Pink For Girls, Blue for Boys. 

 

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While pregnant, one of the main reasons I didn’t want to find out whether I was having a boy or a girl was I didn’t want them to have a personality mapped out for them before they had even arrived on this earth. I was reluctant to know as I would of been subjected to a tidal wave of pink or blue and all the gender stereotypes that come attached.

Why do baby girls have to wear pink? Why do baby boys have to wear blue? I almost feared finding out I was having a girl because I knew she would be showered in kittens, fairies and that sickly sweet shade of ‘baby pink’. Luckily I didn’t end up having to worry about it when I saw that 38 week growth scan and my little man wanted to make it perfectly clear he was a boy! It lit up orange and everything…there was no escaping finding out that day. I was so close!

We don’t expect grown women to walk around solely in pink, so why babies? It can’t just be for when sweet old ladies and well meaning strangers see our little bambino in their pram, they can cidentify them as a girl. I know a lot of people who have said about the amount of people who automatically assume their baby is a boy if they are not dressed in something pink and frilly. They are then met with a mixture of apologies, embarrassment and confusion when they are corrected.

There is enough pressure on kids without forcing them into generic gender stereotypes. Pink for girls, blue for boys, toys for girls and toys for boys; we have created a huge divide between the genders and it starts as soon as they are born. Look at slogans on t-shirts. Boys will always be ‘little monsters’ and ‘trouble’, whereas girls will be seen to be a ‘princess’ and ‘cute’. From birth my little man is being told what he will be and what is expected of him. Little girls can be trouble too – why are boys seen to be the naughty ones? The other day I had an old lady come up to me and ask if Ted was a boy or a girl. When I answered she turned around and said ‘oh I don’t like them, they are horrible’. Rude!

I love unisex clothes – added bonus when I have another baby and it’s less stuff to buy! I don’t have an issue with people dressing their daughters in pink if they love the colour. It is all personal choice and I think little boys can look just as cute in pink as girls do. I don’t want Ted growing up afraid of pink or pastel colours. I love colour and I feel we shouldn’t be restricted to a colour pallet just because we were born with or without a certain part. It shouldn’t matter what colour your baby wears. We shouldn’t put girls in pink, just because that’s what ‘should’ be done. Be creative, allow their personality to come through, dress them according to who they are not their gender. We don’t expect adults to follow the same rules, so why not free our little ones?

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The Reality Of Being A New Mum


I’ve done it…something I swore I would never do – I have become “practical” (I’m almost wincing just saying the word). I absolutely hate that word yet it is something I’ve used more in the last seven weeks than any other time in my life. Before I would take style over practical any day of the week. When I became pregnant I was determined to keep this up but there was a stage where the P word crept into my vocabulary. It all started with jeans with stretchy waist-bands for the growing bump and before I knew it I was living in Leggings. Something I had never even owned a pair of before pregnancy. I told myself that this practical-ness would stop post pregnancy and once I was back into my normal wardrobe. I imagined myself to be a yummy mummy, strolling around town with baby and I in on-trend outfits. Little did I know, seven weeks on, the leggings would still be a part of daily life and not looking to go anywhere anytime soon. Pre-baby I would spend a good chunk of my working wage in Topshop, Zara etc looking for things I liked as opposed to things I needed. Post baby and I will take a pair of trainers over statement shoes any day.

I’ve noticed that there’s a big difference between want and need since becoming a mum and I find it all very refreshing. Practicality is, I’m afraid to say, key in motherhood. That doesn’t mean you need to become frumpy – no one wants that – but you do find yourself thinking is that going to be ruined, can I bend over to pick baby up in that or how easy does it wash! And here are just some of the reasons why…

1. Projectile Vomit

Why am I the target for this? One more than one occasion now I have found myself being soaked through by a pouring stream of half-digested baby milk. Ive even found myself sitting underneath a stream coming from a mid-winding baby whilst in someone else’s house. The worst thing about it was my instinct reaction was to try and catch said vomit to stop in going on their brand new sofa! Thanks Ted!

