The Mum Routine

Stay at home mum, Full time working mum, part time working mum, or on maternity leave… all the options! We find ourselves in need of a routine no matter what life throws at us right? Or is that only me?

Rewind 12 months, I’m heavily pregnant and considering “what I’m going to do with all this free time” now I won’t be working. I could literally laugh out loud at my stupidity! How stupid I was to think I’d actually have spare time. 

Nandy came along and life was mad, there was no routine, I barely slept, the house kind of stayed tidy and life went on. After a few months I did start to find my feet and establish a routine. We had baby groups to attend, we had clearer feed times and I actually got dressed of a morning. Life was good. 

During the final 3 months of my maternity leave my daily “mum routine” was a well oiled machine. Nandy was independent enough to play quietly in the day whilst I ran the hoover round, ironed clothes and made beds, by 4pm I’d start prepping a healthy dinner in time for hubby to return home at 5 and feed, then dress Nandy for bed and at 7pm he would be asleep and I could go to the gym. Winner!

Then came the shock… I had to go back to work. 

Luckily for us hubby was able to take a month off work to allow me to focus on settling back into work and give him the chance to start practising taking Nandy to nursery and being daddy day care. This all seemed like a great idea at the time, until I realised that my husbands perception of looking after Nandy and being off work is ‘slightly different’ (aka totally different) to mine. 

EXAMPLE A – DOWNTIME 

If had any down time I would make the most of it and run the hoover around or empty bins, iron clothes and restock the nappy drawer. 

Hubbys stance:- Any downtime has been spent fishing with his dad, playing on the PlayStation and tinkering in the garage!

EXAMPLE B – STANDARDS

Clearly I have stupidly high expectations and standards. I used to have Nandy fed and the tea cooked with little or no disruption or havoc. Hey, the dishwasher would probably be on the go and the floors mopped too!

Hubbys stance:- Is dinner being cooked, yes, quality in itself isn’t quite there and there food mess all over the worksurfaces like a food bomb has gone off and exploded all over the walls. But dinner is on – that’s the main thing right? 

EXAMPLE C – PLAYTIME

I’m going to be honest, I was never one for spending hours and hours playing with toys – I’d much rather be pushing the pram around the forest or going for a walk. Perhaps not 100% entertaining for Nandy. Even if I did play games I’d contain the mess and destruction to the playroom only as to not undo my hard work of hoovering earlier in the day! 

Hubbys stance – lounge / kitchen and playroom floor are all areas for mess, toys and play and I’m treading on lego as I walk through the front door! Nandy is running riot, but do you know what? Nandy has loved the extra stimulation and fun so I’m giving hubby that one! 
What’s your routine? Do you even have one? Have you considered what impact others have on your routine or how it may change when or if you work? I’d love to hear from you!

Rebecca 

Advertisements

5 Tips for starting a ‘Mum Blog’ 

Many of you may be able to relate to the negativity from non-bloggers about the reasons why I have an online blog. They simply raise their eyebrows at me as if to say “what is the point” or say things like “how do you find the time?!”. The simple answer is that my journey as a parent is being documented for me, my family and friends to look over in years to come, many a feeling and thought has been documented where it may have been lost without be blog. I do find the time, because quite simply put – I enjoy it,  I am an organised person by nature and sitting on my butt and doing nothing for 12 months of my maternity leave would never have worked for me. I always need something to keep my brain functioning, so why not start a blog!

Here are my 5 tips for anyone out there considering starting up a parenting blog:-

1. Don’t do it just for money or free stuff. 

I think there is some association between blogging and making money. Of course there are plenty of bloggers out there making money, but they have worked on their blogs for so long and committed so much to them. Brands and PR can see straight through those bloggers who do it just for the money or freebies and it downgrades the quality of your writing. So be sure to do it because you enjoy it and think of the free stuff as just a bonus. 

2. Keep the quality of writing high and the content relatable

If your spelling is awful and your writing skills leave a lot to be desired then perhaps blogging isn’t for you. Be sure to spellcheck your content before publishing and check that it reads well. No one will follow you if they cannot understand your posts!

