My support network.

They say ‘it takes a village to raise a baby’ and I could not agree more. I’m incredibly blessed as I have a lot of great people in my support network but the quantity doesn’t really matter. You just need to have people in your life who support you and you need to actually let them. That is easier said than done as there is a huge pressure to look like you can do everything on your own and never struggle. Of course we all want to be the perfect parent but it’s just not real life. I aim to hit my idea of ‘perfect’ 50% of the time, that’s me doing my best.

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Real life struggles.

When I first became a mum I definitely struggled with wanting to look like I could cope with anything and was reluctant to ever ask for help. I soon realised though that parenting is not easy, so why pretend that it is? Nobody is handing out medals for the cleanest lounge. A support network is made up of people who care about you and want to help you, so use them!

This is what my support network looks like. Yours might be very different or not so much. Made up of 50 people or just 3. It doesn’t matter as long as you value them.

The husband

Obviously, we share Little Knight, so he’s my biggest support. He is so encouraging and always builds me back up when a day of nappy explosions and toddler tantrums has pulled me down. He will work hard all day then come home and get stuck in.

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Family

There is a reason we didn’t move very far away from our parents! I see my family at least twice a week and depend on them a lot. I also find it really special to see Little Knight enjoying spending time with her grandparents, she’s very lucky as she has a lot of them! My sister is my ultimate best friend and now that she has a baby it’s even better, she always just ‘gets it’. Whether you want someone to love the 6896426th photo you’ve taken of your child or someone to watch them so you can actually have a hot cup of tea/a wee in peace/a stress-free food shop, family is always there. Plus, I don’t think you ever grow out of needing your mum. If Little Knight has a rash, I send her a photo.When I don’t know how to chop a leek, I call her. When I need a little break, I go round and eat all of their biscuits whilst Little Knight empties the toy box.

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Church

Our church family are really special to us. We have some great friends there and if you ever need anything, someone will help you. Little Knight and I go to the Baby and Toddler group in the week which she loves and we go to the morning service every Sunday. We’re really blessed as there are a lot of other babies and toddlers so she has friends to run around with and we have other parents to share the joys and struggles with.

God

Really, this point should be first but I thought I’d get attacked for ‘being preachy’. I am a Christian and my faith is really important to me. Praying got me through a long pregnancy, a hard labour and everything that has followed. This is a very personal thing and I’m not trying to throw religion at you, but I don’t want to shy away from such a huge part of my life just because I’m scared of the reaction. (I am still a bit scared though…)

Friends

Going out with the girls is the ultimate pick-me-up. There is just no spa treatment like a natter over a glass of wine and massive burger (or something more ladylike). I go home feeling refreshed and me-time is so important when your whole life suddenly revolves around someone else.

Your support network aren’t just there if you’re struggling, they are with you through all of the laughs and milestones too. Even though I go to bed singing Peppa Pig’s Bing Bong song, being a mum is the best fun ever.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Breastfeeding style

I’ve said a few times that I struggled through pregnancy but on those occasions when I wasn’t grey, I felt like I looked fantastic! I really enjoyed my new pregnant body and found it easy to choose clothes that made me feel good. I loved showing off my bump! Then I had my gorgeous girl and my stomach was left looking like a shrivelled balloon and I had the added issue of breastfeeding. I suddenly needed constant access to my boobs whilst wanting to disguise my new tummy and obviously I still wanted to look good and feel like my old self as much as possible.

I’ve been breastfeeding for 14 months now and here are just a few tricks I’ve learnt along the way.  If you’re in a similar position I hope you find this useful and I save you some time!

  • Buy at least 2 nursing vest tops.

I have one in black, 2 in navy and one in white and I wear them under EVERYTHING.  It then means you can easily pull up your top to feed your baby and feel confident that you are still covered up. Any vest top will work but the convenience of those nursing clips is worth the money, especially when you’re out in public with a hungry baby. Mine are from H&M MAMA range and they are just as good now as when I bought them.

If in doubt, copy your toddler.

  • Anything button down is your friend.

