Before Harris was growing in my belly I was never a very maternal person. It’s true when they say that motherhood changes you. I can’t describe the love I felt towards our surprise love-bug when I witnessed that second line appear on the cheapo pregnancy test I’d bought on a whim because my period was a few days late. The need to protect our unborn baby came instantly, and I knew there and then that this happy little accident was meant to be – the same thing cannot be said for Gavin who instantly threw up when I told him, but he came round eventually!
Once Harris was born, we said that our family was complete. We’d loosely talked about how many children we would like and had mutually agreed that one would be enough for us. Now, if we fast forward to around eight months after Harris was born, this is when I started to feel like maybe one day another bundle of joy would be a nice thing to have again. Did I tell Gavin? Absolutely not, because I knew he was pretty set on just the one. Fast forward again, to around Harris’ first birthday, where there were a lot of emotions flying around about how our baby was no longer a baby and it was mentioned that maybe one day it would be nice to have another. Fast forward again (last time, I promise) to now - we have a toddling almost-18 month old and having another baby is mentioned almost daily. So, what’s stopping us?
For starters, we’re currently living back with my mum and stepdad and trying to scrape together a deposit for our own home. There are currently four adults, one toddler and two dogs living under the one roof. I needn’t say much more on that really, but it wouldn’t be fair on anyone to introduce a newborn baby into the mix too. Plus we’re not in a position where we can afford to move again.
Harris still doesn’t sleep the best, and I struggle with that enough as it is. I honestly found it much easier when he was newborn and happy to boob to sleep because we don’t have that anymore and it’s much more difficult when he’s up for an hour at a time through the night. I think it was just a bit easier when he was a newborn because they slot into your life pretty easily at the beginning when they all they do is eat, poop and sleep. Once they start to crawl, walk and talk you have a whole host of other battles on your hands. We need to leave the house in two minutes, just keep your socks on, will you?!
Also - money. It makes the world go round apparently, and I have to agree a little bit. It just seems like everything is about money right now, and we unfortunately don’t have enough to go around. We have a few things we’re trying to save up for at the moment so there is no chance we could afford to clothe and feed another human right now.
Another reason for delaying trying for number two is that, selfishly, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting my own life back a little bit. Now that I’ve been back at work for six months (I don’t even know how that happened so damn quickly?!) and have met more new people I’ve found I’m socialising a lot more and talking about babies a lot less. And if I’m completely honest, it’s really nice! It’s nice not to be in mum-mode 24/7, wiping a snotty nose or saying “don’t touch that” approximately 14982 times a day. I obviously think about Harris whenever he’s away or at nursery, but it isn’t as full-on or tiring and it does give me a little break! He’ll always be my sidekick though, and I love watching him change and develop every single day.
So, what’s the plan then? Well, we plan to enjoy life as a family of three for just that little bit longer. We have our first family holiday coming up this June, and I don’t think I’d be too happy about being with child in 25 degrees plus. Being pregnant in a Scottish summer was bad enough for me! I think we’ll continue to save money so we can find a place of our own, and then just see what happens. Being honest, I think it’ll be at least another year or two before we try for another, no matter how much I’d love some soft newborn baby snuggles right now!
Stacey and Harris
Suddenly, once my baby arrived, a whole new man arrived in my life also. My baby's father. He was the same man I married, but all of a sudden I was seeing an entirely new side to him, a version of him I had never met before. It was like meeting a stranger, a wonderful, familiar stranger.
I had fallen in love with my husband many years ago for his sincere and compassionate character, his honesty and his integrity. He has always been strong, and he has always stood up for what is right... and in the eleven years that I have known him he has never told a lie. That man is the man I married, the love of my life, and the one I chose to start a family with.
And everything I went through as a mother, my husband went through too, and I suddenly saw this brand new side to him. I saw him rocking a baby for hours on end to comfort her, I saw him breathing in her smell and wiping up the spilled milk on her face with the gentlest touch, I saw him watching her sleep in her basket with such intense love in his eyes, I saw him as I had never seen him before. I saw him as a loving father.
I didn't think I could love my husband any more than I already did, he was already everything to me. My best friend, my soul mate, my partner in crime, my confidante, my adviser, my defender...but now he was something else, now he was the most wonderful father to my children and I think this new man may in fact be my favourite of them all.
Ever After With Kids
Prior to having a baby, I used to aspire to be one of those elusive freelancers that 'Worked From Home' or whatever was the latest trendy Coffee Shop that sold avocado ten ways. I visualised having all this extra free time from not having to commute to an office, for the gym, yoga and reading books to enrich my soul. Ha!
