My baby is over three months old now. I can’t get over how fast it’s flown by so far. But as the dust settles and the haze of sleepless nights and constant feeding retreats, I’m left to look more clearly at what’s going on around me. And what I find are a few things I want to change.
One of my Bucket List goals for 2015 was to be back to my pre-baby weight by the end of the year. Immediately after baby I thought that would be an easy goal to tick off. I seemed to weigh less than I had before I got pregnant. However, a lack of discipline, bad food habits and holidays have led to a sudden gain that I don’t like.
So Mummys, what to do with a “Mum Tum”? At home exercise DVDs, running in the park, Cave Training… The options are endless, and confusing.
I’ll be trying a few different things and you can be sure I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s likely to be an intriguing and hilarious pursuit as I am the most unfit and inactive person on the planet. Let me know how your experiences of losing weight have gone as I endeavour to shed those pounds and that unsightly muffin top!!
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So… On Saturday we finally found the time to build the bed we’d bought for our Big Boy. It also happened to coincide with the delivery of a new book – Pirate Pete and his Big Boy Bed… Or something along those lines.
So we made a big fuss over reading the book multiple times and when we did something that was mentioned in the book we pointed out what happened next. And weirdly, Pirate Pete has the same cuddly toys as our boy so that was a nice addition.
In hindsight, I think it probably would have been better if I’d ordered the book a few weeks ago but I just didn’t get around to it. At least it helped to set the stage. Maybe.
We finished building the bed just before lunch and he went a bit nuts climbing on and off and having a fun time bouncing around. He seemed really excited and we kept reiterating to him that he’d be sleeping in the Big Boy Bed that night. Then we went to have lunch. After lunch we headed up for “nappy and nap”. We then had to wait as he took a bit longer to settle for his nap (still in his cot) as he really wanted to sleep in his new bed… but the bed sheets were in the tumble dryer!
Eventually he napped as normal and the rest of Saturday happened. When bathtime and bedtime came around we did everything as normal except for reading his new book instead of any other. Unfortunately this also happened to be nail cutting night. So we had a few tears over that and then he happily climbed into his new bed, settled down and we left.
Two minutes later the crying began.
At first he settled down straight away as soon as one of us went in but he got more flustered and upset as time went on. He was getting hotter and clearly couldn’t find somewhere to get comfy. Remember this wasn’t just a change of bed, it was a change from sleeping bag to blankets and from one side of the room to the other so I don’t blame him for being a bit upset!
When my husband went into him at one point, he actually said “that bed” and pointed at his cot. In an ideal world we would have removed the cot completely from the room but considering we’ll be wanting it again in about five or six months we just didn’t see the point in dismantling it. Anyway, after a few crying bouts he eventually settled off and slept soundly until maybe 6:10. Aside from a lot of shuffling, he did really well and I still now think it could have been a whole lot worse!
Night two was even better. We had a little bit of dramatic fake crying while putting on pyjamas – “this bed Daddy” while standing with his arms through the cot bars dressed in just a nappy and vest (quite funny actually) – but after that he settled off easily and slept straight through until 7:30. Wonderful!
Both mornings, he’s just waited in his bed until I’ve gone in to him so now I’m trying to teach him that it’s ok for him to get out and play if he wants to. It might give me an extra 5 minutes!!
I know it’s early days and I fully expect a regression of some sort after baby is born but it’s one thing I’m glad we did now. For starters, I was really starting to struggle with reaching over his cot! I know the bump was the main issue but I just couldn’t reach. Besides, it’s really helped us to kick the habit of holding him to sing his bedtime song, Twinkle Twinkle, and getting him to settle in bed first before we sing.
All in all, I’m glad we’ve done it now. I know it’s still early for a lot of kids at his age and most would still be in a cot until after two but it was definitely the right move for us.
When did your little one move into a Big Bed? And how did it go?
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I wanted to let you all know that I am trying to get more organised as due date looms up ahead. I’ve finally started to pack a bag for the hospital and start a little pile of baby clothes ready for hospital as well.
I know I’ve found it helpful reading other people’s posts about what they’ve packed so I thought about doing the same. However, I also thought that might probably be a little boring too. So instead, I’ve decided to just list my top 5 items to take and why, based on my experiences from having my first baby boy.
