Tricks and hacks of a mum on maternity

pregnancy

You wouldn’t think it but one of the biggest obstacles of having a baby is being off work and claiming statuary maternity pay because let’s face it its pants! I wasn’t thankful at the time but looking back I’m really glad it took a year to get pregnant because I managed to save hard for a year and 9 months which I am really thankful for now!!

So what are new mothers entitled to from the government? Maternity pay is made up of 52 weeks (I think) the first 6 weeks we get 90% of our wage which is pretty reasonable. As soon as that 6 weeks is up BAM it’s like being hit with financially embarrassed spade right in the face.

And let me tell you even with a mountain of savings behind me I’m still struggling! It’s the little things you don’t even think about that all add up. All those trips to costa have pretty much wiped me out and I’m only 5 months into my maternity leave! The baby milk at £20 a week and the rate that they grow out of clothes is crippling me. My savings keep going down and down making me panic that I’m going to have to go back to work earlier then planned.

On top of all this the dreding C word is looming! I took the decision to go back to work 1 day a week to earn some doller for Christmas! First parenting hack is save save save… get down the pound shop and get yerself one of those saving tins and keep wacking any spare money you’ve got in there! You’d be surprised how it all adds up! I can’t wait to open mine and go and do some Christmas shopping!

So 5 months in and I’ve realised I need to stop going out for lunch 3 times a week and buying unnecessary shit that I really don’t need. I’ve learnt quite a few tricks and hacks on how to survive the utter joke that we get as maternity pay! Don’t be afraid to jot these down and try them out!

Probabley the biggest parenting hack for any new mum is second hand stuff! Being a new parent is not a time to be proud and refuse second hand stuff from people. Infact most of the stuff we have is second hand! What’s the point In spending a fortune on clothes/ cots/ prams ect when there’s perfectly good second hand stuff to be had. I’m not a snob I will take anything thrown at me. We all want our babies to have the best we can possibly give them but Seriously in the long run it will save you loads!! May I suggest trying out eBay to? I’ve had some right bargains on there! Take this gro bag for example! 30 odd quid brand new. I got it for £6 on eBay!

A trick that I stupidly missed out on was buying a season ticket for the bus! As I don’t drive I have to get the bus everywhere which is fine apart from the cost! It’s almost £6 return to my local big town. If I go just twice a week that’s almost £50 a month! I really missed a trick with that one. But we live and learn I know for next time!

This next one sounds pretty obvious… basically don’t spend £100 on food in Waitrose when it will cost you half that from Aldi! I know a few Aldi snobs who won’t even dare to go past the front door in fear they will be seen and laughed at for shopping in a cheapy shop. God forbid! Why would you buy a pint of milk in Waitrose for 5 quid when it’s only 1 in Aldi? Aldi is perfectly good produce for amazing value so be wise .. don’t be a Waitrose wanker!

One of the best hacks I’ve found is sale shopping! I’ve been super organised and have already started buying for when my baby is 1! Whenever there’s a sale on I’m there like a crazed mum rustling through the rails sniffing out all the bargains. FYI H&M have amazing sales!! Now is not the time to be proud and shop in places like John Lewis and such like. Primark is the best place for good quality lower priced baby clothes.

One great trick I’m rather proud of is my ability to perfect “photo shoots” for my child. You know the ones I mean? Where you go along to a studio and pay an absolute fortune to have some cool pics of your baby taken in diffrent scenarios. Bugger that! I’ve learnt how to do it myself and save big bucks! Let’s take a Halloween photo shoot for example. Probably over £100 to have done professional. Zoe’s way costs. around £10! I got all the stuff I needed from my friend the pound shop, and I was extremely lucky to find a HUGE pumpkin in …You guessed it! ALDI. That bad boy was only £2:50! So away we went. I stuck a white sheet up and snapped away. Here’s the finshed pics.!

Then I had the idea to do a autumn photoshoot. All I needed was a shit ton of leaves. So off I skipped up to the rec with a bin bag and a very embarrassed looking husband in tow. I gathered up all the leaves I needed and off I trotted back home to do my thing! This one was totally free and I got some really good professional looking photos.

