• SUPERMUMS

  • Sick Day/s

  • Friendship

  • Learning to Drive at 30 something…

SUPERMUMS

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This weeks vlog includes at least four meltdowns and all of them were mine. We are going through a particularly ‘trying’ toddler phase. Max has basically been poorly since he started nursery, which everyone told me about. Thanks. A poorly toddler + the terrible twos + a mum who has lost all patience = a cocktail I did not order! Whilst I am throwing this pity party…I am also a single mum this week. S-O-S.

Yesterday I pulled my socks up and left the house to first – get coffee, but secondly the local park had been on our weeks bucket list and so with wellies and a well stamped coffee loyalty card we ventured out. Whilst we were out I met a mum in the park who turned out to be lovely, she was chatty, just moved here from London, has 2 sons, lives in the next street and she had cool shoes. Not only did she give me some great “just starting nursery” advice and dealing with boys wisdom, but she also told me how her husband commutes to London everyday and works insane hours and she is on her own all day and night and with two boys under 3. Now I cannot decide if she is nuts or a super hero….I think both, but mainly the latter, but wow.

Super mum is a term that is thrown around, but I think I met a real one yesterday. All I kept thinking was “how has she got her shizz this together and I am hanging on for dear life?”. Truth is, not to get too dairy on you (again), but we are all super mums. The fact that all of my friends do what they do and raise such sweet humans is mind blowing and no mean feat. We all put a lot of work into our routines, into playing lego for hours on end, into building train tracks, into our dramatic readings of The Gruffalo and so when life goes ‘off piste’, our whole world can feel like it is crumbling down, but just like lego – YOU can build it up again.

It is crazy to think that I was going to stay in yesterday, sometimes the best stuff happens when you’re not looking and meeting someone, even if it is for 20 minutes – it can totally turn your day around. So thanks super mum and if you are reading this and feeling stuck – get out if you can. LIFE IS HAPPENING.

Sick Day/s

themilkstandLast Sunday Max was invited to his first proper birthday party, complete with party hats, pass the parcel games and cake, so of course he woke up with a streaming nose and puffy eyes. We have been in quarantine ever since and it is now Thursday. To be said in Big Brother voice : “Day 4 in the Bailie sick house, Natasha has developed a nervous twitch in her right eye and can now administer Calpol with her eyes shut. Max now looks forward to taking his medicine, it has become routine, both mother and poorly toddler have watched every Pixar/Dreamworks movie that has ever been made.”

Sick days are the worst, my heart hurts for the little guy who just generally looks forlorn and sorry for himself. There is nothing to do except sit and wait for this bug to pass, but 4 days without seeing another mother is sending me coo coo for cocoa puffs. I have become a teenager – always on my phone begging for interaction with other humans. People are social creatures…I need to socialise.

Sick days make me appreciate social media more than ever and my WhatsApp mothers meetings are priceless, without them I would have ordered 60 packs of mini eggs in my online Sainsbury’s shop and eaten them. Seriously what did our mothers do? What did their mothers do before that? I think those were the days when your neighbour was also your babysitter and friend. I hate that all my favourite people don’t live next door, but I am so lucky that its just as easy to pick up your phone when your house is in Singapore, Dubai, California, France or London. My “neighbours” may not be local, but they sure are worldly.

If you’re going “through it” too (the bugs are making the rounds) I will high five you on the other side!

Friendship

emieandmaxFriends come and they go and they come back and they go again, but some friendships are like diamonds. Genuine, lasting and hard to find. Since turning 30 and having a mini human to worry about, my time has become precious and I choose to spend it with people who I know, care and love and who, quite frankly have the super power ability of making me feel like a goddess on even my darkest days. I could get all Pinterest on you and spout some “real friends do this” rubbish, but I have a feeling you have already pinned it.

