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You know you’re a mom when…

You know you’re a mom when…

The other night, after I had put Elliot to bed I found myself sat in the Sofa, pondering over just how different my life has become in this last year! So much has changed, I’m not just me anymore, I’m now a mum too! It got me thinking of some of the many things that make a Mum. So without further delay, here is my list of:

You know you’re a mum when…

1. Stained clothes are your most stable accessory – seriously you start with leaky boobs and as your child grows you get spit up, then snot, then grubby fingers from God knows what! You’ve basically being used as a giant wipe! Always mummy, never daddy – why oh why?

2. speaking of clothes when did you last buy yourself something new? Kid walks around looking like dapper Dan, whilst mommy on the best of days is happy if she can stay clear of point nr. 1

You know you're a mum when

My handsome boy ready to go home from Nursery

3. oh and if you ever do buy something for yourself it’s first and foremost judged on the criteria of easy boob access!

4. you’ve developed superpowers that allows you to go into stealth mode once your child is asleep and you need to not be!

5. You have no clue what is going on in the grown ups world, but know exactly what is being talked about when words like “ninky nonk and pinky ponk” are mentioned.

6. BM (before motherhood) there where certain topics that you’d rarely (read: never! – except if nurse) bring up at the dinner table or just as random chat with OH – now you’ll daily update/want to know about bowel movements and other bodily functions, “has ‘insert name’ done a poo today?” Casually asked whilst having Tea of course.

7. leaving the house is now a mission demanding careful planning and military precision! “See you in 5!” HA! Make it 50 min and we might stand a chance of being dressed!

8. Speaking of dressed, gone are the days of a lie in being the cause of still wearing PJs come 11am! More like mommy hasn’t had much sleep, and parenting has resorted to “just let the little guy! it’s not sharp…it’ll be ‘reet “

9. A whole new world of excuses opens to you! For example “want to meet up?” – “sorry ‘insert kids name‘ and take your pick 1. Isn’t feeling well 2. hasn’t slept much 3. Needs nap 4. Is overstimulated 5. Teething!!!” – and the list goes on! Not always a lie, but definitely better than saying “‘insert kids name’s mum can’t be bothered, she is still in her PJ’s and desperate for a nap!”

10. Your handbag contains everything for baby, but the old essentials – lip balm, perfume, vanity mirror are nowhere to be found. But if you need wet wipes, a rattle, a Giraffe named Sofie or have a sore bum I’m your Gal’!

11. You Squeeze when ever someone says “don’t forget to squeeze!” – seriously pelvic excercise is the new black! (I bet you just squeezed!)

12. A trip to the loo used to be a private affair, not anymore! You are now so used to the audience you don’t even bother shutting the door!

So there you go my immediate associations that sprung to mind, when pondering over the many ways to identify a mummy, or at least this mummy… what are yours?

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Rocking Motherhood

Rocking Motherhood

Thanks to Lucy from Lucy’s Locket I found out about White Camellias new # initiative “Rocking motherhood” its simple really, list 10 reasons why you’re rocking motherhood!

Rocking motherhood
Out and about with my happy boy!

But is it really that simple? I found myself struggling to think of 10 reasons! Now is that because I’m failing as a mother, I don’t think so, but I do think that a lot of the times we, ladies especially, find it easy to point out our mistakes and imperfections – whether it be with our looks, wits or parenting skills, but asked to compliment yourself and “BAM” you hit the invisible wall! Or atleast I did to begin with.

Rocking motherhood
Elliot loves the playgroups and all the new toys!

That is why I think this #rockingmotherhood is great! It has forced me to sit down and reflect and compliment myself. Something I really want to get better at! To focus on the positives and let go, our atleast minimise the negativity. So here goes, 10 reasons why I rock as a mum, we will start in the lighter end of the spectrum:

  1. I do a mean Turkey impression that has Elliot in tears every time! No seriously I’ve even maintained my turkey neck aka double chin just for dramatic effect! Jokes aside, being able to laugh at yourself and goof around, be it at home or in public! As long as it puts a smile on my boys face I don’t care.
  2. We go places almost every day, Elliot and I, admitted sometimes it just as much a sanity saver for mummy, but we go to baby groups, bounce and rhyme and all sorts! He’s not even 1 and he already has more hobbies than his Mum!
  3. I have yet to forget to pack any baby essentials before we go out, despite massive baby-brain! (I know I probably just jinxed it and will soon find myself smack in the middle of M&S with a Poonami to tackle and no spare clothes or nappies!)
  4. I follow my child. I love being a mum and he is the single most important human being in the world to me! I follow his lead, if he needs extra cuddles and feeds during the night I don’t mind, I’ll sleep again one day I’m sure! But for now it’s about making sure he’s happy and feeling safe 24/7.
  5. I have taken multi tasking to a whole new level! BM (Before Motherhood) I thought I was being awesome when managing baking cake, sorting tea, writing the grocery list for the week and tidying all in one happy mix. Now add whilst breastfeeding/ singing nursery rhymes and/or wearing a baby! Now if that doesn’t make one feel like super-mom I don’t know what will!
  6. I have mastered the art of international travel with my baby on my own! Just me, him a sling and a ton of luggage. If you thought travelling BM was exhausting, well no one knows exhaustion like a sleep deprived mum trying to entertain/feed/juggle baby while frantically powerwalking to the gate before it closes! Read more on the subject here and here 🙂
  7. I share almost everything with Elliot, not on an emotional “what is troubling mummy today” kinda level, but in the sense that I bring him with me everywhere I go and by having him in the sling he’s sees what I see and gets to interact with me and the people around us, it’s wonderful sharing my life with him.
  8. I bake a lot – true he might not appreciate it yet, but one day I hope he will love the fact that he comes home from school to a cake fresh out of the oven or freshly baked rolls on a Sunday morning. Latest cake-creation can be found here.
  9. I set a goal to Breastfeed for at least 6 months and now at 10 months we are still going strong and I love all the milky cuddles and the awesome feeling I get from knowing that I’ve nurtured my little Pudding into what is now quite a heavy little boy. The female body is amazing!
  10. Last, but not least I’m patient. Now I’ll admit I asked J for help on this last one, I was running out of praise! The first thing that popped in to his mind was patience. As he puts it I’m so patient with the little guy, whatever mood he is in or however hard he is to get to fall asleep I will always be there by his side and ride the storm with him.
Rocking motherhood
Funtime celebrating a 1st Birthday

this has been such a joy to write! And I hope others will join in. I’d love to hear these ladies thoughts on the matter: Karen from twotinyhand, Angela from lifemotherhoodandeverything and Emma from Thenonperfectparents -what are your 10 Reasons? Look forward to reading/watching your replies.

Rules

  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother.
  3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.
Rocking motherhood
Elliot enjoying getting messy at Creation Station

Hope you enjoyed the read and the random selection of Elliot Cuteness! Snippets from our everyday life. Being a mum is great!

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The Choices We Make…

The Choices We Make…

There is no perfect way to be a a good mother, each situation is unique, each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children… What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply.

There is something that has been playing on my mind for a while. You see I didn’t realise this when I was expecting Elliot, but when you become a mom you don’t “just” become a mom, you also become a member of the Parent club, willingly or not. But it doesn’t end there, questions arise… what kind of mom do you want to be? Who do you look up to? How have you chosen to raise your child? Have you chosen at all or are you winging it?  This “Parent club” is not always one happy supportive community, sometimes it can be ever so busy labelling each other or themselves, judging one another. As Lucy’s Locket puts it:

…when we label ourselves it is often the stereotype that is conjured up in the imagination of those who don’t know us.

Sleeping baby
My little boy all newborn and gorgeous

Its been playing on my mind because I myself have been guilty of doing it! I’m not proud to admit that before I felt like I had found my footing as a mum, back when I was very much still in a state of constant survival mode, I would find myself comparing, labelling and I’m sad to admit judge too. I think I judged because I didn’t know any better, because I was afraid that if what others did was different, then maybe what I was doing was wrong? Now that I feel out of the fog of early days with a newborn, I’ve thankfully started to see things differently! We can’t all be doing the same because (news flash) we are all different and so are our babies, I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that our babies are in fact tiny humans and just like us they have different personalities, different likes and dislikes.

