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Becoming a working mummy…

I wanted to share my story with other mums and mums to be so that other people would have an easier transition to working mother than I did.

After having my daughter the closer it got to the end of my maternity leave the more terrified I felt, how could I ever leave my tiny baby, how could I ever trust another human being with my entire world, in my mind nobody could ever compete or compare with how I looked after her. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to take a full year off with my daughter, as here in the UK we get 9 months statutory maternity leave then you can legally take a full year but the rest without pay. But again I knew the time would come where I had to leave her as I just couldn’t afford to not work plus in the back of my mind I knew it would do me good to get back out there into the workplace socialising with other adults.

My first day as a working mum was such a overwhelming feeling, leaving my precious little girl was truly heartbreaking but I got through it and as hard as it was in time it got much easier. The year I spend away from work felt like a life time and It felt like I had lost all of my skills and on top of that I now had my little girl to think about and consider.

When I first returned to my  job after having my daughter it all felt like an uphill battle: emotional nursery drop offs, regaining my self-confidence in the workplace as ‘holly’ with the added worries of being a mummy, sick and carer’s leave, finding time for myself, feeling unreliable as a professional, struggling to get household chores done, finding time for my other half at the time and romance…. the list of challenges and fears goes on.

I think the fact I wasn’t happy in my job at the time also played a great part in it as I new I could achieve more for myself and my little girl that what I was currently doing. Whilst on maternity leave I’d already applied for another job and been successful at interview, that is the job I’m doing today, a job that I love and that has given me some much confidence and belief in myself. The lesson I’ve learnt from that is never settle for second best, everyone is worth more ❤️


Becoming a mother had changed me completely and my priorities were totally different to before I had my daughter. Particularly who I was as a professional, and it took me a few months to recalibrate. I wanted to have both a career and a family. At the same time. On my terms. I also felt as though nothing had prepared me for this new phase of my life as a working mum. I was the first of my close friends to embark on this life stage.

I knew I couldn’t be the only working mum who had experienced a difficult transition from career to motherhood and back again. So I started writing my blog, I started getting out more, making friends with children, I even went to a few coffee mornings with ladies who had babies a similar age to Ella. 

When talking to other mums and from my own experience here are a couple of the things that scared me silly when I knew my return to work was getting closer after maternity leave:


What if I can’t find a suitable nursery or childminder?

This probably doesn’t surprise you for a number of reasons including availability, financial circumstances, work hours vs daycare hours. Without suitable daycare it would be impossible to return to your job and be the career women you strive to be. For me the thought of finding somewhere or someone I trusted with my precious little girl seemed like mission impossible at the time. There’s so many factors to take into consideration, what happens when your child is ill and cannot attend the nursery or childcare provider. What if the childcare provider has to close for whatever reason, what about holidays, cost, flexible hours and days. 

So we looked around at childminders firstly as we thought they would be more accommodating to the hours and days we needed to fit round our employment, unfortunately none suited what I wanted for my daughter, none gave me that gut feeling and mothers instinct that it was the place my daughter would spend her time when I was at work. So we looked round at nurseries local to us as well, again I had a similar problem nothing stuck out to me and nothing gave me that feeling. Until we decided to pay a visit to a little nursery around the corner from us, one my friend had recommended actually as her little girl went there and they were very happy with it. As soon as we had our first visit I knew it was the one for us, straight away I had that gut feeling id been told I would get and that mothers instinct it all just came at me. 

 I felt like I’ve lost all my professional skills and since becoming a mum. What if I’ve forgotten my job? 

No matter how much time you’ve spent on maternity leave, a lack of self-confidence about your professional abilities is really common. 

Before you step back into the office (full of self-doubt) I suggest you review your resume and write a list of all of your professional skills. Give yourself a break and remind yourself how fab you are and what you can do!

You have a lot to offer an employer and your skills don’t disappear or diminish when you become a mum. They are still there, waiting to be used again when you are ready to resume your career.

I want new mums to realise that having fears about returning to work is normal and to empower them to take action to feel confident and prepared about becoming a working mum.


