Tag Archives: motherhood

Hey! I think I’m getting into this whole Motherhood thing.

Let’s get this straight, in honesty, I’ve always been into this Motherhood thing, from the night that I realised I was pregnant. I stopped smoking, stopped any alcohol consumption and lived on mounds of fruit, veg and vitamins. I very quickly took on the responsibility of parenthood and gave up what was no longer advised. Since becoming a Mother, I’ve shared my struggles and the darker days with you all. I won’t lie, it’s been tough.

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I wasn’t ready to become a Mother and had no intention to start a family any time soon, however, it happened and from the moment that I came to terms with this, my family has become my only priority. Now, I wouldn’t have a day go by without Eleanor by my side and its hard to remember a time when she wasn’t around. My little snugs, my ray of sunshine and my whole life. My baby has brought so much love and so much joy, I’d be lost without her.

The adaption from a family of two to three, the sleepless nights, the constant nursing, the balance.. If there is one? I’ve fought many battles in such a short time and I finally, nine months on can say I’m feeling content and happy. I’m at my most content since pregnancy, I can praise myself and recognise my strengths. My outlook and passion for life is looking up and life is good. Hurruah!

I’ve just a few weeks before my return to work, I’ll be going part time and working a three day week. This takes some anxiety off as I will still have days with my baby and can still treasure all those little moments. I have finally started to really enjoy my time off from work, I have a good routine going with my girl and we have the whole days planned out, it seems to work a treat and keeps everyone happy. Happy baby happy Mum, right?

It has taken nine months to establish any set routine, I’ve finally got it and I’m getting some time for myself back in a day. Of course that’s not what Motherhood is all about, it’s about time with baby, and raising a child, but If I get just half an hour to myself, a short break, I feel refreshed and relaxed, ready to be with my baby and give her my whole attention. I can be the best that I am and it feels good to be getting a little balance at long last.

Eleanor has dropped to around three feeds a day, as an EBF baby, I thought this would never happen, I believed she would breastfeed until she was into adulthood, it was testing and draining but now, I cherish those feeds daily as I know each feed is drawing closer to her last. There will come a time when she no longer feeds and that bond will be over, this upsets me but also empowers me.

I’ve fed my baby girl since birth all on my own, I’ve nourished and nurtured her, doing the best job that I can. Feeding day and night some days and without much time to care for myself. It has been a privilege and it will be an accomplishment that I will remain proud of for my life.I have had the time to reflect and realise that I’ve done the best that I can and that will always be good enough. Yes it was tough but you know what? It was great and I’d do it over and over. The exact same way.

I have began to relax and appreciate my way of mothering my child. I am now content with the decisions that I make daily and I feel as though I over come challenges as best as I can. I no longer get upset over things I can’t control and I no longer obsess over the mess. Fiona from across the street doesn’t care if the floors haven’t been steamed and nor I should. The mess can wait, my baby and family time cannot.

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I no longer feel the need to beat myself up about something that hasn’t gone as planned. Eleanor hasn’t ate much dinner, Eleanor has been in a wet nappy for too long, missed her bath, Eleanor has skipped a nap.. no longer bothers me. For now, I just make do with the daily cards I’m dealt and deal with it. Have I played enough today, read enough, danced enough?

Sure, I’ll always question if I have done enough or if I could have done better,i think all parents must. Has she had enough nutrition today? Have I fed her well enough? The questions always plague my mind and the insecurity will always creep in. My abilities are questioned daily, but I’m the only one that is questioning myself. I put the pressure on myself, something which I am working to ease off on. Something which I am beginning to ease off on. I’m becoming at peace.

I realise that in that moment, each day, I do the best I can. My best will always be good enough. I’ve beat myself up too much and made enemies with my mind, questioned my abilities for months. I’m taking control and will enjoy Motherhood and enjoy giving myself that pat on the back because you know what? I do good and it is okay to recognise and self appreciate from time to time.

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Motherhood is messy, it is Challenging and some days, some circumstances are out with control, I’ve figured that rather than dwell on what I can’t change, or get upset with circumstances outwith my control, I take it in stride and move on. For the most part at least. As long as my baby is happy and healthy, not much else matters on the grand scheme of things. I can sit down in an evening and enjoy that glass of wine, or that biscuit and know that I’ve done good and that my baby is happy. What else matters?

I feel relaxed about going back to work, it’s a necessity and I’m okay with that. Sure, if I could, I’d spend all my time with Eleanor and work from home, doing something creative and wholesome, however, I don’t have that luxury and I need to make some money so we can enjoy days off and trips out all the more.

I no longer punish myself for the bad days and I no longer sit inside waiting for a good day to come. I get up, get out and have the best day every day, something which I believe a positive mindset and care free outlook can and does make possible. To any new parent out there who feels alone, or who feels stuck in a bit of a daily rut I would say soak it all in and appreciate every single day for all that it is, just know you are the best you can be and if your baby if fed, dressed and loved, little else matters. It’s taken me nine months to realise this and relax but now that I have, I know there is nothing to worry about and no reason to cry. I’m going to enjoy knowing I work hard each day and I am going to enjoy a glass of wine this Tuesday evening as a thank you to myself, to my body.

Here is to being a parent, self appreciation and working bloody hard each and every day. My baby is happy and healthy, my heart is full and my family is my world. Thank you Motherhood for teaching me to be grateful, to be thankful, each and every day.

