Tag Archives: Ideas

Cullen beach.

Last weekend, stumped for what to do with the nice weather but keen to explore we racked our brains for a baby friendly activity to follow through. Something new but fun, easily accessible yet an adventure for the family. Euan came to decide we would take a drive out to Moray and head for Cullen beach.

Loaded into the car, take away coffees at hand, we were set for the two hour drive to the beach and ready to have a day of fun. Eleanor slept the duration of the car ride and we played music whilst chatting away. A nice little break in all honesty, and having the time to just sit back and chill was pretty good.

IMG_20180728_192820_642.jpgNot to mention the lovely sights on the drive, out past the shire everything seems much more scenic. The homes are idyllic, landscapes are heavenly and the air seems so fresh. If it wasn’t that bit too far out I’d consider a move out that side of town,so much to offer and a whole lot of peace from the City hustle.

We made our way to Cullen and parked up at the golf club. I’d never been before, not even as a child but had only heard good things. A small town but absolutely perfect, many beautiful sights to take in, a small town square filled with old antique stores and cafes, let’s not forget the beach either.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0249.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0250.JPGThere was a wee carnival down by the beach but it wasn’t much of anything really, a small ride for children and a game of hook a duck situated beside a bouncy castle. Fine for bugger children but not really age appropriate for a baby (an excuse to return over the Summers to come). To begin, we sat down for a drink outdoor at the golf club and soaked in the rays while Eleanor had a snack.

A beach walk followed. Eleanor wasn’t in the best of moods, with teething and being hungry for her milk, she was a little grizzly. Euan carried her in the sling and we walked along the beach, playing with the gopro looking to get some action shots. I always forget we have the gopro and have been really trying to remember to carry it with us when we head out for family day trips, to capture all of the moments.

I stopped by some rocks and breastfed Eleanor by the sea, a safe distance from the tide though, don’t worry. Euan hunted for rocks and treasures while waiting. I enjoyed nursing my baby by the sea, I’m aware the days of nursing are over and that as she grows her interest is no longer dedicated solely to nursing. Moving around, playing and exploring new food is all the more exciting and fun.

GOPR0274_1532181371434_high.JPGI’m keen to bask on the last precious months of our breastfeeding journey before it comes to an end and a new journey begins. This means feeding wherever and whenever necessary and reeling in with the moments. I love holding her wee hand as she feeds, petting her head and running my hands through her golden hair,watching her expression and waiting for the drowsiness and sleep to cast a spell over her. Everything about breastfeeding, I love but I’ll explore in detail later, for now I’m all about sharing some beachy snaps.

We let Eleanor drop her toes to the sand but she wasn’t so convinced and would keep throwing her legs up to get them out from the sand, the texture must have put her off. We played and acted silly along the beach front and took on the views together. A chilled out day where we went at our own pace and enjoyed the company and rare summer weather.

As I said, we took the gopro and got some snaps at the beach before heading for a news around the carnival and the town centre. We didn’t leave with much, not even an ice cream.. the queue was out the door which with a baby is not ideal as they don’t really have the patience to wait, not even for ice cream. OK, OK, you got me, I don’t have the patience more like, I’ll stop blaming things on Eleanor, that’s a bit naughty but totally acceptable.

GOPR0254_1532181506838_high.JPGWe left with happy memories and satisfaction from a good day as a family. I can tell you, I absolutely went to bed with a smile on my face that evening, nothing but love for my little family and this life we work through together. I’m  happy that I get to explore and adventure with my two best friends in the world and that together, we relish in taking time out and getting out into the open, taking in a good dose of fresh air while surrounded by great views.

I love nothing more than to be active and outdoors, I hope that this healthy lifestyle will be reflected onto my baby girl and that she will appreciate that life isn’t just about ipads and mobile phones, there’s so much out there to explore that doesn’t always mean from the comfort of through a screen. There is so much more to life and living than any lens can provide you with. Here’s to many more beachy days and family trips, adventuring the unknown together. Hope that everyone is having a lovely Summer time.

 

Keren x

Life in the fast lane.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

A change of heart.

