Do I follow my head or my heart?

Recently I made the decision to leave my partner of 5 years and move back in with my parents. It’s a decision I never thought I would have to make and this made it even harder. My head was saying leave but my heart wanted me to stay so I was very conflicted about what to do. So what do we do when our head and our heart have different opinions? How do we finally reach that all important decision?

1. Ask for advice from friends and family
This was the biggest help for me as my friends are usually the ones to remain unbiased and give me tough love when I need it. They were able to organise my thoughts without hesitation and made things really clear.

2. Don’t rush it.
The last thing you want to do is to get caught up in the moment, make a rash decision and then end up regretting it. Take as much time as you need to decide what is best for you.

3. Think about the outcomes.
Weighing up the outcomes of your decisions can be very helpful in stressful situations. It makes you think about which outcome is best for you and how you can reach the ideal outcome.

4. Remove yourself from the situation.
If you are constantly surrounded by whatever is causing you stress, remove yourself. Take a few days to take care of yourself and try to take your mind off of it. Whether that be a day out with your friends or having a self care day, just make sure you are focusing on yourself and not the stressful situation back home.

However you deal with things, you should always make the decision that is right for you. Just because you love someone, it does not mean you should stick with the stress or upset that comes with that love. You are worth so much more.

What do you do to help make big decisions? We would love to hear from you!

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Moving in with the in-laws.

This last week has been very busy. Me and my partner decided to leave our first home and move in with his parents. Now, I can already hear many of you shouting WHHHHHY at your screens, but we obviously had our reasons.

We have never been what you call ‘responsible with money’ and unfortunately we found ourselves in a hole that would’ve taken a miracle to get out of whilst renting. So, in order to get our finances sorted, we packed up and moved into the in-law’s house so we can firstly, pay off what we owe and secondly, save up for a deposit for a house that we could really call a home.
It’s only been five days but honestly, I feel happier already. No, our finances aren’t sorted but there is now a chance for them to be in the future. The idea that in a couple of years, we could have no debt and possibly saved enough for a deposit on a house, makes me so excited for the future. I’ve also found that me and my partner are happier together. There isn’t this constant worry hanging over us about whether we could afford to pay a certain bill or tension because one of us bought something we didn’t have the money for. We are enjoying time with each other without nagging or bickering and it feels amazing.
Obviously, living with the in-laws does have it’s disadvantages as well…
(Cynthia and Tony, if you’re reading this, I’d stop now)
We are sharing a bedroom with our 2 year old daughter at the moment, so we don’t really have the space to relax and spend time with each other as a couple. Which was to be expected and will make the time we spend together in our next home even more worthwhile, so it’s not that big of a deal.
The other downside to sharing a room with our daughter (and this is why I asked you to stop reading Cynthia and Tony) is that romance is slightly tricky when you have a toddler sleeping at the end of your bed. So as much as we’re happier as a couple, there is a little less us time than what we are used to.I’m not going to say that this will work for everyone, I’ve been lucky that I get on with my in-laws and we are lucky enough to have this as an option. But as I said, it’s only been five days so it’s still early days. I will be sure to keep you updated on how things are going and how well we are saving.

Have you ever moved in with your in-laws to save money or maybe you couldn’t think of anything worse, let us know in the comments!

Guilty Mummy Moments

Let’s face it, we all have those moments when we all just want 5 minutes of peace, or a snack to ourselves or even just a wee in peace! But how far will we really go to get this? We’ve asked on social media and have compiled our top 10 ‘Guilty Mummy Moments’

