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How Facebook groups helped me successfully breastfeed – blogtober day 27

Day 27 of #blogtober is ‘Facebook’ – so I wanted to share the amazing resources that exist in this branch of social media, without which I would not be continuing to breastfeed my 2 year old. 

In the early days of breastfeeding, when your lady parts feel like they’re falling out and your nipples don’t know what’s hit them, it can be really tough. And even if breastfeeding is painfree (which it should be – though often isn’t), it’s hard work – it’s an emotional journey and it can take some adjusting to. 

So many nights, I’d be wide awake, feeding Squid, feeling like the only person on the planet who wasn’t asleep. Until one night I discovered a whole tribe of women, also awake and nursing. They were women inside my iPhone. Women who were part of several Facebook groups I’d joined – groups specifically geared to help with breastfeeding. 


These groups became a place of solace for me – ‘why will my 5 week old not sleep away from me?’, ‘why is my 4 month old waking for milk every 45 minutes?’, ‘help! My one year old has bitten me!’, ‘why do I feel so angry when I breastfeed sometimes?’, I’d ask. For every query or worry, there were women who have been through it too, or are in the thick of it – women who offered advice and suggestions, but most of all, companionship and solidarity. 

And even now, I regularly consult the people in these groups, when something changes or I need help. Without these people, I wouldn’t be breastfeeding – and much less likely to be breastfeeding past infancy. One group in particular – ‘Breastfeeding Older Babies and Beyond’ – helps me to feel normal in what we do, and the women in this group keep me going to achieve my goals. 


If you’re needing support and guidance with breastfeeding, of course face to face support is best, but that’s not always available at 3.42am when you need it the most. My favourite groups are: 

Breastfeeding Older Babies and Beyond

Breastfeeding Younger Babies and Beyond

La Leche League International (and also search for your local LLL Facebook group!)

For inspiration from a natural term breastfeeder who posts quotes and facts daily, follow The Milk Meg – she is simply amazing! 


See you tomorrow, 

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Drusillas Zoo – family fun! Blogtober day 26

Day 26 of #blogtober is ‘Zoo’ – which is handy, as we only recently went to a local zoo – Drusillas in East Sussex. 
Read on for some top tips if you’re planning a visit! 

First off, I recommend seeing if you can get bargain tickets – if you’re a Tesco Clubcard member, you can use their Clubcard Boost scheme to trade your Clubcard vouchers in for tickets to all sorts of places – including Drusillas! As under 2s are free (and Squid was at the time… just!), and we had £6.50 in Clubcard vouchers, we only had to pay for one adult ticket (£19.50). I have to say, we had a brilliant day, but I’m really glad we didn’t pay full price – it would’ve been nearly £60 for the three of us had we paid full price and had Squid been just 3 weeks older! 


I’d hugely recommend packing your own lunch to take with you – there are plenty of places to eat in the park, but it saved us loads by packing our own sarnies – and it meant we could eat whenever we fancied!

Definitely take swimming gear for your sproglets – there’s an excellent water park there and Squid absolutely loved splashing around! 


The zoo itself is a little bit underwhelming animal-wise. This is the first bit you enter when you go in, and it’s set out Ikea-stylee: it’s kind of like a maze. There are safari animals and farm animals, and at various points in the day, there are feeding opportunities (though we somehow managed to miss them all!). Highlights for me were the otters and Squid loved the camels!

There is a train which tours the zoo, so you can see a few of the animals again. This was great fun! The queue was long around lunch time but died down after the rush. 

The park and adventure playground are fantastic – and there are 2 parts to it: one for older kids and one for pre-school aged little ones, which meant no being knocked over by the big kids! We loved the banana boats and the windy slide! 


Then there are loads of toddler and young children-friendly rides, and this really was the best bit. Being over 1m tall, Squid was allowed on them all, though had he been under 1m, there would only have been one ride he couldn’t have gone on! I thought this was great – it really is all geared towards under 5s and it made for a very enjoyable day!


We’d definitely return – when we’ve got enough Clubcard vouchers, of course!

Have you ever been to Drusillas? What did you think?

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Year in review: 2017. #blogtober day 25

25 days in… today’s prompt is ‘Y’ for the ‘Year in review’ – so without further ado, here’s the low down of my 2017…

January 


Daddy’s birthday, a new year, cold weather. I’m not a fan of January what with the Christmas slump, but the days pass quickly when you have a small human!

February


A difficult month in my personal life, and another hospital admission for Squid. 

March


Mother’s Day! A wonderful one spent in some beautiful gardens with a picnic and my favourite people. 

April


We saw lambs being born and held some ducklings… Squid bloody hated it…

May


Still nippy, but I love May-time! Look at those bluebells!

