Wishing all the mamas out there a wonderful Mother’s Day!
UK mother and baby support network, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ has launched a national fundraising campaign in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal run by The British Red Cross Society.
In light of displaced families, bombed maternity wards and tragic loss of life due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ Founder Justina Perry has encouraged mums and babies, mums-to-be and franchisees across her UK network of pregnancy, mother and baby classes to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian parents.Continue reading “MamaBabyBliss’ Launch National Appeal for Ukrainian Families”
To all the mamas out there, I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day!
It’s also #selfcaresunday so start your day off with Aromatherapy Asssociates for their at-home facial masterclass!
What: Aromatherapy Associates At-Home Facial Masterclass
Where: Online via Zoom
What time: 10.00am GMT – 10.45am GMT
How much: FREE
How do I book: visit https://www.aromatherapyassociates.com/masterclasses to book your space
I came across this post below on my WP feed and it’s just what I needed to hear today. Rosemary is the owner of Soul Essence and she writes about all things mindfulness. If you need a little calm in your life every now and then, make sure you have a read at some of her very useful posts.
Re-blogged from Soul Essence:
Here are some brilliant ways to keep calmness in your life. We need to change our perception and our thoughts to a way of calmness and love. Using …I am Often Asked how to Keep our Lives Calm!
If you’re not sure which S word I’m on about, it’s SEX. I wasn’t keen on using it in the title because my boy can read fluently now and I’m not ready to start the whole birds and the bees convo with him just yet. He’s already been asking where babies come from and how they’re made and I’ve just about managed to dodge it for now. He’s 7 by the way.
Let’s talk about S E X
Let’s talk about it. For me, it still feels a little taboo even though we’re online and I’m just writing all of this. I was brought up by very strict Asian parents so any talk that’s even remotely associated with sex and the sorts was banned. Luckily for them I wasn’t too much of a curious soul.
Sex since Lockdown 1.0 has not really been that different for us. We’d usually do it in the wee hours of the morning or at night when the kids are in deep sleep. However, there have been moments when we struggled with getting it on.
Your contraception can be a (libido) killer
Our sex life is pretty okay. We’re active and perhaps a little more now than in previous years. That may sound strange but I think it’s because I came off the injection (female hormonal contraception).
I loved being on the injection and used it for many years and between my pregnancies. I’m quite fertile and it just worked really well. I only needed one jab every three months which made it all convenient. I tried the implant and it left me with adult acne and the patch was great but it ended up irritating my skin. I tried the pill once when I was younger but could never remember to take it on time.
Apparently a common side effect for using the injection is loss of libido. I literally had no sex drive. I hated being touched. I was grouchy all the time. And down there was as dry as the Sahara desert no matter how much he tried to get me going. It wasn’t working.
That lockdown loving…
Naturally, I blamed it on stress. But when Lockdown 1.0 hit and I was unable to get an appointment my body started to ease up as it reverted back to its pre-contraceptive state. Being off any kind of contraception brought my libido back. I loved it. I finally felt like a human being again. That’s when I knew it had to be the contraception.
So now I’ve decided to give the hormonal pill a go again and it seems to be going well. My sex drive is pretty much back to normal and we’re getting it on a few times a month which works out to roughly once a week. We’re too tired and lazy to even attempt to do it anymore than that. Sex is tiring, you know!!
The stresses of lockdown, isolation, working from home, parenting can all get too much. As a result your sex life can suffer from it. So if you and your partner aren’t getting it on as much anymore, try to think why that might be. Have a talk about it as you might find that your reasons are not the same. If there’s one thing I learnt about our relationship (we’ve been together for 14 years) is that communication really is key. We talk a lot more about things we never did before. And being comfortable talking to each other about sex is one of them.
What if the sex is boring?
Sex doesn’t have to be a chore. Especially if you’ve been with your partner for a long time, having sex with each other can get boring. It happens! But there’s things you can do to help each other bring it back. Just remember to keep it down – I’m sure the kids and the neighbours don’t want to hear what’s going on after hours…
What if your partner’s not up for it?
