The title of this blog isn’t very original, but this is my first blog. And if I am honest this is all very new and slightly daunting to me. Despite this with the help of a very talented and patient web designer I have been able to set up a site for my small business. So, I decided to create a blog to coincide with my boutique as well.
My name is Ellena and I am a first time mum to a lovely little boy named Ismael. We call him Ishy for short. This sparked the idea for my company name “Ickle Ishy’s”
As every new parent says, bringing a child into the world is amazing and seriously the love you feel for that pint size miracle with the mighty lungs is beyond words. Seriously I couldn’t begin to explain it. Although I am not afraid to admit, that like most other Mums I struggled, more than I anticipated and more than I cared to admit if I’m being honest. From the hyperemesis gravidarum (that awful morning sickness everyone now knows about because Kate Middleton and Amy Schumer had it in their pregnancies) to the trauma of birthing a child into the world.
The love I have for my son still makes me feel like I could burst. Every day he does something that makes me so proud I get that lump in the back of my throat like I could cry with happiness. However, I am not embarrassed to say, having a tiny human to love, protect and care for has overwhelmed me. My anxiety at times has been very severe. There have been numerous occasions as I’ve been trying to console him, I have ended up in floods of tears myself. I have over analysed my parenting skills and convinced myself I’m a bad mum or I’m not doing enough. Once I’m feeling calmer however, I have realised that this is not the case at all.
Thankfully throughout my baby blues and PND I had a strong support system around me in the shape of my husband. He gave me compassion when I needed it on my darkest days. He also empowered me to believe in myself when I had such little self-worth. I love being Ismael’s mum but I also missed having my own identity as well as being his, “Mama.”
As time went on, I knew I had to go back to work, but I wanted to do a job that I would enjoy. I wanted to do something I am passionate about so that when my son is older, I can show him he could be or do whatever he wanted. After many conversations about what were my passions and what gave me joy, I had it……baby clothes!!
Now I appreciate to some this may seem daft. But hear me out…
I remember taking my new born son to get his first of many injections, his BCG (now that gives you mum guilt like nothing else. Seeing your baby cry like that.) Anyway, I was still tender from childbirth, I still felt huge, I was anxious and it just wasn’t a good day. Ismael was born in summer and I had purposely dressed him in a short set so he didn’t need to be undressed to get his jab. He was wearing a Spanish traditional outfit made from soft cotton with matching socks, hat and a pom pom cardigan. The nurse commented on how beautiful and cosy he looked. She even told the other staff to come and admire his little ensemble. Now I realise this may sound silly but that made me happy. That little compliment gave me a boost. My sweet baby boy was being admired. Obviously, all babies are beautiful but how I had decided to dress him was the start of my boy having his own little identity.
As I began to feel better, I started taking Ismael out on my own. (Something which used to terrify me) I’d push him in his pram and people would comment on his bobble hat he was wearing or his matching knitted booties and mittens. It would make me feel proud. Sure, my hair hadn’t been washed in a week and I had bags the size of suitcases under my eyes but he looked smart. While I was low, I stopped enjoying shopping for myself. What was once a fun day out felt like a form of torture. My body had given me this wonderful gift but in making that gift it had transformed immensely and I wasn’t ready to face that transformation in changing room mirrors yet. Shopping for baby clothes was another matter though.
I have always loved classic and traditional styles in everything from home decor to clothing. It doesn’t date and always looks immaculate. I believe its better value too. As the items aren’t some fleeting craze that are going to quickly go out of fashion. This makes them perfect for hand me downs too. A classic look is how I liked to dress Ismael. And when I have time it’s how I like to dress myself.
However, trying to find those particular styles for him proved more difficult than I thought. I would be scrolling through websites screenshotting pieces I loved but I would be waiting for them to go on sale. I realised having your little Prince or Prin dressed traditionally could come at a prestigious price!
So, there it was. Through my lowest lows and joyous joys came my business dream (drum roll please) ……Ickle Ishy’s. A boutique specialising in traditional, Romany and Spanish baby and children’s wear.
I don’t stock anything that I wouldn’t dress my own child in and I ensure the clothes are excellent quality. Everyone has their own passion and cute classic children’s clothing is mine. I have designed my website in a way that I feel makes it easy to browse and shop. And as you scroll around you might spot the odd picture of my son. (The perks of free advertising eh.)
As for my blogging I sincerely hope you enjoy reading them. I’ll try to update them as frequently as possible. They will cover a variety of topics pact with useful information with a pinch of humour. Because as we all know, being a parent, if you don’t laugh at times you will cry!
On a serious note though, if anybody reading this blog is struggling with PND or anxiety I urge you to speak out about it. If your searching through my site looking for a baby shower gift for somebody then please check in on those Mama’s once that baby is born. Tell them how well they are doing. Offer to make them a cuppa and wash a few dishes. Those simple acts of kindness will be invaluable, trust me! And don’t forget to support those new dad’s too. Post-natal depression can affect up to 10% of new Dad’s in the first year of their baby being born. As well as 3 in 10 mothers suffering with it. Those statistics are high and we all know not everyone admits to dealing with these things so in my opinion the real number is probably higher.
The stigma around mental health is slowly lifting but we are by no means where we should be with it. Some people reading this might feel it is a tad too heavy for a first blog but I think its important to raise awareness. And where else better to do that than on a website where everyone shopping is either a parent themselves or is close to someone who is. Below is a list of some articles and information that are well worth a read.
As for Ickle Ishy’s we are a new company as a result we are still learning. I cant promise there won’t be any teething problems …No pun intended. (Although that could be an idea for a future blog) With this in mind any feedback or questions are greatly welcomed. Just email us or contact us through our social media pages.