Everyday she does something different 

It goes so fast” – the line you hear throughout your parenting life and the line you say over and over constantly.  Whether it be when you’re watching them do something new or cradling them in your arms. It’s so true. There is nothing faster than looking back at the years, months or days of your child. 

Looking at Jenson, I am astounded at how old he is, how clever he is and what he can do. I remember the moment he was born and we cuddled for the first time. I was so mesmerised and completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what to do or how to feel. Then we had weaning, teeth, crawling, walking, running, talking, counting, reading, riding a bike, scooter, eating his own dinner… it’s endless. 

Amazingly, I am surprised each day by Emeline’s accomplishments. Every day she does something new. The beauty of the baby years. They change in a snap shot. Emeline is 7 months but I still look at her and see the tiny, warm, slippery baby that I delivered in the water 7 months and 4 days ago. 

The growth spurts and learning come hand in hand. She has two little teeth and she can say ‘mama’, ‘dada’ and ‘na na na’ as well as other sounds, she is learning to wave and she dances to familiar music, Emeline signs for milk and recognises familiar people. We have also experienced the attachment phase. Crying when she is put down or I leave the room. My ultimate favourite thing she does at the moment is drop things and cry, or cry when things are taken off her or she can’t reach something. The cause and effect stage. It is so frustrating for her and utterly traumatic but it makes me smile, it shows her ever developing little personality which I can’t wait to learn more about. 

There is definitely a difference between the first and second child when it comes to their accomplishments. I remember cherishing every moment Jenson did something, being utterly proud and mega excited for the an extra achievement. This time, I am still so excited but I want Emeline to slow down. The excitement and pride rushes over me and then the sense of disbelief that my 5 minute old baby can dance and clap! It makes me realise how quick it is going. I couldn’t wait for Jenson to have tummy time and get crawling, with Emeline, we avoid tummy time at all costs!! 

I try so hard to treasure every moment. To live for every minute and capture a snapshot and memory together but I also love every stage. I don’t want to wish their lives away but I have high hopes for them and their future. I don’t care what they do as long as they make themselves proud. I will always be proud of them.


My role is changing

This week, I put my teacher hat back on.

Since November 13th 2015, I have been ‘Mummy’. Exclusively. On December 21st, my role as Mummy expanded and I was promoted to Mummy of two.

For the last 8 months and 6 days, I have 100% devoted myself to my two little people. Albeit, not 100% all of the time but they have been the centre of my universe. All of this is thanks to Daddy Childs who has worked hard and worked overtime to make sure we had a lovely time during this time too with two holidays and lovely days out. In fact, the kids and I had three holidays! 

Monday was my last day of maternity leave. Technically, I returned to work. Being a teacher, I am returning to work just before the Summer holidays, so on Friday we broke up and I have a further 6 weeks off. I will obviously be moving classrooms and planning for starting in September but, yes, it was planned like that. It’s a teachers prerogative! 

It has flown by. I can’t quite believe Emeline is 7 months, yet, it feels like she has always been here and that I have been off forever. We do, however, need to make some huge adjustments to our life:

  • I need to make lunch for myself and eat it.
  • I need to be up and out the door by 7.45am.
  • I need to pump breastmilk! Both before to prepare Emeline and whilst at work. 
  • I need to be a grown up.
  • I need to have adult conversations. 
  • I have to wear proper clothes. 
  • I have to use my brain. 
  • I have to be professional!!! 

But most of all, Jenson and Emeline need to adjust to me not being around. Likewise, I had to adjust not being with them. We have always had huge family support with the children, so fortunately Scott and my parents will care for the children whilst I work but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be massive to leave them. I feel comfortable and confident leaving Jenson, but I think he will be the worst. I also expect Emeline will get bored of her new cup of milk and will become a rat bag by late afternoon. We have the best feeding cuddles. 
This week, Daddy is in control. The children’s Daddy. However, this morning he mixed coloured washing with dark washing, reminding me that I have been the boss of jobs like that and obviously now everything will go to pot! Never mind the fact that for the last four years, before I went on maternity leave, Scott was the ‘stay at home’ parent, have four days off whilst I worked. 

All these worries and fears are so focused around me. I could bet money on the fact that they’ll wave me off happily and I’ll drive off balling my eyes out!!
Luckily, they had an amazing week. Emeline was more unsettled and didn’t take well to the beaker or bottle of milk but we have the summer to work on that. Jenson enjoyed some time with Scott and even built the bottom of the garage with Grandad. 

I just about survived!!! 


Just call me The Godmother

Today, I was truly privileged and I became a Godparent. This is pretty spectacular. In my opinion, obviously it is, but I am feeling very honoured. 

