Chickenpox

Hi, it’s me again!

So I know I explained briefly in my last blog post that one of the reasons I had been away from my blog again was because that Kory had caught the chickenpox. I have wrote about the first time Kory was ever ill and I’ve spoke about other times when Kory and Kora have both been off side but Kory has never been quite as ill as he was when he had the chickenpox.

And oh boy am I glad that is over with.

On Monday last week he was sent home from school, along with 9 other children out of his class who had caught the chickenpox – it was clearly spreading through his class quite quickly. I went to his school to pick him up that same morning and he just had the one spot on his neck and was completely fine in himself but within a matter of hours and after having a bath the spots quickly multiplied to more and more until Kory was totally covered in the pox from head to toe. Kory had quite a bad case of chickenpox, which I’ve heard (let me know if this is false) will mean that it is unlikely that he will catch the chickenpox again as opposed to him having a milder dose which if true, I suppose is a good thing. I wouldn’t want him to have them ever again!

Anyway, Kory’s body was covered all over with the pox, they were even all in his mouth, under his tongue and at the back of his throat (who knew you could even get them in your mouth?!) meaning it was painful for him whenever he tried to eat or drink anything and he had a raging temperature to go with it too. I felt so sorry for him and I felt so helpless. I could tell he really wasn’t feeling well, my child is not one to sleep during the day but having the chickenpox wiped him out and all I wanted to do was take the hurt away from him but instead all I could offer him was calpol and calamine lotion which helped of course but only briefly.

The first three days were horrendous and so were the nights. Kory would be up the majority of the night just crying and all I could do was hold him. I think the fact that his throat was so sore was what was bothering him the most, he didn’t complain about the other spots on his body which are usually very itchy but he did well not to pick any of them. It was a heartbreaking experience and one that I am not looking forward to going through again with Kora someday. However, at least the next time round I will be more prepared and I will know what to expect.

If your child hasn’t had the chickenpox yet, here are some tips I found helpful that I hope will help you and your child when/if the time comes:

  • With Kory having the spots in his mouth, it caused him to have a red, swollen, sore throat. Plenty of cold drinks and nice ice cream for him to eat definitely helped relieve the soreness.
  • Calpol will be your new best friend. (Never give a child with chickenpox ibuprofen as it can make symptoms worse and cause serious skin infections by reacting with the chickenpox, causing them to go deeper into the skin which can then make your child very unwell.) the Calpol will help with any temperature and/or itching and pain.
  • Daily baths that are not too hot but that are nice and cool, this helps to soothe any itchy pox and is relaxing for your child too. Throw in some bath toys and make it fun!
  • Avoid using soaps and bubble bath during this time just to avoid any more irritation to the skin.
  • Gently pat skin dry after a bath (do not rub as the chickenpox will be tender to touch) once dried, finish off with covering any pox with calamine lotion.
  • Loose fitting clothes such as pyjamas are the best for your child to wear to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible.
  • Kory had little energy during the worst of it, we spent a lot of time just lay in bed and when he wasn’t sleeping we would just watch tv and play on his iPad together. It might be a good idea to buy some activity books and that sort of thing to keep your child entertained.
  • If your child is more sleepy than usual, don’t worry about your usual routine, let them sleep. They’ll need the rest and you will too.
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel. The first 3 days of Kory having the chickenpox were the WORST but once you get past that things do start to get a little easier again.
  • Having the chickenpox meant that Kory needed to have at least 5 days off school, which meant that we got to spend 5 days at home together and although it wasn’t always a pleasant experience I loved the extra time with him. No hectic school run in the morning, no rushing to play out once he gets in from school. Sometimes it can feel like I barely see Kory as much as I used to. My once little boy who always wanted to be by his mums side is now a soon-to-be 5 year old who wants to play out with his friends most of the time which is great but it was also nice for me to have that bit more extra time with him, just doing the things we don’t usually have the time to do.
  • Lastly, if you have any concerns about your child’s health or well being, do not hesitate to contact your doctor – I did and even though it turned out to be nothing I needed to worry about, speaking with Kory’s doctor reassured me and put my mind at rest.

So those are my tips for helping your child to deal with having the chickenpox, I hope you find my tips to be helpful. If your child has had the chickenpox, do you have any tips to share that I haven’t already mentioned? Please share them with us by leaving a comment!

So that was Kory’s experience with chickenpox, it was dreadful and after going into a bit more detail, I think you can see why taking care of Kory when he was ill with the pox didn’t exactly leave me with a lot of spare time for my blog. I hope you can understand.

