My Experience: Let’s talk about sex…

Yeah, I thought that might get your attention! Hahaha.

It certainly got my attention when Miss NHM came home from school a few weeks ago, talking about “hairy bhajina’s”. It took me about 5 seconds before I twigged what she was going on about!!?!?!?!?!

Then there was a “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I’m not READY, I’m not READY, I’m not READY!!!!” in my head for about another 5 seconds whilst I did some very quick thinking.

Then I realised that I’m never going to be ready for this one, so I corrected Miss NHM with the right wording and said I would see if I could find a book that could help her understand some things.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing when it comes to parenting. I’m making the whole thing up as I go along. We all are and anyone who says they aren’t is a great, big, hairy fibber.

But I do know that it’s important to Mr NHM and I that Miss NHM doesn’t learn about sex from playground gossip.

I know this isn’t strictly about sex but when I was 8 years old one of my best friends, Rachel P, her Mum had a miscarriage. Rachel’s parents obviously tried to explain this awful situation in a way that Rachel would understand. What Rachel took away from this conversation was that the baby had died and that it had been flushed down the toilet. She then told everyone in the playground that this is what had happened. For YEARS I had nightmares about small babies dying and being flushed down toilets, like goldfish.

So I was adamant that Miss NHM doesn’t find out about the birds and the bees or anything like this from playground gossip.

I don’t ever remember having the “sex talk” with my parents. I still have a book that was given to me when I was 6 years old, which explained how things worked.

I discreetly asked a few of the Mum’s on the school run about whether they had come across this yet, and one of my lovely friends (Hi H!) suggested the following book: “Let’s talk about the birds and the bees”.

I got our copy from The Book People, because it was a third of the price of what it was on Amazon or at Waterstones.

It’s a hard back book and really good quality.

The following weekend, Miss NHM and I sat on the bed and read the first few pages of the book.

I can’t say it was an easy read for me. I was cringing  a lot of the way through those pages, which says quite a lot about me I’m sure. Hopefully this didn’t come across as I was doing my very best to read it naturally.

Miss NHM was quite fascinated by it all and she clearly took it all on board because a few nights later she asked about it over the dinner table, which wasn’t quite was I wanted to discuss whilst eating spag bol, but I’d rather she feels safe to discuss these things with us than not.

I have tried to explain to her that we only talk about these things at home. I’d like to apologise to the other school parents if she hasn’t taken this bit on board (face palm).

I have no idea if I’ve done the right thing or not. “Just turned 7 years old” seems FAR too early to me to be discussing things like sex, but then I remember being that age and being quite fascinated by it all.

There is a section at the back of the book for parents, which says that if you talk to your children about sex they are less likely to be hung up about it.

They better be right!!!!

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NHM Readers: Places to take toddlers paddling in a stream

As part of “North Hants Mum Question Time”, I was asked by Juliet “Is there anywhere close to Basingstoke where you can take toddlers paddling in a stream?”

My response, as well as those received from the community, are below.

NHM Readers: Places to take toddlers paddling in a stream

Louise NHM replied “There is a “secret” place in Hook that is safe for little ones to paddle. Plus there is the stream in Eastrop or the streams that are all over Chineham. In fact on Sunday, Mr NHM and Miss NHM walked through several streams in Chineham for two hours and had a blast! I still feel bad about the insects they probably destroyed though! lol”

Hannah said “piggy dams off Newnam Lane is lovely for paddling. At the village hall in basing you take a right down Newnam Lane and on the left there’s a dirt path….if you follow it there’s a stream and little bridgey thing. when we last went someone had put a tyre swing up too!”

Louise said “Hannah – I know exactly where you mean. It’s where the river curves off to the left. There is a footpath sign and a red post box? (I cycle that way a LOT in the summer! lol)”

Saretta said “There’s a lovely stream to paddle in in Overton. It’s down Station Road, once you go over the little bridge it’s just on the left”

Katie said “Saretta – the Overton one is is called Flashetts and is actually the River Test. We were there today”

Charlotte said “The Crabtree there is a little steam my little boy loves it”

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Charity Pamper Evening at The Holiday Inn

We are have a fundraising event at the Holiday Inn on the 16th May 2018

It would be a great evening out for anyone who would like a to have a little bit of pampering and enjoy an evening out.

Tickets are now on sale and can also be reserved for the evening. If you need more information please contact me.

