..and why it's okay to feel like an imposter.
I'm not going to lie, the mother I am in public is an entirely different animal to the mum bunned creature in pyjamas that crawls around the house picking up bits of cracker all day.
The truth is, I'm not an easygoing parent at all... in fact I am extremely neurotic when it comes to parenting. I have spent endless hours, blood, sweat and tears attempting to teach my girls how to behave at home and in public, but for some reason I just don't like it to be acknowledged. For every time they have done as I have asked first time in public, there have been thirty or so meltdowns in private in preparation. For every meal my toddler eats neatly and quietly in a restaraunt for the waitresses to coo over there have been four hundred spaghetti explosions all over my kitchen walls. I come across as a care free, easy going mother when we are out and about, but the reality couldn't be further from the truth. My every waking minute is spent monitoring their manners, speaking, learning, behaviour, food intake, bowel movements, correcting them every step of the way. I am obsessed. And most of the time I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.
No one sees this woman, but she's there behind the scenes getting everything ready for public Kate. This woman does all the work only for public Kate to brush it all off and dismiss it.
Why do we as mothers find it so hard to take credit for what our private selves put so much in to? Is it really that hard to take a compliment? Or are we all desperately trying to keep up an act, trying so hard to make it look like we are not all on the verge of losing our minds raising these tiny humans.
To the woman who spent this morning fishing a cheese sandwich out of the DVD player, who has washed her hair today for the first time in a week, who appears calm and collected whilst her toddler has a breakdown in the supermarket, you are fabulous and not forgotten. Next time I am in a room full of polished perfect mothers I will try not to feel like an imposter, because like me they will all have their own private selves... and a lot of them will be as exhausted, neurotic and unpresentable as mine!
Ever After With Kids
I have a Fiance, called Jay, who is a chef & after being together nearly 6 years he popped the question back in March this year. I guess after giving him a baby he knew that this was probably kinda serious & he was stuck with me, didn't really have a choice, poor sod. If you follow me on Instagram you will probably know about my love for- monochrome, blush pink, flowers, interior design & fizz. Photography is such a passion of mine (I think I love it even more than I love Jay to be honest.)
For a while now I have been a brand rep for several small businesses on Instagram which I adore doing & I always bang on about how important it is to "support small", all these businesses have a mama behind them working alone or with their partner, trying to support their family & I think it's not only inspiring but courageous, I love to support them where I can. Along with Brand Repping I also offer product photography for brands & businesses that want it, big or small, which is something that I would love to make a career out of full time but for now I do it alongside my job where I work part time in a hotel as a duty manager 3 days a week. It's not my dream job, far from it to be honest but it works for us. I know the job inside out & they are flexible with my hours & with Seb. Luckily up until now we haven't had to look into childcare (Jay has Seb the two days he is off & my mama comes over on a Saturday to take care of him.) but as Jay has just got a new job this is something that is now top of the list to sort! I also enjoy working generally, personally I couldn't not have a job, It's good to earn money but I also think it's a good way just to get out & be you for a few hours, I think it's important for Seb too. Having one on one time with his dad, then also having that bonding time with his Nana.
If the bathroom needs cleaning for example, I won't be sitting on my arse watching tv, it's the same with other jobs too, I just can't relax until they're done, I'm not actually OCD but I do have tendencies. I am incredibly honest, which I guess some people don't like. I can come across quite blunt & I'm also quite sarcastic so people tend to take my humour the wrong way but I never mean to offend anyone & always want people to be honest with me, if you have a problem, just tell me & we can sort it, I can't be bothered to fanny around- I'm a big girl. I'm very down to earth & it takes a lot to offend me.
I hope that you enjoy reading my posts. I want to keep them positive but I also want to discuss real life which isn't always perfect. I think that sometimes blogs & Instagram can come across as these perfect little squares & these preened to perfection shots but that's not real. You never really know what's going on behind the camera/computer & I want to break through that & be as honest & as up front as I can be.
A Ginger Gem
Henrys Health was created a few short years after my first son was born. Jul, now ten, was born with a host of confusing health and medical complications, many of which would go away but come back again, often worse, and at times life threatening. At the time, I was studying towards becoming a teacher and decided to change my major to nutrition science, in order to better advocate for him. It was through Jul’s trial, with our family’s love, amazing physicians and my devotion to his holistic care and lifestyle changes that we learned to manage Jul’s condition and move on from it. It has since been my life’s work to help others who are struggling to regain wellness and maintain health again.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
The passion I have for what I do is palpable, and I love to be able to get up every day and genuinely want to run to work. Being a health professional spurs me on to maintain my own health levels too, which let’s be honest can be hard when you are on the go and pulled in many different directions. Professionally, running my own business is very cool because it allows me to take a step in a different direction if I feel it is calling me or the opportunity arises.
deserves health and a path to reaching it. Now that I have moved back to my home county in England I am finding it a little like starting anew, which is actually rather exhilarating.
