It’s okay to hate your body after a baby.

It’s okay to hate your body after a baby.

Its okay to hate your body after having a baby, of course you’re thankful to your body for being able to grow a life inside there but it is more than ok to not like how it looks afterwards. Nobody tells you when you have a baby you’ll still have somewhat a bump sometimes and that your stretch marks will stay and cause lumps and bumps in some unmentionable places.

Hips get big and don’t work like an elastic band going back into place once your child’s out. Csection scars are not always pretty. Overhang causes a literal muffin top that will never go away. You’re stretch marks stretch to the thighs, hips and boobs aswell as going around and round on your stomach. Your hair falls out in clumps and doesn’t come back. You’re complexion is fairer with darker circles surrounding your eyes that no amount of concealer can single handedly fix.

Boobs deflate and become somewhat saggy after breastfeeding. No mater how little or often you do it. You’re love handles become love drawers, rolls apon rolls that refuse to go. Loosing weight is harder because you’re still trying to recover whilst also feel the need to rush every meal. You’ll notice your body doesn’t feel like your old one. Straight after having my baby I had people tell me it’ll go back soon and soon still hasn’t come. Diets, excercise and body butter rituals later I still look like I’ve got a deflated balloon bump for a stomach waiting to be blown up again and get even more saggy.

My point being it is is ok to not love your post natal body and not everyone’s snaps back to their original size straight away and that’s ok. You’re aloud to hate reading posts where people say they love their body because they have a kid! I am thankfull and greatfull that my body could do this incredible thing such as grow a baby. But it is ok also to look in the mirror and not be happy. It’s valid to not be grateful that you look like a half deflated beach ball at times. It’s ok to want to wear swimsuits now over a bikini or long sleethed tops and jeans now instead of crop tops and shorts. It’s ok to look in the mirror and not be pleased. It is okay.

Mental health and being a mum.

Since having a child i have felt a strong need to be the brave one. To put on a brave face and bury my feelings. But that hasn’t exactly been the best thing for me. I feel like there will always be this stigma around mothers having to be responsible and always happy, in the real world though being a mother can be hard and struggling with mental health even harder.

My blog is my safe space so i feel like i am more able to talk about my feelings here without judgement. I have depression and anxiety and its common many people suffer and i should be able to talk about it and not feel like im boring people either. Since becoming a mother i think it has hit me so much harder and i have developed more anxiety related issues from having a child. Little things more like worrying about my son all the time, my ability to be a good mother, a good wife, to not be judged when i go out and to be able to raise a smart, kind child. It can all get a bit on top of me at times and i am not afraid to admit it. Theres days i get strong mum guilt because i think am i letting him down for feeling down or that i am not giving him the happy fun loving mum vibes that i should be giving out. You know the ones the instagram mums who have a maticulsley clean house and bake cakes every morning while dancing round the house constantly.

Lately ive been feeling down recently and its been getting to me. I know i should be greatfull for everything around me but its caused a level of fear ill loose everything. Say for example some little thing will set me of and stress me out to the point i dont sleep for days or a reach for a bar of chocolate. I think the internet really has changed people and their perceptions of real life and i feel i struggle alot because of this i cling to my phone and somewhat base my life around others which i shouldnt do. We’ve grown up with this awesome tool which has connected so many people and been a monumetal part in our evolution as humans. However this has caused people to fixate on others. For people to only show the side of them that is happy 24/7 not the real life they have. We think do we have enough money, do we have enough friends, do we have enough fame? Does it really matter other peoples perception of us and how others are living their lifes.

Being a mum can be a real struggle because you don’t only have to deal with your feelings you have to deal with theirs. If they are being dramatic having a tantrum you have to push your feelings to the back of the que and handle their feelings when you can barely control your own. Being a mum you have more stress and more things to do. You cannot have days where you just lounge around in bed feeling sorry for yourself anymore. You have to get up early get them and you ready. You have to make them dinner when you don’t want to eat, you have to be happy and not let them see you sad as they may think its them thats making you sad. You also have to leave the house when tou want to just stay in and you socialise when you cant concentrate on anything else but your child and your feelings.