In the past year I have made new friends, which is something I haven’t had to do since school. When Max arrived I soon found out the importance of “mum friends”, but finding them was tricky. Mothers are everywhere, but finding the right one is no easy task. I was extremely pro-active in my quest for friends when I moved into our new area, because I knew that without a support network I would fail. I got lucky too – I was introduced to friends of friends, I found a gem of a mother in the library and this blog has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing mothers who have become key people in my life. Since becoming a content creator on YouTube I have also discovered a fantastic community of like minded women and mothers. To quote Ron Weasley “its bloody brilliant”, because half the mums who answer my SOS texts or actively comment on various social media pages have become my friends and it is incredibly empowering to have a large network of women who are genuinely ‘rooting’ for you and I for them.

If this wasn’t cheesy enough, yes that’s right grab a bread stick because this is about to go fondue – seeing your mini human play with your friends mini human is mind blowing. All the feelings and all the cheese I know, but Max is now at an age where he is taking an interest in other kids. Up to this point it has all been about parallel play and the only interaction was fighting over a rice cake or a Thomas train, but something has shifted and Max is interested in making you laugh and running like a loon with a buddy and it is so nice to see, because I like to do that too with my buddies, but you know…I swap running for coffee.

Most of the mothers I now know I have only ever known as ‘mothers’ because we found each other AB (after baby) and what I have learnt is that behind every great mother is an incredible woman. Women with drive, ambition, talent and the ability to turn my day around with a filthy joke or a cup of tea & crumpet and that my friend, is true friendship.

Learning to Drive at 30 something…

clueless-helloI am not a virgin and I can NOW drive. According to the movie Clueless I am now a somebody. (Apparently).

When I turned 17 the last thing I wanted to do was learn to drive, I was too busy spending any cash I earned on Topshop jeans and mobile phone credit (those were the days) and I lived smack bang in the middle of town so I could walk to Topshop easily. I remember all my friends getting their ten driving lessons as birthday presents and honestly I never gave it a second thought. If I was in a real pinch or needed to get somewhere I always had a fabulous friend who could drive me around so I never needed my own set of wheels. I was basically like Lady Penelope in skinny jeans!

I applied for my provisional license when we moved to the countryside which was about 5 years ago and I did genuinely apply with all the intentions of learning to drive. I had to, I had no choice and Topshop was a zillion miles away. We then moved to Singapore for 3 years so the need went away again and I found myself smack bang in the centre of it all. Again.

We moved back to the UK one year ago and now I am happy to share that I just passed my driving test and I have my full driving license, so hop in the back Lady P! Getting my drivers license has not always been my top priority, but since having a mini human who relies on me for everything, my need for a quick getaway has become paramount to my/our survival.

I started my lessons last May and it took me 3 practical tests to pass, but did I find it any easier or worse being a thirty something driver? The answer is nope and yes. After everything I have just done and conquered I know that at seventeen years old (this might be just me talking), but I was not ready to be behind a wheel and in charge of other people’s safety whilst getting to and from various Topshop stores. I am now 30 years old and I have seen a LOT, felt all the feelings and more importantly I know how I work, I could finally afford the lessons and my mobile contract and that new pair of jeans and I had time, no pressure to pass, just time. At seventeen I could have had this, but I remember being 17 and the pressure was heavy and high with school, boys, home life, work and if I had mixed in learning to drive too – I would probably have driven over myself ala Brian Harvey.

Equally at thirty I have similar pressures, but I know now that they are not life or death. On the flip side I couldn’t practise driving with my husband for fear of divorce and I had to go to each driving test surrounded by teens and feel like the “late bloomer.” On my second test my driving examiner told me a great story about the test before mine: a woman who had just turned 67 years old had just passed with flying colours. The woman’s husband had died the previous year and had never let her drive and she DID IT! Even thinking of this story now makes me smile, because seriously it is never too late, there is never a right time or a wrong time, age doesn’t matter, but your drive to drive should, so do what you REALLY want and when you want, this goes for everything in life – life really is too short so walk, run and drive when you can.

