New Baby/Parenting Advice – I give to anyone who will listen!

  1. Ignore most of the advice you get given. Listen to what people tell you and thank them, and then decide what you liked about the advice, and what suits your parenting style and ignore the rest. Don’t let it get you into a tizzy if they are giving advice that doesn’t suit what you are doing – we all parent differently.
  2. Go with your gut. Trust your instincts. Relatively straight forward, but they say a parent knows best – if you think there is something wrong, follow up on.
  3. You are the perfect mother to your child. You are the only mother they know, so what you are doing is right for them.
  4. A new addition to the family – first or fourth – throws your relationship around a bit. It needs to adjust and resettle with the newly updated roles.
  5. Don’t believe other people’s highlights reels and compare yourself. What people tend to post on social media is the best bits and don’t mention the bad and crazy bits. Don’t look at your every day chaos and think that other people have it all together based on their social media posts!
  6. Don’t take offence easily. People generally tend to mean well – and own using their own knowledge/experience as a base. For example if someone says “your bump is huge” they are seeing it from their experience and maybe everyone in their family have tiny bumps when pregnant. Same for big babies, small babies, loads of hair etc. It is all relative – don’t let it bother you!
  7. Everyone has an opinion. From the minute you get pregnant, everyone feels they can offer you unsolicited advice. Instead of letting it annoy you, try and see that they are interested and caring about a new life being brought into the world, and often it brings back memories of their own special times with their children.
  8. Enjoy it. It passes so quickly. Your baby or child will never be as small as they are today.
  9. It is hard. And the hard parts feel forever when you’re in it. But they pass too.
  10. No one has it all sussed out completely or perfectly.
  11. Make mummy friends. Make the effort to get out to the breastfeeding groups, the parent and toddler groups, etc. And make an effort to get to know other mums.
  12. Join the online groups for your birth month to have a network of other mums that have a baby at the same stages as yours, one of them will be going through the same as you!
  13. Be open about how you are feeling. You never know who else will open up to you if you do. We tend to bottle up our feelings, and that affects our mental health. If you can open up when you’re starting to feel down, you can often get ahead of a downward spiral. Support is so important.
  14. Be kind. You don’t know anyone else’s story and what they might be going through. You being kind might actually change someone’s day.
  15. Don’t judge. Everyone is doing their best. In their own way.
  16. Babies are amazing. Little miracles that grow inside us. They are so small and precious. Treasure your time with them. Cuddle them. Hold them. Love them.
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Proud of my small steps!

So for the last week every day, bar one I think, I have done the 5 minute mini workout.

5 squats, 5 lunges, 5 push ups, 5 calf raises and 5 tricep dips.

Simple and easy, and I achieved it!

Might seem small and almost insignificant to someone who goes running or to the gym or exercises lots. But for me, its a first step… its a huge step and a really positive start for getting my healthy habits on track.

I have heard it a few times this week – that the first step is the hardest to take. I have taken the first step, and I have started.

Now I just have to build momentum and stay going, and add to it and improve.

I’m very proud of myself!

Small Steps… to get back on track!

So, it now count down to back to school, and I’ve realised that the last few months have just disappeared and I’ve really not done very much to work towards my health goals… so this week I’m going to start getting back on track. With a few small steps.

I am going to try to:

  • Drink 2 litres of water a day
  • Bed by 11pm
  • Up by 8am
  • Listen to a meditation
  • Do Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s 5 minute kitchen workout each day

Looks like a simple enough list to complete, but even though I went to bed last night around 10.30pm it was midnight before I got to sleep because the baby decided she was getting up instead of going to stay asleep, which meant I didn’t get to bed by 11pm and I didn’t get to listen to my meditation, and I didn’t get up this morning until 8.30am because I was so exhausted (and actually went back to bed for a quick nap at 10am!)

But today is another day – and I’m going to do my best again!

An Amazing Woman.

So I’ve been having a pretty crappy stressy time of it lately. The kids are driving me up the wall and I’ve been wound up and cross about everything. My husband isn’t around at the moment and there’s a number of other reasons for me to be stressed on top of it all, and it is all getting on top of me and I’m not getting any sort of a break from the kids. So like I said, they are literally driving me crazy.

Yesterday we were out in the shopping centre in the next town over and we had been trying to get a lot done in a short amount of time, the kids weren’t listening, we were trying to run from one place to another to another, the baby was in the buggy screaming her head off – and I was stressed to high heaven.

And as we walked out of one shopping centre I saw a woman walking towards me that I recognised and it took me a minute to realise who she was. She worked as EPU nurse, the Early Pregnancy Unit nurse.

I had first met her in 2009 when I was having what they thought was my second miscarraige but what turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. So over ten years ago. She had been so knowledgable at the time, she was honest and told me her honest opinion of the situation even though it wasn’t exactly what the doctors said. When we first thought it was a second miscarriage she gave me advice and explained the way the system works here regards help after multiple miscarriages (needs to be three in a row before they investigate) and gave me the names of books to read to help. Then when the signs were there for the ectopic, and the doctors discharged me without doing anything, she rang me with results and told me to take care and basically that she thought it still was an ectopic. She was right.

Because of the ectopic, in every following pregnancy I had to go to the EPU for a scan at 5 or 6 weeks to make sure that it was in the right place. So this woman saw me a further four pregnancies, and the kindness and compassion she showed me was unbelievable and unforgetable.

