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

traditional Christmas dinner or something else?

Traditional Christmas Dinner or Something Else?

Christmas dinner. Most people imagine turkey with all the trimmings. Roast potatoes. Stuffing. Red cabbage. Brussels sprouts. Roast parsnips. Cauliflower cheese. Pigs in blankets. Gravy.

But are you a family that chooses something else?

Over the years my family have had a variety of meats for dinner; turkey, chicken, gammon, lamb, beef, duck. (Not that it really affects me as I don’t eat the meat part.)
But regardless of the protein the rest of the dinner is pretty much the same.

Some ideas I’ve heard recently:

Fry up
A surprising number of people have a huge cooked breakfast for their Christmas dinner. This isn’t my favourite choice but it’s definitely an option for dealing with a Boxing Day morning hangover. (I’m sure plenty of people have a fry up for breakfast and then a roast turkey dinner on Christmas Day. It doesn’t need to be one or the other.)

Curry
This gives you a variety of meat options, just like roast dinner. It also means you can all pick your own spice strength and type of rice. Poppadoms and naan bread are easily ordered or bought from the supermarket. In fact you could easily buy a variety of curry dishes from Tesco or Sainsbury’s and heat them up. Much simpler than roasting an entire turkey.

Fish and chips
The old English favourite is another popular choice. I’m sure we will have a takeaway at some point over the festive period but for me it’s a roast dinner all the way.

Here’s a picture of Christmas dinner last year, cooked by me and my mum. Last year I was over 20 weeks pregnant. This year I have a 7 and a half month old little monkey.

Christmas dinner 2016

Food Amelia Couldn’t Live Without

1. Banana porridge
Amelia isn’t fussy if it’s cow and gate or aptamil as long as she gets her breakfast. She’ll eat other flavours if she has too but banana is her preference.
2. Fruity melty puffs
Amelia happily tucks into these as snacks or with her lunch (they are like baby wotsits). Her favourite ones are strawberry. Ella’s Kitchen strawberry and banana and kiddylicious strawberry puffs are two of Amelia’s favourites. If they aren’t available she’ll also tuck into carrot puffs from Aldi. She’s a growing girl and loves her food!
3. Yoghurts
Amelia particularly likes Yeo Valley – little yeo ones. Like the puffs if there are only alternatives available she’ll eat those too. Any fromage frais make her happy.
4. Rice crispies
Probably the strangest one on the list, Amelia has really taken to these. To start with I was putting these in her high chair tray so she could play with them whilst rob and I have dinner. (Unlike some things they are easy to clean up) In the last few weeks she stopped playing with them and started shoving them in her mouth. She loves the pop noise they make when they touch her tongue.

On another note – anyone else go to the shops and end up buying things they don’t need? Went over to Aldi to get baby milk and Amelia fell in love with a fluffy penguin. She was heart broken when I took it off her to pay for it. Who could resist that smile though?

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7 month update

 

Tomorrow Amelia is 7 months old. My tiny little baby – who went down to just over 5lbs after being poorly – is 7 months old!

So what has changed?
Then she was in micro nappies – the size below size 1 that are made specifically for premature babies. Now she is in size 3s.

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A month old and still swamped by a size 1 nappy!

Then she was in tiny baby clothes with the sleeves rolled up. Now she is 6-9 months and her legs are long enough that they are not going to fit much longer.

 

Then she was only drinking milk. Now, as I write this, she’s eating a carrot puff from Aldi. She has porridge for breakfast and a little meal with a pudding for lunch and dinner. Her favourites at the moment are rice crispies, banana porridge, Ella’s kitchen strawberry and banana puffs and cottage pie.

Then she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Now she can sit, bum shuffle, stand if holding something, giggle and say ‘dada’.

Then she was in hospital, very poorly, with four hourly blood tests and photo therapy. Now she has been discharged and just has to be weighed every 3 weeks, more often than other babies her age because of the initial struggles.

Watching her grow every day is so much fun. She’s such a smiley, happy baby and every time we go shopping someone says how beautiful she is.

Bloggers Who Care

There is a lovely blogger named Amy that I encountered on twitter (@blogsbyamy_). Amy is a fashion and beauty blogger and if you’d like to read her blog you can find it here. She has recently put together self care packages and I received mine yesterday morning.

The package was so cute, arriving in a pink postal bag with a yellow label. Inside there was a note addressed to me and a little list of the items inside.

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There were three beautiful quotes printed on photo paper which I can’t wait to frame; 2 wax melts (I don’t have a wax burner at the moment but this gives me the perfect excuse to purchase one); a teabag to take a little break and have a relaxing drink; a pack of love heart sweets and a garnier face mask.

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The items are so thoughtful, everything you need for a little pamper evening. I can’t wait to have a sit down with a lovely cup of tea, the gorgeous smell of the wax melts and a face mask on. The wax melts were bubble wrapped to ensure they reached me whole and the business card she included had the most gorgeous pink glitter back. All in all a lovely service and a wonderful product.

