How I regained my Style Mojo. Fashion Tips for Breastfeeding Mums

On my blog blurb I said my blog would be (amongst other things) about fashion, after all I’ve worked on women’s magazines all my career so style posts should be easy.

But they’re not.

Thanks to Asos and New Look’s fab maternity ranges I managed to dress the belly reasonably well. But when the baby came I seemed to lose my style mojo. And I hate to say it but I put this down to breastfeeding. It turns out my wardrobe of bodycon dresses and tight tee’s was not remotely compatible with nursing a teeny weeny infant. My main preoccupation became ease of boob access rather than looking and feeling good. I’ve decided it’s high time to bring my wardrobe bang up to date AND breastfeeding friendly.

Now I know for a myriad of reasons breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and that’s absolutely fine by me. A fed baby is a happy baby and all that. However, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding here are my tips on how to be a stylish nursing mama.

 

1. THE ESSENTIALS. 

Above all else my two breastfeeding essentials have been a feeding cover up and a large lightweight scarf. Obviously if you’re someone of a less modest disposition to me then well done, I wish I was more like you, but for whatever reason (and I think this is a different post) I get a bit conscious showing lots of skin when I’m out and about.

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Only £6.95 and folds down to fit in the nappy bag.

 

For example I’m a big fan of this summer’s cold shoulder dresses.   They’re super easy to feed in, just pull the dress down and woop there you go, but it exposes quite a lot of flesh so I’m more comfortable with a cover on. Plus, I find when I’m wearing the cover it lets you take your time making sure baby is sorted without everyone getting an eyeful of boob.

I also find the scarf almost more essential. Given the choice of showing a boob or a bit of pale, flabby stretchmarked muffin top I’d choose a boob flash everytime.

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A large lightweight Zara scarf is a must.

When wearing trousers and a top that you need to pull up in order to gain boob access, then I gently drape the scarf around my middle to save showing the world my post partum tum. Nobody needs to see that! Obviously if you’re wearing a cardie or have a jacket with you then you could use these, but I find I can gently tuck it in to the bra underwire and drape it around the side. Plus, because it’s lightweight it’s deadeasy to carry around and never leaves my nappy bag.

 

2.NICE BRAS.

Initially you just don’t care. Whatever is comfy works, but I found once feeding was established I didn’t want to be relegated to a years worth of nun-esque sensible bras. The two companies I found that did the best nursing bras are Hot Milk and good old Topshop. Obviously though, don’t go for style over a good fit. Ultimately the fit is the most important thing so shop around.

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Toyshop bras offer a great fit and great colours

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Hotmilk undies look good and are practical

 

3. BOYFRIEND TEES

Thankfully these are fashionable at the moment, they allow easy access and are super cheap thanks to Asos’s multi buy offers.

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4.SHIRTS

Shirts are a breastfeeding essential and thankfully are everywhere on the high street at the moment.

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Patterns are a pukey baby mum’s friend! I love the Giraffe print from Whistles.

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This Asos shirt is big, slouchy and oh so practical

 

5. BREASTFEEDING TOPS.

H&M and Jojo Maman Bebe do great breastfeeding tops that allow super easy access discreetly. I didn’t want to overhaul my wardrobe to get loads of these as they’re not the most fashion forward of items but they’re great staple pieces and perfect for those first few weeks and days when you’re out and about.

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Jojo Maman Bebe offers lots of Breton style nursing tops.

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H&M tops provide easy and discreet feeding at a reasonable price.

 

 

6. DRESSES AND JUMPSUITS

You CAN breastfeed in public and wear dresses, it just requires some forward planning.   Cold shoulder dresses with elasticated top bands are great as are tea dresses or any style of dress or jumpsuit with a button/zip up front.  Thankfully this Autumn there is a wide selection of casual and formal styles available on the high street.

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Oasis patterned casual dress

 

 

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I love EVERYTHING about this Zara dress

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Disco Mama in this River Island dress

 

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Zara jumpsuit all in black = slimming.

