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Five savvy suggestions for surviving motherhood

Becoming a parent is one of the most wonderful things in the world, but it’s also incredibly hard work. It can be quite isolating and emotionally tough, which you could probably cope with if you’d had enough sleep, which you won’t have done. Last year my lovely friend Karen from That Lancashire Lass became a mum for the third time. In this guest post, she shares with us her tips for surviving motherhood.

Five savvy suggestions for surviving motherhood

It’s no secret that the first few weeks, months and years of parenting is hard work. The most beautiful and amazing thing in your life just happened, but it’s a shock to your body and your life changes drastically. Sometimes you feel like your kid is driving you up the wall and you need a bit of space, or even just a conversation with another grown up. Sometimes your four walls at home feel like they might start closing in on you and you need to get outside and get some air in your lungs. Other times you might need reassurance that your baby is doing just as well as all the other babies her age. And once in a while, you just need to know you’re doing okay.

I have always had good friends around me. When I had each of my babies my friends were there with gifts, baby cuddles and wine and they were a great source of support for me. The thing is though that once the initial visits wear off you find that your friends are at work, or busy with their own families and commitments. That’s the time you need to put yourself out there. Here are five things you can do to stave off the loneliness, isolation and general blues that can creep in when you have a new baby…

Make time for yourself

Whether it be painting your nails, going for a massage or simply having an early night while dad, sister or your mum watches the baby once a week, it’s really important to make time for yourself. I really struggled with this myself as I find it difficult to hand over the reins, but once I learned to let go a little bit I felt so much better in myself and I was a generally happier person. Which leads me onto point two…

Accept help

I promise you that nobody is going to judge you for letting other people help with the baby. If someone you trust offers to help, to watch the baby while you nap or take a bath, to take him out in the pram while you hoover round (or even better if they offer to hoover!) then honestly, just say yes. It will make them feel good for being able to help and they really wouldn’t offer unless they meant it. People generally love to lend a hand. I’m not saying pack your newborn off to Nana’s for a month but do welcome the opportunity to shower for more than 30 seconds at a time!

Make some mum friends

Since there were 696,271 live births in England and Wales in 2016, I’m certain there are mums with children of a similar age to yours nearby! Using an app like Mush makes a world of difference when you need some contact with the outside world. You can use the app to search for parents with children of a similar age, with similar interests to yours or who are in your local area. Where I live there are several meet-ups per week, all of which started off as a simple connection on Mush. I love the app and have made some lovely new friends through it. I’d definitely recommend it.

Five savvy suggestions for surviving motherhood

Sleep when you can

You know when midwives say ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ and you think it’s ridiculous because who is going to cook dinner, wash the pots and do the laundry? Well you’ll feel much better if you sack the housework off and get your head down. The laundry will get done eventually and nobody will starve to death. Just order a takeaway.

Don’t be pressured

Formula or breastmilk? Cloth nappies or disposables? Routine or baby led days?

It really, truly, honestly doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks you should do. Sure, listen to what they have to say and make up your own mind about it, but when all is said and done you are the one bringing up this tiny human and it is your decision on how to do that. As long as you and your baby are safe and happy, then you crack on. There is no ‘right’ way to be a parent and we’re all different. Ask for advice if you need to, but have faith in yourself!

Are you a parent already? What advice on surviving motherhood would you give to new mums?

Review: OM Yoga Show Manchester 2016

Yoga is a beautiful thing, something I used to really enjoy but can no longer do, which is a shame. When I was invited to the OM Yoga Show Manchester I really wanted to go but thought it’d be better if someone who would really appreciate it went in my place. My very lovely friend Naseema who LOVES yoga spent a day at the show and wrote this wonderful guest post for me – thanks Naseema!

I visited the OM Yoga Show last weekend as an attempt to learn more about Yoga and its practice since I am a little bit of a budding yogi myself. I had a preconception that this event only included professional yoga teachers doing headstands and handstands but much to my amazement I felt right at home.

The OM Yoga Show Manchester had over 100 exhibitors and was based at Event City in Manchester. The admission price was £7.50 (adult) for one day in advance, £12.50 (adult) for a two-day ticket and £16.00 (adult) for a three-day ticket. Upon entering Event City I felt really uplifted. I was able to purchase a copy of the OM Yoga magazine for £1 and started exploring the booths, speaking to different yoga groups in Manchester and from around the UK.

OM Yoga Show Manchester

I met different yoga teachers who were based around the UK and in Manchester. One to note is Donna Noble who started her practice encouraging individuals of all shapes and sizes to get involved in yoga. Her aim is to create a powerful and open yoga practice where all genders and different fitness levels can feel welcomed in her class. Even though she is based in London she was still able to spread her message at the OM Yoga Show Manchester and even lead her own lotus open class on Curvesome Yoga. I would recommend visiting her website to hear the stories of women who are transforming themselves in their yoga journey. You can find out more on Donna’s website.

Other exhibitors which were at the show included Dru Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda, Yogacampus, Yoga mama, Sports yoga, Santosa Yoga and Meditation, Boxing Yoga, The Yoga Bank, the YogaLife Project to name just a few. One aspect that I really enjoyed the most was the section specifically for kids and the integration of toddlers into the practice of yoga. Yoga groups such as Relax Kids and Yoga Bears gave me information on meditation techniques specifically for kids and kids’ yoga. They combined mindful games and storytelling with stretching exercises, breathing, massage as well as positive affirmations. There were also classes specifically for children which seemed very popular.

OM Yoga Show Manchester

The yoga show also had a selection of vegetarian and vegan hot and cold food, snacks and beverages both hot and cold. The Detox Yogi tea definitely was my favourite with its ayurvedic blend of liquorice, dandelion and cinnamon. My other food favourite was Urban Fruit with their gently baked fruit with no added sugar. I also purchased an all natural Whey Isolate Protein powder from She Protein. This product is aimed for women who workout and need a protein supplement as part of their healthy lifestyle.

OM Yoga Show Manchester

Yoga merchandise was also on sale. Yoga mats were at very reasonable prices. Yoga clothing was also sold by Tiger Lilly clothing, Yoga Goodies, Pul Sera, The Power of Greyskull to name a few. Accessories were also sold in various booths all of them handmade and holistic inspired. The yoga workshops were extremely popular and cost around £5 per session. Each workshop differed vastly and can include one workshop on Yoga Nidra to another workshop on Boxing Yoga. There were also free open classes by various yoga teachers which were suitable for all levels and were on a first come first served basis.

OM Yoga Show Manchester

I really enjoyed visiting the OM Yoga Show and I will definitely be visiting it again in 2017. If you missed out on the show in Manchester, the London show is on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd October! My advice is to get there early and enjoy the positive vibes!

You can find out more about the OM Yoga Show Manchester on their website.