Guest Post – Why I Started Blogging

I’m excited to have a guest post here by Eileen from 2 Nerds And A Baby  I love reading their blog and tweets and just to make it all a bit better both our sons are called Oscar!

I hope you enjoy it, here’s why Eileen started blogging:

“I started blogging in June 2017, so I’m literally a baby blogger, it just started when I set up an Instagram account with my partner Adam to document our experiences as first time parents, but that wasn’t enough for me.

I’ve always loved to write, it gives me a space to vent, and having ADHD means I have a lot on my mind so it’s nice to free up some space! When I was younger I would write short stories and poems and I absolutely consumed books, I used to lock myself in the bathroom just so I could read in peace!

I find writing cathartic, I like getting my thoughts and feelings written down, I feel like it makes them more validated. I started 2 Nerds And A Baby to try to remember my sons birth, it didn’t go very smoothly and I don’t remember a lot of it so I thought writing it down would jog my memory, and once I started I just kept writing!

I had read blogs and got a lot of parenting advice from them and I thought, maybe someone could benefit from my advice too?!

Blogging has been great because let’s be honest, motherhood is lonely, and at the same time you are never alone! Writing a blog allowed me to get out some of the thoughts I’d had during the day, and saved Adam the earache of my word vomit as soon as he walked in the door after work!

I started the blog to feel connected, to “find my tribe” and I believe I have done that. Reading other blogs feels like a support network, someone I’ve never met can be talking about something I can relate to and solve my problem just by writing how they dealt with theirs, isn’t that amazing?!

It’s hard at times to find the motivation to write, and it’s hard not to think “what if I’m judged for saying this” but I like writing and I like how it’s brought me back to myself after having a baby, it’s made me feel like I’m not just Mammy, I’m Eileen too.”

 

Thank you Eileen, make sure you all check out her blog and social media:

 

Twitter: @2NerdsAndABaby

Blog: http://2nerdsandababy.com

Instagram: @2NerdsAndABaby

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Anxiety & Me 

Do any other bloggers/anyone have those days where all your emotions feel like they need to be written down? This is one of those days for me.

On Sunday I woke up feeling really anxious, I went off to work and got on with it, it wasn’t too bad, I kept busy and the feelings of anxiety seemed to die down.

But now, it’s Tuesday. I woke up about 4am with a really tight chest, I felt sick and dizzy and I just knew that today was going to be horrendous.

I was right. Luckily, I fell back to sleep quite quickly at 4am but then woke up around 7 feeling the same way, except now, I couldn’t just go back to sleep because I had a toddler to look after. I had big plans for this day as I was off work I thought Oscar and I could go out and make the most of the day, maybe even go to soft play. I knew already my mind wasn’t going to let me do that which only made me feel worse because now not only would I feel awful all day it also meant my poor toddler would miss out on his fun day and have to stay in the house all day because of me!!

I. Hate. That.

Let me explain a little bit about how I was feeling today. So, in the last few days I’ve been stressed, Oscar is starting nursery which is great but terrifying, I’ve had a lot of pain, I’ve had some changes happen at work, I’m going back to university, I’m worried about certain family things and for whatever reason my brain chose today to build all that up and just sort of… brain shit it all out. I have a constant dull headache, I feel sick, I have had shaking hands all day, sweaty palms, my resting heart rate is 127 BPM, I feel dizzy, my chest is tight and about once every hour I get that feeling like I’m going to pass out where I see black spots and I can hear my heart really pumping in my ears and every now and then I get pins and needles down my left arm to the tip of my fingers.

If you’ve ever suffered from a panic attack or anxiety this will sound very familiar to you.

If you haven’t suffered from anxiety this will probably sound ridiculous.

I spoke to a friend this morning who does understand and she gave me some great advice that

It’s okay to have a you day

I was explaining to her that I feel like I have to constantly be on form- be constantly proving that I can do everything and that’s part of my problem because I don’t actually address how I’m feeling. I can quite easily say ‘I’m stressed’ or ‘I’m sad’ but I don’t take ME time to work out why I’m sad or stressed and do something to change it.

That’s definitely some advice I need to take myself and so does anyone else that has anxiety- take this quote from The Fault In Our Stars


I believe it’s the same for any emotion, not just physical pain. You have to feel the sadness, the anger, the happiness. Then and only then can you truly conquer it- I’ve learnt this because I’ve been brushing my own feelings under the carpet for too long and putting a mask of happy and thriving on I’ve forgotten that I’m the type of person that needs to be alone sometimes, I’m the type of person that needs to cry sometimes and I’m the type of person that gets anxious walking in to a shop alone.

All of this is OK. 

I actually feel a smidge better after that word vomit.

Nursery Days- Lunchbox Edition

Well, I finally did it! Oscar starting nursery was a HUGE thing for me, I registered him a year ago and I have only just changed our schedules around to assign him a day and a half a week at nursery.

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In the days leading up to him properly starting I had the worst anxiety, my mental health was all over the place and it’s not until now that I’ve put my finger on exactly what it was, it was anxiety over my first born, my baba, growing up. I still feel sick and can’t eat breakfast on the mornings I drop him at nursery and he’s been there 3 weeks now, partly because he doesn’t want me to leave in the morning, he cries and grips on to my neck/arm/leg but I do know that he likes his key worker and he is fine after 10 minutes and they update me on tapestry throughout the day. I probably wouldn’t survive the day without tapestry, it’s an app that the nursery can update through the day with pictures and videos and notes about what your child is doing and their EYFS milestones too. Then you can add your own things too so the nursery can see new things they are learning at home.

There are some things we’ve been doing and that we’re going to start to do to make the transition easier, for example, because of O’s allergies it’s much easier to pack his lunches for nursery, this way we know exactly what he’s eating at all times. The other thing is organisation for daily outfits etc which is a whole other post!

Here’s what a typical lunch looks like for him:

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I like to add fruit and veg that he can snack on when the other children have their snack time too, in this I like to include; apple slices, blueberries, carrot sticks, pineapple chunks and grapes.

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I like to get our fruit and veg from our friends Greengrocers, it’s a much nicer feeling to be giving our money to a family run business and also we know the fruit and veg is always super fresh! If you’re based near to the Bournemouth area I would DEFINITELY recommend giving Watsons Greengrocers a visit: https://www.facebook.com/watsonsgreengrocers/

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Fruit is such an easy and quick snack, especially these oranges we were kindly sent- they are easy peelers so perfect for this stage in Oscars life where we are trying to teach him to peel bananas and oranges. These Chilean Easy Peelers are about 87% water which means in the summer they’re a fun way to keep hydrated and now when we’re in autumn and Oscar has a cold and there’s only so many cups of water and juice he will drink these oranges help soothe his little throat and, again, keep him hydrated- they’re a year round hydrant! Also, low in calories, fat and a good provider of vitamins and minerals so I’m happy munching away on them too!

There we have it, a nice lunchbox for Oscar and a bit of anxiety for Mummy (which I’m confident will subside over time)

What did you do to make drop offs easier? What do you add in your childs lunch boxes? I need ideas!

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This post is an entry for BritMums #ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by Chilean Citrus Committee

Healthy Red Meat Meal

I’ve said it before, having a child with allergies is really tough. It’s difficult to get all the right goodness that they require in to their diet at the best of times as a toddler parent let alone when the ingredients your child is allergic to are in the majority of the supermarket foods.

The way I get around this for dinnertime is to cook all the basic but fresh foods, what I mean by this is I can cheat and chuck a jarred curry on some chicken for him unfortunately!

It’s much easier to stick to fresh cuts of meat, so for this meal we had a sirloin steak. Steak is one of those meats, infact all red meat, that has received such bad press recently and for a long time, I even remember my nan talking about it when I was pregnant that she felt red meat was great for you but it always receives such negative press that people just dismiss it. Oscar LOVES red meat, especially spaghetti bolognaise!

Red meat is such a great source of iron, zinc, b vitamins and potassium.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist and mother, says: “Including a small portion of red meat in the diet a few times a week after weaning can help to bridge nutrient gaps and so help to maintain good health through childhood and beyond.”

So allow me to share with you this quick and easy delicious meal I made for the whole family last week.

I cooked 2 sirloin steaks, Ciaran and I have one each and we each just cut a piece of ours off for Oscar then he has his own portions of vegetables etc.

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On this occasion I went for thinly sliced crispy potatoes (with thinly sliced spring onion added to the adult meals) mangetout, corn on the cob and asparagus- all really healthy and great that I’m not needing to cook two separate meals for us and Oscar- this means we can also sit down as a family which is so nice when we’ve been at work all day.  Oscar LOVES corn on the cob much more fun that boring old sweetcorn!

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This all took about 40 minutes to make from start to finish which I think is amazing, and yes, it tasted incredible!

What kind of meals do you make for your family using red meat? Do you have a particular red meat opinion? If so where did it stem from?

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“This post is an entry for the BritMums #HealthyRedMeat, sponsored by the Meat Advisory Panel.”

Letter To My Baby- 2 Years

Hello my little skids,

Well, you’re two whole years old now I simply can’t believe it! You’re walking and running around, playing football with daddy. You love your puzzles and your cars, especially the one you can sit in. You also love mummy’s make up, you use my beauty blender and powder to apply your own make up and brush your hair. Mummy likes this because you copy exactly what we do which shows me you’re learning and taking everything in!

Your current favourite movie is Moana, you love it because it has so many songs in it every time the songs come on you get up and dance around.

You are obsessed with cleaning, which again, mummy loves. Once I’ve finished my cup of tea you carry my cup out to the kitchen and put it on the side, same with our plates and yours when you’re all finished.

You like to wear mummy and daddy’s shoes around the house which always brings laughter.

You also enjoy gardening, you’ve always very much been an outdoors boy but now you like to be productive, you get the watering can and fill it up and water all the plants and help mummy pull the weeds out.  Nanny Jill bought you some gardening tools for your birthday and your other grandparents bought you tool kits, yet you’d still rather use REAL tools and REAL watering cans.

Mummy has finally given in and you’re officially starting nursery this week, which is very scary for Mummy and Daddy but also so so exciting, you’ll have your little uniform and your back pack and then you’re starting dance and football next week and life is very much moving at a fast pace.

You’re so clever, you love cleaning your teeth, you love getting your juice out of the fridge in the morning and pouring your own breakfast oats, you’re very independent and we are so proud of you. Your little character is fantastic and I cannot wait to see what’s next for you my little baba.

All my love,

Mummy

I Lost Myself…

My son is my best friend.

Without a doubt. He makes me smile on my sad days, he helps me with my make up, he chooses between 2 nail colours for me and he eats doritos and guacamole in bed with me whilst watching Netflix.

However, he has just turned 2 and I had an epiphany that I lost myself.

Somewhere between the midnight bottles, the birthday parties and the little red book appointments I forgot what it was I wanted in life, except being a mother.

I find myself striving for nothing other than being like the mothers I see on social media, or having a bigger house or more children. I don’t factor in how I might get to that stage I just assume as I am a mother already I must continue along this one path and just succome to the preconceived idea that now I “must be due another”

A few weeks back I sat down with a friend after I was offered a work opportunity that would require more time away from home and I explained all the reasons I wanted it and all the reasons I didn’t.

One of my reasons FOR the change was that, as previously mentioned, I felt I had lost myself. I used to be so driven by success and recognition. I would thrive off of praise within the workplace but somewhere along the road it became less important what others thought of me. Which is of course a good thing except when it was such a core part of my drive ‘pre baby’. I wanted to work really hard and really prove to myself and others that I was worthy.

However, my friend reminded me that whilst being a mum isn’t my whole life, Oscar will only be learning these new things for a short amount of time, career progression will be waiting, Oscar learning to put his wellies on himself (a small victory I still find amazing and hilarious as he doesn’t quite put them on correctly so walks much like me in heels after one too many) won’t be waiting. I will come home one day and he will be chatting away and I’ll wonder when he started doing all those things.

I am now wondering how many women this happens to, or even men. How many other parents get lost in parenthood and forget about all the things they wanted in life, do they look back and regret not working more, do they look back and maintain that concentrating more on being a family was more important? What IS the perfect family life/work balance?

I always struggle with whether to work or not, I feel like I have adequate time with both my work and Oscar at the moment but I do have days when I think I’d love to just spend everyday with him and equally I get days when I think I want to completely throw myself in to work.

I’m trying to devise a plan to get myself back, I’m working hard to make a career plan and actually put in to practice those ‘5 year plans’ people speak of.

Family wise AND career wise, I think it’s a good idea to have some clear steps mapped out and give myself deadlines because I have goals I want to reach, I’m still the kind of person that needs constant progression.

 

Do any of you have a 5 year plan or something similar? How is it going?

Give a gal some tips

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Our Cottage

We’ve been super busy over the last few months, we finally moved in to our cottage!

I’m going to start doing some more blog posts on our home etc but I thought I’d start by uploading a few of the pictures that are on my new instagram for the house- @cottage63_

 

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