About Me

This blog is about me and my voyage to becoming a mummy. Ironically called “mummy in the baking” as together with my passion and obsession for all things cake related, I will never be able to have my own "bun in the oven." Years of fertility treatment have taken their toll and I now find myself on a new..eek, i hate this word...journey! The crazy train to adoption. I hope you will join me while I bake my way to becoming a mummy. I want this blog to be a source of information as well as a comforter. I hope it will inspire and help anyone who is considering adoption or who has in fact already bought their ticket for this..here I go again...journey. Cake makes me happy and I hope you will enjoy sharing my love of it. I want it to help lift your spirits and hearts through what can only be described as 'the trials and tribulations of the adoption process.' Along with my desire to be a family, I love my dogs, have an unhealthy love of sausages and chenin blanc, adore my land rover uber-nerd of a husband and continiously dream of balmy summer evenings. Baking in progress…..

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A time for thoughts......

A friend who has recently been approved as an adoptive parent (you know who you are Mrs Any Excuse for Bubbles) asked what was the biggest shock and adjustment when adopting and it got me thinking. While trying to be encouraging but at the same respecting her need for honesty, these are my thoughts:

a) Going from zero to hero in one day. Literally being handed a moving little person who is already past their first birthday and is well on the way to toddler-hood and who you are now totally responsible for. And let's not forget, a toddler that is heavily grieving for the loss of his foster carers. I didn't get to experience the early development of the birth child who alternates between crying and feeding and if you're lucky, some sleep. Add into the mix, I didn't have a clue what I was doing half the time. Sure, we did loads of prep on our adoption course but it was all emotional stuff. A far cry from your average ante-natal class. What's the normal amount to feed a toddler? How much milk should they drink and what type? Is that a normal poo? The first nappy I ever changed was during introductions. Shock horror.

b) Parenting a child who is nothing like you or your partner in personality. We are strong, confident, happy, creative and sociable people. To be matched with what turned out to be a shy and socially anxious little boy made for very hard times. I have always struggled to understand shy people and found this the hardest. I would welcome friends into my home with open arms and by the time I had boiled the kettle and gone to cut a wedge of cake, I would find my child hiding in a corner. So when in tough times, you need all the support you can get in terms of friends and social activities and groups, it turns out,  this very concept is what unsettles your little one. It can be very lonely. Make sure you have friends who will always be at the end of a text/email/phone for you. Mrs AAA I could not have done this without you. Hugs xx

c) Books versus instinct. I love books and the house is literally filled with them. I have read a zillion parenting books (to be fair, there was a ridiculous amount of time to kill just waiting during the 2 year adoption process!) but half the time, they really are not written for my little boy. "Read your child, not the books" is my motto. Saying that, my guilty secret is I still read them. Knowledge is power.

d) Finding your groove. I love all things creative. LBM not so much. Having to take that creativity and box it up and put it on a shelf for later is very hard. It's like removing part of your personality. I can honestly say I am not the same person. I had to find a new groove. One that worked for both of us. My husband and I love swimming. I can spend hours floating on a dam in the wild. LBM is terrified of water. I'll let you think about that for a while.

e) The jar of love. My jar of love was pretty full. There was my husband, my dogs, my family, my very special friends and let's not forget my love of cake. I now had to make room for a new person. I didn't know this person at all but yet was expected to squeeze him into this jar immediately. Let's just say we left the lid open for a while. But he now fits snuggly in there. Snug as a star in a jar.
f) Parenting after infertility: There is this hidden guilt amongst new mums. No-one likes to moan. I see it amongst my friends all with their own birth children. They've had a rough couple of days but when asked how things are going, they muster up a smile and say all is well but I can see them fighting back the tears. It's tough. Its really tough but we daren't moan amount it. The guilt is monumental. And believe me, this guilt amongst adoptive mums is even stronger. We have wanted this for so long, and everybody knows that, we daren't whinge at all about the monkey who was refusing point blank to get in the car yesterday when you were already running late for an appointment thanks to the last minute unexpected nappy change. The same monkey who screamed the place down in the supermarket because....well just because.

g) Being assessed, grilled, prodded and poked by what feels like every social worker that ever existed and then finally approved as an prospective adoptive parent and then realising that sometimes, you really suck at it. That!

Monday, 2 February 2015

And breathe.....

And so the winter solstice has past and the new year awakens. Its back to routine. Back to work and nursery schedules. LBM is confused by the break and struggles to settle in again. There are tears...many many tears....but we are assured that 10 min in, he is calm and and back in the zone. I ask them if he 'plays' at nursery and they admit to me they have been talking about this for a while. In essence, he doesn't. He just kind of wanders from activity to activity. I know every child is different and they all learn in different ways but LBM is just not your average toddler. He would much rather feed the dog, sort the laundry, unload the dishwasher or play card games than simply play. Every book I read relinquishes in the amazing fact that you don't have to show children how to play, it's a wonderful trait that 'just comes naturally.'  Errrr...really?

LRUN and I have put in a lot of time and effort literally showing LBM just how to play. To let his imagination take over and to just explore. Rolling cars and tractors around the floor, building towers, jumping off sofas, drawing pictures on a sketchy etc. Why you ask? Surely any help with housework is a bonus. Well, although the pediatricians say this 'mimicry of housework' is a form of play, I had to stress he was not 'mimicking' in an imaginative way. He is literally pushing me out the way and doing the actual tasks himself. When we visit friends and family, I fear he will want to unpack their shopping for them and then sort through Grandad's pants! But the hours are paying off and I can see tiny improvements. The joy I get when I see him pick up a car and push it along, is immense. Even if it is over my leg and onto my head!

We are off to visit my family next month and this my friends involves an 11 hour flight. "You'll be fine" everyone says. Just let him watch movies and take loads of toys to play with. Umm..he doesn't like TV or toys. "Oh dear" is all they all say, whilst giving me that 'look' of "Geesh, good luck with that!" This may well be the longest 11 hours of my life. LRUN is suggesting we have a practice run. Now, practice to run to me means booking a short break somewhere warm and sunny and trying out the flight and holiday experience. Well, what LRUN actually had in mind was me sitting still for 11 hours on the sofa with LBM strapped in next to me  with the other sofa pushed up in front us. You know...to mimic the aeroplane experience. Tempting, I thought...especially if I could get LRUN to be our stewardess and demand he whipped up a batch of this Salted Caramel Frosting and we could literally eat it by the spoonful when things get tough.