World Breastfeeding Week: A Thank You to My Breastfeeding Supporters

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There's no denying that breastfeeding is hard work. Especially in those early days - it's often a painful, emotionally draining, and tiring experience. I felt that  I was much better prepared second time around - I knew that it might be painful and difficult at first, and I'd promised myself that I wouldn't put so much pressure on myself to breastfeed, or worry about weight gain. But there's something primal that kicks in about the need to feed your baby, and despite my promises, all those hormones started up again and it was exactly the same emotional rollercoaster as I'd ridden before. Having now breastfed two children, I think it's actually one of the hardest things I've done as a ...

My hopes for motherhood second time around

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With just 4 weeks to go now until my due date, I'm very conscious that our new arrival will finally be arriving very soon! And that's got me thinking a lot about what I want to do differently this time around. I found the adjustment to being a mum very difficult to deal with. No-one can prepare you for that rush of love that just overwhelms you, but also the intense worry, guilt, and anxiety that accompanies it. As a first time mum, you are so concerned with 'getting it right', and it takes some time for the realisation to sink in that there is no 'right', just what's right for you and your baby. Although I don't think there are many ...

Returning to the Baby Stage

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I've heard it said that everyone has a stage of parenting they're best suited to. For some it's the baby years, for some the toddler years, and for some very brave people, it's the teenage years. I'm not a baby person. It's something I don't voice often, being a parenting blogger, but I've never been overly maternal, and I really struggled with the first year of motherhood. The lack of interaction in the early days I found really difficult to deal with, and the constant instruction from health visitors to 'play' with your baby I have to admit that I found baffling. When all you can do is put them on a playmat and wave things in front of them, there's ...

Belo + Me Milestone Cards & Wardrobe Dividers – Review

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One of my biggest tasks in preparing for the new baby has been retrieving all of the old baby clothes from the loft and sorting through everything. It's been a pretty mammoth task and has made me realise just how many clothes we have, in so many different sizes. So when Belo + Me got in touch to offer to send me through their wardrobe dividers and milestone cards it couldn't have come at a better time! Belo + Me are a small online boutique, selling a range of children's toys, gifts, and accessories. Inspired by the Portuguese 'Belo', meaning 'beautiful', their designs are colourful and unique and I loved browsing their shop.   Wardrobe Dividers I'd not come across wardrobe dividers before, but ...

The Ordinary Moments: Slipping through my Fingers

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We had a quiet day together this week. You didn't want to do much, so we just played together at home and wandered up to the shops to pick up a few bits and do some shopping. It was one of those nothing days, and yet something hit me as I was putting you to bed. It was such an ordinary thing, but you just leaned in to give me a hug and it hit me then: you've grown up so much over the last few months and I've missed it. I've been so taken up with being ill, for days on end, that it's let me miss all of those little things. I've been there, I've been right there ...

Finding the right work/mum balance

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I never pictured myself as a stay-at-home mum. When I got pregnant, I assumed that I would go back to work after maternity leave, hopefully being able to negotiate a part-time contract for a period of time. My work were very positive about supporting working parents, so I hoped that this would be possible. But once I started investigating options it became clear that my old job and our location just weren't compatible with childcare. With a lengthy commute into or out of London, plus travel time either side, I used to arrive home at 7.15 each evening. Little did I know when I got pregnant that nurseries in our area tend to open at 8am and close at 6pm - I would have ...

When you’re no longer the favourite parent

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There's been a noticeable change lately in Max. It's fair to say that he's always been a mummy's boy. He's very attached to me, and even at over 2, the separation anxiety is still with us and I can't leave a room without hearing the cries start. That's not to say that he's not always had a great relationship with his Dad - John is a fabulous Dad and it's always been clear how much Max adores him. But it's always been me that he's more comfortable with; me who he'll head to for comfort and cuddles. As the primary caregiver, I suppose it's natural that I would feel like the 'favourite parent'. But I've noticed a big change lately in ...

“It just gets harder…”

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I read a fabulous article the other day by Talya at Motherhood The Real Deal on the most annoying advice given to parents. An A-Z of sometimes hilarious, sometimes baffling, and sometimes rude advice given to various different bloggers. And reading this got me thinking about my own piece of baffling advice I received as a new parent: "It just gets harder". There's me, 6 weeks or so into the most difficult thing I've ever had to do, dealing with a baby who not only doesn't sleep at night, he doesn't sleep during the day either, and cries pretty much constantly. No time to have a shower, no chance to drink a hot cup of tea, let alone make an actual ...

The Fear of Two

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I grew up as one of two sisters, just under two years apart in age, and I think having a sibling close in age had a huge impact on my childhood. Having someone there to play with, to chat to, to share all those little experiences, that was a huge part of my childhood and I'm so grateful for that. Sure, there were lots of arguments, but ultimately we're really close, both then and now. We're very different in so many ways - we don't look alike, my sister is far more of a go-with-the-flow kind of person, more outgoing than me, more of a risk taker - and yet there is something about us that's also very similar. We had our ...

Accepting the child you have

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I'm sure I'm not alone in having had expectations of what I would get up to with my baby while I was on maternity leave - not only would I find the time to get outside in the garden while my baby happily bounced away in their vibrating bouncer, we would do all manner of activities. Baby sensory classes, baby yoga, baby massage, messy play sessions, baby swimming - we were going to do it all! One of the activities I was most excited about was baby swimming. I'd loved to swim as a child, and as my husband isn't a hugely confident swimmer, we felt it would be great to introduce Max to the water early on. I was entranced by ...