The Night Before

The Night Before

My little prayer before labour…The night before….

It feels like the night before Christmas, I am

sat here alone on the induction ward eating the most delicious tea and toast and I feel so much at peace. I am rarely alone these days. This is the calm before the storm. I have been so anxious up until this point. 40 + 2 days, was sure I was in labour this morning so we came to the Maternity assessment unit. turns out only 2cm dilated! how can I not know what labour is lol i’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Truth is I am really grateful and feel safe to be here. I am waiting for a bed on labour ward to have my waters broke. I have been so apprehensive about the possibility of induction but I think it is the best thing for me and baby and I am trusting my instinct. they have offered this to me as i am past my due date and baby is a big boy!

In my few hours of solitude I am

humbled by the thought of my beautiful boys asleep in bed awaiting the excitement of their new brother. my gorgeous husband getting his much needed rest and savouring his loaf of sandwiches until tomorrow….

I am apprehensive about the pain of labour. I know that it is all part of the process and the pain is going to bring me closer to my baby. after losing Charlie last year, to get to this point is such an overwhelming emotional feeling. I am praying everything will be okay. but for now i am going to rest. i feel loved and i feel peaceful. please protect me angels and guide me xxxx

(and they did 💕)

Barnaby Laurence Piers

Born 1204 13/07/2021

my rainbow baby 🌈

Manor House Lindley

Manor House Lindley

A Stay to Remember

Your long anticipated staycation awaits and comes in the form of a beautiful decadent hotel in the heart of West Yorkshire. It resides in the small humble village of Lindley, Huddersfield.

Lindley is a fascinating area with a long history. It’s infrastructure is held up by a community of inspirational,hard working and kind people.

You will never visit a friendlier place and the Irony is although small, it has a huge aura around it, a somewhat xfactor. It’s quirky shops, hair dresses and businesses are a force to be reckoned with and it is full of award winning restaurants and pubs.

And right at the epicentre of the village you will find, standing proudly, a local hub of excellence, pleasure and escapism.

Manor House Lindley

It’s stunning decor and attention to detail really do leave you with a feeling of complete ore and appreciation for the finner things. Despite extravagance, it is sensually modest and tranquil. Yet, It has an ambiance of old school style house that gives the Ibiza feel of excitement and exclusivity.

The Manor House has a real warmth and richness to it that fills you with joy..

I’ve only touched on the Vibe, De’cor and architecture…just wait for the food…


Food at the Manor House

We had Dinner in the lantern room.

The food was the perfect mix of fine dinning and comfort. A perfect a’ la Carte menu with a choice of starters, mains and desserts. The new menu offers a range of hearty yet sophisticated mouth watering flavours that all add to the ambience of this fantastic experience. The Staff were exceptional. Food was brought out in an almost celebratory, theatrical fashion and the showcase was great to watch. Looking around the room people were enjoying their dinners with a satisfaction and admiration for the quality that the Manor House Lindley brings, it was lovely to see.

The appetiser was mouthwatering and wholesome leaving you wanting more, a burst of flavours including cheese, garlic and marmite!!! Would you have thought?!

The main was so warm and filling. I had the chicken! It was cooked to perfection, so soft and flavoursome.

Free Range Chicken, Crisp Wing, Pak Choi, Fermented Garlic and Runner Beans

8oz Salt Aged Sirloin, Glazed Cheek, Turnip and Roasted Hen Mushrooms

The desserts were delicious and speak for themselves

Cicely 8 Dark Chocolate Fondant, Poached English Cherries and Meadowsweet Ice Cream

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake, Macerated Raspberry and Sweet


Afterwards we headed on over to the coach house for a drink. It’s New York style city feel makes you forget you are in a small Yorkshire village. The Great Gatsby style bar is a sight you won’t forget, it is exquisite. It’s the perfect place to have drinks with family and friends.

The coach house in its entirety lends itself to an exclusive and unique glamourous wedding venue good enough for any A lister. It’s chic and exquisite style gives a twilight romance and it is utterly breathtaking.



We had breakfast in ‘The Kitchen’ this is a cafe style meeting place that is open to the public and also used for theme nights and dinning experiences. It is a pretty, hearty place with beautiful roses and wooden furniture.

They have a great menu to cater for all. I chose the traditional breakfast. (they even made a fry up look elegant!)


