What it is really like being a mum with anxiety – stories from real mums

What it is really like being a mum with anxiety – stories from real mums

It has been over two years now since I first experienced severe anxiety. Every day I was scared, my heart would start pounding for no reason, I would feel like I was going to faint and my mind would be racing so fast I’d sometimes forget to breathe. The only thoughts I had were negative. I would play out worst case scenarios in my mind, a constant loop of ‘what ifs?’ would torment me and intrusive thoughts would flood my vision and leave me feeling terrified. While all of this was going on I was trying to look after a newborn and a toddler, this felt impossible most days when the majority of my anxiety was triggered by worrying about them constantly. When I was experiencing these feelings, I was convinced I was the only mum out there who was going through this. I felt so alone and scared and I truly believed there was no one else who could possibly understand what I was going through. Well, that’s simply not true. Anxiety is really common, especially amongst new mums, it may effect us all in different ways but you are not the only person to experience it. In this post I am sharing the stories of lots of different mums, to help those of you who may be struggling and feel alone but to also help the families of people with anxiety see what it’s like being a parent with this condition and hopefully find ways to support those around them. View Post

5 things to tell yourself every day to be a happier mum in 2019

5 things to tell yourself every day to be a happier mum in 2019

A new year has landed and I’ve got that fresh start and new beginnings feeling going on, are you feeling it too? I am not making any new years resolutions or setting any blog goals though as I never manage to see them through or stick with the new habits so I won’t even be trying in 2019. Besides, I don’t really want to eat less chocolate or start jogging and isn’t that what most peoples new years resolutions are anyway? There are lots of things I want for the year ahead though and one of the main ones is to be happier. Regular readers of my blog will know I have battled with post natal depression and anxiety over the last two years and although I feel I have mostly recovered, there are still the bad mental health days now and then that can leave me feeling overwhelmed, anxious and sad. From now on, whenever I am doubting myself, whenever I feel like a bad mum or that I am not good enough, I am going to have a positive little word with myself and shift back into a happier mind set. If you want to be a happier mum this year too, here are five things to tell yourself every day. View Post

Tired mama? Follow these tips for a great night’s sleep

Tired mama? Follow these tips for a great night’s sleep

*sponsored guest content*

Who’s tired? I’m sure every single one of you reading this just nodded your head whilst simultaneously yawning and rubbing your sleepy eyes. There is no job more exhausting than being a parent and I am sure all of us could do with an extra hour or ten of shut eye each night. This guest post is one that all you tired mamas are not going to want to miss, it’s full of really useful tips and tricks on how you can get more sleep. If your baby is sleeping through the night but you are still struggling to get a decent kip, try out some of these tips and see if they can help you drift off to the land of nod – I’m sure they will. View Post

5 ways to treat yourself this Christmas – you deserve it!

5 ways to treat yourself this Christmas – you deserve it!

*collaborative post*

It’s December, the festive season is now in full swing and if you’re not getting bombarded with Christmas joy when you’re out at the shops, it’s sparkling and twinkling all over our phones on social media too. Amongst all the photos of everyone’s decorated Christmas trees and smiling faces at Christmas markets, I saw a post on my Facebook feed the other day that I can’t stop thinking about. To power phrase, the post was saying that it’s not Santa who brings the magic at Christmas, it’s us, all the mums and dads of the world. You know what? It’s so true. Kids may get most excited about a visit from the main man in red when they think about Christmas but is it us parents who make the whole season special for our little ones. Who brings the magic for us though? While you’re busy building ginger bread houses, creating Christmas crafts, going to pantomimes and braving the ice rink, remember to make some time to treat yourself this Christmas too and make sure you do so without the Mum guilt. Christmas is undoubtedly about the kids and their happiness is most important but make sure you do something for you this December too. You mama, you bring the magic, you are the one who creates a Christmas full of joy and magical moments so do something for yourself today, ignore the to do list for a while and just say a big ‘Merry Christmas to me’. You deserve to reward yourself for all your hard work, here’s a list of ideas of how you can do so without suffering with stupid Mum guilt too – merry Christmas you wonderful people. View Post

You’re not a bad mum if you don’t have mum friends

You’re not a bad mum if you don’t have mum friends

I suck at making Mum friends. There, I’ve said it. I have friends, I have friends that are also mums but the whole going to a baby group or chatting at the school gates and making a new mummy bestie, yea, I suck at that. When Leo was small I met a quite a lot of mums at various groups, being a first time Mum I really valued those conversations with other women who just got how tough having a baby was (plus, it was always useful knowing I could ask someone for a baby wipe or two if a poonami happened and my nappy bag was empty). I was braver then, naïve and not scared of judgement, twenty two and thought making Mum friends was going to be easy. Through some kind of magic I did make a few close friends but I have a very annoying habit of befriending people who will later go on to move miles away. My best mum friend relocated when our boys were one and then when Leo was two I moved away and making new Mum friends at baby groups when I had an extremely chaotic toddler was more than difficult, it was impossible. I spent a long time feeling lonely and that I was a bad Mum because I didn’t have a big group of other Mum friends and their babies around to go to soft play with, ask over for play dates or to invite to the boys birthday parties. I’m out the other side of those feelings now though and I’m here to tell you this, if you don’t have mum friends that does NOT make you a bad Mum. View Post

