Category: Baby

Amazon | What you don’t know you need: Baby 0-3 months

After having two babies now, i’d like to think I have a good idea of a few items that you won’t necessarily think of when you start your long, long,…

After having two babies now, i’d like to think I have a good idea of a few items that you won’t necessarily think of when you start your long, long, list of items you need for your baby.

Here are a selection of my Amazon must haves for babies aged 0-3 months. Some of these items I have had for both children and some of these items I have had for just one or on my Amazon wish list.

Cool Mist Humidifier 

baby amazon must haves

This is a MUST HAVE. If I had to choose one product out of all my baby products (obviously not including milk etc) it would be this one. The sleep we all get when having this switched on in the room is so much better. It is incredible if you or your little one has a stuffy nose, bad chest or a nasty cough. IT really clears your airways. Air changes at night so you will find your little one coughing more. Having this switched on helps to stop that.

Jelly Cat Bookamazon baby must haves

Mole and Frankie are two completely different babies. One thing they have in common is their love for this book. The tails are easy for baby to grab and the fabrics are great sensory play. The story in the book is great to read to a toddler. For us, it has been the perfect toy they can both share.

Travel Cot With Net

amazon baby must haves

If you have a newborn and you have a dog or a toddler, this travel cot will be a life saver.

For the moments when you need to nip to the loo or make a fresh bottle. You can place your baby in this travel cot with the zip up and be assured that your toddler will not be poking their hands into the cot and the dog will not be licking their face.

The cot is well designed too. It does not look like an eye sore in the room and it can fold up small when you need to store it. We kept ours in the living room.

MAM Bottle Dispenser 

amazon baby must havesThis is a new product I purchased for Frankie. Considering I formula fed Mole after a few months of breast feeding, not sure how I lived with out it.

This product comes with me everywhere. No more spilling formula all over me and looking like I have been on some sort of wild night out with a suspicious powder all over my clothes.

There is more than one compartment for multiple feeds rather than opening lot’s of different pots.

I even fill this milk dispenser up on days where I am at home all day, just to save that extra bit of time. I can make a bottle straight away.

Nappy Caddy

amazon baby must havesHave one of these in your living room and bedroom. Keep all the nappy changing essentials in there and a spare change of clothes for your baby. It just means that everything is tidy and organised but most importantly, you don’t have to keep going upstairs to change your baby.

Car Seat Rain Cover

amazon baby must havesI appreciate this product more now with a second baby. When your baby falls asleep in the car and you finally arrive at your destination, the last thing you want to do is wake your peacefully sleeping baby. If you have go the travel car seat pram system, then this product is great for our lovely British weather.

You can keep baby in the car seat whilst they are protected from England’s lovely rain. Rather than moving them over to the pram, potentially waking them, to use the rain cover.

Easy Changing Mat With Nappy And Wipe Compartment

amazon baby must havesNappy changing when you’re out and about has never been easier. All you have to do is reach into the changing bag and pull out this one product. Everything you need can be stored inside.

I hold Frankie in one arm and take this product with me to the changing room. So much easier than searching through the baby bag for wipes, bags and a nappy…sometimes a spare change of clothes too.

Natural Wooden Hair Brush Set

amazon baby musthavesThis product is on my Amazon wish list. A very Instagram friendly brush set. They look beautiful and all natural. But, the part that caught my eye was how they are cradle cap friendly.

Wardrobe Dividers

Iamazon baby must havesf you have not already got this product yet, you need to invest. When your baby is born, you are gifted with clothes in all sorts of sizes. Wardrobe dividers will help to keep your baby’s wardrobe organised. They make it easy when you want to grab an outfit out and all the clothes are already listed in the correct size.

A small product that is a must have which is very easily overlooked.

I hope you found some products here from Amazon, which you would not usually think of. Yet, are still must have products.

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My Toddler’s a Fussy Eater: Tips

I can not begin to tell you how many meals I have made for Mole and they have ended up going in the bin. It’s like she can taste the…

Fussy Eating toddlerI can not begin to tell you how many meals I have made for Mole and they have ended up going in the bin. It’s like she can taste the smallest bit of pea mashed into meal. A shame really as when we started weaning Mole would eat everything!

We recently attended a dietician appointment. It was suppose to be for Frankie and his milk allergy but seen as we are already a dairy free household we switched the conversation onto Mole and her fussy eating.

I left the appointment feeling reassured and determined with Mole’s meal time issues.

Here are her tips and some of my own that have really helped us:

Do not serve up a different meal

The biggest mistake I was making was, when Mole refused her food, I would go and serve her up a completely different meal. My biggest worry was that I didn’t want her to go hungry. But more often than not, she would then refuse the next meal. It was almost like a game with her and the more she played up, the more attention she would get because I didn’t want her to be upset or throw her plate on the floor.

The dietician advised to ignore her tantrum. If she gets worse, take the plate away, calm her down and reassure her. Even if she needs to have a little break away but then go back, give her the same plate. This way she is not learning she can demand what ever dinner she wants.

Change location

Once in a while, I do an indoor picnic. I make it sound really exciting for her, we set a place up in the living room and I serve her simple foods like fruit and sandwiches. If I was to give her this in her high chair she would not eat it. Yet for some reason she eats every single bit of food this way. The important thing is, it gives us both a reset. Its stress free for me and I know she is eating. And exciting for her.

Sometimes she is distracted with her toys in the living room, I just make sure that even if it takes a while for her to eat, she does go back to her picnic and eat.

Family Timefussy eating toddler tips

The whole family eating together at the same time helps. It establishes a good routine and you are being a positive role model. Mole is then not distracted by what someone else is doing and trying ways to get their attention.

I like to show Mole i’m eating the same food as her too and how tasty it is.

Again if we hit a bad meal time, when she has been in the highchair long enough, I will put her on my knee and let her explore some of my dinner. This is only when I have finished eating too. For some reason, she seems to be more open to trying food off my plate than her own.

Don’t overkill the favourites

Easier said than done when you know what their favourite meal is. The fussier Mole became, the more I was serving up her favourite pasta dish. Then I realised she was eating it 5 times a week! Soon Mole showed no interest in eating it. Which at the time, you are so caught up in dinner time, you automatically think she is just being fussy again or teething when really, she is bored of it.

Back in time

One question we asked the dietician was “Why does she go three days eating loads of food, then another three days not wanting anything?”

Her response was interesting. Humans use to have to go for long periods of time not eating food as it was not available. In our nature we are trained to fast. This is so we would have been prepared for the hard times. As a baby, we are still programmed that way but as we grow older, we realise that food is readily available so we unlearn this behaviour and teach ourselves to eat everyday.

It’s completely normal for Mole to have an appetite some days and others not wanting much at all. Respect her and offer her food but, if she is not hungry, do not stress.

Common food

The dietician said: If you keep serving Broccoli, Mole will never see this as unusual, and one day, she might actually go to try it. It may time a long time, but, it will happen. Where as, if you never give her Broccoli, and then suddenly make a big deal about it to her she will more likely play up to it.

Personally, I felt a bit confused by this one as I hate wasting food and did not want to keep throwing away veg in the bin. I gave it ago and she was right, Mole took a few weeks to try it.

Fun food

Make food more fun. Cut it out into different shapes, make funny faces with it or get them involved in making it. This could be a make your own pizza night or simply putting the pasta into an empty pan for you. The more fun it is, the more likely they will eat it. Switch off any distractions like the TV so they can fully focus on the food.

 

I hope these tips help you. They have certainly helped us. Having a fussy eater can be hard but, I think it is important to know that because they have a label of a fussy eater, does not mean we have to accept this and have stressful meal times. There are ways we can have fun meal times where food is not thrown onto the floor on purpose.

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Potty Training: Tips before your child starts

It is usually advised to start potty training your child when they are between 18 months to three years old. This is when they are more emotionally and physically ready…

It is usually advised to start potty training your child when they are between 18 months to three years old. This is when they are more emotionally and physically ready for it.

As a first time mum, I had no experience on potty training before and my first perception of it was a task that could be done within a week. While this is possible for some children, it certainly wasn’t the case for Mole. With researching potty training, there were actually a few things we needed to do before we officially started.

Firstly,

You need to make sure your child is actually ready themselves for potty training. The signs below will give you an idea if you’re child is ready. Please note, your child does not have to do all of these signs, but by showing they can do a good few will make potty training easier in the long run.

Signs your child is ready to be potty trained

  • Pulling on their nappy
  • Say when they have a wet nappy or show signs of being uncomfortable
  • Taking an interest in you going to the toilet
  • Can say the words wee wee or poo poo or something similar.
  • They hide to do a poo or stop to do a wee
  • Can go a few hours with a dry nappy
  • Go to do a poo at regular times
  • Wants to be more independent
  • Enjoys praise and will do activities for praise
  • Understands your question of “do you need a wee?”

