Think of that Mum

Think of that Mum… who’s struggling on her own. When you and your partner are finding it hard, be grateful you have each other to lean on.

Think of that Mum… Who can’t afford all the flash new gear – But she does all she can to make sure her little ones have everything they really need. 

Think of that Mum… Who isn’t part of the mummy click – not everyone finds it as easy to make friends, especially other ‘mum friends’ and can find it lonely at times.

Think of that Mum… Who despite struggling every day with getting out of bed and facing the world, does it anyway and makes sure her kids get the best they can. 

Think of that Mum… who goes off to work and doesn’t see much of her kids. It doesn’t make her selfish, she’s doing it for them.

Think of that Mum… who wishes she could be at work, making something for herself, but simply can’t afford the childcare to do it.

Think of that Mum… who is just desperate to be asked ‘How are things?’  She may appear to have her shit together but she probably hasn’t.

Think of that Mum, Dad / Parental guardian. Everyone is struggling in a different way. Some of us breeze through parenthood, some of us don’t. But with social media etc being the focus of everything these days, people have such high expectations of what a parent should be and it puts a lot of pressure on. So next time you judge the Mum sat alone at the baby group looking a bit rough or the one screaming at her kid after them ignoring her for the 153727th time. Stop and think. Not all parents are good ones, but the majority are – and if we were all that little bit kinder and little more understanding… Their day might just be that bit better.


5 things they don’t tell you about pregnancy… 

The changes that happen to your body

I saw a post on Instagram today from a woman who loves her pregnancy body and has never felt so comfortable in her own body and beautiful as she does now… I literally feel the complete opposite. I got so upset because I developed my first stretch mark the other day (ridiculous I know) … taking Harry swimming and putting on my swimsuit fills me with dread…in fact leaving the house and wearing anything that my wardrobe currently consists of makes me more self conscious than I’ve ever been, and I’ve never been body confident. I spend probably hours of my day looking at Instagram pages of seriously hot pregnant women, and non pregnant woman and it’s become a real issue for me. I feel really quite sad for myself that I feel this way… us women really do have to go through it. 

As well as the weight gain, my skin has broken out bad! I’ve put on 3 stone this pregnancy and I can really feel it, but the first thing I think about, feel and notice when I wake up (even in the night) and as soon as I look in the mirror, is my skin. I’ve always had adult acne so I should be used to it, but instead of feeling that pregnancy glow I just feel gross. 

But that’s just me, a lot of women LOVE being pregnant and let’s face it, a woman’s body is pretty bloody amazing. 

You worry, a lot :

Even when I’m about to become a second time mum, I worry about everythinghow do I feed her? How much do I feed her? How do I even hold a baby? How many layers do I dress her in? Really silly things, but still a worry. My mind is like spaghetti junction thinking of all the things that could go wrong just if I forget to pack something in the hospital bag… maybe I’ll just check it again for the 15472828th time?
Talking of worry….You will worry about your unborn child being ugly / not cute : 

Mean, but true. They say you would never see your own child as anything but beautiful, and ‘they’ are probably right…. but it doesn’t stop you thinking it. I remember the relief of Harry being a super cutie…. but I’m also worrying baby girl will inherit my big nose. Just being honest – ha! 

You count time in weeks and days : 

Yes, I am 268 days pregnant. 38 + 2 weeks. 1 week 5 days til I’m due… that’s 12 days by the way. 12 DAYS! 

(I remember I never understood the +2 bit … like 28+4 weeks so I had to google it once …. not down with the pregnancy lingo) 

Bed time is not a relaxing time :

You will have crazy ass dreams, you can no longer sleep on your front…. or back…. your restless legs will kick in as soon as your drifting off to sleep then as you do finally nod off, you will be rudely awaken by your pea sized bladder and then take an hour to find a comfortable position again. Who said pregnancy is joyous? 

(They lied by the way)

….. but let’s not forget, whichever way your pregnancy goes… you are creating a life, a part of you. Now surely that’s worth it eh.
Jenn xxx 

Struggles of a working Mum.. 

Stay at home parents, working parents, I salute you all. 

Staying at home and putting all of your time and efforts into caring for your little one is just as hard (in my opinion, even harder) as going off to work. 