This is a tricky one because it involves understanding how your partner is feeling and what their reasons are for not having sex with you. It could just be stress. It could be something more. YOU HAVE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER. It’s really the only way unless you’re psychic and don’t have to ask. I highly doubt that otherwise you wouldn’t be lacking in sex.
Even when we THINK we know what our partners are feeling, we don’t actually know so it’s crucial to talk to each other. If they’re not one to easily open up, find a way to be able to get through to them. If it still doesn’t work, perhaps speaking to a counsellor or therapist could help you both out.
PS. Don’t forget, it’s Valentine’s Day on February 14th – make an effort as we’re not able to go anywhere, you might as well make the most of it in the bedroom!
Your mini-guide to lockdown loving:
TALK IT OUT. The simplest of them all. Let each other know that the flame is burning out. That way, you’re both acknowledging that there’s something missing. Sometimes when we get too caught up in our own things, we assume our partner knows there’s something lacking but in actual fact, they don’t know sh*t all. So talk it out. Figure out what’s missing.
TRY SOMETHING NEW. This can be anything from buying sexy lingerie to introducing something new into the bedroom ie. a sex toy, oral sex, anal sex whatever you both fancy. It could even just be trying out a new lube for the first time! Whatever it is, find something that make you both feel good doing it. Being a selfish lover is never any good so make sure that you are both being pleasured – it doesn’t have to be simultaneously but it shouldn’t be one-sided.
PICK A NEW ROOM. Never tried it in the kitchen? Or always thought about it in the bathroom? How about outdoors? Be careful with that last one because, you know, lockdown and all but if you have a private garden or balcony it could be possible. The thrill of doing it in a new location can be quite exciting and is sure to be fun as long as you’re both up to it. Just be considerate of your neighbours or who’s around if you’re planning on venturing out.
RECONSIDER YOUR CONTRACEPTION. If you’ve lost your libido like I did, ask yourself if it could be your contraception. If so, would you be able to consider another method. You have to find a method that works for you so I wouldn’t promote any form of contraception over the other. You know your body best so if you’re unsure of what you can switch to, ask your GP or a sexual health advisor.
STRESS LESS. Most likely, if you’re not getting enough sex it’s because you’re stressed, or tired, or both. Exhaustion and irritation can be manifestations of stress which increases your cortisol levels. This will leave you feeling fatigue and you could experience a loss of libido because of it. Stress is also not good for the body, in fact it’s actually really taxing on your body as it puts it in a constant state of ‘fight-or-flight’.
So chill out. Give yourself some time. Have a hot bath soak. Listen to some music. Read a book. Do some yoga. Get some downtime in to really calm your mind and body.
KNOW YOUR BODY. Sounds pretty simple. You see your body every day, you know what it looks like therefore you know your body right? But do you know how it feels like? Self-love is not just about loving yourself from the outside in. It’s also about loving what your amazing body can do, how it can feel… and sometimes we have to discover that intimacy with ourselves first.
If you’ve never tried exploring yourself before and you want to, you to give it a go. I know not everyone approves of this so it’s up to you but if you want to, try it. Some women are unable to orgasm with a partner but when they’re touching themselves, they’re able to orgasm multiple times. And if you know your body well and know how to make it feel that way, you can help your partner figure it out too.
WATCH PORN. I wasn’t sure if I should list this one or if it falls under the ‘try something new’ heading but sometimes a good porn can get you both going. Or at least the one of you who’s watching. Watching porn together is something I don’t do – I still find that weird and it’s something we like doing separately, in our own time. It is easier to get aroused after watching porn so it could be an easy place to start, and it’s mostly free nowadays too. Woop woop!
A contribution post by Louise Palmer-Masterton
There is a widely-held belief that humans are omnivorous (both meat- and plant-eating), so eating a solely vegan-based diet with no meat, fish or poultry cannot be safe in pregnancy. However, I and many others, would disagree with that statement.
I was almost 40 years old when I was pregnant with my first child. At that time, my diet mainly consisted of whole vegetables, small amounts of wholegrain, tofu, lentils and pulses, nuts and seeds. I ate as I normally would throughout both of my pregnancies. I had no morning sickness, no particular cravings, no complications or deficiencies, and was able to deliver both of my children safely at home by home birth. During both of my pregnancies, I took multivitamins and folic acid as recommended by health professionals.
