Memory Making & Blah

Memory making. A major phrase used on social media, and in hashtags. Have you seen it? Of course you have!

If you’ve followed my site for any length of time you know I am all about the memory making, most likely OTT some of the time, but I am desperate to ensure my boys have a childhood full of happy memories, not full of money, full of memories; picnics, crazy desserts, snuggles, books read by flashlight, spontaneous parties, forts and mud pies.

But do you know what? Some days I don’t want to make memories! Am I alone in this?

The park? Ew, no, it’s cold, we have to pack four hundred snacks to avoid hanger, it’s muddy and I cba cleaning wellies after.

The cinema? Ugh, no, it costs the same amount as my weekly grocery shopping and everybody needs a billion pees!

A theme park? My worst nightmare, convincing my kids to get into a queue, and wait to go on a ride that they keep convincing themselves not to go on, the hook a ducks there that cost half my mortgage, and the high probability they will fall asleep on the journey home and not go to sleep ever that night.

The beach? Suncream, towels, changes of clothes, moaning, fighting, wasps, etc etc, hmm, no, not today.

A family board game? Oh Lord, no. The tears over losing, the arguing, the cheating. Shall I go on?

A picnic? Momma doesn’t feel like slaving away over a picnic ensuring everybody’s tastes are catered for, and the wasps that always plague us? Nope, can’t be dealing with those today either! And the dogs that always manage to run through our picnic and terrify the kids, nope can’t be dealing with you today either. The damp butt from the soaked-through picnic blanket, the four year old eating ALL of the cakes and traumatising his brother. A picnic? No, thanks.

All of the above we do, regularly, but sometimes, just sometimes I just don’t want to, and why? Because I simply cannot be bothered with all it involves! Am I a bad mum? Ha ha, please tell me sometimes you just cba to make life magical!

Or maybe finances stop you? Or illness? Maybe you’re a single parent finding funding days out hard? In a world where all the family deals seem to be marketed at households with two adults and two children, single parenthood can be that bit harder. PayPlan conducted a study to find out just how much extra it costs for a single parent to do family activities and trips. The results actually surprised me!

PayPlan put together this great infographic below:

Their results found that in every instance, being a single parent guarantees you’ll pay more.

If a single family were to do all these things over the course of a few years they would find themselves paying an extra £2,904.95 compared to a two-parent family. That is madness!

So here’s to the low maintenance activities we can throw our kids way that still score us brownie points; duvet nights with a movie and popcorn, chalks on the garden floor, water-painting the garden, drawing competitions etc etc blah blah blah.

Some days CBA is more than ok to be your motto, none of us are Mary Poppins, none of us! But it’s ok, you’re doing great just as you are, even with all of the cba’s! Sometimes those cba’s are memory making at it’s finest!

Things I Will & Will Not Do As A Parent

I absolutely love new parents and their naivety. They have all these fabulous plans and ideals for their future life as parents. They bring home their bundle of joy and have all sorts of plans and dreams going through their little post-pregnancy minds. Let me just stop you right there. NONE OF IT WILL HAPPEN! Well, it might, but rarely as you have planned it to.

Before I became a parent I thought I had what it takes to be a SAHM, I mean how hard could being at home all day looking after a child be? I’d have plenty of time to keep my house spotless and produce home baked goods a few times a week. How wrong I was!!!!!! I can’t even wash my hair a few times a week, let alone bake!! Most of the things we bake are pre-packaged child cupcakes with the crappy icing that always ends up too watery, and the sugar paper decorations that are printed so blurry you need glasses to see them properly!

There were so many things I promised I would never do with my children, and so many things I swore they would never eat, do, or say! Wrong again! Very, very wrong!

Here are my 7 Things I Will Never Do As A Parent (until I actually became a parent):

My children will never sleep in bed with me and my husband! HA! A big fat HA!! When you become a momma you have to face facts that sleep is sleep no matter how you get it. You will sleep standing up if you have to! I quickly realised that co-sleeping wasn’t just a good thing for your child but also for you as a mum! My eldest slept in my bed from his third day at home. I could not hack the screaming. I think sitting on my bathroom floor sobbing was a turning point for me in this decision! Sleep deprivation is one of the worst feelings ever, and it doesn’t go away, ever! My kids are now 3yo and 4yo and I am still exhausted. If your kid doesn’t sleep in their cot or moses basket but will sleep if they are in with you then PUT THEM IN YOUR BED! Sleep is sleep!

