NCT Can Do One

When I stay awake at night fantasising about all the ways I can make millions, I often come back to my alternative NCT plan. Still scratching around for names but the winner so far is ‘Sprogging for Slackers’. 

Here’s a sketchy outline of my ideas/principles. I’m considering crowd funding. 

NCT: pregnancy is a beautific experience 

Me: pregnancy is, at best, uncomfortable in a ‘I ate a too-big roast and now want to sleep on the sofa’ way. At worse; it’s the only time you will puke and cry and wet yourself at the same time. 



NCT: you can breathe your baby out to sounds of whale music 

Me: you can do whatever the eff you like: drugs, doolas, dads or no dads. Your womb: your rules. 



Nct: breast is best 

Me: breast, bottle, both. Whatever. 

NCT: having a baby together will shine joy on your relationship

Me: will it HELL. And never, never give sound to your 3AM inner voice: howcanyoulaytheresleepingwhenweareawakeandwhycantyoulactateyouuselessbastardsCURSETHEMISOGYNISTICGODS!

NCT: sleep when the baby sleeps 

Me: hahahahahahahahahaha



NCT: send you home with leaflets about hand expressing and how to recycle your nappies 

Me: I would send you home with a stash of shitey mags and the secret to exactly how much booze you can have before it affects the baby. 

So, I hope you like my business plan. Please leave in the comments any suggestions for the curriculum. Please also leave pledges for thousands of pounds so I can set up this gig up. 

‘Savour every precious moment’

Today my child whinged for every waking second. He tripped up and fell over at every opportunity. Husbo and I bickered (was accused on moving something that was exactly where it should be). Older boys shat his pants for the third day in a row. I have a sore throat and it’s a sign of the inevitable cold that hits as soon as it’s school holidays. Alex had his long overdue haircut and wriggled and whinged so much that the hairdresser stabbed herself with the scissors in a suspected attack of self-harm and we are out of milk.

 I’m just, y’know, hashtag grateful and ‘cherishing every precious moment’. 

Whinge whinge whinge chuck it in the sling.

What My Kids Eat in a Day: a guide to being as good as me.

Super excited to share this post with you today because it’s now been exactly five years since our family embarked on our sugar-, gluten-, and dairy-free diet.

People always ask me ‘how do your children always look so healthy and full of energy?’  

So to help you achieve wholesomeness in your family unit, here’s an inspirational guide. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you don’t get it right every meal: I am exceptional and you’re probably just average so don’t beat yourself up.

Breakfast:

I try to give my children a diet rich in nuts because they are a great source of calcium and omega 12 so my kids have Nutella straight off the spoon each morning.

Lunch:

As a family, we really enjoy fresh air and being with people less fortunate than ourselves so today we had chips at a bus stop.

 

Snack:

I sometimes feel guilty about all the healthy food my children have so I treat them to a naughty snack. Today William had fruit salad while we watched a French art house film. My kids just love the subtitles- not that they need them! #bilingualandblessed

 

I’m not sure what we are having tonight but I always have freshly frozen meals prepped and ready to pop in the Aga whenever I’m too busy recycling to cook something from scatch in the evening.

 

Hydration

As we all know, hydration is vital for young children so I make sure my DSs drink at least three Fruit Shoots a day. We hit a family #healthgoal on a nature walk through the town centre today when Alex started sucking on a pissed on Lucazade bottle he found in a hedge: he’s so driven to reach his ten a day. Love him!

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Please share on social media and encourage others to become part of this exciting #piousparenting campaign. Enjoy guys!

Sorry, mum

As an under ten, I hated having hippy parents. No chocolate. No TV. No dolls!

What? I had no Barbie to teach me about make up.
As a teen, I loved having hippy parents. House parties. Trust. Freedom to roam about Canterbury as long as I phoned home from time to time (from a phone box! Anyone else remember those?!).

Shh. Don’t tell mum we lied about needing wine for a ‘school raffle’

Through the first 15 years of my life, I managed to find something to rail against my parents about, but here is what I think they did right. It almost pains me to type this. Here goes.

