Date Night at Home…

Raise your hand if you can remember the last time you and your significant other had a date night?! Nope, me neither!

Never fear! Chrissy is on hand with her tips to get your date nights back on track in collaboration with Real Soy Candles

Creating the Ultimate At-Home Date Night

In the UK, the average parent gets only 48 minutes of free time each day, as reported by the Mirror. The same report revealed that mums and dads usually get to start unwinding at around 8:53 pm each evening. Despite the time constraints, scheduling regular date nights with your significant other is of top importance. It is common knowledge that taking time for yourself and for your partner is essential for the health of your relationship. Without regularly fostering your connection with each other, it is almost impossible for parents to have healthy communication and bonding. But with so little time, how can mums and dads keep the flame alive? Learn more about the top strategies for creating the ultimate at-home date night.

Set aside a specific evening for your date night

Before planning the details of your next at-home date night, it is an absolute necessity to commit a specific date and time to your partner. Why? If you don’t set aside a particular time for your date night, you are more likely to cancel it. Remove all barriers that could prevent you from having your at-home date night, such as last-minute work and appointments. If necessary, leave work an hour or two early, hire a babysitter for the night, and complete housework in the days before your date night. If your plans are tentative, you are much more likely not to take your evening of romance seriously.  

Take your dining experience to the next level

Think that the only quality dining is available outside of your home? Think again! Whether you are a skilled chef, or even if you can only cook the basics, there are numerous ways to serve a 5-star dinner. If you enjoy cooking, prepare a meal of your favourite and your partner’s favourite foods. Plan multiple courses, and research the best recipes for each food online. Since you are not purchasing an expensive dinner out, give yourself permission to splurge on quality ingredients. Alternatively, if you do not know how to cook, there are other creative options you can utilise. Depending on your budget, you can hire a private chef, order a step-by-step subscription box meal, or get takeaway from a favorite restaurant. In addition to putting effort into your cuisine, make your environment as romantic as possible. For instance, choosing cozy and fragrant candles can completely change the ambiance of any room. Not only can the scent and low lighting help improve the mood, but a long-lasting candle can be re-used for multiple at-home date nights.

Get creative with your activities

Rather than planning a simple evening in, get creative with the activities that you plan. Want to watch a movie with your partner? Skip the family room television for a more unique set up. Use a projector and outdoor screen to watch the movie under the stars. Did you have a particularly memorable first date? Challenge yourself to recreate the events of that date as much as possible at home. No matter what you choose, plan activities that are meaningful to you both. Since date nights are few and far between for parents, make the most of your time together.

Having an incredible date night with your significant other doesn’t require hundreds of pounds and a special location. Instead, your home can be the perfect place for a convenient, yet romantic evening together.

Do you have any other tips for date nights at home? How have you managed to plan a romantic evening for your partner ?

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I didn’t fall in love with my baby right away

Everyone knows the scenario. A woman is in labour (and absolutely exhausted), the midwife is shouting ‘one more push’, and finally, a baby is born. The cord is cut and the baby is handed to mum, who feels this overwhelming rush of love they’ve never felt for anything in their life, right?

Well, that didn’t happen for me.

While I was only in active labour for four hours, I’d had what some may call a nightmare of a pregnancy. Due to my EDS I had spent a good portion of it in a wheelchair, I was having hydrotherapy for the SPD and PGP that I developed (if you’re not sure on those, click here for more info), and I’d broken my foot because my EDS couldn’t keep up with the constantly increasing weight that comes with being pregnant. In the early weeks of pregnancy I contracted a viral infection which increased my risk of miscarriage, and baby developing foetal hydrops. And those were just my issues. Add in having scans for little one three times a week because she refused to be active, growth scans because my doctor thought that at full term she would weigh less than 5lb, steroid injections as I’m high risk for preterm labour, and a short inpatient stay towards the end of my pregnancy because my hips wouldn’t stop dislocating, we were essentially living in our hospital 5-6 days a week.
So it’s safe to say I was relieved when she was born, and she started breathing around 30 seconds afterwards.
I was so excited to be passed my new baby, and to feel this huge rush that every woman I know had been telling me about since I announced that I was pregnant that I pushed through two second degree tears, a dislocated hip, failed pain relief, a small haemorrhage and an incompetent midwife just to hold her. The midwife handed her over to me, and I was so amazed that this tiny (yet huge?) person had been with me for the last nine months.
But I didn’t feel that huge rush of love that everyone was talking about.
To be honest, I panicked a little bit, and I thought something was wrong with me. She felt more like a really cute stranger that I had a really strong urge to protect (and cry all over). I tried to breastfeed her twice, but as I’d been given diamorphine too close to delivery, my new bundle of joy was a little dopey, and kept crawling past the breast to suckle on my neck. Cute.
I continued to feel this way for the next few days. I had panic attacks whenever I was left alone with her because I was terrified I was going to break her, I couldn’t sleep if I was alone with her because I was terrified something was going to happen to her, and in the end, including the time I was awake and in labour, I didn’t sleep for three days. I got so worked up about that initial meeting with my daughter that I couldn’t think about anything else. I was convinced I was broken, and that it meant I was going to be a bad mother and this was all a very bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I thought she was adorable; I was so proud that I had made her, and I wanted to take care of her, but I was just so disappointed that I didn’t get that first meeting that people claim to be the best moment of their lives.
Looking back on it now, I realise it’s totally normal. The birth and pregnancy I had with my daughter was far from normal, my body had been through a whole ordeal, and I was exhausted. I was hormonal, sleep deprived, very drugged from labour, and did I mention they handed me my baby for the first time while stitching me up with no pain relief?
Ouch.
How did you feel when you first met your baby?

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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A poem for my husband

If you’ve been following our blog up until now, you may or may not know that my husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan.

We recently received some pretty bad news about his deployment, and I’ll be honest, I’m not handling it all that well. I’ve been on anti-depressants again for a few months now and only recently upped my dosage, and I felt like I was finally content with my life. After all, I have nothing to be depressed about right?
Wrong.
Depression affects the way you perceive everything. And so, Jamie, my darling husband (warning: if you’re reading this you might want a sick bucket to hand), there’s only one thing that is unaffected by this horrible illness, and that’s the way I feel about you and our girls.
This is for you, for keeping me going through the tough times.

Our Love

Our love is like a tidal wave,
Powerful and strong.
Our love is like a piece of string;
It goes on and on and on.
Our love is like an hourglass –
Stuck forever in time.
Our love is like a rocket,
Seeing how high it can climb.
Our love is like an envelope,
Enclosing everything we are.
Our love is like an aeroplane,
Taking us away someplace far.
Our love is like an ocean
With beautiful depths to find…
Our love is like the sun;
It can make any other man blind.
Our love is like an angel,
Flying across the earth.
Our love is like a goldmine
With its irresistible worth.
Our love is like a mountain,
Standing steadfast and tall.
Our love is like a safety net
To catch us when we fall.
Our love is like a fairytale
With the happiest ever after.
Our love is like a playground
Filled with so much laughter.
Our love is unconditional,
Evergreen like the trees.
Our love is everywhere,
And it means everything to me.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Things to remember when you fall out of love with someone you thought you’d love forever.

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Things to remember when you fall out of love with someone you thought you’d love forever. 
  1. Your worth hasn’t decreased due to their inability to see how valuable you are. Whether they’ve dropped a diamond whilst flicking through pebbles or they’ve neglected the best thing that’s ever happened to them- it is their problem and not yours! 
  2. Your ability to love so relentlessly, passionately and fearlessly is a strength. Not a weakness. You have SO MUCH to give. Never let anybody tell you any different. 
  3. Try to let go of the hurt. Holding onto it is only hurting you. Easier said than done, but whilst you’re replaying scenarios- they probably can’t even remember the half of the struggles they’ve caused you! 
  4. You will love again. It seems impossible, but you will. You have no idea of who or what could be around the corner for you. You have no idea of the love and adoration you might find it you just let yourself try. 
  5. Celebrate all of the good things you’ve done together. They’re still achievements. At one time, you made the best team- if you’re coparenting the chances are that you’re still a sturdy unit. You’re allowed to be proud of all the wonderful things you’ve done together.  
  6. Even if you’re angry, even if you’re hurting. Don’t throw away a chance of friendship with the one who once meant the world to you. Try not to regret anything, even a bad ending doesn’t have to spoil great times, triumphs and memories. 
  7. Give yourself all the time you think you need to heal. Let yourself hurt, let yourself cry. You are more entitled to everything you are feeling. Don’t give yourself the “so and so had it worse” treatment- stop belittling your pain, it’s not a healthy way of dealing with things! 
  8. If there are children involved, never let either party or their families speak badly of the other. This breeds distrust between both parties, a quick nasty comment can drop out of an angry mouth in a heart beat- but the chances of it being forgotten by an impressionable child? Not likely! I’m not saying to necessarily hide the hurt you’re feeling from your children or the heart break your feeling, as these are great lessons of resilience and overcoming emotional turmoil- just keep hurtful truths and hyperbolic stories away from minds that can buy too much into them.  
  9. Remember that everything you’ve felt with with person, everything you’ve been through- is an example of better things to come. Keep reminding yourself that better things are just around the corner. that relationship and the subsequent breakup could be exactly what you needed to go out and find the better things.
  10. Let the pain remind you that your heart can heal. The likelihood is you’ve hurt like this before and maybe you will again. You’re alive to feel so many different emotions, to experience so many different experiences- life is like a cardiograph, the ups and downs are just a good sign that we’re still alive- kicking and fighting. 
  11. I’ll reiterate- PLEASE never, ever forget your worth. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. You are so worthy. Scream it from the rooftops until you believe it!

Thinking about you…

Harriet’s thoughts on motherhood…

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THINKING ABOUT YOU

The following words are a cliché, but I promise they’re all true…

I never really knew who I was, or what I wanted to be until the day I held you.

At first, just your existence made me feel complete as you thrived from within my tummy.

But since you’ve been born, I love you more every day. Nothing beats being your Mummy.

I don’t think that I’d ever be able to fully describe the adoration that I have for you.

But my sweet girl, I hope I’ll be able to prove it, in all of the things I do.

Knowing that I managed to make something, so unbelievably perfect fills me with pride.

I know that being a mummy can be daunting, almost scary at times- but I’m loving my little tour guide.

Showing you off to the world makes me so proud, you’re so beautiful, so intricate, so clever and so chatty.
I don’t know what I did to deserve such an incredible princess, but I’ve never been so happy.
Your toothy grin and your little laugh- everything you do, I completely adore, no matter how strange.

Everything I do, I do for you. Baby girl, that’ll never change.

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They Aren’t Little for Long – 21 Ways to Treasure Lovely Moments

Lately I’ve been left feeling totally alarmed at how quickly time passes. So I thought I’d compile a little list of things that I do regularly to ensure I appreciate every moment of Florence growing up.

21 ways to appreciate and commemorate the time you spend with your little one as they grow up…

Lately I’ve been left feeling totally alarmed at how quickly time passes. So I thought I’d compile a little list of things that I do regularly to ensure I appreciate every moment of Florence growing up. As a parent you may already do all of these things! You may do even more! But if you’re a new parent or a mummy to be- here are a few ideas of how to treasure the most special time of your life!

1. We tell her that we love her at least once every day!

2. I tell her that she’s a miracle every day!

3. Every time I call her beautiful, I make sure to compliment her intelligence or her skills. I want her to know that regardless of how beautiful I think she is- that her intelligence, skills and how she treats others is far more important.

4. I try to appreciate ALL of the little things- from the more pleasant things like the extra half an hour in bed for cuddles. To the not so pleasant things like wiping snotty little noses, having an audience when you use the toilet and ‘wrestling match’ style nappy changes… They aren’t little for long and it’s only a matter of time before they won’t need you or want you for these things.

5. Sometimes I deliberately place both of our lunches on the same plate to encourage her to share. It gives the meal the most lovely ‘picnic vibe’… her sharing with me and trying to feed me makes my heart melt!

6. I often let my heart burst with pride as I watch her perfect little face as she snores and dreams.

7. We like to read her that extra story before leaving her to settle.

8. I like to let her sit / lean or rest her head on me for as long as she wishes. Even if it makes my limbs go numb!

9. We watch discretely from afar as she starts to explore, so we don’t miss a thing, but her confidence can be allowed to soar as she experiments with independence.

10. I honestly, Kiss and cuddle her like it is going out of fashion. Allow her do to the same (even if her kisses are the ‘open mouth – I like to bite my Mummy’s nose’ type!)… You CANNOT spoil a baby with love.

11. We take as many pictures as we can, even of seemingly everyday or boring things. (Like when she eats a chocolate biscuit and leaves the residue on her cheeky little face!)

12. Yet, reminding myself to live in the moment and put my phone down for the majority of the time I spend with her.

13. We capture milestones. We encourage milestones. But we don’t rush them- she won’t be little for long. This time is so precious.

14. I started a list of all the words and phrases she uses. I don’t want to forget the order or the words- I want to remember it all.

15. Capture a little bit everything- firsts, the silly faces, the tantrums, the smiles, the drawings, the messes made and other hilarious little hiccups that come with mummy life. I feel that looking back at this when she’s older, will help her realise that life isn’t all smiles and it’s not always picture perfect- but everything will be okay!

16. We take pictures of Florence and her baby friends babies often- seeing how they change and how quickly they change is beyond magical.

17. I occasionally try to take some ‘me time’ (which is sadly usually spent in hospital!) … you couldn’t do a full time job well without the occasional holiday or break- parenting is the same. You need to look after yourself to have the energy to be the best parent you can be. Be kind to yourself! (Plus the cuddles after not seeing your little one even for only a short while are just so lovely!)

18. I write this blog (mummygoeswhereflogoes!), I write notes on my phone and I occasionally write a diary too! I like to record key memories, I like having physical reminders of events and hope that Florence will look back and know how much these moments meant to me.

19. I set up an email address for Florence so that I could send her random emails throughout her childhood- when she’s 18, she’ll gain access to this account and we can go back through and read all of the material that has been sent to her by loved ones over the next 17 years.

20. On her first birthday I created a memory book and and guests at her party contributed to a time capsule. I’m still getting some friends and relatives to sign the book now- so one day we can look back at the kind words from loved ones and what was going on in the year that she was born.

21. I try to purchase the occasional item to commemorate Florence- personalised items with her name on, cute little prints, personalised clothing with her name or year of birth on- etc. I wish they did more of these when I was born! I think they’re precious!

How are you making the most of special moments? How are you treasuring the precious steps of your little one growing up?

Thank you so much for reading! x