First of all, I’ll apologise for my lack of prescene online. With a growing baby  demand for my full attention at all times has become a first priority. Eleanor is now on the move, vocal and ahaving a spell of nap refusal. We have 5AM wake ups and 8PM bed times. I began a book way back in March and I don’t think I’m half way through as of yet, it’s terrible. Call it laziness, call it busy, exhaustion, whatever you like.

The point is, I have so little time to think right now, I don’t have the spare time to blog,when I do get that minute peace, I nap because frankly, it’s the only hope of a good kip. An active and demanding baby and an active family life has left myself with little free time to blog or even concentrate for that matter.

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I return to work in a few short weeks and my priorities right now are making the most of this time out in the sunshine, playing at the park and being with my baby. I’ll never get this time back, my blog can take a back seat. I think that’s fair? Anyway, as I mentioned, I’d keep you all in the know with any wedding plans and change, so here I am, posting about a change of dress as Eleanor has a feed.

I was set, good to go. A white dress, inexpensive, drop hem, little lace.. It was perfect..until it wasn’t. With the Wedding drawing close and free time running low, I was on a tight time scale and budget to find the dress for me. Sure, the white was lovely but I’ll stats that say for a Summer day. It wasn’t right to wed in, it’s just not enough of me, it was much too ‘safe’, and I’d hate to look back and think I wish I’d worn another dress. Scrolling online, I came across the perfect dress. It would have been wrong not to try it on for size. As the title of this blog implies, I had a change of heart. It was instant.

The Friday afternoon that it arrived, I was ecstatic. I didn’t expect it to fit so well or look as it did but its just right. I’m sorry option one, in the closet you go. This dress is to die for, a cowl neck, a slinky material that hugs all the right places made from my favourite material. Modest in length (longer than the first) and my favourite colour. Correct I’m not wearing white on my wedding away. The accessories I have match perfectly and I have a faux stole coming my way to finish my look off. I’m hoping for an old school, glamour look. A little modern take on a vintage bride. Birdcage veil included.

With mention of the birdcage veil, I’m still unsure of a hairstyle? I think a ballerina bun, scraped back from my face and held high. Classic and simple yet practical with a small baby who tugs at my hair and face non stop. Right now. I’m unsure wether to incorporate a braid for some modernism or to just let my hair hang loose in beach style waves with the veil draped down my face? I have some time to play around and an appointment with the hairdresser on the day on my wedding to get my favoured style put in place.

I have collected some little accessories here and there. Vintage Bobby pins, a blue brooch to fit the something blue trend, a garter hand made from Etsy by the most lovely lady and some small rhinestones which I’m not quite sure what to do with yet! I’ll find a use though, my Mum said you can’t have too much sparkle on your wedding day and I’m going with that. Although she returned her dress as she claimed it was too much sparkle for a day time..

Euan and I have a photographer booked tnow too, something we weren’t originally going to opt for but with only having one wedding day in your life time to gtt it right and have it just as you would dream it, we decided to go with a local woman who took beautiful images of Eleanor back at the beginning of the year. It seemed only right to re book with Eni, and to remain an intimate ceremony and celebration. I’ll be grateful to look back on our Wedding photographs come years and cherish all of the memories, especially of Eleanor being with us.

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(I think she is feeling as excited as I am for the big day when Mummy and Daddy get married, don’t you?)

We are set to meet the coordinator at the hotel reception on June 3rd before I return to work and get all of our plans, table set up and decorations in place. I’ve got all the little bits and bobs that we will use to decorate the room, now just to hand over the supplies and get the menu’s down to a tee for the big day.

I’m real excited as time reals in on us. I can’t wait to have a lovely day with my love, my baby and our close family and friends. I’m so happy with how our plans and ideas are taking shape, my dress and whole look has come together on a whim and how small and intimate we have kept the day in general. Now just to wait for the day to come around and seal the deal. How did you spend your Wedding day? Has anyone had a fiasco with a Wedding dress last minute?

Keren x

A week in the life – Cyprus.

 

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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.

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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

 

Babies first.. . (squeal) teeth.

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It seems that the Easter bunny brought with it not just chocolate and candy, but something a bit more sentimental, our first two teeth! I’m sure those first teeth bring the same bout of excitement to all parents around the globe.

You must excuse me if this isn’t your cup of tea, I tend to write a lot about Eleanor’s firsts, mainly because as she hits these first milestones, or bumps in the road, I like to have a documented account to look back on and cherish. Both good and the not so good. This next milestone has been a long time coming and a very much tough process for my poor babe, teething.

