Back to work blues

With only about 7 weeks to go until I really try to juggle life and go back to work, I’ve realised I’m on a bit of a countdown and I’ve also had quite a lot on my mind surrounding the subject too.

I’ve become very comfortable living off my maternity wage, budgeting well and not treating myself as often as I used to. Having the freedom to have snuggly sofa days or big adventures whenever I feel like bodes well with me!

I’ve mastered 6am get ups and these are now the norm. I share no resemblance to a spring chicken by any means, but I am out of bed, feet firmly on the ground with dozy eyes and a caveman vocabulary. So the time I wake up won’t really affect me when it comes to going back to work. It’s my little buddy now in the morning routine. Milo has been my only responsibility regarding a morning routine because I have been easy and low maintenance. Throw my hair back, slip into activewear and boss Milo’s morning routine – that is all I’ve had to do and I still manage to take 2 hours! So doing the calculations, 6am wake up to leave the house at 6.45am… not happening.

This is where the real husband and wife tag team will come in. As a team, we do good! Chris has been getting the early morning bottle while I bring myself round to consciousness and I take it from there. Luckily, Milo now feeds himself because he’s super independent! This gives me about 15 minutes to sort myself out and in maternity world, that 15 minutes is a final bit of shut eye. In the real world it’s going to mean getting ready for work and breakfast semi complete! I’m confident that we will make it, but just in case, I’m going to go into practice mode starting next week. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Now, I love my job. I work with children. The little geniuses surprise me every day and no two days are the same – quite like spending time with Milo! So, why can’t I just get paid for being a stay at home mum? That would be the greatest! Unfortunately, you don’t get paid in money to be a mum. Of course, being a mum is the best job in the world, I’d just prefer it to be a well paid job.

Knowing that this will never happen and has never been an option, realistically, kind of softens the blow a little bit, every time I ask my husband if we can just be super rich so I can stay home, get fit and have lots of fun being mum.

On the other hand, I can’t wait to have a little bit of my own money again. I won’t feel guilty for spending it on myself because I know we are already providing Milo with everything he needs, but we will have a little extra in the bank for selfish reasons. It’s good to be a little selfish because you need time for you, alone and in other relationships that may have taken a back seat whilst getting used to this new, busy life.

I also have a career to focus on. It’s not one that will provide me with a comfortable, part time working life in a few years and it will always be fast paced and ever changing but it’s my career. The one I chose straight from college and it’s the one I’m still navigating myself through, deciding which avenue to take next.

This is how I’m banishing these back to work blues. Knowing that I’m contributing financially to my family and in knowledge and experience towards my career.

Now, let’s get this next step rolling!

The Five Reasons Why I’m Committing to Improving My Post Partum Body, Now!

The days are still short, nights are long, cold and dark and the only sweet stuff in the house is left over candy canes, and that just won’t do!

For every time I feel an ounce of motivation to get on the health and fitness wagon, I get five reasons to quit that come along with it. So, I’m being super strict with myself and I’ve searched deep to find the five reasons to get started now! I am trying hard to squish the quitting demons but occasionally Papa John calls my name and sends pizza!

So, here I am, 34 weeks pregnant and wearing a tight dress and very high heels (which you luckily can’t see in this photo, because as it turns out, pregnant swelling feet from dancing all night do not fit into beautiful, strappy heels… hello, little toes. Get back in my shoe!)

Although I started waddling and my face was round, I had confidence in the way I looked and wore clothes I wouldn’t normally wear. I was proud of my pregnant body, so why shouldn’t I be proud of what I have now?

1. Working on your body confidence should be priority!

I may not be where I want to be in regards to my size and shape, but I was carrying a baby 6 and a half months ago and I should be proud of that achievement alone, as well as how well I’ve done so far. Especially since we have just had Christmas and lots of cheese!

To improve body confidence, focus on clothing. I’m going to reward myself and my body with fresh threads that make me feel good and stop putting off buying an item of clothing because it’s not the size I should be buying. This is punishment. This is an unhealthy way of looking at the body I have. I’m going to find those areas I’ve worked hard on and show them off, even if that means skinny jeans that shoe off my ankles, because they look great and that’s about it! I’ll get there, one small body part at a time.

2. It’s January. Exercise will help me beat the blues.

I’m not expecting to love going for a run outside when it’s almost freezing, dark and raining but there’s something enjoyable about running in a group with like minded individuals that meet once a week and use this exercising opportunity to catch up with each other’s lives. Group exercise is encouraging and fun when you find something that suits you. I’ve become quite fond of this lifestyle

3. Milo will soon outrun me so I need to learn to keep up.

I’m doing that by putting him in the running buggy and running for my life. It gives me a head start because if he follows his dad, Milo will be lapping me with ease by age 3! Running isn’t just a good form of exercise, it’s good for the soul and your mental health. Being outdoors helps free your mind of negative thoughts and practicing mindfulness whilst you run reminds you how to release tension and just let go. And if you reap the benefits of the great outdoors, imagine how good it is for the little ones?!

4. Marbella hen and bridesmaid duties!

Yes. I want to feel good when wearing a bikini again. I initially thought that I want to look good in a bikini again but if I asked my husband for his opinion, he would say that I already do so I’m relying on the confidence I get when I’m sun kissed and less wobbly to know I’ve succeeded in getting my Marbella bikini body!

5. If I’m teaching my son to be the best version of himself, he needs role models. Starting with me.

This is what is most important in my eyes. If we all try to be the best version of ourselves, we show our children how we expect them to act. To follow this through life, I believe we are helping our children develop great qualities in themselves and they will learn to look for positive personality traits in others too.

Let’s all help contribute to a change in this world that gives hope and spreads love and good vibes between each other. Small changes from everyone now can make a huge difference for the future!

A Day in the Life of a Talipes Mummy

It sounds like a huge challenge with those boots and bar attached to Milo for 23 hours a day but, it’s normal life for us. Luckily, Milo is our first born so we don’t have anything to compare it to. The first two weeks of his life were crazy so when we finally settled into weekly hospital visits and plaster cast legs, we soon got used to that as being normal. So when it came to having his boots fitted, we were excited for less hospital trips and fun daily bath times.

Milo has his boots and bar on his feet for 23 hours a day, meaning the hour out of them is filled with squidgy cuddles, tummy time, baths and boot cleaning! He has his free time just before the bed time routine so we can tie in his bath and change of clothes with this, minimising the amount of times we take his boots off throughout the day.

Mornings for Milo are quite straightforward and not too different to anyone else’s routine. He wakes us up by blowing raspberries or yawning very loudly, and then it’s bottle time. Mr independent will only take his bottle when holding it himself now so as he’s doing this, lay like a king on our bed, I take the opportunity to get myself ready for the day. Typically it’s activewear thrown on, for actually being active and going to the gym! With bottle thrown across bed and mum all ready for the day, boots and bar come off so Milo can be dressed. There’s usually a bit of a whiff from the boots and Milo’s feet because that area does get sweaty. We try and eliminate as much smell as possible by using a wet wipe on the boots and then using talc on boots and feet.

Boots and bar back on and Milo’s ready too. Heading downstairs with a million things in my arms, including the little man has become the norm. He’s pretty easy to carry, no different from other babies that can hold themselves comfortably on your hip.

The first hurdle we come across happens every morning before breakfast. I usually forget to remove the bar between Milo’s feet to help him into his high chair so try to do it one handed whilst he’s in my arms. Sometimes I succeed, most of the time I have to admit defeat and sit him on my lap and start again. We have a wooden high chair so the metal bar banging against it is very noisy, which we forget are now very used to. We’ve often had visitors asking why we are banging so loud in our kitchen and it takes us a while to correct them and show them who is really making the noise.