My final peice of advice is simply just to budget. Work out what you’ve got to spend that week and don’t go above it. Saying that I also advise don’t obsess over money like I do. Still have fun go out and enjoy yourself with baby because let’s face it maternity leave doesn’t last forever. Do everything that makes you happy.. except shop in Waitrose. Nobody likes a Waitrose wanker!!

Happy maternity leave

Z

Xxx

Is breast best?

pregnancy

I’m a little late on this one because Rex is almost 4 months old, in these 4 months I’ve been umming and arring observing and deciding is breast best?

I’m ashamed to admit i used to be anti Breast feeding. Mainly because I was uneducated about the whole situation. I was one of those who would snigger and be disgusted at women who wacked their tits out in public to feed the baby, I don’t want to see that! Similarly I hated the thought of Breast feeding, the thought of a baby sucking on my nipples made me feel sick. The week before I gave birth when my boobs spontaionsly started leaking without prior permission I cried and cried freaking out at the fact something was coming out of my boobs!!

Before I get stoned to death by all the breast feeding fanatics bear with! I specifically told the midwives in hospital I DID NOT want to breast feed. And what did the mother fuckers do once my baby was born? put him straight on my breast to feed! I was so unbelievably fuming for all of 2 minutes. To be honest I was so mentally drained tired and had no idea what was going on around me I let them hold him on me to feed. Once up in recovery they politely asked me this time if I’d like to give it a go. As they asked so nicely (yes I’m being sarcastic) I thought I’d give it a go. So they plonked him on my nipple and away we went!

Rex was happy, I mean who wouldn’t be? He’s snuggled into a big boobie pillow getting fed. The second he started feeding this time it felt totally natural and something I never thought I would experience, I would go as far as to say I was very proud of myself for breast feeding my son.

I breast fed Rex about 4-5 times, in the end it got to difficult he wouldn’t latch on and it stressed us both out and there’s no chance in hell I would have ever whacked my tits out in public so we decided to go onto formula. Something that has suited us both well.

Let’s weigh up the benifits of breast vs bottle! Let’s start with what Mother Nature blessed us with. Boobies! Obviously the biggest benifit to breast feeding is baby is getting your milk, probabley the purest thing available to them. Full of goodness and nutrients they need. Then there’s the bond between mum and baby whilst feeding. The bonus about breast milk is ITS FREE!!

Formula obsiviously isn’t on par with breast milk but it’s as close as you could get filled with all nutrients and vitamins baby needs to grow up big and strong! I don’t understand why some people are so against formula it’s been used for donkeys years. I was formula fed and there’s nout wrong with me! The problem with formula is it can get expensive espically as baby gets older. Depending on brand it’s between £8-£10 a tub. We are currently on 2 tubs a week so it can get costly!! The benifit of bottle feeding is dad can get involved and feed baby and have his bonding time.

So the age old question…. is breast best?

Truthfully? No it’s not. Neither is formula! What’s best is what ever works for the individual and for baby. There’s no wrong or right way to feed your baby and anybody who judges or makes any mum feel guilty for the way they feed their baby is quite simply a twat.

Happy feeding !!

Z

Xxx

Pregnant again? HELP!

pregnancy

Can we just take a moment here to appreciate that I actually AM NOT pregnant again!! I never thought I would be so happy to see my period again!

For those of you who are none the wiser to what’s been going on here’s what happend! In maybe to much detail but stay with me we can have a laugh together.

Remember how I said my lady region had finally healed! Well that wasn’t entirely true. As I found out one night in the throws of passion after a few drinks when the sausage definitely didn’t fit in the hole!! Oh my that was a whole worldly experience that went down like a sack of shit. I don’t need to go into detail, you arnt stupid you know exactly what I’m on about!! Any women who tells you they’ve had sex right after giving birth are either channeling their inner Pinocchio or have some sort of superhuman bionic vigina!!

Anyway… maybe a week or so later it was round 2, you don’t know if you don’t try right? Filled with fear of splitting open and emptying my guts everywhere I dived right in hoping for the best and needless to say that night I discovered my vadge was back to normal!! Hurrah! Still not decided what contraception I want to partake in we opted for the good old fashioned pulling out method. (Sorry mum if you’re reading this) and no before you ask it wasn’t wiped on the curtains, we do have some class!

