Adding some Glossier into my makeup and skincare…

I’m not going to lie it does feel a little strange doing a beauty related blog post but before I got pregnant this is all I blogged about and I forgot how much I enjoyed it but somewhere in all the craziness of sleepless nights and cluster feeds I moved away from beauty blogging and transitioned to blogging about motherhood.

Don’t get me wrong I love blogging about Motherhood and I couldn’t be happier with how my blogging has evolved over the years but the main reason for starting this new site and giving it a neutral name was to allow for that evolution without limiting its growth in any way.  My old blog was called Es-Jay Makeup and the name sort of gave it away with what the content would be based around but now I’m free to switch it up every now and then.

It’s safe to say my internet shopping spending definitely went up after giving birth!  I found that when I couldn’t muster the energy to get up and get dressed after a sleepless night, I could still pop online on my phone while breastfeeding and order things.  I’ve even memorized my Debit Card numbers so that I don’t even have to fish my card out of my purse whenever I found something online that I really wanted but was being pinned down by a hungry newborn.

One of those purchases included a cheeky little order from Glossier.  I’ve made it no secret that my skin did go a little bit crazy after giving birth.  I think the hormones were just too much to handle for not just my mind but my entire body!

So I picked up the infamous Milky Jelly Cleanser and I feel like this is exactly what my skin needed, just a simple gentle cleanser that wasn’t too harsh or chemically for my poor sensitive post natal skin.  I wasn’t really wearing makeup for a good few weeks after giving birth as I was too busy adjusting to that newborn life.

For my dry cracked post birth lips I picked up the Balm Dot Com Trio in Coconut, Birthday and Rose and these were an absolute lifesaver for my lips.  The final thing I picked up was the Stretch concealer and this is the thing I’m not totally sold on.  When it comes to concealer I need the big guns for these bags!  I like a full, full coverage and something that wont crease in my many mum wrinkles and this just doesn’t provide me with enough coverage.  It is lovely and creamy though and my skin has really calmed down since first having the baby so I’m going to put this away for days when I’m getting a bit more sleep and don’t need as much coverage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.  I didn’t realise just how much I missed beauty blogging until I sat down to do it so stay tuned for more.

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Self Care is so Simple…

A few days a go I was scrolling through Instagram, as you do, and I came across this post from Anna Mathur aka Mamas_scrapbook.  It totally hit the nail on the head for me when I thought about exactly how much self care I practice throughout the day.

She mentioned just how much love and care we put into our children and used drinking water as an example.  You wouldn’t allow your children to become dehydrated yet you will happily bustle through the day running around after the kids and go the whole day without drinking any water yourself.

Now this is me! This is what I do and I do it so well.  A few months back when Adam was so poorly he refused to eat or drink anything I spent my entire day running around after him with syringes of water, soup, juice, Calpol! Basically anything to keep him from becoming dehydrated yet now I sit here and think back to the last time I drank a glass of water I actually cant remember.

It’s frightening how little we do for ourselves in our race to do everything for our babies and to some extent that just comes with the job description.  From the second you see those two little blue lines on that pregnancy test, your body is no longer yours but isn’t it funny how when we’re carrying our babies we will nourish our bodies meticulously yet once they’re here in the world we take the last seat at the table and stand at the back of the queue because keeping another human alive takes all priority and rightly so!

I used to moan about how much my life had changed since becoming a mum.  I hated that suddenly I didn’t come first, all phone calls started with ‘How’s the baby doing?’.  Even when I was stopped on the street, the old ladies coo’d over his hair or his eyes and everything revolved around this little 6 pound bundle of joy.  That was until I realised that this wasn’t a bad thing because as his mum I have the most important job in the world and that’s pretty special.  I’m his primary carer, he is solely dependent on me for the majority of his day and when  people compliment me on his hair, or his eyelashes or how well he’s grown that truly is a testament to me.  I brush his beautiful little head everyday, he gets his eyelashes from me and I’m the one who feeds him, changes him, plays with him and nurtures him so the fact that he’s growing into a beautiful happy little boy is down to me for the majority.