1. My girls hate onions. there was 1 muffin left. I told them it was a onion muffin so I could eat it all to myself.

2. I ate my son’s last curly wurly the other day and told him it had melted so I had to bin it.
3. I hide ben and jerry’s ice cream inside a frozen pea bag so I don’t have to share with kids!!
4. I put my daughter to bed and persuaded my husband that it had taken me 2hrs to settle her and that’s why he had to do all the housework by himself… infact id been sat in the hallway, whilst she was asleep (had taken 10mins to get her down) watching Netflix on my tablet just so I could have some peace.
5. My daughter is at nursery until 3.30pm each day… I will not pick her up any earlier than 3.29pm so I can enjoy the 30mins of peace after I’ve finished work… in this time I will have something to eat (so I don’t have to share) and go and sit on the loo for at least 10mins so I can have a wee in peace… I sometimes feel bad because she’s always the last one picked up but I need at least one pee a day to myself!
6. I hid a bag of liquorice behind the sofa cushions after my toddler saw and made a beeline for them… This mummy doesn’t share!
7. I tell my daughter that mummy has a poorly tummy just so I can sit on the toilet in peace and play games on my phone.
8. When I’ve had a day of no housework, I tell my partner that I’ve had a really tough day with my son so he doesn’t complain about me doing nothing and does it for me.
9. Every day, after my daughter has gone to nursery, I tell my partner I’m going to the gym but actually go to Costa for a hot cup of coffee and then just get changed into my gym clothes before I see him after nursery.This mumma needs some alone time too!
10. I tell my 3 year old that she has to be 4 sometimes to do things, or that if I’m eating something nice she would find it too spicy.
We’d love to know your best ‘Guilty Mummy Moments’, no matter how sneaky or cheeky they may be!!

Mental Health Monday: Postnatal anxiety and me.

As a new mum, I thought that the anxiety of leaving your child, leaving the house with your child etc. was normal. What I didn’t realise was that not wanting to be alone with your child and having the constant fear that you would do something wrong and having your child taken away from you was not normal. This is how I felt 90% of the time and it completely ruined the bond I so badly wanted with my daughter. 90% of the time I’d be at somebody’s house, or out of the house with people around because I was scared of being alone with my daughter. Scared that something would happen and nobody would be around to help me. Or if I did something different to the mums at baby group, I would panic that I was doing it wrong and my daughter was going to taken into care because I didn’t know what I was doing.

I started to see this as abnormal when my daughter was around 4 or 5 months old. I saw other mums staying at home alone with their children and taking a different approach to parenting and wondered why they seemed okay with it but not me. I mean, this was normal right? Hmm… not so much. I went to see my GP who suggested I saw a therapist. So I agreed, reluctantly at first, to go to the first session and I was so bloody nervous. The anxiety had kicked in 100 times worse. What if I say something and they think I’m an unfit mother? What if I go there and they think Evie is unsafe with me? I could go on…Surprisingly, they were incredibly understanding and instead of judging, they listened. They listened to me ramble on about my worries, my fears and my goals. I was diagnosed with postnatal anxiety which, once explained to me, made perfect sense. I didn’t feel any less anxious after that session, but my thoughts were out there. Thoughts I hadn’t even told my partner about because I was scared of sounding crazy or stupid but I finally knew that I wasn’t either of those things.

I continued on with a therapist but this time, with CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy). Each week I would have a different thing to do e.g. messy play at home for 15 minutes, watching a TV show with Evie at home on my own etc. Slowly, I started to create that bond with her that I had been so desperate for and could cope with being alone with her. Don’t get me wrong, the anxiety still creeps about and springs up on me when I least expect it but the bond between me and Evie now is amazing. She genuinely is my best friend and I love spending mummy & daughter time with her! I wish I had known that postnatal anxiety was a thing sooner. You hear a lot about postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis during pregnancy but never the anxiety part. (Not in my pregnancy anyway). So please make sure you are familiar with the symptoms!

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/postnatal-depression-and-perinatal-mental-health/perinatal-anxiety/#.WuegOKXTWJ0

https://www.panda.org.au/info-support/after-birth/symptoms-of-postnatal-anxiety-and-depression

Winter vs. spring: What’s changed?

So spring is finally here, and with the change of season comes many other changes. Whether it be changes in your child, your life or yourself, change is inevitable throughout the year. Here at Mummykind, we have also experienced it!

