When babyland and normal land collide


The first few weeks after having a baby are a blur of broken nights, dirty nappies, feeding and cuddles. You exist in this cocoon, a bubble away from normal land, where everything is focused on your new little bundle and their needs. Gradually, as the weeks pass, the bubble starts to get smaller until it pops, and you realise that you’re no longer in babyland, you now live in normal land, with a baby.

This is all very nice as long as things run smoothly. Normal land requires you to have half a brain, you see. You need to remember stuff – appointments, school activities, work meetings and how to access your email. It’s very difficult to take part properly in normal land if your baby has been up most of the night and is having a growth spurt-related feeding frenzy. You just want to keep your PJs on and go back to the days when you could sleep when your baby sleeps, like you did when you lived in babyland.

This week has been the first since my second baby was born ten weeks ago, where I’ve felt physically torn between babyland and normal land. My baby girl’s first noticeable growth spurt (which has meant a couple of days where she’s fed every two hours throughout the night and every hour during the day) has coincided with the busiest week in my four year old’s school calendar. 

If she was my first baby I could have slept when she slept – instead of rushing around to get us all up, dressed and out of the house by 8.30am, trailing whatever was needed for the school activity that day (sausage rolls, party outfits, dressing up clothes, Christmas cards). And if I wasn’t self-employed then I could have ignored the emails about potential new work projects and switched off my phone, instead of trying to type one handed with a feeding baby in the other arm.

Smiling baby

It’s only inevitable that I’ll drop a ball sooner or later and that day came on Wednesday. It was Frog’s school Christingle service at church and I’d misread the text telling all parents to meet at school to collect their child’s Christingles before taking them to church for the service. Frog was really excited to show me the Christingle she’d made earlier that day. She was literally skipping with glee at the thought of eating the jelly beans and raisins on it. So I knew I’d messed up big time when, sitting in an empty church wondering where everyone was, children started to file in with their parents holding their Christingles. It was too late to go to school, so I had to tell Frog she wouldn’t have her Christingle and explain that I’d made a mistake. Obviously she cried, and obviously I felt awful, cursing myself for not being better at juggling and remembering stuff and being Super Mum.

But today is another day and it’s made me realise something. I can’t go into the new year with unrealistic expectations of what I can manage. I’m still working out exactly what that is, but in the meantime I’m going to stick my head back into babyland for a little while longer, before working out how to make babyland and normal land exist happily side by side.

If you have any tips, I’m all ears.



  1. says

    It will get better. I remember completely forgetting to go to Sarah’s induction evening at Nursery. For the first time in since she’d be born (about 6 weeks), Charlotte was asleep at the point one of us was supposed to go. M was shattered and had fallen asleep too with the baby in his arms. This was despite Sarah singing every 5 minutes, “I’m going to nursery school”. I found post it notes by the front door, to remind me and the family organiser on the wall with all family members’ names on it. We still have one and Sarah and Charlotte are still there, despite not living here. Some habits die hard but they can be difficult to establish too! Don’t beat yourself up. It made no difference to Sarah’s first experience of state education!! Also Christingles come with a warning. Charlotte got a bit too close one year, and on the smell of singed hair, I had to do a quick blow before she went up in flames. She was peering at the sweets a little too closely!

  2. says

    Oh bless, the cliche of ‘it happens to the best of us’ just doesn’t cut it when you are in the thick of a situation like that, even if it’s a very true cliche.
    Look after yourself and good job with the juggling. I’m always lame for advice but I would say take it a day at a time, it’s new for all of you so there’s no right or wrong xx

  3. Emma says

    Oh Molly ….

    In my experience from the dark side …
    School I mean not parenthood. It looks
    To me that you are indeed a super mum!

    Parents and teachers alike have tonnes
    To do at this time of year and at times
    We all forget something. It is what
    Makes us human and at least you will
    Be able to chuckle about it in the

    You were there for your little girl on her
    Special day and she was proud you were
    That’s what matters xxx

    Have a great Christmas in mother and
    Baby land and be kind to yourself !

    You do a great job all the time x

  4. Grandma from the north says

    Loving the picc and recognise the outfit! She’s so much a little girl now…changed and I missed it!
    She looks so happy and content and very much like F at that age.
    Well done you for balancing all demands!

  5. Grandma from the north says

    My tip – keep hold of it!
    babyland and normal land are always there but as the years go by you wish to be back in babyland! Unforgettable. x

  6. says

    Every sympathy, juggling children, new baby and work is hard, my only tip is to take things one day at a time and celebrate every day they are tucked up safe at night as another day you succeeded in balancing everything. Merry Christmas to you and your family x

  7. says

    Having just had my 4th 2 weeks ago I know what you mean, being self employed too I have to start back at work very soon in order to keep the money flowing and it will be one handed typing whilst I swerve from baby land back to normality lol Baby is as good as gold but trying to organize the older three is tough going especially at this time of year I forgot both of the non uniform days last week for Mikey, and ended up dropping him at school on the brink of tears after him confessing his big brother had found a stash of hidden presents and decided to tell them all that Santa wasn’t real if mum had the presents under her bed and I stupidly moaned at him about their sneeking around spoiling Christmas – ultra bad mummy points – but hey ho I am pleased School has broke up now and although Christmas shopping is somewhat late and I have so much to do I am just hoping we can pull things off and enjoy the season :)

  8. says

    Please don’t feel bad…….you are an awesome Mummy, but we all have our off days – my off days have become so frequent that some of the other school Mums have taken to sending me texts/messages 1st thing in the morning to remind me what us needed at school that day *dies of shame* (in my defence, I have 3 year groups to cope with now!) You were there, & that’s what counts! My youngest is a dab hand of informing the world, very loudly, of my failings to manage to have clean pants ready for everyone, to remember to bring a vegetable or costume in……..my hope is that in years to come these will form the basis of many a hilarious anecdote round the kitchen table!

  9. Natalie Bailey says

    I love reading your blog as my girls are pretty much same agr as yours (4 and 16 weeks) and I too am struggling to keep on top of the list of things to remember for school – last week was food for party, snowflake costume, cards and Christmas jumper (which I also had to fit in buying!). I’m enjoying the baby bit so much this time, but like you, want to stay in babyland just a bit longer!

  10. says

    Well done for being as organised as you are after just having a baby and also having a 4 year old. I’m dreading how I’m going to juggle a 5 year old and a new baby but atleast he has school so can maybe get organised for a few hours. I know I’ll be exhausted though with the sleepless nights :(

    Can’t believe you’re doing work already as well, big thumbs up and pat on the back to you. I don’t think I could manage that at all. Hopefully things get easier though as you settle into more of a routine :)


  11. Ghislaine Forbes says

    STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! You have a beautiful Christmas tree (I don’t mean NLM), 2 gorgeous girls. Relax and focus on what you’ve achieved not what you have forgotten. Love ma x

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