SELF CARE CHECKLIST FOR MAMAS

Prioritising self care is hard. the reality is, most mamas, feel there is no time, they always have a million and one things to do and are juggling so many roles in any given day, there head is often spinning.

Now, more than ever, the way are world is, the multifaceted nature of things and the constant virtual and visual connectivity, means it’s really hard to not do stuff, to prioritise yourself, to slow down and meet your own, self care needs. So I hear you, I relate whole heartedly and I acknowledge all you do as a mama. There is no denying that the energetic expenditure thats required to care and nurture a new born, a baby, or a toddler is immense.

Our culture is obsessed with doing and productivity so when you are catapulted into the world of motherhood, it can feel like a virtual impossibility to do the exact opposite. To gravitate away from ‘doing’ and that which we are praised and validated for in the world of work, and daily living.

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As mamas and especially in the first 40 days post birth we need to slow down. We actually need to try and do less, yet I know the reality of this is really hard. I struggle with it as a mama of two, its hard to do less. But acknowledging the need is the start, then creating easy ways to achieve it.

So thats where I come in, or rather I want to share my own daily self care checklist which I made for myself as a mama of two. Which I try to uphold to ensure I feel good, I feel nourished and loved first and foremost by myself. I recognise that then I have the energy to love and nurture others.

 

MAMA DAILY SELF CARE CHECKLIST

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HYDRATE

The body is roughly 75% water. Most of our imbalances in the body are a result of dehydration.
In pregnancy and especially in the post natal period hydration is vital.
Post birth Onward and particularly if breast feeding, keeping fluid intake up is key to supporting the body through the dynamic changes which are happening.
Water is part of the 5 element theory in Chinese medicine and mainly corresponds to the kidney organ system. In essence your kidneys are responsible@for cellular hydration - the movement of water to and from your cells..


Post natally this is key as without sufficient hydration the body struggles to process toxins, can lead to inflammation, hormonal imbalance, headaches, fatigue, and other health imbalances.
Most notably the kidney system, specifically the adrenals are in short responsible for handling stress. The adrenals produce excessive amounts of hormones when we are stressed. In short stress can lead to dehydration. So many factors which will impact women in the post natal period.

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Tips to stay hydrated:


1. Drink first thing ideally 30mins before food to ensure complete hydration. Water before food also helps to hydrate your stomach lining supporting production of digestive enzymes & absorption of nutrients from your food. 
2. Small sips - too much in 1 go can effectively shock and therefore ‘dilute’ your kidney system. A larger amount slipped slowly in the morning and then small amounts through the day.
3. Manage your stress levels: Meditation, yin activity, acupuncture all help to calm and support healthy kidney function. 
4. Support kidney health: Ashwagandha helps to decrease the overstimulation of the adrenals and stress hormones. Checkout my favorite mama’s smoothie recipe here, and read more about my 3 favourite superfood supplements for mama’s to support hormonal balance, boost energy and promote restful sleep.
5. Juicy fruit: Fresh fruit contains a variety of minerals and electrolytes that support cellular hydration..

Ensure you drink enough fluid, herbal teas, hot water & lemon, water - daily recommendation varies but in the post natal period aim for 8 glasses of water. In winter and the early post natal period - warm is better .

 

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MOVE

For a woman and a mama movement is essential...self care is an absolute must. I increasingly observe & witness that mamas NEED this particularly in the later months and years after babies not just in that immediate 4 trimester period.

After having babies, whether it’s in the months after or years after, yoga can be such an amazing practice. But the key factor here is, it’s not just any old ‘yoga’. As a mama it requires you to start a line of dialogue with yourself, an act of conscious and loving self inquiry...and this inquiry needs to move from a deep cellular place, from the inside out... 

As a woman it requires us to listen very acutely to what are inner landscape is describing to us. It requires that we tune in and respond to those needs that we speak back to our body with the language it understands, and that is the breath..

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It is that beautifully simple and uniquely profound. It mirrors all the things we ultimately need in pregnancy and all the things that will guide us gently and consciously in birth.

For the post natal body the focus may need to revolve around helping to restore integrity and elestacity to your pelvic floor. Poses to lengthen the spine and relieve upper and lower back ache. Breathwork and mindful movement that will restore balance and calm both the nervous system and the mind which can often be in a state of flight due to the multi complex demands of motherhood...

So find something that resonates with you. Find a teacher who speaks your language and invest some time in your own self-care so you have the physical, emotional and spiritual vitality to share that love.