It’s taken me quite some time to realise that if I don’t look after myself, I’m going to be no use to my son who depends on me A LOT!  so I’ve begun practicing a little bit of self care. Nothing major, I mean I’ve not booked 14 nights in the Bahamas just for me but I’ve started with a few simple changes.

1. Hydrating myself, not just my child. I will have a glass of water everytime I offer my baby a drink and I keep a bottle by my bed so that I can have a drink before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning.

2. Feeding myself when I feed my child. Obviously I’m not eating as often as I feed the baby and I’m trying not to pick at his leftovers but I’d gotten very good at skipping meals or waiting until he was napping so that I could have breakfast. This was a recipe for disaster as what ended up happening is I’d get to 5pm and realise all I’d fuelled myself on was coffee all day and therefore I’d feed my overly, tired, hungry self all the junk I could find and that my friends is why I still look pregnant…

3. Show myself a little more love. Now don’t get me wrong, I will probably never be my own biggest fan even though I should be but I’m definitely cutting myself some slack. I will do more things for me. If I want to read a book I’ll do it instead of worrying about the million and one odd jobs that need doing around the house and every now and then if I want a piece of chocolate I’ll have it. That way I won’t be tempted to have ten pieces in the evening after I’ve been thinking about it all day.  I won’t beat myself up over the millions of things I could have done better today and I won’t allow my self to wallow in the Mum guilt for too long.

4. Treating my skin to some me time. I’d gotten into the horrible habit of just going to slee in my makes and waking up with mascara all down my face. So now I’m making a conscious effort to wash my makes up off and properly cleanse my skin. I’ve also started taking my hair,skin and nails supplements again and finally I feel like my skin is liking me again. We’re not in love just yet but we’re dating! We may even change our Facebook statuses from ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘In a relationship’

I could probably talk further on this topic as I really feel making these small changes have helped so much but this post will probably end up being a small novel. I’d love to know your self care tips however big or small. Leave me a comment letting me know what little thing you do to make yourself feel more like yourself after a hard day of running around after the kids.

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Adam’s sleep routine at 13 months…

So after listening to Adam scream himself to sleep because I’d stupidly decided to get in the bath once he’d gone down for his nap I decided why not write about his current sleep routine!  Now I’m sat here, hair still dripping wet and dressed in my pyjamas because I don’t want to now go in the room and risk disturbing him, feeling like the world’s shittest human being I’m thinking about his current sleep routine and how well it works for us.

It’s in no way, shape or form the best sleep routine and I’m not going to sit here and gloat about how amazing every night is because he sleeps through until morning as this isn’t always the case but I’ve read a lot of sleep related posts recently and figured why not write my own.

Adam turned one in January and so he’s coming up to 14 months in a week or two but we’ve been very consistent with his sleep routine from way back when he was about 4-5 months.  I do believe that’s helped us immensely when it’s come to how well he sleeps however every night is different and if you throw in a bit of teething or this nasty cold we’ve all been lovingly passing around to each other for about 8 weeks now, we have had a fair few sleepless nights of screams and tantrums.

What has taken me too long to understand is that no matter how wonderful your routine is and how amazing you think your parenting choices are, no one day will ever be the same as the next.  Something will always change and throw a huge spanner in your works and you have to learn to roll with that.  Now for somebody like me who likes her routine and freaks out at any deviation from that, this is a hard concept to comprehend sometimes when it’s the middle of the night and you’re screaming to yourself ‘But you slept all night last night?!’ ‘Why are you up at 3am?!’ But i’m slowly adapting to the fact that babies don’t come with instruction manuals and rule books, they just come with in built human instinct to rely solely on you for their physical and emotional nourishment and that should make you feel superhuman!

