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Category: Family

Five Things you Need to Know Before you Stay in a Hotel with Toddlers

Five Things you Need to Know Before you Stay in a Hotel with Toddlers

Earlier on this year, Hubs and I were invited to The Deep in Hull. We were so excited to take the kids on a day trip, so excited in fact that somewhere along the way we decided it would be a good idea to make a weekend out of it. It went something along the lines of ‘Hey let’s get a hotel and go to the beach too, the kids will love it’. Oh the naivety! OK, so it wasn’t all bad. The kids did love it and The Deep was amazing. The whole weekend was definitely a learning curve though, so much so that I won’t be staying in a hotel with toddlers again any time soon!

 

 

Here are five things you need to know, before you decide to stay in a hotel with toddlers;

 

It will only be novel for the first ten minutes –

We got in the car with smiles right across our faces. The weather was fine, we were going to seaside and we were going to eat fish and chips on the beach. I bought DVD players for the car, it was the easiest long car journey we’ve EVER had. Things were going good, we’d totally cracked this parenting thing. We had a really good day on the beach, the kids were so happy and completely tired themselves out. All we had to do now was head back to the hotel, grab some dinner and settle down for the night, simple!

My first mistake? Letting the kids have a 15 minute nap in the car on the way to the hotel. My second? Believing that the novelty of the hotel would surely keep them entertained for one whole evening. Well, after ten minutes we were well into the witching hour, the hotel stopped being fun and turned into a prison cell! The kids didn’t want to be cooped up in one room and whatever we did to try to settle them down failed miserably. Bedtime came and went, with no sign of any sleepers in the room.

Forget the idea that you’re going to get a good nights sleep –

When it got to one hour after their normal bedtime, we assumed that this wakefulness couldn’t go on for much longer. They must have been tired, they hadn’t stopped all day. Two hours over bedtime and they were still going strong. Three hours, you guessed it, we’d still not slept a wink. Finally, FIVE hours after their normal bedtime and they crashed! Who needs sleep anyway?

You need to be mindful of the snacks you give the kids –

We’d had fish and chips for lunch, so we decided that the best thing to get for dinner was a picnic. One that we could eat in the hotel room whilst watching the CBeebies Bedtime Hour. This one we really didn’t think through. Crisps, crackers, blackcurrant Fruit Shoots and cookies are not good hotel room food. We’d been there less than an hour and the floor looked like we’d been squatting there for weeks.

Don’t underestimate the power of electronic entertainment –

Our girls like a bit of TV, but they soon get bored. When they’re at home they can move on to the many toys we have dotted around or head out into the garden. When you’re in a hotel room, you don’t have the luxury of five cupboards jam-packed with toys. I realised that night that I’d made a vital mistake in not buying our girls iPads. Adamant that they’re too young for things like that, I’ve not given in to technology for them. I take it all back. iPads can be the best babysitters, I only wish I’d known it before!

Don’t spend a fortune on fancy toddler beds –

In my excitement on the run up to our trip, I decided it would make life much easier if we didn’t have to cart travel cots around. So I bought two ReadyBeds, which look fabulous for the littles and they are a great buy. However, unlike the travel cot they allow the kids to get out of bed whenever they like. It was a free for all, trying to get them into bed and to sleep was an impossible task. The moral of the story? Keep them sleeping in cots as long as you can!

 

 

 

 

 

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Days Out: Hornsea Beach and The Deep, Hull

Days Out: Hornsea Beach and The Deep, Hull

*We were gifted a family pass to The Deep, Hull for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Ever since our girls stepped foot on a beach for the first time, they have loved being by the seaside! They could spend all day on the beach of we let them, it’s definitely one of their favourite things to do. That’s why, when we had a day trip planned to The Deep in Hull, we decided to make a weekend of it and head to Hornsea beach too. We managed to book ourselves into a little hotel nearby, packed up the car and headed off on our first weekend away as a family!

 

Hornsea Beach –

As far as beaches go, Hornsea does what it says on the tin. It’s a stoney beach, that also has plenty of sandy patches for the kids to dig holes and build sand castles. We went on a Sunday in late Spring, when the weather was pleasant and it wasn’t too busy. There was plenty of room for everyone, which is ideal when the kids want to run around and burn some energy off. The shops, cafe’s and toilets are really close to the beach too, which makes seaside life with littles much easier!