They were right not to buy me dolls. 

No Barbies. No My Little Ponies. No Flower Fairies. Aim bigger, daughters. We had trowels, notebooks and science sets.

We don’t need no sequins and princesses
No Brownies

The fierce woman who ran Brownies used to run our school’s netball team. I was one of the only girls not at Brownies. I never got to play: I was always ‘reserve’.

I remember passing a pair of scissors(blades first) to someone in class and being told snottily ‘of COURSE you don’t know how to do it properly, YOU don’t go to Brownies’.

But my mum didn’t want me to go. She would not allow me to swear allegiance to God and the Queen because she didn’t credit either very much. And she was right. So I went to Woodcraft Folk instead where I first met my now brother-in-law. See? It was where the cool kids hung.

Told you we were cool
No ‘bored’ ‘hate’ or ‘shut up’

We used to have to put 5p in the Barnardo’s box by the front door any time we said one of these three words. My mum was a discipline GENIUS because it has literally only just this minute occurred to me that we never got pocket money and yet passing over her 5ps still felt punishing.

‘Think of those poor children without mummies who love them’

And now, as a parent, I get it. Bored, hate and shut up are three of the ugliest phrases going and they each represent something deeper and uglier. I’ll say it again: my mum is a genius.

No patent shoes. No white socks. No trainers. 

Mum swears blind she didn’t do this, but I distinctly remember our GP telling us that trainers were bad for our feet (?!?) and we were, like my nodding mother had said, better off in Dunlop plimsoles (again, ?!?!). Mum also said white socks were impractical. And the shoes with the key in the bottom were too pricey. Plus they were made by Clarks and we were only allowed Startrites. Now I totally agree. Not that her batshit theories were true but because I see their motivation: she is a snob and so am I.

I would’ve given anything ANYTHING for a pair of these.
My children are deprived of the modern equivalents: no shaved heads, no Disney bed sheets, no football tops. Pure snobbery.

So, mum, I am sorry and you were right. Please wait by the phone for the teen years: it’ll be ringing off the hook with me begging for forgiveness.

Highs n Lows: round two 

It’s been a while since I’ve done a H&Ls, but today I’ve managed a whole set and it’s only 09.14. 

Lows

Sprog 2 was up and singing Frozen at 4.45. Once he’s on track three, you know there’s no going back to sleep. 

Then I delivered Sprog 1 to the school gates only to remember it was school trip day and he was in his uniform. He didn’t give two hoots, but I felt the shame. 

Then I came home and wrote this instead if getting on with the PILE of marking I have to do.

So. Much. Marking.

Highs

I had my first proper chat with a resident of my new town today. Sal:1 Lonliness:0. 

It’s a freaking glorious Spring day and if I stop procrastinating and get on with this marking I am going to go for a solo bike ride because…

…this is the first day I have had on my own since early Jan. Whoooo!

If you can, imagine this picture with audio of a choir singing Hallelujah

Guest Blog: What to do when motherhood steals your identity by Lesley Clarke, style advisor

This post is by guest blogger and personal shopper, Lesley Clarke. Read my previous post to find about my indulgent and oddly empowering meeting with Lesley.

 

Becoming a mother is one of the most wonderful things in the world. However, it does come at a price – you body changes and your identity shifts. This can be quite challenging and takes time to adjust, especially with all those hormones raging round your body.

 

I remember being pregnant for the first time – being naturally quite small busted I was very excited at the prospect of actually having boobs! However, when the cabbage leaves go in your bra (yes they really do work for mastitis) it’s a whole different ball game!

 

I’m a personal stylist and my motivation is to help you feel better about yourself. We all go through wobbles, have times in our lives of self-doubt and no more so at times of great change. I believe if you feel good about yourself so many other things will fit more easily into places. This is easier said than done. When you’re exhausted with night feeds and a toddler to look after (mine were less than 2 years apart, so I know what it’s like) you can take all day and feel that you’ve made very little progress in any direction – so this is where I’m going to help with tips, advice and how to take practical steps to feel good about yourself; to be that Mum that feels together and not like you’ve been dragged through the hedge backwards!

