Formula haters- you did not pick a good day to mess…

I’m in a seriously sweary mood today, it’s 3 weeks since my last silent coffee. Ordinarily sweary wouldn’t  be a problem. You’d never have known that I’ve shouted expletives into the fridge with the frequency of a bad case of Tourette’s today.
Usually you’d be none the wiser….
But I saw a blog post judging women who formula feed their babies, even suggesting that women that choose to formula feed are somewhat uneducated: and I’ve been giving all the fucking fucks for this. My swear jar (like I have one of those! Pah!) would be overflowing. I’d have saved for the Christmas splurge in an hour. 

What gives anyone the right to judge mothers who formula feed! It’s been a while since I let my mind wander back to our #breastisbest journey. Basically one clear thought ran through my mind: 

Get back in your bastarding box, pretty please

I’ll admit this is a sore subject for me (literally- if you’ve ever tried breastfeeding you might relate!). 
I take maje offence to anyone slating Apamil and the like. Without this my baby wouldn’t have survived! With a projectile case of reflux I was told to express milk and add this magic powder to aid the ample Pukage which had covered every surface of our home over those first few months of manic Babydom. 

My anxious awol confusion of a brain simply couldn’t handle the timing of expressing, feeding, winding, sleeping, expressing, freezing, powder mixing, winding mind-fuck of a routine. 

-How do you think I came up with the name ‘Muma on the Edge’ in the first place?! 

Formula was mine and my baby’s life line. Once we had made the decision to switch to formula the relief was mahoosive. Finally someone else could feed / wind / clear up the puke. I could share the hum drum newborn survival routine with my husband (or anyone else who was offering!). My anxiety levels began to reset and I actually gave myself moments to enjoy this mum thang. 

Guess what: my baby was less sick AND began to thrive. Well well- formula being responsible for a baby THRIVING. Did you hear that haters? 
And I assure you I am not uneducated, I even have a degree AND a private education, fancy! I engaged brain and made a conscious decision to saunter down to Tescos and buy up a crate of Aptamil Nectar.

No one raised any eyebrows as I bought the illicit products either. Bottles, a steamy cleaner, even DUMMIES… Oh yeh, to fuck with it, I went the whole sodding hog. 
Here’s a confession for you: the 2nd time around I chose to bottle feed after just 3 weeks. Because I wanted to. 

I’ll skate over the fact that my left boobage refused to refill. It looked a little like the surgeon had forgotten to pop the silicon in my sad looking pyramid tea bag to my left. Selfishly I wanted my body back, I wanted to wear clothes that didn’t unhook and flap open. After 9 months of growing a baby I needed to be in charge of me again. 

It wasn’t that I was frightened of breast feeding in public, no one had ever made me feel uneasy. I simply chose. And I’m not a bad person btw. I can be quite nice- if I like you…  

My girls are now 6 and 3, they walk, talk, run,hop, skip, answer back, learn, wash, cartwheel, swim, eat, and, touch wood, have never been in hospital. So far I’m not seeing any adverse effects from our formula decision. All present and correct thanks very much. 

So Judgey McJudgeface, before throwing your magic wand of Formula hate around why not locate a ladder, clamber down from that trogan horse and rejoin the rest of us on cloud normal. Please. 
#fedisbest bitches. 

Yup, looking fairly healthy here- blackberries in the potty might pose some questions however…

Win an InfaCare Baby Bathtime Hamper!

Well it’s another dreary January Monday evening, so it must be Giveaway time!

This week I have teamed up with the popular baby brand InfaCare , to giveaway  a gorgeous baby bath time hamper which includes:

  • 2 bottles of InfaCare Baby Bath,
  • 2 bottles of InfaCare Night Time Bath,
  • 2  fluffy flannels!

It’s the perfect time of year for snuggling up and enjoying bath time (or staying behind the shower screen as I have to do, thanks to my highly enthusiastic little bathers…)

InfaCare comes recommended by hospital midwives and healthcare professionals to cleanse and protect your child’s skin. -What more could you want…

About InfaCare

“Both formulas are clinically tested and Ph balanced, creating natural levels of Acidity and Alkalinity in skin and hair. Reassuringly, each is designed to prevent irritation, helping with allergies in the process.