What to do before you start potty trainingtoddler potty training tips

Before you go ahead with the potty training, there are actually a few tips you can do first. This will help to ease you and your toddler into it.

  • Take you toddler to the toilet with you every time you go. Explain to them exactly everything you are doing, from pulling your pants down, flushing and washing your hands. This will help them to become familiar with the routine.
  • Let your toddler choose their big girl or boy pants. Make it fun for them. They don’t have to wear fashionable ones, just let them be in control.
  • Buy toddler friendly potty training books. I got Mole this one from Amazon: Princess Potty Book. It’s surprising how much they learn from a book and again making the process seem fun for them.
  • Invest in a sticker praise chart. Explaining how to get the sticker praise first will make them see a reason to start. Using stickers is a healthier alternative to sweet treat praise too.
  • Invest in a potty. We first got a potty and Mole was too small for it. So before you start try out different potty’s until you find the right one for your child.
  • Get a new toy or find new videos on your phone or tablet. This is a distraction technique to help them stay sat on the potty. Getting together new toys or videos will be more intriguing for them.
  • Have a word with yourself. Be prepared. The first few days will be messy so ask yourself is this the right time to do it before you start? It is best to stay in the house too, so ask yourself if you can handle that for a few days.

I hope you found this useful and remember, if you or your child is not ready there is no pressure. Start again when you both are.

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Two under two | What it is really like

Two months of having my gorgeous little squish Frankie. And two months in on being a mum of two under two. What is it like you ask? Well, I am…

Two months of having my gorgeous little squish Frankie. And two months in on being a mum of two under two.

What is it like you ask?

Well, I am here now to explain how I am truly finding life…

The first few daystwo under two

The first few days felt easy for me. I am not sure if it was because I was running off adrenaline or going from 0 to 1 felt so much harder than the jump 1 to 2.

I struggled with motherhood first time around. This was one of those niggly thoughts I would torment myself with during my second pregnancy. Asking myself over and over, “will I struggle again?”.

With Molly, everything came as a complete shock. I guess you could say I lived a very selfish life before becoming a mum. After having all the time in the world to myself to suddenly having zero time for myself. I use to spend days mourning my “old” life.

Fitting Frankie into my life felt like that missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle was finally found.  I felt nothing but pure joy. I got to experience love at first sight and I was lucky enough to feel that rush of emotions. two under two

New mum and loneliness

A few weeks in, feeling extremely overwhelmed got the better own me.  I felt extremely trapped and lonely. Having a baby shows who your real friends are. Those friends that drop everything to come and see you. Those friends that will drive over an hour to come and congratulate you. So dealing with a new addition and all the overwhelming feelings of being a new mum again is hard enough, but, you also have to deal with the realising who you thought cared about you don’t. That goes for family too.

Personally, I find it challenging to be out and about with both of them on my own. Mole hates the pram and wants to run the opposite way. I’ve found that short trips are helping. It’s nice to do simple trips and see adults out and about.

Playing Super Mum

The first few days you really do try and do it all. I was fighting against myself to let go of the jobs I was so use to doing. I would wake up at daft o clock to rush into see Molly, for when she first wakes up in the morning after being up all hours of the night. I tried to take them both to soft play on my own at 9am on a Monday morning. I wouldn’t go to bed until all the clothes in the washing basket were ironed and put away. I could go on and on at all of the stuff I was trying to do.

It is so easy to forget that when you only had one, there was more time for washing or more time for the extra 10 minutes in a shower. Not that I am incapable as a Mother not being able to do it all. I just don’t have the same time.

Once the all nighters became a regular occurrence, I genuinely felt my body was breaking down on me. I knew it was time to let the washing slide, not be on top of emptying the dishwasher and take it easy with trying so hard to get out of the house with two on my own.

The hardest part to deal with, has been letting Jay take care of some of Molly’s jobs. I have looked after her and been present for so much of her life. I had full control in knowing what she needed and it is scary letting someone else take the ropes. I battle with thinking she won’t like me as much anymore or will she think I prefer Frankie over her. But accepting or asking for help will make you feel so much better.

The new routine

two under two

I use to tell everyone how easy it is having two under two as Frankie slots into Molly’s routine. He did at first. But trying to care for a newborn and a toddler requires a whole new routine.

If you are like me and do not like change, you will understand how hard this part was for me. I kept bath and bed times the same for Molly. I am not as strict on the times. Before I would make sure she was having her 10:00am nap dot on, now, if I am feeding Frankie at that time, I am not going to stress myself out that she is going to become over tired and not go down.

