Are you a confident parent? When did that feeling kick in?

confident mum

Taking a new baby home is a milestone in itself. I remember the lovely outfit I had bought for my son whilst pregnant being way too big when it came to the time to put him in his car seat for the first time. Car seats can be a challenge too for sure! I am the first to admit I was not the most confident new mum having not spent any time around babies before. My husband who had children from previous relationships seemed to know how to do things so much better than I did. The first nappy change my son experienced was by my GP as it was all too much for me to take in. I quickly worked out I was a clueless rather than a confident parent.

I was very quick to handover daily childcare to my parents so that I could return to work. That worked really well for all involved although I did sometimes miss moments that matter.

I read up about every parenting book on the market and slowly learned to distinguish between different sorts of cry. There is a great joy in being able to second guess why your baby is distressed. Like most things in life, you get better with practice.

I also made great use of online networks like Mumsnet where you could share openly and learn from others with more experienced and confident parents.

I guess my most important tip for new parents is to seek support and to recognise that doing so is a sign of great strength. None of us can know everything. Not all of us have the best support networks. It is OK to be unsure and if you are asking questions, you are showing that you are parent who cares.

The team at Nurofen for Children say, “it’s no surprise that in our survey almost nine in ten first time mums reflect on having a baby as a life changing experience as they rework their normal routines to take care of their little one. During their baby’s first year, mums say they felt the biggest impacts on their relationships work life and friendships[1]. Our research shows that on average, it takes a first time mum six months to feel confident as a parent[1], and for almost half (47%), the health of their child is one of their biggest parenting worries[2]”.

This is important – let’s realise that if we struggle we are not alone!

As time went on I loved that I knew my baby put his arms back when he was ready to sleep, got red cheeks when teething and only wanted a cuddle when he was poorly.

Take a look at Nurofen for Children’top 10 tips for becoming a confident parent.

They say that 38% rely on the advice and experience of their own mothers, and one in five turn to other parents for guidance. My Mum brought up babies in the Fifties so some of her advice was a little dated. I was terrible at reaching out to mums in the real world but did seek support online as 12% of survey respondents did. You can be that much more anonymous online and feel less judged.

19% mentioned taking the advice of a GP. I found my GP lovely but unhelpful when I sought help and he did not pick up that I was experiencing depression. 9% of respondents mentioned a pharmacist as a source of support and it never entered my head really to reach out to a pharmacist although I know my husband did.

My oldest child is now a teenager and I recently outlined my ideas on how not only to be a confident parent but also a happy mum because I think children need to us both confident and happy.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to blog about a specified subject or review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have been entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher as a token of thanks for this post. Find out more about Mumsnet Bloggers here. And to see the other posts about this topic, see the linky here.

Please note that this post is not intended to contain any medical advice. Always contact your own doctor or health professional if you have any concerns about your child’s health.

(i) Survey of 2,000 parents with a baby under 6 years old, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (May 2014)
(ii) Survey of 2,000 mums by One Poll, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (October 2013)

Eating healthily at Christmas can be a huge challenge. At least that is the received wisdom with practically everyone you speak to saying it is inevitable you will put on the pounds or possibly upwards of half a stone over the festive period.

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Should we challenge that thinking?

Today I passed the local butcher who has some amazing deals on meat. My husband pointed out that actually only he and I like traditional Christmas meats so much of the meat may go to waste unless we commit to some creative uses of leftovers.

So my first question for you is …

Are you a victim of clever marketing messages at Christmas? Believe me, these messages can pile on the pounds on the scales and remove the pounds from your pocket very effectively.

When we consider the traditional Christmas dinner, it is packed with loads of really healthy elements. Turkey is low fat. Vegetables are good for us. There are ways to cut down on calories too particularly by deciding HOW you will cook things and what additions you may or may not make.

So my second question for you is …

Isn’t it time we celebrated the very healthy Christmas dinner?

Whilst shopping today, I picked up a pudding bowl with every intention of making my own Christmas pudding this year. My husband then pointed out that he is the only one in the family that likes Christmas pudding and that he thought it was daft for me to go to all the time and effort of making one when he would be happy with a small value one from a supermarket. I ate Christmas pudding for years to avoid upsetting my Mum but I hate the stuff.

So my third question for you is …

Do you eat things at Christmas that you don’t really like? Is that slightly daft?

I am not saying don’t enjoy food at Christmas. I am not saying you are a sinner if you put on weight over the holidays. What I am saying is that if putting on pounds will get you really upset, you can ensure it does not happen.

So over to you!

The Rules

Very simply, please comment on at least two other posts and more if you’d like to and grab the badge for your own post, linking one post per week. Tweet me (@kateonthinice) once you’ve linked and please use the #BloggingToJogging tag so that I can find your posts easily to RT them and you can also use the Twitter hashtag on Instagram if you have any relevant photos.