I then started to wonder if my experiences were rare ones, or were there many vegan women out there experiencing the same problem-free pregnancies like I did. So I did some research and found that there were many other new mums who were also vegan during their pregnancies.
- All of the new mums I spoke to adopted a ‘wholefoods natural diet’ during their pregnancies
- None of them experienced any cravings
- Two out of the seven experienced severe morning sickness ate plain toast for their first trimester
- Two were diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) in the second trimester which was successfully managed by eating a wholefoods-vegan diet
- Soups and stews were frequently mentioned as the main ‘go to’ meals
- Marmite, tofu, tempeh, brown rice, aduki beans, miso soup, and ginger were also popular food options
“When I had morning (all day) sickness I ate a lot of baked potatoes, as I didn’t fancy much else. Luckily potatoes have vitamins in the skin, and so I felt they were better than other bland things. I supplemented potatoes with vitamins and iron. I also remember eating dried mangoes, cucumber, and miso at some points, and drinking orange juice. When I recovered from the morning sickness, I ate a lot of everything.”Helen, Vegan Family Guide
For mum, Holly (one of the women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes) said nut butters were a life saver for her special diet, thanks to the high-fat/protein and low-carb content in nuts, to sustain her through her pregnancy.
For Danielle, who developed cholestasis in her second trimester, meant she could only eat foods that were low in fats explained that “the vegan diet was great for this”.
Can you get the right nutrition from eating a vegan diet?
All the vegan women I spoke to were very knowledgable about vegan nutrition in pregnancy. They were all well aware of the need to increase protein intakes by 10-20%, and did so with greater attention based on eating good, balanced meals. Not all of them ate protein/rich foods like tofu, with many of them preferring pulses, grains and organic vegetables.
It is recommended in pregnancy for all mothers to take folic acid. With vegan pregnancies, it’s also highly recommended to take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements as these are not found in plant-based products. Half of the women I spoke to did mention they take diet supplements, but the other half only took the recommended folic acid supplements.
Helen, who has been vegan for many years, said: “I always try to follow a balanced diet. Supplements are recommended to pregnant people of all persuasions. I took vegan vitamins and iron before, during and after my pregnancy.”
Angie, who was vegan pregnant then raised her children on vegan diets, said she “just ate sensibly – mainly fruit and veg. I’d been vegan thirteen years before I became pregnant and had never been unwell so I assumed it all was ok…” shows it is possible to be healthy and vegan during and after pregnancy.
This was reiterated by Lee, who has been through two pregnancies as a vegan; “I didn’t even think about nutrition, I just followed what my body craved and had zero nutritional issues”.
Do pregnant vegans feel well?
None of the women I spoke to reported of any nutritional issues or deficienciesa during their pregnancies, and aside from the complications mentioned by some of the women, all of the mum-to-bes said they felt healthy during their pregnancy.
Danielle stated: “I am very strong and the muscle of the household, even when pregnant if something needs lifting, I’m your girl”.
Another mum, Emma said she continued to be vegan whilst breastfeeding and had a wonderful pregnancy with no issues whatsoever.
“I wasn’t sick once, I had no cravings, I felt great the whole time, had energy, my skin was the best it’s ever been and I continued to work-out throughout the entire pregnancy. Postpartum I was told I had great colostrum, since my baby only lost 70g initially and I had a plentiful supply of milk, the health visitor actually said I had too much!”Emma, new mum
What do health professionals think of pregnant women following vegan diets?
All of the new mums I spoke to remarked on how compassionate and empathetic their health care teams were of their vegan food choices. None of them was pressured or advised to eat animal products, including the women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Emma: “I didn’t tell my midwife that I was vegan because I expected a negative response which I didn’t want to deal with at that time. However, in hospital (after the birth) the team were very supportive in providing me with decent vegan food to eat.”
If you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t let the myth that you need animal products during your pregnancy put you off sticking to your plant-based diet. Eating a healthy and balanced vegan diet during your pregnancy can be good for you and your baby – and as long as there aren’t any vegan foods that are on the ‘no go’ list during your pregnancy, you won’t have to give anything up either.
