Where are the best places to get support as a new parent

You've just had a beautiful baby, Congratulations! Your first few weeks with that tiny human are going to be magical, but sometimes they can seem a little overwhelming and lonely. As a new parent it is sometimes difficult to know where to turn for any kind of support, even just an ear for when you need to vent.

When Harry was really young, I remember feeling so alone and not knowing where to turn. It took a long time for me to feel like I was getting the support I needed, so I thought I would put together a list of the best places for new parents to get support for anything they may need. 

1. Midwife.

Within the first 5 days of giving birth you should have a home visit from your midwife. If you have any early concerns regarding feeding, sleep, or even your mental health you should bring this up with the midwife. 

2. Health Visitor

Your child is assigned a health visitor from birth, however the health visitor is not just for your child They are there to support you and your well being. They should visit once a week for the first while and thfrom there will decided on the frequency of their visits depending on the needs of you and your baby. You health visitor should always be available over the phone. 

3. GP. 

Any concerns you have regarding your healing, mental health or your babies development is something you should be discussing with your GP. Believe me they have heard it all and what you are saying is nothing new! 

4. Facebook groups. 

Mummy groups on Facebook are hit and miss, however they can be extremely helpful when you are up in the middle of the night doing a night feed and just need someone to talk to. I recommend joining one or two to see how it feels. 

5. Mother and baby groups

 There is nothing better than meeting other people who are in the exactly the same position as you are and mother and baby groups are one of the best places to do this.  

5 things you should definitely consider buying as a new parent

When you find out your are having a baby there are a million things that people will tell you you need. All of the advise is contradictory and can be extremely overwhelming so I thought I would put together a list of 5 thing you definitely need as a parent. I won’t be mentioning the obvious like nappies or a cot but the things you may not have thought about or may be unsure whether you need! 

Please note this post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my link but this will not effect the price you pay. Please also note that all photos come from Amazon and are not owned by me

1. A universal changing bag.

The thing I was most excited about when I found out I was pregnant with Harry was picking out my changing bag. Since then I have had about 6. It’s really important to think about what you are using the bag for and how long realistically you will be using it. Also how practical is the bag you are looking at? Will your partner, parents and friends be happy carrying it too? The amount of changing bags out there are incredible but I highly recommend a plain backpack style with endless pockets. Realistically you are going to use the bag for a long time even once your child is out of nappies so it’s worth getting a good quality one too. I really like this one from Amazon.

2. Adaptable high chair.

High chairs are a minefield. You can get all sorts of fancy high chairs with fancy designs, however we found the most useful high hair ones that grows with you child. We found this one at Toys R Us (RIP) and it was amazing! It's available from Amazon here.

3. Pushchair organiser. 

You've chosen your beautiful pushchair and got all the great accessories, but have you thought of a pushchair organiser? For me it was an absolute essential from the very beginning, somewhere to pop all my things. I had a cheap one from Aldi, but this one looks like it would be brilliant.

4. UV tent

This one is obviously most useful in the summer but you will be amazed about how much you will use it! Picnics, the beach, even some time in the garden and if looked after they last really well too! Available here from Amazon

5. Travel high chair/booster

 I think this was our most used item for Harry really. We got the munchkin one and loved that it had storage too. We generally left this in the car with a pack of wipes, spare cup and some children's cutlery for whenever we decided to go out for a meal, it meant that we didn't need a highchair from the restaurant and always had things for Harry with us! You can get the munchkin one from Amazon here

What causes anxiety?

What causes anxiety? This is a question I have found myself asking over and over again in the last few years. When I first realised that I suffer from Anxiety I started questioning what really caused it to be so bad?

The NHS defines Anxiety as 'a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe' and goes on to say that everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, however some people find it hard to control and that the feeling is more constant, even often affecting their daily life. Anxiety its self is more likely to be the main symptom of another condition, such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder or even panic disorder. 

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common conditions that can cause the symptom of anxiety attacks. There is no proven cause of GAD and many people are affected by it for no apparent reason, however there can be some factors that play a role, that includes;

  • Overactivity in the areas of your brain that are involved in emotions and behaviour
  • An imbalance of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin and noradrenaline that help to control and regulate your mood. 
  • If you have a history of stressful or traumatic experiences such as abuse
  • If you have a painful long term health condition such as arthritis
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse.
You are also more likely to develop GAD if you have a close relative such as a parent who has the condition. 

Research shows that GAD affects up to 5% of the population in the UK and affects more women than men.

Symptoms of GAD include;

  • Feelings of restlessness or feeling worried
  • finding that you have trouble sleeping
  • having trouble concentrating
  • feeling dizzy or weak
  • heart palpitations
Typical treatments for GAD are;

  1. Psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  2. Antidepressants or other medications
Other things you can try to help with the symptoms of GAD are, exercising, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, mental health apps. 

The most important thing I want people to get out of this post is that if you are suffering, you are not alone. Anxiety is a hard thing to live with but having support is a huge help for me. Please feel free to reach out if you are struggling

Things to do to help someone having a bad day

Depression and mental health issues are something that is becoming more recognised and appreciated as an actual illness, and sometimes we just don't know how to help, as much as we want to, when someone we know and love is struggling with their mental health, especially with everything going on in the world right now.

With that in mind, I've thought long about what I need when I'm in my dark place.

Cook them a meal
If the person you are worried about is anything like me, a decent meal is the last thing on my mind when my depression is at its worse. I usually find my self eating 100 bags of crisps or ordering something shitty from a take-away. One of the things I will always appreciate is a decent meal. Something I can chuck in the microwave when I'm feeling hungry. A decent diet is one of the things that can help bring you out of it too. 

Talk to them
I don't mean asking if they are alright. In fact if we are talking about me, don't ask me if I'm alright. It just annoys me because obviously I'm not, but I'm not always sure exactly why I'm not okay and how anyone can help. What is helpful is treating me normally, chatting about something that is completely normal is a useful distraction, even if its only for 10 minutes. If you get the conversation just right you might even get a smile. 

Get them out of the house
Locking yourself away is one of the biggest things people suffering with their depression do. Getting out of the house can definitely help. Send them on an errand, or even just for a nice slow walk. obviously this isn't necessarily possible in the current climate, but a socially distanced walk with a loved one can really help. 

What things do you find helpful?

Things to do to pass the time at home

With everyone having a bit more time at home now, I wanted to find things to do that didn't involve finishing Netflix (although I have spent a lot of time on Netflix and Amazon Prime!) and thought I would share my list!

1. Read a new book
2. start a new home project
3. start journalling
4. start an exercise routine
5. tackle your to-do list
6. Do a puzzle
7. Learn a new skill
8. Write a letter to your future self.
9. Try new foods
10. Try something you have always wanted to try.

Not to say that I have done everything on that list, but it gives me something to aim for.

Tips to feel better after a bad day

 2021 doesn't seem to be getting much better, especially in the UK does it? 

On 04/01/2020 Boris Johnson announced another national lockdown and I know as a nation, we were heart broken. 

During the March lockdown depression rates in the UK almost doubled to 19.7% of adults so who knows how much they will rise this time around. 

With this in mind, and my own experience with depression I thought I would share my tips for helping you feel better when you are having a bad day with our mental health. 

Switch off

Step away from Instagram, or Facebook or any kind of social media. When we look at instagram we see many things, mostly at the moment we see people absolutely smashing life in lockdown. This is not always the case and a lot of these snippets into peoples lives do not show the real story. Put away your phone and try to avoid any sort of social media. 

Turn off the news

The news is bringing no-one any sort of good news at the moment. While its great to know what is going on int he world, looking at the news when you are having a really shitty day is never going to make you feel any better. 

Get clean

I'm not talking about cleaning your house, which is honestly probably the last thing you are thinking about when having a bad day. I'm talking about yourself. In my experience after a hard day I love to take a warm (more like hot) shower. There is something about giving my body a really good clean that makes me feel so much better. A bath is also great for some self care, but I much prefer a shower personally. 

Take some me time

When your mental health is low, there is nothing more important than taking some me time. If you have children or are still working this isn't always easy but once the kids are in bed and work is done for the day, grab. book, or a good film or run that bath. Focus on you, paint your nails, do your hair. 

Have a good cry

This is one that I don't really see anywhere but, when I'm feeling really low, sometimes there is nothing better than a good cry. I usually try to find something else to cry about, like a sad film or book - (one day or the notebook are favs of mine) and really let it out. It can defiantly be refreshing and sometimes can make you feel so much better, so why not give it a try?

I really hope these tips help you. Have I missed any that you find help?

Lessons I learned in 2020

I won't keep talking about what a year 2020 was, however I thought a positive post is just what we need to be able to look back on and remember good things about a year that gave us so much bad. 

I learnt a lot of things in 2020. Things about myself that I had no idea about before. 2020 taught me that I am stronger than I knew. I had the strength to get through one of the scariest and hardest experiences I have ever been put through. I gave my beautiful baby boy to the worlds greatest children's hospital in June and asked them to fix something that was broken. 

My tiny 6lb 6oz baby, who has grown and developed into the most amazing little boy needed to have open heart surgery to repair an AVSD and hole in his heart, and back in December 2019, when we first found out Harry would have to have surgery I never thought I would be able to get through it. I knew Harry would smash it and Sam would be fine but I thought I was going to be a mess and not be able to cope. 

When it came to it I was strong. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't cry and it didn't kill me inside, but I rallied and got through it and I came out the other side knowing that I am strong enough to do anything if it means Harry would be safe and healthy.

2020 also taught me how much I love being a mum. Before 2020 I knew I loved my son, I knew that I would do anything for him, but I always worried that I wasn't cut out to be a mum. Then in March Lockdown came and I had no choice but to step up and be a full time parent. It was a hard adjustment to make at first but I can honestly say I loved every minute spent with my boy. I got to know him in a way I never had and while it wasn't perfect I can honestly say I actually loved Lockdown and I now try and spend much more time at home with my family because I adore being a mum. 

I guess with this post, I just wanted to say, Thank You 2020, for the lessons!

Here's to a much better 2021!

What are the positives you have taken from 2020? 

21 goals for 2021 - Things I want to achieve in 2021

What a year 2020 was!

Looking back at the beginning of the year who could have ever thought that it would have turned out the way it did? 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year and honestly I was so happy to see the end of it.

For todays post I thought I would list the thing I want to focus in 2021. 

1. Learn to drive. 

2. Master new baking skills

3. Reach 5k followers on Instagram

4. Read 21 books

5. Post on social media more regularly - Follow me on Instagram here

6. See new places

7. Try new foods

9. Be more sensible with money

10. Keep up with organisation. 

11. Keep up with exercising 

12. Get better at keeping in contact with friends

13. Spend quality time with my boys

14. Stick to my skincare routine

15. Learn to do my make up properly

16. Learn a new skill

17. Try something new

18. Be more adventurous

19. Set time aside for me

20. Be calmer

21. Be more positive

What do you want to focus on in 2021? 

2020 - our year in pictures

2020 is most certainly a year I don't think anyone will ever forget. Who would have thought that we would end last year in the middle of a pandemic? I for one certainly didn't, however 2020 taught me lot of important lessons and I want to remember everything we've been through this year so I can look back and see how far we've come. 

So here is our 2020 in pictures;


We spent much of January playing with new toys! However, it was January that Harry had an accident at nursery resulting in needing to have his chin glued and a permanent scar!


February saw lots of wintery walks and a special trip to London for Harry's pre op appointment


March 2020 saw world Down Syndrome Day and my baby turn 4! It also saw the start on a very long lockdown for the UK and meant lots of home days, and lots of baking!


Lockdown in full swing for April and lots of time spent at home. We decided to attempt potty training (it didn't work) and spent lots of days in the garden enjoying the very nice weather. We also enjoyed easter in lockdown


In May we decided to try to grow sunflowers as we were home all the time


June was a massive month, we had lockdown hair cuts, Mummy and Daddy's birthday and Harry's operation that had been postponed twice before due to Covid. June also marked the end of lockdown.


July was all about recovery and family time. We were lucky enough to enjoy some freedom as lockdown was over too. Mummy also went back to work in July. 


August meant lots more time in the sun! We also were lucky enough to enjoy a Bank Holiday day out, which we filmed! you can watch our vlog here


September was another huge month in 2020 for us, as our monkey started SCHOOL!


Harry got his weighted blanket in October and we spent lots of time outside walking again!


November was Christmas shopping and visiting our favourite treat (Who doesn't love Bubble Tea?) We also decided that as the year had been hard we would decorate our Christmas Tree!


December brings us to the end of the year and my favourite time of the year, CHRISTMAS! In December we decided to get rid of the stair gates and Harry went into a single bed from his toddler bed, then Santa came and Harry got well and truly spoilt for Christmas.

And that is how our 2020 went! I love looking back at these pictures, Harry has changed so much in just 12 months.

What are your favourite memories from 2020?

Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...