As always, thanks for reading. If you liked this blog post, please leave it a like and/or comment.

Kirsti, xo

I’ve missed my blog

So I know I’ve been away from my blog for a short while – again and i’m not here to make excuses for that. I would love for my blog to be a success as well as something I truly love, who wouldn’t want to be able to do something that they love every single day but at the same time, my blog is my hobby and I don’t want my blog to become something I feel obliged to do. For me, that takes the enjoyment of writing away from me. I simply write when and if I can and whenever I feel compelled to write or if I feel particularly inspired and if people want to read what I write then that’s amazing.

The truth is, life has been a bit hectic for us lately. We’ve had a lot on and it just means that I haven’t had the time to sit down and write anything. Of course if I want to make something of my blog then I should prioritise my blog and set time for that but as a mum with kids and pets to take care of and a house to run, it is easier said than done. We’ve had a wall knocked down in our house, you can only imagine the mess, we’ve decorated which with two young children running around has been quite crazy and then Kory caught the chickenpox and had to have a full week at home off school. (But more on those later… Perhaps for other blog posts.) Having the house renovated and decorated and then Kory being poorly didn’t exactly leave me with a lot of free time and I missed my blog. I truly missed writing, sharing how I feel and interacting with you guys.

There was a couple of times when I sat down to write something but I just could not think what to write, I think like my house at the time my thoughts were all over the place and I couldn’t put thoughts into words and think what I wanted to write. Then with having so much else to do, I think my motivation was elsewhere but now that we’re a bit more straight again at home and now that Kory is feeling much better, I hope I will be able to share another blog post with you all again soon.

So, that’s all from me for now. I just wanted to pop on here and explain a little bit about my absence. I know this blog post was short and sweet (like me LOL) but for those of you who actually read what I write, hopefully I will have something to share with you again soon. In fact, I will. So much has happened since I last wrote anything that I need to catch you all up, don’t I!

For now, take care and as always, thanks for reading.

Kirsti, xo

Do more of the things that make you happy

I’ve been feeling pretty positive lately and I really do believe it’s because I’ve been making a bit more time than I usually would for myself (and not beating myself up for that!) which is why I’m here to tell you to do the same.

Do more of the things that make you happy.

I’d like to begin this post by making it clear to anyone reading this that I don’t think that I am an expert on happiness nor am I claiming to be some type of therapist. I am not trying to tell you what you need, I am only speaking from personal experiences of my own. I do not have my sh!t together 100% of the time, I just want to share with you all what helps me in the hope that it inspires you to do more of the things that bring you happiness.

As parents, we often put everyone else and their needs above our own and there’s nothing wrong with putting ourselves and our own needs first sometimes. In fact, sometimes it’s completely necessary and not at all selfish. This is something that has took me years since becoming a mum to come to terms with. I used to always give myself such a hard time and treated self care more like a reward instead of a necessity. If I’d had a particular bad day with the kids and shouted more than I’d have liked to, it’s almost like I would punish myself. I’d tell myself I didn’t deserve to relax once the kids had finally gone to bed and I would just feel guilty for the rest of the evening when I probably needed that time to wind down even more than I would have on a better day! It wasn’t a healthy way of thinking and I am glad I have made these changes in my life. No matter whether we have a good day or a bad day, I no longer punish myself for that. Instead, I soak in the good and remind myself that tomorrow is always a new day, the past cannot be changed and that’s where it should be left, in the past. With a new day always comes the opportunity to do/be better.

I know how important self care is because without taking care of myself, how can I possibly take care of my family to the best of my abilities? It’s impossible to give your all when you’ve nothing left to give and I, as an individual matter too.

I know I’m not the only parent who feels guilty when they do something that is just for themselves, who convinces themselves that they shouldn’t be watching that movie or reading that book once the kids have gone to bed because there’s otherwise ‘more important’ stuff they could be doing instead, like washing those pots or hoovering up but what could be more important than taking care of yourself? We are so used to putting everyone else before ourselves that we often forget about ourselves and our own needs. When what we need to be doing sometimes is forgetting about what we ‘should’ be doing and actually making more time for the things we actually want to be doing. Being a parent doesn’t have to mean just taking care of everyone else. It might not come naturally to us because we’re not tuned that way as parents but we need to remember to take care of ourselves as well and that it is not selfish to do so.

Who cares if there’s pots in the sink? They’ll still be there in the morning, but that quiet time when the kids have gone to sleep, well that only comes round once a day in our house! And if you’ve made time for yourself, chances are you’ll feel better for it by the time morning comes round anyway and you’ll feel up to facing those pots.