Aimee:

  • Evie potty trained day and night not even within a week of eachother!
  • I’ve got a new job that finally fits around childcare and my family!
  • Evie has started to show off everything she’s learnt at nursery since January.
  • I’ve also started to learn to drive!
  • The language Evie has been using has developed so much and her memory for songs and stories continues to amaze me every single day.

Sarah:

  • Jamie went to Afghanistan and now it’s me and Olivia all by ourselves!!!!! (It terrifies me)
  • Olivia has started potty training and is doing really well at telling me when she needs to go… but she also stands up and shouts “I did it!” even when she hasn’t!
  • Olivia learned a bunch of new French words and has started saying proper sentences, too.
  • We have a pretty good bedtime routine going on.
  • I’ve started cooking and baking more often like I used to.
  • Olivia has a new found love of splashing in, well, everything – be it puddles, the paddling pool, or the bath!
 
Amy:

  • I split up with my son’s father and began my new life as a single mother
  • I was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and finally got the help I have needed for a long time
  • Oliver has started walking and has become incredibly aware of his surroundings
  • I have started setting myself goals and ambitions
  • Oliver had his first parents’ evening at nursery and I discovered he is the class clown!
  • I have learned that I have truly incredible friends who support me in my time of need and Oliver has amazing godparents who are always there for him.
  • I’ve also learnt that Oliver looks exactly like I did as a toddler
Charlie:

  • I finally admitted to myself and my doctors that I need some extra help for my anxiety, which has been a positive step.
  • We did our first holiday abroad to France!
  • Imogen continues to learn new words every day and amazes us!
  • She is beginning to form opinions on things, so she is telling us exactly what she wants, and doesn’t want!
  • She is also getting really good at picking up on people’s different emotions and she shows a lot of care and concern for people who are sad, hurt or unwell. She says “oh dear” and tries to comfort people, which is really heart-warming and sweet, but not so much when it’s a stranger like the man who was laying down reading a book in the park the other day! We’re extremely proud of her.
 
Maria:

  • My little man has had a crazy growth spurt and suddenly started talking (and lying). I’m so pleased because I was concerned about his progress with speech and now he seems to be doing just fine… even if he is running rings around me.
  • I have lost a shed load of weight through careful diet and increased physical activity and I am back into my pre-baby jeans. I feel better for it, especially my ankles!
  • Potty training has taken a back seat, it’s not worth the stress it was causing me or my son, we have decided to revisit it when his communication is more consistent.
  • My cloth nappy library has become incredibly busy after a quiet spell over the winter and with all the sunshine lately it couldn’t have come at a better time. Nothing is more satisfying than a washing line full of nappies.
Mummykind:
  • Mummykind’s pageviews went over 200,000 in a blink!
  • We hit 200 followers on instagram!
  • We started our own Tailwind tribe, please join in!
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Trying SimplyCook

Before I start, I should probably say, this isn’t sponsored by SimplyCook. I’m just a mumma who loves food and discounted/free thigs!

As the main cook in my household, I hate dinner time, because I try and make something new but always end up going back to the same old meals we usually have, which is what drew me to SimplyCook. As a lot of ‘post box’ brands do, SimplyCook had a ‘first box for £3’ offer going and I’m never one to turn down discounted things so I got one and eagerly awaited the post for my box.

In your box you get 4 mini boxes containing herbs, spices etc. Everything you’’ll need to add to your food to make it taste amazing.

Meal 1- Santa Fe Chicken Salad


Included in the box – 
Cilantro Salsa Blend
Grilled Pepper Mix
Ancho Chilli Rub

Ingredients to buy
Chicken
Peppers
Red Onion
Tomatoes
Bag of Salad

The Verdict.
I’m a little bit on the fence with this one. The chicken had such an intense, moreish flavour to it and really brought the salad to life and the same with peppers but unfortunately the same can’t be said about the Cilantro Salsa Blend. It had a very intense lemon flavour that was hard to swallow and just didn’t go well with the chicken. It was the only thing left on our plates at the end of the meal, which was a shame because I LOVE salsa so was looking forward to trying it on a salad. It just didn’t match the great tastes of the chicken. At  approximately 410 Calories per serving, which isn’t bad, I just don’t think its worth trying again just because of that.

