Take the photo: Me and the boy who made me a mama
How many pictures do you have of your child?
If your little one is under ten, it’s probably in the thousands. Thanks to advances in technology, to camera phones and clouds, our children’s childhoods are captured like never before.
On an average day, I probably take dozens of Sonny Jim. And the odd video. I send a load to his daddy, documenting the minutia of his day. His funny faces when he wakes up. His little discoveries. His growing character.
I take a few selfies of the two of us too. Mostly when he’s fallen asleep on me, all cuddly and cute.
And I’m sort of our family’s unofficial photographer. When Sonny Jim dances with his daddy in the kitchen while he’s trying to iron his shirt for work, I grab my phone and capture it.
When he takes a minute out of being a one-toddler-whirlwind and clambers on to his daddy’s lap, I grab my phone and take a photo. Continue reading
Non-stop: My little toddler whirlwind
“You look tired?”
“I’m a mum, I’m pretty sure that’s just how I look now…”
So, the internet meme goes. And so say mothers everywhere.
But with Sonny Jim sleeping sooo much better (touch wood!) I’ve found myself wondering just why I’m so blooming tired all the time. Still.
And then, the fact I had to stop wondering about it because the toddler was about to attempt a backflip off the sofa, kind of gave me my answer.
Us mums are so tired because we can never switch off.
When we’re with our kids we’re in a constant state of high awareness.
Even when they and we are asleep, we’ve still got an ear out.
And our brains are constantly playing keep up with a never-ending checklist and to do list. Everything that hasn’t been done and everything that needs to be done plays on this loop in our heads. While we’re busy trying to keep no-concept-of-danger tots out of trouble, hold a conversation with friends/family, do actual paid for work. Continue reading
SageLoves: Founder Laura Marrs
Sick of shopping, but still want to get gorgeous gifts for the people you care about? I chat to Essex mum-of-two LAURA MARRS of personalised gift-finding service SageLoves about present buying and hint-dropping…
Q When did you set up SageLoves, and how does it work?
A SageLoves has been my brain child for the past year. I was always on the hunt for small unique brands to gift to friends and family, and in turn was always asked to hunt out gifts for them… that’s when my idea was born! Finally, I was able to put finger to touch screen six months ago, when I launched SageLoves website and social media platforms.
In a nutshell SageLoves is a personalised gift finding service with the added benefit of membership deals and discounts. You sign up, give me the brief and leave the rest to me. It’s the red-carpet treatment, no trawling the shops, internet etc…I work closely with a huge range of independent and unique brands and together a gift for specific occasions can be found. Continue reading
Newborn days: With my Sonny Jim
FRIENDS of ours have just had twin girls and seeing the pair of them, daughters in arms, and joy positively emanating out of photos, really took me back to Sonny Jim’s newborn days.
In some ways (clichéd as it sounds) it seems forever ago and yet I can’t believe that I have an almost two-year-old.
It got me thinking how it’s really easy to say the wrong thing to a new mum. When you’ve just had a baby, especially your first, the most insignificant observation can seem like a criticism. You’re pretty emotional, you’re SO tired and you’ve, quite frankly, NO idea what you’re doing. So, here’s my list of things you totally should not say to any new mamas in your life…
- Is he a good baby?
Well, he killed the cat last night… seriously what does this even mean? They all cry, poo, drink milk and sleep. Some more than others. There are no bad babies.
- Are you feeding him?
No, he’s living off air. What this is actually asking, is are you breastfeeding? And, honestly, why do you need to know? I desperately wanted to breastfeed Sonny Jim and he absolutely couldn’t do it. It was a bit rubbish.
Hope: My Sonny Jim
In an ideal world, having children would really be as simple as wanting to have children.
But it’s (increasingly) often, not that simple. And when you start negotiating your way through fertility treatments, you can begin to feel like you live in a bit of a will-I-ever-have-a-baby? bubble.
In all honesty, it’s not a particularly fun place to be. It can be lonely. Often it’s not something you really talk about with other people. And even the ones that you do talk to, most of the time don’t get it. They’re either full of well meaning, but a little bit patronising advice (“just get drunk and have a good night, it’ll happen”) or they tell you to “relax.” (Word to the wise, hearing this does not make you feel relaxed. At all.)
Throw in some added hormones once you start actually having treatment and it’s all too easy to lose yourself in a big swirl of longing, fear, envy and god know what else. Continue reading
With Mothering Sunday almost upon us, here’s my pick of the brands that celebrate mama life…
Sweatshirt (grey), £28, Do It Like A Mother pic (c) Photography by Petra
Girl gang/boy gang T-shirts, £15, Essex Mama
Penguin leggings (child), from £13.50; Penguin leggings, (adult) from £30, Fred & Noah
1 DO IT LIKE A MOTHER branded fashion is a by-product of Southend and Upminster-based hypnobirthing business of the same name.
Sweatshirt (grey), £28; Oversized T-shirt, £16: www.doitlikeamother.co.uk
2 ESSEX MAMA, was originally based in Harlow but is now established in Southend. Started by a full-time mummy Liz Cadman who was desperate to put her twitchy creative hands to use.
Girl gang/boy gang T-shirts, £15: www.essexmama.co.uk
3 FRED & NOAH is a hugely successful baby legging company based in Rochford (created by Natalie and Dan Reynolds – parents to two little boys) which makes mama leggings of select styles to twin with their tot creations.
Penguin leggings (child), from £13.50; Penguin leggings, (adult) from £30: www.fredandnoah.com Continue reading
#Boy: Long hair don’t care
It’s not unusual for my little boy to be mistaken for a girl.
Usually I correct them without a second thought – carrying on the conversation and just saying “he” instead of “she”.
Sometimes people apologise profusely and seem fearful they’ve caused deep offence. Others (especially if they’re older) seem simply unable to process the fact he is a boy. And continue to say what a “pretty girl” he is.
But you’ve got to expect it when your son has long hair like Sonny Jim.
He’ll be two next month, and we’ve never cut his hair. When he was born, he had a full head of black, straight locks.
By the time he was a few months old it had thinned and lightened, but then it grew, and grew, going a gorgeous golden colour and falling into the sweetest curls. Continue reading