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Making a change

If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll know that i’ve been feeling a bit low lately and i’m sure that many people who read what I wrote thought:

What problems do you have?

What have you got to complain about?

And they’d be right to think that because my problems are a lot less significant when I think about what problems other people are facing. I know that and there will always be someone who has it worse than you. I hate feeling down and stuck in a rut (who doesn’t?!) I don’t choose to feel this way and I’m not usually one for feeling sorry for myself, in fact I’m usually the person who everyone comes to with their problems but I’m only human myself and I just think things had got a bit much for me.

Since then I’ve had some time to think about things and I’ve realised that although I can’t necessarily help how I think and feel, if I want to change my mindset and how I feel then I’m going to have to actually do something about it. Sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself has never helped anyone. Life has a habit of trying to bring you down and it can keep you down too – if you let it.

I read a quote that said ‘Remember when you used to wish for everything that you now have’ and it really resonated with me. I used to dream of having a family of my own, a son, a daughter, a partner, a car, a nice home and to be happy and I have all of that. I am so lucky and I realise that but when you feel like I do, you could have everything in the world and you would still feel sad and that made me feel so guilty because what a waste. I have everything I could ever possibly want and I’m not going to enjoy it because I’m going to let my negative thoughts and feelings get in the way of that? I knew I needed to make a change.

I have already started to make changes. I read back to myself my blog post from yesterday and it was clear for me to see what the problem was/is. The problem lies with how I think.

So here is what I think I need to do to help with how I’ve been feeling:

  • I need to train my brain to think differently.
  • I need to remind myself that small inconveniences don’t have to be such a big deal.
  • And I need to think more positively.

Yes the knob on my oven has snapped clean off but at least the rest of the oven still works and the knob can be replaced.

Yes the headlight and side panel on my car are broken but at least I have a car that runs and these things can be repaired.

My phone screen has smashed but my phone still works and I can always get a new screen.

I feel lonely because people don’t spend much time with me and/or my kids? Then that’s their loss. I have my kids and they have me.

I am not a person who sits around and feels sorry for themselves, that’s just not who I am, it never has been and I’m actually quite embarrassed by how low I’ve let myself get. I thought about quitting but then I remembered who is watching… My kids.

So watch this space because I’m about to find Kirsti again…

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Loneliness in motherhood

I have wrote about my own experience with loneliness in motherhood previously in a past blog post called another lonely mum. I won’t go into too much detail about what I spoke about as I have attached a link for you if you’d like to have a read for yourself but I did speak openly about how as a first time mum how isolating motherhood can feel and how no-one really talks about it.

Since that last blog post I have become a mum for the second time and whilst some of you may think that I would have made some mum friends since the first time or that it would mean i’d have at least got a bit better at dealing with feeling this way by now, you couldn’t be more wrong. If i’m being totally straight, I felt a hell of a lot lonelier the second time round than I ever did as a first time mum. Being a mum of two means I have even less time for myself than I did before, which means even less time to socialise or even less time for anything else at all to be honest!

I found the transition from one child to two very difficult. In an instance everything changed and it was a lot for me to grasp and at certain times I wasn’t sure whether I was capable of even doing this. During the first few weeks of staying home with both children everything was new, everything was a lot harder and I didn’t really have anyone that I could talk to about how I was feeling. I became engulfed in loneliness and my days started to feel like they were stuck on repeat. I’d wake up, feed both kids, tidy up, play, feed both kids again and play some more until bedtime just to wake up the next morning to do the exact same thing over again. I felt so unhappy. I would look in the mirror at myself, see the bags under my eyes, the pale skin and greasy hair and I wouldn’t even recognise myself.

‘So why not get out of the house?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s not like getting out of the house with two kids is exactly easy. I’d have to get everyone ready, pack everything I needed which i’m pretty sure i’d forget something and then when we did eventually get out of the door, where would we even go? As depressing as it was, at the time staying at home seemed to be the easy option.