We had a really fun afternoon at Hornsea, it’s the ideal spot for a day trip and there’s plenty of free parking nearby. This coast doesn’t have the clearest water I’ve ever seen, but other than that you’re sure to have a blast here. We’ll definitely be back!

 

 

 

The Deep, Hull –

 

The Deep has been on our must visit list ever since we had children. Hubs and I went many years ago and absolutely loved it, so we knew when the girls were old enough they would too. Our hotel was just a stones throw away from the Deep, so we got there when it opened to make the most of our day. All of the staff were really friendly on arrival, they even gave our girls their own activity book and cuddly penguin as a momento of our visit!

 

 

As soon as our girls entered the exhibition, they were awestruck! There’s so much for them to do and see, even our littlest who was two at the time loved getting involved. When we got to the first large tank both girls were amazed by the all of the sea life. There are some beautifully fascinating species to see and to learn about, we spent a lot of time watching the fish in this huge tank!

 

 

The Deep has an area with smaller tanks too, where a member of staff gives a talk on the sea life in them. It’s also possible for the kids to touch the animals, which our eldest couldn’t wait to do. As soon as she heard the lady giving her talk, she ran over to listen and was the first to touch a sea urchin when she was asked!  This added a great element to our experience at The Deep and was a lovely learning opportunity for our girls. The penguins at The Deep are such funny characters and were a real highlight for our girls too. They have specific feeding times, so if you want to see the them in their full glory you can find out when they are fed HERE!

 

 

Overall, we had the best weekend at Hornsea beach and at The Deep, Hull. It was one of the best weekends we’ve enjoyed since becoming a family of four and it’s something we’ll definitely do again in the future. Make sure you have plenty of time to explore The Deep though, you’re going to need it!

 

 

The Deep, the best bits –

 

  • The Cool Seas exhibition – this area was great for the kids, it’s so much like a sensory room and they were mesmerised by it!
  • Touch pool sessions – getting up close and personal with the sea life.
  • The tank lift and the tunnel!
  • The Dive Show – at 2pm everyday.
  • Penguin feeding.
  • Soft play at the end of the exhibition – our girls loved this!
  • The cafe – a vast menu and very reasonably priced.

 

 

 

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A Year of Forest School – Book Review & Giveaway

A Year of Forest School – Book Review & Giveaway

* I was sent a copy of A Year Forest School and Play the Forest School Way for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions of my own. 

 

If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you’ll know that as a family we love to spend time outdoors. Our eldest daughter especially, loves nothing more than to get her wellies on and head out to explore. So when we were asked to review A Year of Forest School and Play the Forest School way, I knew they would go down a treat! On writing this, we’re just heading into Spring, the days are getting longer and the weather warmer, so it’s the perfect time for the kids to have some fun, the forest school way!

 

Creating a forest school from home –

 

A Year of Forest School is the second book written by Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton, after Play the Forest School Way which sold 10,000 copies in its first year! Both of these books are packed full with outdoor activities that can be completed rain or shine and are ideal for getting the littles out into the fresh air.

A Year of Forest School is written in the order of seasons. It has an array of different activities, some that are perfect for Winter fun and others that can be enjoyed in the warmth of Summer. One of the things that I love most about this book is that each activity has a little information box, containing the most important details about the project. This box contains a run down of what you’ll need, how many people can take part and what age range it suits best. This makes it really easy to flick through the book to find an appropriate task that the kids will love!

Each of the activities in A Year of Forest School aren’t only fun for the kids, they also teach them so many life skills along the way. Many of the tasks require focus, teamwork, fine motor and communication skills to complete, When they’re having fun though, they don’t see this learning as a chore. They jump right in and love every single minute of it!

 

 

 

There’s more to come –

 

Watkins Publishing are also putting together forest school packs which include a poster, reward sheet and stickers. As well as two activities from the books!  All of this material will be available online and there will be a limited amount of physical packs they’re able to send out.  What better way to enjoy the holidays with you littles, than getting them involved in the forest schools movement!

 

 

There’s a copy of A Year of Forest School and Play the Forest School Way, up for grabs for one lucky reader! All you have to do to be in for a chance of winning is to enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck! 

 

Win Two Forest School Books!

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Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Academy – A Brand we Trust

Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Academy – A Brand we Trust

 

You may have noticed from my Instagram feed, that this year I’m part of the Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Academy team. It’s been an incredible journey so far. Not only have I met so many fantastic bloggers who are on board, I’ve also had the opportunity to indulge my inner geek and get to grips with the science behind the brand!