If you want to do some home practice, check out my tips for safe post birth practice here, and look out for my nurture and stabilise sequences which will be on the blog soon. 

 

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NOURISH

Food is like natural medicine for the body. It can heal and restore you to your truest and most vital self. The process of growing and birthing a baby uses up an immense amount of energy, and in particular yin energy due to the natural blood loss during the birth process. We need serious nourishing to enable our body to restore.

Healing Foods - Soft, soupy foods are favoured around the world to honour and support the body during the post-partum period (post birth), when there is illness, injury or trauma. A new mother needs warm, soft foods and certain herbs to support a digestive system which is slower post birth, to promote internal healing and cell tissue repair in the body and for mental and emotional well being.

Putting nutrition first, making space and asking loved ones to help in creating and stocking your freezer with homemade, healthy, soul food, helps to support internal healing, cell tissue repair in the body and promotes mental and emotional well being. The right food, spices and herbs will help boost metabolism, enrich breastmilk for healthy brain development, stoke your digestive fire, helping to stimulate circulation, blood flow and therefore energy and vitality. Ensuring this approach to food will also help to promote more restful sleep when you do get it… and that is music to any parent’s ears.

 To nourish and restore in the first 40 days post birth but equally whenever you are feeling low in energy, ill or depleted as a mama, you need:

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WARMING FOODS – Eating a diet of Warming, soft foods and avoiding or limiting cold, uncooked foods will help to support healing. cold foods shock an already sluggish digestive system and use up vital energy to warm the body. Eating warm foods takes less energy to digest and absorb nutrients, it heats your body, meaning more of the bodies energy is available for healing and restoring.

Try to incorporate warming spices; ginger, fennel, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon. Herbal teas are also great and Golden Tumeric Tea is an absolute must!

 

SOFT FOODS – around the world traditionally post birth foods are soft, soupy and warm. Think like baby food. Birth is an immense physical, emotional and energetic feat. Added to that your digestive organs have been compressed for the latter part of your pregnancy and so are slower and weaker post birth. Soft foods ensure the body isn’t expending its depleted energy to stoke a sluggish digestive system and boost metabolism. 

Try: Soups, stews, broths (bone broth or mushroom broth), cooked grains.

 

FRIENDLY FATS: Fish oils, animal and plant fats are essential in the post natal period to help you thrive amd are essential for supporting the development of your babies nervous system. This will give you energy to restore and boost circulation and metabolism and balance hormones so all round helping you to stay healthy in body and mind.

Think: oily fish, avocados, cocnut, olive and seaseme oil, grass raised meat and butter.

 

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REST

We need to prioritise rest as mamas not just in the immediate post birth period. Birth can leave a woman feeling highly susceptible to emotional and physical strain. Your body is doing immense work post birth. To conserve and build chi in the body (vital energy), rest and nourishment is essential.

I sort of feel like no explanation is needed here....But then in the same sentence know that it is. Rest is sadly overlooked in our society yet around the world this is common practice. A mama is supported in all ways so she can rest post birth and find a sense of equilibrium in body, mind and spirit after the hugely transformative and intense act of birthing a baby. Rest and replenish so that she can use what energy she does have to nurture and fall in love with her baby..

Many cultures still respect the sanctity of birth the monumental shift that is occurring not just physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally - in both ayuverdic and Chinese medicine this time in a woman’s life is considered crucial in ensuring her long term health.

The first 40 days post birth is so highly significant in determining a woman’s health in the future. Equally rest is needed after that fourth trimester. This is were for many women it can get even tricker. As they take on more, return to work or have more children. This is when we need it most.


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In a busy world this is where that gloriously simple but arguably most challenging posture in yoga can be a mamas greatest friend.. shavasana - seen by some as a ‘nap’ at the end of class, challenges us to be awake and completely relaxed which may for some be both unfamiliar and difficult to achieve. But this pose has insane health benefits when practiced regularly; calms the nervous system, relieves high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia and helps release muscle tension... hallelujah what is not to love.

We now also know that your brain is actually growing during the post natal phase. Scientific research is showing that certain regions of the brain are expanding, now with those skin cells repairing and the liver detoxifying, your body needs rest to achieve this.

So 10 min shavasana nap anyone?



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CONNECT

MOTHERS NEED MOTHERING.

We need love, hugs and physical support as humans and particularly mamas during the immense period of change which happens post birth. I think this is apparent now more than ever. We are so richly connected virtually but this is not a substitute for real time interaction and connection.