The loneliness this time round was so much more profound and I felt like I was drowning with the weight of trying to deal with everything all by myself and feeling like this on top of everything else. Having no-one to speak to and to share your troubles with really sucks and the biggest mistake I made in trying to deal with my loneliness was that I didn’t try to deal with it at all, all I did was try to mask how I was feeling and I never expressed it to anyone until one day the overwhelming feeling of loneliness took over me and I just couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. My loneliness was turning to sadness and it was taking me to a dark place.

It was only after speaking to someone that I realised I didn’t have to feel like this and in order to not feel like this, I had to help myself. I have to take time for myself instead of talking myself out of it, I have to take time away from motherhood and I have to spend time speaking to other adults.

My daughter is now 12 weeks old and although I feel like I have come along way since those early days and I’ve got a whole lot better at juggling this whole mum-of-two thing, I still have days when the loneliness creeps back in, when I wonder if it’s just my 3 year old that is capable of screaming the house down or my baby that has episodes of crying no matter what I do to try and settle her, wondering if i’m even any good at being a parent and asking myself if it’s because of me that me and my kids don’t seem to get invited anywhere. Motherhood has a way of doing that to us but now when it does, I try to remind myself that i’m not the only one to have ever felt this way.

So, to all the other mums out there struggling to fit in or make friends or feeling like you’re a million miles away from the rest of the world, just know that you aren’t and while you may be going through what feels a hard time, this too shall pass.

Here are some things you can do to help end this cycle of loneliness:

  • Join a baby class.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Smile. Strike up a conversation.
  • Get your hair done.
  • Read a book.
  • Or even message me! I don’t mind!

I am that mum that will smile at you if i see you in the supermarket with your crying baby because I know what that feels like, I will hold your baby while you eat your food and drink your coffee, you can come round to my house any time and I will always pick up the phone.

So, from one lonely mum to another, I get you and i’m with you.

 

Kirsti, xo

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What I do all day

At the moment I am a stay at home mum but that wasn’t always the case, I did have a job as a receptionist before Kory was born. Once Kory was born it made sense for me to stay home and take care of him myself rather than fork out so much on childcare costs so i chose not to go back to work. Since then I have become a mum again for the second time and the same situation applies.

When I tell people that I am a stay at home mum, i’m usually asked the following question:

‘So, what do you do all day?’

Well I don’t sit around all day drinking tea and watching tv if that’s what you think. (I wish!) Below is a basic list of what I do all day on a typical day when I’m home with both kids.

7:00am, Wake up feeling tired and wishing I had gone to bed earlier. Make Kora a bottle, grab Kory some breakfast.

7:15am, Feed Kora her bottle.

8:00am, Grab Kory his iPad or put something on the tv for him. Change Kora’s nappy. Get her dressed for the day.

8:30am, Put Kora on her play mat or in her moses basket whilst I tidy up after breakfast.

9:00am, Get Kory washed, teeth brushed and dressed for the day.

9:30am, Make the bed, wash, brush my teeth and get myself dressed.

10:00am, Tidy the house, wash the pots, sterilise the bottles, feed the animals, do the washing, put the drying away, hoover, mop, put pots away, put washing out or on the radiators, ect. (All whilst checking on Kora, entertaining Kory and answering his gazillion questions all at the same time!)

11:30am, Make Kora a bottle, feed and wind her.

12:15pm, Change Kora’s nappy. Put her in her bouncer.

12:30pm, Make Kory some dinner.

1:00pm, Realise that I haven’t yet eaten or drank anything. Make self a coffee and maybe some cereal. Eat and drink.

1:30pm, Tidy up after dinner.

2:00pm, Play with Kory and his toys in his bedroom. Sit with Kora.

3:00pm, Absentmindedly wonder if I’m doing everything right.

3:15pm, Leave Kory to carry on playing. Make Kora a bottle, feed and wind her.

4:15pm, Change Kora’s nappy.

4:30pm, Put something on the tv for Kory so that I can let myself ‘relax for just a moment.’