 

7.WARM CLOTHING

When the temperature drops I’d advise against jumpers and go more for cardigans, jackets, zip up hoodies and shirts. Having a November baby, there was more than one times I found myself shivering in a café because I had to take my jumper off in order to feed.

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Dorothy Perkins bomber jackets are good between the seasons

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Is it a jumper, is it a dress? Whatevs, I want it! From & Other Stories

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How cosy does this French Connection poncho look?

 

8. SHOES!

If you’re having to potentially compromise on your outfit to allow easy and discreet breastfeeding then investing in a stylish pair of shoes can give your outfit a fashionable edge and transform an otherwise simple outfit.

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Silver shoes are going nowhere this A/W. These are from Zara

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These Topshop fur ankle boots will help lift any outfit!

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Put a sparkle in your step, from Topshop

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Asks over the knee boots go with everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mummascribbles
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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The 8 stages of Running

 

 1. When you realise your fat girl jeans are getting too tight.

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2. Then…

dont want to run

 

3. But you remember your shiny pristine new Nikes 

Michelle Jenneke

 ‘Oooh yeaaah, look at me. Check me out, I have got this. I am an ATHLETE!

 

4. The first mile. 

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F*ck.

 

5. And then you get cocky.

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I can go for miles…..

 

6. Until you hit the wall. 

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Bastard Wall.

 

7. OOOoooh there’s the Finish line….

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I did it!! I’m an ATHLETE! I’m a CHAMP!! Where can I sign up for a MARATHON?!

 

8. The Next Day.

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It just all hurts so much.

A Cornish Mum

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My 1 Month Blog-iversary

It’s official…I’ve been a blogger for one whole month!

1st month

This time one month ago I put finger to keypad and pressed ‘go’, taking my first tentative steps into the blogosphere.  I thought all you had to do was write a bit, press post and that was that. Turns out that is all there is to it, but much, much more as well.

I mean had you ever heard of a linky? Me neither… Know what code is? Not a scooby… And don’t even get me started on the social media. ‘Too many tweets does a tw*t make’ was always my attitude, but I’m (slowly) starting to get my head round it.  Sure, twitter befuddles me, and I still feel a bit iffy selfy-ing and baby spamming all over instagram.  But do you know what? I’m sort of getting into it and seeing all the good things social media can engender.  I mean, I’ve a developed a massive girl crush on J K Rowling based on her brilliant twitter feed. Even if you’re a twitter-phobe check it out, she’s FAB.   Plus, we’ve got the same birthday and by the logic that a 23rd March birthday makes you an Olympic Champion, a 31st July birthday makes you an awesome writer. Obviously.

 

So, on this 1 month anniversary I would like to say some thank you’s.

To Camilla with the brilliant Blog, Flamingo Monroe.  Can you tell yours was an inspiration? I mean they even look the sort of similar (blush).  To Nat at Mum in Brum your blog is just so pretty, you write so well and it’s full of fantastic tips and content.  I’ve referred back to both of these time and time again to see how ‘proper’ bloggers do things!

To all the linky hosts I’ve joined in, thank you!  And apologies for all the blogging faux pas I’ve made on my way…

And most importantly, thank you everyone who has read my blog over the last month.  That’s around 1,000 of you – I actually can’t believe it. I am really humbled that so many of you have taken the time to read my random little thoughts. Thank you.

oaktrees

How to make money from your blog: Working with brands and the art of negotiation.

I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers want to work with brands to earn an income from their blogs. Now, I’m still a newby, a total minnow in the blogosphere but in the real world I’ve spent the last decade commisioning and negotiating commercial partnerships for media brands such as Vogue, GQ, Woman’s Own and HELLO! I’ve gained lots of experience negotiating with brands (and the occasional blogger!) so I thought it might be useful to share some of the things I’ve learnt along the way in as brief terms as I can manage….I could go on for DAYS about this stuff.

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Blogging 9-5, what a way to make a living…

  1. Know your worth and know the facts

 If a brand has approached you about a give away then THEY WANT YOU. Even if it’s in reply to a speculative approach you sent, the fact they have replied shows that they’re interested in you. YAY. You’re in the driving seat.

This is the point you need to do as much fact finding and ask as many questions as possible. For example:

What are the campaign objectives?

