11 Black Swimsuits That Don’t Make You Feel Mumsy

Swimwear is another of those things we didn’t expect to change irrevocably once we’d had children – and we’re not just talking about body shape.

What passed for secure before there were tiny hands coming at us from all angles may as well be tied on with tissue paper, and even the most modest bikini feels inappropriate in a baby swim class (if you know, you know). A chic black one-piece is our new happy place. With pretty detail and shapes that are sleek but not necessarily sporty, the following are anything but basic.

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Weaning: The Six Recipes We Used On Rotation

Easy is our speciality

Weaning can be so much fun. It’s so cute seeing their little faces tasting foods for the first time. It can also be bloody annoying. Especially when you’ve spent 45 minutes making elaborate quinoa patties that just end up on the floor.

Plus, it’s a prime-time opportunity for Mums to be put under pressure.
But just because Amy from NCT is making extravagant meals every day, it doesn’t mean you’re the Devil if lunch is served from a pack. Your kid. Your rules.

However, If you want to give the cooking thing a go and don’t want to spend hours slaving over a stove, you might want to check out the following recipes.

Butternut Squash Bolognaise

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

Use these cubes to add flavour to pre-made packs and mix it into everything from couscous to pasta. It’s also tasty on top of toast or potato – sweet or plain.

  1. Step One
    Chop one onion and sauté in a pan with a smidge of unsalted butter.
  2. Step Two
    Add 1-2 cans of chopped tomatoes, a generous squish of tomato puree. One crushed clove of garlic. One tsp of Italian herbs and some pepper.
  3. Step Three
    Simmer for 10 minutes, then let the mix cool.
  4. Step Four
    Meanwhile, boil one pack of pre-chopped butternut squash/sweet potato until soft.
  5. Step Five
    Once cooled, mix, blend, and then transfer into large ice cube trays and freeze.

Want your baby to try meat? When you’re ready, add 1/4- 1/2 a pack of cooked mince (lamb or beef).

*Top tip: Boil an extra pack of the butternut squash/sweet pot mix and leave some out to mash. Decant into ice cube trays and freeze. It’s a great back up to increase the veg of any meal and also mixes well with avocado or banana.

Pizza Toast

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

Baby crying and doesn’t want to be put down? This is our go-to meal when there is zero time (or brain cells) left.

  1. Step One
    Cover one piece of lightly toasted bread with puree (We like: veg lentil bake or tomato and lentil bake from Ella’s kitchen).
  2. Step Two
    Finely grate mild cheese over the top.
  3. Step Three
    Grill until it bubbles.
  4. Step Four
    Cut off the crusts and slice into small portions.
  5. Step Five
    Serve with some leftover puree that you can spoon-feed.

Leftover Porridge Muffins

From 7 months old
From 7 months old

Constantly making way too much porridge? This recipe from Leading Children’s Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed, is a great way to use up lefties.

  1. Step One
    Take porridge leftovers from the pan.
  2. Step Two
    Add more oats if it’s quite watery and stir through.
  3. Step Three
    Add to muffin cases or press into a greased tin.
  4. Step Four
    Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes for tomorrow’s quick or on the go breakfast.

Peanut butter & Banana Cookies

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

This recipe makes too many for your baby to eat before they go stale. Which sadly means you have to eat some – sorry about that.

*Recipe adapted from

https://babyledkitchen.co.uk/recipe/peanut-and-banana-cookies/
  1. Step One
    Preheat your oven to 190C/375F.
  2. Step Two
    Mash 1 small banana in a bowl.
  3. Step Three
    Warm 1 level tbsp of coconut oil, then mix with the banana and 1 tbsp of desiccated coconut, 2 heaped tbsps of plain flour and 2 level tbsps of (unsalted unsweetened) peanut butter.
  4. Step Four
    Make about 12 balls and flatten into cookies.
  5. Step Five
    Place on a pre-lined tray, then bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool.

Easy Peasy Brunch

From 6 months old
From 6 months old

Breakfast for lunch or dinner, is a real saviour when you’ve run out of ideas on what to make. *Top tip: Always make extra, so you don’t steal their whole meal.

  1. Step One
    Scramble one egg and cook for 1-2 minutes in a pan.
  2. Step Two
    Add a squish of veg puree to a bowl or plate.
  3. Step Three
    Serve with avocado, either on small slices of toast or mashed up with a touch of lime and pepper.

Freeze Me Fish Pie

From 7 months old
From 7 months old

A great one to whack out in front of the Mother-in-Law. These make you look like a Supermum with hardly any effort. Plus, you can reduce the number of ramekins you make and steal half the mix for a grown-up dinner. Just add in more fish and smother some mash on top.

  1. Step One
    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6
  2. Step Two
    Melt 15g of butter in a pan with 1 finely chopped onion and 1 thinly sliced leek.
  3. Step Three
    Cut approx. 350g white fish fillets into cubes and fill the bottom of approx. 6-8 ramekins
  4. Step Four
    Stir in 1 tbsp of plain flour into the leeks and onion mix and then gradually add in ½ pint of full-fat milk.
  5. Step Five
    Stir in 50g of grated cheese, then spoon the mixture over the fish.
  6. Step Six
    Sprinkle a little more cheese on top of each one, then bake for 20minutes until golden.
  7. Step Seven
    Cool, cover with foil and then freeze.

*To reheat microwave for approx. 2mins, stir and then let it cool. Serve with some veg. We like to use sweet potato mash or offer soft broccoli or carrots as finger foods.

Your 3-Minute Guide To Weaning

Learn the basics over a cuppa

It can feel quite daunting to start your weaning journey, but it’s actually SO fun!

And of course (like everything), there’s tons of reading you can do.

But these are the fundamental things you need to know.

Oh, and remember the shed load of muslins you bought? They’re about to become reeeally handy…

How do I know when my baby is ready to wean?

Start at around 6-months old or when they can hold their head sufficiently, pick-up food, put it in their mouth and swallow it.

How do you start weaning a baby?

It can be very entertaining to see how your baby reacts to new flavours, which is why most parents start by offering a bit of their own food. Ready to do things properly? Build positive associations with mealtimes by creating a calm environment, play some music, make eye contact and give them big smiles.

Don’t stress

Milk is your baby’s primary food source, so don’t fret if they turn down your pea and broccoli mash-up. “It can take up to 10-15 times for them to like certain flavours, so let them play with food and don’t push them to eat”, says baby food brand Omami.

Start with your greens?

“Offering veggies first can encourage more of an acceptance of them later on”, says nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed. But don’t worry if you offer fruits too – you haven’t failed! Adding in a small amount apple to make peas more palatable is totally ok. Remember, fruits are still nutritious, just try to make sure meals aren’t overly sweet.

What should I feed my baby?

“Weaning is a golden time to introduce your baby to lots of different flavours and textures. It helps create a love of food that will hopefully continue through toddlerhood and beyond”, says Omami.

What should you not feed a baby?

No salt, sugar, honey, whole nuts, non-pasteurised cheeses, runny eggs, raw shellfish or rice drinks.

How much should I feed my baby?

They’re all different, and it’s entirely normal for them to change day-to-day. Appetites can be affected by lots of things like teething, tiredness or illness. Just follow their cues for when they’ve had enough.

Pre-mades and packs are LIFE
Pre-mades and packs are LIFE

It’s SO frustrating when you boil and blend foods they refuse. Save yourself some time by trying out some organic pre-made baby food.

Shop Here
Baby-lead or spoon-fed?

It’s totally up to you. Why not do both? Suggests Omami “Give your baby something to hold and chew on as you spoon-feed or have some meals as finger food and others as puree”.

Want to do more research?

Omami have loads of info on their blog and ‘How to wean your baby’ by Charlotte Stirling-Reed is available on pre order here. You can also follow Charlotte here.

10 Things New Mums Shouldn’t Worry About

It’s another of those undeniable truths no one tells you until you’re pregnant: the minute those two blue lines appear you’ll start to experience a low-level anxiety that lasts for the rest of your parenting life. Becoming a mum can feel totally overwhelming at times, and it’s easy to obsess over the smallest of details. So save some time (and a little piece of your sanity) by checking off the stuff you really don’t need to worry about…

Not Knowing What The F* To Do

Repeat after us: I WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO. Yep, even if the total sum of your parenting experience thus far was holding your mates’ baby while she went for a wee, or 15 minutes of hide and seek with a mildly bearable four-year-old one Christmas. How will you know when to feed them? What if they are too hot/cold? What if you’re so knackered that you don’t hear them cry in the night? Right now the fact you’ll be allowed to leave the hospital with a tiny human and no previous experience makes zero sense… but trust us when we talk about instinct. Nobody knows your baby better than you do, and you’ll be an amazing mum.

Keeping Your House Clean

For the first two weeks your house will feel like Euston Station; a constant stream of family and friends all wanting to meet your brand-new bundle of joy and hear you tell birth story for the seventh time that morning. Lovely yes, but also really annoying, especially when you’re knackered and learning how to breastfeed. When you finally get five minutes to yourself spend it showering, sleeping or going to the toilet in peace. Not hoovering, not washing-up, and not putting the bins out. Oh, and send your dirty clothes to your mother-in-law.