1) A button down night shirt.
Last time I seem to remember them wanting to get me cleaned up pretty sharpish after the birth, once all the doctors had left and we’d had a bit of bonding time. I couldn’t shower because I was losing blood and they were monitoring it, so instead I was given a bed bath by a lovely midwife and was able to change into the nightie I’d taken.
The bed bath didn’t really bother me as you do pretty much forget all about your dignity when you’re in that position, but what was a pain was later on when I was trying to get feeding established and family came to visit because all w was doing was pulling down the top of my nightie for access, which left quite a lot of me exposed.
I think this time I’ll want to be covered up more but still allow easy access, so a night shirt is a good idea I’m hoping!
2) Disposable pants!
I know the idea sounds gross to those who haven’t given birth but seriously, you’re going to bleed and (if you’re anything like I was last time) bleed a lot. So why bother messing up your own underwear? Disposable pants work well and are fab for just chucking away and not worrying about.
But remember not to get your old size, go up at least one! I know you’ll have pushed the baby out but you still won’t be your old shape again just yet! The best pants are the ones that hold everything in!
3) Maxi maternity pads.
I mean the ones that are basically like an adult nappy. You’ll need them. Function over fashion. That’s all.
4) Cheap slippers.
A few years ago, my husband and I went to Turkey and part of the hotel freebies we brought back were some of those cheap slippers like you get in spas. I’ve kept the two pairs for ages, but never been sure why.
Now I know. This is what they’re for! Walking around a hospital to either keep labour going or to get up and use the bathroom, you’re going to need something on your feet. I’ll probably head up toy the hospital in my boots, so I’ll need something easy to slip on and off for those circumstances. And remember that they’ll probably get stained, wet in the shower rooms and generally hospital dirty. You’ll be glad to chuck the things away on your way out!
Plus, they’ll bring back happy memories when it’s the middle of the night and I’m struggling through the early hours with a little one!
5) A book.
This is something I didn’t take last time, and there were stretches of hours (after birth) where I could have done with something to zone out with.
I haven’t actually packed this yet though as I don’t know what book I’ll be reading, but it’ll be on my list of last minute items. I’m so looking forward to a few hours uninterrupted (apart from the baby) reading, especially if I’m put on a ward where I don’t want to disturb other mums and babies.
So they are my top 5 items to remember. What are yours? Maybe I’ve forgotten something and I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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Aside from the “Great Dress Debate” of the past week or so (don’t ask me what colour it is – I’ve seen it both ways!) fashion is always something people are talking about. Whether it’s what someone wore down the red carpet or the tracksuit a celebrity was spotted in when they popped out to get milk, you can pretty much tell that someone is always watching.
When you make the decision to start having kids, you almost have to accept straight away that your wardrobe will change and evolve with your role. To start, there are the short-shorts and the bikinis that you know will have to go away for at least a while (if not forever – as a mum of boys I feel I may have to re-evaluate some of my pre-baby clothes).
Whilst pregnant you will, of course, opt for comfort over fashion, though it is possible to achieve both. However, there will inevitably be times when you can’t be bothered to put together an outfit and instead you just want to pull on pyjamas or leggings and a t-shirt. Fair play, I think, in pregnancy. Just the other night I spent half the evening in actual trousers (comfy ones) but switched to leggings because the waistband was digging in where I think the baby’s head has dropped to. Comfort is the name of the game, especially at this late stage!
But after baby comes a choice – return to fashion, stick with function (especially if breastfeeding) or try to merge the two. Having been through that period once before, here’s how I plan to handle it this time around.
Strappy vests and floaty tops: I’m not shelling out £15 for a specific nursing vest top. Call me frugal but I would rather buy 6 or 7 cheap vest tops from (shock horror) Primark, knowing that they’ll probably get stained with milk or baby sick and I can throw them away afterwards. They pull down easily and, with a range of colours, you’ll always be able to at least match something with them. Over the top of a strappy vest, I would pick a floaty top. That way, if you are nursing, you can pull that top up and the vest down, giving you great cover to be discreet and not draw attention to yourself.
