Rubbish Advice For Parents

When you become a parent you, unwillingly, attract the opinion of everybody you meet. Some people mean well, and others most definitely do not. You get advice during pregnancy, during the newborn weeks, during the terrible two’s, potty training advice, sleep advice, diet advice, school advice, advice about absolutely everything, and it drives you absolutely out of your mind!

Here is some of that advice I received during the first two years and what I thought about it…

“Get all the sleep you can before they arrive!”

Sleep?!? What is sleep? You lie down you have heart burn. You stand up you need a wee. You lie down and baby wakes up, with hiccups. You can’t lie on your side because it makes your hips hurt, you can’t lie on your back because you’ve heard it’s bad for the baby, you obviously can’t lie on your front because it is physically impossible 8 months pregnant. A pillow in between your legs is good, for 5 minutes, and then it’s back to aggravation about not being tired anymore, yet you’re exhausted. You take another swig of indigestion liquid and try again. Repeat all night long, every night. You try and nap in the day but the postman always knocks the door, or somebody visits, or you need to do the housework, or the thought of the ironing pile is making you have palpitations, and before you know it the day has gone and you didn’t catch up on any of this sleep you’re supposed to take advantage of when your baby is still in your belly.

Don’t let them them sleep in your bed, you’ll make a rod for your own back!”

What is this rod? Would it make a good pole to hang off and get some sleep because if it would then chances are a rod on my own back is just what I need. We all have different children, my first needed to sleep with momma, and my second needed his own space, and I obliged to both! Why you may ask? Because what it all boiled down to was I NEEDED SLEEP, and I didnt care how it came, I just needed it. So, unless you’re in my house babysitting at midnight and 1am and 2amm and 3am and 4am mind your own business about that rod on my back!

“Breastfeeding is better for your baby”

Breast is great, bottle is great, both ere food for my baby, and I’ll decide which is better for us both. I can’t even look at my nipples right now let alone imagine something using them to get their grub four hundred times a day, so don’t booby judge me!

“Let them cry it out!”

I tried this once, for 30 minutes, and I ended up crying worse than my baby, and I have never to this day done it again, I just cannot condition my child into knowing that if they cry it is useless because I wont come back until it’s morning. This is my choice, you have your own choices.

“Sleep when baby sleeps!”

Here’s a joke for you – Sleep…you don’t get it? Neither do I!

Six years on and I am still exhausted. Sleep when baby sleeps, say what?! So we better clean when baby cleans, and iron when baby irons, and food shop when baby food shops, and dust when baby dusts, and empty the trash when the baby empties the trash right? Just forget about sleep, at least for the first few years anyway! Sorry to rain on your parade, but it is normal.

Don’t keep picking him up you’ll spoil him!”

I’ll spoil him? With cuddles and love? Good! I want to, a baby never got spoilt by too much love. You cannot have too much love. My baby, my heart, my rules.

“Only give them homemade organic food.”

So, we tried this for a while, and it nearly made us bankrupt this organic stuff, joking, but you get my drift! Those pouches of freshly prepared food are amazing and convenient, and a momma needs convenience. There is hardly time to pee let alone whip up homemade cuisine daily. Don’t pouch judge me!

They should be potty trained by now (aged 2)!”

No way should they! They are all different, and until they are ready no amount of persuasion or anger or determination from you will potty train them, there are no rules, you have to follow their lead. I tried to listen to somebody’s advice once, and my floor was covered in pee on the hour every hour for 48 hours! And did Mrs Advice come help clean it up? Did she heck!

“Is he not walking yet? My child walked at 8 months!”

This backhanded advice really grates me! It’s like we have to have uniform children who reach each milestone at the same rate. No, my child walked at 13 months and my other child was too lazy to walk until they were 20 months, and both are doing just fine. Maybe your 8 month old has had enough of your comparing and needed to learn to walk to get away quicker! Oops, did I type that?

Don’t give your child a pacifier / dummy, it will ruin their teeth and slow down their speech development!”

Well both of mine had one, and they’re just fine, in fact they don’t ever stop talking, and I mean ever! I loved that pacifier like it was a child, it gave me a few minutes of peace when they were upset about teething, or they were tired and I couldn’t hold them both at the same time, or I just simply needed 2 minutes peace to buy a new jumper to replace the maternity one I was still wearing 18 months into being a mum!

