Finding Time For Yourself as Mum

Do you struggle to find time for yourself during the day? By the time the kids are in bed are you too tired to do anything? This is definitely me! It can be hard to make your kids and partner understand there are times when you need to be alone. It’s also easy to fill your schedule with so many activities, commitments and caring for others that you forget about yourself.

To stay balanced, positive and happy it’s vital for every mum to take a break every now and again. You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s easier said than done.” An understandable reaction, however, there are things you can do to solve the problem.

Start Small

Rather than stress about finding several hours for yourself, start small with five minutes here and there. Spend time simply looking out of the window. Lay down on the floor and let your mind wander. If you smoke and use this time to take five minutes, try switching to vaping which is not as bad for your health. The latest flavours at Nasty Juice might be able to tempt you! If you start small, you’ll soon find yourself with a couple of hours to spare for yourself.

Make a Schedule

Planning out your day means you’ll be able to see what time is free and allocate some of it for yourself. Getting up in the morning and going to bed at the same time will help with your routine. Choose to lay on the bed and read a book, take a nap, or plan your next home decorating project. Don’t be tempted to wash the dishes, do the laundry, or any other kind of housework during your allotted time.

Why not try introducing a different sleeping schedule and see if that makes a difference? If your kids are late risers, get up earlier than them and enjoy the peace and quiet before the house wakes up. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done when there are no interruptions. Likewise, at the end of the day, if you kids go to bed early, stay up a little later and enjoy some “you time”.

Develop a Support Network

You’re not the only mum struggling with the challenges of motherhood. Find some other mums you can relate to and plan some outings together. You’ll be sharing the responsibility of caring for the kids, so you’re all going to benefit from some “me time”. If you’ve got other mums, you can call on you’ll be better placed to take some time off for doing something you like.

It’s not just other mums you should look to for support. Ask a family member to come and take charge of the kids for a couple of hours. You might have a neighbour you can trust, and there’s always your partner you can call on.

Spending time with your children is one of the greatest pleasures of being a mum. It’s also important, however, that you spend time relaxing and de-stressing, in order to be the best mum you can be. You can’t be at their beck and call 24 hours a day, or you’ll burn out before you know it. Learn to take some time out for yourself and everyone in the family benefits.

 

Pregnant? Top Steps to Take to Ensure Your Baby’s Health

The best situation for any foetus is for its mother to prepare her body before it has ever been conceived. There are a lot of medications, for example, that help a grown adult but could increase the risk of congenital disabilities or a miscarriage. Then there is the damage that drinking, smoking, and other recreational drugs can do to the baby while it is developing. There is a lot you can do before, during, and even after to ensure your baby has the best shot at life, so start today by following these steps:

Contact Your Doctor

It is not always possible to consult your doctor and prepare your body before you get pregnant. Sometimes it is a mistake, other times unexpected. For example, perhaps you have been trying for a baby for so long that you gave up, only to then discover that the pregnancy finally happened. Either way, once you find out it is best to visit your doctor for a consultation so that you can:

Get off Any Dangerous Medication

There are a lot of different medications that can harm a foetus that you will need to stop taking immediately. An example includes anti-depressants. You will need to work with your doctor to manage your mental health without the medication while pregnant.

Start Taking the Right Vitamins

There are a lot of vitamins you can take that will help your baby’s health, like folic acid. Folic acid has been proven to help your baby develop correctly and reduces the risk of abnormalities.

Stay Healthy and Active

Though it may seem contradictory to be active while pregnant, you do need to try. Exercise is an important part of a healthy body, which means you need to stay active throughout the entire experience. This will also help you bounce back faster and return to your pre-pregnancy weight easier.

How to Further Safeguard Your Baby’s Health in the Future

All the hard work you put into being healthy will not go to waste. It will help your baby develop correctly so that he or she can enjoy a healthy life right from the start. Make your effort go further, however, by visiting biovaultfamily.com to see how easy and beneficial it is to store your baby’s stem cells now. If they have a life-threatening disease or other illness in the future, they will then be able to access their healthy stem cells. Stem cell research is flourishing right now, and for good reason. Give your baby the opportunity to take advantage of their health in the future by safeguarding it today.

Your baby’s development should be your utmost priority. Do all you can to make your body the perfect haven, and prepare yourself further by taking classes and even making preparations to provide your child with the best chance medically in the future. Do this, and you will already have given your new baby a bright future.

Organising Your House With A Kid Friendly System

Your house is the haven of your life, and there's a lot of love and respect you put into those four walls. Your children, however, might not feel the same way about them, and forever leave their toys strewn around and put felt tip marker on the wall when they get too creative with their colouring book!

Kids can be messy, there’s no two ways around that, but if you have a proper organisation system that’s both effective and fun, you know your kids won’t have too much trouble in sticking to it! And that’s where a post like this can come in: here’s a couple of the best ways you can organise your house in a kid friendly system… or you can attempt to at least!

You can just imagine the mess that’ll be left after this! 

kids pillow fight

Have a ‘Dump Spot’

We don’t mean the rubbish bin, which can be overflowing when you’ve got 2 or more kids in the house, but an actual spot near the door or in the living room where kids can keep the things they need for tomorrow all in one place. It’s an easy way to make sure they’re grabbing everything they need for school in the morning, and never leaving without their maths book again.

You can assign boxes to this spot, to make sure each of your children has a designated area to put their things, whether it be their pencil case or their lunchbox. And it’s an easy way for you to make sure they start taking some responsibility - if they don’t grab what they need from a special spot that makes it easier for them to remember, they have no one to get stroppy with as a result!

Give Kids Their Own Areas

If your children feel like they’re never have any privacy or ownership over their own home, they’re not going to be too helpful in the organisation process. You want your children to always feel comfortable at home, and for example, teaching them that their toys belong to them means you keep them that bit happier. But on the other hand, it shows that their parents won’t be along to take them away or tidy them up, making them a little bit more responsible in the process…

After all, by teaching them that that area belongs to them and them alone, and that Mummy won't be along to tidy it up if they lose a toy they love, they’ll do everything they need to to keep it clean and tidy! And companies like Contemporary Architects can help you out with introducing this idea to your home, whether it be via a secret room/hatch within their own bedrooms, or an entirely new playroom extension you’ve always wanted to add onto your house.

Ready to get organised, as well as have your kids onboard? Well, now’s your chance to make sure your kids are growing up happy and healthy, within a house they helped to create themselves!

Ways To Make Your Life As Mummy, Easier

Whether you’re a Mum to five children, or you’ve just got the one special little bundle of joy, one thing we all have in common is that we’re constantly running around after them. Being a Mum is an exhausting job in itself, and then of course there’s the housework, our jobs, our spouses, and also trying to fit time in for yourself. One thing that all parents are looking for, is how to make their lives easier with little hacks here and there, especially when it comes to cleaning. So take a look at these fabulous ways to make your life as Mummy, easier.

make life easier

Invest in Tougher Products

While it’s understandable that you want to save every spare penny, buying store own brands of cleaning products might not always get the job done. Those hard dried stains on your hob just won’t come off with a simple spray of antibacterial now! Take a look at these highly sought-after products to make your life much easier when cleaning:

  • Elbow grease - and not the hard work kind either. This product is amazing for use on hard surfaces and even fabric! Simply spray, wait a little while, and wipe clean.
  • Zoflora is a disinfectant that comes in a range of incredible smells. It can be used to go over surfaces that wouldn’t otherwise smell nice. With so many uses for Zoflora, and at such a cheap price, you can have your home germ free and smelling amazing in no time!
  • The Pink Stuff is a creamy paste that’s perfect for cutting through grime and grease. Popularly used on oven doors to make them come up completely clean, it can be used pretty much anywhere around the kitchen. Again, simply let it do its job and wipe away with a damp cloth. Job done!

Modify Your Home

Sometimes, the worst job when it comes to cleaning is trying to get stubborn stains out of carpets, so why have them in every room? Consider putting oak laminate flooring by Factory Direct Flooring in the rooms that your children (and you) eat and perform messy play in so that you’re able to simply sweep up, mop, and still have time for that cup of coffee you’ve been craving all day. The same goes for surfaces in your home, try to keep them easy to wipe clean so that you’re not spending hours cleaning up after everybody, and you can enjoy time with them instead.

Consider Alternative Ways of Keeping your Home Clean

Fed up of vacuuming? Yeah, pretty much everyone is these days! However, you can now invest in a robotic vacuum to do all of the work for you! Simply set it to the room(s) you want, and let it do the work for you! All you’ll have to do is empty it from time to time!

Get Everyone Involved

Finally, rather than playing maid to everyone, why not get them all involved? Create chore charts for your children. Teaching your children to take responsibility of chores at a young age will help them later in life, and also give you even more time to sit with your feet up and a mug of hot coffee.

