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Working vs staying at home

Working vs staying at home

This is a pretty h o t  topic in any parents eyes. The question is always which is the right option for me? The latter part of that question is the most important. For me. For you. Everyone is different, what works for you may not work for another and that is perfectly okay. I’ve tried both working and staying at home, both have positives and negatives. It should be about what works best for you and your little’s.

W o r k i n g :

I found it extremely difficult to incorporate a good working, parenting balance. I absolutely loved pretty much everything about being home with my little girl, going back to work was a massive shock to the system. I’m a nurse so the hours weren’t exactly family friendly and it was hard, tiring work. I would end a day of work and feel so mentally/physically exhausted that I felt like I had nothing more to give to my little girl.

Whenever she was sick, I felt awful for leaving her with someone when I just wanted to snuggle her and make sure she knew that I love her. Of course, she knew that. So really, I wanted to reassure myself that she knew.

As much as I found working and being a mom hard flipping work. It had its positives, I was providing for my little family. I was showing my little girl that you have to work for things in life and I was teaching her to be independent. That it’s not always the job for the mom to stay at home. She went to nursery and absolutely loved it, she was able to play with other children and get used to me not being around all of the time. It 100% did her the world of good (not my heart though).

Oh, and it’s definitely no lie when people tell you that they go to work for a break from parenting. haha. Some days, when she was being an almighty demon, I felt grateful that I had a little escape. Does that make me a bad mom? I hope not. It did my sanity the world of good, I felt like I was a better parent for it for sure.

Staying at home :

Making this decision was possibly the hardest decision ever for me. I was putting my career on hold for an undetermined amount of time. Being at home all day, every day with a mischevious, little toddler is sometimes just as draining as long days on a hospital ward. That may be a slight over exaggeration BUT, I did question my decision to stay at home on the hard days.

However, I’ve made memories, built a connection and improved myself by staying at home with my little. No more mom guilt for leaving her crying at the nursery while I dash off to work, or my eyes welling up when signing an accident form at nursery, thinking I wasn’t there to comfort her when she was hurt. I was able to be the best possible mom that I wanted to be.

Working and parenting is hard, staying at home and parenting is hard. Parenting in general is freakin hard. There’s no manual telling you how to get it right. No special instructions to how to deal with each situation. You just have to do what you do and hope it’s right. There’s no competition between working and staying at home for me. I salute every single working parent because you are hard flipping core. You’re doing the best you possibly can for your child and you deserve all the praise in the world.

And as for you, stay at home parents. You inspire me. Also, doing all that you can for your child in a completely different way. You deserve just as much praise because you’re doing such a good job at theeeee hardest job.

So, no matter if you’re working or staying at home, you deserve a MAHOOSIVE pat on the back because y’all rock! Life is tough, add children into the mix and it gets even tougher. No matter how you’re doing it, whatever working decisions you’re making, you’re doing what is best for you and your family. And that my friends, is all that matters!

Ohthatstacey

xo

 

The truth about motherhood

The truth about motherhood

I always rave about how amazing it is to be a mom and how much I love it. Which I do, but I thought it was time to get a little real. Being a mom isn’t all cuddles, kisses and cute clothes.

Being a mom is poo-nami’s, vomit-splosions, tantrum-nados and everything to do with poop, gastly coloured plastic toys, mom buns, shared baths and zero alone time.

There’s been days where I’ve took my little monkey for a walk because, I could just not bare to spend another second in the house, waiting for the thousandth tantrum of the day to erupt. There’s been days where I’ve had to go and sit in the corner of the room, with toddler not in sight (for 0.00001 second) to count to ten and breath so that I don’t explode myself. There’s been nights where I’ve practically begged (out loud) for my little girl to just go the heck to sleep, so that I could get some sleep too.

The good thing about being a mom, is that each day is a N E W  day. To start a fresh and try again. Not to be perfect but to be perfectly imperfect. Because that, that right there is motherhood. It’s learning new things about yourself as you watch your little one grow. It’s seeing yourself turn into this new person, with new responsibilities and an even more exciting life ahead of you. With a forever partner in crime.

So sure, it’s not all staying home and baking perfectly cooked pies, or having dinner presentably perfect on the table for 5pm every day. It is however, rushing out the door with chocolate in hand for breakfast already ten minutes late, forgetting the nappies or wipes and having to sprint your way back in to find wherever your toddler hid them. It’s imperfect in the most perfect way. A life I would never change. Because, a life with a child is unpredictable, exciting, and the most loving road you could ever take.

Being a mom is thee least glamorous job but better pay than a n y w h e r e else. Because, the payment is in first smiles, first crawls, first steps, first words, first days of school, all the firsts that you can think of. It’s an unbreakable bond, a forever love.

Here’s to motherhood, the greatest hood of all!

Ohthatstacey

xo

Ways to conquer mom guilt

Ways to conquer mom guilt

We’ve all been there. Spent a little extra time doing our hair, bought ourselves a new outfit, planned to go out for the evening. That massive wave of mom guilt comes flying in. Why? Because now we think that because we’re a mom, all of our time and devotion should be on our child. We’re not far wrong when it comes to that. BUT that teeny bit of spare time we ever have should be invested in ourselves. I can’t stress enough how important that is.

I can really see the impact it has on my sanity if I don’t take some time out for myself in a week. We need it, we’re human and dang it, we sure as heck deserve it (insert praise hands emoji here). Now, sure just because we deserve to invest in ourselves, doesn’t mean that dreaded mom guilt isn’t going to make an appearance. Here are my ways to nip that green little monster in the butt (yes I’m pairing it with jealousy, they’re probably best friends).

R e m i n d yourself daily that you are doing the best job you possibly can. Your child is safe, clean (most of the time) and loved. That, my friends, is all that truly matters. Are they not going to be any of those things just because you treat yourself to that new pair of shoes you’ve been dying to get? Nope. Their wardrobe is bound to be bulging full so don’t you worry your pretty little face about it. Treat yourself. You’ll thank yourself for it later. Besides, if we’ve got to rock that mom bun and big bagged eyes look than why not pair it with a gorgeous pair of shoes?

U n d e r s t a n d  that it is important to be in the best frame of mind to be the best parents to our children. When you’re over tired, got a banging head ache and haven’t eaten since the leftovers from last nights dinner.. Do you really think you’re going to handle a tantrum without having an almighty meltdown yourself too? Probs not. Take care of yourself and you’ll be a better parent for it, I promise you. Happy mom = happy children 100%.

K n o w  that one day your child will understand why you’re going to work. You’ll teach them about all the things you don’t think about when they’re crying for you as you close the front door. Independence, respect, gratitude, understanding, not to mention the memories of what you were able to provide for them from working.

I had MAJOR mom guilt when I went back to work after maternity leave. It hit me harddddd. I didn’t want any one else to be looking after my child, that was my job. But those six months taught me the most about being a mother. It taught me patience.. boyyyy, a whole lot of patience, respect for other working moms and love. Even more love than I could have ever imagined. I appreciated every little moment so. much. more.

Oh and you stay at home moms, I salute you. This stuff is harddddd. You da bomb!

L o o k  at the bigger picture here. Yes you’re a mom but you are also you. Just like I am me, Stacey. I still have my interests, my hobbies, my passions. My child has become my number one priority but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be me. I’m still Stacey even when I’m Mom. Still the crazy, little old me. Life is for living. You can live as a mom, no matter the people that tell you you’ll be tied down forever. The only thing you’re tied down to is love. A whole lot of love. Now, go buy those shoes, go sign up for that course, go eat that cake, go on that spa trip/girls holiday. You do you and be happy. Because every child needs a happy mom as well as a tired, crazy, emotional, NORMAL mom. And I promise you, the way you are feeling is completely normal. You’re not alone and never will be. Us moms gotta stick together. Who’s with me?

Ohthatstacey

xo

How I plan my days to be productive

How I plan my days to be productive

With a toddler in your life, productive days can become a thing of the past. A few months after little E was born, I tried not to spend my days spent in pyjamas, as easy as that is. I knew for my own sanity that I needed to get up and out so I did just that.

As months passed by, I came up with routines to make days easier and make sure that I came up with ways to become more productive. I love pj days as much as the next person and implement them into my weeks as much as possible but now, with a crazy, mischevious toddler on my hands I have to be on my toes and save my pj slob hours for when she naps or goes to bed. I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.

On the Sunday evening before the beginning of the week I like to search to see if there’s any activities little E might enjoy during that week. There’s a lovely little activity every now and again in our local park where they have a little picnic, story time and toys for the little ones to play with. It’s one of Esmé’s favourites. She loves a good story book and any new toys she can get her hands on, even for a short while. You should see if there’s one in your area, there is more often than not a group on Facebook that advertises them if you search for one. I promise you’re little one will love it and will make at least one day in a week, more entertaining and more bearable for you and your child(ren).

I often keep to a schedule on how to keep on top of things. For example, every Monday I go to the farm shop and do the weekly shop. I never have to panic that we don’t have enough bread or enough snacks because I stock up every Monday morning. Saves me a lot of stress and keeps this MASSIVE foodie satisfied, winner! I wash the bed sheets for all the beds every Tuesday, make sure they’re dry and get them ironed ready to put back on to the bed for a cosy nights sleep. Tuesday night’s have quickly become my favourite nights because freshly laundered bed covers are just perfection. Am I right or am I right? I never have to worry that I’m going to get behind because I have a set day to do it. I can put them in the wash as soon as I wake up, hang them up to dry and go out for the day if need be. Organisation really is key when you’re a mama.