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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

 

An Easter Bonanza.

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Boy am I tired. It is just past 830PM, Sunday and I am already tucked up into bed with Eleanor asleep next to me. I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a busy weekend in all my years. Trying to squeeze in visiting, birthdays, lunch dates and a whole host of other activities, all with a teething baby is not easy going.

I hope this post isn’t as dark as my previous. I am generally in better spirits this past week than  I have been, with holidays approaching and a general need to keep busy, I’m happy to say that I feel a little more like my old self. Long may it continue, it’s really time to enjoy the days and the moments that I have and share with family, there is no time to allow sadness to consume my thoughts.

Easter weekend started on a high, Friday night Euan had finished up work for the weekend and we had a wee Easter egg hunt around the home after dinner. Just a little bit of fun that killed a half hour and followed by a glass of red with some chocolate of course.

It wasn’t a late one as we had an early start on Saturday morning. I recall managing around three sips of my wine before retiring for the night. Days have changed, that is a given.

Saturday morning,  we rised bright and early (thank you, Eleanor) , got ourselves breakfast before heading out on a very, busy day. A bank appointment in the morning to open our first joint account.. Hello adult world. Followed by a drive through coffee stop while heading out to Stonehaven to visit our nephew on his birthday.

We said our hellos, passed Eleanor around and best of all, unleashed our inner child and played with all of Toby’s toys, train set included! Saturday afternoon at it’s finest. I really do enjoy visiting family, I find that you always leave feeling happy and refreshed. With so little time for visiting and seeing everyone that we would like to, it is nice to preserve that time and just enjoy being in the company of our family and loved ones.

Our nephew had a wonderful day and was in great spirits, full of excitement on his birthday which was lovely to see. We stayed for around two hours and headed home for a spot of lunch. A brief pit stop before doing the holiday shop which felt like a bit of a supermarket sweep. There were tantrums,  tears a plenty and there were moments where I was close to pulling my hair out. Have you ever had a domestic with your partner in a supermarket? My stress levels through the roof and patience thin.

Saturday afternoon as mentioned, called for a trip to the Boots store to gather holiday supply’s for ourselves and Eleanor. We needed to gather some bits and bobs to add to the suitcase, general health supplies really with some baby food pouches just in case. I can now happily say that I’ve finally packed my suitcase and I am ready to engage holiday mode and relax knowing that I have got all I need from my list. I am as organised as can be, on paper. That doesn’t mean come the trip this will be the case, I am sure there will be some bumps In the road. For now, time to zip everything up and forget about the enjoy the next week of chilling before we head off on an adventure.

In the evening, with it being such a crazy day we decided to grab some chips from the chip shop and have a glass of wine, the desire to wind down and have an early night was insane. What a busy Saturday, I don’t think we caught five minutes of chill time between us! At dinner, we had a bit of a shenanigans – the cherry on top, I believe. Eleanor projectile vomited her dinner all over and we require a full strip off and good hose down of the kitchen and ourselves. Yuck. With the stress of cleaning up a kitchen full of sick, to the teething woes and the days hustle and bustle, we gave up all hope on a sophisticated dinner.  Chipper chips drowned in vinegar and wine would have to suffice. Boy did that do the trick and there were no complaints.

Come Sunday we woke feeling far more relaxed and chilled after a good sleep. It was early doors again as Eleanor wakes around 630AM but this was okay as we had a fresh start and a second day of running around. In the morning we got ourselves sorted to head out for the day, with a trip to the Carmelite to pay off some of our wedding function  to kick start the day nicely. It is always a good day when we take a trip to pay some more wedding off, I suppose it gets the excitement flowing. With less than six months to go, we had better get making plenty of trips with payment or nobody will be getting their dinner.

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ZaraAfter this, we headed up to the local shops and had a nosey around the Disney store and of course my all time favourite, Topshop. We had a wee haul and then decided to grab some lunch, it was a nice day and the sun was shining. This called for Mackies ice cream parlour, it was Euan’s call and lunch was on me, an early birthday treat.

I opted for crepes with banana ice cream, smarties and peanut butter sauce, Euan went with a waffle, lemon ice cream and chocolate sauce. All very delicious and filling. If this wasn’t an Easter treat, I don’t know what is.

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I suppose you could say that we were rolling all the way home. Thank goodness that I had the pram to push and use as a support aid. On our travels, we stopped by the Waterstones store to get some holiday reading material then carried on our walk home in the sun. We definitely got the best of the good weather for a change.

Again, a non stop type of day, when we reached home, we did relax and wind down for a while before nipping out on a lidl run to grab nappies come evening. I wasn’t feeling too great,  call it a sugar crash or fatigue, I do not know but one thing is certain, I was done in. After some cheese toasties (with a side of pasta) for dinner, I called it a night and went to bed.

Although a poor sleep and a general feeling of unwell, today marks the beginning of a new week. This week my goal is to relax as much as I can to prepare for the pending holiday which I am sure will be pretty full on. We have a day up at my Mum’s tomorrow with little else on the cards. If I am lucky, it will be a week of napping, gallons of coffee and trash TV. Hello pawn stars repeats!

I Hope that everyone has had a lovely Easter and made time for family and room for some indulgence. Treating yourself once in every while really can make all the difference to your mood, besides who doesn’t love a sugar fix? I am off with Eleanor to nap, enjoy your week whatever you may be up to.

 

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.

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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.

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

Keren x