As difficult as it is to talk about my feelings writing this down has made me feel so much better. I’m struggling with my mindsets on so many things especially since leaving work I worry about letting my husband and son down. I worry am I screwing my son up by not taking him out everyday and being able to send him to nursery anymore till he’s three as I’m home now. I worry am I not tidying the house enough. I worry are my friends, family’s, neighbours, strangers going to hate me for no reason atall. I worry am I a failure, I worry about everything there is to worry about and I have no idea why. Maybe I need a break from social media and just to concentrate on me? My blog and those around me. Maybe I need to loose myself to find myself again.

Desserts from primary school, how to make your own cornflake tart!

Desserts from primary school, how to make your own cornflake tart!

A fond memory of mine will always be school dinners. Those yummy little portioned meals and deserts you thought about all day leaving your tummy just full enough to run around for the rest of the day. If you like me love a old school classic like cornflake tart, chocolate crunch or classing sponge cake I’m the blog for you to watch because I will be posting the recipes to many of these and other things too!

So without further teasing here is the recipe! I haven’t made this desert since I lived in my old house and used to help the people I supported cook and teaching them how to make my deserts was a lovely experience and I’ve never met someone who hasn’t enjoyed it! The photo is of my own cooking in my old house before I lost my tart tin! Funny how when you move house you loose things!

Ingredients:
500grams of short crust pastry handmade or store brought like me as takes too long.
125grams of golden syrup
125 grams of granulated sugar
125 grams of butter
220 grams of cornflakes
150 grams of seadless strawberry jam

Method:
Roll pastry out and grease baking paper onto a pie dish or long baking tray then put the pastry on stretching to sides and pressing a fork over it. Then add baking beads or uncooked white rice onto top covering it. Then place in oven at 180 for ten minuites . Remove the pastry and remove the rice/beads. Then put jam in microwave for thirty seconds. Then spread jam over the pastry. Then pour the golden syrup, butter, sugar in a pan and cook till melted then add cornflakes and. You then cook till all syrup is soaked into the cornflakes and then spoon on the cornflakes to the pastry. You will then then put in oven again for ten more minuites and then that’s it! Easy as pie! Or pastry in this case!

Wedding talk: Part two-Invitations.

Wedding talk:  Part two-Invitations.

When we where wedding planning we knew full well we wanted an intimate wedding only with our nearest and dearest friends and family. No acquaintances just people who we where the closest too and people who didn’t just want a free meal and excuse to dress up. Choosing who to invite to your wedding can be VERY stressfull. They say that getting married, having children and buying a house are three of the biggest stressfull life events you can ever do and we choose to do all three in the space of a 2 years. FUN! Nonetheless we enjoyed wedding planning all the same. When it comes to inviting people you really need to decide who you are the closest too and if you want them involved in your special day. Do you want a massive event everyone will talk about or just a special day you will cherish…

You will get a lot of people wanting to invite their friends and dictate who can come and who cannot, it gets rather stressful and tiring when people think they have any say in your day whatsoever. Also the more people you invite the more expensive it gets not just the meal but the decorations to cater and chairs and sashes.

When you invite people you want to give well enough notice so when you have found somewhere i found that i benefited from save the dates. A save the date is a slip you send in the post which states the day of your wedding well in advance so people can take the day off work. I had a lot of medical staff and self employed people attending my wedding day so i wanted to get them out as early as possible. I sent these off 9 months before our wedding day. This gave people ampule chance to say if they could or could not come. We only received one person telling us they couldn’t come because they where on holiday but lucky for us they got pregnant and couldn’t fly that close to their due date (She was one of my bridesmaids so i was thrilled she got to be in my special day).