Stretchy Wrap babywearing
Newborn Elliot in stretchy wrap

So lets take a look at me! What labels could we stick on me? Now if I look at me I think some might call me a “Hippie mum” or label me an “Attachment parent”. Honestly I don’t mind! as long as it’s not accompanied with judgement or stereotypes, based on ideas more than the facts. We don’t have to agree on everything, as long as we agree that we all put the welfare of our children first. I think stereotypes and “negative labels” stem from ignorance or shall we say lack of insight to the other persons life. So here is our story: When I was pregnant I had every intention of reading books on how to raise a child – what to expect and such. I like to be prepared, but for some reason I never got around to it. Work got in the way, and then once on maternity leave, laying in all my whalesome glory binging Netflix got in the way. Today I’m quite glad I didn’t dive into all the books out there, as I fear some of those books might have made me feel like I was failing as a mum (Read more than I was already convincing myself I was). Turns out my baby didn’t remember to download the manual on how to be a ‘good baby’ and eat on set times and sleep through at 6 months or whatever other lovely snippets I’ve found in various parenting books and pamphlets. My baby woke hourly to begin with, he was pretty much attached to my boobs 24/7 and at 10 months he is still not sleeping through the night. I am not trying to raise my child following some dogma, or  by the rules of a self-proclaimed parenting experts advise. So far I have raised my child following my gut! The choices I’ve made have been because it felt right, and works for our family.

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10 months and rocking the double chin and cheeky grin!

So what works for our family? Here goes: We co-sleep, I breastfeed, I wear my baby in a sling (J has a buckle carrier) and we try and follow Elliots lead when it comes to weaning, we’ve not gone full on BLW as a combo works for us. We’ve basically followed Elliots lead on it all. As I said this wasn’t a conscious decisions, we co-sleep because he would only sleep on me or close to me when he was newborn (thank you to the person that told me about the 4th Trimester!) and now at 10 months as he still wakes for feeds during the night, I honestly can’t see myself getting a better nights sleep if he was in a different room, especially seeing as he now refuses a dummy – he only wants the real deal, not even a bottle will do, much to my dismay, believe me I’ve tried! But there comes a time (after you’ve ordered a dummy all the way from the states because of its alleged magical abilities, and then it arrives and mostly looks like a tiny willy! Like what the actual F***!) when you have to stop trying and accept defeat. I breastfeed because it’s convenient and it gives him comfort and for now I’m happy with that. When I had Elliot all I thought was I hope I make it to 6  months of breastfeeding, I didn’t plan to continue, but now 10 months on it just feels natural to me. That’s the way it’s been with our choices so far, it has felt right.

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Now I love, love, love Baby wearing, In my opinion the sling is magic! It allows me to get on with things whilst keeping my curious boy happy. Honestly he has grown so fast in these 9 months, I’m just happy to get all the slingy cuddles I can get, before I know it that time will be over! I didn’t know I would love baby wearing, at first it was out of desperation! Despite having bought an expensive travel system Elliot couldn’t have cared less, he hated not beeing on me and would scream and cry if I hadn’t magically managed to get him to sleep and then transferred into the Pram – Only to have to constantly be moving, seeing as he woke so easily. I quickly learned that it was a lot less stressful for me to be out and about if I just carried him in the sling. If only I had known before we bought the silly expensive pram!

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My happy boy! At 6 months

I made my choices so far because they’ve worked for us, simple trial and error. Like with our bedtime routine, I tried putting Elliot down in his own crib, he just wasn’t happy about it one bit, and so we co-slept, first out of necessity and now because it works and feels right, if it’s not broke and all that. That’s pretty much the story of many of my choices:

Happy baby = Happy mum

So what am I trying to say? I guess as a new mum the parenting community can be quite overwhelming and it can be easy to pass judgment, I just wish we where better at just acknowledging each other and accepting that not one shoe fits all! And that we are all just trying our best to manoeuvre through this parenting jungle. I’m sending lots of love out to all new mammas, you’re doing a great job, and trust me it will get easier and one day you might even find yourself writing a blog about you and your family life because it’s just that damn great!

Is there something you wish you could have told yourself as a newbie mum? Have you found yourself judging or perhaps being at the receiving end?

