How To Make It Through A Difficult Parenting Day

Sometimes, as soon as your eyes spring open, you just know you’re going to have a rubbish day. A little black cloud forms above you and follows you round relentlessly, showering you with irritating drizzle. Your patience didn’t wake up with you, but short temper and that feeling of being one step away from snapping certainly did.

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The kids’ voices seem to be a few octaves higher than usual. The baby just refuses to nap. Everyone wants a piece of you (as is always the case but today it just gets to you). Nobody listens to a word you say. You feel invisible and frustrated. For some reason, it’s all grating on you far more than normal.

Parenting dark days. They happen to us all.

When I have one of these days I attempt to take the following steps to get through it:

REMIND YOURSELF IT’S A BAD DAY, NOT A BAD LIFE

Believe me, I know the ‘I’ve had enough of this shit!’ feeling very well. My poor husband has heard about it often enough too.

However, I always try to remind myself that it’s just a bad day and every single human being from Beyonce to Barack Obama has them. Like every other day, it consists of 24 hours and they will eventually pass.

Nothing is permanent – good days, bad days, happiness and unhappiness. It’s an ongoing cycle. Since I’ve been able to step back and observe this cycle rather than get all het up about the bad days, I’m more able to cope with them.

TRY AND LAUGH THROUGH IT

On crap days, I often call my husband at work and sing Adam Sandler’s song from The Wedding Singer down the phone at him. You know, the one where he sings, ‘I’m on my knees, pretty, pretty please, put a bullet in my head!’

Laughter is a wonderful healing force. When you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions, dodging tantrums and explosive nappies galore you’ve just got to laugh. It really helps, I promise.

HUG SOMEONE YOU LOVE

Hugging releases oxytocin (often called the ‘bonding’ hormone. That same one that made you feel amazing just after giving birth).  This helps lift your mood, reduces stress and anxiety and lowers your heart rate. Which, let’s face it, is all you want when in the thick of a bad day.

It doesn’t matter who you hug, as long as it’s someone you love – your kids, your partner or even a pet. According to research, the hug needs to last at least 20 seconds to have a benefit to your health and emotions.

Also, hugging a bar or chocolate or a bottle of wine doesn’t count. Sorry.

PHONE A FRIEND

Rant. Cry. Just let it out. Speak to someone who understands and who has been there. Mum friends are great for this. And they won’t mind, because the chances are tomorrow they’ll be the one calling you in tears.

HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

I find having something to look forward to enormously helpful when I just need to make it through the day.  Even something small like a glass of wine, a bar of chocolate or a long bath and a nap. It propels me forward, enabling me to greet the end of a bad day with a grateful sigh and then just let it go.

FORGIVE YOURSELF

Towards the end of a very bad day a few weeks ago, my son decided to throw his dinner all over the floor. Followed by his drink. What had been couscous was now a gloopy mess all over the floor, waiting for me to clean up. To be fair, this kind of thing happens most mealtimes but on this particular day I was not equipped to deal with it.

The whole day of tantrums, whinging and demands from both children had been building up to this point – a crescendo of frustration and internal anger. I just lost my shit. He cried. I cried. Then I felt like a mega bitch.

I had to remind myself, as I snuggled him extra close and said sorry, I’m only human and sometimes I lose my temper. Sometimes it all gets too much. Beating myself with a large stick about it isn’t going to help anyone.

If a friend rang me and told me that exact same story, would I say, ‘Crikey, you’re a rubbish mum aren’t you?’ No of course not. I wouldn’t even think it because I’d understand exactly how she felt.

Sometimes we just need to forgive ourselves, let it go and move on.

Tomorrow is another day. Every now and then we just have to be thankful for that.


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Aimee Foster is a writer, social media manager and mum of two. Find her on Twitter.

How I Cut My Energy Bills In Half

During the thick of winter, when the days are short and temperatures have plummeted, it’s inevitable that energy bills will creep up. Two years ago, after receiving an worryingly high gas and electricity bill, I decided our family needed to make some drastic changes. Here’s how we reduced our energy bills by more than half.