Rather chuffed that I manged to have sex without my fanny falling to peices I slept very well that night. Not really thinking to much more of the situation until a couple of weeks later when I thought I’d check my period tracker app to see when I’m due on.

To my absolute horror I was late by 2 days. FUCK!! surely it’s just my periods getting back to normal right? Or could I actually be pregnant again? Needless to say I convinced myself That sperm had met egg and made me another screming shitting little Delight. Days went by checking if id come on, I’ve never wanted to bleed from my fanny more than I did right then! Praying to the period gods to throw it at me with everything they had.

The irony of this whole situation is that it took me a year to get pregnant with my first and all of a sudden I was pregnant again after having sex once !! Not only was I pregnant again but it was the exact same month as I got pregnant before!! Suddenly I’m going to have 2 kids under the age of 1! Can you imagine? I darent for fear it’s actually true and I’m up the duff again!! All I could think was mums going to kill me, I have no money and I’m probabley going to lose my job.

Thankfully for me this story turns out in my favour as I actually did come on my period! I’ve never been happier to be a menstruating woman! I had to stop myself from running down the street screaming IM NOT PREGNANT!! Obsiviously if I had been pregnant I would have been happy it would just have been a massive shock and a big panic to try and get enough money together to go on maternity leave again!

If there’s one lesson to be learnt after all this it’s to either strap it up before you whack it up or get on the pill which is exactly what I’ve done! I’d like to dedicate this post to all the future sperm killed in their prime before they get chance to impregnate me again, may they try and fail until next time.

Cheeres!!

Z

Xxx

Nasty nappies

pregnancy

We’ve all been there.. the moment world war 3 has just exploded in the nappy, you know the one? Where you actually think twice about throwing the baby in the bin and Starting a fresh. Nasty nappies are all part and parcel of parenting and if you’ve not dealt with one yet then you arnt doing it right.

Is it just me or before being a parent we’re you shy talking about poo? I can’t be the only one? What self respecting woman talks openly about their crap? Fair play to any women who were open about that kind of stuff. Becoming a mother has taught me a lot of life lessons, it’s taught me how to love like I’ve never loved before, it’s taught me how to be a better person but most importantly it’s taught me not to be shy about talking about poo! Why is it suddenly okay to obsess over your baby’s poo? Why is it ok to announce to the room that your baby has done a huge shit? Why is it okay to ask the baby sitter if your baby has had a shit today? Motherhood is a magical journey of love and pooey nappies that’s why! If we have to deal with it then everyone has to hear about it!

I won’t lie I was a little bit terrified of nasty nappies because I don’t have the strongest stomach in the world, I can just about manage to pick up dog poo without bringing up my breakfast, I was quite pleasantly surprised that newborns nappies arnt actually that bad! I missed the lovely black tarry nappy because Rex decided he was going to poo inside me so that was that. From the day he was born his poos were kind of cute. I know what your thinking! Who the fuck calls a poo cute? I’m a mother ok everything about my baby is cute!

Baby’s poos change as they grow and develop. Rex went from tiny poos to medium ish ones that reminded me of frosting on a cupcake! Sorry to any cupcake fanatics reading this. Now Rex is 3 months old his poos have changed dramatically and by dramatically I mean mount Vesuvius has just exploded in his nappy! My god have we had some smashers! Some so bad it takes 2 of us to change him. Then there’s the emergency bath poo. You know the one I mean! Where the baby is basically covered head to toe in shit that you need to get the poo police involved. The silent ones are probabley the worst because you don’t know how long theve been sat in it for squishing it all around their arse making it doubly hard to clean up! The ultimate worst poo is the wrigler! The one where baby will not keep still! You’ve got one had holding the legs up the other hand wiping and baby is just playing the Hokey Cokey with it’s dirty nappy, you’ve not seen shit spread so quickly in all your life!

And that concludes my summery of nasty nappies!

Happy changing peeps!

Z

Xxx

Mum guilt

pregnancy

This is probably the most popular phrase used in 2019 it seems everyone is using it, before having a baby I didn’t understand why people made up this stupid word. Now I know! Mum guilt is there and it’s real!