4:45pm, Look what I can make for tea. Make tea whilst also trying to keep my eye on both kids.

5:15pm, Rory comes home from work.

5:30pm, Dish out tea, eat tea.

6:00pm, Put dishes in the sink.

6:10pm, Bath and bed routine. Bath Kory, get him changed into his pyjamas and into bed.

6:45pm, Read story to Kory.

7:00pm, Let Kory watch a little tv in bed whilst I feed Kora her bottle.

7:45pm, Kory is usually asleep by this point. Change Kora’s babygrow and nappy.

8:15pm, Put Kora down to sleep in her moses basket.

8:30pm, Go back downstairs to tidy up after tea.

9:00pm, Finally get into bed myself at which point i’m usually struggling to keep my eyes open.

Sleep, wake and then do it all over again the following day… So there you have it, an itinerary of a typical day in the life of a stay at home mum.

 

This parenting thing is hard!

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Sometimes you just need a break

When you’re a mum, looking after the kids, running a household and dealing with everything else that life throws at you all at the same time – sometimes you just need a break.

I understand that going to work all day as a parent isn’t fun or easy either. I get that I’m lucky enough to be able to stay home with my children. I haven’t always been a stay at home mum, I do understand the responsibilities and stresses of life outside of motherhood.

As a stay at home mum, when I say I need a break I don’t mean a holiday or a reward for doing my job which is looking after Kory and Kora every day. I’m talking about just being able to have five minutes to myself so that I can feel sane. I want and need a break from time to time, not because I’m bored or looking for some fun, I want and need a break because I put absolutely everything I am into staying at home and raising my kids and let me tell you something, it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s damn well hard some days.

I can admit that I need a break but I won’t ask for help and sometimes even when the help is there, I don’t accept it. Or won’t accept it shall I say. Not because I’ve got too much pride but because I feel like accepting help is me admitting that I find life as a mum hard sometimes and that makes me a failure. And even when I do get time to myself I just feel guilty the entire time. Guilty for ‘palming’ my kids off. Which I know is a load of rubbish and it’s silly for me to even feel that way but in my mind that’s how I think and I can’t help it.

So what do I do instead? I end up pushing myself until I feel totally empty with no energy for anything at all. Which is no good, is it? It isn’t good for me and it isn’t good for my children. Because although I feel like I’m being the best mum that I can be by being with them all the time, I’m not really am I because when I’m with them I’m doing the bare minimum with bare minimum effort because that’s all I can do. There is nothing else left for me to give. I can’t summon up the strength to give anything else because I’m pouring from an empty cup.

I really am my own worst enemy and I need to remember that it’s okay to accept help, it’s okay to admit that i’m struggling and it’s okay to have some time just for me and to actually enjoy that time without punishing myself for doing so. If I want to be the best mum that I can be, then I really do need a break sometimes and if I don’t want to go insane, then I need to do it for myself too, even if it’s just for an hour so that I can refuel.

Sometimes you just need a break. A break from the responsibilities of being a parent, a break from the craziness and even a break from the kids and that is totally okay. In fact it’s more than okay. It’s necessary.

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My hands may be full but my heart is fuller

This little one doesn’t want me to put her down today but at least it’s Saturday and we don’t have to rush out of the house to be anywhere, it’s okay that there’s still pots to be washed and it’s perfectly acceptable that Kory is still wearing the same pyjamas he went to bed in the night before.

Because I realised something today.

I realised the house work can wait.

Everything can wait.

I’ve always liked to keep a nice, clean and tidy house. In fact, I like to keep everything in my life neat and organised. I’m known for being quite a particular person.

When I was pregnant with Kory, people would always tell me ‘you’ll have to get used to mess once the baby arrives’ but that wasn’t the case for me. Without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, after Kory was born I somehow still managed to stay on the ball with everything. I still managed to keep on top of the house work and keep my home looking nice. There’s been times when I’ve found it difficult to do so don’t get me wrong, like when Kory dropped his naps during the day and started to sleep only at bedtime but I still caught up and got done what I needed to get done. Even if it meant waiting until he had gone to bed before I could make a start on the house work.