All I can say is WOW!

The textures, the decor, the environment, the vibes all equate to an outstanding stay…it’s heart and soul leaves you satisfied but with a lust for much more…I can’t wait to visit again some time soon.

Three words…




Manor House Lindley

Stephanie Stokes


I was honoured to work with The Manor House Lindley and had such a wonderful experience.The staff are amazing and this speaks volume in the professionalism, warmth and care experienced as a guest at the Manor House.

In these times it is so important to continue to support local business

We have had such a hard time, haven’t we all. With COVID 19 and the lockdown. You start to wonder whether it will ever be the same again and we long for a time where we can feel normal again.

Me and Tom did just that and it was a pleasant surprise. We had such an amazing time that you would almost forget about the global pandemic and leave your worries at the door.

Safety was thoroughly maintained throughout the Manor House. the place was absolutely spotless. Hand sanitisers were available and social distance measures were in place. Staff were on hand and visible and numbers were kept to a safe level as everything is pre-booked. All standards were maintained and second to none in the catering department.

The room was fantastic and so clean and tidy! The bed was honestly the best I’ve ever slept on, had the best lie in! They are somewhat less frequent these days so it was very much appreciated.


Need a break?…haven’t had a date night since lockdown?…want to have the staycation of a lifetime…check out my Instagram page on Monday for a very exciting announcement!

Stephy xxx

Social Media Or Anti Social Media?

Social Media Or Anti Social Media?

Social media or anti-social media? I suppose it’s entirely down to perception and interpretation.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about this social media business, and at times it’s almost antisocial?

…I went on a press trip recently and it was such a fantastic experience!

I have been blogging for almost 2 years now and never did I dream I would be doing what I am now. Somedays it feels like I’m a PR powerhouse which is great I’m not knocking it.

But sometimes what started as a personal blog has become more advertising…and feels somewhat less personal….

Saying that I love what I do and I am happy doing it, my platform means I am very lucky to be given opportunities and to work with amazing brands and companies. I want to use it to do good and help others and that is what motivates me.

It may appear that I’m getting all these ‘freebies’ you might say. They are gifted PR Products for the purpose of advertising.

It doesn’t come easy and it’s a lot of work behind the scenes, a lot.




Social media can be a great place to meet people and collaborate…but it also has a dark side…

This week I have experienced my first trolling! Not even on Instagram, Facebook 👍🏻🤣

It’s really not very nice but Maybe it means I’m doing something right…

First come the trolls then….who knows…

I have had to deal which much more important issues at late other than social media so as hard as it is (because I am a total worrier and softy at heart) I will take it with a pinch of salt and I’m going to have to get a stronger back bone 🦴

Struggling at the moment with anxiety?

I’ve seen a theme lately as well. It is really not uncommon. Most of us have been there at some point

A few things I swear by…

1. concentrate your energy on you and positives

2. Remember you are not accountable to anyone. You have absolutely no control what other people do on here, so there is no point worrying about it. The more you worrying about others, the less productive you are with your own life. Step back to your side of the pavement and take the monkeys off your back, they are not yours to carry.

3. Do what you love and enjoy what you do!

4. You don’t need to prove anything to anybody

5. Remember 💡 it’s social media. it is not your real life. so if it’s getting where it’s becoming antisocial and harmful then you might need to rethink your choices. Take control.

hope you are all okay and looking after yourselves! I am here if anyone needs support or to talk, just drop me a DM.

Love and Light 🙌

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach really does live up to its name.

On a Pursuit of Happiness, this weekend it was found in my childhood memories and new memories of my children playing and experiencing the pure joy and exhilaration at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Despite the recent pandemic, walking around I am filled with nostalgia and fun. A place that seems untouched from all the negativity that is going on in the world right now. A place to escape, have fun and the only fear experienced is the adrenaline from enjoying your favourite roller coaster.

I have been going to Blackpool pleasure beach all my life. From a child, growing up, as a teenager and into my adult life. There really is something for everyone and it is such a privilege to now be able to share the fun with my own family, my husband and 3 boys.

We had the best day! We felt very safe and were pleased that the measures put in place at the park maintained our safety and we could social distance. Rides were cleaned throughout the day in between passengers. Staff wore full PPE and were on hand to help with any enquiries. The park had a limit aswell which helped keep numbers down on the day. Que Systems were in place and hand sanitizers were available throughout the park. Masks had to be worn on the rides, the kids were exempt from this rule.

