read them their bedtime story at night, I feel like we step into the book and the world rights itself!
    I can also say, I’ve been a stay at home Mum for the last 7 years and I wouldn’t change a thing – it is the most loving and rewarding job!! I love those munchkins more than anything and seeing all there milestones and being told And shown how much I’m loved everyday, nothing beats it!!

  4. Oh you ladies are all lovely! Its so nice to know that you aren’t the only one going through it all…
    Lisele – I think the stubborness is a family trait! It would be so lovely to have you close by so I hope that it all falls into place and we can have you down here soon…
    And don’t get me started on time out… it works pretty well for E, though I must say at times she actually goes and sits in the corner herself and it alwaqys has me wondering what she has done – I never find anything…
    I’ve been caught on the sudocreme already… except she was dipping her fingers in and eating it… urggh…
    All creams have pretty much been removed, but I do have to go through and check that there is nothing else of interest there. She got into a thing of baby massage oil one day… that was a doozie!
    Today she did a wee in the potty and wanted to pour it into the toilet herself, I knew there was no point in trying to take the potty off her (I pick my battles), it would only end up in a tug-of-war, but she got over excited and tipped it right in front of the toilet…
    Then she proceeded to bend over and look at it close up, and her hair flipped into it – gross… so I’ve told her to stand back while I clean it up and she stands there behind me and pats me on the back as if to say – there there, good job Mummy!

    ahhh… kids

    Oh and if there are any suggestions on getting her to stay in her bed for naptime please let me know. At the moment she is very excited that she can get in and out of bed when she wants, and can play. I put her back into bed 22 times today during her arvo naptime ( i took a tally out of interest). She didn’t sleep at all.
    I go in and put her down without comment and no eye contact either. I also took out toys that she was playing with. Any other suggestions?

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