Mummy has got to work, Mummy is busy

When I first went back to work after maternity leave it wasnt so bad, Max was still too young to fully comprehend I was leaving him for hours and hadn’t started to pull on my heart strings. It also helps that I don’t do any of the nursery drop offs or pick ups due to my working hours, so I miss that moment of crying at the door or upset as he has to say goodbye for the day.

Because I had accrued a number of weeks holiday I have been fortunate to get 1 week per month off work for the last 5 months so returning to work has been a nice easy transition. I’ve been able to see my baby and know that it’s only another few weeks until I get another break.

It’s safe to say I’ve been dreading January. Our new year starts, a new year of annual leave, a whole year of working. Only 25 days to spread over the year. More time at work. Less time with my boy.

This Christmas has been a lovely break, 10 days off as a family. We really socialised and spent quality time together. Safe to say I was dreading going back to work. The first day back was made special by the fact that he greeted me at the door by walking unaided to me for a cuddle!! The best feeling ever.

Second day back – was even more of a strain. After leaving Home at 6:45am and missing breakfast, missing teeth brushing and dress time not to mention missing the nursery run – I got to work for a reasonable time. In fact the first person there! Not bad really for a mum who commutes a distance!

I couldn’t wait to get home and see my boy before bedtime, to at least renew the fact that I’d missed so much of his routine. I never cook his dinner, I never read him a story and I never get him into his pjs. That’s when I got a text from a colleague at 5pm to say the motorway was hell and to avoid it like the plague! Great! So what should be a 45-60 minute journey could possibly take 90 minutes.

I set off and headed off the beaten track on my plan B route home. A route taken many a time before when I was child free and hometime wasn’t such of importance. All was going well I was 75 minutes in and that’s when I struck the queues of cars trying to avoid the lorry fire which had closed the M5! 80 minutes after departing the office my legs ache from stop start driving and my mum bladder is about to explode under pressure. I call hubby to ask him to keep dinner warm and try and keep Max awake so I can selfishly get snuggles.

90 minutes later …. still stuck.

100 minutes later …. still stuck

110 minutes later – nearly there

120 minutes after departing the office I finally pull onto the driveway at home and run into the house to find Max upstairs just on his way to bed. He immediately holds open his arms to me and snuggles into me, his eyes closing through tiredness.

That’s it – I couldn’t hold back – I burst into tears as all the stress of the commute pour out of me. I’ve missed everything again. No story, no teeth brushing, no pjs, no playtime, I haven’t cooked his dinner. His hair smelt fresh from his bath, which I had also missed. Within 1 minute I was placing him down in his cot and closing the door behind me.

I walked into our bedroom and sobbed. Guilt, tiredness, hormones…. just felt so crappy. Crappy that traffic, being a worker mum forced a wedge between me and my ability to be a mum.

I turned to my husband and just apologised for being shit. For putting all the pressure on him. For not being there.

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Is there ever a right time for a second?

It’s Christmas Day, it’s 2:30am, I’ve been wide awake for the past hour unable to sleep. I’m 33 but yet seems tonight I’m 8 years old again, hyperactive on an overdose of sugar and buffet food and eagerly anticipating the arrival of Father Christmas down the chimney.

Actually for some bizarre reason I’m wide awake not excited for Santa, but, debating in my mind when the right time comes for a second baby!

Lately a few friends have moved onto baby number 2, I follow a fair few people on Instagram who have also ventured into the world of a second baby and it’s gotten me thinking, when IS the right time for another?

On my Christmas party this year I was plagued with the reoccurring question from colleagues and I simply couldn’t answer.

So here I am at 2:30am on Christmas thinking about it. I know if I had another I seriously would not want to repeat the pregnancy and birth experience from the first. I think it is those points that are acting as major contraceptive at the moment.

Then secondly comes my career. When I had Max I seriously felt like I’d chosen my baby over my career and purposefully put my job on hold to have a family. Excellent choice at the time but now I feel miles behind my male counterparts having had a year off. I think if I got pregnant again it would be met with a lot of negative vibes at work. I’d be worrying sick about my career and what life would look like after number 2 for me career wise.

Thirdly there’s the finances – now I have a good job, my husband does ok, but with baby number 1 we managed to save a chunk of cash so I could go off and have a year off. This time, we have no savings. So how could we possibly afford for me to take a year out of work? I simply couldn’t. I think this would leave me feeling a bit sad inside.

So having reviewed points 1-3 above I think it’s safe to say I’m not ready, but those points will always exist.

