Toddler and baby lying on bed
Parenting

Mother of two: my mid-year review

Back when I used to have a proper job, we benefitted from pointless wonderful mid-year reviews. My son is now six months old, so I feel like now is the perfect time to evaluate life with two small children. I may no longer go to work, but that doesn’t mean I should let slip an important opportunity for self-assessment. Or something.

Key achievements:

They are both still alive.

This is, I feel, in itself a good case for promotion, or at least a pay rise.

I haven’t killed my daughter, despite the horrific tantrums, maddening disobedience and general arrrrrggggggghhhhh-ness that is everyday life with a two-year old.

And, more praiseworthy perhaps, I have managed to stop my daughter from killing my son through suffocation, squashing, hitting, biting, kicking or slamming his head against the floor (yes, really).

Two-year old leaning over baby

They seem to quite like each other.

I can’t really claim much credit for this, I suppose, but they’re my kids so I’m going to.

The baby’s face lights up as soon as he sees his big sister, despite frequently being tortured (see previous paragraph).

For her part, she will do anything to make her baby brother smile – she sings, dances, jumps up and down, spits (I’ve tried, and failed to stop it but they both find it hilarious *sigh*) and reads him stories (I didn’t realize just how many books she has committed to memory – either that or she can actually read…)

Now that we’re past the initial shock of having a new baby that was here forever and ever, the sibling love does seem to be there after all.

Two-year old reading a story to baby in a bouncer

My husband and I are both still alive and on speaking terms.

We may both be exhausted and desperately need a good night’s sleep, and we may sometimes often occasionally get frustrated with one another for not magically making the baby/toddler stop screaming and just go to sleep but we’ve made it through the first six months and we’re still looking after each other.

Key strengths:

Managing to function on little sleep, no tea, no cake, no biscuits and no chocolate (but moderate amounts of coffee).

I think this is self-explanatory and definitely deserves at least 20% extra a year (which would bring me to a massive $10000 a year for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year).

Everybody gets fed, every day.

Yes, sometimes my daughter may have fish fingers twice in a week. And she may eat more ham than is probably healthy. And sometimes I just get her chicken dippers and ketchup from Tim Hortons for lunch because I know she’ll eat it *hangs head in shame*.

But she has food. And my husband has food. And I have food. Even when I don’t feel like cooking, there is (usually homemade) food. (Why don’t you go and have a look at some of the recipes on the blog?!)

The house is clean-ish.

The floor may get mopped less than I would like, and my daughter may not have any clothes left that are cleaned or ironed (her T-shirt today is a good 6 months too small but never mind…) and there are definitely a few cobwebs lurking. But overall the house is fairly clean. It’s a complete tip, but a clean tip.

Areas for improvement:

Patience.

My patience is limited at the best of times. When I haven’t slept since… I don’t know, May 2018?… my reserve is practically exhausted.

Toddlers and babies don’t understand this though even if the lack of sleep is completely and utterly their fault.

Enjoying playtime.

Or, at least, better acting.

I do play. I play ‘splash cards’ (puh for qui-quin 🐧 ! duh for god 🐶 ! guh for mummy 🧟‍♀️ ! … We may still have some work to do), I play ‘stamp’ (or snap as most people know it), I play matching pairs, I do colouring, I occasionally do crafts or finger painting, I play with Lego, I build towers, I sing songs and I dance to strange French nursery rhymes about boats with legs…

But my goodness, it’s dull. And I can’t help but feel that my daughter may be able to tell that I would rather be getting on with the washing, or cleaning the bathroom. Once the baby is old enough to play properly I’ll be off the hook, but until then, I need to up my game. (Geddit?! *groan*)

Four toy building blocks spelling out PLAY

SMART targets*:

Get my children into a routine in the next six months.

I feel this would probably help with the lack of patience. If I could reliably have 1 or 2 hours in the day to get on with stuff or just not have a child on/in close proximity to me, I might be able to build up my reserves. Josie from Me, Them and the Others has written about how a routine helped her.

Get both of my children sleeping through the night by the time the baby is a year old.

It would probably improve them dramatically because, seriously, the tired whinging has to stop. My daughter used to sleep through, but gave this up shortly before baby arrived. Now we almost always have a screaming fit in the middle of the night when she wants milk or mummy, or both.

A baby sleeping

Have a full eight hours of sleep at least once within the next six months.

Again, this can only help with patience. And I may even be able to reduce my coffee consumption.

Get through a whole day without losing my blob.

Ok, so this one definitely isn’t SMART, but I can dream.

*For those of you deprived souls who have never enjoyed the corporate development review experience, this stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bound. I’m not sure these targets are really anything other than time-bound… certainly not attainable or realistic unless my children cooperate (ha, ha, ha).

So there we have it. Not doing too badly, I think, even if I do say so myself.  

A two-year old and baby lying together on a bed
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8 thoughts on “Mother of two: my mid-year review”

  1. oh my im going to have to keep following your blog – with baby girl number 2 due in less than 2 months the nerves are defo kicking in now and just reading in amongst your first words they are both still alive really made me giggle

    1. Good luck with your new arrival! It took me about five months to feel like I was maybe getting closer to being on top of things but seeing my two laugh together is just the best thing ever.

  2. Helen – I think you are most definitely over achieving and should be given an immediate payrise – especially without the essential support resources such as tea, cake, biscuits and chocolate – I Mean What???!!!! I just hope you get wine or equivalent at the end of the day. Another brilliant post. #itsok

  3. It sounds like you’re doing a great job. And I’m very glad they’re both still alive. I’m a stickler for routine, but in the early years of two littles, it’s not always possible.
    Thanks for linking up to the #itsok linky.

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