A hug speaks volumes to our soul and our spirit... it feels good, it helps reduce cortisol levels aka stress in the body. it helps cultivate a sense of patience, acknowledgement and acceptance of others and of ourselves. It fosters a deeper connection with our mind and our body building our self awareness and proprioception.

Oxytocin, the hormone of love, is induced in the body when we have a meaningful and loving connection.  Widely known in the birth world and growing interest in a wider context, Its a juicy topic right now. With scientific studies from ethology (study of behaviour) to epidemiology (studying the long term consequences of experiences at the start of our lives), showing just how important this hormone is.

This hormone is indeed what impacts most influentially in maternal behaviour and emotions. Released with a cocktail of complexly balanced hormones, it fortifies bonds between loved ones and is powerful enough to do the same with total strangers.

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Personal connection and loving touch from a massage is a great way to assist recovery, promote vitality and boost circulation. Belly wrapping and ‘closing the bones’ a ceremony in Mexican tradition includes for the mama; massage, herbal steaming and binding, intricately wrapping the body to support the tremendous post natal changes.

As women and mamas we need the presence and companionship of a soulful sisterhood, a tribe of women of different stages of life who can share their wisdom and experience, comfort, encourage and listen to a new mama. And I mean really listen, without need to impose.

Your heart and your nerves are highly sensitive as a mother and we need to presence of other women to support our emotional state.

So connect, have a hug, a chat and a giggle with someone.



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GET OUTDOORS

Getting outdoors, in nature and breathing in fresh air is like therapy for body, mind and soul. For a new mama getting outdoors isn’t always a reality or physically possible. But having a connection with nature is, the power of simply opening a window, closing your eyes and deeply inhaling to smell some fresh flowers, bringing a little outdoor into your home with house plants, or choosing a comfortable feeding spot by a window with a view.

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This simple acts all help us to connect to that slower pace, to honour the awesome wisdom we can learn from the natural world around us. Our connection with nature helps us to cultivate self acceptance, patience and love at its essence as we observe that in nature no process of development and growth can be rushed, it takes its own time. As mothers we need to adopt that same loving kindness to ourselves. Taking a bath with herbal salts or turning off your phone and taking a walk or seat outside. We draw a deeper breath when we are in the open air, which acts to calm the nervous system, the mind, slows our heart rate, and reduces levels of cortisol in the blood therefore relieving stress. This not only feels good, it also helps to cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves, our bodies and babies and our natural environment.

So be good to yourself mama, prioritise your own self-care by honouring your basic needs.

 


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LOVING THE MAMA SELF CARE DECK

Im really excited to share a project Ive been working on and which is available to purchase on the website. This project was birthed out of love for the mamas, a need to ensure my own self care and health as a new mama of two. Check out my instagram feed for a sneak peek and get in touch if you would like to order your very own pack.


Want more?

If you want to know more I would highly recommed these amazing books books: 

The first forty days The essential art of nourishing the new mother – by Heng Ou

The Fourth Trimester: A post partum guide to healing your body, balancing your emotions & restoring vitality – By Kimberley Johnso

THE POWER OF YOGA POST BIRTH - A GUIDE FOR SAFE PRACTICE

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” 

Maya Angelou

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Congratulations mama on the birth of your baby/ babies and your journey as a mother. The post-natal period, after the birth of your baby is an incredible time like no other. A time for nurturing, healing and replenishing yourself, your baby and embracing this new phase of life with your family.

Why do Post Natal Yoga?

As a woman, the post natal period is a highly transformative time. It can be a time of creativity and vision, and also a time of great vulnerability. You have just grown and birthed a baby and thats amazing, inspiring, and astounding. At the same time everything can feel wide open, both in your emotional and physical body, as you get to know yourself, your baby and your body in this new time and space.

Post natal women often talk about feeling highly sensitised to everything. Some describe it as a whirlwind where everything feels in flux. All of this is incredibly normal and so is the cocktail of emotions due to hormmal changes in the body. Your brain is literally growing when you are breast-feeding but women often feel there brain isn’t working properly. So do not fear mamas, it is not only working, it is evolving, just perhaps wired and tuned into a different frequency. Another thing which is not often spoken of, but is very common is a feeling of grief in the post natal period. Grieving for your old life, of what was, of not being totally familiar with who you are in this new context. Grief is part of the process needed to create space for the love, the ‘newness’ that comes with having a baby, as Naomi Stadlen says in What mothers do especially when it looks like nothing’, “in order to make enough space in her life for her baby, she seems to make a momentous inner shift… her whole self is changing..’ And in response to this something else that is heard so much is; ‘I need to get my old body back’. In essence there is no going back, but instead a beautiful opportunity to move forward and evolve. All of this is part of the post natal experience and it doesn’t need to all be peaches and cream’. Motherhood is messy, unpredictable, chaotic, and especially in the beginning, something which doesn’t sit well with rigid schedules, routines or time frames. Reframing what is often coined as mothering sacrifice, instead as a new maturity, no longer a self contained I, but a discovery of our innate power, strength, endurance and a surrendering to the change in order to move forward.

