MyBump2Baby Podcasts https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts Sat, 01 May 2021 21:23:14 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.5 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/favicon-32x32-1.png MyBump2Baby Podcasts https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts 32 32 The Organised Mum https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/the-organised-mum-2 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/the-organised-mum-2#respond Sat, 01 May 2021 21:13:47 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1189 Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood and The My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast! This week in a special crossover episode Carla talks to Sunday Times Best Seller Gem Bray aka The Organised Mum about how she turned her anxieties around motherhood into an amazing brand.

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  • The Organised Mum

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood and The My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast! This week in a special crossover episode  Carla talks to Sunday Times Best Seller Gem Bray aka The Organised Mum about how she turned her anxieties around motherhood into an amazing brand. She discusses her app TOMM,  upcoming journal, and much more!

Website: https://www.theorganisedmum.blog

Instagram : @theorganisedmum

Facebook : The Organised Mum

Youtube : Gem Bray

Pre Order her Book here : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Organised-Mum-Method-Journal-Sort/dp/0349429502

TOMM App : https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/the-teamtomm-app/id1427750529

Carla: Unfortunately in life, things happen that we have no control over, which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family in case the worst should happen please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bills.

[00:00:31] We insure our mobile phone. We insure our household appliances. We insure our pets. Why don’t we insure ourselves? Please please today go to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal and find your nearest financial advisor or family protection specialist. It is so important that you were covered should the worst happen.

[00:01:03] Are you looking for groups in classes for your little one? Perhaps you’re looking for pregnancy classes for yourself. My Bump 2 Baby is the UKs leading pregnancy to preschool directory to find your nearest pregnancy to preschool group classes, lesson or service, head over to www.mybump2baby.com. You can also read our reviews on the latest products, days out and services.

[00:01:51] Hello everybody and welcome to 50 shades of motherhood and The My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast. Today, we are joining both podcasts together to bring you a very special episode. Today, we are interviewing Sunday times bestselling author, Gemma Bray. Gemma has a very interesting story as to how she began her amazing business. Gemma suffered with anxiety after the birth of a first child. And I don’t want to give too much away. So listen to this episode, relate be inspired and I hope you do you enjoy it?

[00:02:51] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. Today, I am joined by Sunday times, bestselling author, Gemma Bray, and also the creator of the amazing Tomm, which I have probably all told,  told you all about already, but hello, Gemma. How are you? 

[00:03:11] Gem: I’m I’m really well, thank you very much. I’m excited to be, be with you. 

[00:03:16] Carla: I’m really excited to have you here really looking forward to having a chat with you about, about how you are, where you are now, because you’ve, you’ve got an amazing community of parents and not just parents, people that follow your methods. And you’ve done all this, um, after becoming, um, a mum. And it was  all through you know, your anxiety and struggles like that. So were you planning on your first child or was it?

[00:03:43]Gem:  Yeah, we were. I mean, so I was quite, I, I was quite young. I mean, I wasn’t, I mean, I was, when I had to Thomas, I was 23, 24 and I felt like that for me was the right time to have my first baby. I’d like all like growing up, like in the late, like teenage years, I was like, I can’t wait to be a mum. I can’t wait to be a mum and so like, I got married. I got married really young actually I got married at 20, 21 years old. That marriage didn’t last. I got married far too young. So I had Thomas when, um, I was in my early twenties and I remember going to like the NCT group and like, most of the mums were in their mid thirties. Um, so I was, I felt really, really young, but we had, yeah, we had planned him. I didn’t have any problems falling pregnant. I mean, that’s something that I have been blessed with. All three of my pregnancies have been healthy, I got pregnant really quickly all three times. Um, so yeah, he, he was, he was planned I think, but I think because I’d got pregnant so easily and because I’d had a healthy pregnancy. I mean, I did have awful morning sickness, but it wasn’t bad enough to be hospitalised or anything like that. But I remember thinking, what the hell is this. It’s like because morning sickness, I think is one of those things. Where no one really tells you how bad it is and like in the films and like on the tele, you’ll see like some really this woman she’s a little bit flushed. Her cheeks are quite rosy and she just comes out of the, you know, the loo just having dab, dabbing her face because she’s just been a bit sick. 

[00:05:25] Carla: It’s always the day after they’ve had sex as well. It’s like the next day she’s already getting sick in that, you know.

[00:05:33]Gem:  So that’s sort of floored me. Um, but other than that really, really healthy pregnancies. Um, and because I kind of sailed through them, I think it was more of a shock when I had Thomas and I, I think, I think it’s perfectly summed up. By, um, the moment that I looked in the mirror after I had Thomas and my tummy still looked pregnant and I noticed stretch marks that I haven’t been able to see cause they were underneath the bump.  And like that, I remember looking down and going oh my God. What’s happened to me. And I’m just like the day after I’d given birth to him, I was like hobbling to the toilet because of the stitches and I was just like, okay, this is different and it really, it really hit me and it, I, everything was just out of control.  I like, this will come as it will not come as a shock to anyone who follows me on social media. I liked to know what I’m doing. I like control. So having a newborn baby that control goes completely out the window.

[00:06:44] Carla: It definitely does. Yes.

[00:06:47]Gem:  And, um, I remember when he was a few weeks old, just thinking like there has, there has to be, there has to be some sort of pattern here. I mean, I refuse to believe there isn’t. I’ve just not noticed it. I’m just so sleep deprived. I’ve not noticed it. So when I got, um, I got, I had an Excel spreadsheet and I colour coded it and I was like, right. Sleeping. Okay. Eating, awake periods. And I was like, and I look at this after a week and I was convinced that it would, I’d see some sort of correlation in the colours and it just looked like a patchwork quilt. There was just colours everywhere. 

[00:07:18] Carla: Thats amazing that you got the spreadsheet. I love that idea. Gemma were you really organised before Thomas then? Were you like always super organised or? 

[00:07:31] Gem: No. Well, what happened was I, my mum thinks it’s hilarious that I do what I do when I’ve written books about what I’ve written about. Cause she, like, she will tell anyone who listens, how I was as a teenager. Like she used to find like week old pack lunches underneath my bed. Like I always had holes in my tights. My hair was always just. Slightly, you know, never quite got to how I wanted it to be style-wise. No. So the short answer to that is no, it was only an after I had kids that I realised that things run an awful lot smoother when you kind of have a plan.

[00:08:07] But what happened at the beginning was when I had, when I first became a mum, I went too much the other way. So I realised that my life was out of control because a newborn had just been put into to it. And I had no control over when he slept  et cetera. And I tried, I really tried to double down on that and I thought the only thing that I could control would be how the house looked. And, um, I couldn’t control my postnatal body. It didn’t look the same, but I could control my house. Um, and if everyone saw that I had a gleaming immaculate house, this is how I rationalised it in my head. Everybody would then assume that I was completely coping with it. And just bossing being a new mom. When the reality was, it was just a massive smoke screen, almost like a defence mechanism to stop anyone coming in too close and checking if I was actually okay.

[00:09:02] Carla: Do you know, it’s so funny when you went back and said, I am the ma well, before I was the messiest person ever, and I am, I’ve had bad anxiety since losing, during pregnancy, my little twins during pregnancy. And since then, my mental health has been like panic attacks, et cetera. But the way I’ve coped is cleaning. And before I found out about you, actually, I was literally cleaning all the time, because it was the only thing that kind of kept my mind active. I couldn’t just sit and think because then the intrusive thoughts come in. Oh, you’re not a good mum. You’re not this. You’re not that. And so that’s what I did. And, um, yeah, we’ll go on to that shortly, but know that that does make sense. 

[00:09:44] Gem: Yeah. I think it’s quite, I think it’s really common actually. And it is, I think a lot of people, we all have different ways of, of, of coping and almost hiding from dealing with the root problem. Um, and it’s just sort of distracting ourselves, whether that’s over cleaning or overexercising or, you know whatever, it was almost like I always try and think of it as like a getaway car, really, just to distract you from the actual, the actual problem. And it’s really, you know, it’s human nature. Cause who wants to sit with those uncomfortable failings because it’s not nice. 

[00:10:23] Carla: No, it’s not, it’s not. So yeah, that really does make sense. So it’s like having something that’s yours and that you can control and, you know, and it, it, it almost is like that shiny thing where people just see it and think, Oh, look at Gemma, she’s got it together. You know, her house is pristine. So were you cleaning all the time then? 

[00:10:42] Gem: Yeah, so it got to the point. So before I had kids, I would just be like, a big clean, like once a while, because you know, when you’ve got two adults that go to work all the time, it’s not really a lot to clean it there? Really. Um, but then I was what, when Tom was really little, um, I was just I’d get up, I’d get dressed and I would just start cleaning and I fixated on certain things. So for me, it was always the hoovering cause we had a dog. Um, so it was hoovering. It was the kitchen worktops and it was just all certain, shiny taps. I was obsessed with cushions. I look back now and I’m like, why did I fixate, I was always in. Like either. Um, w I was always looking for cushions. I was always trying to find the perfect cushion.

[00:11:32] Carla: Yeah.

[00:11:32]Gem:  It’s just weird. Anyway, it got to the point where I was, I stopped going to see my friends because I was like, no, I’ve got to do the cleaning. And I know that if I go out, I’ll feel guilty that I’ve left the dishes or something like that. Um, and it got to the point where I was like, cutting bread over the kitchen sink to not make any crumbs on the counter. Um, and it was actually the turning point actually for me was, I mean, my, my, friends and family would laugh and be like god you’re obsessed. And I be like haha. It’s like when someone says, Oh, you know, you, you look a bit thin or something like that. If you’re on a diet,  part, well, part of you might think, Oh great.

[00:12:16] You know what i mean, it’s like almost like a badge of honour kind of thing. It’s just your brain works like that. Um, but I remember the turning point was when. The, um, health visitor came and I’d read on an internet forum. Which you should never do.

[00:12:34] Carla: No.

[00:12:35]Gem:   Um, health visitors always come and check  your loo and they always ask to use the toilet because they can judge. We’re looking back now. I’m just like what, um, they, they judge your house or your ability based on how clean your loo is. I now know that that is. So untrue because so many health visitors have said, can we just please debunk this myth? So I was, I fixated on this. I, I said, right I got to go and clean the loo and I was on my hands and knees and I’m scrubbing the toilet floor before she came. And she never used the loo. She never asked to use the loo. And I’m going do you want the toilet?

[00:13:18] Carla: Another water? Another water? 

[00:13:21] Gem: She was, she was actually really, she was so. She’s obviously really good at her job. And she’d asked me, you know when they discharge you and they ask you to fill out those forms. But at that point, how often, how many times did you cry? duh duh duh and I’m like, fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine. Fine. 

[00:13:38] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:13:39] Gem: There you go. Like that. And she was just like, Hmm, is this true like that. And, um, yeah.

[00:13:47] Carla: Did you find that you were getting, I mean, this is where I was, I was getting frustrated with people in the house making mess and I’ve got a little boy and he does make a mess, but sometimes it would really get to me, I’d be like, I’ve just tidied that, I’ve just tidied that. And it’s a bit, you know, a bit snappy. 

[00:14:03] Gem: It is. Yes, absolutely. 100% that, and it was, it was getting in the way of living. Life basically. And so I was stopping, seeing my friends because I was prioritising the housework and it was just, it was just all wrong. And it was that with the real turning point, when she said, when she sort of realised that I wasn’t as fine as I was portraying to everybody else.

[00:14:28] And she just said, look, you know, and , this will always stick with me. And I often quote her. She said that as long as you and your baby are happy and healthy and cared for everything else is just sprinkles on your cupcake. And I was just like  Oh, Oh. So it’s okay. You know, if I walked around Tescos and I’ve got baby sick down my back, that’s fine. That’s normal. Actually. That’s completely normal and it’s completely normal to still be in your dressing gown. Um, at 11:00 AM with a newborn because you’ve been up all night and not only is that normal, it’s probably also encouraged because it means that you’re giving yourself a bit of a break. And, and that, that was really the turning point. And at that point, I realised that if I didn’t do something about it, it was getting to the point where I wouldn’t have been able to reverse it. And yeah, it was becoming so prevalent in my life in such a big part of my life. Like I’d wake up in the morning. The first thing I think about is what am I going to clean?

[00:15:28] Carla: Yeah. You get in a cycle though Gemma don’t you? You can sometimes get in a bit of a cycle where you become, I mean, with my, uh, after my anxiety was all health-related and because I can’t control that, it’s like, you can do what you can control, but the health anxiety was the same, it’s a bit like OCD, isn’t it? Where you feed it, you keep feeding this thing and it just gets a bit out of control. Doesn’t it? And you’ll get more and more and more obsessed with it. 

[00:15:55] Gem: I, yeah, but I think the thing with anxiety is it can. It’s a, it’s a funny thing. Cause it can, it attaches, it can attach to anything and sometimes you just like, Whoa, Whoa. Well hold on a second. But I wasn’t anxious about this three or four years ago. Why am I anxious about it now? And it almost like it finds a weak spot and attaches it to itself to it and all, and all of a sudden your anxiety is manifesting itself in a different way. I mean, I used to suffer, um, horrendously with panic attacks and, you know, they’re very few and far between now, but like if you’d have told me when I was having really bad anxiety and panic attacks that I would go on live telly. I’d be like no I wouldn’t. Because I was like, I’d be convinced I was going to faint on live telly or something, but it’s just, you’re. I find that as I’ve gone through life, my anxiety never has actually gone away. It just kind of meanders and attaches itself to different things, which is just great. 

[00:17:00] Carla: Yeah. I don’t think you can ever get rid of it. Well, that’s it. And you know, when I was a kid, my mum, I think looking back, I’ve always had it. I don’t know about you, but my mum used to be very much like I’d get a bit down and she’d be like, right early night, get TV on. And you know, and I never really knew what mental health was. Obviously, it’s really important to share about it as well, but sometimes when you’re younger, you don’t really know. So then you don’t think about it too much, but as you start to get older, then once you realize what it is, I think then you think about it more and you worry about it more don’t you? 

[00:17:34] Gem: Yeah, and I think it, and it becomes more, more of a thing. And like you say, you, you feed it and then almost you become anxious of the anxiety itself. So I know that when I, when I was having really bad panic attacks, I was fearing, fear itself. If that makes sense. Like, I was scared of becoming scared and it was just like, what, what is this? And I think I’ve always been predisposed to it. Or, um, like when I was really young kid at school. I used to hate being late, like so much so that we’d have to arrive everywhere, like half an hour before, because I would get really anxious about, you know, being late for school.

[00:18:12] Carla: Oh, that is so lovely. I was one of the late ones that would be like oops sorry.

[00:18:19] Gem: I was such a swat, I was such a swat at school that was like I cant be late, I cant be late.

[00:18:21] Carla: Oh, that’s. No but it is, it follows you through life. Doesn’t it? So, so what was the turning point then for you when, when you just thought I can’t do this anymore? 

[00:18:30] Gem: So I, so I sat down at my, I sat down in my kitchen and I was, and I said, what, what do I want, what do I want out of life, basically? How do I want to be a mum? How do I want to approach motherhood? And I  was like, well, all through my motherhood, like pregnancy, I had seen, had been bombarded with images of women with cherub face kids, you know, feeding them to like carrot puree in their white jeans, you know, and that’s what I thought it was going to be like. And it obviously isn’t anything like that.

[00:19:06] I mean, for some people it is. But for me it wasn’t. Um, so the turning point was sitting down at that kitchen table and working out that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life cleaning. I wanted to go and do something. I wanted to go and enjoy being a mum and going to the park and making sandwiches and not caring about, you know, making a mess while I’m preparing a picnic. And so I, I sat down, I had this note paper and I was just like, well, what I’m going to do is I’m going to compartmentalise the cleaning to 30 minutes a day. So what you have to understand is. My house was like so clean at this point that I was starting from an already clean house. And I was like to maintain this I can, I probably only need to do 30 minutes and I’m going to try and not do any cleaning at the weekend. And I, I, I allotted each day of the week to a different room, essentially that I was going to clean in and I just. I stuck it on my fridge. And, um, my friend, my best friend’s husband came around. They came around one day and he sort of looked in the fridge. What, what day is it today? And it was a Thursday. And he said, Oh, it’s kitchen day. They were all taking the Mickey. But I was just like, no. Cause it was working. It was really, really working. And it just got to the point where I just knew it off by heart and it just became, my routine, like eating breakfast or having a shower. It was just right, I’ve got to do 30 minutes. It’s in the, in the living room today. So that’s what I’m doing. And then I’m going to just stop and go and do something else. Um, and it, it was difficult at first, really stop, stopping after 30 minutes. And it was difficult when. After you’d done it. Someone would have inevitably make a mess, like you hear the noise of like the Lego bricks or the wooden blocks being tipped out. And it’s just that, and that is still something I I’m always working on that, always working on that, especially now that my kids are older, like my oldest is now. He’s coming up to 15 and walking into his bedroom. Sometimes it’s just like, I have to take a deep breath before I go in. Cause I know that it’s not going. I know it’s just going to be carnage. Um, but yeah, and it just stayed with me and it always, always helped. So, yeah, it worked so I’ve stuck with it. 

[00:21:33] Carla: I think, I think that’s a massive thing. Isn’t it? I think Instagram and Facebook is great, but sometimes you’re scrolling through and there’s just absolutely picture perfect houses, everything. And it’s just like, Oh my God, if she can do it, and she’s got a newborn baby and I’ve got a five-year-old, I can’t do it. What, what’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me? And it’s like, you’re constantly beating yourself up, but you’re looking at lots of different people doing amazing things. And you thinking that you need to be excellent at this. Excellent at that. Excellent at that. And I think it’s actually just understanding, like, you can’t be everywhere at once and you can’t be perfect either. And I think that’s really hard. 

[00:22:13] Gem: Yeah, it is. And I think, I think what’s also really important to remember about is. I think especially Instagram is a lot of Instagrammers who are, i’m not, not talking and about like your mates who are on Instagram or whatever, you know, the people earning a living from social media, um, It is their job. It is their job too. And they become almost like a brand. If that, if that is their brand to, um, show, um, like motherhood or if it’s a mummy blogger or something like that. And maybe they’re working with, um, supermarkets or, you know, other companies, it is their job to portray their lifestyle in a way. That makes the people who are consuming their content want to buy the product they’re advertising and it’s it’s, you know, it is their job.

[00:23:05] You know, if someone was advertising, I dunno, just pick something at random. Someone was advertising a vase. Right. And they took, and they were getting paid by vases.com and their living room was a mess. And there was a burping cloth with baby sick down it next to the vase.  It’s not aesthetically pleasing and people would be like whatever, but you know, if it was a good shot and it was staged just like in any magazine or any advert on the telly.

[00:23:29] And I think it’s so easy to get sucked in to this imagery, like I was when social media didn’t exist when I was pregnant. Thank God. But like, you know, cause it would have just made everything a thousand times worse, but it’s so easy to get sucked into this. Well, like you said, if they’re doing it, why can’t I, and because it.

[00:23:53] You you can’t because it’s not real life. And like you said, you might be looking at someone who’s got an immaculate house and one picture the next picture down the feed. It’s some fitness influencer who, you know, is drinking green tea. After, after doing hot yoga in the morning, they have two completely different lives, but all of a sudden your brain has gone. Not only do I need to have a perfect house, I also need to have a perfect body. I’ll be up at 5:00 AM and doing hot yoga. And this is all too much to cope with. It’s really difficult. 

[00:24:22] Carla: It is. It is. And it is, I mean, social media is great in some ways. I mean, obviously, you know, it’s inspiring, isn’t it looking at people and there’s so many good things to it, but I do think, yeah, you want a bit of everything, don’t you? I mean, I’ve got, I’ve actually got Michelle Keegan saved on my screensaver at the moment because to stop me eating after lockdown. So the other day it was so embarrassing. I actually went to the car park, went to pay and this man before me, he was trying to pay and his card, didn’t work. And I said, I’ll pay that for you. Cause I’m trying to do one nice thing a day at the moment. Anyway, I went put my phone there and he was like, Oh, Oh, I said, Oh, it’s Michelle Keegan. I said, Oh no, I’m not. I’m, its just so hard to explain. But anyway, so for good things, you  know, it can work in a good way, looking at all these, all these amazing people.

[00:25:12] Um, but also I think, you know, when you’re not feeling a hundred percent on everything, I mean, it’s this morning I woke up at six. And I was like right I need to clean, but then I also need to exercise and then I also need to get ready for George for school. And you just don’t know which direction to go in sometimes.

[00:25:30] Gem: No, and it is, it’s your brain just suddenly becoming so overwhelmed then it almost, and I actually did an Instagram post about this yesterday because I very oddly, like I never expected this to happen. So obviously I started TOMM because I was over cleaning, but over this last period of lockdown, my mental health has just done something that it’s never done before. And it’s just like, my brain has gone into this fog that I just, I wake up in the morning. And it’s like where has the motivation gone? My motivation  has just left. So I’m now using TOMM to motivate me to clean and it’s just, it’s just really. Weird. And I kind of feel like I’m seeing it from the other side, because there’s two main groups of people who use TOMM.

[00:26:21] There’s people that over clean and that are using it to curb their over cleaning. And then there’s the people who just don’t know where to start. So maybe their house has been neglected. Maybe they’ve been ill or they’ve been a carer, or they’ve just, the housework has just been so low down on the priorities that they haven’t even registered it. And. Yeah. And I’m now, I’m just like, okay, this is, this is, this is brand new. This is a brand new situation. And it, thank God, it’s it, you know, it works. It’s still working, but from the other side.

[00:26:50] Carla: That’s amazing. Well, at least, you know, it works, you know. Thats great. But, so, so when you sat down and you created this, uh, amazing, amazing app, um, Tell me, like what, how did you know what it was going to turn into?

[00:27:06] Gem: Oh God the app. It’s like the most stressful thing in the world. Um, Mike and I, um, my husband. Uh, uh, you know, we love each other dearly. We all kind of, we are soulmates. That the first app that we, um, released, we almost, we almost got divorced.

[00:27:25]Carla:  Oh, really? 

[00:27:26] Gem: It was so stressful. Cause I said to him. Let’s build an app, like that, and I literally, I’m not techie in any way. I’m like, which, which plug does this go in? Like, you know, and, and he is. Very, you know, he knows what he’s doing and he’s like, I’ll, build it for you’re darling. I was like, Oh thanks. And so we had no team behind us. And, um, we launched that a couple of years ago and I was so naive. I had no idea that so many lovely people would download it and it just. Crashed. And it took us about four months to fix it. Um, so I have a love, hate relationship with that app. 

[00:28:04] Carla: Oh, I, well, I do, I do love it actually. That’s what I first listened to you, but it was a recommendation from one of our area managers actually. And she said, You need to get this app. And she, a first of all, listen to the book and I listened to your audio book and it was amazing, really inspiring. And it did make me chuckle as well. Um, but then, um, I got the app and, uh, gosh, I absolutely loved it. It’s just given me a new lease of life, really. Um, but. You know, I used to be person that used to avoid housework and now like, you know, then I got obsessed with it. Cause I get obsessed with things, you know, once I’m deciding I’m doing something, it’s like the other month I was like, right, I’m going to start reading. Instead of reading, I ordered 15 books, you know, it never happened. They came they’re still in the packaging. It just, you know, I get a bit obsessed. So when I, um, got your app. Oh, my goodness. I was like in my element, but it meant that I could actually have a bit of a break and time away, guilt, free time away from cleaning as well, which is important.

[00:29:05] So, so, you know, when you created it, Gemma. And you actually, did you just sit down at the table and, and draw up this plan then? 

[00:29:13] Gem: Yeah, I did. I, it was, it was, it was on a scrap. It was on like a, just a scrap  bit of paper. And I’m really wishing, you know, in, in hindsight, I really wish I had kept it. I’d have probably framed it or something. I, but obviously it was, it’s long, long, long, long gone now, but I never, ever expected it to. To be what it is. I always expected it to be something, it was so private and, you know, people used to take the Mickey, you know, with me like friends and family. Cause they knew it was like kitchen day or whatever. I never really spoke about it to anybody. And it was, it was actually Thomas it’s very confusing because Tom, Thomas, my son was the newborn that kicked it all off. And um, when I named it, The Organised Mum Method. It was so tongue in cheek, because it was something that I was aspiring to be, you know, and I never thought I would. And then it was the acronym was Tom and it was something like, it just seemed too good, an opportunity to not, to not take up. But he dared me to talk about it on Instagram and it was one years eve and we were doing our new year’s resolutions. And he said, I dare you to talk about you cleaning online. Cause I’m quite a competitive person. And um, because my, like my eldest, had dared me to do it, I was like, well, I’m going to do it now. I’m going to be an example. And I’m going to set an example for my child. Um, and I fully anticipated that it would just fizzle out, like after about 10 weeks and I could quietly just shut the account down and no one would ever talk about it again, it was just that during that time, when mum tried to be an Instagrammer?

[00:31:03] Um, but yeah, it took off and it was, it was. It was really weird. And I think at the beginning, some people, I don’t get it so much now, but some people struggled with the name and the concept. And I think some people thought it was, um, quite a sexist concept. And, um, it was like dragging women back to the 1950s, because I mean, there are obviously, cleanings a big thing now on Instagram, but when I started it really wasn’t like it, it was just. Not what it is now in any way. And. No one really spoke about it. And I think that was the thing. This cleaning was one of those things that you always had to do, unless you could afford to pay someone to do it for you, but no one really spoke about it anymore. And I found that with my generation, I went to an all girls school and we were, you know, we had it really rammed into us that we could be anything that we could want us to be. We could be lawyers, doctors, you know, there’d been this. You know, feminist revolution and, you know, we’d got the vote and it was up to us to go out and be pioneers and dah, dah, dah, dah. And there was so much focus on that, that we just like learnt how to sew a cushion in design and technology, which, you know, I’ve never sewn a cushion since.

[00:32:22] Um, and we learned how to make a Cornish pasty. Oh, it was nice. It was really nice. That was a good day at school. And no one really, no one really taught me how to yeah. You know, battle lime scale, or, um, how to do your laundry in an efficient way because it, it, it wasn’t forward thinking enough. 

[00:32:46] Carla: Yeah.

[00:32:47] Gem: For the girls of the nine, of the 90s. 

[00:32:49] Carla: Yes. It’s almost gone the other way where you’re not allowed to discuss those things. Some people don’t like you discussing like women discussing cleaning, which almost then makes it, it’ll just keep doing a U-turn sometimes doesn’t it, you’re not allowed to when it’s like, well, actually some, some mums, a lot of mums I know. The mums i know, actually, uh, through circles of friends, we are the cleaners in our house. Uh, there are some dads, I know, that do it. But you know, at the end of the day.

[00:33:18]Gem:  Well, it’s facts. It, you can’t escape facts and the facts are, I mean, listen, I am a proper feminist. I am raising three boys. My husband does his fair share. We all share the cleaning. Some, in some households. That’s not what happens and that, that might be by choice, you know, and it’s, and it’s not, uh, you know, it’s not us to judge, but 98 and this is not a made up statistic. 98% of the women. Um, uh, sorry, the people in my Facebook group are female. Now. Some people say, well, that’s because you’re a female and they, you know, and it’s called The Organised Mum.

[00:33:58] So like, chances are you are going to attract more females, but I would absolutely love it if it was a 50 50 split. 

[00:34:07] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:34:07] Gem: And what happens is, and this is something that. I’ve seen time and time and time again, like when I was an antenatal teacher, I used to then do postnatal classes as well. And what happens is in many cases, not all, obviously, I don’t want to caveat that. People will take maternity leave. So women will take maternity leave because. That is in many cases, it’s the majority of the cases the woman. So will take maternity leave and all of a sudden, while she’s on maternity leave, all of, the other jobs that go along with running a house suddenly get lumped in. To her remit her sphere, whether or not that’s because she can’t stand, sitting and feeding the kid, looking at the laundry. So it’s just easier to go and fold it. And then it’s such a slow creep that her partner may be just going out, doing, working. When, if she wants to go back to work, there then comes a really awkward conversation because for the last, however, many months to a year, the other person who’s been still going out to work and not taken leave has not had to deal with the house as much. And then it’s like, can we redress the balance? And it’s really awkward.

[00:35:19] Carla: Yeah. And it can cause arguments it definitely can.

[00:35:21]Gem:  It really does. I mean, we have to be so careful in the Facebook group because A its the internet…

[00:35:28] Carla: Yeah it scares me.

[00:35:31] Gem: Anyone weighs in. But like, we have to be careful because you can have a, you know, a woman that’s really at her wits end because she feels really put upon that she does everything in the house. And it’s really difficult to try and moderate that in a way that she feels heard and she gets the advice that she needs without it turning into just another thread on the internet, where people are just bashing men for being lazy, because that is just such a generalisation. My, my husband is like the opposite. He does. He does so much to help in the house, but everyone’s situation is different and it just cause so many arguments.

[00:36:07]Carla:  Exactly it really does and that’s it. And I think sometimes even the night feeding, we had a bit of a thing around that because one of my friends, her husband would do it like during the night, because he was up more and his, he worked for himself. But then I was like, I admit I was, said to my husband. I was like, well, he does the night feeds. Why can’t you do the night feed? So in the end, we found a compromise where he did it on a Tuesday and a Friday, which actually worked really well because it meant I had a night, a full night’s sleep to look forward to, you know, two points in the week, but it is, everyone is so different and everyone’s got different things that they can cope with and things that they want to do. So, no, I totally get that. 

[00:36:48] Gem: And also every, everyone’s got different levels of cleanliness as well, and it’s very. It’s very unusual to end up with someone who has like the, exactly the same standards. This is, the majority of the case is someone who’s either a little bit more tidy than the other person. And it’s the person that’s a little bit more tidy that usually breaks first, and is like Oh, I I’m going to go and tidy up because I can’t cop anymore and the other person’s like what? It’s fine. It’s fine. And they genuinely don’t see it cause it’s not reached their threshold yet. 

[00:37:18] Carla: No, I know. That’s it. And I imagine most of the arguments around house, the house are about cleaning. 

[00:37:24] Gem: Yeah. 

[00:37:25] Carla: Um, but Gemma, can you tell us a bit about, obviously without sharing too much, because I want people to check out your amazing method, et cetera, but can you tell us a little bit about how it works and the structure of it?

[00:37:38] Gem: So, it’s. First things is we try as much as possible to keep weekends completely free. So like my, um, little phrase that we stick by is there’s more to life than housework, so we weekends are meant to be kept for fun stuff with the family or hobbies and that sort of thing. So that means over the week, you have a set day, which is assigned to each weekly day. So Mondays are living rooms. Tuesday is bedrooms. Wednesdays hallway. Thursday is kitchen, and then Fridays, we have a deep clean in a different area. So it works on an eight week rolling schedule. So every Friday for eight weeks, you’ll go and deep, clean. The living room or you’ll go and deep clean the bathrooms.

[00:38:27] So what that does is that tackles what I used to be guilty of when I was over cleaning. Of just becoming fixated on the same thing, like just hoovering all the time or polishing the taps in the bathroom all the time. Because when you go to that one level deeper on a Friday, we call it the Friday focus. You are not just doing surface cleaning. You’re like moving the sofa, or you’re doing a little bit of decluttering. So over the each eight week rolling cycle, your house just becomes progressively cleaner. And what many most people find is that when they start the first couple of weeks, There are like I, I could never do this. I could never clean my kitchen in 30 minutes. This is just too much. So we always say, just do, look at the list of jobs as  like a pick and mix. Like it’s just a default suggestion. Cause obviously I don’t know what you’re, these people’s houses are like. Like, I don’t know the lay of the land in their house. Just do the most urgent ones.

[00:39:22] And over time it will just get quicker and quicker and quicker. And it’s funny because people will message me and say, when I first started, I used to look at this list and laugh and like now I’m four, five weeks in, and I’ve been consistent with it and it’s just taken me 21 minutes to clean the kitchen. And I never thought I would get to this. So the whole premise is, it’s little and often every day, but not weekends. And over the course of the eight week rolling cycle, it just, you just chip away, chip away, chip away, and it just becomes cleaner and cleaner.

[00:39:55]Carla:  That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. I personally, I’ve used that. I’ve obviously told you all that, but I found it really, really useful, a good way to, like you said, just stay on top of things. So actually you get that surprise visitor, obviously not at the moment, but you get that as a surprise visitor.  And it’s not like, cause I used it, the doorbell would ring and I’d have literally fabreeze, everything like, you know, or you’d get someone saying, right, I’m just around the corner from yours. And you’re like, Oh shit!

[00:40:23]Gem:  What do I do first get dressed. What do I do? Yeah.

[00:40:27]Carla:  And that is it. So this has been a lot better because now. Well, not now, hopefully soon when people do actually turn up or, you know, I’m not good with people that just turn up at the house. So I don’t know about you. Why I honestly freaks me out.

[00:40:42] Gem: No I can’t cope.

[00:40:42] Carla: I pretend not to be in sometimes actually, to be honest with you. I kind of have a look through the spy hole, but it just depends who it is, but if I’m not feeling it, um, it’s not getting answered. But, um, with the, um, With that, it’s just a case of kind of not feeling. I mean, I don’t know before, what would happen to me is I have to have these random, big cleaning sprees. No one would ever come round. And then as soon as that house is horrendous, it’d be like *knocking sounds. I just be like oh for god sake. 

[00:41:16] Gem: Its sods law.

[00:41:17] Carla: Yeah. So it’s a good way. This of just basically staying on top of everything. Like you said, for 30 minutes a day and you have your playlists and stuff like that. Don’t you? Where you can kind of have a 30 minute playlist. 

[00:41:28] Gem: So that the music is all, I’m going to, this is not like unique to me, but music has always been really important to me. And I always find that if I’m kind of feeling a little bit low or not really feeling it, the right playlist, can turn my whole day around. But if I get, if I’m in, like really bad traffic and the right song comes on, I’m like, this is absolutely fine. This is fine. This is fine. So those playlist again, they were like something that I it’s, it’s funny actually, because I, I create those playlist every week. I like sit down on a Friday. It’s like my, one of my favourite jobs during the week. I’ll sit down and I’ll go through my playlist. I’ll create five for the next following week. And I never really. Think about anyone listening to them because I just choose the songs that I like. Yeah. I am of a certain vintage. So that I’m forty so, like, it’s not, I couldn’t tell you who is in the charts these days. 

[00:42:26] Carla: Oh I couldn’t.

[00:42:27] Gem: So, no, I just it’s just like old school, like stuff. Anyway and, um, a couple of weeks ago, Spotify, because I do them on Spotify launched a brand new, like they had an update on their app and it broke the link from my app to their app. And we suddenly realised how many thousands of people were listening, because we suddenly got so many help desk tickets on the customer service help desk. We were like  oh my god people actually listen.

[00:42:54] Carla: Yeah i bet you forget.

[00:42:57] Gem: Yes Gemma people listen. It’s like when you do podcasts or something, it’s like you’re talking and you sort of get caught up in it and you don’t think that, someone’s actually going to listen. 

[00:43:05] Carla: You don’t do you? You just kind of get on with it. And then sometimes like the other week I was outside Georges school and a lady was like, hiya, you alright? I love that podcast. I was like, uh? Who are you? Like you just don’t know, you forget don’t you because the internet is amazing. Isn’t it? And you forget. 

[00:43:20] Gem: Yeah thats the thing, it always makes me jump because I think. I was in Tescos last summer when we were allowed out, we’ve been to Thorpe Park and, um, I was so sweaty. Um, and I forget that I do things on like Instagram and YouTube and people watch it. And this lady came up to me and it wasn’t in our local shop. And she came up to me. She was like, hello. And I just went hello? I was like do I know this lady? And then she explained, and I was like, Oh, Oh, I’m really sweating. I’m so sorry. Thomas was like, why did you say that? I was like I dunno I panicked.

[00:43:59] Carla: Oh I know, Oh yeah. You have to say something though. That’s why with this podcast. I mean, sometimes I have to reign myself in cause to just talk too much, but it’s, it’s always, Oh, I don’t know when people kind of catch you off guard. I always say something stupid or I spit or something like that. You know, when I’m talking, I’m just like, Oh yeah. And then I dribble or something nothing. And I think why did I even speak? What was the point? So, yeah, totally get that. So, so Gemma, you, you are also bringing out your very own journal aren’t you? So can you tell us a bit about that? 

[00:44:34] Gem: Yes. Okay. So for years, team Tomm. That’s what we call people that follow The Organised Mum Method have been saying, bring out a journal, bring out a journal. And I was like no, no, no. And in then the end, they, they broke me. They broke me and like the publishers said, shall we do it? I think people want one. I was like, Oh, okay. They twisted me arm. But it was really important to me that I just didn’t go into a room and created the sort of journal that I would use, I needed it it’s a real collaborative effort.

[00:45:03] So I went onto the Facebook group and I was like, if, if we were going to produce a journal, what would you want in it? And like, so everyone just waded in and come up with their suggestions and it’s re it’s, it’s fantastic actually. Cause it’s, it means that we know that we’re what we’re putting in people are A actually want, but B will actually make it useful. Because I don’t know about you, but there was. In the past, I will buy like a blank notebook and I’m like, now this is the start of something amazing. It’s a whole blank canvas. And I fill out two pages and I’m like oh whatever. 

[00:45:39] Carla: Yeah. I’ve got loads in the drawer, but my problem is the messy handwriting. If I cross things out, I don’t want to use it anymore and it’s gone. So I have got loads.

[00:45:48] Gem: Oh I like that. I like it when it looks used. But yeah, half used notebooks.  So it’s really important to me that this journal actually gets used. Um, so yeah, it’s coming out in September. Um, we’re sort of still putting the finishing touches to it and, um, I’m writing little bits for little parts in it still. 

[00:46:06] Carla: Is it for cleaning directly for cleaning or a bit of everything?

[00:46:10] Gem: So it’s a bit of everything. So it sort of combines, um, the organised times technique with the organised mum method. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s very interactive so people can, can make it their own. I don’t wanna say too much because I’m trying to, I’m trying to twist their arm on something that will make it absolutely phenomenal, but they’ve not, they they’re like. They’re resisting me. At the moment but I’m like, come on, you know, you know that this will just push it into amazing. They’re like, they’re like, Oh, but that’s going to cost too much money. But, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s interactive and it’s, it will be adaptable. So yeah no, it’s not just cleaning and we’ve put a lot of thought into it. Like things like columns, which way should the columns run and like what makes it more usable and things.

[00:46:56] Carla: Oh wow.

[00:46:56] Gem: I know things about journals now that, that you shouldn’t ever have to know. 

[00:47:00] Carla: Yeah. I bet. I bet. Yeah, because of course when, um, there’ll be a lot of mums listening to this. That may be just hard a baby. Or they’re thinking, right. I’m not, I don’t want to go back to work, but I want to create something. And it’s just, it’s interesting to know, like market research is where it’s at. It’s about finding out what people actually want and it’s great you use that community like that. It’s a great group. Um, there’s, everyone said that it’s quite quite funny. Sometimes reading the posts in there. 

[00:47:28] Gem: It’s important to me that group because you know, the internet, like we said is amazing, but at the same time, it’s a double-edged sword. Like there’s, there’s, there’s wallies everywhere you go in life, which means they will be Wally’s on the internet. Um, and, but I kind of, I look at that group and like any all social media, like my front room, really someone someone’s come in and had a chat. So it’s really important that we try and keep that. As nice as possible. It’s, it’s impossible to keep all the Wally’s out 365 days of the year, but you know, we do try our best. And one thing that we are, I am actually really quite proud of is that, um, when the app really took off, I, I was running the help desk on my own. And I was just like, I can’t do this. I can’t handle this. So I have now employed three mums who work from home. They work, they set their own hours basically. And yeah, it just feels lovely to be able to employee mums on their own terms really. Cause when I first became a mum, like I’m sure every, you know, all parents who are trying to fit work around the baby. How many of us have like Googled part-time work? Part-time work from home.

[00:48:44] Carla: Yeah, 

[00:48:44] Gem: What can I do from home. 

[00:48:46] Carla: Yeah. Anything from home.

[00:48:49] Gem: And thats what got me into writing. Cause cause when I was, I mean, I had an English degree. I’ve always loved writing, but when I, um, became a single mum. I was like I need to, earn money. I can’t go out to work because, um, the kids were really young still and I couldn’t afford childcare. So I needed something that I could do in the evenings. Um, and I just signed up to like a load of freelance writing sites and I used to, you know, produce 300 aritcles or, um, Airport car parking. 

[00:49:20] Carla: Yeah.

[00:49:21]Gem:  And I was like oh this is so dull  but it, you know, paid the bills. 

[00:49:26] Carla: Yeah, exactly. That’s it. And I think sometimes it’s just, I mean, yours, it’s inspiring because your journey similar to mine, actually, My Bump 2 Baby was born from me getting postnatal depression after, after having my little one. And it’s funny because when you’re at that all time low, sometimes that is when something amazing is created as well. Um, and I think.

[00:49:49] Gem: Because it’s born out of necessity. I think, you know, you needed it at that time. So you’re filling, and you’re fulfilling a need. That other people will have. I think that’s what  it is.

[00:50:00] Carla: I think you’re right there. It is because  a lot of mums end up kind of working for themselves, don’t they in producing these amazing like businesses and, and these amazing products and it’s because they’ve needed it. So you’re absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So Gemma, any top tips to leave us with?

[00:50:18] Gem: Yes. The first one is, I’ll give you a couple. So the first one is more of like a philosophy and this is something that it took me ages to wrap my head around and is something that I still have to remind myself of daily is that there’s a massive difference between a home that’s just a little bit messy cause people live there and it’s lived in and a home that is genuinely filthy dirty. Um, and you know, your kid might be playing. You clean the house, its  living room day it’s Monday, you’ve done your 30 minutes in the living room. And then in the afternoon, your kid, you look into living room there’s loads of toys and it’s just surface mess. And it’s because you have, your family are living in that house. So that’s for me, the first thing is, is to really remember and recognise that if you’ve done 30 minutes cleaning, if you’ve, you know, if, if you, if you’ve done cleaning for your day, you have done enough and everything else is just life mess. That can be, you know, reasoned away like that. 

[00:51:20] And the practical tip that I would say is, um, if you are in a state with your house and you feel like you don’t know where to start, it’s full of clutter. Um, what always seems to work for people is choosing the two rooms of the house where you can make the, the biggest difference, the quickest. So for me, that is like maybe the kitchen or the living room. So the rooms that you are going to see all of the time, because once you start to make a little bit of progress, it will turn something on in your brain. Even if it’s the tiniest amount of progress, you will feel like you’ve achieved something. And that is highly likely to spur you on and do something else. So if I was, if I had to walk into a house and I was helping someone do like a massive declutter. I’d be like, right. Which rooms we’re going to choose one room, or we’re going to choose the room where we can make the biggest difference the quickest. Not the spare room, you know, not the loft, you know, the room where you will walk in and go, wow. Okay. This looks different. Um, and just tackle things little bit at a time. Even if you’ve only got 10 minutes just say, right, I’m going to do that bookcase. And just do the book case. Don’t pull the whole room apart, just stick to certain zones of the room, because otherwise you’ll end up in that awful situation where you’ve literally pulled everything out. And everything is everywhere. And you’re just like what have I done, what I’ve done? And just close the door and leave. 

[00:52:51] Carla: Yeah. Sleep in the other room. I’ve done that in my bedroom, before I emptied all the wardrobe out. And then I thought, Oh, I’m not sleeping in here. Just sleep in the spare bedroom because you just run out of energy. Don’t you? 

[00:53:02] Gem: That it, it’s just one cupboard, one cupboard at a time, one bookcase, one wall at a time. That’s how I tackle it. 

[00:53:09] Carla: I love that. No, thank you so much, Gemma. Really, really appreciate you coming on here. Can you just tell everyone where they can find you and we will obviously put your links in the show notes.

[00:53:18] Gem: Yeah. So, um, on instagram, it’s The Organised Mum. On Facebook. It’s The Organised Mum and also there’s some YouTube videos, but  that’s not called the organised mum, that’s called Gem Bray because I was just, you know, feeling a little bit fancy. 

[00:53:34] Carla: Yeah brilliant. No, that’s perfect. I’ll put those links all on there and the link to the app and also they can pre-order the journal now if they want.

[00:53:43] Gem: Yeah, they can pre-order it. Yeah thats out in September.

[00:53:44] Carla: Ill put the link to that on there as well. Okay. Thank you so much. 

[00:53:48] Gem: Thank you, have a great day.

[00:53:51] Carla: You too.

[00:53:53] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Fifty Shades of Motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.

[00:54:17] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help or the people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.

[00:54:39] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address. Is carla@mybump2baby.com. And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades.

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The Organised Mum https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/the-organised-mum https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/the-organised-mum#respond Sat, 01 May 2021 21:08:53 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1184 "There is more to life than housework" Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood and The My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast! This week in a special crossover episode Carla talks to Sunday Times Best Seller Gem Bray aka The Organised Mum about how she turned her anxieties around motherhood into an amazing brand.

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  • The Organised Mum

“There is more to life than house work”

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood and The My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast! This week in a special crossover episode  Carla talks to Sunday Times Best Seller Gem Bray aka The Organised Mum about how she turned her anxieties around motherhood into an amazing brand. She discusses her app TOMM,  upcoming journal, and much more!

Website: https://www.theorganisedmum.blog

Instagram : @theorganisedmum

Facebook : The Organised Mum

Youtube : Gem Bray

Pre Order her Book here : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Organised-Mum-Method-Journal-Sort/dp/0349429502

TOMM App : https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/the-teamtomm-app/id1427750529

Carla: Unfortunately in life, things happen that we have no control over, which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family in case the worst should happen please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bills.

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[00:01:51] Hello everybody and welcome to 50 shades of motherhood and The My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast. Today, we are joining both podcasts together to bring you a very special episode. Today, we are interviewing Sunday times bestselling author, Gemma Bray. Gemma has a very interesting story as to how she began her amazing business. Gemma suffered with anxiety after the birth of a first child. And I don’t want to give too much away. So listen to this episode, relate be inspired and I hope you do you enjoy it?

[00:02:51] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. Today, I am joined by Sunday times, bestselling author, Gemma Bray, and also the creator of the amazing Tomm, which I have probably all told,  told you all about already, but hello, Gemma. How are you? 

[00:03:11] Gem: I’m I’m really well, thank you very much. I’m excited to be, be with you. 

[00:03:16] Carla: I’m really excited to have you here really looking forward to having a chat with you about, about how you are, where you are now, because you’ve, you’ve got an amazing community of parents and not just parents, people that follow your methods. And you’ve done all this, um, after becoming, um, a mum. And it was  all through you know, your anxiety and struggles like that. So were you planning on your first child or was it?

[00:03:43]Gem:  Yeah, we were. I mean, so I was quite, I, I was quite young. I mean, I wasn’t, I mean, I was, when I had to Thomas, I was 23, 24 and I felt like that for me was the right time to have my first baby. I’d like all like growing up, like in the late, like teenage years, I was like, I can’t wait to be a mum. I can’t wait to be a mum and so like, I got married. I got married really young actually I got married at 20, 21 years old. That marriage didn’t last. I got married far too young. So I had Thomas when, um, I was in my early twenties and I remember going to like the NCT group and like, most of the mums were in their mid thirties. Um, so I was, I felt really, really young, but we had, yeah, we had planned him. I didn’t have any problems falling pregnant. I mean, that’s something that I have been blessed with. All three of my pregnancies have been healthy, I got pregnant really quickly all three times. Um, so yeah, he, he was, he was planned I think, but I think because I’d got pregnant so easily and because I’d had a healthy pregnancy. I mean, I did have awful morning sickness, but it wasn’t bad enough to be hospitalised or anything like that. But I remember thinking, what the hell is this. It’s like because morning sickness, I think is one of those things. Where no one really tells you how bad it is and like in the films and like on the tele, you’ll see like some really this woman she’s a little bit flushed. Her cheeks are quite rosy and she just comes out of the, you know, the loo just having dab, dabbing her face because she’s just been a bit sick. 

[00:05:25] Carla: It’s always the day after they’ve had sex as well. It’s like the next day she’s already getting sick in that, you know.

[00:05:33]Gem:  So that’s sort of floored me. Um, but other than that really, really healthy pregnancies. Um, and because I kind of sailed through them, I think it was more of a shock when I had Thomas and I, I think, I think it’s perfectly summed up. By, um, the moment that I looked in the mirror after I had Thomas and my tummy still looked pregnant and I noticed stretch marks that I haven’t been able to see cause they were underneath the bump.  And like that, I remember looking down and going oh my God. What’s happened to me. And I’m just like the day after I’d given birth to him, I was like hobbling to the toilet because of the stitches and I was just like, okay, this is different and it really, it really hit me and it, I, everything was just out of control.  I like, this will come as it will not come as a shock to anyone who follows me on social media. I liked to know what I’m doing. I like control. So having a newborn baby that control goes completely out the window.

[00:06:44] Carla: It definitely does. Yes.

[00:06:47]Gem:  And, um, I remember when he was a few weeks old, just thinking like there has, there has to be, there has to be some sort of pattern here. I mean, I refuse to believe there isn’t. I’ve just not noticed it. I’m just so sleep deprived. I’ve not noticed it. So when I got, um, I got, I had an Excel spreadsheet and I colour coded it and I was like, right. Sleeping. Okay. Eating, awake periods. And I was like, and I look at this after a week and I was convinced that it would, I’d see some sort of correlation in the colours and it just looked like a patchwork quilt. There was just colours everywhere. 

[00:07:18] Carla: Thats amazing that you got the spreadsheet. I love that idea. Gemma were you really organised before Thomas then? Were you like always super organised or? 

[00:07:31] Gem: No. Well, what happened was I, my mum thinks it’s hilarious that I do what I do when I’ve written books about what I’ve written about. Cause she, like, she will tell anyone who listens, how I was as a teenager. Like she used to find like week old pack lunches underneath my bed. Like I always had holes in my tights. My hair was always just. Slightly, you know, never quite got to how I wanted it to be style-wise. No. So the short answer to that is no, it was only an after I had kids that I realised that things run an awful lot smoother when you kind of have a plan.

[00:08:07] But what happened at the beginning was when I had, when I first became a mum, I went too much the other way. So I realised that my life was out of control because a newborn had just been put into to it. And I had no control over when he slept  et cetera. And I tried, I really tried to double down on that and I thought the only thing that I could control would be how the house looked. And, um, I couldn’t control my postnatal body. It didn’t look the same, but I could control my house. Um, and if everyone saw that I had a gleaming immaculate house, this is how I rationalised it in my head. Everybody would then assume that I was completely coping with it. And just bossing being a new mom. When the reality was, it was just a massive smoke screen, almost like a defence mechanism to stop anyone coming in too close and checking if I was actually okay.

[00:09:02] Carla: Do you know, it’s so funny when you went back and said, I am the ma well, before I was the messiest person ever, and I am, I’ve had bad anxiety since losing, during pregnancy, my little twins during pregnancy. And since then, my mental health has been like panic attacks, et cetera. But the way I’ve coped is cleaning. And before I found out about you, actually, I was literally cleaning all the time, because it was the only thing that kind of kept my mind active. I couldn’t just sit and think because then the intrusive thoughts come in. Oh, you’re not a good mum. You’re not this. You’re not that. And so that’s what I did. And, um, yeah, we’ll go on to that shortly, but know that that does make sense. 

[00:09:44] Gem: Yeah. I think it’s quite, I think it’s really common actually. And it is, I think a lot of people, we all have different ways of, of, of coping and almost hiding from dealing with the root problem. Um, and it’s just sort of distracting ourselves, whether that’s over cleaning or overexercising or, you know whatever, it was almost like I always try and think of it as like a getaway car, really, just to distract you from the actual, the actual problem. And it’s really, you know, it’s human nature. Cause who wants to sit with those uncomfortable failings because it’s not nice. 

[00:10:23] Carla: No, it’s not, it’s not. So yeah, that really does make sense. So it’s like having something that’s yours and that you can control and, you know, and it, it, it almost is like that shiny thing where people just see it and think, Oh, look at Gemma, she’s got it together. You know, her house is pristine. So were you cleaning all the time then? 

[00:10:42] Gem: Yeah, so it got to the point. So before I had kids, I would just be like, a big clean, like once a while, because you know, when you’ve got two adults that go to work all the time, it’s not really a lot to clean it there? Really. Um, but then I was what, when Tom was really little, um, I was just I’d get up, I’d get dressed and I would just start cleaning and I fixated on certain things. So for me, it was always the hoovering cause we had a dog. Um, so it was hoovering. It was the kitchen worktops and it was just all certain, shiny taps. I was obsessed with cushions. I look back now and I’m like, why did I fixate, I was always in. Like either. Um, w I was always looking for cushions. I was always trying to find the perfect cushion.

[00:11:32] Carla: Yeah.

[00:11:32]Gem:  It’s just weird. Anyway, it got to the point where I was, I stopped going to see my friends because I was like, no, I’ve got to do the cleaning. And I know that if I go out, I’ll feel guilty that I’ve left the dishes or something like that. Um, and it got to the point where I was like, cutting bread over the kitchen sink to not make any crumbs on the counter. Um, and it was actually the turning point actually for me was, I mean, my, my, friends and family would laugh and be like god you’re obsessed. And I be like haha. It’s like when someone says, Oh, you know, you, you look a bit thin or something like that. If you’re on a diet,  part, well, part of you might think, Oh great.

[00:12:16] You know what i mean, it’s like almost like a badge of honour kind of thing. It’s just your brain works like that. Um, but I remember the turning point was when. The, um, health visitor came and I’d read on an internet forum. Which you should never do.

[00:12:34] Carla: No.

[00:12:35]Gem:   Um, health visitors always come and check  your loo and they always ask to use the toilet because they can judge. We’re looking back now. I’m just like what, um, they, they judge your house or your ability based on how clean your loo is. I now know that that is. So untrue because so many health visitors have said, can we just please debunk this myth? So I was, I fixated on this. I, I said, right I got to go and clean the loo and I was on my hands and knees and I’m scrubbing the toilet floor before she came. And she never used the loo. She never asked to use the loo. And I’m going do you want the toilet?

[00:13:18] Carla: Another water? Another water? 

[00:13:21] Gem: She was, she was actually really, she was so. She’s obviously really good at her job. And she’d asked me, you know when they discharge you and they ask you to fill out those forms. But at that point, how often, how many times did you cry? duh duh duh and I’m like, fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine. Fine. 

[00:13:38] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:13:39] Gem: There you go. Like that. And she was just like, Hmm, is this true like that. And, um, yeah.

[00:13:47] Carla: Did you find that you were getting, I mean, this is where I was, I was getting frustrated with people in the house making mess and I’ve got a little boy and he does make a mess, but sometimes it would really get to me, I’d be like, I’ve just tidied that, I’ve just tidied that. And it’s a bit, you know, a bit snappy. 

[00:14:03] Gem: It is. Yes, absolutely. 100% that, and it was, it was getting in the way of living. Life basically. And so I was stopping, seeing my friends because I was prioritising the housework and it was just, it was just all wrong. And it was that with the real turning point, when she said, when she sort of realised that I wasn’t as fine as I was portraying to everybody else.

[00:14:28] And she just said, look, you know, and , this will always stick with me. And I often quote her. She said that as long as you and your baby are happy and healthy and cared for everything else is just sprinkles on your cupcake. And I was just like  Oh, Oh. So it’s okay. You know, if I walked around Tescos and I’ve got baby sick down my back, that’s fine. That’s normal. Actually. That’s completely normal and it’s completely normal to still be in your dressing gown. Um, at 11:00 AM with a newborn because you’ve been up all night and not only is that normal, it’s probably also encouraged because it means that you’re giving yourself a bit of a break. And, and that, that was really the turning point. And at that point, I realised that if I didn’t do something about it, it was getting to the point where I wouldn’t have been able to reverse it. And yeah, it was becoming so prevalent in my life in such a big part of my life. Like I’d wake up in the morning. The first thing I think about is what am I going to clean?

[00:15:28] Carla: Yeah. You get in a cycle though Gemma don’t you? You can sometimes get in a bit of a cycle where you become, I mean, with my, uh, after my anxiety was all health-related and because I can’t control that, it’s like, you can do what you can control, but the health anxiety was the same, it’s a bit like OCD, isn’t it? Where you feed it, you keep feeding this thing and it just gets a bit out of control. Doesn’t it? And you’ll get more and more and more obsessed with it. 

[00:15:55] Gem: I, yeah, but I think the thing with anxiety is it can. It’s a, it’s a funny thing. Cause it can, it attaches, it can attach to anything and sometimes you just like, Whoa, Whoa. Well hold on a second. But I wasn’t anxious about this three or four years ago. Why am I anxious about it now? And it almost like it finds a weak spot and attaches it to itself to it and all, and all of a sudden your anxiety is manifesting itself in a different way. I mean, I used to suffer, um, horrendously with panic attacks and, you know, they’re very few and far between now, but like if you’d have told me when I was having really bad anxiety and panic attacks that I would go on live telly. I’d be like no I wouldn’t. Because I was like, I’d be convinced I was going to faint on live telly or something, but it’s just, you’re. I find that as I’ve gone through life, my anxiety never has actually gone away. It just kind of meanders and attaches itself to different things, which is just great. 

[00:17:00] Carla: Yeah. I don’t think you can ever get rid of it. Well, that’s it. And you know, when I was a kid, my mum, I think looking back, I’ve always had it. I don’t know about you, but my mum used to be very much like I’d get a bit down and she’d be like, right early night, get TV on. And you know, and I never really knew what mental health was. Obviously, it’s really important to share about it as well, but sometimes when you’re younger, you don’t really know. So then you don’t think about it too much, but as you start to get older, then once you realize what it is, I think then you think about it more and you worry about it more don’t you? 

[00:17:34] Gem: Yeah, and I think it, and it becomes more, more of a thing. And like you say, you, you feed it and then almost you become anxious of the anxiety itself. So I know that when I, when I was having really bad panic attacks, I was fearing, fear itself. If that makes sense. Like, I was scared of becoming scared and it was just like, what, what is this? And I think I’ve always been predisposed to it. Or, um, like when I was really young kid at school. I used to hate being late, like so much so that we’d have to arrive everywhere, like half an hour before, because I would get really anxious about, you know, being late for school.

[00:18:12] Carla: Oh, that is so lovely. I was one of the late ones that would be like oops sorry.

[00:18:19] Gem: I was such a swat, I was such a swat at school that was like I cant be late, I cant be late.

[00:18:21] Carla: Oh, that’s. No but it is, it follows you through life. Doesn’t it? So, so what was the turning point then for you when, when you just thought I can’t do this anymore? 

[00:18:30] Gem: So I, so I sat down at my, I sat down in my kitchen and I was, and I said, what, what do I want, what do I want out of life, basically? How do I want to be a mum? How do I want to approach motherhood? And I  was like, well, all through my motherhood, like pregnancy, I had seen, had been bombarded with images of women with cherub face kids, you know, feeding them to like carrot puree in their white jeans, you know, and that’s what I thought it was going to be like. And it obviously isn’t anything like that.

[00:19:06] I mean, for some people it is. But for me it wasn’t. Um, so the turning point was sitting down at that kitchen table and working out that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life cleaning. I wanted to go and do something. I wanted to go and enjoy being a mum and going to the park and making sandwiches and not caring about, you know, making a mess while I’m preparing a picnic. And so I, I sat down, I had this note paper and I was just like, well, what I’m going to do is I’m going to compartmentalise the cleaning to 30 minutes a day. So what you have to understand is. My house was like so clean at this point that I was starting from an already clean house. And I was like to maintain this I can, I probably only need to do 30 minutes and I’m going to try and not do any cleaning at the weekend. And I, I, I allotted each day of the week to a different room, essentially that I was going to clean in and I just. I stuck it on my fridge. And, um, my friend, my best friend’s husband came around. They came around one day and he sort of looked in the fridge. What, what day is it today? And it was a Thursday. And he said, Oh, it’s kitchen day. They were all taking the Mickey. But I was just like, no. Cause it was working. It was really, really working. And it just got to the point where I just knew it off by heart and it just became, my routine, like eating breakfast or having a shower. It was just right, I’ve got to do 30 minutes. It’s in the, in the living room today. So that’s what I’m doing. And then I’m going to just stop and go and do something else. Um, and it, it was difficult at first, really stop, stopping after 30 minutes. And it was difficult when. After you’d done it. Someone would have inevitably make a mess, like you hear the noise of like the Lego bricks or the wooden blocks being tipped out. And it’s just that, and that is still something I I’m always working on that, always working on that, especially now that my kids are older, like my oldest is now. He’s coming up to 15 and walking into his bedroom. Sometimes it’s just like, I have to take a deep breath before I go in. Cause I know that it’s not going. I know it’s just going to be carnage. Um, but yeah, and it just stayed with me and it always, always helped. So, yeah, it worked so I’ve stuck with it. 

[00:21:33] Carla: I think, I think that’s a massive thing. Isn’t it? I think Instagram and Facebook is great, but sometimes you’re scrolling through and there’s just absolutely picture perfect houses, everything. And it’s just like, Oh my God, if she can do it, and she’s got a newborn baby and I’ve got a five-year-old, I can’t do it. What, what’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me? And it’s like, you’re constantly beating yourself up, but you’re looking at lots of different people doing amazing things. And you thinking that you need to be excellent at this. Excellent at that. Excellent at that. And I think it’s actually just understanding, like, you can’t be everywhere at once and you can’t be perfect either. And I think that’s really hard. 

[00:22:13] Gem: Yeah, it is. And I think, I think what’s also really important to remember about is. I think especially Instagram is a lot of Instagrammers who are, i’m not, not talking and about like your mates who are on Instagram or whatever, you know, the people earning a living from social media, um, It is their job. It is their job too. And they become almost like a brand. If that, if that is their brand to, um, show, um, like motherhood or if it’s a mummy blogger or something like that. And maybe they’re working with, um, supermarkets or, you know, other companies, it is their job to portray their lifestyle in a way. That makes the people who are consuming their content want to buy the product they’re advertising and it’s it’s, you know, it is their job.

[00:23:05] You know, if someone was advertising, I dunno, just pick something at random. Someone was advertising a vase. Right. And they took, and they were getting paid by vases.com and their living room was a mess. And there was a burping cloth with baby sick down it next to the vase.  It’s not aesthetically pleasing and people would be like whatever, but you know, if it was a good shot and it was staged just like in any magazine or any advert on the telly.

[00:23:29] And I think it’s so easy to get sucked in to this imagery, like I was when social media didn’t exist when I was pregnant. Thank God. But like, you know, cause it would have just made everything a thousand times worse, but it’s so easy to get sucked into this. Well, like you said, if they’re doing it, why can’t I, and because it.

[00:23:53] You you can’t because it’s not real life. And like you said, you might be looking at someone who’s got an immaculate house and one picture the next picture down the feed. It’s some fitness influencer who, you know, is drinking green tea. After, after doing hot yoga in the morning, they have two completely different lives, but all of a sudden your brain has gone. Not only do I need to have a perfect house, I also need to have a perfect body. I’ll be up at 5:00 AM and doing hot yoga. And this is all too much to cope with. It’s really difficult. 

[00:24:22] Carla: It is. It is. And it is, I mean, social media is great in some ways. I mean, obviously, you know, it’s inspiring, isn’t it looking at people and there’s so many good things to it, but I do think, yeah, you want a bit of everything, don’t you? I mean, I’ve got, I’ve actually got Michelle Keegan saved on my screensaver at the moment because to stop me eating after lockdown. So the other day it was so embarrassing. I actually went to the car park, went to pay and this man before me, he was trying to pay and his card, didn’t work. And I said, I’ll pay that for you. Cause I’m trying to do one nice thing a day at the moment. Anyway, I went put my phone there and he was like, Oh, Oh, I said, Oh, it’s Michelle Keegan. I said, Oh no, I’m not. I’m, its just so hard to explain. But anyway, so for good things, you  know, it can work in a good way, looking at all these, all these amazing people.

[00:25:12] Um, but also I think, you know, when you’re not feeling a hundred percent on everything, I mean, it’s this morning I woke up at six. And I was like right I need to clean, but then I also need to exercise and then I also need to get ready for George for school. And you just don’t know which direction to go in sometimes.

[00:25:30] Gem: No, and it is, it’s your brain just suddenly becoming so overwhelmed then it almost, and I actually did an Instagram post about this yesterday because I very oddly, like I never expected this to happen. So obviously I started TOMM because I was over cleaning, but over this last period of lockdown, my mental health has just done something that it’s never done before. And it’s just like, my brain has gone into this fog that I just, I wake up in the morning. And it’s like where has the motivation gone? My motivation  has just left. So I’m now using TOMM to motivate me to clean and it’s just, it’s just really. Weird. And I kind of feel like I’m seeing it from the other side, because there’s two main groups of people who use TOMM.

[00:26:21] There’s people that over clean and that are using it to curb their over cleaning. And then there’s the people who just don’t know where to start. So maybe their house has been neglected. Maybe they’ve been ill or they’ve been a carer, or they’ve just, the housework has just been so low down on the priorities that they haven’t even registered it. And. Yeah. And I’m now, I’m just like, okay, this is, this is, this is brand new. This is a brand new situation. And it, thank God, it’s it, you know, it works. It’s still working, but from the other side.

[00:26:50] Carla: That’s amazing. Well, at least, you know, it works, you know. Thats great. But, so, so when you sat down and you created this, uh, amazing, amazing app, um, Tell me, like what, how did you know what it was going to turn into?

[00:27:06] Gem: Oh God the app. It’s like the most stressful thing in the world. Um, Mike and I, um, my husband. Uh, uh, you know, we love each other dearly. We all kind of, we are soulmates. That the first app that we, um, released, we almost, we almost got divorced.

[00:27:25]Carla:  Oh, really? 

[00:27:26] Gem: It was so stressful. Cause I said to him. Let’s build an app, like that, and I literally, I’m not techie in any way. I’m like, which, which plug does this go in? Like, you know, and, and he is. Very, you know, he knows what he’s doing and he’s like, I’ll, build it for you’re darling. I was like, Oh thanks. And so we had no team behind us. And, um, we launched that a couple of years ago and I was so naive. I had no idea that so many lovely people would download it and it just. Crashed. And it took us about four months to fix it. Um, so I have a love, hate relationship with that app. 

[00:28:04] Carla: Oh, I, well, I do, I do love it actually. That’s what I first listened to you, but it was a recommendation from one of our area managers actually. And she said, You need to get this app. And she, a first of all, listen to the book and I listened to your audio book and it was amazing, really inspiring. And it did make me chuckle as well. Um, but then, um, I got the app and, uh, gosh, I absolutely loved it. It’s just given me a new lease of life, really. Um, but. You know, I used to be person that used to avoid housework and now like, you know, then I got obsessed with it. Cause I get obsessed with things, you know, once I’m deciding I’m doing something, it’s like the other month I was like, right, I’m going to start reading. Instead of reading, I ordered 15 books, you know, it never happened. They came they’re still in the packaging. It just, you know, I get a bit obsessed. So when I, um, got your app. Oh, my goodness. I was like in my element, but it meant that I could actually have a bit of a break and time away, guilt, free time away from cleaning as well, which is important.

[00:29:05] So, so, you know, when you created it, Gemma. And you actually, did you just sit down at the table and, and draw up this plan then? 

[00:29:13] Gem: Yeah, I did. I, it was, it was, it was on a scrap. It was on like a, just a scrap  bit of paper. And I’m really wishing, you know, in, in hindsight, I really wish I had kept it. I’d have probably framed it or something. I, but obviously it was, it’s long, long, long, long gone now, but I never, ever expected it to. To be what it is. I always expected it to be something, it was so private and, you know, people used to take the Mickey, you know, with me like friends and family. Cause they knew it was like kitchen day or whatever. I never really spoke about it to anybody. And it was, it was actually Thomas it’s very confusing because Tom, Thomas, my son was the newborn that kicked it all off. And um, when I named it, The Organised Mum Method. It was so tongue in cheek, because it was something that I was aspiring to be, you know, and I never thought I would. And then it was the acronym was Tom and it was something like, it just seemed too good, an opportunity to not, to not take up. But he dared me to talk about it on Instagram and it was one years eve and we were doing our new year’s resolutions. And he said, I dare you to talk about you cleaning online. Cause I’m quite a competitive person. And um, because my, like my eldest, had dared me to do it, I was like, well, I’m going to do it now. I’m going to be an example. And I’m going to set an example for my child. Um, and I fully anticipated that it would just fizzle out, like after about 10 weeks and I could quietly just shut the account down and no one would ever talk about it again, it was just that during that time, when mum tried to be an Instagrammer?

[00:31:03] Um, but yeah, it took off and it was, it was. It was really weird. And I think at the beginning, some people, I don’t get it so much now, but some people struggled with the name and the concept. And I think some people thought it was, um, quite a sexist concept. And, um, it was like dragging women back to the 1950s, because I mean, there are obviously, cleanings a big thing now on Instagram, but when I started it really wasn’t like it, it was just. Not what it is now in any way. And. No one really spoke about it. And I think that was the thing. This cleaning was one of those things that you always had to do, unless you could afford to pay someone to do it for you, but no one really spoke about it anymore. And I found that with my generation, I went to an all girls school and we were, you know, we had it really rammed into us that we could be anything that we could want us to be. We could be lawyers, doctors, you know, there’d been this. You know, feminist revolution and, you know, we’d got the vote and it was up to us to go out and be pioneers and dah, dah, dah, dah. And there was so much focus on that, that we just like learnt how to sew a cushion in design and technology, which, you know, I’ve never sewn a cushion since.

[00:32:22] Um, and we learned how to make a Cornish pasty. Oh, it was nice. It was really nice. That was a good day at school. And no one really, no one really taught me how to yeah. You know, battle lime scale, or, um, how to do your laundry in an efficient way because it, it, it wasn’t forward thinking enough. 

[00:32:46] Carla: Yeah.

[00:32:47] Gem: For the girls of the nine, of the 90s. 

[00:32:49] Carla: Yes. It’s almost gone the other way where you’re not allowed to discuss those things. Some people don’t like you discussing like women discussing cleaning, which almost then makes it, it’ll just keep doing a U-turn sometimes doesn’t it, you’re not allowed to when it’s like, well, actually some, some mums, a lot of mums I know. The mums i know, actually, uh, through circles of friends, we are the cleaners in our house. Uh, there are some dads, I know, that do it. But you know, at the end of the day.

[00:33:18]Gem:  Well, it’s facts. It, you can’t escape facts and the facts are, I mean, listen, I am a proper feminist. I am raising three boys. My husband does his fair share. We all share the cleaning. Some, in some households. That’s not what happens and that, that might be by choice, you know, and it’s, and it’s not, uh, you know, it’s not us to judge, but 98 and this is not a made up statistic. 98% of the women. Um, uh, sorry, the people in my Facebook group are female. Now. Some people say, well, that’s because you’re a female and they, you know, and it’s called The Organised Mum.

[00:33:58] So like, chances are you are going to attract more females, but I would absolutely love it if it was a 50 50 split. 

[00:34:07] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:34:07] Gem: And what happens is, and this is something that. I’ve seen time and time and time again, like when I was an antenatal teacher, I used to then do postnatal classes as well. And what happens is in many cases, not all, obviously, I don’t want to caveat that. People will take maternity leave. So women will take maternity leave because. That is in many cases, it’s the majority of the cases the woman. So will take maternity leave and all of a sudden, while she’s on maternity leave, all of, the other jobs that go along with running a house suddenly get lumped in. To her remit her sphere, whether or not that’s because she can’t stand, sitting and feeding the kid, looking at the laundry. So it’s just easier to go and fold it. And then it’s such a slow creep that her partner may be just going out, doing, working. When, if she wants to go back to work, there then comes a really awkward conversation because for the last, however, many months to a year, the other person who’s been still going out to work and not taken leave has not had to deal with the house as much. And then it’s like, can we redress the balance? And it’s really awkward.

[00:35:19] Carla: Yeah. And it can cause arguments it definitely can.

[00:35:21]Gem:  It really does. I mean, we have to be so careful in the Facebook group because A its the internet…

[00:35:28] Carla: Yeah it scares me.

[00:35:31] Gem: Anyone weighs in. But like, we have to be careful because you can have a, you know, a woman that’s really at her wits end because she feels really put upon that she does everything in the house. And it’s really difficult to try and moderate that in a way that she feels heard and she gets the advice that she needs without it turning into just another thread on the internet, where people are just bashing men for being lazy, because that is just such a generalisation. My, my husband is like the opposite. He does. He does so much to help in the house, but everyone’s situation is different and it just cause so many arguments.

[00:36:07]Carla:  Exactly it really does and that’s it. And I think sometimes even the night feeding, we had a bit of a thing around that because one of my friends, her husband would do it like during the night, because he was up more and his, he worked for himself. But then I was like, I admit I was, said to my husband. I was like, well, he does the night feeds. Why can’t you do the night feed? So in the end, we found a compromise where he did it on a Tuesday and a Friday, which actually worked really well because it meant I had a night, a full night’s sleep to look forward to, you know, two points in the week, but it is, everyone is so different and everyone’s got different things that they can cope with and things that they want to do. So, no, I totally get that. 

[00:36:48] Gem: And also every, everyone’s got different levels of cleanliness as well, and it’s very. It’s very unusual to end up with someone who has like the, exactly the same standards. This is, the majority of the case is someone who’s either a little bit more tidy than the other person. And it’s the person that’s a little bit more tidy that usually breaks first, and is like Oh, I I’m going to go and tidy up because I can’t cop anymore and the other person’s like what? It’s fine. It’s fine. And they genuinely don’t see it cause it’s not reached their threshold yet. 

[00:37:18] Carla: No, I know. That’s it. And I imagine most of the arguments around house, the house are about cleaning. 

[00:37:24] Gem: Yeah. 

[00:37:25] Carla: Um, but Gemma, can you tell us a bit about, obviously without sharing too much, because I want people to check out your amazing method, et cetera, but can you tell us a little bit about how it works and the structure of it?

[00:37:38] Gem: So, it’s. First things is we try as much as possible to keep weekends completely free. So like my, um, little phrase that we stick by is there’s more to life than housework, so we weekends are meant to be kept for fun stuff with the family or hobbies and that sort of thing. So that means over the week, you have a set day, which is assigned to each weekly day. So Mondays are living rooms. Tuesday is bedrooms. Wednesdays hallway. Thursday is kitchen, and then Fridays, we have a deep clean in a different area. So it works on an eight week rolling schedule. So every Friday for eight weeks, you’ll go and deep, clean. The living room or you’ll go and deep clean the bathrooms.

[00:38:27] So what that does is that tackles what I used to be guilty of when I was over cleaning. Of just becoming fixated on the same thing, like just hoovering all the time or polishing the taps in the bathroom all the time. Because when you go to that one level deeper on a Friday, we call it the Friday focus. You are not just doing surface cleaning. You’re like moving the sofa, or you’re doing a little bit of decluttering. So over the each eight week rolling cycle, your house just becomes progressively cleaner. And what many most people find is that when they start the first couple of weeks, There are like I, I could never do this. I could never clean my kitchen in 30 minutes. This is just too much. So we always say, just do, look at the list of jobs as  like a pick and mix. Like it’s just a default suggestion. Cause obviously I don’t know what you’re, these people’s houses are like. Like, I don’t know the lay of the land in their house. Just do the most urgent ones.

[00:39:22] And over time it will just get quicker and quicker and quicker. And it’s funny because people will message me and say, when I first started, I used to look at this list and laugh and like now I’m four, five weeks in, and I’ve been consistent with it and it’s just taken me 21 minutes to clean the kitchen. And I never thought I would get to this. So the whole premise is, it’s little and often every day, but not weekends. And over the course of the eight week rolling cycle, it just, you just chip away, chip away, chip away, and it just becomes cleaner and cleaner.

[00:39:55]Carla:  That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. I personally, I’ve used that. I’ve obviously told you all that, but I found it really, really useful, a good way to, like you said, just stay on top of things. So actually you get that surprise visitor, obviously not at the moment, but you get that as a surprise visitor.  And it’s not like, cause I used it, the doorbell would ring and I’d have literally fabreeze, everything like, you know, or you’d get someone saying, right, I’m just around the corner from yours. And you’re like, Oh shit!

[00:40:23]Gem:  What do I do first get dressed. What do I do? Yeah.

[00:40:27]Carla:  And that is it. So this has been a lot better because now. Well, not now, hopefully soon when people do actually turn up or, you know, I’m not good with people that just turn up at the house. So I don’t know about you. Why I honestly freaks me out.

[00:40:42] Gem: No I can’t cope.

[00:40:42] Carla: I pretend not to be in sometimes actually, to be honest with you. I kind of have a look through the spy hole, but it just depends who it is, but if I’m not feeling it, um, it’s not getting answered. But, um, with the, um, With that, it’s just a case of kind of not feeling. I mean, I don’t know before, what would happen to me is I have to have these random, big cleaning sprees. No one would ever come round. And then as soon as that house is horrendous, it’d be like *knocking sounds. I just be like oh for god sake. 

[00:41:16] Gem: Its sods law.

[00:41:17] Carla: Yeah. So it’s a good way. This of just basically staying on top of everything. Like you said, for 30 minutes a day and you have your playlists and stuff like that. Don’t you? Where you can kind of have a 30 minute playlist. 

[00:41:28] Gem: So that the music is all, I’m going to, this is not like unique to me, but music has always been really important to me. And I always find that if I’m kind of feeling a little bit low or not really feeling it, the right playlist, can turn my whole day around. But if I get, if I’m in, like really bad traffic and the right song comes on, I’m like, this is absolutely fine. This is fine. This is fine. So those playlist again, they were like something that I it’s, it’s funny actually, because I, I create those playlist every week. I like sit down on a Friday. It’s like my, one of my favourite jobs during the week. I’ll sit down and I’ll go through my playlist. I’ll create five for the next following week. And I never really. Think about anyone listening to them because I just choose the songs that I like. Yeah. I am of a certain vintage. So that I’m forty so, like, it’s not, I couldn’t tell you who is in the charts these days. 

[00:42:26] Carla: Oh I couldn’t.

[00:42:27] Gem: So, no, I just it’s just like old school, like stuff. Anyway and, um, a couple of weeks ago, Spotify, because I do them on Spotify launched a brand new, like they had an update on their app and it broke the link from my app to their app. And we suddenly realised how many thousands of people were listening, because we suddenly got so many help desk tickets on the customer service help desk. We were like  oh my god people actually listen.

[00:42:54] Carla: Yeah i bet you forget.

[00:42:57] Gem: Yes Gemma people listen. It’s like when you do podcasts or something, it’s like you’re talking and you sort of get caught up in it and you don’t think that, someone’s actually going to listen. 

[00:43:05] Carla: You don’t do you? You just kind of get on with it. And then sometimes like the other week I was outside Georges school and a lady was like, hiya, you alright? I love that podcast. I was like, uh? Who are you? Like you just don’t know, you forget don’t you because the internet is amazing. Isn’t it? And you forget. 

[00:43:20] Gem: Yeah thats the thing, it always makes me jump because I think. I was in Tescos last summer when we were allowed out, we’ve been to Thorpe Park and, um, I was so sweaty. Um, and I forget that I do things on like Instagram and YouTube and people watch it. And this lady came up to me and it wasn’t in our local shop. And she came up to me. She was like, hello. And I just went hello? I was like do I know this lady? And then she explained, and I was like, Oh, Oh, I’m really sweating. I’m so sorry. Thomas was like, why did you say that? I was like I dunno I panicked.

[00:43:59] Carla: Oh I know, Oh yeah. You have to say something though. That’s why with this podcast. I mean, sometimes I have to reign myself in cause to just talk too much, but it’s, it’s always, Oh, I don’t know when people kind of catch you off guard. I always say something stupid or I spit or something like that. You know, when I’m talking, I’m just like, Oh yeah. And then I dribble or something nothing. And I think why did I even speak? What was the point? So, yeah, totally get that. So, so Gemma, you, you are also bringing out your very own journal aren’t you? So can you tell us a bit about that? 

[00:44:34] Gem: Yes. Okay. So for years, team Tomm. That’s what we call people that follow The Organised Mum Method have been saying, bring out a journal, bring out a journal. And I was like no, no, no. And in then the end, they, they broke me. They broke me and like the publishers said, shall we do it? I think people want one. I was like, Oh, okay. They twisted me arm. But it was really important to me that I just didn’t go into a room and created the sort of journal that I would use, I needed it it’s a real collaborative effort.

[00:45:03] So I went onto the Facebook group and I was like, if, if we were going to produce a journal, what would you want in it? And like, so everyone just waded in and come up with their suggestions and it’s re it’s, it’s fantastic actually. Cause it’s, it means that we know that we’re what we’re putting in people are A actually want, but B will actually make it useful. Because I don’t know about you, but there was. In the past, I will buy like a blank notebook and I’m like, now this is the start of something amazing. It’s a whole blank canvas. And I fill out two pages and I’m like oh whatever. 

[00:45:39] Carla: Yeah. I’ve got loads in the drawer, but my problem is the messy handwriting. If I cross things out, I don’t want to use it anymore and it’s gone. So I have got loads.

[00:45:48] Gem: Oh I like that. I like it when it looks used. But yeah, half used notebooks.  So it’s really important to me that this journal actually gets used. Um, so yeah, it’s coming out in September. Um, we’re sort of still putting the finishing touches to it and, um, I’m writing little bits for little parts in it still. 

[00:46:06] Carla: Is it for cleaning directly for cleaning or a bit of everything?

[00:46:10] Gem: So it’s a bit of everything. So it sort of combines, um, the organised times technique with the organised mum method. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s very interactive so people can, can make it their own. I don’t wanna say too much because I’m trying to, I’m trying to twist their arm on something that will make it absolutely phenomenal, but they’ve not, they they’re like. They’re resisting me. At the moment but I’m like, come on, you know, you know that this will just push it into amazing. They’re like, they’re like, Oh, but that’s going to cost too much money. But, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s interactive and it’s, it will be adaptable. So yeah no, it’s not just cleaning and we’ve put a lot of thought into it. Like things like columns, which way should the columns run and like what makes it more usable and things.

[00:46:56] Carla: Oh wow.

[00:46:56] Gem: I know things about journals now that, that you shouldn’t ever have to know. 

[00:47:00] Carla: Yeah. I bet. I bet. Yeah, because of course when, um, there’ll be a lot of mums listening to this. That may be just hard a baby. Or they’re thinking, right. I’m not, I don’t want to go back to work, but I want to create something. And it’s just, it’s interesting to know, like market research is where it’s at. It’s about finding out what people actually want and it’s great you use that community like that. It’s a great group. Um, there’s, everyone said that it’s quite quite funny. Sometimes reading the posts in there. 

[00:47:28] Gem: It’s important to me that group because you know, the internet, like we said is amazing, but at the same time, it’s a double-edged sword. Like there’s, there’s, there’s wallies everywhere you go in life, which means they will be Wally’s on the internet. Um, and, but I kind of, I look at that group and like any all social media, like my front room, really someone someone’s come in and had a chat. So it’s really important that we try and keep that. As nice as possible. It’s, it’s impossible to keep all the Wally’s out 365 days of the year, but you know, we do try our best. And one thing that we are, I am actually really quite proud of is that, um, when the app really took off, I, I was running the help desk on my own. And I was just like, I can’t do this. I can’t handle this. So I have now employed three mums who work from home. They work, they set their own hours basically. And yeah, it just feels lovely to be able to employee mums on their own terms really. Cause when I first became a mum, like I’m sure every, you know, all parents who are trying to fit work around the baby. How many of us have like Googled part-time work? Part-time work from home.

[00:48:44] Carla: Yeah, 

[00:48:44] Gem: What can I do from home. 

[00:48:46] Carla: Yeah. Anything from home.

[00:48:49] Gem: And thats what got me into writing. Cause cause when I was, I mean, I had an English degree. I’ve always loved writing, but when I, um, became a single mum. I was like I need to, earn money. I can’t go out to work because, um, the kids were really young still and I couldn’t afford childcare. So I needed something that I could do in the evenings. Um, and I just signed up to like a load of freelance writing sites and I used to, you know, produce 300 aritcles or, um, Airport car parking. 

[00:49:20] Carla: Yeah.

[00:49:21]Gem:  And I was like oh this is so dull  but it, you know, paid the bills. 

[00:49:26] Carla: Yeah, exactly. That’s it. And I think sometimes it’s just, I mean, yours, it’s inspiring because your journey similar to mine, actually, My Bump 2 Baby was born from me getting postnatal depression after, after having my little one. And it’s funny because when you’re at that all time low, sometimes that is when something amazing is created as well. Um, and I think.

[00:49:49] Gem: Because it’s born out of necessity. I think, you know, you needed it at that time. So you’re filling, and you’re fulfilling a need. That other people will have. I think that’s what  it is.

[00:50:00] Carla: I think you’re right there. It is because  a lot of mums end up kind of working for themselves, don’t they in producing these amazing like businesses and, and these amazing products and it’s because they’ve needed it. So you’re absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So Gemma, any top tips to leave us with?

[00:50:18] Gem: Yes. The first one is, I’ll give you a couple. So the first one is more of like a philosophy and this is something that it took me ages to wrap my head around and is something that I still have to remind myself of daily is that there’s a massive difference between a home that’s just a little bit messy cause people live there and it’s lived in and a home that is genuinely filthy dirty. Um, and you know, your kid might be playing. You clean the house, its  living room day it’s Monday, you’ve done your 30 minutes in the living room. And then in the afternoon, your kid, you look into living room there’s loads of toys and it’s just surface mess. And it’s because you have, your family are living in that house. So that’s for me, the first thing is, is to really remember and recognise that if you’ve done 30 minutes cleaning, if you’ve, you know, if, if you, if you’ve done cleaning for your day, you have done enough and everything else is just life mess. That can be, you know, reasoned away like that. 

[00:51:20] And the practical tip that I would say is, um, if you are in a state with your house and you feel like you don’t know where to start, it’s full of clutter. Um, what always seems to work for people is choosing the two rooms of the house where you can make the, the biggest difference, the quickest. So for me, that is like maybe the kitchen or the living room. So the rooms that you are going to see all of the time, because once you start to make a little bit of progress, it will turn something on in your brain. Even if it’s the tiniest amount of progress, you will feel like you’ve achieved something. And that is highly likely to spur you on and do something else. So if I was, if I had to walk into a house and I was helping someone do like a massive declutter. I’d be like, right. Which rooms we’re going to choose one room, or we’re going to choose the room where we can make the biggest difference the quickest. Not the spare room, you know, not the loft, you know, the room where you will walk in and go, wow. Okay. This looks different. Um, and just tackle things little bit at a time. Even if you’ve only got 10 minutes just say, right, I’m going to do that bookcase. And just do the book case. Don’t pull the whole room apart, just stick to certain zones of the room, because otherwise you’ll end up in that awful situation where you’ve literally pulled everything out. And everything is everywhere. And you’re just like what have I done, what I’ve done? And just close the door and leave. 

[00:52:51] Carla: Yeah. Sleep in the other room. I’ve done that in my bedroom, before I emptied all the wardrobe out. And then I thought, Oh, I’m not sleeping in here. Just sleep in the spare bedroom because you just run out of energy. Don’t you? 

[00:53:02] Gem: That it, it’s just one cupboard, one cupboard at a time, one bookcase, one wall at a time. That’s how I tackle it. 

[00:53:09] Carla: I love that. No, thank you so much, Gemma. Really, really appreciate you coming on here. Can you just tell everyone where they can find you and we will obviously put your links in the show notes.

[00:53:18] Gem: Yeah. So, um, on instagram, it’s The Organised Mum. On Facebook. It’s The Organised Mum and also there’s some YouTube videos, but  that’s not called the organised mum, that’s called Gem Bray because I was just, you know, feeling a little bit fancy. 

[00:53:34] Carla: Yeah brilliant. No, that’s perfect. I’ll put those links all on there and the link to the app and also they can pre-order the journal now if they want.

[00:53:43] Gem: Yeah, they can pre-order it. Yeah thats out in September.

[00:53:44] Carla: Ill put the link to that on there as well. Okay. Thank you so much. 

[00:53:48] Gem: Thank you, have a great day.

[00:53:51] Carla: You too.

[00:53:53] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Fifty Shades of Motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.

[00:54:17] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help or the people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.

[00:54:39] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address. Is carla@mybump2baby.com. And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades.

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Life after Lockdown https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/life-after-lockdown https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/life-after-lockdown#respond Sat, 17 Apr 2021 20:06:11 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1178 “It was a shock to the system when I had to put a bra on and do the school run!”
Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to Janina Brocklesby about their feelings and possibly anxieties about life after lockdown and how lockdown has made them reflect on aspects of their life.

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  • Life after Lockdown

“It was a shock to the system when I had to put a bra on and do the school run!”

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to Janina Brocklesby about their feelings and possibly anxieties about life after lockdown and how lockdown has made them reflect on aspects of their life. 

You can find Janina’s work below:

Instagram: @janinabrocklesbyphotography

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/janina.brocklesby

Website : www.janinabrocklesby.com

Carla: Unfortunately in life, things happen that we have no control over, which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family in case the worst should happen, please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bills.

[00:00:30] If you have not got protection, please think about it. We insure our mobile phone. We insure our household appliances. We ensure our pets. Why don’t we insure ourselves, please, please. Today. Go to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal and find your nearest financial advisor or family protection specialist. It is so important that you were covered. Should the worst happen. 

[00:01:05] Are you looking for groups and classes for your little one? Perhaps you’re looking for pregnancy classes for yourself. My Bump 2 Baby is the UK is leading pregnancy to preschool directory to find your nearest pregnancy to preschool group, class, lesson or service head over to www.mybump2baby.com. You can also read our reviews on the latest products, days out and services.

[00:01:55] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. This week, I am joined by the lovely Janina and Janina is a mum of two, and we are going to be talking all about the ease of lockdown, the restrictions being slowly lifted. How do we feel? How have we felt during lockdown what’s changed in our lives during lockdown? Basically, we just cover all of that in this open, honest mum chat around motherhood. Hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:47] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Today, I am joined by the lovely Janina who will be sharing, we’ll be talking all about lockdown and life after lockdown. And do you know I’ve done one of these, before Janina what I thought we were coming out of lockdown and we weren’t and we went back in and now I’m even heavier.

[00:03:10] So how were you Janina? 

[00:03:12] Hi, Carla. 

[00:03:13] Janina: How are you? It’s early morning. I’m all right. I had my coffee now, so 

[00:03:17] Carla: I’m up.

[00:03:18] I know thats it. I’ve got my coffee in my hand and do you know this morning I’m actually realised how soon we’re going to be opening up and we’re going to be kind of seeing friends and stuff. So I’m on coffee with almond milk and I’ve just, you know, after being a pig for, for months in fact a year. And this isn’t tasting too good. So yeah. How’s how has your life been when lockdown started? I mean, you’re a photographer aren’t you Janina is so?

[00:03:47]Janina:  Yes, I’m a wedding photographer. So I’ve been hit quite hard, uh, from work perspective. Um, and sadly, I’m one of these who never qualified for any government help. So it’s been hard from that point, but when the lockdown hit, I obviously dealt with my clients first, but I really took a step back and kind of enjoyed the life. Sounds quite weird, but we had really good weather on beginning though. Didn’t we? So, um, first six months, I would say I probably spend in a garden with a food and wine in my hand.

[00:04:24] Carla: Same, same. It keeps, the thing is in the first six months though I started like, you know, drinking about four o’clock and a honestly week by week it got early, it was like, Oh, it’s. 12. Why not open it, we’re gonna open it anyway.

[00:04:38]Janina:  I think it was, it’s something obviously, which we never experienced before and yeah. It was really hard as it was. So, so I think any kind of pleasure we could have bring to it, it’s probably a good thing that we did always would end up seriously depressed and sad, which probably most of us did at some point anyway. 

[00:04:56] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I bet with your work. I mean, the thing is Janina, you are always kind of sharing your work you’re really passionate about your photography. You’re an amazing photographer. And, um, and I think. You know, sometimes taking that step back, it’s quite scary to what it’s going to reveal, because for me, when I had to do it, I was like, that’s when all my health anxiety started and everything like that came out. And I think for so long, I’ve been kind of hiding behind work. To stop any of that kind of feelings and thoughts and stuff that I didn’t actually realize. And then all of a sudden I kept getting these panic attacks and stuff. And it’s, it’s really strange taking that step back sometimes. 

[00:05:35] Janina: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, when, for the, probably for the first few weeks, obviously I had to deal with all my clients to make sure that side is covered. And I did quite smoothly in that. You know, I’ve got some absolutely amazing brides and grooms who understood, my situation. And I think I’ve lost one couple, but that’s purely because they actually own wedding venue as well. So we couldn’t match the dates for them not to be busy work-wise and not having their own wedding and booked weddings at their place. So they’ve actually not rebooked new date because they have no idea what they’re going to do now.

[00:06:09]Carla:  Oh, it’s so sad. It’s so hard. So, so at first, were you like, I mean, I suppose we were all kind of went into this a bit blind didn’t we, I mean, I thought, Oh, it’s a couple of weeks off, you know, and it was quite exciting.

[00:06:22]Janina:  Exactly and I think that’s what hit first. The, the kind of excitement that we are allowed to do nothing. For once in our life, I felt like I’m actually allowed to sit in the garden and enjoy myself without feeling guilty of, Oh, I need to do this. I need to do that because you’re not allowed. Um, Yeah. So I think the excitement hits in.

[00:06:43] Carla: Oh yeah. I know. 

[00:06:44] Janina: I can go lay in the garden. 

[00:06:46] Carla: Well I think at first, at the very beginning, it was like, I was just, you know, I’ve, I’ve put these before, but I was doing, um, Joe Wickes. I was baking. I was, you know barbecue.

[00:06:57] Janina: I think we should finish conversation now. I didn’t do that.

[00:07:04] Carla: Oh do you know Janina thats it, I had a timetable up, this only lasted like one week. I know. And that was it. Then I never did it exercise again and just ate my way through, um, lock down. But it, it was, yeah, at first, obviously it was scary because there’s so many people and you’re hearing all of these terrible stories about these people dying. It was actually. Really weird watching the, watching the TV and Boris Johnson on there being like, and then he caught it. Do you remember? 

[00:07:36] Janina: Oh yes he did didn’t he? Yeah. I mean, actually I’m thinking yeah first few, first week probably I was a little bit on it, like yourself, and then I just thought, well, you know, it’s going to finish soon. Let’s just embrace and enjoy this time with the kids and have some fun within the household. More than stick to, to routine. And I mean, we didn’t have the school. Um, so organised. The first lock down, than this one. Obviously the, the, the recent time the school has been very much on it. A bit too much I would say. Where for the first few weeks it was kind of left all to us. Wasn’t it? 

[00:08:12] Carla: Yeah, it was at first. And I think that was the easier part because once school started giving you a bit of work, then it’s like, you’ve got a job to do when you’ve got to deliver, uh, how many children do you have Janina?

[00:08:24] Janina: I have got two children, a six-year-old and a nine-year-old.

[00:08:27] Carla: Oh gosh.

[00:08:29] Janina: Both school age.

[00:08:30] Carla: Yeah. So did you start getting schoolwork through? Was it, I mean, after a couple of months or weeks?

[00:08:37]Janina:  Um, with the first one, I’ve managed to find quite a good few things online. Some friends send me some teachers, friends send me some good links to certain things. So Grace, my older daughter, she, she enjoyed doing it herself where I had to spend more time with my little boy. Um, but. He wasn’t interested when me trying to homeschool him at all. So actually through the, the recent lockdown, after conversation with head teacher, basically, she made decision to take him on as a vulnerable child. He’s autistic. So he needed that extra support in school. So he actually went to school for the last few. Well, Since January he was at school. 

[00:09:19] Carla: Yeah that’s good because it’s so hard, isn’t it? I mean like for kids, like the difference is this is the home. This is where they relax. And then.

[00:09:27]Janina:  Exactly. 

[00:09:28] Carla: And then, you know, they’re kicking off. I mean, at one point I was thinking, yeah, George is learning, but his teeth are rotting because every time he’s getting something, you know, he’s doing one thing. I’m like, there’s a sweet, there’s a sweet, there’s a sweet, just to stop the kind of. You know, the usual kickoff where he doesn’t really want to do anything.

[00:09:47] Janina: Well like you said for them. We not teachers, you know? So it was hard probably for them more than for us at times. 

[00:09:55] Carla: Yeah, it was, it was. So what did you find that you were doing mainly during lockdown then?

[00:10:01] Janina: Eating. Eating.I need, I need now I need restrictions for my fridge. That’s what I need. Two metre,  restrictions from my fridge freezer. 

[00:10:11] Carla: Oh I know, I know. Well, I was actually thinking it was a great time to invent a kind of lock for the fridge. One that only opens like every, you know, actual set meal times like breakfast, lunch, dinner, because that fridge, honestly, I’m surprised the handle hasn’t been worn away in my house.

[00:10:32] Janina: It could be really clever that you have to literally put your finger and check your sugar levels to actually see if your body needs food or if you are just greedy. That’s something.

[00:10:40]Carla:  I think we’ve come up with something there Janina.

[00:10:43] Janina: I think we did, didn’t we?

[00:10:45]Carla:  Yeah, that’s it, it’s so hard because honestly, I think as well, when you’re around children, And you’re trying to diet. And you know, when you have to kind of blow the food to make sure, well, I do with George, well, I probably just do it, do that anyways, just to smell it. 

[00:11:01] Janina: You just taste everything don’t you.

[00:11:02] Carla: I know, I just have to, I’m like, well, what if these, what if there’s something wrong with this food? I’m going to have to taste it, you know, then when he leaves it on the plate, it’s like, well, you don’t want to go to waste. There’s people starving out there. You know like my mum used to say, um, anyway. Yeah, it just, um, yeah, it’s. It was, I don’t know if you ended up doing much at B&Q, but I used to bump into loads of people at B&Q and The Range. 

[00:11:27] Janina: Yeah, no, actually, because my husband had to work from home throughout whole lockdown and it was from that point of view. Our house actually went a bit downhill because he, we had to convert one of the rooms, bedrooms to his office because he was pretty much all day on a zoom calls on phone. So I had to keep kids away from him and quiet really. So we had to change a few things in the house to literally accommodate that. Um, so sadly my home was not massively improved and I think he needs time of work now to actually change that back to normality.

[00:12:06] Carla: Yeah, that that’s hard. I mean, that, that was quite hard with Danny working from home and stuff. I don’t know about you, but I was a bit envious. I was like, you know, I wanted to be working a bit and I’m like, Oh God, you know, and there’s no where to go was there really? You could go out for a bit of a walk, but you know, there’s nothing really to do.

[00:12:28] Janina: No, no, it was so quiet. The roads were so quiet. It was a quite weird and so strange wasn’t it? Because the second lockdown. Not many people took it seriously. So it was still busy in everywhere. 

[00:12:39] Carla: I know it was actually, yeah. I found that I found that it was, yeah, the roads. I was thinking this isn’t right. You know.

[00:12:47] Janina: Well, funny story, um, in the recent lockdown where it was still like. Don’t go anywhere except work. I had commercial business, the business shoot in Leeds, and it was middle of the week lunch hour. So you would think empty on motorways. And we in a lockdown. Ended up in a mass of traffic. I was really busy and the journey which normally takes me two hours. It took me six.

[00:13:11] Carla: Oh my God. 

[00:13:13] Janina: Yes. I thought, wow, are we really in lockdown? 

[00:13:17] Carla: Oh my god. That’s crazy. So, Janina, how did you find like, you know, homeschooling in general then do you think you’ve got a better relationship with your children since having, um, that time off with them or, or was it really hard? What was your honest opinion of it?

[00:13:39] Janina: Homeschooling I found extremely difficult. I must say, um, English is not my first language and to try to teach, especially a six year old phonics and things like that. I’ve never learned. It was really difficult for me. That’s why we decided to send them to school, uh, or the head teacher. Um, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. I must say the homeschooling, I found it a bit, even too much pressure from the teachers, especially the second time down, because obviously at that point I’ve already. Uh, my work’s been quite busy when it comes to admin to new bookings, to rebooking again from this year to next. So I had to focus a lot on my work as well as homeschooling, as well as. Everything else. Um, certain things I couldn’t do at the time, in the morning at nine o’clock log in, you know, I had to take the computer away and make sure I do deal with my clients because that the money at that point is really important. Um, so I had few emails with the teachers saying, you know, kind of leave me to it because I can’t do everything, you know?

[00:14:42] Um, so yeah, I found that difficult, really difficult and frustrating, I must say. But my relationship with kids actually, you know, when it was nice weather, I thought, well, no, I’m not going to homeschool you today. We’ve got  lovely weather. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s go to the park. We allowed to do that. And in the summer, actually, when everything we thought was slowly going back to normal. We took a lovely little road trip, 6,000 miles in a car. 

[00:15:07] Carla: No.

[00:15:08] Janina: Yes. Up and down the country basically. We went all the way East coast down to East Anglia, Devon. Yeah. All over. So I had a fantastic time.

[00:15:19] Carla: That sounds so lovely. Oh that sounds great.

[00:15:22] Janina: And those two actually in a car really surprised me, especially trip to Devon. Obviously it’s quite a long trip and they didn’t sleep at all for five, five hours. Yeah. They were wide awake, singing happy. Um, yeah, I’ve enjoyed that, that I kind of glad because we would never have that back. They only kids once.

[00:15:45] Carla: Yeah, exactly. And it’s memories that will last forever. 

[00:15:49] Janina: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:15:51] Carla: Yeah. I don’t know about you. I mean you, um, but around Christmas time, did you find that you had family round? Did you do that? Did you embrace that or did you kind of keep it. 

[00:16:03] Janina: Yes we had what we were allowed pretty much. Uh, my mum’s been in my bubble throughout the time. So, uh, well, except the first lock down, we weren’t allowed that point, bubbles, I didn’t see her then, but yeah, we did have a Christmas day, uh, with, with closest family, which was really nice. It was really lovely. And we had the first time in our house. Cause normally we go to my father-in-law. Um, but I don’t remember what was the reason. Um, but we ended up doing it here and it was really nice and relaxing was probably one of the best Christmas. 

[00:16:35] Carla: That’s I said as well. And do you know what I noticed is that I really appreciated it more.  It’s like little things like with my, um, friends, we sat in the garden the other night and it’s like, we’d not been together for ages, well obviously, for a long time. And do you know, I just had such a good night a night, that I’d normally just be like, yeah, yeah. It was good. It was almost like it’s, it’s just empowers even more. How much people mean to you? 

[00:17:03] Janina: Yes. I think that’s, what’s gonna really. Be so much more appreciated the moments with people, the people that actually the first few weeks we’re going to be all over the place. When we allowed to go to pub, allowed, to meet friends.

[00:17:18]Carla:  Literally all over the place.

[00:17:19] Janina: Literally all over the place yeah.

[00:17:24] Carla: Oh no, honestly, do you know what that’s where I’m at at the moment? I think to myself, I wish I had a blooming and started being healthy. Like, you know, at the beginning of the lockdown or at least after Christmas, because I just can’t believe how much I’ve eaten.  

[00:17:38] Janina: So I have put a lot of weight on during first lockdown, I will totally admit it I have put over stone on throughout the first lockdown. But then after Christmas, I kind of saw my calendar and how busy I’m going to get. I thought, do you know what I need to a fit to my wedding clothes. I can’t afford new wardrobe at the moment. Um, and I need to be able to work again for 14, 15 hours. Um, so I did start a little bit, uh, routine of a bit more walks, running and things like that. So I’m trying to be on it, trying, Easter was a bit of a disaster.

[00:18:13] Carla: Yeah. That was hard Easter. Do you know, that’s the day I decided, well, do you know what it was, is I saw a picture my brother put on of me and honestly I must take them from a different angle. You know, where it’s really high up and like you can’t see my multiple chins. Well, you know, my brother took this picture and I thought, that isn’t me. Is that me?. Anyway, he got a message. Take that down. And I thought, do you know what? I literally need to do something. So Easter Sunday is actually when I started  again. Well, for the 15th time this year. But it’s hard though. It’s so hard, but, um, yeah, I, I am looking forward to things getting back to normal, but I’ll be truthful. Part of me, is  a little worried as well, because I used to feel like I was so busy all the time, birthdays, you know, weddings and all that. I mean, weddings, I’m not a photographer, but you know. 

[00:19:07] Janina: Of course friends.

[00:19:09] Carla: Yeah, exactly. And then like now, you know, I almost feel a bit like, I don’t know if I’m ready for all that. I don’t know if I’m ready to get back to how it was before.  I’ve liked being able to kind of just go and then that’s it now I won’t see you for six months. You know, I just, I dunno, I dunno if I’m ready to go full whack back into normal life.

[00:19:33]Janina:  Do you know well, loads of people said that and I think actually they’re, the slow opening done by government. It probably it’s a good way because if it was sudden. Would it be too much? 

[00:19:45] Carla: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I think so.

[00:19:47]Janina:  I mean, I miss my hairdresser massively. What I’ve done, she’s going to kill me when she sees me.  That’s something I’m looking forward sorting. 

[00:19:58] Carla: Yeah. Oh no. Have you been dying your own hair then?

[00:20:01]Janina:  I did. Yeah. 

[00:20:02] Carla: Yeah. I don’t blame you. I’ve left the mine.

[00:20:05] Janina: I’m going to be told off.

[00:20:06]Carla:  Oh yeah, no, I know. Well, the thing is though, you just don’t want to, at least if you’re at home and stuff, you want to look in the mirror and feel okay. Don’t  you?

[00:20:15] Janina: Yes. For the first again for the first few months. I didn’t. But then when we went on a road trip and I wanted some nice pictures with kids and things like that, I just thought, you know, I just need to need to do it. Um, and I think again, just so much grey hair within the last six months is just terrible. I thought, no, I can’t, I can’t walk like that. 

[00:20:35] Carla: No. No.The thing is you want to feel good don’t you as well. 

[00:20:39] Janina: Absolutely. And if those little things make you feel better, why not? 

[00:20:43] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Well, you know, my part of my problem, which I had the other day is I actually tried on some jeans. Now I’ve not worn jeans for a very long time. And honestly, you know, like it took me probably a good. A good seven minutes to get them from my ankle to my body. And I’m lucky I managed to fasten it. Now the zip wont fasten. And I think I’ve bust the zip, but I’m like, do you know what I’ve been just buying and wearing trackies, like all the time. And like, literally it’s like, I just don’t care anymore and I need to pull myself out of it because I’ve just, I don’t know. 

[00:21:25] Janina: I absolutely agree. Literally, I think I’ve been living in the night pyjama and the daytime pyjama. And do you know what? I had a shock to the system. This is funny when I had to put a bra on.

[00:21:37] Carla: Oh yeah.

[00:21:38]Janina:  To go out  for school run. I was like, Oh, now is the time I need to lose some weight. 

[00:21:43] Carla: Oh I know, well that, it’s that back fat for me. That’s what 

[00:21:47] Janina: It’s exactly that, I though that I can feel. 

[00:21:50] Carla: Yeah. Oh, it’s an awful feeling that, isn’t it? Oh, when it’s digging right in as well, not no better feeling then taking your bra off at the end of the day it there?

[00:21:58]Janina:  Oh, absolutely. 

[00:22:00] Carla: But I totally know what you mean. It’s just, um, I think, I don’t know. I think for me like the lockdown, I think George. And, you know, we found some really fun things to do. Like we go zombie hunting now, which is just a walk on the park, but we pretend  everyone else is zombies, which is quite fun. But, um.

[00:22:20] Janina: Thats fun.

[00:22:20]Carla:  Yeah. Well, actually, it’s funny what you do when you improvise when there’s actually nothing, nothing around. But in terms of like getting back to normal. I don’t think things. For me personally, we’ll ever go back to the way they are, because I don’t think I’m as, I don’t think I’ll oblige to everything all the time now. You know, like if you get asked to do, go on birthdays and stuff, if it’s not convenient, I don’t think I’ll be going. You know, whereas I used to really like really try and go out my way to try and make people happy. I think it’s more about making your family happy. Isn’t it? And then anyone thereafter. 

[00:22:58] Janina: But what a great lesson that is really, that is amazing. You know, that what you said there is absolutely gold, I think. 

[00:23:04] Carla: Yeah, I know. Well, I think that’s, we’ve lived in a world where we were always trying to make everyone else happier. Aren’t we? Well, we have been. Yeah. And. 

[00:23:13] Janina: Absolutely. And it’s time to really focus on ourselves a little bit. 

[00:23:18] Carla: It really is. So, so what do you think you’ve learned from lockdown about yourself? 

[00:23:24] Janina: That I probably, that I can really enjoy my own company. I came to the point where I didn’t miss people as much as I thought I would. Obviously spoke to people a lot through zooms and stuff like that. But the, the people who were close to me became closer. For sure. And obviously there was many people who are kind of. Not moved away, but naturally separated. Um, and I know we all busy and I’m sure we were all going to catch up in some point. Um, but I definitely became closer to some of my friends and family members and moved away from some as well naturally, but I probably later learned that I enjoy my own company a lot.

[00:24:09] Carla: Hmm. Yeah, that’s really good that isn’t it? Because I think, you know, when you work so much, like you did before, you don’t actually know what you like on your own, because you never really on your own that often are you?

[00:24:21]Janina:   Yeah. 

[00:24:22] Carla: Always working all the time and stuff. So that’s really good. What do you do for yourself? Do you find time for self care and stuff like that? Or what, what do you enjoy on your own? 

[00:24:34] Janina: Uh, I’ve really enjoyed good long bath for sure. That’s, that’s my really nice treat, which is very rare with kids around, without one of them, at least trying to get to the bathroom and needing something, although there is another toilet in the house and, uh, 

[00:24:51] Carla: I know, yeah, that’s it. George, that’s like George’s calling when I have a bath to come in and do his business literally. And them I’m sat there in the bath like thinking this now I feel like I’m going to smell worse than before I got in.

[00:25:08] Janina: I like a good read. I like just lie down on the sofa and have a good read or go to the beach with, uh, some audio books. Um, Yeah. I love literally just a nice stroll on my own with audio books in my ear. That’s probably my favourite thing. 

[00:25:22] Carla: Yeah. I love a good audio book. I feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone there.

[00:25:26] Janina: Exactly you’ve got a bit of me-time. You’ve got a bit of exercise and you are learning something. 

[00:25:31] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, no, I know exactly what you mean. I think for me, um, I don’t do very well on my own at all. Like with my own company, because my. I think my that’s when I get all these like negative thoughts, like, and you know, I’m trying to currently learn how to switch them off, but when I’m on my own, it’s almost like, Oh, you shouldn’t have said that, or you shouldn’t have done that. Or, you know, like all this oh George should be learning more. You’re not spending enough time with him. You’re not doing this. And if you’re not doing that, and it’s constantly like, beating myself up constantly. So I don’t really actually enjoy my own time. Now I’ve been trying, like I bought a colouring book from home bargains the other day, and I’ve been colouring in a bit there and sometimes when I make myself do it, I enjoy it, but I just feel like, I don’t know. I just don’t. Enjoy it. I did start couch to 5k, which was really good. 

[00:26:24] Janina: Oh, amazing. 

[00:26:25] Carla: Yeah. And I enjoy that because I’m doing something. Um, but what I’ve realised is I’ve got, I never thought I’d see the day of this. You know, I’ve got a bit obsessed with cleaning. Um, honestly, it’s great. Um but.

[00:26:38] Janina: You are welcome to come to my house anytime.  

[00:26:42] Carla: Do you know what it’s a shock to the system really? Because that’s what I think I’ve been doing to keep my mind busy. You know, so I’m not just sat relaxing. Um, but I really do struggle, um, just to sit and enjoy my own company. 

[00:27:01] Janina: I mean, I don’t sit still. That’s, that’s probably issue. I do have, uh, even when I, when we go on holidays, I’m not one of these to lay down by the pool and just lay still. I need to, I’m fidget fingers. Um, but that’s my probably time. That’s how I relax by doing something. 

[00:27:18] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:27:20] Janina: Except the bath time, that’s when I want to be left alone. 

[00:27:22] Carla: Oh, I know. Yeah. That time. Do you listen to an audio in the bath?

[00:27:26]Janina:  No. No.

[00:27:27]Carla:  Do you just have it, do you have anything in the bath?

[00:27:30]Janina:  Um, sometimes I’ll have music on, um, but I’m trying just to literally close my eyes and not fall asleep, but just chill. It’s very rare. Really. Um, obviously with the kids being at home, that kind of, me-time just became a little bit of luxury.

[00:27:46] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Cause we literally had no time did we? 

[00:27:50] Janina: No, no. So when I’ve managed to have me-time, I was like, do you know, I really enjoyed that. I really enjoy being on my own. I was laughing. I was telling the story before about going to Leeds for six hours. One of my good friends literally turned around to me and said, well, at least it’s six, hours of peace and quiet. And I thought, well, yeah, yeah, that’s true. 

[00:28:09] Carla: Yeah. That is true. God. Yeah. Yeah. That is true. Six hours. I bet. That was quite nice at the time. 

[00:28:16] Janina: It was music on, it was belting down as well. So it was quite cozy inside. Warm car heat heating on, on the bum you know?

[00:28:24] Carla: Yes. Oh yeah. Lovely, lovely yeah. I think. Um, a lot of, I mean, a lot of the parents on My Bump 2 Baby, I asked them what their thoughts are quite a lot of people, like I said before, are feeling a bit nervous about getting out there again. Are you nervous about doing weddings photography again? Are you scared you might have forgotten anything or are you excited?

[00:28:46] Janina: I’m super excited. I’ve got quite few pre-wedding shoots. Pre weddings and really within all this time, I did do a lot of online learning. I’ve spent numerous hours trying to improve my photography through learning online. There was loads of workshops. There are loads of things we could work on, and we’ve actually learned to do video as well throughout this time. So I am excited because the, the plans, the, the, my business plan massively changed probably wouldn’t have such a big plans for the future as if not for lock down. 

[00:29:19] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:29:20] Janina: So, yeah, I’m excited.

[00:29:21]Carla:  I think it’s been a really good time to kind of invest in things and time that you wouldn’t normally get. Um, and I think that that’s been, been really, really positive hasn’t it for a lot of people. 

[00:29:34] Janina: Yeah. Yeah. And we had this luxury with a nice weather that I could literally lie down in a garden with a laptop and do online workshop. While I’m tanning and watching kids playing. 

[00:29:43] Carla: Yeah, that’s great. I know it has been, it has been, it’s definitely been a weird time though. Um, have you struggled if you, I mean, you’re quite a positive person, aren’t you Janina, but have you struggled with your mental health during this time? Or did you, did you kind of just feel good throughout? 

[00:30:01] Janina: No, uh, I would love to say I didn’t struggle but I had quite, quiet, bad days many, many times, even yesterday, I had really bad days feeling literally guilty about my home. How disorganised still is, how I can’t get it back to normal, how it used to be. Um, yeah. I had some dark days for sure. And I think it was easy to hide it because we didn’t speak to people. So, you know,  it was like you said, because I come across as such a positive person and I am generally positive, um, but I had some very bad days. And that was, that was shock to me, to myself as well. Probably that’s the, I’ve got that dark sides to me, where I can get really low and crying and don’t even want to speak to anyone. 

[00:30:52] Carla: Mm. Yeah. Do you know, it’s sometimes those people that, um, we can forget about because like I, with my friends and stuff, I’m like, Oh I’m having a crap day. I’ve got a, quite an open person with things like that. So people, you know, you know, I’ll talk about it. Whereas one of my friends who is a really positive person. I’ve never really thought to say are you all right. She’s got a hairdressing salon and, um, and I feel awful for it. But when I met up with her for a walk, we said, um, we said, you know, she was like, I’m really, I’ve really been struggling. And I thought, how insensitive of me not to ask because she never really does struggle. So, and then I felt so guilty, like, cause I thought, Oh God, like you just, some people you just don’t think to ask if they’re okay. Um, and it certainly taught me a lesson really like how I needs to be there more for people.

[00:31:52] Janina: Yeah. I know what you mean because probably. I am that person who not been asked by many if I’m okay, because I’ve always been happy and positive and they probably thought, well, she’s for sure she’s fine. She’s enjoying time with her family and I did, but then the bad days still came now and again.

[00:32:09]Carla:  Yeah, I think the thing is we all get bad days as well.

[00:32:12] Janina: Absolutely.

[00:32:13]Carla:  I think that’s real life, you know, that, you know, it. Mental health or not, you know, everyone, life is, if you didn’t have bad days, you wouldn’t have good days, would you? So.

[00:32:23]Janina:  Absolutely.

[00:32:23]Carla:  And I think, you know, that that’s part of life. Um, but I think there’s, um, I think when you, with the panic attacks and things like that, that people are getting when they’re kind of, there was a lady I was talking to the other day, um, and she was saying about going back to normal life that she’s actually never used to have social anxiety before, but she’s panicking, like she’s worrying, panicking that like about going back to normal life. Like about being around people and stuff like that. And to be honest with you, I can completely get it. 

[00:32:55] Janina: I mean. So funny you mentioned social anxiety because I genuinely never liked crowds. Even though I work obviously in a massive crowd places, weddings are obviously always really busy. I’m hiding behind camera. It’s different. Like I hate shopping. Shopping is literally my biggest nightmare. And throughout the lockdown, uh, Joe was doing, my husband was doing all the shoppings, things like that. Um, But from that point of view, I probably will be a little bit similar. I’m going to hate busy-ness everywhere.

[00:33:31] Carla: Yeah. What is it you hate about it? Just, just, do you think you’ve had a bad experience in the past or do you not, not enjoy like it when it’s busy? 

[00:33:40] Janina: I just don’t enjoy when it’s busy. I could never live in a city. Um, it’s just too much too. I get anxious then it’s not, I’m not anxious about Corona, uh, about catching that at the moment, but it’s just too loud for me and too busy.

[00:33:55] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. See, I love cities. Like I like the busy-ness cause I think  I like people watching. But I love just watching people, but yeah, I know exactly what you mean there. Um, it it’s going to be, I mean, it’s going to be different, isn’t it? I don’t think people will ever take things for granted again. Like hugging. Are you a hugger? 

[00:34:20] Janina: I am hugger, yes, I can’t wait. Yes. I can’t wait to hug some people. 

[00:34:25] Carla: Oh, I know but even then, like how do you know when you can, do you know what I mean? Like once everyone’s got the vaccine, you’re still not allowed to hug people. I don’t know the last time I cuddled my mum and dad and I thing it makes you sad.

[00:34:40] Janina: Yeah. Yeah. I think us as a hugger, suddenly being forced not to hug, it’s quite hard thing to, to. To do. And it’s probably admit that we miss that as well. 

[00:34:53] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I do miss that. It’s just an, but that probably those people that aren’t huggers are like, thanks god.

[00:35:00] Janina: Oh they in heaven.

[00:35:04] Carla: You could always tell someone that’s not a hugger cause when you hug them, it’s like hugging a washing machine. Isn’t it? You know they just like don’t move. Just stood there. No I bet they enjoy they’re enjoying that at the moment. But with your children, do you think, um, anything has changed in, in terms of their education. Do you feel like you’re worried about where they’re up to with the education or are you not so worried about that? 

[00:35:30] Janina: I think they catching up quite well with, uh, from what I can see, um, my daughter, she, she loves her reading. So from that one, I know she actually read probably more than, uh, than she would if she went to school. Um, I’m sure they’re going to catch up and bounce back from it. You know? I feel sorry for teachers, really sorry for teachers, because obviously they have to deal with. Children who had very strong homeschooling and those who didn’t, uh, probably like my own really, um, but, um, you know, that they, they fast learners, and I think that the time their mental health was so important to look after. They didn’t see their friends, we are generally social creatures. And for me, their mental health was more important than education throughout the lockdown. And I thought if we can do some fun things, because they miss their friends so much. I’d rather do that, then sit them in front of a computer. Yeah. Trying to force to teach something, which is probably doesn’t even sink in.

[00:36:32] Carla: No, no, exactly. I mean, I, that’s one thing for me where like with George, because he’s an only child, uh, while I was working or replying to things, I just feel so guilty. Cause he literally had no one to play with him. He’s quite shy as he’s already. So if you say to him, hi George, like sometimes he’ll. Won’t shut up, and other times he won’t even like speak. So, so I was a bit worried about how we was going to be after that really. And I, I mean, he’s back at school, he seems to be absolutely fine. Um, but when they’re an only child, you just kind of worry that like they’ve got. They’re going to just not be very social or that he’s lonely inside and I’m not spending enough time with him. Cause I’m trying to do work around him and stuff like that. Um, that that was a challenge. 

[00:37:20] Janina: Oh, that’s that’s I can imagine that’s really hard for you because yeah. When the, when the, when the. When they’re on their own, it’s so important for them to, to be around other children. I think this is why schools, you know, when they opened, I was all, let’s get them to school because it’s really important for them to be around other children. I mean, my two start to fight a lot. They fight probably from the second they wake up and that’s a shame really that, that created within a lockdown because they’ve been so much to just two of them. Uh, but then they would, they love each other to bit as well. 

[00:37:54] Carla: That’s  part of the fun when you are a sibling, though, I remember me and my brother had some awful arguments.

[00:38:00] Janina: Do you know what? I’m laughing because Grace was, uh, I was always saying to Grace, don’t, you know, don’t be nasty to your brother. Cause one day he’ll give you back and the day has come. So now she’s like, Oh, he hit me. I’m like, well, I did tell you two years ago to be nice to him. 

[00:38:14] Carla: Yeah. Exactly. 

[00:38:15] Janina: I loved a couple of days ago. Uh, well, not days, weeks before, before Easter, I was walking past school and I saw children playing and it was such a beautiful view, you know, just to see them happy, laughing, running around for, we needed that, you know them to be back in schools.

[00:38:35] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And I love that you said that because I think, um, you know, a year, two years ago, you’d have just walk past that and not even thought about it. 

[00:38:43] Janina: Yeah you wouldn’t even think twice. Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:38:46] Carla: Yeah it’s like at Christmas. I remember just looking at my Dad and my Mum and stuff. And I remember just thinking, God, you know how thankful. But its things that when things move so quickly in life and you’re working and then it’s weekend, and then its this, you just feel like you’re constantly on this kind of. You know, a conveyor belt almost, and you’re not really seeing what’s around you and the beauty of, of outdoors and children, like you said, laughing and playing and all of that. 

[00:39:15] Janina: Yeah. It’s like you said before, it’s just those little things we’re going to appreciate so much more. Oh gosh, locked down. It just seems so weird. Doesn’t it? Do you find yourself? Uh, looking at a calendar when you say something was a year ago or two years ago that you’ve lost it for 2020 for me year ago, it was 2019. 

[00:39:33] Carla: I know, I know I feel like I have lost a year yeah. It’s just trying to keep up with, with everything. But this has been, um, you know, obviously it’s been awful for people that have lost family members and, you know, everything that people have had to go through this last year, but it’s definitely been a learning curve of. Really trying to discover who you are as an individual, really hasn’t it? 

[00:39:57] Janina: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think the most important thing is not to be harsh on each other and be kind to each other, because not to, not to be nasty to, to, or have negative feelings to people who. Haven’t been in touch because like we said before, they might have their own struggles, even if they normally positive or happy people, um, you know, kind of, we need to make it a little bit less about ourselves in a way, when we come out of it to understand that maybe some people really didn’t want to see anyone because they, they enjoyed the family time or other reasons.

[00:40:33] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, I, yeah, I totally agree with that because you just don’t know how much people struggle and some people are talkers and some people just don’t want to really share that and they shouldn’t have to. Um, and I just, yeah, that’s it isn’t it really, it’s just, um, yeah. Being kind, definitely. 

[00:40:51] Janina: Yeah. When we do come out, not to think, you know, Oh, you’ve not spoken to me for a year. So I’m not going to speak to you. It’s it’s not that time. Uh, in the life where this is, you know, testing people really is it it’s its time where we really need to be under understanding to each other. 

[00:41:06] Carla: Definitely. And we don’t have to live in each other’s pockets and, you know, we’re our own person. And do you know what, that’s, what I love about my, my friends is, you know, it can be weeks before I speak to them, I don’t actually speak to them. I’m like, and then, but it’s never like, it’s, Oh, you haven’t spoke to me. Or we all kind of just get on with our own lives and it’s easy. But I have seen quite a few people like, uh, you know, sharing that they’ve not heard from people and stuff like that. I know, but then you just think people are getting on with their own lives. They’ve got their own, they don’t know if they can afford to pay, buy a loaf of bread this week, or, you know, like you just don’t know.

[00:41:45]Janina:  Exactly, exactly.

[00:41:46] Carla: It’s not something people want to share it is?  

[00:41:48]Janina:  Exactly like you were speaking before about you, your hairdresser friend. It’s, it’s just, was so hard for so many people and everyone, every single of us dealt with it differently. 

[00:42:02] Carla: Yeah, exactly, exactly. That’s it. And we’ve all had our own struggles and our own down days. And, you know, everyone has, has, well, I haven’t met anyone yet, not met by the way, just to put that out there. I meant online. I haven’t known anyone yet that hasn’t actually had those days. And sometimes it can be the person that you, you know, you don’t think, um, you know would feel down, does feel down sometimes. And it’s just about supporting each other, isn’t it. And just be like no you’re great. You know, and that’s it. 

[00:42:36] Janina: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That  just to be kind one to another, because this is not easy for anyone. 

[00:42:41] Carla: No, exactly. I mean, I certainly have learned that, you know, I, I think, you know, I love all my dear friends bless them and stuff like that, but I think it’s all about looking after yourself and pleasing yourself. And if, if you, you know, you don’t want to kind of do that, that week, don’t do it, you know, and a lot of the time people don’t mind, you know, but I think sometimes you can try so hard to make other people happy that you end up not making yourself happy. Um, and I think it’s about keeping, keeping that really keeping your family happy and your little unit, because thats your little home. And, um, it’s definitely made me realize, I want to spend a lot more time with George. Um, you know, like not, you know, being kind of out, on the weekend or, you know, out in the pubs’s and things. God, don’t get me wrong. I will be there. But it’s, it’s just kind of finding that perfect balance really. 

[00:43:35] Janina: Yeah. Um, uh, there is, I am a little bit worried where I can’t wait to do photograph weddings again, but I’ve got many weekends where I’m probably away for four days or something like that. And that I’m thinking, Oh, I’m going to miss my children. I’m going to miss my home. I’m going to miss my bed. Yes. I’m going to have great time with the couples and that, but I know that that will hit me. When it comes to it. 

[00:44:00] Carla: Yeah. That, that, that’s what another lady actually said. It’s similar to you. She said she was so worried. She has like, she’s worried that she’s going to really miss her children and there’s going to be a bit of separation anxiety around that, which I can completely understand as well. 

[00:44:17] Janina: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I had a little shoot on Friday and I was literally all day away from home. Um, and it felt weird. Yeah, I thought oh how am I going to do this for longer than a day? Um, I had had a trip to Scotland for work in October, and that was very hard. I didn’t have much Wi-Fi there. So, um, I couldn’t speak to them as much. And probably that was a good thing because if I spoke to them all the time, it would make me quite upset. 

[00:44:45] Carla: Hm, definitely. No, I know what you mean. I think that’s when you feel bad don’t you? When you speak to them, when you just like miss their little voices and stuff, so, Oh, well, yeah. I think we’ve pretty much summarised, lock down, eating, mum guilt, 

[00:45:02] Janina: Leggings, pyjamas.

[00:45:04]Carla:  Leggings, pyjamas or just pyjamas, you know? Um, yeah. So yeah, I think it’s definitely been a challenge, but also in the long run, I imagine it’s gonna make us appreciate life so much more. 

[00:45:19] Janina: Yeah, definitely hats off to those who embrace the whole thing and become fitter and healthier, you know, hats off to those. I definitely haven’t become one of those, but at least I’m aware of it. 

[00:45:31] Carla: I saw some ones before and after pictures and the woman looked amazing. It almost looked like my before and after, but the other way round. I looked and I thought God, like if you did that the other way round, that is me and these people have just done amazing, they’ve used it as a great time to really focus to on them. 

[00:45:51] Janina: Well done to them. Absolutely. Well done to them. 

[00:45:53] Carla: Amazing.

[00:45:54] Janina: Business wise. I’m happy with what I’ve, what I’ve learned, but health wise. 

[00:46:00] Carla: Well, you can’t get it all right, can we?. That’s what I think. I think you have to just. You know, be kind to yourself, you know, if you’re working hard on your business, you deserve a few treats now and again, so, but thank you Janina for, uh, being our guests. And can you just remind people where they can find you and have a look at your amazing photography? 

[00:46:20] Janina: Oh, thank you. So you can find me on Instagram, just at Janina Brocklesby Photography, and the same on the online. Www.janinabrocklesby.com 

[00:46:33] Carla: Brilliant. I’ll put those links in the show notes.

[00:46:35] Janina: Oh thank you.

[00:46:36] Carla: No problem at all. Thanks very much Janina. 

[00:46:39] Janina: It was lovely chatting to you. Thank you very much for having me.

[00:46:41] Carla: Thank you.

[00:46:44] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Fifty Shades of Motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.

[00:47:07] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.

[00:47:29] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address is carla@mybump2baby.com. And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades of Motherhood.

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Everything You Need To Know About Private Pensions https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/everything-you-need-to-know-about-private-pensions https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/everything-you-need-to-know-about-private-pensions#respond Tue, 13 Apr 2021 12:13:19 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1168 Today we speak with Stuart Porter from Periscope Wealth in Altrincham. We discuss everything to do with pensions, from the different types, how to track old pensions and how flexible pensions can actually be.

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  • Everything You Need To Know About Private Pensions

Today we speak with Stuart Porter from Periscope Wealth in Altrincham. We discuss everything to do with pensions, from the different types, how to track old pensions and how flexible pensions can actually be.

To find your nearest financial advisor head to:

www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal 

Read Stuarts article about pension here:

https://www.mybump2baby.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-a-personal-pension

You can contact Periscope legal at:

Website: https://periscopewealth.co.uk

Telephone: 0161 416 6572 

Email: info@periscopewealth.co.uk 

Carla: This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby Family Protection and Legal Directory to find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal. 

[00:00:21] Do you love the idea of being your own boss? What about saving money on childcare? Because you can actually work flexibly around your family.

[00:00:33] My Bump 2 Baby is rapidly expanding and we are looking for people to run their own pregnancy to preschool hubs in their local area. Full training is provided, ongoing mentor support, fantastic regular team incentives. A bonus scheme, uncapped commission, review products for free and review days out too.

[00:01:02] If you are interested in being the, my Bump 2 Baby manager for your local area, email us business@mybump2baby.com .Limited space available.

[00:01:28] Hello and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to preschool.

[00:01:50] Today, we are talking all about a very important subject that many of us forget about. Many of us mums end up working flexibly in different jobs around our families and leaving jobs behind. And sometimes what that can mean is actually leaving pensions behind as well. Pensions that we’ve actually paid into for a very, very long time.

[00:02:14] So today we’re going to be talking all about pensions and what pensions are, what the different pensions are, the benefits of paying into them and how flexible they can actually be. Today. My special guest is Stuart Porter from Periscope Wealth Limited.

[00:02:41] Hello everybody and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert Podcast. Today we have Stuart Porter, a financial advisor who works at Periscope Wealth Limited in Altrincham in Manchester. Hello, Stuart.

[00:02:58]Stuart: Hello there, Carla. How are you? 

[00:02:59] Carla: I’m very well, thank you. How are you? 

[00:03:02] Stuart: I’m good. Thank you very much. 

[00:03:03] Carla: Good. Good. So today, we are going to be talking all about pensions because I think, um, definitely as a mum, um, pensions is something you can easily forget about and it’s very, very important isn’t it? So today Stuart I’m going to be asking you some questions around pensions, but to start with, can you tell us a little bit about you. 

[00:03:25] Stuart: Absolutely. Um, I’m, I’m married, I’ve got a young family. Um, my son is seven. My daughter is 12. Um, I’ve, I’ve been a financial advisor for, uh, over 30 years. Um, and. To be perfectly honest, the older you become, the wiser you become. I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but that is certainly the case, but  seeing , my son and my daughter grow up as, as they are doing. Um, you know, I want the best for them. And as, as I get closer to retirement, it’s something that I want to make sure that for myself and for my wife, that standard of living doesn’t drop that, you know, everything we work for is protected, but, um, yes, it’s, uh, it’s financial services is, is something that, I’ve had a lot of, uh, I’ve done a lot of elements, uh, in terms of giving financial advice, I suppose, to the personal customers,  you know ,businesses, uh, work with people with hardly any money and people with millions. So I’ve seen the whole range of, of different, um, situations and, uh, and hopefully, uh, being able to help them and give them advice, um, which they found very useful. 

[00:04:38] Carla: Definitely I think, financial advice when it comes to having a growing family is so, so important, which is why obviously we work with trusted advisors throughout the UK. And your obviously are one for Altrincham. So Stuart, can we start with just keeping it simple? What actually is a pension plan? 

[00:04:57] Stuart: I think the easiest way to describe a pension is, is that it is just a savings scheme that helps people build up a pot of money to the point when they retire. Um, I think pensions gets confused because people talk about receiving their pension when they’ve actually stopped working, but then people refer to pensions when they still are working. So pensions to a certain degree they are in two elements. There’s the saving element for which saving for your retirement may be through a pension scheme. It might be through other means of savings such as ISA’s. Um, but then you’ve got pensions once you reach retirement, which are then to provide an income.

[00:05:39] So it’s, it’s classed as a pension, but there are different components to a pension, which is why I think some, so many people get a lot of, a lot of confusion with regards to, you know, what a pension is and, and what they can do with a pension. 

[00:05:53] Carla: Mm. Yeah, that makes sense. Because I know when I used to, I mean, before I had my son, George, I worked at, um, banks, et cetera. And you were given, um, you know, the opportunity to pay into a pension, which obviously I did. Um, and then what happens is you go, self-employed a lot of our audience, a lot of our listeners are mums that have decided to kind of launch your own side hustles or businesses, et cetera. Um, and then you can often forget about that pension that you’ve paid in. Is there a way to, you know, find that, locate that old pension and start contributing to it? 

[00:06:27] Stuart: If it’s a pension scheme that’s been, that was set up when you were working through, um, through a business, a company, so basically an employer’s pension, it will depend upon the type of scheme that it is. And to a certain degree, the, the most important thing with regards to, um, making sure you don’t lose touch with pensions, regardless of the type of scheme that it is, is make sure that you keep the pension provider updated with your, with your details, i.e. Your address, because if you change the address, they won’t know that you’ve changed address. And therefore won’t continue to send you updates about your pension scheme. Um, my wife, um, left working in a bank, um, some eight years ago, but she still now receives updates probably twice a year about her pension. And that’s purely because she’s kept the bank, well the people who run the pension scheme for the bank updated  with the address that we live at.

[00:07:29] So that’s the key important thing. But if that doesn’t happen, there are two ways of being able to go about tracing your pension. The government do have a website, um, which if you Google will come up as the pension tracing service, but then you’ll also find a lot of, um, individual companies that will offer pension tracing. They’ll generally be marketing companies. So there’ll be looking to raise some revenue from you if that was the case. I.e. charge you a fee, even though they say there isn’t one. Um, but the government’s website is the.gov website and you can enter your details in there, and whilst they won’t tell you whether or not, um, you know, the actual policy numbers, they should give you an indication as to where that pension is. Then you’ve got financial advisors. And whilst financial advisors, aren’t privy to individuals, uh, circumstances, uh, unless people, provide us with, um, with their permission. Um, if that permission is granted, then we can make inquiries with. Uh, people’s uh, old companies, or we can make is with their all pension providers, uh, to obtain details and information about their pensions. But again, even in that sort of situation, we still need to be updated about people’s old addresses, new addresses. Uh, so as we can, you know, carry out that work for them. 

[00:08:53] Carla: I think, um, as I’ve mentioned to you, before Stuart, it’s really important for us, what we feel is important is to have that kind of, um, trusted financial advisor that you can speak to who knows about your whole circumstances as a whole. So in regards to your pension, you’re keeping in touch with them on a regular basis about all sorts of things to make you, you know, as better, best off as you can be in the future as well. 

[00:09:16] Stuart: Absolutely. I think if you speak to someone who, who wants to help you with your pension, but they don’t look to try and understand a lot about the person as an individual. And all they’re bothered about is getting their hands on that pension. Then I would, I would be seriously concerned that they’re, um, you know, perhaps not acting on that individual’s best interests. 

[00:09:40] Carla: Yeah. No, that’s really helpful that. So Stuart, when people, when I spoke to people about pensions, mums, dads, et cetera, they will, a lot of the responses would be, um, Oh yeah. Well, I’ll, I’ll get a state pension. So what is the difference between having like a private pension or a pension plan and a state pension? What, what is the benefits of having the other, rather than just the state pension?

[00:10:07]Stuart: The answer is, is that people should have both. Um, the state pension system has changed quite a lot over the years, but the current new state pension operates on the basis of how many years national insurance contributions someone has made into effectively, you know, the, the, the, the government. And providing they’ve contributed 35 years they will qualify for a full state pension, which is presently 175 pounds 20 pence per week. 

[00:10:40] Carla: Stuart just to add in there, is it 35 years without a break as well? 

[00:10:45] Stuart: No, no. It’s 35 years in total. There can be career breaks and things like that. So obviously with mums, who wants to look after their children for X number of years, it’s, you know, it’s its total. So the thing here is, is that what you, what you do find is that people can qualify get the 35 years. And they are still only, you know, 55, but unfortunately you’ve still got to pay national insurance contributions until state retirement age. So it doesn’t matter how you build up that 35 years, as long as they’re built up throughout, throughout your working life.

[00:11:19] Now, the key thing there is, is that the state pension is going to be very soon 67. State pension age, should I say it’s going to be 67. Um, for a lot of our listeners, it’s going to be up to 68 by the time they reach state retirement age. So the key thing with state pension is first and foremost, the amount as I say, round about 175 pounds per week currently, um, which is not a huge amount of money. But in fairness you’ve also got to look at it that. At that age, would you still have a mortgage? There are certain things that maybe you wouldn’t have to pay out for. And some people may feel that they could live on that and certainly a husband and wife might feel they could live on that. However, would they want to carry on working to 68?

[00:12:03] However, you’ve also got to remember that, you know, when you finish work, you’ve just started your longest ever holiday. And we all know that we generally spend more money when we’re not working than we do when we do work. So with regards to a private pension, private pensions, you can access the benefits from age 55. And if you build up a private pension or an occupational scheme, a workplace pension scheme, but if it builds up a value, sufficient enough for you to be able to say, well, actually I’ve got enough money here. I could actually retire before age 68 or 67. Um, then what you’re actually doing is giving yourself that choice, giving yourself, that financial security to say, well, actually I can retire before state retirement age, but you will still get your state pension as well.

[00:12:50] Carla: Right that’s. So if, for a married couple, I know there’s a few scenarios, but if your partner, which unfortunately it does happen, obviously we raise a lot of awareness around protection and stuff like that. Would you be entitled to your partners, state pension if they have worked those five years or is that just yours and that’s it? 

[00:13:09] Stuart: Generally now they are individual. So it’s, it’s, it’s one of those things where when you come to, um, state retirement age, and if, if you’ve got, um, a, you know, if you’re both receiving pension and so on and so forth, what you tend to find, and I found this with my parents, is that whilst you won’t necessarily receive a hundred percent of your, um, husband or wife’s pension scheme, you might receive a proportion of it. And again, because of the rules changed so much and the governments at the moment are, I suppose, looking at pensions in general terms, hence why the retirement age has gone up. Um, they’re looking at it as being well, it’s costing us, lots of money. People are living longer. Um, therefore, you know, there’s more people in the population, so, so they’re having to restrict how, we feel like personal pensions are paid. So what you tend to find is is that it’s like state pension that mixed with, with state benefits tend to sort of combine if, if, if there is, um, a widow that’s was receiving two pensions and then having to live on one. 

[00:14:19] Carla: Hmm. No, that makes sense. That makes sense. I mean, there’s a lot to do with pensions really, but, um, there is if you’ve got your own business, I know there’s a benefit, um, in, in the tax tax wise of paying into a private pension isn’t there?

[00:14:35] Stuart: Absolutely.  You know, with any pension contribution into a, whether it be private pension or workplace pension, the contributions receive tax relief. Now tax relief is always at the basic rate, but if you’re a higher rate tax payer, you can then reclaim the difference. So the extra 20 cents in the pound, um, if you’re a 40% taxpayer, um, through your self assessment. So the money that you put into a pension is is actually not taxed money. So, you know, again, I get people say, Oh, you know, I pay money into a pension and then they tax it when it comes out, you know, but that’s not the case, you know, money that goes into a pension is actually invested tax-free.

[00:15:19] Carla: That incredible. 

[00:15:20] Stuart: Yeah. And therefore, when the money comes out, there’s still 25% that someone can, is eligible to receive tax free. And then the remaining money then is paid to them as income. But then you still got your personal allowance that your pension income has to go above before any tax then becomes liable. 

[00:15:43] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, right. It’s definitely worth it for that alone. Isn’t it really? 

[00:15:48] Stuart: Well, the thing is with, with businesses, if businesses are doing really well. Then the business can make contributions into a pension. Um, it doesn’t have to be the individual. So again, it depends upon how people’s businesses are set up. Um, if it’s a self-employed person, then obviously they’re going to be liable for a hundred percent of their profits. If they put money into a pension scheme, that’s effectively reducing their profit. So it’s reducing the amounts of money that the tax man can effectively can charge. Equally with, with, uh, businesses, whether it be a limited company or a partnership, you know, what you’re doing with putting money into a pension scheme is, is reducing your gross profit and therefore reducing the amounts of tax that you would pay. 

[00:16:35] Carla: Um, yeah, it’s definitely worth doing. So, um, how much can you pay into a personal, uh, pension scheme? 

[00:16:44] Stuart: Well, there’s no minimum amount. Let’s, let’s, let’s be clear on that. Um, the maximum amount that you would qualify for tax relief is 40,000 pounds per year, but that is providing your gross. Uh, I’ll, I’ll use the term net relevant earnings because that’s the way the revenue refer to it. But it’s basically your gross income has to exceed 40,000 pounds for you to be able to invest 40,000 pounds and get the full tax relief on your money. If you aren’t earning 40 then in fairness, the maximum you can put in is what you do earn. However, very few people are in that fortunate position. So it’s a case of saying you, you put into a pension, what you can afford, if you are able to sort of put the higher amounts in then fantastic. But the important thing is, is that it it’s better to put something in than nothing at all. 

[00:17:34] Carla: Mm. Mm. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. So  also something else I want to cover, which we get a lot of questions around is child pensions or child savings as well. Um, I think some people, quite a lot of people, I imagine aren’t aware of this. Um, is that something that you guys can cover? 

[00:17:57] Stuart: Absolutely. Um, anybody can open a pension scheme from the day they’re born. Um, and even, you know, we, we touched on their earnings. Um, people can still pay into a pension when they don’t turn, uh, when they’re not earning. So again, mums who were staying at home, if they’re, if the household income, however, it’s, it’s, it comes in, whether it’s paid by you know, the husband who’s working. If the wife is staying at home or it could be equal amounts of money coming into the, into the household. The bottom line is, is that if you don’t have the earnings, anybody can pay up to 3,600 pounds per year, gross into a pension scheme and the same applies for a baby or a young child. So grandparents, for instance, or parents could open a pension scheme and can pay up to the maximum of 3,600 pounds. But that’s after tax. So the actual amount, but it works out to be now I’m testing  myself now. I think it’s around about 2000, 2,880, but I’m sure someone might, might correct me on that one.

[00:19:02] Carla: No, that’s fine. Sorry for just kind of putting that out there that question it’s a bit. No, that does makes sense though. So tell us then Stuart, what are workplace pensions then? 

[00:19:13] Stuart: Well, workplace pensions have always been around. Um, you know, it used to just be called an occupational pension. Uh, but workplace pensions, have always been there. It’s just that from 2012, the government brought in automatic enrolment, which is where workplace pensions have now sort of been sort of getting their name and what auto enrolment, effectively, uh, meant was that companies had to offer an employee, a pension scheme providing they were either over the age, over the age of 22 and earnt, at least 10,000 pounds a year. And as the name suggests, if you’re an employee of a company, then you were automatically put into the pension scheme if you met that qualification. So auto enrolment started in 2012. It was phased in the larger companies had to do it first and then the smaller companies, but now every body who is an employee of, of someone. And I say that, and I’ll explain why, um, should be offered a pension scheme or should be enrolled into a pension scheme. And the pensions regulator, they will make sure that every business that is registered has a pension scheme set up. Now, the key thing here is that when I say employed, you could be carer, going into a private person’s home to look after, um, you know, a, a child or an elderly relative. Um, they would still be classed as an employee and should be offered a pension scheme. And very few people know that. So the key thing with, with, with workplace pensions is that everybody should be enrolled if they qualify. They don’t have to stay in it. They can opt out, but opting out, you know, is obviously against our advice, but opting out is still something that that could happen. And the one thing that employers cannot do is if you like encourage people to opt out, so as they don’t  have to pay in. Because with a workplace pension scheme, there are statutory payments that have to be made. For an employer, they have to pay in 3% of an individual’s qualifying earnings and for an employee that’s now what, 5%. So when I say qualifying earnings, there is an amount that people can earn that doesn’t get counted towards pension contributions. And there’s also a top ceiling on it. But the bottom line is, is that workplace pensions now should be available for everybody.

[00:21:51] And that of course is now something that. That people, um, will be able to start building up their pension, uh, which it doesn’t replace a personal pension. Because at the end of the day, if you’re only putting in a relatively small amount, um, you may want to still make additional contributions and whilst they could be done into a workplace pension, in my opinion, I think it’s worth having a private pension to sit alongside a workplace pension or an occupational scheme, because that gives you more control. And, you know, you’re able then to dictate more about how you, how much money you’ve put in and how that money’s invested, et cetera. 

[00:22:28] Carla: Yeah, no, that that’s really good advice. So. Next question. Um, sorry about all these, just so much to cover around pensions isn’t there? 

[00:22:39] Stuart: We’ll still only be scraping the surface Carla thats the thing. And, and the other thing with pensions is, is that because the are, it is all personal to every individual, you know, this is where I really would encourage people to seek advice from a qualified financial advisor. And making sure they are FCA registered by the way. But because what an advisor will do is they’ll look at the individual circumstances and they will advise them based on that. And as we all know, very rarely are two people actually the same. 

[00:23:09] Carla: Yeah, yeah. No, that, that, that does make sense. Definitely. So, gosh, I’m kind of like my head spinning with all this, because there’s so much, and like you said, it’s definitely worth speaking to a financial advisor. And also what we want to say is. You know, we’re not financial, uh, sorry. You are a financial advisor, but as parents, you know, that, you know, I would say definitely speaking to a financial advisor because they know what they’re trained in, everything. They know exactly what they’re talking about and they can get you, you know, the best advice out there. So can you also tell us a bit about what an, annuity is, if you don’t mind?

[00:23:49]Stuart: Yeah. I spoke earlier about, about pensions having, having two elements to them, the, the savings element, and then the income element. And in fairness, annuities, um, were, what was I suppose, referred to as someone’s pension, um, in days gone by. Because a traditional way of, of, of, uh, saving up within a pension scheme is, is all about, building up an amount of money that will then at, let’s say, age 60, uh, gives them a pot of money that they can then purchase an income for life. And the income for life is what was referred to as an annuity. It’s a, it’s a separate type of insurance contract that, that pension companies, which arguably are insurance companies, um, issued to two individuals.

[00:24:39] Um, So if for instance, the one builds up a hundred thousand pounds in, in a pension fund, they would go to, um, a, their insurance company. It could be the same person. It should be the same company. Should I say. As the, as the pension provider. Um, but everybody has the ability to shop around. So there’s a lot of insurance companies out there. So, you know, the, the person, the company that they have, their pension with, they may offer one rate, but if they shopped around a different pension company could offer a better rate. But the key thing with annuities is that they can be, um, Uh, done as joint annuities. So again, it could be something that could be done, uh, to secure the income for a husband and wife or partners. Um, but it guarantees the income for the rest of their life and it can be index linked as well. So again, annuities are a little bit of a complicated, uh, uh, entity, but basically it’s the means of securing your income for life and annuity, I suppose, is annual income that, that your pension fund purchase.

[00:25:46] The key thing with the annuities though, is that they’ve become less favourable because of two things. The main one being interest rates, uh, interest rates have fallen as we all know, to, to the lowest ever levels and annuity rates, pretty much track interest rates when it comes to the rates that they pay, not to the extent that the base rate is, but interest rates with annuities at the moment, are probably anything between, and again, depends on age. It depends on health. There are various things that will, that will affect an annuity. Um, but rates could be as low as three and a half percent. Um, possibly even the maximum might only be five. Five and a half perhaps, um, dependent upon how old that person is. But if you put that into monetary terms, the a hundred thousand pounds is only actually generating an income of three and a half thousand pounds a year, maybe up to 5,000 pounds a year, which for a hundred thousand pounds, doesn’t seem a huge amount of money. That’s less than 300 pounds a month. Um, you know, so. The reason annuities became less favourable is in 2015, the government introduced pension reforms that brought in what was called flexible drawdown. Started getting termed Flexi access, drawdown but its all the same. And what it basically meant is the people who built up their pension pot to start drawing off that pension pot, at amounts that suited them.

[00:27:18] So we’ve talked, we’ve spoken before about state pension, starting at say 67 68. If somebody knew that they were going to get the equivalent of 9,000 pounds a year, when they got to state retirement stage, they may look at their pension pot and think, well, if I’m going to start getting that, when I’m 68, I could possibly start taking money out of my pension, my personal pension when I’m younger. Because I could take more out at the beginning. And then when my state pension starts, I could reduce the amount that I was withdrawing. So flexible drawdown has actually made annuities probably less favourable, but certainly they still have a place because they pay a guaranteed income. And therefore, if people have got outgoings that they know that they’ve got to cover come what may then they may feel they’ve got that security of that income always coming in. If they had an annuity that would pay them that income. 

[00:28:10] Carla: That makes sense. So how old do you know with your private pension then? How old can you be when you start taking that? Like, if you did want to retire at, I don’t know, 50, could you, could you start taking it then or?

[00:28:21]Stuart: Not from a private pension or not from a pension scheme. Hence, the reason why I always sort of say that the pensions are just one means of saving for your retirement. The earliest you can draw money out to a pension scheme under the current legislation is age 55. 

[00:28:38] Carla: 55 isn’t a bad age though, to retire is it really? 

[00:28:42] Stuart: No. It all comes down to whether or not there’s enough money saved up that would give you the ability to be able to sort of replace the income that you’re, you’re generating out of your work. Um, and you know, able to give up work and, and start your retirement. 

[00:28:58] Carla: Could you, if you say drop down hours at work or you want it to take on another kind of little side job, could you use your pension, your private pension to kind of top up your money? If you like. 

[00:29:11] Stuart: Absolutely. Absolutely. Again, you know, it comes back to, you know, what, what you’re building up is, is a retirement fund. And I, and I touched on ISA’s at the beginning. You know, somebody had ideas of retiring before 55. Then if they had. You know, a lot of money held in ISA’s they could arguably, you know, rely on that for the first few years if they wanted to retire really early. But you’re absolutely right. People cutting down their  hours and working less days that income that they they’re not earning can be replaced by the, by that pension. And again, flexible drawdown is the flexibility that gives people the option of being able to take some money out. It might only be a relatively  small amount, but it could just bridge the gap between what they were earning, um, working full-time and what they’re earning when they’re only working maybe three days a week. But equally it still all comes back to that pension fund has got to last them, their lifetime. That’s the only drawback with, with, with flexible access drawdown is the fact that it’s almost like having your pension bank account or a pension, you know, building society, you know, once you’ve drawn all the money out, that’s it it’s finished. And that’s the other, the other difference with the annuity, the annuity lasts for your lifetime, regardless of when, when that ends. So the more money you’ve got in the pension fund then the more flexibility and the more options you have, and hence the ability to save within a pension is, is absolutely vital to the success.

[00:30:45] Carla: Right. So with a, a private pension, say, for example, me and my husband both had private pensions then, and God, I hope this never happens, but he passed away. At, I don’t know, 60 or whatever, would I then be entitled as his wife to that pension to support our family? 

[00:31:04] Stuart: With private pensions, you nominate beneficiaries on the pension scheme. And if you had a pension fund that was was active. And I say active on the basis that it hadn’t been used to buy into an annuity because that’s, uh, um, you know, if the annuity hadn’t been set up as a joint annuity, then potentially the income dies with the individual. So if it’s the pension fund, if your husband in this example was still working, at 60 and something happens to him. His entire pension fund would be passed to yourself, if you were the named beneficiary and that would pass to you free of any income tax, because he’s actually passed away before the age of 75 and under current rules, any pension funds passed to the survivor without there being any income tax. And I say, survivor, it doesn’t have to be their spouse, it can be children. It can be in fairness, anybody they wants to nominate. 

[00:32:08] Carla: Right. Okay. 

[00:32:10] Stuart: The other thing there, Carla though, as well. And I think, again, it’s, it’s useful to sort of understand this is that when you’ve, you’ve got a pension fund, um, you know, it could be something that, um, you know, you built up, it could be, you know, really large amounts of money. The pension is, is actually written in trust. So if that money is passed to, to, uh, an individual. So let’s just say husband passed away and it comes to you. Whilst you could receive it as a lump sum. And not paying any tax on that money. As soon as he comes out of a pension, it’s in your estates and whatever you then do with that money, you could end up paying tax on it. If you kept that money within a pension scheme in your name, you would still receive the whole amount. It would still come to you. But any money that you then withdrew out of that. Would be tax-free. So, you know, and it, as I say it, doesn’t add to the value of your estate and you can then nominate your son as the beneficiary.

[00:33:13] Carla: Yes. That, that does make sense. I mean, thats another, another subject all together, inheritance tax, et cetera. And looking at that, I know exactly what you mean about that, so that that’s, that’s really good and it’s definitely worth, worth doing isn’t it? I mean, what’s the minimum you can pay into a pension. Cause I know, you know, having children can be expensive, but you know, what, what is the minimum you could pay in?

[00:33:37]Stuart: The there are some, there are some pension providers that will allow you to pay as little as a pound into a pension scheme. Um, you know, so it really isn’t something that you’ve got to be putting a huge amount of money in. What I would say is is you put in what you can afford. The last thing I would ever want somebody to do is to put money into a pension scheme. And then as soon as they got into hard times, the first thing they canceled was the pension. Or as soon as things got a little bit tight, they think, Oh, I can cut back. I’ll stop me pension. You know, if you overstretch yourself, then usually you will look at a pension scheme as being something that’s, um, You’ll you’ll see it as a, as a, as an expense. And it’s not an expense because you’re saving, you’re saving money for your future. Um, so whilst the minimum can be a pound, I would say, look at it realistically, from the point of view, what’s affordable.

[00:34:31] And again, if, if you sit down with a financial advisor, they will give you a projection. They will, they will show you how much money you could have in, 20 years, 40 years time, whatever age it is when you start a pension scheme and it may well be that you start it small and as your children grow up and they leave home, then you’re able then to put more money in, if you know your overheads, um, you know, less mouths to feed allows you to then put more money. There’s more disposable income that you could put into your pension. 

[00:35:03] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, no, that that’s really, really useful. So, so, um, is there anything else that you think I’ve missed that you get a lot of questions around or have we, have we covered everything do you think? 

[00:35:16] Stuart: There’s probably lots of things that I will think of as soon as we finished doing the, um, the the, the podcast. I think the key thing with pensions is, is not to be afraid of them. You know, pensions, as they say, it’s a means of saving. A lot of people look at pensions and they think, Oh, you know, I can’t get any money out until age 55. That’s absolutely right. And someone who’s in their twenties who may be saving up for a house, they might see that as too far in the future.

[00:35:44] The biggest issue I find when I’m sitting down with individuals now. Especially those that are in the mid forties and early fifties is that they sit down and they, they, they almost say, you know, I wish I’d done this sooner. And I can’t express enough that if people are able to put money into a pension scheme, you know, as soon as they start work, hence the reason why auto enrolment is such a really good idea and the amounts of money that they will have as they get into their middle years and then towards retirement, it will be worth so much more to them.

[00:36:19] And, um, yeah, you know, it gives people the ability to decide when they want to give up work, when they want to retire, when they want to start enjoying their retirement before, you know, potentially they, they have health issues or there might be reasons why they, they’re not able to perhaps fully enjoy the lifestyle that they would, they would like to.

[00:36:41] Carla: Yeah, absolutely. And I think when you, when you mentioned just to go over, when you mentioned what the state pension would actually be, which would be, I think we said 9,110 pound 40 a year. Um, you know, there’s a lot of things. Yeah. You might not have a mortgage, but then, you know, you are wanting to kind of use that time to enjoy the rest of your life? Hopefully take the grandchildren to Florida and all that and all that side of things you just, you know, at that point you can’t really earn any more can you? For a lot of people. And  that’s what you’re left with. So it’s definitely important to look at, look at that really. 

[00:37:16] Stuart: Yeah. Like I say, you know, there are so many things that, that people, when they get to retirement, age just, you know, you know, can, you know, look at with regards to maintaining standard of living. Um, but if they’ve got a really good pension fund built up or pension savings built up, um, Then, you know, in all honesty, that’s the cornerstone and the foundation for a really long and happy retirement. And, um, as I say the key thing though, it’s not to be afraid to talk about it, not to be afraid to, to pick up the phone to an advisor and say, you know, I would like someone to explain this. I want someone to tell me what’s going to be best for me in my current circumstances, because you know, I, I. The number of people I speak to, and I was having some work done on my house earlier this week, and I was speaking to the, the, the chap that came and, and he, again, you know, again, it was almost, so I wish I’d done it sooner. And he was self-employed and he was explaining what he’d done. And he, at the moment can’t afford to put any more money in his pension because he’s moved house and he’s paying more on his mortgage. And he was saying, Oh, I want to pay me mortgage off. What, you’ve got to remember at the moment with, with mortgage rates being so low is that actually mortgages are quite cheap.

[00:38:40] And therefore, if people get a really good deal on a mortgage and they think that their mortgages, you know, or if they get a new deal and it reduces, that spare money, that they’re not having to use to pay into a mortgage should be money that they could try and divert into, into a pension. It’s, it’s, it’s a tricky thing, but you know, the key thing here is it’s tailored to the person. Um, it’s, you know, Pensions are a very, very broad subject. But when I sit down with somebody it’s tailored to that individual in every single situation. Um, and hence why advice in this sort of area is key. There’s never a daft question. That’s the other thing, no one can ask a daft question. If they honestly don’t know the answer, it’s best that they ask it and get the answer then, you know, don’t ask at all. And, and, and that’s the other thing it’s such a taboo subject pensions, and it’s something which I really hope. From listening to this and reading the article that will be on the website, that people will actually become a little bit more knowledgeable, but will actually be a little bit more confident about asking for advice and help, um, about this area.

[00:39:45] Carla: Definitely. And one last question I was just thinking of then is, you know, for example, say, for example, my mortgage rate was down and I had had a bit of extra spare money. Could you just change that month to month? Like could you say right. Okay. Uh, for the next three months I can afford that. And then, uh, when Christmas, comes around, can I reduce it a little bit? Can you do that? 

[00:40:05] Stuart: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know? Pensions are the most flexible type of saving, um, which again is, you know, misconceptions, people, people get the wrong idea. You can’t change your workplace pension arrangements. If, if, if you’re paying in the 5% you can’t suddenly say, can I reduce that down? But if you’re paying into a personal pension, It’s like any type of savings, you can determine how much you save the frequency. And if you want to, you know, if you want to take a pensions holiday in turn, turn the saving off for a period of time, you can do, if you want to reduce it, if you want to increase it, if you’re going through a period where, you know, things are, things are good. Um, you can increase it and pay off, um, you know, reduce it if need be, but equally you can pay lump sums in every so often. It’s it’s what you gotta remember is a pension is a pension savings. It’s a glorified savings account and you know, money that you, you may put into a savings account and earn, you know, 0.1 a percent. You put it into a pension scheme, straight away you get an uplift or 20% because of the tax relief. And then you’re getting the additional growth that investments that will be linked to your pension over time should generate. So it’s, it’s much better, but the only word of warning that I would ever give to anybody is that once the money’s in the pension, then it stays until at least age 55. Hence why. All the things like ISA’s may well be for younger people, something to consider as, as well as a pension, but perhaps for some of that extra disposable income that they may have, and it may well then be used towards their retirement in the future, but it doesn’t lock the money away. In such a way that they then feel, Oh, I’ve put that money into a pension or more, more likely, I don’t want to put my money into a pension because I can’t get out.

[00:42:02] I think the key thing is, is making sure that saving for the future. Let’s just look at it as saving for the future is done. And it’s done in the right sorts of way, but you know, cash savings in a building society or a bank at the moment. Is actually losing people money against inflation. So if you’re saving into it into a savings account, people’s money on average at the moment are losing probably about 2% each year, just against the inflation.

[00:42:30] Carla: Wow. Yeah. What a difference. Yeah. It’s definitely worth thinking about definitely. So anyone listening, Stuart, can you explain where there’ll be able to find you, um, and how they can get in touch with you? 

[00:42:41] Stuart: Yeah. If you go onto my, My Bump 2 Baby website and go into the financial advisor pages we we’re listed under Altrincham on the, on the pages, uh, uh, where all the, the, um, They, they, they know towns and cities, as I said, seems to be quite good, quite a, quite a vast array there now Carla.

[00:43:02] Carla: I know, it’s good. It’s great. I mean, raising awareness, that’s, that’s the main thing really.

[00:43:08] Stuart: If they click on the, the Altrincham, uh, the Altrincham one we’re, we’re, there, you’ll get a direct line. There’s an email address as well. Um, and I’ll be pleased to speak to anybody who’s found this podcast of interest and would like more information.

[00:43:24] Carla: Amazing. Thank you so much. And we’ll put the links on, um, to Periscope Wealth Management Limited as well. Um, and also any other information. And there’s also a really useful article, uh, that Stuart wrote as well, which will be linked to this. So you can have a read and it’s definitely worth thinking about, um, so thank you so much for today. I really appreciate it. 

[00:43:47] Stuart: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you very much. 

[00:43:49] Carla: Thank you.

[00:43:52] Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert Podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

The post Everything You Need To Know About Private Pensions appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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Sepsis https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/sepsis https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/sepsis#respond Sat, 03 Apr 2021 18:51:46 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1162 “It's one of those things, where you think it won't ever happen to you.”
Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to Lauren Back about her very recent experience with Sepsis shortly after giving birth to her baby boy.

The post Sepsis appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Sepsis

“It’s one of those things, where you think it won’t ever happen to you.” 
Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to Lauren Back about her very recent experience with Sepsis shortly after giving birth to her baby boy. 

For more information on Sepsis please use the links below:

https://sepsistrust.org

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/

Here are Laurens social links:

Instagram: @thenewcastlemum

Facebook: thenewcastlemum

 

 

[00:00:00] Carla: Unfortunately, in life things happen that we have no control over. Which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family in case the worst should happen, please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bills.

[00:00:30] If you have not got protection, please think about it. We insure our mobile phone. We insure our household appliances. We insure our pets. Why don’t we insure ourselves? Please, please today go to  www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal and find your nearest financial advisor or family protection specialist. It is so important that you were covered should the worst happen. 

[00:01:06] Are you looking for groups and classes for your little one, perhaps you’re looking for pregnancy classes for yourself. My Bump 2 Baby is the UKs leading pregnancy to preschool directory. To find your nearest pregnancy to preschool group, class, lesson or service head over to 

[00:01:27] www.my bump2baby.com. You can also read our reviews on the latest products, days out and services.

[00:01:55] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 Shades of Motherhood, the place where we can come and talk openly and freely about motherhood and all the different journeys and challenges it brings. So today I’m really excited to welcome on my guest Lauren Back. Now, Lauren is actually our, My Bump 2 Baby area manager for the Newcastle upon Tyne area, as well as being a mum of three.

[00:02:27] Lauren also runs her own blog, which is called The Newcastle Mum. And. If that’s not enough, she is also the head of our influencer network at My Bump 2 Baby as well. And she looks after our network of over 500 parent bloggers and influencers. So today we are talking to Lauren about sepsis, something that Lauren actually experienced only a couple of months ago when she nearly lost her life after giving birth to her little boy.

[00:02:59] So we’re going to cover about sepsis today and we’re gonna raise awareness about it. So you know what to look out for and she can share her story with you guys. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:03:15] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. Today. I am talking to my lovely friend Lauren Back who unfortunately suffered sepsis, um, after her son was born. So hello, Lauren, how are you? 

[00:03:32] Lauren: I’m fine. How are you?

[00:03:33] Carla: I’m very good. Thank you. Very good. I mean, even, even I think it was on season two by season two. I don’t think you’d actually given birth to Max at that stage. 

[00:03:46] Lauren: No, I don’t think so. I think it had just finished 

[00:03:49] Carla: It had yeah. So, so we knew you were pregnant and everything, and then obviously, unfortunately, you’re on here today, but talking about a subject that we need to raise awareness about, but you know, only a few months ago, this actually hadn’t happened to you.

[00:04:03] So, um, yeah, it’s quite a, quite a big few months you’ve been through really.

[00:04:09]Lauren:  Yeah, bit of a roller coaster. 

[00:04:11] Carla: Definitely. Definitely. So, um, so what I want to do, Lauren is probably just go back to the start. Um, so as I mentioned to everyone in the introduction, Lauren actually is our area manager for the Newcastle upon Tyne area. And she’s also the head of our influencer network as well. So as if Lauren hasn’t got her hands full enough, she’s also got a three children. So Lauren, tell us a little bit about you. 

[00:04:37] Lauren: Um, so, um, just a normal person from Newcastle. Um, I’ve got three lovely little babies. I’ve got two girls and one boy. Um, we’ve got a puppy at the minute as well, so that’s more drama to add in. She’s only three months, so she has a lot, a bit of a handful, but she’s lovely. Um, I’m on maternity leave, but I’ll go back in April, start of April I go back. So it’s just a bit full on at the minute. 

[00:05:07] Carla: Yeah. I bet you feel like you’ve not really had much of a maternity leave really.

[00:05:11] Lauren: No, it’s just been the same hasn’t it? Just same four walls. Not being able to do much. 

[00:05:17] Carla: I know it’s hard work. Isn’t it? But so Lauren, you’ve got,  so last year you obviously you’ve got your two gorgeous girls. And then did you decide to have another one or did your little one just happen?

[00:05:33] Lauren: Yeah so, well, but I say accident, it was a surprise.

[00:05:37] Carla: Yeah.

[00:05:38]Lauren:  It wasn’t planned, but it was a nice surprise. Um, and I think we’ve always, well, I’ve always said I will have another one. Alan, on the other hand is a bit like, Hm. I don’t know. Maybe if it’s a boy, which we got  um, but yeah, it wasn’t, it wasn’t planned, but it was a surprise. 

[00:05:56] Carla: Oh that’s, how far gone where you, when you found out?

[00:06:00] Lauren: Um, well, I was eight, about eight weeks when I found out. Um, but then as you know, I was suffering the bleeding. And, um, I went to the hospital where I was told that I was having a miscarriage, which I sort of knew cause before I had Mia, which is my first daughter. Um, we’d had two before I had Mia. So I sort of knew. Um, but then for about two weeks I was still getting like symptoms, like pregnancy symptoms, like sickness, like boobs hurting and just feeling generally like, you know, when you’re first pregnant and you’re really drained and tired. So Alan was like maybe you should go back to the hospital and just say, have a checkup.

[00:06:40] And. So I went back and obviously I to go by myself cause it was COVID um, which was stressful enough. And then they’re like, Oh no, there is still a baby there. 

[00:06:51] Carla: Oh, wow. So it could have been that it was twins then. 

[00:06:55] Lauren: Yeah. Well, I mean, I’m still waiting for answers, but they did say they were going to look into it and they did say that it could have been twins. They think it was but they haven’t confirmed it, so. 

[00:07:05] Carla: Oh, it’s sad, but nice at the same time that he’s okay. Um, obviously, because, uh, yeah, I mean, 

[00:07:13] Lauren: Alan would have had a heart attack if it was twins. 

[00:07:16] Carla: Oh God, could you imagine Oh dear God bless you. So that is a bit of a rollercoaster in itself. Isn’t it? At the beginning, you eight weeks you think you’re pregnant, then you think you’ll losing it and then you’re pregnant again. So, yeah. Yeah. Was that, when you were bleeding, was there loads of blood Lauren or was it just like, was it like it normal miscarriage  compared to what you had before? 

[00:07:40] Lauren: Um, well, like they were both a bit different. So the first one that I had was quite bad. And then the second one I had wasn’t as bad. So it was sort of like the second one. It wasn’t like loads and loads of blood, but it was enough to think, Oh, there’s something not right. Um, so obviously that’s when Alan was like, I’ll take you to the hospital. And thats when we got told, but then obviously two weeks later, Max was still there. 

[00:08:05] Carla: Oh, that’s amazing. I love that. Um, so your pregnancy then Lauren, and was that a smooth pregnancy? 

[00:08:15] Lauren: Um, I say, I mean I’m lucky that I was pregnant, but this one was tougher compared to the last two I had. So with Mia and Millie. I didn’t have any symptoms. It was just, it was just plain sailing the whole way through. Um but from the minute I got told I was having a miscarriage and I wasn’t I knew that Max was going to be trouble. And so from about, just after I found out that he was obviously still there, um, I had really bad sciatica to the point where I couldn’t. I physically couldn’t get to the toilet, like from the bedroom, which is just the next room along. And cause I was in that much pain just with my back. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t put like weigh on my leg and it got to the point where Alan was having to like help us go to the toilet, like to get to the bathroom.

[00:09:00] And that sort of was until about 30 weeks. And then I’ve got a maternity belt, which sort of just like lifts the pressure off a bit and that did help. Um, And I think what helped as well was that he’d moved positions. So I think the way that he was lying to start with, he was lying on the nerve and then he’d moved. So it like towards the end, it relieved the pressure. Um, but then obviously at 36 weeks, I got told at the midwife appointment that he hadn’t grown. So then we had to go for the emergency growth scan. Um, Which at the time it was when partners couldn’t go with you for emergency like scans and stuff. Had to go to that by myself, with Alan waiting in the car park. Um, and we were told oh yeah, no, he’s fine. I think he’s going to be like the bigger baby out of the three. Um, so Mia was  7 10 and Millie was 8 pound 8 when she was born, so I was like, Oh God, how much bigger is he going to be?

[00:10:02] Carla: Your poor fairy. Oh dear. 

[00:10:07] Lauren: And it got to him being born and he was 10 pound one and a half ounce. 

[00:10:11] Carla: Oh my goodness. Could you tell, like, obviously I’ve not, I’ve not really experienced like a birth of that size before, so could you tell the difference or not?

[00:10:23] Lauren: No, it just all felt just like the same, like he didn’t look to me any bigger than what Millie was. So they were like, how big do you think is, and I was like eight pound 10? And they were like Oh yeah we think about the same, put them on the scales, they were like oh my god. 10 pound one and a half ounce. 

[00:10:40] Carla: Wow. That’s amazing. Well, do you know what? I think sometimes they end up, I don’t know about you, but I notice that a lot of people end up having to go to growth scans quite like towards the end and everyone worries so much. Don’t they? But then, you know, hopefully, well, most of the time it all ends up okay anyway. 

[00:10:58] Lauren: Yeah I think it’s just the stress isn’t it of them saying, Oh yeah, your baby’s not growing or your baby’s too big. It’s just. You think the worst don’t you?

[00:11:06] Carla: Oh, God, I’m a nightmare for that. I’m always thinking the worst of every single bloomin’ thing. So yeah, no that that’s it. So when he came out then were you, well then in yourself, when, when he actually was born. 

[00:11:20] Lauren: Yeah. So when he was born, I had a lot of blood loss, so I lost 1.5 litres of blood. And, but they think it’s because like the pushing bit, it was only like eight minutes long. So I think because he was a big baby and he was. Um, he came out quickly. They think it was just a lot for my body to handle type thing. And so I lost a lot of blood, I lost 1.5 liters, but it was getting to the point where like my blood was like clotting inside. So. Sorry for too much information, but it got to the point where the midwife had to like put a hand up in that area and like pull the blood out.

[00:12:01] Carla: Oh that’s awful. I remember that with George as well. I had that, and it was just awful like, pulling like, Oh, it’s awful feeling as well. Isn’t it? Yeah. 

[00:12:09] Lauren: I know, well, I didn’t think anything was wrong. Like obviously after he was born, I was just lying there as you do, waiting for them to come and check if you’ve had a tear or anything. Um, and. I was like, Oh, Alan have a look I think I’ve lost some more blood and he had a look and he was like Lauren there is loads. I’m going to ring the midwife. I was like, Oh, okay. 

[00:12:29] Carla: Were you scared at this point? Or were you still kind of in a bit of a daze? 

[00:12:34] Lauren: I was in a bit of a daze, cause I was obviously I’d been on gas and air, so I was just a bit like, you know, when you’re like coming down from gas and air and you’re a bit like God what’s just happened. And so. Yeah, it was just, I didn’t think it was anything wrong. I felt fine in myself. And then obviously when Alan told us I didn’t really panic because he didn’t look worried. 

[00:12:55] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:12:57] Lauren: I think the way he handled it really helped how I handled it type thing. 

[00:13:01] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. Oh, it’s scary though, because I think when you lose so much blood, I only remember from George is, I felt like I wasn’t even, I felt like I was just drifting off, but really peacefully. I don’t know why it was a really weird experience. So what happened when they came back in then? 

[00:13:21] Lauren: Um, so they were just like oh yeah you’re losing a lot of blood. And then they were just coming in and taking, you know how to put like the pads underneath. And they were just like taking them away and like measuring how much blood was in it and stuff like obviously some was pooling, some was clots coming out. Um, so they just had to measure, like they were just taking it away and measuring it all, and then it got to, I think it was about one litre and they’re like, right we really should be doing something because nothing. Like nothing was, it wasn’t slowing down.

[00:13:51]Carla:  Where was it coming from then? Obviously around that area, but what was the reason?

[00:13:56] Lauren: We never really got an answer to be honest and never actually said, or this is the cause of it. They just said, because he was a big baby and he came out so quickly. It’s just one of those, like the didn’t really give a full answer, to be honest. I don’t think I am going to get one. Um, Yeah, I got to about one, one litre. Um, and they were like, we really should be doing something. And then about five doctors came in the room and I was like, Oh my God. And they got like a, a scan, like, uh, do you know when you got like a baby scan? Yeah, we’ve got like one of those machines, but it was portable. So they were like, checking my womb to see if they could see anything. Um, and that’s been the, she was like the head sho, so like the head doctor for that ward, she was like, Oh yeah, I can see you’ve got some blood clots. So I’m just gonna give you gas and air and I’ll just go up and they pull out, obviously it was uncomfortable, but it didn’t hurt or anything. Um, and then I got an injection in my leg. Um, had an allergic reaction to that, but it was more just my leg, like swelled up a little bit 

[00:14:59] Carla: Was that to thin the blood? Was that to thin it or?

[00:15:03]Lauren:  It was to help control the bleeding. Um, I was given blood thinners, obviously when I was discharged from hospital. Um, I was on them for six weeks.

[00:15:14] Carla: So in the hospital then were you, did the bleeding eventually stop then? Did you get any transfusions? 

[00:15:20] Lauren: Yeah, I, yeah, I had to get a blood transfusion. Um, but I didn’t have to go into like theatre or anything for that. It was just literally like a bag, like put in through an IV drip. Yeah. Um, had that, I got IV fluids as well, um, to top everything up. Um, and then it just sort of stopped, stopped by itself. Really? Um, obviously you was still, I was still bleeding because you do after you give birth. Um, but it wasn’t severe and they weren’t worried. And then I had to stay in for, so he was born on the 12th and then I was in for two days, I got discharged on the 14th just because, um, my blood pressure was a bit off. Um, and obviously my iron levels. So I was given iron tablets to help with that as well.

[00:16:11] Carla: Yeah. So then you got home then Lauren and where you’re just settling in to being. Were you, did you feel weak or did you feel any different to what you felt like after having the girls? 

[00:16:23] Lauren: No, I didn’t. It was. Like, obviously I could tell that I’d lost blood, and wasn’t weak. It was sort of just like quite lethargic. So we got discharged on the 14th. It was about midday. Um, and I was just, we went to see the girls cause they were at their granddad’s while I was in the hospital and introduced them to Max and I can remember they were like giving me a cuddle, but like I was in so much pain with my tummy and I just thought that it was like, you know, like after you’ve had a baby and you get like your cramps, like the afterbirth cramps. And I just thought it was like that, like, I didn’t think anything of it. But it was like if they touched it, it was really sore. And I just thought it was like everything that had happened. And I was like I’ll see how it is in a couple of days. Um, but I didn’t feel any different to what I felt like after I’d had the girls really just sort of, my tummy was a bit tender really. And then. 

[00:17:16] Carla: And that could have been like, that’s easily dismissed though. Isn’t it? Like you say, because of all that, that you went through afterwards, you’d think you would. Well, yeah, I’m probably a bit sore because you know, the doctors had his hands up there, you know, pulling everything out and, um, yeah, it’s just one of those things. So, so then when did things start to kind of turn not so good?

[00:17:37]Lauren:  Um, so we went in the car, like just to see my sister, at hers, Like she  just had a look through the window at Max and then went to Alan’s mum’s cause they live like close to us. So it wasn’t like, we didn’t go massively out of the way it was just so they could have look through the window.

[00:17:52] And I remember, um, getting to my sister’s and I was like, Oh, do you have like a can of Coke in the house. Cause I felt like I needed sugar. Oh yeah. She brought some out and I had some and I just, I didn’t really. Make a difference. So we got home and I kept saying to Alan like my tummy is really sore. And he was like, Oh, you’ll be it’ll, it’ll be fine. It’ll just be like, after everything that’s happened, you have to give birth to a 10 pound baby. And I was like, Oh yeah. Um, and then it was, we were just like pottering around, like getting the house ready for him and stuff. And, and then it was like about, six o’clock at night. So like just after tea. Um, and I just, I just said, like, I really don’t feel well, and he was like what you mean. I was like, I just don’t feel myself. I was like, I don’t know if I’m just tired. Like I just thought I’d been, cause we’ve done too,  I’ve done too much. And I just felt like, you know, we’d been in hospital for what, two, three days, like.

[00:18:51] I think I’m just overtired. And, and I remember my, uh, our friends came around and to see Max and, and Alan and Mike, they left, um, cause they have a Labrador. So they brought the Labrador, they went for like a walk and I was with Angie with Max and I kept saying to her, Oh, are you really cold? Like we’d, had the heating on and I was like, are you really cold? And I was like, shivering. She’s like, Oh no, I’m okay. And I, again, I just thought it was cause I was overtired and. And then I was like, Oh, I’m really tired. I feel like I could just go to sleep. And she was like, Oh, just go to sleep.I was like, no, I’m not, I’m not gonna 

[00:19:25] Carla: What time was this then like seven, eight o’clock?

[00:19:28]Lauren:  Yeah. And, and I was, I was just like, all right, like I’ll just, I’ll stay awake. I’m not going to go to sleep when you know, I’ve got guests and stuff like got, and they weren’t out that long. And then about half eight, they left. So we came upstairs and I went to have a shower. And  I remember getting in the shower. Like I had to get Alan  to help me in cause I felt really weak. Um, and I got in the shower when I was having a shower, but the whole time I just felt freezing. Like the shower wasn’t cold, it was hot. And like, I was just freezing. I was just standing in the shower, like I’m really cold. And then I had to get Alan to help us out the shower and I was just like, stood. Like I didn’t have the energy to get dressed. Eventually I put my pyjamas on. And then I still felt really cold. So put my dress like a dressing gown on top and just got into bed and said to Alan like I need to go to sleep. I remember just feeling really tired, like sleepy like I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Um, and then so Alan, was like yeah its fine, I’ll stay up with Max if he wakes up. I mean, luckily it’s been an amazing sleeper, so it wasn’t a massive issue.

[00:20:31] Um, but he was just, he was like, Oh yeah, don’t worry. Like I’ll. I’ll like, get up if we need to  get up. I’ll get up with him. Don’t worry, you just get rest. And I remember him waking us up like a few times in the night. Being like are you okay? I was like, yeah, why? He was like, you are breathing really heavy. And I was like, Oh no. I feel like, obviously I wasn’t fine. But I was like, Oh no, I’m fine. 

[00:20:53] Carla: Cause when you’re asleep you probably don’t really know, you’re not okay. Do you really? 

[00:20:58] Lauren: No like, I, I didn’t think any different of it, you know? I mean, I was just like, Oh. Yeah, I’m fine. Fell back asleep. Like I just remember really struggling to be awake. Like I just wanted to keep my eyes closed and just go asleep. And so then it was the next morning when obviously it all kicked off. Um, And I was really struggling to breathe. And I couldn’t tell at the time, because I was, I was asleep, but it was Alan who woke us up and he’d say, are you okay?  Your breathing’s really funny. And I was like, Oh no, like I can’t breathe properly. 

[00:21:29] Carla: Oh God, that just makes me feel like I can’t breathe now. You know? Like, did you start then panicking? Like, cause that would make you not be able to breathe more surely? 

[00:21:38] Lauren: Yeah not really, I was, I was confused like. I was just a bit like what’s going on. I didn’t really understand like the full extent. I was just like, no, it feels a bit funny. I’m struggling a bit. And then I went to so Alan got up and he, I was like, I really need to go the toilet. So obviously I’ve been sleep all night. I said, I need wee. He was like right. And he got up to help us and like, uh, um, I don’t remember this, but I passed out and I fitted. Um, so, so Alan just was like, right. I’m taking  you to hospital, I’m not waiting for an ambulance. Like I’m just going to take you to hospital.

[00:22:11] And he rang the preg, uh, the birthing unit at the hospital, where I gave birth, and they were like, yeah, just bring her in straight away. And we’ll sort it out. We’ll see what’s going on. So, and that was about, by the time I got to the hospital, it was 6:50 AM. Um, and obviously that hospital, luckily you’re allowed to have your partners there and stuff, but because we still had Max, Alan had to drop us off at the main door and I had to go up by myself to the, like to the unit where I was being treated at. 

[00:22:46] Carla: Do you remember it all? Or is it all like a blur?

[00:22:49] Lauren: I remember some bits, but I don’t remember all of it. It’s, it’s weird. Like, it’s just, it’s like, it didn’t happen type thing. Um, but yeah, so I went up to the ward, um, and immediately was put in a room. Um, and I remember them asking me like what had happened. I explained everything. Like what I just told you. I explained to them the same. And they were like, right. Okay. We’re going to get a doctor to come and review you. So I took, like, I had a coat on, I had my trainers on, I just took them all off and I was just lying on the bed, like wanting to go to sleep again. So then that happened,I fell asleep like five minutes. And then the doctor came in, asked what had happened. And so I told the doctor, like, what happened. Then the next thing I know there was another midwife had come in and they were doing like swabs and stuff. Um, so I had a COVID swab, uh, had a throat swab and I had a swab from down below as well, just to see if they could sort of get to the bottom of why I was feeling the way that I was. So like in between that I was just on like half hourly observations. Um, when I got admitted to hospital, my temperature was 40.3. My heart rate was 144. So I was tachycardic if that’s how you pronounce it. I was just honestly like completely out of it. Like, I don’t really remember much at all. 

[00:24:21] Carla: And it’s frightening that. Were you frightened at the time? Do you remember being frightened or were you okay? 

[00:24:28] Lauren: No, I wasn’t then. And there was a point which I’ll explain later on where I was really scared, but at that point I sort of just wanted to know like what was going on and what was like the cause of it all. Um, so. After that, what happened? This, this is what I mean, I remember some bits, but not all of it. Cause I was like dosing in between like people coming in and so at 10 o’clock in the morning 

[00:25:00] Carla: So was this when the swabs came back? Did they come back quite quick? 

[00:25:04] Lauren: So the COVID swab that was supposed to take two hours, but it didn’t come back until, it was like eight o’clock at night or something ridiculous. Um, but the other two, they came back and the, like, there was nothing on them. Um, so obviously I had to explain and they’d got my notes anyways. So the knew, what happened with like the blood loss and stuff. So had to like go through all that again. So at 10 o’clock I got told that I was going to be going down for a scan on my tummy. Um, so went down from a scan. Um, and came back up and I think it was just after that, that Alan got in after he’d sorted like the girls and Max. And so luckily, like some of the stuff I know is just because Alan was there as well. Um, so yeah, I went for the, went for the scan, um, I was on all sorts of drips, like IV antibiotics, IV paracetamol. Like it was ridiculous. Had like an oxygen thing up my nose to give us more oxygen. Because my oxygen levels were low. So yeah, I had, went through all of that and then it wasn’t until about one o’clock that we got told that it was definitely sepsis and they think, the cause of it was. Uh, leftover pregnancy tissue in the womb.

[00:26:29] Carla: Oh God.

[00:26:31]Lauren:  So that’s what we got told was the, was the cause of it. Um, and they’d got that from the scan and they were like, look, we’re going to have to take you down to theatre to operate. Um, but we can’t do that until your COVID swab comes back. I knew, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t COVID.  I was, like I know it was not COVID, but obviously they can’t do anything about it until they’ve had that negative result. So it was like just a waiting game really. Alan was there luckily so I wasn’t by myself. Um, but the whole time he was there, I was just out of it. Like, I couldn’t speak, like I was drinking. I had to keep like my fluids up, luckily I was on a drip as well, but I had to keep drinking water too. And. I wasn’t allowed to eat, because obviously I was going down to theatre so, had all that to worry about. Um, and then it was half one when I got told that I was going to that, what the cause of it all was, and then it was half past eight that night, when I got told that I was going to be going down to theatre, and told like what, what was going to happen. And it was basically just an operation to go in and remove that the tissue that had been left over

[00:27:49] Carla: Mm. Was that through like vaginally or did they have to go, cut you open? 

[00:27:55] Lauren: So they were, so I was told originally that it was going to be like cut open, like sort of like a cesarian type operation. Um, but then luckily it was able to be done keyhole. So vaginally, it was just, which was lucky. 

[00:28:11] Carla: How did they get to that bit though? Like how did they know which, which bit of tissue is like?  

[00:28:17] Lauren: I have absolutely no idea. I mean, I could remember them explaining it all, like, obviously I was completely out of it. I didn’t know what was going on. Um, but they did explain it to Alan and they sort of said I think they can go up with like a camera as well. And then the can just, it was, I think the said it was like, it was getting burnt off.

[00:28:37] Carla: Right.

[00:28:38] Lauren: They were going to like burn it off,  instead of like pulling it out they were gonna burn it, I think. 

[00:28:42] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that sounds painful. 

[00:28:46] Lauren: Well, I was under like, um, I was knocked out for it and I don’t remember the actual procedure. Um, but what I do remember when I got told that I was going for an operation, that’s when I was scared. Because obviously I was like, I said to Alan, the first thing I said was I’m going to die. Like I thought I was going to die. Um, he rang, he rang the girls obviously because I was going down for the operation and all I can remember was Mia shouting down the phone I love you mummy. And I just burst out crying, like. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t say it back, but the tears were just pouring out my eyes. Like it was like horrendous

[00:29:21] Carla: Why did you think that? Did you just, were you just so scared at this point now? 

[00:29:25] Lauren: Yeah, I think it was just the way that I was feeling and going for the operation. And it was, I think it was just everything just hit us at once. And I said, to Alan like the first thing I said after he hung up the phone, he was, I was like, I’m going to die. He was like, you’re not going to die. I’m not going to let anything happen to you. And I was like, yeah, but you’ve got no control over it. That was when I was scared. Like, I actually, I didn’t think I was going to wake up. 

[00:29:52] Carla: And also not, I don’t want to upset you, but not to bring this up. You’ve only recently like lost your mum. Didn’t you really? So then it’s like the whole, the whole thing you’ve come too close to these kinds of things happening before. 

[00:30:04]Lauren:  I think it was just everything that had happened in the last couple of years, months, days, just hit us, at once. And I was like, I’m not going to make it.

[00:30:15] Carla: God, that’s frightening. So frightening. Oh God, like, so in your head, you know, when you were having that call, did you think that was the last time that you would speak to your children? 

[00:30:27] Lauren: Yeah. That was the last time I thought I was going to speak to them. Obviously I couldn’t speak because I was completely out of it. I didn’t have a clue what was going on. And, but that was like, I was like, that’s the last time I’m going to hear their voice. 

[00:30:39] Carla: Thats horrible. 

[00:30:41] Lauren: It was horrendous. I was heartbroken, but all I wanted to say was I love you so much. And I couldn’t even speak the like I only, just mustered up energy to say to Alan I’m going to die. 

[00:30:52] Carla: God, god, I bet you were in shock as well. Like it’s just awful. I mean, awful to even think like that but. Oh God. It’s like a lot to deal with isn’t it? 

[00:31:07] Lauren: Yeah. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you. Yeah. You hear about it, but you don’t think, or you think, Oh, that’ll never happen to me. 

[00:31:16] Carla: Mm. Yeah, you don’t, you don’t think it well, sepsis is something, you know, we’ve all heard of and you know, I’d never had anyone close to me, it happen to, and then obviously it happened to you and you just, it really opened your eyes to actually, you know, no one is really safe. I mean, you can simply have a water infection and get sepsis can’t you.

[00:31:37]Lauren:  Yeah. Yeah  like it, it sounds silly, but like me and Alan watch you know, like, um. What’s it called 24 hours in A&E. So we’d like, watch that and it’d be like kids on it that going in with sepsis . And you think oh my God like. And you think, like  it’s not going to happen to me, but I feel so sorry for them. I hope I hope they’re okay. And stuff like that. And then it happens, to you and you’re like Oh. It could literally happen to anyone for any reason at all. 

[00:32:05] Carla: Frightening. It really is. It’s um, yeah. So, so after the operation, then I am, I mean, I’m guessing, were you asleep a long time or?

[00:32:17]Lauren:  Um, so I think I went in, uh,  at about half eight, I was taken down and then it was about 10 o’clock when, uh, when I sort of woke up, but I was in like, I was in critical care with oxygen and stuff to start with just in case anything had gone wrong type thing. I don’t know how long the actual procedure was, but I got told once I got moved from critical care, down to where the room Alan was. I was told that it’d gone well and, and everything. So but it was weird, as soon as I had had that operation, I felt fine. 

[00:32:55] Carla: That’s so weird. It’s so good that they could pinpoint where it was coming from.

[00:33:00] Lauren: Yeah. 

[00:33:02] Carla: Cause what happens when you have sepsis and they don’t know where it’s coming from? 

[00:33:06] Lauren: So, well, that happened to me the second time. 

[00:33:09] Carla: Oh God. Oh yeah.  God Lauren oh no. Yeah. I forgot about this. I remember you went back in, so carry on. 

[00:33:20] Lauren: Um, but yeah, so obviously after the operation, I was well fine and got discharged after a couple of days with just oral antibiotics. And they wanted to keep me in because my temperature was still high. Um, but then once I was given the oral antibiotics, it went down and it was sort of, it was just a steady temp, like normal temperature so they were happy for us to go home. And, and then about two weeks later and I was sat just watching telly. And I said to Alan like oh I’m really tired. He was like, Oh, you’ll probably just need to go for nap. And I was like, yeah. And then I was like, I feel like everything hurts. Like I feel achy. And, and like, and then I started shivering and Alan was like oh I wonder if you’ve got like the flu or something. So, um, Because I wasn’t, well, we had asked Alans dad to look after the girls.

[00:34:20] Um, so we came to pick them up and he was like, I think you’ve just got like flu or something. It was that time of year. Was the end of October because I had taken my temperature and it was like 38, 39. I can’t remember exactly. But then I took it again and it had gone down. So it was like just hot and cold type thing. And it was just a feeling like I had the flu. So then Alan was like, look, I’m going to book you in for a COVID test just to be on the safe side. I don’t think that is what it is, but you never know. Um, so that was about, I think about appointment for that test was about four o’clock in the afternoon. So went got the test done came home and then I didn’t feel anywhere near as bad as I did the first time. So I genuinely didn’t think it would be sepsis again. I just thought like flu, um, I’ll feel a bit better in the morning. And then obviously we still had Max cause I’m not ready to let him go.

[00:35:15] Carla: No, no, definitely not. Especially after everything you’ve been through. 

[00:35:19] Lauren: And so we still had Max and obviously he’s a brilliant sleeper, like he sleeps, 12 hours at night. So it wasn’t like really an issue. Not an issue, but when you, like, you he didn’t really need looking after as much, because he slept all night. Um, and it got to a point, I think it was about seven o’clock and I was like, I’m going to go to bed. So we went upstairs, and we were watching telly in bed, and I was just like shaking, but I was like. I didn’t feel cold. I didn’t feel like it was a cold shake. I was literally just like proper uncontrollably shaking. Like, 

[00:35:50] Carla: Oh God.

[00:35:52] Lauren: So Alan was like are you okay? I was like, I dunno, I just can’t, can’t control it. And then I was doing like my like deep breaths and I thought maybe like, it could be a panic attack related to like how I felt when I first had sepsis, because obviously I was, I had the shivering then. Maybe it  just set it all off.

[00:36:11] Carla: Like a trigger or something. Like last time this happened. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:36:17] Lauren: So I thought it might have been that and Alan was like Oh yeah, maybe we’ll see if that happens again. So then it happened again and it was the same like I couldn’t physically stop myself. It took, it was for about a good 10, 20 minutes. Like just of this uncontrollable shaking. So then it got to the point where, um, Alan was still taking my temperature and that, but it wasn’t anything at alarming.  It was on the high side of 37, but it wasn’t like anything alarming. Like you would think, Oh my God, you need to go to the hospital. So then I went to sleep. I slept all night, um, and I woke up the next morning, I felt a bit better. And then I got up to go downstairs to make breakfast. And I felt really like I was going to faint. So I managed to not, I managed to not like I just stood still and I took deep breaths and I was like, Alan I feel really like, I’m going to faint. So he came down and then all of a sudden I was just sick in the sink. 

[00:37:16] Carla: Oh God.

[00:37:17] Lauren: So that was then Alan was like right Im going ot ring 111 so he rang 111 whilst I was like sat on the chair. He’d brought Max down as well. Um, so I was like, just talking to Max as you do, like just holding him and that. Um, he rang 111, he went through it all with them. And they’re like, right, we’re going to send the emergency ambulance.

[00:37:38]Carla:  I bet you were like what?

[00:37:40] Lauren: Yeah. What’s going on. Um, so then they came, I got blue lighted to hospital and explained everything to like the triage nurse and she was like, right. We’re gonna, we’re gonna get you a room on delivery suite. Um, because you’re only. I was only four weeks postpartum. And so, because I was only, I think it goes up to six weeks ago, then you get admitted to an actual ward.

[00:38:12] Carla: Yeah. Apparently that’s when it’s I was just reading about it actually. And it was saying that sepsis can happen. They say postpartum sepsis up to six weeks. Um, so I didn’t know that actually, that’s just another thing to be fearful of. If you, if I ever get pregnant.

[00:38:28] Lauren: God I’m probably scaring everyone from having a baby.

[00:38:33] Carla: No, no, no. It’s important to raise awareness because how would people know? Like you didn’t even know, so at least people know to look out for these things. 

[00:38:42] Lauren: Yeah. But then I got admitted to the ward and this was a different hospital to the hospital where gave birth and went the first time it was a different hospital. So they had different rules. So Alan could come that day, but he wasn’t allowed to stay over, which he was allowed the first time. And, and then after that was only one hour period for visiting. So I was like in hospital by myself like most of the time, which I think is what made the whole situation worse.

[00:39:09] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:39:10] Lauren: But yeah, so I got admitted into the hospital. Um, and they were like, Oh yeah we think like the sepsis has returned. And I was like, right. Okay. But they were like but we can’t work out where its, like we can’t, pinpoint where it’s coming from. So they took, I had bloods taken, blood cultures taken and I had blood taken from the pulse. I don’t know what that means, but apparently it’s a quicker way of finding out if something’s wrong. And that one hurt, it was like out of my wrist. It was horrendous.

[00:39:40] Carla: Oh God. What, where your pulse is?

[00:39:43] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:39:44]Carla:  Oh God, don’t let the sound of that. 

[00:39:47] Lauren: It was horrendous. And then I was in, in the room and I was told that I was going to be getting moved, but I couldn’t be moved until I provided a negative COVID result. So they get, they give us another COVID tests at the hospital, but while I was there, I got a test from the one had done the night before with Alan that said it was negative and I showed the hospital. And they were like, Oh, no, we can’t accept that because it hasn’t come from the hospital. I was like, really? Like, this is proven I don’t have, but for that first 24 hour period in the hospital, I was treat as COVID positive. I wasn’t treat for sepsis, I was treat for having COVID.

[00:40:32]Carla:  But what if you were to take a turn for the worst? 

[00:40:34] Lauren: Well that’s so, obviously Alan came and he was saying the same. He’s like, he’s not like me. Like, I’ll try and be nice about things. He just says what he thinks. He was like the one that was like, Oh, this is ridiculous. Like she needs to be treated for sepsis. You can see she’s had sepsis before. Um, she only had it two weeks ago, this, that, and the other. Um, but they were just saying until we get that negative test we can’t, like treat her properly. 

[00:41:02] Carla: Oh my God.

[00:41:03] Lauren: So like. They said it would take2 hours. 

[00:41:06] Carla: You could have died during that time and then what?

[00:41:10] Lauren: I know, but I think because the symptoms that had literally, it was like I say, it was nowhere near as bad as the first time. So I literally just felt to me, like I had the flu that’s what I thought it was. I didn’t think I was going to be sepsis again. But when I got admitted, they did say, Oh yeah, we’re going to it’s suspected sepsis. So I sort of knew that it had come back and I was like, it all makes sense really. Like there’s so many different symptoms to look out for, for sepsis. Like, just because you’ve got a few and not all of them doesn’t mean that it isn’t sepsis type thing. So I had like the shivering and I had a temperature and I was like, had the sickness. But because I didn’t have all of them thats normally in the list I didn’t think. Oh yeah. Sepsis again. I just feel like it’s just flu. 

[00:41:57] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:42:00] Lauren: Then obviously, uh, I got put on when they got the test back, to say negative, which I knew it was going to come back negative because I’d already given them that test. They put us on the IV antibiotics again in the IV paracetamol. And I was on that every, I think they had to change it every hour. Um, and then eventually, um, I got moved on to like the postnatal ward there, and I was just in this room by myself and I was just sat there, like at this point, like I was sick. I remember I was so like down and deflated like, hadn’t seen the girls property for what, four weeks, nearly more. I obviously hadn’t hardly been with Max. And when I got discharged from hospital, the first time like I was tired, I didn’t have loads of energy. So like, it wasn’t as if I could be the normal mum that I was type thing. 

[00:42:54] Carla: Yeah. It’s that whole time where you want to bond with your baby, that you’ve kind of missed out on. Really? 

[00:43:01] Lauren: Yeah. So I remember like after obviously them saying it was sepsis and the antibiotics and I remember saying like, look. I want to go home. I don’t want to be in hospital. I was like, is there anything that we can do type thing. And then we’re like, you still got a temperature, so we’ll wait until like your temperature regulates and then we’ll see what happens. So that was like on the second day, on the third day, I was just completely was just sick of my life. Like I was just crying the whole time or I was just so down and I was just like, look, I just want to be with my kids. I was like, Surely like you can just give us some antibiotic type thing and send us home.

[00:43:41] And then they were like we can’t work out what the cause, what tipped it off for me was that they couldn’t make out what the cause of the infection was. They talk like three, lots of blood, three blood cultures, and they still didn’t know what was causing it. I was just saying, look, I want to go home. 

[00:43:57] Carla: How do they treat that then? Just give you antibiotics till it goes. 

[00:44:01]Lauren:  Yeah. Basically. So what’s happened is the first time I was sent home with antibiotics, but those anitbiotics weren’t strong enough, to kill the infection that was there within the set period of time. So when I’d come off the antibiotics after a couple of days, that’s when I started feeling poorly again. So it was just the antibiotics weren’t long enough or strong enough. 

[00:44:26] Carla: Right? Yeah. Gosh, that’s frightening. Isn’t it? Cause you think that just gives you the strongest ones wouldn’t they just to make sure a hundred percent its gone. 

[00:44:34] Lauren: Well, you would like to think so, but you never know do you, you don’t know anything. Once I got home, took those antibiotics, when that had finished like, I’ve been fine since it hasn’t come back. And that was the end of October last year, so yeah. 

[00:44:54] Carla: Very good.Yeah, yeah, no. So that, that, I mean, it’s not, it’s not likely to come back. Hopefully there now. 

[00:45:03] Lauren: No. Not, not unless I get it from something else that if I get another infection or something.

[00:45:08]Carla:  It’s frightening though that, because you get scared, then every time you feel a bit under the weather, I imagine like, you’d be terrified.

[00:45:17] Lauren: You do think the worst. Especially like, after like going through it the first time. And obviously I was so poorly and then the whole second, like, I didn’t even think it will come back the second time, but it did. You just think anything like I’ve got a cold now. I don’t know if you can tell, but like it’s just completely knocked me. Like normally with a cold, I’d be fine. But like the past couple of days, I’ve just been like, I just want to stay in bed. I don’t want to get a up. 

[00:45:45] Carla: Scared.

[00:45:45] Lauren: Yeah. It’s just that, it’s just knocked me completely. Like, I’m just. 

[00:45:52] Carla: I can understand it though, because it’s like, you know, you can sadly, you can get sepsis from literally anything can’t you like. You know, I think you can get it from like a splinter in your finger can’t you or something if it gets infected. 

[00:46:05] Lauren: So this is like the thing, right? It sounds stupid. But like we had, um, my friend’s Labrador round and she jumped up and she managed to scratch my leg. It was dead sore. And I was like, now I’m going to get sepsis again. Like anything. Now I’m just like, I’m going to get it again. 

[00:46:23] Carla: Yeah its frightening. But the good thing is you need to think is probably, you know, what it feels like, or if you don’t feel quite right. I don’t think you’d wait this time. Do you know what I mean? Like you think how lucky you were really from people that get sepsis can be ill within a few hours and that’s it. Where as you actually went to bed that night. Obviously you must have had it at six o’clock the night before, and then you went to bed and yeah, you were breathing funny and everything, but you managed to get through like the whole next day and everything. Um, But it’s just, Oh, it’s frightening anyway. I’m scared of anything anyway, because I’m just really bad, but I can imagine for you, that’ll just be one of those things for, probably for the rest of your life. You will, you’ll never forget will you? 

[00:47:13] Lauren: No. I mean, I, it was horrendous. Like it got, even for Alan he was, if I didn’t have him, I would be, I would have been screwed. Cause like it got to the point where he was sleeping on hospital floors. Like. Because it’s the first time the hospital, like you could only have the bed from  10 o’clock, but obviously, cause I was like poorly and I was sleeping a lot. Like he was just trying to sleep when I was sleeping. So when I was awake he could look after us type thing. It got to the point where it was like sleeping on the floor. He didn’t eat for three days when I was at hospital. Like it’s just crazy. Like what, what, it’s not just me. It’s like obviously affected him mentally. Like he was, he won’t talk about  he’s like I don’t want to talk about it cause it’s just completely. One of those things that’s just stressed them out. 

[00:47:59] Carla: Yeah. It’s awful. 

[00:48:01] Lauren: It affects everyone. Like, and I just remember walking into the house after they were at their Nanas and I went to her house to see the girls and they just looked at us and they were like confused. And they were like mummy you’re back? Like completely confused and it’s just affects everyone. Doesn’t it like, it’s not just me, obviously I went through it, but they have as well mentally. 

[00:48:28] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. They’ve had to go without their mummy and not nice as a it’s it’s awful. The whole thing. Um, It’s awful. So what you know afterwards, did you, did it take you awhile to actually feel a hundred percent or did you kind of bounce back quite quickly?

[00:48:46] Lauren: So I still don’t feel a hundred percent. Um, obviously it’s, my main thing. My main issue is when I got discharged from hospital, I was just sent home. I wasn’t told, like you may get some side effects from it, or you might feel like this. I have to do all that research myself and I can remember like, Oh, it was, I was just constantly tired, obviously you’re going to be tired after what you’ve just been through and having a baby, but this is a, to the point where I was, I just had no energy at all. Like I was, I struggled to get up the stairs, like type thing. 

[00:49:21] Carla: Oh God. 

[00:49:23] Lauren: So I think that the physical side being like of being lethargic, massively, massively tired. I mean, thats got a bit better. Muscle weakness, uh, like breathlessness. So like when I say I was struggling, to get up the stairs, I couldn’t get half way without feeling out of breath. I had like joint and muscle pains, like insomnia. Like I still hardly sleep. 

[00:49:50] Carla: Do you think you suffering like with your mental health cause of all this or not? 

[00:49:54] Lauren: Probably yeah. And I think, yeah. I mean, definitely, definitely. Sort of got, postnatal anxiety from leaving Max, it sounds so stupid, but like I was in the car when he went and got his first needles. And you were probably the same as me. You don’t want to take them for the needles because they cry. So Alan went in. So, um, And like I was in the car. I wasn’t far from him, but the whole time he wasn’t next to us and I couldn’t see him. I was really anxious. Like I was stressed. It was a worst thing. And I knew he was safe. Cause obviously he was with Alan. But like in the thought of just like, obviously like as, his Nanna his grandad, they are like oh can I have him like overnight when I’m allowed. And like the thought of it just I’m like, no, I can’t bear the thought of him not being next to us. 

[00:50:46] Carla: No, no, it’s, it’s so scary. Isn’t it just, I mean, why, what do you find that you’re up in the night for just like you can’t sleep thinking about it or? 

[00:50:57] Lauren: Well, it’s not necessarily what happened. It’s just, I can’t sleep ever since being in hospital the first time I just can’t sleep like it, like. The girls go to sleep at about seven, half seven, Max is the same. And obviously we’ve got Marley um, who’s a puppy and she’ll like sleep in a bed or she’ll sleep on our bed. And because she’s a puppy, she sleeps quite a lot. So like, if it’s quiet and nothing’s going on then Alan will fall asleep quite early, which is fine. Um, but I’ll be still sat up until about 11, 12 o’clock not doing anything, not thinking of anything I’m stuck. I can’t sleep. Yeah. It’s just weird, like I just don’t. I’m tired and 

[00:51:40] Carla: Can you not relax anymore as much.?

[00:51:42]Lauren:  No, I can’t. I have tried a bath, I’ve tried like the whole self care, tried face masks.

[00:51:49]Carla:  What about a magazine, a good magazine? 

[00:51:51] Lauren: Nothing works. I’ve tried reading. I’ve tried listening to music, like just having the telly makes, them calming apps nothing, nothing works. I just can’t sleep. 

[00:52:01] Carla: No, you can’t switch off. Yeah. Oh, it’s frightening. Isn’t it? Well I mean, the whole thing you’ve been through like a really traumatic, would you say six months? It must be now. Is it?

[00:52:15] Lauren: Yeah. About yeah,  five, six months. 

[00:52:18] Carla: Yeah. God, and really it wasn’t that long ago at all. It’s it’s frightening really. And what you’ve been through will, it will probably bother you for a while. I mean, you might actually find that you want to talk to someone about it, you know, just to kind of get it out.

[00:52:35] Lauren: Yeah. I’ve been in touch with the UK Sepsis Trust. I have been in touch with their support team. 

[00:52:42] Carla: You’ve chosen them as your charity for My Bump 2 Baby Newcastle. Haven’t you? 

[00:52:46] Lauren: Yeah I have yes.

[00:52:47]Carla:  I love that. No we’ll put a link to that in the, um, in the notes to this episode. Um, but you’ve got, um, a blog that you’ve written on, on your whole story, which is really, really well written as well. Um, and I’ll put the link to that in the, in the notes here too. 

[00:53:05] Lauren: Yes. Um, the sepsis one, I haven’t fully finished, but it’s nearly finished. Its just taking a while.

[00:53:11] Carla: Well, the thing is there’s a lot to it. Isn’t there?

[00:53:14]Lauren:  Yeah. It’s not as if it’s just like one story it’s like loads of little ones and one big one. 

[00:53:19] Carla: Yeah. And then it’s like, sometimes you would just might not be ready to press that button because there’s still other things that you want to include and stuff. Has it affected like you with your bonding with Max or do you think it’s. It’s not really. How, how do you think that’s been? 

[00:53:37] Lauren: No, that I’m obsessed with him. He’s like my little, obviously I love all my kid, um, but like, he’s just my little best friend, like, anything I’m just like, I’ll change all his nappies, I’ll feed him. Like no one gets a look in. He’s just my little boy. 

[00:53:55] Carla: Love that . Oh Lauren, thank you so much, um, for coming on and talking about that. Um, if anyone’s got any questions, are they okay to message you about?

[00:54:04] Lauren: Yeah of course.

[00:54:06]Carla:  That’s brilliant. And is there, what we’ll do is we’ll put a link to the, the symptoms as well. Like you said, you might not necessarily have all of them. 

[00:54:16] Lauren: Yes. 

[00:54:17] Carla: Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your story. And I’m so glad you’re better. I was worried about you at the time. It was worrying. 

[00:54:24] Lauren: I say to Alan, like, you know, when I told you to ring Carla, he was like yeah, I was like what did you say? He’s like  I can’t remember. I was like oh god I can just imagine her reaction.

[00:54:32] Carla: Oh, I was like what? what? Oh no. Oh, I was so upset. Really, really upset me, but I’m just so glad you’re okay now, um,.

[00:54:42] Lauren: Getting there.

[00:54:43] Carla: Yeah, you are, you getting there and, you know, thanks so much for sharing it because I just think it’s something that more people need to be aware of after birth, because it can happen can’t it up to six weeks after these kinds of things can happen.

[00:54:57] Lauren: Yeah, it is. It’s scary. Like, like you say, you don’t, you don’t realize until you actually go through it. 

[00:55:04] Carla: No, absolutely. No. Everyone needs to be careful of that kind of thing and look out for it. So thanks very much, Lauren. And could you just tell our listeners where they can find you if that’s okay? 

[00:55:17] Lauren: So I’m on instagram and my user name is @thenewcastlemum all one word. And my Facebook page is the same as just The Newcastle Mum.

[00:55:29] Carla: Perfect. Perfect. So thanks very much for being our guests today, Lauren. 

[00:55:34] Lauren: No problem. I’ve enjoyed it thank you. 

[00:55:36] Carla: I loved it. It’s brilliant. Thank you. Well, I say it’s brilliant. That sounds a bit bad. I mean, I’ve loved having a chat about it. I’m just glad you’re okay. Now. Thank you.

[00:55:49] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of 50 Shades of Motherhood. 50 shades of motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.

[00:56:13] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.

[00:56:35] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address is carla@mybump2baby.com. And I look forward to speaking to you next time on 50 Shades of Motherhood.

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Sex https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/sex https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/sex#respond Sat, 20 Mar 2021 19:16:57 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1156 "Mummy why are you bouncing on the bed like that?" Welcome to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! A podcast with real honest chats about all that is parenting. Brought to you by your host Carla Lett, founder of My Bump 2 Baby. This week Carla talks with her friend Melanie O’Brien about something that is on our minds but we don't speak about enough…Sex! From sex before kids to after and everything in between.

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  • Sex

“Mummy why are you bouncing on the bed like that?”

Welcome back to Fifty Shades of Motherhood Season 3! A podcast with real, honest, and raw chats on any topic around parenting with no judgement. Brought to you by your host Carla Lett, founder of My Bump 2 Baby. This week Carla talks with her friend Melanie O’Brien about something that is on our minds but we don’t speak about enough…Sex! From sex before kids, to after, and everything in between. 

Carla:  Hello everybody. And welcome to 50 Shades of Motherhood. I am so excited to be back with you guys. So I’ve had it a little bit of a break, but it was really important for me to get back here and carry on raising awareness around some really, really important topics that us as mums struggle sometimes to talk about, and I. The feedback that we’ve had from the podcast episodes so far, and the amount of people that this podcast has helped. I just thought, do you know what? I can’t not do it. So season two ended the feedback was amazing. Season one, the feedback was amazing. We’ve had over 7,000 people listening to this podcast, which is just incredible.

[00:01:01] So this podcast, this seasons podcast, season three is all about continuing to raise awareness around important topics. Have a laugh, be real, be raw, be uncensored and be unfiltered. And just be honest and share, open chats around motherhood. So I have some amazing, amazing guests lined up and I can’t wait to share these episodes with you.

[00:01:28] If you haven’t already hit that subscribe button, leave us a review. I would love to hear your thoughts and please, please, please share this. Um, if we continue getting listeners, it means that we can continue doing this podcast. So I look forward to sharing season three with you. Hope you enjoy it. And please, please, please send some feedback.

[00:02:01] Unfortunately, in life things happen that we have no control over, which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family, in case the worst should happen, please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bills.

[00:02:31] If you have not got protection, please think about it. We insure our mobile phone. We insure our household appliances. We insure our pets. Why don’t we insure ourselves, please, please. Today. Go to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal and find your nearest financial advisor or family protection specialist. It is so important that you are covered, should the worst happen. 

[00:03:07] Are you looking for groups and classes for your little one, perhaps you’re looking for pregnancy classes for yourself. My Bump 2 Baby is the UKs leading pregnancy to preschool directory. To find your nearest pregnancy to preschool group class, lesson, or service, head over to www.mybump2baby.com. You can also read our reviews on the latest products, days out and services

[00:03:56] Here we are season three. I want to raise awareness around really important issues, but I also want to raise and have chats. And raise awareness around issues that some of us might not feel that’s very important, but actually it is. This subject tonight that we’re going to be talking about is something that I think we all need to talk about. And I think it’s a very important subject and it rhymes with tex, it’s sex. Okay. We’re going to be talking all about sex tonight. We’re going to be talking about sex before babies. Obviously not with multiple partners. Not that we ever have. And we’re going to be talking about sex after babies and how it changes and how we can come together and get it back. Or can you get it back? I don’t know. I suppose it’s just a case of raising that awareness and having that chat that we all probably want to talk about, but we don’t talk about enough. So I am really excited for tonight’s episode. I would absolutely love you to share it as far and wide as possible.

[00:05:10] Um, my parents slight thing there, now my father still thinks I’m a Virgin. Well, I’ve told him that. Um, as far as I’m aware, I think he thinks George is a miracle conception. So if you are my father and you are listening to, this might be an idea just to turn that off. I love you, but turn it off. Anyhow tonight, my guest is called Melanie. And she has two beautiful little girls and we are going to be talking all about sex. I’m very excited to share this episode, so I hope you enjoy it. And if you would like to talk about a subject, that’s a bit out there without fear of judgment, then please email me or message me.

[00:06:01] Hello everybody and welcome to 50 shades of motherhood. Today. I am joined with my friend, Melanie O’Brien mum of two, and we are going to be talking about a subject that a lot of women think about over analyse about, but don’t talk about, and that is sex. So hi, Mel, how are you?

[00:06:24]Melanie:  I’m really good thank you. Ready for this conversation.

[00:06:28] Carla: I am too. Do you know what I really am? So I actually did it last night. So I’m feeling very, um, kind of fresh, uh, you know, uh, fresh, fresh in the conversation, um, but, I do think it’s something that we, we do need to talk about because I think sometimes as mum’s like, it changes that much from like before having a baby to having a baby. And then you kind of like, Oh shit, is this normal? Is it normal? Or is a romance like normal that we don’t do as much anymore and stuff like that. So I think just having a chat about it is a really good idea and I love talking about sex anyway. So, cause I’m really immature. 

[00:07:11] Melanie: No, you’re not. I agree. It’s something that nobody speaks about, but everyone wonders about.

[00:07:16] Carla: I know exactly. And I think sometimes we can sit there at home in bed thinking, is this normal? Is it normal that we don’t have sex that much? I mean, so, so much. So I’ll go into it shortly. But me and Danny actually started agreeing on like a Wednesday and a Sunday, just so we know where we’re at, you know, so I can shave and prepare my body. And 

[00:07:39] Melanie: You’re absolutely, I swear to God, you’re not alone. You are not alone in that. I was very much the same. Like I said, with him working away. It almost became sort of like right we have to do it on these days because you’re not around any other days. 

[00:07:55] Carla: Exactly. That’s it. Isn’t it. And going back to before children, obviously not talking about any sexual partners before, because we have never done that have we Mel? Um, but going 

[00:08:07] Melanie: No, never, ever, ever.

[00:08:09]Carla:  Definitely not. Definitely not. I honestly, I was a Virgin until I was married, even though I was pregnant at the time. I don’t know how it happened. Honestly. 

[00:08:18] Melanie: I already had one kid before I got married so don’t worry, I like miraculously conceived, so it’s fine. 

[00:08:27] Carla: It is. Do you know what? That was one of the worst things for me, not, not obviously George, but you know, like we booked the wedding and like, I don’t know I just didn’t even, I just. Do you know what it was? And I’ve said it before my friend, um, bless her. She had three children under three, and she was giving me advice saying that the pull-out method worked. And for some reason I just believed it and yeah. Um, there we are. I was pregnant. I remember ringing my mum and I was  like, yeah, um, I’m pregnant. And I was like, don’t tell dad, don’t tell dad because you know, he still, I’m pretty sure we, you know, he still think some must have rolled in it or something like that.

[00:09:09] Melanie: Definitely did not want you to be doing that thing.  Absolutely not.No.

[00:09:14]Carla:  No, no, absolutely not.

[00:09:16]Melanie:  I was, um, I was on the pill, I liked, literally had, I had no hope. 

[00:09:25] Carla: Were you on the pill? Did you take the pill right as well? 

[00:09:28] Melanie: Yeah. With with Paige, um, I. Yep. I was on the pill. Um, and I just started a new job. Oh, something’s not right here. And yet managed to somehow get pregnant on the pill. So that was, that was a really good one that one. Did not go back on it afterwards. 

[00:09:47] Carla: No, yeah. That’s mad. So before children then, cause obviously you two have been together quite a while. How, how did you guys meet? 

[00:09:57] Melanie: So we met. We met at a friend’s wedding. Well, actually it was his cousin and my best friend’s wedding. We met there. Um, he was with someone else, like my ex wasn’t there at the time he was in my eyes, probably the most arrogant person I’d ever met in my life. Um, and yeah, you know, life goes on and a couple of years later we ended up good old Facebook, um, got tagged in a photo and literally the rest is history. Um, we’ve been together ever since. 

[00:10:37] Carla: Wow. So you’ve been together. Is it 10 years now? 

[00:10:40] Melanie: Yes, 10 years now. Yeah. God, married 8. 

[00:10:44] Carla: Oh, my goodness. Wow. 10 years. Do you never think, like years ago I used to think back and I used to think, how do people stay together that long? How boring do you know? It’s funny, isn’t it? But when you’re in it, you don’t think it’s boring. Well, occasionally, but do you know what I mean?

[00:11:00]Melanie:  Like, it was literally when we like realised, you know, towards the end last year, we’re like, Oh my God, we’ve been together like 10 years. What the hell. 

[00:11:09] Carla: Did you fall pregnant quite quickly then? Or was it?

[00:11:13] Melanie: I actually did. Yeah. Well, I say I did. Yeah. Um, like the first year of our relationship, he like, he used to travel up to Blackpool every weekend. Um, and then he went on tour for awhile. Um, and then he literally came back off tour. We moved in together and I was then pregnant within two months. 

[00:11:34] Carla: Oh my god. We are like, obviously this is the sex one, but were you doing it loads cause you do when you first get together don’t you?

[00:11:41] Melanie: Yeah. Yeah. Literally like, like we were literally quite at it like rabbits. Um, it was just any opportunity, literally, any opportunity. Um, I moved down to where he was posted and I mean, you know, I got a job straight away, but it was genuinely. Whenever we got a chance. It just never stopped. 

[00:12:05] Carla: I know exactly what you mean. Well, that’s what happens when you first get together. And I think sometimes that’s where, like, it all begins, this kind of thing of what’s normal. And what’s not because for you probably pre-baby, that was normal. Cause you weren’t together that long. 

[00:12:21] Melanie: Yeah. Yeah. And literally from, you know, from the minute we got together, like not that I’m like a slut or anything, but you know, like all like all the time, obviously, you know, I only saw him at weekends and stuff like that. But god. It was, it was non-stop. And then when we obviously moved in together, it was even better because you know, we could see each other all the time. Yeah. But you know, it, it felt, it felt normal. It felt right. It was never, there was never this. Shall we do it, Shan’t we do it. It was just. What we wanted to do it, you know, it didn’t feel like this is what we should be doing. It was just what we wanted to be doing. 

[00:13:07] Carla: I know exactly what you mean. I know it’s funny, isn’t it? When you first get with someone it is, you’re at it like absolute rabbits and it’s like, and then the thing is, it was similar for me and Danny, because we got pregnant quite quickly. Um, after being together you know only a short amount of time. And then it’s almost like, you know, obviously when you’re pregnant, you’re a bit mindful. I mean, I was still doing it. I’ll be totally honest, but I think it was a bit, it’s a bit harder to kind of locate isn’t it? You know? 

[00:13:40] Melanie: Yeah. So even when I was pregnant again, well he was away a lot of my pregnancy, but again, whenever he was back, it was, you know, we, we were still, we were still at it a lot, um. Whether thats  because he was away a fair bit. So again, when he was home and we kind of made the most of it, I, I, you know, I don’t know. Um, but I did have quite a few problems in my pregnancy. Um, ended up in hospital quite, you know, quite a few times. Um, so I think towards the end, we definitely became more aware of that. Um, and it, it did obviously slow down, but I felt that was because it was pregnancy related. Not because. I didn’t want to.

[00:14:27]Carla:  Yes. I know exactly what you mean. I was the same. So, um, with George, we would doing it a lot. And then I started bleeding and I had to go into hospital and then they said those bad words for me. Cause I had a really, really high sex drive and they were like bed rest. And I thought, you know, like when it’s going in, slow motion l and just thought noooo anyway, they said, basically that was it. We couldn’t do it anymore. 

[00:14:51] Melanie: So that’s what, yeah, that’s pretty much what they told. That’s pretty much what they told me. Um, especially like the further on I got, they were just like, it’s. I mean, even from literally about 11 weeks on, you know, that’s obviously that I bled quite a lot and they were just like, well, I think they thought it was like irritating my cervix or whatever. Um, but I didn’t really take that much notice to be honest, not, I dunno whether it’s because it was my first kid, whether it was because I was blind to the situation.

[00:15:19] Carla: A bit more laid back.

[00:15:21] Melanie: Yeah, and I was just a bit like, okay, fine. And then obviously, like the future on I got, they were just a bit like, no, don’t irritate it because that, you know, you could end up causing like preterm labor. So we then obviously, you know, laid off a fair bit. Um, and that kind of, I don’t know, I, part of me feels like thats what sort of set it for us.

[00:15:48] Carla: Yeah. Cause you start then getting in a different routine, don’t you? It doesn’t become about sex and all that anymore. It becomes a bit different. And then how do you go back to doing it all the time then? 

[00:15:59] Melanie: Yeah. Like I completely agree with that. Um, you know, it, it absolutely changed when they started, obviously the further on I got, they started like warning me off a bit and obviously I had a early just, you know, you, you had George early. Um, and I had Paige early and obviously it just goes out the windows then doesn’t it? 

[00:16:21] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, it does it does. And then you’ve got a child like a baby. And it’s like, I mean, to be totally honest with you, I don’t know why I’m whispering because everyone can hear, but I had a C-section. Did you have a C-section?

[00:16:34] Melanie: No, no, I didn’t. 

[00:16:36] Carla: Did you not? Well, honestly, I couldn’t wait to get right back on it. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I ended up doing it that much, that straight after my C-section it makes we even like cringe down, not just for the pain. Cause I was doing it missionary. Uh, which is, you know, the one I like, bit boring like that. Um, honestly, honestly, I think it’s just like, you know, where my bums wobbling and all that, you know I prefer to be laid down. So it doesn’t wobble quite as much. Um, but when we were doing it. Straight after I had to go to the doctor because I caught an infection in my C-section scar because of the, you know, the friction. 

[00:17:19] Melanie: Oh my god so definitely doing it too early on?

[00:17:23] Carla: Yeah, it was literally the week after. I mean, I don’t know what was wrong with me. It’s like, it built, it’s like it builds up and I have to just get rid. 

[00:17:30] Melanie: So you know what saying that though? I mean, like with, with Paige. We didn’t bring her home to till she was probably, well, she was like a week old. Um, and then I did wait, like, I dunno, maybe another week or so. And I thought that was like quite early on to be, you know to be back on it. Um, but then

[00:17:53] Carla: Back on it, I love that.

[00:17:56] Melanie: Quite, literally back on it. Jumping completely forward to like, when I had like my second. Honest to God, it was so completely different then like with Paige. I literally was walking like John Wayne. I honestly thought like, what the hell is happening? 

[00:18:13] Carla: Oh I thought you meant after the sex.

[00:18:16] Melanie: No, no after giving birth. But then within two weeks it was like, I felt normal enough. But then with my second I was like within a few days, I was like, what the hell is wrong with me? Like I honest to God. I swear to God, I didn’t actually birth her. I,  I still swear to this day, I dunno what happened.

[00:18:34] Carla: Did it not hurt down there?

[00:18:36] Melanie: No nothing. I had nothing at all. When I had like, honestly, when I had Flo, literally I swear down it never, ever once felt like I had given birth. So I was just straight back on it with her. It wasn’t till hard. A non sleeper. That everything changed. 

[00:18:55] Carla: Yes. Yeah. That is, that is the thing that, where people say like, that point changes. Because it mental health like it absolutely. I mean, God George, luckily for me, and I’m sorry for anyone listening that hasn’t got, George was a really good sleeper, but I still, I mean, even though I only out to get up once in the night or something, I was still like, absolutely exhausted. I love sleep though, Mel, and I think you’re the same aren’t you?

[00:19:20] Melanie: Yeah, yeah. And I was lucky again, I was really lucky with Paige. She was aa really, really good baby considering, you know, she was early and I breastfed her as well. Um, but she settled really early on. Um, and you know, from literally from a couple of months old, she was sleeping 12 hours a night. I was so, so lucky with her. We had our routine back really quick. Um, when my second come along, my God, everything literally flipped upside down and that’s honestly, that’s when everything changed. Um, I had a toddler who, you know, to be fair to her, she was great. She’d go to bed. She wouldn’t even get out of her bed. Like she, she could lay there awake for an hour and I’d go up and check and be like, oh my God you’re still awake. But she wouldn’t ever shout for us. She’d never attempt to get out bed. She was such a good little girl. And then I had this baby who was literally feeding probably every 45 minutes for like the first two years of her life. So you can imagine what that did to us. 

[00:20:19] Carla: Oh God. Because the stress, like you start getting snappy with each other don’t you and stuff.

[00:20:24] Melanie: I was so exhausted. Like she wouldn’t take a bottle either. So yeah, so it was literally down to me. We tried so many times to get to take a bottle and she just wouldn’t and it was down to me every single night for like two years solid. And obviously I could put her down and she’d go down like a dream, but by nine o’clock every night she was up and she was up every 45 minutes throughout the night. And like I had two years of that nearly and. Well, you can imagine what that did for our sex life.

[00:20:55]Carla:  Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s it. And also, I think it’s about feeling sexy a lot of the time, because I think if you don’t feel sexy, like I recently, honestly, since this locked down, I’ve just been stuffing my face and drinking whatever I want. Literally I have about four chins at the moment. That’s why we’re not on video at the moment, Mel. Um, 

[00:21:16] Melanie: My kids count mine. Oh look, mummy. There’s one, two, how many chins do you need?

[00:21:23] Carla: Yeah. Cheers. Their protect to protect me neck. That’s all. Well, honestly, it’s awful anyway, but our sex life, like it, literally, when you don’t feel good about yourself as well, I think you can really, that makes, that puts you off doing it because then you don’t take care of yourself as much. Do you? And it’s like, you know, I think God, I’m actually thinking back to when I last shaved my legs. I actually don’t know.

[00:21:47]Melanie:  Oh my god don’t even talk to me.

[00:21:49]Carla:  But he doesn’t even normally touch my legs, you know, it’s just straight in, lets do it. Yeah. If he did touch my legs, if it was a kind of thing like that, I shave them. But usually they’re missed. Maybe cause they are hairy? I don’t know?

[00:22:03] Melanie: No no I completely, that is literally, oh my God, thats like literally like me and him. Um, yeah. There’s no, there’s no leg touching. There’s no, there’s no like gentleness. It’s just like, right. Literally the kids are asleep quick. Let’s get it in. Let’s get it done.

[00:22:18] Carla: Yes, let’s do it. And you know what? I always say afterwards, straight after I’m like. We should really do that more. Because I love it. I absolutely love it, but sometimes it’s like, it’s when it gets to a certain time and you’re tired. It’s been a long day and you think oh we’ll do it tomorrow, but you do want to do it, but you, you know, that kind of initial like, hi, how are you doing kind of thing? It’s a bit weird.

[00:22:46] Melanie: Oh, I swear to God. That’s all like any, any kind of like, I’m not going to lie. It any kind of like passion is probably definitely gone with us. It’s literally a case of right we’ve finally got the kids to sleep so quickly. Let’s jump into bed together, because we can have plans, we can have all the plans in the world. And I swear to God lock down, right. Has finished us off. Not finished us off, but its had such a massive effect on us because we used to be able to like palm the kids off to Nana for a weekend.

[00:23:20] Um, or even just one night, you know, and it just be like, right, okay. As then we can have date night.

[00:23:27] Carla: And you can get drunk.

[00:23:28] Melanie: Yeah and you can come home and do you know what you haven’t got the worry of your kids like waking or walking in or anything like that because they’re not here. And that honestly, lock down. I genuinely feel had such a big impact on us because it was, it’s just become a case of, we have to make sure the kids are asleep because there’s, there has been times where we’ve literally been like at it and like Paige has woken up or like gone come in the room and we just, Oh, daddy’s just massaging mummy’s back because you know, she’s got a sore back. What the hell? 

[00:24:05] Carla: I know. Do you know what really annoys me just as you’re about to as well, that happened to me only recently. And you know, you’re gearing up, you getting involved and it’s just like about to come. And I looked to the right of me and there’s George like, Oh mummy, why are you bouncing on the bed like that? I’m just like, well, you know, it’s just, it’s just so fun. P

[00:24:26] Melanie: Yeah. We’ve had to have, you know, we’ve, we’ve had quite a few times like that and it’s just like, Oh my God. But then he got to a stage where he was like, you know what, I’m not doing this while there’s even a chance of them being awake. So that had a massive impact on us as well, because it’s, so it’s not just, like the women that I think it has an effect on, because it’s definitely had an effect on him. He’ll probably kill me for saying all this.

[00:24:51]Carla:  No, but its true.

[00:24:52]Melanie:  But I just hope he never listens. I just hope he never listens to what I’m saying but.

[00:24:57] Carla: We need to, it’s not for the boys this. Like, Danny, won’t listen to this, but it is just about being girls and being open. But I know what you mean. It’s not. And also Mel, like you said, it’s, it reminds you that your mum and dad and it, yeah. And sometimes that you just want to feel sexy. You want to feel like young, you want to feel fit and like, and then all of a sudden your kids staring at you or like your kids there. 

[00:25:23] Melanie: What are you doing? What are you doing? And, it’s just like you, you’ve got to be kidding me. Just get back in your bedroom. And the thing is, I don’t know what you’re like, but we’re very much, um, we don’t shut our bedroom door.

[00:25:35]Carla:  No 

[00:25:37] Melanie: We’ve and, and I know there’s this whole, you know, like, Oh, you shut your bedroom doors, blah, blah, blah. All the kids’ blah blah blah, I’ve never shut. When, when they were very, very little, we used to shut their bedroom doors, but I also don’t ever want them to feel that they’re like trapped in the room. So we’ve always left all our doors open. 

[00:25:52] Carla: Yeah, we do that.

[00:25:54]Melanie:  So if we ever left our, if we, if we ever shut our door that would instantly get their attention. Cause they’d be like, well, why is that door shut? So we feel like we can’t shut our door. So we leave our door open. But we’re, I feel like we’re always on full alert.

[00:26:10] Carla: No you can’t get into it can you?

[00:26:12] Melanie: No, no. Cause I feel like waiting for one of them to get into it. So then we ended up having so many times we ended up just doing like the spooning position, because it’s easier to explain if a kid walks in. It’s very easy to explain to them oh we are just having a cuddle and it’s a massive passion killer but, you know,  it’s like, well, you’ve got to do it somehow. And if this is the way that we’re actually going to get to do it, then we’ll just, we’ll go with it this way. Because at least if we get caught, we can just tell them, we are having a cuddle, back to your bedroom. And you know, it’s sad that it’s like that in some ways, but what are you supposed to do? 

[00:26:54] Carla: I know. I do think I agree with what you said before about the lockdown, because we, that was our time off. That was my time to get dressed up for him to say, Oh, you look nice. Now. Honestly, I look like, you know, home alone, that, that pigeon woman that is honestly, I looked in the mirror before and I thought, wow, all I need is a bit of, a bit of birds on me. And that’s it, you know, I’m at that stage. But do you know what I mean? Like lockdown, it’s like, you just let yourself go a bit behind closed doors. Well, not you, I’m not saying that I’ve not seen you. 

[00:27:26] Melanie: Oh no. But the thing is you you’re completely right. It is me.

[00:27:29] Carla: Honestly. Before I thought to myself, I was like tear and I was about to record this and I thought. Feel like I stink. Like I did have a shower in the morning, but I feel like, I don’t know when, when I last wash my hair, I actually don’t know. And like, it’s just like, it’s bad in a way, because it’s getting that effort back and every now and then I get back to a routine where I think, right, that’s it, I’m tanning, I’m shaving, I’m doing all this. And I do it like for one week and then I’m like back to, yeah. 

[00:27:59] Melanie: Do you not think it’s when you’ve actually shaved and sorted yourself out. That’s when you think, Oh, you know what? I feel really good. Like, I am not letting this go again because I feel, I feel good. But then within the week you’re like, Ugh, do you know what? I can’t even be bothered, but when you actually do it, you’re reminded how good you actually do feel. But it’s so easy to just let go and.

[00:28:25] Carla: Yes.

[00:28:25]Melanie:  And not make the effort again. 

[00:28:27] Carla: I know. And do you know what Mel, it’s funny you say that because I love it when I’m confident and I’m, you know what, I feel so good that I’m like, yeah, you want me, but when it’s like, out of pity almost. When it’s like oh its Carla  that poor little woman, that’s like, you know, you should be blooming on home alone or whatever, you know, when it’s like that, I feel a bit inferior. So I don’t, I do still enjoy it, but I love being more. I just love being tanned and fit. Like, do you know what I mean? 

[00:28:59] Melanie: I completely, honestly, I completely get you, like, you feel so much more confident in yourself when you’ve made that effort yourself. Like you feel you’re the one almost that’s in control of what’s happening. Like as in like you’re in control of the passion you’re in control of

[00:29:17] Carla: They fancy you more as well. Do you notice that?

[00:29:18]Melanie:  Yeah. Yeah. Oh my God. Absolutely. Like sometimes I feel so sorry for him because if we are like, Oh right, yep. Kids are asleep. Great. Have you shaved your legs. No, ah that’s all right. And then I think to myself, Oh my God. Like, why are you doing it with me with like my unshaved legs and like, flipping heck I haven’t even wash my hair. You know. And as much as you do it because you want to do it because you do, you still feel like I should have definitely made more effort and I don’t feel as good as I should be feeling. 

[00:29:53] Carla: Yeah. I know what you mean. And it’s like, it is like that. And it’s it’s do you know what I notice, I notice when I’m more confident he fancies me more, which makes me fancy him more. 

[00:30:04] Melanie: Oh my God. Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:30:07] Carla: When I’m loved, I love him more. But when I feel crap. It’s like, Oh yeah. And I feel a bit embarrassed. Like, I dunno if I let myself go a bit, I just don’t feel like as good. So when I lose a bit of a few pounds, when I go on one of these crash diets I do now, and again, I always think to myself, Oh yeah, I feel great. And then he looks at me different. That’s what I feel like. Do you know what I mean?

[00:30:34] Melanie: Yeah. Although in some ways, to me, like, that’s like the total opposite for me, because I’ve always been like, as you know, I’ve never been big have I? And I went like the complete opposite way. So I went to the point where like, I literally felt like I was just a bag of bones and that to me was so unattractive. I used to look at myself and think, Oh my God, like, I literally look disgusting. Why the hell, why the hell would you want to sleep with me? And, you know, and, and that put me off wanting to do it myself. Um, don’t get me wrong. I’ve definitely gained the weight now. 

[00:31:16] Carla: Do you know Mel? It’s so good that you’ve said that because I think some people are always listening. We’re always talking about body issues and we’re always talking about, Oh, we put on weight and stuff and it’s never like, Oh, I’ve lost weight. And I think that’s really important because there is so many different,

[00:31:31] Melanie: You know what I completely agree. It’s something I am dead passionate about because obviously being the person that’s always been on the smaller side, I mean, you know, I’ve always been ridiculed for being, so small, and oh you’re so skinny ra ra ra and like, you know what it was like when we used to work together, you know, I was always the small one, blah, blah, blah.

[00:31:51] When I had the girls, literally after I had Florry, I literally went down to like six and a half stone. I was just a bag of bones. It was disgusting. It was honestly disgusting. And I never, I probably never felt un sexier because I just felt like this bag of bones with a pair of boobs that was just feeding my kids. And that was probably one of the worst times ever, because I was thinking, how on earth can he find me attractive and want to like actually be with me. And I know it’s always about people who, who just want to lose weight and they don’t like their,

[00:32:32] Carla: Well thats all they show don’t they? That’s all like the media shows, like I just said, then like, Oh, I’ve eaten my way through. Didn’t even think about that. But then I, do you know, what it is is I can’t imagine ever like losing loads of weight and then thinking, Oh, I look awful. Like I just, but then you’ve, you’re on the other side where like, you know, you have loads of weight and you didn’t feel confident, but I can’t ever imagine that. And it’s, it’s, it’s good that you’ve mentioned that because I think that is something that people do need to be aware of as well. 

[00:33:04] Melanie: Yeah, absolutely. And there’s definitely, honestly, there’s, there’s people, um, there’s people that I know there’s also people that I follow, obviously. Um, and I know that they’re in the same position as me. That have absolutely hated being as small as they are, but it’s just not spoken about, you know, it’s nowhere near as. Like an okay subject to talk about. And if you do talk about it, you’re almost, it’s almost like, um, you kind of boasting that you are that small. And it’s not that way. I swear to God, my confidence had never been lower when I was small. I couldn’t even get a size six to fit me. And that was like probably one of the most depressing times of my life. Um, but you know, it’s taken me probably three, nearly four years to put the weight on. And I finally reached an over eight stone mark. Right. And do you know what I’m probably the most comfortable with ever been in my body now. Um, and. I love, I love having like an extra little bit of weight and I personally don’t care whether I’ve got like a bit of a wobbly belly or a bit of flab  like, you know, the kids will be like, wow, mummy looks like you’re having another baby. Cheers kids. And you know, it doesn’t bother me. Whereas that looks really, really offend some people.

[00:34:21] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I see, honestly speaking, honestly, I’d be, I, I, if George said that to me, which he does say it makes me think, Oh my God, I need to lose some weight. And, and that is, do you know? I think, do you think women are ever happy with how they are? I don’t know?

[00:34:39]Melanie:  No, I honestly, I don’t think women ever are happy with how they are like, Oh, I really don’t because I can see it from both points of view. You know, I’ve seen the people that are bigger and just wish that they could lose weight. And then I’ve seen people that are so small. All they want to do is gain weight and neither of them feel attracted to, you know, attractive enough, sorry to like, feel that their partners want to be with them. 

[00:35:08] Carla: Yes. Yeah. I know it’s mad. Isn’t it? It’s like, I think sometimes our own bit, I don’t know about you, but if I go on a night out, God, I’m probably, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a night out. I am desperate for one, but when I do, I dress, it means more to me if a woman comes over and it’s like, Oh, you really look nice than a bloke.

[00:35:30] Melanie: Yes. A hundred percent, a hundred percent. If you can get that okay from, from a girl. You know that you look good. Yeah. But like, but that’s a girl’s opinion, but for them to look good for a man, I think they feel that they have to look good for a woman, which is like, that’s completely ridiculous in some ways, but they’re not confident unless someone tells, unless a female tells them, do you know what my God, you look amazing, love your dress. Or, you know, like you all go to the loos together don’t you, but you do get that occasionally. You will get that like, 

[00:36:10] Carla: Oh I make friends with people every single time I go the toilet, honestly, I wake up with about 12 friend requests. I mean, holidays that I’ve mentioned to people. I mean, it let’s not go there, but I do. 

[00:36:21]Melanie:  Carla I expect nothing less from you. 

[00:36:23] Carla: Honestly it’s a nightmare. I think have always been the same, really. 

[00:36:28] Melanie: I think, I think anyone who knows you would, um, would say that that’s, that’s literally who you are, but that that’s the thing with you though. You’re just, you’re just this genuine person who appreciates people. And if, if you know you, you wouldn’t put anyone down, but there are people out there who really do make other people feel rubbish. 

[00:36:52] Carla: Mmm. I don’t like that at all. That’s what that’s part of the reason why this podcast for me, like it’s just about being you. And if some people might listen to us Mel and think. Yeah. Actually, no, I feel great about myself and that’s great. 

[00:37:06] Melanie: Yeah. It’s really great. 

[00:37:07] Carla: But that’s very rare. I would say.

[00:37:09] Melanie: Yeah I can guarantee you there’ll be so many more people thinking yeah I feel absolutely horrendous about myself too. Especially after having kids, especially, you know, like after lockdown, there’s going to be so many people that aren’t going to like  who they are and what’s happened and how their lives are changed so massively since having  kids.

[00:37:34]Carla:  I think that and I do think a lot of the time, once you’ve had children, I do think sometimes you can. Because friends don’t really say I had this chat with my friends when I was pissed again. Honestly, honestly, I don’t drink that much, but,

[00:37:49] Melanie: Are you sure?

[00:37:51]Carla:  I don’t know, actually slightly pissed now. But, I met up with my friends, not recently just to put that out there, um, a couple of years ago. And I said, why do none of us ever mentioned when our fellas are being twats, you know, like, or we’ve had an argument or that things aren’t hunky Dory. And we were all just sat there. And I was like, I just would love people to just say, yeah, he’s an asshole tonight, or, yeah.

[00:38:20] Melanie: Do you know what, like, again, I’m not going to lie. I am one of these people who will turn around and tell people if, if, if Alex has been, uh, uh, a prat to me or has been particularly a bit of a dick that day, I will happily tell people, um, whether that’s. The right thing, the wrong thing, or I don’t know, but I feel like that’s something that we just shouldn’t hide.

[00:38:47] Carla: No. I, I think sometimes people give off this perfect persona that actually. That you do almost, if you then say that, you know, you’ve had a bit of an argument and stuff, people will think, Oh, they’re not right. Do you know what I mean? Like, everyone has arguments. Everyone does. 

[00:39:06] Melanie: God. Like, literally God, Alex is only home at weekends. We definitely still managed to fit a few of them in and he’s only home for the weekends. You know? Like it’s a case of like right you come home. What are we going to argue about quickly now? And then are we gonna go and have sex. 

[00:39:22] Carla: Yeah. I know that make up sex though, it’s great. 

[00:39:26] Melanie: It’s literally like, I feel like that literally what we do.

[00:39:29] Carla: I cause arguments. Just for the make up sex, like, Oh yeah, no, I’m going to be an asshole just for a bit, just for the aftermath when you really fancy me.

[00:39:37] Melanie: Yeah, no, literally I swear to God, that’s actually what we do because maybe, maybe that’s like the new thing. Maybe once you’ve got kids, that’s what you have to do. You have to just, I don’t know, have a.

[00:39:50] Carla: Bit of passion.

[00:39:50]Melanie:  Have a bit of a row yeah, literally just to get a bit of passion back,  because I don’t know. I don’t know if you feel the same passion is once you have kids, the passion is not there.

[00:40:04] Carla: It’s hard.

[00:40:05] Melanie: You do it because you wanting to like fit it in. You wanting to keep it alive. You want to satisfy each other. 

[00:40:12] Carla: You’re wanting to keep your man  happy as well. And you want to keep yourself happy. Don’t you? It’s like as a woman, I think women could quite easily, a lot of women that I’ve spoke to anyway, cause switch off and not do it. And I get that like totally understand it. It’s like, it’s the whole thing that goes with it. Isn’t it? The shaving, the punani shaving. Yeah. Yeah. It’s the whole thing. 

[00:40:38] Melanie: It’s a lot of effort.

[00:40:40]Carla:  It really is. It really is. It is. 

[00:40:43] Melanie: And they don’t make half as much effort.

[00:40:46]Carla:  They don’t have to. They could just leave it there, dangling down, you know, just, just there nothing, nothing needs doing, it’s  just, there happy or droopy.

[00:40:59] Melanie: That’s literally it, they, they, they don’t, they, what do they have to do? You know, like.

[00:41:05]Carla:  Just get shit done I guess. 

[00:41:07] Melanie: Yeah. That’s literally all they have to do as long as, you know, as long as they can satisfy us.  We’ll just accept that. Whereas for us, it’s just, it’s very much like a case. So we have to make sure that we’re, we’re, we’re sort of, we’re trimmed. We’re looking good for them. I don’t know if its  for us to feel like, um, they’re going to feel good by it or whether it’s for us to, for us to actually feel like it. 

[00:41:32] Carla: Sometimes I don’t know whether it’s for them or us. I don’t know? When I get into it, it’s for me, because I think, Oh my God, this is great. I love it. But then also you don’t want to be, you hear about these stories that people that never do it. And then next minute, they’ve run off with someone who they work with or something like that. 

[00:41:51] Melanie: And thats the last thing you want.

[00:41:53]Carla:  And then you think, Oh no, I should, I should just do it. 

[00:41:57] Melanie: Yeah. As in like, um, I need to do it, to make sure that he doesn’t run off. 

[00:42:02] Carla: Yeah. But then when we do it’s good. But do you know what I missed? I think the whole thing about this is like that lock down. I think that, I think definitely from our,  from My Bump 2 Baby, we’re noticing more and more people going on, like separation articles, getting in touch with family law, solicitors about divorce and stuff. And I think lockdown has probably killed a lot of relationships.

[00:42:27] Melanie: Yeah. 

[00:42:28] Carla: Um, because it’s so hard. How do you keep that? It’s not easy to keep Mel. It’s not easy to keep making that effort. 

[00:42:37] Melanie: Part of me thinks I don’t, like, I don’t particularly understand that in some ways, because like, like I say, Alex has worked the whole way through this. Um, and he still worked away each week. So it’s hard for me to understand how people who have, have been together the whole lock down. Cause that, you know, there’s a lot of couples that have literally spent day in, day out with each other throughout lockdown. 

[00:43:03] Well, that’s 

[00:43:03] Carla: it, you know, like your weekend, how you said before you’ll have a bicker? That’s it, but times seven days. 

[00:43:10] Melanie: Yeah, I suppose. Yeah. So in some ways, I guess I’ve been quite lucky. Yeah. That he is away. Um, and I can’t say that that’s, it’s affected my mental health because I’ve had the kids home all the time.

[00:43:23] Carla: Oh, that is so hard. It’s been all on you. 

[00:43:26] Melanie: Yeah, because obviously I’ve had them home the whole time. Um, whereas he’s still been off at work a lot. So that’s probably had the effect on me, but part of me, it’s also been like, wow, these people that have had their husbands home the whole time. Part of me does feel like that. Yeah. That they are really lucky and they’ve been able to have all of that time together, but maybe that’s not such a good thing as well. Maybe that has put like extra pressure on people because they’re home all the time and they’re not at work and they’re not coming home in the evenings. And do you know what I mean? Like, it’s 

[00:44:01] Carla: Thats probably what’s kept your sex life alive in a way, because he comes home on the weekend and stuff. Whereas I know from personal experience, like friends and stuff like that, that sometimes when the partner is home all the time, cause they know they can have it the next day night that it never happens.

[00:44:19] Melanie: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:44:21] Carla: You know what I mean? 

[00:44:22] Melanie: No, I completely, I can get that because you know, it is as much as I’ve been exhausted. 

[00:44:29] Carla: Its a nice change you’ve got every week you’ve got a nice change.

[00:44:34]Melanie:  I have, but I also think its swings and roundabouts as well because in some ways I’ve been like right ok. Yep. Great, he’s home at the weekend, I have missed him all week. Blah, blah, blah. That’s great. But then in the next breath, it’s like, Oh my God, I’m so tired. And does part of me feel forced to want to do that? Because he’s only home at the weekends. Do I, do I have to do it? Because he’s, because I only see him at weekends.

[00:44:59] Carla: Yeah. I know what you mean. I know what you mean, but then, you know, you’re missing out all weeks and so you probably do make more of an effort to do it. 

[00:45:07] Melanie: That’s exactly. But yeah. So that’s that’s 

[00:45:10] Carla: Because you’ve not got choice. Like I think for women whose partners home, I could think to myself, right? Oh, it’s Sunday. Yeah. I’m a bit tired tomorrow, tomorrow, but then tomorrow ends up being like weeks and weeks and weeks. And then it’s like, Oh, sugar. And I think the longer you go without it, the more you’re not bothered about it. 

[00:45:31] Melanie: I completely actually agree with that one because we definitely went through a stage of that. 

[00:45:37] Carla: Oh, I have.

[00:45:38]Melanie:  I got through a, like, medical menopause like the backend of last year.

[00:45:45] Carla: Really?

[00:45:46]Melanie:  Yeah. It was the worst thing that could probably have ever like I swear to god. I’m dreading actually going through it for real.

[00:45:52] Carla: Are you actually going through it at the moment or not?

[00:45:54] Melanie: No they stopped the injections. I said, well, I was having like, um, injections every month to basically put me through like a medically induced menopause.

[00:46:04] Carla: Why?

[00:46:04]Melanie:  Just because I’ve got like a lot of like gyny issues going on. Um, and they were hoping that that would help. By having no hormones in me whatsoever that it would help the situation. Literally sent me crazy. It was like, I swear to God, Oh my God, he’ll probably kill me. We, we literally didn’t have sex for like nearly three months. 

[00:46:23] Carla: Yeah. Do you know what? I can understand that. And do you know what, I’m glad you’ve said that because there’ll be people listening that were in the same situation. Do you know what I mean? It’s literally can just go like that. It can, because it’s easy and you always think, Oh, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. And the longer you go the more awkward it is.

[00:46:42] Melanie: Yeah absolutely, it was definitely like that. Like at the beginning it was more of a case of like the, the side effects from the injections were just like, they were horrendous and I felt like crap. And, and this goes out, you know, to, to older people who are going through this as well, because, you know, I can guarantee you, it’s not just younger people that listen to this. There is older people that, that are listening to this and who are going through it, or even people who are younger and actually going through early menopause. 

[00:47:08] Carla: Yeah, there’s a lot going through early menopause as well. So I’m glad you’ve mentioned that. 

[00:47:13] Melanie: It was, I swear to God, I would never like choose to go through it again. Um, it was like, it was so hard on my body and I felt so disconnected from myself and therefore felt so disconnected from him. But then there was also that there was such a guilt lying around as well. Cause it was like, Oh my God. Yeah. Okay. I feel rubbish, but I should still be satisfying him and making him feel wanted. And you know, he’s still my husband at the end of the day, and it was a really, really hard time. Um, but again, like you say, the longer it went on, the easier it became to not do it. 

[00:48:02] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. It does. I honestly, like now, I did it last day, right? Normally it’s Wednesday and a Sunday, but we peaked early last night it was like, one of those where the program was a bit, you know, shitty. And it was like, well, do you fancy it. Yeah. Okay. 

[00:48:19] Melanie: Got a bit. Got a bit of time. 

[00:48:21] Carla: Yeah. So we did, and then like straight afterwards, like today I feel like I’m ready. I could do it again. Right. I don’t know why, but then once it’s been like quite a few days or say it’s been a week or two, it almost becomes a bit like awkward to kind of be like, Oh, you fancy it then. Do you know what I mean?

[00:48:41] Melanie: Yeah. I feel sometimes I feel like we end up having to book it in, as in book it in but stick to it. 

[00:48:49] Carla: Yes you have to stick to it.

[00:48:51] Melanie: Yeah. Because if I book it in and then don’t do it like one I’ve I’ve kind of failed as a wife or like let down or whatever. And you know, you feel like. Oh, I should never have like, initiated that or suggested that we were going to do it because now I absolutely don’t want to.

[00:49:12] Carla: Oh do you know, I’m a, do you know what? I’m glad you said that because I am all talk in the day. Like when he’s doing the dishes, I’m like, I’m like, Oh, Hey, big boy, tonight is your lucky night. We get into the bed and he’s like, you all right. Yeah, yeah, why you asking?

[00:49:31] Melanie: Yeah. That is honestly us, I can, I completely get you there. And we are, we are exactly that.

[00:49:39] Carla: I say like things like, Oh, I love this sausage. It’s so big or whatever, when Im eating, like say things as a joke, like, but kind of innuendos, but then when it gets the night time, I’m like, Oh yeah, I stink anyway you know, night.

[00:49:56] Melanie: No, I don’t necessarily pull the headache card, although I do suffer from headaches really badly, but like, I will happily say all of that during the day. And I know, and I feel so guilty sometimes because I know that I’ve got his hopes up and he’s thinking, yes, you know, like, let’s get the kids to sleep. As in, you know, let’s get the kids to sleep. I mean, what time are we now? Like. Well, literally, nearly nine, so like my tinker I know it’s still floating around. Um, so it’s literally a case of, we have to get them actually to sleep. And then by the time they, are asleep, he’s still there thinking yes. And I’m like, 

[00:50:36] Carla: Oh, please don’t mentioned  it, please don’t mention it. I know we agreed.

[00:50:40]Melanie:  Do not come near me because I know exactly what you’re gonna want and I kind of retract , what I said earlier on in the day. 

[00:50:49] I do. Maybe because 

[00:50:50] Carla: like, you know, it’s not possible. You like put out these things and then when it actually comes to it later, you’re like, Oh God shit. You know.

[00:50:58] Melanie: Yeah I have actually got to go through with this now.

[00:51:02] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:51:04] Melanie: Why, why did I say this earlier?  Dammit.

[00:51:06] Carla: What did I say that sausage was so nice earlier?

[00:51:10] Melanie: Yeah literally. Jesus.

[00:51:12] Carla: I know, I know, but it’s so hard literally, but no, it is. And we, we got to the point where I was like, right, because I love sex. Like when we do it, I’m just like this, I love it. I really do. And I enjoy it for it’s like going from being mum about half an hour before then being this like Greek goddess. That’s like, you know, you know, something you only read  in 50 shades, do you know what i mean?

[00:51:45] Melanie: And I think that is the biggest, I think that’s a massive difference between men and women as well, because you know, the women is you are literally you are mum, right until they go to sleep. Yeah. You’re still mum and you still fully on duty, and to be fair, even when they are asleep still on duty and you know, having to find that switch. I think is much easier for them than it is for us. Um, and you know, you are tired, you are exhausted at the end of the day. And then, you know, it’s all right, saying it all, but then when it comes to your like, Oh God. Now I need to switch into this sexy person who he’s going to fancy and want to do it with and find attractive. Or to be fair all I can ever think of is I just want to lay in bed and just watch friends. 

[00:52:33] Carla: And eat a cheeseburger that’s me. That’s what I want to all the time. Just want a double cheeseburger lay in bed, watch friends and just be happy. But do you know what that’s the thing with mum is I think a lot of the time we’re always playing a role aren’t we. So we’re like going from like, as soon as you become a mum, it’s like oh I’m mumsy. And I want to kind of look after my children and Blah blah. And then as soon as the night hits, it’s like, click your fingers, wait a minute. You know, we’re Jenna Jameson, do you know what I mean? Like you can’t just do it.

[00:53:06]Melanie:  Again. I swear to God though, this is where like lock down has come in because we’ve always, we’ve been really, really lucky. Like literally wherever we’ve been posted. His mum is like our saviour. Like she is always had the kids for us. She’s always had them for a weekend. She would, whether it meant  like her taking them into a hotel because we were like posted so far away or whatever. We’ve always been so, so lucky. And, and we’ve had that break, but during COVID, there’s not been any of that. And I do think that that does change things because you’ve just not had that break as a, as a mum that you’ve not had that break away from the kids to be able to make that switch. Because at the moment we are we’re, well, obviously we’ve been teachers as well as, you know, parents, and then by the time you get into bed, you’re just like, I don’t want to make that switch. I’m too tired to actually make that switch. Whereas pre COVID, you know, you, you could definitely guarantee right I’m going to make that switch because my kids are not here for the weekends. And you know, I I’m going back to being wife, fiancé, girlfriend, whatever. I’m going back to being that person and it’s about me and him. It’s not about the kids because they’re not there. 

[00:54:30] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. But I think it’s made us all a bit more lazy. Like, do you know what I mean? Like on a weekend now I still probably don’t, you know, brush my hair as much as a should or, put  the makeup on . Cause I think you’ve seen me like a mess I’ve been wearing my dressing gown, 24 seven all week. What’s the difference? May as well, just caring on wearing it. Do you know what I mean? I would never used to be caught dead in like pyjamas. Do you know what the worst part is? My mum handed me down pyjamas that she didn’t want anymore. And here I am sat in them. Do you know what I mean? 

[00:55:06] Melanie: I have actually got clothes on today and I’ve had clothes on all day, which is pretty much a miracle for me. Um, I can’t remember the last time I wore clothes all day, but it’s only because I’ve been up the wall busy today, but I’ve actually had to have clothes on all day, but like on mother’s day, this year, is probably. I found that one really, really hard. Like on mother’s day, I thought, you know what? I’m going to make an effort today. I am going to put some nice clothes on. I ‘m going to do my hair, do my makeup. Like, you know, mother’s day morning was lovely. The kids were like jumping all over the bed, giving me presents. A and I thought, right, I’m going to make an effort. We are going to have a lovely afternoon tea, going to have some Prosecco and I’m going to get them into bed early. And then, then I’m going to be that goddess. And you know, we’re going to absolutely get down to it. 

[00:55:59] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:56:00] Melanie: I did my hair. I did my makeup. I put a really nice top on blah, blah, walked down the stairs and I got, what’s that? 

[00:56:11] Carla: Do you know what me and my friend were talking about this last night? Yeah. It’s almost like we’re weird now for dressing up. 

[00:56:18] Melanie: And I thought. You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve actually put proper clothes on for the first time in months. Like I wore a nice top. I really liked this top and you’ve actually got to be kidding me. Are you telling me I don’t actually look nice on mother’s day of all days. Like, are you like, what are you trying to say? So out of pure, like anger, I literally went back upstairs and I put my friend’s hoody on and I sat there all day with my friends hoody on and my leggings and I thought, screw you. Right. Literally screw you. If you want to screw me later, you will screw me with my friends hoody on. Like, to him it was like, why have you made this effort? 

[00:57:03] Its bad isn’t it. 

[00:57:04] Carla: That’s what exactly like me on, mothers day it’s like, you’ve got a bit of a lie in and um, and then I was like, Oh, I’m going to shave. I’m going to do all that. I come downstairs. And you know, when you, like, I acting like a bit, he’s like why you acting like that? Like, like what? You know like bending over, getting your  cup of tea, but lifting the finger up and all that kind of stuff. 

[00:57:27] Melanie: Yeah why you acting all flirty? 

[00:57:28] Carla: Yeah why are you acting like that? I’m just like, yeah, because maybe, you know, I just want you to say you look hot or. 

[00:57:34] Melanie: Oh, you look really good. 

[00:57:38] Carla: I think that is why many women, um, end up living with other women later in life. 

[00:57:45] Melanie: Oh my God. Don’t even like, literally please do not get me started on that. The amount of people I know that that that’s actually happened to. 

[00:57:53] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Because I think we think, you know, like that book, I’ve never read it, but I’ve heard of the phrase. Men are from no, no, I don’t know were from one country, I say country 

[00:58:07] Melanie: One planet, Venus and Mars, isn’t it.

[00:58:11] Carla: Yeah. Something like that. And you know I never thought about it, but as the time has gone on thought, actually that’s fricking right. I think that is right.

[00:58:21]Melanie:  Maybe women just can appreciate why other women make that effort. Whereas, but then do you not sit there and think to yourself, because this is what crossed my mind afterwards, you know, all the efforts that we actually make.

[00:58:35] Carla: Yeah.

[00:58:37]Melanie:  Do they care? 

[00:58:38] Carla: Do they even, yeah. I don’t know? 

[00:58:41] Melanie: Do they actually even care because part of me felt like he was so shocked that I’d made this effort. Does he care if I make an effort?  Like, is it it’s partly feeling like this is us thinking this, we need to make the effort. We need to feel sexy for like, for our partners. Actually do, do we need to feel sexy for them because they don’t actually.

[00:59:08] Carla: I think it’s more for us.

[00:59:10] Melanie: I do. I actually do. I think it’s for us. And part of me thinks they don’t actually care what we look like. Do you know what, as long as they are like whacking it in.

[00:59:17] Carla: Every hole is a goal. Thats it.

[00:59:19] Melanie: As long as, as long as they can whack it in. 

[00:59:22] Carla: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:59:24]Melanie:  I don’t actually think they really care. 

[00:59:26] Carla: I don’t even think they notice. I don’t actually think they notice. I literally could like, you know, bend over, go and pick a pen up, with no clothes on at all. It’d be like, Oh, uh, while you’re down there, will you just grab that cup of tea or whatever? And you know, it wouldn’t get it. Wouldn’t get, 

[00:59:44] Melanie: It wont get noticed like, Oh my God you’re looking amazing. It would just be like, yeah. Okay. Yeah. So while your down there. Yeah. 

[00:59:52] Carla: It’s like oh I’ve got no knickers on today. Why have you not got any clean? No alright. No actually but Okay. 

[01:00:00] Melanie: But it does make you wonder though doesn’t it, because that is honestly sometimes how I feel. It’s like are we making ourselves, like are we feeling the pressure should I say, probably of making ourselves feel sexy. Because we’re putting the pressure on ourselves. 

[01:00:20] Carla: But I think the problem is Mel, we’re putting the pressure on each other because too many friends don’t talk about it. So everyone makes out that their relationship is hunky-dory. We do it all the time. Oh yeah. It’s great. And great. And then I think what a lot of people do, everyone thinks that actually everyone is doing it all the time. Like we were before kids. And I think that’s part of the problem. 

[01:00:43] Melanie: It’s not actually, that’s not the truth at all is it? As in you’re doing it, it’s probably almost regimental. Oh yeah.Especially people who don’t want kids, it’s definitely a case of like, even if they’re on contraception, if like, right, definitely. I don’t want any more. So we’re not doing it. Like they were not doing it that day. We can definitely do it around then. Like, because people who don’t want kids and I found this for myself, even when I was on contraception, we didn’t. Definitely didn’t want another baby. It scared the crap out of me thinking if we did it even around a time where I might be ovulating, it was like, Oh my God, no way. Not doing it around that time, because I didn’t want the thought of having another baby.

[01:01:34] Carla: Yeah. It’s easier to miss that time though, but you’re more horny around that ovulation time. 

[01:01:39] Melanie: Oh yes. And that’s the worst bloody bit about it. Yeah. And I figured that one out over the, like over the years as well, that is literally the time that you are at your horniest and it’s just like, shit, what am I supposed to do now? Like, I really don’t want to do it with him because, you know, I definitely don’t want the risk of the baby, but fricking heck. 

[01:01:57] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Do you know what? I even notice, apparently your voice changes and when I listen to my podcast, because me and Danny, like, I track my ovulation. So like I know when I’m ovulating, cause my voice goes deeper. It goes like, yeah, it’s really weird. Really weird. 

[01:02:15] Melanie: Oh my God is your voice, is your voice deeper today?

[01:02:18] Carla: Well I ovulated yesterday.  That’s why you know we did it. That’s the thing. When your trying, I’m quite open with like where I’m at with after obviously what happened to us last year, we’ve been trying since and stuff and it’s just not happened. But you know, you’ve got to enjoy it along the, along the way as well. But I do think that’s hard as well. You know, like when you, those nights that you don’t want to do it, and then you like, Oh,

[01:02:42] Melanie: You feel like you have to because its your chance.

[01:02:45]Carla:  You should do. Because actually I’m, you know, I’m getting older and I need to, you know, like

[01:02:51] Melanie: If you miss this month, that’s another month gone.

[01:02:53] Carla: Oh it’s always another month gone. It’s like, at the moment I’ve been asked, like, my doctor is like, do not have the COVID jab. Cause you’re trying for a baby. I’m like, yeah, but we’ve been trying like nearly two years. So at what point do you, what point do you like think, Oh, I’m going to have the COVID jab. Do you know what I mean? 

[01:03:10] Melanie: Yeah, no, I completely. Like I completely get that because you know, like you say, you could be another six months down the line. Or, you might not have got pregnant yesterday you don’t know?

[01:03:22] Carla: Well who knows?

[01:03:27] Anyway, but Mel, I think we’ve done a really good episode here.

[01:03:32]Melanie:  I like to think. So. I think, I feel like we’ve covered.

[01:03:32] Carla: I feel like we could go on and on and on. People just want to hear it, I know that people will want to hear that we feel the same. Like sometimes you can’t be arsed and that’s it. Or sometimes you’ve not shave your legs. Whereas a few years ago, I think it used to be like, oh absolutely I shave my legs. I even used to probably be one of those people that would pretend that I shaved my legs when I don’t.

[01:03:55] Melanie: Did you not just do that? Like, so when you go back to shaving your legs, did you not like, obviously it’s the beginning of relationship yeah. Did you make sure that you were fully shaved all the time? Everywhere. 

[01:04:08] Carla: Oh, every time I got a shower. I did actually shave. I do, you know, I’ll be totally honest. I still shave the fairy just in case it happens 

[01:04:19] Melanie: See I don’t have to worry because he’s not here. He’s not here in the week is he so like, I literally have to worry during the week. 

[01:04:27] Carla: But do you know what it is? The amount of times i have cut my fairy as well, like from trying to be over, like, I was listening to bewitched a little while ago and I was like, Oh, I’m really getting into this. And like, I did the stroke of that and it was getting really confident with the bits and it cut me and it was awful.

[01:04:47] Melanie: Oh yeah.

[01:04:49]Carla:  But. Do you know what? And then I couldn’t have sex. So it was like, well, what was the point?

[01:04:54]Melanie:  That was pointless. Yeah. That was completely pointless. I feel like we’ve covered probably everything that you want it to cover. Probably more.

[01:05:14]Carla:  Exactly. So, Mel, thank you so much for coming on this episode to talk about sex. 

[01:05:21] Melanie: Uh, well, you’re so welcome. Um, I hope that we’ve covered everything that needs to be covered.

[01:05:27] Carla: Me too. I think we definitely have.

[01:05:31] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. 50 shades of motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help. Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone.

[01:06:05] And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create. So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address is carla@mybump2baby.com.

[01:06:31] And I look forward to speaking to you next time on 50 shades of motherhood. 

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Tokophobia – Fear of Childbirth https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/tokophobia-fear-of-childbirth https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/tokophobia-fear-of-childbirth#respond Wed, 03 Mar 2021 16:44:26 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1141 Today Carla is joined by the founder of easibirthing®, Sharon Mustard. In today’s episode Sharon covers everything you need to know about Tokophobia and answers the questions; What is Tokophobia?
How do you know if you have Tokophobia? How common is Tokophobia?

The post Tokophobia – Fear of Childbirth appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Tokophobia – Fear of Childbirth

Today Carla is joined by the founder of easibirthing®, Sharon Mustard. In today’s episode Sharon covers everything you need to know about tokophobia and answers the questions;

What is Tokophobia?

How do you know if you have Tokophobia?

How common is Tokophobia? 

Is it normal to be scared of childbirth? 

Why it is important to seek help if you have Tokophobia?

What causes it and how to overcome your fear of giving birth.

Sharon also wrote an article for us on the subject if you would like more information. https://www.mybump2baby.com/tokophobia-fear-of-childbirth/ 

Please find Easibirthing’s links below

Practice website (including information about virtual and face-to-face hypnosis, hypnobirthing and psychotherapy sessions)http://www.easibirthing.com/

Email: sharon@easibirthing.com

 yFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/easibirthing

Online Training School (with courses ranging from 1-21 hours for parents, expectant parents and therapists): http://school.easibirthing.com

Carla: This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby family protection and legal directory. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal

[00:00:21] Do you love the idea of being your own boss? What about saving money on childcare? Because you can actually work flexibly around your family.

[00:00:33] My Bump 2 Baby is rapidly expanding, and we are looking for people to run their own pregnancy to preschool hubs in their local area. Full training is provided, ongoing mentor support, fantastic regular team incentives. A bonus scheme, uncapped commission, review products for free and review days out too.

[00:01:02] If you are interested in being the, My Bump 2 Baby manager for your local area, email us business@mybump2baby.com .Limited space available.

[00:01:28] Hello and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to preschool. Today we are speaking to Sharon Mustard from Easibirthing, all about Tokophobia, the fear of childbirth. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:09] Hello everybody and welcome to My Bump 2 Babies expert podcast. Today, we are joined by Sharon Mustard, the founder and director of Easibirthing and parenting. Hi Sharon, how are you?

[00:02:25] Sharon: All good. Thank you very much. The sun shining. That’s all we need. 

[00:02:28] Carla: Absolutely. Um, so Sharon,  for our audience today, we’re going to be talking about Tokophobia, but would you like to start by just introducing yourself and what you do?

[00:02:38] Sharon: Of course, that’s fine. Well, as you’ve said, I’m the founder and director of Easibirthing and Parenting. Now we, um, within Easibirthing and parenting, we provide an online training school. But, uh, for 25 years as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, I’ve been passionate about supporting women and  their partners.

[00:03:01] And so, uh, one of the most important parts of my work, in fact, the most important is actually working with women with birth partners, with women and men towards fertility, during pregnancy, during childbirth, and also in support during the postnatal period with regards to really restoring their mental health, if they are struggling. Uh, but also helping them to maintain that. And also helping with parenting relationships because this new is a new experience. Even if we’ve had a child before it’s a new experience. And so many women and men do need extra support during that. But I also train counsellors therapists and related professionals across the world, uh, to actually work in the specialist areas.

[00:03:52] Um, so as well as being the specialist in the areas. I also have a general practice in Salisbury in the UK. And within that, I see people for all aspects of emotional and mental health. 

[00:04:09] Carla: Excellent. That is brilliant Sharon, you sound like a good friend to have anyway. You cover a lot there, so today we’re going to be talking about Tokophobia aren’t we. Um, so I’m looking forward to finding out more about this, because I think a lot of people are scared of childbirth and they just think they’re scared of childbirth and, and they didn’t realize that they don’t realize there’s actually a phobia and a name for it. So can you tell us a bit more about what Tokophobia actually is?

[00:04:39] Sharon: Yeah, absolutely. Well, one of the most important points to make is that Tokophobia, is the extreme end anxiety, but in this case, it’s a pathological dread and in many, many cases a complete avoidance, uh, both of pregnancy and of childbirth. So it can happen with someone who’s already pregnant. Um, or someone who is avoiding and we can talk a little bit more about that um, actually becoming pregnant in the first place. And it’s a condition that is incredibly distressing when we get to the pathological dread that is Tokophobia. Um, it is fears of childbirth that is extremely debilitating in someone’s life. And often we find that it’s associated with most commonly things like depression, um, post-traumatic stress disorder, um, uh, and, uh, other anxiety disorders like GAD, you may have heard of generalised anxiety disorder. 

[00:05:43] Carla: Yeah. There’s a lot. There’s a lot there isn’t there? So, um, yeah, I can understand that. In fact, when we shared your brilliant article that you wrote for us, the feed back was a lot of people didn’t actually realize it existed. And to be honest with you, I didn’t. So it’s really interesting. Um, so how would someone know if they have Tokophobia or if they’re just scared of birth. Cause I don’t think anyone actually looks forward to that bit really? 

[00:06:09] Sharon: No. Absolutely. And, and you were absolutely quite right that, uh, it is, um, uh, something that is quite common to have some fears because this is, um, a situation in our lives, whether this is our first baby that we’re expecting or planning, um, with, with our partner. That this is something that is unfamiliar. Um, to us, it is a new experience. And with any novel experiences, it is understandable to have some doubts and trepidations. What I don’t want to do and I think it’s really important to do is even if someone isn’t suffering from, uh, Tokophobia from that extreme end. That we’re belittling their fears were not at all because very often a lot of those fears, even if it’s not Tokophobia by definition, um, are really, really important to address. And we’ll hopefully be talking later in the call about some ways of, um, actually addressing that. Um, but Tokophobia itself being that extreme end it is the, not just the intensity of the fear, but it’s also how debilitating this can be in our lives. So if, um, uh, someone has that extreme fear, um, they may be suffering nightmares such as those seen within post-traumatic stress disorder or just post-traumatic symptoms. It could be that they’re having difficulty actually focusing on anything really, avoiding people and avoiding their usual support network, friends or family, um, including their partner. Um, it can affect all their children that we have, if we have children already. Panic attacks, really extreme anxiety that um, means that we have intrusive thoughts that are so obsessive and all consuming, that they stop us being able to just get on with the normal functioning of life or the things that we want to do.

[00:08:16] We can, if pregnant uh, uh, already can mean a complete avoidance of any information about pregnancy, including not attending antenatal appointments, um,  just an avoidance. And that is the kind of denial that we normally see in any situation in life where we are so frightened or so anxious, that it becomes easier to avoid. Um, and that denial is something that’s sometimes we even convince ourselves that. Nope. Nope. It’s not only is it not happening, but we don’t even want to go there, but we may have a future desire about becoming a parent. 

[00:08:59] Carla: Yeah. Goodness. Yeah. It’s an awful thing to go through. Um, all of that. Yeah. So how common is it then to have that? I mean, is it very rare? 

[00:09:10] Sharon: Uh, it, it is certainly more rare than having fears about childbirth in themselves. Um, um, but in Tokophobia, there, there are many, many studies out there. And in fact, what there seems to be a correlation on is that we’re talking about at least one in six women. If not more, it is most common in women who are already pregnant. Um, not, not surprisingly, I suppose, in a way, but particularly women who are pregnant, who haven’t had a baby before. And I think that’s quite important, uh, to think about because we often think of if a woman’s pregnant, it will be a previous childbirth experience that she’s most likely to be afraid of. And our statistics do not back that up, um, up to about 20% of pregnant women, um, report extreme fear, um, uh, 6% describe it as so disabling that they just feel they cannot go forward, um, with this. Uh, with women who aren’t pregnant or perhaps have never been pregnant, um, about 13%. So, like I say one in six, um, um, but we would certainly say a lot more.

[00:10:31] What I must also say here is that there is a rising body of research that is showing and this I would say is the same within my experience within my professional practice is men suffering from Tokophobia. Now it’s most common in men when they have actually experienced a birth before that has been traumatic. It’s important at this point to say that men can suffer from Tokophobia as, as well, but certainly with women, at least one in six, 

[00:11:05] Carla: Wow. Goodness. I never knew that. Yeah. With men, I suppose, when you think of fear of childbirth, you think of the woman, well I did, so yeah, that, that is really interesting and definitely something too that is important to raise awareness about. So thanks. Thanks for adding that in there. So we’ve covered that it is normal to be scared of childbirth, but what, what actually causes, um, Tokophobia then? 

[00:11:31] Sharon: Okay. So, um, very often, so let’s, let’s kind of split it into three main areas or categories, if you like. Very often in adolescents from, uh, videos that they were shown as a teenager or just the, the, um, sexual education that’s provided at schools, sadly, even the contemporary education that’s provided today. Now um, it may not just be videos. It may be the precarious learning as we call it from other people. So learning about other people talking about stories that frightened us, even it could be as a child over hearing a mum or, um, another female adult talking about difficulties within childbirth. Um, and as humans, we will tend to uh, hone in on that we have a negativity bias, um, that, uh, means that if there’s something that we think, Whoa, that’s potentially something to be afraid of, then we will hone in on that. Information. Um, often at the exclusion of the positive stuff. Yeah. Um, we find that that is the main cause in women who aren’t pregnant as well as women who already are, it may be that the cause is birth trauma, um, from a previous birth. And if I could just elaborate on that in this particular point in the interview that we are talking about not necessarily something having gone very wrong, but it could also be a normal obstetric delivery where women, and men of course, have been subject to feeling that they have been, um, out of control that perhaps the control has being taken away from maybe insensitive, um, medical professional. It may be someone that just hasn’t taken their decisions and their choices completely into being. It may be that they feel that, um, uh, other people are delivering their baby or suggesting that somehow that they are, um, inadequate or that they’re being silly. So all together, it could be a negative experience of childbirth and a really, really useful, um, way of thinking about what makes any event traumatic, um, is. Uh, simply where we feel that something, um, the, the threat or the perceived threat of something is greater than our perceived ability to cope. Now perceived a really important word there, because it may be that we do have the ability to cope, but we don’t believe that we do.

[00:14:22] Now the  third group that I want to say is men who have been really concerned by the welfare of their partner or also of, of their baby. And again, when I’m talking about men here, let’s not forget, um,  same-sex couples as well, but it’s a birth partner who really feels that they have witnessed real fear about, um, the welfare of their partner of their baby. And of course, women who have had stillbirth, uh, uh, miscarriage, difficult pregnancy, um, um, before may well have, uh, that as the cause of the source. 

[00:15:04] Carla: Hmm, that makes sense. And, and with that within your article, you mentioned that that can actually contribute to secondary infertility, can’t it? 

[00:15:13] Sharon: Most definitely. Most definitely. So that may manifest in, uh, first of  all. A conscious choice or a seemingly conscious choice not to have children. Sometimes it affects our decision and we might even convince ourselves that no, we don’t want to have more children, or we don’t want to have children in the first place, but subconsciously, even if we do have a strong desire, um, to have children. We’re planning, hopefully to conceive either with natural inception or with assisted fertility. Um, there is a huge body of insight there to show that the subconscious blocks in the way could be Tokophobia, um, or, uh, fears about childbirth, the process itself and of pregnancy. And actually it’s worth remembering, um, as well that a fear of pregnancy or of childbirth can be that, that feeling of being retraumatised by, uh, even a previous medical experience, that’s not connected to a previous childbirth, um, or it may be, uh, sexual abuse or, or rape and a feeling of distress and helplessness being repeated um, within that experience. 

[00:16:34] Carla: Yeah, that, that makes a lot of sense. Um, that, so that thank you for that. So why would you say then? I mean, it’s quite clear to me, but why would you say that it’s important to seek help for this? If you’re not pregnant then? 

[00:16:49] Sharon: Well, if this is an untreated, um, profound fear, what it can affect is our choices on our decisions in life. Um, As I said it could affect, um, our decision to want to have children either consciously or subconsciously. Could affect our fertility, as we say but also that if you, um, don’t seek help, it could even affect your relationships. So avoiding relationships where conception might be possible either, um, accidentally or, um, because of the, just the sheer possibility of that. Could be an avoidance of relationships um, altogether, certainly of relationships with men, for example, who we know want biological children of their own. Um, that may be an absolute no-no even to enter into that relationship. But often it can create a shame about our perceived inadequacy of feeling that we should want to have children that we should want to do this, that we shouldn’t be afraid. Um, and this loss actually, uh, has been shown, can be grieved well into old age. So beyond our fertile period in life, as as humans. Um, so that low sense of self worth can actually affect us all the way through our lives, if it is untreated. 

[00:18:23] Carla: Wow. Goodness. Yeah, that so sad to go on that long, but, um, so how would someone then overcome or counteract their fear of giving birth?

[00:18:36] Sharon: Okay. So it is important whether you’re pregnant, whether you’re not, whether you’ve had a child before, whether you’re not, to not allow those fears control you and your decisions and in the case of Tokophobia to not disable your life to a huge extent. So if we’re looking after ourselves, our mental health, as well as our choices and decisions are many things that we can do both reactively and preventively. So first of all, very, um, simple making, like an obvious one would be attending a hypnobirthing course, now there are a lot more available. Um, both virtually online as well as in a local area. Um, uh, across the world, really not just in the UK to, um, effectively help you either to deal with any fears and doubts that you may have to empower you to have the strategies and the tools, um, to be able to use during childbirth, especially.

[00:19:38] Um, if things don’t go according to plan that we actually feel that that doesn’t mean we can’t have a positive experience and that we are not overall in control of our decisions, our choices, our reactions, because we are, and we can be, but anxiety tells us that we’re not. So attending a hypnobirthing course can also be a preventative way. And if you think actually I feel fine about childbirth. Um, I’m not afraid. Um, that is fine, but it can still give us the ability to deal with whatever those eventualities might be. If you do have significant fears or are Tokophobic at that extreme end. Um, it is so important that you are listened to and heard, that your fear is witnessed. And I would say witnessed a by someone who’s objective i.e. nOt your partner, even though they may be a very good listener. Um, if your fears are extreme, you do need, um, to, uh, consult, I would say a professional, like a psychotherapist so that you’re not suffering in silence. And you also don’t feel alone. You feel that someone is, um, there to allow you to express your fears. It doesn’t have to be a taboo subject. Um, we know that, uh, allowing someone to have that fear of control have been able to do that, allows them, them with support, to be able to make the decisions that are right for them and potentially for their family as well.

[00:21:16] Carla: That makes a lot of sense. That’s so, Sharon, thank you so much for all that information. It’s been really, really informative. So thank you. Can you, um, tell people where people can find you because obviously your available online as well aren’t you? 

[00:21:31] Sharon: I am. Indeed. I am indeed. So, uh, we have, and in fact, the most popular, uh, way nowadays is to, um, uh, interact with our online school. That certainly would be a good place to start. Even if you do decide, um, to see me or another psychotherapist one-to-one, um, would be, uh, at our online school, they’re all prerecorded, um, courses. But you do have the interaction with me as your course tutor on those. So that is school.easibirthing.com and it will have all of the courses up there, both for parents and for therapists.

[00:22:14] Um, you can also access our main website, which also has all the details about our one to one live options if you were. Uh, if you like, um, there that’s virtually through things like zoom or Skype, um, or whether it is actually coming to see me at my general practice. Um, and that is, uh, easibirthing.com. Um, so that is our main website that has all the information, not just of the online school. And links through to that. But also of the psychotherapy and hypnotherapy sessions, um, that we provide, uh, live also. People can email me as well at Sharon@easibirthing.com or our Facebook page, which is @easibirthing. That’s the one for parents and expected parents. 

[00:23:09] Carla: That’s brilliant. And we’ll put all those links in the show notes as well. So Sharon, thank you so much for being our guest today, our expert. Um, and, um, thank you very much. 

[00:23:21] Sharon: Lovely. Thank you very much, Carla. That that’s great. Great to speak to you. 

[00:23:27] Carla: Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Babies Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

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Why Do Parents Need Life Insurance https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/why-do-parents-need-life-insurance https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/why-do-parents-need-life-insurance#respond Mon, 11 Jan 2021 12:31:23 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1134 Today MyBump2Baby welcomes David Gallagher, the director for Apple Tree Finance in Blackpool. Today David answers all our questions on life insurance and why all parents should have it. David covers commonly asked questions such as;
What is life insurance? Why parents should consider life insurance?

The post Why Do Parents Need Life Insurance appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Why Do Parents Need Life Insurance

Today MyBump2Baby welcomes David Gallagher, the director for Apple Tree Finance in Blackpool. Today David answers all our questions on life insurance and why all parents should have it. David covers commonly asked questions such as;

What is life insurance? Why parents should consider life insurance? When should parents consider life insurance?

A common statement is parents state that they have death in service? What are the cons of relying on death in service?

Is life insurance expensive?  How often should clients review their circumstances?

How much life insurance is needed? 

You can contact David via the information below:

Email: david@appletreefinance.com

Tel: 01253 886600

Mobile: 07831568359

Website: https://appletreefinance.com

Carla: This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby family protection and legal directory. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal. 

[00:00:21] Do you love the idea of being your own boss? What about saving money on childcare? Because you can actually work flexibly around your family.

[00:00:33] My Bump 2 Baby is rapidly expanding, and we are looking for people to run their own pregnancy to preschool hubs in their local area. Full training is provided ongoing mentor support, fantastic regular team incentives. A bonus scheme, uncapped commission, review products for free and review days out too.

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[00:01:28] Hello and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to preschool.

[00:01:49] Today we have special guest David Gallagher from Apple Tree finance in Blackpool. David will be talking about everything we need to know, all your questions answered on life insurance. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:09] Hello everybody and welcome to My Bump 2 Babies Expert podcast. Today I am joined by David Gallagher. David is a protection specialist, and today we are talking all about life insurance. Hi David, how are you? 

[00:02:25] David: Hi, very well. Thank you. Hope you’re good?

[00:02:27] Carla: Yes, very well thank you. So today we’re going to be talking about life insurance and how important it is for parents to actually have life insurance.

[00:02:35] So, David, could I start by asking you about what life insurance actually is for parents that don’t know? 

[00:02:42] David: Of course, life insurance is a very simple, uh, policy. It pays out on the event of one thing only and that is unfortunately death. So you have to die to, uh, actually claim and receive the benefit, which is a capital lump sum.

[00:03:01] Carla: Right okay. Yeah. I think a lot of people think when they, when they’ve got life insurance they’re covered for everything, but that’s not always the case. So why should parents consider life insurance in your opinion then David?

[00:03:13] David: Probably two, uh, main, main points. Uh, I would say Carla. The first one is. Uh, we all unfortunately have at some stage in our life, a mortgage, um, or some form of debt, which are mortgages. We should always protect that debt in the event of death, because we don’t wish to leave the debt to either our partner or, or spouse or family members be that to elderly or dependent children. Um, so that’s the first one is to protect debt. The second one is to protect your family. And that is what we would call family protection and where okay, if you have your mortgage covered and that would be repaid on death, we would also be losing a partner because of that death, um, with that goes their income. Um, and it’s not just the partner you’ve  lost. You’ve lost the financial security. So we like to have  family protection in place where there’s usually young dependent children.

[00:04:12] To pay out a lump sum, that obviously it doesn’t replace the partner, but does, uh, remove the financial headaches that I quite often see in my business where there’s been death. And there’s been no life insurance in place for the family. 

[00:04:29] Carla: It’s scary. Yeah, because no one knows what’s around the corner. Um, so, so yeah, it’s very important.

[00:04:36] Um, a common statement that we get from parents is that they have death in service. Can you just tell us a bit more about the cons of relying on death in service when someone works at a company. 

[00:04:50] David: Yeah, of course, death in service is a good benefit because it is available um, for free. Most companies, um, historically did include that as part of a package for their employees, usually attached to a company pension. However, over the last 10 years or more, a lot of companies have removed, uh, company pension schemes, and death in service. So there are a lot less companies now offering a death in service package. Um, those that do are the likes of the civil service, the, uh, the emergency services fire police, um, NHS is a big one. But the, the rest of the population, uh, of employees don’t tend to have death in service. If they do it’s good but um, it tends to be no more than one or two times your annual salary. So it’s not a huge amount. It’s a nice amount. I’m sure, but it’s not a huge amount. Probably doesn’t cover a mortgage or provide a lump sum for your family.

[00:05:59] The, the negative or second negative I would say is that it’s only, um, uh, applicable while you work for that company. So if you move companies, which people often do. Then the death in service actually ends when you move. So people move companies, not realising all the time that the death in service is actually gone and they no longer have the cover. So wherever we see death in service, while we say it’s a good thing to have, we try to leave that outside of our guidance, when we’re talking about life cover, because it can be removed. Uh,  be it by the employer or when you change jobs.

[00:06:40]Carla:  Yeah. Another thing, um, that I I’ve experienced with, um, death in services, um, a friend of mine, um, actually got quite sick and because they took time off and they were sick before they passed away. Um, they, they, didn’t no longer worked for the company. Um, and then they didn’t qualify for the death in service. So I don’t know whether that’s something that some companies, you know, if you’re, if you’re not, like you said, if you’re not there anymore.

[00:07:05] David: Yeah. It’s it is. And again, historically, I’ve come across this more than once where people have left died, not too long after leaving the company and the spouses expected them to pay out. Unfortunately they don’t. Um, so the, the, the actual, while the protection is good as, um, an employee. Uh, it isn’t obviously there, if you move and that really, I do see it, unfortunately, a lot people move and forget about it. Um, and end up with potentially no coverage at all. 

[00:07:39] Carla: No and that’s scary because as a family, your costs, you know, it’s expensive to keep a house going. Isn’t it? I mean, there’s everything, everything to think about. So, so I know, um, when we’ve spoke to parents, they have this, um, vision that life insurance is going to be really expensive, but it doesn’t have to be does it? So, so can you explain a bit about how, um, is life insurance expensive or can you get different cover for different, different kinds of needs?

[00:08:07] David: Yeah. Yeah. Great question. Um, life insurance is based on three things. It’s based on age, it’s based on, um, smoker status, be, uh, ideally a non-smoker or if not, obviously a smoker and also your current health. Those three things affect the cost of life insurance and what we, what we only know upfront when we see a client is usually the smoker status, um, and their age. Their health isn’t always known in detail until we may do an application, because if a client’s got some form of ill health, ordinarily the insurance company will have to write to the doctor for that client. And only then do we know, uh, one what the, the insurer will provide as cover and two the cost. So, um, to keep it simple, if a client is healthy, young, and non-smoker life insurance is very, very cheap.

[00:09:12] It’s only becomes expensive as we get older. Um, and unfortunately, as we get older, we also start to suffer, um, with some form of ill health at some stage in our life. And then it becomes either very expensive or in some cases we can’t get clients cover. And that’s when it’s a real sad, because quite often I have clients who come to me, um, for, uh, let’s say a mortgage deed, uh, and they’re in the forties or fifties, but they’ve got ill health. We can’t always get them cover. So they don’t. So they take a big mortgage on and it’s not protected. I personally have always stressed to young people um, to take out life insurance as early as possible for as long as possible because it’s cheap and it will last for hopefully for life or certainly into retirement to cover all those mortgages, uh, debts, uh, family protection needs, and it will never need to be reviewed again. So it’s a massive thing to do early, young and healthy because it’s cheap. 

[00:10:23] Carla: Yeah, no, that makes sense. I think, um, a lot of people kind of just put it off and they’re like, Oh, I’ll do it soon. I’ll do it soon. But all that time you’re waiting, you’re getting older and then it’s more, then it could work out more expensive. So all that time you’ve waited. You probably end up paying back in some way. Anyway so you may as well be covered. 

[00:10:43] David: Uh, I’ll be honest again, Carly historically, I’ve seen so many clients over the years who have said, I’ll do the bare minimum but I don’t want to do anymore. So they might cover the mortgage, but they wont cover the family, and then I’ve had quite a few clients who died, unfortunately, um, while the mortgage was paid off, they left a, a family with young dependents. Um, and the family then struggled, uh, because the, the partner quite often didn’t work full time. And it was usually because they didn’t take out because they couldn’t really see the benefit or, and didn’t want to pay the price. So, again, it, it, it’s not a great subject to talk about people dying, but I have to do it every day.

[00:11:28] Um, and for me, particularly with the last eight, nine months of COVID, uh, I have had to pay out on quite a few claims for people that have died very sadly due to COVID. Um, And the great benefit for me is being able to pay out successfully to clients who did take out life cover, and now their families are financially secure. So out of some sadness, there has been some, uh, some joy in a way, albeit financially. 

[00:11:59] Carla: Yeah, no, that, that makes sense. Exactly. Yeah, but I bet that’s a, not a nice feeling, but then at the feeling that you actually helping people, which is, um, is really important. So it’s not, I think for anyone listening to this as well, it’s not just you dying that you need to think about. If you and your partner both get it, you’ve got to think of your partner. How, how much you’d actually struggle if your partners wage. Obviously you’d be devastated if something happened to them, but if their wage was taken away, could you survive? Um, and you know, you know, all of these expenses, um, it is quite a lot, isn’t it? When you’re, when you’re running, when you’ve got a family and you’re running a household. So, um, when, at what point would you say that people, um, well, parents should start to consider life insurance? Would you do that when they’re pregnant or before hopefully? What point?

[00:12:51]David:  Um, well, again, just going back on my last point, the younger you take it out, so, okay. You might not have children at that point, but while you’re very young and sort of 20 plus let’s say when you start, you’ve got a job hopefully, or you’re in business at that point while you’re young and healthy life cover again is cheap. So I would never put it off. Um, but saying that, um, uh, lots of young people don’t always come asking for life cover because, I’ll be honest most people don’t ever ask for life cover. Very few people ever knock on the door or pick the phone and say, Oh, can I have life insurance? It’s a product or a policy that is advised. So it’s when, usually when we see people about other things, be it mortgages, be it pension planning, or savings for the family.  That the, the subject of life insurance comes up. And it’s, at that point, we would then start to talk about it. Now, if, if they have life cover then we will, we’d always review that life cover to make sure that it’s right, that they’ve got the right amounts. They’re not paying more than they should. Um, and, and if it’s, um, if it’s not being done, let’s say for the right amount of cover. And I’ve quite often seen that where somebody got a mortgage of say a hundred thousand pounds, but, they’ve only got 70,000 pounds of cover and they don’t know why. So if we haven’t reviewed it and there’d been a death that have had a shortfall, so reviewing existing cover we try to do every couple of years.

[00:14:23] Um, but if we don’t see a client because they haven’t asked us, all I would try and stress is to your, your sort of clients and you and your family from parents is that. It’s not something I would ever put off considering it’s it’s again, the sooner, the better, the younger you are to consider your options because they are far cheaper and will last for hopefully into retirement.

[00:14:52] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And something I find really difficult to kind of, when I think about it is how, how much we insure or the  things like we insure our home appliances, our phones, our cars and stuff. And the thing that our, you know, our children need us more than any of those things. Um, and I think it’s really, really important to insure ourselves so that our children are protected and God forbid, anything does happen to you. You can always, if there is an afterlife, you could always be rest assured that your child’s going to be absolutely, absolutely fine.

[00:15:26]David:  Exactly. Exactly. You’re spot on with that, with your comments there, because that is something that, uh, it’s again, it’s, it’s an unfortunate consequence of, um, we are all so busy running our lives that quite often we forget about the fact that, and it is a fact, that we do unfortunately suffer ill health. Um, people do die. People do suffer serious illnesses. Uh, people are off short-term on sick. Um, and it’s the financial consequences that people, unfortunately don’t always consider until after the event. And that’s why it’s so important to always review your insurances be that life insurance, particular illness sick pay cover as often when I say as often, every, probably every couple of years, or, or as your circumstances change, uh, be that have more family or have a family or, or consider buying houses, et cetera. Um, every two years without fail. And then you’ll always be confident that you’ve got sufficient protection for you and your family.

[00:16:36] Carla: Yeah, that’s very true. Yeah. That’s brilliant. So, David, can you just share a little bit about you and where people can find you, should they want to discuss this further?

[00:16:46]David:  Yeah, of course. And again, we’re in, well have been very unusual times, so, for the last, where are we now? Since March um, myself and my  business, I’ve got seven advisors that work with me. We have been working very much, uh, on a remote basis. So a lot of Zoom. A lot of Microsoft teams and a lot of phone calls to existing and new clients. So we’re happy to do online meetings. It’s very now, much the norm, uh, lots of people are doing it and lots of businesses are using the online option. Its become quite, I would say a nice way of dealing with clients as well. There’s no pressure of rushing to meetings. Uh, being late or, or stuck in traffic. So I think it’s something we’re going to take forward and probably do more of, so you can contact me by email, which is probably the first point of call for any, any sort of, uh, clients now or potential clients. My email address is david@appletreefinance.com.

[00:17:53] My, my websites, if you would like to go and have a look at us on there in respect of our range of services we have is www.appletreefinance.com. Um, and if you want to just give me a call by all means directly, I’m happy to give you my, uh, office number. 01253 886600. Or my mobile 07831568359.

[00:18:30] We do work long hours in this type of business because we appreciate clients that are working work quite often, nine to five hours. So we do work, um, evenings quite often, uh, and the odd weekend, which, um, sometimes it’s okay. Sometimes it’s nice to get a break, but we are pretty flexible, and again this online, uh, experience has become so normal now that it’s quite easy to do that. I did one in the car yesterday, uh, in between meetings, um, stopped on the road, uh, had a zoom call with a client, we talked about some protection and it was just great to be able to do that. So online meetings are probably now quite the norm Carla, so quite happy to do whichever you clients may wish to do.

[00:19:17] Carla: Yeah, that, that’s brilliant. I think, um, if you are listening to this and you’ve not, you know, reviewed your life insurance, or if you don’t have it, please, please get in touch with, um, with David or your nearest, uh, family protection specialist. I think it’s so, so important. And you just don’t want to be that person that you read about in the paper that has no blooming life insurance, and now you’ve got no home as well. I can’t stress it enough. I’m very passionate about this subject.  

[00:19:45] David: Carla, can I just add one important point, which is something that I think also puts off people occasionally, cause they don’t understand the process, we don’t charge people, um, for arranging life insurance or any protection policies. There is no cost to the clients. Right. So I’ve had quite often in the past, people say, well, what do you charge me for arranging a policy? There is no charge at all. Insurance companies pay us as the advisor for submitting your application to that insurance company. So we are paid by the insurance provided direct. So there is no cost at all for the client. 

[00:20:29] Carla: That’s good to know. That is, that is good to know. I think, um, people sometimes think back to years ago when things were slightly different, it’s very different now, and it is, it’s just all about protecting yourself as parents, not just for you, but for your children.

[00:20:43] So thank you. Thank you so much, David, for coming on and talking to us about that I really appreciate it.

[00:20:49] David: My pleasure Carla.

[00:20:54] Carla: Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Babys Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

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Travel Systems https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/travel-systems https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/travel-systems#respond Wed, 09 Dec 2020 18:17:30 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1123 Today host Carla Lett speaking with Vanessa Thorley from James Andrew Pram and nurseries in Blackpool on everything about Travel Systems.
Vanessa answers commonly asked questions such as; What is a travel system? Do travel systems all have to match?

The post Travel Systems appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Travel Systems

Today host Carla Lett speaking with Vanessa Thorley from James Andrew Pram and nurseries in Blackpool on everything about Travel Systems.

Vanessa answers commonly asked questions such as; What is a travel system? Do travel systems all have to match? What’s the most popular pram at the moment? What should I think about when purchasing a pram? What pram is good for walking? I need a pram to fit in my car. Is it important to try out a pram before you buy it? Isofix bases and how they work.

You can visit James Andrew Prams and Nurseries here:

https://www.jamesandrewprams.co.uk/

 

Carla: This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby family protection and legal directory. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal. 

[00:00:21] Calling all expectant mothers. We have a little gift for you. Head over to www.mybump2baby.com/subscribe to claim your free e-magazine. 60 pages of blogs, discounts, help articles and freebies.

[00:00:46] That’s www.mybump2baby.com/subscribe.

[00:01:05] Hello, and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK. To answer your questions on everything pregnancy to preschool.

[00:01:23] Today, we are talking all about travel systems, because they are an absolute minefield when you don’t know what you’re looking for. So today my special guest is a lovely Vanessa from the fantastic store James Andrew prams in Blackpool. I hope you enjoy this episode. 

[00:01:46] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Baby’s expert podcast. Today, I am joined by the manager of James Andrew pram and nurseries limited in Blackpool. And her name is Vanessa Thorley, and she’s going to be telling us all about travel systems, because I know as a mum, when I was expecting George travel systems was something, I had no idea what it meant, what it was. So, hi, Vanessa, how are you? 

[00:02:17] Vanessa: Im good thank you. How are you? 

[00:02:19] Carla: I’m very good. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about this today. 

[00:02:23] Vanessa: No problem.

[00:02:25] Carla: Brilliant. So Vanessa, can we get started with the question? What is a travel system? 

[00:02:31] Vanessa: Yeah, no problem at all. So the travel system, a lot of people think a travel system is only set makes. So when you can, there is certain models of prams that you can get that come with a matching car seat. So people say, Oh, we’re looking for a travel system. And I think they come in to our store, thinking that there is only them particular brands that have the matching car seat that you can get as a travel system, or this is where it’s not really right.

[00:02:59] So what can happen is there’ll be certain models such as iCandy. iCandy is a big one. Well, known one, they don’t do a matching car seat. So people don’t think that can be a travel system. Well, a travel system means any pram that can take a car seat on the frame. So your iCandy, can take numerous different car seats on the frame. So basically nine times out of 10, any pram can be a travel system. It just means a three in one where a car seat can go onto it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the matching car seat. 

[00:03:35] Carla: That’s brilliant. So, because there’s a lot of popular prams out there and I think sometimes it can get a little pricey when you kind of like, right, I need that to match, that to match, that to match. So you can kind of mix and match a lot of them?

[00:03:49] Vanessa: Yes. Yeah, exactly. I mean, like I said, even some of the models, there’s one particular model Bebecar. You have to get the car seat and that’s fine because at least they make one. Now like Venicci’s another popular one. They come as a three and one, which includes your car seat as well, where you can actually have a Venicci without the car seat and choose a different car seat if you want to. So a lot of the time is, it’s about you and what you want. And we can always recommend things that, you know, people don’t realize that you can mix and match, and that’s what we’re here for to help people.

[00:04:26] Carla: Yeah, I think thats it, I think a lot of it is well is having that kind of local, you know, you can pop into the shop and be able to ask the question and actually you can save quite a lot of money. I imagine doing it that way as well, um, than just assuming that they all have to match. So that’s really, really handy. So Vanessa, at the moment, what is the most popular pram? 

[00:04:50] Vanessa: There is a few I’ve got to admit, there is a few, I mean they all vary in price as well. So the Egg is a very popular one. So is the iCandy and they tend to be on par with each other in price and how it works, et cetera. Um, Venicci’s another one we can sell Venicci’s after Venicci’s basically at the minute. And again I think that’s because they do the whole matching and they, you know, there’s certain people that like it all to match and that’s perfect. Um, other than that, there is Joie as a brand. Now they are extremely popular, especially for your buggies and your car seats. Um, they, they are a big, big name and at the minute Cybex has been quite popular as well.

[00:05:36] Carla: Wow. Yeah. I’ve heard all of those. So, yeah. There’s um, there’s quite a lot. I mean, it’s so hard, isn’t it? Because it’s like, you know, you obviously want it to look nice, but then you also want it to have a smooth, kind of journey as well, if you’re doing the walk. So is there anything that you would say that parents need to think about or should think about when they are purchasing a pram, what are the types of things that, uh, parents encounter? 

[00:06:03] Vanessa: So we always ask them, the first thing we ask them is what lifestyle do you have? Okay. So, and what I mean by that is if you are a person like me, I’ll hold my hands up I’m the I’m terrible when it comes to walking anywhere, I will even jump in the car to go to the chippy at the bottom of the road. If it’s cold, 

[00:06:22] Carla: I’m the same. I’m the same. I wish I wasn’t, but I am. 

[00:06:25] Vanessa: When I had, when I was having my little boy, I mean, it was helpful cause I was working here, so it was perfect, but I had a small car, so it was like, right. I need a pram that will fit in that car. So that was, for me, that was the main thing for me. So if, if you were to come into our store and say, right, okay. Um, I have a small car but I tend to walk nine times out of 10. Then I’d be saying, right. Okay. Well, don’t worry about the size of it, lets look into to, um, you know, the wheels. I mean, most of them now do the hard, like the EVAtires. You don’t really get many air filled tires.

[00:07:04] Carla: Is there a problem with air filled ones? Um, Vanessa, from your experience? 

[00:07:09] Vanessa: Not particularly, no, I think it does, its like a bike at the end of the day, if you don’t maintain it and you know, your inner tubes are going to go and that can happen, we did have like one particular model that had a lot of trouble with the tires and we kept getting them back but they’ve changed them now. But, if I’m honest, air tires are actually better. If you are walking a lot. 

[00:07:33] Carla: Oh, really? Do they, do they give you that kind of, um, does it make it a little easier? 

[00:07:38] Vanessa: Yeah. So if you were to be the kind of person that goes off roading a lot, we would sell to you a mountain buggy, for example, and they come with air filled tires cause mountain buggy, um, they were made in New Zealand, they are made in New Zealand and they were built around the terrain that you get over in New Zealand. So like there’s like lots of mountains, et cetera. So. That’s why they have air filled tires, but the Eva tires are good too. So we don’t get many people that come in and say, we’re going off roading. It’s just, the people are like the running  prams. So again, that’s out and about mountain buggy. They are the type of ones you’d get for that.

[00:08:18] Carla: Wow. Yeah, because I was just thinking then, do you know what in my natural mind is, if I was, off-roading not that I ever am, even though I wish I wish I had the energy. But if I, if I was, I would think the air tires, weren’t the ones to get, because I think, Oh God, they’d probably pop or, you know, if you were kind of on rough roads and stuff. So that’s really interesting. 

[00:08:41] Vanessa: Yeah, like I said, they will. I mean, if you’re going off road, they are gonna pop, if you’ve got your air tires. However,  they are the tires that we are told from the companies that you know, are better for your off roading, because that’s the kind you’re out and about. We used to do, uh, well, they still do it running pram and it’s called one fixed tire at the front. So it doesn’t even swivel because again, that’s another thing we tell people when they come collect the prams. If you going somewhere down like a cobbly road. It’s probably better to lock your front wheels because of the suspension. So yeah, if you’re doing stuff like that, you will find that your front wheel as well will lock. For you’re off roading. 

[00:09:20] Carla: Right. Brilliant. Oh, do you know what this is really interesting for me. Um, so what pram would you say? So a lot of our mums will say, right, well, as soon as baby’s born, if it’s nice weather, I’m going to get out in the pram and walk miles every day with the headphones in, I know that’s quite popular. What pram is the most popular for walking or which pram is the best one for walking in your opinion?

[00:09:45] Vanessa: Its, that’s a hard one, because to be perfectly honest, as long as they’ve got a decent larger set of wheels on them. Then they’ll be fine. I mean, a lot of people who do walk, I mean, we have sold the old traditional style ones. They are obviously beautiful and we do sell them, but they’re so big that, unless you’ve got a massive car and you ever need to go anywhere, it won’t go in.

[00:10:09] So there is not as many people that buy but if you know, they’ve come in and said, I don’t drive. I walked down the prom every day and I’ll go, well, that’s perfect for you then. We just wouldn’t, we wouldn’t sell you a what I class as a buggy. So like a holiday buggy, that’s that’s not going to be suitable for everyday, all day walking. Cause the tire, the wheels are so small and cause obviously are made to be compact for a holiday. So other than that, you know, we’d, we’d sell anything, really anything with a decent tire on it. 

[00:10:44] Carla: Brilliant. Brilliant. And with the, um, just to add a question here around the car seats. I know a lot of newborns, um, go in the car seat onto the pram. How long does, how long should they go on there for? 

[00:10:57] Vanessa: They, they will fit, them particular car seats, we like to say 12 months roughly. Um, it all depends on it’s another good question. It all depends on your baby, if you’re gonna have a whopper at nine pounds something, then it’s probably not going to last a full 12 months in that car seat plus, you’ll probably find that it’s too heavy with baby in it to be lifting, onto the frame from your car once they get about nine months old. Now my little boy was five 11, he was tiny he stayed in his car seats till 15 months. His first car seat but even at a year I couldn’t physically lift him with the car seat onto the pram anymore. So we stopped doing it. So yeah, you know, you definitely get a good six to nine months being able to put him on or put her on the pram itself. But we say about 12 months. 

[00:11:51] Carla: That’s brilliant. So, um, would you say that it’s important in your opinion, Vanessa, to try out a pram before you buy it? It seems silly question, but I know a lot of people do their online shopping and they just liked the look of the pram. Um,  in your opinion, is, is that something that parents should do? 

[00:12:09] Vanessa: I think so. Yeah. And I’m not just saying that because obviously we run a shop. It is very important. I mean, when I had, when I found out  I was pregnant, obviously, I knew what pram I wanted because I sold  them and I found my pram, and I was like right. I liked two. And I thought I’ll let my husband choose out the two which one he prefers. And even my husband would come  like after work every couple of weeks to keep checking he was happy with the pram we’d chosen. So you can’t do that if your buying it online, you want to make sure you’re definitely a hundred percent ready. I mean, you’ve got us to come and talk to because. Again, we ask the questions, whats your budget, what, what do you do on a day to day? You know, what kind of car do you drive? We’ve had one, we’ve had one couple bless them in the past come with the tiniest car I’ve ever seen and told me they were having twins. So it was like, right. And we managed to find a pram to get in their car. And we spent three, three hours possibly, but they wouldn’t have been able to do that online because they wouldn’t have been able to try it and make sure they were happy with it. 

[00:13:17] Carla: That’s so right as well. And I think it’s a lot of the time you can kind of be struck by looks and think, Oh, that’s amazing. And do you know what? I did that. Um, I actually bought a pram because I liked how it looked and it wouldn’t fit in my, the back of my car. I had a Fiat 500 at the time, right? Oh, every time I had to take the wheels off every single time. And you know, when you’ve been out with your friends in woods  and stuff like that, there were filthy muddy had to take the wheel off every single time. It was a nightmare. Yeah. So that is from a parent’s perspective. That is something that I personally would, I would recommend that you double-check, um, as well. Yeah. 

[00:13:57]Vanessa:  Yeah, we always try it in the car for people we don’t ever just say yeah, that will fit. No problem. We will try it in. 

[00:14:05] Carla: That’s brilliant. And also Vanessa, just a little off topic here, a subject that is always kind of made my head baffle. Is the Isofix basis with the car seats. Now, do they have to kind of be in the same brand or can you mix and match those as well?  

[00:14:22] Vanessa: So your IsoFix base has to match the car seat. Though say, if you, again, we’ll go onto iCandy because they don’t do their own car seat. So if you buy an iCandy pram and then you go for a Maxi Cosi car seat, you’d have to buy the Maxi Cosi base that fits that car seat. Cause they are made to fit specific car seats. 

[00:14:46] Carla: And can you tell us the benefits of the Isofix bases? Um, is it, is it, are they all called Isofix? 

[00:14:52] Vanessa: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, if you’ve got, obviously Isofix points. So even when you bases tend to be for the first, the infant carrier, the, you know, the first car seat you buy. Some bases, will take the next stage, which will go up to about four. And then after that, they actually have the Isofix points in the car seat themselves because they’re all forward facing then. So it’s just easier. So basically, an Isofix base, a lot of people say that they are safer, not necessarily I’d say, um, seatbelts in the car seat is just as safe as using an Isofix base, however.

[00:15:33] The thing with the Isofix base is there’s two, two little clips that clip into your car and to put your car seat on, you literally put it on. You don’t have to strap it into the base. You don’t have to make sure that, um, you know, all the seat belts on it, you just pop it on. And if it clicks and goes green, it’s on. To take it out theres a button. You press the button, take the car seat out. And it’s as simple as that, it takes away human error. When we show people how to seatbelt the car seat, they don’t realize how much has to go behind it. You’ve got to make sure that it’s all in the right little places. You’ve got to make sure it’s all tight. There’s no twist in the seatbelt. You’ve got to make sure that if you put it on the seat, once you’ve done it and there’s no movement. And I think that’s why they’re getting  more and more popular, because again, more and more mums are, working mums and they don’t, you know, you, you know yourself, you’re trying to get little ones to Nursery. You’ve got about seven things in your arms. You’ve then got, so you’ve got two and you’ve got another that you’ve got a baby in the car seat. You’ve you’ve not really got time to make sure you’ve put the baby right in the car seat and done all the car seat fitting. Then get your toddler in the car seat to go to nursery and be on time.

[00:16:47] So what happens is I’m not saying that, you know, you’re not being careful, you probably think, right? Yeah, I’ve done all that fine. And there’s probably a little twist there or the might even be even you’ve not tightened it close enough and God forbid anything was to happen. You know, it, it, you know, you’d feel terrible. So we try and say, you know, if you are going to drive a lot, especially if you driving distance, get yourself an Isofix base, that hundred pound or what, you know, a hundred, 130 pounds is going to be the safest thing to do.

[00:17:19] Carla: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense, because I’ve seen a lot of things around seatbelts and actually, um, you know, there was a, there was a statistic now I don’t want to say it cause I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it was quite shocking. The amount of parents that have been putting them in wrong. Um, and, uh, gosh. Yeah. And as you’re rushing in the morning or wherever you need to get somewhere. Yeah. Or you might get a parking ticket. I mean, these are things that happen. Um, yeah, it’s very important. So yeah, we we’ve always had an Isofix base and it’s just that peace of mind, especially on the motorway and stuff like that.

[00:17:52] So, no, that’s amazing, Vanessa, thank you so much. And is there, is there anything that you think, um, you would like to add about travel systems or anything that I’ve not covered? 

[00:18:02] Vanessa: No, I think you’ve, you’ve done pretty well there, I mean, yeah, again, What we’d like to say to people is don’t think that, um, You know, theres a large, a lot of people worry, the Isofix fixes, for example, go to that, to that for a second is quite expensive. They’re not. They is quite a large range of what you can get and it’s a safety aspect, and that’s what we like to talk people through. Some are cheaper than others. And you might find that the cheaper ones are just as good as the more expensive ones. So we just, um, it was just really that you don’t have to necessarily go for the most expensive thing to know that youre getting a travel system. They can start from anywhere from 450 pounds. 

[00:18:42] Carla: Yeah. Brilliant. Brilliant. And thank you so much for all that. And you’re based in, you’re based in Blackpool. Um, and you can, um, if anyone wants to get in touch with Vanessa, um, directly, you can, um, find James Andrew prams and nurseries, and you can email them directly.

[00:18:59] What’s your email, Vanessa ?

[00:19:00] Vanessa: Info@jamesandrewprams.co.uk. 

[00:19:05] Carla: Brilliant. And as you can see, she’s very helpful here. Sorry. She’s very helpful. So, and they can get the items delivered out to you as well. So if you want to peck her head and just find out a bit more about what you want, um, and get that extra service then please, please contact, uh, Vanessa.

[00:19:23] So thanks very much, Vanessa. 

[00:19:25] Vanessa: Thank you very much. 

[00:19:26] Carla: Take care. 

[00:19:27] Vanessa: You too.Bye.

[00:19:32] Carla: Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

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Divorce in Scotland https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/divorce-in-scotland https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/divorce-in-scotland#respond Sun, 29 Nov 2020 19:05:09 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1116 Today Carla Lett interviews Judith Higson from Scullion law about how to get a divorce in Scotland. Judith answers commonly asked questions including;
What is the divorce law in Scotland?
How long does a divorce take in Scotland?
Is it possible to get a quick divorce in Scotland?

The post Divorce in Scotland appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Divorce in Scotland

Today Carla Lett interviews Judith Higson from Scullion law about how to get a divorce in Scotland. Judith answers commonly asked questions including;

What is the divorce law in Scotland?

How long does a divorce take in Scotland?

Is it possible get a quick divorce in Scotland?

How much is a divorce in Scotland?

How many marriages end in divorce in Scotland?

What are the benefits of using a family law solicitor in Scotland rather than a DIY divorce?

You can visit her website here https://scullionlaw.com/

You can read a blog on this subject here https://www.mybump2baby.com/how-to-get-a-divorce-in-scotland/

Carla: This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby family protection and legal directory. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal. 

[00:00:21] Do you love the idea of being your own boss? What about saving money on childcare? Because you can actually work flexibly around your family.

[00:00:33] My Bump 2 Baby is rapidly expanding, and we are looking for people to run their own pregnancy to preschool hubs in their local area. Full training is provided, ongoing mentor support, fantastic regular team incentives. A bonus scheme, uncapped commission, review products for free and review days out too.

[00:01:02] If you are interested in being the, My Bump 2 Baby manager for your local area, email us business@mybump2baby.com .Limited space available.

[00:01:28] Hello, and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to preschool.

[00:01:45] Today we have Judith Higson from Scullion Law in Glasgow, talking to us all about how to get a divorce in Scotland.

[00:02:09] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of My Bump 2 Baby’s expert podcast. Today, I am speaking to Judith Higson, the head of family law at Scullion law in Glasgow. Hello, Judith, how are you? 

[00:02:27] Judith: Hello, Carla. I’m delighted to be here. Thanks so much for asking me all. And I’m very well, thank you. 

[00:02:34] Carla: Oh, thank you. Yes, we’re delighted to have you on here. Um, today we’re going to be talking about how to get a divorce in Scotland. Aren’t we? So, so Judy, um, could you tell me what the divorce law is in Scotland? 

[00:02:49] Judith: Yes, of course. So you can get divorced in Scotland. If you’ve been separated from your spouse, after a year, and they consent to the divorce. Or if you have been separated for two years, you can apply for the divorce and you won’t need their consent, or you can get a divorce on the basis of your spouses, unreasonable behaviour. And so that could mean lots of different things and does include adultery. 

[00:03:20] Carla: Okay. That’s very, very interesting. So how, how long does a divorce take the, the whole process, Judith, from start to finish. What, what, at what point would they make contact with you? 

[00:03:33] Judith: So you would make contact with me as soon as you have decided that you want some more information about separating. Um, so in Scotland. Um, you can look at what your options are, um, around, uh, applying for a divorce when you’ve decided that you no longer wish to be in the marriage.

[00:04:00] And that’s the period of separation. So, um, when you’ve decided that you want to look at what your options are and just discuss things with us, Um, you would come and speak to me then, um, some divorces take a few months, others take a bit longer particularly  where they’re disputes and it really does just depend on the complexity of your case and how cooperative your ex is going to be, if the matter is a very simple divorce than a ballpark is about three months. Um, but the global pandemic means things are moving that bit slower. 

[00:04:42] Carla: Yeah. No, that, that’s interesting. So Judith, if, for example, someone, um, wanted to get a divorce and they happened to meet someone fairly quickly afterwards, is it possible to get a quick divorce when needed? 

[00:04:57] Judith: It is, so you can apply for what’s called a simplified divorce, which is just a form that you fill out. And thats available to you if you have been separated for a year and you have your spouses consent, or you’ve been separated for two years, and there are no children under 16, but what you don’t want to do is apply for the divorce without first resolving all of the financial and childcare matters, because that’s going to delay things and increase the cost. So, what you ought to be doing is entering into a document called a separation agreement first, before you actually applied for the divorce. 

[00:05:40] Carla: Right. Okay. That’s brilliant. So how many marriages do you know this Judith? If I’m putting you on the spot here a little bit, how many marriages end in divorce in Scotland?

[00:05:51] Judith: So, um, I have had to look at the statistics. Um, and the government statistics say that for instance, in 2017, 2018, the number of divorces applied for was just under 7,000. Um, and in 2018, 2019, um, one of the other statistics, which I found was that it was about just over 7,000. So things have increased 17 from 17/18 to 18/19. But overall we’re generally seeing a fall in divorces. And I think that’s probably got something to do with, um, the new legislation, which came in in 2006 in Scotland which allowed people who were simply living together to make financial claims, um, upon separation. Um, it’s a completely different to the framework from if you’re married. But there was that that came into force in 2006. And I think people are feeling just generally less pressure to get married. Um, you know, just overall it’s more acceptable to just live together. 

[00:07:08] Carla: Yeah, it is, isn’t it. I mean, a lot, a lot of parents find that, you know, they end up having children and then it might, marriage might be something that they decide that they want to do in a couple of years after. And, you know, it can be a very expensive time as well can’t it. So. 

[00:07:24] Judith: It can, you know, when finances are limited. You need to have a think about where your priorities are, you know, many people will just prepare to buy a house together. Um, and, and lived together. So, you know, if you’re in that sort of situation, um, for instance, you’re, uh, purchasing of property with someone that you’re not married to, you ought to be thinking about providing for what would happen if you separate. It’s not a very romantic thing to do, but it’s a very practical and important thing you can do because you can protect, for instance, yourself if you’re contributing more of a deposit to the purchase of a property than the person you’re going to be moving in with. And so even when you’re not married, there are legal consequences in Scotland to living together. Um, and you know, I’m happy to offer you any further advice that anyone would like about that.

[00:08:26] Carla: That’s great. That that’s interesting. So, so in regards to, um, separation, should you not be married then. What, what is the process um, then I’m guessing that they’d still obviously get in contact with you in regards to separation because it’s the child, isn’t it? I mean, if you can’t come to agreements with the child, you know, who’s having the child when and where the child’s going to be living predominantly. At that point, would that be when they contact you?

[00:08:56] Judith: Yes. I mean, you can contact me at any point where, you know, you feel that you are not getting along with the other parent um, you know, I can offer guidance and support, uh, at any stage. Um, and if you know, you’re having difficulties and problems and, uh, making the arrangements for any child or children you’ve got any kids you’ve got together, then. I can offer you alternatives, to just solicitors helping. So I’m also a trained mediator, uh, and a collaborative lawyer. Um, and those are processes, which are alternatives to going to court, which would always be an option of last resort. Um, so, um, you know, I’m here to help. Absolutely. Uh, If anyone needs any advice, please do get in touch. 

[00:10:00] Carla: That’s great. That’s great. So can you just finally, um, Judith, just tell us a bit more about the benefits of using a family law, solicitor, um, rather than actually getting a, do it yourself divorce. 

[00:10:14] Judith: Of course absolutely. So in my experience the benefits of getting a family law solicitor really make sure that, you know, we’re aware of the law and what claims you can make, and therefore you can make more informed decisions and good choices. Um, you’re you will be supported during the process, which can be very stressful and daunting.

[00:10:41] Um, and at the moment in recognition,  of the extreme and challenging experiences that people are finding themselves in. What we’re doing in Scullion Law at the moment is  we’ve partnered up with some of the best coaches and therapists around, and, we offer every client, every new family law client, a free, no obligation introduction call with a coach or therapist in order to help people move forward.

[00:11:10] Carla: Yeah, that’s, that’s very, very interesting. I’m sure people are finding that, that very useful, that service. 

[00:11:16] Judith: Yeah, they are the feedback’s been really good, Carla. Um, and you know, I think I, I built up this network, I’ve made with every single coach and family therapist personally. Um, and when I say personally, I mean, at the moment certainly with the pandemic remotely, but via video call. So every single one of the coaches and family therapists in our network, Um, are, are able to help people get to a place where they feel, uh, you know, they can move forward with their lives. And that’s part of the training they’ve had.  There are limits to what family lawyers can do. But, um, you know, I want to support my clients in every single way possible. Uh, I make sure that good choices are being made for them, uh, and for their, their families as a whole. 

[00:12:10] Carla: Definitely. Definitely. Can you Judith, can you just tell us a little bit about Scullion Law and also the other services that you can help with? Um, if that’s okay. 

[00:12:20] Judith: Yes, of course. So Scullion Law was established in 1979. So. Um, we’ve been around for a, just over 14 years. Um, and we have a property department, we have a road traffic department and we have a private client department, which deals with wills, powers of attorney, uh, and executives and estates. So, um, we have all those other services and there are connections that are needed between the departments, which allow the clients to have really a, a full service, um, eh, offered to them. And, you know, we really feel that we are a law firm for life and we want to make sure our client’s experience is second to none.

[00:13:15] So, um, when people consult me in relation to their separation. Um, or, you know, they’ve been separated and they’re struggling with organising, you know, what’s to happen with their kids and who to live with. And if they’re not living with them, how often they see them. And we look at that picture for them. It’s often the case that, you know, I will recommend that they should make or renew a will, for example, Um, because it’s really important to update a will when your personal circumstances change.

[00:13:52] And so that’s certainly a service in which we offer and indeed when we’re dealing with a separation, it’s often the case that people have you know joint property. Um, so, you know, uh, we would look at the options around how to, um, deal with that property. Um, and part of the process of separating is bringing to a close, any joint financial relationships people have with one another. And so when we come to, to look at a the property side of things,  we have a property department who can help with the transfer sale of any homes. 

[00:14:31] Carla: Gosh. Yeah. Yeah. It’s all linked really isn’t it? It’s um, it’s all, all, all totally relevant because I suppose when you are looking at kind of splitting up or getting divorced, there’s a lot of things to think about again, um, you know, will’s, life insurance and, um, obviously the, the homes as well. Of course. 

[00:14:52] Judith: Absolutely. And it can be quite overwhelming for people because there’s so much to think about and it can be a very stressful experience and, you know, we, we want it to be able to support our clients during, you know, that that decision making process that they have to go through to move forward with things, and, but you know, it really is, um, you know, something which we feel very strongly about at Scullion Law is looking after people.

[00:15:23] Carla: Yeah, absolutely. Because it’s a huge, huge change in people’s lives. So that’s been really, really interesting, um, Judith, so thank you so much for coming on and talking to us today. Can you just, um, tell people where, um, people will be able to find you, um, if that’s okay. Your website address? 

[00:15:41] Judith: Yes, of course, Carla, so delighted to have been asked to come on with you today and thank you very much for having me. Um, the website is www.scullionlaw.com. 

[00:15:58] Carla: Brilliant, brilliant. And Judith will be happy to help anyone that has any, any queries around any of the, um, any of the questions that we’ve discussed around today. So thank you so much again, Jude, if it was lovely talking to you. 

[00:16:11] Judith: Lovely speaking to you Carla. 

[00:16:13] Carla: Thank you. 

[00:16:13] Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com. And you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.

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