Really hope this helps

Holly x

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Supporting small businesses ✌🏼️🌍

Since becoming a regular instagram user after having my daughter, I found it a fantastic tool to speak to other mummys with babies of similar ages, offering and gaining advice and supporting one another. This was again one of the main incentives for me to start my blog in a hope to help others, hopefully also entertaining you all along the way!

During this time I have developed a passion to support small businesses generally founded and run by fellow mummies from all around the world. There truly are some talented people out there, who definitely are not as recognised as they should be. 

Human beings are definitely creatures of habit, we do things for a easy life and the convience factor. But in doing so we are funding some CEO of a massive organisations next holiday or new sports car. Buying things from chain stores may seem a ‘safer’ option, but ask yourself why? If we all looked around a little bit more, there are some fantastic handmade and unique products out there right under our noses and guess what? they are made by ordinary mummys just like you and I!

So I set you a challenge, next time your looking to buy a Christmas present or birthday gift, take a few minutes to have a look at the less obvious places. Drop me a comment on here with any you find or currently know of and let’s support small businesses together ✌🏼️🌍

@made_with_love_by_sg

@crafty_lamb_90

@fairydoorcrafts

@rosies_wax_melts

Our top tips for food shopping on a budget…

So recently my contracted hours at work have dropped from full time hours to part time 15 hours a week. 

So due to my hours being less of course like anything it has a effect on income which means I’ve needed to budget and cut back a little more. For you it might be your saving to go on holiday, or saving for  a house deposit? So it might not be a decrease of income it could be other reasons your wanting to budget. 

But anyway the point of my post is I thought it’d be nice to share my 5 top tips for food shopping on a budget…

As always I’m looking for more tips and fresh ideas so if you have any pearls of wisdom please do share them with me in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

One. Always always always make a list… Now this might seem like an obvious one but its honestly so so important. With my lists I start at the beginning of the week, then once I’m running out of items I will add them to the list. I also add any regular items to the list before I go shopping. The reason I find writing a list so important is you have something to go by, I feel more disaplined when I have a list like I don’t want to chuck in everything I see. Plus I find ticking off each item as it goes into my trolley quite satisfying.. however that may just be me! 

Two. Meal planning is my next top tip, so when making my list I plan each meal for the week ahead, write the name of the dish and the ingredients needed. This is a biggie and I have found that it has really helped cut down on our weekly food bill. When I say meal plan I mean detail each evening meal that you will have each night of the week. When I do my meal plan I look through recipe books and pick the meals that I want to cook, I check my cupboards to see what I need and I write this down on my list to make sure that I do not duplicate buy anything. I also will pick one or two meals that are mainly freezer/store cupboard ingredients so that if we are asked out for dinner or decide to go out the food doesn’t go to waste and can be used another day. I honestly love meal planning, to be honest I’ve done it pretty much since I got my own house. Not just budget wise but it’s healthier than ready meals and remember you can always make more and freeze portions! Just a option, remember to always eat within a month from freezing ❄️

Three. Shop online or places like Aldi or Lidl. The thing with big supermarkets, the big 3 I’ll use as examples so Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. Is that there basically all about getting people to buy me than they actually went in for, as you’ll know any of these supermarkets as soon as you walk in its ‘offer’ ‘offer’ ‘offer’ usually before you’ve even walked through the security barriers. Don’t get me wrong sometimes there are some genuinely good offers where you might think, that’s on my list I need that! But the majority of the time it’s sweets or chocolate or something that you were never going for in the first place. Don’t get me wrong a pounds a pound but remember these pounds add up! So my suggestion would be either do your shopping online, from personal experience I feel it keeps me disaplinned as I don’t really deviate from my list. Or try smaller shops such as Aldi and Lidl, for one they are much cheaper on most things and they sell a lot less it’s much more no frills therefore because your not overpowered with choice you literally buy what you went in for! 

Four. Some people might be vegetarians or vegan completely which is great! But for all the meat eaters out there try to go meat free a couple of nights a week. I would typically have meat about 3 nights and the rest would be vegetarian. Try quorn products or the supermarkets own brands can be just as nice. This really cuts cost and it makes you a little bit more adventurous in the kitchen.

