I admit I only feature bloggers whom I really read and follow over at Chats with Mums and Dads, so when the lovely Tamsin of Chasing Esme got in touch early this year, it was actually refreshing to say yes! After all, I’ve never featured a young mum before (no offence meant to the past chats with mums, and it’s stimulating to hear the fresh voice of a young mum compared to ehem a mum in her 40s like me 😉 And like I keep saying, I do love discovering new bloggers especially when they turn out to be a wonderful read.
Grab a coffee or tea, and let’s find out more about this lovely young mum:
Tell us something about yourself and your family.
My name is Tamsin Mathias, and I’m a 20-year-old mum of one, living in sunny Pembrokeshire in West Wales.
By day, I work as a journalist for a newspaper entitled The Pembrokeshire Herald, and a news reader for a radio station called Herald Radio. By night, I’m a lifestyle blogger for Chasing Esme!
I’m the other half of a punk-rocker called Al, who is lead singer and guitarist in Trunk Shot, and we’re lucky enough to have a beautiful 1-year-old daughter called Esme, who is the inspiration for my blog and many other things!
What was your birth story like?
I ran into some complications near the end of my pregnancy after having none at all. My due date was February 1, 2015, and that night I started having Braxton Hicks. I thought I was going into labour, but as morning came the contractions went away.
This repeated for two more nights, and I realised that my waters had started leaking. After contacting the midwife, I was booked in to be checked over at the hospital.
It was confirmed that my waters were leaking, and I was booked to be induced at 8am on Thursday, February 5. However, Esme had other plans, and at 2am, my waters broke. I felt, and I swear I heard, a definite ‘pop’. After running to the toilet, I realised there was meconium in my waters (baby’s first poo).
I didn’t realise that your waters leaked continuously, so when we arrived at the hospital, I walked around with Al, stopping after a few paces due to contractions, leaving behind me a little yellow trail of amniotic fluid. I felt like Hansel and Grettel!
After writing in my birth plan I wanted gas and air and pethidine only, I demanded an epidural at 3cm dilated. I managed to get a few hours kip during labour, and gave birth to my beautiful brown-eyed girl at 17.44 on February 5, 2015.
What do you wish you knew about being a mother before becoming one?
I wish someone had told me all of the grotty things that happen once baby arrives rather than sugar coating it. Not with the baby, but with your own body.
For starters, I didn’t realise that your belly didn’t go back right away. People had told me that I’d “snap right back”, and that they managed to give birth and “skip out of the hospital in my size 8 jeans.” I thought this would be possible for me, so felt a real shock when I looked down and saw what looked like a sagging, deflated balloon.
I wish that someone had told me how sore you would be “down there.” It felt like I was sitting on shards of glass every time my behind touched any kind of surface, and I was devastated at what I saw when I took a look with a mirror!
In terms of babies, I wish someone had told me that sometimes they just like to cry all day, whether they’ve been fed, changed and winded or not!
How do you manage your “me” time?
I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful mother-in-law called Nanny Jill, who looks after Esme in the day. Esme also stays at Nanny Jill’s every Wednesday night, so that Al and I can have a bit of time away from parenting, and more time spent playing on the PS4 together.
Normally, Esme goes to bed between 7pm and 8pm, so we manage to watch a few episodes of our favourite TV shows, topped off with playing either Grand Theft Auto V or Destiny: The Taken King on PS4!
Do you have a favourite anecdote of your children?
We realised when Esme was born that she was tongue tied, and after much research, decided to get it snipped when she was two weeks old.
A few seconds and it was over. Esme handled it extremely well, whereas I found it difficult not to shed a tear!
After the procedure we were put into a side room, and had to stay for half an hour to give her a bottle to make sure she was feeding okay. As I was feeding her, I noticed she was damp. Now, I have no idea when this happened, because she seemed to be clean one minute and filthy the next, but she was plastered in muck from her waist down.
But it wasn’t everywhere, it was in splodges! A bit on a toe, some on a knee, and absolutely filling the nappy she had on.
I thought I’d better tackle it quickly, however I hadn’t packed a spare change of clothes. I undressed her, and stared at her for about 30 seconds in utter shock, because I had no idea where to start! In the end, I armed myself with a load of baby wipes and went for it.
Al drove off to Tesco (which is quite a way from the hospital) to buy her some new clothes, while I tried to clean up the never ending stink coming from Esme!
It wasn’t very funny at the time, but now I look back and giggle at my naive self. Who travells 45 minutes away with a baby and doesn’t bring everything except the kitchen sink?
What it is about motherhood that you absolutely love?
Feeling loved! Esme brings with her huge amounts of cuddles, kisses and laughter, and she brings me so much joy! I love being part of a family and watching her play with Al. She’s a complete Daddy’s girl!
She learns something new every day, and never fails to make me laugh. She makes me proud to be her mum.
On the other hand, is there anything about motherhood you dislike?
Judgy people! I don’t understand why mums like to judge other mums. I don’t always dress Esme in what’s deemed to be girly clothes, mainly because I’m not girly, and I like to dress her like me!
Esme’s typical outfit is jeans, paired with either a superhero top, a Thomas and Friends t-shirt or something to do with music. Someone had the cheek to say that if I’d had a boy, I would be looking at dresses.
It’s not just clothes – people will judge you on just about anything.
What’s a typical day like for you and your little one?
If it’s a weekday, we’ll all be up and out of bed around 7am and out the door for 8am. I’ll drop Al off to work before continuing on to Nanny Jill’s house, where Esme will have her breakfast while I get ready for work.
I’ll be off out the door for 9am, and I won’t see her again until 5.30pm.
However, if it’s the weekend, we’ll be up around 7am as usual, and have breakfast for around 8.30am, followed by a bath, bottle and morning nap. She normally sleeps for around 45 minutes, and depending on the weather, we’ll either have a lazy day playing with her favourite bear, or we’ll go out to visit family members (with bear in tow).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood?
When I started weaning Esme, I was told: “Watch the baby, not the clock.” I was always worried about how much Esme should be eating, and was concerned that it was taking a long time to get food down her.
However, after lots of patience and persistence, Esme gobbled down her food! I stopped looking at how long it took to feed her, and instead looked to her to tell me whether she wanted more or had had enough.
If you could give yourself advice about becoming a mother, what would it be?
It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel like things are all a bit much and that you’re struggling, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
There will be bad days, and there will be good. And, there will be days where you feel so happy that you could burst. Parenting is a fantastic experience, even if we do put ourselves through hell! We need to remember to look after ourselves, as well as our little ones.
It’s easy to forget about yourself when all you can think about is your little bundle of joy!
How do you manage your time, blogging/workwise and time with your family and other activities as well?
I’m not quite sure! Most of my blogging is done very late at night, leading into the early hours of the morning, whilst sat on the sofa in the living room. I should probably invest in a desk or something.
Family time is mostly had on the weekends. I don’t think that Esme misses out at all, because she stays with family 24/7! Any activities we do, such as going to the beach or the park is done on a Saturday or Sunday, weather permitting!
Thank you so much Tamsin!
Do check out this young mum’s blog.
And if you haven’t had the chance to read last month’s chat with a dad, come and have a read here.