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Friday, 6 October 2017

When I was pregnant with Ella, my first born, I was forever enticed into my maternity leave by the reassuring and somewhat encouraging comments (in hindsight, mostly from males - which makes sense now!) talking about the wonderful holiday I would be taking from work as I venture into the world of Motherhood. Maternity leave was painted as this beautiful picture of ladies who lunch, walks in the park and sipping on an abundance of tea while catching up on the car crash TV that my other half point blank refuses to watch post 7pm. Leaving the 'actual' world of work would open my time up to afternoon naps, a free schedule of 'me time' because after all, I didn't have a 9-5 anymore plus baby's need sleep so how else could I possibly fill my days when there was no more grind?

In actuality, this preconceived, delirious perception of Motherhood and Maternity Leave couldn't be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that I have never sat down less, slept more appallingly or drank more bitter cold cups of tea in my puff. I'm pretty sure I've bored holes in my carpet running up my 'Mum Miles' up and downstairs - and that was just for the 7493629 things I forgot to pack in my changing bag before I left the house! Want to become fit? Become a parent!

Contrary to my fellow office buddies belief, recent research shows that new parents spend an average of 8 hours on their feet every day, with some (30%) on theirs for more than 10 hours - the category that I undoubtedly fall into! This is almost double the average person in a sedentary environment, completely throwing my 'Maternity Leave Holiday' out of the window.

Fast forward a couple of years and here I find myself again, on my 'Maternity Leave Vacay'. More tired than ever but doing the most rewarding job as I care for my two little bundles of chaos. My 'Mum Miles' seem to have more than doubled which seems crazy, I only added one more to the quota so it should all be relative, right? Wrong! I've been monitoring my day-to-day activity with a FitBit and couldn't believe the results. Between this and sharing every single meal with a curious 2 year old, it's a wonder I'm not a beach body ready!

As part of the Graco Parenting Miles campaign I have been trying out the incredible Featherweight pushchair. Upon it's arrival I was ready and braced to take the delivery from the mail man only to feel like I'd just accepted delivery of an empty box. I was astounded at how at this early impression it was already living up to it's featherweight claims.

Weighing only 3.6kg and with a one-hand fold system, it's the most fuss free pushchair we have used. Its compact fold makes it the perfect pushchair for walks in the park and travelling. We often struggle to fit our dog in the car boot as well as a pushchair when we set off on family adventures but with the Graco Featherweight this isn't an issue. I've already got it top of the list for our family holiday next year as it will certainly lighten the load.

The convenience of the pushchair and it's lightweight attributes are one thing, but as you all know I love fashion it is super important to me. Usually if something has a great feature like this, you compromise on style - not with the Graco Featherweight.It's contemporary design is so sleek and it comes in the on-trend tones of Grey but also Red for the more daring among us. So not only is it a wonderful addition for a more simplistic running of the day, it's also an easily co-ordinating piece too.

As you will know, I love a Parenting Hack, Tanith Carey, author of Parent Hacks has shared her top tips on how to bring more convenience to your day. Here are some of my favourites :

  • Forget bulky handbags which can turn into bottomless pits. Free up your hands whilst pushing a pushchair by wearing a back pack instead.
  • Choose one accessible pocket in your bag where – without fail – you ALWAYS put your essentials, such as your debit card, phone and keys when you’re on the move. That way you will avoid panicky moments rooting around to find them – or worrying you’ve left them somewhere.
  • Before heading out to the shops with your pushchair, make sure you don’t overload yourself by taking a picture on your phone of the inside of your fridge, so you have an instant visual reminder of what you do and don’t need to buy.
  • To give you the ultimate freedom outside the home whether you’re on a day-out, shopping or climbing stairs, choose a lightweight pushchair. At 3.6kg, the Graco Featherweight is about the weight of an average newborn baby, and suitable from birth to 15kgs or approximately 3 years.
  • To save on trips collecting missed online deliveries, make friends with your postman and local delivery drivers for the companies you use most. There’s nothing more irritating than narrowly finding the ‘Sorry We Missed You’ card on the doormat and then having to re-arrange delivery, or trudge to a collection point and wait in a queue, with baby or toddler in tow.
  • Go shopping at the quietest times – early morning is good. With young children, you’re more likely to be up than the rest of the adult population. Or, now that there are more 24-hour supermarkets, if you have a partner who’s at home, go at night when the kids are in bed to avoid stress, tantrums from bored children, and longer trips. 

So with all of those points noted and my Graco Featherweight pushchair, I feel armed and ready for more of this motherhood madness! It lays down flat for sleepy time and has a huge under storage area, now all I need to do is pray for a long afternoon nap so I can go shopping and put that basket to good use!

*this post was sponsored by Graco. As always, all content created and opinions are my own.

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