Hi Ho Hi Ho…

“It’s off to work I go…”

This is the song I sing in my head every morning as I drop the baby off and run into work. It’s quite apt as I truly relate to all dwarves …

  • Doc. – hand me the calpol, and the nurofen and the ashton parsons, and the bonjela
  • Sneezy – there’s only so many times your kid can kiss you on the mouth whilst blowing bubbles of snot before you’re gonna catch it
  • Dopey – what did I come into this room for?
  • Bashful – going to baby classes, pretending you like the other mums
  • Grumpy – when she won’t go to sleep
  • Happy – when she does

And of course my bezzie

  • Sleepy. … no explanation needed (my grey hair is a ringer for his too)Image result for the 7 dwarfs sleepy

This post has been a long time coming as i’m now back full time and quite honestly between having a day job and the 24 hour job of being a mum I don’t get much time to even fart these days.

I love being back at work. Firstly, I think it’s because I love what I do and that’s important but secondly because i’m not ashamed to admit – being a mum is the hardest job i’ve ever had, organising financial conferences is a piece of piss in comparison. things that pissed me off before don’t compare… “What was that Mr CEO – your car transfer didn’t turn up (even though you hadn’t asked me to book one?) – no probs sir, i’ll fucking piggyback you there…”

Looking back it was probably about 9 months in that I started to get twitchy, there’s only so many nursery rhymes you can sing in one day before you are willing your child asleep so you can crack that bottle of wine in the fridge. (current fave is a rosé Malbec from the Co-Op – £6.99 knock yourself out!)

Going to work means I get to hang out with ADULTS yeaaaah – however what I have noticed is that chat about going out and getting wasted last night are a thing of the past and it’s now more of a comparison of how many hours sleep we got and should baby shit really be that colour?!

Layla goes to nursery and the first time I dropped her off she tootled in without a care in the world. “ok byeeeee”. Picking her up that evening was a different story – we’re made to wait outside whilst they do one last nappy change and clean their faces and I could hear her from the road screaming like she was next in line for the slaughter queue. When she saw me she clung to me like a monkey – I literally could have let go and she still would have been hanging there for dear life. The next day followed suit with her having to be peeled off me whilst the other mums watched on in pity “ahhh mine used to be like that so I gave up work because I missed them so much” … fuck off.

Around day 5 it seemed like we’d turned a corner and she went running in without a second glance calling one of the key workers “mama” … errr ok?! That was my first pang. I didn’t feel sadness, regret, more relief. It’s not that I don’t love my child, it’s just that she’s hard work and i’m the first to admit it. She’s full of energy, loves climbing on things that collapse, runs instead of walks and if it doesn’t involve glitter, flour or anything else that isn’t easy to pick up off the floor; gets easily bored (my mum has already asked if i’ve looked into what age kids get ADHD?!) so nursery is most definitely the place for her.

I’m slowly starting to get into a routine and it looks something like this:

  • 05:00 – Husband’s alarm goes off, he springs out of bed and clomps round the house like a baby elephant in tap shoes. I pray silently he doesn’t wake the baby…

a) he doesn’t and I go back to sleep until my alarm goes off at 6:30

b) he inevitably does, he doesn’t hear her cries because he’s too busy spending half an hour in the shower washing every hair on his body and I go in to crying child, lift her into our bed hoping she’ll go back to sleep, eventually give up around 5.30am – go into the living room and whack Raa Raa the Lion on youtube.

05:30 / 06:45 Bottle gets given to child whilst i race off to the shower in the time it takes her to drink it

07:00 I attempt to get dry and dressed whilst child bursts into bedroom, demands story time / tips the contents of my make up bag onto the bed/ spills water on herself /plays with daddy’s glasses / walks on his iPad… Cue singalong time, whilst i draw on my scouse-brows and attempt some sort of “hair do” which ends up more of a “hair don’t”

07:30 Mummy is dressed and has enough make up on so she doesn’t look dead, chases Layla around the house to try get her out of pyjamas. Eventually she gives in when I bribe her with “putting cream on” – this is a new thing where I put moisturiser on her hands whilst I change her shitty nappy and get her dressed, she’s fascinated!

