Monday, 23 April 2018

Not Too Old To Be Mum - My Story

This is the first post in the series Not Too Old To Be Mum for my blog Home Family Life. This is my story. I will be sharing stories from other Mamas who have had children after the age of 35.

How old were you when you had your baby/babies?

I had my first baby at 38 and second at 40.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?

I'd always wanted to be a mum, but had never had the opportunity to till in my late 30s. I had dated over the years, but nothing serious and hadn't met anyone I wanted to spend my life with. I started dating my now husband when I was 35, almost 36. We married when I was almost 37, fell pregnant 6 months after being married and had my first boy 2.5 months after I turned 38. You can read more about my story here.
With my husband when I was pregnant with our first born
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?

With my first pregnancy it wasn't planned. We had planned to have a baby, but just not quite yet, I wanted a few more months of being married before starting a family. So it's hard to say, but my guess is I didn't have any problems.

With my second we had decided around the November time that we would start trying to get pregnant with baby number 2. But weren't going to stress about it too much just yet and just let things happen. Basically we weren't preventing a pregnancy, but weren't thinking too much about it. By the 3rd or 4th month of not falling pregnant, I had started to look at ovulation apps and think more seriously about helping my chances of falling pregnant. And by April I was pregnant. So again I didn't have any problems with falling pregnant. I guess it took longer than I expected, but I wasn't too worried at that point.

Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?

I've had 2 pretty straight forward pregnancies, with no major complications. I did struggle with a very sore pelvis area and my babies not wanting to get into the correct positions. But these are things that women of all ages can struggle with.

Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?

With my first pregnancy I was actually referred to as young. I thought they were going to watch me closely because I was 37 and would turn 38 before the baby was born. I had a friend in a different country who had been pregnant at 35 and was being watched more closely than her previous pregnancies because of her age. So I just expected the same for myself. But I was never made to feel like I was too old or they were worried about my age.

Pregnant with baby number 2 at my 40th birthday and gender reveal party

With  my second pregnancy I was 39, but would be 40 when the baby arrived. I asked if they would monitor me more closely because of my age and if they would want to induce me early. Because I was 39 when they were registering my pregnancy I was told I'd be treated no differently to any other women. When I was in my 3rd trimester (I was now 40) I needed to see a consultant to check the position of the baby and he mentioned my age. He was the first person to say anything to me about how old I was. He just asked how I felt about being induced at 40 weeks because there was evidence of increased still births in women 40 and over who go past 40 weeks pregnant.

I agreed to the induction mainly because I didn't want to be left uncomfortable for too long. My 1st was a big baby and I expected my 2nd to be the same. But other than this one instance I'd had no one say anything negative to me about how old I was. In fact when I went into hospital to be induced they thought I was being induced because I'd previously had a big baby, not because of my age. After I'd had my baby I even had a couple of midwives ask if I thought I'd have any more children. So again not making me feel old for having a child.

If you had children before and after you were 35, were there any differences with the pregnancy, labour and you as a parent? Would you put these down to age differences?

I had both my children after I was 35.

What do you feel are the pros and cons for having a baby after 35?

With my oldest when he had just turned 1

Pros: You are more sure of yourself and your ability to be a parent. It is super hard work and a real shock to the system, particular after your first. But I can image that being even harder for me personally if I'd been in my early 20s. I've had time before I had children to enjoy life and see some of the world. Sure there is still things I want to do and see, but I don't feel like I'm missing out now. We've also been able to establish ourselves a bit more in life with a home and good jobs. It's still difficult financially, but possible no where near as hard as it would have been 15 years ago.

Cons: I'm a lot more tireder now than I was in my 20's. Even before I had children I didn't have the stamina that I once had. Also I would have liked to be a younger mum when my children were older. When my youngest starts school I'll already be 45.

Do you plan on having any more children? If not, what are your main reasons? And if you would like more, what worries you the most about the prospect of having more?

With my 2 boys

I would like at least 1 more baby. Part of me thinks I should just call it quits, I'm 40 now and have 2 gorgeous little boys. But I don't feel like my family is complete yet. My main concerns about having any more is the timing. My youngest is still only 4 months old and I want to enjoy him and adjust to life with 2. But I worry that if I leave it too long I will be tempting fate with how "easy" my 2 pregnancies have been and could end up having complications. I don't want to have to rush into getting pregnant again, but I don't want to leave it too long either.

If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?

Part of me would have liked to have had my children younger, mainly so I didn't feel "rushed" into having another because of my age, because I wanted more than 1. I also would like to be younger when my children are teens and young adults.

But there have been experiences and people I've met that wouldn't have happened if things were different. So for that reason I wouldn't change how my life has panned out. I don't feel "old" and know I can give just as much, if not more to my children because I'm that bit older.

What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?

First of all if you are between the ages of 35 and 40 don't feel like you are too old at all. It seems that 40 is the new 35 where medical staff are concerned and it will be at that point that they may start to show any sort of concern.

Also don't let your age stop you if you feel healthy enough to have a child. Do what works for you and your partner.

Lastly, having a baby is really hard work and a shock to the system. Just go with the flow. Your home won't be as tidy as you're used to, you won't be quite as productive as you were before, but that's OK. You now get to experience a whole new side to life and it really does get easier. There will be other things that are hard to deal with as they get older, but it won't be quite as demanding on your time.

My 2 superhero boys!

My social media links

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The 10 Commandments of a Clutter-Free Life

Clutter creates stress. It makes it impossible to relax, which means your home is not the cosy and peaceful sanctuary that it should be. With that in mind, read on to discover the Ten Commandments to a clutter-free life…
1.     Let the size of your home determine how many things you have – A lot of people make the mistake of letting their belongings dictate, i.e. they dream of having a bigger wardrobe when their current one is bursting at the seams. Instead, though, why not get rid of some of your clothes so that your clothing fits the space you have available?
2.     Put something away as soon as you have finished with it – You need to get in the habit of putting things away as soon as you have finished using them.
3.     Purge regularly – Stuff has a way of simply accumulating. You should purge several times a year to deal with this.
4.     Make sure everything has a place – And no, being shoved in the corner does not count as having a place! If you do not want to get rid of some of your belongings, you can always make the most of local storage so that everything within your home has a place.
5.     Be smart about storage – You need to ensure that your items are stored in a logical manner, i.e. where you use them. If you use certain utensils when cooking almost every evening, placing them in the back of a cupboard is simply asking for clutter to generate.
6.     One in, one out – You need to operate by the one in, one out rule once you get your clutter to a manageable level. This means that whenever you buy something new for your home, you need to get rid of something you already have to accommodate it.
7.     Value experiences more than things – We are constantly bombarded with television, online, and printed adverts, which attempt to tell us that material things equate to happiness, be it a cool kitchen gadget or a new television. However, it is important to remember that it is experiences that we value most, not belongings.
8.     Go paper-free – Scan all of those documents you have been holding onto for years.
9.     Stop clutter before it enters your home – Clutter can easily enter your home in the form of freebies and junk mail. Set up a landing strip so you can stop it at the source.
10.   Embrace the junk drawer – You should never underestimate the importance of a junk drawer. After all, every household has those little items that do not seem to have a logical place to go, such as tape, pens, and batteries.
If you follow the ten rules that have been presented above, you should find it easy to enjoy a clutter-free life. Your home will feel bigger, cleaner, and more welcoming, and you should have no trouble unwinding after a difficult day.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Family Focus: Caring For Your Nearest And Dearest As They Age

Looking after those that we love is a significant part of life for many of us, and it is something that is particularly important to get right for our parents and in-laws as they age. However, making the right choice for them and your family unit as a whole can be indescribably tough and wrought with emotional difficulties. With this in mind, check out the information collected below that will help you better understand the situation and the options that are available to you and your family.

Concerns about ageing loved ones

One of the primary motivators for asking questions about an ageing loved one's care is the concerns that their nearest and dearest have for them in their present life. Of these, medical issues are a huge part, and they will be discussed below. However, they are not the only worries that a family member can voice about their ageing parents. In fact, concerns over reduced mobility and the ability to take good care of themselves are often something that suggests the need for a conversation on elder care.

Also, family members are quite often worried about the potential side effects of their elderly parent living without any care and supervision. These side effects may include missing essential medications, or not eating a nutritious enough diet to remain healthy.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

What's Best For Our Babies?

I recently posted a video to my YouTube channel showing what my 2 year old eats in a day and someone commented on the video stating, "slice grapes length ways just in case of choking". My initial reaction was, yes I know about that, I'm not stupid and my boy chews his food extremely well. But instead of giving some sarcastic comment back I decided to put the question out on Instagram and Facebook to see what others with toddlers did. I was interested to know if others still chopped their grapes, or like me didn't bother anymore. I used to be so frantic about chopping them, but now felt that he was a good enough eater for me not to worry. Well the majority of people said they did chop the grapes and a few said the recommendation was until at least 5 years old.

Call me naive, but I had no idea that the recommendation was till 5 years old. I just thought it was until they had mastered eating properly. But in all honesty, I guess I hadn't really thought about it. So yes I probably will start chopping them up for him again. I guess in this situation, it's the what if that's a bit scary, he will probably be just fine, but there's one that isn't and you don't want that one to be your baby. And it really doesn't affect anything other than taking me a bit of extra time.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Getting Your Garden Ready for Summer

It does not feel like summer is around the corner, does it? It was only a few days ago that we were dealing with the Beast from the East. However, believe it or not, this is our spring, which means that summer is not far away. To make the most of the limited sunshine we get in the UK, you need to make sure that your garden is prepared for the warmer months ahead. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the steps you should take to prepare your garden for the summer.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

I Do...Not Want to Spend So Much on My Wedding!

They say that your wedding day is one of the most special ones of your life. At the same time, it is also highly likely to be one of the most expensive. If you simply don’t have the funds to spend on an expensive celebration, this is the article for you. Just because you host a more frugal wedding day, it doesn’t mean that it has to be a lousy one. So, here are a few tips and tricks which you can put into practice to hold a fantastic wedding on a budget.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

My baby is 2 months old

Here's an overload of photos of my baby boy. I can't believe he's now 2 months old!! Where did that time go.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Weather Outside Is Still Frightful!

Are you shivering in your boots simply from sitting on the sofa? If so, it might be time to check those window panes and make sure the back door is shut! Just because we’re slowly waving goodbye to winter doesn’t mean it’s no longer cold outside! And because of that, a lot of us are looking for ways to stay toasty warm when both indoors and outdoors. So if you’re finding the weather outside still frightful, here are some of the warmest tips on the block (as opposed to the coolest!), so try to use some of them to keep you and your family in good temperatures.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Getting Winter Ready

With all this bad weather we're having at the moment, it makes me realise just how unprepared I am for it. Thankfully we are not completely unprepared, we have a snow shovel and gritting salt, but they're not always easy to find in a garage that's over flowing with so many other things. Every time we get snow I say we need to be more prepared. But by time we get round to doing anything about it the snow has gone and we forget we need to get organised and move onto something else. But we are now on day 6 of snow and are set for more next week.

It's crazy how everything comes to a stop the moment we get a bit of snow, when other counties cope with it for weeks and months on end. But that's just it we don't have it for very long so never feel the need to put measures in place to cope with it. I'm certainly not about to go out and buy new winter tyres, as no doubt we'll have spring type weather in a couple of weeks, that's just how it is here in the UK.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Family Day Out: Yeadon Tarn

For a while now we've talked about getting out as a family to go on walks and see some of our beautiful surroundings. Neither Keith or I are from Yorkshire, so there's plenty to discover and it's so important to take time out to just be and spend time as a family. Our little boy Tommy loves being outside and the fresh air really gives me a new lease of life.

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