Identity Capital: Building Momfidence

Motherhood is new to me. Building ANY identity capital right now is near impossible.

Author Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist specializing in adult development, defines what she calls “identity capital.” She writes:

Identity capital is our collection of personal assets—a repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. Some identity capital goes on a résumé … and other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves—bit by bit, over time.

To be clear identity capital has nothing to do with money. It grows when you do interesting/inspiring things and it decreases when you lay in bed all day watching television.

Author Meg Jay first captured my imagination during a Ted Talk performance, she coined the phase ‘The Defining Decade’ and outlined how actions in our 20’s define our future. Well I believe this same notion to be true with motherhood. The only difference is your nurturing a new being you’ve created with a loved one. Your actions will affect there future, no pressure then!

Motherhood is: immense, terrifying, overwhelming, incredibly rewarding and humbling. It’s usually morning at first feed when all these feelings descend on me, I honestly cant believe my luck. Robin is perfection to me as I am his mother, but that’s not the only thing that defines me, or is it?

Me time’ no longer exists and confidence well you have none. You haven’t time to think or contemplate, just act and do. I was contemplating my ‘bio’ on my personal Instagram account, I would usually state my profession, interests and  possibly relationship status. Now I am on maternity leave my repertoire seems to have shrunk somewhat to simply ‘mother’.

Before becoming a mother I would have been offended if my only defining feature was mother. Now I realise what that actually means: 24/7 compassionate care.

You now have one sole responsibility, them. I do however realise that this ‘baby’ phase will not last forever and this is why I am keen to continue to develop my identity capital and build on my momfidence.

I once said you cannot live off love alone and I believe this to be true. I am now taking positive steps to build on my momfidence which include: joining bootcamp, writing my blog and cooking. I have always been creative, I am just yet to find something that allows me to use this part of my persona whilst being a mom. Clothing attire can only go so far to express this side of my personality, you will never see me in black (be worried if you do!).

Lastly,  I salute all you full time mothers and mompreneurs, it took time, hard work, dedication and passion to add these to your repertoire!

*The book by Meg Jay, ‘The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them NOW’ or watch the TED talk by Meg Jay, “Why 30 is not the new 20“.

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Mommy Milestones

Ok so mommy blogging is kind of a big deal! You wont believe me but its taken approximately 10 weeks to write my first mommy post.

Robin Ray arrived on Monday the 9th of November 2015 at 3,02pm weighing 8oz 7lbs a staggering 14 days overdue! He is perfect to us in everyway, eyes as blue as the sky and skin as soft as silk. He is our ray of sunshine and a dream come true.

Time is precious these days, I even pee holding my new born. So I have compiled some thoughts on the major milestones so far, this is my effort to share and prepare others for mommy life.

Pregnancy

Healthy eating shouldn’t be underestimated.  You feel pretty helpless while pregnant, but eating the right things each trimester will give you something to focus on while helping your baby to develop. A little of what you fancy should also be adopted by everyone, growing a human is hard work! I consumed an alarming amount of soya hot chocolate and meat, yes meat I digressed to cavewomen status.

Yoga kept me sane and provided me with strength and solace before, during and after birth. I also met some super cool likeminded moms who have remained friends and provided companionship after birth.

Labour

Its mind blowing. Imagine a mixture of these emotions all at once, excitement, fear, pain and love. I have no advice as I truly believe no labour is the same, the only similarity is the outcome a new baby and a new life. Hold onto the thought that it is the only day in your life your guaranteed to meet the love of your life.

Week 1

Unbelievably magical and torturous.

You will as a new mom feel like you have been hit by a bus. Religiously take painkillers every 4 hours, you will ache in places you didn’t know were possible. You wont be able to sit comfortably but this wont last forever, take a salt bath once a day and hand express a little into the water. This will help with the healing.

Your milk will come in several days after giving birth, your boobs will become hot and red and you in turn will become emotional. Make sure you get the latch right with your newborn from this point on seek advice and help from your community health workers. This is really important as you will be you at your most vulnerable physically and mentally at this point.

Sleep deprivation is inevitable and torturous, you will fall asleep and wake in a panic patting the quilt cover believing you have fell asleep whilst holding your new baby. It is truly petrifying but normal.

Month 1

Get to know each other! It will take time, me and my little boy bonded over luke warm baths, warm milk and boob affirmation.

Uninvited guests are not welcome! It is rude and unacceptable, digital communication means there is now no excuse. After an activity scheduled morning all a new mom wants to do is feed there baby. That when breastfeeding means finally sitting down and whacking the boob out without an audience, bliss.

Month 2

Socialise, join a class do something. Its daunting but a great achievement once accomplished. You will meet others just like you and others who are nothing like you! As we are all individuals we are also all adopt individual parenting techniques. Don’t compete simply offer companionship and compassion being a mom is hard bloody work!

However supportive your other half is you will feel like a single parent if they work full time. Someone needs to earn the money, but its also important to remember that being a mother is also a full time job but it comes without a lunch break and financial bonuses we are simply rewarded with smiles! Yes finally these do appear and bonding goes to the next level smiling!

The days will disappear into weeks then months. Your newborn will continue to grow and develop. Just remember when sleep deprivation gets the better of you and sentences are replaced with one word answers you are doing the greatest job on earth, developing a human.

 

10 Months Pregnant: Overdue

WARNING, being overdue isn’t fun! Keeping a 10 month puppy entertained whilst on maternity is both a pleasure and a patience tester. If you are seeking an honest opinion on how it really feels read on.

So the honestbump has decided it’s very comfy nestling in my pelvis but refuses to come and say hi…naturally that is. So here I am waiting, I’m officially 11+ days over my due date and as you can imagine struggling.

In a bid to keep my sanity before my unnatural induction on Monday, here are my top 10 tips for embracing maternity leave;

1.Plan your weeks

Have a loose objective each week. i.e. Week 1: meet up with friends/ Week 2: bulk cook and freeze your favourite meals.

2. Don’t compare!

It’s so easy to say this and so damn hard to do, every person is different so expect your entire pregnancy to be too. Remember you’re a lioness when carrying a baby you will find strength you didn’t even realize you had, so don’t worry for the sake of it- enjoy every bump!

3. Your due date is an ESTIMATE

In the world of ‘Social’ media it is so easy to tell the world your exact due date. That’s fine but be prepared for an enormous amount of messages via all mediums including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Text messages and Voice Calls reminding you how overdue you are. Best line so far ‘Happy D DAY!’ oh thanks so much for remembering, shame my body forgot to contract as the clocks hit midnight on my EXACT due date.

4. Family

We love them, there super excited but be ready to manage their expectations too! As I have been reminded its ‘hard for them too’ OK really because being overdue when you are carrying a massive baby is pretty tricky too. The difficulty comes when trying to; pull shoes on, walk, sit, eat (indigestion) and sleep (he now tells me via kicks when a position isn’t suiting him)

5. Idealism

Have an idea of what you would like when giving birth but remember the midwives and doctors do have your best interest in mind. Being induced was not my dream, if I’m frank its took me weeks to come to terms with it (ridiculous I know) but when your body has delivered a healthy baby until now the lioness inside will find it hard to trust others with your baby. 1 in 5 babies are delivered via being induced, you’re not alone!

6. Perfect Birth

I have in my hours, sorry days of need read some pretty interesting articles and books. In one of these books it outlines how expectations in the past didn’t go beyond giving birth to a healthy baby and how now expectations are placed on the ‘perfect’ birthing experience. It does make me wonder, are we all expecting a bit much?

7. Emotions

Finally, you will feel emotional, this is normal. Your hormones are going crazy your feeling anxious. You will need reflexology (available for free sometimes ask your midwife) and a friend or partner at the end where when they ask ‘How are you?’ your response can be ‘ Shitty, but to anyone else asking please say she’s doing great, he’s just really comfy!’

8. Timing

Before deciding when to take maternity leave I did a bit of research on when would be the right time to leave and found mixed opinions. I took 4 weeks which included some annual leave. Instead of forcing you to agree with my decision I would like to say everybody is different, it is however important to adjust mentally to even the idea of becoming a mom and a great opportunity to get stuff finished (i.e. everything in my case including birth plan, nursery and hospital bag).

9. Baby Love

Lastly, it is important to add the last 11+ days have been hard but only due to the not knowing when he may arrive. The most important thing is that your baby is healthy and happy and apparently when they decide to make an appearance you will forget how overdue you were and the pain you went through to get them. It will be so worth it!

10. PJ days are over rated

My recipe to sanity for any other 10 month moms to be; don’t be afraid to be honest on how you feel but try not to share is with the whole world! Positive vibes with a pinch of laughs will get you through – don’t forget to exercise; in my opinion PJ days are over rated!

I would love to hear from other overdue moms to be, if you have any tips please comment below.

Speak soon x

Enjoy every bump

So firstly, I must apologise! I have been tireless working hard to leave things in an orderable manor at work. I know, who cares?! Well unfortunately, I do, for me taking a career break was the biggest consideration before deciding to try for our own family, as I will admit I love what I do!

However, on an honest note I realise that there is more to life than work. On a dark note, I am fully aware my last place of work will not appear on my gravestone!

This sadistic realisation came when I was fortunate to take time off at Christmas with my husband for our honeymoon. It took a trip around the world to reach our final decision; life is what you make of it! We wanted a family more than anything and after some serious excel money crunching it ‘could’ be possible and it could take at least 6-12 months to conceive.

Sydney, December 2015

To our amazement we caught! Here is where the honest bump journey began, however we didn’t want to get too excited as 40 weeks seems like a lifetime.

Well at week 38 I can honestly say the excitement and apprehension has reached its peak, we are now days (hopefully not weeks!) away from meeting our baby. However, for me the toughest thing has been realising that my financial independence has had to dwindle. I have of course saved but still after working for the last 10 years and making my own money, this is the hardest thing for me.

I don’t wish to splurge I just like to feel I can financially support myself, I believe this is due to being bought up by my fearlessly independent and single mother! This is however, something I have sacrificed; sometimes you can be so worried about the future that you miss the most important moments.

My mother in law kindly bought us a plaque, which I feel embodies this beautifully ‘Enjoy the little things in life as one day you will look back and realise they were the big things.’

Enjoy the little things in life as one day you will look back and realise they were the big things

This proudly hangs on my kitchen wall and reminds me that I should enjoy every bump of my journey. Not long now little man!

Round Ligament Pain – be gone!

I’ve been suffering with something that’s not very unusual in pregnancy but very uncomfortable: Round Ligament Pain. If you haven’t experienced this yet congratulations!

Round ligament pain is a sharp pain or jabbing feeling often felt in the lower belly or groin area on one or both sides. It is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is considered a normal part of pregnancy. It felt like a stitch for me that came on quickly & was gone just as fast.

I attend an amazing Yoga class and the teacher Julie is fantastic and educated me on the Prenatal Belly Bound. This really helped me to a point where my round ligament pain stopped.

I did my research and here’s some intresting information about its origins;

Prenatal Belly Bound– In West Africa women also bind their bellies during their pregnancy. A beautiful cloth wrapped around her blossoming belly is worn on the outside of her clothes. Prenatal Binding is also effective if you have severe lower back pain.

How do you do it?

Do you have a large scarf or pachmina (preferably long not square)? Great your ready!

1) Simply find the middle & place the material across your bump, you will now have material gathering at the back.

*Now this is the secret & you may want to involve your other half.

2) The material should gather neatly at the side to create a tight bind.

3) Finally pull the material round and knot below your resting lower bra line.

4) Your finished! Enjoy having the weight lifted (for a little while!)

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Prenatal Belly Bound for Round Ligament Pain

You can sleep with this on or like me simply use when walking around the house! I promise you it will be worth the hassle of finding or buying a scarf honest.

40 Weeks of Nesting

Part of the role of being a ‘mommy-to-be’ is nesting. We spend 40 weeks growing a human for goodness sake, giving us plenty of time to prepare! So it’s only natural that we want everything to be perfect for when our new additions arrive.

So for me a confessed ‘shopaholic’ I couldn’t wait to start buying or should we say ‘nesting’ for the honest bump. The only problem is tiny things come with a big price tag! Excel is my new ‘down-time’ with totting up all the essentials needed and making sure we have them in time for its arrival – how very rock n roll!