My services can be found on my website www.henryshealth.com, from there it is best to contact me in order to find the perfect programme for you and your family, for your current concerns/needs and time. I specialize in one-to-one or family health and nutrition counselling normally carried out over an extended period, in order to be able to achieve optimal results. Other very popular services include The Kitchen Cupboard and Pantry Makeover, Supermarket Shopping Tour, and Grocery & Organic Product Shopping (which includes makeup, hygiene, self care and home products, chosen from a carefully collected catalogue of products that me and my family personally use and that I recommend).
NOURISH, A Modern Mother’s Guide to Child Nutrition can be found on Amazon.co.uk and is sold through my website to UK customers also. For those of you living more internationally an Ebook version of NOURISH is now in the making.
Do you have any other exciting news or upcoming events?
This week I will be hosting the book launch of NOURISH. With a host of family, friends and mothers from the local community, I am very excited, and really feel that this is an event I have been waiting for, for very long time. The venue is booked, the gift bags are prepped, and I am finalising my decision on what fresh, homemade juices will be served.
Thanks so much for answering our questions Tamar - nutrition and health is such an interesting topic and I can't wait to read your book and learn more. Good luck with the launch this week!
You can also follow Tamar's journey on Facebook and Instagram:
I very recently shared my birth story on my blog, one year on from the event itself, and had someone message me telling me I was lucky as my labour was a 'dream compared to others’. For those of you who don’t know, I ended up being induced a day shy of 37 weeks pregnant because my waters went the day before. This resulted in me needing an assisted delivery with forceps and an epidural – a far cry away from the gas-and-air-only water birth I’d hoped for. As a first time mum who had no previous experience of really being treated in a hospital, I was terrified. What I went through that day led me to have flashbacks for weeks afterwards and think it was all just a normal part of postpartum life.
I should state here that I am by no means qualified in dealing with anxiety or PTSD, but I want to raise awareness of this subject by telling you how I handled the emotions I felt in the first couple of months after having my baby and let you know that it is not uncommon to struggle to come to terms with how your labour went. It may very well take some time for you to realise how you feel about it since there are so many hormones flying around in the early postpartum days. For me, it took around three weeks for the flashbacks to begin. I found myself crying in the shower as I vividly remembered being wheeled through to theatre and lying underneath those bright lights with my midwife telling me to push because I couldn’t feel contractions due to the epidural. For a couple of weeks I honestly thought it was normal to be experiencing this. I’d briefly mentioned it to my partner and my mum who both hushed the conversation I wanted to have by saying “you have a healthy baby” and “you’re both fine now”. It wasn’t until I had a brand new health visitor come to see us when Harris was eight weeks old and she asked “so, how did the birth go for you?” that I realised I had a problem with how my labour went, and that I needed help. Believe it or not, it was the first time someone had actually asked that question and I broke down in tears as I relived what was my difficult delivery. It was then that I realised the flashbacks were not normal, they needed to be spoken about.
My health visitor was so supportive. She gave me some ideas on what I could do to overcome the emotions I had towards it and we put a plan in place to work at getting myself better. I was to start by writing my birth story down on paper and focus on the bits that were featuring in my flashbacks. My health visitor was due to visit me again a couple of weeks later, and it was up to me what I wanted to do with what I had written – whether I share it or shred it. If writing it down hadn’t helped, we would take the next steps to obtain my pregnancy notes and discuss it from there.
So I looked out my pad and pen and I wrote about how I wasn’t scared when my waters went early; that I lasted as long as I could solely on gas and air when I was first induced because I was so desperate to have control and at least have some of the birth I’d hoped for. I then went on to write about how I was terrified when, after an hour of pushing, I was told that I had to be prepped for an epidural and forceps delivery; and that I was devastated I didn’t get that skin-to-skin moment right after Harris was born. I talked about my regret at having no photos of the birth or our first feed. In fact the first pictures were taken once Harris was about three hours old. I think in the end I wrote about five pages of how that day went for me and I cried A LOT.
Thankfully for me, writing it down and then shredding it seemed to do the trick. It didn’t seem as traumatising as my brain was making me think and I was happy to move on with my life and being the best mama I could be. For some though, it’s not as simple. Insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares, avoiding certain people or places, emotional detachment, and feeling angered easily are just some of the symptoms of PTSD. My health visitor commented on how good I was with Harris and that my experience obviously hadn’t tainted the mother and son relationship, but that isn’t the case for all mothers suffering with PTSD.
comes along and smacks you in the face! I'm no expert but these are my tips on how to feel empowered as a mum, whilst keeping some level of sanity!
Cue the rolled eyes, I know, what mother has time for herself? As mums our lives are consumed with the demands of our children, jobs, marriages, housework, friends, family, and so the list goes on. To be frank most of the time we are lucky if we've had time to give our teeth the 2 minute brush they should have! However, creating time, solely dedicated to you, is SO important. Whether it be a day at a spa or a 15 minute soak in the bath, do something that is just for you. None of us are physically able to give ourselves as much as we give our children (and I'm sure most of us wouldn't have it any other way), but that "you time" should be a close second.