The terrible twos – a phrase I won’t be using as a second time mum

The terrible twos – a phrase I won’t be using as a second time mum

At the end of October Alex turned two. My baby isn’t a baby anymore. I can remember when Leo turned two and in my head I had fully accepted that the following twelve months were going to be hard work. I completely fell for the whole terrible twos thing and, I’m not going to lie, Leo was a very difficult two year old. In fact, he continued to have tantrums when he was three and when he was four. He’s five now and, guess what, he’s still having tantrums. I don’t think he’s terrible though, he’s just a growing boy who is sensitive, highly emotional, a perfectionist and wants to be more independent than his years will allow. I’ve never looked at him and thought ‘you’re terrible’, I did subscribe to the idea of the terrible twos though and I wish I hadn’t. There were times I could have been a better parent, times when he was having a meltdown over something and I just swept his behaviour under the carpet as the terrible twos, not stopping to consider it could be something more. I know my boy so much better now and I know a lot of his ‘terrible behaviour’ when he was a toddler wasn’t him being terrible at all, he needed me to help him make sense of the world for him but instead I just added his meltdown to the long list of tantrums and accepted he was just acting that way because he was two. Looking back, those early years  with Leo did have their challenges and I feel like if the phrase ‘terrible twos’ hadn’t existed I could have been a better mum to him, I would have taken more time to think through why he was really having another tantrum instead of always just believing he was behaving in a certain way because of his age. View Post

Wooden book storage carts for toddlers

Wooden book storage carts for toddlers

*collaborative post*

My boys love books, they take after me in the fact that they are both little book worms. I adore how much they love reading and story time but it does mean our house is overflowing with books. There are two bookcases full of children’s books and an IKEA storage unit is crammed full of the works of the boys favourite authors: Julia Donaldson being Leo’s absolute favourite and Alex has a bit of an obsession with Spot the Dog. With Christmas around the corner, I am bracing myself for piles of new books coming into the house but I am stuck thinking, where the hell are they all going to go?! Book storage is something we can never have too much of in this house and I was thrilled when my lovely friend Sarah, blogger at From Day Dot, offered to let me review one of her handmade wooden storage carts. These mini storage carts are perfect for keeping a small pile of books in and are a fun solution to the ‘the bookcase is overflowing!‘ dilemma.  View Post

Autumn fashion for Mamas with J D Williams

Autumn fashion for Mamas with J D Williams

*collaborative post*

Brr, it’s starting to get cold out there now, isn’t it? I have well and truly declared the flip flops out of action and can often be found cursing myself these days for being optimistic about the weather and not bringing out a coat with me. I do love Autumn though and one of my favourite things about this time of year is the fashion. I am loving all the mustard and burnt orange clothes in the shops at the moment, all the chunky knits seriously appeal to my inner teddy bear and you can never go wrong with a good comfortable winter boot in my eyes. I was in need of a bit of an autumnal injection of clothes into my wardrobe so I was very happy when fashion website JD Williams offered to send me some bits to try. Here’s what I thought of them.. View Post

How to save money in the lead up to Christmas

How to save money in the lead up to Christmas

*advertorial content*

As it’s November, we can now start talking about Christmas with no judgement, right? Who’s freaking out? I am! This morning we just  paid hundreds of pounds worth of bills and they couldn’t have arrived at a worse time. With two boys who will be writing pretty optimistic and extensive Christmas lists to Santa, now is not the time for a tumbleweed to be drifting through my bank account. My mission for November is to save money in the lead up to Christmas. I don’t usually start my Christmas shopping until December so I have a month to save every penny I can. Need to save some money before Christmas too? Here’s a list of simple ways you can save money before mission Christmas begins.  View Post

The catch 22 of ‘me time’ when you are a parent

The catch 22 of ‘me time’ when you are a parent

As I draft this post I am sitting in a bath with white fluffy bubbles up to my ears and a revitalising peel off mask painted over my face. I have a scented candle burning, my latest read waiting for me to get stuck into on the shelf next to me and all that’s missing is a nice glass of wine. What’s the big deal, you might be thinking? Well, it’s 5pm and as every parent out there knows, mamas don’t get to take a relaxing bath at 5pm. This time of day is usually reserved for complete and utter chaos, it’s the beginning of the witching hour(s) and you normally feel stress simmering throughout the house as the kids begin to feel tired and grumpy and hanger is in full swing as you stand by the oven desperately willing the kids food to be ready. Ain’t no time for bubbles and candles at 5pm on a regular Wednesday. This, however, my lovely readers, isn’t a regular Wednesday.  View Post

