You Matter Too

You Matter Too

Lately I’ve been coming across a few posts on social media like this one that just wind me up!

I mean wtf?! On one hand us women are meant to be encouraging each other to feel empowered and self confident and then we go and post stuff like this?

This in particular really got me riled. I mean what bull. I get my hair done every 8 weeks and I own a Samsung Note 9 so that means I must be neglecting my child, right? Wrong. I only started getting my hair cut and coloured with regularity last year but the difference it made to my confidence levels and mental state is incredible. Should I feel guilty for taking those few hours every couple of months to do something for myself? Of course I shouldn’t! And neither should any Mum who takes time out to do something for herself. Because you matter too.

Statements like the one above seem to suggest that everything a Mum does should be for her child or she’s failing somehow. But actually, in my opinion, I don’t think this is healthy or sustainable. I think it’s so important for Mums to make sure their needs are met too. I appreciate this isn’t always easy if you’re a single Mum, a special needs Mum or you simply struggle to juggle life or find the time, but even if all you can manage is that bubble bath you never get to have, it makes a big difference.

Now I’m going to throw a few stats at you.

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for women during pregnancy and one year after birth.
  • 7 in 10 women will hide or underplay the severity of their perinatal mental illness.
  • More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year of having their baby.

(statistics taken from Maternal Mental Health Alliance)

Clearly, looking at those, there’s a big problem. And I believe it also reaches way beyond that first year. Mental Health is a major issue worldwide full stop. I talk to women all the time who appear to struggle but are just battling on because they feel that to take the time out for them would make them a “bad mum”. This kind of thinking really needs to stop. Because how can you be the amazing Mum you are if your mental health is failing? You can’t. At some point it will come to a head. For me it did last year. I felt that I was struggling for a lot of Noah’s first year but it wasn’t till 2018 that I realised that I couldn’t carry on this way. I felt I’d lost my identity and I needed to get back a bit of me. So I started doing a few things for myself, like getting my hair done, and I’m not saying it’s a cure all for mental health illness, because of course it isn’t, but it made a difference. When I was taking anti-depressants and feeling anxious, it gave me a focus. Something to look forward to. I still have bad days now but when I do I try to do something small for me. And it always helps. Till you read posts like the one above. Posts that are anti self care, anti mental health recovery and frankly anti-you! Because of course, you’re Mum. You have no other purpose than to look after your children. Posts like that basically promote the idea that you no longer matter.

So I guess all I really want to say is never let ANYONE make you feel guilty for taking some time out for you. Because you DO matter. Yes it’s important that your children are well cared for but in order to do that you have to be ok too. If there’s one thing I want you to take from reading this it’s You Matter Too.

A Day in the Life of a Toddler

A Day in the Life of a Toddler

Ever have those moments when you watch your toddler babbling away and you wonder what they’re really thinking or what they want to say? Well the fact that I went ahead and wrote this may be evidence that I wonder too much!

06:00 – Mummy and Daddy have had enough sleep now. It was hard work keeping them up in the night kicking the walls but I can’t sleep now. After all without me how would they know when to get up?

06:10 – Throwing a tantrum now because I’m too tired. A little whinge wont suffice here. I need to throw myself down to the ground kicking and screaming because…..well, you know, just because.

06:30 – They just changed my nappy so that must mean they want me fill this one up. Wee, poo, it doesn’t matter. Can’t let this nappy go to waste!

07:00 – Mummy is trying to instigate less screen time. I know what she’s up to. Time to shout “Cbeebeebeebies!!” over and over till she relents and puts on Postman Pat. Then she always pours some hot stuff into a cup to drink it right after. Not sure why.

07:10 – After a few minutes of watching Postman Pat have issues with the simple delivery of a parcel yet again (seriously I’m 1 nearly 2 and even I could do better?) I’m bored. This floor looks too tidy. Time to tip some toys all over it. Might even put some in Mummy and Daddy’s bedroom for good measure. They love it when I surprise them with my toys in their bed!

08:00 – Breakfast time! My favourite meal of the day! Time for my- wait where’s my cheerios? Toast! What trickery is this? I like toast but for breakfast I always have cheerios. Mummy knows this so why change a good thing now? Nope this wont do. Tantrum time again…..

But this toast is yummy. She’s let me have some jam as a special treat. Ok maybe I forgive her. Yoghurt time! And why confine it to the pot! Yoghurt makes excellent finger paint. And Mummy loves it when I do my finger painting with my yoghurt. She gets all excited! Though she gets her words mixed up and keeps saying “No” rather than “Yes”. Silly Mummy. She’s been doing that a lot lately.

8:30 – Right that’s breakfast done and it’s nappy filling time again! Mummy’s been trying to get me to use that weird pot thing to go to toilet in lately. Think it’s called a “Potty”. But that’s not happening. I mean she wants me to do my business in a plastic tub? I’m not an animal. I’m quite happy hiding here behind the sofa and pooping into my nappy. Much more civilised.

9:00– Mummy says we need to go to Asda. We need some more milk and bread but for some reason she never just buys that. She buys chocolate, crisps, clothes for me….Maybe there’s a minimum spend limit? I don’t understand. Mummy wont let me bring my bunny with me because she says I’ll drop it like last time. I promise I wont Mummy! She lets me bring bunny, yay!