  1. Is it normal to just have one baby?
  2. Why do I feel such immense pressure to do it again?
  3. How will baby 2 make me feel?

Really keen to get thoughts and comments!

Rebecca

Christmas Gifts with Sports Direct – #SDfiverchallenge 

Can you believe it’s only 10 weeks until Christmas! Where did the year go? 

It’s Nandys’ 2nd Christmas this year and he is more aware of the festive season than ever. Which adds to the pressure of finding the right gifts for him to tear open on Christmas Day.

Now, if you’re like me and hate tacky presents (I like useful things!!!) it can be a struggle to find affordable, useful gifts for the family – especially with the cost of childcare and living it’s nice to be able to spread the cost of Christmas out!
I’ve started earlier than ever this year – sportsdirect.com has a great range of gifts (not just sports related!) for affordable prices! 

Here is a selection of things we managed to purchased for just £5 – £6 an item! 


I was really impressed with the fact that all items we managed to purchase were branded and a cut at the price you’d pay in other high street stores! Playdoh and crayola are big names and I trust my baby with them! 


As Max started with childcare this year we realised he really enjoys his arts and crafts, what better way to kit him out with all the supplies needed.

This little bundle cost me only £26! With next day delivery options available it was perfect for any last minute panics too! 

I even managed to get a little something for my golf loving family for £5 – a Nike golf glove! 


I will definitely be using sports direct again for future gifts as the range of stuff available and affordability is second to none!
Go check out sportsdirect.com now for their range of gifts and inspiration! 

Rebecca 

Disclaimer:- All views in this blog post are my own and honest representations. This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by Sportdirect.com

Motherhood – My loss of Confidence 

I haven’t updated the blog for a while, because I’ve returned to work and in general found it hard to find the time to write anything of any value, until now.

It’s been three months since I returned to work, the first few weeks were hell, I was struggling somewhat but couldn’t quite pinpoint the reason. Well, in fact, it wasn’t just work I was struggling with – it was most things.

See since having a baby my mind doesn’t seem to be the same as it used to, I knew baby brain was a word but I always treated it as an excuse for people being thick. But now, I eat my words and I myself seem to be suffering from it. My memory is almost gone completely – I seem to struggle to juggle all the things I need to do and when – especially when my husbands memory resembles that of a goldfish so I often have to remember his stuff for him too. 

It’s taken those few months of juggling work and motherhood to make me realise I am not as happy as I used to be…. I am not as CONFIDENT. 

It all started a few months ago when I rejoined some gym classes doing personal training again. Before having a baby I was pretty fit! I didn’t realise it at the time – but my stomach was flat and I had definition, my legs slim and I was a comfortable size 8-10, under 10 stone. I lifted heavy weights and ran, went spinning and did military style bootcamps 5-6 times a week. It was my way of burning off anxiety and tension from a high pressure career. Imagine the feeling walking back into that same gym a good stone heavier in weight than my peak days, with skin flabbier and my bits Wobblier and lift a weight 3 times lighter than I had been able to before. Even trying to lift my own bodyweight was a strain and I found myself repeating over and over “I can’t do it” almost to the point I nearly cried with frustration.

That’s when my personal trainer offered my a book about re-wiring a brain due to depression. It got me thinking – what if I have PND? 

I just spent (and still do spend) weeks comparing myself to what I used to be and what I used to be able to do, beating myself up that I can’t do it anymore and feeling embarsssed at being weak now. 

Then theres my uber slim and fit friends, all of whom haven’t had children. Waltzing around in their designer clothes and size 8 bodies. Completely unaware of the strain of motherhood both financially and physically. Not to even mention mentally. Then you hear them mutter the words “I don’t want to look frumpy” or “I didn’t buy that because it made me look fat” and you think to yourself – what must they think of me, all flabby and frumpy over here in my size 12 jeans and boobs the size of 2 small planets attached to my chest, sagging to my waist now and not sitting pert like they once had. It makes you feel like SHIT. Utter shit. 

The weight gain, the negativity – I needed to start a diet, so I did – but it’s so hard. No-one could explain how hard it is to juggle 48 hours a week working, a baby, a husband, keeping the house clean and respectable and then finding time to workout and eat well. I’ve baked some diet foods and tried to prepare meals from scratch but it’s still too easy to reach for that takeout menu or packet of crisps when you’re up against it. 

Then the feeling of self loathing gets worse, your child is 15 months old and you’re still fat, you have no time to socialise and barely time to shave your legs. If you take that time to do those things then you end up feeling wracked with guilt that you should have prioritised playing with toot toot racers rather than applying that face mask (that you used to do weekly before the baby came). 

