Pilates could help reduce niggly aches and pains, twinges and even weaknesses in key parts of your body that make physical activity/ playtime etc with the kids a bit uncomfortable

Have you got any niggly aches and pains, twinges and even weaknesses in key parts of your body that make physical activity/ playtime etc with the kids a bit uncomfortable – pain in your back, hips or knees for example? For me it used to be the thoracic/middle area of my back – twinges caused by hours of slumping over Baby O as I breastfed her.  We kind of feel we want to close in on them to make them feel comfy and nurtured, but we’re closing in shoulders and slouching, which is only going to aggravate and squish the vertebrae.  Pilates sorted me out.  I focussed on the right type of exercise to counteract the slouch and re-strengthen the compressed vertebrae. And woah.  The energy I have – and lack of illness – I know can be attested to Pilates.

My regular, long term clients also tell me the same.  Actually these are people of all ages at the gym I teach at (some are in their 80s!). They tell me they feel strong for the day to day stuff and like they have more stamina and energy through my classes.  What stands out is the transformation from their dedication to MOVEMENT…welll, not just any old movement – but Pilates of course! These people are taking my classes two or three times per week and have been with me for over 6 months.  The parents among my clients tell me how they don’t notice it being a struggle to pick up and play with their kids now – whereas before they notices the heave-ho.  If that’s not a testimony to the power of Pilates, I don’t know what is. Consistency is definitely key to futureproofing your body. 

Here are three ways that Pilates could help:

  1. A good instructor will help identify areas of weakness and develop a programme of movement to strengthen areas weakened through lack of exercise or lack of focus on that muscle group.
  2. Pilates can help to stretch out tight or tense areas and identify antagonist muscles groups: where one set of muscles may need strengthening, another opposing set of muscles may need stretching.
  3. Pilates focuses on the breath, which is known to help increase relaxation in the total body and mind, and by focusing the breath to specific areas of the body, the breath may help to increase blood and oxygen flow to troublesome areas.

So if you’ve been starting to feel the twinge from the repetitive actions we parents do on a daily basis; feeding/leaning over baby and rocking them to sleep, putting them in the cot, picking them up and sitting them on your hip or to have a good old play around without feeling the heave ho, then perhaps you should see what the buzz is about. Chat to a Pilates instructor to get a regular programme of rehabilitative movement in your diary.

Back issues are such a cause of misery for parents, and stop them from having all the fun. I’ve got a free 30 min video of some regular, gentle back strengthening and mobility. Contact me here if you’d like to receive the video. It won’t be the magic solution, but might be a good starting point for regular movement inspiration to help.  I’ll always advise to get some physio time if a pain is debilitating and more than a ‘niggle’, and you’re unable to function because of it, before working with me.

If you want a regular programme of exercises to either prevent issues, nip your niggles in the butt, or to really get you some proper energy, strength and stamina for the long run, Mama Strength is THE place to start.  From just around £4.50 per session three times a week, this could be the perfect place to discover your future energy, strength and stamina.

Book a free 45 minute call with me to talk through those pains, and I’ll give you a good actionable plan of fitness and nutrition to start getting on with, whilst we get to the bottom of what could be keeping you stuck in the niggles.


Why do we need to strengthen the Pelvic Floor?

Ever wondered why people bang on about strengthening your pelvic floor – here are a few reasons why we should strengthen our PV…

🤸The Pelvic floor is a sling of muscle & connective tissue running from pubic bone at the front to the coccyx (tailbone) at the back.

🤸The Pelvic floor supports the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel & uterus)

🤸it helps the body absorb outside pressure from lifting heavy objects, coughing, sneezing or jumping.

🤸it helps you controls the release of urine, poo and wind!

🤸a stronger PV could help to improve your sex life…meaning you might have more desire for fun between the sheets – yeah I called it!

🤸A little bit of daily/regular attention to your PV either sitting at your desk/in traffic lights – or through Pilates – could help future proof your body….

🤸10 squeezes per day for a few seconds each (increase to 10 secs when you get the hang of it as time goes on). Then 10 shorter quick squeezes – relax in between each.

🤸We focus on PV strength in every exercise in Mama Strength Pilates with sessions 3x per week, if you keep forgetting to practise on your own! 

Help to get yourself back into the fitness or movement you love without the little accidents, and prevent future issues associated with weaker pelvic floor with a bit of attention to your PV.  It’s also a psychological thing.  A stronger PV will help you feel stronger and more confident in physical activity of many forms (inc. in the bedroom). 