It was so good to have a day out and feel normal again. If anyone is looking for a day out with the kids this is a great place to go. I have been to a few theme parks but blackpool pleasure beach is so much more, it’s a time machine to childhood joy that is eternal.

For all enquires visit

Stephy 💕

Miscarriage Awareness: Missed Miscarriage

Miscarriage Awareness: Missed Miscarriage

Whether you have had a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, problems with fertility, an abortion, still birth.

You are not alone, it is not easy and it does not make you any less of a person for having gone or are going through this.

I cannot believe in this day and age that there is very little information and talk about such subjects that have a huge impact on people and their lives. 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage, that is a lot. It has a huge impact on you physically but more so mentally and there doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement of this in the public domain.

With mental health in the public eye I’m so shocked that their is no formal provision in place for when someone experiences the loss of a child in these circumstances.

We have suffered 2 miscarriages. Most recently we have had a missed miscarriage. This happens to 1 in 5 women. A missed miscarriage is when your baby dies but there are no warning signs and your body still thinks you are pregnant. There was no pain, no bleeding, nothing suspicious. We were told at 12 weeks our baby was perfectly healthy. so at 16 weeks to be told our baby had no heart beat was such a shock.

I found it so much more of a shock having had 3 healthy babies in the past, and always been under the impression if you passed the 12 week mark you were ‘safe’. I feel so naive and stupid to assume this now, especially being a healthcare professional. I knew this could and can happen, i just did not expect it would happen to me.

I wanted to share my story with others to help, raise awareness and make people feel less alone…


I’m stood in my room that I have paced around for the last 4 hours…nothing has happened yet…my window is open I can hear birds and the sound of a woman screaming, I presume she is in labour and will soon be pain free and holding her baby….I for one won’t be this time but I’m at peace with it.

The emotions I’m experiencing are the most bizarre I have ever encounted. I feel completely rational and calm and the next I feel overwhelmed and in floods of tears.

I’m a nurse and medically minded, I have seen so much loss and I can be quite conservative about it as i have had to be,to be able to be a professional. I have seen grief and experienced grief and I am embedded with empathy as part of my soul. Part of me understands nature and the cruelty of it, it happens and I know that this, it is just ‘one of those things’…(what ever that means anyway but it is…)

I feel sort of freaked out about been asked to potentially name the child, have a ceremony? I understand it’s a way of honouring the dead, like when my grandma died I didn’t want to see her. I saw her pass away and the body left behind wasn’t her. Her soul had gone.

I know my baby had died but the body that I was miscarrying is just that to baby already left and hasn’t as such been born into this world? So I don’t really know to name him or her because him and her did not completely form?

I know that everyone will have their own way of dealing with this and I think it is unique to the individual depending.

For me I don’t want to see ‘it’ that sounds awful.

On the other hand I am a mother and I feel an obligation to give this body, the fetus the dignity it requires for its ‘disposal’ as it was a living entity in me, my body, my baby and has been for the past 4 months.

I do not grieve the flesh. I grieve the brother or sister my boys never got to meet. They would have adored him or her.

I had labour pains and my mum rang me…it’s as if she knew. Then I gave birth to a tiny teeny baby…I looked down and all I could think was ‘I knew it had grown a willy’

I called the nurse and was relieved i hadn’t had too much physical pain but much to my shock. I had to deliver the placenta…id actually put my trainers on to go home. My behaviour was almost cold. It wasnt over?

I did what they asked. I was lucky as this process can often take up to 12 or more hours, sometimes unsuccessfully which results in surgery.

After it all comes away they take baby. After taking away the baby they offered to bring my baby back in. I agreed (I should say goodbye I guess)

It came in a little Easter egg basket it was really sweet but it still looked strange. I spent some time with baby even though I thought it was abit weird,it was quite comforting.

‘I’m sorry I couldn’t look after you anymore and I’m sorry you had to leave. I carried you for 4 months and you made me so happy. We would have adored you..’

I looked down at my tiny baby, I was surprised how formed the hand a feet were, so delicate.

The nurses came back in offering their support. It was as if they wanted more from me… a few tears maybe but for the first time, for some reason,I could not cry. I was almost business like. ‘So what now?’