In the Country

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IMG_2420This week we are in the country, the Sussex countryside. We both grew up here so its always special to share some of our favourite places and green spaces with Max. We are staying with my very accommodating in laws, who have just returned from Sri Lanka. I only mention this because can you imagine fighting both jet lag and a spinning 2 year old? They have also had to build pillow forts and read Thomas the Tank engine one billion times. Max’s Grandparents have the patience of saints.

We are here because our house is currently a war zone, there is merely rubble where our kitchen used to be, we now have an exposed brick wall due to some cowboy plastering and new floors throughout. We decided that we needed to get the spinning toddler away from the heavy machinery and seek solace in West Sussex. We have taken full advantage of our country surroundings with lots of leisurely walks and as you can see from the pictures above, Max has decided to take the lead. Actually take the lead, Cosmo’s lead. It was adorable!

There is a different pace here, everything moves a little slower, people say “hello”, it is quiet and there is so much sky, which might sound like a strange observation, but uninterrupted views equals more sky. More sky, more stars, more birds. I just hope the stillness we feel here can come back to Brighton with us.

Peace out!

The Terrible Twos

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Which way is Human Resources for motherhood? Because Bailie is out. I quit.

Firstly, many apologies for basically going MIA on you, but I was negotiating with a toddler, then compromising and ultimately pleading, losing and so on. (Send H-E-L-P). To say the last couple of weeks have been tough would be an understatement. Since Max turned 2 it has been all systems go with tantrums and tears and dear reader, they were not all his. (S-O-S).

Pals did warn me so I may only have myself to blame, but the “terrible twos” have hit casa Bailie like a tsunami. The worst part was that Max’s hour long tantrums really came into their own, complete with jazz hands once his ‘Dadda’ left for the land of the Americas for work related business. Brilliant. My week of tantrums has now be renamed “Les Miserables”. When Mr.B came home I was a shell of a woman, the house was a sty, the dog was depressed, the fridge was empty, but Max had a dozen more new words and is basically chatting to us. Also he clearly has no memory of Les Miserables week.

I was an avid reader of the book “The Wonder Weeks” when Max came into the world. It was really helpful to understand when your baby is going through a leap or having a growth spurt and why. I had a love/hate relationship with the book, but only because it was like a friend who gave advice, but I always thought I knew better and guess what? the friend is and was always right. God damn.

I have not read a “baby related manual” in a long time so I had completely forgotten/blocked everything out that I had ever read about leaps, but of course Max is a growing boy so he will be embarking on many. This past week was no different. He had to go through it so he could come out the other side. He had to apparently scream through his frustration and push all my buttons to get to the place we are at now, which is bliss. Pure bliss.

We can now chat, there is some understanding, I can say “no” without a melt down occurring. It is like magic. I always forget/block out these times and that is what is so great about having and writing this blog. I started writing in this neck of the internet woods to help others and I am actually helping myself, which is a nice. Mr.B came home after 4 days and exclaimed that it felt like he had been away for a month when Max started chatting to him and that was the reward.

Sometimes you cannot see the wood through the trees…I am guilty of this, but my goodness when you do reach the other side…it is quite something and as if by magic all is forgotten. Until the next time.

Max turns 2

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max is 2

**Picture Heavy Post**

Apologies, but it is not every day your mini you turns two years young is it? Max turned the BIG 2 on Saturday and I think he is officially a “birthday enthusiast” with presents for days including various new things for me to trip over, trains that move with the magic of batteries, a micro scooter, books, play doh etc. The kid was spoilt. We started our morning with presents and breakfast and then we hopped on over to Brighton Sea Life Centre before the mad weekend rush. We had the place to ourselves and Max was besides himself. He loves Fish. He loves saying “fish”, pointing out fish, basically he loves everything, but eating fish. That is mental.

We then had a play on the seafront, threw a few pebbles at mother nature and I threw my best “fashion blogger” poses whilst Ian had the camera for once. We then proceeded to eat large quantities of the chocolate cake I baked for the big celebration complete with sugar, more sugar and a little bit of sugar. You’re only 2 once!