Johnson’s products have been our go-to baby essentials ever since our first daughter was born.  They were recommended to us by so many people, including my own mother and grandmother, who have used their products on the rest of my family for years. The classics collection, including the baby shampoo from Johnson’s, is my favourite range; it’s so easily recognisable, they’re comforting to use and they smell amazing!

I believe it’s so important to be able to trust the brands, whose products we bring into our homes. As parents, we want to know that our children are being cared for to the best of our ability and that includes what we’re using on their skin. That’s why I’m so excited to be working with Johnson’s Baby this year. They have been there for our family from day one and it’s an honour to get to share the ins and outs of the brand with you all!

 

 

Meeting the Johnson’s Baby Team

 

Our first Ambassador Academy meeting was held in London earlier this year. It was such an exciting day, not only because I got to meet all of the other bloggers in the team, but also because it was the start of an incredible learning journey for me. Johnson’s had bought in the creme de la creme of the science world, the level of knowledge they have in their field is astonishing and I was so ready to listen to everything they had to say.

Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions where Johnson’s Baby products are concerned. Somewhere along the way, a lot of misconstrued information surfaced and in consequence many facts were blurred and passed from person to person incorrectly. We hear so much scaremongering on the news, in the papers and across social media. It’s often a case of Chinese whispers and all of a sudden, the original story has been blown epically out of proportion.

At our first meeting though, we were given the cold hard facts. Scientific knowledge that can’t be argued with and insight that served to cement my trust in the Johnson’s brand further. Take the issue of parabens for example; they’re an ingredient that so many people are terrified of and one that they actively try to avoid. David Mays of J & J was the main speaker at our meeting and a scientist, he swiftly put to bed these ill-founded ideas about parabens by pointing out that ‘you eat more parabens everyday, than you could ever absorb through your skin’.

Isn’t it ironic that consumers have been avoiding using parabens by discontinuing their use of Johnson’s products, but they have actually been taking in more on a daily basis by just living life. These days Johnson’s Baby products don’t contain parabens. This isn’t because they are harmful, in fact they’re quite the opposite. It’s because consumers have been led to believe they are so dangerous. The lack of parabens in Johnson’s products is purely to address the concerns of the consumer. It seems they’re looking after us in more ways than one.

The most important thing that I took away from my time with the Johnson’s Baby team, is that they spend a great deal of time, money and effort making sure that our children are looked after. They care about the consumer and they want to make sure they’re doing the best they possibly can for our families.

 

 

There’s More to Come!

 

Even though I’ve learnt so much in my short time working with Johnson’s Baby, I also feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface. With more meetings to come, you can be sure that I’ll be back to pass on a few more pearls of wisdom – straight from the horse’s mouth as it were!

 

Are you a Johnson’s Baby family?

 

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Knowledge is Power – Learning to Inspire the Next Generation

Knowledge is Power – Learning to Inspire the Next Generation

I’ve always found it difficult to switch my brain off. As far back as I can remember I have loved to read and learn about the world around us. We’ve always been an outdoorsy family too, learning about nature and wildlife is still one of my favourite things to do. In my early twenties, prior to having children, I went from one course to another, as my interests changed and grew. My thirst for knowledge always being the driving force behind my endeavours.

I fell rapidly out of learning when I got pregnant with our eldest daughter. As is the case with many mothers, pregnancy takes its toll and everything else in our lives often gets put on the back-burner. I had hyperemesis, so getting through each minute was a task, never mind each day. Picking up a book was just impossible. Especially the second time around when I had a two month old baby to take care of too.

Fast forward two years and two children later, life seems to be back on an even keel. We have two children that sleep at night and we have a good routine during the day. Now I’m finding that my thirst for knowledge has never been stronger. I struggle to watch naff television or read books that aren’t teaching me something. Mostly because I feel that I should be filling my free time with as much work as possible. I feel that if I am going to do something other than looking after the children or work, it has to be something that I’m going to benefit and learn from.

 

Photo credit

 

Getting back on track –

One thing that really bothered me is that until recently, I hadn’t picked up a book for over two years. Not only did I feel like my brain needed a workout, but I find that reading is a great way to escape from everyday life. With two toddlers in the house, it’s often a welcome distraction. So, although I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions, this year I vowed to read more. To nourish my mind and get back into the swing of learning.

