Category: Lifestyle

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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Smyths Toy Story Party

Can you remember the excitement as a child, when you visited the toy store? Butterflies in your stomach, eyes hungry for whats inside, the gasps at every latest toy! I…

Can you remember the excitement as a child, when you visited the toy store?

Butterflies in your stomach, eyes hungry for whats inside, the gasps at every latest toy!

Smyths Toy Superstore

I really want that experience for Mole. Visiting Smyths Toy Store bought back so many happy memories, of what it was like to be that excited child again. I think it is easy to get caught up in the online world, getting delivered toys, that you can miss out on fun experiences with your child and what it is like to visit the toy store.

No attention should be put on age when one thinks of toys. There’s something about toys that nurtures happiness in people.

 

Smyths Toy Superstore have gone the extra mile to ensure that your toy store experience is rememberable!

Smyths Toy Superstore

Toy Story Party at Smyths

They are hosting a Toy Story party at every local Smyths Toys Superstore, in celebration of the new Toy Story 4 coming to cinemas in June! There will be FREE face painting, DJ’s and a FREE Toy Story 4 minis, stickers and posters given away. You even have the chance to win a £50 voucher on the hour, every hour from 9am to 1pm!

When is the event?

Saturday 25th May from 9:00am

Where is the event?

Every Local Smyths Toy Superstore

Find out more and other event details here.

Smyths Toy Superstore

 

 

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A Fun Family Day Out at Intu Potteries

This Blog post is part of a paid collaboration with Intu Potteries (AD) Deciding on what to do for the day as a family can be challenging. We don’t exactly…

This Blog post is part of a paid collaboration with Intu Potteries (AD)

Intu Potteries

Deciding on what to do for the day as a family can be challenging. We don’t exactly live in a country that is blessed for good weather and we are not all made of money. It can be a challenge finding a day out for the whole family that does not cost an arm and a leg and all family members can have fun.

Intu Potteries

Until I went to Intu Potteries

Intu Potteries have hit the nail on the head when it comes to fun, free, family activities

Intu Potteries have hit the nail on the head when it comes to fun, free, family activities. I thought my shopping days were long gone since becoming a mum. I tend to have a browse online when I get a quick 10 minutes. No way did I think I could take my toddler around a shopping centre for the day without a few tantrums.

Why is Intu Potteries different?

Apart from over 80 shops, 6 restaurants and a 9 screen cinema, Intu Potteries understand exactly what I need as a mum:Intu Potteries

  • Parent and Baby room
  • Parent and Baby parking
  • Fixed £1.50 Parking rate on Sundays
  • Soft play
  • Affordable lunch locations with Kids Meal Deals
  • Fun buggy rides
  • Family club
  • Safe Hands scheme

Soft Play

Soft play in the middle of the mall is a perfect place to let Mole out of the pram and let her stretch her legs before hitting the shops again. Giving us both the perfect reset.

Intu Potteries

You can see by the look on her face and the sound of her cheerful laughter that she is having the best time. It is always nice to see other mums there too, as you can have a good natter whilst watching the children. Intu Potteries

Soft play has been purpose built. It is a free 30 metre square play area, with room to jump, move equipment around and play games. You can also see your child where ever they crawl or run off to inside the play area, giving you peace of mind.

Fun Buggy Ride

You can hire a fun buggy from as little as £2 at the customer service desk on the upper floor. There are plenty to choose from but I am sure your child will choose for you like ours did.

Intu Potteries

Honestly, at first I was a little hesitant to put Mole in the buggy. I thought she would try and climb out. She hates the pram too and I assumed that she would behave the same way. I was wrong. Both Mole and Oscar were as good as gold in the buggy. There was a real sweetheart moment from Oscar when he had his arm around Mole whilst cruising and tooting their squeaky horn!

From a Mums perspective, they were actually really easy to control and drive around. I found that Intu Potteries had plenty of room in the shops for fun buggies, pushchairs and wheelchairs.

There was a real sweetheart moment from Oscar when he had his arm around Mole whilst cruising and tooting their squeaky horn!

Affordable Lunch

Intu Potteries

I love a good cafe lunch when out with my family or friends. Debenhams Restaurant was affordable with hot meals at around £5 and it had a fantastic kids meal deal where you could choose 5 products. (As a mum, this is heaven).