Thank you for all the lovely messages on various social networks, you are all OK in my book.

On a Debbie Downer side note the “Terrible Twos” have reared their ugly head with gusto. Any advice would be greatly received. H-E-L-P.

FYI – Max’s awesome 2 top is from MAGNIFICENT STANLEY (We have a growing collection of their amazing tees).

Sorry, Not Sorry.

I am pretty sure that a heart surgeon doesn’t say “just a heart surgeon” when some one asks them what they do for a living and I am in no way comparing myself to a heart surgeon, but why do I feel the need to apologise for being a ‘stay at home mum?’. Is it just me?

Equally if you go to work and let someone else care for your child, are you being responsible or neglecting your motherly duties? Why can we never win?

I have been in two situations this week where I have met someone new and they asked me what I did for a living and through no fault of them…I answered ” a stay at home mum” whilst wincing and almost apologising for not saving the world. As the words came out of my mouth – my face hurt. I was really annoyed at myself for doing it and it has made me question how I feel about being a full time carer to a mini dictator.

The answer is I like it and there is no where else I would rather be so why can’t I say it like I mean it? I have good days and bad days just like anyone who works in a hospital, retail or even an office, so why can’t “I am raising a mini human to make good life decisions, be kind and respectful” be enough?

A lot of the dilemma seems to be other people (when isn’t it?) and their opinions. Being a stay at home mum can sometimes be viewed as a 24/7 holiday. I truly believe that some people think I sit around all day waiting for a 5pm cocktail hour that does not exist. I am here to say it is a serious business, at times it can be a good mix of a Homeland/24 marathon. I often use the phrase “I do not negotiate with terrorists/toddlers”.

In my “job” you need skills in crisis management, you need to be able to hide at a moments notice and seek like Poirot or Quincy, you must be a personal chef and cater on demand, you must be a personal Uber, be able to colour within the lines, but think outside the box, wake up at 5am and be on your game, you are not allowed to take a single break and my boss comes to the toilet with me and judges my wiping skills. This is all just skills that I need to have to be at home – do not get me started on ‘travelling with a toddler’, going to the ‘park with a toddler’ or the dreaded ‘shopping with a toddler’. So as you can see and if you’re a mama, then you know that being a stay at home mum is no easy task, so next time someone asks you what you do for a living please tell them and own it.

My name is Natasha and I am raising a human. Good day.

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Keeping Motivated

Keeping motivated is a personal journey or in my case a Lord of the Rings style quest. (All 3 movies). I was born with no will power and hips for days, so my weight loss struggle is real and life consuming. Max is about to turn 2 years old – and I have come to the realisation that I cannot use the “baby weight” excuse anymore, because I no longer have a baby, I have a 3 ft human who can feed himself, walk and talk. So January is and has been my “sugar free” month, my “only green” month, my “everything” month and also strangely my keeping motivated month.

I have grown will-power in 2015. Is that a thing? Do you grow it? Is it given to you? It has taken 30 years and a little bit of progress and I am in. I am in to whatever I am doing, because it is currently working for me, at this time. Yes. This is not just about losing the Crimbo pounds, it is about sticking to something, making a commitment to change and being patient for progress. So it doesn’t matter if you just want to fit into your old jeans, travel more, save money or learn a new skill, you just have to commit.

Commit to change, but be realistic with your goals, instead of setting your expectations and goal posts so high, come up with smaller and more achievable mini milestones. The mini missions are ultimately going to get you to your end goal because you have looked at “the big picture” and realised just how you need to get there. This is something I have always been rubbish at doing, I have always been so busy trying to get to the destination that I have got frustrated by the journey and as soon as there was fork in the road, I turned around. I am like the kid in the back of the car “are we nearly there yet?”.

