Why I chose to be a stay at home Mummy

I never thought I would be a stay at home Mummy. 

I have always loved the idea of staying at home with my son but I also knew that money would be tight. I wanted to go back to work to bring in the extra income so we could have the treats, the days out and the holidays. 

That is what my head told me but my heart felt something else all together.

On maternity leave with every month that passed by I felt more and more anxious. The thought of leaving Noah whilst I went back to work was painful to me. Even though I was only going back to work part time and leaving Noah with his Nan it still didn't bring me much comfort. I still had that explainable mothers guilt. 

Perhaps I would of felt a lot better about the situation if I was going back to a job that I liked but in honest truth I hated it. It was always a very unprofessional and at times nasty place to work and I think that is fully down to the management. 

When I announced to my employer that I was pregnant nothing changed in my terms of job role in fact I felt like I was asked to do more. This I didn't mind as I did like to keep busy but I didn't appreciate being told to go up 6ft ladders at 7 months pregnant. If I mentioned that I wasn't happy about doing so they would make sneid remarks and talk about me behind my back and you can imagine how that made me feel. It's ridiculous because I wasn't asking to be treat special because I was pregnant, I just wanted to be treat in a fair and safe way. 

At one point they were understaffed so I was over worked, not given adequate breaks, or a place to sit, my ankles swelled and I had dizzy spells. I went to the doctor and he took one look at me and signed me off work due to exhaustion. On my return to work they had the nerve to issue me a disciplinary and demoted me. This is just a few of the examples of the misconduct I experienced while I was pregnant, just the tip of the iceberg.  

I knew from the beginning that when I returned to work I only wanted to go back for three days a week. I had discussed this numerous times with the management, during pregnancy, before and during maternity leave. They knew what days I could and could not work and It seemed like everything was agreed on so I went ahead and arranged Noah's childcare. 

Now lets fast forward an entire year. A couple of days before I was due to go back to work they called me in for a meeting. I assumed that it was just to clarify everything and to be given my rota but I was wrong. The management had gone back on everything that we had agreed and put me into work all the days I said I couldn't do. You can imagine my disbelief after a year of thinking this had all been agreed to. They led me to believe everything was fine and then decided to throw a spanner in the works just days before I was due back. 

They said they couldn't agree to my flexible working request because they were low staff which I don't think is actually a legal reason to decline. When I told them I couldn't work those days (just like I had been saying for the past year) they said the only thing they could offer me was the controversial 0 hour contract. These contracts are a nightmare which the government are actually trying to ban! It would basically mean that one week I may of been working three days and others I wouldn't be working at all. This just wouldn't work for us as a family for numerous reasons. Firstly we need to know how much money is coming in each month as we have a baby, bills, car and a new mortgage to pay for. Secondly Noah, the childminder and I all need structure and being told a day before that we are at work the next day just was not going to work. 

Taking all these factors on board I was left with no option but to quit. I feel like it just wasn't worth it. Personally I think they knew what they were doing. I don't think they wanted me to go back and wanted to push me into resigning which they have accomplished. 

To be frankly honest I don't really care because the weight that lifted from my shoulders on the day I quit was immense and I feel it's the best decision I could of made. The only regret I have is that I wish I had of taken this further because I feel like they have gotten away with every wrong they did. But anyway I've said good bye to the only aspect of my life that caused me stress and upset and I feel like that chapter is now closed.

I've traded all that in for something priceless. I now get to spend all my days at home with my son. I am able to spend every morning, afternoon and evening with him. Playing games, reading books, cuddling up. I'm getting to see him reach all his milestones which I probably would of missed if I went back to work and it's incredible.

Not only that but I now have more time to spend on the things that I enjoy to do. I am able to dedicate more time to the blog, take part in more blogging opportunities and focus on what direction I want to take it in. I am cooking and baking more which is great because I feel like I am improving. There are also a dozen DIY projects around the house that I am tacking too.

I am sorry that I rambled on but I feel like this blog post was a sort of therapy for me. By writing and publishing the post I feel like I have got it off my chest and let it go and I feel fantastic. 

