Sunday, 5 April 2015

Why Grandparents are so important


I have always believed that Grandparents are a vital and very important part of a child's life. This naturally stems from the wonderful experience I had with my own Grandparents, growing up. My Mum's parents and my Dad's Mum were very much a part of our lives when we were children (and they still are today) - almost all school holidays involved a trip on the train, with mum, to visit Grandma and Granddad at their house in Northamptonshire, and again in Wellingborough when they moved as we got older. We would be so excited to go - have such a fantastic time there - and be so sad to leave. At our Grandparents house we had our own little rituals and our own 'world'. We played games that we only played at their house. Things we did that we only did with them - and not to mention Grandma's cooking - yum! It also gave Mum time to relax a little; being a single parent was hard for her - and as a mother now, I really don't know how she did it. Dad always saw us and spent time with us, but it isn't the same as each parent having one another to lean on for support.

I do want to say here though, that it is important that Grandparents themselves do not make selfish demands of parents and their children. It is hard enough being a parent of small children without feeling you're pressured by grandparents because they feel 'entitled' - things have to fit in with the parents and the children first, as they are the ones with the most juggling to do. However, I am often surprised when I see or hear of parents who don't involve the Grandparents - why wouldn't you? They play a vital role in our children's lives - and in your lives as parents. They can offer so much to you and your child, that it seems silly not to utilise this fantastic resource.

So, why are Grandparents so important?

Family Life

Grandparents are vital in ensuring that children see a range of roles within the family. This is important in allowing them to shape their understanding of what different families look like. Grandparents help children to learn about family history, other relatives, traditions and memories of you - the parent as a child. Children love to learn about their parents as children, because it helps them to see you as real human beings and not just the authoritarian or the money bank!
Not only that - but practically - Grandparents can help with day-to-day family life. They may cook meals, babysit or even be opportunities for childcare to help mums and dads go out to work.

Emotional well-being

Grandparents play a vital role in offering emotional support to grandchildren and you as parents. They are their to offer support, empathy and reassurance when times are difficult or confusing. Children will often confide in grandparents when talking to parents seems to be too close. Grandparents are able to see a different side to children, as they have a different level of relationship with them - there isn't the consequences associated with 'when we get back home' and this allows children to feel freer, and more creative. This strong emotional relationship helps set models of positive and healthy relationships with others. 

The understandingchildhood website states that, 'Relationships beyond the immediate family (mother, father, brothers, sisters) can make a positive contribution to children's emotional development and sense of themselves. An independent and developing relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is invaluable for everyone'

Education & Development

Grandparents often have a wealth of knowledge and real-life experiences to share, that no books or lessons can teach. Grandparents are often able to help children understand things in a way that sometimes a busy parent might not have time to clarify. Or, they may be able to draw on experiences they've had to share with a child that you, the parent, may not have. 

In addition, Grandparents may often have the time and money to take children out for experiences that may not be possible for parents to do. For example, visiting zoos, museums, going on holiday etc. These experiences provide children with a richness in life that will embellish their ability to be creative and enhance their chances of doing well at school - because they will have a wealth of experiences of their own to draw on.

Support

There are many ways that Grandparents can offer support for us parents, too. Here are just some that I have thought of, or that others have mentioned to me via my Instagram post:
  • Childcare - helping parents to go out to work
  • Babysitting - giving parents time together, allowing them to go to functions or stay in touch with friends
  • Financial advice and support - helping when times are tough and you need that little extra to make it through
  • Taxi service - fetching children from parties, play dates and school when you, the parent, can't quite make it
  • Housekeeping - running the duster around on a Sunday when you're exhausted and they pop in to see the kids
  • Listening - a shoulder to cry on and an ear to talk to. Sometimes just being listened to as a parent is all you really need
  • Advice - offering tips, tricks and truths to keep you ticking over as you get through the challenges that parenthood springs on you
  • Sharing their interests - perhaps they are keen painters (like my granddad) and want to teach your children too?
  • Connecting with other generations - appreciating and respecting where we come from and where we're going
After all of this, you really can't be in any doubt about how important our Grandparents really are. They are vital. We must ensure we preserve and make use of this invaluable resource - and keep them included. As grandparents get older, it is even more important to be there for them too, and keep them connected. You may be the only few people that they get to see, to talk to or to spend time with. So make the most of it.

In fact - I'm going to send my own Grandma a text right now - telling her how much I love her and my Granddad. Same for my Nan.

What are you going to do?x

*This has also been my first ever post linked up to the #SundayStars linky via Steph who write the brilliant Diary of a Midlife Mummy.
Mami 2 Five
The Dad Network

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Polabox: An app for everyone who wants to save memories and moments

Anyone who regularly follows Jake and I will know that I take A LOT of photos. I currently have over 10,500 files in my Jake file on my hard drive (backed up of course) and these are all photos and videos of our little man from the moment he arrived.

I am old fashioned that way, and have blogged numerous times about the family albums I am creating and how I am using the FreePrints app to make keepsakes.

More recently, I have discovered another way to make gorgeous keepsakes - for very little £££s. For anyone with a smart phone - check out the brilliant POLABOX.

I had a money off code and ordered myself this framed beauty!
Polabox brilliantly put together photos you have (on instagram or elsewhere) and create polaroid prints, collage posters and more. A fantastic way to create beautiful and classic mementos to display around the house or to give as gifts to others. In mine I have included photos from our wedding, too.