It’s inevitable and you can’t prevent it, some babies cope better than others, some babies are able to mask the pain and others, much alike my wee Eleanor, struggle. The battle of teething has been the worst yet, sleepless nights, restlessness, relentless comfort feeds which leave me drained and an all around fussy period. There is certainly a lot of personality flying around right now in our household and Eleanor has diva written all over her.  Teething is hard and it is not forgiving. It is a good job that looking back from adulthood, you fail to remember the trials of teething in those first months.

Eleanor has finally over the Easter weekend cut her two lower A’s. I can see her lower B’s are ready to pop through any day now also, this doesn’t mean that they will. I hope that with those first two teeth having cut above gum margin, my wee tootie will get some relief, she certainly deserves it and I would like to see the spontaneous cries come to a halt, at least temporarily (until the next thing).

I’ve been rubbing her gums as she gnaws my hand, the anbesol has come out to play more than I’d have liked, teething powders have come and gone and calpol has failed to hit the spot. We try countless teether but to no avail, Eleanor tends to throw them away in a bout of rage rather than enjoy the chew. I have tried cold compresses and hard biscuits to gnaw on for her but the battle never ends. I try to distract her with play or hideous dancing, at least this brings a little laughter her way during those tough days.

With my wee girl, the only thing that has seemed to aid her teething is through the comfort of feeding or chewing on her own hand. I really feel for her and the pain of her cries can be very upsetting but as always, you get on and move on as these things do. This teething phase has only just started and I really hope that after these first few teeth break through, some relief will be a given as I think Eleanor could do with a break.

From colic, reflux and the sorts to an ear infection and trouble from teething, the battle with a baby seems never ending and there is no magic cure that will kiss it better. Each stage of life comes with a new trouble and each stage seems to become a little tougher than the last. Our babies develop and grow so rapidly that we can only expect things to get tougher with each coming month. Sometimes, I’d like a little break. A month without any sort of pain or hardship, not only for my baby but for myself and Euan!

I’m so pleased that we have reached the stage of those first teeth, so very pearly white and so very cute. Baby teeth really are the sweetest, especially when you see them poke through as your baby giggles and smiles. I’m hoping with these first teeth coming through, I can introduce a little more foods and variety with Eleanor’s diet and that she can continue to build a healthy relationship with food.

Right now, she tends to love anything that she can hold and eat, I think that she likes to have the independence. Whenever I watch her munching away on a melting puff or banana biscuits, she looks proud as punch with herself and that really is quite special to see. Each month brings a new struggle with it however each struggle is over come and we always pull through smiling. If it wasn’t for the struggles, we wouldn’t have our little baby girl hitting such big developments and milestones and that is something that is truly magic.

I love watching Eleanor develop and grow, by the day she is coming more and more into her own. Her personality shines and her sense of humour and charisma is something to be proud of. Although hard work, Motherhood and caring for my baby girl really is my favourite job in the whole world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All those milestones, all the firsts, it’s just so sacred for me and will forever hold a special place. I’m sure that the trials of  these tough times and sleepless nights will all be washed over and what will remain will be so much more precious, the loving memories.

Have any of you parents out there shared the teething battle? What aids and methods did you swear by, during this troublesome period?

 

Keren xIMG_20180403_201433_018.jpg

 

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.

Travel essentials with a baby.

Time is passing super fast right now, the weeks all merge into one. With our holiday to Cyprus just one short month away, I’ve began to list some of the essentials that I will be taking in the suitcase for Eleanor.

I’m a little anxious to travel with her as she is just so young but I’ve heard travelling with a baby, is easier than a child at times. Throw colic and a fussy baby into that mix, I’m not so sure. Yes, at six months we are still having spells of colic. Usually from 9pm through to 11pm. Better than previous but still it exists and taunts us. Any chance of movie nights or snuggles are pretty darn slim.

Anyway, as I have said,  this will be our first family holiday and trip with a baby in tow. I was due to fly out to Malaysia last April when pregnant but was advised against this by health professionals for risk of contracting the Zika virus. Safe to say that I took the advice given and stayed put at home while Euan went out to spend time with his Father.