This is a contribution post from guest writer, Louise Palmer-Masterton – founder of multiple award-winning restaurants Stem & Glory.
One of the most crucial life skills is learning how to communicate. Research shows that children with effective communication skills have a better chance of fitting in the community than their peers. They also learn better and are able to cope with stressful situations. Going through communication kids training can help improve your child’s personal development.
Communication is fundamental to kids’ development. It directly impacts your kid’s progress, more so in the information age. According to studies, effective communicators are more successful in life than those who aren’t. Now that you’re at home with your little one all day and night, you need to improve your responsiveness and look for communication games that you can participate in to stimulate their development.
We’re going to discuss some fun games you can engage in to build your kids’ communication skills interactively. You can also check must-have baby items for fun games to help you teach your kids to express themselves better. Let’s dive in.
1. The Telephone Game
This is a fun-filled game for children of all ages. And no doubt you’ll enjoy the game too. If there are not many children around, you can include other adults in the house to engage in these communication activities for kids. To play the game, have everyone participating sit close together to make whispering easy. Start with the child and whisper a simple message in their ear, then ask them to repeat the same message to the participant on their right. Make sure every participant gets a chance and make the messages complex as you continue with the game. This old school game is an entertaining way to develop your kid’s listening skills.
2. Show and Tell
This is one of the most interesting communication games for kids. It fosters confidence, eloquence, and vocabulary. Ask your little one to speak five lines and exhibit an item related to your topic of choice such as a favorite toy or meal.
3. Emotional Charades
Do you know some people struggle with understanding facial expressions? You wouldn’t want the same for your child. This is one of the communication skills activities for kids that helps them understand facial expressions. They also read body posture and signals that are a huge part of communication. You can write a few things on cards and hand them out, asking your child to depict the indicated emotion. It could be anger, sadness, or boredom. You can reverse the game and ask your kid to draw emotions that they experience daily.
Talking about emotional development, we need to mention that animal communication for kids is necessary to improve their empathy and respect for every living being.
4. Pointing Directions
Using communication worksheets for kids can enable your child to improve their written communication. It also helps them in successful navigation. Have your kid write down directions to a nearby place. Once that happens, start the journey with them towards that location. You can make suggestions on what they should have included.
You can use communication devices for kids to create a presentation. Inform your child that they’ll make a presentation in front of an audience. Topics could be about anything; for instance, a simple poem about something they love. This teaches your little one to present them and can be done with kids of all ages. Research shows that people who are comfortable speaking in public make more money and become more successful than their less eloquent peers.
6. Identify the Object
You probably played this game when you were a kid. If not, here’s how to do it. You can have a few kids around and blindfold one. The others will choose an item that can be described easily. They should take turns describing a feature of the item for identification. They can also take turns with the blindfold. This effectively helps them learn essential skills for communication with kids.
7. Storytelling Using Pictures
You know this by now that kids love telling stories. Here, you present your kid with pictures and ask them to arrange all the photos in a way they tell a story. Using one picture and asking your child to describe what he sees is an exciting game that improves communication for kids.
Unrehearsed speech is a vital activity that aids your child with communication. It sharpens their public speaking ability, improves how fast they think, articulate, and organize thoughts. This is one of the most popular communication kids’ activities to build both their quick-thinking skills and public speaking ability.
9. Change the Leader
This game helps your child recognize and identify body language. Here, you choose one child to perform a few actions, such as stomping their feet, jumping, or clapping. The other kids repeat this action. Through smiling or winking, your little one can choose another child to become the leader and keep the game going.
10. 20 Questions
Does your child struggle to ask questions? This is an excellent game to build this skill. Gather some kids—the more, the merrier. Here, children can stand in a circle with one at the center. The kid at the center will think of a place, and the others have to ask a set of questions to determine what he thought about. The child at the center responds with a yes or no to the questions. If the group fails to guess correctly, the child wins. Simple and fun, right?
When it comes to communication definition for kids, there are many ways to look at it. However, at the end of the day, you want to have a well-adjusted child able to communicate effectively. Playing games such as pointing directions, presentation, show and tell, using pictures to tell stories, or the telephone game can lay the correct foundation for building essential communication skills. Write to us and let us know about the games that you have been playing and how they’ve improved your kid’s communication skills.
