The UnNatural Mother

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The nights are getting darker and all you can think about is getting home from work, getting in your PJ’s and catching up on some trashy TV.But what if you get into your car, turn the engine and nothing ??? You instantly regret not renewing you AA breakdown cover, your dad is 400 miles away in France and your husband wouldn’t know the difference between a spark plug & a bath plug. So you end up waiting 2 hours to get towed to the nearest garage and face a £200 bill.Just think of all the shoes £200 could buy you in Primark !! All of this could have been avoided if you had prepared your car for the winter months. Here the Car Maintenance Specialists from Ossett Tyre House will give you the top 10 tips to keep your car on the road during Winter.

 

1.CHECK THE OIL

This is the number 1 reason why cars engines won’t run efficiently. Make sure to keep it check the oil level regularly, topped up and replace at least once a year.

2.CHECK ALL THE LIGHTS 

Do this before setting off on a journey to make sure all the bulbs on the front & rear work.

3.CHECK THE CAR BATTERY

At some point, we have all had a flat battery, either from leaving the lights on or lack of use of the car. Make sure to drive the car regularly and seek professional advice if your engine doesn’t start.

 4.REPLACE BROKEN WINDSCREEN WIPERS 

If the pads have worn away then no amount of windscreen ash is going to clear your windows.They cost only a few pounds to replace and can easily be fitted by yourself or the garage you buy them from.

 5.TOP UP WASHER FLUID 

With all the wind blowing muck, leaves & road grit about you need to make sure your washer fluid is kept topped up. It only takes a couple of minutes for your windscreen to go from clear to covered in grit & salt and without a good stock of washer fluid this could cause you major problems seeing where you are going.

6.PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT 

Breaking down in winter can mean hours stuck out in the cold so pack an emergency kit with blankets, rations, water and waterproof shoes or wellies. If you have an in-car charger make sure to always fully charge your phone.

 7.CLEAR OUT THE INSIDE OF YOUR CAR REGULARLY 

Clear out any rubbish and keep the inside of your car clean. Not only will this help prevent the spread of winter germs but also stop the waste of petrol with the excess weight.

8.KEEP THE EXTERIOR CLEAN AND SALT-FREE 

Salt is your cars arch nemesis and by not regularly cleaning your car you are inviting rush and scratches to more ap on its service.

9.CHECK THE TYRES

Wet weather, snow & ice can be a test for even the best of tyres so if you know you are going to be doing a lot of driving during the Winter months than consider having snow tyres fitted. The legal minimum tread for any tyre is 3mm’s.

 10.CHECK SPARK PLUGS 

Typically they need replacing after 30,000 miles but you can refer to your owners manual to check your model. A quick and easy job to change any old ones.

 

I hope these tips will help your car keep running throughout the winter months. Most of these Maintenance Tips can be easy done by you but remember if in doubt call in the professionals.

 

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This post as in collaboration with Ossett Tyre House but all my thoughts & opinions are my own.

 

Today marks World Mental Health Day and at some point, during our life, we all suffer from some sort of mental health issue. 3 weeks after the birth of Charley in 2015 she became critically ill and we spent 10 days in the hospital praying we would walk back out the door with her. It was an extremely hard being in hospital but it was only once we were back home that the effects of those 10 days and the realisation we nearly lost our baby hit me. It’s taken me over 2 years to write this post as it draws me back to the very dark place #Postnataldepression once had me held in. Like any type of depression or illness you can never truly say you are rid of it just you are a #Suvivour and hope that by talking about it you could help someone else in your position. I want to put a positive spin on today so this post is for any parent like me who searched for what to do during the endless hours of not knowing in hospital.

HOW TO COPE WHEN YOUR CHILDS IN HOSPITAL

We all pray that our child will never have to go into hospital. We hope they will go through childhood with the need for no more than an occasional plaster, but when it does happen and God Forbid you are facing some very dark hours, I want to give you some practical advice. Two years ago my 3-week old daughter Charley-Rose turned purple and stopped breathing. She was rushed to the hospital where over the next 24 hours she rapidly declined and was put into critical care. She had more tubes coming out of her tiny arms than she had veins and her face was fully covered by breathing apparatus. Charley was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis and the excess mucus caused by the infection not only blocked her airways it caused one of her lung to collapse. We where told we had a very sick baby and the next 24 – 48 hours were critical. This was my ‘ dark hours’, sitting next to a baby that had barely been out of my stomach more than a couple of weeks and being completely helpless to what was going to happen. I sat for hours on the internet looking for comfort from parents who had been through what I was now going through but sadly all I could find were horror stories. My story has a happy ending as thanks to a NeoNatal Specialist who happened to be covering another doctor Charley was put onto some specialist breathing equipment designed for premature babies and given a strong steroid that helped clear her airways, within 24 hours she was fighting the infection and happily after 10 days of hell she was able to breathe on her own again. I now have a very healthy, happy 2-year old causing havoc around the house. My hope is that if you are reading this and have a child in the hospital then I can offer you some hope and practical advice to get through the day. I have enlisted the help of a few other parents to give their first hand advise as well.

 

  • Drink as much fluid as possible and eat small frequent meals. This is not the time to diet and if you can manage 6 chocolate biscuits and 4 cups of tea during the morning then do it as you need to keep your energy up.
  • If like Charley your child is put on nill by mouth but you would normally breastfeed tell the hospital straight away and they will provide you with a breast pump to express and a fridge to store your milk in.
  • Don’t worry about getting in the way of the Doctors & Nurses. At every change of staff, i introduced myself and stood next to them as they talked about Charley’s progress.
  • Wear clean clothes every day. This may sound strange and probably the last thing you will think of but a pair of fresh knickers and some comfy pants made the hours of sitting there a bit more bearable.
  • Have a wash. I couldn’t leave Charley so refused to go have a shower but a flannel wash and brushing my teeth in the sink next to her bed was a happy medium
  • Get someone to bring you in some breakfast bars or biscuits. There were several nights I woke up and couldn’t sleep and felt sick with hunger.
  • Take some vitamins. Lack of sleep+lack of decent food can make you feel very run down and you do not need to fall ill.
  • DO NOT, I Repeat DO NOT listen to other mums on the ward who offer you advice. They are not medical professionals and their opinions can cause more harm to you than good.
  • Let people come and visit. I tried to be brave and cope with just me & hubby at the hospital but my time would have been so much easier if I had allowed my mum to help support me.
  • Keep positive.Don’t let the dark thoughts take over. Even when it looks like the worst it only takes 1 act of fate ( like a stand-in DR ) to change things.
  • If you feel like the effects of the stay in the hospital have left you with anxiety then speak to your doctor, your health visitor, your friends. Speak to anyone that will listen as the more you speak about it the more help you can get.
  • Always ask for a second opinion if you are not sure the right decision has been made. My daughter was nearly discharged when she had pneumonia in both lungs. We were told it was a mild chest infection. Luckily, a second doctor had a look at the x-rays and told us it was more serious than the first doctor had said and she stayed under observation in hospital for a few days – Bek
  •  I think the biggest thing is to be there for each other, having someone to cry to and worry with. Someone else who is totally on your team – Victoria
  • My daughter has been in the hospital so many times since she was one year old. Sometimes in high dependency all due to the hospital not listening to me. You need to be strong for your child, it’s hard and I broke down a few times but if you know you are in for a while try to make it homely, bring blankets and maybe your own cup. It all makes a difference. – Rebecca
  •  I would also say to take each day as it comes especially if your child is intensive care as it can be quite a rollercoaster. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and even though it may feel like you can do very little for your child, just being there and letting them know that is important in itself. Don’t be afraid to accept help from friends. We had some lovely friends bring us food and it made such a difference! – Louise 
  • Earplugs. It’s so hard to sleep at night with all the noise! I’ve been with nearly all of my children in a hospital and spent more than my fair share there. There’s nothing really that helps but if your friends and family are supportive and can bring in snacks, money and reading material that helps, and someone to take over – Jenny 

 

 

If you feel like you are suffering from any type of mental health issues whatever the cause maybe then contact your doctor or health professional or if you want to talk to someone confidentially then get in contact with MIND – The Mental Health Charity – www.mind.org.uk 

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Ikea make up table hack

 

Earlier this week I wrote a post about how I want to motivate you to make positive changes to your life. Well, today I am going to motivate you to make positive changed to your home. We all need a small space to gather our thought and escape the kids & It’s taken me 35 years and 5 different homes but I finally have a room in my house that I don’t have to share with anyone ( Including Lee ). Since we moved to our new house in March I have been using the kitchen table to work from but not only does this cause me to get distracted every 2 minutes with little people coming in and out of the kitchen, It’s also too tempting to keep grabbing things from the fridge (more to come on Blogging Is Making Me Fat in another post).So I have cleared out the spare room and turned it into my office/dressing room.No peaceful haven of loveliness would be complete without a dressing table and I didn’t want a plain boring one. So what does a girl do when she needs some DIY inspiration? Of course, she turns to Pinterest. After 2 hours of pinning and sorting, I fixed on this fur stool & marble effect table. If you have a little bit of patience and love the power of owning a glue gun this mini project is for you. I promise you will love having a little place in the house to call your own. So grab your shopping list, fire up your glue gun and get cracking

 

You will need – Shopping List

IKEA 

Laptop table VITTSJÖ – £30

Stool MARIUS – £3.25 

Rug TEJN – £10

Wilkinsons

Rust-oleum Spray Paint – Gold – Brilliant Finish – £6.99

Self-Adhesive Film  ( sticky back plastic ) Marmi Grey  – £4

Seat Cushion – £2

You will also require a screwdriver & hot glue gun.

