It Feels A Lot Less Like Survival

It Feels A Lot Less Like Survival

In some crazy twist of fate, or perhaps it wasn’t a twist, just fates funny old course, I don’t know, thats not my point, but either way I now find myself to have joined the ranks of SAHM to two beautiful babies. Ok neither are technically babies anymore but in the grand scheme of things they’re still very young. I have a busy one, two year old combo with a grand total of 11 months (and a day) between them.

I started my maternity leave with my first child back in August 2014 and haven’t done a days paid work since. I have in a actual fact worked harder over the last two and a bit years than all my days in the legal offices, and I used to take people to Court and shit. Yet no one is paying me to keep two humans alive.

Anyway in the early days of the one two year combo, life was hard. I don’t just mean god this mum shit is tough, it was a different experience. Premature poorly baby in the hospital, almost one year old at home, 30 mile round trips to the hospital daily, breast pumps, hormones, beg borrow and stealing from anyone and everyone for babysitters so I could get to the hospital without the tiny snotty one year old taking her poorly germs in, and oh boy the guilt. It continued in this vain for quite some time.

When the boy did come home things were obviously easier but I quickly realised my day to day became about survival. Well no one my dearest and oldest friends came to stay with us for a weekend and she was like a rabbit in headlights at our day and it was her who pointed out that I was in survival mode.

I remember when we first brought Toby home and Mr Tammy had to go back to work. TO MY DISGUST. How unreasonable. He works for himself so I was all ‘you can be off for ya know, ever’ to his mind it was very much ‘GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE’. Ha no ok it probably wasn’t (it might be now) but he did have to go back to work as if he didn’t run his business no one would and we wouldn’t have food, so I accepted the fact I would be in the house on my own with a one year old and now 7 week old baby. I was bricking it. How on earth was I going to sit for 40 minutes and feed with a starting to walk one year old tottering about need my attention, for a) her enjoyment but b) her actual safety? To be fair we did get through it, the babies were fed and the ‘big’ girl only fell off the sofa once, so all in all we survived that experience.

Going out was a different matter. Going out scared me. I am a big believer in finding parenting easier whilst out of the house, now. Then, not so much. Getting anywhere at a sensible time was near on ridiculous. The thought of feeding two very small people in public made me want to cry and going to baby groups made me feel like everyone was whispering ‘that’s her, the one who had another baby, already’ quickly followed by ‘oh god she must be mad‘ I would then feel I needed to be on my parenting A-GAME for the remainder of the session. OK so in all honesty I doubt anyone gave a shit or even noticed we’d entered the room but that was how my hormonal tired and mad self felt at the time.

Zara and Toby in car seats

So those first few months were tough, they were spent largely awake, in the confines of the house (it was winter, which didn’t help) nursing a sick baby to health (which was harder than I imagined), generally making it from sun up to sun down in a way that everyone was at least semi happy but I would just take fed and watered at that time.

Things started to get easier, as baby 2 started going longer between feeds, when actual food started to be introduced and I didn’t have to clear up the vomit that inevitably followed a feed. Mr Tammy and I started embarking on child free afternoons whilst grandparents dedicated their services, we went abroad, we tried our best to tackle life head on and start living it.

For the most part it worked but when on my own doing my general SAHM duties, life was still very much about getting through the day, and night, in whatever fashion we deemed fit. Fancy days out and well thought out activities and crafts still were not happening and I feared my sanity and guilt threshold.

That was until the summer hit, well after Menorca Gate, the holiday to end all holidays. I realised that actually we are no longer just surviving, I was no longer dreading weekly hospital and health visitor appointments where I would feel like I am failing my son. I and my babies were sleeping through the night, my daughter no longer pointed and yelled at things she wanted but tried to tell me. Mr Tammy and I were having care free afternoons or Saturday nights out, sometimes with babies sometime without, Saturday nights were generally without – for the record. I finally felt comfortable in public, like I could actual parent these two small people without the fear of judgement. Don’t get me wrong we still have public meltdowns from us all but they are manageable and I no longer care. We can eat out in a restaurant, I can take both kids on a day trip on my own successfully and feel like they have been stimulated and entertained and I feel like I am winning. Hell we even bake at times. We get a fair amount of attention but it’s mostly because I have two borderline albino blondy kids who love be fussed over and the general public can’t help but strike up this conversation:

Zara and Toby

Stranger: ‘are they twins?’

Me: ‘no, theres 11months between them, so nearly haha’

Stranger: ‘oh wow you’ve got your hands full then’

Me: ‘Yeah..’smiles

Stranger: ‘They’ve got such white blond hair, and wow such beautiful eyes, is it one of each?’

