Guest Post – Ten things they never tell a second time mother by Rachel Dove

First of all, let me introduce myself. I recently turned 30 and have two gorgeous, erratically wonderful boys. When I was 25, I had fertility treatment to get my first wonderful child. Life was sweet and I jumped into my role as a neat, tidy mother with an immaculate, well turned out child and ‘shiny pin’ home and car. When said child was 6 months old, I found I was miraculously expecting again. No planning, no fertility treatment.

Once the shock wore off, and I dragged my husband back from the hills, I settled into preparing to be the perfect mother of two. Now my sons are 3 and 2, my hair is greyer, my house constantly smells of poo (potty training a deux) and the once perfect house, although still lovely, now resembles a graveyard for odd socks, chewed jigsaw pieces and mashed banana.

Here is my wisdom: to pass onto frazzled mothers who have a second baby, especially with less than a two year gap, something to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you have two toddlers and you don’t recognise yourself in any of the following, then first, congratulations, second – seriously?

And thirdly – can I please have your number? I always need good sitters!

1. Your once immaculate wardrobe, filled with beautiful, sexy clothes will disappear into a small pile of saggy sweatpants, trusty jeans, vest tops, baggy jumpers and oodles and oodles of bad pyjamas featuring woodland animals. All of the above will be crusted in toddler snot, Weetabix and the pockets filled at all times with dummies, baby wipes (again crusted with snot) and raisins.
2. To match the snazzy outfits, your hair will be greying, with inch long roots, and you will learn to scrape it back out of your face with whatever lies close by, hair bobbles, elastic bands, tatty old thongs. Sometimes the lack of hair washing will require you to wear the beanie hat you keep for just such emergencies.
3. Leisurely baths, complete with chilled wine, the latest paperback, and scented shimmering candles are a thing of the past, besides birthdays and Mother’s Day. These will be replaced by frantic showers whilst your youngest empties out your expensive, never used bubble bath down the toilet and your eldest stares at you, horrified, saying ‘mummy, where has your widgy gone?’
4. Your DVD rack will now be filled with Numberjacks, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Shrek. Tamara Drewe, Sex and the City and Bridget Jones’ Diary will be hidden away at the bottom of your wardrobe.
5. Your car CD player will now contain The Rescuers audio books, Nursery Rhymes and Wheels on the Bus. Nina Symone, Pink and Lady Ga Ga will sit sulking in the wardrobe with Bridget.
6. Your washing and ironing piles will always be at gargantuan proportions, despite the fact your groaning dryer and whinging washing machine get through 4 loads a day.
7. Your child will consider your oversized handbag to be his private treasure trove, filling it with half eaten grape crackers, lumps of discarded cheese, and Flumpy, their moth eaten elephant. To make room for their things, they will pull out yours, normally waving your tampons in the bank and trying to write with them. Or stick them up their nose.
8. You will talk to your bed lovingly, like a long lost lover, caressing the bed sheets, stroking the pillows, whispering sweet nothings about being together again. When you finally crawl into said bed, you will realise you have laid on a squashed grape, which is now smushed in your hair. Jerking away under the covers, you ram your bare foot into Buzz Lightyear who screams ‘To Infinity, and Beyond! Dog barks, house is awake. Bugger.
9. Your coveted pile of books that you keep buying languish on your dusty bookshelves, begging to be read. Meanwhile, you could recite every one of Julia Donaldson’s books. In your sleep. And do the illustrations.
10. You will never be so stressed, tired, hyper organised but still swimming in chaos. Or so happy and joyful that you catch yourself thinking, ‘wow, are these kids really mine?

Hope these made you laugh and did not depress you too much!
For more random musings, or to give tips on removing chocolate finger marks from Kindle covers see:-

Follow me on Twitter: @Writerdove

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Alisons Pirate and Princess party

Wow, all the guests have finally gone home and the house is currently being cleaned by hubby. I am exhausted. Today has been great and everyone has commented on the party bags with Princesses for girls and Pirates for boys everyone was dressed for the occasion and having loads of fun.

We had lots of compliments on the decor like this princess bunting (which has now been put up in Elizabeths bedroom)

However people couldnt resist the look of these two beautiful princesses

Elizabeth just said I had to show you this one too

Big thanks to @dreamboxparties for supplying all the decorations and party bags (please read my review page for more information on Dreambox parties).

We also had a bouncy castle supplied by and some lovely animal guests from animalz takeover

Everything provided for this party was paid for by myself and all views are my own.

Share the Blog Love Saturdays

For the cringe factor


For good news


For allowing me to dream


Because the cow in the toilet made me choke on my coffee


Because it happens to the best of us


For honestly and courage


To the lady who once again astounds me with her posts


Because He is the most entertaining blogger in my reader


Not just mine then ..


