Do blondes have more fun?

I thought that after a recent transformation, I should share my new look with you all. No plastic surgery involved, don’t worry. I have changed my hair colour and style once more.

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Having sought after a glossy blonde head of hair for years and years, I finally took the plunge and transformed from a dull brunette with long hanging locks to a short blonde bob. I’ve never suited long hair, I tend to grow through phases if growing my hair then realising that I hate long hair on myself before chopping it all off. Exactly what I have just done.

Give me a wavy bob any day. As a new Mum, I have little time to faff around with long hair and styling. Too much maintenance, I’m lazy and I like an easy life. I’ve decided to grow my fringe out also, just for a little bit of a change. I have a large forehead and find a fringe hides that nicely but, for a while I’ll embrace my forehead. I suppose.

Thats right, blonde! Yikes. I never thought I’d achieve the right hue and tones, especially with being so dark but after several trips to the hair salon, I’ve finally got the perfect balance. It still needs work and a few hours more or chair time bit I’m pleased to say that I am almost there.

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I was so happy when my new colour was revealed, I didn’t expect such a great outcome. Especially with being so dark previously, to reach this stage has taken quite some work, I must admit. Turning to look on the mirror of the salon, I was a little shocked. My hair was, my hair is, actually blonde.

To be blonde was something I’ve wanted to test out for years. It’s never too late. Within the New year I hope to maintain my colour and work towards an even brighter blonde. I’ve got my hands on a good silver shampoo treatment for use twice weekly along with a really great serum that I swear by from loreal. I’ll get to platinum some day.

It’s taken a long time and many hours, a lot of serum and TLC and the maintenance will certainly have to be upheld but I think I might have found the cut and colour I will be sticking with for the long haul. At long last.

You see, I’m never pleased for long, I usually find that I get bored with my hair and my look super easily.  I cut it frequently and dye it with home dye kits more often that I should. It’s an easy way to update a look, to change your identity. This time around, I’m hoping to settle.

Do blondes have more fun? Time to find out.

 

Keren x

Couples Christmas day out/Cineworld 4DX 3D review.

On a couples day out while the Grandparents babysat Eleanor, myself and Euan decided to take a trip out for a good lunch and some cinema screen time. Yay!

A favourite past time of ours has always been the cinema but lately with the circumstances and Euan working extra with a second job, it is quite tough to find the time to get together and get out for a few hours to the cinema. Finding a babysitter is a hardship, we have my parents but with my mum working nightshift, to find a time that suits us all is no easy task.

Lots of planning goes into a day out, if you have a young baby at home, I’m sure you will know what I’m talking about. If not, come the time, you will. The thing is though, the whole run up to a couples day out, the planning and preparation, makes it even more exciting. Previously we took time together for granted. Now, with a baby and a serious lack of time, each moment we have of quality time is just so precious. I look forward to the little things, fifteen minutes for cuddle time?! Holla.

Anyway, for our Christmas day out, we hit up the Christmas stall outside the local shopping centre and indulged with a hot chocolate and mulled wine. Baby free, you bet I was hitting up the wine.

The forces had been working the magic through the night and for our day out we got to enjoy the Snow. I’m not crazy for snow but at this time of year it really does make everything feel magical and special, I do believe that snow does make Christmas, along with family of course. It was lovely to sit outdoors in the open bar and enjoy a conversation with a hot beverage as we watched the snow fall and the Christmas shoppers rush past (I love to people watch and we had a great spot for doing so. I really like to watch people as they go about on their daily business. I wonder what people think and do. I wonder where they are off to)

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This was a pre lunch snack so to speak, we had a voucher to utilise at Pizza Express and our next stop was lunch from the comfort and the warmth of  the indoors.

Eating out is always such a treat, we don’t get the opportunity do so often so when we do, it’s a special occasion regardless of the day. I opted for a rose wine with a vegetarian classic pizza, topped with olives and sultanas. Delicious! Euan, went with a coke and a spicy pizza. Equally delicious. We both almost cleared our plates, but were cautious to save room for cinema snacks. An essential for any trip to the cinema.