It felt inconvenient trying to look after Frankie with keeping Molly’s routine the same. He is now slowly getting his feeding times the same or his naps and it has been far easier to slowly change Molly’s routine into fitting in with Frankie.

Bath and Bed Time Madness

My most asked question is: “What do you do at bath and bedtime when on your own?”

two under two

Answer: Tea starts at 4:30pm. This gives me time to make it without a hungry toddler screaming at me. Molly is in her highchair watching TV eating a fruit starter whilst I feed Frankie.

After tea, Molly goes straight upstairs with me and Frankie. Molly plays in the playroom whilst I get both of their outfits ready for the next day and their pyjamas for after the bath.

Molly goes in the bath first at around 6:00pm. Frankie sits next to me in his Angel Care bath seat. Depending on Molly’s mood, after her bath she either goes straight to bed or stays up helping me bath Frankie and we all ready a story together afterwards.

Frankie goes back downstairs for another feed and usually naps until I take him up to bed at 11:00pm.

(Update: I am now bathing Frankie at 8:00pm and then putting him straight to bed)

Happiness

With all that said above, there is no happiness like it. Sure days are twice as hard, nights are twice as hard and life becomes twice as hard. But, life becomes even better than you thought imaginable. Seeing your two children bond with each other will make your heart feel like it is going to explode!

I would not change my life for the world. I am so happy!

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I just wanted to throw a little honesty out there as it is okay to admit life can be hard as well as being the best.

 

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Elvie Breast Pump Review | Is it worth the money?

My experience with using a traditional pump to express breast milk after my first pregnancy with Mole was no fun. The whole process felt like a tedious chore. I was…

My experience with using a traditional pump to express breast milk after my first pregnancy with Mole was no fun. The whole process felt like a tedious chore. I was lucky enough to have an electric pump, but, I was constantly tied down to it as it had to be plugged in. The loud pumping noise drove my partner insane and I ended up giving up with it.

This time, I was determined to not only make expressing breast milk work for us, but most importantly, to enjoy it too.

Purchase the Elvie Breast Pump Here

Elvie Breast Pump Review

Researching

After hours and hours of research into finding a pump that would work for us, I came across the Elvie Breast Pump. Every website I checked said it was sold out or they had a waiting list for a few weeks. Well instead of putting me off this intrigued me even further.

Why was it constantly sold out? Is it really that good?

The clean modern and sleek design compared to current breast pumps on the market made it look a whole lot more attractive. In a similar way of having the latest iPhone compared to an old Nokia. In fact, it looks so modern that it doesn’t even look like a breast pump.

Key Features

  • Small, compact and lightweight
  • Fits inside a nursing bra
  • Hands-free
  • Revolutionary silent technology
  • Five parts and no tubes, cords or wires
  • Closed system for maximum hygiene
  • Two modes: Stimulation and Expression
  • Seven intensity settings
  • Smart app
  • Comes with: one hub (the pump mechanism), two bottles (5oz/150ml, BPA free), two different sized breast shields, two valves, two spouts, two seals, two storage lids, two bra adjusters, a USB charging cable and a carry bag

Elvie Claims:

Elvie Pump is the world’s first silent wearable breast pump, giving you more freedom and mobility while you pump

Double electric breast pump for hands-free expressing at home, at work or on-the-go

Small and lightweight to fit discreetly inside your nursing bra so you can pump anytime, anywhere

My Experience

I was sold. Elvie Pump is the world's first silent wearable breast pump, giving you more freedom and mobility while you pump Double electric breast pump for hands-free expressing at home, at work or on-the-go Small and lightweight to fit discreetly inside your nursing bra so you can pump anytime, anywher

The product arrived with minimal packaging (something I am big on now), with very few pieces to set up.

I just had to download the app and connect everything together.

The pump easily fits inside your nursing bra. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is completely discreet as the on button lights up through your top. The pump was so comfortable that you can barely feel it working. The best part is, you can get up and carry on with jobs around the house of like me, see to your toddler and newborn without even giving pumping a second thought.

Cleaning the pump is no problem too. The non-electrical parts can be put in the dishwasher and sterilised.

App FeaturesElvie Breast Pump Review

  • Track milk volume
  • Pumping history for each breast
  • Control the pump remotely (changing intensity, pausing or restarting).