07:45 Bags packed, hers and mine – off to nursery. Sing nursery rhymes all the way like a deranged school teacher.

07:55 Patiently tap feet outside nursery waiting for gates to open at 08:00

08:00 kids gets lashed to her other “mama” and cue mad dash to station to catch the 8:22 into London

09:00 get into work, order the biggest coffee ever. Day usually consists of spreadsheets, bullshit meetings, bullshit conference calls and more spreadsheets

4:30 leave work in attempt to get the 4:37 train to Essex, usually miss it and end up on the 4:42 meaning I then race to nursery and arrive hot, sweaty and praying the won’t fine me for tardiness!

Eventually get home and manage to squeeze an hour of playtime in with the babe, where she’s usually so tired she snarls me until she gets her “bok bok” – Scouse for bottle.

6.30 bath and teeth

6.45 – 7.00 she usually passes out after my rendition of “there’s a ship coming in from Bombay… (good old Scouse folk tune!) whilst I sneak out the room like a ninja, hug that bottle of wine and get the tea on for husband who usually gets in around 8. We eat, watch Sense8 (new Netflix fave) I decline his offer of “cuddles” – that’s what got me into this fucking state mate and then pass out around 10:00pm.

On a good night she sleeps through, lately i’ve been woken in the early hours by a whinging child – fuck you TEETHING!!!! Waiting in anticipation of my morning wake up call…

And there you go kids, hats off to those full time stay at home mums, hats off to you working mums.

Stay strong x

 

 

T.V. or not T.V.?

Having a baby introduces you to a whole new world dominated to keeping your child entertained. In the early days , sometimes I questioned whether the entertainment was for her or for myself? … This is when you start signing up for baby classes. My first introduction was to Baby Sensory which co-incidentally was run by one of my besties and I loved. I think this was partly because of the way she is in her classes – it’s like a switch goes off and she becomes a cross between Mother Earth and Coco the clown, her enthusiasm for what she does is amazing and mothers and babies are enchanted. Not to mention they have themed weeks where fancy dress is encouraged, not that I needed any encouragement!

Since moving to Essex I haven’t been so lucky with baby classes. For obvious reasons (because I tend to offend) I won’t name them but two stick out. One was a “new mum’s meet & greet” class where Layla ran riot around newborns and I spent most of my time moving my free gravy-like coffee out of her way and questioning how the fuck one of the mums had time to bake nut /gluten / sugar / taste -free banana loaf for the group.

Another mum who announced that she was doing baby-led weaning and basically came each week with a ruck sack of food, put her baby in a high chair and just let him throw shit everywhere without actually eating anything whilst she caught up with her mates really pissed me off. I think the nail in the coffin was when me being me; opened up about how breast feeding wasn’t for me and I couldn’t wait to get her off the boob. There was snarls… mostly from some mum who had dread locks, a tattoo on her tit and her 4 year old kid looked about 9 because he was so fat who then told me very loudly in front of the group,  how important it was for bonding with your baby and how she will continue to do it for as long as she could and I should have tried harder.  K’innell love- where’s your sense of Girl Power you bitch?! And while you’re at it, wearing deodrant will not make your baby love you any less.

And this is the problem, not every mum is going to be like you, agree with the way you think and not judge you for saying “can’t wait til baby stays at nanny’s house  so I can go out and get wasted“, but when you do meet those mums – cling on to them for dear life.