Guest Post by Amalia Liberman
This is a contribution post written by guest writer. Amalia is a wife and a mother of two as well as a novelist and writer, the author has been featured in Women’s Health magazine and also written different articles in lifestyle magazines. Her passions lead her to search out knowledge with all her searching and she doesn’t mind sharing her findings.
Forget the time-outs and the naughty step, many British parents are giving in to their child/children’s every whim during the lockdown and the repercussions could cause detrimental consequences for their health.
Did you know that…
- • 1.9 million children at risk of obesity due to lockdown eating habits
- • One third of UK children overweight or obese
- • 97% of UK children at home during lockdown
- • 45% of parents are being pestered for sugary snacks by children
Before the pandemic hit, one third of children in the UK, aged between two and fifteen were classed as overweight or obese, with the health crisis costing the NHS £6.1 billion per year. A recent study also showed that 45% of British parents were being overthrown with requests from their children for sugar-filled snacks and drinks whilst stuck at home during the lockdown.
Parents fight an ongoing battle between working-from-home, homeschooling and good parenting. Sometimes, it becomes easier to compromise on the little things help to offer some relief for the other things. So the children learn to use this to their advantage and get that sugary treat whenever they felt like it. Some parents might even do it out of guilt – feeling like they’ve subjected their children to these harsh times so a treat can help keep them happy and positive.
With around 4.5 million children in the UK – 97% of those were cooped up at home during the lockdown. We were one of those families – our children didn’t go out at all during the lockdown but since the easing, we’ve been able to get out and about a little bit more. We don’t always treat the kids to sugary snacks, sweets or drinks but can definitely agree that we have been giving them it more often post-lockdown compared to before.
The NHS could well see a spike in obesity in the next few years to come. Wayne Starkey, CEO and Co-Founder of healthy food and drink brand, The Skinny Food Co, said: Sugar can have detrimental short and long term effects on our children, from mood swings and anxiety, to depression, tooth decay and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
“As a Dad myself, I understand how difficult it can be to change bad eating habits once they start, so opting for healthier alternatives is a much easier way to limit high calorie snacking for everyone in your household.”
The Skinny Food Co is a food and drink brand dedicated to zero calorie sauces, syrups and healthy snacking options. They also offer Free-from food and snacks including sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, protein-heavy, diabetic-friendly and keto-friendly.
Best ways to AVOID consuming high sugars:
- Eat the fresh fruit whole and cut down/avoid eating too much dried fruit
- Avoid juicing as you don’t gain any nutritional intake, only sugars
- If you make smoothies, include the whole fruit to make use of the pulp and flesh and add in a variety of vegetables for nutritious smoothie, a fruit-only smoothie is not ideal as it can be high in sugars
- Eat high-sugar fruits like bananas, oranges and melons when they’re just ripe. Over-ripe fruits have a very high sugar content
- Avoid or at least limit sugary drinks, foods and snacks – if you might, opt for sugar-free or low-calorie alternatives
For the full range from The Skinny Food Co, to place orders or for more details, visit www.theskinnyfoodco.com, alternatively pop into your local Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, Co-Op and Spar stores.
m i n d f u l m o n d a y s
With love x
Quote by Lenny Lemons
2018 had brought this little blog much success – a big thank you to all my readers!
I documented my Curly Girl Method hair journey at the end of 2017 to beginning of 2018 which brought a lot of you to my blog. I created a series of follow-up posts of to show you my progress throughout the year and I will continue to do so for 2019.
I also had the opportunity to work with a lot of big brands and companies this year, including Royal Museums Greenwich, Lewisham Shopping Centre, Noughty Hair care, ToucanBox, Bills Restaurants and Peninsular Park West (Ikea Greenwich opening up real soon!). Thank you to you all for selecting me to collaborate with you, I am extremely grateful and it’s been a privilege.
What’s in store on the blog for 2019?
