Having a baby is a real relationship game-changer. On the one hand, I’ve gained a whole new level of respect for the guy who stays so calm after Miss O’s 1458th tantrum of the day (this is usually the point at which I stomp off to sit in the car with a Kit Kat to calm down) and who happily gets up at 5.30am with her so that I can get some extra shut-eye.
But on the other hand, we do things that drive each other absolutely bananas. A lot of these are things that we’ve always done, but hey, if things got a bit tense pre-baby, you could pop out for a nice pub lunch somewhere, or, I don’t know, have an impromptu weekend away in Paris (we never actually did this, but it’s what you like to imagine you’d be doing instead of watching a Peppa Pig marathon, idly wondering why someone hasn’t turned that annoying little oik into sausage rolls yet…)
These days, it’s all a bit more stressful, and frantic, and there’s Lego f*cking everywhere. So those once completely brush-offable bad habits have become REALLY BLOODY ANNOYING.Read more
In my younger years, if I’d overindulged on the wine on a Saturday night, I could spend Sunday curled up on the sofa, eating junk food and watching back-to-back episodes of ‘Murder, She Wrote‘ (mainly wondering why the baddies ALWAYS give Jessica at least 20 minutes to tell them how they committed the murder before shooting her – I mean, they bloody did it, it can’t be news to them…)
These days, I get to nurse my hangovers at a farm, or soft play, or if I’m really unlucky, the supermarket…
Regular readers of this blog (hi both!) will know that a review is completely uncharted territory for me, but having just got back from a really enjoyable staycation holiday, WITH A TODDLER, it felt wrong not to share!
We’ve not had much luck on our previous attempts; Miss O went on sleep strike during our first holiday (cue hours of bleary-eyed despair whilst watching endless In the Night Garden episodes on repeat – if I’d wanted to spend my summer with a truckload of oddbods riding in circles around the countryside, I’d have taken a sodding coach trip), and we managed to bring a highly contagious vomiting virus along with us on holiday two – you can imagine how that played out…
So, to be honest, I was rather apprehensive about what was in store for us this time around!
Flear Farm is a collection of gorgeous baby-friendly cottages set in a private country estate in Totnes. When we arrived, we were really taken aback by how beautiful the grounds were, and loved exploring all the hidden-away picnic spots and woodland paths. The lovely owners, Barney and Camilla, were on hand to give us a tour of all the key areas, and also left some ridiculously tasty homemade scones with jam and clotted cream for us, which was a welcome surprise after a four-and-a-half-hour car journey!
What really sets this place apart from everywhere else though, are the amazing facilities for families, including: Read more
Since social media worked out that I’m a mother (it’s clever/creepy like that) it’s constantly bombarding me with ‘Super Parent’ type photos and articles that I just know I’m never going to live up to. At no point will I ever get around to hand-crafting a submarine bed for Miss O’s room, building a rollercoaster in the garden or sending her to school with a ‘Bento box’ lunch complete with butterfly-shaped sandwiches and an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower constructed entirely from carrot sticks…
That doesn’t stop me dipping my toe in the crafting/baking/magic-making waters, but it just never seems to go to plan! For example: Read more
When you’re ginger, sitting at the ‘Casper the friendly ghost’ end of the skin tone spectrum, and blessed with a cleavage that no bikini on earth could hoist into place without some kind of heavy-duty scaffolding, summer can be a trying time.
Add a toddler into the mix and you have a whole new set of conundrums to solve!
One of the things that I was really looking forward to about having a child was sharing my love of reading with them. What I failed to realise was that, before we get to the bit where we can snuggle up at bedtime with ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web’, there’s THIS bit, where we have to read about dogs losing balls and sheep that are crap at hiding. Over and over again. Every bloomin’ day.
Miss O’s current top picks include:
Charming – the first 20 times you read it. Now, I’m really starting to lose patience with this guy:
I always fancied myself as a bit of an actress at school, despite the fact that my most significant roles were ‘leper number 4’ in Jesus Christ Superstar and the main man himself in Pudsey Bear: The Musical! (yes, that was an actual show, and no, thankfully there is no photographic evidence).
I probably won’t be treading the boards again anytime soon, but it turns out that being a mother affords me PLENTY of opportunities to work on my acting skills!
Some of my greatest acting challenges so far: Read more
After you’ve had a baby, it’s virtually impossible to get from A to B without being intercepted by at least a dozen well-meaning strangers keen to have a gander at the fruit of your loins and impart some grade A parenting wisdom.
I wanted to share some of my ‘favourite’ Miss O related comments with you!
Having flashed back to my birth story in last week’s post, I realised it would be remiss of me to overlook that major milestone of birth preparation – the antenatal classes.
Did anyone else find them a bit, well, bizarre?
Don’t get me wrong, they were definitely worth going to; we picked up lots of tips, made some great friends, and there were unlimited Hobnobs, which is the best way to get any party started (just a note for any international readers; a Hobnob is an awesome biscuit, not some kind of embarrassing medical condition…)
BUT – our classes seemed to be a heady mix of really useful information and REALLY cringeworthy team building games. Some highlights for you: Read more
Soooo, we’d bought all the gear, filled the freezer with batch-cooked goodness and packed the hospital bag. I’d completed my birth plan (‘ALL THE DRUGS PLEASE!!’ underlined several times), and dutifully attended the antenatal classes. We were officially ‘READY’.
Twas the night before my due date and I was so impatient for everything to just START. As far as I could tell, there was naff all happening; no ‘show’, no ‘drop’, no twinges, absolutely nowt. So, I made one last attempt to speed things along with a lip-burning chicken madras from the local Indian, and resigned myself to another week or so of waddling about covered in coconut oil feeling sorry for myself. Read more