3 Things I Have Learnt In My First Year Of Being In The Mama Club

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Ted is now 13 months old – where has that time gone – so I have had my Mama badge for over a year now. Becoming a mother was a surprise to me, a complete and utter shock maybe. Some may say ‘was he a mistake?’ but there is no way on earth I will ever see it that way. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that Ted is the single best thing that has ever happened to me and becoming his mama filled a gap in my life that I didn’t even realise was empty. This is what I am meant to do.

Motherhood is amazing but it is also really hard too. It is filled with just as much competitiveness and judgement as it is love and joy. Every Mama’s view of motherhood is different but these are the three most important things I have learnt in my first year!

Trust your gut instinct.

No one will know your child better then you so don’t let anyone tell you any different. If people shove their advise down your neck, smile blankly an agree and let it go in one ear and out of the other. Do not let it upset you. We have all been the ones frantically searching google at god knows what hour, trawling baby forums for one questions after another. You will be bombarded with guidelines, old wive’s tales and so many clashing opinions you won’t know what to do. What is key to remember is that you are that little bundle of joy’s mama and it will be you that spends every second with them – only you will know them best! Take comfort in what your gut is telling you and don’t back down if you aren’t getting the answers you need. Keep trusting yourself! You know what you are doing!

Every child is different.

One thing that really took me by surprise was just how competitive motherhood is. From word go other parents will be trying to one up you and it is so important to not let them get to you. Just remember that every child develops differently, does different things and is beautifully individual. It starts with the amount of sleep you are getting, then rolling over, crawling etc…there will always be something people want to beat you to. Be proud of their achievements whenever they achieve them because there are things they will be faster and slower at. Your child is absolutely perfect the way they are. Don’t wish milestones away trying to compete with others.

Becoming a Mother will change you.

Whether it changes you just slightly or changes you completely. I preached on about how becoming a mother would not change me. Absolutely determined that I would still be me. which I am, however I am Mum now too and I have honestly changed. My whole outlook on life has changed, my priorities, before it was ASOS parcels turning up on my door step these days its more likely to be Zara Kids. Before I would of been going out to loud bars, dancing until the early hours without a care in the world. These days you re far more likely to find me tucked away in a cosy corner of a local cafe or taking a stroll in the park. Both however do involve waking up feeling exhausted and slightly disorientated but for very different reasons now.  As soon as that baby is handed to you they are you whole world, you will always put them before yourself and your needs. You can’t stop it from changing you. It’s inevitable.

Bear’s First Birthday

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I still can’t quite believe I have a one year old. Where has the time gone? As much as I miss my brand new baby boy, I am also really excited about all the things to come with having a one year old. Ted is all of a sudden a proper little boy and it’s so exciting to think about what he could do next. It’s like he’s turned one and suddenly he is starting to try and say so many more words, is getting really good at copying (better be careful with what I say and do now) and understanding and is definitely not too far off walking. Let the fun commence! One thing I have really taken out of Ted turning one is just how much better he makes life and how grateful I am to have been blessed with him. Being a Mama is the best job in the world and I am proud of everything I have achieved in the past year. I can’t say it has always been easy and I would be lying if I told you I hadn’t been winging it most of the time, but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and I count myself lucky everyday to have been given the opportunity. It’s funny because a year before Ted was born I was being told I may never be able to have children. My heart well and truly sank that day and I cried a lot. And I mean A LOT.  It’s safe to say it was just a bit of a surprise/shock to find out I was pregnant a few months later after thinking that day may never come. Now I have had a whole year with my bear and I literally cannot put into words how grateful I am that the consultant was wrong.

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We had such a lovely day and it was so nice to see just how loved and cared for my little boy is. He was on such good form considering he has been poorly recently so it was really nice to see him smiling and playing and generally being gorgeous with everyone. The sun was shining and everything seemed to be chilled and fell into place nicely. We decided against throwing a big party as we thought it would be far nicer to just go on a day trip as a three and visit close family either side of it. I felt so guilty leading up to his birthday because I hadn’t gone all out and planned some spectacular get together but, actually, it worked out perfectly and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m going to save the big party for his next birthday, he will be far more active then – too active maybe. It just goes to show that all you need in life is to be surrounded by the ones you love and the weather to be on your side and you can have the most fantastic day.