What do they hope to achieve overall?

What would a collaboration entail?

Who are they targeting?

How are results measured?

Why you? (This is SUPER important, firstly you’ll find them selling your blog to you – always a good thing. But moreover, it helps you define your ‘Unique Selling Point’ if you’re new to collaborations. If you’re more established it helps you identify the more commercially lucrative aspects of your blog).

What do they want from you?

What other opportunities do they have?

Who/what else are they working with?

Who else is pitching?

Who’s the decision maker?

Etc etc…

and of course WHAT’S THE BUDGET?

There are pros and cons to doing the fact finding over email or on the phone. With email you have everything in black and white for future reference and in my experience it’s how most PRs, agencies & marketing execs prefer to operate. However by speaking on the phone you can potentially cover more ground quicker and establish more of a ‘human’ relationship as well as being able to think on your feet and shoot ideas off one another before committing to anything. This is of course presuming the PR/agency/marketing exec are willing to chat. There is a tendency for them to hide behind email. But if you do get through make sure you pick a good time first thing on a Monday morning or Friday at 5:30 aren’t generally the best times to call…

No matter how you communicate with each other, at this point you need to really listen to what the brand wants and expects. You will gain loads of insight into their objectives and vision, ultimately meaning you can respond to the brief/pitch in a more relevant manner. This is also your time to get creative and come up with ideas that will work for the both for you. So start to think about what you want to achieve from the collaboration both in terms of work needed to be done and financial compensation.

 

  1. Don’t (immediately) name your price.

This is the golden rule of negotiation. I repeat, this is the GOLDEN RULE of negotiation.

As your asking your questions you should be forming an idea of how you will tackle the brief, eg does it involve a 500 word review with 1 picture and 1 tweet or is it something more specialised and creative but that will take up a lot of time or content. You need to think hard about how much work is involved, how much time it will take and of course, how much you want to do it.

From this you should begin to gage a rough idea of how much you would do the work for, or even if you would do it for free. But SSSSSSHHHHH! Don’t say anything. Ask what the budget is.

If a clever little marketing exec answers ‘how much do you want for it’ DO NOT GIVE a figure. Let them name the first figure. I find a non committal ‘mmm, I’m not sure, how much have you allocated for the campaign?’/ ‘I don’t normally do this so I’d need you to make it worth my while’ or similar, bats the number ball back into their court.

If they’re really tricksy just get them to give a rough approximate. They’ll go and ask their boss (in reality put you on hold whilst they file their nails) and get back to you with a ballpark figure. Probably at the lower end of what they can actually afford.

So you now sort of know how much budget the brand have got. Chances are they’ve got a little bit more than they’re telling you. I’m a bit cheeky and always ask for more, even if I was mentally prepared to do it for less…If you don’t ask you don’t get! Just do it nicely so you can always go back and say you’ll do it for the lower price…but maybe with a lower word count or less social media promotion (see point 3.)

 

Even if you’re an established blogger who regularly does collaborations I still wouldn’t name your price. Get them to name a figure and if they come back with something around about or lower than you would normally expect there’s no harm in saying you need more and THEN offering a price that you’d be prepared to start negotiating from.

If you haven’t already I would also suggest you compile a media pack template with your stats, your ‘standard’ package options and case studies to save you having to do it from scratch each time. Personally I’m against naming package prices in generic media packs, but appreciate that lots do and it can be a timesaver/helps get your media pack up the brand’s chain of command.

 

  1. Finding the Win – Win Solution

Make sure you get a deal that your happy with. And it doesn’t always have to be about the money. For example it might be worth doing collaboration if you want to build a certain relationship or it’s a product you’re genuinely interested in.  A model get’s an absurdly low fee for a Vogue cover, but it’s worth so much kudos it hardly matters.

