Today sees the anniversary of my mums death. Most of you will know the story, many of you might not. My mum died, aged 29, of cervical cancer. I was 13, my brother 12 and my sister 9. My dad has never quite recovered from it. 

The years may pass (23 of them to be exact) and so much has happened. Losing a parent takes on a whole new world when you become one and in 2014 she became a grandmother for the 7th time  as all 3 of her children grew their family. My sister the final sibling to become a parent for the first time.

As Fizz grows she asks more and more questions, becomes more aware of death and people going to live in the stars. For that’s what I’ve told her. She knows the how and why and it’s actually quite therapeutic for me to put what happened to us all those years ago into language only a 5 year old can understand. 

As I am expecting grandchild number 8 I can only imagine that she would have been a grandmother who would be running around, stealing cuddles, encouraging their first words to be MaMar (what we call my maternal grandma).

I don’t think anyone can imagine the empty space it leaves. Growing up without a parent. And it does. Not just at a kitchen table or photos. A little bit of my heart.

But what does it mean to me? Well if one thing good come out of YOU reading this it will be to book in that overdue smear! A lovely friend of mine started the #speculumselfie (Sophie you rock!) and she makes these awesome pants and picks someone to grab a pair if they’ve used the hashtag (from a choice of the most amazing fabrics). Not everyone gets a pair ….but you can see where I’m going with this? Take photo before your smear! Tag @bababeboho If it means anything at all it means trying to save a life, a family member or mum.

 

my mum and me

 
Don’t leave your children without a mother, or a grandmother, leave behind sisters and mothers…..because at the end of the day you are the most special person in the world to them. 

A lot of us mums have been there. There comes a point in our lives when either the Maternity leave ends, or life and finances change and we have to return to work. Being a mummy and having to return back to work, whether we are going back to an office or working freelance, is damn hard! Not only do we have to consider ourselves in the morning (oh how much easier that would be), but we have to get a little person (or two, or three – or in my case FOUR) ready, lunches made, make sure everyone has cleaned their teeth, brushed their hair and attempt to get out the door on time! View Post

This week I asked Team Mumington to share their favourite snap of the week and a little bit about it. 

Every week it’s really nice to pop back over what’s happened and round up all the best things. This is why we love Hannah’s The Week That Was: Captured. 

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mama 2015 logo square

Our latest Inspirational Women nomination comes from Jenny, who wants to show some love for Heidi, the driving force behind pregnancy charity MAMA Academy.

A little over a year ago I responded to a post on Facebook from the pregnancy charity MAMA Academy, appealing for volunteers to help with some of their day-to-day jobs. Having already been involved in fundraising for Tommy’s following the birth of my son Joe in 2010 when I had suffered from pre-eclampsia, I was keen to help out a cause so aligned to my passions. Little did I know that what started as providing a bit of support for MAMA’s social media presence would now see me as General Manager of the charity and a member of the board of trustees. And it’s all because of a truly inspirational woman – Heidi Eldridge.

Heidi’s story does not start as a happy one. At 36 weeks pregnant with her first child in May 2009, she was unexpectedly dealt the devastating news that her longed-for son Aidan had passed away, his death classed as an ‘unexplained’ stillbirth. May 15th marks the 6th anniversary of the loss of Aidan, and the journey Heidi has been on to achieve what she has since that day is incredible.

In the months and years that followed her tragic loss, Heidi attended various local Sands meetings (support groups for parents bereaved through stillbirth or neonatal death). She noticed that many mums were receiving inconsistent advice from their healthcare team. After doing a lot of personal research she got in touch with her local hospitals to present her findings at their MSLC (Maternity Service Liaison Committee) meetings. It was at these meetings that she learnt of the true value of midwives, and that they need support and access to new information, just as much as expectant mums do. And so MAMA Academy was born.