My child will never have a dummy/pacifier! Really? Did I really even think for one moment I could survive without one?! I love dummies! They are a God-send! Crying? Shove in a dummy! Tired? Shove in a dummy! Out shopping and need a few minutes peace? Shove in a dummy! I love dummies. I am a dummy advocate! Dummies are mummy-sanity-preservers!

My children will never have a tantrum in public! Stupid, stupid, stupid! My children do nothing but tantrum in public. The busier it is, the longer and louder they are! Public tantrums are horrific. Everybody stares, especially new parents. There’s nothing quite like dragging a screaming child through a mall and he shouts “Help me!” to passers by who are already giving you a death stare! Tantrums WILL happen, a lot, and they will be VERY public.

I will never bribe my children with candy, they will do as they are told! I’m actually laughing out loud at this one!! Just you wait! You will bribe them with food, you most definitely will! “Please behave during the shopping trip and you can have some sweeties, please!” Sound familiar? Vaccinations, doctors trips, meetings, and generally any time you need harmony!!

I will never shout at my children! Well, this lasted a while, not! I yell, I yell a lot, I hate that I yell, and I am consciously trying to stop yelling. I grew up with yelling, so it’s a hard habit to break. I feel guilt ridden about yelling so often, but I then remind myself I am working on it, and my children are very loved, I just show them a little louder than I’d like! Don’t feel guilty mommas, you will yell. Maybe a little or maybe a lot, but you will yell, and it’s ok, these kiddos know how to drive you to the edge and keep on prodding. It’s normal. You’re normal!

My children will not walk around with messy faces and snotty noses! Well unless they sit still all day with no food or drink then this is very unlikely to happen. My youngest child would make a mess with his own shadow!! There is not a second goes by when there is not some kind of mess to clean off hands or faces, or both! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t let them walk around like scruffbags with breakfast in their hair or milk moustaches left, right, and centre, but I also don’t clean them every second of the day. They are kids, and mess is ok, I just didn’t realise this pre-children.

My house will always be clean, tidy, and ready for unexpected visitors! My house isn’t even ready for expected visitors, let alone unannounced ones! There is hardly any time for housework and chores, and making sure everything is in it’s proper place. If I spend my days worrying about the house I’ll miss my kids childhood, and there is not a speck of dust on earth worth that! Dust can wait, my babies cannot! So, if you visit me, be sure to visit us and not the house!

Before you become a parent you have so many ideals, and then when you actually become a parent you fail every single one of those ideals, but you know what? It’s ok! All of the things you thought would matter actually don’t. Becoming a parent gives you a new outlook, and the only ideal you need to live up to is one called SURVIVAL! Do whatever it takes to get through the days.

Life is short so take everyday as an opportunity to create memories with your kids. Don’t let guilt consume your mummy journey, we all fall short, we are only human, but you right there reading this, YOU are needed just as you are! Dust doesn’t matter, dummies don’t matter, sleep doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is your family, whether you’re a family of 2 or 22 it’s the only thing that actually matters.

Your journey is yours, and nobody can write it for you.

Don’t dwell on all that you are not, focus on all that you are!

Focus on all the things you will do!

I will;

Give them candy.

Find the best toy deals around.

Be spontaneous!

Ignore the mess.

Make wonderful memories.

Remember childhood goes so quickly.

Let them embrace technology! And find the best broadband deals around! Which at the moment one of these is The Post Office!

The Post Office has the best price but there are other great deals out there too. Virgin currently has the fastest broadband at 362mb and currently comes in at £43 including unlimited monthly downloads! Or if you’re looking to go with the flow then Now Broadband is one of the most popular companies to go with starting from £18 per month. There’s a package to suit everyone! We all know mommas need their Netflix access to chill out and regain their sanity!

And most importantly I will give myself a break and not aim for perfection. Your kids don’t need a perfect mum, they need a happy one!

City Challenge Birmingham

We were recently gifted some spending money by to explore the area of Birmingham. Please note all views are my own.

We have loved exploring Birmingham and hope to explore a little more before August is out and maybe delve a little deeper into the bustling town on a less busy day for my 8yo. Maybe we could even stay overnight with Birmingham airport hotel? Now THAT would be another great little adventure! But for now we’ll share our first one!