Pumpkin picking in Swansea – Penyfodau Fawr Farm pick your own fields

Pumpkin picking in Swansea – Penyfodau Fawr Farm pick your own fields

Yay, it’s October! Well, the end of October to be precise. I love this time of year, crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, chunky knits and the sun sits low in the sky making everything just look that little bit more beautiful and cosy. You know why else I love October? Halloween! Ever since I was 9 months pregnant back in October 2016 and obsessed with finding a pumpkin the same size as my ginormous baby bump, we have been venturing out to a pumpkin patch to pick our own pumpkins for carving. I was a bit worried this year as we have moved back to Wales and I didn’t know where we were going to be able top pick our own pumpkins in Swansea. Penyfodau Fawr Farm came to the rescue though and we headed out there on a sunny afternoon at the beginning of this week to select four pumpkins to carve and decorate ready for Halloween.  View Post

Everything I have learnt from a month off Instagram – has my mental health improved?

Everything I have learnt from a month off Instagram – has my mental health improved?

About a month ago I decided to stop using Instagram. There was a combination of different reasons why I decided the social media app was no longer for me, the biggest one was the impact it was having on my mental health. It might sound strange to those of you who have never suffered with mental health problems, but Instagram was really messing with my head. I felt invisible in the crowd of millions of other users, I felt like no one cared what I had to say and every picture posted that only received a handful of likes made me feel like no one liked me, not just that they disliked the picture. So, I posted a photo of myself and I told my 2000 followers that I’d had enough, that Instagram was making me feel lonely and miserable and for something that is classed a ‘social’ media platform, it was making me feel anything but connected to everyone else. Before I signed out for the last time, I was definitely an Insta addict, I was on my phone ALL.THE.TIME. So, how have I coped without Instagram for the last month? Would I recommend everyone take a social media detox to help improve their mental health? What have I learnt in my month off Instagram? Here are my thoughts.. View Post

How to avoid a mummy meltdown this Christmas

How to avoid a mummy meltdown this Christmas

*sponsored content*

Yup, I said it. The ‘c’ word has been uttered and it’s only October. You can’t blame me though for chatting about Christmas already, The X Factor is on TV, big tubs of chocolates are for sale in the supermarkets and my local has already got their big Book Your Christmas Party Here! sign up. I love Christmas; the food, the family time, the cosiness, the traditions, the booze, the films – I love it all! I’m not going to lie to you though, I do get quite stressed out in the lead up as when it comes to Christmas, there is A LOT of organising that needs to be done. I have been partial to the odd Christmas related mummy meltdown in recent years and this year I am going to make it my mission to fully enjoy the festive period and not get overwhelmed by all the arrangements for the big day. Like the sound of a meltdown free Christmas? Read on to find out how I am planning to make preparing for Christmas stress free this year. View Post

Eating healthily as a one wage family – is it possible?

Eating healthily as a one wage family – is it possible?

So, something pretty embarrassing happened the other day. I was in Aldi doing the big weekly food shop, the trolley was bursting at the seems with fruit, veg, meat, snacks: all the essentials. I loaded everything up onto the checkout, I had everything crossed that Alex could make it through these last few minutes in the trolley without having a major meltdown. The checkout assistant scanned everything through at breakneck speeds and then it was time to pay. I was mortified when the lady said my card had been declined. ‘Can we try again?’ I asked, my cheeks flushed with embarrassment and growing stress. A second attempt and still no payment went through. I fumbled for my phone and checked my online banking. I had £65 in my account, the shopping came to £75. We spent a very painful five minutes finding £10 worth of shopping to void off my bill and to head back to the shelves. I would like to say the woman on the till was kind and helpful but really she was quite harsh and made me feel more embarrassed than I was already. £75 is a lot of money for our Aldi shop and I know exactly why this grocery haul cost so much, it was mostly healthy food. View Post

A moment in the dark – World Mental Health Day

A moment in the dark – World Mental Health Day

Tonight I slipped back into the darkness.

It was, in fact, more of a fall than a slip. I was like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland: falling, falling, falling, wondering if I would ever stop and what the world would look if I did. My toddler is ill and my five year old forgot how to use his quiet voice and his listening ears in bed this evening. The older one woke up the younger one; I moved them in to share a room at the beginning of the week, just another fuck up to hang from my ever expanding mummy mistakes belt. The five year old settled but the toddler was having none of it. He screamed, fidgeted and fought sleep with every ounce of his being. So I rocked him in my arms like a newborn, all 11kilos of baby chub and gorgeousness. He’s an Oscar winning actor in the making, he looked peaceful so I lay him in his cot, the second he was gently placed on the mattress he started screaming and was wide awake again. I picked him up, rocked and shushed him some more. View Post