A few months after when i had started to finalise times and meal times i decided to then create wedding invites. I quite enjoyed the proceess of handmaking our own online. We put every relevent detail we could think needed to be noted. As i chose a local venue alot didn;t need saying but with my guests from outside of town i though important to state where to stay in the area near by. It is a good idea when making a invite to include a few details. i will list bellow

  • Time to arrive. Not the time of ceremony as guests who are late will end up missing your day. You also want your guests to relax.
  • Time of ceremony. So guests can roughly know how smoothly the day is going to go and if they are that late they arent coming in.
  • Time of food. So guests can know what time to eat before leaving and decide if they need too. People then wont be complaining about waiting and not knowing when they are going to eat.
  • Time of reception. To let guests know there will be a reception and that they are invited so they can plan their day and where it is if not in same place.
  • Time to leave. So you don’t have to kick people out and taxis can be pre-booked.
  • Local places to stay overnight. For out of town guests wanting to get wasted pretty much.
  • The venues address including postcode.Guests have to know where to go and don’t want to be chasing you up.
  • The date. Clearly so people don’t get confused.
  • Food options. So you can cater to allergens and needs.
  • The names of who are getting married. So people don’t get confused if they go to a few weddings or think whos wedding have they been invited too.
  • State plus ones or not. Name who is invited and if they can bring a plus one or not so people do not assume and you can have numbers before the day.
  • RSVP day. A day for everyone to reply to with contact details.

Where to buy your invites. You can get a lot of invites from shops such as paper chase and hobby craft as well as etsy. However i wanted to make my own online as i cannot write all that neatly. So i used vista print, i didn’t know until we looked online. I looked on their website and they have lots of templates and everything is completely customisation from material made on to the text and fonts. You can even add envelopes so all you have to do is write the names and addresses. They where also pretty cheep. I brought my save the dates with magnets so could be stuck to fridge so guests could keep the date clearly displayed in their home from here too. Both sets and envelopes for both with postage to my house cost 50 which was so cheep and my invites where double sided and made with linen. So have a good look around and choose what you want and only what you love!

Running a house with a toddler

Keeping a house tidy is so hard with a toddler. Whenever you get the chance to clean you’re exhausted from running around all day and you just want to avoid it as much as you can. I find utilising naps when he has them is helpful. If he naps I’ll normally do a quick job e.g cleaning the bathroom as harsher chemicals so can open window and shut door and take the monitor in with me and clean.

My favourite products to use are flash bathroom spray, minky sponge, bloo toilet cleaner, bleach, zoflora and antibacterial spray. I spray the whole rooms basins, and toilet basically with the the flash then I start cleaning the sink then the bath and toilet with minky (toilet I use a single bit or kitchen roll to not spread germs). I put zoflora down the drains after I’ve rinsed everything away to make it smell good. I put bleach toilet with brush then I put bloo down. I then spray everywhere with antibacterial spray the detol spray.

After that If he hasn’t woken up I’ll clean the kitchen wash up breakfast items and clean the surfaces. I’ll tidy up the toys quickly and wait for him to wake up. I dust while he’s awake as he doesn’t mind and hoover with him he enjoys fake sweeping and hoovering with us. I feel it’s important to clean around him so that he learns a house doesn’t run itself and that it’s ok to help. When he goes to bed at night I try to teach him to tidy away his toys and that’s when I normally wash up after dinner and clean everywhere down with febreeze and odour neutralising sprays. The bins get emptied too and sprayed down.

Deep cleaning can be pure hell. With a toddler they don’t want you to leave the room much and if you do they turn into gremlins and destroy whatever room they’re in. Things like cleaning oven and the fridge out is hard to do and I can never do it as much as I want to but a quick spray of oven cleaner or anti bacterial spray and fairy liquid is the way to do it quickly. I mop as often as I can but again when he’s in bed as he gets in the way and wet floor and toddler is not a good mix for success.

Shopping. I often get a food shop in for ease but sometimes I’m sent the wrong thing and the dates are terrible so some days I go shopping but it’s so hard with a toddler who needs entertaining the whole time or a snack so we choose supermarkets that give free fruit sometimes which is great! Obviously a house doesn’t run itself so shopping is unavoidable.

It’s all about finding your own pattern and what works and sometimes the housework doesn’t matter and you should just enjoy the mess as it means you have a happy home.

Toddler talk. Parent comparison.

Toddler talk. Parent comparison.

