WITH LUCY FELTON
OF THE LUCY EDIT
Thrilled to say hi, let me introduce myself… I’m Lucy Felton, Alex and Alexa’s Life + Style Contributor, a fashion journalist turned lifestyle blogger at The Lucy Edit, wife, mum of two (one on the way) and lover of chocolate, décor and buying hordes of magazines I inevitably never get to read! Three years ago I switched life on the publishing floor editing the pages of a weekly fashion magazine for motherhood – and it’s been one heck of a life overhaul. As a freelance journalist who’s never really taken any maternity leave, life can be hectic and running my business from my home in Surrey means the work/life balance often goes out of the window.
Just like you guys, I’m a mother trying to juggle it all, stay sane and pretend I’ve got all bases covered when I’m generally having a meltdown on the inside and dropping plates left, right and centre. I never get to go to the bathroom alone anymore and can’t remember the last cup of tea I drank hot but would I change it? Of course not! Hopefully, you’ll get to know me a bit over the coming months as I share my motherhood journey with you all. Expect plenty of baby hacks, parenting tips and pregnancy advice.
You may remember a few articles I wrote over here on Life + Style when I was pregnant with my first child Hector. I shared with you all of the little things I was doing to prepare for baby, like how to survive pregnancy and what I packed in my hospital bag. Fast forward a year and a half and here I am nearly five months pregnant with my second child, running around after a toddler and let’s just say, it’s been remarkable and challenging in equal measures. The reality is that no matter how much preparation, research, reading and mamma-to-be practice you cram in, nothing can prepare you for the impact, emotional volcano and huge shift in lifestyle that descends when you become a mother. We’re modern women dealing with a huge amount of pressure to ‘have it all’ – the picturesque house, brilliant career, perfect family – and we’re expected to slide into our new roles without a glitch. How unrealistic is that?
GREY WALRUS PRINT ONESIE WITH FEET
Just a little friendly advice from one woman to another, an email swapped, DM chat here and there and even better, real-life face-to-face coffee meet can really help adjust your mindset. Knowing there’s other mum’s in the same position as you, having an equally shocking day, who can sympathise with the sleepless nights, foggy baby brain and physical exhaustion helps. Having a natter with like-minded mums has really kept me sane at times. That and a good cup of coffee. That’s why I’m keen to start a discussion and build a community, a support network if you like, here on Alex and Alexa Life + Style. Somewhere we can all turn to, swap notes and share our thoughts. A small piece of the digital world for ourselves. Please do leave me a comment below and let me know how you’re finding motherhood. What are your little tricks for getting by? What nugget of advice would you like to share with the Alex and Alexa community? We’d love to hear from you.
It wasn’t until Hector reached the six months old mark that I realised there is such a thing as the fourth trimester. Spending so much time focusing on the landmarks and milestones of the first, second and third trimester’s, when – boom – baby arrived suddenly all of that mindfulness, self-care and focus on wellbeing went right out of the window. I went into survival mode. The aim? To get through each day, one at a time and envelope my newborn with so much love and attention that he’d never need for a thing. Amidst all the sleepless nights, non-stop feeding, constant cradling, oh and don’t forget the intense teething (Hector started at four months!) it’s so easy to forget that you’ve entered a fourth, very vital and equally significant trimester in those early days after birth. It’s easy to neglect looking after yourself and something that’s really stuck with me from those early days is a quote you’ll hear other mum’s, midwives and health visitors repeating: ‘Happy mum, happy baby.’ Remember to take care of yourself and let yourself heal because you’ll be no good to your little bundle if you’re falling apart. Yep, that means the piles of washing, dirty dishes and whipping up of fancy meals can wait. I’ve promised myself that this time around when I bring baby home from the hospital that I will forget about keeping the house presentable for guests, hey, I might even bolt that front door because you know what, I really don’t want to miss all of those precious first moments. Bonding with baby is what really matters, the rest can go on hold.
