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Things I’ve learned as a mum


Motherhood is a learning curve, there’s no two ways about it. I’ve learned things about life, myself and my lovely little girl I never would have thought of 18 months ago. As Isla is now 20 months old, I’m taking a trip down memory lane and looking at what I’ve learned over the past year and a half…

  • Kids do everything in their own time – no really, they do. I was so worried that Isla wasn’t developing as fast as she should be because she didn’t walk independently until she was 17 and a half months old. Then one day, she simply planted her hands on the floor, pushed herself up, stood up and simply walked over to the coffee table. On top of this, she was also an early talker and had 44 different words/phrases by the time she was 18 months old and apparently most kids that age have 15-20. So just don’t worry, they will do everything eventually. Honestly.
  • Baby wipes clean everything – mucky high-chairs, tables, floors, TVs, coffee tables, you name it. Also good for removing make up, dusting, wiping noses, removing toothpaste stains…etc etc
  • Yogurts fix everything – a quick snack for a hungry/grumpy toddler? Tick. A soothing teething remedy? Tick. An after-dinner dessert? Tick. Just because? Tick.
  • You can survive on less sleep than you think – when Isla was going through sleep regression and would only sleep in 90 minutes instalments, I still somehow managed to function, just. Whereas an early morning before Isla came along was 7am and I’d be knackered for most of the day. These days if Isla sleeps past 6.45am it’s considered a lie-in! Tired?! I didn’t know what tired was back then!
  • Don’t compare your kids – similar to the first point, it’s something I still occasionally do now, even though I shouldn’t, but I always worry that I’m not “doing it right” and that Isla is lacking in some areas. One of her little nursery friends is Romanian and her mum told me she can count to three in both Romanian and English – Isla can’t quite count in English yet! But I’m trying not too to dwell on that as I’m sure Isla is more developed in other areas that her friends aren’t.
  • An important one this….One very important lesson was to stop caring so much about what people think, and that real friends stick by you, no matter what. I was quite shocked to lose quite a few of my friends when Isla was born. They just stopped calling, texting etc and at the time, I was so wrapped up in the newborn blur that I didn’t think too much of it. “They’re probably just giving us space, maybe they don’t want to intrude?” I thought. But now nearly 2 years on, I still haven’t heard from them, which hurt my feelings I’ll admit and especially on bad days, made me feel pretty shitty. When I was younger I took things to heart much too easily and I would probably have turned myself inside out trying to change and win back these fair weather friends. But now…People don’t like you? Eff them! I know I’m slightly kooky with a strange sense of humour but my mantra is I’d rather be weird than boring. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but I’ve got some wonderful friends who love me for who I am and I’m not going to turn myself inside out trying to persuade people who don’t get me that I’m worth a chance.
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The Law of Sod


The universe has a funny way of noticing when things seem to be going well. As soon as you feel as though your ducks are in a row and things are good, that’s when the Law of Sod kicks in.

Here are my most recognisable Sods Law rules….

  • As soon as you think “Ooh my child has been napping brilliantly lately” that’s when they’ll wake in the night and/or refuse to nap in the day. Similarly…
  • You dread someone asking you if child is a good sleeper/eater/is well behaved etc etc, because as soon as the word ‘yes’ comes out your mouth, child will refuse to eat/sleep etc
  • If you need to be somewhere at a set time and you try to time your little treasure’s naps around said schedule, that’s when child will choose to have a super long nap and wake up 5 minutes after you were supposed to be there
  • The day you decide to nip to the shop without the changing bag is the day child will projectile vomit/poo/pee all over themselves
  • Not to mention feeding child in a restaurant and realising you only have one wipe left, and child has food all over themselves, their clothes, the table and you
  • When you’ve been planning a day out, night out, date night etc etc for ages. You’ve been saving for weeks, got your outfit all planned, booked taxis, hired a babysitter, and you’re just about to walk out the door. You utter the words “bye bye, see you later!” to your little one…almost out the door…then child chooses that moment to projectile vomit and present a raging temperature.
  • That beautiful (and expensive!) little dress you wanted to save for “a special occasion”? The occasion finally arrives…and child has now grown out of it so said beautiful dress has never been worn.
  • You rush to get child home in time for their nap, only for child to nod off in the car for 10 minutes and now child won’t nap 
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I’m tiring myself out trying to be perfect


I currently seem to spend my days in a permanent state of exhaustion, with an aching back and itchy, tired eyes desperate to curl up in bed, but all I can think of is that the kitchen needs cleaning/washing needs doing/Isla’s toys need tidying/prep for tea needs doing etc etc etc.

Sound familiar?

