Tag Archives: mums

8 stress-busters for busy mums

I live a pretty stressful life.

Some of the factors are just modern life, others are personal circumstances and that last group is the one I’m constantly working on – the choices.

As much as I try to simplify, plan ahead and ask for help – I accept that stress is a big part of my life so I’ve developed some strategies for dealing with it. Here are eight.

1 The gym

Keeping your patience, holding your temper and remaining calm take incredible willpower and involve squashing your inner rage. With me, the result is a lot of pent up energy. On Sunday I was on the treadmill at 8.45am. I don’t say this to impress you – I was up at 5 and I needed to GET OUT THE HOUSE before I exploded. A flat out run and a one-on-one with the punchbag sorted me right out. Plus I wore my new leggings.

mummykimmy gym leggings

2 Earplugs

No really. Rod came back from a “work trip” to the race track with a cute wee keyring tube containing earplugs. One particularly screamy morning I reached for it and was astonished how quickly my blood pressure dipped. It just takes the edge off.

3 Crafting

OK, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I read a lot about art therapy for an article once and it fucking works. I used to mindlessly colour in Johanna Basford’s creations – a few weeks back I started making greetings cards with the kids’ abandoned art supplies. It’s a moment of calm, the use of a different part of my brain and the pride of creating something pretty in the general chaos – not to mention the money saved.

mummykimmy crafting

4 Wine, beer and rum

Occasionally it crosses my mind that I may be overindulging, but I can go days without it so I don’t think I’m an alcoholic…. A wee beer while I make dinner, or my husband appearing with a dewy Cuba Libre when he finally gets the kids to sleep are just magic. I’ve also started popping round to fellow harrassed mums’ houses with a bottle (or demanding one) in the evenings and it’s very pleasant indeed.

mummykimmy rum

5 Netflix and chill

There’s something nice about eschewing the TV schedule and suiting yourself….and bloody binging on three episodes of Orange is the New Black (where life is infinitely worse) should the mood take you.

6 Disney Emoji Blitz

This wee app has honestly saved my sanity more times than I care to mention. It’s a bit like Candy Crush but with Disney characters – and you get extra emojis with every level. It’s probably in that crafting cringe category, but it zones me out and my texts are a bit more colourful.

mummykimmy Disney emoji blitz

7 Whatsapp

My best girls are all over the world and yet they’re right there in my pocket, especially when I’m losing my shit. From Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Fife and Dunblane, they’re ready and waiting to support me, reassure me and tell me to wind that neck right in.

8 My imaginary golden network

OK, now you’re really going to think I’m nuts. When I’m trapped in the toddler’s room, in the dark, waiting for the deep breathing that signals I can make my escape, I imagine ornate bars above my head. They’re the network of parents through the centuries who’ve struggled to get their kids to sleep, through illness and war and countless horrendous things, whose strength I can tap into. I imagine reaching up and holding the bars, feeling them glow and knowing I’m one tiny person in this enormous world. It gives me an almost tangible perspective and comforts me.

I could do with a few more – if you’d care to share?!

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Filed under Edinburgh, health

F for first baby birthday party

I could have sworn it was only ten minutes ago that Tricia and I sat with our enormous bellies sipping decaf lattes and discussing pram shopping. But no – her little girl turned one year old at the weekend and how cute is she?

"Oh, I know, you're so right, so anyway, I said to him..."

As Tricia and her family are from Boston via New York, we thought it only fitting that the wee man wear his Jets Football shirt with red socks, just to cover his bases:

"Dad, I was just talking to this babe..."

Even though this was an international party, it was still Glasgow and so of course I ended up knowing someone… I met Claire, the Buggyfit instructor who has the west-end franchise and knows Wendy so we chatted away about running in the snow while the wee man watched the Birthday Girl open her presents.

"So what you got there? Can I eat it?"

We sang Happy Birthday and Tricia did very well by not bursting into tears (I am convinced I will) then we ate cupcakes, drank Champagne with strawberries plopped in and nobody was sick on anyone. The non-baby guests mingled pretty happily with the baby-bearing guests and the young couple from downstairs didn’t seem at all freaked out.

Happy Birthday to you!

Just before we left, one of the other little girls, Eilidh, insisted on kissing the wee man goodbye. He was delighted. And so it starts…

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Filed under F for..., other people's kids

8 months today!

Chilling after a big day

The wee man is eight whole months old today. I like to celebrate these little milestones (on his 7 month ‘birthday’ we all had a fabulous lunch in a cliff-top restaurant in Tenerife) but today I was working and Rod was working away overnight. We both felt guilty, which is ridiculous, but I did manage to squeeze in a treat this morning – I took him to Baby Sensory.

Normally these kinds of baby activities are really not my cup of tea – I always end up feeling like a bit of a tit – but today was all about the wee man. It only took us ten minutes to walk there and one of the first mums I met was a woman I knew from my antenatal classes. We were really pleased to see each other again and swapped birth stories, which sounds like a weird thing to do, but given we did our training together it would be odd not to discuss the race!  She had a pretty horrible time of it so I was careful not to make mine sound too wonderful (although I kind of think it was) and we compared notes on motherhood. Her son is two days younger but he is really advanced – he’s sitting really well all by himself and stands too. I hope he inspires my wee guy!

As for the class – the wee man absolutely loved it! He giggled his head off and was fascinated by everything. The idea is to stimulate all the baby’s senses and promote all kinds of development, so we were singing, dancing, playing with coloured ribbons, shaking maracas and bouncing on balls. There was a bubble machine, some flashing coloured lights and loads of new toys to explore. Actually it was probably all a bit too much for him because ten minutes from the end the thumb went in and he snuggled down and slept almost instantly. Other mums told me their babies had been the same and it takes a few sessions for them to settle. Every class is different – apparently we can look forward to baby massage, baby signing and all sorts, so I’ve signed up til Christmas. It’s £6 a session and it’s totally worth it to see his delighted wee face. Plus he can clap now (thanks to Grammy’s training) and he was chuffed to bits to have an audience for his new party trick!

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Filed under birth, health, hello World

Getting Buggyfit

They call it Buggyfit, but in my head right now it’s Buggy Boot Camp.

Borrowed from http://www.buggyfit.co.uk as I don't want you seeing me all sweaty!

I wasn’t surprised when four kids on bikes stopped and openly gaped at the fifteen mums doing press-ups by their buggies on the grass. To the non-parental eye we must be quite a sight. I took exception to their laughter, however, when we jogged over to the steepest steps in the world and started running up and down. One day they too will have excess flab round the belly button. At least we’re doing something about it.

I sometimes wonder why I’m doing it to myself – I’m exhausted as it is without training for the Olympics. But I always go back and here’s why:
• It’s cheap – at £34 for 8 sessions it is fantastic value
• It’s outside – not a stuffy gym or grimy town hall
• The other mums who go are lovely – we have a coffee (but no cake) afterwards and chat
• It eases my guilt – because I do like the odd chocolate bar to myself
It’s also very varied, there’s no time to dread the crunches before she parks up and tells you to spread ’em (the mats on the grass that is). Her wee boy (who’s nearly three) even cheers us on, shouting ‘YAY!’ just when you’re about to collapse out of ‘the plank’. So although I sometimes feel like I’m going to throw up and I often feel like a bit of an idiot at the back of the pack, I’ve realised that the endorphin rush afterwards sees me through the day. So I would recommend it.

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Filed under health

Second date

You meet a lot of women when you have a baby. Sometimes you wonder if you would be friends if it weren’t for the children. Other times you are very grateful that your kids brought you together. I’ve met loads of lovely people thanks to the wee man and one of my favourites is Tricia. We met up today for the first time in a while and talked and talked and talked. There are only six weeks between our babies so we compare notes, reassure each other and generally piss ourselves laughing. It’s reminded me that, although my family and friends are great, it’s really important to spend time with other new mums. And matchmake our children.

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Filed under other people's kids