It is so easy to get caught up in the seemingly perfect lives of others, that it can really distort reality and make you feel like you are missing out on something. I for one am one to speak openly about the everyday struggles I face as a mum or as a person in general. I often feel like I have given up apart of myself, my identity and personality. I am a stay-at-home mum and thats it. The fun, adventurous party gal exists no more. I have been taken up in this whirlwind of parenting and have forgotten who I was before.
Instagram Perfect Lives
I remember sitting at home while my fiancé was offshore, feeling sorry for myself. Scanning instagram, I had a pang of envy for some of my child-less friends. Their photos were amazing. Trips to Dubai, Hiking up mountains, Cocktails and dinner parties. Beautiful dresses and high heels. I envied them.
I wanted to do that. I wanted to feel alive again. Feel like I was more than I was, like I too was living the dream. I wanted to feel like I still had some mojo left in me. Every conversation I had now seemed to turn to my son and my life as a mum. Everytime I wanted to make plans I was automatically put into the boring mum pile. “We didn’t ask you out because we knew you have the baby to look after” “Next time we will drop by and hang at yours”. Noooooo I wanted to go out. I wanted to leave the house. I want to be me. Not mum.
Grass is always Greener on the other side
However in all my anguish and self pitying, I had forgotten just how lucky I am. Sitting and having dinner with one of my beautiful and glamorous friends. I proceeded to marvel at her and tell her how I envied her life. I expected her to laugh it off and change the subject non chalantly as I would have done in the past. But she didn’t. Don’t take Instagram as real life she said. It isn’t. You know what you are missing, you have experienced my life whereas I haven’t experienced yours.
I was blown away. It never occurred to me that others could envy my life. Whaaaaat? My life? My frumpy mum bod barely get out of the house life? Days of being covered in snot and cleaning and re-cleaning the house over and over again? How could these beautiful women with their fun lives and amazing instagram pics ever look my way and feel they were missing something.
Just as I was pondering this I turned to find my gorgeous yet naughty boy slowly and sneakily trying to get hold of my iPhone. Noticing I was watching he cheekily smiled at me in the hopes it will deter me away from the fact that he has my iPhone. I laughed and my heart filled with love.
This is why I thought
I realised that amidst all my complaining and longing for a part of my previous life back, I had completely neglected the whole reason why I wanted to be a mum in the first place. The reason I get up in the morning with a smile on my face. I had completely neglected the fact that I gave birth to the love of my life.
It is easy to get caught up in the negative parts of life and compare ourselves to others. We always seem to see most vividly what is missing from our lives. But we hardly stop to look and appreciate the good things we have.
Each stage of life has struggles that we need to learn from. What you see on Instagram is only a fragment of peoples lives. You don’t see the boring parts. We don’t see their morning faces without make up or how many shots they had to take just to get that one perfect photo.
Appreciate what you do have
Despite my complaining about not feeling as glamorous and fun filled as I used to be. Nothing could make me want to trade my life as a mum. Despite the challenges motherhood brings, it is also the most rewarding job I have ever had. Nothing worth anything is free.
So when you start feeling life envy stop and look. Look around you and focus on all the good you have. All the amazing things you have achieved so far. You might not have reached your ultimate goal in life, but you are probably already living the dream compared to others in the world.
Nobodies life is perfect. We just have to learn to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t. If something is lacking, then it is up to us to fix it and achieve the life balance we need.
So instead of complaining about my lack of a social life, I am taking action and working to change it.
April is here and that means Wedding Season has started! If you are like me, then chances are you have a few weddings to attend this year, and you are excited and panicked at the same time. Excited that you get to attend such a special event, panicked because you have no idea what you are going to wear!
Weddings tend to be the time when you meet up with friends and relatives you have not seen in a long time. And I mean a LONNNG time. Some of these people last saw me when I was slim, radiant and had perfect hair. Now I am rolly polly, tired and not so put together. Do you see the dilemma ?
Nobody wants to be that person who everybody looks at and thinks ‘ Oh she let herself go’. Everybody wants to be beautiful and a wedding is one of those times where you can be guaranteed that everybody is looking at everybody to see how they look and what they are wearing. You want to show that you have not let yourself go. That you still have your mojo despite the fact that you are aging by the minute and are not as perky as you once were.
So the hunt for the perfect dress begins! You want to look classy but with sex appeal. You want something that hides all the lumps and bumps, but doesn’t hang off you like a potato sack. Something that compliments your figure without you looking like you are trying to be something you are not. Sigh. Its hard.
So I put together a few wedding guest outfits that I love and can compliment all different body types. Check them out below, you can also check out ASOS Wedding guest selection here for more ideas.
First dress is from Chi Chi London. This is a such a lovely dress. Chic, feminine and classy, everything you need for a summer wedding! Get it here
ASOS Petite Range: I love this dress! However if you are over 5’5 then it is not for you. The top ruffle is great if you are small chested and are looking for an hour glassy figure look. It is quite fitted so pull out the spanx. Get it here
A stunning and elegant dress by Coast. With its flowing skirt it is perfect for all body types. Good for hiding lumps and bumps while looking classy! Get it here
4. This little floral dress by ASOS is a stunner. The vibrant colours are eye catching, while still being cute and sexy. Would look great with a vibrant lip colour to match. Get it here
5. A beautiful dress in a beautiful colour, this is one for the taller girls amongst us from Paper Dolls Tall Collection. This figure hugging lace dress is one of my favourites. Too bad I don’t have the figure or the height for it. Get it here
6. I love love love this look. It is modern and vintage all in one. It looks like it should be on the set of a Grease remake. The top and skirt are sold separately from Coast. I wish I could pull this off but think I may be too short again. Get it here
There you have it, some of my favourite wedding outfits for this summer. If you are still looking for an outfit then check out ASOS’s large range of dresses and outfits by clicking the link below.
Be quick, they have a sale on with up to 70% off. I just bought a whole load of outfits to spruce up my wardrobe.
Easter is peering its head around the corner, and I am excited to start the tradition with my little boy. One of the joys of parenthood is seeing the excitement and wonder on their faces with events such as this and I am eager to encourage his imagination and create happy memories.However with all this excitement there is one thing I am not too keen on. That is the excessive amount of chocolate that my child will be exposed to, thats why I am on a quest for a healthy alternative to chocolate.
I know I sound like a party pooper but hear me out. He is only 1, and even though I am all for everything in moderation. I am well aware that at Easter time the word ‘Moderation’ does not exist. We already have a cupboard full of easter eggs and it is not even Easter yet!
So I have decided to make my own healthy Easter alternatives. With these not only will Gabriel be able to celebrate with delicious chocolatey treats like everyone else. I will also be reassured that he will not be bouncing off the walls from a sugar high. I used to make these for myself before Gabriel was born and I think they will go down a treat. They are refined sugar, gluten and dairy free. Made with raw cacao powder and medjool dates, they have a great chocolate flavour while also being packed full of vitamins and minerals.
NOTE: Raw Cacao Powder is a superfood. It contains more antioxidants than blueberries, and is full of Calcium and Magnesium. A good source of plant based Iron, it has also been accredited to be a Natural Mood enhancer and Anti-depressant!
Not only are these healthy and delicious, they are very easy and quick to make. It is the perfect recipe to do with your kids, but beware of the mess! The below recipe makes 16 balls.
KYLIE’S CHOCOLATE COCO BALLS
After these have been chilled in the fridge, you can then wrap them up in cellophane or put them in little Easter baskets like I have done and they make a great healthy gift for Easter!
Stress, something we all have struggled with at one point in our lives. I have always thought of myself as being rather calm and level headed when it came to everyday things but when I became a mother, that went out of the window. I don’t know what it is about motherhood that makes me want to sit in a corner and rock back and forth from sheer mental exhaustion. Maybe it is because of the lack of adult conversation in my everyday life or the fact that my life is now run by a tiny little maniac who is capable of chucking bigger diva tantrums than Mariah Carey! Whatever the reason, me keeping my stress levels at bay is essential for not only myself but for the poor people who have to put up with my bouts of panic and short temper.
But how do you destress when you hardly have time to take a shower let alone scratch your arse without having a screaming child clung to your leg? It is difficult but with a few simple tweeks to your routine it is possible.
Now before you roll your eyes at me , gimme a second! Meditation does not mean you have to sit with your legs folded and twisted while wearing a white robe and chanting OMMMM. Not at all. It doesn’t mean that you have to turn into some spiritual hippy either, no matter what your beliefs and views are on life, meditation is for everyone. Instead of seeing it as some new age mumbo jumbo look at it as teaching you how to switch off your mind.
Give yourself 5-10 minutes in the morning or just before you go to sleep. Get into a comfortable position and start taking deep breaths through your nose while concentrating on those breaths. You will find that your mind will wonder and start thinking about everything and anything. However you will quickly realise your mind has wondered and will redirect your concentration on to your breathing again. The trick is that you are slowly teaching yourself to control your thoughts and as time goes on you will notice that it becomes easier and easier to turn your mind off. I use the app Headspace just before I go to bed and I have been noticing a difference in my stress and productivity levels during the day. It consists of 10 min meditations for everyday, if you can get past the guys weird accent then thats great! and bonus..it is free!
BUBBLE AND SCRUB
A bath is ideal but lets face it in the world of parenting it just isn’t possible to do every week let alone every month, but a shower can be just as relaxing when done right. When I say shower I mean a real shower. Not the panic shower that I have grown accustomed to taking in the mornings while my son is banging on the door. A long, take your time shower where you can wash away the stresses of the day and breath in those lovely scents from your shower gels and potions. But when do you have time to take this kind of shower?
For me I had to adjust my routine and take my shower in the evenings. With bubs in bed, dinner had and kitchen cleaned, I have all the time to properly soak up the benefits of a relaxing shower and even manage to exfoliate while I am there! I know what you are going to say, it is difficult to wait until the end of the day to wash, and lets face it when you are still full of lady hormones, night sweats can be a bitch!! That is why I still have a very quick panic shower to wash my skin in the morning if needed, but I save the enjoyable stuff for the evening.
BOOK OR TV SERIES ANYONE?
For me there is nothing I enjoy more than snuggling up with a book or relaxing on the couch to watch one of my favourite tv shows. For me it winds me down and I genuinely feel joy when I am able to do this. However finding the time to do this can be tricky. Let alone letting go of the guilt that you should be doing something useful!
LET IT GO, relax time is essential and you have a right to take some time for your self to unwind while bubs is sleeping. If you are at the end of your tether then don’t feel bad if you need to sit down and relax a bit. A cup of tea, a biscuit and your favourite TV show for 30 minutes isn’t going to hurt anyone and will do wonders for you.
Voilà here you have it, my favourite ways to unwind and destress when I am about ready to punch someone in the face. These are simple ways that anyone can incorporate into their daily routine and I have found the less stressed I am the more productive I tend to be. A happy mum = a happy baby and husband!
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It is true, relationships can be hard. When you are living with someone who does not think the same way as you or see things the same way as you, it can be a challenge. My partner and I are not yet married even though we have a son ( GASP! We are living in sin!!!) yet we act like an old couple that has been married for decades who are hell bent and annoying each other till the day we die. That is the way we are. We take pleasure in winding each other up and at times it becomes a competition as to who can be the most annoying (I am sure we both have different opinions over who is winning that one!) Despite this being a fun quirk of our relationship there are times when we seriously butt heads over the most mundane things, that if aliens were ever studying us to determine whether man kind deserved to live, we would have no chance!
With my partner working offshore, our wedding only a few months away and a little terror to look after I can say that the fun and games are not always so fun, especially when you are sleep deprived and stressed. So we can end up arguing over the most stupid things on the face of the planet, and when I say stupid I mean STUPID. I can’t help but wonder how it is actually possible. It is hard to believe that we are adults, let alone parents at times.
But every relationship has its quirks and while we tend to get wound up over silly things, I can be thankful it IS just silly things. So while I try to focus and keeping a peaceful mind, no matter how hard that can be, I thought I would share with you some of the most stupid things we have gotten wound up about in the recents months.
Stupid Argument Topic 1: Tortillas
Yes you read that right , Tortillas! As in the flat bread that you make burritos or fajitas in. Yup! We had a stupid argument over a tortilla, or more so to do with the filling of the tortilla. My partner seems to take eating fajitas as a challenge, the more filling he can get into it the better. Sometimes he can’t even close the tortilla to eat it due the Mount Everest size of the filling he has stacked on it. I just don’t get it and he doesn’t understand why this bothers me so much. It is true, I should probably just let him eat his tortilla the way he wants to….. But. I . Just. Can’t!!!! How the hell is he going to fit it in his mouth ? Not to mention he has used the equivalent of 5 tortillas worth of filling into one. … Sigh! Yep sorry man kind, I think we are doomed!
Stupid Argument Topic 2: Knickers and the laundry
Hmm this one is… well peculiar. This is one of my partners pet peeves about me but it is something I really can’t see myself changing. You see, when I undress and put my trousers in the wash basket I tend to do everything in a oner. Meaning I take my trousers and knickers off at the same time. I know! Such a crime! Me doing this however usually results in my underwear being trapped within my trousers and me usually having fish my panties out from the leg of my trousers after they have been washed. I know it can be annoying but it doesn’t really bother anyone else but me however it infuriates my partner. He just doesn’t understand why I don’t take the time to separate the garments and I just don’t see why I would waste a few more seconds to take off my trousers and underwear separately when I can WHAM do it all in a microsecond. I know, I am lazy! What can I say? Please don’t tell me I am the only one that does this? ……anyone?
Stupid Argument Topic 3: Making the bed
This is my partner ‘making the bed’…
This is the bed actually made…
Enough said, yeah?
Stupid Argument Topic 4: To Do Lists
We both have very different ways of functioning, men are from mars and women are from venus what ever you want to call it, we just do not think in the same way. So when it comes to organisation and to do lists, there is a big clash. I write my to do list in order of importance, so for booking the caterer, I would class that as something we need to do before we pick the flowers so caterer would be at the top of my list however my partner disagrees. He prefers to list in chronological order of events, so the ceremony takes place before the reception hence the flowers need to be at the top of the list. We just don’t understand each others logic and have had many a heated conversation over this! Really who cares right? As long as it gets done???
Stupid Argument Topic 5: Fart
YES I am serious, a fart! We have argued I don’t know how many times over a fart, or many farts to be accurate. I know how this sounds. I get it, farts are funny and I am usually the first person to laugh at a fart joke but after 6 years of farts in my face it just isn’t funny anymore. When you need to leave a bar because your partner has stunk it out or when you are almost kicked out of a french taxi on the middle of the highway, it starts to grow old realfast. So after a long day when I finally get bubs to bed and sit on the couch I do not want to be greeted with a fart! I am serious!
Relationships are hard in general but add parenting in to the mix and sleep deprivation it can put a challenge on the most stable of couples. With our nuptials approaching I am going to try and stop sweating the small stuff and maybe let him pile on the filling into his tortilla…
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As I continue to recover from my recent surgery, I have realised in the last week how important my partners role is for our sons development. Of course, I have always known that my son needs his daddy but when your partner works offshore and you are the one running the household, often alone raising your child it is easy to forget. My partner has always been a great hands on dad, but when it came to the nitty gritty of caring for our son, I have always been the decision maker. Everything is run by me, his routine, his meals, his sleep times, his feeding times, you name it, I have it down pat!
But with my recent Endo crisis, my partner was forced to take charge while I was in hospital, meaning that he would spend his first time alone with his son since he was born, almost a year ago. Wondering how he will handle having to get up all night for our son who still doesn’t sleep through the night, I felt anxious for my boy. He wasn’t used to being way from me, how would he react? Unfortunately for my partner, the day that I had been admitted to hospital was also the day that Gabriel developed a high fever and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Our baby was at his worst and with me not there to calm the situation my partner had to do his best to soothe our son on his own.
Anxious to get home and see how my baby was doing, I was taken aback when for the first time ever my son seemed to prefer being in his fathers arms than mine. What was this? Surely he hasn’t forgotten me in 2 days? But as the day progressed, I noticed that Gabriel seemed to be more independent than usual and instead of feeling joy and relieve, I had a ball in my stomach. Does this mean he doesn’t need me anymore?
Have I gone from being his number one to his number two or worse? Months of moaning about how clingy the baby was to me, when he started to show signs of becoming more independent , I hated it. However despite my feelings of rejection, I noticed something that I had never seen before, a calmness and silent understanding between by son and my partner. It was clear that their relationship had stepped up another level, and I could see in Gabriel a confidence he had not had before. They had bonded
Of course, they had bonded before. Gabriel knew who is Daddy was and was always eager to play with him whenever he arrived home from offshore but this was different. It was as if the absence of me had paved the way for them to connect with each other on a deeper level. Without me being there, my partner had had to step up and care for our son in a way he had never done before, showing him that he was not just a fun toy to play with but that he was also a parent, capable of loving and caring for him just like Mummy.
When I arrived back from the hospital I have to admit I struggled. As happy as I was to see this positive change, I found it difficult to let go. As a mother my life is now centred around my darling baby, I carried him, breastfed him, wake up every night for him, do everything for him. I didnt want to step back, I didn’t want to be put aside.
After a few days with me back in the house and slowly getting back into routine things seemed to adjust between us. Going to pick Gabriel up from nursery I wondered if his usual reaction when he saw us would be different given his new found confidence. As soon as he saw us walk through the door Gabriel cried and made a beeline to me, covering me in baby kisses and cuddles, just like he always does. I felt elated and special again! But as I tried to pass him over to say hello to his father, Gabriel refused to go or even acknowledge him and I felt a sadness for my partner. His dad was yet again non existent and for the first time I felt and understood the pain it must cause my partner.
All those times when Gabriel clearly preferred me to his daddy, how he would only sleep after having one last cuddle with mummy, how when he was unwell or out of sorts he would come straight to me for comfort, all those times I took for granted unaware of how painful it can be to be parent number 2, I thought it was normal, I am his mother after all. But as I look over the last few days I can’t help but ask myself if I had unknowingly hindered my partners and my sons relationship. I have always been there, in the background ready to sweep in when necessary, never really giving my partner an opportunity to take hold of the parenting wheel.
As mothers we often resent the pressure to be super mum without realising the perks that come with being the ‘go to’ parent. It is easy to get caught up in our selves and our own needs, especially when you are tired from being with your child all day and night but we need to step back and learn to let go.
After these last days I have seen how important it is for me to let go and let my partner take over once and awhile. Not only for him, but also for our son who has learned to see his dad as a parent. I know as a mother that it is hard to let go, we grew them in our bellies, birthed them, fed them, loved them, that bond can never break but we also need to step aside to allow our partners to feel that special connection we have with our children once in a while.
So go out tonight Mummies, take some time to yourself, or organise a weekend away amongst the girls, it will truly benefit all three of you.
Endometriosis, a condition not well known, but a condition that affects 1 in 10 women, most of which are unaware of the chaos that is happening in their own bodies. After almost 15 years of pain, I can finally say that I am an Endo sister. I have finally been diagnosed. I sit here now with 4 holes in my stomach after having keyhole surgery to remove a cyst the size of a grapefruit and to clean up the endometriosis that left my insides mangled together and my fertility in question. And I feel a sense of relief! Sore, but relieved that I have been taken seriously and that I am finally getting treatment for something that I have struggled with for most of my life. Relieved that my future as a mummy is still in tact.
But what is Endometriosis? It is when the lining of your womb which makes up your period, grows elsewhere in the body. When it is time for your period, this lining sheds blood like it would do in the womb except the blood gets trapped in your body which can then turn into a sticky glue that sticks your organs etc together causing pain and reducing fertility.
For me heavy periods was a normal part of life. I had started my first period at 8 years old and from then on they were a constant pain every month. As I got older, the heavier and more painful they became, until one day when I was 15 years old the pain had gotten the better of me.
I woke in the morning with a horrible cramp in my stomach. “Great”, I had thought, I have my period. But as the morning progressed the pain didn’t subside and I found myself doubled over unable to walk. My parents, not sure what to do, tried everything to ease my pain. They thought I had just contracted a stomach bug, but when I threw up everything they tried to give me and then passed out from the pain, they knew something was up. A trip to the ER and I was sent home and told that I had a low pain tolerance, told to suck it up, period pain is a normal part of being a woman.
From then on, I would fear the time of month. It was always a lucky dip. Was it going to be a normal period this month or was I going to suffer? I never knew when it would come and what was worse was that no one would take me seriously. Countless times to the nurse at school or to the ER and each time told it is a normal part of being a woman. I came to the point where I used to hide it, try and sit in the corner until it passed because I was scared that people would think I was a drama queen, that I was an attention seeker. Trying to hide it was difficult, when you are in so much pain that you are throwing up and passing out it is hard for people not to notice.
I was on my way to the cinema with my mum and I could feel it coming. I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness. As I walked in to the cinema room trying hard to keep up appearances, my body finally had had enough and I fell to the floor. I saw the panic on my mums face as she tried to lift me up and call the paramedics. Surely they would believe me this time? I am not faking it! I was at the movies, I was having a good time! But to my disappointment the paramedics scoffed and told me the same thing all the others had. It wasn’t until the manager of the cinema took my mum aside and said this isn’t normal. Get her checked for endometriosis.
Endometriosis? I had never heard of it before but to my dismay my doctors didn’t seem to know much about it either. Their approach was to put me on the pill and hope for the best, if that didn’t work well then I just had to learn to accept it. At times, it was just plain embarrassing. When you pass out and throw up while you were in the toilet in the middle of a work day and are escorted out with your knickers in full view it is hard not to be embarrassed!
But with each episode, I found a new person who was struggling with something very similar and came to understand that it was a condition that was slowly getting recognised and that was a lot more common than I was lead to believe. Heavy periods, ovarian cysts, excruciating pain each month, symptoms of IBS and problems falling pregnant are all symptoms of endometriosis and if you suspect that you may have it I am here to give you hope and encourage you to get the treatment you deserve. Do not let anyone tell you that it is part of being a woman or to just suck it up! It is NOTnormal to pass out from pain every month! It is NOT just part of being a woman and NO you do NOT just have a low pain threshold!
It’s estimated that Endometriosis affects more than 2 million women in the UK and there are still a lot of women out there who are unaware of this condition. I feel like I am lucky, even though I suffered for a long time I am by far the worst. A lot of my fellow Endosisters suffer daily, with their quality of life greatly diminished and their chances of becoming mothers taken away from them. My heart and my respects goes out to all of them and I think it is our responsibility to create awareness of this common yet virtually unknown disease. Awareness of endometriosis has come a long way in the last 10 years but it still has a long way to go, if you would like to help or wish to learn more then take a look at http://www.endomarch.org. Any little bit helps.
Instagram has become one the the most popular social media networks after Facebook and there is reason for it. It is a chance for people to express themselves or their lifestyle through creative photography, and a chance for us to glimpse into the lives of others. I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan. Instagram is where I go to find inspiration and motivation whether it be for fitness, health or fashion, and just for a laugh. It has become a part of my wind down routine, where I love to sit down on the couch after a long day, in my pajamas and just scroll down my feed.
So I thought I would share some of my favourite accounts so you too can check them out.
Beauty and fashion blogger Kiara King from my hometown in Perth, Australia has an amazing feed to follow. The photography is flawless and her style is casual and classy, making it hard to believe that it is just her and her boyfriend working behind the scenes. If you are looking for fashion and style tips then you definitely need to check out her account.
This account is for all parents who sometimes need a little reassurance that the struggle isn’t their own. Ilana Wiles AKA Mommyshorts pokes fun at the everyday challenges of being a parent and raising children. This account definitely gets me smiling after a long and challenging day and can give a good insight into the lives of little minds.
One of my close friends from Perth who has risen to fame on Instagram with her children’s clothing line Sunday Soldiers. Single mum Elise Doohan, creates affordable and stylish clothing for children and adults. If you are looking for beach vibes and surfy looks then this is for you. Her signature item is the ‘Superheroes Vaccinate’ Onesie which has been featured on many parenting and pro vaccination sites. Elise is a real super mum and inspiration to all mothers out there, showing that you can raise kids and have a successful career at the same time.
One of my all time favourite accounts that I keep going back too. Erica Hoida is a fashionista in all ways possible. Her wardrobe and shoe collection is to die for, and her style looks like it should be on the cover of Vogue. My go to account to get style tips from.
A health instagrammer that is actually qualified! She is the nutritionist who helped Sam Smith lose over a stone in 2 weeks and completely transformed his relationship with food. Her account is inspirational and informative with some drool worthy recipes. She transformed her own health and digestion after becoming a nutritional therapist and learning the benefits of ditching processed foods for whole foods.
What accounts do you follow or recommend? Leave a comment and let me know
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.Thats it, it has finally happened. I am 30! The big 3 0. I am no longer a part of the desirable 20’s club. The club of beautiful skinny people that everybody wants to be a member of. When you are in your 20’s you are technically an adult but you are still classed as being young. You are excused of poor judgement calls, staying out all night drinking is almost expected of you and splashing your cash on clothes and cocktails is just a part of being 20.
But once you hit your 30’s, thats it, responsibility is laid down on your shoulders. You are expected to make sensible choices, to have your white picket fence and a collection of Mary Berry’s Homebake Recipes.
“Hitting your 30’s means that fun has been sucked out of your life”
You are, in the eyes of the world, old enough to know better. So goodbye bodycon short dresses and sexy heels, and hello baggy yoga pants and nipple high knickers because apparently hitting your 30’s means that fun has been sucked out of your life and it is all downhill from here!
I personally didn’t have an issue with turning 30. Frankly I was just thrilled to have an excuse to buy a pretty pink cake and not feel guilty for shovelling it down my throat. But I could definitely see that turning 30 was a turning point for most people, especially for women.
When I was wished happy birthday, I noticed the tone was almost apologetic, and even though I know it was all in good humour it got me thinking. Why is ageing viewed as a negative? Why is there a social pressure on us to stay young?
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have my “OH MY GOD I’m old” moments where I inspect my face for any lines that may or may not have appeared. But I feel that the pressure has become overwhelming for todays women. More and more we are led to believe that younger is better. That once you turn a certain age your sexuality and beauty is out the window. That you are now too old to go after your dreams.
“More and more we are led to believe that younger is better”
I have seen a few of my friends fret and panic as they approached their 30’s and all I have wanted to do was to reassure them that they are still fabulous! We may not be those giggly little airheads we were 10 years old but we are not old invalids either! As Fashion Photographer Peter Lindbergh has recently said to the fashion world ‘It is ridiculous to pretend there are no beautiful older women’ and he is absolutely right!
“The n°1 reason most are scared of ageing is the misconception that beauty and all things good in life die as you get older”
The n°1 reason most are scared of ageing is the misconception that beauty and all things good in life die as you get older. If you believe that then maybe it will come true, but as in most aspects in life, I believe that it is a choice. More and more researchers are discovering that premature ageing and disease can be prevented and even reversed with food, and I am a firm believer! If your body is depleted of vitamins and nutrients then how can you expect it to look and feel its best? Just because the Poppin Fresh Doughboy had clear smooth skin, doesn’t mean you will!
“More and more researchers are discovering that premature ageing and disease can be prevented and even reversed with food”
If you have shovelled huge amounts of chemical laden junk food into your body over the last decade then you cannot expect your skin to keep its youthful glow. Your body would be full of toxic waste and would spend all of its time and energy trying to expel it. Energy that could have been used to repair and regenerate other parts of your body. That is why I advocate detoxing your body at least every year. Cleaning out the waste = A healthy glowing you.
All you have to do is look at the women out there who take the time to nourish their bodies. You can see the effects it has on their appearance and life. Look at Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba. Both women are owners of successful organic skincare companies, have successful careers and are raising children. Yet they have succeeded at looking fabulous in their mid 30’s! Their secret? Organic healthy eating and de-stressing with meditation and Yoga.
If you look after your body then it will look out for you. So instead of fearing your numbers, embrace them! You decide what life you are going to lead, not a ticking clock!
