There is Power in Positivity – 2nd Trimester Feels

 

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One Multi Tasking Mummy

 

There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.

This morning as my husband got up at the crack of dawn to go and play golf and I was once again left with the slightly daunting prospect of another day trying to creatively entertain a toddler I thought of something I read recently in the Huffington Post  – A truly brilliant article by Dr Vanessa Lapointe which I urge all parents living in this fast paced screen filled world we live in to read .

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Standard morning of me trying to get stuff done, whilst being ordered to ‘cuddle baby’

Dr Lapointe talks about the need for children to be bored, for their minds to ‘awaken’  and for them to make their own magic and their own fun, for them to get creative. She talks of the fast paced world we live in now and how parents often feel like they need to respond to their children’s supposed boredom with outings a plenty, activities and as a last resort (or sometimes first resort) – screen time. She also mentions her husbands life as a child growing up the countryside,  this resonated with me as my sister and I grew up in the countryside, nothing but land and adventures to be made, we would take ourselves off on long walks, make up games, pretend we were different characters and immerse ourselves in ourselves in our own imaginations – yes I know it all sounds a bit famous five but my father was brought up in the African Bush and his adventure stories were magical to us – we imagined the Jungle book in real life. My mother though brought up in London was Irish and loved all things creative, she also instilled in us an ‘everyone should chip-in’ work ethic – my sister and I helped with house work and learnt from a young age to respect the things we were given and to help out where we could. These are all things that have stayed with me throughout my life and are things I want my own children to learn.

However, when I was reading this and thinking, yes, yes, yes I totally agree with all of it, It also made my stress levels go up a little. My son is still only a toddler so not quite at the age that I think Lapointe is referring to, but also I feel that living in London, or any city makes it all harder. Space is limited, particularly outside space so though I try to encourage Rex on some days to make his own fun, to enjoy the toys he has and to go out in the garden on those sunny days.

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Loves nothing more than throwing his Duplo everywhere and then settling down to read.

I don’t think more than one or two days of this is really feasible without both of us going stir crazy. We are lucky to have a house and garden but in any city a huge proportion of people are in flats. So on those days when you can’t do another day inside London certainly offers up a lot of options. There are dozens of amazing parks, city farms, soft play spots, sports clubs, childrens members clubs,  in fact there is pretty much everything you could possibly think of to entertain your child on a daily basis. Though a lot of things are not cheap, once every so often is fun and also opens childrens eyes to all sorts of fun new experiences. There are also plenty of free options –  get some friends together and hit up one of the parks or grab a bottle (milk or wine!) and head to one of your houses  – a problem shared is a problem halved as they say.

There is also the app Hoop which you can download and find a million things to do in your area too.

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No gender stereotyping in this house – Rex on the way to a playdate with his beloved baby, named ‘Baby’

 

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Tea for 4 while the mummy’s catch up 

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Hampstead Heath homies

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Couple of hunks hanging out in Battersea park

As for screen time – it seems to be a much debated issue amongst parents, journalists, bloggers, behavioural experts… everyone really. But honestly it’s really no-ones business but you’re own, you do what you can do and to be honest sometimes everyone needs 10 minutes of peace and quiet and if an episode of ‘Hey Duggee’ is what gives you that, then hell, put it on. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that’s really all it is, an opinion. Myself, I try to say no to iPads and iPhones, though some emergencies require them (ie. on a delayed 40 hour flight to Australia!), and I say at 5pm while I make supper ‘yes’ to sticking on some wild cartoon which can only have been created by an LSD induced mind for half an hour. We all make decisions on how to raise our children, how to entertain them, how to ensure they grow into kind, interesting, rounded adults – no single person’s way is right and no single person’s way is wrong – we should all remember that before we judge others.

I have put a few options below for those West and South West London Mums looking for options to keep them and their little people sane.