You will know that having 5 different options of food for your child to have a good munch on not only keeps them entertained whilst you dine, but also, if they are in a fussy eating mood, you have other options to fall back on.)

Intu Potteries

Parent and Baby Room

Intu Potteries

Not to exaggerate here, my first thought when entering the parent and baby room was “oh wow!”.

Clean, calm, spacious. I have never been in a parent and baby room before where they would be my 3 words to describe it.

My first thought when entering the parent and baby room was “oh wow!”

Intu Potteries

I loved the fact that Jay could come in the changing room with me to give me a helping hand and he even said he would feel comfortable and confident enough to change her in there himself. A God-send really because usually I have to do it as changing facilities are usually squashed in the female toilets.

In the baby room, there was a fully equipped station to feed your baby, nappy dispenser (we have all been there i’m sure when we accidentally forget a spare nappy!) and a private nursing room complete with a super comfy nursing chair.

Intu Potteries

I can not actually wait to take Mole to Intu Potteries again. We have had a lovely day out on a friendly budget. If you are in the Staffordshire area, I would highly recommend you check Intu Potteries out for a great, affordable, family day out.

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First Trimester with a 1 year old

Considering I have been pregnant before, I assumed that the first trimester of pregnancy would have been similar to that experience. I was wrong… First Trimester with Mole My first…

Considering I have been pregnant before, I assumed that the first trimester of pregnancy would have been similar to that experience. I was wrong…

2 under 2 pregnancy

First Trimester with Mole

My first trimester with Mole seemed to drag on for ages! I found out when I was 4 weeks pregnant and I went for a scan at 6 weeks and saw my little Mole Bean on the screen. I waited to tell my family after 12 weeks and to my that felt like half a year.

My symptoms were mainly fatigue. I had never felt tiredness like it. To the point where standing up in a shower was too much.

Everything else was a breeze. I had gone shopping and got cute baby items and took bump photos every single day. I would wear tight clothes in the hope of being able to show off my pregnancy bloat as if I was 30 weeks pregnant haha.

First Trimester with Baby Number 2

My experience this time has been different. I found out when I was 9 weeks pregnant by taking a test, then I went for a private scan at 10 weeks. Even this experience was new to me. I actually was surprised by a little baby waving and somersaulting around on the screen and feeling shocked that the little baby was in my belly. I never got that feeling with Mole as she was scanned to early and we went for private scans nearly every week, so we could she her gradually develop. That’s when this pregnancy really hit me it was real.

That’s when this pregnancy really hit me it was real

2 under 2 pregnancy

The symptoms this time around have been very hard. The nausea was almost unbearable. And a completely different story having a baby turning one to look after. All I wanted to do was lie down as any movement made me feel like throwing up.

I don’t think this time around I have allowed myself to be tired and take a break. Having a one year old is hard work. Mole wants to be constantly entertained and in between all of that, she has to be changed and fed. As soon as she would go for her nap, I wouldn’t be able to relax as the house looks like it has been tipped upside down. Once I switch the hoover on thats it, i’m still cleaning an hour later.  Thanks Mrs Hinch.

I don’t think this time around my boyfriend has had a full understanding of my tiredness either. As I don’t work it can be seen as if I literally get to sit around watching TV all day which could not be further from the truth. Sometimes I feel I could catch more of a break if I was back at work!

Bad news

I received bad news at one of my scans which was I had a haemorrhage, where the placenta had started to come away from the wall. I was told to be on bed rest for a few weeks so they could monitor if the bleed has gone down rather than got bigger. Obviously bed rest with a one year old was not going to happen. I did try to stay in as much as possible with Mole and it was as if she knew at times because she was so good for me. The best thing for Mole whilst I have been in my first trimester is her baby classes. There is so much for her to do at them, I can see how happy she is and by the time her classes have finished she is ready for a nap. So there has been less pressure on myself entertaining her for the full day.

Gym

As most of you know, one of my biggest hobbies is the gym. The gym for me is “my time”. Hearing I was to be on bed rest did not feel great. I had to take some time off but then was back at it after the good news. This pregnancy is different as I’m not loving my tummy getting bigger. I have probably only taken 2 photos so far and I am 16 weeks. It feels a little strange to get my head into this new chapter as I was well into my post-partum fitness goals.

