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My baby sleeps through the night…

And other myths…

How many times do you read or hear ‘my baby slept through the night?’, or ‘my baby eats everything on their plate?’ or ‘my baby took a bottle no problem? as well as many other phrases that to be honest, just make you feel like a pretty crap parent.

We’ve been so lucky with our little one (he’s now 9 months old) that despite having some challenges with feeding when he was born (he had a severe tongue tie that was divided on day 6), he’s a really happy and calm baby for the most part! We really can’t complain.

But….

He doesn’t sleep through the night, he won’t take a bottle and weaning has been hard as he seemed to gag on most things we gave him at the start and then when he found his independence, hated being fed from a spoon as he wanted to do it himself! All of this is perfectly normal though and the important thing to remind yourself (and other very helpful well-wishers) is that EVERY baby is different, there is no one size fits all and it doesn’t mean your baby is broken!

The problem with social media is that sometimes, we don’t always see the full picture. I could tell you that last night, he went to bed at 5:30pm and he woke up at 6:30am this morning! That would sound like an incredible night wouldn’t it? This is true – however, he woke at 9:30pm grizzly (teething and a cold!) and needed a feed, then again at 11:30pm and then again until I brought him into bed with us at 1am and then we co-slept/fed most of the night until he was ready to ‘wake up’ properly at 6:30am.

So what has worked for us and stopped us from losing our sanity?

  • Stop comparing! This will absolutely be your undoing! The amount of times I’ve questioned things we’re doing because other peoples babies are doing it different or easier or earlier than our little boy. They are ALL different and they will do things at their own pace! Carl, my husband always reminds me that every time things have been tough, we then get through that phase. You will too! How many adults do you know that don’t sleep, eat or drink? I imagine its none! Every baby gets there in their own time!
  • Sleep: There are so many sleep books/consultants/blogs out there. Please do yourself one favour and do not stress about this! Read the advice, take the bits that work for you but don’t put yourself under enormous amounts of pressure! Sarah Ockwell-Smith wrote a book called The Gentle Sleep Book and this is such an amazing resource. One of my lovely NCT mum friends recommended this and I hope it may help you too. I recently attended a @BusyLizzy_Elmbridge workshop where Leigh Swanborough from Born To Sleep shared her tips for baby sleep. She had a different approach to other workshops i’d been to (cos lets face it, sleep deprived parents will go to every workshop and buy every book on the shelf in the hope it’ll be the magic cure needed to get your baby sleeping through the night!) as she was very gentle, realistic and also acknowledged how every baby is different. She shared a really useful graphic that demonstrated the ‘ideal’ sleep times/gaps your baby should be having. Again she reiterated that this was not a your baby ‘should’ be doing this! I’ll post the graphic below.
  • Bottles: I can’t tell you how many hours/days I’ve stressed about trying to get him to take a bottle as well as how many bottles we’ve tried – we’ve tried slow flow, fast flow, breast shaped bottles, bottles with teats like a boob – he just hasn’t been interested. It’s not that he can’t do it (although in the early months he did gag and splutter on every try) he just preferred breast feeding! Its been 9 months now and we’ve still not successfully managed to drop a feed in place of a bottle. The best advice I can give you is to be ok with this. I’ve been so upset and worked up that he wouldn’t take one but ultimately, it’s not forever and I know when he stops and doesn’t depend on me quite so much anymore, I’ll miss that time! I know it is much easier said than done. Unfortunately, my milk has a high level of lipase which means it doesn’t freeze well and we’ve only just started trying formula as we thought he might have a dairy allergy (thankfully he didn’t!) so this has been a bit of a learning curve too! The first one we tried, HIPP Organic he reacted to for some reason! So this morning, Ocado have delivered Cow & Gate and I’m pleased to report, he’s taken 1 oz (yep that’s it!) but no reaction. We’ll just keep trying little and often and eventually we’ll get there – he’ll take water in a sip cup and so we’ll try milk this way if the bottles don’t work out. If not, he’ll be 1 soon and then we can just give him cow’s milk.
  • Weaning: Everyone told me how fun weaning would be and honestly my stomach was in knots for a good couple of months when we started because he would gag and every time I’d panic. BUT….having attended another helpful @BusyLizzy_Elmbridge First Aid workshop with Mini First Aid, so long as he was only going red, watery eyed and making noise I managed to refrain from leaping across the table to tip him upside down and he would eventually spit out whatever he’d gagged on. That said, you do need to remember ‘If they go red, let them go ahead, if they go blue, they need you’ – always trust your instinct and if you’re not sure, tilt them forward and give them a pat on the back. The one other really important tip I learned at that workshop was that you should avoid sticking your fingers in their mouth to fish it out as you could end up pushing it further back – they need to develop their tongue muscles by pushing it forward. Now we’re almost up to 3 regular meals a day – he eats some of it, most of it gets chucked on the floor or mushed into the table/high chair – and I’m ok with that now and don’t stress. This is a time where the phrase ‘if he’s hungry, he’ll eat’ is actually true! Remember: Food before one is just for fun and most importantly they are learning new textures, flavours and techniques! Whats interesting, I thought we were behind on this but this week received an email from Bounty ‘Your 9 month old: they will now be moving from purees onto more chunky textures and will soon be up to 3 meals a day) – again, I’ve put myself under enormous pressure when I didn’t need to!
  • Parent guilt and feelings of inadequacy: Being a new mum is so incredible but it is also one of the toughest things i’ve ever done! Some days you feel like you’re literally winning at life and other days, its as much as you can do to put clean clothes on and have a shower whilst caring for this tiny human. I went to an event earlier in the week put on by the amazing Miriam from @parenttribedotcom with Zoe Blaskey @motherkind_zoe and Jessica Huie @jessica_huie_ said ‘I always try to remember myself as a little girl and to treat my inner little girl with kindness when I am feeling stressed’ – this is something I’m not very good at. I don’t accept help well, I don’t ask for help and I am, though i’ve never admitted it before, a bit of a control freak! I hate that feeling of helplessness but sometimes when the world around you is spinning out of control, you need to learn to let go and be at peace with the chaos – this is something my husband reminds me almost daily! I’m so lucky to have such a great support network around me and I would say this to you if you feel things are tough, surround yourself with people who lift you up; who make you a sandwich when you pop round for a coffee because even though you say you’re not hungry, they know you’ve probably not eaten anything that day; you need people in your corner that have your back and will check in just to say hey.
  • Returning to work: I don’t have any words of wisdom on this one other than to say, it will be tough, be kind to yourself. A few of my NCT friends have gone back already and they said it was hard having been solely with the baby all the time they were off BUT that seeing the pictures/updates from the childminder/nursery/husbands/ grandparents/other caregivers looking after their little ones whilst they work and seeing how happy and smily and content their babies are definitely made it easier. As things stand, I’m due back in January. I’m not in any way excited to go back but I do know that it will be so good for his development to be surrounded by other babies and to be socialising/mixing well and will make our time together as a family so much more precious – and on second thoughts, it will be good for my development to be surrounded by other adults and to be socialising/mixing well!

So in short, no two babies are the same! Trust your parenting instinct. Take the advice people give you with the well meaning that was intended but don’t take it to heart. And in case no one has told you lately, you’re doing an amazing job! ❤️

What other things have worked for you? What other things have you found tough? How do you balance the amazing times with the overwhelm? I’d love you to message me with other things you think would help other parents so I can share them!

Featured

Bshirt….free your wardrobe!

It’s now been 6 months since our little man arrived and there have been many challenges as well as some of the most incredible moments we’ve ever experienced!

One of the things I was worried about when baby arrived was if I would be able to breastfeed. We had quite a tough start as little man was tongue-tied, quite severely, and so 6 days in we had to have a little op to divide the tie. After that, feeding got easier, but the duration of his feeds stayed at around 40-50 mins!

