Tag Archives: home

Dad’s day off. Trip to Camperdown wildlife park.

Hey guys! A busy spell over here with us so I thought I’d share a little of what we have been up to. On Thursday, Euan had a day off so we were up and out at 7am ,ready to adventure on a day trip down to Dundee and hit the animal park at Camper down.

DCIM100GOPROG0040237.JPGI’d not been for years and we have rare opportunities to do such activities during the week with Euan working, it’s just too busy. Sure to make the most of a sunny day, we set about with a plan and followed through.

We arrived in Dundee early, before 9am, and took advantage of a wee browse around the local shopping centre. Or at least I did, I left with a second set of ear lobe piercings.. talk about inpromptu. I blame a mum life crisis if that’s such a thing? Anyway, we grabbed picnic style snacks, some food for Eleanor and headed off to the park around 11AM.

The sun was out, the park was busy and the animals were out to play for the best part. We had the gopro set and ready to go, to capture any moments from the day. Waltzing around the park with Eleanor in her dad’s arms, watching all of the animals in their daily life was quite nice. A chilled out day going at a pace of our own and making me ever grateful for the little family that I call my own and everyday life.

GOPR0243_1532027445953_high.JPGEleanor wasn’t fully aware of all that was going on but she did enjoy watching some of the wild birds and the bears having a bath in the sun. I was quite impressed with the park, small and nothing crazy going on but enough to make the most of your time there. With it being a nice day, we took a slow jaunt around and stopped to look for the wild animals.

Come 2pm we decided to head back home and walk our dog Fern into the centre to grab an ice cream. It is of course so crucial to make the most of the nice weather back here when we have it and ice cream is never a bad idea.

A scoop of blueberry panna cotta for Euan and cookies n cream for Eleanor and I to share. My baby loves ice cream, in fact, her favourite word right now seems to be “Mmm”  a foodie in the making with a definite love for anything sweet. Definitely takes after myself with the food department for now, so long as she picks up a love for pizza and Hallomi we are onto a winner.

Back home, we sat down to a glass of wine and some chill time before preparing for the working day ahead. It’s nice to take a day off together and utilise as a family day now and again as time flies so fast, these moments are precious and not to be wasted. Family is the best part of my life and to take time out together makes my heart so fuzzy and full, I just love it.

G0030235_1532027445953_high.JPGBesides, what is better than watching your Husband (to be) play and interact with your baby? It’s just too bloody special.

I hope that you guys are all good. Does anyone have any ideas of family activities with a small child? Particularly outdoors, as we just love to get up and get out.

 

Keren x

 

Life in the fast lane.

_20180707_215439.JPG

Right, hello you bunch. I’m going to get real in this blog post and share what’s been going on with family life the past few weeks, there’s a lot to get through and I must admit, I’ve been having quite the time of it all lately, a time that has been overwhelming and most definitely stressful. My patience tested and my sanity questioned. Wait, what sanity?

Why is it that everything comes at once? It seems the past two years have been non stop, from passing my driving test, to a pregnancy, becoming a Mother, an engagement and now a move? I laugh that we have done this all in the wrong order, we are all muddled up with our relationship path and direction. Finally, it’s all coming together but the thing is, how much longer can before I burn out?

Trying to find the balance between being a working mother and spending enough time with not just Eleanor but with my partner too all while trying to keep up appearances with my family and friends can really be a great challenge. With Eleanor being so young and demanding such full on attention, I hardly have time with my partner, never mind any self time to just sit back and relax for a minute. If im not chasing after her every move, I’m trying to settle the constant wails of the dreaded teething. It’s tough, nothing really prepares you for welcoming a child Into the world and the challenges you face can get to be too much from time to time.

I amaze myself with how many times I have to repeat in a day “mummy just needs a minute” as I try to unload the dishwasher or give myself heartburn from having to shovel lunch into my mouth so fast. Yes, life with a baby really is life changing, believe it or not, it is true what they say. Even now, ten months on, I find a new struggle with every waking day. There is no day off, but would I have it any other way? Of course not. This is life now, and no matter how tired, how stressed and how unglamorous, I am living my best life with the people that I love.

Long gone are the weekends spent at the pub with friends or the endless shopping trips with my Mum or even just taking some time to enjoy a hot bath and a wine. Life has turned upside down and unfortunately time doesn’t wait for nobody. There is no catching up, all stations are go and on a 24/7 basis.

IMG_20180630_152223_172.jpg

Onwards and upwards though, and I’d not have it any other way. I mean, as much as I’d like to belive that I miss the partying, the friends that would come and go and the tireless walking around the shops I don’t miss it. Not for a minute would I change my situation, I can’t imagine ever not having my Eleanor, life before her was non exist ant. Sure, there are parts I’d do differently but that’s all part of learning and the journey into Womanhood, into Motherhood and my past mistakes make me grow to be stronger than ever and rise above issues (or crumble to the ground in a pile of tears – depending on the hormones).

With some further exciting news, the past week in our household has been filled with excitement, nerves and anxiety. We have recently received word of our application to rent a new property going through and depending on the status we take after a viewing we can move immediately. The property has two bedrooms, a balcony, and en suite. It provides us with the extra space that we need for our family right now all while being secure tenancy which means we can move without the worry of being left on the street at any time. The properties are not far from where we call home and ideal for a utilising as a family home for the future. Though not a forever home, it provides us with the steps we must take to get to that stage all while it buys us time to save and time to grow.

With the idea of a move to a family home, a fresh start all very exciting and new, it does bring a great deal of sadness and anxiety. I mean it’s great, yes and it is what we were working towards, only we thought we would have more time on our side. Walker Road has provided us with so many good times, it will be very hard to part ways but with everything in life, you have to move on and grow. It’s time for our family to grow into a new home, start over with a new chapter and really embrace those precious family moments.

IMG_20180628_091759.jpg

The surrounding buildings are full of families which will be great for bonding and making friends, Eleanor can grow up with children her own age around and can have the space she needs to express herself and play. There is a play park and a spacious area of grass where Fern can run around and play too. The homes look direct onto the river, a phenomenal view on a blue skied day. Everything we could want, need and more is in the palm of our hands, when we can let go of now and move on to a better future, I think our quality of life will greatly improve. After all, they say that change is good.

It is a busy time, but we can get through it together. A move, our babies first birthday, our wedding and honeymoon all coming in before the Autumn months arrive, time will fly. I have returned to work part time to get a break and to enjoy some adult company, to be my own person a few hours in a week, only it seems I’ve ended up with less time than I’ve ever had before and a lot less unsure of the person that I am. Go figure?

With all the nerves and the excitement, the fear of change and the huge lifestyle choices we have had to make, it really can become overwhelming and I’m looking for ways to still grab some time out for myself while I can, before I do lose my mind.

A coffee trip to mull over my thoughts alone, light breathing work to try to stay calm and practicing some basic yoga moves to stay focused and remember to remain positive in every situation, no matter how exhausting or stressful. To have a calm and a clear mind will always be better than having a mind filled with a tangled mess or worries, fears and stresses.

I do struggle to remember to breathe with all the crazy sometimes but I’m trying to remember to focus and keep a clear mind as with this busy period in mind, a clear head to think and a positive outlook is all very important. I like to reflect good vibes for myself which keeps my spirits up and can be especially good for Eleanor to pick up on.

IMG_20180628_084743.jpg

A busy time for sure but with the move becoming finalised, the wedding done and dusted, I’d like to believe we can move on as a family and work toward a better future for ourselves with time. Together we are able to do whatever we put our minds too and there is no right or wrong direction. We are going to go with the flow that life drives us in and to see the future with an open mind.

aaaand, breathe.

Tell me, how do you relax when times become all too much?

Keren x

Sunday at Scolty.

Not such a bright and sunny morning though sure to make the most of it, Sunday moring and we woke early, got ready and headed out to Banchory for a trek up Scolty hill. How come it is never the weather you want when you make plans? Typical Scottish Summer.

Fern and Eleanor were in tow, we got all loaded in the car and hit the road around 930AM, set for the day. I’m back at work now so family time is even more important. Keeping active and being outdoors is something we can all enjoy and allows Fern to have a good run. It makes sense to get out and have some scenic walks.

IMG_20180610_114132.jpg

I’ll keep this post short and to the point. We hiked up Scolty taking around two hours with one stop mid way up the hill to feed Eleanor and take a breather. Euan was carrying her on his back so it takes toll on the shoulders an extra 7kg, believe it or not. Yep, our baby is not such a wee baby any more.

We made it to the top without much fuss, other than slight grumping from Eleanor as she was hungry and Teething.. not a great combination, I’m sure every parent out there will know. Fern loved the walk and all the scents, she was bounding around the fields and scrambling around. I couldn’t keep up, my stamina just doesn’t match a Springer Spaniel.

The nature was lovely, there was so much to see and take in. The plants, the flowers, so much colour even on a dull day. I really do love the outdoors, fresh air is the best medicine,good views are an added bonus.