A mama needs support and practical tools to help her navigate this new phase. Embracing a flexible and self compassionate attitude. Letting go of expectations, exploring and experimenting, while prioritising self care and loving kindness. Here is where yoga can be so profoundly helpful, grounding, and supportive to a woman as she transitions and finds her feet. I love the idea that as we begin of our pregnancy journey we start a process of spiralling inward, like walking an inner labyrinth to the centre of our being, connecting and listening to our inner voice, intuition and heart as we breath and move together with the precious life growing inside us. Then as we emerge from the experience of birth, we are presented with a new and unrecognisable landscape and begin a process of unravelling from the centre, trusting and embracing the change as we navigate our way out of the labyrinth. There is great strength and wisdom that comes when we trust ourselves, when we celebrate our efforts and share with others.

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What does early post natal practice look like?

A GENTLE recuperative yoga practice is advised for post-natal mothers, to accommodate and adapt to the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual changes that have occurred, to avoid injury and to promote healing. This is the time to embrace your feminine body, to go gently, and to give yourself time to nurture and restore your yin energy, which is naturally depleted post birth. So think:


SLOW, STEADY MOVEMENT      

BREATH AWARENESS     

LOVING KINDNESS

The awesome Uma Dinsmore demonstrating Sonic Massage techniques to soothe mum and baby, 2018.

The awesome Uma Dinsmore demonstrating Sonic Massage techniques to soothe mum and baby, 2018.

A GUIDE FOR SAFE PRACTICE

So I know yoga is sort of hailed as a saviour for everything. And while I may be inclined to believe this, whats important here is that your yoga practice post birth and in the first year as a mother, needs to be the right yoga for that time and space. While in prenatal yoga there is an emphasis on opening and expanding, in the post natal period after birth the focus is on movement to strengthen the legs, to stabilise, restore and help nourish the core of our body. This is an amazing time to really expand our ideas around what yoga practice is. To listen, adapt and evolve the practice mindfully for the moment you are practising.

Things to ADOPT in your Post Natal Practice

INTERNAL PRACTICE – cultivate inner strength. connect to your body in this new time and space by really listening to your breath, to feeling rather than thinking or focusing on the external shapes you are making with your body. This is where the deep healing work begins, where postural integrity, pelvic floor restoration and deep stabilisation and strength will be cultivated.

FIND YOUR FEET – How you stand literally affects the position of your pelvic floor. Develop postural awareness by connecting with your feet & the ground to build a functional, responsive relationship. This is where in combination with breath work the deep restoration of the pelvic floor begins.

BREATH IS BOSS – This really is the key to connecting and building awareness of the inner landscape of your body in this new phase. The breath can be both restorative and Energising. The Healing Yogic Breath is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your pelvic floor and begin to restore elasticity. Become familiar with the healing breath by drawing the belly in & pelvic floor up on the exhale. Then begin to use with movement and sound. Remember pelvic floor mobility involves a balance of engaging and releasing the muscles.

TWISTS – Help to detoxify, stimulate and stoke digestive fire which is naturally sluggish post birth. They are revitalising when combined with breath work and deeply nourishing helping to restore balance and equilibrium through the spine. Notably they help to re-knit oblique abdominals & restore distasis recti, rebuilding structural support.

HEART OPENERS –Chest opening poses with a focus on breath to alleviate upper back and shoulder tension from feeding/carrying/ or weakened abdominals. They help to energise the body, and over time build strength and stamina with the breath.

RESTORATIVE POSES – these are the most valuable practices during the early post natal period and during times of exhaustion or low energy.

DEEP RELAXATION – This is so important. The power of even 5 or 10 minutes of deep relaxation can have the same nourishing effects as 4 hours of deep sleep. Use of sound practice (nada yoga) can really help especially if you are finding it hard to switch off. Take your time to get really comfortable, use props, bolster under knees if your lower back is sore. A cushion under your head. Turn off any devices, cover yourself with a blanket.

