A letter to the new mum.

To The New Mum.

Firstly, regardless of whether this is your first baby or your seventh, I want to wish you the BIGGEST congratulations. It doesn’t matter if the birth went to plan or not, natural or caesarean, no drugs or high as a kite; you are absolutely incredible!

I’m not a medical expert by any means and I hate unsolicited parenting advice but I’ve had two children myself so I just thought that I’d share some things that I wish I’d known when I had my first baby.

You don’t need to invite the world and his dog to visit you as soon as you get home. Unless you want that, which is great if you do, but if not YOU CAN SAY NO. You have just been through a huge physical and emotional ordeal and you need time and space to heal and enjoy your newborn bubble. With my second baby, I had no visitors in the first week apart from grandparents and it did me the world of good. Hormones are going crazy, you might be full of stitches, nobody is really sleeping, feeding (however you’re going about it) is being established and siblings are adjusting to a new family dynamic. This isn’t a great time for lots of visitors. I realise this might sound a bit cold and I know people are just excited and mean well but you need to put yourself first and visitors will come when you’re ready. No rush.

The best visitors are the ones who put the kettle on or offer to grab something from the shop for you when they arrive and it’s ok to accept the help! They say it takes a village to raise a baby for a reason. If you are lucky enough to have close friends and family then this is the perfect time to use them. Let them cuddle your baby so you can grab a hot shower or accept the offer of a hot meal. Whatever you need, just don’t feel like you have to manage everything alone.

You have just birthed a human being. You are already Super Woman. You do not need to be running around with the vacuum at 2 days postpartum! REST. REST. REST. It makes me cringe when I think about how I forced my husband to go on a walk with me 3 days after my emergency caesarean. I was constantly trying to prove to everyone that I was fine and that I could do everything. Now I can see that NOBODY was judging me, and if they were, who cares?! I barely left the sofa for two weeks after I had my second baby and it was just what my mind and body needed.

Whilst we’re on the subject of being a superhero, keep on top of your painkillers. They are prescribed for a reason, even if you feel fine, just follow your course.

Hormones are completely wild and it can be a really difficult time. Talk to people you love and trust and things will balance out again soon. Have a cry on your mum or explain to your partner if you’re having a down day. This is all perfectly normal and you don’t have to paint on a big smile and pretend you’re cherishing every second (#blessed). If you feel like you’re suffering from a bit more than the ‘baby blues’ then please tell somebody. Go to your GP or Health Visitor or even just check out the PANDAS Foundation who are a charity supporting people with pre and post natal depression. Just don’t suffer alone.

And finally, enjoy your delicious new baby! Time really does fly. Remember nobody knows your baby and your family like you do so trust your instincts and do whatever feels right. You’ve got this!

Thank you for reading,

Knight Mummy x

A new year.

First of all, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

We had such a busy week leading up to it (which I spoke about in my last post) so we had a really chilled out one and it was perfect.

We had the morning at home before going to church and then spent the day eating, drinking and playing with new toys at my parent’s house. Bliss!

Goodbye 2017.

Now, I’m not really one the whole ‘new year, new me!’ thing but the end of a year does naturally make you want to reflect and think of things you can change.

I really don’t like big, vague resolutions that get thrown about like ‘be happier’ or ‘lose weight’ or ‘clean more’ for example, they nearly always make you feel a bit of a failure as they are just so ambiguous. Yes, I would like to be happier and lose weight and have a spotless house but day to day these things are too vague and unattainable.

So, here are my ‘resolutions’ that are much more realistic and that will make me feel good.

  1. I’m going to buy more lounge wear. (Does that sound as ridiculous as I think it does? It’s number 1 too as it’s the most important!) I never feel like it’s worth spending the money as nobody really sees them and I’m just relaxing at home but I’m making myself more of a priority. Is there any better feeling than soft, new comfies? Absolutely not.
  2. I’m going to (mostly) get to bed by 10pm. I spend so many evenings lounging on the sofa watching complete rubbish and then I regret it the next morning when I’ve been up all night with the baby.
  3. I want to try to update my blog more often. I love doing it but it’s hard to give it the time it deserves. I enjoy reading my old posts though and I like documenting my life, especially with the children being so young so I want to find more time for it.
  4. We want to move house at some point in the future so need to up our money saving game. Obviously this is AFTER I’ve purchased new lounge wear… priorities.
  5. I really MUST drink more water. I’m still breastfeeding too so I’m not drinking anywhere near what my body needs then I seem surprised when I get headaches.

I could write the longest list about how I’m going to meal plan every week and stop my daily tea and biscuit binge but I just know that I won’t do it and I’ll feel rubbish when I don’t.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m realising that you can’t change everything about yourself, and nor should you want to. Resolutions should be about making slight improvements to your day, not trying to turn into a different person.