For the longest time I’ve been telling myself that I simply ‘don’t have the time’ for the things that I want to do but the truth is, there’s always time, we just have to make time for the things that make us happy. So if that’s means sacrificing washing up so that I can read a few more chapters of the book I’m currently reading before I go to bed then so be it. I suddenly find myself having more time for lots more things that I didn’t think I had time for before. I’ve been blogging regularly, crocheting again, spending more time with the kids and R and I think it’s as much to do with my mindset towards it all as it has been to not trying to get through my never ending to-do list every day.

I no longer feel guilty for doing things that are just for myself. Self care is not selfish. If I see something that I want, I don’t talk myself out of treating myself anymore. I treat my kids all the time and I deserve a treat sometimes too! That doesn’t make me a bad mum. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Just the other day I treated myself to this book and this pretty necklace which were both in the sale and it cost me a mere £1.50 for both and I was really pleased with that. I love anything to do with my star sign and/or birthstone, ect.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments when I find myself talking myself out of doing things or buying things but I’m also getting better at telling that little voice to shut up now and you should too. This new me has been taking better care of me and I feel fantastic for it. I’m a better mum for doing so as well. I’m genuinely happier, I have more patience and I feel a lot lighter, I’m not carrying nowhere near as much mental weight around with me.

So no matter what you do today, don’t forget to take care of yourself. And absolutely do more of the things that make you happy.

Love,

Kirsti, xo

Our favourite baby brands and why

We use so many different baby brands that I thought I would share a few of our favourites with you and explain why:

  • Mamia wipes (Aldi) – I always used Mamia wipes with Kory when he was a baby, we have tried other brands of baby wipes but I just prefer these ones. The wipes themselves have been so much softer on Kora’s skin and they are also a lot cheaper to buy.
  • Mamia nappies (also from Aldi) – When Kory was born, with him being premature, he was small and sometimes even some of the first size nappies were still too big for him! Pampers first size nappies fit him but we found that they didn’t seem to hold as much so we decided to try the first size Mamia nappies with him instead and they fitted him a lot more snug and also seemed to hold more than the Pampers nappies too. Ever since then, we’ve just always stuck with the Mamia nappies and that’s what Kora wears as well.
  • Sudocrem – This is a must have! Kora had a bit of a nappy rash and it was looking a little red but after using Sudocrem after just one application it soon cleared up and we still use it now to prevent any other future nappy rashes! We always used to use it on Kory too.
  • Baby comfort conditioner (Aldi) – This fabric conditioner smells so nice, it also costs just a fraction of the price of other branded fabric conditioners and it leaves Kora’s clothes feeling soft and smelling lovely.
  • Baby clothes (Next’s tiny baby range) – With Kory being premature, he wore clothes from the tiny baby range, we’d bought this size from a few different places but I have to say that Next’s tiny baby clothes fitted him much more fitted. Now that he’s bigger, we shop for clothes at lots of different places.
  • Supermarket kids clothes. (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Matalan, Morrison’s – just to name a few.) I love supermarket clothes for both kids, especially if there is a sale on! You can always find yourself a bargain. I also find the clothes always wash nicely as well which is really important to me as I’ve bought them clothes from other stores and they’ve shrunk in the washing machine!

Thanks for reading about our favourite baby brands and why. What are some of your favourite baby brands that you like to use and why?

 

* Not a sponsored post. *

Why you shouldn’t care what others think

I used to care what others thought of me a LOT. When I was younger I used to care whether they thought I was weird or even ugly for being different. As I grew older and became a mum, I stopped caring about what others thought of me and the way that I looked and worried more about what they thought about me as a mum and the way that I parent. Over the years, I thought I stopped caring about what others thought altogether but as yesterday proved, what others think does still bother me occasionally. Sometimes I still catch myself hesitating before I post that photo or carefully considering whether I should share talking about a particular subject in case someone says or thinks something negative about it. The more I think about it I’m not quite sure whether I actually care what they think or whether I just can’t be arsed reading people’s opinions of me. Either way, I shouldn’t let the idea of someone having something to say about what I post stop me from sharing the things that I wanna share.