But since having Kora as well as Kory to look after, I’ve found it really hard to find the time for house work or the time to do anything in fact! I have every intention of getting through my to do list for the day but I’m busy looking after both kids and running a house that I feel as though I blink and the day is over with before I even know it and once they’ve both finally gone to bed I’m way too tired to be cleaning the house.

But you know what? It can all wait.

I don’t want to lose my patience with Kory because there are dishes in the sink or because I haven’t managed to hoover yet. I don’t want to put Kora down as soon as she’s been fed, changed and fallen asleep. I want to cuddle her.

It was much easier to keep up with the house work when it was just Kory I had to take care of because he goes to nursery 3 days a week and when he’s home he likes to play in his bedroom which means I had a lot more free time to get stuff done. I think one of the things I have found the hardest since becoming a mum of two is accepting that I may not be able to get as much done as I used to be able to and to not punish myself for that.

What could be more important than playing with your child and cuddling your baby? Nothing. Because even when I think I’m doing ‘nothing,’ playing and cuddling is doing something and it’s a lot more important than those pots that need washing.

Kory is now 3 years old and the time I have had with him has already gone by so fast and I want to treasure my time with both of my children. He isn’t going to be my little boy forever and Kora isn’t always going to be this small. One day when they’re both grown up and they don’t want to play with mummy anymore, I’ll feel sad and I’ll have all the time in the world to tidy the house.

When Kory and Kora look back on their childhoods, I don’t want them to remember a mum that never had the time for them, a mum that would always brush them off because she prided herself more on what her house looked like. I want them to remember a mum that made them laugh and smile and actually spent time with them.

I want them to remember all the mess we made and all the fun we had making it together.

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Varta Secret Life of Pets Torch review

We were lucky enough to be chosen by the Emma’s Diary Parents Squad and Families UK to test and review the Varta Secret Life of Pets Torch.

Before I even presented Kory with the torch for him to try out I already knew he would love it because of the design. He is obsessed with The Secret Life of Pets, it’s his favourite movie so he was really pleased when he seen that some of his favorite characters were displayed on the torch and what kid doesn’t love a torch?! So this product was an instant hit with Kory.

Moving on to the torch itself, the torch comes with a 3 year guarantee which I think is very convenient because when you have kids, you’ll know how often they drop things and how often things get broken but saying that, the torch has been dropped on accident by Kory a few times already but it still seems to be in good working order so the torch must be quite sturdy to begin with. The beam from the torch is quite bright but it does have an opaque cover to it so it doesn’t shine too bright to prevent hurting little eyes which I personally think with this torch being a child’s targeted product is a really clever idea. Included within the torch we were provided with the correct batteries for it, these were 2 long life batteries which was great for me because we are always running out of batteries in our house and I am usually quite busy so I forget to buy more! This meant that Kory got straight to using the torch right away!

Kory couldn’t wait for it to go dark so that he could try it out and see how bright the light from the torch really was. In his bedroom he asked me to close the blinds and the curtains so that he could shine it on the walls and on his ceiling. He hid under the quilt with it, he was shining it under anything and everything – he even found some toys and little bits and pieces we hadn’t seen for a while and wondered where they had gone! He wanted to build a den and look around inside with it. He had lots of fun testing out the torch and I was really quite impressed myself by how bright the light from the torch was.

I can’t find any faults with this product, if it wasn’t gifted to us already I would happily buy it from a store for Kory and I recommend it to other parents who would like to buy one for their child/ren. Kory now insists on taking the torch everywhere with us! So The Varta Secret Life of Pets Torch definitely gets a thumbs up from him.

Thank you for reading our review on this product, please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments section.

 

* Please note, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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Freedome Trampoline Park @ Cheshire Oaks review

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I was so excited when I was contacted by Emma’s Diary Parent Squad asking me if I would be interested in a gifted family pass to visit and review Freedome Trampoline Park in exchange for an honest review of our experience.

