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Searching for baby day care as I prepare to ‘let go’.

The time has come for me to let go of that ever precious newborn stage and begin to shop around local nurseries to utilise when my maternity leave comes to an end. This is not something that I carry lightly as obviously, I wish for my baby to be in the best hands possible. If I didn’t have to return to work and could spend my time dedicated solemnly for her, I would.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being a stay at home Mum, I have to go out to work to earn money and continue to lead a comfortable lifestyle and offer the best that I can for my baby.

Besides, as much as I would love to stay in my baby bubble forever, in order for Eleanor to grow and become independent and strong I need to get over myself and get back to it. To regain a healthy work/life balance.

Plus, I think I need to regain some sanity soon as spending my days alone and chatting to my baby has let this young mind get a little hazy and lost. Even more so than previously. I swear mum brain is a thing, a really bad thing.

My memory is not the same as it once were and I struggle to out sentences together some days. Wether this is a lack of a social life outside of those four walls or sleep deprivation, I don’t know. Regardless, I must return to work and live my life again. Come four months time, my spell of nine months maternity leave will be over and reality has to kick start. Staring with returning to work and having Eleanor into a care routine.

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I’m well aware that Eleanor needs to start living her life and interact with other babies of her age to learn from them. I can’t offer her everything that she needs on my own and I feel that interaction with other babies and children can only benefit her development and personal growth. I can imagine she will come on leaps and bounds from the day she steps into her first nursery session.

With starting back to work in the pending months, I thought it best to get stuck in early and begin the search for a local nursery that will cater to our needs. I wanted some place close to home and close to my Mum’s all the same, a care centre that provided healthy and home made meals, introduced plenty of play and interactive activities with support from staff around the clock.

I hope to be return to work for three days per week. My Mother will care for Eleanor some of those days and the other days, she will be on the care of a private nursery. I’d happily have my Mother watch her each day I work but I deem it unfair for my Mum as she too works and I would hate for her to struggle with Eleanor on a bad day then have to get ready to go to work in the evening for a twelve hour shift. That isn’t fair.

With that thought, I decided to look local and check out a nursery in Cove Bay. Close by and handy for my Mum should she do the pick up run for whatever reason. I went to view the nursery and meet with staff to get a better idea of the daily running of the centre and the care that the children receive. I must say, I left really pleased with what I seen and the information I received.

There are several rooms for the children, three outdoor play areas all of which were spacious and there were staff around wherever you looked. The manager met with myself and gave the walk around tour with the appropriate information and answered any questions I had. There is a kitchen on site where both a vegetarian and meat option of meals were cooked and snacks were home baked goods with limited salt, sugar and fat content.

I was really pleased with the whole home made food consensus and with Eleanor going to raised as a vegetarian, this too was perfect as it would suit her dietary requirements and I could be at ease knowing she was getting a healthy meal provided. I can’t stress just how important healthy eating is to me and I want my baby to be well catered for with a wide variety of healthy and nutritional foods.

I actually caught feeding time during my visit and it was good to see that the staff were at large and sat with the children, helping to feed when necessary. I also discovered that if Eleanor is still taking her milk, I can provide the nursery with breast milk for her and they would store a supply to give her as she wanted. It was really nice to see how the staff cared for the children and that the meal times were well organised and ran smoothly.

The nursery also has an online journal that is updated daily and gives parents the opportunity to check on what their child has been up to each day and of any news that is new to the nursery. There are day trips out to the local community and local parks and the children are encouraged to go out and play together.

Getting out is something which I too find very important and part of a healthy and active lifestyle. I’d hate to return to work and think that my baby was couped up inside all day, I do not feel that would provide a full release of energy and I imagine come time, Eleanor will be full of plenty of energy!

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I felt really content with the nursery and the whole running of it. I liked that healthy food was provided with plenty to choose from, there were staff at hand and the children can play outdoors and get on trips. It makes the day a bit more exciting and offers a little fun for Eleanor. The opportunity to meet and play with other babies will be real great for her and help with learning life lessons and her personal development,  such as sharing and kindness.

I have opted to register Eleanor for this Cove Bay nursery for the days in which she is not at the care of my Mum. I looked online for reviews and input from Mum’s for many nurseries, Clive included and this certainly came out near enough the top of my searches. I’m unsure where I will return back to work, the days of work I will be offered and what days my Mother can care for Eleanor but I’m happy and feeling a little more settled now that I have found a nursery for her to register with and attend for some sessions each month.

The nursery offers morning and afternoon sessions as well as full days, I think that to begin with, I may opt to have her attend for around three afternoon sessions per month. This will give a better idea of how it will all pan out before committing to any set plans and full days or weeks of care.

I will get to know how she is coming on with her sessions and if they are worthy for her development. If I were to think that her development was being hindered, I’d have to then rethink my plans and look to find a new replacement nursery.  However, I think that this could be a great day care centre for her and I felt really happy with my insight of the building and staff.

I’m thinking of it more as a taster right now, before devulgung in and going for full days right from the get go. I’d like to break her in easy, if not just for Eleanor, but for myself. I imagine waving her off to her day care will be a very upsetting experience. My baby will be growing up, drifting a little further from me to allow herself room to grow and mature into her own person.

Before attending her first session, parents are encouraged to meet with the staff and create a personalised profile for their child. This means that the staff will try to cater to your child’s needs and each child is seen as an individual with their own choices, strengths and weaknesses. The nursery work on the strengths and weaknesses of your child and allow them dedicated time to do the things which they favour. Your child isn’t seen as just a number, they are allowed to be their own person and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.

I think it is something quite powerful yet saddening when you send your first born off to nursery care. I know I will feel an element of guilt that I can’t be there with her each day forever and I will definitely see tears but it will be a proud moment all the same and I can’t wait to watch her grow into the most perfect little human.

I know that I still have time to cherish and treasure with Eleanor for now as she is only just five and a half months or twenty two weeks if you’d rather. I’m due to be back to work for mid May but will stretch it out to June if possible through use to annual leave. I’m desperate to hold onto the time that I have with her. I don’t want to let go. This is the first time and only time I will ever have with her to myself for such a long period and I’m not ready to wave goodbye just yet.

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Waving goodbye to baby will be tough and finding routine again – another new routine will take time. My return to work will be such an emotional rollercoaster. I will be once again, stepping into the unknown and I won’t have my daily companion by my side, she will be in day care or with her Grandmother and I don’t know how I will cope being at work and not at home raising her by myself.

It’s a daunting feeling that will hang above my head until the end of my leave period but I am certain that I have found the right day care for her and knowing she will be well cared for puts me at ease (a little). I’ll have to stop myself from calling my Mum or the nursery every few hours to check up on her,i just know it. With time, I’ll adapt as she will and it will get easier.

Until then, I’ll just hold her close for as long as I can. Unwilling to say goodbye to the newborn stage and those first months, those first moments that are, oh so precious.

Has anyone recently went back to work after having a baby? Any coping mechanisms for this new Mum who is afraid to let go? I feel guilty and fear to be leaving her,  I don’t know how I can work to get over this fear and just embrace this whole new and ever changing lifestyle that I have taken on?

This family life. My family life. My family.

Keren x

 

A Sunday well spent..

Hello all, great to see some new followers building up. Right, let’s talk about my weekend. I’ve had a wonderful Saturday and would love to share with you all. It’s nice to reflect isn’t it? Especially on the good.

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A Sunday well spent brings a week of content, right? So they say, and rightly so. I feel that if I have had a great weekend, it makes the working week a little sunnier and easier to get through. I can go to bed with a smile on my face on a Sunday evening and feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Don’t you feel the same?

So, the title is a little misleading. It was a Saturday well spent I’m talking about. Sunday’s is a working day for Euan now so with Saturday being the only full day we have as a family, we are keen to make the most of the day and fully embrace the time we have together. After all, time really is precious and finding the perfect work/life balance is very important for the mind, body and soul. Not to mention for the quality family time.

Is there such a thing as a perfect balance? I don’t think so. You can try and do what you can to get as close to perfection but it will never be enough. I’m sure if we all had the choice we would spend all of our time at home with our families. Unfortunately, work is a mandatory part of life and any time in between is to be spent and enjoyed as much as possible with our loved ones.

On Saturday, we did exactly that. Took the day off as a family, packed up our bags and went out on a drive to the Forest with our dog Fern in tow and went for a long nature trail. We stopped past Starbucks to grab a coffee and some cake for fuel and headed on out to the forest. A break from City life.

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The sun was shining and the air was crisp. It’s was the perfect day. The scenery, the Winter air, the enjoyment of family life. Euan carried Eleanor in the baby carrier (she slept snug the whole walk!). We managed to grab a few family photographs for the collection also which is always good. I am one of those people who likes to document EVERYTHING. No matter what the occasion.

Fern ran riot, tearing across the woods, running into muddy puddles, chasing leaves and scents. The forest certainly is a happy place for a dog. I bet she must have thought “what a treat”.Perhaps not such a treat later on in the evening when she got bathed to wash out the mud that had stained her coat. Jokes on her, huh?

After a lovely walk we headed back to the car and indulged in some loaf cake. Ginger cake for me, lemon drizzle for Euan. We shared…according. This means, I get the most. Obviously.

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Getting back home and into the warmth and comfort of our pyjamas was great, the walk was so chilly even with mittens on my hands were frozen and my nose was as red as a button. The walk, the cold air, the family time however, was just what we all needed. It was a place to reflect, to enjoy and to clear our minds after an ever busy week.

(I seem to think as the weeks go on, each is busier than the last). Is this growing up?

Taking time out just as us is so important and definitely good for the soul. To escape the hustle of City life, get out of the center for the day and just be ourselves, at one with the nature.  I left the forest with a clear mind and a happy soul. We spent the evening loving the company of one another and watching trash TV whilst cooing over our baby. A pre dinner nap was sneaked in.. Shh. Anyway, all the walking made for three very sleepy bears. It ain’t easy being us.

Back to Sunday now and another week has passed. They tend to pass so quickly, I can’t keep up anymore. I sit here with Eleanor asleep on my chest as I type, it will be a lazy evening. Coffee, biscuits and TV shows that I don’t care for.

Euan has headed out to work until 10pm after a busy morning of tasks. I feel like he should be here with us, sitting around and doing nothing with no intention to do so either. Sundays are for lazing after all and I miss having him home with us.

One day isn’t quite enough to have together as a family but it’s all very necessary. To get to where we want to be, we have to work for those things and I must bear that in mind when I’m sitting alone and feeling blue. I’ll be counting down until he returns back home and gives big bed time cuddles before heading back off to work in the morning. At least, I have some good memories from the weekend to hold on to and give me that fuzzy feeling should I feel down.

I hope that everyone is having a good weekend and a restful Sunday. Have any of you done anything exciting?

Lots of love, Keren x

Mum style? What Mum style??

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I am definitely a self confessed poser AND clothes horse. I love nothing more than a good shopping spree and shopping for clothes comes top of the list. Style and fashion has always been a passion of mine since my teenage years, I have spent many hours with my head stuck in the wardrobe or checking out my outfit in front of the mirror. Equally, I spent much time watching sex and the city, falling in love with Carrie Bradshaw and her love of fashion ( and a good pair of Manolo’s).

I don’t have a particular niche when it comes to what I wear, I just throw on whatever I feel like wearing. I tend to be drawn to anything faux fur, structured blazers, leather/wet look, girlie tea dresses, ANY glitter items, slubby t-shirts and denim. Especially denim shorts, I don’t know how many pairs of denim shorts I own, there is a drawer full. I’m not kidding. Don’t even get me started on dresses..

I also have a thing for ‘fun’ socks. Any glitter, sparkling, printed or colourful socks, I’ll take them. I love to team funky socks with my outfits, it just adds a little fun. This Autumn, I particularly like trousers, printed vinyl, smart.. I can’t get enough and love to play around and team each pair with different tops and shoes to mix things up. I quite like to clash with prints and colours.

I don’t think that becoming Mum will force me to have to make any changes with my style, perhaps just to put the provocative dresses and mini skirts on hold, for now. A mini skirt teamed with a baby is not really practical. I’ll save those for a time when I don’t have to be bending over frequently. Oops.

When it comes to shopping I do tend to prefer high street stores such as Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Office, Schuh, Zara and the online retailer ASOS. I do like finding small businesses online and purchasing cute garments and one off pieces too. I can’t wait for Eleanor to grow up a little and come for shopping trips with Mum. We will have so much fun playing dress up together and bonding.

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Some days, I can find myself change up to three times. Previously so for leisure, these days it seems to be down to the fact that I end up doused in baby spit up and milk – feeding time is messy!

Upon becoming pregnant, I had sworn I would not wave goodbye to my wardrobe and style that I like to call my own having adapted over the years. I didn’t want to suddenly become a new mum and get so caught up with daily surroundings that I forgot about myself and the things which I enjoy – in my case, clothing, shoes and of course accessories.

I think that it is important to still remain true to yourself and have a little ‘me time’ no matter how little that time is. I choose to spend the time I have without Eleanor joint at my hip, playing with my wardrobe, mixing and matching outfits. Even if I only get to wear something for an hour, it is still important to me.

Throughout pregnancy, I remained in my own clothes and did not have to purchase any maternity wear. It was definitely a stretch toward the end of my third trimester, but we made it no matter how boring leggings and an old t-shirt became. Now that I am no longer pregnant and can experiment with a whole range of clothing and my dresses without fear of stretching them, I am sure going to make the most of it.  I have so many dresses, coats, blouses – the lot to get through. My wardrobe is pretty extensive and over the years, I have built up a strong collection of items and accessories that I am proud of, glitter socks included.

I can’t wait to get dressed up again and play around a little even to just parade around the flat. I am just beginning to feel normal and back to my old self at 14 days postpartum which is great, it is nice to have reached the stage of my recovery where I feel that I am finally becoming more able and regaining my strength after a difficult labour and a episiotomy. We even made it out of the flat today for a good walk around the River – something I haven’t been able to do for too long. I’ll be back to my best soon enough and ready to get mixing and matching my style, trying new looks out and spending my free time with my head stuck in my wardrobe. I’m sure I will soon have a mini fashionista sticking her head in there too and trying to steal my clothes.

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BRB, I’m off to get changed…