Hair & Beauty: I will be posting a bit more about hair and beauty which like I mentioned above, be about my hair journey, hair hacks and I will try to do more on beauty skincare as I’m back in the spa now. These will include How To posts on skincare hacks, beauty products, etc 🙂
Fitness: I am determined to post more on my fitness journey and on my yoga teacher journey. You can expect family yoga poses and games of the month.
Food: More food reviews, recipes, healthy food inspo and anything else to do with good ol’ food!
I will still of course blog about our family lifestyle, that’s what The Greenwich Mummy has always been about and always will be. 🙂
Our family’s #bestnine2018 highlight:
My 2018 highlights:
- Seeing my two kids grow closer to each other every day
- My hair changing from straight to wavy (and getting to work with my fave UK brand Noughty because of it!)
- Completing my Family Yoga Teacher training and creating many happy moments for families
- Leading the “Yoga Babies” family yoga session with the book illustrator, Sheena Dempsey
- Seeing the blog view stats almost double!
- Daddy P and I had our 12th year anniversary – our night out celebration is still pending as we’ve been busy with work lol
And the blog’s best nine posts of 2018 are…
- The Curly Girl Method: from straight to wavy hair
- 6 months update: My Curly Girl Method hair journey
- My haircut experience at Rush hair salon Greenwich review
- My 2017 review on Stylist Live London
- The Curious Comb Greenwich hair salon review
- My type 2 wavy hair care routine
- Flyte; Natural and clean energy drink review
- Hotel Chocolat tasting club subscription review
- Liz Earle botanical skincare review
(listed in order of page views)
I look forward to what 2019 brings for myself, my family and my blog! x
Happy New Year!
Dear first-time-mum me,
Congratulations on your new addition! You must be so proud of your new baby boy, and of course, why wouldn’t you be?
You probably have so many thoughts, emotions and feelings about parenting racing through your mind and that’s completely normal… as a matter of fact, that feeling never really goes away completely! People say it gets easier when you have your second child and they are right in some respects but don’t forget – EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. It’s not always smooth sailing with two in tow; it’s double the mess, double the stress, double the tantrums but double the love which makes it all worthwhile.
There will be fantastic moments like all of baby boy’s firsts; first smile, first laugh, first word, first walk… Then, there will be the crappy days like sleepless nights, temper tantrums, colic, nightmares. When sleep deprivation kicks in, it’s going to sting like a B.I.T.C.H, I won’t sugar-coat it but you will start getting your energy back I promise. For you personally, this will happen around the 4-5 month mark when baby boy learns to sleep a little longer and wakes up a little less at night.
While you’re muddling along trying to figure out this parenting stuff with your BabyCentre forums, Doctor Google and Gurgle Magazine articles, here’s some advice I want to give you for the years to come and before you find out you’re having a second child after 2.5 years…
Make time for yourself
This will always be a hard one for you because you keep putting other people first; whether it’s your baby boy, your hubby, family members or friends you keep trying to give up your time to help them (which is good) but you need to give yourself time too otherwise you will end up burning out. Because you’ve always been this way, it will take time before you really learn how to say no but everyone has to start somewhere. Just give baby boy to hubby for the day and get out of the house. Do things that you loved doing before you became a mum ie. drawing, baking, cooking, eating out with friends and you’ll find yourself a much happier person in the long run.
Make sure you get enough sleep
The good thing is that when baby boy has a nap, you will usually have a nap too which will save you from sleep deprivation. However, once you’re up you tend to find it quite difficult to shut off which means sometimes you skip your morning naps with bubba. This then compounds over weeks and then you find yourself really struggling to sleep at night too then start attacking hubby for sleeping and picking arguments for the sake of it. This is not a good route to go down and something you should learn to avoid doing by making sure you let your body rest regularly and fully. You’ll have to remember to get enough sleep when your second one comes along too.
Well done for coping under pressure
The worst memory you’ll have is when baby boy is three and he goes to A&E for jumping off the coffee table, hitting his head on the side and cutting an inch of his head open. He was so strong and only cried for about 5 minutes whilst you comforted him. Let me tell you now, you did amazingly well at making out like it was just a little scratch because secretly underneath, you were dying inside eith guilt for not watching, shaken from the shock of it all and just wanted to cry your eyes out but you didn’t. It’ll the first time he hurt himself that badly. Luckily, he’ll not really feel the pain and after a 3-4 hour wait at the hospital, the doctor will glue the cut together and he’ll be as right as rain in no time.
