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!

Why I love my blog

I’ve wrote about why I’m proud of my blog but I wanted to share with you all why I love my blog.

Some of you may like to read what I write, some of you may wonder why I write at all and some of you may even wonder what even is the point in blogging.

Well, for me, being able to write down my thoughts, feelings, any experiences I’ve had and to be able to document this journey and any memories I’ve made along the way makes me incredibly happy. I love to share all of this and more because all of this is important to me. I love the idea of one day being able to look back and read all of this, regardless of whether any one else reads or even cares what I have to write about.

Although I may not post new content daily, or sometimes even weekly, I can’t imagine not blogging. My blog has always been a way for me to clear my mind, to write down what it is that I might be experiencing during that point in my life, whether that be negative or positive and in turn, given me a safe place for me to pour all of this out.

Through blogging, I’ve made some great friends. It’s crazy to think I may never have got to know them had I not started my blog. Some of my closest blogging friends are Rebecca over at www.ourreubeadays.wordpress.com and Cristie who I follow on Instagram: Mummyhardlove as fellow mums they can totally relate to any parenting problems I may have faced and we have helped each other through some difficult, personal times too. Knowing these mums and knowing they have experienced the same motherhood struggles I have, reassured me and made me feel less alone.

So thank you both.

My blog cheers me up. We all talk about self help and the importance of mental health. I found what’s good for my soul and that’s my blog. My blog is what keeps me sane and makes me happy. It’s my own little space that is just for me, a place for me to talk openly and freely about whatever I like. I honestly believe we should all do more of the things that make our hearts sing and I’ve found that within my blog.

Without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, I love that my blog has helped people. I feel like writing truthfully has allowed others who have read my blog to feel less ‘weird.’ I love my readers and I love reading comments and feedback from them. Especially the positive comments about how reading what I have wrote has helped them in some way. I feel privileged that I have been able to give back in some way to people simply just by doing what I love. And that’s writing.

Being able to earn some extra money and/or receive freebies by blogging is definitely a bonus. However, I do not earn thousands of pounds from my blog, in fact sometimes I earn nothing at all because in order to do that, you have to consistently put the work in and I have not always committed to my blog as much as I probably could. I’ve never denied this. But blogging for me has never been about the money. There are other reasons why I love blogging that are so much more meaningful than just making money. I feel fortunate just being able to work alongside some amazing brands and receiving fantastic products that I may not have discovered otherwise.

My blog has given me a purpose. I always feel like I’ve accomplished something the moment I complete a blog post and share it with you all. This sense of purpose really benefits me and makes all the time I put into my writing totally worth it.

I love my blog and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. As for my readers, thank you all for reading and for all your continued support. Every time you leave me a like, comment or a share – I do a lil happy dance. So, thank you. I hope you enjoyed reading all about why I love my blog. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment.

Until next time,

Kirsti, xo

Things you can do to help your child who is a fussy eater

(That’s brown play doh on the table by the way just incase anyone was thinking it’s poop LOL)

I guess I’ve been lucky that both of my children have always been pretty good eaters. They’d quite happily eat anything I put in front of them and a good portion of it too. It made meal times really simple. It always made me feel good knowing that they enjoyed what I’d made them to eat, it gave me great satisfaction to see that they’d eaten all of their dinner I’d made them and it made me proud that they ate some of the healthier food choices I made for them too. That is until recently anyway… Kory has become such a fussy eater lately and it’s proven to be quite the challenge. Where as Kora will still quite happily eat anything and everything we give her.

I guess I didn’t realise just how lucky I was… At least one of my children is still eating the food I make them without complaining!

I do try to give my children lots of fruit and vegetables and most of the time they will eat them but I’ve never been the type of parent to claim that they only prepare fresh, healthy, home cooked food for their children every day. In an ideal world that would be great but some days can get a little crazy and sometimes it’s required to just grab whatever you can find out of the freezer and whack it in the oven and there’s nothing wrong with that. My kids do eat frozen pizzas, fish fingers, chicken nuggets and that sort of thing too before anyone starts thinking I’m some sort of snob but because my children have always been such good eaters, I do try to give them as much goodness as I can because it’s good for them but not just that, I know that they’ll eat it anyway and it’s because of this that I never thought I’d have to worry about either of them becoming fussy when it comes to food.

I was wrong. And in this blog post I’d like to talk about how I’ve learned to cope with my very own little fussy eater and what I find helps with that.