2. Exploding Poos 

My god I have never seen anything like it. There you are, happily changing little one who is smiling away. You go to get the wipes out of the packet and in that time the smile is gone, fists are clenched, we have gone bright red and just as you turn back around…it shoots out like a rocket. Can you see why things that need to be washed easily are key now?

3. Dribble 

I never realised how much dribble can stain your clothes. A tiny bit of that milky dribble will stay there until your next wash no matter how many wipes you use trying to remove it!

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Look at that face – it’s like butter wouldn’t melt!

This is just in the newborn stage. I dread to think what I’m going to look like when he’s eating solids.

It is these things mixed in with constant feeding, winding, occupying and housework that can really cause you to forget about yourself. I am a massive culprit in this. I have often found myself at the end of afternoon realising I’ve eaten nothing more than a Mars bar and only drank a luke warm cup of tea and a squash. When I think about it, it’s actually quite dangerous. I need to look after myself in order to look after Ted. One of the things I’ve found really useful is the ‘Plant Nanny’ app. It combines health with fun to remind you to drink water regularly. In order to keep the cute little plant alive you must give it water at certain times of the day. The app notifies your phone when your next drink of water is due so you don’t forget to drink throughout the day. It’s a really simple idea but has helped me out greatly and I feel so much better for it! Definitely worth a download for any new mums out there.

Another really simple, yet brilliant idea are Yes Mum cards!

It can be hard to feel good about yourself in the first few weeks of your little ones life and often give ourselves a hard time. These little brightly coloured motivators in a box bring a daily dose of sunshine that may be the motivation you need to give yourself more credit! Before I had Ted, I never thought something like this would be useful and ultimately, was a waste of money. It was just a way for someone, somewhere making money from writing slogans on pieces of card and selling them (why didn’t I think of this first). How wrong was I? When you are exhausted, covered in baby sick, got a stack of bottles to be sterilised and questioning ‘what has my life become’, that little card can completely lift your day. Perfect gift for any mums-to-be out there! When the reality of motherhood gets tough, a tiny bit of extra support can go a very long way!

Lots of love,
Hattie x

 

Life Lately – 13th, 14th, 15th May 

Friday 13th May

Friday was my first baby free night and there might of been tears when I got out the car. Didn’t think I would find it so hard to leave my little man for a few hours but my god did I need a little me time. My friends and I had seen an advert for a craft evening hosted by one of my favourite boutique shops in Leamington. If you are a fan of anything cacti, wasi tape, lightboxes or just general prettiness then you will adore this shop. It’s a tiny piece of bright yellow heaven hidden away amoungst the high street stores.

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The night was put together to raise money for The Myton Hospice by getting together Leamington’s arty folk to drink Pimms (or gin) and get crafty. There were six products to make up including jewellery, mugs, lino prints and coin purses and some of the most amazing raffle prizes (that I didn’t win…once again). The room was decorated with cacti bunting, pastel ballons and a giant photobooth so it Instagram heaven! I forgot how much I love to just sit down and make. I can’t wait until little man is older so we can make things together.

Saturday 14th May

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Ted turned six weeks old! Can’t believe my little man is already six weeks. He is growing so fast! He is nearly out of 0-3 months clothing so I’m having to invest in a 3-6 month summer wardrobe for him. He is now fully smiling, starting to babble and really lifting his head. He has been to his first weddings, had plenty of visitors (still) and we are starting to go out on family trips to make the most of the weather and my maternity leave.

Saturday also saw one of my best friends marry her best friend. It was the most perfect of days and I couldn’t of been happier for Faye. We have been helping to plan her big day for the past 18 months, so the big day finally arriving felt very surreal. It was so nice to see everything I had designed all come together and the day was just so beautiful. Ted wore his cute little Mickey Mouse shirt (that conveniently matched Mummy’s top) from Next, while I squeezed into a pre-preganancy outfit with the help of my good old friend control pants.

Sunday 15th May

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Since the weather was so nice again and since Joe had promised me a family day out, we decided to pack up the car and head to the zoo. If you know me, you know how much I love the zoo – only ones that have big enclosures and look fter the animals well though – so I have been dying to take Ted to the zo0 since he was born. Yes, he didn’t have a clue what was going on and he slept through most of it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Ted was not a fan of the Monkeys. He took one look and burst into tears.

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Hope you all have a lovely week!

Lots of love, Hattie x

Post Baby Body

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After 40 weeks in the making,  our little man has arrived safely. He is scrumptious with soft chubby cheeks and the cutest dimple in his chin. There has been plenty of cake, balloons and cards as well as lots and lots of cuddles. However, as all eyes turn to baby and away from me and my no longer impressively sized stomach, I admit to feeling a little lost without my bump.

From week 36 I complained every day about my ever expanding stomach and about being the size of a house. I was uncomfortable, I waddled and lived in a remaining 4 outfits that I managed to squeeze in to. I was getting impatient. I was so grateful that I was not allowed to go over my due date and the end was in sight. I couldn’t wait to get things going and to meet my little one.

Then the day arrived. In a haze of tears, exhaustion and joy he finally arrived and I have never been happier – however, I found myself already giving my body a really hard time. I straight away was annoyed at myself for looking so rubbish. Within the first week I had stood on the scales, tried on a my old clothes and found myself looking at calorie contents. I had cried many a time when I went to get dressed and God forbid I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The realisation that maybe I had enjoyed eating way too much throughout my pregnancy left me feeling guilty and kind of repulsed most days.

As women, our bodies are pretty awesome. During pregnancy mother nature showing us some of her best work. The fact that we can grow a little person inside us just blows my mind. Then baby arrives. The months and months of it just being you and them are gone and you are suddenly left with the reality of the post baby body. In my case, a jelly belly that found itself hanging over my c-section scar and so many stretch marks that it looks like I’ve got the London Tube Map across my stomach. I imagine we all experience this differently. I would love to be one of those wonderful women who just crack on and don’t give it a second thought but I just can’t stop it getting to me.

I found myself missing my bump. Don’t get me wrong…I was so happy to have my little one with me. To be able to cuddle him, kiss his little nose and have him grab your finger so tight that you never want him to let go. For me, the reality of no longer having my full bump meant remembering what it is like to be flying solo again. My stomach no longer needs me to gently rub it or protectively shield it from daily life. The acceptance of my post baby body means thinking about loosing weight, investing in a good moisturiser and breaking the bank buying sheer amounts of Bio Oil in attempt to make my stomach a little better. It has meant throwing out my bikinis, investing in some less frumpy swimsuits and packing away anything bodycon.

Now I’m approaching the six weeks postpartum point, I’m trying to take a more positive way of thinking towards my body. After weeks of moping and avoiding the mirror, I figured it was now time to snap out of it. My mum told me that the only person that can truly make you feel good about yourself is you! It is not about focusing on the negatives. It is about accepting what my body can and does still do for my child to love and nurture him as he grows. From cuddles and kisses to wiping tears and hand holding and everything else that we do as parents. It is about not inviting or listening to the post pregnancy baby comments, however innocently meant and not taking them to heart.

In spite of my overly optimistic memories of my pre baby body I was never a size a 8 with a washboard abs and a thigh gap. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to fit in my old clothes or enjoy buying new ones and I do like to feel good about myself– and that’s the bit that doesn’t feel so easy right now. I realise now that I should be proud of my body. It has given me one gorgeous little man (I may be biased but in my eyes he’s the best) and within six weeks I’m pretty much back to what I was. Yes I’m wearing a size up and yes I will forever be scarred and have a slight overhang, but those things gave me the best thing I could ask for. Us women need to stop being so hard on ourselves, be proud of our bodies and focus on enjoying life, not what the scales are saying!

I’m trying to think of my stretch marks as little (well not so little actually) celebration marks that I have successfully brought the cutest little man into the world. I know it’s going to take a while for me to loose the weight. Now I’m at six weeks I can start exercising a bit more and I will be signing up to slimming world in the next couple of weeks. However, I still have to take it easy and I want my main focus to be on enjoying time with my baby boy and not what I’m eating. As for me adapting again to a body with no baby, that is going to take a little time and maybe a little more cake…

Teddy’s First Month

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What can I say…this past month has been the fastest and very best month of my life. Can’t believe my Teddy Bear is a month already. I just know each month is going to go just as quick and I bet it won’t be long until he will be turning one!