Overall I’d give this meal a 6/10, sadly let down by the Cilantro Salsa Blend. My partner sadly gave it a 4, again let down by the Cilantro Salsa Blend.

Meal 2 – Hungarian Goulash Soup


Included in the box
Sweet Paprika
Goulash Spice Blend
Beef Stock

Ingredients to buy
Pork Sausages
Onion
Carrot
Red and Green Peppers
Tomato Puree

The Verdict.
This meal was delicious! It was warming, comforting and just everything you want for a cold, miserable day. I will say, I chose to have it with crusty bread rather than the 2nd option of mashed potatoes, but I wish I had gone for the potatoes as it is more of a casserole consistency and would have made the meal even better. I can’t fault this meal at all, it wasn’t perfect but it was very very yummy! It is approximately 500 Calories per serving which is amazing from something so hearty!

Overall I’d give this meal an 8/10, simply because it was more of a casserole than a soup but still tasted amazing!

Meal 3 – Shakshouka


Included in the box
Cumin & Caraway Mix
Spricy Tomato Paste
Shakshouka Spices

Ingredients to buy
Eggs
Tomatoes
Onion
Red and Yellow Peppers
Bread

The Verdict.
WOW. We had this for brunch after date night and it may not look like much but it was amazing. It was such a welcomed change to our breakfast routine and it was just perfect. The spices and flavours in this meal just blended so perfectly together with the eggs and it really got me and my partner excited to try it again. At only 375 Calories per serving, it would be rude not have it again! Definitely the best meal from these boxes so far!

Overall I’d give this meal a 10/10. It was such a lovely change from our usual breakfast choices and we are already planning on having it again!

Meal 4 – BBQ Tandoori Chicken


Included in the box
Smoked Chilli Blend
Sweet Potato Seasoning
Tandoori Paste

Ingredients to buy
Chicken Thighs
Natural Yogurt
A Lemon
Sweet Potatoes
A Bag of Salad

The Verdict.
This meal was pretty good, not too spicy but not lacking in flavour also. Even my daughter tried it, which at the moment is saying something because she is ill and really fussy. The meal made me and my partner nicely full and kept us full for a longer period of time (although, I did have room for a sneaky piece of banana cake whilst I wrote this… oops!) This one is a nice altenative to buying food from a takeaway and a lot healthier at approximately only 500 Calories per serving!

Overall, I’d give this meal an 8/10. It was a lovely meal and I will definitely try it again, it just can’t have a 10 because it was nowhere near as good as the Shakshouka.

So! Would I buy this again…?
Absolutely! Not only did it help with the buying side of things, it also gave me more ideas for dinner time. We would never have tried most of the things in this box but we do definitely be eating them again. (Especially the Shakshouka!)

I would absolutely recommend SimplyCook to anyone who is stuck for dinner ideas, wanting to try something new or anyone who just loves amazing food!

Top 5 hairstyles for my frizzy haired daughter!

5 frizzy hairstyles

Up until very recently, Evie always hated people touching her hair. It was a major struggle to get her to let me brush it or even wash it without a meltdown. So when she finally decided that she wanted pretty hair for nursery, I was stuck to say the least. She has the awkward in-between hair that isn’t curly or straight, thick or fine… It’s usually just a matted frizzy mess begging for a brush. But with a bit of help from Social Media mummies and a lot of Pinterest searching, I have finally found hairstyles that are not only easy to do but tame her frizzy hair and make it easier to manage on a daily basis. So I give to you, my top 5 go to hairstyles for my frizzy haired daughter.

1.This one is the easiest of them all! All you need is 2 small hair bands or elastics and a comb! Always try and start off with damp hair, it makes it so much easier to manage and helps it stay in place when styling! Separate the hair into 2 sections and tie them into bunches. DONE! If your daughter’s hair is shorter like mine, use the top section if her hair and then separate that into 2 sections. You can add clips or bows etc. to make it look prettier or just leave it as it is.

2.For this one you will need 4 small hair bands or elastics and a comb. Take the front section of hair and split it into 2 sections and tie them into bunches. Then take the middle section of hair and do the same but as you comb them into bunches, add the bunch from the top section into it.

 

3.This one is very similar to the previous one but instead of passing the top bunch down, pass it diagonal and then tie it into a bunch.

4.For this one you will need 2 small hair bands or elastics and a bit more patience. Separate the hair into 2 sections (as you can see, the sections don’t need to be even). Clip one section to the side whilst you work on the other side. Take the front section of hair and start twisting it back gathering up sections of hair as you go along, until you get to the back and then tie it off with a band and then repeat with the other side. Once you’ve reached the back with second twist, tie them both together and add a bow or flower etc.

5.For this one, grab 6 small hair bands or elastics and a comb. Split the hair into two sections and clip one side. Take the bottom section and tie it into a bunch, then take the middle section and do the same but take the bottom bunch into it before tying it off and repeat again with the top section. Then repeat on the other side. Depending on the length of your daughter’s hair, you can either leave the top as bunches or make them into buns.

And there you have it! My top 5 hairstyles for my frizzy haired daughter! Hopefully these work for you and if they do, we would love to see them! Or if you have your own go to hairstyles, feel free to share them below, I’m always in need of new ones!

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Does social media make it harder to be good mothers?

Since the evolution of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., millions of parents have flocked to social media to show their family and friends pictures of their little ones, experiences they’ve had and problems they’ve encountered along the way. This may seem harmless, but picture this…

Mum one- Only posts on social media about the amazing things her child does, pictures of her child being perfectly behaved. Only shares experiences where she felt triumphant as a parent. Lives a seemingly perfect life with her perfect child. Meanwhile, her toddler has stressed her out all day, nothing has been done around her house and once her toddler has gone to bed, she gets to finally sit down to hot food for the first time today.

Mum two- Checks mum one’s social media frequently, amazed at how well she is coping with motherhood. She scrolls through her social media posts in awe, as her toddler pulls out the clothes she has folded three times already and screams at the top of their lungs for juice!

Both mothers are in the same position, yet mum two feels like she is failing. Why isn’t her child well behaved? Why doesn’t she have her life sorted?

The answer?

Because social media is the perfect platform for creating a better version of your reality. We can be anyone we want on social media in the hope that nobody will find out our flaws and mistakes. This is what is making a lot of mothers feel like failures. The constant reminder that the ‘Mum ones’ out there are doing better than we are.

‘Mummy groups’ do not help with this. I don’t know about the rest of you, but seeing photo after photo of kids, my daughter’s age, doing things she isn’t doing yet or seeing people show off how much they have got their kids for birthdays/Christmas, makes me feel inadequate as a parent. Why isn’t my daughter doing that? Must be something I’m doing. Why didn’t I spend that much on her for her birthday? I must be such a bad mother. Right?

NO!

Every child is different and every parenting journey is different. You can try to be like all the ‘Mum ones’ in the world, but chances are, it won’t work. You are the best mother you can be to your little one. Your parenting journey is exactly that. YOURS! Don’t let other people influence it or even change it completely.

So does social media make it harder to be good mothers? In some aspects yes. It definitely makes us question some of our abilities and choices, which then leads us to question our parenting in general. But in other aspects, no. Social media is a great place to socialise with other mothers, pick up tips on the harder parts of parenting e.g. breastfeeding, potty training etc. And social media mummies, 80% of the time, will be there to support you when you feel like the worst parent in the world.

So go ahead, scroll through social media, but stick to your choices! After all, mummy knows best!

A Reflection and Hopes for the Future

s my daughter’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 2 years as a mother. Things I could have done better, times when my daughter made me so proud and times when I felt like giving up.

As my daughter’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 2 years as a mother. Things I could have done better, times when my daughter made me so proud and times when I felt like giving up.
In the 2 years Evie has been here, she has grown so much and made me the proudest I have ever been. Sure, she has her days but I wouldn’t change her for the world.

Things I wish I had done better:
• I wish I had taken more pictures with her. I have thousands of pictures of Evie but very few with me and her, and the ones I do have are unexpected selfies with her looking very bewildered.
• I wish I had done more with her. We spent a lot of time at home or at grandparents houses, so going out and doing more things with her would have been lovely!
• I wish I had more patience with her. I found myself getting frustrated if she wouldn’t feed, if she was misbehaving or just generally having a bad day. She was probably not even that bad but at times, it felt like a disaster if she wouldn’t do something.

Proud moments:
• When Evie started crawling, I cried my eyes out. My little girl was gaining independence and growing up that little bit more. But I also cried because I was immensely proud of how much determination she had to get it done.
• Knowing that, at 2 years old, she knows around 200 words, can form some sentences and use them appropriately makes me feel so proud. She’s learning new words everyday and it’s always exciting to see what she will say next.
• Watching her with her cousins , especially her baby cousin. She will ‘look after’ her and knows when she is sad and tries to help make her happy again (usually involves screaming ‘MILK!’ at her auntie.

Hopes for the next 2 years:
• That Evie grows up to be independent and follows what she believes in, not what everybody else believes in.
• To take more pictures and urge Daddy to take more as well!
• Take Evie to experience more things. Only so much can be experienced at home and being outdoors is one of Evie’s favourite things to do.

I can’t wait to see what the next 2 years will bring and I cant believe I’m about to be a mother of a 2 year old.  I know that Evie will continue to make me as proud as she has done her whole life and I cant wait to see her learn and grow!

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Debunking Breastfeeding Myths

I was left wondering so many things about breastfeeding after birth and I usually turned to Facebook groups or Google to help my through them. No matter how prepared we are to breastfeed, there will always be things we aren’t prepared for.

This week is world breastfeeding week!

As a mother who breastfed her child for the best part of a year, I know that breastfeeding can be hard enough without all the issues that come with it, such as mastitis, teething etc. I was left wondering so many things about breastfeeding after birth and I usually turned to Facebook groups or Google to help my through them. No matter how prepared we are to breastfeed, there will always be things we aren’t prepared for. So here are things I wish I knew during my breastfeeding journey.

Patience
Your baby only has a tiny tummy when they are born, so your colostrum will be enough! Your milk can take up to five days to come in, so don’t think because you are hardly leaking or cannot feel any milk in your boobs, that your baby isn’t getting enough!
Pumping means nothing!
If you’re only getting half an ounce of milk out when pumping, don’t think that your baby is only getting half an ounce. A baby’s sucking is SO much more effective than pumping! If your baby is content, don’t worry!
Leaking!
You may think because you are wearing the most expensive breast pad, you won’t leak through it. Oh how wrong you are. I will always remember being in a cafe, breastfeeding my daughter and leaking through 2 breast pads and a muslin cloth and soaking my top! So be sure to keep spare tops and nursing bras handy!
Your boobs will hurt a lot!
At the start, your boobs will hurt. They are getting used to a tiny human draining them but the pain does go. If the pain is unbearable/ more uncomfortable than usual, it may be worth mentioning to your GP or a Lactation Consultant.
Snacks!
You will get hungry when feeding! So try and keep snacks and a bottle of water in your feeding area. Thus is also handy for when baby is cluster feeding and not letting you move for food!
Crying over spilt milk!
Ignore the saying ‘There’s no point crying over spilt milk’, because there is. Imagine finishing up with pumping, turning to grab something and then knocking over the whole bottle of milk. Whether it is 1 Oz or 8ozs, it will always be super devastating.
Breast is best
No, no it’s not. I have friends who tried everything and anything to get their baby to feed and with no success, they turned to formula. Whether the reason be a tongue tie, traumatic birth etc., what truly matters is that baby is fed. If you are unsuccessful with breastfeeding, do not put yourself down. You are still an amazing mummy, no matter how baby is fed.