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Things to AVOID in your Post Natal Practice

WIDE STANCES - wide legged poses are not good in the immediate post natal period and should be avoided. Alignment changes can cause discomfort to destabilised pelvic joints & knees. Especially when breast feeding the ligaments and therefore joints are more vulnerable due to relaxin in the body.

DONT CHASE THE BURN - Chill Winston! Fast, strenuous movement is not good at this time especially in the first 6 months post birth . Try to avoid ‘the ‘bums & tums’ style asana practice – ligaments can take up to 6 months to restore to pre-pregnancy tone.SO GO GENTLY.

BACK /BELLY STRESS - Repeat after me… ‘NO sit ups!’ This action only exasperates postural hunch. Your body has gone through a monumental transformation in the process of growing, birthing and now nurturing a baby. Post Caesarean avoid asana or breathwork that strains abdominals.

INVERSIONS - Especially in the immediate post natal period and until Lochia (bleeding) has ceased. Then time is your friend, build up slowly, starting with Partial or supported inversions to encourage pelvic floor engagement.

When can I start Post Natal Yoga?

Most Women will start between 8 and 12 weeks but the importance here is that you feel ready and comfortable. Try to find a teacher you connect with and speak with them first.

What to expect from YesYoga’s Mum and Baby Classes?

My aim is to create a space where you and your baba feel welcome, exactly AS YOU ARE.

If you come in your pijamas - perfect. If you come in funky zebra leggings, or jogging bottoms on inside out - wonderful. Maybe you feel frantic, teary, tired, hyper, excited, apprehensive, flat…. well the good news is you might feel one or all of these at some point over the course of your block and I welcome you with open arms, to come have a hug, share and do what ever serves you for that hour.

The intention of my Post Natal yoga classes is to nourish mama AND baba in an integrated way. You can join in, rest, feed, change a nappy, sleep or just be in the space with us.

To NURTURE, STABILISE, RESTORE, AND REVITALISE in that order.

In these classes you and baby will explore breath work, yoga poses, movement, song, sound practice, relaxation and massage to help cultivate self awareness and encourage bonding and communication with your baby. Working from the inside out, using integrated movement, breath and sound so you can find stability and over time, build a new found and deeply anchored strength and vitality.

So come join us: laugh, cry, have fun and feel the power and magic that is created from a circle of women sharing together with acceptance and love.

Truly great things happen when women are together!

tx

YesYoga Mum and Baby Class - Enjoying some post class chats with tea, chocolate and some self care treats.

YesYoga Mum and Baby Class - Enjoying some post class chats with tea, chocolate and some self care treats.

THIS IS MOTHERHOOD - A DAY IN THE LIFE OF.

T.I.M - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

 

So after recently having my second baba, its fair to say that our day to day living has been turned upside down and life is well – mental.

Beautiful, bewitching, hard and well yes, insane. 

In short I felt compelled to share a wee snippet of daily living as a mother. In a slightly deranged moment of clarity the other week I chuckled to myself as I repeated T.I.M… it was the only thing that would effectively sum up the day I had just had. So ‘THIS IS MOTHERHOOD’ was born… inspired by TIA, an acronym I came to use frequently when I volunteered in Kenya some moons ago and which kept us all smiling even when faced with quite brutal realities day to day, the term ‘THIS IS AFRICA’ would say what we often couldn’t cobble together in words; sometimes hilarious, sometimes shocking, sometimes otherworldly. 

So here goes, a day in the life of…. A Mama... this mama, or to be exact, a woman, aka me, mother of one new bright and beaming 10-week-old boy and one very lively, inter galactic star dust fueled nearly 4-year-old. So, hold on to your hats:

 

Photo artistry from the talented Leo

Photo artistry from the talented Leo

Morning; rituals, coffee and melt downs

4.30AM

‘Morning!?@3!!!

Yes, I hear you, WTF! To most sane people this is NOT in fact morning and is very much still the middle of the night. Try explaining that to a 3-year-old, and for those who aren’t familiar with the art of reasoning with a toddler, its simple, you can’t. The back story is our first beautiful baba has never really enjoyed the art of sleeping. So, after 3 and a half years of chronic sleep deprivation (that’s on our part – he was as bright as a button), he was just getting to a point of sleeping to a time we could reasonably call morning (anything after 5am) when, bam we went and added a new born brother to the mix. Arrrhh

So, the awesome human that is dad has been taking this grueling hit as I am in bed with baba attached to my boob. However, on this morning, trying to give him a much-needed lie in (again let me explain to those who are maybe unfamiliar, this anything is up to and beyond 7.30AM) I got up.