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Cake – Marks and Spencer | Cake Topper and Decorations – Meri Meri |One Tshirt and Crown – Acute Thing

To My Bear On Your First Birthday

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To my teddy bear,

Wow, I can’t get over how quickly that year has gone. It is crazy to think that this time last year I was only just meeting you. The day you arrived into this world is still so crystal clear that it does feel like it was only yesterday. I will cherish that overwhelming sense of love I felt when I first clocked eyes on you forever, and it is a memory that still makes me well up every time I think about it. I cant quite believe that I’m sitting here writing to my 12 month old. Gone are the days of newborn snuggles, constant feeding and that newborn smell. These days I’m lucky to get a cuddle off of you for longer than a minute as you are so busy exploring and being mr independent.

People say the days are long but the years are short, this statement couldn’t be more true. We are only 12 months into your life but you have already achieved so much. In those months of your life you have learnt to smile, sit and crawl, you are pulling yourself up and standing so strong and you proudly say Mama, Dada and Dog to every four legged friend that walks by. You have celebrated your first halloween, Christmas and your christening with all your family and friends and you have been so very lucky to be surrounded by people who love you and would do anything for you every step of the way. Teddy you are so loved!

 You are in every which way a boisterous boy, you like rough and tumble and you have no fear but you still like a snuggle with your mama – thank goodness. You HATE shoes, socks and wearing trousers. You would much rather be crawling about in your vest or even less if you could. You have many toys but you just love anything noisy or musical. I love how much music brings you to life, how you throw your hands up in the air and bob up and down to any tune. You are full of mischief and fun, and have already perfected that ‘it wasn’t me look’ that is instantly given away by your very cheeky yet slightly dirty laugh. My gosh Teddy you have the best, most infectious laugh.

To say you are growing up too fast would be the understatement of the year, you are so tall and strong, it must be all of those yogurts you eat as you definitely didn’t get your height from your dad or I. I swear every time I look at you you seem to have grown another inch. I try my very hardest to let you be independent but its hard, you have so much confidence and determination to do exactly what you want and I love that but sometimes mama wants to help you because you are still my baby and always will be. Whether you like it or not!

I would never wish a second of your life away but sometimes I sit and think what you might be when you grow older a teacher? An astronaut? Will you find the cure for cancer?  I think about where you might go and who you might be? I just want you to know that I want you to be exactly who you want to be and I will always hold your hand every step of the way. You will achieve anything you put your mind too, I can see that already. I am so very proud to call myself your Mum.

My bear, thank you for teaching me the true meaning of unconditional love. You have taught me more than you will ever know. Thank you for making my mama heart melt daily, thank you for being my darling boy and thank you for being just you.

Happy first birthday my love.

I will love you forever and more.
Your Mama x

Those ‘Don’t Want To Adult’ Days

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Today has certainly been one of those days. The day where you wake up and everything is against you from word go. The day where all you want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep until the next morning but you can’t because you have to be an adult…and sometimes being an adult sucks!

Let me run you though today ( warning this is very long winded, feel free to skip to the next paragraph if in a hurry )…Woke up, had the sore throat from hell, stripped Ted’s bed, changed Ted, he then threw up on himself, changed him again, double load of washing, Ted spilt breakfast all down himself, changed him again, took car to be serviced, went and did the shopping, had a call from the garage…two new tyres needed, carried on shopping, another call…all wiper blades need replacing, picked car up, £200 down, argued with the man who was really rude to me, got home, changed a million nappies as I have a poorly bear again, took him to the doctors, he screamed the waiting room down, received nasty remarks from the old lady in the waiting room for having a crying child, saw the doctor, Ted screamed a lot again, doctor was rude to me and made me out to be clueless, left the doctors, got in the car, cried over the whole fiasco, got home, made dinner, Ted bathed and into bed, finally sat down!