Not Reading Enough Baby Books

Spoiler alert: your baby can’t read, so they don’t have a clue that Gina Ford says they should be sleeping 7pm-7am by 12 weeks old. Nor did they get the memo about being ‘happy’ or ‘contented’. Throw the book in the bin. We mean it.

Other People’s Opinions

Everyone has one and they won’t hold back, from your well-meaning mum to the old lady in Boots who tells you she doesn’t like the name. The health visitor hates the Sleepyhead, your auntie thinks babies sleep better on their fronts, someone at Baby Sensory doesn’t do dummies; people will be desperate to share what they’d do differently. Save yourself some time and ignore all unsolicited advice. Just smile, nod, and do whatever you think is best.

How You Should Feed Your Baby

This is a biggie. Nothing divides opinion more than breast Vs bottle, and nothing causes more mum-guilt, heartache or emotional strain. Your baby needs feeding, and as long as you’re not taking them to McDonalds for a happy meal at two weeks old, just how you do that is your decision and yours alone. Make your choice and feel good about it. You’re doing great.

Losing the Baby Weight

For us, the most effective way of getting past a post-partum body wobble is always this: whenever you feel a negative thought about your bod, pick up your baby. Look at their nose, their tiny hands and feet, their beautiful long eyelashes. You made those. Your body grew them from scratch. Nothing could be more amazing so eat the cake and give yourself a break.

Hitting Milestones

All babies are different and while it’s good to have a rough idea of where they should be, your baby doesn’t know they should be sitting up at six months. They’ll do it when they’re good and ready, so try not to compare to other kids or waste time worrying about why they aren’t walking yet. It’ll come.

Making Friends

Parenting is an amazing leveller; you’ll never struggle to start a conversation again. Find your tribe, whether that’s at NCT, a TMC event or even online. Even having one other mum to text during the 3am feed is a huge help… and if you’re really stuck, there are apps that can hook you up with someone to do exactly that.

Losing Who You Are

Becoming a parent changes your life; drastically at first. But after a while you’ll reach a new normal and find that you’re still you. With a bit of planning, you can party again, go to the gym, or wander around the shops for two hours without a pram. Your ambition’s still there and your career too; you can still feel attractive and be a good friend. Take the time to take care of yourself and you’ll be a better parent because of it, we promise.

Changing the Nappy Immediately

Now there’s a blue line that doesn’t have to change everything. Completely unnecessary. Unless it’s a poo.

The Best Restaurant Dinner Kits

Our Regular Just Eat Order just got an upgrade.

The Best Restaurant Dine-At-Home Kits

Not much good came out of the pandemic, but one thing that did was at home fine dining via the UK’s best restaurants. Ok you still have to do a bit of cooking but most of the hefty prep is done by top chefs and all you have to do is put it together and serve.

Dishpatch – Nationwide Delivery
Dishpatch – Nationwide Delivery

Find out more

Dishpatch have been having rave reviews recently – they aim to bring the UK’s best restaurants to your home with exclusive menus delivered across the country. The meals are fully prepared with all cooking and preparation done by top chefs, food is delivered on a Friday, ready to be finished at home. Dozens of high-end restaurants are offering delivery boxes through Dishpatch – including the likes of Angela Harnett, one of our favourites!. The delivery box includes all the ingredients to make this beautiful dish. It’s worth checking the Dishpatch website regularly as restaurant and menu boxes change frequently.

Hawksmoor - Nationwide Delivery
Hawksmoor – Nationwide Delivery

Find out more

Hawksmoor have nine restaurants in the UK (and one in New York!) – they are incredible steakhouses with a real focus on sustainably sourced ingredients. The Hawksmoor at Home delivery boxes have been very successful and frequently sell out. They offer easy-to-make meal kits such as – March: The Fillet Box which includes 2 x British Fillet steaks, Matt Brown’s ultimate oven chips, creamed spinach, peppercorn sauce, sticky toffee pudding, wine, and cocktails! Hawksmoor state that “we’ve worked hard to make our cook-at-home steak boxes as easy and stress-free as possible. Each comes with full instructions and our How to Cook the Perfect Steak guide, along with a QR code to take you to masterclass videos with our Executive Chef, Matt Brown – a former Head Chef of two restaurants with 3 Michelin stars!”

Dishoom – Nationwide Delivery
Dishoom – Nationwide Delivery

Find out more

The eternally popular Dishoom is based on the old Irani cafes in Bombay, India. The unique and stylish décor, the scrumptious all-day dining options and fantastic ambience means Dishoom is always packed out. They are now offering one of their most popular dishes for nationwide home-delivery. The famous bacon naan is now available as an ‘at-home’ cookery kit with everything you need to recreate the dish at home. The kit includes two Naan rolls, bacon, tomato chili jam, plus an extra naan dough ball for experimentation (!) – there’s also chai spices and loose-leaf tea so you can recreate the delicious Dishoom chai for two. (A vegan option is also available.) For every kit they sell, they donate a meal to Magic Breakfast – a charity that aims to end hunger as a barrier to education in UK schools.

Simon Rogan at Home – Nationwide Delivery
Simon Rogan at Home – Nationwide Delivery

Find out more

Simon Rogan is probably best known for his restaurant L’Enclume in Cartmel which currently holds two Michelin stars alongside many other prestigious awards. Rogan is known for his innovative dishes and the provenance of the ingredients – his food is quite simply sensational! Simon Rogan at Home offers a three-course ‘at home’ dining experiences as well as special seasonal celebration menus. A fantastic range of extras such as British cheese and bespoke wine pairings can be added to your order. All dining options come with easy-to-follow videos demonstrating how to prepare the dishes. 

Côte at Home – Nationwide Delivery
Côte at Home – Nationwide Delivery

Find out more

Côte Brasserie is the popular restaurant chain found nationwide – they offer relaxed all day dining inspired by the bistros and brasseries of Paris. They serve up French classics made from fantastic quality produce. Their new offering Côte at Home means that you can order the best of French bistro cuisine for your own home. The price range is competitive, and they have a huge variety of options. Delivery is free on all orders (a £40.00 minimum spend is required) and available for delivery nationwide. We are big fans of their luxury and limited editions boxes – try the Après Ski or Seafood boxes. The Apres Ski box includes cheese fondue, Toulouse sausages and lentils, tartiflette and chocolate sauce with lemon meringue for dipping! Delicious! They have also launched a new vegan range that has proved incredibly popular.

Cheap Meal Ideas For Under £5

And no, it’s not Maccy D’s

When you’re feeling the pinch, it’s really easy to become uninspired.

But cooking on a budget doesn’t have to result in pre-made pizza and cheesy beans on toast.

There’s a vast array of options out there – granted a lot of them centre around eggs.

But guess what?

We’ve rounded up some truly delicious (and thrifty) recipes, to give you the lift you need.

Enjoy!

Tasty Toad in the Hole
Tasty Toad in the Hole

An easy win for hungry tums. Serve with lashings of gravy and homemade mash.

Recipe
3 Ingredient Pea Soup
3 Ingredient Pea Soup

Vegetable soups are a winner when it comes to saving cash, and this one tops the lot as you don’t even need stock.

Recipe
Batch it up Bolognese
Batch it up Bolognese

Unless you’re a family of 12, this recipe should see you through around 2-3 separate meals.

Recipe
Super Cheap Mac n Cheese
Super Cheap Mac n Cheese

With change left over to buy and add some bacon, it would be rude not to.

Recipe
Thrifty Frittata
Thrifty Frittata

Not only is this cheap but it takes minutes to make, and it’s sooo delish! No beetroot? Peppers and tomatoes work just as well.

Recipe
 Money-Saving Mushroom Risotto
Money-Saving Mushroom Risotto

A simple, yet delicious dinner that is only £1.57 a serving.

Recipe

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag.

With a million lists online it’s easy to get lost but these were the best things we packed.

The Essentials

Not all essentials are made the same and we learnt that after the fifth pair of pants we purchased. But these were the best items we bought.

“I packed so many snacks but the one thing that was a saviour for stress and when I got a dry mouth was boiled sweets. I’d never eat them normally but they saved me in labour.” TMC Editor Lydia House

“A water bottle with a straw is an absolute must and take waterproof sliders for the shower – especially great if you have a c-section and you need to wear compression socks.” TMC Designer, Jen Williamson.

“Tena pants are so much better than the ones the hospital give you. I was also so thankful I packed lip balm as my lips got so dry. ” TMC Style and Content Creator, Luzaan Shaw.

“Forget perfumed washes, you need a gentle fragrance-free shower gel that’s kind to your skin. Baby washes are great for this. And take earplugs, then you can sleep while your partner listens out for the baby.” TMC Co-Founder, Lauren Webber

Little Luxuries

They’re not a spa break but these items will make you feel so much better after birth.