Sorry I haven’t been present I had a sick husband and a tantrum fanatic child the last few days so we’re kind of hoping me and the kid aren’t next on the sickness bugs hit list.

Today’s topic isn’t really that different to my normal speal but it’s something I’m really noticing more and more is people’s competition between children. I was speaking to my friend today about it and she said it still happens in primary school! Now I ask, can you tell by talking to your friends which ones walked first, wrote there name first or if they where bottle or boob fed? Because I can’t. It doesn’t matter in the long run!

Milestones are only put into place so that developmental issues can be found not who’s child is better than the next. We all do things differently and we all learn differently. Children learn at their own pace and they will master things in their own little way way. You cannot just expect a child to hit 9 months and be running around singing a song!

Why do we judge others either? Why do we care if this particular child does something ours can’t. There’s been many times I’ve worried about my child because of others yet he has been advanced in many other things. I’ve worried enough to go to doctors over and over and to worry and not want to talk about my child because of it. I think people love to bost as they are so proud of their children, who wouldn’t be! But there’s only so much someone should do. For example I got a lot of parents asking me oh is Elijah not walking yet at 13 months like he was damaged or something? He was just deciding when he was ready! Because of this I wasted so much time worrying about his walking when I should of been enjoying him learning and crawling and the peace and quiet of him not getting everywhere quicker! It becomes something we all do. James tells me he’s started to judge other parents at times when we are out and about in public and he hates that he has. You just start comparing when they start comparing and sometimes you end up getting s but mad and comparing your child as if they’re better. Let’s remember they are children and so long as they are happy, paid attention to and healthy that is all that matters. And even if a child is behind it doesn’t matter. I think from now on I’m just going to stop talking about developmental things and just talk about what we’ve been up too and how much of a treat or terror he has been! Because tbh nobody really gives a shit and neither do I!

Developing a unhealthy relationship with my phone.

Social media and technology is a bloody wonderful thing! It connects us to everyone we know and also give us a look into other peoples lives. It truly is a incredible thing and something I am forever grateful for the opportunities it brings.

However as with all things there becomes a time when it can turn a bit sour. Recently I’ve noticed that my phone has become my safety blanket. E.g remember waiting for your friends in high school to meet you so you pretended to be scrolling through your phone while you stood there just flicking up and down. It’s my way of escaping reality sometimes and falling down the rabbit hole which is social media and YouTube.

Sometimes I feel it’s become something to do entertain me, to distract me from stress or to just use as a outlet for my boredom or mood. I’ve noticed I pick my phone up more and more and have noticed it’s something I’m so when I’m stressed to unwind and good on me for finding something easy to help me. However I notice I am not always present. I’m noticing around friends and family I pick up my phone when they are talking to me and end up not listening while I read some sort of article I’ve found on Facebook. I feel although it’s become my safety blanket my phone does cause me a great deal of anxiety and when I don’t have it I have a intensified spout of anxiety too.

When my phone dies I become worried and bored and can’t wait for the next charge somedays and will sit attached to my phone and wire so I can keep entertained. All though the obsession is real and I am becoming more vacant recently, sometimes I do put my phone down and try to take my kind of my phone and everything on it. I find that it is trusty wonderful to be able to ask questions, to find out lots of answers without a trip to a library. To save going shopping when my anxiety was high. To make plans and reach out to people quickly and with ease and through a method which is mobile and free too! Maybe one day I’ll put the phone down for the day. I’m trying I really am trying but my beautiful yellow sunflower phone stares right back at me!

Making time for your other half after a child.

Making time for your other half after a child.

Once you have a child it is so difficult to have any me time let alone we time as a couple. The offers of childcare dry up and sometimes your waiting months for time to just leave the house just the two of you and I know better than anyone finding childcare can be hard sometimes.

