Motherhood…You’re doing a good job….

I know its not just me that has found the transition from being an independent, career loving women into the scary world of motherhood hard Its not just me that gets a little sting and can feel suffocated with the realisation that you can’t just get up and go to the shops or make those last minute dinner plans with friends.

THIS IS NOT A MOAN, I love my family life, Infact take me out for a night out or weekend away and I long to be back with my PJs on, cuppa in one hand, chocolate in the other, sat amongst my lovely husband and little boy! This is me figuring out how such a dramatic change in identity can make you feel all sorts of weird.

Becoming a mother is a massive change in identity, suddenly thrust upon this ‘perfect’ ideal of homemaking life, where you are judged for any tiny decision; breast or bottle, co-sleep or independent, self sooth or hold tight…trying to untangle and navigate this new life is so daunting and no one quite prepares you for it.

Every family situation is different, every baby is different, throw in ever changing ‘best baby practice’ guidelines and you’ve gotta be Sherlock to pass this challenge!

For me, I feel like the first 6 months of motherhood was joined by shock…I mean come on, lack of sleep, responsibility like never before, surely the unshakeable people wobble! Combined with the constant need to check I was doing a good job, the validation that ‘yep you are a good mum’ all contributing to a mound of anxiety. I’m the kind of person that needs validation in my life; Career wise through feedback, appraisals, Exercise by lifting heavier, running further, faster but through Motherhood?? There aren’t any monthly meetings to score you, no progress cards to tick off and you can be left feeling pretty crappy once you start the comparing yourself game especially with the insta mums planned photo ops and props, glossing the realities… it can be a heavy force dragging you down!

My comfort blanket and cosy place lies with my like minded friends, especially the fellow mums or ones who are aware of what’s going on. They get it, pat you on the back whilst covered in Weetabix themselves! I think its important to tell each other how good-a-job we are doing, we are in it together which helps massively (cringe high five). Do I need to label myself and have a clear identity? Probably not right now, one thing I have learnt is that you adapt. It’s ok for my identity to change slightly, I can still be myself just with a scruffy tshirt and darker under eye circles!

Love Harriet x

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10 Things I’ve learn’t from having an 18 month old…

You will never learn as much about yourself as you do when you have a child…The length of your patience and how far it can really be pushed, how breathing and counting to 10 does really help, how much you can REALLY love someone and how a simple unprompted cuddle can cause ripples of emotion.

Here are also some life lessons perhaps I didn’t give enough value to…

 

  • 6pm has a new meaning to the day…wind down, bed time hour, time for milk and snuggles and an hour until my little bundle of craziness gives me some ‘quiet’ time!

 

  • Mr Tumble provides a great free babysitter…no i’m not talking about leaving the house but simply a second to put a wash on, clean the house without ‘mummy football’ following me around. Mr T is a permanent fixture on our sky record.

 

  • Flop from Bing is #parentgoals how does he remain so calm and focused?

 

  • Why does the world insist on being extra loud when its nap time? charity workers decide its the perfect time to knock on the door, neighbours start strimming the grass…NO NO NO

 

  • Snacks and bribes should be taken EVERYWHERE! in the car, in every single bag I own!

 

  • YouTube has demos for everything you could need; Setting up the pram, installing the IsoFix..the list is endless to tap into

 

  • A quiet but more importantly hot cup of tea is like winning the lottery….A magazine or book is a bonus prize! Simple things you don’t value until you are a parent.

 

  • Finding mum friends and going for a park date or walk is more fulfilling and soul satisfying  then any expensive baby club!

 

  • Mum guilt will hit you but its normal and so so common…talk to those mum friends they will make you feel better!

 

  • You become amazing at inventing characters and scenarios to entertain your toddler or to help with a simple task… Currently Sonny believes the neighbours cat is watching him eat his dinner and monitoring his progress, anything for another spoonful of pasta!

 

As we are rapidly approaching the 2 year mark I am sure there is plenty more to learn and open my eyes up so I will keep you updated!

Have you learnt anything extra? I’d love to hear them!

Love Harriet x

 

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When did you become a toddler??…18 month update

Toddler..I am a mum to a toddler, when did this happen?? I mean everyone tells you that these years flyby and when you are sleep deprived glancing at your 10th un-touched cold coffee you half heartily believe them but I can tell you 18 months in that it really has flown.

