Want to know what I think?

At twelve weeks in the comments really start to begin.

‘Oh wow you really are looking so small,

has your baby even started to grow at all?’

‘I just do not think you are eating well,’ quickly followed by

‘Oh my god you are starting to swell!’

‘I wouldn’t do that, I would do this…

(Just in case my previous comment you missed)

Do you want to know why I would do it this way?

Why won’t they listen to what YOU want to say?

You are nearing the end, you are tired and feel past it,

but their obsessive prying and comments, I wish they could mask it.

‘They’ll probably come late, at least two weeks over,

I’d just forget your Birth-plan.’

I’m not sure how I kept my composure?!

Baby is here! My world is complete

but still they drone on, they will not be beat.

‘Oh baby looks small, are they not eating well? Wow, look at their belly it’s starting to swell!’

How are you feeding them, bottle or breast? You want my opinion… ‘cus you know, I KNOW BEST!’

The opinions and comments they go ON and ON!

About mother and baby and how things ‘should’ be done.

So next time you see a new mum and her child,

hold on to your judgement and offer your smile.

Lucy

It is not all shit

I feel that it is really important to talk about our mental health. When I write I try to make sure that my posts are real and honest, because it is fucking hard. I often think that anything worth having is hard, this is definitely true with raising a family.

I aim to raise awareness of the importance of our mental health. My own mental health is more important to me than anything else in my life. If it is not good my husband suffers, my children suffer, my friends suffer, the dog definitely suffers, but most importantly I suffer. As far as my mind is concerned I need to be at the top of my game. I neglected my mental health for so many years and it destroyed me. It has taken me thirty three years to realise this and after my recent diagnosis of Autism, I feel that everything is slowly falling into place.

For me it is important to talk and reach out and normalise difficulties when it comes to coping with my mental health. If I broke my leg I would not feel ashamed to go to A&E, if I had a chest infection I would not be ashamed to visit my GP and this is how I am learning to be for my mental health too. However, dealing with any form of mental illness and anxiety may make this incredibly difficult for many people, so I talk about how hard things are because I want others to see that it is ok for stuff to be really tough sometimes. It does not mean that it is hard all the time, a lot of the time it is absolutely Bobby Dazzler, but for me it is important to acknowledge that sometimes things are tough and look for healthy ways to deal with this.

I LOVE my life, my family, my home but I want to normalise the tough times as much as the wonderful times. I want my smiling family photos to be followed by stories of sleepless crap, toddler tantrums and days where the only thing that I have consumed has been eight cans of Diet Coke and a Mars Bar.

For me life is about owning those challenges and difficult times and focusing on ways to make it better for next time. Nothing is perfect, but not everything is shit.

Here we are today after 3 coffees, 2 diet cokes, 1 brew and 2 pieces of cake 🤣

It’s hard, right?

Yes it’s hard

when it’s 3am

and you have finally settled the baby to bed

but then the toddler wakes up

and you start over again.

Yes it’s hard

when the baby is crying

but you are chasing the the toddler

because he has taken his clothes off

and you are in the museum.

Yes it’s hard

when the toddler wants toast but

he has to butter it himself

or it’s not quite right

and the baby is still crying.

Yes it’s hard

when your clothes do not fit

and your hair needs a wash

but the baby needs milk

so you just stay inside watch cartoons and eat biscuits.

Yes it is hard

when your heart breaks

because now you are less

because the toddler needs you

as much as baby does too.

Yes it’s hard

when they are forced to grow fast

even though they did not ask

for this tiny new being

to take over their bed, their routine

and their things.

Yes it’s hard

but it will be ok

because together they will grow and learn and play

and the years will pass faster than the long drawn out nights

sat lonely, wondering… am I doing this right?

Keep Calm and Carry On

‘Keep Calm and Carry On,’ a slogan adapted from posters distributed by the British Government in 1939 during the build up to the Second World War. The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public during a time of imminent air strikes.

I feel that the damage caused by this thoughtless slogan continued long after the war had ended, with the demobilisation of thousands of men returning to Blighty. What is often portrayed as a young couple sharing a loving embrace on the platform of a station, with the imminent return to marital bliss, is now known to be far from the truth of post war life for these families.