It’s the summer here, but a different kind for my boys; we have left the UK education system to begin a home education journey. So this summer is about finding our feet and relaxing. My 8yo is on the autism spectrum so we asked where he would like to go as new places can be quite traumatic; A movie, a park and an icecream. And mummy decided a little visit to Brindley place central square would be a nice little snack spot too at some point during the day or the following day.

We have only lived near Birmingham for four months so we haven’t done much exploring. We decided today to check out Reel Cinema Birmingham to watch Horrible Histories. My boys love this show. It’s a cinema we haven’t used before so were a little skeptical to try it out. But it was great, even my 8yo was on board with it. It was much quieter than other cinemas in the vicinity which is a bonus to us as an additional needs family. The prices are fab too! A family ticket starts from just £16.50!

Our next port of call was Woodgate Valley Country Park on the way into the main centre of Birmingham. My boys love the outdoors and it was a perfect afternoon for it! The play area is great and there are a few little trails to follow plus a little visitors centre. They also have a little urban farm there which runs solely on donations. They suggest £1 per person upon entrance. They had goats, cows, rabbits, ducks and free-roaming chickens. It was a nice little wander for the kids. A wonderful hidden gem!

Next up was a late lunch stop. Autism can cause havoc with new places. But I explained all of the possible places and my boy chose TGI Fridays. He’s never been so it was a big deal! And he fell in love! As did I! We haven’t been for SO long! But we enjoyed it! And he got his icecream!

The following day we had a sneaky visit to the Lego Discovery Centre which my boys love! Our friend gifted us some tickets which we were so thankful for! We then had that cheeky little coffee and a potter around Brindley Place!

We loved exploring Birmingham!

In-A-Minute Parenting

Life is busy, add children into the equation and it is crazy busy. Careers, house keeping, families, health issues, errands, chores, appointments, school, courses; there is just SO much going on! As a momma I know there is always something that needs doing, always.

There is always a grazed knee that needs kissing, a spillage that needs mopping, a letter that needs opening, a bill that needs paying, a snack that needs preparing, a call that needs making, a coffee that needs drinking, a pee that needs taking, a diaper that needs changing, clothes that need ironing, a lawn that needs mowing, hair that needs washing, a floor that needs sweeping, a car that needs cleaning, a meal that needs preparing, a job that needs attending, a list that needs completing, shopping that needs fetching, laundry that needs washing, laundry that needs drying, a fight that needs refereeing, and a poop that needs scooping (out the bath)!

Life as a parent is a whirlwind of fleeing from one thing to the next. Our time becomes so consumed with ‘doing’ that we rarely just ‘do’. I am a nightmare for this. I will start one job, and then see something else that needs doing so will start that job, and then will see something else that needs doing so will start that job too. This then leaves a trail of half-started jobs, and leaves me feeling more unaccomplished than when I started the very first job. It’s a viscous circle I visit hourly! Anybody else?

Often during the day I will try and catchup on a few chores whilst the children play, they’ll often say “Mummy I want you to play with me!”, and I will say “In a minute, I’m just cleaning first”. They often go away with a sad glint in their eye and I feel like a bad momma. Obviously sometimes there are certain things that I have to do, but there are a lot of other times when my kids matter more.

If I counted how many times I said ‘In a minute’ during one day I think I would be ashamed of myself.

Today my 3yo fetched an interactive puzzle from his toy shelf and asked if I would help him. I had literally just sat down with a cup of tea, so naturally I said “I will do it with you in a minute!”. He didn’t even question me, he just looked sad and went to put the puzzle back on his shelf. An instant wave of guilt and regret surged through my momma bear heart, and I thought ‘Hell no have I just hurt my babies feelings just so I can drink a cup of tea, the tea will be there tomorrow, this moment with my baby boy will not!’ I called my 3yo back and said “Actually no, we will do the puzzle now like you wanted!”. His face lit up. He felt worthwhile. I added another drop of self-esteem to his confidence bucket. I would give up all the tea in the world, infact I’d give up anything in the world to spend time with my boys.

In that moment, seeing my little boy walk away and not even attempt the puzzle alone because he wanted to do something with his momma, I had a big fat slap in the face. How many times did my children hear ‘in a minute’? Too many was the answer. The puzzle took ten minutes, and after we had finished it he happily played with his cooking set alone for thirty minutes, win-win situation there. My tea can be reheated, his little spirit is not so easily fixed, that’s why I had to change my mind.

When my 4yo asks me to read him a story when I am half way through an important email I will no longer say ‘in a minute’. The email recipient will not remember the hour I sent them an email reply, but my 4yo will remember the moment momma was too busy to read him a story. I am busy being a momma, not too busy to be a momma.

From now on I vow to be present, and vow to play.

Dishes can wait, emails can wait, social media can wait, everything can wait, everything but time. Time is precious, and I intend to make our time count. I will be the ever-ready momma, the ever-present momma. No more in-a-minute parenting! (Maybe except for those 5 minutes peace browsing the net for the latest deals! ?)

Anybody with me?

Father’s Day; Happiness & Sadness

Father’s day is a happy/sad day for me, as I’m sure it is for countless people. I thought I’d share my Father’s day feelings with you, even if to just reassure other people that they are not alone if their weekend will be tinged some form of sadness.

The role of a father is so important,  yet so overlooked by many of them; they make or break their children. I’m guessing there are thousands of broken hearts feeling extra tender this weekend in the UK, all for very individual reasons; your dad may have been taken away too soon, you may never have known your father, you may wish you’d never known him, it may conjure up painful memories, there may be bitterness, resentment,  and maybe even regret.  Whatever the reason for your heartache, know you’re not alone, and know there is always hope.

Father’s day for me was pretty average for my first sixteen years; a once a year celebration of someone who was my dad by blood, and it usually revolved around alcohol,  pretty normal to an abnormal me.

Once my parents parted ways it became a different story, a much harder occasion to get through. Up until 16 my mother had sorted the plans, the presents, the cards, but now it was up to me. How do you celebrate someone who has caused you so much unacknowledged hurt and brokenness? Not very easily is the answer.

By the time I was 21 the tiny fragments of a father-daughter relationship had been completely lost, and Father’s Day became a constant reminder of what I lacked and my constant feeling of not being good enough reigned. Memories would erupt into full volcanic swing, and the only solution was to act as though I had no heart,  noway could I deal with the emotions, I didn’t know how to, not in a healthy manner anyway. This went on year in, year out, and I thought it was a day destined to bring me sadness for the rest of my life,  but I was wrong.

In 2010 my little bundle of loveable rogueness entered our world, and my healing process was in full swing. Little did I know that Father’s Day would never be the same for me again, thankfully. My husband becoming a father was like watching a duck take to water; I may be biased but he is an amazing daddy. He totally revolutionised my concept of a father, he showed me how a father loves, protects, and sets an example to his children. He is patient, kind, never aggressive, creates beautiful memories, and sacrifices everything for his family. His children are not scared of him, they enjoy him being around, they do not tremble at the sound of his key in the door, they jump up and down with excitement.

My children have never seen their daddy hurt their momma, they see their daddy love and cherish their momma. My children don’t lock their bedroom doors before they sleep, they know they are safe. The darkness doesn’t scare my children, they know no harm will come to them. When they have bad dreams they run to their daddy, he isn’t their worst nightmare.

My husbands selfless fathering has taught me that I am not the reason for all I lacked growing up, and that I am enough. My mindset of what a dad is has forever been changed, and I now know I’m not the problem. This makes Father’s Day a happy day for me, obviously you cannot eradicate your past, but it no longer holds me bound in misery and self loathing. However, I cannot lie, it still has a tinge of sadness, I’m not sure if it’s for the father I lost along the way, or the father I would have loved to have, time will tell.

Whatever your reason for a heavy heart concerning your dad, please know you’re not alone, let’s support each other. Your story may be of terrible loss for a loving father, very different to my story, yet our hearts hurt all the same. Keep going, hope is very much alive.

How To Survive Grocery Shopping With Kids

Do you find grocery shopping with your children stressful? Are you looking for some top tips on ways to make it less stressful? Well you’ve come to the right place! For a complete stress-free grocery shop make sure you go ALONE, and if that’s not possible then do it all online!

I’m pretty sure I suffer from some type of memory loss regarding doing a grocery shop with my kids.

Often my husband or I will stay in the car,armed with plenty of sweets, with my 5yo & 6yo whilst the other one of us grabs the few items we need. Kids and grocery shopping are just never a good combination in my experience and why I didn’t remember this today I will never know.

We’d spent a few hours at the park the other morning, had lunch out, and even had icecream. Before heading home to play in the garden we needed to stop at the supermarket for a few things. Both children wanted to come in with me. I said yes. I said yes?! Had I forgotten the monsters they transform into once we enter supermarkets? Apparently so! Off we went, all four of us!