As a first time mum, the thought of breastfeeding out in public concerned me a little, bit I was adamant I wanted to do it. I’d read the tips about using a large muslin, bought strappy tops with clips and layered T-shirt’s/jumpers over the top but when feeding for that long with a little boy who loved to play with my overlaying top, it felt almost impossible to feed discretely! Now I know breastfeeding is natural, and you’re allowed to feed wherever you want, but I still didn’t want to be flashing my nips for the whole world to see!

To be honest, I’m sure no one was particularly paying me any attention, but I felt self-conscious and so at times, would find myself rushing what we were doing so I could either find somewhere out of sight, get home or disappear upstairs (if we had people over), to feed without worrying about flashing!

Then at one of our Mummas & Beans baby massage classes, one of my lovely NCT mum friends started feeding her little one without lifting a layer or unclipping tops and to look at her, you wouldn’t have even known she was feeding! She was wearing a Bshirt! This was the first time I’d ever heard of them. Such a simple concept, a top (vest, short sleeve or long sleeve) with a layered flap that lifts up just enough for you to be able to latch baby on without exposing your whole boob! I was instantly hooked and straight away ordered two – both black, one vest, one long sleeve!

As the months have gone on I’ve ordered a couple more vests (and with the heatwave we’re having at the moment, who’s wearing anything more than a vest to be honest?). These have been absolutely perfect for feeding in and keeping me and little man cool!

The lovely team at Bshirt then contacted me to ask me if would like to review their shirts and #gifted me two vests – tidal and bluebell.

I’ve bought a variety of cheap and more expensive nursing clothes over the last 6 months – my biggest regret is that as a first-time mum, I didn’t think to buy dual purpose maternity and nursing clothes as this would’ve saved me a lot of money! Secondly, I genuinely wish I’d known about Bshirts earlier! They’re so comfortable and super soft and definitely would have been versatile enough to see me through pregnancy and beyond!

At £20 a shirt (for the vest) they’re a tiny bit more expensive than some things you can get on the highstreet, in H&M or topshop for example, but for me the extra few pounds are worth it for the quality of the clothes and knowing that you’re supporting a company who are ethical, sustainable and do everything they can to support other mums!

The company was set up by two mums who met at a baby yoga class, who were frustrated at the lack of breastfeeding friendly clothes and so set up a business designing their own…..initially from their kitchen table! They are an ethical, British, made by mums for mums company and all their packaging is 100% eco-friendly! Part of the slow-fashion movement, their clothes allow you to adapt your current wardrobe rather than having to spend lots of your precious maternity pay (which lets face it is pants!!!) on a whole new wardrobe! They have won so many awards, including Gold from Made for Mums, and it’s easy to see why! They also donate a percentage of their annual profits to various charities and donate shirts to mums in need – last year, they donated 200 to Greek refugee camps and 20 to mothers in need in Exeter’s baby bank! 🙏🏼

I wear mine for everything! I’ve recently joined Busylizzy mum & baby classes and they offer a range of mummy fitness sessions – my Bshirt is perfect for these! The light organic cotton means I don’t ever get too hot in the class, but can feed little man at ease if he needs me too! (Coupled with my Latched nursing-sports bra) its a winning combination – even if I am practically passing out 2 minutes into the class from being so unfit!

I normally try to give a balanced view of pros and cons, but the only thing I could offer as constructive feedback for Bshirt is please make more styles – a breastfeeding dress with the same principle would be amazing!

I really can’t recommend these tops enough and if we’re lucky enough to have number 2 at some point in the future, I’ll be looking forward to wearing these throughout pregnancy too!

Thanks for reading!

The Surrey Mumma 🌸🌸

What have been your star buys for breastfeeding clothing? Have you tried Bshirt?

If you want to try them for yourself, you can use my code FRIEND-N7FDZMR to get 10% off.

Click here: http://bshirt.refr.cc/thesurreymumma

The vest shirts are currently on sale at just £15.99 (RRP £19.99)

AD | gifted | This post is labelled as an ad as the lovely team at Bshirt contacted me after I’d shared some posts about how amazing I have found these tops to ask if I would like them to send me another shirt to review. All words are my own though and these are genuinely the best everyday-wear tops I have found.