But something I’ve really concentrated on recently since I’ve stopped working is to spend more time as a we than a me when I’m tired from a busy day chasing after our child. Every night once the child’s in bed we both tidy up and I now try to be present. We’ll watch a tv series together and have a chat or a film. We’ll play games together or if we both want to do our own thing James will play on his phone and I will blog or I will watch tv and he’ll play on a game on his laptop while being in the same room and just enjoying the comfort of being next to each other. On weekends we don’t have ridiculous lay ins now so we can join the other two members of the household and have family time.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for childcare if you have in-laws or parents don’t be afraid to ask th to watch your kid or sometimes to sit round while your kid sleeps so you can go to the movies. Today we had an unexpected offer of childcare from family so we jumped at the chance. We where going to slob around the house but I decided no we would get dressed up and have a date day for a change. Be Charlie and James again. We went for a lovely Italian in the sunshine and then after we drove to the beach. We sat on the sand and had ice cream and then we went and wasted 7 quid trying to win a toy pumba and I’m very angry I didn’t win! We just enjoyed being in each other company without noses to wipe, tantrums to tackle and food to share. It was nice to go where we wanted when we wanted and not have to plan ahead (even if I had to pack a bag for my sons day out with his grandparents without us). So please just remember why you choose to be parents with your other half and remember why you fell in love as there’s no stronger team then you two. It’s important and your love is still as important as your Little one.

Mum guilt is real.

Mum guilt is real.

I know it’s not the most upbeat subject to talk about but I personally feel when you don’t talk about your feelings they spiral and get worse. Mental health discussions are ok and my inbox is always open!

What is mum guilt? Well it’s kind of a standard mothers set themselves to kind of basically be super woman. To be this domestic goddess who makes homemade nutritious meals from scratch every meal and never ever gets stressed or have a down day. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to feel a element of mum guilt especially in a generation of social media. I find social media a great tool and a good escape from the works around ya but I cannot lie there is many times i scroll through and think I’m not as good as these mothers. It can make you feel incredibly alone and down and sometimes you just can’t help it!

I will see a mother putting on Instagram that she lives this seemingly beautiful life and her children never misbehave and she has time to do everything and everything is done solo. Of course they leave out the bits where they’re children are laying on the floor in the street screaming at the pavement because they don’t know why they’re mad over something or that they do not always cook from scratch and dare I say it buy frozen food sometimes! I am always left with this guilt when Elijah is a picky eater that he’s not eating enough veg and fruit. As a baby he was incredibly good at eating fruit and veg and now all of the sudden certain colours such as green will not be touched and if I blend it into something the boy has some sixth sense and can tell without seeing or eating it. I feel awful if I spend too much time cleaning the house and not playing with him or visa versus the house is a mess.

I worry am I taking my son out enough to socialise with other children and is that stunting his emotional and social growth? He used to go to nursery two days a week until July when I stopped working and now I feel like am I depriving him of those social skills. Yet I’m out the house at least 4 days a week to see other children and friends and family to make sure he get social interaction. In the same heartbeat I am exhausted and emotionally drained as-well. If I am tired I still go ahead with plans to go out and feel like I seem moody and apologise to people and I’m not my bubbly self which I feel he’ll pick on. I also worry am I taking him out too much is he tired. Should we stay in today? I worry am I being moody today with him or is it just me?

Do I let him watch to much tv and use my phone too much? Does it make me a bad mother? In reality it doesn’t and he barely watches anything unless we are on bus, changing nappys or having some down time. Is it really any different to when we where stuck in front of tvs when we where children because I remember every minute at home being in front of a tv.

I worry so I spoil him to much and he have to many toys and treats and also do I not buy him enough?

I think the thing I struggle with the most with mum guilt is the quite simple fact of comparing myself to others. It’s something I don’t think I ever did before falling pregnant but I hate that I do. It’s so difficult not to and to always feel you’re not a good mum when you try your best. When it makes you feel sad you’re trying your best but is your best really good enough? Who knows. But what I do know mums is NO mother is better than YOU. Every mother is good in their own ways and you are doing nothing right or wrong just trying to survive and raise a child. You are keeping a life alive while also teaching that child every single last thing so that they can learn how to become a adult one day and do the same thing to their future children. Build yourself up and build others up you’ve got this you mother!

Our typical routine at 21 months.

Our typical routine at 21 months.