One didn’t want to walk, he didn’t want to sit in a trolley, he wanted Daddy to carry him. We got a trolley (a double seated trolley). We karate chopped one into the trolley, the other refused to sit in there, he wanted a separate trolley. I said no. I know, I know, bad momma, but this was meant to be a QUICK shopping trip. He now wanted to sit in the trolley with his brother. The seat had a mark on it. Meltdown approaching. Meltdown avoided. Mummy used her scarf as a seat cover, of course.

We entered the supermarket.

One no longer wants to be in the trolley, it’s uncomfortable and hurting his “winkle”. He walks, and is told to hold my hand. The other wants to walk, he is not allowed out. His ‘runner’ reputation goes before him and he cannot be trusted. I put my scarf back on because it was longer needed to be used as a somebody-elses-crap-coverer. The trolley sitter looks at the mark on the empty seat next to him and starts dramatically gagging. Mommas scarf returns to the seat. He then asks to be carried, as opposed to sitting in a trolley being pushed around like royalty.

The walker picks up a butternut squash and shouts “What’s this mummy?” I see a lady give me the once over. I feel paranoid that she now thinks  I don’t feed my children vegetables so I say “It’s a butternut squash, you’ve tried it before!” I lied. I outright lied for the benefit of a nosey stranger. Idiot. I am an idiot. He now wants the butternut squash.

The trolley sitter asks to be carried.

The other asks if we are finished yet.

My husband and I have a conversation about dinner, my youngest takes this as an open invite to shout his preference; pizza. “Pizza pizza pizza!” he bellows over and over again. I told him he wasn’t having pizza for tea this evening because he had it four days ago for dinner. He continues. My blood pressure rises. We walk by the pizza without stopping.

The walker now wants to sit in the trolley, the actual trolley, not the seat part, but it’s full of shopping. He was not impressed. He decides he now wants to stand by the hot chicken counter because “It’s warm!” The counter is empty, we feel awkward but he appears in his element.

Bread, bread, bread. Never choose bread when your children are there. Such a simple item to get, yet my brain had decided to malfunction. “Pizza pizza pizza!” yelled the 5yo as the 6yo took a big birthday cake off the shelf and sat with it cross-legged on the floor to inspect it. I asked him to put it back, instead he heard me ask him to tip it up onto it’s side for a closer look. I put it back on the shelf for him. I didn’t put it back where he got it from. He had to put it in it’s rightful place.

Bread, back to the bread.

The trolley asks to be carried.

We’ve now been in the shop for 15 minutes. Our 5 minute trip had tripled in time. Right, momma on a mission.

The 6yo wants to buy a pack of icing because it has pretty cookies on the front, he won’t believe me that the cookies are not in the packet too. We compromise on sweets instead. He wants jaw-breaking type sweets, I make a few (sensible) suggestions, he suggests 3 more jaw-breaking types before settling for mommas suggestions.

The 5yo asks to be carried. Again. I say asked but really I mean squawks like a bird that’s been hit by a very large truck!

My shopping list in my brain has disintegrated. My husband couldn’t think straight either.

The 6yo decides to spin round in circles instead of walking. I felt like my brain was doing the same.

Cheese next. Oh and milk. Oh crap, we forgot the bread.

We pass the lotto stand. Both scream for the pen on a chain. I internally scream and dream of winning said lotto. I’d hire a nanny for sure ?. The eldest gives off a high pitched scream and I decide I’m gonna do the lotto online when I’m alone or maybe I’ll go the whole hog and play roulette. Wow, imagine that? Me, a share bag of doritos, a wine and me looking through reviews of betting and gaming sites to increase my chances of never having to shop with kids again!

The 5yo squawks. And squawks. And squawks some more.

The 6yo can’t walk anymore.

Let’s go. Screw the rest of the food. Who needs groceries anyway? Not us! Not ever again! Quick dash to the cashier, and lets get out. Out, out out!

Annnnnnnnnnnd we’re home.

I think going grocery shopping with children can be likened to some kind of traumatic life event. My husband and I walk into a supermarket with two children, and we leave with two gremlins and high blood pressure.