Featured

First Aid for new parents

As a new mum my first thought was “how on earth do I do this?!!!”….and one of the things that crossed my mind was ‘what happens if something goes wrong?’ (that’s normal right??).  Last week I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous first aid course put on @busylizzy_elbmbridge and run by Helen Stafford of Mini First Aid. Helen talked the group through the topics she wanted to cover. These were:

  • Debunking some common ‘first aid’ myths
  • Ensuring we leave feeling competent and confident to handle first aid situations
  • Discussing key topics that would be useful for our babies, but also as they get older
  • Discussing general housekeeping tips to help with prevention

Helen explained she’s been doing first aid for 31 years in her “proper” job for a long-haul airline, and during that time has dealt with many of the things she was going to cover in her session.

Firstly, Helen explained the importance of having a first aid kit in your home, or even better if you pop it in the bottom of your changing bag, so it’s never far from your baby! Helen actually sells these and, at the bargain price of £12, I quickly snapped one up!

The mini First-Aid kit sold by Helen – £12

We covered a number of common first aid issues, which made me feel so much more confident in dealing with them should we ever be in the unfortunate situation to experience any of these.  Of course, I’m hoping I never need to use it!

Topics covered included:

  • Stings
  • CPR
  • Burns
  • Bleeds/cuts
  • Head wounds
  • Breaks/dislocations
  • Meningitis
  • Seizures/febrile convulsions
  • Choking/gagging

Some key messages from the course:

For anything life threatening, always call 999.

FYI: If an ambulance attends for a child under 1, their protocol is to take baby to hospital even if they are happy everything is fine and they have dealt with the emergency.

For anything urgent but non-life threatening, call 111 who will triage and refer you to the best possible place.

If having called 111, you are unhappy, Helen advised that you should go to nearest walk in centre.

Life-saving procedures – the Primary Survey:

A useful way to remember the steps to find out if someone has any injuries which may be life-threatening are – DRS ABC

  • Danger– is there any danger to you or the person you are trying to help?
  • Response– is the person unconscious or in a deep sleep or are they responding? Shake gently or tap on the shoulder for a child.
  • Shout– for help. Never leave a baby/child unattended. Use your mobile on speakerphone to call 999 if you are alone.
  • Airway– check their airway. If no life-threatening condition, tilt the head back to open the airway (child).
  • Breathing– listen and observe for normal breath (in/out). Open airway, don’t overextend – can you feel, hear and see breath
  • Circulation– are there any life-threatening circulation issues? If no, look for any other urgent issues requiring first aid / commence CPR if required (put person into the recovery position).

Helen talked us through the recovery positions for baby, child, adult and how to perform CPR. All the information is available in the Paediatric First Aid booklet you can purchase from Helen. 

Paediatric first-aid, Nigel Barraclough

Helen’s top tips:

  • Always trust your instinct
  • There are a number of health service routes for you – pharmacy, GP, walk-in centres, 111 and 999 – if you are concerned that something may be life-threatening – always call 999
  • With meningitis, time is of the essence. Act quickly if you’re concerned.
  • Photographing/videoing something to show to health professionals as this is always a useful reference point for what is happening/when it’s happening.

Summary

Over the past few years, I’ve done a couple of first-aid courses. Some at work for ‘basic life-saving skills’ and also two post-natal first aid courses.  However, Helen’s session was by far the best. Not only did she have first-hand experience of using the skills she was teaching us, but she was able to make it real for us….and without it feeling too scary. It’s a difficult task delivering life-saving training to new (and let’s face it, anxious!) parents, but Helen was reassuring and supportive and gave enough detail that would help us if we are ever faced with any of these scary situations.

Busylizzy Elmbridge’s owner, Kirsten, was also on hand to support us all not only with offering her own experiences of dealing first-hand with some of these situations, but also to ensure there was help for us throughout the session and with our own babies, so that we could all make sure we were really able to listen and concentrate on the information we were being given.

Busylizzy

Busylizzy offer a range of mummy fitness, mummy & baby and mummy-to-be classes. Kirsten, the franchise owner, also organises a range of other informative workshops including weaning, first-aid and return to work.

