Part Time Working Mummy

It’s the most asked question from every new Mum but the one with many different answers for each of us:-

Do I go back to work or do I stay at home with the kids?

For myself this is still the question I am struggling with nearly 34 months later since having my first child.

Before children I worked in childcare as a nursery worker both in children centres and private nurseries and then decided that I wanted to become a Nanny where I could concentrate solely on the care and attention of the child and attend to the family’s needs and requirements. Making such a huge transition was a big step and with some advice from a few Nanny friends and soon having the opportunity to look after a mutual friends baby that needed full time childcare, I ventured into my first role as a Nanny providing sole attention, care, and daily activities until unfortunately the family no longer needed me. I was back to the drawing board with only one nannying experience. So what now??

Luckily one of my Nanny friends introduced me to a childcare app called childcare.co.uk which is the UK’s largest online community of parents, childcare providers, babysitters, nurseries and private tutors. I was able to set up a profile free of charge that was safe and secure where I provided my contact details, the childcare provision I was offering, my experiences, qualifications, availability and fee which would then be put in their database for access where other parents could view my profile and contact me if they were interested.

I was a little sceptical at first as this was something completely new to me and although I had many years of childcare experience, I wasn’t sure how people who had never met me would trust me enough to contact me regarding looking after their children but I found the app very user friendly and began searching profiles of potential parents that fit my requirements, while also sending out a number of secure private messages; with the odd phone call if a number had been left on the profile that gave access to call directly and have a chat about the position further. I soon started receiving messages from both parents whom I had reached out to and visa versa.

I was really amazed and encouraged just how easy the app was to use with an added bonus of the location of each parent showing on each profile which helped me to decide which potential family I could work for as travelling by public transport was the only option so I needed something local.

I found that there are 1300 local profiles in need of childcare from putting in my postcode on the website and by viewing each parents profile I can eliminate it down further, based on both sets of requirements until I find the perfect match!

Not long after creating my online profile I started receiving messages which was a prefect way of communicating until I felt secure enough to agree to any interviews. The website provides a safety centre with information about staying safe and not conducting any visits until background and checks have been completed. I’ve found this very helpful as it assists in both safe guarding myself and online users as online safety is a really big issue. With website options offering community reporting, platform monitoring and secure document validation and sharing, I know that if we are in need of childcare for even a couple of hours; correct procedures and measures have taken place that would help to put our mind a little more at ease.

As my home life changed this has also had an effect on my job requirements and availability; now having children the balance between work and home life isn’t an easy one but it makes it less stressful knowing that all I have to do is update the profile with my current situations and I can then go through the whole process again.

Currently I am not working as a childcare provider but I have recently updated my profile and will be using the app to actively search for local babysitting positions on Saturday evenings but with the aid of regular updates of potential matches sent straight to my email it will make searching so much more easy and accessible.

*This blog is sponsored but all opinions are my own*

Thank you for reading!

Lollipop Baby Camera Review

The Story Behind Lollipop Baby Camera

Lack of sleep for a new mother is something that is all too familiar and relatable but with the added worry of not being able to hear or see if your baby needs attention once they are asleep is something I experienced with both children.

I would have just settled Josiah and be in the shower or washing dishes and could clearly think that I have heard him cry only to rush upstairs and still find him soundly sleeping. And then there are times when he would be crying and I didn’t hear it straightaway until it got to that unmissable volume or Nia-Mae comes and gives her reports.

We had never used a baby monitor with Nia-Mae but instead used a movement detector that is placed under the mattress of the crib so to monitor her breathing and when she wakes with the additional audio monitor. It ended up being too sensitive so this was quickly removed and instead we depended on listening out for her cry. Doable with one child but having 2 children I quickly realised that I needed a monitor to be able to check on JJ and put my mind and ears at ease when I am carrying on with my other daily activities along with spending quality one-on-one time with Nee.

While being pregnant I had looked around for monitors and couldn’t find any that fit our requirements which was to wrap around the crib instead of being laid flat on a surface as JJ was still in our room in his crib. I had given up looking as there wasn’t any on the market until I came across Lollipop Baby Camera

We were kindly gifted our Turquoise Lollipop Baby Camera which is a toxic-free silicone baby monitor that provides smart intelligent video-based captures with added true crying detection. It has so many added features that are so helpful whether supporting newborns, toddlers or siblings.

Features

• Night Vision- The infrared lens gives a clear image not just during the day but also at night.

•Instant App Alerts- You can choose which notifications get sent to your phone letting you be in control when you attend to your baby’s need. Simply view the live feed or event videos to check out what is going on.

•Cry Detection- The Lollipop can tell the difference between ambient noises like the wind or traffic and when your baby is actually crying and needs attention. If your baby is crying when your out of the room, you’ll receive an alert that lets you know.

•Audio Monitor- You can have the option to turn on the audio only and use it as a traditional sound monitor which is perfect for when I’m using my phone and can’t always use the video monitor at the same time.

•Sound Machine & Microphone- The Lollipop also comes with the additional feature of white noise and you can choose from either the Music List or Sound List. Josiah’s favourites are ‘Water’ and ‘Sea Wave’.

These are the main features that stand out to me and the ones that we regularly use having had the camera for a couple of weeks. I love how even if I’m not at home I can still check that Josiah is sleeping ok.

Eventually the kids will be sharing a room and the Lollipop Baby Camera will definitely be a necessity them as I’m sure it will be another battle getting them both to settle at the same time! Along with the camera I’ll most likely be using the microphone feature telling them to ‘Get back into bed’ or ‘Stop making so much noise and go to sleep’.

I can’t emphasis just how amazing this monitor is and I think that it’s a must in every home.

Thank you so much Lollipop Baby Camera for gifting us our stylish monitor that has changed our bedtime routines for the better!

*Although this item has been gifted all opinions are entirely my own.

Thank you for reading!

Josiah’s Birth Story

My little man is 6 months old… how time has flown from when I first found out we were having you to holding you closely on your born day. Here’s Josiah’s birth story.

So let’s rewind slightly to when I found out I was pregnant, I had felt some flu-like symptoms for a few days which didn’t develop further put were severe enough to have me bed bound. I asked my husband if he could get me honey and lemon and to also grab me a pregnancy test, I wasn’t expecting anything as I hadn’t missed a period yet but when that line clearly became duplicated I was like this feels all too familiar with the first symptoms I had with Nia-Mae.

The first three months of pregnancy were actually quite smooth sailing where I didn’t suffer with any morning sickness (and what a relief this was as I had suffered majorly when pregnant with Nia-Mae), in fact my pregnancy was the total opposite from the first one which made me believe that I was DEFINITELY having a boy second time around.

The Summer of 2018 was HOTTT!! Second time pregnant and I seemed to get bigger a lot faster, as much as the weather was like being abroad for myself and bump it was torturous. Walking two steps had me sweating buckets but I did my best to enjoy as much as I could with Nia-Mae and my husband by setting up her water pool in the back garden, trips to the park or just steady walks in town.

Fast forward to the final month and after having a hard Summer with a family bereavement and having to spend a month away from home with Nia-Mae, I was actually worried that baby boy would be coming early due to numerous painful contractions which I was definitely not used to in my previous pregnancy. I was so worried that I’d go into labour being in Leeds and having nothing with me but thankfully baby boy decided to stay put and cook some more.

So I’m back at home by September and in overdrive trying to frantically nest and get everything ready… bags aren’t packed and NOTHING has been purchased (not even a vest) but on top of that I’m frantically still working on outstanding orders from my small business before baby boy comes but luckily manage to get everything ready with majority of baby items being in perfect condition thankfully from hand-me-downs we’d purchased for Nia-Mae.

7 months pregnant at my late Grandma’s funeral

It’s a week before your due date and I am so ready for you to arrive that I was going to ask a midwife friend of mine to do a sweep in fear that I’d be overdue which I really didn’t want to be the case. I had been active enough with entertaining a toddler (that isn’t the easiest feat) plus my continuous obsession of needing to nest and keep things clean and tidy. With the freakish Tropical like Summer we were having and it being stuffy both day and night, sleep wasn’t my friend either so the day before you came I had been extra restless and was pacing about the house looking to do anything that would keep me busy such as changing our bedding, continuing with work orders (even though I was on Maternity leave at this point) and if that wasn’t enough an evening of boogie down with my favourite playlist.