I love my kids, but not enough to take them grocery shopping with me in the near future! (Joke)

Oh, and the 5yo had pizza for dinner! 😉


Getting Rid Of Crap People In Your Life

No matter what walk of life we’ve come from we all have one thing in common and that’s people. We all have people in our lives; colleagues, kids, partners, husbands, wives, family members, acquaintances, friends. The list is endless. But some of these relationships are relentless in the impact they have on our lives. And let’s face it some people are just crappy human beings. So why do we put up with it? I literally have no idea!

I’v spent more of my life wanting to please others and begging people to love me than I have not. I look back now and think NEVER AGAIN! But in the midst of all these relationships and encounters I was blinded by their deafening roars. I believed I was not worth loving. I believed I was not good enough. I believed the world would be better without me.

In the last few years I’ve realised a lot of this was because of my untreated depression and anxiety BUT these shitty people, who by the law of DNA should have treated me better, much better, should have stepped up their game. But you can’t change people. As agonising as that is. It’s taken me a good thirty plus years to understand this.

Life is far too precious to waste it by letting toxic people ruin it and take away your happiness. Don’t let them. I know it’s not that simple but it really is that simple.

I had one major toxicity in my life. He hurt me over and over and over. Sometimes he had verbal remorse once or twice over 21 years. But nothing says sorry like changed actions, and nothing ever changed. He almost ruined my life. Almost. But he didn’t. He hasn’t. And now he’s a distant memory. A memory that will no doubt always come to haunt me but it’s something I have to bear. Because he will NOT ever ruin anything else for me. After 21 years I cut him from my life. It was an horrific time. It was hard. He made it harder. I let go of him and snatched back my worth. I realised it was not me who was the problem. I made a promise to myself that from now on I was in charge of my life.

It was THE BEST decision I’ve ever made. It was the start of freedom.

I lost a lot of people when I cut loose from this burden BUT it was still worth all I lost. The whatifs nearly stopped me but I couldn’t live in the toxic cloud of darkness anymore.

The last 34 years has taught me to accept all or accept nothing. There’s no fence for me. This had led other people to leave our lives too, but it’s been a mighty good riddance. I will never let people make me question my worth. Never. They have no right. And I most certainly will never let my children wonder about their worth. They are loved outloud. I’m fiercely passionate about that. I don’t want them to spend their adult life recovering from their childhood like I’ve had to.

I’m a big believer in second chances, but not third chances. My door will shut. Yours should too. Your happiness and peace should be your priority. You matter! You’re worthwhile. Don’t settle for a life of pleasing others or keeping the peace only for your own peace to be destroyed.

It’s never too late to change the direction of your life.



Are Your Kids Hard Work?

Kids are hard work, and anybody who thinks other wise either doesn’t have kids or is riding a unicorn in the land of delusion.

I love my kids more than anything in this world, but jeez do I long for bedtime some nights, a lot of nights. And do I feel guilty saying that? Hell no! They drain me of every bit of sanity and strength I have. And I know I a not alone. But this doesn’t mean I dislike being a parent. I love it. My kids saved my life.

Bing a parent is the most amazing yet most draining job in the world. Even when your kids are being well behaved it’s one task after anther. It’s endless. It’s relentless. This doesn’t mean I don’t like being a parent, because I do, not all the time, but I do, sometimes. Ha. Jokingggggg.

I often think back to my pre-kid days and get annoyed that I didn’t sleep more! Or enjoy the quiet more! Or enjoy restaurants more! Or enjoy peeing alone – how did this become a luxury? The luxury of being alone to pee has long gone in this house, and I doubt it will return for at least another 10 years! When I pee it obviously sets off some sensor in my kids who need things immediately, things so important thy cannot wait for me to get out the bathroom i.e. a snack. And if I had a dollar for every time I was asked for the stapler to clip together the nine millionth 2-page comic that day I’d be hiring a fulltime nanny. Joke. A fulltime cleaner to be precise. No joke.

I hate meal planning too, with two kids with different tastes and a gluten-free husband it takes so long to meal plan. But, you cant please everyone, and at meal times you can’t please anyone! It’s better to just accept this and serve what you want anyway! Don’t get me wrong we have quite a few pleasant meal times, and by pleasant I mean burps are reduced to 3 or 4, nobody picks their nose and eats it, no drinks are spilt, and nobody kicks each other sneakily under the table. I don’t allow technology at the dinner table, but on the rare occasion when I legit need silence before my head literally combusts I tell the kids to get their tabs to watch a cartoon on Sky TV. You gotta do what you gotta do. And do I feel guilty? Nope. Why? Because it’s hard work being a parent and sometimes we just need 10 minutes of uninterrupted peace without people pinching each other or moaning their brother looked at them or showed the other one their chewed up gross food.