Long cardigans: Again, great for nursing and gives you fantastic cover, but they are also great for your figure. Post-baby there’s always bits that you’d rather hide and long cardigans do a great job of that. Not only do they elongate your figure (especially if they come down past your bum!) but they will make whatever’s inside the cardigan seem smaller, so that post-baby tummy is buried beneath the woollen layers!
Tight bottom halves: whether it’s leggings, jeans or skirts, figure hugging bottoms can do wonders. For a start, wherever you’ve put weight on, you’ll lose it first off those places it wouldn’t normally be, like your face and/or legs. So choosing slim-fitting bottoms evens out the whole image, especially if you’re going for the layered look on top. If you feel stuck between your pre-pregnancy jeans and your maternity pair, think about borrowing or investing in a pair that feel good now, rather than ones that used to fit or ones that you’re aiming to fit into. You’ll always feel good if you have a pair of jeans that fit well.
Flat shoes: Carrying a baby and all their paraphernalia can be tricky, even more so with a toddler in tow as well. Think flat, comfortable but stylish. I will probably continue to live in the flat shoes I’ve been wearing throughout pregnancy – boots, ballerina-style pumps and converse-esque trainers. All flat, comfy and still fashionable.
Jumpers: There will be some days when you’ll feel so down about your body that you will just want to hide away under a jumper. That’s OK, on some days. But these will be the days when your husband needs to step up his game, tell you that you’re beautiful, how proud he is of you and how he can’t believe his luck. It’s good to have a few cosy jumpers on hand, but it helps if they’re ones that you like, rather than ones that make you feel frumpy.
All in all ladies, post-baby, you have to do whatever you can to make yourself feel comfy and good. The two can mix, and when you hit the right combination not only do you feel more like yourself, but you can see that hint of yummy-mummy appearing. And the more you see that, the bigger it’ll get until you can give yourself that title and feel proud of it.
Because you are a yummy mummy – after all, someone found you attractive enough to put you in this position in the first place!!
That’s my fashion-plan for the next few months – what are your tips and tricks for a post-baby wardrobe?
Five Reasons I Won’t Be Seeing Fifty Shades of Grey This Weekend
So there’s this film coming out. You’ve probably heard about it. It’s based on a book written not too long ago. I know plenty of people who’ve read it. In fact, I started to read the first one because it came preloaded with some other best sellers on my Kindle. I think I probably read just under half of it.
And then I stopped. And despite “Mr Grey” being a Once Upon a Time actor whom I would have liked to have seen act in something else, Fifty Shades isn’t on our list of things to do this weekend. Why?
1) My husband and I already have Valentines plans.
They are to sit and watch the most recent episode of the Blacklist, to tick off another idea pulled out of our date night jar (which is to do a couples quiz and then discuss our answers), and to eat our favourite foods. That’s it, that’s all we have planned. Some may find that a bit sad. It’s not sad. Nor is it comfortable. We will be doing something we enjoy together, learning new things about each other and enjoying eating things without sharing them with our child!
We will be spending time together – time that matters in a busy life with a new-born on the way in a few weeks. What better Valentine gift to give than our time, that so easily slips away from us to other things?
2) I respect my husband and he respects me.
No one can escape the Fifty Shades articles that have been flying around recently, but I’ve done my best. Why? Because I’m not interested. I respect my husband too much to expect him to sit through what is essentially a film from a book written so that women can swoon and imagine what a different life would be like. I don’t need a different life.
Nor does my husband, and it’s not just the idea of the book/film, it’s the content. I think we’re all pretty clear where Fifty Shades goes. My husband respects me too much to want, need or expect me to act the way the characters in the book/film do. And I love that about him.
3) Things change when you have kids. Or maybe sons? I’m sure other mums can give their opinions on this, but I want to bring my sons up in such a way that I teach them to respect women. That will start with them learning to respect me and continue, eventually, with their future wives.
How the character in this story acts is not how I want my sons to act. It’s not how I want them to treat women, so why set that example for them now by going to see this film that’s whole intention is to make me want to be treated that way?
4) I am heavily pregnant and the girl in this film is a stick.
Nothing against skinny people – I used to be one! (Isn’t the word skinny awful? Slim, I should say.) But at 32 and a half weeks pregnant, I’m not sure seeing a tiny girl writhing around is going to make me feel any better about how I feel right now. My aching back and pelvis, the extra weight I’ve put on my face, my daily changing body shape is all a hugely amazing gift from God because it means I’m carrying a tiny (pretty big) boy.
