Our Mentally Healthy holiday at Center Parcs

My mum and dad kindly treated us to a family break at Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest a couple of weeks ago. In short, we had the BEST time and found everything about it relieved my hub of his, at times, gripping Bipolar and each activity unlocked a pocket of happiness and joy for us all. Here’s our review of a Mentally Healthy Break… Continue reading “Our Mentally Healthy holiday at Center Parcs”


Helping a first time mum keep sane

I won’t lie. Babies can totally mess with your head.

Self doubt, lack of sleep, relationship changes, missing the old you….

It’s frickin intense. 

So when i got this message from my heavily pregnant best friend (who is completely bricking it/in denial) I was surprised….

Hang on. Advice? Me?! Really?

It turns out i’ve probably had this ‘wisdom’ for about 4 and half years according to results from a survey by Nurofen for Children.


They found that most first time mums felt confident after about 6 months. So what on earth could this advice have been that i shared with my friend?

*Racks tired brain* 

  • Wear a long sleeved nightie with buttons down front for breastfeeding

Night time feeds are COLD, so my motto is to get your boobs out and keep your arms warm. In that Nurofen survey, 69% of new mums said they felt knackered. I know from experience how sleep deprivation can impact parent’s health (but don’t let that scare you), keep snuggly.

  • Never EVER Google


Screen shot 2015-12-02 at 15.37.44
A girl at work once googled this. *face palm*

For reliable and unscary web info, start with established sites like Mumsnet.com and Netmums.com. For health, nhs.uk is great, and brand’s websites/Facebook often have expert and mum chat too.

  • Don’t pretend you know what you’re doing

Good news! You WILL have mother’s instinct! Bad news – you won’t believe it for months. Baby’s health, feeding and sleep patterns will be your biggest grey hair creator (as backed up by that survey), so do ask and accept help. Some stuff will seem weird; I remember squirting breast milk into my daughter’s eye to get rid of conjunctivitis. Randomly, it worked.

Other topics we covered

  • Get a dog walker for the early days – babies do not leave on demand
  • Don’t freeze breast milk – you can, but the whole process is such a faff
  • Freeze food instead – cook now, eat later
  • Buy a nappy bag with zips galore – you’ll keep everything in it
  • You can reheat cups of tea in the microwave – who knew?!
  • Gauge temperature by kissing forehead – amazing trick

I don’t know when my ‘turning’ point was, confidence creeps up on you with each nappy change, but it does happen.But whenever it happens…it does happen. And it’s a really wonderful realisation, so hang on in there.




I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to blog about a specified subject or review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have been entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher as a token of thanks for this post. 

Please note that this post is not intended to contain any medical advice. Always contact your own doctor or health professional if you have any concerns about your child’s health.

(i) Survey of 2,000 parents with a baby under 6 years old, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (May 2014)

(ii) Survey of 2,000 mums by One Poll, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (October 2013)

Monday: Operation Self Care is launched

I’ve been feeling a tad teary this weekend. 

Black Friday madness? Christmas looming? Or more likely that hubby has had a stable few days and I’ve come off the gas a little.

Urgh. How irritating to feel like his when things are good.

Cue: guilt trip

I’ve had a headache for 2 days which feels like an elephant sat on my head, and I’ve just wanted to cry at any opportunity. Waterstones got me yeaterday with Maggie Smith’s autobiography back cover (there’s nothing that weepy about it, but it got me.)

Anyway, onwards and upwards. That’s me.

So last night I checked into Hotel Mum and Dad for a good sleep and then like a teenager let my mum drive me to her Leisure club, pay for me and collect me later. 

Whilst hubby is feeling good, this is an opportunity for me to look out for me. I believe they call it ‘self care’. And it’s bloody marvellous.

This morning I also had a chat with a nice lady from IAPT who’s assessed me and my tears and is sending me some info on Triple P parenting courses, a relaxation CD and arranging for me to have a natter with a counsellor. 


I’ve said it before, but being a mummy and loving someone with a mental illness is exhausting. I just plough on through usually, but then it catches up with me in cataclismic form. Shit.

It’s just me to look after me. So for now, the sounds of a jacuzzi, a trash mag and a power shower are my sanctuary.

See you on the other side.