It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know my little man over the last month and I can’t wait to continue to get to know him better and for all our adventures together. His little quirks are forever making me laugh. The way he shakes his head with excitement just before a feed. The way he stares at himself in his tiny rocket mirror on the car seat. The way he pulls the most unimpressed face when you have the cheek to pick him up whilst he is sleeping. He is so alert and he definitely can’t hide it when he doesn’t like something – it is written all over his face.

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The past month has been full of first moments. First bath (he hated it), first lunch out, first walk in the park, first snow…the list goes on and on. The very best of these though has to be what happened in the last couple of days. Teddy Bear smiled for the first time! Ok it’s not a great big, laughing grin yet but he is definitely maintaining a smile that is a reaction to you. Not just wind! He is also really trying to lift his head, starting to make babbling noises and he is wriggling like mad trying to get about. I strongly believe that he is a bit of a genius but I bet that is something all Mums think about their child.

The hardest part about this first month has been my own recovery. I have just found myself feeling very slow, sore and all over the shop hormone wise. The worst of it all being the night sweats…I absolutely hate these and will be very grateful when they stop. Nothing like waking up in a panic all soaking wet at three in the morning! I’m getting back to my old self now but it does take time and I am having to admit I can’t do everything!

We have been so lucky with Ted that we are actually waiting for something to go wrong. He loves his food so eats well, as does he love his sleep. As long as Ted can hear or see that he is not alone then he is happy. Two of our biggest lifesavers have been the Chicco ‘Next To Me’ Crib and music. The first night at home we put Ted in his Moses basket and he hated it. He was lower than the bed so couldn’t see us or make out where we were. We didn’t sleep at all so in desperation we went and got one of the Chicco cots after hearing great reviews…and oh my god did it live up to its reputation. I would seriously recommend it. Ted is far happier in it. He can see us and is on the same level as us so, as a result, goes happily off to sleep. We also have been playing music quietly in the background over night. Ted doesn’t like the quiet, and why would he? It wasn’t exactly quiet inside me. The one night we didn’t do this we had a bad night so ever since we have played it very quietly just to take the edge of the silence.

4 Things I have learnt in my first month of being a Mum…

1. 

Relaxed and calm parenting makes for a more laid back baby. Staying calm, not putting pressure on yourselves and not expecting too much make for happier parents and, in turn, a happier baby. Throughout my pregnancy and into parenthood I have made a big point of not planning out every detail and going with the flow. I’m a strong believer in what will be, will be and as a result I’m been really relaxed about everything despite having difficulties. I really do believe that this is the reason Ted has been so good to us in this first month.

2.

Becoming a parent reconnects you with old friends. It’s been so lovely to get back into contact with those who I have lost contact with over the years and become closer with those who I didn’t get to see as often as I would of like to.

3.

 You will reassess your wardrobe situation. Suddenly the outfits you used to wear pre baby are no longer acceptable and you will live in a select few “approved” outfits until you can rebuild your new ‘Mum’ wardrobe. This may be because your previous clothes will not withstand the extreme amount of sick, spit and god knows what else that is about to hit them. It could also be the fact that, like me, you no longer fit into anything and anything fitted or stomach skimming will not mix with your new overhang. Thanks c-section! Or it could simply be that maybe that mini skirt is not quite appropriate to wear to the children’s centre or playgroup. Suddenly you need to become slightly more practical! But practical doesn’t mean boring!!

4.

 It’s amazing how supportive other mothers are and how willing they are to help you out. This may be in person but also over social media. I have been able to get in contact with Mums all over the country and we are all rooting for each other. It’s funny how much a little “you are doing a great job” on an Instagram picture whilst doing the middle of the night feed can mean to you.

I can’t wait to see what this next month will bring. I find myself wondering what ‘firsts’ we will be celebrating this month. I know for one that Ted has his first wedding. In fact he has two to go to. We have family birthdays to celebrate, numerous parties and hopefully some nice weather to enjoy!

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. Lots of love, Hattie x