Kids take anything simple and make it a chore. Wow, I sound a bit harsh, but if you’re a parent you know the heart I mean it from. I hope.

I also have a love/hate relationship with things such as our trampoline. My boys love it. It’s the best purchase we made, but also the bane of my life. They enjoy going on there together – for 2 seconds, and then it turns into a death match with wailing, screaming, shouting, tears, and it drives me bloody insane! And no doubt our neighbours too. I am an only child so all this sibling arguing and fighting is alien to me. Anybody else have kids that argue on the trampoline or just mine?

We have sibling arguments over anything in this house. They would argue over a turd. I kid you not! We have the top bunk sleeper dribbling onto the bottom bunk sleeper, we have snot being wiped on each other, elbowing, kicking, punching, arguing over who left the Lego out, arguing over who used a flannel, fighting over the colour of a pen despite them both having black ink in, arguments over who is opening the front door, arguments over the seat they sit in at dinnertime, arguments over who has 1mm more apple juice in their cup etc, the list is endless. My kids would argue over arguing. It drives me crazy!

Parenting is not easy. Not at all. So on the hard days remember we are all in this together, and the people who look like they have it all figured out and the perfect little family are just better at covering up their shiz than other people.

It’s hard. And it’s ok to say it’s hard. It doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you real. And real is the very thing this world needs.


How To Cook With Young Kids Without Losing Your Mind

On television shows, cooking with children always looks relaxing and adorable. In reality, I know too many moms who find letting their kids into the kitchen to cook an excruciating ordeal. However, it’s all about your expectations. With the easy tips below, you can manage your expectations and actually find this task enjoyable.

Why Bake With The Kids?
If you’re feeling discouraged before you even start, you may be wondering if you should even bother with this messy endeavor. Some reasons include:

  • Creating a bonding experience – If you’re able to make it fun for yourself, it is a great way to bond with your kids. For more ideas on how to creatively spend time with your children, take a look at Mommy Authority. Read expert advice from all different kinds of moms to enrich your own parenting.
  • Making Dinner – Making dinner which no one wants to eat is so draining. Having kids invest in their own dinner makes it less likely that they’ll refuse to eat.
  • Teaches Independence – Every parent I know straddles the balance between keep their kids safe and raising free range kids. Teaching them cooking skills while you are supervising is a great way to make kids feel independent while still keeping a close eye on them.

3 Tips To Get Cooking Today
1. Get Cleaning Help
The number one reason people don’t like to cook with their kids is the unbelievable mess they generate. Somehow flour gets spilled all over the kitchen floor, the toddler finds the bag of chocolate chips and you find yourself slipping on oil and wondering why on earth you decided to do this.

An easy tip is to schedule cooking time with the little terrors a day before you bring in cleaning help. Every time eggs crack all over the floor and you have a shower of cocoa powder, you can smile serenely knowing that someone else will be taking care of cleaning it all up.

2. Use Shortcuts To Save Time
While it’s so much fun for kids to measure out each ingredient and crack a thousand eggs, sometimes it’s just not practical. If you’re pressed for time, find a cooking project that you can do in a short amount of time. Some examples include:

  • Pizza toppings – Instead of having the kids make the dough and roll it out, buy pre-made dough and give it to them already rolled out. All they need to do is add sauce, cheese and toppings.
  • Yogurt parfaits – Normally, you can have kids make homemade granola and cut up fruit in order to layer with yogurt to make parfaits. To shorten this, use store-bought granola and pre-cut fruit.
  • Tuna wraps – Arrange a plate of wraps and one of tuna. Then set out bowls with different, thinly sliced vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. Let children personalize their own wraps for an easy dinner idea.

3. Make Food For Someone Else
Sometimes when doing a baking project, there is a tendency for kids to want to hoard it all and gobble up all 52 cookies they make. Baking is so much fun but if you want to keep it healthy, make a plan to give some away. You can bring it to an elderly neighbor, a friend or even a babysitter.

Thinking of others also gives the baking a higher purpose and can minimize squabbles between the kids as everyone is working towards to same goal of helping someone else.