All this must have triggered something as prior to having Brixton Hicks contractions a couple of days ago that didn’t develop into labour I wasn’t hopeful when I started having these again in the early hours of Friday 5th October. So I did the usual and timed them with each early contraction being 10 minutes apart and bearable. I’m awake on my own so decide to entertain myself with Netflix while still timing with contractions varying between 8-10 mins but surprisingly over a short space of time the contractions start to be at smaller intervals at every 5 minutes so I decide to call my hospital labour ward as I wanted to be prepared as we still needed our assigned person to be well prepared in order to look after Nia-Mae.

Gravity definitely did it’s part as soon as I was on the phone to a midwife I could barely speak through my contractions at this point and knew that this was the real thing. The midwife first advised me to soak in the bath which unfortunately for me couldn’t be the case as we only had a shower. I’m still timing contractions that are erratically all over the place so thankfully the midwife advises us to come in.

“Get up Miquel, it’s time!”

So it’s now game on and I call my assigned person so that we can arrange for Nia-Mae to be taken to their house…ring ring, ring ring and then straight to voicemail but luckily our second choice was able to come to our house and look after Nee (even though it was completely unplanned for her) While fighting through increasingly painful contractions and getting the last bits ready for Nee eventually it was time to go to the hospital.

Once we’d got to the car the contractions seemed to die down and I was able to get to the ward with ease and check into the waiting room where I decided to call my mum and let her know I was in labour. During mid conversation I had the most strongest contraction that I just handed the phone to Miquel and groaned through the pain. Contractions all of a sudden intensified where I was crying out in pain for the ‘nurse’ not caring who was watching or hearing me and I must have been causing enough noise as a midwife soon came and between her and Miquel on either side partially dragged me to an observation room where I was checked and was 5cm dilated and relieved to be told that I wasn’t going home.

From always wanting a water birth and it not going to plan the first time round, I was adamant about doing the best for a water birth this time and luckily the pool was available so as soon our midwife for delivery was available we were taken to the pool. Contractions before this point had been steady but bearable so when I entered into the pool I asked the midwife ‘How long do you think it will be until I give birth’ and her reply being ‘I can’t specifically say but it’s usually 1cm every hour’ of course I knew this from prior experience but had magically hoped that this wouldn’t be the case second time around as I had stopped dilating at 7cm with Nia-Mae as well as already having an epidural.

I remember looking at the clock and it being just before 7am and predicting that I would give birth around 11am-12noon but oh how wrong was I. I had never used gas and air before but the contractions came on as powerful than ever that in between sucks I was begging the midwife that I now wanted an epidural to which she let me know that the anaesthetist was currently in surgery so I’d have to wait until they were finished but reminded me that this couldn’t be administered in the pool. I DID NOT want to come out the pool as it was giving me a lot of relief despite the pain so I just dismissed the idea but quickly swayed back on forth with each painful contraction demanding that I now wanted the epidural and to allow me to come out of the pool when the anaesthetist was out of surgery.

My poor midwife who was only on duty for an hour before her shift was over did her best to accommodate me as much as possible so went off to try and get the paperwork started for my epidural leaving myself and my husband to continuing labouring. All I remember thinking is if this is how painful it is now then it will be too unbearable by the time I’m ready to push not knowing that I was further along than I realised. I suddenly felt the urge to want to push down and knew that the head was coming but had slid back in and once the midwife came into the room I screamed ‘He’s coming!’ The look on her face was total disbelief as I had only been in the pool not even 30 mins. My husband who had now been in charge of the gas and air due to me overdosing on it had changed positions so that he was now facing me so he could assist me when I needed to take a puff!

All of a sudden I hear him say ‘Im gonna pass out!’ and then see him toppling backwards as he’s fainted taking part of the instrument I needed for my gas and air. The midwife is in total shock and has pulled the red cord for more midwives to assist but to my surprise have paid all the attention on Miquel and left me to fend for myself. I cry out ‘Help’ as I feel that the next few contractions are the ones needed for me to make my last few pushes; I must have sounded so desperate as all I see is this head pop back up and my husband ready to continue his duty as birth partner. And very well timed as the next couple of contractions I could feel ‘the ring of fire’ (which to me didn’t feel as bad as some of the stories I’d heard and felt that my contractions had been much more painful), a few seconds later out slid my beautiful baby boy at 7:24am on Friday 5th October weighing 6lbs and 10oz of gorgeousness. I was in love all over again and so relieved and proud with myself for having the birth plan I’d always wanted… I’d finally had my water birth.

