On Thursday I attended, courtesy of Oh Me Oh Mama, their Mummy to Be; Pre Natal event, held at the fabulous Lifestyle Collective space in Allerton. Nope, I am not a mummy to be again (not just yet). During this event, the host, the key speakers and I all declared our love for the internet and social media. How lucky are we to have this amazing world at our finger tips! Without social media, the fabulous people who made this event possible, mums to be, nan’s to be, aunties to be; would not have been in this room together sharing stories and helping each other. Not only was there food, drink (soft drinks) and amazing insight from the speakers – the lucky mums to be got pampered by Rachel and her team from Lifestyle Collective. It was 3 wonderful hours!

I have been asking the lovely Alishia Thomas, if I can share a blog about her business and story for sometime. Busy schedules have caught us out!
Alishia is a mum of one, breastfeeding advocate, founder & owner of Oh Me Oh Mama and absolute girl boss.
I first met Alicia in 2012, networking in the same groups when we were working for city centre based companies. (I’m now on maternity leave, while Alishia is rocking her own business).
I was so lucky to be able to attend this event, meet inspirational influencers, professionals, and share on my blog. Thank you Alishia, your ambitious and tenacious ideas brought us this fabulous evening and my opportunity to meet Hannah Horne and Rebecca Rowley.

During the event Hannah Horne shared with the group her experience in Perinatal Mental Health, Midwifery and all things pregnancy, birth and motherhood. To be honest, I could have sat and listened to Hannah all day on this vast topic. It was a breath of fresh air to hear the honesty about how woman can feel post baby! Hannah has around 18 years experience working in the NHS. Hannah has two son’s aged 5 & 7. After her second Baby, Hannah decided to blog about the transition post baby called ‘When a baby is born, so is a mother’.
Hannah began her passionate talk to all the mummies to be about the transition from ‘Woman to Mother’. So relevant, and for me, relatable. Hannah was addressing all things we can struggle with as a new Mum, struggles which can lead to post natal depression. Which, as women, we do not want to admit to post natal depression, or talk about this at all.
I had tears in my eyes listening to Hannah’s own real struggle with transition from woman to mother. Its real, why do we hide from it? This was a breath of fresh air for every new mum, and mum to be in the room!
Hannah, thank you for being brave. Being a realist. By sharing your wisdom, you have helped me, and you have inspired all those mummies to be not to be afraid. We can overcome any struggles with the help of the amazing people around us. We just need to talk.

It was inspirational to meet and chat with Rebecca Rowley, owner of Beau Baby, Mum to little Ralph and two stepsons Oscar & Harvey. Rebecca made the decision to leave the NHS after 20 years as a paediatric nurse. Rebecca setup Beau Baby back in 2015, specialising in supporting women through fertility, pregnancy, birth and post natal. This is achieved through group sessions and private sessions in areas such as pregnancy relaxation, hypnobirthing and fertility massage therapy. Rebecca was so passionate in what she was delivering, watching the group become relaxed listening to insights in to hypnobirthing and pregnancy relaxation was amazing. The aim of this event was achieved when all mummies to be enjoyed a relaxation at the end of the event. Rebecca took the group in to a deep hypnosis, everything I love about hypnobirthing! Watching was inspiring and made me excited about my own future teaching hypnobirthing…thank you Rebecca.


Image: Rebecca Rowley & Hannah Horne.

There is no other events in Liverpool that offers what Oh Me Oh Mama created last Thursday, I for one hope there is more when I have baby number two! Watch this space for the next one, I will be shouting about it from the roof tops…

R x

So here I am, on maternity leave, I officially finished work on Wednesday 12th April…a strange old day. I worked remotely for the day, no colleagues were around, all my work had been handed over prior to this date. Late afternoon approached and I just logged off and left the restaurant as normal, no one around to say bye to. My job requires a lot of travel, so we don’t have a dedicated office that we work in, we don’t see the same people day to day. So this really was an odd feeling, walking out the door and not working again for 10 whole months.

