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I wish it was me

My baby girl isn’t a baby any more – she’ll be two next month and I can’t believe how much she’s changed in these past few months.

Her vocabulary is brilliant as her teachers at nursery have commented on many times, she’s putting together 3 or 4 word sentences and understands everything we say. She also repeats everything we say so we have to be so careful now! Isla is great with colours and numbers, even if she does tell us every colour we show her is red sometimes, and on her occasion her number sequence sometimes goes 1,2,3,5,8! She loves animals too and will happily tell us the right names and sounds of every animal we see.

Her social skills are pretty great too, she’s very friendly with anyone she sees and will shout “hello!” at anyone who stops to see her, and she’s really good at sharing her toys.

Honestly, this blog post isn’t just a brag about how proud I am of my beautiful, cheeky daughter. It’s about how sad I am that all the credit for my little girl’s development isn’t down to me, it’s down to the lovely ladies at her nursery.

As we work full time, Isla is in nursery from 8.15 to 5.30 Monday to Thursday and til 5 on Friday, and I’m well aware that all of her skills and development is due to the amazing care she receives at nurseryas they’re the ones who are with her full time. We do our best to offer her as much of a well-rounded and educational but fun environment when we’re together at home, but I’m well aware that her teachers at nursery have worked wonders with her, and I wish it was me.

As we don’t see much of her grandparents due to living so far away from our families, every time we see them they gush at how well she’s doing, and I feel bad that I can’t say I’m the one who’s taught her to count or that cows say “moooo”. I know I’d’ve done my best, but had I been a stay at home mum, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done as good a job with her as her teachers have.

And while I know it can’t be helped, as Hubs and I both have to work, I wish I could be the one to teach Isla her ABCs and 1,2,3s. I take my hat off to the lovely ladies at nursery for being so wonderful with my baby girl, or toddler as I now have! Gulp.

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

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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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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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Be careful what you wish for…

Reunited!


As a busy mummy, I crave time to myself. Just blissful me time where I’m not required to change nappies, cook, clean or keep up with the pile of washing that never seems to end. I wanted to be able to go to the loo without a mischievous 1 year old following me, and eat a snack without a tiny hand pointing at it and throwing a hissy fit if I didn’t share.

Well last month, I actually had the opportunity to spend a full day and night on my own. It was my father in law’s birthday and as I was working, I couldn’t go to the usual family celebration up in Yorkshire so Hubs took Isla up to Whitby for the weekend, and once I’d finished my shift on Saturday afternoon, I had the whole place to myself until they got back on Sunday evening. I decided not to make plans with friends on the Saturday and just enjoy some quiet time in an empty house for a change instead of dashing off here and there.

Well guess what? I was lonely. And bored.

I really missed my husband and baby girl. This was my first weekend completely on my own since Isla was born and once the initial “aaahhhhh, peace and quiet” novelty wore off, I was genuinely at a loss for what to do. 

I binged on a few episodes of Game of Thrones (one of which was the Red Wedding episode which just bummed me out more!) got myself a nice tea and curled up in bed with a good ole chick flick. But I hated not having bedtime cuddles with my family, and hearing Isla’s sleepy snuffles over the baby monitor.

But the worst part came in the morning…I woke with a start at 6.30am (don’t you just hate waking up early when you don’t have to?!) and noticed I couldn’t see the green light on Isla’s baby monitor in our room. I then panicked that she’d woken up and I hadn’t heard her. I went into the hallway and saw her door, which is always closed, was wide open (you can probably see where this is going!)…panicking, I ran into her room and saw her cot was empty. I can’t describe how horrifying that feeling was, that my little girl had been taken. I was terrified and searched all around the cot in case she’d somehow climbed out, then ran into our room to grab my phone to call the police (yes, I know…). It was then I noticed that the reason I hadn’t seen the light on the monitor was because the baby monitor in our room wasn’t there. In my befuddled state I wondered if the kidnappers had stolen the monitors too. It was then that I remembered that Isla, and the monitors, were in Yorkshire. The relief was immense and I needed a good few minutes to compose myself!

Looking back it all sounds so silly, but you know what it’s like when you’re half asleep and you’re wondering if the dream you just had was real? That’s what it was, nothing made sense!

But I really did miss Hubs and Isla so much and all that Sunday I couldn’t wait for them to get home! Typical, I’d wanted time to myself and when I got it, all I wanted was my noisy family back!

* I’m delighted that this post has been published on The Motherload! You can read it here…

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All that she wants is another baby…erm…

Now that Isla is a year old, we’re constantly fielding the “are you having another one?” question. As I said before, the answer to this varies on a day to day basis. On bad days, I never ever want to go back the sleepless nights, black tar-like nappies and constant breastfeeding, especially chasing around after a toddler while doing it. On other days, when Isla is being a little angel, I think it’d be lovely to have another child to complete the set – when Isla is at least 4. Hubs thinks the same as me, on good days he’d love a little brother for Isla, whereas whenever we see families struggling with their brood, we exchange a look that says “no way. No chance.”

I’m currently in the ‘No more children’ camp, one of the reasons is because my pregnancy was quite tough, up until week 20/21 I struggled with terrible morning sickness and was constantly exhausted, as though I’d run a marathon on no sleep, and I suffered with back and round ligament pain in the third trimester. Just getting up and going to work was tough, and I was in bed by 7.30 in the evenings. I wonder how the hell mothers cope with the difficulties of pregnancy while caring for toddlers.

I often watch my friends with more than one child and wonder how they do it. The age differences between their children vary between 17 months and three years, and it looks hard work at all ages! Plus there’s Second Child Syndrome, which I’ve witnessed with quite a few people’s second or middle children. Aside from the period of sleep regression, we’ve been so lucky with Isla as she’s such a happy, sociable, placid little girl and it worries me that our next one could be a nightmare!

Then there’s the fact that twins run in our family. I don’t want three children, I’ve always wanted two and that’s it. If I’m chasing after a toddler while coping with a twin pregnancy and then newborn twins I’ll probably lose my mind.

As for her being an only child, I don’t think we’d have to worry about her being lonely as she goes to nursery and has friends her own age, so she gets plenty of interaction with other kids.

Plus I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and we needed help to have Isla, and the older I get, the harder it’ll be to have another child, so we can’t wait too long to make the decision. But if we have another one now I feel like I won’t be able to enjoy Isla’s baby years as I’ll be tending to the needs of a newborn.

But for now, the jury is still out. Just don’t ask me when we’re having another one or you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of a good slap!