The Blog

The Secret (Food) Diary of a Mum-Of-Two

The hazy new-baby honeymoon period was over and I was ready to take action. My goals were to tone up, eat a healthier diet with no mid-week alcohol, and consume considerably less sugar.

My second child turned six months old at Christmas, so after enjoying the festive gorging, the 1st of January seemed like the natural time to take a long, hard look in the mirror and assess the damage.

The hazy new-baby honeymoon period was over and I was ready to take action. My goals were to tone up, eat a healthier diet with no mid-week alcohol, and consume considerably less sugar.

Suddenly its seven weeks later and zero progress has occurred. To try and understand why, I wrote down a typical food day in the life of a mum on maternity leave with small children:

5.45am: Shocked suddenly from a deep sleep by the urgent cries of a bright-eyed baby, up for the day and ready to play. Trudge downstairs with him and make a coffee. Feel so tired I add a heaped teaspoon of sugar to perk me up.

6.30am: Feed the baby his porridge made with up with formula milk - too early to face my own breakfast yet but I finish off what's left of his bowl of grey sludge on autopilot.

8am: Breakfast with pre-schooler. She asks for toast and jam but then changes her mind at the last minute to a bowlful of mummy's bran flakes. We're running late and she's got a will of iron so I swap with her and eat the toast and jam.

9.30am: Meet a friend at soft play - she suggests a coffee and a cake in the café where we can watch the kids tearing about. The thought of anesthetising the sticky chaos around us with a warm drink, sugary comfort food and a chat with my pal is irresistible. I don't resist.

11.30am: Feed the baby an early lunch at soft play. He refuses the last heaped spoonful of baby food. I can't reach the wipes in my changing bag to clean the spoon so reluctantly force down the last mouthful of now-chilly 'veggie bake' myself whilst gagging slightly

12.30pm: Drive home while my daughter eats her packed lunch in the back. She insists on handing me a freezer bag full of uneaten crusts from her peanut butter sandwiches. Eat them absent-mindedly on the drive home 'seeing as its lunchtime'...

1pm: Attempt to do a 'plank' on the living room floor but my daughter jumps on my back giggling and playing horsey.

2pm: Make a shepherd's pie for tonight's dinner - make far too much mash and it seems like a waste to throw it away. As I've only had crusts for lunch and both kids suddenly need my attention, I quickly polish off the leftover mash.

3pm: Look in the fridge and realise all the fresh soups I bought two weeks ago have now passed their sell-by dates

4pm: A friend pops over for coffee - put biscuits out and eat one because she does. Then quickly scoff another two to stop my daughter eating the last ones on the plate and spoiling her tea

5.30pm: Finish the remains of my daughter's tea

8pm: Eat the shepherd's pie, totally unenjoyable as its now the second time today I've had mashed potato. Then crave something sweet so pretend I can't see the tub of fat-free Greek yoghurt in the fridge and eat a child's chocolate mini-milk from the freezer

9pm: Feel shattered after finishing off some work on my laptop. Half-heartedly consider going for a run. My husband opens a bottle of wine and offers me a glass. Its Wednesday. It's an hour relaxing with him on the sofa having a chat and a laugh in front of the TV. Accept the glass immediately.

10.30pm: Sleepily start googling 'best diet apps' and '30 day abs challenge' on my phone before dropping off...

Deep down I know the first year of baby #2's life is just about survival and enjoying the magical moments in between the ongoing chaos. Sometimes when you're busy, exhausted and contented, counting calories and doing sit-ups just doesn't seem that important for a while.