Five. Utalise your freezer space! This might sound a bit obvious again but why not use it, your paying for it so don’t have it sat there with very little in. I never used to use frozen vegetables for example as for some reason I believed they wouldn’t be quite as fresh, it’s actually the opposite as they have to be frozen very quickly from being picked, then once frozen they are preserved until cooked. Where as fresh vegetables are picked and transported to wherever they are going to be sold, therefore they are not preserved as quickly as frozen veg. Using your freezer can also mean batch cooking, for example I use my slow cooker to make large meals such as stews, soups or curries and then freeze some portions dinner another night. I also do meals such as cottage pie, instead of making one I will make 2 and freeze several portions. Especially handy this when you’ve got little ones as a time saver as well, yet your still giving them healthy food with minimum salt as you know exactly what is in it!

So I really hope you’ve found my top tips helpful, if you 2 can think of anything that you’ve found a great way to budget your food shop then your comments are more than welcome 😊

Feedback also welcome as always!

Holly x

She’s back…

Firstly I want to say a big hello to all my loyal blog readers and secondly I want to apologise for my lack of posts recently! It’s nothing personal honestly, it’s certainly not something I’ve packed in either! 

I’ve had a lot on recently so unfortunately not had as much time, but I’m back on track hopefully now and ready to deliver again! 

Got lots of exciting things up my sleeve for my posts to share with you all, especially with Christmas getting closer… (I know it’s scary isn’t it) 🎄☃️ how’s everyone getting on with there Christmas shopping?  I’ve also got a fab giveaway which will be announced very shortly, I feel I owe it to you guys in my blogging absence. 

Thank you once again for your loyalty and as ever feedback is welcomed, any ideas you want to share for anything you’d like to see on here or anything you would like me to raise then just pop me a comment or message on Instagram as always.

Holly x

Christmas planning…

I know it’s early, so please don’t hate me. But the Christmas countdown is soon to be on… you’ll have noticed Christmas cards, decorations and other festive treats popping up in shops around towns and cities all over the country. 

I always believe there are 2 types of people at Christmas, those who are super organised and buy presents here and there well in advance and those who leave it last minute Christmas Eve style shopping. 

Some of you might already know but for those who haven’t Toys R Us have introduced a fabulous solution this year for mummies and daddy’s who like to be organised but also want to spread the cost without using credit cards or paying interest. 

‘A Christmas payment plan at Toys R Us means parents can get what they need now and spend the next three months paying for it. The layaway programme Take Time to Pay allows families to fill up a trolley with whatever they want and spread the cost between now and the big day.There is no credit check and the goods are kept at the store until they’re paid for – meaning parents don’t have to worry about storing them safely away from those eagle eyes.The plan requires a 20 per cent deposit at time of set up plus a £5 administration fee, but no interest rates are charged.’

Payments are set up when the deposit is made, they must be at least monthly but can also be made more often. The fact that they also store all presents for you is another great feature in this deal, as it stops sneaky children searching the house for a little peap at their presents!

Just thought I’d pop this on my blog for those that weren’t already aware, hope it helps guys! 

Holly x

My birth story 💜

I didn’t naturally go into labour when having Ella, I was medically induced at 38 weeks due to several problems in my pregnancy they decided it was the safest option. I can remember the day my consultant told me I’d be having an induction of labour, I was scared and just didn’t know what to expect. The more they told me about the process the scarier it seemed, it surprised me as throughout my pregnancy id never really felt nervous about labour I was actually very excited for it. My consultant talked through all the risks with induction of labour, the procedures and how it would greater my chance of needing a emergency section. I was sat on the pregnancy day unit bit up on the ward on my own and I literally cried my eyes out, the thought of a section terrified me more than natural labour. Call it a mix of that and the hormones, wow did I struggle with my hormones at times. One minute I’d be really happy and the next I’d burst into tears over the slightest thing like not having any ice lollies in the house! My consultant also explained I would no longer be able to have a water birth, this was something I had put in my birth plan and I really wanted to experience. There was only 1 birthing pool at Rotherham Hospital, so I knew it would depend if it was in use or not when I went into labour. However due to being high risk and being induced, it is not something they allow unfortunately. But at this point all I wanted was my baby here safely, there’s always next time I thought. It was a Friday afternoon, so my consultant then gave me a telephone number and time to ring on Monday, which they would then give me a time I needed to go into hospital. They answered any questions I could think of at the time and gave me a leaflet on ‘the induction of labour’ which they recommended I had a little read of. It all started to become very real, I felt excited and nervous at the same time. But I was so ready to meet my precious baby girl 💕 
My hospital bag had been packed for several weeks, very organised 1st time mummy, but I wanted to check everything over for the millionth time even so.


Monday 9th June 2014

I woke up Monday morning bright and early, I’d barely slept all night with excitement but that was nothing new I’d had weeks of very little sleep due to being pregnant and never able to get comfy. I rung up the hospital 8am on the dot and they gave me a time of 9am to arrive for, my bed was ready and waiting on the maternity ward. 

I arrived on the ward bags in toe, I was ready for this, I couldn’t wait to finally meet my little baby girl. What would she look like, how much would she weigh, what colour hair would she have? I would soon be finding out! 


Once I was comfortable the midwife came and explained the induction process to me, I think at this time I was convinced I would have gone into labour and given birth that same day so my partner Mark stayed with me and started his paternity leave straight away. Boy was I wrong…..
They started the labour induction with a pessary, it’s basically like a tampon type thing with a piece of string on the end, those who have been induced will know what I mean. They explained me and baby would be monitored at set times whilst I had the pessary in, but the times I wasn’t monitored I was encouraged to walk around the hospital and grounds to get things moving. I was to keep it in for 24 hours unless things progressed much quicker, they explained induction can go either way but generally takes longer in ladies who haven’t had a baby before.. so much for giving birth the same day. But off we went for a little walk, WOW the pressure in my pelvis was very intense I honestly felt like she was going to drop out there and then. I actually struggled to walk and ended up sat in the middle of a hospital corridor, the pressure was just so intense. Positively I thought something must definitely be happening and that it was a good sign things were working as they should be. 

Me and baby we’re monitored every few hours, checking babies pulse, contractions and they’d check my pulse and temperature as well. Throughout the day things seemed to be progressing slowly but well, baby was happy and that was all that mattered. 

That night we had a relaxing night on the ward, the midwife ran me a lovely lavender bath to help me relax and help with the pains before I went to sleep for the night. 


Tuesday 10th June 2014

The next morning things were pretty much the same as the day before, they examined me and decided due to my dilation I would need another pessary for 24 hours maybe less depending how things carried on progressing. I walked around the hospital again, read magazines, talked to mark and slept. I was starting to get fed up at this point, pressure in my pelvis and constant slow pain wasn’t what I expected.

 Unfortunately things didn’t get much better throughout the evening, the ward became much busier as there were a few emergencies on the labour ward so the doctors couldn’t get round until later on. 

Things started to get worrying around this point, I wasn’t feeling great at all, to be honest I put it down to being in slow labour all day and then waiting around all evening. But they put the monitor on us again to be on the safe side and discovered baby’s heart rate was very high, my pulse was also high and I had a extremely high temperature. They rushed us down to the labour suite in the room right behind the midwifes desk, apparently they use this room for ladies they need to keep a closer eye on, this scared me even more. It was a massive room, for Rotherham hospital I was quite impressed it was much bigger than the room we had seen on our antenatal tour a few weeks earlier. Once settled they monitored us again, checking my observations once again and someone was clearly watching over us that night as things had really settled down, we were safe and we were on the labour suite a few steps closer to meeting my darling baby girl 💕



Wednesday 11th June 2014

The next morning came round, little did I know this day would become the best day of my life, the day that would change my life, the day I would finally meet my beautiful little girl, my first born 💜💕👶🏼

My birthing partners were Ella’s daddy and my partner Mark and also my mum, as part of my birthing plan I had always wanted both of them there for the birth. I was introduced to my midwife Wendy who would hopefully deliver my baby girl and examined to see if my waters could be broken, they explained that if they could break my waters I would be placed on a drip which would bring on my contractions. They explained to me that women who are induced are also more likely to have an assisted delivery, where forceps or ventouse suction are used to help the baby out. They also mentioned that Induced labour is usually more painful than labour that starts on its own, and women who are induced are more likely to ask for an epidural. 

