Archive | July, 2012

Power to the pelvic floor!

20 Jul

It took me a while, but almost 8 months after the birth of little Nancy I’ve finally taken some action to return my body to its pre-pregnancy state. Having found a Groupon for the fantabulous Brockwell Lido I’ve now been to the gym a grand total of two times.  It’s a fair start.

Anyway, turns out my good friend the Power Plate machine can be found there.  I love this machine because you can do the equivalent of a full workout in 15 mins.  Amaze!  While activating my abdominals, as instructed, it struck me that this has to be great for the old pelvic floor, which in my case could do with some real help right now.  So once I got home I asked the internet.

Turns out that YES!, power plates is the miracle machine for the new Mum.  Why do they not tell you this in your aftercare?!  This article says ‘When using the Power Plate machine, pelvic floor activation is doubled by simply standing on the Plate – this is before any Kegels are performed. When Kegels are integrated into a Power Plate workout, the contraction strength is increased by nearly 25%’.

!!!

And that’s not all, exercising just 3 times a week for 15 mins (totally achievable with a bubba) also increases circulation, tightens abdominal muscles, improves posture and accelerates fat loss.  And just in case you needed anymore convincing – ‘celebrity Mums’ Dannii Minogue, Victoria Beckham and Heidi Klum all used power plates as part of their post-natal exercise.  Don’t all rush at once now..!

Brockwell Lido isn’t the only place around here to try it.  In fact High Vibe in East Dulwich is offering a free trial session.  Try it yourself – sure beats the pathetic few pelvic floor exercises I occasionally manage whilst sitting on the sofa watching Come Dine with Me.

19 Jul

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” George Bernard Shaw

19 Jul

I quite agree with Mary Poppins. For every job that must be done there is an element of fun, just find the fun and snap, the job’s a game!

18 Jul

The Escape Manifesto!

Love, love, love Escape the City – for jobs, volunteering, placements that are more in line with your passions, ‘because life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you’.  True that.

Curious about – Fashion?

17 Jul

Link: Curious about – Fashion?

Into fashion and got a little one who’s perfected the lunchtime nap?  

Join Stylist’s lunchtime masterclass with Louise Roe – TV Presenter, Fashion Journalist and Designer. She’ll be answering questions in a webchat this Friday 20th July at 12pm over at stylist.co.uk.  If you’ve a question for Louise on style, careers in fashion, TV or whatever, leave it in the comments section over here.

17 Jul

Curious about – Screen Printing

I’ve always wanted to try this. So when a workshop with the London Textiles Studio popped up on Groupon I called up my crafty friend, Sophie and booked us on.  I couldn’t be sure if I’d be any good, but I realised quickly that if I wasn’t, then there would be cake. I left the bubba with her Dad and cycled up to get my train into town – ahh the freedom!  

I decided to create a design based on the lyrics to the song I sing to Nancy every time she goes to sleep, La La Lu.  I could have made my life easier – this was a pretty tricky design to cut out with a scalpel!  But it was lots of fun.  The process of drawing the design, cutting it out and printing took a lot of concentration and was very therapeutic.  I’m pretty pleased with the result too!  I plan to frame it for Nancy’s nursery and hopefully it’s something she’ll always keep.

Curiosity satisfied.  I like screen printing.

The case of the curious mama

16 Jul

I’m a 32 year old mother of one living in South East London.

Right now I’m on maternity leave and my daughter, Nancy is almost 8 months old.  During my pregnancy I decided to use this break from work to not only get to know my new baby and make her feel safe and happy in the world, but also to explore my interests and passions a bit more.  Work for many of us is so full on and zapping of all energy and brain cells that whilst in amongst it you just don’t have the opportunity to do this.  Aren’t us Mums lucky that we get to take a break (albeit to do the hardest job that exists on the world, anywhere, but more on this later..) to reflect and explore what we would gravitate towards if it wasn’t for work?

The reality.  Ahh yes, the reality.  Well the reality is, I TOTALLY underestimated how all-consuming, emotionally and physically exhausting, life-changing and perception-shifting becoming a Mum is.  I remember lying in my bed on the post-natal ward, holding my tiny, beautiful new baby girl and realising that within a matter of minutes, life had changed forever and I had changed forever.  Having a baby is the single most significant thing I’ve ever done.  I have an actual baby and she needs me, for like, everything.  I put her down and she will just stay there until I move her.  She cries and I need to work out what it is she needs and give it to her.  She struggles to sleep and I have to help her.  Such incredible responsibility.  BIG STUFF.

8 months in I can confirm that it is indeed big stuff.  Amazing stuff.  Magical and rewarding and heart-warming stuff.  While at the same time tiring and confusing and meltdown-inducing stuff.  Someone said to me recently at a party that being a parent takes you out of yourself.  You can’t be all about you anymore – this little thing is the most important thing and needs you the whole time.  It’s true.  For Mums especially, not only does it take up every waking minute and leave little time for you, ‘you’ are not ‘you’ anymore.  In the early days of having Nancy the tiredness, the weight of responsibility and the hormones (!) made me into a less confident, more emotional, and totally uncertain version of myself.  Now that I’ve been doing it a bit longer (and the hormones have left my body) I believe I am now a more patient, caring and thoughtful version of myself with a stronger sense of purpose and with quite different values to the person I was before I became a mother.  

I think about 3 or so months in things felt a little easier and I decided that I wanted to do something for ‘me’.  I actually told friends I was ‘out the other side’.  Hmm.  I started volunteering again, taking on a role that I could do in my own time and as I had the time.  And it did feel really good.  It was definitely good for Nancy too as I was no longer obsessing about her the whole time.  I was talking to people (about something other than babies), getting out and feeling more connected.  It made me happy and weirdly helped me to relax a little.  However, it wasn’t long before teething struck..and then weaning, and I realised that you never really come out the other side.  Things don’t get progressively easier with kids – as my Mum says, it’s a rollercoaster.

However, 8 months on me and Nancy kind of know where we are with each other.  And so, I really see now as a great time to get out and explore.  I could spend the last 3 months of maternity leave meeting for coffees, going to playgroups and walking around the park, which admittedly would be lovely.  Or instead, me and Nance could explore – go to places we’ve never been before.  Get involved in exciting local projects.  Seek inspiration.  Try new things / learn things.  Meet interesting people.  Who knows where it could take us?

So this blog is dedicated to exploration.  There has to be loads of this kind of stuff out there in London town for Mums and children to do together that makes this time even more productive, inspiring and enlightening?  I shall find it and report back.