So, from me and mine to you and yours, Happy New Year!

What, if any, resolutions are you thinking about for 2018? I’d love to hear them! Do you have any requests for future blog posts? Again, just let me know and I’ll do my best.

Thanks for reading!

Knight Mummy x

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

And breathe.

The last few weeks have been so busy that I think I’ve only been sitting down to breastfeed! I had all of these ideas of Christmas blog posts that I could write but it’s just not happened. Instead, here is a long, rambley post about why things are a little extra crazy at the moment.

Let me walk you through it.

Obviously, it’s Christmas! I am beyond excited. It’s Little Knight’s first Christmas that she understands and Baby Knight’s first Christmas ever so it feels really special. With that, of course, comes all of the chaos! We’ve done Santa visits and going out to buy the tree and looking at Christmas lights and this year she’s at preschool which adds so many things to the jobs list; presents for the teachers, the Christmas Fayre, decorating an elf competition… you get the idea! This is on top of all the presents and cards that need to be organised. Not that I’m complaining, I actually love it all, but it’s just a busy time of year.

What is extra special about this year is that my oldest best friend (of nearly 16 years!) is getting married a few days before Christmas. I’m a bridesmaid and my daughter is a flower girl and we’re so honoured and excited! With that comes dress fittings and hen dos and wedding rehearsals and shopping for shoes and nail appointments and all the rest of it. Again, all lovely, but very busy! My calendar has never looked so full.

All you parents will understand just how much preparation goes into a day trip with young children, let alone an all day wedding and overnight stay. I have lists EVERYWHERE. I find preparation is key when dealing with young children and events. I’m considering packing a whole bag with just snacks and stickers. That should do it.

Last week we were hit with ALL THE SNOW which is almost unheard of for us. The kids loved it and even though I’m not usually a fan, it was beautiful and really got us in a Christmassy mood. However we were pretty much snowed in for 5 days, so not much was being achieved and ticked off the to do list!

I’ve been feeling productive though and I’ve managed to tick off most things now. I wanted to enjoy the Christmas break and not be stressing over wrapping presents so I’ve forced myself to get stuff done, I’m usually Queen Procrastinator. (Oh I need to fill in this form? Well I better just tidy my sock drawer first… )

I’m not bragging though, my house is a complete mess and I REALLY need to wash my hair but something’s gotta give!

Little Knight had her last day at preschool today and my husband only has 2 days left of work so we’re all getting ready for a nice break. This is probably the only time in the year where my husband is off work and we’re just at home, normally it’s for a holiday or event or whatever, so just having time at home together is really special.

Christmas Day will be fairly relaxed too. We’ll be home in the morning, even though we always spend Christmas with family we like to keep these few hours to just the 4 of us, then off to church and then to my parents house for the rest of the day where I’ll probably put my pjs on at 2pm. Perfect.

How’re your festive preparations going? Hope it’s not too stressful! How do you plan on celebrating? I love hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions.

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Knight Mummy x

A tale of PND. 

This blog post is a special one. My little sister has been incredibly brave and opened up about her battle with Post Natal Depression in a bid to break the stigma behind mental health and potentially help someone who is struggling.

This is her story in her own words.

“The midwife had just handed me my beautiful baby who I had been waiting to meet for months. This was easily the best moment of my life but it’s also the moment when my life changed forever.

Things got off to a rocky start because apparently babies never read the birth plan! After over 50 hours of labour I was exhausted and was constantly worrying about not having enough energy to push or carry on. Eventually they decided to break my waters which made me feel like I couldn’t do it myself (completely not true). Then I was rushed from the midwife led unit to triage due to some complications which stressed me out completely. Once I was told to push, my baby appeared very quickly, almost ripping me in half. Then I was rushed to theatre where I was treated for second degree tears which resulted in me having a haemorrhage. This wasn’t part of the plan and definitely not how I imagined things to go.

After being in hospital for 2 days, baby Page decided that she didn’t want to latch on so I was unable to breastfeed – another devastating blow! (Not that I was ever against bottle feeding). I think this is where it all started.

For days I was feeling generally ‘sad’ but I just put it down to the baby blues. Obviously I was over the moon with my beautiful baby girl but something didn’t feel quite right. After 5 months, I knew that I needed to do something so I booked a doctors appointment without telling anyone – not even my husband.

I spent 20 minutes sobbing to the doctor who was amazing and listened to every word I said. It was nice just to talk to someone who would listen without ‘feeling sorry for me’. After my appointment, he prescribed me some anti depressants and wanted to see me in 2 weeks. I left that doctors surgery feeling vulnerable, hopeless but relieved that I finally had a reason why I felt like I did.

