How to cope being a student mother?

Wishing all my followers and readers a happy new year!

I know it has been a long while since I have blogged about Logan and I, but if you are following me on either Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you know I have been busy studying during my first semester at university.

“How do you cope being a mum and a student?” something I am asked almost daily, and to tell you the god’s honest truth. I have no idea (my cousin did call me superwoman though, which made me cry). Being a mum is exhausting. Being a student is exhausting, so I am doubly exhausted. I’m thankful for the support of my sister, forever encouraging me to use my spare time wisely by studying, and I am also thankful for one of my best friends at uni who reminds me who I am doing this for.

My tips to cope being a student mum:

  1. Be organised – buy a planner and organise your days and times!
  2. Dedicate one day off from your lectures and seminars to catch up on outstanding work, or to get ahead and do extra reading.
  3. Do something extra-curricular! I joined my uni’s cheerleading team at the start of the semester, and its amazing what a few hours of exercise a week can do for your endorphins.
  4. Getting enough rest – unfortunately I do not practise what I preach (but this year I am going to try and turn it around)
  5. Not being afraid to ask for help – I’m thankful for the support network I have at my university. For student parents there’s a lot on offer to help with studies and extended deadlines.

A lot of people admire me for starting my studies whilst being a parent, it isn’t easy but having a child shouldn’t stop me from following my dreams. I may be travelling a different route to achieve my goal and my journey may take a little longer, but doesn’t mean I can’t achieve it! There’s never the right time to have a child or start your studies or career, so just do it whenever YOU feel like it!


The D word continued


So following on from my recent blog post, I decided to write another one but go into more depth. Usually a lot of my thought processes and ideas emerge overnight whilst I sleep, so I find it quite difficult to blog sometimes because I can’t remember what my previous ideas were from the night beforehand – I’m still claiming I have baby brain, I don’t care.

The first thing I have to say is what I’m about to write about next is more me complaining about my partner and taking on other mother’s accounts, and I’m in no way bashing the male population. Why on earth do “men” assume that being a mother isn’t a full time job and we have all the time in the world. My partner said to me – and no word of a lie other mothers have said their partners have said the same – “what have you done all day, being a mum isn’t a full time job, I’ve woken up at the crack of dawn and worked 8-9 hours in one day, you get to relax all the time”. Honestly comments like this used to get me down but now I laugh as I’m not the only one who hears this bullshit. Not only am I the one who wakes up during the night to settle Logan, I also spend all day keeping him entertained, feeding and teaching him things, yet apparently I have time to relax. Half the time I don’t even have time to eat breakfast, let alone to relax.

Once Logan was born, my biggest fear was going out and Logan having a public meltdown. Being a new parent is scary, and with an unsettled baby its even more overwhelming. In March for my cousin’s 21st birthday it was the first time I had taken Logan out in public for a family dinner and he wouldn’t stop crying and nothing is more annoying than everyone trying to put in their two pence on what I should do; “maybe he wants breast, don’t bottle-feed him, he’s too hot, maybe he’s tired, he’s teething”. I literally wanted the ground to swallow me whole. Since then the only time I ever left the house was to go the shops and to go to work and I felt bad I was keeping Logan indoors all the time.

A new experience I tried a few weeks ago was baby sensory in Chelmsford. A lot of people have asked me what is baby sensory, and I honestly can’t explain it, but its amazing watching your baby get in touch with their senses and developing. Since attending baby sensory Logan has learnt to sit up by himself, how to crawl properly and how to balance his weight standing up holding onto things.

Looking back on the things I’ve done with Logan, I wish I had done more in his early months regarding going out to baby classes and events, and I’m definitely going to try harder going forward. A lot of people ask me why don’t I go out with Logan, and its honestly so hard to explain to people how some days you just want to sit in your pjs, you don’t want to tidy up, you don’t want to leave the house and yes I understand that it’s unhealthy for my baby and I, but I would appreciate if people would stop asking me if I’ve left my house today, I just don’t want to.

As usual with parenthood, you wish there was a manual for everything from breastfeeding to how to tell why your child is crying. I honestly wish there was a manual for PPD, how do I cope with it, how do I not let it interfere with my daily life, when do I get my energy back?

The ‘D’ word

This will probably be my most personal and upfront post to date. When I decided to write about the topic of depression and post partum depression it was a week after Mental Health Awareness week. However I put off writing about it because I didn’t know how to get the words out and explain how I was feeling.

Post partum depression is a type of depression that affects both men and women. PPD is unlike the baby blues as it goes on for longer. After giving birth to Logan I experienced the baby blues which was completely common, however as the months went on I noticed I was still feeling low in myself.