Now I’m no Gordon Ramsay but I’m pretty sure my cooking isn’t THAT bad. Kory started out as a really good eater and always has been up until recently. So much so that if he was ever ill, I knew this because he’d be off his food which would be so unlike Kory, he LOVED his grub. He would always finish his breakfast, dinner, tea and supper with snacks in between too and would always look forward to whatever I made him without kicking up a fuss. When all of a sudden this all changed. His favourite foods he once loved, such as, meatballs, scrambled egg, pasta, he wouldn’t even touch anymore. These were all things he’d previously enjoyed, they were things he used to ask me to make him multiple times a week so I couldn’t understand why he suddenly stopped liking them. At first it was just a couple of things he no longer liked and then he started to question everything I was making him to eat.

Everything I made him would be met with a resounding ‘I don’t like that anymore’ or ‘ew what’s that’ and it got to a point were the only things Kory would eat were noodles and chicken nuggets so mealtimes became a bit of a nightmare in our house. Once I’d established that there was no underlying condition for him to suddenly become such a fussy eater and that it was simply just a case of him growing more independent and deciding for himself what he’d like to eat, I introduced some changes to the way that I was trying to encourage him to eat more of a varied diet and I have to say, it’s had a positive result.

I’d love to say that Kory has gone back to eating anything and everything I make him again but he does not, however, he does eat more of a wide range of foods now.

So, what changes did I make I hear you ask?

Well, experts will tell you that you shouldn’t ‘bribe’ children to eat, however as a parent of a fussy eater, it’s one of the things that worked for me. Just a few of the things Kory hadn’t lost his taste for were crisps, sweets and chocolate and so if he wanted to eat any of those, he had to eat his dinner or at the very least try what was on his plate first. The second change I made was I added ‘eat all of my dinner’ to Kory’s reward chart which he has to fill, amongst other things on his reward chart by the end of the week in order to get a treat. The third change I made was I tried a different way to encourage Kory to try new foods, instead of just saying ‘it’s good to try new things’ which it is but that just wasn’t cutting it for Kory. Instead, I’d sit with him at mealtimes and we’d talk about what was on our plates, if I had something different, I’d tell him it was nice and ask him if he’d like to try some which 9 times out of 10, because he’d seen me eating it, he wanted to try some for himself. The last thing I tried to encourage Kory to try new foods was I incorporated some of his interests into our meal times. So an example of this would be that I told Kory that Spider-Man said it’s good to try new things, there’s actually a video of this on YouTube and when I showed it to Kory it made him smile. I mean, it’s one thing your mum telling you but Spider-Man?! Well then it must be true. Really think about your child’s interests and how you can use this to bribe them LOL just kidding, well sort of, but it could really boost their willingness at meal times.

Another big way to increase your child’s interest in food is to get them involved with the actual cooking process so that they can see what they’re going to be eating and how it was made. It’s a great way to get them to try new foods and worked for us.

Kory’s willingness for trying new things is getting better all the time. He will still ask lots of questions and prod at food before he tastes it but nevertheless, he tastes it and that’s all that matters.

Finally, what I would like to say is – if your child is a fussy eater try not to stress and/or worry. It can be frustrating but stressing about it won’t help you or your child as they will pick up on that and stressing never helps anybody, it doesn’t change anything. The more I pushed Kory to eat, the less willing he was to try anything new to eat. Sometimes what you’re doing will feel hopeless but just know that most children do grow out of fussy eating habits as they grow older. Be patient and try not to force anything on your child and in the mean time, offer them what you already know they will eat as well as a healthy option and a different side to try.

I am by no means an expert and I am by no means claiming to be, I just wanted to share with you all what works for us for anyone else who may be looking for ideas to help with their very own fussy little eater.

Is your child a fussy eater? What do you find helps them and you at meal times? Please leave me a comment below.

As always, thanks for reading.

Kora’s birth story

I’ve been meaning to write and share with you all Kora’s birth story for so long. Having already documented Kory’s birth story I figured it was finally time to get round to documenting hers too because if not now, then when? At this rate she’s going to be 18 years old before I even publish it.

So here goes…

On the week leading up to my labour with Kora, I was having irregular contractions, regularly. I wouldn’t experience any contractions throughout the day but every night for a week, when I would be lay in bed the contractions would start and they would always get closer together and stronger too but each night I would eventually fall asleep and when I’d wake, the contractions would have stopped. It was quite frustrating. Each night thinking ‘oh this is it!’ To then realising actually, no it’s not.

Little miss sass pants has been keeping us on our toes since before she was even born!

Anyways, back to the story.

On Kora’s due date I happened to already have an appointment with my midwife scheduled that day who I mentioned the contractions to and who in turn then offered me a sweep at my appointment. I accepted. As I lay down and waited for my midwife to do the sweep I kept thinking to myself ‘I wonder if she’s gonna be born on her due date, I wonder if she’s gonna look like her big brother…’ the midwife had a look around but the sweep wasn’t required. I can remember the words my midwife said to me as clear as day, she turned and she said ‘you don’t need a sweep sweetheart, you’re already 6cm dilated and your waters look like they’re about the burst. You need to get yourself to hospital as soon as you can.’

