The moment your child is born, life changes forever. It’s not a gradual process, it’s not something that happens overnight or further down the line… that split second that your baby comes crashing in to the world, everything changes. And it’s not just the day-to-day stuff that gets turned around, upside down and inside out, it’s the fundamental change that takes place within you as a person, the one that alters the course of life and takes you down a totally new path, one that’s considerably different to the one you walked as a childless young woman, free of responsibilities.

Motherhood in all its forms is quite simply a beautiful thing. It’s rewarding and fulfilling and one of the most incredible journeys i’ve ever encountered. I love my boys more than anything and i wouldn’t change my life for the world but there are times when i feel that becoming a mother has changed me so much that i’ve lost sight of the person i was before they came along. Everything i do is for them and i’m happy with that, i adore being their mummy, but i’m also ‘me’ and i’ve realised that i just don’t take time out for ‘me’ anymore.

To be honest, i’ve always been rubbish at making myself relax and switch off. Anyone who knows me will tell you that i’m permanently attached to my iPhone or iPad checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Mr B works away all week so i spend all day running around after my crazy pair and even when they’re in bed for the night i can’t shut down – if i’m not doing normal mummy things like washing, ironing, tidying toys etc. i’m blogging/working away until the early hours of the morning. Personally i find blogging is a sense of release and kind of therapeutic to a certain extent but i still don’t take the time to completely shut myself off from everything. I think as mothers we constantly put pressure on ourselves and trick our brains in to thinking that we need to be constantly busy, otherwise we’re somehow failing at motherhood which of course is utter nonsense, but we all have moments of feeling that way. I do at least.

I think i need to re-educate my brain to accept that it’s ok to do nothing and take some ‘Me-Time’ to indulge my own needs, likes and interests.

Pre-motherhood, the family bathroom used to be my sanctuary. A space to retreat to after a long day at work for a well-earned soak or a quick pamper pick-me-up. I say ‘used to be’ as since having children, a long soak in the tub has become a thing of the past. I’ve grown accustomed to sharing the bath with some rubber duckies and having an audience of toys watching attentively as i attempt to relax. I recognise that ‘sinking feeling’ when i go to wash my hair and realise the contents of my shampoo bottle have been replaced with dirty bath water.  But it’s still my ‘happy place’ to sneak off to when i need a short break from motherhood and i’m not alone, a recent survey revealed that 83% of parents resort to the bathroom for a few minutes peace and quiet.

The team at conducted the study as part of ongoing research in to how Britons interact with different rooms within their homes. All those who stated they love their bathroom as it allows peace and quiet were asked to expand on this. The most common responses were ‘no one disturbs you when you’re in the bathroom’ (32%) and ‘Having a bath is a luxury reserved for when the children are asleep and the house is quiet’ (31%).

I can totally relate to both of these responses and it’s made me realise that i need to reclaim the bathroom for myself and get back to those long, relaxing soaks in the bath. Get some much needed ‘me’ time. That room was my space long before the boys arrived and somewhere……SOMEWHERE……buried deep beneath a sea of plastic toys, sits a serene bathtub, some spa products, a couple of candles and memories of my life before children.

Here’s to a future of bubble baths (free from children, toys and dirt) and some much needed ‘me’ time!

It’s official – school’s out for Summer and while most families are preparing to jet off to warmer climates or holiday at home and explore the UK, a recent survey by an online voucher code website has revealed that 22% of parents would like to holiday without their children.

The survey conducted by My Voucher Codes was devised to find out the travel preferences of adults aged over 18 on the UK. They asked 1024 respondents (both male and female) if they had children. Those who had children were then asked: “Would you rather spend holiday with your children or without them?” – 22% said they would rather travel without their children, whilst 51% said they would rather travel with their children. Meanwhile 27% would be happy to travel with their children however they would like to have the opportunity to go away without them.

I mentioned last week, that we’ve just booked our first ever family holiday for September and we are all super excited about it. The idea of going on a holiday without the boys is something that has never really crossed my mind and to be honest, why would it? When you make the decision to become a parent, you are, by large, giving up a part of your freedom. You have these little lives that you are solely responsible for and yes they can be demanding, yes they can be hard work, yes at times they can make you want to literally pull your hair out and scream in frustration but they are your children, your sacrifice, your world and their needs always come first. For me personally, I find the idea of going on holiday without them an incomprehensible and purely selfish one. Even though they’d be with family, I would be worrying and feeling like a piece of me was missing the whole time.

Mr B and i are currently planning our wedding for next year and one of the main questions that seems to come our way is “well you must be SO excited about being able to go on a honeymoon without the boys around to ‘bug’ you?”. The answer quite simply is NO. We’ve already agreed that any holiday after the wedding will be a ‘familymoon’, one that the boys are a part of, because they are a HUGE part of our lives and our special day for that matter. I’ve never spent more than 1 night away from them and the thought of jetting off somewhere for 1-2 weeks without them just fills me with dread and guilt.

Obviously i know that not everyone will have the same view about this subject as i do, so to gage a better understanding i posed the question to some bloggers and friends; “Would You Go On Holiday Without Your Children?” and there were mixed responses:

Kerry – Personally i couldn’t with them being this young. I’d feel guilty that they would be missing out and of course i’ve never left them longer than a day so would be worrying the whole time. Maybe when they’re older.

Nicola – I don’t really know. I mean a night away is alright but to have like 2 full weeks away from them. I’m not sure. Why would you bother having kids to just leave them and go off on holiday?

Charlotte – I would totally do it but only for a week. Although if we didn’t live with my parents, i wouldn’t want to leave him with anyone else, so in that sense my answer would be no.

