You are not abandoning your baby.

You should not feel guilty about going back to work to provide for your children.

She is my priority but I go to work for her… and myself.

On maternity leave, once you start to think about the moment you’ll return to work, Mum guilt sets in. Mine did the minute we started making plans and looking at nurseries.

Mums seem to have to justify this decision, I did and do now. My reason was because we needed the money. The reality is, we need my salary to maintain the lifestyle we’re used to. Is this something I should feel guilty about? I want to be able to give my daughter holidays, days out, earn my own money, be my own person and (hopefully) be a role model for her. Or is what she really needs is me at home? That is the question and that which causes the guilt.

‘Mum guilt’ seems perpetual, something I’ve felt from day one. It’s like the bad days make you feel so guilty that the good times won’t make that feeling go away. It has been very hard to come to the realisation, or even just admit, that I want to work, and that is okay! It feels like I’m saying something wrong, especially when admitting this around other Mums, but lots of other Mums do feel the same, even if not everyone admits it. We were working women before we had children, we worked hard to achieve what we had in our careers; there is no shame in wanting to continue where you left off. You are not abandoning your children because of it. That being said, I am sure the majority of Mums would love a job that works flexibly, but many don’t. I’d love to be home in time for dinner, bath, story and bed but for 3 days a week, I will probably miss it. Breaks my heart just thinking about it and I really don’t need anyone making me feel worse than I already do.

It was at the time of searching for nurseries and discussing coming back to work with my fiancé and boss, that I saw a Facebook post which really upset me. So much so that it took weeks for me to write about it. It was a post from a Mummy which said “It never ceases to amaze me how people can abandon their children?!”. Too right! I agreed instantly, of course. Then I continued to read… the final sentence said, “NO CAREER”. I was floored. Was this person suggesting that by having a career you are abandoning your children and that women working (or men as well, I can only assume), never cease to amaze them!? I was so upset about my own situation then. Are there people who judge me for returning to work? My mind quickly turned to, are they right?! OF COURSE THEY ARE NOT! All Mums make the best provisions for their babies, including having as much of you as possible. I am working from home 2 days a week so that I don’t miss the evenings with her, so that I can try and balance being a Mum and having a career, the best that I can. Regardless of people’s childcare plans, they are no one else’s business. You are doing what works for you, what is best for your family, and at no point, in no way, are you abandoning your children by providing for them. Remember that there are Mums who are doctors, nurses, paramedics, teachers (the list is endless) who ‘abandon’ their children, to look after yours…

The saddest part of the whole thing and what never ceases to amaze me, is how unsupportive Mums can be to other women in the same situation. Be kind and understanding to Mummies and you will get that support in return. After all, who is more caring or supportive than a Mummy? It is one of our jobs!

Breastfeeding sucks.

Me and Isabelle, aka Milky-moo, (approx. 2-3 hours old).

Breastfeeding is beautiful but I am not one to pass up the opportunity of a good pun!

The sentiment for me though, stands.

I was determined to breastfeed for no reason except it was how I was choosing to feed my baby. No judgements, just choice. But it didn’t work out that way.

I knew breastfeeding could be uncomfortable to start off with, but my biggest worry was about baring all in public… this should have been the least of my worries and I was so unprepared for what followed.

I found breastfeeding more than uncomfortable and it got worse. I rang health visitors and lactation specialists but they could only tell me that she wasn’t latched properly. When they saw us, she was latched properly… I just didn’t know what to do. I was exhausted, she was trying to feed a lot, and I was getting myself down.

My nipples started to crack and bleed and every time I fed my daughter I had to brace myself, hold onto a towel tightly, curl my toes and wince until she was done. Which felt like never.

As you’re advised not to express straight away my partner couldn’t help me with feeds. I just needed sleep. When I did start to express it just felt like I spent weeks either feeding or my boobs hooked to a pump.

I so desperately wanted this to be beautiful but I found it the hardest thing about becoming a Mum. I was exhausted, crying so much and now, on top of recovering from labour, my breasts agonised and were made worse by cluster feeding.

I was determined, I tried to carry on.

The moment that I admitted defeat was when I woke one morning (could easily have been middle of the night or day), when my daughter was about 2 weeks old and I felt like I had the flu. Soaring fever, achy, shivering, shaking; I could barely lift my head off the pillow but my daughter needed me, so I got up. My partner said he would come and change her but I was adamant that I had to do everything myself (more on that to come later).

I set her down on her changing mat and knowing her feed would come shortly after, I broke down on the living room floor. I accepted that I couldn’t do it and my partner took over.

I didn’t have the flu but mastitis which is an infection of the breast tissue caused by a build-up of milk. It was so incredibly painful which presents with flu-like symptoms and I had no idea that this was even a possibility.

My partner fed Milky-moo formula and whilst I tried to express still, my daughter eventually ended up solely on formula within just a few weeks.

This sounds like a confession, like I did something wrong. It is not. I did nothing wrong. This is also not to scare anybody!  I know many women who have successfully breastfed, but I also know lots, like me, who couldn’t. Either way, formula or breast, FED IS BEST! I do not, nor have I ever judged anyone for doing it either way. It is completely whatever works for you. I just did not realise that it would be so difficult and I didn’t feel like I could admit it to anyone. I felt like I had failed.