I used to think women were acting like a bunch of pansies whinging on about leaving their kids with other people, that’s until I became a mother and realised I had been really irrational judging mums on this!

The first time I proporly left Rex was when I had to go into hospital to have an iron transfusion. We were only gone 5 hours but I was constantly thinking about him the whole time wondering if he was ok. Is he hungry is he crying? Does he need me? Ofcorse he was fine in the very capable hands of my mother in law. I didn’t feel mum guilt that day as it was kind of an emergency that I go into hospital to have this transfusion.

Fast forward nearly 3 months and i decide I’m going to go back to work 1 day a week to earn some extra dolla for Christmas. Judge me if you will but I’m skint and I need some money for Christmas shopping!! So Sunday morning comes round bag packed ready to go off to nanny’s for the day and suddenly I’m overcome with emotion that I can’t leave him. It took me a good half an hour to talk myself into going to work. I get to work and it’s lovely to be back seeing all my friends having a laugh. When I get a message saying Rex is quite unsettled. Man I’ve never felt so guilty, trying my hardest not to cry at work and just wanting to grab my stuff and run home I battled through checking my phone every 2 minuets for updates. That was a hard day but for the sake of me and Rex and needing money it had to be done. He needs to get used to going to other people otherwise it’s going to be a shock when I go back to work properly in January.

So that was that. Next up was a wedding me and Mr M were going to. I bravely asked my mum if she’d have Rex that day and over night to! The morning of the wedding came and I made sure I had lots of Rex cuddles that morning before he left. Off he went to his nanny’s whilst I got ready. I did quite well that day it wasn’t until early evening when I really started to struggle knowing Rex would be getting grizzly as it was nearing bedtime and feeling bad I wasn’t there to put him to bed. But once again mum messaged me to say he’d gone down fine so that was a big relief. TIME TO PARTY!!

Now for those of you who don’t know I am a lightweight at the best of times, this wedding is my first time drinking in a whole year! Stand back it’s about to get messy!! I started off lightly on ciders, then hit the harder stuff later on. That’s right everyone I was drinking PINTS of southern comfort and lemonade! What can I say? I’m a classy gal. Anyway I was having a whale of a time dancing and chatting back to the old me. Now for those of you who don’t know yes I used to smoke. Quite a lot actually. I gave up a couple of months before I fell pregnant and haven’t touched one since, BUT I knew I’d want one when I was drunk. I avoided buying a whole packet as I know I’d smoke the lot. So I scrounged a few off a friend.

By around 11pm I was so drunk I thought fuck it I’m gonna smoke. Don’t know why I did because I didn’t even enjoy it, I guess I was rebelling after having 9 months of being told I can’t do so many things suddenly I’m free to do what I like. I just felt so guilty sat pissed out my head smoking whilst I’ve got a beautiful baby at home asleep in his cot. So anyway that was that.

It wasn’t until the next morning mum guilt truley grabbed my by the balls. On checking my bank account to see what I’d spent that night I could of actually sat and cried. Since being on maternity leave I’ve been so thrifty, saving money buying things on offer, no eating out or take aways. To look at my account and see id spent £90 I was disgusted with myself. I could have bought 2 months worth of milk for Rex with that, or bought him clothes or Christmas presents. And all I had to show for my £90 was the contents of my stomach the night before when I threw up everywhere when I got home. Told you I was classy!

Anyway I’m sorry to those mothers who I used to judge for being clingy to their baby’s, im sorry for not understanding what it’s like leaving your children and most of all I’m sorry for making fun of mum guilt.

Z

Xxx

Kirsty

pregnancy

I want to tell you a little story of my friend Kirsty.

Totally unrelated to my blog but today is the anniversary of the death of one of my best friends from school. 4 years ago today Kirsty decided she had no other way out than to take her own life. How wrong could she be.

Let me take you back to Burford school in Oxfordshire 2005. Me and my best mate Kirsty used to cause absolute havoc! Backchat teachers, bunk off lessons sneak off up the field and smoke and just generally be naughty little buggers! Oh the fun we had! Our friends loved us and the teachers hated us! She was funny, smart kind and we had so much fun getting into mischief together.

