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5 Simple Productivity Hacks for Freelance Mama’s (Who Hate Hacks!)

5 Simple Productivity Hacks for Freelance Mama’s (Who Hate Hacks!)

I sorta hate this title. It feels dangerously close to me declaring myself a ‘mumpreneur’ and telling you how you can make your first 10k month using my patented methods.

I’m not gonna do that. Promise.

I’ve been working ‘around’ my little one, who is now two, for around eighteen months and I’ve learned a few things in that time. I’ve tried a few different options, and have had highs and lows in my own productivity…..and yes, the mum guilt has been ever-present throughout.

For clarity, Anaïs goes to nursery and we’ve never done anything different to that bar the occasional stint of grandparent help. I work from home, and my husband works pretty long hours in an office job, albeit a local one, but that means that like most mothers I pick up the slack if/when Anaïs needs to come home early. If you want to learn about other childcare options I wrote a post about freelance childcare options.

I ALSO decided to film a flipping video for this post! It felt like a good idea at the time, mostly because I’d just setup for my Patreon BTS video too. So there you go, a little unexpected treat!

But back to my productivity tips for those who’d rather skip my face waffling on a poorly-edited video.

1 | Childcare

Super obvious statement alert but, erm, have you thought about childcare? Yes, Lucy, you absolute knobhead I have.

Okay so this one is dependant on your situation but as I said, my situation has gone from zero childcare to some childcare (a day a week of grandparents) right through to a whole month of five days of 8-6 a week (that was expensive and nuts!)

Right now, Anaïs goes to nursery 5 days a week from 8-1pm. She naps from around 2-4 so ostensibly I get a full days work. Most days. Although as I write this she is not napping, but painting because…well, she didn’t wanna nap and that’s okay.

Although I don’t have any friends/family to help with childcare I am very lucky to have this setup. It works really well for us as a family and because I work, we also get tax free childcare which is an added bonus. And, as long as I continue to work, we will get 30 free hours of childcare when Anaïs is three. (COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS…..)

I’ve never used a nanny/au pair or a childminder but we have also used our regular babysitters (one of whom works at Anaïs’ nursery) to plu any gaps as and when we need them: usually this is for random work meetings or trips I need to take. That’s the nature of freelance life!

If you’d like to learn about the other options freelancers have I wrote all about it here.

2 | Pomodoro

Unlike my last point, this really is an actual productivity hack. I can’t remember who told me about the Pomodoro method but whoever they are is an absolute angel.

The Pomodoro Technique was created by someone called Francesco Cirillo in the 80s and posits we work best on one thing at a time in bite size chunks.

In theory, it’s working in chunks of 25 minutes with a five-minute break between each chunk. Then, after you’ve done four rounds of Pomodoro chunks you should take a longer break. I take 15 minutes here.

How this works for me is that from 9-12 (I practice yoga/run/have a lie-in when I wake up, shower and start work at 9am….rarely before) I decide on my must-do tasks, then allot them a timeframe: Either one or two ‘PT’s’ aka 25 minute chunks.

This really works for me at the moment because I struggle to do that whole, ‘a day dedicated to this part of my business’ or even batching work. I need to work on things in a really dedicated way knowing I’ll have a break soon.

3 | Prepare

When Anaïs first dropped down to shorter hours I was always getting caught short when it came to getting my bag ready for pickup.

I’d mutter obscenities to myself as I packed a random, unappealing assortment of snacks and often forget my keys/wallet/coat. And I’d leave with a half-finished task, empty belly and stressed mind….which, I’d come straight back to once I got home and Anaïs was down for her nap.

So I now take my daily snack prep seriously. I do it first thing while making my own breakfast and never skip it. Because it just makes life so much easier.

Likewise I prepare my task list ahead of schedule. I use Trello to manage my recurring tasks, adding on new ones as they come in and plot them all out daily too. I know you can get a bit more jazzy with all of this but I keep it simple….I can’t cope with three or four to do lists; I’ve tried and failed multiple times!

4 | Find Your Flow

This has been a massive game changer for me. And before you think I’m going all Jess Lively on you (if you don’t know who that is, please watch this wonderful video where she writes to her intuition. I DIE.)