In our Sunday best!

Choosing Jenson and Emeline’s Godparents was easy. We knew it had to be people we loved and trusted and who we knew my children could look up and that their Godparents would protect them and love them regardless. For me, I now fit in to that box. Someone loves me and trust me enough to have the role of Godparent for their child. This may not necessarily be the case but I made the cut.

The role of Godparent was made even more special by the fact it was my best friend’s son and that Mr T is my first Godson. Naturally, I am already trying to make the world a better place for my children and new Godchild ;). Mr T’s Mummy is both Jenson and Emeline’s Godmummy too so I now feel they are God cousins. I do love my over excited brain!

I also shared the role today with my brother in law (my sister’s husband). It was down to Dan and I that Abbi and Si are together after numerous attempts to set them up! They finally got together and eventually realised that Dan and I were always right! Now look at them. Pats self on back!

The day was really lovely. A lovely service held at Bocking Church. Our Father Rod is hilarious! We then went on for a little party at a local football club and had the most delicious miniature versions of food and the most amount of cake. Food heaven. Abbi’s Mum is one of the best bakers around and makes delicious cakes, thankfully her talents have filled out to her daughters and there was brownies, flapjack, lemon drizzle and numerous other beautiful combinations. Scott is currently in a cake coma on the sofa! 

Another benefit is that apparently my sins are repented! So I have this wonderful clean slate of goodness! Not that I haven’t ever been but that’s beside the point. Quite possibly yesterday, I should have let my hair done and gone a little crazy for today’s ceremony! 

So now I am all clean and wonderfully good and some kind of Saint, I am on cloud 9 with my new role as Godmother and I want to prove I’ll be a good one! Listening to Father Rod’s sermon earlier was about someone always working the hardest and another person taking a back seat, so I decided to act on my new role and put the washing away. I also collected the rubbish earlier and handed out plates of crisps. Whoop!

First act (not bad for the first day) as responsible Godparent. Complete


End of an era

I am sitting here tying to keep my shit together. I can’t. 

September 2014. Jenson’s first day.

It is Jenson’s last day at preschool today. He joined when he was 2 years and 7 months. He leaves at 4 years and 5 months. The journey he has been on since joining is incredible, he has learnt to count and recognise numbers, learn all his letter sounds, read cvc words and actually read a book amongst other things. I am beyond proud of his achievements and what he had accomplished, we have done a lot with him at home but the support he has received from the ‘Aunties’ is incredible. I know how teachers dedicate themselves to the children in their care and I love that he has received this love. 

Jenson loves his nursery, he has always been so happy there. He hasn’t always gone in well and has had his tears but he has made so much progress. His confidence alone has grown so much. He was amazing in his end of year show this week, he spoke loudly and confidently and my heart exploded. He wouldn’t even stand up and dance at the end of last year. 

The nursery go over and above for the children there, they put so much effort in. Jenson received a wonderful end of year report with a gift, poem and a pack for his learning over the summer. His poem was what sent me in to emotional turmoil earlier in the week. 

So, here we are, the end of an era. Jenson said to me this morning:

“Mummy, tomorrow I won’t have nursery anymore”

I am not sure either of us are prepared for today, emotionally or mentally. We have spent so long preparing for big school that actually I hadn’t really thought about leaving nursery. It was only this week that it has really crept up on me.

I am sitting here realising that he must be upset. The women that have been in his life for two years no longer will be. The women who cuddled him when he cried, wiped his tears, grazes and even his bottom. The ladies who laughed with him and even at him and who made him smile and feel safe. The Aunties who taught him so much and made him feel so special, like he could accomplish anything. The girls who sat with him to do activities for surprises at Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They’ve loved him, disciplined him and cared for him whilst I wasn’t there and I am will forever be grateful for the bond and relationship they have and that grew. 

They have no idea how highly thought of they are in this house and through his eyes. We talk about them constantly, we are excited when we bump in to them in town. They’ve given my boy the best possible start to his learning. I love how they know him so well. His report modelled that, identifying his his little personality and mentioned his favourite things and quirks. Especially how he is a chatter box. I know that he has been happy there and felt safe and it proved it. We made the right choice in sending him there.

15th July 2015. Jenson’s last day at Nursery

So, thank you Christchurch Nursery. You wonderful ladies who we adore. See you in a few years with Emeline, we will be back. (Depending on Emeline, I suppose that could be a threat!!)


My breastfeeding journey

Breastfeeding causes such controversy. Some people agree and others don’t, it gets caught up in the headlines and as usual you have the odd incident which causes uproar. I feel very level headed about feeding, I have fed both my children, I am fortune enough to have done so, it wasn’t easy but I persevered. Nonetheless, I am by no means a breastfeeding ‘promoter’. How you feed your baby is your choice, like it was mine. I disagree with women being made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding and thankfully I haven’t been subjected to this negativity. 

I was quite a young Mum, having Jenson before I turned 24. I never really knew that I wanted to breastfeed, I knew I would try but I hadn’t made my mind up with Jenson. I wasn’t really sure what to expect either and I was very laid back about the whole feeding thing. Emeline’s journey was different, I loved feeding Jenson by the end and knew that I wanted to feed baby two.

Jenson’s feeding journey

Once I had delivered Jenson in the pool, he was whisked off for some oxygen. I laid on the bed and waited for him to be handed to me for my first cuddle, it was a whirlwind and I remember feeling so overwhelmed. We cuddled and cuddled. It was a good few hours before a midwife suggested that I tried to feed him. I had no idea, I didn’t even think and actually he was 4/5 hours old at that point and he should have been fed before. He had a little feed and then slept for the majority of the night. He didn’t make a peep. I spent most of the night watching him and weeping after the ridiculously amount of water I drank! The next morning, I fed him again around 11am, so in 14 hours he only had two tiny feeds. I had no idea what to do or how to do it. I don’t think there is enough midwife support with breastfeeding and still to this day, I feel the advice is inconsistent and not always accurate. 

Our journey with Jenson was a slow one. Two days after his birth he was still slow at feeding and I wasn’t sure on what I should be doing, we were admitted to stay at our local hospital for some jaundice treatment and Jenson had time on the sun bed! I could not fault the support we had there, Jenson needed food and we had a two hour plan, every two hours a midwife came in to support me and help Jenson latch. From there on, things started to work out. As expected my boobs became so painful, something that creeps up on you. I used some different techniques to help me manage the pain:

  • Breast shields
  • Nipple lotion – in my opinion there is no other cream that does it better than than Lansinoh.
  • Cold drinks – my husband would always have a really cold drink ready with a straw for me to drink as Jenson latched on.
  • Stress balls to squeeze

I finally felt like I was getting the hang of feeding. My boobs were still sore and incredibly full, they looked amazing, however, the constant weighing of Jenson brought the negatives. Jenson lost more than the 10% during his first 10 days. He was on the 9th centile, he stayed there but was slower at putting weight on, I was therefore hounded by health visitors telling me to top up with formula, pump breastmilk and see how much he is taking. I was unbelievably strong for a first time Mum and trusted my body and my own instincts and decided to ignore their advice, I knew he was putting on weight and he was such a happy baby that I didn’t feel I needed to give him formula. I had pumped but he wasn’t particularly interested in a bottle, in fact, he didn’t take a bottle until much later on and I wasn’t fussed by this. When I returned to work, I tried to express but I couldn’t really and he began to go off milk and opted for his food over milk. He would have follow on formula when he fancied it and I would feed him when I was off and morning and night. 

We got there.

After a year of breastfeeding, with his little teeth, he bit me. It bloody hurt. It also bled! At that point, I decided to call it a day. Jenson had his last nighttime feed and he didn’t bat an eyelid. I also felt relieved to be free again too a little. As time went on, I felt sad, I missed the closeness and the cuddles and I saw others feeding and looked on with gratitude to have experience that moment. 

Emeline’s feeding journey. 

The two of them could not be any further from the same. Same Mumma so same milk! Proves how every baby is different! I fed Emeline when she was just an hour old, mainly to get the placenta moving as I wanted a natural delivery. She latched on perfectly almost every immediately and suckled away. From there on, she fed every 2-3 hours and she was an incredibly efficient feeder so she fed for 10 – 15 minutes a time. 

Emeline loves her milk. Even now, she still loves to be fed and nursed. Her weight loss was minimal in the beginning and therefore her weight gain was on track and we were left alone. I felt more in control of feeding this time and I knew where I was going, however, I needn’t had worried as Emeline was a bigger baby who enjoyed her food more than Jenson. 

My advice

Not that I am really in any place to offer advice, but here goes, this is what worked for me. Some things that I found helped me with feeding, both my confidence and just my ability to feed too:

  1. Take your time – feed when and where you need to, don’t feel rushed or rush the baby. Everything can wait, even if that does include parking tickets.
  2. Feel confident – babies can be a nightmare. The amount of times Jenson would display my boob to a coffee shop was ridiculous. I wore a cape to keep my ‘dignity’ and also had a necklace for him to play with. 
  3. Don’t spend a fortune or nursing clothes – I used a lot of nursing vests and bras, these would be the two essentials but nursing tops are not necessary nor are they particularly comfortable. You can feed comfortable using a nursing best and wearing a normal lose top, also half the price. The tops where you open to pop your boob out did not work for me.
  4. Always carry breast pads – I particularly like reusable pads that I can wash, they need a few washes so they aren’t too fluffy and stick but you never run out, the sticky part doesn’t hurt your boob and they don’t make the papery noise. They also stay in place better throughout the day when you feed and turn your bra and top down.
  5. Wear a comfortable feeding bra – I love Marks and Spencer’s. They offer a good fitting service too and it’s generally advisable to get your nursing bras from 37 weeks onwards. 
  6. Use a high quality nipple cream – do this in advance to toughen up your nipples and continue to do so to keep yourself comfortable. You will still suffer some discomfort but it takes the edge off.
  7. Eat and drink plenty – breastfeeding takes lots of goodness, keep your fluid and food intake up. Keep snacks and bottles of water beside your bed, in your changing bag and at the bottom of the pram. Looking after Mum is the most important.
  8. Use shields – when my boobs were so sore and bleeding, I would use a shield to give them time to heal. I would cover my nipple in cream and continue to feed alternatively using a shield for a feed, then a break, then the shield again. 
  9. Get a good quality breast pump – definitely an electric one. Manuals need to have a good rhythm and take longer, time is not something you don’t have as a parent.
  10. Enjoy it! You have to dedicate your time, you will be the exclusive feeder for your baby, snuggle down, find the perfect feeding positions for you and your baby and enjoy it! Successful feeders are lucky, not every mum has a good journey and this can really upset and unsettle some mummies.

Finally, when Emeline was born, we had some photos taken at home. Our photographer was amazing and mentioned some women having feeding photos, I asked her to take some whilst I fed Emeline and I was delighted with the outcome. It really made me treasure these early days and I’ll look back on them with warmth. 

I feel so lucky to have been able to feed both my babies but also how much I enjoy it. I hope to feed any more we have. 


Going back to work

The end of my maternity leave is looming. I would love to be able to work less and stay at home more but I need to earn and when I am working, I love my job. I have lots of room for career progression and I really want to progress too but I am and always will be a Mummy first.

I am working part time when I return. Sharing my time between my role as class teacher and SENCo. There is no way I want to be out of the classroom as I do not wantwant to lose those ever important skills that I spent years studying for and years collecting through different experiences. Working part time as a teacher is hard. Sharing your classroom is like sharing your bedroom, whilst this is great to share with your partner, it does not always work as sucessfully when it is a stranger, although sometimes it isn’t great to share with your partner either!!! I take a lot of pride in my classroom and everyone has different ideas of how they want their room to look. I finally know where I will be next year and who I will be working with but that doesn’t make the transition any easier, full time teaching is hard to let go of.

I am moving from year 2 to year 5 which I am excited about. Nervous but excited. It’s a big curriculum move but I can’t wait to see what we can ‘do’ together. The children have had a poorly teacher this year so have had a lot of inconsistency so I was really honoured that my head put me there to get them up to speed. At least she has faith in me! I have my new curriculum plan and we have some very exciting topics, it is adjusting to the new learning that is a bit scary. My job share is lovely too, so enthusiastic and just a lovely person. We work well together and she is a hard worker, we believe a lot of the same things so that is exciting. I am looking forward to meeting with her for planning over tea, cake and lunch in the summer!

Some bedtime reading!

I am spending the last few weeks spoiling my children with my time. Jenson has a big few weeks up with school tasters and leaving preschool.  A lot of emotional instability here!! Emeline is finally drinking milk from a beaker, Scott had her whilst I did a KIT day and she has been playing me. She had her Daddy wrapped around her finger and her daily routine went flying out the window!!

I will be in for three days for the last week of term. Thankfully the last day is INSET too. Scott is off so will have the children and I am going to pump milk throughout the day for Emeline. I love that my Medela pump comes with both electric and battery powered sources so I can do that. I just need a little fridge to keep in my office to store my milk!! Don’t want that slipping in to someone’s tea by accident.

I also need to think about losing my Mummy identity which I am not ready for yet:

  • Lunch – my own lunch box and a reasonable portion to eat myself.
  • A proper bra!
  • My own handbag
  • Actually remembering my work stuff!
  • Nice clothes that are not covered in sick, food or snot.
  • Alarm – no lazy mornings here!
  • How to act around adults! (And children being a teacher!!)

Just two weeks left, but it is just a few days and then I have the summer off. It could always be worse! Please go slow!