Every Friday I’ll have a “face mask Friday”, it’s a little me time and that is SO important. This can really help with the productivity problem. If we’re not taking care of ourselves are we going to want to be productive? I know I don’t. We should remember that we are important too and I always stress that even though we’re a mom, we’re a person too who also needs taking care of. Remember that if nothing else.

I make sure I get out and see family/friends at least once a week. Save your sanity by not being stuck in the same four walls with no adult communication. A good catch up (especially if food is involved), where you can laugh and be yourself is good for the soul. It helps even more when those friends have children so they can all play together while you put your feet up and have a natter. Mom and child are happy. Absolute winner in my eyes.

The most important point to ALWAYS remember is to not be so hard on yourself. If you’re having an unproductive day, still in your pjs at 2pm, no idea what you’re cooking for tea, rocking the messy mom bun then OWN it. We alllll have those days. Anyone that says they don’t, are just lying. We had days before we had children where we wouldn’t want to do anything and that’s no different now we’ve got smaller versions of ourselves running around. Take a day off being an adult. Be a sloth for the day, whatever it takes just take a breather. You’ll be so much more prepared to take on the next day. Parenting is hard. Do what you gotta do to get through it.

Happy future productive days babes.

Ohthatstacey

xo

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No hair? No problem

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Do I wear a wig? Is that why I have hair in all my photos and then blog about no hair. Not quite.

Babies however, takes a while for those hairs to come through. I’ve always dreamed of having a little girl, sitting and braiding her hair while she sits their still (PAHA how utterly naive of me), giggling and talking about life with me. Esmé is a little too young to do that with me just yet BUT I do kind of, deep breath, love trying different hairstyles with her. Now, getting her to sit still is a challenge in itself but with the right distraction, she enjoys it as much as me. I love these bonding moments, times that I will treasure, where it’s just me and her.

Little E has short, wispy hair so hairstyles that don’t fall out in seconds has been kind of difficult to invent. But, I’ve finally mastered a few! I am all for two cute little piggy tails but I like to mix things up every now and again and now I know I can, if you like to do that too then this one is for you. Us mamas/dadas (I’ll be seriously impressed if you’re a dad) need to stick together. So, you’re welcome in advance 😉

Attempting to keep an 18month old mischievous toddler still for long enough to even pop a clip in is an achievement. So, achieveng any longer than that, honestly makes me deserve a medal. Prepare your face to look a little like mine here, a long with constantly singing or talking about any distraction and throw a few gritted teeth in there and you’re on the right track.

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Yes, of course my dear child you can have a drink for the ONE MILLIONTH time. You must be SO thirsty, my bad. (enter eye rolling emoji here).

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Hairstyle number one —

I’m going to call this one the pony bun, that’s quite literally what it is. Sounds odd but is actually super cute. Probably wouldn’t work on yours or my hair however, just throwing that out there.

Split the hair into two sections, top and bottom and pop them into two ponys.

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Twist the top pony around until you meet the second pony and then twist them together so it looks a little like below.

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Finally, twist it around into a teeny, tiny little bun so that it looks like below.

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I know, I know, I’m a genius. You can thank me later because I’ve got a few other cute hairstyles to show you yet. (am I blowing my own trumpet enough to keep you reading?)

Hairstyle number two —

The pony plait, a popular hairstyle that is just too cute. Even though Esmé doesn’t have an awful lot of hair, this still manages to work and is really quick and easy which is what every parent needs, right?

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Pop their hair into a pony tail, then braid the hair as normal. Pop a band in to secure at the end and there you go. The cutest pony braid you ever did see, am I right or am I right? It’s okay, I know I’m right. (smirky face emoji insertion here).

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Hairstyle number three —

A little twist (literally) on the previous hairstyle. Just twist (told you) the braid around the top bobble and secure it with a band, now you have a plait bun. Super easy, super cute and super simple. W i n n e r.

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Hairstyle number four —

I am yet to think of a name for this one, it is a hairstyle I randomly stumbled upon with my own creativity. If you can think of a name, throw one my way. I kind of want to do this one on myself which makes me excited because TWINNING IS WINNING.

Start by separating the hair into two sections, left and right. Twist the two sections outwards to inwards and bring the two ends together as shown in the photo below.

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Pop a band in to secure it, so it seems like a loose pony with a gap in between the two sections.

