Our first family holiday! – Travel Day

I’ve decided to break my holiday down into separate blogs. Travel days to & from, then one blog covering the whole holiday as I think a daily blog would be too much!

So, we set off on Wednesday 11th September 2019 flying from Bristol to Palma. Our flight time was 6:05am, we decided to stay at my mums house In Cardiff the night before as she was looking after our two cats and it was less travel time.

We left at 2:30am, Charlie slept most of the way still in his pj’s and sleeping bag. As we got to the slip road to join the m4 towards London it was closed off and panic set in! We ended up driving round for 20 minutes trying to find the diversion until I found another route. I couldn’t chill out, not until we had checked in and we’re safely sat in the departure lounge.

We arrived at Bristol airport Carpark at just gone 3am, we parked the car grabbed our luggage and headed over to check the car in. I could see a huge queue and started to feel dread wave over me. Luckily it moved super quick and checking the car in literally took two minutes. Charlie was still sleeping in his pram so everything was going ok! We jumped on the bus and within 5 minutes we were being taken to the airport just a short drive away.

It wasn’t long before I felt panic again. As we approached the easyJet check in counter the queue was huge! It was only when Matt mentioned our speedy boarding that we headed round the other side to an empty queue! Woohoo! I would 100% recommend speedy boarding, specially with a baby it makes things so much easier! I don’t know what time we would have gotten to the departure lounge had it not been for us skipping the queue.

Once we’d checked in our bags we headed for security, straight away we were directed to a short queue at the end of the room and everything was really quick. Unfortunately we did have to wake Charlie up as we had to fold the Pram but he was as good as gold. He was so mesmerised by everything going on. We put our hand luggage into the trays and I emptied Charlie’s food & milk into a separate tray. Matt carried Charlie through no problems, but of course I was going to set the alarm off! I quickly was ushered to another scanner then searched by a woman and was free to go. I could already see that Charlie’s baby bag had been diverted to be checked again – great!

I waited for Charlie’s bag as Matt settled Charlie back into his Pram and waited on the side. A woman told me she’d have to test Charlie’s food and milk, I just prayed she wouldn’t open them all up but luckily she never and within 10 minutes she was back. They put the bag back through but had to re-check it again, they couldn’t find what was flashing up but decided it must have been his wet wipes so finally let me go! As much as it is an inconvenience, it wasn’t all that bad and everything was done pretty quickly.

Finally I could start to chill out as we headed into the departure lounge. Charlie was wide awake chatting away to himself happily. We decided to grab something quick to eat as it wasn’t long until our gate opened. We headed to our gate and again went straight down an empty speeding boarding queue, after our experience I will forever book speedy boarding going forward. We got on a bus and it was crammed with people I was conscious of a boy standing next to Charlie’s Pram I put a protective arm around the side and as I had anticipated the boy stumbled as the bus took off, and I gasped a breath in as he toppled back toward the Pram. Call it mothers instinct!

We joined a short queue to board the airplane, it was windy and cold I wrapped Charlie’s blanket around him as I held him. Matt passed the Pram to an attendant and off we went. I decided to pick our seats which I payed extra for, but again I’m so glad we did this! We were sat in the first row, with extra legroom. There was already a man sat on the end row and he smiled as we sat down next to him, he was lovely and Charlie had taken a shine to him straight away!

Charlie giggled and smiled at the air hostesses as we waited for everyone to board the plane. He was so happy! It was mad considering how long he’d been awake by now, he chatted away to himself and was no trouble. We got his bottle ready for take off and the air stewardess passed me an infant seatbelt and showed me what to do with it. Charlie wasn’t phased by take off he sat on my lap and had his bottle quietly, we were so proud of him. Not long after he fell asleep for around hour and half which was perfect!

Charlie woke up around 40 minutes before landing, he was still in a happy mood playing and smiling to the passengers behind us. He didn’t once cry, he was absolutely brilliant. Me and Matt kept saying to each other how amazing he had been. I put his ear defenders on just before landing as I didn’t want his ears to pop and he was fine, he got a little bit restless just before but I think he was just sick of being stuck on my lap as he’s so used to crawling everywhere now.

