time flies when you're being a mum

13 Nov, 2013

Omar is a fella I’ve known for years – we used to work together and via the medium of Facebook, despite both going in other directions, we’ve managed to stay in touch! When I was asking for your Birth Story on the Mum’s Days Facebook page, Omar piped up saying, is he allowed to send his story of becoming a father? But of course!

He has in fact become a father 3 times and it is really interesting to hear the Dad’s perspective on child birth…

Becoming a Father – Omar’s Birth Story

Well we have three, Adam, Aisha and Yousef…

Adam was a breach baby that the doctors and midwives tried to turn and couldn’t. As a result Louise battled, and I mean battled, for 22 hours before they conceded and said let’s go caesarean. They gave her an epidural, which caused them to puncture her spine and cause spinal fluid leak resulting in the most excruciating headache imaginable for three days before they sorted it out with a spinal tap… not to be confused with the band, but in fact another needle in the spine with fluid, etc. I was 22 and Louise 23… I had just graduated without a job and Louise had started her first Job…between us we had £11k per year…we made do with what we had.

Aisha (the moosh) came in the middle of the night. I couldn’t leave Adam as he was asleep and needed to be at school the next day. So I sent Louise to hospital, with my mum in law, fully expecting her to still be in labour by the time I showed up. Imagine my surprise when I turned up and saw a platinum blond, pink eyed girl… I have people with albinism in my family and knew straight away that this bundle of joy is going to take some extra looking after… she is registered blind and is partially sighted though she copes well. She also has to be creamed up against UV light which she has no protection from. Oh and she was born with only gas and air! (more…)

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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…)


World Food Day - what will you give up?!

10 Oct, 2013

I mentioned in my last blog post that we went to a Harvest Festival where all the food was being given to the local foodbank. I listened to some of the stories of people suffering right on my doorstep, and so often it is young parents struggling to feed their small children. Their Reuben or their Gabriella. It really struck a chord with me and made me realise that as I sit in my relative lap of luxury, chosing which organic brand to buy, I need to do more for my local community. I have since sourced out my local foodbank and been in touch with the organisers to see how I can help. This is what I found out…

Last year the Trussel Trust helped 350,000 people with emergency food. Almost half were children.

Did you know 1 in 5 UK mums are skipping meals to feed children? It’s unbelievable. And, as I live in one of the poorest areas of the North East, I can imagine this statistic is even higher, especially as there isn’t a local foodbank here. The closest one is 15 miles away in Newcastle.

The people they are helping are literally at their last resort. They aren’t just tipping up here rather than going shopping. They have nowhere else to go. And, I can imagine it isn’t the best feeling in the world having to go to a foodbank in order to feed your children. But happily, foodbanks around the country are doing more than just giving people emergency food, they are helping them get back on the right track.

Give it up for Foodbanks

When I got in touch with Molly, the Trussell Trust PR and Markerting Manager, yesterday she quickly sent me information about something happening NEXT WEEK! I didn’t realise I’d be able to help so soon.

Give it up for Foodbanks is their appeal in line with next week’s World Food Day on 16th October. They aren’t asking you to give them a round of applause, they want you to actually give something up! Either for the day (such as you daily cappuccino) or for the week (such as cake or chocolate – see they’re doing you a favour!). Whatever money you save, you give to your foodbank. Easy! and better for you.

You can get involved on twitter using the hashtag #GiveItUpForFoodbanks and for more information go to the Trussell Trust Give it up page

You can donate your money in 3 handy ways:

  1. You can donate online: www.justgiving.com/give-it-up
  2. Donate by SMS: Text WFDA50 followed by the amount to 70070. E.g. WFDA50 10
  3. Donate by post: Please make cheques payable to The Trussell Trust and send them to: Unit 9 Ashfield Trading Estate, Ashfield Road, Salisbury SP2 7HL

I’m going to give up wine for the week – will you join me?!



04 Oct, 2013

I’ve been thinking about and planning a Christening (in my head!) for Reuben since before he was born and yet, he still hasn’t been Christened! Mike and I are not regular church goers. I struggle with faith – I believe in good and bad, I believe in what all faiths have to teach us about being generous, caring, respectful, etc., something we all need reminding of*. But I do struggle with the God and Devil bit.

We both really wanted Reubs to be Baptised at the church we got married in, the church where my Dad was the vicar. We knew and cared about the people there and they cared about us (mainly by association) – it was the only church we felt a bond and connection. The problem was, the summer after we got married, my Dad moved to a new job. A heartbreaking journey for all involved, but one that was incredibly important for my Dad and has allowed him to finally finish his goal of the past 11 years – to finish writing his book (soon to be published!).

Now, it is not the done thing for an ex-vicar to disturb the peace, and my Dad was keen for us to find a new community and church to be part of. Enter the next hurdle…we’re thinking about moving. And, ‘thinking about’ (Mike looking for houses in all his spare time. An idle pass time, or so I thought) has swiftly turned to ‘actually, probably’ in the last week. So, previously it didn’t make sense to get Reuben Christened in our local church because if and when we move, we wouldn’t  part of that community anymore.

The final and probably most daunting hurdle for me is Gabriella. She hasn’t been Christened. She’s asked about it though when we were talking about Reuben’s and I have a feeling she would probably like to be Christened too. So, do we sort this out for her in advance of Reuben’s so Reuben can still have his own special day? Or do we just go for it and have a big party?

If I’m being really honest, which is difficult in this circumstance because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, the problem for me boils down to: Reuben is my son. Being a step mum has not always been easy but Gabriella is, for the most part, great and we love each other. However, for a long time I had to battle with jealousy and the sadness of having a constant reminder that your husband was in love with someone else, and sees or talks to them every day. All of this is fine now and I actually think the arrival of Reuben made it easier.

Now we do some things together, for example, we all got together for Gabriella’s ‘Disco Party’ a few weeks ago and it was easy. Fun even!

BUT this feels like the final step – everyone meeting each other from ALL the sides…

On the one hand there is still that lingering jealousy and as much as this is Reuben’s Day, it really is mine too. I carried him for 9 months and gave birth for a really long time!! I want to be the only ‘main mum’ there!

On the other hand, this is our opportunity to put everything behind us. To accept our situation for what it is and move forward as a single united front, celebrating the wonderful gifts that are Gabriella and Reuben. I’ve said it before – no, our situation isn’t always ideal but I think the better we can all get on with each other, the more settled and happy Gabriella and Reuben will be. it’s not good for Gabriella to ever feel that the people she loves can’t be included in something we are doing as a family. We are all her family. People (myself included) would just have to put their differences and any residual hurting aside and seize the opportunity to move on. To let it go.

planning a Christening

Mike says that to me all the time when I get het up about something. Pisses me off even more but he’s right, you let it go, you feel better! Image courtesy of Teacups Too

How much happier would everyone be (unless it turned into something from Eastenders at Christmas!)?  And, it seems that if I have learnt anything from Church, as mentioned above, this would be the ideal opportunity to act on it.

I guess I’m talking myself round but this is the way my head works – I have to verbalise things to make a decision!

What do you think? Is it time to bite the bullet? Get over my own feelings, start afresh as the modern family we are?

Thanks to Susan from Health, happiness and fitness for getting me to re-think about this and to Laura for writing to me already and pre-empting this post! Xx

* which reminds me that I need to find a local food bank – Gabriella and I went to the Harvest Festival with my Mum on Sunday (Mike sat in the car with a sleep Reuben throughout the whole service – he was happy house hunting!) and the message was clear that I need to get off my arse and start doing some for other people. Being generous and caring and respectful.


30 Sep, 2013

September has been a busy month; getting back into blogging, trying to be healthy (we’re doing the Clean & Lean Diet, which requires A LOT of preparation!), and working out how to be a good mum to Reuben.

I have also had more massages and facials than I have in the past 5 years combined! Firstly, I had a voucher to use up from the kids for my Birthday (in March!) – it was just about to expire so I had to use it and decided to have a facial. Then I had a massage as part of Mike and my date to Kielder. Finally, Hannah from BE.Holistic, who offers holistic massage, asked if I would like a course of massages. Would I ever?

HOWEVER, finding time to have all these massages was difficult! Hannah had to literally chase me to give ME a massage!! And, when I turned up for my facial, I felt like it was the last thing I wanted to be doing. I know it seems like a ridiculous problem to have but ultimately I felt guilty. There were hundreds of other things I should be doing with my baby-free time to make life slightly easier and smoother for my family.

Taking this time off to effectively have an expensive nap (I woke myself up snoring during the facial) seemed at best extravagant and at worse a piss take. I should be at home cooking (or in my case making food for Reuben to turn his nose up to) and cleaning and tidying. For example, last week Mike said to me at 7 am as he was trying to rush out the door, “I don’t understand why my socks aren’t making it back upstairs.” That was a fairly simple one, both of our washing baskets were overloaded with washing – all of his socks were at the beginning of a 4-step process and still needed to be washed, dried, paired and carried back to the drawer where they came from.

When things like that happen I feel guilty that I’m not keeping my end of the bargain and questioning how to be a good mum and wife.

But being the dedicated blogger I am, I made time for my massages! Then it dawned on me, if I have to force myself to have some Mum Time for free (in exchange for this blog post, which is no real hardship as I like writing blogs!), the chances are there aren’t many mums out there who make sure they make time for themselves to have a pamper.

You might be thinking making time to have a massage is extravagant and taking the piss. But having a quick google of ‘how to be a good mum’ will soon turn up a host of posts about making time for yourself, looking after yourself, doing things that make you feel good.

Let me fill you in on the BE.Holistic massage series I had and see if I can help change your mind! (more…)


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