‘Young mums’

‘Young mums’

I don’t like the term young Mum. It has a few connotations that are insulting and I’ve heard it used in derogatory ways.

‘Oh another young mum’ ‘young mums always take up all the room on the bus’ ‘young mums shouldn’t be having babies in the first place’ ‘young mums are always on benefits’.

The latter implies that only ‘young’ mums claim benefits and that they are neither deserving nor entitled to them.

I personally am not on benefits and have not been previously. I’ve managed to balance working and being a mum with relative ease. Benefits are there for those who need them and I haven’t needed them.

But I have encountered a lot of people who have assumed that I don’t work and claim benefits.

Sure start vouchers are vouchers available for those on benefits to buy fresh fruit and milk and formula for their little ones (if you are reading this in the UK and think you qualify for them and don’t get them then definitely have a look at applying for them.)

Today I went to my local supermarket and was informed at the checkout that they could accept my milk vouchers. This was surprising to me as I hadn’t asked and I hadn’t handed over any vouchers. When I told the lady that I didn’t get them she looked equally surprised.

Now I know she meant well and was very polite but if I was older would she have made the same assumption?

I’ve encountered similar assumptions elsewhere. When I’ve taken Amelia to the Doctors quite often my age is brought up. Being a parent is a learning curve the first time round whether you are 16 or 32. Yes the 32 year old may have more life experience but that doesn’t mean they will be a better parent or find it easier. The 16 year old may have been looking after young siblings, the 32 year old may never have held a new born.

If you’ve had any experiences you’d like to share then please comment below or send me a message on my ‘contact us’ page.

Here is a picture of Amelia eyeing up the other little ones when we did the food shop this morning.

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Noisy, nosey and 9 months old

9 month update

Amelia’s first tooth
A week ago today the little monkey bit me with her first tooth where it had started poking through. She now uses it to chomp on everything: fingers, noses, chocolate buttons, toes. All the tasty things right?
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Amelia’s first pancake day
Yesterday was a day to enjoy lots of sugary chocolatey pancakes. I confess, Amelia has had them before, but she had one with Nutella and mini marshmallows. The little monster loved it.

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And today is Amelias first Valentine’s Day so
I thought I’d be extra cute and get her a vest that says ‘daddy’s valentine’. I put her in it at 9:30 and it is currently (an hour later) in the washing machine. As her daddy put it: she did her business and it went all up her back and so the vest isn’t as cute now.

Thankfully I snapped a few photos before this happened. They aren’t the best but they are adorable and the best I’m going to get. I didn’t even get chance to put her matching red leggings and red hoodie on. But there we are.
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Other nine month achievements:
Walking when holding someone’s hands.
Climbing up stairs.
Opening her snack cupboard and helping herself.
Trying to climb in the toilet.

Having a nearly-toddler is frustrating, funny and full of surprises. (The valentines vest is proof of the frustrating. Try and do something cute and it lasts an hour.)

Changing Bag Essentials

Changing Bag Essentials

Nappies
No changing bag would be functional without them. At the moment we are using peppa pig little angels pants from asda. I am a big fan of kit and kin nappies but with all of Amelia’s climbing and crawling the tabs on nappies just aren’t staying done up. So the pants are brilliant.

Johnson’s moisturiser
This moisturiser smells wonderful and is currently on sale for £1.25 in the asda baby event. It’s worked wonders on Amelia’s dry patches of skin and the scent of it is appealing yet subtle.

Kit and kin magic salve
This nappy cream is a must have. With all natural ingredients and an almost herbal smell it is extra kind to baby skin and works like a dream. If Amelia is looking a bit red then a little of this magic salve and by the next nappy change there’s a noteable improvement.

Baby wipes
Not to be forgotten – although I have done in the past and ended up having to buy them whilst out – baby wipes are an essential I couldn’t imagine not having. Kit and kin wipes are lovely, as are asda fragrance free ones. At the moment we are using the boots fragrance free wipes. (Boots baby club means you get 10 points per pound instead of the normal 4.)

As Amelia gets older I’ve been packing lighter. Her reflux doesn’t necessitate three changes of clothes and six Muslims anymore so it’s not such a mission every time we go out. Trying to take a nice photo for this post didn’t go so well. As you can see below Amelia decided she wanted the magic salve.

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Family Favourites

Family Favourites

I am always looking for new things to use on Amelia. Recently she’s developed some really dry patches on her back. I found this cream in the asda baby event for £1.25! Even after two applications there’s a noticeable difference. It smells divine and I’m tempted to buy the other products in the range.

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Another favourite at the moment are the asda little angels peppa pig first pants. We’ve had a few ‘incidents’ – read Amelia weed on the carpet – because all her crawling, climbing and rolling was undoing her nappies. These are perfect as she can’t undo them and they have an adorable peppa pig design on them. At £3.87 for a pack of 30 they are a reasonable price and we’ve had no leaks, Day or night.

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Organix apple and orange oat bars are now a regular on the shopping list too. Amelia makes a mess crumbling them up but as she scoops up the little bits and eats them it’s not so bad. (In the Aldi baby event they have boxes of 6 organix bars for £1.99)

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I’m sure the shopping list gets longer as Amelia grows. She is 9 months in a couple of weeks and her first birthday is coming round so quickly. What did you do for your little ones first birthdays?

Raspberry and white chocolate tray bake

Raspberry and white chocolate tray bake

2 eggs
4 ounces of self raising flour
4 ounces of sugar
4 ounces of butter
3 and a half ounces of white chocolate chips
3 and a half ounces of fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a small square baking tin by rubbing with butter and dusting with flour.