My maternity leave started well, straight in to Easter Bank Holiday weekend; spent with family and friends…this was all pretty normal! Tuesday came around, Liam went back to work, then the realisation hit. No alarm, nowhere to be, no emails to respond to, no work phone (the husband hid it!), no deadlines for design or print work. At the risk of sounding crazy (and ungrateful), I didn’t like it, the feeling of no responsibility. I felt sad.

Your responsibilities to get your own ass up and ready for the day pretty much starts in high school. I got my first job when I was about 15 years old. Then I went to university (OK we slack off here a bit, we take the piss ever so slightly in this stage of life). Then I graduated, I got a full-time job, started building a career. In my case that direction was hospitality, events & marketing.
NOW, here I am almost one year married, 3 weeks off turning 30 years old and for the first time in 15 years I’m twiddling my thumbs, no place to be in the morning…and I’m bored!

The list of things the maternity pros advise you to do…
1. ‘Nest’ – they say
2. Relax
3. Sleep
4. Watch a box set
5. Watch movies
6. Read a book
7. Enjoy lunch with friends
8. Go for a walk

The truth is, I’m struggling, I love to be busy. I need to have somewhere to be, people to see. Maybe I’m needy, but this sitting around just isn’t for me.
One thing is for sure, daytime TV is not for me. I have discovered that I detest Eamonn Holmes and his annoying wife Ruth, they are almost as awful as the cackling group of women they call the Loose Women.
SO…I am just over 2 weeks in to my mat leave; I have exhausted lunch dates, I am on to my third book, I have watched the whole season of 13 Reasons Why and watched a lot of movies. HELP, I am losing my mind!

Then I remember, the whole reason why I am off, why I am sat here through the week hating on Eamonn Holmes (and his wife) and binge watching Netflix Originals. In 12 days, we are due to have a tiny human…shit the bed. I keep forgetting…and no it has not sunk in! So, let me take a moment to listen to one of my hypnobirthing calming tracks and just chill the f**k out a moment.

I gave myself about 3 and a half weeks ‘me time’ before the ‘due date’ (which I don’t fixate on, in fact I do not like being asked what my due date is). I took advice from others and took this time, to get work out of my system, re-programme, get our baby shit together…enjoy some R&R. Is this really enough time when you have dedicated around 50 hours per week to the same workplace for the past 5 years?
No is the answer…it really isn’t. Your mind needs so much longer to flip from work mode to doing nothing mode (well mine does), but how else do we do it? There is no magic button to get you ready for this stage of your life. No matter how much advice you get from your own mum, family & friends. This is one difficult transition and there is no one to help it along.
In around 12 days’ time, I am going to struggle to have any ‘me’ time for a very very very long time, so I really need to appreciate the precious moments on my own.

Who knows…give it 3 months and I may have forgot how to use Outlook and Excel and all I will be talking about is my baby blowing bubbles! Until then, I am learning to enjoy my own space, get our house ready for our new arrival and maybe watch a few more movies…

One thing this time has given me, is an opportunity to get my mind in a better place for the marathon ahead…LABOUR. Wish me luck.

R x

I started practicing yoga almost 2 years ago and was instantly hooked. Before bump, I attended regular hot classes in Happiness Hot Yoga, Allerton (if you are looking for classes to attend, I couldn’t recommend the studio and teachers enough!). Whether you are a beginner or intermediate, you feel comfortable and welcome.
It was in August (during one of my regular Monday visits) at Happiness that I felt dizzy, nauseous & just not my normal self – I was taking about 3 classes a week at the time so this was unusual. To my surprise, 4 days later I took the scary test and found out I was pregnant…shock & delight, a mixture of emotions!

I was advised not to attend the hot room by my regular teachers as the baby should not be exposed to excessive heat. However the ball was in my court to attend or not; even though my body was accustomed to the hot room and poses, I chose to play it safe! (Did I mention I’m new to this pregnancy thing…)
NHS guidelines on excessive heat are clear, anything from saunas & steam rooms to Jacuzzi’s are risky for baby, you could be feeling fine…but the little spud could be overheating. Too risky for me!