The worst kind of sad is not being able to explain why.

That night I finally plucked up the courage to tell my husband. I don’t know why I was so scared to tell him because I knew he would be brilliant. Yet again, I broke down because I just wanted to feel normal again. After I told my husband, I went into the next room and told my mum (I still live at home). Obviously, I sobbed again and so did she. It felt nice just to cry and not have to hold anything back. The next day I knew that I would have to tell my sister, mother in law and my nan because they deserved to know and I trusted them all. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do it so I cowardly asked my mom to tell them for me.

Eventually, everyone who needed to know, knew but I still refused to ever talk about it. I never wanted to cry in front of anyone or talk about how I felt. For over a year I had this ‘secret’ that only a handful of people knew. I felt embarrassed, ashamed and selfish. My daughter didn’t ask to be born to a mother who spent a lot of her nights feeling sad. I never wanted sympathy, I just wanted people to understand why some days I didn’t seem myself.
However, 15 months later I can say that I’m back. I’ve been officially discharged from the doctors and I’m happier than ever. My daughter is becoming a beautiful little girl, I have the best family and I can’t wait to see what our future holds. Also, I can’t thank my husband, family and friends enough because without them, I wouldn’t be me.

This past 15 months haven’t been awful. I’ve had some really really good times and looking back, why should I have been sad? Postnatal depression is an illness and it can happen to anyone.

I haven’t wrote this post for you to feel sorry for me because you don’t need to. I’m a very lucky lady and I have everything I need. I just wanted to raise awareness about mental health.

If you are going through something similar then please talk to someone! Take one breath, one day at a time; it won’t always be this hard!”
Powerful stuff. I’m so proud of my sister for how she’s coped over the last year and for pouring so much of herself into these words. If you want to keep up with her and that beautiful Little Page, you can find her on Instagram at @bethy2410 and @ourweaningstory where she posts recipes and meal ideas for kids.

My sister has been so brave to write this so please show her some love.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week. Now I do think that we have come a long way in talking about mental health BUT that discussion can never stop as there will constantly be new women embarking on motherhood and experiencing all these new emotions.

How often do you get through a day and realise you can’t remember when you last ate something? Or you lose track of when you last washed your hair?

It’s like spinning plates. We try to keep on top of all of our commitments and often it’s looking after ourselves that is the first to drop off the priority list and smash.

I know that between children and the house and going to work and all of our other obligations, time is scarce. This is why we need to consciously set aside some time to focus on ourselves and recharge.

Once a week, we go out for a walk to our local florist and pick some flowers for the living room. We all get some fresh air, they brighten up the room and it feels like I’m treating myself.

Maybe you could read a book? Even if it’s just a chapter when the kids are in bed, I find that it feels much more soothing than zoning out on my phone or infront of the TV.

This might sound like an annoying one, but a workout always puts me in a better mood and it’s time spent on yourself, even if the children are present. Personally, I aim for 3 workouts a week and they vary from 10-30 minutes depending on the kid’s moods. I can’t get out to the gym anymore so I have a few DVDs to do at home but you could always use YouTube. I also try to get it done in the morning because as the days goes on, I know I get less and less likely to do it.

If you can, GET OUT THE HOUSE! Go and meet some friends or sit in a coffee shop and just enjoy not having to think for a while. These children don’t half take up some head space!

Everyone has their own way of taking out time for them self. Maybe meditation is your thing or something as simple as painting your nails? Whatever it is. Do it. Sometimes the washing up will just have to sit on the worktop a little bit longer and THAT’S OK.

It is completely normal to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, bored, lonely, sad or scared. Or all of the above. In the same week. This having babies business is HARD. Never feel like you have to be a hero who can do everything on your own. Nobody is handing out medals, ask for a break!

I always feel like I’m a better parent once I’ve had a chance to think about myself and recharge, so everyone benefits. It’s so true that you cannot pour from an empty cup.

1 in every 5 women experience PND. This is something that an hour off will not fix so if you feel like you are drowning, please speak to somebody. There are numerous organisations and charities that will help you as well as your GP and Health Visitor. Just don’t suffer in silence.

If you can’t seek help for yourself, remember that your baby needs you to be fit and well.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

No longer the only one.

I am so happy to be expecting again and I cannot wait to add to our little family. Siblings have such a special relationship and we’re so blessed that we’re able to give that to Little Knight. She will really love being a big sister. She is such a kind and gentle little girl and I am beyond excited to see her with our own baby.

However, the whole point in this blog is that it is an outlet where I can be completely honest and as excited as I am, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness for my girl. My beautiful first born. The darling who made me a mama in the first place! Everything has been about her for so long and I feel sad for her that things are going to change so much. She’s not a spoilt child in terms of stuff (though she definitely doesn’t go without) but she is with attention!