The second class I mentioned is one that we still go to simply for shits and giggles. It’s in our local library and run by one of the workers who told me she was 30 but looks about 50 and not only isn’t a mother but i’m highly doubting if she’s ever been shagged. Ok so i’m judgemental as fuck but i’m only saying that you have to have a certain “pizazz” to run baby classes – you only have to look at Mr Tumble on CeeBeebies and know that he’s a bit of ham short than a sandwich but the kids love it. Library bird needs to stop wearing mum brown tights and run a pair of GHD’s over her frizz head… oh and be a bit more sympathetic to crying babies (she once asked one mum if she could shush her baby so not to disrupt the class!) Every week she looks around the class (mainly newborns) and asks if we’ve had any birthdays? – mate some of these kids are fresh out the womb, know your audience!

The singing then commences, she has a list of favourite nursery rhymes which I must admit I’m only just learning the words to some of them 6 months in! She has a voice not of a cat being strangled but more like a blue whale being castrated – deep and pained. My saving grace is some grandad who reminds me of the the bodyguard in Love Actually when Hugh Grant sings Good King Wenceslas (← click on the song!) rolling his RRRRRs and generally giving it welly – go’ed son. Without him in the class it would sound like that time at church when our Organ player realised he was a grown adult with a rep to protect, jacked it in and left the congregation singing completely out of tune to This is My Body.

On the days that we don’t have baby class and she isn’t at nursery (i.e. when it’s down to me to entertain my own child until my husband walks through the door) I do find that sometimes a bit of i-Parenting doesn’t do them any harm. When I first had Layla I swore to myself that I didn’t want her to be a screen addict and if she was going to watch T.V. it would only be in French so she’d hopefully pick that up. My, my how things have changed…

Need a shower?  Cup of hot coffee in peace? Ironing? Tidying the house? Put a wash on? Make the dinner? Need a poo? …. the solution –  T.V. on

Don’t beat yourself up mamas, we need a rest too!

On that note i’m off to catch up on some trash t.v. whilst the kid is in bed, over and out ♥

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Baby Milestones…

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but time (babies) get in the way! We’ve all seen the Milestone Cards that you can get for newborn babies – “Today I smiled for the first time”, “Today I am 4 months old” … am I the only one who thinks there should be cards with the real milestones? :

  • Today we didn’t leave the house, Mummy didn’t wash and sat on the couch crying in her knickers
  • Today is Day 7 of Mummy not washing her hair
  • Today mummy’s boob milk squirted me in the eye
  • Today Mummy put mascara on and I made her cry so much she looked like a pierot Clown
  • Today Mummy dropped biscuit crumbs on my head whilst breastfeeding
  • Today Mummy called Daddy a twat for not buying more Jaffa Cakes
  • Today Mummy called Daddy a twat for sneezing too loud
  • Today Mummy called Daddy a twat for snoring through my cries
  • Today Mummy called Daddy a twat
  • Today Mummy screamed into a pillow
  • Today I projectile vomited
  • Today I projectile pooed
  • Today I shit up my best outfit and ruined it
  • Today I shit, Mummy started to clean me and I shit again immediately
  • Today i’ve got a cold and Mummy sucked the snot out of my nose
  • Today Mummy put on her best outfit to meet her friends for lunch so I vomited on her
  • Today Mummy tried to give me something other than puree, I ate it, nearly choked and Mummy shit herself
  • Today I fell off the bed
  • Today I fell off the couch
  • Today I sat up by myself and then hit my head on the floor
  • Today I pulled Mummy’s hair so hard she screamed
  • Today I would not let mummy put a nappy or clothes on me
  • Today Mummy drank prosecco at lunch time just like she did yesterday… and the day before
  • Today I feel refreshed after sleeping through the night, tonight I will be up every hour

Paris, tu me manques

I’ve just come back from the most amazing weekend in Paris having been invited for an old friend’s wedding. I love Paris for many reasons, i’ve always said it was like a drug – I go, I come back and i’m left missing it terribly. Lately i’ve needed some “me” time. Sometimes I think as a mum it’s very easy to lose a massive piece of who you are, your chat becomes baby talk and when you do meet up with other people (usually other mums as all your mates are in work) you end up talking about baby habits / shits / vom / lack of sleep anyway. This weekend was so far removed from my real life and just what the doctor ordered…

