As he was born at 2 in the morning, Joseph was already alive, kicking and sucking ferociously this time last year. My baby boy turns 1 today and it only seems like yesterday that he shot out of me at a million miles an hour. So fast that the OB very nearly didn’t catch him and his tiny slippery body nearly ended up on the floor. My life has been on fast forward since that day with absolutely no signs of slowing down.
As such, I have mastered and become the Queen of life’s shortcuts. My motto has always been “get it done over getting it right” and I’ve had to embrace that mantra even more over the last 365 days. Living far from a familial support system, with hugely transient friendships and a husband that has been known on more than one occasion to go to work and come home 7 months later, it’s down to me to do pretty much everything.
1. Coffee. Enough said.
2. Breastfeed, Babywear and Bedshare. All the aforementioned conserve a huge amount of time, save your sanity and are major money-savers too. If anyone had suggested the latter two when I was pregnant the first time around I’d have laughed but they’ve practically saved my life, my looks and my mental health. Not blessed with sleepers, my children also like to touch me more or less every second of the day. Breastfeeding; well I’m all about whipping a boob out to preserve other peoples ears and not having to faff with bottles and formula. Have boob can move I say.
3. Scarves. They make you look tailored and finished, yet are more likely to be used as fully accessible snot rags and vomit wipers that hide all manner of stains.
4. Paint your nails. It hides the dirt under the fingernails. Especially if you use black. So gross I know.
5. Embrace your natural hair colour. I went back to brunette. Well back isn’t quite true as I’d been highlighting my hair since I was 14 so I actually thought I was a natural blonde! A quick dye job and now the roots come through but who knows? My new hairdresser wasn’t impressed when I told her just how long it was since I’d had my hair cut though. I was slightly ashamed too.
6. Choose a colour and then buy all your clothes in that shade. Everything goes together. If you didn’t already know, navy works for me. Every day!
7. Vitamins. They fight off diseases and keep you functioning. Is it a coincidence that I’m the only one that hasn’t had any illness in my family this winter at all? I think not. Obviously I will now that I’ve written that.
8. Meal plan. You know Amy and I love a meal plan but it saves me so much time, effort and money.
9. Accept clothes donations. I’ve spent approximately £4.99 on Joseph’s wardrobe in the past year. Lots of kind people have gifted us their little boys’ hand me downs. I love the regeneration and sustainability as well as the fact that I can shop my attic and come back with a pile of trousers in the next size up when Joe needs them. Genius.
10. Write a to-do list. Every day. I do this because a) my memory just isn’t what it used to be and b) it makes me feel fully accomplished and productive. I generally tend to add everything to it, even stuff I’ve already done so that I can cross them off with satisfaction. It’s like when I worked. In the real world.