Yesterday Kory learned how to ride his bike without the stabilisers on! Kory had been asking us for a while to take him out on his bike but either the weather hadn’t been great, we otherwise had plans or one of the kids had a cold but yesterday we finally got round to taking him and within five minutes he went from laying on the floor saying to himself ‘I’ll never be able to ride my bike!’ To riding it completely on his own, turning corners and using the breaks! This is such a huge milestone and a massive achievement for him that I wanted to share this with all of our family and friends on social media. I was just going to share the video of him riding his bike and not the picture you can see of him above having a meltdown just minutes before getting back on his bike and taking off on his own. R asked me why and I said because I couldn’t be bothered with anyone commenting anything negative (whether they would or I was just thinking they would) but it was R’s little pep talk that convinced me otherwise and why I’m writing this blog post to say the same to you so I guess all the credit for this one goes to him.

We shouldn’t care what others think because every child does things differently and in their own time, yes even Karen’s kids. Kory did not just hop on his bike and know how to ride it perfectly, of course he didn’t. He had to get on, fall a few times, get angry and then try again. Kory was about to give up but it was us telling him to keep trying and that he’s getting better every time that encouraged him to keep on getting back on the bike and within 5/10 minutes, he was doing it all on his own. Now, that’s not to say that everyone’s child will be the same. I know kids Kory’s age that already know how to ride their bikes and others that don’t but if we’re going to share something then why not share it honestly. I think that’s one of the biggest problems with social media. We compare ourselves to these ‘perfect’ shots that we see that probably aren’t even real, it makes it so easy for us to doubt ourselves, to compare ourselves to others and worry if we aren’t doing the same and that we’re somehow failing or not good enough for doing things differently and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If we all were a bit more honest when it comes to parenting and shared more of the real than the perfect then there would be a lot less judgement.

There are kids that could ride their bikes before Kory could but there are also kids that still wore pull ups when Kory didn’t. Kory stopped having a dummy at 1 years old but his baby sister is going to be 2 years old in a matter of months and she still has hers. I’m not judging anyone at all, what I am saying is that parenting isn’t a race. No parent or child is better than any other and we’re all parenting our own children who are different from each other in each and every way. They each will achieve things at different times, some before others, they will each react differently to different things, they will each behave differently from one another and what works for one may not work for another and that’s okay. That is what makes your parenting journey with your child so special and unique because it is your own and like no other. So please do not compare yourselves to others or worry what they may or may not think, focus on yourself and your own children.

So from now on, I will be making a point of sharing all things that come with parenting, even the more ‘shameful’ stuff. Like throwing themselves on the floor and having a tantrum in the middle of a basketball court because they couldn’t just ride their bike because that stuff is what’s real and if it means another mum will see that and think ‘Actually I’m not the only who’s child gets upset when they can’t do something right away’ then that’s what I’d like to be able to do. As well as let anyone else’s less than positive comments go straight over my head because I am done with caring what others think and I am incredibly proud of my son, even when he does embarrass me in public. Yesterday he learned how to ride his bike and he won’t remember the tantrum and when we look back in years to come we probably won’t either but we will remember watching him ride around and around that same basketball court.

Me and R are both so proud of Kory. We decided to treat him to ice cream yesterday for learning to ride his bike and all in all, it was a really good day.

(For any Karen’s out there wondering about Kory’s car seat straps and/or seatbelt, as you can see to the side of me there is no driver in the car, the car was not moving.)

So remember, the next time you’re worrying about your child not doing something because such-and-such-a-persons is or you feel like you’re being judged, just know that whatever it is, your child will do it in their own time, you don’t know what that parent might have had to go through to get their child to achieve whatever it is that they have, it’s not always straight forward. Which in our case was our child throwing themselves on the floor BEFORE they learned how to ride their bike, they did not just have the ability to ride their bike without stabilisers, it was something Kory had to learn and it took tantrums and trying. Your child will achieve whatever it is in their own time, it is not for you to worry about. In fact, there may be something your child can do that theirs can’t and that’s okay as well. And lastly, if you ever feel like you’re being judged, hold your middle finger even higher (because yes Karen, sometimes parents do swear) and carry on parenting as you are because you’re doing a fantastic job and I don’t rate parents on whether their child is potty trained yet or whether their child can write their name on their own, I rate parents by their realness and the love they have for their kids.

Thank you for reading my blog post, I hope it made you feel a bit better. I know writing about this and getting it off my chest made me feel better and allowed me to realise what it is that I need to do from here.

And thank you to R for always supporting me. You are the best partner and daddy to our kids, me and the kids are so lucky to have you.

Mum to mum advice

If you’re a mum like me who’s been there, done that and bought the T-shirt (However still learning on the job!) what advice would you give to a first time mum or what advice do you wish you had been given when you first became a mum? I have shared my top tips for new mums before but I thought I’d do a refresher and share some more of my mum to mum advice with you. Since my last tip sharing post I have become a mum for the second time and I think I’ve learned a thing or two more since then.