When I talk about finding your flow I honestly just mean asking yourself when you work best. If that’s convenient, try to only work in that time….or, at least, do your hardest/must-do stuff then.

For me. first thing is when I get my most techy stuff done; I’m talking podcast and video editing, planning, dealing with course stuff or editing photos etc etc etc. Writing comes easier a bit later in the day, so that’s when I sketch out blog posts, podcast scripts, newsletters or Instagram captions.

And, realistically, at approx 5pm I may as well go to sleep. I never work past this time unless I really have to. Mostly because I can’t…..my kid would never let me work while she played independently, which is fine by me!

5 | Do Less Stuff

This is a tricky one and I’m still reminding myself to take on less stuff every damn day. But saying no, keeping a clearer diary and definitely saying no to projects that aren’t going to serve me in whatever season I’m in.

This might mean my social life is a bit dry sometimes and it often means I say no to free stuff offered in exchange for Instagram coverage. Not because I’m against it (especially not with smaller brands) but because it’s gonna cut into my very precious time!

And lastly, lower the damn bar. Especially when you have extra-curricular work stuff like……pregnancy, house moves etc etc etc. You know the drill with adulting!

L x

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How to Survive Flying with a Toddler

How to Survive Flying with a Toddler

If you’d told me I wouldn’t enjoy travelling once I’d had kids I would have laughed. And probably told you to sod off, because I would DEFINITELY still love travelling…..the baby will fit in with my life and nothing will kill my wanderlust.

So when the exact opposite happened and a baby did, in fact, kill my wanderlust I was less than impressed. Actually, I was gutted.

Travel is such a big part of my life, my identity, that me without it has been as big an adjustment as me without London.

The baby will fit in with my life….

And something I’ve never discussed openly is how I’ve developed an irrational fear of travel since having Anaïs, something I never expected to happen, something I feel embarrassed about and endlessly ashamed of.

I never wanted Anaïs to grow up with a parent so scared of travel our only holidays were a short drive away. I know that sounds privileged, because, well….it is. But my early years were filled with travel, if not adventure, so I wanted the same for her.

And my therapist told me I was increasingly making my world smaller and that, my friend, is not great for anxiety!

Which is why I thought it was SUCH a bloody great idea to snake in one big long-haul family trip to one of my favourite countries before Anaïs hit two and we had to start paying full price for her seat.

My beloved suitcase

BIG MISTAKE NUMBER ONE

Ever made your toddler sit on your lap for 11 hours? Yes? Did you survive?!

Didn’t think so.

Error number two was trying to scrimp and save money by buying an indirect flight.

Mistakes number three – three-hundred were…..I mean, there really are too many, but let’s talk about the good stuff now shall we?

We had an amazing time. Yes, the flight was pure, unadulterated hell. But the holiday was amazing and Anaïs took it all in her stride. She napped at the same times, slept pretty well at night and overall….loved every minute.

She charmed the pants off everyone she met, from security guards to armed police and, although she might not remember picking flowers at the market or dodging rickshaws and rolling around on the beach, we will. And that is worth the HELLISH flight for sure.

So how did we survive it?

Here are my tips for flying with a toddler

For context, we flew to India on an indirect flight when Anaïs was about 21 months old. Door to door, the total travel time was about 20 hours each way. with the flights lasting between 2 (Mumbai to Goa) and 11 hours (Mumbai to London.)

The flight

The main event, as it were, the flight took up way too much of my attention. A bit like how first-time parents focus on the birth then fumble their way through the fourth trimester blind (just me?!), the flight felt like a monumental effort.

When really, it’s the smallest chunk of your entire holiday.

I thought about so many little things, over-preparing and fretting yet I still made a HEAP of errors and now feel I would do quite a few things differently.

Here are a few things to consider:

Seat or no seat? Before your toddler is two they don’t have to buy a full-price seat (but you pay taxes, which is a small amount variable by country) so we opted for this choice because cheap!!!

However, that means whether your baby is 2 month or 22 months they have to sit on your lap, at least for take-off and landing.

