I can’t believe that tomorrow marks 12 weeks since Eleanor was born. I’m definitely in that odd place where it feels like she’s been here forever but also that it seems like the day she was born was only yesterday. I can’t believe I have a 12 week old baby, I don’t even know if that counts as a ‘newborn’ anymore. But as for an update, I’m not really going to ‘structure’ this, just have a bit of a ramble. However, if there are any details you want to know about in particular please just drop me a comment or message me and I will of course do my best to cover it in a future post.
So, at twelve weeks old Eleanor, or Ella as I more often refer to her is a little treasure. Of course I would say that, I’m biased and think she’s ace. She’s a wriggly little thing with very strong legs, loves being held in standing up position. Doesn’t like being cradled like a little baby anymore unless it is to feed. Much prefers being held upright over a shoulder so she can see a bit more. She has big bright eyes that I just love. She’s a happy and content little baby the vast majority of the time, with the exception of totally normal baby things like bouts of wind or if I’ve left it a bit too long between food/changing/sleep then she can be a bit grizzly.
She LOVES bath-time, something that as often as possible Ollie does with her. Which is pretty cute and the way her eyes light up when she sees him or hears his voice melts me a little bit. I definitely have a Daddy’s girl on my hands. I’m keen to get her starting swimming lessons as I just want her to be totally happy and comfortable with the water. She also loves her play-mat, especially a little yellow lion character who she beams at when she sees him (we named him Rory). Her smiles as basically the best thing in the world and the fact that even when I’m yawning for an early wake up as soon as she flashes me her bright eyed smile, all is forgiven.
All in all, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on day to day mum life and taking care of her. We’re not in any specific routine as such during the day really. I just feed her when she needs it (roughly around 2-3 hours on average between each feed) with a change and some play after each one. I tend to go out and about as much as I can as I get stir crazy being at home for too long. I’ve been trying to see my friends from NCT, go to a couple of baby class type things (baby massage – which I always laughed at but after the first session she slept for two hours so I was sold) or take her to see family. Even just out for a walk around the park with the dogs – having the dogs does give me a good ‘excuse’ to always have to get out for some fresh air. As I can totally see how it would be easy to stay at home and avoid the hassle of getting out but for me it’s well worth it for my sanity. Helps that the weather has been pretty good for the past month too.
On the dogs, that’s been an adjustment. They’re great with Ella – most of the time! I mean, they’re never aggressive or anything like that but Monty in particular can be a bit ‘much’ as she wants to lick Ella all the time. Which isn’t ideal for a small baby. She also does have a jealous streak, especially when Ollie is paying Ella attention she will want some of the action. For us the main adjustment is making sure they still get the attention they do need like walks and some reassurance that we’re not replacing them with the small noisy human who arrived all of a sudden. Obviously Ella is priority but we want to give the dogs some fuss and love too, so at times juggling the two has been hard but we’re getting there.
Juggling has to be the theme and as for me 12 weeks after having a baby and starting to get back to work this is especially true. Trying to keep in the good flow of looking after Ella, whilst also adding another spinning plate into the mix is quite daunting. But I am so determined to make it work. I just hate facing the fact I will most likely always feel like I’m falling short in one area or the other – be that work or caring for her. I think that quote about how if you’re work life is going well your personal life is likely to be falling to pieces is probably pretty accurate of trying to make both being a mum and working at the same time. I am fortunate enough to have not one but two sets of grand parents who are keen to spend time with and look after Ella which I am SO grateful for. But at the same time I also know that childcare support from them is a bonus and not something I can be reliant on. So I have started to look for some extra help but still working out what will be the best fit and work for the whole family. So that’s a work in progress and would be happy to talk about it in more detail if anyone is interested/curious. But for now, trying to juggle the two is the plan until I can sort some more routine support.