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10 Reasons why I love Baby wearing

10 Reasons why I love Baby wearing

Today I decided to get Elliot in the snow suit and place him in the Buggy to go to play group – That was a mistake. You see normally when we go out I put Elliot in the sling, as baby wearing has been our preferred method of getting out and about for a while, but for some reason, I thought I’d just give the (way too expensive ‘had-to-have’!) Buggy a chance. It started out okay, we had to nip to the local shop and pick up a parcel before group and he was happily staring at the world from his little kingdom of snug (read Buggy).

Baby and his buggy
Snug as a bug – or so I thought!

15 minutes! That’s how long it took to walk to the shop, and that’s how long it took for the little guy to decide that he was utterly unhappy! First I tried distracting with a toy (read my keys) that worked for rougly 30 seconds, then I started singing his favourite nursery rhymes (as you do) whilst upping the pace to hopefully make it to group before complete meltdown…we didn’t!

Thankfully I had had the foresight of taking one of the woven wraps with us before we left, que the sloppy emergency wrap-job! Right in the middle of the street – fields to one side, befuddled dog walkers to the other. It wasn’t pretty, but it did the job!

woven wrap magic
Worlds sloppiest wrap job!

And low and behold less than 5 minutes later I had a sleeping baby on me, happy as can be. It got me thinking of how much baby wearing has been a life saver for me! So on the final stretch to group, Elliot had a little snooze whilst I thought of some of the many reasons why I love baby wearing!

  1. Convenience – Before I really embraced baby wearing I would get Elliot in the pram when we went out. The Pram is handy for storage underneath, but quite inconvenient in terms of size. With my baby on me I never have to worry if there will be room for us on the bus, I can happily go shop browsing without having to fit in the pram and when we go for holidays it takes up a lot less space to bring a wrap than a Buggy! To add to it it’s a lot less stressful for me, seeing as Before I always felt like I was walking with a ticking bomb, how long would it take before the little guy was no longer happy (read asleep) in the Pram.

    Baby wearing
    Not even rain will keep us from wrapping up!
  2. Comfort – When he is teething, poorly, tired or just overwhelmed with the world the wrap offers him comfort. I can’t count how many times he has seemed utterly inconsolable, but once wrapped he has been asleep in no time. There is magic sleepy dust in those wraps I tell you!

    Baby wearing
    Mei Tai to the rescue!
  3. Freedom – Elliot is mostly a happy baby, but he has never been much for sleeping on his own, he needs a lot of closeness and with baby wearing I can give him just that, whilst still being able to get on with various chores. So even though I spend 24/7 with my baby I still feel I have freedom to do a lot.
  4. I can feed on the go! I don’t do this often, but there has been times where it has been an absolute God send to be able to Feed on the go, it takes a little trial and error, but breastfeeding while baby is wrapped is quite doable. It once saved us from what would have been a sure meltdown, as Elliot was getting very hungry whilst we where stuck in the security que at the airport, I felt like Super mom and nobody even noticed it was going on, as it can be done quite discreetly, double win.

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    Train travelling made easy no need for buggy fitting
  5. The community – For me baby wearing has meant that I’ve connected with a community of likeminded mums! It has meant the world to me, as prior to meeting them I was feeling quite lonely as a first time mum far away from family and close friends (sadly they didn’t join the move to UK)
  6. The sky is the limit! Admittedly this relates to the previous points of freedom and convenience. But using a baby carrier has meant that we as a family can enjoy the beautiful nature of the Lake District in a way that would be inaccessible if we had Elliot in a Pram/Buggy.

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    Little man and I on the top of Carron Crag
  7. Daddy Cuddles! Now I know J found it hard in the beginning, to find ways of bonding with the little guy. Baby wearing offers plenty of bonding time whilst J can still get on with other bits, as lets face it when they are completely newborn it can be difficult to find bonding activities beside nappy changes and bath time, especially when mum is breastfeeding. J has embraced baby wearing! So much so that I got him his own Baby carrier, with awesome spaceships on. This way whenever J is off, he and Elliot can have adventures together.