Personally, I enjoy working… after having Harry I couldn’t wait to get back, yes, I was suffering with pnd and needed that time away from him but also, I’m just that way inclined. I need to work, earn my own money and have that bit of time being me, not just mum. 

But on the other hand, especially now Harry is at the age we can do lots of fun things together, I found myself wanting to be at home just a little bit more. 

With baby #2 on the way, and just going off on maternity leave, I feel really lost. This is going to be our last baby and I want to make the most of it because it really is true that it goes so fast, I’ve blinked and I have a 2 year old and another on the way and I feel like I have missed a fair bit with Harry, maybe that’s just guilt talking for bringing another baby along so soon. 

Harry goes to nursery for just 6 hours a week and that costs us a bomb… we have a pretty low income yet of course we earn too much to be entitled to any free childcare, which makes things difficult. Our health visitor advised us yesterday to put Harry in nursery a little more to help with his development and for a few other reasons which are irrelevant to this post – but we simply cannot afford it. How are working parents expected to return to work with little or no help, it just seems so backwards sometimes and I find it so frustrating. 

I would love to be able to take a decent amount of time off to spend with both my babies, but the maternity pay just isn’t enough for us to be able to afford that, I returned to work last time when Harry was 7 months old and will probably have to do the same this time, purely for financial reasons. It seems so unfair that money / finances control family life so much. It really isn’t easy. 

And when I do return to work, we will be paying out for not just one, but two lots of childcare. 

I have been off work a week, baby isn’t even here yet, and I’m trying to plan how to manage our finances already, it’s so wrong. 

(  Harry’s throwing an almighty tantrum while I’m writing this and I’m considering returning to work next week if he carries on……….. not.even.joking. ) 

So any tips on how to budget my mat pay or help would be great…

Also any fun ideas on things to do at home with Harry would be appreciated… I’ve been trying to motivate myself to do loads of really cool things and blog about them but being heavily pregnant and stupidly tired, it’s just not happening. We have spent the morning building blocks and that’s about as creative as my mind will go right now! 

Hope all of you other parents have a fun filled weekend and I’ll be sure to look out for some ideas! 
Jenn xxx 

Harry at 2 years

So it’s been over 2 months since I decided I would do a monthly post on Harry – as I have said before, I blog because I enjoy it – and it’s a good way for me to document how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life. But I would really like to make it a more regular thing and try and build it. I go on maternity leave this week, so I’m hoping that’ll give me the opportunity to blog more often and have more to share with you.

Harry turned 2 last week…. how did this happen?! Where has that time gone?!

 We enjoyed a family day out at Tapnell Farm this year on his actual birthday and he loved it. If you haven’t been and you live on the Island, it’s worth a visit! 

At 2 years old, Harry loves :

  • Cars – he is going through that car stage and plays with them all the time! We got him a cozy coupe for his birthday and he spends so much time in it, when he’s not in there he’s playing with his growing collection of others! 
  • Pasta – this has always been one of his favourite foods but he would eat it every day if he could! Hot, cold, dry, in a sauce, probably even with chocolate he would eat it!
  • Diving / jumping – his new ‘thing’ is to put his arms in the air, and just dive. Sometimes hilarious… sometimes dangerous – he has zero sense of danger when it comes to this and will happily dive head first on to a solid floor! Nightmare. 
  • Cuddles – FINALLY! Harry has never been overly affectionate (I wonder where he gets that from) but now he will willingly come to us for cuddles and it’s the nicest thing ever. Trying to make the most of it before it undoubtedly stops again! 
  • Mr Tumble…. love love loves it.

Things he dislikes:

  • Baths – Harry used to LOVE a bath, and he loves being in water. But over the past weeks bath time has become something he really doesn’t enjoy, and as quick as I have him in there, he’s desperate to get back out again! 
  • Not being able to get his own way or being told what to do. 
  • Doors being opened and not being able to close them. This is such a big problem again and it drives me insane, but I have to remember it’s a big deal to him! 
  • Having his nails cut… again, he used to love it but now even doing it along to ‘this little piggy’ just doesn’t work. 

Harry is behind in his speech development, and he still hasn’t said any words. We finally have an appointment through for Speech and Language which is for mid August, so we are very keen and intrigued to see how this might help. He will also be getting some input from the early years team but this won’t start until a little later in the year. He’s coming on loads every day and you can see how frustrated he gets trying to communicate with us, but he is always able to express what he wants. His ‘obsessive‘ behaviours are still there and he is presenting them in different ways. At the moment, lining up of his toys is becoming a much more regular occurrence and it can stress him out a lot! He still loses his temper very quickly (again, I wonder where he gets that from) but overall he is a very happy playful little boy and we are so proud of him. He makes our day, every day.

And let’s not forget he is due to be a big brother very soon, so a lot more change coming for him. I will keep you updated with how that goes… with just over 3 weeks until my due date, it’s all feeling a bit nerve wracking but super exciting. 

I will see you again in a month for the next update by which time there should be lots to tell you about! Until then, keep an eye for my other posts and feel free to throw any blogging ideas my way. 
Jenn xxx 

A-Z of pregnancy… 

A – Alcohol … or lack of it. I can give or take alcohol but I get envious whenever my friends go for a drink and crave a vodka lemonade. Or a beer. (I don’t even like beer)

B – Boobs. Pregnancy is like an instant push up bra. This isn’t always a good thing though because they ache like mad! 

C – Cravings! Or in my case… an excuse to eat enough to feed a small country. I cannot stop eating. 

D – Dehydration. Since being pregnant my fluid intake has probably quadrupled. I’m constantly thirsty and even drink a bottle of water through the night…. the endless toilet trips are great fun. 

E – Emotions. Well what more is there to say. Hormones have a lot to answer for. 

F – Fat. Your going to get fat, well, fuller at least. But enjoy it and embrace it. You’ll miss the bump when it’s gone. 

G – Grooming… always an effort but even more so when you get too large to reach anything from the waist down. Shaving my legs has become a massive workout. 

H – Heightened sense of smell… has someone just come in from having a cigarette or have they blown every breathe of it in my face? And working in a care home… well, I’m sure you can imagine the treats my nose gets. * Vom *

I – Isolated. A feeling I get quite often. My friends and family are great but sometimes being pregnant can feel really lonely. 

J – Jabs etc… you will feel like you have endless doctor or midwife appointments but it’s all part of the fun. 

K – Know-it-alls … you will get plenty of unwanted ‘advice’ from people that think they wrote the handbook to being a parent. Advice is always welcome but there will be lots of unwelcome comments too. Honestly, I think all mum to be’s will have been there. 

L – Leakage. C’mon, we all know pregnancy isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Leaking boobs amongst other weird bodily functions are something for you to look forward to! 

M – Maternity leave… as you get to the end of pregnancy, it’s good to know your going to get some time off to rest before the baby arrives (rest…. who am I kidding?!) but it is something to look forward to. 

N – Nails. One good thing is how fast and strong your nails grow. Although I get annoyed with mine and end up cutting them off. I love that they grow to a good length in a short time. 

O – Overdue… you get your due date and you expect your baby to be here. Just remember… it doesn’t always work like that. But you know it won’t be much longer… don’t wish the days away. 

P – Pelvic pain… you might be lucky enough to avoid this, I was the first time. But your growing a baby and your joints are moving, expect some pain and discomfort. 

Q – Questions… being pregnant, especially if it’s your first time can be daunting and it’s all new. No question is too stupid to ask your midwife / gp / whoever. Trust your instincts too. 

R – Restless legs. ARGHH it’s the worst. To anyone who falls pregnant, I hope you avoid it. (Drives Kyle mad though which is quite amusing)

S – Sickness. Morning sickness … nothing you can do about it, if your going to get it , your going to get it. I had it BAD with both pregnancies and it’s definitely been the worst part for me. 

T – Toes. What toes?! Haven’t seen those in a while. 

U – Underwear will become less attractive the further along you get… big black pants are my best friend. 

V – Vagina… because it’s the only V word that goes hand in hand with pregnancy… I’m sure it crossed every mum to be’s mind at some point… how will I push a human out of there and will it stay intact…. yuck. 

W – Wardrobe… as you grow, you will grow it if your normal clothes. You can get some gorgeous maternity clothes now and most places do them (asos, boohoo, new look) unless your like me and just live in stretchy midi dresses. 