Sarah – I would do just a weekend break somewhere cheap on my own and then take any main holidays with the kids. Job done. If they are with grandparents, they will also benefit a lot from that time with them.

Lucy – We went to Nepal and Turkey without our two children (under 10yrs) last year. It was awesome.  Kids get your attention all year, they can take a back seat for a couple of weeks a year.

Michelle – Never in a million years. My kids drive me up the wall half the time but I wouldn’t be without them. To me, holidays are family time. Each to their own, but child-free holidays are not for me.

So, would you go on holiday without your children?

So it is that time of the year again when schools are breaking up for Summer and families across the nation are getting ready to jet off overseas for some fun in the sun. Or like me, you could be choosing to stay at home for the holidays and explore parts of the UK instead. Either way children are excited, mum’s have got their ‘diet game-face’ on, dad’s are wandering what they’re letting themselves in for and suitcases are being packed.

Here at Love From Mummy HQ, we are off for our first ever family holiday to Devon in the second week of September once the kids are back at school but technically that still counts as a Summer holiday right? Anyway, being the perfectionist and control-freak that i am, i’ve already begun thinking about what needs packing etc. and it got me thinking…..what is the one thing you can’t live without on a holiday? That must-have item that you have to have with you at all times?

In a recent survey carried out by Best Offers Bingo, where 1,000 people were asked the question What’s the one thing you can’t live without on your summer holiday? , these were the top 10 answers:

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 21.59.19

Would you agree with any of those? I think sun lotion, mobile phone and water would be high on my list for sure. Along with my camera and money.

I asked some friends and fellow bloggers the same question “What’s the one thing you can’t live without on your Summer holiday?” and had some interesting answers:

Sarah – Water bottles, so easy to get dehydrated when you’re out and about.

Carolin – After Sun lotion because i burn quicker than i can say.

Becky – A local guide. I don’t drive so knowing what is on locally that i can easily get to is key to a (relatively) stress free summer.

Heledd – Sunglasses. Blue eyes = sensitive eyes.

Shaz – My iPod/ iPad whatever has my music on! Nothing’s better then zoning out to my favourite music in the sun.

Michelle – Camera. I’m so snap happy at the best of times, but on holiday I go into overdrive.

Stephanie – Gro blind (Blackout blind) or talcum powder (to get sand off-google it!)

Jennifer – A ready packed backpack with some cartons, snacks, a picnic blanket, suncream and waterproofs. Ready to go anywhere on the spare of the moment!

Kerry – Talcum powder for beach days with the kids! Nothing worse than getting back to the car or villa with sand everywhere!!!!

Jane – Wifi. Seriously.

Kate – Baby wipes. They have so many uses from nappy changes and wiping mucky surfaces to cleaning sticky sun cream hands and getting sand off feet!

Alex – iPad for the aeroplane. Kept my toddler quiet when he was bored of his colouring books and sticker.

So, come on then, share yours with me. What’s the one thing you can’t live without on your Summer holiday?

Of all the milestones you encounter when preparing for the arrival of a baby, for me, choosing a name was one of the most loaded. It’s a HUGE responsibility and certainly isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.

When i was pregnant with the boys they had nicknames throughout, Monkey for Riley and Baby Bee for Harry. I had a gut instinct from the start of both pregnancies that i was carrying boys and when this was confirmed at my 20 week scans the realisation hit me that these babies needed names. I remember sitting in awe at the grainy black and white images of my babies bouncing all over the screen and imagining what they would look like and be called when they were out in the real wide world.

But, how do you go about choosing the right baby name?

I found it hard enough finding something that i was convinced i would like for a lifetime, let alone getting Mr B to agree to it too. He and i have always had VERY different tastes when it comes to this matter, he prefers traditional names whilst i prefer those that are a little unusual, not whacky totally out there names but ones that are a little less popular. I had the last word when it came to choosing Riley’s name but i passed the baton over to Mr B the second time around and he had the final say over Harry’s name.

But it’s such a huge job and there are so many factors to consider:
Will the name work with their surname?
Will it be suitable when they’re 40?
Will it go with any siblings names?
Is it different enough to stand out but normal enough not to cause them any grief?
Will it mould their personality or will they ‘own’ it?

All impossible questions to answer when your baby is still growing, let alone thinking about creating a personality. I think until your little person is here in the real world and you meet them for the first time in person it is impossible to agree on and ‘finalise’ a name.

Anyway, if you are pregnant and currently disputing with your partner over baby names, you might want to use Co-Op’s Baby Name Peace of Mind tool which allows you to search baby names and get an overview of the achievements of adults with that name. “Riley” is a medal of honour recipient and an olympic winner, but is also named after a tropical cyclone. “Harry” is a classic author and nobel prize winning name that has won 53 Olympic medals, but it is also the name of 2 soap opera villains.

It’s a quirky and unusual way to find out interesting and fun facts about a potential baby name, such as the baby name being common among notorious crime bosses, or Nobel peace prize winners. 

How did you choose the right name for your baby?

  • 22 July, 2015 - 10:22 pm

    Yet Another Blogging Mummy - Before he was born, we had decided on the name Jack for son1. But we looked at him and it just didn’t seem right. So his hospital name band just had the surname on it. Took a couple of days to agree on a new name, but I’m glad we did change our minds.ReplyCancel

  • 22 July, 2015 - 10:49 pm

    Emilyandindiana - we still haven’t 100% agreed on a name, boys names are soo much harder than girls name! May have to check this website out for some guidance xxReplyCancel