Post Holiday Fitness – From wobbly to where I want to be

So whilst everyone else appears to be slaving away to get themselves beach body ready – I took a more laissez fair approach and just went with what I had. Whilst hairy legs, bushy under carriage and a wobbly bottom are not to be ashamed of I have to say I felt rather less pleased with my decision once I had squeezed myself into my swim costume.

I wouldn’t say that I am overly vain about my appearance but this was a step too far for even my broad shouldered ego. Pre-holiday I had admitted that yes I had gained a few pounds and was in fact the same weight now as I had been when pregnant. Alas this time the culprit was not a 7lb baby but a rather serious issue with burgers. Despite knowing that I was larger than I have ever been I still made the some what rash decision of buying all of my clothes in a size 10. This turned out to be particularly ridiculous when it came to putting on my swim gear. You could say I mastered the floss but not quite the way you would imagine.

The holiday clothes issue was quickly rectified by a couple of new outfits. Obviously that didn’t fix the state of my hair which is in that tricky phase of growing out my pixie cut. Still that phase continues and like I do every time I go through this I vow never to cut it short again. But I know, and I am sure you will have been there too, that this is cyclical process and I will indeed go through his again in a few years time! Still with my wobbly hairy bits covered and an improving tan I made it through the week without having too many hang ups about my appearance.

Now back firmly on UK soil the decision to join the gym before my holiday was a good one. You see this time rather than join a state of the art, fully mirrored, poser gym. You know the ones I mean – full of beautiful 20 somethings in Lycra, looking fabulous barely breaking a sweat whilst running 10 miles. I joined a ladies only gym – where they promised no mirrors and no judgements. They set me up with my own programme; measured all my wobbly bits and spent time taking me through the whole circuit. So when I got back from my hols; feeling fat and a bit self conscious this was all ready for me to start tackling the problem.

So off I trotted on Thursday afternoon – down to my new gym. Where so far I seem to be the youngest person there, but that’s great too. Everyone was nattering and made me feel really welcome. No one cared how many miles I could run or whether my trainers were cool. We were all there for the sole purpose of shedding just a few pounds so we could get our trousers done up again and hopefully increase our basic fitness level just a touch.

It’s strange to me too find myself looking forward to going back again next week. I am only planning on going 3 times a week but hopefully that will make all the difference. Who knows maybe I will get the exercise bug and turn into a real gym bunny. For now my 30 minute low intensity work out makes me feel better in myself and I am sure that I will start to see some results soon with regards to my trousers 👍🏻

Rediscovering Me to Land a New Job

So a few weeks ago I was struggling with juggling nursing and being a mum. Life was tough and I could see no way of making it better. Then followed an even heartier kick in the teeth when I failed to gain the substantive post for the job I have been doing for 2 years. Yep I have to say I was pretty damn low. In fact so low I was seriously contemplating leaving nursing forever and becoming a postman. (I love post, I just think it’s so exciting get stuff through the door…)

Then came a moment in my life where someone actually stood up and basically said don’t be a dickhead. She was right, I either threw my toys out the pram or I picked myself up and dusted myself off. Stopped bemoaning the unfairness of the situation and actually proved I was more than what I was threatening to become.

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It was hard. Almost crippled by self-doubt and the fear of failing a second time. But then I thought about what I have already overcome. The challenges I have faced head on – not least this last year with PND after Pudding. The time had come to stand up, to fight for what I believed and to put myself out there.

So I did. In went the application for a job I never would have applied for a year ago. Every time it crossed my mind over Christmas my stomach did that awful flip-flop. I let myself have moments of day dreaming that I had the job. Every time I did my confidence grew just a bit more. But not just that so did my passion for my nursing career. I felt re-energised for the first time since the children. I felt like me. Not just Mummy but a woman who could achieve her dreams of a career and family.

I planned how I could work and have the kids cared for. I read, anything and everything that might be useful. The interview was confirmed and I redoubled my efforts. Now I wanted this, really wanted it. No longer a pipe dream, I believed I could make this happen.