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SWITCH SUPPLIER

It may sound obvious, but I wasn’t aware just how much you could save by changing energy supplier. We had been plodding along with the same old supplier out of laziness more than anything. I thought switching would only lead to a few pounds saving and to be honest I couldn’t be bothered.

Until we had a problem with our supplier and switching became a matter or principal. I went on a comparison website and was amazed by how much I could save. We switched to the cheapest supplier and suddenly our electricity was half price and our gas cheaper by a third.

My advice is to check out comparison websites regularly and switch whenever you can get a better deal. There are even websites now that make the switch for you whenever they find a cheaper deal, although I haven’t tried this yet.

GET THE WHOLE FAMILY INVOLVED

In our house, if no one is watching the TV it goes off. Lights are turned off when nobody’s in the room. Care is taken with water use.

I’ve also taught my daughter, aged 7, to be careful with the energy she uses. For example, when she brushes her teeth she knows to turn the tap off. She also knows that if she leaves a room, she must turn the light off. It has helped that her topic at school this term was ‘Eco Champions’.

Sitting down together and making a plan on how to save energy as a family will greatly help to reduce those bills.

UNPLUG APPLIANCES

Not only is this good fire-safety practice, it will also save you pounds from your energy bill. If you leave your TV on standby, it’s still using 50 percent of its energy.

The same goes for washing machines, dishwashers, tumble driers, microwaves, coffee machines etc. In our house, when they’re not in use, we turn them off at the wall and unplug them.

PUT A JUMPER ON

Most people wander round their houses in winter wearing a thin shirt with the thermostat cranked up to 20 degrees. Our first port of call is to put on more layers before the heating goes on.

Apparently turning down the thermostat by just one degree can save £85 per year.

Dare I suggest a onesie?!

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SHOWER THE KIDS

Before we moved house, I used to bath the kids every day and often separately for convenience. While one was at school I bathed the younger one because this made my life easier. However, in our new house we were slapped with a water meter and the increase in cost was intense (triple what we had previously been paying without a meter).

I knew we had to do more to use less water. One way of doing this is to shower the kids instead of bath them. They didn’t like it at first but they’ve got used to it now. I give them a bath together once or twice per week when they have time to play in it. But even then, I only fill it as much as I need to.

BE ENERGY SAVVY

We’ve become pretty energy savvy in our attempts to reduce the bills. There are plenty of ways to do this.

Make sure the dishwasher is full before you turn it on. The same goes for the washing machine. Don’t overload them but also take care not to use them until you have loaded them fully. Two loads of washing where one would suffice is just a waste of money.

Buy draught excluders and make sure all windows are shut before you switch the heating on. Close curtains to keep heat in. If you don’t use your fireplace, block the chimney with a pillow. Look into other ways of insulating your house such as loft and wall insulation to make it better able to keep heat in.

Use energy saving light bulbs. Fix dripping taps. Only fill the kettle with the exact amount of water you intend to use (did you know the kettle uses a lot of energy?) Turn down the washing machine temperature to 40 degrees and use the quick wash.

When you need to replace appliances such as washing machines and boilers, make sure you choose the most energy efficient ones as possible.

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH YOUR METER READINGS

Record your meter reading each month so you can see how you’re doing. Make sure you submit your readings to your energy supplier to avoid paying an estimated bill.

We had an estimated bill one month when I forgot to submit the readings and it was grossly inaccurate. I won’t be making that mistake again.

GET A SMART METER

All households will be offered a smart meter by 2020, at no extra cost. A smart meter not only sends meter readings to your energy supplier for you (ending the problem of inaccurate, estimated bills) but also allows you to see, in real time, exactly how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence. If you’ve ever tried to work out your energy bill, you’ll have seen how deliberately complicated it is. Smart meters put an end to all that.

You can find out more about smart meters here. Everyone will be offered a smart meter by 2020 but contact your supplier to see if you can get one now.

If you don’t want to wait until 2020 for your smart meter, you can buy an energy monitor for about £25 (although some suppliers give them away for free). An energy monitor is a handheld device, which allows you to see the amount and cost of the energy you’re using. This will then enable you to see where cut backs can be made.