Now it’s important to say that a baby really doesn’t have to break the bank, as long as the baby is fed and cared for, then your good. The Marketing hype around the baby world is incredible and the price tags outrageous, just remember you should dictate what you want not the retail store you’re browsing in.

Anyway, after saving and eventually working out what is ACTUALLY required the nesting could begin. However due to the bumps size, general fatigue and busyness, internet shopping has become my favourite form of shopping.

To my surprise, I have been given a large bag of nearly new clothes- some still have the tag on! So my first nesting project has become decorating the babies room.

How to decorate hasn’t been too much of a problem, thanks to Pinterest. The only difficulty we have found is finding the time! Now I realize the baby does not care what colour the walls are, but I do feel for me personally its part of the bonding process.

Last weekend the parent in laws made the 400+ mile round-trip journey to help us create the perfect room for our little one.

Rather than buy everything new (I’m a vintage girl at heart) we decided to renovate what we could. A couple of years ago when buying our first home we were given a few bits future, which included a wardrobe and side table. Both made from solid pine it seemed a shame not to use them!

Thankfully last weekend the mother-in-law was ready to help and the sun was shining, so we prepped and painted (outside to avoid paint fumes!). The results were amazing! It just shows what a bit of TLC and paint can do.
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Both the wardrobe and side table will be placed within the baby’s room. Our changing table is actually an IKEA yellow chest of draws from a couple of years ago, but with a white wedge on top it makes a practical yet stylish addition to the room.

Now I must admit the wallpaper was something I wasn’t willing to scrimp on – trust me I looked around! In the end we went for a unique triangle print which compliments the room’s accessories.

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We are far from finished but are happy with how it’s coming together. My suggestion when creating that perfect place for your new born is to not be scared to show a bit of personality! Yes a number of retailers sell a range of pre-designed prints and furniture packs but don’t be afraid to renovate and create. I promise to keep you posted on the finished result.

Happy nesting, speak soon x

#foodstagram

When nurturing the bump, it’s important to eat the right thing. However what to eat or what NOT to eat seems to be very different depending on who you’re talking to, the year they were born and which way the wind is blowing!

I was literally obsessed with FISH in my first trimester! That was until I visited my midwife at the time.

I was confidently discussing my eating habits when bringing up my latest obsession – fish. I was then told that you shouldn’t eat more than two servings a week. Well for any moms-to-be you will understand that when you have a craving, nothing else will do! My craving at the time was Fish, mash & peas (classy I know!).

Following on from this I decided too, you guessed it – GOOGLE. Which seemed to confuse me more, there is so much advise out there but which was right for me?

I decided to keep things simple and include the following into my diet, where possible;

Iron
Calcium
Vitamin A, C & D
Fibre
Protein

For detailed meal planning or inspiration for each trimester, I found the Baby Centre planning page useful.

I believe pictures speak louder than words, so here’s my 7 day pregnancy #foodstagram board inspiration, for all my fellow moms to be!

7 days pregnancy #foodstagram

Trimester 2

Week Food Diary

Monday: #Meatfree Mattar Paneer Curry
Tuesday: Honey & Sesame Seed Stir Fry * see recipe below
Wednesday: Fig Super Food Salad
Thursday: Turkey & Spinach Bolognese
Friday: Steak with Stuffed Peppers
Saturday: BBQ Lamb pitta & Sweet Potato Fries
Sunday: Slow Cooked Lamb with trimmings

Honey & Sesame Seed Stir Fry

Ingredients
Chicken
Spring Onions (Handful)
Stir Fry Vegetable
Carrot Batons
Soybeans
Sesame Seeds

Sauce
Sesame Oil
Chinese Five Spices
Honey
Dark Soy Sauce
Fish Sauce (small amount)

Great for;  Calcium (Soybeans), Vitamin A & C (Carrots), Fiber (whole wheat noodles), Protein (Chicken).

I always suggest balancing any healthy diet with a bit of what you fancy! My weakness being chocolate #honestbump, time for pudding!

Speak soon x