 

 

  1. Start by assembling the stool legs  & laptop table frame. Don’t attach the stool seat or the laptop table shelf/glass top.
  2. Spray both frames with 2-3 coats of the spray paint, leaving 20 minutes between coats.
  3. Once the stool frame is dry attached the seat to the frame and hot glue the cushion to the seat. Allow to set & dry for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the stool upside down on the fur material and measure enough material to cover the whole seat and allow enough overhang to wrap the material underneath.
  5. Cut off any excess material and use the glue gun to fix the material in place under the chair. Any extra bits of fabric can just be folded and glued down.Allow to dry upside down for 10 minutes
  6. Turn stool back upright and fluff up the material. The stool is now complete.
  7. Take the wooden laptop shelf and place on the sticky back plastic ( DO NOT REMOVE THE BACKING YET ) and measure 10cm around the edge.
  8. This is the tricky bit !!! Carefully peel back a small section of the sticky back and attached to the wood.Smooth away any air bubbles with an old plastic store/credit card being careful not to rip the surface.
  9. Carry on peeling back and smoothing small sections until the shelf is covered.
  10. flip the shelf upside down and wrap the remaining sticky back plastic to the bottom.You may need to cut a couple of slips in the plastic to get it to lie flat.
  11. Take the glass top and repeat the same process as the shelf.
  12. Place the top on the table and fix the shelf into position underneath.
  13. Add a mirror, pot of brushes & of course makeup and your DIY project is complete.

 

 

I hope this inspires you to make your own makeup table and reclaim a small part of your house. If you need some more inspiration then check out my Pinterest account here for some cool but cheap decorating ideas. If you would like to see some more decorating hacks then just comment below.

 

Ikea make up table hack

 

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To make it big in the Blogging world you must have a niche. Something that you have first-hand experience of and can help others in the same situation. I have always struggled with this as I just want to write about my life and what we are up to as a family. This is fabulous for my friends and family to read but not the most radical of niches. Some Bloggers have first-hand experience of dealing with colic and can advise on treatments. Some sadly have lost children and open their hearts with how to deal with bereavement. I am extremely lucky to say I have 2 very healthy, happy children and apart from the odd trip to A&E life is pretty normal.

So what do I have experience in?

What makes me stand out from the crowd? What can I offer my readers apart from the occasional laugh and some cute pictures of my kids? It’s taken me a while to suss this out as I think I am pretty ordinary but something clicked this morning. As much as I hate the school run & cleaning the house & miss a big fat pot of money coming into my bank account each month, I am genuinely happy. The type of happy where I could stand on a box with my tambourine singing the Hallelujah. You have all been with me on my journey of misery and search for a better life. Reading back on some of my posts from last year A Writing Affair  ,The Need for More  & The Unfulfilled Mama it was clear to everyone that I was not a happy bunny.

So how did I change things ?

I looked at my life as a whole and wrote down all the things that were good about it and all the things that were bad. It was a pretty 1 sided exercise and the only things that I could write on my bad side were my job and the constant stress of childcare issues. It was glaringly obvious that if I could change my job I could ease the daily stress of who would look after the kids while I was travelling backwards & forwards to a job 60 miles away each day. So I hatched a plan to make a better life for myself & my family. I decided to make my much-loved hobby of Blogging into a business and find a new industry to build a career in. I found myself one night typing out my resignation for my corporate career and from the second I hit the send button my life turned around. It has been the scariest thing I have ever done.I don’t have a Swiss bank account full of money and I can often be found working away at 1am to meet a deadline but I am blissfully happy in my new life.

So how can I help you ?

I want to be your virtual cheerleader. I want to motivate you to build a better life.I promise not to bull shit you with Tony Robbin’s techniques but I will push you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and take action.  If you live on the Fylde Coast then follow my digital campaign  No More Nine To Five to promote the need for more flexible job opportunities with our area and create a better work/life balance. I will be throwing lots of motivations quotes at you because  ‘ The journey of a thousand miles DOES begins with one step’.So whether it’s  how to be body confident, finding a new career or how to make your home into a sanctuary of peace, I want to give you the motivation to ‘Just Do It ‘ .

Life is only as hard as you make it and to quote the scholar that is Winney The Pooh ”You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes ”.

Please feel free to comment below or contact me at TheUnNaturalMother@gmail.com if you a motivational kick up the bum.

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