Today has certainly been one of those days where you just want to run back to your mum and dad and have them do everything, and to be honest, I would be lying if I said I haven’t got them to help me because I have renounced my adult title until tomorrow morning. Adulthood and Motherhood can both be really hard. Yes being a Mum is the most rewarding job in the word and I love being a Mama, but there are days when you feel completely deflated and question everything you do. The worst of those days though are the ones when your little one is poorly and they look to you for help but all you can do is offer calpol and cuddles until they are better. There is no worse feeling than being able to do no more to help your child. It’s awful. You blame yourself, think you are doing something wrong and become overwhelmed with guilt. It can become really hard to see that you are doing everything you can, when in fact you are doing more than enough!

 Yup. Adulthood is definitely a change from the days when our biggest worry was waking up first at a sleepover. Our weeks which were once filled with flashing velcro shoes, dairylee dunkers and Pokemon cards have now been replaced with bills, piles of washing and work. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish there was a way to transport back to that simple mindset, even if just for a few minutes. It’s days like today that it is really important to take a step back and remember that everyone has crap days and no one is superhuman, we simply can’t do and control everything. There will be loads of days when you just want to run and hide from reality, when you feel like you are failing at this ‘being an adult’ malakey, but actually you aren’t doing as badly as you think. And chances are tomorrow will be far better. If not then go make yourself the most epic kiddy packed lunch, watch your favourite old cartoons and leave the washing up for another time. There is nothing wrong with reliving your youth for the day!

International Day Of Happiness

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Since today marks the international day of happiness I thought I would take some time to reflect on those little things that make me happy and how lucky I am to have those in my life. Henry Ward Beecher once said that”the art to being happy lie in the power of extracting happiness from common things” – that statement is oh so true. You don’t have to have the world to feel on top of it! Sometimes the littlest of things can bring the greatest joy.

Some small things that make me happy…

My son’s dimples when he smiles

and the noise he makes when he is talking to the label on his muslin cloths

and the way he crosses his little feet over each other

The colours blush pink and yellow

Fresh strawberries

Getting a good parking space at the supermarket

The smell of rain

Looking through old photos

The first picnic of the year

A new sketchbook/notebook

That first sight of the sea

Writing cards

Early morning sunshine

Fresh Bedding

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Bedtime Book Club

I have been wanting to start a new segment for a while now but wasn’t quite sure of which route to go down. I eventually decided that I should combine my love of illustration and design with my role as a Mama and do a children’s book recommendation each week. It has become pretty apparent that I have a problem with resisting beautifully illustrated children’s literature. Every time I share them over on my Instagram, I get so much interest in what we are reading at bedtime, so I thought I would share and review them weekly on here to celebrate these beautiful pieces of work! So here we go with the first one…

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A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting

by Michelle Robinson and David Roberts

I couldn’t not start with a book about bears now can I? We seem to have the biggest collection of bear books going and this beauty is the latest addition to the shelf. If you are like me and you dream of seeing some real, live bears then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you!

This is the perfect read-aloud book that is sure to delight both kids and parents alike – I love a book that the adults can enjoy just as much as the little ones. A young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country but soon finds out that coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, is dangerous business. Silly and fun, but with some real information on bears, this guide teaches us all about brown and black bears and when to run! The pen ink and pencil illustrations are both original and charming and really add to the brilliantly whitty storyline that make this the perfect off-beat read for your mini adventurer. I love the way that this book combines two illustrative approaches (the ‘story’ pages and the ‘guide’ pages are distinct) and that BOTH of these styles are rich with expression and the comedy actor. Michelle Robinson knows exactly how to mix tension and humor perfectly and illustrator David Roberts helps her pull it off flawlessly. These two are a superb pair for storytelling! A must have for any young explorer out there!

A Letter To My Friends

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To all of my friends,

I’m sorry that I’m so terrible at replying to your texts and calls. I know it says I’ve read your texts and I have, but just as I was about to reply a drink has just been thrown over or Ted had got himself wedged behind the sofa again. Then I forgot all about it. I’m sorry that sometimes I have to cancel our plans at the drop of a hat because my baby is teething, or we completely forgot it was weigh in day.

I’m sorry that when I see you all I talk about is my baby. Including all the TMI things like his poo schedule, how many times he has thrown up or how much I hate Tree Fu Tom. Chances are, you don’t have a clue who I’m going on about nor do you care about the stupid, dancing tree man!

Please don’t forget me, I know I’m a mama now. I have different priorities and I’m worrying about what food I should be giving my child or the latest nappy deals. But I’m still here under the oversized sweashirts and massive eye bags. I still want to feel included. Please still invite me, even if you know I’m going to say I can’t make it. I’m working on it, separation anxiety is hard. One day you will feel it too.

Thank you for loving Teddy. There is no better feeling in the world than seeing people you care about love your baby. It’s the type of feeling that makes your heart feel warm! Thank you for trying to act interested when all I talk about is how tired I am or what Ted did at nursery that previous day. Thank you for trying to make me feel better about myself even though we all know I look like crap.

Im sorry that I can be such a rubbish friend. I’m trying to be a good Mama and it is really hard. I know there is a right balance somewhere but trying to find it is bloody difficult. Thank you for the memories that make me laugh when it all seems to be going wrong. It brings a smile to my face thinking about the times we spent, in whatever crappy club drinking what ever crappy drink in excess.

But most importantly thank you for just being you and for being there for me and my son. For telling me about your life’s dramas and the latest gossip, it’s such a nice break from all the mama chat that goes around. You are amazing…I will try to be better!

Love you always xx

What I’ve Been Loving This Week

Well happy Sunday! In a week of Doris, hospital stays and one still very poorly baby, I’m pretty happy to be spending today snuggled up on the sofa with the bear! This week has been rather manic and basically a bit shit, so I thought I’d share a few of the gems that have tickled my pickle and made this week slightly more bearable!  Hope you enjoy getting stuck into them!

Style update:
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I’m loving the casual dressing trend that has hit big this season. As a mum it is so hard to try and make an effort whilst still being comfortable and able to lug a small child around with you. London Fashion Week saw a far more relaxed street style approach, heels were swapped for trainers, skinny jeans replaced by a ‘Mom’ fit whilst slogan tees and sweats were in the place of flamboyant blouses and shirts. This trend couldn’t of come at a better time for me as all I was really struggling with those Mum days where all you want to do is snuggle up in a giant sweat but don’t want to look like you have completely given up just yet. Check out Megan Ellaby and Alex from The Frugality as they can just ace any trend and know how to pair more causal items amazingly. I am obsessed with both of these bloggers! There is nothing they can do wrong!

Something to crush on:

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In case you haven’t realised yet, the worlds of fashion, music and art have gone pink crazy and I for one am loving it. I have always been a massive fan of anything pink so I am enjoying every second of it’s revival. So much so I have been debating how much pink in one outfit is acceptable and what shades are perfect to layer on top of one another – I think I may need an intervention. Anyway, I went to the Birmingham leg of the Kings Of Leon ‘Walls’ tour the other night and let’s just say I left very happy indeed. Not only is their latest album amazing and Caleb’s voice was on top form, but the album and tour graphics are amazing! Full of bold, pastel graphics and pop art imagery; I found myself swooning over the artwork and forgetting to watch the actual band…oops. Go check out the album and whilst you are there check out how beautiful the vinyl is!

Something to listen to:

I feel very late to jump on the bandwagon for this one but my latest music obsession has to be Blossoms. They are a bunch a very talented lads and I just can’t stop listening to them – their self-titled album is just so easy to listen to! I found out the other day that they are playing Reading festival the same day as Muse (my absolute fave) so I think I may have to buy a day ticket despite the fact that I will probably be about ten years older than most of the attendees…it’s so worth it though!

Something to look forward to:

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It’s pancake day this coming week! Literally one of the most perfect days ever where you can just stuff your face with loads of sugar and it’s ok to do so. It will be Ted’s first time having pancakes so I have to make a thing out of it right? How do you have yours? I am a fan of the good old sugar and lemon but you can’t beat a bit of Nutella either!

Girls – Just Be You!

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We are all massively guilty of not giving ourselves enough credit, putting ourselves down and comparing ourselves to others, I think it comes in the ‘girl’ job specification. I never realised how guilty I am of these until very recently when I hit a bit of a slump. I realised just how much of my own worse enemy I really am and I just thought ‘why am I doing this to myself?’ It was like one day I woke up and I was bored of making myself feel rubbish by constantly doubting myself as a Mum, my career, my looks… I suddenly didn’t want to put myself down anymore and prevent myself from achieving my dreams and, since then, I have never felt more motivated to get out there and make my life what I want it to be. A simple habit of positive thought processes help shift your mind-set. And brilliantly, a change in emotional state directly affects the way you experience the world around you.

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I have been working on a little project recently that will promote self love and ‘good vibes’. The power of words is quite unbelievable – it’s funny how reading a short quote can completely change your mindset and lift a mood. A few short words can be a quick and straightforward way to access the power of positive programming and start each day with strength and self-assurance. My aim is to produce a series of simple images to help promote positive thinking and encourage you to take a few seconds to be proud of yourself. Whatever you achievement may be, whether it’s simply getting out of bed, it’s an achievement and it needs to be acknowledged. These pieces are just the starting point. If you have any great pieces of advice or a quote that is pure inspirational that you don’t mind sharing then let me know – I would love to include them in this project. To all of you out there – you are all doing an amazing job so give yourself a pat on the back and have that extra treat today…you deserve it!

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Eliminate Mama Hate

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We are told that, as young girls, we should hate other girls who appear to be more amazing than ourselves. Thanks to the many awful high school movies out there, we grow up believing there can only be one fashionable/cool girl, one pretty girl and one clever girl in a group etc. in any group of people. The rest are just tag alongs or worse…seen as the ‘fat friend’. Girls are consistently pitted against each other or put down by the media, and it’s no surprise that this is taken right through into motherhood and mums then feel the need to compete with each other or worse, put each other down.

The amount of hate I have seen since becoming a Mum is really quite scary. We should be uniting and supporting, not trying to get one up on each other. The sheer amount of Mum guilt you experience when you earn your Mama badge is more than enough to deal with let alone other Mum’s making you feel even worse. What any Mother choses for her child is the best thing for that child. There is no manual. It is hard work and there will be plenty of tears, but what you are doing is right and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Especially those who don’t even have children. I tell you what…there is nothing worse than receiving parenting advice from someone who has never even had a child!

The key to eliminating mum hate is to just f**k what the others say and to love yourself and be proud of your decisions. When no body cares what people have to say anymore, their remarks become redundant. We have all felt threatened by other women at some point in our lives. That girl who struts into the room like she’s the hottest thing in the world? That girl is confident with who she is and owns it. At one stage, I would of hated her but now I admire that sense of confidence. It’s this confidence that makes other peoples remarks and comments impenetrable. What works is learning to take that delicious and abundant love that you pour into your children and turn it in on yourself too. Believe in your ability and your decisions. Treat yourself every now and then. Focus on all the things you have done and ignore all the rest. Got up, ready and dressed today…hell yeah! A few stray peas made it into the child’s mouth despite the rest of the plate being thrown over the floor…winning! A positive attitude makes for a positive Mama and a positive Mama has the confidence to ignore what other’s have to say!

So Mama’s lets unite, stop putting each other down and eliminate the Mum hate! The world would be a so much better place for it!