By following all of the above, our energy bills have reduced by more than half. For a family of four this has made a huge difference to our wallet. The greatest saving came from switching supplier but all the other small, energy saving actions we take mount up.


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Aimee Foster is a writer, social media manager and mum of two. Find her on Twitter.

Tips For Dealing With Two

I wrote this post after I had been a mum of two crazy kids for just over a month.  These are great tips for if you have a toddler and a newborn (so good to read if you a currently pregnant with your second!).  There are some tips in here that I read elsewhere and have worked brilliantly and a few tips that I have learnt the hard way.  Enjoy!

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  • Keep your routine.  You will have spent the last few years developing a successful routine that works for your other child, so why throw away all that hard work!  As best you can, keep to their schedule so that there is some consistency for them.  New baby doesn’t know any different so will just have to fit in! We found that within a couple of weeks Reuben had adjusted his bed time and final feed to roughly when Sam was going to bed, so already fitting in with family life!  And he was more than happy to come along to Sam’s toddler groups and watch the chaos!
  • Make the most of paternity leave. Those precious few weeks when dad is around so you can be one on one with each child really can make a huge difference. Focus on recovering from labour, establishing feeding and some start of routine and just generally prepare for when you have to fly solo.  I was lucky that my hubby managed to save a weeks holiday so he had three weeks with us instead of the normal two, and by the end of the third week we were almost back to normal life (well at least we had emerged from new born haze…..)
  • Deal with the toddler first, baby second. Who will remember you ignoring them?  Who will follow you round and go into complete meltdown if you don’t deal with them?  It might seem really hard and heartless to leave your tiny baby crying, but it will be much easier to deal with their needs if you have a happy toddler who thinks he is number one. Yes it may then take a little longer to soothe baby, but at least you won’t have to do it with another crying child wrapped round your leg.
  • Try to put baby down as much as possible so you can play with your older child more.  I remember getting really upset in the first few weeks of having Reuben that I was missing out on time playing with Sam – he was my world before and now I was pinned to the sofa with the new baby.  So pretty early on I have started trying to put Reuben down to play and also once he was asleep so that I am freed up to have some fun with Sam.  Sam then feels valued and less like the rejected child, and we also get more proper play time rather than tv watching time!
  • Don’t give up on discipline.  It is really tempting to give extra warnings when you are tired and who can be bothered to drag a toddler to the naughty spot whilst you are breastfeeding?  But I promise you that if you waiver on your chosen method of discipline your toddler will notice and take advantage!!  They will push to see how far they can get before you will actually go through with it and by then you will be ultra tired and unable to deal with it.  Be consistent and it will make your life a lot easier!!!
  • Prepare yourself for whinging, jealousy and set backs.  No matter how much you talk about the baby coming, read lovely story books about new babies and get your older child a present from the baby, it will still be a HUGE adjustment for them when the baby actually arrives.  And so you never know how they will react.  There will probably be whinging, crying, meltdowns and regressions.  We had potty training regression and emotional meltdowns which was super fun!
  • Look after yourself.  The days are long, and if you skip your lunch or snack then you won’t have the energy to look after your two lovely kids. Will it scar your baby if you take an extra minute to make a cuppa and grab a snack before you feed them?  Or to make your toddler sit quietly for half an hour so you can have a rest.  Looking after you will ultimately make you a better and more capable mum so make sure you prioritise it!
  • Preparation and organisation is key.  I am not suggesting you have to schedule every second of every day, but the better prepared you can be will make the day run smoother with two.  I like to plan at least one trip out of the house each day, even if it is just a walk round the block.  And now it is winter I plan and prepare a craft activity to do in the dark afternoons to keep the toddler busy.  I also try to get all snacks and meals out in the morning and ready so that pre-mealtime whinging is reduced!  Plan and prepare for a short time once the kids are in bed and you will be really grateful the next day when you have fun activities ready and meals sorted.
  • Distract your older child with new activities or treats.  As I mentioned above, it’s good to have some crafts or other activities prepared, and new ones will be exciting for your toddler and make them feel like you have put in that extra effort.  I also tried to save up vouchers and ideas for treats before baby came to use after, such as free entry to play centres. Distraction is key so that your older child doesn’t get bored or annoyed that your attention is now split with the new baby.
  • Sometimes opt for the easy life.  When you are super tired and have a whingy toddler, opt for the easy life and let them watch tv for a bit or play on your iPad.  Yes you don’t want them to sit in front of screens all the time but for those times when you really can’t cope with the battle, let them sit and watch twirly woos for the hundredth time and enjoy the respite.
  • Don’t feel guilty when you can’t do it all.We all beat ourselves up when we can’t be super mum, but we know that we shouldn’t!   Let a few things slide and if you get to the end of the day with two children who have been fed and changed then you have done a good job.

