A Brief Introduction to The Bundle of Joy Project

 The main reason for starting this blog if I'm totally honest (which it is my intention to be) is for my own sanity, a form of self therapy. Aged 39 and 20 weeks pregnant with baby number four I've come to realise that perhaps a weekly session with a therapist would be a good idea but right now it's an expense I could do without and I'm not quite brave enough, but I love writing and also the idea that maybe if I share my struggles it might make a positive difference to even one overwhelmed, stressed out, trying to hold it all together Mama out there.

Had originally planned to write The Bundle of Joy Project book which would of course be a bestseller and make me millions, but I like writing live and posting without too much editing so that's what I'll do here for the time being. The new plan is to post a blog every Monday so thought I'd give you a brief introduction first.

Firstly I have absolutely no desire for any of what I write to be seen as "advice" there is more than enough of that out there and one thing for sure is that motherhood comes with an infinite number of often overwhelming choices. From how you conceive, what you eat/drink when pregnant, how you give birth, how you feed your baby/toddler/child/teen, where they sleep/learn/play and my feeling is that everyone should do what feels right for them without fear of judgement from anyone else, and without judging themselves because something else that comes with being a Mum is guilt. Lot's and lot's of guilt, which it would be nice to lessen as it's a difficult enough job as it is.

So I always wanted to have a baby, was lucky enough to meet my now husband when I was sixteen and think I started pestering him after about six months. After ten years Jessica was born - a very much planned baby, Leon came 3 years later also very much planned, Charlie didn't appear for another 9 years - the not trying to get pregnant, but not trying not to baby- and currently as I sit on the floor outside of now 18 month old Charlie's room (since a bug a few weeks ago his sleeping routine isn't what it was and involves lurking about his doorway) I'm currently pregnant with the WTF baby? Total and utter surprise baby number four. The shock was immense and my fear was all consuming as in each of my pregnancies I've suffered with Hyperemis Gravidarum - think morning sickness on steroids 24 hours a day- and along with that a baby just wasn't part of the plan. I was all systems go building a positive lifestyle brand around my work baby The Joy Project - a way of living your best life... non stop vomiting was not a part of my future, I had a work trip booked to New York, my body was in the best shape ever after a year of training, the beginner's run clubs I coach were only halfway through...you get the picture. Panic.

Picture on left is me feeling like an unstoppable, jet setting entrepreneur of a women, our wedding day - yes I got married in black- five months ago...picture on right yesterday learning to love just being "Mum" and none of my clothes fitting! How life can change.

If there is one thing I've learnt (over and over) it's that we can lay as many plans as we like but actually don't control anything and life has a funny way of proving that point. But I like control - even the illusion of it- and have had some of the most difficult periods of my life during the last 20 weeks, depression reared it's ugly head along with old body image issues and the realisation that I put absolutely no value on my role as a *Mum, especially if I'm unable to go out to work and earn money, being "just Mum" made me feel worthless.

Which is exactly why I decided to start this blog, because being a Mum is an amazing thing and raising little humans into big humans that are kind, balanced and know their own self worth is an achievement above all others so why are we so bloody hard on ourselves? 
How we treat ourselves has a huge impact on our kids.

So here's to sharing honestly my journey - the nice bits - the cuddles, feeling the baby kick, the days when everything goes smoothly, when my heart seems to burst with love and the not so nice bits like hating being pregnant and feeling so guilty for admitting it, how being utterly exhausted I shouted at my 18 month old to GO TO SLEEP, in a middle of the night moment that had Super-nanny been there she'd have been frowning,shaking her head and furiously scribbling in her notebook. The times when I've just wanted to shake off the responsibility and disappear, the times when I've stood at the kitchen sink and thought "is this it?".  Here's to all the times and trying to seek out the joy in them all. Hopefully you might get something out of it too.

See you on Monday (think you can click subscribe at the top of the page which means you'll get the latest posts sent instantly to your inbox - alternatively sign up using the following link http://eepurl.com/dzYVn9  - thank you so much)

Hannah Lilly x

*Mum - I lived in the UK until I was twelve so use the word Mum although my children call me Mam with the exception of my ten year old son who mostly call's me Hannah - please insert Mam/Mom/Mama as you wish!

If you are a fan of social media I can also be found at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hannahlillyjoyproject/

Instagram: @hannahlillybella  https://www.instagram.com/hannahlillybella/?hl=en

Twitter: @_Hannahlilly  https://twitter.com/_Hannahlilly



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