Which isn’t super realistic if you have an active toddler who doesn’t understand why they have to be strapped to you for what can be a big chunk of time (factor in taxi-ing to and from the runway, possible delays….turbulence etc etc)

However, paying XX dollars for a seat for your little one mightn’t be an option for you so I’d simply say; go with what you can afford and a basic rule of thumb is that pre-crawlers are easy and fine to sit on your lap but it gets far harder afterwards.

Direct vs indirect? Again, this is a matter of what you can afford as much as what is available on your particular route.

For short-haul flights it’s very likely you’ll be flying direct or, at least, it’ll be available to you for a reasonably small extra cost.

Long-haul flights are trickier, particularly when you’re travelling somewhere a bit off-the-beaten-path without an airport, or not on a route serviced by your fave airline you might plump for the indirect route option.

Some folk prefer this option because it breaks up a long flight and gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs.

But I’d strongly advise you take note of the ‘flight-to-faff’ ratio coined by my friend Elle. The basic premise is that your flight faffery shouldn’t outweigh your holiday time. So, for example, if your trip is seven days but your flight lasts three days because of the time difference and stopover time; this is a negative flight-to-faff ration and you should reconsider your route.

For me? A long, direct flight is preferable to two shorter ones where the logistical faffery is doubled and wriggly-toddler-on-lap-time increased.

Book the best you can afford

Overall, I’d say a lot of your decision making comes down to personal preference as well as your budget. My privilege allows me the luxury of booking the options I want (although, I still picked the cheapest and wrong ones) so I’d choose my favourite airline (read more about that below), a direct flight at a nice time with seats for us all.

I’m not moneybags though, so it’s all economy….but still, the little tweaks count.

And a note on timings. EVERYONE said to book a night flight so Anaïs would know it’s bedtime and sleep.

This is BULLSHIT.

Night flights don’t mimic the calm of your child’s bedroom, so what actually happens is that everyone’s asleep and cross you are keeping them awake, your kid is overtired and confused and the flight attendants aren’t around as much because everyone should be asleep.

It’s hideous.

Book a daytime flight, unless your tot can fit in the in-flight bassinet and you are confident a night-flight is the best option regardless.

Best airlines

Anaïs first flight was with British Airways, who I totally recommend for kids because they get a cute little high-flyers booklet with their airmiles and get to meet the pilot (after the flight.)

However lots of other airlines do a similar thing and these are my personal favourites.

The airport

Lots of airports have play areas, with varying quality (The one at Heathrow T4 is right by the smoking area….grim) so always seek these out. It gave Anaïs time to blow off some steam and was a chance for us to chill out for a bit too.

We also utilised the family-friendly security lines which are less intimidating than the usual and the queues are more chilled out too. Although we were travelling outside of school holidays so…..perhaps we got lucky!

Don’t allow too much time. We allowed WAY too much time which led to a very grumpy toddler ready to sleep with no way of doing so. It was late at night so she was already past her bedtime (see: ‘no night flights’ for this error) and, in hindsight, there was no need to

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The stuff

This is a pretty easy one to be honest because almost everything people said here was uniform AND true.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks were key. I packed way too many but it didn’t feel like a waste because….well, the potential to run out was a very real and hideous possibility.

You could order some bits and bobs to collect at the airport after security which I did with pouches and formula milk.

I sectioned my snacks in two, one bag in my carry-on and the other in our checked luggage and then sectioned even more. I made sure Anaïs couldn’t stumble across a giant bag, and hid everything in little pockets, mini bags as well as easy-access in my own bag.

We didn’t take loads of toys but the ones we did take were new (for the excitement factor) and not precious (the plane is not a great place to lose stuff!)

We took a few sticker books, and a water-pen colouring book because of the lack of mess, and MY WORD, what a brilliant invention they both are. Anaïs absolutely loved playing with stickers which kept her amused for the longest time of anything.

We don’t have any screen-time rules at home, but Anaïs hadn’t ever used an iPad before which was accidentally brilliant. I bought a cheap plastic case, downloaded a few games (Bing was a clear winner) and the Peter Rabbit film too.

We also bought a set of kiddy earphones in case there was something to watch on the in-flight entertainment as well as for the iPad; they are made for little ears and only go up to a safe volume too.