Always seek advice from a medical pro if you have ongoing pain or severe discomfort in your pelvic floor area or when trying the exercises or are frequently unable to control the function of your Pelvic Floor.  There’s so much support out there, particularly following a traumatic birthing process, but women aren’t always offered it automatically in recovery from childbirth.  This is starting to change, as of April this year.  

An excerpt from this press release here (https://www.gov.uk/…/national-pelvic-health-service-to…):  “action is being taken on a national level. Backed by over £11 million of government funding from April 2024, plans published by NHS England for the implementation of a new national service will:

– ensure all women are offered a self-assessment of their pelvic health as early as possible in pregnancy – and by 18 weeks at the latest

– educate all women on the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction and birth injuries and preventative action they can take to reduce this risk

– provide additional support to those at higher risk of pelvic health problems

reduce NHS waiting times – one of the Prime Minister’s 5 pledges – and minimise administrative barriers to treatment

– allow affected women to access appropriate physiotherapy assessment and personalised treatment.”

I always advise new mums to seek out support as standard, and will continue to do so whilst this service is being rolled out.

#pelvicfloor #PelvicFloorHealth #pelvicfloorhealth #pelvicfloormuscles #pelvicfloorexercises #pelvicfloordysfunction #dancingmama #dancingmamas #dancingmamafitness


10 ways to help support mental health and wellbeing for parents

Whatever circumstances, working lifestyle, or lifestyle adaptations are currently being made given the latest government advice about social distancing during this period of disruption, a large chunk of the population, will probably find themselves with more time at home, and possibly, depending on the age of the kids and work status, with more time with the kids. As parents we’re going to need to be mentally and physically strong for ourselves and our families amongst the catastrophe.

Here are 10 things you can do to help boost your immune system and preserve your mental health and wellbeing whatever social distancing measures you’ve decided or have to take, or if you have to self isolate, that you can do with – or without (possibly after bedtime) – the kids!:

1 Work Out.

Working out boosts the immune system and massively improves mental health. 

For you: There is a mass of online fitness videos, or 1 to 1 personal workout instructors in a huge range of styles.  Virtual learning platforms will become our best friend over the coming months – technology is amazing. Investing in an online personal trainer, who can monitor your workout, will ensure you’re working out safely and to your strengths.

Listen carefully to the safe workout guidelines the online practitioners should provide. Take care, don’t overdo it to avoid injury, and always ensure you have approval from a physician if you feel unwell, have underlying, continuous health conditions, are pregnant, or have given birth within the last 6 months, on the type of exercise that is suitable for you.

For the kids: Cosmic Kids Yoga is fun for kids, and once you search for them, many other kids wellbeing channels crop up in the search!  

Watch this space for ideas for parent and kids work outs together from Dancing Mama Fitness…

At the time of writing (17.3.20) some of us can still get out – can still get to leisure centres.  They’re still open – providing you’ve done your own risk assessment for your health – support them!  The centres I teach in are heightening their cleaning routines and there is reduced attendance by members, so two metres apart from each other is achieved in most classes.

According to new information from Swim England, chlorine kills the virus, so we’re currently ok to go swimming.  The pools are pretty much empty too!

2 Walks in the wild

Nature, fresh air, greenery – exercise, walk, escape the confines of walls and bust some stress. Get some comfy walking boots or trainers and explore – walk far and wide with younger kids in a baby carrier (visit Wear My Babyfor a great collection), or take shorter walks to take time and educate the kids on nature or take a ball or frisbee.

3 Ramp Up the Self Love and Care

Take long baths, have a go at making scrubs and home made shampoos.  There’s so many blogs online, and we can’t necessarily go wrong if the ingredients are entirely natural and applied externally only of course (ahem!). Perfect opportunity to be more careful about the environment with less packaging as a result.

Also time to cook from scratch in mass production, if there’s not usually time to do anything more than bung a ready made meal in the microwave.  Cook with loads of immune system boosting fresh or frozen fruit and veg, and freeze stuff – loads of suggestions of recipes suitable for freezing online.  Read my Dancing Mama blog on Parent Baby Nutrition, Baby Led Weaning Ideas and cooking on a budget here.  Time to take control of what we’re consuming.

4 Meditate or Find Stillness and Breathe.

When our minds are a-jumble with so many different concerns, questions, possibly health issues too, it’s important to try to take some time out and try to switch the brain off. Guided meditation app subscriptions help spark motivation to practise regularly – I love Spotify or Insight Timer.  My little one loves New Horizon Holistic Centre Meditations on either app – I’ve been encouraging her to practise deep breathing (she’s 3 in June). There’s a meditation for everything!

This is Calmer has some good tips on breathing exercises and the benefits here.

Additionally, finding the right, focussed support online can give some really helpful motivation and guidance.  Check out Jane’s current Calmness In The Chaos campaign at Cherish, Transform and Upgrade Your Life’s Facebook Page

5 Read 

For you: Novels, fact, fiction, Motivational self help books, personal or business development…the list is endless.  Feed the mind! Audio books are a good substitute, but we’re more likely to try to multi-task whilst listening, arguably not giving the books full attention!

For the kids: My school friend’s son has started a Facebook page as he believes every child should have a book to read or read to them at night.  Check out Story Time By Max here!

6 Get arty or crafty

Do a quick online shop or support a local craft supplies retailer. Make a master piece. Adult colouring books are beautiful, and brilliant for the concentration.  There may be a craft or skill you’ve been wanting to have a go at. My mum told me I have to mention knitting – perhaps I’ll get her a YouTube channel of her own! Opportunities for being creative with kids are endless – find some inspiration here.

7 Dance, play and laugh

Crank up the tunes, dance with your partner/spouse, dance with the kids, sing really loudly.  That Saturday night out might be on hold for a short while.  We love finding different dance styles on TV, and my little one gets so inspired, lost in a ballet or a fierce contemporary dance piece.

Play is a great escape mechanism.  Lose yourself in a game – physical, strategic or silly games.  Can’t underestimate the joy of a play fight either!

8 Social Media Detox

Social media and technology will either make or break our society. I love this diagram from @From The Other Chair on Instagram.  

  • So hard to disassociate with all the chatter but with increased social distancing we’ll probably be looking at social media and technology far more frequently to communicate.
  • Conflicting evidence on facts could ultimately cause us more unnecessary stress as we consume so much conflicting info and so many different opinions. 
  • Our brains and eyes need a break – studies show that staring at a screen longer will reduce our melatonin, disrupting sleep.  
  • I’m also worried I’m staring at a screen too much and disengaging with my little one, so it will be nice for her to see me unattached from a phone for once!  

9 Socialise (Virtually)

The above said – use technology to help you gather all your best mates, kids, family into a Google Hangouts or Whatsapp video call every now and then from phones or laptops.  Have a virtual girls night in – try to still celebrate the birthdays, Mothers’ Day together. We can’t lose the ability to speak face to face and see expressions and laugh together.  It’s the greatest medicine.

10 Sleep!

Get to bed earlier, wake up earlier! 7.5 – 9 hours sleep is the optimal length of time for the body to really benefit (and kids need more).  Any shorter or longer is not healthy for the body.  Some of the greatest leaders and thinkers are said to do their greatest work early in the morning whilst the rest of the world is still sleeping. Another great blog post from This Is Calmer about the benefits of sleep.

Time for reinvention?

Imagine if this time of unrest is actually a wake up call for us, to re-evaluate our lives and relationships, shake up our bad habits and practises that don’t serve us, and is a gift to practise some self love and care… 

In a time of immense uncertainty in many aspects of our lives, my mantra lately: Where there is tension, there is reinvention.  


Dancing Mama Fitness

Dance and Fitness training for mums wanting to get their groove back! Strengthen your core, pelvic floor and feel your stamina return.

The Love of Dance brings you the Dancing Mama Fitness concept! As a new mum I found it hard to find a fitness class I could join whilst having a young baby, that suited my childcare needs, time and location.  I’m a dance and Pilates Instructor and needed to get my strength back but couldn’t find the classes to help me.  Surely I’m not alone!
Dancing Mama Fitness will set up small group and 1:1 dance fitness training just for you and your friends. Bring your babies or young kids to join in with fun sessions incorporating the babies into exercise with and without baby carriers, or leave them at home! Babies can also be entertained in the room whilst you work out – I realise this isn’t quite giving ‘you’ time, but realistically, us mums have to compromise sometimes!
We come to an venue near you at a time that suits you, for a programme of personal training sessions around Kent and South East London.
Opt for:
Dance class in contemporary, street or jazz;
Dance conditioning; or
Pilates
Share the cost of sessions with a group of friends – the feeling of personal training on a more affordable level – or treat yourself to a personal, bespoke programme of sessions. Contact me for more information!

Dancing Mama - Pilates Instructor

Dancing Mama Fitness


Dancing Mama – The Power Of Play

Then Power Of Play

The Power Of Play – What better depiction of play fight than with a pink teddy!

I love a play fight.  A spontaneous, innate wrestle to bundle each other, avoid or supply a tickle, or to try to get my own way.

Not a euphemism for anything kinky – honest; it’s not easy to quietly play fight anyway.  So all above board when the baby is awake (ahem!), and plus my fam is likely to read this so yeah…

I love the struggle to push and pull; the wrangle and tangle of limbs. The huff and the puff, the grunt and the scream, the force, the grapple to succeed. The calories burnt, the muscles engaged, the core strength to overturn the opposition.

As long as the opponent knows when to really stop of course – there are moments when they won’t give in.  A stronger force needs to know the rules, respect the signs when to relent, catch a breath, before Round Two begins.

Love the laughs, the moments where I can’t breathe either for laughing ’til I could burst, or being pinned down and unable to move. An extreme game of Twister, that extra level of tussle to intensify the workout, ok, a bruise here and there, but the feeling of euphoria at the end.

The bond the play fight forges.  A patch over an argumentative moment or blasting away the stresses of the day. You can’t beat a play fight to boost the happy feels and each one rolls out every time in its own unique way.

__________

I had to write about play fighting like this.  It’s something that always astounds me.  The restorative nature from a tense moment as two people, or maybe even parent and child, push the concept of play. It may not be for everyone, and there may not be a suitable (or worthy) opponent to hand. A recovering post-natal body should probably take it easy, and their opponent needs to be clear that ‘stop’, ‘ouch’, or the agreed equivalent is understood, as is the agreed level of force. And definitely no kicking, punching or biting allowed (just a nibble perhaps)! It’s such a natural instinct we see with other mammals – dogs, cats, monkeys – they play with each other frequently, but it’s something we tend to lose as human adults.  A full body work out of short bursts of intense play can surely burn serious calories. I don’t know the stats, but would be interested to know, and in addition to the laughter it’s a good all round mind and body workout.  Go on – find that inner child and find the Power Of Play!

Further reading!

This is hilarious – the How To guide to Play Fighting with your girlfriend.  Take note!

https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Fight-with-Your-Girlfriend

There’s even an organisation promoting mindful play fighting!

https://www.playfight.org

 

 


Dancing Mama – Nutrition Day 4 – Baby Budget


We’ve been living on a baby budget since baby was born. If this is the time to take advantage of the wonderful benefits we have in this country for low-income families this will be it for me.

Discovering the Healthy Start initiative for families on low incomes was a saviour for us. As freelancers living off a small maternity monthly pay out for me we are entitled to healthy start vouchers giving us a certain amount each month off of fruit and vegetables, milk, baby formula (although  I’ve not regularly bought this ) and vitamins for me and Baby-O, from many major supermarkets. I’m yet to find any independent F&V stores that take them – and not sure it would be worthwhile for them to take them.

Learning to shop and cook on a low budget but still making tasty food has been a fun challenge for me. We’ve tried cutting down on meat we’ve tried going vegetarian and I’m still not sure how to cook sufficient food that will sustain us without meat. I know it can be done but we are a work in progress.

Although it drives me mad that organic produce is more expensive than non-organic I have tried to use organic for Baby-O where possible and therefore largely our diet consists of lots of fruit and veg and easy to throw together meals, cutting down on meat to allow for the slight luxury of organic.

I keep the store cupboards stocked up with red lentils, pulses, whole wheat pasta and lots of dried spices, so I know veggie dishes, although basic, can be bulked out with protein and with different flavours. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m cooking in bulk and freezing meals so I try to minimise wastage of some F&V that many not always get eaten up.

Now baby led weaning is underway and Baby-O is eating breakfast with us, the cheapest and most sustainable breakfast I know is porridge. I’ve been mixing it up depending on what fruit we have in, always mixing in full fat cow’s milk and a couple of dollops of full fat Greek yoghurt on the side has been a winner. My fave additions are:

*Apple or pear chopped into tiny pieces mixed into the porridge has gone down well.

*Frozen berries mixed in whilst the porridge is still on the heat to defrost them makes for a fun pink porridge.

*Always mashed banana mixed in with some cinnamon

*Dates soaked overnight, chopped and using the sweet water the next day to cook the porridge has been an occasional addition (dont want baby poop overload!)

*I’ve been adding a little peanut butter as I understand after 6 months babies can have peanut butter to help build up immunity to nut allergies.

I’ve learnt a lot since being off work about how to cook yummy things with very few but healthy ingredients and this will be a good life skill which is going to continue with me as Baby-O grows up.

Continue reading


Dancing Mama – Nutrition Day 2 BLW

No – BLW isn’t a delicious sandwich filling!  Baby Led Weaning has been hailed by child experts as an effective method of getting babies food savvy and ready to eat many types of flavours and textures.  I’ve got a few friends who recommended it, along with my cousin who is a community nursery nurse for an NHS health visiting team.

The deal is, instead of buying ready made baby food in jars or pouches, babies eat pretty much the same food as us, with their diet and nutritional dos and don’ts in mind first and foremost. I’m going to talk about cooking on a budget tomorrow, but this helps to keep food bills low.

Dancing Mama - Yes - I'm sharing Baby Food!

Dancing Mama – Yes – I’m sharing Baby Food!

Now I’m having a go at baby led weaning we’re more or less eating the same foods as Baby-O, meaning we mostly cooking everything from scratch, really cleanly, without salt. Much of the base of our food is veg and pulses. It feels good. And although I’m making most recipes up, I’ve found a few recipes that I can adapt and they still taste pretty good. A recent hit was Joe Wicks, Body Coach’s Lamb Curry!  Baby-O didn’t each too much of the lamb, but loved the sauce and veg, with coconut oil, curry paste (I found a low salt one and only put a small amount in her portion), red lentils to thicken the sauce, and ground cashew nuts instead of cream, as a few of the healthy tweaks Joe has made.  I do sometimes take Baby-O’s portion out before adding stronger flavours or some seasoning for us, but the base of most dishes can generally be shared by us all.

I’ve found Annabel Karmel’s website, where baby specific recipes can be added to, to make them a little more interesting for the adult palette. The Baby-Led Weaning book (Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett, The Experiment, 2010) was a useful read to see how easy and straight forward BLW is, with minimal extra preparation, and I also grabbed the Ella’s Kitchen: A Tiny Taste of the First Foods Book (Hamlyn, 2015) free with the Boots Parenting Club, which gave a few more ideas for using basic ingredients, but experimenting to adapt for my meals too.

BLW has really helped me think about cooking from scratch, using fresh ingredients, largely veggie dishes as I’ve cut down on meat – and I’m definitely feeling the health benefits with more of a spring in my step!

 


Dancing Mama – Nutrition Day 1

Since I’ve lost a bit of the baby weight and my latest triumph is being able to fit into my Levis again, I thought I’d do a few days

Dancing Mama - Jeans Success

Dancing Mama – Jeans Success

of sharing my post-natal nutrition story. Again, not just about losing the weight (although that is a factor so I can get back into my old wardrobe!), but about regaining my fitness and getting healthy for me and Baby-O.


Day 1 is Smoothie-Spiration!

Dancing Mama - Smoothie-Spiration

Dancing Mama – Smoothie-Spiration

I’ve been short on time for myself so a smoothie every morning has helped me ensure I’m on my way to getting my daily Fruit and Veg (F&V) intake. There is some controversy over smoothies – the process removes some nutritional value, and then we don’t absorb all the goodness as the smoother liquid passes through the gut too quickly. I also lack the tools of a smoothie maker that optimises the nutritious benefits from the F&V etc.

It’s the difference though between me being able to throw everything into my ‘soupmaker'(!) blender quickly and getting an easy and fulfilling breakfast as regular practice, versus haphazardly finding time for my F&V throughout the day and running out of time to eat.  I’ve got my same old ingredients I pretty much use all the time if they are in the cupboard/fridge, as I’ve got used to buying them as standard on the shopping list, but I haven’t got bored of it.

I’m quite impressed with myself that this is one routine I have managed to stick to!


Dancing Mama – Back To Basics

Taking Pilates Back to Basics

Not so relevant photo, just cute babies helping during a Pilates session!

Just had another massive realisation on my Pilates course today – many things I thought I knew about my body are verrrry different now in comparison to my pre and post-natal body. Whereas previously I would have considered myself having good bodily awareness, it took the Pilates instructors’ corrections today to tell me my body alignment has changed, my core is weaker and my proprioceptors have lost their compass as my ‘new’ body needs to be re-tuned.

It’s a fascinating concept, and possibly a great humbling  moment as I understand I now need to strip everything right back to basics and relearn correct postural alignment in different dynamic and static positions such as ‘quadruped’ (all fours) and even standing as my ribcage has slightly changed placement. Where before I may have entered into more advanced level fitness classes I’m being honest with myself, jumping off my horse from high and acknowledging there are deep core muscles that need re-training to get the same technique, and confidence, I had pre-pregnancy, before I attempt the more powerful advanced moves. I don’t see this as a backwards step. I actually see this as a valuable learning curve and in fact, a progression in my body as it enters a new phase of structure. I’m adapting to my new anatomical, physical and mental state.

I’m thinking like a lizard changes skin! I’m renewed and it’s a gift to me as I’m going to also be teaching beginners and may be able to recognise the point of view of others who may rarely workout and are not accustomed to physical activity, or indeed other athletes and dancers who are recovering themselves from pregnancy or injury. So back to the basics I go without regret but with vigour.

That said I’ve just bombed it up the long escalator to catch my train, got to the top without stopping and still managed to  engage my core and zip up my pelvic floor as I went… not entirely lost it. 😉

I heard a really relevant joke today:

– How many dancers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

– One to screw in the bulb and the rest to say they could have done it better.

…for now I’m the one reading the instructions for how to screw in the bulb.


Dancing Mama – Don’t Lose ‘Me’

Birthday Surprise – where we met…

This time last week I was on a dance floor. Sitting here on my sofa thinking about it, it’s not that crazy because that’s what people do.  That’s what I do…albeit I only had 1.5 hours to sweat it out before I had to pick up Baby-O from the babysitter, and the last real ‘Dancefloor Time’ I had was probably 9 months ago before baby arrived, but I suddenly had a realisation.  There is a danger I am becoming more ‘Mum’ than ‘Me’.  I’m losing Me!

Through no fault of my own other than natural circumstance I’m in the danger zone of letting go of the things that used to really matter to me.  I used to thrive for the moment when I would arrive at a club, take my coat off, say my hellos to the friends comprising of 80% or so of the room’s population, before starting to find that hedonistic state on the floor.  The music takes over my body, puts a big smile on my face, and before I know it I’ve sweated gallons for a good four or five hours, and not had a second thought of feeling tired or too hot. This is where I grow as a dancer, where I connect my body with my passion for music, importantly where I found my partner, and if it weren’t for this combination I may not have met Baby-O. That for me replaces any 5 mile run or boring workout at the gym by far. For that moment on the floor last Sunday, dancing with my partner, it reminded me of the carefree beings we were before Baby.

The sound system of this noisy club however is no environment for a young baby’s ears. I’d been meaning for months to make a concerted effort to prepare Baby-O for being looked after by someone other than me and her Dad so I could get back to the club.  I thought I’d not given her time to learn to fall asleep on her own with out me feeding her to sleep for example, so she can be looked after without her babysitter experiencing prolonged crying when she gets tired and doesn’t know how to comfort herself. I thought I should be leaving her for increasing periods of time so she would gradually get used to our absence. Finding the first moment to need to ask someone to look after baby for whatever reason – be it work or leisure – hadn’t been so important. We’d not had a strong external pressure, e.g. returning to work, to force us to practise.  As a result I’d not left her for more than the occasional hour or two. So last Sunday I finally trialled leaving her with my cousin.

My ‘Schoolmum’ error of forgetting the expressed milk was my first major fail, but we live and learn. I won’t forget it next time. My expert cousin (a nursery nurse/health visitor) put me at ease, took baby from my hands with a bit of Sunday roast to fulfil her in other ways and sent me on my way. I’ve then this weekend left Baby with my mum for 2 whole days whilst I’ve been on a Pilates Instructor course, and by all accounts it seems Baby-O didn’t miss me.  She had her expressed milk and her solid foods, she fell asleep without feeding from me, and that’s it. Pressure off!  Seems there wasn’t really much to worry about. Ok we’re very blessed with a lovely ‘low maintenance’ baby, but now I know we can comfortably leave Baby with our trusted babysitters, I can reinstate my identity as a person not just as a parent. I can get back to being ME!

I can confidently start getting the qualities back that made me who I was, or doing the things I loved before Baby, whilst still being Mum. My mental health and wellbeing is important too.  I’m going to be a little selfish, take a break from being mummy more often and make more time just for me or for me and my other half to re-kindle who we were pre-Baby-O.

Are we (Hu)Mum, or are we Dancer?  I’m both. 😉

Here’s a clip of me the last time on the dance floor at month 8 of my pregnancy, before Baby-O made her appearance!