Ever since Isla was born, I’ve been trying my best to keep a clean, tidy, harmonious house for my family. The last thing I’ve ever wanted is for my nearest and dearest is to think is that I’m lazy and I keep a horribly messy house for poor Isla and Hubs to live in, so I seem to go into overdrive and become a Stepford wife.

Hubs, to his credit, has told me many times there’s no pressure on me to keep the house immaculate and food on the table, and as long as Isla is happy that’s all he cares about. Yet I feel as a wife and mum I need to keep a tidy home with plenty of food, especially as he works away so much.

But what keeps going through my mind is that I’m obviously doing something wrong because I know I couldn’t cope with another child right now, if at all, yet other mums do exactly what I’m doing, and probably more, with multiple children. People always ask if Isla will be having a brother or sister soon and I feel I’m depriving her of a sibling and condemning her to a lonely life as an only child by not having another, as society seems to demand. Yet I know I’d struggle to cope with a career and more than one child, so does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Am I not “mumming” hard enough? Or well enough?

I know this pressure is all in my head, but I’m desperate for people to think I’m a good mum and if people see this knackered, frazzled mess I’m worried they’ll think I’m not cut out for this. One of my friends is a working mum with three children and she makes it look bloody effortless! Why can’t that be me?!

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A nod to my child-free friends


In a previous post, I paid tribute to my wonderful mummy friends who have been so amazing since I became a mummy and who I wouldn’t be without now. Well this blog post is for those amazing, understanding, supportive, non-mummy friends, the still-footloose-and-fancyfree ones who are effortlessly cool and don’t judge me for being a boring mum. 

They say you find out who your true friends are when the going gets tough, and since having Isla, our lives have turned upside down and we’ve truly seen who our real friends are. So for those who are still here, I just want to say thank you:

  • For not rolling your eyes when I waffle on and on about Isla for the seventh time in half an hour.
  • For understanding when I have to be selective about what plans we do together, either for monetary, childcare or sheer exhaustion reasons.
  • For being flexible and making the effort to come and see us to keep our friendships alive, as you know it’s hard to just “pop over” these days, and get togethers involve much planning and revolve around Isla’s routine….
  • And also for understanding when I’m so tired I call it a night early when we do get together.
  • For not kicking my arse to kingdom come for not replying to texts/Facebook messages/Whatsapps for hours/days/weeks because my memory is just plain terrible these days
  • For offering to babysit to give Hubs and I a bit of a breather
  • For still sticking by my side even though my life has changed beyond belief since my daughter was born. You are my true friends, and I’m thankful every day to have you in my life. 
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Going back to work


Now that Isla is 16 months old, we feel that the time is right for me to return to work. Frankly, we need the money, and I want to get as much out of my journalism career as I can before we have another baby (which we’re aiming for in a few years time when Isla is at school).

Part of me feels happy and excited about going back to work, it’ll feel like I’m getting part of my old self back and having some time to myself too, but the other part of me will miss Isla like mad, especially this first week.

We wouldn’t even be considering the idea of me going back to work if Isla didn’t love going to nursery so much (she’s going in full time), but as daft as it sounds, but I’m worried that as she’ll be seeing less of us that she’ll forget about us a bit and not see us as her primary carers any more. If she was being cared for by family as well I wouldn’t be worried, but as she’ll be seeing the ladies at her nursery all day, I’m worried she’ll miss them more than me. Is that crazy?

Also I’m worried about what impact it’ll have on her personality. Isla is a lovely, happy placid little girl who loves playing with other children, but I’m slightly concerned about her picking up bad habits from the other children and becoming territorial over her toys. I don’t ever want her to be known as the naughty child who can’t share.

I’d love to hear any stories from working mummies with littluns in full time nursery, the good, the bad and the ugly, about how their little ones got on, just to calm my nerves a bit! 

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Signs I’m old already


I’ve long been aware that I’m old before my time. Even during my university days, I was always asking what song was playing in the clubs and was never one who could stay up much past 2am and 9 times out of 10, I was the first to call it a night once I’d hit my limit.

But now I’m nearly 30 and have my daughter, I’m embracing my OAP status fully and wholeheartedly, luckily my husband has never been much of a clubbing person either and more often than not, a wild night for us involves opening a bottle of wine when Isla has gone to bed.

But I admit, there are some parts of me that make me seem older still…

  1. I hate listening to Radio 1 – no offence to the DJs, but I really can’t stand Radio 1. To me, all the music sounds the same (more on that later) and most of the time, it just seems like the rest of the shows are just the DJs having very shouty conversations with each other! Give me Radio 2 and the soothing tones of Ken Bruce and a decent variety of music any day!
  2. Get home, not going out again? Pjs on! – I like to think that most people do this, not just me! But once I get home and if I’m not planning to go back out again, I’ll change out of my jeans and either pop my comfy lounge trousers on (which are an old pair of Hubs’ Calvin Klein pyjama bottoms!) or just go all out and put my pjs on. I think if I don’t need to go anywhere, there’s no need to be uncomfortable in jeans while slobbing about! Having said that, signing for a parcel in my pjs at 2pm doesn’t make me look good…
  3. What is she wearing?! – honestly, the youth of today! Hubs and I will see girls walking down the street wearing those high waisted jeans and tiny crop tops that show off their stomachs, all I can think is “she must be freezing! She’ll get a chill in her kidneys!” And during the summer when girls were wearing denim hot pants and crop tops, we both agreed that Isla will NEVER leave the house looking like that. You heard it here first.
  4. Modern music? Pah! Pass the Queen CD – I’m really, really not a fan of modern music, something my cool, childless friends find hilarious. My musical taste leans more towards rock like Muse, Within Temptation and Evanescence and the most modern song I have on my Apple Music is Runnin’ by Naughty Boy and Beyoncé. Seriously, I look at at the charts and I’ve probably not even heard of about half of the artists (who the hell is DJ Snake?!) and most of the chart music sounds the same to me. Beat, beat, electronic auto tuned voice, beat, beat, blah blah. I was raised by parents who are very into their 70s glam rock so have grown up listening to Queen, Slade, ELO, DireStraits etc etc (ask your parents kids) or as I like to call it, proper music!
  5. I read newspapers and paperbacks – most people get their books and news by downloading them, whereas I’m old school and love to turn the pages of an actual book or newspaper. That’s why on holiday (before child of course) my suitcase weighs a ton because I bring about 7 books with me!
  6. I mother my friends – I’m constantly making sure my friends have eaten/drunk enough when we’re together, and my handbag is a goldmine of tissues, paracetamol, lip balm, nail scissors, a mini sewing kit (yes really, I pinched it from a hotel room and it’s come in handy on a few occasions!). One of my friends never eats enough so I’m constantly trying to feed her up.
  7. Nights out? Nope! Nights in! – before Isla was born, if we had friends over we’d either start the night with a few drinks and maybe a meal in our local restaurant before making our way back to our and getting stuck into a few bottles of wine. To be fair, not much has changed here, except nowadays we tend to cook for our guests before getting stuck into the wine and I’m normally ready for bed after 2 or 3 glasses of wine! Recently we had some friends over and I managed to stay up until 11.30, and bloody hell I felt it the next day!

I’m thrilled that this post was published on The Motherload! You can read it here…

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A year in review

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This year has flown by in the blink of an eye! Our little monkey has grown so much, from a wriggling baby into a full grown, mischievous, loving little toddler who has such a personality!

Now she’s nearly 16 months, her appetite has increased threefold and she eats like a gannet! There’s very little she won’t eat, her favourite is still the tomato and butternut squash pasta I make for her, and she also loves sweet potato fries, Petit Filous and grapes. I can guarantee though, as soon as I publish this, she’ll go through a stage where she won’t want to eat, the contrary madam…

Her vocabulary is coming along nicely, as well as the usual ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘nana’ etc she also like to say ‘uh oh’, ‘this’ or ‘that’ while she’s pointing at something she wants, ‘ta’ when we give her anything (she’s learning her manners!) ‘hiya’ or ‘hello’ (which she prounounces ‘hewwo!’) ‘ratbag’ (Hubs called her ratbag as a joke twice and now she won’t stop saying it!) and bizarrely, ‘doctor’! Since we bought her back from the hospital last month, everyone she sees she calls doctor! She’s also said ‘kiss’ once but hasn’t said it since!

Isla is a big bookworm and loves to sit with her books, turn every page and point at everything on every page. She’s really placid and happy to play with her toys while I enjoy a hot cuppa every now and then. She’s such a little charmer as well and smiles and giggles at anyone who comes over and makes a fuss of her. She’s also brilliant at sharing her toys with other children, and offers the toy she’s playing with to her friends when they come over and join her. We’re so lucky, she sleeps brilliantly at night (7pm to 7am) with a good nap around mid morning. I’m really chuffed with how well her social skills are coming on.

My only concern is that she’s still not walking unaided yet. She’s brilliant at cruising around the furniture andpushing her walker round and round the living room and kitchen, but when we try to get her to walk holding our hands, she just sits down and crawls over instead. I’m fairly sure it’s mostly a mixture of laziness and the knowledge that she can get there quicker by crawling, but it does worry me slightly. I know babies do things in their own time and she’ll walk when she’s ready, but I can’t help but wait anxiously for those first steps.

Here’s hoping Isla will see in the new year by walking!