In case of emergency: What to do if you think your child needs medical attention

It is something no parent likes to think about: their child going into hospital. While going in for an emergency treatment or checkup can be a stressful experience, it is something every parent needs to read up on so that they can keep their child safe and healthy. I have outlined some essential information to read up on so that in the event you do need to rush them in, you won’t be wasting any precious time and can get your child seen to as soon as possible. 

doctor medial emergency

When to go to A&E

The first thing to consider when you think your child may need urgent medical attention is what symptoms to look out for that are a cause for concern. Things such as a high temperature, difficulty breathing, a bad fall where they potentially hit their head, loss of consciousness, are all things that you need to be vigilant for and act on quickly. The other thing to look for, which may seem initially obvious, is what your child is telling you about any pain they are in. As a parent there is so much you have to deal with and a consequence of that is that every now and again you will push something your child said aside and dismiss it. The thing you need to do here is to simply ask some easy follow up questions and keep a mental note of if your child has complained of this symptom before, if this is the case they do indeed need a trip to A&E.

Keep calm and carry on

If you do need to make the trip to the hospital, this can be a distressing time for a child who perhaps doesn’t understand exactly what is going on. To this end, it is a good idea to find strategies on how to keep your child calm in these circumstances so that you limit how potentially upset your little one may become. A good idea is to pack a small bag with you before you leave for the hospital that includes some snacks and drinks, alongside some books, toys, and games to keep them well fed and entertained. By providing your child with some distraction you will give them the opportunity to be calm until they can be seen.

Knowing your rights

When you see a doctor, be it your local GP or at the hospital, your child is legally required to receive the best care possible and be treated with the utmost respect. If, when you are in A&E, you find that your child is not being taken seriously, or the that the care they are receiving is subpar, then you may want to look into pursuing a case of medical negligence. The Medical Negligence Experts can help by giving you legal advice and representation so you can get some justice.

Taking your child to the A&E is always a scary moment but knowing the early signs of illness and how to prepare in advance, you will be able to make the process go smoothly.

Teenager’s First Holiday with Friends & being Grateful for Social Media

teenagers first holiday

So the time has come. My 18 year old son has gone off on his first holiday abroad.

When children are small, you can't imagine them doing something like this. Nor can you imagine EVER allowing them to... the thought of it is just too much.. so scary and worrying and it's like they'll never be old enough to even consider it anyway..... Our babies being in a foreign land without us to look after them and make sure they're safe? No way!

I know we've heard it before but feelings don't change just because children grow up. I still see my gorgeous, precious baby boy when I look at Teen. I still worry about him every waking moment... now more than ever! At least when they're small we know where they are all the time! When they're out there in the big wide world it's scary for us parents!

But we have to let go. Unfortunately.

Teen is an actual adult now. Not that he acts like one you understand. He's still incredibly stupid at times and does silly things.. I could write a post as long as my arm listing daft things he's done and situations he's got himself into.... he drives me nuts!

The day before his holiday he bleached his hair! It turned a lovely (not) shade of yellow which made him look like a right weirdo but he thought it was brilliant, and of course he's right when he says it'll grow out in a matter of weeks! He likes to push boundaries in all aspects of life and I guess when we were young, we all did crazy things too... it's all part of growing up!

Eminem springs to mind!

At the same time though, Teen can be sensible when he needs to be and can certainly look after himself, as well as anyone else. So I'm hoping he has this sensible hat on most of the time (hmmm) he's away and keeps his wits about him because being on holiday with a load of mates, drinking and most likely going a bit crazy... I do worry, a LOT!

He's gone to Outlook Festival in Croatia. Not just a holiday then, A FESTIVAL!!! There's been boat parties booked and DJ's lined up that he can't wait to see... there are loads of people going that he knows, girls and boys, not just his little group, which makes me feel a bit better... safety in numbers and all that... but it DOES sound like it's going to be one long, alcohol fuelled, insane week of paryting! (I'm a bit jealous, ha!).

He's been so excited about it! He wanted to go to this particular festival last year but he wasn't old enough. Had to be eighteen. Not sure I would've been comfortable with that though, he seemed so much younger last year.... but he didn't go so that's ok! This week I spent my time making sure he had everything he needed, all his clothes were washed and ironed (I spoil him), and he'd packed everything. I'd made lists for him so he didn't forget stuff and generally fussed around, feeling anxious.

His flight was very early in the morning and he was staying at a friends house the night before as they were all getting a taxi from there. I have to admit to not sleeping a wink, worrying that he'd forgotten something, but, and this is certainly a plus side to having social media.... I was checking his SnapChat continuously and could see he'd got to the airport, checked in and was eating the obligatory airport fry up for breakfast! Phew!

