Kids before career? Kids after career? Kids or career? Kids and career? Jeez, making life plans is hard when you’re a woman! It’s 2018 and while we would love to believe that by this point in history we can have our cake and eat it too when it comes to working as a parent, unfortunately that still isn’t the case for many of us. Articles in the media and online are rife about working (or not) mothers, everyone has an opinion and so often I read about mums and work and we always seem to be placed in to one of two camps: the stay at home mum who feels unfilled and unappreciated, or the working mum who feels guilty and miserable because they don’t get enough time with their kids. Ask a mum about her experience of the working world and I bet she has a story to share, maybe she wanted to go back to work part time but her boss wouldn’t cut her hours, maybe she’s desperate to work but can’t afford the childcare, maybe she is one of the rare lucky ones who has found the mythical balance between her work and home life. The climb up the career ladder can become extremely difficult once our little bundles of joy arrive, that’s for sure. The modern online world would have you believe that your escape route out of the 9-5 and childcare juggle can be accessed with just a laptop and a good internet connection. The development of technology, smart phones and WiFi pretty much everywhere has made working for yourself a viable option; if you are struggling with the pressure of keeping the work and family plates spinning, now, perhaps, there is a way to do it all. Working from home seems at first a great option for those who can’t or don’t want to go back to the work place but is this style of career really the best option for parents? Here is my experience as a self employed mum working from home, I hope it helps you make up your mind whether this is the career path for you too. View Post
This week, postnatal depression and anxiety support charity PANDAS Foundation are running an awareness week – #PNDA18. The theme of the week is Hope, stories and support will be shared all week to provide hope to all the mums struggling with their mental health that a happy life is something they can have again. I have written a piece for PANDAS that will be shared on their website tomorrow, until then, I thought I would share five little things we can all do on a bad mental health day. The cloud of depression can be heavy and all encompassing but there are ways to ease the pressure and make it out through the fog, if even just for a little while.
Welcome back to #BlogCrush! This is a linky that is all about spreading the blog love. If you are a blogger, come share your posts here along with one from another blogger you love. If you are just someone on the lookout for some new reading material, I can guarantee you are going to find some amazing pieces of writing here.
Have a happy linky, lovelies.
When Alex was a couple of months old and I felt like I was slowly losing my mind, I never thought I’d feel happy again.
When I was exhausted beyond measure and crying every day, I never thought I’d feel normal again.
When every decision I made was followed by crashing waves of Mum guilt and self doubt, when I had no time or desire to look after myself and when the only thoughts I had where anxiety fuelled and terrifying, I never thought I’d smile again.
There was a long time that I thought my brain was broken, that I couldn’t trust my own instincts and the majority of the thoughts that whizzed around my head scared me to my core. I had post natal depression brought on by really bad anxiety and for months I didn’t get the help I needed. Over 18months on, I no longer say I have post natal depression, I am no longer a giant ball of anxious energy. I’m happy now, the happiest I’ve ever been. If you are struggling, if you are trapped under that dark heavy cloud and feel like the storm will never pass, I’m here to tell you that you can get through it, you won’t always feel the way you do now. View Post
How has this happened? Leo has finished his first year of school. Reception year is over, done, finito! As with most stages of parenting, I feel like the time since his first day has just whizzed by. With today marking Leo’s very last day of reception, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on Leo’s first school year and to see how far he has come since September. View Post
Do you have a happy place? You know, a place you go to in your mind when you just can’t handle another second of the real world and you need to escape. It might be an abandoned beach, with just you on a deckchair with your favourite book for company. Perhaps it is a room full of your best girlfriends, you are all talking about anything and everything, laughing and drinking wine. A beautiful waterfall, a serene lake, the top of a snowy mountain watching snowflakes drift peacefully to the ground. Wherever your imagined happy place may be, when you need a minute to yourself, take yourself away from the stressful situation, close your eyes and go there. That’s what I do. View Post
The summer holidays are almost here, who’s freaking out? I’m feeling quite relaxed about the whole thing, which is surprising! Having two kids at home is never easy so that’s why I’m planning on getting out of the house with Leo and Alex as much as possible. 6 weeks is a long time and it can be hard to come up with enough fun ideas to keep the kids entertained. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking there is nothing more frustrating than hearing your child say ‘I’m bored!’ about a billion times a day. This year I have decided that preparation is key and you can’t get more organised than a list. If you are wondering how to keep your little ones entertained this summer too, here is my summer holiday bucket list for kids under 5, there’s an activity for every day. I hope it helps to eliminate your summer holiday ‘I’m bored’ fears and that you and the kids have a lovely summer break making magical memories. View Post