Of course I said yes!

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We were given a family pass to Freedome for 2 adults and 2 children which allowed us to attend for 90 minutes. With Kory only being 3 years old, we were advised to attend one of the FreeBees toddler sessions that are available for under 5’s. These sessions take place between 9:30am and 12pm midweek during term time and at 9:00am and 10:00am on weekends and during the school holidays. FreeBees toddler time sessions are only £5 for 2 hours and include 1 hour of toddler trampoline time where your little ones have the whole park to themselves, 1 hour’s access to the soft play area that is located upstairs by the cafe, time in one of the party rooms for colouring and drawing, toddler jump socks and 2 FREE adults. These sessions are available to book online.

www.freedomeparks.com

Upon arriving at Freedome Trampoline Park, we were greeted by a very friendly and helpful lady on reception who made the check in process very quick and easy for us. I simply showed her the tickets I had been given and she went on to provide Kory with his jump socks and me with a bit more information on Freedome and the different activities that are available throughout our session as I had never visited before.

Then we got straight to the fun part… The trampolining!

At Freedome there is a Freestyle court that has sprung walls and a massive interlaced trampoline bed that creates a continuous space meaning that Kory was free to just run round like crazy! There is a dodge ball court, set out a bit similar to the Freestyle court except there are soft balls for you to throw and hula hoops too. There is a Free Slam area for you to practice your slam-duck skills and there is Lexi’s Ladder. A wobbly rope ladder where you can practice your balancing skills above a super soft, deep foam pit knowing you can safely fall.

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As I am currently 37 weeks pregnant, I was unable to jump on the trampolines myself but I felt comfortable enough to let Kory jump by himself whilst I closely watched as safety at Freedome is paramount. There are ‘Free Guards’ that keep a close eye on everything that is going on around them and their job is to observe and to make sure that everyone has fun whilst also staying safe. Freedome believe fun starts and ends with safety and so I knew Kory was playing in a safe environment.

Freedome is an unforgettable experience! Kory absolutely loved just being able to run and jump freely and we would definitely visit again. And maybe next time we visit i’ll be able to have a jump on the trampolines too!

 

* Please note, I was gifted tickets to visit Freedome Trampoline Park in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

 

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MooGoo Nappy Balm review

I was very kindly chosen by the official Emma’s Diary Parent Power Panel to try and review this all natural nappy balm from MooGoo.

Before receiving this product I had never used this brand before and had heard very little about MooGoo so I decided to do some research of my own and I have to say I was very impressed. After an internet search I quickly came across many positive reviews on their skincare products but what impressed me most of all was the story behind MooGoo… Basically 40 years ago the MooGoo products originated from a cream used in dairy farms that was used to repair the skin on cows udders!

The MooGoo nappy balm itself is made from healthy, natural ingredients and although MooGoo don’t recommend eating their nappy balm, it contains edible oils only as MooGoo know just how much babies like to try and eat everything and anything they can get their hands on! MooGoo tests their products only on themselves and not on animals.

As parents we all know just how common nappy rash is and just how much cream we go through to help soothe it and to try and prevent it from happening again. The MooGoo nappy cream is easy to use, just spread a protective layer over any areas prone to nappy rash. The nappy balm feels lovely to use and the thick cream goes a long way meaning only a small amount is needed so I can tell that this product will last quite some time. I also like that the MooGoo nappy balm is a pump dispenser as opposed to a tube or a tub.

As with all natural products, patch test before use.

The MooGoo skincare range is available to buy online from the MooGoo website: www.moogooskincare.co.uk shipping is free to the UK and the nappy balm retails at £9.00 for a 75g bottle.

So that’s my review on the MooGoo nappy balm. Thank you for reading. I have really enjoyed trying out this product and I would definitely use it again. Please let me know what you think about the product itself and/or my review in the comments.

www.instagram.com/moogooskincare

* Please note, I recieved this product in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *