Self Care & Ageing Gracefully

This coming year sees me turning 33. People born in the year 2000 will turn 18. How is that even possible? Surely people born in 2000 are still babies!

My nan always used to say “you know you’re getting old when the Policemen are getting younger”. She was right. I now see Policemen and I’m convinced that they should still be in school, in reality they’re in their twenties.

I am officially old.

I’m hairier than I used to be. My metabolism definitely doesn’t work like it used to and I have no idea what songs are in the top ten. My idea of the perfect evening is a takeaway, pyjamas and an early night; I even considered adding a National Trust membership to my Christmas list!

It’s time to start looking after myself, in a bid to ensure that I age gracefully.

Self Care & Ageing Gracefully

The signs of ageing are slowly creeping up on me and my body is changing. The fine lines started to appear around my eyes a few years back and my body aches in places that I never knew could ache.

In a bid to delay the ageing process and age more gracefully I plan to take a few simple steps, a few preventative measures.

The addition of a dog to our family means that I am now more active than ever before. This combined with healthy eating will be beneficial for the whole family.

I’ve recently discovered that I have a Vitamin D deficiency, I am taking supplements for this and hoping to have it under control sooner rather than later. Weakened bones and growing older aren’t an ideal combination.

Maybe 2018 will be the year that I finally find a good skin care regime and dabble more in self care, more early nights and more me-time.

Let’s not forget the less talked about issues when it comes to ageing as a female. Many people see these changes as embarrassing and tend not to talk about them. Body changes such as vaginal dryness, an issue that is simple to treat yet comes with great stigma. Vaginal Dryness Treatment is readily available in the form of moisturising gel and a refreshing mousse, which can also be used as a preventative measure.

So, here is to 2018. To eating healthy and keeping fit. To taking care of my body and taking preventative measures to ensure that I age gracefully.

Have you put any changes in place to ensure that you age gracefully?

*This post has been supported by Canesintima®, but all thoughts are my own*

Living my Life Through Fear of Judgement

Recently big mummy bloggers like Constance Hall and Toby and Roo have openly spoken about the fact that they swear in front of their children and they see no harm in doing so. This whole debate has me questioning why I do and don’t do certain things. Every time I come back with the fact that it just isn’t socially acceptable, what would other people think? I live my life through fear of judgement. A lot of my decisions are based on what is seen as right and what is seen as wrong. Based on fear of being judged.

Spencer and I never swear in front of Aria, or at least not intentionally. There have been times, where, for example, I’ve dropped something and screamed “oh for fucks sake”, and I’ve instantly felt real bad, proper mam guilt. Swearing in front of children is just not what you do, it’s not the done thing.

It’s not just Aria, I don’t swear on my blog and  I don’t swear in front of certain people, yet I swear like a trooper in front of most people. I love using a good old f’bomb to vent my passion or frustration, hell, I’m even partial to a c’bomb, especially after a drink or ten!

It led me to question why exactly I hide my true self from certain people.

All I could come up with was the fear of being judged. I don’t swear in front of Aria because people will be disgusted, imagine the horror if people hear me swearing in front of a two year old, or, even worse, if she repeats those words. I don’t swear on my blog because people may not like it, it may put readers off and brands may not want to work with me if I’m ‘sweary’. I don’t swear in front of my elders or professionals because I’ve always been taught to respect them, but just how is expressing myself disrespectful?

It’s not just the swearing, there are other things too. Things like telling Aria she can’t climb up the slide, only go down. I am always conforming. Doing what is expected of me rather than what I want to do. I imagine that this is partly due to my anxiety and also the fact that I was picked on in my school days. My anxiety may even be as a result of being picked on, maybe all of my problems and fears stem from those horrid teenage bullies.

I can’t relax on a night out, at least not until I’m drunk. I just worry, worry about what I’m wearing, worry about how I look. There is absolutely no way I am getting up to dance at your party if I’m sober, what if my dancing is awful? I need shots for that. Drunk me doesn’t give a shit, drunk me will dance all night. I love drunk me, sober me really needs to take some tips from drunk me.

I want to lose weight, I really should do it for health reasons, but the only thing that is motivating me is the worry over how I look and what people are thinking about me. I hate the fact that people are probably talking about how much weight I’ve put on, which isn’t a bad thing, but another example of how fear of being judged is impacting my life, both negatively and positively.

I’m not going to change over night, there is always going to be a part of me that feels the need to conform, that is too worried about what others may think to break the mould, but I am going to try, try and live my life without fear of being judged.

It’s time to stop hiding who I am for fear of being judged. Time to just be me. 

Reclaiming me After Motherhood

It has taken over two years, but I finally feel as though I have found ‘me’ again, not just mam, but me. Don’t get me wrong I love being Aria’s mam but boy I have missed being me, being Leanne.

People used to say that I was funny, I made them laugh. I lost that person, I struggled to make conversation let alone make people laugh. I became lonely and boring. The only thing that I was able to talk about with any enthusiasm was Aria and my parenting wins and woes. This very quickly became my go to subject, became who I was.

I always have struggled to make friends, unless I’m drunk and then I can talk the hind leg off a donkey. Small talk is not my forte.

Before becoming a mother I worked in an office for over ten years, an office full of women, women who I knew very well. Women who I would regularly engage in conversation with and just be ‘me’ with. In fact I was often pulled up on for talking too much!