Cream the sugar and butter together. Add an egg and half the flour. Mix well and add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour. Fold in the white chocolate chips, adding the raspberries last so they don’t get to squashed.

Pour the batter into the tin and gently spread the mixture out so that the pan is evenly filled.

Cook the cake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and springy to touch.

Allow to cool and cut into pieces – I made mine into 9 good sized squares.

This recipe would also work with strawberries and milk chocolate or could be used to fill cupcake cases.

I served mine with squirty cream and extra raspberries

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(This recipe is my own and so are my pictures.)

Balancing Baby, Uni and Work

Balancing Baby, Uni and Work

Not so long ago, when our parents were younger, when our grandparents were having babies it was the normal thing to have the Mum stay at home and look after the babies.

Now that’s not so common. People are having babies younger and money is a lot tighter. Our parents were buying houses in their twenties, my generation will be lucky if they can ever leave rented properties. Whatever the reason a lot of mums and dads are now balancing family life with work and studying.

I am a full time student and will be returning to work part time very soon. It’s important to be organised to make this work. What do I do to try and make it easier?

1- pack Amelia’s changing bag and lay out her clothes the night before
2- check my timetable for the week and save the dates on my phone
3- take advantage of any help offered. My mum said when I was pregnant that she’d be happy to look after Amelia if needed so we have a standing arrangement that she has Amelia one morning a week whilst I’m at uni.
4- my university has a policy for extending dead lines. If you need an extension and your uni will allow it then ask! It is not a weakness to ask for extra time.
5- I always cook too much. Instead of throwing it away I make up extra meals and freeze them. When I’m late back from uni we can just stick them in the microwave which makes life a lot easier.
6- keep a text book in each room – this way if Amelia falls asleep on me I have a book I can reach and can catchup on reading whilst she naps.
7- make time for a five minute break even if all you do is sit and have a mug of hot chocolate!

I’m always looking for other ways to make student Mum and work life easier so if you have any tips please comment!

Lucy XX

Christmas, Uni and Everything in Between

Catching up

I’ve been a little absent on the blog recently. Christmas was extremely busy, Amelia has been waking more often through the night and this week and next week I have three essays due and an exam. I’ve been surrounded by text books and resources and still have a pile of 10 academic books that I haven’t even begun reading. Amelia, housework and coursework require more hands and brain cells than I have available.

Am I the only person who still has their Christmas decorations up?

Our flat isn’t as tidy as it should be, Amelia’s Christmas presents still don’t have proper homes and I’ve been drying the washing on the radiators as I haven’t had chance to put the clothes away that are on the airer. I still haven’t purchased an iron so our clothes are all a bit wrinkly and my steamer is still at my mums as I leant it to her for cooking Christmas dinner. I’m just not organised enough to have collected it yet. I go back to work in a few weeks and I’m back at uni too so free time is extremely limited.

But we are all fed and clean and Amelia is happy so everything else will get done when I have chance.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and new year.

Lucy x

She Crawls!

She Crawls!

Amelia is 8 months old a week tomorrow – I know where has the time gone?

She can say Mum, dad and Nan and chatters non stop.

The most surprising development is this morning she woke up and started crawling out of the blue. Me and my mum were both fairly certain Amelia would skip the crawling stage and just walk – my brother did pretty much exactly that and was walking unaided by 9 months. But the little lady decided to surprise us all.

She often spends from 4am onwards in bed with rob and I. I have gotten used to being woken up by little hands pulling at my hair. Amelia woke us up this morning by chatting away ‘dadda dad Daddy dadda’. She pulled herself up so that she was sitting in her little sleeping bag – on a side note if your baby doesn’t have a sleeping bag then go and buy one. Amelia has slept so much better since having hers.

We took amelias sleeping bag off so we could change her nappy and as soon as she was free she started rolling around the floor. Neither of us could believe it when she managed to crawl the length of the bed and back five times! Yes it’s an army crawl but as the days gone on she’s got better and better at using her arms.

My little titchy tot isn’t so little anymore.

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Mealtime Monsters

My last post was about two gifts that rob and I had purchased for Amelia. This post is about a few gifts I know my mum has purchased for Amelia. (Because I was with her at the time.)

Amelia is getting bigger now and eating anything she can get her hands on. She is still toothless so struggles with some bits but otherwise is a very happy little eater.

This wonderful monster bowl, plate and cutlery set makes meal times more fun for little ones. It’s from Aldi and I can’t wait to see her face when she opens it on Christmas Day.

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The snack bowl is designed to help little ones with their coordination as it has a soft lid that they must put their fingers through to pick up the food. I’m looking forward to seeing Amelia’s little face. She loves bright colourful things and eating so combining the two will be a win all round.

Pets Party

With Christmas being so close my posts are admittedly getting shorter. Amelia’s nanny’s and uncles and friends and other family have been busy shopping.

Rob and I have tried not to buy too much for her but there were a few items I couldn’t resist.

Two of these are from the lovely Cath Kidston ‘pets party’ range. Anyone who knows me knows that I adore guineapigs. I have two of my own called beep and nibble (@beep_and_nibble on instagram if you want to see pictures) so when I found a range of guinea pig decorated items I knew Amelia had to have some of them.

I restrained myself admirably and bought her the lunch plate which is really good as it is divided into sections and a lunch bag which is insulated so if you put an ice block in it the food stays cool.

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(I say restrained because there are a number of items in the pets party range and I really wanted to buy them all. Anyone else feel compelled to buy entire sets?)