Lastly, don’t worry too much. At most, the flight will be a day long…….and believe me, it’s 100% worth it for the holiday!

L x

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The Pregnancy Diaries Part Deux: The First Trimester

The Pregnancy Diaries Part Deux: The First Trimester

Here we go again! With my first pregnancy I wrote these diaries every week from about 12 weeks such was my energy levels and enthusiasm for documenting the joys of pregnancy.

Catch up with The Pregnancy Diaries (part one) here.

This time around the premise is a little different. The pregnancy was unplanned-ish, the timing is crap and I’ve been looking after a toddler throughout pregnancy so…..yep, not as much time to bloom, as it were.

But this won’t be all doom and gloom, I promise. I just won’t be sharing my pregnancy as frequently as I did last time.

I’ve plumped for writing a post for each trimester, as well as the ever popular birth story too (seriously, anyone else love a birth story as much as I do?!)

So here goes. Pregnancy Part Deux: The Embryo Fights Back

Each pregnancy is different?

Pregnancy this time around is sorta same same but different; there have been both highs and lows I didn’t experience the first time around yet a confidence and calm I didn’t have either.

Overall, the symptoms have remained very similar. I had morning sickness from about 8-11 weeks then it stopped as suddenly as it began giving way to bone-tired exhaustion which, this time around has been an absolute killer.

With no family support and a husband who works long hours the tiredness of pregnancy is far tougher than I expected. Getting Anaïs to and from nursery is a joint effort, happily but bedtime tends to be my lucky treat 😉

My tips to get through the first trimester with a toddler in tow?

cBeebies, endless snacks and zero pressure to be any kind of model parent. It’s really only a few weeks where I needed to give up any semblance of caring about parenting properly so even though I felt unnecessarily guilty at the time, in the grand scheme of Anaïs’ life I’m sure she’ll forgot these lost weeks.

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The Highs

Not feeling so anxious: The first time felt so monumental I allowed every horror story, every stat about how common miscarriage is and hardly told anyone, “just in case”.

This time around, I wasn’t so fussed. I already have a dreamy little dot so if it came to it and I miscarried? I’d be upset, of course, but the grief would be somewhat softened by the blessing of our healthy toddler.

I’m excited for Anaïs to be a big sister and can’t wait to see them playing together, fighting and scheming. I don’t have a relationship with my sister so, I’m sure, psychologically I’m aiming to live vicariously through my kids. That’s okay though, right?

I’m also HELLA excited to buy STUFF! Last pregnancy I was such a minimalist earth mama I refused to buy most things (although, let’s talk about the privilege of how much I got for free shall we?)

But this time I can’t wait to get a new nappy bag, buggy and baby carrier. ALSO TINY CLOTHES.

The lows

A bout of depression and struggles with my body image: Last time around my depression got a lot better in pregnancy and I only needed to go back to therapy/drugs when Anaïs was about seven months old.

This time though, I really struggled with persistent low moods from weeks eight through to about twelve. Which, I’m not gonna lie, was incredibly hard.

My changing body, so welcomed last time, felt terrifying. I put the battery back in our scales and started weighing myself daily again, cross referencing against Dr Google’s answer to my frantically typed, “How much weight should I put on at 8, 9, 10 weeks pregnant”.

I also ditched yoga and started running regularly agan (I never run in the winter, because…..grim). A weird way to do it given most people take up yoga in pregnancy…..

I was due to start my yoga teacher training pregnancy in April,and have quite an advanced practice so, for me to continue while having to adapt to my growing bump felt a bit……well, disappointing.

I did pregnancy yoga throughout my last pregnancy but haven’t felt keen to spend a heap of money to have a nap each week (I’m not much of a restorative yoga fan anymore!)

But I’m thinking about getting back into my practice and perhaps going to my usual class so….watch this space. I guess yoga feels quite snore to me at the moment as practicing reminds me of what I can’t do, what I’ve lost. The antithesis of a mindful practice.

The lols

Gas. I had to sleep in a separate room I was so windy.

