Happy Thursday and Happy International Women’s Day! I have finally gotten round to answering all of your questions about motherhood that you asked me a few weeks ago. I just wanted to write a few lines about motherhood first of all. Some days (like today) I feel like I really have it all together. I feel like I am being the best possible mum that I can be to my girls, that I have time to work on my blog, that I squeeze in an exercise class, eat well, have a lovely evening with my husband, make time for my friends and go to bed at a reasonable time. Other days I feel frazzled and things are much less smooth! I love Instagram but I think it is always important to remember that it is an insight into a person’s life – not the full picture. So just to be clear I have tired days, frazzled moments, times when my children cry or throw tantrums or I get covered in spit up. Messy moments and teary moments. But as a person I am someone that always looks at the positives in life and I am INCREDIBLY blessed with two charming amazing daughters so I won’t ever be the person who moans about how tough motherhood is (and every mother has tough moments!) I get on with it and I focus on all the good. And that’s what my Instagram focuses on too – pretty clothes and the joys of motherhood. Because it truly is a joy. And I always say – the tough moments are actually the moments you will remember and look back on and laugh about – they are bonding and just part of the experience of being a mother. So I try not to get too caught up in them.
Today is International Women’s Day and it truly is so important to support one another, not only as women but also as mothers. There is no such thing as one mould fits all – and I think its time we as mothers stopped judging each other. I am open about my approach to motherhood and have answered your questions below but please always remember that you have to do what is right for you – don’t feel that my approach is the right one (or the wrong one for that matter!) I think I have answered them all but if I am missing anyone’s question then of course as always feel free to send me a DM and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Are you more for daycare or a nanny, and how do you choose the right help/nanny at home. Short answer: both. But that’s mainly because Mila is a bit older now and I have two under two. Mila started nursery just after her first birthday – just a few afternoons a week but she thrives there and loves being around other children. I was sad at first but she was really ready for it. We have had the same nanny/housekeeper since Mila was 8 weeks old and we have been lucky that we are so happy with her. In terms of finding the right nanny – I think its a gut feeling but definitely make sure you interview a few before saying yes to someone.
Do you have any make-up and skincare secrets? A few drops of Clarins fake-tan always makes me feel human and gives the skin a lovely glow. I treat myself to a Sarah Chapman facial every now and then and love to have a blow-dry once a week – I always have them at home using Ruuby App.
I’ve got a two month old and find it so hard to structure my day. I never know what her mood will be. How do you plan your day/week? I think its really important to remember that every child is different, every mother is different and every parent is different. You have to find what works for you and it might be that what works for us is totally different to many other people. With that being said, I am all about routine. I personally think babies love it and it has always worked well for us – Mila has pretty much had the same routine since birth and she knows when its time for food and time for sleep and it means I can plan my weeks around her routine.
How about you? Are you able to get back into exercise/you time? Barely but I did decide last week that its time for me to focus a bit more on myself. I am with my babies 99% of the time but I think sometimes we can be better mothers if we take a little time out for ourselves. Even if its once a week for a class. And if you don’t have childcare there are many places you can take your babies for example buggy fit. So my aim is to try to workout twice a week.
How do you put your baby to sleep? Sometimes by breastfeeding her and sometimes I use a dummy. If I breastfeed her and she falls asleep then I will just move her into her cot after but if she doesn’t fall asleep then I lift her into the cot and give her a dummy. She has outgrown her moses basket but I bought a Snuzpod which is next to our bed and she now sleeps in that. I want her to be in our room for at least 6 months.
How do you find time to look glam with two small babies? With a lot of planning and a little bit of help! But I want to add here that on the weekend I do not have a nanny and I still dress up on weekends too. And sometimes my nanny is on holiday and I manage just fine. It is part of who I am. My make-up routine takes around 7 minutes and I plan what I am going to wear the night before. So even if you have no nanny, its totally possible I think its just about planning well. You can involve the children – Mila can easily sit down for 15 minutes next to my wardrobe and entertain herself and I put Anoushka in a bouncy chair with a toy and she is happy sitting there watching me. Taking 20 mins out of your day for you is not a bad thing.
How do you get your babies to sleep at the same time? A bit of luck I guess but also because of their routine. They both sleep for 2 hours at lunch time and Mila especially is so used to it that literally at 1pm every single day she knows its nap time and as soon as we put her down (she is not fussed if it is in her cot or pram or in my bed) she falls asleep. Anoushka sort of just follows her routine and is a pretty good sleeper.
Do you have a babysitter? Our nanny is flexible and babysits once or twice a week.
Do you supplement with formula? And when did Mila stop using a bottle? What’s her food diet like? How often do you give baths? No I don’t supplement with formula at the moment – if I go out then I make sure I express beforehand. Again its all about planning. Mila still has a bottle of milk in the morning and a bottle in the evening before bedtime. She eats pretty healthy food but I have definitely relaxed since becoming a mother for the second time – I think its normal. But on an average day for breakfast she usually has porridge, for lunch time she will have chicken or fish with some sort of vegetable (her favourite is broccoli) and potato or rice or quinoa. But of course she has days where she eats pasta and for dessert she usually has fruit.