9:30– I drop bunny in Asda.

Mummy is not impressed. We hunt high and low. I miss bunny. Time to tantrum again. Maybe he’ll hear me and come back.

9:35– Ah there he is! See! He heard me scream and came running to make me feel better. I love you bunny. I wont ever drop you ever again.

9:40- I drop bunny in Asda again.

10:00 – We’re walking home from Asda. I have no idea why that took so long. Mummy is so slow at shopping. Ooooh look a dog. Oh no! It’s getting away. Walk faster Mummy!! “Goggy! Goggy! Goggy!”. The man with the dogs is getting away. Maybe if I shout louder he’ll hear me “GOGGYYYYYY!!!!”.

10:00 – Now we’re home and Mummy’s trying to get me to have my morning nap. Ha! Yeah good luck with that Mummy. I’m too tired to tantrum though so I’ll just whinge and bit and sit here with my bunny and my book and read….for……a…..b-

zzzzZZZZZZZZ………..

12:00– Wait what?! Damn she tricked me into napping again. She’s crafty that Mummy. Quick nappy change and they’re doing that song on Cbeebies that reminds Mummy it’s time for…..

12:15 – LUNCH! Scrambled eggs and toast? Get in! My favourite! What Mummy? You want me to use my spoon, not my hands? But that just slows me down! And I need to eat this yummy scrummy egg as fast as I can. Mmmmm I love egg.

13:30 – Lunch is over, fresh nappy, time for PLAY! It’s sunny today so Mummy has said we can go to the park. I’m so excited! Buggy, buggy, buggy, buggy, PARK!!

13:45 – At the park, got my ball to kick but – ooooooh mud! Maybe if I dig in the mud I’ll find buried treasure. Or even better…..chocolate! Must keep digging! Oh no hear comes Mummy! Nooooo I don’t want to be wiped! I want to diiiiiiiig! Tantrum time.

14:15 – Quick pit stop at the café. Mummy’s brought my bottle of water and some raisins which are yummy but – oooh what’s she eating? That looks yummy and cakey and chocolatey…..I must have some! Maybe if I say please and thank you enough she’ll give me some! Peas? Peas? Ta? Peas? PEAS!! TA!!!

15:00 – Home from the park now. Time for my daily request to watch Frozen. If I charge over to the remote, grab it and shout “Elsa!!” Mummy will get the message. Not sure why she’s groaning. She loves Elsa really. Who doesn’t? Elsa! Elsa! Oooh here’s my favourite song. Love is an open DOOOOOOR…. I have a beautiful singing voice.

16:30 – Mummy’s trying to cook dinner now. She must want my help! Maybe she’ll need these little pots in here. I’ll get them all out for her…. Oh no, she looks cross. Put them back! Put them back! Oh no, why doesn’t throwing them at the cupboard work?!! Hey! Mummy! Put me down! I don’t want to sit and play with my bricks I wanted to heeeeeelp!!! Tantrum time.

17.00 – DINNER!!! Ooooh Sausages! And mash! And- wait. What’s what green stuff? Bleurgh. Mummy’s trying to poison me! I’ll tell Daddy. Daddy! Daddy! He’s at work still? Noooo Daddy! You must saaaaaaave me!

18:00 – I survived dinner. Phew. I managed to throw most of the green stuff on the floor when Mummy wasn’t looking. I think I got away with it. Oooh I hear the door! Maybe it’s Elsa come to rescue me! Oh no it’s just Daddy. Wait- it’s Daaaaaddy!!!! Oh Daddy you’re my favouritest person ever! Mummy’s looked after me all day but you’re simply the bestest ever!!

18:30 – Mummy calls me to do my teeth. Ugh why do we have to do this AGAIN. I only just did them this morning. I’ll just chew the brush. That’s enough. What? You want to brush them? Noooooo! Nooooo! I don’t want clean teeth! I was saving that food for later!!

Mummy runs my bath and WOW look at all those bubbles! Where do they come from? She lifts me into the bath and oooooh I can see a person in the tap! They look like me! Mummy tells me I have to sit down now. Ugh she wants to wash my hair.

Now she’s all done washing me and I can SPLASH!! Splash! Splash! Splash! This room will be my own personal indoor pool oh yes. Splash! Oh no Mummy’s lifting me out now. But Mummy I wasn’t done! I want my poooool!!

18:45 – Mummy & Daddy are dressing me for bed. I keep hiding under the towel and silly Mummy & Daddy keep thinking I’ve disappeared! I’m right here you sillies! So so funny! Oooh these pyjamas feel all nice and cosy and I know what’s coming next…..

19:00 – Bottle!!! Ah warm milky goodness. Makes me feel *yawn* sleepy but I WILL NOT GIVE IN. Mummy’s reading me a story and I love how she does the silly voices. Oh and it’s the zoo one now! I wish the zoo would send me an elephant.

19:15 – Story time’s over now and Mummy tucks me in and tells me I must sleep. But nope. I think now is time to explore my drawers. Oooh nappies! And lotion! And all these clothes! Yup they need to go on my bed. I need it all. Oops here comes Daddy. He looks cross. He’s tucked me back up. I will not give in, I will – not – *yawn* – give -…….. zzzzZZZZZ

01:15 – What was that noise? Wind? A creak? It must be morning!!! Mummy! Mummy! Daddy! Oh Mummy looks tired! It’s not morning? Oh. Sorry. My mistake. But I can’t sleep now. I’m WIDE awake. Cuddle me! CUDDLE ME!! Ahhh that’s better….zzzzZZZZZ

Playgrounds & Playdates

Playgrounds & Playdates

Last week was a pretty fun week in the Martin household. Tuesday was a fairly quiet day with a trip to our regular favourite, the playground. I’ve noticed Noah is getting more adventurous with the equipment he’ll try and making new friends. It’s like he’s growing up right in front of my eyes!

Thursday we had friends round. This is quite a big deal for me, if I’m honest, because, when I was struggling the most with feeling low, I hardly had any friends over. So it was really nice to have Jess come over and to see Noah, at first reluctantly, sharing his toys with her 8 month old. Noah wasn’t sure how to react to another baby sharing his turf at first but then, after a little while, he warmed to baby L and it was so sweet to see. He even tried to give him a hug at one point! This is massive progress considering, at one point, he seemed to have a massive dislike for any babies but, luckily, he seems to be growing out of that! Think it was a jealousy thing…

Friday I had a half day at work, yay, so after I picked Noah up from nursery we came home and got some one on one Mummy & son time which was nice. We cosied up under blankets, watched a movie and had a nice relaxing afternoon.

That evening, as a treat, I served up cheese and tomato pizza, garlic bread and sweet corn for dinner. But, to my amusement, Noah refused to touch the pizza and just honed in on the sweet corn. He must have eaten a plateful of the stuff! I can tell you that his nappies were interesting the next day!

Saturday we had another play date whilst Jamie was working, out this time. It was really nice catching up with Kate & Ruby whilst Noah caused chaos with the other children and he had a really good time. He also got to know Kate’s dog, Alfie, and it was really sweet to see him learn how to stroke him and how caring he was.

Sunday the weather was horrible so, after doing the weekly food shop, we had a day indoors. Noah enjoyed some colouring and I, for the first time ever (I know I’m ashamed) cooked a roast chicken dinner. And it turned out pretty well! Noah and Jamie loved it. Noah made me laugh because, when he had polished off his roast potatoes, he pointed over to my plate and said “ta?”. He wanted mine the cheeky beggar! Of course I couldn’t resist his cheeky grin so handed over a potato, though I probably shouldn’t have.

In general I’m really noticing how fast Noah is coming along now. It frightens me just how quickly he is growing. He is learning more and more words. He has a “first words” pack of flash cards that we regularly go through with him and he can now name most of those and this morning he randomly counted to 3. I am so proud of him. We were also trying to figure out whether he’s going to be right or left-handed (like his Dad). Yesterday, when colouring, he was mostly favouring his left hand but then, at other times, he’ll go for the right. It’s probably too early to tell yet. I’m just learning to savour all these growing moments because, it sounds corny, they really are so precious.

You know you’re a Mum when…

You know you’re a Mum when…

1) Your clothes stay clean for all of 5 minutes.

In my case I get up early to make sure I’m nicely ready for work, all smart and professional looking….only to arrive at work and discover that the child managed to catch me with a good old toothpaste/bogey smear….

2) You feel like a hostage negotiator.

Except rather than dealing with a terrorist you’re negotiating with a tantruming toddler. “No you can’t lick the toilet.” “Ok if I give you a packet of raisins will you stop screaming at me?”.

3) It feels like a novelty when you get to pee alone.

And you don’t blink an eyelid at doing a number 2 with a pair of wide eyes looking right up at you. Well this is nice….

4) Sleep is no longer a necessity but a luxury

Whenever we have a child free day literally all I feel like doing is sleeping. In fact a full day of sleeping would be my idea of heaven. Hint hint for Mother’s Day Jamie….

5) You’re more up to date with the latest CBeebies songs than the current Top 10 in the charts….

Whether it’s about colours or setting your happy free, you regularly boogie on down with your toddler of a morning. And don’t get me started on theme tunes (Go, go, go, go, go jetters!). Oh and the stick song!!

To be continued…..at some point

(Feel free to comment with your own suggestions!)

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog! Just thought I’d write a quick introductory post so won’t keep you long!

Basically my inspiration for this blog is to give you a snapshot into my life. I’m far from the perfect Mum; I make mistakes and I live in chaos but also joy. I am real.

My name is Catherine and I’m originally from Cardiff, Wales but now live in East Sussex with my husband Jamie and our 20 month old Noah. Jamie and I were married in 2015 and conceived our son via IVF in 2016. Noah came chaotically into our lives Christmas Eve 2016 and we haven’t looked back since! We have plans to return for more IVF in the future but, in the meantime we are focussed on enjoying our little family and the fun it brings.

So that about sums us up! So please feel free to follow me on my rollercoaster journey, hope you enjoy!

The 3 of us