 

Downside of the Elvie Breast Pump

The price. Currently costing £249.00, the Elvie Breast Pump is one of the most expensive breast pumps on the market. And that is just for one pump.

Another downside to the Elvie Breast Pump that I disappointingly experienced was, when the pump started to fill up over half way, the milk would leak out onto my top. I put it down to me moving around. A shame when being able to be portable is one of the pumps biggest selling points but if you do move around then it leaks out.

I then tried the pump with a smaller breast shield and whilst sitting down and it still leaked out all over my top.

The measurements of milk on the app were off. Sometimes the app would claim it is full when it was not.

Although the pump claims to be silent, you can still hear it switched on pumping away over the TV on a medium volume.

 

Final VerdictElvie Breast Pump Review

I love the Elvie Breast Pump. The smart technology was extremely helpful for me to track how well I was producing milk, very important for me whilst I was exclusively expressing.

Although I would not feel confident using this pump at work (teaching a class of students) due to the noise or the leaking issue, I still love how the pump fits discreetly into your bra. It is so convenient to use, I doubt I would have ever been able to have exclusively expressed for so long with a toddler around without this pump.

 

Purchase the Elvie Breast Pump here

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New Sibling: Preparing your toddler

The first time around, when you bring home your newborn, you are focused on figuring everything out together. Just you and them. The second time around is a little different….

The first time around, when you bring home your newborn, you are focused on figuring everything out together. Just you and them.

The second time around is a little different. As you have a toddler to contend with. You need to make sure that they are comfortable with the new addition to the family and they have an understanding on what is going on.

introducing a newborn to a toddler

I’m no expert, but, Mole seems to be so content with her baby brother, that I thought u’d share with you some tips we did prior to Frankie’s arrival and how we introduced them both.

Tips to introduce your toddler to your newborn during pregnancy

Role Play

Whilst pregnant with Frankie, I gave Mole a baby doll to play with. We was lucky really as she really took to the doll. Together I would teach her how to care for the doll by feeding it a bottle and loving it with kisses and cuddles but most importantly being gentle. If Mole wasn’t interested in the doll that day, then I would pay no attention to it and just leave Mole to play with toys she wanted to instead.introducing a newborn to a toddler

Talking to my tummy

We would have fun and point at my tummy and say “baby” so Mole would get some understanding that there was a baby inside my belly. When Frankie was kicking, i’d let Mole feel his kicks and say “baby”. I doubt she truly understood I had an actual baby inside me but it was a fun bonding session.

Tips to introduce your toddler to your newborn

The first introduction

Personally, I didn’t want Mole present at the hospital. I don’t think its the place for a toddler running around, and I knew I would not have the energy to deal with tantrums if she played up. I wasn’t too sure on how my delivery was going to go too, so I made sure to have childcare in place. It was good to spend time with Frankie getting to know him and as the first few days of a newborn is demanding, I was able to give him my full attention. That being said, it was super hard not to see Mole for a couple of days because I rarely leave her.

Finding Baby

To make the introduction fun for Mole, we turned it into a game of finding baby. Frankie was asleep and settled in his bed so me and Mole went on the hunt for him. When she found him, it must have felt rewarding for her. turning the whole experience into a positive one. The main reason I did this was so she didn’t feel replaced as she might of if I was holding him when she first saw him.introducing a newborn to a toddler

Rewarding good behaviour

Whenever Mole was positive towards Frankie by kissing him or being gentle, we would be really over the top with saying “well done” making her feel like she was being a very good girl and giving her lot’s of attention for the right behaviour.

Solo time together

Mole was use to seeing me alone without Frankie. It had always just been me and her. I felt that it was still important to give her that same experience when possible. I would either do her bedtime one night just me and her or whilst Frankie was napping, we would read books together or do Arts and Crafts.

A lending hand

I really include Mole when it comes to changing Frankie. I ask Mole to get me his nappy or if she wants to sit and help. Obviously if she isn’t interested I would never force her, but she actually seems to find it fun and loves the responsibility.

On nights where i’m solo parenting, I bath Mole first and then bathe Frankie. During Frankie’s bath, I ask Mole if she wants to come and help wash him. Or ask her to choose a book for the bedtime story.

introducing a newborn to a toddler

You will always have that fear during your second pregnancy if you will be able to give both your children the attention they need. The answer is yes you will. You will find your own way of making it work.

If your toddler seems to not be interested when you introduce them to their new sibling. Don’t force anything. Give them time and continue to stick to your routine and give them both praise and attention.