Recently launched, Night-time Baby Bath is now championed by mums across the country; up to 70% hailing it ‘ideal’ for their bedtime procedure.

Not only does it look great the product performs too. You don’t need much for it to produce masses of long-lasting bubbles, perfect for your little one to have fun with.

A gentle, powdery and oriental fragrance is sure to relax, easing your tots first into bed and then off to sleep.”

To win simply follow this link to my facebook page where you can Like, Share & Comment to be entered!

Best of luck!


xx

 

Cash splashing baby must-not-haves

There is SO much baby crap out there, all gleaming and shiny just waiting for unsuspecting adoring (petrified) new parents to splash their cash on. 

Sharing is caring, and with this in mind I thought I’d divulge our top 5 parenting purchase nightmares with you… It’s not pretty.

1)A rocking crib.


What a seriously bonkers invention.

This at No.1 because it is without doubt the most rookie of all the bad purchases we made as parents in-waiting. The helpful teen at ‘Babies R us’ swore blind a rocking crib was a new born essential (I’m sure she knew best). Jolly good; we’ll have one of those then.

The first time I attempted to put the baby-that-did-not-sleep into the rocking crib proved that this ‘essential’ was in fact the polar opposite.

Into the crib she went milk-drunk. I looked just like a member of bomb squad edging nearer and nearer to the crib with the armed device, armed with this sleeping new born. One. False. Move… of course the rocking crib did just that– it bloody rocked all over the place. Bam and that was it: baby rave time, mummy cry time.

We tried it a few more times before we chopped it up and used it to re-board our fireplace


2) Gro-Clock


Desperate times call for desperate measures. And we were just that. Our 2 year old had never slept through the night, and never in her own bed. We were trying everything and anything to try and achieve just one night’s sleep before baby No.2 made her appearance.

Make way for The Gro-Clock. Promising that toddlers will obey its creepy sun face.

The Gro clock should come with a warning that you will only be able to figure out how to program the bloody thing if you have the IQ of a frigging genius. I don’t.

It is not simple to use. Even less simple if you are heavily pregnant, sleep deprived and quite literally a Muma on the Edge. When we eventually did get it working our daughter LAUGHED at it. We basically spent £25 on a night light.

Fu*k you Gro clock.

 3) Skirts n headbands: Baby Accessory Gate


Ok let’s get this straight-

Skirts: They ride up. They look awkward. They show off the nappy to its optimum. And it looks SO uncomfortable.

Headbands: I tried, I really did; to dress up my baby’s wispy bald head. I was always paranoid the gypsy-style headbands would slip down and we’d have a horrific ‘strangled’ situation on our hands. More often than not she would rip it off her head and chuck it overboard. (She clearly has more taste than I do!)

Why did I bother?!

Baby No.2 escaped the wannabe Doll phase, onesies forever.

 

4) Holiday with a baby


(Ok this isn’t strictly an ‘item’ but I just felt I couldn’t leave it out of this Rookie list.)

Just why?! If it isn’t hard enough to look after a sub-1 human at home with the entire contents of Mothercare at your fingertips, how do we convince ourselves that a holiday will ever be just that?!

We were so lucky to go away with my parents and sisters when Darcie was 3 months old. A ratio of 7:1 is the ONLY way I would ever recommend a holiday with a baby.

The heat was too hot for her, the cot was too netted for her, the pool was too cold for her, the air was too airy for her, she wouldn’t sleep OR she only wanted to sleep.

How is that a holiday?! That’s just normal life thrown in with a touch of nightmare.

 5) The baby sling


It was awkward. I swore. The baby cried. We gave up: Back to ebay it went.

I have seen serene ‘Baby Carriers’ in the real so it must be possible to front tie, back tie, strap up and pop the bambino in. I however found it impossible: frustrating and confusing in equal measure, and frankly a complete and utter bloody mystery.

I tried again and again to get to grips with Slinging. I tried different brands with ties, & knots to clips & Velcro. I ended up looking like id been subjected to Mummification; Wrapped up in endless cloth with a screaming baby hanging out of the front of me.Bugaboo I salute you.