We cuddled for a while until your umbilical cord was cut and then you latched on perfectly while we both enjoyed skin-to-skin contact while Mummy and Daddy grew besotted with you.

Six months later and we are more in love with you than ever. Your big sister adores you and treats you like you’re her own, always ready to give a helping hand with nappy changes (I once luckily just in time walked in on her trying to wipe your soiled nappy) You continue to feed like a champ and although you could sleep A LOT better than you do, it’s probably because you love Mummy loads and want all the cuddles. Despite kissing sleep goodbye for the foreseeable future, Mummy can’t deny that I do and always will love our cuddles too!

Josiah Craig Lambert born Friday 5th October at 7:24am via the quickest water birth weighing 6lb 10oz

Thank you for reading!

Gummee Glove Review

Every baby is different and especially being a Mummy of 2, I am finding this so true the older JJ gets. He has been teething for a few months now and while Nee never had problems with this it seems to be affecting JJ a lot more.

All fingers in mouth, dribble down chin and a nappy full of mess it was easy to see that he wasn’t copy well and especially at night.

I came across gummeeteething on Instagram and I instantly loved their product called Gummee Glove that we were kindly gifted to try out. Gummee Glove is a teething mitten designed to fit on a babies hand for ages 3m+ which helps to provide relief on their gums by the side teethers being well positioned so that when the baby brings their hand to mouth they can easily chew on the teether.

We chose the turquoise Gummee Glove (3-6 months) for stage 2 teething which comes with the detachable heart shaped teether and free laundry/travel drawstring pouch. This makes it easy to wash and keep the teether clean after baby’s use.

Once we ordered the Gummee Glove it arrived very quickly with next day delivery, I was really excited for JJ to try it as he’d had a rough few days of teething where we had needed to administer Calpol. As soon as I put the glove on JJ’s hand he knew exactly what to do with it and brought the glove to his mouth in a sideward position to allow the teether to fit in his mouth. The glove fit perfectly on his hand by the adjustable Velcro strap which makes it so useful for babies that are too young to grip onto the normal teethers.

JJ was so happy right away on the relief the teether brought him and I was especially happy as prior he had been sucking and chewing on his fingers which I were afraid would get sore as he suffers with sensitive and eczema prone skin.

We love our Gummee Glove and this is such an innovative idea that we will be using the other products when he moves up in stages.

Gummee Glove Features

Adjustable Closure

The adjustable hook and loop design means that once the mitten is fitted onto baby’s hand there is no fear of it falling off to the ground whilst you are out and about. A teether that has a perfect fit!

Secure Pocket

There is a pocket at the top of the Gummee Glove which is for the heart shaped detachable teething ring with the popper that holds the teething ring securely in place. This is good once the baby has been introduced to the glove and is comfortable with its use, it can either be used with the glove or separately as baby learns how to hold onto a teether.

Teething Ring

Every Gummee Glove comes with a free, high quality, food grade silicone, BPA & Phthalate free detachable heart shaped teething ring that can be used once baby has outgrown the Gummee Glove and can be separately used with added relief by popping it in the refrigerator for half an hour to provide instant cooling relief on hot and itchy gums.

The Side Teethers

The side teethers are perfectly designed to fit into tiny mouths so that when baby puts hand to mouth the teether is right there where it needs to be. These can also be used as gel applicators by just applying some gel to the side of the teethers. The heart shaped teether can be washed in soapy water or sterilised using any of the usual methods.

Absorbent Cotton

The Gummee Glove is made with 100% cotton which makes it really absorbent and breathable. This is particularly important as it prevents baby from getting rashes as the glove absorbs all the drool while baby stays comfortable and dry!

Machine Washable

Every Gummee Glove comes with a free laundry pouch which makes it easy to wash after baby’s use. Simply pop the glove into the drawstring bag, tightly pull the cord and loosely tie the string, then wash with similar coloured items.

The heart shaped teether can be washed in soapy water or sterilised using any of the usual methods.

Josiah has really been happy with his Gummee Glove and it’s really helped ease the discomfort he had from teething and put my mind at ease with him not getting sore fingers from putting them in his mouth. Thank you Gummee Teething!

*Gifted item but all opinions are my own

Thank you for reading!