So yes, I am now a stay at home Mummy and I'm loving it!  


Review: Rascal Racoon Grobag

As a first time Mummy I am always worrying about one thing or another when it comes to my baby and most of my worries seem to stem from bedtime. Is he warm enough? Is he cold? Is he hot? Has he kicked his covers off? Is he ok? Then when I go in to check on all these worries I then worry about waking him up too! There's one easy solution to eliminate most of these worries and that's by getting your hands on a Grobag! 

The Gro Company became a pioneering brand back in 2000 when they introduced the world to baby sleeping bags making sheets, bedding and blankets a thing of the past. Although Noah has used a sleeping bag since he was around 3 weeks old we had never actually invested in a Grobag and shamefully bought cheaper alternatives instead. With all this in mind you can understand my excitement when I was offered the chance to review a Grobag of our own. We were about to see what all the fuss was about.

I have to admit I was playing 'spot the postman' for a couple of days when I knew the Grobag was on it's way and it was like Christmas morning for me when it arrived. The Grobag was packaged in it's signature brown card carrier with all the vital temperature tips and a free room thermometer. 

We were sent the 2.5 tog Rascal Racoon Grobag in a size 6-18 months and my initial thought on opening the package was simply "wow!" Having used other sleeping bag brands for the past 11 months I automatically noted how superior the quality of the Grobag is in comparison. The 100% woven cotton material is luxuriously soft and the fleece lining is heavenly. I have to say I am rather jealous of Noah and I echo the "they should make them in adult size" sentiment that I am continuously hearing! 

With Noah being 11 months old and half way through the 6-18 month sizing I was a little worried that we wouldn't have that much space to grow into but I didn't need to worry cause the sizing is extremely generous on both length and width. 

The Grobag is very easy to put on and remove which is always a plus when you have a wriggly worm of a son. It simply zips up the size and has poppers at the shoulders and underneath the arm. It literally takes seconds to put on and remove. 

I love the cute animal character design as it's bright, fun and a little quirky. Another plus when it comes to their designs is that they come in such a different array of colours, patterns and themes. No matter what your taste I can bet there is a Grobag for you. 

Most importantly Noah must of agreed with everything I have said because the first night wearing his Rascal Racoon sleeping bag he slept as snug as a bug in a
rug Grobag! 

- We were sent this product for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own. 


WellVine: Your trusted health partner – through pregnancy and motherhood

WellVine launches free health Q&A service, connecting to you to real doctors for bespoke support

Pregnancy and motherhood are some of life’s most rewarding experiences. From when you first discover you are pregnant, to holding your baby for the first time, to watching your children grow into little toddlers and adults – the journey is full of ups…and downs.

Some of the ‘downs’ are particularly related to health issues and concerns, for you, for your children and for the rest of your family. But finding easy, convenient expert help from qualified, experienced health professionals can be a difficult task. Women we spoke to described long waits for doctor’s appointments; the lack of expert support when needed; health professionals who often lack compassion and kindness; difficulty in finding time in busy schedules to even go to the doctor…and the list goes on.  WellVine was built on a simple idea: Connecting people like you to vetted and experienced doctors online, giving you access to bespoke health support – anytime, anywhere. We are currently offering a free trial of the service on an invitation-only basis until 5th November 2014. We really connected with Jenna and felt the readers of Chic Geek Diary would value this service, so we wanted to invite you to visit WellVine to try it out for yourselves, for free!

The WellVine story = Your story
The WellVine concept came to life when our founder, Hina, now pregnant with her first baby found herself frustrated with the lack of ready access to expert pregnancy advice. She wanted access to real doctors and health experts – as and when she needed it. She heard similar stories from pregnant women and from mothers short on time and struggling with a number of health queries about themselves and their children. No, it’s not ok to wait three weeks for a GP appointment. Neither is it ok to rely on information found through online searches – often difficult to trust and often providing conflicting perspectives leaving you more confused than before. From the new mum like Sofia to the veteran mum like Joanne with three young children, they all told us that access to real experts – at their fingertips – would make their lives easier. So we launched WellVine. Read more about the WellVine story on our site.

How WellVine helps people like you
Stop googling. Start connecting to real experts! From pregnant women, to new mums like Sofia as well as experienced mothers like Joanne, we want to make access to personalised health support easier.
We are offering a free trial service until 5th November 2014. Visit www.wellvine.co.uk.

The WellVine expert network consists of experienced health professionals at your service. Our experts provide personalised responses to your health queries online at www.wellvine.co.uk. You can post your queries anonymously if you wish, or on our public forums. In either case, you are guaranteed to receive a bespoke response from a qualified health professional with the right expertise to support you.

We thoroughly vet our experts so you can have peace of mind. We have carefully selected our experts to help with a range of pregnancy and motherhood health needs. Our expert network includes:

·         Senior doctors: For general health queries about pregnancy, children and you
·         Nutritionists: For diet and nutrition advice for the whole family
·         Fitness trainers: For support on antenatal/postnatal fitness and beyond
·         Mental health experts: For emotional wellness of mothers and mothers-to-be

Read more about our experts here.
And remember, you are not alone in the marathon that is motherhood. Join our growing community of mothers on WellVine.

 Common queries from women like yourselves – through all stages of motherhood…

Mum and toddler
·      Common health concerns – coughs, colds, infections and fevers?
·      Signs of serious illness?
·      Eating healthy and staying fit for mum?

Young children
·      Bumps and falls with active youngsters?
·      Allergies?
·      Nutrition advice for growing bodies?

Newborn baby and postpartum support
·      Baby vaccinations?
·      Development of baby?
·      Postnatal diet and fitness?
 Pregnancy health concerns
·      Pregnancy symptoms?
·      Eating healthy and staying fit?
·      Questions about trying to conceive?

How it works? Three easy steps:
1.       Query: Submit your query (anonymously or publically) at www.wellvine.co.uk. We will ask you a few simple questions so we can get back to you with a personalised response. It’s that simple, and takes just a few seconds.
2.       Response: One of our experienced and vetted experts will review your query and provide a bespoke response to help you.
3.       Meet: You can connect with others like yourselves within our growing online community. Find friends, share messages, photos and blogs. Access health news and updates. And ask as many other questions as you want!

So for Sofia and Joanne and all mothers like them, we hope we can help. WellVine – your trusted health partner for bespoke health support. Ask our experts. Free trial, open until 5th November 2014.

- This is a guest post. 


Review: September Nonabox

Another month, another Nonabox! We have been reviewing Nonabox for a while now and each month when the box arrives I can't wait to see what's inside! 

By signing up to the subscription service each month you will receive a Nonabox full of goodies that is tailoured to your babies age and gender. A box costs £25 a month (or less if you sign up for a longer period) and the contents inside the box are always worth more than the cost. 

Here is what was in our September box:

MAM spoons - £2.99 - We are huge fans of MAM and use not only their bottles but dummies, cutlery and cups too. It's nice to see some MAM product in the box.

Green People toothpaste - £3.50 - Noah is getting his first tooth through at the moment so this toothpaste couldn't of come at a better time. I can't wait to try it.

Shea Mooti Mama's Everything Body Balm - £16.99 - I've received this product in a previous months box and although it's a good product I haven't used the first one yet. It's always welcomed to receive a nice treat for Mummy though! 

Ella's Kitchen Milk and Vanilla Cookies - £1.99 - Noah is a fantastic eater and loves nothing more than feeding himself. I was excited for him to try these new Ella's Kitchen cookies but he wasn't really a fan. I don't think it's down to the cookies though it's just that he's gone off his biscuits lately and won't eat his biscotti either. 

Ella's Kitchen Wakey Wakey Round Ones - £2.49 - We haven't tried these yet but we will be doing soon. 

Overall I think there was a good mix of products in the September box but to me it felt like something (or a product or two) was missing. The box contents were only worth £28 and that leaves you feeling a little cheated when some of boxes last year were worth in excess of £70. 

As a huge fan of Nonabox I am anxiously waiting for the October box in hope that the standard of their boxes go back to the level they once were.

- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own.