Parenting & lifestyle Blog

Hello everyone, I’m Joanne, a 20-year-old mum to two boys under two. I was more than interested in getting involved with parenting an...

Parenting And Mental Health: What it feels like: Part 4

Hello everyone,

I’m Joanne, a 20-year-old mum to two boys under two. I was more than interested in getting involved with parenting and mental health series because it’s SO important to raise awareness and In my opinion, it’s better to open up instead of suffering in silence. I have suffered from severe anxiety since having children. The following questions should explain a little more about that.

1)When did you realise you had a mental health problem?
I first realised something wasn’t quite right when I CONSTANTLY worried about my children. Yes I know everybody does but this was something else. I hated leaving the house, I imagined death, illness and the unimaginable. I imagined a car swerving onto the path whilst we walked, I imagined one of them being taken from me. I checked that they were breathing 24/7. I couldn’t relax, EVER.

2)How did you deal with it?
I didn’t. How could I deal with it? The only thing that seems to help is sitting alone in the bath and crying. That was my time. That was my time to relax and I spent it crying. It helped! It got me through to the next day but then the whole thing started again. It’s one never-ending vicious circle.

3)How does your mental health affect parenting?
I wouldn’t say it affects it in a bad way. I’m just overprotective, like way overprotective. I have my children 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They’ve never had a planned sleepover with their granny or granddad, they’ve never been to play with their auntie or uncle without me. I don’t give myself the break that I probably really bloody need.

4)Do your children notice when you have a bad day?
No! The thoughts are inside my head. I never cry in front of them (hence the reason I go up to the bath) I never get stressed. The only thing perhaps that could be noticed is when I panic, maybe I’ll start walking quicker or squeezing their hand a little tighter.

5)How does your mental health affect your daily life?
Me and my partner have only ever been on 1 date since having the children. Don’t get me wrong he is SO understanding but it’s obviously not healthy. It is beginning to put a strain on our relationship I can see that from a mile away!

6)If you have, how did you get over your mental health problems?
I’ve still got it! I’ll admit that and say that it’s not as scary as it used to be or maybe it is but I’ve just taught myself to deal with it in a mature manner. Things are going to get better and things will look up. I’ve got to keep my head focused and realise that the life we live is the life that God gave us. I can’t live my life in a series of stress and worry. I’m stronger than that.

If you can relate to this and you enjoyed reading Joannes story visit her on the links below and say Hi!

Social Links are-

Thanks for reading and keep checking back for more mental health stories, you are not alone.

Much Love

Welcome back to our mental health series Parenting And Mental Health: What it feels like, today were talking to Cas to see how she deals wi...

Parenting And Mental Health: What it feels like: Part 3

Welcome back to our mental health series Parenting And Mental Health: What it feels like, today were talking to Cas to see how she deals with her mental health while parenting.

I'm Cas, I'm a mum of one (8 year old boy) and I've been writing MummyNeverSleeps for nearly 6 years. I predominantly write about my journey through motherhood while tackling my mental health. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a personality disorder called Cyclothymia (very similar to Bipolar Disorder). 

1) When did you realize you had a mental health problem?
 I think I was 11 or 12 when I first experienced depression but didn't really know what was happening at the time. It's with hindsight that I recognised what was wrong when I was around 18 and it was only when I fell pregnant a few years later that I sought help from my GP and was immediately put on antidepressants. When I was 27 I was admitted to a mental health unit following a bout of being suicidal - it was then suggested I could be dealing with a personality disorder rather than depression. 

2) How did you deal with it?
I didn't. I was suicidal, I self-harmed and I hid away. After being incorrectly diagnosed and treated for so long, all I felt was relief when I was diagnosed with something that made sense, it's taken a long time to find the correct mix of medication and dosage but I've been mostly stable for a year now. 

3)How does your mental health affect your parenting? 
Some days I don't feel I can do very much at all, and others I want to do everything. I have to find a balance every day and tackle things in little chunks, otherwise, I won't know when to stop. I also find I'm highly sensitive to my son's emotions and what's going on in his life. 

4)Do your children notice when you have a bad day? 
Absolutely. My son's very perceptive when it comes to my moods, if he's picked up me feeling a bit low, he'll overcompensate and try to make me smile and distract me. 

- How does that make you feel?
I feel incredibly guilty that he's so young and already knows that mummy can feel sad for no reason and he has no way of finding a solution. 

-How do you deal with it? 
I'm not sure I do, mum guilt is pretty formidable! 

5)How does your mental health affect your daily life?
My medication makes me very tired and drowsy, I have to go to bed at a set time as staying up late is a sign I'm getting unwell and hypomanic. I make a lot of lists so I have set boundaries and don't go overboard around the house. Lists also help when I feel overwhelmed and as if there's too much going on in my head. 

6)If you have, how did you get over your mental health problems? 
Cyclothymia is chronic unfortunately and can lead to Bipolar disorder. It's something I need to deal with and take medication for the foreseeable future, if not forever. It's just something I need to learn to manage rather than cure. 

If you enjoyed reading Cas's story you can find here on her social channels:

You can check out previous parts of our mental health series Here and Here :D Watch out for more soon!

Much Love

Buying a new bra is sometimes really challenging, Getting the right cup, the right fit, padded, unpadded, there's soo many options, so I...

3 Steps To The Perfect Fitting Bra

Buying a new bra is sometimes really challenging, Getting the right cup, the right fit, padded, unpadded, there's soo many options, so I have put together this 3 step guide to help you find the perfect bra.

3 steps to the perfect fitting bra

1) Measure Your Band Size: While braless or wearing a non-padded bra or bralette, measure (in inches) under your bust with a tape measure, the tape measure should be snug but not overly tight, round to the nearest whole number, if it's even, add 4inches, if it's odd, add 5inches, Your band size will be the total calculation

2)Measure Your Bust: Time to get the tape measure out again and measure around the fullest part of your chest and round it again up to the nearest inch.

3)Work out your cup size: Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and use this simple chart to work out your cup!


Its really as simple as that and here's a quick example: 37 inches (bust) – 34 inches (band) = 3 inches. That’s a 34C! Next its time to find the perfect bra!

Tip!: The fit on a bra is very important, if you get an underwire bra make sure that the bones fit flush to the centre of your chest bone, this will make sure you get a good fit, nobody wants bra bones protruding out of the front of their top!

Head on over to Hunkemoller and take a look at their fabulous range of bras including strapless and stick on!!
This brand is brilliant, the quality and sizes of these bras are wonderful and they're great prices too! Don't Believe me? Well here's my review:

Hunkemoller Bra Review: 

When my bra came I was so excited, I had spent so long choosing the perfect one and I found it! Its white and netty and lovely quality material, I ordered a 40DD (I'm a big mumma) and the cup fits perfect, the bones are flush to my chest and the back is snug but not uncomfortable its just how I like it and I'm sure over time it would get a little looser.

hunkemoller review

My bra It's a brilliant white colour and has a double clasp on the back ( i prefer 3 for more support but I'm just picky), it has a lovely little button bow in the middle too! The straps are lovely, they're not too thick and have a lovely bow accent on them too.

The service and choice of this site is great and the prices are great, as you can see from the images the packaging is really cute too :D I would definitely order from this site again maybe around August for my wedding undies ;)

I really hope that you get a perfect measurement for your bra and find a perfect bra that fits too! 

Much Love

*I received my bra from Hunkemoller as a gifting in exchange for a review, all opinions are honest and my own*

This week we're Going to be interviewing Gareth From Daddy Giraffe , here's a little about him and his perspective on Parenti...

Parenting and Mental Health: What it feels like: Part2

Parenting and Mental Health: What it feels like: Part 2

This week we're Going to be interviewing Gareth From Daddy Giraffe, here's a little about him and his perspective on Parenting with mental health.

Daddy Giraffe
My name is Gareth I am a Daddy to 5 the oldest being 13 and the youngest being just 1. I like to read and spend time with my family, I run a blog called Daddy Giraffe where I write about life as a daddy with Mental Health issues.

When did you realise you had Mental Health issues?

I think deep down I always knew, when I was younger I was always quick to react in certain situations and changing from mood to mood quite quickly. Growing up it was still there and it wasn't until I had children that I had to seek help from professionals as I didn't want this kind of atmosphere around my children and them thinking it was the norm.

How did you deal with it?

Badly at first.

Once I was diagnosed I refused to believe it or even take my medication as I didn't think I needed it or that it would even make a difference but I had to sit down and think of not only my own health but how it affects my family and those around me. So after I started taking my medication things started to improve and my moods balanced out a bit better.

How does your Mental Health affect your parenting?

I would like to say very little as I try to keep it in check as much as I can but you can't hide anything from children and they pick on absolutely everything. With the older children I sat them down and explained what was happening and lucky for me they are very bright and understood well. If I'm stressed or I can feel an episode going to happen I will take myself away and come back when it's all sorted.

Do your children notice when you're having a bad day?

Yes unfortunately because my Personality Disorder is a mixture of Bipolar and Schizophrenia it's hard to control my emotions so I will switch very fast multiple times a day or I will be very quiet and not interact with anyone much inside or outside of the house.

How does that make you feel?

Like a bad parent, I love my family very much and would do anything within my power to make them happy and when sometimes im a hard person to live with it makes me feel bad that they don't have a normal parent in me. My partner says im a fantastic dad which is always great to hear but I can't help feeling a letdown.

How do you deal with it?

By trying to make up for it however I can, giving them more attention on my better days or telling them I love them very much.

How does Mental Health affect your day to day living?

It makes it hard doing various things such as I have no motivation to go out anywhere, some days when the kids are having a bad day it makes it harder to deal with but with the help of my partner we have sorted out a routine and everything runs smoothly to the point I now have techniques to calm the situation down so they can deal with being upset and the reason why their sad.

If you have, how did you get over your Mental Health issues?

I haven't as of yet but I am getting better every day and with the help of family and professionals, I will someday be off the medication and back into work.

Daddy Giraffe x

Thank you so much, Gareth for sharing your perspective on the series, if you liked this post hop on over to the Daddy Giraffe Facebook Page and Twitter and say hi!

If you want to be involved, head on over to the Work With Me Page and pop me an email!

Easter is just around the corner and I'm so excited for it, We have our G ift Guide and Giveaway on the blog and  I've been working ...

Whats On This Easter Holidays

Easter is just around the corner and I'm so excited for it, We have our Gift Guide and Giveaway on the blog and I've been working extra hard these past few weeks so its now time for some quality time with my little monsters :D

So now is the question of what to do this half term?! Well, as usual, I've been making a list of activities and events and its all in one nice big list for you :D Your welcome ;) So If your local to East Norfolk take a look, If not head over and check out our Gift Guide and Giveaway by clicking the link!

Whats on This Easter Half Term

Roar! Egg-cellent Easter! At Dinosaur Adventure Norwich 29th March-8th April
Join Dippy in Wonderland over the Egg-cellent Easter Event. Our Dinosaur Trail has been transformed into the magical wonderland, where Dippy holds a Tea Party and you can find magic and treasures hidden throughout the woods. Play Croquet in the Queen of Hearts Garden and meet the friends of the White Rabbit in our Secret Animal Garden. Try and beat the clock with the Easter Egg Hunt and help Dippy and friends solve the mystery of the missing Easter Eggs in the first LIVE show (Weekends only). Roarr! Dinosaur

Easter Egg Hunt At Caister Lifeboat Station 10:00am-15:30pm 30th March -2nd April
Children are sent on a trail around the historic lifeboat and shed to find their way to a chocolate treat.

Great Yarmouth Market Easter Egg Hunt! - Sat 31st March

Take part in the Free Easter Egg Hunt round Great Yarmouth Market. Simply visit every stall on both the central market and on the stalls on the marketplace looking for the Easter Egg.

Note down how many Easter eggs there are on display and hand your card to the Market Supervisor. You’ll receive a mini chocolate egg just for taking part!

All correct entries go into the prize draw to win the giant Docwra’s Easter Egg! The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Her Worship Cllr Kerry Robinson-Payne will draw the winner out of the hat at 3 pm on the day.