I kick started the year with A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray. When I first picked up this book there were two things that struck me. One was that I only knew about 4 of the women who were included in this book. Secondly I’m bringing up two future strong women, how am I supposed to do this if I’m not able to teach them about the strong women of our past. I need to be able to educate them on the women that paved the way to the opportunities that are available to them today.

This book marked the beginning of my mission to educate myself further, so that I’m able to inspire the next generation. Hopefully instigating a thirst for knowledge in them too. I think it’s so important for the next generation to appreciate that there’s so much that can be achieved, even when it may appear that the odds aren’t in their favour. I’m not saying I’m going to push our girls too far, that would only saturate their minds beyond their years. There’s an amazing world out there though, with so much experience to gain down whichever path they choose to take. I just want to be able to enrich their lives. To give them the privilege of an education and ultimately, to give them the power of knowledge.

 

Photo Credit

 

A final word –

Not only do I want to empower my girls, I also want to empower myself. Having children makes you see the world in a whole new light. I’m only too aware that nothing is set in stone. There are no certainties in this life and I don’t want to waste a minute of it. I want a wealth of knowledge that I can can draw on at any point. When I look back over my life I want it to have been enriched with history and culture. I want to look back on an education to be proud of. 

 

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Creating Magic in Childhood – An Enchanted Upbringing

Creating Magic in Childhood – An Enchanted Upbringing

I remember being a child and having the wildest imagination. I loved make believe and fairy tales, engrossing myself in tales of magical lives was my favourite thing to do. That’s why when I had our girls, I made it my mission to make sure they had an enchanted upbringing just like I did. I firmly believe that our children can learn so much through the encouragement of an active imagination. Not only that, a childhood just wouldn’t be made without a touch of magic to make it sparkle!

Now that our girls are a little older, they are showing more and more interest in fairy tales and everything that they stand for. They each have fairy doors in their rooms and have named their own fairies themselves. I adore that they believe in their fairies, but I want to make their rooms even more of a haven away from every day life. Somewhere that they can disappear to and enjoy losing themselves in their own little worlds.

 

A room to remember –

Since the girls love their fairy doors so much. I decided that it would be a great idea to give each of their rooms an enchanted forest theme. I’ve seen so many wall murals available on the internet that look great. The trouble is, they often arrive as individual stickers. I’m just not creative enough to be able to make them look as good as they do on the packet! So i was a little stumped, I really wanted to make their rooms into a space they will always remember.

Then I came across wallsauce.com! They have an amazing range of wall murals that are actually wallpaper, this means I don’t have to worry about getting the stickers from standard murals in the right place! I’m so impressed with the range of murals they have too. They have a theme to suit everyone and amazingly, they also allow you to use your own images.

It goes without saying that I was immediately drawn in by the enchanted forest murals. They are so magical and exactly what I had it mind for making our girls’ rooms as special as possible. Now Hubs and i can’t wait to get started, we know they’ll absolutely love their new rooms!

 

Photo Credit

 

*This post was written in collaboration with wallsauce.com.

 

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Our Bespoke Family Pendant from Judith Peterhoff Jewellery

Our Bespoke Family Pendant from Judith Peterhoff Jewellery

I’ve always been a lover of fine jewellery. I find the craftsmanship that goes into such pieces absolutely fascinating, it really is such an art. So I was really pleased when recently I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely Judith, from Judith Peterhoff Jewellery to review a family pendant. Judith is a jewellery designer who specialises in bespoke orders. All of her jewellery is handmade in her studio in North London, where she puts her heart and soul in creating some truly beautiful pieces.

Bespoke Family Pendant –

Judith’s first family pendant was a commission for a friend, who had recently had a baby. She had the wonderful idea to create a sentimental piece to represent a whole family, without having to engrave names across fine jewellery. Through placing different sized rings made from contrasting materials together, she was able to create an individual pendant to depict this new family!

After spending some time talking to Judith about our family, she was able to get an idea of our set up and had the perfect piece in mind to represent myself, Hubs and our girls. Judith created a sterling silver family pendant with two large rings on the outside and two smaller rings on the inside. The two larger for Hubs and I as parents and the two smaller for each of our girls.

 

 

When my pendant arrived I really was taken aback by its beauty. Each ring is perfectly round, with the larger of the two seeming to protect the smaller rings. My pendant has two large sterling silver rings, with two copper baby rings. I love the contrast between the different materials, it really makes this piece stand out from the crowd. Each pendant also arrives with its own chain, meaning it’s ready to wear as soon as it arrives.

 

 

I love that my pendant is so personal, it means so much to me that it’s a sign of the people who I love most in the world. It’s obvious from the outset that Judith is passionate about her work. The family pendant really is an exceptional piece, that displays such a high level of care and craftsmanship.

 

 

These pendants are the ideal gift for new and seasoned mothers alike. The fact that these pieces are handmade to order means that each one is unique to the family that it’s made for. I couldn’t be happier with my pendant, so thankyou Judith, it really is something that I will treasure forever!

 

If you want to find out more about Judith Peterhoff you can find her on Facebook, Instagram and notonthehighstreet.com!

 

 

 

 

 

*I was gifted my family pendant for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This really is an exceptional pieced of jewellery! 

 

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Travelling with Kidz

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Travelling with Kidz

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Lisa from Travelling with Kidz!

To Work or not to work now that is the question?

So I set out to do some research on working families. And do you know what  I discovered? Well, that in America during 2016 the mother was employed in 72.5% of the population and the father was employed 82.6% of those families. Interesting right. So what about the families that have both parents working what happens to their under school age children during the workday?

I myself have had different styles of childcare in my 12 years of being a mother. I enjoyed all of them and have learned through experience that there is really no wrong or right way for childcare choices. The services you see for childcare are either a good fit or a bad fit.

With my first child I had a younger family member move in with us to care for her. This was ideal for me because being my first child I was terrified of the idea of leaving her with complete strangers. It was something I was not accustomed to. My grandparents had taken care of me while my mother worked all the way through high school. So having a family member care for my child just came naturally. This worked out for about a year and a half. Then we learned we were expecting again so we had to seek alternative childcare.

We sought out an upstanding daycare provider that got good reviews online as well as wonderful reviews by word of mouth. So my 2 year old and my newborn were going to start the big “D” Daycare.  The year went well then we found out we were expecting again.

It was when that I felt the need to give stay at home mom a whirl. So with 3 children at home I found my days filled with love, happiness, laughter and a bit of craziness. I stayed home for a year and a half. I loved it but to be honest I longed for the interaction that work brought. I missed the work routine.

So I went back to work and again we found out we were expecting. So we went back to daycare and started with afterschool care at the older kids school. It went on like that for 5 years. It worked out for all of us.

It wasn’t until we had our 6th child that we decided that our daycare/afterschool fees were to high. I did some research and was shocked to find out that families were spending on average 10-25% of their monthly household income on childcare services! That’s a lot of money! However, I wasn’t ready to stay at home again. I still had career goals that I wanted to reach. (Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my family and they come before anything. But with 6 kids we needed to be a 2 income family)

It was then that I met a girl at work who was fun, caring and trustworthy. Not to mention that my children really liked spending time with her. So that was the beginning of Nanny adventure. I must say that it is a really good fit for us. She helps me out immensely at home with the children. This has by far been the best childcare option I have tried to date. This is my good fit.

As you can see I have tried out several forms of childcare and have found that for my needs a Nanny is the best fit for my family but again everyone is different. What do you do for childcare? What works best for you and your family?

Bio:

My name is Lisa. I am a wife and a mommy of 6. Also work full time outside of my house. I am a vacation planner, a peace keeper, a beginning blogger, a money saver and the owner of many other hats.

Social links:

Fb: https://www.facebook.com/Adventuresofsuper8/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adventuresuper8

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adventuresofsuper8/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/811985007787683779/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/2/102262470158327428500

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Sophie from Mama Mei

#MumisBest Guest Post – Sophie from Mama Mei

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Sophie from Mama Mei!
Work at Home Mum: My struggle with being a career girl and a wannabe stay-at-home-mum.
I got pregnant with my first child during my final year at university.
I’d only been with my boyfriend a couple of months so needless to say it hadn’t been planned.
I was due to move to London as I had a work placement at The Guardian and most my freelance work was for ITN and Channel 4 News which are based near Kings Cross.
But it was whilst at the newspaper I discovered on my lunch break that I was up the duff (preggers).
So it changed everything, although I was fiercely determined to carry on working as an investigative journalist but from home in Sheffield and Wakefield (when I stayed at my boyfriend’s family home).
I had decided that I would work right up until I popped and then straight away once I’d given birth with no maternity leave.
I was sure that a baby wouldn’t change my career goals.
Oh how wrong was I?!
Even down to the labour I was still answering work calls, making sure I didn’t miss out on a story. I was obsessed about being a “success.”
But then this cute crying little blob sailed into the world.
I was smitten by my baby Jasmine.
But within weeks I was back freelancing. I felt I had to do it as I didn’t want to be forgotten.
This stubborn determination carried on for the next two years in which I completed a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and eventually secured my dream job as a broadcast journalist at the BBC.
I thought I could throw myself into it and relocate my little family to Media City in Salford where my offices were based.
I had every intention of achieving my “goals,” until I got pregnant again.
I continued to complete my training all over the country so I had the tools I needed to become a proper BBC Journalist.
But after working for a few months, I was off on maternity leave.
And everything crumbled.
I became very poorly with only a couple of months until the due date.
Luckily I gave birth to a healthy baby girl but my own health wasn’t great.
On autopilot however I was determined to return to work.
But as the my start date dawned I found myself in another hell.
A nightmare worse than my worst nightmares.
So that was the end of my career. The one good thing out of it though was that it put everything into perspective.
And whilst my daughter was in intensive care, I kept a video diary (as above) which sparked off my new journey in vlogging and blogging as well as being a stay-at-home mum.
As much as I felt happy with my decision, I couldn’t help but feel pain leaving the job I’d worked my whole life for.
My bosses had been amazing throughout but I couldn’t live with myself if I kept letting them down so I had to leave for my own sanity and to focus on my family and health.
Nowadays I’m more of a work at home mum, so I feel lucky to have the best of both worlds.
I blog, vlog at mamamei.co.uk and do PR as well as video production for evokemediagroup.co.uk
I also teach and perform bellydancing at bellydancebysophiemei.com

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Ali from Mummy Mama Mum!

Before I had kids I would have definitely described myself as a workaholic. In many ways this hasn’t changed, but the nature of what I do most certainly has!

When I fell pregnant with my first child, Amelia, I knew that I definitely wanted to return to my full time job running a busy retail business, and I knew that I wanted to return full time. I mean, my business was my baby, and even the thought of handing over he reigns to someone else for 6 months brought me out in a cold sweat. Even during the first week or two after Amelia was born, I was itching to get back. When the time finally came around, I was eager to get back to real world, and eager to get back my salary and main breadwinner status. 6 very long and painful months later, I called the regional director on Friday and told him I wouldn’t be back on Monday.

It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made. I felt like I was giving up on a part of myself, and I suppose in a way I was. But I was also creating a very new story for myself and my family, mainly one that actually involved weekends together! I didn’t last long being out of work completely, and ended up taking on a trainee position at the nursery that Amelia was enrolled at. The training has now ended, and I am now a fully qualified Early Years Teacher, which has opened up a whole host of new doors I hadn’t even considered previously.

I worked part time while Amelia attended nursery, until I very suddenly fell pregnant with Wills. I knew that I would return to work again after he was born, but I have to say that this time the lead up to my return was very different. I felt an actual desire to stay at home full time, especially as maternity leave the second time around was when I had started my blog. But return I did, and I must say it wasn’t as catastrophic as I had feared it might be. The washing still gets done, the dinner still gets cooked (batch cooking is most definitely my friend), and we still have lots of time together.

But it is all set to change again! At the end of July, we are moving over 100 miles away from our current home! While Mr C is able to take his job with him, I unfortunately cannot bring the nursery with us! This means that, as things stand, I will once again have no out-of-the-home paid work. I will be a SAHM once again, and while I dreaded it the first time around, this time I’m ready!

I have my blog to keep me focussed and driven, which is what I feel was missing after Amelia was born. And I think that just about sums it up for me; it doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as what you choose works for you. After 3 years of trying out pretty much everything, I have finally worked out that it’s not necessarily work that I need, but something that keeps me driven to succeed (aside from the kids, obvs!) That has now taken form in my blog, and I’m suddenly much less interested in dragging my un-makeupped face out of the house in the morning!

Work, no work, SAHM, WAHM, running around the forest barefoot mum! Just do whatever works for you and yours! Forget all the titles that came before; forget about being a stay-at-home-mum or working mum, or any of the others – focus on being a happy mum with happy kids. That is all that matters in the end.

 

You can see more from Aleena here!

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