Coleraine resident Cee Rainey has fulfilled a dream by publishing a childcare book based on her combined experience of being a nanny and a first-time mummy.
Cee, 45, who is originally from Auckland, New Zealand qualified as a nanny in her early 20s and spent the next twenty-five years helping to raise children in countries including the US, Australia and England. Wishing to share her childcare expertise, she first put pen to paper seven years ago. “I even enlisted the help of an editor to help me polish my manuscript,” explains Cee. “But then life got in the way – in a good way.”
Approaching 40 and longing to become a mum herself, Cee, who was single at the time, started looking into the option of going it alone with a sperm donor. But then she remembered a promise an old boyfriend had made. In her early twenties, and when she was living in London, Cee was in a two-year relationship with a Northern Irish man called Damian. Their relationship ended amicably and because of different interests – Cee wanted to travel the world while Damian was enjoying his life in the capital. Just before going their separate ways, Damian, who knew one of Cee’s dreams was to become a mum, promised that he would help her to fulfil that wish should she ever need a father for her baby.
Years on, Cee still had mutual friends in common with Damian on Facebook and knew that he was a single father of three living in Coleraine. She says, “I decided to take a chance and text him to see if he still remembered that promise. It turned out he did, and, to my surprise and delight, he was willing to honour it.”
Cee flew to Northern Ireland to meet up with Damian and discuss their plans for co-parenting. But it wasn’t long before they realised their feelings for each other had never gone away. They became a couple and, in 2017, Cee fell pregnant via IVF, with Damian proposing just a month later. Their daughter, Aoife, was born in July 2018, and they live together in Coleraine along with Damian’s three boys from his previous relationship.
“As well as being a blissful time, my first 12 months of being a mum made me realise that despite all my years as a nanny, I still had a lot to learn,” says Cee. “It was time to get writing again.”
Cee started with a blog, which then grew into her debut book All the Small Things, which covers everything from baby’s first steps and teething to mum’s battles with postnatal anxiety and mastitis. She self-published with the help of her original editor in London. Since publishing the book in June, Cee has received orders from across the globe and appeared in the Daily Mirror and on Radio Ulster.
“Getting my book out there has been another dream come true,” says Cee. “I’ve designed it so parents can dip in and dip out of it as and when they need. I’ve combined practical advice with down-to-earth humour and my personal recollections of being a nanny and a sleep-starved new mum.”
All the Small Things is published by Wrate’s Publishing and is available via Amazon or through Cee’s website www.allthesmallthingsbook.com