Sunday, August 3, 2008

Family support

People often ask me how I manage two babies under two years old. I honestly can say that without the support of my family, I would be living in a messy house with bare cupboards, my hair would be a mess and my whole life would be upside down. I think it is really important to embrace the help of those around you, whether it be from family or friends. When I think back over the last 4 months, I realise that without the help of my family and my husband's family, there is no way I would have been able to cope, let alone try and be a chic mummy.

From the day I came home from the hospital, I wasn't allowed to lift anything heavier than my newborn for 4-6 weeks. my parents virtually moved in, arriving early in the morning, and not leaving until late afternoon/early evening when my husband came home from work. While they were there, they helped look after my toddler, did the laundry, did the dishes, took out the trash, cleaned the house; basically, they did everything around the house that I couldn't do.

Even now, my parents are always there when I need help, even if that means walking Stephen around a shopping centre for a couple of hours while I go to the hairdresser or accompanying me to the child health nurse to keep one of them occupied while the other one is being seen. My MIL has also been fantastic. She takes Stephen (my toddler) two mornings a week; this means I can make it to (and sit through, undisturbed) a Weight Watchers meeting, or clean the house, or do any other errands that are difficult to finish with an active toddler in tow.

My advice to all of you is to take up people on their offers of help. If you have family that are willing and able to help, then utilise their help. Take turns with a friend to look after the kids; she can watch yours for one morning this week, and you can watch hers for a morning next week. This way you both get a break to do those things you just can't seem to manage when looking after small children.

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TikiBoo said...

Great advice. I only have the one child and have no idea how I would've made it through the past 2.5 years without the help of my Mum.

Theresa said...

It's so good to hear how much you value the support of your family. I have 5 children and have never once been offered any sort of support for either of our families, to cups of tea, no ironing certainly no childcare or cleaning. With our first I felt terribel about it, but now it's made me determined that when our children are grown and having children of their own, I will be the sort of parent that I would have wished to have, just like yours :o) Good for your parents and inlaws, it's heart warming to hear about.
P.S. I'm really enjoying your well thought out posts.

~Tessa said...

Chic Mummy ~ love your blog, it's pretty, practical and quite stylish. My sister and I both have three kids (all boys!). We take turns babysitting for each other and it works out well. The cousins all play together nicely no matter whose house they are in! We do "trades" for just a couple of hours all the way up to three-day weekends. Saves money too.

Chic Mummy said...

It's so great to hear that many of you also have supportive families. Theresa, I think that it is fantastic that you have resolved to be different when you are a grandmother, rather than perpetuating the behaviour of your family. Do you have any friends that you can swap babysitting with? With five kids, I truly admire the fact that you can manage with no help. As i said in my post, i honestly don't know how i would have managed on my own, and I only have the two!

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