So come on- spill the beans on your useless baby impulse buys…!!???? 

Best of Worst
Mummuddlingthrough
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Jennifer, you legend.

At last: She has spoken.

Jennifer. Jen. Rachel has come right out and said what has been on the tip of the tongues of so many successful woman in the spotlight who just so happen to be outright awesome without *whispers* Being a Mother. Shock horror.

I love Jen’s article, it’s honest, thought provoking and kicks some serious female butt. Read it in full here.

Here are my highlights:

“…This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status…Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child…We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.”

It’s a crying shame that Theresa May couldn’t produce a similar response to Andrea Leasom’s ghastly attempt to get the edge over her opponent this weekend, based on her reproduction ‘achievements’.

I seem to remember a time right after school, probably through to my mid-20’s when a pregnancy was announced it was an ‘OH MY GOD THEY’RE PREGNANT’ moment. We seemed too young to have babies and it was almost a scandal that you would dare to reproduce. I’m now the other side of that (weeps), and this other side is worse. Much worse. Because this other side questions why a woman may not have borne a crying sh*tting machine yet.

Why is this? Why do we as a society, pivot a female’s success around the presence of a child? I feel lucky, not successful, to have 2 children. I certainly wouldn’t measure my success or suitability for a job based on the fact that I have children.

I wonder if Jenifer Aniston’s words will actually hit home to the Paparazzi and magazine bosses? (who might actually be fully grown women without children! IMAGINE!).

 Sadly I think her statement will fall on deaf ears. Inevitably, lining the newsagent’s shelves will continue be glossy post-lunch stomachs belonging to the A-Z listers, complete with speculation over the presence of a bambino within.

All the while we keep buying the Mags or sharing the articles and spreading the hype, they will keep dishing it.

It’s pretty sad when you think about it.

It’s a big day for Women today, a great day. Our 2nd female Prime Minister EVER will take up the reins and is set to be appointing top cabinet roles to some fabulous women. I know their gender is neither here nor there as long as they are the right people for the jobs, but I can’t help doing a little fist pump for Girl Power today.

Mummuddlingthrough

The guilty (professional) Muma

guilty muma

As many of you already know: I am a stay at home Mum. I think that phrase is a bit naff, but it does what it says on the tin (although I am allowed out occasionally…). I used to have a career outside of our home. But now we have 2 little girls, my career is here, in the middle of my family. All day. Everyday.

It’s like any job really: it has its ups- mostly when the bosses are out. No, not at the quarterly finance meetings, but at school and nursery. And it has its downs, like when I miss my weekly washing targets. The hours are slightly longer than I was used to, I seem to be in my office by 6am. But the commute is a staircase and dressing gowns seem to be acceptable office attire. The slight stinger in the tail is that the pay is shit, well, non-existent actually. My bonuses are now paid in kind; lots of snotty cuddles, kisses and the odd punch in the face. Don’t get me wrong, those are priceless bonuses right there for the taking. But they aren’t exactly a lunch-hour-Warehouse-dress-spurge are they.

So this Mummying thing is my profession now. A professional Mummy in my mind creates innovative organic meals, has a home which may as well feature in House Beautiful – a place for everything and everything in its place. The children must attend a host of clubs and after school jollies – ferrying around is quite high up on the JD. Weekends can be nothing but activates and socialfests as all of the house work can be done during the week… surely.

But somewhere I seem to have taken a wrong turn. This isn’t how my approach to Professional Mummying is working out despite my very best efforts to be a real life super mum and nail this job.

Muma Guilt has reared its ugly head once again. And not just guilt that I should be doing a better job at home, but guilt that I DO have all day everyday, to get my shit together, while so many Mumas work long hours on top the full time Muma gig – and seem to be doing a better job!

If I were to have an appraisal tomorrow, I would be issued with a disciplinary. I stopped and glanced around at the chaos that seems to have tied itself around me: my car is always a wreck. From chewed sweets to fruitshoots, abandoned items of clothing and half of shoe zone seem to have a magnetic force to our foot wells. Darcie actually decided that the undetectable smell in our car was in fact, Bum. Great.

