The day I became a Mother…

It frightened me. I mean truly scared me with such intensity that I could not put it into words. It was more than any fear I had felt before. Worse than the fear of jumping off rocks into the sea, worse than riding your bike with no hands down a hill, worse than singing in front of people, worse than starting a new school, worse than acting on stage to a theatre full of strangers and worse than swimming in the Devils pool at the top of Victorian Falls (Although I do believe it was a similar feeling to this). The day I became a mother was the day I realised what mothers really are and what women are capable of. The sudden responsibility that hits you like a freight train. There is no manual, no guidebook or mini pamphlet to get you going. It is wham, Bam and now you are a Mam! It is now over to you to protect this human from all that life throws at them. To know what to do to care for this little being. Yesterday you were ‘You’, an individual with a purpose and with your s*** together (Or so I thought) but in an instance it will never be the same again. Everything changed; my mind, body and soul and just like that I needed to be mothered, despite, in that moment I was now a mother myself.

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Alfred (Freddie) Strongman was born at 12:31 during a Perseid meteor shower, unexpectedly on the living room floor with the crew of two ambulances, as witnesses and a midwife who arrived 10 minutes before he arrived. My labour lasted 4 hours and 5 minutes, from start to finish, and it was so speedy that we went to hospital to get checked over and when we came home my mom was waiting. There are no words that I can write to explain how she helped me in those first few weeks, I’m not sure we even talked much at all she was just there, helping me, showing me, teaching me, caring for me, mothering me. She was an angel and my husband was my hero and there is no way I can ever thank her enough.

So for this mother’s day I wanted to share what my mother did for me when I became a mother for the first time:

  • she cleaned the kitchen cupboards
  • she made me egg sandwiches even when I wasn’t hungry
  • she helped me breastfeed
  • she washed and bathed me and helped me to get dressed
  • she cooked for us all
  • she cleaned and tidied
  • she drove to France and dropped off my step-dad and then drove all the way back in the same day because she just knew I needed her.
  • she made me sleep in the afternoon – even for just 20 minutes
  • she slept on the nursery floor and woke me every-time Freddie woke up for feeding so I could get maximum sleep  (I was so worried that he was in his own room because we just didn’t have the space for him to sleep in with us but ‘they say’ the baby must sleep in your room for the first 6 months). She also slept on the sofa whenever she visited as we did not have a spare room.
  • she made me so many drinks to keep me hydrated
  • she reassured me constantly
  • she told me how amazing I was doing – ALL the time!
  • she made me go for walks and get out of the house
  • she burped Freddie in her special way (we just didn’t/don’t have her bosom!)

And these were just a handful of deeds she did. She did so much more.

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I can honestly say I have never felt so much love for her. I can barely remember if we talked or spoke to one another. My hormones were raging, I was still in shock and my brain was trying to catch up with my body about that fact we had just given birth to a baby on the wooden living room floor. But, I do know that without her love it would have been so much harder. I can appreciate it now, the thread that is so strong between mother and child, an invisible force, intangible but palpable. It will be there for forever.  To make a human, grow and nurture it inside your body and then love that small person; the journey is full of alchemy and the love is like nothing I have ever felt before and at the age of 32 I can honestly say I felt it move from my mom to me , like both ends of a ribbon had been tied together. It feels like an exhale of breath signifying a true understanding – we are now part of the same club. It is still frightening but nearly 7 months in and I absolutely LOVE being Freddie’s mama. I feel so much stronger and confident and have learnt so much. I am certain there will always be an element of fear and slight self-doubt but in the same way I repeated my affirmations before birth, I am repeating some now:

‘I am enough’

‘You got this Mama’

‘Breathe and be calm’

To all the mums, watching over us, in heaven, on earth, near or far, new or old, step-mums, mother figures, grandmothers, mums- to- be….. you are, have been and will always be the most amazing people. Today is your day.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

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A mother’s love lasts forever and its bond can not be broken.

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If you go down to the woods today….