Kind regards

Kathy Williams

Community Events Organiser for The Pink Place

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How to choose the right fitness professional

Thank you very much to Helen at Good for Mum’s for writing today’s post!

How to choose the right fitness professional

Maybe you’re pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby and you’re looking for a fitness class. But how, in an industry where you can qualify in as little as a couple of months and complete an entirely online qualification in pre/postnatal exercise programming, can you be sure that your instructor is prescribing safe and appropriate exercise?

The answer is simple A.S.K !!!

A. Accredited – They should be qualified, ask to see their certificates. If they aren’t qualified then they won’t have insurance and you aren’t then protected should anything go wrong. Do they have an up to date first aid certificate? Are they a member of a regulating body, such as REPs, CIMSPA or FHT Sports. There are lots of professional standards agencies which fitness instructors can voluntarily sign up to. They often provide CPD, training, further education and keep the instructor up to date with changes in regulations or guidance and it shows they’re committed to maintaining high standards. How long have they been in the industry and what is their speciality. Do they have testimonials from clients which evidences their skills. Do they get results?

S. Screening – Pregnant and Postnatal women go through massive changes when carrying and birthing babies. No two women or births are the same and as such, the screening should be in depth and facilitate answers to questions which are as unique as your body. If your fitness provider is not screening you for pelvic floor disfunction, diastasis recti, over all core function, postural assessment, birth trauma to tissues and the fourth trimester, are they really screening you deeply? Are they painting a picture of your pre/postnatal health and truly able to prescribe appropriate exercise? I recently heard a wise lady say ‘Specialists assess, they don’t guess’ and when it comes to ladies who carry and birth babies, this could not be more true.

K. Knowledge – Does the Company or Fitness Instructor truly understand the client they are working with? Are they saying that you are only postnatal if you had a baby less than six months ago? Are they able to identify potential complications? Do they have the integrity to know when to refer a client to another specialist when symptoms warn of something which maybe beyond their professional capabilities?  Or are they telling you to ‘just take the low impact modification’ and taking your money. Is the instructor offering you explanation and reasoning behind their instructions? Do they talk sense? If it sounds like BS it probably is and if they’re saying lots of ‘I don’t know’ or ‘no you don’t need to do that’ you have to ask yourself do you want to settle for  industry standard or does your body deserve best practice?

If you’re serious about getting your body to a place where it heals well and recovers properly, be serious about your choices when looking at exercise classes. Your GP check at six weeks clears you to return to ‘normal activity’ such as driving, walking, lifting a baby etc it does not clear you to head straight back to boot camp or iron-mans. Even if you regularly did them pre-pregnancy.

Do something good for you and always remember to ASK.

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Netball Tournament to help Ark Cancer Charity

Debbie McLatch and her daughter Dani Taylor have kindly organised a Mixed Sex Versatility Netball Tournament to raise funds for Ark.

Taking place on Saturday, April 28 at Russell Howard Park in Basingstoke, this fun event is for men and women players over 16.

It would be great if you could please post the info on the NorthHantsMum page and spread the word to anyone else who may be interested.

To register to take part, please contact Dani at Danielle.Taylor@parissmith.co.uk.

Thanks to everyone who signs up.

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Finding Your style when returning to work – By Victoria Kennedy

Hi, I’m Victoria, mum to 2 crazy, lively boys, vintage frock lover, tea drinker and Personal Stylist. I am passionate about empowering women to love being themselves. My style ethos is that ‘you are best at being you’.

So embrace who you are and shout about it for the world to hear! I’m often contacted by women returning to work after having their children. The story is almost always the same, and 99% of the time it boils down to confidence, confidence in ourselves as working women. If you are considering returning to work, read on!

Going back to work after having a baby is a big move, your heart, mind and body are still adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and it can feel very overwhelming and stressful. Usually full of emotional turmoil and a bucket load of ‘mum-guilt’ at the thought of leaving your child.

Whether you took 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years of maternity leave, deciding what to wear to work after having a baby will be different but yet the same for all of us. You may still be carrying baby weight, you may still be breastfeeding and more than likely your confidence will have dipped.

For me, returning to work after the birth of my first son was so daunting. I was absolutely riddled with guilt as well as feeling totally overwhelmed about my ‘new body’ and how to dress for it. Let’s face it, I’d spent the majority of the last 12 months in my new found ‘mummy uniform’- rotating PJ’s for leggings and oversized sweaters. Marry that with a distinct lack of sleep and time to myself meant makeup and hair styling was no longer on my monthly to do list let alone part of my mornings routine!

