Lucy, of Mrs Bishop's Bakes and Banter, tagged me in a meme last week -The Mum Tag - and I've only just got round to answering it fully. Here we go with my answers .....
1. Are you a stay at home mum, or a working mum?
I am a stay at home mum. I have talked before about how this wasn't our intention, but Joe and I both had our mums at home throughout our childhoods and it has always been our ideal for our kids. So now that we are in this situation, we are going with it and I don't envisage me working properly until the girls are both in full time school at the earliest. Even then, it will need to be something part time, so that I can be here for them when they need me.
2. Would you have it any other way?
Tricky one. If I'd have had the option of returning to work, and certainly if they'd have let me go back part time, I would definitely have done that. We would have been much more financially secure that way. But, would we have been happier? I don't think so. I think we would have been stressed, I'd have been unhappy and our relationship with the girls would not be what it is. I think we are all happier this way. Skint, but happy. So we're sticking with it, certainly for now.
3. Do you co-sleep?
No. I don't think anyone would sleep that way. Both girls slept in our room, next to my side of the bed, in a moses basket, until they grew out of it. Then they went into a cot in their own room. On the occasions we sleep together, like when they are ill, or staying away from home and need to share, nobody gets much sleep, so we're best off how we are.
4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
For our second baby, the double buggy. It's a Phil and Ted Sport. I got it second hand off eBay and it has been worth every penny. Evie was walking by the time Lola came along, so you wouldn't think we'd have needed a double, but it has really enabled us to keep our flexible lifestyle. If we go out and it ends up being for the whole day, there will come a point that Evie gets tired and needs a rest. And when I am out and about on my own with them, there are times that, tired or not, I want Evie in the buggy, so that I know where she is and I don't have to keep my eyes on her every second.
5. How many kids do you plan on having?
Just the two we've got, thank you! There was a point (before we had either of them) when I thought that if we had two the same, I would want to go for a third, but I really didn't enjoy pregnancy that much - especially the second time. Plus, our girls get on so well together, I'd be scared to rock that by adding a third child to the mix. Also, I feel like most of the time, I only just cope with the two kids I've got. I think I might just go totally insane if I added another!
6. Date night? How many per month?
Per month?? We have had one night out, just the two of us, since Lola was born. Two more nights out with friends and that's it. We each go out separately, with friends, or we tend to see friends with kids at each other's houses, usually involving sleepovers. We really must make more effort to get out more as a couple. Lola's been such an awful sleeper that we haven't wanted to leave her with anyone, but she's getting a lot better now, so we can certainly leave her for an evening.
7. Your child’s favourite show?
Lola's a bit young to express an opinion, and anyway, big sister usually takes over in the 'what to watch' decision. But, she seems to really like 'In The Night Garden' , which Evie did too at her age. She also loves anything involving music, that she can bop along to. She'd probably just like a music channel on all day, to be honest.
Evie likes CBeebies - Mr Maker, Mr Bloom and I Can Cook are all favourites. She loves watching films too. Bolt, Madagascar and of course, Tangled.
8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?
Cloth nappies. We were totally bought-in to the benefits of cloth nappies. Joe for the environmental reasons, me, if I'm totally honest, for their cuteness. We bought a job lot of enough cloth nappies, liners, covers etc to last until potty training. Then we ended up staying in hospital for almost a week. We used disposables there, because that's what the hospital put her in, and I'm not sure how we'd have done anything else, and that was it, it stuck. I put her in a cloth nappy once, for a photo, and that was it!
9. Your child’s favourite food?
Lola practically inhales bananas. You've never seen a banana disappear so fast! When asked what her favourite dinner is, Evie will either reply Fish and Chips, Mussels and Garlic Bread, or Beans on Toast!
10. How many cars do your family have?
Two. My husband's company car, which is a hybrid, so very environmentally friendly, and my gas guzzling 4x4, which is not!