The interview date came. Sat waiting to be called my hand shook a little, my stomach seemed to twist and dance entirely to its own tune. If I thought the pre-interview wait was bad the post interview wait was a whole new form of torture. My mind analysed it over and over and over until I could barely remember what had even happened! Then finally the moment was there – as the words came out of my managers mouth I couldn’t really understand what she was saying. Let alone believe it! I had done it, the job was mine. Holy Shit!!!!!

So in the next few weeks I will start my new post. Full of enthusiasm and the passion to make positive changes. Will it all be plain sailing? Ha unlikely! I am on the steepest learning curve of my career. It’s going to be tough, a whole new challenge. Not just for me but for all of us as we try to juggle a new working pattern. Will it be worth it? I believe it will, but watch this space…

 

Trouble Comes In Pudding Shaped Packages

Hey hey Pudding fans! – I am back with my latest installment of my adventures. SO last time you heard from me I was in fact no more than a pudding. Sitting quite comfortably watching the world go by. Well no more! I am a crawling, rolling, trouble-making machine.

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I don’t mean to be trouble, but there have been so many things that I have wanted to grab for so long that now I can, I just can’t resist. For example Daddy’s Playstation is a favourite of mine. Nope hiding it right underneath the low coffee table will not stop me mother. I also take great pleasure in sitting on her laptop. As for the dogs, they have taken refuge in their bed, ha ha Sausages you can run but you can’t hide. I am also able to irritate Pie now. The best thing to do is to steal what ever he is holding and then scream when he takes it back. This gets him royally told off while I get a cuddle. It’s a win win situation although it works best on Daddy (Mum has gotten wise). In fact my poor mother is pulling her hair out, it is my mission that she will need to visit hair transplant UK in the future!

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I have to say my new-found abilities have also meant that I can display my full displeasure at teething. Who knew it would be this uncomfortable to get a few gnashers? I have taken to crawling after my mother and whimpering. Then when she stops in one room to do something I sit up and let rip the full force of my discomfort. She seems pretty fed up with teething too.

On a positive note, my one half a tooth (yes I know I have a long way to go on the teething front), is perfect for chomping through new stuff! Finally I have persuaded Mum to drop the puree, well not the apple one, but the others. I now spend my mealtimes happily chomping through whatever the rest of them are having. I like spicy things, curry, chilli oooh and fajitas. Last night I had toad in the hole. I have to say that toads taste pretty good!

So what’s next for me? Well I have mastered standing up in my cot, I don’t think it will be too long before I am cruising round the furniture. I think that might finish Mum off, she will definitely be pulling her hair out. Anyway got to fly, we are off to baby signing this morning. Apparently this will help me communicate rather than screech. Yeh yeh mother whatever…..

Catch you on the flipside Pudding Fans x

 

*Disclaimer: The links in this post are sponsored*

Making mum friends when you have foot-in-mouth syndrome

I am going to blame the zodiac for one of my biggest shortcomings. I’m a Sagittarius, and we tell it like it is. In the words of astrolibrary.org ‘Sagittarius is honest to a fault, to the point of bluntness’. Or in the immortal words of Lady Gaga:

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This quality has done me a massive disservice in my quest to make “mum friends”. Before I had kids, I was working all week and didn’t make a lot of friends in my local area. Most of my friends were people I’d meet up with in London. The local friends I did have were drinking buddies I met down the local pub. When I had my first baby, I found that I needed to find a whole new circle of friends. The London friends were too far away and we just couldn’t spend so much time down the pub, sadly enough.

But I found it incredibly difficult, and still do, to successfully talk to other mums and make friends with them. I have a few like-minded friends now, but I’ve found it very hard to know how to relate to other mums and how to say the right thing. All these baby groups and what-not are well intimidating.

So if you are a new mum, or even a slightly less new mum, like me, who desperately wants a few people to like you, here are some of my tips to make it easier on yourself. These are learned from my experiences – and mistakes.

