Recently I attended the beautiful Martinhal Cascais in Portugal. I was there for a conference about women in business, which was very inspiring to hear from fantastic women powerful women trailblazing the way in their industries. Some discussed how they experienced rejection and failure before creating a job that works for them, and most importantly their family.
When I was invited to attend, I was excited to attend such an inspiring event, but I was unsure as to how Martinhal as a hotel brand fit into this. What I was very surprised to see, was the founder of the resort talk about why and how she started her brand.
Alongside her husband, she discussed the need for a Family friendly hotel, which also offered luxury and retreat for adults. How usually when, as parents, we go away we often feel like we need a holiday after the holiday. As I am sure you can relate! Usually resort based hotels can be very child friendly but sometimes forget about the adults. From this, she developed the brand Martinhal, where children and adults are thought about as equally important. Building on this, They have been able to provide a wonderful haven which I will show you some more of below.
I paid to stay in one of the executive rooms, either side of the conference. The rooms were very spacious, exceptionally clean and modern. The ground floor room, complete with huge bathroom overlooked the immaculate central courtyard.
When it comes to selecting a new bathroom suite there are endless possibilities. It can feel overwhelming, so here are some things to consider if you are planning a DIY bathroom makeover. Firstly I wanted to share some before pictures, as for me this shows the massive difference the new bathroom suite from Bathroom Takeaway has made.
When I became a mother I had no idea the worries that came with the territory. I can remember the first time that Flo had a temperature, I was worried sick. Constantly checking on her every 5 minutes to make sure that she was okay. It didn’t get any easier, as the years went on different bugs came along to test her little immune system and so came the even longer sleepless nights.
That is why I am working with FeverSmart by Nurofen for Children on their FeverSmart Temperature Monitor. Simply adhere the nifty little device under their arm, connect to the app and voilà you have an up to date temperature reading.
Nurofen for Children FeverSmart Temperature Monitor enables continuous real-time temperature monitoring with the use of their handy app. You can then read the information without interrupting their sleep.
The App has some great built-in features such as enabling notifications when the temperature spikes, allowing you to add in if you have given medication and any other symptoms they may be showing. With the ability to keep the history, you can share with your healthcare professional if they need to.
For us, it has been an additional string to our bow, allowing us to monitor them whether awake or asleep. It doesn’t replace the need to check them, but it does give me that tool to not disturb them as often. I also think this would be a great addition to anyone who has a child who may or does find it difficult/upsetting to have their temperature taken the traditional way. It allows you to feel that little bit more comfortable without disturbing them, monitoring their temperature easily through the app.
This post is sponsored by RB. Always read the instructions. Zinc code: UK/NFC/0918/0096
Temperature is accurate within ±0.2° Celsius with correct usages. Environmental factors & child’s position may result in greater variance in accuracy. This should not replace monitoring your child regular for signs and symptoms of illness.
I actually can’t believe that I am writing this blog post.
I AM PREGNANT!
I cannot believe it.
It’s been months of keeping the fact we were trying for a baby quiet then as soon as we open up and start talking it happens. I cannot see this as a coincidence. I genuinely believe in talking about everything. However, some how when we talk about trying to conceive it becomes a secret. A secret subject, when actually you need to talk about it. At a time where it is most difficult to get support because not many will know your secret. Reach out to someone- your midwife, GP, neighbour, friend, relative, partner. It might be the support or help you need, whether medical or emotional ❤️
Once you have had a child, it becomes even more of a controversial conversation. Family members demand siblings for your child, some even saying how unfair it is for a child to not have siblings. On the other hand, if you do want more children and it isn’t happening- then you can get shrouded in ‘you should be thankful’ messages. Which although good willed (in most cases) can cut deep.
Trying for a baby is such a beautiful time but for some, can come with such heartbreak. Loss, negatives and stress. So for all those who are trying- don’t give up hope. I know everyone says the same thing, but hope keeps us going and the promise of that baby will keep the hope alive.
Since I’ve started talking about trying to conceive after children, I’ve had mostly mums (and a couple of dads) reach out. So I’ve decided to keep talking even though we have our positive line. Because hope is everything. Hope keeps us going.
So if you haven’t got your positive line please don’t lose hope.
If you are trying to conceive please do speak to someone. Your GP, your friend, your mother, your father. Don’t keep it to yourself.
So why am I telling you now, and not after the 3 month scan?
For other pregnancies I have kept it quiet for 3 months. But why?
Surely if the reason is to wait for the first scan/ to get through the ‘high risk of miscarriage ‘ stage then I don’t want to wait. I want to be honest with you, because honestly- every part of parenthood should be talked about. Even the most devastating of experiences of loss. We should never feel alone. What are your feelings on keeping it a secret?
I remember saying to myself how I felt pregnant, and I didn’t quite believe it. But felt it. Because other months I had felt pregnant, even stopped eating certain foods because I had gone off them. I have heard through friends that fake pregnancy symptoms are so common when you are trying to conceive. But does everyone know this? That your brain is such a powerful thing that it tells you that you are, when you aren’t.
After all of that ramble I was to say-
To every single one of you who messaged me- thank you. A huge thank you.
After 2 years of no contraception and over 4 months now since trying properly- I feel different today.
I feel pregnant.
But is it that my brain wants a baby so much that I have convinced myself? I feel tired, nauseous and I can’t sleep!
It’s 3 days before I can test but I might do anyway.
I’m not sure.
In fact, mike is definitely telling me to hold of spending another 20 quid on pregnancy tests! But I am so impatient. I suppose that’s why I decided to talk about conceiving. With my other children I fell pregnant so easily, I just presumed it would be as simple. When you are trying, whether it is your first or fifth you only usually have your partner to talk to. So I am grateful I have you guys to natter to. Always feel free to comment below as well as on my instagram or YouTube. Use whichever platform you feel comfortable talking to me on!
I know for so many that a few months of trying is nothing, that they may have been trying for years, purposefully, to no avail.
For some, who have never found that positive line.
For others who have, yet never held their baby.
To you I send so much love, and baby dust. I can never truely understand that heartbreak, that pain is a different level pain. It comes loaded with mixed emotions of feeling happy for those who have children, but devastated to not hold their own. I can only empathise through experience of working with mums who have lost babies to having friends who are going through infertility or multiple miscarriages. That it is pain. Raw pain.
In no way to disconnect or undervalue those who have struggled with infertility, I decided to talk about my experience. As a mother of two, we have not used any contraception for 2 years. We have been trying for 4 months this month and I’m hoping that this month is the month.
My last post (you can read here) connected with so many and I was flooded with messages on my email and Instagram. Messages talking about the real struggle to talk about conceiving after having a child. The struggle to feel justified in talking about how long it’s taken them, when so many have been trying longer. Or that they have children so feel the judgement that they ‘should be happy’.
That is is why I spoke about my experience. It is just that, MY experience. I can’t speak for everyone, but what I can do is hope that someone will find a feeling of togetherness, solidarity or just someone to say I feel like this too.
After all, we are all humans with individual experiences and I hope to those who are trying get to hold their baby soon.
Being so open about this comes with some downfalls, and why it’s taken me this long to open up. You are all in this with me, and I hope that we can bring you another little Freckle this year. I really do.
Sending love and baby dust to you all, whatever stage you are at ❤️
Self-care is very important at any stage of your life, but even more so when you become a mother. Everyone has a different experience of motherhood, but one thing we need to have in common is to make self-care essential. This isn’t always the case, in fact sometimes we can be made to feel bad about spending time on ourselves. This needs to change.
So here I am your self-care godmother, giving you permission to help yourself.
I am working with Philips Avent as a Virtual Mummy Mentor to bring you real life experiences of parenthood. Parenthood is THE BEST thing in the world, but also it is full of emotion too. You can feel angry, anxious, happy and sad. These are all perfectly valid and normal emotions to feel.
However, sometimes it can feel overwhelming so filling your self-care cup can help more than you may think.
If you are very new to self-care, and you are a new mother I would start with the ‘5 things a day’. This is something I do when I have just given birth, it gives me the ability to see the things I have achieved in my day and not focus on the things I haven’t managed to do.
It is easy to add into your day – all you have to do is:
When you wake up in the morning, or you can plan this the night before if you find it more useful, set yourself 5 little goals for the day.
Little being the optimum word.
5 things that you know you can achieve with a little effort, these can be things like:
– Brush my teeth before 10am
– Make the bed
– Eat a wholesome lunch
– Talk to my partner about something that isn’t related to the children
– Light my favourite candle
– Have a bath
– Water a plant
– Watch my favourite film
– Go for a walk
– Write in my journal
– Brush my hair
They can be anything that will make you feel better. Now this can be quite confusing when first start but do whatever makes you feel happy/comfortable/more organised after you have done it. This can be ironing if that is what makes you feel good. It is your time.
Know that you are worthy, you are amazing and that you are enough just as you are.
Take it easy on yourself, and don’t forget to drink some water!
This post is sponsored by Philips Avent as I am one of their Virtual Mummy Mentors.
Growing up, I had a very traditional (read old) way of thinking what parenting looked like. The mother, father, one boy one girl and a fluffy little Yorkshire terrier, or something or that size to pet whilst sipping your red wine after the kids bedtime. That the mother was married to the father and they had typically traditional roles. One being the homemaker and the other the worker.
As it turns out, this idea was absolutely ridiculous.
When at 25 I became a mother myself, I pondered the idea and questioned where that had formed. Somewhere in my formative years and within our society I had been given an ideal. An ideal set up, an ideal life. The fairy tales and stories we are fed make building blocks in our brains of expectations. All given with the promise of happiness and a proposition of ever lasting love. However, even though myself I had succumbed to some of these ideals, I felt like I didn’t quite fit in what felt like a judgemental, hierarchical bureaucracy that I felt the urge to bolt against. I had been raised by two people who had also slotted into a traditional parenting role and so inevitably modelled my future relationship on theirs. However, as far as traditional roles go they only just got membership to the club. Yes, they could be labelled as a heterosexual couple with a mortgaged house and a dog. But they both held employment as public servants and also both held employment as servants to their own offspring. Because let’s face it, the role of a parent is a never ending service. You are to curtsy at no expense to your flesh and blood without complaint or question.
In no way am I saying that people who fulfil the traditional roles are any less valuable or important. But the notion of traditional parenting has changed. I think that my parents has struggled with this notion slightly, and this caused some internal conflict. They parented as they thought they should, but mixed some more millennial parenting in the mix. Based on how parenting has evolved, they were of the generation that children were to be proud of, to help them to achieve their goals. For children to be almost in addition to their other life achievements. To be trophies. To some this may seem reductionist and isn’t necessarily something to be shrugged at. These parents cared about their children, and gave them opportunities to thrive and grow. My parents loved me and gave me the scaffolding to grow, and that is what I am doing with my children. Just not in the same way.
How do you feel about traditional roles? Do you reject the notion of traditional parenting?
It is such a sensitive topic, because every person has their own meaning behind the label. I mean what is parenting? Ultimately we are trying to help tiny humans understand and navigate the world as it stands in a morally and values based approach. More recently, there’s talk about millennial parenting and how that’s different to more traditional family lifestyles, and I kind of agree. I have a very traditional set up. I’m married to a man, have a mortgaged house, 2 kids and a dog. But I think that’s where it stops, we are very different to our parents and how they parented us. We focus on the emotion, the feeling of things, how we want them to live their life moving towards their values rather than set goals by society. If they work in a traditional job then that’s okay, but if they want to travel the world for the rest of their lives making memories and working freelance, from temp job to temp job we are okay with that too.
Every parent is different.
And embracing that is a wonderful thing don’t you think?
Here’s to raising tiny humans whatever your set up is.
So, how do you think we should parent as a millennial?
Ultimately no one can tell you how to parent, but being there for each other in collaboration and with empathy can go a long way.
Thank you to Johnson’s Baby who kindly asked me to share a story of parenthood.