The word ‘Toddler’ is quite a scary thing in itself, it conjures up all sorts of tantrum throwing scenarios mixed with sheer panic of stepping closer to potty training challenges and even pre-school….ok lets not get too ahead Harriet!

my little cheeky 18 month old is surprising us everyday, picking up new words, understanding directions that we are giving him and I am amazed by how much his little brain is taking in, no wonder he is knackered by 7pm (as are we)

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The 4 gift guide rule…I’m adopting…

This will be Sonnys second Christmas and although its all very exciting I find buying presents for him really tricky not to mention, what do you get a child that seems to have everything ohh and don’t get me started on the toy mess!

Last year he was 5 months old and didn’t really need anything major plus he had no idea what was happening so buying gifts seemed really strange.

This year I have tried to  think about a Christmas list for him, ready in case anyone asks me but most importantly I have decided that I am going to adopt the 4 gift guide rule as a way to streamline what we give him; that way it will be consistent each year and fair.

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The Task of Choosing a Nursery….

As quickly as maternity leave arrives its over within a blink of an eye and suddenly you are emailing work with your back to work dates…how did that happen??? With the back to work planning also comes the hard task of finding someone or somewhere such as a Nursery to look after your little munchkin whilst you earn the pennies.

We knew that for 2 days a week we had help with childcare in the form of grandparents, which has been an amazing god send and saved us a substantial bill, as well as meaning Sonny gets a real bond with his Grannie and Nanny; he enjoys being their centre of their attention plus we can rest in the knowledge that he is in safe and experienced hands.

We also had another day to cover and no choice but to look into nurseries. I was really keen for Sonny to experience a nursery environment, to socialise with other babies in a larger group setting, to get used to people outside of the family and learn new skills from a specially formulated curriculum.

The nursery search was a very daunting task, I never even thought about this whilst pregnant, I’ve never noticed nurseries nearby or even discussed the topic before so as soon as it hit my raider, google was the first port of call then facebook and finally mums that I knew used nurseries.                                                                    I kept hearing the same advice over and over, book appointments to view 3ish nurseries and you’ll know as soon as you walk in how you feel and which is the right place for you. Another sound piece of advice was prepare some questions to ask, don’t be afraid to understand exactly how the nursery is run after all its an important decision for you!

As soon as I stepped foot into the nursery that Sonny now attends, I knew it was the one I wanted, the staff were so friendly, it was large with a variety of rooms to suit the different ages but also intimate and friendly. The detail and care of each session was impressive and the menu delicious (Moroccan lamb cous cous followed by homemade sponge in addition to breakfast, lunch and snacks…yes please!)

One of my  key tick boxes was that the nursery had outside space and this one does, plenty of space with chickens and a vegetable patch or as they like to call it an outdoor kitchen (chic). Another factor was that Sonny’s sessions are documented for official Ofsted paperwork so I was safe in the knowledge that everything was professional and ‘as it should be’.  We also get a little book detailing what Sonny enjoyed doing that day, photos and also paintings, all very sweet! I love sitting down to read his book!

My advice and list of things to think about when embarking on this daunting task include:

  • Exactly what was given to me but book a few places to visit and you’ll know once you step in if its the place for you and your little one.
  • Plan some questions to ask, do you have payment breaks for holidays? does the fee include food, nappies etc?  Each nursery is sooo different
  • Think about the location, is it easy to drop off in rush hour and close to you in case of emergency?
  • Do they have long enough opening hours for you to manage a drop off and pick up easily?
  • Is the security policy strong enough and puts your mind at ease?
  • Do they take government childcare vouchers or schemes if eligible?
  • Check the settle in plan, Sonny’s nursery introduced him slowly to the sessions and planned it all so he (and myself) would feel comfortable even texting me in the early weeks to let me know how he was doing!

There are a ton of things to think about but you’ll know what you need from a nursery and the most important thing is go back as many times to make sure you feel comfortable!
I am so happy with his placement and the whole decision around attending nursery, the biggest thing I notice is that he is such a social little boy and fine to play amongst a crowd, hes not clinging at all but a happy little monkey!

I hope if your looking into nurseries you find some nice places but if you have any tips or questions feel free to share in the comments!

Love Harriet x

 

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