For me, I cannot explain why, I just wanted the experience of breastfeeding my baby and I couldn’t. I didn’t let my baby down; she was thriving on formula but I still feel, nearly 10 months on, like I let myself down. I even get a pang of jealousy when I see a Mum breastfeed, wishing I could have done that. As I sit here and read this post to my partner, I am crying.

My partner did ask me once whether I would formula feed our next (if we were to be blessed with a second) from the start. I said no. I want to breastfeed, even if I have the same experience.

The point of this is partly an outlet of my emotions on a subject which I have rarely spoken about. The vital thing however is to share experiences. To be open and honest, so no other woman, Mum or even Dad, feels alone. I did when I went through my breastfeeding journey and I so wished I had someone I knew who had experienced the same. Once I opened up and was honest, I found other women in the same position. I hope I can be that woman to just one other Mum. You are not the only one struggling. I promise you.

Not being able to breastfeed is a huge regret of mine, one I can’t resolve, ever. To write this has made it a little bit easier and I hope I can help, even just one other Mum, make her journey seem a little less lonely.

To read more on my thoughts on going back to work after maternity leave, mum guilt and postnatal anxiety.



Once you decide to become a parent this becomes your life mantra. Adopt this as your motto; accept it and you will never be surprised! Well, not as surprised…

Initially you may think I was talking about pregnancy, labour, breast-feeding. All of these apply but unfortunately it just applies to my life. It has done for the last (nearly) 10 months plus 9 months of pregnancy!

Including this blog.

When I decided I wanted to write a blog it was in the very early days of Motherhood, as my own personal therapy. I felt as though I needed to write because when I was pregnant, nothing I had read leading up to the birth, about childbirth or having a newborn baby, was truthful. You can easily find out what size/weight your foetus is and which fruit or veg that corresponds to (super helpful by the way), but none of the information I was dying to know. I do appreciate that not every expecting Mummy would want to read this information but I was desperate to remove some of the unknown. My own Mum even sugar-coated it.. why!? I had to get her out some way.

I asked my Mum what labour felt like. She said her Mum (my Nan) had told her it was just a bad case of constipation. My Mum felt it was a bit worse than that. I genuinely thought she was joking! What she didn’t tell me was the pushing (which may only last for about an hour or so – you’re not really told this either), is like having the worst, worst case of constipation EVER, times a million. I won’t go into further detail on this post (let’s build ourselves up to it…) but I will emphasise, unlike my Mother and Grandmother, I am not joking!

I then wanted to write about how hard, both physically and emotionally the first 2 weeks are, after you give birth.

I wrote all of my experiences down (almost like word vomit, which is better than what my newborn was spitting up at the time)…  but Motherhood took over my every waking, and ‘sleeping’ hour. This is the reason why my daughter is approaching 10 months old and I am only just posting this now. Where has my precious maternity leave gone?!

But in amongst all of this, my daughter grew and I grew as a Mum. We bonded, she developed and I spent my days playing with her and just taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. You’d think I hadn’t seen anything else in over 10 months! What’s a selfie?! Housework wasn’t even on my radar… much to my fiancés’ dismay.

No story I can tell you will illustrate this crazy rollercoaster better than that. The beginning; the scary, painful, sleep deprived stage passes and what you get is so deeply beautiful. You want to hold onto those feelings tight and grasp all of those tiny, milk-drunk cuddles whilst you can because those moments are fleeting. Then you realise you would do it all over again.

You won’t believe me if you’re in the midst of it but you will be ready for another before you know it… my fiancé is shouting “NO” loudly behind me… maybe he hasn’t forgotten yet!


No make-up. No sleep. Not even dry shampoo. Just honest… (Milky approx. 2 weeks old).

At 7 weeks postpartum, in a sleep deprived haze, I decided to write down my experiences as a Mum. I felt so overwhelmed and I desperately needed an outlet. It took me months to admit to doing this, so much longer to allow anyone to read it, and with my daughter about to turn 10 months old… I am finally taking the step to post what I have written.

The delay has been for so many reasons. Foremost, I became a Mum. My days were lost in a whirlwind of nappies, bottles, wind and desperately looking for some sort of pattern or routine to the madness (for my own sanity). It is amazing how such a small human can easily consume 24 hours (all of them!).

Crippling self-doubt didn’t speed up the process either. I wasn’t proud of the way I was feeling; I wanted to be bossing it and I really didn’t feel that way. I didn’t want to admit how hard being a first-time Mum was, because no one does, and how much I had underestimated the physical, hormonal and emotional challenges. I spent days (and nights obviously) in tears and other than being so exhausted, I just didn’t feel like I had a reason. I now had the most fulfilling job in the world, but my God, it is HARD!

I was also worried about what people would say, and still am. Am I letting my fiancé and daughter down by admitting to the struggles? Would people say I had failed and am a bad Mum?

The realisation came after a lot of encouragement, support and badgering from friends and family. I am not letting anyone down. I dearly, dearly love being a Mum; my daughter is my everything and has been from day one. It hasn’t come without hard work and there are blue days. Once I stopped giving myself a hard time and spoke openly and honestly about how I felt, I found other Mums were feeling or had felt similar. We were all hormonal, exhausted Mums just starting out on an adventure and we needed each other’s support. We all experience different challenges; colic, breastfeeding, traumatic births, reflux, sleepless nights etc. but the most important point, none of us are alone.

As a Mum, to other Mums; be kind, be supportive, be Mumderstanding.