Edging ever closer to the terrible twos and firmly set in the tantrum stage a routing is crucial to help avoid some tantrums when we can. If you’re like me and enjoy reading how others parent so I can pick and choose what works for others to try with my little one.

Morning routine:

Every morning we wake at 7 am. It used to be 6 am so I’m loving the lay in even if some days I wake before him. I come into his room and we make his bed and tidy his room if he’s made a little mess. We go downstairs and change his nappy and then have breakfast. He comes into kitchen and chooses toast or cereal as I offer him both and he can say both. He stands and waits and then goes to sit in his chair. I bring his milk with vitamins in and breakfast in and he will sit and eat his breakfast. I sit and chat to him then we wipe up and walk together to the bathroom. I’ve started introducing the toilet as he seems less scared then the potty as he sees me sit on it sometimes so he sits on potty for five minutes and then washes his hands and brushes his teeth with support. By 8 am we are all clean and he’s not quite ready for potty training yet so I’m trying to introduce it as much as possible but he will normally poo and tell me after every damn time I put his pull-ups on haha! We change nappy again and then we have some play together. We play with his cars and race and then cook In his kitchen a very questionable meal. After that we read a few story’s and do his flash cards. If I can rate one thing that’s helped Elijahs language it is the flash cards and books we read everyday. I make sure he gets atleast 25 minuites of book time each day which we read to him.

Afternoon routine:

Elijah then has independent play while I normally clean house up or I sit watching tv for a minute to relax. He will normally just go through his toy box and play with what he fancy’s and if he wants to play with me he’ll bring a toy over to me. At the moment Elijahs a bit hit and miss with naps sometimes he’ll nap and sometimes he won’t. I try to put him for a nap everyday at 11 am and if he doesn’t nap within twenty minuites or cry’s I bring him down. And give up on that one. If he does nap he’ll normally nap till 12:30 where he’ll wake and we will come down and I’ll make him lunch. After lunch we wash hands at the sink. Again independent play and then I will join in and we’ll do themed play like colouring, stickers or anything play dough.

Evening routine:

If he is particularly tired he will normally have a nap for a hour at 3 but I only put him down for this nap If he shows signs of being tired. I start cooking dinner everyday at 4pm. His dad is normally home so they play together while I cook if not I’ll let him watch something he wants on tv. Dinner is normally on the table for 5pm and I cook different things everyday from Italian to Mexican so that he doesn’t get bored of anything or into the habit of same thing every night. We sit together at the table on his booster seat. If we have friends over his high chair is used instead. We use a placemat and a open cup and knife and fork at dinner time he is quite good with spoons and forks but sometimes he gets excited and forgets to use his cutlery. I typically dish up unless it’s soup or stew onto a plate as cools down quicker and less tantrums while he waits! We’ve taught him sign language and the words all done to tell us when he’s finished so he communicates he’s done and puts his food on his plate that’s spilled and hands back to us. We then wipe up and go and wash hands or run a bath. We don’t bath him every day due to sensitive skin so days he doesn’t bath we wipe him over with a nighttime wash cloth which he doesn’t seem to kind. We sit him on the toilet again for five minuites as that’s when he passes a bowel movement but sometimes he doesn’t pass one so we put nighttime pull ups on wash hands and brush teeth. We then walk back to living room where we moisturise and then go up to his room to get changed. We come back down unless he’s tired to play with toys for half hour then go back upstairs. We read a story and put his pjs on. If he is tired after bath we put him to bed at 6. If not we take him up between 6:30 and 7. We tuck him in with his teddy and turn the lights off and then he will normally sleep through the night till the morning. One thing we have not changed since 6 months old is going to bed at 7pm as he has barely struggled to sleep through the night and I think it’s because we’ve always kept a bedtime routine from food times to going to bed time. If we are out we try and keep as close to a schedule as we can and it’s very rare he has a late night. One day we may let him stay up later but considering how little he naps he needs that big sleep and it also gives us parents a break and time to tidy up and relax.

What is your daily routine right now? Do you find your child sticks to a routine? Let me know bellow! Comment, follow and subscribe for more!