Et voila. I’m currently 16.5 weeks pregnant so you have a wee while before your next installment but hopefully it’ll be a bit more cheery than this one!

Until next time.

L x

Navigating Childcare as a Freelancer

Navigating Childcare as a Freelancer

This is a much requested post AND one I’ve been promising to write for a long time, too. It baffles me in a way and saddens me somewhat too — because it speaks to a much deeper issue really doesn’t it?

Funnily enough, this post was supposed to go live last week (I post every other Wednesday) but guess what? Yep. Childcare issues. Then I went into a four-day solo parenting stint and this post was, naturally, pushed to the bottom of the pile.

And it got me thinking about a few things surrounding childcare; how expensive it is, sure; how HARD it is, yep; but, mostly, how completely unreliable it ultimately is when you’re the primary caregiver. Which, let’s face it, falls on the mother in a heterosexual partnership.

It’s why I decided to quit working over the summer when we first moved from London to Brighton. (Which makes me incredibly lucky, I know.)

To that end, in the depths of my very privileged despair I took to Instagram and posted this…

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It’s one of those days when you feel a bit like working is harder work than it’s worth, you know? I realised I’d stopped booking stuff into nursery days because I’m constantly in fear of #thecall & if I have a bad month (like the past few) I come home with pennies after I’ve paid my share of the bills….. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I know I sound ungrateful. I’m not. I’m so privileged to have the options I do, and the choices I’m able to make. But FML people….. motherhood and working? Yep, I’m losing that battle right now. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In closing, I felt the picture to best go with this caption was a recycled image of my feet with inexplicable petals thrown in. As you were ❤️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Unsurprisingly I’m not the only one who feels like this. It is, of course, a failing of the heteronormative, patriarchal society we live in that sees so many women dropping out of the workplace. It’s not always because they choose to be a ‘home-maker’ *cringes* but often because the cost of working is too high.

Yep, that’s right. It COSTS women to work. I never EVER thought that would be a consideration in my life, something I’d stay up worrying about or a choice I would have to make. Naive? Yeah, possibly. But realistically, when we are told our GCSE options will affect our future careers (and, by the way, what do you want to be when you grow up?) and shoved into a ‘careers advice’ session were you told about the glass ceiling you’d eventually hit?

Me neither. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing about my career so far. Nothing. But even so, I would’ve loved a little heads up that maternity pay is hard going, that freelance life is best started sooner rather than later and that NOPE, you probably won’t be able to work while the baby naps.

C’est la vie, amiright? So let’s quit bitching and moaning (actually, please NEVER quit that) and have a look at the main childcare options for working parents.

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Long mage with title text and three smaller images of the seaside

Nursery / Daycare

I intrinsically chose this option, not sure why. And I have to say, it’s been the best choice for Anaïs who is incredibly extroverted and loves being around people.

Anaïs started nursery aged five months (I think?) and when I look back, that’s kinda mad! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would do it again and we absolutely adored her first nursery, which was a tiny townhouse in west London run by the most incredible Spanish lady (it was a bilingual nursery) I just can’t believe she was there before she could even walk.

In Brighton, her first nursery didn’t work out (which was a real lesson in trusting your instincts) but the second one has been amazing. Anaïs loves it, we love them and overall it’s been overwhelmingly positive.

But there are downsides to nursery/daycare and here they are…..

Pros

  • Safe, great for children who love playing with others.
  • Often great activities; our nursery has a weekly artist, musician and they take trips to the local old people’s home too.
  • Good facilities; we visited one with an indoor soft play! Madness.
  • Probably makes transition to school easier, but who knows…
  • Great if you want to get chicken pox out of the way quicksmart. Ditto that hand, foot and mouth and all other gross-sounding illnesses 😉

Cons

  • Expensive. I pay £800 pcm for four ‘short days’ of 8-4pm.
  • All nurseries have different price inclusions, which if missed can add up.
  • ZERO leeway with illness, which spreads like wildfire. Kids be filthy 😉

Childminder

I’ve never used a childminder but know people who have. I looked into it in preparation for going back to work and met with a few childminders through the Childminder.org website.

