I abandoned the mirror – and you should too.

9 months ago when I moved house, I did something that many would call drastic, or unnecessary. While decluttering and sorting through my possessions, I decided to get rid of my mirror.

Yes, that’s right, it’s gone. The only mirror left in the house now is a 20cm round mirror that I use to put make up on in the morning sometimes, and my husband uses it to do his hair. Honestly? I think getting rid of it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my mental health.

I’ve spoken before about my previous history with Anorexia, and how I’m trying to combat that now I have my daughter. I don’t feel that Anorexia is something that ever truly goes away – I’m much better now, but I think the way you perceive your body is forever altered after having an eating disorder. I’ve also written about my struggles with Gastroparesis. which can cause physical symptoms that can be difficult to deal with if you’ve got an eating disorder history, like early satiety, bloating, abdominal discomfort etc.

So, why did I do it?

Quite simply, it was doing more harm than good.

I noticed that the more time I spent per day looking in the mirror, the more unhappy I was with my appearance, and that had a knock on effect for the rest of the day. I noticed that I could spend a whole day in an outfit I was comfortable and confident in, but the second I looked in the mirror and saw something I didn’t like, I’d have to change. I noticed that ‘just a few seconds’ here and there could add up to time better spent somewhere else. I also noticed that the days I hadn’t looked in the mirror were the happiest.

I soon discovered I wasn’t alone. I spoke to a close friend about it who told me she had in the past spent lots of time looking in her mirror at all the things she hated about herself. It broke my heart to hear it, because I think she’s beautiful.

The more I thought about it, the more it ate me up inside. I remembered as a teenager seeing a friend look at her stomach in a mirror and tell me that she wished she could just cut it all off. She was just 13 years old. I don’t want that for my daughter.

Once I got rid of the mirror, I soon noticed a change. I spent more time during the day thinking about how I was feeling rather than how I looked. When my husband complimented my appearance, I began to genuinely believe him rather than tell him that he was just obligated to compliment me because we are married.

Soon after ditching my reflective friend, I had to go clothes shopping as a new medication change had caused me to lose more weight. I thought that stepping into a changing room would be a challenge because I hadn’t looked at myself in a full length mirror for a few months. If anything, the opposite was true. I found that I had a newfound appreciation and respect for the way my body looked.

9 months later, I think I probably have the best self esteem and the healthiest relationship with my body that I’ve ever experienced. I appreciate the things my body can do rather than the way it looks. At the end of the day, I know that God made me perfectly to be just the way I am.

I’m not a perfect person, but I’m learning to be perfectly ok with my body just the way it is.

If you’ve never had some ‘mirror free’ time, or you’re struggling with self image, self confidence, or you just feel uncomfortable in yourself, I’d highly recommend abandoning the mirror for a while. It helped me to appreciate the person I am before the body I’m in, and it could very well do the same for you!

Have you taken any big steps to better your mental health?

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Mum Guilt – Going on holiday without your kids!

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In the first half of the Easter holidays I went on holiday to New York with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Amy.

Noticed anything in that above sentence?

That’s right – no children!

My girls-only trip was a bit of a treat for me after having Olivia at home for 7 months, and dealing with all of the rubbish that comes with your spouse being deployed for so long.

At the end of that period of time last year, it’s obvious that I was GASPING for a break, and so our little break to the US was booked!

But, actually, I missed my little girl like CRAZY.

She’s been going through these super cute phases recently, and her personality is really shining through. She comes out with adorable little sayings, and she is changing by the day. She’s also been all over mummy recently (in a really sweet and loving way), which made leaving her so much harder! I almost wish she could have been really badly behaved at least for a day or two before I went so that I wouldn’t have felt so guilty about leaving… but, to be honest, we all know that the “mum guilt” would have hit me sooner or later anyway.

This was the first time I’d left Olivia and gone abroad without her, but she has spent plenty of time away from me before! She’s spent a week or more with her nanny down in Kent without me there, which is longer than the amount of time I was away for my New York trip! For some reason, this got to me more than those times. Honestly, I think it’s because I was doing something for me…

It’s kind of inevitable isn’t it? The mummy guilt eats away at you WHENEVER you treat yourself to anything. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. We live in a world of amazing technology, and your child isn’t going to remember that for a period of 5 days when they were 2 you were on holiday and only speaking to them on FaceTime.

It doesn’t make it any easier, and it is rough leaving them. You worry about EVERY SINGLE THING that they are doing without you. I know my husband is perfectly capable, but with Olivia’s time being split between daddy and granddad while I was away, it made me feel better to set out a week’s worth of outfits for her so that I at least knew she’d be dressed every day! She probably subsisted on pasta and cheese for the entire time, breakfast, lunch and dinner alike, but she was eating – I knew there was food in the cupboard! I planned a little day out for her and granddad when he took over babysitting duties, again making me feel better that she had something to do while I was away.

And when I got back? I had such big cuddles from her and was given so much love! She had clearly missed me (I was worried both that she wouldn’t miss me at all and that she would miss me too much and wouldn’t handle it well, both of which did not happen), and the cuddles were the best thing to come home to. I felt refreshed, I felt more like ME, and Olivia had a break from me too. After all, she must get tired of the same old routine as well.

Although she hadn’t gone away anywhere, it was as much an exciting break for her as it was for me (or so I keep telling myself!)

No major disaster happened while I was away, and, yes, things may go wrong, but probably very rarely! If you know they’re well looked after, there’s really nothing to worry about.

I hope this post is reassuring someone who was feeling as awful as I was the couple of days before I flew out!

Have you been abroad on your own (no kids in tow)? What did you find helpful to push that mum guilt to the side?

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Taking Care Of Toddler Skin In Winter

You may remember that Chrissy wrote a post on spotting the early signs of lung cancer for us last year, and today, she is sharing her top 3 tips for taking care of toddler skin in the winter time!


Lots of children suffer with eczema and I know how dry even my skin gets during the winter – I hope that these tips will help someone who’s little one is suffering in the cold weather!


Thank you Chrissy!
 

3 TOP TIPS TO HELP YOUR TODDLER’S SKIN DURING THE WINTER

British winters can be freezing – last winter’s average temperature was at 3.6 degrees – but they can also be magical and full of exciting new experiences for your toddler. That said, raising toddlers in the chilly climate has its own set of challenges. Between helping them battle inevitable colds to keeping them warm and occupied, making sure their skin remains healthy and soft should be the least of your worries. Here are the basics for keeping their young complexions happy and smooth as you introduce your child to the wonders of winter.

Be prepared for skin ailments

As mentioned above, it’s all but inevitable that your little one will come down with some kind of sickness. Runny noses coupled with the contrasting indoor and outdoor environments are the perfect recipe for painfully chapped lips and noses for both yourself and your toddler. In addition, winter weather conditions make your child even more susceptible to skin conditions such as eczema, cold sores, and wind burn. The good news is that there are plenty of natural remedies for these ailments that can reduce discomfort and hasten healing. Stock up on these moisturising treatments such as petroleum jellies and aloe vera gels so that you can soothe an ailment as soon as it appears.

Protection from the elements

As unappealing as the chilly weather and short hours of sunlight can be, venturing outdoors and breathing fresh air for just a couple of hours a day is a great way to keep your toddler occupied, soak up vital Vitamin D and banish fatigue brought on by inactivity. That said, the cool dryness of winter air sucks the moisture from your toddler’s skin as much as it does to yours, and the sun can still do damage even though it doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything at all. To protect your child, make sure you apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or above. It’s also important to dress them well in a coat, a warm hat, scarf, and insulated gloves. Be aware of bundling them up too much though, as this can cause blocked glands and skin irritation.

When indoors, beware of keeping the heating too toasty as an artificially hot, low-humidity climate will also dry out your and your toddler’s skin. Make the air warm, but just cool enough to be wearing a couple of light layers.

Extra care for healthy skin

Your daily routines within your home can have a considerable impact on the health of your toddler’s skin in winter time, and there are a number of simple changes you can make to stop ailments occurring in the first place. Perhaps the most obvious habit to make is to moisturise your child straight after their bath when their skin i

s still damp to lock in as much hydration as possible. However, be careful of the products you use on your toddler’s skin. Go for no-fragrance, soap-free cleaners suitable for sensitive skin to best retain skin moisture and avoid skin irritation. In addition, keep bath time short and in tepid rather than hot water and pat your toddler dry to be as kind as possible to their young skin.

Though it comes with its own set of tough challenges, winter can still prove to be a delightful time with your toddler. By applying nourishing natural treatments to ailments as they appear, protecting them from the harsh climates, and adapting skin-friendly household habits, you’ll maintain your toddler’s smooth, healthy skin and make winter a wonderland to be enjoyed by the whole family.

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Mental Health Monday: 8 ways to stay motivated!

Evening all!

I realise I’ve been slacking on the #MentalHealthMonday posts recently, but my own mental health has had to be prioritised, as has taking some time out to focus on spending time with my dear husband before he goes to Afghanistan.

One thing I’ve recognised in myself over the last couple of weeks, if not months, is that whenever your mental health takes a turn for the worse, it becomes so incredibly difficult to stay motivated. The smallest things like doing a grocery shop, writing a blogpost or doing exercise can be that much harder to do when you’re completely lacking motivation.

Here are my 8 top tips to stay motivated in spite of your mental health!

1. Plan your time

This one helps me the most, and you’ll find it particularly helpful if, like me, you’ve got a busy schedule and every minute of the day needs to be used wisely! When I was revising for my exams at school and sixth form I would use online tools to create revision timetables, and now I follow the same format by dedicating a certain amount of hours to something each week. That tends to be revision based still but I also have to balance work in the mix!

2. Use a tracker

If you haven’t seen my post about my bullet journal, check it out! I use my BuJo for everything, and I love using trackers. It’s a lovely pictorial way of logging what you actually do with your time, so that, on those days where you think “what have I even done today”, you can look back and feel less bad about yourself. You would be surprised how many habits we have that we just do without even thinking about them, good or bad! A tracker can be a great way to iron out those annoying habits you have too! Personally, I use mine to track my medication, spending and blogging usually, but the range of possibilities is endless.

3. Take regular breaks

If it’s a day where you have a lot of big tasks to get through,  and you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself to do even one of those, then taking regular breaks can really help. Know your limits and if you’re tired, take a rest! We’re only human so we need to stop trying to be superhuman all the time!

4. Have a day off

If you’re having long-term motivation issues, just take the day off. Your body and mind clearly need it, so have a you day, do whatever you want to, get some well-deserved rest and come back to it tomorrow. As long as you know it’s something you can come back to, you’ll feel better for rejuvenating and allowing your mind to repair itself so that when you do come back to whatever task you’re doing, you can feel fresh and ready to go!

5. Set a daily goal

Each day, set one goal for something that you want to achieve that day, and achieve it! It can’t be something so incredibly mundane that you feel no accomplishment when you do achieve it though, so pick something a little outside of your usual routine and just make sure that you set aside enough time in the day to get it done. Once you’ve completed it, you’ll feel your motivation to do other things coming back to you too!

6. Put your phone away

How many of us actually take time off from our phones? I’m writing this blogpost right now on my phone. It’s a terrible thing! It’s an addiction and we need to have time to be in the moment away from any distractions. When you go to bed, plug your phone in on the other side of the room, and when you wake up you’ll HAVE to get out of bed to turn your phone alarm off or just to check your messages. Try limiting your time on social media so that instead of seeing tons of people being “fake happy”, you can spend time getting your real happy back. This is also a bad habit you could track!

7. Do one thing every day that’s just for you

I think our Mummykind mums have harped on about this a lot, but self care is soooooo important! Set time aside in the day to do one thing just for you. A home aerobics or yoga dvd, a glass of wine and a good tv show, or even a peaceful half an hour to do some crafting or colouring or logging in your new BuJo! Whatever it is, make sure it’s something completely for you to give you the self care you need to stay motivated day in, day out. Drink that bloody cup of tea while it’s still hot!!!

8. Have a ‘buddy’

Always wanted to go to the gym but too anxious or nervous to go alone? Get a gym buddy! Join a class or go for a run with your fitness buddy and it will 100% motivate you to keep going. You’ll have a sense of obligation so that you don’t let your buddy down, and at the same time you’ll be fulfilling your goals too. I’m not sure how versatile this is for other tasks you may need motivating to do… for example a laundry buddy may not work unless you skype while you do it, and then I think it loses all appeal really!!!

Do you have any other tips to motivate yourself when you’re finding it hard to feel motivated? Please let us know in the comments, and get involved with #MentalHealthMonday chats on Twitter!

Monday Stumble LinkySchool Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Mummies Waiting

Mental Health Monday: 5 ways to cope with stress!

Stress!

The one thing we parents seem to have in abundance! Unfortunately, I haven’t yet discovered how to live a completely stress-free life, so instead, here are my top 5 tricks on how to cope with stress!

1. Copious amounts of tea

Ever heard the saying that none of the world’s problems cannot be solved with tea? Well, I am a firm believer! Particularly if your problems are stress-related. I know it can be hard to drink a hot drink while it’s still hot these days, but make sure you grab the opportunity when it presents itself! There’s not much else that’s better than enjoying a hot, caffeinated drink and putting your feet up for a minute while you do!

2. Play dough

This may sound daft, but this is ridiculously stress-relieving. Come on, mummies, whose kiddies do not have play dough lying around somewhere? (If not, you can check out the way to make your own here!)

If they do, and if the colours aren’t all mushed up together in some form of absolute ANARCHY, then I seriously recommend just twiddling it for a while and feeling all of your stress leaving your body as you do!

3. Yoga

Again, I know that finding time is difficult, but it could actually be the best thing you do that day to get out of the house and going to a yoga class! If not, you could easily pull up a youtube tutorial for some yoga breathing exercises. It’s incredibly calming and whenever I’ve done it, I LITERALLY feel lighter having done so. You can physically feel the tension being lifted and the positivity seeping back into where it used to be, once upon a time.

4. Classical music

I know what you’re thinking. “She’s gone mad”, “how old is she?” etc. etc.

But I am serious! Music defines our emotions so much more than we think. If all you listen to is high tempo, upbeat pop music, you might feel happier but it’s still energetic and active. I’m not suggesting you listen to Bach, Mozart or Beethoven (I mean, you can if you want to), but just go onto Spotify, pop your headphones in, and stick on a classical playlist.

My favourite contemporary classical composer is Yiruma – a Japanese artist. His music is just hauntingly beautiful, and I always feel calm and relaxed when I listen to it.

This tip could probably apply to any music you find relaxes you, but if you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend listening to a bit of pure piano magic.

5. Scream into a pillow

You really do think I’m mad now, don’t you? But I’m serious… In the same way that sometimes you need a good old cry to just get it out of your system, sometimes releasing all of that pent-up anger, upset and frustration is best done by burying your face in a pillow, and screaming loudly. You’d be surprised how much better you can feel afterwards!

So there you have it, my 5 TOP TIPS to cope with stress, and make life just a little bit more manageable!

Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips that you swear by to keep your cool!

Mummies Waiting

Mental Health Monday – Self Care Days.

Today was a really difficult day Mental Health wise.

I’ve been a bit weepy and for once – I didn’t hide it from Florence. Instead, I actively involved her in a self care day.

I told her that I had a difficult phone call and that I was a little bit sad, so we were going to be spending the day doing things to make us feel good about ourselves.

We had a lovely bath with a Lush bath bomb, it reminded us of the sea and we played with boats. We had a splash war. We used my special Lush shampoo, conditioner and posh body wash. We brushed each others hair and dried it with the hair dryer. We put on some perfume. We read stories and looked at photos of people and things that make us happy (dogs, cats, trains, Grandma, Grandpa, dogs, ‘Ick’, dogs, cats and trains..) . We wore our pjs all day and changed into a snuggly fresh set after our bath. We made smoothies and had some naughty chocolate coins. We cuddled, we played, we watched the choo choo trains on YouTube and we laughed.

I want to raise a mentally resilient little girl. I will always be open about my Mental Health – even if I’m going to have to come up with the occasional euphemism to make what I’m feeling more age appropriate. There will be no Mental Health stigma in our household and she will always know that it’s okay to take some time to feel like you again.

Thank you for being my everything – Florence. You always get me, back to me.

This post was written as part of our Raising Healthy Minds campaign

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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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!

What is this thing you call ‘sleep’?

Sleeping through the night… It is that one thing us parents all desire. Yet we still don’t feel refreshed when we finally get it.

It quite simply seemed to me that my baby was the one and only child that wasn’t sleeping through the night. Every parent I spoke to was telling me that their little angel was sleeping through.

I kept thinking come on! We can’t be the only ones, surely? There must be someone out there who feels my pain!!

I know for certain that I didn’t sleep through as a baby.
I know this because my mum likes to remind me of this constantly.
“You only stopped waking us in the night when you knew how to open the fridge…” So this is my come uppance for not letting her sleep for 3 years… Sorry mum!

We tried what felt like everything!
Playing soothing music, singing lullabies, reading at bed time, low lighting, rocking, figure of 8 rocking, extra naps in the day, dream feeding. We were encorporating each new idea into a routine which we meticulously stuck to each evening.

This is the one! This is gonna work…

Nope.

…just as you are in a nice deep slumber the bear stirs and wakes from her den. The crying feels like pure torture as you wake. Your eyes can hardly open. You feel startled and confused trying to maneouvre yourself safely through the dark, headed straight towards the commotion. Not knowing if you will be in the den for 5 minutes or an hour. What fate awaits you?

Will this bottle of milk be enough for you? Where’s your dummy? Has it fallen behind the cot? Is it colic? Are you teething? Where’s the calpol?! We need calpol up in here, stat!

Back to square one.
What is going on?!

One evening we thought we would try the old ‘cry it out’ method in desperation and it was quite possibly the worst night ever. Our daughter screamed and screamded while I sat and cried in the next room. I felt absolutely rotten. It just wasn’t for us.

That’s it. We’ll just have to try letting her sleep in our bed, but only on this one occasion we thought.
But it never is ‘just the one time’ though is it? And then she’s loving the bed.
She’s loving the entirety of the bed…
…and we’re falling off the edges of the bed.
Right, that’s it, change of plan.

But then, one night completely out of the blue she started sleeping through! I don’t know what happened.
It’s amazing!
Eureka!
It’s a trap. It’s got to be. It’s too good to be true!
You feel elated. You quite honestly feel as though you’ve never had it so good. This sleep is pure gold. Your birthday and Christmas have come at once.
Rock and roll, people.

You’ve built this moment up. There’s so much expectation.
You wake up.
You feel the same.
Why don’t I feel refreshed?
Why? Why!???

You know what though? I will wake up as many times as I need to, to make sure my daughter is ok and comfortable. This is a sacrifice I am willing to make and if I don’t sleep a full night for the next few years then that’s just the way it is. This is the life of a parent and it’s the best job in the world.
Besides a full night of sleep is overrated anyway because I don’t ever wake up feeling refreshed at all! And there’s always eyedrops and coffee…

My daughter like any other baby has her relapses too when she’s teething, she’s too hot, too cold, or poorly, but it becomes so much easier to understand as your little one gets older. I feel I’ve become so much better at working it out too.

Just know that you’re not alone. When you’re up at the crack of dawn and tearing your hair out, there is another parent maybe only a few roads away doing the same thing.
It might seem that other parents have got it all figured out, and maybe they have, or maybe they’re stretching the truth a little bit. It’s all okay! The main thing is your baby is safe and well and you are looking after yourself, the best you can.

This time goes so quickly. You blink your eyes and before you know it a year has flown by and you’re celebrating your little bear’s first birthday. It is all worth it, every second.