Bins, pumps and muslins… my mama must-haves

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK, Funki Flamingo

As snug as… a tiny Sonny Jim in a sling

Friends of ours are expecting twins (TWINS!!) next Spring.

We met up last weekend and after nattering all things baby for a bit, the mummy-to-be confessed that she felt totally clueless about all the stuff that she’d actually need when the babies arrive.

I was exactly the same. And there’s a whole huge industry out there preying on the ignorance of parents-to-be.

So here’s my mini list of the items I found most useful when Sonny Jim arrived. If you’re going to a baby shower any time soon, trust me, these will be a lot more helpful than an expensive newborn outfit that they are literally going to wear once… Continue reading

Advertisements

I thought I’d be a Pinterest mama, not Amazon Prime

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, whatkatydidUK

Better than any imaginings – me and my boy

IT’S a funny thing, but becoming a parent forces you to give up on childish ideas of who the adult you might be.

Since having Sonny Jim I’ve realised that being a journalist in New York – living a Sex and the City style life – isn’t actually for me.

Since becoming a mummy I’ve known for certain that I’m never going to just jump on a plane and lose myself on a beach somewhere, working in bars by night so I can sleep in the sunshine all day.

The ship has sailed for me to suddenly become the girl with the signature red lipstick and envious eyeliner flicks. With a picture perfect city apartment.

I’m never going to grow out of being clumsy.

I’ve never been more happy in myself, but this transition from the idea of the grown up you, to the reality of it, is easier for some than others. Though no one ever seems to talk about it – instead we all seem to muddle through in our own ways, in our own little worlds. Continue reading

I’ll do anything for my boy… even holiday in a caravan!

Katy Pearson, triplets, #whatkatydidUK

Summers as they were: Me (complete with a broken arm) with my little brothers and sister

MOTHERHOOD definitely does something funny to your brain.

When I was little our family holiday was always a week, spent in a caravan, somewhere along England’s south coast (apart from the one year we ventured to Wales, stayed in a chalet and it rained the entire time.)

They were lovely holidays – fun-filled and drama free – but I grew to hate the caravans. The fact the beds were so small that if you rolled over you rolled out. That unless it was baking hot (in which case you couldn’t get cool) then you were always a bit chilly – and everything just seemed, well, a bit damp. Continue reading

Transition into motherhood was real shock…and it’s not just me

Keri Jarvix, Do It Like A Mother, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Doing it like a mother: Keri Jarvis (centre) Photo by Petra Blacklock

“We have grown up thinking we can have it all, but we don’t realise that that means ‘do it all’. And we’ve got to look good at the same time…”

The rarely-spoken about challenges of being a mummy have inspired a hypnobirthing teacher to set up a new motherhood mindset mentoring program.

Mum-of-two Keri Javis, 32, of London Road, Westcliff, has helped more than 200 women have hypnobirths – yet grew frustrated with how the support for women seemed to end as soon as the baby was born.

She said: “When my first son was born, the transition into motherhood was such a shock. Once the initial excitement of meeting our baby had faded, and everyone else went back to their own lives, (including my husband 8am-6pm, five days a week) I felt utterly blindsided. I spent a lot of time alone with Louis, because when I forced myself out to groups, I just didn’t feel a connection to the women talking about how well their babies slept or some version of how amazing it was to be a mum. Continue reading

Parenting is a privilege… not a competition

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, toddler, #whatkatydidUK

Up on his feet: Sonny Jim is now a toddling toddler

I think we can all agree on the fact that Einstein was a pretty clever chap.

But, did you know he was slow to talk? In fact, he reportedly didn’t start speaking until he was four. FOUR.

I bet he had his mum fretting.

Sonny Jim has just started walking. He’s one and a bit and in his little gang of baby buddies, he’s pretty much the last to get up on his feet.

He also took his sweet time in starting to crawl. Has no interest in potty training. Calls pretty much everything he sees “Bob”. And utterly refuses to wave or clap on cue.

None of this bothers me in the slightest. Continue reading

The baby legging brand loved by celebs… and made in an Essex shed

Fred & Noah, Fearne Cotton, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Fred & Noah fan: Fearne Cotton

YOU kind of know you’ve made it in the fashion stakes when Fearne Cotton posts a picture of herself on Instagram on Christmas Eve in one of your creations.

And then shortly after that posts another of her little girl Honey in one of your designs too.

Such is the rise of baby legging brand Fred & Noah – an empire run from a shed in a mum-of-two’s garden in Rochford.

Natalie Reynolds, 34, started making trousers for 0-4-year-olds while on maternity leave with her second son, Freddie.

Natalie was a lecturer in fashion design at South Essex College, running the fashion course, and initially making the leggings was just about her getting back into her hobbies.

But it very quickly turned itself into a serious income.

Natalie, who is an ex Thorpe Bay High School pupil, recalls: “It was exactly a year after starting the business that I was handing in my notice to the college and taking the leap to work full time on Fred & Noah at home with my husband. Continue reading

Mummies don’t need a TV ad to make them feel bad

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydid

Finding our own way – no thanks to Dove

“75 per cent say breastfeeding in public is fine. 25 per cent say put them away. What’s your way?”

Honestly, what WAS Dove thinking with its newest ad campaign?

The skincare brand – which in the past wonderfully celebrated women’s bodies in all their shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities – seems to have had something of a crisis.

Its new adverts, the premise of which is showing support for parents whatever their choices, couldn’t be any more misguided if it tried.

I didn’t breastfeed Sonny Jim. I planned to, wanted to, tried to, but he couldn’t. So we didn’t.

But I am vehemently supportive of the mamas who breastfeed. And mamas who choose to bottle feed. Fed is always best.

So Dove, here are a few things I think you need to know.

The equality act of 2010 means it is now discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It’s ILLEGAL for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place. So that 25 per cent you mention? Who CARES what they think.

Being a mum can be hard. Being a new mummy can be overwhelming. What a mama who is just getting to grips with motherhood, who has seen her body change beyond all recognition, who is just getting to know the baby they’ve spent months growing, absolutely doesn’t need is any more anxiety.

And that is what your advert has done, Dove. You’ve given credence to the cretines out there who like to judge mummies. You’ve given a voice to the narrow-minded numpties who with a thoughtless “put it away” comment can destroy a mum’s confidence. Can make her think twice about going out. Can make her question her mothering ability (even more than she already is. None of us think we’re doing “mummying” right anyway.)

Dove, go back to selling soap. Leave the actually parenting to us, hey?

This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, July 7, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk