When life is boring…

If I’m honest, I hadn’t planned to blog at all. Ever. I had been racking my brain to think of a juicy topic or an update or a super revelation but I had nothing. But I really really want to write so here’s a ramble.✌🏽️

One of my biggest weaknesses is that I love the highs of life a little way too much & I even find the tough parts a bit exciting. The last few months were spent waiting for my husband to finish uni, a slow, boring period… And then going on an incredible family holiday! & if I’m honest, once I got back, I felt a little empty. It was probably a combo of holiday blues & extreme jetlag, but it was like “oh. What now?”

You see, I’m the type of person who struggles to sit still, who complains about being exhausted but doesn’t nap, who dreams of a spa day but gets fidgety after a few mins in a jacuzzi. So when nothing is happening!!!!!!!!????? I tend to feel a little lost. Which leads me to this post, a post about nothing in particular because nothing in particular is happening. I really believe God is trying to slow me down, and I’ll admit I am resisting the slowing down as much as possible, but I keep feeling a little tug at my heart to be still, to sit, meditate or pray.

It goes against everything in my nature, to sit still before a God I don’t always hear from is really hard for me but I know I won’t always have this time, so for now, I’m trying to enjoy the boring, the mundane, another night in, the repetitive routine of a 1 year old. & hopefully I’ll be grateful I chilled out when it all gets crazy again.

xo

A&E. Anxiety & Exhaustion. 

These two words have been my week! As you may or may not know, I have battled (and won plenty of times) with anxiety for years now, most of the time it’s controlled and locked away so well I barely even face it, but the last week the silly thing decided to try and start a fight. For me, anxiety feels like a panic attack, I get a sick whirlwind feeling in my stomach & the thought of being alone freaks me out, therefore fuelling the anxiety. I get anxious about being anxious which makes me more anxious etc etc. Counselling has taught me to try control the thoughts and rationalise it, that’s worked well before but not last week. This time last week I was in tears asking my husband not to go to work because I couldn’t bear being alone again with the baby. This baby of ours which has been fighting sleep like crazy all week! Which brings me onto the E of exhaustion. 

Usually being a mum is just beyond all words, it gives me the most joy, it isn’t always glamorous or exciting, I’m no Tammy Hembrow that’s for sure, but I take pleasure in raising my daughter, day in, day out. However, I do not take pleasure in the way she has refused to sleep all week! To the point where she’d be crawling with her eyes closed because she was so tired. I do try to nap during the day, because otherwise I turn into a grinch of a wife, but I also have a tendency to feel overwhelmed by the to-do list in my brain, the washing, the cleaning, the cooking & all the other house things which I take pride in. So I struggle to rest during the day. 

A&E. My week. This isn’t a random ramble about my negative feelings but a reminder that we do not have to let them dictate our lives. I know first hand what it’s like to feel consumed by panic but just “get on with things”, it’s similar to having a banging headache but having to just act like it isn’t there. It’s brave and mature. Exhaustion on the other hand, can make you want to run far far away to a land of no babies or husbands or responsibilities and have a super snooze and return when you feel ready, but that’s not real life either. So I’m surviving, despite being super tired. 99% of the time. And I’m striving to do this with a smile on my face, because despite my recent visit to “A&E”, I want to live with joy, unstealable (deffo made that up) joy. 

 

Confession: I only pray for five minutes.

  For as far back as I can remember, I’ve admired prayer. You know the idea of hours of time whizzing by, getting lost and just feeling completely close to God; that’s what I wanted. For years I had this idea that my prayer life needed to be just like that, 5am alarms, an hour minimum, in order for it to be effective, or in order for me to feed my unrealistic desire to be a “prayerful woman”.

I’ve had times, (few times) when I’ve done it; it being, waking up early, praying for hours, and I do love it, but somehow this idea of prayer seemed to put me at a disadvantage. If prayer takes an hour minimum, the thought of that alone seems really daunting if I’m honest. It’s not that I don’t to talk to God, thank Him, reflect and bring things before Him; I really do! It’s just 1. I lack discipline, so the “I don’t have time today” excuse pops up often,  2. I’m chronically sleep deprived at the moment; quiet time can easily become nap time and 3. I have an 8 month old so alone time is rare.

Desperate to get my prayer life into action, I came up with this five minute idea and decided to trial it. Basically, once a day, I set a timer on my phone for five minutes, I go somewhere quiet and I pray. Simple. Short enough to not feel overwhelmed by the thought, but the amount of things you can say in five minutes is CRAZY. It’s like speed dating (not that I’ve ever tried that) or an INTENSE EXTREME PRAYER SESH! Also, one of my favourite things about this is that when the five minute timer goes off, I’m usually like “what?! already!” and either decide to continue or wrap up. It’s not religious or that deep at all! Of course I can chat away with God other times of the day, but knowing I have my five minutes of really bringing things before Him and just being quiet too is a MAJOR step for me! I can pray for my family, my friends, I no longer feel guilty about saying “I’ll pray for you” because I really do! Haha! I won’t say I’ve never missed a day, but at the end of the day if I realise I haven’t (or my husband checks up on me and I haven’t! Accountability is THE BEST!) what’s five minutes difference going to make to bed time?!

So if you’re anything like me, give it a go! Set a 5 minute timer and go tell God how awesome He is! As for me, I’m going to practice what I preach and pray away!

Lots of love you amazing prayer warriors!

5 things to do when your baby won’t nap.

Dedicated to my dear friend Anastasia, who is weeks off being a first time mum. 

I googled this. Today. After about an hour of failed naptime. Hoping to find some kind of reassurance or help for this situation. What I found was annoying; it told me everything I should have done before this point, what to try next time, what I did wrong. I didn’t want to know how to get my baby to sleep, I wanted to know how to survive when my baby didn’t. 

So, I decided to come up with my own list, for all the mummies out there with babies that are currently fighting that sleep, day or night. And yes. My baby is sleeping on me as I write. 

1. Take a minute. If you’re worked up & crying, you may be overtired or simply lost sight of reality. It’s amazing how your baby actually becomes the most important thing ever. Someone would probably walk in and think I was grieving the way I sob when she won’t sleep. (I am. Grieving the loss of my free time.) But seriously. Going into another room for a minute won’t harm your precious one. Breathe. Stretch. Shake. Let it go.

2. Think like a baby. Remember when you first fell in love with your hubby? Remember that feeling when you didn’t even wanna sleep because  it felt like valuable time together was being wasted? Your baby feels like that. (Or at least it’s nice to think) Time with mummy or sleep? Easy choice. Your baby loves you.

3. Cancel the nap. Forget the stupid schedule. You’re stressing, baby isn’t having it, just cancel the nap! I always find celebrating whilst I do this really helps change the atmosphere. Not like “oh fine you won’t sleep so I have to get you up” more like “YOU WIN you cheeky monkey!! Let’s play!!!” Put some music on, try and get some giggles out of your baby (this will fail with an overtired one) & just accept that right now, no nap is happening. 

4. Get some air & a treat. I’ve found this only works if I have showered and dressed. Lol. Need to start doing that earlier in the day! It works with the above ^ pop baby in a carrier or buggy & go for a walk. The fresh air always calms me down & reminds me there is a world out there beyond naps & schedules. Often your baby will drift off so it’s a win-win. Pair this with a treat from a shop, even a chocolate bar can brighten the day of a parent with a nap-less child, trust me.

5. Take those extra cuddles. Get ’em while you can, simply put. Nap or no nap, time is still going to pass, your baby will still grow up and get married and leave you forever. 😳😅

Somewhere there is another Mummy, just like you. Crawling after a grumbling overtired baby. Pinned to the sofa because your child won’t sleep anywhere else. You are not alone. You are not a failure. You are a Mummy & that alone is an incredible achievement.  

 

Why I’m fed up of baby talk.

I don’t know if anyone could’ve prepared me with the criticism, advice, constant comparisons, questions & suggestions that come with having a baby. It’s insane.

Hands held high, perhaps for the first few months of my Princess’ life, I too, would question fellow mums on their babies sleeping habits & other mumsy topics, partly to know that I’m normal & partly to see if my baby is the worst sleeper in the world or if there’s worse than her! (sorry but it’s true!)

It got to a point where my “dummy-sucking-must-be-rocked-to -sleep- can’t-be-put-down-are-we-actually-co-sleeping?” baby just seemed to be way behind the other amazing babies with their immaculate sleeping habits & it got exhausting. Continue reading

Let’s talk about sex, baby.

How is it that even the word “sex” alone feels so controversial to blog about?

Last month, Aaron and I celebrated our one year anniversary wahey! (No this post is not heading where you may think don’t worry…) and over dinner we spoke about being engaged and now married and what we’ve learnt and one thing we’re really passionate about is the big lie about sex. We decided as a couple to wait for marriage to have sex, and both of us found this to be probably the biggest challenge being engaged. This may sound quite normal, it usually is the hardest form of temptation for a couple so in love, but now on the other side of the vows, this really bugs us both. Why is it that something which is now so normal was such a HUGE thing before?

We’re both convinced it’s because there’s a lot of myths concerning sex floating around. So if you’re engaged, or dating and have decided on celibacy until marriage, I urge you with all my heart to believe me when I say, most of what you’re feeling is just that; feelings. So please read carefully as I reveal my little truths about sex.  Continue reading

The Truth Behind Motherhood.

Good evening people!

Much to my amazement, my baby girl is asleep, I’m sipping a cup of tea & actually feel confident that I can start and finish a post before being called back to duty. It really feels blissful. So it’s been almost 12 weeks since my life changed by Princess Ava entering the world and I honestly cannot tell you where the time has gone, I’ve read a ton of new mum blog posts and it’s my turn to dish the truth on how it’s been. Continue reading

My Labour Story.

As you may already know, on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 03:00am my little Ava Louise Forbes-John entered the world four weeks early! (what an eager beaver!) This post has taken forever to write, partly being so busy & partly because I wasn’t sure how to get it all written in a single post!

IMG_0561So if there’s one thing I learnt about labour it is that it can be entirely unpredictable, birth plans go out the window & babies run on their own clock. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be at all, and in hindsight, it was the biggest adrenaline rush I’d ever experienced. I’m glad I had prayed through the pregnancy & was pumped with faith not to be scared about labour, it definitely helped me stay calm and almost enjoy the experience. (note: almost: it was not fun).  My labour wasn’t a bad one at all, my attempt at a ‘natural labour’ didn’t happen & I willingly took drugs, which helped ease the pain beautifully! I was induced after contracting really mildly for a day & Ava whizzed out after just a few hours of being in labour, so I really can’t complain. My pain was managed throughout and although it was fairly traumatising (hello?! a human being came out of my body!?) the bad memories quickly faded as everyone says they will, and six weeks on, I’ll admit that yes, I probably would do it again. (but not for a while please thank you.) Ava is amazing, so much personality & so hilarious, I really cannot imagine life without her.

For those of you who are content with the mini story above, or people who’d rather spare the details, the post ends here. However, here’s the full on account of how it all went down, grab a cuppa, I’ll tell it as dramatically and wonderfully as possible.  Continue reading

Third Trimester Living. Weeks 27-35.

So I’ve got to say, I am LOVING this trimester. It’s like I finally feel myself again. The first few weeks of it were pretty rough, a huge belly, heartburn & struggling to breathe but at 34 weeks my beautiful bump decided to drop nicely for Mummy and I am now cruiiiiising to the due date. 

Still having problems sleeping, due to my whale like stature, (so annoying when people say I’ve hardly gained weight. My family are in agreement. I roll off sofas to get up. It’s okay.) and my head is FULL of hormones & nerves & questions especially about my future. In some ways I still feel very young at 24 and it feels like there is so much more for me to accomplish & just do in life, that the thought of being a full time forever mummy can be daunting, but at the same time I’m beyond excited to see my beautiful little GIRL (Yes. Gender is finally out in the open) & I have so much peace and joy about the next stage in mine and my hubby’s lives as PARENTS! Eek! 

In other pregnancy news, my hospital bag is ready and packed. We pretty have everything to keep Princess comfy for the first few months of her life & even as I write this now I can feel her lowering in my pelvis. I’ve watched many a “what’s in my hospital bag” vlog; and as I’m not at that stage in my blogging life I thought I’d share my little list for those who may find it interesting:

   
 

Would love to know how much of this I actually use… Also what precious size our baby wears once she arrives! It’s all so exciting.

Next little pregnancy blog should HOPEFULLY be after baby is here so I can share our birth story with the world! (Providing it isn’t horrific! Lol)

Until then I’ll be here, getting kicked in the ribs and loving it.

xo