Every month, my health visitor would come round and check up on me and Logan and see how we were getting on. Usually I am the type of person that does not like to admit when I am down or struggling, however my health visitor helped me open up to admit how I was feeling. Every single visit she would make me fill out a questionnaire called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, which had ten questions and I had to pick how I was feeling over the last seven days, now there isn’t a right or wrong answer its just used to determine how the parent is feeling. Every week was different, some weeks I was feeling on cloud nine and other weeks I was extremely low not wanting to leave the house. The first time I did the EPDS, my HV sat down with me and asked me what was making me feel this way; I felt I went back to work way too early, I was missing Logan whilst I was at work, I hated where we moved to – as much Chelmsford is a lovely area, I was too far from family and friends and felt isolated, and lastly as much as I love my partner and he is the world’s best dad to Logan he wasn’t being as supportive and helpful as I would have liked him to be.

Currently at the moment I am feeling good in myself, I got a conditional offer from an university in Essex and I recently passed my assistant swim coach qualification. However over the last few weeks Logan has been teething really badly and having nappy rash and not being his overall normal self and its killing me ( I wish someone would have told me how bad a parent feels when their child is teething) and also we’ve now moved from Chelmsford to Hornchurch, I am now considerably closer to family and friends however the moving process with a baby is something I don’t plan to go through again until Logan is older!

Its been a while

So a quick update, Logan is now five months and I have officially been working for two months. At first, I thought going back to work was a good idea but now I am regretting it. A hour of driving to drop Logan off to his babysitter, a hour to drive to work. Working around 2.5 – 3 hours then driving to pick Logan up and then driving home. The last few months have not been easy, not only have I been sleep deprived, I have been physically and mentally exhausted trying to cope with everything. So fellow working mums, when does it get easier?

As I am writing this post I can’t tell whether its a massive rant complaining about motherhood or keeping my readers updated with Logan’s milestones. Aside from the tiredness, seeing how Logan has changed over the many weeks has been incredible; from rolling on his front to his back, now rolling on his back to his front, attempting to crawl and using his knees, smiling and laughing 24/7 and most importantly being weaned.

Now I know you are supposed to start weaning at six months as recommended by the NHS, but we started when Logan was four months (approx. 17 weeks). Logan was always interested in our food, whether it was watching us like a hawk whilst we eat or trying to reach up and grab food off our plate. We started off with vegetables as recommended like carrots, peas and broccoli. For the last weeks I had been buying HIPP organic jars and Ella’s Kitchen pouches which have been on offer in Tesco’s. What I love about the jars and pouches is just the convenience of being able to use them and take them on the go. My partner did purchase a Tommee Tippee baby steamer and blender which I used for the first time at the weekend. It was easy and straight forward to use and has helpful booklets with recipes, and how long to steam and blend fruits and vegetables.

Seven (and everything in between) to eleven weeks.

I’ve tried on about three attempts to try and write this blog and each time I’ve been stopped or distracted. When I originally wanted to write this blog Logan was almost two months, and now he’s almost three! (However time has felt like it has been dragging). But a quick update nonetheless; Logan is steadily putting on weight, at his eight week check up he weighed 12lb2oz and was wearing size 2 nappies, he’s now currently wearing size 3.

At first I found newborns to be quite boring – sorry Logan – all they do is poop, eat and sleep (what a life eh!), however the real fun started when Logan was seven weeks and have me a cheeky gumless smile (and no it was NOT wind!). He started doing it more often and the next day he woke my partner and I up by babbling, gurgling, cooing and giggling at 9:30am. This went on for about 45 minutes to a hour whilst the beau and I responded back. I’m pretty sure our neighbour downstairs thought we might have pigeons in our flat with the amount of noise that was going on.

Of course a pivotal moment in a baby’s life is their immunisations that happen at eight weeks, twelve weeks, sixteen weeks and when they turn one years old. At eight weeks Logan had his 5-in-1, PCV, Men B vaccine and his oral dose of the Rotavirus vaccine, and boy did he handle it like a champ! He had his Rotavirus vaccine first and then his injections after, and of course he cried and belched – I can’t even classify it as a burp as it was so loud and mature – and then stopped crying much to the nurses surprise.

Now back to this current date, Logan is wearing 3-6 months and is getting longer and longer each day, he’s already top-to-tail in his play-mat and is almost top-to-tail in his carry cot and Moses basket!

Where I wouldn’t be without…

I must admit I’m a bit of a product junkie, during my pregnancy and post-partum I bought many products that helped me and Logan along the way.

  1. Lanisoh (available from main supermarkets, boots)

This amazing nipple cream saved my life (and my nips) the first week of breastfeeding was emotional and painful and with the addition of sore nips extremely stressful but this little purple tube of wonder helped ease that.

Pros: you don’t need to wipe the cream off before feeding as the ingredients are baby friendly.