Little Lullabies 3rd April 10:30-11:30 Gorleston Library FREE!
Stories and songs for babies and their parents/carers 

Lego Club 3rd April 4:00-5:30pm Gorleston Library Upstairs! AND IT'S FREE!
Come and join in the fun for a lego filled session, free healthy snacks and other refreshments from 50p
Lego, Mega Bloks, Challenges, Games and Colouring. From Crawling Age-16

Slime Workshop 3rd April - 14:00-15:00 Gorleston Library -£3 Booking Is Essential
Come and experiment making (borax free) slime at this fun half term workshop with a touch of science!
Ideal for ages 5 and above.

Slime workshop will also run again at Acle library 12th April 10:30-11:30

Egg-tastic Easter Event Gorleston Library upstairs 4th April 12-1pm 50p on the door. For Children Of All Ages
Easter themed crafts, Egg hunt, Games and More!

Easter Story and Crafts - 4th April 10:30-11:30 For Pre-school Children
Come and listen to a story and make some Easter crafts.

Easter Fair - Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th April - Great Yarmouth Market Place
Rides, Stalls and music, or just enjoy the candy floss and the atmosphere!

Thursday 4pm-11pm
Friday & Saturday 11am - to 11pm
Sunday 12 noon - 6pm

Mini Movers 9th April 11:15-11:45am Great Yarmouth Library
Put the spring in tour step and get moving with your toddler for some fun-filled dancing.

I really hope you can attend some of these and don't let your kids drive you crazy with chocolate this Easter! 

Much Love


Every Easter the kids get overwhelmed with chocolate and it sometimes takes them ages to eat it all, my kids get a chocolate egg each but th...

Non-Chocolate Easter Gift Ideas and GIVEAWAY!!

Every Easter the kids get overwhelmed with chocolate and it sometimes takes them ages to eat it all, my kids get a chocolate egg each but they also get a gift, whether it be clothing or a toy or even a new book.

                      easter gift guide, non-chocolate, dairyfree, allergens, gits, kids gifts,

Don't get me wrong who doesn't love chocolate?! But I really love getting them a present they're not going to just eat in 5 minutes, So if you're like me and want to get your kids something they'll enjoy and something that will last longer than 5 mins then check out our list below :D

For The Little Ones:

Pull Along Cow - £4.99

For The Older Kids:

Unicorn Garden -£19.99

So I hope this has given you some great ideas and if you want to buy a non-chocolate Easter gift from What2Buy4Kids use my code for 10% off.

And For an added bonus we have a GIVEAWAY! We've teamed up with Reroom UK to give away 2 sets of Hedgehugs Nursery Wall Art Prints with Leaves and Animals, The giveaway is UK ONLY and will END on 04/04/18 12:00AM.

So don't forget to have an amazing Easter and enter the giveaway below, Good Luck!

Much Love

*Disclosure: Reroom sent me these prints as a giveaway item.
All links for What2buy4kids are Affiliate links (i may make money from them)*

Easter is fast approaching, and I really wanted to teach Lilli the Easter story, We're not religious but id like her to learn what it me...

Celebrating Easter With Twinkl

Easter is fast approaching, and I really wanted to teach Lilli the Easter story, We're not religious but id like her to learn what it means so in future she can decide on religion herself, I also wanted to have some fun and do some activities like colouring and reading too, So we popped on to Twinkl and looked through their resources and found tonnes of amazing activities!

I quickly found loads of resources relating to Easter including this Powerpoint,These colouring sheets, and this cute little Twinkl Originals E-book about saving easter.
Obviously, the powerpoint was my main focus for Lilli to see but the other activities were a massive hit too! 

The power point was a lovely presentation it wasn't too long and it very bright and child-friendly, It really helped Lilli understand the Easter story and I was really pleased with it, And Lilli really loved the e-book too, the application is so smooth and the story was just fantastic, It was all about trusting each other to save Easter and it was a really lovely story.

And Megan (my stepdaughter) absolutely loved the colour by number sheets, she must have done about 3 or 4 and it kept her entertained for a good hour, Megan said she really loved the designs on the Easter eggs and they looked fab once she had finished.

Overall I really enjoyed learning with my girls and Twinkl is so easy and simple to use, it's not just for teachers or home educators it's for anyone who wants to learn with their children.
Twinkl has a whole range of resources from colouring to STEM activities for all ages and its so helpful for keeping the kids entertained as you can see!!

"Twinkl changes lives by providing instant access to a complete range of teacher created, engaging and inspiring teaching, planning and assessment materials. " 

So if you're thinking of getting creative this half term or even want to teach your children the Easter story too I urge you to check out Twinkl and let me know what your favourite resources are in the comments below.

Much Love


*Disclosure: I was given a free subscription to Twinkl in exchange for an open an honest review- all thoughts are my own*

Welcome to my new series, I'm glad you're here, in my opinion, mental health isn't spoken about enough, it affects a lot of pare...

Parenting And Mental Health: What It Feels Like

Welcome to my new series, I'm glad you're here, in my opinion, mental health isn't spoken about enough, it affects a lot of parents and new mothers too! Mental health and parenting can be a mission in itself so along this series we're going to speak to some parents for their story to see what it feels like.

mental health

So we're gonna start with me, some of you may know me, some of you may not so ill introduce myself briefly, I'm Vicki, I'm 27 and a mother of 2 and I have 2 stepchildren too, I suffer from depression that stemmed off postnatal depression, I live in the East of England in a little town called Great Yarmouth and I run a blog and I'm also a virtual assistant.

1) When did you realize you had a mental health problem?
After I had my first child things were very hard for me, we still lived with my  (now ex) partners mum and dad, we were in 1 small room and it was hell! we soon moved into our own home and I thought I would feel better but I soon realized that it was mental health and not just being unhappy.

2) How did you deal with it?
As soon as I realize I had problems I went straight to a doctor, I was put on meds and spent the next 3 years trying new ones that worked for me.

3)How does your mental health affect your parenting?
Honestly some days I'm awful, I get angry, I scream, I shout and I can't wait till bedtime, other days I'm so happy, proud and all I want to do is play and make them happy! I do have more good days than bad now, but it really depends on how the kids act too! 

4)Do your children notice when you have a bad day?
Sometimes yes, Lilli gets very worried if I'm crying or sad she can sense it! 

- How does that make you feel? 
Honestly, I hate it but I am proud of her for knowing the signs that someone is upset/sad she will make a brilliant best friend someday.

 -How do you deal with it?
I try to comfort Lilli and let her know I'm ok but its okay to be sad sometimes and everyone has bad days.

5)How does your mental health affect your daily life?
Now I'm taking the right medication and it works for me I feel great, don't get me wrong I have to kick myself up the arse every now and then but I have a job I love and I volunteer at my local library and it really makes me feel like I have a worth! 

6)If you have, how did you get over your mental health problems?
I wouldn't say I'm over them because without meds I am a wreck, but I now have control over it and I'm making changes in my life for the better.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this and watch out for the next installment of the series.

Much Love

Image source If you’re struggling with mental ill health, helping out someone who is, or even if you are currently not experiencing any ...

Lifestyle Factors That Can Hit Mental Health Hard

If you’re struggling with mental ill health, helping out someone who is, or even if you are currently not experiencing any mental health issues at all. There are a number of lifestyle factors that can make your mental health much worse, and by knowing about them, although you will need to keep seeing your doctor and taking your medication (if that’s what you are doing), you can take more control back over your life.

I know it’s not always going to be easy to tackle this stuff when you’re in the depths of mental illness, but when you’re feeling well enough, if you can avoid these negative lifestyle factors, chances are you will feel at least a little bit better. So, without further ado, here are the lifestyle factors that can hit mental health hard: 

Lack of Activity 
Exercise can be seriously impossible to do when you’re feeling really unwell, but a lack of activity can make things feel much worse because you may gain weight and you won’t be getting the benefits of endorphins coursing through your body. So, whenever you feel able, move around more, even if that just means walking around the block with a friend. 

Again, it’s difficult because a lot of people who struggle with mental illness naturally tend to isolate themselves from everything and everyone, but all that does is make matters worse. Being able to talk to someone, get a hug when you need one and just feel like you are part of someone else’s life and they yours is so good for mental and physical health. That’s why we are seeing more stay at home mums and lonely old people become depressed - something that having care at home or family and friends visiting more frequently can help with. It is also why, calling a friend, even if only for a few minutes, or even better getting out and about seeing people you love, whenever you feel up to it, will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your mental health. 

We all know that smoking is really bad for us for so many reasons - cancer, heart disease, etc. - but did you know that it can also have a negative effect on mental health? Nearly 50 percent of people with mental health issues smoke and many say they do so because it helps to ‘take the edge off’ their symptoms, but research has shown that those who are able to kick the habit, despite some initial problems, almost always experience a boost to their mental health as a result. So, if you smoke, you might want to see a smoking cessation expert. It couldn’t hurt to try! 

Poor Diet
Eating a poor diet, we also know is bad for our waistline and physical health, but again, it is also bad for mental health too. If you eat lots of processed with little nutritional value, not only are you likely to gain weight, which can affect low self-esteem all on its own, but you probably won’t get enough healthy brain Omega-3 and six fatty acids, which feed the brain and help to boost mood. 

If you can eliminate (or at least minimize) these habits from your life, you are likely to feel a whole lot better - just check with your doctor before making any serious changes!

Whatever changes you make, make sure you are making them for yourself and make yourself happy!

Much Love

*This Is A Collaborative Post*

Primo recently contacted me and asked if I could sit down with my daughter Lilli and ask her a few questions, these questions are related t...

Coding Girls Blogger Challenge

Primo recently contacted me and asked if I could sit down with my daughter Lilli and ask her a few questions, these questions are related to inspiring children and teaching them STEM skills such as coding.

coding, girls, challenge

In case you didn't know STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics.
Here is a snippet from STEM'S website:
  • young people from all backgrounds have the aspiration, knowledge, and skills to thrive, with more progressing into STEM-related careers
  • employers can gain access to knowledgeable, talented people with strong STEM skills, increasing productivity, competitiveness, and diversity
  • teachers of STEM subjects continually develop their STEM knowledge and experience, maximizing their impact and own job satisfaction
  • families and communities recognize the value of STEM to young people, encouraging and supporting them in STEM-related studies and careers
Primo has asked as part of international women's day that we spread the word of STEM activities for young girls, it's important that young girls get to try these activities because only 24% of females actually end up in the STEM workforce and that needs to change!

Some families don't have females with any STEM roles and that's okay but with today's ethics all roles are now gender neutral, we want all girls to be able to try something new and starting them off young is the perfect chance.  

So, I sat down with Lilli and we had a look through the Primo E-book, We talked about the different activities she could try and how we could try them too, then went through the questions below together, Here are her answers.

  • What do you enjoy about being a girl?
    My hair, My pretty clothes and when I'm older I can wear makeup! - Lilli then got very excited and started telling me all her plans for when she's a 'big girl'
  • Have you ever been told you can’t do anything because you’re a girl?
    No...she was very blunt to this question and too right the girl can do anything she wants!
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
    'I want to be a cooker (chef) like you mummy and make yummy cakes' - I didn't have the heart to tell her I'm actually not a chef!!
  • Which woman/girl inspires you the most and why?
    'Meghan Trainer because she's good at singing and dancing, and Barbie cause she has lots of cool jobs'
  • what do you know about computer programming/coding?
    'Whats coding mummy? I like computers'
  • What activity did you enjoy the most in our guide to coding for kids book and why? (Activities for parents to do with their child)
' I liked Simon says it was funny' - We tried out the activity from the guide to coding ebook and although we play it a lot at our local community children's groups it never gets old and I always end up catching her out!

Me and Lilli had fun playing and it's always great for me to see her learning without her realizing it, Our favorite STEAM activity (the A is for arts-for preschool ages) is lego, I run a Lego club every fortnight and we have loads at home, I set challenges to see who can build the tallest tower or a house with a roof or if they can make a self-portrait, its so much fun and with lego anything is possible.

I really hope that you have enjoyed reading this and make sure you go and download the E-book it's FREE! and full of brilliant ideas :D 

Let me know what your favorite activity was from the e-book in the comments below :D

Much Love

*This is a collaborative post*