time flies when you're being a mum

Time for Mum tagged with 'baby blues'

if you’re anything like me, you find it difficult to even find time to have a wash, there’s always something more pressing. Here I’m hoping to encourage myself and you to put yourself first a bit more!



Getting me out of my mum-funk

04 Nov, 2013

You will be forgiven for not understanding what I’m talking about in this post but stick with it as the chances are, you will know what I’m talking about, and may even, in fact, relate! … This month I am taking part in NaBloPoMo. WTF?! I hear you cry!

NaBloPoMo is National BloPost Month (which is far easier to say and remember), and as inspired by my new friend (so new I’m not sure she even knows she’s my friend yet!) the lovely, Vonnie of Nowt special, I’m taking part.

Last week Vonnie announced she was going to blog every day for NaBloPoMo and summonded the blogging world to join her. You can see who is taking part so you can follow their progress via Vonnie’s post here: NaBloPoMo

I’m what’s know as a blogging hermit and not really one for taking part in Blog hops or other such blog community things – not because I’m a recluse (although I guess I sort of am) but more because I am astonoshingly BAD at research. Ask anyone I’m close to and they’ll tell you. I have all my holidays, hotel rooms, new houses, day trips, … [replace with important thing], found for me. (more…)

12 Feb, 2013

Reuben is 6 months old today. I have had a baby for half a whole year. I can’t work out if it feels like ages or if it’s flown by. Probably a bit of both. He’s completely consumed everything I do so I no longer have any concept of time! I know I’ve got very well acquainted with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony Op 125 (thanks to baby einstein!)  but I’m sure we’ve done more…here’s a review of what’s been going on broken down into the Newborn Months – 0 to 3 months and the Baby Months – 3 to 6 months!

Newborn Reuben – 0 to 3 months old


  1. It’s funny to think I went from a neurotic but optimistic mum-to-be in my due date post when I turned 40 weeks pregnant to sleep-deprived zombie for the next 3 months.
  2. Reuben, my perfect little boy, arrived 3 days later after a rather long labour
  3. I was then quite taken aback by having a newborn – I was so busy being pregnant I’d forgotten to find out what it would be like to have a newborn! It became all about survival for the next few weeks when I realised the importance of sleep. This is most important piece of advice I would pass on to any new mums or mums to be…!
  4. I pondered my new body at 4 days and then 3 weeks and again at 12 weeks
  5. After my pre-baby breastfeeding course I had to get to grips with the reality of breastfeeding (and got very well acquainted with nipple shields and my steriliser)
  6. I soon discovered Reuben wasn’t a fan of sleeping unless he was on me, on my boob, so in a bid to not become part of the sofa, I had to decide whether to dummy or not to dummy (we went with yes to the dummy but Reuben decided later that he didn’t like them anyway)
  7. And, after a lack of sleep both at night and during the day, baby blues hit our house  but we hit it back with romance (and sex)
  8. When Reuben was 9 weeks old I worked full time for a week in Vienna which meant I had to get very friendly with a disabled toilet and my breast pump. These are my breastfeeding tips for the full time working mum following that week away!
  9. Happily Reuben turned 3 months marking his graduation from newborn to baby. This was a definite turning point for me – I’m such a fan of sleep that I found those first months very tough. When we turned that 3 month corner I just started to enjoy life so much more because he was sleeping better, interacting and generally lovely! (not that he wasn’t lovely before but I was just such a zombie I struggled to enjoy him as much)


23 Nov, 2012

I’m having a scales amnisty. At least for the next 4 weeks. I’m working out as much as I can, I’m feeling better and Mike says I’m looking better…but those darn scales won’t budge! (In fact yesterday they went up, but I’m going to say that was trainers weight) So, therefore, rather than feeling better and taking Mike’s compliments, I’m moping about. My happiness (or at least how I see myself) is prisoner to a piece of measuring equipment.

No more! I’m going to do a little experiment for the next 4 weeks…do we need accountability/weigh ins to lose weight or is it holding me back? My theory for the latter is that you try hard all week and if the scales haven’t moved you’re think, well what’s the point? I may as well eat that dot dot dot.