Fortunately, shirts and shirt dresses are everywhere now and you can get so many variations on style that there is something to suit everyone. I loved being able to buy a normal piece of clothing from a non maternity range and feel good in it. Obviously button down means easy access. I like dresses where I can cinch in my waist as I find them the most flattering. It’s getting colder now and I’ll just throw on some tights with the same outfits.

Buttons everywhere!

  • Bandeau tops can adapt anything.

If you want to wear a strapless dress for example (or just something without big, fat bra straps) you can wear a bandeau bra or boob tube underneath to keep you covered up and in place and you can just pull it down a bit when feeding.

  • Don’t completely dismiss maternity clothes.

Certain pieces will still work and most maternity tops and dresses have a nursing function. I actually bought a maternity dress for Little Knight’s birthday party as it was a skater style so wasn’t tummy-skimming and had a hidden panel for nursing. Just have a look through your maternity things and see what will still work.

The top part lifts up to reveal a nursing button (ASOS)

  • Wrap tops/dresses.

Just a wardrobe classic for anyone really, never go out of style and suit all different body shapes. They are super easy to breastfeed in and always make me feel very put together.

  • Throw on a scarf.

I feel like a scarf can add interest to an otherwise simple outfit and they can also be used as a nursing cover. You can also get really pretty ones for a couple of quid and they will always fit.

I’m not saying I put a pretty dress on everyday after Little Knight was born. Let’s be realistic, I lived in my maternity leggings until they ripped and I had to bin them. This is just for those times when you do have 5 minutes and want to spend them on yourself (which is ok, honest!) Breastfeeding in public can be daunting at first and I always felt more confident when I was in an outfit with easy access!

If you have any other tips please share them, I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Beauty Favourites

If I had sat down 2 years ago and wrote about my favourite beauty items, the list would probably be 30 products long. I am a beauty product junkie. These days however I have very limited time due to that cheeky toddler who will either be clinging to my legs or destroying the house. I want products that are super quick but work hard.

The market is completely saturated with ‘must-haves’ so I’m always really interested in other peoples favourite products. If it’s been recommended, I’ll want to give it a go!

So, here are my top beauty favourites now that I’m a mum.

Colab Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo

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Who has time to wash their hair anymore?! This is a quick fix and leaves your hair feeling fresh and smelling amazing. It also comes in a range of fragrances so you can choose your favourite. The little can is changing bag sized for spritzing on the go. (Obviously they come with lids but Little Knight took a shine to them)

Sanctuary Spa Cleansing Burst Body Wash and Silky Smooth Body Lotion


These were bought for me by a lovely mummy friend and I’m really enjoying them. The shower gel is fresh and foamy and everything you really want in the shower but the lotion is the real hero. It has a pump so is really quick to apply, smells incredible and most importantly… absorbs instantly! By the time I’ve done my legs, my top half is dry and I can get dressed. Lovely, soft skin with minimal effort!

Bio-oil


I’ve talked about my love for this before but it has seriously improved the look of my stretchmarks. I just quickly rub it in every night before bed and sleep in a nursing vest top so it really sinks in. I think I’m on my 5th bottle now and it’s worth every penny!

Rimmel Match Perfection 2-in-1 Concealer and Highlighter


It’s no secret that Little Knight doesn’t sleep very well (now or ever!) which is not good news for my poor face. I use this to brighten under my eyes and it’s like magic. Who needs sleep?! (*Sobs*)

The Body Shop all-in-one BB Cream

I don’t wear full foundation very often anymore but when my skin is looking rough or I’m having a breakout, I feel better with a little coverage. This comes out white and I just rub it in like moisturiser. It’s colour adapting so just works into the skin and evens everything out.

Benefit Roller Lash vs Two Faced Better than Sex Mascaras 


I just couldn’t choose! I’m currently using the Roller Lash but they are both better than any other mascaras I have tried. I find a quick coat instantly opens up your eyes and makes such a difference. The Roller Lash has a little comb applicator so is less messy to apply whereas the Two Faced has a big brush so takes less coats. The jury’s out.

L’oreal Paris Facial Cleansing Oil


My sister recommended this to me a few months ago and I’ve not touched any other make up remover since. I am not exaggerating, this removes all makeup in seconds! It is probably my favourite product ever for how time saving it is. You just rub it over your make up onto dry skin then rinse it off. That’s it! You only need 2 pumps so the bottle will last ages too. Wonder product!

I hope you’ve found this handy or interesting. Please let me know any of your favourite quick and easy beauty products, I’m always looking to add to my collection!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

1st birthday build up

As Baby Knight has just turned 10 months I’ve really started thinking about her 1st birthday. Except that’s actually a lie. I’ve been planning for months, my Pinterest boards are full and you can’t see the bed in the spare room for birthday paraphernalia. And yes, I’m aware that so many people will be saying ‘what a waste of time/money when she wont even remember it!’ Now as much as I know that’s true, I couldn’t care less!

Anyone who knows me will know that I get birthday obsessed at the best of times. Not even just my birthday, anyone! I really love birthdays, they are just so special and exciting. Now, what could be more exciting than a first birthday?! For my own bloomin’ gorgeous baby girl!! I am beside myself with excitement. If I think about it too much I get a bit giddy.

However, this doesn’t mean I’m planning a massive ordeal. Not at all. I just want a day with our nearest and dearest, games and cake in the garden (are you listening, weather!!) celebrating my girl’s first year.

I also anticipate I will spend the day in tears so I’m electing my sister to take thousands of photos so I don’t miss a second. I keep watching YouTube videos of first birthdays (I know, I told you I get birthday obsession) and I can’t stop the tears then, when I have no idea who the people are.

One year seems to be such a huge milestone! Baby Knight has filled our lives with immeasurable joy for one whole year. Mr Knight and I have survived as parents and not killed each other for one whole year. I’ve breastfed for one whole year.

Just a few hours old *sob*

Just a few hours old *sob*

Her birthday feels so significant that I just feel like I’ll burst with emotions. I’m beyond happy, I’m so proud of her and how she’s progressed but I’m also a little sad that it’s all gone by so quickly! My baby is becoming a little girl before my very eyes and all I can do is enjoy the ride.

Well this got emotional! I thought I was going to write about how the theme of her little party was Pink Lemonade and where I’d bought the paper plates from but this was clearly what was on my mind instead. Please tell me I’m not the only one getting teary about blowing out that first candle!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Shower troubles

I’m starting to realise just how difficult simple tasks become when you have a baby on the move. Last week I had a girly night out planned with good food, cocktails and minimum baby talk. I hadn’t washed my hair for a time longer than I’m willing to share so this was number one priority for the morning. I thought I’d quickly jump in the shower whilst Baby Knight played in her room, which I can see from the bathroom anyway. Not a problem. Pah! I am a fool.

Look at that cheeky face, I should’ve known better!

It started out how I imagined, I set her up a little toy area and she played angelically with Peppa Pig books. Then the shower curtain fell on me and the noise made her cry. So I comforted her then begrudgingly got in the shower, knowing I would soak the whole room and have that to clean up later. Baby Knight picked that moment to decide she was bored and wanted to play with Mummy. Great timing, sweetheart. She got upset when every time she got close she was sprayed with water, not that it stopped her. She then clocked a plug-in that looked appealing and decided it must be hers. Cue a soapy Mummy literally throwing her bath toys to her in an attempt to distract her.

Finally I was clean (forget exfoliating scrubs and hair masks, those days are gone). I took her in my room with different toys so I could get sorted, I managed to get a brush through my hair before she had had enough.

We plodded downstairs to Cbeebies so that I could quickly throw some clothes on. I then realised she was soaked from trying to join me in the shower. Now, getting Baby Knight dressed these days is always a workout  as she is just everywhere and is super slippery too thanks to her eczema cream. She was eventually ready for the day then she sat up, was sick down her clothes then burst out laughing.

I aborted this mission and went to my Mum’s to get ready.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Simple pleasures.

I think it’s a combination of the fact that we’re having more sunny days lately and that Baby Knight is suddenly growing up at an alarming rate that is making me really appreciate the small things. One of my character flaws is that I am quite materialistic so I’m not going to sit behind my laptop spouting out that I don’t care for expensive things or grand gestures and lead a simple life because it simply isn’t true. The whole point in this blog is that it’s completely honest and not a ‘look at me, I’m amazing’ show. However, whilst I do love all those things, I am getting better at appreciating the lesser valued things in life.

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Of course, certain things obviously bring me joy. My daughter’s smile makes my mummy heart swell and I will write many blog posts about the important aspects of  life in the future but right now I want to point out the small and insignificant things that regularly brighten my day. These are just a few examples:

  • Going out and buying myself a bunch of flowers. Is that pathetic? I don’t even care! I get to choose exactly what I want in any colour or combination and they brighten up my living room instantly.  
  • Lighting a big candle after Baby Knight has gone to bed. I feel like it emphasises that it’s grown up time and creates a really relaxing atmosphere. I also just love buying new candles so I have to justify them to Mr Knight by lighting them at every chance I get.
  • When that impossible baby stain actually DOES come out of her clothes. Mum win!
  • Finding a new episode of Modern Family has been recorded. Mr Knight and I are completely addicted, it’s hilarious!
  • Being barefoot in the grass. This is something Baby Knight and I have in common, if we put her on a blanket she crawls straight off to wriggle her toes in the grass. 

I hope this has got you thinking about the simple pleasures in your life. Please feel free to share, spread the positivity and all that jazz.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Support for daddies.

This is something that has really been on my mind the last few months. It appears much of the world is still quite prehistoric when it comes to parenting and it is often assumed dads don’t really do anything. Of course there are men out there who aren’t the most helpful with the children, equally there are lazy mothers, but I feel men are more prone to being all grouped together and often just the butt of many jokes. In preparation for this post, I typed in ‘support for dads’ and ‘appreciation for dads’ into different websites and found many results for mums or posts criticising dads.

Deadbeat dads - funny how they can afford internet, yet not child support.

An example of typical search results.

Ok, so women do have a lot of work to do with the pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding to name a few. Yes, it is hard! There will be many, many posts on this in the future I’m sure. However I couldn’t have done any of it without Mr Knight. From holding my hair back whilst I was being sick to stopping me from rolling off the bed during labour he has been a brilliant husband. But that is NOTHING compared to what a great daddy he is. He could not do more for our daughter! And he’s not alone. I see amazing dads all the time. My heart swells when I see a man walking around with a pram but it’s almost like they are a secret breed that mustn’t be acknowledged. It seems you can barely put the TV on or log into social media without seeing men being slagged off. I understand that there are many women going it alone and I take my hat off to them but for once, I want a little bit of daddy appreciation.

Daddies are amazing!

Our own super dad

Our own super dad

Mothers work hard. Everyone knows that. Daddies work hard too and don’t seem to get much acknowledgment. It’s 2015 and men are a lot more hands on than decades gone by. There appears to be a slow increase in dad groups but after doing some research they are still few and far between.  Mr Knight joined a group on Facebook for dads to chat about all things baby and it’s full of hardworking men. It’s really great to see him getting excited talking about our daughter and comparing funny anecdotes. (It’s The Dad Network if you’re interested. They also have a private dads group but I’m not allowed to know anything about that… ask inside for details!)

Time is precious

Time is precious

So! They may not be able to help grow the babies and their nipples are completely useless but we’ll (try to) put that aside as we celebrate the amazing dads in the world!

Thanks for reading,

Knight  Mummy x

Travelling with a baby.

It’s that time of year where our thoughts turn to the warmer months and we start looking forward to escaping the mundane and going on holiday. We’ve got a week in Devon planned with my family coming up and just the logistics of packing the car is stressing me out already! We managed to go on a few short breaks with Baby Knight last year which were really lovely. We have family in Spain so went to visit them for 5 days and also went to Cornwall later in the year. If I’d had a pound every time someone recoiled in horror when we said we were flying with a baby my holiday would’ve been paid for! After so many times I was also convinced it was going to be terrible, we were irresponsible parents and everyone on the plane would HATE us.

However the tale has a happy ending because she managed really well on both flights and we had a great holiday. Phew! So a couple of months later we decided to join some of my family for a break in Cornwall. No problem! If we can handle a plane, a car is a breeze. Then I realised the journey was about 4 hours and the longest Baby Knight had been in the car before was an hour tops. Cue more fear. But we all survived and again had a great time. It must not have been too traumatic because we have a few getaways planned for 2015 which I am eagerly anticipating!

Holidays are exhausting!

Our perfect view!

That said, I know I will still feel a little apprehensive when the dreaded day of travel arrives as I think every parent does with a baby on board. So I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve learned from the experience (some the hard way, this post is not boasting about what a perfect parent I am!)

  • Airports are stressful. Fact. Wearing our baby was the best decision we made as it gave us another pair of hands and we just checked the pushchair in with the suitcase. Easy peasy and one less thing to think about.
Baby wearing in action

Baby wearing in action

  • I’d read something about buying new toys for going on long journeys but just thought at that age they don’t really know so I just hid some of her toys for a week so they were as good as new to her.
  • The obvious things are to pack lots of nappies and spare clothes but also plenty of hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes. Airports and planes especially are a playground for germs!
  • If you can, feed on take off and landing to help their ears. If not a dummy would do the job but Baby Knight refuses to take one. (Mr Knight actually tried whilst on the plane and she heaved and then projectile vomited all over us. We had to sit in sick for a further 2 hours. Marvellous.)
  • That brings me onto another tip, have a separate carrier bag to put dirty clothes in. We also had a poo explosion to contend with!
  • A few hours after we got to Spain, poor baby had a complete meltdown. She refused to feed, we tried rocking her, singing, all the classics. In the end I lay her on a blanket from home and she started to calm down, we then started her bedtime routine as close to normal as possible which settled her. I’d never even considered that it was all such a big ordeal for a four month old and that she’d need some extra comfort. If blankets are too big, just anything familiar that will smell like home will do.
  • When we were in the car, it was tempting to just keep going as stopping so often makes it feel like you’ll never arrive! We were fortunate as she slept for a lot of the journey but stopping every hour and a half seemed to work the best for us. She enjoyed bouncing around on us for a while to stretch her legs and we got a Costa fix. It did take us a long time but we arrived with a happy baby and consequently relaxed parents.
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The Knights in Cornwall

Obviously I only know what works for our baby so this may not be useful to you and I can’t say anything about travelling with a toddler yet but I think it’s helpful to share experiences. If you have any other travelling tips please share them in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Pregnancy and Labour story.

Just the words ‘pregnancy’ and ‘labour’ make me feel a little bit sick. I still get a little envious when women glow throughout their pregnancies and have a labour that mirrors their birth plan. It took a good few months to feel ok with how my daughter came into the world which I hear is natural when things don’t go to plan. However, that is skipping to the end of the story…

Mr Knight and I decided the time was right to turn our worlds upside down around April 2013 and we were very blessed to take that positive pregnancy test in the following November.

Pregnancy announcement

Pregnancy announcement

Pregnancy just did not suit me. I was sick at least once a day from about 6 weeks in so instead of that classic pregnancy glow my skin looked grey. I also suffered vile heartburn and had a brief spell of sciatica. Despite feeling like I was dying, my little baby was thriving and that made it all beyond worth it! We didn’t find out the gender which just added to our excitement. My birth plan consisted of a water birth with flexibility regarding pain relief, I wanted skin to skin as soon as it was born and Sam wanted to cut the cord.  I worked up until 37 weeks and my mum and sister planned a beautiful baby shower for just afterwards. And then the waiting game started…

37 weeks!

37 weeks!

Finally, 6 days after my due date I was woken at 6am by my waters breaking. I rang the hospital and then off we went to get checked out. After confirming my waters had gone and doing some business down there, the midwife told us that our baby was back to back and I should spend as much time as possible on all fours to get it to move. We were then sent home to wait for labour to start. We stopped off at Gregg’s bakery on the way back to grab some breakfast and I had my first contraction – I was so excited! (Clearly did not know what was in store.) We then spent the whole day on the birthing ball and timing contractions until about 11:30pm when I couldn’t handle it anymore and forced Mr Knight to TELL the hospital I NEEDED to come in.

We got to the hospital to find out I was just 2-3cm. I could’ve punched that poor midwife in the face. We plodded off to our room where I spent the next few hours bouncing on the birthing ball and getting high as a kite on Entonox (gas and air to us normal folk). True to form I was constantly being sick so had an injection so I could keep some water down. This is where it gets a little hazy for me. At some point I had Pethidine which did nothing and then eventually gave in and had an Epidural. I know everyone is different but looking back it was definitely the best decision for me. I even managed an hours sleep!

By 7am I was 10cm and ready to push. Here we go, time to meet our baby! Except after two hours of pushing nothing had happened. I remember so clearly the midwife saying “ok, we’ll just get the doctor to pop in and see you.” That’s when I knew it had all gone wrong and whatever the doctor was about to say would be bad news. Sure enough, baby was stuck and I was then rushed to theatre for an emergency caesarean. I was a complete mess and to make it worse my spinal block would only work on the one side of my body. I then had about four members of staff spraying me with cold stuff to see where I had feeling and asking me what felt colder. I was told that they would tilt my bed and if that didn’t work I would have to be put to sleep. All this with Mr Knight waiting outside not having a clue what was happening. Thankfully it all worked and a few moments later he was by my side as I was sliced open and our baby was pulled out.

IT’S A GIRL!

At 11:15am Baby Knight was born weighing 8lb 8oz. However we couldn’t bask in joy for very long as before I could see her she was whisked away with breathing problems. As I was being sewn up and sorted out my baby was in the neonatal unit. Thankfully, she only needed to spend a few hours in there but being wheeled into our shared room where every woman was cuddling their newborn was tough. Finally she got bought into us and we just stared at her in complete awe. I actually asked the midwife if I was allowed to pick her up! I was able to leave hospital at 4:30pm the following day which was a huge relief as I hated not having my husband with me when I needed him the most, that and I was sharing a room with a serious snorer. Once at home we had our families to visit and felt like we were in a little bubble of love. It took about 5 weeks before I was feeling back to myself and not in pain but to be honest the first few weeks are all a bit of a blur anyway!

My first mummy cuddle

My first mummy cuddle

So not one part of my birth plan was honoured and I definitely felt a bit of a failure for a) having an epidural and b) having a caesarean. However, 7 months down the line I look at our birth story very differently, all that really matters is our baby came out safely and is healthy. The rest is just the details.

Thanks for reading!

Knight Mummy x

Jumping on the bandwagon…

There is something about having a child that suddenly means you have an opinion on just about everything and are keen to share. I often find myself talking to complete strangers when out and about with my daughter, whether they engage in conversation or not is irrelevant. To put it bluntly, I just love talking about my baby. Some (many) will think I am a complete loser but I couldn’t care less! I love being a mummy and sharing the joys and challenges with the rest of the world.

That introduces why I am choosing to blog quite nicely. I am a big fan of a blog, particularly those that feature adorable babies so just thought why not join in? I’ve been umming and ahhing about it since I was pregnant and have run out of excuses not to. I’ve always found writing to be quite therapeutic. Writing a list is heaven to me! The act of getting all those thoughts out of my brain is like no other and I feel like this will do the same thing. The cold winter months have also highlighted how difficult it can be sometimes when you find yourself with zero plans all week. We try to go out as much as we can but it’s impossible to avoid having days where you have no adult conversation until Mr Knight comes home from work. Those days I can sit with a cuppa during naptime and talk to myself on the internet. If anyone else enjoys it is an added bonus.

Now to introduce myself briefly. I am a twenty something living in the UK with my husband and gorgeous daughter. We were married in September 2012 then welcomed our little madam into the world in July 2014 and have barely stopped for breath since! We are really blessed to have our families really close by and a loving church. That old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is so accurate! Pregnancy and labour were a bit traumatic but that is a long story for a whole post of its own.

Our first holiday to Spain in October 2014

Our first holiday to Spain in October 2014

Anyway, place your bets on how long I’ll be brave enough to keep this up for.

Thanks for reading!

Knight Mummy x