After dropping the baby off at the mother in laws I hot-footed it to Kings Cross to take the train, what I love most about the Eurostar is that people never really know whether to speak in French or English and you end up having a bit of a frenglish conversation. For example the guy next to me who clearly wanted to chat whilst I wanted to catch up on some Zzzz’s was insistent in french – “would you like anything from the shop?” , “can I use that bag as a bin?”, “can I put the armrest down?”… – “non merci, oui bien sur, oui pas de probleme”… (all whilst thinking –  “putain ta-gueule et laisse moi dormir dickhead”). What makes me laugh is 10 minutes before pulling into Paris, his mobile rings and he has a fully blown conversation in English – douche. Now i know i’m half french but I definitely look English…. which reminds me I must book an appointment to get my muzzy waxed like….

Arrived in Paris and made my way to the metro, where upon smelling that smell, listening to the accordion players and eyeing up a packet of fritelles in the vending machine, I was transported back to when I lived there (the only difference being this time I paid for a metro ticket rather than bunking on). Men still haven’t learned to close their legs when they sit next to you, people still don’t move up to let you sit down and it’s still perfectly acceptable for men to eye-fuck you whilst they sit with their birds.

I was staying with a friend (who has told me I’m not allowed to put his *name on my blog) who was still working when I arrived at his place but I was happy as a pig in shit to simply sit at an overpriced, customer service-lacking french brasserie enjoying a €4.50 espresso and approximately 10 cigs in a row… when in Paris!

That night started with drinks at Canal St Martin (the place to go for a spliff on the waterside apparently), dinner and then more drinks in Bastille. Joined by our other friend, Clem who was getting married in the morn, it was amazing to catch up. The night was actually pretty tame, after a crawl on Rue de Lappe, we ended up in a very cool club – Badaboum (http://badaboum.paris/) managed to gatecrash a birthday party in the VIP area which was like someone’s living room, before deciding to leave when the DJ refused to play Fresh Prince of Bel Air (request off my *nameless friend). Quite a calm night all round, that was until we got the cab home, his card machine wasn’t working, we were €6 short of the fare and the driver went skitzo on my *nameless friend, ripping his trouser pockets to try and take his phone/wallet for repayment. I still maintain that this was our “quiet night”.

Saturday the sun was out and it was back to Bastille for the loveliest french ceremony i’ve been to for two of the loveliest frenchies I know. After a little champers and a Ricard and lemo (and some raised eyebrows from the french barman when ordering) it was then on to the park with nameless’s kids to sooth my aching ovaries caused by missing my own baby. After a petit power nap, it was time to go back out. A few cocktails later and it was set that we were going to a club called the Memphis. Now usually when people ask me for recommendations of where to go in Paris, this would be somewhere I would recommend if you:

  • are absolutely wasted and won’t remember where you end up anyway
  • trying to pretend you are still 20 and cool
  • don’t mind that at 3am they let 2000 people into the smallest of spaces and it becomes a sweat pit that smells like camembert and ashtrays combined
  • you’re open to delayed breathing problems from the indoor smoking area

The club was HEAVY, after dancing away to the french classics of “It’s raining men” and “Daddy Cool” I eventually gave in, admitted my age and wanted to leave. In addition to the fact my nameless friend had disappeared and I was also getting a bit blinded by the UV lights reflecting off the multiple white jeans (on men) and the white bras on show and sick of the fucking “racailles” whispering “tu-es jolie”. I was shuffled into a cab (secretly shitting myself in case his destination was Bois de Vincennes where I was going to meet his taxi driver mates and never be seen again) however he politely dropped me at nameless’s flat where I attempted to pass out before texting nameless to say if he woke me up I would fucking kill him. 3 hours later, the doorbell was ringing incessantly and nameless came in bouncing off the walls and wanting to chat about how great the night was, he got ignored, swore at and I eventually caught up on about 4 hours sleep. Woke up fresh as dog shit before we went to a family birthday party where his tornado of a son attempted to batter me whilst calling me “poo poo girl” – what everyone wants on a hangover n’est pas?!