It shouldn’t be this way. My car should smell like freaking roses, using tips I picked up on pintrest, during research on ‘How to avoid your car smelling like bum’, because that’s the sort of thing I should have time for. But I don’t.

The wash bin is always overflowing (should I introduce naked Tuesdays?!) even though I am at home all the time. Doing washing. And folding. And putting away. We run out of bread and milk, nappies and formula on a weekly basis – but never coinciding with the weekly shop and at crucial shit-explosion moments, or the breakfast rush.

I dish up ready meals, Ready meals!! I’m at home all the time. This shit is my job and I dish up ready meals. We never seem to have enough time (or calm) to fit in reading the school book every night. I should be devising word games and *crazy* maths challenges to get those intellectual juices flowing through my 5 year olds head. Instead we get our interior design heads on with their Sylvanian world, and cut up Kinetic sand.

I am getting better at remembering own clothes days and those super fun random music shows that the school seem to enjoy springing on us. Clearly the parental form of SATs. So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps the first 5 years of being a professional parent is just your probationary period.

 

Any other stay at home mums feel this guilt?

The way of the world: according to my ToddlerMonster

  1. The louder you scream the more you shall achieve.
  2. The word Me should be included at the beginning and end of each sentence reinforcing ones importance.
  3. Eat with your hands: it’s quicker and you can lick them later for a little dinner reminder.
  4. Only Paw Patrol should be on the television. Anything else is simply an oversight by management.
  5. Pasta & grated cheese IS the ultimate dinner. Don’t be cute and mix it up: you cannot improve on perfection. I will only feed it to the dog. And smear it up the wall.
  6. Washing hair is an unnessesery torture occurring right in the middle of the most fun part of the day. Scream & then scream some more: Chase is surely on the case.
  7. The Park is the single most important destination goal of each day. Do not rest until you have been on the Weeeeeeeeengs.
  8. Closely followed by soft play: Nothing beats seeing management spat out by the foam rollers.
  9. Run, don’t ride. Why would you want to sit in a buggy when you could be running everywhere so much faster. Efficiency is key.
  10. Teeth are the most successful persuasion tool we have. especially on siblings.

Thank me later- I’m off to update the memo board on the back of my bedroom door – with management’s eyeliner.
DomesticatedMomster

DomesticatedMomster

10 hacks to nail your CenterParcs Longleat break…

*Not a sponsored post*

cover pic

We have just come back from our debut family weekend trip to CentreParcs. Here are my top hacks I’ll be referring back to for next time – and yes, there will be a next time: Toddlers are not aliens here.