What began as a small non-profit awareness raising organisation in Surrey has now become a national registered charity, and is growing quickly in terms of volunteers, supporters and influence. Heidi acts as Chairman of MAMA Academy and runs the charity entirely in her own time, with the support of a team of committed volunteers, whilst also fitting in her ‘day job’ and not to mention looking after her two children Tobiah, born in October 2010, and Tilly, who arrived in August 2013.

heidi award

Heidi picked up an Inspiration Award last year for her charity work to reduce stillbirth

She often spends her days off attending meetings with the likes of NHS England, the Department of Health and the Perinatal Institute, to discuss how MAMA can provide the best support to mums and midwives and how the charity can link in with large national projects. Her passion, tenacity and determination to reduce the UK’s shockingly high stillbirth rate was recently rewarded with a funding grant from NHS England to pay for 75,000 of MAMA’s Wellbeing Wallets, which have the potential to ensure healthy pregnancies for women across the country this year.

I am inspired daily by Heidi’s will to succeed in making a real difference to pregnancy outcomes for other mums on the back of her own devastating experience. It is such an honour to be able to work so closely with her for a charity we both now care so much about, even though we live at opposite ends of the country! I have never been more glad to respond to a Facebook post – I have found a fulfilling role volunteering for such a worthwhile cause and more importantly have made a friend for life. I can’t wait to see what MAMA can do next, and with Heidi at the helm, it will be something pretty special.

Have you got a friend, blogger, mum, dad, person on the street that inspires you? Then I want to hear from you! We will feature one nominee a week in Inspiring Women (and men). At the end of each month myself and Sarah from Rock Cakes will pick one of the nominations to win and choose the wording on their own medal!  Just email chellemccann@icloud.com with 150 words min on who you are nominating and why with an image.

Being a parent is busy work and if you then add having a house, a job, a blog, a social life, a desire to eat… Anything really, on top of your role as a parent, things can get pretty hectic. Here are our top 9 tips for busy Mums:

1. Lists, lists and more lists. On your phone, in your diary, on the back of your hands, wherever you will see that reminder for an important appointment or the to-do plan of action. We personally cannot function without lists and love ticking items off as they’re completed. Slummy Mummy loves her Dodo-Pad diary.

Organisation, diaries for busy mums

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do you and the rest of the household need to eat? Yes. Will it be the end of the world if that’s sometimes fish finger sarnies and beans? No. We are not all Mary Berry-esque bakers or Jo whatever-her-name-is ‘super nannies’ and that is okay.

3. Sleep. Easier said than done but if you have the option of sleeping then do it. Once the kids are up you haven’t got a chance so if like us you’re yawning before 8pm then roll with it and get those eyes shut.

4. Invest in good basic make-up. We’d all love to feel confident leaving the house au natural and looking amazing, not wearing make-up except for nights out (and they are…?!) but for many of us that’s not the case. Hannah swears by Benefit Fake-Up concealer to cover up the suitcases under her eyes, a sweep of black mascara to open her tired eyes up and a quite splash of cheek and lip stain to detract from her (in her words) pale and washed-out complexion.

5. Becky from The Mummy Adventure suggests you do as much as you can the evening before. This includes pack-ups for the next day, making sure there are nappies, wipes etc in your changing bag and knowing where your keys are. It won’t convince your child that putting on a coat in the depths of winter IS necessary but it will stop you worrying about how to make sandwiches with a child pulling at your arm and the baby crawling around naked.

6. Say no. Not to everything, obviously, but if you are struggling to keep juggling all of your balls then don’t add more to the trick. Missing the odd play date will not cause the end of the world.

7. I love Mrs Crafty B’s tip not to feel guilty. I think us mums always feel guilty for not being ‘perfect’ on some level but we are all doing a great job and need to keep that fact in mind.

8. Batch cooking is a great way to use cheaper, large packs of meat and give yourself a good stock of homemade freezer food available at all times. Nancy from My Fluxy Forties does her cooking in the morning when she’s at her most energised.

9. Make time for yourself. I know it’s easier said than done but we will look after everyone and everything else far better if we have the odd hour here and there to read a book, have a bath or sip a glass of wine. Vi from Dancing in My Wellies says even schedule ‘me time’ if necessary, but make sure you do it.

What tips would you give to busy mums? Will you take these pointers on board to ease the stress a little?