They offered me a lovely memory box and took some photos, the nurse handed me a snap shot and must of read my face ‘we did our best’ it was almost comical, I said ‘thank you, they are…lovely.’

(Wtf was wrong with me why was I not crying, why was I cracking jokes in my head and thinking about lord voldermort. I must be sick in the head.)

I discussed options and said that I would prefer the hosptial sensitive cremation. They give you options of a burial, cremation and you can arrange your own ceromony. You can also have an autopsy but that can take weeks and they don’t always find out why it happens.

I just wanted to go home.

When I got home I felt relief that it was done. Relief? I know, but it was because I was so frightened. I waited for the emotion to come back into my body, but I was still numb.

I went to bed that night and found I couldn’t sleep. My mind and body were playing tricks on me, I had a panic attack and woke Tom up saying OMG I have left the baby we need to go to hospital. How could I do that he is all alone what a bad mother i am.

I burst into tears. There it was, hit me like a wave and it just kept building.

The next day tom phoned the bereavement officer so we could arrange something for charlie. We named him.

Today I am heart broken, I feel genuinely ill, empty and so so sad. That feeling of total agony when someone you love leaves you, and they ain’t coming back. I dunno what to do with myself I’m in a very strange place, I made tea last night and made 6 plates…i didn’t even realise and baby’s can’t eat spaghetti anyway.

I feel like a freak. I don’t want pity. I don’t want it to be poor Steph and Tom they lost their baby. I don’t want that. We are so lucky to have 3 beautiful boys. My friends are having babies and are due at the same time I would have been. I don’t want them to be weird with me, I don’t want them to think I’m not happy for them or that they can’t talk about their babies. It’s hard but this isn’t about them, this is our situation. People just want to help and grief makes it so awkward. I don’t want people to think I’m okay though either. I’m not, I’m far from it and won’t be for a long time.

I have to continue to focus on my boys and be strong for them. I will forever carry my angel with me. Henry keeps saying that ‘it will be okay mummy, we can get a new baby from the shops’ lol he is so sweet.


I am in awe of the outstanding care and kindness given to me through this process during covid-19. The staff have been absolutely amazing and I can not thank them enough for the support they gave me during this horrific time. It was so hard to be without my husband but I was not alone.

My family, friends. You have kept me going and been so supportive. I know we can’t see each other but I haven’t once felt alone going through this. I feel your love and you have been with me. Thank you. I love you all xxx

For all the strangers I have never met and the online community thank you for sharing your stories with me and offering support. I have been so humbled. The support from all the brave women who are part of the miscarriage association groups, you have been a rock to me. And of course all my friends on Instagram. Thank you xxx

Unless you have gone through this you cannot understand the pain. I didn’t understand it, but I do now. For anyone who has ever gone through this. I am so sorry. you are not alone. Don’t be scared, you will get through this.

Stephy Xxx


Miscarriage Misunderstood

Miscarriage Misunderstood

Trigger Warning ⚠️

This May be insensitive, tacky even, desperate, embarrassing or even crude.

I will be judged either way but that’s not what this is about. I do not know how to cope with this any other way but to write about it. It would be hypocritical of me not to as I started this blog to be open, honest and real, to help others.

This is real life and it may be uncomfortable for some and even cringeworthy, you may see it as attention seeking. I don’t want sympathy. I just want to share my experience and to let any one going through this know, that I am open and here to talk about it.

It happens more than you think (1 in 4 women) and like death (which in some respect it is exactly that) it should not still not be a taboo subject in 2020.

So here goes…

This is me blissfully unaware of what the day would bring. I was so so happy wearing my new dress all ready to go and have my 16 week private scan…the big gender reveal. I was going to surprise my Nan on her bday and do it in her garden on VE Day to celebrate (social distancing of course)…

it was not meant to be

Instead I was not told the gender. Instead I was told that my baby had no heart beat. I was quickly rushed out with an appointment made for the nhs on Monday to be rescanned…so here I wait.

Apparently this is what they call a missed miscarriage. I had my 12 week scan and everything was fine no problems. I have been really well all along despite the corona virus pandemic. It’s very difficult to comprehend and I am still in shock, but it’s unlikely she was wrong.

I got in the car and somehow I drove home

Now, I openly admit to being naively ignorant to the actual pain and loss that occurs when you have a miscarriage. I absolutely believe that until you have experienced this, you cannot begin to imagine how gut wrenching brutal it is.

I have miscarried previously at around 8 weeks, although terrible…it is nothing like what I am experiencing right now.

This pain is excruciating and cruel

I am hollow and numb and in agony all at once

I’m am grief stricken






But mainly just sad

I want to disappear

I can’t get out of bed

I do not want to participate

I am not ready to speak

I am not ready to see family or friends

I am not ready for the gossip, the poor you or the opinions of others

I am not ready for the ‘well it’s not that bad at least you have 3 kids, some people don’t..’

I’m not ready for the ‘It wasn’t meant to be’


‘It wasn’t the right time’


‘ you can try again’


‘Maybe you can’t carry a girl’


‘Maybe it was too soon after your last’

No, do not even go there

I strongly believe that people always want to be good and this is just a brief experience of a fraction of thoughts whirling through my head at the moment and contributing to my anxiety on top of everything else we are all going through at the moment

Loss is Loss

We are heartbroken and devastated. My poor husband is going through this as well and trying to support me and the boys.

We need time to heal and I know that We will.

I am glad that I have such a spiritual belief and I truly believe in the grand design of things, even though I struggle to understand why such terrible things happen to us all throughout our lives, things that we can’t comprehend. But there is also good.

You know what I just don’t know to be honest I’m lost, in limbo.

I sit and I wait till Monday to be told my baby is dead?

It feels inhumane to me but it is what it is, what can anyone do

I looked out of the window this morning at 4am and saw the moon, somber, why is this happening?…I looked again into the garden around midday… and before I knew it two little bush heads appeared, one proudly stood peeing on the tent…the other stripping naked parading to the trampoline.

And just like that you smile through the agony, because what else can you do. I’ll say it again and again….what are you suppose to do?

You deal with it any way you can to get through it. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

All I know is I can’t hide from this and I’m not going to retreat because I’m not ashamed and I just can’t go there, it’s a hole I won’t climb out of so I’m just trying to be a normal as I can be and accept that it will hurt and be painful and be sad for a while.

My beautiful boys, they will get me through.

Support from family and friends

One day at a time…

It’s not over yet

so I wait…

Little Tikes Top 10 ideas to keep the kids entertained

Little Tikes Top 10 ideas to keep the kids entertained

Top 10 ideas to keep the kids entertained 


With over 50 years of play experience Little Tikes has pulled together its top ten tips to keep kids busy – whatever the weather! Open the patio doors if the sun is shining and get little one’s into the outdoor spirit or get creative inside.


1. Get closer to nature by creating your own family treasure hunt in the garden. Involve children by asking them to come up with their own reward to keep them engaged.You could even make it a weekly or monthly treat!


2. For warmer days water is perfect for giggles in the garden. Fill Tupperware containers with water, collect different sizes of paintbrushes and get little ones to draw shapes, animals and write their names on the patio. Add some food colouring to the water for added excitement Or let imaginations run wild with water table fun. Set up challenges, make waves and watch the hours pass by!


3. Let little tikes put their social skills to practice as they play shops for the morning. Roleplay is an essential part of development and it’s even more fun when mum and dad get involved! 

4. Keep active whilst improving children’s mobility and co-ordination with a family sports day. Set up a relay of games and pick from a series of fun sports including a running race, a wheelbarrow race and a game of football. Adults and children can take it in turns to be the judges and contestants to mix up the fun!


5. Make maths fun by counting, multiplying, dividing and subtracting using different things from around the house. Toys, teddies, cushions, spoons. Let kids pick the props and get counting! 


6. Let your little one take the wheel in their very own car. Use blankets to create the shape of the car on the floor, use a cushion as a steering wheel and let imaginations run wild as kids (and the whole family!) head off on their own adventure.

7. Let children expand their imagination and have fun creating their own special fairy garden. Children can have lots of fun exploring in the garden to find twigs andleaves to make a fairy kingdom! 


8. For a calmer activity get kids to write their own story. Grab some paper, a selection of pens and let the creativity flow! You never know, it could be the next best-seller!

9. Den building is ideal for indoor or outdoor play. Create a cosy den filled with pillows, blankets, toys and magazines. It’s great for children to create their own private space and create that parent-child bond when building it! Parents can also encourage children to unwind and relax with colouring and activity sheets whilst playing inside.


10. One childhood game that has been passed on through generations is hide and seek! No matter how big or small, everyone can have fun counting to 20 and finding a spot to perch in. What’s more – toddlers can practice their counting skills!



Parents and guardians can also download activity sheets from the Little Tikes website. From colouring sheets, spot the difference, counting games and word searches – there’s even an activity certificate for well-behaved little tikes!


There’s also a wide range of toys for all ages, from the classic Cozy Coupe and the iconic Turtle Sandbox to the popular Little Baby Bum toy range.  


Let’s Talk About Post Natal Depression

Let’s Talk About Post Natal Depression

Let’s Talk About Post Natal Depression

Emma’s Diary Well-being Advice

The moment your little bundle of Joy enters the world, you are overcome with a mixture of emotions…but what if the Joy just isn’t there?

How could I say this you ask? But it is true for a lot of mums out there that they don’t feel the ‘Joy’. Maybe at first or maybe not. But as weeks go by something comes over you, like a huge cloud. You find yourself lost, a none entity and your struggling to understand what on earth this is.

I remember relating to all the films about birth and having a baby. Yes it looks painful, to be expected. The way birth is portrayed it’s not always true. Birth can be a traumatic experience for some and it certainly was for me and many mums. When my first born came it was nothing how I expected it to be and having had to be rushed to theatre, it didn’t go to plan at all. I remember feeling numb, I couldn’t hold my baby because Id had a anaesthetic spinal injection and I was exhausted. I felt an overwhelming responsibility to this new life, it was so much to deal with, I didn’t feel good enough.

I put on a brave face and threw myself into motherhood trying to do everything so perfectly. I carried on breastfeeding as long as I could but I simply couldn’t do it, then the shame came because I was so tired and I just wanted help….but I didn’t ask. I was ashamed to ask, because then they would know, they would know that I was a fraud, that I wasn’t coping.

I kept the ‘perfect mum act’ on for about 3 months. That’s when the anxiety hit me like a tight fist to my chest, churning around, racing thoughts.

Anger, sadness, confusion, happy, tired, numb, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, high, low, up and down, nightmares, dark thoughts, mood swings, crying, laughing, bored, irritated. These are just some of the emotions I experienced. I felt unstable.

‘Well-being is so different for us all. I think especially as a new parent you have to try and understand your new normal. It’s okay to feel all sorts of new emotions. I remember feeling completely out of sorts, like I didn’t recognise my own life. Anger, guilt, love, sadness, Joy, Anxiety, Irritational thoughts, Depression, Lonely but never alone, Happy, fulfilled, unfulfilled, wanting to run away, yet not wanting to leave the house.’

It was like nothing I had experienced before. I became paranoid, delusional and ultimately depressed. I stopped going out and stop socialising. I knew then that something was wrong. I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with post natal depression, I was put on citalopram an antidepressant. I didn’t want to take medication because of the stigma attached to mental health and I also didn’t want to become dependent on a tablet essentially. The medication really helped and I would take it forever as long as it means I can function. It’s not cure all don’t get me wrong but it did help with the anxiety and panic I was experiencing. There are other types of medication and therapy out there.

From my experience I wish I had spoken out sooner and got the help I needed. It is very normal to feel down after giving birth but when it starts to effect your life and take over that’s when something needs to be done. Just because you feel down it does not mean you don’t love your baby, a lot of the time it is a combination of lack of sleep, hormones and the fact that it is such a huge responsibility and change to your life. One thing to know is that you are not on your own and don’t be so hard on yourself. Listen to your body, be honest with yourself and your close ones about how you are feeling. You are a very important person and your well-being is a priority.

If you or anyone you know maybe be suffering from post natal depression please follow the link to Emma’s Diary for more details



 As Mother’s Day is just around the corner we have prepared an amazing give away for one lucky mum. What could be a better prize for a wellbeing theme than SPA? This is a much needed and deserved break for any mummy

As part of Emma’s Diary’s New Well-being Campaign I will be running a competition for one lucky mum to win a spa break!

Banya No1 Unique Russian Spa Experience for 2 in Central London! (FYI Justin Bieber and Kate Moss are regulars!)

Check it out



The prize is provided by Banya No. 1. Banya No.1 is the first of its kind in the UK and brings Russia’s oldest and most popular wellness traditions to the capital. Being not your typical spa experience, it features authentic Russian steam sauna, plunge pool, hot stone and treatment rooms and a Rest & Relaxation area with traditional food & drinks. It’s social as well as private. The key signature treatment is Parenie – an invigorating thermal massage, that uses leafy and fragrant bundle of birch, oak or eucalyptus twigs.

The prize will include 3-hour off-peak session for 2, including two treatments each (Parenie and Scrub) and a pot of herbal tea.

TO ENTER: Go to Instagram and follow instructions on my post @for_the_motherofsons

This competition ends on the Sunday the 22nd (Mother’s Day) at 1000am GMT. The Winner will be announced within 48 hours. This competition is for UK only. This giveaways is not endorsed, administered or sponsored by Instagram.

Check out the well-being campaign at



Good Luck! ✨ Stay Well 💕

Stephy Stokes (@for_the_motherofsons)

Parent Squad Emma’s Diary

The Becoming Mum Part

The Becoming Mum Part

Where do I begin. Let’s just say I didn’t get off to the best start in my motherhood journey. You see it all happened so fast…

It was a catalogue of events that spiralled and was the perfect cocktail recipe for what I now know to be post traumatic stress and post natal depression, the perfect storm.

I was a sister on an acute surgical ward. Work was my life, my career, my achievement, my purpose, my identity. Within the blink of an eye it was all gone and suddenly I had a new role to play…MUM.

I never imagined it would happen how it did. I always thought I would be married at 25, settled and living family life…it wasn’t meant to be. My partner left me the day before I started my new job as sister! I swallowed my pain and buried it deep along with the death of my relationship came other tragic events, death of loved ones, my sister moved away, my mum was ill with a chronic back condition. I just let it wash over me kept a brave face and maintained my role as nurse, professional, driven. Life seems to tick over at 100 miles an hour, a blur.

There I was nearly 30 having just dumped the last moron. Destined to be alone forever..I couldn’t even get a guy to commit to buying me a mcdonalds let alone marry me. My dreams were shattered. That was it I’m never seeing any one ever again, I will be happy on my own with my cat primrose.

Enter TOM.

It was (in my mind) just like in the movies. He turned up on the ward and that was it! A whirlwind romance, pregnant, married, new home all within the space of a year…

I got home with my new baby and after all the happiness that came following what was a very dark part of my life, it was only then I stopped to THINK…TO PROCRASTINATE and at a time of no stress and no commitments other than to be at home with my child…complete melt down and fog washed over me. What was this? The most amazing time of my life just happened, I got everything I ever wanted…why was I SAD. I did what I always did, bury it.

A few months in of thinking I had it all together, obsessive, hiding behind my smile, going to every mum club I could attend as I thought that was the ‘thing to do’ I suddenly become withdrawn, disconnected and isolated. Surprisingly I was full of anger. But I’ve just had a baby? Isn’t this the happiest if not the happiest ever I should be?…then comes the shame and the guilt. SHAME is the thing I found most uncomfortable almost unbearable.

I had a terrible experience before I left for maternity at work, I was bullied and it was horrific. I carried this with me, even on my wedding day. Now out of the work environment I was totally isolated and had no support or contact from anyone other than a couple of pals. I felt completely unworthy of society and no good for anything. I didn’t realise at this point I was depressed and put it all down to this particular experience.

Time went on and I ended up going to the GP. They whacked me on citalopram and I had private counselling. The counselling really helped. And the medication. I did not want to take it, I did not want the stigma but honestly it was and still is necessary for my recovery. It’s a process of ups and downs, I tried to come off it a couple of times and it was a disaster. I figured I need to take this, my mind isn’t well. I take tablets for Crohn’s to make me better so I should for my mental health.

If you are struggling forget what you think, what society thinks, just take it. It reduced my anxiety significantly. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t a cure all, your not suddenly loving life but it does numb that weird feeling you get from anxiety ever so Slightly enough for you to function.

Things got better. I joined a netball team! Soon after I found out I was pregnant…again..with my second son!

I managed this pregnancy so much better, the birth was so fast and I recovered in time to get straight back out there for my sisters hen party! …once the festivities were over that’s when it really hit me.

I was alone a lot..tom worked long hours and my life with him wasn’t quite so glamorous as I though it would be married to a doctor. The reality was, I was alone…with 2 children…12 hours plus a day. I missed my life…I missed working…I missed friends, who I thought I knew I was.