X – eXtra stuff. You will accumulate so much stuff. People will want to buy you presents (which is always welcome) and before you know it you’ll have half or morhercare in the back room. 

Y – Years…. is how long you might feel pregnant for by the third trimester. I’m sure I found out I was pregnant 7 years ago?! Nope apparently it’s only been 8 months. 

Z – Zzzzzz….. zzzzz…. zzzz…. zzz  – Sleepy. All the time. Tired. Worn out. Asleep. Napping. Insomnia. More sleep. If you have chance to nap….. take it!! 
Jenn xxx

Parenting, pregnancy, and PND.

Does it ever get easier?

My parenting ‘skills’ feel like they are really being tested lately. Harry turns two next week… that’s two years that I have had him in my life, almost 3 if you count the pregnancy itself – and I still don’t feel that I’ve come forward as a Mum and in coping with being a parent. 

Some days I tell myself, it’s normal, parenting is hard for everyone and we are always going to be tested through tears, tantrums and toddler behaviour (and child, teenager…. I know it will always happen) 

But on probably 5 out of 7 days – I’m finding it harder. My patience wears thin too quickly, I lose motivation to get through the day with a positive mindset and I find myself falling back into the trap of just ‘making it through the day’ not making the most of every day. 

I’m in the last trimester of this pregnancy and that obviously has an effect, I’m absolutely shattered, everything hurts and I have never felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. Everyone that knows me knows I’m a pretty self conscious person with little confidence but being pregnant this time around has taken it to another level, I have never felt so gross and unattractive. And I’m certain this is having a huge knock on effect on my day to day life. 

I’m already worrying that the effects of past depression are going to come back full force when Baby girl arrives and that’s putting extra worry on my mind – I never really dealt with it properly after Harry and I think that’s why I’m where I am now. After a good day I tell myself ‘I’m cured’ then one small setback and I’m back to the negative thinking and low moods. 

Yes, I want someone to tell me it’ll be fine, it will all get better and the future will be a breeze. But realistically I know it’s down to me. 

And what would I say to all you other Mums struggling out there – get some help and deal with your demons. Enjoy every day with your little ones. Look after yourself and make time for yourself. 

So maybe it’s time to take my own advice, right? 

Tomorrow is the start of a new week and hopefully a better one. 

Let’s do this. 

Motherhood and me. 

When I first started this blog, it was my way of helping myself to deal with whatever was going on in my life and a way to express myself – everybody knows I’m not a good talker. 

I feel like I’m back to that place today… needing to write. 

So what’s going on? 

I’m now coming up to 33 weeks pregnant and Harry is going to be turning 2 in a few weeks, we have been in our new house for almost a month and I am so SO tired! 

I would love to know how all you super mums do it, breeze through every day and hold your shit together?! I struggle to make it through the first hour of the day without wanting to kill somebody (my poor work colleagues – I am not the best person first thing in the morning….. or afternoon….. evening… you get the drift)

So here’s a little snippet of life right now… 

Harry was seen by the health visitor today – and has been referred to the early years team and speech and language therapist for some extra support. His obsessive behaviours and development delays have raised a few red flags but our HV has been super efficient and helpful in getting us the support we need. 

We had a growth scan a week ago to see how baby girl is doing and there’s a couple of concerns there – nothing major, but we have another scan a week today to see where to go from here – we may be meeting her sooner than expected, but let’s wait and see! 

Works getting slowly harder but I only have 4 weeks left. Sleep feels non existent and I am beyond shattered. Day to day life could be easier but with everything going on around the world right now, I really shouldn’t be complaining. I feel guilty for saying I’m far from happy right now, but my babies make it all ok.

Time to put the violins away, I’m not after sympathy, I just wonder when it gets easier?!

Motherhood is by far the best, but hardest journey of my life… I really feel like I’m going wrong somewhere – but then I look at Harry and think everything is just so right. 

Look at him – I created this beautiful little human and he relies on me every single day and he needs me, he needs me to guide him. But honestly, I need him – to remind me that life is amazing, far too short, and that no matter what life throws at me, I will always be his Mum, and there’s nothing more important than that. 