As a result of the above lack of time, my confidence has taken a massive nosedive. At work I’d have been the one trotting around in power dresses from Karen Millen and heels, now I try and hide the flab in baggy shirts and struggle to walk in the heels as I’m out of practice. My skin keeps flaring up with spots as I don’t have time to cleanse properly, my hair a mess as I never get it coloured anymore and my brain is in as equal a bad state as my lady parts were after the forceps delivery – battered and broken! 

My decision making and ability to direct my team at work was suffering, doubting my abilities and questioning my worth. Feeling paranoid no-one likes me anymore. I’m that useless boss who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. 

I’ve tried so desperately these past few weeks to not let it win. I’ve continued with the diet, I’ve pushed through af the gym and recognised that with effort I may get back to my old strengths. I’ve started wearing work clothes with more of a stride in my step and my head held high, I’ve begun to make more clear decisions and be more direct at work and give my team the reason to believe in me again. 

However, things are not perfect. I’m still struggling, but I need to find ways to control the struggles. I need to recognise my body made and birthed a tiny version of my husband and for that reason it will never be the same again. The very tiny human brings so much love and joy to our lives that he was worth every lost brain cell and every lost piece of my confidence.

Rebecca 

Family Holiday Washing with Ecover 

Our first holiday abroad, that’s it! Done and dusted for another year! 

I was apprehensive about travelling with a baby. All the stuff you have to pack, I felt like I was packing up the entire house just for 10 days! I decided to pay for additional luggage so Max could have his own suitcase. Turns out that was a good idea, because it was full of outfits for him (see previous blog post on Nandys holiday wardrobe!)

I envisaged lugging half of it back home unworn, but I judged it perfectly. Well not so perfectly, we had to buy more trousers in France because he had a giant up the backer poonami on the last day and his clothing was wrecked. He had been suffering from a cold and all his bibs were snotty, not to mention the entire carribean chicken dinner he tipped over his blue shirt! I knew I had some serious washing issues when I got home! 

Seems dunking him in the sea to wash didn’t work!


So 

I’ve come home to – you guessed it – all of that to wash (in the washing machine not sea!) and iron and put away.
I’ve only just finished putting away all the dried clothes from before our holiday – I’m sure no-one enjoys washing. 

I’m also particularly careful with washing detergents because Max has super sensitive skin, so I’m really careful to select a detergent which is gentle on his skin and good for the environment. 

That’s why I’m so glad we discovered ecover washing liquid, it’s safe for his sensitive eczema prone skin and is tough on stains (for a non-bio) – great for all that food mess and other stains that he is capable of making!! (Rolls eyes). 

This bottle of detergent covers 25 washes so I know it will get us through the mountain of holiday washing we have just fine! 

Thanks Ecover for taking care of our family washing needs. 

Rebecca & Nandy 


This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover. You can find them over at Ecover website

What Nandy Wore – Holiday Wardrobe 

It’s time for our first holiday abroad as a family and I couldn’t be any more excited!!
I think Nandy actually has a better wardrobe than me! Fact! I do love to mix up both high street and Instagram stores when dressing Nandy – so below you’ll find a mix of styles and outfits from all over. 

SUCK IT ! 

Hoody – zero fox, babygrow – sleepnomore, Leggings – H&M

SWIM TIME 

Swimshorts – Baby Gap


BLOOMIN BLOOMERS IN BLUE

Bloomers – Kids we Love, babygrow – sleepnomore


CUBAN BABY

Leggings – H&M, Quilted jacket – Zara, Cuban bird silk shirt – River Island



FLOWER POWER

Leggings – H&M, ribbed jacket – Zara, Floral shirt – Next


NAVY BABY 

Grandad shirt – River Island, Denim Jacket – Next, leggings – H&M


HI 

Striped tshirt – River Island, Leggings – Turtledove London


SORRY (NOT SORRY) 

Hareems – Milk and Dagger, Tshirt – Zero Fox, Shoes – Love Roo, Cardy – Zara


BRAVE FEARLESS BOLD STRONG 

Beach print leggings – Hatch Patch kids, Tshirt – I am Loved


I hope you like his outfits and that this guide has inspired you! Don’t forget to pin the images on Pinterest and leave us a comment with your thoughts!
Thanks for reading
Rebecca & Nandy 





Blogging – Worth it?

I’ve taken a break from updating the blog recently. The reason why? Life! Life has gotten in the way of my hobby and the thing I was really passionate about. I’ve found it hard to find the energy, time and inclination to update it …. so here I am, attempting to get back onto the blogging wagon. 

Lately I’ve been really pushing my engagement on social media and trying to improve my blog visibility, but, to be totally honest nothing appears to be working.

It can be really demotivating to know that no matter what you do, no one is reading your posts, looking at your photos or even seeing what you’re doing (thanks Instagram!) 

On that regard I seem to have lost my blogging and social influencing mojo somewhat. 

I need to re-energise things a little, I need new brands to work with and I need to find my mojo again! 

I don’t do this for the free stuff, or even stuff full stop, I started doing this as a hobby and something to help me express my creative side. Some days I love it, other days I hate it. 

So, any support and words of wisdom at this moment would be massively appreciated as I need to try and help find the reason I started all this in the first place!

Rebecca 

Beach Birthday Party … (indoors in the rain) 

Anyone that’s been following the blog for some time will realise that I have been planning Nandys 1st birthday party, a beach themed birthday party, for some time now. 

The plan was to host the party in our back garden so the past few weeks has been spent prepping said garden – clearing rubbish away, sorting out the rotten decking, digging out an old tree stump and making sure the grass looked lush and green (following a dry spell) all in preparation for it guests.

I’d purchase bunting and tassels in bright colours to adorn the garden furniture and the plan was to lie beach towels down on the grass area for guests to sit on..

Until the rain came

And boy did it rain…. it rained and it rained. I checked the forecast daily with the hope that surely no more rain could possibly fall out of the sky…. surely it was all rained out by now. But no, in typical law of sod fashion – the forecast for his party day was the worst of all days. 

I should have known after last years attempt at a garden based baby shower (equally a dreary June day!) that I didn’t have luck with weather. 
T minus 3 days to the party and I decided enough was enough and it was necessary to book a village hall and relocate the party indoors. 
The plan was to have the sandpit and paddling pools in use – those plans now redundant made way for a bouncy castle (so beach party right!?).


I hired a last minute castle for £60 and the hall set me back £55 – £115 I hadn’t intended on spending! 

Day of the party came and we set about the hall and tried to cheer it up as much as we could using the bunting the flags – sure enough as my luck would have it – the sun shone in all its glory just to piddle on my parade!!!!! 


Guests arrived for 1pm and soon started making light work of the huge buffet on offer and the soft play and toys which adorned the hall. 


I’d blown up beach balls and other various inflatable fish / whales for them to smack each other around the heads with (or play nicely with) also a suspiciously fallis shaped lilo! 


The time capsule cards went down a treat and I have spent a few hours reading through the messages left by the guests and weeping into my cuppa. 

One thing is for sure – we didn’t need the sunshine or the theme – friends are what make the party and they did not disappoint. We had a great turnout and everyone left smiling which is the most important thing! 


I think we did Nandy proud on his day and he behaved like a little star being passed around between people for hours. 

So that’s it for his first birthday – over in a flash. Sobs 

Now I just need something else to plan ….. 

Rebecca 

Post Birth Feelings 

Mum Guilt, it’s an actual thing right!? I’d heard the term used but I wasn’t sure I understood it – but now I do. Everything you do as a mother leaves you wracked with guilt!

I’ve heard so many times from people when talking to them about my feelings of being a mother that “Am I sure I’m not depressed?” No I’m not bloody depressed, I just have a few issues which I need to resolve.

These issues mainly revolve around the process of how my son came into this world and the weeks / months thereafter.
So – firstly, I’m a control freak by nature and I’d got a vision of this perfect midwife led birth with music and lights and water and the reality was quite the opposite. I think what makes it worse is that when I arrived at the hospital they let me go in there for 5 hours and gave me a taste of what could have been before swiftly whisking me up into delivery to have all manner of nasty procedures in the not so nice and calming zone. 

Things happened to me during the hours after I got taken to the delivery suite that I’m really Not sure why they happened or how. People say “just ask your husband to fill in the blanks” but they don’t know my husband. He can’t remember his own hair appointments let alone what happened at precisely 12:32pm on the day our son was born! 

I remember major events like them breaking my waters and emptying my bladder and prepping me for theatre, I remember begging for the epidural I always said I didn’t want and I remember the consultant telling me I had an hour  they took me away for intervention – but what I don’t remember is – why? Not once was I informed that Max was in any danger, his heart rate and oxygen seemed to be fine and he didn’t have a clip on his head checking. I know he was facing sideways so the consultant said pushing him out would be harder but in essence he was back to back / sideways so he was stuck in my pelvis. 

After what seemed like hours of pushing I just couldn’t budge his massive head and time was called for intervention.

When I look back I feel such emotion about the whole thing – why couldn’t I have been given 2 hours not 1? Why the hurry? Why was I lay down on my back and not asked to stand up and let gravity help? Why did they break my waters and hurry things along with the use of oxytocin (which I didn’t know about until I read my notes!).

There are so many black holes and gaps in my memory and unanswered questions.

I spend to this day eating myself up about not being able to finish the job and experience the feelings of him exiting my body! I went from extreme pain and labour feelings to the feeling of nothing. I was convinced that Max wasn’t actually my baby – because I hadn’t felt him exit me – I went from having a baby to seeing him and because I couldn’t feel him come out – it was like they had gotten him from another room and handed him over. 

I never did see or even know when my placenta was delivered and again I’m convinced it’s still in there because I’ve studied all the photos to try and find one photo of it coming out of me and I can’t trace it. I read my notes over and over and it says it was checked as being complete but I have no idea when that happened! I didn’t even feel them inject me for the placenta release because I was still numb. 

Then there was Max infection. I was stuck in hospital and in hindsight I may not have bonded with Max instantly: but then when they started wheeling him away for lumbar punctures and multiple heel pricks for blood right in front of me and other mums – was quite traumatic. I remember one time pacing up and down the room in absolute sweating state just saying “enough now, that’s enough!” His blood was dripping out his heels all over the chairs and he was screaming. 

Once enough blood was taken it was established Max had “an infection” I wasn’t allowed a private room and my husband was told to leave every night. They woke me at 2am to tell me they suspected Max has menigitis and that he was “very poorly” they say the inflammation markers should be between 1 and 10 and his were 38. 

I lay sobbing without my husband with a baby whom was days old – they took him away from me to do chest X-rays (having to pin your 2 day old baby down onto a lead plate is pretty traumatic) and then lumbar punctures which they don’t allow you to witness because it’s so distressing as they basically have to curve the baby around into an ball and insert a large needle into their spine. They did this twice to my baby and all I could do was sit and wait. 

They inserted a cannula and began administering 2 types of antibiotic immediately. I had to hold him down twice a day so the nurse could flush the line with saline and he would scream in pain. It was the most upsetting and traumatic week of my life – not helped by the Heat of the ward, lack of sleep and lack of privacy. After 5 days I was desperate for my own room and my home, but Max wasn’t well still.


We called it “the claw” and tried to make light of the situation.

Luckily after 7 days we were let out and I cried just to feel air on my skin and drops of rain! 

I still to this day don’t know what infection he had or why he was so poorly and that cuts me up inside. I’ve felt resentment towards those mums who had their babies and took them home right away and have no comprehension of what it feels like to go through the above. 

Then I feel guilty because I know others will be reading this and saying that I had it easy in comparison to their experiences! 

I think all in all – we all have issues in some way, we all have unanswered questions and we all have regrets.

Each experience is different and none of them are perfect. 
Rebecca  

Nandy Turns One 

How is my baby ONE?! How did I create a human and push him out and then help him grow into the little boy he is today?

I think it’s safe to say we haven’t had the smoothest of rides. We’ve had some real struggles and still do! (I know there’s people out there with worse troubles than we’ve had).

We struggled with eczema which (touch wood) seems to be clearing up. Then there was reflux and the constant crying for months, then the breastfeeding struggles – him pulling off and screaming in public and me feeling like he wasn’t getting fed. Not to mention constipation issues once we started baby led weaning and the stress of that! 

All in all it’s been a rollercoaster and going back to work has been hard and also good for me in many ways. In the round it’s been the most epic year of my life so far – so I just had to go completely OTT with his birthday celebrations!!! 

Our favourite colours have always been black / white / teal and silver, so it was inevitable that would form the basis of the theme for his birthday itself! 

Then there was all the presents to wrap, I sourced matching wrapping paper from John Lewis in teal / black and silver with teal ribbons.


No birthday would be complete without the 1st birthday photoshoot. After reading the feedback from “ohsomummy” on her cake smash and the quantity of cake her gorgeous man ate I decided to steer clear of cake smash and got for a more outdoors theme.

Again, we headed to the wonderful Sarah at peagreenboat photo for the shoot and it was incredible! 

Today we had lunch with grandparents and then some homemade cake with the others. It’s been a magical and emotional day. 

We have his party to look forward to on this weekend (typically forecasted to rain so we have had to move it indoors at the last minute!!) and it’s a beach party too!! Sighs! 

Watch this space for more updates on how the party went! 
Thanks for reading the blog – don’t forget to follow for more! 

Rebecca