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Pull the bottom of the pony tail over and through the gap, as shown below.

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Pull it all the way through so that it looks like a pony again with a small gap in the middle.

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Pull the pony tight at the bottom so that the gap is no longer there and there you go you hairstyle genius. A cute hairstyle with very minimal effort and if you love twinning as much as me, give it a go. We should be friends.

Bows, bows, bows, they make any hairstyle even cuter on little girls. A clip bow or a hairband bow, you name it, little E has a very big, ever growing collection. My favourite, go to shop is @willow_and_ivy they have the cutest collection of bows to fill your hearts bow desire and the price is pretty heart throbbingly good too. For 15% off use code stacey15 at checkout, you’re welcome and happy shopping.

Now, tidy up the mess that was made which, if anything like Esmé means you’ve got a treasure hunt to find all those tiny bobbles she’s chucked everywhere. Those pesky things get everywhere. And you drink that hot drink while it’s still drinkable and not completely cold. Because, for getting through a toddler hair styling sesh you deserve it.

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Happy hair stylin, hot drink drinkin, bow buying babes.

ohthatstacey

xo

Why you should have a clear out TODAY

Why you should have a clear out TODAY

Did you know that people spend FIFTY FIVE minutes a day looking for things in their home? That’s TWO WEEKS a year!!

+++ did you know that decluttering your house can reduce housework by up to 40%?!? I know I’ve caught your attention with that one because who doesn’t want to deduct their housework?

How easy is it to build up boxes/cupboards/drawers of items you don’t necessarily need or papers that you definitely don’t need to keep? Pretty easy for me anyway. I only moved into my new house two years ago and already I have managed to collect enough kit to stock a whole charity shop. Please tell me I’m not alone in this? I try to be sensible, promise.

After what feels like the thousandth time to go through EVERYTHING with the bin, give to charity and keep piles I have made a vow to myself to N E V E R let that dang junk drawer get as full again. You know what draw I’m on about right? The one where the letters go, that spare screw that you don’t know what is from goes, that set of pens, that spare crayon. The list could go on forever, whatever random thing you find that you don’t want to be left out on show ALWAYS has a home in the junk drawer. After having a clear out, I almost feel like a new woman. Opening the draw and finding what I want just at a glance, rather than having to dig through is SO refreshing! I want Pinterest worthy cupboards and drawers, so that is my goal. If you’re a Pinterest gal/pal you’ll know exactly what I mean. If not, join the Pinterest hype because you are for sure missing out my friend.

I’m not saying I put my clothes in colour order (although that sounds amazing right now), I don’t really have the spare time to be faffing around with that. BUT getting your home into order, does a whole lot of good for that little, old brain. It’s amazing really and I cannot recommend it enough.

I have always been a lover of decorative nik naks being placed around the home, but as I get older I’m starting to appreciate the minimalistic look more. I literally have big, black bag after bag after bag to dispose of AND it actually feels suuuuper refreshing and therapeutic to get rid of them all. My brain feels a little less messy, my life feels a little more in order and my home feels a lottttt more cleaner and organised. It’s a good feeling for sure. If you’re feeling like I did, a clear out should be put on to your schedule. It is more therapeutic than you may realise. I’ve found that with children, you collect SO much and before you know it your house is full to the brim of bits and bobs that you may but majority of the time, may not need.

I’m definitely not saying chuck out everything that isn’t necessary so you have a bare home, I’m all for keepsakes. I’m in the middle of organising some photo boxes/books and a keepsake storage box. I’m talking about shoes that you haven’t wore in too long, clothes that you no longer like, just sitting there waiting for you to love them again. I’ve just gave away 17 pairs of shoes, S E V E N T E E N pairs?!?!? How is it even possible to have collected that many and STILL have plenty of pairs left that I’m keeping. I didn’t realise I was such a shoe collector. And some times, that is half the problem. You don’t even realise how much you have until you organise. While clearing out the shoe cupboard, I asked myself “If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this?” If the answer was no, out it goes. From here on out, I am going to be keeping an eye on everything I keep and make sure that my home/life is 99% organised. Because let’s be honest, being 100% is just unrealistic and that’s okay, I’m not aiming for perfection. Just to be better.

Every. single. day. clear out something that doesn’t deserve you. Whether it be a sock with holes, a book you’ll never read or a cruddy thought. Your mind and soul will thank you for it.

Stuck on how to get started? Download my F R E E  list of what item to chuck out once a day for the rest of the month starting from today, just to make things a little easier. I know how busy all our schedules can be. Use #ohthatdeclutter19 on the world of insta, I would love to see your journeys/outcomes.

Link for the declutter list is below, just click.

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Happy decluttering ♡

Ohthatstacey

xo