But that doesn’t mean I want to be reminded of it by seeing a slim (see, that’s better) brunette, in gorgeous clothes who’s had her hair and make up done by a skilled team of professionals, being seduced in front of me. Because it reminds me that right now I am huge, aching constantly, dealing with Braxton Hicks regularly and feeling feet digging into my ribs. Happy Valentines Day (not)!
5) For me, Valentines Day means something else.
From a very young age, my sister and I both received Valentines cards. Every year. I’m not being big headed – they were from our dad. We knew that and he knew that we knew. But it made the day special. We went to school with smiles on our faces. Ever since then, Valentines day has meant reminding someone just how wonderful they are.
It’s a day to feel loved, to be made to feel special and wanted – just like every other day of the year. But people forget in the day to day chaos of life how special they are and sometimes need reminding. So that’s what Valentines day does. In the whirlwind of life that gets us all stressed, emotional and constantly bombarded with real life, this is one day, maybe one card, perhaps even one person or picture or greeting as you walk into work that says “Happy Valentines Day” and reminds you that you’re special. You’re someone to be remembered and treasured and valued. I’ll write one card for the one person who, above everyone else, makes me feel valued to remind him just how valuable he is to me.
So why would I spoil that intimacy with a film about a book that was written to satisfy millions?
Thanks for reading! I know there are a lot of opinions on this topic, so from this I’ll keep my mouth shut, but if you agree with anything I’ve written please like, share, retweet or comment. Your opinions matter. You can also find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or Twitter at @mumwriting
I can’t wait to have two kids. I really, honestly, can’t. I’m so looking forward to seeing them interact and learn about each other and, eventually, play together. But I can’t say the prospect is totally fear-free. In fact, there are a few things that I’m scared of…
This is probably my biggest fear. I remember not long after having my first, being proud of myself for managing to get the tea on the table and the baby asleep at the same time so that my husband and I could eat an evening meal together. How am I going to do that whilst entertaining a toddler as well? Yes, he’s getting better at playing by himself and the likes of Peppa Pig are often a blessing – especially when I’m trying to make dinner! But with a baby too? A baby who, in the first few months, is going to be totally unpredictable in terms of feeding, sleeping and pooing.
Mealtimes are something we’re working on with my little one at the moment. He loves finger food and hates actual meals like Stir Fry or Pasta Bolognese. So we’re working on a schedule with him at the moment where one day we eat a meal that I know has at least two preferred foods of his in, and then the next day we have a regular family meal. He’s just having to deal with it and it’s hard. (Strategies welcomed!) But doing all of that AND feeding a baby? Aargh!
We have a great routine at the moment, but that will all change as we hope to get the first one into a bed before baby comes! So it’ll be all change there. But it’s so handy having two adults and one child to deal with. We tag team and it works well. But what do bigger families do?
Do two-child families have a kid each? Do you take it in turns so that each parent gets a night off? Or is it just all hands on deck, whatever goes? Again, strategies for this kind of thing would be great! Can we bath a baby at the same time as bathing a two year old? (The eldest only has oil in the bath because he has dry skin patches). Or will we have to do two bath times, two bedtimes and two routines entirely?
3) TV Judgement
Can we be honest here for a minute? Yes, our child watches TV. He also uses the iPad. Now, out of the two of them, we actually prefer iPad time because of the interaction, but he does have a couple of favourite programmes and (as I mentioned) Peppa is a genius at getting dinner ready!
Of course, we won’t just plonk the baby down in front of the TV. And there’ll be the new added element of sibling interaction to take some attention away from TV time. But when our two year old needs that quiet moment with Mr Tumble after an upset or an episode (or two) of Peppa so that tea can be ready on time… that’ll be when the health visitor turns up and sees a baby in the same room as a toddler and a TV. My second child’s first word will be Tumble. I can see it now. I’m not looking forward to the judgement (as there always is) about screen time.