For more information on Mini First-Aid:

Helen Stafford

Helen@minifirstaid.co.uk

You can also contact Helen if you want to buy the mini first-aid kit, any of the bump packs, paediatric first aid book and thermometer.

Interested in joining BusyLizzy?

If you want to join BusyLizzy, you can get £15 off your first month by mentioning my name ‘Natasha Davies’. You can also book a trial class by signing up here.

For more information about BusyLizzy Elmbridge, you can contact Kirsten via her instagram page: @busylizzy_elbmbridge

Top Tips for Staying Sane During Lockdown

It’s been four official weeks of lockdown in the UK now and if like me, you have a toddler to entertain, the days can feel long and the nights short! You may feel like you’re losing your sanity and also running out of ways to keep the tiny human occupied! So here are my top tips for getting through and things to do (no Pinterest-perfect planned out day’s here I’m afraid!). I’ll share my top 10 tips for you – and then a few ideas for things to do with the little ones (in case you’re stuck for activities!):

Photo by La Miko on Pexels.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Tips for you:

  1. Try to shower (or at least brush your hair) every day! You may feel like this is pointless some days, particularly as you have no-where to go and no-one to see, but I promise it will make you feel better!
  2. Be kind to yourself! There is no point comparing yourself to all those ‘instamums’ that have a perfectly prepped routine with a whole ton of pinterest activities lined up for their tiny human – if that’s not how you do things, it’s just going to make you feel crappy and under pressure! You don’t need to put yourself under any additional pressure right now.
  3. Schedule ‘you’ time. Whatever that looks like. For me, I’ve started doing my ‘Headspace’ app when I go to bed. It’s 10 minutes! Everyone has 10 minutes to spare (I don’t always manage to get through the whole thing as I usually fall asleep before it finishes!). The key thing here is to allow yourself time to ‘switch off’.
  4. Restrict your news/social media time. Ok, so this one I’m bad at; mainly my insta-scrolling; but I have started to restrict my news time. We tend to watch the 5pm briefing and that’s it. Those first couple of weeks, I felt so overwhelmed by all the ‘deaths’ and ‘depressing’ news – I know it’s a reality, but in order to stay calm and get through this crazy time we’re living in, no good can come from being in a heightened state of vigilence all day, every day.
  5. Be realistic with what you can achieve. I start most days with big plans for trying to clean, entertain the little man, blow-dry my hair properly, read, write a blog, cook a meal from scratch – but in reality that doesn’t actually happen. We have a loose structure to our day which mainly consists around meal and nap times. In case it’s helpful, this is our rough routine (our little one is 16 months):
    • 6:30am – Wake up (Oh how I wish this was later but that’s what time little man wakes up! He’ll have milk, we’ll have a cup of tea and then we usually watch Disney+ til breakfast time.
    • 8:00am – Breakfast
    • 10:30am – Snack time
    • 12:00noon – Lunch time
    • 12:30ish – Nap time (this usually lasts 2 hours if we’re lucky!) – This is my time then to do things I want/need to get done.
    • 3:00pm – Snack
    • 4:30pm – Dinner
    • 6:00pm – Daily walk
    • 6:30pm – Milk then bath
    • 7:00pm – Bedtime (can take 15-45 mins to get him to go to sleep)
  6. Cry if you need to! I’ll be honest, I’ve had days where I’ve felt so emotional that all I can do is cry it out – partly this is the uncertainty and anxiety over the current situation we’re all in, it’s partly grief from losing my Mum last month and it’s partly my pregnancy hormones! The thing I have found helps the most is to cry it out and to talk it through. You need to find the person you feel safe to talk it through with – I’m lucky my husband is that person for me, but at times, I also just want to talk to my girl-friends with a ‘non-alcoholic’ glass of wine (or a cup of tea!). Bottling it up for me personally just makes me feel worse – it makes me feel way more crabby, I get more snappy and far more irritable. It is ok to feel upset and overwhelmed, these are unprecedented times, but most importantly make sure you have support around you.
  7. Remember this is about team work! Not necessarily you and your significant other – your team is whoever you want it to be! As I said, these are unprecedented times and we all have to remember we’re in it together – your team might be you and your little people, parents, siblings, partner, neighbours, friends – but whoever it is, remember you can help each other through these difficult times. Having just gone through losing my mum, my sister and I agreed that we would have yin and yang days – some days, she’d call me in tears and I could cheer her up/speak sense – other days, it would be the other way round. No one has this all figured out; we’re all just winging it.
  8. Do not compare yourselves to others! I read a great ‘letter from a teacher’ yesterday that I’ll share below. Social media is filled with parents absolutely nailing the home-schooling routine (or at least, they are in their social media squares). Remember, social media is a snippet of someones life that they want you to see. This is not always a true representation of their every day. It’s so important not to compare yourself. You have to find your own way through – use those accounts to give you inspiration, but do not feel that they are doing it better than you, or that you are failing. You are doing everything you can to get you and your family through each day as calmly and as positively as you can.
  9. Hydrate! Honestly this is the thing I struggle most with! I forget to drink enough through the day. It’s silly really, as we are literally doing nothing but I forget! My phone reminds me every two hours to drink – and I still don’t do it! Hydrate!
  10. Try to get out in the fresh air every day. We are allowed to go out for exercise once a day according to government guidelines. I really do encourage you to do this. Even if just for 10 minutes. The fresh air (and the sunshine we’ve been so fortunate to be getting right now!) will do you the world of good. You don’t have to go for a run, you don’t have to go for a bike ride – you could literally walk around the block, or up and down your garden – or just sit in your garden and feel the sun on your face – either way, just 10 minutes a day will make you feel better than being stuck indoors all day.
Originally posted by ‘Dr Jenn’s – Healing the Child within’ on facebook.

Activity ideas for your little ones:

  1. Clean with them. I hate housework, I find it boring – but I’ve also started doing this when little man is awake because he finds it really fun. Vacuuming the lounge is great fun – we put spotify on, dance along to Disney Hits and he shouts at the hoover. When I dust, he pinches the cloth from me and tries to join it. Ok – so it’s not a ‘kid’ activity, but it kills two birds with one stone!
  2. Dance Party. My little boy is a bit too little to do the Joe Wicks PE or the CosmicKids Yoga (I tried…) so instead, we find kids zumba on youtube (I’ve linked his particular favourite!) and we have a dance party! This is my favourite thing to do – he’s a proper little groover and it releases lots of positive endorphins for both of us.
  3. Painting. This one gets really messy BUT he loves it. I try to do this once a week. It’s also a great way to make cards for your relatives/loved ones that you’re not seeing at the moment!
  4. Baking. Ok this one has been more about the fact I was struggling to get a food-shop delivery (and we’d been self-isolating) so I made a whole load of gingerbread men! 95 to be exact!! It was so easy to do (I literally threw all the ingredients in the food processor!) and it meant that I had little snacks for him. They last ages (especially with that many!) in an airtight container, and you’ll save yourself a lot as they are far cheaper (and healthier!) to make at home than the shop-bought brands. I promise this is the only ‘insta worthy’ activity we’ve done though!
  5. Disney+ Absolute genius from Disney to release their subscription service right as we entered lockdown. This is a daily activity for us. It’s been so great watching all the old classics, he particularly loves the musical ones as he dances along.
  6. #Drawwithrob This is one I only got into yesterday and little man is a bit small to do this. My sister and my niece have been doing this most days and it was her that introduced me (thanks Sis!!). I’m no Picasso, but I really enjoyed it and my little one finds my drawings hilarious – I’ve posted my pictures below.
  7. Reading. I love reading to our little boy. He also loves books, which is great. Last week whilst hubby fitted the upstairs stair-gate, we read in little man’s nursery for over an hour. His favourites are “Zog”, “Guess How Much I Love You”, “Hairy McClary” and “We’re going on a bear hunt”. We also try to read through our ‘animal’ books every day and practice the sounds, colours and numbers.
  8. Climbing. Ok so this one gives me proper fear but, he loves to climb so as much as we can and as safely as we can, we let him! He literally climbs on the table, the sofa, his toy-box, his easel……you name it, he climbs it! When properly vacuuming the lounge, I take all the sofa cushions off (we have modular sofa) and throw them into the middle of the lounge, he loves to jump on these and hubby also fashions a soft-play from the cushions of our outdoor furniture – I feel a little better as they are at least a soft landing if he falls.
  9. Bike rides. If you like getting out for a bike ride, we have the WeeRide seat which is suitable from 12-36 months. He absolutely loves it. It goes on hubby’s bike and we’ve been trying to go out for 10k a couple of times a week. He sings and chats the whole way and he’s even slept a bit better after a few of the outings!
  10. Cuddles. I love having cuddles with little man. As strange a time as this is for us adults, it is also incredibly weird for our little people. He has gone from a routine of being at nursery three days a week and at home for two days with just mummy, two days with mummy and daddy – to home seven days a week without his little friends, his key workers and not able to see anyone except for Mummy & Daddy. At 16 months, he’s too young to understand and this has resulted in a number of frustrated tantrums, mainly I think because he is so bored! So cuddles are not only good to comfort you, but they also make your little ones feel safe and secure. Also, lets be honest, they are likely to have a shelf-life so getting as many cuddles as you can now, can only be a good thing! I’m sure when he’s 16, the last thing he’ll want is to cuddle his mummy!

