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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

Anxiety and Fashion

Anxiety has always battered me. The ways it has done so has changed and transformed over the years but in one way or another it’s always been around, beating me down and ruining parts of my life that should be great.

From crippling panic attacks as a teenager that ruined my school years, to the inability to trust in relationships, to the gut-wrenching belief that I am a terrible mother – anxiety has been the underlying reason for all of my biggest doubts and fears, and has in turn ruined opportunities, friendships, relationships, and, at certain points, my life.

-TRIGGER WARNING- contains photos of extremely questionable fashion choices.

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That thread, nastiness and transparency

So by now I assume we’ve all heard about That Mumsnet Thread. I imagine a lot of you are like me and spent way too long ignoring your kids to read it, because who doesn’t enjoy a hate read? (I am convinced this is the answer to Piers Morgan and Katie Hopkins having so many followers on Twitter). There was a level of nastiness that genuinely made me gasp – if you’re going to insult the physical appearance of a child on the internet you are worse than a giant slug that has managed to get indoors – and no matter how many times it was denied an awful lot of it sounded like jealousy.

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Equal Siblings

Some people say that once you have one child adding another isn’t all that different. Those people are liars.

Having your family grow from three to four is a massive change and affects all of you, physically and emotionally, in endless ways. It’s a steep learning curve for everyone and any rhythm or routine that you had previously perfected gets rather dramatically flung out of the window.

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Breastfeeding – a second try

When I was pregnant I wrote about my previous experience of breastfeeding and how it had left me terrified to try again. I had a huge response to that post with so many women telling me they felt the exact same way, which was in equal parts comforting (to know I’m not alone) and depressing (to realise so many of us had had such similar, difficult experiences).

I was always going to try again, yet I was determined to put less pressure on myself this time. Turns out that lack of pressure was exactly what we both needed to find our feet with this feeding malarky.

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Water Birth, Danny Devito, and still no stitches: My Second Birth Story

If you follow me on any form of social media you might have figured out I was more than a little bit done with being pregnant by the end…I had tried everything. And nothing was working. I had accepted that I was just going to be pregnant forever and welcomed the cankles as just a part of who I was now.

We’d had weeks of false starts, days of contractions leading to nothing.

Turns out watching the Foos destroy Glastonbury was the key.

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A Fox Cub!

Not just because it means I’m not pregnant anymore…we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our tiny little addition to the family!

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The Language of Body Positivity

If you’ve been anywhere near a mum blogger’s Instagram over the past few weeks you will have noticed a trend. Not the yellow dress from M&S, not flamingos, not even empowering slogan tees. No the trend that is filling all of our timelines is one that will hopefully be a bit more resilient than some fad – body positivity.

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Being Pregnant in a Heat Wave

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s a little bit hot outside. If you go anywhere in England where there is a patch of grass right now you will see at least 12 sets of sunburnt shoulders frantically necking canned cider and pretending like they’re enjoying every second.

The Great British Summertime!

Pimms, Aperol, prosecco, cider…basically it’s just booze and sunburn. What’s not to love?

Unless of course you just so happen to be overdue, in which case a heat wave is the equivalent of being stuck in a lift with Boris Johnson and Piers Morgan.

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Super Simple Chicken Risotto

Yesterday I had zero inspiration for what to do with the two chicken breasts sitting in my fridge. I hate trying to come up with ideas for dinner at the best of times but when overdue in the ridiculous summer heat it seemed even more of a challenge.

So I asked Instagram to decide.

Loads of suggestions came flying my way (all of which sounded delicious and actually made my job harder) but when Harriet (from Life With Mrs Lee) suggested risotto I suddenly remembered probably the easiest recipe in my collection. And it’s delicious! Oh and super low fat and healthy, if you’re into that kind of thing.

So risotto is what we had and as a few of you asked – here’s the recipe!

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