We were the first off the plane and headed to collect our bags, I think we waited around 20 minutes. I took Charlie to the toilets to change his nappy and put some shorts & T-shirt on as it was boiling. I waited a while but by the time I headed back matt had the Pram and bags ready to go. He was one of the last there, and had said how everyone collected the bags and they shut everything off, he and another woman waited for the prams and questioned where they were. Finally they were sent out, but he was worried whether we would get it

I booked a private transfer as the thought of travelling on a full coach just wasn’t for us. It was €160 euros return, but I’m so glad we did and it was definitely worth the money. A man was waiting for us at arrivals and we had a big mini bus to ourselves. We also had a car seat ready which was a massive plus it meant we didn’t have to lug ours around. The transfer from the airport to Alcudia was around 50 minutes but it absolutely flew by. Charlie entertained himself most of the way, then decided 10 minutes before we arrived that he’d have a nap! Typical!

Overall we had an amazing travel day, everything was quick and easy. Charlie was a little dream and other than the small issues we had at the beginning of the trip with the road closure everything else went to plan. Great start to our holiday!

Charlie @ 9 Months!

Woah slow down baby boy your growing way to fast. I’m struggling to deal with the fact time is flying by so quickly. Where has my newborn gone? My little baby is growing up before my eyes, and as much as I love watching his personality shine through it makes me sad.

He wakes me up every morning chatting away, even with the monitor on mute I can hear him from the next room. As soon as I walk into his room and I see that smile beaming at me I’m not tired anymore. He giggles constantly and it’s so infectious.

He’s still sleeping all the way through the night with not even the slightest sound. We are incredibly lucky. Charlie has 6 teeth 4 at the top and 2 at the bottom, but I’ve just noticed another 2 starting to break through either side of his bottom two teeth. He is constantly on the go it’s like he can’t sit still! He is everywhere and into everything! He’s so fast at crawling I can’t turn my back for a second.

He’s also started pulling himself up 🙈 seriously have to have eyes in the back of my head now! He’s always been really strong on his legs even from a few months old, and he’s always wanted to be stood up. So it’s no suprise that he’s trying to get up more and more now! He is still going through this thing of hating having his nappy changed or getting dressed. It never used to bother him but all of a sudden it’s like he has a meltdown every time!

Other than that he’s super happy! He eats really well, absolutely loves his food. We do half baby led and half spoon fed. He loves his fruit, so he has it every day. The only thing he’s slightly turned his nose up at was a tuna sandwich but everything else we’ve tried him with has been fine. Actually crazy to see how much he’s changing every month, I can’t wait to put all his pictures together from 0-12 months, although I’m not ready for him to turn 1 at in the slightest!!

We’re off on our first family holiday on Wednesday to Alcudia, and we cannot wait! I’ll definitely be blogging our trip just hope it all goes well!

Hx

What Motherhood Has Taught Me

Going from child free to expecting can cause a whirlwind of excitement, apprehension, and wishing Google had an answer to questions like “how to keep my baby alive”. But as a new mum you have to learn as you go – or more commonly known as “just wing it”. I put together some of my personal things which motherhood has taught me.

1. Don’t forget your hobbies, I love reading books!

I don’t mean baby books, I mean proper books the ones you can’t put down. The ones you go to bed early for just to sit for an hour and be totally engrossed. I love reading, and I miss it. My mum is also a keen reader and Is always sharing her favourite books with me and now I hardly get time to sit alone for 5 minutes let alone read a book, and when I do I’m normally too tired. – note “must make more time to read”. So in short, do what you love and make time for it when you have a baby.