In order to find the mutually beneficial solution you need to figure out your pressure points. Then make sure the brand know this and ask them what theirs are. If their pressure point is money (standard!) and your pressure point is, as a busy mum, say time available, then there are plenty of ways around this. The key to is that you need to find something that’s not worth much to you but valuable to them (eg. A social media mention) and see if they can increase the budget by way of goods or vouchers (i.e. something that makes Christmas easier for you and is dead easy for them). Win – win for all involved. But only if you are happy with the outcome. Don’t end up with 63 bottles of Domestos if you don’t need them. Stand firm and if you really can’t agree check out point 4…

It totally depends on the collaboration on offer but personally I would be cautious about agreeing to work for free. A mention about Domestos might seem innocuous but don’t forget they’re part of the FMCG behemoth Unilever and you don’t want their mate on the Dove brand getting to hear that you’ll work for free. However, if it’s a charity you care about or a small start up then fill your boots with free collaborations. Goodwill goes along way and it isn’t always about the $$$.

If you do agree a deal make sure you have in writing, EXACTLY what they expect of you, EXACTLY what you expect from them, timescales and when you have agreed to be paid and how. Make sure it’s in writing that both parties agree to these terms.

 

  1. Don’t be scared to walk away (nicely)

If you still can’t agree, walk away.

If you don’t know why but you feel uncomfortable about doing it then listen to your gut and walk away.

If it’s just too much for you to take on, explain that and walk away.

Remember, if you do threaten to walk then you must be prepared to do it, but always make sure you do it nicely. You never know they might come back. In the past I’ve even sent a little ‘thank you for your time’ card to a marketing team I spent AGES trying to and failing to negotiate a campaign deal with. Next time they had budget guess who they called first…

It’s also important to remember that your blog is a hobby. Great if you can and have the inclination to earn some money from it but remember to keep WHY you’re blogging and WHO you’re blogging for front of mind.

Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert takes no payment for anything on his website so he doesn’t compromise the integrity of his advice. I suspect mum blogger extraordinaire, the Unmummsy Mum also doesn’t take money for blog posts so she doesn’t compromise the authenticity of her narrative voice and style. In short, it’s ok to say this just isn’t for me. Maybe this one time, maybe ever.

 

  1. Feedback and Follow up

When negotiating the cost/terms of the deal make sure you find out what feedback they require from you and when. In my experience, numbers rule. Let the brand know how many views/visits/comments/tweets/likes/engagements etc etc the collaboration generates.   As long as you credit the data provided I simply choose the best numbers (be that google analytics or another source). If there are any blips or low points then I don’t think there’s any harm in identifying these and pointing out a way you could improve that next time around (see what I did there ;)!). Even if the brand doesn’t ask for feedback I always provide it.

It’s a two way street so don’t be scared to ask for feedback from the brand too. The good parts you can use as testimonials or case studies and any bad parts you can learn from and chalk up to experience.

Plus, it’s a great opportunity to catch up and see what other opportunities are coming up. You’ve got an ‘in’ now. Keep using it…

 

  1. Be nice

I think this is a fundemental. I’ve seen some people rant and rave to get what they want but I think the best deals are the ones where both parties go away happy.

PRs and marketing bods change accounts and change companies all the time. You never know when and where they might pop up again. Yes, they might not always be that pleasant to you, but that’s not within your control. What is in your control is to stay professional, stay positive and do the work well.

 

 

Hopefully this will be of help. I’ve tried to pitch it ‘midlevel’ ie, not too simplistic but not too technical either. If there is anything you’d like me to expand on then please let me know. Equally, if you have got any questions or there is anything else I might be able to help with then please do let me know either in the comments or by contacting me directly.

I’m happy to help and you can always return the favour by helping me figure out what these tag things are/explaining a widget/how you do those fancy text over picture things!

 

 

A Cornish Mum

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Cuddle Fairy
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The 6 Child Rearing Tribes of Nappy Valley

An Exploration into the Child Rearing Tribes of Nappy Valley.

Location: Borough of Wandsworth, South West London.

Reason: One of the most densely populated areas of the country with a particularly high birth rate. There is no better place to explore the cultural interactions of the child rearing tribes that inhabit this urban jungle.

Methodology: For the last 8 months I have acquired a child and ingratiated myself wholeheartedly into the comings and goings of the area that dubs itself ‘Nappy Valley’ in a bid to observe the inhabitants behavior in their natural habitat.