 

5.30am-6.30AM

Breakfast making, baby on boob, and one handed mastery (parents acquire new found skills in one handed wizardry when they have kids… holding a new born while, eating, cooking, putting shoes on, trying to dress another human, or yourself, feeding animals, making a cup of tea, going to the toilet, it’s all been done).

Then some CBeebies time for leo, aka time for me and baba to lie flat and try to pretend that we are still asleep while hey duggee does his oh so weird and wonderful thing in the background (if you have ever seen that programme its like a trippy dream anyway, so floating in and out of consciousness its quite fitting)!

So let me set the scene. we were all about no screens when leo was born. We had read a lot around this and it was something that was part of our family dynamic (insignificant fact, I met Sue Palmer who wrote toxic childhood the night before at a meeting and was a tad star struck). So pre-two years there were no screens. Now when your baba wakes multiple times in the night and calls 4,30am morning – well you can just imagine what that might look like? Suffice to say that me and robin have aged about 10 years in that time – look it up, severe sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Anyway, me and robin as parents have always said to each other and tried to live by; NO judgment. Everyone has to do it their own way, whatever works for them as a family. We have very much decided we NEED CBeebies to function so it is now part of our morning – I am 100% happy and could kiss Duggee..

 

6.45AM

Attempt to get dressed. Switch on the life support machine (the coffee machine – honestly when this nearly broke I had a heart attack – and again super dad came to the rescue, he is a fixing wizard). Attempt to get anyone else dressed - don’t succeed. Give baba a wee baby steam and facial – in the bouncer while I have a 2-minute shower, interrupted in that time by leo leaving a most fragrant deposit in the toilet. This is Motherhood… you will begin to dream of the day you may go to the toilet on your own uninterrupted. And it will happen, in about 10 years.

Get myself dressed, baba pukes on clean top. Wipe it and move on (3 puke rule, if it isn’t curdled – move on). When you see the pile of washing that amounts daily, you choose to ‘not notice’ the watery pukes (is this too much information??).  

7.45AM

Rising panic on my part that no one is dressed other than me, Leo is asking for more breakfast (usually he has 3, I mean 3 adult portions of breakfast). Baba is wet (sick and dribble), both wanting attention, all the while, dad is trying to get ready for work, while holding a baba and listening to the free flow babble coming from Leo – why is it that small humans need to verbalise their constant stream of consciousness. By 8am you feel like your brains been on a deep spin in the washing machine and youve been spat back out. It appears all we are trying to do is make it out the door before 9am for Leos gym class. I wonder, am I expecting too much??!

 

8AM

Email to say gym class is cancelled. Quick context, it is literally Leos favorite class, he asks ‘when is it Wednesday mama’, or hopefully most mornings ‘gym tots today???!!’. So, meltdown ensues at the same time baba wants a feed. Where is my 3rd arm I ask myself again. 2 arms just doesn’t cut it. Funny interlude… some text banter one day between mum and dad resulted in roaring laughter and the new title of ‘Gym Tits’ which we now call Leos gym class! Ah you have to love predictive text – those little golden nuggets keep me going when things get dark.

Leaving the house; Bribery and Poonami’s 

8-9AM

I try to think up a new plan while getting baba dressed and settled on a cushion, with Leo bouncing up and down unnervingly close to the 10-week-old precious cargo.

New plan – lets go to the castle around the corner. We can walk there, baba can have a snooze in the sling, ah mama what a genius plan. ‘But I don’t want to go outside, I hate walking, I want to build a rocket.’ So, after some sweet negotiation (Alas, another skill parents unknowingly acquire – the fine art of secret service style negotiation), we are off.

Well I say we are off. It takes us another hour to actually fully leave the building.

Coats on, feed the baba, put the baba down to tackle teeth brushing, mine included, return to find Zen buddha baba has put himself to sleep, utterly bored by the proceedings and drama that descends every time we try to, well, do anything all together. 

Put baba in the sling, go get the pram out of the shed while leaving Leo with a dangling carrot, ‘if you put your shoes on you can have a box of raisins, (don’t judge, another thing that went out the window, bribery… this is a formidable trick of the trade and 100% needed in order to maintain my sanity).