“A soft large towel will feel like the biggest pamper post-shower. And treat yourself to a new nightie that’s soft on your bod and bits.” TMC Co-Founder, Jess Lawes

“Take in a few luxuries, like a new moisturiser or a nice dry shampoo. A face mist is also so good for hot hospital skin. The little things will perk you up post-birth.” TMC Marketing Manager, Charlie Rooney

Things That Will Make you Feel More Comfortable

“Take a portable fan in – no matter the weather! Because you will be hot! And I’d take in your pregnancy pillow, so you’re extra comfortable or for your partner to use in their very awkward visitors chair.” TMC Brand Partnerships Ast, Andi Venardos

Going Home

Get yourself some comfy going home clothes that make you feel good. A jumpsuit or loose trousers and comfy sliders for the win.

For Baby

Forget buttons, zip sleep suits are by far the easiest style to navigate. Pack a soft blanket you’ll treasure for ever and a sh*t load of basics. Yes, you can go for prints but baby whites and creams will forever be our favourite look.

How to Exercise When You Have Diastasis Recti

Around 60% of women experience it after birth. But how do you know if you have it? And how can you exercise safely? We spoke to Pre and postnatal fitness specialist, Hollie Grant of The Bump Plan, to get her expert tips.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Even though it sounds very technical, it is very common and natural and it is when the muscles in your stomach separate in order to make space for your growing baby.

How do you know if you have Diastasis Recti?

After you have had your baby, you can check the size of the separation with this simple technique.

Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Raise your shoulders off the floor slightly and look down at your tummy.
Using the tips of your fingers, feel between the edges of the muscles, above and below your belly button. See how many fingers you can fit into the gap between your muscles.

Ideally your doctor will examine you for DR in your six-week check-up, but it’s not unknown for this to be missed and it’s always worth checking yourself at home or book in with a women’s health physio for a post natal MOT and they will give you essential advice for recovery.

*Advice from NHSUK

How to Exercise with Diastasis Recti?

Pre and postnatal fitness specialist, Hollie Grant says, “When you’ve recovered from birth, unless you’ve been advised not to, you can still move and exercise with a Diastasis Recti. Staying physically active is vital for our physical and mental health, so here are some tips on how to move safely with these conditions.”

Tips for moving safely with diastasis recti

  1. Understand core pressure
    “When we move, we create a certain amount of pressure in the core, and how we manage that pressure can help us manage our symptoms. For example, if we are doing an exercise that causes lots of pressure to our Linea Alba called Doming (this may look like your tummy going pointy) we may want to regress the exercise a little until we can better manage that pressure.”
  2. Listen to your body
    “How does it feel after exercise? Do your symptoms feel worse post exercise? If so, you may be overdoing it or need to work at a lower intensity or shorter duration initially before gradually building your way up.”
  3. Work closely with your GP or Physio
    “It’s important you request support from your healthcare provider – staying active is so beneficial and they should be able to help support you in doing so.”
  4. Do your pelvic floor exercises
    “With the exception of those who have a tight (hypertonic) pelvic floor, most women will benefit from some pelvic floor exercises (also referred to as Kegels). These will help build strength in the pelvic floor, which can help with both DRA and Prolapse symptoms.”
  5. Learn to move well
    “I would say technique is really important for all activities, but particularly when working with a diastasis. Really think about how your body moves, when you feel pressure on your pelvic floor or Linea Alba, whether you are leaking during certain moves, how you feel afterwards, and how to maintain good form when exercising. It can really help to ensure we are managing load well and creating some good habits that are transferable to everyday life.”

Stylish Solutions for Storing Your Kid’s Crap

No matter how long you hold out, the plastic will come.

You think it won’t, but just like the iPad you said you’d never use in a restaurant, nothing ever works out the way you planned it.

And if you don’t buy it. Then Grandma will.

So here are some beautiful ways to store it.

Learnings From A Year As A First Time Mum

A Bedtime Routine Will Almost Break You (But Then It Will Set You Free)

It’ll feel like Groundhog Day for at least twelve months, but once that babe is in a bedtime routine you’ll thank yourself for sticking it out. A year of routine for a lifetime of nights to yourself? Worth it.

If They Don’t Sleep In The Day, They’ll Be Ok

You’ll think everyone else has cracked it, but if your mum mates are driving around in their 4X4’s all day, it’s probably because the baby won’t nap without it. Seriously, don’t spend an entire day trying to get them to sleep. Get them up, play with them, do what you need to do and eventually they’ll conk out. A day here and there won’t ruin your routine, and it’s really not worth the stress.

Baby TV & Toast Will Save You In Almost Every Situation

Don’t fight it.