Once at the top, we didn’t hang about as Eleanor was a bit restless by this point so we headed back down the hill and the rocky steps making animal noises and all sorts of crazy talk to entertain and distract Eleanor which kept the tears at bay. Who knew a simple ‘neigh’ could bring so much joy?

IMG_20180610_115338.jpg

Back at the car, I gave Eleanor a small feed to satisfy her and we headed back home. A busy morning but a great way to spend a Sunday. A dose of fresh air and spectacular views to take in with the family is quite special.

Off to make a vegetarian moussakka and enjoy the afternoon with my gruesome twosome. I’m sure we will find some chaos along the way. Hope you enjoy my images from our walk.

IMG_20180610_113319.jpg

IMG_20180610_110247.jpg

Happy Sunday.

Flying with a baby.

Flying with a baby will be easy they said, babies will just sleep they said. Em, let me just revisit what I can only describe as a very painful flying experience with my child. An experience that I am in no rush to revisit for some years. Let me elaborate.

Our travels back from Cyprus to reach home began at 315pm with a coach transfer to the airport from the resort we were staying at. Now, I knew that the time of day and travelling through dinner time as well as bed time could be an issue, little did I know just how much of an issue and the upset that was to come.

The bus ride from the resort to the airport was fairly easy going, Eleanor sat on my lap quite chilled out. Watched out the window and played with the window screen, there was little fuss and I was in good spirits, particularly good spirits considering we were headed for home and back to the daily grind. Although holiday was over, I was excited to get back into a way of life and routine.

We arrived at the airport and got through security with no issue, we had a coffee stop and a toilet trip to get Eleanor changed and freshened up for the flight. Our problems began soon after, a tired baby who refused to nap for the day and didn’t take much food is never a good sign. Waiting in the queue for the gate to open and board, I could tell the trip would be a bit of hell. The queue was massive, the plane was to be full and my baby was very grumpy and impatient getting, this would only worsen as the hours went by.

We finally got boarded and took to our seats on a full plane. To begin, we tried to entertain Eleanor as best as you can on a plane with limited space. We got out her toys from her travel bag and used them as a distraction for her, as this was failing, we tried her with some snacks. Eleanor was not in the mood to play, nor to snack, nor to even have her feed of milk. It was going to be one of those days only without the comfort of home.

The plane was very hot and we had to strip her off to her nappy to try and keep her cool along with a hand held fan. As Eleanor was becoming crannies more people began to intervene. The children in front of us tried to play with her and offered soft toys (she tried to gnaw on these) and I gave them back before the children were left horrified. We were offered words of support and guidance from those surrounding us and we shared sympathetic looks with another mother on board with a baby.

Eleanor was very upset and frustrated after a short period on the plane, with five hours to go of this we tired her with a dose of nurofen to rule out teething pains and a trip to the bathroom to change her. In honesty a change made it worse and she returned to her seta screaming and crying. As red as a beetroot and my heart was breaking for her. I’ve never seen my baby so upset and I was worried that the plane was too hot for her, I didn’t want her to have a convulsion from the heat or anything scary. There was little that I or Euan could do.

From hour three, probably two hours of crying down, this became a constant scream and attracted the attention of the whole flight. I rocked my naked baby in my arms as Euan fanned her off. I tried to offer her the breast but she refused and just wriggled about as though in pain and screamed. I was unsure what she wanted, I haven’t seen her in this way probably ever, a sight and experience that I do not want to revisit. Ever.

The holiday was great, but seeing Eleanor so upset and uncomfortable broke my heart and I have vowed to never put any baby through the stress of travelling again. I’ll never forget how upset she looked and how helpless that I felt in those hours on the plane. Did we push her too far unneccesarily?

We finally got Eleanor to sleep through feeding and rocking, it was painful and heartbreaking. I was worried d for my babies health and I hoped that she was okay as she lay along my torso flat out and hot. I watched her every breath like a hawk and monitored her through tears in my eyes. Travel was just too much for her and I’ll not put her through this for some years again. Not until she can walk, talk and tell me what she needs and wants.

When landed, we had to dress Eleanor who was like a rock from being so flat out. Trying to fully dress a sleeping baby is no easy task, believe me. We waited until near last to get off the plane to avoid the rush. We didn’t avoid the stares of others and the judgement from people as they passed, I wouldn’t have expected to either after the scene that was put on. I was glad to be going home as I’m sure all three of us were. The next goal was getting to the car and making it home for midnight.

Upon arrival home we just dumped our bags and got into bed soon after changjng Eleanor. What a day, what an experience and what a fright we all had. I felt hot and bothered just reflecting on the time we spent aboard the plane. Bed time was a long awaited treat, we were all exhausted and a good sleep was definitely required.