 

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My Birth Story: Frankie

Thursday 12th September, I had a lovely day with Mole. My mum came round and we spent the day baking cakes, doing Arts and Crafts and baking bread. Funnily enough,…

birth storyThursday 12th September, I had a lovely day with Mole. My mum came round and we spent the day baking cakes, doing Arts and Crafts and baking bread. Funnily enough, my mum joked about me going into labour that night because I was non-stop kneading bread and running around after Mole in the garden.

Later that evening, I started to experience a dull, aching pain in my lower back. Not a pain that took my breath away but one where I felt the need to sit down more often. It is completely different when you have a toddler. Your mind is so pre occupied with them that you don’t pay attention to yourself the same.

Knowing I was going into labour

I went to bed feeling okay then at 3:30am I woke up to go to the toilet, as I stood I really felt a tight back pain that seemed to wrap around to my lower stomach. This pain was completely different to any niggles and tightness I’ve felt in this pregnancy before.

I had to make the decision whether to go back to bed and try and get some rest or get ready for the hospital. As I felt the pain come back, I could 100% say it was a contraction. I didn’t want to go back to bed and lie down in case that would have slowed the process down, so I got ready, did my make-up and went downstairs to bounce around on the birthing ball.

At around 4:30am I text Jay to tell him I was going into labour. He sat with me whilst he could time my contractions as by this point it was too painful for me to concentrate timing them myself and they felt very regular. We decided to get Mole up and ready for her stay at her Grandmas, got in the car and dropped her off on route to the hospital.

Heading to the hospitalBirth Story

We arrived at the hospital at 5:45am. I was waddling across the car park and having to keep sitting down in the corridor whilst I had a contraction, as they were too painful to walk through. The maternity ward was upstairs, so we finally got seen at 6:00am.

I was doing my best to stay stood up to help him move lower down. After having a 12-hour labour with Mole, I was doing all that I could to avoid that.

Every time a contraction came, I would breathe in for 10 seconds and then out again for 10 seconds. Keeping focused helped me to stay in control. A lady once told me that she imagined a big red balloon on the sea, every time she breathed in the balloon moved towards her and breathing out the balloon moved away. For some reason, this was all I could concentrate on and I feel it helped me to beat the painkillers and keep my head focused.

When the Midwife examined me, I was shocked to hear her say 9-10cm! I was honestly expecting her to say 3cm!

It was too late for any painkillers and almost too late to run the bath for a water birth. I’m so glad Jay was there to stress to the midwife to run the bath and he helped me walk across as a water birth really helps with the pain.

That excruciating pain hit me and I knew it was time to push.

Frankie is here!birth story

At 6:11am, Friday 13th September, I had Frankie in my arms. This time around, I felt that rush of love straight away. He looked so perfect and I couldn’t wait to get him home to meet his sister. I was also in a lot of shock from my 11-minute labour. Frankie weighed a healthy 8lb 4.

Frankie had his check and all was okay other than his heart murmur and he had the jitters from mucous and the quick delivery. We had to stay in an extra night until he got the all clear.

When pregnant with Frankie, I worried that I’ll be able to love him as much as I love Mole. But, you can. Your heart can stretch even more than you would have ever thought possible!

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A career break: can this be positive?

When a pregnancy test result displays as positive, one burning question on the mum-to-be’s mind is “how will this impact my career?”.  Whether you are planning to have 6 weeks,…

When a pregnancy test result displays as positive, one burning question on the mum-to-be’s mind is “how will this impact my career?”.  Whether you are planning to have 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years off, time out of work can appear daunting.

positive career break

Although the financial strain of  a family is a huge factor in starting a family. Many women feel that having time off from their job may destroy all what they worked hard for. For me, I felt that my career was finally taking off after years of studying. To take the break initially felt like a positive decision for my family but, a poor decision for my personal growth. I couldn’t explain how I felt to anyone. I didn’t want to be seen as ungrateful for being  lucky to have time off from work to raise my family and that I didn’t bring in the most money anyway, so my job was not that important.

Focusing on the positives now, here are a few things to why taking a career break is positive:

Recharging your batteries

positive career break

Taking time off allows you to rest. Being out of the office or where ever you worked will give you that mental space needed to focus on other things in your life and have a mental break from your job. As a teacher, I remember before I would go to sleep, I’d start planning starter activities in my head or begin thinking about all the books I needed to mark. It has been lovely to truly have a break from these thoughts and reset myself. Now, when I think about work, I become excited as I feel so refreshed and ready to dive back into it.