An hour and a Starbucks later, I was snoring away on the Eurostar dreaming of what life could have been in Paris…

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A la prochaine…

*Niall

When will my baby sleep through the night?

Sleep

Sleeping through the night – This must be one of the most googled questions by new mums. From the day you pop your sprog out, I can assure you your sleep will never be the same again. I underestimated the beauty of sleep. I now also understand why sleep deprivation is used as a torture method. In the early days of having Layla I thought it was tough that she was awake for an hour, wanted a feed and then slept. Little did I know that as they get older this becomes more difficult.

“Sleep when she sleeps” they said. Sounds perfect but once you have visitors, need a poo, a shower or to get dressed this goes out the window. Plus sod’s law that as soon as you do close your eyes, the door goes, your phone rings or you’re so wired it just doesn’t happen. Plus when are you supposed to upload all those ca-yuuuute photos from that day?

For those that know me well, I LOVE my sleep. I once slept for 48 hours (following a house party where we made a space cake in the microwave, got so stoned that I wet myself from all the laughing and then lost the next 2 days to sleep… but that’s another story. I would also like to point out this was during my pre-children days before you all start looking up the number for Social Services). I loved university for the flexibility of power naps – go to a lecture, have a nap, do some coursework, have a nap, go out get wasted, have a nap…

I recently met with my NCT mum friends and we kicked off with our favourite topic “so what’s your baby’s routine like now?”. I hate the word routine mainly because I haven’t cracked one. I’m not ashamed to admit it but I do think if I had my time again I would have done things differently – I know I also need to get harder and show the baby who’s boss, right now she definitely is the boss of me. Breastfeeding for 6 months made it difficult as i’ve talked about before as this then led to co-sleeping, it was just so much easier to put her in the bed next to me and feed whilst I was half asleep.

9 months on and although the breastfeeding has stopped, the baby is still in our bed. I say “our” as in mine and Zak’s even though he has now relocated from the couch in our one-bed flat to the guest bedroom in our new house. He basically has his own quarters whilst me and the babe chill in the master bedroom. The one thing I am thankful for is that Layla now sleeps through the night – praise the fucking lord… HOWEVER this comes at the cost of me being next to her, meaning I’m usually in bed by 9.30pm.

I touched upon routine and this is generally how ours goes…

  • 8.30 – 9.00am Baby wakes, pokes me in the eye/pinches my arm/ sucks on my nose. Nappy change, bottle, breakfast an hour later
  • 10.30 / 11.00am Baby turns into a crank, needs a nap. I rock her to sleep in pram and she can sleep from 30 mins – 1.5 hours.
  • 12.30pm Baby wakes for lunch, nappy change and play time
  • 3.00pm Baby turns into a crank, needs a nap. I rock her to sleep in pram and she can sleep from 30 mins – 1.5 hours.
  • 5.30pm Baby has her dinner, spits out what she doesn’t want/like the taste of. Playtime whilst I pick up all the discarded food.
  • 7.30/8.00pm Husband gets in from work, we have dinner, baby watches us and we then give her bath & bottle.
  • 9.00-9.30pm Baby turns into a crank, I shuffle her off to the bedroom, she passes out in the bed. I wonder what shit t.v. i’m missing, catch up on social media and eventually pass out.

I’m sure some of you might be shocked at this and might be asking the following:

  1. Why doesn’t she sleep in the cot?
  2. Why don’t you shift her routine earlier and then she will sleep earlier?
  3. She sleeps in until 9.00am?

My answer, we’ve tried both and she just doesn’t and wont. We’ve tried her in the cot, leaving her to play there in the day, and then putting her down when she’s “drowsy” of a night. This resulted in screaming like she was being tortured, turning purple before projectile vomiting all over the cot, carpet and me. So much for the Ferber method.            As for the third… like mother like daughter.

