The End Of An Era – Paying Homage to Milky Breasts

I’ve been lucky enough to provide my wonderful daughter with breast milk for a whole year. Despite starting back at work just after she turned 5 months old along with all the ups and downs of breastfeeding, I managed to keep it going.

Orginaly I planned to feed for 3 months which then turned to 6, and then once I got the hang of expressing enough milk to cover the hours I was working, i thought ‘what the heck, let’s go for the year milstone’. I have to say, I am pretty chuffed with myself.  There is a part of me that wants to keep going but I know it’s the right time now since we’ve got down to one feed a day, and little ba really doesn’t seem to care if it’s come from mummy or cow.

Tonight, on the night of my (not so) little one’s first birthday, I layed beside her feeding her a much appreciated  bottle of warmed cows milk. To say the least I couldn’t help but feel a little bit gutted, it was like the end of an era.. ‘The Great Teat of Life’ – April  2016 – 2017. Rip my lovely milky boobies.

Of course breast feeding was so much more than the nurishment it provided. Health benefits aside, it was mine and baby’s little thing, it was what bonded us and made baby (and me) trust my parental insticts. I suppose now I feel like a bit of a safety net has been taken away. Now I have to rely on alternative nurishments alone to do the job of keeping growing baby fit and well. We still have lots of cuddles though, especially at the ‘would have been’ breastfeeding times.

On the one hand I can drink once again, my partner can feed her more, giving me a bit more of a break and we could actually spend the night away alone, which actually seems like something we haven’t done in a lifetime (though she would still be terribly missed). Yet at the same time I think about how fast this year has flown and how this is the first of many things I’ll have to let go of as my baby grows up and needs her mummy less and less.

I have loved every minute of being a mum. I am embracing the present yet forever worrying about the future. Though I must be doing something right as when it comes to parenting I have no regrets. The past year has painted beautiful memories full of peace, love and happiness.

Advertisements

All Done & Dusted For Another Year

Whilst popping out to the shops on a blustery boxing day morning, I couldn’t help but think to myself, ‘wooahh, it’s as if the whole world is hungover.’ The almost empty streets whistled as the cold winds rushed through alleyways and crooks. The dreary few who managed to pull themselves out of bed, floated through the streets like lost soles wandering a dystopian world.

It got me thinking.. isn’t Christmas day one heck of an expensive, over planned anticlimax. Like a great big slap in the face. You spend a fortune and the best part of your month (if not longer) planning for one single day and then just like that, it’s all over with. Was it half as fabulous as you’d anticipated?… Didn’t think so!

Then, to add insult to injury, the very next day all Xmas products prices drop dramatically! I’m not being funny or anything, and please do mind my french… but are they taking the piss?? Whats that? You could have bought the exact same rubbish for half the price, if you hadn’t insisted on giving everyone their presents on the 25th of December.

I mean what’s wrong with the 26th of December? It’s a nice day, and everything’s cheaper.. forget about that Jesus blokes birthday, I’m sure he doesn’t mind if it means saving yourself a small fortune, and from where I’m standing it’s not as if anyone gives that much of a toss about him anymore anyway. And we still bloody fall for it every single year. Hmmmm don’t forget to go out and buy as much left over tack as possible in the January sales, you’ll save yourself a fortune!

So by this point you might have just about gotten over the Christmas blues. And is it any wonder we all feel a little down once the big day is over with. I for one can say that every year it never meets my expectations, yet every year without fail I say to myself ‘this one’s gunna be a good one!’

Even though this was my daughters first Christmas I’d still only rate the day as being ‘alright.’ I thought she was going to love it and would be excited and giddy and happy… but she is only 8 and a half months old, so therefore when all said and done, she didn’t really give a toss! Maybe next year ehh.

So apart from expressing my opinions and grievances on the matter, my purpose in writing all this is to send a message to those who also get a feeling of dispair and disappointment after Christmas day. Don’t set your expectations too high! Maybe next Xmas spend the day watching the joy and happiness of others around you.

I want to leave you with one final suggestion that might help take the edge off the Christmas blues next year. Try and find just one person who is happy to accept their gift at the beginning of January, likewise tell one person that you would want to receive your gift in January too. That way you can take some satisfaction and comfort in the knowledge that you and your friend saved yourself a good bit of money on that particular gift. You never know, maybe it will catch on and we can all save ourselves a whole load of dosh in the future!

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

This summer I was so pleased when I saw this image (see above) repeatedly posted around on my social media feed, it was most humbling to see how many people agreed with the above statement and felt the need to share how important it is to be kind to one another.

I really do believe that when we are negative to someone els, it is a true reflection of our own insecurities. My advice to anyone who has suffered from verbal abuse or unprovoked negativity from someone els, is that what they are saying has more to do with themselves than it actually does you.

Whatever your shape, size or look, be proud of who you are and feel confident in yourself. You should not have to change the way you look or view your body as a project. Live your life the way YOU want to live it.

