A Fun Guide to Motherhood, Bridget Style!

Have you seen the film yet? It’s on my Must do list and scheduled in for a Saturday girls night out in a Devon cinema near you. I love how they’ve made a Hollywood story line out of a situation which wouldn’t be out of place on a certain early morning TV show! Anyway, my money’s on Jack as it is would be obvious for Mark. Ok I’m seriously questioning my judgement right now!

No, lets stick with Jack, just to be different.
Bridget-Jones-infographic-V3

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How Old Is Old? Am I An Old Mum?

Mature/old/experienced or all the above? How old do you have to be when considered an old mum?

We’d always toyed with the idea of having three children, despite always proclaiming that I’d only ever have 2, by the time number 2 came along I never felt finished. Quite the opposite infact. It just felt too normal, too structured. A mum, a dad, a house, a car, a dog and 2 children. We were living the western ideal of what a family should be and it just didn’t feel right.

I’m no rule breaker but there’s a side of me that sometimes like to break away from the norm and 2 children felt too ‘normal.’ (Not knocking anyone with 2, BTW)  All the time I was yearning for a troop, like mother duck waddling around with her ducklings behind her, the chaos of kids was the life for me and I knew that one day our 2 would become 3. (Ooooo that rhymes, I like it!)

Anyway,  life got in the way and before long I was on the wrong side of thirty so if we were going to do this, we needed to do it now. I didn’t want to be an old mum. The only problem being, my old lady eggs took a little kick starting after laying dormant for nearly 10 years and that wrong side of thirty pretty soon became hurtling towards forty and with it a realisation that

Pants! I was going to be that old mum I was trying to avoid

Sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned but I’m a strong believer in things happening for a reason and I started to really wonder what made an old mum ‘old’? And was it really that bad after all?

how old is old when it comes to being a mum?

 

I’m not going to lie that the pregnancy wasn’t as trouble free as it was in my twenties. Crippling SPD, nausea, tiredness, heartburn and a constant worry that I was doing the right thing plagued me. I tried desperately to enjoy this last chance at the miracle of life  but I couldn’t see the wood for the trees and there was no denying that being within sniffing distance of forty was my blame for everything.

Then it struck me, it wasn’t being an old mum that caused these problems. The more I reached out the more I realised that mums of any age suffered from those horrible pregnancy side effects. So I stopped waving the geriatric card and tried to focus on the positive.

When my little baby was finally here, the recovery wasn’t any longer, in fact, having a little age and experience on my side meant I was better at articulating my needs and this case it was a self induced baby bubble where I stayed in and eased my baby into this brave new world. I didn’t push myself out on the obligatory walk round the village with he pram until either of us were ready.

And I enjoyed every moment of those early days, where age just didn’t come into to it.

So who cares if I’m an old mum, I certainly don’t feel it if I am anyway. Age is just a number and whether you’re 18 or 48, having babies and raising kids isn’t age associated, what’s important is that you put your children first and look after your self. I’ve tried it both ways and they both rock.

And I’ve decided, I’m not an old mum. I’m vintage.  

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A New Mums Guide to Surviving The First Few Weeks

I don’t think you can ever fully appreciate the full effects of sleep deprivation are until you have a baby.

When pregnant with my 1st son, I had this crazy idea that my baby would sleep all night and doze all day as that’s what babies do. So it came as quite a shock when I found out that most babies have to learn to sleep on their own, and that for some,  it’s not a natural progression from the cosy and comfortable feeling of the womb to the bright, noisy and scary world on the outside where the only place it feels safe is in the arms of mum or dad. And as sleep requires you to feel safe, then the only place my babies ever liked to sleep was on my or my husband’s chest.

All my boys have been rubbish sleepers to start so I’m well equipped to let you know just how sleep deprivation feels. Many new mums begin their journey into parenthood following the marathon of labour and in a cruel twist of fate, as your body is recovering from its battering you then have to wake up every few hours to feed your new and very dependant offspring.

smiling baby http://muminanutshell.com

Now don’t get me wrong, I love those first few days being wrapped up in the hormonal rush of love, getting to know the little person you’ve been carrying around for 9 months. And with paternity leave as well as the help from friends and family, most new mums are able to relax and let everyone else worry about the everyday stuff. My fondest and sweetest memories are of the early morning feeds, listening to the dawn chorus, just me and my babe, no distractions, no visitors, no noise. It was pure bliss.

But then the fog sets in, the fuzzy, disoriented grip of no sleep. Emotions run high, decisions harder to make and a everything just seems a little harder to do.It was after my second son was born that I remember looking in the mirror one morning and barely recognised what was looking back at me. I saw dark circles, tired eyes and a dire need of a few hours taming my mop of hair in a quiet, relaxing salon. When I wasn’t leaving the house in slippers, I was taking the hoover out the door instead of the pram. I’d put the baby in the moses basket to run the washing out, then forget where I’d put him and conversations just came out big slushy nonsense.  So, like I said, if you’ve ever experience sleep deprivation, I hear you, I hear  you loud and clear!

