Sunday, 24 January 2016

Do Good - Be Positive

Stop and think. 

When was the last time someone thanked you for that meal you cooked? Or replied gratefully to that helpful and supportive tweet you sent? When did your boss last acknowledge that you'd gone above and beyond, again, at work? All of us have a moment in our life where we'd like to be noticed, to be appreciated or to be acknowledged for the things we do. It is human nature - we all feel like this at one time or another. But how often do you say thank you to those around you? 

The people we surround ourselves with are vital cogs in our lives. They help us get through the day, the week, the month. Without them we would be alone. Without them things would be even more difficult. By showing your appreciation you can help them to feel good about who they are and in turn, they can help people around them feel good too. 

I have decided not to set any resolutions this year. Instead, I just want to try and be more positive about life, about myself and about my situations. I am starting by stopping and saying 'Thank you' to a few key people. 

Thank you to Luke. You're a wonderful father and a supportive husband. Thanks for all that you do. 

Thanks to my mum for helping support me and my little family. 

Thanks to the rest of my family and friends for the love and support. 

Who will you say thank you to?


Sunday, 10 January 2016

You Just Don't Understand

I have spent a week questioning whether or not I should publish this. In the end I've decided that it reflects how I feel, even a week on. So I'm going to take the inevitable 'flack' and post.

Here goes...

Last Sunday night - on Instagram - I saw a mum post this comment: 

''I go to work for the adult conversation and nothing more''. 

Quite frankly lady - it ends in 'off' and starts with 'f...'. 

On the evening before so many of us mums and dads were returning to work - if we hadn't already - (some full, some part time) to post something that sounds so arrogant and insensitive got my back up. I exploded into a tirade of bubbling anger as I explained to Luke what I'd seen. It ruffled my feathers, poked at my sore spot and poured alcohol on the flames of feelings about returning to work. 

I hate to say this bold statement. But I am going to say it. 

You well-off stay at home parents just DON'T understand. 

There. I said it. 

I open myself up to the flood of hate and ranting people who dominate the parenting world of blogging and Twitter to slate me, unfollow me, moan about me etc. But you know what - you just DON'T get it. 

I know this doesn't apply to everyone. I am not doing a 'Katie Hopkins blanket blame' statement. Many, many parents out there who now stay at home DO understand and empathise with those of us forced to continue to work full/part time (for whatever the reason). Many of those parents are decent, supportive and sensitive human beings who have the maturity to understand; after all, we all have our problems and challenges to deal with - whatever they may be. 

But, there are a good many parents who simply don't understand what it is like to HAVE to work. To have to give your child to family or childcare so that you can pay the bills. So that you can manage. So that your little one doesn't go without. You simply don't know the guilt that hollows into your stomach and reaches up to wrap around your heart every morning as you have to leave and want nothing more to be with your child all day. To be the one that picks them up when they cry for you because they fell over, or whatever they need. 

Luke and I are very lucky that Jake spends time with his Nanny as part of his childcare. We're also very lucky that he seems to really enjoy the three mornings a week he is at nursery and plays with other children. The guilt has gotten easier as time has gone on and we see how settled Jake is in to his routine.

I know there are many other parents out there who are worse off than us in lots of ways, and my heart goes out to them as I empathise with their struggles.

Perhaps all of us could try to be a little more thoughtful, 'eh?


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Jake's Giift to Mummy and Daddy

We had a really lovely Christmas Day. 

The morning was spent opening presents and helping Jake read his new books we bought him for Christmas.

Later on we hopped over to my mum's where Luke and Mum cooked up a delicious breakfast of bacon, sausage, hash browns, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast. We spent a few hours there opening presents and seeing Jake enjoy his time with Nanny and Grandad Kev. 

In the afternoon we made our way across the A451 and joined Nanny and Pops Marsh for a delicious roast Christmas dinner of turkey and trimmings. We were joined by Luke's Aunty Carol and 2 of Luke's older brothers (he's the youngest of 4 boys). All was lovely. 

Although Jake has slept an hour in the car during our journey, by 4:40pm he was starting to get that niggly over tired mood that little ones get and so Daddy and I took him in to Nanny and Pops' bedroom for a cuddle in the dark and peace and quiet. It was in that moment - with the 3 of us together - that Jake put a hand on both of our faces and in the almost-dark he leaned in and gave us lots of little kisses. It was as though he were saying 'Thank you. I love you. Merry Christmas'. 

It made our day. 

It truly was the magic of Christmas and a present money can't buy. 

Merry Christmas everyone. X

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

5 Films we'll be watching this Christmas

In my family we have always treated films like board games - a memory filled memento in a box. Our reason for this is that we watch as a family - all sat round together - just like a board game. 

Christmas is all about people. It is a time to reflect and be grateful; a time to remember those who are no longer with us and time to revel in the love of family and friends. 

This year there are 5 films we're going to watch to get us in the Christmas spirit - and they may not be what you'd expect....

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. It is not just because I am a huge Harry Potter fan that I love to watch this film at Christmas time. There is something incredibly magical about this first story in the Potter series - maybe it's the snow, or the food in the great hall. Either way it is a must.
  2. Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring. 2001 was the year this film came out and I went to see it in the 18th December. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) was already a LotR fan and we went with all of his family. From that moment I was a huge LotR fan too. We watch them every year.
  3. Home Alone. Merry Christmas ya filthy animal! This takes me right back to being a young child and owning this film on video tape. My brother, sister and I used to watch it every year.
  4. Scrooged. Bill Murray takes a humorous turn on the classic Charles Dickens tale 'Christmas Carol'. Hilarious 80s film. It reminds me of my hubby Luke as he was the one who introduced me to this film and he does a great impression of the characters!
  5. A Muppet Christmas Carol. 'There goes Mr Humbug, there goes Mr Scrooge'... It is certainly one of the best Christmas films ever! Such humour amidst the classic tale. 
So there you have it! Our 5 Christmas films for this year. 

What will you be watching?

Friday, 27 November 2015

How do we deal with rules?

Now that Jake is officially over the baby phase, Luke and I have begun to see some changes. The toddler years are upon us and we are desperately trying to fathom the best course of action where our son's behaviour is concerned. 

Jake is a cheeky chap. He is bright and inquisitive. He has to press every button, pull every cord and throw any solid or food-related object. These things are all cute and adorable... for about 5 minutes! Now? Well, now they are getting frustrating and embarrassing - especially if we're out when he does this.

We're crossing a fine line at the moment between letting Jake discover and play versus trying to find the lines that need to be drawn in order for us to enforce some rules and behaviour. But is it too early? 

Part of me thinks yes. It feels too early to try to reprimand Jake for misbehaving - I do that all day every day as a teacher with 11 to 16 year olds and even then some of them struggle with the concept! 

The other part of me feels that now is the right time to start behaviour management. If we don't start making a point of showing Jake things aren't appropriate, then it will get harder to do as he gets older.

The point is - I don't know the answer. Is it yes or no? And how do we go about doing this? I don't want to shout at him or smack him at this point (though when he slapped my step dad we shouted at him!) but what other ways are there to enforce rules with an almost 15 month old child? 

I would love to hear your views, opinions and advice! What tips do you have? What can we do to support Jake in his exploration of the world? 


Sunday, 22 November 2015

My 5 Christmas Wishes this Year

Ding Dong Merrily on High...Yes it is that time of year again. We're all scrambling to get the tree up and ready for December 1st, making plans for the big day and reminding each other that Santa will be checking his list, checking it twice.

But what's on your list?

Well, this year I have quite a few special wishes that I am hoping the big guy can help me out with. So, Santa if you're reading this, I hope it isn't too much to ask for:

1) Peace - I hope that those affected by the tragedies in Paris and other acts of terrorism can find some peace this year as they remember those they have lost. It will be a sad, and somber Christmas this year as many of us will reflect on those people who are no longer with us. I hope that we all find a little peace and take comfort in knowing that we will never forget them.

2) Security - I hope very much that my hubby, Luke, does not get made redundant again. We've had several Christmases these last few years where Luke has been out of work and the current place (who have just taken him on a contract after months of agency working) are announcing that they want voluntary redundancies, with compulsory to follow if none are taken. Jake and I will love him no matter what, but it would be nice to not have to worry about how we'll pay the bills over the Christmas period or whether we'll even be living in this house come January.

3) Health and Happiness - I wish for health and happiness for all those I love and care about. I hope that we can all enjoy the Christmas time with each other without worrying too much about Grandad or Nan. I also wish health and happiness to all of you, taking time to read this post.

4) Snow - it would be magical if we had some snow at Christmas so that Jake can see the beauty of it and have some fun - but not too much that it effects older people, or emergency services trying to do their jobs.

5) Emergency Services and and Armed Forces - I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas this year. We thank you for working at this time so that we can all be safe and sound and we send thanks to your family for sparing you. I hope that Santa brings you some time with your loved ones and that you are kept safe. 

What are you wishing for this Christmas? I hope you will take the time to think about all of those wishes to Santa that can't simply be bought. 

Wishing you a merry Christmas season. 


Sunday, 15 November 2015

5 Things I Love about being a Mum

Being a mum is the best thing I have ever done - so far in my 30 years of life on this planet. Of course, getting married and having our honeymoon come as a close 2nd and 3rd place, but being a mum is the best. 

There are so many things I love about being a mum. In no particular order, here are my top 5 things I love - right now - about being a mum:

  1. Grins, smiles and chuckles - I absolutely love the way Jake smiles. It is heart warming and will instantly make me feel happy and smiley too. His cheeky grin and infectious laugh are far more comforting than any chocolate could be.
  2. Cuddles - the best thing about going to work is getting home from work and being greeted by big, warm and snugly cuddles when I walk through the door. His little face lights up and he gives me a cuddle whilst says 'ahhhhhh'. What else is there that's beats that welcome home? But I also love how he cuddles his teddies or randomly cuddles daddy and I during the day. Sweet!
  3. Reading - right now I am in love with the way Jake chooses books and brings them to us, then turns himself around to sit on our laps. How adorable is that! Reading with Jake, and seeing him read books himself, is probably one of my favourite things at the moment. You can read more about reading with your baby here.
  4. Dancing - I love to watch Jake do his little dancing jig whenever some catchy music comes on. It's even better when he has 80's songs blasting on daddy's phone and does his little twerk!
  5. Running - Jake's mastered the walking and is now off and running everywhere. It's so cute!
What do you love about being a mum or a dad?