Name: Jules Williams

Mama to: Oscar Stanley

Where can we find you? I’m a Canadian-born Geordie by way of Cardiff, now living in Leeds. You can find me on Instagram @thisisjules and I blog at www.thisisjules.com

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What do you enjoy most about being a mum? It’s really difficult to pin down one thing that I love about it more than anything else – but I guess you could say the utter joy that Oscar brings me. From the very first moment that I saw his face I have never known a joy like this. The love is all consuming.

What has been the number one baby product you cannot live without?
This is going to sound awful but for me it was the blasted jumparoo! Oscar has outgrown it now but for a good few months it honestly was such a back saver and helped keep me sane as it was somewhere I could safely put Oscar for a few minutes when I just needed that bit of respite! I loved that ugly plastic thing so much that it even took priority over the Christmas tree last year… which I wrote about here!

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You run a successful blog and now you are back at work, what is your best tip for keeping organised with a little one? Get your baby’s bag for the next day ready the night before. That sounds like such a simple thing – but on the mornings when I haven’t done that, believe me I’m cursing myself. At 6am when it’s time to get up and get Oscar ready for nursery as well as myself for a day at work, the last thing I want to be doing on top of everything else, is ticking off a mental checklist of what needs to go in his bag. My husband James has started sorting his bag every night now as a matter of routine, and it is such a saving grace in the morning.

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What is the one piece of advice you would give to all mums? Don’t judge each other. It’s so easily done, and most of the time it goes unnoticed and is harmless, but regardless of that we’re all trying our best aren’t we? The last thing you or I need is each other’s negative vibes or opinions.

Oscar suffered terrible colic and reflux in his first six months and used to literally scream me out of cafes, parks and shops on almost a daily basis. It was such a difficult time, mentally and emotionally for me. I remember feeling like I was losing my mind. And then on one particularly screamy day a friend of mine looked at me sympathetically and said it was because he was ‘spoilt’. I felt so judged by her, and ultimately furious, because I knew that for her to say that there was no way she could have experienced what I was going through with Oscar with her own children because if she had she would have said something supportive, not patronising and ignorant. The bottom line in all this is that no matter what you’re thinking, or what you assume you might know about a situation – just be supportive regardless. We mamas need to not just be kind to ourselves, but to each other too.

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How do you balance work and family life with your personal passions (such as photography)? I try my best where I can to combine them. At weekends we love to get out and about on day trips, adventuring as a family – so it’s easy to include my photography/vlogging and instagramming into that time.

My blog however is a bit different and I really do struggle to fit that in if I’m really honest. I stay up late into the early hours writing posts when Oscar is asleep.

But I’m determined to keep it up. Writing is a real outlet for me and I’m dedicated and passionate about my blog. I’d like to think one day in the future I’ll have more of my own time to focus on it, but until then I’ll muddle along. There aren’t enough hours in the day!

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How has becoming a mother changed you and your outlook on life? Wow what a question! Motherhood has had such an impact on me. I now have a whole new respect for life, cheesy as that may sound. Since Oscar came along I just have this new found obsession with making the most of absolutely everything. Savouring moments. Enjoying every day.

Before Oscar, after a hard working week James and I were often completely content with cuddling up on the sofa for an entire weekend watching film after sitcom after film after sitcom. And I’m not going to lie, I occasionally still do crave that! I’m tired and it would be nice to do absolutely nothing for 48 hours! However, with a little one that is near impossible as even if you stay indoors you are forever on the go. It is non-stop! So we combat that as a family by getting out and enjoying our time together as best we can – even if we don’t go further than our local park – at least we are out doing something.

Being a mum has also given me whole different perspective on parents generally. I have a new respect for all of my friends who have children – this parenting gig is no easy ride! And as for my own mum who raised me single-handedly – well quite frankly, I’m in awe.

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Which aspects of parenthood do you enjoy writing about and documenting the most? I just love to write about the everyday nitty gritty stuff. That’s what gets the best reaction on my blog as so many people have experienced what I’m talking about and can relate to it in their own way.

But I think for me my absolute favourite thing is documenting Oscar’s development. The changes he is going through at a given time. As I write this, he is just two weeks away from turning one, and I can barely believe it!

The first year as a parent, really is crazy. In a good way! The changes your baby goes through in those first 12 months is pretty incredible and it’s easy to forget all the teeny tiny things that you love about your child as they’re growing at lightning pace, as no sooner are you used to one sweet mannerism, they are onto the next thing. My blog helps me remember the good bits. And the bad. Which is a healthy balance to be able to look back and reflect upon.