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These tips might sound like I’m judging other mums for being sensitive, but far from it. I was sensitive, they were sensitive – we’re all sensitive. We were all dealing with a huge life change and a serious lack of sleep. My tips are to help other people feel at ease and make them like you (hopefully).

Just don’t even talk about feeding, because everyone is feeling insecure.

Seriously. No matter what your feeding choice is, it seems like it’s so easy to put your foot in it when talking about feeding. Even if you’re both formula feeding or both breastfeeding, you’re bound to be doing it differently. I found that people don’t like to hear if you’re doing it differently. Just listen to them talk about what they’re doing, and agree that it sounds fantastic.

Don’t tell anyone how fantastic your child is, because everyone is feeling insecure.

If they ask how he’s sleeping, tell them you have ups and downs. If they ask whether he’s crawling yet, and he is but theirs isn’t, make sure you mention that every child does it at their own pace and it doesn’t really matter. If you can’t avoid honestly telling someone a positive thing about your child’s behaviour and development, then temper it by mentioning something they suck at.

“Sure he’s crawling, but he keeps me awake all sodding night.”

“Yeah, he sleeps pretty well, but he keeps biting me on the nipple.”

Don’t talk about yourself too much.

It’s tempting to tell everyone your birth story at great length. Just don’t do it unless someone very specifically asks. As a general strategy, just try to listen more than you talk. People will love you for it. When you get through to someone and become their proper friend, then you can tell it like it is. In the meantime, if you need to talk honestly and at great length, talk at your health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor or somebody else who gets paid to listen to you. Or your family – they have to listen too. Or call up an old friend who already knows about all your shit.

NEVER ask someone if they are going to have another child.

You don’t know what they had to go through to have the first child. They may have had many miscarriages, hyperemesis gravidarum and/or courses of IVF, or maybe they just don’t want more than one child. It seems a popular question to ask, but nobody wants to answer it. Don’t be the one who’s asking it.

If someone invites you round, bring cake or biscuits.

It makes me sad when I’ve invited someone round and they don’t bring some biscuits. I’m not the sort of person to stop being friends because of it, but just know that everyone will love you more if you bring food.

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Don’t be a judge-y poophead.

This is obvious, really, but in the words of the great JC, judge not lest ye be judged. My house is a tip – like, all the time. I’m sure that’s put off some potential friends. Don’t judge people on superficial crap like that. Judge on whether they are nice and fun to talk to.

Try not to take it personally when friendships don’t happen.

This has been a hard thing for me. There are any number of local mums who I know from baby groups. They are nice to me when we run into each other, but they’ve never been enthusiastic about spending time together. I don’t know why they don’t want to hang with me. It’s probably just that they already have enough friends. It’s best to just let it go.

Be the friendly one. Be brave.

If you see another mum at a baby group, sitting alone and looking a bit sad, bring that woman a cup of tea and talk to her. It will mean so much. The worst that can happen is that she’s a cow who would rather sit on her own and she won’t be friendly, but you can rest happy in the knowledge that you’ve done the right thing. If you are a mum at the school gates, be friendly to other mums you see standing on their own. It doesn’t matter if they don’t reciprocate – doing the right thing is its own reward.

Blog yourself confident.

I’ve only been blogging for a month and a half, but it has done wonders for my confidence. Talking to lots of other bloggers online has helped me practise talking to people, and I’m now finding it easier to talk to people in real life.

Seek help if you’re feeling down.

I suffered from anxiety with my first son, and a mild case of PND with my second. The difficulties of trying to make new friends can make these conditions worse. I was lucky that I had a supportive husband and some old (pre-baby) friends I could talk to. If you are feeling down and depressed or anxious, please talk to someone, and go see your GP for help.

Did you find it tough making mum friends? What are your tips for getting on with other mums?


Introducing The Mum Reviews

My name is Nicole and I blog at https://themumreviews.co.uk. I live in Surrey with my husband, 2 little boys (4 and 1), and a black & white cat. I started blogging to get the words out. But I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. Wine helps. Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram