This feature is all about celebrating real mums. Mums are amazing and come in all shapes and sizes but sometimes we can feel alone, we can feel as though we are the only ones struggling to keep on top of things. I want to lift the lid on motherhood so we can all feel part of a sisterhood, to feel proud about our own achievements and know that we are doing the best we can!
Without further a do let me hand over to Chantal!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hello! I’m Chantal, I’m 23 and live in Cambridgeshire with my partner Jono and our little boy Zachary. We have been together for almost 3 years after meeting through Jono’s sister Jess at her birthday party. Zach was a surprise, but he has turned us into a little family and we couldn’t be happier!
Describe a typical day in your life
Every day is a bit different in our house as we don’t have a set routine and it varies depending on what plans we have. In general though we wake up around 8am and go downstairs for some milk and then play together. Zach tends to stay awake for around 2 hours before he naps again, and he usually has 3 naps a day. Bedtime is between 7 and 8 and is dependent on what time he wakes from his afternoon nap! Our day is basically planned around sleep!
What is the best thing about being a mum?
The best thing about being a mum is that overwhelming feeling of love that you have for your baby. It’s indescribable, and I think you can only truly understand it when you have a child yourself. It’s got to be the most powerful feeling in the world!
What have you found hardest about motherhood?
There are two things that stand out to me as particularly hard about motherhood. The first is when Zach is upset and nothing I do stops him from crying. I find it really hard to deal with and I end up crying too, so normally Jono takes over as he is a lot calmer and more patient than I am.
The second thing is the things I can no longer do or take part in now I am a mother. Zach was not planned, and although I love him so much and wouldn’t change it for the world it can be quite hard to see what my friends are getting up to. They are all travelling, starting their careers and are able to go out and do whatever they want.
How has your body changed?
The biggest change since having Zach would be stretch marks. My stomach is covered in them and they really bother me although I do try to be proud of them. I’ve got a bit of weight I want to shift, but it’s almost all uni weight as I only weigh 4 pounds more than my pre-baby weight!Do you wear makeup? If so what does your routine look like?
Do you wear make-up? If so, what does your routine look like?
I used to be really into makeup and skincare but then when I was pregnant I lost interest as I just couldn’t be bothered anymore. Now Zach’s no longer a newborn I’ve started finding time again and really enjoy doing my face on days when we’re going out as it gives me so much more confidence. I have a bit of a thing for high end make up, but sadly maternity pay doesn’t allow me to indulge as much as I’d like.
What’s in your handbag?
My handbag is a bottomless pit of doom which usually has a million receipts and empty wrappers floating around the bottom of it. It also has the usual things; purse, phone, keys, umbrella, suncream and about 283564 different lip products. I try to keep Zach’s things out of my handbag as I like it to be something that’s just for me.
What is your relationship with housework?
I am absolutely rubbish at housework and whilst I do a little bit every day I never do it all. There’s always a bit of mess and something than needs cleaning in our house! I tend to keep downstairs tidier than upstairs as that’s the bit people see if they come over, although our living room is normally a jungle of Zach’s toys.
How do you relax?
I love taking long hot baths and reading a good book. I find that escaping into a fictional world helps me to rid myself of any stress and I love that clean feeling you get after a long soak. I also love having a cup of tea and some caramel digestives in front of something good on Netflix!
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever been given?
I think the best piece of advice I was given was to trust my gut instinct. I’ve found that I just know when something’s not right or when we should be doing something differently.
For any new mums out there, what would you like to tell them?
Trust your gut instinct!! As a parent you know your child better than anyone and you will usually be right when you think something’s wrong.
What makes you happy?
I am happiest when I am surrounded by those I love, but a giant bar of chocolate is pretty good too!
And finally, complete this sentence:
I am a great mum because….. I love my son deeply and unconditionally, and I try my best at all times!
You can find out more about Chantal and her world over at her blog, Milk and Nappies.
She is also on Twitter so go say hi!
If you would like to take part in my Real Mums series then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. x