Whether we are naturally organised human beings or not, as mums we automatically become planners. We have to be - the little humans around us rely on it. Sometimes even control freak planners, like myself, must learn to 'go with it' at times. Who really cares if your toddler decides they need the toilet just as you've put them in the car and you're already 15 minutes late or if they look like they've been dragged through a hedge backwards. Alright, some people will care and will judge- forget about them. In the grand scheme of things is it really that important? Sometimes (most of the time when kids are involved) even the best laid plans tip upside down - Just take a deep breath and go with it.
Stop looking at other mums and putting yourself down. I know you do it, because we all do it. It's human nature to look at someone else's life and think they've got it altogether, that everything is perfect and happy all of the time, but that person you're looking at is mostly likely looking at someone else in exactly the same way. No two mums are the same, just because you're bottle feeding and they're breast, or you're relying on purees and they're 100% baby led doesn't make you or her wrong. The minute you start comparing yourself to another mum is the minute you're setting you're self up to walk into a whole heap of disaster. By all means, talk to the mums you look up to and ask for advice. Be respectful of their choices and how they do it and do not doubt yourself because you have chosen to raise your child/ren differently. What works for you and your family is the most important thing.
When we have children, particularly when it's your first you feel like you want and need to do everything, that to 'have it altogether' and succeed as a new mum you must solely look after the baby, whilst fitting back into your pre pregnancy clothes, whilst keeping the house immaculate and serving healthy organic, home made meals everyday. I learnt fairly early on that the house is going to be messy, that laundry won't always get done and sometimes beans on toast for tea is absolutely fine. It's important to ask for help, whether it's from your husband/partner, friends or family. Take them up on their offer, especially on those days when you feel like you're drowning, because we all have them (it doesn't mean you're depressed or struggling as a parent either), it doesn't mean you're a failure it means you're human, and we humans cannot physically do everything ourselves. Asking for help does NOT mean that you are failing.
A large proportion of mums will tell you that their main job is to raise happy and healthy children, when in actual fact, that's just one aspect of it. The other aspect, of equal importance is for you to be happy and healthy. As previously mentioned, we devote countless hours to our families to ensure they have a solid home and foundation in which they can grow into happy, young individuals, but you must ensure that you do they same for yourself. Maybe go back to college (there are plenty of part time one day/evening courses out there), start a business (or a blog!) that you've always dreamt of, anything that will ensure you develop and grow with your children. Set them an example that you're never too old to learn and try new things.
Friendships change when you have children, especially if you're old friends don't have children yet. This doesn't mean you can't be friends with them anymore, but you can find new mum friends that you feel you 'click' with, whether this be via local mum groups or online. So many times I have shared my triumphs and failures with my mum friends, never to be met with anything other than support and encouragement from them. Even the most empowered mums want some reassurance at times or to share the latest joy to enter their lives. There's no better feeling than connecting with other likeminded mums, mums that keep it real- there's absolutely no better gang to belong to.
Everyone will have an opinion on how you should be raising your children, some will be so forward that they'll even push it on you. Your opinion, as your child's parent is most important, there may be something that you feel you could really use some help with, as we all do at times, you may not have all the answers but you have the right to try and figure it out on your own. I do think we all have a better chance at changing things if we learn to communicate effectively. However, sometimes, other people need to learn how to communicate with you. If you feel that someone is saying something that you don't agree with or trying to force their ways on to you, speak from a place of love but be firm and say what you want to say. It isn’t your concern how said communication is received as long as it’s delivered from a place of empowerment and love.
Many things have changed in parenting since I was little, let alone when my parents were growing up, however, there's definitely something to be said for the advice and wisdom from another generation! Sometimes it's great to hear things from a different perspective - they can help you challenge conventional parenting, look at things from another point of view, and help you to make conscious decisions about how to achieve your own happiness. Listen to their advice, take what you want from it and adapt it to fit to your parenting style.
I preach this regularly - mostly because I am preaching it to myself! Sometimes, no matter what you do, baby won’t eat, baby won’t sleep and your toddler is having their 1000th mini meltdown of the day. What’s an exhausted mum to do? You can fight every fight you're faced with, or you can walk away. Your baby will eventually eat and sleep, and your toddler will soon go back to the little angel you know they can be. Don’t exert the little energy you have left trying to resolve every single battle. Some things don’t need fixing, being “broken” is where your growth as a parent comes from. Breathe, it’s all gonna work out just fine.
This is something that quite often irritates me, people saying 'cherish every moment because it's gone so quickly.' It's true, it does go quickly and it is important to cherish the moments, but that doesn't mean that every moment is worth cherishing. It's learning to let go of the times/days/weeks that things don't go to plan, learn from them and try to pick out some good moments but let them go. We all feel that things need to be perfect and we need to enjoy every single moment of motherhood, I certainly don't, and I don't believe anyone who says they've never had a moment when they just want to pull their hair out or question what they're doing. However, when it's all said and done, those "bad" times are times that shape us as parents and families, they make us stronger and make the moments that are worth cherishing, even more special.