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Of course I’m anxious about travelling with my baby and keeping her safe in an environment that is somewhat out of my control, but I am also so very excited to make some memories to remember and to ring in my partner, Euans 30th birthday. A special trip and a special occasion, one that I’m sure will stay with us for a long time. I’m all for making lasting memories and documenting each part of family life, the good, the bad and every moment in between.

It’s so important for me to be in a loving family environment and to be able to capture that in the moment and for looking back on with happiness. Becoming a Mother has really made me appreciate family and think more of others at all times than I do myself. I am trying to be better every day and grow to be kinder and more openly warming.

You could say I was used to having my own way, now I have to put Eleanor and Euan first and will always take care of them before I do myself. It’s a privilege to have my own family to care for in my own way and to grow with. Through the years I’m sure our bond will flourish and as a family we will be a strong and loving, support unit to each other. Building ourselves and our Daughter up and setting our sights on better.

This trip marks a milestone and also is a little wave goodbye to my maternity leave that is coming to an end. We are certain we want to make the most of this trip and have the best time together, time as a family will be tough to come by when I’m back to work, Eleanor is at day care each day is full on making family time hard to juggle.

I’ve been doing research online and sourcing information for travel with a baby. I’ve been reading what others advise, stories from parents and scrolling through lists designed for baby travel. From doing some light reading, I’ve come up with my own travel kit with baby which I will list below.

If you feel there is anything that I have missed that may be critical please add a comment. I need all the help and advice that I can get on this, as it is all very new to myself. I’m over organising for good reason, I want to be prepared fully for our trip and have everything and anything we could and will need. This will make for a smoother running holiday (or at least, I hope so) and more time to spend enjoying a break in the sun. Don’t worry, I’ve a good sun hat all ready to go and sun screen will be slathered on all through the day. With a baby, you can’t take no risks.

First up, I will share a travel guide for the journey. We have got a little back pack for our Eleanor to store the essentials she will need while making the journey. This will be so handy as al of her snacks, medication and change of clothes etc will be secure in one place and we won’t have to go digging around our own hand luggage to try grab what we need as we battle with little space.

Eleanor’s travel backpack:

– nappies, sudocrem, nappy sacks, hand sanitiser (for parents)

– water wipes

– medication required and calpol/teething powder and saline spray. A thermometer to monitor any change in temperature.

– comfort taggie blanket (very small) and teether

– muslin cloths and selection of bibs

– food pots, spoons, sip cup and food pouches. Varied snacks – I’m thinking rusks. Messy but effective.

– change of clothes

 

Now, for the suitcase I will list the added essentials which we will be bringing with us. Please remember, this list is just for Eleanor and I am new to this so I may have missed something out. Please share if you feel there is anything that will make the journey and trip a little easier.

– Mamas and Papa’s sun protection stroller with visor

– selection of clothing lightweight and durable, Pram shoes/sandals.

– beach towel and swim nappies

– bathing and wash supplies. Wash cloth and soap.Eleanor has sensitive skin so many wash supplies can bring her out in a rash or spots. I’ve just packed a simple multi use Johnston baby wash.

– toothbrush and paste

– pyjamas which are lightweight, sleep bag.

– various food supplies. Cutlery set.

– water sterilisation tablets for cleaning up etc.

– nappies and wipes, change mat, cotton wool. All the essentials for changing nappies..

– swim costume, swim all in one and a floating device for use in the pool.

– sun hat and sun screen suitable for babies SPF50+

** As I am breastfeeding I don’t require to take any formula or bottles, breast pump etc. Eleanor is EBF mostly and has around three meal times a day with snacking when necessary. Most of her nutrition is from her milk right now. I’ll be taking Muslin cloths a plenty and a breastfeeding scarf to remain covered up when feeds are necessary out in public.

The hotel is a family hotel and all supplies should be at hand if we feel we need anything extra or have missed something out. High chairs, cots etc are all provided and I’m sure we will be well looked after following the reviews.

I think that I’ve covered all bases and spent a small fortune at the same time. Travelling light with a baby is out of the question and I the best option for myself  is to be organised in this scenario. I’ll begin to pack next week and check before we depart that I have absolutely everything I need. Think I’ve missed something on the list? Let me know!

Keren x