Encouraging your kids to dress themselves – tips from a mama of kids that hate getting dressed!

Encouraging your kids to dress themselves – tips from a mama of kids that hate getting dressed!

*collaborative post – post contains gifted items from shopDisney*

I love being a mama BUT I don’t love some of the day to day tasks that come with the job. Changing nappies is obviously top of the list, then there is trying to get a fussy eater to eat their tea and persuading a grumpy toddler that their toothbrush isn’t poisonous and getting them to brush their teeth – to name but just a few. Another mundane, often frustrating, part  of our daily routine I don’t enjoy is getting the kids dressed. What is it about little kids and running around in the nuddy?! As soon as I take my boys clothes off it is like mission impossible getting clean ones on them so they are ready for the day. Alex is only two so he is still a bit of a lost cause in the getting dressed department but, at five and a half, Leo is more than capable of dressing himself, he just needs lots of encouragement. Recently, to take the stress out of our mornings I have been trying to encourage Leo to get himself dressed, it is hard work and you need buckets of patience but I feel like we are getting there slowly. Here are my tips for encouraging your kids to dress themselves – hope you find it useful. View Post

Is it ever ok to go on holiday without your kids? – 5 reasons all parents SHOULD have a child free holiday

Is it ever ok to go on holiday without your kids? – 5 reasons all parents SHOULD have a child free holiday

*sponsored post*

People can get a little bit judgmental sometimes, can’t they? A couple of years ago I wrote about needing a break from the kids and, oh wow, did some people get angry about it when it was shared on a popular parenting Facebook page. Apparently if you don’t want to spend all your time with your kids then you shouldn’t have had them in the first place. If you need a break then you must be an awful parent. If you are daydreaming about a weekend away from the kids then you don’t deserve to have them. Umm, what?! I totally believe that us parents are at our best when we have had a little break from our child rearing duties. Having a break is not selfish and sometimes a bubble bath or an hours naptime where you can drink a hot coffee in peace just isn’t enough. With all its demands, it is no wonder many marriages feel the full strain of family life and sometimes couples become just ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’, the couple they once were almost completely left in the past. Like there are people who will bestow their negative opinions on you for wanting some me time, there are also people who will be left horrified at the mere idea that a couple is contemplating a holiday abroad without bring their children too. What do you think? Is it ever ok to go on holiday without your kids? Well, the husband and I have just come back from a child free weekend in Venice so I think you know what my answer is going to be. YES! All couples need a child free holiday once in a while, don’t believe me? Here are five reasons why. View Post

6 clever gadgets that can help mums during pregnancy and labour

6 clever gadgets that can help mums during pregnancy and labour

*Sponsored guest post*

If you are into gadgets and new inventions AND you are pregnant, then prepare for a post that is right up your street. Today I have a really interesting guest post from the team at Aniball. Aniball is a product that helps you prepare your pelvic floor ready for labour and can even reduce your risk of tearing during delivery – who wouldn’t want that? I hope you find this post useful pregnant mamas, there are definitely some things I want to try out (number 1 being the most urgently needed!).  View Post

Can we please all stop freaking out about Momo now? – common sense online safety tips for parents of young children

Can we please all stop freaking out about Momo now? – common sense online safety tips for parents of young children
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or decided to take a break from the online world this week then you’ve probably seen a lot of creepy stuff doing the rounds on social media. I sort of wish I had taken a social media detox this week so I didn’t have to see the freaky face of Momo fifty times in a row every day on my Facebook and Twitter feed. If you don’t know, The Momo Challenge is a game that allegedly encourages young people to perform dangerous acts, self harm and, eventually, commit suicide. It’s not nice, in fact, it’s down right disgusting that there are people out there creating these things and purposefully using them to target vulnerable children. I think we all need to start calming down a bit though, it is a scary time to be a parent with the internet always present in our children’s lives but, when it comes to Momo, I think we need to stop freaking out (myself included!). In this post I’m sharing some common sense internet safety tips to help you feel better equipped to deal with the rise of the Momo challenge and, most importantly, your kids being online in general.
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Mental health after pregnancy – I need to look back so I can move forward

Mental health after pregnancy – I need to look back so I can move forward

One of the first things I thought when I found out I was pregnant for the third time was what will I do if I get postnatal depression again? In fact, finding out I was pregnant again sent me into a bit of a relapse. For the first two or three weeks I was anxious and sad and could only visualise bad things to come in my future. I didn’t see the baby in my tummy as a happy surprise, I saw it as a ticking time bomb waiting for 9months before it would explode and leave me in a crater full of misery. As the months have passed and I am now half way through this pregnancy, fear has been replaced with excitement, trepidation has given way to eager anticipation. One thing I still think I need to do before I can fully be prepared mentally for what may or may not happen when the baby arrives is to look back and accept what happened after Alex was born.