How do you balance speaking Finnish and English with your girls? Do you read books in both languages? Does Mila speak Finnish? I speak only Finnish to the girls (apart from on Instagram!) and so do my parents. My husband and our nanny speak English. I have plenty of Finnish books for Mila which I read to her before bedtime.
How do you manage to wear gorgeous clothes without it getting dirty within 5 minutes with a newborn? They do get dirty! Sometimes. But Anoushka doesn’t spit up a lot and I always make sure I have a swaddle cloth lying around somewhere close by. And they are clothes – they can be washed so its not such a big deal even if she does.
I would love to know about your daily routine? I have written a post about routine last month- no day is the same but I try to follow my girls routines and organise my life around that.
How was the school adaptation with your oldest one? She is at nursery and absolutely loved it. She was upset the first few times I dropped her off but now looks forward to it and loves being around the other children. The hardest part was the fact that initially she got sick a lot – they pick up all the bugs especially in winter time and I even pulled her out shortly before Anoushka was born but now hopefully she has a stronger immune system because of it and won’t get sick as much when she starts school!
Places in London for activities and shopping with the kids? London has beautiful parks everywhere – Hyde Park, St James Park, Battersea Park. There are lots of fun soft play areas (army museum has a good one) as well as museums such as the Science museum. For shops I love Harrods – there is a great kids toy department.
Could you please jot down your eldest daughter’s routine as I would love some ideas. Mila wakes up at 7 and has milk every morning first thing. She then has a bit of playtime and eats breakfast shortly thereafter. I then usually go out with her – going to a class or the park and when she comes back she has her lunch usually at around 11:30am. She will then have a bit more playtime and we read a book and then she goes down for her lunchtime nap at 1. She sleeps until 3pm, has more playtime and then dinner starts at 5, bathtime at 6 and bed at 7. Sometimes she comes to blog related events with me (although I go to events very rarely!) and three times a week she goes to nursery. On the nursery days she has her nap two hours earlier as she needs to be at nursery by 2. I don’t know if she is just that way inclined that she loves routine but it really has worked very well with her.
I’m 26 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Could you please go through your newborn essentials please. I have done a blog post about this when I was pregnant second time around and I don’t think my essentials have changed much. You can read it here.
I have a two week old little boy and would like to stay sane as my husband goes back to work so any tips and tricks to making sure I get out and about! And get some sleep! My answer would be exactly that: to get out and about! I often find the mental hurdle of doing something is much harder than when you actually do it! So for example when I am alone with my two girls I often think before OMG but then as soon as it happens it is totally fine and we have the best time. Go for lots of walks (babies always love that!) and organise some playdates if you have friends with babies/NCT friends.
What food do you eat and what exercise do you do? Currently I eat whatever I feel like. I was very sick for the entirety of my second pregnancy so the moment I could freely eat whatever I wanted again I have been indulging. Especially because of the breastfeeding. I am ravenous all the time. Having said that I do generally eat quite healthy. Lots of fruit and veg. But I don’t have any kind of meal plan – it just depends what I feel like at the time. I try not too eat too much sugar. In terms of exercise again I have been really lax about it but recently decided to get back into it and I try to do a boxing class once a week and a barre/pilates class once a week. Also as a random side note, I use a vitamin D spray and this helps keep me healthy and feeling great!
How did you go with the 4 month regression? Did you sleep train or she started sleeping on her own? The 4 month regression with Mila was tough! She was such an easy baby and has always been a good sleeper but that was the one time I thought OMG this is so hard. She would wake up all the time and I ended up taking her in bed with me often. We sleep trained her at around 9 months – I wrote a post about it previously. It worked very easily but again sleep training is so personal so you really have to know that its right for you and your child.
What kind of bedtime routine do you have with the girls? So we start bathtime at 6pm and most days I do bathtime alone. I usually bathe Anoushka first and Mila keeps us company and then I dress her and put her in her cot (currently using a small Snuzpod next to my bed and its handy as you can wheel it around!) I then give Mila a bath, get her into her pyjamas and give her a bottle of milk. If Anoushka is settled then I read to Mila and she puts herself to sleep. If Anoushka is not settled I say goodnight to Mila and she puts herself to sleep. She really is so good – I just walk out of the room and thats it really. Mila did have some weeks when she was younger that we used to call the witching hour weeks (I think it lasted for a month) where she would cry all evening from around 7-11 but Anoushka hasn’t had that at all and has gone to bed at around 7 since she was born. I do think second babies are super easy! They are really good little girls and I think once you get used to the logistics and get into a good rhythm its totally manageable.
So that’s it! Wishing you all a lovely week xx