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MILK MONSTER REVIEW

Whilst bottle feeding has its advantages (sharing the feeds etc), I remember when I first had Lawson, the ins and outs of what you could and couldn’t do with formula feeding used to absolutely baffle me! You can’t pre-make the bottles, you have to leave the kettle to cool down for 30 minutes, it can be left in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but not at room temperature for more than 2 hours – just SO. MUCH. INFORMATION. No wonder we were confused!

When Milk Monster got in touch to see whether we’d like to try out their product – immediately I was like ‘WE NEED THIS’. The idea of a bottle timer that does all the thinking for you (when lets face it, we have enough to think about, don’t we?!), really appealed to me, and I wasn’t disappointed!

This is quite possibly the easiest device to use, ever. It has just 3 buttons at the bottom, one for hours, one for minutes, one to start, it’s that simple! It allows you to set your own time limit (making it suitable for both formula and breast milk), and then press start, and it starts counting down for you! I’ve found that it really helps to eliminate waste – it does the counting for you so you know when is best to feed your baby. Just genius!

Design wise, it’s just so cute! I chose a blue colour for Lawson, which is really lovely (there are loads of colours to choose from), and the little bottle at the side actually glows in the dark! An absolute winner for night feeds. The screen is backlit, meaning you can read it even in the wee hours of the morning – just super handy.

I would massively recommend this product – especially if you’re a new mum who is also flummoxed by the amount of information that gets dumped on you when it comes to feeding! Milk Monster is mega helpful in just taking some of the pressure off!

If you’re interested, here’s their website!

 

Whilst bottle feeding has its advantages (sharing the feeds etc), I remember when I first had Lawson, the ins and outs of what you could and couldn’t do with formula feeding used to absolutely baffle me! You can’t pre-make the bottles, you have to leave the kettle to cool down for 30 minutes, it can […]

August 14, 2017

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SUMMERY GIANT COUS COUS

Everyone loves a healthy, easy recipe, don’t they?! This one certainly fits the bill, and for those of you following my Slimming World journey over on YouTube, this recipes comes in at a generous 0.875 syns per serving… We’ll round it up to 1 syn to be on the safe side, shall we?!

I always struggle with lunchtime recipes, normally going for the good old Bachelors Pasta n Sauce (oh the shame!) This one, however, is a game changer. It has loads of speed food in it, is super quick and easy to make and is flippin delicious!

I won’t keep you waiting any longer, here’s what’s in it:

Serves 4

  • Giant cous cous (I got mine from Sainsburys, but recently found some in Aldi too!)
  • Onions (I use frozen diced onion – life’s too short!)
  • Garlic (again, I use Very Lazy garlic, because I am very lazy)
  • 3 peppers
  • 2-3 courgettes
  • Merchant Gourmet Tomatoey French Puy Lentil pouch
  • Fry Light

Method:

  • Spray some Fry Light into a pan and heat up
  • Add the diced onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes
  • Add the courgettes and peppers
  • Pour the giant cous cous (the whole bag!) into a saucepan, cover with boiling water and boil for 6-8 minutes, or until most of the water is gone
  • Add the Merchant lentil pouch to the veggie mix
  • Add the cous cous once done
  • Ta-da!

It’s literally that simple! The great thing about this recipe too is that you can get creative with it, I’ve had it with some haloumi before, which was delicious, or you could throw in some meat like chorizo, chicken, bacon, all of which would add something extra to it too! YUM. Just plain yum.

Let me know in the comments below what you’d serve this with and whether you’ve tried it! I’d love to know how it went!

 

Everyone loves a healthy, easy recipe, don’t they?! This one certainly fits the bill, and for those of you following my Slimming World journey over on YouTube, this recipes comes in at a generous 0.875 syns per serving… We’ll round it up to 1 syn to be on the safe side, shall we?! I always […]

August 12, 2017

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NEW SEASON ZARA KIDS WISHLIST

I’m over summer. There, I said it. No point in beating round the bush here, I LIVE for Autumn days. Crispy leaves, big cosy jumpers and oh so many candles – I’m already there! Naturally the first thing I’m thinking about it Lawson’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe (of course), and usually I would do the kind of wishlist like this one, where I take some picks from all of my favourite stores.

BUT. Have you SEEN Zara’s new collection?!

I did one of those pointless exercises where I filled my online shopping basket and then didn’t buy it on Zara’s website the other day – and literally I’m fairly sure I’m going to be able to get Lawson’s entire next wardrobe from there! Perhaps minus vests and sleep suits. I’m going all in, Zara!

So here are my top picks and things that I will most certainly be hoping to put Lawson in very soon (sizes permitting!)

TOPS:

I am OBSESSED with these tops. The red one on the left, especially, which is unexpected for me actually because I don’t think I’ve ever put Lawson in red! But the text on it says ‘make this world beautiful’ – and I just think that’s such a lovely phrase! I think paired with a neutral coloured legging that could look really awesome. The lightning bolt top is right up our street! I love a good stripe, and I feel like this top will go with the more adventurous leggings. As will the top on the right – we all love a bit of monochrome! I like to get in a couple of monochrome bits to balance out some of the crazier bits in Lawson’s wardrobe! The best thing about these tops? They’re £3.99 each! WHAT. I just don’t think it gets any better!

LEGGINGS:

I’ve been thinking about when I’m supposed to transition Lawson into wearing jeans… I think the answer is NEVER. I just love leggings too much, and these three from Zara Kids are absolute winners in my book. The pair on the left isn’t usually my style. I’m not normally one for putting Lawson in Disney stuff, but Zara have bought out a really cool kind of vintage style Disney collection that actually looks really retro, and I’m kinda diggin’ it… The pair in the middle I couldn’t resist. I LOVE me some mustard in Autumn! These have a dinosaur print on and I think they’ll look gorgeous with the monochrome tops above. I am just in love with the colour of the last pair of leggings too! A more muted colour will go great with the crazier tops/jumpers, and Lawson looks AMAZING in pastels!

JUMPERS:

These three items make me SO excited for Autumn. Because I feel like Lawson is going to be walking soonish, I think it’s time to introduce him to hoodies this season. He’s had little zip up jackets and things before, but this ‘real friends’ hoody just ticks all my boxes! It’s got kind of a vintage/worn feel to it, which I love, and dark colours really bring out Lawson’s eyes. This ‘fun’ jumper. Oh my goodness. I think this might be my favourite out of all of them. I can’t even begin to tell you how gorgeous Lawson looks in pink, and this jumper is just the perfect shade of muted pink (I’m thinking pair it with the pastel grey/blue leggings above). I love that it has a long-line effect too – kids stuff is so cool! This last jumper is an absolute classic I feel. You really can’t go wrong with woodland themed clothing for Autumn/Winter, and this one fits the bill perfectly. I love the illustration on it and I think it’ll be an absolute staple in Lawson’s new wardrobe!

So there you have it – this is what is currently sitting in my Zara basket, waiting to be paid for! Let me know what your favourite item is, and how you love to dress your kids in Autumn/Winter! It really is the best season!

 

I’m over summer. There, I said it. No point in beating round the bush here, I LIVE for Autumn days. Crispy leaves, big cosy jumpers and oh so many candles – I’m already there! Naturally the first thing I’m thinking about it Lawson’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe (of course), and usually I would do the kind of […]

August 9, 2017

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HOW HYPNOBIRTHING HELPED ME ACHIEVE A NATURAL BIRTH

Following on from my recent birth story post, I thought I’d do another one going into a bit more detail about hypnobirthing! This is something I get asked about quite a lot, and it was an absolute game changer for me, so I really want to share it with you!

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS:

Hypnobirthing doesn’t involve being hypnotised in any way! It’s also not a hippie/indie thing exclusively for hipsters and earth mothers! It’s very scientific, and the main things I took from it were the breathing techniques, the positive affirmations and the logic behind labour.

RESOURCES:

On the recommendation of Giovanna Fletcher (love that woman), I bought the Katherine Graves hypnobirthing book. I had never even heard of hypnobirthing before, but the way Gi spoke about it and was so confidence in it made me feel like I had to check it out.

This book is SO SO brilliant in every way! The thought of labour absolutely terrified me (as it does most women!), but Katherine’s book completely turned that around for me. I’m quite a logical thinker, so the fact that she goes into the science behind labour and what is actually happening to your body, helped me massively.

She completely crushes some of the common associations with labour – things like the fact that we tend to view it as a medical emergency, the natural urge to panic when we’re in pain, and the link between labour and fear. The way she explains it in this book was a real eye opener for me – I was instantly in!

PRACTICE: 

When I was around 30 weeks pregnant, that was the time when I really started to take hypnobirthing seriously. Katherine emphasises that daily practice is pretty much essential if you want hypnobirthing to work for you, so I committed myself to doing it. My daily practice looked like this:

  • Listening to my hypnobirthing CD whilst getting ready in a morning
  • 20 minutes pregnancy yoga (I found some videos just on YouTube that really worked for me, and just alternated between them!)
  • Sitting on my birthing ball practicing the breathing techniques

All in all, I would say it took about 30 minutes out of my day. The hypnobirthing CD I had is also by Katherine Graves, and is really focused on eliminating fear, because that’s what I knew I would struggle with! I used to listen to it every morning while I got ready for the day, then go downstairs, do my yoga, then relax on my birthing ball practicing some deep breathing. For me, daily practice was just about teaching myself to relax easily. By the time my labour day came, I could switch into relaxation mode much quicker.

I also did a couple of other things that Katherine recommended in her book. She talks about not letting any negativity into your head in the run up to your birth. So for me, that included not watching the news, not reading any negative birth stories, and generally not even entertaining the fact that my birth might not go as planned. I kept a completely positive mental head space. I also did a lot of visualisation about how I wanted my birth to go – I believe this helped massively! I was also doing weekly pregnancy yoga classes, and I took an additional positive birthing workshop, which showed me some practical tools that I could pass onto Daniel for during labour.

D-DAY!

In the days before my labour, I remember thinking ‘well, I’ve done all I can!’ I didn’t really notice a huge difference in my general way of thinking, or that I was feeling more positive than usual or anything like that. To be honest, I kind of half expected it not to work.

However, when the day finally came and I went into labour, no word of a lie here, something just CLICKED in my brain, almost like I was going into autopilot. I could literally feel my subconscious kicking in, I didn’t have to do anything at all. I was so calm, so focused, and felt so relaxed! I surrounded myself with things that made me happy like Christmas movies and candles so that everything was set up for a positive birth.

You can read about how my birth went in more detail here, but it was the most amazing, empowering experience of my life. I don’t believe I was lucky or that it was a coincidence, I genuinely believe the hypnobirthing worked for me. Even Dan, who was a bit skeptical about the whole thing, was completely amazed with how much it made a difference.

I’d love to hear if any of you guys did hypnobirthing – did it help you? And also, this is my absolute favourite topic to talk about, so if you have any more questions about the whole thing, leave them in the comments too!

Following on from my recent birth story post, I thought I’d do another one going into a bit more detail about hypnobirthing! This is something I get asked about quite a lot, and it was an absolute game changer for me, so I really want to share it with you! COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS: Hypnobirthing doesn’t involve […]

August 7, 2017

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MY POSITIVE HOME BIRTH STORY

It only took 10 months, but I am FINALLY getting round to blogging about our home birth with Lawson (better late than never, right?!) I did do a video about our birth story, but honestly, I filmed it like 2 weeks after giving birth and I wasn’t really able to put a sentence together at that point, let alone remember details of my labour, because I was an actual zombie. I’m still a zombie now, but I feel like I’ve become more accustomed to the zombie lifestyle.

So it all started on Saturday 24th September with an entire pineapple and a long walk. By that point, I was SO BIG, and SO UNCOMFORTABLE, that I probably would have done anything to induce labour. Aside from consuming more pineapple than usual, though, that day was pretty normal and I didn’t particularly feel anything different.

Sunday 25th September was a different story. I woke up with just a slight ache in my lower back and belly, nothing that I hadn’t had before, and nothing painful at all, just a dull ache. I remember we were supposed to go to a birthday party for our niece that afternoon, and even though I wasn’t in a lot of pain, and I certainly wasn’t convinced it was going anywhere, something told me we should cancel. Trust your gut, mamas!

When the pain started to get a little bit more noticeable, I rang the midwife and described my symptoms. She confirmed that it sounded like I was in fact in early labour. I remember having a moment by myself after that phone call, sitting on my bed crying as that news sunk in for a minute. I felt scared. Honestly though, that is the ONLY moment of fear I had through my entire labour. Hypnobirthing for the win!

