This week I’d like you to meet the gorgeous Fran. I know Fran from high school… again- points and thanks go to social media and mutual friends for keeping us in touch…She absolutely needs no introduction… just read what she has to say… an absolute beauty- both inside and out…
“Hello, my name is Fran, I’m 27 years old and I live in Plymouth with my partner Ben and our 2 year old son Ruben (or Rubes, Mr Chunk, Moobs, Ru Ru…I could go on). “
“I am a qualified child protection social worker (yes, I know I’m mad), however, after returning to work from maternity leave, it all got a bit too much (and very stressful) and I made the decision to leave, which may I add, was the best decision I could have made as I landed myself a lovely part time job (two days a week) working as an Outreach/ parenting worker within a lovely children’s centre in Plymouth…..and I love it! I also run a small domestic business selling homemade power juices and healthy snacks.
I also love to be out and about (hate being stuck indoors). Any sign of a bit of sunshine and you’ll find me with my flip flops on and lying on a beach somewhere. Whilst on maternity leave, when I should have been watching my pennies, I made a rather impulsive decision to buy a camper van…which, although left me rather broke, was the best investment I have ever made! As for someone that loves to be out, it gives me (and my family) the freedom to just take off whenever we please….I would highly recommend buying one, but perhaps a slightly more reliable one than mine!!
Anyway, that’s enough about me….now time to introduce Mr Chunk.
My son Ruben, well what can I say….he is just the best (of course I would say that…as would any parent to their own child). But seriously, he is my best mate…we have so much fun together and he makes me smile every second of every day. He’s only just turned two but in all honesty I think he is more intelligent than me and Ben put together (which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing) He out smarts us most days and tells me what to do…he pretty much rules our house! “
How was your pregnancy and birth with Ruben?
“I had a pretty straightforward pregnancy with Ruben….in fact, I loved every second of being pregnant, and I loved how safe he was all snug as a bug in my tummy. I loved the little prods and kicks he would give me, even if it was at 3.30 in the morning but I knew it was just him letting me know he was all ok in there.
When I went into labour, my waters broke at about 1am and, as being probably one of he most laid back people you will meet, I got changed and went back to sleep…It wasn’t until my contractions started to kick in that I thought, hmmm, maybe I should wake up Ben and we should phone the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital I was having full blown contractions and on inspection I was dilated, well, lots! So I was whisked into the labour ward and little man was born at 6.30am. I was adamant on having a water birth and was going to have one no matter what….well that didn’t happen. I didn’t really care as Ruben was a happy and healthy little dude weighing 7lb 4.
I had always planned on breastfeeding and nothing was going to stop me from doing so. I was quite lucky in that practically seconds after Ruben was born he crept up to my breast and that was that! He was a proper little guzzler…. But I loved every minute of it.”
Yessssssss! HOORAY FOR BOOBIES!!! Good work mama! If you could go back and give your pregnant self one piece of advice… what would it be?
“I would tell myself to not buy anything new, and to get everything from the nearly new sales or from all the wonderful Facebook sites which sell pretty much everything you need at less than half the price. Throughout my pregnancy I was very fussy and wanted everything new. It wasn’t until I was on maternity leave and, well, I’d spent my money on a campervan, that I realised just how amazing these secondhand sites are and how cheap I could get clothes, toys, furniture and pretty much all baby equipment which was all in perfect condition. I kicked myself that I had been so fussy and spent a fortune on getting everything brand new.”
That’s a good one. I think a lot of people fall into that trap. Luckily because wee man was so premature we barely had a thing for him so we just bought bits and bobs as and when we needed it. Second time round we were already kitted out and for a few extras we’ve topped up using local Facebook Mums pages too… got some absolute bargains!!”
How were the early days of motherhood?
“Ruben was a very content baby, he very rarely cried and was a little bundle of joy. He initially slept very well and I remember saying to everyone ‘I’m not sleep deprived!’
I think it coincided with me returning to work when the sleep nightmare began…well, it was almost as if he new that I had to spend the day in possibly one of the most stressful jobs in the world and decided that he was going to punish me for leaving him. But hey-ho, you just kinda have to deal with it a get on with things.”
How is he these days sleepwise?
“I do still get the odd bad night but Ruben pretty much sleeps through the night now, we get the odd 5am wake up call but I’d rather that than 1am, 3am, 5am and the rest. He’s always been a good day napper and currently sleeps for about 2-3 hours in the afternoon which is great….gives me the opportunity to catch up on all the boring housewife duties!!”
Hooray for afternoon naps too! Jeez!!! I’m so not ready for little man to give those up… thankfully- like Rubes… he’s still a fan of a post lunch 40 winks! His sister on the other hand…. one word… DIVA!!!!
As a matter of habit… What 5 things define happiness for you Fran? (Usually this is a way for our readers to gauge what kind of person you are…but this week… I reckon you’ve already done an awesome job of this. ..)
“1. Waking up knowing that I get to spend the day with my two boys.
2. Hot, sunny days spent at the beach.
3. Having the best family and friends in the world.
4. When my house is all clean and tidy (I hate how much it brings me down when it’s a mess…I wish I didn’t care)
5. Knowing that my friends and family are happy 🙂 (cheesy I know, but I hate it when I see them upset)”
Gorgeous. What does parenthood mean to you… in one word?
“In one word?…Wow, that’s going to be a challenge. I’m pretty sure my answer to this will be different on a daily basis (depending on how early Ruben has decided to wake up…ha!). But if I had to describe it in one word, a word that I like to use a lot, and whether this word actually has a meaning to it or not is another question, but it would definitely have to be ‘MAGICAL’. From the minute you fall pregnant to the first smile, first steps, first time they say ‘I love you mummy’ and watching them develop into mini human beings….to me, its all just magical”
SO TRUE! A beaut word to pick!
Has becoming a mother thrown up any issues that you weren’t expecting?
“I know this sounds like a bit of a silly answer but before I had Ruben I didn’t know what it was like to be a mum. I had no idea just how demanding and how stressful it can be at times, and now I’m a mum myself, I can really empathise with all the other mums out there having to deal with sleep deprivation, heaps of washing, constant tidying, tantrums, poorly babies, exploding nappies, having to plan your day, week and month to suit your baby’s routine….and the rest. When they say it is a full time job, they sure do mean it! And in between being a full time mum, you have friends to see, family to please and partners to take care of. And don’t get me wrong, I love being a mummy, and it is the best feeling in the world, but you really have no idea what it’s like to be a mum….until you are one yourself!”
So with you… and you’re right- until you physically experience it you cannot fully understand the insanity of parenthood!
The penultimate question… and a tricky one at that… What do you love most about Ruben?
“Well, where do I start. I love how Ruben has become my bestest little mate…we have so much fun together and he makes me smile even when he’s been up since 5am…I love his little personality, the cuddles, the smiles, the laughs, the little comments he comes out with when I least expect it. I love just watching him play and make things up in his head…I love how innocent he is and how he just doesn’t have a care in the world (apart from when he doesn’t get his own way). I literally love everything about him, even when he’s being a little monkey…it makes him the little dude he is!”
Beautiful. Last but not least… what everyone is waiting…desperate to find out… Fran… What’s your Mum No 1?!!
“Well this is a tricky one…. There are just so many things that have been complete life savers for me throughout my time as a mummy, with certain things being more essential at different stages of Ruben’s life. However, the biggest life saver for me, definitely has to be….
She has been my babysitter when I need a break (or a night out), my shoulder to cry on when it’s all got too much, an ear when I need to talk, my cleaner when I just haven’t got the energy to clean, my cook when I’ve not had time to go food shopping….and the list goes on and on. I seriously don’t think I could have survived this far without my mum…she is my rock!”
Oh what a lovely Mum No1!!! Good old Mum eh?!! She sounds like an absolute legend!
Thank you so much for being our Mum No1 this week Fran! It’s been gorgeous to hear from you and your passion for motherhood and that ridiculously handsome boy of yours is clear for all to see. It’s been a real treat!
Speaking of treats… before we go… Fran cooly scooted over the topic of being a Mumpreneur… in fact reader… you might have missed it… here it is again just in case:
“I also run a small domestic business selling homemade power juices and healthy snacks.”
We’ve said Hooray for boobies and… Hooray for naps in this episode. .. and we’re not stopping there …. Hooray for Mumpreneurs!!
Ladies and gents… I give you…
MollieRoo’s Power Foods and Juices!!!
(Website is currently under construction but click on the pic above to visit their Facebook Page!)
MollieRoo’s trades once a month at The Royal William Yard Farmer’s Market in Plymouth which is the first Sunday of each month. Fran also takes orders and can deliver!
Raising Them has an exclusive for you too… Fran is currently in the process of making a recipe book for her juices… which should be ready in June!
If you have enjoyed reading today’s episode and you fancy getting involved drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org … would love to hear from you.
Big love… as ever.
♥ ♥ ♥