Pathway to Parenting…

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It’s a completely new type of tired isn’t it? Some days are better than others, some days I feel positively sprightly. And then some days…oh boy. Some days you feel a fatigue that completely encompasses you; your arms and legs feel like they’ve had all the energy and any vitality drained from them. You can almost feel your entire body sending every nutrient and bit of energy you have straight to baby.

And who would want anything else for the good of their baby at this, the fastest growing stage.

But my God does it take it out of you! As I type, my bundle of joy clearly has the hiccups, and even each little jump inside my tummy feels like an exertion!

In other news, the pre baby bucket list is going well. The weather has given a helping hand of course, we had a lovely day out in Oxford walking round, re-visiting a few places that hold particular romantic significance. There’s been afternoon teas out and lunches at new found places. We’ve gone out for a lovely dinner date, enjoyed a sunny afternoon in Cirencester, visiting our favourite frozen yoghurt cafe (up there in my top two of foods that really hit the spot! The other top spot…? Pickled onions, don’t ask!) we’ve also enjoyed many evenings eating dinners in the garden – and really made the most of being able to take more time cooking and baking and enjoying board games afterwards. I know what you’re thinking… woah, slow down with your crazy lifestyle..! But if friends tips and internet tips are anything to go by, it’s the small things you’ll no longer have time for.

At a recent visit to a friends house; Mum was eating half bites in between feeding baby and trying to clear up toys before Dad got home and heated up leftovers for his dinner after doing baby’s bath and bed time whilst Mum had headed out for work. With child care being so expensive, they’d found that part time evening work was the only way of keeping afloat but this obviously has had an effect on time they shared as a couple.

And over a cup of tea (of which hers went cold whilst she tried to eat and feed baby and then was put into the microwave to hand over to Dad when he got in as he wouldn’t have time to put the kettle on..!) she explained that when they did have time together, it was as a family, not a couple and they didn’t begrudge their kids taking centre stage but had noticed that connecting with each other had become harder to do. I’ll point out at this stage that they also have a toddler who I was helping to keep occupied whilst everything else was going on, I didn’t just go round and smugly watch the chaos!

And this is a familiar story for a lot of families. Unlike my Grandparents time, it’s not common to have your whole family on the same street anymore, and although these days you’re more likely to have friends nearby, as my friend pointed out, you can’t ask your friends for the same support as family can provide. And with more and more people living further away from close family members, it’s hard to juggle family life in such a fast paced modern world.

We’re very lucky and have quite a lot of family locally and with both of our jobs, we’ll have quite a bit of time to parent together but it’s undeniable that moments like we’ve treasured in the past and especially recently will be fewer and further between.

So for our last few weeks as a couple, we are going to soak up as much time together as we can, before we get permanently cast in the roles of ‘Mum & Dad!’ Roles that we happily signed up for but roles we are undoubtedly unqualified for, that’s surely half the fun..!

Today however, I am absolutely wiped. So today, no big trips out or long walks or energetic activities. Today we tick off from the list a ‘duvet day’ (although with the weather still being so warm, it’s actually more of a loose sheet day…!) a marathon viewing session of the series New Girl, a favourite of ours, pyjamas as official day wear, followed by some more board games in the garden and a lazy, easy to do dinner. I may even throw in a nap, it’s the spontaneous spirit that keeps life so exciting after all. We will probably venture out at some point, we’ve heard the local Tesco has a Ben and Jerrys ice-cream offer on at the moment and that seems to line up quite nicely with our plans!

It’s a quiet life at the moment, it won’t stay quiet for long, it’s a tiring stage of pregnancy, a fatigue that certainly won’t get better in the months that follow. But there’s also a real feeling of content.

Don’t get me wrong, I see us all taking on the Great Wall of China as a family in the future, adventuring across the globe and getting up to all kinds of mischief!

But right now, we’re concentrating on enjoying being two people in love, on the cusp of becoming a family, preparing for what’s to follow, which although it may seem boring from the outside, feels on the inside, a lot like an awfully big adventure…

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