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

Cry it out? Co-sleep? Up all night? I feel your pain…

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydiduk #mummyandsonny

Sleep? What’s that? Sonny Jim at (yawn) 4.47am

Sleep deprivation is an actual form of torture. Literally.

And just because you’re being woken up every hour or so, night after night, by your sweet baby boy, doesn’t mean you are any less knackered.

So after a few months of Sonny Jim deciding sleeping at night was overrated, I decided to talk to an expert.

How to get babies to sleep is a contentious subject. Personally I think you do whatever feels right for you.

I’m not up for controlled crying. Yep, it works for a lot of people – my parents included. But it’s not for me. Continue reading

Perfect mummy… until I actually had a child

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Little sleep thief: Imagine being this happy before 5am!

Honestly, I had parenting absolutely nailed… until I actually had a baby.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think most of us have pretty clear ideas of what we’d do as a mummy or daddy. What we would allow. What our child will and won’t do.

Which is great, until you realise that your child totally didn’t get the memo.

Here are some of my pre-Sonny Jim parenting fallacies:

* The baby won’t be sleeping in our bed.

Yep. That worked really well until he was poorly. Until he started waking up at 4am. Until he started staying awake for hours in the middle of the night. Now, at least part of the night is often spent with a tiny, wriggly third wheel in our bed. It’s  that or we just don’t sleep for nights on end. And, quite frankly, I need sleep. 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

My chat with… CBeebies’ Mister Maker aka Phil Gallagher

Phil Gallagher, Mister Maker, CBeebies, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydid

Dream job: Phil Gallagher as Mister Maker

Recognise this fella?

The mummies and daddies among you probably will.

Phil Gallagher has been on our children’s TV screens for almost 20 years. The past decade has seen him bringing arts and crafts to life, in his wonky waistcoat and bowtie, as CBeebies’ Mister Maker.

And Mister Maker – plus the Shapes – will be at the Towngate on Sunday, as part of a 44-theatre tour.

But as I chat to ever-enthusiastic presenter at his home in Kent, I have to ask, just where does Phil end and Mister Maker start? Continue reading