26 May 2019

Going from one to two kids - it was pretty easy in the end!

I've been a mum of two for a year now, after five years as being a mum of just one. Truth be told, I was a little apprehensive how it would all change when our new baby would make her way into the world. Going from one to two kids, I was a little bit worried to begin with. You hear so often what a big shock to the system it is, how it changes your family and the dynamics and everything forever (as it would do of course) and how much extra work it all is... 

And honestly? After a year of mothering two I can honestly say I wasn't half as bad.

baby and sister in matching dresses

For me and for us, going from none to one was a big shock to the system. Suddenly there is this writhing little wrinkly stinky package, who demands all your thoughts and attention. Combine that with the first experience of serious sleep deprivation, a difficult recovery from birth and just feeling generally overwhelmed by everything, and that just begins to scratch the surface. 

Going from one to two however was a walk in the park in comparison. 

We already knew what we were supposed to do as parents. Nothing was totally new anymore, although as any parent with more than one child can recognise, no two kids are the same. What worked with one, might not work with the other one... As we found out pretty quick. Despite that, we sort of knew what we could try and do and could experiment. 

We already had most of the stuff ready. No more brain space wasted on the benefits of different travel systems or what would be the best cot bed or where could we find cute clothes. Nope. We had all that, and plenty more in the storage. It was rather cheaper this second time around. 

We already knew what to expect, from birth and from newborn stage, and later. While it was still quite exciting walking into the maternity ward I knew what I wanted and what I didn't want and could advocate accordingly. I knew what the first weeks with a newborn were likely to be and could prepare myself mentally. And I knew that all the difficult times would be balanced by such great joy in the end, it would all be worth it. It was just easier to deal with.

baby and sister in matching dresses kissing

baby and sister in matching outfits looking at each other

baby and sister in matching dresses cuddling

Our new baby just slotted herself in our lives with what felt like great ease. She appeared and fit in, just like a missing piece in a puzzle. Just like a key to a lock. 

It did help that our new baby was an OK sleeper. Not great, but OK. There haven't been many nights she has slept through but it hasn't been constant wake-ups either. 

It also helped that the age gap was a sizeable five years. Our older one was old enough to not get jealous and old enough to "help", whether that was handing over wet wipes or entertaining the little one with endless renditions of Baby Shark. 

But what probably helped the most was us just deciding not to stress about it. The new baby would do what she did and we would do what we could, but there were no specific things we needed or wanted to achieve as a family.

baby and sister in matching outfits smiling on bed

Maybe it is the fate of the second-born, but she hasn't had much baby "hobbies" like baby swimming or signing. Baby swimming only started when she was closing in on her first birthday. Me going to mummy-coffee-mornings didn't start until she was well past her new baby stages - I just didn't feel that need for peer support this time.

And another second-born syndrome manifestation is that poor thing has had hardly any of her baby book filled out yet, although it's not as bad as that sounds. As a blogger there are baby entries here on the blog and I've kept up her monthly portraits too, so don't worry her being neglected in the life documenting stages. 

I haven't felt the need to be (or appear to be) active, and I haven't felt the need to do this or that. I've done stuff, of course, but it's all been very stress-free and relaxed, and cancelled if I could just not be bothered, and that has helped in making this second maternity leave and getting used to being a family of four easy, really, quite pleasant too. 

baby and sister in matching outfits

Now, don't get me wrong. The extra laundry and cleaning and food and all, it has certainly made us busy. And it is noisy and chaotic at times. But it is also joyful and fun and filled with laughter, double the laughter now. 

So for us, going from one to two kids has been delightfully and frightfully easy. I could not have imagined that it would be like this. It feels like we have always had two girls - it has been so easy for our new baby to slot in to our family lives. It is like she was always meant to be here.

So if you wonder and worry about adding that second baby in the mix, well, it isn't always that bad. in fact, it might even be totally OK!

Now, I wonder what it might be if there was a third one in the mix...

Has it been easy or hard when you add to the family?

9 May 2019

Our amazingly fun first visit to the Zippos Circus

When I was a kid I secretly wanted to join the circus. All kids go through this stage don't they? Alas, it was never meant to be, even if I did learn to juggle at ten. The last time I've been to the circus was when I was a tween. It's been over twenty years... This spring I went back to circus - a new show by Zippos Circus, The Magnificent Top Hat - and my was it exhilarating. It was just like being a kid again. 

We were invited to attend the London press event for this review. We drove to Blackheath and rushed inside just in time to grab pop corn, cotton candy and the programme before the show started...

And what a show it was! Contortionists, aerial artists, foot jugglers, knife throwers, acrobats, and daredevils of all sorts. It was exhilarating and scary and funny, and I sat there mostly with my mouth open or laughing. It really felt like I was a kid again, watching these amazing artists performing mind-boggling tricks and wondering what would come next.

The Magnificent Top Hat tour of 2019 was great fun. There was plenty of humour in the storyline running through the show. Paulo, a showman just 3'6" tall, was trying to steal the top hat and the limelight from Norman Barrett MBE, the indomitable ring master with over twenty years of experience at Zippos Circus...

As for the acts, throughout the show there were so many amazing talents. I particularly enjoyed Ebby, the Mongolian contortionist, who was very flexible shooting her arrows. I also thought The Lucius Team and their "Globe of Terror", with five motorcyclists riding inside one little steel cage was exhilarating.

To be honest, it was all just highlights to me, all the acts were amazing. The Cuban State Circus had amazing rope skipping and springboard acrobatics, and The Timbuktu tumblers from Africa had such fun pyramids and tumbling. And as far as trust in marriage goes, the prize must go to Nikol, hailing from Czech Republic, whose husband Toni threw knifes at her while she was spinned on a wheel of fortune (or perhaps death would be a better term.). Paulo got in on the action with aerial stunts with Laci from Hungary - such incredible skills and strength from both of them.

Aili, my daughter who is five years old said about her favourite acts that "It was so good when they were flying". She was exhilarated by the experience, and my baby girl Aija, was quite mesmerised by all the lights and action too. It wasn't too loud at all, and the light were fun for babies, so feel free to bring little ones.

Our circus babies certainly enjoyed the experience, as did we parents. Like Norman Barrett MBE said, "You are never too old, never too young and never too cool to go to the circus!"

My top tips for enjoying the Zippos Circus show:

  • The seats inside the tent are small and there's not much space. If you can, leave big and bulky items home. 
  • You are not allowed to bring buggies inside the tent, so unless you want to hold your baby bring a baby carrier. 
  • It was fairly pleasant in the tent, even though it was a hot spring day, but worth it to wear light layers that you can easily remove if needed. 
  • You can have your photo taken with some of the artists at the interval, although you might need some change for this. 
  • Plenty of refreshments can be bought before the show and during the interval. There are hot and cold drinks, pop corn and cotton candy (£5 each). You can also get programmes and light sabers for the kids for £6. 
  • You can also pre-buy snacks with your tickets and it will be a bit cheaper. TimeOut has a good deal on for 2 front-view tickets with snacks for £35. 
  • If you're driving come in plenty of time - we found the access to the parking area a bit confusing as there was no signs pointing to entry. 
  • The show lasts two hours, with an interval in between. There are decent bathrooms outside the tent. 
  • We sat at ringside seats and I'd say these are worth the extra expense. It was nice to sit so close to the ring and the view was good even with some people sitting in front of us. That said, the view from the rest of the front-view seats is apparently great as well. 

When was the last time you've been to the circus?

You might also like: London with kids: Best kept secrets locals recommend and What we thought of Paradise Wildlife Park

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...