    1. Arrive for 10am & head to the pool – Although you won’t have access to your lodge until 3pm (2pm if you pay the supplement) you can use the facilities on site from 10am. We were told at the CenterParcs check in point that we couldn’t use the pool until 2pm, we obeyed and instead dragged 2 kids around in the rain until it was time for us to check in. However, others in our party did use the pool from 10am with no problem at all, and this is what we would do next time for sure! (There wasn’t a Rottweiler guarding the entrance!)longleat pool map
    2. Hire Bikes: from 11am on day of arrival. It’s by far the quickest and easiest way to get around CenterParcs. There are brilliant cycle routes, and the fact that cars have to be in the main car park by 10pm on the day of your arrival means you are safe from traffic, apart from the odd service vehicle. Our girls are 2 & 5 so we hired a carriage for the back of Dan’s bike (lucky him!) The girls LOVED it. Even better is the serious amount of storage behind the seats for carting around all of the usual ‘under the buggy’ crap. You can hire balance bikes, bikes with stabilisers, traditional chick cycles and mountain bikes. They were all really good condition and came with locks.
    3. Pay to be central. Yes, it is extra – again. But the site is huge, and if like us you have 2 small children in tow the last thing we wanted was long hikes between the pool and our lodge. We figured this is where our girls would be most keen to hang out and so choose a lodge as close as possible. It minimised tantrums and cycling effort (I had no idea how unfit I am, CenterParcs is massive!) so worth the extra £ at the point of booking.
    4. Afternoons at the pool. The difference between the mornings and afternoons in the pool was unbelievable. The famous CenterParcs pool opens at 10am – Think Black Friday, with the amount of people waiting to get into the changing rooms on the dot of 10. The queues for the 4 big slides were seriously long, 20 minutes was the longest we waited for. The outside pool was so packed it was like watching pasta come to the boil! The afternoon was the opposite, especially on the day we arrived. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.Longleat_subtropical_swimming_paradise_header_1920x500
    5. Bring inflatables & Bucket n spades with you- and don’t get ripped off! We bought a beach ball in Morrisons for 99p. The exact same beach ball was being sold at CenterParcs for £5.99! We also took a bucket and spade each to the pool. There are sandpits in the toddler area. Yes, I was crouched over in my bikini making a Dinosaur nest: Because of course,  we were at Jurrassic Park, not Center Parcs. Mild confusion for entire trip as Toddler Monster roared her way around the place in search of a T Rex. There is also a sandy beach around the lake for keen diggers… beach6. BOOK BOOK BOOK! If you want to do it, Book it. The activities at CenterParcs get really booked up, especially things like the horse riding, children’s jet skis and the tree tops high wires. Although with the massive pool, the adventure playgrounds, & lake-beach you could get away without doing extras if you have under 5’s. Click here for the list of included activities. The Pancake house was seriously popular, we couldn’t get in without a booking on our first attempt to stuff ourselves stupid. We had more success when we arrived for when it opened at 11am. It has a lovely sunny terrace out the back, the pancakes were delicious – and almost guilt free thanks to the cycling! Next time I’d love to book into the Spa…pancake pic

 

  • 7. Take a BBQ & kitchen essentials. They do sell pretty much everything you need in the little shop at CenterParcs, but you’ll pay a premium for it, and you won’t have your car boot handy to pop it all in to take home… So it’s a good idea to plan out if you will be eating in or out and take your supplies with you. (Even down to the nitty gritty of washing up liquid, loo roll and bin bags! Oh the glamour!) The lodges all have outdoor tables and chairs with a BBQ area, we made use of it one evening and it was lovely amongst the trees!
  • 8. Restaurants at Center Parcs: The sports bar is on the lake, in the big sports complex. It serves Weatherspoons style grub. Not particularly special BUT it serves wine, AND has a soft play area which our girls loved. Tick, tick. Café Rouge is in the Plaza and is one of only 2 places that serve breakfast. Again, it has a little soft play area. The only thing about Café Rouge is that it has a stream with no fences running in between the tables with fish in. If you have a wobbly toddler then you’ll be on your guard… But it is pretty! Hucks is the American restaurant and serves your burger / steak / chip classics. It does a children’s buffet which was basic kids food, but good value. It has a soft play for toddlers, an adventure play Castle for the older ones and an i-station for older kids. VERY child friendly and serve a mean Daiquiri. There are a couple of Starbucks (plaza & Sports complex) No soft play… but essential caffeine fix to get around all of the activities and pander to whinging kids.Cafe rouge9. Take your joggers, some decent swimwear & get a Tan! There is absolutely no point taking anything nice to wear. Embrace the opportunity to leave your skinnys at home, cycling in them would be impossible and so uncomfortable! Pack wellies, trainers and hair bands: no heels needed! Same for the kids. I did however have a spray tan. Knowing I’d be spending more time standing out of the pool than submerged I decided it would be a good investment. Well, tanned cellulite always looks better doesn’t it… Same applies for the bikini. Get a tight one – those slides are fast. You know what I’m saying. 
  • 10. LONGLEAT SAFARI PARK is literally 3 minutes up the road from the main CenterParcs entrance. We did this on the Monday, our check out day. You can stay in the park and use all of the facilities as long as you are out of your lodge by 10am. But if you haven’t been to Longleat zoo then you just have to do it! There always seem to be a few deals online for booking tickets in advance. We arrived before 10am and had the safari in our car almost to ourselves. Lions, roamed around our car, we fed Deers out of the passenger window, saw Tigers a few meters away… It was incredible. RECOMMEND RECOMMEND RECOMMEND!
  • longleat