Then the opportunity came after Sonny was born and the reality has been totally different from what I visualised. It was more wasting time on Social Media, getting all my odd 'life-admin' jobs done around the house, browsing ASOS and putting everything in my hypothetical basket, drinking an obscene amount of coffee and a Chocolate digestive addiction. Things had to change as I ended up spending my evening cramming in my work last minute and it not being up to the right standard. So I implemented the following and it has totally turned my productivity and enjoyment for 'WFH' and Freelancing around.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE INCLUDING SET BREAKS
Just because you are working from home doesn't mean you aren't entitled to a break. Take time away from your 'desk' for lunch or twenty mins away for a coffee. You will feel so much more refreshed for doing this.
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR 'LIFE ADMIN AND HOUSEWORK
You wouldn't do these things in an office based role, so you shouldn't do them now. I know its easier said than done, especially when you are a Mum and there's always an endless list of things to do around the house, but in order to be truly productive in your 'job' you need to ensure that you use your time wisely and effectively.
MEET OTHER 'WFH-ERS' AND ENTREPRENEURS
There are some really cool 'offices' and hubs for 'WFH'ers' and Entrepreneurs to work from to meet others in similar set-ups if they get lonely from working at home. Check out 'WeWork', 'Techhub', 'The Office Group' and 'Haus' to name a few.
Working for yourself means you have to handle your own Monthly Reviews and Yearly Appraisals, so you need to put together your own checking systems. You should put in short term and long term goals. This ensures you have achievable targets that enable you to pay the bills.
WEEKENDS ARE YOUR TIME
Do not allow your life to become one long Monday. Ensure you keep your weekends for yourself, your family and your friends. You do not want to end up living to work and you don't want those around you to resent your work either.
Just Another Mum Blogger
Your February mamaME Boxes should be arriving any time now! In them you will find an exclusive 30% discount voucher for the fantastic Lumity Life - a proven, clinically-tested blend of anti ageing nutrients. As well as Day and Night nutritional supplements Lumity have also introduced the complete nourishment facial oil.
Lumity’s new facial oil is a blend of 32 natural oils and botanicals beloved by JLo’s and Meghan Markle’s facialist - Nichola Joss. Selling out as soon as it launched and with a 2000 strong waiting list within a month of its launch, this oil is nourishing, firming and feeds your skin all the nutrients it needs to reach optimum health. Below Nichola Joss demonstrates the same quick facial massages that she teaches her celebrity clients.
Morning Oil Massage Routine
Night Time Oil Massage Routine
Head over to Lumity Life now and make use of the exclusive 30% discount while stocks last!
In the March mamaME Box you will find Night Owl Tea Bags from HotTea Mama. Founded by Bethan and Kate, they make delicious blends of tea for all stages of pregnancy and motherhood. Find out what inspired them and how they juggle business and mum-ing!
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm a total tea nerd, having studied Chinese at university, writing my thesis on Chinese tea and then working in the tea trade ever since - 11 years and counting. I now have 2 gorgeous babes, Cerys and Hector. I live in Oxford with them and my partner Jake who I met at uni many moons ago. We spend the majority of our time outside, making the most of the Oxfordshire countryside and pubs!
How do you find juggling mama hood and running your own business?
Hectic. Particularly at the beginning I was often extremely frustrated with the confines I had to work in - nap times, evenings and a few on the hoof emails, but I've had to become more zen! Now
I've relaxed, it's extremely satisfying and every order we get makes me dance inside.
Tell us about your business ‘HotTea Mama'?
HotTea Mama is a specialist tea brand with teas for pregnant women and mums at all stages of motherhood. We created each blend to have a specific purpose. Whether it be easing morning sickness, preparing the body for labour, supporting milk supply, or reducing stress and increasing relaxation after bathtime. We only use whole leaf ingredients, and pack them into biodegradable nylon teabags in the UK. Most importantly to us, the blends are delicious. Caffeine-free doesn't need to be taste-free, and healthy doesn't need to be boring. They're the perfect baby shower gift for tea
loving mamas, or a great personal treat, because all mums deserve a cup of loveliness in their day. We've also tested all the blends repeatedly to make sure they microwave well - they do and are the perfect
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
Working with a good friend on something we're passionate about is fantastic. I love that we've made something from nothing, and that our teas are at people's baby showers, supporting women in what is an amazing, but incredibly challenging time is brilliant.
Where can people find and buy your teas?
On our website www.hotteamama.com
Do you have any other exciting news or upcoming events?
We've just been featured in Gurgle magazine for their Feb edition which is super exciting for us! Follow Hot Tea Mama on their social channels for all of their latest news and updates:
Thanks so much for chatting with us Bethan. Two mums on a fantastic mission - we can't wait to see your journey ahead! Oh and also - tried and tested- the teas are delicious! Good luck ladies.