Monday, August 29, 2016

Looking After Myself During Motherhood ♥

I spend my days looking after two adorable little boys. It's wonderful, frustrating, adventurous, lovely and extremely exhausting, all at once. I'm not going to lie, the jump from one child to two is a big one and it's taken its toll on my energy levels - which were rather depleted anyway, and my time - I literally have no time for anything but the boys at the moment, hence why this little blog of mine has been looking rather neglected lately.

But whilst I'm busy caring for my two cheeky boys, who's looking after me? I really neglected myself after the birth, I survived on toast and then started eating sugary snack foods as they were the easiest and fastest things to prepare. I began having the evil that is energy drinks everyday too, to try and give myself some much needed pep, something I can't get from coffee as I hate hot drinks - I'm strange like that.

All the crappy food and drink just made me feel worse and I was extremely bloated and after another severe gallbladder attack I knew I had to start making a change to my diet.

I now make sure I have three meals a day and although I've never been good at eating a breakfast to set me up for the day I've found a really quick, simple and tasty solution that works for me - Forza shakes (€35.99 for a starter pack, available in Holland and Barrett, Boots and from the Forza website). I just put 300ml of water into my bottle, then the shake powder (there's a choice of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry - the latter being my favourite), shake the bottle and I'm good to go.

I began having these shakes for my breakfast on July 30th (I didn't have them for a week while we were on holiday in Spain) and since then I've lost 31cm/12in off my body.

I hadn't even been trying to lose weight but having three set meals a day, including the shakes which are just 204 calories per serving and running around after the boys I've managed to do it.

I know it's only a small loss but I'm delighted and determined to keep it up. I'm going to keep having my Forza shakes because they're convenient for me and I like the taste. I'm also trying to eat high protein foods such as eggs, beans, chicken, etc. and only drink filtered tap water now - no more energy or fizzy drinks for me. I really hope to see some great results by Christmas.

As for my mental health, I struggled with post natal depression after I gave birth to Tyler Lee and I was determined not to let it affect me this time round. So far all is good, although I do find myself getting quite frazzled at times, so when I was asked if I'd like to receive a copy of a new book Mindful Mama Happy Baby by Maja Pitamic and Susannah Marriott, I was looking forward to giving it a read.

I've never read any other parenting books before, I just don't buy into them and believe every child is different, that there are no rules when it comes to parenting, but Mindful Mama Happy Baby is different. It's not a preachy book, telling you what you should be doing, instead it promotes mindfulness and lovely bonding techniques and activities to try with your baby as they grow.

It gives timelines throughout all the different stages of the baby and toddler years and lets you know what you should be expecting, however, the book stresses throughout that every child is different and may develop faster or slower than the norm.

I'm thankful for the lovely activities it recommends to help bond with your child, as Tyler Lee has felt a bit upset since Beau was born. I think he's found it hard to share me, so anything that helps me spend time with him in a fun way is always welcomed.

Overall, it's a really lovely book and I'd recommend it to any parent who wants to practice mindfulness with their children. It's a must for me.

My skin is something which I really need to look after. It was lovely and soft during pregnancy - the hormones were good to me but since giving birth it's been very dry and in need of some moisturising and TLC.

One brand which I used before on Tyler Lee's skin was Little Butterfly London - you can read my review here, and the brand has since expanded their range to a collection of heavenly organics for mothers too.

I was sent the Cocoon of Bliss Stretch Mark Butter (£27.50) and the Blossoms in Spring Illuminating Day Cream (£39.50) for review and I honestly couldn't love these products more.

First off, the packaging is absolutely beautiful and these are products which I'm happy to display proudly on my dressing table. The Cocoon of Bliss Stretch Mark Butter smells amazing, the scent reminds me of candy necklaces and gives me a right ol' sense of nostalgia. It's such a lovely, buttery lotion that melts into the skin with ease, leaving it feeling soft and supple.

The Blossoms in Spring Illuminating Day Cream has a similar scent to the stretch mark butter but the texture of the cream is much lighter, perfect for wearing daily on your face. I use this under my makeup or just to give my skin a bit of a boost on those days when I don't need to put on makeup - you know the days when you just can't get out of the house because the kids aren't cooperating?

It feels really lovely on the skin and gives a radiance to the skin, making it look healthy and nourished. It's now an essential part of my daily skin routine.

Little Butterfly London's products for mothers are all safe to be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding and I'd recommend them to any fellow mothers whose skin is in need of some pampering and who want to use something on the more luxurious end of the skincare scale.

So there you have it, the main products I've using to help look after myself during this mothering adventure I've found myself on. I'll continue using these products as they've really helped to make me feel good about myself and after all, a happy mama equals happy children.

*I was sent these products for purpose of sharing my thoughts about them on the blog, however, as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.


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