It Will Take At Least A Year (maybe more) To Feel ‘Normal’

It’ll take at least a year until you feel like you’ve got your shit together. And if you don’t ever feel like you do, that’s ok too!

Rely On Your Partner When You Can

Learn to let go. Your partner will have their own style (which will probably send you wild) but everyone will survive and you’ll get some ‘me’ time (/sleep).

Think Smart With Deliveroo

We learnt this the hard way. When you fill in your order, ask your Deliveroo driver not to ring the doorbell but to call you on arrival instead. Sleeping baby and a fed mum.

Never Underestimate The Power Of A Shower

Whether it’s a restless newborn or a non-napping toddler, pop them in their cot with something to stare at for five minutes and jump into the shower. Drench yourself in hot soapy water, shake off whatever happened the night before and push the restart button. Do this every morning. You’ll feel great for it.

No Housework Needs To Happen Right Now

Really.

Get Fresh Air Every Day, Even When It’s Raining

Wrap up warm (but not too warm for you; walking with a baby works up quite a sweat) and get out, even if it’s just to the local Co-Op to pick up supplies for an afternoon in. Small goals, big wins.

Never Be Without Calpol, Nespresso Capsules, Wine Or Chocolate

Bulk buying these is your new survival skill.

Baby Wipes Will Wipe Away Most Things

You’ll miss them one day.

They Don’t Need More Toys

Buy yourself something nice and let them play with the packaging instead.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Again, really.

COOK will save you

For the days when you’re not feeling terribly Nigella, load the freezer with some smart ready meals (COOK even do them for babies). You’ll end the day with everyone fed and watered and if your MIL swings by, you can even pass them off as your own.

You Will Forget The Birth

Even if it nearly killed you, it will blur.

Pay For The Help You Need

It takes a village, and sometimes you have to pay for it; especially if there’s no family nearby. If you can afford it, get the help.

You Will Never Know Love Like It

Never have we loved (or been loved in return) quite like this – except by our own mums. Your heart will burst daily with unexplainable, unconditional love. Every tear, every hour of missed sleep (yours and theirs), every teething tantrum, every pregnancy ache and pain. You’ll look into their eyes and it will all melt away.

The Internet Will Save You

Netflix at 3am, WhatsApp at 4am and Instagram at 5am. This is the year the internet will help you more than you could ever imagine.

You Will Gain A Whole New Perspective

The trivial things you once worried about will vanish: your awful commute/bad tempered manager/broken coffee machine/chubby thighs (well they don’t vanish but…). You’ll start looking at the world in a much bigger picture – the things that really worry you will be the ones that impact your kids and their future, not which size pants you can squeeze yourself into. And somewhere in all of this is remembering to prioritise yourself from time to time, which is another great learning – and perhaps the most important one of all to hold onto.

You’ll Love The First Year A Lot More Looking Back At It

Can’t see why others celebrate that first year birthday so much? It’s because you made it! The celebration is for you not the baby.

Things We Wish We Had Discussed As a Couple Before Having a Baby

You might think that the decision to have a baby is the biggest one you’ll ever make. But you’d be wrong.

Starting a family sets a multiple of other critical decisions in motion, all to be made before you’ve quite grasped the impact of the last.

It’s important then, to make sure you’re on the same page as your other half – but this is a conversation to be had while you’re awake, lucid and not harbouring a motherlode of resentment (ie before you’ve even made that baby). It’ll hurt, but it’s worth it…

Can We Afford One?

It reportedly costs an average £150,000 to raise a child to the age of 18, and we’d estimate about 50% of that goes on nursery fees alone. Having a kid means sacrificing all of the nice things, like four city breaks a year and your pricey Net-a-Porter habit. Statutory maternity pay wouldn’t keep most kids in Ella’s Kitchen pouches, so it’s a good idea to think about how you plan to fund your new venture.

Will You Go Back To Work?

When you first give birth it’s impossible to imagine being parted from your little bundle of joy but give it seven months and you might find you’ve developed a nervous twitch every time you hear the first three chords of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Before your partner finds you camped out on the doorstep at 5pm desperately waiting for some adult conversation, it’s good to have a rough plan for if/when you’d like to go back to work. Which leads inevitably to the next question….

Who Will Look After It?

Nursery? In-Laws? Au-Pair? Looking after a kid post-maternity leave is 10% parenting, 90% logistics. The weekly childcare schedule is like a giant game of Jenga, it just one brick to be taken out with Norovirus and the whole thing comes tumbling down. Unless you want to find yourself in a screaming match over whose afternoon meeting is more important, you’ll need a plan with more resilience than a nuclear power station.