Pros

  • Many childminders have a setup akin to a nursery, with several children and other childminders.
  • It’s normally cheaper than nursery.
  • Your little one might find it easier to build a stronger bond with a childminder, as opposed to having several different caregivers.
  • Normally, you have to drop off and pick up (as per nursery) but it’s a little more flexible with some childminders.

Cons

  • I found it a bit of a faff trying to find a childminder who ticked all the boxes; location, price etc etc
  • You need to be a little more vigilant and ensure you check your childminder meets legal criterias. Childcare.org gives guidelines.
  • I suppose that were a childminder to be ill, you might be a bit screwed although they do seem to work with others to negate this.

Family/Friends

This isn’t an option for lots of us so feel free to grumble and skip it. But even if it is an option, it mightn’t be the best one anyway. Helpful stuff, Luce….I know, I know!

Pros

  • It’s normally free!
  • Who could be more trustworthy than family? I guess that’s subjective….
  • You get lovely family time as a bonus. Again, I guess this depends on your family dynamics!

Cons

  • It’s potentially not as reliable
  • You’re at the mercy of someone who isn’t being paid….this can be awkward.
  • If you hate your family, it’s probably not your favourite day of the week.
  • You are unlikely to get full-time childcare with this option, although I do know folks who have.

Co-working creche

I looked into this option when I still lived in London as it felt like a really cool option. I was keen to get out of the flat and co-work and I wasn’t yet sure I was ready to leave Anaïs with a stranger full-time. So this seemed like a happy medium.

I visited a few, but quickly realised genuine co-working creche facilities are few and far between and, sadly, none that I saw did both well. It wasn’t right for me, but I know a couple of people who have found it a great option.

Pros

  • Your baby will be close by which is great if you’re nervous about leaving them.
  • It’s a great way to meet like-minded folk in the same, or a similar boat as you.

Cons

  • It can be a pricey option, although the places I viewed varied wildly so shop around.
  • If you hate the idea of co-working, it’s crap. But then, why would you choose this option….
  • You have to lug a baby, and all of your work gear into an office….which didn’t work for me with no car!

Working around naps

Nope. Just nope. The amount of people who still shame me when I tell them that, “No, I can’t write 1000 words for a national newspaper while my toddler plays with her toys.” is alarming.

It might work for you, and that’s great. But for me? It’s a hard no.

L x

Cloth Nappies: Everything you Need to Know to Get Started

Cloth Nappies: Everything you Need to Know to Get Started

I never thought I’d be writing about cloth nappies. Mummy blogger, moi? No, thank-you! But this is one area of my zero-waste journey I’ve found both challenging and satisfying in equal measures. 

When I first thought about reducing my waste I knew nappies were a non-negotiable that had to go. Disposable nappies are a huge blight on our planet, sitting on landfills around our country (and those we outsource our waste too…) for HUNDREDS of years. And switching to biodegradable nappies isn’t a great option as without oxygen and sun they won’t break down in the promised time either.

In six months of using disposables with Anaïs I easily added another 800 to the three billion last year. If that image doesn’t make you feel both horrified and a bit sicky (all those pooey nappies!) you are made of stronger stuff than I.

But it’s not enough for me to simply ditch disposables. As many of us as possible need to follow suit (if we can) so I’m hoping this post serves as a guide to getting started, and helps clarify any questions you have about using cloth nappies for your little one!

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My ultimate guide to getting started with cloth nappies. The pros and cons, what kit you need and a video tutorial! Read more #zerowaste tips at LucyLucraft.com

ESSENTIAL KIT

  • Nappy bin & two bin liners: to put old nappies in, the bags hold them so you can throw it all in the wash. 
  • 20-30 nappies: This is so dependent on you and your needs. 
  • Liners: To catch poo! These can be chucked. 
  • Boosters: These are to add absorbency.
  • Wet Bags: To hold old nappies when you are out and about. I have four, but you probably only need two.

THE BRANDS I USE

I tried a few but my two faves are: 

  • Little Lambs: These are really good value and offer a big variety of styles from basic cloth wraps to all in one. I love the fact they have poppers, as the velcro style fastenings tend to wear thin,
  • Bambino Mio: SUPER easy to use all-in-one styles in cute prints. These are amazing. 

WHERE TO BUY

  • Facebook Marketplace: Find local groups simply by searching ‘nappies’ OR head straight to the marketplace to find them. I got a big stash of nappies this way and will sell any I don’t need anymore here too. 
  • The Nappy Lady: This is a fantastic website as TNL offers a diagnostic service where she takes all your requirements into consideration before offering her suggestions.

HOW TO USE CLOTH NAPPIES: A DUMMIES GUIDE 

I procrastinated about this post a LOT as it’s hard to explain in words how to use reusables. That’s not to say it’s hard, per se, it’s just….you need a visual! So I made one. I’m not a video creator so please be kind 🙂 

PROS

  • You’re saving the world! What could be a better pro than that? But seriously, making the switch to reusables means you’ll see a change in your waste REALLY quickly, which is incredibly satisfying. 
  • I’ve saved money, for sure, although you do have to be realistic about the initial financial outlay you have to make (around £150 I’d say).
  • I love how easy they are to use while being super eco. I put it off for such a long time and was especially worried about dealing with poo, but it’s fine especially as modern cloth nappies are so convenient.
  • NO gross bin smell. You know what I’m talking about, right? That momen minutes after you’ve dumped a disposable in the bin and the STENCH 

CONS

  • The initial kit is costly if you buy it all new, and a faff if you go the used route. Although I didn’t find it to be too painful I wanted to acknowledge not all of us have the time/money/energy to expend on the nappy search.
  • You can’t use standard nappy creams with your reusables however I’ve found PurePotions nappy salve to be fine. 
  • I still don’t love dealing with poo, especially as I never flush the liners away (I don’t flush anything except toilet-roll, poo and wee!) but it’s a necessary evil. I pop mine in the bin formerly known as ‘disposable-nappy-bin’ and it’s not so terrible anyway, honest 😉 

L x

Having a Baby Killed my Wanderlust

Having a Baby Killed my Wanderlust

It’s funny to look back on a few short years ago when I planned my year based on where I would travel to, how long for and when.

I’ve always been a travel addict, I guess because my first passport came before my first birthday and by 5 I’d already had a stint living abroad. But maybe not. Maybe it’s simply because I love sunshine on my face and sand in my toes, eating street food and pounding pavements without a schedule.

Who knows. But travel, and travelling, has always been my happy place. For me: “the journey is the destination” rings oh so true because I ADORE flying. When the plane’s wheels lift and woosh you’re above the clouds is like taking a HUGE breath of air.

Past tense. I adored flying. Travelling was my happy place.

Enter Anaïs Lucraft.

This little bean who makes my heart pop with love and is the ultimate, squidgy delight managed to kill all that joy in just over a year.

I despise travelling with her. I tolerate travelling without her. And that would be fine, I guess, except that I’m kind of, sorta a travel writer. Apparently.

Can I still be a travel writer if I sorta hate travelling? It’s not that don’t have the urge to visit anywhere new, although I feel super settled being at home in Brighton. Of course, I long for a break with my husband and yep, I’d happily hop on a plane or train to Europe. I think about my time in India with super fond memories and long to wander down Khao San Road eating street food again but honestly? I could take it or leave it.

I was chatting with a friend recently who used to be a flight attendant. And she admitted that after having kids she developed a fear of flying – I can relate to that too. Being above the clouds no longer gives me a sigh of relief, it makes me feel anxious. It makes me wish I were on the ground with my feet planted close to home. A 45-minute delay wouldn’t have entered my mind as an issue before Anaïs, but now it feels like the biggest waste of my time.

Everything I do has to be weighed up against time spent with my family. I have to ask myself: “Is this worth it? Is this better than hanging out with my baby?” Not much passes the test!

Yes, I could take her with me but honestly….have you ever navigated trains, planes and automobiles with a screaming toddler who won’t sit, stand or lie down? It’s not fun.

Trying to make travelling with kids less stressful is tricky. Because I don’t necessarily think it’s possible. But should I  try, even if that means I have a great time, just so I can say I did it? Who do I need to prove anything to?

Answers on a postcard please. And if you find my wanderlust, post that too.

L x