I don’t know how I wasn’t aware of this but from there it all starts to get very real, very fast.

In shock, I walked home from the clinic, well, waddled home, and as I waddled I phoned R and my mum to let them know that I didn’t need a sweep and that actually I was already in the early stages of labour and that I needed to get to the hospital. Me and R dropped the big-brother-to-be, Kory, at his nannies and then made our way to the hospital.

On the drive there I remember thinking, very soon I’m going to have our baby in my arms and the next time I see Kory he’s going to be a big brother. I was so excited, bricking it but excited.

Once we arrived at the hospital, I was taken straight to a delivery suite and from there monitored. My midwife (who get this! Was called Cora! Like what are the odds that my midwife who was going to be delivering my daughter would share the same name as her?!) started to get everything and myself prepared for Kora’s birth. As she did this I was pacing the room backwards and forwards, I was bouncing on the birthing ball but still nothing was happening. After a while, I was still just sat through all my contractions and it seemed things weren’t progressing any further. So my midwife checked me over and I was still just 6cm dilated. So she offered to break my waters for me as they still hadn’t broken in the hope that this would speed things along. I won’t go into too much detail but I had my waters broke (ouch!) My waters never broke like they do in the movies when I was having Kory, my waters just kept leaking but with Kora, there wasn’t a lot of water but what water there was all came gushing out at once and it felt like I’d p!ssed myself! Yay

Once my waters had finally gone, the midwife said to me ‘I’m going to leave you here for a short while now and I’ll come back to check on you later to see if you’ve dilated any further.’ And I kid you not, she had barely even closed the delivery suite door behind her when I started screaming at R to tell her to come back. R ran after her and when she came back in the room she asked me if I was okay and I said (well more like screamed) ‘NO I NEED TO PUSH!’ And she said in disbelief ‘you need to push? Are you sure? Let me check you over.’ She took one look at me and she said ‘yes you need to push I can see your baby’s head.’ And within half an hour Kora Robyn Lonsdale was born weighing 6lb 3oz of pure beautiful.

The final stage of her birth all happened so fast. There was no time for any pain relief and it still all feels like a crazy blur to me. Nothing at all like my labour with Kory that was much slower and more nerve wrecking with him being premature. As soon as Kora was born she was placed straight on my chest and I finally got to have those precious first skin to skin snuggles that I dreamt of having with Kory but never got to have. I am so grateful that I got to experience birth for a second time, although agonisingly painful, equally as amazing and I got to have the birth experience I’ve always wanted. No NICU, no complications, just us and our baby. I am so thankful that I got to experience a less terrifying birth with Kora.

The most beautiful part of all of this for me though was when I got to see both of my children together for the very first time. Kory took to being a big brother like a duck takes to water, instantly the protective, amazing big brother I always knew he would be.

On the 13th of September 2019 at 5:37pm, Kora Robyn was born and she completed our family.

Things don’t always go to plan

Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and that’s okay. On Sunday it was Easter and I had lots of things planned for us to do, I had the day planned out exactly how I wanted it to go and I was ready for a fun filled day with my family. Except nothing turned out the way I imagined it would.

Every year on Easter we have our yearly Easter egg hunt at home and lots of other Easter traditions we usually follow. We had our Easter egg hunt on the morning of Easter Sunday as we always do, the kids were so excited to see that the Easter bunny had been and it was wonderful to see how happy they were finding all of their eggs that were hidden around the house. But everything else that followed that day all went a bit pear shaped after that…

We’ve all had a bit of a cold (just to clarify – not Covid! Tested negative) and it seems I was putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself for us to have the ‘perfect’ Easter despite feeling a bit sh!tty. After our Easter egg hunt, I’d usually make a start on the buffet we usually have for dinner, there’s usually lots of party food, cake and treats for the kids but I simply couldn’t find the motivation to make one this year so instead the kids just ended up having a lunchable to eat. After that we played some games and it was soon time for tea but instead of our usual Roast dinner I would normally make at Easter, I just ended up making the kids some frozen fish fingers and smileys faces for tea as I just felt I couldn’t be bothered going to all the effort of making a dinner when my head was banging.

At the end of the day when it was time for the kids to go to bed, I was kicking myself for only doing the bare minimum of what I had originally planned for the day until Kory turned and said to me ‘Haven’t me and Kora been really lucky today.’ And that’s when I realised that:

1.) My kids are amazing.

