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Mothercare Orb Pram Review

Sunday, 19 March 2017
Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Baby Blogger Mothercare Orb pram inexpensive good quality pram

Any mum or mum-to-be knows how overwhelming it is shopping for a pram for the first time. When you've never had a baby, how do you know what to look for? All I knew was that I wanted one that I could fit my car seat to for short journeys and one that wasn't too difficult or heavy to get in the car boot. Pram prices vary massively and at a time when I already had a huge list of things to buy, I didn't want to overspend but at the same time, I didn't want to buy something sub-standard. 

Luckily, my friend had a baby the year before me and had always raved about how much she loved her Mothercare orb pram. I loved the style, it was affordable and had good reviews on line so a few months before Oliver arrived, I ordered the Mothercare Orb pram in 'Liquorice'. It was on offer at the time and reduced from £429 to £299 which was less than half of the cost of others I'd looked at. (This deal is currently on at the moment too - so go check it out!)

The pram comes in two parts - the wheels and the carry cot/pushchair attachment. For the price you pay, you also get the cosy toes liner and the rain cover. The only additional extra we had to buy were the adapters to allow us to attach the car seat to the wheels - these were just £29 and I suppose, since not everyone has a car, it makes sense to sell them separate.

The main part of the pram can be used as a carry cot from birth, allowing the baby to lie flat on his/her back as per the current guidelines. When the baby can sit up and hold their head steadily, this can be easily converted into a pushchair style seat simply by pulling a few fastenings at the back. 


Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Blog | Good Inexpensive Pram Review Mothercare orb

We recently converted the carry cot into the buggy, so Oliver can now sit up and see what's going on around him. This is a bit earlier than recommended, but we had gotten to the stage that every walk was with a crying baby in the carry cot who just wanted to see what's going on. He's much happier now that he can see where he is and he's totally fascinated by everything around him.

One feature that makes this pram stand out is that you can switch from forward to rear facing while the baby is still in the pram. A twist and lift of the handle and it'll flip over to the opposite side of the chair allowing the baby to be rear or front facing. This is a great feature if Oliver's getting bored of looking at me on our walks, I can just twist him round and the new view keeps him interested.

The pram is lightweight, easy to push and navigate over the bumpy paths and pavements. If I'm putting it in the car, it's a case of pushing two buttons to detach the top, and another button to collapse the wheels - simple. Once the pram has been converted into a buggy, it can be used up until the child is around 2 years old depending on their weight and height. I'd say two years worth of pram use for just £300 is incredibly good value.  

This is a pram I'd highly recommend to any expectant parents looking for a high quality pram at a reasonable price. If you want to have a closer look, check out the Mothercare youtube video which gives a detailed tour and demo of the pram - I found it really useful when I was making the decision. 


Have any of you tried this pram?





Feeling the Mum Guilt.

Thursday, 16 March 2017
When I went on maternity leave, I had serious plans for my blog. I love writing, photography and the creative side of blogging and it's great being able to make a bit of extra money on the side too. It's a hobby, but I've always felt there's so much more potential in me/my blog and for a while, I've wanted to take it to the next level. Maternity leave was the perfect opportunity, I thought. 

I'm almost 5 months into maternity leave and although I'm proud of how I've grown my blog in this time, I never feel like it's enough. There's always more time I could have worked on something, more effort I could have put in. I find myself feeling guilty for not devoting all my time to it, yet I also feel guilty for not giving 100% of that time to Oliver. 

Maternity leave is supposed to be about spending time with your baby, isn't it?

Maisy Meow Parenting and Lifestyle Blogger Feeling Guilty about going to work and leaving baby

If I ask my mum to watch Oliver so I can take photos for my blog, or ask Andy to take him a walk so I can write a new post, I feel guilty because I think that time should be spent with Oliver. I should put my computer away and play with my baby. I have an almost daily argument with myself about whether I'm right to feel guilty for not giving every minute of my time to him.

Ultimately, my dream is to work from home. To make a regular income from blogging that would allow me to work for myself, while being at home and there for Oliver. Working a few hours in the evening or during his naps, rather than going back to working long days and missing out on his early years. I don't want to leave in the morning and come home when he's in bed. My dream is to have the job that allows me to spend more time with my son, but the only way I can get that is by giving up special moments with him now. It's a catch 22.