Me: **hold back internal desire to throw something

‘Yeah boy and girl’

Stranger: ‘Oh well thats just lovely’

I have this conversation about 3 times a day, usually if we’re sat eating somewhere. Its usually followed by questions about whether I intend to procreate again and how I don’t need to as I have one of each now, OK thanks then.

Anyway what is great about this is not the same conversation I have time and time again but the fact I am out in public eating lunch, on our day out with my young entourage. We are actually living now, we are having fun, life is much less about survival.

me zara and toby at drayton manor

The babies and I at Drayton Manor

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55 Comments

  1. November 15, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    Oh life! It’s amazing how everything baby related seems so tough in the beginning but gets easier with time. People always say, all wise and all, to enjoy the tough times too because they won’t last and I’m like, no thanks. I am allowed my frustrations, anger or whatever when I am barely surviving and trying to keep my littles alive. I’ll save the enjoying for when I am ready. I am so happy you have found some balance. You’re doing great, mama.

  2. November 16, 2016 / 8:06 am

    You do so well! When The Girl was born, The Boy was 4, and I was still too scared to take them both out on my own until she was 6 months! #familyfun

  3. November 16, 2016 / 8:30 am

    so so gorgeous to get to that stage of living and not surviving – seriously well done for getting there – that age gap is small! Love your positivity and your disposition – you have two beautiful healthy children – go have fun – go live it! #familyfun xx

  4. November 16, 2016 / 9:17 am

    Such a beautiful family and we’ll done for surviving those hard first few months. You’ve done amazingly well and I can see you have a great support around you. #familyfun

  5. November 16, 2016 / 9:27 am

    Yay go you!!! It’s awesome… We really will have to do our #ff meet up now! šŸ˜€

    • tammymum
      November 16, 2016 / 9:29 am

      Haha yes we will!

      • November 22, 2016 / 6:51 am

        Calling back from #fortheloveofblog! Thank you ā¤ļø

  6. November 16, 2016 / 9:31 am

    Good on you. I had no idea just how tough those early days would be. I sobbed the day my partner went back to work but no Matilda is 14 months it’s so much easier. We actually look forward to just our mummy and baby days and it’s lovely now she is gesturing more for what she needs. I think we will wait until she is off to pre school before we attempt a second though! #FamilyFun

  7. November 16, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    After four kids and nine years, bed rest, breastfeeding, c ssections, TWINS, school, sports, friends, marriage- it certainly seems to ebb and flow. I am confident this crap coaster will continue. Glad you are in a sound stage right now,

    Us on the other hand- wtf life. Just wft…

    #familyfun

  8. November 16, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    It’s amazing how people think they have a right to comment on our life choices, it really annoys me! I get the never mind conversation as I have 2 boys, like it’s a bobby prize or something!!! That really really bugs me. Now when people say wouldn’t you like a girl I answer rudely, No I don’t have my woman’s bits any more and they usually run away quickly šŸ˜‰ #FamilyFun

    • November 16, 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Bobby prize must be a new thing. I don’t think my computer wanted me to write Booby!

  9. November 16, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    This is such a relatable story and I hope someone going through the “survival” stage will come across it. I remember that stage myself, even though my children have a bigger gap between them, and I am grateful now that things are getting easier. It’s funny how strangers always say those same silly things too, isn’t it?! #familyfun

  10. November 16, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    What gorgeous babies :) I have a 2 year 6 day age gap between my 2 big ones and I can’t imagine having a smaller age gap than that! #familyfun xx

  11. November 16, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    I love this! It makes me happy to know that even if it’s crazy to start with with 2 tiny ones it does get easier. You guys have overcome so much and I think you are one super mama, Sarah! Your two are so cute too – I love that everyone always comments on that!! My sister was funny, her 2 oldest girls are 19 months apart and look totally different – especially as babies. The oldest has green eyes and curly brown hair and is the spitting image (albeit much prettier/cuter!) of her Dad, the other is my sister’s mini me with dead straight blonde hair and bright blue eyes, and when they were small people used to ask her ‘Whose is the other one?’ about her eldest!! #FamilyFun

  12. November 16, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    This is lovely :) and honestly there’s so much more to come – it’s fab when you realise you actually enjoy their company and days out are actually fun for everyone (obviously theres loads of shit to come too – sorry) . Getting through the survival phase is awesome

