A fellow blogger (Dad v World) asked on Twitter how many bloggers have quit their full-time job and now blog as their only job from home. It’s been three months since I started my blog (my first post) and have so far made absolutely diddlysquat. I have since returned to my paid job from maternity leave and my job is my only source of income. The tweet got me thinking about who would be on my list of inspirational professional bloggers. I hope by learning from them (and others I’m yet to uncover) so that I can turn my own blogging passion into profit.

Inspirational Professional Bloggers

In the parenting blogging world there are lots of parents who run their blog professionally. These are a handful of professional bloggers and their blogs that inspired me to start mine.

The Unmumsy Mum

Whilst on my first maternity leave my NCT group and I discovered The Unmumsy Mum. We loved her unique take on motherhood. Her posts used to make us feel better that we are all in it together.

Her posts are bound to make you laugh. One of my favourite posts was Fuck you supermum. It’s refreshing to read a blog written with such truth, humour and honesty.

Hollie Poetry

It wasn’t her blog necessarily that inspired me but her poetry. I’ve only just discovered her blog from writing this post. Her words describing motherhood hit the nail on the head for me. See some of her most famous poems here. 

If I could write a poem that was 10% as good as hers I would be happy.

In The Playroom

Anna who runs In The Playroom, is the first blogger who I met in real life. Meeting Anna and hearing her story, pushed me over the edge to starting my own blog. I had been pondering starting one for six months before, but until that point had never met another parent blogger.

In The Playroom has some great craft ideas for young children. Such as Valentine crafts and Alphabet crafts.

I’m sure there are many other bloggers who will continue to inspire my work. My long-term goal for Mumversation is to keep up the momentum and refine my writing. So that one day I can be seen as a professional blogger.

If your new to my blog here are some of my favourite posts: Working parent vs stay at home parent and why I didn’t enjoy pregnancy. 

Thanks for reading.

I have just completed my first week back as a working parent since having my youngest daughter. This is my second return to the world of work. I was back in the office for a year between my two maternity’s. I wrote a post just before going back about my reasons for returning to work.

As we enter a new year there seems to me that there has been a growing debate about working parents and children attending day nursery. This is on the back of the Royal Princess starting her nursery journey and a case of a child being lost whilst attending a nursery in the UK (article here).

In my opinion is seems strange that there is still a debate to be had. Each family will have their own priorities, pressures, opportunities and considerations for work and the family. There is never one option that fits all. Some families it makes more financial and emotional sense for a parent to stay at home. For others it makes so much more sense for one/two parents to work either full or part-time.

We should all be able to respect that all parents make the right choice for their family. In light of this I have written two poems one for the stay at home parent and one for a working parent.

Stay at Home Parent

Endless cuddles,
Trips to the park,
Looking after the kids,
From light till dark.

Home with the children,
There are so many games to play,
Painting, sticking, reading.
Having fun throughout the day.

But the work is all-consuming,
You never gets a break.
So keep up your energy levels,
You have to stay awake.

Peace for maybe an hour,
When the baby has a sleep,
But that hour goes by quickly,
And the toys are still in a heap.

Unpaid and overworked,
You have the hardest job of all,
But also lucky and so privileged,
To look children whilst they’re small.

Working Parent

Mornings are a rush,
As everyone needs to get ready,
It’s nine o’clock in the morning,
And your exhausted already.

Work is exciting but stressful,
It’s full of highs and lows.
Sometimes you will love it,
Everyday you have to see how to goes.

Using your skills,
Challenging your mind.
Can help build your confidence,
And give you some balance you find.

You of course miss the kids,
But maybe not the mess.
The whingeing and the whining,
Work is a chance to compress.

If a home is filled with love,
And happiness is apparent.
Be proud of yourself,
For being a working parent.

Working parent, juggling home, time with the children and work

Me and Rose when I went back to work after first maternity

Thanks for reading my post. If you enjoyed these please see some of my other poems here:

Toddler obsessions
Tired mum needs a break
Daddy’s home

This post is my tips based on personal experience of baby led weaning. Before having children I didn’t realise there was different ways to introduce your child onto solids. The process of introducing solids is known as weaning (in the UK), you can find more information here from the NHS.

The NHS recommend waiting till six months before introducing any food. As all babies are different its important to look for these three signs if wanting to start earlier:

  1. They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
  2. They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves.
  3. They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out with their tongue So they get more round their face than they do in their mouths.

I quickly found out there are two different methods for weaning your baby onto solid food. The first is using purees to introduce your baby to new flavours. The other is baby led weaning, which is the method I choose for both my daughters.

What is Baby Led Weaning?

The Baby Centre defines baby led weaning (BLW) as “forgetting purees and weaning spoons, and simply letting your baby feed himself.” Rather than pureeing lots of different foods you give the baby the skills to eat whole food from the beginning.

Why Choose Baby Led Weaning?

There are lots of benefits of choosing to using BLW.

  1. Your baby gets introduced to lots of textures straight away
  2. Your baby will get to explore food at their own pace
  3. Your baby feeds themselves so you can eat your own food
  4. You don’t have to make additional food for baby within household so will save time
  5. You can easily buy food for them on the go, as they are more happy to eat regular food

It’s worth noting that some families may find BLW isn’t for them as the baby has digestion issues or feeding concerns. There are also some downsides vs. purees. It takes babies slightly longer for babies to start filling their tummies as first. It can also be messy as lots of foods tend to go on the floor!

Some families find that they do a combination of the two weaning methods. Feeding the baby purees but also offering finger foods to them. The knack is finding what works best within your family and for the baby.

Baby led weaning can get messy!

Baby led weaning can get messy!

How to start Baby Led Weaning?