Finally, remember that nothing stays the same forever. The two-hourly feeds, foggy brain and hormone helter-skelter are soon replaced with a routine and some release. Before you know it you’ll be able to read your baby and anticipate what they want before they need it. You’ll decipher the hungry cries from the needy cries and when the bad days strike – and they will – just remember it doesn’t last forever. Grab a shower, eat some cake and go for a walk. Trust me, that moment of freedom you get when baby is in the pram, happy asleep or watching the world go by, is to be cherished. I’ve listened to many podcasts and indulged in Instagram Stories when pushing Hector around and around the park or block. Anything to get five minutes to focus on something else.
Right, now that’s all sorted, shall we get back to the shopping? I’ve come to learn that with a newborn it’s the small, well-designed, functional baby items that really make an impact on your day-to-day. Do you need a wipe warmer? Probably not. Do you need a stack of pretty muslin cloths, beautiful baby grows and toys to stimulate their early development? Why, of course! Here are some of my baby go-to’s, the things that I use all of the time, make my life easier and are just so adorable they instantly put a smile on this (tired) mum’s face.
GROWS AND GREAT SETS
Oozing with easy-factor there’s not a mum (or dad) around who doesn’t swear by their piles of functional babygrows and cute sets. In the early days, bubba will live in pieces like Soft Gallery’s Golden Glow Owl Bodysuit. When they start to toddle, look out for footless all-in-one’s so they can run around (minus the slip-risk) to their heart’s content. Smafolk’s organic cotton one stars the cutest walrus. I made a rule that even when Hector was tiny, I’d get him dressed and out of a grow when leaving the house. I know, they do look so cute in them but essentially, they’re PJ’s. However, I didn’t want him to ever feel restricted with fussy fastenings and stiff collars. It’s why I love soft sweats so much and they don’t come much cooler than Scamp & Dude’s Superpower infused lightning bolt sweatshirt and slogan leggings. By picking bold colours, sharp graphics and streamlined cuts those simple lines are instantly smart. And I’ll let you in on a secret… They have Superpower buttons that when pressed, will activate your tots chosen superpower – I know! Hector’s a fan of the Loud Dinosaur Roarer while mama’s partial to hitting the Expert Fairy Finder booster.
KICK-START THEIR DEVELOPMENT
Toys make perfect baby shower and baby arrival gifts because as cute as they are, socks and scratch mittens just aren’t as fun and after you’ve opened the tenth pair, well, you get the idea. Toys you’ll use time and time again so when people ask what you’d like, start with a travel-friendly activity spiral and a keep-forever wooden set. Done by Deer’s twirl is sweet, punchy and designed to stimulate baby’s senses. Attach it to your car seat, playpen and bassinet hood. While Djeco’s Fox’s Tea Party set will no doubt become a well-loved and cherished family hand-me-down. The mini teapot, cups and saucers are perfect for tiny exploring hands and that retro colour palette brings all the nostalgic feels. Add them to your gift list now.
TEATIME TEA SET
MOP IT ALL UP MUSLINS
Mama, meet muslin. Well, you may as well get acquainted because these are about to become your new best friend. Soon you won’t be going anywhere without one of these over your shoulder and a backup stash tucked in the changing bag. These humble squares of muslin cloth multitask as mops for reflux and dribble, breastfeeding covers, comforters, lightweight blankets, swaddles, sunshades and can even double up as a play mat because realistically, you’ll not have space for one of those under the pram too! Seeing as you’ll never be without one, it may as well be beautiful. Enter Soft Gallery’s organic, handmade muslins which feature prints and hand embroideries by specially commission artists, like these enchanting little owls. Stock up.
CREATE A COSY SLUMBER TIME
Decking out the nursery is a rite of passage for any mum and with so much choice out there, we’re determined to really put a personal stamp on things and create little sanctuaries for our babes. I give you Emma och Malena’s dreamy bed sets. The Grey Manet design is subtle yet stand-out and in the early days when bubba is sleeping in a crib in your room, they’ll turn the big cot in their nursery into a statement by looking really punchy and polished. Hector loves a sleeping bag and transitioning into big boy bedding is next on the agenda so I can’t wait to get him all snuggled down in these. Check out the Mint Makrill set too – you’re welcome!
What are you snapping up for your kids? Is there one piece of advice you swear by and can share with other mums? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below and if there’s something you’d like to see me discuss and share with you at Alex and Alexa Life + Style, just let me know. You can also catch me musing about fashion and motherhood over on Instagram. Until next time…