How Will You Discipline Them?

Who’ll end up playing Bad Cop? We’ll tell you right now, it’s not the absolute charlatan who’ll let them eat ice cream for breakfast if they can watch Football Focus in peace.

Where Will They Go To School?

Someone will want them to have ‘the best possible education regardless of the cost’, someone will bring politics into the issue. It’s a conversation that could get personal so be prepared.

How Many Kids Do You Actually Want?

If someone else want a five-a-side football team, ask how many they’re planning to push out of their genitals. Start negotiations low with just one kid. Anything more than that seems like a win.

How Can You Protect Our Relationship?

It’s ironic that nothing can single-handedly destroy your relationship quite like producing a miniature version of yourselves. You’re stressed, you’re knackered, and your poor vagina has been through enough. Get a solid plan in place pre-baby and there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll keep your kid (and your relationship) alive.

Quick Beauty Fixes That’ll Make It Seem Like You Made A lot Of Effort

Once upon a time if all you wanted from the weekend was to drink a boatload of tea in a Hush onesie, you could do it. Since then, the Life of Mum has injected other more challenging itineraries into our lives (playdates to go to, parks to see) and so we need some quick fixes in our lives that feign to the outside world that we totally have our s**t together. Take five minutes to throw some of this in the air and walk through it. Ok, not quite. But it’s almost that easy…

Wow Root Cover Up £29.50
Wow Root Cover Up £29.50

Ah Color Wow Root Cover Up; why do we love you so much more than others on the market? Firstly, this is completely mess-free, which is something you can’t say for tinted aerosol sprays. More like make-up application in fact, with a handy compact and brush you can use to touch up your roots on the go – have one in your handbag ready for the moment you notice those unwanted greys rearing their ugly heads in your car mirror (we blame natural daylight.). Secondly, the blonde shade lightens even dark hair – which is no mean feat. Thirdly, it’s water resistant so lasts until you wash it out, yet doesn’t contain any waxes and so won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy. In our book, a total winner.

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Tan- Luxe Gradual Drops £36
Tan- Luxe Gradual Drops £36

Joyous as modern tanning products are (hello Tan-Luxe gradual drops!), keeping a consistent colour going takes quite some focus. For days you’ve left it just too late, this is a liquidised version of the brand’s cult powdered bronzer. It doesn’t require precise application – even less than applying your foundation, in fact. Just slap on a small amount after your moisturiser and blend it over your face and neck for an instant healthy healthy-looking glow. It’s super lightweight so no one will know you’re wearing it, and it lasts all day.

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Living Proof dry shampoo £22
Living Proof dry shampoo £22

We were particularly gutted recently to discover that one of our favourite ever quick fixes (Christophe Robin Hair Finish Lotion, which uses the cleansing power of vinegar to reboot unwashed and neglected hair) had been discontinued. We’ve managed to move on thanks to Living Proof, which makes a brilliant dry shampoo that’s more like an instant cleanse rather than a thick and drying Batiste-style spray. The silicone-free formulation absorbs oil and sweat, doesn’t leave hair with an unsightly powdery residue, and smells deliciously fresh all day due to time-release fragrance.

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Yves Saint Laurent Rosewood Supreme £31
Yves Saint Laurent Rosewood Supreme £31

In the beauty biz there is a something known as the “Lipstick Index”, which is the correlation between a negative economy and positive lipstick sales. Basically, when the going gets tough, we buy more lipstick. If you aren’t a lipstick lover already, try giving it a go – a little pop of colour really does make you feel better and can even detract from the under-eye bags. Ease yourself in with a lightweight cheek and lip colour that you can carry with you and top up throughout the day (Bobbi Brown’s are pretty and wearable), or pick a long-wearing option to cut down the upkeep.

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Glossier Boy Brow
Glossier Boy Brow

Some of us can’t leave the house without having done our brows and yes, haven’t seen the inside of a salon in ages but bare with! Who needs a brow tint when you can just whack on Boy Brow and be ready to take on the world! No, really, it’s that good. This brow pomade can very easily be used on it’s own to fluff up, colour and leave you with insatntly groomed brows.

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The Best Personalised Jewellery Brands

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Sentimental? Tick. Personalised? Tick. Future family heirloom? Tick. We’re practically dripping in our children’s initials at TMC, because when names are years in the making (ok, sometimes decades) they should be celebrated, right? We’ll take initial jewellery as a push present but we’re just as happy to buy our own, so here’s an edit you can bookmark for your own use or send to your significant other right now. And if you’re still choosing the name, nothing speeds up the process quite like diamonds…

Things We Wish We’d Known About Hospital

Ready to pack your hospital bag? Maybe you’re a keen bean and did it weeks ago. Either way, when the big day approaches, you’ll have a gazillion grows at the ready.

But one subject many people skip over is how you might feel after labour and what you might want.

Yes, a medal would be nice. But we wish we’d known the following things before we gave birth.

Hospital food is BAD

In the weeks running up to birth your snack bag (aka your personal tuck shop) will have to be restocked at least three times before you make it to hospital *it’s the best thing about labour. However, it’s likely that you won’t eat much of it during the actual deed. Granted, sweets and energy bars were our saviour, but after birth, you’ll crave something more substantial. Hospital food is beyond rank and the memory of our sad shrivelled sausages and dried out mash still makes us wince. Plus, you have to wait for the allotted serving times to get your ghastly fill. Pack yourself a cool bag containing a celebratory ‘post-birth sandwich’, some savoury crispbreads and general treats that are off-limits for labour (we’re talking to you birth-partners!). Because trust us when the hunger comes, it comes quickly, and sometimes there’s no option to order in.

Take some laxatives
Take some laxatives

Whether you have a C-section or a natural birth, going for a poo post-labour is never easy. Your hospital should give you some, but you might need some extra help, so take some laxatives with you or prune juice, just in case.

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You need to ask for help

It can be daunting to know what to do with the little slugs once they arrive. Even if you’ve read all the books, you’re still a bit ahhh! And to top it off, you’re also bloody exhausted. But guess what? You’re not expected to know everything. Why would you? Midwives look after babies every day, it’s their job, and they have tons of knowledge to pass on. Hell, they’ll even take your baby for a few hours if you’re desperate for a kip. The only catch is you have to speak up. Don’t ever feel like a failure, because you’re an absolute blimmin hero. If you need help, then ask for it!

Take your own pull up pants
Take your own pull up pants

The ones the hospital give you are similar to a hairnet. They’re fiddly to pull up and you also have to negotiate putting a massive pad in them. No thank you. Take the ones that look like nappies instead. Ok, they’re not chic in any of the ways they claim, but they’re so much better. We also found them weirdly comforting, but that might just be us.

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It’s bloody hot
It’s bloody hot

Wondering what to wear after birth? Hospitals run hot, so take lots of layers to control your temperature and pack a portable fan, if you have space. Depending on your birth, you might have to wear long compression stockings after labour. Unsurprisingly they will make you feel warmer, and the idea of pairing them with fluffy slippers almost makes us shudder. Cooler flip flops could be another shoe option on your list, mainly for walks to the shower, but negotiating a sock and shoe thong combo is pretty impossible. Save yourself some time and effort and pack some sliders instead.

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Your shower will save you
Your shower will save you

It will feel like heaven and hell all at the same time, but once it’s over, you’ll feel a million times better. Our top tip! Use a baby wash as it will be more caring for your sore bits.

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See the positives of staying in

It varies how long are you in hospital after birth. Everyone wants to get home as soon as they can and being kept in is pretty rubbish tbf. But it’s not all bad, as the longer you stay in, the more help you can get on those daunting first days. Ever heard new parents say they got home and were like ‘what now?’. Well, if you stay in there are experts on-hand who can answer those questions in an instant. From breastfeeding specialists to midwives with a wealth of knowledge, you’ll return home feeling grateful but also completely clued-up.

Ask Q’s about your situation

We’re not advising you to be a pain in the arse, but medical staff can sometimes be very vague about what’s going. Even if you’re told and forget. Remember that you are allowed to ask (at any time!) what tests are being done and what they’re waiting to receive before you can be released.

They won’t give you arnica

Arnica can aid healing and is widely known to help with bruising. It is also recommended to take after surgery to speed up the recovery process. However, it is a homoeopathic remedy, meaning that the hospital won’t have any. So, if it’s something you want to use, make sure you pack your own.

Ask for the strongest painkillers you can

Adrenaline will make sure you can look after the baby, but the drugs will look after you.

They take your maternity notes

Your midwife will repeatedly tell you to pack your notes, and they’re probably rammed in a big folder with the rest of your pregnancy paperwork. Beloved baby photos in there too? Take them out now, because after birth your notes become hospital property, and you’ll be super sad if the scan photos disappear with them.

Pack what you like

Trust us. The hospitals have seen it all. You will no way be the biggest diva they’ve seen, so if you want to take something that will make you feel more comfortable, then take it. You won’t ever be annoyed about what you took and didn’t use, but you might be miffed about that the thing you left.