3. Don’t moan and rant! 

No one wants to work with a blogger who rants and moans and comes accross too negative. Now I’m all for a bit of realism in life and love how candid some can be, but be careful not to overstep the mark. 

4. Post regularly and along the same themes

No one will follow your blog if you change your topics and post infrequently. People want to know what they are following and how often you are going to post. If you don’t post often enough people will forget about you. If you post too much people will get annoyed. 

Similarly with the content; keep it consistent and along the same themes. For example – my blog is focussed on my sons’ life and the activities we do together and the things I find useful as a parent. If I suddenly start posting about fashion or food then my readers are going to get confused about my subject type and will likely unfollow.

5. Sign up to blogging sites 

I’ve found bloggers required, Mumsnet, Netmums and Tots 100 really useful tools to help me expand my blog. You need to connect and engage with them as much as possible to enable you to really improve your following and increase the chances of getting blogging assignments and viewers. 
I hope you’ve found these tips useful to read and good luck with your blog. Feel free to drop me a comment below with a link to your blog for me to read! 

Rebecca 

5 ways to enjoy your Shared Parental Leave 

Shared Parental Leave is a new government lead scheme whereby employees can share their Leave with their child. When I fell pregnant with Nandy I promised hubby that he could take 3 months off and I would do 9 months. When the hormones set in and I realised how much I enjoyed being a mum I changed that, I stuck with the shared Leave but we decided to take a month off together instead. 

That’s right – you can take the Leave together! 

So I’ve had 44 weeks off work alone and hubby has had 4 weeks at the same time as my remaining 4 weeks – making the 52 week entitlement. 

So how to make the most of that time together?

1. Use it as a chance to get everything in order before you return to work!!

We spent the time catching up on house admin, packing the bags for the nursery, getting car seats fitted and all the information to the childminder. I caught up on work admin, charged my laptop and dusted off my work clothes! 

2. Have fun  

It was imperative that we enjoyed this time off together 

3. Have a plan
To achieve number 2 we forged a plan! A daily plan of exactly where we wanted to visit and what we wanted to see during our time off together so that we didn’t waste away any of our days just saying “what shall we do today” 


4. Try not to kill one another 

Ok so 4 weeks together is quite full on at times and can be easy to forget the reasons you decided to do it when you’re tripping over one another all day and starting to get fed up of their presence (especially when you’ve had 44 weeks off alone doing your own routine) but please try and take a step back and remember that this time is special and will likely never happen again!! 


5. Use it as a chance to have some “you” time

So if like me you’ve spent 44 weeks solely caring for your child and haven’t had chance to get your hair done or your bits waxed then this is the perfect time to step back and sort those things out! Hubby can be left holding the baby for once whilst I have some quality me time! 

Off OUT OUT

I hope these tips have helped you and enjoy your time off as a family!

Rebecca 

Kokoso Baby Hair and Body wash review 

So Kokoso have only gone and done it again! They’ve finally released their much anticipated baby coconut oil hair and body wash!


Continue reading

Bobo & Boo bamboo Dinnerware Review 

Nandy hasn’t used proper cutlery or dinnerware yet as he is quite a messy eater and still learning the ropes with finger foods, I am however, keen to get him started on learning to use dinnerware and cutlery as soon as possible.

Luckily we were fortunate enough to be sent the “Pacific Blue” Bobo and Boo dinnerware set for children from Eatwell U.K. to try out!

Continue reading

Post Partum – The Dreaded Return to work 

Going back, never something I thought I would dread. Dread is quite a harsh word isn’t it, but, it seems the only appropriate word to use to describe the feeling.

So let’s rewind to July 2016, I’m a heavily pregnant boss lady, career driven and uber tenacious. I cried and cried at the thought of leaving work behind, I sobbed my entire way through my last day. I just didn’t know what I would do without my job, no actually my CAREER.