Because we all blog about burpees, writing and photos


The Baby Show – Manchester 02/09/11 to 04/09/11

Having been very kindly given a few free tickets to the baby show at Manchester I dished out a few to other people and skived off work for the morning. I happily arranged to meet @mymummyspennies who I had spoken to on Twitter and Facebook.

Having only been to the baby show once before a long time ago I wasnt really sure what to expect but I have to say I spoke to some lovely people, spent money I wasnt supposed to spend and came out with lots of freebies.

One thing that really surprised me was the creche facility run by Artfull Splodgers and Fisher Price.

Almost wished I had the kids with me…almost.

Other great finds was this stall

I have order Elizabeth and Alison both jigsaw names great for teaching letters and how to recognise there own name.

I also bought a carry me potty, bit dubious but as I am away on holiday next week I thought it could be useful. At least it will be good for the car.

So I know you all want to know what freebies I got.

Prima baby buy 2 magazines for £2 get a goodie bag full of wipes, creams and other random items.
Lanisol gave out cooling breast pads and trolley keyrings
Bebecomfort stall had tiny toys bags with a free toy inside
Aqua babies had free rubber ducks in some wonderful colours
Dettol gave out packs with wipes and money off coupons

Most other stalls had leaflets and catalogues but I haven’t had a chance to look through those yet.

If your heading there this weekend have a good time and if you aren’t going enjoy your weekend anyway.

Review: ITFAP personalised birthday invitations

When I saw a shout out to mummy bloggers on Twitter on 17th August from @ITFAP for birthdays coming up I knew I had to apply. Thankfully I won.

With Alison having a princess and pirate party it was hard to find invitations that fitted the theme. A quick look on showed me that even they didnt do them. Mmmm now what? I sent them a quick email suggesting they make me one using a princess and superhero design they had but swapping the superhero for a pirate. I had a response within 30 minutes and this is what I received.

It was absolutely perfect. So waiting anxiously for the package to arrive through the post I wondered about the quality of the print. The card used was brilliant, the print quality and colours really good and the envelopes included made a great finishing touch. One other thing is I needed an extra invite so i just printed a copy of the proof I was sent.

Her party is on Saturday and I know we will have a good time and that all our guests will now remember thanks to ITFAP’s invitations.

*the views contained are my own, i received one pack of 12 personalised invitations for free from

My Wedding

I couldn’t really think of a post to write today so thought I would recap over my wedding. It was not a normal wedding by any means. We had a halloween themed wedding.

We got married in a very gothic town hall, had our meal at the only horror themed restaurant in the north west and then had our wedding reception at Old trafford football ground.

Elizabeth was 16.5 months and Alison was 8 weeks and 1 day.

Heres some of my favourite pictures

My Chauffeur

Wedding venue

My little family with witnesses

My Bridesmaids, my mum and Elizabeth as flower girl

The Bestman, my hubby and the ushers

Old Trafford

The Table Settings (as done by me)

My hand carved pumpkin (there were 6 that I carved the day before)

My wedding cake

Cake topper

Elizabeth in the coffin

Hubby in the stocks

Party Games

I hope you have enjoyed a look at my weird and wonderful wedding. What was yours like? Or what would you like yours to be like?

ps. you can also watch it on four weddings season 2 episode 10 (I wasnt that much of a bitch honest its just editing)


As a mum that one words symbolises a lot. Its amazing how one little thing that we have always taken for granted can soon become one of the most important and most valued things in our lifes.

Without SLEEP the children are grumpy.

Without SLEEP mummy is grumpy.

With SLEEP the children are happy.

With SLEEP mummy is happy.

How much sleep is really needed to make mummy happy? Alison (nearly 2) is a good sleeper, she always has been. I might get up with her once in a fortnight and even then its usually a case of rearranging her duvet or giving her cuddly cow (her comforter) or if she really won’t settle a little bit of milk. Elizabeth (3) however has always been a bad sleeper, if I had two whole nights a week without her waking up it was a miracle. Recently we implemented a new chart (she has had a lot) this one was from supernanny (heres the link) it is a nice pirate one. We cut out the pirate and put a bit of blutack on the back and everytime she sleeps all night he moves up the chart. I also downloaded a fairy one for Alison and this I believe is what made it work. You see because Alison sleeps her fairy got moved nearly every morning. We explained to Elizabeth why she couldnt move hers and she watched as Alison got a high five and she realised that she was missing out.

This has been a miracle, it has now been 7 nights that Elizabeth has slept all night, yes you read that right 7 WHOLE NIGHTS OF SLEEP. So how am I feeling? Well actually still pretty tired, obviously it takes longer than 7 nights to catch up on over 3 years of sleep deprivation but there is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully we will get there soon.

How long has it been since you had some real SLEEP?

Happiness is..

There are a few things on life that really make you feel happy on the inside, sat here writing this I can hear two of them.

My children playing upstairs hapily together giggling away and my husband doing the washing.

These things make me truly happy, I am sure there are others like a healthy bank balance and no bills but for today these two will do.

What is making you happy at the moment?