Hello everyone, hope you’re all having a wonderful week and a very festive December. A couple of weeks ago I asked whether anyone would be interested in a little Q&A session and so many people responded so thank you so much for taking the time to respond and ask your questions.
Before I get started with the questions I just wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself (again) since it’s been such a long time since I did my very first introductory blog post and I’m sure there are some people who haven’t read it and are new around here.
My name is Rachel, I’m a first time mummy to my 14 month old little girl Amelia. I’m married to Kevin, my husband of 5 years and we live in the South of England. I’m a full time working mum after returning to work after maternity leave and I’ll be turning the big 30 in March 2018 which is a little scary but we all have to grow older right…
So that’s a little about me, I don’t want to give too much away otherwise I won’t be able to answer your questions, so here goes:
How did you meet your husband? We are an internet dating success story. We met originally online on Match.com in 2010 and went on our first ‘date’ to a nightclub in November 2010. The rest as they say is history, we moved in together in 2011 and married in 2012; you know that feeling when you meet someone and although it’s only been 5 minutes it feels like forever? That’s how I felt the first time I met my husband, we had an instant connection.
What do you and your husband do for a living? My husband works in IT within higher education; he’s the brains behind my site and without his web design and coding knowledge there would be no blog for me to post on so I’m forever grateful to him. I work as an account manager for a financial services company. I actually really enjoy account management; it’s so nice after years of call centres to get to speak to the same people and build relationships with them.
How do you find working and mum guilt? Oh this old chestnut, that forever present and persistent mum guilt. It’ll get you every time no matter what choice you make. I’m actually in a much better head space than I was a few months ago but for a while I couldn’t cope with the guilt of working and leaving Amelia at nursery everyday, it was killing me and I was so resentful of other mums I would see out and about with their babies but I kept telling myself that Amelia adores her nursery. That really is the key for me, she just loves going to nursery so much that I would probably feel guilty now if she didn’t go and missed out on seeing her friends and doing activities with them. I think guilt for not being there 24/7 is a feeling that will never go away, you just learn to function with it and have to keep repeating positive thoughts in your head every time you want to run home and cuddle your baby.
How did you know you were ready to be a mum? This is a good one; the answer is simple, I didn’t. When we decided to try for a baby towards the end of 2015 it was because my husband had said over dinner one evening how wonderful it would be to have a baby by the following Christmas. In my head I worked out that to have a baby by Christmas we would need to be pregnant no later than March 2016 otherwise we would run out of months and with my history of poly-cystic ovaries I was so scared that getting pregnant would be difficult and thought “shit, we better get cracking then”. If I’m honest I think my husband was more ready for a child than I was but as soon as I was pregnant and when the movements started my whole mindset changed. Suddenly there was a little baby in my tummy and I was going to be a mum. Those first proper kicks, when you feel your whole belly move inside, I think that’s when I knew I was ready to be a mum. Good job too isn’t it, cause it’s too late to change my mind by then.
How many children do you want? I think we want two, well my hubby is sure we want two, I might not be so sure until we have two and then I might want three. This is a weird feeling for me because a few years ago you’d have been pressed to convince me I wanted any children at all but things change don’t they. I think I am looking at the whole thing through rose-tinted glasses too because I loved being pregnant and had possibly the easiest pregnancy ever (sorry ladies). I didn’t enjoy birth or recovery, that might make me stop and think twice but those sweet newborn days do put a haze on it don’t they, you soon forget how terrible those recovery weeks are (until next time…) and I’ve been spoilt with how easy going Amelia has been. She’s always been an easy baby and I think if I have another and they’re not like her, I won’t be jumping in for a third. I can’t be so lucky twice right? Let’s hope so. As to when we want to have another, that is still up for debate. I want to lose more weight before we try again so that I can avoid some weight related complications that I really could have done without last time but knowledge is power and I’m trying to make things better for the second go around.
When do you plan to start potty training? I’ve genuinely not even thought about this, it’s one of those milestones that I know we will have to do at some point but when we’re meant to do it I’m not really sure. When do people start? 2 years old? That sounds reasonable right?
What do you use in Amelia’s hair? I’m so glad someone asked this because I get asked this question A LOT. Amelia is mixed race with my husband being from Nigeria and myself English, her hair is very curly and it’s beautiful but it’s quite high maintenance. At the moment I wet it (not wash it) twice a day. Once in the morning, I run her hair under warm water to make it wet and then apply coconut oil. I use a baby comb to comb out all the curls and try to stop it getting matted and knotted. When it’s first done her curls looks defined and tight but as the day goes on it all unravels and gets messier until we have an evening bath when I wash it properly with shampoo. Again I repeat the coconut oil and combing in the evening so her hair is getting two oil and combing sessions a day. Sometimes she’s tolerant of it and other times it’s like wrestling with a seal and she will do absolutely anything to avoid having her hair combed. Her tactics include; throwing things on the floor so that I have to stop to retrieve them, rubbing her hair against my chest or tummy so that I can’t access her hair, shaking her head side to side so that I can’t even attempt to put a comb through it, taking the comb and dropping it down the back of the changing table. I’m sure as she gets older she will come up with more and more ways to try and avoid having her hair combed but we must persevere because it’s not worth the pain of next time when it’s not been properly combed. I’ll also add here that just today we managed to get her hair in two tiny bunches (it’s so freaking cute) and I’m hoping that trying this hair style out on her will to prevent some of the tangling and make it easier for us to comb it.
What made you want to start calorie counting? I’ve talked about this quite a bit when I got started but ultimately it came down to an acceptance that slimming world wasn’t working for me any more and a realisation that the only way I was going to feel better was to lose some of that baby and mat leave weight I had gained. It was actually my mama bestie Hannah who got me into calorie counting when she started it and we decided to do it together, it was like a light bulb went off in my brain, suddenly I could eat things that were never an option before and I could still treat myself as long as I made smart choices and accounted for everything. If anyone is thinking of calorie counting I would 100% recommend it.
How many calories do you allow yourself each day? Probably the most asked question on my Insta account since I started calorie counting. I have 1820 calories per day to achieve a 1lb per week loss. This was set for me by the MyFitnessPal app based on my weight, height and lifestyle. It sounds like a lot, when you think of calorie controlled diet you probably think of having to stick to 500 or 1000 calories a day but whilst I don’t know how they calculate it I do know that it works if you follow it.
Do you and your husband eat the same meals now that you’re calorie counting? The short answer to this is no, but it’s not necessarily because of the calorie counting. We come from different cultures and have drastically different palettes when it comes to food. I can’t handle anything spicer than a McCains lightly spiced wedge and my husband thinks everything I eat has no flavour. As a result we have always eaten mostly separate meals, Kev likes to cook his traditional Nigerian meals and will often make these at the weekend in bulk so that he just has to heat them up during the week and he’s fed. I on the other hand make each meal for myself on the day. This separate eating has it’s pros and cons; it means that I can eat low cal without my hubby going hungry and wanting more food but it can also be quite hard to make an effort with meals when it’s just for you.
That’s everything I have for this Q&A, massive thank you to everyone who asked a question, I hope you liked the answer and it was helpful to you. I also hope that you feel like you’ve gotten to know me a little more and if you would like me to do more of this sort of thing please leave a comment and let me know.
If any of my answers have prompted more questions please feel free to ask them and I will get back to you.