SURVIVOR STORY: From sleepless nights to social enterprise

In this latest Sleep Thief Survivor story, mother-of-two Sally Bunkham tells us how her experience of postnatal depression inspired her to launch a social enterprise mumsback.com.  The company provides hampers for new mums containing all the things they can’t have while pregnant and £1 from each one sold goes to the  postnatal illness support charity the PANDAS Foundation.

This is Sally’s story:

“I cannot believe I have reached the point where I am considered a “survivor”, but it’s true, I really am! I never thought I’d make it.

“Motherhood began in a whirlwind for me, and never really slowed down. My first daughter, Daisy, was born 4 weeks early back in summer 2014. She was a tiny, helpless, beautiful surprise and motherhood hit me like a tonne of bricks. I found breastfeeding really difficult. A long battle & gruelling routine ensued of trying to latch, pump, sterilise bottles and make formula, whilst also trying to eat and sleep. It was hellish. I was finally diagnosed with a medical condition that concluded I was only able to produce a few drops of milk. That hit me really hard. I cried. A lot. It was exhausting. But once over that on we plodded as a new little family. Daisy was a very average sleeper, but we were getting by in a daze. We were high on the “new parents” adrenalin. Continue reading

How to quit mornings with kids

Dear Children.

I am writing to inform you that I am taking a leave of absence from Mornings.

When I agreed to manage Mornings With Kids, I assumed that you would do as I say because you are children and I am a grown up and therefore, I AM THE BOSS. I envisaged spending breakfast time sitting around a table laden with fresh fruit, where you would eat your food in less than SIX MILLION hours and I would smile and sip on hot freshly ground coffee in my stain-free dressing gown. I had also anticipated that you would understand the meaning of ‘hurry up’ and would actually give a shit about ‘being late for school’. Continue reading

The Break Up

“We need to talk.” I said. “There is no easy way to say this but I am breaking up with you. It’s not you, it’s me. I have changed and I don’t need you any more.”

“You can’t do this,” You replied. “You need me. You’ll always need me.”

“Not any more.” I explained. “I met you at difficult time and you made my life better. You gave me back my confidence and helped me find my way back to the person I was before things got tough. You brought me happiness and calm and I will always be grateful. But I no longer need you.”

“You’ll be back,” You muttered and I turned and walked away. Continue reading

Five Minutes’ Peace: TheUncut Version

THE children were having breakfast. This was not a pleasant sight. In fact, the kitchen was a complete shit hole. Cereal was being thrown on the floor, a fight had just broken out over a spoon and the little one was screaming because she had the ‘wrong’ bowl.

Mrs Large was about to lose her shit. She took a tray from the cupboard and set it with a mug, the kid’s leftover toast, a packet of mini cheddars and half a bottle of wine from yesterday. She stuffed her smartphone into her pocket and sneaked off towards the door. Continue reading

Some refreshingly different ways to get your baby to go the f**k to sleep

TRYING to get a baby to fall asleep is a frustration that every parent will face at some point. And while some children drift off to dreamland fairly easily, others, however, just do not.

Neither of my babies liked to go to sleep. Some nights it could take anything up to four hours to get them to doze off, so I spent a lot of  time desperately browsing the Internet for The Answer.  As a result, I tried a lot of weird and wonderful techniques. Here are a few ways I tried and failed to get my babies to go the f**K to sleep:

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SLEEP-TRAINING FOR GROWN UPS

The Internet is awash with ‘research’ that shows sleep training is bad for our babies. However, there is also an abundance of ‘research; suggesting that NOT sleep training is bad for our babies. (The research is usually taken from studies of 4 babies, 2 kangaroo cubs and a tadpole so it is almost always definitely accurate). So when it comes to baby sleep, what bullshit advice are we supposed to follow? Continue reading

The Woman Who Was ‘Just About Managing’ In A Shoe

When you feel really strongly about something so you plan to write an intelligent, strongly worded article that will CHANGE THE WORLD but…..this happens…

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There once was a woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children; she didn’t know what to do
Why did she live in a shoe you may say?
Because rent for a house she could not pay,
She ‘just managed’ to put food on the table
Perhaps broth with bread, when she was able. Continue reading

Are you too tired for biscuits?

plate-of-biscuitsRemember before you had children when you and your partner used to have ‘biscuits’?  Really good biscuits that you could eat whenever and wherever you liked – in bed, on the sofa or even in the bath.

You would try all sorts of biscuits together; sometimes you would enjoy the comfort of a digestive, other times you would eat a whole packet of Hob Nobs just because you COULD.

Then you have babies and you struggle to find the time or energy to have any biscuits at all. You start to worry;

“What if we go off biscuits forever?’

“Are all the other parents having biscuits?”

“Will my partner eat biscuits with someone else? Someone with more energy and a whole tin full of home-baked cookies?”  

“What if we NEVER EVER get to eat biscuits together again?” Continue reading

How NOT to be a dick on the Internet (when you are a parent)

dontbeadickThe Internet is great for parents. Not only can you find information on ALL THE STUFF, there are an abundance of chat forums, Facebook groups and websites where you might just find your ‘virtual village’.

However, there are a few people who just have to ruin it for everyone…

The Dicks.

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The Holiday Bedtime Diaries

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We just got back home after a family ‘holiday’ in Devon. It will come as no surprise to you all that bedtime away from home is even more of a challenge than bedtime at home. But the husband and I have been burnt before. We learnt the hard way that there is no point worrying about sleep on holiday so we were prepared to bugger up our bedtime routine in order to make our week less stressful.

I kept a little diary of our progress…. Continue reading