Being a new mum is a tough job and that’s no secret Here is a list of advice I have for you. From one mum to another:

  • Go with the flow. When I was pregnant with my first, I spent a lot of time planning and preparing for my expectation of what pregnancy, labour and motherhood was going to be like and it all went out the window. For starters, my son was born 6 weeks earlier than expected which no one could have predicted and obviously through a massive curve ball our way. Thankfully he was okay and I’m blessed with two healthy children now. I’m not saying don’t be prepared, of course be prepared and if preparing is what helps you feel more comfortable, prepare away! But also be accepting of the fact that things might not always go to plan but that doesn’t mean things won’t be okay. Let it go and just go with the flow.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t bond with your baby instantly. There is nothing wrong with that or with you for that matter. That feeling of love between you and your baby will come even if it isn’t instant. For some mums it takes day or weeks and for others even months. If you have any concerns you can always speak to your family or a professional without the fear of feeling judged.
  • Accept help. Don’t feel like you cannot accept help for whatever reason. If someone offers their help, they offer to make dinner for you, tidy for you, even hold the baby for you, say yes. It can be hard at first to trust others with your newborn but there is no shame in accepting help. I was reluctant to leave Kory with my own mum at first, not that I didn’t think he would be in safe hands, it was just daunting for me and I can still remember the very first time I ever left him to this very day. But I’m glad that I did. I think I went and got my hair done actually!
  • Breastfeeding vs formula. Breastfeeding is hard. You might be surprised to find out how passionate some people are going to be for you to breastfeed your baby. You’ll hear many times ‘breast is beast’ and the importance of breastfeeding which is fine but if breastfeeding isn’t for you that’s totally okay as well. It wasn’t for me either. I never wanted to breastfeed, I never intended to and I never attempted to. Both of my kids have been formula fed and that doesn’t make me any less of a mum. If you want to breastfeed, that’s great too but don’t be too hard on yourself. It can be quite tough. I guess what i’m trying to say is, just do whatever you feel is best for you and your baby, no one should be passing judgment on anyone for how they choose to feed their baby so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about whichever you decide to do.
  • Join a new mums group when you feel ready to. A lot of the time, most of the other people who attend these groups will be other parents with babies similar ages to your own who will then be able to sympathise with you as they will be going through similar baby aged related issues at the same time as yourself and will be able to offer you support, even someone to talk to. It helps to speak to someone who understands what you’re going through and might make you feel less alone. Who knows, you might even make some new mum friends!
  • Your relationship will be pushed to its limits. I’m not trying to frighten anyone, if you have a partner by your side throughout this, your relationship is going to be tested but in turn, the limits your relationship will be pushed to will also be what strengthen your relationship. There are going to be ups and downs, for example, when I see my partner with our children, I think to myself ‘I love him even more now than I did before we became parents’ and sometimes when I’ve been up in the night with Kora while I can hear him snoring on the other side of the bed, I’ve wanted to push him onto the floor. Balance.
  • Give yourself time to recover. Do not put yourself under any more unnecessary added pressure to lose weight or fit into pre pregnancy clothes. It takes about 6 months after giving birth for our bodies and our hormones to begin to normalise again. You have just grown and birthed a baby, you’re already amazing.
  • It’s okay to cry. Becoming a mum, going through all those changes as well as sleep deprivation is tough and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. The baby blues kicked in for me on day 4 after having both of my babies, I cried about everything. Just remember that you’re doing your best.
  • Do not compare yourselves to others. Do not compare your parenting, your partner, your baby or anything else. Everyone’s parenting journey is unique to them so nothing is going to be identical to the way someone else may experience motherhood. Guidelines are just that – guides. There is nothing wrong with your, your baby or your parenting.
  • Trust your instincts. With all the advice that will be thrown your way, all the opinions that people will think you want to hear, you should just do what works for you and your baby. Don’t feel pressured to do anything that does not work for your family.
  • This too shall pass. In the beginning, it can be tough but the waking in the night, the teething, it is all just a phase or a stage and you will get through it. This too shall pass.
  • You might not enjoy every moment. Some days will be harder than others and it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible mum, it probably just means you’re overwhelmed or exhausted.
  • You’re allowed to complain. Almost 5 years of being a mum, 2 kids later and I’m only just realising this. I am allowed to complain and no one will think that I don’t love my children.
  • There will be good days and bad days. You’ll have days when you feel like a boss ass mum and you’ll have days when you wonder if you’re even cut out for this and the answer to that is yes you are. You absolutely are.