I had a break from yoga until I reached the 12-week hurdle; I decided to attend a pregnancy yoga course which was 5 consecutive weeks.
The class was not over booked (which was lovely) around 8 other expecting mamas. I was the only pregnant yogi in the early stages, all others were between 18 and 32 weeks. At this stage I could swear that there was no tiny human cooking away inside…I felt completely normal & full of energy.
The classes were informative & relaxing (I’m sure I fell asleep in relaxation every week!), it was great to meet and chat with other expecting mamas; a new territory for me.
For me personally, I jumped the gun a little, attending just a touch early in my pregnancy. I wanted a more strenuous practice, I felt like my fitness was slipping as the weeks progressed. I went from a strong regular fitness regime to little movement, this also got me feeling down a little. The real concentration during the pregnancy classes was on breathing techniques during labour. Which…is obviously not wasted!

SO…after Christmas I decided to return to my regular teacher for practice, attending a non-hot class! I owe a lot to Nikki, for helping me feel back to my usual self again…well minus the tiny person rolling round my belly mid practice. Nikki knows my experience and capabilities, so I feel in safe hands! I have been amazed at what my body can still do at almost 28 weeks pregnant…although, the bump is getting in the way a little more now!
The class is perfect for beginners to advanced, you can choose your own speed and strength of practice. Week to week I feel different, it’s nice to just go with the flow and feel no pressure to keep up with the rest of the class.

As my pregnancy progresses, I am feeling strain on my lower back especially during the evenings. My midwife has mentioned on a few occasions how important posture is (don’t cross your legs, sit up straight, don’t lie flat on the couch all night) …we all know the score! The reality is, it’s hard making a conscious effort to sit up straight all bloody day.
To ease any aches; heart opening exercises have felt particularly beneficial for me, relieving pain and aggravation in my lower back and relieve compression round my ribs (which have been my only ‘niggles’). Below I have listed poses that have made me feel great! They are not too strenuous and perfect to try before bed, which can also help promote a better sleep (as well as shoving a faithful pillow between the knees and lying on your side!)

Cat Cow: Take a position on your hands and knees; for cat position round your back and tuck your chin into your chest. Then arch your back and open your chest into Cow Pose.

Updog: Starting on your tummy (if your belly allows it) or hands and knees position. Take your hands directly under your shoulders and reach the crown of the head to the ceiling, slight chin lift. Slowly push up and straighten your arms and open your chest.

Bridge (or wheel if it is in your practice): Bridge pose is an effective heart opener, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground with your arms alongside your body, tuck your chin into your chest, and lift your back to create a bridge. If your practice (and bump) allow, you can take full wheel, take hands over shoulders & lift full body into the air.

Hopefully I will be rocking my yoga practice until full term and Baby K makes an appearance. If I can’t continue in class I will certainly take a safe practice at home!

Remember, know your capabilities and never push your body to pain, if you are a beginner to a yoga class don’t let someone else’s capabilities put you off your beginning. Enjoy it!

R x

http://www.happinesshotyoga.co.uk/

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Short and sweet…why have I started the blog?

Finding ‘who I am’ and ‘what am I great at’ is a big question on my lips.  Now (in 2017), our first tiny human due in May, my biggest fear is always procrastinating, not following my gut or doing what makes me happy!

So here it goes…I will be honest, I have never thought myself as a writer.  I love reading lifestyle blogs, reading about other people living their dreams and achieving their goals. I made myself 3 goals for 2017; 1. Be the best Mum I can be (that’s a scary one!) 2. Start my blog and stick to it! 3.Visit somewhere I have never been at least once a month.

My aim for this blog is to write about what money CAN’T buy us…TIME, FREEDOM, HAPPINESS.  Instead of being on a constant pursuit of happiness, enjoy what we have right in front of us.  My goal isn’t more money, my goal is to be completely free.  I am all about TIME now, no matter how much money we have without time we have nothing!

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy” – Oscar Wilde

R x