That’s not to say routines don’t work, I absolutely believe they do because with routine comes stability and the norm.  My baby knows that no matter how hectic our day has been once he goes up at 6.30pm for his bath he will be in bed soon after and I know he enjoys living in the knowledge that certain  events will eventually lead to sweet slumber in his own cot where GENERALLY he will sleep peacefully until the morning.  I know that he loves his routine as much as we do because whenever we do decide to cut out his bath in order to spend a bit more time in the evening or when daddy comes home late from work and wants to see him before he goes to bed, he never settles as well and I think the bath in the evening helps him unwind.

So just recently he’s cut out one of his day naps and only has the one nap during the mornings unless he’s in the car or out in his pushchair.  It’s hard to gauge whether he still needs that second nap because when he did he became a nightmare to wind down in the evenings and would basically chew my nipples off through share boredom because he wasn’t tired enough to fall asleep.  I still breastfeed him to sleep which isn’t ideal but he can be rocked to sleep or given a bottle if needs be.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to feed him to sleep but it works for us and he only has the one feed in the evening to send him off for the night.  Most nights I’ll feed him and have him in bed by 8pm and we won’t hear from him again until about 7.30-8am.

For now this is the routine that’s working for us and because I feel he still needs a milk feed before bed I guess this will continue for a little while yet, I mean if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?! I think if he was still waking in the night for feeds I’d definitely be looking for other ways to put him to sleep but as he doesn’t I’m enjoying the evening feed and cuddle time.  Any advice for when we do decide to wean him from the breast? I’d love to hear your thoughts and sleep routine tips.

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Almost a year…

It still blows my mind that I’ve had my little baby in my arms for almost a year and now he’s not so little anymore.  This time last year I was heavily pregnant, spending most of my days either in the hospital having scans to check his growth or in town aimlessly wandering from shop to shop making sure I had everything I needed before my baby boy arrived.

So much has happened in the past year and everyday has been a whirlwind of highs and lows but I finally feel like things have started slotting into place and my life is complete.

Dont get me wrong my life was complete the moment I found out I was pregnant but when he came into our lives we had to very quickly adapt from being two very independent, carefree individuals to two very grown up, responsible adults with another life to sustain.  I’ve very briefly touched on my anxiety throughout pregnancy and motherhood but nobody really knows the extent of it but my husband.

For me motherhood not only came with lots of happy, fun filled moments but lots and lots of anxiety and it still does.  There may be some of you reading this that will think this is all just normal and how mothers worry about their children but to me it has felt like I’m trapped in my own mind at times.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt down or depressed post having Adam but my anxiety has definitely gone through the roof.  In the beginning it was all about feeding.  When he kept losing weight, I became obsessively anxious about how much he was feeding and literally exhausted myself with breastfeeding and expressing all through the days and nights to ensure that there was enough milk for Adam.  Looking back now if I’d expressed a little less and slept a little more I think we would have managed just fine seeing as I still have breast milk in the freezer from April!

As the days, weeks and months have gone on his feeding has just gotten better and better, he’s now eating like an absolute pro too and has such a varied diet.  He’s even turning into a little chunky monkey and I have definitely eased myself back on the feeding worries but there are still many many thing I obsess over on a daily basis.

I will not leave the house unless it is at a time that perfectly fits around Adam’s current routine.  For example if it is lunch time I will either not go out or ensure that I am only going somewhere with feeding and changing facilities.  I don’t think I’ve been out past 6pm in the past year knowing that Adam will need his bath and bed around that time and as much as it may seem this is a little bit obsessive, it’s what works for us and anxious people thrive on routines so it does help me feel much better when his routine isn’t disrupted.

I will probably touch on my anxiety a little deeper in another post but what I really wanted to say is that no matter how many sleepless nights I’ve had or how much hair I’ve lost from all the worrying, nothing would ever make me change my life. I will continue to battle my demons but since my baby has come into my life, I have a purpose, my life is complete and I can’t wait for what the future brings.