So this post is for my gorgeous boy, and my baby girl…. I will be the best I can be for you both. 

And for all you other Mums, and Dads, that are struggling right now, remember who your doing it for, and remember your doing the best you can. It will get easier, I’m sure of it.


Dress your toddler for less… 

If your anything like me, you will have to stop yourself splurging the cash that you really don’t have on super cute clothes for your little ones! Even though I’m desperate to re-vamp my own wardrobe, I can never justify spending the money on myself … but will quite happily spend it on Harry! 

Unfortunately I don’t have the pennies to fund all the lovely clothes I would like for him … but I’ve found that I can still make him look stylish and cute on a budget! … plus really, he outgrows everything so fast and is a messy little bugger so do I really want to spend a fortune anyway?!

I’ve found over the last year or so (after spending silly amounts on clothes that he only wore once) that you can pick up some lovely bits for a small price… here are some that were delivered today – 

These bits were all from H&M – who do super cute kiddies clothes! The only thing I find is that their sizes come up big and for Harry, I had to buy 2-4 years which seems a bit of an excessive size difference for one piece of clothing – not many 2 and 4 year olds are the same size, but I still love their stuff and it lasts longer while he grows! The tees came in packs of 2 , each only £6.99 per pack. The material is lovely and thick and the printed ones really stand out. The cap was £5.99 and I couldn’t resist the cute pink (Harry may not be so impressed

Aside from H&M my fave places to shop on a budget are Matalan, River Island (for the odd bit they are very reasonable) GAP and George at Asda… and not forgetting good old primark. 

These above are Primark and they are about £1 / £1.50 each – bargain! Yes, they can come up a bit small and not last so long but for that price who cares?! They are perfect for nursery as if they get ruined or messy, it doesn’t really matter for the price tag. And their slogan tees are really cute and vibrant.
H&M – these were both around the £3 mark each and are really lovely with a pair of jeans and pumps! 

River Island mini boys range is my guilty pleasure, I always have things saved in the basket but at a slightly higher price tag I try to control myself… but they do mix and match offers on these tees and Harry has a big collection of them in all styles and colours!

These cute Aztec print tees are from matalan and priced about £2 each. Matalan have a good range at a really good price and I’ve already bought lots for the new baby from there too! 

As you can see I have a slight t shirt obsession but a stylish tee thrown on with joggers, jeans, chinos or any bottoms is always a winner for me. Harry is very much a t shirt kinda boy – although he looks dapper in a shirt! 

Almost all of his jeans / trousers are H&M as I find they have the best fit, although finding trousers for his stumpy little legs can be hard (grow legs grow!) 

At the moment I’m in the process of building up his wardrobe for summer and am always looking for the best deals – so any tips / good websites etc … let me know! I’m a sucker for a pair of chino shorts and lightweight shirts! 

So here are a few pictures of my boy looking handsome in some of our budget buys….

P.S the cute chequered burgundy shirt – 50p brand new from a charity shop! His grandma picked it up and I was surprised how much I love it! I’m personally not a charity shop shopper myself, but for those of you that are, she had always picked out some lovely bits from them!

With another baby on the way I’ve been looking at lots of independent shops mainly on Instagram to support small businesses – and because their pieces are much more unique – please share any good ones that you know of or come across! 

Jenn xxx

Choosing a name… 

One of the most difficult parts of having a baby… not the morning sickness, weight gain or mood swings – but choosing a name! 

It’s a risky business discussing names because everyone’s opinions are so different (and everyone has one

When we fell pregnant with Harry, choosing a name was a real struggle. We had a few options for a girl but NONE for a boy! I spent hours trawling websites and reading books to find the perfect name… and nothing. 

We really liked Lewis at first, but with the surname of Welsh, all we could think of was Louis Walsh!! Nearly every name relates to something – someone you went to school with, an ex, someone you really just don’t like….. and of course nothing rhyming that they can be bullied for at school (gurty berty etc

We didn’t have any family names we wanted to use either, sorry Dad but Trevor just was a no go area! (Apologies to my brother after my parents decided to then inflict that same name on him too…) My Grandads names are Kenneth and Fred  – and we quite liked Kenny and Freddie (Freddie was our choice for if baby number 2 was another boy) but we still weren’t overly keen at the time.