These young men suffered horrifically from the horrors of war. Post traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, guilt, fear, anxiety, panic, how did society expect a whole generation to go through such trauma and then return to life as they previously knew it? Were these families expected to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On?’ What support was available for these people?

This attitude of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has long resided within our society here in Great Britain. People are not encouraged to talk about their ‘feelings’ but to just get on with it and to toughen up. I think that this is even more so for boys

Fears and anxieties are trivialised by parents, teachers, employers, friends. With others making comparisons of our own emotions, ‘if you think you have it bad then you should think about…’ and ‘oh it could be worse.’ It is like our emotions and thoughts have been shut down before we have even begun.

Telling people that they are alright when actually, they know that they are not, is a direct attack on their own personal judgement of their situation. People think that they are helping when in fact they are doing the opposite, causing individuals to question themselves and push problems deeper.

Mental health is something that I spend a lot of time studying and researching, it is an extremely important aspect of my job and the work that I do to support young children and their families. My own mental health is something that I care passionately about and after having Cass my need to know as much as possible order to support him, grew.

On average, around 6,000 people take their own life by suicide in the UK every year. Around three quarters of all suicide attempts in 2016, were male. Mental illness is killing our family and friends, and it is terrifying.

So as my little boy is growing up I will encourage him to, STOP, talk to someone, work it through, get help, get answers, make a plan, don’t just fucking ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ We should all take time to listen and support each other, give our family, friends, partners, children, students time to speak to find someone that they can trust and someone that cares about what makes them scared, and really make a difference.

It is ok to not be ok.

The Breast-Laid Plans

I absolutely love a plan. It does not necessarily have to be my plan, I am happy to go along with anyone’s plan really, I’m not a control freak I just like to know what’s going on. 

Cass is not into my plans and he makes this known. The uncertainty of parenthood is something that I’m still trying to get my head around, I just don’t know what’s coming next and I found this so hard in the beginning.

My birth plan had some, let’s say, last minute adjustments, as did our sleeping arrangements and my plans for introducing food didn’t go too well either. One thing I thought I was sure of though was breast feeding. 

I found breast feeding tough. Initially, it was the pain. I was in so much pain I ended up exclusively pumping at three weeks. At five weeks though the pain eased and we got into the swing of things. It has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions and at times so tough. I thought I knew what I was doing but again, it was in no way like I imagined. I was very lucky I received a lot of support from the midwives at the Salford Birth Centre and at a local feeding group. Not many women have this, no matter how they choose to feed their child.


I had planned to feed Cass until he was two. I thought that this was a done deal, babies love milk and I thought it would be me who may eventually crack and have to change the plan. A couple of weeks before Cass turned one he started to lose interest when being fed, he was easily distracted and began to push me away. I initially thought it may have been his teeth coming through or the heat, but as the days went on I noticed he wasn’t really taking any milk apart from first thing in the morning, when he was really hungry.

Shortly after Cass’s 1st birthday I made the decision to stop feeding him breast milk. At the time I thought ‘Cass is ready, I am ready.’ I had given it 100% for a year. I thought I’d be celebrating. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be, it was really tough. My hormones were all over the place, my supply went into over drive I ended up getting mastitis pretty badly. It was so painful and the only advice I could find was to feed or pump through it. 
I couldn’t feed Cass, I didn’t want to confuse him by making him take the milk just to ease my discomfort. Every time I pumped I could feel my milk come in and it was making it worse. I ended up on a course of antibiotics and tried to hand pump a small amount every couple of hours and eventually it died down. 


Cass on the other hand was totally ready. I had prepared myself for screaming and crying at bedtime and tantrums through out the day. I thought he would struggle and we would just go back to feeding. But no, he’s not even asked. I thought co-sleeping would definitely cause us problems too, but if anything he’s actually sleeping (a bit) better. At last. 

I do feel that stopping breast feeding so abruptly has a huge affect on your mental heath. My hormones were all over the place and I genuinely struggled. I think more women should be made aware if this. Mothers who choose not to breast feed at any point after labour must be going through these emotions, this on top of everything else is really tough and no one makes new mothers aware of it. 

I try to not worry about the planning anymore. I’m just getting through one day at a time and enjoying every moment. I’ll waste my life away planning for things that may never come, it feels so liberating to just let go.