I know I had postnatal depression, anxiety and probably OCD but I can’t let myself stop to fully reflect on that time. I need to though. I need to sit with those bad memories, even just for a moment, to let myself fully move on. I need to stop thinking of myself as the Mum who got pnd and instead think of myself as the Mum who is healed and ready (and happy) to do it all again, to have another baby again without fearing what may not even happen. So that’s what I’m doing today, I’m gritting my teeth and walking down the dark path of memory lane, back to when Alex was a baby and my life was a nightmare. I hope as I walk deeper and peer into those memories I’ve locked away that they will become softer around  the edges, they won’t hurt me anymore and they won’t have the power to sabotage the future life with three children that I will living in just 20weeks time. Looking back is hard, but I can’t heal without doing it. View Post

Finding out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan – the for and against debate

Finding out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan – the for and against debate

** Since I wrote and published this post this morning, we have been for our 20 week scan and despite being adamant I wasn’t going to ( for all the reasons set out in this post), I did, in fact, find out the sex of our baby! Well, it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!**

I’m really excited today, it’s my 20 week scan! How I’m half through this pregnancy already I have no idea but I have been counting down to today. I’m so looking forward to seeing baba again, to see how much he/she has grown over the last 8 weeks. It may surprise you, considering this little one is our third, but we are not finding out today the sex of our baby. When the sonographer zooms in to check baba’s legs etc, I will not be looking too closely. I’m excited for the surprise on the big day, it’s only another 20 weeks to go! My decision not to find out the sex of baby number three seems to puzzle lots of people, I’ve had lots of ‘oh, really?!’ and ‘why not?!’ when I’ve told people we won’t be finding out. There are lots of arguments  for and against having your baby’s gender revealed at the 20 week scan, I’ve done both and I have to say I’m definitely firmly in team wait for a surprise on delivery day. If you too have your 20 week scan coming up and can’t decide whether to find out if you are having a girl or boy, here I try to flesh out the debate s to finding out your baby’s sex at the 20 week scan and give the reasons why I think it is a good idea and why I think it is better to wait. I hope it helps you decide! View Post

Everything you need to know about your kids sharing a bedroom

Everything you need to know about your kids sharing a bedroom

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A few months back Oli and I did something crazy, we moved both the boys into the same bedroom. I know, what were we thinking? Well, there was actually a reason behind our madness; Leo’s old bedroom is a converted garage and let’s just say the builders had obviously never heard of insulation because it is freezing in there. So, when winter arrived we made the bold and brave decision to move our five year old into the same room as our two year old. We are a good few months into the boys sharing a room now and it’s been a bumpy transition but I think we are getting to a place where bedtimes are getting easier again. Are you considering putting your children into the same bedroom? In the post I am sharing everything I have learnt since my kids started sharing a bedroom, I hope it helps you prepare for what can be a tricky transition for everyone. View Post

To the woman in Tesco, how dare you judge me

To the woman in Tesco, how dare you judge me

** Mum, Nan, anyone else who doesn’t like bad language, either don’t read this one or do so knowing it is scattered with a fair few F bombs. You have been warned. **

To the elderly lady in Tesco,

Firstly, sorry to refer to you as the ‘elderly lady’ but I, obviously, don’t know your name and the fact you are, to put it bluntly, old is your most defining feature to a stranger like me. I want people reading this to know that I am not about to verbally take down a sweet little old over the internet. You are not all white curls, cuddly smiles and tottering about with a Zimmer frame, are you? When you spoke to me, it was clear you are very sound of mind and know what’s going on around you. For these reasons, my reaction to you is the same as it would be to anyone of any age who spoke to me the way you did. I refuse to let the fact you are probably over seventy be a valid excuse for the way you chose to go out of your way to make me feel like a rubbish mum this morning. View Post

One year on anti depressants – my experience of taking Sertraline

One year on anti depressants – my experience of taking Sertraline

Today is #TimeToTalk day, a day for shouting loud about all things mental health. The campaign is run by Time to Change and their aim is to help us all start conversations about our mental health, to break the stigmas surrounding mental illness and to raise awareness of what living with a mental health condition is really like. If you regularly read this blog then you will know that I have suffered from post natal depression and severe anxiety, it first began in late 2016 after the birth of my second child. If you are a really avid reader then you will also know that I didn’t start taking any medication until my son was almost 18months old, way over a year after my symptoms first began. It has now been a year since I first started taking anti depressants and I thought I would share with you what the last year has been like. I am going to try my best to give an honest account of what life on sertraline is like, I am not going to hide anything behind any dark corners or avoid talking about when things have been tough. After all, the point of #timetotalk day is to have honest conversations about mental health, with 1 in 4 of us experiencing some kind of mental illness, it is important that we speak the truth to help each other to feel less alone.  View Post

How to help your toddler drop their nap (and not lose your mind in the process!)