You’ll be the ‘go-to mum’ for your first-time friends
They will come to you for advice. The reason they’ll like to coming to you is because you don’t judge them and you don’t try to enforce your parenting styles onto them, which they’ll really appreciate.
You’ll try your best to give your mother-to-be friends a balanced view and always present both sides of the coin so that they can make up their own mind for their parenting journey. If they ask you specifically for your view and then you’ll tell them in the most honest and genuine way possible.
All that bedtime reading with your boy really does pay off!
You’ll love reading to your little boy and start doing so when he’s around 3 months old. It will become your little bedtime routine together which you’ll carry on even until he is four. All the reading will make your little boy love books and he will end up being one of the top children in his reception class that can read with little supervision. You’ll occasionally catch him reading to himself with books he’s really interested in ie. Harry and the Bucket full of Dinosaurs.
You dare not to tell any of the mums at school about high advanced reading levels for the fear of being the labelled “the mum that likes to brag about her child” but you will get to share your joy with your family members and close friends.
Being on a tight budget makes you a practical spender
This is probably the only good thing about being on a budget all the time. You have no money to buy expensive or unnecessary things. You will soon discover that local Facebook groups have the world of things available second-hand at a cheap price which you’ll love. You’ll also try to keep your spending practical. For example, when your little boy gets sniffly and bunged up, you buy rubs like Snuffle Babe and Vicks BabyRub which really help.
Vicks BabyRub has mild fragrances of lavender, rosemary and aloe vera which is really soothing and gentle enough for you to use on a daily basis. You’ll tend to use it more in the evenings ie. after bathtime or before bedtime.
For nappy creams, you’ll find metanium barrier cream works best. You love buying Pampers nappies and wipes but also found that Sainsbury’s own brand and Asda’s own brand were great alternatives and much cheaper too. You’ll only buy fancy clothes from Next every now and then. For regular clothes, grow-suits etc you’ll find old Asda and Sainsbury’s are the best for that stuff.
Mum and baby classes are great for bonding
You’ll love the baby massage classes you sign up for. You’ll find the massage techniques help with your baby’s colic. You also love the bonding connection between you and your baby. When you’re pregnant with your second, you will have to also think about your health. You will try post-natal pilates after your second child and start your gym membership too.
The library will be one of your favourite places to go with your boy and the rhyme time and story time sessions are so popular, you’ll make a lot of mummy friends from going to them.
Stick to the baby-led weaning!
As soon as your boy becomes ready for weaning onto solids, you’ll do really well with feeding him purees and making your own blended meals for him. You’ll also opt for a flexible baby-led weaning approach because you want your boy to feed himself and learn how to use his cutlery. But as he gets older, you and hubby decide to start spoon-feeding him because he would take an hour to finish his meal or will hardly eat. Where he’s such an active boy, he can’t sit still for long and so you both think spoon feedung will help.
In hindsight, you should’ve stuck to your guns and not listen to hubby with the spoon feeding because at four years old, your boy still struggles to eat properly by himself. It would’ve probably been more difficult and taken longer but I am sure it would’ve workd out for the better. The teachers at school say he eats well but you’re not entirely sure this is true because he doesn’t do it at home. He will also start to refuse eating meat products and opt for a pescatarian diet when he’s 2-3yrs old which is fine but I think if you try to introduce him to more food variety when he’s weaning, that would help him learn to eat foods with different textures and tastes which would help him out when he’s older.
All in all, you’re a great mum!
Keep doing what you’re doing because you are really doing great. You’re learning to find your feet as a first-time-mum. And while you take into consideration other people’s advice (especially when it comes to unwanted advice from family friends, including the non-parent ones), you make sure you define your own rules to parenting. After all, there’s really no right or wrong way when it comes to parenting, just your way.
And what works for one child might not work for another… You’ll find this out when you have your second child! 🙂
Stay sane. Big hugs and kisses, from your future (second-time-mum) self. xx
This post is an entry for Britmums #VicksBabyRubChallenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, TEsco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.