(This post originally appeared here)


selfie-round-croppedMum to two, wife to one and friend to many, I am a mum on a mission to share my wisdom and faith with the world around me.  Based in Doncaster, I love to share real life stories and ideas with my readers on my blog, www.rachelridlermumonamission.co.uk.  Do pop over and say hello! Find me on Facebook and Twitter.

8 Motherhood Truths

What I’ve learnt so far!
Time has passed so quickly since I had my little boy and I can honestly say that the parenthood road has been bumpy. I’ve tried my best but yes I’ve made mistakes. Here I’ll share what I’ve learnt so far to help you along the road.

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1. Post pregnancy sometimes you will wet yourself and there’s no avoiding it!

Cough. Pee. Sneeze. Pee. Laugh. Pee.  Brake suddenly in the car. Yes, sometimes I pee.

I never really understood the obsession with pelvic floor exercises. I used to do them but would always think would they really make a difference? Once you’ve been ripped in two you will be forever grateful you can strength them or at least try to!

2. You will have a poo/sick bowl/bucket.

As a child we had a sick bowl, which was formally a mixing bowl used for Christmas cakes. How gross?!! I’m never having one of those! EVER!!

Cue an explosive nappy and the need to soak or scrub some clothes arises, but you need the bath to clean up the culprit of the explosion and that’s when and why you need a bowl!

3. Vests go down and off, as well as up and over!

I kid you not I didn’t know this! I never understood why the shoulders on a baby’s vest were like they are! Six poo explosions later and the thought of trying to avoid getting poo in the baby’s hair again forced me to try it the other way. AMAZING!!

4. There is no such thing as stress free weaning!

Baby led, parent led. Pureed, homemade, jarred. It doesn’t matter, which you try the food will end up everywhere. Hair, face, feet, clothes and that’s not just the baby! We’ve had it on us grown-ups, the floor, the ceiling and even the cat! The key is to relax, which is much easier said than done, but I found the more stressed I got the more like he was to put the full bowl on his head.

5. You will never pee alone again.


Disruptions range from the toddler showing you their current favourite toy or flushing the toilet whilst you’re still sat on it, to your husband/partner asking you where the nappies or tshirts are kept! Yes, all of these have happened!

6. Your Facebook Mummy friends will be your go to girls.

You have a question. It’s Mummy related and it’s a bit daft. You don’t fancy asking your Mum and you want a view opinions. You post your question/query/I need help type status on Facebook and within the hour your fellow Mummies young and old, have rallied and are there with advice and support.

They will be your saviours, even if you haven’t seen them since you left school in 1999.

7. People will give you their opinion on everything and anything, whether you want it or not!! 

How to make formula. How to bathe them. Which pushchair. Which nappy. Vest or no vest. Express or whip the boob out. When to ween. How to ween. You name it people will have an opinion on it and they will give it you! Whether you want it or not. After much practice, nodding and arguments, I have found the best thing is to nod and say something like….
“Oh well thanks, I’ll think about it and might give it a go.”
This way the person giving said advice thinks you are taking it on board and you can quickly change the subject and move on!

8. You will open your mouth and your mother’s voice will come out.


I hate to say it but it’s a bit true. I’ve opened my mouth and I’ve uttered words in the way my mother would and I’m horrified. I have even utter the words “careful the wind will change and your face will stay like that”.  I promptly slapped myself.