How to help your toddler drop their nap (and not lose your mind in the process!)

I feel a change coming. As with all stages of parenting, nothing stays the same for very long. I can sense a shift and, if I’m honest, it’s a change to our routine I am totally not ready for. Alex seems to be dropping his nap – noo! It is getting harder and harder to encourage him to have a sleep in the day and while there are still the odd occasion where he will snooze for a couple hours in his bed or drop off in the car, they are becoming very few and far between. I knew the demise of the nap was imminent, Leo dropped his regular nap when he was two and a half and Alex is now two and three months. I knew my time of having some peace and quiet in the day was running out. The transition from nap to no nap can be tough on everyone: us parents lose out on time in the day to get things done without a child hanging off our legs and our toddlers tend to lose their shit around 5pm because they are so exhausted and ready for bed. If your toddler is showing signs of wanting to drop their nap too, I have put together this post full of tips and advice from other parents to help you navigate through this often tricky process without too much drama. Remember, the end of naptime doesn’t mean the end of the world, you just need to give your daytime routine a bit of a rejig – you’re going to be fine. View Post

A letter to the baby in my tummy

A letter to the baby in my tummy

Dear Baby,

Oh, please know before you read on that mummy loves you. Mummy loves you so so much; you are only the size of an avocado but my love is the size of the world. You have only been growing inside me for 16 weeks and 5 days, I have only seen black at white flickering images of you on an ultrasound scan, but I love you fiercely already. I promise. View Post

Short stories for mums – The Used Car

Short stories for mums – The Used Car

*trigger warning*

It is time for another short story mamas, have you got a cuppa ready? The prompt for this week was to write about a used car. I have to confess, I had no clue what I was going to write about when I saw the prompt, how can I write a story around a used car? I have been batting ideas about in my mind all week and finally decided yesterday I was going to loosely use the ‘used car’ prompt and write about an important issue that is very close to my heart – maternal mental health. This isn’t an easy read, if you are in a negative state of mind I will suggest not reading it until you are feeling better. If you missed previous short stories here on the blog you can find them all by clicking here. For now, here is The Used Car, I have written it in a sort of rhyme, not to make light of the serious subject matter but that’s just what naturally happened as I started typing. View Post

Book club – One Small Thing review

Book club – One Small Thing review

I have always secretly wanted to be a part of a book club. I love reading, I love talking about what I am reading and I am always interested to hear about what others are reading. How cool would it be to share this love of books with others and to read and talk about a book together each month? I have also always thought that being in a book club was just something for middle aged women, the retired ladies with grey hair and the seriously academic types who probably only read Shakespeare or Jane Austin every month. Turns out, I was wrong. You can be in your twenties and be a part of a book club, it’s not weird at all. A fellow blogger sent out a request on Twitter asking for bookworms to join her new book club and I just though, why the hell not? We don’t meet in coffee shops or have a rota for holding monthly meetings in members houses, we congregate in our Instagram DMs and I am absolutely loving chatting books with these ladies. For our first book, the head of the book club chose One Small Thing by Erin Watt. I had never heard of this book before and was excited to give it a try. Here is my review of One Small Thing, if you’re into young adult fiction then I’m sure you will enjoy it. View Post

5 places you can get help and support for postnatal depression

5 places you can get help and support for postnatal depression

Have you recently had a baby and feel like you might be struggling with postnatal depression? Whilst feeling a bit low and having the ‘baby blues’ during the first few weeks after giving birth is normal, more than 1 in 10 women suffer from postnatal depression. If you are feeling anxious, sad, overwhelmed and tearful most days, you may want to speak to someone and get some support. Speaking out and sharing how you are feeling is the first step you need to take towards getting better. Talking about your mental health can be difficult but once you have done it you will feel better and will be able to get the help and support you need. If you don’t know who to speak to or where to go for support and advice, I have made this list for you of all the people who can help. I know from experience how hard it is to talk about how you are feeling and to admit you may have postnatal depression, but there are so many people out there who are understanding and just want to help you. View Post

Short stories for mums – The other side of the window

Short stories for mums – The other side of the window

It’s time for another Sunday night short story. If you missed my post last Sunday, I am trying to hone in my fiction writing skills and improve my writing by publishing a short story here on my blog every Sunday. Thank you everyone who read last weeks post, I really appreciate all your feedback and all your positive comments made me so happy. This weeks writing prompt was to write about what you see out of your window. I used the prompt but put a spin on it, this story is all about new Mum Clemmie and what she sees and feels when she looks out of her bedroom window. I hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. View Post