Hunger

This time, I have been SO HUNGRY! Omg, I just do not feel full. Ever. Poor Mole, I even start to pick at her food whilst she is taking so long to eat it. I am out of control. My last pregnancy, one of my biggest symptoms was having no appetite. I couldn’t look at any type of food and feel hungry. This time wow, even broccoli or salad gets my tastebuds going.

Time

Wow 16 weeks already. Time is flying! To the point where I can’t keep up with it. Every time I go for an appointment or scan, I feel like it was only just yesterday since being there. Im super lucky to have Mole in nursery because appointments can happen at the shortest of notice sometimes and I have family here who could baby sit her whilst i’m gone.

Mole

My life with Mole is so good now. I feel very blessed. I get a little anxious that I may change how good things are between us in a negative way. I hope she enjoys being a big sister. When I go out shopping, I can’t bring myself to buy anything for the second baby as I get guilty not buying anything for Mole.

I have a private scan booked this week to hopefully find out the gender of the baby. I feel like this time around it’s going to be a boy. Once I have found out, I know i’ll be on the baby train looking at nursery decor and clothes.

Thanks for reading

Zoe xx

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5 Boring Things I love Now I’m A Mum

Being a mum is the best thing ever right? but, it can be repetitive and exhausting. Having a battle with your constant baby brain whilst being sleep deprived makes it…

Being a mum is the best thing ever right? but, it can be repetitive and exhausting. Having a battle with your constant baby brain whilst being sleep deprived makes it almost impossible to have a normal conversation.

Personally, I don’t think being a mum makes you boring. Maybe my non mum friends will disagree. I feel I am a tired version of myself that loves to talk about nothing other than Mole. Ok, Maybe I am little boring then.

However, I will admit to things I would have previously considered to be very boring before having my baby and now I feel like I love them now I am a mum.

Let’s see if you are with my on these five:

My 5 top boring things I love

1. My cordless vacuum cleaner

This is a godsend. The way I can whizz round any room without having to faff about with plugging it in or making sure my baby isn’t swinging from the wire. The satisfactory feeling of seeing all the crisp crumbs getting sucked up one by one. The lovely white noise that plays from it drowning out the noise of my baby fighting her first 5 minutes of nap time. Bliss.

2. Drying the washing outside

How is there that much washing seriously? I swear Mole goes through outfits faster than me running to the snack draw. Before being a mum, I never realised the biggest battle I would face in life is my washing pile. It’s just SO big! As soon as the sun starts to shine, I dive outside with my wet, pile of clothes and hang them straight onto the washing line. Is it just me or does this feel like a huge sense of achievement that in England we are able to dry our clothes outside? Not to mention the fresh smell afterwards. I just love it.

3. Baby TV

Honestly, I was always one of those people who said “I’m never going to let my baby watch TV”. erm, how wrong was I? Not to mention judgemental. Now, when I hear that annoying Momento the Chef pop up on the screen and I see Moles face fill with joy, my heart gets so full. I can finally grab a drink without her clinging to my leg, or I can take a moment to think what to make for tea.

Even in restaurants (Mole hates restaurants) I can put it on my phone. I feel like it is my sneaky secret weapon to Jay and I enjoying a romantic meal in peace.

Before being a mum, the sound of any child related programmes would make my toes curl.

4. Early Nights In

cosy night in bed

Pre baby, I would be partying away the night trying to stay up all hours. If I was staying in, then I still would be close to doing an all nighter watching late night TV or in a YouTube worm hole. Now, I struggle to keep my eyes open past 9.

I secretly love sneaking off to bed early, diving into the bed feeling the cold sheets all to myself. having a few hours peaceful sleep before being woken up to horrendous snoring. I love the feeling of waking up early and thinking oh its only 11pm, and feeling like I’ve had a full nights sleep already.

5. Supermarket shopping

Before having Mole, I would leave the food shop till the last possible minute to the point where I would be on the brink of starvation and putting together whatever I would have left in the kitchen cupboard. One time it was rice and gravy ew.

boring things i love as a mum

 

Now, I’ll even go to a supermarket when the fridge is full. I’m not sure what I love about it so much. Sometimes it is whizzing Mole around in the trolley, which I find super cute when she holds on. Other times it is finding new food ideas for her to try. If I find the odd bargain well thats my night made!

 

What are your favourite boring things now you are a parent?

 

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