Once breakfast is all done and Milo’s bag is packed for the day, we usually head out to our local leisure centre so mummy can have some free time and work out. It’s only about 20 minutes away by foot, and we really enjoy the walk. Especially now that Milo can see the world, forward facing in his stroller. We use the childminding facility for Milo so he gets about 2 hours play time on his own, which he loves. He especially enjoys the attention he gets from the lovely staff that run it. I get a little bit of time to myself too, a chance to blow off steam, talk to adults and relieve anxiety. It’s the reboot I need and will always recommend to any parent that feels like their life is on repeat, day after day.

After a little bit of me time, I always feel a lot more positive about motherhood. I remind myself I’m doing a good job, then I reward myself with coffee and cake with friends! Milo enjoys this part of the day too. He has someone new to entertain and show off too and they aren’t bored of singing his favourite songs to him, so he’s completely spoilt with love and attention the whole day.

We usually throw in another walk around our area, or walk to the shop (especially now it’s creme egg season again). Outdoor time is so important and good for the soul, it exhausts us both too, enough for Milo to nap and mummy to have a quick clean up!

House cleared, Milo well rested and dinner cooking and it’s finally time for a cup of tea. The stereotypical afternoon ritual of stay at home mums everywhere! It’s well needed and definitely deserved though. So, never deny yourself of that quick 10 minute rest whilst you can because as soon as you know, your husband comes home from work and that is the equivalent of 3 children returning home – a whirlwind!

Milo’s dad comes home and gets fed, then it’s their time together until bedtime at 7! In this time, I sit back and watch the two nutters play together and remember how lucky I am. Yes, sometimes I wish those boots and bar could be stored in the cupboard and never see the light of day, but Milo was born with talipes and that is a small part of him. He’s a tough cookie, he copes just fine and we will have great stories to tell him when he’s old enough to learn about his condition. Until then, we will continue to encourage him to be the best version of himself and enjoy life.

I think we’re doing a good job, and Milo’s pretty darn lucky to have two crazy, loving parents like us.

Happy New Year!

A big Happy New Year from all of us, especially Milo! We have been so busy over the Christmas period so I decided to take a small social media break, put pen to paper and plan my 2018 goals.

I spent some time reflecting on my year too. I started 2017 pregnant and sober and watching the London fireworks on television. I remember how odd it felt that I wasn’t drunk and cheering in the New Year with friends or dancing to our favourite band but it was so exciting knowing our baby would be born a few months after. I also only had 15 weeks left at work and it was the best countdown, especially as my bump grew and I had inquisitive pre schoolers asking me all things baby. Maternity leave arrived pretty quickly and in time for the May bank holiday. It should have been a relaxing time but as the days were long and warm, I did anything I could to stay outside. Mostly hanging out with my niece or my friends with kids, because they love to play outside (and so do I). When my due date arrived, so did the hottest days of the year and many trips to the farm shop for ice cream. I was greeted with a lot of “ahhhh, when are you due?” Or “how long have you got left?” At first it was funny when I told them I was due 4 days ago or Monday, last week! I soon got frustrated that Milo wasn’t here yet though and instead of staying close to home in case something happened, I went where I wanted and most of the time I was completely under prepared. Who knew you should carry your maternity notes everywhere?! 12 days over due and my husbands birthday, the day I was getting induced. I decided to take him out for a birthday breakfast, 30 minutes away. We knew Milo wasn’t going to come on his own so we really weren’t worried, although, everyone else was slightly concerned that we were so relaxed about it.

Milo arrived and we have been happier than ever. Although time has passed so quickly since then, we’ve enjoyed every single day together. We had a few bits of bad news last year that have changed small parts of our lives and the way we look at things. Despite this, we remain positive and grateful, even if it’s for five minutes that day.

Positivity is my main focus for the year, and as much as I used to cringe at those “New Year, New Me” posts on social media, I now welcome them because it means somebody has the positive outlook that they need to make improvements to live a happier life and I think we could all do with those kind of people around us.

I’m also going to make an extra special effort to praise people because I often think it, but never say it. So, lady I’ve seen running up the same road for the past 2 years… good job and great improvement!

With only 6 weeks until I go back to work, I will remain positive, prepare for my return and make the most of my coffee and cake dates!

Happy New Year!