Don’t ever let your children have candy!”

Have you seen the power of bribery a lollipop holds? It speaks for itself! Who’s with me?

 

Have you had any unwanted advice that was a load of rubbish? I’d love to hear it!

 

Healthy Living Corner: Quitting Smoking

  1. This is another one of our Healthy Living Corner pieces we are taking part in. This one is aimed at tips to help people who are thinking about quitting smoking. I doubt it will be as easy as some of you may expect, so these tips may come in very handy.

Ask yourself why  you want to stop smoking? Write down a list of reasons and keep them with you at all times. If you’re tempted to light up a cigarette, you need to refer to your list before you allow yourself to light up.

Set a date when to stop completely. Although most people prefer quitting gradually by smoking fewer cigarettes each day you might end up getting the same level of nicotine since you’re smoking more of each cigarette. The best idea to quit smoking is by setting a date and stopping altogether.

Tell everyone around you that you’re quitting. Family and friends will give you the support you need. Of course, if you’re living with other people who still smoke, quitting might be harder. Therefore, try to get other people in your circle who smoke to give it up as well. That way, you can make it a team effort and quit together rather than failing at doing it alone.

Prepare yourself for some withdrawal symptoms. Once you quit smoking, you will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, cravings, headaches, nausea or a general ill feeling. These symptoms present themselves because of the lack of nicotine in your body, especially in the levels that it’s used to. Be prepared for these. They may last up to 4 weeks but will definitely subside.

Avoid getting in situations that may tempt you as an individual to smoke such as drinking alcohol. In the first few weeks after you quit smoking, you should stay away from alcohol and change your normal routine as well. If you’re tempted to smoke after drinking tea or coffee, you should consider switching to water or fruit juice instead.

Don’t rush the whole process, rather you should take it one day at a time. Every day you have gone without smoking, mark it off on a calendar and look back when you feel tempted and get the motivation you need to stop smoking altogether.

Always try and maintain a positive attitude throughout the whole process. Start telling people that you don’t smoke and you will feel better about it. Even better, you will start smelling better, cough less and taste your food more. Don’t forget about the amount of money you will save once you stop buying cigarettes.

You should watch your diet once you quit smoking because your appetite is bound to increase. Stay away from fatty or sugary foods and maintain your weight.

Don’t become disheartened if you can’t stop smoking. Most people can’t quite after the first attempt. However, don’t give up completely but examine the reasons why you failed in the first place and find ways to correct the mistakes. You should know that people who have actually quite have tried doing it a few times.

If you can’t stop smoking on your own, you can always visit any Stop Smoking Clinics available on NHS since they have proven successful at helping people quit smoking. Find the nearest one and join any program that allows you to stop smoking as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can always try a Vape AYR , a new brand of modern vaporiser. It lets you see the levels remaining and also recharges and refills itself.

There’s are 10 flavours to choose from including Apple strudel.

Whatever your method of quitting I wish you good luck in your journey of self-care.

Dear (Additional Needs) Parent

I know as a parent we all cry at one time or another over our child, each of us for very different reasons, but all of us because we love them so very much. Sometimes we cry happy tears, then sometimes tears of frustration stain our faces, and other times it’s because our heart breaks for them.

Every family suffers it’s own hardships and circumstances, some are temporary, some are long lasting, some of them are the cards life dealt you, and others are devastatingly permanent, but one thing remains to get us all through these hard times; love. Above anything else, just love.

Love can change your perspective on almost anything, and does the world of good for your soul, and sometimes it’s the only thing you have to offer.

One of my boys suffers with severe anxiety as well as Sensory Processing Disorder and he has recently been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, and it often breaks my heart watching him struggle knowing that I cannot change things for him. All I can do is support him, guide him, and show him unconditional love. I cannot change the way his brain functions, but I’ve had a huge role to play in the way his heart functions. I fill it with love, encouragement, praise, solutions, confidence, and I try my hardest to ensure he has a healthy self-esteem.