Flip Out – Fab trampolining centre in wandworth

 

Battersea Park Zoo

 

The Corner House Cafe

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Corner House cruising

 

 

Bertie and Boo

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Bertie and Boo do the perfect date food

 

The Army Museum

 


The V&A
– mainly in the summer for the outdoor splash pool that children can play in

 

Gambado

Sky Lark Cafe

Kew Gardens

The London Wetland Centre

 

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Watching the Otters being fed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unsocial Media

I haven’t written in a while mainly because I felt I needed to take a break from technology…from social media really. I don’t know about anyone else, but sometime it starts to feel a little all consuming. Don’t get me wrong I fully see it’s power, the fun of it, how useful it can be and informative. But also I feel like we all get a bit obsessed by it, instagram becomes a flood of selfies and self promotion and it can start to feel like a toxic environment. I’m writing this as someone who loves taking photos and who has almost certainly over shared at some point – but also as someone who see’s the need to take a step back, switch off the phone, delete the app and concentrate on the real world for a while.

I started my blog really to be more of a diary, I have written a  diary my entire life and saw this as an extension of that really.  I find reading other peoples blogs hugely entertaining and insightful and thought perhaps I could add to that in my own little way. Along with the blogs, I found the various forms of social media a triumph – I could find everything from places to stay in any country to tips on how to potty train to new brands of children clothes. Plus I just love seeing my friends photos of their lives. Along with the other many many positives I found it to be a bit of light escapism on those days when you feel like you might otherwise scream.

Last week though, whilst finally finding a moment to get to the hairdresser (it had been 3 months and my hair was all roots and 90’s curtains) I was able to read my first copy of Grazia in what felt like forever, that really is my favourite part of the hairdresser which I otherwise slightly dread, getting to sit back for a couple of hours and indulge in some quality mag reading. Anyway I digress, Grazia had dedicated almost the entire issue to ‘switching off.’ It felt like a sign as I had become increasingly bored of it, and was feeling like I was spending way too much time looking at my phone. I hardly ever use Facebook now except to share my blog on as it seems to have become a constant stream of adverts or people pushing their political views on each other and scolding anyone that might dare think differently to them and then videos of dogs and cats doing sweet things (which I obviously love). Instagram seemed more and more self indulgent with people filtering their entire lives so as to make them look as perfect as is possible. It’s unhealthy and kind of annoying.

So following what was seemingly a very eye opening trip to the hair dresser I decided that I would join the ranks of the people of Grazia and put my phone down, stop scrolling and start living in the real world – or at least try. I certainly don’t want my tiff with social media to become a full on divorce (I’ve got a holiday coming up after all *photos galore*).

So with that I pranced home with my highlights done and my fringe brought back to this millennia and promptly told my husband that we were going to be ‘offline’ entirely every weekend and would have no use of our phones from 6pm onwards. This was promptly shot down as preposterous mainly as my supportive husband didn’t think I myself would be able to comply with this, so after much to’ing and fro’ing we decided that we would just make a conscious effort to not check social media every evening (maybe just the once) and when we’re together as a family on the weekend our phones can do one (until we are all fed up of each other and need that small escape from reality).

I’m about two weeks into my new relationship with social media and we are on much better terms now. I feel like (and this may seem extreme) the days are actually longer, in a good way. It’s surprising how much time you waste staring like a zombie at pictures and articles.  I also feel like I’m concentrating on me, my life and family rather than what other people are doing. Then those moment when I do sit down and have a good old scroll I’m less ‘urgh, annoying’ and more ‘aww lovely’.

How does everyone else feel about the role of social media in our lives? Do you feel you have a balance with it or that you (like me) can fall victim to over looking and sometimes over sharing?

 

 

 

Thinking outside the bubble

I know I bang on a lot about how much I love a bath, but honestly the humble bath is not merely a place to get clean after a long day, it’s a place of total relaxation, of solitude where you can think about the days events, giggle about events of the day, cry (I remember having the day 5 blues after Rex was born and crying in the bath for what felt like hours).

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Ciao Italia!

There is nothing quite like the feeling of booking a holiday, all the promise it holds, the rest and relaxation, good food, hopefully even a bit of sun. So when our friends told us they were off to Italy for a week and asked us to join, it took approximately 0.1 seconds to think it through and click ‘buy’ on our tickets.

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