Tag Archives: socialising

A Few Bits of Baby Advice for Kate

Now seeing as Royal Baby Fever is imminently upon us, I thought it only right that I pass on some pearls of baby advice to Kate, seeing as I had a baby 4 and a bit months ago, and it’s all very fresh in my mind. I am of course sure she will see this, and if you are reading Kate, a little comment at the bottom of this would be nice, eh? 😉

ROYAL BABY-ADVICE-TIPS

A Few Bits of Advice

1. Going Topless

You were worried about those topless photos? Dear me, you may be in for a shock. I don’t think I wore a top for about a week, as I tried to master the skill that is breastfeeding. They were out for all to see. There wasn’t a midwife or a Maternity assistant in the building who hadn’t seen my baps. So sorry about that.

2. Buy loungewear

I would tell you to invest in some track suit bottoms, and t-shirts. You will live in these for about the first 5 weeks. You might not even change out of them. All those pretty dresses and coats, and high heels, yeah they’re great, but not when you’re up for 48 hours, and baby sick and bright yellow poo probably is quite difficult to get out of a Hobbs dress.

3. Pack Your Bag Carefully

My Hospital Bag was so full, I could barely put in the essentials. In fact, I had one bag for baby, and one for me. By the time I got to delivery suite, I had so much crap with me, I had to put all my bags on the wheelchair and walk down to the room! Only pack the essentials, people, maybe one of your security team can bring in anything else.  Forget make-up,you will be barely able to brush your teeth.

4. Get used to using one hand

I guess you may have had practice from all that waving, and holding handbags at the same time. But substitute the handbag for a baby, and the waving for trying to grasp a cup of tea, and you’ll see what I mean.

5. Don’t worry about your weight

It’s all very fashionable to lose all the baby weight in about 3 days, but really, you’ve got more important things to do, surely? I know the press are obsessed with your weight, and they seem to be incredulous that you put on weight in pregnancy, but don’t be pressured to lose weight. Eat cake. Eat chocolate. You will need the energy. Let Pippa worry about the size of her bum, about forget about yours, for a bit anyway.

6. If you’re Induced

If you are unfortunate to be overdue, then I am sorry. Everyone, EVERYONE, will offer their words of advice about how to kick-start this labour. I was induced and it is pretty long-winded, so my advice is to stock up on magazines, chocolate, and box sets, and wait. And tell the next person to offer you a Vindaloo where to shove it.

7. Paternity Peeve

Your partner will drive you mad when they are with you on Paternity Leave. Yes, it’s great that they are there, and there to ‘help’, but I tell you when that call comes for Wills to fly off in his helicopter, you will be relieved. Men get in the way, and you can’t actually get anything done, that doesn’t involve an Xbox, whilst they are there. DOn’t bother trying to get into any sort of routine until they’re gone.

8. Family and Friends visiting

Argh. You’re trying to get over the birth, and sleep deprivation, and you think you can relax for a moment as the baby is starting to doze off, when DING DONG, the doorbell goes and 50 people come in and wake up the baby and keep you talking, and tell you that you look tired, and use all your cups and plates, then leave you with a pile of washing-up, and a screaming baby. Now you’re going to have to psyche yourself up for this, as you’re married into quite a large family. People you have never met will barge in on you breastfeeding, believe me.  My advice is just pretend you’re not in, although that may be pretty difficult for you without setting off a massive security alert.

9. Names

Everyone has their opinion on names. For goodness sake Kate, don’t tell ANYONE the name you want, as it will only result in people saying that they either hate it, it reminds them of an old Count someone who disgraced their family, or that you can’t call your baby that as they were a traitor to the crown, or something. Personally I think whatever name you like, just tell them all when it’s born. They can’t say anything then! I don’t know whether you’ll go down the line of naming the baby after ancient family members, but it does seem to run in the Royal Family. For what its worth my bet is of Margaret for a girl, and James for a boy. (I literally just picked those names out of thin air, and a vague understanding of who’s been in the royal family.)

10. Socialise!

You need to enjoy yourself. Having a wing of a hospital to yourself will be lovely but you also do need to socialise with other people who have had babies. Go to some baby groups, talk about baby poo, and moan about your family in law. It has to be done. I personally can recommend Baby Massage and PEEPS, if you ever fancy coming down to Bristol. But beware, not all Mums are friendly. I was scared to talk to anyone at first, and I have been embarrassed a few times, but try to find people on your wavelength.

What advice would you give to Kate in the run-up to her due date? Let me know in the comments below!

By The Way, I have also written some other posts about advice in the first few weeks of being a parent, here and here – go take a look!

 

Britmums Live: Feeling Part of Something

As I was driven to the station, as it drew nearer, I shouted out ‘No, it’s OK, turn around! I don’t want to go!’ in my high anxiety state. I was swiftly kicked out the car and left to fend for myself. I was going to Britmums Live!

As I walked over the train station entrance I heard people calling my name! I was lucky that my journey to Britmums was some lovely South West Bloggers: Jane, Ella, Kathy, Jen and Rachel. I felt much better immediately even though I hadn’t met some of them before!

The train journey went quickly with us all chatting about blogging – of course! We probably annoyed a lot of the other passengers as we were quite loud! I personally could have done with a few glasses of wine at this point but as I’d only eaten a croissant so far that day, it was probably a good idea I didn’t.

 

Me and Rachel (Mummyglitzer) on the train

Me and Rachel (Mummyglitzer) on the train

Getting into London, and finding our way across London, was pretty straight forward (apart from a slight tube detour!) and soon we were at The Hoxton Hotel (very swanky it was too!). A quick spruce up, and a cheeky glass of Vino with my roommate Jane, and we were walking to The Brewery.

Myself, Jen and The Mother Hood Blog all went straight to the Brewery in our excited states. The others went off to get food – seasoned bloggers they probably realised they had to queue and thought better of it! In the queue we found Vic Welton, Jaime of Olivers Madhouse, and everyone who had met with them beforehand. It was so odd, many people I recognised, but others I just didn’t have a clue. People kept saying I looked like my photos, which either means I look hideous or I somehow manage to look the hue of Waldon on Instagram at all times.

Queueing up and getting in did take a while, and at first they couldn’t find my badge under my Surname or my Tealady name, so for the first few sessions I was walking around with my own scrawling handwritten badge, no wonder no one spoke to me as they probably couldn’t read the blooming thing!

The Hub was awash with people, I was so hungry and thirsty at this point I hot footed it to the cakes and water. Everyone seemed to know everyone. I felt so overwhelmed I didn’t really look at the stalls, and I was scared of the people in costumes who kept asking me to play games. It was all a bit much, but soon we went down to the main room for the start of the whole shebang.

I’m not going to lie, Kirstie Allsop did not do it for me; it was not what I expected, it was in no way motivational for me, inspirational for me or gave me anything to take away from it all. All I found out was not to feed jelly beans to your dog, and someone needs to invent a better way of carrying fluids in bags up to Glasgow. Oh, and to go to New York to buy patterned dresses. Look, if you liked it, great, it just wasn’t really my thing.

The next session was about brands, and I did find this interesting. As a newbie blogger, brands are something I havent really worked with very much, and I am not sure if that is the direction my blog will take, but it was useful to hear all the opinions.

What I liked about Britmums was the socialising. It was so good to match faces to names, and blogs to faces. Some people I just got on with straight away – others I tried to find and failed, and others just looked way too cool for school. It really did take me back to school.

After the break I went to sessions about Media Kits, Sponsored Posts, and Blog Ambassadors. I went to these with the lovely Blog of a Mom and Rachel. In hindsight I wish I had been to some other sessions, but you know what going to these sessions made me realise what I want from my blog, and what direction I want to take. I think what it has taught me is it is my blog, be selective, and only do things if they really interest you, or they suit your blog. And that is fine with me.

After the sessions, myself and Rachel went to the main room, for the BiBs, where there was an abundance of champagne, wine, cocktails. I was cream crackered and so was Rachel so we went to shove our things on a chair before we entered the throng.

This was when I met Ericka, who I had wanted to meet but who I thought was way too up there in the blog world to spend time with me. She was with Mrs Shilts, and I’m pretty sure the first thing I said was ‘Mum In The South!’  I love her blog and if you haven’t read it, read it! It is so funny, and just my kind of humour. She was so lovely, and very anxious as she was up for an award she thought she wouldn’t win. We moved with her further down the room to a table, as she had to be near to the stage. We chatted, and myself and Rachel drank champagne, and canapes were handed around (the steak and chips one, I could have done with a massive one of those!) I lost Jen in the throng but she was at a table with some others, our tables suddenly became full, and the awards began. I managed to acquire a bottle of wine that myself and Rachel shared, so I probably was slightly tipsy when I turned around and saw Mummy Never Sleeps behind me. ‘Mummy Never Sleeps!’ I mouthed across to her, as if she didn’t know her own name. She nodded, calmly, as if she would slowly back away if she had the chance. Unfortunately for her I caught up with her at the end of the awards, and drunkenly spouted off a load of mumbo jumbo.

The awards were great, and a real highlight of friday. It was lovely to chat to Ericka, and as her award got closer she got more nervous. I had voted for her and was rooting for her to win – and she did! Amazing! I was clapping and whooping, wine fuelled, it was great and I am so glad she won. In fact, I was really pleased for everyone who won an award, and most of the people I had voted for won, which was fab, although I did feel sad that Cas and Vic Welton didn’t win their categories as they are brilliant bloggers.

Ericka and her award

Ericka and her award

So day one was finished, I was semi drunk and I had met some lovely people. After the awards and we were kicked out of the building, I went for dinner with a group of bloggers which we had planned before the event. It was lovely, and the food was great, and the wine even more so. I stumbled back to the Hoxton with Jen, and the day was done.

Day Two, and in the Hub, I decide I need to make more effort with all the people there, the brands and the bloggers. If anything, to grab more freebies. I caught up with Jen again, and Emma (Mrs Shilts), and soon found Ericka. Eating waffles covered in chocolate and drinking tea, we had a natter and it was great fun. I felt as if I had known these ladies for ages.

I have always admired Katie Piper and I read her book, Beautiful when I was on holiday a few years ago. If you haven’t read her story, I suggest you do. Her talk to Britmums was emotive, emotional but above all, positive. She filled the room with positivity and her strength was astounding. There wasn’t a dry eye on the house as she read out a poem to her old face, and thanked her Mum for being there for her. What a woman. After Katie, I went to the ‘Finding your voice’ talk, which I did find really useful. I am not sure what my ‘voice’ is, but I know that you have to write, write and write a bit more to find it. The people on the panel were varied, and had different takes on the subject, and I wrote a load of notes.

After this, it was a coffee break, and I hot footed it to the Hub to buy ‘Start your day with Katie’, and get her to sign the book. I was again a gibbering idiot when I spoke to her, but I think she got the message I think she is pretty cool and inspirational. And she told me she liked my purse! (I didn’t tell her it was from Primark). We ventured around the Hub, learnt wizard combat, and took as many freebies as we could.

After this, we ended up in the talk about legal issues and Tax with Jen. It was a bit dry, and to be honest tax scares me, so after a while (and after a few messages from Ericka), we escaped into the Hub.

I can honestly say what happened next was the funniest few hours I have had for a long time!

We went round the stalls, got our freebies, and when we saw the photo booth, we couldn’t resist dressing up and getting in. It was so much fun, we did it twice. I have never laughed so much. These girls were right up my street. We had lunch together, and more or less skived off a few of the sessions to basically have a laugh, and venture around the Hub. Afternoon Tea with Mrs Shilts, which was lovely, and I wish I had seen more of her as she is also a right laugh!

 

The keynote speeches were brilliant. Katy Hill was great as the host, and she is a very funny lady indeed! The posts that were read out were sad, funny, heartfelt and touching. We remembered Matilda Mae, and then we remembered Kerry, MultipleMum. I never knew Kerry, or Matilda Mae, but both of these individuals touched me. I sang ‘Firework’ by Katie Perry, and I read every word, I sang every word, I meant every word. It was amazing how a room could unite so much, how all of these individuals could link together, some being strangers a mere 48 hours before.

I had never felt like I belonged to anything in my life, yet Britmums made me feel I was a part of something. I have met some lovely lovely people and I am determined to keep in touch with them. I would so like to go next year, so I need to save my pennies quickly to nab a ticket!