Lastly, you are doing a fabulous job and your baby is so lucky to have you as their mama.

Thank you for reading my mum to mum advice. If you are a new mum, what advice have you found helpful? (Or not so helpful) please let me know by leaving me a comment!

This mama’s out OUT

Yesterday I went out for food and drinks with the girls for the first time ever since before Kory was even born and he’s almost five years old now btw! Yes, it has been that long… I can’t say I have missed going ‘out out’ if I’m being honest because in all honesty, it’s not something pre parent me did often anyway. Don’t get me wrong, since becoming a mum I have been out with R, just the two of us or with our friends but just never by myself. Not because I can’t (well, Covid hasn’t helped with that recently) but because I do prefer to be at home or with my family.

Yesterday the weather was not on our side at all, it had been raining hard ALL day but it had been that long since I’d been out and I was looking forward to some well needed (and deserved!) time to myself that even if a tornado was to come ripping through I made sure I was going out yesterday. (Pass me a cocktail!) I went out yesterday because it was for my friends birthday and it was really nice to make an effort with my appearance, to get dressed up, put on a bit of make up and to style my hair. I felt really good about the way that I looked too and made sure to take lots of pictures to remember this rare moment as I usually just rock the mum bun every day! It was also nice being able to sit and have something to eat and drink without having to keep stopping mid meal to fetch one of the kids something and to be able to have an actual adult conversation without one of the kids interrupting. I think I’d forgot what that’s actually like!

I almost talked myself out of going (like I always do with everything) but I’m glad that I didn’t because it turns out that I genuinely had a lovely evening yesterday. I’m pleased to say that I’m not suffering from a hangover today either (just the thought of having to take care of both kids as well as everything else whilst being hungover sounds like my idea of hell tbh) but that’s not why I’m not hungover today. The table was booked for 3:00pm, I had my meal and a few cheeky cocktails (sex on the beach for me please!) and I was home for 6.30pm. I had a really nice night but going ‘out out’ isn’t really my scene and I felt like I was ready to come home after a few hours.

And I don’t see anything wrong with that. Some people might think I’m a bit like a grandma because I don’t wanna be out on the lash all night but I love nothing more than being at home. It’s not that I’m boring and don’t want to socialise or drink even, it’s just that I’d sooner do those things from the comfort of my own home and preferably in my slippers. Lol.

I called R and he came to pick me up with the kids. I was so happy to see them and they were so happy to see me. I’d had a great time but I’m happiest when I’m with my crazies.

I think if the offer to go out comes up again, I will definitely be saying yes instead of telling myself a million reasons why I shouldn’t go and should just stay in yet again. Going out gave me the perfect excuse to get dressed up and meant that I could socialise with people who aren’t my own two kids for a change. (Not that I don’t love that – but it made a nice change talking about something other than Minecraft and Blippi!) And being able to wear something other than my usual converse and leggings combo was a nice change too. Even if it means I will always be the first one to go home and pop my feet up with a brew before the night is over, that’s ok with me.

Until next time, I’m just gonna whack my house gown on and stick something else on the tele.

Thanks for reading!

You can be both

You can love being a mum and feel absolutely shattered at the same time.

You can love being a mum and just want a break from it all.

You can love being a mum and sometimes lose your patience.

You can love being a mum and feel like you just want a good cry.

You can love being a mum and wonder if you’re any good at it.

You can love being a mum and go to bed feeling like you’ve failed.

You can love being a mum and do nothing but watch tv with the kids all day sometimes.

You can love being a mum and not always want to play.

You can love being a mum and order a takeaway if you can’t be bothered to cook.

You can love being a mum and have a messy house.

You can love being a mum and be annoyed about the mess in the house.

You can be both.

Being a mum is hard work. Even on a good day of parenting, there are still difficult moments. It is often the more lovely parenting moments that leave you feeling like supermum or make your heart just want to burst that make it all worthwhile and make us forget about the more difficult parenting moments but other times, on those days when parenting feels a bit heavier, it might feel like the bad outweighs the good.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. It was very much up and down all day right from the get go. The morning started off great, we were all up, washed, dressed and had eaten breakfast in time ready for school. The house was tidy and I felt like I was on a roll. But it all went a bit t!ts up after that. After I’d dropped Kory off at school, I went to do my food shopping and Kora was misbehaving, she was trying to climb out of the trolley the whole way round the shop and once I got home, I realised I’d forget to buy half of the food I went shopping for. Then the day got a bit better again right before totally messing up just before bedtime. It left me feeling like a bit of a sh!t mum and I was ready to hand myself the worlds worst mum award but as I lay there unable to sleep last night, I realised that although I make mistakes as a mum sometimes and I don’t always feel like I have done my best. It does not define me as a mum. It does not mean I don’t love being a mum and it certainly does not mean that I love my children any less even on a particularly hard day. My kids know that I mess up sometimes, I’m not perfect and when I know I’ve messed up, I make a point of apologising but my kids also know how loved they are and that will never change.

I have always wrote honestly on my blog, I share the good, the bad and the ugly with you all because I think if people are going to talk about parenting and everything that comes with that, then they might as well be honest about it.

I know what it’s like to be woken up by your child and have them immediately demand your full attention when you’ve hardly even had a split second to open your eyeballs fully and take a breath. I know what it feels like to have a child climbing all over you constantly and how that can leave you feeling frustrated. I know what it feels like to still be tired from the night before and how we still have to plod on the next day regardless. I know how it feels when you’d really rather not get down and play with toys and you’d much rather just sit in front of the tv but we do what is required of us anyway.

I can’t promise you that you will never not feel the weight of a difficult day of parenting again but like everything, it is just a fleeting moment and it will pass. Although difficult to deal with and some moments harder than others, it does not make you any less of a mum. What I can promise you is that there will always be good parenting days too. I’m not hear to tell you to ‘treasure every moment, even the difficult ones’ because there are some days that we as parents can’t wait to see the back of! I’m here to tell you that you are amazing, you are doing a great job and you are a good mum, even on those days when you might feel too tired to realise that.

Being a good mum doesn’t mean you always plan loads of activities for you and your kids to do together to fill the day, it doesn’t mean you always genuinely want to play, being a good mum doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes feed your kids convenient junk food and it does not mean that you don’t let your kids watch hours of tv. Being a good mum can mean messing up, sometimes yelling and saying sorry for that. Being a good mum can mean sending your kids to bed an hour earlier than usual but reading that story book despite barely being able to read a sentence without yawning. Being a good mum can mean giving plenty hugs and kisses to your kids, being a good mum can mean simply telling your kids how much you love them.

So on those days when you might feel a bit sh!t, just know that you will make it through like you have done before and that you already are a good mum because you can be both.

How Kory finds life as a big brother

I was watching Kory and Kora play together this morning (nicely for a change!) and it got me thinking:

  1. How amazing he is at being a big brother
  2. How lucky Kora is to have such a caring big brother
  3. How lucky they are to have each other
  4. How blessed I am to have two beautiful children

Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows in our house and I’d be lying if I said it was. Truthfully, it can be like world war 3’s begun sometimes and I often here ‘MUUUUM, she’s just touched me!’ MUUUUM, she wants to play with MY toys, tell her she can’t!’ Usually right before Kora starts to scream the house down and one pushes the other over. But seeing them in those moments when they are genuinely getting along and listening to them play nicely, it really is heartwarming to see and makes me so proud as a mum and so proud of them.

Especially Kory.

Becoming a big brother can be hard but from the minute we told Kory he was going to be a big brother, before Kora even entered the world, he already loved her so much. He would always talk to my tummy, cuddle my bump and ask all sorts of cute questions about her. He couldn’t wait to become a big brother! People often commented throughout my pregnancy with Kora and would make comments such as ‘you’ve spent so much time with Kory just the two of you, don’t you think he’s going to be really jealous once she’s born?’ And I wasn’t worried about that at all, not one single bit because no-one knows Kory better than I do and I knew he wouldn’t be jealous of her. I knew we had nothing to worry about and I knew he would be the best big brother to his little sister. And even IF he was jealous, that’s only natural and we’d deal with that situation as best as we could when the time come but he’s never been that way with her.

We did lots of things to prepare Kory for his new role as big brother. We spoke about it lots, we took him to pottery and got him to paint a unicorn for him to give to Kora once she’d been born, we continued to do the usual things he enjoyed with him, both me and dad spent a lot of time together with him and each on our own as well and once Kora was born, we involved him in as many ways as we could. We would ask him to help us change her nappy, dress her, fetch bottles and he loved being hand ons with her. Of course having a baby means a lot changes but we did try our best to keep everything as ‘normal’ as possible for Kory and I really think we did a good job of doing that. He’s never felt left out or less loved, he’s never not had as much attention as his sister, they are both spoilt. Not with material things (okay – maybe a bit!) but with love.

