Well, well, well – it’s been a while…
I’m back! And every time I say that it takes every ounce of my willpower not to say ‘I’m back, back, back again!’ Alyssa Edwards style. ANYWAY! For the past week I’ve eased myself back into the online world and you know what, it feels lovely. That’s the beauty of having a job that you genuinely enjoy. It was something that I was really looking forward to coming back to and so far Mark and I have been able to juggle the joys of our new baby with a bit of work thrown in and somehow it feels like a new normal that we’re working out our groove with. But yes – OUR NEW BABY! You may have known about his arrival already thanks to his debut Instagram, but he’s here and he’s wonderful and there is no better feeling than your baby breathing their milky breath into your face as they sleep on your chest – FACT.
The first few weeks are a wild ride where you suddenly realise that everything you’ve read and researched is completely different once in practice and it’s a surreal time processing the absolutely massive life-changing moment that’s just happened, whilst being massively sleep deprived and recovering from birth. If that is you right now then I want to give you a massive hug and tell you that everything will be ok – PROMISE. Thankfully our little lad has got the hang of sleep (a bit – four consecutive hours of sleep is about as good as it gets right now but it feels like absolute heaven!), my recovery has been positive and now that Ralph not only smiles but positively grins at us, this parenting malarkey has started to make sense and it feels gooooood.
Whenever I’ve asked on Instagram what you would like to see I’m always asked what gifts to buy new parents and for that I have first hand experience of what we were lucky enough to receive from friends and family, so ask and you shall receive. Got any new parents in your life? Parents to be in the near future? Bookmark this one and they can thank you later…
THE NEW PARENT GIFT GUIDE
Food, Glorious Food. Hands down the best present for new parents is food – if in doubt go for food. Lily and Rich ordered us Crème Cookies which I can confirm went down extremely well and seeing as they are so bloomin’ massive they really filled that 11am hole in my belly. Other friends dropped round gigantic Toblerone bars and homemade cookies, or sent bags of Pick Yo Mix sweets, or cheese boards complete with crackers and chutney (that was great because who the hell ever knows what to eat for lunch – thanks Ruth!). A tub of Quality Streets that a mate gave us lasted approximately two days and came in very handy during the night feeds and my Mum stocked us up with freezer meals like bolognese and chillis and they were great for ‘Those Days™️’ when Mark and I would just look at each other and do this ‘it’s a freezer meal night’ silent nod. All of these gifts and gestures were so appreciated and kept us sustained during those early weeks.
A Secret Spa Voucher. This was actually a birthday present from Lily (I can confirm that Lily is just THE BEST present buyer), and it was a genius idea. It’s currently a service that only runs in London, Manchester and Brighton but I’m sure there are people that offer mobile services locally. It’s basically a service that finds Beauticians that can come to your house and put on spa services in your own front room. Considering that my pedicure is looking very likely to grow out at this point (GRIM!), I am very much looking forward to booking one in. Or maybe your friend or family member would prefer to get out the house? If so buy ‘em a voucher and offer your babysitting services.
More Food. Oh yes I’m banging on about food again because it literally is what fuels you and during those first few weeks you need fuel by the bucketload. Vouchers came in so handy. Deliveroo and Uber Eats now offer vouchers and even though whenever we ordered takeaway Ralph would decide to start his witching hour exactly as the food arrived, it was still delicious an hour later after it had been reheated. HA! COOK vouchers are brilliant because it allows you to stock up on freezer meals and order exactly what you fancy, and we also kindly received some vouchers for our favourite restaurant – Cin Cin – which was fab because they still offer an at-home meal box or we can save them up for our first date night outing. Oh and our friends sent us the Dishoom Breakfast Naan kit and it was absolutely DIVINE. THANKS GUYS!
Visit With Supplies. People want to see the baby, I get it. Many times I’ve been on the other side just desperate to get in a new baby hug – their smell, their warmth and their little smooshed cheeks are indeed the best darn thing in the world. But one thing I didn’t realise was just how truly sleep deprived and cream crackered the new parents of the huggable new little bean most likely are, and even something as simple as making teas and coffees for guests is a lot (as evidenced in recent weeks by the fact that one time I made more teas that I needed and another just spilt a whole cup across the kitchen table). So when our friends arrive with coffee and cake I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. The gift of their company *and* being able to just put our feet up and chat and eat brownies is absolutely heaven. They are the real MVPs.
So there you have it. Basically send or be armed with food and you’ll be a hero in their eyes. Baby hugs for biscuits – it’s a fair trade off I think.
In terms of going forward I plan to keep things pretty much the same round these parts, which I talk about more in yesterday’s video if you didn’t catch that. But basically if you don’t see much of little Ralph or hear me mentioning him it’s not because I don’t care, it’s quite the opposite. I care about this little lad SO much that I want to try my best to protect him at all costs and that means creating a bit of a boundary with what I share about him online. He’s still so new and we’re still so new to parenthood so it’s hard right now to decipher exactly where that line is, so for the meantime and for the foreseeable you probably won’t hear or see that much about him, which I’m sure you’ll understand. So don’t mind me just pottering around here sharing more knitwear, recipes and peachy nude lipsticks than you could shake a stick at. Here we go…
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Photos by Mark Newton