He messaged me from the plane when he got on to let me know they were taking off and then when they landed, bless him. I was glad of this. How parents coped in the past with no mobile phones is beyond me!

I've been keeping up with everything so far via his SnapChat and Instagram. I've seen inside their villa, the beach, the DJ's, the amazing looking festival at night and the drunk friends haha! Feeling thankful for social media right now.... it's such a godsend in times like these. When teenagers start going out and about, no matter where it's to, just being able to see some kind of update somewhere means that they're ok. Peace of mind. We've also been messaging here and there and I can confirm he's having a great time!

Of course he ran out of money fairly early on.... I'm annoyed that he hadn't budgeted at all but I'm not surprised one bit. I received lots of nice phone calls and Face-times that day, buttering me up so he could ask me to transfer him some money!! Teenagers are REALLY good at this! I got the 'But I can't buy any food and I'm starving' spiel and the 'I'll pay you back I promise' line that I hear more times than literally any other sentence known to man! Again, technology comes to the rescue in the shape of banking apps on our mobile phones, so I was able to transfer some money to him instantly and he could immediately see it in his account. A friend of mine used to work in a travel agency years ago and she said the most common thing that happened in her store was parents coming in to send money to their teenagers who were on holiday!!!! At least I didn't have to leave the house! He WILL be paying me back though 😉 Famous last words!

Anyway, he's due back soon. Thank goodness! Not sure I could afford for him to stay out there any longer hehe! I've been keeping up with Outlook Festival hashtag itself on Insta, Snapchat and Twitter... it's funny seeing lots of random people who I know will be there with, or least in the same vicinity as my boy, giving me some great insight. I just wish I had all his mate's Snapchat accounts so I could nosey at those, ha... a bit stalkery I know but that's what you need to resort to as a parent of a Teen....  I used to insist on knowing his passwords when he was a younger teen but they get to a certain age and you obviously can't do this any longer... they do need their privacy, much to my dismay! Of course I would never add his mates on social media.... they would laugh in my face and probably think I was creepy!

I can't wait to see him upon his return and give him a big squeeze and kiss! He'll be so happy to be back home but will probably need to sleep for a week... meanwhile I'll be ploughing through his washing! I don't care though, we've all missed him so much and all I want is for him to be home safe and sound.

Another milestone reached and passed in my son's life!

The Real Cost of Motoring

I need a new car.

In fact, that's an understatement. I am DESPERATE for a new car and have been wanting one seriously for at least a year! My current car was an executive model and in mint condition when we bought it... and it was perfect for when my twins came along. We needed a 7 seater. But fast forward 7 years and with four kids crashing in and out of it most days... it's fair to say it's pretty hammered now! And unfortunately, it simply costs too much to run.

Researchers found the typical driver will spend nearly seventy thousand pounds on fuel and rack up a bill of forty grand on MOTs, servicing and repairs in a lifetime! Crazy or what? 

Petrol is my big bugbear. I spend an absolute fortune each week to get the huge 3.8litre engine going, and I don't need to! I need to downsize I think.

Parking alone sees the typical driver spend just £12.15 on parking charges, but over a driving lifetime of 64 and a half years, this will mount up to an incredible £9404.

The research, by affordable car hire company autoeurope.co.uk reveals that British motorists will drive over half a million miles in a lifetime - the equivalent of 22 times round the earth! They will also fork out £168,880, on running costs of vehicle ownership, have 1,935 rows – and 2,709 episodes of road rage in a lifetime.

Its seems that the burden of car ownership is hitting drivers hard and AutoEurope research suggests that running a car is a huge financial commitment. What motorists will spend on repairs and fuel costs alone could buy a home in most parts of the UK, not to mention tax and insurance.

A spokesman for autoeurope.co.uk said: “The burden of car ownership is hitting drivers hard and our research proves that running a car is a huge financial commitment. Renting a car instead is miles cheaper in comparison - whether that’s just for one day, or a long-term rental – we offer affordable rates on car hire without the added worry of depreciation and the additional running costs that often comes with owning your own vehicle.”

Hmm... so could this be the answer I'm looking for? I spend an absolute fortune on petrol and insurance at the moment.... would I really be paying more if I went for this option? I won't have insurance to think about and the petrol is obviously going to be a fraction of the price, especially if I was to go for a much smaller car. It's certainly worth looking into.

In the meantime, check out this fun infographic which shows some lighthearted driving stats!

The cost of motoring

 

*Collaborative post
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