Taking Time for Yourself After Having Children

My children are now almost six and four and whilst they are no longer babies, I've felt like I've gotten myself into a rut. As soon as C was born almost six years ago, gone were the days where I could do what I liked, whenever I liked. All of my time and effort went into looking after him, making sure he was happy and entertained and my needs always came second. When E was born two years later, my workload was doubled and finding time for myself got very difficult - not that I'm complaining, being a mother is wonderful!

With the children becoming older and more independent, I've found that I do have a little extra "me time" and I've already started doing some things just for me to help keep my sanity and keep my mental health in check. Here are a few things that I am either currently doing or plan on doing when my darling daughter starts nursery next month and I've got a little extra time!

1. Self Care Sunday
This is something that I make sure I do every week. Things can get really busy throughout the week and I always feel like I'm spinning plates. Taking a little time at the end of the week after the children are in bed is so important to me. Usually my Self Care Sunday's consist of a long bath (LUSH bath bomb optional) with a candle, glass of wine and an episode of whatever show I'm currently binge watching on Netflix. It's a great way to wind down and prepare yourself for the week ahead. 

2. Cleaning
This might sound like a bit of a weird one to put under "taking time for yourself" but trust me! There is nothing I hate more than sitting in a messy and untidy house, it exacerbates my anxiety and I'm very much a believer of "tidy house, tidy mind". After a day indoors with the kids, my home will look like a bomb has hit it but I will never go to bed leaving it like that as I just don't feel like my mind will be relaxed. I feel a real sense of accomplishment seeing something go from dirty to sparkling.

3. Diet & Exercise
After having my second child, I put on a lot of weight and I am still carrying it now, four years later. We are eating the same things all of the time so I want to try and zhuzh up our diet and branch out, trying new meal plans and ensuring that we are all definitely getting our five a day because, admittedly, I don't feel like I am. Getting more regular exercise is top of my list for when both children are at school/nursery because I'll have that block of time to go to the gym or a run, clearing my mind and knowing that I am helping my body at the same time.

4. Teeth
This is a bad thing to admit but I shamefully haven't been to the dentist since I was pregnant with my first child. I had braces for a few years as a teen and since I got those off I've loved how straight they are and have always taken care of them. Obviously pregnancy takes its toll on your teeth and I am a little worried about having them checked over again as it's been so long. I am definitely going to make a point of booking in to somewhere like Docklands Dental and having regular checkups. Although I've been brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, they aren't really to the standard that I want them to be so I'll be looking into getting them whitened too.

5. Having my hair done
I don't know if this is just me or a regular mum thing, but I am so bad at keeping my hair in check. It's recommended that you get your hair cut every six weeks but I think I go about 12-18 months without so much as a trim because it's so hard to find the time when you have young children. One thing that I plan on doing when E is at nursery is having a reminder on my calendar to book in to the hairdressers regularly because when I've had a cut and blow dry I feel so much better!

6. Reading
In this digital age I do everything on my phone. Blogging, browsing and uploading to social media, making lists, filling in my calendar - everything is on a screen! I've now started making sure that I put my phone away at least an hour before I go to sleep and switching it for a good book. I used to read a lot before children and all that somehow fell by the wayside. Since I've started up again, it's become obsessive, I cannot wait to see how plots turn out and it's made me get a better sleep because I don't have the blue light from a screen in my face last thing at night.

Do you have any other tips/ideas to add? I'd love to hear them!

This is a collaborative post.

Back to School with Vampirina - Bootastic Backpack & Spooky Scooter Set Review

E starts nursery in September and she won't let me forget it. She cannot wait to learn new things, play in a different setting all day and most importantly, make some new friends!

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that E is quite the fan of Vampirina on Disney Junior, owning her very own Vee costume and microphone. She was over the moon to receive some spooky goodies to try out - the Bootastic Backpack Set and Spooky Scooter Set from Flair.

The Bootastic Backpack is a fantastic set that comes with the hardshell backpack - just like Vampirina wears in the show! It comes with lots of little accessories too:

  • Lights and sounds necklace
  • Sunglasses
  • Bat wing hair clips
  • Backpack clip
  • Two sheets of stickers

The addition of the accessories made E positively shriek with glee. She can be a very stereotypical girl at times and loves jewellery and sunglasses - anything to add to her sassiness! Her favourite is definitely the lights and sounds necklace and she has played with it so much that she's memorised every phrase that Vee says so she can mouth along, pretending that she is the one saying it. It's very funny!

E has very thin hair so the bat wing hair clips don't stay in very well unfortunately! Maybe when she is a little bigger and loses her, what I call, "baby hair" they will stay in. The backpack clip attaches nicely to the loop on the side of the backpack and E instantly recognised the Creepy Caroline character.

  All of the items fit well inside the backpack, with lots of extra space for any additional things that she decides that she needs. The fact that a lot of it is glittery is a massive win in her books. The backpack itself has one strap that goes across the chest. I did feel that even though I'd loosened it fully, it was still quite short and looked tight. E didn't complain at all though and seemed comfortable wearing it.

She cannot wait to bring it to school and who knows, maybe some friendships will develop, just like in the show, over a mutual love of Vampirina!

The Vampirina Bootastic Backpack Set is suitable for children aged 3+ and can be purchased for £24.99 from Smyths. 

To go with her spooky backpack, E was also sent a little Scooter Set. There are two character sets available; Poppy and Wolfie or Vee and Gregoria - we received the latter.

  These wee sets are made from sturdy plastic. Vee is fully articulated and can move her arms, legs and waist. Vee and Gregoria both have holes in their bases so they can stand on the scooter and skateboard without falling. The scooter and skateboard can then attach together so if you push Vee around on the scooter, Gregoria can follow behind.

  E absolutely loves toys like this as they encourage her imagination. She has been pretending that they are going on trips to the pack and talking about what they are going to do that day. As a parent, I love that Vee is depicted with a helmet and safety gear - great to teach your child to always wear theirs, just like Vee does!

  The Spooky Scooter Sets are also suitable for children aged 3+ and can be purchased from Smyths for £11.99.

(We received this items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Puppy Dog Pals Toy Collection - Review

If you have young children who love Disney Junior, I'm sure you've heard of Puppy Dog Pals. The show first aired in UK earlier this year and it's been a huge hit with both C and E. The show follows two little pug puppies, brothers Bingo and Rolly, who have fun travelling around their neighbourhood when their owner isn't home. 

Flair/Just Play have a Puppy Dog Pals toy range and we were lucky enough to get a little box of goodies sent to us to test out. In our box, we received Pet and Talk Pals Rolly, Surprise Action Rolly and Pals on a Mission Scuba Rolly. The kids were thrilled as Rolly is their favourite character.

Pet and Talk Pals Rolly - £9.99

This is a cute little plush toy which is perfect for small hands. My kids always like to take toys with them when we go out so I know this wee Rolly will definitely come on lots of adventures with us. In addition to the cuddle factor, he also has a little button on his back which, when pressed, bobs his head a little and plays one of over ten sounds and phrases!


Surprise Action Rolly - £14.99

Both children's favourite toy of the bunch! Rolly is made from sturdy, hard plastic so can withstand my kids' rough play. He has a button on his back which, again, says a phrase when pressed then he runs off. As an adult, I actually find it quite funny and love the way his little legs run! Both C and E have enjoyed chasing him around the room. Both Surprise Action Rolly and Pet and Talk Pals Rolly come with their batteries supplied - hallelujah!

Pals on a Mission Scuba Rolly - £9.99

These are what I like to call "restaurant toys". These little action figures are perfect for shoving into my handbag and taking with us for meals out to keep the kids entertained. Most of the action figures we have don't have much substance to them and are literally a plastic figure that does nothing.

Scuba Rolly comes with a removable scuba mask and propeller. The propeller can be spun and Rolly's collar has a little button which makes it light up red when pressed. These add a little something extra to the usual action figure toy and the kids actually made me build a "swimming pool" out of a cardboard box and blue tissue paper for Rolly to go scuba diving. They both like this one more than I thought they would!

The Puppy Dog Pals Toy Collection are available to buy from all good toy stores such as Smyths, The Entertainer and Amazon.

On Wednesday 15th August, UKMumsTV are hosting a #PuppyDogPalsToys Twitter party between 1-3pm. Please come, join in, chat about the toys and there will be prizes to be won!

(We received these toys for the purpose of this review and we have also been paid for our time. All thoughts and opinions are our own and have not been influenced.)

Rainbow Designs Talking Peter Rabbit Plush Toy - Review & Giveaway

For C and E who are almost 6 and 4, Peter Rabbit has been a staple on our television. They have both watched CBeebies since they were tiny with Peter Rabbit being one of their favourite shows.

Over the years, their love has a grown and that brings a bit of nostalgia for me as I have always been a fan of Beatrix Potter. We own so many Peter Rabbit & Friends books, toy figures and we even made sure to see the latest movie in the cinema on Easter Sunday.

Rainbow Designs have a super cute little Talking Peter Rabbit soft toy and both children were so excited to receive one of their own.

He is so soft and cuddly which makes him great for children of all ages, right from birth. In true Peter fashion, he has his famous blue coat and green bag perfect for storing his radishes that he nabs from Mr McGregor's garden!

Giving his tummy a little press prompts him to say one of five phrases such as "a good rabbit never gives up" and "let's hop to it!" The voice is instantly recognisable and you can match it straight to the TV show.

Talking Peter Rabbit is the sweetest little toy and would make a lovely gift for any small child. It's the perfect size for tiny hands, good for a snuggle (as E will tell you as she's brought him to bed with her every night!) and the addition of the phrases gives it an edge over a regular plush toy. I also love a toy that comes with batteries supplied too!

If you want to get your hands on your own Talking Peter Rabbit you can purchase it at £17.99 from Argos, in store or online. You can also keep up to date with Rainbow Designs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The lovely people at Rainbow Designs have also set one aside as a prize for one of my readers! To be in with a chance of winning your very own Talking Peter Rabbit, just enter via the Gleam widget below. Good luck!

Rainbow Designs Talking Peter Rabbit

  • This giveaway will run from 28th July until 5th August
  • One winner will win a Rainbow Designs Talking Peter Rabbit plush
  • One entry per person
  • UK residents aged 18+ only 
  • No automated entries
  • Winner will be emailed by myself to confirm their address. I will then pass the address to the PR for the toy to be sent out. The details will not be used for any other purpose.

 (We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
© Mum of a Premature Baby

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