Love your (new) self!

Hey guys,

I decided to write this blog post because I myself have been struggling with loving my new body and self-confidence in general. I’ve never been ‘skinny,’ always been chubby, and I definitely went through a fat period when I was younger lol but even then I had so much confidence! You think I cared about what people thought of me? Nope. Growing up, I’ve gotten a lot more self-conscious, and I can honestly say it’s probably because of the huge role social media plays in my life these days.

Before I got pregnant, I didn’t mind my body, I was doing all the right things, trying to eat healthy, exercising and all that good stuff, when I got pregnant I loved my body! I carried quite small and it took ages before I actually started showing and even when I did, I loved my bump and I loved how the rest of my body was just ‘together’ everything looked good.

Now?! Gosh, now I’m really struggling, I went through a period where after I gave birth, I was pleased with myself, the weight shifted pretty quickly, but now I feel stuck. Not because I want to look how I did before, but because I just want to get to a place where I’m content, and just happy with myself. I’m usually one for self-love and self-appreciation but recently I haven’t been feeling myself, and I recently posted a picture on Instagram saying I’m learning to love my flaws and all, because life is too short, but it. is. hard.

Harder more so because I’ve actually birthed another human and I’m allowed to look like this but I just can’t seem to accept that LOL. Like now, I have ‘problem areas’ that I worry about all the time, when I look in the mirror or at pictures and I’m so picky with what I wear because I don’t want my belly to show or I don’t want my arms to show, or my back rolls, or my double chin, the list goes on… LOL *sigh* Then my cousin said something to me one time that really just made me think, ‘yeah you need to get a grip mate’ she said, “NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM AREAS BUT YOU.” And you know what? It’s true, so why do we find it so hard to be confident in our own bodies? Why are we always comparing ourselves to other people? We are our own enemies you know.

Body confidence is so important especially in this day and age where all we see are ‘perfect’ women and men all over our screens, but what is the definition of perfect?

It depends on how YOU define perfect, we live in a world where we are so hell bent on living for everyone else, but the most important person to be confident for is yourself, so if your ‘perfect’ is number one by all means go for it, if it’s number two, then focus on making yourself happy, be complete, be real to yourself, don’t worry about anyone else, stop comparing!

‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – Theodore Roosevelt

This is the realest saying in all reality because it is so true! Comparison is a horrible, horrible thing, if we keep doing it we’ll never be complete, and that is my definition of perfect, to be complete, to feel whole, to love one’s self. And honestly this is what I strive for, this is what I want my ‘perfect’ to be, I just want to be happy in my skin, this person I am now. This body I have now, just be happy at wherever I’m at, at whatever point I’m at in my life and not worry about what the next mum who got ‘snatched’ a week after giving birth looks like. It’s a journey I think most women (even men!) are on and I do love how I’m seeing more and more people bang on about self-love because it is so important.

So guys, love yourself, love the new you, as I strive to.

All my love,

Hannah x

Raising Israel… 9 month update!

We’ve hit another milestone and I can’t believe how fast time has gone! 9 months already?!

I’m so proud of how Israel’s developing and growing. It makes me so happy to see how far we’ve both come, there’s too much I could say about how much progress we’ve made and how far he’s come along but I’m not going to say too much, Israel’s taking over today ?

If Israel could talk, this is what he’d tell you about his development so far and everything he loves!

I’m nine months now and I am becoming so active! I can’t crawl just yet but I am trying really really hard, when I go on my hands and knees, I try to move so I know I’ll get there soon! I also love standing while holding onto something.

I am teething now! Still have no teeth just yet but my gums have been really sore and I want to put everything in my mouth! Mummy’s got me loads of different teethers to try but they just won’t do! I’d rather eat everything else.

I’ve just started drinking my formula milk from a beaker, mummy tried giving it to me in a bottle but, yuck, I don’t like those, so she was so excited when I finally drank from my sippy cup. I’m getting used to drinking formula milk now BUT I’m still breastfeeding, mostly at night (obviously haha)

My favourite things are: My dummy, my bedtime blankie, the wooden spoon for cooking, my keyboard and my shape sorter

I love: dancing every time music comes on, listening to stories, eating from everybody else’s plate and being tickled!

My favourite songs are: round the garden, zoom, zoom, zoom! and twinkle, twinkle little star

My favourite tv show is: Baby Jake on cbeebies, I also like In the night garden sometimes

My favourite foods are: I’ve been really picky with my food lately but I like eating chicken, rice pudding, cerelac and anything sweet!

I cant wait to do so many more fantastic things and tell you all about it!

I am just the proudest mum ever of this little boy, I’ve gone back to work full time and it has been so hard being away from him, I miss him so much everyday and wish I could be with him every minute of the day! I come home from work some days and he’s doing something new, it’s just so amazing and I’ve been thinking recently, I wish I could be a stay at home mum (I never thought I’d say this LOL) but it’s just not possible right now, there are bills to be paid and a brand new flat to furnish (exciting stuff, but we’ll talk more about that later!)

Anyway, this is where Israel’s at right now, I really enjoyed writing this in his voice, because he won’t remember any of this, it’ll be really nice to look back on when he’s older and it did make me wonder if he’ll love writing as much as I do. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this young King.

Until next time x

OddMumOut is six months!

As the year comes to an end, I’ve been doing some reflecting (as you do) and I realised, oh my gosh! I’ve been blogging for six months now! This definitely has to be celebrated, no? And what better way to celebrate than to write about it.

These past 6 months spent starting up a blog have been pretty eye opening and I’m very proud of myself for sticking to it although not as consistent as I’ve wanted to be with posting. Along the way I’ve actually helped new mums, mums that have been for a while and future mums, women in general and it honestly makes me so, so happy. I don’t have loads of followers but to know that people are reading my stuff means so much more to me.

When I first started my blog, I was beyond nervous, so anxious, I kept on thinking, ‘will people like the stuff I post?’ ‘Will people even read them in the first place?’ ‘What if my blog posts aren’t interesting enough?’ ‘BUT WHAT IF I GET WRITERS BLOCK?! ARGHH!’

But I prayed, and you know, just asked God to guide me and we’ll see where this goes (if you believe in God, one thing I’ve learnt this year is that it’s really important to pray about EVERYTHING you’re putting your hands into) and 6 months later here I am, still going. There are times where I’m stuck on what to write about and other times where I’m just so busy, I don’t have time to sit down and write, but that’s okay. That’s something I’ve had to tell myself, it’s okay to not have time, but it doesn’t mean you should quit. The time will come if you can’t make it right now, and don’t let the issue of time stop you if you’re thinking of starting up a blog in 2018. I always thought I would never have time especially with a baby, but honestly if it’s something you love doing, you will find time.

What I’ve learnt & experienced through motherhood & lifestyle blogging:

1. It’s okay to be open and honest about personal experiences, in fact, readers can relate more to those kinds of posts so will find them more helpful

2. Welcoming people to talk about their own experiences, also helps me deal with some stuff I’m going through

3. I’ve met so many mums through this blogging experience, such amazing strong women

4. You will make time for the things you love

5. Negativity will always be a part of being in the public eye, take it with a pinch of salt and choose your arguments wisely

I didn’t start this year with the goal of starting a blog and seeing it through, it wasn’t in my plans at all. I was too busy worrying about how I was going to handle being a single mum! And as I reflect on my blogging experience, I also want to take this time to just reflect on how proud I am of myself for doing such a great job raising Israel, like, it’s okay to celebrate yourselves! I feel like mums don’t give themselves enough credit for the great jobs they’re doing, forget about all the stress for a minute and forget about all the help you might have needed or asked for. Essentially, we are still here, raising these wonderful little bundles of joy and doing so many other things on the side and I believe we should celebrate ourselves. I’ve loved every minute of being a mum, and without him I wouldn’t be blogging right now. I’ve always wanted to start a blog ever since finishing my journalism degree but I never had anything that I really enjoyed or had enough interest in, to sit and write about. Motherhood literally gave me new life, I found passion, I found someone that I love so much, I could write about everyday of my life and not get bored (I always say this but babies are honestly the most fascinating beings, just watching their growth process is amazing) and me as a mum, as a woman, I’m growing alongside this little being and I’m just so grateful and proud of my growth.

I hope to continue blogging next year, to inspire mothers everywhere, dads too, new bloggers and bloggers who want to blog but aren’t sure. My advice to anyone who wants to start blogging or already is, is don’t put pressure on yourself, let your ideas flow, don’t write for the sake of writing. At the end of the day, blogging is about what you’re passionate about so don’t lose that passion just for the sake of followers or satisfying people’s needs. If you really want to boost your followers, you definitely need a social media presence but honestly, if you write about what you’re passionate about, it will reach someone somewhere. Oh, and it’s okay to take a break!

Hope you’re enjoying this festive period, and I’m wishing you a wonderful new year! See you in 2018 my loves x

Hannah xo

Our weaning journey

It’s been just over a month now since we started weaning and I’m having so much fun doing it! I mean, there have been some absolute fails in terms of what Israel just won’t eat but I thought it would be nice to write up a little bit on his likes and dislikes. Professionals say to wait 6 months before weaning your baby but I started a little earlier with super smooth purees to see what Israel would like.

We’re now on three meals a day, *yaay!* and with the help of the baby nutri bullet which we got as a gift, I’ve been able to make Israel’s lunches from scratch! With just a few ingredients and a freezer, we’re set for a week of ready made meals!

Breakfast likes:

Organix banana and mango porridge (made with aptamil follow on formula milk)

Ella’s kitchen Banana baby brekkie (his absolute fave!)

Breakfast fails:

Cow and Gate fruity porridge (he really didn’t like this and to be fair it did give him a rash around his mouth every time he ate it, and made him heave a fair bit, so in the end I thought he might be allergic to something in the porridge mix, so we left that one alone.)

Lunch:

Israel loves lunchtime! It’s so funny how he opens his little mouth so wide when he sees his spoon coming his way. He eats everything I make him and when we’re on the go, he also enjoys Ella’s kitchen mac and cheese and cheesy veg pie.

What I’ve made from scratch so far:

1. Sweet potato, chicken & carrots purée

2. Peas and pears purée

3. Sweet potato, lamb mince & broccoli purée

4. Apples, spinach & broccoli purée

All I did with these ingredients was peel, chop and steam (added half a knorr Maggie cube for flavour to the meats) then blended them together with the baby nutri bullet and froze them in small portions using the soft silicone portion trays. He loved all of these and I found them really filling, it’s also a bonus knowing exactly what he’s eating without all the added preservatives and extra ingredients.

Dinner:

We struggled a fair bit with dinner, I wanted him to have cerelac, rice pudding, baby rice, all that kind of stuff, so he’s full for bedtime but at first he didn’t like cerelac (wheat with milk flavour) or rice pudding so it was a battle, especially now he’s mastered the art of storing everything in his mouth then spitting it out. *sigh*I just continued giving him small portions every other day and now I’d say we’re getting there, he’s eating a lot more of each of them (even though it does take a while.) Sometimes I let him have a fruit mix, which he loves or something like the pears and peas mix I made from scratch. It’s fair to say Israel is a tiny baby, but he loves his food!

I will not lie to you, going from just breastfeeding 24/7 to actually having to time when he needs to be fed solids, getting the food ready, getting him ready (bib on, sat in high chair, sippy cup on the side) AND still breastfeeding in between meals hasn’t been a walk in the park. I feel like the real hard work has now begun! But I’m getting used to it, the same way I have to feed myself, he needs to be fed right? Plus he’s growing everyday and he needs those important nutrients. There are so many guides to weaning, how it should/shouldn’t be done, when’s the right time to start etc. but ultimately, as parents we know our children more than anyone and I’ve just gone with the flow throughout this period and it’s worked for us, obviously if I had any concerns about his weight or anything I’d speak to my health visitor, but so far so good!

I’m going to start trying to give him finger foods now, not sure how that’s gonna go down especially because of the inevitable mess that will be made, but I really really just want this to be an enjoyable journey for both of us, he loves being super independent so this should be interesting!

If anyone’s currently weaning or has done before and/or makes meals from scratch too, I’d love to hear about some of the meals your baby loved, maybe we could try some!

Raising Israel… 6 month update

My little man is 6 months and I literally cannot believe it. Time’s gone so fast and he’s grown so much! In just another 6 months he’ll be a whole year old. So I’ve decided to do a little update on how things have been, focussing mostly on how this little champ is developing…

Let’s talk milestones:

Weaning;

We started weaning a little earlier than six months, just to test the waters and see what he’d like. So far, he’s eating 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner, and still has breastmilk in between, he’s not too keen on breakfast but chows down his dinner (he loves the Ella’s kitchen purees) which is great for me, because that means he’s full before bed and will sleep better. I’ve started giving him baby biscuits (Farleys Rusks) to chew on but they usually just get moved and squashed between his hands, I think adult led weaning works for the both of us to be honest.

Mobility;

Sitting up independently? Yes, well just about lol. He’s still a little wobbly at times but he can definitely sit up on his own for a period of time with me on standby just in case he decides he wants to lie down or slide to the side. Hand eye coordination? Israel is definitely using his hands loads more now, one day we woke up and he just started grabbing everything in sight! I definitely was not prepared for this lol but I love how mobile he is now, he’s learning to shake his rattles purposely and kicks his legs freely when lying down (oh, and grab my phone out of my hand!) and put everything straight into his mouth! He also follows sounds and movement very well, he’s so alert and he’s actually been that way since he was born lol.

One thing he’s not a fan of is tummy time, lol he literally lasts a minute then starts whining, but that’s something that we’ll keep working on ??

Talking;

Talking?! Lol yes, that’s what I like to call it when he babbles, and he babbles LOADS! When I read up about which milestones a baby should be hitting at 5 months and I saw ‘your child might start making sounds like ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ ‘ I literally laughed, thinking, how?! but lo and behold Israel makes so many sounds now, babbling is his favourite thing to do and I just love the sound of his little voice. I’ve caught him so many times trying to imitate me and others when making sounds or talking. The other day, I roared and he roared back! I couldn’t believe it, so I did it again and he did it back! Ahh it was such a proud mummy moment!

This past 6 months have been such a blessing, he’s developed so much, he’s happy, he’s healthy and such a playful, funny little boy and you can really see his personality coming through now. I’m so proud to be his mummy and couldn’t be more thankful to God for giving me this opportunity. I’m so looking forward to the many more years of raising my King Israel.