The unexpected results

When you go from working full time to suddenly not working at all, even as a new mum you will find yourself with a lot of unusual time on your hands. Many women take this opportunity to study something new or start up a business venture they have always dreamed of. I started this blog as a hobby in my spare time, simply documenting my experience as a mum, I never expected that I would end up earning from this. If I was working full time I doubt I would have taken the plunge to start a blog.

“It’s not necessary to think of being away as a way to start a business or go to a new career,”. “The point is: What would you do if, for a while, you don’t have to think about making money?”

New Skills

positive career break

Work is the place where it has been drilled into your head: “this is where you develop skills and grow as a person”. As a new mum, taking time off, you actually gain an abundance of skills. For example, I have way more patience now than I have ever had in my life. Looking after a toddler, I have gained the skills of being extremely organised, resilient, level headed, punctual and my problem solving skills from figuring what she wants during  tantrum have progressed too!

Time for a change?

Having a long period off work gives you the space to think if that was the career for you. Now that you are having time away, you will be able to see clearly if that job was making you happy and you could see great potential in progressing in that job.

Even if you decide that you love your job after having time off, it will be nice to go back with a fresh mind set that you are in the right place without second thoughts.

More appealing candidate

positive career break

You may think that taking time off from will hurt your career. But, have you thought of this? Taking a well needed break, gaining life experience and being 100% committed to you again, will make you look like a more appealing candidate, in comparison to someone who may not know what they really want out of life yet.

 

 

 

Taking the time off can show that you want to further your skill set and try new experiences.

 

So when you feel that you may be hurting your career or you receive the comments “oh you don’t work?” or “you just stay at home all day.” look at the bigger picture. Remember that you have got this incredible time off raising your family whilst resetting yourself ready for your next step. If you decide never to return to work, remember that you are still gaining life experiences and developing skill sets as you would in the work place.

 

 

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Should you tell your daughter she is pretty?

When the question “should you tell your daughter she is pretty?” first reached my ears, I was really confused. I started to question myself if I was doing the right…

When the question “should you tell your daughter she is pretty?” first reached my ears, I was really confused. I started to question myself if I was doing the right thing as a parent and began learning to understand the reason why so many parents of daughters today are avoiding calling their daughter pretty.should I call my daughter pretty

Mole is incredibly cheeky, she loves to dance and waves her arms to the music. Her favourite thing to do is to shout out different animal names or the noises they make when she sees them on TV or in her books. In my mind, Mole is the most beautiful person I have ever seen. My heart is incredibly full for her. But, I have decided that I am going to make a conscious effort to stop telling her she is pretty.

Here is why:

Every single morning, when Mole was dressed, the first thing I would do is give her a big hug and tell her how pretty or beautiful she looked. Once I realised I was doing this without thought, I caught myself saying it through out the day too. The more we talk about a topic to our children, they begin to understand that this topic is important. It could be anything from manners to sharing. Basically, I don’t want the topic of physical appearance to be something that Mole understands as important or more important that any of her other qualities she has.should I call my daughter pretty

Living up to expectations

Always making a point to someone that they are pretty or clever will give them the mentality on what they have to live up to. They can get stuck in a comfort zone and waste time and energy worrying about this. When instead, they could be spending their time and energy into being more knowledgable and opening themselves up to a full range of experiences.

What I do to boost my daughters self esteem:

  • I focus on praising her process rather than the outcome. I will praise her for her hard work and time and effort she has spent on something. This may even be when she is older and has spent time on her hair. Commenting on that rather than just saying “You look pretty.”
  • I Tell her how much she matters to me. Showing and telling her how important she is to me and how much she is on my mind will make her feel amazing and loved.
  • I will look at her other qualities. Make them stand out whilst also using words like “pretty” and “beautiful” so she can gain a wider understanding of how beautiful and pretty doesn’t just have to be based of physical appearance. E.G. “Mole you are beautiful for being such a good friend and sharing your toy.”
  • Asking her lot’s of questions. Not only does asking your little one lot’s of questions help to boost their memory and language skills. but, asking questions really shows that you have an interest in their life. I love to ask Mole questions on where her favourite toy is or which animal am I pointing at.

 

So focus on your values and how you can get them across to your children. Becoming aware of your words will help you to stop focusing on how looks are more important than how your child behaves or thinks. Even when it is unintentional.