Cons: can be a little pricey at £10

2. Onco baby rear view mirror (available from Amazon)

A big, fat thank you to my sister’s best friend who recommended this! I’m the type pf person who likes driving and I tend to drive long journeys between Essex and North London and this rear view baby mirror has become my new best friend since having Logan. During my pregnancy I fretted a lot how I would handle driving the distance whilst having Logan in the back and now I’m finally at ease!

Pros; easily adjustable and easy to set up, cheap and doesn’t wobble whilst driving.

cons: can be difficult to see whilst driving in the dark.

3. Tommee Tippee Nappy Disposable System (available from Mothercare, Argos, Amazon)

Thankful for my godmother buying this! This nifty little bin stores away the dirty nappies and seals in the odour(luckily Logan who is exclusively breastfed, nappies don’t smell!)

Pros: seals in the odour- your home will never smell of dirty nappies again.

Cons: the nappy refills can be expensive so I will always buy them on offer!

4. Toujours nappies (available from Lidl)

Now of course nappies are a necessity – however its the case of disposable or cloth? Before Logan was born I opted for disposable nappies but my next decision was which brand; Huggies or Pampers? After some advice from my family members I opted for Pampers and thankfully my god-brother told me about Lidl’s own brand nappies which are amazing!

Pros: true to size, very rarely has Logan leaked in these nappies.

Cons: there isn’t a helpful wetness indicator on the nappy like on Pampers.

5. Tommee Tippee Manual Breast Pump (available from most supermarkets, Mothercare)

Breastfeeding is quick and easy for me especially in the comfort of my own home. However when out and about it isn’t always easy nor are there discreet places I can go to feed Logan. So I decided to buy the pump that was compatible with my bottles. Who knew expressing could be so quick and easy!

Pros: easy to assemble, clean and sterilise.

Cons: pumping can be tiring and your arm will ache after a while.

6. Changing table (available from Ikea)

I was in two minds whether to get a changing table or not. On one hand people said as long as you have a changing mat you can change your baby anywhere however people said getting a changing table comes with those nifty drawers where you can store nappies and wipes. The changing table I purchased converts into a desk for when Logan gets older, so thankfully I’ve got this table for life.

Pros: loads of space for baby toiletries.

Can you believe it’s been a month? (part two)

It’s okay to cry and no one should ever make you feel bad for it. Immediately after giving birth my first wave of ‘baby blues’ hit me. We were about to transport Logan and I off the labour ward down into the birth centre, when he started crying hysterically and I couldn’t work out why. He’d been fed and burped several times and cuddled, yet he was still crying. Finally my mum said what about his nappy, and after checking I saw the black/green meconium poop sitting in his nappy. Seconds later I broke down crying because I failed to notice my son’s dirty nappy.I suddenly felt very stupid after as motherhood was (and still is) very new to me and I was expecting to know everything.

At the moment I’m still expecting to know everything which is impossible and within the last 6 weeks I’ve learnt it’s okay to relax and take your time with things, motherhood isn’t a rush. After coming home from the hospital my partner took a week of paternity leave where we bonded as a family. Our twosome now had become a threesome. My partner was amazing (thanks babe!) on his week off cooking all the meals, making me breakfast in bed, making sure I was constantly hydrated especially whilst breastfeeding – who knew feeding was thirsty work! – and doing the laundry that had piled up.

Once my Mr had gone back to work, my mum came up to stay with me for two weeks to help me a little which I’m eternally grateful for. She taught me how to balance taking care of Logan whilst doing day-to-day tasks as well as its okay to have a lazy day once in a while. Logan is now six weeks and every day I feel like having a lazy day but somehow my little man helps me through it. I’ll never forget how scared I was the first day my mum had gone home and I had Logan all to myself but I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

Just before giving birth I researched about the aftermath of giving birth and read about how scary your first wee and poo would be and all I could think was; how hard could it be?

Well, how hard could it be??

Five minutes after giving birth the doctors told me I needed to do a wee and it was imperative that I did one, it took me 3-4 hours and an annoyed midwife telling me off to pee but it eventually happened. But nothing was worse than trying to do my first poo since giving birth. It had been three days and I still couldn’t poop as much as I wanted to. One day the community midwife said if I hadn’t popped by our next scheduled visit she would have to prescribe me laxatives. I thought f that and hours later I did my first poo which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be due to the fact I had no tearing (yay me!)

During my pregnancy my smallest weight was 58.6kg (9.2st) and at the end of my pregnancy I was 76.4kg (12st). Two days post-partum I weighed 66.6kg (10.4st) and this was all down to breastfeeding. I’m thankful I’m able to breastfeed Logan and he is able to latch on, doing so had helped us bond and helped me lose my pregnancy weight. Currently at six weeks post-partum I weigh 61kg (9.6st) and I’m happy with my weight, my goal is to tone up my belly and bum for 2017!