Book club – One Small Thing review

Book club – One Small Thing review

I have always secretly wanted to be a part of a book club. I love reading, I love talking about what I am reading and I am always interested to hear about what others are reading. How cool would it be to share this love of books with others and to read and talk about a book together each month? I have also always thought that being in a book club was just something for middle aged women, the retired ladies with grey hair and the seriously academic types who probably only read Shakespeare or Jane Austin every month. Turns out, I was wrong. You can be in your twenties and be a part of a book club, it’s not weird at all. A fellow blogger sent out a request on Twitter asking for bookworms to join her new book club and I just though, why the hell not? We don’t meet in coffee shops or have a rota for holding monthly meetings in members houses, we congregate in our Instagram DMs and I am absolutely loving chatting books with these ladies. For our first book, the head of the book club chose One Small Thing by Erin Watt. I had never heard of this book before and was excited to give it a try. Here is my review of One Small Thing, if you’re into young adult fiction then I’m sure you will enjoy it. View Post

5 places you can get help and support for postnatal depression

5 places you can get help and support for postnatal depression

Have you recently had a baby and feel like you might be struggling with postnatal depression? Whilst feeling a bit low and having the ‘baby blues’ during the first few weeks after giving birth is normal, more than 1 in 10 women suffer from postnatal depression. If you are feeling anxious, sad, overwhelmed and tearful most days, you may want to speak to someone and get some support. Speaking out and sharing how you are feeling is the first step you need to take towards getting better. Talking about your mental health can be difficult but once you have done it you will feel better and will be able to get the help and support you need. If you don’t know who to speak to or where to go for support and advice, I have made this list for you of all the people who can help. I know from experience how hard it is to talk about how you are feeling and to admit you may have postnatal depression, but there are so many people out there who are understanding and just want to help you. View Post

Short stories for mums – The other side of the window

Short stories for mums – The other side of the window

It’s time for another Sunday night short story. If you missed my post last Sunday, I am trying to hone in my fiction writing skills and improve my writing by publishing a short story here on my blog every Sunday. Thank you everyone who read last weeks post, I really appreciate all your feedback and all your positive comments made me so happy. This weeks writing prompt was to write about what you see out of your window. I used the prompt but put a spin on it, this story is all about new Mum Clemmie and what she sees and feels when she looks out of her bedroom window. I hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. View Post

Just one of those days

Just one of those days

Yesterday was just one of those days. You know the kind, where everything just seems to go wrong and you feel like things just keep going from bad to worse to epically shit. The day itself started off fine, we weren’t late for school, Alex and I had a nice time at toddler group and my nan took us out for lunch in town. As far as Wednesdays go, yesterday started off pretty nicely. It was once I picked Leo up from school that things started to go very very wrong. View Post

Keeping your child’s school uniform safe with Stikets personalised clothes labels

Keeping your child’s school uniform safe with Stikets personalised clothes labels

When Leo started his new school back in May last year he had three school jumpers. Want to know how many he has now not even 12 months later? One. He has one school jumper. There seems to be a black hole in that school from which school uniforms can never return but Leo losing most of his school uniform is partly my fault too. I didn’t label them. I did scrawl his name onto the label with pen but obviously not well enough to survive the multiple washes they had to endure. Once Leo took his jumper off at school it was only going to be a matter of time before they got lost or taken home by someone else by mistake. Luckily for me, Stikets got in touch to ask if I would review their personalised iron-on labels. It looks like I can save Leo’s last school jumper from the school uniform eating black hole after all! Here is my review of the Stikets labels, they are easy to use, completely customisable and can handle as many trips through the washing machine as your little ones uniform can. Stick around to the end of the post for your chance to WIN your own pack of Stikets labels. View Post

Short stories for mums – The Hotel Room

Short stories for mums – The Hotel Room

I haven’t really set any new years resolutions but one thing I want to do more of is write. That goes for writing posts for this blog more regularly, pitching pieces to other websites and publications and to try and do a bit more than just dabble in fiction writing. I first started writing fiction back in 2017 when I attempted NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I got about four chapters into a twisty turny thriller and just completely confused myself and got overwhelmed by the thought of actually making it to the end so I gave up. I tried my hand at novel writing again last year, this time the story was about a mum so easier to write but I was still struggling with the belief that I could write a whole book, so I gave up around the sixth chapter. I don’t want to give up though, I really want to give writing fiction a good try as getting a book published one day is the dream (you know, the BIG dream I’ve had ever since I can remember). So, I have been thinking about it and I have decided to start publishing fiction on my blog once a week on a Sunday. I am using a writing prompt book to help me, each day of the year has a different topic for you to write about. As Naptime Natter is an honest blog about motherhood, I am going to try my best to link each prompt to a theme that will fit organically here on my blog – expect lots of protagonists who are mums! I’m not going to think too much about it all though, I’m just going to write and see what happens and keep my fingers crossed I get no horrible comments (constructive criticism is, of course, welcome). Without wasting anymore time and with nervous butterflies in my stomach, let me introduce you to the first piece of fiction to ever be published on Naptime Natter – The Hotel Room. Happy reading. View Post

Miscarriage anxiety – the first trimester

Miscarriage anxiety – the first trimester

*This is a post I wrote when I was 8 weeks pregnant*

I have heard people say some pretty amazing things to me in my life so far. ‘I am in love with you’ , ‘It’s a boy!’ , ‘I am so proud of you’ to mention just a few. Earlier this week I heard six little words from a complete stranger that made me feel the most relieved and happy I have ever felt. The words came from a lovely lady, I think she said her name was Kirsty, and up until she said them I had been on the verge of tears and full of fear for days. Kirsty is a lovely sonographer at the Early Pregnancy Unit in Singleton Hospital and what are these words she said, you may be wondering? The sentence that flooded my whole body with relief and caused a strange sob/laugh to escape from my mouth was this – ‘There’s a live baby in there’. A live baby! I had been bleeding on and off for about five days, the blood changing from small spots to a heavy enough flow to need the protection of a sanitary towel, in the hour we had been sitting in the hospital waiting room I was convinced I was going to be told I’d lost the baby by the time it was my turn to go and be scanned. I am currently 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant and for the past month and a half I have been full of anxiety that I am going to have a miscarriage. View Post

New house new baby strikes again – baby number 3 due July 2019

New house new baby strikes again – baby number 3 due July 2019

Way back when in September 2015 Oli, Leo and I moved from Swansea to Southampton. 5 months later, in February 2016, I discovered I was pregnant for the second time. Fast forward to May 2018, the four of us packed up once more and moved from Southampton back to Swansea. Can you guess what I found out in November, just 6 months after moving again? Yup, there was that second blue line staring up at me from a pregnancy test. New house new baby, maybe it’s not just an old wives tale after all! View Post

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