I was totally still able to go about my day, I had spaghetti hoops on toast for lunch (ever the nutritional choice), and we settled down in the afternoon to watch The Secret Life of Pets. I now HATE that movie. I wasn’t having to breathe through the pains or anything, but at that time I remember definitely experiencing ‘on and off’ cramps in my hips. I had never heard of hip pain during labour before, I remember Googling ‘contraction pain in hips’ and literally nothing came up. So even though the pains were coming and going (and pretty regularly at this point, 7-10 minutes apart!), I still wasn’t convinced I was in labour, because it was NOTHING like I had imagined or read about.

By about 5pm, I think I had accepted that I was in labour. I had another little cry to the midwife on the phone, who told me to get in the bath. I don’t know whether it was the candles, the water, or the fact I was watching Zoella’s Vlogmas from 2015 (the best one), but it felt so much more manageable.

While I was in the water, the pains grew more intense, and I was having to breathe through them each time. Eventually I found that I was getting too hot in the bath, so we came down into the living room to have a walk around in there. Throughout labour I tried quite a few different positions to rest in; sitting down, kneeling and leaning on the sofa, lying down, but everything I did seemed to make it worse. So I just kept walking. For what must have been hours. With each contraction I would close my eyes, lean on whatever was closest to me, and breathe deep.

Pain relief wise, I had a bit of a ‘scaffolded’ plan, and it went like this: Hot water bottle, bath, paracetamol, tens machine, gas and air. Having a plan like this really helped me, actually. I didn’t know how bad the pain was going to get, so I kept putting off the next step, until it all escalated quickly and I didn’t have time for anything else!

The midwives were amazing and were checking me and Lawson every 15 minutes. I’ll skim quickly past the section where I had my show; because that was gross, but very unmistakeable! From that point I found that my body was starting to add what can only be described as a kind of urge on the end of my contractions. I remember being in the downstairs bathroom holding onto the radiator when it first happened. I told the midwives, who were having a cup of tea in the kitchen, what was happening and they didn’t seem phased at all. Their reaction really helped me to feel more at ease and relaxed through the whole thing.

Eventually, the midwives saw that my body was starting to take over, and they suggested that they examine me to see how far along I was. Up until this point, I had been refusing examinations (part of the benefits of home birthing), but they were pretty insistent by this point, so I agreed, but told them unless it was good news, I didn’t want to know the number. (FYI, the examination itself wasn’t that bad). And that confirmed it, I was 10cm!

Lawson’s heart rate was starting to dip during contractions at this point. My waters hadn’t broken yet and they said that sometimes this can put unnecessary pressure on the baby. So it was decided that they would break my waters, (again, it wasn’t that bad!) I remember mentally preparing myself for the pain to get way worse though, because that’s what I had heard.

As soon as I stood up again, I didn’t notice too much of a difference, but I did notice that my body seemed to push with a stronger force. I honestly didn’t have to do anything, my body was so powerful during contractions, it was AMAZING really. Mentally, I was feeling totally out of it by this point. I didn’t know whether I was going to throw up, shit myself, or have a baby (2 out of 3 isn’t all bad.)

I was using Dan as full body support. He was my rock throughout the whole labour. I remember gripping his jumper and twisting it, before promising him I would buy him a new one when all this was over. With each contraction, my knees would buckle, leaving it up to him to hold me up. It was only in the ambulance afterwards when the midwife said ‘your husband did well didn’t he?!’ that I realised the strength that took.

Crowning. Not gonna lie, this was the worst bit. But we were lucky, for me it only lasted 20 minutes and probably 4-5 pushes. Having no pain relief apart from a tens machine, I felt EVERYTHING. And honestly, it was the most amazing feeling I have ever had. Yes it was painful, but the knowledge that you are bringing a miracle into the world completely takes over and gives you such a feeling of empowerment. I did have to push (under the advice of the midwife) at this point, and I remember losing control of my breathing once in between contractions when I think Lawson was half born! After a few more goes, Lawson was finally here!

We heard his cry straight away, it was quite mucous-y but we were assured that was normal. Gotta be honest here, the rest is pretty hazy. I remember lying down, passing the placenta (which is the grossest thing I’ve ever seen) and holding Lawson in my arms. The rest is just a daze. There is no high like giving birth.

We filmed a few bits of our labour too, so you can watch that here.

I’m writing this because I when I was in my third trimester, I remember searching the internet for positive birth stories, and I didn’t find that many! Especially home births. So I wanted to put mine out there onto the World Wide Web to hopefully create a bit of positivity around the subject.

If you have a positive birth story, I would LOVE to hear about it in the comments!

It only took 10 months, but I am FINALLY getting round to blogging about our home birth with Lawson (better late than never, right?!) I did do a video about our birth story, but honestly, I filmed it like 2 weeks after giving birth and I wasn’t really able to put a sentence together at […]

August 4, 2017

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5 THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY FIRST HOLIDAY AS A PARENT

Ahhh holidays. We look forward to them all year, don’t we? I knew this year was going to be slightly different, what with having a small child to take care of and all that, but I was still sure that I’d be able to switch off and unwind, because after all, it’s just about being in a different environment, right?! Not really, Hayley.

We recently went on our holibobs to Cornwall, and yes, I had been looking forward to it all year! However, the whole ‘switch off and unwind’ thing didn’t really happen, and it was a real shock to the system actually. I found it pretty hard not to resent the fact that I was still having to change nappies, do night feeds and stop Lawson from climbing on EVERYTHING, even though I was on holiday. I now know, you don’t really get holidays from being a mum…

Anywho, resentment and bitterness aside, here are some things I learned whilst being away as a parent. If you’re going away soon, I hope these offer some practical advice and give you a heads up about some unexpected feelings you might come across.

1. You don’t need to pack as much as you think

Being our first holiday with Lawson, I packed everything he owns. Here are a few of the things I didn’t actually end up using:

  • 50 million white vests
  • 25 million muslin squares
  • A wooly hat
  • A winter coat
  • Baby moccasins
  • All the toys

On the other hand, we ended up running out of baby wipes (4 packs in one week… I mean…), and we couldn’t have been without copious pouches and ready made milk, all of which resulted in the most horrific poo explosion we’ve experienced to date, but nevertheless, they made life easier for a while.

2. You will probably be more tired than usual

You know how you normally feel tired for a bit on holiday anyway because ‘you’ve stopped’ and all that? Add that to a seriously out of routine (and potentially jet lagged if you’re abroad) baby, and that means you’re an honorary member of team no sleep for the duration of your stay. Lawson was completely out of sorts while we were away (I mean it’s understandable), and we had him in our bed most nights. Travel cots suck.

3. You don’t really get to do stuff for you anymore

Most of our activities whilst we were away were totally centred around Lawson and what he might find interesting. There was a lot of talk of going to Sea Life Centres, water parks, and soft plays in the process of planning our retreat. Thankfully, we got great weather for the most part, so our main activity was hitting up the beach, and I’m not going to complain about that. I did notice a real shift in my attitude though, in that I just wanted to do stuff to make Lawson happy, I didn’t really care about my own plans anymore.

4. Your ‘magic moments’ with your little one feel even more magical

I use the phrase ‘magic moments’ to describe those times when you really feel rewarded as a mum for all of your hard work. It might be just your baby or child giving you a huge hug, maybe they fall asleep in your arms, or they say ‘I love you’ for the first time. On holiday, these magic moments feel AMAZING. The fact that Lawson slept in our bed most nights was such a special treat for us, along with the fact that he was able to experience sand, and the sea for the first time ever. The whole thing was just magical, and it made the lack of routine and sleep deprivation worth it.

5. You’ll feel an insane amount of guilt when it’s time to go home

This surprised me. On our last day, when we were saying goodbye to my family, to the house we stayed in, to the beach just a 10 minute walk away, I was overcome with HUGE mum guilt that I didn’t expect at all. Lawson LOVED having all of my family around him, especially his gorgeous cousin. I felt guilty for taking that away from him! The house we were staying in was much more spacious than our house, and he LOVED the freedom of being able to crawl and climb around in a big space. I felt guilty taking that away from him too. I felt bad taking away the view of the sea and the feel of sand between his toes (however annoying it is to wash out in the bath). The mum guilt was so real on that last day.

Regardless of the lack of sleep, the mum guilt, and the inability to really relax; ultimately we had an amazing time. Of course we did, it was our first holiday as a family of three! We made memories, we laughed, we ate an insane amount of food – it was really great. And now I feel better equipped to know what to expect for next time.

Do you have any top tips for taking babies/kids on holiday? I’d love to hear them! Leave your comments and suggestions below!

Ahhh holidays. We look forward to them all year, don’t we? I knew this year was going to be slightly different, what with having a small child to take care of and all that, but I was still sure that I’d be able to switch off and unwind, because after all, it’s just about being […]

August 2, 2017

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LEAVING WORK

This week I left my job to be a stay at home/work from home/self-employed/freelance mum. That’s a mouthful! As you can probably tell, I’m not really sure what my ‘new life’ is going to look like yet, but this week has bought all kinds of mixed emotions so I wanted to throw them all out in a blog post, just in case any of you lovely people are on maternity leave/going back to work/are working and looking for a change.

If you want to know some context as to why I quit my job, I did a little life update here on the blog and on my channel as well, so I won’t go too much into that in this post. What I really want to talk about is my somewhat split personality.

My parents are completely different. My mum is quite career focused; she is an extremely hard worker, loves a routine, and can easily get herself into a tither if that routine changes (I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that, seeing as I’m exactly the same!) My dad, on the other hand, whilst also being career focused and an extremely hard worker, he has a kind of ‘wild side’ that craves adventure and spontaneity. Now this is where my personality lies, somewhere between the two. My eldest brother is pretty much a duplicate of our mum. My other brother is pretty much a duplicate of our dad. And I’m somewhere in the middle. I have a side to me that loves routine, structure, safety, organisation – and I’ll be honest, that’s the side that wins most of my decisions. However, I also have a side that craves adventure, risk taking, going outside of my comfort zone. And this side has brought me to the place I find myself in today.

First time mum. No fixed ‘salary’. No ‘9-5 safe routine’. It’s scary! And one of the most prominent emotions I have felt since making this decision is fear. Not going to lie, there has been a significant part of me this week that has been tempted to walk back into my boss’ office and retract my resignation!

But I stopped myself.

Because the part of me that needs something ‘more’ is having a bloody field day. My heart is so happy at the thought of being able to spend all of my time with Lawson. I am so excited about that fact that I will now be able to pour all of my energy into things that I am passionate about; building my blog and YouTube channel, creating a new business (more on that soon!) It just all really excites me! As long as I don’t think about it too much…

I now find that all the super cheesy motivational quotes on Pinterest that used to annoy me, actually apply to me and I find myself shouting ‘yassssss’ at the laptop more often than should be allowed. I feel like something great is about to begin.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever made a decision that’s taken you outside your comfort zone – chat to me down in the comments, I wanna hear some stories! And as always, if you want to follow me on this new adventure, make sure you’re subbed to my channel, following Instagram/Twitter etc etc (you know the drill), this is where I’ll be updating you all!

Thanks for your continued support – you’re all amazing!

 

This week I left my job to be a stay at home/work from home/self-employed/freelance mum. That’s a mouthful! As you can probably tell, I’m not really sure what my ‘new life’ is going to look like yet, but this week has bought all kinds of mixed emotions so I wanted to throw them all out […]

July 21, 2017

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WHY I’M WAVING GOODBYE TO MUM GUILT

Mum-guilt. We all suffer with it, don’t we? Before having Lawson, I’d always heard people talk about it, but little did I know how utterly crippling it can be. It’s taken 9 months, but I’m pleased to say I’m finally waving goodbye to my mummy guilt, and here’s why you should too:

IT DOESN’T ACTUALLY ACHIEVE ANYTHING

I’ve learned that mum guilt and worry are closely related. I love that phrase, ‘what is achieved by worrying?’ The answer is NOTHING! It just makes us totally miserable, and I believe mum guilt is the same deal. Feeling guilty about something we should or shouldn’t have done with our children doesn’t actually achieve anything; 9 times out of 10 I don’t find myself doing something to rectify what I’m feeling guilty about, so what’s the point in dwelling about it?

I’ll give you an example here. For the past 3 or 4 months I have been feeling SUPER mum guilt about the way I’ve been weaning Lawson. First of all, I started weaning him at 5 and a half months, which is against NHS guidelines. So I felt guilty. But did I stop weaning him? No! So what was the point in feeling guilty?! I knew he was ready. The weaning guilt and irrational thinking kind of just snowballed from there…

‘I’m doing spoon-fed weaning, Lawson isn’t going to learn how to chew!’

‘I’m not letting Lawson be very messy with his food, he’s going to end up having issues with mess!’

‘I’m not making him enough purees’

‘I’m feeding him too many pouches’

‘He’s not getting enough fruit and veg’

The list is ENDLESS. The guilt that has surrounded me throughout Lawson’s weaning has been ridiculous, and it’s really taken the enjoyment out of the experience. So I’m saying NO MORE. We’ve got to a stage now where Lawson is a really good eater, he can chew really well, and most of the time he can eat what we’re eating. If he’s not eating what we’re eating, he’ll have a pouch. And that’s how we’re doing it! I’ve let go of the guilt about being a ‘pouch mum’ – I’m all about taking steps to make myself less stressed so that I can be the best possible mum to Lawson, and this has been one of them.

OWN YOUR DECISIONS. You know your child best. No one knows them better than you, so make your decisions, and OWN them! Don’t compare yourselves to other mums. This needs a whole other blog post entirely!

So I want to encourage you today, in fact, I implore you – let go of the mum guilt! We all make mistakes, heck, our parents made mistakes, and we turned out OK! Own the decisions you make about your kids, have faith that YOU know them the best and that you’re making those decisions out of love. Don’t waste any more of your precious time worrying and feeling guilty over something you can’t/don’t want to change.

 

Mum-guilt. We all suffer with it, don’t we? Before having Lawson, I’d always heard people talk about it, but little did I know how utterly crippling it can be. It’s taken 9 months, but I’m pleased to say I’m finally waving goodbye to my mummy guilt, and here’s why you should too: IT DOESN’T ACTUALLY […]

July 15, 2017

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LIFE UPDATE | BACK TO BLOGGING!

Hello! Long time no blog!

After taking a few months out of the blogging game, Land of Lawson is now officially ‘re-launched’ (how professional) and ready to go! I’ve really missed blogging, actually. The amount of times over the past few months that I’ve thought ‘I wish I could write about this’, has been insane! I’ve missed having an outlet, or a place where I can say what I really think without 2200 character limit (thanks, Instagram!)

A lot has been happening over here recently, so I’ve got a few things to catch you up on. Let’s just jump straight in. I’ve quit my day job. WHAT.

As some of you may know, I went back to work about 6 weeks ago. I work in a school, who were SUPER lovely and allowed me to come back part time. However, due to childcare costs, finance, travel and a whole world of boring grown up stuff, we basically worked out that I’d be working for £50 in September… Kinda not worth it, am I right? Plus I never really have got used to leaving Lawson for a day, it just feels so foreign to me.

I don’t know if you saw my latest YouTube video where I basically gave the same update in video form, but I spoke a bit on there about this constant battle between head and heart. My whole life, they have very rarely agreed when it comes to making decisions, and being the ‘sensible’ character I am, I have always ended up taking the responsible route and going with my head, leaving me pretty unsatisfied in most cases. THIS time, well, this time is different. Because I’ve gone completely with my heart (which is obviously with Lawson and my family), and it feels GREAT. Am I scared? Hell yeah. Will we struggle financially? Probably! But, as I said in my vlog, happiness wins over money, every time.

There are a couple of exciting ways that I’m going to be spending my time come September (or end of July, really!) The first of which is BLOGGING, and YOUTUBE. I flippin’ love this. It makes me so happy just to be creative, to meet new people, and to constantly learn new skills. For me, I feel like writing blogs and filming videos makes me feel less lonely. It makes me feel like I have a tribe of people who are supporting me and cheering me on. So grateful for you guys!

The other VERY exciting, albeit slightly terrifying thing I’m going to be doing is setting up my own business. I’m gonna be a #momboss! So I’m delving deep into the world of freelance and self-employment, which is so scary, but I have a really good feeling about it! I’m hoping to have it all launched by the end of the month, so stay tuned for big news coming soon!

Family update – Dan is doing really well, is working full time and generally just smashing being a dad and husband! Lawson is nearly 10 MONTHS OLD. What the heck! I do little monthly updates on how he’s doing on my YouTube channel, so if you’re keen to know what he’s up to these days then check out that playlist HERE. But in general, he is the sweetest, most happiest baby EVER, he is developing at a rate that we struggle to keep up with, but it’s all part of the adventure, and I cannot wait to share it with you!

So enough about me, how are you?

Hello! Long time no blog! After taking a few months out of the blogging game, Land of Lawson is now officially ‘re-launched’ (how professional) and ready to go! I’ve really missed blogging, actually. The amount of times over the past few months that I’ve thought ‘I wish I could write about this’, has been insane! […]

July 13, 2017

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AN HONEST UPDATE

If you have watched my ‘how I felt after having a baby’ video, you’ll know that just after Lawson was born, I struggled for quite a few weeks with motherhood, bonding and generally just adjusting to the change. Well, nearly 7 months in, I’m kinda finding myself back there again. I did not see this coming!

Lawson has always been such a dream baby, he has slept well, fed well, sure he’s had his moments where he has been difficult, but overall, he is such a happy and contented baby and pretty easy to handle – we’ve been really lucky!

However, at the moment, he seems to have turned into a completely different child! I’m putting it down to developmental leaps and teething mostly, and potentially some separation anxiety, but the last 4 weeks have been really tough. If I’m honest, I feel like I’m getting to know a different baby. He’s harder to entertain, he cries at the tiniest things and generally he’s a lot more demanding than he has been previously.

Let’s look at it from Lawson’s perspective though (mainly for my benefit!) In the last 4 weeks, he has transitioned to eating 3 meals a day; he has learned to roll over and constantly practices this and is being really active; he has started sleeping on his tummy; he desperately wants to crawl and explore but his body isn’t quite there yet. That’s just to name a few! He is going through an awful lot at the moment, his developments are absolutely rapid, and to be honest I think it’s taking us both a bit of time to catch up.

I just feel like the pressure, the overwhelm, the exhaustion that motherhood brings has really got on top of me lately. I find it hard to constantly push through and I feel like I’m on the go ALL. THE. TIME. Feeding, sterilising, nappy changing, bathing, cleaning the house, battling for naps. I could go on! I don’t feel like I get any time to myself, and I don’t feel like I’m getting enough rest. Basically I am run down. I’m tired. I’m frustrated because I thought motherhood was supposed to get easier. It’s getting harder! (Just wanted to add a little side note here that I do have an AMAZING husband who is so supportive and hands on with Lawson – I am thankful for him every single day!)

And all of this is made all the more emotional because of the sheer heartbreaking love I feel for Lawson. Writing this makes me feel guilty. Making my breakfast while he plays, and proceeding to then eat my breakfast while he watches looking heartbroken, makes me feel guilty! Every time I do ANYTHING for myself, I feel guilty.

I don’t really know where the image of this ‘perfect mother’ has come from. I feel like I am supposed to spend every moment he’s awake with him, but if you do that when the heck do you get anything done?! (That’s a genuine question!)

Another thing that I’ve really been struggling with (and I think a lot of mums struggle with) is comparing myself to other mums, and second guessing my decisions. Again, I write this for my benefit. I KNOW MY CHILD BEST. I make decisions, and I need to be confident in them. Taking time out for myself to relax makes me a better mum to Lawson. An overwhelmed, exhausted mother is not that helpful.

So the result of all of this buzzing around in my head is an unmotivated, withdrawn and pretty tearful Hayley! I definitely don’t feel like myself at the moment, and so I’m just trying to be as kind to myself as possible and just get through the days by making them as easy as possible. For example, I’m feeding Lawson quite a few pouches at the moment because I don’t feel like I can make my own purees, and THAT’S OK. It’s temporary! Just while I get my shit together, I need to make things easier and less stressful. I need to put less pressure on myself until I’m out of this little funk.

So to the wonderful people who watch my videos, might follow me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat (I mean there’s not huge amounts, but to anyone reading this!), apologies if I’m a bit inconsistent with stuff. Family comes first. You know how it is 🙂

 

 

If you have watched my ‘how I felt after having a baby’ video, you’ll know that just after Lawson was born, I struggled for quite a few weeks with motherhood, bonding and generally just adjusting to the change. Well, nearly 7 months in, I’m kinda finding myself back there again. I did not see this […]

April 22, 2017

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