June


A house move meant total unheaval… it was exhausting for Squid as you can see. 

July


A family holiday to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday and the addition of our newest family member – Boofulcat!

August


Lots of sunny-summer holiday activities – it was so wonderful to have time off with Squid…

But August brought with it a further hospital stay for baby boy…


September 


We celebrated 2 years of life for Squid – a happy happy day. September was the start of me working (temporarily) full time… it was a slog!

October


My favourite month, and it’s nearly over! We’ve had lots of leafy walks, and Squid has changed so much over the last month. 

What a quick year! I can’t believe we’re on the descent to Christmas already. 

What has been your 2017 highlight?

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Wet Weather Autumn Activities with a Two-Year-Old: #blogtober day 23


Day 23 of #blogtober is ‘weather’ and with the miserable weather that the UK is currently experiencing, I thought I’d share some photos from our rainy day! It’s been cold, windy and drizzly – a typical autumnal day in England really. But if we let every wet and dreary day put us off venturing outside, then we’d never leave the house! And after all, we’re not made of sugar, so a bit of rain won’t hurt. 

I’ve been looking forward to this half term week since I went back to work after the summer holidays, so today we donned our wellies and rain macs and went exploring! This is absolutely our favourite wet-weather activity – it’s free which is a huge bonus, plus it gets you out in the elements and enjoying all weathers!

Firstly we splashed in puddles: no matter your age, who doesn’t love splashing in puddles?! We had a little rubber ducky with us so he joined in with the puddle splashing! 


Next onto leaf-kicking –  a great way to burn off some energy if your toddler has l been stuck in doors (and it may just guarantee you a rest if said toddler naps afterwards!) 


We saw beautiful patterns today – raindrops on leaves and an intricate spider’s web. I love seeing the world through Squid’s eyes – everything is amazing! It really helps me to stop and take it all in when he is so awe struck!


We collected lots of different leaves and twigs – Squid was incredibly selective about the leaves which met with his approval! 


Squid was most unhappy to pose for photos, but here are a few!


Obligatory mummy milk – so mummy got the wet bum sitting on the bench and Squid was nice and warm! 


Back at home, after a hot chocolate to warm up, we created what can only be described as works of art! Leaves and flowers make excellent paint brushes and stampers, and we painted lots of pretty autumn patterns, then glued some of the leaves onto the picture too. I had some orange cellophane which made a great noise and looked pretty as well! 


And then we did some leaf embossing by putting a leaf under paper and using a crayon to mark the top of it! 


We still have half a bag of leaves left – so suggestions on a post card for what to do with them would be appreciated!

What’s your favourite rainy day activity? We have the rest of the (presumably rainy) week to fill, so hit me up with ideas! 

See you tomorrow – only 8 days left of blogtober to go!

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Unusual crushes – #blogtober day 21

A very short and sweet post today because it’s my 27th birthday and I have croissants to eat. 

Day 21 of blogtober is ‘unusual crushes’ – and funnily enough, it was just yesterday in the staff room that we were discussing this!

So without further ado, here’s my top 3 celeb crushes, who I would undoubtedly leave my husband for (just kidding, Deano). 

1. Rupert Grint. 


Growing up with the Harry Potter books (I was 7 when the first came out), I love all the characters, but especially always loved Ron – awkward, ginger Ron. And Rupert Grint is the perfect embodiment – I love a red headed man 😍🙄
2. Sticking with the ginger theme, my goodness I fancy the pants off of Ed Sheran!


A man who can play the guitar is a yes for me!!

And lastly, perhaps not quite so unusual, but quite specific…

3. Leonardo Dicaprio – in Romeo and Juliet/The Titanic

Oh. My. This man – his face is so perfect. No words. 


I can’t be the only one with unusual crushes! Share yours in the comments!

See you tomorrow! 

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Self care – making time for yourself in the midst of motherhood

Day 18 of #blogtober is ‘relaxation’ – something I don’t do a huge amount of, but something that is so vital to your well being!

The past 7 weeks I’ve been working full time, whilst juggling home life and parenthood. It’s been really really hard work, and 2 days away from half term, I’m feeling incredibly burnt out. There’s been a lot of burning the candle at both ends going on, and so this post is really a memo to myself: you can’t pour from an empty cup. 

Me time used to be a shopping trip with friends, or coffee and lunch in a pub. Sometimes I painted my nails, or fake tanned my legs… Since becoming a mum, relaxation and me time sometimes reaches the dizzying heights of treating myself to a 49 second poo in peace. 

So how do you make time to relax amidst the busy goings on of life?

Nowadays, for me, it’s with a cup of tea (preferably piping hot, no sugar, a dash of red milk; leave the tea bag in, thanks). Sometimes I don’t even have time for a cuppa full stop, but when I do have time to sit and enjoy one, it can really keep me going!


I rarely get a bath in peace, so I can’t say that’s necessarily a go-to for relaxation, but occasionally I get treated to a child free bath, and I absolutely love Lush bath bombs when I do! A friend recently gave me this one – I can’t remember what it was called, something with honeycomb, but ahhh it was bliss!


Sometimes me time is pub night with my girl friends. A rare treat, but all conversations over a bottle of prosecco seem to soothe the soul! 


Sometimes relaxation is reading a blog post from another inspiring Mama, or catching up on the goings on on social media. 

Occasionally, I get to read a book – something I absolutely love to do but don’t often have time for. I have quite a collection of books on audio so I can be read to – Harry Potter is my favourite!


Lastly, sometimes relaxation is curling up on the sofa with my hubby and chatting about our days. This seems to happen less and less nowadays – we’re both often still working until 10pm, but I love it when we do get a chance to chat about nonsense! 

How do you make time for yourself? 

See you tomorrow,

Love, Squidmamma x🐙

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Story time: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!


Ahh. Bank Holiday Mondays. Every Brit loves them right? A free day off and all that. Not that it makes much difference to me – I work Wednesday to Friday so never have to go in on a Monday and anyway, I’m a mum. That’s a full time job right there in itself. 

But in the spirit of enjoying a ‘free’ day off with my husband, we took a stroll through a deep dark wood with our friends, Squid’s godparents. And what an experience it was.

I had wanted to see the bluebells in bloom for ages so we all trekked to a local wood which was full of them. Squid’s godparents have just got a new puppy so along the pup came too. Squid calls him ‘Bank’ so we’ll go with that. 


You know how the saying goes ‘never work with children or animals’? Well, yes. That. Never do. 
Three days off together really is just too long, isn’t it? Especially after 3 years of marriage. After a morning spent bickering over whose turn it was to change the small boy’s nappy, or whose job it was to replace the loo roll, we should probably have just stayed home. 

Nevertheless, we persisted. To the woods! I wanted some pictures of Squid, candidly frolicking amongst the bluebells. You know, like on Pinterest? So into the bluebells we went, as I ‘candidly’ placed my mini human on a log and asked him to smile. 


No such luck. Toddlers don’t have Pinterest. Squid wouldn’t play ball and looked, quite frankly, disgusted at the bluebells. I was beginning to feel the same way too. 


Squid wouldn’t stand with Bank for a photo either, and Bank wouldn’t keep still or look at the camera, so my Pinterest worthy snaps were out of the window!


Nevertheless, we persisted. You know I said ‘never work with children or animals’? Well, I have a third thing you must never work with: husbands. My husband and Squid’s godfather, let’s call him Bobby, insisted on throwing the tennis ball (meant for Bank, the pup) to each other, using a cricketing type throw, for the duration of this relaxing stroll. I think they thought they were actually competing in the Ashes, as our walk was complete with a running commentary of the precision of ball-throwing. Men and their balls… Squid tried to join in but I had to draw the line when the ball bounced off his head. 

Nevertheless, we persisted. Squid wanted to be carried, no, walk, no, be carried, which was excellent fun. Eventually, after another minor marital disagreement, Squid settled on daddy’s shoulders, holding on to his ears as reins and commanding ‘go go go!’ And all was happy and good in the world. 

And then Bank did a poo. And then Bank ate the poo. 

Why? Why do dogs do that? It must’ve been delicious, because he was sniffing the ground for more. More delicious poo! Yum!

Which got me thinking: there are SO many similarities between toddlers and puppies:

– Neither have a fear of danger

– Both want to be carried at every opportunity 

– They’re both unpredictable 

– Both have a tendency to do unpleasant things with their own faeces

– Both can be very easily clicker trained *

– Both are really bloody adorable (which is a good job. Because poo.)


After the poo eating incident we were all a bit horrified and so had to very quickly find our way to the nearest pub. 


I don’t think I’ll bother with the bluebells again. Can’t quite see what all the fuss is about, anyway. 
(Of course, though, I did gush on Facebook about the lovely afternoon we had, complete with angelic looking photo of Squid treading candidly through a blanket of bluebells… because you have to keep up appearances, right?!)

Catch me on Twitter and Instagram @squidmamma and on Facebook for daily Mama-baby-life-work-family updates! 
Love, 

Squidmamma x

*As Bank is just a pup and is learning the dos and don’ts of ‘walkies’, Squid’s godparents use a clicker, which they click when he does something good. Every time the clicker clicked, Bank ‘sat’ beautifully for a dog treat, which Squid gave him – so in the end, every time the clicker clicked, both Bank and Squid were there waiting patiently for the treat!