Little H is splashing around in the bath after a busy day at nursery. I come in to get her out and my Mum-Senses are immediately drawn to some spots on her shoulders, lower tummy and back. Much to her annoyance I proceed to examine them. I’ve convinced myself Little H has chicken pox on several occasions that turned out to be nothing. This time though, my instincts tell me this was the real deal. Without a doubt the spots are blistery. There just aren’t many of them which leaves me doubting myself.
Bedtime complete and Little H all tucked up, I consult the trusty NHS site. The pictures of chicken pox look exactly like what I had seen. That night I can’t settle to sleep and feel really anxious. I have a strong feeling I’ll be staying at home in the morning. But knowing I’ll have to get up and get ready like normal before I can get Little H up to confirm one-way or the other makes me bizarrely unsettled!
The first time I ever heard the term ‘Pelvic Floor’ was when I was about 15 years old. During my teens I made some rather feeble attempts to get fit and one of those was doing a Lorraine Kelly exercise video my mum had. Part way through was an abs section and the trainer, Jenni, started by getting us to do some pelvic floor exercises. Her instructions were to contract the muscles you’d use to stop weeing mid-flow. I just tried to do as I was told and from that point onwards I would always do a set of pelvic floor contractions before doing any abdominal exercises. Over all the years since that first lesson in pelvic floor care, I confess I never really did any research into what my pelvic floor actually was. I knew it was a muscle. I knew it had something to do with my bladder. But that was it. Until I got pregnant…
Welcome to my monthly feature in which I share some of my favourite online articles for the month. I read a lot of blog posts and articles online and whilst I share a lot of them through tweets, it’s easy to miss them and hard to come back to them at another time. This is a list of my top ten reads for the month, a mixture of formal news articles and blog posts. Enjoy!
Did anyone else notice how a couple of weeks ago, someone suddenly started turning the sun on later and later in the morning. AND started turning it off earlier and earlier in the evening? The horror! It happens every year but yet it always shocks and surprises me. My head expects it to happen gradually. But it doesn’t. In a matter of days, I will go from admiring my garden whilst washing-up after dinner to realising my kitchen window needs a polish as I stare at my blurry-reflection on a pitch-black background. I actually love autumn, but I really miss the light.
As a long time commuter, I know it’s easy to dwell on the negatives of commuting: the cost, the time, the delays, the horror of being rammed next to a stranger closer than you get to most relatives… I will openly admit that the one thing I really wish I could change about my job is my commute. But…it’s not all bad. Since returning from Maternity Leave I’ve reached a new level of commute-appreciation. So next time you feel anger at having to spend in excess of an hour / day on a train for half your salary, bear these things in mind:
I’ve been back at work for two months now (has it really only been that long?!) and it has been a real rollercoaster of emotions. Normal post-Maternity Leave anxieties aside, I had always been looking forward to going back to work; But I also knew it wouldn’t be easy. I haven’t yet regretted my decision to go back. I am enjoying seeing my work colleagues again and using my brain more. H also really, really enjoys nursery so I am fortunate to rarely suffer from mummy-guilt.
Back at the end of March I was keen to start getting fit again. For a couple of months I managed to exercise routinely and my fitness started to improve. However, as the summer wore on and we started trying to sell the house I just lost my motivation and broke my, already fairly loose, routine. Now we’ve moved and the new house feels like home, I’m really feeling the physical and emotional effects of not exercising (and by that I mean some proper cardio work) every day. I’ve decided it’s time to sort that out.
Whilst it might seem as though I have sufficient time since I am on maternity leave, in fact these days I struggle to get much done on some days. Looking after a small person is time-consuming on a good day; Throw in a bout of illness or a bad temper and even grabbing a drink can be tough. I doubt as a mother I am alone in sometimes finding it hard to get time for myself. There is always something that needs doing and coupled with the guilt complex most mothers have, it generally means that children, partner and housework all come before personal time.
But I have also come to learn that it’s important to have a bit of time to myself else I risk getting physically or mentally run-down. Whilst my pesky guilt-complex will kick in the moment I decided to kick-back on the sofa with a cup of tea once H has finally gone down for a nap, I fight to ignore it. Because if I don’t have 20 mins of rest then I risk not having the energy or tolerance for childcare as the day progresses.
So for anyone out there in a similar position who isn’t very good at taking time for their self, here are my suggestions of great ways to take a break:
It’s been quite a while now since I’ve done a fitness update – there has just been a lot going on and I kept intending to but never quite managing it. Fortunately, I have been exercising as best I can, even if I haven’t been reporting back.
Re-capping from last time, my goals were:
As part of my attempt to ‘get fit again‘ I decided to go along to a Buggycise class yesterday. It’s run on behalf of one of our local children’s centres (and therfore is only a couple of quid to join in) and the instructor is from a local company that does outdoor circuit training, boot camps and personal training. I had seen it in my NCT magazine but a friend also went last week and thought I would enjoy it. So since I have been quite active for the last few weeks, including routinely doing my core stability, I decided to go along and give it a try.
I picked a great day to start because it was lovely and sunny. The pollution level was supposidly really high which I did think could make it unpleasant but because the class started quite early (9:30) it hadn’t really got too bad. H and I enjoyed a brisk walk to the park and easily located the group by the mass of buggies!
Despite the name of the class, you don’t actually really need to use the buggies. There is a warm up run and you can push you buggy round on that if you want, but most people didn’t (the instructor stays with them to keep them safe – we didn’t all just leave our kids alone!). Then the next 45 minutes is a mixture of group cardio and strength exercises. They are designed to cater for all levels so you put in only as much effort as your body will allow. The instructor also gave everyone a timely reminder that, especially if we’d previously done a lot of sport, our bodies had just grown a baby so not to get too carried away too quickly. That was definitely useful for me to hear to stop me from going a bit too far!
H was a star and slept throughout the entire session – win-win really because, as previously mentioned, she isn’t that good at napping! Some of the other kids got a bit upset at times but often the instructor would give them a quick push round and they would cheer up again!
Today I am aching from the exercise. It’s a long forgotten but welcome feeling! I’ve had a slightly unhealthy day today though with only a short walk and too much cake so I have probably undone a lot of the good work. But never mind!