Mummykind’s December (and 2019) Top 5

Here it is! The final one of 2019! So as well as just a roundup for this month, we’ve done a roundup for the whole year.

Top 5 Blog Posts in December

Top 9 Blog Posts in 2019

  1. Planning a Moana themed party
  2. Getting your toddler through a cold
  3. Collecting colostrum during pregnancy
  4. Ideas for your paper anniversary
  5. Post-partum haemorrhage
  6. Sarah’s birth story
  7. I refuse to be ashamed about my miscarriage
  8. Recognising the signs of sepsis
  9. How I use my bullet journal to get my parenting shit together

Top 9 Instagram Posts of 2019

And, just because it’s easier and prettier, here are our Top 9 instagram posts of this year!

Personal Top 5s from 2019

As it’s the end of the year and it’s always good to focus on the positive things… here is a personal Top 5 from each of us!

Sarah

  1. Got pupillage!
  2. Managed Christmas alone with Olivia while Jamie is away in the Falklands
  3. Went to New York in April
  4. Got her first car after passing her driving test last year, OH THE FREEDOM!
  5. Went to see Frozen 2 with Olivia… 4 times…

Amy

  1. Went on holiday to New York
  2. Got Mummykind featured on BBC South East Today and inspired lots of mummies across Kent and East Sussex with her story about Postpartum Psychosis
  3. Oliver began interaction therapy for his ASD and is even saying some words now!
  4. Felt more empowered than ever as a single mum
  5. Started learning to drive

Paige

  1. Made an effort to be more present with friends and family, which meant spending less time on her phone or online
  2. Spent a long weekend camping with her church family
  3. Prioritised her mental health, especially avoiding eating disorder triggers
  4. Made more time to plan date nights with her husband!
  5. Finally got answers and diagnoses for lots of medical problems that have long been an issue

Charlie

  1. Had a beautiful baby boy!
  2. Went on holiday to Norway
  3. Got engaged!!
  4. Got promoted at work to a specialist vulnerable women’s worker
  5. Had a mini break at the New Forest

Maria

  1. Had a beautiful baby girl!
  2. Maria’s son started school this year
  3. Received an environmental award
  4. Started a new business – South East Reusables CIC

Harriet

  1. Started an Open University course in Psychology
  2. Got a 1st class mark in her first university assignment!
  3. Went on holiday to France with her family
  4. Celebrated 6 years suicide attempt and self-injury free
  5. Had her first plus size modelling gig

Top 5 Other Blogposts we LOVED

  1. Preemie Parents – Guilty as charged
  2. Advice from a Twenty Something – 7 ways to take care of you this holiday season
  3. Confessions of an Irish Mammy – When the bin truck comes early
  4. Counting to Ten – Christmas with my family
  5. Mama Castle Writes – Embrace the motherhood

New Year New Me and Other Bullshit Cliches

I still, even more than last year, can’t get behind having huge and unattainable resolutions that you’ll struggle to keep and will beat yourself up about when you don’t.

It’s that time of year, you’ll see the #NewYearNewMe posts flying around, everyone will be raving about New Year’s Resolutions and how to keep them.

Last year, my biggest resolution was in the form of my bullet journal, you can read more about that by clicking the thumbnail at the bottom of the post!!! This year, I’m carrying on with my bullet journal, and my biggest resolution is to be well on my way to affording our first house. GOD I FEEL SO GROWN UP TO SAY THAT.
 
That’s not to say there aren’t any mini-resolutions, in fact, there are loads of mini-goals I want to achieve and things I want to do:
  1. Travel more
  2. Go to the gym regularly
  3. Have a French-speaking day every week
Plus I generally want to worry less and be happier in myself! That may take some work as it’s the way I’m wired to worry about everything, but by making my small changes I hope to achieve the bigger change too.
 
I still, even more than last year, can’t get behind having huge and unattainable resolutions that you’ll struggle to keep and will beat yourself up about when you don’t. Part of me thinks that the new year’s resolution idea in itself is one massive bullshit cliché, but sometimes it works, it gives us a chance to reflect and focus on things we want for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s the #NewYearNewMe bullshit I have more of a problem with…
 
Yes, some people are easily able to say they want to lose 2st and will do it – GREAT! Do it! Well done, and a massive pat on the back. But does anyone feel that the whole resolution thing sets you up to fail? You don’t normally announce to the world when you’re going on a diet, especially not with that oh so irritating #NewYearNewMe.
 
The reason I can’t stand it? Well, what’s wrong with the current you?
 
My mother-in-law send me a facebook chain mail message earlier about how if women were cars, we’d constantly be trading ourselves in for newer models without any bumps, lumps or dents. But we are not cars. We are immaculate vessels of life and we should be celebrated as we are, not made to feel like we need new parts.
 
Whatever the resolution is behind the #NewYearNewMe social media post we’re all bound to see this week, it’s probably more apt to say it’s not a “New You”, not even an “Improved You” – it’s probably all to do with the outside packaging and while, if that’s what you want, that’s great, you shouldn’t strive for it because you feel you have to. Please, ladies and gents, remember that your bodies are maps of your life’s journey. Love them, look after them, but don’t think that you have to improve them or that your appearance is all that defines you. This time of year, lots of companies will be betting on the fact that you’re making those exact resolutions and add to that pressure to change yourself when maybe, deep down, you’re happy as you are…
 
It’s not a new you. You’ll be the same you that you always were, whatever you look like. You’re all beautiful in your own unique ways – beauty isn’t universal despite what we’ve grown up being told and shown.
 
Does anybody else feel the same way or have New Year’s resolutions always been great at motivating you to achieve your goals?

 

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Coping with New Year Blues

‘Happy’ New Year.

January is a time that people make changes to their lives and make promises to themselves to be better, do better and feel better. It’s no surprise then that ‘happy’ new year can be anything but happy. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves only to slip up in the first few weeks can set us up for a really stressful time. Of course that’s not all; think of the energy lost over the festive season, the persistent cold weather and very obvious lack of sunshine – it’s no wonder January feels so blue.

Personally, I tend to find no happiness from boxing day right through to the first sunny day in February or even March most years but I am trying to cope a little more effectively and so far, I am feeling more positive than I was expecting.

This year I started taking the Christmas tree down early, which might not seem like a huge deal but it has been significantly less stressful than in previous years. I did it for a couple of reasons: I was able to do it in stages and the gradual change was meant I had no ‘thump’ back to reality a week into January and honestly? Clutter. Christmas made my house look even more cluttered and it felt so closed in that it was a relief when we took it down.

We have adopted a ‘one in, one out’ rule for things like shirts, toys, novelty mugs… basically anything that we end up with more of than we need. As a stay at home parent, excessive clutter that has no home is a huge source of stress for me and I have been at breaking point with it more times than I care to recall. I am determined not to let it get the better of me anymore. Although we haven’t completely followed through with this yet, we have sorted and stored the things we want to take to charity shops or sell online.

Set realistic goals and set them when you are ready. I am in a position where I have been my  ‘ideal’ weight and gained from there and I know that I need to lose around 4 stone to reach that healthier weight and that is daunting, so I am aiming for my pre-baby jeans first. The timing is important, too. I find the ‘from New Year’s Day’ thing really intimidating for some reason. We still had Christmas food in the house for the first couple of weeks of January and there was no way I could have started dieting with all that temptation around – I would have failed miserably and given up.  So my main aim for January was to make healthier choices in the supermarket, and change my portion sizes because I know I’m an over-eater.  I have since started a popular diet now that the temptation of Christmas cake is gone.

If you spend a lot of time at home like I do you will know that it can really get you down if you don’t have anything to do all week and then getting motivated to do anything can get really tough. I am trying to find things to get involved with without over-committing. I’m not great at meeting new people but I want to change that and start going to coffee mornings and maybe join a walking group. If that really sounds like the worst thing ever then make plans with yourself, just write down a time and place and go there, you’ll be glad you did.

Take this new year one day at a time – January is almost over now and if it hasn’t been great so far that doesn’t mean that the rest of your year will be the same. If you aren’t up to New Year’s resolutions just yet, or if you’ve already slipped up, then just make them again on 10th February or 3rd March… whenever you’re up to challenging yourself and NOT when other people expect it of you.

Happy New Year

Super inspiring healthy food
Here’s a super inspiring picture of some roasted veggies.
 

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Mental Health Monday: New Year’s Resolutions

Today is New Year’s Day.

The first day of 2018. Does anyone else think 2017 just flew by?

Anyway, most people reading this will have made new year’s resolutions last night… a few common ones in my house growing up were to stop biting your nails or to lose weight. It’s only since I’ve grown up and left my mother’s house that I actually stopped bothering with resolutions, and realised how superficial those ones are.

For us mummies who have been through the horrors of pregnancy and childbirth, and gained a lot of weight in the process (I gained 3 stone in total!!!), it’s completely understandable that you want to lose that extra weight in the “mum-tum” region. I still have my little tummy pouch and I hate looking at it, as stupid as that sounds. For some people, setting those personal fitness goals might be the perfect way to motivate yourself and get the job done, for others, it can be a clear example of setting our expectations too high and putting too much pressure on ourselves. For me, I’m a healthy weight and not at any further health risk, so waiting until I have the time to spend toning up instead of adding it to my already full plate (a pretty poor expression when we’re talking about weight loss, so forgive me) will help me in the long run. It gives me time to focus on my education and my daughter, without constantly jumping on the scales to see how much I weigh. I know I weigh more than I want to, so what is the point in checking every day until I know I have time to do something about it!

Our blog has spoken a lot about self care, and maybe your New Year’s resolutions are your way of achieving that – great for you! But for the mums, like me, who have plenty going on already, a smaller goal for self care might be better. At the end of the day, if you set your goals too high, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of feeling like a failure and then not being proactive enough to succeed.

2018 is the first year since I left home that I will be setting New Year’s resolutions. But they’re not just about my health and fitness. I’m focusing instead on living a level 10 life, and I discovered this idea through the realms of bullet journal ideas on Pinterest.

Your level 10 life makes you assess each of the ten areas of your life…
1) family and friends
2) personal development
3) spirituality and (my own addition) inner peace
4) finances
5) career
6) giving/contribution
7) fun
8) marriage
9) physical environment
10) health and fitness

You score them out of ten, and then give yourself small goals on how to improve. You can see mine below…

 

I showed this to my stepdaughter and she was genuinely interested in my goals and how I was going to get there. I felt like that was a better message for her to receive than for her to hear myself and her mother saying we wanted to lose weight in 2018 and however many years after that. I had to hear my mother say it every new year and all it did was make me set the same goals when I was old enough to learn and want to follow in her footsteps.

So this new year, focus on the little things you can change to bring you more positivity! Don’t set your goals too high and put extra pressure on yourself… we have enough of that already just being parents!

If you’re already living your level 10 life, then that’s fabulous, but for me, it was a reality check having to assess my happiness and work out how to improve it. I think this exercise will ultimately improve my mental health and help me to feel more positive about life and it’s changes, but time will tell!

Let us know in the comments if you have any resolutions or habits you want to kick, whatever they may be! Or even if you’ve tried the level 10 life spread and want to share its success/drawbacks!

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