We are ruled by a media that profits from our insecurities and makes us think we need to be a certain way. Don’t let someone els tell you what is admirable and what is not! Beauty comes in so many different forms and means something different to everybody..it is in the eye of the beholder.

Also remember that fashion and beauty are two separate things. Beauty is timeless where as fashion is ever changing. At one time it was fashionable for women to be pleasingly plump, then it changed to having a more slender physic. At another time, it was fashionable to have a slim waist, broad hips and a flat bottom however that was replaced by the trend of having voluptuous breasts and a full rounded bum. There was also once a time that women didn’t have any noticeable muscle definition yet increasingly muscularity in women is gaining more and more acceptance. Fashion constantly changes!

That’s not to say we can’t look at these images of fashion and appreciate their interpretation of beauty, it’s just important to remember that they are not the only versions of beauty that exist…beauty comes in so many different forms.

So If there’s one thing I would like you to take away from reading this post, its this – remember to always be kind, and if you do find yourself in a situation where you are being negative or critical of somebody els, take a step back a really assess how you feel and the reasons why you might be doing it. Change your outlook and be a better person.

My Beauty Saviours From Breastfeeding Induced Dehydration

I know, this post sure does have one great mouthful of a title. In fact ‘great mouthful’ is exactly the phrase that springs to mind when I reflect on my life over the past three months…. I have the greediest child ever!!

There are many perks to breastfeeding your little one. There’s no need to faff around with bottles, the milk is ready and accessible whenever you need it ( very handy at 3 o’clock in the morning, wen baby decides it’s dinner time) and of course it’s a great method for bonding with your new born. I know what you’re thinking… ‘Hurray for boobies!’ I mean, the list goes on and on, let’s not forget the many other charming delights to be experienced with breastfeeding, such as sore nipples, swollen breasts, leakage (admittedly does have its comedic values), constant drained energy ( also a symptom of general parenthood ) and chronic dehydration. So yeah, breastfeeding does come with its challenges.

Throughout the day I drink so much water to stop my body feeling like the Sahara desert, but it’s still never enough to prevent that irritating crusty dry feeling I get when waking up for night time feeds. Luckily I have found some superb products, from my favourite beauty store Lush, which help me to cope with this issue.

If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with dehydration, it’s dry lips. A common problem many of us experience, both breastfeeders and non breastfeeders. Now I love a good lip balm, but I always seem to find myself re-applying and re-applying the stuff, until it seems to be having no effect whatsoever. Alas I have finally found a balm that agrees with my lips. I literally only have to use Lush’s Key Lime Pie lip balm once and it lasts for hours. Of course Lush do a few more flavours of lip balm but the Key Lime Pie, in my opinion, is definitely the best smelling… It’s positively scrumptious!

If you need a quick blast of refreshing water to wake you up in the morning (or during the night), then I would definitely suggest Breath of Fresh Air toner water. The bottle describes it as ‘ a sea breeze captured in a bottle’ and I can really see why. It really helps to wash away that crusty dry sleepy feeling and is a fantastic pick-me-up. I also like to use Lush’s Eau Roma Water toner as it hydrates the skin and has a lovely calming effect.

I would definitely recommend these products as a quick fix for if you don’t have time to hop in the shower or don’t have a large glass of water to hand. Perfect for tiredness, skin dehydration, dryness and other symptoms of breastfeeding.

A Brief Moment

So I haven’t done any writing for quite a while and thought it was about time I got my creative juices flowing once more… Towards the end of my pregnancy I pretty much gave up on life, my motivation levels dropped to zero. I couldn’t be bothered to write, I couldn’t be bothers to do my yoga, I barely left the house and I had the sex drive of an eighty year old panda! In fact I spent the majority of my time lounging around in the bath, like a great big whale.

Understandably, since giving birth I have had no time to sit and write… Even now as I write this I have my little one in one arm suckling away. Tapping away at a laptop with one finger takes great patience but (as most mums will know) patients is somethings you need buckets of when looking after a new born, so something as trivial as this bares no challenge.

My beautiful baby girl is now eleven weeks and as the days go by my confidence grows and grows. I literally can not remember what it’s like to not be a mum and I often find myself thinking ‘what the hell did I use to do with all that spare time I had.’ One things for sure, there’s no more lounging around in the bath for hours on end for me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I do feel much less prune-like these days.

I have never been so happy to be in a sleep deprived state, with greasy hair and covered in sick. At the moment I just love life and would not have things any other way. Some say that becoming a parent is hard ‘hard’, personally I would use the phrase ‘ wonderfully challenging’ to describe it.

It’s not that the tasks involved in looking after a little one are hard, it’s just a whole new experience. Things can seem repetitive, tiring and at times frustrating, there is always something new to learn around the corner but throughout it all I always feel an overwhelming sense of love in my heart. I would definitely recommend parenthood to others, especially those who describe their lives as ‘boring’.

Thank you world for giving me the greatest gift of all.