11. Weight before, during and after pregnancy and now?
Ugh. This is a depressing subject. I am such a yo-yo'er with my weight. I am happy at around a size 12-14. I was at that when I fell pregnant with Evie and haven't been there since. I've got a couple of stone to go, but also my shape has changed, so I'm not really sure what I'm aiming for right now. A lot less than I am, that's for sure!
12. Dream holiday with your kids?
When I was pregnant with Lola, looking after Evie full time, fighting a constructive dismissal case, we really needed a holiday. I just wanted to sit and read a book and have somebody else look after Evie for a bit. I didn't even care where it was. We ended up getting a really amazing deal on a last minute Mark Warner holiday in Greece and if was lovely. Evie went into a kids club every morning, while Joe took advantage of free water sports and I just sat with my (non alcoholic) cocktail and read. I read nearly a book a day. Bliss! Then we had the rest of the day together, splashing about in the pool, on the beach, or exploring with a hire car. There was an evening crèche if we wanted to use it, but I don't think we did. I think we had Evie with us in the evenings. She would enjoy the entertainment in the hotel and then fall asleep in her pushchair while we relaxed in the hotel bar. It was a really relaxing holiday and I'd be on another like it in a shot!
13. Dream holiday without your kids?
Right now, I'd just like to be somewhere warm, not too hot, with a pool, comfy loungers, a really lovely bedroom and nice food. Then I'd spend a lovely few days just chilling out, reading. See a theme? I miss getting really stuck into a good book and not being disturbed, or thinking there's something else I should be doing! After a few days of that, it would be nice to see something new. I've been lucky enough to have some really lovely holidays in far off places and I'd love some more of the same, but to be honest, I 'm not sure I'd enjoy it as much now, if the girls weren't there. I'd constantly be thinking 'Evie would love this'
14. How has your life changed since having babies?
Um, see above! They've changed everything. Even my dream holidays!! So much has changed. I was a career woman, proud of the fact that I had a good job, earning very good money. But I wasn't happy in my job. Now, I've got no job and no money, but I'm much happier. Having babies makes you focus on what's important, and it's not money and career!
15. Finish the sentence: ‘It makes my heart melt to see……?’
My girls making each other laugh. They laugh like drains at each other, at nothing, just at each other laughing. It's so lovely.
16. Where do you shop for your kids?
We are really, really lucky that we have some lovely neighbours with older girls, who pass lots of lovely clothes down to us. That, combined with presents from family and friends, means that we really don't end up needing to buy many clothes. What we do buy is either basics, which I usually pick up at the supermarket, or the occasional special outfit. For these, I love Cath Kidston, Boden and Joules, although it's usually only at sale time!
17. Favourite make up and skin care products?
I am really awful, I don't take care of my skin at all. I've had Tropic Skincare products a few times recently and they were really lovely, but pricier than I can afford regularly at the moment. So basically, whatever's on offer in the supermarket or Boots when I need it.
18. Huggies or Pampers?
Neither. We use Kirkland wipes from Costco, because they are really thick and strong and no other wipes match up to them. Except maybe the pampers aloe vera ones with lotion, which are great for when there's a nappy rash problem, but are really expensive. Nappies wise, I get whichever is cheapest at the time, but never Huggies. I've always found them to smell a bit funny. I like Aldi's own nappies, which have won lots of awards and are nearly half the price of Pampers.
19. Have you always wanted kids?
Yes. There is no way I wouldn't have had kids. I'd have adopted, fostered, been a single mum, whatever it took.
20. Best part about being a mum?
The total, unconditional love that you feel for them and they feel for you. As their Mum, I am the absolute most important thing in my girls' lives (for now anyway) with Daddy a close second. That's a huge responsibility, but also totally amazing. The best thing ever.
So, now I have to pass the tag on, and I'm going to pass it to Janet at Kitchen Table Sewing. Janet has four beautiful girls and I'd love to hear her opinions on these questions. So, over to you Janet ............