It was so good to have the time to appreciate one another’s company without the background noise of a crying baby or a fiesty dog. Us time, I love it. Though, on saying that, I believe we spent a lot of the time chatting about our little snuggle bug and wondering what she was up to. I called my Mum twice to check up on her and see that she was doing okay. Yep, I’ve become the over protective Mum type. I can’t help but feel like I’m missing a limb without her around. It’s as though she has always been with us.

Having ensured Eleanor was good and that my Mum was coping (she has raised four children of her own, I still feel the need to check she is managing, this is probably quite the insult to her) we headed to the cinema and collected some 3D specs and snacks for the screening. CINEMA SNACKS! AHHH. I bloody love a good cinema snack. This was not just any regular screening, we decided to go and see Jumanji in the new 4DX screen at Cineworld.

As a big cinema fan, this was quite the big deal. We are crazy about the cinema and a day out is spent better in the cinema than going to a pub to get Merry. What a pair of geeks, I’ll be the first to admit it. I just love the cinema, we both do. Now, the important part..  I went with my classic scoop of ice cream, pralines and cream topped with a hefty load of sprinkles, Euan went with a large popcorn. Mixed of course.

I had high hopes for the screening and those hopes were fulfilled. The screening took us through all of the motions. When there was a lot of action going down in the movie, the cinema would become more like a roller-coaster ride. The chairs would move around, water was sprayed at you, smoke came from the screen and you could feel the cold or hot air hit during parts of the movie.

Jumanji itself was quite fun, I didn’t know what to expect in comparison to the original but the cast really made it. It was a funnier version of the classic and definitely kept you entertained throughout. With the added extra of the 4DX, there was no hope of catching forty winks. I had a great time and a really good experience with the screening in 4DX, it was a good touch and great to do something different together that neither of us hadn’t experienced before. I wouldn’t rush to see every movie in that view but for action movies with a bit of an impact, I think it’s a great way to spend your time. Next on the hit list, Star Wars.

Having left the cinema on a high note, we stopped past Krispy Kreme to pick up some treats to take for my parents as a thank you for allowing us to have the day out. It really was a great day and we had so much fun together. I truly was wined and dined. So much so, I left no room for dinner in the evening. Oops.

Euan collected Eleanor and the evening tipple. Start as you mean to go on right? I got the flat organised and tidy before winding down with my family while having a mulled wine which Euan tracked down from Tesco. What a gem. I was delighted to end the day on a high note with my favourite festive drink in one hand, baby in the other.

The evening was spent on the couch with Eleanor and Fern snuggled up next to us as we watched Deck the Halls. A family fun Christmas movie. Can you tell that we are feeling festive? The Christmas spirit is in full swing over at the Ross household. There is something about babies and Christmas that just makes it so much more exciting. Family time is the best time and I just can’t wait for the first Christmas as a family of three, or four if you include our four legged friend, Fern. Family makes Christmas.

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I had such a brilliant day out that I had to docunent and share this with you all. I certainly believe that time is precious and I am not taking any of these special moments and days for granted. If you get the chance to see a movie in the 4DX screenings, I would definitely recommend trying it. Unless of course you suffer motion sickness. That could be risky business.

I don’t know when the next time we will get to enjoy a trip out together, however, Euan has some time off over Christmas that we are looking forward to spending as a family. I’m sure that we can pack in lots of movie days on the couch with snacks and cuddles. Next up, Christmas!

I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend and feeling relaxed on the run up to Christmas. It is busy out there. I’m on my own with Eleanor now after having spent the afternoon out at coffee with my Mum and Sister. It’s all quiet on our side and I am looking forward to Euan coming in from work at 10.15 to sneak on some bed time hugs.

Keren x

A family filled festive Saturday.

Alright, now we are into the beginning of December, time to dig out the old Christmas decorations from the store and get busy… decorating that is. As the first Saturday of the month, we had some time alone just the three of us to enjoy. What better a time than the first weekend of the month to get the decorations up and organised to make way for Christmas day.

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With a busy month ahead and such  little room to add to the calendar, we decided that it was a day to spend as the three of us and enjoy a whole lot of festive treats. First up? Coffee and cake from Starbucks and a trip to Ikea to check out the Christmas stock.

Ikea was a little disappointing, I expected to leave with a bag full of goodies. Tree decorations, chocolate galore, you name it. I already had set my sights on a mini haul of goodies but Ikea failed me. Not on purpose however, the stock that was in store was bland and not to my fancy. I wanted more sparkle and there was a good lack of that in store. Onto the next task.

Having left Ikea disheartened, we headed out to the Disney store to check out the Christmas baubles. Again, there was nothing to our taste and the selection was rather poor. Perhaps we were too late to the game but I felt online had more to offer. Having left the store we venture out to the Christmas Market with Eleanor in tow – she was sleeping soundly and missed out in the chaos of frantic shoppers rushing around.

I’m not a fan of busy. Busy makes me nauseated and uncomfortable, however for the sake of the day, I braved the market in the street. The market didn’t have too many stalls to browse and shop but there were fair ground rides to keep you entertained and an ice skate rink. The ice skating could have been a good way to spend some time but with Eleanor in the Pram, it wasn’t really the time. It was nice to watch the others on the ice for a little though.

There were a selection of huts serving food and drinks. Hot dogs, Pancakes, waffles, mulled wine, hot chocolate. Now we are talking. I opted for a mid afternoon tipple, warm mulled wine. Which left my body Just the right amount of fuzzy. Euan opted for a German hot dog with all the trimmings. Safe to say that we left with happy tummys and a feeling of Christmas cheer.

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Home and onto the main event. The decoration of the tree. Eleanor’s first Christmas,of course this had to be a well documented event. We spent the evening decorating the tree together, hanging decorations as we shined them around Eleanor, trying to introduce her to the idea and concept of Christmas. The tinsel came out to play and I spent some time trying to get Eleanor to grab the tinsel and play with it, she was more interested in her songs that were on the television than the tinsel but I’ll keep at it.

The lights were thrown around the tree and turned on and the Lego train set was put in its place at the bottom of the tree. What’s a Christmas tree without a train set? Especially a Lego train set! I’m not sure how long it will last with the dog running around and the overlap of baby supplies but we will see how we go. I’m feeling optimistic.

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Decorating aside, having had put the tree up, we spent time playing with Eleanor as she babbled away and told us stories. We sang songs together in the form of nursery rhymes, we danced around a little, played with soft and cuddly toys and the tree decorations. I’m super keen to have as much family interaction time that I can with my family and to introduce Eleanor to all of these special events such as Christmas. We had a really lovely time, there was so much fun and laughter from all three of us.

I live for the beautiful gummy smiles that Eleanor gives. Right now, we are seeing so much more of the smiles and hearing her tell stories as she interacts with us. The light in her eyes when you play and interact with her. I wonder what she thinks or feels. I hope she knows just how loved she is. I’ve never been more in love than I am with her. To see the world through her eyes. Ah, my baby.

I know that at just four months old she will not be able to grasp the concept of the holidays and the whole festive spirit but it would be wrong not to try and introduce her to the fun and teach her the ways. I have always loved the Christmas period, I think that this was inflicted on myself from my Mother over the years, she always made Christmas so special. I aim to do the same as she has done for me with my family. After all, what is Christmas without family and a whole lot of love?

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We finished the day with a festive evening spent cuddled up watching movies on the sofa with a hefty helping of popcorn. Jingle all the way and Hacksaw Ridge were the movies of choice before heading off to bed for some big sleeps. I think we definitely deserved the long lie that we had ON Sunday morning. It’s a busy life with a new baby to care for, I tell ya. This mana is tired.

The whole day was so great and to have the time as a family to spend enjoying all of the good things in life is so precious. Family time is the best time, I love it being the three of us and it’s a shame that we can’t get more time together than a few hours of the evening and a Saturday.

It’s certainly a busy life and I don’t know if we are headed for a break any time soon. I’m keen to embrace the time that we have together and to document as much of this time as possible for the times when we can’t be together, I can look back on these memories and smile. Family really is everything.

Hope that you have all had a lovely weekend and spent your time well with your family and loved ones. I wish you all a restful Sunday evening.

Keren x

Stripping back on social media.

In an attempt to lead a life near free from social media, I have recently made some big changes to my online activity and personal online profiles. A step in the right direction.

I feel that in this day and age, we are so consumed by social media, our smartphones and forms of technology and following trends that we get from scouring the web. I feel that it can be overpowering and consume most of our daily lives. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of just how attached we have become to technology and the social media sites that have began to define us. Soon we won’t even need to step outside. Everything is done with the click of a button on our mobile or computers.

We buy things we don’t need influenced by what we see, what we read. I’ll put my hands up and admit defeat there. I’m a sucker for shopping, all I need is that little push and the debut card is out to play.

In an attempt to become less frequent on social media and step out from the realms of the online world, I have cut back my social accounts. I recently stripped my Instagram account almost bare, bar photographs that I hold close to my heart and removed anything about myself apart room my name in my bio. I removed followers and accounts that I follow. It trimmed it right back in a bid to start afresh. I suppose you could call it that. A fresh start.

My Facebook account is the only other activity I have online, I don’t use twitter and haven’t for years. My Facebook is only used to post the occasional photograph of Eleanor for the grandparents to see and to chat to my own Mother on messenger as she doesn’t do WhatsApp or texting. My Facebook account holds little friends, only the people I know and it is private so that not just anyone can have a nosey to see what’s going on in my life. I’d ideally be rid of Facebook, however, I need it at this time to communicate with some family and friends, especially those I’m not in touch with daily.

I felt that I didn’t want to share everything online anymore. Now that my teenage years are over and I am starting to establish myself as a Mother, I want to be able to use my free time to focus on my baby girl. To step away from my mobile phone, to get an escape from the online world of social media and just embrace the time that I have, here and now.

I want to get away from relying on social media to share images and messages, I know realise that I don’t need a specific number of likes on a photo to make me feel good. I don’t need others to approve of my daily activity. I don’t need to be influenced by what I see others do online. As a Mother, with my own family to focus on, I want to begin to be my sole influencer.

I want to take pride in myself and my family life witout the approval of online accounts. I wish to put social media behind me as much as I can (I was previously a big over sharer, something which I have recently cut back on). I don’t want my daughter to grow up and follow trends she views online, I don’t want her to see me scouring the Web from a young age. I want her to see me watching shows of interest, to see me bake, to read, to see me smile and laugh for real. Not to see my giggle over memes of Gemma Collins. Again, guilty.

I’ve decided to strip back and step away from social media. I’ve decided that I want to take the time to be with my daughter and my family and to really be with them. Not to be in another dimension online. My full attention has to be for my family and for myself. I wish my daughter to grow into a strong and self reliable individual who doesn’t need the influence of social media to path her as an individual.

On a bid to raise my daughter well and live a good family life, to find my happy balance, I am stepping away from. The world of social media and online accounts. This may seem extreme to some of you but the thing is, I don’t need these accounts,

I don’t need likes or praise from strangers online to make myself feel good and I certainly don’t want Eleanor to grow and feel that to be someone in this world and to feel recongnised she needs to rely on social media. I want to raise her to be an individual in her own rights and to be independent. She will find her own feet and her calling some day, and I hope that when she does, she wasn’t influenced by the world online.

I have been consumed by technology and the online world for too long. As a young girl, I grew up around Facebook and Instagram. I felt that to be recognised and to be wanted, you needed to have a set number of like son posts, or comments. You don’t. The oh person that you need to please is yourself. I aim to step away from social media platforms in a bid to find myself as a Mother, a daughter, and a friend.

Has anyone felt this same way, that we are all too consumed by technology and the opinions of strangers online? Have any of you taken a break from the world online, if so what did it bring to you?

Keren x

The most wonderful time. My top Five Christmas favourites.

Now that we have entered the festive period and December is in full swing, I thought I’d share with you all my top five favourite things about Winter and the Christmas run up.

The count down to Christmas is in full swing, my excitement is growing it only seems right to talk about it. By the way, it’s totally acceptable to get the Christmas playlist on the go now, right?

To pick just five favourites from the season seems unfair, but if I don’t draw the line somewhere, I’d end up going on forever. I really love Christmas time and the whole sense of togetherness it brings. It’s just so special and has the ability to make people feel special. Family is everything and a little kindness never goes a miss.

A white Christmas – First on the list, obviously. Who doesn’t love a waking up to a fresh white Christmas morning with droplets of snow falling? There’s something magical about watching the snow fall, even more so on one of the most important days of the calendar year. It’s just so dreamy. I love it. I love walking the dog on a snowy Christmas morning with family and embracing the freshness in the air. I think that snow, definitely makes Christmas day feel like Christmas day. A winter wonderland truly is wonderful.

I won’t lie though, after the Christmas period has ended, I’m happy to be rid of snow and the bitter cold that it too brings with it but for now, I’ll lap up all the snow days I can get.

With being off on maternity leave, fortunately, I have no place to go and can embrace a lie in from time to time if Eleanor allows it and we can spend the days watching the snow fall from the comfort of the window.

 

Kindness – All too often we are consumed by materialistic lifestyles and can get way too caught up within ourselves that we forget about others. I like that Christmas brings a level of compassion, care, love and support for those around us that we hold dear. Christmas is a time to give, a time to share and a time to bring kindness to all, no matter who we are. It’s so magical how the time of year can bring people together in such a special way. This year,

I feel even more excited for family and making the most of family time as now I have a family of my own, everything really is that extra bit special and I will be making the effort of going the extra mile to make this year a Christmas to remember.

I love to give gifts and spoil people a little but it can get out of hand to keep buying gifts and my pockets aren’t full so come Christmas, I find it so satisfying to treat the ones I love with a little something I have picked out especially, knowing that they will really love it. I like to make others feel special and give good treats. I put a lot of thought into the gifts that I give, I always have.

As a young girl, I’d sit in my bedroom and play Christmas music, watch the classic movies and wrap my gifts I had got for my family. I’d stick a sign on my bedroom door to warn mum and dad not to enter and get to work. I was a terrible at wrapping, this is something that has not changed but I always done it with a sense of pride.

Now that I can take on the roll of Santa too, I feel even more excited. Eleanor is still too young to understand but that doesn’t mean Santa won’t be paying her a little visit on her first Christmas. It just makes everything so much more exciting. Christmas really is for the children and I can’t wait to watch her excitement as she grows to understand over the years.

 

Christmas decorations – I am a self confessed magpie. I love glitter, sparkles and anything that shines. I have an eye for all things pretty and the festive period certainly meets my inner diva needs and fills my wee heart right up with cheer.

Christmas lights are all around, the streets are lit up, coffee shops have the festive cups out to play. Trees decorated on every corner, wreaths hang pretty on front doors – only a matter of days before I hang mine! Squeal!

There are stockings to hang, santa sacks to fill and so many festive candles, so many festive scents. It’s heaven. It’s busy. It’s love.

Christmas decor is great, I can’t get enough of little bits and bibs to hang and grace the tree with. From a young age,  I’ve always taken great pleasure from viewing the Christmas lights and the decorations that surround us all. To this day, it still excites me to dig out the decoration bag and get going with it.

This year, we are taking the day off on the first Saturday of the month and spending the day putting up our decorations around the home while having some festive hot drinks and watching good old classic Christmas movies. Eleanor is so little this Christmas that she won’t understand what is going on but I’m keen to entertain Christmas early and teach her all about it from a young age so that for years to come it remains a special occasion that holds many memories.

 

Festive drinks – Mulled wine, hot chocolate, you say? Em, hello?! What is a festive period without plenty of hot mulled wine and hot chocolate? It’s a festive essential and with it being so bitterly cold, the hot drinks really help to warm us up. I especially favour a good cup of hot chocolate. Or candy juice as I like to call it. I’ve been having one frequently for the past few weeks and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Next weekend, we are going to hit up the local Christmas Market and I will be hoping to catch a good cup of hot chocolate as long as a glass of mulled wine to keep me cosy.

What’s the festive period if you can’t enjoy a good treat?! It is really a time for indulging and spoiling yourself.

 

Christmas movies – Old or new. Any Christmas film is acceptable in my eyes, so long as it comes after the first of December. It’s okay to binge watch elf on repeat if it is December. I’m excited to spend the weekends indoors, cosied up with blanket forts, candy juice and snacks to make for good TV viewing.

There is something about Christmas movies that really get you in the spirit and make the whole festive season quite special. It’s been a ritual since I was young to watch all the movies based in Christmas. A wonderful life, home alone, elf.. Yep, I’ll be watching them all this year and for years to come. A movie day with plenty of snacks is a great way to spend time with family and remain warm at the same time.

Top tip, ensure plenty of snacks are around. Once the movies begin, you won’t want to move.

 

Christmas Dinner – Last, but certainly not least, the best part of Christmas is family and the Christmas Dinner.  I can’t wait to spend time with my little family just the three of us and have our first family Christmas at home. I plan to out together the a Christmas dinner (my very first) and have the whole day with my family to myself. Yes, I’m greedy for not sharing them with anyone else.

In all seriousness though, what is better than having Christmas day watching old movies, being warm indoors and enjoying a feast full of delicious goodies with your loved ones? I loved waking on Christmas morning as a child and sneaking down stairs with my brother, checking to see that Santa had been and watching Arthur Christmas on the tele.

Pigs n blankets? Duck fat roasted potatoes? Honey glazed veggies?! Yes please! Fill my plate up and delight my tummy.

Now, I’m no master chef and I don’t claim to be, as I will be making the dinner this year round the pressure is on. Luckily though, I’m only hosting for the two of us, if all fails, I’ll be sure to have plenty of snacks to pick from and there will be a selection of wine.. for good measure.

It will be rather strange not being with my own family on Christmas but I wanted this year to be with my own family, the three of us and to make our own Christmas ritual and routines. To make our own memories that we can share for the future.

I’m super excited for that precious family time and the whole of the run up to the big day. I’m trying to keep myself busy and get into the spirit of Christmas. With the snow fall having began, I’m ready to throw on the Christmas playlist and get dancing around the tree.

How are you spending Christmas day? Do you have any family traditions that you love and follow each year? What’s on your dinner menu?

Merry Christmas guys, Keren x

Public freakout. Post pregnancy social anxiety.

Something happened this past Saturday which has triggered me to wrote a post. I’ve never been the most confident of people on the planet. I somehow awkwardly, muddled my way through both primary school and secondary school –  when I chose to attend (I held the record of 96 lates in one trimester). However, during an outing with Euan for coffee and lunch I had a public freak out and had to leave the shopping centre which we were in.

Let me elaborate. I’ve never been confident and I never will be. I just don’t have personality that fits in with a healthy a social life. I shy away from most forms of public contact. This is weird, with a career working in the public sector. I should be used to socialising but it has never been easy. I have very little friends and consider myself a bit of a loner.

I think I’m much alike my Father, he is a man of few words and too finds the outside world hard work. He refuses to take public transport or eat out. Spends most of his time indoors at home. I have recently discovered that I am becoming more and more like him by the day.

I have previously enjoyed heading out and was never afraid of busy places, I liked the hustle and bustle and could spend hours people watching, however, post baby, I have this new found level of social anxiety and have discovered that the outdoors has become a terrifying place. Especially if I’m to venture out alone.

I’d previously be happy to get the bus alone, nip to the shops, enter a food hall but now, I can’t seem to stray far from home, at least not on my own and I certainly can’t handle busy. It’s a miracle I made it to swimming class last week, trying to being myself to a mindset that will allow me to venture out takes a lot of thought and a whole lot of effort. If I’m honest, it can make me feel afraid and vulnerable. This is all new and never before having my Daughter did I feel like this. I don’t know what has changed or why my mind has become so dark.

I know how crazy that may seem to some of you. How hard can it be to step outside? Something I’d have previously laughed at myself for,and something that I took for granted having never dealt with a great deal of social anxiety.  I didn’t even know such a thing really could exist. I mean, who is afraid to step outside? Silly, huh?.. Well, I’m now the one who is afraid. I’ve become reclusive and afraid.

On Saturday we had decided to take a trip out for coffee and some light lunch. Euan works on a Sunday now, a Saturday is the only day we have to spend together. Having reached the shopping centre, I was suddenly hit by surprise. The center was full of people, so busy and crazy it make my head fuzzy and I could no longer concentrate. I was on my own, trapped in my own mind and I shut down and became reclusive. We stopped by several spots to look for a menu and pick out food but each stop we got to, it was too much and I couldn’t think.

The queues were long, people were rushing past in all directions. I couldn’t handle it. I became upset and angry and asked to leave. We spent about half an hour trying to get organised to get out with our baby only for the day to be ruined by a rush of panic that struck me. We didn’t get lunch, I spent the whole trip being agitated and becoming argumentative and upset. The afternoon was turmoil and spoiled.

We got home and I cried. I don’t know what was wrong with me. I was stopped in my tracks and this has never happened before prior to having Eleanor. I used to be okay with a busy environment, I didn’t mind to queue and I’d certainly not be missing out on food just because there were too many people around. I felt as though I was drowning. I just wanted to lay on the floor and disappear. I just wanted to go home. This brings me to question what has changed. Why have I become so reclusive? As a new Mother, shouldn’t I be relishing on time outdoors with my fiance rather than ruining our only day together by being silly?

Shouldn’t I be relishing in time outdoors no matter what setting? I feel as though I should be thankful for getting out but the thing is, I’m not. I don’t want to go out anymore. At least not far and not anywhere that is busy.

I don’t know if this is simply a short term affect of having a baby, if it’s a factor of growing up. Has aging led to a new found anxiety? Is this down to spending more and more time indoors recently? I don’t know but I don’t like it. I don’t like to feel scared and afraid. I don’t like to feel as though I’m trapped indoors because the outside world brings too much upset.

I hope that this is just a short lived spell of anxiety and that it will pass. I feel trapped in my own mind right now, a prisoner of my own thoughts but I have a lot going on and my life is quite manic as I adjust to life as a Mother. Motherhood has certainly come at a price and with Euan now working two jobs it’s a lonely life. I have my baby but how much baby can one person take before you require adult intervention?

I’m a shell of my former self for sure, with spending most days indoors alone with Eleanor it’s pretty tough. I eat meals alone and I go to bed alone a few nights of the week. I spend the days alone in the home, maintaining the daily tasks and entertaining my baby in between feeds and nappy changes. I miss Euan when he isn’t around, I sometimes feel as though I am living as a single mum. It’s certainly not easy and I think my lack of socialising has led to an increase of social anxiety.

Hopefully I can work on getting out more and that this is just a phase, my mind will snap out of this behaviours and I can become my old self again with time. I hope that with time, I’ll soon adapt to having Euan work two jobs and not cry each time he leaves for his evening or weekend shifts. I’ll give it some time, I’m going to give myself time to work on myself and get back to a happier place. I’m not unhappy, I’m just a little lost right now.

Has anyone had problems with social anxiety post pregnancy? Has this just been a phase for you?

What advice do all of you parents out there have for this first time Mum? I’m currently a nervous wreck with the inability to do things on my own.

Swimming class. You got this, mama.

If you have been following my blog you will notice I posted this morning about a swimming class for babies that myself and Eleanor were going to be attending. You’ll know just how much I was dreading heading out to this class. Especially with the rain lashing down. I’m sure you will want to hear the follow up and how we got on so I will give the update.

I got myself together and left the house at 12.15pm to get to the class for 1pm. It was quite a large stretch to walk along a main and busy road, the rain was pouring down and the cars and passing traffic were happy to splash me with water. Before we even reached the pool, I looked as though I’d just got out of the water. Awesome.

I carried Eleanor in her sling with her snowsuit on as we forgot to take the Pram from Euans car and he was off to work. In hindsight, the carrier was the better option anyway due to the nature of the day. I didn’t have to contend with the hassle of the Pram and finding a place to leave it. Eleanor was kept nice and cosy, don’t worry. As we walked, she smiled and babbled the whole way. I was feeling reassured for the class with her being in good spirits.

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When we reached the pool, I was met by friendly staff who showed us around as it was the first time and I’m not a frequent visitor of the swimming pool. It’s the one place I stray far from, deliberately. I got myself a changing room and a locker and got us set for the class. I decided to double up on nappies for Eleanor, even though I had swimming nappies, I didn’t want to risk any pool accidents. Especially on our first visit, I’d not be welcome back.

I wore a high waisted mix match bikini. Basically the only two items of swim gear that I fit in right now, or at least thought I would fit. My bikini top had other ideas.  I spent a whole lot of time and effort trying to contain my ever bulging, breast feeding boobs. Turns out a size 6 isn’t much good for keeping these puppies at bay. Damn those milk boobs.

After we got ourselves ready, with Eleanor still in good spirits we headed to the shower and then out to the class. At registration, there were three other Mothers with their babies. A mix of male and female. Each older than Eleanor which was no issues, we were made to feel just as welcome as everyone else.

When we got into the pool, I was surprised at how calm Eleanor was. I initially had worried she would have a fuss and cry her eyes out. Nothing, Eleanor was happy to bob around and move with myself and the class. As this was a baby class, and our first time in the pool, it was a nice easy session and good fun. It certainly lifted my spirits and changed my mind about swimming class.

We would sing songs in the group and follow the action of the instructor. Lifting our babies in and out of the water, chasing coloured toys and singing nursery rhymes. Splashing was encouraged. Eleanor really seemed to take this whole class in, I watched on as I held her and followed her movements. I could see the curiosity in her eyes as she soaked in her surroundings. There was a lot to focus on and enjoy. It was also good to be around other babies and this is something that Eleanor is unfamiliar with. On the social front this will be great,learn to swim and socialise with others at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

No swimming strokes were covered. It’s too soon to begin this for a baby but we did have to dunk our babies into the water and cover the head. I was anxious of this, I knew she would hate it. I mean, I hate being underwater, how would a baby feel? Any times when I’ve covered her face during bathing she goes a bit crazy. I knew what to expect.

One, two, three.. DUNK. Done. Oh man, the look of shock and surprise on her face and the tears that followed. Not nice to see but completely necessary to introduce her to the water as being submerged will be part of the class over the weeks. It’s only right to start her off early. After bobbing around and some distraction she came okay, everything was good.

I think I will work on covering her face with the water more often at home. Encourage this at bath times. Only a little though, just to get her used to this so that it isn’t upsetting come time.

After the class, we said our goodbyes and got ready to leave. I knew the crying would start when we went to change. Eleanor is not happy being dried and changed at the best of times, this would be no different.

I wasn’t wrong, we had tears but you know what, we got through it and it didn’t last. As soon as I had us organised and dressed again, I got her into her sling and she was sound asleep within seconds. The instructor did tell me that I could expect a sleepy baby. Bonus.

Overall, I am pleased with how the class went and we will be back for more. Eleanor took me by surprise with how well she took to the water and how calm she remained. Perhaps this was just a good day and next time will not go the same way but I can do it.

Getting out and stepping away from my comfort zone has taught me that I can do this and I can manage. I just need to get out of my comfort zone and my negative mindset.

I got to the class and dealt with my baby and the water all on my own. It’s not easy to try to get yourself sorted at the pool, never mind having a baby to contend with at the same time. Trust me, it’s no fun getting them dried off and sorted out as you stand there bloody freezing in a wet costume with dripping hair as your baby cries because she too is wet and cold.

Saying that, I done it. We done it, Eleanor had a great time. I loved seeing her in the water and playing with her. It was good to bond in a different setting and take in new surroundings together. She absolutely loved it and soaked it all in. I’m so proud of my baby girl. Seeing her so content and at one with the water made it all worthwhile and I left the class is good spirits.

Remember, swimming is not my thing and I am probably more uncomfortable than she is when in the water.

Let me say, overall it wasn’t that bad. I got wound up and upset for nothing. At least now, I can look forward to the next class rather than try to hustle up an excuse not to go. Although, I’ll be wearing a different swim top next trip, save myself some embarrassment.

I don’t know what triggers the human mind to be so negative and harsh on ourselves. We really need to ease off and cut ourselves some slack. I need to try to put a little less thought into things and just go for it, give things a try before I make my judgement on how it will be. This class has not only been a learning curve for Eleanor in the form of learning to swim, it has brought to myself some new found self respect and self worth. Some mummy points as I like to call them.

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Getting out and doing something I was so uncomfortable with that I was ready to turn back home, and then pulling through to continue and complete the task has taught me that I can do things, and I can do them alone too. There is nothing to be scared about and if I don’t start to get out and try things, I never will. What sort of example is that to set for my baby? I don’t want to continue to set myself up for failure. Of I do that, I’ve already failed without even trying.

If you too, have the same thoughts as I do, if you are afraid to do something and I’m to go all out there and encourage you to go for it. Nothing is as bad as it seems and the feeling that you are left with afterwards is pretty great. I feel so proud of not only Eleanor but myself for getting out and doing something I was most dreaded. We have to cut ourselves some slack.

We can all do anything that we set our minds to, no matter how big or little. Every step is a step, right? It’s better to try than not at all. You will only thank yourself for it later.

Until the next time, I’m off to online search for a swimming costume that is publicly acceptable. Take care.

Keren x