Monday 8 September 2014

#MeetAMum - Beth from Betty and the Bumps

It's Monday again which means that it's #MeetAMum time again here! The first on my new look blog too! Today, I'd like you to put your feet up for a few minutes whilst you get to know Beth from Betty and the Bumps...

1. Hello, what's your name and where do you come from?
Hi! I'm Beth and I'm from Newcastle. I live here with my husband, Andrew, and Gwenn, who is almost seventeen months old. 

2. Tell us about your children.
Gwenn was born on the 20th of April 2013, (which was five days early). I had a really straightforward, quick (but bloody painful!) labour which I will be eternally grateful for. I would never bang on about how amazing she is because I know how annoying that can be, so suffice it to say she's lush but a serious handful most of the time!

3. When did you know you wanted to be a mum?
I wouldn't say that I'm not a maternal person, but I'm not a "baby " person, so although I knew that I wanted to have children of my own, it wasn't something that I obsessed about and I was happy to wait until Andrew and I got married (and even then we wanted to wait until we had bought our first home together). 

As it happens, we decided to start trying three months after getting married and I found out I was pregnant three weeks later! I was 30 the day before my twelve week scan and I feel as if I was ready by then to start a new chapter in my life. 

4. What's you favourite moment as a mum so far?
As much as it was a really hard time, I remember walking around with Gwenn in her pushchair when she was a newborn and I could have burst with pride. There are loads of favourite moments but that feeling is pretty hard to top. 

5. What do you wish people had told you before you became a mum?
How ANNOYING children are!  Nobody warns you that having a baby is like choosing to live with the most annoying flatmate on Earth. I love Gwenn to pieces but she pushes me to my limit about once every five minutes.

6. If we were to look in your changing bag, what would we find?
Just the usual; nappies, wipes, a change of clothes, muslin cloths ... I also always have lip balm in there plus a nail file.

7. What were the top three things you had for your baby that you would recommend to other mums?
Sleeping bags: I couldn't cope with the anxiety of using blankets and wondering if she would wriggle under them or kick them off and be too cold. They are expensive but if you shop around you can find good brands for reasonable prices.
Kitchen roll: I have never used so much kitchen roll in my entire life as I have over the last 17 months. When I was in hospital after having Gwenn, the midwives showed me how to wash my breast pump parts and cover them with kitchen roll so they could air dry. After that, kitchen roll became an hourly part of my life, for sterilising, emergency breast pad subsititutes, wiping up spilt formula, using as impromptu bibs ... the list is endless!
Bumbo: I know not all babies like Bumbos and it took Gwenn a bit to warm to hers but for that stage when she wasn't quite able to sit but was too young and small for a high chair, it was worth its weight in gold. She actually used it up until she was a year old; I am so pleased we got one.

8. What two things could you have done without?
Bouncer chair: One of the first things we bought for baby when I was pregnant (after I was 24 weeks - I felt uncomfortable buying things before then) was one of those vibrating chair thingies and Gwenn hated it. She was so much happier on the floor on her playmat. Some babies LOVE them though, so it's impossible to know will work for yours until you try it.
Clothes: I bought far FAR too much for Gwenn when she was a baby but I would get so excited about all the cuteness that I couldn't resist. If I had my time again, I would buy half as much. 

9. What baby brands do you like and why?
I do like going to John Lewis because I feel as if they would only stock brands that I can trust but I also love Mothercare; I always feel like I'm in safe hands there! We have a Graco pushchair, as does my best friend, and having pushed and worked with both, I would opt for Graco in the future.

10. Are you a working mum? If so, how do you find it?

I work three days a week and - I have to be honest - I hate it!

11. What do you enjoy most about being mum?
The feeling of completeness. I've never excelled at much, and while I'm not saying I'm the world's greatest mum, I know I'm Gwenn's greatest mum. When I was breastfeeding, as hard as it was, I felt so whole. I actually felt really low when I stopped because I felt empty.

12. How do you make time for being 'you'?
I'm not very good at this but it's actually something I'm working on. I don't like to be apart from Gwenn but I do realise that the older she gets the more important it is to allow her to explore her independence so I really am trying to loosen the apron strings!

13. Tell us about your blog / where we can find you online.
I started my blog when I was on maternity leave last year. I really regret not starting earlier but I didn't have the confidence to put myself out there. Over the last year, the blog has been a bit of everything but I think I've worked out what I want to say now and I am really excited about where I can take Betty and the Bumps. 

I usually blog about being a mum and all that entails but I've also had an idea for an online shop that I would work on alongside the blog (although now it's just a matter of finding the time to set it up!).
14. What's the best thing about being a blogger?

I've met a lot of really lovely people through blogging - some of them in person - and I feel as if it's given me confidence and a sense of direction that I didn't have before. As silly as it sounds, to think I could make some kind of career out of doing something I enjoy - which some people have managed - actually helps me through difficult times at work.

Thank you so much Beth! I agree there's always room in the changing bag for a few mummy things too and I would also buy far fewer clothes second time around, aside from the basics. I know what you mean by feeling a completeness when you become a mum and good luck with your online shop idea!

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