Some days I can conquer the world with him, and we navigate our way through the problems, and the thoughts, and the behaviours, but other days I cry for him after hours of meltdowns and aggression. I peek at him whilst he is drifting off to sleep and I hear him sob. I ask him what’s wrong. Sometimes he doesn’t even know. Other times he has dreams that were so nice he didn’t want to wake from them, or dreams that were so scary he thinks they are real. Sometimes he dreams of another boy just like him who understands him and hugs him tight. This is the one that gets me in the gut and upsets me to the core, he must feel lonely, in his own world, and like he isn’t understood. I hate this feeling he has so much but all I can do is reassure him, validate his feelings and reaffirm his worth.

Some days I watch him play Lego, his familiar territory. He sets up scenes and recreates movie scenes. His eye for detail and accuracy astounds me, but sometimes it scares me. His little brain is so full and he is so hard on himself if any detail is wrong. I wish he would be easier on himself, but all I can do is love him, reassure him that it’s ok to think how he does, and try and extend his play to help him be more spontaneous. It’s hard teaching him that perfection is not always possible, his brain craves perfection at all costs.

School holidays are another time that often renders my heart broken, the dreaded night before the new term begins especially. The anxiety grips his tummy and he lashes out at everything and everyone. He goes into full flight or fight mode and nothing can soothe him, we have to ride the wave and hope it ends sooner rather than later. All we can do is reassure him, cuddle him, talk things through. It hurts my heart that I cannot help further.

There are so any routines and habits that have to happen in order for his world to feel at peace, some of them are cute little quirks that we all have, but some are a matter of urgency and must be done, and done correctly. I wish I could switch his little mind off and give him a rest. He must be so tired sometimes of the constant battles and urges.

As a parent it is heartbreaking not being able to help your child, and sometimes it gets too much. But that’s ok, we are not robots and we have feelings, strong feelings.

But, we have to be warriors for our children, and not worriers! Worrying drains the life from you, and your child needs that life, they need your hope and your reassurance. They need to share your courage when they cannot understand their own world.

I worry so often that I’m failing my boys, but when push comes to shove I’d give my last breath if it meant they’d get one more. I’d fight to my death for them. And that is what counts.

Sometimes I don’t have a solution or an answer, but I always have a cuddle, I always have a kind word, and I always have love. Love has seen us through many tough times, and I know it will continue to because it’s the only thing that never grows tired. My hope dwindles, my soul gets weary, my heart gets broken, but my love remains strong, and always will.

Additional needs parents you do an amazing job, and it’s a big learning curve too, keep going, keep loving, keep being their warrior! Never worry about being ‘normal’. Normal doesn’t exist! What’s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly!

Kids Are Gross (& expensive)

Before you become a parent you have a quiet, and sometimes unconfirmed,  notion that children are messy. Children enjoy puddle jumping, making mud pies, painting, cooking, water fights,  and other seemingly cute messy activities. Children are associated with being messy, a cute sort of memory making messy.

When you become a parent you quickly realise you’ve believed a big fat lie. Children are messy. Grossly messy. Vile make you wanna vomit messy. Kids are gross! Or maybe it’s just my boys?

From the moment your babies are born you have to deal with the grossness; yellow chicken korma poops that squirt 4 metres across the room as you change your newborns nappy, or the little yellow fountain that strikes you unaware and right in the face, or the huge bogey you have to excavate like a velociraptors bones!

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As your children get older the grossness increases. I find myself doing the grossest of tasks since becoming a parent, and I also see my children partaking in gross tasks too!

For example, my 3yo had been potty trained for a while and during training he never had one single poop accident, so why on earth 6 months later he has pooped in his pants several times a day I do not know. I have a rule, if its bigger than a 10 pence piece I throw the pants away, (this rule got quashed after the 7th pair of new pants I had to bin!) if not I scrub them and wash them. Scrubbing somebody else’s poop is beyond vile, especially with a sensitive gag reflex like mine. I tried every parenting approach possible to break this pooping habit. Then I thought we’d cracked it. A whole five days with no accidents, until day six. Five flaming accidents. I felt like I stank of a 3yo’s poop. I could smell it everywhere. Accidents in pjs, in new pants, in the bath. Everywhere!  It was hard not to be cross, and sick! Nobody warned me about poop regression and the smell of hot poop being scrubbed away. Big fat vom!! Kids are gross! I needed to take a small loan out to supply him with underwear!