Using a sling was one of the best parenting decisions I ever made. Life with a newborn is so much easier when you babywear and there is no way I could have coped without one after I had my second baby. Babywearing isn’t just for babies though and slings and baby carriers are a great tool to have in your parenting arsenal even when your child grows into a toddler. Alex grew out of his baby size buckle carrier when he was about 18 months old, I have desperately been searching for a new sling and was so happy to be asked to review the Izmi toddler carrier. If you are planning on toddlerwearing and are looking for a suitable toddler carrier, here is my review of the Izmi – I hope it helps! View Post
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I have reached a point in my motherhood journey now where I am starting to think about what career I want to have when Alex starts pre school. It is hard to know what to do when I have never had a career before. If you are in a similar position or are thinking of a career change, perhaps you will be interested in learning what it takes to become a counsellor. Today I have a guest post from Chrysalis Courses about what skills you need to be a good counsellor. Also, if you are struggling and feel you may need to see a counsellor, this post will help you know what traits and skills your counsellor should have to be of a real benefit to you and your mental wellbeing. View Post
Welcome back to #BlogCrush! How is everyone? I am EXHAUSTED, loving the heat but chasing around the kids in the burning hot sun has been a challenge. Have you had time between soaking up the sunshine to write any blog posts? I hope so, I can’t wait to relax on the beach and read all your wonderful words.
Have a happy linky, lovelies.
Summer is here. The shops are full of gorgeous floaty dresses, pretty little tops, strappy sandals and the rails are jam packed with the summer wardrobe staple we all love to hate – the bikini. I have always felt a bit selfconscious in a bikini but never enough to consider not wearing one. I am naturally small and although I have some body hang ups, I have never despised my body. Since having kids, my body confidence has understandably taken a knock but every time we visited the beach last summer, my belly didn’t flip with nerves when I took my beach dress off and stood on the sand in just a bikini. Thanks to exercising regularly after the birth of my second baby and having a pretty awesome cleavage thanks to breastfeeding, last summer I felt the best I have ever felt about my body. I wish I could say the same about it as the summer holidays approach this year. You see, my body confidence has plummeted and it is not because my thighs are a bit squishier than they once were, or because I have a permanent ‘look who had a big lunch’ pot belly, I am not feeling as confident in my skin this summer because my babies stole my boobs. Yup, you read that correctly, my babies STOLE MY BOOBS! View Post
Potty training, we all dread it don’t we? The thought of puddles of wee on the carpet or a smelly poo hiding amongst the toys on the floor, it’s enough to make even the most hardcore parent squirm as they reach for the anti bac and pull on the rubber gloves. We get through it though and whether it’s with or without some mess and stress along the way, at some point our toddlers start doing their business in the toilet and we are free from nappy changing duties at long last.
Except we’re not.
After taking a very relaxed approach to potty training, from about 2 years 9 months Leo was dry in the day but still wore a nappy at bedtime. In August last year Leo turned 4 and we ditched the bedtime nappies once and for all. There have been a few accidents since we said bye bye to the pull ups but at last I can confidently say Leo is 99.9% dry at night now – yay! View Post
*sponsored guest content*
If you are a regular reader of Naptime Natter you will know that I am very passionate about raising awareness when it comes to mental health, especially the mental wellbeing of mothers. Today I have a guest post for you from the National Counselling Society, covering the main things we should all know about mental illnesses and what we can do to help society change its attitude towards mental health. I hope you find it useful. View Post
Podcasts are my new favourite thing, they are the most perfect form of entertainment for busy mums like me. I love that I can be getting on with the housework and be listening to a podcast. Or, instead of my brain dissolving through sheer boredom from watching another episode of Peppa Pig, I can sneakily have one of my headphones in, listen to something interesting but still be cuddled up next to the kids (who are totally clueless that I’m not as invested in Peppa’s first ever sleepover as they are!). On long car journeys, when the boys are asleep, instead of listening to the radio, Oli and I listen to podcasts that make us laugh, make us think and inspire us – soo much better than radio 1! If you are off on holiday this summer, with the kids or without, and need a breather from your summer read, why not pop a podcast on? Holidays are of course for making memories with your kids and being present but you deserve a break too and if your break takes the form of half an hour, lying back in the sun with your headphones in, here are some of my top podcast recommendations for you to listen to on the beach. View Post