12 MONTHS POSTPARTUM AND HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY HENRY

Now, I know this sounds cliché, but I literally feel as though 2017 went by in a blink. 2017 for me has been one of those years that doesn’t quite feel like it really happened.

Did I really grow a human and experience childbirth? Did I really (and successfully) reproduce! Did I endure many interrupted and sleepless nights? I’m too tired to recall. 😉 Did I really find enough inner bravery to take an almost 5 month old on a transatlantic holiday to New York?! Did I really move back to my home roots, by the seaside in Leigh-on-Sea? YOU BET I DID! Did I unnecessarily obsess over every single aspect on the things that didn’t matter? Yes. Did I obsess enough over things that did matter? Nope. Did I lose that last stone of baby weight which I’ve been holding on to ever since I gave birth? Nope.

Henry is 1. One! Uno! The big ONE! How did that happen? Here’s the final instalment of my postpartum updates…

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It’s time for you to bloom and to flourish

Mental Health. A taboo that is finally being spoken of more. Words such as depression and anxiety either get used either far too cautiously due to the feeling of being unnecessarily embarrassed or as to not offend, or far too flippantly which can take away from the meaning and genuine insecurities surrounding the circumstances involved. As someone who understands and appreciates such descriptive words (through my own experiences as well learning from other people’s journeys) it’s important to ensure you’re following the right bloggers/influencers and using appropriate tools when it comes to all things mental health. Here on Flamingo Monroe I don’t try to be any kind of know it all or hardcore “influencer”, I justly try to be myself.

Via Instagram, I recently became friendly with Anna of Mama’s Scrapbook. Her frequent and highly amusing Instastories keep me rather entertained when I’m forcing myself to have 5 minutes of downtime to drink my morning coffee. I hope I don’t sound stalker-ish – I follow lots of bloggers and personalities and enjoy watching all their instastories! Anna is an accredited and experienced BACP Psychotherapist, a mother to two young boys, has a great eye for interior design, uploads Instagram posts providing confidence, guidance and reassurance to all and she also writes her blog – which has a strong focus on mental health and lifestyle.

She’s recently started a business venture with a close friend – bringing together her psychotherapy knowledge and her friend’s graphic design credentials, they’ve created Blöm Cards. Blöm [Bl – Om] is derived from the Scandinavian Word ‘Blomstre’, meaning to bloom, to flourish….

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Weaning weaning weaning!

Henry is nearly 8 months old and I think we are finally getting the hang of weaning. *KLAXON* He’s now on three meals a day and sometimes can’t get the food in to his gob quick enough!

I was really excited about weaning initially and then I found it stressful, like the feeling of needing a “one way” rule book to guide me through. Almost as stressful as the whole “breast is best” vs “fed is best” debate out there whereby I felt a lot of pressure to stick with the boob for as long as possible… (I’m still not going to cover the breastfeeding subject on my blog – it’s not worth the aggravation with such strong and potentially offensive opinion masters out there!)

Referencing to my initial feeling of excitement, by the time Henry was 5 months old I had bought a variety of weaning options – baby rice, baby porridge, pouches of fruit and I had already peeled and steamed pears, sweet potato and carrots and portioned them in to ice cube trays for the freezer. I was ready!! But was Henry…???

The purpose of this post is to share mine and Henry’s weaning experience so far but also to reach out to any fellow mummy out there in the hope some of you might have some inspiration and ideas to share with me…

Peeling, steaming, blending, portioning, freezing! My evidence of the never ending messy logistics of the early stages of weaning!

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6 months postpartum

Here is a blog post about bla bla bla and about how to be a mother… NOT! 😉

In my six months of first time motherhood, there’s not much else that raffles my feathers than others trying to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Besides, the biggest learning I’ve had is, well, to simply learn along the way. I do enjoy my blog being informative at times, but this is not what this post is about.

A post from heart, split out in to three parts. Plus! There’s some exciting new adventures and career moves to update you on…

My little buddy is 6 months old! Time is flying!

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The 3 month postpartum reality check

Baby Henry is now 12 weeks old, yet my labour seems like a lifetime ago and I can’t imagine life without my little lad in it.

He’s smiling and giggling, chatting away (albeit in baby language) and desperate to sit up and know what’s going on. He’s been sleeping 10-12 hours a night since 8/9 weeks old (I thought it was a phase at first!) and we are generally having a positive time of it so far.

We play together, go on walks together (the Baby Bjorn carrier is brilliant – and it helps you to work up a sweat carrying that baby’s weight on you!), go shopping together, have sofa snuggles together, go to groups such as Baby Sensory and Caterpillar Music, we go swimming, see our mummy and baby friends, see family together – Henry has become my little buddy and we have a lovely time…

Enjoying some fresh air together – anyone else LOVE their Baby Bjorn carrier!?

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10 ways to help yourself

Earlier this year I wrote about how you can help a friend in need (click here if you haven’t seen it) and now on the flip side, I’ve decided to do a post about how you can help yourself.

As most of us know, there are times when you pro-actively choose to take yourself out of life for a little while. There are also times when life hits us with an unexpected blow, chosen for you by the unsettling word that is ‘fate’.

There’s no “professional” or “qualified” perspective here. In my view we can all learn and gain encouragement with a bit of help, advice and experience from others. Sometimes you just have to go through the motions of a rocky road – experiencing the shock, grief, pain and/or sadness – in order to bring yourself out the other (and more positive) side of life. As a recent fortune cookie told me: “You gotta get through the deep valleys before you can reach the highest mountains”.

Here are my top 10 tips and tools I’ve recently tried and tested to aid with all things calm, mindfulness, motivation, positivity and post-recovery (slowly) and all to help with looking forward and returning to normality. I hope this post is of use to you all – whether it’s for yourself or to aid a loved one during a recent rough time…

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