You’ll find the most amazing mum, baby and toddler group called…

BUSH BABIES

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Before we even moved to Dorset I was trying to find out as much as I could about the area from our home in Kent. I googled, and trawled through Facebook hoping to find some mum and baby groups we could go to so I could make friends and get out the house with Freddie and explore our new home turf.  The first Facebook page I found was Bush Babies and I am so glad I did. Not only do we have fun twice a week in the woods (if we can get ourselves out and ready in time) but I have also made some lovely new friends! Yay!

Bush Babies is a truly brilliant mum, baby and toddler group set up by Rosie and her band of merry helpers. Nestled in the heart of the Dorset’s magical woodland, just outside the village of Durweston, (near Blandford) it takes place every week on Tuesday and Friday mornings, whatever the weather! The session runs from 9:30am – 12:00pm.

The founder, Rosie has a huge passion for outdoor learning, wildlife, plants and adventures and having just completed her Forest School Course, she is perfectly placed to play, explore and educate our Bush Babies in Mother Nature’s own playground.

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The morning begins at The Living Classroom, an area which has approximately 30 acres of mixed, broad-leaved woodland known as Bonsley Wood. At the classroom base there are toilets, water and power so this is where everyone gathers for a morning cuppa and chitchat around the fire. There is usually an activity for the kids to get stuck into to keep mayhem at bay;  today it was Mother’s Day card making and last time I visited the children were having fun with shaving foam on the table for a sensational sensory experience. I am usually a late arrival to the morning meet up so I have to say I usually miss this party… I’m getting a reputation! Then, coats are fetched, wellingtons put on over the top of waterproof all in one overalls, mothers gather their offspring; some plonked into rucksacks or baby carriers and some brave mothers bring their off road pushchairs. Then once everyone is decked out in their outdoor gear, the Bush Babies then take to the forest path for an adventure into the wildwood. It is good to know for those with little legs and the sleep deprived parents, that the walk is a perfect distance, so there are rarely any melt downs or ‘walk refusers.’ Plus, it is a  looped walk so you can’t get lost and you can easily find your way back to base!

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During the woodland wander the children are set mini tasks to fill their buckets with discovered woodland treasures, depending on the season, such as leaves,  flowers, moss twigs, bugs etc. The children stop to explore, watch, see and hear all the nature around them and are encouraged to keep their eyes open for new discoveries. They build dens, hunt for bugs and plants and bird-watch, socialising and roaming with freedom in a safe woodland environment with the supervision of multiple adults.

Then it’s back to HQ for a rest. Rosie and Co. provide a drink and snacks for the little ones (you can bring your own if you prefer) and another hot beverage for the adults with the occasional cake and biscuits as standard. The session then comes to a close with either a story or a cacophony of nursery rhymes and songs are sung in a circle whilst playing a range of musical instruments sat on tree stumps. It really is glorious!

Depending on who turns up each session activities are tailored to suit all ages. Everyone is welcome 3 weeks – 3 years and there is even Bush Buddies which happens during the school holidays for the older children too.

Honestly, being a new mama to the area has been made so much easier by these ladies and with no commitment needed it is great to know you’ll meet lots of new and interesting people each time you visit.

 

3 reasons why I love Bush Babies

  1. You can turn up as and when you please  – meaning you don’t have to sign a termly contract and pay upfront
  2. The people are amazing and instantly make you feel welcome and apart of something great.
  3. As a new mama, I have found being outdoors in the fresh air totally invaluable and a great source of therapy in the first few months of motherhood. A walk and a talk is the best medicine.

Hope to see you up at the woods soon  – you never know the bears might be having a picnic too!

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Taming the Beast – Part 2

It was lovely to receive such positive feedback from yesterday’s post so I thought I would keep the ideas coming. As a Primary School Teacher I am always having to conjure up new ideas and so I have devised another list of 10 more ideas to do with the little people during these snow days indoors! Children love to be with their parents and so doing things together when you can, will keep them engaged for a little longer. Obviously this is not always possible but if they are getting a little restless just by doing something together may improve their mood…