Not all of the gross moments are quite this bad though. They vary on the grossness scale!

Here are some of my grossest tasks during my first 4 years of motherhood and some gross things my kids did. Can you relate?

Being given a huge bogey to dispose of, in a tissueless hand.

Wondering if your child has pooped, and pulling back his nappy to check. Poop finger alert!

Going to kiss your child and he burps. In your mouth.

Going to kiss your child and he licks your nostril.

Being out in public, with no bins, no wipes, and being handed a dribble filled fluff ridden sweet – your only option is to eat it!

Having my second child drop his dummy in the sand. No Milton, no water, no anything – you have no choice but to suck it clean to mask his squeals!

My toddler treads in dog poop at the park. I can’t find the owner of the excrement to clean the shoe so I resort to a stick!

My 3yo decides to wee all over my 2yo (my husband said I needed to point out that this was in the bath!)

My 2yo eats a whole stick of chalk. Picking it out their teeth is not pretty.

Toddler vomit is horrendous. Picking up chunks of regurgitated salmon fishcakes is something that scars you for life.

My 2yo picks up a dead fly. He chews and swallows in 2 seconds flat. I pass out.

My 2yo eats sand, by the handful. He chews. He enjoys it. He is gross.

My 2yo loves licking my cat and then running around with his tongue out shocked it’s covered in fur. De-furring a 2yo’s tongue is a very difficult task.

My 2yo finds sweets on the floor and instantly eats them.

My 3yo feeds my 2yo his bogeys. My 2yo willingly takes them and eats them before I can reach him.

My 3yo has a rude itch. He scratches. He offers you his fingers for a smell. Gross.

There are hundreds more. Too many too mention. Some too gross to mention. The ages 5 to 6 have been something else! I’m sure that will be another post one day soon!

 

The Spirited Wild Child

I have a very spirited child. He is unique and wild in every way. I love this about him, but it also drives me to the brink of insanity. He is fearless. I am not. It leads you to question your parenting skills and abilities time and time again. BUT I’ve come to realise we are not alone, not at all.

Do you have a spirited, wild child? Does any of the following sound familiar?…

The Spirited Child…

They break the boundaries and don’t look back.

They leap without looking and thrive on looking down.

They are drawn to chaos and feel peaceful when messiest.

They fervently listen but do the opposite to what’s expected.

They love adrenaline rushes despite the consequences it may lead to.

They drive you to the edge of insanity but then entice you back in with a well timed snuggle and cheeky smile.

They defy every notion you hold of a child and their behaviour, yet their individuality is what makes them so adorable.

They live for the moment and instant gratification is more desired than a promise of later luxury.

They see the ‘wet paint’ sign but have to check its truth.

They hear you say something is hot but they need first hand experience of the temperature just to clarify it in their own minds.

They hear the words ‘No more!’ but they have to do it one more time.

They understand patience but not how to practice it.

They understand bath foam is to clean yourself with but they eat it anyway.

They think with their body and not with their brains.

Their nature is strong willed, and stubborn, and fierce.

The future is in their hands, they do not fear.

They leave you exasperated, astounded, surprised, fearful, and often in despair.

They are the future. A strong, bold future.

Their ‘wild’ is their biggest strength.

Their ‘spiritedness’ is their super power.

Sound familiar? Buckle down momma. Sit tight Daddy. You’re in for one helluva ride.

Choose your battles, but never battle their spirit. They’re gonna need that spirit. The world out there is tough.

It’s gonna be hard. It already is hard. BUT their spirit is evolving, and time will do the taming.

Cling on.

You’re not a failure, you’re privileged to be raising up a world changer.

The World Of Siblings

I am an only child. I’ve never experienced sibling love or rivalry. I didn’t have to share my loved ones or my toys. I didn’t wear hand-me-down clothing, and I didn’t have to share my room. I don’t know what it’s like to have a sibling, or what the ‘normal’ is in regards to your siblings.

I know nothing about sibling relationships.