Here’s to you my beautiful baby boy, you’ve saved me from myself and everyday you amaze me with your funny little faces and the funny little things you do. When you say ‘Mama’ I feel like I finally have an identity.  I can’t wait to see what the years bring us but I know that with you by my side, we can rule the world! Mama loves you so much.

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Coping with motherhood..

It seems a bit strange writing a post advising others on how to cope with motherhood when some days I feel like I’m drowning under all the pressures to be the best mum I can without losing myself along the way but I’ve definitely come a long way in the last 10 months.

In the beginning the biggest thing that shocked me about being a mother, apart from the lack of sleep and the human leech attached to my chest, was the fact that I went from being totally independent and being able to do whatever I wanted to, to having to schedule bathroom breaks and mentally prepare for moving myself and baby downstairs for the day.

Gradually things do get easier and you adapt to a new way of doing things.  I went from having to pack an entire baby bag with everything I could possibly think of to take with us if we ever went out to now just having a little pram organiser with both mine and Adam’s things in it.  I can even manage a cheeky shower or bath while Adam sleeps and I’m finally back to cooking us hot meals much to my husband’s delight!

The first thing I would say is ACCEPT THE HELP!! Naively I flounced around in pregnancy thinking I was going to be super-bloody-mum and that I’d be able to do everything all by myself whilst keeping a tiny human alive.  Oh how wrong I was!  When you’re aching from the physical trauma of child birth and all you want to do is lay your head down and let your body recover, the sound of a screeching newborn wanting to constantly feed is not what you want to hear.  I started off telling my mum that I’d be absolutely fine to begging her to come and stay so I could have a hot bath and home cooked meal, so if somebody offers to cook you a meal or enjoy some newborn cuddles while you take a nap just let them!

This sort of extends to my next point which is to make time for you.  My husband has offered on numerous occasions to watch our little boy while I just pop out for a walk or to grab a cup of coffee but I always make excuses for not going.  Do as I say and not as I do and take the time to be you, not the mummy you but just you because if you’re like me there will be the odd occasions when you really long for those carefree baby free moments.

Make sure that for at least 10 minutes a day you are doing something that you would normally have done which doesn’t include doing the laundry or washing the dishes.  I used to love reading but when I had Adam I’d be lucky if I had 2 minutes to go to the bathroom without a screaming baby let alone the time to get lost in a good book but I’ve found some ways to fit in a bit of reading time around all the joys of motherhood.  Sometimes I will read a book on my phone while nursing Adam to sleep or while he naps.  Or I will pop my headphones in and listen to an audio book while doing some writing.  Try and find that one thing you enjoyed before becoming a mother and indulge in it every now and then without feeling guilty about it.

Try and remember that once you have a baby this doesn’t totally mark the end of your life as you knew it before.  Before becoming a mummy I would enjoy taking my book and finding a cosy corner in a cafe to read whilst nursing a steaming hot mug of coffee or taking my laptop with me and doing some writing while having lunch.  I can still do that now that Adam is a bit older however there is no book in my hand or laptop and instead of a hot steaming mug I have a half drunk mug of a cold decaf but none of that matters because I now have my little best friend with me who grapples with me for my tuna panini and literally go everywhere with me.  If like me you’re blessed with a child who will instantly nod off in the car then wrap your little one up and strap them into the car, take a little drive and once they’ve nodded off you can stop by a cafe and grab a quick coffee to go.  I’ve had a few days of resorting to this method when I just needed a minute to myself and lets just say Mcdonalds drive through Toffee Nut lattes are my new favourite guilty pleasure.  Top it with a good book or podcast on my phone and I can very quickly recharge, leaving me ready to tackle the rest of the day.

I hope some of these tips have helped some of you new mummies out there and if anybody has any more tips for keeping sane with a baby please do let me know in the comments below!

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