GREAT, as if I wasn’t nervous enough 😫

After my examination they decided my waters could be broken, so they proceeded to do so… It was the strangest feeling, I honestly felt like I was just sat there wetting myself, I don’t know why I felt embarrassed about something so silly there was worse to come. They popped me up on a drip designed to induce my contractions, from this point I was constantly monitored and wasn’t allowed to eat or drink other than clear fluids (water) I remember feeling absolutely gutted as my mum had just brought me lots of my favourite pregnancy foods. The midwifes kindly popped them in the fridge for me for later. 

For the first couple of hours things were happening but they were very slow, I started to feel I little fed up and wondered is this ever going to happen, am I going to even get my natural labour experience? The contractions finally started to get stronger and closer together and at this point I decided I needed some gas and air, I’d been warned before I’d either love it or hate it but wow that stuff is amazing I totally loved it! It’s not a method of pain relief as such, as in it doesn’t take the pain away but it distracts you and I just felt like I was floating. I was in my own little world which distracted me from the pain and allowed me to breath deaper. It was quite funny actually because I went into a rant at mark telling him he needed to ‘put the washing out now’ the things you say, typical me thinking about washing and nagging whilst in the middle of having a baby! As my labour progressed the pain was getting stronger and the contractions closer together, due to labour being more intense when induced and more painful (apparently) they recommended I had the epidural which I agreed to. The anethatist came quite quickly from what I can remember at this point, some parts are much a blur, however it took 2 attempts to get the epidural in. It didn’t hurt 1 bit, I can’t even remember feeling it if I’m honest, but if being in labour wasn’t a big enough distraction then I don’t know what was I guess! 

Unfortunately the epidural didn’t work properly, it worked on one side of my body but not on the other. My labour continued to progress quite quickly after this, the epidural wasn’t working properly so I was busy sucking on the gas and air like it was going out of fashion, pass me some now I loved that stuff! Some mummy’s I’ve spoke to absolutely hated it, but for me it was like a night out but without that horrible drunk feeling afterwards… few seconds off it and I’d feel back to my normal self again. 

Soon the contractions were coming thicker and faster, I knew I must be almost ready to push by this point. The midwife examined me again and confirmed I was 10cm dialated, it was time… by this point I was out of it and there is far too much going on to be nervous. 

The next part was when it all became a little too scary, I started pushing as the contractions ‘prompted’ me too, but as I was constantly monitered due to being on the drip for infection of labour they noticed baby’s heart rate was beginning to drop and they needed to check her oxygen levels. It’s all a blur from here if I’m honest I only remember parts from what mark and my mum told me afterwards, but a big red button was pressed and a million (or what felt like) consultants, nurses, midwifes etc rushed in. They took a spot of blood from my baby’s head to check her oxygen levels to determine how she was dealing with the labour and to check she wasn’t in any distress, once checking this they made the decision I needed to deliver her quickly if not naturally very soon then forceps or ventouse would be used to intervene. After my labour I could help but wonder if I could have done anything to help prevent her distress, but midwifes explained it natural to feel upset about it, but fetal distress can happen for all sorts of reasons, many of them beyond your control. My main thought was I was the most blessed lady in the world right now, I had my happy, healthy little girl in my arms and as long as I had her that was all that would ever matter 💜💕🌎

I managed to labour in the end with no intevention of forceps or ventouse which was such a relief to me, it was in those moments my little bundle of joy was born weighing 6lb 11oz at 17.46pm on 11th June 2014 💕👶🏼


  

🌟 Giveaway time 🌟

Who fancies winning this gorgeous bow 😍 whatmommabearsays.com has teamed up with @made_with_love_by_sg for this fantastic giveaway 💕 (I told you we had something special planned)to be entered into the giveaway you simply need to share whatmommabearsays.com on your social media and follow @made_with_love_by_sg  and @hollycharisx on instagram🌟 share this photo with the #mwlwhatmommabearsays hashtag 🌟 don’t forgot to tell us if you are private! 😘 Remember sharing is caring, we’d love it if you could share either of our pages on your social media so we can reach more people 🙊💜