She’s going to have to share me and I feel so sad thinking about her wanting me to do something and she might have to wait. I know a lot of people will say it’s good for her to learn all this and blah blah blah but she’s still so very little.

I feel almost selfish for wanting another baby and putting her in this position. In her world, everything is lovely how it is and we’re going to change everything. In my logical mind, I know she’ll love having a sibling but that doesn’t stop me feeling guilty about making her adapt to this. Being pregnant is hard work, I can’t run after her like before and climb around soft play and she doesn’t understand why.

We have ‘big sister’ books and we talk about the baby a lot and she’ll kiss my tummy but she’s still so young and I know she doesn’t really understand what’s going to happen. We’ll just drop her off at Nanny and Grandpa’s with no idea when we’ll pick her up. She’ll have the best time there but I will miss her so much.

When she does see me again EVERYTHING WILL BE DIFFERENT. This new baby will be here and needing so much from me and from then I won’t just be her mama. I’ll be two little people’s mama.

When the baby is born and people come to visit I worry that she won’t get any attention. The little baby won’t have a clue but my big girl will and I can’t bare the thought of her feeling left out.

I know the hormones aren’t helping. I’ve said ‘sad’ like 16 times but I can’t help it. It’s the only word that seems to fit!

Please let me know if you feel or felt the same and that I’m not the only one! Obviously we are all really excited to have this baby and I’m so happy to be pregnant! It’s just the combination of crazy hormones and the dreaded mum guilt. In reality, I’m confident that my girl will thrive and really love being a big sister. She’ll have a best friend for life. I’m sure they’ll enjoy moaning together about how annoying and embarrassing their parents are!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy X

Time for me.

If you follow my blog you’ll have noticed that they can be a bit sporadic, sorry about that! I never got into this to be a professional blogger. I just like having my little space on the internet to write my experiences and share with others. Through all its downsides, I think we’re so lucky to have social media as rife as we do. Time goes so quickly and I love being able to look back and enjoy special moments again.

Anyway, my point was, if I don’t feel like writing, I just don’t. So if I go a bit quiet, I’m either not in the mood or just too busy.

I realised last week just how beneficial it is to your mood to have just a little bit of time on your own. I’m not talking a spa day or anything very indulgent!

Last week my lovely sister had Little Knight for about an hour and I treated myself to a trip to Aldi and went for my smear test. (Dont put it off, ladies! It’s so important!) I agree, there are better ways to spend a morning but I felt so much more relaxed and patient and ready to play. Little Knight barely noticed that I had gone but when I returned her smile was just magic.

It’s so hard though isn’t it? You just carry on day in day out and inevitably it’s going to start talking it’s toll. I definitely need to start making me-time more of a priority. I went to a Pilates class tonight and it’s really set me up for the week. I want to be ‘fun mum’ as often as possible but she gets very tired and is hard to sustain sometimes. An uninterrupted soak in the bath though and I feel rejuvenated and ready for the next day.

I think we should all vow to spend more time looking after ourselves. We are important too!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Simple pleasures.

I think it’s a combination of the fact that we’re having more sunny days lately and that Baby Knight is suddenly growing up at an alarming rate that is making me really appreciate the small things. One of my character flaws is that I am quite materialistic so I’m not going to sit behind my laptop spouting out that I don’t care for expensive things or grand gestures and lead a simple life because it simply isn’t true. The whole point in this blog is that it’s completely honest and not a ‘look at me, I’m amazing’ show. However, whilst I do love all those things, I am getting better at appreciating the lesser valued things in life.

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Of course, certain things obviously bring me joy. My daughter’s smile makes my mummy heart swell and I will write many blog posts about the important aspects of  life in the future but right now I want to point out the small and insignificant things that regularly brighten my day. These are just a few examples:

  • Going out and buying myself a bunch of flowers. Is that pathetic? I don’t even care! I get to choose exactly what I want in any colour or combination and they brighten up my living room instantly.  
  • Lighting a big candle after Baby Knight has gone to bed. I feel like it emphasises that it’s grown up time and creates a really relaxing atmosphere. I also just love buying new candles so I have to justify them to Mr Knight by lighting them at every chance I get.
  • When that impossible baby stain actually DOES come out of her clothes. Mum win!
  • Finding a new episode of Modern Family has been recorded. Mr Knight and I are completely addicted, it’s hilarious!
  • Being barefoot in the grass. This is something Baby Knight and I have in common, if we put her on a blanket she crawls straight off to wriggle her toes in the grass. 

I hope this has got you thinking about the simple pleasures in your life. Please feel free to share, spread the positivity and all that jazz.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x