I left these women behind to work from home, and to look after my daughter, the only regular adult conversation that I had (apart from my husband) would be if I attempted to make small talk at baby groups. I missed regular free flowing conversation, I missed gossip, my baby became my security blanket and I lost myself. I forgot who I was, I forgot how to just be me.

More recently I’ve made time for me. I’ve made time to reconnect with old friends, time to connect with new friends. I’ve found myself again. I’ve found myself over those small moments. Bonded with other mothers over a coffee and an eye roll when our kids had that similar strop, smiled with other mother’s when our kids became friends. Those little moments are the ones that count. The ones that helped me find me again.

Whether it’s meeting up with old friends, some who are now parents too, some who aren’t, or making new friends through common interests, and of course, children. It all helps to find you again, to reclaim yourself.

Make time for adults. Even play dates and baby groups are important, they are when you bond with adults, when you get to become you again. Even if it is while keeping one on eye on your wild child.

The Clumsy Gene

I often wonder if there is such a thing as a clumsy gene. In fact I’m 99% sure that there is one. I am ridiculously clumsy, and now, my daughter is too. I’m forever falling over things, I’m almost always covered in bruises and most of the time I can’t even remember which of my calamities caused any one particular bruise.

Aria is already following suit. Her knees are constantly covered in grazes, she very often has mysterious bruises and I feel like I am forever telling her to watch where she is going. If I leave a drawer open she will walk into it, if I don’t beat her to it of course! My most used phrases now are “Aria! Watch where you’re going!” and “Aria! Open your eyes!” usually in a panicked, loud voice.

Despite all of this I’ve never broken a bone in my body and have only been to Hospital once which was when I was eighteen months old and caught my thumb in a caravan door and needed stitches, I didn’t even go to Hospital when I gave birth!

Another surprising fact is that I have never had an accident at work, even when I was younger, earning a half decent wage and living with my parents with little to no expenses. Back when I made the most of being young free and single and went out and got drunk. A lot. Back when I would go to work hungover, sometimes quite possibly still drunk yet I never had an accident.

When you consider that young employees aged 16-29 are the most likely to suffer an accident at work it’s really quite surprising that I didn’t! What’s even more surprising is that only one in four of these young people who suffer genuine accidents at work go on to seek legal advice which is whyHayward Baker has launched a free to use interactive injury compensation calculator.

Survey results surrounding young people and accidents at work

*Sponsored Post*

A Work From Home Mam – The Reality

I had so many plans for when I became a work from home mam. I would cook from scratch daily, bake regularly and make my own bread. Aria and I would spend a lot of time crafting, and also go out on play dates at least once a week. My house would be spotless and the washing baskets would never overflow again. Who was I trying to kid!?!

The reality has been somewhat different. In fact, the only one of those things that happens on a regular basis is the bread making, and, to be completely honest, The Hairy Biker bread maker from Ideal World* makes it so easy that there is no reason I couldn’t have made my own bread back when I was working and blogging, so there is definitely no excuse not to do it now.

Review of the Hairy Bikers bread machine from Ideal World

It’s a  winner though, and I am glad that this is one of the few things that I actually do. Aria loves the bread maker, she sits on the worktop watching it, giggling when it kneads the bread and mimicking the whirring noises as the machine does it’s thing. I’ve yet to get her to eat the actual bread but getting her to eat most things is a challenge, except stock cubes of course (see facebook for more on this particular subject!). Spencer and I on the other hand absolutely love the beautiful, thick doorstop bread fresh from the machine. Getting used to it has taken a while, the paddle got stuck in the bread on the first few attempts but a good coating of oil on it seems to have solved that problem now.

As with most things in life I love to cut corners which is what makes the Hairy Biker’s bread maker perfect for me. I’ve decided to ignore the booklet full of recipes that comes with the machine and just buy ready made bread mixes. I simply measure out the required amount of water and pour it into the machine followed by the bread mix, close the lid and press go. As simple as that. Around three hours later I have a delicious loaf of super fresh and tasty bread. Winning.

blog review of the hairy bikers bread maker from ideal world

As for the crafts, well I was a bit clever there, I know that I always put crafts off so I signed up to become a Bostik Blogger which means that I HAVE to do crafts with Aria at least once a month. It is usually a last minute panic a few days before (or on the day of!) the deadline but she loves it all the same. My crafts are made with a lot of help from Aria so they never look great but believe me when I say that Aria puts a lot of effort into them and yes, I get incredibly frustrated watching her do them, especially when she sticks eyes on bums and that type of thing. It takes a lot to stay strong and not take over.

toddler crafting - the realities of a work from home mam

I dreamed of having weekends and evenings off when I become a work from home mam, and I do tend to take weekends off which is lovely. As for the evenings they are usually spent on the ‘gram, although I do try and stick to a posting schedule of Sunday – Thursday so that I get some evenings off. I’m putting a lot more in now and as a result I am getting a lot more out. My Instagram feed is nicely curated and my following and engagement have increased, and I’ve managed this without neglecting my blog. None of this would have been possible if I were still working part time and running a blog.

I wish I could tell you that I was now more organised with my working schedule. But that would be a lie.

And my house is still a tip. I like to spend my days off with Aria having fun, not cleaning and I like to spend my working days, well, working.

While being a work from home mam isn’t exactly what I had expected it to be, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

*Disclosure – The bread maker was sent to me in exchange for promotion*