2. Your physical & mental health is everything

When I got pregnant with Charlie I was over weight and unhappy, totally unfit. So in a nutshell the worst possible condition to have a baby (in my opinion). You have enough massive changes that will happen to your body over 9 months, without already not being in good health. I wish I’d lost weight and been fitter, not super fit but just fitter & stronger. I know for sure I would have had an easier pregnancy. It’s something I will 100% be taking forward before any future pregnancies. I feel like I missed out because I did suffer so much physically & mentally, Not forgetting post birth, your body takes a battering whatever way you give birth. So take the time to look after yourself and let your body heal.

3. Look after yourself & your relationship

I wish I had known that the first six months after having a baby would be hardest on my relationship, whether people want to admit it or not, it’s rough. If I had known the impact it would have, then I would have made an extra effort. It’s not all doom & gloom, having a baby has made us stronger and brought us closer together. It’s formed a new found love between us, but it also highlighted our weaknesses. Sleep deprivation, the stress of learning how to care for a newborn, and the changes to your body will have an impact on you, I personally found it all difficult to deal with. I wish I had known it was okay to communicate the things I was experiencing, instead of him wondering if it was his fault or if the baby was coming between us! So my advice would be to talk to each other keep that communication line strong if nothing else.

4. Give yourself a break

As a new mum you want to get everything right, and truth is you’ll never get everything right. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but that’s how you learn. Every time I didn’t know why Charlie was crying I’d be questioning myself and doubting my abilities of being a mother. I was really hard on myself specially in the early days id even say for the first few months no one gave me a harder time than myself if I felt like “I wasn’t quite getting it”. Now, I can read him like a book as can matt – we could sit and predict Charlie’s next move or emotion before it happens. That just comes with time & experience. You’ll be OK! Hang in there MUMMA your doing great.

5. You will realise your stronger than you think

You will see your inner strength which you never knew you had until now. At 3am in the morning when your newborn has been crying consistently for the last 4 hours and your about to loose your mind, that something which pulls you through ready to fight another day, that’s the strong stuff. You’ll cope, and most of the time you’ll wonder how! Then you’ll look back and realise that it was that inner strength which never showed itself until you really needed it. It will be a comfort to you, because you’ll know no matter what life throws at you along the way you will get through it.

6. You will feel judged by others, and you will judge too.

Charlie’s having a bloody melt down again, he’s screaming at the top of his lungs like I’ve just hurt him. Your eyes are darting around the room as you try and figure out how the bloody hell your going to calm him down. That voice in your head pops in “Oh everyone’s staring at you, I bet they think your a bad mum, god you can’t even control your child, what’s wrong with you?” You’ll be convinced every single person in that room was staring at you thinking the most awful things. Like wise, if you see parents doing something or saying something you don’t agree with, you’ll raise eyebrows & give the odd side eye. It will happen, you’ll feel vulnerable and out of your depth. But, it’s not the end of the world, you’ll see.

7. You will experience the most powerful form of love.

You or I could never put it into words the love which explodes from inside out once you have a child. You will get it, when you hold your baby for the first time you will understand what I’m talking about. You’ll never be able to describe it to anyone who doesn’t have children, you know they just have to experience it themselves. It is the most beautifully terrifying love I have ever felt. It is completely endless.

8. Mothers instinct – there is such a thing!

Yes it’s true, it exists. Like I said earlier you will learn about your baby, as they grow into an infant. You will understand them a bit more with every day that comes. And sometimes only you can make things better, there have been times where my mum has had Charlie and she hasn’t been able to settle him and she will give him back to me because she knew in that moment no one else could help but me. Just by the sound of their cry you just know what to do, where as in the beginning you go round in circles, feeding, changing, burping, comforting. Likewise when something’s wrong you will just know, I don’t know how to put it more simple than that. You’ll just know.

9. You’ll look at your partner in a way you never did before.

You love each other of course you do that’s one of the reasons you chose to have a family together. But, once you have a baby and you watch you partner & your baby together it’s a whole new type of love, an intensified love. I’ve just sat and watched Matt with Charlie many of times, and I could all day. My heart bursts with pride, love & respect. I am lucky that Matt is the most amazing dad, which I knew he would be. There is a real magical moment watching someone else portray the love you feel for your baby. Charlie will have the most unbreakable bond with Matt as he grows up.

10. You’ll love & respect your own mum more than you thought was possible.

I’m very fortunate that my mum is my best friend, my advisor, my comforter, my role model & the most incredible Nanny to Charlie. Since having Charlie, she has guided and supported me every step of the way and shaped me to be the mother I am today. If I can give Charlie what she has given me then I know I would have done something 100% right. I truly understand how much she loves me & my brother, I completely understand all hopes & fears she has for us. She once told me, “I never thought it was possible to love again like I loved you & Sean. That was until, you had Charlie and it’s all come flooding back”. She is my angel, don’t know what I’d do without her!

Hx

Family Portraits – JM Designs Wales – Review

I searched high and low to find someone to do me a portrait for Matt ready for Father’s Day. We sadly lost Matts dad back in 2016 after a brave battle with cancer. We both know he would have adored Charlie. After weeks of researching I found JM Designs Wales (Jordan) Her work looked fantastic, just what I was looking for. I messaged her on Facebook to find out if she could do me a picture of Matt, his dad & Charlie together in one photo and she said she could!

I was over the moon, I knew how much Matt would treasure something like this. I sent her pictures of the 3 of them separately, the more the better! Jordan said it would take roughly around 3 weeks which gave me time before Father’s Day. I opted for an A4 grey scale size with a frame which cost me £60. I send Jordan a deposit to get started and eagerly awaited the finished product.

When I received the portrait in the post and opened it up I burst into tears, it was everything and more what I’d been looking for. Absolutely brilliant! I messaged Jordan straight away to thank her and tell her how over the moon I was. When I gave it to Matt on Father’s Day, it was very emotional and he was so pleased, he asked me for Jordan’s details so he could personally thank her.

She is brilliant, I will never use anyone else now I’ve found Jordan she’s a little gem. From start to finish nothing was too much trouble, her work is perfect. My brothers 30th birthday was coming up and I wanted to get him something special, I contacted Jordan again to get her to do me another portrait. This time I went for the A5 size which is bigger than the A4, I think it cost me around £60 with a 10% discount which she kindly gave me. I didn’t have the frame with this one, but it wasn’t a problem as I picked one up myself.

Again, when I received the finish product it was amazing as I knew it would be! My brother loved it! I don’t think he was expecting anything like that. You can have grey scale or colour, I’ve opted for the grey both times but I do love the colour too! She also does pet portraits, logos and the list goes on! I’ve included pictures of both below. If your looking for a gift or just a portrait for your home I would 100% recommend Jordan. Thankyou again, fab work! 💕

Hx

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/jmdesignswales/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jmdesignswales?igshid=1783ej6w7ipcw

Matts Father’s Day gift
My Brothers 30th Gift!

Hands up if you love a bargain!

I love finding little bargains we’ve had loads of baby things and they have all been great! Specially when they grow out of things so quickly, why spend so much money on brand new it makes no sense to me!

That’s when me & Matt decided that instead of spending an absolute fortune on toys which Charlie will grow out of quicker than the speed of light, that we’d buy second hand. Also, it’s his first birthday & Christmas 24 days apart. So, me loving a bargain went on the hut to see what I could find. Obviously we would only buy things in great condition- and boy did I hit the jackpot!

I’d seen someone on Facebook marketplace had been listing lots of different toys and offering bundles. They were perfect! From V-Tec toys to high chair toys there was everything we were looking for. I contacted them and sent a list of what I liked and asked what deal they could do. 15 toys for £48 delivered. Absolute STEAL!

I spoke to Matt and asked him what he thought and he was on board so I went ahead and sealed the deal. I had them delivered today and they are all in fantastic condition and they all work perfectly I’m SO pleased! We have decided to split them in half for his birthday & Christmas. But that is our toy bulk done apart from a ball pit which we still need to buy.

I find a lot of things on Facebook Market & eBay, my mum has had a few baby things from Facebook which she keeps at her house too. People are always selling baby stuff so whatever age have a look and see what you can find I bet you’d be surprised. This isn’t about us being “cheap” we’ve already spent a fortune before he was even here, we quickly realised that it was bloody expensive!

Happy bargain hunting!

Hx

NUK First Choice Leaner Bottle – Product Review

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had much luck with bottles. The last bottle I got for Charlie just leaks all the time and now we can’t find the lid which was temperamental anyway, so that gave me an excuse to buy him a new bottle!

I searched high and low on Amazon, I read loads of reviews on different bottles and finally settled on the NUK First Choice Leaner Bottle. The bottle was £7.99 which I didn’t think was too bad, they have Disney designs and I went for Winnie the Pooh!

The bottle arrived today and I’m pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised. Packaged well and lovely and bright. Not to big, although I felt it is a bit on the smaller side. But that would be my only criticism, although I’m sure you could opt for a bigger size I’ll have to check that one!

The bottle holds 5oz or 150ml if you prefer. The lid is very good clips on solid with no leakage. I wanted this cup purely for water, I’m sure you’d be able to use it for formula too. The bottle comes with instructions although I’m not sure why you’d need them it’s pretty self explanatory, plus I couldn’t even see the instructions in English printed anyway!

The bottle also comes with a separate stopper, I’d assume you could use this if you didn’t have the lid. Tried & tested by Charlie you’ll see by the photos he found it easy to hold and didn’t seem to have any problems with drinking from it at all. Overall I’m pleased with my purchase and definitely would recommend.

5/5⭐️ from me!

Hx

Life’s not always like Instagram

People only capture the good times. Imagine scrolling through your instagram feeds and seeing all the not so perfect things, the REAL life things. It wouldn’t be so pretty then would it?

Not everything can be disguised with a filter. Today was definitely an UNFILTERED day, from my side & Charlie’s! It started off a good day, Charlie had slept through he’s really good in the nights. We got up around 6:30am, came downstairs, Charlie played on his mat whilst I made his bottle & a cup of coffee.

Baby TV was on in the background, Charlie sat on my lap long enough to finish his bottle before he was squirming around. He just wants to be everywhere since he’s started to master the crawling. I put Charlie back on his mat to play without his nappy whilst I downed my now lukewarm coffee. I ran upstairs for a quick loo stop and to check Matt was getting out of bed.

I could see Charlie was sat in the same place I left him, only I noticed as I got closer that Charlie was bashing his hands down in a pile of his own poo. Amazing! I whipped him up quick as I held his hands away from his mouth I was just lucky he hadnt put them in straight away. Matt had come in just at the right time, he pulled out a load of wipes and started wiping up his poo whilst I tackled his hands.

Cleaned up and new nappy on Charlie was ready for his nap, I knew he needed to go down now as I had a gym class at 10am so we would have to leave around 9:30. Charlie went down to sleep around 8am and I had to wake him and get him dressed ready to go. I’d already sorted myself & his bag whilst he was sleeping so we were up and out in a shot.

I dropped him at the creche in the gym and headed up for my class. When I went back 45 minutes later I could see him happily playing away in the pen. I called him 3 or 4 times with no response he was too busy enjoying himself. The girls had said he was good as gold, as usual! Had a little grizzle but nothing major.

I had so much to do today so I scooped him up and off we went for the day. We’re in the middle of sorting out a remortgage plus we’re buying the remaining share of our house and only have until 25th September so it’s all systems go. I had to send back documents to our new mortgage lender & solicitors but needed stuff from the bank first.

As soon as we got into town Charlie has started grizzling. I couldn’t find his dummy, so it was a race to pay for my parking and see how quickly I could get to boots without an epic meltdown occurring – I failed. Charlie screamed from the car to boots, all the way around boots, whilst we waited in the queue for 10 min then after he had his new dummy.

I could already feel myself getting flustered, I offered him a drink and he batted it away. I offered him his dummy back – he still was not happy! I headed down to the bank, I tried one of their new machines but I wouldn’t give me a statement for the right account so I had to queue up. Oh how fun this was going to be.

Charlie carried on screaming and grizzling, the more I tried to comfort him the worse it made him. I could feel eyes on me. I could feel myself getting frustrated, it was finally my turn it felt like the woman took ages and it wasn’t until I rushed away with the piece of paper in my hand that I realised she hadn’t done what I’d asked her. The queue had doubled, Charlie was screaming louder than ever and I was ready to burst into tears. “Oh he’s not very happy” a woman said to me as I passed Charlie’s dummy back.

NO CLEARLY HE ISNT VERY F***ING HAPPY! I felt like saying, but I bit my tongue and left. My eyes burned with tears as I rushed back to the car, he whaled the whole way I knew people were looking over I just wanted to get home and fast.

I got Charlie & the pushchair back in the car in record time as soon as I closed my driver door I felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I find my car a safe place where I can let out all of my emotions. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do, Charlie was tired. Simple as that, but he just cannot cope when he gets tired he has these complete meltdowns. I couldn’t bare to hear him scream so I turned the radio up, we only live 5 min from town so it’s a quick trip.

We got home, I gave Charlie his lunch and put him down in his cot. It took him a good hour before he finally fell asleep. I did a few dummy runs but managed to have something to eat and a cuppa tea. I sat downstairs in the quiet and balled my eyes out.

There are so many amazing days we have, (which you’ll see on Instagram) but then there are days like today, where I haven’t been able to get anything done, and Charlie has been really difficult. And there will be many more days like today, but I think it’s important to remember that it’s REAL LIFE, and things aren’t always plain sailing.

Life’s not always like Instagram

H x

The Play Loft Cardiff

Yesterday me & Charlie set a play date up with my lovely friend Danielle & her little munchkin Edison. We try and meet up once every two weeks, hopefully once a week going forward!

I always can’t wait to see them both, there are just 3 days between Charlie & Edison and they are just the cutest together. It also gives me & Danielle a chance to catch up, talk all things baby and not worry about boring one another. Also share our hopes and fears of our motherhood journeys!

We decided to meet at the Play Loft in north Cardiff (Whitchurch). I’d never been there before and Danielle is pretty much new to anywhere around Cardiff as she’s living in Newport. I was hoping we would both get there in one piece as the last meet up ended in disaster and me retreating to my mums after driving round for an hour & half! But that’s for another blog.

We arrived near enough the same time which was spot on, found parking and got the boys ready. We spotted the sign on the side of the building and after a quick circle found where we were going just down the side. We parked the prams inside at the designated pram corner. I could smell Charlie in the car so knew he needed a quick change before we headed up (typical!).

Lucky for us the playloft has 2 floors for different age ranges the top floor for the older children. Our was the under 3’s on the first floor called the “ Toddlers Garden” also same as the cafe! Winner winner. Entry was £2 for under 3’s, £4 overs & free for baby in arms. The cafe was really cheap, £1.50 for a hot drink & sandwich’s & paninis £3.59-£3.95 which I thought was great.

The play area itself was lovely, and we had the whole place to ourselves which was perfect! We put the boys down to play whilst we chatted away. There were big Wendy houses for when they get a bit bigger, but lots of puzzles and colourful toys for them both to play with on the floor. They had high chairs available for us to give them their lunch, and Danielle had a sandwich. We stayed for around 2 hours and were near enough on our own most of the time before a few came in as we were leaving.

We both said that we would definitely come back, it’s perfect for a little chill out area. We normally go to the Vanilla pod in Newport which I absolutely love but there is nothing for the boys to do. So for me the playloft was a perfect option. I’m looking forward to finding new places to visit.

Thankyou for a lush day as usual Dan🥰 can’t wait to see you both again! 💕

A Stranger Touched My Baby

It is as weird as it sounds. I’m still sat here wishing I’d said something but I was in so much shock and it was quick that I just didn’t.

Yesterday me & Matt decided we would head to Caerphilly as they had the annual “Big Cheese” event and we both had never been. It was heaving & hot but we wanted to get out for the day. As we entered there was a fair ground and food & craft stalls all around.

We set of towards the food & craft stalls as we didn’t fancy going around the fair ground. The tents were boiling and crammed with people, I navigated the pram through the crowds as we tried to pop our heads by the stalls to grab a few freebies! Brownies and chocolates were on offer so we were never going to turn them down!

I spotted my favourite stall Cusan Cream Liquor. I first found these back at Cardiff’s food & drink festival with my mum, their liquors are to die for! I’ve still got two big bottles at home but promised my mum I’d grab her another one if we saw them. I darted over and rang her quick to check which flavour she wanted as I knew they would be close to selling out by now on the final day, but I managed to bag her a salted caramel our fav! 😋

After browsing a few more stalls we decided to have a walk around, we stood trying to pick out which food queue was the shortest as we were both starving but they were all equally as long. In the end we decided on a BBQ stand it smelt amazing, so walked to the end and joined. We chatted as we waited, there was a young girl and her mum & dad in front of us and we smiled as we watched her giggling playing with her dad.

There were so many people and they were cutting through the queue where we were stood to get to the another side, quite annoying! This happened even as we moved closer to the stall. A middle aged woman started to walk past us cutting through, when she briefly stopped and leant into the pram where Charlie was gave him a squeeze are carried on. I stood there dumbfounded at what had actually just happened. I looked at Matt then to the pram and back again.

“Yeah no problem just touch my baby that’s fine” I said sarcastically, she had already been out of earshot by then and I wished I’d said it sooner. “Can you actually believe she just did that?” I said to Matt and he looked at me just as confused as I was. The women in front of us turned around and said “I thought it was really weird too who does that?” She said. We stood and discussed it with them as I tried to figure out why an earth anyone would think that was OK to do.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would never dream of leaning in a strangers pram to touch their child, especially then just walking off and not saying a word!? I’m kicking myself I didn’t say anything I was just in shock with what she did. I don’t think she meant any harm, but equally it was NOT OK!!

I really wanted to share it on my blog as it was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever had happen. Apart from that we had a lovely day! Some very strange people out there!

H x

Maternity Leave – How long is too long?

I knew from the moment I found out that I was pregnant that I would be taking 12 months off work. There was no disputing it, I wanted to take it and I would. I’m currently 7 months in and the thought of having to go back to work makes me want to cry! I can’t imagine being away from Charlie.

Most people I know aren’t able to take a year off work, and I completely understand why. Had I not been in a fortunate financial situation then I would probably be going back to work in September. Statutory Maternity Pay commonly known as (SMP) is what I’ve been surviving off from around 6 weeks into my maternity leave. But I can tell you, had I not had extra cash I wouldn’t still be on leave.

We are very lucky that our mortgage and bills and very low compared to most people. Even with manageable outgoings the £147 a week doesn’t cover my outgoings, so every month I’ve had to use money from my savings account. From September onwards I won’t receive any SMP at all as it’s classed as unpaid additional leave. But, I’m ok with that because I’m just not ready to go back to work just yet.

Would I take 12 months off again if we have another baby? Absolutely. Why? Because I can honestly say I have had the most amazing time with Charlie, and I’d rather struggle a bit than not have these moments and watch him grow. What I do know, is that I will 100% plan more carefully, I’ll make sure I put more money aside into my savings account.

I decided not to do shared parental leave with Matt as Charlie was our first baby, but I would definitely consider it on our second. Shared parental leave means I could give say a month of my maternity leave to Matt if I wanted to. I actually think Matt would love it because he always says how much he would like to be at home with Charlie more often.

So, I don’t think a year is too long, and I don’t think 6 months is short. I think it depends on you, your lifestyle, your financial situation. Whatever works for you then do it! Don’t listen to what you should or shouldn’t do. Weigh up all of the options and decide what fits best for you and your family.

I can honestly say this has been the best time of my life!

H x