This year I decided I need to start winning and succeeding. I don’t mean the lottery or a spot on the Victoria Secret show runway…I mean life. For too long I have been happy to take a back seat in my own life and to simply watch it all unfold and go certain paths and avenues, but this year I would like to take control and steer my life carriage all over the place. You know?

Of course when you become a parent, YOU take a back seat, you are no longer the priority and I love how selfless and eye opening having a child is, but I have found that I have disappeared a little. I can’t quite remember what I was like, I find myself asking “have I always laughed like that?”, “did I really think that?” and “why can’t you let it go?” and so on. It can also be confusing because YOU have changed, you are a parent, a carer and a teacher. Of course you can still be you, but don’t under estimate the change. I am definitely struggling somewhere in the middle…I was like this, but I like this part of my new life – which is right and real? Am I pretending to be someone I am not? Am I a better person now? Can having a bambino affect you that much? Which is better? Can I be both?

So if you are trying to lose weight or be a better person, you can DO IT! We can do it, with a little commitment, patience and will power you can find answers, change and progress. Good luck x

Let me know if you are keeping motivated with any new years resolutions or if you struggle like me on the official “mama back bench”. I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below to let me know.

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Blog Loving!

bloglovinI have a blog, I write a blog, I read blogs. I don’t have time to read magazines anymore and quite honestly I was tired of handing over the best part of £5 just to flip past 20 pages of Gucci ads. I have been reading blogs for over five years, they are the perfect reading cocktail for a gal like me. I want to get in and get out. I want to know where you got that top, but also what did you think of that CC cream? I want you to get to the point in a paragraph or so, whilst I try and find the latest Ben & Holly episode for Max.

I read a lot of blogs, from babies to travel, from beauty to interior design. I feel like I am covered on all of my personal interests and even when a blogger is clearly being sponsored or compensated for a review or mention – I like to think that ‘they’ wouldn’t misuse the trust they have worked so hard to get. Also I am a realist and I know how “this all works” so it is up to you and the blogs you choose to follow, but here are some of my favourite and trusted sources:

If you like this blog, then you will LOVE these total babes:

Caroline Hirons http://www.carolinehirons.com/

The Hirons is a skin care expert/legend/queen. Caroline’s blog is filled to the brim with skin care questions, answers, concerns, cheat sheets, help, guidance and advice. There is nothing Hirons doesn’t know and she just wants to help you in your personal quest for good skin. From teenage acne to pregnancy hormones and ageing – Hirons has you covered.

Lauren Conrad http://www.laurenconrad.com/

This is my only “celeb blog” favourite. I cannot afford Goop and I don’t think I am a ‘Preserve’ kind of a gal so Team LC all the way. I grew up watching ‘Laguna Beach’ and ‘The Hills’, so my Conrad obsession started a while ago. I like to stalk/keep up with all her endeavours and successes. I think she is an excellent role model for women, she holds herself very well and the content on Lauren Conrad dot com is always lady like, professional and informative. Conrad also covers everything from fitness, love, life and style.

Anna Saccone http://www.annasaccone.com/

I have been a long time fan of the Saccane-Joly’s daily YouTube videos, but I was drawn to Anna’s blog when I fell pregnant with Max. Anna is a full time mama to two kids under two so her blog is full of bambino and toddler advice, from monthly updates to dealing with post natal issues and everything in between.

Wish, Wish, Wish http://wishwishwish.net/

I bloody wish is more like it! Wish, Wish, Wish is the ultimate inspiration blog. Carrie has such beautiful style and manages to make even the greyest days light. A dreamy blog to help keep your head in the clouds!

Breathe Happiness http://www.breathehappiness.co.uk

Breathe Happiness is a blog that has it all – written by two awesome broads, it covers everything from photography skills to fitness, from interior design to personal struggles and advice. Shannon and Hayley clearly love their corner of the internet and it shows, they post regularly and their content is both personal and has a lot of heart.

What do you love reading? Have you got any blog favourites that you’d like to share?

Happy blogging,

NB x