🌟 Maternity Leave: Expectations vs. Reality 🌟

Hey fellow parents and soon-to-be parents! Let’s have an honest chat about how maternity leave really looks compared to the expectations we had.  If you are anything like me, I’m guessing it was completely different to how you imagined it might be. 🤱💭

💫 Expectation: Endless Relaxation Expectation: Long naps, leisurely strolls, and catching up on books while your baby peacefully sleeps.

Reality: Reality check! Sleep? What’s that? Your days are a whirlwind of feeding, changing, soothing, and cherishing those precious baby moments. Naps? Maybe if you’re lucky! 😉

💫 Expectation: Perfectly Organised Home Expectation: A spotless, organised home with everything in its place.

Reality: Let’s embrace the chaos! Baby items scattered, dishes in the sink, and toys everywhere – and that’s okay. The joy of cuddles outweighs a perfectly clean home any day. 🏠👶

💫 Expectation: Lots of “Me” Time Expectation: Plenty of time for hobbies, self-care, and pampering.

Reality: “Me” time often involves a quick shower or a brief moment to sip a cup of tea. But those stolen moments of self-care become treasured gems, making you appreciate the little things even more. 💆‍♀️✨

💫 Expectation: Instagram-Perfect Moments Expectation: Picture-perfect, Instagram-worthy moments every day.

Reality: Life happens! Spit-up, messy hair, and those candid, imperfectly perfect family moments become the real treasures. Embrace the authenticity and the beautiful mess of parenthood. 📸👨‍👩‍👧

Maternity leave may not always match the picture we had in our heads, but the love, growth, and bonding that happen during this time are beyond any expectation. Every moment is a memory in the making, especially when you join up to fabulous classes like our storytelling adventures. Many parents cite Adventure Babies as the best activity during their maternity leave!  💖🌟




I had a big long chat on the phone to a faraway friend last night. She is going through a really tough time at the moment. Motherhood and being a partner, is a beautiful journey, filled with moments of joy and love, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges and tough times. She texted this morning to say sorry about the rant, but that made me feel terrible that she didn’t feel that she should talk to me like that.


We all know that motherhood can be overwhelming, and there are moments when it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. During these times, it’s absolutely crucial that we reach out and talk about our feelings. Here’s why:


Emotional Well-being Matters: Just as we tell our children to express their feelings and emotions, we should practice what we preach. Keeping our feelings bottled up can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. It’s essential that we take care of our own emotional well-being so we can continue to be the best mums we can be.


You’re Not Alone: One of the most comforting things about talking when you’re down and overwhelmed is realising that you’re not alone in your struggles. Sharing your feelings can open up conversations with other mums who may be experiencing similar challenges. Knowing that you’re part of a supportive community can provide immense relief and strength.


Problem Solving: When we talk about what’s bothering us, it often leads to problem-solving. Other mums may have faced similar situations and can offer valuable advice or solutions.

Sometimes, just verbalizing our concerns can help us see them more clearly and find effective ways to address them.


Modelling Healthy Communication: Our children learn from us every day. When they see us opening up about our emotions and seeking support, we’re teaching them a crucial life skill: healthy communication. We’re showing them that it’s okay to ask for help and share their feelings with trusted individuals.


Reducing Stress: Talking about our feelings can be incredibly cathartic. It’s like releasing the pressure valve on a pressure cooker. It allows us to let go of pent-up emotions, reducing stress and giving us a sense of relief.


Building Stronger Relationships: When we talk to others about our struggles, it strengthens our connections with them. It fosters empathy and understanding, deepening our relationships with friends, family, and partners.


Seeking Professional Help: Sometimes, the feelings of being overwhelmed and down are too much to handle on our own. Talking about our struggles can be the first step toward seeking professional help, such as therapy or counselling, which can make a world of difference in our well-being.


Remember, mammas, taking care of ourselves is not a selfish act; it’s a necessity. Our well-being directly impacts our ability to care for our families. So, when you’re feeling down and overwhelmed, please reach out, talk to a friend, family member, or a professional. You are loved and supported, and there is strength in vulnerability.


Together, we can navigate the challenges of motherhood and emerge even stronger.


As a new mum, like many people, you might be getting excited about various aspects of Autumn.

Below are some of our favourite things…


Cooler Weather: Autumn often brings relief from the heat of summer. You can be excited about being able to dress their baby in cute, cozy outfits without worrying about overheating.

Autumn Fashion: Do you enjoy shopping for adorable Autumn-themed clothing for your baby, including Halloween costumes, warm sweaters, and tiny boots.

Outdoor Activities: Autumn is a great time to take babies for walks in pushchairs or baby carriers. The crisp air and beautiful colourful foliage can provide a lovely backdrop for these outings.

Harvest Festivals: Some new mums may look forward to taking their babies to local harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, or apple orchards. These activities can be enjoyable family outings.

Seasonal Foods: Autumn brings a variety of delicious seasonal foods, so you might get excited about introducing your baby to new flavours like pumpkin puree, apple sauce, or sweet potato baby food.

Autumn Decoration: Decorating the home for Autumn with pumpkins, leaves, and other seasonal items can be fun, and you might want to involve baby in the process.

Festive Activities: Autumn often comes with various festive activities like carving pumpkins, making handprint or footprint crafts, or participating in fancy dress parties with their little ones.

Cosy Evenings: As the nights get cooler, parents might look forward to snuggling up with their babies by the fireplace or under warm blankets for some quality bonding time.

Baby’s Milestones: For parents with newborns or infants, every season brings new milestones and developments. Autumn might be a time for their baby’s first Halloween costume or the introduction of solid foods.


Enjoy the season ahead as a new mum and create special memories!

Mum friends…

Motherhood is one of the few occasions when groups of adults are thrown together and forced to talk to one another, enabling friendships to grow. Depending on when you have children, your usual friends could be fully immersed in other periods of their lives. This leaves you going through the most monumental experience of your life, slightly isolated from your normal support network. Bring on the mum friends!


How do you make mum friends?

To begin with, mum friends are the people around you who are going through the exact same micro experience as you, often developed through antenatal groups or local baby groups.  Chatting about post-partum problems, feeding, sleepless nights and teething troubles, a good mum friend will stay with you through all of the highs and lows of becoming a new mum.  Over time these things move on to learning to ride bikes, passing spelling tests and planning sleepovers. The best ones are still there when your children are attending nightclubs together, booking their first holidays without you and maybe moving out of home!

Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t become best friends with every mum friend you make. It’s crazy to assume that because your children are the same age you will become friends for life.  You will be going through many shared experiences together, some of which aren’t easy, and this will give you chance help each other through the tough times and gain valuable advice and support from your peers.  If you share similar views on the big parenting issues and your children get along well, you have found yourself a great, long-lasting mum friend!

A great way to meet mum friends is to come along to a friendly group like Adventure Babies where, as well as brilliant course content delivered by early years trained class leaders, there is lots of time for chat and bonding for babies and parents.

Have you told your mum friends about Adventure Babies yet?

Hear from Emma who founded Adventure Babies how important word of mouth has been for Adventure Babies…

“When Adventure Babies started in Manchester in 2013 I only had about three bookings for my classes. I was feeling understandably nervous about the reality of running a baby class!

A wonderful lady called Claire who ran a class called Pram Active, @forbabyandmemanchester did such a kind thing that I will always be grateful for. I loved Pram Active and regularly attended, as you can tell by my smile in the pic! Claire was asking about how my new classes were booking up, and then offered to tell her group of mums about Adventure Babies. Through word of mouth, recommendations and the mum friend network, Adventure Babies not only began but really took off!

mum friends

Looking through our website now, 9 years later, I am still blown away by how many bookings come through friend recommendations. It must mean that you love our classes so much that you want your mum friends to come! That means so much to me.

Thank you everybody who has recommended Adventure Babies past, present and future!”

Emma xx




I guess that if you are reading this then you are a mother. What does motherhood even mean? Creating and birthing a child from your body, adopting a child, and then raising them? The most overwhelming, life changing decision we could ever make, to embark upon that journey. To become a mother. A decision perhaps taken so lightly and flippantly, to become a mother, when we look back on it. A choice that isn’t a choice, innate within us. Or for more women than you think, a journey frustratingly painful and seemingly unachievable at times.

It will change you
I used to be brave. I used to ride roller coasters, jump out of planes, drive fast, take risks. Not anymore. Motherhood demands a different type of brave, taking away some of the urge to take unnecessary risks in my case. The weight of responsibility is huge. Keeping your tiny human alive is a terrifying thing to comprehend and it doesn’t really dawn on you until they are there in your arms for the first time.

It will strengthen you
There are times, many times, when you think that motherhood will break you. Unknowing how deep your reserves are until that moment. The patience, compassion, love, the grit. You find yourself doing things you never thought possible. On the most basic level, everything will be now be done one handed. Discovering a love and passion on a level never before experienced. The fierceness of motherhood and feeling invincible morphs you into wonder woman at times.

It will exhaust you
A 24 hour a day job for the rest of the year… no, your life. Never stopping thinking, googling, playing, running, making, organising, planning, helping… mumming.

It will undoubtedly be the best thing you have ever done
Never before has my life had such a strong sense of purpose and never before have my feeling been so raw and honest. My heart is now running around outside my body, not at all in my control. It’s the best of the best and the worst of the worst sometimes all in the same 10 seconds.

Here at Adventure Babies we would love to hear your stories about how motherhood has changed you Adventure Babies Mamas.

Come and tell us on our Facebook thread

See which classes are available for new mums here