When deciding to return to work, first and foremost, before thinking about what to wear: 

  1. Be kind to yourself

 Take some time to process the return to work decision in your own head. You may be feeling guilty about leaving your child, you may be feeling guilty about being excited to return to work. All of these feelings are normal. Do not beat yourself up about how you feel. Talk to your partner, friends, family and allow yourself those feelings.

2. Take up the offer of ‘Return to work days’

Going back into work in an informal way, for a chat & coffee can help it feel less daunting. Remember these days are for you to ‘catch up and refresh yourself’ don’t be pushed into working or being pulled into office politics!

3. Take care of yourself

Try to build a routine into the mornings and evenings on the days leading up to your return to work. This will help you ensure you get enough sleep and eat well- returning to work is tiring! Prepare yourself!

So once you’ve found good childcare, figured out logistics, battled tiredness and getting into the ‘work’ frame of mind, you can start to think about what you will wear on the ‘big day’.  This was such a huge challenge for me as I felt I had lost myself. I was ‘mummy’ and knew that role quite well- I knew the uniform! But I had no idea what ‘working Victoria’ looked like these days. Plus I had no idea what suited my new expanse of tummy!

I knew I wanted to return to work feeling confident about myself. I wanted people to see me as a professional, not as a ‘mummy’- which is strange as I have the utmost respect for mums- the jobs a tough one! But I felt, on my return to work, I would be judged by my appearance, that ‘how together’ I looked was a reflection on my ability to be a working mum.

So with that in mind I went shopping with a close friend, someone who had returned to work previously after having her children, and her advice is something I still use regularly with my clients today!

1. New Clothes

Whilst it seems obvious to say buy new clothes- after all we are all familiar with that ‘shiny new item’ feeling- much like the first day back at school adorned head to toe in new gear! But when I say buy new clothes what I really mean is take a good look at your new post baby body shape and buy new pieces that flatter this new fabulous shape.

If you’re unsure of your body shape- take a look at my facebook page for some tips and guidance! Dressing to flatter your shape can make you look slimmer, younger and feel more confident. There is no need to purchase the entire Next Directory- See my next point!

2. Buy 3 or 4 versatile items

For example, buying a black shift or wrap dress (great if breastfeeding/pumping) can be a great investment as you can wear it in different ways- with a blazer, with a scarf, with heels, with boots, with a bright necklace etc.

A great rule I impose on my clients is ‘never buy an item that doesn’t already go with 2 or 3 items you own’- that way you can wear it in many ways. So when you are choosing some new workwear think carefully about how the pieces can be worn to create multiple outfits.
Other good versatile items are;

  • ‘trophy blazers’- bright/jazzy fabric blazers that can be added to outfits to provide colour or texture.
  • Statement jewellery- another great way of adding colour and changing the look of an outfit.
  • Neutral coloured trousers or skirt- these can then be worn with a variety of tops and shoes to create different looks.

3. Bag & Shoes

You’ve probably got the hang of packing the changing bag with every possibility accounted for. You’re used to lugging around the contents of your house- just in case! But when returning to work the contents of your bag is entirely for you. So as well as having the luxury of carrying just your purse and lippy, you can do so in a lovely new bag! Treating yourself to a gorgeous-but- totally-impractical-for-mummy-duty bag can be a great way to bring your personality back into your style.

It’s a way of reminding yourself that ‘you’ are still ‘you’! This can also be the case with shoes! Although an air of practicality may well be needed, depending on your job, but it can be a great confidence boost to walk into work rocking a killer pair of heels! You’ve still got it girl!

Whatever you choose to wear to return to work, above everything else, it should make you feel most like you. Your style is a reflection of your personality as well as your lifestyle and body shape.

We are naturally going to feel most confident when we are being ourselves. Embrace who you are- an amazing women, who has carried and birthed a precious baby, a baby who loves you unconditionally for being their Mama. Return to work with this love in your heart and let your light shine- You are best at being you!

If you would like more tips and advice on finding your style join my ‘Style File’ group on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/groups/107764566603327

Alternatively, book a Personal Styling session with me for an in depth analysis of your shape, colours, style and personality- www.givingyouaboost.wixsite.com/hello

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Review 2018: Poundfit with Vicky

Vicky’s a very good friend of mine so I was intrigued when she recently started her Poundfit classes.

Being a good friend of hers, she obviously took full advantage of knowing that I’m NorthHantsMum and asked me to review her classes :-D.

Poundfit with Vicky

Poundfit is a combination cardio and strength class with “constant simulated drumming”. You follow a dance routine whilst hitting with drum sticks.

Vicky is uber friendly, although I might be biased as she is a friend of mine! lol. She was very excited that I came to class and was very bubbly and made sure that all of the ladies felt welcomed.

When we arrived the room was set up with mats and drum sticks.

Once she switched the lights on I felt like I was back to my clubbing days! lol.

The routines were very straight forward and easy to follow and you do as much or as little as you can. I was very nervous at first because it’s been a while since I’ve done a “proper” exercise class.

But I kept up without any issues and although some of the exercises were a bit too much for my poor thighs I was still able to follow the routine and still pound my drum sticks. I think after only a few more classes my thighs would be much better than they currently are!!

The class is 45 minutes long with a warm up and cool down but it goes really fast!

It was BRILLIANT!!! I loved it!!!  Although I wasn’t as sweaty as I thought I would be, so maybe I’m not as unfit as I originally thought! lol.

It’s a great way of relieving any stress and tension at the same time as getting fit. I can see why it’s a little bit addictive!!!

Tips

Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting sweaty or leaping around in.

Take a water bottle and a mini towel to wipe the sweat off with.

Parking

Is free at all of the venues

Prices

You can find out more details about Poundfit with Vicky at her facebook page: Poundfitwithvicky

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Relax, unwind, socialise and harmonise with Thula Mama!

Hi, I’m Rebecca and I run a singing group called Thula Mama (pronounced ‘Tula Mama’) for mothers of bumps and pre-crawling babies, from my home in Bramley. Thula Mama is a national franchise but this is the only group in this area.

As mother to 3-year-old Elliott, I’ve been fully immersed in the world of baby and toddler groups in recent years and I felt there was a gap locally for mums who enjoy singing but would like an alternative to nursery rhymes! In contrast to most musical groups for mothers and babies, the focus of a Thula Mama session is on the mothers and allowing them a chance to relax and unwind and do something for themselves. It offers mums an hour and a half of social time and provides both mothers and babies with the many benefits of soothing singing. Babies love listening to the sound of their mothers’ voices singing gently to them.

I run the group from the comfort of my living room, provide drinks and biscuits and a comfy place to sit while you meet other mums and catch up. We then learn a mix of gentle lullabies and more upbeat songs from around the world with simple but effective harmonies. Singing in this way in a group creates a positive and peaceful atmosphere and has been proven to be great for wellbeing. Absolutely no experience is necessary! All are welcome and all the songs are taken at a gentle pace appropriate to the group.

Sessions are every Wednesday at 10am. For details, please contact me on 07971 798945, email rebecca.cooch@gmail.com or visit www.Facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke. The first session is free. You can also find out more and listen at www.thulamama.co.uk.

Here is an example of a recent review:

Amanda McKechan, November 28, 2017
“I am so pleased I came across this group – it is something so different from the usual Mother and Baby classes, and it is a rare combination of doing something for your child as well as for yourself. The songs are different, some joyful, some soulful. My baby has loved attending and listening to the group – it is interesting how mesmerised the babies are!

I think it is interesting to find out about the meanings of the lyrics and think about the other mums around the world singing these songs, doing the same jobs we do.

Rebecca is a lovely teacher – it is a relaxed class at her house. I think people may feel put off if they are not the best singer, but that really doesn’t matter, there are different parts and different songs to suit everyone. It certainly is nice to add some more songs to our parenting repertoire other than the usual (Twinkle twinkle etc!). Thanks for a lovely time Rebecca – it has been my favourite activity with my baby this year.”

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NHM Readers: Children’s first aid course

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this fellow NHM reader: “Any idea how I could get onto/find info on how to get one a children’s first aid course? Got a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and when my little one choked on a grape a few weeks ago I had no idea what to do!!! Luckily she was fine but would like to be more informed, just not sure where to start!?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thank you to Shona for putting this post together. 

NHM Readers suggest children’s first aid courses

Louise NHM Smith suggested Vicky at First Aid Angels Limited and also to check the local NCT website to see if they are doing any first aid courses.