 

9.10AM

SAS training begins for the mama. So after having trained now extensively in post-natal recovery, healing, loving the mama and self-care, I find myself with a baba in the sling front side, and an insanely heavy backpack on my back (wtf is in there!!@??!). Que 2nd meltdown. The bike leo was excited to ride (that had also been a vital part of the bribery plan to get him out of the house), is in fact, wait for it, at the bike shop! Well fuck a duck. After mentally counting my breath, and restraining myself from having an ‘adult tantrum’, I move on, Watch a highly dramatic launch onto the grass from Leo, very angry shouts and some throwing of leaves and twigs. Poor little lamb, so we have a cuddle (no mean feat with another human strapped to your chest), i’m boil in a bag and we’re off, hallelujah! Hail the donkey pram full of more paraphernalia and Leo. Yes, we are using the pram as I suspected, not for the baby, but to avoid serious injury of the mama, me having to carry two humans and a bag would be the end of my shoulders and back.

 

Real life Superhero in the woods.

Real life Superhero in the woods.

10AM

The buddha baba is not happy so we do a swap, baby in the pram, Leo on the skate board (the one I might add that has been the cause of my severely bruised shins). 5 minutes on, baba NOT happy, Im feeling like my own insides are going to explode and we are saved by a lovely woman who senses my strain and comes over to help. She picks up all the crap I dropped while trying to get baba back in the sling and chats to me about her own baba’s. BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE.

A highly important point here; sometimes that parent you see struggling on the pavement, on a bus, in the supermarket, just needs some kindness, a smile, a ‘hello’, a ‘do you need a hand’. This human contact might be the first that parent has had after a 12-hour day surviving with little people and don’t ever underestimate the power that can have on someone’s mental health.

 So blah blah blah we get tp the castle – SLOWLY after a pee stop on route. No not me, Leo.

 

10.30-12PM

We play at the castle, run around, again logistically challenging with a baba strapped to your front. I find myself crawling through bushes, sitting in a tree and trying to do all those things I did pre baba number two.

 Then, you guessed it, Cack attack. When a small person needs to go, its instantaneous. No time to race to the toilet (again can’t run at speed with a baba on my body). So as the saying goes ‘does. bear shit in the woods?’. If I have lost any of you at this point, please rest assured, it was a clean affair, pooped on a pile of leaves then scooped them into a nappy bag and voila! Used the toilets to wash hands, and hey presto.

I’m totally done in already, so thinking it must nearly be lunch time, oh look its 11.10am!! it’s raining, so more playing in the woods, using a shelter we helped build that is still unbelievably standing. Then as suspected… ‘mum I’m hungry. Now again I feel I need to explain, I would say I take pleasure in being known as the mama of all pack ups. Well not today... I’ve done the unforgivable, Ive failed to bring not only the pack up, but any snacks. School boy error and a game changer.

Does a bear shit in the woods? do toddlers ?!?

Does a bear shit in the woods? do toddlers ?!?

Lunchtime; Mum juggling, food and boobs

11.40AM – 1PM

Head home – so putting into context, the grand effort to get out took around an hour and a half and we stayed for about an hour.

Journey home in the rain pushing the over laden donkey pram. Get back, feed baba, and make lunch while trying to keep Leo entertained with hide and seek, aka you go hide and I’ll take a really really long time to find you.

 So when my ass hits a chair for lunch it feels like Ive been awake for 3 days already and – ah yes we are official about ½ way through the day.

While we eat lunch, I again dream of a 3rd arm, as I attempt to express while feeding. What does this look like I hear you cry… well it isn’t pretty. Half my sandwich ends up falling on Rumi’s head as he feeds but needs must (I don’t express every day but it does help me to carve out a bit of mama self-care time later on – read on to find out).

Afternoon Antics; crafty cuts, Dens and into the wild.

1-4PM

In a nut shell The afternoon looked like this…. 

Crafters; We got down to some serious creative play, we got messy, we did some high-octane crafting; imagine paint, glitter and glue explosions and you will have a pretty accurate picture…. Aka go wild leo, create, enjoy – lasted about 20minutes.

Den builders: blankets, chairs, teddies, me and baba and captain Leo. ‘Sister Sister’ as Leo calls it which is like ‘mummy’s and daddy’s’ and is a fav of mine as involves, ‘going to bed – lying down and pretending to be asleep – Hurray (if only).