Also just to add some more difficulty to the decision making process, I don’t really like names that can be shortened – I really liked Thomas, Oliver, Edward and a few others, but Tom, Ollie and Ed / Eddie – not so much! 

One day, Harry came to us and it’s as if we just knew, we both liked it and it just stuck. With Thomas being the next favourite, that became his middle name –

Harry Thomas Welsh.

So we don’t have any great story behind his name, no family background or meaning but we love it, and now couldn’t imagine him being called anything else!

(Except H, Hazbo, Haribo, Haz, Boy, Chunk, Chunkzilla, Monster and the many other things he gets called daily!) 

I, personally, like traditional type names – names like Arrow and Pepsi are just not for me! Although more unusual names are becoming popular so quickly – and some of them I really like but aren’t something I would pick. Here are some of my favourite names – 

Girls : Darcey, Dotty, Betsy.

Boys : Freddie, Thomas, Edward. 

Unisex : Frankie, Bobbie, Bailey. 

I would love to hear your stories on how you chose a name for your babies or if there is a story behind yours! It really is a difficult choice especially as they will always be stuck with that name! (Unless it’s really awful and they change it of course) which of course always makes me think of ‘Princess Consuela Banana-hammock‘ 

If your a f.r.i.e.n.d.s fan you’ll understand! 

As for baby girl…. We have our name and a lot of people know what it is. It’s a name I have always said I would use if I ever had children and had a girl and it’s stuck, after going through thousands of names it came back to this one. It’s not a secret but I better not share without Kyle knowing I’m writing this!

Here are some of the most popular names for this year if anyone needs a bit of inspo!

And just to add one piece of advice – go with what you want! If a family member / friend / anyone tells you they don’t like a name that you love or have a massive opinion on it – do NOT let it put you off, it’s your baby and your choice… not theirs! Although if your anything like me, someone’s dislike for a name might just help you decide that it’s most definitely the one!! (I like to please – ha!)

Happy naming!

Jenn xxx

Tears, tantrums & terrible twos! 

So this past week or so, our angelic (but mischievous) little man has turned into the devil. When people say ‘terrible twos’ I think – is it really that terrible?! …

 Do not underestimate your small human!! 

Harry turns two in July and his tantrums are in full swing! And when I say full swing I mean ‘pushing every one of mummy and daddy’s buttons‘ full swing. I can honestly say this weekend was the hardest I have had as a parent since the day Harry was born, and I think I can say Kyle feels the same! We have been at the end of our tether. 

The kicking, screaming, hitting, throwing and just monsterous behaviour has been out of control and we quite honestly haven’t handled it well – unfortunately parenting doesn’t come with a handbook and we have learnt a massive lesson about the way we parent Harry. The biggest lesson being – it’s not easy. 

I really do feel for my own parents bringing up four of us! (Sorry Mum, sorry Dad!

As well as being ‘at that age‘ little man has his back teeth coming through, he’s extremely independent and wants everything on his terms and he is most definitely frustrated. 

Harry has been trying so hard to communicate with us but with still no speech it’s hard work for him – and for us, trying to pick up on his queues and what he wants. We are getting some support from Speech and Language therapy and the health visiting team – some of Harry’s development and behaviours need some looking into and this could possibly help! Fingers crossed! It may be that he is just a little behind or he may have some additional needs.

 All of this in the mix with my raging pregnancy hormones, major lack of sleep and low moods – it’s safe to say I have been a bit of a mess. There have probably been more tears from me than Harry, and possibly even more tantrums (gimme a break I’m a fat emotional mother, ha!) And this has made Harry’s ‘terrible two’ stage extremely hard to manage. I have been like a bull in a China shop and probably have not helped the situation at all.

Today, me and Kyle have finally united as one and we have a game plan to tackle our little monster (let’s see how that goes

Also – any tips would be great! 

I never knew a tiny little person could bring me to the edge with tears and tantrums… another step on my motherhood journey. And I’m sure it can only get worse – but I am preparing myself for what’s to come….

Sadly, I can’t even prepare myself with vodka because I’m a mad woman and have another on the way – Wish me luck!!
Jenn xxx