Samantha said: St John’s x

Sarah said: you could try contacting local community centres or nurseries or play groups? sometimes they book a course for staff and have spaces left?

Kelsey said: We went on a free one that the children’s centres were doing. Not sure if they still are.

Marie said: First aid angels

Marie said: I’d recommend Vicky at First aid angels too. We did a group class with her at my friends house when the kids were small.

Kay said: We use Tiger Lilly for our paediatric courses at Spotlight.

Bethan said: Speak to RCS. They run safe and healthy baby courses which incorporate a paediatric first aid training session x

Cerys said: NCT run baby & child first aid courses in association with Red Cross. By coincidence, September’s are this Saturday, 2 courses, am & pm

Louise said:Baby Resuscitation highly recommend this company

Kimberley said:NCT runs great baby and child first aid courses. They are at Everest College every month.

Lucy said:I did mine at the library in basingstoke festival place… It was at a huge discount too so worth asking incase they are doing more (as this was a year and a half ago now) x

Lizzy said: We did ours at Basingstoke discovery centre & was very cheap. So definitely worth checking if they still do it.

First Aid Angels Limited thank you for your support Ladies. We offer a 2 hour parents first aid course in your own home or venue Usually on a weekday evening. We are a Qualsafe approved centre and offer accredited Paediatric and adult first aid courses too.

Lizzie said: I did the NCT Red Cross one which was really good. There’s also a “Safe & Healthy baby/toddler” course run through the children’s centres which covers loads if things including First Aid. That was free & was brilliant.

Kelly said: I have done the Tigerlillys 12hr paediatric course which is really good or they do a shorter 6hr course and a reasonable price.

Luan said: Viables have some emergency aid courses coming up and they deal with various things including choking for infants and adults. Free too! Next is Sep 20th at 2pm. Our new Birth to Beyond course starts on Monday and a first aider will be attending to cover choking, febrile convulsions etc. The course is £20 for five weeks and we will be covering all sorts of other things too. First aid for infants is in the first week. 01256 473634 Viables Community Centre or office@viables.org.uk

Peta said: First aid for life. Owner is london based but she has health care gurus all over. NCT use her (very adaptable/personalised) courses regularly.

Karen said: Nursery Rhymes Inc – St John’s

Susan said:We did ours through the Red Cross but I don’t remember any booking details.

Madeleine said: Tadley Triangle Heartstart did free courses a few years ago

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Teeny Weeny Massage & Yoga for Babies

Miss NHM and I did a baby massage course with Gail in 2011 and the course was so good I still occasionally use the techniques that we were taught by Gail!

Teeny Weeny Massage & Yoga for Babies

I have been teaching Baby Massage dare I say, since 1995, having taken the first ever Baby Massage Course with the IAM (Int. Assoc. of Infant Massage) offered in the UK in 1993!   This really shows my age!!

I have taught in many areas of both Surrey, Berks and Hampshire, but over the last 18 years (since my son was born), have taught most of my classes in the Basingstoke, Hook and Farnham areas……(I may have even taught you….please forgive me if I don’t remember your name as I have taught literally hundreds of Mums over the years and a number now often make me feel even older by producing teenagers who were taught in my massage classes!).

Over the past 4 years I have offered Infant Massage & Baby Yoga classes in 4 -5 of with the wonderful Children’s Centres around Basingstoke which have sadly now closed (criminal!).

Following this  I  taught private classes at the West Side Community Centre in South Ham until last summer when I decided to have a 6 month break.

However, knowing these classes have been appreciated and valued by new Mums over the years and because there is little on offer because of the doors closing of the Children’s Centres, I have decided  to restart my classes in 2018.

I have always seen them as a kind of Foundation Classes for new parents, offering not just massage and yoga tuition but a wealth of information regarding all sorts of topics, where support can be given, problems can be mulled over, new baby handling confidence can increase and very importantly, new friends can be made.

So…..I have decided to return to the Chineham Library and teach my classes once again in Lillypads, the old Children’s Centre there, with my first 6 weeks course starting on Tues. 30th Jan. (and hopefully the second one starting on Tues. 20th March).

If you would like more details, please contact me on my mobile number below.

Thank you!

Gail Harbers (CIMI/BYI)

(Certified Infant Massage & Baby Yoga Instructor)

Teeny Weeny Massage & Yoga for Babies

Tel. 07720 291197

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