We will be as adept as we can be at providing other activities for the two of them. But I think there may well always be time for Tumble…
4) Getting ready to leave the house
It’s already hard enough to get “coat, shoes, hat…” sorted for the boy whilst finding my boots, coat, scarf, keys, phone, purse and whatever else. I swear we carry the world around in that changing bag! I downsized at Christmas and got an absolutely beautiful, patterned bag in readiness for the new baby. I chucked out everything unnecessary that had found its way into that blasted thing and restocked and reorganised my beautiful new one. It works lovely at the weekends. Not so much on Grandparent Days (currently my working days) during which they might want his wellies, or posher clothes, or clothes for getting dirty in, or a waterproof coat, or extra nappies or… anything! I never know, so I try to stuff it all in there. We’re still using the old bag for that!
Will my beautiful new bag stay beautiful and not get completely ruined by the addition of extra nappies, muslins, spare clothes and bottles? I’m sure our old changing bag used to be lovely once… How is it going to be possible to get both of them ready, not sick or pooey or muddy, but dressed and clean AND myself on days when my husband isn’t in?
5) This may well be us.
Number four. This could be it. The last one. There are no plans for another. There were always plans for another after the first, despite how badly pregnancy and birth treated me! Now there are no plans other than to keep the four of us healthy and happy.
I’m not sad about that. If I was sad there would have been serious discussions and we would have come to some form of agreement, even if it was an agreement that for now we wouldn’t talk about it but maybe one day… There is no “one day…” discussion waiting to happen. So if I’m not sad about it, why does it scare me that maybe this is it? Can other mums shed some light?
Is it just that I need other friends to continually have children so that I can always enjoy new-born cuddles? Or is waiting for grandchildren my next round of nappies and muslins? I hope not, I’m only 25!!
Is this just the motherly instinct? Will that always be there? For now, let’s just deal with getting this one out safe and the eldest used to all the changes. Because there are a lot to come…
Thanks for reading! If you share some of the same worries, or have ways of dealing with them, PLEASE share your expertise. You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/mumwriting or on Twitter at @mumwriting. You guys are brilliant, and your likes, shares, retweets and comments make me happy! Happy Friday!
My husband is away with work this week. For some of you, that’s no big deal. Your husbands go away regularly for weeks at a time. It’s your normal. I do get that.
But it’s not our normal. I put off thinking about it until I actually woke up yesterday morning at 7:30am. Yes, I cried. I cried again as he left. Maybe it’s the hormones! I am 30 weeks pregnant after all. Maybe it’s the thought of being 30 weeks pregnant and looking after a little one by myself. Luckily I have a hugely helpful family and wonderful friends who are doing anything and everything this week to help us out.
As the little one splashed about in the bath and I got his towel off the radiator I started thinking about how our little person is actually a little piece of my husband. And, with a happy song playing on Spotify, I got him out of the bath, wrapped in a towel and we had a little cuddle and a dance. It was a really beautiful moment. I was watching him in the mirror and picking out the little parts of him that were his dad’s and not mine – his blonde hair, his blue eyes, his cheekiness.
The song ended and Spotify shuffled through the playlist landing on David Gray’s The One I Love – a song that is one of “ours”. You know, most couples have a list of songs that are “theirs”.
“Send a little prayer out to you across the falling dark…”
That did it. I was ruined. The tears started again and I wiped my eyes on my child’s towel as he watched me and blinked (it’s his new thing… blame Mr Tumble!) He never seemed upset by me crying, in fact I’m pretty sure he thought I was playing a game with him.
But today, my bad mum confession is that my 20 month old “read” his own bedtime story, whilst I composed myself enough to sing Twinkle Twinkle to him.
My little boy is a tiny piece of his dad that I can cling to when his dad’s not here and that is a beautiful thing. My bump is currently making the laptop move as it sits on my lap. I am not alone. But a little piece of him is not him.
Last week when I was ill and didn’t blog, I posted a link on my Facebook page to an article about putting spouses before children. Go and find it if you didn’t get chance to read it, it’s very good. It reminds me that although my children are such a huge priority in life at the moment, I must continue to put my husband first. And if I’m honest, for me, that’s easy. He will always come first. That’s my normal. That’s why breaking down over a line in a David Gray song doesn’t worry me, or waking up in the morning in tears because it was the day I’d been pretending would never come doesn’t seem like an issue.
I’m a mum, yes. But that ring on my finger makes me a wife first. That’s my normal.
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