 

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Building your confidence for baby classes/social events

I recently attended a “Mums meet up” hosted by Mama Society. I had an amazing time and when I posted about it, I couldn’t believe how many private messages I…


tips on boosting confidence for a baby classI recently attended a “Mums meet up” hosted by Mama Society. I had an amazing time and when I posted about it, I couldn’t believe how many private messages I had from other mums saying how much they would love to attend a social event, however, they felt too anxious and nervous. It saddened me because, I had such a great time. I would love other mums to feel confident enough to attend a baby class or a mums meet up event.

At the same time, I truly understand the challenges you can face with feeling nervous and anxious, to throw yourself into the deep end and go in a room full of people you have never even met before.

Just because you have anxiety- does not mean anxiety is all you are

A little background on myself. After suffering from social anxiety for years now I feel that I have started to turn a corner with myself and realise that just because I have attended therapy sessions and have had medication for anxiety, the label “anxiety” is not who I am and not my personality.

Confidence boosting tips for attending a baby class/social event

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite ways to help combat the feeling of being nervous or anxious before a baby class or a social event and hopefully I will at least help someone reading this.tips on boosting confidence for a baby class

  1. Plan. Plan everything either the night before or two days before. Even down to your outfit and your child’s outfit, what they will have for their breakfast, dinner or snacks and anything they might need there. Having a full plan will help you to feel like you have control over what you can control, resulting in confidence. If you wake up late, everything will all be planned for you to focus on straight away and get going. Or if you wake up feeling anxious, you have a plan to stick to, which will help your mind not wander off thinking the worst of everything which may result in you talking yourself out of going.
  2.  Arrive early. I love trying (I say trying because we all know how hard this is with a child) to arrive early for a class or event I am attending for the first time because, for me personally, journeys to new places are extremely stressful. It is like I get myself that worked up, parking my car in a space takes me 100 manoeuvres. Giving yourself time to chill out before you head in and beat the rush of all the other mums parking and fighting for a space will help you to feel more relaxed.
  3. Another reason to arrive early. If you are early or on time, you are more likely to be one of the first mums there. You will have more options on where you want to sit, get your child sorted incase they need a quick change before the starting time. But, most importantly, you are not going to be walking into a room full of people, with all eyes on you, feeling the judgement. (Even though no mum will actually be judging. Your anxiety will somehow convince yourself that they are). I personally find it easier to greet a mum walking in, than having to walk up to what looks like an established conversation between two people and have to stand their awkwardly smiling until you think of something interesting to say.tips on boosting confidence for a baby class
  4. Avoid Caffeine. Dare I say it, coffee is not your friend (in this case). Why? Caffeine is a stimulant. That is not going to help someone with anxiety. Caffeine’s effects on your body are similar to those of a frightening event. Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, and studies show that this can make anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack.
  5. Questions. Have an idea on what questions to ask the other mums. Take the opportunity to get to know them. Find out what their interests are and you will probably see how similar they are to you. Remember that not all mums want to attend a social event and talk about their babies and some mums all they want to do is talk about their babies. So if you feel that the conversation is awkward, just change the subject and don’t take the bad response personally.
  6. Try again. Once I attended a class at a local church, where I did not feel comfortable. AT ALL. It was one of the first classes I attended as a new mum, living in a new area. I left half way through as my anxiety got the better of me. I sat in my car and burst into tears – even took a selfie, to look back on as one of my lows and know that one day I would laugh and not take the experience personally.tips on boosting confidence for a baby classThe feeling of being anxious and having my expectations crushed on baby classes combined with the guilt of not being a good mum to Mole crushed me. I was super firm on myself to try a different class elsewhere, I did and LOVED it.  Fast forward a few months, I attended that class I originally felt so crappy at to give it a second chance. I hated it. The same thing happened again. I left half way and cried in my car. The point I am trying to make is, some classes/events will be for you and some won’t. It does not make you a bad mum if you need to leave and give yourself time. Remember, if you have made the big enough step to even make it out of the house, praise yourself.
  7. Wear your confident hat. A trick I learnt from drama classes. Pretend you are wearing an invisible confident hat. Sounds very silly doesn’t it? Believing you are confident, standing tall, smiling, making eye contact and asking open ended questions will make you look very approachable, friendly and most important make you feel like you actually are a confident person; even though you may have lived however many years of your life labelling yourself as shy.

Give it a go

Hopefully these tips come in use for you and you feel that you can attend a class/event. Attending will be worth your while. I have met some amazing people I can call my friends and I have been able to see my daughter enjoy herself too.

 

Images by https://www.truelightphotography.net/

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