Third time round, you’ll excuse me for being a little nervous, as I knew what was coming, but this time I had a plan, a clever, wise and well thought out plan. Accepting that the odds were on that I was going to have another cuddler/non sleeper and knowing by now that it was perfectly normal for babies not to sleep through the night. I equipped myself with a new mum formula;

A new mum's guide to surviving sleep deprivation, hints and tips to get you through the first few weeks and months

 

Acceptance.

Babies have small tummies which get hungry quickly, and yes, breastfed babies will probably wake more often than formula fed due to breast milk being used up quickly and not taking as long to digest as formula. But my determination to feed my babies myself outweighed any sleep I could be missing. I’d nourished them from the inside and wanted to carry on now they were born. The magic of breastfeeding however, is your body produces a sleep inducing hormone when you feed at night so the bottle v’s breast decision is pretty much even when it comes to sleep. If you accept you’ll be woken, then it’s not so hard.

Don’t rush.

However your baby has chosen to come into the world, it’s tough. Labour is both exhausting and painful. C-sections are major surgery. You need time to recover both mentally and physically. Don’t rush out into the world, picking up where you left off, accept help and relax. Spend time getting to know your new baby, the housework can wait and visitors won’t care whether you’ve got dressed or emptied the dishwasher. I opted for a 10 day new-baby-bubble third time round. I didn’t leave the house, food was ordered online, family and my husband did the school run and I eased my son into the world rather than thrusting! If you have a supportive family and network of friends I thoroughly recommend it.

Collate a new mums tool kit

If you look better, you’ll feel better. Get your hair cut before baby’s born into a manageable style, drink more water to make your skin look better, take a new mum multivitamin and get together a killer, quick to apply make up set. Eye gels and eye mists will help tired eyes, a good moisturiser ( I swear by BB creams) will take care of your face and mascara and lip balm will freshen your look if you haven’t got the time to apply the full works.

Hopefully if you follow all the above, that sleep deprivation won’t seem so bad. And just remember, it doesn’t last forever. Before you know it you’ll have a teenager who sleeps more than is humanly possible.

A new mum's guide to surviving sleep deprivation and those first few weeks

photo taken by Zoe at Phaze Photography

 

 

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Win a Nursery Thermometer

Keeping your baby’s room at the right temperature isn’t a luxury, it’s vital. But with central heating thermostats usually placed in different parts of the house, it’s sometimes hard to judge whether a room is too cold or too hot.

I personally find that the recommended temperature for their rooms too cold for my liking, always preferring to feel warm to cold so I’ve always used a room thermometer to know what to dress them in at night and how many blankets to use. As a rule of thumb, I’ve used guides such as these from the Baby Centre which suggest keeping it between 16’c and 20’c, with 18 degrees C being ideal which I’ve then used a sheet and 2 blankets for bedding.

With the overheating being linked to SIDS it really is something every parent and carer needs to be aware of and to help make sure you’re little ones room’s at the right temperature I’ve teemed up with thermometer UK to give you the chance to win a nursery thermometer which not only measures the room temp but also the humidity levels. it’s large, easy to read display lets you know if the rooms too hot or too cold at a glance.


Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More competitions at Mum in a Nutshell – Win Rockfish chelsea boot wellies rrp £59.99

Win a pair of Rockfish Chelsea boots! The quality alternative to the welly

Check out more competitions at ThePrizeFinder  and U, me and the kids.

 

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Win a Set of 10 Funky Giraffe Bandana Bibs

Long before the days of Toddler, I worked with new mums. I loved seeing their path into motherhood and watching the babies grow. It was a privilege to be part of that journey and sharing such a special time with them. And what always struck me was how the baby market evolved so quickly. There were many occasions where I’d find myself saying “wow, I wish I’d had that when my boys were babies” There were so many gadgets appearing which made life just that little bit easier, but it was one simple little design which caught my eye over and over again.

A bandana bib. So simple and yet so utterly adorable!

I detested the plastic backed string tied ones and only really used them for meal times, which was fine until it came to teething. I have a few photos, of Tween especially, with sodden tops from teething dribble, but oh how different would it have been if I could have popped on a funky bandana bib to mop up the evidence.

Win a set of 10 Funky Giraffe bandana bibs

I remember asking a mum where she’d bought her cute little bib from and she gushed about the Funky Giraffe website where she bought them by the bundle. Curious, I took a peek and ended up buying some for family and friends. They were so reasonable (even now at £2 a bib when bought as a pack of 10) that it seemed silly not to.

Win a set of 10 Funky Giraffe bandana bibs

So that’s how I first found out about these cute little accessories and as I’m now mamma to a toddler once again, I have my own little stock and as a pre Christmas treat I’ve teamed up with Funky Giraffe to gove you the chance to win 10 of your own. All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and a winner will be selected at random.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

For tips on entering competitions from the lady who knows its all in thus book Super lucky secrets by Di Coke

 

More competitions at ThePrizeFinder – See more at: the Prize Finder

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