Our Christmas Present Is A New Baby

The Mulrooney family meeting Father Christmas who has come on a sleigh to local streets.
Noah is quite clearly thrilled to meet Father Christmas! This is part of a mini Christmas parade that comes through our area every year. They collect money for Pendleside Hospice and hand out presents (Selection Boxes) to children. It was worth freezing our arses off!

Christmas 2022 was pretty uneventful for the Mulrooney family, which, at my age, is the way I like it. We did the usual stuff; Noah opening his presents, the Christmas day meal at the in-laws, being lazy on Boxing Day while also attempting to build Noah’s new toys. We did other stuff around it too, such as going for Christmas Eve breakfast at a local pub. Although, this turned out to be a bit of a nightmare thanks to the impatience of a three-year-old. It was standard stuff, but that’s perfect in my book. 

At the same time, Christmas this year felt unique. While we’ve spent time ensuring that Noah has a magical time, much of our focus has been on what comes after Christmas. Because, a few days from now, our new baby will have arrived.  

It’s odd knowing the exact date your baby is going to arrive, providing everything goes like clockwork. Because Alex has chosen to have a C-section, the hospital assigned us a morning slot in which to turn up. As long as we don’t get bumped down the list due to any emergencies, our baby will be into this world without Alex having to go through the stress of a natural labour (which didn’t happen with Noah either, not through lack of trying on Alex’s part). We’ve heard that a planned C-section is much calmer than the emergency C-section that happened with Noah, so we’re looking forward to the process being a lot smoother. Fingers crossed. 

Are we ready for our second child? I don’t think anyone is ever fully ready. We didn’t feel ready for our first child, but we coped and he’s a now a healthy little boy who often drives us up the wall! People keep telling me that a second child is a whole different ball game. While I’m looking forward to the challenge, I know that the job of being a parent is about to get much harder.  

Thankfully, my work has allowed me to extend my two-week paternity leave by letting me tack on two weeks annual leave so I can have four weeks off work. When you add that to the week I’ve had off for Christmas, that means I’ll be having over a month away from work.  

I wanted to do this for a few reasons. First, it’s going to be a lot harder to look after a new born when you’ve already got a three-year-old causing chaos around the house (he won’t be going back to our childminder until the second week of January). Second, Alex is going to struggle to do things while she recovers from a doctor slicing her open (she can’t drive for six weeks), so I want to be there to help as much as possible. Finally, I want to have as much time to bond with my new child as possible without the distraction of a daily job. I only had two weeks off when Noah arrived, and part of that was taken up by studying for an exam I’d been going to classes for. The plan is to be more present this time around. 

I know I’m in a fortunate position to be able to take so much time off work, and I’m super grateful to the company I work at for letting me do this. We’ll be hit on the financial side for a bit, which isn’t the most ideal situation when it feels like everything is going up in price, but we’ve worked it all out and we can get by on less for a while.  

It won’t feel real until I’ve got our new baby in my arms because, right now, I’m still a bit unaware of how much our life is going to change for the second time. I never thought we would be here again, especially after what happened the first time, but here we are. I’m over the moon about growing our little family, and so excited for what’s to come in the future. Although you may have to remind me of that when I’m attempting to survive the day on two hours sleep! 

If you want to read Alex’s thoughts on this, head over to her blog post.

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