Wild Beasts; back outdoors for some serious afternoon fresh air blasting and wild animal releasing (I totally get it, Im not a kid but it feels so good to hang upside down at the play park, run in a field and howl like a wolf – seriously good for the soul and your own sanity). After the set back of having gotten everyone actually dressed to go out, baba pukes all over himself and poo’s up his back. Que meltdown, everyone back in, to de robe a very unhappy baba, nappy change, clothing change then a feed to settle, all the while trying to soothe a very frustrated little person who just wants a cuddle without a baba hanging from your boob.

We get to the park, we run about, I go down the slide after saying I can’t because I have baba Rumi in the sling. After the 7th time climbing up and sliding down in a train with Leos feet digging into my back I admit defeat. Put a fork in me, I am done.

unhinged!

unhinged!

We head home, all the while, i’m wondering why I always do it to myself, sweating profusely with a hot water bottle baba strapped to my chest a jacket and cardigan on which I now can’t remove as it stupidly put the sling on over them both in a rush to leave the house. Baba is wriggling and wants to stretch out after being in the sling. Walking home looking like a small pterodactyl is trying to break free from my chest.

Another melt down on the way back as the small human starts to struggle with, just about everything, The reality of waking up at 4.30am is that by 4pm you are totally and utterly cream crackered.  

We get in the door, everyone is crying, I send an SOS to dad who tentatively asks how our day has been!?! To which I reply; ‘Fucking hard’ – parent code for ‘come home NOW’… 

 

The Home Straight; SOS, cavalry and bedtime.

5-7PM

Dad, aka my savior gets back and scoops up Leo to his delight, gives me a compassionate look and a big bear hug and says…’well done mama – my hero’.… We have a gourmet meal lovingly prepared… fish fingers, potato wedges, peas and broccoli (get some green on their– all food groups represented – we are wining, and the little human is happy). Leo’s eyes are rolling into the back of his head and hes struggling to eat his tea (me and dad know this then means he wakes up in the night hungry and we have a restless night – Nooooooo), and right on que from our little pocket rocket, ‘im not tired mummy’ – of course not son ?!?@@! – Breathe breathe breathe only 2 hours till we can ALL go to bed (you think I am joking – this has become my bed time and I am 100% happy with that).

6.30PM

Quiet play, matching pairs Ninjago style, pJ’s on, teeth brushed, and then all into the big bed to read stories, one arm round Leo, one round buddha boy who’s feeding and snoozing. 

Dad takes Leo to bed, I lie down with baba and play back the day’s events, feeling utterly exhausted. Slowly as I re-tell the day to robin I find the humor in it all. Maybe I’m just delirious but the moments from the day where I felt I was actually going to have a full-blown adult ‘tantrum’ (yes, I can fully vouch, they do exist), had become laughable.

 

8PM

Then the very variable and final part of my day, some muma time, some yoga time. I haul myself out of bed and do a win win trade with robin, he snuggles in next to baba (Dads fav time of the day, he gets to snug in with his baba and an expressed bottle of milk on hand incase baba needs a top up). While I go and unravel on my mat. Sometimes I get 5 minutes of yoga, sometimes on a very good day an hour. Sometimes I just breathe then lie in shavasana. But Some time to just be in my body without anything else, to unwind the knots, decompress, breathe, move and be in my body, let go of my sometimes buzzing, sometimes foggy brain and just be is unimaginably blissful. Whatever kind of day it’s been, this is like my re set, it brings it all home (humor and chocolate also feature heavily, the number of squares of chocolate relay the kind of day - 2 on average, 3 if things got really trippy!). Whatever it might be for you, I would urge any Muma to find something, your own recharge swtich, decompression chamber, reset button… it’s a must. This is what wakes me up to the beauty that is my family of 4… the wild, raw, juiciness of it all and how grateful I am for the rainbow bonkers madness that is my day to day… it’s filled with a lot and Pure love is at the centre – thank the heavens for oxytocin… We all know you do wildly crazy stuff when you are inlove and parenthood is testament to this.

 9PM

In bed, Asleep, babe in arms. AKA cream crackered, day officially done! Winning at Mothering!

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So there we have it, a day in the life of. 

This is motherhood, or more accurately, this is MY MOTHERHOOD. 

Over and out.

 

T x 

SUPER FOODS - NATURAL ENERGY BOOSTERS

 SUPER FOODS - NATURAL ENERGY BOOSTERS

Unleash your raw energy and wild warrior spirit!

Celebrating my favorite topic of selfcare, here are three of my favorite super foods to help boost Energy and restore balance and vitality in the body. Check out what these amazing nutrient dense foods can offer and try my quick and easy natural energy boost recipe.

 

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