A working mum life. What I have learned so far…

I’ve been a little quiet on flamingomonroe.com recently. Not because of any brain block or lack of interest. I’ve been busy!!

Who am I? I’m Camilla, a mother to a 17-month old TODDLER (yes I said toddler in capital letters because #toddlerlife been a shock to the system). I’m self employed – a freelance marketing pro (mainly for local businesses/individuals) and sometimes for big brands.  I also try and call myself a “blogger” – although I haven’t blogged in over a month but I still try and stay active with content on my Instagram/social media pages. I also consult for Neal’s Yard Remedies. I’ve been project managing house renovations – recently living in a building site for 8 weeks and without a kitchen (not even a fridge). I’m involved in all sorts of charity and community projects – all things thyroid, women’s cancers and baby loss. I’ve also tackled another round of medical blips, in and out of hospital again in recent weeks (with more appointments imminently coming up). Oh and before all of this, 7 months ago I moved house and in to a new area where I’ve been settling in to a new postcode, new baby groups, new work etc.

And breathe. Have I forgotten anything? It sounds a lot when you put your last 7 months in to one paragraph!

So this blog post is not necessarily an update, it’s more of an overview on what I have learned. If nothing else, it’s been a dose of self care and therapy, because whilst writing this post I have realised that occasionally in life some things have to give and that it is okay to not be a multi tasking super woman excelling at everything (not that I ever was a super woman!).

Some fellow working mamas may read this and think I’m very late to the (understanding) party on a few matters – but I hope this also gives some of you some reassurance that we’re all in this together…

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Occasionwear from Mamas and Papas

Spring is finally here (I think? I feel like I say this a LOT lately) and the drop of all things “new season” i.e. fashion, wedding themes, travel and other celebrations is upon us. Also, not forgetting, there is an exciting Royal wedding just around the corner (as well as a Royal baby too). One of my favourite baby brands, Mamas and Papas, have launched a new Occasionwear collection for the summer season ahead, bringing us some truly beautiful pieces for your little ones to wear for any celebration.

I was delighted to have been sent a selection of gorgeous clothing from Mamas and Papas, for Henry and his little friend Emilia to model to celebrate the launch.

Shoot day was a lot of fun, and also “cute-overload”, so do scroll down to see our Occasionwear shoot for Mamas and Papas

You may now kiss the bride!! Wedding season is looming, what will your little ones wear?

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My Self Care 2018 To-Do List

Q1 is done, three months of the year have passed, the new tax year has started, so why am I only now setting myself some 2018 goals?

I’ve just decided to set some “self care” goals. To some of you this may sound like total BS – why do I need self care when I have a fortunate and happy work/life/mum balance? What’s triggered this on?! That’s a story for another time, but the reality is we ALL need to put ourselves first, to enjoy what life offers and to grab every opportunity.

When I say “self care” I don’t mean manicures, yoga and massages (though I may sneak in the odd one here and there!) and I don’t mean to ‘find myself’ or to ‘learn to love myself again’. I simply mean; ‘things I want to achieve – for me – for my own enjoyment, to create memories so that when I look back on this year come December time, I want to feel happy with my 2018.’

This year so far has been a bit of a blur and it’s flown by in a flash. Being self employed, being a Mum, project managing house renovations and general life hurdles and distractions this year so far has proven yet again that unless I utilise my diary and make concrete plans, then the time simply goes by too fast and I miss opportunities, I miss out on planned enjoyment and I miss out on much needed “me time”. I’m sure there are so many of you reading this that can relate also?

These goals are not about “fulfilling dreams” or “achieving success”. They are concrete plans of things that I want to do, for me, for my memory bank and for my happy mindset.

My to-do list is all about London. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when I worked in London I didn’t absorb it, or enjoy it anywhere near enough. I was too busy charging around from meeting to meeting that I didn’t take full advantage of the wonderful sights around me and all of what London had to offer.

So here is my my top 10 list of things I want to do during the remaining months of 2018…(if any of my friends and family reading this want in on any of the action – let me know!)

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Returning to work after maternity leave (featuring guest interview)

As a lot of my readers will know already, I faced a redundancy situation at 36 weeks pregnant. But even before that chapter of my career was enforced upon me, I spent weeks (aka my entire pregnancy) debating and analysing every return-to-work eventuality  – financially and logistically. It’s not an alien situation, as pretty much every friend of mine has returned to their pre-baby job, so surely all things run smooth and all employers are flexible and accommodating and life is all sunshine and smiles, right??!! Hmm. Not necessarily.

In this post I speak to a professional recruiter, career advisor and mentor in the City of London who has provided me with some useful words of advice and wisdom. I may be biased, because this said professional is my dear brother, James Manders, but he’s done me proud, succeeding in his field and is providing more and more support to new mothers going back to work and to those wanting to start their careers again from scratch.

James is the MD and owner of specialist recruitment boutique CassonX, and a proud director of Pink Dynasty CIC which empowers young females from underprivileged backgrounds to gain mentorships and work experience in London…

Image: Shutterstock

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Mother’s Day gift ideas from Neal’s Yard Remedies

How lovely is it to celebrate Mothers and all the influential Mother-like figures in our lives – whether that’s your own Mum, your children’s Key Worker at nursery, a grandparent, a Godmother, a carer, even a friend who’s expecting, or recently become a Mummy herself.

Whoever are the Mother-figures in your world, I’ve selected some wonderful Mother’s Day gift ideas from Neal’s Yard Remedies – starting at just £5!

The brand thrives on its ethical credentials, with its fabulous offering of kind and organic ingredients, eco-friendly production, charitable projects, recyclable packaging and being all round environmentally friendly. The products also look luxurious on display too. With a holistic approach to skincare and lifestyle, Neal’s Yard Remedies products are like spas in a bottle! The products not only work but they use essential oils that benefit the skin, smell amazing and have many properties beyond just beautiful skin.

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Our Baby Sensory journey (with brand Q&A)

When you become a mother for the first time, in that first year there are bound to be key highlights that will become memorable landmarks from your early days of motherhood.

For me, one of the things that defines my first year of motherhood was Baby Sensory – a nationwide franchise of mother and baby classes that explores all things “sensory” with your little one.

When Henry came along, I lived in an area where I didn’t have many mummy friends on my doorstop with babies close enough in age to hang out with – those first time mothers equally as unsure as I was about anything and everything about looking after a new baby,  going through the exact same challenges and emotions and at the exact same time. I had my *amazing* sane-saving NCT friends yes, and other mummy friends, but none in close/walking distance and therefore I had to make it my mission to plan a few things in to my week – to regain some normality and structure (not too much too early on though!) and to join a group that I know will prove to offer great benefit to Henry as he embarks on his new life journey.

This post shows you Henry’s Baby Sensory journey in photos as well as a Q&A with the brand itself. I chat to a Baby Sensory leader, giving you ample sensory insight and inspiration, and is especially useful if you’re thinking about joining a local class near you…

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