I am so looking forward to reading your talks of health, fitness and well-being. I promise to comment on each post and to promote via my social media networks.

From Blogging To Jogging is open from Monday morning until Sunday night for all your health, fitness and well-being posts so whatever your goals, healthy recipes or tips are, please do come along and join the party.


What a funny old week! Lots has gone right and surprisingly well. On the other hand, some things have gone awry and one big one in particular leaving me a bit glum and frustrated. This makes it a great time to reflect on the good things in my week.


Reasons to be Cheerful

1. The cheque was finally in the post even if in the wrong name!

2. I picked up some freelance work that I was not expecting making December more likely to be fun-filled.

3. My son did come home last night safe and sound after going AWOL until after 9pm! At 15 he is clearly developing a life away from the family and I need to respect that whilst still ensuring I keep him safe. That sounds like quite a juggling act to me!

4. When the man with a huge skyscraper of parcels in his arms walked right into me, it did hurt but I was not seriously injured.

5. My youngest son no longer needs glasses now he is not in school according to the optician as he does not need to read at long distances. This is great as he hates glasses. He is also sporting a funky new haircut to his own specification.

6. My daughter seems happy enough although often in her own little creative world or chatting on and on so it is Death by Pokémon!

7. I have enjoyed some lovely walks with my husband and pets.

8. Myself and Him Indoors managed a lovely lunch at a country pub.

9. I sorted out a mountain of paperwork.

10. I am still not stressed about Christmas but have started decorating the house.

11. My birthday is just 10 days away and I have a very good feeling about it this year.

12. Things that would have hurt me deeply in the past don’t do so now and sometimes I am getting lovely surprises from people that I have not always treated well.

13. Him Indoors seems to have got into the habit of bringing me roses on a weekly basis and I am not complaining.

14. Yesterday we had a shopping session of the charity shop variety acquiring a Giant Beagle soft toy which caused much festive hilarity and nearly got me thrown out of Subway. We are always at our best when we are laughing and being silly.

15. I started my weight loss programme about 1 year ago and didn’t I do well?

Now you have to admit that is pretty good for someone who was feeling glum at the start of this post.

A funny old week!

Do you know how to get a good night’s sleep?

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We all know that waking up refreshed, energised and ready to face the day is essential to our health and wellbeing but getting a good night’s sleep is sometimes more complicated than it seems. You may have perfected your ideal sleeping position and invested in luxurious Egyptian-cotton sheets, but a snoring partner, duvet hogger or even needing to get up and dash to the loo can quickly burst your dream bubble.

In fact, recent research from TENA Lady has found that one in six women regularly have their sleep disrupted by night-time visits to the loo, making it difficult to get those much needed ZZZs.

Nothing should hold you back from getting a great night’s sleep – especially not bladder weakness.

That is why TENA Lady has created the Sweet Dreams kit, to make sure you sleep ea-zzz-y and wake up looking and feeling your best every morning.

This handy kit contains the essential items to ensure you’re well rested and ready for the day ahead. Because, let’s face it, who couldn’t do with a little extra beauty sleep?

Relaxing tea

Drinking stimulants such as coffee and alcohol before bed can stop you from drifting off and leave your mind racing faster than the Grand National winner.

Instead, sip your way to sweet dreams by unwinding with a ‘sleep’ tea. Infused with herbs including camomile, lavender and vanilla, it will naturally calm your senses and prepare your mind and body for a night of uninterrupted rest.

I drink far too much coffee and indulge in the occasional tipple too. I am going to drink a relaxing tea before bedtime and see how things change for my sleep patterns.

Bath bomb

Battling the night sweats and throwing off your duvet in frustration can make it hard to get to sleep. A warm, lavender-scented bath before bedtime will help to bring your body temperature down and prepare you for a blissful slumber.

Lavender can calm anxiety and ease insomnia, so why not transport yourself into a state of deep relaxation by soaking your body in loving lavender and essential oils to switch on your sleep mode.

I do love a bath bomb although there may be added night time stress as I battle my daughter for it.

Personalised robe

Who doesn’t love the feeling of coming home and changing into their snuggest sleepwear?

Reclining in your bedroom in a luxurious yet cosy waffle robe will give the sensation of complete comfort and help your body to de-stress as you prepare to wind down for the night ahead.

The robe provided with my name on it by Tena Lady is a delight. It really does make me feel special and I always had an image of me wearing a white dressing gown that never quite came to fruition until now.

Sleep spray

Tired of tossing and turning when you can’t shut down your brain at night? This is a big one for me as I juggle work, home education, pets and housework whilst trying to keep up with friends and family too.