I’m not going to go into to much detail as it wouldn’t be fair, but I think it would be fair to say that Kirsty had problems for a number of years. That unfortunately got overlooked by a lot of people myself included. We didn’t really talk much after leaving school which is a real shame. She had things going on as did I and we just drifted apart.

We would message every now and again on Facebook, her joking that she was going to knuckle down and be good. Then one day 4 years ago whilst at work I had that message nobody ever wants to recieve. Kirsty had taken her own life, I was speechless and devastated. How could this be true how could a 26 year old with her whole life ahead of her suddenly not be here anymore? It took me a long time to accept that she had gone. It never really sunk in until the funeral, one of the saddest days of my life.

Sometime after I was flicking through my messages on Facebook and up came her name. I decided I was going to look and I didnt like what I had found. The 2 last messages I ever sent her asking if she was ok she had not read. I sobbed for a long time over this thinking would of things been different if she had read my message?

A while after this I was going through some old school stuff and would you believe I found a letter in pristine condition that she had written me at school! It only contains silly school stuff but it means the absolute world to me and I will treasure it forever. I would like to share that letter with you …

4 years on and I’ve raised almost £3,000 for various mental health charities for Kirsty and I aim to continue doing this in the near future.

I’m not really sure how to end this post to be honest except to say RIP Kirsty ❤️

Anyone reading this who might need help or someone to talk to please feel free to comment on the post or message me privately. Below are some useful numbers for anyone who needs them

Samaratins 116 123

Mind 0300 123 3393

Sane 0300 304 7000

Z

Xxx

Rex and friends

pregnancy

Rex is a very lucky boy at only 11 weeks old he already has a bunch of friends who he’s going to grow up having fun with! So without further ado I introduce to you Rex and friends…

Rory

Aswell as being Rex’s friend Rory is also Rex’s cousin, Rory is 4 years old and has just started school. Rory is very clever and funny and makes us all laugh with some of the things he says, His hobbies include playing with cars, watching CBeebies and raiding his nanny’s chocolate cupboard! As most kids his age he loves going to our local soft play center and playing in the ballpit. Somewhere that I used to take him when he was younger. Rory has tomato ketchup on absolutely anything and Loves chocolate buttons. Rex is going to grow up loving his big cousin Rory.

Max

Max (full name Maxton) is also Rex’s older cousin. Brother to Rory. Max is almost 1 and a half years old. Born in may 2018 he is just over a year older than Rex which means they will grow up together and hopefully be really close. Since recently learning to walk Max has his hands in everything! Including everything he shouldn’t. You need eyes in the back of your head when maxi is around. Max is cute clever and funny and always has a big smile on his face. Max is fascinated by Rex and always wants to show his love to his younger cousin, mostly by poking him. The same as Rory, Rex is going to love having his older cousins around to play with.

Mabel

Mabel is the daughter of one of my oldest school friends. Mabel is almost exactly a year older than Rex born in July 2018 she is a year and 10 days older. She has the most beautiful ginger hair and big beaming smile. Her hobbies include watching a rabbit programme called bing, swimming and being an outsidey kinda girl. Mabel is a dummy addict going to bed with one in her mouth one in each hand plus more just incase she loses any. She met Rex for the first time at her 1st birthday party and ever since always wants to look at him whenever she sees him. Mabel will be a lifelong friend of Rex and I can’t wait to see what adventures they get up to in the years to come.

Oscar

Oscar is Rex’s very special friend because me and oscars mummy work together and shared being pregnant at the same time togeather Which was lovely because Rex and Oscar were already friends before either of them was born. Oscar is only 5 weeks old making him only 6 weeks younger than Rex. He is half Romanian and has a doggy best friend called Yorkie. His hobbies include sleeping and drinking milk. He loves coming into work and having cuddles with everybody. He’s another friend for life for Rex.

And there we have it. Not bad eh? Not even 3 months old and he has 4 best friends already. It’s the best feeling in the world seeing Rex with other babies and youngsters. I know he has no idea what’s going on but to see him grow up with some friends is amazing and I’m sure he will make many more along the way. He’s a lucky boy.

Z

Xxx