Review: The Zack by Bax & Bay

I feel I can rock the shit out of a ladies baby changing bag. I feel this way because I’ve left the house numerous times with the wifes changing bags and had lots of nice comments about how they suit me.

However three years in to this parenting job and with the brood now at 2, I felt it appropriate to go out on my own and become a changing bag owner.

The bag of choice; The Zack rucksack. The colour; Olive green. The reason; see below.

20170402_133057

I needed a multifunctional bag because as well as being a father and husband, I am also a gym enthusiast (I like to go to the gym to take the kids swimming and sit in the sauna), a shopper and all round general family donkey. So I needed a bag that could switch functions when needed.

The Zack bag first and foremost comes kitted up for its primary objective. It’s a changing bag, complete with changing mat, insulated bottle bag and handy pockets for all those little necessities you need to keep your baby fresh and clean.

And that’s about where the comparisons with other changing bags stop. This is not only practical but also beautifully crafted and stylish. Made in waterproof, washable faux suede, the Olive Green Zack bag is prepared for all the hazards of parenting and the British weather. So if its baby sick or a summers downpour this bag is going to keep the contents dry whilst being easy to clean.

20170323_103151

The faux suede is soft to touch and can easily be used as a pillow to rest your head or allow your little one to lie on if your into sharing. It’s comfortable to wear, the straps are strong but gentle on the shoulders and back. A simple pull on the drawstring, and a strap though the sleek buckle, locks your contents away from investigative little hands.

For me it’s a gem of a bag. Workable for family life but also as a general rucksack. It looks at home when I am out with kids or popping into my locker at the gym. It really is a practical purchase for the everyday use.

The Zack Bag is available in 5 colours. From yellow waxed cotton to a cheeky pink little number. See the range here.

For great deals and up to date offers check the Bax & Bay Instagram feed.

The reality of parenting: why I share

Last night the wife and I got talking about why we decided to switch off the privacy settings on our social media accounts and begin sharing our lives with the big wide world. Before doing so we kept all that was happening sealed off, accessible only to a select few who could see and know what we were doing.

So here is the reason I switched off the security setting and let you all in.

Florence was about 3 months old. She had barely slept the whole 3 months because colic had reared its brutal ugly head. Having only recently changed careers, I had started a brand new job 2 weeks before she was born.  I felt like I was treading water. Occasionally it all got to much and my head would go under. I didn’t really talk about how I was feeling at the time as I didn’t really have much opportunity to talk to people, let alone anyone who I felt would understand or was in the same situation. I was feeling properly bleeding stressed out.

Then one day after work I walked through front door and the in-laws were having cuddles with Florence. Honestly I couldn’t be arsed talking just wanted to get a drink, them to go home before the nightmare of bedtime kicked off. However I am a fecking gentleman so I asked if anyone would like a drink. As everyone does when you really cannot be arsed to make drinks, they all churped up that they wanted one. So I trudged off to the kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised that when I got there the father-in-law had got up and followed me. The conversation started off with the usual ‘ How’s it going?’ generally chit chat before he said something that knocked my socks off.

‘Felt like you want to throw her out the window yet’?

I was blown away and it wasn’t because I was horrified at what he had said. It was because I had thought that exact same thing numerous times at 3am when I hadn’t slept, and instead I had been rocking, singing and dancing like a dick head for hours. In that moment I knew I was not the only one who had felt and thought like this. And it’s not that I would have thrown her out the window, but having these thoughts and feeling so stressed was making me feel horrendous. I felt like a proper shit daddy for feeling how I did. Now I was not feeling this way all the time. Generally I was loving being a parent but when it was bad it felt fucking awful.

Anyways after this little eye opener I decided that when people asked how it was going, how I was finding parenting I would give them the whole story. Not just the Disney version but the good, the bad and the ugly. I found people found it really helpful, I even had expectant parents in work telling other expectant parents to talk to me.

Then I joined Instagram.  All I saw was people talking about their perfect child, perfectly sat listening or playing perfectly with their perfect parents who had captured the perfect picture at the perfect time. Everything was perfect. Every picture, every description; perfect. Looking at all these pictures created the idea that 100% of the time these parents and their children were perfect. They were all happy. And that’s great. I love seeing those profiles. They make me happy reading them and hearing about the wonderful things they are getting up to. I understand why people want to only post and talk about all the nice things about parenting.

However for me that is not my reality of parenting. It’s not perfect and it isn’t always happy. I wanted to give the full picture of how me and my family experience life as we fumble along. The aim being simple. If what I talk about helps someone like my father-in-law helped me then I feel I have given something back, helped another parent who might have been struggling like I was.

So I talk and will talk about all the positive things about parenting. I will talk about how proud I am of my children. How much I love them. How I am happier now since they came into this world than I have ever been. All the positive emotions these two little ladies fill me with, the joy, the admiration, the love, will be plastered across my social media.

However I am not going to limit it to that. You will also hear all the hard things about parenting. You will hear the negative side of things. How emotionally at times I feel more anxious, sad, helpless, frustrated and angry than I did before I had kids.

I will share the emotional rollercoaster because I don’t want to just show happy times. Happiness to me is only part of the picture, a great part, but still only a snippet. The main picture is how meaningful it all is. I hope that by doing this people will read my stuff, enjoy it, laugh, maybe cry, but most of all know that they are not alone, that we as parents are in it together.

Much love.

Daddy Freckle.

 

Review: Baby Carrier One – Spring Collection

In the Freckle household we have a number of different ways of transporting the smallest member of the team around. We have slings, we have prams, we have carriers and we have our own muscular strength.

Number one option for me hands down is our Baby Bjorn One Carrier from the Spring collection. This collection has been inspired by the modern day man, a description I hope fits me. Read my #dadstories here.

I’ve been using it for a while now and I absolutely love it. You might have noticed me rocking the anthracite mesh limited edition cheeky little number from the spring collection. It’s the first thing I grab when leaving the house. I’ve forgot it in the past and the consequences have been painful. All the other designs in the collection are stylish and handsome so you are not limited when it comes to options.

IMG_20170328_210105_104

For me the greatest advantage of the One Carrier is it gives me the time to hold little Freckle close without using my own arms and in the process sapping my energy, increasing my core body temperature and all round being generally uncomfortable. Its light and durable and carrying her around in it is comfortable and easy on the back.

It is simple to use which for me is essential. I dont have to spend 20 minutes decoding the instructions before I can leave the house. Just pop it on, strap baby in and we are off. Freedom.

We’ve got slings which come with forty pages of instructions and diagrams about how to strap baby in which baffle me. Quite frankly I don’t trust myself to use one on my own, the complexity of them scares me. However with the One Carrier it couldn’t be simpler to use. Its got three different carrying positions. You can pop baby on your front, facing towards you or out towards the big wide world. Or if you fancy you can pop them on your back. The instructions are simple and convienently located on the carrier if you need them.

IMG_20170406_161345_671

The One Carrier can be used from birth up until three years, therefore growing with your baby and saving you the hastle of having to buy a new carrier at each little milestone. It also frees the old hands up leaving you able to engage in the world as you usually would whilst conviently and confidentially bringing your little one safely with you.

Storage wise it takes up little room. Just hang it up with your coats and grab when needed. Easy.

And if the the inevitable spillage or baby sick happens upon your One Carrier you can relax in the comfort of knowing that a little wash at 40° will make it nice and clean again.

20170406_201417

At the business end it’s priced between £134.99 – £154.99. An investment but one well worth it as it’s going to give you three years of use and closeness to your little sprog, before they want nothing to do with you.

Check them out here.

Much love

Daddy Freckle