The day I had been waiting for (and dreading) had finally come. One week before my due date, I gave birth to my precious baby boy Gabriel Michael Moles on 16th February 2016 at 3:52am after a long 27 hours of labour! I have now officially been a mother for 2 months and boy have our lives changed
You get an inkling from other parents before you have a child of how your life will change, you always gets comments such as ‘Take advantage of the free time you have now’, or the all famous ‘ Sleep while you can’, but you don’t actually realise how serious those parents are with those comments until you have a newborn to look after so here are 5 lessons I have learnt during my 2 months of motherhood.
I have always been one of those people who likes to be as natural as possible. I avoid taking medication unless I really need it, try to eat clean, organic and fresh and use organic beauty products as much as possible as to avoid any chemical nasties. So when it came to child birth I wanted to follow this same path. Reading up on the possible side effects of an epidural on me and my baby I had decided against it pretty early on in pregnancy. I wanted to have a natural birth and minimise any possible interference that could negatively impact my baby and our ability to bond effectively after birth. So I propped myself up on my high horse and decided to have a water birth with no drugs. It will be painful but I could handle it, right?? Pffftttttt
LESSON ONE: I am freaking stupid! Why didn’t I take the damn drugs! If over 90% of women end up using an epidural during labour than there is definitely a reason for that. I have always thought that I had a good pain tolerance after surviving the pain of endometriosis since I was a teenager, and maybe I do but labour freaking hurts! Nothing can describe it. No it is not like period pains and no it is nothing like gas pains, it is a pain unlike all others. Don’t be fooled like I was. I thought ‘Oh it is like period pains, I have really bad period pains so I am sure I can handle it’. What a load of Sh**. Don’t listen to anyone who says it is easy and can even be orgasmic. Unless you are a sadomachosist, I don’t think anyone could really find childbirth ‘ Orgasmic’! After 26 hours of drug free labour I finally gave in at the last hour and got a shot of morphine. I should have given in earlier as straight after I received the injection my son was on his way out!
My advice: Have an open mind. Even though I may have gone down another route if I had known how long and painful it was going to be, I cannot help but feel a tiny bit proud that I managed to hold on for 26 hours. See how it goes but tell your midwife that you are open to everything. Depending on how long your labour is you may be able to handle a natural birth but for me after 27 hours I was too tired to be able to handle it as well as I might have. Take it as it comes but let the midwife know as soon as it gets too painful. I was too stubborn and really wanted to hold on and by the time my contractions were at their peak it was too late for an epidural.
Two weeks before my due date, I had packed my hospital bag in preparation for the big day. I had gone shopping and made sure I had comfortable yet stylish loungewear and agoing home outfit, had packed my make up and hair straightener and was feeling optimistic about starting my new life as a new mummy fresh. HA! That was a waste of time, not only did I not wear my ‘Stylish’ going home outfit, my stylish loungewear made me look like a puffed up marshmallow!
LESSON TWO: You will not look as great as you think you will. I had read numerous articles and knew not to expect to look like a supermodel and that I would still have a bit of a belly pooch but I did not expect to hate my body as much as I did. Having a big firm pregnancy belly seemed to have hidden all the extra body fat I actually had. While I had thought I looked pretty slim despite my massive bump, I had the shock of my life after I gave birth to find a had bumps in other places. Seriously I had more rolls than a freaking bakery ! Great! not only was I recovering physically and mentally from the labour I now resembled a beanbag!.
MY TOP TIP – Pack baggy tops such as a large sweatshirt and leggings to go home in, also take hair elastics for an easy ponytail and reassure yourself that a lot of the weight is water retention that will eventually go away.
The first night I spent with my son was exhausting. Not only was I recovering from the physical strain of giving birth, but I had already been awake for almost 48 hours straight. When my husband to be left the hospital for the night I thought ‘ YES, I can sleep’. My baby was a newborn and all newborns do is eat and sleep right? Hmmmmmmmm. After feeding my baby and putting him back in his crib to sleep, he responded by crying loudly. I didn’t understand, he was clean, has been fed and was fast asleep just a minute ago. After frantically trying to calm him after an hour I realized what he really wanted.
LESSON THREE: Though I was prepared to be woken up every 2-3 hours to feed my son during the night, I had believed I would be able to get at least some sleep in between feeds however I was wrong. One thing I was not prepared for was not being able to put my baby down once he fell asleep. Nope, he would not sleep anywhere else but on me, no matter how deep in sleep he was, he would scream the moment I would try and put him in his crib. Goodbye my hope of having a good nights sleep. Try sleeping while in a small hospital bed with your newborn balanced on your chest. The sheer terror that he might fall off is enough to keep you awake all night! Twos month on and he still loves to sleep on either me or my partner though with a few tricks we have taught him to sleep mostly in his crib. The reason behind it is that they are so used to being with you 24/7 all snug and warm while they were in the womb, and now being out in the big wide world, all the sensations and open space is overwhelming for them and being close to you comforts them.