I tortured myself for months, why can’t I be happy staying at home! Why can’t I be content, am I a good mum? What is life? All the thoughts going round in my mind I needed to let it all out…that’s how the blog started. I instantly felt a weight was lifted.

Initially I wasn’t doing it for any reason or had any ambition, it was just like a journal. I wrote a private journal as-well and I began to wonder if other people felt the same as I did.

My blog was getting a lot of positive feedback and I was enjoying chatting to other mums. I was added to engagement groups on Instagram and discovered a whole community of mums sharing their stories and experiences. I wasn’t alone anymore! I just kept on with it and my platform grew.

A year later…another baby! And real platform! I was and guess I am a blogger, an influencer, a creator. I was working with other influencers, brands, reviewing products and essentially marketing. I was making money as-well.

It gave me confidence to become more social in real life. I did my reiki level 2 and enrolled on a counselling course. I miss my nursing life but I know my real role in life is to help others and I can do that regardless. I may go back to nursing I may not. My experience traumatised me and I will carry it with me forever but I used the pain to drive me.

Mostly importantly In everything I found the real me. I am not defined by what I do. I am simply Steph, I am a mum and to me that is the most important role in the world.

I am just a normal girl from huddersfield West Yorkshire with big dreams. I’ve stopped being the people pleaser I always was.

If you are anyone out there struggling with demons, self-worth, anxiety and depression. You need to know you are worthy and it is your given right as a human to feel happy, fulfilled and loved. You are not your thoughts and you are not what people say or believe you to be, you are you and you can achieve what you want to achieve by taking the first step and going with the flow.

The thing that I love the most is helping others and inspiring others to start blogging! It is the best tonic and is so much fun. Even if you don’t want to blog. Writing your thoughts down really helps you to get perspective and make sense of what can often be a very strange time in a persons life.

I wish you all the best on your motherhood journeys, enjoy the ride…I wonder what your story will be?….

Love Stephy xxxx

The I can’t be arsed Christmas guide for mums who can’t be arsed BUT have to be arsed because it’s Christmas…and you got kids now. (And you love it really)

The I can’t be arsed Christmas guide for mums who can’t be arsed BUT have to be arsed because it’s Christmas…and you got kids now. (And you love it really)

Long are the days I used to go Christmas shopping in town and come back with presents…for myself…OBVIOUSLY it’s magical and I can be bothered of course it’s just a lot of planning and expense and sometimes we spend so much time stressing that we actually miss the whole point of Christmas..yes the presents! Of course but what about the true meaning…

Christmas doing your head in? Anxious 10/10? just can’t seem to get the list down?

10 Christmas hacks I used to live by before becoming a responsible parent…

1. Become a planetarium -I’m not doing gifts this year to save the planet. All the waste and the plastic and the fumes from Santa’s slay it’s not worth it. Save the planet the world is a gift, savour it…always respect the ocean.

2. can’t think what to buy my dad yet again or my grandad or any man in our family yet again…get down to boots 3 for 2 they have a fab selection of lynx and socks just for a change.

3. forgot someone?…sainsburys is great for the forgotten gift, they even do vouchers…you could always improvise and give your friends the gross scraf your Gran gave you.

4. In laws. Enough said.

5. The gift of love, give someone a hug for Christmas

6. Groupon have some great offers…

7. Amazon well I don’t even have to leave the house? Maybe they will gift wrap..moon pig do….MOON PIG everyone at Christmas!

8. How about a Christmas Email?

9. Facebook shout out?

10. Instagram tag?

11. I’m desperate now. Time to get off your arse and sort it Hun! You can do it

It’s crazy this time of year but as a mum it is actually overwhelming because you have to think about everyone else and not just the kids. Actually my brain is struggling to function anyway. One thing I will say though, is that we stress so much about the wrong issues because deep down all that matters is the people we love and the time we spend together. This time of year can be tough and especially for people with lost loved ones. Cherish your family and practice gratitude everyday….

And if your stressed out just do it all online whilst your up in the night with the new born baby! It’s amazon’s prime time lol 😂

Jokes aside as long as my boys are smiling that will be enough for me, it’s all for them.

Enjoy December Folks!

Spread love and kindness in all the uncertainty in this world for what is life without love 🌍💕 xxx