 

– First of all you shouldn’t feel guilty if you are spending a bit of time on yourself. You know how good it can feel to go to the hairdressers, well when you get back and you’re with your little one, that feel good factor will rub off on them and your interaction will be of better quality.

 

– Secondly, focus on the things that are easier to change – small baby steps! It’s got to be realistic, there’s no good having a routine that just won’t work.

 

– Have you got a full-length mirror? If not, get searching on amazon because it’s important to get the right perspective – be able to see the whole you from the very top to the very bottom.

 

– Think colour – the power of wearing a cheerful colour and be very uplifting and your baby’s going to respond to this much better than if you’re in a dull grey. Take a look at Sarah in the section, ‘what my clients say’ on my website. She was a young Mum when we first worked together and look how fab she looks!

 

You might not know all the colours that work well for your natural complexion but you’ve probably got any idea about some. If you’re stuck try asking your toddler if you’ve got one, you may well be surprised with how accurate they are!

Lesley Clarke: style advisor

http://www.lesley-clarke.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/LesleyClarkeStyleAdvisor

@LesleyStyle for Twitter

 

 

Fashion Transition: from young to mum

I like my face, I rarely consider my hair and my body seems to tick over ok so I don’t have much cause for concern or complaint. The only rough spot I have had with my body image was in pregnancy and the months after. To help track the morphing of a pregnant body, I have identified the distinct stages:

Stage one:

You feel sick and you want to kill everyone but also cry about how bad that is.

Stage two:

You’ve got a poochy tum, epic wind and nothing fucking fits anymore. You better hope you’re in the early stages of pregnancy in a season that affords oversized jumpers and a steady supply of Rennies.

Stage three:

All hope is lost. You’re enormous. You’re in leggings and a stretchy top even though you vowed you never would be.

big ole preggo.jpg
Me in full swing of stage three

Stage four:

You’re a few weeks/months post-natal. You’ve got to find an outfit that you can whip a boob out of, wipe puke off, has a generous waistline, doesn’t ruffle your stitches, and also kind of gives the impression that you’ve got your shit together with motherhood.  It doesn’t exist so you stay in New Look maternity jeans- or ‘eternity’ jeans as they’re starting to feel like.

Stage five:

Nothing fits or looks right. Your ‘going out clothes’ seem ridiculous or are already out of style. You feel self-conscious about going out anyway because you still feel puffy, hormonal and slightly pissed off with your husband because HIS body is FINE and all unmangled.

I wallowed in stage five for about a year. A year after my second child that is. So nearly four years really. At this point, my sister-in-law stepped up and in and sorted me out. She hired a personal shopper for me. Now, as you may have twigged, I am a raging feminist and having body confidence, genuinely liking how I look, is my biggest form of rebellion against a system that tells women we shouldn’t like how we look. But I love clothes. Love ’em. And my SiL knew this and knew I had some birthday money saved up and needed some time to feel ‘seen’. In steps Lesley Clarke: personal shopper extraordinaire. This woman spent five hours with me and found me the perfect pair of jeans (no mean feat for a  woman who has a small waist but a hearty bum) and the perfect selection of tops, jumpers, scarves and shoes to go together for any occasional in an almost dizzying array  combinations. She took me to shops I’d never thought of, shared tips, hints and clever ways of pulling together outfits. It was glorious. I felt like a new version of old me: I’m calling that Stage Six.

Lesley ‘the magician’ Clarke has kindly agreed to write a guest blog for me to share some of her ideas for post-natal outfits. She works mostly in MK but has offered to come up to Norwich to host an event or meet with people for a personal shopping session. If you are interested, please comment below or email her at Lesley@lesley-Clarke.co.uk or tweet her at @LesleyStyle.

Also, let us know in the comments if you have any questions about personal shopping or how to transition from young to mum!