Kory is honestly Kora’s best friend, biggest protector and most loving big brother a girl could ever wish for. As their mum, it is a privilege to watch them grow up together and see how close they are, they really do have the most beautiful bond, they are so alike it’s crazy! I hope they always remain this close with each other even as they get older.

Kory, you are the best big brother to your little sister. You are both so lucky to have each other. You will always be my first born, my first love, you are the one who made me mama but my heart is big enough for the both of you always. Kora, you are equally as special as you are my last baby, my last baby love, which means I want you to stay my baby for even longer!

Mummy is so proud of you both. To the best big brother and to the best little sister I have the pleasure of raising. I love you both all the world.

Feeling lost but now found

It’s no secret that when I first became a mum, I lost my identity. It took me some time but I did start to find myself again. I started to do the things I enjoyed and stopped feeling guilty for having some time just for myself. I’d found me again. Or so I’d thought. As the years went by, I thought I’d got my identity back but it seems it is so easy to just lose who you are throughout motherhood and today is yet another day where I have found myself feeling a little bit… lost. Again.

Things change once you become a parent and sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to put your children first which I’ve accepted. I’ve let go of a lot of things I used to enjoy for the simple fact that I can’t find the time to do them because I’m doing another million and one things that are required of me as a mum. It isn’t that I don’t love being a mum because I love being a mum more than anything in this world but there is a transition from pre parent you to who you are now, so much of your life changes that it’s a struggle just to catch up sometimes.

Remember when we could watch whatever we wanted to watch, we ate what we wanted to eat, we drank our drinks at the temperature we wanted to, if we felt tired – we slept… We might not have realised it at the time but we were fully in control of our own lives. Though we’re still in control now, things feel different, don’t they? What we want and what we might want to do, doesn’t really matter as much as it used to before. As parents, we consider our children’s needs above our own.

We lose our identity because our lives revolve around our children but I’ve come to realise that there’s a difference between having a daily routine that revolves around your family and the entire meaning of your life revolving around them. It is possible to be a mum and still be involved in other things and that’s what I’m here to tell you. Date nights, time to myself, reading and blogging are just a few of the things that help me feel more like me and not just mum. I’m still Kirsti, I’m still only human and without these things, being stuck in the same parenting bubble doing the same thing, looking at the same four walls is enough to drive me crazy. Taking time for me is what keeps me sane and allows me to recuperate and is by no means selfish. Something as a mum, I struggled to accept at first.

So when I find myself feeling ‘lost.’ I know it’s time for me to take some necessary time just for myself. Some days I’m lucky if I even bother to brush my hair but on a day like today when I’m trying to feel connected to me again, I make a point of making more of an effort with my appearance. I’m not talking about make up and matching nail polish because I’m really not fussed about any of that stuff but I am talking about putting together an outfit that might make me feel better about myself, that might make me feel more comfortable and confident at the same time. It’s on these days when I ask myself ‘what is it that KIRSTI would like to do?’ ‘Is there a hobby I’ve been wanting to make more time for?’ Why yes, there is actually. Which is why I’ve ordered myself some more wool because I really want to get back into crocheting again. I miss my creations and I haven’t picked up my crochet hooks since before Kora was born. It’s been THAT long.

If you are a parent and you’re trying to find your identity again, here are some general ideas for you to try and help you stay connected to who you are. Not just your role as a parent:

  • Connect with your friends. A night out, meet up for coffee, dinner at a restaurant or if your friends are also parents, meet up for a play date and let the kids burn some energy off at the park or a play area while you and your friend catch up.
  • Find a hobby. Try to find a hobby that you genuinely love and make time for it, whether that be walking, painting, gardening, ect. Sometimes it’s hard to try to fit these things in around our already busy schedules but it is possible.
  • Accept help. Whether that means hiring a babysitter or asking family and friends for help, do whatever it is that will help you.
  • Remember to take care of yourself because you matter too! Take a long, hot, bubble bath, if you love make up, put on makeup – even if you’ve nowhere to go! If you like wearing nice clothes, get dressed up, if you like having nice hair, make a point of styling your hair. Don’t forget to do the things that bring you happiness and pleasure. Even if no one else is around to see, it will make you feel better.

Your life will never be the same as it once was before you became a parent but that’s okay because beneath all of the chaos that comes with parenting, you are still an individual, an individual who matters and on those days when you feel a little ‘lost’ (as I call it) you will start to find yourself again.

You haven’t lost your identity, it’s just hidden somewhere. Probably underneath all the toys the kids have left laying around!