 

 1. The Alpha Mother

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Ok Fenella, let’s consult the diary…

The Alpha is currently on maternity leave from her highly pressurised career in Finance/Law/Medicine. The Alpha approaches child rearing with the same force she applies to her stellar career. Little Fenella’s schedule is as diversified as her mother’s fund portfolio. Mandarin classes, baby ballet and grade 5 piano lessons all before Monday’s lunchtime nap. After 6 months the nanny is installed in the basement annex of the Wandsworth Common Northside town house. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Fenella most of all.

 

2. The Reluctant Nappy Valley-er

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The second bedroom’s getting a bit cramped now.

RNV-ers migrated to Nappy Valley in their early 20s in search of greater prosperity. They always harbored a desire to return to their native turf of Wolverhampton/Bridlington/Swindon etc but somewhere along the way met a mate and set up home in Nappy Valley. Often heard lamenting that they would like a garden and that their 2 bedroom flat is slightly cramped with all the children in tow. Yet trips backs to the homeland to visit the tribal elders deflate the RNV-ers as they realize it’s just a bit sh*t. Eventually they’ll settle in a semi in Surbiton.

 

3.The Male of the Species

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The male of the species is usually observed interacting with his young on weekends. They are usually spotted aggressively pushing their offspring on swings. Watering holes also seem to hold a particular fascination for the male Nappy Valley-er. Watering Holes of the swimming pool and the public house variety, frequently the latter is retreated to after an encounter in the former.

There is an emerging number of lone adult males who can be seen patrolling the area during the week. This sub tribe is dubbed the Stay at Home Dad. Whilst still in the minority it is encouraging to see. The Stay at Home Dad’s can often be seem congregating at Baby Cinema showings and swimming lessons (seriously, what is it with the water?!)

 

4. The Pro

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Please take one…

A long suffering individual with numerous offspring. Often seen looking tired, harassed and with various food stuffs smeared across their jeans. The Pro is the lifeblood of Nappy Valley. They are most likely to be spotted on PTA’s, organising street parties and soft play dates. They are a font of knowledge for playgroup opening times, wet weather activities and with a handbag full of plasters/wetwipes/calpol/spare clothes/muslins/snacks/kitchen sink. The Pro is often seen buying wine in large quantities.

 

5. The Houdini

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Now you see me, now you don’t! (Mainly because I’m hiding around the corner from you, you wierdo!)

A phenomena rather than a tribe. Houdini’s frequent NCT and baby groups throughout the borough. They peddle their tales of episiotomies, marital discourse and other manner of intimate conversations to lure in their prey. Then they disappear and never be seen again. Is this due to a transient and high population density or something more sinister? Or do I just attract oversharing wierdos who then just ditch me?!…Am I the weird one?

 

6. The infamous Yummy Mummy

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Kate Middleton, Patron Saint of the Yummy Mummy Tribe.

The most commonly lauded tribes abundant in Nappy Valley, the Yummy Mummy has achieved great fame. The yummy mummy can be identified by her swishy glossy hair, breton top and impossibly well behaved brood. This species are most likely to congregate in Waitrose and outside the gates of any impossibly expensive private school at 4pm.  They patrol the borough in their customary Range Rover. The yummy mummy inspires much jealousy amongst the other tribes but rarely comes to any real harm. Probably because she’s just too darn nice. Bitchy McBitchface can’t even hate her…and I try.

 

Cuddle Fairy
Run Jump Scrap!

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Fatgirl Slim: All The Gear No Idea

Ever heard the expression ‘All the Gear No Idea’? That accurately sums me up at the moment. In my bid to get fit I took a deep dive into the back recesses of my wardrobe and hauled out all my sports kit. Urgh. My leggings are practically see through and my sports tops are all faded and far too tight. It’s definitely all a bit pongy too…

Time for some new kit.  Now, I’ve noticed that the fashion has changed quite a lot since I was last donning a PE kit. Nowadays everyone is wearing sports wear ALL THE TIME. My mum and I went out for brunch a couple of weeks ago and we were the only customers in the entire café to not be wearing immaculate, gorgeous sportswear. I’m guessing this wasn’t a conference of stylish PE teachers but rather the so called ‘athleisure’ trend Style magazine has told me about.

Suffice to say, with all this trendy kit for just sitting in cafes, there is no way I can actually do exercise in my horrid old manky leggings. I NEED new jazzy leggings and brightly colored trainers. Once again I was faced with no alternative than to throw money at the problem. Plus I can justify it as I’ll defo wear them when I go out for my morning bacon sarnie kale juice.

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Surely no one actually likes kale juice, do they?

Always a sucker for a good old celebrity endorsement my first stop was Kate Hudson’s Fabletics. The website is full of pictures of impossibly toned models in beautiful brightly coloured outfits looking all tanned and healthy saluting the sun on an empty beach. It was great. That would be me. I immediately signed up to become a VIP member and ordered one of Kate’s ‘recommended’ outfits:

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That’s me, honest….

When it arrived I excitedly grabbed it from the postman and rushed upstairs to try it on. I love the top. It’s as blue as it looks in the pictures, falls really nicely and feels decent quality.

I’ve not been so taken with the leggings. Firstly, the print was much more military than the picture shows. And they made my thighs look fat. Of course one could argue that any tight fitting leggings would make my thighs look fat, due to the fat thighs in question. Still I wanted to buy the slim, lean thighs of the models on the Fabletics websites. SULK. The fabric however is really high quality – 90% cotton and really thick. I would say too thick for summer leggings but I’ll definitely be keeping for winter. I’ll have thin thighs by then too.

So now in summary:

Total kit spend: £144 (the Misfit, top and leggings)

Exercise classes attended: 2 (YAY!)

Daily 6am morning runs completed: 0

Any runs attempted: 0

Pounds lost: a very surprising 4, YAY!

Seriously though, any recommendations for not too pricey, fashionable lightweight leggings? Would love to hear if so!

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Cuddle Fairy

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Going for Gold!

Rio-2016-Logo

I sort of forgot that the Olympics were this year. I think after all the hype and build up of the 2012 games and continuing chatter about the Olympic legacy I hadn’t realized a whole 4 years had passed since London 2012. Even then when it did register, after the excitement of a home games I felt a bit ‘meh’ at the prospect of the Rio games. This time round there would be no cycling home past the beach volleyball stadium, no conversations about what events you were going to and no questioning what exactly were those Wenlock and Mandeville creatures…although that’s probably a good thing.

 

So it was fair to say I was at best indfifferent about the whole Olympic thing until ooh all of Day One. What is it about the Olympics that just sucks you in? Even the most unsporty of people become armchair coaches, judges and ever so proud mums. This time round it was the judo that sucked me in. I must just say that I’ve never, ever watched nor participated in a judo session/game/match(?) ever in my life before. Prior to Saturday if you asked me about a Yuki or Waza-ari I would have pointed you in the direction of the nearest Itsu. But then the good old BBC did one of their heartstring wrenching pieces on the bad boy of British Judo, Ashley Mackenzie.

Ashley-McKenzie

Who wants my Pikachu now?!

His mum introduced him to judo in an attempt to help his ADHD and keep him on the straight and narrow after being kicked out of school following a fight about a Pokemon. Oh and there go the goosebumps. That’s when it got me. I’m officially hooked on Rio 2016.

 

The thing that I think that make the Olympics just so special are that they encompass such a wide variety of sports all in the one event. Even more than that though, it’s how much it means to the competitors, their teams and their families. As they say on the Xfactor, it’s all about the journey. I watched a documentary on Tom Daley recently and he said he thinks in four year cycles. Day after day they get up do the same exercises over and over again. Say no to social events, monitor what they eat, be away from loved ones for months at a time. The dedication to their sport has such a huge impact and pressure on every single aspect of their lives and that of their loved ones. And for what? There are only 3 medals up for grabs and an off day can shatter everything they’ve spent the last 4 years working for.

 

This is the first Olympics I’ve watched as a mum and it has altered my perspective. Firstly without the inconvenience of being in an office I can totally gorge on it. ‘Sorry Matilda, no trips to the swings today, mummy NEEDS to watch the women’s fencing qualifiers.’ But secondly I never really thought about the team behind the athlete before, yet this time around I am in awe at the selflessness of the parents of the athletes. Over the years they must have had to do endless 5am drop offs, sacrifice family holidays to buy kit and even move house or give up their own careers in the chance that their baby might, and it is always just a might, make it to the Olympic Games.   They’ve been there to wipe away the tears at loss or injury and celebrate from the sidelines as they storm home to victory. So here’s to the mum’s and dad’s of the Olympians well done to you. And to us lot who are in the midst of babydom at the moment, who knows maybe there’s a future Olympic champion crawling around your nursery at the moment…

Happy African American baby sitting up, white background

Gold medal winner for, erm, sitting?

My Random Musings
Cuddle Fairy

Fatgirl Slim

Imagine the scene, I’m at the doctors for a routine check up. She took my blood pressure and asked me to step on the scales. That was when the fateful event happened. I looked down. I was a stone heavier than my pre baby weight.

I, obviously, recoiled in horror. My clothes were a bit tight, so I expected to be slightly heavier than pre baby, but not an entire stone!

‘It’s what we expect’, the kindly nurse told me. ‘9months on, 9 months off. You’ll lose half a stone this month, half a stone next month and you’ll be back to your old self before you know it.’ Obviously this cheered me up no end and I left with a smile on my face and spring in my step.

Now, 6 weeks later, Matilda is 8.5 months. Cheered on by the nurses optimistic predictions and the fact that a pair of shorts that were too tight in May now (snuggly) fit, I leaped on the scales. I knew I still wasn’t pre pregnancy weight, after all I still had two weeks to go, but I did NOT expect to see that I had gained 2 pounds since that fateful day at the doctors. #epicfail as the kids say.

This called for drastic action.

Step 1.  Diet

diet

A friend, who was clearly a wielder of torture in a past life, told me that if I was serious about losing weight I needed to do old style Weight Watchers. None of the new smart points namby pamby, apparently. The next day I began recording 2 pts for Weetabix, 1 pt for milk, 1.5 for a banana etc etc. By the evening I was ravenous. Hoping sleep would distract me from imminent starvation I went to bed early. I woke up three times in night due to my growling tummy. This gave me a new found sympathy for hungry babies needing night feeds and a new found respect for anyone who’s dieted themselves slim. The next day I gorged on cake, clotted cream and hot cross buns.  Another #epicfail.

 

Step 2. Exercise

After my diet fail I changed tactic and tried exercising. Pre baby, exercise was always my default method of weight loss. Feeling podgy, go for a run. Plus I enjoy it.  Sort of, I’m not entirely sure I enjoy the exercise itself but I love that post exercise, slightly smug healthy glow. However, with a baby in tow I find it really hard to squeeze any exercise in. The interrupted nights and early morning wake ups have meant that even when I do get chance there’s been little motivation to don the sports kit.

So, in a bid to fat and lazy change my ways I’ve thrown money at the problem. A little internet research told me a Misfit Shine 2 activity tracker is ideal for exercise conscious mums.

misfit

Is this the answer to my prayers? I hope so…

Apparently any walking that’s done whilst pushing a pushchair doesn’t always register on a fitness monitor.  The beauty of the Shine 2 is that it has a handy little clip as well as a wristband so can clip on to your top or belt. I’m a sucker for a target so I’m hoping that it will encourage me to get out and walk more.   It’s day 1 today so I’ll let you know how I go…

 

I will admit by posting my weighty woes I’m hoping public pressure will spur me on and keep me motivated.  Sort of like how Weight Watchers works,  but without Matthew Lucas telling you to eat dust.  So, if anyone has any miracle (haha!) diet tips or exercise advice, please help…Desperate times and desperate measures and all that!
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Random Musings

How do the KNOW?????

‘Are you getting much sleep?’ is up there in the top 5 questions asked to new parents. And so far, I’ve been relatively lucky. Matilda is definitely not one of those babies who slept through consistently from 8 weeks (I wish!), but has been sleeping through consistently for the last few months with only a couple of exceptions.
A couple of very notable exceptions that is. I have been ‘out out’ a handful of times since Matilda was born and each time she’s woken up. I’m not even exaggerating.

wine

Hello old friend!

Take occasion 1.
A girly dinner. Not even really ‘out out’, but the first time I went out, let my hair down and had more than a couple of glasses of wine in aaaaaaaaaages. Like 9months of pregnancy and 6 months of baby aaaaaaaaaaaages. Prior to this I was just too scared to attempt to look after a baby whilst suffering the hellish combination of tiredness and hangover. And I adore wine, and gin, and cocktails…
So anyway, girls night dinner. We ate, we drank, we giggled and like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight I was merrily (perhaps a little too merrily) ensconced in an uber on my way home. I felt smug in the knowledge I had a blissful 6 hours of sleep ahead of me.

3:30am ‘ wah, wah WAAAAAAAH’. Baby girl rolled on to her tummy and scared herself awake. Thirty minutes of settling later I tiptoed back to bed only for it to happen all over again two hours later. Great.

Occasion 2.
About a month later I decided to try going out again. And this time it was ‘out out’ proper. I was meeting up with my girls on a Saturday night for dinner, drinks and even chat of a nightclub, yes NIGHTCLUB.
I dolled myself up and put on my brand new dress (£12 Zara bargain, thank you!) while daddy did tea time and bath time, before I said night night and put Matilda to bed as if it were any other totally normal, totally average night.

IMG_4732

Mum’s night out! Oh dear…

Now I actually think Matilda was doing a bit for gender equality here. Due to me a) having boobs b) my husband working long hours, I’ve been the one dealing with everything that occurs in the night. Matilda clearly decided it was daddy’s turn:
8pm she woke up.
11pm she woke up.
1 am she woke up.
2:30 a very tipsy but ever so quiet mummy tip toed in
3:27 ‘wah, wah, WAAAAAAAAH’ as the husband rolled over donning ear plugs (I would have been raging if I wasn’t so tired) Mummy gets/stumbles up.

The next night she slept perfectly. And the next, and the next, and the next….

So we decided to go out again.

Cue occasion 3.
Uncle Matthew and Aunty Orla happily agreed to babysit and all was set for a parents night out. ‘She’ll be fine, she never wakes up at this time’ I shouted as I sprinted out of the door at the strike of 7pm.
8:30pm ‘wah, wah, WAAAAAAAH! Poor Uncle and Aunty tried milk, water, bedtime stories, taking Matilda to see the cats all to no avail. In the end they all settled in for a jolly evening watching Celebrity First Dates until mummy and daddy got home.

#acolorstory

What else are fun uncles for?

It was my birthday last weekend and so to avoid a repeat performance we called in the big guns. Yes, that’s right, Grandma came to stay. Matilda obviously knew there was to be know messing about with Grandma in the house and slept, well like a baby. A very good baby.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Cuddle Fairy

The Similarities between feeding a baby and feeding Henry VIII….

 

1.There you go, take your position in your highchair/throne at the head of the table. Your subjects crowd around, raptured by your mere presence.

 

2.Here darling your favourite chicken casserole lovingly prepared by your dutiful parents.

Here your highness, your favorite chicken casserole carefully prepared by your humble serfs.

-‘What do you mean it’s not your favorite any more? *food goes flying through the air*

 

3.‘Here darling, have your sippy cup. Water yum yum!’

‘Here your Highness, your favorite pitcher of ale’.

-What do you mean you don’t want it? *cup/pitcher goes flying through the air*

 

4.Maybe some entertainment will lighten the mood to get some food into baby/stop servants heads rolling.

-Cue Jester/mum dancing around like a Jester.

 

6.How about we try some Beef. Phew you like it. Why don’t you share with your sister?

-‘Share?’

 

7. Ok, it’s gone, really none left…. Please stop that tantrum. Really please stop. STOP IT. Where’s that Jester again?

 

8. Fine. You can have some pudding.   SLOW DOWN. Seriously slow down, you’ll be sick.

-‘Too late.’

 

henry 2