MyBump2Baby Podcasts https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts Sat, 14 Aug 2021 17:45:04 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.7 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/favicon-32x32-1.png MyBump2Baby Podcasts https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts 32 32 Covid during Pregnancy https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/covid-during-pregnancy https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/covid-during-pregnancy#respond Sat, 14 Aug 2021 17:44:40 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1251 "My heart stopped, my lungs collapsed and my kidneys stopped working." Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to the incredible Sameera Kahn. Sameera opens up about her getting Covid whilst pregnant and being induced into a coma to save hers and her babies life.

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  • Covid during Pregnancy

“My heart stopped, my lungs collapsed and my kidneys stopped working.”

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to the incredible Sameera Kahn. Sameera opens up about her getting Covid whilst pregnant and being induced into a coma to save hers and her babies life.

If you have more questions about Covid-19 and pregnancy check out our Youtube video where we ask Dr Anita Raja about  Covid and the vaccine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPnMoay2bbU&t=13s

 

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 are covered should the worst happen.

[00:01:03] 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.

[00:01:48] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. Today. I am joined by a very brave guest Sameera Kahn. Sameera Kahn got COVID during pregnancy. And what happened to her afterwards is absolutely terrifying. Today Sameera bravely shares her story in the hope that it helps other people understand the effects that COVID can have during pregnancy.

[00:02:40] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. Today. I am joined by a very, very brave lady, Sameera Khan. Who’s going to be sharing her story about getting COVID during pregnancy. Hi, Samira. How are you? 

[00:02:57] Sameera: Hi, I’m fine. Thank you. And yourself. 

[00:03:00] Carla: Yes, I’m good. Thank you. It’s so nice to have you on here, speaking to you because I was only speaking to you on Instagram. Wasn’t I? And you shared your story with me. And I was like, I just couldn’t believe what I was reading and I just. I think, you know, your story needs to be heard and, and shared and, and you’ve just been so brave coming on. So thank you so much.

[00:03:20] Sameera: No problem, its my pleasure.

[00:03:22] Carla: Sameera, we’re just going to get a bit of a background about you then. So you and your husband met when you were at school at 11 didn’t you?

[00:03:32] Sameera: Yeah when he was very young.

[00:03:34]Carla:  Oh, that’s so lovely. And, and you were really good friends and then you ended up actually getting together in year 11 and that’s it?

[00:03:42] Sameera: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, when we first met, we was, um, both quite shy and you know, when your going into secondary school was quite a big transition anyway. So, um, I remember asking him for a pencil and his response was why on the first day of school, do you not have any stationary? So he still reminds me about that now. Cause I’m always losing my pens, but that’s kind of how it really started. 

[00:04:11] Carla: Bless you. Um, so, so you then got married. How old were you when you got married?

[00:04:17] Sameera: Um, oh gosh, I was 19. 

[00:04:22] Carla: Wow oh thats lovely. It’s like a fairy tale story. Um, and, and how many children have you got then Sameera? 

[00:04:31] Sameera: Um, so I have four children now. 

[00:04:33] Carla: Oh, wow. That must be busy. 

[00:04:37] Sameera: It very much is. 

[00:04:39] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And did you plan all of your children or did you kind of just go with the flow. See what happens. 

[00:04:46] Sameera: Oh I mean. We always talked about children and having a family. We both really wanted like four children, both of us wanted four children. So, um, it was always kind of like a topic that, you know, we wanted to have children quite young so that we could kind of, as they grew up.  We would still be quite young and trendy parents as well. So, um, yeah, I mean, we, when we had our first son, um, we kind of, from there decided, you know, we’re definitely going to have more children. Um, it’s just a matter of when really. 

[00:05:21] Carla: That’s lovely. Oh, that’s nice. So obviously all your pregnancies before then, were they kind of smooth sailing compared to this last fourth one then I’m guessing. 

[00:05:31] Sameera: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my first pregnancy, um, I was, I was quite young. It was my first pregnancy and it was, you know, everyone’s first pregnancy. They don’t really know what to expect, but now I think about it. Yep. It did go very smoothly. Um, my second and third again, you know, no issues, no problems, um, you know, smooth births. Um, it was just really the last pregnancy that I became very unwell, um, you know, due to pregnancy related issues as well. I mean, I got pre-eclampsia and, um, got gestational diabetes as well. So it, yeah, it was difficult.

[00:06:15] Carla: Had you never had that before Samira ?

[00:06:17] Sameera: No so I had, preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy, but it was controlled and there was no issues. Um, but it was the first time I had got gestational diabetes. So yeah, a little bit worrying.

[00:06:30] Carla: You know when you got pregnant, was this before COVID before this big lockdown or was that ,or was it during? Sorry I say after, we are not out of it yet.

[00:06:40] Sameera: Yeah, no we’re not, I mean it was kind of in between, um, I believe I got pregnant around July, June, or July. 

[00:06:51] Carla: And we went into the lockdown in March didn’t we. 

[00:06:54] Sameera: Yeah, Um, I mean, well, we had to do something during lockdown. 

[00:06:59] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. TV gets a bit boring, you know? Um, so were you happy when you found out, I mean that you were pregnant because you’d always wanted four?

[00:07:09] Sameera: Yeah, I was, I was really happy. We both was really happy. We were a little worried, just due to the fact that COVID was around. Um, but I had already kind of, when I found out I was pregnant, I’d already decided that, um, I was going to take early maternity leave anyway. Um, and use like the annual leave that I had accumulated.

[00:07:32] Carla: Where do you work? 

[00:07:34] Sameera: I work in Virgin Active in Chiswick.

[00:07:38]Carla:  Oh, wow. Right.

[00:07:40] Sameera: So, I mean, at that time we was all on furlough anyway. Um, and I kind of was just staying at home and doing the whole at home mum life really. 

[00:07:52] Carla: Yeah. Did you enjoy that? 

[00:07:54] Sameera: I did. I mean, I work with children anyway. Um, so I love being around children and, you know, that’s kind of like where my forte is. I love being around kids, so yeah, it was enjoyable for me. Really. Yep. 

[00:08:08] Carla: So, so you got pregnant and then how, how was the pregnancy initially then? I mean, was your husband able to go to the scans with you or did you have to go to those on your own?

[00:08:18] Sameera: Oh, no, I did actually have to go on my own. Um, yeah, it, it was, it was a really surreal scenario, really just going to kind of find out the gender of your child and check up on the baby and stuff. And your partner not being allowed to go. It was very difficult.

[00:08:37] Carla: Yeah, of course. Because like gender thing, you want it both here it at the same time, don’t you? 

[00:08:42] Sameera: Of course yeah.

[00:08:43] Carla: Oh yeah, of course. So, so, um, up to then I suppose up to the 20 weeks, everything was absolutely fine. Or was that when the gestational diabetes had begun.

[00:08:55] Sameera: So they told me quite early that I had gestational diabetes. Um, and I was kind of just monitoring it at home with the blood sugar machine. Um, I mean, I was getting it on track and it was, it was quite good. It’s just in terms of, the pregnancy I, in that pregnancy, I don’t know what it was but I already felt quite unwell. Um, I don’t know whether it was due to having the gestational diabetes and the preeclampsia as well. But yeah, during that pregnancy, it was, it was just very difficult for me. 

[00:09:31] Carla: Um, even before everything that you went through. So what, what, what were your symptoms of the gestational diabetes? 

[00:09:39] Sameera: Well, I didn’t actually have any symptoms from what I remember. Um, I just went for my normal glucose tolerance test and they just let me know that my blood sugars weren’t quite right and that I had gestational diabetes. Um, I was then kind of booked in with a nurse at the hospital so they could give me like a machine to regulate my blood sugars, check up on them and kind of keep a journal on it. Um, but I mean, by the time that I had got a big enough journal. I was then dealing with symptoms of COVID. 

[00:10:16] Carla: Goodness. So, so going to COVID, um, that side of things, I mean, have you any, I mean, not that you would know, but you’re in a down it’s quite hard. Cause you’re limited. You don’t really see everyone. Have you any idea, how you got it or if anyone in your family had it or anything?

[00:10:32] Sameera: So my husband had COVID. Um, but his was not bad at all. Um, he was just a little bit unwell kind of like flu kind of symptoms.

[00:10:46]Carla:  So did he have it first?

[00:10:48] Sameera: So he had it first, but what he decided to do during that time was to go and stay elsewhere just because I was pregnant. We wasn’t sure how it would be, um, with me getting. COVID during pregnancy. So we took the decision, um, that he would kind of move out temporarily. Um, so that I would kind of be safeguarded against it and somehow I still ended up with it. So I don’t really know how, I mean, maybe even from packages or from deliveries and things like that. That’s the only thing I can really think of. Cause I stayed home the whole time. 

[00:11:29] Carla: Gosh, it’s frightening. And, and how did you feel initially when you first got it or did you just kind of, did you know because of your symptoms?

[00:11:39]Sameera:  I mean, I felt really unwell and I just felt like I had a really bad chest infection and it was kind of, I just felt really, really, you know, drained and unwell. At first I kind of thought it may just be due to the pregnancy, um, because I had taken COVID tests and on two occasions it came back negative. This was at the end of December, um, around the 28th or 29th of December, I was doing COVID tests and they came back negative. Um, but then it kind of got worse and normally with a cold and flu. It goes after a week or two and it just, it didn’t go. Um, and it was just, it was on the off chance that I actually went for an appointment in the hospital. Um, that, they did a COVID test there. Cause they said to me, I didn’t look very well and sent me home and did a COVID test. And then two days later I got a message stating that I had COVID um, on the message to say that it was positive. Um, but by this point I was already, really really bad to the point where I couldn’t breathe properly at home. I mean, an ambulance had to be called on one occasion. 

[00:12:53] Carla: How far were you into your pregnancy at this point? 

[00:12:57] Sameera: At that point I was 27 weeks. 

[00:13:00] Carla: Oh, God bless I bet you were so worried.

[00:13:03]Sameera:  I was really worried because I know, you know, I know premature babies do really well. Um, but on the off occasion, If it’s too early, can be potentially really dangerous. So I was really stressed out and worried about, you know, how it was going to affect me. But by that time it was so, you know, so bad that I ended up having to go into hospital. 

[00:13:28] Carla: Oh, God, I bet that was frightening because I remember even seeing the news with people, poor people with COVID in hospital and it just looked, I mean, I just couldn’t even picture it.

[00:13:39] Sameera: It was absolutely chock-a-block to the point I went into the hospital and they sent me away and said I’d needed to go home and self isolate. So I actually went home and then a week later, I was still really bad. So at that point I couldn’t actually walk or anything because I couldn’t stand up. I had no energy. Um, they actually gave me one of those, um, oximeters for your finger. And my oxygen levels was going down to like 60%.

[00:14:12]Carla:  Oh my God. I bet you were so frightened as well.

[00:14:17] Sameera: Yeah it was really bad. I mean I called an ambulance again, but the ambulance, I believe I called them at 11 o’clock at night and I was still waiting the next morning at 9:00 AM for an ambulance. 

[00:14:27] Carla: Oh my God.

[00:14:27] Sameera: Because of how bad it was. It was, it was really, really bad. 

[00:14:31] Carla: Oh, oh my goodness. I can’t even imagine it. Sorry. I’m just kind of, I think, oh, it’s so frightening that, um, what was your husband with you then at this time or were you still? 

[00:14:44] Sameera: So yeah. He had come back because his, um, self isolation was kind of over his symptoms had gone. Um, and he was all well and good. So he came back home. Um, at that point, obviously we was waiting for an ambulance and it just wasn’t coming. So a neighbor of ours actually offered to take me to the hospital, knowing that I had COVID, but you know, they was concerned about me as well. So they took me to the hospital and that’s where it kind of all started because as soon as they saw me, they rushed me in. And at that time in our local A&E, they actually had two sections for COVID patients, because there was such an influx at that time of people with COVID. They had actually turned the whole back part of the A&E into like a COVID only area, um, that we went into. And I remember being wheeled in on the wheelchair and I was absolutely like gobsmacked at the amount of people that I could see, like on respirators. You know, masks and breathing machines. And I was absolutely petrified. 

[00:15:54] Carla: Were these people, all different ages as well, or? 

[00:15:57] Sameera: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there was old people that was, there was children. Um, a mix, like a complete mixture. 

[00:16:04] Carla: Mm oh, it’s frightening. It’s frightening. And bless you going through all that. So, so where did you go from there then after the A&E? 

[00:16:13] Sameera: So they put me into the A&E part of the covid part. And then from there, they transferred me up to a ward for COVID. On the ward, because I remember in the A&E department, they was giving me different breathing machines and they just wasn’t helping improve my oxygen. Um, they tried about four or five different machines and it just, it was just not increasing and not helping. So they sent me up to a ward that was specially designed for COVID. Um, and I remember one of the doctors come and spoke to me and they were saying your oxygen isn’t increasing even with full power machines. So the only option we have. To help, you know, give your body a bit of a break and to, you know, save your pregnancy is to put you into an induced coma. Uh, at that point I, you know, I was so unwell, in terms of my breathing that I agree, I would have agreed to anything at that point because it’s awful when you can’t breathe and you know, you’re worried and none of the machines are working. It’s a really scary time to be in. 

[00:17:32] Carla: Oh, I can’t even imagine that, that, that is frightening because even the thought of, I mean, I, if someone said that to me you’d just be worried that you’d never wake up again, wouldn’t you. 

[00:17:42] Sameera: I did, I started messaging everybody with, you know, these like really emotional soppy messages. You know, if I don’t wake up, look after my children, and then I’ve got kind of an influx of phone calls, um, saying what’s going on. And then I just kind of explained to my family that there was going to put me into a coma to help me breathe and to kind of relieve my lungs. Um, and that’s kind of where it started from. They, after my, I made my phone calls. They took me up to the ICU ward and then that’s where it started. They put me into the coma. And, everything from there on was a blur. 

[00:18:22] Carla: Did you speak to your husband and your children before this happened? 

[00:18:25]Sameera:  So yeah, I did. I called them. I explained to my husband what was happening and, you know, I kind of just explained to the kids that mummy’s in hospital at the moment. I’m not feeling very well. Um, but we kind of took the decision not to tell them exactly, what was happening because we didn’t want to worry them. I mean, my children are still quite young. My eldest is eight. Um, uh, my youngest, um, before I had my new baby was only three at the time. So very young, they don’t really understand at, that age as well.

[00:19:03] Carla: Oh God, I bet your husband was beside himself. 

[00:19:06] Sameera: Yeah, he was, he was really worried. I mean, he came from like a medical background, so he kind of knew that that was going to possibly be an option. Um, just kind of relieve my lungs. Um, but yeah, from what happened after they put me into the coma, we, nobody expected to have what happened after to happen. And we didn’t think it was going to be such a long time. 

[00:19:32] Carla: So tell us what happened then once you were in the coma then. 

[00:19:37] Sameera: So once they put me into the coma, um, at first I was stable and I was okay. And then a day went past and my body kind of started to shut down. My heart stopped. My lung collapsed and my kidneys stopped working. And at that point, They were trying their best to kind of get everything sorted out and done. They put a stent into my lungs and, you know, put me on dialysis to try and fix my kidneys, but it just, nothing was working. So they actually then called my husband. And at that time there was no visiting in hospitals, um, due to COVID and they said to my husband, you need to come in. My husband was just, I think at that time he knew that it was bad news because he, he, I remember him telling me that he couldn’t think straight and all he could think about was why are they letting me come in to visit my wife?

[00:20:38] Um, so then the doctor kind of explained to him, you know, your wife is actually, in a really bad situation, you know, her organs shutting down and based on what we’re seeing right now, there’s like a 10% chance that your wife’s probably not going to like wake up. 

[00:20:56] Carla: Oh God.

[00:20:58] Sameera: And at that point, obviously. That’s the last thing you really want to hear. Um, then they had like a discussion about, you know, what was going to happen with the baby. And they actually took this decision to take baby out early. Um, and at that moment, just to try and save the pregnancy because my body was fully shutting down and the next thing would be the pregnancy would then obviously be. You know, possibly terminated at that point. If my body is shutting down.

[00:21:27]Carla:  Of course. Did your husband have to agree to that or? 

[00:21:30] Sameera: So yeah, he did. He went to the hospital to agree to that, you know, them taking baby out early to at least give baby a chance. And yeah, they took baby out. They were planning to actually do it the next day. But when my husband actually came to the hospital, um, I started, you know, not responding and I was dramatically getting worse. So they actually in the middle of the ICU did an emergency C-section they didn’t even take me to theatre.

[00:22:02]Carla:  Oh my goodness. Oh gosh, you must have been like. In a terrible, terrible way.

[00:22:09] Sameera: Yeah it was, it was, it was really bad. 

[00:22:12] Carla: Um, gosh, gosh. Right. 

[00:22:16] Sameera: What their main worry was that if they took me off the machine, like I wouldn’t make it to theatre. If they took me off the machine on the ICU by the time I’d got to the theater, I would have already been gone. 

[00:22:29] Carla: Oh god, that makes me so sad. Oh you’re so brave sharing this story .

[00:22:34] Sameera: I think its really important because people, you know, I saw a lot when I woke up on the ICU and a lot of pregnant people were in the same situation and unfortunately didn’t make it so. It’s really, it’s important for me to share this with others. So other people can really see that this is serious. It’s not just something we can throw around. Like it’s not, no, it’s a serious, you know? 

[00:23:05] Carla: Oh, it is. And you’re so brave for sharing this but, so, so go, going back to your baby, then you baby them was born at how many weeks?

[00:23:13] Sameera: She was 29 weeks when she was born. 

[00:23:16] Carla: 29 weeks goodness. And, and, and what happened with you then after the birth? Did they, I’m guessing they managed to kind of stitch you up and you think your body that’s even more for your body to take on isn’t it? 

[00:23:27] Sameera: Yeah, definitely.

[00:23:29]Carla:  Major surgery.

[00:23:30] Sameera: Yeah, definitely. And I mean, from what I was told, they, once baby was taken out, I kind of, they kind of resuscitated me and things like that. And I slowly started to respond and was at one point they called my husband and said, you know, your wife is stable. And that was kind of good news at that point, because at that moment, my husband all he had been told was that there was a 10% chance of me waking up and to be told that I was stable, it was really, you know, a relief for him. Um, I mean he got numerous phone calls because I would be stable one moment. And then out of nowhere I would just completely deteriorate and they just really couldn’t understand what was going on. That why one moment I was fine and then out of nowhere I would completely deteriorate. And you know, the dialysis machine that I was on would continuously clot and things like that. So that’s, that’s also another issue that was happening at the time. 

[00:24:36] Carla: It was like, everything was against you really, you know?

[00:24:41] Sameera: Yeah. 

[00:24:42] Carla: Gosh, gosh. Um, so, so your little one, then I’m guessing, um, they went into the ne neonatal unit. Did they? 

[00:24:51] Sameera: Yeah. She, um, at first she was on a breathing machine, um, and they, they did state that, you know, um, she would probably be on it for a couple of weeks, but she’s definitely a fighter. She was taken off of it after four days and was breathing on her own completely fine.

[00:25:10] Carla: Did she get checked for COVID? 

[00:25:11] Sameera: They did do tests, and thankfully it didn’t pass on to her. 

[00:25:15] Carla: Wow. 

[00:25:16] Sameera: Thankfully.

[00:25:18] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:25:19] Sameera: Crazy, because you’d automatically think that it would. 

[00:25:22] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:25:25] Sameera: Yeah. We were really happy about that. 

[00:25:28] Carla: Oh goodness. So, so how long did you stay in this coma for then? 

[00:25:33] Sameera: So I was in the coma for two months.

[00:25:38] Carla: Woah. 

[00:25:39] Sameera: Two months.

[00:25:39]Carla:  Months. Oh my goodness. I bet. I mean, oh, do you remember anything from being in the coma? Like, do you, what did it feel like? Did it just feel like you were put to sleep and then you woke up or? 

[00:25:52] Sameera: Yeah, I mean, I actually don’t remember anything from being put to sleep. I mean, the last thing I remember really was them saying, them injecting me through a cannula, with some sort of drugs to kind of ease me off to sleep and then placed the mask on me and me going to sleep. That’s all I really remember. And then the memory from after that, the only memory I have from after that is when I woke up and, I was really confused. And I was just kind of wondering where the baby was, because that’s the first thing I remember remembering that the baby’s not, not in there. I can’t feel the baby.

[00:26:32] Carla: Oh gosh yeah.

[00:26:33]Sameera:  I was really worried at that time, because when I woke up, I was fully paralysed. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t lift my arms. I couldn’t move at all. And I was just in this bed looking. And I was just really worried. The only thing I do remember is when I did wake up is the machine alarms going off and then, them rushing over to me and it must’ve been, my heart rate going through the roof or something. Um, but yeah, they rushed over to me and kind of said, it’s okay. And they kind of explained to me what had happened. They explained to me that baby was okay. Baby was taken out by emergency C-section and she was doing really well on the NICU, the neonatal unit. Um, and they, they just said to me, you know, you’ve been asleep for a very long time. And they explained to me I’ve been in a coma for two months and I just remember thinking, wait, so I have a two month old baby and it just felt like, it just felt like, you know, going to sleep one night and waking up.

[00:27:40] Carla: Oh my goodness me. That is, two months, that’s so long. 

[00:27:46] Sameera: Yeah. 

[00:27:47] Carla: Oh gosh, bless you. And, and then after that, I mean, would your recovery. How, how was your recovery after that? How long did you have to stay in hospital then?

[00:27:58] Sameera: I was in hospital until, oh gosh, let me think back March. Um, the end of March. Um, but then I basically, because I wasn’t allowed to go home because I still couldn’t move any of my limbs. They actually sent me to a dropdown unit, which is like a residential kind of like a, it’s kind of like a care home. Um, but for physio therapy and while I was, I was there a week and then. Something else happened. I actually had a mini stroke from COVID. Um, you know, my physiotherapist came into the room and I remember feeling really, really unwell. And I said to her, I’m not feeling quite right. And then that’s all I remember the next thing I woke up in hospital again, and I was told that I had had a fit. And they’d sent me for a scan and I’d had a mini stroke, which was related to having COVID. 

[00:29:07] Carla: Oh, I feel so sorry for you. Everything you’ve been through, it’s just been awful.

[00:29:12] Sameera: Yeah. It’s been, it’s been an eventful year. 

[00:29:15] Carla: I bet part of you though is so thankful that you little ones okay. And that you’re okay. But at the same time, it’s so unfair because like this shouldn’t have happened. So, so unfair that you had to go through all that. 

[00:29:29] Sameera: Yeah, it’s, it’s definitely been a difficult year for our family. Um, I mean, we’re, we’re getting better now. Um, things are improving, you know, we’ve recently moved house because where we was living previously, um, it was on the 23rd floor of a tower block. Um, and it was a Maisonette, so it had like a lot of internal stairs, so I wasn’t able to even move around the property. So I was actually stuck in my living room kind of as my bedroom. And yeah, it’s just, its not an ideal way to live, but we have recently moved house. We’re now in, you know, a wheelchair accessible property. Um, you know, I’m, I’m doing really well. It’s a lot better for my children. It’s a lot better for me. And I’m able to do, you know, the little things that I wasn’t able to do before, like put my children to bed and these are the things that you take for granted really when you’re able to do them. 

[00:30:29] Carla: Do you know? Yeah. That that’s it exactly like sometimes if George says, oh, mummy I’m all right for a story or something, I’m like, yes. And I think I got out of it, but like, you know, being in your situation and everything, you’d give anything to read that story to your little, little one at night. And so something I wanted to ask is, is it, what was it like meeting your little one for the first time? 

[00:30:52] Sameera: So it was really overwhelming. Um, I mean the first time I actually met her was when she was nearly three months old. Um, because they wouldn’t let me see her. She was in hospital, um, in the neonatal unit, but I was in the COVID ICU still, even though I had been cleared of COVID. And I was allowed to leave the ward, um, in my bed, they still wouldn’t allow me to go down to the neonatal unit, which, you know, at the time I was really upset, emotional. I just had a baby and I kind of was like, it’s not fair, but now, now I think about it. They, they made the right decision because at, you know, young, small babies like that, if they caught COVID to the extent that I did, it could be a completely different situation. 

[00:31:42] Carla: Mm, gosh, that must’ve been so hard. 

[00:31:45] Sameera: It was, it was really difficult, but I mean, when I first met her, it was just surreal. I just, it was really strange cause I haven’t had a C-section before either, I had three natural births. So to have a C-section it’s kind of, I felt like. Is this actually my baby. And I mean, at first it was really difficult because I’d been asleep for so long and in a normal situation, even if it was an emergency C-section, you would kind of know that you was in labor and the lead up to that. But I kind of just went into a coma and woke up, with another baby, which if it was really surreal to be honest. 

[00:32:26] Carla: Yeah. I mean, gosh, my situation is nothing compared to yours, but I mean, my son, he was born early and um, gosh, you know, I, it was only a day or two before I saw him, but I remember looking in and thinking, is he even mine? You know, you just it’s that bond, isn’t it? Because you  initially have the bond with your babies when they’re born straight away. But when they’re kind of taken away. It’s all that’s taken away from you as well. Isn’t it? It’s not just your babies there. That’s, that’s so hard. So, and also you also children not seeing you for two months?

[00:33:01] Sameera: Yeah. Well, by the time that I saw my children, it was close to nearly four months. 

[00:33:06] Carla: Oh.

[00:33:06]Sameera:  Yeah, that was, it was so difficult for me. At first obviously when I’d woken up from the coma, I was still on quite heavy drugs and I was sedated quite a lot, but once that all started to wear off and I become a lot more aware of things, it really did start to get to me. And you know, you can face time and you can make phone calls, but it’s not quite the same. 

[00:33:31] Carla: No, you just want to be with your family don’t you? You just want to be at home. Oh. So, so now currently your current, situation then you’re currently in a wheelchair. Um, and I know we touched on that a little bit before, but how are you finding that? The change and everything is it really hard?

[00:33:50] Sameera: You know what. A lot of people have said to me, I don’t know how you do it. And I don’t know how, you know, you’ve come out of this the way you have but I alway try to look at the positives in life. Like to the point where a lot of people didn’t make it in hospital and I, you know, pulled through, I can still see my children every day and some people can’t. So, you know, I can’t complain about how I am now. I mean, it’s difficult. It really is, you know. Being able to fully walk before and being completely independent.  To the point when now I have carers and my husband cares for me and has to do a lot of things for me, it’s very difficult for me, but I mean, I am getting there. I mean, I’ve recently just joined the gym. 

[00:34:37] Carla: Oh, wow. 

[00:34:38] Sameera: Yeah. I’ve recently just joined the gym. I’ve been a few times its completely, it it’s so strange being in the gym and you know, you get a lot of looks and people look like, oh, how are you going to get onto the machines and things like this. But, you know, I push myself every day really to try and break, you know, those, those, when people look and they, they don’t really know how to approach things, I try and break that, you know, That stereotype really, and just kind of get on with it.

[00:35:14] Carla: That’s, that’s amazing. You’re doing amazing and, and with the wheelchair, is there, is there any likelihood that, you know, you can kind of eventually not have that? Or is it something that you will have? 

[00:35:25] Sameera: So, what they’ve said to me is that there’s not enough research at the moment as to what the long-term effects of COVID are, but I am getting stronger every day. And you know, they’ve said to me that it’s going to be a very long road for me to be able to walk again. But I’m determined to get back to what I was, and I’m determined to kind of, you know, push past the barriers that I have now. I mean, even though I can’t feel my legs properly, I can move my legs. I can’t feel my legs properly at all. Um, but I can move them and I kind of move myself around based on where I would look at my legs and look at my feet where they are on the floor for the positioning. And I would kind of pull myself up with my body weight to kind of stand. So that’s kind of like where I’m at at the moment in terms of my recovery, I’m able to stand now, but I’m not able to walk. So I do need the wheelchair to get about. Um, but yeah, I am, I’m determined to really get back to where I was. 

[00:36:36] Carla: But you’re only a few months. I mean, if you look at how far you’ve come as well, because if you only got out of hospital, did you say March? End of March.

[00:36:44] Sameera: Um so April. So in April I came home. And yeah, a lot’s happened in that time, we’ve moved house and you know, but I’m doing much better. Um, I’m mentally in a much better place now than I was when I first came home. So yeah. I mean, um, I’m feeling positive about everything.  I’ve got my little baby girl at home. Yeah. She’s, she’s beautiful. So I’ve got a lot to be happy for so. 

[00:37:16] Carla: You’re so brave. And you’re such a fighter. I mean, I’m sure if we did an update on this in a year’s time, you’ll be even, you know, further along with your recovery. How is your breathing and stuff like that after have you had any, anything else that you’re finding that is taking a while.

[00:37:34] Sameera: So when they decided to, um, bring me out of the coma. They, my husband, they actually did ask my husband while I was in the coma can we do experimental treatment on your wife to which he declined. Um, he was a bit shocked or they asked me that actually. Because they could have asked me before they put me into the coma, but they decided not to, which we thought was a little bit cheeky, to be honest. But, um, the fact that I was pregnant, my husband didn’t want to kind of go down experimental treatments, um, just in case the worst happened. Um, but yeah.

[00:38:20] Carla: Yeah, I could totally get why he’d feel like that. I mean, I’d be, I’d be like, you know, we’re not just a number, you know we are people? 

[00:38:29] Sameera: Yeah. I would love to have helped out, but I mean. The risk is your life, isn’t it? 

[00:38:36] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I would definitely. I mean, to be honest with you, I’d hope to God, my husband said you know, no with that. No one wants to be an experiment, do they and i think.

[00:38:47] Sameera: Of course

[00:38:48] Carla: And, and it was really important for me to get you on here. And I’m so thankful that you said yes, because I just think one you’re so brave and it’s such a story at the moment. I mean, especially with me being pregnant I have been asking a lot of questions around the vaccine and I’ve received quite a lot of messages of absolutely don’t do it. And I’m just a firm believer that I think you do what’s right for you. Um, you know, everyone’s got different opinions on things, but it is very important that some people, I mean, some people are saying still I’m still seeing status is on Facebook thinking this is some kind of hoax. So it’s important to me to share this. Just so people are aware of how dangerous it can actually be. 

[00:39:28] Sameera: Yeah. I mean in terms of like my breathing and stuff now. I feel like I can breathe. I feel like when I woke up, I was healthier than ever, which is really strange. I mean, like, I feel that my breathing is better now than it was before. I actually lost a lot of weight throughout the coma as well. I lost 25 kg while I was in the coma. Just obviously due to my muscles wearing away and things like that. Um, but I mean, I have regular checkups every three months and I use this kind of breathing machine to measure my lung capacity. And I am definitely, my lung capacity is getting a lot better than it was previously. Um, so yeah I mean it’s definitely improving. 

[00:40:17] Carla: And, and the trauma side of it. I mean, obviously it’s something massive. I mean, that you’ve been through. Do you think you’ve dealt with that or do you think it’s still, still very much there? The trauma. 

[00:40:31] Sameera: I mean, when I first came home, it was kind of really difficult in terms of understanding what had happened. And, you know, I would constantly ask my husband loads of questions and, you know, I feel like now I’m in a really good place. I’m able to talk about it really easily. And I’m just really grateful, really that I’ve come through it in the positive light, and I’m still here to see my children grow up, you know?

[00:41:02] Carla: Well, I think you’re an amazing person anyway. And I just want to say, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. So thank you so, so much for coming on. 

[00:41:13] Sameera: No problem at all. It was a pleasure. I hope that all your viewers can take something from this and, you know, understand that it is very serious. And I mean, it’s different for every person, but you never know if you’re going to be one of the lucky ones or you’re going to go through the worst.

[00:41:35] Carla: Yeah, no one has a crystal ball. Do they? So it’s just a, maybe doing enough research and making sure you make the right well, trying to make sure you make the right decision for you. Um, thank you so much anyway, and hopefully we’ll be able to catch up soon and see where you are up to. 

[00:41:52] Sameera: Yeah, definitely. Any time.

[00:41:54] Carla: Thank you. 

[00:41:58] 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.

[00:42:19] You never know who it might help. Not everyone is so open about sharing 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.

[00:42:43] 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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Creating the Perfect Sleep Environment for your Baby https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/creating-the-perfect-sleep-environment-for-you-baby https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/creating-the-perfect-sleep-environment-for-you-baby#respond Tue, 27 Jul 2021 18:11:04 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1242 Today Carla speaks with child sleep specialist Gemma Coe. Carla speaks with Gemma about how to create the perfect sleep environment for your baby.

The post Creating the Perfect Sleep Environment for your Baby appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Creating the Perfect Sleep Environment for your Baby

Today Carla speaks with child sleep specialist Gemma Coe. Carla speaks with Gemma about how to create the perfect sleep environment for your baby.
They discuss what a perfect sleep routine is, why a sleep routine is so important to a baby, do babies need to sleep in the dark and safe sleep.

Gemma’s Website: https://www.childsleepspecialist.co.uk

Other mentioned websites:

https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids/

 

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/familyprotection legal. 

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[00:01:15] 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, I am joined by Gemma Coe, child sleep therapist, and she is going to be talking to us all about the sleep environment and creating the perfect sleep environment for our babies. I hope you enjoyed this episode. 

[00:02:08] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Babies Expert podcast. Today I am joined by Gemma Coe. She is a child sleep specialist, so hello, Gemma, how are you?

[00:02:20]Gemma:  Good. Thank you. Yourself?

[00:02:22] Carla: Yes good thank you. I’m really excited to talk to you because today we’re going to be talking to you about child sleep environment, which is very important. Isn’t it? 

[00:02:33] Gemma: Absolutely central to a child being able to sleep well at night, baby or child. So, yeah, we’ll talk about that today and what parents can do at home. 

[00:02:42] Carla: Brilliant. Brilliant. So, Gemma, can you, first of all, just introduce yourself so people can get an idea of where, where you’re from and also how they can find you. 

[00:02:53] Gemma: Yeah, absolutely. So my name’s Gemma Coe and I live down in Sevenoaks, just outside London. Um, and originally I trained as children’s nurse and then went into medical education and training. So I spent quite a lot of time working in London in charity sector and for organisations such as big universities and the Royal college of paediatrics as well. Um, but this is a slight deviation after having two babies into working for myself and I’m absolutely fascinated by sleep and how to get more of it.

[00:03:26] Carla: Oh yes always.

[00:03:27] Gemma: At all costs. If people are interested in what I’m saying and if, if they can relate to it, then, then they can find more information at www.childsleepspecialists.co.uk. 

[00:03:38] Carla: That’s brilliant. Yeah. I think a lot of sleep specialists tend to start after they’ve had, their own children, um, as well, and I could see why. So, so Gemma, um, let’s get started then. So what do we mean by sleep environment and creating the perfect sleep environment? 

[00:03:58] Gemma: So it’s a little bit of a fancy term, but realistically it’s just about what’s around us. So, so many parents contact me and say, I’m doing this wrong, or I do this, or I do that, or my baby does this. My baby does that. And I want my baby to do this, but. There two things, but this is also what’s going on around us is. Cause If there’s a loud drill outside, the baby’s never going to sleep regardless of what you do or what the baby does. So there’s kind of three factors. There’s the parents and the routine, and what’s set up for the baby.

[00:04:29] There’s what the baby does and whether they can settle themselves and resettle themselves, but there’s also the sleep environment. And I just feel like it’s probably one of the things that we don’t think about enough. So it’s all the external influences such as temperature in the room. Sound like I’ve just mentioned, brightness as well. We talk about light and dark when the baby sleeps and any sort of form of distractions. And that could be, I don’t know, something like a cot mobile or a Teddy bear. Or, the parent themselves.

[00:05:01] Babies, just about to fall asleep and somebody picks them up that sort of thing. Um, and of course, some people can sleep anywhere. Right. So, when I used to commute into London, you’d have all of these really annoying people that would just always sleep on the train. And I was super jealous. I can’t sleep anywhere. I need a really, really good sleep environment. And so we don’t really know that about baby yet. So what we can do is just provide the best environment for them to give them that chance of falling asleep. So yeah.

[00:05:37] Carla: I think that is something that people don’t think about. Cause we’ve done podcasts on, um, you know, routines and all that, which is great. But yeah, of course the sleep environment. Yeah, totally agree. That’s something that probably gets overlooked a lot of the time. Um, so, so why then is sleep environment important then Gemma? 

[00:05:59] Gemma: Oh, I think kind of, it just sort of summarised it slightly there. I think it’s about despite our best habits and our best intentions, with things like getting the naps, right. Depending on the age of the child and the bedtime routine, it can be lovely and it can involve infant massage and all sorts of other things. And even if, you know, they’re able to settle, but if distractions are still out there, it can limit people’s success. And so that’s why it’s important. And it’s like super important, for just consistency and, you know, kids only learn when we repeat again and again and again and again, and if it changes every time, then they don’t really know what to expect.

[00:06:40] So, um, it’s just a little bit of the science behind sleep is that we all go through different sleep cycles. And when the baby gets about 12 to 16 weeks, then their sleep cycles become a little bit more like an adult. So they go through an actual sleep cycle, which is also about the same time as they have a massive regression. So people always get in touch at about four months. But basically we go through the sleep cycle, which means that we fall into a deep stage of sleep, but we pass through this light phase of sleep. So it’s the active dreaming stage into this deep state of sleep back through the light stage of sleep. And then we always have something called a partial waking and I see like caveman times, right.

[00:07:25] So we would, we would wake up we’d check we are ok. Would check there is no lions in the den, that sort of thing. And then we’d fall asleep and it’s, it’s what we do now. If you fell asleep, and you woke up and you noticed the light was on that wasn’t before you would wake up properly and you’d be like, what’s going on, right. That light wasn’t on you just drift back off to sleep. You wouldn’t even remember you woke up. Now, that’s the same thing as we’re trying to do for the babies, the baby, when they come out with that stage of sleep, they have this partial waking. And what we want to do is notice no difference. It needs to be exactly the same as when they fell asleep. So they don’t notice anythings different, so they don’t wake up fully. And this is one of the things that we can try and control with the sleep environment, making everything exactly the same as it was when they fell asleep. And they’re far more likely to fall back. 

[00:08:15] Carla: Oh, wow. Thats great advice. Yeah. I’ve never thought of it like that. Yeah. 

[00:08:19] Gemma: It’s just about, it’s just about giving them the best chance of success. 

[00:08:24] Carla: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, definitely. I suppose if, if you wake up and there’s things going on, you want to have a look at what’s going on don’t you? So that, that does make sense. 

[00:08:35] Gemma: Yeah. Yeah. So I think for a baby, like it might be that, um, maybe  there was a cot mobile on. Right when I fell asleep and now it’s stopped. And lots of these sort of white noise animals that only last for 45 minutes that might be there that were playing lovely. And now that’s stopped. Maybe a parent was rocking them to sleep. They’re not there anymore because the baby’s been put down and they’re like, hang on. What’s gone on? That’s not the same as what it was when I fell asleep. So I’m going to wake up fully, which is why you get babies that wake up 45 minutes on the dot, on the dot, on the dot. So that’s what we’re trying to do here. 

[00:09:15] Carla: Ah, right. Okay. So, oh yeah, because a lot of people put these cot mobiles on don’t they? So yeah. How, how would you tackle that then? I suppose, would you have to put that back on each time or is it a case of not actually falling asleep when that’s on or is that a totally different scenario completely? 

[00:09:36] Gemma: You just move it. Move it to the changing mat so they’ve got something to watch and distract them when they’re having the bottom changed. And then just try like the perfect sleep environment. We’ll talk about it later. Is the one with nothing, like we can be sold all of the toys in the world and we buy into it and actually. Just move it to a fun play space. When you want your baby awake, then you play with the toys. 

[00:10:02] Carla: Yeah. No, that makes a lot of sense. That’s brilliant advice. Um, so a question, a lot of parents have, um, I know I had it as well. When, when my little boy was little, is, do babies actually need to sleep in the dark? 

[00:10:16] Gemma: Well, ideally yes, but we also, it goes back to my previous point that some of that babies can sleep everywhere. And actually when babies are super young, like under 12 weeks. Yes. They pretty much can because their day and night patterns are a little bit mixed up anyway. But what darkness does is it allows our bodies to secrete a hormone called melatonin. And it’s also known as the sleepy hormone. It basically, it’s just the trigger for us to go to sleep and that’s stimulated in the dark. So to give our body the best chance of releasing that hormone, we go with darkness.

[00:10:53] It’s not always possible, daycare settings, for example, but again, what we’re looking here is looking at best practice and those who are trying to get their babies into a bit of a routine for sleep might find it good just to limit naps to darkness throughout day when they’re trying to get their babies into a bit of a routine.

[00:11:13] So really the best advice. Um, with darkness, um, is, do you things like blackout blinds, you can, you can get ones with little suction cups that you can put on as well. Um, and probably the best rule of thumb is best environment is one that you couldn’t read a book in. So if it’s that dark, it doesn’t have to be pitched black. But if it’s that dark, it’s dark enough for the body to secrete that hormone, which is just super useful. And also there’s other benefits to darkness is it helps keep the environment cool as well, which is really important for sleep. And it helps the babies not see the fun things in the corner of the room. Particularly when they get to about eight months of age, massive fomo, they can see their toys or they can see maybe the parents staying in the room with them or something like that. And they’re like, Ooh, that’s far more exciting than going to sleep. So it helps limit that as well. So its not just about Melatonin its got other advantages too.

[00:12:11] Carla: That makes sense. So for naps then, is that, would you encourage the parents to make the room a bit darker at that point? Or would you say that they’re a bit different? Because they’re shorter. 

[00:12:24] Gemma: Yeah. When you can, I would particularly for the like, the long  lunch time nap. You know where that’s going to stay with the kids until they’re about three years of age. So you might as well when you can get that right. I also though, I’m not too much of a stickler for it because especially when people are going through, you know, trying to get their baby to sleep, it can be quite exhausting. You know, new parents also like the first or the third nap is a great one for just doing it in the pram. Just to get a bit of exercise, have a little bit of a break. It’s good for us as well. So I’d always try and do the longer lunchtime nap, in the darkness and maybe one other. Um, but you know, get a bit of exercise when you can. 

[00:13:09] Carla: Yeah. And, and with that, sorry, I’m generating all sorts of questions here with that thought but, with it, with the nap. Do you think it’s better than not, you know, with a nap. Is it better than being away from the bedroom when they are napping? Because otherwise they might wake up and not know whether it’s a nap or whether it’s actually bedtime and get a bit mixed up with the routines. Is it better to keep them downstairs?

[00:13:35] Gemma: Ideally get them used to their sleep space. So when you walk in the room, it’s kind of like a little baby’s spa. It’s like calm spa, the lights are low and they just know, that, that room is for sleeping. And again, it’s like what I said earlier about routines and consistency that they know what to expect. So if you put them down in like a fun space and you expect them to sleep? They’d be like, but I was playing here before. So it’s all about just getting them used to, you know, that space, that environment. Um, and so, you know, you can kind of control that space as much as you can. 

[00:14:10] Carla: Thats great. Oh, no. Brilliant. Thank you. So babies again, I suppose we’ve touched on this a little bit, but my next question was, do babies need to sleep in a quiet space and is white noise good for getting babies to sleep? Cause I know a lot of parents like the white noise and some parents swear by white noise don’t they. 

[00:14:32] Gemma: Yeah, exactly. And it does come a little bit as to, you know, we are all different and some babies love being patted to sleep and some babies hate it. If somebody patted me to sleep i’d, be really upset. Whereas I used to live with someone who loved being stroked and that would just send them to sleep if someone stroked her arm. And i’d be like I couldn’t imagine anything worse. So ultimately we’re different and some babies can sleep with lots of noise. Um, particularly you’ll find times, particularly in the first part of the night where babies can pretty much sleep through anything. You can have a little disco in their room and they just would sleep through it.

[00:15:12] If you tried that in the lighter stages of sleep, maybe from about 3:00 AM. You’ve got no hope that baby’s going to completely wake up. So there are times that they can sleep through and theres times that they can’t. Um, so like I said, um, trying to control noises particularly from about 3:00 AM onwards is really, really important. So that can just think a little bit wider than just the house that could include the traffic out on the street maybe building up. The rubbish truck coming along. Even the birds singing, maybe the boiler starts up and particularly in the winter months, the boiler starts up at about 5:00 AM and the pipes clang that’s enough to wake baby and keep the baby awake. Or maybe it’s, I don’t know, mum, dad, whoever getting ready and doing a shower in the morning before they go to work. So you can’t control all of these noises so what we’re trying to is mask the noise with a really horrible, slow, consistent noise, which we call white noise, white noise or pink noise, as well is a different type of noise.

[00:16:15] Carla: Oh wow I have not heard of that one.

[00:16:17] Gemma: If you like pink, go with pink noise.

[00:16:19] Carla: Oh yeah. 

[00:16:21] Gemma: Um, so. It’s actually, it’s not so much about getting the baby to sleep with white noise. It’s about keeping the baby asleep. So like I said earlier about when they have that partial wakings and you realize everything’s exactly the same. If the white noise is consistent, that’s all they can hear and they drop back off. So there’s loads of products on the market. Like I don’t know, I don’t really want to diss any of them. They’re great for toys, but typically mimics some sort of animal that you put in the cot. And the play white noise that they only play for 45 minutes. So if you’re going to use white noise, it has to be consistent for the whole duration of the nap and the whole duration of bedtime. So seven to seven, if that’s the routine you use. Um, so you know, between about 50 to 60 decibels as well. It’s about same volume as an adult conversation. So when you play that consistently, it seems really loud. Um, but actually that’s, that’s enough to mask the noise and then just put the speaker anywhere between the baby and where the noise is coming from.

[00:17:30] So obviously it’s the window it’s outside. You put speaker there. If it’s more likely to be from siblings playing downstairs or mum getting up and having a shower at 5:00 AM then you would put it by the door. Um, and it’s super easy to wean off as well. When the baby’s now got great sleep habits, when their body clock is kind of set and their sort of all sorted, just reduce the level of the white noise, maybe two dispels every night, every few nights. And the baby will learn to sleep without it.

[00:17:57] Carla: Oh, wow. What great advice. Because that’s what I would be worried about, I think is getting them used to something and then having to go say, you’re staying at grandparents hopefully soon we’ll we’ll be able to properly do all this but. Um, yeah. Say for example, you know, you’re staying out, um, then you know, when you’ve not got access to white noise, then are you going to have a problem, getting them to sleep? That’s what I’d be worried about, but I suppose if you can easily wean them off. Um, it sounds good. 

[00:18:26] Gemma: Yeah. And so you don’t need anything fancy, right? There’s apps that play it, um, even Spotify have got like, tracks that you can just play on loop consistently. There’s one, which doesn’t fade out. So you don’t get the click click as it goes into a new track, and then you can use, I can’t say it too loud, cause my one will go off. But you know, there’s sort of the internet speakers like the googles and the Alexa’s and all those sorts of things to play it. So you can control it from outside of the room as well. 

[00:18:54] Carla: Oh, great. Yeah. So it’s not just kind of, um, you know, it being set up in your house, you can take it anywhere with you, so that’s really handy. So, so how then would someone create the perfect sleep environment? And I know we’ve touched on little bits of this, but what would your advice be around that? 

[00:19:13] Gemma: So I guess, so think about temperature in the room as well. We don’t want it too hot. We don’t want it too cold and that’s great SIDS advice as well. So ideally you’re aiming between sort of 16 and 20 degrees obviously, and you’d dress your baby accordingly, but as long as they don’t have icy cold hands and feet, and as long as they’re not sweaty. So, you know, it’s a nice, they’re warm to the touch. That’s what we’re aiming for.

[00:19:37]Carla:  A temperature gauge in a, in a bedroom is a good idea. Is it?

[00:19:42] Gemma: Absolutely. Yeah absolutely. Try not to get one that gives of light cause then go back to the whole darkness point or maybe just take the temperature, particularly at that sort of coldest point in the night, like sort of two to 3:00 AM. And if it’s pretty consistent, then that’s what you’re looking for. Um, so completely think temperature. Sleeping bags are absolutely great. Cause they stay on the baby, you know, the tog rating. And it’s right for the season and try not to upgrade to like a toddler duvet too soon, because that’s one of the most common reasons for waking is through cold, where the duvet has fallen off and they’re not yet old enough to pull it back on them. So they require the parents to do that for themselves.

[00:20:22] So, you know, you can have sleeping bags all the way up to the age of three. Um, I think I’ve just, just seen one that goes up to the age of five. If that’s what the kid likes and they are really nice positive sleep association as well. So definitely think about the temperature in the room. Not too cool. Not too hot. Think about the light, like I said earlier as well. And if you can use blackout blinds. And remove all the distractions, just go super plain and boring. If you’ve got a separate space in the house for toys. Excellent. Move them all there. If you don’t then just try and screen them off a little bit in the bedroom, and also just think this, this sleep environment  for them. Just think baby spa, right? It has to be just super chilled out when you go in there. And I know that’s sometimes easier said than done. And if you’re having a battle with the toddler, maybe the toddlers, you know, refusing bedtime or just trying to get away with it a little bit longer, little bit longer, or if your baby’s crying and you’re getting really, really worked up and those emotions can transfer. And so it just really important just to put them down and make sure they are safe. Leave and then just re-enter that room when you are super calm and then help settle them again, like just, you know, you need to create a really positive sleep space. There’s no sort of stress or emotions involved as well. And I think that’s really important. So remove anything like thats stressy and that might include yourself. 

[00:21:50] Carla: Yes. Yeah, I have been there. My son’s five and he still stresses me out before bedtime. I have to go out for a minute. Because kids just don’t want to go to bed do they?

[00:21:59] Gemma: Not when there is fun stuff to do. Why would you?

[00:22:02] Carla: Exactly. Exactly. See, I’m always ready for bed, so yeah, it’s a bit different when you’re an adult, isn’t it?

[00:22:10] Gemma: Catching up from what you did as a child.

[00:22:12]Carla:  Exactly. Exactly. So, so, um, Gemma, can you now touch a bit about, touch on a bit about safe sleep? Because we all talk about safe sleep, but sometimes it’s just safe sleep and we do know little bits, but I think there’s a lot, a lot to think about when it comes to safe sleep.

[00:22:29] Gemma: Yeah, there is. And a lot of it is actually about the sleep environment. So first and foremost, I’d absolutely recommend the lullaby trust website it is super, super awesome. And their information is just so readable and user friendly. Um, and also the NHS has got great guidance on SIDS as well. Um, but there’s sort of safe sleep environment, in terms of the sleeping environment. Obviously, and I think most people do it now, but it’s just a gentle reminder that all babies need to be on their backs for sleep, and then there’s been nothing else in the cot. Um, and so that includes things like the nests as well, that, you know, we kind of get used to using and the cot bumpers and things like that. Um, even lots of toys can be A distracting and B is not safe, kind of the risks reduce when the baby’s able to roll away from danger and they’ve got more strength to sit up or to move stuff themselves, and then sort of gradually the, the risk goes down and down, but it also includes things like loose blankets if you’re trying to cover them up or if they’re wearing too much at night. So there’s a few things that they’re thinking of.

[00:23:39] Ideally, they would be on their back for sleep in their cot, at all occasions. So, you know, I have got a 12 week old baby. I know how difficult it is not to fall asleep on the sofa, you know,  with, with a baby when you absolutely exhausted. But if you’re really, really tired just put the baby down because it’s, you know, it’s much safer that, that baby’s in a cot with nothing else around them. Than with you on the sofa. The other thing which we have touched on is just making sure that the baby is not too hot and cold. Um, so we’re aiming for about 16 to 20 degrees where they are. 

[00:24:16] Carla: Day and night, is that Gemma? Day and night?

[00:24:19] Gemma: Yeah absolutely yeah. Um, so no icy cold hands or sweaty babies. We don’t like sweaty babies. And so you can also control what they’re wearing for the, for the temperature as well. And, um, online, you can see some really great, sort of infographics about what the temperature is and what the baby should be wearing in terms of the sleep suit and the, the level of the tog as well.

[00:24:41] So there’s some really good information out there. Um, and I think they’re the main things really with safe, sleeping and the room environment. Just keeping it clear, keeping it nice, warm temperature, um, and just removing all those sort of distractions. So it’s not just that it distracts them sort of from sleeping is that also can be dangerous.

[00:25:02] Carla: Mm, I have heard. Um, I know, well, I know of a few mums actually in our group that use a, um, a sock. I don’t know whether you’ve heard of these. Um, but it’s a sock that they get their baby to wear. When the first born that kind of sets off an alarm, if there is anything. Are they something that you have spoken to anyone about, or do you know a bit more about those or anything?

[00:25:26] Gemma: Yeah. And like lots of parents, particularly if they have had their babies in special care for awhile, they’re quite keen to use them as well. And they can be really, really helpful, especially if theres sort of causes and reasons for concern over your baby. But I think it’s also important that we sleep as well, as well as the baby. So what we don’t want to do is use the product to almost put us in a state of constant worrying and constant anxiety because actually if you follow the guidance, your baby will be as safe as your baby will be. And what we don’t want to do is sort of overanalyse and overthink things. So like when I’m trying to wean my parents off of, you know, they maybe they’ve been I don’t know, their babies than waking eight times at night. And now they’re in a room watching the video monitor waiting for  their baby wake. You have got to chill a little bit and just let your baby sleep. They’ll do what they’ll do. As long as you you’ve done everything you can do to make it safe. Don’t worry too much. And so, you know, the socks are better than the thing, the mats, that used to go into the cot cause, the baby would roll off, the alarms would go off and everyone would be in panic. But I think, really think why you’re using those, if it’s cause it’s a medical condition, I really get it. Um, but yeah, watch your own level of stress and worry. 

[00:26:45] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I suppose if it calms you down and actually makes you calm and then it may be worth it, but also if it puts you in a state of constant anxiety, then it’s probably not worth it. Oh, no, that’s great. I just wondered about those actually. So that’s great. So, Gemma, um, will you explain what you do then? Um, I’m sure people have got it. Um, but what you can help with and also where parents will be able to find you.

[00:27:11] Gemma: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Um so I can help with lots of different things regarding sleep. So I work with parents, who’ve got even in the antenatal stages and they want to know how to set up their environment for safe sleep or what’s the best sort of science around it. So I work with some pregnant parents, too. Um, but typically I work with people, who’ve got babies and small children between the ages of nought to five. Um, and so I either worked with them on a one-to-one basis or sort of just over the telephone as well. Um, and sort of we look at things like, um, the routines and what they’re railing to achieve. We look at the sleep environment and we also look at teaching the babies, how to settle and how to resettle at night and become nice independent sleepers.

[00:27:58] Um, and so. What’s so important to me is having this really nice long conversation with parents first to understand about them, what their sleep goals are and the temperament of the baby. Because every single plan I do for parents is completely unique because you know, it’s not one size fits all. Everyone’s got different goals. Every baby is completely different. Some babies will sleep everywhere and I will not ever speak to those parents and thats absolutely fine. Cause their baby is somebody who can sleep everywhere. But quite a lot of parents contact me, particularly mums, if they’re returning to work. And, you know, it was absolutely fine to wake up three times and do feeds, you know, for the first nine months. But actually now I’m exhausted. I’m totally exhausted. And I need, you know, I’m happy with one feed, but how do you sort of say. We work with parents goals. And also sometimes I have to tell them what’s realistic.

[00:28:54] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, so what age would you start working with parents then from, you know, if, if there’s obviously it’s, it’s normal for babies to wake up as well for food, but what age would you say to get in touch with you from, and also do you help with toddlers as well then? 

[00:29:13] Gemma: Yeah. Yeah. Up to the age of five. I work with all ages. And I think people think, oh, sleep training means cry it out. That’s not, that’s not true at all. That’s totally not true. Sleep training is like, it’s about sleep support. I hate the term sleep training. So I just think there’s too many people that associated with just leaving your baby to cry. 

[00:29:32] Carla: Yes yeah, not about that.

[00:29:34] Gemma: But children typically under the age of five months, we’re looking at far more about sort of good promoting good sleep habits, getting them into good strategies and learning those skills of sleep. And then sort of post six months, perhaps there’ve been a few bad habits that have been picked up sort of getting rid of those habits as well. 

[00:29:55] Carla: Oh, that’s great. So you can work with people from the beginning, really if they just want to create those kind of oh, that’s, that’s great. Yeah. Brilliant. So can you tell us just where we parents can find you, um, as well, and also, are you available via zoom and, and, um, in your local area as well for meetings?

[00:30:15] Gemma: Yeah, absolutely. And obviously with the pandemic, all sort of one-to-one support in the home has sadly, but off. And, but, so we did great zoom meetings, lots of telephone, support, emails, texts support as well. Um, but the best thing to do is probably just go straight to my website. It’s www.childsleepspecialist.co.uk. Just fire off an email to me, ask me a question and I’ll tell you how I can help. 

[00:30:41] Carla: That’s amazing. Gemma, you’ve been amazing. I have learnt so much. My son’s five I’m like, but you know, all of these things like sleep environment, I actually didn’t think about. So thank you so much for sharing that. I’m sure people found that really, really useful.

[00:30:56] Gemma: You’re welcome. Thank you very much. 

[00:30:58] Carla: Thank you. Thank you.

[00:31:00] 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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Eco Choices for Baby and Planet https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/eco-choices-for-baby-and-planet https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/eco-choices-for-baby-and-planet#respond Sun, 18 Jul 2021 17:52:37 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1234 Today Carla interviews Laura Crawford the owner of popular Eco-friendly nappy brand Mama Bamboo. They discuss Why everyone should try to go green? What the eco options are and when does eco really mean eco? 

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  • Eco Choices for Baby and Planet

Today Carla interviews Laura Crawford the owner of popular Eco-friendly nappy brand Mama Bamboo. They discuss why everyone should try to go green? What the eco options are and when does eco really mean eco? Why chose bamboo? How to do Combi nappying with cloth nappies and eco friendly nappies. How using plant based materials helps avoid nappy rash and how using eco wipes and avoiding allergens protects delicate skin.

Find Mama Bamboo Products:

Website: https://www.mamabamboo.com

Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/57424E81-3375-48D2-8A12-04B77129E8BC

 

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. 

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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.Today, I am joined by the lovely Laura Crawford from Mama Bamboo. Mama Bamboo offers eco-friendly nappies and wipes. And today we’re going to be talking a bit more about nappy waste, how it affects the environment and how we can make a change today to make a better future for our children. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

[00:02:21] Hello everybody. And welcome to the, My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast and YouTube video today. We’re recording on YouTube as well. So today we have the founder of Mama Bamboo, Laura Crawford. Hello, Laura, how are you? 

[00:02:40] Laura: Im good thank you. Thank you so much for having me on today. 

[00:02:43] Carla: No I’m really looking forward to this subject today, we’re going to be talking all about eco eco and saving the planet and the, and the environment aren’t we, Laura. And you can do this through nappies wipes. And obviously that that’s a bit about your business. So Laura, tell us a little bit about Mama Bamboo then. 

[00:03:04] Laura: Certainly. Um, so I started Mama Bamboo, uh, just after having my two children, three years ago. Um, and really I started it because I personally didn’t get on very well with reusables at the time, or the nappies that were available off the shelf. Um, and I, I really was looking for an eco option. That was the sustainably produced. And friendly to babies skin, um, and that didn’t leak all the time. Um, so I, uh, in frustration really at what was available, I created the Bamboo compostable nappies. Um, um, it’s been a really interesting three years because actually the eco landscape for nappies has changed. Um, even since my two were little , um, um, there are many more brands available now. Um, the subscription business around nappies has really boomed especially during the COVID years.

[00:04:08] Um, the availability, all, all in one reusables  that are actually easier to use than the ones that were available five years ago. Um, so the space has changed immensely and our business has grown within that space. Um, and we now strongly have a really good loyal, subscription-base that use our nappies on a regular basis every month, um, which either use exclusively eco disposables, or combinations of eco disposables, and reusables. Um, and it’s just been fascinating to see that rather rapid change in consumer behaviour. Um, to the point that now 20% of all parents are using eco disposables and reusables, um, which is a huge step forward for the country. 

[00:04:59] Carla: That’s amazing. Yeah. I mean, the thing is we do see these things, don’t we about looking after the environment and it’s like, oh yeah, well, I’ll do a little bit. And then it’s like, well, we’re still using a lot of parents. That’s 80% are still using. You know nappies, uh, you know, and it is still damaging the environment and our children. It’s thinking of our children’s future as well. Isn’t it? 

[00:05:23] Laura: It is and i think sometimes people don’t understand the extent of their impact on the environment. Um, so one of the facts that kind of staggers most people is the average baby will use six thousand nappies before they are potty trained. Six thousand nappies.

[00:05:44] Carla: My goodness.

[00:05:44] Laura: Um, and this leads to in the UK 3 billion, disposable nappies being used every year. 

[00:05:52] Carla: Thats frightening.

[00:05:52] Laura: And then when you throw in wet wipes as well, 11 billion wet wipes get used every year and 90% of them are made of the plastic. You don’t know whats in a nappy , like you, don’t sort of look at your nappy and think. Oh yeah thats clearly plastic, isn’t it.

[00:06:10] You have to really find out the details, but the cover is made of plastic, that the liner is plastic. The chemicals that go into them. And your wet wipes are the same there are plastic sheets, um, no less damaging than a single use carrier bag from the supermarket. 

[00:06:27] Carla: Thats frightening. Isn’t it? Because they were almost disguised a little bit. And you know, you wouldn’t ever think, oh, this is plastic. Like you said, and its as damaging 

[00:06:39] Laura: Yeah and its damaging and that those 3 billion nappies that go into landfill will sit there for 500 years because they are plastic. Or they’ll be incinerated and produce toxic fumes. Um, and the fact that they actually use 150 mils of crude oil, per nappy produced, which is a staggering amount actually. And that they use Chlorine bleach and that they use latex and PVC, and they’ve got perfumes and lotions in them that are completely unnecessary, and it just happens to be how the nappy industry has developed. Um, but there are alternatives to this. Um, I mean, our nappies don’t use all of those plastics or chemicals, and there are other brands as well.

[00:07:26] Um, Kit and Kin and Eco by Naty are the other two that we often talk about, our 3 brands use mostly plant based materials. Um, we don’t use chlorine. We all have either recyclable, easily recyclable or compostable packaging. Um, Um, and they’re readily available. You don’t really have to hunt for them anymore, the industry has changed. It’s very simple to either find them on a supermarket shelf or sign up for the subscription services.

[00:07:56] Carla: Yeah.

[00:07:56]Laura:  And I think that that’s a big step forward for parents. I think in the past, whenever we talked about eco nappies and eco wipes everybody’s mind goes to Terri cloth, where a nappy being in the corner of the bathroom, sitting there for days, uh, lots of laundry, hot washes, and then, and then hanging around the house drying. But actually the world has moved on.

[00:08:22] Um, and an awful lot of parents now do their eco nappying by choosing  eco disposables, and, modern day reusables. Even modern day reusables are not like what our parents had to use. A long time ago, my day.

[00:08:40] Carla: And mine.

[00:08:42] Laura: Um, the last century, anyway, um, the all in one nappies that are available (inaudibe)  or the two  they are a lot simpler to use than the terry cloth and actually they’re a lot easier to launder than the old terry cloth, um, so I think when we talk about eco nappying now people need to kind of get to know what the new options are on the table. Um, and we encourage an awful lot of parents to combi nappy, which means using both a reusable and an eco disposable. Um, and we’ve found really that that helps somebody, elongate an eco napping journey where maybe if you go purely reusable, it can be a little daunting, especially off the bat day one. A lot of parents will give up or find it too difficult. Um, but not to say that others don’t, I think 6% of parents do actually use purely reusable. 

[00:09:46] Carla: Yeah. That’s amazing. 

[00:09:50] Laura: By using a combination of the two, we find that more parents can build this into their lifestyle. Easily. That they can manage a few reusables in the day, eco disposables at night, uh, reusables when they are at home and convenient, eco disposables when they are out and about or going to grandmas house. Um, and just it helps parents actually find a solution that works with their lifestyle because our lifestyles are busier these days and we want to encourage parents to get out with their children, go to classes, now that they’re available again. 

[00:10:28] Carla: Yeah. Thank goodness. 

[00:10:32] Laura: And you know actually finding that combination that works with their lifestyle, um, and choosing the better quality, more natural products that are available. 

[00:10:42] Carla: Yeah, I, like you said, with com, doing it, um, combi really, it means that, you know, you actually kind of really helping. No matter, even if it’s a small change, you know, it makes a big difference. Doesn’t it? The amount of nappies, like you said, 6,000 before they’re potty trained, you know, even if you can cut that down, you know? 

[00:11:03] Laura: It’s a huge difference isn’t it? Particularly what we often say for combi napping is when your baby’s first born. It’s all a little bit overwhelming, um, best to chose an eco disposable, eco disposable wipes. For the first 6 weeks. You know, your whole life has just woosh, let’s get used to it. 

[00:11:26] Carla: Yes.

[00:11:27]Laura:  Whats convenient to you. Also when a baby’s newborn, they are very very small, obviously their bottoms are tiny. An awful lot of the modern all in one nappies actually are too big. Um, so you know, the first 6 weeks, exclusively eco disposables, and then don’t go all out like I stupidly did with my child. And it all went a bit Pete Tong.

[00:11:53] Don’t buy 30 reusables straight off the bat buy three. Just three and then on a calm day, when you’re at home, try the reusable. Three nappies, see how it goes, wash them, launder them, get yourself a little routine. Continue using the eco disposables when you’re out and about. And for the rest of the time and overnight. And if you are comfortable, buy another three, elongate how long you can do that, that routine. And then it will be up to you whether you make the full move and decide to use reusable all of the time, or whether you come up with a routine that, that, you know, I like eco disposables at night. But I don’t mind using reusables during the day. 

[00:12:43] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:12:45] Laura: Or if i have gone on holiday, let’s face it, nobody really wants to be doing reusables in a caravan. You might prefer to use eco disposables for the whole time. Um, you’ll also find sometimes, um, childminders and nurseries, aren’t really keen on reusables and they prefer you use a disposable nappy.  Um, so a lot of people ended up kind of doing a bit of both, um,

[00:13:08] And thats really sort of how we elongate somebodies Eco journey, um, uh, and  make it convenient for them. Um, I can certainly remember the early days when I stupidly went out and bought myself 30 reusable nappies off the bat. And was you know  I’m going to be absolutely perfect. I can remember crying in the corner on certain days it was all just a bit too much. I would have been a lot better off  kind of finding my balance.

[00:13:38] Um, and thats really how we encourage a lot of our clients  and it makes a huge environmental difference. So for every eco disposable you use, instead of a standard disposable, you save 150ml of crude oil. Um, you save on the chlorine, um, And the nappy itself can break down, it depends which brand you use, but you could have a compostable  one or you can use a recyclable one, um, and for, every reusable one you’re obviously saving on any disposable nappy. Which is even better. And the same with wipes, if you can use a reusable almost the same cloth. Perfect. Um, and if you can use a biodegradable or compostable wipe, that’s a huge difference. I don’t know if anybody saw War on Plastic on BBC last year, where they showed the tonnes and tonnes, uh, of wet wipes, plastic wet wipes and just stinking mass that will never degrade its just going to sit their in landfill forever and a day. But any time you can make an eco choice. You are making a huge difference to the environment. 

[00:14:55] Carla: Yeah. And like you said, as well, if you can do a mixture of both recyclable as well, you might even find that you save money and do you know and do it that way. So then a bit of a mix is, is another way that you can kind of do it as well.

[00:15:11] Laura: I think one of the things that sometimes put people off using reusable. Is this idea that you’ve got to shell out for 30 or 40 nappies on day one, which is quite expensive it runs to a few hundred pounds before you’ve, even tried  it. It is a lot better to buy 3, you know thats probably only going to cost you. £20 or £30. 

[00:15:33] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:15:33] Laura: Give it a go And then, and then you can build up to it. So you don’t have to, you don’t have to invest so much before you have really given it a try. And equally with the eco disposable nappies. Once you have tried a sort of pack of them and got familiar with which brand you want to use. I think nearly  all of the eco disposable use a, a quite a heavy discount for anyone that subscribes. So if you’re on our site Mama Bamboo , we offer a 20% discount if you subscribe, which actually makes the nappies quite affordable. Whereas I think a lot of people, assume, if I’m going to go eco its going to cost me an arm and a leg. 

[00:16:14] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It’s just kind of looking out for those things and we’ve tried your nappies, we’ve done quite a few reviews on your nappies, and they’re fantastic really, really, really good. Um, and I do think it will make huge difference cause there’s a lot of more people definitely looking at these programs and stuff on TV and thinking, oh my goodness. Like, and if everyone just made a small change, it would make such a huge difference. Wouldn’t it? 

[00:16:41] Laura: And I think sometimes people are slightly put off by what I call, green washing out there. They all, they feel like they are going to get sold a lie or a con. Um, and, and they’re a bit nervous because actually there’s such a lot of information out there and some of it is strictly true and some of it is more questionable, um, and they can just find it a bit confusing, they don’t know which one to choose. Um, on our website actually if anybody wants to go and have a look, there is a blog that compares all the different eco nappy brands and we break it down into what’s in the cover. What’s in the liner. How much chlorine is used, what the packaging is and how easy it is to recycle or compost it. What the certifications mean on all of the nappy, um, and what that  company is doing in terms of ethical and sustainable business practices.

[00:17:40] Um, and thats actually, really useful, um, blog to have a read of. And equally they can go to the good shopping guide or the ethical consumer, um, who have done all of these tasks and, you know, rated and ranked. All of the various nappy companies to say actually were actually, when somebody says it’s an eco nappy, and people kind of question oh is it an eco nappy. That really helps to break it down and say, actually our nappies have a hundred percent plant based covers. Um, um, a hundred percent compostable liners in them. Um, equally Eco by Naty and Kit and Kin are the same. They’re a hundred percent, some of the other eco nappies can be as little as 15% natural based materials in their covers. Which means 85% plastic. Um, and they may not have a compostable or recyclable liner. Um, so it, it helps to kind of break down some of those myths and people can feel more confident in their choices.

[00:18:50] And thats whats really going through parliament at the moment. So there’s an environmental bill. That’s been going through parliament now, for two years. That is calling on all nappy brands to state clearly the full list of ingredients. No greenwashing. You have to say exactly what you use in what percentage.

[00:19:10] Carla: Brilliant.

[00:19:12]Laura:  We support that 100% because.

[00:19:16] Carla: Well, you don’t know what’s on your child’s. You want to know what’s touching your child’s skin. Do you? You want to know it? You know.

[00:19:24] Laura: We really do. And, it does make a huge difference to a child’s skin. Um, Pampers themselves  did the report, when they released Pampers Pure, um,  and the, the conclusion of the report it was about sensitivity and nappy rash. The conclusion of the report was by not using chlorine. And by having in their case 20% cotton in the covers, it reduced sensitivity and nappy rash, um, in, in the test population of baby. Um, and we find, day to day, a lot of people come to us to say, actually using bamboo, has reduced the nappy rash in our children. Whereas if they use something else nappy rash comes back in five minutes. I swapped to yours, it’s gone again in two days. Um, and that is the difference. So if you were using a normal nappy, you are wrapping your child up in plastic.

[00:20:18] And having the bacteria that obviously comes from wee and poo, you have got a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, um, which is going to cause nappy rash. We are trapping it all, I mean, in this weather, ugh that is not nice. Um, whereas our nappies are breathable. So by having natural materials on the nappy, by having a breathable liner you are not trapping that keeping that in. And bamboo itself is naturally anti-bacterial. So that also helps reduce nappy rash.

[00:20:53] Carla: That’s excellent. That’s really useful. Now we’ve got some questions. I know we’ve been talking a lot haven’t we,  but its, I might have covered some of them, but I’m going to ask you them anyway, you just so in case we’ve missed anything. Um, so bear with me a second. I’m just going to get these up now.

[00:21:15] Okay. So Laura, if you can answer then why should parents go green? 

[00:21:23] Laura: I think probably the first thing is the understanding that a normal nappy is made of plastic and a normal wet wipe is made of plastic. It doesn’t look like plastic. But it is. It’s also made with chemicals like chlorine, a lot of them have adhesives and dyes in which aren’t vegan certified.

[00:21:46] Um, and some nappies even have perfumes and lotion, which are just completely unnecessary.

[00:21:51]Carla:  For a baby, yeah, you just, don’t.

[00:21:55] Laura: And wet wipes equally they are plastic. And then really check ingredient on those wet wipes. Some of the ingredients are, um, endocrine disruptor. Which actually effect a babies hormones. The baby skin is so much more porous than ours. It’s so much more sensitive. Um, so you really don’t want to use them on your baby. Um, um, you really don’t want that plastic and all those chemicals, uh, in, in your baby nappy changing routine. Um, and it’s just that staggering fact  I think that babies get through 6000 nappies in the first couple years of life. And  around 12,000 to 18,000 wet wipes. Wow. You just don’t want to be contributing that to the environment. 

[00:22:44] Carla: Absolutely. I know. I think we have covered that point, but I do think it’s important too, to stress around that because it is, like we said, just before it does make a huge difference. Even making a small change. Um, like we’ve said so, so I think we’ve covered this as well, Laura. Um, but what are the different eco options and what does eco, when does eco really mean eco? 

[00:23:11] Laura: Eco disposables um, and there are a variety of brands available, um, and it’s worth doing your  research to find out actually, what are the ingredients within those eco disposables, um, And there are all in one pocket nappies. Um, that are the reusable option. Um, and  most parents, that go down the eco route use a combination of the two. Um, they, they want the convenience of the disposable or the high performance over night time etc. Um, and they might use a reusable when they’re at home or it’s convenient. Um, within their own routine. The eco disposables as I say, there is quite a range of eco disposables available and they range from 100% plant based down to around 10-15% plant based, but they will all, none of them have latex or pvc in them, none of the eco disposables should use perfumes or lotion. Um, and they will all have a  percentage of plant based material in their design. Um, and the eco disposable brands all tend to be higher on the ethical consumer rating. Um, and they will have done things like carbon neutralising. Um, so they’re sort of the better option to the standard nappy. But it’s worth doing your research and finding out exactly what goes into those. There are eco disposable wet wipes available, um, they function exactly the same with the normal wet wipes, but they’ll compost down. They are made a 100% of a plant based material. Um, and then there are the reusable versions, as I say, um, they, they usually. Most of them these days are the all in one version, but then have a, a little booster padding locked inside a little pocket. And they’re often cotton or bamboo.

[00:25:13] Carla: Can I ask around those actually, because a question I’ve got only because I’ve never really used those, um, is how does it work? In terms of, do you change it every time your baby has a wee or like, is it and what happens after an explosion basically? Like how, how do you, what’s the best way to tackle that? Because I think that’s probably a thing that parents, you know, they get the nappy, the great thing, like about your nappies as well as you can just be like, right. See you later, that’s out the window, but how not out the window, literally, by the way, um, Absolutely not, but what, what would you do in that circumstance? 

[00:25:54] Laura: Yeah. So if you’re using a reusable, um, it baby has a, a little wee it’s probably okay for a little while. So if you’ve got your booster padding there it can soak that away from the baby’s skin, um, they’re not as good at soaking it away from babies skin and absorbing it as , an eco disposable, um, because they don’t have kind of the same makeup in their material.

[00:26:19] But it can pull it away. And, um, after a while you’ll notice that it’s starting to get a little bit full and babies skin might be a little bit damp, so whip it off.  If it is, as we described the poonami, which is full and explosion, the best thing to do it take it off. I mean, ASAP get it away from the babies skin, because no matter what you’re using, you do not want that sitting on your babies skin that is bacteria loaded and is going to cause a problem. Get it away. If it’s a reusable, if you can kind of tip, as much as you can down the loo.

[00:27:01] Carla: Oh yes good thinking.

[00:27:02] Laura: Tip it down the loo like an adult would go and then it’ll go through the water system. If its solid when they are a little bit older and they have started eating solids, you can kind of just push it off. When they are little and you have got that, what I used to call the seedy mustard stuff that was a bit more smeared. Try and put as much down you can, then the way I used to do with Harry, jug of water and you sort of use a jug of water from the sink and kind of rinse a little bit and try and get as much off as possible. Don’t do what my mother did once, which was then take the nappy and then run it under my sink in the bathroom. Um, which then meant it was all around the sink. Just stick to the loo and you can nicely flush it down.

[00:27:57] Carla: Yeah.

[00:27:57] Laura: And once its sort of reasonably clean, you can just pop that in your nappy bin. So you’ll have a, a reasonable size wet bucket. Um, usually with a good lid on it. Um, and then just pop that in there. Um, it can be an either cold water for a little while. Um, some pop them in dry, its really your choice, um, at least every two days, but ideally every two days do a wash using Eco detergent. Um, They used to say, use a 90 degree wash. You don’t need to use a 90 degree wash. You could get away with a 40 degree wash.

[00:28:40] Some prefer 60 but you know thats your choice.You could get away with a 40 degree wash, make sure that it’s a long wash, so not the, not the short ones that we often use in the day. I know I do a lot of our washing at 55 mins. Use a full two hour or three hour, whatever your washing machine is set too. And make sure it runs through, um, getting nice and clean. Line dry where possible, I mean, in this weather and you’ll be done in like a couple of hours. Perfect. Obviously in the winter that is a little bit harder. Tumble dryer use negates all the environmental benefits. And in a lot of cases, can actually damage the material. So these, these new nappies instead of the Terri cloth, these new kind of all in ones often have a waterproof cover on them.  Um, and that is damaged by using this tumble dryer. So you can shorten the life of your nappy. So do try and line dry as often as possible.

[00:29:40] Um, in the winter, I mean, it’s very tempting to line, dry them over your radiator. Don’t do that. Actually the heat coming up from the radiator can also damage them. Away from the radiators.

[00:29:51] Carla: Just on a maiden or something like that. 

[00:29:54] Laura: Yeah stick it on a maiden or just pinned up.You know? Um, I know it’s hard if you’re living in a

[00:30:01] flat or you don’t have access to a washing machine, that can make it trickier. But as I say if you combi nappy. It wont be so overwhelming and then the only last thing really, to be aware of is probably about once a month, or so, you might consider doing what we call an ammonia  of your nappies. Um, or I think it is also referred to as a strip wash. Um, and it will depend on how often they’re being used and the treatment of them. But just occasionally you might find that you get a slight smell of ammonia in them it’s coming from the baby’s wee. And then eventually that can build up and bring a little bit of nappy rash. But actually a quick strip wash and you’re good to go again. 

[00:30:45] Carla: Great.

[00:30:46]Laura:  So it’s not that hard. And I know there is a labor involved in this extra washing, as I say, if you, if you combi nappy and just build your way into  reusables, you’ll find that you, you’ve got such a routine that it just kind of fits in with your weekly routine. One of the things that we often say to parents is give yourself a break. So if baby is teething. If they are in a really disturbed week for one reason or another, you know we don’t get to do it anymore. But you know, we’ve been on holiday and babies a bit jet lagged. We don’t get to do that now.

[00:31:26] Carla: No, no thats been taken as well. Yeah. Cant have that anymore. 

[00:31:32] Laura: If it’s been, you know, a tricky couple of nights or tricky week. Give yourself a break. Use the eco disposables for the whole time for a day or two, avoid the washing. Take a deep breath and give it another go.

[00:31:47] Carla: Yeah. That’s why it’s great to have both options. Isn’t it really? Um, I mean, yeah, I think that, and then you’re just working out what works for you. It might be in the afternoon that it makes sense to just use the reusable ones or, you know, but like you said, it’s, and then you’ve got both options. It’s like, right. I’m busy these next two days. I’m just going to do this option. And yeah, I really like that idea. That’s really, really good. I’ve never thought of it like that before, to be honest. 

[00:32:15] Laura: Yeah. I think too often we get stuck on the, a hundred percent ideal, oh we have to do a hundred percent reusable, a hundred percent breast feeding. If I dare give them one bottle, you know I’m a bad mum.

[00:32:33] Carla: Yeah thats what you feel like don’t you?

[00:32:35] Laura: Its fine use combination, workout a routine that works for you. And just give yourself a break. It’s not supposed to be, a difficult time. Or certainly nappies are supposed to add to the difficult time that you were already having. 

[00:32:49] Carla: Yes, no, you’re right. Yeah, exactly. No, that’s 100%. Right. So I know it’s stressful enough as a parent, isn’t it? You know, you’ve got that much going on. I think. Um, yeah, it’s just a case of by combi napping, it just takes away that stress of doing just one thing. 

[00:33:06] Laura: And give yourself a pat on the back for every eco disposable you use and every reusable you use . Give yourself a pat on the back and say hey I did not use a plastic one. Well done me.

[00:33:17] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. That’s brilliant. So why does Mama Bamboo then use, choose. Should I say bamboo? 

[00:33:27] Laura: Um, so we chose bamboo but I looked at all the materials that were available and what I could switch out some of the materials for. The two options on the table to me were an organic cotton or a bamboo. Um, um, organic cotton is a much better material than normal cotton because you’re not using fertilisers and pesticides but you are still using an awful lot of water . So, uh, cotton is a very, very thirsty crop. Um, and actually there are areas in the world that have been almost drained in order to irrigate cotton fields.

[00:34:10] Um, it’s one of those, although organic is much much better for the environment. Um, it’s not perfect.  Nothing is perfect. But bamboo is not that thirsty, so bamboo does not require irrigation, um, uh, it grows organically no fertilisers or pesticides.  You also, by using what we use is, um, FSC certified bamboo or Forest Stewardship Council certified. Um, we know that the bamboo is sustainably harvested. If you harvest a bamboo forest, you don’t cut down the whole forest. You actually only take down about a third of the forest at any one time, which encourages light into the forest floor and encourages regeneration. So it’s not like trees or cotton. You’re not actually cutting the whole plant down. Bamboo grows immensely fast. During its growing season, you can almost watch it growing.

[00:35:16]Carla:  Wow. 

[00:35:17] Laura: It can grow 13cm in an hour. Its incredible stuff.

[00:35:21] Carla: Oh my goodness.

[00:35:24] Laura: Um, you probably think you’ve made a mistake because it just grows. It grows like a weed and it takes it over.  You really have to cut it down and restrict it down unless you do want a bamboo forest in your garden. So those were the environmentally reasons why we decided we wanted to use bamboo. And then there was a reason that actually was better for baby by being so breathable, um, being naturally anti-bacterial. Um, it was helping with that nappy rash. Um, and that was really why we chose bamboo. We always kind of, want to balance out that its better for the environment, but it’s also better for baby. We have to balance every time. And thats why we chose the bamboo and actually it has been commonly used in Southeast Asia for baby products for hundreds of years.

[00:36:14] Carla: Oh, wow. That’s amazing. 

[00:36:18] Laura: We haven’t used it here, because obviously bamboo is not grown in the UK.

[00:36:21] Carla: No, of course. Yeah exactly. So, so how, um, how does using plant-based materials help avoid nappy rash? Now I think we’ve covered this because of the other things that were in plastic nappies. But is there anything else that you could add to that or go over again?

[00:36:39] Laura: I think its really about that if you’re using a plastic nappy. A there are chemicals tied in there as well. But plastic traps heat, it traps bacteria it leads to huge bacteria growth in a nappy area which can lead to nappy rash. It’s not at all breathable. If as a, as a lady if you have ever used a sanitary pad over night, you know in your knickers, um, and it’s been a bit hot. You know it’s not that comfortable.

[00:37:11] Carla: Oh no.

[00:37:14]Laura:  Um, now a baby is wrapped up in that plastic 24/7 for two years. That’s a long time.

[00:37:24] Carla: Oh it just makes me itchy the thought of it.

[00:37:34] Laura: But it’s the same for a baby. That not comfortable wrapping them up in plastic. And it was actually shown in 2008, 2009. When we have the economic collapse. And a lot of parents, switched for supermarkets brands and slightly, cheaper versions of nappies. So sales rose. So did the sales of nappy cream.

[00:37:59]Carla:  Oh really? Wow. Goodness. Yeah. 

[00:38:03] Laura: So plant based is obviously better and we know that. Um, adults will happily pay,50 60, 70 pounds for bamboo sportswear and bamboo socks. Because we know that natural materials are better for our skin and they help to breath. Lots of ladies will buy their husbands bamboo socks. Because it helps not to let their feet smell. 

[00:38:28] Carla: Oh, that’s a good tip. I’ll add that to the Christmas list. No thats, that’s really useful with the eco wipes. I know we haven’t really touched on those. Um, how, how does eco wipes help, you know, avoid allergens and protects delicate skin?

[00:38:48] Laura: By using a natural material, obviously you’re, you’re improving your environmental impact rather than using the plastic wipes. But also the likelihood is, if you’ve chosen one of the biodegradable eco wipes, it will avoid the allergens that are in an awful lot of wet wipes . Um, some of the wet wipes on the market today that are marketed as baby wipes and even  sensitive baby wipes will include some pretty horrible ingredients, um, that have been proven to be endocrine destructors.

[00:39:23] Endocrine destructors can actually affect a babies hormones, you don’t want to be using that on the babies skin. Um, some of them, even include some materials that are  formaldehyde releasing. And again, you don’t want that near a babies skin. A babies skin is so much thinner than our skin. It soaks up the chemicals that are on it, um, so much more than, than an adult’s skin. Um, and it just more sensitive at that stage. I mean when they are really, really little  they used to say just use cotton wool and water. Um, actually there’s been quite a lot of studies done, to say using a wet wipe is better because you actually , you don’t pull on the skin as much it slides over the skin better which is excellent. Um, but you do have to be careful about what involved in that cleansing solution. I think usually , by using an eco one the companies are more ethical, and they will have avoided an awful lot of the allergens that have been in previous wet wipes. But it’s always worth checking the ingredients on the back. 

[00:40:40] Carla: What I found with your wipes actually is they’re so strong. So instead of having to use. Um, uh, a previous make, um, when I’d have to get like four, I only needed to use one. Um, you know, and it was literally, and it was strong, so it kind of pulls everything away and that makes a big difference. Cause you actually save money then as well, you can start to look at it that way.

[00:41:06] Laura: The bamboo makes them strong. So yeah, some of the eco wipes that are available are kind of a paper-based one, sort of a paper pulp. They, can tear a little more often, whereas the bamboo is strong. I mean bamboo is incredible. It can be used to make the softest babies nappies and clothing. It can equally be used to make hardwood floors. 

[00:41:29] Carla: Wow. That’s crazy.

[00:41:31]Laura:  Bamboo is the most incredible material. Um, so yeah, they are, they are stronger. And what I love about are wipes. Is we sometimes have people say to us, I can’t get my mascara off with them. And I’m like, good. I don’t want you to be able to get waterproof mascara off with the same wipe you put on your babies skin. I really like that when people say but they are really rubbish on my waterproof and I’m like good.

[00:42:04] Carla: Yeah. Good. Yeah. That’s, that’s a really good point, actually. Gosh. Yeah. So, so Laura, then can you tell us a bit about where people can find you and what options you’ve got available at Mama Bamboo for parents that are looking to go more eco-friendly. 

[00:42:20] Laura: Yeah, certainly. Um, so to find us, the easiest place to find us is on our own website, which is mamabamboo.com.

[00:42:28]Carla:  I’ll put that link in the notes to this podcast as well.

[00:42:32] Laura: Perfect. Um, and, um, we are also available on Amazon and Ocado so you can get us with your weekly shopping. Um, we always kind of advise, if once you have tested it. Wherever you first get your first pack from, if you come to us and get your subscription you get the 20% off, which is a big bonus. Which is perfect really. Um, um, the options vary from you can either get a little sample of two, uh, which is the sample is free. You just pay the postage and that’ll give you like a little pack with just two nappies in them. Um, so you can sort of test them for quality. However, we do advise if you want to do a, trial to buy a trial bundle, which is a full-size pack of nappies and a full-size pack of wipes, cause that gives you three or four days worth to test. And really you want to test them day night. Um,  you want to see whether actually they do contain a poonami, um, whether they can contain a really heavy wet in the night. Um, and that just gives you a little longer and particularly with wet wipes. Quite often, you’ll find the buildup of a wet wipe takes a couple of days. So if you make a quick switch and choose a cheaper wipe, for the first hour or two, you probably wont notice anything but after three days, your babies skin is going red or  maybe its starting to  it takes a while a while to build up. So we do tend to push people to get the trial bundle and test it out for a good 3 or 4 days. Plus they are comfy. (inaudible) 

[00:44:19] Carla: Be handy for an adult size really. Yeah, not have to go to the bathroom, just sit in them all day. They are comfy. They are really comfy while I haven’t worn them. Sorry, George did, but I did notice a huge difference. Um, yeah,

[00:44:35] Laura: Unfortunately we only go to a size 6 in the pull up, we will work on an adult size one.

[00:44:41] Carla: Yeah. That would be good. No, honestly that sounds like I just sit here and wee myself just to be clear. I don’t. But yeah, no, that’s great Laura its been really interesting. Um, speaking to you about all this, because I do think it’s, you know, it’s, there’s not enough information out there sometimes, and it’s quite hard to understand when you don’t really know. What it means. Do you know what I mean? Cause sometimes you can be reading about it and you think what, what does that mean? And it’s just a case of kind of simplifying it all and explaining it as a whole, which I think you’ve done a really good job of doing. 

[00:45:14] Laura: Thanks and I think that’s absolutely it. I think it can feel quite overwhelming. I know a lot of parents probably start their research during their second or third trimester when they’ve got  time, but  a lot parents start to think about this, you know, three months in . And thats, it’s a  little overwhelming as it is, and actually finding the head space to break through all the academic arguments. Um, I I’m do all the research and all the various options out there and then start to use the ones that work for you. That’s a lot of extra work to be doing at a time where  really you are still focusing on how many wees have they done a day? How many ounces have they taken of this milk, have they had their nap? Actually it can be really overwhelming in the early days.

[00:46:04] Carla: It can, and another thing parents can do, which we actually did with George is we started kind of buying things from the second trimester and just buying the nappies ready, you know, and kind of stocking up almost. So then you’ve got that time and you’ve got, you know, quite a lot there. Um, ready to get you started really. 

[00:46:25] Laura: We get an awful lot of actually, grandparents will sign up for our subscription before the babies born. They have got time, and they are doing the research. A lot of, a lot of grandmothers will say  I didn’t want my daughter or daughter in law to do the pure Terri cloth because i remember how hard that was when i did it. So I’m signing her up, I have done my research, I think yours is the best one, the eco one. We’re going to give it to them as a gift. And actually it’s a brilliant grandparent gift. A lot of grandparents took on the pram or the cot. Equally, the nappy it’s a big house hold expenditure, for that’s first couple of years. Um, so yeah. If there are any loving grandparents out there its a very nice gift.

[00:47:14] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, definitely. I do see, I do see the benefits there, especially for even second time, third time parents that actually have the other, the other stuff already don’t really need anything. And it’s like, well, get me the nappies, you know, because it does add.

[00:47:30] Laura: I’ve already got a cot, I have already got plenty of clothing, grandma you want to buy me a gift? This will do. 

[00:47:37] Carla: Yeah. Nappies and wipes, please. Yeah, exactly. That’s great. Well, Laura, thank you so much for coming on today anyway, and talking to us I really appreciate it. 

[00:47:48] Laura: Thank you so much for having me its been lovely. 

[00:47:50] Carla: No problem. Thank you.

[00:47:54] 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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Divorce and Finances https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/divorce-and-finances https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/divorce-and-finances#respond Wed, 30 Jun 2021 11:00:48 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1222 Today Carla speaks with Nadine Moaddel from Mancini Legal about divorce and finances on divorce.
We cover everything from what happens to the family home after divorce, how child custody is decided and how to get a divorce.

The post Divorce and Finances appeared first on MyBump2Baby Podcasts.

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  • Divorce and Finances

Welcome to My Bump to Baby Expert podcast, a podcast where parents can listen to experts discuss different aspects of the journey from pregnancy to birth and beyond.

Today Carla speaks with Nadine Moaddel from Mancini Legal about divorce and finances on divorce.

We cover everything from what happens to the family home after divorce, how child custody is decided and how to get a divorce.

At MyBump2Baby we are proud to work with one trusted family law solicitor in each town throughout the UK to support families.

https://mancinilegal.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. 

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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.

[00:01:55] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast. Today, I am speaking to Nadine Moaddel from Mancini Legal Solicitors in Horsham. Today we’re going to be talking about divorce and finances after divorce, too. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:21] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast. Today I am joined by Nadine Moaddel from Mancini Legal Solicitors in Horsham. 

[00:02:34] Hello, how are you? 

[00:02:36] Nadine: Hello. I’m very well, thank you. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:40]Carla:  I’m really excited to speak to you on this subject today. We’re going to be talking about finances on divorce. Which is a subject I think a lot of people delve into before they’re at the stages of kind of looking into divorce. Um, so I’m looking forward to speaking to about this. Um, can you just introduce yourself and what you do at Mancini Law? If that’s okay. 

[00:03:02] Nadine: Yes. So I’m  the head of family at Mancini Legal and I deal with family law. So all areas in regards to children, finances, divorce, I’m also director. So dealing with sort of HR management, et cetera, um, which is really interesting and a new role for me which I’ve been really enjoying. So yes very varied. 

[00:03:26] Carla: Brilliant. So, so with the divorce side of things, do you find, um, that you get a lot of questions before people end up going for the divorce? Is it, do you get a lot of calls around, you know, all the different circumstances around finances? 

[00:03:42] Nadine: Yeah. So lots of inquirers, I guess, um, people are sort of unsure whether they wants to go ahead with the divorce. They’re very much at the inquiry stage. Sometimes they sort of look online beforehand and they seem to have answers and whilst its good to Google things. Sometimes it can be misleading because you know, the authority is not as, um, yes, water tight as we would like. So, um, I’d also say if you’re thinking and contemplating a divorce, it’s a good idea to speak with a family lawyer. Um, yes, it’s good to speak with family and friends, but their experience is going to be very different to yours. So, yeah, that’s what I recommend. 

[00:04:20] Carla: Okay. Brilliant. Yeah. So if someone was thinking of leaving their spouse, how do they go about getting a divorce? Because a lot of people, it will be a first time thing and they’ve got children and you know, they’re at this crossroads in their life and they’re thinking, right, how do I get, how do I actually get a divorce?

[00:04:41] Nadine: So often I would, I would encourage, um, the, the individual to speak with their partner first. So it’s not going to come as a shock. So that’s often the hardest part just to see whether there’s any way to rekindle anything, try maybe counselling. Um, but if they’ve got sort of set their minds on it, they know they want to go through the process.

[00:05:01] Um, now you can do it online. So you need to find the right right ground to petition under. And at the moment, no fault divorce is going to be brought into law. Next April. So for the time being, unless you’ve been separated for more than two years, you have to use a fault based ground. So the most commonly used one is unreasonable behaviour. So if you’ve been separated from your partner for less than two years, for example, and you want to go through the process, then you’d have to use that and give the court some examples of what you find to be unreasonable. So thats how you could get the process started. 

[00:05:40] Carla: That makes sense. I imagine that can cause can cause some disagreements as well. Can’t it? Cause it can be quite hard to read that for the other person. Um, so, so with, um, a divorce, do you have to go to court or not? 

[00:05:56] Nadine: So for the divorce process itself provided it’s not contentious. And the other party agrees, you can agree on costs then no, you don’t need to go to court. It’s all paper-based, um, it’s all dealt with by the judge sitting in chambers. Um, and basically they, they recieve loads of applications on a daily basis. All they need to be satisfied with is, obviously that you’re entitled to get a divorce. Um, and if so then, um, so that the process of divorce is the petitioner applies for the divorce. Then your spouse would need to respond to that divorce to say, basically they, um, have no issue with it. They don’t intend to defend the proceedings. And then the petition would apply for the decree nisi, which is the hearing that you hear about in the media. So that’s when they refer to you can achieve a quickie divorce.

[00:06:49] So when you hear someone got divorced, that’s actually very misleading. It’s basically the court to say you’re entitled to a divorce. That’s the decree nisi hearing after which you have to wait six weeks and a day before you can apply for the final stage, which is the absolute, but the short answer is no, you don’t have to go to court.

[00:07:07] Carla: Right? Okay. So would if, if someone disagreed and you know, didn’t want to get a divorce. Is that when it gets a little bit more kind of longer, I suppose, um, the actual divorce proceedings. 

[00:07:23] Nadine: Well, yeah. So what most people tend to do is they try to ignore the petition. And they think that that’s going to achieve, um, what they will want. And it’s going to delay proceedings, but there are ways and means around it. So you need to make an extra application, which is extra fees invariably, but there are ways around that. If they specifically intend to defended divorce they need to have grounds to do so, in which case that the hearing will be listed.

[00:07:51] But I have to say in my experience, that’s never happened before. There’s more often than not. They try and pretend to be they haven’t received it or they ignore it. In which case you can, as I say, make other applications to overcome that.

[00:08:06]Carla:  Yeah. That makes sense. So, so you mentioned unreasonable behaviour, what, what other grounds are there for divorce?

[00:08:13] Nadine: So you have unreasonable behaviour, you have, uh, desertion and adultery as well. And then you have two years separation with consent versus a no fault based grounds. And then five-year separation. Without consent. Um, as I say, unreasonable behaviour seems to be the most commonly cited one. Um, just because most people haven’t been separated for two years before they decide when they want to start the process.

[00:08:42] Carla: That makes sense. So, so what does unreasonable behaviour mean? Because it’s quite a broad statement isn’t it really can it mean what, what does it mean? 

[00:08:54] Nadine: It’s very individual to you. So if you feel that behaviour of your spouse has led to the breakdown of the marriage. It’s whatever you considered to be unreasonable. So something like they’ve been working long hours, um, they don’t come home or. Um, there’s been a lack of love and affection and they don’t want to communicate, even if they snore too loudly and you cant sleep in the same bedroom. So thats led to, you know, things in that department. Its literally whats personal to you. So as long as you can show adequate reasoning, um, the court’s going to accept it.

[00:09:28] And what you need to be careful with is that you don’t, uh, draft it into non-contentious of a waste. I meaning that you need to show the court. There’s good enough reason. It’s not just going to be something ridiculous. They have to be satisfied. There has actually been behaviour, which is not reasonable.

[00:09:44] Carla: That makes sense. So, so how much does a divorce actually cost then? Because I know a lot of people think, oh goodness, like it’s going to be thousands and a lot of money. How much does it cost? 

[00:09:57] Nadine: So there’s a divorce fee, which is currently 550 pounds. Um, if you choose to do it yourself again, that’s the same fee that you’d pay. You don’t necessarily need the solicitor to help you with the divorce side. Um, but if you do decide to engage a solicitor, they’ll charge their own fees. Um, we charge a sort of a fixed fee package. So. Um, we, we often do that. So it’s about 750 pounds plus VAT at the moment, which is quite competitive. And that’s again on the basis that it’s not challenged and the other party consents to it and the divorce can sort of carry on through the normal process. Um, obviously if there’s, if there’s issues with service or they’re not responding to the petition, then the fees will be slightly higher. 

[00:10:45] Carla: Yeah, that makes sense. And what are the benefits of choosing to go with a family law solicitor rather than doing it yourself? 

[00:10:53] Nadine: So one of the main, main advantages is that you avoid delay to the process. So you know that the court is going to accept the petition. Um, and again, make sure that the grounds of behaviour. If you’re using unreasonable behaviour that is presented in a incorrect way to the court, there’s also  protocol that you need to follow. So it’s always advisable to, show your spouse, a copy of the petition before you file it, at least to give them a heads up and say, by the way, these are the reasons I’m going to put down.

[00:11:26] It’s always a good idea to try and agree them with beforehand as well. So then it’s not going to be a surprise to them, which will get their back up. Um, so it’s just sort of that sort of basic process that you would probably not appreciate. Um, and again, if there’s issues with service or, um, if the divorce is defended, then that’s something a solicitor can help with. Um, and probably one of the most important ones is making sure that their decree absolute isn’t applied for. Which obviously what we would do. Um, until the finances have been resolved. 

[00:11:58] Carla: Right. Yeah. It does, it makes sense if you go in to this blind, I think, you know, it’s, it’s going to be much better having someone there by your side, talking to you through the whole process, because it seems quite daunting experience. Um, so, so with, in terms of finances now, um, who would get the house, if you did get a divorce, how does that actually work? 

[00:12:23] Nadine: So that is one of the most common questions that I am asked funnily enough. Um, so really the, the way that, um, the courts approach it is, they rely on something called the section 25 factors and they under the matrimonial causes act. So they’ll look at, several factors such as the children of the families. So who are the children going to continue living with what the needs are of each party, what their earning potentials are, et cetera, health there’s so many factors, but you know, the short answer is it depends on what you agree with your spouse.

[00:13:03] So you can either reach an agreement amongst yourselves its often sort of called a kitchen table discussion, where you can reach an agreement. You’d then go to a solicitor and say, okay. How does this agreement weigh up? Is it fair? Is it reasonable? And in which case, then you should both provide basic financial disclosure just to make sure that, um, it’s balanced and, and proportionate.

[00:13:27] So most cases I deal with, are needs based cases. So if there is enough needs, um, if there’s enough sort of money to go around. For example for the wife to stay living at home with the children, then often that is agreed. There’s no right or wrong answer to be honest. It’s basically predicated on needs. And that’s the main thing the courts will look at. What is fair and what each party needs moving forward. 

[00:13:52] Carla: And then they reach an agreement, um, from there?

[00:13:55]Nadine:  Yes. 

[00:13:56] Carla: Right. Okay. So in terms of the house then before it gets to the divorce, obviously you’re not together. So who should be staying in the house while the divorce is going through? Because what if you’ve got two people with children and both won’t leave the house. 

[00:14:14] Nadine: Well, unfortunately there’s not a lot you can do to force someone to, to leave. Um, and more often than not, parties will continue living together whilst they go through this process, which can be very awkward, as you can imagine, especially if it’s contentious or there are financial proceedings or even children proceedings, um, so sometimes a party will move out. Um, and they’ll rent somewhere. In the interim whilst, um, matters are being resolved. Um, but I say this to my clients all the time, even if they do move out for short term or long term, they can return to the family home at any time, provided they are on the deeds of the property. Because if they own the home, there’s nothing to stop them returning.

[00:14:55] They often worry say, well, what what if the locks have changed then what, you know, I’m stopped from coming back home. But the fact is if you own that property, you’ve got every right to return. Um, there, if there’s issues to do with domestic violence, for example, um, and in the interim, you want your spouse to leave the property and they refused to do so. There are orders that you can obtain from the courts. Um, again, they’re not guaranteed. These occupation orders, can be difficult to attain, but there are ways and means around it. 

[00:15:27] Carla: Right. Okay. That’s really good to know. So, so onto the children then, um, after a divorce who actually, it sounds wrong, putting it like this, but, who gets the children in a divorce or how does that work?

[00:15:42] Nadine: So I always encourage clients to understand that children matters should always be regarded as separate to financial arrangements. I.e you don’t want to mix the two, i know that um, you know, whoever, whoever has, the children would argue if we have a greater need, but more often than not, parties reach an agreement amongst themselves.

[00:16:04] They agreed to split time. Um, however they see fit what’s in the best interest of the children and you don’t normally need to record that formally. Um, they can reach their own agreements, um, if they can’t agree. And if mediation fails, um, mediation is where they go to a neutral third party. They try and reach an agreement as to what would work with them and that the child or children, if that fails then court proceedings, um, become inevitable.

[00:16:33] And then obviously the court will make a decision on that basis. Um, but again, it’s always predicated on what is in the best interest of the child, um, rather than what the parents specifically want. 

[00:16:46] Carla: Yeah, no, that makes sense. And, and just on, on with the children as well, another, uh, um, subject, um, grandparents, do they have a right to see their children? So say for example, people got divorced. Two people got a divorce, the dad wasn’t bothered, or the mum wasn’t bothered about seeing the children. What about the grandparents on that side? Are they entitled to see those children or not? 

[00:17:10] Nadine: Well with grandparents its slightly trickier, so they don’t have a automatic right to see their grandchildren. Um, and if, if the, the other parent refused to facilitate contact, um, and again, they didn’t want to, um, be reasonable. Then a grandparent could make an application to the courts. Um, they would need to do so. They’d need to apply for the permission. Um, to basically make the application. So it’s not just a straightforward C 100 as a, as a parent would do. They’d have to file an additional form a C2, which is again, permission to apply for contact. And it is a real shame. And I think thats an area of law that does need to catch up with reality. Um, because again, grandparents, lots of the time they do act as a surrogate parents. When, when you know parents are working, they do, you know, they are valuable, um, in, in that sort of family constellation.

[00:18:08] Carla: Hm. It’s very sad, really, because yeah, like you said, a lot of these grandparents, you know, may have had these children a lot of the time when the parents are working and it’s like, you know, someone out of spite could just literally shut the door and be like, Nope, not seeing, you’re not seeing them anymore. So it is really sad because, you know, they really, i mean I don’t know about anyone else’s grandparents, but my little boys’ grandparents just love seeing him all the time and they’d be heartbroken, you know, it just is very sad.

[00:18:38] Um, but that’s good that there is something in place that they can apply for. But yeah, I understand what you mean as in catching up wise. Yeah. So, so, um, what divorce settlement will each party be entitled to? And how are finances split? I know before you mentioned it’s based on the, on the scenarios that they’ve, they’ve both got, is that, is that with everyone then? Is it all individual? 

[00:19:03] Nadine: So it’s, but it’s a very difficult question to answer succinctly. And I apologise if I sort of go around  the subject a bit, but the first factor that the court look at is what is fair, what is reasonable. And what’s balanced. The majority of cases are needs-based cases, which means that the total assets that each party has minus any liabilities. Um, it’s generally not enough to meet the needs of both parties. I mean, you’re basically going from two, two adult household with two lots of incomes to splitting that in half and trying to make that work. Um, so really that the first factor is making sure that the needs of the children are covered. They’re the first consideration. They’re not primary consideration but again, thats what the courts will, um, view, um, and, and the, the. Most important thing is that, um, there is a full disclosure of financial assets that is predication, no matter how you reach an agreement, um, if you don’t disclose your assets fully and at a later stage, it is uncovered that you didn’t do so. Then that can invalidate the whole agreement. So.

[00:20:17] Carla: Oh goodness.

[00:20:18] Nadine: That’s what people don’t realize. And if they think, okay, well, I don’t think my pension pot should be included as part of this because I am, I got it before the marriage. Again, I’ll say in the majority of cases, everything goes in the pot, pensions, um, family home sort of, uh, funds from that, lead bank accounts, et cetera. So more often than not, you’d need to include everything within that financial settlement, unless there is an agreement as to the contrary. 

[00:20:47] Carla: Right. That makes sense. So, so with, um, people that, sorry, I’m going to throw you off subject a little bit here now. Um, but with people that aren’t married, um, how, how does it work? Is that a totally different ball game to what we’ve discussed? Um, 

[00:21:04] Nadine: Mmm exactly

[00:21:06] Carla: Yeah, right. 

[00:21:07] Nadine: That’s another area that, um, the resolution is, I’m a member of, so sort of society where by we’re solicitors and we try and deal with them cases in the most, um, non-contentious way, but they’ve been petitioning for years now for rights for cohabitees because there is this presumption of common law marriage. So if you’ve got a child with someone, if you’ve been with someone for a certain amount of time, you’ll then get rights. Um, and to finances when you separate, which is just not the case, you’re so vulnerable as a cohabitee.  Even if you’ve got children together, even if you own a property together, um, even if you share your finances. And you’ve been together for a number of years. So it’s important for people to realize that and, um, to sort of sort their finances out accordingly 

[00:21:56] Carla: Right. That makes sense. No I think you’ve, you’ve answered everything there. It was really interesting because I think a lot of people, it might be the first time they’re actually going through this and it’s quite a daunting subject really.

[00:22:10] Nadine: Yes, it can be and it is being a family lawyer. I do joke sometimes I feel like a counsellor at times and a lawyer and all those other things and all these other roles, because it’s, it’s difficult to separate the emotions sometimes from the practical side. And what I tell clients all the time is you need to sometimes, you know, take each day as it comes.

[00:22:31] It can be very overwhelming. Sometimes the process feels like it’s going on forever. It can last for longer than a year if you can’t agree with finances. So unless you take that stepped approach, you basically won’t be able to cope with it. So it’s just recognising that. And that’s why it’s important to have a solicitor by your side, who understands that. Who can explain the process and break it down, make it more manageable. 

[00:22:56] Carla: Can I just ask one more question? That’s popped into my head actually, if, if you divorce say does take a year, what happens if either party while that’s going through has moved on and they’re in a new relationship, does that affect the divorce?

[00:23:11] Nadine: Oh, sadly, well I say sadly. It’s not sad. You know, people are entitled to start new relationships, but you know, parties often do enter into new relationships. Sometimes they could even get a divorce and then get remarried during that process before they’ve even dealt with the finances.

[00:23:26] Carla: Oh my goodness.

[00:23:28] Nadine: For the first marriage. So that can often complicate things. Um, especially if there is a remarriage, where there is cohabitation. Um, there is a section on form E which is the the disclosure form, um, where you need to disclose all your finances, but then there’s a requirement to provide your new partners information on there. But in all honesty, in the majority of cases, a party won’t disclose the information because they say, well, this is a new relationship. We’re not engaged we’re not married, so therefore I’m not compelled to, to give that information. Um, so yeah, it. It can be contentious. So it’s not one of those things that you would actively pursue unless they remarried. And then you have to consider their new spouses, um, finances and their information. 

[00:24:18] Carla: And of course those, um, after that, just briefly, uh, obviously when you’re thinking about divorce, you also need to then think about your will as well, because a lot of people have life insurance policies and, you know, your will, you know, once you’ve done that, it, you know, you, you married, but then if you will still stands and you’re not married, is that, do you, do you talk to people about getting a new will straight after? 

[00:24:43] Nadine: Yeah, straight after the divorce because divorce does affect, um, your, your will. Um, again, because you’d want to, you’d want to change your will as soon as you get a divorce because you, um, you may have referred to, you know, most, most people wants to do a mirror will. So they leave everything to their spouse. And obviously when you get to divorce, I’m sure, you wouldn’t want to have that same provision in place. Um, so I encourage my clients do that as soon as they, as soon as they get divorced. Um, so that’s very important. Um, and another thing that people don’t really think about as well. If you own a property jointly with your spouse, more, more people than not own it as joint tenants, which means that you own it 50, 50 and equal shares. But if one of you were to predecease the other whilst, the proceedings were going ahead, um, then basically their 50% share would automatically vest in the other person.

[00:25:41] Which again is probably not what you would want to happen, so to protect your 50% share, um, you’d want to sever that tendency. So you’re tenants in common rather than joint tenants. So you can at least seek to preserve some of that. Um, You know, pot of the family home, but again, to what extend that I’ll be protected, will depend on, on the needs as well. Um, and that’s another, that’s a whole other issue during divorce proceedings, that you  probably wouldn’t even think about. 

[00:26:12] Carla: No, I wouldn’t even think about that. And that’s, again, the benefits of having a family law solicitor, above just going online and thinking, right, I’ll buy this because all of this information, you know, you wouldn’t get told and then, you know, God forbid you did pass away, you know, your partners going to be getting well, ex partner’s going to be getting a lot really aren’t they? And, and I imagine, like you said, that isn’t something that you’d want at that time. So 

[00:26:38] Nadine: And sometimes I do. I do have  um, clients where the other party, for example, has a terminal illness and they say, you know, it’s even worth going through this process. And sometimes they may say, well, actually given, they have only got X number of months, and its horrible, it’s horrible if you talk about it, but it’s, you have to think about, okay, you’re going through this process, perhaps sort out you will arrangements try and reach an agreement with them first. Um, rather than going through the divorce process, because who knows if they’ll even survive past that point. Um, so those are all practical things that, as you say, Google, can’t tell you, um, and sometimes the reliability of those sources isn’t right. You don’t know who’s writing them.

[00:27:21]Carla:  And they’re not up to date some of them, the laws changed don’t they? And, you know, It’s uh, making sure they’re up to date as well. And when you actually speak to someone, you’ve got that contact there and you know, you’re in good hands, then, you know, you’re going to get everything discussed and everything covered and they’re going to be aware of everything.

[00:27:38] So that’s, that’s great. No, that’s really interesting that I’ve enjoyed recording that with you today. So thank you so much.

[00:27:46] Nadine: Thats ok.

[00:27:46]Carla:  Um, could you, could you just tell people again where they can find you if they want more information on this subject, if that’s okay. 

[00:27:55] Nadine: Yes. So, uh, we have offices in Horsham, Haywards Heath and Crawley I’m based in Horsham. Uh, so if you’d like to find out more them please, go on our website its, Mancinilegal.com. Um, and as part of the department, I offer free 30 minute consultations for all new clients. Um, so yeah, please get in touch. If you do need some advice. 

[00:28:20] Carla: That’s brilliant. It’s nice for people to be able to know who they’re talking to as well. So it’s been great having you on here and thanks so much for being so helpful. Um, I’m sure that will answer a lot of questions. I get these things in my head where I just have to ask them and I think we’ve covered a lot there. So thank you. 

[00:28:36] Nadine: Oh good.

[00:28:37] Carla: Thank you so much. 

[00:28:40] Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast.

[00:28:46] 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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Divorcing a Narcissist https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/divorcing-a-narcissist https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/fiftyshadesofmotherhood/divorcing-a-narcissist#respond Sat, 26 Jun 2021 18:03:57 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1218 "He was very Jekyll and Hyde...he was nasty."
Please note this episode discusses abuse and references suicide.
Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to a brave guest who wishing to remain anonymous. They discuss the cycle of her being in an emotional and mentally abusive relationship and how she left with help and support.

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  • Divorcing a Narcissist

“He was very Jekyll and Hyde…he was nasty.”

Please note this episode discusses abuse and references suicide. 

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to a brave guest who wishing to remain anonymous. They discuss the cycle of her being in an emotional and mentally abusive relationship and how she left with help and support.

If you or someone you know is experiencing something similar discussed in todays episode, please use the links below:

Home – Women’s Aid (womensaid.org.uk)

 

Domestic violence – Refuge Charity – Domestic Violence Help

 

What is Domestic Violence? · Information Guides · NCDV

 

Home | Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline (nationaldahelpline.org.uk)

 

Domestic abuse: how to get help – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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 bill.

[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.

[00:01:00] It is so important that you are 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 UKs leading pregnancy to preschool directory. To find your nearest pregnancy to preschool 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’s episode comes with a trigger warning. On today’s episode, we will be discussing abuse. My guest today has wanted to stay anonymous. She wants to share her story and help raise awareness around being married to a narcissistic person and talk about her leaving a narcissistic marriage. My guest today has wanted to share her story to help other people in similar situations.

[00:02:46] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Today, I am joined by an anonymous guest who is going to be sharing their story about being married to a narcissist, a sociopath, and also, it’s a form of abuse. So we’re going to be talking all about her story and the aim of this podcast is to raise awareness and hopefully help other people that are going through a similar situation.

[00:03:16] So, hello. Thanks. Thanks for joining us today. 

[00:03:20] Anonymous: Hi, thanks for having me. 

[00:03:22] Carla: Thanks so much for coming on. It’s really kind of sensitive subject this, and I imagine a very difficult one to talk about. So I really do appreciate you coming on to talk to us today. 

[00:03:32] Anonymous: Thanks.

[00:03:33] Carla: So what we’re going to do is we are going to just go through the timeline of your story with this person and how everything changed and unraveled and the different things that he used to do. Um, and, and, you know, just to kind of show people the different signs and different things that can happen, um, before actually discovering you are married to a person like that. So you met your partner in June, 2010, is that right?

[00:04:02] Anonymous: Yep. All those years ago.

[00:04:05] Carla: All those years ago. Do you know? It feels like yesterday 2010, and then I have to think, oh my God, I’m so old. Um, where did you meet then ?

[00:04:14] Anonymous: We were introduced by friends. 

[00:04:15] Carla: How old were you then? If you don’t mind me asking.

[00:04:18]Anonymous:  Oh God. Now you’re asking. 27, maybe?

[00:04:21]Carla:  27. So you’ve kind of, I don’t know about you, but at that age I was like, right. Yes. I’m ready to settle down and all that. Were you wanting like the full family from, from him? You know, like not obviously straight away, but is that where at at that age? Is that what you’re wanting from a relationship? 

[00:04:39] Anonymous: I wasn’t quite sure back then I was, I was actually in the prime of my life that, that year, I think. And then I wasn’t very maternal.

[00:04:48]Carla:  No. 

[00:04:49] Anonymous: So kids weren’t really on the radar. I don’t think before my thirties, it was just, I was just wanting to have a relationship with someone nice and enjoy life. 

[00:04:57] Carla: Yeah. That that’s the aim as well yep. So you got together and was every, how was everything when you first got together then?

[00:05:05] Anonymous: Uh, at the time I thought it was like bliss. It was great. We went on dates. We did fun things. 

[00:05:11] Carla: Totally in love?

[00:05:14]Anonymous:  Uh, yeah, yeah. Quite quickly I suppose. Yeah. 

[00:05:18] Carla: Yeah. It can happen very quickly though. Can’t it? All of that. And you get carried away, don’t you? And it’s just, did you move in together quite quickly?

[00:05:27] Anonymous: No, we spent a lot of time at each other’s. But didn’t move in, probably till 2 years later maybe?

[00:05:37] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And then, and then, um, you had your first child in 2014. So were you, were you planning on having a child at that stage? Or how did that come about? Well, not how did it come about literally, cause obviously we know that. I rolled in it. Yeah. No. So, so w what, how did that come about without obviously the, the graphic details? 

[00:06:08] Anonymous: It was a shock. I was on the pill. 

[00:06:10] Carla: Oh, my goodness really. 

[00:06:12] Anonymous: So It wasn’t expected at all. 

[00:06:15] Carla: Wow. Wow. Were you happy when you found out or?

[00:06:19]Anonymous:  I had mixed emotions because i’d already become aware that something wasn’t quite right in my relationship. 

[00:06:25] Carla: What was it that showed like around that time, what, you know, what, what was it that you were thinking wasn’t right. Or could you not put your finger on it? 

[00:06:34] Anonymous: Lots of little things when you look back, but at the time, cause there was so little or seem to be so little. They were excused quite easily or, you know, it was a bad day or, you know, something had happened. Um, I needed to try harder, you know, all these things. Um, then I sort of thought, right, well, I’m having this baby regardless because I dunno as a mum, most people find out they’re pregnant and somethinkg just flicks. Doesn’t it? You go into this baby’s mine, you know, focus on that. So I was going to have the baby regardless. 

[00:07:07] Carla: Yeah. So you, so you were very much together at the time though. And, um, you know, everything was kind of, although it wasn’t perfect. I mean, life’s stressful, isn’t it? So it’s hard to kind of pinpoint whether it’s you sometimes or whether it’s someone else. Especially when the little things are so small, it’s so easy to be like, actually I was in a bit of a mood or actually, yeah. I was a bit pissed off, so, so I can understand that. So, so what was it like during your pregnancy? Was everything okay?

[00:07:35]Anonymous:  Oh yeah. I was really lucky. Yeah. I’ve had easy pregnancies. And even  births have been quite easy. Sorry.  

[00:07:42] Carla: Oh I know you’re lucky, you’re lucky. Oh no that that is good. So, so, um, then you got married six months after your first baby was born. Were you engaged? When did you get engaged then? 

[00:07:57] Anonymous: Um, just before she was born. 

[00:07:59] Carla: Right.

[00:08:00]Anonymous:  So we did it quite quickly and was, and depending on who you ask. You’ll get, um, you’ll get a different version of events. Depending on who you ask. So, yeah. Yeah, it was kind of talked about and kind of happened. And then he proposed, but we knew it was going to happen. Yeah, that makes sense. It wasn’t, it wasn’t a surprise or anything? 

[00:08:21] Carla: No. Oh, so you got married six months later. And on your wedding day, did you have any doubts or anything like that? 

[00:08:29] Anonymous: Yeah.

[00:08:30] Carla: You did, do you know a lot of people say that don’t they um, but at the time, was there anything that you really thought was that bad or was it still, again, all the little things? 

[00:08:40] Anonymous: No, I knew it was quite bad, but I hadn’t ever told anybody or people that I had told little snippets kind of excused it with me. Um, and obviously we’d had a child, so life was hard. So I just thought, you know what this man wants to marry me. You know, he said, he’ll change. It’s going to be great. Let’s do this. And I was, I remembered on my wedding day, thinking, is my dad going to ask me that question? Like all dads do, are you sure you’re going to do this? You know, are you sure it’s what you want? And he didn’t ask me. 

[00:09:10] Carla: And would you, do you think you would have said at that time, do you think you would?

[00:09:15] Anonymous: No.

[00:09:15] Carla: No

[00:09:17] Anonymous: Probably wouldnt have done would I?

[00:09:19] Carla: No I mean at the time. I think you just, especially with weddings, I mean, I’ve been engaged before and I’m sure my ex won’t mind saying we’re totally wrong for each other. But you know, I, even when we did get engaged, I knew then. Uh, you know, it wasn’t right, but you get a bit carried away. You know, I was thinking oh my dress and, you know, things like that and you can easily kind of, and then family gets so excited, don’t they? And then it’s like

[00:09:44]Anonymous:  Yeah, obviously theres the child aswell.

[00:09:47] Carla: Yeah. And you don’t want to let people down either, do you? Because it’s like, well, you know, it’s just, you kind of almost a bit railroaded into marriage sometimes because even if you have kind of thought it was not right, or you’ve changed your mind, it’s quite hard to then back out. And if you do back out then the relationships over.

[00:10:03] Anonymous: And then the reprocutions

[00:10:06]Carla:  Yeah. Relationships over. The other family hates you, you know, you can’t go right can you? You know, but yeah. You can’t do right. So, so when you, what was he doing then? Cause you said there were, it got quite bad, um, before you were married, what was he doing at that point then to, to make it so bad?

[00:10:30] Anonymous: He was very Jekyll and Hyde. You know, he was nasty. He was very nasty. The things he used to say to me, um, he cheated on me, although I don’t think he physically cheated on me. So that was his reason for getting away with it. But to me, if someone’s texting another girl, things that they shouldn’t be or you know, having inappropriate conversations with another girl while they’re in the relationship, that’s cheating in my book.

[00:10:55] Carla: Definately.

[00:10:57] Anonymous: My boundaries very quickly changed to accept that behavior. He used to trip me up on purpose and pretend that he hadn’t done. He threatened suicide if I threatened to leave him. Um, 

[00:11:14] Carla: Oh my goodness, and is this before marriage? Is this even before you actually got married then? 

[00:11:20] Anonymous: Yeah. Yeah. I used to like, I remember crying to my auntie one day. Well, I think I told her I was pregnant. And she said some things to me along the lines of, um, it gets worse when you have children, you know, and I sat there thinking to myself, it gets worse? How can this get any worse, but I still didn’t tell people. 

[00:11:44] Carla: Do you think you didn’t tell people because like after things had happened,  only from my past experience, I’ve been with someone that, um, was domestically abusive and only after, um, they actually did something to me physically. They’d act really nice, like so nice. And it was almost the person that you fell in love with in the first place again. 

[00:12:06] Anonymous: Thats it yeah.

[00:12:07] Carla: And then almost then you think, oh, and they promise they won’t do it again. Like, uh, my, my ex yeah, I had my finger broken and I remember, um, you know, him coming the next day with flowers and stuff, and I thought it’s worth it. I actually thought in my head it’s actually worth it. Uh, To have that person again, because you know, like that nice person again.

[00:12:31]Anonymous:  Yeah. 

[00:12:32] Carla: It’s a real mind thing. 

[00:12:35] Anonymous: It does play with your mind that a lot, I have done lot work since and worked a lot of stuff out to, to why I ended up in that situation and how it happens, um, is it’s mind blowing.

[00:12:48] Carla: Yeah, it is. Well, I think it’s, it’s very clever because it all happens so slowly that you don’t see it coming. Um, I say clever, it’s awful because I mean, it’s clever how they do it, but, um, So you then after you got married, um, you had your second child just over a year after you were married again. And was things getting worse by that stage?

[00:13:12]Anonymous:  No, I think things are pretty much the same. 

[00:13:15] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:13:17] Anonymous: You know, still the same emotional abuse, mental abuse. There was still like tripping me up and things and all that was still happening. Um, but I think there was a bit more of a balance. Or I probably thought that was because obviously I was on maternity leave. I wasn’t working, you know, I had this baby to keep me entertained. So life was good in that respect or if I was having a bad day, then it was my fault. You know, because I haven’t done certain things because, you know, as a mum with a young child, you don’t always get chance to keep on top of the house work or the chores and things do you?

[00:13:49] Carla: No.

[00:13:50]Anonymous:  So a lot of it was probably, I thought it was my fault, you know, and excused it. Also to me, things probably where they’re better. Because it was me that needed to change. 

[00:13:59] Carla: Yeah. So then you, the focus wasn’t on him to change. The thing is being a mum, you can never do everything a hundred percent accurate or a hundred percent right. Because it’s just impossible, you know, you can’t get everything right. And that time after becoming a mum, I think that’s the time you really beat yourself up enough anyway, about mum guilt and everything else. So the fact that you felt that it was all your fault after that is a still, it’s not good is it.

[00:14:25] Anonymous: No. And obviously we have the weddings to look forward to. So that was great. Even though we argued, like ridiculously argued about, you know, the wedding was off so many times just between the two of us, but ultimately it happened, um, went on our honeymoon with our little one, but even on the honeymoon, there was things that happened on the honeymoon. That you know, I remember going for a walk one day after he’d just been so vicious with the words that he said to me, and I just thought, how have I married this person? But then you come home and, oh, we had a fantastic honeymoon. It was brilliant, you know, and then we carried on and then decided we actually planned our next child. And that happened really quickly. 

[00:15:04] So again, it was like yes. You know, I’ve got this perfect family. I’m married, I’ve got two children because it’s great.

[00:15:13] Carla: It can very quickly change in your mind though. Can’t it like, just cause you’re having, like the relationship isn’t good say for a week or something, then its amazing afterwards. Um, again, so it was like keeping you in the kind of loop of that really. 

[00:15:28] Anonymous: Yeah. It’s just a cycle, you know, constant. But if I look back now and I think, you know, the, the times when I think we were happy, there was always something that, you know, cast a shadow over it, always something wasn’t right. Or something got said, but I just used to brush it under the carpet and be like, oh, he’s just in one of those moods.

[00:15:46] Carla: What would he say to you? 

[00:15:49] Anonymous: Oh, you know, if I didn’t do things the right way or didn’t answer the question the right way I got called horrendous names. I got told that I looked like the backend of a bus. 

[00:15:57] Carla: Oh my god.

[00:15:58] Anonymous: Um, it was just awful, you know, some of the stuff that we even dare repeat. But he just made me feel worthless. Nobody else would want me, if I didn’t want to have sex, he’d go and find it somewhere else. 

[00:16:12]Carla:  Would he say that? Would he say that? 

[00:16:16] Anonymous: Yeah.

[00:16:16] Carla: Would he actually go and do that you think?

[00:16:19] Anonymous: This is the thing that makes me laugh. Right. I used to say I’m 99% sure he will never cheat on me cause he’s been cheated on that was his story from his past, he’d been cheated on. So why would you do that to somebody when you know how much it hurts? But then I did excuse behaviors that were like classed as cheating in theory. So I don’t honestly know if he ever did or not. 

[00:16:41] Carla: Just even to say that though, is awful. 

[00:16:44] Anonymous: Yeah. And you know, when I’m pregnant that you don’t want to do these things and it’s like, you know, you know, feeling like you have, I mean, a lot of people don’t as a wife, think that they have, that they have to sort of fulfill that role. Don’t they? I suppose. 

[00:17:00] Carla: Yeah.

[00:17:00] Anonymous: But I think most men, you know, ask once or twice, if your wife, partner says no, then that should be enough. Anything more than that? No, that’s, that’s abusive. Um, I’ve only just realized that recently. 

[00:17:12] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it is hard because when you, especially when you’re pregnant as well, like you don’t really feel like it, you know, not all the time, so, yeah it’s hard. So after your second child was born, born then, how was everything, was it just the same? Has it just kind of stayed the same until you decided to leave in the summer of 2017? 

[00:17:38] Anonymous: No, it got worse. The arguments got more. Um, but again, two young children, you know, quite close in age, it was a challenge. He has a difficult job, you know, I wasn’t working, earning as much as I should have been. You know, all these things that you excuse it why, but, you know, no, it was, it was horrific, you know, he’d argue with me and I’d be crying my eyes out and he would still go on and on and on, you know, and then if it got to a point where he wasn’t getting anywhere with it, then he’d go off on a drive but he’d, he’d like make it out that he was going to kill himself. But without actually using those words, it’s really hard to explain like how he, he used to make me feel and he manipulated me so much. I didn’t know my own mind. I didn’t know my own thoughts. He made me doubt everything. 

[00:18:29] Carla: Did he make you feel like you were going crazy sometimes? 

[00:18:32] Anonymous: Yeah and even told me I was crazy. You know, I went to get counseling to help. Cause I thought I was the problem, you know, and I was crazy and a lunatic for  going to get support. I asked him to go to counseling with me. No, we didn’t need any help. The problem was with me, it was a really horrible time. 

[00:18:51] Carla: I can imagine. I mean, I think as, as a woman as well, because of our cycles and stuff like that, obviously we do have days where we’re like not feeling the best or not feeling as happy. And I’m sure people use that to their advantage sometimes. Just like, oh, your hormones, it must be your hormones. But then we think it as well sometimes. Cause I’ve thought before. Oh, I wonder if like, this is all hormone, you know, uh, 

[00:19:14] Anonymous: Yeah, everyone can have a bad day. People can argue, people can say things that upset other people. The difference with these types of relationships is the boundaries get trampled all over. I know where the line is and if I cross the line or I know to apologize, and I know to show remorse, you know, and try and make up for it, you know, and, and reflect on myself, how can I do something better next time? These types of people, there are no boundaries. You know, anything goes, they are ruthless and they do not think they’ve ever done anything wrong. Even when they are saying oh, I’ll change. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. They don’t mean it. They’re just saying it to keep you there. 

[00:19:55] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, a lot of people go through relationships like this, don’t they? I think, like you said, a lot of people it’s a cycle and people don’t actually even know they’re in it until it is almost I say too late, but you know, that they almost feel trapped, um, by the end of it so. 

[00:20:13] Anonymous: And do you explain to somebody, what you’re going through, because you know, I even still feel like I sound so petty trying to explain these things to people, because it’s so hard to explain and people don’t understand that unless you’ve been through something yourself, that is similar, it’s really hard to get your head around it.

[00:20:29] Carla: Yeah. Because when you’re saying things, you probably think, well, you know, it could, I suppose everything can be excused can’t it to a certain extent. 

[00:20:37] Anonymous: Yeah. 

[00:20:37] Carla: You know? Um, but yeah. I know when you, when you’re actually in it’s, it’s a lot worse mentally and emotionally draining. Um. 

[00:20:47] Anonymous: I used to think, do you know what? It would be so much easier if he hit me. 

[00:20:51] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I can imagine. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, what’s right and wrong and you could walk away and it’s just like, it’s just a definitive answer isn’t it. Or I won’t put up with that, well we say that, but it’s very easy to do that as well, but, uh, Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. It’s yeah. It’s almost it’s yeah. In the mindset. Yeah. Like, you know, when they’re like saying all this stuff and stuff, like you said, it’s almost a part of you thinks, is it my fault or have I done something? So it’s very hard to, to actually, have a clear, clear answer on any of it. Really. 

[00:21:26] Anonymous: Yeah. It’s very hard to know what’s right and wrong. And you know where to go to get help because you think you’re the problem. 

[00:21:35] Carla: Mm. So, so when you decided to leave in summer 2017 then. Did you, um, what was the final straw for you at that stage? 

[00:21:47] Anonymous: I tried to leave once earlier that year. Um, and I don’t know what it was that made me leave that time. I think it was just, we had so much going on at the time and I contributed to some of the issues that we had, you know, within the marriage and stuff, um, work wise and things like that. Um, and that caused quite a lot of pressure on us as a family, but I tried so hard, you know, to fix it and, you know, make things right without going into details of what it was. But I got to the point, I just thought we are arguing all of the time, the children are witnessing this I’m crying all the time. I can’t function like normal day to day, so we had some time out. Um, but I didn’t have anywhere properly to go. And it, it just, I wasn’t ready. 

[00:22:34] Carla: Did the children take you. Did, did you take the children or did?

[00:22:38] Anonymous: Yeah I left with the two children. Um, I think we spent probably a week, maybe not quite that long away. Um, but again, he missed us so much. He’ll change. He’ll never do that again. Um, you know, don’t break our family up, please don’t do that to him. So we went back. And things were alright for a little while. Then we  found out we were respecting our third, which was unplanned. So then I had to stay, well, obviously I didn’t have to stay, you know, you don’t ever have to stay. But in my head I had to stay because we had another child, but it wasn’t the right thing to do. It was hell the next six months were absolute hell. And the final straw came one day when he was being abusive towards me in front of the children. And I saw how it affected the children. 

[00:23:30] Carla: What was he doing? Do you remember? 

[00:23:33] Anonymous: Yeah I do. Um, I, I hadn’t greeted him the right way when he came in from work.

[00:23:40]Carla:  Oh my gosh.

[00:23:41]Anonymous:  He just started on me. You know, it starts off with little things like, oh, what’s up with you, you know, which is a normal conversation, isn’t it. If you’re in a bad mood or something, but then it turns nasty, you know? And I’m, uh, you know, a bad mum. I’m sorry. I was going to swear then But I thought I better not. 

[00:23:58] Carla: No, I don’t mind. I’m always swearing on here. This is why. Yeah. On this one it’s aloud. Swear. all you like. 

[00:24:05] Anonymous: So yeah, I was a bad mum, bad wife. He couldn’t wait to meet the perfect wife. I look like backend of a bus again, you know.

[00:24:15] Carla: And you were pregnant, you were pregnant at this time?

[00:24:19] Anonymous: Yeah, nobody would want me, the kids were present. Um, and I ended up asking him to stop telling him, please go to bed, please leave me alone. The kids are here and he just didn’t, he just carried on with this like tirade of abuse and I was sobbing and my eldest got involved. And at that point I knew I had to leave.

[00:24:42] Carla: How old was your eldest at that stage? 

[00:24:45] Anonymous: Um, Three possibly. 

[00:24:48] Carla: Oh yeah, it’s hard that. Oh my goodness. 

[00:24:53] Anonymous: So I then decided to leave, but I think it still took a few months before I actually left the home. So yeah, but the silly thing is that I left with a view of trying to sort our marriage out, thinking it could still be fixed.

[00:25:08] Carla: Um, gosh. 

[00:25:10] Anonymous: And I jumped through hoops to try and fix our marriage.

[00:25:14] Carla: Did he agree to counseling and stuff like that then?

[00:25:18] Anonymous: Initially, yes. Um, but I wanted to wait until the baby was born because I couldn’t, I couldn’t deal with everything that was going on and start counseling. Um, so I asked him to wait until the baby was born. Let me, let me deal with all of that. And then we’d go to couples counseling. However, just before the baby was born, he, he ended things. And he got into a relationship with somebody else.

[00:25:41]Carla:  Oh goodness. Wow. Thats I mean, that’s so hard. I mean, was he at the birth and stuff like that? Or I bet you didn’t even want him there? 

[00:25:52] Anonymous: No. So it was very, very difficult.

[00:25:56] Carla: Did you see that coming?. I mean, how did that come about? 

[00:25:59] Anonymous: No. I don’t know. 

[00:26:02] Carla: God.

[00:26:03] Anonymous: I don’t know. But he’d still telling me I haven’t tried hard enough if only I hadn’t left him. I wouldn’t, he wouldn’t do that, but she was amazing, you know, the best, everything that I wasn’t, she was, and he couldn’t wait to start a family with her. He loved her so quickly. But he continued to then still emotionally and mentally abuse me and tried to manipulate me back into a relationship with him.

[00:26:27]Carla:  While he was with her?

[00:26:28]Anonymous:  Yeah. He played us both. You know, I, I he’ll tell you that I didn’t do anything to fight for our marriage. I did more than I should have done to fight for our marriage.

[00:26:36] Carla: God. So is he still with this person now or? 

[00:26:41] Anonymous: No, she saw the light thankfully. But she’s crazy now.

[00:26:45]Carla:  Really?

[00:26:47]Anonymous:  Yeah. That’s what he says. She’s crazy. 

[00:26:51] Carla: Yeah. So were they together a long time? 

[00:26:55] Anonymous: On and off yeah.

[00:26:57]Carla:  Did they have children?

[00:26:59]Anonymous:  No thankfully. She was lovely. I mean, I don’t know personally, but I met her and we discussed a few things about our relationship, um, and what was going on. And she was completely oblivious to a lot of it. But even when she did become aware, she didn’t want to believe she’d, she just believed what he was telling her. And, he really hurt her as well.

[00:27:22] Carla: So sad.

[00:27:24] Anonymous: But she, luckily she has escaped him now. She has no ties to him and, unfortunately I still do. 

[00:27:30] Carla: Yeah, of course. So how does it work with the children then? Do you still have to see him or do you kind of go through parents or? 

[00:27:37] Anonymous: Oh we tried all sorts over the years. So I ended up having to get a child arrangment order in place. To get him to have a set pattern, a schedule that you see the children cause he was very sporadic with it and wouldn’t commit. Or if he did, it was very last minute. So it was, it was like an element of control over me still. Um, so I got advice and managed to get child arrangement order, in place. So we have a set pattern now that he has the children. Um, and it seems to work most of the time, but I still have to have contact with him that I wish I didn’t have to have. I’ve had wobbles since we’ve been separated thinking I should, you know, try and, and still be a family, you know? Um, yeah, he’s just got this way of getting under my skin and, and knowing how to get in my head and make me doubt myself.

[00:28:25] Carla: How long was he with his other girlfriend for then? 

[00:28:27] Anonymous: I think about 18 months maybe. I’m not exactly sure. 

[00:28:33] Carla: So that’s like a big break you’ve had as well, but yeah, some people just know how to manipulate you and I think that’s, that’s the thing, isn’t it? 

[00:28:43] Anonymous: Yeah. Unfortunately and not, still not being aware of, of what was going on. So it wasn’t until I think I spoke to my health visitor. About what was going on and, and she sort of highlighted that it wasn’t right. My sister had tried to tell me a couple times, but I didn’t listen. She was like, you’re being abused here. And I’m like, no, no, don’t be stupid. He’s just he’s got his own problems. He’s just a bit messed up, you know, I can fix him, but it wasn’t until I sat with a police officer and talked about what was going on and they told me I could build a case against him for coercive and controlling behavior.

[00:29:22]Carla:  I’ve never heard of that then. So can you explain a bit more how that works?

[00:29:27] Anonymous: Yeah. So it was a new law that was passed, I think in 2015, um, where people that do control, manipulate, and coerce people that are in a, a relationship, not necessarily a partnership relationship. It could be family members as well, but you know, a close relationship. Um, there is now a law that means that they can actually get a prison sentence for abusing people this way. But I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared to do that to my family. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to, you know, it, it would have affected all of us. Yeah. No, I just left that, but it kind of was a wake up call. And then I ended up being supportive by Women’s Aid. 

[00:30:11] Carla: That’s great that they do that. So where did you go between this time? Did you find your own place then? Did you eventually actually just kind of get your own place? 

[00:30:21] Anonymous: Yeah, I rented, I left.

[00:30:24]Carla:  And he was still in the house? 

[00:30:27] Anonymous: Yeah. Yeah. He kept the house as part of the divorce because I didn’t want to go to that house. It had lots of, obviously unhappy memories. I wanted a fresh start with the children’s in somewhere that was ours.

[00:30:36] Carla: Mm. Yeah. I mean, how’s everything now then, I mean, how are you, how are you coping now? 

[00:30:43] Anonymous: Uh, not so great at the moment. Uh, you know, we have good days and bad days, but at the moment, things, things aren’t great. So, but we just have to ride it out don’t for the sake of the children. 

[00:30:53] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And is he with anyone else now?

[00:30:57] Anonymous: I don’t think so. 

[00:30:59] Carla: Goodness. Yeah. So,hard. 

[00:31:00] Anonymous: He says I have put him off women, but then, you know, I’ve heard of lots of women that have been contacted by him to, you know, friends that have said, oh, such a bodies been contacted by him. I’ve warned them off. Like, well, people have got to make their own choices, haven’t they? But, uh, you know, 

[00:31:18] Carla: And are you divorced now?

[00:31:21] Anonymous: Yes. Couple of years now.

[00:31:26] Carla: I bet that was a hard decision. When you was going through alll this. Or were you all right with it at that stage? 

[00:31:32] Anonymous: It was horrendous, a horrendous decision. I really struggled with that. I knew it was the right thing to do, but at the same time I felt such a failure. I felt such shame. And he kept telling me that, you know, one minute he couldn’t wait to divorce me the next minute he wished we were still together. Why am I divorcing him? And I didn’t know my own mind through a lot of it. But, I’ll tell you what it made me realize how strong I am, because I managed to do the most of it on my own. Um, I managed to get a divorce coach for online that supported me through it and read some books to support me through it. So, you know, you hear people saying it’s costing thousands and thousands of pounds. I managed to just get the financial arrangements with a solicitor being needed for that. The rest of it. I did all by myself. 

[00:32:19] Carla: And, and how did Women’s Aid help? 

[00:32:23] Anonymous: Um, there were at the end of the phone and supporting me, um, 

[00:32:27] Carla: What do they do then? Can you explain a bit more about what they do and there’s one of those all over isn’t there?

[00:32:33] Anonymous: Yeah. Yeah. There’s like a national women’s aid and then there’s like the national domestic violence charity as well that you can call anytime I think. But our local one here is. You can just ring them. They’ve got set hours, you can ring them. And it’s just a local number that you ring. They don’t give away who they are when you’re ringing them. So obviously, you know, um, people can’t just ring up and find out where they are. And they just offer support, um, you know, talk to them about what’s going on, give you advice, signpost you to where you need to go. Or if you are at risk, they will obviously take the necessary steps to, to help you if you need to leave. Cause leaving, leaving. So I didn’t know at the time, but leaving somebody, especially with these, you know, traits is one of the most dangerous things that you can do.

[00:33:22]Carla:  Oh really?

[00:33:24] Anonymous: You know, if there’s anyone out there that is thinking about leaving somebody, please get help to do that. Please don’t, you know, put yourself at any more risk. There is so much help out there to make sure that you do it the right way. There’s refuges that people can go to. You know, if they really need to escape somebody that you know is violent, it’s just, it doesn’t get talked about. People don’t know. 

[00:33:45] Carla: I think it’s a hard thing to pinpoint though, sometimes as well, because like you’ve said, you know, it’s really hard to explain, um, 

[00:33:55] Anonymous: The minute that you start questioning yourself or asking yourself, is there something wrong in my relationship? Am I a narcissist? And am I abusive? The minute you start asking those questions, there is something wrong in your relationship. And it’s highly unlikely that you will be the problem. 

[00:34:13] Carla: Yeah. It was, a lot of people I know that have been in relationships like this as well. And it’s not just women either. It can be men too.

[00:34:23] Anonymous: Oh yeah it can happen to anybody yeah.

[00:34:25] Carla: Do you know of any support groups or anything like that that you can go to and meet other people that have been in similar, similar situations? Is there anything like that? 

[00:34:35] Anonymous: Yeah. Uh, I think at the moment, because of COVID there isn’t anything physical. I think you can do like online there’s some online support groups, um, and forums that you can join. And, um, they used to have, um, regular meetups for victims to go to, to, to get support. Um, and then I was fortunate enough, fortunate enough, probably not the right way to look at it but I was, to go on their recovery program as well. 

[00:35:05] Carla: Wow. 

[00:35:06] Anonymous: So like a 12 week program, which goes through, you know, the different cycles of abuse, um, and how to, you know, not get yourself into that position again. You know how to learn to see the signs, the red flags know what boundaries are and you know, what’s not acceptable. That was a real eye-opener. 

[00:35:26] Carla: Wow. Yeah. Yeah. So, so with your children, obviously they’re growing up a little bit now, do they ask any questions? I mean, what, what do you tell them and do you know, how will that work in the future? Do you think? Cause they are, they probably will ask won’t they? 

[00:35:41] Anonymous: Yeah. I mean, obviously you get the, you know why are mummy and daddy not together? When are you going to get back with daddy? You know, we’re going to all live in a house together again. Um, and 

[00:35:51] Carla: I bet thats hard. It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it really.

[00:35:54] Anonymous: It is because it’s not how I expected my life to be, you know, I wanted, you know, eventually wanted that family life, you know, nice husband, happy children, nice house, you know, holidays, everything you dream of isn’t it? But I’ve come to realize now that you don’t have to be a two parent family to have that. You know, as long as you’re happy and your children are happy, that’s all that matter. And mine are lucky enough to have, you know, two parents that love them. They have two homes, they get two Christmases, you know, they get extra birthday presents and I sell it to them like that. And you know, that they’re very much loved and they can always come and talk to mummy, you know? They’ve had the moments and things, but on the whole we’re okay. 

[00:36:36] Carla: That’s great. And, and it being a dad as dads go, he’s a good dad. Um, is that right? 

[00:36:43] Anonymous: Yeah. More recently, since COVID yes. 

[00:36:45] Carla: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:36:46] Anonymous: Covid kind of flipped a switch, I think. And, and yes, hes stilI  very manipulating and controlling though. And, and, you know, causes lots of issues where there don’t need to be issues but. 

[00:36:58] Carla: Hmm. And how do you feel about meeting someone else? Are you ready for that yet? Or. 

[00:37:03] Anonymous: Oh Im not ready yet. No, no, I have, I have tried, but it hasn’t worked. 

[00:37:10] Carla: No.

[00:37:11]Anonymous:  But I think the key is that, you know, you’ve got to love yourself before someone else can love you. And after what I’ve been through, you know, my self esteem, my self worth are. You know, non-existent and I need to work on them before I can let someone else in. 

[00:37:26] Carla: Iyeah. Yeah. And how, how, what have you done? What kind of therapies have you done? Because we spoke a little bit about you. Did, um, IEMT, did you, cause I, I actually did that. Um, do have you done anything else? 

[00:37:39] Anonymous: I have done talking therapies, so like speaking to a counselor and some CBT, but I’m not quite there yet. I haven’t found yet the right person to, to fix me, although that sounds a bit wrong, but yeah.

[00:37:54]Carla:  It can be, a mix of things though, can’t it sometimes? Because only recently I’ve stopped having panic attacks and you know, it’s taken me two years. Probably two years is it? Maybe 18 months since I was getting them all the time. And then like I did counseling, CBT, IEMT, acupuncture, Reiki, um, giving up coffee and everything. And then eventually it’s kind of now they’ve stopped. Um, but I don’t know what the thing was that stopped it. I feel like it was probably a mix of things really. 

[00:38:27] Anonymous: Yeah. I think that’s it. Everyone’s different as well. Aren’t they? So I think you just got to find that mix that works for you. 

[00:38:32] Carla: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Well, thank you so much for coming and talking to us today. Is there any advice that you’d give anyone that thinks they might be in a relationship like that or anyone, any signs that people should be looking out for?

[00:38:46] Anonymous: Yeah, basically. Trust your gut. And if there are anything that you see as red flags, don’t ignore them. 

[00:38:52] Carla: And do you think it would help to keep, um, like kind of a journal or something like that so that they can record things? So, you know.

[00:39:00] Anonymous: Yeah definately.

[00:39:01]Carla:  Yeah. But one that, they can’t obviously, the abuser can’t actually access. 

[00:39:07] Anonymous: Yeah. You’ve got to be so careful with things like that. Yeah. And confide in somebody that you trust. 

[00:39:13] Carla: Yeah, I think, I think that’s it. Sometimes people are scared to confide in someone because they don’t want to be, they’re not quite ready to leave and they don’t want to be told you need to leave. You need to leave. People just want someone to listen and understand don’t they sometimes. 

[00:39:27] Anonymous: Yeah. Sometimes, you know, even if there’s friends out there, they’re supporting people going through something and you know that they shouldn’t be there. Don’t push. Just be there for them for when they already, because they can only do it when they are ready. 

[00:39:41] Carla: Yeah. And also if you push, I think sometimes only from how I’ve been in the past is I think you, then won’t tell that friend much more and you’ll stop telling them stuff. So I think it’s important  to have that person that you can talk to and talk openly and honestly, to.

[00:39:59]Anonymous:  Yeah, it definitely is. Isn’t it? 

[00:40:00] Carla: Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you think we should know about or anything like that in terms of this. 

[00:40:09] Anonymous: Theres so much. But there’s so much information available. You just have to go and look for it. 

[00:40:15] Carla: Yeah. Have you got, perhaps you can send us a couple of useful links. Is that okay? 

[00:40:20] Anonymous: Yes, we’ll do that. Yeah.

[00:40:21]Carla:  Right. Brilliant. Thank you so much. 

[00:40:24] Anonymous: No thank you.

[00:40:28] Carla: Thank you so much for listening to today. This 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.

[00:40:51] 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.

[00:41:13] 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 is  carla@mybump2baby.com. And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A with Dr Anita Raja https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/covid-19-vaccine-qa-with-dr-anita-raja https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/covid-19-vaccine-qa-with-dr-anita-raja#respond Thu, 24 Jun 2021 19:01:12 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1211 Today our founder Carla Lett runs a Q&A with Dr Anita Raja.
Dr Anita Raja does a lot of media work around vaccine hesitancy and is part of Team Halo.
Dr Anita Raja answers all your questions on getting the vaccine during pregnancy, fertility baby development, menstrual cycles and breast feeding mums.

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  • COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A with Dr Anita Raja

With the Covid19 Vaccine being rolled out across the UK it has raised many questions amongst our audience which is understandable.

At MyBump2Baby it is important to us that we provide parents with accurate and evidence based information so parents can make informed decisions about the vaccine.

Today our founder Carla Lett runs a Q&A with Dr Anita Raja. 

Dr Anita Raja does a lot of media work around vaccine hesitancy and is part of Team Halo. 

Dr Anita Raja answers all your questions on getting the vaccine during pregnancy, fertility  baby development, menstrual cycles and breast feeding mums. 

Instagram: @globetrottingpassports

Twitter: @dranitaraja

Carla: Hello everybody. And welcome to the, My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast. Today, we are talking to Dr. Anita Raja. Dr. Anita Raja is a Birmingham based GP and she has done a lot of media work around vaccine hesitantcy. With COVID vaccines being rolled out across the UK, understandably it is raising a lot of questions for people that are trying to conceive, people that are pregnant at the moment, and also people that have just had babies. It is really important to us at My Bump 2 Baby that parents get accurate answers to their questions. And today we are really looking forward to speaking to Dr. Anita Raja about this very subject. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:00:53] Hi, Anita. How are you? 

[00:00:55] Dr Anita: I’m doing really well. And I am hoping that you’re enjoying the sun. 

[00:00:59] Carla: Absolutely, absolutely. Although I wish I was out in it a bit more. I tend to be working all the time at the moment, I bet you are busy as well at the moment. 

[00:01:09] Dr Anita: Yes, exactly. 

[00:01:10] Carla: Anita, basically, since we, since, um, announcing that we’re running this Q&A with you, uh, we’ve had so, so many questions, so I’m going to do my best to get through as many as we can. Um, but, um, can we start by asking what the current guidance is for the vaccine during pregnancy? 

[00:01:30] Dr Anita: So the current guidance has been updated quite recently. And now anyone above the age of 23 who’s pregnant, uh, can be offered the vaccine. And it is actually advisable that when they are offered the vaccine, they do make full use of it and get themselves jabbed.

[00:01:51] Carla: Right. Yeah. That makes sense. So, so also what vaccine should pregnant women be actually having? 

[00:01:59] Dr Anita: Uh, so this is a very interesting question. It’s a question that I get asked quite a lot. Preferably it should be the Pfizer or Moderna. Um, and I say this because, uh, in the United States they had a study which was, um, uh, of a hundred thousand pregnant women and the vaccines that they tested, uh, where the modern and the Pfizer, and there were no side effects or no problems with it. 

[00:02:23] Carla: Right. Okay. And, and should pregnant women be waiting for after the first trimester for the vaccine or should they be getting it in the first trimester? 

[00:02:34] Dr Anita: Um, if you ask me the question, then the, the honest answer is they can have it whenever they like, however, If they get unwell, if they get COVID towards the later part of their pregnancy. So the second or third trimester, then they can get quite unwell with it. So it’s always better to sort of have it maybe after 13 weeks, 13 weeks and onwards. And also the first 12 weeks are vital for the baby’s development anyway. So it’s a good time to perhaps have it round the 13 weeks mark. 

[00:03:06] Carla: Yep. Okay and a lot of our, um, parents have had the first dose of AstraZeneca. And what they’ve found is then they found they’re pregnant. Should their second dose be anything different or should they be still sticking with the AstraZeneca? 

[00:03:24] Dr Anita: Uh, again, a very vital question that you’ve asked a question. We get asked quite a lot in general practice on a daily basis is really, um, the current guidance suggests that if you’ve had the AstraZeneca as the first dose, then the second can be the AstraZeneca and there should be no problem with it.

[00:03:40] However, if you’ve had any serious side effects to the AstraZeneca or an anaphylactic reaction to it, then of course, uh, we can look at offering you another option, which would be the Moderna or the Pfizer.

[00:03:54] Carla: Right. That’s brilliant. And also another topic that gets touched on a lot as well is obviously miscarriage. Um, many mums including myself, has suffered from miscarriage before, early and late in pregnancy. Are women who have suffered from early or late baby loss, um, before, during preg are they, are they suitable for the vaccine? 

[00:04:17] Dr Anita: A hundred percent suitable for the vaccine. Uh, there is no evidence to suggest. No data to suggest that the vaccine causes miscarriages or causes any problems with fertility. In fact, if you look at the numbers, um, women who do not get vaccinated and are pregnant and catch COVID are at higher risk of miscarrying or having stillbirths. So really, uh, it is a very good idea to get jabbed.

[00:04:49] Carla: Okay, that’s brilliant. And, and now on to people that are actually just trying to conceive at the moment. Does the vaccine, have any known effects for fertility, for men or women? 

[00:05:01] Dr Anita: None at all. None at all. Absolutely not. And it’s all speculative things we read in the media and these are all myths. There’s absolutely no robust data to support any of these claims. Uh, and we’ve seen no such problem whatsoever. 

[00:05:20] Carla: Okay. And, and if someone is thinking about going, undergoing IVF treatment, could they still have the vaccine?

[00:05:30] Dr Anita: Yeah. So IVF is not a contraindication, uh, to getting vaccinated. However, uh, as you know, when we get vaccinated, there are a couple of side effects that are expected. For instance, you can have a high temperature, you can have chills, body aches, feel unwell. Feel under the weather and when you’re having IVF, then we have to look out for some effects as well, which could be rather dangerous. So it’s important that we time them in such a way that we don’t mix the side effects. So we need to be clear about whether the side effects are due to the IVF or whether it’s the vaccine. So it’s, it’s, it’s key that we time it appropriately. However, there is no contraindication to take the vaccine. Uh, if you’re undergoing IVF treatment.

[00:06:15] Carla: Thank you. And, um, we’ve seen a little bit in the press, like you mentioned before, obviously you, you also debunk myths. So in regards to the menstrual cycle, um, can the COVID vaccine effect periods and the menstrual cycle? 

[00:06:32] Dr Anita: So you see, um, This is, uh, another query that, uh, comes around quite a lot. Um, if you look at the number of women that have been vaccinated, it’s a very large cohort. Now, whether these women would have been vaccinated or not? It may well have been that time of the year, where the cycle had to go haywire. All of us have experienced that. And it’s absolutely normal for your cycle to go up with abnormal in a certain month, at a certain time of the year. There are lots of other factors that control it. For instance, stress is a big factor. Um, so there is no such robust evidence to suggest that it affects your periods. However, if you all having some problems with your periods and it is a persistent problem. And when I say persistent, I mean, at least three cycles in a year, then you, you surely need to speak to your GP about it. And this needs to be investigated.

[00:07:34] Carla: Okay, brilliant. Um, and of course, many mums are nervous about getting the vaccine whilst pregnant, but not so much for themselves, but also mainly I suppose, for the baby. Um, so is there actually any negative impacts on the baby from the vaccine? 

[00:07:54] Dr Anita: So far, if you look at the studies that were conducted on animals, we’ve seen no abnormalities in the fetus, in the baby or after the baby was born. So certainly not, if you look at the current data. And, uh, I think what we need to follow is science at the moment. And it is important that we look at evidence-based medicine and we’ve certainly haven’t seen any side effects. And if you look at the vaccine, I mean, what is going to give the baby side effects is it’s going to be the ingredients. It doesn’t contain any such toxic ingredients, which would have a negative, detrimental effect on the baby anyway. 

[00:08:35] Carla: Right. Okay. So, so my next question was, is there any long-term effects on the baby? Um, but as you’ve mentioned, if there’s no, no toxins in, in the vaccine, is that, is that a no.?

[00:08:48] Dr Anita: Yes. Yes, certainly.

[00:08:50] Carla: Right. Okay. And in regards to breastfeeding mums, can they get the vaccine? 

[00:08:56] Dr Anita: Yes, a hundred percent. I mean, if you are breastfeeding and you get invitation for being jabbed, just go ahead. There’s absolutely no contraindication for a lactating mother, uh, to not get vaccinated. 

[00:09:11] Carla: Right. Brilliant. And, um, how soon after giving birth, should mums be getting the vaccine? Should there be a waiting period or could they get it straight away? 

[00:09:22] Dr Anita: They can get it straight away. There’s absolutely no waiting period. 

[00:09:25] Carla: Right. Okay. And lastly, why do you think people should get the vaccine? 

[00:09:31] Dr Anita: I think it’s very important for us to act responsibly. We have to look after our loved ones, our family members, uh, the elderly members of our family. If we feel we’re young and we’re not going to be affected by COVID, that is a very valid thought, but it is important that we understand that not everyone around us is that robust and healthy. There are many vulnerable people around us, and the only way we can get out of lockdown, the only way we can win this war against this virus is by getting vaccinated so that the transmission rates are low and all of us are desperate at the moment. All of us want a normal life, the life we had pre COVID. And unfortunately there is no plan B the only plan forward and the only successful plan is getting jabbed.

[00:10:23] Carla: So, um, lastly, would you mind just telling people where they can find you to find more information that you share? Because it is very useful. 

[00:10:33] Dr Anita: Um, you can find me on Instagram. Um, my, uh, Instagram handle is @globetrottingpassports you can find me on Twitter it’s Dr. Anita Raja, and I’ve done a couple of videos for BBC Asian network. I worked for team halo, um, and ask doc one. All I do in my spare time is make these videos to spread awareness around the vaccine and to fight health inequalities within the healthcare system. And I’m hoping that you find today’s session very useful. 

[00:11:07] Carla: I’m sure everyone will. So thank you so much, Dr. Anita for coming on. Thank you. 

[00:11:13] Dr Anita: You’re more than welcome. Thank you. It was a pleasure. 

[00:11:16] Carla: Thank you for joining us on today’s Q&A on the COVID 19 vaccine. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss any other videos that may be of interest to you.

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Mindfulness for Mums https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/mindfulness-for-mums https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/mybump2babyexpert/mindfulness-for-mums#respond Wed, 02 Jun 2021 08:19:50 +0000 https://www.mybump2baby.com/podcasts/?p=1199 On today’s episode of the MyBump2Baby expert podcast Carla speaks to Clare Hales from Developing matters all about mindfulness for mums. Clare discusses the benefits of mindfulness.

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  • Mindfulness for Mums

On today’s episode of the MyBump2Baby expert podcast Carla speaks to Clare Hales from Developing matters all about mindfulness for mums. Clare discusses the benefits of mindfulness, how to become more mindful and some tips and tricks to get you started on your mindfulness journey.

For more information about Developing Matters see the links below:

Website: https://developingmatters.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/developingmatters

Email/Tel : developingmatters@gmail.com

07714 792631

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 that 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] Hello everybody and welcome to My Bump 2 Babies Expert Podcast. Today, I am joined by the lovely Clare Hales from Developing Matters. Today we are talking a bit more about mindfulness, mindfulness for mums, what it means, how you can do it and techniques that you can use. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:20] Hello everybody and welcome to My Bump 2 Babies expert podcast. Today, I am joined by the lovely Clare Hales from Developing Matters. And today we are going to be talking all about mindfulness for mums. How are you Claire? 

[00:02:37] Clare: I’m good. Thank you. Thank you very much for meeting with me today. 

[00:02:41] Carla: Oh yes.Looking forward to speaking to about this, because mindfulness is something that is becoming increasingly popular. I think since a lockdown, I think a lot of people have been looking more and more into mindfulness and how to do it, et cetera. And there is a lot of different techniques. Isn’t there?

[00:03:01] Clare: There’s a massive spectrum, really and you know, there’s so he can do, um, and look into, and I think people can get quite confused with that as well. So I think sometimes it’s good to understand a little bit more about it and what you can do as an individual. 

[00:03:18] Carla: Definitely. Definitely. I know. Since the lockdown, my health anxiety, which I’m quite open about, got really, really bad. And like, to the point where, you know, you worry about everything, don’t you. And I was just like, worried. I feel like a pain in my head. I’m like, Oh God. And mindfulness literally that has been, um, a saviour to me actually, because it just kind of brings you back into the present moment doesn’t it. So, so what, um, I’m going to ask you a few questions if that’s okay Clare, so people can understand a bit more about mindfulness and different techniques that they can use. 

[00:03:52] Clare: Yep okay.

[00:03:53] Carla: Perfect. So Clare, for the people that want to know about mindfulness, but don’t know really what it is, what, what is mindfulness. 

[00:04:02] Clare: So the term mindfulness it does come from thousands of years of practice. A lot of people who don’t understand about it can think of it more as a Buddhist tradition and quite spiritual and meditative and things like that. But, actually, there’s, there’s like a modern mindfulness aspect of things now, which has come more from Western practices and mindfulness issues. Can be used for health and wellbeing. And there’s lots of research. There’s lots of courses around mindfulness, but apart from all that, even though it does sound quite complex, mindfulness is just paying attention to the present moment. That it’s as simple as it can be. It’s just noticing what’s going on around us. And as you said, with your mind being very, very busy, we have thousands of thoughts a day. We’re battling with thoughts all of the time and it just, our brain just doesn’t give us that chance to just take a mindful moment and just take a step back and notice what’s going on around us.

[00:05:01] Carla: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a brilliant explanation because it is all about being aware of your surroundings. Isn’t it? And, and just knowing what’s going on and taking yourself, almost taking a step back, isn’t it sometimes.

[00:05:13] Clare: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, it’s taking a step back and noticing obviously the outer environment, you know, we’ve got all these resources around us to be very mindful in the, in the natural world and even in our home. But, we also have to understand internally as well, you know, how we feel, what we’re thinking about, how we’re breathing. So there is quite a lot to it, but, you know, we can do a lot around it or we can just do a couple of moments a day. 

[00:05:40] Carla: Yeah, no, that’s brilliant. I mean, I, since doing mindfulness myself, you know, just even, actually it sounds a bit silly, but actually just noticing the colour on trees or birds in your garden, these are all things that I never actually used to notice. Cause I’d go round rushing around and you never really, you sit, you can see, but you’re not really seeing if you know what I mean. So it’s actually, it does, it does make a big difference. 

[00:06:04] Clare: I, I I’m the same as you. I love now, and it’s just looking into the sky. It sounds really silly but, just or, you know, just watching the clouds moving and everything’s changing all the time and it just reminds you that, you know, things change, nothings the same, you know, we’re constantly moving and just to notice look up rather than looking down and just thinking about that before we move on, what I’ve noticed since I did my mindfulness course is how much we don’t look up anymore. And I notice people on the phones, a lot, looking at the phones, checking things as they’re walking, or checking things at the school gate. So just actually just stopping and putting your phone away sometimes can be, can be something that we can be really mindful of. 

[00:06:46] Carla: Mm, absolutely. Yeah. So Clare, what are the benefits of being a mindful mum, um, and learning a bit of mindfulness once you become a mum?

[00:06:56] Clare: Well, obviously, I mean, there’s lots of benefits for yourself and obviously for your children as well. The thousands of thoughts we have, we can have approximately 60,000 thoughts a day. Now my children are eight and 10 now. And I remember everything that I used to worry about when they were younger. You know, we’ve got, I’ve got my worries now I’ve got my worries when they go into their teen years. And it’s all what ifs, all our worries are what if this, what is that? And it can just overtake our thought processes and while we’re worrying about all these things. We’re not actually noticing what’s going on in the present moment with them. You know, how they’re acting, how the feeling, communicating with them, things like, um, so just being a bit more mindful, just can help us connect with our children quite a lot. It can help us to not be as forgetful. You know, when we’re rushing around, we’re so busy forgetting things. Living on auto pilot quite a lot, trying to get through the day. As you say, we just miss those moments as well. Our interactions with our children can be a massive benefit if we are being a little bit more mindful as well. And also its being a good role model as well to your children, you know, to let them know that it’s okay to stop and observe and be present. And we don’t have to be busy all the time and they kind of learn from us. And I’m hoping that in this generation, we can be a bit more mindful. We can pass it on to our children as they grow up and they won’t get to the age of 34, you know, not know about it. Hopefully it’s something that they can be brought up with.

[00:08:30] Carla: Yeah, no, that’s really interesting. It’s definitely, definitely would help the future generation I’m sure. So with mindfulness, obviously, I’m assuming that can help massively with stress and anxiety for mums as well, which is something we’ve often talked about on, uh, on my podcast, because a lot of us struggle with that is that, is that something that mindfulness can not help those, you know, you feel less stressed and less anxious.

[00:08:58] Clare: Definitely yeah because like I say you taking that time out aren’t you. With, with mindfulness as well when we do feel stressed and worried and our thoughts are overtaking us. Thats our stress response has kicked in. And if we can just notice that and pull ourselves back a little bit, even if it is doing a mindful moment or just having a distraction and stopping those thoughts from happening. Can just stop, you know, stop us getting carried away with all our thought processes. We also have. I don’t know if you’ve ever spoke about the fight flight or freeze response. And when that kicks in, that can build on stress. Obviously we can feel stress when we’re worried and we hold onto it and we can hold onto it for too long. And then we hold onto it and we feel more stressed, we feel more tired, more irritated. So if we can think about mindfulness as a strategy to release that stress or to get rid of that stress that can really, really help all our hormones that are affected by the stress response. You know are adrenaline running through our bodies. You know, there’s lots of bad stress that we can have. Stress can also be good for us cause it keeps us alert, you know, and keeps us active. But, when we’re holding onto it and not letting it go, it manifests and the anxieties grow and the stress grows. So we need to think about what are our tools and techniques that can help us to get rid of that. 

[00:10:23] Carla: That was going to actually be my next question. What, what kind of, what kind of tools and techniques can you use to be more mindful? Have you got any suggestions? 

[00:10:33] Clare: I’ve got lots yeah. So it depends obviously on the person and we can have something that’s quite, like big practices. So what I did, when I started my mindfulness course was I did a mindfulness stress-based reduction course at Liverpool with breath works. So there’s a big involvement in learning about the cognition of mindfulness and doing 40 minute meditation a day, you know, building that into your life. Now that isn’t sustainable, obviously for the majority of us cause they such a big practice to do. But if you could do that for eight weeks, its really really good, you can develop your own skills and then you can fit into your  pattern of life what you want. That’s quite a formal practice of mindfulness, but then we can also water it down a little bit. And we can get an app and do meditations online or through an app. My go to is Headspace. I really, really love the Headspace meditations they’re really, really good to do. So that is obviously committing time for meditation.

[00:11:39] Now, if thats something that someone  doesn’t want to do. We can water it down again and we can just do some breathing techniques for a couple of minutes a day. We can do sensory activities because when we’re doing sensory activities were using  different parts of the brain, rather than just being at the front of our brain at the front of our brain is where we think. And if we’re stuck in that part of our brain all the time, we’re not using, uh, You know, the rest of our brain for sensory experiences and bringing us into the present moment. And then you’ve just got little mindfulness strategies, like we’ve mentioned before, looking at the colour of the trees, looking at the sky, noticing how we’re eating, noticing how we’re moving. You know, this, there is so many different ways that we can, we can break, break it down. There’s books that we can buy. There is little like 10 minute meditation books that you can buy as well. You know, so you’ve got those little reminders and things like that. 

[00:12:38] Carla: Yeah, no, that, that does cover quite a lot. Now I know meditation isn’t for everyone and it can take a little bit of practice because when we’ve spoke to parents around meditation, some people, oh  I’ve tried it and it was really difficult. I think, um, I’ve been told before that, you know, if you do want to meditate, you know, you can do it gradually, so you can start off, you know, doing a few minutes and then increasing.

[00:13:02] Clare: Yeah, I get, I get that quite a lot. To be honest, when people say I’ve tried and it didn’t work. And I think the expectations of meditation is it’s not understood. You know, if, if we meditate for a couple of minutes a day, It’s not about being relaxed, mind being empty. It’s about noticing what’s going on. And if thats if we are struggling. That’s noticing what’s going on if its noticing we’re distracted. That again is noticing what’s going on and it’s never perfect. And I think because people never get that experience because they don’t try it for long enough. It’s a shame because you know people kind of stop, stop doing it. And, but as you said, you can do there is other, you know, we have to adapt it for us. We’re all individuals aren’t we? So even just doing a two minute meditation on your own, just listening to some music and notice yourself breathing in and out. A really good focus for doing a couple of minutes, meditation is just counting your breath or just saying to yourself, breathing in, breathing out, or it might even be lighting a candle and watching the candle flicker for a couple of minutes and just seeing if you can just focus on that. You know, so there is, there is adaptions that we can do. And it is obviously proven to help the brain as well. And a little bit like exercise, you know, I love running, but I’d never run a marathon, you know so its watered down again. You know, what are your expectations what you’re going to get out of it. And as well with meditation you know, it’s not something that once you to do it a few times. You feel great. It’s just like with exercise, if you do it for a couple of session yeah you’ll feel good . But if you stop doing it. And then you’re going to go back to feeling unhealthy, or, you know, you know, whatever the reason was you were doing it for. So it is something that you have to keep practicing, keep practicing, and it’s a muscle the brain, and it needs training constantly, you know? And it will go back to the old patterns of not of not wanting to do, to do anything. So it’s a battle.

[00:15:08] Carla: Yeah, I think it’s finding what’s right for you isn’t it as well. Because a lot of people like journaling and, you know, I’ve got a little book next to my bed and I started having, because as I mentioned before, I’ve got this health anxiety instead of, my cousin gave me this advice it was great actually, she said have a worrying half an hour at night. And not really like, instead of worrying about it in the day, if I was worrying, I think right tonight, I’ll write that down. What I was worrying about instead of we thinking about it at the moment, and that actually really helped me just having to do a bit of a journal at night and you don’t even need to put a lot in there just how you’re feeling, what you’re thankful for.

[00:15:45] Clare: Yeah, exactly. It’s just getting out there, isn’t it? Because it it’s in our brain. It just manifests and gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And. Yeah, the journaling’s great. And you know, it doesn’t have to be extreme. Like you say, it can just be something little and it really does help, help to get it down. Especially at night. Obviously our brain thinks when we’re wanting to relax, oh this is the time that you can think, and you can plan, and you can think about that conversation. You had. You know, your mind is always constantly dragging you off into the past, worrying about the future. So just having that time to just write it down if we can’t speak to people about things is a really really good method to help our busy mind.

[00:16:26] Carla: That’s great. 

[00:16:27] Clare: You know, As mums we’ve got, we put so much pressure on ourselves and, you know, we, we don’t need to do really, it  like taking a step back. And as you say, writing things down, having distractions as well, you know, when our minds are really, really busy, even though it is good to do meditation, breathing techniques are amazing I really recommend different breathing techniques, but just. Distractions are good if we are caught up in a moment or something. My go to is just putting some music on and it stops those thoughts. If you think of your thoughts, being like a remote control, you know, we’ve got the power to change our thoughts. We can shift our attention to anything we want.

[00:17:06] So we can just stop. We can relax a bit more if we’re, you know, with, with the children and we’re getting really stressed, or we are getting really worried. You know, sometimes I’ll jump up and have a dance with them and make us laugh and it just switches you ,you know, your attention from your overthinking and just brings you back into the present moment and doing something that you enjoy. So that, you know, there are loads of little concepts really that we can think about to try and help, help our brain a little bit more.

[00:17:32] Carla: Yeah. And it’s just, just remembering to do it. I mean, one, one I did when I was first starting, which my auntie actually recommended. I’m getting all these recommendations, but was to every time I washed my hands. To just take a bit of extra time and really kind of use all your senses to feel the soap and then like smell it and listen to the suds. And it sounds a bit funny, but it is using all your senses to be in that moment. And that got into a bit of a habit for me. So now every time I wash my hands, I feel myself being able to relax a bit.

[00:18:08] Clare: Yeah. Yeah. They do use that in the mindfulness course about, you know, when you’re cleaning your teeth, when you are eating. Cause obviously when we’re doing all these things like washing our hands, like you say, cleaning your teeth, eating, showering , we’re thinking because are body’s automatically doing it our minds on autopilot thinking about other things . And we don’t need to, like you say, we can take it all in. We obviously can’t do that all the time or else we’d never get any planning done. But, it is just them moments, like you say, , and it’s really good you’ve mentioned that because I think like to fit, mindful moments like that into your day, there has to be an intention and you have to have a reminder, something has to remind you. So it might be that you write down at 10 o’clock every day. I’m going to be mindful or when I wash my hands, I’m going to be mindful of, you know, one of them triggers that are going to remind you to  think about those things. Thats really, really good, we have to try really hard to be mindful and have intentions and reminders.

[00:19:07] Carla: I think, I think that’s the thing, isn’t it being a parent, you can just be so busy that you think, well, where have I got all this time from but, if you’re going to be doing something anyway, I mean, it might even be a bit of mindful cooking where you’re really smelling the food and tasting it. And you know, that, you know, just being, being there, maybe using the mindfulness in a moment that you actually using at the moment, but .

[00:19:30] Clare: Yeah, exactly. And there doesn’t have to be anything where you’re going out it’s easy, you know, it’s easy. You have to put your kit on and go for a run of anything. You know, like you say, it’s say boiling the kettle is a great one for me, because I remember when my children were young and. You’ll make a brew and then you’ll forget you’ve made it  and you will make another one or you’ll see that you’ve not drank it or, you’ll boil a kettle three times, because you’ll go off and do something else, you know, put a wash in or so, you know, tidy up. So rather than do that its waiting for the kettle to boil and noticing the sounds, making the brew, just having that couple of seconds because if not, we just get so distracted trying to multitask is a big thing for mums .And we don’t have to multitask all the time. Let’s just, just bring it back a bit and just have those little bit of moments to settle, settle the brain.

[00:20:23] Carla: Yeah, absolutely. Totally agree. And Clare, can you tell us a little bit more about where Developing Matters, is and how people can find you and also what it is you guys do? 

[00:20:35] Clare: Yeah. So, um, Developing Matters. We’re based in Wigan. We, uh, we were called Studio Serenity for a few years, but obviously because of lockdown and us having to work with schools, we work with schools quite a bit. Being online I decided to change the name, you know, to obviously fit how we’ve grown through lockdown in the pandemic. So we’re bigger than the studio now, and, you know, we are getting out there a bit more. So before I set up this community interest company in Wigan, I was a special needs teacher. So I’ve got a big background in working with special needs. And at the moment we do wellbeing and mindfulness courses for children and young people. And what we found is it quite difficult to reach out to children and young people, because they’re so busy at school. And they’re so busy after school that even though we can still work with children and young people, if they need with anxieties and life events that happening  our new work is to do a bit of a trainer, trainer approach.

[00:21:37] So we’ll be doing some training in schools, so school staff can practice the techniques and do the mindfulness and wellbeing course with the children in their school. And hopefully, well, obviously that will reach more children and have a bigger impact because it’s something that hopefully that will be embedded into whatever school takes, you know, takes the training and then the learning and the development.

[00:22:03] Carla: Hm. No, that’s that’s brilliant. So, um, we will put your links on our show notes anyway. So anyone that wants to get in touch with you can, can you support parents nationwide or is it just in Wigan? 

[00:22:16] Clare: Oh yeah no, hopefully yeah it will be nationwide. So we we’ve only got links with Wigan schools at the moment, because for the past five, six years before lockdown I was going into schools, you know, doing the course myself, but, obviously with, with being online now and zoom and everyone’s so used to it, we can do virtual training and we will send out the manuals and  the courses and then do some training around it online. So its really, really good that we can reach  out to little bit further now, you know, with  costs and  time, you know, it’s, it’s a benefit, really being online with things like that. We are launching the website in May. I just got a couple of tweaks and then we’ll be doing a big launch  with the website.And that will have all the training details on there.

[00:23:02] Um, we, we have got some mindful resources and cards, all these little activities, what we were talking about before the breathing techniques and things. And the reminders we do actually sell some resources that people can buy.And we can post out and then if anyone wants any advice or support about them then, you know quick phone call or email or zoom, you know, things like that. We can set up anywhere really. 

[00:23:26] Carla: That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. Well, thank you so much, Clare, for coming on today and sharing a bit more about mindfulness. 

[00:23:33] Clare: Oh, thank you very much for having me. It’s been lovely to speak  to you today.

[00:23:37]Carla:  Thank you.

[00:23:41] 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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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.

[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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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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