Take Away
Time spent with children when they’re young may help your relationship with them as they get older. A study analyzed relationships between children and their parents and found that tensions increase as children get older. This means that while your children still want to spend time with you, take this opportunity to bond with them. Who knows? One day they may start cooking dinner for you!

Miss Normal & Moving

You know the drill, your three year old has a tantrum, he lashes out at you, you sit him out, several attempts are needed, and you count to ten whilst feeling the glares of people standing by or walking past. Their judgemental glances, and eye rolls burn deep into your heart, and you feel like the worst mummy ever, but they also burn into your little ball of rage you bury deep inside. This rage is fanned into flame by staring imbeciles who you want to fly kick across the park, or is this just me? Just kidding.

Sometimes another mum will give you a little smile, as if to say ‘don’t worry we are all in this together’, but sometimes an annoying perfect mother will dish out a sentence that you want to fling right back at her. A sentence such as ‘I feel sorry for you!’. I’m all like ‘What? Who? Me?!” She feels sorry for me? Who on earth would even think that’s ok to even say? Sympathy because my child misbehaved and I’m lovingly disciplining him? No thanks.

Mums what are we doing?! Don’t feel sorry for one another, build one another up. What I actually need to hear mid discipline is “Keep going, you’re doing great, you obviously love your child!” Not patronising sympathy.

And while we are at it let’s address a few more people I run into mid tantrum, mid discipline.

Mrs White-skinny-jeans-burberryhandbag-inappropriatedailyfootwear-backcombedhair-wehaveananny, I do not appreciate your glares over the top of your Raybans. Your shiny lips do not make you a better mother. I discipline my children publicly out of love, and I want them to grow up as respectable human beings, not run around being spiteful and rude like your designer children. How about a friendly smile? Being a momma is hard enough.

Mr Iwanttodrinkmycoffeeinpeace, I hope one day you get to drink your coffee in peace and quiet without any ‘noisy’ children around. I will never apologise for my children being just that; children. I suggest the best place is either your own home or a library.

Mr & Mrs We-have-forgotten-what-children-are-like, you annoy me the most. Do not stand and gawp. Do not look me in the eye and show no emotion whatsoever, because unfortunately, or not, my brain will be too slow in stopping my mouth opening and my protective momma bear instinct will kick in. Go roll your eyes at a real problem.

Mr Shopkeeper, my children are only small, they like to explore. They do not understand the concept of ‘buy before you try’. They don’t mean to pick things up and carry them around just to put them back in the wrong aisle, they’re just inquisitive. I assume you don’t have toddlers, but if you do then go take a long hard look in the mirror, and take your pettiness elsewhere. Your shop is not Harrods. My munchkins are not grownups.

Mrs I-park-in-parentandchild-spaces-when-I-dont-have-children, you frustrate me, you make my blood boil. Parent and child spaces do what the label says. Us parents need the extra room to manoeuvre little rascals out of huge clumpy seats, and get out car seats, and the four hundred items us mommas have to carry to ensure a calmish shopping trip. I wish shops would put parent and child spaces at the back of the carpark, we would still use them, because believe it or not it’s not about the convenience of how near it is to the shop. Next time go find another space, a normal one, there’s hundreds.

Mrs Advicecentral, I don’t need or even want your advice mid-tantrum thank you. Believe it or not it’s taking all my energy and patience to not throw my child across the car park (joke!), so hearing you’re opinion will only further my agitation. I may smile politely, but carry on and watch me go full-on hulk. Keep your advice for the people you know.

Mrs I’d-Never-Uproot-My-Kids-Until-They’re-18 I do not need your advice or your judgement. I don’t want your opinion on the area we move to or the schools nearby. I don’t want your eyes upon my finances and whether you think it’s a good investment. All I care about is a smooth move with the right removal services; the kind that eradicate the stress, ones you can trust!

And then there’s Miss Normal, the lifesaver of the downcast momma. Miss Normal has her own little darlings, her hairs in a messy top knot, her face flushed, her shopping bags heavy, and her children are happy and loved. She gives a knowing nod, a smile, and strikes up a conversation about the tantrums she’s experienced that day. Miss Normal repairs your momma self esteem, she empathises, she knows! Miss Normal revitalises your patience, she encourages you to keep going, she saves the day. I like Miss Normal.

I want to be Miss Normal. She changes people’s lives. She helps people back up. She holds out her hand and pulls you back into reality. She helps unpack when you move without judging your belongings.

Be Miss Normal next time you come across a momma having a hard time.