 


 

Little did I know that Nandy would arrive and completely flip that on its head. I remember saying to friends that I might use maternity leave as a time to do a bit of work on the side or some new activities, they laughed at me. Now I know why!

Maternity leave – having a baby – it’s all consuming. It takes up every minute every sanctum of your being – but I love it.

Continue reading

Our First Family Holiday – Day 4 

It’s safe to say it’s been an incredible 3 days so far! I’ve absolutely loved it here in Devon, I cannot believe I’ve never been here before!!


Last night we sat on the balcony at our apartment sipping pimms and eating amazing food whilst the sun set and Nandy slept in the spare bedroom.


I used the time to catch up on some admin and plan my spa day for today! So Nandy and daddy spent some boys time at the royal citadel in Plymouth I went off to the local spa for some pampering.

Now we weren’t allowed to take many photos at either location so pictures of today are limited!

Continue reading

Our First Family Holiday – Day 3 

How is it Day 3 already! We’ve been having such a super time here in Devon courtesy of the apartment booked via Boutique Retreats!


Yesterday we explored the coastal paths leading from the front of the building to the left and right and then went for a swim in the swimming pool at the apartment , so today we decided we would go further afield and check out Salcombe.

Our NCT friends are staying here and Nandys gorgeous play date Alice would be with them too, so we decided to head out and meet them for lunch in Salcombe at the South Sands hotel – which has been rated one of the top 100 hotels in the U.K and based at south sands near Salcombe. Accessible via a sea tractor and ferry crossing this hotel sits on the beach front with awesome views of the estuary.

The day started off very very foggy, misty and not very warm. I checked the forecast and could see that it was scheduled to improve as the day went on.  

We took a trip to east Portlemouth to the ferry crossing over to Salcombe. The journey there was interesting – including ford crossings and winding country lanes. I’m glad hubby was driving because I’d have had both wing mirrors off within seconds!

Continue reading

Our First Family Holiday – Day 2

Woke up today to clouds and had to seriously consider the plan for the day, we had hoped to utilise the swimming pool at the apartment but with the weather being cloudy and unpredictable – doing some exploring seemed a better option!


There is a coastal path that leads 1.5 miles in both directions from outside of the apartment, the only downside to me following this path is the fact that I am simply terrified of heights! A steep cliff edge drops away beneath and I haven’t exactly come prepared with walking boots and all the walking gear! Because we anticipated we may do a lot of off-road exploring we bought along the baby bjorn as well as the stroller, it makes it so much easier to carry them in the bjorn – especially for holidays it enables Max to be nosy and enjoy the views too!!

As I stated in my first post the apartment is very well equipped in the kitchen so we were able to consume a decent breakfast beforehand to help fuel our walk!

Last night I woke a few times to tend to Nandy as he still wakes to be fed / comforted, I could see the flash of the lighthouse across the field behind the house – it was strangely eery yet wonderful. So I planned to make it my mission to visit that lighthouse!

Continue reading

Our First Family holiday with Boutique Retreats – Day 1

We used to holiday all of the time before we had a baby, we were free and able to go wherever and do whatever we wished. Then it all changed! Little did I know that planning a holiday with a baby in tow would be such a mission.


So there’s things to consider with a baby that we hadn’t even contemplated before:-

1. Is the accommodation baby friendly?

2. Does the accommodation offer travel cots and high chairs to save lugging them with you?

3. Are you flying or driving? Either way there’s extra baggage to consider!!

4. How long is the drive / journey and will there be a need for numerous stops along the way to prevent meltdowns?

5. What will the weather be like in the chosen destination and is it baby friendly weather (I.e – not too hot or cold)?

6. Do they have a baby friendly pool / play areas?

7. Is there a Beach closeby and things to do for kids?

8. Are there things to do for adults once the baby is in bed? Like local takeaways and somewhere to cook food and have a glass of wine? DVDs to use and satellite TV (rock and roll I know!!)

The list is quite frankly endless !!! (Plus personal to every family).

Continue reading