You can have colour, or use black and white - so it could look contemporary but timeless too.
You can download the Polabox app here and quote code MUMMS7 to save £4 straight away on anything you order
Enjoy!


Friday, 3 April 2015

Dino Bib by Little Sleepy Sew and Sew

Even as a child myself, I loved dinosaurs. My bother and sister (who are twins) and I went to the cinema with my mum to see Jurassic Park 2 - I was about 11 years old I think - after watching the first Jurassic Park on VHS a million times. 

Luke is the same - when we first met, we went to see Jurassic Park 3 together - and have enjoyed the box sets numerous times on a wet weekend.

So, it goes without saying that Jake is going to love dinosaurs as well :-)

We buy him all sorts of Dinosaur themed goodies, from clothes to toys ... and now to bibs!

When I saw that the brilliant Little Sleepy Sew and Sew did bibs with dinosaurs I couldn't resist! Now I need to get one of her other dinosaur designs, because this one is just toooo cute.  



The delivery and packaging was excellent; it arrived very quickly after I made payment (just a few days) and came in a very pretty parcel pack (see above).

The bib itself feels extremely thick and soft, it's like a sumptuous towel that you enjoy when you get out of the bath, and it soaks up all of Jake's dribble! 

The design is beautiful and unique. The fun colours and the cute graphics make it a must-have for mums with kids who love dinosaurs and bright colours.

Jake seems to really love his new bib - and has worn it a few times already since its arrival! It hasn't affected his eczema - a bit plus for us! I hope to enjoy more products from Little Sew and Sew as her shop expands...I definitely need the other Dino print for sure!

I can't recommend it enough! You can get your own here: Little Sleepy Sew and Sew

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Review: Bakerdays Letterbox Cake for Easter*

When the lovely Bakerdays offered to send me a Letterbox Cake to try out and review - I jumped at the chance. 

Luke and I have been looking at their website off and on for loads of occasions - Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas to name just the more recent. I was worried that I might not like the cake, or perhaps it wouldn't be worth the cost. 

But - I couldn't be more impressed with them! Here's what Luke and I have concluded about our Easter Letterbox cake from Bakerdays:

Delivery and Presentation

The cake arrived quickly and securely packaged in a sturdy outer cardboard box. Inside is a beautifully designed cake tin to keep the cake fresh and secure. They had also, very thoughtfully, put too little chocolate Easter eggs and a very pretty greetings card with a little message inside; a professional touch.

I must admit - if someone sent me this as a gift, when I opened it I would be very touched and grateful upon receiving it. It is fun, aesthetically pleasing - and unique for sure! 


http://www.bakerdays.com/


Design

Bakerdays themselves offer a vast range of designs to choose from for their topping. These are particularly good if you're ordering a cake for a particular event/ occasion. However - their designs can also be personalised, with words and or photographs. 

For our Easter cake - I wanted something simple and they sent us the 'Easter Treats' design personalised with the name 'Harry' as we didn't specify any personalisation ourselves.

The colours on the icing were bright and vibrant; appealing to the senses.




























Taste & Quality

The cake itself was soft, fluffy and moist. Bakerdays sent us a 'Chocolate Chip Sponge Cake made only with Belgian chocolate' which smelt dreamy as soon as the tin was opened. The icing itself was of a high quality finish and the design was beautiful. When I cut into the cake, the slice rebounded back, rather than folding in on itself, showing that the mix is light and not heavy with fat. 

It was delicious with our cup of tea - and arrived perfectly in time for visitors to also have a taste :-)



About Bakerdays
Bakerdays is based in the UK and you can read more about who they are and what they do here. However, they offer a range of services which include the following:



Overall Thoughts

  • The packaging, delivery and service online was excellent. I would definitely recommend just on that basis.
  • The price - the letterbox gift cake costs less than £15 - and whilst that is a lot for a cake, you do get the personalisation and beautiful tin to keep. I do think it is worth the money for special, surprising treats.
  • The design of the cake icing is flawless and looks very professional. The fact that it can be personalised is certainly an added bonus.
  • Love the fact that Andrea and her team offer a range of other options such as cupcakes, birthday cakes etc. too
  • So impressed - I have recommended them as a great Easter gift in my Easter Gift Guide

Spree @ Sainsbury's

Well, with Sainsbury's offering 25% off their TU range - it would be rude not to take advantage!

Jake is now in 9-12 month clothing, so I bought a few new pieces and a few pieces to grow into. I'm in love with their theme!

Check them out:




Wednesday, 1 April 2015

PhotoBlog Wednesday 1st April

Today I have had the whole day as mummy - no work, no appointments - just me and the boy. It has been lovely. 

Here are 3 photos from the day :-)


1) Here Jake is modelling his new bib which I bought from 'Little Sleepy Sew and Sew'. We love the dinosaur print and it's great to see how happy Jake is wearing it :-) 
Plus - look at those legs!! #NomNom 


2) I love this shot because it captures Jake's 'thinking face' - Jake is always watching, observing and taking things in. He's doing it here, too.


3) The third and final photo has to be included because it shows Jake wearing the BEST sleep suit ever. It is a Mamas & Papas one and I think it is my all time favourite one yet :-)

Hope you have all had a nice day too x