It’s best to start BLW with foods that are easy to handle as they are still perfecting their grip. When starting introduce one food at a time so they can explore the texture and flavour of the food. You will only need to offer food once a day at first alongside their milk. When they start eating more you can build up to two meals, three meals and eventually add in healthy snacks.

First foods

  • Raw vegetable sticks – cucumber without skin, avocado sticks and
  • Par boiled vegetable sticks – par boiled so they are easier to chew including carrots, green beans and peppers
  • Cooked vegetable sticks – sweet potato wedges, butternut squash and brocoli
  • Fruit – softer fruits work best such as raspberries, banana, melon, mango and pears cut into strips
  • Toast/bread sticks – add a little bit of butter to bread to make a bit softer
  • Porridge fingers – make you own really quickly in the microwave, see recipe ideas here
  • Mashed potato – best if a bit lumpy and thick so baby can pick up
  • Pasta – fusilli is best as baby can grip it
  • Meat/fish (if not vegetarian) – softer meat is best to start such as strips of chicken or fish
First finger food for baby led weaning

First finger food for baby led weaning

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post, check out Best nursery rhymes for babies and Best products for babies.

My birthday is coming up next week in January, I’m turning 35. Woo hoo! I am perfectly comfortable with my age. However it has made me think is there anything else I want to achieve before I hit my 40s. So I have decided to create my own before 40 bucket list as motivation.

Why create a Bucket List

If I think back over the last five years I realise I have completed a hell of a lot. Having my two children and getting married for a starter are absolutely at the top of my list. These were all huge, life changing events. So as I look forward now to my hopes for the second half of this decade, I want to focus on just living and enjoying life as a family of four.Bucket list - under 30 running London marathon

Having a bucket list gives me focus on what I hope to achieve and ambition to succeed. I only choose things which are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) as I know that goals with these attributes are far more likely to happen.

On my bucket list before I turned 30 there was only one goal to run the London Marathon. This was a SMART goal because it was:

  • Very specific to a place and distance.
  • Measurable as it was completed once run.
  • Attainable as I had run three half marathons before this.
  • Realistic as I gained a place through the ballot.
  • Timely as I had a place secured when I was 29 years old.

Before 40 Bucket List

  • Have afternoon tea at the Ritz (just me and hubby) – this has been something I have wanted to do for ages. This is likely to be achievable as we have already booked it for hubby’s birthday later on this year. If you would like to go, see their website.Bucket List - afternoon tea
  • Get a grown up kitchen – this is a big one for me. We moved into our house and renovated before having children. The only room we didn’t touch was the kitchen, before I reach 40 I would love to have a kitchen of my choice. We hope to start work this year so is an attainable goal.
  • Take the girls to Disney Paris – I would love to go to Disney World Florida but I’m not sure that’s likely in the next five years. Especially with us hoping to invest in our kitchen! However I would love to do a smaller trip of Disney Paris with the girls so they can get a taste of the magic.
  • Start reading again – Having children has definitely taken away any leisure time I had for reading. I would love to get back into reading a handful of books each year.
  • Take longer video recordings of the family – Smart phones have made it so easy to take short videos of the family. However I want to capture longer video recordings. Then in the future and really visualise what our lives were like. This is attainable as I have a camcorder, I just need to get it out more.
  • Grow my blog – Mumversation is still in its infancy, I hope that over the next five years I can grow my blog much further. From my first post in November 2017 I hope to continue building my content and community. My overall goal is to create a place where it’s ok to speak about all the things that make us mums.

Here’s to the next five years

This is my current bucket list. I’m sure it will evolve regularly over the next five years.

I hope you enjoyed reading my bucket list, if you have any comments you can add them below or look me up on my Contact me page.

As we approach the New Year we all start to reflect on where we are and where we want to go. In a world where we hear so much negativity it’s important to be positive. 2017 was special for me and my family for many reasons.

Why 2017 was special for me

My youngest daughter was born

In January 2017 I went through child birth for the second time. My labour started on my due date at 2pm and by 10pm our gorgeous daughter was born.

2017 has been full of adventure with her learning to smile, laugh, sit, crawl, eat, stand and almost walk.

As we approach the New Year and her first birthday, the future for 2018 looks very exciting.

My eldest daughter turned two

We were fully into the toddler years with my eldest this year. I could have done without the toddler tantrums at times. But watching her grow and learn has been unbelievable.

My highlights of living with a two-year old have been;

  • Her language has developed so much that we can now have full conversations.
  • She has learnt to value friendships.
  • She is becoming a being in her own right and developing her own ideas.

The next stage in 2018 will be all about the three’s and the preschool days.

Celebrated three years marriage with hubby

We got married whilst I was pregnant the first time, so this year we got to celebrate our third anniversary.

I couldn’t think of anyone else I would want to share this parenting journey with. Watching my husband with our girls, makes me very happy.

Started Mumversation!

In October this year I finally built up the courage to start my own blog.

I’m still very much in the early stages of writing but I am loving being part of the blogging community.

Mumversation gives me a freedom I didn’t have to express myself and challenge myself to do something new.

if your looking for ideas for what to do with your family this New Years Eve see my post here.

What I hope for in 2018

As we approach the New Year I have been thinking of what I hope for personally next year.

My 2018 wish list;

  • A smooth transition into work – I know going back will be tough at times but I’m hoping that we can establish a routine that works for us.
  • A break with the family – we didn’t manage a holiday this year with the baby so I would love to get away in 2018.
  • Time with family and friends – my brother and family are moving abroad soon, so along with my dad (who also lives abroad) half my family will live in a different continent. I hope in 2018 we can maximise time spent with family and our friends.
  • Finally Blogging! – I hope that whilst I’m back at work I can keep up with and develop Mumversation consistently. Watch this space for more in 2018.

2017 was special