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1) Mum Hacks: Tips and trips for making life easier
As a mum of three (!) and wife to a Professional (World Champion, no less) Kick boxer – of course the first hack that comes to mind has something to do with the bane of my life…LAUNDRY. Ergh. The word even gives me shudders. Of all my accomplishments in life, having an empty laundry basket fills me with ultimate MUM GOAL vibes. Anyway, I digress –
Hack 1: the sun, not only makes us instantly feel better and more glowy and beautiful but it’s the best for getting out newborn shit stains. How many baby grows are you guilty of throwing away because they had a huge yellow splodge that wouldn’t budge? Give the babygrow a rinse in cold water (with a bit of washing up liquid if you’re feeling fancy) and simply pop the babygrow outside in direct sunlight – and like magic, the stain disappears.
Hack 2: for older kids that play sports (or husband’s that go to the gym a lot (try 4 times a day, 6 days a week in this house…)) a scoop full of bicarbonate of soda, is the best addition to your wash to get rid of any lingering damp/stinky armpit smells.
2) The secret life of mums: Confessions from the trenches
Not so much a confession, but more a “must” – once you have a baby it’s so easy to loose yourself and your identity – I’ve been there, pretty certain we’ve all grieved our pre parent (have a lie-in till 1pm) selves at some stage. Third baby in, and this time round the “bounce back” (not in loosing baby weight – I wish!) has been so much more powerful – I’m confident in who I am, what I stand for, my priorities, my choices – and my wardrobe. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been – because I’m so concentrated on me. I surround myself with energy boosters. Actually, on reflection, I haven’t bounced back – I’ve evolved.
3) The best and worst advice mums have received
I trained as a doula (although currently, I’ve put that career on hold) and the word “advice” is a bit of a trigger for my doula brain! Doula’s don’t give advice – they encourage clients to use their b.r.a.i.n.s to make informed choices (acronym for: benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition, nothing). If I had to choose..the best advice would be something my husband has said to me countless times, “set boundaries and don’t be afraid to say “no” if you don’t want to do something.” It’s something I’ve really put in to practice since having our youngest son.
The worst advice, for me personally (after giving birth) would be “don’t worry about the mess, sleep when the baby’s sleeping” I can’t relax if our house is a pig sty – my brain would be way more relaxed, and in turn, I would feel more content if I spent that time tidying my space – we are all individuals, the most important thing is to do what works best for US.
4) Mumfessions: embarrassing moments from parenthood
I know there are a million embarrassing moments, probably because the kids are at an age now, where they’re brutally honest about everything – no filters at all...which at times can be pretty toe curlingly embarrassing. I’m still breastfeeding, and being at a work meeting, or a cool brand’s PR event and my milk soaking through my top, still makes me all hot and flustered – although it usually ends up as a bonding tool, as guaranteed at least one other parent in the room can sympathise!
5) Parenting fails: when things dont go as planned
A couple of evenings ago – after eating dinner, the baby was having some nappy off time, crawling around the front room before bed. The rest of us were still sitting at the dining table, catching up on the day etc … 5 or so minutes later, my eldest son went to join his little brother on the floor and immediately starting shouting “NO ROBIN!! NO ROBIN!!”
Intrigued, I went over to see what was happening… Robin has done a poo on the floor, and was picking the sweetcorn out of his log – and eating it. EPIC FAIL.
6) The truth about potty training: A mum’s perspective
I potty trained my daughter (she’s almost 5 now) during lockdown. We were all indoors for months – and the first thing I brought was a potty. I didn’t put any pressure on her at all – she naturally just started sitting and weeing on the potty. As with everything children related, consistency is the key – just keep at it. Also, children’s milestones are often a competition amongst parents – battle of the “who walked/used the potty/counted to 5 in French first” don’t fall in to that pressure circle. You’ll know when you’re both ready.
7) The mum squad: finding your tribe in the world of parenthood
I lead such a busy life that I find it really hard to sync diaries with a lot of my friends that have children. I’m guilty of making plans and then either cancelling or one of us completely forgets that we had a date in the diary – so last minute “hey babes, what you up to today/tomorrow” plans usually work best for me. My true friends don’t take me cancelling or my ‘not seeing them for 6months’ personally – when we do meet up, we pick up where we left off and there is no animosity or hard feelings. This ties in to the ‘boundaries and people pleasing advice’ I mentioned above – I’ve learned to prioritise myself, my family and my work commitments and sadly, that doesn’t leave time for a whole lot else – I’m extremely fortunate and blessed that I’m happiest when I’m with the people that live within my four walls.
8) Mum’s night out: the Importance of self care and fun.
I’m a bit of a boring bastard – I don’t get out and socialise or “have fun” how other’s would perceive to be the conventional way, very often. Robin is almost one, although he eats food now – he falls to sleep on my boob every night and I prioritise him each and every time. I don’t enjoy my time out otherwise, knowing he’s distressed. Instead I try to arrange daytime plans (brunch/lunch etc). This year I’ve been consistent with my fitness regime, and holding myself accountable, and I’ve fallen in love with walking – for hours – my fav’ place to walk is Richmond Park, this is major selfcare and “time out” for me.