Drawing by TheSurreyMumma
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com
Photo by TheSurreyMumma

I hope you’ve found some of these tips/ideas helpful. I’d love to hear what you think or if there’s anything else you would add to this list?

Stay safe and look after you and yours xx

#Coppafeel #movember #smearforsmear

For those of you that know me IRL, you’ll know that the past few years have been difficult for my family because of the big ‘C’.

Our family history unfortunately has a lot of cancer in it. My Nan passed away from lung cancer, my uncle passed away from bladder and kidney cancer. Then in 2016, my mum received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. How could this be happening to our family again, and my mum was only 50! How was this possible!! So after a very quick diagnosis and a couple of planning appointments, she was then in to start treatment straight away! Now I’ve never believed in superhero’s, I watch the marvel films and like to think that deep down somewhere in all of us, there’s a superhero waiting to escape! I can honestly say though, watching my mum go through all the treatment – the chemo, the hair loss, the sickness, the mastectomy, the healing, the radiotherapy, the tiredness and then the recovery – made me truly believe she’s superhuman! She absolutely nailed it all and never complained despite how ill it made her feel at times.

So then 6 weeks ago, when she told us she’d found another lump, I think it was a massive shock for all of us, not least for mum herself! To have fought it and been told you’re ‘cancer free’ only to have it reoccur is the most awful kick in the bits you could expect. But yet again, my mum has handled it like an absolute superhero and just got on with it. She found out a couple of weeks ago, it’s localised. She’s started her radiotherapy and hopefully that will be all that’s needed to kick its arse again!!

It’s so hard to see someone you love go through something so horrendous, and the impact it has on the rest of the family knowing there’s nothing we can do. It also makes you realise what’s important. I am the absolute worst when it comes to being stressed by non-important things and if this is teaching me anything, the words that my husband always says to me, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ are so appropriate. Life really is so precious and short and hard as it is, there is little point worrying about the things you cannot control.

And as tough as it has been both the first time round, and the second time round, my mum has had some of the best care you could hope for when it comes to oncology care. The amazing staff at Cheltenham General Hospital, the support from the Macmillan nurses and above all the incredible, unwavering support from all at Maggie’s centre.

My reason for this post is to raise awareness of the importance of checking your bits whatever gender you are!! Go for your regular screening appointments, get your other half to help you check, be mindful of any changes. There are some great campaigns out there to help you know what to do but the main thing is if you’re ever worried or unsure, go see your GP and get it checked. It might just save your life!

https://coppafeel.org – Breast cancer awareness

https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/testicular-cancer – testicular cancer awareness

https://www.jostrust.org.uk/ – cervical cancer awareness

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