My two boys are now 5yo and 6yo, and I often find myself asking my husband if this is normal behaviour for siblings. Are sibling relationships really meant to be like this? Should I be wanting to pull my hair out several times a day? My husband has both brothers, and sisters. He usually just laughs at me like I’m crazy for even asking, but I do question them in my mind, a lot.

Is it normal to sneakily punch your younger brother on the way past him?

Is it normal to ask your brother to smell your feet?

Is it normal to ask your brother to hold a bogey for you?

Is it normal to compare ‘toe fluff’ with that of your brothers toes?

Is it normal to randomly lick your older brother?

Is it normal to push your brother down the slide backwards?

Is it normal to chase your brother with ‘cheesy puff fingers’ and make him cry because he hates the smell?

Is it normal to wrestle like your arch enemies?

Is it normal to make your little bother ‘walk the plank’?

Is it normal to force your brother to have ‘fake medicine’ and be your patient?

Is it normal to nearly lightsaber your brother into oblivion?

Is it normal to push each other so often?

Is it normal that everything has to be a competition?

Is it normal to offer your brother a piece of candy only because it fell on the floor?

Is it normal to splash each other until tears occur in the bath?

Is it normal to pee over your brother in the bath?

Is it normal to constantly tell tales on one another?

Is this what brothers do?

My husband says yes, unreservedly yes! I have no choice but to believe him, and enjoy this crazy-chaotic-sibling relationship.

In the mean time I’ll stick to strong coffee, chocolate and rest in the fact that if I do end up pulling my hair out I can always turn to Advanced Tricho Pigmentation Treatment for a little help! 🤣

Here’s to a funfilled next few years with my little rascals!

 

 

Seen On The Screen

The UK and Northern Ireland have so many wonderful places, rich in character and wonder, so much so that many films and tv series use it as their scene setters. From wonderful castles to cloud laden mountains, the views are stunning. And in particular Northern Ireland which has become such a popular location with film producers in recent years. It has stunning, varied landscapes and surroundings, some of which may look very familiar if you are a fan of certain movies and series.

If you’re interested in looking into where your hometown has been featured in films and on TV shows then you can find out here as part of the PCA Predict #SeenOnTheScreen campaign. You’ll be surprised at the results! I was!

Game of Thrones has used Northern Ireland for various scenes, some of which may surprise you. Locations range from River Quoile, County Down which is Old Valyria Canal, Essos, Pollnagollum Cave, County Fermanagh which features as the Brotherhood Without Banners’ Hideout, Ballintoy Harbour stars as The Iron Islands and Murlough Bay, County Antrim features as the Coast of Essos. Also, Belfast’s Titanic Studios is the scene setting of some of the interior shoots including The Eyrie and Throne Room.

I absolutely love GOT, and even more so that alot of it is filmed within the beautiful setting of Northern Ireland.

The fabulous Line of Duty Series 3 is also set in Northern Ireland, with series 2 having been filmed in Belfast.

The Fall is currently having it’s third series filmed within Northern Ireland too.

Aswell as tv series scene setters, Northern Ireland has featured in a lot of movies both big screen and local; Cupcake, Keith Lemon The Movie, Killing Bono, Highrise.

It’s easy to see why Northern Ireland is used for so many feature productions, it’s so beautiful.

 

 

Zomlings Series 6 Review

We are huge, huge fans of Zomlings here! My boys discovered them last year and they’ve loved them ever since! They are such a great, affordable collectable. The blindbags are only 50p!

The Starter Pack is also great value at £4 as it comes with a playmate poster. My boys love the mats!

Zomlings are aimed at ages 4 to 7.

We were so excited to be able to take a look at Zomlings Series 6. This series is called Zomlings In The Future, and there are 105 figures to collect. It also includes hi-tech futuristic vehicles.

In this series there are also 6 rare silver Zomlings, 3 limited edition gold Zomlings, and some very special gold Zom-Mobiles to look out for.

Zomlings are such a great pocket-money toy, but there are now higher end items to purchase to expand your collection; Magic School Trick (rrp £5), Pirate & Race Blister Packs (rrp £12), Magic School Bus (rrp £25.

Zomlings are available in so many places; Co-op, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, One-stop and various other shops and newsagents.

To find out more you can visit www.magicboxint.com .