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Mother Distracted

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

I Had My Babies In My Forties


If you had asked me when I was a young career girl just setting out in the world whether I would be having a baby in my forties, I would probably have told you absolutely not. Despite this, I had my children at 43 and 45 (I'm now 52) and I know that I have been extremely lucky.

My grandmother had a child at 45 so, whether or not there is a genetic predisposition to being able to have children later in life, I'm still aware that I managed the best feat of my life just in time.

Mum holding a baby's hand

Can you have a baby in your forties?

What was surprising was just how long it took. Despite being in my 40's I somehow thought that conception would be nothing short of immaculate and, when it took over a year, I found myself reading numerous books on improving your fertility the natural way and taking my temperature every morning to track ovulation.

My temperature never seemed to budge. Tracking the 'ten most fertile days' made sex (or iggly boo as one of my stranger friends calls it) about as exciting as cardboard.

I suffer an early miscarriage

I lost my first child at approximately 6-7 weeks. The charmless consultant gynaecologist we saw made it clear that he viewed this miscarriage as nothing more than a missed period. "You can hang on to see if there's a heartbeat", he told us, "or we'll have you in and whip it out". A managed miscarriage at home was the option we eventually took, wanting to see if the initial scans were wrong. They weren't. 

Caitlin, born 2007
It was back to the temperature taking and the headstands for about another year until, one Valentine's evening, having practically given up, we went out for a romantic meal and got ever so slightly sloshed.

Caitlin was born the following November. And then, the October before Caitlin's 1st Birthday, Ieuan was conceived. Having waited so long for Caitlin, we assumed it would take a couple of years to give her a sibling. I should have listened to my wonderful midwife who told me that once you have had a child, it's as if your motor starts to work properly, and that I shouldn't be surprised if it didn't take long.

Pregnancy Scans

We were aware of the risks of late pregnancy. I had a nuchal translucency scan with Caitlin and amniocentesis with Ieuan. What we would have done in the event of any genetic problems, I still couldn't tell you.

Why didn't I do it sooner?

I have friends older than me who have had children at an equally late age. I also have quite a few friends in their mid thirties who think that they have all the time in the world to reproduce, when the truth is, the clock is ever ticking. Some of my friends must look at me and think "well, SHE did it" but it's easy to kid yourself isn't it.

I regret not having had my children at least ten years ago. In the end, my career (as a Marketing Manager and later Director) simply could not match up to the joy of having kids but I didn't meet my husband until I was 41.

This is the dilemma facing many women. Do we put our heart and soul into a career and hope that Mr Right will just come along, by which time we may no longer be fertile or able to carry a child? Or do we pursue a partner and children whilst we are still in our most fertile years, hoping that we can resume our education and career when the children are in school?

Can Women Ever "Have It All"?

I am a great fan of the late Helen Gurley Brown (who, with her husband, created the Cosmopolitan magazine empire) and read her book "Having it All" (still available from Amazon) from cover to cover in my early twenties. Helen believed the sky was the limit - primarily in terms of work and sex, but I think most women will agree that, today, "having it all" is an impossibility. That said, I'd still recommend Helen's work just to admire her incredible work ethic and zest for life.

I'm now faced with the prospect of staying as fit, healthy and mentally 'young' as possible. Not so much because I worry about the opinion of other mothers (although I'd be lying if I said I was totally immune to it), but for the sake of my children. As Hubby says "well, we just can't conk out early"....

Whatever our decision, we have to live with the consequences - but my two 'consequences' are pretty wonderful.
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You Before Them: The Necessity Of Self-Care


Being a mum goes hand in hand with putting others before yourself. Parenthood changes everything. You can no longer do exactly what you want when you want to do it because there are others who rely on you. This is all fine, of course, and is completely natural. But there are times when it’s necessary to put yourself first. After all, if you’re not healthy and happy, you’re not going to be effective in caring for others.



Self-Care

The concept of self-care means taking care of your own needs. It means making time to focus on yourself for a while and do the things that are necessary to keep you well and happy. It is necessary for optimum health and your overall sense of wellbeing.

What Happens If You Don’t Practise Self-Care?

If you fail to take some time for yourself once in a while, it’s likely you’ll burn out. You’ll feel ill, frustrated, irritable, and unhappy. It may also lead to physical illness. And if you’re ill, you won’t be able to take care of anyone.

Little And Often

The difficulty, when you’re a parent, is finding time to practise self-care. What with the morning routines, preparing the kids for school, work, meals, housework, etc., there’s little time left for anything other than sleep. The trick is to take a ‘little and often’ approach. Each day carve out a short period of time just for you; even if it’s just for twenty minutes. It could be when you first arrive home from work, or at some point in the evening. Let the rest of your family know that you’re taking a little time and you won’t be available to them for the next however many minutes. If you know that you have this time to look forward to, it makes the rest of your busy day a little easier.



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Types Of self-care

Self-care isn’t just about practising yoga and meditation, though this works for a lot of people. It’s about doing the things that support, sustain, and nourish you. This will vary from person to person. The following are common examples:

1. Taking A Bath

Water is naturally soothing and has been used in therapy and health for thousands of years. The water and heat help you to unwind and relax, gently easing away aches, pains, and stresses. Throw in some Epsom Salts for added impact.

2. Pamper Night

If you have the time, you can extend your hot bath into a full night of pampering. This can include some or all of the following:

Soothing your tired, aching feet with a range of treatments

* Spending time on your nails and toenails and applying your favourite nail polish

* Face and body masks

* Exfoliating

* A gentle steam treatment for your skin

* Applying a conditioning treatment to your hair




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3. Concentrating On Your Physical Appearance

If you rarely have time to get your hair cut or to try some new makeup techniques, set aside an evening or a couple of hours to do this. Looking and feeling your best sometimes go hand in hand and so it pays to spend a little time on your appearance. Try out some new hairstyles. Take out your straighteners, heated rollers or electric hair straightening brush. Watch some online tutorials and experiment with different styles and looks.

If your makeup is a little old, invest in some new items. Makeup doesn’t last forever, and over time it can attract bacteria. So keep it fresh and new. This is a great excuse to try some different colours and products.

4. Reading

For many people, getting lost in a good book is a welcome form of escapism. For the duration of the book, they can divert their attention from the stresses and strains of everyday life and enjoy being part of someone else’s life or another world. Audiobooks are also a great way to relax. You can sit back while someone else tells you a story.

5. Walking

There’s something about being in nature that helps clear your mind and helps you feel more focused. You don’t have to go anywhere special. Just fifteen or twenty minutes with your iPod and the fresh air is all it takes.



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6. Exercise

Some people use exercise as a form of self-care. It gets their blood pumping and heart racing. You don’t have to go to the gym if that’s not your thing. Find a physical activity that’s right for you, whether it’s running, cycling, tennis, etc. Some people find that low-impact exercise such as swimming helps them to relax and wind down.

7. Gardening

Gardening not only gives you a good workout but it can help with aches, pains, and anxiety. Because it tends to last for a few hours, a gardening session can burn off more calories than going to the gym. If it’s a sunny day, you will also get a good dose of Vitamin D, and the close proximity to nature has a positive impact on the mind, helping ease stress and worry.

8. Meditation, Yoga, And Tai Chi

Forms of meditation, yoga and tai chi often go hand in hand with self-care, and there is a good reason. People who practise these activities report feeling calmer, less stressed, and generally happier. Much research has been done on this topic, and results show that exercising your mind has many physical and mental benefits.

9. Keeping A Gratitude Diary

Keeping a gratitude diary is much easier than it sounds. It doesn’t require you to write pages and pages. Many people do this each day, by simply recording three things they’re grateful for. Over time, it has been shown to increase positivity and refocus the mind. The idea is that no matter how busy or stressful your life is, there are lots of good things that are often forgotten or taken for granted. Focusing on these things helps to reset the mind and ease some of your worries.

It may be that you’re already practising self-care without even knowing it. What steps do you take to look after yourself and maximise your health and wellbeing?
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Mother's Day Giveaway: Win A Krug Baumen Watch Worth Up To £200

Mother's Day in the UK this year falls on Sunday 26th March and I am looking forward to breakfast in bed from Caitlin and Ieuan.

This usually consists of a cup of tea (made by Mat) and a Hot Cross Bun (also prepared by Mat) which is then eaten by Caitlin and Ieuan while I drink the tea, the four of us squished up in our rickety wooden double bed.

If you would like to inject a little glamour into Mother's Day this year for your mum (or if you're a parent, guardian or carer who feels in need of a little reward for all your hard work),  I have a beautiful watch from the Krug Baumen watch to give away from Watches2U and you can choose one from this range up to the value of £200 for either women - or men.

That should certainly earn you a few brownie points to smooth over your past indiscretions (such as being collected from school when you were 'ill' in order to spend an afternoon in bed being fed tea and toast whilst listening to the radio).

Krug Baümen offer a wide range of watches from classical dress watches to robust sports watches and their classically styled dress timepieces can be worn to formal occasions and corporate occasions, thanks to their elegant leather straps, minimalist dials, and stylish touches - suitable for mums everywhere.

These are my favourites from Krug Baumen.

Krug Baumen Ladies Principle Diamond Chronograph Watch
Krug Baumen Ladies Principle Diamond Chronograph Watch - £195

This is a Seiko VD53 analogue ladies wristwatch built by Krug Baümen. It has a tan leather strap with a metal case that compliments the cream dial and comes with a 2 year manufacturers' warranty.


Krug Baumen Ladies Tuxedo Gold Watch £145
Krug Baumen Ladies Tuxedo Black Gold Watch - £145


This wrist watch (1965KL-G) comes with a gold metal bracelet and a case which compliments the black dial.

Or how about the Krug Baumen Charleston 4 Diamond White Dial Gold Strap wristwatch?


Krug Baumen Charleston 4 Diamond Wristwatch
Krug Baumen Charleston 4 Diamond Wristwatch - £175

The 5116DL ladies watch comes with a gold metal bracelet and a metal case combined with a white face.

Of course, there's no reason why the lucky winner couldn't choose a man's watch.

Watches2U is one of the largest online UK watch dealers today and offers free UK delivery as standard with same day dispatch if you order by 4pm Monday to Friday.  They also have a price match service and you can earn VIP points on purchases, reviews and friend referrals.


The Giveaway

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget and the usual terms and conditions apply which you can find on my competitions page - along with lots of other great giveaways.

UK entrants only.  The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 17th March.

The lucky winner can select one watch from the Krug Baumen range up to the value of £200.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
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