2.) That I did not need to hold myself to an unrealistic standard.

Since then I’ve had some time to reflect, things don’t always go to plan and that’s okay. I’m allowed to take a step back and cut myself some slack. And that’s what I’m here to tell you. Don’t be so hard on yourself. As parents, we already juggle enough without giving ourselves a hard time. We owe it to ourselves to stop comparing ourselves to others and what they may have/do and focus on our own lives.

It really did not matter that our day did not go exactly the way I planned. The kids had ate that much chocolate they weren’t arsed about the party food and Kory always complains about having to eat my roast dinners anyway. In fact, they probably preferred the fish fingers and smiley faces!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes we can only do what we can, we cannot pour from an empty cup, forgive yourself for being human, everything does not need to be accomplished all at once and sometimes when you think you’re failing, you might just actually be winning.

Things aren’t always going to go to plan and that’s okay.

Trying days

Me and the kids have had a lovely few days together over the past few days. We’ve been for walks in the sunshine, we’ve baked, painted, made Easter crafts and it’s been really nice.

I’ve actually enjoyed Kory’s time off school with him but despite the sun shining again yesterday – yesterday was different. Yesterday had been a really trying day. What I mean when I say ‘trying day’ is a day when I’ve really had to try to make the effort to do anything.

I woke up in the morning feeling really tired (which is never a good start to the day when you’ve got a full day of entertaining and taking care of two children) and the kids woke full of energy as they always do, raring to start the day almost immediately where as I still didn’t feel like I was ready to face the day even after my first cup of coffee which usually does the trick to be honest. But not yesterday.

From waking up, all day the kids wanted me to play – which I did for a while until I felt like I couldn’t any longer. After a sleepless night the night before with Kora, I just felt so tired yesterday. She doesn’t usually wake but that night she woke more than a few times (possibly teething?) and it must have took it’s toll on me. That’s the thing about parenting – it doesn’t matter that you didn’t get any sleep the night before, it doesn’t matter how tired, sick or fed up we might feel, we still need to push through the day and be okay because who else is going to take care of our kids? Kory is at an age where he can entertain himself but yesterday for whatever reason he had no interest in playing by himself at all and had wanted and needed me for every simple task he had to do.

I’m not ashamed to admit I cried a few times yesterday. I had to find the energy, the patience and the perseverance to deal with Kora’s 1000th tantrum of the day and Kory’s millionth ‘will you play?’ from somewhere, something I felt I really didn’t have yesterday and something I felt I couldn’t find. I shouted more times than I’d like to admit but I’d honestly had enough of sitting on Kory’s bedroom floor and playing with his toys with him, I’d had enough of Kora whining over me not giving her the ‘correct’ cup to drink from and I’d had enough of breaking up their fights.

Despite feeling so crap, I still made an effort to play, I still baked some biscuits with Kory while Kora napped but it seems that still wasn’t enough. I was hoping that maybe after doing so – I could sit down and just have moment. Let’s all laugh at how naive I was… Wishful thinking – I know. They both still required my attention just as much and I just could not, I had nothing else to give.

Sick of playing referee to the kids bickering and tired of playing with toys, I made lots of suggestions of other things we could do.

‘Shall we draw?’ No.

‘Shall we play on the switch together?’ No.

‘Shall we go for a walk?’ No.

It seems that they just wanted to drive me crazy and bounce off the walls at home. I don’t know where their extra energy came from yesterday, I’m convinced that they sucked what little energy I did have directly from my soul which in turn fuelled their energy even more. Me feeling completely drained and them having even more energy than usual was a bad combination.

The day did not get any better until R came home from work and I was able to get me and Kory dressed and out of the house for a walk. Kory protested but I made him anyway. We both needed to get out and we both needed the fresh air. I was quiet on our walk but Kory enjoyed himself as he always does whenever we go on an adventure and going for a walk always seems to clear my head too. When we got back from our walk, I came back feeling a bit better and I could tell by Kory’s mood that he was feeling better too. It was Kory’s bedtime then, both Kory and Kora went straight to sleep and I was finally able to sit down. And breathe.

We all have and will have trying days but it’s how we get through them that matters. Getting through a day like yesterday for some people might be to count down the hours until the day is over, for others it might be to try and make the day better. On those days when nothing feels like it’s going right, just know that you have the power to change your day around. I guess what I’m trying to say by writing this post is that tomorrow is always a new day but why wait for tomorrow when you can turn your day around today.

Yesterday WAS a trying day but it didn’t end as one and I’ve woke up today feeling much better about everything as well.

I hope you’re all okay. If you are having a ‘trying day’ what makes your day feel better? Please let me know by leaving me a comment.

Thanks for reading.