5 Ways I Stay Happy and Mentally Healthy #3

This week we welcome Jo, author of Midland Mummy
1. Going for a walk

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I often take my little baby boy for a walk in his pram when I’m feeling a bit low, it gets us both out of the house, sometimes it’s a walk to my local lake to feed the ducks and have a look around or even just a walk around the supermarket, it’s just lovely to have some fresh air.

2. Treat yourself
I often try to treat myself, even if it’s just a little bar of my favourite chocolate or a magazine, nothing too expensive but it’s something that’s just for me and something to look forward to having.

3. Make time for yourself
As a new mum, I find it very hard to get any time to myself as with breastfeeding my little baby boy, he gets his milk from me but it’s getting easier now he’s weaning, but I always make sure my husband takes him,even if it’s just for 30-45 mins each day, it allows me to go have a shower, check my emails and just have a bit of time for me, to stop being mummy for that time.

4. Talk to someone
Sometimes especially recently, I can find myself in the house with the baby and although he’s very cute,I can’t have a conversation with him yet, so I often find a phone call or using FaceTime to speak to someone, be it a friend or my mum just allows me to speak about my day, I suffer with anxiety and I find that speaking about what is worrying me, can often help.

5. Baking
I love baking, I’m not the best baker in the world (Mary berry is safe) but I love making cakes and trying new recipes out, especially since my little baby is choosing to baby led wean. Finding healthy recipes for him and watching him explore is great , but I find dancing around the kitchen with my wooden spoon highly therapeutic, plus he thinks mummy’s dancing is hilarious !

Child’s Farm

I am alwas looking for new products to try for my baby girl. Kit and Kin nappies were a wonderful find, thanks to another mummy blogger.

Child’s Farm is a lovely brand that makes products that are natural but still properly tested which are particularly good for sensitive skin.

I’ve seen the products in boots a few times and thought I should give them a try. We change Amelia’s nappies ever hour or so meaning we use a lot of baby wipes.

Some natural products don’t smell very nice but these Child’s Farm fragrance free wipes didn’t have that all natural outdoorsy type smell. They were really soft and gentle and definitely had Amelia approval!

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Child’s Farm kindly sent me these wipes to review but if you’d like to purchase any they are available from their website here.

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Afternoon Tea

Day 11 and so far I have managed to post everyday, granted one of those was a guest post so I might have cheated slightly.

Before having Amelia and during my pregnancy I baked a lot. Some people spend money on makeup or jewellery. I spent my money on ingredients for brownies, flapjacks, birthday cakes ect.

I made these cupcakes in little teacup cases to use as part of an afternoon tea. (I actually made 18 cupcakes but the other cases weren’t as cute.) They were easy to make and I used the same recipe as this one, only I swapped the blueberries for the rind and juice of two lemons.

Amelia tried to help me which mainly consisted of trying to take the whisk out of the bowl and chew on it. They turned out looking rather pretty!

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To Veggie or Not to Veggie?

I have been vegetarian for nearly eight years. For the first year I ate fish and on a couple of occasions during my pregnancy I ate mackerel – I craved it and anyone who has been pregnant or has interacted with a pregnant woman knows cravings are not to be messed with.

As Amelia gets older we are asked increasingly often whether we will raise her on a vegetarian or meat based diet. Rob, the dad she adores and my other half , is most definitely not vegetarian. Yesterday morning was a perfect testament to this as I made him not one but two bacon sandwiches for breakfast.

Rob lets me decide most things related to Amelia as he believes I know the most about babies out of the two of us. Vegetarianism and babies is a very unpopular topic. I have been told numerous times by people that obviously don’t know much about a healthy diet that not allowing her to eat meat would make her extremely poorly. However my midwife made it very clear to me throughout my pregnancy that being vegetarian was perfectly healthy for me and baby provided I ate a balanced diet. She even said that changing my diet to include lots of meat just because I was pregnant was not advisable; it was likely to make me sick and my body just wouldn’t know what to do with it. So anyone who tells me it is not healthy for Amelia would be very wrong.

That said I am not going to stop her eating meat. Her dad does not eat meat everyday as I will not cook it everyday so she will have it when ever he does. If she decides she’d rather eat what I am eating then she is welcome to that too. She’s a little person and is welcome to chose whichever version of the meal that she’d prefer.

Last night I made a vegetarian tagine using a wonderful meal kit from Marks and Spencers. Instead of using chicken I used quorn chicken fillets and rob was quite happy with that.

This idea that we must eat meat with every meal is a bit silly. It’s expensive, often full of unnecessary amounts of fat and is very limiting. There are so many meat free foods to try. Why limit yourself to the traditional meat and two veg type dinner when you could try so many other things?