I’m sure there is much, much more to learn along the way and what I’ve written is only the tip of the iceberg but with all of this I can say I have enjoyed our journey so far. Its stressful but worth every moment. Enjoy your journey.

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photo-1I’m a 30 something (don’t ask) midland girl/woman/wife/friend/snowy owl trying to balance working life with home life. Attempting to do my best looking after a toddler, husband and a cat, various relatives (dependent or not). I have also volunteered as a Snowy Owl since I was 17! This blog is about me and my life. My fertility battle and my journey into parenthood. I also bring crafts, reviews and a few laughs! Plus there’s lots of posts about our part in the living sustainably, Live Lagom project with IKEA. Read my blog, Mummy Snowy Owl, here and find                                                                                                me on Facebook and Twitter.

Parental Incentive Plan

I’m working on a new incentive system. A rewards programme if you like, such as the one AMEX has. It is called the Parenting Incentive Plan, people will call it “PIP”, and it will be amazing.

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It starts in pregnancy where you enter into a contract with the expected child. You will be the rewards receiver and they will be the rewarder. The deal is signed and comes into effect immediately upon birth. (Can you tell I’m a lawyer – I’ve thought this through).

There can be no cancellation of the contract.

As the parent you will accrue points which you can then collect for rewards once the child attains the age of 18 years if age.

How to Accrue Points

You will accrue 1 point for each of the following:

  • each hour you are awake between 4am and 7am
  • each hour you’re woken up for a chat, question or debate between 12 midnight and 4am
  • avoiding embarrassing your child in public (child must be over 10 years of age for this credit to accrue)
  • carrying your child and his/her scooter home or up hill for a distance exceeding 50m and additional point for every 20m thereafter
  • every children’s book you’ve read more than 10 times
  • a tantrum in a public place
  • any injury to your body that draws blood or requires a time-out except where it results in scarring
  • having an audience whilst you’re on the loo
  • every night you go to bed with one of your kids’ songs, nursery rhyme or the like in your head

Five points will be credited in the following circumstances:

  • being vomitted on in public
  • every time you stand on a piece of Lego
  • two children simultaneously throwing a tantrum in public
  • being injured to the extent that you scar
  • irreparable harm being done to any of your favourite pieces of clothing (maximum of three incidences a year)
  • traveling anywhere, in or on any form of transport, for more than 90 minutes (every 2 hours thereafter will accrue another 5 points)
  • every time you replace a new item of clothing or equipment which was lost
  • every vaccination (it hurts you more than it hurts them)
  • your child tells a relative stranger one of your intimate personal details or theirs that only you and your family / spouse know.

There will be days when you get double or triple points:

  • Double points for Mother’s Day and 29 February; and
  • Triple points for your birthday.

But there will also be exclusionary days when you can’t earn any points – child’s birthday and 5pm from Christmas Eve until 5pm on Christmas Day (these are high need days when you cannot be accommodated, I’m sorry it’s just the way it is – I didn’t make the rules).

Rewards 

The rewards are as follows (and for the cost of the child)

10 000 Points

  • 10 000 will earn you a night off

50 000 Points

  • 50 000 will earn you your choice of embarrassing photos of them to be used in public at their 21st birthday party or on social media
  • 50 000 will earn you a new zimmerframe
  • 50 000 will earn you the right to be their friend or follower on social media, all access

100 000 Points

  • 100 000 will earn you the right to set them up on a single blind date with one of your friends children or someone you met at the supermarket
  • 100 000 will earn you a over-55s residence upgrade
  • 100 000 will earn you an automated stair-lift

1 0000 000 Points

  • 1 000 000 and their first born shall be named after you.

Terms and Conditions

* Like any good reward / incentive scheme the whole point accrual and reward system will change every year when you will get new cards and a new pin 🙂 at this point make sure to cash in your accumulated points by writing it on a till slip and sticking it to the fridge – that way it’ll never get lost.

* The contract terminates on the 21st birthday so from then on no further points can accrue, it’ll just be a labour of love from then on out.