JNL (I told you she’d be back!) said it took her 2 months of hard graft before she suddenly saw results. 2 months, man?! That requires sticking power, and I fear that if I’m weighing in on a regular basis and nothing is happening, I’m going to lose my way pretty quick. So, focus will be on the programme for 4 weeks. I’m just going to go for it and measure it by how I feel and how my cloths fit. Then I’ll have a little weigh (emphasis on the little hopefully) on 21st December to see how I’m doing. (Then Christmas will hit and I’ll probably have to start all over again, but we’ll ignore that bit!)

Exercise is great, it makes you feel good, releases those happy endorphins (so important for a new mum with sleep deprivation! I’m sure it’s helped me avoid the Baby Blues), builds muscles, fights fat…but if you’re aiming to lose weight, exercise accounts for about 20% of the weight loss, the rest is down to diet. Bad news for me because I’m particularly partial to food. But, with JNL’s help (from her book as introduced in my post Exercise After Pregnancy), I think I’m going to be able to do it (that should read I KNOW I’m going to be able to do it).

JNL is all about the high protein diet (note: not low carb – you still need complex carbohydrates but they must be whole grain, brown rice, that kind of thing). Protein keeps you fuller and more satisfied for longer, and feeds your muscles (rather than your fat cells, which is what white refined carbs do. Unfortunately), helping to repair them after workouts, which in turn will make them look SEXY. Hurray!

Here’s a sample diet plan following JNL’s method:

Breakfast = lean source of protein + 1 cup of fibrous carbs (i.e. vegetables or half a cup if you’re having fruit) + whole grain complex carbs (half a cup) e.g. 4 egg (3 egg white, 1 whole) omlet with tomato, mushroom and asparagus, and a piece of rye bread toast.

Snack = Protein shake* Always make your protein shake with water (although it tastes lush with milk (especially whole milk!), it’ll bloat you out). If I’m working out in the morning I’ll take the powder in a bottle and then add water to have after I’ve been in the gym. Really good for avoiding that post-workout slump that requires you to eat a cookie.

Lunch = much the same as breakfast e.g. Tuna, spinach and tomato wrap

Snack = Protein shake You can get a bit adventurous with your shakes, e.g. chocolate and banana smoothie – 1 scoop of chocolate flavoured protein shake + 1 banana + 180 ml water + ice cubes…blend and add a straw.

Dinner = lean source of protein + 1 cup of fibrous carbs e.g. 110 to 170g chicken breast with a tomato salsa and a green salad (NOTE: no complex carbs for dinner)

Snack = Protein shake This final protein shake may seem a bit overkill but it’s been my saving grace when I’m gagging for something sweet for pudding. Instead of being full of sugar, which will turn to fat as I innocently sleep, it’s full of protein, obvs, so again will feed my soon-to-be sexy muscles when/if I get some sleep.

JNL also says you can have a glass of red wine with dinner. Er, yes please.

The main thing that makes a difference to weightloss (and this is backed up by Jason Vale, the Juice Master) is cutting carbs in your evening meal. Think spaghetti bolognaise but without the spaghetti. Sounds shit but honestly, have it with a big green salad, eat it slowly and it’s not that bad!

Chilli prawn linguini (minus the linguini)

So, that’s it… wish me luck and I shall ‘weigh-in’ in 4 weeks time.

Any thoughts? What have you been doing/did you do to achieve weight loss after pregnancy? You know I need your help so please do comment! x




The Jennifer Nicole Lee Fitness Model Diet: JNL’s Super Fitness Model Secrets to a Sexy, Strong, Sleek Physique

The Juice Master: Turbo-charge Your Life in 14 Days

* If you are planning on having protein shakes and you are breastfeeding, you need to get it checked over by your health visitor/doctor, just to be sure it’s ok for you to have.

Baby Blues


08 Oct, 2012

Reuben turned 8 weeks old yesterday and the last week was pretty hellish. Reuben probably wasn’t much worse than he had been previously but the cumulative effect that the sleep lady talks about from sleep deprivation must have kicked in (I mentioned this in my last post about her illuminating article with tips for the knackered) and as a result there were tears, tantrums and general misery around the Parker household. They were mainly my tears and misery (in the middle of the night when I was desperate to sleep and the Reubinator kept waking every hour) but this had a knock-on effect that led to a Mike tantrum on Saturday because I told him he couldn’t go to the football on Sunday.