    #FamilyFun

  13. November 16, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Oh how I know the feeling of Survivalmode! and I only have one! I bow and applaud you for managing what sounds like a really rough start to being mum of two! Your ability to live life and enjoy your two little people is admirable :-) I feel like I’m finally stepping out of Survival mode too, but it’s taken about 8 months, really helped when I started to connect with other mums too and realised we are all going through it and that it is okay and completely normal. #familyfun

  14. November 16, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    You’ve coped so well. I have 18 months between mine, and I wonder how we survived sometimes! People told me then that it got easier, and I hardly dared hope! But it does, and I’m glad for you that you’re finally making the most of it. #FamilyFun

  15. November 16, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Such a lovely lovely post! It must have been incredibly tough in those early days with your son needing extra care and attention. But it’s obviously made you the strong person you are today. I think it’s wonderful you now feel like you are enjoying life a bit more. I hope it continues! Also, a beautiful picture of thee three of you xx #FamilyFun

  16. November 16, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    This is a lovely post. It must have been so hard for you and at times we think we won’t get through the tough times, but we do. There’s 10 months between my daughter and niece and I’m always getting asked if they are twins. They look nothing alike and one is much bigger than the other..
    #familyfun

  17. November 16, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    I’m just sitting here wondering how on earth you have the time or inclination to blog?! Massive kudos for it. For sanity I imagine. I was really gripped reading this – what a journey. sounds like you’ve done an amazing job. They will be so close!!
    Kimberly x #FamilyFun

  18. November 16, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Another fab post that I can totally relate to – I think we should call you an honary twin Mum as much of what you write about resonates with parents of multiples (in fact I think your job could be harder as they are doing slightly different things). We have funny conversations with members of the public which usually centre around the premise ‘you’ve got your hands full’ too. I love that you are coming out of survival mode and what gorgeous photos you’ve included with the post. Thanks for the boost as always. xx #familyfun

    • tammymum
      November 16, 2016 / 10:44 pm

      Ah thank you that’s such a lovely comment. I sometimes feel like I have twins but then fear I will be lynched by mums of twins for being a fraud and not actually having had to birth and feed etc two babies at the same time lol. I will take the honorary role though. Thanks again lovey xx

      • November 17, 2016 / 3:16 pm

        Ah, you will not be lynched by this twin mom! However *I* might be lynched for admitting that you have it harder in general for having two children who both need your constant attention but who are (as previously mentioned) going through different stages. Good for you though for giving hope to the women going through this wonderful (wretched) stage of motherhood!
        #familyfun

  19. November 16, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    On the beginning I was scared to change a nappy by myself:P It’s so nice to hear that you are OK now and you enjoy your time with kids
    #FamilyFun

  20. November 17, 2016 / 4:26 am

    Isn’t life funny? Just when we think we can’t handle it suddenly everything falls into place – and parenting is no exception.
    Thanks for sharing your story!
    #FamilyFun

  21. November 17, 2016 / 8:08 am

    I’m glad its getting easier now, I couldn’t imagine having a second. Think it would finish me off haha #blogginggoodtime

  22. November 17, 2016 / 9:54 am

    It’s so great that you’ve gotten past the survival stage and are now able to get out and enjoy your wee ones. I suppose when people say that it gets easier, it’s true – it’s just hard to believe that when you’re in the thick of it. I can’t imagine managing two littles ones so close in age – I think you’ve done a fab job. :) #ablogginggoodtime

  23. November 17, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Yes! What a fab feeling – you are living, not just surviving. And we all know whatever our situations what an amazing corner that is to turn lovely. Here’s to more living and lunches out! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

  24. November 17, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Has anyone else come across the term “Irish Twins” for non-twin siblings born <12 months apart?

  25. November 17, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    Good for you!! I’m glad it’s getting easier. For the record, I think it’s great your bubs are so close in age. I’d hoped mine would be :) xx #ablogginggoodtime

  26. November 17, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    You have survived! That is something to be celebrated. My dearest friend has the same gap between her children but her youngest are twins and she said the first year with 3 kids under 2 was just unbelievable and she thought she would be committed. Hats off to you and they are both so gorgeous, no wonder you get stopped constantly. #ablogginggoodtime

  27. November 17, 2016 / 5:55 pm

    Well done for surviving those first few months. You are very brave – mine is 4 and I’ve still not had another!! Good for you. You seem to have the motherhood thing nailed. Well done. #familyfun

  28. November 17, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    I loved that post. So honest. And I’m glad that you’re working out all the logistics of living with your gorgeous little ones.
    #familyfun

  29. November 18, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I get what you say with finding yourself a SAHM, I too work in the legal world and appear to be having an extended maternity leave. I didn’t envisage this and adjusting is quite hard for someone who loves to work! #familyfun

  30. November 18, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Having two so close together can be a challenge but its also sooooo fulfilling. #FamilyFun

  31. November 19, 2016 / 11:18 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine how hard things were at the start with all that worry and the hospital trips. It’s amazing how much guilt we can pile into ourselves too when everyone else thinks we’re doing a great job, why don’t we listen? Glad things have settled for you now. I still struggle taking my two out on my own if it it involves stopping to eat and there’s a 5yr age gap! Love the last picture, I have so many great memories of Drayton Manor when I was little but we live too far away now x
    #Ablogginggoodtime

  32. Themotherhub.ie
    November 19, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Life is tough right? Im surviving . Just. I’m glad the light is coming in for you #kcacols

  33. November 20, 2016 / 10:53 am

    I think we are all in survival mode to start with. Then one day we realise that actually it is all coming together and we are not just surviving anymore, we are enjoying the whole experience.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  34. November 20, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Oh my goodness – well done you! I struggled with taking my 3 and 5 year old out on my own when they first came home so I can’t imagine how it must have been with your two little ‘uns! #fortheloveofblog

  35. November 20, 2016 / 7:48 pm

    Well done for surviving something much harder than a legal career, and wonderful you can enjoy it all now. That pic of your daughter cuddling your son is ace! #KCACOLS

  36. November 20, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    I know this feeling but for me it’s just the weekends. My nights still feel a bit like being in survival mode. I’m looking forward to about a year from now when littlest can talk.

    Love the photos – definitely looks like you’re enjoying it now

    Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS and hope to see you again soon x

  37. November 21, 2016 / 3:17 am

    Amazing! You are doing great! Me on the other hand. My life is a shit show. Every day. Keep up the good work.

  38. November 21, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    Its funny how you learn to cope and what was a struggle starts to not feel quite so bad. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been with a 1 year old and a preemie vut hopefully they will have a good little buddy to play with as they grow. Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

  39. November 21, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Wow. So much respect for you, have no idea how hard it must have been – and still is – for you. Well done mama, sounds like you’ve cracked it now (maybe?!). Such gorgeous kids, people always stop to comment on my son’s white blonde hair as well – people can’t believe it for some reason but my husband and I both had the same hair when we were younger! #MarvMondays

  40. November 22, 2016 / 10:06 am

    bloody hell it sounds like you’ve done amazing! you should be so proud. those early days with your boy in hospital sound horrendous. just not what you need. and I don’t think id have wanted to go out at all with two under two. yep, hats off mummy. stand tall and proud xx
    #KCACOLS

  41. November 22, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Kudos to you mama. I have utmost respect for anyone with more than one child – but to have two so close together! Looks like you nailed it though. #marvmondays

  42. November 22, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Can’t imagine how hard those first few weeks must have been with the hospital drag – a new baby is hard enough without them having to stay in hospital!! So glad you’ve made it through to the enjoyable part (ven more glad to know there’s light at the end of the poor sleep tunnel!!) #marvmondays

  43. November 22, 2016 / 4:59 pm

    The nonsense we hear from people – seriously! You had a tough start, and you’re here to tell the story! šŸ˜‰ Seriously though, well done. I can’t even begin to think how hard it must have felt – I found the nearly 3 years gap hard when I had a newborn (both times!) We spend so long in survival mode.. but we do it in the end! Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  44. November 23, 2016 / 7:27 am

    Well done for recognising how well you’re doing – a lot of people don’t and it gets them down. Our two are similarly split age wise so I know exactly how tough it could be (and I was the one returning to work after just a couple of weeks haha). Make the most of your time.
    #familyfun
    (Apologies its late)

  45. November 23, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    I think you do an amazing job – two days this week I have had 2 under 2 and was like HOLY SHIT!! You are amazeballs
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  46. November 23, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    Good for you! Baby number three is about to arrive for me when things should get really interesting!! #ablogginggoodtime

  47. November 23, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    I’m so happy for you that you’re getting your light at the end of the tunnel! Life is tough! Well done you! #KCACOLS

  48. November 23, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    I felt the same that people were gossiping about me being the one that already had another one (19 with a 19 month old and 4 month old) It’s great when you find a lovely one with friendly people tho :) #MarvMondays

  49. November 24, 2016 / 5:36 am

    Having a four year age gap is not easier than having a 2 year age gap. I expect the same about an 11 month. I think carrying the carseats is the worst. #KCACOLS