I recognise that I'm feeling the 'mum guilt' that everyone talks about and that I'll probably feel it no matter what I do. I can't be the perfect mum, the perfect girlfriend, have a perfectly clean home and build a business all at once. I know that I somehow need to find a balance between working for the future and living in the moment. It's a difficult task but I suppose it's one of many that come with being a mother and having a little person depending on your every move. 

Do any of you struggle to get the work/life balance right?

Mum Politics: To The Mum On The Forum

Tuesday, 14 March 2017
To the Mum on the Forum, 

I saw your post and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's one of those thoughts that's making me anxious, because I have so much to say about it and since I don't know you personally, I can't get it all off my chest. Your dilemma isn't huge and you've acknowledged that there are much bigger problems in the world but at the same time, you've said you now feel 'like a terrible mother' and, in my opinion, that's pretty serious.

So your son is approaching his first birthday and in all the chaos of moving house and everything that goes with it, you've realised that you won't have enough time to order him a custom birthday cake. You're now left with the horrifying prospect of presenting him with a shop-bought cake. On top of that, you're worried that the presents you've bought him, albeit expensive, 'don't look like much'. You said you've seen so many pictures of beautiful custom cakes and huge stacks of presents from other mums on Facebook and you feel guilty that you're not giving your son the same. You feel like a terrible mother, and that's the part I can't stop thinking about. 

I'm going to state the obvious and I'm sure this is something that you've probably been trying to drill into your own head too. Your son is almost one. He doesn't know or care if his cake is custom-made, shop bought or if it's a cadbury's mini roll with a candle on top. He doesn't care if he has a huge pile of presents - let's face it, he'll probably play with one of them for a few seconds and then spend the rest of the afternoon going in and out of the cardboard box it came in.

The thing is, you don't want the custom cake for your son. You want the custom cake and the huge pile of presents to impress the other mums on Facebook. You want to meet their standard of a 'good mum' - the mum that goes all-out for every birthday and Christmas, who has angelic, over-achieving children and the perfect (photogenic) family life.

Maisy Meow UK Lifestyle and Parenting Blog Competition between mums on Facebook


What you probably don't realise is that each and every mum on facebook has probably had their own variation of your problem. They're all trying to meet that standard. A standard unconsciously created by themselves. A competition that none of them ever wanted to enter but one where they now find themselves both the participant and the judge. Everyone is trying to compete and it's not because they want to brag or make you feel inferior, it's because they don't want to feel inferior themselves.

It's worth mentioning that you went into a secret group on facebook to vent about this. A group where no one knows each other, and everyone has their guard down. It's almost like you stepped back from the fake world of Facebook and whispered your question to the real world, before adjusting your 'mum of the year' badge and heading back in with a huge fake smile. 

I suggest you keep stepping back from that fake world and keep going until you are no longer in it. You don't need anyone to judge your parenting. It's not up to them to decide whether you're a good mum or not. When deciding what to get your son for his birthday, think about what would make him happy, not everyone else. You'll probably find that that's your love, your attention, your time. Spend the day playing with a new toy, singing happy birthday and he'll be over the moon. 

Instead of posting a photo of a huge pile of presents and an overpriced cake, post a picture of your happy, smiling boy on his birthday. Don't enter the competition, set a new standard of your own. Let's face it, anyone who thinks any less of you for it isn't worth your time anyway. If you stick two fingers up to the mum competition, the chances are other mums will feel encouraged to do it too. If you want to post something about your boy's birthday, think about your reasons for posting it and if you find you're doing it for validation from others, stop. Take a step back and remember you don't need it. 

Being a mum is hard enough as it is without that added pressure. Letting go of that competitiveness will be like a weight off your shoulders and will give you the freedom to follow your gut instinct and just do what makes you and your son happy. That's all that matters. 

Have any of you felt the need to compete against other mums on facebook?

Mothers Day Gift Guide with St Enoch Centre

Sunday, 12 March 2017
It's been a long, long time since I've written a gift guide but with my blog being so baby orientated these days, it seemed like mothers day was a topic I should cover. First of all, don't panic - it's not today. You still have another two weeks of thinking 'oh yeah, need to get something' before you ultimately go out the day before and panic buy. Or is it just me that always does that? Luckily this year I'm prepared as I've paid a visit to the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow, and picked up some gift ideas to share with you. The centre has a huge selection of shops and the St Enoch Centre rewards scheme means you can build up points while shopping too.

I've read a lot of 'alternative' gift guides recently and they're great but personally, I love the cliche gifts. Bath bombs on your birthday? Yes please. PJ's for Christmas? I'm all over that. As a new mum, I know how much you appreciate being able to take time for yourself and any gift that gives you an excuse to do that is a winner in my opinion. Here's my fool-proof gift ideas for mothers day...

Maisy Meow Gift Guide for Mothers Day Estee Lauder Yankee Candles Beauty Hamper

The Marc Jacobs Daisy range is universally loved and if you're not sure what kind of scent your mum likes, Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream is perfect. Not too floral, not too sweet. It's a beautiful, fresh spring scent. I picked up 50ml from The Perfume Shop for £44.99.

I've yet to meet a mum (or anyone, for that matter) that doesn't love candles. Nothing helps you to relax more than turning the lights down, lighting some beautiful candles and chilling out in front of the television once the little one's in bed. One of my all-time favourite candles is Yankee 'Shea Butter'. It's a clean, free scent and, just like the perfume, it's the perfect scent to gift someone. I love the candle selection in the St Enoch Centre Boots - there are so many to chose from.

Maisy Meow Mothers Day Gift Guide Hotel Chocolat

Next on the list is a product that's so highly thought of, I can almost guarantee that your mum will have heard of it. It's known in the beauty world as a magic potion and having tried it myself, I can confirm this is pretty accurate description. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (30ml) is a beautiful luxury product and if you want to treat your mum, this is the way to do it. I picked this one up from Debenhams for £52. It may seem a lot but you only use a drop at a time, so a little goes a long way.

The last idea on my list is something I'd still consider as a luxury product, despite it being the least expensive thing here. This beautifully packaged Mothers Day gift box from Hotel Chocolat comes in at £12.50. Hotel Chocolat is one of my favourite shops when buying gifts - their chocolates are always beautifully decorated, packaged perfectly and taste like an absolute dream.

Are you a fan of the cliche gift ideas for Mother's day? 

Being a twenty-something grandma.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The other day I saw a buzz feed post shared on facebook titled '52 Things that mildly thrill twenty-something grandmas'. I read through that article like I was reading my own life. I am excited by cosy pyjamas. I love trying out new cleaning products, especially when they work really well. I love Ikea, staying in and television shows about cooking, redecorating and moving house. I am a twenty-something grandma. We're actually a 'thing'. Finally, a diagnosis after years of confusion. 

I'm 27 years old and I gave up pretending to like night clubs when I was around 21. I wasted my teenage years in town with friends, throwing my money away and wishing it would just hurry up and be time to go home because the fun part of the night stopped when we ordered the taxi. I loved getting ready before we went out - doing our make-up, having a drink and chatting but I hated the main event. The horrible, dirty nightclubs where the drink tasted like nail polish remover, there was sick all over the toilets and you couldn't stand still without being pushed or having your foot crushed by some girl's fake Louboutin. But I kept going out, because I wanted to socialise and I was just being a 'normal' young girl who 'loves' to party at the weekend.  

Then one day, I just decided to stop doing things I didn't like doing. I suppose it was a confidence thing that came with age. I wasn't going to waste my hard-earned money or my weekends on something I didn't really enjoy. I started doing what I wanted to do like shopping for nice clothes or spending hours upon hours in ikea. Some nights I'd get comfy clothes on, order a take away and watch a film. Others I'd have friends round for a drink in the house, or go to a pub where we can actually sit down and chat.  Not because I'm boring or a hermit, but because that's what I want to do. 

I've had people tell me I'm 'never out anymore'. Actually, I do go 'out', I'm just out doing things I actually like and in places I want to be. When you think about it, it's crazy to assume that everyone of a certain age bracket should like one activity. That doesn't apply to anything else in life so why would it apply now? Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and I wish I'd allowed myself to have mine. 

