It’s been ten days since David arrived into our family. Sounds like such a short time yet it seems like an eternity. I can now barely remember the days before his birth. Which is the reason I’m writing this post. For you, to hopefully bring some reality into the picture as I fear that all the cute baby photos make it all look very rosy. And for me, so I can re-read it in a year or two when things get more normal again and I’ll probably forget the craziness of the early days with a baby. To remind myself that it’s hard work and talk myself out of any future broodiness.
Because it’s hard work. Babies are hard work (well, children are too but babies for me are another category altogether). And I’m not even talking about giving birth or all the physical discomfort in the days after (hello sore breasts, sore stitches, afterpains – who knew afterpains get worse with every additional child you give birth to?!). The one that hits you most is probably the lack of sleep or any routine. My parents helping us this past week pretty much saved our sanity. It was great having baby David at home for Christmas but having a baby over major holiday season is really not practical. It meant that we’ve had all three kids at home at all times – nursery and all other fun activities are obviously not open over the holidays. Add to this horrendous weather, car trouble and a baby who’s not very keen on sleeping at night and you get a better picture of how our last ten days have been.
A newborn in the house meant that any Christmas tradition went out the window. It was Thai takeaway for Christmas eve dinner and leek and potato soup for Christmas lunch. It was off to bed at 10pm on Christmas eve and we made the kids wait until William and I got up 10am on Christmas day before they could open their presents (I’m not kidding.). I didn’t take any pictures on Christmas day. I hardly took any the entire week even though I had grand plans on how I’ll try to take all these newborn photos. In the end, I just didn’t have the energy – or any quiet time alone with David.
Baby David is gorgeous and lovely and we adore him to bits. But he can also cry for hours, wants to be held or/and fed constantly and hates the dummy. Thankfully his brother and sister have been very welcoming and love holding him and helping to look after him. But they’re normal toddlers who also want their piece of attention and we’ve been doing our best to give it to them. As I’ve said before, it’s been great having my parents here to help. They just did everything and more without ever being asked. They stayed up with David until 1am or later if he couldn’t settle to sleep, so that William and I could go to bed early. And then they woke up at 7am with Samuel and Lara, so William and I could sleep in. They cleaned, washed, cooked, ironed, tidied up around the house, cuddled and entertained their grandchildren. Despite the weather we did some fun stuff together (like a visit to London Aquarium which Samuel and Lara loved). The adult:child ratio was in our favour. Now we must slowly adjust the ratio. Aunty Ntlapu arrived from South Africa this morning and she’ll be with us for the next two weeks. After that we’re on our own.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew what it was going to be like, it’s my third baby after all. And it’s all worth it. Children may turn your every day upside down and they might drive you to the edge of your sanity on a few occasions but my life with them is infinitely better than without them. I just wanted to paint a real picture of the life in our house rather than just posting a bunch of cute photos. And now that I hopefully did that – here are the photos. 🙂
Kids got a bunk bed for Christmas from nono and nona and I also added a few other bits to their bedroom. It’s now my favourite room in the house and we spend a lot of time there playing. And Samuel and Lara adjusted so well to sleeping in their big beds, they love it. The beautiful owl painting was made by Manja at Okvircek (https://www.facebook.com/okvircek?fref=ts). I love unique, handmade art and her work is lovely.
P.S.: Note how my kids’ hair changes. 🙂 They were all born with smooth, silky black hair and after their first birthday their african genes seem to kick in and take over.