Maternity leave mileage…


Emma and Olly1

My maternity leave is sadly over and this week I go back to work to start a new chapter as a working Mummy. It’s going to be a challenge but with mega organisation and early nights, I’m hoping we can all adjust to a new routine without too much trauma.

The last 9 months with my Little Mr has been the most wonderful time. We’ve had lots of adventures with road trips, train rides and the odd plane journey or two. We’ve met lots of wonderful people along the way and made some brilliant friends. We’ve covered quite a bit of distance so thought I’d round up my maternity leave with a look back on what we got up too.

February 2013

Little Mr was born and I became a ‘proper’ real-life Mummy. My dreams came true and my gorgeous boy was perfect with his blonde hair and blue eyes.


March 2013

Whilst my recovery from my c-section was slow and quite painful, Little Mr was already becoming quite a character. We spent most of March in a whirlwind of night feeds, doctors appointments and health visitor check ups. I celebrated my first Mothers Day which was magical.

April 2013

Little Mr, hubby and I went to Cardiff, Wales for a mini break away during the Easter holidays followed by a trip down to London on the train (in First Class no less) to attend the Aldi Mamia workshop.


May 2013

Little Mr, my Mom and I went to the Baby Show at the NEC in Birmingham. We met lots of fellow bloggers, a celeb or two and had a lovely day together.


 Later in the month we drove up the M6 to Manchester to have a sneaky preview around the new Sea Life Centre and we were lucky enough to stay at Chesford Grange to review the hotel and facilities where Little Mr took his first dip in the swimming pool.


I realised how lovely it was to make the most of my maternity leave just me and my little man and planned to do the same for the rest of my time off.

June 2013

June was a busy month for both me and Little Mr. To begin the month, my Sister and I went down to London for my best friends Hen Do. I went up to Bolton to visit Cosatto for their Autumn Winter 2013 pre-launch party and watched Fi from Childcare is Fun go down the super duper slide.


Later in the month was the blogging conference of the year, BritmumsLive and Little Mr came with me for Day 1 and spent Day 2 with his Daddy exploring the sights of London town.


We revisited London a few days later to visit the Imperial College Swimming Pool where we got to swim with Olympic athlete, Karen Pickering and the Huggies team.


To round off such a busy month, Little Mr was invited to be an Essential One model so we drove up to Bolton (again) to shoot some absolutely stunning photographs of the little man wearing some very adorable clobber.

The Essential One AW 2013 1

Anyone recognise this little face on the cover of The Essential One catalogue?

Unfortunately, I lost a dear friend to cancer this month which was a hard blow and knocked me for six. No-one should ever lose their Mummy to such a cruel, vicious disease. I miss you Tanya.


July 2013

We began the month with Little Mr’s first camping holiday in the Lincolnshire countryside. We also visited the beach at Chapel St Leonards.

PicMonkey Collage2t

I managed to secure a ticket to Blog On, the UK’s first blogging event up to be held up north in Manchester which was brilliant and Little Mr was awarded his first ever swimming certificate and badge for his achievements in the pool.

olympic stadium athletics

I won tickets on Twitter to visit the Olympic Stadium so we drove down to London and got to visit the most awesome arena. We took advantage of our location and visited Wembley Stadium too!

August 2013

August was another busy month for Little Mr and I. Firstly we drove down to Windsor to be a part of our friend’s wedding day which was brilliant and such a wonderful weekend.


We then went to visit to a soft play centre in Birmingham to meet up with 40 mums and babies from our birth group.  Some ladies had come a long way (Dublin and Kent!)

birth group

Hubby, Little Mr and I took a weeks holiday to Norfolk in my parents caravan and enjoyed far too many ice creams and lots of fab visits to the Norfolk coastline.


little mr and mummy

We drove down to Southend on Sea where Little Mr took part in a photo shoot for Joie Baby (although I am yet to see the photos so maybe they didn’t choose them for their campaign) and Team Shilts drove up north to Bolton again to attend the Cosatto Street Party to celebrate their 10th Anniversary which was fun.


We headed north one last time to Manchester to attend our friends wedding on Bank Holiday Sunday. It was a wonderful Summer holiday full of precious times and happy memories.

September 2013

We were chosen to fly all the way to Majorca with Thomson Holidays where we got to spend 3 nights in a Thomson Family Resort with an all-inclusive wristband, pool, a beach nearby and onsite childcare. Perfect! Little Mr had his first plane ride and I endured the battle against the football supporters on the train from Reading to Gatwick.

mrsshilts plane sleep

mumsnet blogger majorca

I also drove to Nottingham to visit Hillarys Blinds to see their new collection, Country Retreat.

October 2013

October, the last full month of maternity leave with my Little Mr and it has gone so so quick. ‘They’ tell you time flies and it really does. We drove down to Cambridge to see the sights and review the new Travelodge. We unfortunately declined the opportunity to meet Emma Bunton due to my nephews school closure and Little Mr and I went to see Poppy Cat at the Birmingham Sea Life centre.


I was invited to a posh blogger dinner with Tiny Me in Rugby, we saw the Elephants, Monkeys and Rhinos at Chester Zoo followed by a trip down to London to visit the Baby Show at Olympia.


It really has been a fantastic time with my Little Mr. He’s growing up to be such a fantastic little boy. We’ve had weaning difficulties, teething and two courses of swimming lessons. It’s been awesome. It’s also been such an emotional rollercoaster, one I’m sure is not yet complete and I have learnt so much; not only about myself but about being a Mummy, learning all about our little boy and how such a small person really can turn your life as you used to know it, upside down.

Little Mr at Nannys

Little Mr, thank you for being such an excellent wingman on our adventures over the last 9 months, you’ve coped brilliantly with every situation I’ve put you in and I’m so proud of you. You won’t remember what we got up to but don’t worry, I’ve got over 3,000 photographs to show you. I love you to the moon and back again, never ever forget that.

I’d also like to say a HUGE thank you to all the brands that we have worked with over the last 9 months. We have been really lucky to have worked with you and we have loved every minute so thank you again for all the amazing opportunities Little Mr and I have had.

Lastly, without this sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech, a MASSIVE thank you to all my readers who have loyally supported me and Little Mr. We have really appreciated your support and hope you continue with us on our journey into the next chapter of our lives.. *wipes tears*

Gone are our lazy morning lie-ins, I’ve got work at 8am tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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  • Reply Emily Greentree 06/11/2013 at 8:57 am

    You’ve had such a fab time, and have done so much. I wish I had done some if these things, what great memories. Good luck, you’ll be fine. It takes time to adjust, and I a still in denial really. But we’ll get there xx

    • Reply mrsshilts 06/11/2013 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks Emily, it’s been a fab time (and met some wonderful people like you) xx

  • Reply Carie 06/11/2013 at 8:57 am

    Good luck going back to work – you’ve definitely packed in some amazing things to your time off!

    • Reply mrsshilts 06/11/2013 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Carie, it’s been incredible! We have been very lucky x

  • Reply Jo 06/11/2013 at 1:04 pm

    Good luck hunny. You will be fine. The first few days and weeks are really hard but you and Little Mr will get used to it. I promise. Big hugs x

    • Reply mrsshilts 06/11/2013 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Jo, I’m expecting tears and tantrums (me, not Little Mr!) x

  • Reply Kim Carberry 06/11/2013 at 3:49 pm

    Aww what a lovely post and gorgeous photos!
    Hope the return to work goes smoothly x

    • Reply mrsshilts 06/11/2013 at 6:02 pm

      Thank you Kim, it’s been wonderful x

  • Reply The Reading Residence 06/11/2013 at 7:19 pm

    Wow, what a truly amazing maternity leave, jam-packed full of events that your gorgeous boy seems to have just taken in his stride! Best of luck with the return to work x

    • Reply mrsshilts 06/11/2013 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you very much x

  • Reply Donna @ Little Lilypad Co 06/11/2013 at 10:29 pm

    Gosh! What a brilliant maternity leave!
    I hope you continue to share your great adventures with the little Mr as he grows as it will be a great diary for him to read when he is older xx

    P.S Don’t work too hard xx

    • Reply mrsshilts 07/11/2013 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Donna, I hope he will read back on it and love what we got up to x

  • Reply Sara (@mumturnedmom) 06/11/2013 at 11:48 pm

    Wow – what an amazing maternity leave, you have packed so much in! Good luck back at work :) #MMWBH

    • Reply mrsshilts 07/11/2013 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you Sara, it was amazing! x

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