Ensure you effortlessly drift off to the land of nod the moment your head hits the pillow by gently spritzing your sheets with a soothing lavender fragrance – restorative slumber guaranteed.

I love the luxury of a sleep spray something I would not normally have except when I stay in fancy hotels.

Positive mantra bag

Stress can stop you from switching off and leave your mind racing until the early hours.

For a calmer, happier mind, a positive mantra and preparation for next day will help you forget your worries. Pack all you need the night before so you can hit snooze on your alarm a few extra times in the morning – bliss!

I am not great at preparing for my next day but am finding systems do really help reduce stress levels. The bag from Tena Lady is beautiful and says “Hello Gorgeous”. It is daft but this really does make me feel better about myself and my day. Plus it came at the exact time that the plastic bag charges came in so now I can shop in style.

TENA Lady Maxi Night Duo Pack

Frequent trips to the bathroom and worries about leaks at night can stop women getting a good night’s sleep, meaning you may find your energy and confidence levels are lower than usual.

Bladder weakness is more common than you might think – half of women experience it at some point in their lives, with one in six saying it regularly disturbs their sleep.

For extra peace of mind, TENA Lady Maxi Night with Lie Down Protection gives you Triple Protection from leaks, odour and moisture. With additional length and width at the back for extra coverage and security, TENA Lady Maxi Night is specifically designed to give you confidence that lasts all night long.

For added convenience, TENA Lady, manufactured by SCA, has now introduced the new TENA Lady Maxi Night Duo Pack. Boasting twice as many pads as standard packs, the new Duo Pack format means you can catch an extra 40 winks rather than rushing to the shops to restock.

Why not take a look at them for yourself? Free samples can be ordered online at www.tena.co.uk/women

Our family were invited to visit the Red Lion at Horndean in Hampshire for a meal. The Red Lion is tucked away in a village very close the A3(M) and conveniently located next door to a Premier Inn. The pub restaurant is spacious and suitable for large or small groups. It was family-friendly but I could also envisage it providing a very suitable place to meet for a business lunch or breakfast.

Red Lion Horndean

We were delighted by a friendly greeting from the lovely Emily who showed us to a table and checked that it suited our needs. Emily was also very efficient ensuring that she took a drinks order whilst we perused the menus. She also told us about free refills on Pepsi. All of the family liked how we were given time to decide what we would like to eat without any sense of pressure. My daughter can be shy around adults but seemed very comfortable with Emily and the way she spoke to her. An activity pack was offered which my daughter declined as she was too busy talking about her latest game.

The menu was impressive giving a large choice of traditional pub fare and more unusual choices too. It was big but not so huge that it was daunting. This is pet hate of mine – menus that take about a decade to read!

My husband and I opted for a sharing platter as a starter. We enjoy such platters but were really impressed with this one as it was not gigantic but quite sufficient. I hate it when the starter is so enormous that you don’t feel ready to eat your main and a pudding is pretty much out of the question.

My daughter chose vegetables for her starter. Isn’t it great when you eat out and can also feel they are getting a good contribution to their 5 a day?

Our mains arrived promptly and were well cooked and we all cleared out plates. My daughter had cod, my husband gammon and myself a glorious beef lasagne as I was in the mood for comfort food with the cold weather.

The puddings were superb with my husband opting for cheesecake and myself for banoffee pie. We did end up trying each others too.

cheesecake

My daughter has a small pot of chocolate dipping sauce with a generous portion of various fruits including strawberries and orange portions.

The venue was quiet when we arrived and although it got busier as the day progressed, it did not feel cramped as there was plenty of space between tables. I enjoyed seeing all age groups from babies to the elderly there. I always think this is a recommendation of a place in itself.

Throughout the meal we felt very relaxed and happy. It set up a great mood for the day.

Payment was dealt with efficiently and a loyalty card was offered which is cool because we will definitely be back.

The only slight negatives were not about the food or service. I noticed a dodgy door lock in the ladies loo and felt the baby change area should be signposted better. There were slopes which I imagine make the place more accessible although my husband felt these needed marking better.

Here are our scores on the doors!

Starters – 10 out of 10

Mains – 9 out of 10

Desserts – 9 out of 10

Service – 9 out of 10

Affordability – 10 out of 10 – we had 3 in our party and the drinks and food bill came in at less than £50

Atmosphere – 9 out of 10 – we felt very relaxed, unrushed and enjoyed how the restaurant seemed to actively welcome all age groups.

Location – 7 out of 10. The Red Lion at Horndean is convenient for business people staying at the Premier Inn who could grab an early breakfast or a business lunch. Although not the most vibrant village, Horndean is close to countryside walks, the coast and the tourist attractions of Portsmouth.

Do you think you will visit the Red Lion?