Going from one to two children | Nicky Raby

As you may or may not know, I am due to go from being a Mum of one to a Mum of two at the end of the summer (all being well). I am feeling all the feels of course… and have so many questions, I can’t answer.

Fortunately I saved all of the stuff from from our first baby, so we don’t have the list of ‘essentials’ which seemed to be ridiculously long for such a little person this time around. There are oodles of videos online on what you ‘need’ and I bought a lot of that list last time. Nearly four years on I thought it may be useful to share the things we have actually used (and continue to do so) and what may change this time.

PODCAST: Episode Seventy Seven with Kristi Edwards, founder of HesperFox

E P I S O D E S E V E N T Y S E V E N with Kristi @hesperfox Kristi has done so much in the last few years; grown a wonderful brand alongside raising a small human. We celebrate her accomplishments but also she shares lots of reality behind what it takes and what she has found useful to keep the vibes high and the resilience rockin’ 
I never want to just tell one side of the story- there are many components to creating something from scratch. I found our chat hugely inspiring and there are lots of giggles along the way. 

PODCAST: Interview with Yasmin Stevens, founder of Natural Lifestyles

A mum on a mission to create good family health with simple yet effective lifestyle choices. 

Having her first child at 19 years old awoke her passion and desire to learn everything she could to give her child the best health possible, however realizing that there was so much confusing and contradictory information, set about clearing away the lies to reach the truth.

Founding Natural Lifestyles in 2016 to share all of the lifestyle choices available, providing free resources and paid services and products to support the transition into an empowered healthy life.

Also, as an offering for anyone listening to the podcast here is a special offer...

Get a discount on Natural Lifestyles all natural daily moisturising cream, just add the promo code ‘FAMILY’at the checkout step. Click here

Being a guest on the Motherkind podcast | Motherhood and ambition

A few weeks ago I recorded an podcast episode for Motherkind. We discussed motherhood and ambition. I loved chatting to Zoe and I hope you enjoy the episode. I would love to know if you have any thoughts, as always feel free to contact me via my contact page. 

'Episode 12 is with Nicky Raby - Nicky is a is an actor, coach, writer, and speaker. I know for so many of us when we become a parent, it sharply puts our working life into focus. What do we really want to do? How can make work, work? Nicky is passionate about helping mothers define their own version of success.

We chat about: 
- Figuring it out as we go
- How becoming a mum can help us get clear on what we really want and what success means to us
- how a lack of time can actually be a gift
- boundaries, saying no and asking for help
- how becoming a mum helps us look at our expectations and limiting beliefs
- knowing our worth, even in a new venture'

How do you know if it is the 'right' time to have a baby?

Written in 2014 (It is the beginning of my second book...that I haven't written yet)

I would like to have a baby. 

My maternal instincts are going wild. 

I can’t stop interacting with snot filled toothy faces that peep out of prams on the bus.

I visualise future Christmas gatherings and imagine a family portrait taken on the stairs off a large hall (very Escape to the Country) with a giant Christmas tree at the foot (naturally we are all wearing white!).

However it is likely this wouldn’t be a reality as a)We are not the Von Traps and b) I would be banned from buying a giant tree as the swearing and sweating of carrying it would definitely buy at least 15 minutes of sulking time from my partner. 

At 32, I am suddenly paying attention to what it would be like to carry a small person. How would I physically do it?

As a five foot 2 woman with a fairly generous pair of baps, would the bump hitch them so high that I would be sporting a breast filled neck thermal? I don’t look good in polo necks. I don’t have the right proportions. 

How do you build up the upper body strength to carry a vaguely stylish handbag, a baby and unlock a door when I start to shake and panic a little when I have to hold ‘plank’ in yoga?

How to you afford the ‘nursery’ set ups you see in Ok magazine? If you do gather the money together, how do you keep them so pristine that the ‘cosmic latte’ walls and  the ‘tapestry beige’ carpets are not splattered with tea  and felt tip pen. 

Then of course of the birth. How high is my pain threshold? How do you know these things?

For years I have wanted to scream through my irritable hayfever eyes that I rubbed like a psychotic teddy bear until I gave in and went indoors with Liz Earle.

The two holes in my leg (one created by sliding into my particular pointy Ikea bed in my lounging pants and the other falling off a pavement in my Mary Jane’s) really hurt at the time. The pavement incident even took me to A and E as I thought I had broken my ankle. I hadn’t, the booze had just worn off , I was little emotional and in agony. I should have stayed under my duvet with some Kettle Chips and a Friends box set. 

Apart from that I have been lucky enough to have a pain free life so far.

Oh wait a second, I am forgetting the first time I had a Brazilian wax and I thought true violent thoughts towards the beautician (but did not act on them) but a strong lager and a Nurofen afterwards helped future appointments. 

Now judging by the distressed faces and the farmyard sounds of One Born Every Minute, giving birth really hurts. Occasionally you get a woman who has the metal attitude of a Gladiator and log flumes a little bundle of joy, sweat free before her man has made it back from having a smoke and a trip to the vending machine. 

But that doesn’t seem to be the majority…and myself and my partner are watching closely…sometimes again on Channel 4 plus 1.

When I daydream about the above, I always think ‘Well, I’ll figure it out. I have a great group of friends and family who would be thrilled with the new addition and if I was being melodramatic in any way, they would tell me to have a word with myself’. 

The main nagging question is…is it the right time? Are we ready? I have starting reading and bombarding friends, colleagues and randoms at parties (I blame my age!)

‘Did you know when it was the right time?’ ‘ How do you juggle life and make it work?’.

I seem to get the same answers. ‘There is never a right time and I don’t a lot of the time, I am tired, feel guilty but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So in reality, I am no further on, really. I trained as a life coach and apply many of those principles to my own life. I am not from the wishy washy, vague school of thought….I like to know what it is I am aiming for (setting a goal) and then take action (I love a to do plan of action). 

It was becoming very apparent that the decision was left to the individual couple and the right time meant very different states for different people. For us, we knew it was never going be about the ‘cosmic latte’ walls. 

My partner and I are both freelance creatives. We didn’t join the ‘rat race’ and we make our livings through coaching, acting, writing, blogging, talking and playing on a schedule that we create. We design our own lives. We don’t have paid holidays, we have better months than others, we have great friends and family and enjoy our lives together, individually and as a couple. 

We love children. At family gatherings or special occasions we can often be seen hand standing, playing rock, paper, scissors or becoming unnecessarily competitive during a game of rounders. 

I trained as an actress and when I left I worked at a children’s play and music centre and then became a nanny for many families I met there on a part time basis between acting jobs. I expanded my den making skills, I learnt how to take command of a parachute with no suffocations and had an abundance of nursery rhymes ringing and screeching through my brain 24-7. I have been known to sit bolt upright in the middle of the night singing Incy Wincy Spider with actions. (Now I am just showing off). 

My aim with this book is to track our own journey and also help you as a creative to unlock the answers for you.

To be continued...

I refuse to live for bank holidays

When I was 18, I worked in a crisp factory before I moved to London. Nothing like an 8 hour shift of continuous packing of boxes to make you dream big and consider your life choices. (FYI I did most definitely smell after my shift... in fact who ever picked me up could guess the flavour 😷)

One observation I made was the excitement and general giddiness that was brewing... yes, at the end of August... a bank holiday would occur! Wooooo!

I promised myself then that I wouldn't only have bank holidays to look forward to.

I would try and cultivate my own career where I would have flexibility and a real love for what I love ... no Monday blues and just living for the weekend. I haven't always got it right... it is always a work in progress.

Sometimes the bank holiday buggers catch me out... 'Oh wait, it is closed...' P.S I didn't eat crisps for five years after my factory fun...

Latest piece for the Huff Post... a wish list for new mums

I love the Huffington Post as a platform and I am thrilled to be a contributor. Here is my latest piece... click the graphic or click here

Published on The Early Hour // Nicky Raby