I know i’ve got to break this and I will,  however the nicest words of support I’ve received were “this age is the only time she depends on you so much, this decreases as they get older, the fact that you get a “lie-in” – enjoy it while you can”.

For you Mums out there, I am open to trying anything to get her in cot – have recently even looked into the Montessori bedroom idea where you place the mattress on the floor and bypass the cot completely. Has anyone tried this?

Any tips/ sharing your experience would be welcomed!

On that note, i’ve got about 10 minutes before she wakes and i’m still not dressed… laters x

New Year, New me, New boobs…

hny

First of all a belated Happy New Year 2017! this post has been a long time coming following a lovely Christmas back at home in Liverpool. Unfortunately we’re now back in London, bracing ourselves for the “Thundersnow” (wtf – those 10 flakes that I saw this morn?!)

The kid is just one big ball of snot following a day out at a children’s cafe where she ate every toy in sight – can’t wrap them up in cotton wool all their lives can you? Build that immune system child… She’s become that kid that I used to roll my eyes at, wondering why their mother’s “wouldn’t just wipe their nose?” – i’ve now learned that it’s basically like a tap that if you try and switch off – your child has a shit fit. Yesterday when it was pissing down with rain and we were confined to our living room, I was tempted to take a boomerang video of the biggest snot bubble that was building in one nostril – much better than the old “let’s raise a glass and pretend we’re having the best night out ever” ones that are floating round.

I had set myself four missions whilst I was at home:

  1. Get her over the cold that she went up with
  2. Stop Breastfeeding
  3. Get her into a proper feeding routine on solids
  4. Stop co-sleeping and get her in the cot

Tick, tick, tick… no

So my biggest achievement was stopping breastfeeding and we went the cold turkey route – the first day was great, Layla was loving the solids and despite still batting a bottle away (accepting water but refusing milk) we managed to get her off to sleep for the night around 10.00pm… wishful thinking of course, at 4.00am she woke up and started mooching for me. To be fair I wasn’t hard to find, as after a day of not breastfeeding I looked like I was trying to smuggle the Himalayas under the quilt. My boobs were rock hard and I can only describe the pain as what I think it feels like when boys get kicked in the balls. She did the old Puss In Boots eyes and I gave in and fed her, seemed to do the trick as she slept until 10.00am, lazy moo!

The second day was pretty much the same and I gave in for a night time feed around 7.00pm , more for my relief than anything. By the third day it was like she knew I wasn’t giving up and reached out for a bottle like it was her new best friend… she’d been teasing me all along.

The above of course is a summary of how it went, the in between bits involved me expressing, lots of leakage (especially in the shower) and a few tears (her and me) in between. The hardest part was when she cried and resisting calming her by offering the boob, be strong!

MY TOP TIPS FOR STOPPING BREASTFEEDING:

  1. It’s only YOU who should decide when to stop, don’t feel pressured to carry on. If it’s hurting you, the baby’s latch isn’t right so hit up your midwives and ask for help. Apparently babies start to recognise the difference between a boob and a bottle around 3-4 months, i’ve said this before but if I had my time again I would have introduced a daily bottle from day 1.
  2. Prepare yourself for a week of hibernation (if that’s how long it takes) I didn’t see anyone for the first week I was home because it was all about me and the baby.
  3. Get yourself some support, this came in the form of my mum as quite frankly the husband is the biggest soft touch when it comes to our baby crying. Women just get it, babies cry as they can’t communicate. You know the difference between your baby’s cries (i.e. the FAKE ones – “where’s your tears child?!”). My mum stepped in with morning bottle feeds and allowed me to get some sleep, it seemed like the baby knew she had no option but to accept the bottle as I wasn’t there parading my milk-producing melons in her face.
  4. There may be some pain – express if you need to. I was lucky as the milk supply seemed to dry up pretty quickly however advice from my mum was cold cabbage leaves in your bra, warm showers – knead those boobs and really old school but Epsom Salts (be warned you may need to stay near a toilet)
  5. Change the teat on your bottle (see my last post) 0-1 size make the baby suck harder like they would when they first learn to feed, size 3 pours into their mouth without much effort, so we settled on a size 2. Now she’s used to the bottle, she will take any brand (time to bin some of the 15+ bottles that we bought)
  6. Offer a bottle at every feed, I realise this is easier as I was introducing solids at the same time but it’s good to get them used to it.
  7. PERSERVERANCE – you’ve learned by now that this child you produced isn’t as easy as you thought, they will test your patience in every way… also remember you’re the adult and it’s about teaching them the right habits. It’s ok to shout “You’re not the boss of me” if you need to. Just because you’re not breastfeeding doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby as much, she still thinks i’m the funniest person in the world when I shout “peekaboo” at her even if she sometimes scowls me knowing she can’t get drunk off my titties – deal with it kid, we all miss those days.

Good luck ladies!

I mentioned the fact that we’re still co-sleeping above (poor Zak has been on the couch for about 2 months now due to our baby starfish commanding his side) and once we’ve cracked that i’ll give you as many tips as I can there!

Over and out from me and the snot monster xx

 

 

 

Layla’s TV Debut

So today was not your normal Wednesday – to be fair i’ve forgotten what normal days are since i’ve had a baby. You’re actually lucky I knew it was a Wednesday. Motherhood is a bit like being back at school, just after the summer holidays when you go back and you’ve “forgotten” how to write and if you’re not careful can blend into one big shitty nappy changing, leaky boob, hungry child 24 hours.

We were invited down to the ITV studios to be part of their Truly Madly Mummy series hosted by Giovanna Fletcher, after I replied to an advert they had posted in a breastfeeding group I am in on Facebook. Rolling my eyes at the lengthy discussions among group members that applicants had to live within the M25 and whether this was actually a Manchester postcode (true story!) I thought i’d chance it with a sneaky email . They were doing a piece on breastfeeding and had asked mums to come forward with any questions they might have.  Mine was “how do I come off the boob?” I was apprehensive at first after speaking to the features manager and her telling me that whenever anyone does a piece on breastfeeding, they tend to get a barrage of abuse afterwards… bring it on, i’m highly hormonal MOST of the time and I will take you DOWN.

Once it was all confirmed, I made a mad dash to get my nails done (enduring a good telling off from Wei-Lee my manicurist on how I shouldn’t chew off shellac) and a quick blow dry (fuming at “you sure you haven’t got time to get your colour done?” – fuck off Fabrice! et voila I was show-ready. Shout out to Uncle Chris who was on babysitting duties!

So this morning, the alarm was set for 6.15 – killer. Layla was sleeping like a… baby, which gave me just enough time to apply multiple levels of concealer on my under-eye bags, get dressed in the darkest of dark clothes (the TV adds pounds don’t you know!) and fasten a choker round my fat neck in an attempt to look like a “trendy” mum. The car picked us up at 7.20am and off we went planning how if one of the Spice Girls just happened to be on the show – I definitely wouldn’t play it cool.

Looking out for the egg-pelting Boob Warriors at the studio doors (none among the paps as far as I could see), waiting at reception in the company of Arlene Phillips no less – we were automatically met with a warm welcome and I felt more at ease.

Mum-watching is slowly becoming my new favourite thing (plan to do a post on this shortly) as I find how mums interact with their babies and eachother, fascinating. I often feel the urge to shout out “its your baby, do what the hell you like”… but alas this morning, I found myself soaking up every last word of advice from the amazing lactation expert – Clare Byam-Cook

Her advice on transitioning from breast to bottle? “Don’t go with the softly-softly approach, find a fast-flow teat, the baby will take a bottle but brace yourself for a tough 24 hours before she gets used to it”.

They have just sent over the full video here for those that fancy a watch.

I’m off to work on my chins whilst Layla eats a packet of wipes – all in all a pretty lovely day in the life of Mama Shiz x