Though not a great experience to say the least, I’m glad that we gave it a go and if was worth while for some family time in the sun and a different climate bonding. Eleanor and Euan have grown a great bond and I’ve fallen more in love with my family than ever which is hard to imagine as I thought I couldn’t possibly have more love to give, turns out, I do.

If there is anything the trip has taught me, it is to chill out and relax more. Don’t live life so on the edge, take it as it comes and forgive yourself for mistakes and mess ups as they will happen, over and over. There’s no way to parent right or wrong, only what works in that moment. We can revisit and review, we can scrutinise and reflect on our abilities but we should never punish ourselves for what has been. We learn grow and move on and I am learning to be more supportive of my own decisions and confident of my parenting.

I’d not recommend to fly with a baby so young but you don’t know how it will go until you try, if you are getting set to jet off with a baby, all I can recommend is that you are as prepared as can be and are aware that it can go either way. Good or bad. Whichever way however, it wont last forever and a bad experience will slip to the back of your mind soon after landing.

For now, I’m sticking to those home comforts and local surroundings. I’ve done my time in the sun and I’ve had my fair share of stress that comes with holidaying as a three, baby in tow. I need to holiday to recover from the holiday, there is no two ways about that. As I return to work in a few short weeks, I am going to have some down time at home with my baby and making the most of the moments that we share together. I am keen to work on her development and milestones at home for the time being and enjoy as much cuddle time as I can possible get. I am all too aware that I will be back to reality soon and that my days with Eleanor all to myself are well and truly numbered.

 

Keren x

A week in the life – Cyprus.

 

IMG_20180419_195147_380.jpg

Hey guys, sorry it has been a wee while since I have posted, as mentioned I was taking a short break from blogging to enjoy a family holiday with Euan and Eleanor.

It has been a busy old week or two and there have been a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Literally, but you will be glad to hear that we survived our first family as a three and two plane journeys. I’d like to mention I’ll not be rushing back to holidaying with a small human but I will share the experience that we have had.

I plan to write a detailed blog on my favourite day and activities but on this post, I’m going to do a day to day guide of how we spent out time. To the best of my memory that is. We have had a great trip and it has been a great bonding experience for the three of us. I have loved being away in the sun and enjoying down time with my family and I loved to watch Euan with Eleanor and the bond they have grow.

Eleanor has come on so far the past week. She will now roll, wave and clap her hands. Mimicking the behaviour of others and taking in her surroundings seems to be her favourite thing to do right now and she has an obsessed over my hairbrush. Not to mention that she has picked up on the classic screaming, you know.. That high pitched, give me what I want type of scream? Yep, she has perfected it, much to my dismay and I’m trying to fight a way out of this habit. Goodbye hearing! Anyway, I’ll get to it and give you a daily break down of our holiday.

Day 1 – Euans birthday (30th) so we decided to get out and explore we had a walk along the shore front and explored the main tourist area.

Hallomi pittas by the beach with a cocktail in a local restaurant for lunch which was divine. We had the good food and a view, what more could you want!

Day 2 – Euan had a diving trip in the morning, I shared a girly morning with my baby at the resort, we did try to venture out alone but the roads aren’t great and the cars don’t always stop at a red light. I played it safe and returned to the hotel until Euan got back for an adventure. It is a lot easier to navigate your way around someplace new when you have a companion.

In the afternoon we explored a different part of the island and had a trip for iced coffees (much needed with the temperatures hitting up to 28 degrees)

Day 3 – Saturday – The sun was shining and we opted for a walk to the tombs of Kings, a local tourist attraction where the rich were once laid to rest with their riches. We explored the grounds, got some photographs and enjoyed the peace and quiet from our surroundings. The tombs weren’t busy as we heeded out early which was nice as we got a whole lot of time to ourselves to explore and take it all in.

IMG_20180414_101524.jpg

In the afternoon it was getting a bit hot so we mulled around the wee tourist stores and markets,keeping to the shade and making sure that Eleanor was comfortable.

Day 4 – a trip to the zoo with Eleanor who slept through the most part however did wake up for the journey back to the resort. A grizzly experience that I’ll not revisit in a hurry. The zoo was fine but we went especially for Eleanor and she did sleep through the most part, comfortable in her stroller as Euan and I got bitten by ants all over our feet. The zoo was rife for bugs and was exceptionally hot, even Euan struggled. We ended up sitting and having an ice cream in the shade to get a break from the walking around.

The bus back to the resort was painful, picture a screaming baby on a real hot bus full of people and judgemental stares. We ended up stripping her off on the bus but noting was really helping her and she didn’t even want the comfort of breastfeeding.

It is safe to say that we had a chilled evening and ate separately as Eleanor was so upset, bed time was around 8pm and Eleanor slept right through as she was just totally knackered. I think we were to be honest, I didn’t anticipate just how stressful one bus journey could be.

IMG_20180415_174655_584.jpgDay 5 – Stopped past the shopping mall for a browse of the stores and an iced coffee out on the malls balcony to cool off a little and enjoy a caffeine fix.

We got tattoos. I know, silly huh? Seems to be a year of firsts so to follow the trend we got our first tattoos. A little bit of fun and letting our inner youth come out to play. Who says 30 has to be boring, eh Euan? I’ll give a we post on the experience at a later date and be sure to upload photo evidence. I kept it small and cute, a but of a novelty tattoo on my part where Euan went for something a bit bolder.

In the evening we went for a stroll and an ice cream trip before dinner. I thought after a wee bit of pain we deserved a yummy treat. I had a coconut cone and Euan had erm.. I don’t recall! Sorry!

Day 6 – Our last day, Tuesday spent down by the beach front having a long walk and eating gelato from a little parlour which was really sweet. I had a raspberry cheesecake flavor and Euan went for pomegranate. Delicious. This holiday was a lot different from usual holidays, I had perhaps six alcoholic drinks the whole trip and favoured the snack bars over alcohol. Times have definitely changed as have our priorities.

Spent the afternoon at the complex, just kept it causal and chilled to prepare for the journey home and get Eleanor settled as best as possible. In the evening, we went for a traditional dinner of moussaka. We were torn over where to dine on the last evening but stumbled across a tavern which I’m glad that we did.

Moussaka seems to be the traditional dish over in Cyprus and we like to enjoy a traditional meal on each trip we go to. In Prague, for example we had a stew in a local pub. In Cyprus, we had moussaka.

We were stuck between an Indian or a traditional meal, it seems that Cyprus is not a great place to favor a vegetarian diet and we did have some issues trying to find places to eat and cater to our needs. For the most part, we lived on a diet of Hallomi, rice, fries and ice cream (hello extra rolls).

The dish we had was delicious and it was  enjoyed with a white wine, all while Eleanor sat and practiced her wave. We couldn’t have asked for a better last meal or evening, our baby was well behaved and the meal was gorgeous. I’ll definitely be searching for vegetarian moussaka recipes when I get a minute. It’s moments like these that you learn to appreciate the little things on life and family bonding over a nice meal is such a good way to get you feeling all fuzzy.

Day 7 – Morning lounging and a coffee trip before getting organised and sorted to leave for home. The bus pick up for the airport was at 3pm so we had some time to kill and entertain Eleanor before our travels. I won’t bore you with the details right now but I’ll share a post about flying with baby very soon.

Look out for a more detailed post of our time in Cyprus. I’m working my way through all the blogs I’m to catch up on, be patient with me as I prepare a lot of new content for my page.

Keren x

 

Fighting feelings; mind over matter.

Storm in a teacup

Before I even begin to write this post, I already feel an element of guilt, concerned by how my words may come across. I even feel bad about thinking these thoughts and sharing them on a public media platform, for others to read and share. However, from the beginning of my blogging journey, I have always been open and honest, accounting each day, each moment as honest as possible. Every emotion, guilty thought or happy time, I write it all down and share this with you no matter how dark, I dig deep into my thoughts and I pour them into my writing when they are fresh and raw in my mind. My thoughts are very real and brutally unforgiving.

You know, I recently became a new Mother, something which came as a surprise and a very big shock to the system. Whoever said that all babies do is eat, sleep and poop lied. There is a grey area in between all of theses stages, an area that is not so simple to define.

Motherhood, its a whole different ball game to anything I’ve ever experienced, there are no rules and it can often be isolating. Yes, a baby is a breath of fresh air but the newborn phase doesn’t last forever and the bubble must burst at some point. With that, a baby can be a slap to the face with the force of a tornado when a storm is already brewing.

Is there ever a good time to fall pregnant and begin a family? Is there ever a good time to say goodbye to our own lives, our own person and to step up and become a Mother?  I for sure have lost some of my old self with this new transition, I don’t recall much of the person I was before ‘Mum’. A part of me will always miss the child free days, the days where I had time and I had personal space. I could do as I would please and had no routine and I was in control. I feel I have ventured into this journey perhaps too soon, there were things I had hoped to achieve, places to see, places to live, before settling to family life.

To admit struggle feels as though admitting defeat. To speak up and hear myself aloud say and write all of the thoughts from my mind, makes the struggle feel very real, makes my thoughts come to life, to be true and not just tucked away in mind. I’m going to get down to it and talk about my struggle with Motherhood and becoming a new Mother working to find a balance that seems non existent, working to fight a battle that seems endless, working to provide what she can’t provide physically or mentally. To be there not just for her baby, but for herself and her partner. Fighting the good fight against a healthy mind and wellbeing, if there is such a thing as a good fight. I struggle to know how I should feel or what I should feel.

When I discovered that I was pregnant in January 2017, I cried. Not tears of happiness, tears of fear, of unwillingness. I was not yet ready to be a Mother, my relationship was new, could it withstand a baby? I had high aspects and prospects for myself, I wanted to achieve and create but with the discovery of a baby on the way, I had to put on hold everything I wanted for myself, to try to be less selfish and more patient with my body and to wave goodbye to parts of me that now seem so distant. I was afraid, but I was optimistic and open to the idea of a baby. Family is everything right? A baby is all sunshine and rainbows… right?

To become a Mother and take those first steps into family life is one of the most powerful things that we can do. To create life, to raise young , to love and to nurture. It’s almost what is expected when two people come together in union, it is only a matter of time before we procreate. I can only wish that I had more control with when that time would be. I wasn’t ready, I still don’t feel ready and fear I never will be. I was barely finding my feet, how can I be expected to guide my Daughter to find her path?

Becoming a Mother has changed me in ways I can’t describe, not all good. I have become reborn as a lesser version of myself in some ways. I feel deprived of social interaction, I feel a great deal of isolation and loneliness and I no longer resemble myself in the mirror, I no longer even like to look in the mirror. With this, there is the counter argument, I may be a less version of myself but I have never been able to love as I do now, I see beauty in things I hadn’t previously and I have learned that the little things in life, have the biggest meanings. My baby has taught me how to feel and Motherhood has/is a whirlwind of emotions,skyscraping highs and rock bottom lows.

I find flaws with myself more than ever now, flaws that are much planted much deeper than the surface. This may be because I am set to lead by example and want to lead the best example I can but I fear that I will never feel good enough, not within myself or as a Mother. There will always be someone who can do it better. I shouldn’t compete with anyone but myself, I know this but from time to time, Motherhood and my lack of self awareness can all get on top of my mind, especially on those days that have been particulary testing. I should be kinder to myself, I know this . I hope that I am a good Mother, a good friend, and  lover.

I felt very alone during my time of pregnancy often, this is something which hasn’t changed, I guess it is part of my reasoning to blog, to find a community of my own and to connect. Loneliness can be quite harrowing, it brings with it a great deal of anxieties and worry. It’s not all magic and rainbows that surround a new born and Motherhood is tough. I’d say I find it very tough, especially in my situation..an introvert with a lack of social skills, and a great deal of OCD and horrific mood swings. With Motherhood there are feelings of worry, of isolation, of fear, defeat..they take over and consume my mind. The highs and the lows, I go through it all, every day.

My baby is not exactly a breeze to care for. Eleanor cries, relentlessly. She is a breastfed baby who will not take a bottle, who seldom gives me a break and cannot be left alone for screaming. I have to co sleep as I have previously shared.  This is not something which bothers me greatly as at least this way we all get a nights sleep, but it does affect my relationship and I miss having the closeness of sleeping next to Euan. Often, we are left on the outskirts of the bed as Eleanor stretches out in the middle. Talk about a bum deal.

This may seem funny, but please understand that I must take Eleanor to bed for 10pm each night, week night? Weekend? Yep, EVERY NIGHT , wether I’m tired or not, wether I’m busy or not. I have to retire early and can’t stay up to watch a show or have a mini date night with Euan. Co sleeping and breastfeeding have left me robbed of alone time with my partner. I know that I may be at fault of this, my decision to breastfeed at the beginning meant I had to be next to Eleanor, she fed compulsively and to catch any sleep at all, I would have to take her to bed next to me and sleep while she fed for comfort.

To battle with a screaming baby who only wanted comfort from feeding at all hours of the night with severe sleep deprivation was just not plausible and I had to take the easy way out, or in my case, the only way out.I too have to function daily to provide the best care for my baby that I can, to do so, I must rest. I will never feel guilty about my decision to breastfeed or co sleep as it was the option available to myself and the best one at the time, I do have regrets and would have liked to do things differently, get better habits in place, sure, but I don’t have guilt.

When you lack time for affection with your partner it can cause strain, and you do tend to forget about one another when a baby is thrown into the mix..not literally. Tensions arise and bickering occurs. It is tough to get the right balance and share time together as well as with Eleanor. Our relationship is on the back burner for now, we are more like colleagues just trying to get the days work done, than we are lovers. We are passing ships, it is sad and the reality does hurt. I miss my partner and I miss the alone time that we have previously shared. I can’t help but fault Motherhood for taking away precious time that I could have  with my partner. I do wonder if we had waited, got pregnant at a later stage, if I didn’t breastfeed, would we have had a happier baby and a healthier relationship?

Please note that I feel guilty that I think about this and I know that had I got pregnant later, there would be no Eleanor , I can’t see life without her. My little fireball of strength and emotion so pure. My Daughter has brought me life and a reason to be better, I feel guilty that I ever want to have a little alone time without her. She is mine and she deserves nothing shy of my best, my full attention. Some days, I feel I don’t have this to give and that can hurt.

Motherhood isn’t to be taken light, there are worries, there are boundaries that get crossed, the stress..the social anxiety that I have developed.. It can all get too much and there are days I don’t even want to get up and face the world never mind the list of chores to catch up with (seems to grow over night!. They don’t call Motherhood a full time job for nothing,.. if only it came with a salary. I can’t face the outdoors alone most of the time lately, a trip to the shop can feel like climbing Ben Nevis when Eleanor is in her Pram screaming blue murder and passers by or fellow shoppers pass looks my way. This happens often, most of the time if I am alone, I choose to stay indoors to avoid the blood pressure hike. I choose to settle and admit defeat. Can you believe I am twenty five years of age and a baby is ruling my life? Not something I thought I would ever be contemplating at this stage. I miss the freedom that I once had.

There are days that I don’t want to have to sit and try to play or entertain my baby when I lack the energy to do so. Okay, that’s a lie, I love to play and interact with Eleanor..but there are days when I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy and I can find myself sitting in the floor just staring blankly into space as my baby lays on her change mat trying to catch my attention, some times with tears rolling. I sit and feel nothing in a trance like state, completely numb to the sounds or any sort of feelings. I ask myself what is wrong with me, how can I not be bothered? I snap out of my trance and rush to grab her as the guilt washes over me. How could I ignore her? I scoop her up and give her endless cuddles and know that she is mine and I am OK.

I know just how fortunate that I am to have been gifted with my girl, my beautiful, fiery girl, the girl with a hot temper and full of charisma. The girl with the smile I will always look for in a room first. I know how much love and hope that she has brought my way. Believe me, I know.. the sparkle in her eyes when she catches a glimpse of me could reduce me to tears some days. The smile she pulls each morning she awakes next to me. Each day she teaches me to love a little more, to be a little kinder and to grow more patient.

Each day I am thankful for this little spark of life that I carried and grew, this little soul that I can love and nurture to my best efforts, this little girl who has stolen my heart and taught me more than anyone ever could in such a short period of time. Each day, I wonder how I can feel so empty from time to time yet be surrounded by so much love? I struggle to know how am I supposed to feel right now, some days I feel everything, others there is nothing and I wonder if I am doing this whole existing thing well.

I wonder if I ever will find the pure magic of Motherhood, if I will ever be able to have and hold it all together as some do and I wonder if I will ever be able to feel truly at peace and comfort as a Mother. I hope that as time passes I will become more at ease with myself and my abilities. I know that I am a good Mother, I know my baby is loved and healthy, she is happy, nurtured and safe.

Honestly, you couldn’t find a baby more loved, it surrounds her and if I could, I would like to keep that love with her throughout her whole life. I want for her to be protected and sheltered, forever safe in a bubble of love. To never feel pain, loss or hurt..yes Motherhood brings with it a fierce need to protect and believe me, I will protect my baby for the rest of my life with all my might, it is my job and a privilege to be able to do so.

I just fear that with having to give so much of myself away to my baby, to others, to searching and finding a whole balance that seems unsustainable I will have nothing left to call my own. Nothing left of myself for myself but an empty and broken shell.  Those empty thoughts, empty feelings will take over and consume me and my mind will be swallowed whole, only functioning on a form of auto pilot with no real thoughts or feelings left to give or to hold sacred as my own.

Some days, some days where I am a tired, anxious and a broken shell of myself, I feel that I have lost everything. I feel that Motherhood came all too soon and with it took parts of myself that I fight to find. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness are feelings that I have to fight. A battle with my mind and a sanity that is on edge.

No, Motherhood has not brought me everything that is magic, Motherhood is so much more than I could have ever imagined and it is more powerful than anything I will ever experience. The emotions are raw, the exhaustion is real and the task of raising young and supporting a family is tedious. The want to do better is constant, the feeling of judgement is ongoing and the fear of doing wrong, of simply failing is all too real. Motherhood brings not just happiness and sunshine, it can bring a bitter pill to swallow and a new reality.

Motherhood has brought with it pain, it has brought worry and it has brought defeat but it has also brought a determination to do better, to be better. Motherhood is a force not to reckon with and so long as I can put up a good fight, I think that I can overcome consuming thoughts and find my happy place between all the chaos and mess. I’m fighting the daily fight for me, for my baby, for my family.

Drink up, buttercup – Daily water challenge on my bid to good health.

_20171012_173454.JPG

Hey guys, I thought that I would share with you my latest health kick and have come to write this current post about a new challenge that I have set for myself in a bid to be the healthiest version of myself possible. The challenge in question? Drink more water daily! This seems like a no brainer, but often, I find that my body is dehydrated and that I forget to drink enough water throughout the day.

With running around after a baby and having much to do, I do forget about my own needs from time to time, I want to try to gain some self care back and get myself hydrated. After all, the benefits that water consumption provides the human body are endless. The EFSA recommends an intake of  two litres of water for women per day, via food and drink consumption.  Of this, it is suggested that approximately 70-80% of our daily water intake should come from drinks, with a following 20-30% from food consumption.

Water consumption, or lack of is something that I can be guilty of cutting short, most of the time. With breastfeeding, I know that I really should be meeting this requirement and then some.

Water has so many benefits and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle. Energy levels increase, promotes weight loss, improves the condition of skin, boosts our immune system.. I could go on but it is a no brainer that water supplies so many advantages. The decision to drink more has become quite an increased thought in my mind.

I often find I’m dehydrated or tired and after a glass of water, I can feel a great deal better within a short time. I’m encouraging myself to drink the daily recommendation as part of a healthy lifestyle and balance. I’ve previously spoke about issues I have with my weight and eating, I’m working to over come the anxiety I hold over food and the negative mind set that I can associate with eating.

I have recently become a full vegetarian as has Euan.I can safely say that I feel much better not having meat in my diet, I just didn’t enjoy meat previously, without it, I now find that I can be more experimental in the kitchen and am happier to try new food . I believe Euan is quite happy without having meat also, or so he tells me! Regardless, we are enjoying trying out new foods together and working our way through different recipes.

I have found that if I eat the foods that I enjoy with my family, I can again enjoy meal times rather than shy away from them,or simply forget that a meal time exists altogether. Does a handful of biscuits class as a dinner? I have began to take pleasure through food shopping and picking out new recipes of dishes to whizz up, or trying out new foods, re addressing old favourites that I avoided for so long. HELLO PIZZA!

I can now enjoy a meal at dinner time with Euan and share a healthy helping of crucial foods and carbohydrates. I don’t just have porridge oats or fruit each night any longer. I try to encourage myself to snack through the day, little and often to regain a healthy weight and BMI once again. From being 39kgs to hitting 46kg, I think I am on the right track. I try not to weigh myself often any more, I come from weighing myself up to twelve times each day and frequently checking that the numbers were dropping to weighing myself each month.

_20180320_212500.JPGWith anxiety and weight battles, the number would never be low enough, I’d never be good enough. For now, I prefer not to check, not to know as seeing the number rise does hurt and my self esteem drops. I’m working to focus on more than just the numbers, I am more than just a number and my weight doesn’t define me as a person.

I’m not only setting myself a daily water challenge, I’m setting myself up for the challenge of healthy eating as part of a lifestyle change to improve my quality of health and life. No longer do I wish to be drained of motivation, to have a sullen look on my face and to be so weak that even walking up stairs causes aches that I can’t explain.

I’m taking control once more and getting my mind, body and soul back for a healthy life to share with my family. I’m so ready to lead by example for my daughter and to wave goodbye to bad habits, bad thoughts. I don’t want to look like a nine year old child any more and I don’t want to have a bad attitude either. I don’t want any bad habits of mine to rub off onto Eleanor and I don’t want to rob myself of special family time and bonding due to a bad attitude or my mind telling me that I can’t have this, I shouldn’t try that.

Food, drink and a good attitude really can bring people together and right now I’m thinking positive, I’m thinking healthy and for once, I’m thinking of Me. Right now, my biggest battle is to get hydrated, once I can get into food habits with having water frequently, I am certain that my mood can improve and my body will feel nourished.

_20180320_212419.JPG

Here’s to becoming a woman, a healthy, body positive, woman with a love of food and nutrition.

Keren x