Hi… I’m here to bring you joy and happiness and wreck your life for 6 months (maybe more, maybe less, we’ll see…)

Last Tuesday was a particular low. Mike was off to London for the night and after a terrible night I just wanted to sleep but I couldn’t get Reuben to go to sleep anywhere but on me. I did drop off on the sofa with him but all the Health Visitor books specifically say DO NOT FALL ASLEEP ON THE SOFA WITH YOUR BABY. Turns out that while the overall cot death statistics have decreased significantly, the deaths as a result of cosleeping on sofas has quadrupled. With this thought in my head I just sat sobbing to myself, trapped by my baby and an imminent IKEA delivery. I felt like I couldn’t call anyone to help, particularly not while sobbing my heart out, and I didn’t want to bother Mike as there was nothing he could do since he was on a train in the wrong direction. I did call him in the end though and he called in the cavalry in the form of his dad. The moment I knew Michael Senior was coming all that blackness and despair lifted. I felt almost completely fine. Still tired but anyone can cope if they know it isn’t indefinite.

Mike and I had decided that to ease some of the stress we would get some more help from our cleaner, which also cheered me up no end. When I was talking to her about how things were going and why we wanted more help she said to me, “Can I ask a personal question?” erm, yes, of course… “do you think you have baby blues?”

Well, I didn’t know what to say to this. I certainly didn’t think I did have it but if you look at my behaviour, teary tantrums, no blogging or tweeting for 2 weeks, feeling like I didn’t have any time to myself, etc. I could see why it would look it to an outsider. I assumed that this is just general new mum feelings. My cleaner went on to say, and she has told me this before, “I only ask because I had it and at times I felt like I could happily smother my baby.” Of course, she didn’t and wouldn’t have but she had a really hard time of it because a) her baby cried non-stop for 3 months and b) she was away from her family and had very little help. This is why I don’t think I have proper baby blues. Yes, he’s a little sh*t at times but I haven’t yet wanted to smother him.

But who’s to say what ‘proper baby blues’ are? I have a feeling that all mothers get them to a certain extent. It’s almost a mourning of the loss of their former lives and selves all exacerbated by sleep deprivation and isolation. The loss of time and freedom to go out when they want without having to plan it hours ahead so that everything is in place to achieve the 20 second getaway when their baby is finally ready to leave. It’s stressful, I tell you, but you don’t want your wee man screaming his little lungs out all the way to your nice relaxing lunch date! And, 8 times out of 10 you still get it wrong and he still screams all the way there until he falls asleep from exhaustion. Heartbreaking, so who wouldn’t reminisce about the old days?!

The other thing is the isolation. Most of us are used to being at work, around people all the time, and if not work, they’re free to dot about here and there seeing people. Even a trip to ASDA (or my personal favourite, Sainsbury’s – ooh the glamour!), where you see and interact with other people, is a luxury now. I’ve been told not to let having a baby stop me going out and doing things. Yes, in theory, but there’s 3 if not more problems I have with this. 1) I’m so tired! 2) I find it stressful so it makes me even more tired 3) what if he screams the whole place down and I have to abandon my trolly full of shopping to rush to the car to feed him? 4) breastfeeding in public isn’t much fun 5) etc… So, all in all, staying in watching the movie channel is a happy option to chose.

But ultimately it’s that darn, pesky sleep thing. I would go to the gym but I’m tired. I would blog or tweet more but I’m tired. I would go out more but I’m tired. And so on. So if I’m getting help to look after Reuben it’s a toss up between whether I blog, go to the gym, go out or sleep. Sleep wins for the most part. I also feel guilty if I don’t choose sleep as I think they then think I’m taking the piss. Why would I need help (free help) looking after my child to write a blog of all things?!

I don’t think I’m really getting anywhere with this but I think the lessons to be learnt here are:

1. Get help. Anybody with a child will know how horrific and isolating these first few weeks can be. I think I’m going to round up all the people I know and try and organise a little rota of help.

2. Sleep when you have help but also do the other things that make you happy (to be worked on and agreed with my helpers!).

3. Although you are really tired and miserable, don’t take it out on your fella/lady/partner – they’re at work all day and need a break too, so don’t remove all the joy from their lives by telling them they can’t go out. Lesson learned from this weekend.

4. Grow some balls… so you can get out and do more things. An example being on Friday I finally got out to get a bra fitting. I’ve been squeezing my boobs into my tiny pre-breastfeeding bras for 8 whole weeks. That is ludicrous and will probably mean I have to have corrective surgery on my saggy knockers once all this breastfeeding malarky comes to an end.

5. Sleep makes all things seem better.