    Baby wearing
    Adventure time with Daddy – buckle carrier
  8. So much choice! Now wether you like buckle carriers, Mei Tais, Ring slings, woven wraps or stretchy wraps there is so much choice in design, colours and cool patterns! If it wasn’t for the fact that my banker would probably have a word or two, I’d have a wrap to go with each of my outfits! Warning baby wearing can become quite the (expensive) hobby!
  9. Closeness – who doesn’t like cuddles! I love the extra cuddles I get from Elliot through carrying him in the sling. Before I know it he’ll have grown out of wanting cuddles, so I’m savouring every one of them!

    Baby wearing
    Cuddles from back when Elliot was teeny tiny
  10. It gets me fit! Or it would if I didn’t love cake so much! Did you know Baby wearing is good for the core strength! I get walks and weightlifting in one, now if that isn’t an added bonus I don’t know what is.

So there you go: 10 reasons why I love baby wearing! and just to clarify, this is not me postulating that baby wearing is better than using Prams and Buggies, believe me I’d love it if Elliot liked the Buggy more sometimes! I started my baby wearing journey out of necessity. Unlike Karen, from twotinyhands.co.uk, who had been so organised and researched the options for farrying ones offspring around, prior to her little Robots arrival, you can read her Baby wearing journey here. Anyway if I’ve inspired anyone to give it a try there are lots of ‘Sling libraries’ around UK where you can get help and support with learning how to wrap or try out different types of carriers before you buy.

Have you also used baby carriers/slings/wraps? What was your favourite thing about it?

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Travelling with a Child

Travelling with a Child

Travelling with a child solo can seem like a Mammoth task. We spent all day yesterday travelling, the little man and I. It’s a long journey travelling from the eastern parts of Jutland, all the way to Copenhagen and then to the north of England. We started our day by train. I’d planned for having to entertain, but Elliot decided to start the trip with a nap! Good thinking I say, if only I could’ve joined in!

Travelling with a child

Elliot is already quite the experienced traveller, sure the travels has thus far only brought us from UK to DK and back, but for a little baby, only 9 weeks old on his first trip, I think that is plenty of travel adventure in it self.

It’s remarkable how quickly their needs change! On the first two trips the main focus was timing things with Elliots need for feeds and sleep. First time over he slept all the way in the flight (attached to a boob that is) those days are over! Elliot is 9 months old now, not yet mobile, but very much in need of entertainment and activities tailored to him. It’s no longer just enough to keep him comfy during the travels, my baby is now capable of being bored! That is why it came like a God send when I spotted the family Area at Copenhagen Airport. Such a brilliant concept, it is raised above the rest of the waiting area, away from the hustle and bustle of busy travellers and expensive shopping. Elliot lit up when I got him out of the sling and placed him on the floor surrounded by colourful toys and tall cardboard castles and figurines inspired by H.C Andersens fairytales. This little safe haven, free of noise, with areas to play and for parents to relax knowing their child is safely playing. I’m a fan!

Travelling with a child
Family Area at CPH Airport

This little break from travelling gave us both the break in the day needed to manage the last leg of the journey. If only we hadn’t then gotten stuck in traffic on the M6, I would say this day of travelling was well executed!

Travelling with a child
Family Area at CPH airport
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A Day In The Life of…

A Day In The Life of…

Sometimes things do not go as planned, sometimes you try and be Supermom, but fall short! Fall short because you ran out of coffee, your little one is Teething and decided that the day started at 4:30am!!! Yesterday was one of those days where I could have easily just rolled up and felt like nothing I did was good enough! (That is I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a mum to have the time to just roll up and feel sorry for oneself…)

Thankfully my little guy decided that wasn’t on! And so it became that we took a lovely walk with Grandmas old Pram, one giant Biscuit and the dogs desperate for some fresh air.

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Yes the day might not have started how I had hoped, and yes Elliot is teething and therefore all my great plans of baking are paused do to him needing cuddles and closeness, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Taking Elliot on a walk and seeing him be amazed by the moving leaves, fascinated with the colours of autumn and positively beaming of joy because he is snug with a ginormous Biscuit, well that makes my day! And it reminds you what is truly important. The everyday adventures seen through the eyes of a 9 month old.

Just a few thoughts from me, a little snippet of our every day adventures.

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