 


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Having studied law for years and practiced as a lawyer in South Africa I now litigate against my children and negotiate with my husband. Having realised that I can research and write moderately well I now use those skills blogging when I’m not child wrangling.  Read more of my posts at All Things Mom Sydney and find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

December can be a bit of a hotspot for tears, tantrums, and traumatized parents. Here’s how to ensure that this festive season is different.

Being a parent can be challenging at the best of times, let alone during the Christmas period. As the festive season approaches, the children quickly descend into a constant state of dizzying (and sometimes exhausting!) excitement, and suddenly you find you have about a million things to do. And it always presents the same dilemma: give your kids what they want, or try to teach them about the true values of Christmas—ones which don’t center around piles of presents. Being a good parent during these times can certainly be tricky.

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Here at Joosr we’ve come up with some of our best books on parenting that provide simple tips on how to be the best kind of parent you can be, whatever the time of year.  And just in case you’re scoffing at the thought of finding the precious time to read these books, our summaries are only twenty-minute reads!

No-Drama Discipline by Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel

Some children have the propensity to turn into little rascals during Christmas—demands for outlandishly expensive presents are made and they seem to think that festive cheer is an excuse to do, well, just about anything. December can be a bit of a hotspot for tears, tantrums, and traumatized parents. But thankfully, Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel provide some excellent tips on how to discipline your kids without the drama: learn how their little brains work and connect with them on a more constructive and harmonious level.

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Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Laura Markham

Looking after the kids is just as demanding as a full-time job; in fact it can at times be much more stressful! For mums and dads who are feeling the strains of parenting, look no further than Laura Markham’s Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. This book can teach any parent how to keep calm when looking after their little terrors—even when a first-rate tantrum is being thrown during an already-stressful Christmas shopping trip. It offers a range of methods that will encourage good behavior, promote independent learning, and strengthen parent-child bonds. Calmer parents, calmer kids—what’s not to love?

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Raising Can-do Kids by Richard Rende and Jen Prosek

The thought of raising children in the twenty-first century can be a daunting one; our society is in a constant state of rapid change, and the future is harder to predict that ever. How can we ensure that we provide our kids with the essential tools needed to thrive in the modern, technological world? Raising Can-do Kids guides parents in nurturing a can-do, optimistic attitude in their children that is crucial to developing entrepreneurial traits during childhood. This may sound prematurely pushy, but it actually just means encouraging their creative, resilient, hardworking, and positive qualities to flourish from an early age.

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The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell

Christmas, after all, is a time of love. But children respond to some “love languages” better than others, and we all love in very different ways. Not to worry though, Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell pool their psychological expertise and reveal how to tell which of the five key “love languages” your child is most responsive to. This will help your child to develop into an emotionally mature adult, and strengthen the bond between you and them for a lifetime.

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By following the simple yet effective lessons outlined in these top parenting books, you and your children can enjoy a calmer and more stress-free December than the last—make Christmas what it should be: a time for you and your family to kick-back, relax, and just enjoy each other’s company. Why not give the gift of reading this Christmas, but with a difference? Our Christmas gift packages are digital, waste free, and you don’t have to worry about postage. Give your loved ones hundreds of books available at their fingertips—without having to wrap a single one! Each of our books takes just 20 minutes to read; it’s amazing how many insights, tips, and ideas you can fit into so little time. With 5 new books released every week, you can be safe in the knowledge that your loved ones will always have an endless supply of knowledge.


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Joosr takes the world’s best non-fiction books and turns them into beautiful text and audio summaries, giving your loved ones a fresh supply of ideas, advice, and insights from leading thinkers and bestselling authors. Enjoyed through the Joosr app and taking just 20 minutes each to read, Joosr summaries keep all the goodness for a rich, enjoyable read across a range of subjects, including happiness, health and fitness, leadership, parenting, and so much more.

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My Hypnobirthing Birth Story

I have been wanting to write this post since my little girl arrived into this world but with one thing or another it has been put off and put off. She is now 7 weeks old and finally, here is my birthing experience, or what I can remember from it anyway.

My birthing story is one of standing by what me and my partner felt was right for us, many may think we took a big risk but for us we knew to listen and trust my body and my baby.

