Monday, 19 May 2014

Meet A Mum Monday - Lorraine Jones from At Home With The Joneses

Happy Monday everyone! This is the third week of my new Meet A Mum feature and so far I've introduced you to Katie, Gemma and now Lorraine - a trio of lovely mummies!

I hope you're enjoying meeting some new mums, learning about new blogs to read or finding out a bit more about the ladies you speak to online already. Let's see what Lorraine from At Home With The Joneses has to share with us today...






1. Hello, what's your name and where do you come from?
I’m Lorraine, I’m originally from South Wales, now living in Salford, having gone via Leeds and London.

2. Tell us about your children.
G is our eldest, she’s 4 (nearly 5, as she keeps reminding us), and starting school in September.  C is the baby - 5 months old and already the ‘problem child’ (only joking!) - she’s either just a sicky baby or has a possible cows milk and soy intolerance which I’m currently trying to figure out!

3. When did you know you wanted to be a mum?
I don’t think I ever did really know. I wasn’t one of those people who played ‘mum’ as a child, and was never around babies when I was growing up so just didn’t know what to do with them. In fact I remember telling a friend that I wanted kids who turned straight into teenagers! But I knew I wanted children at some point and figured it would all work out - which thankfully it did, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

4. What do you wish people had told you before you became a mum?
The one thing I’ve heard recently which I wish someone had said to me, was to start going to baby groups as soon as you go on maternity leave.  Once you’ve had the baby the last thing you want to do is go out and meet people you’ve never met before, in places you’ve never been to before and at groups where you have no idea what to expect.  

You might be the only one there with a bump, but it’ll be pretty obvious you’re not just a random showing up, you’ll be far more awake to make scintillating conversation and if your baby is late like both of mine were then it’s a great way to keep busy while you’re waiting for baby to arrive!

5. If we were to look in your changing bag, what would we find?
Oh god - everything!  Cloth nappies, wet bags, wipes, muslin cloths, dummies, change of clothes, bibs, my purse, keys, some emergency make up, hair bands, paracetamol, tissues, a pen, half a dozen random receipts I’ve stuck in there and probably some loose change hanging around the bottom.  I really should give it a clear out...

6. What were the top three things you had for your baby that you would recommend to other mums?
Firstly, a sling - a stretchy Moby wrap is brilliant when they’re teeny and I’m currently working my way through the stock of my local sling library, trying lots out before I buy my next one.

Second, whilst I’m a huge fan of the Ikea Antilop highchair, this time round I picked up a second hand Stokke Tripp Trapp chair with a newborn seat attachment.  It’s great having C up at eye level when I’m playing with G - before I got it I kept feeling as though I was always ignoring one or the other, now we can do things at the table together. 

And finally, an open mind - I couldn’t even count the number of things I said I’d do and just didn’t work out, or vice versa!

7. What three things could you have done without?
This is a difficult one as it varies so much between babies - for example our eldest loved her bouncy chair but C has never really taken to it so could have done without that this time around.  In fact to be honest I think I learnt a lot from first time round and don’t really regret anything I’ve bought.  

My main tips are to buy secondhand (as you’ll probably be able to sell it on again for almost as much as you paid), and to try before you buy - either via friends or find a local library service, for example I’ve made very good use of our local sling library to try out different baby carriers.  Some Sure Start Centres have toy libraries too.

8. What baby brands do you like and why?
Thinking ‘brands’ rather than ‘products’ I’d have to say NCT for this, partly because I volunteer for our local branch.  It’s only since volunteering with them that I’ve learnt about quite how much stuff they do, I always thought they were just the people that did antenatal classes (I didn’t do NCT classes first time round so didn’t look into it at all).  For example, C was tongue tied at birth which affected her feeding and weight gain, and around the time we were getting that sorted they were campaigning for better identification and treatment of tongue tie in the UK.  I think it was because of the news coverage they got for it that people I spoke to even knew what it was!  

I also didn’t realise that you don’t have to be a member to attend any of their events - coffee mornings, socials etc.  I just assumed you had to join so didn’t look into it last time.  I’m running one of the local pram walks amongst other things, which has been a great way to meet some lovely people and get out and about in the sunshine.

9. Are you a working mum? If so, how do you find it?
I’m on maternity leave but will be a working Mum, and was with my first too.  In fact with G I went back after 3 months and my husband was a stay at home Dad for a while.  It’s given us a different perspective on things really having seen each others roles and challenges, and I think we work really well as a team now because of that.

10. What do you enjoy most about being mum?
For me, they get more and more interesting the older they get.  It’s fascinating watching them turn into characters in their own right.  And as they get older other people start to find them interesting too so it’s lovely seeing G in particular interacting with our friends and family.

11. How do you make time for being 'you’?
Er, I’m not sure I do!  I haven’t quite cracked that bit yet - but I have reserved a room in our house for my ‘craft room’ - although I need to finish decorating it first, and it also doubles as a baby change room, laundry room, play room and office.

12. Tell us about your blog / where we can find you online.
I blog at www.athomewiththejoneses.com, about crafts, cooking and creativity with two kids in tow.  My husband wrote a blog about being a stay at home Dad with our eldest, which makes a lovely memoir and also helps us keep our far flung family up to date with the children, so I wanted to do something similar for C. But I wanted to do more than just bore people with baby pictures all the time, so use it as a place to share all the things I love doing - which largely involves making stuff, taking far too long over it, and making a huge mess of the house in the process.  

I’ve found myself writing quite a bit about my mildly crunchy parenting too - breastfeeding, cloth nappies, baby wearing etc.  I only started it in December so I’m really new to the blogging world, but I’m learning lots and enjoying it so far! 

13. What's the best thing about being a blogger?
For starters it makes me feel as though I’m doing something productive with my day (other than being a Mum of course - that’s a different kind of ‘productive’)!  And the blogging community has given me a reason to meet people other than mums at baby groups.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some lovely mums at baby groups who I hope will become good friends, and a lot of the bloggers I’ve met are mums themselves too, but it’s nice to have a different topic to start off with than ‘just’ babies.

14. Share a crazy fact about yourself.
I’ve broken bones in all four limbs (not at the same time), including breaking 3 metatarsals before David Beckham made it so everybody knew what they were



Thank you Lorraine for taking part in Meet A Mum Monday! I definitely think you have a point when it comes to the whole baby group thing and I am with you on the emergency make up in the changing bag!
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2 comments

  1. I love this feature so nice! It's nice to get to know other bloggers too let me know if you have any spaces to feature! x

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah! Glad you're enjoying it :) It would be lovely to have you take part in a few weeks time - I'll drop you an email soon to confirm a date x

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