  1. Try to make Origami – this site has tons of great ideas. maybe make paper airplanes and have a flying contest…(look out for the plane noses – no one wants pointy paper in their eye!)
  2. Have a ‘Living room workout’  – Get dressed into your sports kits, put one of your exercise videos on and get the kids working out with you too. Personally I would rather opt for the yoga and doing it as a family will at least guarantee time on your mat!
  3. Have a Mary Poppins style cleaning session –  Crank up the radio and have a dance party whilst cleaning the house! It’s a win win situation  – clean house and tired kids! Woop woop!
  4. Design your own Ice Kingdom – children love to use their imaginations so give them some pens and a large piece paper and watch their minds spring into life. Talk to them about what they know about cold places, what might they have in their Ice world and then let them loose with the pens. When they are done get them to explain their new world and talk about it – just listen.
  5. Colouring  – mindfulness for both you and them! A little quiet moment…. if you don’t have any colouring books to hand you can easily print off some things to colour in or even draw your own. Crayola have some here 
  6. Warm up from the inside and make your very own hot chocolate stirrers  
  7. Pom Pom indoor snowball fight – If you are crafty and happen to have a pom pom maker in the cupboard and some white wool (although you could use other colours) make some pom poms  – put them in a bowl/bucket and take it turns to throw them at one another – for the older ones you can add in a point scheme depending on where you hit the other person on the body. I think I’d have a no face policy and obviously clear the mantelpiece/sideboard/table etc. but I’ll leave that to your discretion!
  8. Feed the birds – if like me you worry about the birds during this type of weather then why not help the little birdies out and make them a cake?  This is a great guide from the RSPB and kid friendly 
  9. Make a fairy door to make sure those fairies can keep warm too – everyone knows fairies are not big fans of the cold so why not entice them inside with a beautiful hand crafted door…This lady keeps in simple and hopefully you will have what you need to hand. We do not need to leave the house in this weathe!
  10. Build a lego city – Get out all the LEGO, mini people, trains, cars and other play sets and make a massive indoor carpet city. They will LOVE it!

Have fun and I would love to hear what has worked for you and what you have been up to during these past days.

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Dippy in Dorchester

I just couldn’t resist. Having been lucky enough to see the 3D print cast of his skull at Blandford Library, my interest was piqued and I was determined to see the whole thing. So, last Sunday, off we headed en famille to Dorchester and the Dorset County Museum was our first stop!

The Natural History Museum’s famous Diplodocus skeleton cast, known as Dippy is touring the length and breadth of the UK from early 2018 to late 2020. The British icon is on a mission to inspire families to explore nature on their doorstep. I certainly didn’t need much encouragement having just watched Jurassic Park last weekend  and loved the film Land Before Time when I was little.

The whole town of Dorchester seemed to be reveling in its newest member and you could not miss the green banners blowing in the wind signifying his presence. Despite the queue outside (always a sign of something worthwhile) we were ushered into the museum with barely a minute of queuing in the cold, our bags were quickly checked and then we were shown where we could leave our pushchair by extremely helpful staff. (Note: there are stairs so little ones will need to be carried.) I was so impressed. Everyone seemed super excited by Dippy’s temporary accommodation and despite it being a tight squeeze in the Victorian Gallery,  the 150 million year old dinosaur replica manged to fit perfectly with just a couple of centimeters spare at each end. There was a designated spot for photos which is a must for the insta mad among us and lots of facts, pictures and fossils to see on your way around.
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There is also a fantastic space with large tables, just before you exit the museum, for young enthusiasts to colour in pictures, draw their own sauropod or whatever takes their fancy, with the opportunity to display their artwork in the gallery space.
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There are also other artworks on display by local artists which are positioned on the walls around.

And to top it all off there is the shop full of everything Dippy (posters, mugs, key rings, badges) as well as other goodies associated with the Jurassic Coast. A perfect treasure trove for shopping lovers of all ages and with the “just a card” movement in mind there are lots of little things to purchase as a memento before you go at around £2.50.

For those of us who are slightly more adventurous or just fancy a slightly different experience, Dorset County Museum is opening its doors after hours so you are able to see Dippy at night! Think Night at the Museum! You will need to book your ticket though for this special occasions and there is an admission fee.

All in all we thought it was a fantastic exhibition and even though Freddie was too young to remember it, the photograph we took with Dippy will remain in our collection to talk about in years to come. Both my husband and I took away some interesting facts and were really impressed at how slick the whole exhibition was curated. So if you want something FREE to do with the kiddies at the weekend, then head on down to this  great educational, fun and interesting thing to do! There are also some great local child friendly cafes around to round off the day! Everyone’s a winner!

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INFORMATION

You can still find Dippy’s Skull on tour  – next stop Swanage library (10th – 15th March) and Dippy will be at Dorset County Museum on display until 7th May 2018.

Dippy can be found at the  following venues throughout the UK so if you have family/friends to visit, why not plan a day out – just remember to make sure you book to avoid disappointment.

I’d love to hear from you, so if you do manage to meet Dippy please send us a note! #onemamaskingdom #DippyOnTour!

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Taming the Beast

10 things to do when ‘cabin fever’ sets in – What snow storm?

The ‘Beast from the East’ has certainly made itself known. So, here we are stuck indoors in minus temperatures watching the snowflakes fall outside. The beauty of this winter wonderland is undeniable but who wants to leave the Hygge you’ve created at home? O wait the Utopian Danish dream is quashed as the kids are running round, crying and you have yet to have a warm drink…

The reality of parenting in such conditions is hard and as a new mama not being able to leave the house to go for a walk, see other people (besides my husband and babe) is not the norm and with access to and from the house somewhat like an impassable mountain road (I am exaggerating) I do feel like I could be in one of those Scandinavian crime dramas.

So with hours to be filled I thought I would share a few ideas to keep you sane today whilst the baby naps! Whether you have babies, little or big ones I hope you can find something to inspire you for at least half an hour! Good Luck.

You got this Mama!

SNOW DAY = FUN DAY…….Promise!

  1. It’s time to use those toys from way back when – if you can put them in a big bag or hide them in a sheet and play a guessing game with the older ones and for the little ones just see the joy on their faces of NEW toys!
  2. Forget the laundry  – create your own sensory set up with a variety of fabrics, textures, foil, paper etc. – anything you can find. I raided my craft cupboard and found off-cuts of old clothing (denim, fur and bells are always good) put them in the laundry basket and watch them investigate the goodies.
  3. Make a Den in the living room out of blankets  -because if not on a snowday – when can you?
  4. Put on some great music and DANCE  – I have done this today. The country music radio station was turned on and the sounds blasted through the Sonos as Freddie sucked on toast and I danced whilst I washed up – feel those endorphins!
  5. Have a baby disco – a friend of mine shared her story online and had created an amazing light and sound show  – it was amazing! Rave it up in your PJs!
  6. Have a clear out and donate – {toys, clothes, appliances etc.} I managed to go through some old baby clothes and have already managed to create a gift basket for 2 friends expecting. Get the kids to help or do it whilst the baby sleeps – you’ll feel good for being so productive and for helping others!
  7. Go to the Cinema on the couch  – pop some popcorn and catch up on movies you have yet to see or revisit an old favorite. who doesn’t love to watch Disney movies?!
  8. Get crafty and make a card or two – Mother’s Day is right around the corner so don’t forget your own mama and whilst the kids get messy with glitter glue you can tick another of those to dos off the list! O and playdough is great to get glitter off the table just as an FYI. You could always make Make snowflakes and tape them to the windows.
  9. Read books. This is brilliant thing to do with children of all ages!
  10. Skype or FaceTime Catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while or talk to friends fellow  home-bound friends.

 

 

Our Kingdom

Our own kingdoms

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Just a quick hello…

My first blog post!  It has only taken me 6 months…despite wanting to start pretty much weeks after my baby boy was born. I had this overwhelming urge to write how I was feeling at the time as a new mother and desperately wanted to be connected with others like me but couldn’t quite find the time or energy to do it or, to be honest, know how on earth to start

I thought I’d start by sharing my adventures and stories as I embrace my new role as a mother as I navigate this journey into motherhood.  Whether it be a walk, a talk, a mum & baby class, a day out or a day at home or just an observation, I hope it helps other mums to know they are enough and are doing a brilliant job however hard it may feel at times.  I’m no expert and  most certainly learning as I go but if like me, you are a mum becoming Queen of her own Kingdom please get in touch and let’s share the journey together. They say “it takes a village” and I am hoping this blog helps shape yours.

This is our Kingdom.

@onemamaskingdom

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