What is life with 3 kids and a disability like?

As Christmas is around the corner I thought what better time to actually wrote a blog post about being a mum of 3 in the lead up to the stress- I mean, festive period. Well it’s been going on for weeks but you know what I mean.

But I’m not just a mum of 3, my 4th ‘child’ – ie the other thing that I have to plan for, take care of, moan about, stress over and spend money on – my disability, is what makes being a mum for me that whole lot different. Unfortunately unlike my 3 actual human children, I don’t love this one.

As the kids grow up (way too quickly) I guess there are many things that they won’t need doing for them that I have always had to get someone else to do for me. Like nappy changes and wiping sick up (if that happens during the week while my partner is at work, my PA has to do those things for me) but at the moment I still wish that I could climb into Amélie’s top bunk bed and snuggle up with her in the evening. Or carry a sleeping child to bed. Or join in with the parents’ race on sports day. Or actually wrap up their Christmas presents myself.

The thing that I miss a lot at the moment (and I say miss because that’s how it feels, even though I’ve never been able to do it anyway) is doing my girls’ hair. Now don’t get me wrong – Tom, my partner and best daddy ever, is a-ma-zing at doing little girls’ hairstyles. Most of it I guess I’ve kind of taught him, without actually teaching him if that makes sense. But that just makes me sound arrogant and a bit bossy. But there are ways to verbally describe doing a ponytail! However he is also quite creative and uses his own initiative to do their hair because I can’t. Although I’d like to think that even if I could do their hair, he’d still have probably learnt to do it anyway. There’s no reason it should only be something mummy can do. But when it’s something only mummy can’t do, well that’s just not fair. The fact that I literally cannot operate an elastic hair band is excruciating! The best I can do is clip the side of their hair out of their face by doing the clip with my mouth. Yes it’s weird. No I haven’t got a photo. However I do have a photo of Tom’s gymnastics competition hair do for Amélie.

And that’s just one example of why I find my own life so incredibly frustrating and there’s not much I can do about it.

But what about the specific Christmas struggles? Well this year I’ve tried to do most of our present buying online. I used to LOVE shopping, and I mean my step sister and I would spend all day in Truro city centre and get home in the dark after Christmas shopping for hours and be buzzing. Now, that thought makes me want to vomit. The thought of all those people asking me if I need help when I’m looking at a gift set of bubble baths, and the narrow aisles and inaccessible tills, and the people walking in front of me and just stopping. They just stop walking and expect me to notice in a split second and not bash my wheelchair into their achilles tendons. And being at that awkward place between bum-height and elbow-height in crowded places where the likliness of getting knocked in the face by someone flailing their arms about, being farted on or having cigarette smoke blown in your face is all too high. No thank you. I’ll shop on Amazon. Or failing that, go to larger stores like The Range and Wilko where you can kill several birds with one stone in the gift buying world.

As for Christmas day itself, we are staying in our own house this year rather than stay with family. So the cooking will all be up to me and Tom. Well, there won’t be much I can assist with but I shall entertain the children by putting Christmas movies on and moaning at them to tidy up even a little bit, so Tom can get on with food preparation.

We will see. I will attempt to update with a new blog post after the big day has been and gone.

Don’t forget….

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Lekebaby changing bag review

Well I’m feeling quite proud of myself as for the first time, a company has approached me to do a review of a baby product!

As a wheelchair user and disabled mum of 3, one of the most important things about a changing bag for me is that it hangs well on my chair, isn’t too wide and doesn’t rub on my wheels. It needs to be quite roomy so I can fit lots in but also be compact so that it doesn’t get in the way of whoever is pushing my chair.

The Lekebaby backpack bag is all of those things on first impressions, and is also very stylish. I am loving simple grey things at the moment when it comes to fashion, home decor and accessories, so I love the colour of this bag and the detail of the tribal pattern on the front pocket.

The front pocket contains 2 insulated pockets for if you need to keep milk warm or other drinks cool. I haven’t needed to bottle-feed my kids so I’ve used the pockets for suncreams and a toddler cup! It also has a pen holder and lots more space for other bits.

The side pockets are a good size, and one side features a zip which I’m guessing means you can have instant access to baby wipes – I got a bit too excited about this. Please agree with me so I don’t sound like a crazy woman.

The main part of the bag has a very helpful sturdy opening which is sort of boned, this would be very handy if like me you get easily irritated by bags flopping in on themselves when you’re trying to put stuff away. Just me?!

The interior has ample room for several outfit changes, a wad of nappies, more wipes, snacks, and toys and there are also several elasticated pockets inside so you can keep everything organised. Organisation is key when you’re out with the kids!

One of my favourite features of the bag is the zip at the back which means you can get to stuff at the bottom of the bag without having to take everything out – enough to make any parent scream when their child has just had a leaky poo and needs clean clothes, fast! There’s even a foldable wipe-clean change mat inside.

As far as carrying the bag goes, there are several options. There are handles at the top if you need to grab it in your hands, there are shoulder straps so you can wear it on your back, or your wheelchair if you’re a wheeling parent like me, and there are also detachable strap loops so you can hang it from the pushchair handle.

Last but not least, I like how this bag doesn’t scream “smelly change bag”, you could easily use it as a normal hand bag or for going out for the day with all your essentials, and I’m pretty sure it would also work well as a work bag, there’s more than enough room for a laptop in there.

That’s it I think! I hope you found this helpful in your search for a practical but stylish changing bag which is good value for money – this currently retails at £39.99 on Amazon.

Thanks to Lekebaby for this brilliant bag!

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