TIP: Swaddling! I would swaddle him before feeding him so that my warmth and smell would be on his blankets and once he fell asleep I would put him in his crib, works like a charm. if you are like me and not very gifted in the art of swaddle buy a swaddle pod, now as soon as we put it on him he knows it is time to sleep.
Becoming a parent for the first time can be very daunting. I remember coming home from the hospital and thinking, what do we do now? It is scary to think that this little person is entirely your responsibility. You and your partner are responsible for how they are going to turn out as adults. Every time you see an annoying child, people blame the parents for not raising them right, so how do I make sure I raise a decent human being and not an twat? The thought is scary. There are a number of books and blogs on parenting, telling you what you should and should not do while caring for your child and to be honest, there are so many conflicting arguments that you could read everyone of those books and still not know what to do. For a lot of our friends and family who have small children, the cry it out method seemed to have worked wonders and seems to be the go to method when you want your child to sleep. ( For those you do not know, the cry it out method is when you let your child cry until they learn to self settle and fall asleep on their own with no fuss). From day 1, I was told by family, friends even the midwife to let him cry and that if i didn’t I was making a rod for my own back. So after an exhausting first night with him on my chest my partner took over and decided to try this method. As we tried to get him to settle my instincts told me that this was not right despite what everyone had been advising me. I cried as I watched my 3 day old baby cry because he desperately wanted to be close to me. I couldn’t do it, he was too young and didn’t understand what was happening. He needed to be nurtured as being in this world was so new and scary for him. I vowed at that moment to do what I felt was right for me and not what everyone told me to do.
LESSON FOUR: Trust your instincts. You will be inundated with advice from others wanted or not and as daunting as being a new parent is, do what feels right for you. I found that the days I was able to respond quickly to his needs were the days he tended to be more settled and happy to sit by himself for a while, whereas the days I would be a bit busy and didn’t take time with him were the days he became more fussy and clingy. Now that he is older I am more comfortable to let him cry a little bit especially since I can now differenciate between his serious cry and his ‘fake’ cry, but I only do it know because I feel it is now ok to do it even then I only let him cry for a minute or two.
After 2 months of tending to my baby 24 hours a day there is one thing that I still need to work on and that is to take time for myself.
LESSON FIVE: Look after yourself! The days go by so quickly and before you know it you realise you have not seen your girlfriends for over a month or that you and your partner have not had any alone time since becoming a family. You are wearing clothes that no longer fit you and you have not had your eyebrows waxed for months and they are starting to resemble caterpillars! Its true that newborns will take up most of your time and that your priorities in life change once you have a child but it is important to nurture yourself and the other parts of your life, if not to maintain your relationships but also for your sanity. As I am exclusively breastfeeding it has been difficult for me to leave my baby in fear that he would go hungry, but there have been times where as much as I love him, I have needed to get away! I don’t want to wake up one day and realise my friends have moved on and the only thing I am capable of talking about is my baby and day time TV!
Advice to myself: Go and get those freaking eyebrows waxed!
As my due date approaches, it has suddenly dawned on me that I am completely unprepared for the drastic turn my life is about to take. Not only have I not packed my hospital bag, I have not bought any baby clothes, nursing bras or any other baby / mum to be essentials that I will desperately need in the coming future and the nursery is far from ready.
In an attempt to get organised, I set out to buy all these ‘essentials’ and ended up scaring my self more than anything. Buying little boots, hats and rattles was somewhat weird and fun at the same time, but stepping into boots to see the array of mum to be hospital toiletries made my blood curdle. Seeing a vast selection of vaginal massage oils for rips and tears is enough to make anyone run screaming, which was exactly what I did. Knowing I will eventually have to buy all of these things, I sit here and realise that even though I am fully aware that I am pregnant, that my belly has become a huge beach ball which feels like it is going to explode at any moment; it has not completely sunk in that in 5 weeks I will have a baby.
I am 29 years old but feel exactly the same as I did when I was 16. I still laugh at fart jokes for goodness sake! As a kid I believed that once you became an adult it was this major shift in perspective and outlook; that you just miraculously grew up and understood everything. Little did I know is that you are exactly the same, may have experienced more things and become a bit more mature but you are the same nonetheless, just in a body that is older, doing things that adults do.
Bringing someone else into this world is exciting and scary at the same time. To know that you are making a mini you with the person you love is extraordinary, but knowing that you need to bring the person up to be a good, respectful human being without actually knowing what you are doing is terrifying. All I can hope it is that I will grow and learn along the way and to be the best mum and wife I can be, to take my life experiences and teachings from my past and peers and continue to be the type of person I want to be….a confident mum.