My fourth pregnancy was my second successful one, but I had been sick throughout my first so even though she had seen me a number of times for peace of mind in the first few weeks, at 17wks my sickness disappeared and I panicked. I rang the EPU and explained, and she brought me in for a scan even though it is very normal for sickness to stop after 12wks, and thankfully he was still there safely but without that scan I would never have believed it.

She then had to tell me that my next pregnancy wasn’t progressing and dealt with me over a few weeks of me trying to allow it pass itself like my first, then take the medical option – which ended up with the surgical option. But she just was so amazing throughout, her kindness and straight forward honest information helped so much. I then saw her a number of times over the next two pregnancies, she came and found me on the ward after I had no.3 as she’d seen my name on the board. When I thought I was losing no.4 she got me straight in for a scan and was as happy as I was to see the little heartbeat there on the screen – it was 2pm that day when she saw me even though my appointment was for about 2hrs before and she apologised for keeping me waiting – but I knew that if things were delayed, it was not good news for whoever she was with. After we saw the little heartbeat, she said she had been so worried she was going to have to give me bad news again, and that I was the first person that day she had given good news to. That was her day, full of heartbreak.

This woman made a number of horrible, sad and heartbreaking situations a little bit better for me. She honestly will stay in my heart forever.

Yesterday when I saw her, and remembered all the heartbreak I had gone through. And how lucky I am to have my children. How so many women go through pregnancy loss time after time, and don’t end up with any successful pregnancies. How lucky I am to have my four healthy children. I had spent over three years petrified that my daughter was going to be an only child like I was, and couldn’t believe that my second child would make it here safely. And not only did I get a second child safely, I got a third and a fourth. I am so so lucky, and of course I’m allowed be tired and stressed and cross, but just seeing her and remembering all those years of heartbreak and fear, it just shook me up a little bit and reminded me how grateful I am.

10th June (June is For Joy!)

Made a cheesecake for my niece’s birthday as a surprise and she was delighted with it. Love making someone feel special, it makes me feel good too.

And my daughter’s friends mum rang and offered to take my daughter to the football match tomorrow evening that is an hour away, and I was dreading to be honest because I’d have had all the kids with me, so I am so delighted that I don’t have to, really really happy about that. Such a small thing and will make such a difference to us all. (There you go, someone else doing something to help me out!)

June is for Joy! #juneisforjoy

4th June!

Yesterday I focused on the joy that I got from experiences of my day. I spent time with my stepmother, my friends, and back to my stepmother and dad.

I definitely feel much better when I see people who build me up and are positive for me.

I had a nice day, even though I was running from one thing to another and had no time in between (and was late for everything!). Then last night I was thinking about the joy of the day, and was going to post my #juneisforjoy post – but I decided instead to clean up the kitchen, so that this morning I could come down to a clean kitchen instead of having to launch into cleaning first thing today, so that is why I am late posting yesterdays Joy!

June is for Joy!

Love love love this!

I only saw this today, so that is why I’m starting this late! But it is just a lovely idea, and to be honest it is exactly what I need at the moment. Another daily reason to post something that brings joy (and hence gratitude).

It’s not my idea, I saw it on Instagram this morning, on the thefinancialdiet page – and didn’t even get to read their full post (I’m planning on going back to it!), but just absolutely loved the idea – and all day I have been thinking about keeping June is for joy in my mind, and I love it.

So I’m going to try to post a daily moment of joy here, and because it is going to be such a busy busy month, I am not going to pressure on myself to post every single day (even though I will try to) but I am going to allow myself catch up… like I’m doing today, catching up on these first three days of June!

On the 1st of June, my longest time (not oldest lol) friend came to visit with her two little children and we had a lovely day together catching up. She has been living abroad for years and years now, and has only just moved back recently. It was such a lovely day with her, and it brings such joy to me to spend time with her and even more to know that she will be around and much more accessible to me to see more from now on! We’ve been lucky if we managed to see each other once a year for the last two decades almost. She makes me feel positive about myself and my life, and is just on my level without any pressure.

On the 2nd of June, yesterday, I brought my son and grandson to the cinema. Well I didn’t actually go in, my 12yr old brought them in. But it was a birthday treat (for my April born son!) that has been getting more and more delayed so I was delighted to get to finally follow through on my promise, and I had to entertain my small two girls in the shopping centre while they were watching the movie – which was fun and difficult in equal measures, we had coffee and cake and looked in some shops….. while the baby screamed and attempted to run away, a lot. And even though it was a busy day I also managed to bake some things for my daughters cake sale (for today) which felt like a giant win because I usually have great intentions and never manage to follow through!

And today, 3rd of June, it was all about my daughter and her football. Her team won the County Championship this morning, and then this afternoon there was a fun day fundraiser (hence the cake baking yesterday!) for the whole team to go to an all Ireland football weekend at the end of the month, that they got through to go to from our county. My daughter didn’t even get to play in this mornings game, but it was a close match and the girls all played so well that there was such a sense of pride for both teams. It definitely brings joy to see the skill, the pride, the respect and the support today at the game.

Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with another moment of joy! It is the simple things that make life wonderful, and the idea of #juneisforjoy is a lovely way of reminding us of the small things and to notice them and be grateful for them.