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39 Weeks Pregnant

As I approached the 42 week mark I received a high amount of pressure from both health professionals, family and friends to be induced. Where we live there is a policy is to be induced at 41 weeks, they are very much against anyone wanting to go over, to them, the fact we wanted to wait it out and to see what happened seemed to be a alien decision. We never expected to get to the 42 week mark in truth, my bump dropped around 36 weeks so I seemed to  get it into my head that she would arrive early if not on time.

Non-Pregnant Day

Non-Pregnant Day

After we went past the 41 week mark we were invited into the hospital, to come up with a plan. We agreed that we would go in every other day for monitoring and a scan. Monitoring would check that the baby was happy, her heart rate was good and that she wasn’t in any distress. The scan would check to make sure that the baby still had enough fluid around her and that my placenta was still doing its job, as they say the placenta is only designed to support your baby for a certain amount of time. At each of these appointments no issues were discovered so I was able to happily able to continue with my pregnancy.

Within the final weeks of my pregnancy we tried everything that was recommended to us to naturally bring on labour, spicy food, walking – LOADS of walking in fact, sex, anything and everything that was suggested to us! Well, not quite everything, the thought of drinking castor oil really didn’t tickle my fancy!

She finally decided to start making movements just after 41 weeks, I went for a check up and decided to ask the midwife to see what was going on! She told me I was 2cm which was music to my ears at that point. I didn’t feel any different in myself at this stage, I had no niggles and not a single inkling that she was going to make an appearance any time soon. I was starting to get tired and fed up of everyone asking me when she would finally be here, so we decided to have a non-pregnant day! We would turn off our phones and go for a good walk in the countryside with a nice picnic – so this is what we did. To my amazement, me relaxing and forgetting all about the pressure from everyone around me seemed to bring on contractions (yeey) well I say contractions, they weren’t quite at that point but they were soon to follow.

On Sunday 2nd October I woke up through the night with slight cramping. Nothing painful but just enough to not allow me to sleep. So I ran myself a nice warm bath and had some me time where I focused on my breathing and all the relaxation techniques that I had learnt through my hypnobirthing class. The following day the cramping really picked up and developed into contractions. Late afternoon we were due to be at hospital anyway so we continued with this and popped in for mine and baby’s checks. They informed us at this point that I was 3cm. The midwife told me to go for a short walk and pop back in – so this is what we did – I must say it was the longest, shortest walk that I have ever been on! It seemed to take a life time but my contractions really picked up! They weren’t painful but for some reason when they happened I couldn’t seem to move, so had to stop with each one! When we got back to where the midwife was waiting I was 4 cm and she told me to stay in the hospital. Now, I know this goes against hypnobirthing but I was so relaxed with my surroundings I was happy to stay in and be there!

We were given an amazing room on their birthing suite. It had a massive bath, birthing pool, props for an active birth and the midwives literally couldn’t do enough. They made us both feel so welcome and at home, we couldn’t have wanted more. They fully understood our birth plan and just let me and my partner have our space. We ran a bath and I got in – this is where I stayed until I was offered the birthing pool. I felt so relaxed and at ease. Not once did I feel any pain or feel the need to panic.

I was offered the birthing pool, I have no idea when, and once I got into the pool it felt like everything was stepped up a gear! It felt like no time at all before we were ready to push her out and welcome her into the world!

The whole birthing process was utterly amazing! It is something that I would happily do over and over. No pain was felt, yes some of it was intense but I would never think to describe it as painful, not for a second. I would strongly recommend hypnobirthing to each and every lady that is either expecting or thinking about having a baby. Even if they aren’t after a fully natural birth but to just give the tools to make the experience amazing and not scary in the slightest.

Harper Violet Headlam was born via water birth on the 4th October at 10:30 am weighing 9lbs 11ozs

Harper Violet Headlam was born via water birth on the 4th October at 10:30 am weighing 9lbs 11ozs


edenMy name is Eden Markl and I run what seems to be a lifestyle come everything blog which you can find at www.edenmarkl.com. I write about anything and everything which takes my fancy; From my gorgeous new born, Harper, my crafting or baking finds, to fashion to beauty to family life, along with a little peak at my silly spaniel Molly too. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.