Monthly Archives: April 2017

8 Motherhood truths

8 (Undeniable) Motherhood Truths

This post has been contributed by Katie from Mummy Snowy Owl.

Ahh Motherhood….Here’s 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!

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!

8 Motherhood truths

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!!

8 Motherhood truthsCost Of Having A Baby
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 Motherhood truths

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.


Mummy Snowy OwlI’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. My blog is about me and my life, my fertility battle and my journey into parenthood. I also bring crafts, reviews and a few laughs!


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The Hunt

Nearly new sales, baby sales, preloved sales. Doesn’t matter what you call them. The mere mention is like a bolt of lightning in a DeLorean at 88 miles per hour.

I can feel the adrenalin soaring already and a countdown begins! Dates are highlighted on the calendar and my weekend work is moved around accordingly – my piano pupils have no idea. I may have been known to visit parents in Scotland when there happens to be a sale on, or the in-laws near Cambridge. I’m in London.

Baby & Children's Market Nearly New Sale

How did it all begin and are there many like-minded souls? My other half calls it an affliction; addiction! I know few others afflicted (except my mother-in-law) but am reassured by the queues. Think of Apple iPhone queues on a compact scale, except there is the sense in arriving early to snag the best bargains!

It doesn’t surprise me as it’s not about just the savings. There is such a buzz, a rush, a thrill… I daresay the same as shopaholic-ism or any other “isms”. To me, it makes utter sense! I mean, the boys were in and out of first outfits and some things were literally worn once, even not once. Being gifted things in the next size/s is always frustrating – not to sound ungrateful – but it means that by the time they get to that size, it’s the wrong season for that vest or snowsuit!

Baby & Children's Market Nearly New Sale

But what if the outfit only cost £1 and looked virtually new? Even pretty used, I’d hand over a quid any day if the kid only manages to adorn it once! A new packet of several baby vests would set you back on average a tenner – why spend £8 more than you need to for the exact same ones, used a few times but in nearly new condition? Goodness knows that those vomiting, pooing, dirt-magnets we endearingly call our offspring, need an abundance of spares; there is an argument for quantity over quality in these times! Is there now no excuse for shrewd shopping for prams, baby equipment, toys, all manner of outfits etc.?

An addict, me? I prefer to be called a bargain hunter. You just can’t knock it; the exhilaration from knowing you’ve bagged a bargain is second to none! Why should toys be brand new and wrapped tightly in a show box? I can safely vouch that it makes no difference to the kid.

Baby & Children's Market Nearly New Sale

Method: There is a skill, I’ve seen people master it and my mother-in-law is no exception. Yet I haven’t managed to fine tune the art of picking out the crop of the goods on entry from having had a good position in the queue.

Getting through the doors is overwhelming, somewhat panicky – where do you go first? Circle all the stalls or dive for anything you see while wasting precious time paying for it?! I think I will need to visit a few more to try and improve on this method.

It’s not that we are especially tight for money; I’d never scrimp so much that they’d be without what they really need. Last season, Spider-Man wellies were all the rage, so I knew it’d be pointless scouting for some in a sale. Well, I pinned some down on eBay, the next point of call. But they set me back £6 including delivery, and then there was the wait. All his previous wellies have cost under £2 a pair from sales, lasting no more than a year. Spare wellies and clothes are left at their grandparents but do not always still fit on following visits!

Baby & Children's Market Nearly New Sale

That’s the beauty of it – guilt free, environmentally friendly shopping for goods with short life-cycles, where a splurge is more than justified! It’s swift, it’s convenient, it saves hours of trawling on the internet and postage fees; you can ask for demos on equipment, try toys out and even put your haggling skills to use.

I hate buying anything new now and always think that maybe I could find it at the next sale. I have no shame in admitting that under our Christmas tree, Santa will have had at least 70% help from a baby sale!

How many have I visited? Hmm, let’s see… My oldest kid is 3 and 8 months, and I discovered the first sale when he was 3 months old. I make it to about twelve per year, so somewhere in the region of forty in total. Does that sound bad?!

Baby & Children's Market Nearly New Sale

Calculations say that I may have saved a couple of thousand pounds in that time.

So if people ask me how we can manage another holiday or long weekend away, I reveal my no-brainer scheme!

What do I do with all the stuff once he grows out of it? Become a seller and have the benefit of “previewing” goods in a sale before anyone else! Members have priority entrance, undoubtedly the sole reason for joining. And what do I do with all that newly found space? Hit the next sale, of course!

Before kids, I had to haul myself up a snowy mountain wrapped up like a marshmallow to seek a thrill. Now it’s the matter of how fast the route 42 will get me to the next sale.

This post was contributed to the blog by S Li-Barker

Baby & Children's Market Nearly New Sale

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

By ‘chronically knackered parents’ I actually mean all parents…We love our darling children but they don’t half suck the energy out of us….

If you’re anything like me, you’ll know the conundrum. After a full on day, the kids’ bedtime is looming and you have a choice. You’re undoubtedly exhausted but do you stay awake to have some well needed ‘me’ time or do you give in and head off to bed to give yourself the rest you crave?

My energy levels (or lack of them) also impact my motivation. When I wake up in the morning I’m full of motivation and ideas of things I’m going to do when I put the kids to bed. Be it going for a run or swim, read a book, bake some cupcakes, write or even just watch a movie, I feel energised enough in the morning to plan all that I want to do with my precious evening alone time.

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

As they day goes on, I can feel that energy and motivation slowly being ebbed away by the demands of the day. Frantically trying to get my daughter to school on time, looking after a very energetic toddler, working during his nap, rushing to collect my daughter and then the dinner bath and bed routine leave me feeling shattered (not to mention the fact that the toddler still wakes up at least once a night). I know that you know some variation of this routine.  By the time I get them into bed, all I want to do is flump on the sofa and stare mindlessly at the TV; my motivation for ‘me time’ having long since left the building.

Caring for children is exhausting whether you have a new-born and are feeding round the clock or running around after a busy toddler. Having been a mother for almost eight years now, the lack of a proper night’s sleep is really starting to wear me down. You know what I mean – gone is the heady, thick sleep of my pre-child years and in its place a restless kind of sleep where I am stirred by as little as cough from the other room or my seven year old tiptoeing down the hallway.

I decided recently that enough is enough. I may not be able to control how much sleep I’m getting but there must be things I can do to increase my energy throughout the day. I started to research what I could control to increase and boost my energy levels. This largely involves changing my diet and lifestyle.

Here is what I found when I looked into how to increase my energy levels:

1. Increase Magnesium Intake

I had no idea what magnesium does diet-wise, but it turns out lack of magnesium in your diet can adversely affect your energy levels. Magnesium helps to break down glucose into energy and can be found in nuts, wholegrains (especially bran cereal), green leafy vegetables (like spinach), fish and tofu. Definitely worth bearing this in mind.

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

2. Increase Iron Rich Foods

Iron, like magnesium, is needed by the body to produce energy from glucose. As a veggie, this is quite tricky for me as iron is plentiful in lean red meat, chicken and fish. So if you’re not vegetarian, eat lots of those! Iron is also present in eggs, wholegrains, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds (similar types of foods that contain magnesium).

3. Exercise

For busy and exhausted parents, finding the time to exercise is tough and may be the last thing you feel like doing (it certainly feels like that for me). Apparently, instead of making you even more exhausted, moving about and getting your heart rate up will make you feel happier and more energised. I know this to be true.

For me, gone are the days where I could go to the gym for hours or have a lengthy swim. However, I do try to walk every day because even a brisk ten minute jaunt along the high street makes me feel better. I’ve also started exercising at home with workout DVDs which only last fifteen or twenty minutes (I like Davina or Jillian Michaels but there are plenty out there).

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

4. Have a Power Nap

Hmmm, I’m going to brush past this one although all credit to you if you can! No one needs to tell parents what the benefits of sleep are…

5. Boost Vitamin B Intake

Again, this was new to me. Apparently B vitamins play an important role in fuelling the body too. Similar foods to above are required for this: wholegrain cereals, eggs, milk, green leafy vegetables, meat, poultry, salmon and eggs. I have a feeling I’m going to be eating a lot of spinach!

6. Eat Breakfast

We all know this is the most important meal of the day, yet sometimes it gets lost in the chaotic pandemonium of getting ready for work or school. I’ve never been a big breakfast eater even though I know ‘breaking the fast’ with some fuel for my body will give me more energy. This is something that I clearly need to change.

Can you eat spinach for breakfast?

7. Spirulina

Interesting. I’d never heard of this before. Apparently, it’s a freshwater algae which is rich in vitamins B, C and D and also contains a hefty dose of magnesium, iron and zinc. Could this be the answer to my energy based problems? It’s worth a try and apparently you can buy it in tablet or powder form. This is worth investigating for sure.

8. Drink More Water

Dehydration can also lead to fatigue and lethargy. A nice glass of water can work wonders if you’re tired and cranky. Though my peanut sized bladder may protest, I’m going to make an effort to drink more of it.

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

9. Cut Down On Alcohol And Caffeine

After a caffeine fuelled day, wine o’clock arrives just on time once the kids are in bed. I don’t drink every night but I definitely notice that the quality of my sleep is even poorer than usual after a few glasses of the golden nectar.

Too much caffeine is also not good because it stimulates the productions of stress hormones. So once the temporary boost in energy is gone, anxiety, irritability and fatigue are left in its place. I know, I know – I love a cup of coffee as much as the next person so I’m just throwing this out there.

10. Eat Complex Carbs

Think wholegrain bread and pasta and brown rice. Also museli, quinoa and root vegetables (beetroot, sweet potato and pumpkin for example). Complex carbs help to keep energy levels and blood sugar stable.

10 Energy Boosting Tips For Chronically Knackered Parents

For us parents, the primary source of our exhaustion is our beloved children. However, if there is something you can do to increase energy levels then it’s worth a shot. I’m going to try out all of the tips above and hope they work for me – I hope they might work for you too!