Doing what I actually enjoyed meant I was suddenly finding myself in the company of those who also liked the same things. It turns out it's not just me who doesn't like night clubs - there's more grandmas out there than you think. And we're in each others houses, having a laugh, listening to music of our choice, maybe drinking reasonably priced alcohol from a clean glass and wearing comfortable clothes. And guess what? It's not boring. It's awesome. 

Are you a twenty-something grandma?


Labour, In Hindsight

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

In the days and weeks after labour, I said some pretty harsh things. To be honest, I felt a bit traumatised by the whole thing and used to end up in tears even talking about it. My labour experience wasn't anything out of the ordinary. It was a natural birth and the active labour lasted around 9 hours (read my birth story here), I just could not handle that pain. I felt so helpless and I was screaming in agony and, afterwards, I swore that despite always wanting at least two kids, I'd never do that again. 

I'd been told 'you forget the pain' but that wasn't the case for me. I was so in love with my little boy but I couldn't stop thinking about how horrific that labour had been and how the experience had changed all my future plans. How could I ever voluntarily put myself forward for that again? I was desperately trying to resolve the situation in my head.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Baby Blogger Getting Over Trauma of Labour


Maybe I didn't need to have more children? I loved this little boy more than anything already, and he was enough to make me feel like the luckiest person in the world, but I knew deep down I didn't want to deny him of a sibling because of my own fears. Growing up in a family of three kids myself, it means a lot to me that Oliver gets to have a brother or sister too.

So maybe I could go for a voluntary c-section next time? At least then I'd be more in control, I'd have a date to go into hospital and I wouldn't have to go through those contractions. But the more I read about it, the more I realised that c-sections aren't a walk in the park either. There can be really serious complications and the recovery can be painful too. Could I really put myself at that risk voluntarily, when I have Oliver to think of? Every alternative left me feeling guilty and selfish.

Some people are desperate for a child and can't conceive. I'm lucky enough to be able to have one naturally and yet I complain that it hurts? It sounds so ungrateful. I felt so guilty for even thinking like that but your mind can be so powerful and the thought used to haunt me constantly.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Getting Over Labour Trauma

It's been over 4 months since Oliver was born, and I've thought a lot about the future and I suppose time has helped me be a bit more rational. I wouldn't say I've forgotten the pain, but the memory is definitely more hazy now. My thoughts now are that, yes, it was horrendous but in return, I earned the most beautiful baby boy that's given me a happiness that I didn't even know existed. I really would do anything for him and if that means going through labour again to give him a sibling, I'll do it.

If someone was to offer me the chance to rewind, to never have experienced labour but therefore to never have met Oliver, I'd say 'no way'. And right now, although I've yet to meet my next baby, I know I'll think the same about him/her when I do. I'm currently in the 'rewinded' stage and I just need to be brave enough to fast forward to the good bit. (I really hope that makes sense - my inner logic can sound crazy at times but it works for me!)

It's just one day - that's what I keep telling myself. One day of pain and a lifetime of happiness with another child in our family. If I'm lucky enough to get pregnant again, I'm going to give birth naturally if I can. I've done a lot of research into preparing for labour (something I wish I'd done last time). A lot of women have said how hypno-birthing really helped them through labour and this is something I'll definitely invest in if I do it again.

The turnaround in my decision is down to one thing and one thing only, time. Having time to think about it, to process all my thoughts, the positives and negatives. I've not forgotten the pain, but I've just learned that sometimes you have to do something really hard to get something really amazing.

Did any of you feel a similar way after labour? 


Sharing photos of your kids on social media.

Sunday, 5 March 2017
Maisy Meow Sharing Photos of your children on line

Our generation are a 'first'. The first generation to go through life with the internet as a major part of our every day lives. Everyone has an opinion on how much we should use it, how it affects our social skills, how safe it is and everything else - but no one really knows the long term effects it has on us and our children because it's not been around long enough for us to find out.

SHARING PERSONAL INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA

As a blogger, I share my life on the internet. I open up and chat about things most people only discuss with close friends. I share photos of my home on instagram and talk about what I had for breakfast on twitter. Everything in my life is online and as a new mum, a huge part of that life is my baby boy. He's with me everywhere I go (seriously, even in the shower) and my life revolves around his wants and needs. So if I'm sharing my life, is it okay to share pictures of him too? 

Personally, I'm of the opinion that sharing photos of him on line is no different to sharing his face with the public when we're out and about. I don't cover his face when we're going to Tesco and I don't feel the need to do it on line. With that said, I do think there needs to be boundaries. I imagine him as an adult and wonder if he'd really be happy if I posted pictures of his bare bum all over the internet (even if it is ridiculously cute just now). Naked bath photos, which are some of the cutest, are shared with family members and close friends only for that reason.

Basic internet safety should always apply and I'm always careful not to share personal information or give any clues about where I live or work. Whether you share photos of your children or not, that should always be the case and it's something I'll be sure to teach my family too.

I actually think this generation of kids are lucky that they'll have so much to look back on when their older. I love looking back on my old baby photos and hearing stories of what our life was like back then. New kids of this generation, however, can look back at their parents facebooks and see years of photos and videos of themselves and probably read the statuses of their parents complaining that they won't sleep, or laughing at something funny they've said. Whether they'll enjoy that or not, is another question. We can only wait to find out.

What's your thoughts on sharing photos of your kids and family online? 



Co-sleeping with a Newborn.

Thursday, 2 March 2017
As a first time mum, baby guidelines and advice are something you rely on heavily. With so much to learn, you feel like you can do some kind of preparation by learning the 'basics' of having a baby. For me, the basics were that a baby should always sleep in his own cot, should always sleep on his back and shouldn't be near any loose covers or blankets that could cover him. I almost felt like I was preparing for an exam when I was pregnant, so you can imagine my devastation when the baby arrived and the questions were totally not what I'd  studied for. It turned out my baby wouldn't sleep on his back at all. He'd fall asleep easily on my chest but the second he was put on his back, he'd be wide awake and screaming. We tried every 'trick' in the book but absolutely nothing worked.

After three weeks of sleepless nights, I was having a total meltdown at the thought of another night of repeating the same failing process and gave in, letting him sleep on my chest while I sat up in bed. I propped myself up with pillows behind and on either side so that I couldn't move, pulled the duvet back and placed a light blanket over him. I was doing something I said I'd never do and I knew that, but I felt like I had no choice. It was complete desperation. That night Oliver slept for 5 hours straight for the first time and I woke up feeling much better for the sleep, but racked with guilt that I'd risked sleeping that way. 

Over the next few weeks, we continued to try to put Oliver down on his back every night but would inevitably end up co-sleeping half way through the night when we got too tired. It would have taken some unimaginable will power to stay up all night, knowing you could get a few hours rest if you let him sleep how he wanted to sleep. I also worried that Oliver would suffer from not getting to sleep and even felt guilty about depriving him of it, just because I wouldn't allow him to sleep how he wanted to. 

Maisy Meow Co Sleeping With Baby and Why


When people asked 'how's he sleeping?' (which is the standard first question when people see a baby), I'd feel so embarrassed telling them he slept on my chest. I felt like they'd judge me and think I was a silly irresponsible mother who didn't care about the safety of her child. I did, but I had exhausted the process of trying to get him to sleep on his back. It was against all the safe-sleeping guidelines and I knew that, but I felt I had no choice.  We also discovered that he was happy tummy-sleeping, but after doing some research and reading this article, we decided against that too.

We continued to co-sleep until Oliver was 8 weeks old at which point, something just clicked and he let us put him down (see this post about that). Having my own space in bed again, and being able to let myself go into a deep sleep was the best feeling and I was so proud of Oliver for going it alone. I have to say though, I did miss having those sleepy baby cuddles every night!

So what do I think about co-sleeping now? I agree that the safest way to have your baby sleep is on it's own, on it's back and without any covers or blankets near them. There's years and years of research to back it up and you only have to read that article above to realise how much of an impact it can have. I also understand, though, that while everyone should aim to follow the guidelines, its not always possible and, to an extent, you need to just do what works for you and your baby in the safest way possible. 


What's your thoughts on co-sleeping?


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